CHANGINGHORSES's SparkPeople Blog CHANGINGHORSES's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Death, depression and Daffodils First off, for those of you who sent well wishes and prayers in the past few weeks, I thank you much. This has been extremely devastating and exhausting to deal with and I am not keeping up with things very well. If I did not thank you already, I am doing it now. I tried to make sure that I reached out to you all as you have reached out to me. <BR> <BR> Secondly, for those who do not know what I am going through, my sister passed away (I cannot type this without tears) very suddenly from a m... Fri, 4 Apr 2014 17:05:53 EST For the LOVE of the trail! I had the wonderfully awesome experience of snow shoeing with a friend to one of our favorite places on earth! What a Valentine's Day! This was the hardest thing that either of us have ever physically done. It was a 9 mile/8 hour snow shoe trip that normally takes us 3.5-4 hours to hike on dry ground. The snow was anywhere from 18" deep to 3 foot drifts! Many times we were begging for mercy! <BR> Yes, we brought this on ourselves but it was worth it. We were just praying that we could get of... Sat, 15 Feb 2014 22:10:09 EST Daily Devotion not a New Years Resolution No New Years Resolution for me. I was never a big fan of them. I guess I see too many people make them and break them. If you are one who makes them and keeps them....Way to go! You are in the minority and I commend you. <BR> <BR> I'm not sure exactly when my thought processes changed and I decided that I this is something that I have to do everyday, not just when it was convenient or fits into my day. New Years is a good time to reflect on how far I have come and perhaps set some higher goa... Thu, 2 Jan 2014 21:31:04 EST "I have a husband, I can be fat now." Really? <BR> <BR> Oh the things you hear in the checkout lines. Two cashiers yakking it up as I approached the register talking about their fatness and how they don't know how to lose weight. <BR> <BR> Of course I am thinking "calories in vs. calories out" as I have heard so many times and come to learn is TRUE! It really is! But I'm not one to just go spouting off about "how you can do it". Most of the time these people have dozens of reasons why it won't work for them anyway. <BR> <BR> ... Fri, 20 Dec 2013 21:05:16 EST Up and running again! What a week! This has been such a crazy week busy week. Mostly in a good way though, but unfortunately I have not had time to really pay a whole lot of attention to my Spark Blog and write about my November Challenge. <BR> <BR> Truth be told, I'd rather be out running then blogging. I'd rather be driving an hour to have dinner with a friend then blogging. I'd rather drive two hours to hike with a Spark Friend then sit home blogging. I'd rather help out an elderly friend with her daily needs then blog. I... Fri, 22 Nov 2013 06:26:29 EST Day 14 Nov Challenge (I got this!) The cold is definitely on it's last leg. Yes! And no respiratory issues! (Maybe I should listen to the professionals and the family more often) (Okay, let's not get carried away) Seriously, if I had listened to them I would have never run my half-marathon! In fact, I would quit running. My doctor just shakes his head when I say "I just registered for my first half-marathon!". That was 4 months ago. I did it and I think I did well. This week when I went for a check-up, he say's "How's the runn... Thu, 14 Nov 2013 21:07:38 EST Day 13 November Challenge (Exercise and Gratitude) Okay I'm plodding along here feeling a little better everyday. The cold is slowly losing it's battle. I can't wait until I am done blowing my nose and coughing. Speaking of cold, the weather here has been pretty darn chilly the last couple days and we are our first bit of snow. <BR> <BR> Today's exercise was a fast paced 35 min walk around town at sunset. (I can't wait until I feel good enough to run again. I am missing my runs.) <BR> <BR> Today's gratitude....just being alive. <BR> <BR>... Wed, 13 Nov 2013 19:24:11 EST Day 12 November (Challenge??) Well so much for that challenge. I tried. However, sickness came to visit me and knocked me on my hind end. It started in the middle of the night on Wednesday with a sore throat. "Oh we go again." I had big plans for the weekend. I had my favorite 10K race (already paid for), I had a birthday party to go to for a 2 year old that was on a farm and I could have went on a hay ride with him and the rest of the kids. I really missed out on the fun this weekend. Instead I stayed h... Tue, 12 Nov 2013 19:21:02 EST Day 7 November Challenge (November Rain) Well today started out rather rainy and although the rain is not a beautiful sunshiny day, this rainy day was beautiful in it's own. The rainy morning brought out the muted colors of what is left of the fall colors. The Earth tones were quite pretty on this dreary morning ride to work. I was happy to appreciate the beauty of such a scene. I really do have a lovely ride to work. For that I am grateful, I used to have about a 70 min stressful commute each way and now I have a 20 min back countr... Thu, 7 Nov 2013 19:51:02 EST Day 5 and 6 Nov Challenge (Runners Inspire) Okay so no blog on Day 5 but I did post on status that I ran 35 minutes and I am grateful to have my new Brooks sneakers! I have mostly worn Saucony but hated the colors and feel of the latest styles. The Brooks feel great and I am happy with them. I will Run On! <BR> <BR> So getting on to today's exercise and gratitude thought. I had a fast paced walk of 60 minutes at sunset with my son, which is always a very pleasant experience and something to be grateful for in itself. But the thing tha... Wed, 6 Nov 2013 19:50:40 EST Day 4 November Challenge (Darkness and Dreadmill) The report for the day is just that, a report. A basic report to say that I am on task. I have to make adjustments to the Time Change, who doesn't right? But today I had company and had to settle for the Dreamill for my 30 minutes of exercise because the darkness set in. <BR> <BR> Darkness set in outside, but inside, I have the Spark keeping me motivated to do what I have to do and stay in a positive spirit! Had I not made a commitment here online at Spark, I just might have talked myself o... Mon, 4 Nov 2013 20:17:36 EST Day 3 November Challenge (NYC Marathon) I was glued to the boob tube this morning to watch the NYC Marathon. It is the first time I have done that and it was great! These runners are amazing. I know two people that ran it and that made it more exciting for me. The stories and reasons why some runners run is always very interesting and inspiring for me to hear or read. <BR> <BR> Watching this race made me proud of where I came from and what I have accomplished in my own life whether it is the battle of the bulge or the battles of... Sun, 3 Nov 2013 18:22:51 EST Day 2 November Challenge (1st Place!) Woohoo!!! On day 2 of my November Challenge I ran The Halloween Hustle 5k and won 1st Place in my age group! And I am at the very end of that age group! 40-49......50 in one more month. The weather was nice and the asthma only really bothered me late in the race. I was pushing though, the 2nd place winner was only about 50 feet behind me. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> So my exercise is done for the day and I am grateful for races an... Sat, 2 Nov 2013 13:18:50 EST Day 1 of November Challenge (Confession) Okay, I'm spilling the beans here. Fessing up. I'm coming clean. I am blowing the whistle on myself. <BR> <BR> I have not been feeling all that great. Maybe it's the season change. Maybe it's the time change. I feel the darkness upon me. My mental and emotional state has been pretty crummy. I have been in the crapper as I like to say. Feeling bad for no damn good reason. Lazy and uninterested in basically anything. <BR> <BR> I had a really good month in October and had 2,062 minutes of ei... Fri, 1 Nov 2013 19:20:53 EST Sparking and hiking!! Midstate Trail hiking in North Central PA with Sparkfriend Laura! <BR> We had a great hike together again and look forward to doing it again! <BR> The day was chilly and cloudy and we had the occasional sleet. But that did not stop us from enjoying the trail. <BR> <BR> Some lovely fall foliage. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Laura with the hikers glow and the gold surrounding her. <BR> <img src=" Fri, 1 Nov 2013 15:03:48 EST Gone back later! But I will leave you with some photos of last weeks hike. If you like the photos, great.....if you don't, well then.......TAKE A HIKE! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.spar... Fri, 25 Oct 2013 07:42:16 EST Yes, things sometimes go wrong. What an afternoon. Okay maybe wrong is too strong of a word in this case. I decided last night to get my running clothes together and go to my favorite running town after work for a nice longish run. I just love this town and would love to live there. It is about 25 minutes from home but has lots to offer in the way of trails, some of you know where I am talking about. Hamburg, home of the King Frost Parade, coming soon! <BR> <BR> Anyway, I started out my run and within a half of a mile I ha... Tue, 1 Oct 2013 20:29:41 EST Last Summer Sunrise of 2013 After a haul uphill in the dark on Saturday morning we got rewarded with this! Did I time this hike perfectly or what!?! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Climbing the mountains is a wonderful challenge that is a great way to be physically active and a very wonderful exercise for... Sun, 22 Sep 2013 08:43:09 EST Asthma and running, or even living. I have Asthma. Plain and simple, not exercise induced Asthma but every single day Asthma. I take Symbicort and Singulair on a daily basis and Proair as needed. I do not like living like this. I hate having to depend on these meds for my breath. But I do it because I know what life and breathing is like without them. <BR> <BR> We all have some kind of limitations, others more serious. My doctor just shrugged his head when I told him that I was training for my first half-marathon. I guess he ... Thu, 12 Sep 2013 07:16:55 EST First Half Complete! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Woohoo! I did it! <BR> <BR> I don't know my chip time yet but the clock time was 2:30:01 and I ran across the finish. Yes siree, no crawling for this lady! I would have posted yesterday but I was just wiped out and needed to rest the mind and body. <BR> <BR> I will post a better blog with more photos later. Thank you all for your support! <BR> Spark People are AWESOME! <BR> Have a great day and remember you can... Mon, 9 Sep 2013 06:40:32 EST No offense Guys.....Woman Rock! “I have three messages. One is we should never, ever give up. Two is you never are too old to chase your dreams. Three is it looks like a solitary sport, but it takes a team.” - Diana Nyad. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> This is pure, solid and committed strength! <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Onward I will go, I can do it! <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak... Wed, 4 Sep 2013 07:10:24 EST Is this a Bad Week? So I had a bad week? Huh? As another Spark Friend said "Bad is a relative term." But, I was doing my LSR today of 12 miles and I was completely miserable. I wanted to quit so many times and at one point I was near tears. The humidity was awful, the gnats were relentless, I felt sluggish, I didn't sleep well last night, etc. <BR> <BR> I have been in some sort of slump here this week. Actually since my 5k race last Saturday. I ran the race. I had my second best time ever of 28:36. I won 2nd i... Fri, 30 Aug 2013 19:01:42 EST Did I say that I hate the Dreadmill? Well, I really do. No doubt about it. I do not like that daggone thing! <BR> <BR> It is a nice treadmill, I got it for free from someone who used it too often as a clothes rack. My son uses it nearly everyday, good for him. I still hate it. <BR> <BR> Seriously, I only use it when I have not much other choice and yesterday I was very short on time and had to do a 3 mile run to stay on track with my half-marathon training. (Trust the training. Just do it and shut-up.) Okay, okay, it is only t... Tue, 20 Aug 2013 21:00:12 EST Today's Long Slow Run was excellent! Wow! I had an awesome run! I don't know exactly why. I did plan it out to sort of simulate the water stops on race day. I had been running "someone's method" of run4 walk1 min as a way to try and control my breathing because of asthma, but I always seemed to lose my breath anyway. Today as I was beginning, I just started at a slower pace and kept running except for when I had a planned break for a water stop. The only time that I got out of breath really was on the hills and even then it was ... Sat, 17 Aug 2013 19:21:20 EST Busy, busy, busy!!! Last week I was on vacation on Chincoteague Island in Virginia. I'm not much of a beach person but the running and swimming down there is awesome! I totally enjoyed the time. It was very humid and made running a bit more difficult, but the ocean and swimming pool felt great afterwards. I ran more miles last week then I ever have. Very cool! <BR> <BR> I also got a phone call for a new job while I was away and started that today. I have been taking classes and have two weeks left of them yet, ... Tue, 13 Aug 2013 20:44:07 EST You've gained a little weight. I don't know whether to laugh or cry. I went running this morning and since all I had to do was a 3 mile run, I decided to make it a tough one. The road behind my house is a nice rolling mile uphill with some pretty steep inclines. I was feeling pretty good about this run and the fact that I am running up a hill that most people would not even consider walking up. The morning is a beautiful one and the sun is shining bright, the temps are perfect. <BR> <BR> I run up and then run a loop arou... Mon, 29 Jul 2013 08:34:32 EST Try + Train + Trust = TRIUMPH! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Try.....such a little word but sometimes such a BIG effort. My new running Mantra is Try, Train, Trust and Triumph! I am training for a half marathon and honestly the "try part" didn't take long. Try was deciding to do it and pressing forward. Try was only a decision to do or not to do. Moving through all the "What If's" to the real effort. <BR> <BR> that is the hard part. Looks good on paper but in... Tue, 23 Jul 2013 18:11:32 EST Sparking at Bear Meadows Come along with LAURANCE and I for a wonderful hike at Bear Meadows Natural Area in Rothrock State Forest in Central PA. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> A feathery flower seen along the way, don't know what it was but it was about 3 foot tall and very pretty. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> View of Bear Meadows from the top of the mountain or hill as some may say. <BR> <BR> <img src="htt... Thu, 18 Jul 2013 21:47:47 EST Slow down and enjoy the ride! Today I went for a bike ride and normally I just go full speed ahead. "This is a workout damn it! Power On! Get it in gear girl and pedal your butt off!" That was the plan again but somewhere along the line I thought "just slow down some and enjoy the ride". I do not have to workout every day like a maniac. I am training for a half-marathon and sometimes I get a little crazy, gotta go, gotta go. Not necessarily over doing it but just too gungho I guess. Sometimes it is okay to slow down some ... Wed, 3 Jul 2013 20:13:36 EST Seriously??? You mean the elevator is broke!?! Oh this is too funny! Some of you may remember my "Seriously, you are acting like a jerk" blog with the elevator dude. Well, he still has been harassing me and still saying stuff like "Are you afraid to ride in the elevator?" I just keep politely responding in one way or another and taking the stairs. <BR> <BR> Well this morning as I am making my way up the stairs I hear footsteps above me and as I approach the 6th floor I hear "So everyone has to take the stairs today, the elevator is broke... Mon, 1 Jul 2013 19:50:11 EST Biking with Berks Sparkers Team! We did it! We got ourselves out there in between the storms and we rode our bikes together! Way to go Team! The Schuylkill River Trail at Hamburg is a beautiful rail-trail and it was a wonderful way to get together with some other Spark People and exercise. We rode 12 miles together and had lot's of good conversation! <BR> <BR> The weather was warm and humid but when you are wonderfully distracted by good company it doesn't feel so awful. Looking forward to doing more with the Team in the f... Tue, 25 Jun 2013 22:42:28 EST First Half-Marathon Training - 11 weeks to go I am officially registered for my first Half! Woohoo! Harrisburg Half-Marathon Sept. 8, 2013. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> As some of you know I have been struggling with my Asthma for the past 6 months and have not been able to run as I would like. I realize that registering for a Half at this point may seem silly but I really really wanted to do this before I turn the BIG 50, which is in December. <BR> <BR> I know that I could hi... Mon, 24 Jun 2013 18:50:58 EST Seriously, you are acting like a jerk! Okay, I started attending classes that are on the 6th floor of an old building. The elevator is one that has an elevator man because it has the gate and the door. Personally, I try not to use elevators because I like the exercise of the stairs. <BR> <BR> The Elevator Man is constantly giving me crap because I walk up six flights of stairs instead of use the elevator. "Are you afraid of elevators?" "I know it might be scary to be in an elevator with a strange man, but I won't bite." <BR> <BR... Fri, 21 Jun 2013 22:21:50 EST Summer travels begin, I will carry you with me! I will be in and out of here for a couple of weeks. Mostly out! Woohoo! I will not have access to the Internet too much if at all. But I want to say that I will take all of the inspiration of Spark with me. I promise to think of you everyday and make the right choices. I can't guarantee perfection but I am going to try not to gain any weight except in a souvenir maybe. (If it is worth the weight) <BR> <BR> I promise to exercise everyday while I am away. (Hope my asthma will be kind, maybe a ... Wed, 5 Jun 2013 09:51:26 EST Relay for Life and Asthma - My last run....??? I ran a Relay for Life Race about two weeks ago and my asthma once again has been kicking my butt ever since. I had debated long and hard about whether I should run the race or not but I really wanted to do it in memory of my father. I am kind of stubborn. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I even made a bib for my back in his honor, I miss him. <BR> <BR> In spite of my prescribed preventive measures, I did have some minor breathing iss... Thu, 30 May 2013 10:59:06 EST Spring into Action! I had an amazing day on Wednesday as far as exercise is concerned. I may actually believe that the nice weather is here to stay. I have photos to show the beauty and promise of my Spring day. <BR> <BR> To start with I ran part of my 26.2 miles for Boston. I did great and actually went farther then I have in months since my asthma has kicked my butt all winter. I ran 5.75 miles! Yes! (Run for Boston - 15.29 run/10.91 to go!) Because I can. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.... Thu, 25 Apr 2013 08:09:56 EST Tears from Heaven I joined the "Run 26.2 for Boston" on Facebook. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I have to say that I am not one to jump on every band wagon that comes along, that stuff drives me crazy. However, as a runner and human being that was deeply saddened by what happened on Monday, I felt obligated. Because I still can. <BR> <BR> I went out to run the first miles of my 26.2 miles for Boston this morning and it is a cloudy dreary day. I gues... Thu, 18 Apr 2013 10:52:35 EST That's not a killer, it's a builder. Just quickly want to share part of a conversation between my son and I as we were wogging this afternoon. Our most convenient exercise route from home is a long uphill climb from our house to the nearest town. I was admiring the way the road sort of curves and ripples its steep way uphill to town. I think it really is a pretty route but it is a killer of a steep hill. I said that out loud and my son's response was "It's not a killer. It's a builder." I said "Wow, I like that. Can I use it?" <... Wed, 10 Apr 2013 19:17:24 EST Meeting Spark Friends is Icing on the Cake?? Really did I just say "Icing on the cake"? How about "Sunshine on the hike"? Yeah that sounds a lot better. <BR> <BR> I organized two hikes over the past 4 days and the first one was not through Spark, the second was. The first one, we were just yakking along enjoying the weather and the hike when we discovered we had something besides hiking in common. YES!!!! "I am a Sparker too!!!" We had a really nice hike and saw lot's of Spring signs. "Let's do this again." YES!!! <BR> <BR> The secon... Mon, 8 Apr 2013 20:43:17 EST Now this is a run I can almost live with. I can almost live with it because I didn't feel like I was dying afterwards. Yes! <BR> <BR> Some of you are aware that my asthma has been an issue for me all winter long and I have struggled with my running. It has been drastically cut because I just can't catch my breath. I have continued hiking and walking as I love doing those activities also. I have always been a walker and until 3 1/2 years ago it was my exercise of choice. <BR> <BR> I am not going give up on running just yet. I am pe... Wed, 27 Mar 2013 17:38:31 EST Winter's last breath...... Okay everyone, Winter is about to take it's last breath. Spring and Winter will have one last battle the next couple of days. I guarantee that Spring will triumph and come out with the last and final punch. I do not need that stinking Ground Hog to tell me this. I have consulted with Mother Nature on this myself and she agrees. Ha, ha! <BR> <BR> Good-bye Winter, Hello Spring! <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://ph... Sun, 24 Mar 2013 19:10:48 EST Can I stand the test of time? I came upon this majestic oak tree today on my walk/run and called it "His Majesty". It has obviously stood the test of time and I know for a fact that this wonderful specimen has withstood some pretty ugly and torturous moments of weather in the years in it's life. What a testament to time. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Two years ago a tornado actually whipped within 100 feet of the oak destroying many other trees in it's path. ... Wed, 20 Mar 2013 17:13:23 EST Happy Birthday Dad!!! Just putting this out to the my dad would have been 69. He passed away almost 4 years ago from cancer. I miss him a lot and think of him often. <BR> <BR> Today though I will not be sad, I will be thinking about the wonderful memories and feelings that he left me with. I will think about his big BIG GRIN and I will smile at that thought. I will remember his love for me and feel the strong bear hugs that he gave. I will hear him say "Hey, I love ya kid." (and I will shed... Thu, 14 Mar 2013 07:55:13 EST Appalachian Trail and Sunshine Today! <img src=""> <BR> We are "White Blazing It" today. <BR> Take a hike with me on this glorious day! Wear layers because although it is cold and very windy, we will work up a sweat and need to shed a layer or two. It's will be a bit tough but it will be worth the climb. Follow me.... <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> It's a beautiful day to be out here taking in the fresh air and sunshine. Wh... Mon, 4 Mar 2013 18:55:52 EST I ran this morning!!!! Woohoo!!! I am so excited! I have been having problems with my asthma all winter long and it really put a dent in my running. Some times I can hardly even walk or hike up a good hill without having an attack. But I am determined to keep going and doing the best that I can in hopes that it will get better again in the Spring. <BR> <BR> This morning I was once again tapping into that hope and determination. I used my inhaler before starting out and told myself that I will go easy. Of course my favorite ... Sun, 3 Mar 2013 11:09:42 EST Winter Blues... I forced myself to go out for a walk today. I have a serious case of SAD. I grumbled, kicked and screamed literally all the way up the hill! I am absolutely sick of clouds, snow and wind!!!! It is only a 3 mile route but at least I can say I did something. <BR> <BR> Funny thing happened once I got to the top, the sun came out for about 5 min. I actually stood in the middle of that sunny spot in the road until it went back behind the clouds. I put my face towards the sun and felt the warmth ... Fri, 1 Mar 2013 16:07:47 EST Time for some self-love. I have not been treating myself very well these last couple of weeks and it's time to change that. This is embarrassing to admit but I was laid-off from my job and I will not be getting it back. I have never been unemployed before in my life and the occupation that I have been in is slowly dwindling. I am thankful that I had the job for as long as I did but I am a little worried about the future. WTH am I going to do now? <BR> <BR> I am going to put the focus back on myself and try and fig... Wed, 13 Feb 2013 15:22:00 EST It's not all gloom and doom, come run with me. <img src=""> <BR> <BR> What a dreary day for a run. Today was one of those days that I just didn't want to do it. I want sunshine and blue skies everytime I go out. Okay fantasy land is not here. I had to choose to look for the pleasant and good along the way to make my run a positive experience not a cranky negative experience. First thing I did was drive to a place that I always have enjoyed no matter what the weather. Then I chose to... Sun, 2 Dec 2012 18:06:11 EST Before and After - It can be done! I did it! I came across a few photos today of myself from before my weight loss. Boy was I surprised. I just never really thought that I was "that fat". I thought I was a little chunky but my goodness, I was obese! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Others in my family were always larger than me and always said "You're not that fat.". I guess that I really believed them. I was a "healthy fat". I was a strong walker and in better shape than any of... Mon, 29 Oct 2012 18:14:53 EST Planning for a rainy week... Sandy has her bags packed and she is on her way! She is threatening to ruin my routine that I am trying so hard to stay into. I love my running and walking outdoors but it looks like this is going to be a whopper of a rainy week. I'll take my openings where I can get them and squeeze in the run where and when I can but I must come up with a plan so Sandy doesn't bring me down! <BR> <BR> A- From work I can drive or walk up town to the highest parking garage and run/walk the ramps and steps in... Sat, 27 Oct 2012 07:12:26 EST