CHANGINGHORSES's SparkPeople Blog CHANGINGHORSES's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community A BIG leap of faith...believe in myself Several years of holding my weight loss have come and gone. I have been maintaining a 65-70 lb weight loss for almost 7 years now and it is time to finally time to do something drastic. I'm not talking about drastic as in climbing a high peak or running a marathon. No, I've done that and I'm full of confidence in my physical abilities these days. <BR> <BR> What I'm talking about is on a way deeper emotional and mental level. Some of you may understand me, I needed to clear out the closets of... Fri, 6 Jan 2017 10:09:17 EST Who I am I love this! I am constantly amazed at who I am today and who I am becoming. <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Tue, 19 Apr 2016 17:31:17 EST 5 year Spark Anniversary Boy oh boy does time fly! I have had so much fun the last five years. I was pretty much in maintenance when I joined Spark and have remained pretty much the same weight for the whole time. I have about a five pound window that I float around in but I am okay with that. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I look at how far I have come physically and I cannot believe this is the same girl. Spark has definitely been a ... Wed, 2 Dec 2015 19:29:30 EST Holiday Exercise Streak has begun! Holiday exercise streak started with an absolutely spectacular hike. <BR> <BR> We started out in the early morning darkness with an almost full moon shining brightly above us. It was very cool hiking in the moonlight, once our eyes adjusted to the moon light we did not even need headlamps. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> We made it to the top with lots of time to spare so we had our breakfast and sat around wat... Sun, 29 Nov 2015 05:15:54 EST Choose to make the best of your day! You know I hear and see people moaning and groaning a lot lately about the weather. We live in Pennsylvania and it's winter! Let's be glad that we don't live in Boston area. I for one, take it all in stride and make the best of it. I realize that I have been making the best of a lot of things my whole life. Way to go Mom! (Yeah for me) <BR> <BR> I have snow shoes and x-c skis that help me make the best of the winter weather and keep me off the dreadmill! I really dislike that thing. If you ... Sun, 22 Feb 2015 07:50:29 EST And the winner is......... Me! Woohoo! <BR> <BR> I have to say that today started out as just another day, get up, have some coffee and go to work. Nothing special, or so I thought. <BR> <BR> I had to drive a slightly different route this morning and it was quite foggy. I was puttering along when suddenly as I approached the crest of a hill I began to rise above the fog and there it was, my biggest gift of the day. (or so I thought) <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> ... Mon, 15 Sep 2014 21:09:30 EST 18.12 Challenge Complete! Woohoo 18.12 miles! Part 2 So I went to bed nice and early the night before the race. I heard the news before going to bed though, thunderstorms on the way, may delay race, may cancel race. What???!!! I just kept thinking it'll be alright, just some rain. Race will go on. I put my ear plugs in just in case and happily went to sleep remembering the sights that I saw during the day. Very relaxed, I ate good and laid my gear out and was ready for this. <BR> <BR> <img src=" Sat, 6 Sep 2014 11:49:17 EST 18.12 Challenge Complete! Woohoo 18.12 miles! Part 1 Yes! I did it! This was week #17 of training and it ended with the run. <BR> <BR> The weeks runs looked like this: <BR> Run #1 - 3.5 miles <BR> Run #2 - 2.23 miles <BR> Run #3 - 2.25 miles <BR> Big Day! - 18.12 miles! <BR> <BR> It was a rather enjoyable week with the shorter runs and swimming afterwards. The race was in Northern New York and it is a 4.5 hour drive from where I live. I made a nice long weekend of it and had 4 days in the area. The race ended on a battlefield that overlooks ... Sat, 6 Sep 2014 10:54:23 EST 18.12 Challenge - Training weeks 15 and 16 This blog is a lot late (the race was on 8/31) but I wanted to complete them all, so it will just be the basics. I began the two taper weeks as well as went away on vacation. It worked out great! During the taper I walked more with family members and enjoyed the vacation in the New England states. We did plenty of sight seeing and I didn't have to obsess (too much) with where and when I HAD to run. I fit it in pretty nicely because they were shorter. I even ran a 5.55 mile run on the treadmil... Sat, 6 Sep 2014 10:23:17 EST 18.12 Challenge - Training weeks 13 and 14 Well I will attempt to finish this now tonight. I started last night and then was told the news about Robin Williams which really bummed me out. Depression and addiction sucks. Mental illness sucks. Part of the reason that I exercise is because of these issues. I know what exercise means to my mental health. It could very well be what is keeping me alive. <BR> <BR> Anyway, I have been busy with my training and life in general. I am committed to my training because I know this athletic stuff ... Tue, 12 Aug 2014 20:09:58 EST RIP....Robin Williams......Depression is so sad. I really don't know what to say about this except that I feel very sad about his suicide and realize that depression is a terrible thing to live with. I have had my share of depression and actually considered suicide once in my life. I know how low and desperate a person can get and how much you just want to make the pain go away. I have lived on that edge. I make no judgement. <BR> <BR> Still the questions come. How can a person who made so many people laugh and smile until they cried be in... Mon, 11 Aug 2014 20:31:22 EST 18.12 Challenge - Training weeks 11 and 12 Week 11 (supposed to be a "step back" week) <BR> Run 1 - 5.12 miles <BR> Run 2 - 6.45 miles <BR> Run 3 - 10.01 and not one foot more. LOL. <BR> Run 4 - 6.01 <BR> <BR> Week 12 (step back up!) <BR> Run 1 - 5.03 miles (felt great and had neg splits!) <BR> Run 2 - 3.72 miles <BR> Run 3 - 3.1 miles (5k Race-1st place AG) <BR> Run 4 - 14.5 miles (got it done and then jumped in the lake) <BR> <BR> Been quite busy but I am getting the runs in as well as other fun stuff. Trying to make the b... Tue, 29 Jul 2014 07:06:22 EST 18.12 Challenge - Training week #10, crazy hilly LSD 10 weeks down, 6 to go! This week had lot's of good stuff going on. Biggest one was a family reunion in McConnelsville, Ohio. So nice to see my Hun's family, they say I get along better with them then he does! LOL! <BR> <BR> I took the time on Saturday morning to do my LSD. This week it was 14 miles, yikes. "I can do this." Yes, I can. I decided to venture off of the familiar territory that is all flat along the river and go away from the river. Boy was I in for a surprise and although I hav... Wed, 16 Jul 2014 06:56:42 EST 18.12 Challenge - Training week #9 and 15k Race Woohoo! Life is good! <BR> <BR> Run 1 - 7.29 miles (Hot and Humid, pretty slow going) <BR> Run 2 - 4.07 miles (Felt pretty darn good) <BR> Run 3 - 10.6 miles (LSR? Great hike with my pals!) <BR> Run 4 - 9.3 miles (15k Race) <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> All in all, this week was pretty good. I'm sure the 4 day Holiday weekend had something to do with that. My new inhaler seems to be helping a whole lot, yes! <BR> <BR> I ran m... Wed, 9 Jul 2014 20:48:29 EST 18.12 Training Week #8 and the LSR Very warm and humid this week, but I am making it. New inhaler seems to be a plus. <BR> <BR> Run 1 - 6.25 miles (Hot and Humid but feeling pretty darn good) <BR> Run 2 - 4.10 miles (again, feeling pretty good) <BR> Run 3 - 4.12 miles (Warmish and slowing down) <BR> Run 4 - 13.06 miles LSR (Ugh, see below) <BR> <BR> My 13 mile LSR this week was on a very cloudy, warm and humid Sunday morning. The scenery that I had the pleasure running through was enough to at times to make me forget the pai... Wed, 2 Jul 2014 19:08:43 EST 18.12 Challenge Training week #7 Generally speaking, I feel pretty good about this week. Reasonably happy with my training during the heat and humidity. I have seen another specialist for my asthma and now I have three inhalers to use along with a few pills for good measure. I guess as with my training, I believe it will worth it in the end. <BR> <BR> The runs this week felt pretty sluggish and I keep telling myself that it will get better. I have a little over two months yet until the race, it will be cooler that morning i... Mon, 23 Jun 2014 20:23:12 EST Training weeks 5 and 6 Life is just an endless cycle of busy some times. The past two weeks has been a mix of fun and work and more work. Some vacation time, which was enjoyable and much needed, nothing too exciting but a chance to "not work". <BR> Work is such a dirty word. I am super grateful that I can work and do have a job to go to. On top of that, I really do like my job too. Between work at work, work at home and training for the race, I am cramming! But I am getting it done. (Barely) <BR> My asthma has not ... Tue, 17 Jun 2014 06:31:01 EST 18.12 Challenge - Training week #4 Wow, has four weeks passed already? The race will be here before I know it! It is true what they told me as a youngster, the older you get the faster times goes. Yikes! <BR> <BR> The week went pretty good all in all: <BR> Run #1 - 3 miles <BR> Run #2 - 5 miles (Rainy run again) <BR> Run #3 - 3 miles <BR> Run #4 - 10 miles LSR (Beautiful morning run) <BR> <BR> I feel pretty decent during the run but really wish I had a better handle on my breathing. Some days it takes a lot of effort to get... Wed, 4 Jun 2014 05:16:40 EST 18.12 Challenge - Training week #3 Week 3 - Much better spirit this week, but very busy with lot's of work cleaning out BIL's house. Sorting through his belongings and preparing for yard sales and dump trips. It is not fun. My job has also been very busy and somewhat stressful but manageable. Having a 4 day weekend was a huge help, especially with the excellent weather. <BR> <BR> The week's training was pretty good I think: <BR> Run #1 - 3 miles <BR> Run #2 - 5 miles (in the rain) Yay!!! <BR> Run #3 - 3.14 miles (felt great!)... Tue, 27 May 2014 20:49:08 EST 18.12 Challenge - Training week #2 Week #2 did not go so good, I am fessing up. It was a rough week. We had another death in the family, BIL. Diagnosed with cancer two weeks before and gone. We take a lot of comfort in knowing that he did not suffer much or long. He was alert and not on any pain meds up to the last minute. He was in conversation one minute and closed his eyes and was gone the next. It is a blessing. RIP Donnie. <BR> <BR> Anyway, ironically I was supposed to run a race for the American Cancer Society/Relay for... Tue, 20 May 2014 21:38:17 EST 18.12 Challenge - Training week #1 It is official. Crazy or not, I have registered for the 18.12 Challenge. Crazy or not, I will also register for the Half-Marathon that is a week later. I am a challenged runner. I have Severe Asthma and some days, I can barely walk and breathe let alone run and breathe. Some people think I am playing with fire. I say I am doing what I can, when I can, with what I got. I am not letting this beat me. As it is, I do feel like most of the time it defines me and that pisses me off. I am not a quit... Sun, 11 May 2014 19:48:17 EST To run or not to run (walk)?? Asthma sucks! This is the question. <BR> I have been feeling like this lately. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I have asthma and I am not one to let it stop me. I have carried on my merry and sometimes un-merry little way and tried very hard to keep pushing through the issue. Sometimes through tears of frustration at not being able to breathe and run the way I want to. I feel like I have so much potential and these damn lungs just keep holding me ... Sat, 26 Apr 2014 18:17:02 EST 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