Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas to All!!

I am very happy to wish you a merry Christmas from a cozy seat in my sister's home.  My mom and I made a sneak attack on Huntersville, NC last night in order to bring something very special to a wonderful little girl.  It was the funniest Christmas Eve I've ever had and I'm not sure I'll have one quite like it again.  Sadly, we were detected, but not by my niece, so it didn't take away from the "Santa Magic" we made happen in the yard.  It was absolutely priceless to hear that sweet two-year-old tell us about the amazing things Santa did for her.  "He's a nice guy like my Daddy!"

The beautiful neighborhood of Birkdale Village offers a lot of amenities, including walking trails.  We decided to take advantage of both the trails and the sunshine while I tested my newly downloaded app, Map My Run.  How did I not know about this awesome app?  It's free and follows my routes with terrifying accuracy.  I guess "Big Brother" will be watching, but that's okay as long as I can track the distance of my route, calories burned, and elevation changes.  Worth it!

Two great things about this picture... 1) My mom's shadow: we're professionals here.  2) My "fat", pregnant sister.  Yeah... that's 23 weeks in.

We covered 3.4 miles and we'll probably do something similar tomorrow before I drive home.  I'm always sad to leave this place; it has everything.  Well, not everything.  One thing Birkdale Village doesn't have right now?  My super husband.  He's back in The RVA (Richmond, Virginia for y'all out of staters) working, hanging out with the dogs, and celebrating another year of greatness.

For Brian's birthday, he just wanted to go for a hike in nice weather and bookend that hike with good meals.  Yep, he's easy to please( #luckygirl).

We started with breakfast in Hopewell, VA at a small place "downtown" called Carter's Courthouse Cafe.  It was quaint and well-priced, but don't go there if you're in a hurry.  It's the quintessential "Mom & Pop" restaurant with a very homey feel.  They also have a food challenge Brian wants to complete on a day we don't plan to hike: 16 oz Porterhouse, 3 giant pancakes, eggs, and some other stuff in 30 minutes.  Complete the challenge and you get the meal for free. I'm not sure why he feels the need to do that, but I'll go along with him.

From there, we took Route 10 east to Surry for our hike at Hog Island Wildlife Preserve.  The only problem?  It was Saturday and, unbeknownst to us, the area is only open to hiking on Sunday.  So, like the good scouts we are, we had to improvise.  Luckily, we were only three miles from another hike on our list so we turned around, reset the GPS and headed over to Chippokes Plantation State Park.  We had only planned to walk 3.8 miles and this one was listed at 5, but we were okay with the distance.  We were somewhat concerned about the timing of the hike because we had plans for that evening, but we decided to go for it.  We should have stuck to the trail.

When will my husband learn not to follow my lead?  Our map gave us accurate distances and expectations.  However, there was a "down and back" spur, 0.9 miles each way, that was super boring.  I don't do well with super boring walks, so when I saw a trail sign with an alternate option, I did the math and suggested we take it.  From my calculations, the new route would be 0.1 mile longer than the one we were on and would offer new sights.  There is NO WAY that trail sign was correct and that was before I had my sweet mapping app.  We felt like it would never end.  The walking wasn't difficult, it just never stopped and never got anymore exciting than the other path.  Shouldn't I know better by now?

We finally made it to the connection with our original route and things got back on track.  Sadly, the last mile of that track was on a sandy beach along the James River.  Yes, it was beautiful.  No, walking on sand for mile #5 (we guess) is not fun.  And, once again, it just wouldn't end.  Plus, the park administration should really organize a beach clean up; it was pretty trashy in spots.  However, for the second hike in a row, I got to see sights I'm only used to seeing in South Carolina.  I didn't know these trees existed in our area of Virginia and I love them.  Plus, the afternoon sunlight was perfect for pictures.

By the time we got back to the car, it was five o'clock and too late to do all the things we'd hoped to fit into the day.  But, we felt accomplished and stopped at El Patron in Chester, VA for a great dinner.  Have you ever been too tired to drink at a Mexican restaurant?  I have, and it was sad.  I guess that's a sign of a good workout?

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

My Apologies

I know, I know...  But, it's a busy time of year, right?  Plus, I'm doing so much walking that I don't want to do anything when I get home except slump into the couch.  So, I grudgingly write this update.

To begin, I have a recipe you must try.  I got this from Everyday Paleo by Sarah Ferguson.  If you are interested in trying the Paleo Diet, but want more info and some interesting recipes to avoid the "meat, veggies, fruit, repeat," this is a great read.  I made this the other night and ended up eating the whole pan (not recommended).

Savory Sweet Potatoes

Preheat oven to 400
Peel and cube sweet potatoes to cover bottom of a 9x13 baking dish (typically 3 spuds)
Sprinkle potatoes with 1 tsp sea salt, 2 Tbsp dried basil, and 4 minced garlic cloves
Melt 3 Tbsp coconut oil and drizzle over potatoes (it doesn't taste like coconut)
Bake 30-45 minutes until browning, depending on size of  cubes.

Now for the walking... and walking, and walking, and walking.

I'm proud to report that I've made progress!  I'm now doing three miles 3-4 days a week after work.  Any teachers out there should understand how difficult it is to do that much walking after a day in the classroom.  I'm not quite sure what will happen after Winter Break when I need to bump up to four miles.  It will probably be getting dark by the time I finish (I can NOT do it before school) and I don't know how I'll make it that far or where I'll walk.  Then again, I wasn't sure how three miles would go and I rocked that while maintaining my slow, but steady, pace.  

In order to mix up the sights and sounds of these jaunts, I'm trying to visit local parks.  So, I did a short, 1.3 mile walk last week at Rockwood Park.  If you are in Chesterfield County, VA and haven't utilized the trails there, you need to get on it.  They've put a lot of work in recently and your tax dollars are paying for it, so get over there.  The main trail is paved and, while shortish, is intense.  I was so proud of myself for completing it at the same pace as I do my daily, basically flat walks.  The fact that it was freezing probably helped keep me moving.  I plan to combine two trails there on Thursday to get my three miles.

The hike this weekend was at Westmoreland State Park.  What a gorgeous place!  It's a National Historic Landmark and we enjoyed the views so much, we're planning to rent a cabin there sometime in the spring.  We're excited to explore the trails we missed and the fossil beach.  That's right, I'm a nerd.  What of it?
Anyway... I feel like I can best tell the story of this hike through pictures.  Keep in mind, we did this hike the day after our part of Virginia received roughly an inch of rain.  It was muddy in spots and slick almost everywhere due to the layer of leaves over the muck.  Think about that when you look at the first picture.  

It started flat enough.  Then we went down, and down, and down.  I may have slipped a few times, but always caught myself before death and destruction ensued.

Next, we crossed over a marsh and through a dead, forested area reminiscent of something from The Wizard of Oz or Alice in Wonderland.  Pictures simply cannot do this part justice.  It was fascinating.

Down a boardwalk, to the observation tower.  This made the slipping and sliding so worth it and reminded me of good times on the sea islands of South Carolina.  I had no idea the Potomac River looked like this away from civilization; it's just beautiful.

Feeling refreshed from our break, we continued down the boardwalk.  Here, it got REALLY muddy, but we surged ahead.  Obviously, on hikes, what goes down must go up, and up, and up.  Oh my gosh, did we hike up.

Ummm...yeah.  I don't think this needs a caption.

Here's a fun fact.  That hill came after a steep set of 87 stairs.  That's right, my husband counted the stairs.  When he told me how many there were, I thought maybe he was just picking a random number for sarcasm (I do that a lot).  I married a man who does not exaggerate numbers.  His response to my query about counting stairs?  "I had to do something!"  Apparently, while he is typically ahead of me, he is just as pissy about the inclines and climbs as I am.

After all that climbing, I was still in good spirits.  And then I got to the top of that ridge and saw this...

I broke.  It was just for a minute, but I did.  I truly thought, "That's it, I'm done."  And then laughed at myself.  What was I going to do, have Brian carry me up the stairs?  Call the local EMT?  Medi-Vac?  I haven't reached that level of desperation.  Plus, Brian yelled down, "Hey!  There's a bench up here."  So, I took these stairs much like I expect to take Day 3 of the Komen; just putting one foot in front of the other #3DayWalk.  I rested on each landing and plopped my butt right on the bench at the top to guzzle some water.  

Thankfully, it was smooth sailing for about the next mile back to the car.  And, you know what?  We want to do it again!  That's the sign of a great hike.  It had decent distance (3.6 miles - not too short or too long), beautiful views, and crazy topography to make for a serious workout.  Recommended!!

Also recommended?  Our breakfast stop for the day!  If you have the chance, hit up Sunday brunch at O'Banks Cafe & Grill in Ashland, VA. This was the best omelet I've had in a long time and every dish is served with fresh fruit.  Don't let the shopping center environment deter you, it is lovely.  O'Banks also has a great lunch/dinner menu, a long list of craft beers, and a hearty bourbon menu.  We will definitely make the drive for dinner and drinks sometime soon.  Check it out @O'BanksCafe&Grill, on any form of social media (they really put it out there) or I'm just glad I found it by checking Yelp for breakfast restaurants near Ashland because neither of us had ever heard of the spot.  I love that Brian wants to explore these places with me!!

Yeah, that's hot.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Glorious Relaxation

Has there ever been anything more luxurious than a HOT, steaming shower after a LONG, crappy day?

Now, don't get your panties all in a bunch.  I'm not talking about anything dirty here.  I'm actually talking about a shower to cleanse oneself.

Due to unfortunate circumstances, I was unable to shower this morning, making me quite the funky-monkey for my school day. Sorry kids!!  Then, I attended a faculty meeting, walked a mile, and tutored for an hour before an AWFUL drive home.  What is up with the traffic out there???  It took me about 50 minutes to make a 30 minute commute and my windshield was hit multiple times by rocks coming from a dump truck.  Infuriating, right?  So, I wanted nothing more than to crawl under the covers with all the animales and snuggle/sleep until morning.  I was even willing to give up dinner for some blissful ambivalence to the world.

But, no!  I told myself, "Self, get your stinky arse in the shower right now!  After that, you have to prepare for tomorrow.  Then, and only then, may you climb into bed."

"Okay, fine," I said.  I can be so bossy!

Well, it ended up being the best decision of my day.  I walked out of that bathroom rejuvenated, ready to make dinner, and even (possibly) deal with some laundry.

So... My advice to you for when/if you have a stinky day (literally or figuratively) is this...  When you get home, before you do ANYTHING else, shove your pets, kids, spouses aside and have this lovely "me" time.  Use the good shampoo and lather, rinse, repeat.  Shave with the five blade razor: smoother = happier.  And, break out the fancy face scrub; you know you have it somewhere.  You'll leave that shower a new woman (or man - you guys need to exfoliate too!)  Trust me, especially if you're a morning showerer, this will give you a second wind.  I mean, LOOK at this; I typed a whole blog because I feel so good.  Do yourself a favor and use this cheap, at home, relaxation method.


P.S.  I did hike over the weekend.  It was boring; not much else to say.

Monday, November 25, 2013

So.... Tired

How is it only 8:00?  How can walking two miles cause me such exhaustion?  I don't know, but I am sleeping much better AND much earlier.  Really, I think I may get crazy and stay up until nine tonight.  I feel like an old lady!  Moving from one sad admission to another...

I need some help:
First, why aren't people able to leave comments on this blog?  I've changed the settings multiple times and if nobody can comment on this, I guess I will need to go back to the default.
Second, what is up with Blogger and hashtags?  I've been putting the "labels" on, but I guess hashtags aren't any good unless I'm connecting to Twitter as well?  I apologize for my ignorance, but have no problem admitting it.

Check out this hot outfit for our hike on a thirty degree day.

That's right, I'm wearing denim, cropped pants.  My jeans tend to be "boot cut" and I'm TERRIFIED of things getting inside my pants legs!  If I wear jeans, leaves will probably get inside the bottoms and you know what you find on leaves?  Bugs!  I don't want bugs in my pants, do you?  Hence, the short-pants.  I know it looks ridiculous, but I feel better/safer.  The problem was the COOOOOOOLD.  So, I have a couple of ideas. 1) Tall socks with the cropped pants (HOT).  2) Cropped pants over long-johns because they are tight at the bottom (HOTTER).  3) Elastic bottom pants, preferably denim (HOTTEST).  America, the vote is yours.

You may also notice the lack of gloves.  We haven't hiked in weather this cold in over three years, plus this is the first real cold streak of the year in Central VA, so it was an oversight.  My bad.

The hike itself was perfect!  Hickory Hollow State Natural Area and Preserve, located in Lancaster, VA, is fantastic.  Because of the preserve status, we didn't have to worry about hunters.  Blaze orange isn't really my color, but it's a necessity out in the woods these days, unless you're on a preserve.  The hike was truly what I would label "moderate" because of two things.  It wasn't difficult because I never wanted to kill myself.  Yet, it wasn't easy because I was definitely challenged several times.  Plus, there was some really cool scenery like these "bendy" trees.

Looking to the work "week".  Today was the first day I felt EXCITED to walk.  I couldn't wait to finish my paperwork to get outside, even in 40 degrees.  There's a walk through the neighborhood behind our school that also includes a couple of trails. I think I've gotten my route to cover two miles and decided today to do it in reverse. I popped in the iPod and got to work.  Newsflash, dummy!!  The first mile was entirely uphill.  It's gradual, but it was a butt/hip killer because it was constant.  UGH!!  The rest of the walk was pretty level, but I had to force myself through it.  I kept thinking, "If it's this hard for two miles, what will happen in twenty??  It's okay, that's why I'm training; just keep putting one foot in front of the other, I can do this." I annoyed myself with the pep talks, but tried not to look overly crazy by arguing with myself while walking through the woods.  I mean, it is local to my school and students do live in that neighborhood.

The forecast for tomorrow and Wednesday is ugly.  My plan is to actually do some training in the hallways at school.  I know everybody is going to flee the building because it's the start of our holiday, so I should be able to avoid making a complete fool of myself.  I plan to walk a few laps downstairs and up, so I'll get some stairs in, but I also want to throw in a length of lunges and another of skip-jumps.  We'll see how that goes!  Then, I'll be hitting the treadmill at Mom's a couple times during the holiday visit.

As silly as it may seem, I'm thankful to you for reading this.  Seeing the number of page views and +1 grow is really inspiring and motivational.  I'm also thankful for the ability to do the Susan G. Komen 3-Day, while so many others are hindered by chemo, radiation, or surgery.  Hopefully, in the near future, there won't be a need for research funding because there will be a cure for this and all types of cancer.

Wishing you and your family a healthy, fun, fabulous, and yummy Thanksgiving!!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Lazy Week??

Okay, I admit it.  I haven't walked much this week and what I have done was pretty slack.  Our hike this weekend was E to the Z... EASY!  It was, however, fairly educational from an environmental standpoint.

Chub Sandhill State Natural Area and Preserve (whew) is in the complete opposite direction of our hike from the week before.  So, instead of the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, we were in the marshy, Tidewater region of Virginia.  It was not overly exciting, but there were definitely some plants and insects we weren't used to seeing.

We ended up walking about 3.75 miles that day because we added on a journey to the little bridge over the Nottoway River.  I think the trails themselves were about 3.2 and were simple out-and-back trips.

On Sunday I had a very successful Thirty-One Gifts party, thanks to Katie Longo (hostess) and Amy Cackowski (rep).  We raised over $100 for Susan G. Komen and I may have gotten a partner for the 3-Day!!  I won't name her here, but I SO hope she will do it.

I had to take sick days on Monday and Tuesday for a stomach bug, so I couldn't get in any training.  I know, I know, it's no excuse.  HA!  Combine that with the two meetings spanning 3.5 hours after school today, and I haven't accomplished much walking.  I did do about two miles yesterday and it felt GREAT.  I was NOT excited about walking, but I had a partner and beautiful weather, so I forced myself.  I was SOOOO glad I did because it left me in a much better mood.  I even woke up today feeling more ready to take on the day.  That's great incentive for me to get out there every afternoon!

You know what else is incentive?  The 5.6 pounds I lost in two weeks!!  However, I'm not sure I'll be able to keep that going this week with the eating I did Sunday.  Combine that with the lack of walking and...YIKES!

For some AMAZING Thanksgiving recipes that are gluten-free, and Paleo friendly, check out  There are some apple tartlets and a pecan stuffing that I can't wait to try.  I'll let you know how it goes (whenever I get to cooking....)  You can also access those recipes on the author's Facebook page PaleOMG.  Happy, healthy cooking!

Sunday's weather looks dry, but COLD!  I'll let you know how it goes ;)
#3-Day-Walk, #60-mile

Friday, November 15, 2013

Finally Friday!!

Have you ever been too tired to even scroll through Facebook?  I've been like that every day this week.  Seriously, I've been in bed at 8:30 the last two nights.  Of course, I get up at 4:30 so I should be going to sleep that early, but it still seems sad.  So, THAT is why I haven't written all week and it's also why I'm writing at 5:00 a.m.  I'm afraid I won't have the energy tonight and I want to catch up before my next hike.  Yep, it'll be a rockin' Friday night here in the RVA.

Last Sunday, Brian and I hiked Motts Run Reservoir in Fredericksburg, VA.  The scenery was beautiful! And, it's a good thing it was so pretty because I may not have made it to the end otherwise.

The field trail guide we read listed this hike as "Moderate".  Ummmm.... yeah.  It's probably "moderate" if you currently live in Appalachia.  In fact, it's probably "easy" if you typically hike in the Rockies.  But, for this suburban girl, it was a butt kicker.  However, I do have a theory...

The hike was made up of two trails.  First, we hiked the trail to the right of the entrance, passing the gorgeous nature center and an "awards stand".  After reading about our "moderate" hike, Brian and I were surprised it was so easy.  We just couldn't figure out why that hike was given a higher level of difficulty than the trail from last week.  Then, we took the trail to the left.  UGH!!  This trail was HARD.  Check out this hill...

At that point, I was two-thirds of the way to the top and pretty sure I was going to die.  I tried to take a picture down the hill, but it didn't come out well enough to post.

My theory?  (Easy Trail + Hard Trail) divided by two = Moderate Trail.  BOOM!  I just dropped some middle school math on your tail.  Yeah, it's what I do.  You're welcome.

All in all, it was a nice hike at roughly 3 miles when you include the hike from the road to the trail head. The park is closed November - March, but we were able to park outside the gate and walk up the driveway.  We definitely recommend this one if you are in the area near Spotsylvania Mall/Central Park.

Another perk of traveling for hikes?  We get to meet up with people from that area we may not get to see often.  After the hike, my parents met us for an early dinner at Firebirds.  Mmmm, the best salads ever.  That's right, I said, "salads".  It's probably the only time you'll hear that from me, but Firebirds' cooks know how to mix the greens.  It was a LOOOOONG ride back to Richmond, but a very short trip from there to my bed and a great night of sleep.

New this week, I invited all faculty/staff at work to walk with me and sent out my schedule for the week.  I've had a few people join in and it really makes me show up for the walk if somebody might be waiting for me at the starting line.  The weather ranged from gorgeous, mid-60's on Monday to wind-blown, frigid, upper 30's Tuesday, and back again.  Welcome to autumn in VA!  We walked Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday with plans for this afternoon as well.  It looks like I'll go from 5 miles last week to 9.5 this week.  Progress!!

Next up?  We're hiking Chubb Sandhill State Natural Area and Preserve somewhere around Emporia, VA.  We've never spent any time in that area, so it will be an adventure.  If you know a good place to eat or a "must visit" spot in that area of the commonwealth, please comment below.

Oh!  I've changed the "Comments" section so you don't need to have a special log-in.  You're welcome, Mom!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Week 1 Overview, Info, & Stats

It just dawned on me that people may read this without knowing my overall goal for this little project....

My name is Carly Keating, I am a 6th grade math teacher, and I've been overweight much of my life.  I've been everything from size 12 to 28, but I've spent A LOT of time around a 20/22.  I'd like to be a 14/16 and I don't think that's an irrational hope.  At 5'8'', with an hourglass shape, I look good at size 16.  I mean GOOOOOD, and more importantly, I feel great.  So, that's the goal and the back story for this blog.

Last Saturday, I posted a very "scary" (read as terrifyingly vulnerable) status to my Facebook friends, and I'm pasting it in here so readers will know what I'm doing.  

Announcement: I am doing the Susan G. Komen 3-day walk in Philadelphia next September. It consists of 60 miles total done as 20 per day. I'm giving myself 10 months to prepare and going on my first hike tomorrow. I have pledged to raise $2,300 and will be doing several fundraisers over the spring and summer months in addition to having a fundraising page. However, my FIRST fundraiser....

I am pledging to give $1 for every pound I lose from now until the end of August (training time). That means I could be donating $20 or $100. I'm hoping for around $80. If you are willing to match my donation, please comment below or send me a PM. I will send you a message to verify.

In Week 1, I walked a mere five miles, but made good food choices and lost 2.2 pounds.  With the people who've pledged to match me, that makes the current total $26.40.  I don't think that's too shabby.  If I can average $20 a week, that will raise over $800 for my walk.  Granted, that means I need to average 2 pounds per week, which is tough, but I'll do what I can.  I also plan to keep an update here with weekly hike photos and the occasional recipe or blog recommendation.  I'm hopeful some of you will enjoy reading my story, possibly be inspired, and maybe even join my current supporters in matching my weight loss donation in early September. 

Anybody looking for an AMAZING and inspirational read should check out  Written by a Richmond woman, it's a beautiful, year-long tribute to her mother that changed not only the writer's life, but the lives of her family, friends, and blog readers.  If you are aspiring to run or walk for any cause, her posts will give you motivation and encouragement.

Tomorrow I'll venture out for my second hike.  The weather is supposed to be perfect and we're planning for 3-miles at Motts Run Reservoir in Fredericksburg, VA.  It takes about an hour to get there from here, but Brian and I enjoy a road trip.  Plus, it's not far from where my parents live, so we get to meet them for an afternoon in the historic district of town.   Motts is listed as a "Moderate" hike while most of the ones I do are "Easy".  I'm sure to be a big ball of fun for our early dinner with the family!  I'll post pictures and grumblings tomorrow evening.  

Yes, tonight I'm looking forward to a lovely family day out, but by tomorrow I'll be a sore sourpuss.    I'm prepared for that and know it makes for a funnier read.  That's right, I do this for the laughs; I hope you appreciate my sacrifice and will check in again tomorrow to see how it plays out.


Monday, November 4, 2013

Day 2

Today's walk was much smoother... literally.  I walked 2 miles on the track at school and averaged 21 minutes for each.  I was not a happy camper during the first lap, but by the time I finished the first mile, I was feeling pretty good and jamming to the iPod.  I've already noticed an increase in my energy level, so that is encouraging :)

Downside?  I am STARVING!!!  I'm trying to drink a lot of water to fill my belly, but I want to stuff my face with pasta.  Since I'm gluten intolerant, that would be a bad plan, but you get what I mean.  I'm going to try some grapes for an evening snack, but if you have any suggestions about how to deal with this hunger, please let me know.  Also, if you're looking for decent, gluten-free recipes, the blog written at PaleOMG is hysterical!

Moving on... I'm already planning my first fundraiser and things are looking good.  It's less than two weeks away, but it's being co-hosted by a great friend with fabulous entertaining skills, so I'm not worried in the least.  Raising $2,300 is a tall order, but I have full faith that I can do it in ten months with the support of great friends and family.  If you have fundraiser ideas, please comment below.  I appreciate any suggestions, but especially those that are out of the ordinary and might raise interest from people not otherwise inclined to donate.

If you'd like to donate, follow the link on the right side of the page or click here ( Donate to Carly's Walk ) and then give yourself a big hug for me.

Note: I don't plan to write every day.  It will probably be once or twice each week except for this first week.  Right now, while everything is new to me (including blogging) I plan to write just to keep my interest and motivation up.  Knowing somebody might actually read this encourages me to get out there again tomorrow so THANK YOU FOR BEING THERE.  I really do appreciate it.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

The First Step

"UGH!  My butt HURTS!!"  is not what you want strangers you happen upon in the woods to hear you grunting.  But, that's what happens on your first hike in over a year and a half.  Yes, the hike was relatively short (2.9 miles) but it had HILLS.  None of that flat, city walking at the Scheier Natural Area Preserve outside of Palmyra, Virginia.

Today was a beautiful, autumn day here in Central Virginia.  My husband, Brian, and I started off with a great breakfast at a small-town stop in Manakin-Sabot.  Situated right on Route 250 outside of Richmond, Satterwhite's has long been known as "worth the wait."  It's true, so I loaded up on staples.  Coffee, water, a 3-egg omelet with veggies and cheese, hash-browns  and amazing link sausage.  I know, it doesn't sound like fare for a dieter, but I was going out into the WILD.  I mean, what if we got stuck out there?  Sure, Brian has Clif Bars or something like that in his hiking pack, but really... I needed to power up for the hike!  Plus, I skipped the biscuit/toast.  That counts for something, right?

Anyway...  It was a beautiful day for a drive down I-64 to Route 15 with white, fluffy clouds and gorgeous foliage aplenty.  So, a hike seemed a logical choice.  Half way through the hike I was tired.  Three-quarters of the way was when the grumbling started.  I mean, we used to hike six miles any old time we wanted to and now I'm wiped at two?  Can you say out of shape?  Here's an image...  I was huffing and puffing so loudly that Brian stopped to turn around and check on me.  My response to my husband's care and concern?  "Shut up and walk!"

Yes, I was cranky and ready to sit down, but more than that I was annoyed... with myself.  How did it get this bad?  I can count three parks within a 15 minute drive of my house, but I can't be bothered to go for a decent walk?  Annoyed.  The good news is that I did it, I broke the seal, got back on the horse, blah, blah, blah.  The bad news is that I'm not motivated to do it again.  But, that's tough because next Sunday we're heading to Fredericksburg to try the Mott's Run Reservoir hike.

Tomorrow is another day and I will walk again, but this time it will be that nice, flat, city walking.  I'll walk from 4-5 pm on the track at my school and feel like I accomplished something.  The only thing to worry about there is getting into the "zone" and accidentally belting out show tunes from the IPod for the student-athletes' amusement.  Hoping to avoid that embarrassment because I think the pain would be worse than the uphill climb today.

So, for the next few days I'll enjoy walking the track and feeling good.  But, in the back of my mind, I'll know the next hike is looming along with the hills and burning glutes.