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The Little Engine

Monday, January 23, 2012

Ok, I'm REALLY out of the loop around here, but new things are starting and I'm including being back to sparking more as part of the new beginnings.

Biggest news for me, for those who didn't hear through FB, is that I put my notice in at my job. I've really enjoyed working there, but the damage it was doing to me physically just wasn't worth it, plus it wasn't really in line with the goals I had for going back to work. I may try something else (I have a possible job lead) but only if doesn't conflict with certain other goals I have, like getting back into shape. So, I already wasn't scheduled to work today, but although my boss wants me to be available for the next week or so till a new batch of employees gets up to speed, he didn't schedule me at all for the next schedule period (Wed, Jan 25 through Tues, Jan 31). SO... I'm looking to really work on getting back into shape!

To start things off, hubby and I got back to the gym this morning. My right heel hurt after half an hour on the elliptical but I took some anti-inflammatory, and it's feeling fine now, which is a nice quick recovery for how it's been doing. I was actually looking into a sprint triathlon for this April but... well, between how my feet have been doing and that I am really out of shape and overweight again, and haven't run for a year and a half... I decided I'd best be wise and not push it. I'll shoot for it in a year.

My hubby's brother wants us to hike Mt. Whitney with him in about a year and a half. YIKES! Ok, that's a bit scary, considering I have a long way to go to get into shape again, and this time I won't have a trainer helping me. However, I think I can do it, and am sure going to go for it! I'll be digging out my old workout journals and recreating a lot of the workouts I did at the beginning with Brad. That should help. I'm COUNTING on it to help anyway.

In the meantime, we'll be doing some local hiking, as soon as it warms up, up at Mt. Charleston. Apparently, even when it's REALLY warm down here in the valley, it can still be freezing up there, so we'll have to wait awhile, which timing wise should work out well for me to get a base going before trying something that strenuous.

So, new year and maybe not NEW beginnings, but back to previous beginnings! I'm ready to get back into shape!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MONICA_W 2/8/2012 10:12PM

    Hey there, Little Engine... how's it going? Blog update please? :)

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ITSMYLIFE2 2/1/2012 11:42PM

    Jules so glad your back and what a great idea to go back through your Brad journals!! I know he was super inspirational to you and that should help keep you focused. Glad you are making life changes that will be good for you and your family. Take care and keep in touch.

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TORTUETOO 1/24/2012 12:14AM

    Hi Jules! Welcome back! I'm so glad to see you getting your spark back, we've missed you! emoticon

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CASSIOEPIA 1/23/2012 10:21PM

    Mt Whitney! You have an awesome carrot there.

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MONICA_W 1/23/2012 10:05PM

    Welcome home!

Very exciting about your job (sounds like a positive move) and about your future goals! You're wise to give yourself a bit of time for the triathlon. April's a bit soon, but are there none in the fall that you could aim for?

That hike (I had to google it) looks great! Are you still planning to do the West Coast Trail one of these days? I loooooved it - it might be a nice reward-hike once you hit your new goal weight or something. Or is that what you're coming to town for this summer?

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CHEPRBYTHEDOZN 1/23/2012 10:00PM

    YAY!!!!! You're back!!!! Head on over to the goin' on now!!!

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NERAUS 1/23/2012 8:51PM

    Glad you are back and working on fitness again. Go Jules

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BOBBYD31 1/23/2012 7:47PM

    good for you jules. i remember when i first started spark and rookie runners i was so impressed you, your accomplishments and how hard you worked out so i am sure it will not take you long to get back at it and make dramatic changes to your life. go for it jules you deserve the best

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MIAMIA7 1/23/2012 7:33PM

    Yay..Yay...Yay...Jules is back! We are here for ya girl!

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RUNNINGWILD 1/23/2012 4:28PM

    Somebody's baaa-aack! emoticon

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Things to Remember, Part. 1

Thursday, October 20, 2011

I'm trying to remember many things. Things like:

I ALWAYS feel better after I exercise. It is so hard to remember this when I'm trying to get to it though. Maybe I need to stick a post-it on my computer to remind me. And even though I'm realizing my butt hurts now from that darn bike seat today, I felt a sense of positive emotion this afternoon that has been in short supply lately.

Even if my butt hurts tonight, if I keep getting back on that bike it will adjust. It did last time. It will again. And it isn't as bad as it was last time, because now I know better how to sit on the seat to avoid the worst pain.

I am capable of tremendous things. Things I NEVER ever thought I could do. Like run. And enjoy it. Even 6 miles! and complete a triathlon. I am stronger and tougher than I tend to think I am.

If I can do these things, I can work up and stick to an exercise plan on my own, without Brad. I miss working with him (watching BL reminded me of training with him) but I learned what I need to know. And if I can't remember, I've got my workout journals and I can go back and recreate the workouts he had me do.

I exercise for far more reasons than simply weightloss.

My body finds good food choices more satisfying than sweets and junk food.


I'm sure there are other things I need to remember, but for now this will do.

I'm into baby steps right now.

A little exercise several times every week. Some stretching.

Trying to make better food choices. More water. Leaner protein. More complex carbs. More vegetables. More fruit.

I just keep telling myself that what's important, what life is all about, is progress. Not perfection. Just some progress. A little progress each day, each week, each month, each year.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ITSMYLIFE2 11/3/2011 2:11AM

    You are on the right path!! Let that sore hinnie be your symbol to that first big step (more like a toddler then a baby). Brad gave you the education and know how and now its your time to make it work for you!! Take care and keep writting you do inspire many.

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BOBBYD31 10/21/2011 5:23PM

    ruh roh jules is backkkkkkkkkkkkkkk. woo hoo! good for you because life is all about baby steps from start to finish. i know you can do this!

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CASSIOEPIA 10/20/2011 9:33PM

    Funny.....I've been using this phrase a lot lately, "Progress, not perfection."

It's a good one.

Great to read your blogs again Jules.

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MONICA_W 10/20/2011 11:17AM

    Atta girl. It's good to see you blogging again.

Hee hee and yes, your bum will adjust to cycling. (In more ways than one, but all positive, woo hoo!)

Will you come back and tell me something you did today that made you proud, or something that reminded you why you're here? Keep that in mind for the day - make decisions you'll want to tell me about! I'll look forward to it!

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RUNNINGWILD 10/20/2011 11:16AM

    Welcome back Jules!

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SAMILIA 10/20/2011 8:19AM

    Ditto! The baby steps are a great way to ease back into the swing of things. I'm currently baby stepping back into Sparking. Exercise a few days a week (which also makes me feel better!! Imagine!), and making the better choices as often as possible. We can do it! :)

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CHEPRBYTHEDOZN 10/20/2011 7:48AM

    great plan and keep reminding yourself of all these things. Mark it on your planner/calendar that you are going to exercise for just 15 min(at least) and then, if time and body allow, go for more!

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RC2CATTLE 10/20/2011 1:25AM

    Great plan!! Stick to it and you will be successful!

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Day 1, and A New Plan

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

20 min bike ride
10 min walk with 1 short SLOW jog (1 lightpost to the next)
5 min stretching
35 min total

So, I've GOT to get myself back into the swing of fitness things. In my effort to get fit I want to be sure to find a balance between consistency and obsession. It seems like consistency is hard for me to find without that total focus almost to the exclusion of everything else.

So, I'm starting a fitness streak. It may not be a hard workout but I will do something, at least 10 minutes, at least 5 days a week, maybe 6. I won't blog about it every day but I'll report on my activities every few days or so.

So, to recap:
1. At least 30 min of exercise 5-6 days a week
2. At least 5 min of stretching after every exercise session
3. Account for my activities by blog here 1-2 days a week
4. Keep a running account of how long I keep my streak alive.

Lets see how long I can keep this up, now that I've made myself publicly accountable.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MONICA_W 9/21/2011 10:06AM

    So how's the new plan going? Time for an update yet? :)

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ITSMYLIFE2 6/9/2011 11:42PM

    JULES!! So good to "see" you! Our reunion page has really slowed down, its just Kellianne, Nera and I-sure miss you, Wendy, Toni and Lori. You are on the right track and I will check in on your blogs to see how you are doing. I have been working out 5 days a week for 3 weeks now and like you I NEED to make this a habit again. I actually gained weight over the stressful months by myself in Oklahoma and planning my daughters wedding but now I'm on a roll and intend to make it permanent. Good luck Jules and keep in touch, us old time sparkers need to stick together!!


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SPECIALMG 6/9/2011 12:11PM

    yay! welcome back, Jules. I'm totally with you -- trying so hard to find balance in my all-or-nothing head. :)

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ASPENJULES 6/9/2011 12:46AM

    Thanks for all the support, guys! Ya'll are the bestest!!

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BOBBYD31 6/8/2011 8:11PM

    jules you got my support, when anne and i started with spark you were one of my inspirations so i know you can do this. welcome back and stop in with the rookies once in a while, there are a few old timers still around.

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    OMG!!! I'm so glad to see you! I was out hanging clothes on the line today and it popped into my head "I wonder how Jules is doing?" and here you are!!!! WOW!!! I'm trying to get into some exercise routine of some sort but mostly need help with the eating! UGH!
I'll be here watching,too-we can keep each other accountable~

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RUNNINGWILD 6/8/2011 4:13PM

    I'm watching you emoticon

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    Sounds like a great plan. Wishing you every success.



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MONICA_W 6/8/2011 11:11AM

    Welcome back, lovely!

You can do this! I'm glad to see you've built flexibility into your streak, because really - an obsessive exerciser using an all-or-nothing, everything-is-lost-if-I-miss-this-o
ne-workout "streak" as a tool doesn't sound like she's getting away from the obsessiveness, if you know what I mean! Flexibility in the way of a minimum (5 x 30 = 150 minutes per week) will allow you to change your schedule and mix things up.

"Let's see how long you can do this", you ask? How about "let's see how long it takes before Julie remembers the heart-lifting JOY of movement!" Enjoy! Have fun! Smile and think, "aaaah, I'm back" on your little jog interval!

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CASSIOEPIA 6/8/2011 9:28AM

    Jules, you know I want to support you in this. I also struggle with that perfectionism where, if I can't get out for xxx minutes, I might as well not work out at all. You are so right, that even ten minutes is so much better than nothing. I read a quote earlier this week that I've been keeping in my mind, and it went something like this:

"think of how you feel after completing a workout. Now think of how you feel when you blow it off. Which feeling would you rather take with you through your day?"

Let me know if I can help you in this....daily check ins maybe?

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ELAINEROSE5 6/8/2011 8:54AM

    Good luck with your plan. I joined Spark in September 2010 and my biggest fear is that I'll just give up on the whole thing one day. Been there, done that many times. Just trying to find that balance this time so I don't go back there!

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SAMILIA 6/8/2011 8:21AM

    Yay Jules! So glad you're back! :) The obsession is something I think most of us struggle with, and the reason why we often run away and stay gone for so long. We realize that life is about MORE than just exercise and calories. The problem is, it's PART of our lives, so we have to find that happy balance within ourselves. So proud of you for coming back again. One day at a time. Love your plan! Take it easy and I'm excited to see you around from time to time! emoticon

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STARCHELSEA 6/8/2011 3:58AM


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NETTYBREAD 6/8/2011 3:11AM

    I'm with you 100% friend. Balance without the obsession :) We can do it!!! Great job on your workout. emoticon

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The Race

Monday, February 07, 2011

For those of you who know I'm a runner, this is not what you might be expecting. I didn't do a race this weekend, though one of my favorites was on Saturday, the annual Make-a-Wish run. I'm just not back at the point where I could run a significant portion of it, and I couldn't bring myself to walk a race I've run the last 2 years. I know it's a silly matter of pride, but there you go.

Another reason I didn't do the race though, was because I was recovering Saturday from Friday, a difficult day where I attended the funeral of a good friend of mine who had been killed the week before. Friday was a long, emotional day. Saturday was a definite mental health day for my husband and me.

Because of my husband's religious position as well as being a good friend of the man who died, he was the final speaker at the funeral, and shared the following poem. I'd heard it before, and while it was very appropriate to our friend, I felt it was also very appropriate to my own situation right now and so I decided to post it here so I could have ready access to it. I found this version online, and am crediting it to the most often credited name, though there are a few variations in the ones I found. It's entitled The Race. (Hanky warning!)

The Race

by D. H. Groberg

"Quit! Give up! You're beaten!"
They shout at me, and plead
"There's just too much against you now.
This time you can't succeed."

And as I start to hang my head
In front of failure's face
My downward fall is broken by
The memory of a race.

A children's race, young boys, young men
Now, I remember well,
Excitement, sure! But also fear,
It wasn't hard to tell.

They all lined up so full of hope
Each thought to win that race,
Or, tie for first, if not that,
At least take second place.

And fathers watched from off the side
Each cheering for his son.
And each boy hoped to show his dad,
that he would be the one.

The whistle blew, and off they went
Young hearts and hopes afire
To win, to be the hero there
Was each young boy's desire.

And one boy in particular,
Whose dad was in the crowd,
Was running near the head and thought:
"My dad will be so proud!"

But as they speeded down the field
Across a shallow dip
The little boy who thought to win,
Lost his step and slipped.

Trying hard to catch himself,
His hands flew out to brace
And 'mid the laughter of the crowd
He fell flat on his face.

So, down he fell, and with him hope
- he couldn't win it now -
Embarrassed, sad, he only wished
To disappear somehow.

But, as he fell, his dad stood up,
And showed his anxious face,
Which to the boy so clearly said:
"Get up and win the race."

He quickly rose, no damage done,
- behind a bit, that's all -
And ran with all his mind and might
To make up for his fall.

So, anxious to restore himself
- to catch up and to win -
His mind went faster than his legs;
He slipped and fell again!

He wished, then, he had quit before
With only one disgrace.
"I'm hopeless as a runner now;
I shouldn't try to race.

But, in the laughing crowd he searched
And found his father's face.
That steady look that said again!
"Get up and win the race."

So, up he jumped, to try again
- ten yards behind the last -
"If I'm to gain those yards," he thought
'I've got to move real fast."

Exceeding everything he had
He gained back eight or ten,
But trying so, to catch the lead,
He slipped and fell again!

Defeat! He lay there silently
- a tear dropped from his eye -
"There is no sense in running more;
Three strikes, I'm out, why try?"

The will to rise had disappeared
All hope had fled away
So far behind; so error prone
A loser all the way.

"I've lost, so what's the use," he thought
"I'll live with my disgrace."
But, then he thought about his dad,
Who, soon, he'd have to face.

"Get up!" an echo sounded low,
"Get up, and take your place
You were not meant for failure here,
Get up, and win the race."

With borrowed will, "Get up," it said
"You haven't lost at all.
For winning is no more than this;
To rise each time you fall."

So, up he rose to run once more,
And with a new commit
He resolved that win, or lose,
At least he wouldn't quit.

So far behind the others now
- the most he'd ever been -
Still, he gave it all he had,
And ran as though to win.

Three times he'd fallen stumbling.
Three times he'd rose again.
Too far behind to hope to win
He still ran to the end.

They cheered the winning runner,
As he crossed the line first place,
Head high, and proud, and happy.
No falling, no disgrace.

But, when the fallen youngster
Crossed the line last place,
The crowd gave him the greater cheer
For finishing the race.

Even though he came in last.
With head bowed head low, unproud,
You would have thought he won the race
To listen to the crowd.

And to his dad, he sadly said,
"I didn't do so well."
"To me, you won!" his father said,
"You rose each time you fell."

And now when things seem dark and hard,
And difficult to face.
The memory of that little boy
Helps me to win my race.

For all of life is like that race
With ups and downs and all,
And all you have to do to win,
Is rise each time you fall.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MONICA_W 2/9/2011 8:27PM

    Aw Julie... great big hugs coming over the distance from me to you.

I miss you. I've always got your back if you need it, or a mental hand up when you are feeling low, just shoot me a text! Hang in there, and keep in touch.

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02BFITAGAIN 2/8/2011 11:55PM

    Jules - love that poem... have heard it many times before. Thanks for sharing and my condolences in the loss of a friend.

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ITSMYLIFE2 2/7/2011 10:44PM

    Jules I too attended a close friends funeral on Friday. My neighbor was nice enough to take me as the snow here is deep and I would have had to walk (because I was NOT going to miss it). Her daughter and mine played tennis together and the daughter and I are close. Kalyn is only 21 and her Mom is gone to soon-a rare cancer! I tried so hard not to cry, not sure why but wanted to be brave for her as I know from time to time she was looking over to me as I sat alone trying to not be mad, sad, angry-you know the emotions well. I did find a poem that made me feel better about the tears rolling down my face.

There is a sacredness to tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently then 10,000 tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, deep contrition and of unspeakable love.

We should feel blessed to have the feelings we do with the loss of someone we have cared about- it means we have LIVED!! I'm so sorry for your loss.

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CASSIOEPIA 2/7/2011 5:33PM

    Love you Jules!


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CASSIOEPIA 2/7/2011 5:33PM

    Love you Jules!


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Do Re Mi

Friday, December 10, 2010

I went for a walk today. I decided that I would combine running an errand with getting some exercise in finally, so I walked to the market for a few things I needed to get for a dish I was asked to bring to a church party tonight. I didn't need too much, so walking home carrying my groceries wouldn't be too onerous.

Anyway, for some reason the whole way there and back I had this song from Sound of Music going through my head. I really couldn't figure it out at first... but I finally realized that not only is the chorus to that song a great walking rhythm for me, but it also was talking about what I finally realized I need to do to get back to running.

Namely, start at the very beginning. The VERY beginning.

It's not only a very good thing to do, for me it's the only thing to do. I went running a couple of weeks ago with a friend, and felt awful. My right leg went numb from the knee down, I was gasping and huffing for air, and ended up hobbling the last mile, and then feeling awful for the next two weeks (allergies, and to be fair, a LOT of people were suffering with allergies during that time...) I tried run/walk intervals on the treadmill at the gym a little bit before that, and a wise friend (the one who really got me started in running - you know who you are!) told me I was jumping back in at a semi-difficult level, not a beginning level.

Anyway, so what's the very beginning for me? I'm going to start with walking 30 - 45 minutes 5-6 days a week for at least 2 weeks before I add ANY run intervals in at all, and when I do they will be short (like 30 sec - 1 min length) and interspersed with 3-5 min walk intervals. But first... walking.

On my walk today I saw a woman out running and instead of feeling bad that I've gone so far downhill from where I'd gotten to, I found myself smiling and looking forward to being there again. So... DO RE MI FA SO LA TI DO!!!! Here I go!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ITSMYLIFE2 12/16/2010 5:54PM

    What timing I too am getting back in the Couch to 5K. My goal is to run a 5K in the early spring. My daughter is getting married in March and I would like to celebrate that milestone by being healthier (don't give a whit about being skinny anymore)!! Well wait thats not the whole truth if skinny found me on the way to healthy I would be ok with that :) Keep in touch and let me know how you are doing-I can use the accountability!! I am walking the remainder of December and then starting C25K in January. Good luck to us both!!

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SPECIALMG 12/13/2010 10:03AM

    woo hooo! Glad to see you blogging, and I'm right there with you. I really want to be running, but I need to be smart about it since I haven't really run for 2.5 months.
And I LOVE Sound of Music. That'll be in my head all day now... nice change from christmas music!

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GSDMIKE 12/11/2010 12:10PM

    After a year off from exercise, that's exactly what I did: walked 30 minutes a day for 2 weeks, and then started back with C25K. It didn't matter that I was running 6 milers a year before. After a year off, I had the body of a non-runner and needed to treat it accordingly.

Good luck.

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LINDENSGIRL 12/10/2010 11:48PM

    I'm just starting out to train for my first 5K. It's not pretty but I'm doing it!! Good luck and have fun with it!

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RUNNINGWILD 12/10/2010 9:34PM

    funny... I read the title and started humming "let's start at the very beginning... a very good place to start...". Welcome back!

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CHEPRBYTHEDOZN 12/10/2010 7:14PM

    YAY! for you,Jules! Great job on beginning at the beginning!!!

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CASSIOEPIA 12/10/2010 6:53PM

    LOL Jules! That movie is one of my all time favorites, and I find myself singing any of the songs tons of times. And it's so true (on so many levels), that when you start at the very beginning, it's a very good place to start.

I can hardly wait to get started myself. Onward and upward!

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