Friday, March 14, 2014

Progress, Obstacles, and Surprises

Seems like working through any project (or even through life) you will encounter some progress, a few obstacles, and even a surprise or two along the way.  My arbor house project is no exception.  A few minutes here and there working towards my goal, I discovered that some forward progress has been made.

There is still a long way to go, but the backside is being cleared of weeds and grass so that the dirt can see and feel the warmth of the sun.  It is very slow progress, but definitely still moving forward.

Clearly I've run into an obstacle and one that could stop my progress for a little while -- red fire ants -- and quite a large mound (hope they had a fun winter).  Getting past this, without any pain inflicted on myself, will be (not) fun... just need to decide the best plan of attack against these guys. 

I did find a nice surprise, hidden in the vine covered roof of the arbor house (still surprised these passion flower vines survived all winter on their own - no intervention from me - yes I'm the lazy gardener).... a dove's nest.  I hope she continues to build here so we can watch the progress from underneath. 
And lastly, a sign that spring really is coming - the first of the wildflowers/weeds in the yard - false garlic.  Delicate flowers that bring hope that the cold winter really will end.
Have a good weekend.  Spring break is coming to a close for us, but we really enjoyed the week.  I'll post soon about our adventures.  

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Adventures in Exercise

After working for months to lose 10 pounds, I've realized the only way I will be able to shed the additional 5 to 7 pounds is to exercise - for real.  I've walked before (1 to 3 miles), and although it made me feel better it didn't do anything towards losing weight or getting into better shape.  Last week I added periods of slow jogging into a little faster paced walking routine.  My times ranged from 16:07 to 17:00.  I'm not breaking any speed records (and I don't wish to break anything on me either).  Its a start.  Growing up I was active (softball, marching band, gymnastics), and thanks to all those fun activities I've had shin splints, torn meniscus (both knees - never repaired), etc. all of which haven't bothered me too much until I kicked it up a notch.  Off to my (un)favorite store for a knee brace and inserts for my new shoes. 

The sky really was as blue as my SUV this morning.

Today's exercise report:  With my earbuds, hoodie (it was chilly with a biting wind), new brace, and new shoes I head out onto the track.  Start to 1/4th mile marker - walking, striding a little faster as I go.  1/4th mile marker to approx 1/16th mile or so (remember I'm starting out new & my body isn't new) - a slow, easy, short jog.  This first jogging segment was easier (finally) than last week.  Back to brisk walking, noticed brace wasn't exactly where I placed it when I started.  Stopped briefly to adjust it and lose some time.  Back to brisk walking and the wind blows my earbuds out of my ears (really?).  Nearly to 1/2 mile marker tried to see my phone screen to change music (no I don't have a playlist yet - it's on my to-do list) and realized I'm off the walking trail & nearly into the ditch (thank goodness no one was close by).  It was also time to fix that knee brace for real.  At this point I accidently stopped the stopwatch timing my jog/walk (didn't realize until I was finished).  Continued on.  A little way past 1/2 mile marker I jog another short section that went pretty well (knee brace and earbuds stayed put).  Brisk walking finished my one mile. 

After excercise snacks - water to wash it all down.

The good that resulted from all this:
*I completed my exercise for the day
*my pedometer already reads 1.67 miles for today
*I've had 3 servings of fruit (including breakfast) and 16 oz of water
*my knee brace (when placed correctly) really helped my knee feel more stable
*I have a new experience to share on my blog
*I have energy
*Its not even lunch time & I've accomplished more than I expected

I really don't care for running/jogging (was required with different activities throughout my life - I'm just not a runner), but I like the results of it.  I'll never run a marathon (or even 1/2 marathon, but if I could run/walk a 5K that would be a great accomplishment for me.  Oh and losing my last 5 to 7 pounds would be nice too.  I'll keep you posted.