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Spring 5% Challenge

Monday, March 31, 2014

I hereby pledge to:

1. Workout for a minimum of 30 minutes 3 x a week before starting my day
2. Track my exercise and nutrition
3. Support team mates by reading and commenting on their blogs and participating in track talk
4. Focus on portion control (my weak spot)
5. Embrace and celebrate NSV (non-scale victories)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IMSMILEY88 4/9/2014 1:03PM

    So, it's now April 9th... how are you doing on your pledges? emoticon I hope you are doing terrific!!

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DDOORN 4/2/2014 8:54AM

    Now that's what I call SPARKIN'! :-)


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LYNNIERN 3/31/2014 10:16PM


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BURGUNDYBABE 3/31/2014 12:57PM

    Portion control is a weak spot for me too. Good luck!

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The Scale Will Not Defeat Me

Friday, March 07, 2014

Tomorrow is weigh in day. The past couple of weeks I have been facing Saturday mornings with dread. Last week was especially bad--just one of those weeks when I had an overwhelming compulsion to eat, even when I wasn't hungry. It's frustrating when, in retrospect, you can't point to anything during the week that might have contributed to poor behavior. Stuff just happens; deal with it and move on.

And that's what I did this week--I moved on. I ate much less than previous weeks and was more consistent with exercise, averaging 51 minutes a day.

No matter what the scale says tomorrow, I'm satisfied with my efforts. I'm focused on the non-scale victories: fewer calories, more exercise, good runs, and heavier weights. I'm going to bed tonight with a great sense of well-being and contentment and scale be damned.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NEWCHINELO 3/11/2014 3:16PM


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SIMPLELIFE4REAL 3/8/2014 12:56AM


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MNABOY 3/7/2014 10:29PM

    Every day is a new opportunity

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DDOORN 3/7/2014 9:11PM

    Very smart to be so conscious of those NSVs!

You're definitely on the right track, regardless of the numbers!


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TRYINGTOLOSE64 3/7/2014 9:06PM

    Good luck at weigh in tomorrow!!

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First Backpacking Trip

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

This past weekend a friend and I took a 2-day backpacking trip on the West Rim of Pennsylvania's Grand Canyon http://pacanyon.com/ which overlooks the the Pine Creek Gorge. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pine_Creek_Gor
. Along the gorge is a rails-to-trails biking/hiking trail stretching along Pine Creek for about 60 miles. There are a few general stores, outfitters, and campgrounds along the trail. Lots of great fishing, kayaking, and canoeing, too.

At the advice of the outfitter, we started our hike at the Refuge Link Trail, leaving our car there for the outfitter to pick up and drop off at the Bradley Wales Picnic Area. This section of the trail was recommended because of the numerous scenic vistas. http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/cs/groups/publ
ic/documents/document/dcnr_002045.pdf This section of the trail has spectacular vistas.

These pictures don't do justice to the scenery.

This was our first hike with loaded backpacks, so we decided to hike a very conservative 8 miles over two days. The temperature was in the 60s which was perfect for some strenuous exercise. The trail, which meandered up and down, was not extreme and we found ourselves making much faster progress than planned. In fact, at the rate we were going, we could complete the 8 miles by dinner time.

We passed several groups of hikers and backpackers, all men. We thought it sad that we didn't see other like-minded adventurous women on the trail. The outfitter had told us there was a 100 percent chance of rain in the evening, but it arrived around 2:40 p.m. The rain was light, but heavy enough to begin dampening us and our backpacks. The last thing we needed was wet clothes and sleeping bags, so we stopped to put the rain jackets on and cover our backpacks. The rain didn't dampen our spirits at all, but we did have to find a camping spot quickly before it rained any harder. It is not fun to put up a tent in a downpour.

The campsite we had picked out was occupied when we arrived, which was a shame. It was a beautiful site right along a small stream in a valley. The two men who were there were in the midst of a 2-month backpacking trip. So we had to continue on, which was to our advantage. The next campground we came to was at a vista (pictures above). We set up camp in a light rain and crawled in our tents to read and wait out the rain. We wanted to eat dinner at the overlook. We were quite chilled, so we changed into dry clothes and laid out the damp gear to dry inside our tents. The rain eventually stopped and we had hot tea and chocolate and our dinner. I had cold cheese pizza and my friend had cheese and crackers and some fruit. We are not yet gourmet cooks in the great outdoors.

The rain began again so we went back to our respective tents to read some more. By 8 p.m. we turned off our lanterns and slid into our sleeping bags and listened to the rain fall. I woke several times throughout the night because I was still chilled. I had the urge to pull up the wool blanket, but then remembered I wasn't at home, so I burrowed deeper into my sleeping bag.

At 6:30 I woke and stepped out of the tent to go to the bathroom. Then I looked up and there was a beautiful full moon hanging just above our tents. Then I walked to the overlook and could see the sky just beginning to lighten. I ran back to the tent and woke my friend. She would have been disappointed if she didn't see the moon and the sunrise. We took our sleeping bags over to the bench at the overlook and watched the sun greet the day. Two crows were dipping and soaring on the currents as the air warmed. We made hot chocolate and watched the sky and the birds until 9 a.m. Then we began packing our gear to finish the hike. Watching the clouds turn from dark, to orange and rose and then bright white was the highlight of the weekend.

The trail veered away from the rim and we hiked about 3 miles in the woods. The gold leaves of the ash trees glowed when the sun shined through them. We did high-5s when we arrived at the car.

We immediately began talking about our next backpacking trip--maybe this spring and we'll hike the entire trail over 3 or 4 days. We think we'd like to offer to lead the hike and invite 3 or 4 other women who have never backpacked and introduce them to it.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KALISWALKER 4/7/2014 12:05PM

    I looked up your blogs to see about your bike trip. Wow that must have been so exciting!

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GOULDSGRANITE 10/31/2013 3:44PM

    I really admire your wildnerness spirit! Staying all night - WOW impressive to me. Why not? Thank you for the inspiration.

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BURGUNDYBABE 10/24/2013 5:55PM

    Wow, such beautiful pictures! This really makes me want to go hiking.

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DDOORN 10/24/2013 1:53PM

    SO pleased to hear more about your travels! I've already had high expectations of this location, but it sounds like you more than surpassed how wonderful I thought it might be along this way.

Although I'd thought of taking this as a cycling trip, you've got me wondering about the backpacking possibilities...hmmm...!

e your description of the sunrise, full moon...something so precious about those moments! Thank you so much for sharing!


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BILL60 10/24/2013 7:45AM

    What an adventure!! Hope you can continue your experience. The outdoors is so much fun.

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DOLLFACEDX 10/24/2013 12:24AM

    Beautiful....sounds like a great time....

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DIANEDOESSMILES 10/23/2013 11:40PM

    This is ssoooooooo. Cool! I m not able to hike any long ah but I had done so for years. If u ever get a chance to come to Maine I'm highly recommending a hike in Acardia national park. That was super coolio ! If so u NEed to stop at Thunder hole. That's a sight I will never ever forget. The way the water crashes up thu the rocks and how very very llould it I's. Believe me its a place u will wanna see again an again!

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SKIRNIR 10/23/2013 8:54PM

    I would love to do that for my first time. Wish my family liked to join my on my walks/hikes and wish I had the nerve to hike more places, but I think finding someone to show me around/the ropes and to have someone with me when I hike would be nice.

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GIANNA345 10/23/2013 3:48PM

    I'm a woman, and I've never camped. Does that qualify? It sounds wonderful.

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H9LIPPY 10/23/2013 3:33PM


Wish we had something like that around here. Makes me want to take a road trip though.

Good for you and your friend and hopefully you guys can find a few other fearless females welling to go on your next trip. Would be great fun.

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A Small Weekend Adventure

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Tomorrow I start a small, mostly solo, adventure--touring 3 state parks over 4 days on my bike. The weather should be perfect--mid-70s, partly sunny, with very cool nights--in the 40s. That means I'll be packing a bit more clothing than I wanted. Uggh--more weight. When every ounce counts, you'd be surprised how heavy an extra set of clothing can be. I wanted to go really, really light, but comfort comes before weight. No sense being on a miserable adventure. Average daily mileage: 40--unless I miss a turn somewhere and that could happen on country roads that don't have a road sign.

Friends will join me on one day--it will be nice to have some company.

The camp stove has been tested, the routes have been mapped, the packing list is complete, and DH is on standby. All that's left to do is pack and get on my way. And quell the butterflies in my stomach and the voice in my head that says terrible things to undermine my confidence. I may have to stealth camp one night and that's freaking me out a bit. I've prepared for it as best I can--did a reconnaissance to find a possible site and the pepper spray and a whistle/horn will be at the ready. Like most things I worry about, the odds are I won't have to stealth camp, and if I do, nothing will happen, except it will probably be a fitful night of sleep.

These small adventures are tools to build my confidence for cross-country cycling in 2015. My preference is to go solo for the most part--to be able to explore the country without being tied down to a strict route or time schedule. But right now, this is way out of my comfort zone, and Im going to have to ease into it. Like all great accomplishments, it starts with one step at a time.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHERIRIDDELL 10/17/2013 6:01AM

    What a fabulous adventure ! I do hope you will tell us all about it!

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SIMPLELIFE4REAL 8/15/2013 10:20PM

    I wish you tailwinds and great campsites on your ride. I bet you will have a blast! No matter what happens, you will learn a lot from your ride. What a great thing to be doing.

I think even the hard times on a bicycle tour create great memories. Knowing that you made it through it will build a lot of confidence.

Have fun!!!

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DDOORN 8/15/2013 12:21PM

    All kinds of jealous! Kudos to living your dreams! It looks like you will be blessed by sunny clear days with no rain...which is my biggest fear when it comes to touring...I just can't bike in the rain without being pretty miserable...ugh!


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Remarkable Raymond

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

He went flying by on his bright blue bicycle without even a glance my way. All of his attention was focused on the road ahead. Who was that man on the beautiful blue bicycle? There was something strange or different about the bike; I couldn't quite put my finger on it at first. It came to me minutes later after he was well out of sight--could it have been a motorized bike?

I finished my snack, brushed the grass off the seat of my shorts and proceeded with my ride. Not too much longer, I spotted the bike and then the man sitting on a rock on the opposite side of the road. I gave him a wave and almost continued on, but I was curious about the bike and about him. He was not a young man by a long shot.

His name was Raymond and he was out for his daily two-hour ride on the mountain ridge with lots of rolling hills and a few really good climbers. He occasionally rode with his two friends--young guys, about my age (that made me smile)--but he rides every day whether his friends can ride or not. How old was he? (I asked much more politely than that.) He had just celebrated his 93rd birthday in June. I was sure that he was kidding me for asking such an impertinent question. He assured me he wasn't kidding. I would have guessed he was in his mid-70s; early 80s at best. He promised that if I kept exercising and taking care of myself I'd be riding a bike at 93 too. I sure hope so.

We talked for quite a while. His bike was motor-assisted, but he pedaled most of the time because it re-charged the batteries and he could ride longer. He has been pedaling for 83 years. When he was in the war, he bought a bike in Alexandria, Egypt, and kept it throughout the war. His family was originally from Italy, so when he was there during the war, he looked up relatives and rode to visit them. His fellow soldiers nicknamed him "Bicycle Man".

After a while, we said our good-byes, and I started the last long, gradual climb. A few minutes later he nimbly passed me by. And all I could think was, "I was just passed by a 93-old cyclist!" I hope our paths cross again.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GOULDSGRANITE 10/7/2013 3:32PM

    Wow - Phenomenal story - Thank you! I love biking emoticon emoticon emoticon

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IMSMILEY88 8/8/2013 2:00PM

    Ok, yes that does put age into a whole new perspective! WOW!!! I had tears in my eyes as I read it. Probably partly because my grandfather just passed away in May. He would have been 93 in October. He still got around until his last 6 months when he had to be helped more & more & eventually was in a wheelchair. Anyway, I DO want to be that lady who is 93 & still going strong! So, yes, I'm NOT TOO OLD by a long shot! emoticon

Thanks for sharing! And how wonderful that you stopped & talked to him. By the way, my grandpa was always eager to share his age with others. Not a lot of people out there in their 90's! And, he served in WWII, too. (He's technically my husband's grandpa, but I totally claim him!)

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DDOORN 8/8/2013 8:24AM

    So wonderful to hear of these stories! We have a number of folks in our bike club up in the years, one of our most popular members just turned 80.

I read a SUPER book about cyclists and aging:

Bike for Life: How to Ride to 100 - http://www.amazon.com/Bike-Life-How
-Ride-100/dp/1569244510 & https://www.goodreads.com/book/show

The authors' own anecdotes are great romps to read, but the interviews with aging & renown cyclists are fascinating!


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LYNNANN43 8/7/2013 9:03PM

    What an emoticon story!!

Thank you so much for sharing!!

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MIAMIA7 8/7/2013 8:49PM

    Wow...what a cool day! Thanks for sharing.

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BOBBYD31 8/7/2013 8:23PM

    how cool is that but i don't think at 93 i want to be riding

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    How awesome is that! We have an elderly gentleman that jogs in our neighborhood every weekday morning. He's my hero. He's slow, but he's steady, and he could sure beat me in a footrace right now.

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