The countdown is over?!?

Wow.  The past eleven months have flown by.  I started this blog last July with a goal of losing 40 lbs by my 15th wedding anniversary…which was Thursday!  Not only have I not reached my goal, I’m not even halfway to my goal!  Haha!  Guess it’s time for a little reflection….

So I lost 15 lbs last summer and fall, and somehow managed to keep it off through the holidays and winter months.  I had really hoped to be halfway to my goal (down 20 lbs) by the end of 2013, but I didn’t make it.  A faulty hip and several other obstacles kept me from exercising as much as I would have liked, not to mention the hectic holiday season.  I had high hopes for spring, but it is such a busy season for my family, and it seemed that I would never get back into the swing of things.  Now that school is out for summer (hallelujah!), I have finally gotten back into a (mostly) consistent exercise routine.

Some of you may have noticed that I have a countdown running on the side of my blog that was counting down to me and my husband’s 15th anniversary: June 26th.  As you may recall from The Dream, I wanted to lose those 40 lbs before we reached this milestone.  Well, today is June 28th, and I have not reached that goal.  But all is not lost…I’m giving myself a deadline extension!

That’s the beauty of setting your own goals, right?!?  I can adapt and rework them as needed.  So my new goal is to finish losing the weight by November 15th.  What’s so special about November 15th, you ask?  My husband and I are still saving and planning for a big, getaway trip to celebrate our anniversary.  Because he is a farmer and busy with the harvest during the summer, we knew we’d have to take a trip sometime this fall or winter.  Because my husband is also in politics, he will also be busy from now until the November election.  So we’re thinking we might try to sneak away after the dust from Election Day settles, but before he takes office in January.  (Spoiler alert:  He’s unopposed in his race, so unless something bizarre happens, he wins!)

So an extension to November gives me almost five additional months to meet my goal.  And if I haven’t lost those 40 stinkin’ pounds by then, I’m sure I’ll give myself another extension.  ;)  I’ve heard that it is good to lose weight slowly…but I didn’t mean to lose it this slowly!

The summer is off to a great start, though.  After taking off a week and a half from running to get rid of that cough, I started back VERY slowly to build up my endurance.  I probably shouldn’t say this out loud, but…so far, so good.  No shin splints, no hip problems, no cough.  Maybe, just maybe, I am starting to get the hang of this running thing.  I hope so, because I really enjoy it.

I know not very many people read this blog (which is fine, it’s really more for myself than anything), but for those of you reading this, please continue to pray for me.  And keep those comments coming…I love hearing from you!  :)

I’ll leave you with some more pictures from my morning walking/running path and the obvious joke that goes along with them.  Here’s to a good summer!

chicken1

Q:  Why did the chicken cross the road?

A:  To get away from the crazy runner who was slightly scared of them and the strange noises they were making!

chicken2

chicken3

And of course, my cows are still cheering for me.  And they are happy about my extension to finish my goal.  Can’t you see it on their faces?!?

cows

My Love/Hate Relationship with Running

Oh boy.  How to begin this post?  I have so much on my mind I don’t know where to start.  First of all, I hate that I have only been making about one blog entry a month…not very bloggy of me.  It’s been more than a month since my last post.  A lot has happened during that time, and yet I feel that there’s not much to report.  Just the usual life-stuff that keeps me hopping.  The most noteworthy news is that I got to squeeze in a quick trip to Albuquerque to visit with friends…yay!  Other than that, it was business as usual.

I need to clarify two things in the title of today’s post: 1) it’s really more of a like/dislike relationship that I have with running (love and hate are probably too strong), and 2) when I say “running,” I really mean jogging/walking.  I do not – and sadly don’t think I ever will – consider myself a runner.  Remember when I first tried running last fall, I ended up with the most terrible shin splints.  I think that the main culprit of those shin splints was that I was running a path in my neighborhood with lots of hills.  After I finally recovered, cold weather had started to set in and the days were getting shorter, so I never really got back in the groove.

I really thought things would turn around for me this spring, but it seems they may not.  I can’t really come up with a cohesive way to tie together all my thoughts about my running experience, so today you are getting a list of random thoughts, some funny, some serious, and a few pictures sprinkled in.

Running Randomness

  1. Consistency is my biggest problem.  When my oldest son’s basketball season ended in February, he moved right into spring soccer.  At our local soccer complex, there is a decently smooth paved path between and around most of the fields.  Since the weather was starting to get nicer, I decided to start taking my running clothes to work so I could walk/jog at the soccer fields after work.  I was amazed at how easy it was!  A nice, flat area to run meant no shin splints for me, thank goodness.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t always the one to take him to practice, and soccer season was short-lived with several rainouts.  There is also a nice running/bike trail near my work, but I almost always have to hurry to pick up my boys from their grandma’s house.  The only time I can run on that trail is if my husband can pick up the boys.  Which leaves me with running in the mornings or evenings in my neighborhood.  So this past week, I started jogging in my neighborhood again, this time going a different direction that is not as hill-y as my previous path.  Here is a picture of said new path:running path
  2. Swallowing bugs is so gross.  I’m sure this happens to city-dwellers too, but running on a country highway has caused me to swallow lots of extra rough-age.
  3. But the fragrance of honeysuckles is amazing!  Oh my, the air is heavy with the smell of honeysuckles right now!  This was something I haven’t encountered yet since I started running in the late summer/early fall.  Running in the spring is great!honeysuckles
  4. Running is giving me bronchitis.  Okay, maybe that’s a little dramatic, but this week I have encountered a whole new problem with running…runner’s cough!  It’s a real phenomenon!  This week I ran on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  Wednesday night I started having a little bit of a cough, and by Thursday afternoon it was getting worse.  Friday morning I was coughing so deep that my chest was burning and I had to get out my cough drops.  I have heard of “runner’s knee” and things like that, so I decided to search online for information about “runner’s cough”…and I found all sorts of information about it.  The biggest thing I learned from my research is that I’ve been breathing wrong.  Figures.  I guess I’m supposed to be breathing from my belly.  And also inhaling through my nose, which I’ve tried before and found to be very difficult.  Anywho, I read several interesting articles.  Here is the link to an article from Runner’s World, which I found to be the most helpful:  http://www.runnersworld.com/tag/breathing  I debated about whether or not I should run yesterday (Friday) since my chest was already hurting a little, but I decided I would go ahead and run a shortened path with my newfound breathing information.  Today I am coughing up green stuff.  Yuck.  This has not been an issue before.  Why is it happening to me now?  I read that it could be the pollen, humidity, or other environmental factors, but who knows.  I’ve wondered if running on a treadmill would be better, but now that I’ve run outdoors, I’m not sure I could enjoy a treadmill.  <sigh again>  Maybe I’ll give it a try.
  5. Cows make a great audience.  I pretend that they are cheering for me as I pass them.  Or maybe telling me to “Eat Mor Chikin.”  No, I cannot run on a treadmill without cows.running audience
  6. I enjoy running.  I really do.  I love being outside, and I feel like I’m going somewhere.  As I mentioned in The Plan, I’d love to run a 5K someday.  It’s still a goal I’d like to reach, but boy running is complicated.  For me anyway.  Does it come very naturally to some people?  It seems like a science, this running business.  And I never really did care for science.  I’m not giving up yet, but I can’t seem to get the hang of it.  Between trying to arrange childcare and getting my body to cooperate, it seems like running may not be in the cards for me.  I guess we’ll see how things go after I get over this cough.

Well, it’s about time for me to sign off.  Despite my yucky cough, I did a ton of yard work this morning, and I’m worn out!  I wish you all a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend.  Please thank a service man or woman for their dedication to our country!  My silly running problems seem trivial when thinking about those who gave their all for our nation and our freedoms.  May God bless and comfort those who lost someone in the line of duty.  Goodnight, friends!

 

Healthy as a Horse

Yikes!  It’s been over a week since I took some time to blog.  As I have mentioned before, I work at a local university, and the first few weeks of classes are absolute madness.  This fall semester has been no exception!

There is a universal guideline associated with every exercise or weight loss program I’ve encountered, and I’m sure you’ve seen it too.  It usually goes something like this: “Please consult a physician before starting this or any program.”  Sounds pretty wise to me.  I probably hadn’t had any blood work done since I had my gallbladder taken out six years ago.  I very rarely get sick, so I assume that I’m a fairly healthy person, but I figured it would be a good idea to have some baseline tests run.

So two weeks ago, I went to have a physical at my doctor’s office.  I’m pretty sure the last time I had a physical was when I was playing softball in high school, which has been…um…some years ago.  I won’t say how many.  I wanted to visit with my doctor about THE PLAN to make sure it is solid and sound.  She said she thought I was on the right track, and we discussed developing healthy habits.  Because I was still having those awful shin splints at the time, she also suggested I take two weeks off from running.

Earlier this week I got the results from my blood work, and everything looks good!  My blood sugar was great and all my metabolic results were within normal ranges.  Today marks the end of my two-week hiatus from running, and I can’t wait to put on those new running shoes again and get back to my walking/jogging routine!  I hate that I missed two weeks due to shin splints caused by poor shoes.  My doctor advised going back to square one and increasing my running gradually, and I will follow that advice.  I don’t want to end up hurting again!

In other random news, I ate at Tropical Smoothie Café today.  Things have been so busy at work that I have not eaten there in over two weeks.  That’s a new record for me.  I usually eat lunch there once a week, then have a light dinner that evening.  It’s worth the splurge every time.  :)  I love that as long as I’m exercising, I can eat Tropical Smoothie and still lose weight.  Makes this whole “new lifestyle” thing a cinch.

tropical smoothie

Stay tuned for more posts this weekend…it’s County Fair time and I cannot wait to go with some dear friends tomorrow night!  There is a funnel cake and a caramel apple with my name on it!  Yeehaw!  :)

Shin Splints & Brown Rice

Wow!  What a week it’s been…and it’s only Tuesday!  Yesterday was the first day of school, both for my children and at the university where I work.  My youngest son started Kindergarten.  <sniff, sniff>  Needless to say it’s been an emotional couple of days.  <sniff, sniff>  The workplace has been a zoo, especially last week.  In college administration, the week-before-fall-classes-start madness is always a crazy time.

In other news, I have been slowly increasing my walking/jogging efforts, and now have shin splints to boot.  They are strange shin splints, though.  Not so much on the front of my legs (where I’ve had shin splints before), but on the inside of my legs.  I feel pretty certain that a lack of good running shoes is one culprit, but decided to call my sister-in-law – who’s in the medical field – for further possible causes and treatment.  She had some great tips for me, and I’m anxious to explore each one…stay tuned for more on this!

In still other news, my husband and oldest son have recently taken a liking to rice.  They are two of the pickiest eaters I know, outdone only by my youngest son.  I have been fixing white rice at least one night a week since this amazing discovery was made.  One nutrition book I’m reading suggests that brown rice is better for you than white rice.  Dedicated to buying better foods, I picked up some brown rice at the grocery store on Sunday.  Guess what?  Brown rice takes twice as long to cook as white rice.  I let it cook for 30 minutes (per package directions), and it still wasn’t tender.  It is still in the pot on the stove.  Yuck.  Back to white rice we go.  At least until I figure out the secret of cooking brown rice.

Well, I guess that’s all for tonight.  Gotta go elevate my legs (ouchie!) and get some shut-eye.  And brainstorm about what I’m going to do with a partially used bag of brown rice….