Thursday, September 13, 2012

Past, present, and May

The frump on the left was me about 15 years ago and the fatty on the right was me again, six years ago.   Today I look at these photos incredulously.  Obviously my 40s were not my best decade.  I knew I weighed too much, but honestly didn't realize how bad it was.  Here's the amazing thing:  People said I was slim ....!  Whenever I mentioned I was dieting, they'd frequently ask, "What for?"  Either my friends all live in the Land of Make-Believe, or they were just being too kind.  Good gravy!  Those hips could block traffic!  (FYI:  This was the Pre-Running Me who tried to justify the extra poundage because of my entrance into middle age.)

Which brings me to now and the on-going battle to never return to THAT, even though my proud title of "Grandma" was established over 10 years ago.  For one thing, I'm back on the wagon, dealing with some unwanted summer-induced fat, via another fitness challenge.  Fun almost always involves eating and the scales show that I must have packed in a TON of fun this summer.  And knowing another fitness challenge (my "safety net") was starting soon, I really let my guard down the last few weeks and completed the ballooning process, arriving at about eight pounds over where I was last spring.

I have discovered that my weight is always lowest in May.  Not sure why, other than typically there are no big events during the several months that precede it ...... events like Christmas, or a vacation.  Vacations are brutal and I am claiming full victim status.  Even those vacations that involve exercise!  I can do a four-day-200+-mile-bike-trip and gain two pounds.  Even the Hood to Coast, when I ran almost 18 miles in two days, packed on a pound or two.  Here's some wisdom I finally learned: Weight loss is 85% about dieting, and 15% about exercise.  I put it in BOLD PINK to burn it into your brains!  All the exercise in the world, which tones and builds muscle, will NOT make you lighter if you use it to justify brownies.  So my HTC aftermath involved the donuts, the DQ blizzard, my favorite Eggs Benedict at the Pig n' Pancake, and the rest of the candy-filled blur .... more than it did the running.

The wedding of Favorite Second Son and Favorite Second DIL (the highlight of our summer by the way) ...... Let's pause and admire this lovely scene .....
 A great day!  (Here's a fun tidbit:  The young eagle scout in the first picture above,
and the groom in this picture, are one and the same.)
And I'm adding this photo just because I like it.
Favorite (MARRIED!) 2nd Son and me.  

.... anyway, it didn't help either.  One of my downfalls is Swiss cheese.  And there was a LOT of it (along with the rest of the menu) left over from the wedding luncheon we hosted.  Which (the cheese) I ate.  On crackers.  For days.  Yum.  (Fortunately none of the wedding cake made it to our house.)

The above "before" photos need an "after" shot, so here I am, about to run my last leg in the HTC, a few weeks ago.  I was within about five pounds of my ideal high-school-graduation weight and, after almost a week on our current fitness challenge, is about where I'm at right now.  (Another by-the-way:  Do you GET that I LOVE fitness challenges?  Absolute life-savers!)

  And you'll have to go here to see me last spring, after a previous highly successful fitness challenge and ..... AT my high-school-graduation weight.  It's where I plan to be in a few weeks ..... just before we embark on another food-fest (AKA a cruise) then roll on into those pesky fudge-packed holidays .... meaning I start all over again in January.

If only it could be May all year long.

Friday, September 7, 2012

A Hearty Ride in the Dappled Shade of the Forest Green.

I decided I need to put a new post out there so that the title of my previous post doesn't remain in view on anyone's blog list.

Said title of this post WILL BE more tasteful and uplifting .... and I'm still composing it.  How about, "The Love of Running"?  .... Boring.  "Faith in Every Foot Plant"?  ..... No that won't work.  I googled Foot Plant and came up with skateboarding sites.  Hey, how about "Gliding and Striding"?..... Oh gag.  Maybe ..."Running For Cupcakes"?

...... Or we could segue over to biking and the ride that Awesome Friends, Husband, and I did this week .... except that it featured my clumsy crash and subsequent bloody knee which was documented in full color by Friend Dave and his omnipresent camera.  Don't worry.  I won't post the picture.  This is supposed to be a NICE post to offset the last one.  But I might add, for what it's worth, it's the SAME knee that took the brunt of my little incident with a moving car last spring.  

It actually was a very fun ride.  There's a former-train-track-now-paved-trail that stretches 21 miles between the towns of Banks and Vernonia, in a lovely wooded portion of northwest Oregon.  Honesty dictates that I disclose that it was more than the 20 miles that I led Friend Sue to believe it was.  I had forgotten about that extra mile.  Really.  I did forget. 

(I'm tossing these two other photos in because I like them.
Good job, Dave!  I really do appreciate your camera ....
most of the time.)

The trail runs through scenic forests, brief meadows, over trestles and some small boarded bridge-type sections that sit just high enough off the pavement to jar the unsuspecting and non-attentive cyclist.  One such bump ate the tire of Husband's bike, and we all waited and watched helpfully as he did a quick repair.

One section of the trail would have traversed over another bridge, which I'm sure back in the train days, used to be there, but isn't now.  So the trail suddenly drops into a ravine via sharp-cornered switch-backs.  There are signs warning all bikers, which I noticed on the other side, but no matter, I rode it without incident on the way going.  Our plan was to ride from Banks to Vernonia; eat lunch; then ride back; so we got to visit the ravine twice.
The (45 minute) pizza shop, explanation below.
On our way back, full of confidence from my first try, I started down the switch-backs.  However, one was particularly sharp and I couldn't quite turn sharp enough and stay upright concurrently, so I gracefully dropped off the pavement onto a steep rocky hill.  Thanks to my shoe clips, with which I have a love/hate relationship, that kept my feet firmly attached to the peddles -- over I toppled with the bike.  Again, no picture posting.  And I also won't post a picture of the nasty bruise that arrived the next day.  ...... Well, maybe one picture.

I learned after the fact, that Husband also executed a crash more impressive than mine, in the same ravine as he came upon it unexpectedly at a speed too fast.  Neither of us are hurt, other than a few surface wounds and we both understand that in Biking World, the immediate inquiry of concern from all present consists of, "How's the bike??!"  ....... Skin heals.  Bikes don't.

So all in all, our Awesome Friends became our Patient Friends as Husband and I held up the parade with more than our share of mishaps.  Two crashes.  One flat tire.  And at lunch, our order didn't arrive until everyone else was finished eating.  (We had the NERVE to order a pizza at a pizza shop, when everyone else ordered burgers and salads.  Go figure.)  We plan to ride the trail again and hopefully many times more.  And next time, I also plan to heed the warning signs posted at the ravine.  A pleasant little walk is kind of a nice break in a long ride.  I owe it to my knee, and to my bike.

Awesome Friends and us.

(By the way, what do you think of my cheerful and perky title? ....  yeah, I know .... bleh.)