Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Still walking and keeping busy...

Time seems to be slipping by this summer.  Here we are just 10 days from the end of June.  Amazing!  I'm hoping that monsoon season will prove to be a refreshing time where we get lots of rain!  One can hope, right?

I have parts of my garden that are super happy *the ones that happen to be under cover from the evil flying/hopping menaces* or that they don't particularly care for *like my tomatoes*.  I'm making every effort to have *something* to eat come this fall.  I have some nice looking spinach, romaine, and tomatoes.  The basil is struggling.  So far, my pepper plants are doing okay too.  We'll see.

As for walking, I'm sitting at 52 miles completed so far.  That just means I have 448 more miles to go.  I can do it!  I've been having some fun while walking *and still keeping my pace up*.  My last two 7 mile walks, I've taken my camera.  We live in an interesting area, but there seems to be a little something to see while I'm out and about.

This is the first thing I see when I come off my street.  We're pretty crispy around here right now since it was such a mild winter *read--not much snow*.

After a couple of turns *and a couple of miles*, I come to this lovely thing.  It's a cattle guard.  There isn't just one on this particular route, there's two!  It doesn't look difficult, but for me, it is awkward to walk across.  Whatever you do, don't come up behind me while I'm trying to walk over it or you'll have yourself a good laugh!

Just past the first cattle guard.  Wide open spaces!

Yes, the sign says, "Caution: Watch for Cattle".  They're free range in these parts.

If you look way off in the distance, you'll see where I'm walking to.  It's 3.25 miles one way.

No you're not missing the fence, the cows really are just wandering around out there.

I have to say, the views are pretty spectacular.

No, I didn't yell, "Hey cow!" or "Moo!" this time.

Do you see what I mean about the view?

I made it!  This is our little municipal airport.

Proof that they really are just hanging out.  Look at those mountains in the background!

These next few pictures are from today's walk.  This is Cataract Lake.  To me, it's like a large pond.

This is so you don't think I'm slacking.  This lovely hill is after I've turned around.  Also, I'm pushing my kiddo in the jogger stroller.

We got to see this train.  Had I been thinking when it initially went by us, I would have gotten a shot of it coming towards us.  Eh, oh well.

Lastly, prairie dogs.  Ha!

I also saw a ton of lizards, but man they're fast.  I still haven't snagged a picture of one yet.  I did see a squashed one in the road, but thankfully no more dead snakes *or live ones for that matter*.  Ick!  After my book study with the girls on Monday, I'm being extra cautious about possibly seeing a poisonous snake while out walking. 

It's good to have friends that live around town too.  Friends of mine saw me out walking...I waved as they went by.  When they came back through, they offered to snag me some water.  For whatever reason, I brought water for my little passenger, but none for me.  I gladly accepted the offer.  He came back with a zero calorie powerade and two bottles of water.  What a difference that powerade made! 

It has been fun seeing how far I can push myself.  I never thought in a million years that I would be walking 7.5 miles all at once.  I wasn't even walking that far this past fall.  Not only that, but I'm able to take my littlest one with me and not feel any different than if I'd gone alone.

If you're doing the challenge with me, keep plugging!  We still have lots of time and I'm aiming to get there.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Five days...

It's been five days since my first 7 mile walk.  I don't think I've stopped much since then. 

I have to say that several of the songs towards the end of my list tend to be a bit fast when I'm rounding out the 7 mile walk.  I had good intentions of burning through those songs, but my hip was giving me grief yesterday when I walked it again.  Man, I feel old.  And really?  I'm not that old.  And I'm in better shape now than I was when I had my first kiddo 9 years ago.  But yeah, the hip bugs me.

Today was my 'rest' day.  Ha!  I did some swapping on the bikes to see if I could do 7 miles with my shorty in the bike trailer.  I hooked the bike trailer up to my oldest kiddo's bike *since hers has gears and mine doesn't*, adjusted the seat and handle bars, and off we went.  Between the wind and having my kiddo behind me, I wimped out.  *Hanging my head in shame.*  My total mileage was a little more than half of the 7 miles when all was said and done.

After a busy rest of the day, I took the girls on a ride this evening.  We scored another 5 miles.  I'm 40 miles in on my 500 mile challenge.

I know you want to join.  It's never too late.  And...ride it, walk it, or run it...change it to suit your needs, but just get moving!

Monday, June 11, 2012

I want to walk 500 miles!

That could really happen by the end of the year.  Could this be a new goal for me?  If I divide it out by the 7 miles that I've started walking, it would take about 71.4 work out days.  In 6 1/2 months, I think this is totally doable!  I'm so glad that when my sneakers started squeaking, I decided to get a new pair.  In defense of my old sneakers, they were 11+ months old, and I have done a lot of walking, exercising, and general every day living in them.

On Friday, I went for my first ever 7 mile walk in these:

I came home from said walk to find these on my doorstep:

Excuse the *baby* belly in the background. :) 

They had their first official walk yesterday, aside from general daily wear the last couple of days.  I took the same route that I did on Friday, just minus the jogger stroller containing the short person whose belly you can see in the picture above.

I did realize that after walking yesterday, that I needed to update my ipod because I'm at a point that I need some new tunes.  And, I need a longer play list since if I am doing the 7 mile route, it takes me about 1 hour 45 minutes to 1 hour 50 minutes.

Here is my new list *I'm not sure if I'll be skipping any songs until I get out there and try it out*:

  1. With or Without You--U2
  2. Big--Qkumba Zoo
  3. Bad Romance--Lady GaGa
  4. I'm Gonna Be (500 miles)--The Proclaimers **This may or may not be where I got the idea for 500 miles.** :)
  5. Walk Like An Egyptian--The Bangles
  6. Twist and Shout--The Beatles
  7. Boom Boom Pow--Black Eyed Peas
  8. Super Trouper--A*Teens
  9. Jump--Van Halen
  10. Sweet Caroline--Neil Diamond
  11. Blue (Da Ba Dee--Radio Edit)--Eiffel 65
  12. Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da--The Beatles
  13. Don't Stop Believin'--Journey
  14. Y.M.C.A--Village People
  15. Poker Face--Lady GaGa
  16. Pump Up the Jam--Technotronic
  17. Voulez-Vous--A*Teens
  18. You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)--Dead or Alive
  19. Buddy Holly--Weezer
  20. Don't Bring Me Down--Electric Light Orchestra
  21. Baby Got Book--Dan Smith
  22. Light My Fire--The Doors
  23. He Mele No Lilo--Lilo & Stitch Soundtrack
  24. Just the Way You Are--Bruno Mars
  25. Mamma Mia--A*Teens
  26. The Hustle--Starlite Singers
  27. The Child (Inside)--Qkumba Zoo
  28. Loco-Motion--Little Eva
  29. Footloose--Kenny Loggins
  30. Take A Chance On Me--A*Teens
  31. When It's Over--Sugar Ray
  32. Girls Just Want To Have Fun--Cyndi Lauper
  33. Mambo Mambo *to be confused with Mambo No. 5*--Lou Bega
  34. Dancing Queen--A*Teens
According to my iTunes, this is a 2.1 hour long play list. 

So, I'm on my way to 500 miles.  I've got 7 down and I'm sure there is more to come!  Have you made a new goal? 

How about you join me in this challenge?  Modify it for yourself.  Make an attainable goal to shoot for by December 31st.  Maybe it's 250 miles.  Or, maybe it's 125 miles.  If you're in...let me know!

Edited to add:  Shortest kiddo and I went for a walk *a short one* and I can say that #2 & 5 were too fast for me and #12 was too slow.  I've made it through #16 and those have been the only glitches so far.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Summer Grillin'

I love summer and one of those reasons is because I can use the grill...a lot!  Out of all the meals that I have planned *for last week and this week*, only two of them did not include the grill.  I love using the grill because it is so versatile and you can do just about anything on it.  Last summer I made a roast chicken on it, but it wasn't a favorite.

So what have I made so far?  This week we had on the grill:  chicken, hot dogs, beef sausage kabobs *with apples, summer squash & onion*, and pizza.  Yes, I said pizza.

When I was menu planning, I was getting ready to axe our weekly pizza night, but wondered about making it on the grill.  Some restaurants serve 'fire-grilled' pizza, so why couldn't I make pizza using the grill?  Google to the rescue!  What I came up with was this recipe.  When I looked more closely at it today, I decided to just make my own pizza dough like I normally do in the bread maker.  I always add my own homemade pizza seasoning and garlic, but this time I added in some fresh chopped basil.  While my dough was being made, I went for my walk *if you didn't know, I'm kickin' 7 miles now...who would have thought that I'd ever be walking that long??*

I came home from said walk, did my stretching, tracked my calories on MFP, chugged some ice cold water, vegged for a few minutes, and got busy making our pizzas.  I lit the grill, rolled out my first piece of dough into something that resembled a rectangle.  I then wrapped it around my rolling pin *loosely* and carried it out to my already lightly greased grill.  My dough puffed nicely and once it was brown *and I had put my oil on the up side of the dough*, I carefully flipped it over.  I put a light basting of my olive oil/garlic mix on the now browned up side, put a light coating of sauce, and then put my toppings on.  Once the cheese had melted *just a few minutes*, I pulled it off the grill.

Hubby and I both agree that it was better than oven made pizza.  It was the bomb!  Seriously.  The crust was fluffy.  The toppings weren't overly cooked...they were just right.

Here is my first one:

This week, we're planning to have turkey burgers in addition to other yummy things.  When we cook boneless, skinless chicken, they turn out so tender.

I'd also like to give cooking fish in foil packets on the grill this summer a whirl.  It.  Will.  Happen.  It's just another adventure in food prep in our house.  And, it's fun!

Step out of your comfort zone and try something different on your grill this summer.  You won't be sorry!