Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Climb to Conquer Cancer

Warning:  Picture heavy!  :)

So my friend and I did this really neat thing on Saturday, August 18th.  It was called "Climb to Conquer Cancer" and it's literally a 'climb' up Snowbowl Road in Flagstaff.  She picked me up at 5:30 a.m. to be there at the start by 6:30.  I was quite surprised at how many people had already started the climb when we got there.  They completely shut down the road to 'outside' traffic.  Everyone walks on the left so that the right lane is left open for the buses that bring you back down *or emergency personnel*.  You can see that here in the first picture.  This was early on.  *I just love photo documenting some of my walks.*

It is indeed a steep climb, but we kept a pretty steady pace.  We even passed a few people.

The views were amazing.  The light green area...that's where we parked the car...waaaay down there!

The sun was coming through these aspens juuuust right.  Heaven!

These were flags in memory or in honor of those who have battled cancer.


Yes!  We did it!

The puffy arch was the actual finish line!

These two guys took off running right here at the end.  I just happened to catch them! :)

Sweaty, but we made it!  Such a great victory!

One last look at the mountain.  This was just before we left.

It was 7 miles up.  It was worth every step.  Would I do it again?  Absolutely!  Especially if it means we can be just two steps closer to finding a cure for cancers of every kind.  Would I have been able to do it last year?  Maybe.  But, I certainly am in much better shape this year than last.

Sometimes walking has a purpose other than being healthy.  Sometimes it's doing a 'climb' to remember.


I'm still plugging away on my 500 miles *if you haven't noticed by my ticker on the right*.  I did decide to try something because, well...just because.  My husband has always said that if I start running that I'll just love it.  Gag.   Riiiiiight.  Let me also say that I hated running when I was in school.  In soccer, we did sprints and sprint drills *everyone running around the very large soccer field in a neat little row...last person in row sprints to the front and so on.*  Yeah, no.  Volleyball...more running, but the 'field' was smaller.  Ask my coach.  Terrible.  I think I might have even been a pretty whiny player when it was in regards to running.  Dive on the floor to dig a ball?  Okay!

So, now I get to what the title of this post is all about.  I've had so many friends pick up running and have done or are doing the couch-to-5k program (C25K-get it?)  After doing some wogging and jogging *for about 3 minutes...going down hill*, I thought that just maybe, I might be able to give this a whirl.  So, I printed off the schedule and figured I'd start on Monday, the 20th. 

Week 1, day 1 is a 5 minute warm up walk and then intervals of 60 seconds jogging/running followed by 90 seconds of walking...repeat for 20 minutes.  Then there is another 5 minutes for cool down.  I dropped the girls off at the bus stop.  I started out, watching my timer on my HRM (heart rate monitor) for the intervals *what a pain in the rump!*  After making it nearly half way through, my hip cried out *yes, it really did.*  This is the same hip that the chiropractor has been working on diligently since July.  Bummer.  I didn't give up and pushed through.  I made it half way and looped back.  I'm just finishing another jogging interval and...BARK! BARK! BARK!  *low throaty growl* BARK! BARK! BARK!  The dog came at me and came up from behind *it was large and it looked like a golden retriever*.  After it nipped at the back of my leg, I yelled *at 7:40a.m.* BACK OFF *the dog stopped...still barked* and I continued...I DON'T KNOW WHOSE DOG THIS IS...  No one came out to get the dog or call to it.  I was rattled.  I still needed to make it the rest of the way home.  I got home and called the police department and the animal control officer was out sick!  I still told the officer on the other end of the phone the entire story because, by golly, I wanted them to know!

On Tuesday, I took a day 'off' from C25K, but still went for a walk.  I managed to jog for 3 minutes *again* going down hill.  It's pretty easy to get a jog on when you're going down hill and you have a 2 year old in a jogger stroller *who weighs about 28 pounds* plus the weight of the stroller.

Today was week 1, day 2 of my C25K journey.  I wondered if there was an 'app' that I could add to our ipod for the C25K training.  So, I searched.  I came up with this.  It's super's free.  I like free.  One neat feature?  If you have a playlist of music *on whatever device you have that this app can be added to*, you can play it while you're walking and the 'verbal' reminders will talk over your music to let you know when the next interval begins.  It worked great.  I even just played it without headphones so that my squirt could hear it too while sitting in the stroller.  She jammed to the music and I got my work out in.  Win, win.

I do have to say that while we walked/jogged down the middle street where my 'close encounter' occurred, my 'spidy' senses were going NUTS.  I was waiting for that dog to reappear.  I *think* I heard it behind a fence this morning, but couldn't be sure since it was a privacy fence.  Argh!  I would have been even more angry if it had been out this morning since the squirt was with me today.

So, here I sit thinking about how much I'd love to finish out week 1 tomorrow.  But, I won't.  My hip is feeling much better with more stretching and a chiropractic appointment today.  I love the sweat that comes off and I love the feeling of accomplishment when I'm done.  It is truly enjoyable.  I never thought those words would cross my lips, but...there you have it.  Don't tell my husband.  He still thinks I loathe it.

All that's left now is to get a good arm band to tuck the 'touch' into.

Get out there and go...and have fun while you're at it!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

It happened today!

I reached my 2nd milestone tonight on a simple 'stroll' after dinner.

I hit 200 miles on my 500 mile challenge!!

My next mini milestone will be half way done.  I'm just 50 miles from that.

Friday, August 10, 2012

After a week...

I've been back to counting points for a week.  My week didn't start out so great after having some of my pancakes that I normally make on Friday night *it's our breakfast for dinner night.*  I wasn't exaggerating when I said that I was over by a lot.  It wasn't 20 points, but it was at least 10 points over.  Yikes!

So, after a week of hard work *and still dipping into my weeklies...not my activity points, but my weeklies*, I'm happy to report that I was down 1.8 this week at my morning weigh-in.  When I say my weigh-in, it's just me...and the scale.  I don't have anyone standing over me.  Well...I do have my children standing in the room most often when I'm weighing myself.  They don't really count though.

I'm sad that I haven't gotten in as much walking as I was in the prior month.  It just hasn't been possible.  I can walk with my shortest of the short people, but the older two don't like being 'held up' by me if I walk *and they ride*.  And if I have them walk, there's lots of whining *yes, even from a 9 and 5 year old*.  By the time hubby gets home, it's his time to run, and so I go without.  I have walked twice this week.  We have also taken a ride twice this week, so I'm not without any exercise, just not as much as I would like.  On Monday, I'll be back into it with vigor!  The oldest two are slated to get on the bus at 7:15 *or there abouts*.  The shortest of my shorts will be in the jogger stroller ready to go when we walk them to the bus stop that morning.  We'll be hitting the street as the bus pulls away.  She loves going for walks with momma.  She was with me when I did my first 10 mile walk.  If it's a longer walk, she ends up conking out in the stroller.  We'll see how she does on Monday.  She may chat the whole way and that would be okay too.

I'm ready for a new week.  A week from tomorrow, I'll be walking with my friend up Snowbowl for the American Cancer Society.  I can't wait!  It's about 7 miles up *and I mean up*.  And believe you me, I'll be wearing my heart rate monitor to log every morsel.  School starts.  A new amount of crazy begins.  Hubby and I are preparing ourselves for what could be some difficulty with our middle kiddo on homework.  Deep breathing.  In.  Out.  In.  Out.

Are you hanging in there?  Are you tweaking as necessary?  Are you getting out and getting your move on?

*A shout out to Granny...I know you're reading...and I miss you!  I hope all is well in your small neck of the woods.  Are you hanging in there?*

Monday, August 6, 2012


On Friday of this past week, I decided to start tracking my Weight Watcher points again.  I'm not really sure what made me think to start doing it, but I did.  I have been having a hard time keeping those few pounds above off *the two to three above my goal*, even with drinking my water faithfully.  It was getting frustrating.  I logged everything into MFP at the same time I was counting my points.  Now, I know there are some people out there that do GREAT with MFP.  Counting calories is totally their thing and they have lost big.

The beginning of my day looked like this:

For my purposes, my day was going great.  My middle kiddo had soccer practice and I came home to make pancakes *with fresh milled flour*.  Uh. Yum!  When I entered them into MFP, I still had calories to spare.  I was doing great until I figured out how many points those bad boys were.  Yikes!  Let's just say I was over by a lot and while I counted every morsel, it was an eye opening moment.  All of this time I have been under my calorie goal, but was I within my points allowance each day?  I'm not really sure.

I have continued to count my points the last few days and it's almost been a bit more freeing.  I have a WW calculator that I'm using that I can also change days on as well as track my points for each day.  I am writing it all down like you see above.  And really?  It's okay.  It doesn't take me much time to do it and keeps things real for me.

After taking last week off from exercise, I got up at *cough* 5:15 to go for my walk this morning.  Of course, because I didn't lay everything out last night before getting up, I had difficulty finding everything I needed to get out the door.  I took my 'short' walk.  I say 'short' because people laugh at me when I say my 'short' walk is 3.25 miles.  That's not short for them.  Eh, it works for me.

As I'm typing this, I'm wondering how many activity points I got for this morning's walk.  I found this neat website.  Not only does it have an AP calculator, but if you look in the left-hand 'tool bar', they also have restaurant points, a food points calculator, and a points plus allowance calculator.  A-mazing!  I wonder if WW is allowing them to have these things on their site?  At this point, who knows?  But, it is benefiting me at this point in my life.

This post isn't to say that one can't lose by counting calories, because it is completely doable.  I'm just saying that something just wasn't working for me.  Today is my 5th day of being back to counting my points and I feel great!  Yay!

Keep plugging away friends!  The journey is never over, it just keeps improving!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Fresh Milled Flour Equals...

...a-mazing bread!  We've used it in other bread.  You saw the last post about the multigrain bread.  I've also used it for our pizza crust.

But, I feel like the real test is making bread with only the fresh milled flour.  No, I didn't measure it by weight.  I did in fact measure it via the good ole measuring cup.  My oldest even helped me get it all put together.  I used my KitchenAid mixer to do the hard part for me *mixing and kneeding it*.  I am in love with the dough hook, that's for sure.

After allowing it to rise in a bowl *in my oven with the light on*, then separating it into bread pans, and allowing it to rise, it was time to bake it.

And it came out looking like this:
Isn't it pretty?  I just love it!  It couldn't cool fast enough so that we could taste test it for quality assurance.  My shortest kiddo stood at the ready when I *was* finally ready to slice it.

First?  Get it out of those pans!

No, I don't have pictures of it sliced, but maybe the next round.  It truly turned out looking like store bought bread.  The texture even resembles store bought.  The difference?  No preservatives or additives.  It's just good ole bread.  The bonus?  Not only do the girls love it, but my hubby thinks it's good enough to make a sandwich out of.  He has never and I mean NEVER said that my bread was good for anything other than toast.  Seriously.

What does that mean?  We won't be buying any bread from the store.  Woohoo!  To make these two loaves, it took a little over 1 pound of wheat berries *$.51* + $.12 *milk* + $.15 *sugar* + $.16 *oil* + pennies for salt & yeast = $.94 ish for my two loaves of bread.  I of course need to factor in usage of the mixer & oven, but what would that cost?  To get this quality type bread at the store, would cost a bit more.  The cheapest bread at the store is loaded with nastiness. 

Here's hoping everyone is still fighting the good fight.