Monday, June 29, 2015

Step Goals, Beyond Rude, Running and Weight loss Updates

Life has certainly been busy, with weddings and summer and of course making sure to fit in a little "me" time, I feel like I am barely keeping on top of things:)
I feel bad I haven't had as much time as normal to get around to visit all my favorite bloggers as much as I would have liked.  I have a few more weeks of craziness to get through, and I am looking forward to getting back into blogging as I normally like to.


RUNNING

I am on target for where I wanted to be coming back after taking those 2 months off when I was really sick (5-6 miles 5 days a week).
On a good note, If you remember about 3 months or so back I went to take a step and something happened to my right foot and it literally could not take the pressure.  It healed after a week or so, mostly.  But every time for months I would run about 2-5 minutes into it I would get this cramp in the side of my foot and up into my calf and it was a stop go, stop go process as I would try to get the cramp worked out.  I never could figure out what was wrong.  But based on the fact that I have not had it happen since I took the 2 months off.  My guess is I must have pulled something maybe an inner calf tear??
Either way, no matter what it was.  I guess I should thank the 2 month sickness because sometimes even when you feel it's something bad happening, sometimes things happen to help fix other things and I think the illness was a little miracle in disguise.
As for the 2 1/2 year long (as of now) tendon work injury, it's been doing okay.  The swelling this week was light to moderate and I have been able to keep the pain down to minimal.  I am still determined it will actually heal, but until I have gone a couple of months without problems, I still air on the cautious side.


Although, one of the houses I run past once a week in a nearby city, when I run along a canal the owner is back at it with their "dummy stage designs".
If you ignore the fact that whomever they are, they obviously have a hoarder problem.  Hence the piles of junk under the porch.  They stage this dummy, and change out the costume or look each week or two.  Last year when I discovered it it made me smile as sometimes it is creative.  I was happy to see the dummy back and looks like this week he's a guitar player:)

5 DAY GOAL to 100,000 STEPS

My sisters and I were having a contest this week to see if we could hit 100,000 steps in 5 days.
I am happy to admit, I did it YAY and neither of my other two sisters hit the goal.  Of course I was still working on it with a late night Friday workout and finally hit my 100k in 5 days by 11:15pm...

With life so busy, the only way to do it is for me to be at 60-75% of my goal by 8am each day and then when I am finally home and life calms, around 10-11pm at night I have added another 30-40 minute 2nd workout to get to the last part of the day's goal.
This week's going to be out of my control busy, so I am not setting a main step goal plan, but I would love to hit that again if life allows the time!

BEYOND RUDE

I actually wasn't going to talk about this, but I am going to share just to show how some people are beyond clueless and have no idea or care at how rude they are.

I had a crazy experience this last week, with an insane woman who was beyond the boarder of complete rudeness!
I was out on a morning run, and it was during morning rush hour traffic.  This woman pulls into the middle median lane (in traffic) and starts yelling at me to wait.
So mid run I stop, thinking she needs directions and has a odd way to go about it.
She dodges two lanes of traffic, I just see this woman with a crazy huge afro running at me trying not to get hit as she crosses 2 more lanes of traffic.

She gets to me, I am guarded (I am on the sidewalk next to the road) not sure what she wants.
She hands me this small piece of paper and says to me, "you look like this might be something you would be interested in.)
I look at the paper, reading it: It's an ad for a weight loss Herbalife product, and a Biggest Loser weight loss competition....

I look back at her, more stunned than anything.  Watching her cross the busy lanes again to get back to her car.  I am not even embarrassed to admit as I watched her try to avoid getting hit.  I was thinking that if she did get hit, I wouldn't of felt all that bad for her.

First of all, yes I have a few pound to lose.  But I am not so overweight that everyone who looks at me hopes I can drop a few.  Second, she wasn't all that much smaller than me, in fact you add her afro hair and the weight of that alone might have brought her near my own weight....

I was offended for a few minutes, but then got over it.  I only pocketed the paper, because I am pretty much against littering streets, but the next garbage can I passed, it went in it!

LAST TIDBITS

I did take a break from my busy week on Thursday and visited Lagoon a Beach (a local water park.)
I will say, if you need to feel better about yourself and how you look in your own swim suit, just visit a water park!  I will never understand how some people can be so comfortable in their skin to bare it (almost to) all no matter how it may look.
I wish I was more comfortable in my own skin, but in some ways I am glad I am not:)
The phrase, less is more, doesn't always apply to swimwear in my opinion:)
However, you also have to be careful and force yourself to keep your mouth shut.  Because in my mind if my boob was literally hanging out of the side of my top for the world to see, I would definitely want someone to tell me.  But apparently some get more annoyed at you telling them about a problem that they don't consider a problem in the first place...

On another note, I am down 7.5 pounds, and I consider that success!  Due to the things I have coming up this week, there is a pretty good chance I might be able to drop a few more.
That and we are in the triple digit temps each day and have a full week of 100+ days coming up.  I find that even though I actually enjoy the heat, I don't eat quite as much when it's hot and I drink a lot more water which I think is going to help with dropping more weight!

Talk about hot, my new car with the black leather interior, well let's just say.  It may look nice and pretty, but oh is it HOT!  I had one of those thicker hard plastic water bottles sitting in the cup holder of my car on Saturday.  Well when I went to get into it, I notice the lid had popped off, a closer look the entire thing melted down and shrunk...  Ya, now that is crazy hot! Although, I hate touching the inside of the car in the summer, the inside of the car should be great in the winter!

So that is a little brief on my week.  How did you week go? 





Monday, June 22, 2015

Westwater Canyon White Water River Rafting

If you haven't even been to Utah, then you are already missing out on some of the best scenery in the west.  But if you haven't been down and around the Colorado River then you are really missing out. It is some of the most beautiful desert canyon country in the world.  There are several sections that you can go rafting on.  Some are very calm, others not so calm.  Westwater Canyon has been named as one of the best 1 day white water river rafting trips in the country.  Depending on the time of year, you can expect to see Class III-V rapids, but most usually only see III-IV.



I am first going to say, my pictures don't even begin to do any of it justice.  I used a waterproof camera, just one of those you buy at a grocery store.  Apparently while I was taking water got on the lens, and well lets just say, the picture's did not turn out well.  I'm a little disappointed in them, but wanted to apologize right off for the quality of them.



** Also if you are looking for the picture's during the bigger rapid sections, you aren't going to see any.  Obviously for mine and others safety I couldn't have my camera out during those moments.



Normally the rapids when at their best are at about 13,000 cubic feet per second.  A great analogy is imagine 13,000 basketballs passing you each second and that is how much water is rushing past you.
When I went a week ago, because the water levels are super high due to all the mountain melt off, and the rain we have been getting.  The water was running at 28,000 cubic feet per second.



So yes, lots more water and much faster water.
There is good and bad about this.  Bad because a lot of the really great rapids are a bit washed out because of the higher waters.  Also, depending on how you look at it, bad because it's a bit more dangerous than normal.



A week before I went, I heard about a couple of guys who died in a section in it.  This should have detoured me, but it didn't.  
The night before I went, I was picking up some ice at the local grocery and two search and rescue were talking that they had lost a couple more on the river that day, they ended up being rescued and were okay, but they were saying the water was just too dangerous and not sure why people want to go down it right now.
Again this should have detoured me, but it only excited me.  I was really expecting a lot of crazy awesome rapids, and a little danger to pick the adrenaline up a notch.



We met at 7am in Moab, UT and then took about a 1 1/2 hour bus ride up the road along the Colorado River, through some beautiful and desert country.  Saw some Antelope and a few other morning animals.  We learned a little bit more about the area on the drive.  I actually haven't been more than about 16 miles up the previously, so it was neat to see what it looked like beyond that.

We had instructions and because of the colder water temperatures we all had to wear wetsuits.  (If you go later in the year, you won't need a wetsuit.)



We had 3 rules that the guides gave us.
1. Stay in the boat.
2. Stay in the boat.
3. Get back in the boat.
They actually really prepared us for whatever might happen.  I was not really worried about it, too much.  The friend I brought with me, hadn't done anything like this before so I wondered how she would take it.  But figured as long as she held on she would be okay. I figured the same advice for myself:)



They assigned us front or back of raft, I don't mind a little more adventure or water in my face so I was fine that we were placed in the front of the raft.



The first section of Westwater is actually fairly calm.  The first few hours were just floating and having fun getting to know others on the raft.
My friend and I came together.  But we lucked out and had this awesome couple from Australia on the raft with us, as well as a couple from France in the back of the raft.
Seriously, I could have talked to the Aussie's all day, (well I guess I kinda did.) They were so fun, and very interesting to chat with.  
We also had a very informative guide who knew a lot about the area, so plenty of stories and learning experiences as we went.



I couldn't of asked for a better group!
We had a 2nd raft with us that day, I didn't get to know them quite as well but at lunch I learned the other raft was all from various places in Utah.  
I was really glad I was in the raft I was in, it's just fun to meet people from other countries and hear their perspective on things, especially adventurous well traveled people as we were lucky to be sitting next to!  I had a great time, they were a lot of fun!



The scenery early on was beautiful, really old rock much darker than the sandstone canyon's you see further down the river through the rest of Utah.  Even saw a few Blue Herrings.  The water was super muddy, more than normal.
It wasn't uncommon to see huge logs, and tree's floating down the river with the run off.  In fact I was actually shocked at how many huge logs and tree's were going down with us.



We stopped once and hiked out to a rock cabin type shelter that of all things a child made many years ago.  Then back in the boat.  A few hours in, then we stopped for lunch.
Because we paid for the guides, they even prepared lunch!



After lunch, we went over the instruction again because we were about to hit the rapids and the dangerous parts I had been hearing about.



They said our biggest worry were the "boils".  They are parts that kind of pop up out of nowhere and suck things down to the bottom and then spit them back up.
They can suck a raft down, so as per the instruction.  If we felt any portion of the raft being sucked down, it was going to be our job to throw ourselves to the other side so that it would hopefully pop the raft back up and avoid being sucked down.
These types of dangers are what had been making other rafts this season flip.



They gave instruction on what to do if we fell out of the raft, and worse case if we weren't able to get back into the raft.  I don't believe I was overly confident, I know there was danger.  But I actually felt pretty good about it all, I figured if something did happen because of my relaxed nature when danger is around, it might help me???

Truthfully, I think I only felt the raft start to get sucked maybe once.  Like I said we had an awesome guide, and he knew the river and what to watch for, so he avoided any major dangerous section.

Once the rapids started, it was a lot of fun.
I MUST come back when the water levels are lower, I could only imagine how much crazier they can get.



We had one section near Skull Rapid, that we went into the rapid a little wrong.
The side I was on, I was hit with water  the rapid was big enough it went up over us, and got pretty soaked.  I was getting pretty hammered in the face, it was awesome.   
We went into what is called an Eddy, things got crazy for a second.  The river shift and the rapids took one of the oars out of the guides hands.  
I was still getting hit with water, or with rapids in my face.  But the entire back end of the raft lifted up.
We were so close to flipping, in a very bad spot.
(The section they have lost a few people this year.)



But the guide worked his butt off, and got control, and got us out of the rapids okay.  He seriously worked up a serious sweat.  When we got out, even he was like "oh my gosh, that was the closest I have ever come to flipping it."
He was exhausted after, but we thanked him.

I'll admit, that was the most awesome part of the entire trip.  I could have done that 100 more times, but I am pretty sure the guide didn't want to have that happen again.  You could just see it on his face, how bad it was and almost was.



After we got through the rapids portion, it was just flat river running after that the rest of the way. Everyone in my raft took turns guiding us and paddling with the oars.
It was cool that everyone took a turn, like I said we had a fun group that day!

I kind of figured I was doing pretty good, as after a minute or so of starting and a little guidance, I was left pretty much on my own as the guide chatted it up with everyone.  I oared forever ( Okay like 10 min lol) but I was having fun so I didn't mind.  I kept thinking my arms were going to get tired.  But once I got the hang of it, I could have done it all day.


I should mention, although I am no expert with oars on a larger raft.  I have taken several people down a section of the Green River in Northern Utah, with smaller oars.  I also grew up rafting with my family, and since I was the oldest once my parents got comfortable with my skill, I would take them out many times.  Even though totally out of practice, I will admit I was glad the guide asked me after if I had done this before, because it made me feel like I haven't lost it yet:)  ha ha.



A couple of us even jumped out of the raft for a little play time.  The guide went first, and then myself and one of my new Aussie river friends.  She grabbed my hand and said, let's go together.  It actually felt pretty good.  I didn't mind that the river was sandy and muddy, it felt great to cool off a little and you definitely need to have a little fun and get in the river if you're on the a river trip!  The other Aussie also jumped in, but my friend and the couple from France wouldn't get in the water.
(If you go, you definitely need to get in the water on a river trip!!!)

I'm the one on the right in the all black shorts:)


Because the river was running so much faster than normal, we ended about an hour earlier than we would have a different time of year.  We got out at Cisco, and then took about an hour drive back to Moab, Utah.

It was a lot of fun, but the rapids weren't as crazy as I wanted them to be.  It's weird to say, the danger was higher, but the rapids were more washed out, but that was the case.
Either way, it was a great experience!  



I have been down different sections of the Colorado River before, but so far Westwater is my favorite!  I do have a dream to eventually make it down Cataract Canyon, I think that will be next:)  Maybe next year if I can save up enough for it!

Who would love Westwater?  Anyone who loves adventure and beautiful scenery and canyon country!  Who might not like it? Those who don't like to get wet, or those who shy from a little adventure!
Knowing now what I do, and the danger levels.  If I was going to recommend the best time to go, I'd probably say July-August.  The waters are warmer that time of year too.



INFO IF YOU GO:

* White water rafting is SOOO much better out west than it is in the eastern United states.  (Okay, so maybe I am prejudice:)  But the guides we had, people I have talked through, in past years have all agreed.  Our rapids and canyons out west are so much more extreme.  So if you want incredible and beautiful canyon white water rafting, come out west!  

RIVER CLASSIFICATION BREAKDOWN
Class I rapids are for anyone kids and even very old people won't have trouble.
Class II, easy rapids, small ripples but good for the whole family.
Class III, This is where you start getting the waves, usually found in narrower canyons, some maneuvering may be needed to get through them.
Class IV, usually longer rapids, much more treacherous and you need to be experienced or be with someone certified with skills to go through these.  There is also some danger to these and are usually for the adventurous.
Class V, These are extremely difficult and very violent rapids, should never be attempted without a guide or previous scouting or great white water skills.  These are for individuals who really don't mind danger and high adventure.

* Whether you enjoy adventure or just want a calm day on the river.  There are river tours for just about anyone.  If you haven't done this in your life, you definitely should!

*  It's much, much better than the pictures I showed you, I promise!! I know my pictures this time were borderline terrible, but what can you do when it's a cheap waterproof camera, right!

Have you been White Water River Rafting before?  Have you been down any sections of the Colorado River before?






About Me Monday's

I don't think I ever really noticed until this summer, but summers are super busy for me. First there is weddings and work, and truthfully I work to play, because the term live to work tastes sour in my mouth:)
Second there is getting outdoors and doing things, it only takes one person to say, "Hey let's go...." and I am packed and out the door about the same time they finish telling me what we should do.
You throw blogging into that, and I am having a hard time coming up with a spare few hours, I haven't even been reading as much as I normally do.
But it's all good, I enjoy being busy and I enjoy living life to it's fullest!


Running has been going pretty good for me too, I am miles behind where I would like to be, but that's okay!  
However, now that the temps now at or around triple digits it has me forced to wake up before 7am to get out, and truthfully since it's already around 80 by 7am, I really should be getting up at 5 if I want a cooler run, LOL  call me lazy, but I need to work up to that:)


So I have discovered the fake lotion tanners.  I will be honest my arms and legs are turning a nice shade of natural brown from the sun.
But I refuse to let me face and neck see the sun, because I kind of like people mistaking me for 10 years younger than I am:) ha ha
I have tried them in the past, but they always went patchy and orange.  But I have been using the Jergens Natural Glow brand, (the body one) on my face and after about a week the color has really come out quite evenly.  It almost matches my arms, but a shade lighter which is good:)  The best part is it has a 20 SPF in it, so I'm like double covered! (No I am not getting paid in any way to promote or mention them:)
When people come up to me at work and tell me how nice the tan is, I don't even mind telling them that it's from a bottle and it's totally safe and best of all, going to keep the wrinkles and sun damage away:)


I know, not the most interesting news.  But I next week, I promise to be more interesting!  I did get my picture's back from my river trip.  Waterproof camera's are not the best, and I don't love the picture quality, but if I can get time tomorrow, I hope to show them off for tomorrow's Travel Tuesday post!


Hope you all had a great past week.  Anyone done anything fabulous lately you'd like to share?


Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Hiking Delicate Arch

Today for Travel Tuesday I am going to share with you another one of Utah's beautiful places.  Inside Arches National Park is a beautiful trail that leads you to one of the most famous arches, Delicate Arch.

I have been to this park many times, quite a bit in my childhood and many times as an adult.  I don't think I could ever get bored in this beautiful desert playground.

One of my favorite hikes is Delicate Arch, it's got everything.  Great trail, with incredible scenery along the entire way.

It's even got Indian Petroglyphs at the very beginning if you want to take a quick side loop trail.

Delicate Arch is classified per the National Park service as a difficult trail.  3.0 miles round trip with about a 480 foot elevation gain.

I actually just visited the park again over the weekend, and made sure to take my camera with me.  I probably have hiked this one at least a couple dozen times in my life and it's awesome each time.  We didn't get on the trail until a little later in the day, it was about 10am.  The temps were about 90 degree's and climbing when we started, so it was a hot one, but well worth it as you will see.


You'll start out on a fairly maintained park trail, easy walking as you head towards the sandstone rock you can see in the distance.


It's here that the majority of all the 480 foot elevation gain slickrock climbing begins.


Climbing the sandstone can be difficult for those out of shape, but can also be a great thigh workout for those who like to power through uphill.  I personally recommend a good sturdy hiking shoe, as it will help you keep your foot grip pretty well along the hike course.


Those afraid of heights may have a difficult time along this slickrock section of the trail.  But the cliff edge is plenty wide, even for when you have those coming down as others are going up to be side by side.  Like I said above, wearing a good sturdy hiking shoe will help both the experienced and inexperienced have good foot holdings even in these sections.


Keep your eyes peeled as you are on the trail, especially along the sandstone wall portions and you'll see this window arch.  It's actually easy to climb up the sandstone and stand right up underneath this arch too.


The famous arch itself isn't the only beautiful view to see from the top.  Depending on where you are standing you have vast views of all around, clear across towards the Colorado Plateau, La Sal's and even Canyonlands.


The only bad part about it, is this is a popular trail and grabbing a picture without tourists in or around the arch can be hard.  Which is why I recommend this hike in the off season.  I've done it in January and found the cooler temps a great time to visit.  However, it's a year round open park so anytime is a good time.


When you get up on top, if you like to be a dork like I do, you can have fun taking pictures as you relax and enjoy the view before you hike back down. (Ya that is me being goofy:)


Depending on where you stand, you can get some great shots of this arch.  One direction you've got the La Sal Mountain range behind it (like in the picture a few shots above.) Others, you have the beautiful sandstone cliffs.


Hiking this in the summer, it can easily go from 90-100+ degree's fast.  So even though it's only 3 miles long.  Bring plenty of water.  This is the dry desert, and there are very few if any portions of shade on this hike, depending on the time of day you climb it.


Yes, you can go up and stand on or around it and have some fun photo opportunities.  But be respectful of it, don't carve into it or leave any trace you were there behind.
(Ya that's me again posing for the camera:)

This is a beautiful hike, and like I mentioned above can be great almost any time of year.  If you visit Arches, I highly recommend you take the time to visit Delicate Arch.
I am very lucky to live in such an amazing state with so many gorgeous things for the outdoor lover in me to see and do!


Have you been to Utah's, Arches National Park before?  Did you hike Delicate Arch?  If you haven't, did you just add this to your bucket list?

Monday, June 15, 2015

Dangerous, Adrenaline Rush, Stunning and so Much Fun


I wasn't going to write up a post for today.  But even though it's extremely late at night and I just got back from a tiring yet amazing trip and 13 miles of hiking today alone.  Of which I finally was able to take a bath 3 days overdue from dirt, sand, river water, layers of sunscreen and visible sweat and discovered what I was sure was mostly dirt and sand is apparently a crazy dark tan, guess spf 30 wasn't quite enough:) oh well.
Since I am still awake and wired on way too much Pepsi that I drank to keep me awake on the long drive home. I figured I might as well write this post!

This week was stock full of adventure, even before I left for my trip to Moab, Utah.  I will have to share some of the other details at a later time.  But for now, to keep the post shorter I will tell you what I just got back from.

I invited a co-worker to go White Water River Rafting, since this gal had never done a single adventurous thing in her life (her words), never been to the mountains or camping...  I decided to take it as an invitation to introduce her to adventure at full force.
Since she knew nothing about white water rafting, I gave her a few details, enough to keep her interested, but decided not to scare her with too much information. I may or may not have mentioned what we were going to do was some of the best craziest  white water rafting in the country.

The particular section of the Colorado river we were going to be doing because of an awesome wet spring and recent storms is currently at an extremely high level.  Because of this, the danger increases like ten fold, or so I was told.
Few days before the trip, I found out that a couple of guys died on one part of the section we were going to be doing.  I thought about it a bit, and decided it would not be a good idea to tell the friend coming about this.  For two reasons, one selfish because  I didn't want her to bail.  But second because sometimes it's just better to not know, so you don't freak out or freeze up if something does happen.  Although, I did have a very loving sister who was freaking out and begging me not to go... I love her, but of course I wasn't going to listen!

I am an adrenaline junky who doesn't get stressed or freak out about things, the the extra danger and knowledge that the absolute worst bad possible thing to have happen to me could happen, should of scared me.... But it actually just made me more excited to do it.

Anyhow, we scored this amazing beautiful campsite right along the Colorado river.  (Picture to the right. Stunning huh! This particular calm section was about 56 miles from where we would be going the next morning for our adventure.  Which would NOT be so calm.

Late the night before our river trip, I visited the grocery store to grab some ice.  When you're dealing with 90-100 degree temps, you need to keep the ice coming:)
I happened to be alone when I was standing by two search and rescue men, who were talking about a couple of other people who were lost on the river that day.  One guy said, the river was just to crazy dangerous, and even they wouldn't be on it if they didn't have too.

But I realized I better let my friend know a tiny portion of what to expect to prepare her so it wasn't such a shock the next morning.  I did NOT tell her about the deaths, but I reminded her that death could happen and we talked about how to relax and use a clear mind in high stress situations just in case to increase your survival chances.

Next day, was super fun and just awesome, the river was amazing and scenery absolutely stunning!  I am not going to go into the details, I will wait until I get the pictures developed (water proof camera:)

However, I will say we had extremely very dangerous moment that occurred near the section that took the lives of a couple others a few day's prior and almost took a few more just the day before. We had what our guide said after was way too close of a call.
I'll tell you about the awesome details another time.  But I am not going to lie, even knowing and experiencing how intense and dangerous it was to have a brush with the absolute worse case scenario. (We had an amazing guide that worked himself to exhaustion to save us.)

That one moment, was seriously the absolute best thrill of the entire white water rafting that day!  I could have done it a dozen or so more times, the adrenaline rush was great. I don't think I was the only one on the raft that would agree, but I am pretty sure the guide was praying nothing else like that would come up again!

What else did I do on this trip?  Well I visited Dead Horse Point, one of the most photographed vista's in the world.  I just wish it was a little less cloudy the evening I took this photo.  But it was still beautiful to see again.



Also visited Arches National Park and hiked 13 miles yesterday in 100 degree temps in some of the most beautiful spots in the park.  (Ya my co-worker who came loved it, but she was out of shape. But she did it, and I am pretty sure when she goes to get out of bed in the morning, she's going to want to kill me, LOL.  But on the plus side, she should thank me, I hiked her to exhaustion so she should sleep really well tonight, LOL LOL.
Also finally hit my first 30,000+ Fitbit Step Count day:)  Woot Woot!
I'll share details on the hiking adventures another time too.

On one hike, I even took a running start to get a good jump to then free climb scale a 28 foot sandstone vertical cliff, but I will mention I only made it up ten feet before a very nice man from France climbed down to give me his hand and help me get my foot holes wedged in a crack so I could make it up the next bit.  I was slipping on the sands on the rock from a recent rain.  Falling would have meant a very big plunge into a bowl of unknown muddy water and depth below.  I may or may not of made it on my own, but I won't lie I very much appreciated his helping hand as he almost did the splits to keep his hold and grab my hand at the perfect moment to give me the leverage I needed to do the rest.  Even more appreciative because there were about fourteen strangers below watching to see if I could do it, or give them a great laugh if I plunged to the depths below.  Luckily I wasn't their laugh, but as I continued to hike on, I could hear that the next hikers to attempt it weren't so lucky.
See girls, chivalry is not dead!


The last night of the trip we were walking to the outhouse around midnight and 2 jeeps full of cute guys who were camped just down the river from us pulled up and had two spots left inside one of the jeeps and they were heading out for a midnight jeep trail ride on one of the most hazardous 4X4 Jeep trails in Moab called Hell's Revenge.  They invited us to come.
I have to admit, this is partially my only regret in the trip.  But, I turned it down, I still can't believe I did, I have always wanted to ride this trail and it would have been awesome!

My stupid common sense kicked in, and I thought, 2 jeeps full of cute guys whom I only met a second before, midnight 4X4 trail driving in an area that ruins many vehicles who attempt it during the day, unknowing if they were experienced or just first timers, miles away from anyone else...  Well ya, so I said no.  In my younger years I would have probably hopped in the backseat and said "drive" without a second thought.  Looking back at it, I am pretty sure it would have been fine, I saw their jeeps in great condition the next morning, and they seemed pretty decent. Oh well... That is what I get for using my common sense, LOL

Okay, so this post is probably way to long already and despite the overflowing caffeine in my system right now, I think I am finally tired enough to fall asleep pretty quickly so I'll end it.  But I will say, even though I have been in this part of my state dozens of times.  I never get bored with the deserts beauty.  I seriously live in one of the most beautiful states in the country, ya I am prejudice!
Now that I have the adrenaline adventure bug in me, I am already trying to decide what/when my next adventure is going to be!

Landscape Arch in Arches National Park



So tell me; have you been to Moab or Arches before?  Have you been White Water Rafting in Class III-V rapids before?  


Thursday, June 11, 2015

Why Your Bad Runs are Actually Your Best Runs

Think back to all your great races, horrible races, so so races, good training runs, very bad training runs, even your injuries...  Would you do any of them over if you could?  I'm going to start off right now by telling you my answer.  NO, absolutely not!
I wouldn't re-do anything in my running past, and let me tell you why.

If you run for a while, years or most your life you are going to have good days and bad days.  Sure every runner hopes for a great race day, but no matter how great we train and plan sometimes that isn't always the case.

Every run can teach us, there are lessons to learn, skills to acquire, new levels that need to be pushed and experiences that have to be experienced.  We have to build our character as much as we need to build our fitness levels, teach and train our bodies and minds correctly.

If you take away any of those moments the good or bad, you take away the learning we gain from them.

Great runs teach us that hard work really does pay off, they teach us how to love the moment, love each mile.  They remind us that life is meant to be enjoyed and running is not only great for our bodies but great for our minds.  They help us to love the sport, and love ourselves.

However, bad runs teach us even more.  They help us locate problems in our training.  They help teach us what we can or shouldn't eat in the days leading to a race.  They teach us to reflect on the aspects that went wrong so we can improve on them in the future.  They can even be the way our bodies are telling us something is wrong and to change it before something worse happens.  They help us to know if we are resting too much or too little.  The bad runs are one of our best chances to listen to our body. They also help remind us that nothing lasts forever, this too shall pass.
Most importantly they teach us, to enjoy and appreciate the work we put in for those great runs even more.


In the life of a runner there are always going to be those days where you don't want to get out of bed, but you do anyway.  Or the days that you don't want to get out and you hit the snooze and don't.  Next time either of these happens, take a minute to reflect on why you make the choices you do.  There are lesson's to be learned from all our actions.

Tough workout days.  Maybe it's the days our legs feel like lead and we have barely begun, or maybe it's the days we know we are pushing it, but we make the choice to push it more.
The mind is a powerful tool, and the decisions we make to run, or run harder and how we react to each circumstance thrown our way, helps teach us a lot about ourselves.  It helps teach us what we are really made of.
Not just for running, but we can take these lessons into our daily lives, to help us work harder, smarter and become more efficient in all things.

Sometimes we get injured, and of course none of us want to be injured.  No one wants to have to take time off, whether that be days, months or years.  But things happen, even to those who train as perfect as possible.
Injuries teach us valuable lessons too, in fact some of the greatest lessons I have learned have come from when I have had to go through injuries.  They not only teach us to buck up and quit our whining and get through it and how important rest really is.  But they teach us how to correct things in the future so we don't have to repeat or have something worse happen.  They make us more aware about all the running we do, how we are treating our bodies.  Having one injury if taken the time to learn from it, may help you prevent many future injuries.

The fact is, if we traded any our bad runs for good runs.  We would miss out on all of the valuable lessons and training that come from them.  We would be weaker, more prone to injury. We wouldn't have our stronger muscles and most important our strengthened confidence levels.  We would be half the runner we could be, we might never know what we really can or could push ourselves to do.

The confidence we achieve in a great run is pretty insignificant when you compare it to the confidence you can receive from a bad run, or one you had to dig down and deep and force each step. Great runs are awesome!  But good and easy doesn't have the ability to teach us what we are really made of. Nothing beats walking away from a crazy hard run, and the massive confidence builder that can prepare us for the future.

Taking the easy way or short cuts rarely get us what we really want.  If we want to really learn, its the bad runs, the hard runs that really make us who we are, and teach us who we can be.

So next time you are out for a run and things aren't going your way.  Remember to embrace the pain , embrace the difficult moments.  This bad day, is a key day, this is a day you can learn far more about yourself, about your running about what you want and what you are made of.  Because bad days really are GREAT learning days!


Monday, June 8, 2015

The Almost Race and Weekly News

This has been one of those crazy busy weeks. But I am totally okay with that, because after being so sick for so many months it just feels great to be able to get out and do stuff that I want again!

THE ALMOST RACE

So lets get straight to the Almost Race.... I mentioned a while back I wanted to get into being a race director.  I had picked a 2016 Half Marathon course, but I knew there were a lot of unknowns and I wasn't sure even last week if this was going to be able to happen.
Why?  Well I had to wait until June 1st to be able to get up into the canyon. (Because that is when they open it for the summer.) Sure I have been there before, but it had been years since I was up at the top, so I couldn't remember what the road was like up there.
I knew what the last 8 miles of the course would be like, but no idea if the other 7 would actually work.



Above is a look at the elevation chart, to give you an idea of what I was looking at.  Obviously a fabulous PR course, and some pretty crazy downhill the first three miles.
Truthfully, it would have been great and gorgeous.  But it's not going to happen.
When I finally got up to the top, you can see how gorgeous the view at the starting line would have been, below.

View from the start, and would of ended in the valley you see below.

See although I could drive a bus up on the higher narrow one lane road the last few miles at the top. There is no way I could expect or assume a random bus drivers have the skill to do it.  All it would take is one not paying attention, and although I wouldn't worry about anyone falling down the mountain, I do worry about buses coming out unscratched.

If you visited my blog last Tuesday, I showed you a beautiful canyon.  Well that would have been the actual race course.  You can see the pictures HERE if you'd like to see my race that may never be:)

I did contemplate having runners go up first and then back down and getting rid of the bus ride all together.  But unfortunately, way to many runners these days are attracted to downhill and flat, and there are far fewer like myself who love some good uphill challenges.  I could still do it, but getting the amount of people to enter that would be needed would be hard.

So yes in short, this particular exact race will not be happening.  Which is why I am actually sharing the location.  However, I am not giving up.  I have a few other idea's and places I am considering, they are just going to take a bit more time to look into.


Yes, I do ride the kids rides too:)  This Carousel was actually
built in 1893 and has been at Lagoon since 1906.  Cool huh!
AMUSEMENT PARK FUN

So I let my sister talk me into getting a season passport to our local amusement park Lagoon. They like me to get season passports each year so I can help them take care of their kids when they go:)  Its for adults and kids, but to be honest I have had season passports for 3 years in a row, and I have yet to go on the adult rides. LOL

But the good news is, one of my nieces grew over the winter and she is tall enough to ride all of the roller coasters and fun rides now.  She's only 5, so it's going to take some time to convince her they are fun and not scary, LOL.
My other niece grew enough to get to ride the medium like teen rides, so ya that little 4 year old and myself have been having a lot of fun.
Although I did make my sisters promise that we will have sisters days, where we just go and ride all the thrillers and leave the kids at home once in a while, LOL.

We don't spend the entire day, mostly just a few hours in the evenings.  Its nicer that way, then making it a full exhausting day.  A few hours here and there, keep it fun, and it' a blast to watch the cute kiddo's.

They have a new ride this year opening Cannibal and it's a roller coaster that looks super wicked, I am beyond excited to give it a try.  It's not open yet, the dummy runs keep ejecting the would be people in the seats when they are upside down on a vertical decent (per what I hear) LOL...  I am sure they will get the issues worked out soon, and when they do, I will so be one of the first in line:)

Oh, and when my niece and I ride this carousel, we always try to get on the horses, and we pretend we are on Mary Poppins, and we are in a carousel horse race.  I am sure I make lots of adults around smile as I indulge and pretend to buck my horse to speeding up.  My sweet little niece is good at making sure she is singing SuperCalaFragalisticExpyAlaDocious as we ride:)  Reason number 2001 of why I am the favorite aunt:)


RUNNING

So after having been out for so long, it's like starting over again.  Ya, I get tired after a mile:) So I am just enjoying it and taking it slow, I'll build the mileage up slowly, but I think it will happen much faster than over the winter.
So I may only run a mile here or there, and then I walk a few more miles.  Gotta keep those Fitbit numbers up:)  Especially with the competitions:)
Although, I saw this very busy mamma duck and her what looks like 14 small little baby ducklings on my run this past week. She is the winner, I haven't seen any other ducks with this many babies this year so far.


ADVENTURE

I am an after the fact blogger, and have decided that I probably always will be.  I will keep the "what" on the hush, but I will be heading out for some thrill seeking soon.  It's something I have wanted to do for years.  A co-worker of mine happened to mention she's never done anything adventurous in her entire life, and never really been anywhere.  I decided to take that as an invitation to invite her for a thrill of a lifetime!  The only problem is, I hate to plan things out in advance, I hate having to wait a while to do things.  It's much more fun to just up and decide on something and leave to do it immediately!  Ya I am all about spontaneous.   But oh well I will just have to wait.
I look forward to sharing about it all in the near future.

FUN STUFF & WEIGHTLOSS

I made my first attempt at tie dye nails, I saw the how too on one of those Facebook video's and figured it looked easy enough.  Of course they made it look easier than it really was, and it took a little trial and error.  But for my first time ever, I think they turned out kinda cute!

I also have lost 5 pounds.  Not a huge amount, but it's a great start.  I have made some daily diet changes the past few weeks.  I am eating more whole foods, far less calories and more fruits and veggies.

One mistake I find I have been making is eating too much fruit, its too easy to just keep eating fresh fruit, when I should stop at just 2-3 strawberries or a handful of grapes:)

One of the biggest things I am noticing, although working out daily (and sometimes 2-3 times a day) is helpful, and eating under 1,200 calories a day (which is my goal.)  One of the biggest things is getting my daily water.  I find the more I pound down the water, that is what is actually making the pounds drop.  I am getting better and better at it!  Not perfect, but progress is all that matters!


I could go on and share a bit more about the past week, but this post is probably long enough, and I'd hate to bore you all to death!
Here is to a great upcoming week, and I hope you all have a great week as well!


So tell me, what was your favorite part of last week?  Or do you have something fun coming up, you're looking forward to as well?



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