I finally got my Fitbit to sync on Friday morning. It synced all of Thursday and that was it. So I had to manually enter my steps as exercise for the rest of Tuesday and all of Wednesday. So, taking those photos didn’t seem so insane after all!

And doing my walks in the evening pushed me to my very first, I do believe, all 10k+ each day week! Go me!!fitbit weekly stats

But what I learned today is that my manually entered steps didn’t count in the rankings and instead of being in 2nd place on my friends list, by less than 2k!, I’m in 4th place. What?!?! This is some Fitbit Bullshit right here!

fitbit bullshit

So, I guess once Tuesday and Wednesday stats fall off I’ll be in my correct ranking position and I can quit being an obsessive maniac over the whole thing.

But, again…if it’s getting me to actually move more and care about losing the weight then it’s a good mania. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

In Training

Kiwanis Trail-5

I’ve gained all of the weight I lost while doing the Whole 30 and then some back. Apparently that’s what happens when you’re in new relationship? I dunno. But today I went grocery shopping and bought all Whole 30 compliant foods and did meal prep and now I have breakfast and lunch for the entire week all planned out.

However, most importantly, I’m back in training. Back on the trail. To get ready for the National Trail Trek in January! I’m so excited. And so happy.

I have lots to say but no time to say it but I wanted to say this. About the training and the happy. I like to make note.

According to the Facebook memories thing, I started my NTT training on this day last year. So, I think that’s a nice thing.

More later. Not sure how later. Hopefully not as later as this.

Hey, Stranger!

Over a week has gone by. I’m not even sorry.

Last Tuesday I did this at the gym:

walking lunges 15yds 15yds 15yds Set 2&3 – pulse on squats
Jump squats 10 10 10
Reverse lunges 15yds 15yds 15yds Set 2&3 – pulse on squats
Wall sit 30s 30s 30s
Back extensions 15 15 15
2 way shoulders 5×10/10 5×10/10 5×10/10
Vertical chest press 60×10 60×10 60×10
Dip machine 80×10 80×10 80×10
Lat pull down cybex 40×10 40×10 40×10
Plate bicep curls 25×10 25×10 25×10

I am a PRO at wall sits now. 30 seconds goes by like nothing. I can sit there and talk like it’s the easiest thing in the world. This makes me happy.

The plate bicep curls were the hardest thing I did last Tuesday. Of all of the things that was the hardest. I have no idea why, unless I was just tired by then.

While working out, I asked Tyler if he felt i was ready to hike the canyon. He said yes. Then he also said that anybody could hike it. But I’m at an advantage because I won’t get hurt, etc. I just don’t even know what to do with that. I really don’t. Let’s move on.

Thursday the Star Wars trailer came out. I am a Star Wars fan and I’ve been keeping my expectations for the new movie at the meh level because those prequels were crap. Just pure crap, man. But then that trailer came out. And John Williams music swelled in the background. And there was that amazing panning shot of a downed Star Destoyer. And there was Luke narrarating the thing in a vague manner with dialogue from Return of the Jedi. And there was excitement. And then there was Han and Chewie and I got chills and I smiled and I teared up and just like that my expectation level went through the damn roof.

I looked around to see who I could share my excitement with and there was nobody. Not a soul. And it set off a course of sadness.

I didn’t gym on Thursday because I had a ticket to go to a live Welcome to Night Vale show. And oh my goodness how much fun was that?!?!? But…there was nobody to smile with. To enjoy it with me.

I live a very solitary life. It’s fine. I have friends and family but they’re all over the place and/or their interests are very far removed from my own. So it leads to me being alone a lot. And it just sometimes gets to me. This is one of those times. I wish I had a friend or someone like that nearby to share my joyful experiences with. I had that before and I miss is terribly.

Anyway. I moped about it and even put some sad on my FB and nobody really responded appropriately enough for my fucked up asshole brain and then that made it worse. I cried all of Friday evening. Alone with my dogs.

Saturday I got up and went for a hike with my hiking group. It was a very nice hike. Two really good areas of incline and it got my heart pumping good. It was a new area to me. It was pretty but nothing special. I’d go on that one again. A nice, easy 5ish miles.

I love this shot.

I love this shot.

This is me! I did not take this.

This is me! I did not take this.

Then I went home and napped then got ready to go see Purple Rain in a movie theatre with two of my hiking friends! There’s a local dude that organizes these monthly events where he shows classic movies in local theatres. This was the first one I went to and it was a lot of fun!

I love Prince. I love Purple Rain. But I totally recognize that it is not a good movie. But it’s one of my favorites anyway because of Prince. When I watch it at home, I watch it with the seriousness that tiny man is demanding from the audience with all of his over the top acting and temper tantrums. But in the theatre surrounded by people? There was so much laughter! Prince gets angry about Morris being a fool? Angry stomp and dramatic arm swings! Prince isn’t happy about his Dad slapping his Mom? Dramatic staring into the camera. Prince and Apollonia get it on? Cue all of the laughter!! I proclaimed “These people are making a mockery of his drama!” but I was one of those people, too. And it was fun. I had fun.

Sunday morning I dragged my tired behind out of bed and took the dogs on our Sunday hike. Riley is just not a hiker and he’s pissing me off. Which, really, is likely more to do with my being sleepy and sad. I cried. I found a pocket of space in the group where I was surrounded but alone and I cried. And people saw me jerking Riley by his leash and I generally feel like a jerk about all of that. I need to work with him. He’s not been with me very long. He’s got years of training from another household that I have to overcome and that’s not going to happen in four weeks.

Due to me being so sad my desire for a brownie was at high levels. I wanted it bad. I fixated on how sad I was and how a brownie would just make me feel happy. I can’t get a hug? I can’t share my Star Wars joy with someone in person that gets it? I can’t have someone just be there to pat me on my sad little head? BROWNIES WILL FIX ALL OF THAT!!!

I did not bake brownies. I, instead, went to the stores, cooked food, took a nap, and kept myself busy to try to distract from the fact that I’m a lonely little jerk.

I’m currently on day 24 of the Whole30 and I’ve been compliant every day, other than the getting on the scale. I’ve eaten clean and healthy every day and I enjoy it. I only want a brownie because of the sad. And it only sucks that I can’t eat one because of the sad. The sad makes everything stupid. Especially me.

But I have gymming from yesterday to talk about so let’s get to that, shall we? Yes, we shall.

bosu ball crunch 20 20 20
Bosu ball alt knee to elbow 20 20 20
Bosu ball alt hand to foot 20 20 20
KB single arm front squat 18×10 18×10 26×10
Stepper quick feet 10 10 10
Stepper dynamic step ups 10 10 10
Med ball squat toss 6×15 6×15 6×15
Med ball oblique twist 6×30 6×30 6×30
Med ball walking lung with twist l 6×10 6×10 6×10
Med ball toss 6×10 6×10 6×10

I felt good and strong yesterday. Nothing hurt. Nothing was super hard for me to do. Challenging and new, sure, but not hard. Other than the dizziness that would still arrive. Bah! But other than that? I did all of this without complaint and I am so happy about that.

And now we’ve caught up again.

So Many Things!

So, I hiked last weekend. Let’s talk about that, shall we.

On Saturday I hiked with the group that I like…until I hike with them. They just don’t go well with me. The hike itself was amazing and beautiful and I’m glad I went.

Superstition Mountains in the spring is one of the loveliest places ever.

Superstition Mountains in the spring is one of the loveliest places ever.

We hiked up to Praying Hands and they said there wasn’t much elevation gain, etc. on this hike but that was just not really true. The entire trail was a good, steady uphill and I did well on that part. And that made me feel amazing because the last time I hiked on a similar trail out there I had to rest a lot. But then we got to super steep, narrow trail and I didn’t like it but I was managing OK. But we just kept climbing and my head wasn’t right and I got lost in it and then I finally got a spot I hated and I stopped to think about it and the lady that is super nice but I can’t deal with her management style on the trail says “KEEP MOVING, ANDREA! THERE’S PEOPLE BEHIND YOU!” Well, no shit. I know that. I know I am not a special snowflake and I know I am not the only fucking person on the trail but goddamn. I like my usual groups method better. “What do you need, Andrea?” or they just get behind me and gently nudge me up the hill. They get me. This lady just mutters to her friend about how I need to stop listening to the negative voice of anxiety in my head. Again, no shit. But easier said than done sometimes. Especially once someone yells at me when I’m in that state. So, I found a rock and I sat on it and refused to go further.

On the way down my friends that were on the hike helped me as well as a member of the group we were with. He was very understanding of where I was and he was just really nice. But the whole thing got into my head and I’m realizing now that it actually impacted my entire week.

On Sunday I took Gladys on our nice, easy hike with our usual group of friends and there was another dog on the hike that just so happened to need a home. He and Gladys looked super cute together and it got my little wheels in my brain moving.



On Monday I made contact with his owner and made arrangements for a “trial run” to see how Gladys would feel about having a dog in her house. By Tuesday I was already renaming him and buying him a new collar, leash, and harness. So, I have an additional dog in my home. We’re a family of three now.

Couch time.

Couch time with Gladys and Riley.

But I also worked out with Tyler on Tuesday, as per usual!

Foam roller
DB SB chest press 20×10 20×10 15×10
SB crunch 15 15 10
SB arm extened plank hold knee tucks 5 5 5
rope work 20:10 3min 6 exercises x
DB single arm opposite leg shoulder press 10×10 10×10 10×10
Ski jumpers 10 10 10
Standing bird dogs 10 10 10

My hip had been bothering me for some days and I’d not stretched or rolled so he made me roll before we got started. It made a difference. I should get on that more regularly like a reasonable person. How many times have I said this now?

I’m not sure why I only did 10 crunches on the swissball on my last set. No idea at all.

He made me do planks on the swissball and then do knee tucks. He lightly held the ball but that made me feel like I wasn’t doing anything and he couldn’t make me believe he wasn’t totally holding it still so he then put it up against the TRX frame and said “Do it! See the difference?” and then I knew that he was basically just a set of training wheels and I then I did them and felt ok with my performance. It’s this type of thing that slowly made me realize that my behavior on Saturday got into my head and shook my confidence a bit and woke up my anxiety a bit more than that.

In fact, I should take a Xanax now and just kinda level off! Hang on… Back! Sometimes you just kinda need a help in leveling off, man.

On the DB single arm opposite leg shoulder press, my balance was good then it wasn’t then I was kicking out my bent leg to counter balance which Tyler said was ok, it was better than putting it on the ground, etc. Lots of balance work. The ski jumpers were for balance, too. And the standing bird dogs, I think were where I had to stand on one leg with both hands up in the air then you bring the bent leg up and crunch one arm down to meet the knee while keeping the other arm up in the air. I did not do these well. He wants me to practice this at home. To that I can only say this:

Wednesday I did home stuff with the dogs and the pool.

Thursday I did gym stuff. And I was not in a happy place in my head and my performance at the gym was bullshit.

TRX weight stick push up hold 10 10 10
TRX weight stick row 10 10 10
TRX weight stick ab extension 10 10 10
TRX weight stick crunch 10 10 10
Med ball purple push up high toss 20xLOT 20xLOT
Assisted pull ups 160×15 150×15 150×15

The TRX weight stick push up hold was TERRIBLE and I HATED IT and it was all because of anxiety and crap.

When he explained to me what the TRX weight stick ab extension was I was all “Awww, hell naw, I ain’t doing that.” But I totally did it and it was my favorite thing of the session.

The medicine ball purple push up high toss things? I had to do a burpee holding onto the ball, then a push up (which I think is actually part of a real burpee) and then pick up the ball and toss it high but far. But not like a basketball. I, apparently, have the March Madness! But I did these. In a terrible fashion.

We finished things off with assisted pull ups. They were ok.

Friday I went to a baseball game and ate a bacon wrapped hot dog and had a beer. Then I came home and did home stuff with the dogs and the pool and decided that I just should not go on the big hike today, Saturday. My friends were doing a special return trip to Oro Valley to do that second hike that scared the crap out of me. I was really very much looking forward to it but in all honestly, I just added a dog to my life. I’m away from the house 10 – 12 hours each day and he’s been couped up with Gladys, a new to him dog, during that time. The evenings have been spent with them playing frenetically then going to bed then more of that in the mornings before I leave for work. And Gladys’ whole routine has been disrupted as well. I didn’t think it was right to then also take the first day off to leave the house super early and then be gone all day again. I am going to take them hiking tomorrow morning, yes, and I’ll be home most of the day but I have plans tomorrow evening that are set. So, I let my responsible dog owner take over and I cancelled today’s hike. And it’s been really good. They’ve taken naps. They’ve shared couch space. They’ve been outside. They’re not playing like wild monkeys so much. A whole lot of settling in has started and it’s fantastic. That means that I’ll be able to start retraining Riley in some areas he needs improvement in.

Sharing space, sharing me.

Sharing space, sharing me.

I did, however, make a small grocery store list from the Whole 30 program and hit the store. Instead of buying pre-made breakfast sausage I bought ground pork and then researched what spices to mix into it to create my own breakfast sausage.


wpid-20150328_165844.jpgIt is now in the fridge to let all of the flavors join together and when I get home from the hike I’ll brown it up, scramble some eggs, and I’ll have my first Whole 30 approved meal. It’s just too bad I also bought milk and ice cream at the store. Ooops.

I also went to REI and spent my dividend check plus some of my own cash. Because my dividend was not that huge. But it was huge enough to totally pay for a new hydration pack that I can wear on my super easy hikes. My day pack is now too big for that. That’s for my long day hikes. This pack will be for my Sunday hikes. And I bought three pairs of hiking socks and now I am all set for socks for the canyon! Also, thanks to my dividend check I know that I spent $1,050 on hiking gear last year! But only $600 of that was eligible for dividending. I bought some stuff on sales that were far too good to pass up.

Well, the Xanax has kicked in, which is good timing. OH, but I should also add that I got rid of three more things in the 1,000 Things Challenge before I close.

Good bye stuff!

Good bye stuff!

The mouse and monitor are being donated to a group home for kids so they can do homework and the earbuds that Gladys chewed up as a puppy were tossed in the trash, as they should have been last year when it first happened.

What I have now realized in my own head on my own, which is great, is that I need to try to not let people like that one hike lady get to me. I need to change how I respond to that so I don’t regret my behavior later. That’s going to be a challenge. And I need to rely on myself again. I’ve got a friend on the hikes that I have realized is my security blanket. She’s not always going to be there. And it’s not fair to her, really, to have to slow down or whatever when I call to her to get me through something. I need to rely on myself. I can do that. These are things for me to work on.

And now I will run. I’m feeling too groovy to type!


To the point

This has been just a weird assed week. It seemed long and drawn out but then by the time today was over I was all “Wait…it’s the weekend?!?!” And people’s moods were just all over. But I’m fine. And that’s all I can control.

My trainer had to cancel Thursday for a sad reason so we only worked out on Tuesday and it was pretty good. Sweaty, but good.

FM hack squat 60×15 60×15 60×15
fast feet on BL1 30s 30s 30s
FM stiff legged deadlift 30×15 40×15 45×15
DB floor press with kick out 15×15 15×15 15×15
Big ked ball slams 14×15 14×15 14×15
Med ball Russian twist slams 8×30 8×40 8×40
SB single leg glute bridge 10
SB hamstring curls 10
Med ball 4 way crunch 8×15(4)

That ending ab work was WOAH!

Tuesday was St. Patrick’s Day so I wore a green t-shirt that indicates that pickles are cucumbers that are soaked in evil. One of the other trainers took exception to this proclamation and told Tyler he would have to fire me. But Tyler agreed with the t-shirt. Boom!

The rest of the week has seen me get my car washed, take care of the pool, buy a heavy assed tub of chlorine and carry it around, work on the back gate of my yard so Gladys will stop getting out and by work on I mean I put two heavy blocks in the wagon and pulled the wagon around through the alley to the back of the gate, did dishes, did laundry, and then tonight I sat down with my budget and my check register and they are in 100% agreement and OHMYGODSOHAPPY!!!

Also I have worked on planning my family’s visit for this summer and the fun we will have. I am so excited about that and we are all going to have so much fun. I do believe I have fit in almost everything each person wanted to do without too many compromises and that is amazing. I’m impressed with me.

I also did a bit of Googling on the North Kaibab Trail and saw this photo and then cried a wee bit.

Holy shit balls I have to walk on that.

OK, fine. I didn’t actually cry. But I did get super duper dizzy for a bit but then I kept going back to visit it and it got better each time. I can do this. I can totally do this. And I will.

The same blog that I found this photo on has a lot of good photos and the story of the family that did the same trails and campgrounds (for the most part) that me and my friends are going to do! And reading it has made me so excited and is helping me prepare, mentally, for what is to come. Or that’s what I keep telling myself.

In other news I never thought I’d announce, I researched the Whole30 diet plan and I’m going to give that a shot. I’m tired of not losing weight and I’m tired of feeling tired even though I get really good sleep. So, I figure I’ve changed everything else I can change so the only thing left is my food. So, I’m gonna give that a shot. But I’ll start next weekend. All next week is full of activities that involve me being around my favorite foods and I just don’t think it’s a wise decision to start a new diet plan with that knowledge in place. I like myself. I’m not into being mean to me. What I like about this is that it’s thirty days of fairly restrictive eating with a planned out reintroduction of the things you did without during those 30 days. It’s not like committing to being paleo or vegan or anything like that. It’s thirty days of me not eating things I would normally eat to see what happens and then slowly reintroducing stuff in to see what works and what doesn’t. Why not? So, I’ll spend the next week researching and planning and then next weekend, I’ll start. Yep.

This weekend, of course, will consist of me hiking. We are all surprised.

No time to waste on coming up with a catchy title!

We have a lot to cover. Let’s go!

Day: Thursday 2/19/2015 Weigh-In: Session Duration:
Exercise Set Reps % 1RM Set 1 Set 2 Set 3
DB Bosu ball chest press 20×10 20×10 20×10
Med ball slams 30×10 30×10 30×6
Step burpie to squat hop 10 10 10
Decline sit ups 10 10 10

I didn’t do a lot this session, as you can see. But he gave me a pass because I did a lot of new stuff.

The bosu ball chest press was new. I had to lay down on the bosu ball while maintaining my balance and doing chest presses. That was OK. For my first time he said I did really well.

The medicine ball slams I seem to recall being weird and convoluted and wore me out. I’m thinking they were the ones where I had to squat down to pick it up then as I stand up I lift it over my head with one arm and then slam it down, alternating arms. And, yeah, that shit wore me out.

After that he took me to the side and I could see him thinking and then he said “Yeah, this…” and I accused him of making it up and he totally admitted that he made it up. I had to straddle the step, then do a burpee, then squat down, then stand and jump fluidly in one motion onto the step, then jump down and then grab the step and do another burpee then repeat. It was a lot. I was tired.

Add in the decline situps that I hate and this session was kinda lame. But he said it wasn’t and that was that.

On February 21st we did a 10.3 mile hike at South Mountain, which is part of the National Trail. My anxiety was high for some reason so I wanted to leave and go home to get some quiet. I was all twitchy and everything just seems so loud and I was like a sponge to other people’s stress and strife. Instead my awesome hiking friends gave me the walkie talkie and let me hike alone for a bit and then I caught up and it was glorious. It really did me a world of good being able to hike alone for a bit.

Hiking alone, leaving my stress in the dust.

Hiking alone, leaving my stress in the dust.

Then on Sunday I did the easy hike with my girl, Gladys. She is such a little hiker! She’s very well behaved, social, and happy. I love it.

Happy hikers.

Happy hikers.

Monday I took her for a wee walk around the neighborhood but it was cut short by my adult responsibilities. Stupid adult responsibilities.

Day: Tuesday 2/24/2015 Weigh-In: Session Duration: 60
Exercise Set Reps % 1RM Set 1 Set 2 Set 3 Set 4
High step ups 10 10 10
Band side steps (green band) 20 / 20 20 / 20 20 / 20
Band front walks (green band) 20 20 20
Band back walks (green band) 20 20 20
TRX single leg lunge with hop 2 10 / 10 10 / 10
SB supinated hamstring curls 2 15 15
SB single leg glute bridge 2 10 / 10 10 / 10

We started this session, as you see, with high step ups. It was high. But after my latest hikes I’m glad we did these!

Then I had to put a band around my ankles and sidle around. It’s harder than it looks.

On the band front walks I kept popping up too high so he told me to pretend I was sneaking up on someone. At one point a hot dude was down at the other end that was my ending spot so we acted like I was sneaking up on him and Tyler laughed because that totally worked and I maintained the proper form better and? Held my hands in the “I’m sneaking up on you” position. I’m a creeper, obviously.

Then I had to do the TRX single leg lunge with a hop! This is where I put one foot in the TRX handle and then lunge forward. But then add in a hop. For some reason I could not do this with my shoes on. So, barefoot TRX lunges it was! And that helped me with my form and balance and everything. I’m odd.

When I did the first single leg glute bridge? I was way too loud because ouch. He stretched out my leg and that was ouch, too. So much ouch.

On Wednesday I took Gladys for a longer, more interesting walk in the neighborhood. One with goats and horses and chickens. She enjoyed it much better. She stopped to look at all of the critters but never tried to chase or bark. She’s a good little thing.

Why did the chicken cross the road? Gladys!

Why did the chicken cross the road? Gladys!

Day: Thursday 2/26/2015 Weigh-In: Session Duration:
Exercise Set Reps % 1RM Set 1 Set 2 Set 3
Hs incline chest press 20×15 20×15 20×15
HS low row 50×15 50×15 50×15
Lat pull down underhand grip 50×15 60×15 60×15
Tricep cable push downs 50×15 50×15 50×15
DB seated shoulder press (no back) 12.5×12 12.5×12 12.5×12
DB standing bicep curls 12.5×12 7.5×12 7.5×12
Rotator cuff work

All I remember about this workout was that the first four exercises he had me do heavier weight than I’ve used and he helped me out a lot. But he said that totally counted. I’m unconvinced.

Then while I was doing the dumbbell presses and curls he noticed my right arm moving in a weird way and determined my rotator cuff needs to be strengthened and gave me more exercise to do at home as I stretch and roll out. Nobody wants me to sit on the couch and have free time anymore. Nobody. Curses!

Then on Saturday I traveled to Oro Valley with some of my hiking friends for the Move Across 2 Ranges event!

Check point one.

Check point one.

The first hike was in the Tortolita Mountains and it was 9.5 miles with 1,975 feet of elevation gain! I got a little far behind my group for a bit because there was a series of switchbacks that scared me. They were steepish and narrow but I managed it just fine. And I just know realized that I managed it just fine by myself! Huh. But they kinda realized that it was an area that likely scared me so they stopped and waited for me to catch up to make sure I was ok. One of them admitted she was glad I didn’t turn around. So, they know.

I took pictures of the scenes from time to time but none of them really capture how beautiful this area is. It was so lovely and awesome and it made me gasp from time to time at how lucky I am to live in such a gorgeous place.

I wish I remembered more details about the first hike. I just remember the scary of going up that one area. The beauty. The making it to the top. The changing of my socks and the wind being so cold. Then coming back down and realizing that, yeah, I just did that and that I was going to go ahead and do the second part, too!

The second part was at Catalina State Park in the Catalina Mountains 5.5 miles, 1,370 feet elevation gain. The miles and the elevation gain were taken from the information the event people gave us when we arrived.

As we’re driving to the second hike location we’re approaching these tall, rocky looking mountains and we keep saying “Um…that’s not what we’re doing, is it?!” And, you know. It was. It really was. So we get there and we start on our way and it’s fine and in a wash and then suddenly we’re climbing up this mountain. I’m doing ok. It’s fine. It’s steep and rocky but fine. Then? Holy shit I see wide open space and I freak the eff on out. From that point forward I was a sweaty, anxiety filled mess that did, in fact, cry for a bit as I continued to walk forward while also, out loud, berating myself for torturing myself this way. “Who does this?!?!” I proclaimed. Cindy says “Mountain goats!” “WELL I’M NOT A MOUNTAIN GOAT!” I answer. All the while continuing to climb and move forward up the mountain. Because I was NOT going to turn around. I was NOT going to give up. I was going to finish this scary as hell to me hike and so I did, dammit.

When we arrived to the checkpoint I got my passport stamped and then I said hi to the others in our group and then I removed myself and cried, sobbed really, for five minutes to release all of that fear and anxiety that needed to get out before I started going back down. And that worked. I was slow going down but I didn’t cry. I didn’t yell and cuss. I did sit down and scoot down a few rocky areas that I didn’t really want to be tall and on my feet for. But I made it. I finished. I did the hike I set out to do and I did it with the help of Cindy and my own force of pure stubborn will. But I did it! WOO!

Afterwards we went to the afterparty and won some prizes and then went to eat Mexican yums.

Once I was home I let Gladys outside to pee, I put Gladys to bed, I took a shower, and I went to bed with wet hair and all and slept the sleep of the very tired.

Sunday we woke up and went on our easy Sunday hike to make sure our bodies stay active.

We like to show off our event t-shirts the next day.

We like to show off our event t-shirts the next day.

This hike is the same hike I did with this group last August for the very first time. Sabrina said I was very cautious on that hike as to how I would place my feet and that I would get a laugh out of that now. And I really did. Because this hike is easy, lame, and ugly. So boring! I’ve come a long way, baby!

Day: Tuesday 3/3/2015 Weigh-In: Session Duration:
Exercise Set Reps % 1RM Set 1 Set 2 Set 3
Assisted pull ups 110×10 130×10 150×10
LF crunch mach 70×20 70×20 70×20
Seated cable underhand row 40×12 40×12 40×12
Tricep cable push downs 50×15 50×15 50×15
HS incline chest press 2 20×12 25×12
Back extensions 3 15 15 15

I had no idea I was still weak from the weekend. None. My warm ups were ok. My body felt fine. Then I got up on the assisted pull up machine and stood on the platform and it went down and then my arms pulled me u..u….u……u…….p and then I lowered again and then I engaged my arms and, yet, there I dangled. It was horrible. I got the giggles and then that just made me weaker. He helped me on the rest of that set and all of the second set. I managed to pull myself up all ten times on the third set. Good lord.

The LF crunch machine just felt all wrong on my lower back and we moved the seat and changed the weight and finally the last set was ok-ish after he dropped it to 50lbs for the last 10.

The seated cable underhand row was ok. As was the tricep cable push down. Until I felt my neck/shoulder area go twinge.

I did the incline chest press and the back extensions ok. It only seemed to twinge when I did everyday motions. Standing up, sitting down, flipping my hair away from my face. So he made me roll it out and that hurt like hell. It’s on the left side. The right side feels fine. The left you can literally see the knot. So now I have to roll that and my right hip and my everything and work my rotator cuff and not just sit and stare at all ever.

Today is the one year anniversary of me working out with Tyler at the gym. It’s been a great year.

One year gymmingversary selfie!

One year gymmingversary selfie!

I’ve not lost weight but I have gained confidence, new abilities, better posture, and better health. All good things. So if I have to continue to know how to dress myself in ways that make me look fabulous while I know what is going on underneath there? So be it. That’s fine. In fact I may even celebrate this momentous occasion by baking brownies.

I am now in the process of scheduling and planning harder hikes between now and the end of May so I can continue training and improving and practicing my skills to prepare for the Canyon. Which is only 88 days away.

Holy shit. That's really soon!

Holy shit. That’s really soon!

I better go get on all of that!

National Trail Trek

Friday night my trainer sent me this:


My trainer is more awesome than your trainer!

Yesterday morning I got up at my regular time for work and commenced to getting myself ready for the National Trail Trek! It was finally upon me! I packed the Gatorade, my snacks, got my car packed, got me dressed, and ate breakfast. During this process Gladys sat herself in front of the door that leads to the garage and was all “You are NOT going on a hike without me.” I literally had to pick her little ass up and put her in her pen. That’s how determined she was to go. And because of the text Tyler sent me, I totally stretched and foam rolled a bit before I left.

I arrived at the Activity Complex 30 minutes earlier than scheduled which meant I stood around there for an hour since the first bus wasn’t set to leave until 7ish.

Waiting for the buses with the silhouette of South Mountain in the background.

Waiting for the buses with the silhouette of South Mountain in the background.

Once we were all on the bus we realized none of us had been on a school bus since we were kids and it was quickly determined that those things are NOT designed for adults. My knees almost became a permanent fixture of the back of the seat. Ouch.

They dropped us off at the start of the trail and we all stood around and waited for as much of the Trail Mix group as we could to get a group photo:

Trail Mix! I do not know all of these people!

Trail Mix! I do not know all of these people!

After this we started up the trail right around 8am.

I passed some of the group early on that I never in a million years thought I would pass. And I somehow wound up doing the initial incline by myself in the middle of two other smaller groups. The group behind me was talking about redecorating their homes, a friend of theirs that had to have their breast implants repaired and then got larger ones and then she said “They’re big boaters.” And I was all “Wait…what? The boobs?” So you know I turned around and said “Her fake boobs are called big boaters? What does that even mean?!?!” Turns out the fake boobed girl and her husband like to go boating a lot. It was just an interjected comment. You know I’m gonna start calling my boobs the Big Boaters, though, right? Because I so am. I should make that my trail name. Big Boater. Right now it’s Smelly Cat. It’s not my fault.

I caught up with Jodie and Mike and we became a trio! Which was nice. I liked that I was hiking with part of my group. We started stopping at all of the mileage posts and posing with them, too. You can see our energy level wane as you look through them. It’s amusing.

So far, so good!

So far, so good!

We stopped at the five-ish mile point for the portapotties.

Hikers gotta pee!!

Hikers gotta pee!!

The trail before and after this is significantly different than what the beginning of the trail is like. The beginning is nicely groomed, even though it is a very rocky type trail with lots of stepping up and over rocks. But it’s wide and feels pretty good. It’s just a workout with the legs, man.

National Trail Trek-14

Not even halfway yet!

The trail after this and leading to the lunch stop was narrow and steep and rocky and at one point I proclaimed “What bullshit is this?!?!?” And we decided that should be a hashtag. I took no photos of this portion of the trail because I really had to focus on my walking. At one point I happened to realize that the trail was way narrow and there was just wide open air beside me and I was all “eeep!” But I did it.

When we descended that area for lunch we were kinda thinking we’d just get our lunch and head up the next major incline and eat it up there. But something took over us and as soon as the food was in our hands we attacked it like wild animals. I guess all of that work makes one hungry.

National Trail Trek-16

The best basic sandwich EVER.

I also drank half of my Gatorade and it was actually very good. That is good to know.

After lunch we hit the portapotties again and the person that went before me had diarrhea and the smell was so bad that I damn near barfed. Like, I coughed and gagged and thought I was going to have to run out of there with my pants partially down. Ugh.


Now, before I talk about this up I want to explain that we were told that there are only two major inclines on this hike. I’m here to tell you that the majority of this hike is a lot of walking up hills and climbing up and over rocks. Sure, there are only two major inclines but that does not mean there are only two inclines. I spent most of my day walking up hill.

So we climb. And it’s steep and rocky but I’m OK and then we reach the top and we’re all “Yay! No more inclines!” and I finished the rest of my Gatorade and took off the bottom of my pants.

By this point my group of three had met up with another group of us and we became more like a group of ten or so. And it was fantastic. We’d all trained together. We all supported one another. And I’m glad we all joined up for the last six miles and finished this thing together.

Awesome people!

Awesome people!

This part of the trail is not used as much as the initial part so it is more rugged. There’s more narrowness and vast open spaces and steep. And I somehow managed it all just fine. I freaked out a wee bit but nothing that made me totally freeze.

When we reached the ten-ish mile mark the two friends I’d been hiking with initially were ahead of me but they stopped because we’d all been looking forward to making it to the double digits.



It was at this point that once I was alone with my thoughts I looked around and the mountains that were surrounding me, I looked at the trail I was on and realized I was walking on top of South Mountain along a ridge line, and that I was actually going to finish this thing and I cried a bit. I was just so damn proud of myself.

National Trail Trek-23 National Trail Trek-24

We've reached the end of the top. Let's start going down, shall we?

We’ve reached the end of the top. Let’s start going down, shall we?

Part of the descent went by an old mining shaft that is not roped off or closed and is in a curve and not marked. And my initial thought was that the trail was going into that hole and then I was all “Well…it’s been a good time, but I’m done.” But then I realized the trail curved around the mountain and I got less silly. This part of the trail was narrow but I somehow just walked along like it was a normal trail. I kept my eyes ahead and didn’t glance to the side too often, though. It was beautiful when I did and I kinda wish I could just look and not feel that fear and take photos but those narrow spaces really do scare me. Plunging death, you know.

I was slow going down, as usual, but not like I’ve been in the past. And everyone was so nice and supportive and told me not to sweat it. And one part of the down was really rough and not super smooth at all and I somehow managed to not freak out there, either. People cheered when I got down it because they know.

You can see them waiting at the bottom for me to start my way down.

You can see them waiting at the bottom for me to start my way down.





So. We get down and we realize, we’re not longer on the mountain! So there’s a three mile section that is just this flat, ugly, nothing trail that takes us to where the finish line is. It is, actually, part of the National Trail even though we have NO idea why. It was terrible. Before we got there I was looking forward to it. No more climbing. No more inclines. No more declines. Just nice flat trail. But it was three miles and we were all so tired and the Sun was out and the breeze we’d had all day was gone and UGH! We hated it. We all just talked incessantly to keep ourselves and everyone else’s minds occupied. But, damn. During these last few miles I was all “I’m done. I’m done. I’m done.” in my head. Because my legs, man. They were wore out. We even kicked into high gear and walked faster than we had all day. Despite the tired. Because this part is terrible. It’s death valley.

Then we see the 14-ish mile marker and was all “WE ARE SO CLOSE!!!”

Joy! And Pain!

Joy! And Pain!

Then we see the end is in sight! And we rejoice. And Jodie stopped and waited for me and we talked about how tired we were and that we just wanted to be done and even though we could literally SEE the end we were both kinda, like, can we just be done now? Now, yeah? But we were not. So up the hill we went and we heard people cheering as our group crossed the line and that pushed up to make it! AND WE DID!


I DID IT!!!!

I DID IT!!!!

I have the shirt to prove it!

I have the shirt to prove it!

We all hugged and high fived and took photos and hung out for a bit and just, generally, marveled at what we just accomplished and gave each other props and it was fantastic.

The van ride back to our vars was full of cheerful chatter. When we arrived to our cars we all head out to our Mexican food celebration dinner! Much chips and queso was enjoyed.

The day could not have been more perfect for a long hike. The air was nice and clean, the sky was blue and clear, and there was a nice, constant breeze for most of the day. Just really perfect.

When I got home, I was welcomed by this face:

Walk me? Please?

Walk me? Please?

I could not. I could only shower then get on the couch. I was so tired.

I managed to do laundry and things like that and went to bed at my usual time. Then I got up this morning and took her on our 4 mile recovery/keep ourselves loose hike.

Let's goooooooo!

Let’s goooooooo!

Even though this was a short hike and it is a really good idea to do a small hike after a big event like I did on Saturday, my legs were just so tired and heavy. And there was a lot of chatter. So I’m glad I have the rest of today to just be me and my girl. I need some quiet, I think. Just rest and relax and process what I accomplished yesterday.

So, there’s one accomplishment under my belt! And Sabrina said “You know Andrea…you’ll not be hiking this far on any of your days in the canyon. So, that will be a breeze now!” I tend to agree.

I did it!!