Category Archives: Running
- After eating mostly Paleo for about eight years, it stopped working. I don’t know what the deal is, but I’ve talked with other Paleo people who have had to switch up their eating habits, as they have started to gain weight, even while eating grain-free, sugar-free, refined-foods-free… It doesn’t seem fair, but I had to decide to do something different. After gaining about ten pounds since Jean was born, which put me at 160 lbs — the most I’ve ever weighed, non-pregnant, I started hiking at the end of November. I went two or three times a week, early in the morning, 3-4 miles at a time. In that time, I didn’t really change my eating habits. So, what did that effort net me? I gained eight pounds. Ugh. And, no, it wasn’t muscle. Well, maybe one pound was muscle. So, in the last month or so, I started tracking calories — something I’ve NEVER done before — on My Fitness Pal. I also started running more often, in addition to hiking. I’m now running or hiking, four or five times a week. And what has all that tedious tracking and MORE exercise netted me? A loss of five pounds for the month. It seems like very little in return for such effort, and I’m still way over the weight at which I feel comfortable. But, it’s five pounds. And I ran my first 10K. That’s 6.2 miles. I came in last for my age group… But I finished! I ran the first four miles (slowly) without stopping, then walked for a minute or two, ran the rest of the fifth mile, and then walked/ran the sixth mile. One hour, 23 minutes. I’m running to improve that time, and also hoping to complete the Phoenix Summit Challenge, which is in November.
- Today is the last day of 4th grade and 2nd grade for Audrey and Fiala, respectively. I’m kind of relieved, and I have a VERY long list of summertime projects from the mundane to the complicated. Grant, who is in 11th grade, is still doing work, mostly because he didn’t do enough during the school year. Sigh. Thanks to the homeschool group that I (very loosely) lead, we have a fabulous end-of-year party tomorrow. I really stink at planning parties, so I’m pleased that, while I had the idea for the party, other people who are much more skilled than I am are planning it. Speaking of the homeschool group, we have 210 families who now are members. THAT IS A LOT OF FAMILIES. I kind of envisioned 15-20 families, but the group meets a greater need than I knew existed. We have attended weekly park days, near-weekly field trips, and I lead a (typically small) mom’s night of grading and chatting every week. And the girls are in piano lessons. It has been a good year of homeschooling for them, which was my goal. Tomorrow is my son Wesley’s last day of 9th grade at a local charter school. It was mostly very successful: He loves it, but his grades aren’t the best I think they could be. As long as he finishes the year with a 3.0 or higher (which he almost certainly will), he will most likely be returning in the fall. “Baby” Jean is no longer a baby: she will be three years old next month!! She is bright, full of fun, and VERY active.
- My oldest son, Ethan, who attended Arizona State University on a near-full scholarship this last year, very likely won’t be returning to school in the fall. From my perspective, this really isn’t a good situation, and I cried for two hours when it all came down. But, my son is almost an adult, and he’s making more adult-y decisions, and that’s hard when your children don’t choose for themselves what you, as the parent, see as wisest. But, God is faithful, and Ethan’s times are in His hands, and this is an opportunity for faith on my part, bathed in prayer. Still, it feels like a failure on my part. I don’t know if it is, but it FEELS like a failure.
- My garden is thriving. It’s nearing the searing heat of summer, and I’m hopeful for its continued success. I have two beds: one is 8′ x 12′, and the other is 12′ x 12′. I am tracking, by poundage, how much I harvest. These past winter months, things DO grow here, but more slowly. I’d typically harvest 4-6 lbs of produce. Now that it is warmer, I’m harvesting 8-12 lbs each week. A couple of weeks ago, when I harvested the last of my beets, it was 16 lbs, 6 oz for the week. I am currently reaping: I’itois onions (bunching onions); Greek and Italian basil; Cardinal Chard; Top Bunch Collards; Tyfon Holland Greens; Harris Model Parsnips; four kinds of tomatoes; Greyzini (a summer squash like Cousa or Mexican Grey Squash); Sweet Banana Peppers; and just yesterday, the first of the Homemade Pickles Cucumbers. Soon, I’ll have Sweet White Spanish Onions (the largest have tops that are over 4′ tall! I hope they’re as giant as their tops suggest); Asparagus Yardlong Beans; Garlic; and Honeydew Melon. I’ve also been collecting seed from radishes, lettuces, and cilantro. And, I have at least nine kinds of flowers blooming, including 8′ tall Lemon Queen Sunflowers. And in another 3-4 weeks, I’ll have okra and Armenian Cucumbers.
That’s about it from our home. Well, actually, that’s not nearly it. There is always more that is happening than I can write about. And, I don’t know if this update is all that interesting, actually. But, I felt like I was overdue for posting one.
I haven’t hiked in months. I have recently, though, started jogging around my neighborhood. I love getting out in a natural setting, and my feet take less of a beating on dirt than on asphalt. But, I had to drive to my hike-location-of-preference. Now, my jog starts roughly fifteen minutes after I roll out of bed, no car needed. Less travel time to get out means I can wake up a half-hour later, spend more time hoofing it, and get back home earlier.
Previously, I was mostly concerned with arriving back home before my hubby left for work. However, we were having trouble with our littlest one, Fiala, getting out of bed early and wreaking havoc while my husband was getting ready for work and I was out hiking.
We live in a fairly hilly location, which is unusual for Phoenix; most everywhere around here is flat. So, even though it’s on asphalt, I can still go for a challenging, scenic run, with virtually no traffic, which is almost as good as hiking. Well, actually, saying “run” is pushing it; a slow trot, alternating with fast walking. I hope to work up to a run. Right now, I’m at about a 14 minute mile, which is lame, even though I can blame some of the slowness on the hills. I can, right??
According to Map My Run (which is REALLY frustrating to get a handle on; it took me more than an hour to create a map of my little route, and that’s after I viewed the tutorials), my route is 2.79 miles with an overall 3% grade. It would have a greater grade percentage if I disincluded the flat part that starts and ends my run, but I guess that would be cheating.
I have to fight my dreams about this whole running thing, though. Well, not really. Sort of. What I mean is that I’ve been out jogging a grand total of about seven times now, and I already have lofty visions of finally completing a marathon. That’s not a BAD dream, certainly; it’s one I’ve had for years. But, I tend to count my chickens before I even have a henhouse, let alone eggs, if that makes sense. I start thinking in my head about how amazing it would be if I completed this project — any project — that I can actually start coasting on my dreams instead of actually DOING them. And, I tend to get discouraged when things don’t turn out as rosily, as rapidly as I’m dreaming.
So, like virtually everything else in my life, this is a plot to strengthen my character, as well as my physical endurance, and hopefully to lose enough fat that I don’t have to pick out my outfit by how well it hides the various bits of chub surrounding my middle section.