Monday, October 22, 2012
This weekend LESLIELENORE and her brother joined me and two others for what we’d planned to be a 20-mile paddle through the canal from Cayuga Lake to Seneca Lake and then down along the shore of Seneca.
Here's LESLIELENORE's blog post about the trip:
Pics and the gps track here:
Since they live so far away she crashed at my place and after she arrived we used the elliptical and equipment in my basement for our workouts. It was kind of fun having someone else down there, kickin’ it too. Usually I’m by myself, rockin’ out to rude pop songs.
Then we had protein shakes and played with the cats while waiting for another kayaker to show up, who also lives pretty far away.
Sunday morning we all got up at the crack of doom, dropped my car at the end point and went to the put in where a bridge crosses the canal. We launched at 9am.
The fall colors were stunning. And the temperature was great, and the sunlight felt so good.
Going through the locks was definitely a high point (no pun intended). The first set we did was actually two locks, and raised us 50 feet total.
In one of them the walls were covered with zebra mussels that would squirt and slam themselves shut when I touched them.
So I had fun brushing my fingers over them and making them squirt while the water rose.
We paddled through Seneca Falls (its claim to fame is the site where the the movement to allow women to vote began, and as one of the models for Bedford Falls in "It's a Wonderful Life.")
There is a trail along the canal with interesting sculptures:
The second lock, in Waterloo, was only about 14 ft. Waterloo claims to be where the idea of Memorial Day started.
In both cases we didn't have to radio them or get out and ask them to open the gates, or anything, they must have a motion alarm or something because they opened right up. We were the only craft we saw in any of the locks, and we only saw one other boat going on the canal (it was a big fishing yacht).
There was no danger of us exceeding the 10mph speed limit, even LESLIELENORE's brother, who specializes in paddling Very Fast.
At the beginning of the trip the water was still. But as the day continued the wind kicked up and was almost perfectly lined up with the direction of the canal so there wasn't much of a lee side to paddle on. LOL
By the time we got to the restaurant I was pretty well tired and had switched to my euro paddle from the Greenland stick.
We had lunch there about 2pm and then tried to get out onto Seneca lake.
By the time we got there was good sized chop and whitecaps on our rear quarter. About 2 miles down the lake our weakest paddler capsized and swam so we all hauled out onto shore and I decided it was time to stop. He wanted to keep going but I said no; I've read enough bad stories to know as a group we weren't strong enough to go 6+ more miles in those conditions.
We carried our boats up some steep steps by an empty cottage and around 4pm I walked with one of the other kayakers a mile to the main road where we thumbed a ride back to my car at the takeout. Once I got there what remained was a lot of shuttling of boats and people, trying to connect everyone with their cars and then with their boats. In the end everyone was headed home by 7 or 8.
Although we were about 6-7 miles short of our final destination we definitely had an epic paddle, and I don’t regret it one bit, although I’m sore enough to take a rest day today. The only thing I do regret is forgetting to put on my heart rate monitor strap, so I have no idea how many calories I burned. I’m estimating about 1000 total.
Thursday, October 18, 2012
On the way to work this morning I was thinking about that game we sometimes play as kids. You know, the one where you get to pick a single superpower. Would you rather be able to fly, or maybe be invisible? Because people who write Wikipedia articles apparently have too much time on their hands (perhaps that’s their superpower), there’s a whole organized list of superpowers, here:
...my mother always DID say that I was impossible... LOL
There are powers that aren’t on that list, though.
When I was 335.6 lbs (or even possibly more, since I didn’t weigh myself regularly so who knows), I probably would have actually thought about it if someone had offered me the power to get the weight off, in exchange for, say, my right arm. I doubt I would have agreed to the deal, but I would have actually considered it. I suppose you could consider this a specific type of shapeshifting.
If you’d asked the 335.6 me whether I’d prefer the power to GET 186 lbs off, or the power to KEEP 186 lbs off, I think I would have chosen the second one.
Because I’d have figured it takes a certain amount of effort to get the weight off, and then you’re done with the losing part. But keeping it off kind of goes on forever, until you die. And I’d lost 100+ lbs once before in my life, so I knew it could be done. What I hadn’t ever managed to do was KEEP that weight off.
So I was thinking about this today, and I considered the fact that most superpowers have a cost. At least in the comic books Stan Lee created. Maybe not as extreme as giving up your right arm, but perhaps the need to recharge before using them again, or a little ritual or something to keep being able to use them. You know, “With great power comes great responsibility.”
So what would have been a reasonable cost for the superpower that allowed me to keep off 186 lbs? Having to, say, sleep 11 hours a night? Or regularly visit a guru deep in a city sewer for special meditation sessions?
And then of course my rational brain finally stepped in to these musings and said, “gotcha!”
Because the fact is that I DO have the “superpower” to keep off this 186 pounds. And I've been using it for nearly three years. And it DOES have a cost. Right now the cost is tracking my food and nutrients, working hard on my strength training and conditioning, continuing to focus on *why* I want to stay this size, building tools and incentives in the maintenance team here on this site (like the maintenance challenges, celebrating maintenance anniversaries, compiling a maintenance hall of fame) , etc. teams.sparkpeople.com/maintaining
So yeah. There it is. I am actually exercising a superpower. And as a result, I’m living out my own personal graphic novel, as my own real-life avatar, having adventures I could have only dreamed of, back when I weighed 335.6 lbs.
Monday, October 01, 2012
I had a good kayaking weekend!
Saturday I went to the Black River in Watertown, NY and played with friends in my whitewater play boat behind Maggie's. www.americanwhitewater.org/co
Sunday I went in the OTHER direction, and paddled a sea kayak 14.4 miles from Branchport to Hammondsport with LESLIELENORE and her brother. Here's her blog post about the day: www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_pu
Pictures and a GPS track, here:
They definitely had a LONG drive; unfortunately there aren't any lakes in the middle between us; if we want to paddle together one of us has to drive at least 3 hours.
It rained much of the day, but we all had fun, I think - at least I did! I agree with LESLIELENORE that it's nice to paddle with people who can keep up. In fact, they have much shorter, slower boats than I do and I felt like I really had to work, to keep pace with them. Seriously, if either of them acquires a QCC or an Epic racing boat, I don't think anyone will ever be able to keep up! Those two are STRONG paddlers.
I don't usually spend much time on calm water, and as a result I noticed something really cool that day I wouldn't have seen it if I were paddling my preferred rougher water. The lake was really smooth, and the raindrops would land, kind of bounce on the surface, and then sit there like tiny silver balls for a moment before merging with the lake water. It was neat watching that. I love being outside! And it's good to have friends who will provide a reason to get out of my usual zone to enjoy it.
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
I’ve joined in on TANYAP71’s blog question challenge.
I don’t often manage to post blogs daily, so I’ll be answering questions here when I can and posting them en masse.
It’s been fun reading the responses from others, and to help me keep track of them, I’ve made a spreadsheet, here:
(this way I’ll be able to find those posts in the future, even after they’ve been buried by more recent ones)
21. Did you or do you have any disordered eating habits - binging, purging, excessive calorie restriction or excessive exercise? How did develop (or how are you developing) a healthier relationship with food?
I have occasional bouts with binging, maybe 3-4 times a year. Although the frequency of episodes is sparse, the behavior itself disturbs me. I have developed a number of strategies that help me avoid triggering binges:
I’ve also begun working with a dietitian and therapist to prioritize my strategies and see if I can re-wire my inclinations so that food is not a default way to deal with anxiety.
22. What is your current workout/fitness routine?
For most of the past two years it was cardio-heavy and looked
something like this:
M - Tae Kardio at lunchtime, Body Pump Class in the evening
Tu - XC ski at lunchtime (if there is snow), Spinning in the evening
W - Tae Kardio at lunchtime, Body Pump Class in the evening
Th - Tae Kardio at lunchtime, Spinning in the evening
F- Rest, stretching, sometimes a deep tissue massage
Sa - Playing outside (kayaking, XC skiing, snowboarding, road cycling, etc.)
Su - Playing outside
In the past few months I've been experimenting with a greater emphasis
on lifting heavy and building muscle (New Rules of Lifting for Women)
and so recently it looks more like this:
M - Lifting weights in the evening
Tu - Sea kayaking in the evening
W - Lifting weights in the evening
Th - Tae Kardio at lunchtime
F- Lifting weights in the evening or rest, if I'm driving to a weekend
Sa - Playing outside (kayaking, XC skiing, snowboarding, road cycling, etc.)
Su - Playing outside
I have an Olympic barbell set-up in my basement that I bought on Craig's List and that's where I do the lifting. So far I'm quite pleased with the results. I'm getting stronger, I have more definition in my arms and legs, my body fat is slowly dropping, and I am actually spending less time working out!
23. What are your current fitness goals?
I would like to get below 19% body fat.
24. When did you incorporate fitness goals into your healthy lifestyle? (Before starting to lose weight, during weight loss, after goal weight, etc.)
I started walking at the same time as controlling my food, so they happened together. The type of fitness I did changed over the process of the weight loss. See the next question for specifics.
25. Is there any form of fitness/exercise that you tried and gave up? Is there any form of fitness/exercise that you would like to try?
I started eating less and walking a half-mile loop around the block. When I got up to about 4 miles per day an old knee injury began to cause pain and stiffness. I was diagnosed with severe arthritis and switched from walking to deep water aerobics 2x/week, eventually increased it to 4x/wk, and then substituted spinning for the lower-intensity water aerobics class, and BodyPump for the higher-intensity water aerobics. In addition I added weight training with a personal trainer once a week and alone once a week.
Now I’m weight lifting on the New Rules of Lifting for Women program 2-3 times a week, alternating with kayaking or other things such as Tae Kardio classes.
26. Do you like to exercise alone, with a partner, in a small group, or in a large group? Why?
I prefer white water kayaking, which needs to be done as a team for safety reasons. I enjoy exercising with others in group fitness classes and on long bike rides. I enjoy the social aspect of fitness. For convenience, though, I’m weight lifting alone at home in my basement.
27. Have you ever hired anyone to help you with your journey? A personal trainer. A dietician/nutritionist? A wellness coach? A life coach? What worked and didn't work?
I’ve hired all kinds of people. Getting the weight off and keeping it off is a Big, Hairy Deal, and I can use all the help I can get! I’ve had a personal trainer for a while, until our schedules diverged. I’ve attended group fitness classes in water aerobics, spinning, and Body Pump, so in a sense you could say that I “hired” the instructors, since I paid for the classes. As I mentioned in question 21 I’ve recently hired a dietitian/therapist team to work with me on my relationship with food. I’ve paid for a membership at www.leighpeele.com so in a sense you could say I “hired” her for advice on her forums and the “members only” materials (which are fantastic, by the way). I recently paid a sports physiology trainer to assess my lifting form to make sure I was doing the New Rules of Lifting movements properly.
All of these solutions have been helpful, in different stages of the process. I’m sure I’ll continue exploring new avenues and looking under rocks and turning over leaves in the future. I’m definitely not too proud to seek help with this. I will do everything in my power to maintain my fitness. If I regain, it won’t be for lack of trying. I'll give you my nutrition tracker when you pry it from my cold, dead hands! LOL
28. What do you do for wellness? For example, to increase emotional, spiritual, or intellectual well-being?
I find yoga helpful, and I need to make more time for it. When I’m doing it regularly (2-3 times per week) everything just seems to go so much more smoothly. My attitude is more relaxed and I take better care of myself. Massages are also very helpful. Not only do they un-knot my muscles, but my brain shuts off and goes elsewhere, which is a welcome break. I get a lot out of attending church on the rare Sundays when I’m not out kayaking. Connecting with a Power greater than myself helps adjust my relationship with the world.
29. There is so much MORE to you than your wellness journey. Please share 10 facts about yourself that aren't related to your weight loss journey, how you eat, or how you exercise.
1) I have two cats, and they walk all over me (especially while I’m trying to sleep).
2) The Holland Tunnel in NYC is named after my grandfather.
3) I like learning foreign languages.
4) I like traveling.
5) I detest housework and weeding.
6) I like blowing glass at a furnace.
7) I have 13 Revolutionary War ancestors and 1 Mayflower ancestor.
8) I have a PhD in genetics.
9) My first email address ended with “.arpa” (pre-”internet” as we know it)
10) Despite my dislike of weeding, I love iris.
30. What are you most proud of about your journey towards healthy living during the month of September?
That I didn’t throw in the towel or give in to all the cravings I had. That I continued with the New Rules of Lifting even though I did it alone at home in the basement with the support of online friends. That I still fit in my Happy Jeans.
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
In my first season of white water kayaking (2010), I kayaked 95 days. Three of them, on three different rivers, were bad ones, where I got significantly hurt, shaken up, or both.
I spent most of 2011 in shoulder rehab, healing after surgery repaired a snowboarding injury.
This year, 2012, I went back to all three of those rivers, and ran them without incident.
One of those rivers was the Dryway section of the Deerfield in Massachusetts. I blogged about that, when it happened. I revisited that river this past June and blogged about it here:
The second river that spanked me in 2010 was the mighty Ottawa in Ontario. I'd run it earlier that summer with no problem, but the second time I went there I had trouble with my roll and was exhausted by swim after swim. I re-ran that river in July and blogged about it:
In 2010 the third river that taught me a lesson gave me a hematoma the size of a grapefruit requiring an ultrasound and I still have a scar on my shin from it. My swim that day was on the first rapid and it was so bad I just got out and went back to the car with my boat. I never even ran it.
That river was the Lower Gauley in West Virginia.
In 1999 someone died in that spot where I swam, because there is a rock you can get stuck under and drown. Fortunately I'd been instructed to swim to the center of the river if I came out of my kayak, and that probably saved my life. This is a dangerous river, in general. One of the rapids I ran three times this weekend killed someone as recently as April.
You don't mess around with the Gauley. You either Bring It, or you Go Home.
Here are some pictures. I'm the one in the pink helmet.
To get down to the river on Friday and Sunday we had to take a set of rickety stairs down a 1000 foot cliff. Carrying our boats.
Here are some photos from the section where I got hurt two years ago:
There were also some calm spots on the river where we could turn around and watch other boats coming down:
Overall it was an excellent weekend, even with the 10-hour drive on each end. It's a beautiful river, and a big white water festival where you are guaranteed of seeing old friends and making new ones.
My scorecard for the weekend? Two runs in my big creek boat (74 gallons). One run in my little play boat (55 gallons). 5 combat rolls. 0 swims. AND NO INJURIES. (I'm most pleased with that last one, actually.)
I'll definitely be back again when I'm an even better boater, and run the more challenging (and even more fun) lines. I'm in no hurry to push myself beyond my limits. I don't have anything to prove.
And also very fun from a Spark People perspective is that I got into a conversation with Stephanie at the hotel desk, and she ended up joining this site!
She would like to be able to do more outdoorsy stuff and she lives in the perfect area to do it. Maybe next year I'll see HER in a kayak, too!
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