I remember how I couldn't even make myself go to check out B. Rock State Park when I was at my heaviest and unhealthiest. I didn't want to be seen or try and block others from going up the trail as I huffed and puffed.
While working my way through my first few days of the Spark-program, I made this one of my medium-term goals. Since then it has served as a measuring stick for my overall progress. About this Mid-Term goal and the hike (May 2011):
With my parents in town, I planned a little excursion to the top of B. Rock again while we were in the area. I knew it would give me a few minutes of peace as I left them behind to explore at their pace and I hoped for a little surge of endorphins.
I also wanted to beat my previous best time but I felt like I was more in shape a year ago so I made up my mind to be happy with a match of my previous record (19:20). I found a comfortable pace that kept my breathing in check. I even paused for a couple quick pictures. I didn't watch my time because I couldn't remember the trail well enough to know how far I had to go. I focused on my steady pace and careful foot placement (due to sprained and not 100% healed ankle).
When I reached the top and stopped my watch I was thrilled! Time to top...16:37!
I snapped a picture of my watch and sent it as text to my husband who stayed with my parents. I took a couple other pictures and headed down feeling pretty good!
For the record, here are my hike times for this trail:
1) 45:00 (day 66) July, 2011 (249.5 lbs.)
2) 29:00 (day 148) October, 2011 (226 lbs.)
3) 19:20 (day 392) June, 2012 (190 lbs.)
4) 23:34 (day 392) June, 2012 (190 lbs.)
5) 16:37 September, 2013 (166 lbs.)
View from one of the (45-50) switchbacks:
Later that afternoon I hiked to the top of MF. It wasn't a personal best (1.5 minutes more this time) but it was CROWDED so I was happy with the time. But I'm even more proud of how well I was able to keep my heart rate in a very reasonable zone. Love this! I was able to get to the bottom in 20:01 minutes; jogging probably 80% of it. The part I like about this was that I stopped jogging when my legs felt tired. The trail is steep and it's no time to push (especially with a less than 100% toe and a way less than 100% ankle).
Update on parent's visit: It was exhausting. There was fun. There was stress. I'm glad it's over. I felt stronger and more capable of dealing with the stress in healthy ways. I think I felt like I needed counseling after their last trip. I still have a lot to sort out, but overall I think it was a huge success for me.
Now that the parents are gone and summer feels gone, I'm excited to start thinking about what is next. I'm feeling inspired. More to come.