Saturday, July 30, 2016

Uggh, Not a good day but did it anyway.

Day 11's 30 minutes finally done. It was not easy. The heat and humidity are horrible out there. I went at a snail's pace and still am soaked with sweat. I had some chest pain again which hasn't happened since that first day. I don't think it is my heart so not to worry. I think it is that it's hard to breath with the air so thick. I tried to concentrate on breathing deeply and slowly and the pain went away. I didn't try to push my pace this time. I was just trying to make it through. The past few days, I've not felt well and that is why I didn't walk this morning but still, I need to push myself out the door tomorrow morning no matter how I'm feeling or what's hurting. It's just so much easier and cooler when I walk in the morning before or right after day break. Aiming for 6AM tomorrow morning and then going to try for 5:30 on Monday. I also plan to add on 15 to 20 minutes of free weights in the morning, upper body one day and lower body the next. That will give me three days a week each with Sunday's off. Keep on keepin' on. And here are my dismal numbers for tonight.....
Map My Fitness
Time: 33.19
Distance: 1.58
Avg. Pace: 21.09
Calories: 255
Steps: 3.8K
OuMax Fitness Tracker
Steps: 4.2K (that's counting walking over to feed the horses)
Distance: 1.5
Calories: 243

Friday, July 29, 2016

My health and fitness Goals for the next year:

1) be riding my horses again by the end of September (it is now July 29th)
2) Get the hiking club going again by October or earlier when the temps and humidity aren't so constantly high.
3) hike to Charlie's Bunion again on my birthday, November 6th (we hiked this trail on our honeymoon. It wasn't so hard then but we were early twenties...Charlie's Bunion is part of the Appalachian trail and in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.)
4) Hike to Mount LeCont next Spring (2017)

Current Goals:

1) Establish an exercise habit starting with 30 minutes a day for 30 days.
2) Start tracking my eating habits again with a daily diary and pay more attention to eating cleanly and nutritiously.
3) Try to cut as much sugar as possible out of my diet. Yes, I love it but it is like poison in to our bodies.
4) Add free weights to the mix, one day upper body and the next lower body.
5) Finish my studio and not only get back to work on my art but set up the elliptical in there and get up and exercise for 10 minutes every hour.
6) Keep chipping away at the long over due repairs and improvements to my home and get more organized. I know this doesn't seem like a health nor fitness issue but it is actually because it affects my outlook and clutters my mind.
7) Add on twenty minutes of yoga daily.
8) Add 30- 45 minutes of additional exercise a day.
9) Walk twice a day and for 45 minutes at a time.
10) Add in some running and do interval training.

Yes, I do want to lose weight. Yes, I would like to not only look good in my clothes again but to be able to fit into clothes that look good (and not like shapeless sacks or packed sausage skins.) But the most important thing I want to achieve is to feel regain energy and be happy and positive and balanced. That is what health gives to be, that is what fitness gives to me, that is what living a balanced and organized life gives to me.
I had my husband take a photo of me yesterday. You won't be seeing it for awhile. I intend it to be my "BEFORE" picture as soon as I achieve my "AFTER" picture.  I'm standing beside one of my horses in the photo and unfortunately, his size doesn't seem to make me look any smaller, lol. But one of the goals I've set for myself is to start riding again. So, maybe in the after shot, I will be sitting on his back instead of standing beside him? That would be good.
The challenge from my Daily Health Challenge today was to notice how music could effect both mood and energy level. Music not only effects how I feel but makes it much easier to keep exercising. There is a woman that I really admire, Earnestine Shepherd. She is the worlds oldest body builder at eighty! She looks like she is in her forties but the most amazing fact about this extraordinary woman.....she didn't start doing any exercise until she was 56!!! Now, she runs 8 miles a day, works out and teaches aerobic classes but when she started twenty four years go and after a sedentary life, she danced. She started with just 10 minutes a day. That is why I don't let a few people discourage me who think my 30 minutes for 30 days personal walking challenge is no big deal or not enough. It is my start and, even though my fitness coach also seems to think it is not challenging enough, in the current heat and humidity, it is for me if no one else, pretty darn extraordinary. Although my naysayers are few what they need to know is that I'm not doing this for them. I'm doing this for me and my health and because I have to start somewhere. For me that's pledging 30 minutes of exercise a day for 30 days. What I'm trying to do is establish exercise as a habit in my life, trying to reach the point where it is as essential each day as eating, sleeping, brushing my teeth. The people who are supporting me are many and they seem to be there everyday, reacting to my daily posts and encouraging me. Those are the ones I'm listening to because they are the friends who are happy that I'm taking steps to improve my health. And why this rant today? Because this morning's walk was tough. I was accosted by swarms of little bugs that covered me and stuck to my sweat wet skin. It was so humid that it felt like you could drown by just breathing. I really pushed myself yesterday and was suffering from a bit of muscle exhaustion. And the temps were already "up there" before sunrise. But, even though my pace was much slower than I've been doing, I kept going, kept putting one foot in front of the other and finished my promised 30 minutes. And at first, I was hearing those few who offered criticism instead of encouragement but as I kept walking, their voices were drowned out by all those wonderful people who keep telling me that I've got this. I thank the heavens for them!
Day 10 of my 30 min. for 30 days challenge:
This was not a pleasant walk. First, there were the bugs. Half way across the field, I thought I'd walked through a spiderweb. I looked down and I was covered with hundreds of little bugs! They were the tiniest little gnats I've ever seen and I'm still knocking them off of me since they covered me up ever time I passed that spot. It didn't help that the humidity was so heavy this morning that it felt like you could drown breathing the air. I was so wet that those darn little bugs kept sticking to me. Ugh!! I don't know if it was that or the fact it was still so hot even with the sun just coming up or just plain ol' muscle exhaustion but my time was way off this morning. I got no where near the two miles I did yesterday. But as the song goes and as Steve told me when he and Bodie joined me, "Mama said, there'd be days like this." Now, there's a tune to start your day with. lol
Today's Numbers:
Map My Fitness
Distance: 1.63
Pace: 18.29
Calories: 254 (in sweat alone, lol)
Steps: 3.6K
Duration: 30:04
OuMax fitness tracker
Steps: 3644
Miles: 1.65
Calories: 240

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Day 9 of my 30 min. for 30 days personal challenge!
I got out early this morning but still not as early as I would like to make a habit. I finished feeding the horses and started my timer at exactly 7AM. I want that to be 6AM but, as my friend Candis use to say, "It is what it is." So, I'm very happy with that start and even happier with the time I made. My first mile I did in 14.2!!! The second mile was slower but did you notice what I said there, second mile? Yes!!!! I made two miles in the 30 minutes this morning. And I saw a beautiful blue bird when I first started out and no skunks...definitely both good signs! 
My Stats:
Map My Fitness
Distance: 2.2 miles
Time: 30.30 minutes
Avg. Pace: 15.07
Calories burned: 359 (yeah, Baby!)
Steps: 4K
OuMax Fitness Tracker:
Steps: 4K
Distance: 2 miles
Calories burned: 276 (I figure the difference here is that the tracker only measures steps and miles. The Map My Fitness figures in both the altitude increase of over 50 feet and how strenuous the walk is)

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

First sunflower of the year! I paused to take the photo during my walk and I didn't notice the bug. I sure hope he's not eating my sunflower! I had to make up for those few seconds by running part of my 30 minutes. Thought I was going to die, literally. lol

Day 8 of my 30 minutes for 30 days personal challenge. As I've already posted, I missed this morning's walk so I put in my 30/30 this evening. Here is a photo of the road I walk. I walk up it (it has a 50 foot increase in altitude!) and then I walk back down. That adds up to about half a mile. To make up for missing this morning, I increased my pace tonight. I'm very proud of myself, thought I was going to die a few times (literally) but I averaged a 15.4 min. mile! Here are the numbers:
Map My Fitness
Distance: 1.9 (wish I'd finished it out and got those two miles in)
Duration: 29.55 (my timer went off a minute or so before the MMF app and the app wasn't showing my time and I couldn't correct it on the move so I just had to guess at it. I walked a bit after turning it off so I made that 5 seconds. lol)
Calories: 325 (!!!)
Steps: 3.9 K
OuMax Fitness Tracker
Steps: 4K
Distance: 3.9miles
Calories: 295
Well, that's all, Folks! I'm heading to bed.
I spoke with my fitness coach yesterday. I hadn't spoken to him in over a month. I really expected him to be proud of me for this challenge I've taken on (30 minutes of walking every day for 30 days). He was happy I'd taken the initiative to do this and that I was posting on this page so that I could be accountable and stick to the plan but he asked me, "What else are you going to do?" I ask him what he meant and he said, "Just walking isn't going to be challenging after a while. How are you going to challenge yourself when that happens?" I replied, "It's close to a 100 degrees and 100% humidity right now almost every day. I don't think this is going to stop being a challenge anytime soon." He told me I'd carved out the time and I should think of other ways to fill it besides walking. He asked, "What other activities do you enjoy doing?" I told him that I use to love to bike, to hike and to ride my horses but I wasn't going to be doing any of those while it was still boiling hot outside. We finally reached a compromise. I'm going to add in two 30 min. of walking each day (morning and night) and I'm going to start running part of the time....eventually, lol. We also disagreed about the scale. I told him that the scale was an unreliable way to measure my progress and he said, "You need some way to measure that you can see. You can't just say, I'm feeling better." Well, yes I can but that didn't work for him. So, I took my measurements yesterday and we will see how much they improve by the end of the 30 days. One thing I know I need to do that I didn't share with him is to improve my diet. I'm still have too many meals out and too much sugar. It's back to My Fitness Pal for me. It is the most dependable and extensive online food diary I've found and it breaks your diet down nutritionally. And, on that note, I really am going to bed. Night, all! I'll catch you in the morning. :)

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Day 7 of my 30 minutes for 30 days challenge:
Yay! I've made it to the week marker! I'm feeling good but still have to work at getting an earlier start. My time just isn't as good, once the sun rises and starts heating things up, even though I feel like I'm working twice as hard. I did something yesterday that I swore I wasn't going to do, I got on that terrible scale. Just like I knew it would it made me feel badly about myself and discouraged because all of the effort I've put in this week and I actually gained four pounds. 😢 I have to promise myself never to go near that awful thing again. I'm including a photo of my sweet horses eating their breakfast this morning and also one of the roadway I walk. That's not quite all of it but it is the highest vantage point so that I can show most of it. The road is a quarter mile and the loop of it, of course half a mile. Today I did more than 30 minutes because I ended up at the high end and had to get home somehow. LolMy stats for today:

Map My Fitness:
Distance - 1.85 miles
Time - 34:39
Avg. Pace - 18.43 min/mile
Calories - 290
Steps - 4.1K

OuMax Fitness Tracker:
Steps: 4.1K
Distance: 1.9
Calories: 263

Monday, July 25, 2016

Day 6 of my 30 minutes for 30 days challenge:
I'm still showing no sign of quitting....yay, me!!! Really, that is a big accomplishment for me. For the past two years, I've used any excuse to stop, the weather, interruptions that needed my time, injuries, lack of sleep, and just plain ol' laziness. So, to find myself feeling more enthusiastic and determined with this challenge every day is nothing short of a minor miracle! lol And who do I have to thank for this?....All of you! Being accountable to someone (or in this case, many someones) and recording each day's walk and progress here has kept me motivated even when all those factors, listed above, that stopped me before rear up their evil heads and snarl at me.
There was lots of snarling this morning and I think a lot of that racket was coming from me. I went to bed at an early hour for me last night but I woke up at 1:30 in the morning. After I decided I wasn't going back to sleep, at 2:30AM, I just got out of bed and started working on a few morning chores, like fixing Steve's lunch, starting the coffee, washing some dishes, getting breakfast together and even making some guacamole. I was sleepy but I knew sleep wasn't going to come then no matter how hard I tried. At least not until ten minutes before I'd wanted to start my walk at 6AM. I thought I'd set an alarm for twenty minutes and that would let me get a little sleep but wouldn't cut into my walk time too much..... I woke up at 7:30, of course, and by the time I was ready to head out the door, it was nearly 8AM and already humid and scorchingly hot. It was nearly 8:30 before I had fed the horses and started my walk. I think it was 15 minutes later, when my head started clearing from that hour and a half of heavy sleep and the remnants of the crazy dream I'd had that were still floating around up there, that I finally started waking up. lol
These may be my worst numbers yet but I finished my 30 minutes and right now that's all that matters.
In my haste to get out the door, I forgot my OuMax which was still on charge. These numbers are just from Map My Fitness:
Distance: 1.57 miles
Avg. Pace: 19:11 (Min./Mile)
Calories Burned: 246
Steps: 3.5K

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Day 5

Day 5 of my 30 minutes for 30 days walking challenge:
Well, I'm very late getting out there to walk this morning because I stayed up too late last night. So, just now getting ready to head out for my walk. Why am I posting before a workout? Because if I don't make it, you'll know I tried. lol I know it is going to be hot and muggy out there! I hopefully will be editing this post in about an hour and adding details of my completed walk. :)

Well, I made it! It wasn't easy and my time was a lot slower even though it felt like I was pushing harder for every step in the mid morning heat and humidity. I know never to do this again if I can help it. At least not until after the weather cools a bit. As soon as I get my stats in, I'm going to get some ice water and stand in front of the AC!!!

Map My Fitness:

Distance: 1.53 miles
Average Pace: 19:35
Time: 30 min.
Calories: 241
Steps: 3.5K

Steps: 3,619
Miles: 1.4
Calories: 212

I know they just measure your time and distance to determine calories burned but in this heat, I think sweat should be factored in, too! ;)

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Day 4

Day 4 of my 30 minutes for 30 days challenge:

Boy, was it ever humid this morning. I headed out at 6:05 but had to feed the horses before I could start my walk. My husband went with me this morning which made the walk either easier or harder depending on your perspective. I walked a lot faster and kept up a steadier pace just keeping up with him but time passed faster with a companion. Today's walk was a bit more difficult because of the heat and humidity. And to think, the sun wasn't even up over the horizon when we started. It made it a little difficult to breath at first but that did get easier as we went along. The good news, no skunk sightings today! Yay! I'd imagine those skunks are celebrating, too. I'm proud of that 2 minute improvement in pace. I hope I can keep it up.

Today's numbers:

Map My Fitness
Distance: 2 miles
Time: 30.36 minutes
Avg. Pace: 15:11 minutes per mile
Steps: 4100
Calories Burned: 219

Steps: 4120
Distance: 1.9
Calories Burned: 271

Friday, July 22, 2016

Day 3 of my 30 minutes for 30 days challenge

Day 3 of my 30 minutes for 30 days challenge:
I had another skunk encounter and this time was really funny (in retrospect, lol.) I was walking along at a good pace and watching the ground at my feet because the gravel road is uneven and it is easy to trip. I glanced up at the road in front of me and what did I see headed straight for me and not 15 feet away? You guessed it, a big ol' skunk that looked as oblivious to the situation as I had been. I shouted something I can't repeat on FB and turned around to run. The skunk raised his head and his eyes got as big as mine. Thankfully, he started running toward the woods and not towards me. I backed up until I thought he was out of "shot range" and then started on my way again.
That running in reverse confused my Map My Fitness app so much that it paused itself which has really messed up my numbers for today. I really have no idea what my pace was but I did feel better today. It was easier going and I was breathing better and my endurance already is improving. Oddly, I even feel a bit lighter! :) I have no idea if I am starting to shed pounds because I've sworn off the scale. I've decided that it is the LEAST ACCURATE means of measuring my progress. When I was younger, it was so easy losing weight that I could accurately predict my weekly weight loss by keeping track of calories in and calories burned. That no longer holds true. There's something about these post menopausal bodies that seems to want to hold onto the fat. My body seems to think it's starving or maybe it's just comfortable being overweight and inactive. I'm going to try to shock it out of its lethargy. I already feel more energetic and I'm accomplishing so much more in a day and I'm only three days into this. I'm not saying that it still isn't a struggle but it was easier this morning than yesterday to head out that door. I wasn't dreading my walk and I might even have been looking forward to it. That, my friends, is progress in my book!

The numbers:
(Please note: the Map My Fitness app paused itself mid workout and lost 6 minutes so these numbers are totally skewed but I'm still going to post them.)

Miles: (totally wrong as you can see below) 1.4
Time Recorded: 24 minutes
Average pace: 16:59 a mile
Calories burned: 170 (I think I burned more than that running from the skunk, lol)
Steps: 3K....the OuMax is very accurate so I'm going with its number

OuMax Fitness Tracker:
Steps: 4058
Miles: 1.7
Calories: 258

Thursday, July 21, 2016

DAY 2 of my walking challenge

Day 2 of the 30 minutes/30 days self-challenge!

Well, I got those second day blues. Starting isn't the hardest part of trying to establish a workout routine, it's doing it all again on the second day. ;) I was later out the door this morning, just dragging my feet. That means that it was even hotter than it would have been earlier---and it was 80 at 5AM this morning! I did finally head over to feed the horses at 7:30 which means I didn't start my 30 minutes until 8AM.
And then there were interruptions. The first was self inflicted, I decided to go down and check on my horse, Brandy's grave. I haven't visited it since I planted sunflower seeds on it in the Spring. I was very happy to see that the sunflowers are flourishing. They look even better than the ones in my garden and the horses have left them alone. I was so afraid they'd eat them while they were young and tender. I'll include a photo of them with this post. I wasn't fast walking down the hill to the lower pasture and even slower walking back up but I finally got started in earnest on my walk.
Brandy's Sunflowers :)
Then the second interruption, a skunk! She was blocking my path and I stopped and stayed clear until she decided to move. Unfortunately, my Map My Fitness app automatically paused itself so its stats might not be that accurate this morning. I finally got on my way but I disturbed the skunk again on my way back (I walk up and down our "barn" road and then loop around the flat area where we hope to build a large barn one day. The entire walk is about a quarter mile so I make several laps.) This time, she ran off into the woods and thankfully, didn't make me pay for disturbing her breakfast.
Despite the heat holding me back a bit, I did feel better walking today, no screaming lungs or hurting chest and those sturdy legs of mine are holding up well. Here are today's stats:
Map My Fitness:
Miles: 1.4
Pace: 18 min. mile
Calories: 486
Elevation Increase: 56 feet
OuMax Fitness Tracker:
Steps: 2794

Miles: 1.4

Calories: 203 (I don't know why the vast difference in calories burned every time but I do know that MMF uses GPS and measures elevation and other factors that could effect exertion.)

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

30 minutes-30 days

Day 1 of 30 minutes/30 days personal challenge: My workout got started a wee bit early...kind of. A neighbor called at 4:45 AM to say my youngest, naughtiest horse was grazing in her front yard. Evidently, her dogs woke her up barking at this intruder. I currently am at a loss for transportation since my husband's truck is in the shop and he's driving mine. That .6 mile walk every morning and evening to feed the horses just helps my exercise habit along but at 5 AM, it's kind of scary being out there on your own especially when you're wearing your pj's and muck boots. lol Got the wanderer back in and fed the horses early but already that twenty minute trek and the high humidity had me looking like I'd jumped in the shower fully clothed.
I came back to the house and ate my breakfast, washed some dishes, watched a little TV and took care of those morning necessities like brushing my teeth. I headed back out at 7:30 AM for my first 30 minute walk. I won't lie, I've been off my exercise for over a month now and this morning's start was not easy but amazingly, by the time I hit about 24 minutes, I got a sudden burst of energy and I was feeling better, breathing better and my heart was no longer feeling like it was coming out of my chest.

I was using both my OuMax fitness tracker and the Map My Fitness app on my phone. Here are the stats from both:

Map My Fitness:

Distance: 1.74 miles
Pace: 17.13 minute mile
Calories Burned: 574 (the OuMax is no where near this high and, even with this measuring an elevation gain of 80 feet, I figure the real amount is somewhere in between)


Steps: Total, 5427 From Earlier, 1,755 This Walk, 3672
Distance: 1.6 miles
Calories Burned: 206

What do I hope for the days ahead? To increase my speed and my efficiency.....and to not feel like I'm going to drop dead any minute for the first twenty minutes. lol