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.