Wallace Falls

We did it! We headed up the mountain, past the first level, past the midpoint level and all the way to the top to the difficult, high level! We did it! All totaled, we put about 7 miles under our Lj feet, including the hike in from the car. Most importantly, though, we had a great time.

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But now I’m tired. We came home, hot rubbed, I painted toenails and I could just about fall asleep. Yaaawwwnnnn…
🙂
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Before I go- I made a new goal. My legs are shaping up nicely, and I’m starting to look disproportionate. To move things along I need to start working my core a lot more. So, daily abs. Every day this week should have an abs routine. Day one? Check.
Now, yaaaawwwnnnn….

Fry Like Bacon

The heat and I are pretty tight when it comes to laying in the sun, sitting in the hot tub, curling up in bed… But when it comes to exercise, I have not been a fan in the past. Today it was beautiful out.

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Enjoy my derpy face?! I think I look funny when I run, but don’t really care too much. For some reason I continue to feel the need to photo document my runs so I can include a picture here as often as possible. 😉
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We rallied the troops and, after taking advantage of the double bonus: Free Comic Book Day coupled with Unofficial Star Wars Day (May the Fourth be with you), we headed to the track to hit a few miles. Gigi has a goal to hit a marathon over the next few weeks and I had 1.5 miles before I made my weekly goal of 12 miles.
Today is the first beautiful day in Seattle. I was hoping that at my new weight the heat wouldn’t affect me in the same way- like I would cool off faster now. I do cool faster but not fast enough! Running in the heat made me nauseous. I had to stop a bunch to drink water, and I walked more during these miles than I have in a long time. I also ran way slower than I have in a long time. I started out by trying to push myself and then realized my folly when my back, arms and neck started cramping up. By the time everything was said and done I ended up walking about a quarter mile of my 3.6. Today I was totally cool with that! Plus, I MADE MY GOAL! Scratch that, I BEAT MY GOAL! I actually made 14 miles this week. Color me happy. I’m keeping my goal of 12 miles again.
I also realized today that I’m not a big fan of track running. Going around and around that circle is a little boring. I definitely like the variety of running on the street and being able to people watch, observe pretty little houses and marvel at nature. Not to mention the track seemed to hold the sun’s heat, coupled with no shade and the whole place was broiling! While the track is level and better on my knees, I missed the hills. I like climbing them, and I like heading down the other side.
Downhills always seemed like a cheat to me when I was not a runner. It was the part I would pick if I ever did have to run because I could keep my breath a little easier on the decline, of course. That was all that mattered. Now, though, I see the downhills in a completely different way. I have the breathing endurance thing down somewhat, so the downhills became something different. They became where I get to see my potential. That little bit of gravity helps me to extend my stride as I get pulled down the hill and I fly! It is thrilling. And as the bottom of the hill levels out, I feel my thighs and calves working, striving to extend and I feel strong, incredible, powerful. The downhills leave me breathless and tired, just like running uphill.
So I guess I’m saying the track is just not as exhilarating or exciting. Given the choice, I think I would usually pick the streets. 🙂
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We bought the domain www.tamarashazam.com today!
Just a head’s up that the address will be changing. There should be a redirect in place, but it’s fair to let you know if things all of the sudden look or act strange.

Why I Chose Running

It seems totally contrary to what I should be doing: running. Running is notoriously hard on your knees, the slamming impact bursts your joints, not to mention the discomfort of flopping skin and burning lungs… And I am not a tiny person to be running around the block at 250 (or now, 240).
At first it was the bad-assery of it that made me want to run. People who are serious, run. None of this pansy assed walking or sauntering, or machine exercise – as if?! Run on the street, run for a goal, no walking – it’s hardcore and romantic, right? So at first, it was just to see if I could. Guess what? I can.
After I established that I can do this running thing, I started noticing a side benefit: calories burned! When I ran, I could come home and eat a giant sub sandwich and STILL not have met my calorie allowances for the day! Running burns calories like nothing else! I run for 20 minutes and I’ll burn over 600 calories. Usually I run for about 40 minutes, so I’m really burning a lot! As I lose weight and my chassis is weighing less, I’m also burning fewer calories, but running is far superior to any other activity that I could find. Then I found this little graph:

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[I have to be honest and say I don’t know the original source for it – I found it at another running blog, so please A. don’t take this to your doctor as scientific fact or B. sue me for copyright. I’ll take it down if you ask.]
The numbers align somewhat with what I supposedly pull and comparatively it makes me feel like I’ve made a smart choice in exercise to assist the rapidity with which I would like to shed the pounds. Remember: 40 before 40!
Which brings me to my last point… My obsessiveness with weighing myself has turned into my obsessiveness with burning calories. I have to run. I MUST run. Back in the day when I walked and Bradley ran, he would walk with me often but never officially count it as his exercise. It always seemed somewhat insulting- unintentionally, of course. Now I understand. According to this graph walking burns less than half the calories as running. Unless I run, I feel like I haven’t worked out for real. The stationary cycle seems too simple, walking seems too unsweaty and the Wii fit, while fun, seems mostly just fun now. I must run every day, it seems like. That drive is exciting, but I need to keep it in check so I don’t injure myself.
Yesterday I just had to run and forced Bradley out the door with me. I needed to burn some calories or I was going to pace like a panther all night. Because we were going for a shorter run,* I asked Bradley to push me to a better pace. He did. My second mile was at a 10:30 pace, but the first mile was in the 9:40’s! Both miles kicked the booty of my previous miles, telling me yes, you can, girl. Yes, you can!
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With that run, I hit 10.75 towards my goal of 12 miles this week. If I take a 5K on Saturday I’ll exceed my goal. How proud would I be?
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I’m tweeting my runs these days if that sounds like something you’re interested in. Follow me, if you want to know my mileage and splits and all that good stuff.
Twitter
@tamarashazam
(Someday we will activate the twitter button, but for now you can play it old school)
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*I laugh inwardly all the time about how I call half a mile ‘easy’ now, how a short run is ‘only’ running a two miler. TWO MILES?! Who am I? Sorry, but what the hell is happening with me?! Ha ha ha!!!

Eat Your Vegetables!

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So… This was the good shot from the set. No, you may NOT see the others. I just snapped them real quick as we were trotting along, that magnificent, beautiful husband and I, and I didn’t bother to see if one was better than the rest. Oh well. But my husband? Meow.
We did 3.6 in 41 minutes, though the last .4 was walked. I paced slower this time, pulling our speed down to 11:00ish for all three miles. For some reason I had a really hard time catching a complete breath. I was doing fine, but it made me anxious enough that I stayed really careful and didn’t push at all.
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Today my scale read 244.2! Finally going down. It is weightloss warrior week, after all.
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I realized this weekend that I haven’t made any firm new goals of late. My diet is a non-issue. I suppose I could work more vegetables into it, but who can’t. I keep on my calories and when I ‘cheat’ it is within my allowances. My exercise is pretty spotless – I’m exercising hard every other day with a mid-level aerobic and weights on the off days. I’ve been making sure to rest when my body hits a stress point and I seem to be doing well.
I think my immediate goal this week is to work more whole grains into my diet. While I do a pretty good job, I should be making sure I’m loading up on more oatmeal instead of cereal, brown rice instead of white, that kind of thing. I also need to get back on the drinking water. Caffeine is so appealing that I fell off the wagon and into iced tea-land. But I don’t drink straight up iced tea- I like the crystal lite kind which has sodium in it, not to mention a plethora of other crap that is not good for me. So there you have them- water and super strict food. If all goes well this week, I might be in the 230’s by next week. We’ll see. I wouldn’t mind sitting at 238 for the next little bit…
Cheers!

St. Edwards

After our successful hiking adventure the other day, we Lj’s decided to hit the trail again before we forgot what it felt like to have The grit under our feet and the tree boughs overhead. We were planning to head to the mountains to gain some altitude, but by the time we rolled outta bed this morning, got our business taken care of and were ready it was late afternoon so we decided to save Wallace Falls for another day.
Instead, we headed to our near, dear and always beautiful neighborhood State park: St. Edwards. This park is amazing because, while it is well used, it has many trails with tons of indigenous wildlife. It is a park you can get lost in and it is incredibly close to us and Seattle. We feel lucky to have such a resource so nearby.

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Today’s hike took about an hour. We were slow, but the trail was steep and I was a little sore in my joints yet from my runs this week. We made it to the water’s edge where we threw a stick for Martha for a bit before heading back up the trail. It was steep! Like this:

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Isn’t it funny that when you’re there, in the thick of it, an activity or task will seem insurmountable, but then when you show someone the picture you’re like, “hmmm… That is NOT as steep as it FELT!”
I promise you. It was a mile hike straight downhill followed my the same steep incline uphill for a mile. We were all sweaty by the time we got to the top, and along the way? Gorgeous. I’m lucky to live in this state.

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I’m thinking today that I’m losing all of my collected PMS water weight. Finally. Hopefully I’ll get a decent weigh in tomorrow. Aside from that though, I have to start believing I’m gaining muscle alongside the fat loss. I have to. I’m seeing changes everywhere except on the scale. I feel amazing. I know I’m doing everything right. No cheats, daily exercising, I’m always eating a solid, healthy diet…. I’ll just keep focusing on the fitness and hope that the fat burns off sooner or later.

Hubs Run

Bradley surprised me today by texting to ask me to take a run with him this afternoon. He said he had two miles in him. That sounded good to me. I reminded him that I’m slow. Like sloooowwww. He said mostly he wanted to be with me and exercise is exercise.
I was a little glad that he was out of breath at my pace. It made me feel a little less lame.
As we rounded the corner of the big block we started picking up a little speed. As we ran by our house, Bradley stopped briefly to check on the kids and I ran ahead. And when I say I ran ahead, I mean I sprinted ahead. Down the hill, as fast as I could. I know it was downhill, but it was pretty cool to learn what my body feels like when I go fast without being scared of hurting myself or falling or getting too tired or…
When we came home I saw that being with my man makes me go faster. Not because he pushed me harder or anything. It just happened. I was really happy to be down in the 10’s for my average!

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After we got home Bradley started telling me how proud he is of me. He told me how I really seem invested. How I obviously push myself hard. How I’m serious and he can see it. And again, how proud he is of me. I love him so much. Those words, that respect he offered me, it just means so much coming from him.
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I haven’t lost any weight in a long time. I’m really hoping that I’ll see a change happen in the next few days.