There have been many things I have accomplished in my relatively short adult life so far. I graduated with my bachelors degree in 3.5 years. I got my masters degree right after that. I have been to Europe. But the things that I have crossed off my bucket list are what I’m really proud of.
1. Swim with manatees
2. Hold a wild nurse shark
3. Drive to Alaska
4. Live in the rainforest (it was only for a month, but it was far from a vacation!)
5. See wild humpback whales (recently accomplished!)
6. Dive Monterey Bay (also recently accomplished, on the same day as the whales!)
7. Foster MULTIPLE litters of kittens and several dogs
8. Gone on a cruise in Hawaii
9. Ran a half marathon (accomplished March 23)
10. Go parasailing
I have also added a few things to my bucket list, and thought of a few more things that I have always wanted to do, but forgot to add to the last list:
15. See a wild whale shark
16. Witness a massive hammerhead migration (while diving below them)
17. Go to India (This had actually been on my list for a while, but I just forgot to write it down)
18. Bathe an Indian elephant in a river
19. See the whooping cranes
20. Work on coral reef restoration
A couple weekends ago I completed my first half marathon! It’s been a long time coming, but I was finally able to complete this task. This is how it all started:
Last fall, a friend of mine asked if I wanted to join her in running her first half, which was scheduled in October. I didn’t care for the charity, and wasn’t remotely ready to run a half, but she got the idea planted in my head. So hubby and I signed up for the Shiner Beer Run, scheduled for December 16, 2012, and the charity was The Boot Campaign . I was super excited about it, and told everyone what we were going to do. Somewhat related, I had made my New Years Resolution for 2012 to run 10 miles without dying. Not without stopping, but in one running event. So I thought that running a half marathon was the best way to accomplish that.
The problem was the date. December was the busiest month ever. We had something going on every weekend, and three things planned for the weekend of the half. My mom-in-law graduated with her bachelor’s degree on Saturday (congrats!), my work Christmas party was Saturday night, and the half was early Sunday morning, and it was about 2 hours away.
The Christmas party ended up running really late, and the weather was not great (cold and drizzly-no bueno for running 13.1 miles) so we ended up not running the half.
I still planned on running 10 miles without dying, so hubby and I went to a local state park to run our own half marathon the next weekend. I developed a horrible bursitis at about mile 3, and pushed until mile 7 until I had to have hubby get the car because I couldn’t move. Hubby ended up getting a swollen tendon in his hip, that caused him pain for several weeks after our run. My goal was shattered. I wasn’t going to make my goal before the end of the year and I was heartbroken.
Then a couple months later the same friend who put the bug in my ear about the first half marathon asked if I wanted to join her in another half in March. It was the Baylor Bearathon, and the money for entrance fees went toward scholarships for Baylor students. We also had a free place to stay at my friend’s house, so there was really no reason NOT to do it!
Of course, after I signed up for it I saw “This is the toughest half marathon in Texas!” So that was something to look forward to…
Hubby went with me for moral support, and we headed up to our friend’s house the night before. It was an early, COLD morning, but the run went great! So I was getting tired by about mile 10, and I couldn’t believe how long it took me to run the last three miles, but I finished. Unfortunately, my Garmin running watch, which I started every time I started to run, and stopped every time I had to walk in order to record the 10 miles I was going to run to complete my goal, had a lap error at mile 9. It would flash and beep and say LAP ERROR every second, and was no longer recording distance. I was heartbroken yet again. Finally, the next day, my watch stopped saying lap error and instead said that I ran a whopping 16 miles. Ya, NOT ACCURATE. So I can’t even keep the record of my run from before the watch malfunctioned, because it’s not the true time and distance.
Not too long ago, a couple girls at my office, Zombie and Poltergeist Prevention, Inc. asked me what I was going to do for my birthday. Jokingly, girl #1 said “what are you doing for your birthday? Climbing Mount Kilamanjaro?” And girl #2 agreed with her that we are always adventuring, so there is no telling what our weekends have in store. And again today, I ran into an old friend from high school, and in casual conversation with her boss, whom I had just met, my friend explained to him that we are adventurous people. This is probably one of the nicest things someone has said about me. So it made me think about creating a bucket list.
So, without further ado, and in no particular order other than this is the order I thought of them, my bucket list:
1. Go to South Africa and Kenya for my 30th birthday
2. Climb Mt. Kilamanjaro for my 40th birthday (the girls at work had a good idea!)
3. Dive the Great Barrier Reef
4. Meet Jane Goodall
5. Swim with polar bears!
6. Swim with great whites! (Ok, ok. In a cage).
7. Visit all 50 states of the US
8. Visit every continent (I got this idea from my dad, the Intrepid Traveler, who has almost done this!)
9. Run a marathon
10. Hike the Pacific Crest trail
11. Dive every sea
12. See an octopus in the wild
13. See the aurora borealis
14. See the aurora australis
Now, by no means is this a finite list. I will continue to add to it, and I have already scratched something’s off my list, before I ever really wrote it down.
Like I have hiked the tallest peak in Texas. Twice.
I have been to Alaska and Hawaii, the two hardest states to hit when attempting to hit all 50.
I have been parasailing in the Florida Keys.
I can’t wait to start crossing a few things off my list, so I have room to add more to my list!
Hubby and I had the great plan this weekend, to go for a long run in a nearby park, then head to Whole Foods and make ourselves sick by eating an entire box of ice cream bars. This is what we looked forward to all week. But the plan changed after this happened:
We planned ont he park being ubber full because of Easter, so we parked about a mile away from the park, and decided to run in, around, and back. We were going at a pretty good pace when Hubby asked me if I had remembered to grab something from the house before we headed out, and of course I had forgotten it. So as I closed my eyes in frustration at my goldfish brain, I tripped over an uneven part of the sidewalk. You can see the scar from my childhood on my left knee. This is not the first time this has happened. But as an adult I got up and planned on finishing the run. Hubby kept checking on me, making sure I wasn’t just being tough, and I wasn’t bleeding to death. When we got to the park, i had the bright idea to wash my knees off, and that’s when they started to feel a little bit on fire. Crazy on fire. I felt tough though – people would look at my knees as we ran by, and I just kept going. Even with the fall, our first mile was a 10:10!
But of course, now they hurt, and are swollen, and I’m much too old for this. For some reason, my ribs even hurt. Still can’t figure that one out.
Hubby says that since 1 in 3 runners develop an injury while running, he’s safe for now. After our run, we went to Whole Foods, but instead of getting sick on ice cream, we got a giant salad and some other deliciousness for lunch, and sat outside to eat. All the while, my knees look like this. I got a few funny looks, but I’m sure people thought I had just fallen in the parking lot or something, not fallen an hour earlier, and just hadn’t gotten around to doctoring them yet. Meh. How else am I going to test my immune system?
As I’m sure you have noticed, I haven’t been posting in a while. That is because I have been in school for a week! Ok, not so much school, but a continuing education course, to learn all about wetlands. Totally work related (i.e. I didn’t pay for the class), interesting, and I got to be outside for half a day all week, during beautiful weather. Life is good.
And now that I’m back, I can entertain you with a couple of adventures I had while I was cut off from the interwebs.
Hubby and I have the same birthday. This makes it easy to remember, but at the same time, there is no longer a day just for me. For years I didn’t have my own birthday cake, because Hubby and I met at our job, so I went about 7 years of having to share a birthday cake with him until I got my current job, where not only does Hubby not work with me, but I’m the only February birthday in the office, so I get the only cake for a month! Ok, so it’s a little selfish, but that’s the only reason we celebrate birthdays anyway, right?
I guess I could get back on track…. Hubby and I have the same birthday, so this year for our birthday we decided to do the Houston Rodeo Run 10K. My New Years Resolution was to run 10 miles. Originally the goal was to run 10 miles without dying, but now I’m actually seeing that I might be able to run 10 miles without stopping! And this is coming from the girl who just last year could hardly run 1 mile without stopping. Now people look at me like I’m crazy when I say, “what? It’s only 6 miles…”
This was our first 10K, and I was really excited about it! I have done a couple 5Ks…This is how they went:
First 5K – West Texas. Homecoming Fun Run for the university. We started out going UP the steepest hill in town. Literally. Then run around a couple of neighborhoods, go back up a hill, and then back down the first hill. It was pretty brutal. The lady behind me kept coughing up phlegm and spitting it out. *hork!* The best part of it was that I knew one of the police officers who was running traffic for the race, so when he was done at his post, he got back into his car to drive to the finish line. (I was one of the last runners) so as he drove by, he got on the loud-speaker of his police car, encouraging me to keep going. That’s what I love about small towns. Right there.
Second 5K – Shriner’s Mud Run, Humble, Texas June 2011. June. In southeast Texas. It was awful. This was only the like 2nd Annual too, so they weren’t very organized. As soon as the starter pistol was fired, everyone took off, but in the very beginning, there was a giant mud pit and muddy hill to go through and over. Slippery muddy hill + beginning of the race = gridlock. Not only that, but did I mention it was June? In southeast Texas? Where the humidity was about 80% and it was 90 degrees by 9am? Even the water that we ran through was hot. And to top it all off the “official photographer” was only taking pictures of me when I was walking and looked like I was going to die. Why would I want to commemorate that moment in my life? When it was so hot outside that instead of drinking the ice water that was provided for us at the water station, I threw it down into my sports bra to cool off. Does that sound like something you would want a picture of? Cuz I sure didn’t. Of course all the pictures of Hubby made him look like he was in a running magazine. He was running in all of his pictures for one, which made me want to kill him, but he was also smiling. SMILING?!?! Who can smile while they are running in 130 degree weather?! He looked like he was having the time of his life. Not fair.
But this time was different. I have been training like crazy, running between 15 and 20 miles a week, and lifting weights to make my arms and legs stronger. Obviously you want strong legs for running, but you also need strong arms because you use them in your momentum, so if your arms get tired, you have to work the rest of your body harder to make up for it, making you tired faster.
The Rodeo Run was great – it was the 25th Anniversary, so it was pretty well-organized, and we got there early, so we had some awesome parking near the finish line. I was prepared to run in shorts, but I was wearing sweats over them before the race because it was in the low 50s. I ended up running in my pants too just because I couldn’t imagine standing there waiting for the race to start, and freezing wearing shorts.
So with my wicking shirt, running pants, amazing running shoes, and my handy-dandy GPS running watch, we hit the road for the race.
Now, I understand this is for charity (The Houston LIvestock Show and Rodeo Scholarship Fund) and I’m far from professional, but there were some stupid people we encountered while we were there! First of all, you are asked to line up in order of your running pace. so if you run a 4 minute mile, you should be in front of the people who run a 12 minute mile. We did what we were supposed to do, and got in the area of the 10 minute mile runners. Then I saw a sight in front of me: 4 women all together, wearing full makeup, with their hair done. One of them even had big heavy earrings in. And she was in front of US?!?! I don’t think so. So we walked up to the 9 minute mile area. Apparently we should have been at the like 7 minute mile marker, because for the first two miles we spend so much energy passing people who were already walking (and walking on the LEFT side), we were tired way early.
At mile 3 there was a bridge. Yuck. Bridge = Hill. And hills give me “The Fear” but I was happy to be able to pass people on the bridge as they slowed down. Then to our right, we saw the leaders of the race. Coming back up the bridge. At mile 5. We had to do it twice. Needless to say, I had my doubts.
By mile 4 I thought I was going to have to start walking. I was so disappointed, but my hips were hurting, and my tendons in my right calf were so tight I could barely flex my heel. But I pushed on. Hubby was my little puppy in front of me, looking back making sure I was still there, and encouraging me to continue. And it totally worked. By the time I got to mile 5, I knew I could make it forward to all the SWAG!
And sure enough, we finished in 1:05:13! I wish I had the energy to carry a camera on this run, because there were some people I wish I could have taken pictures, of, but I couldn’t even wear my heart rate monitor for the whole race! A word from the wise – that thing chafes after 5 miles! I really thought I was going to look down and there would be a giant blood stain on my shirt from the HR monitor.
When we got to the after party, SWAG was everywhere! They were giving away bagels, bananas, water, BEER, frozen yogurt, Go-Gurt, trail mix, Honey Milk, and all kinds of other stuff.
I was pretty tired by the time we got to the car, and even more tired by the time we got home, but it was my birthday so I did what I wanted. I TOOK A NAP.
Pizza, hot wings, and beer were the birthday dinner I had dreamed of for days, so we had that delivered to the house. Happy Birthday to us!
I would like to start passing on some health info that I have learned over the last couple years, because like most Americans, I thought I was eating right when in fact, I had no idea. I thought I knew how to work out, but I was wrong.
So first of all, I would like to give you a little bit of background, because I really don’t want to come off as a know-it-all. And I really just want to pass on good information.
From the “Beginning”
I think it was December 2010 when I was finally sick of myself. I had been steadily putting on weight through college, and although I stayed active, it kept creeping up on the scale.
Before December I avoided having my picture taken from the neck down, and even then I hated how I looked. So some time in December I decided enough was enough, and I needed to lose weight. I would do a comparison so you could see the difference, but even I don’t want to see that, so let’s move on.
I don’t remember the exact day, and I didn’t take “before” shots. Probably because I was worried that I wouldn’t have the discipline to actually make myself lose the weight and it would just be a constant reminder to me that I failed at something. Seriously.
Never be disappointed in your progress. It’s still progress.
Hubby has always been fit. Broad shouldered and strong, I always hated that he could eat the same things I was eating, and he still looked great. Stupid testosterone…..Anyway, so Hubby went to work, making me good food to eat (he’s the cook in our house), and we started running. Then we got a weight room in the house and he started helping me with weight training.
There have been several plateaus in my weight loss, but so far I have lost 34 pounds! I went from a snug size 12 to a loose-fitting size 8, and I think pretty soon I will be down to a size 6. It’s great to be able to see my progress every time I look in the mirror!
My first plateau hit when I had lost about 20 pounds. I still had a way to go, but nothing was changing. I was still working out and eating well, but I know I wasn’t running near as often as I should have been. It was hot! And I was BAD at running!
Except, I used to feel like the bottom picture, and I’m sure that’s what I looked like, too.
I attempted one of those diet pills that is supposed to give you energy and make you not want to eat. It was expensive and full of caffeine, so I couldn’t drink coffee or sodas because it made me feel sick. Not too bad, I needed to drink more water anyway, right? So I cut out additional caffeine. It did help curb my appetite, and I know I was eating WAY too much in one sitting, so it did really well making me feel full and making my portions smaller. But I didn’t notice the weight loss that they said would happen. Ya, I lost a couple more pounds, but nothing that convinced me that it wasn’t just my work-out routine that made me lose it. So I stopped taking that stuff.
I still try to drink a lot of water, and that’s tough for me, because to me when you say something tastes like water, that’s a bad thing. My solution? Add Sweet-N-Low! It makes the water taste good, so you want to drink more of it! I also started adding lemon juice to my water, so now it’s like I’m drinking lemonade all day long. Yum!
My original goal weight was 150. I have only 2 pounds to go, and I will hit my goal! Yay me!
However, I plan on having legs I’m proud of, and that means about 10 more pounds to lose (or 10 pounds of fat lost, and 5 pounds of muscle gained). As long as I’m proud of the hard work I have done over the past 1+ year, it’s totally worth it.
Now, I’m training with Hubby to run a half marathon. I’m hoping to do one this fall. The bad part about training in Southeast Texas is, humidity will kill you. Seriously. It’s hard to run far distances (or at all) in the summer heat and humidity. Which is why I’m hoping to run a Half in the fall, when it’s nice and cool again.
This weekend we will be running a 10K, and I can actually say that I think it will be a piece of cake! I’m not saying I’ll WIN by any means, but I have the confidence to say that I can run the entire thing without stopping! 2 years ago I was proud when I ran 2 miles without stopping.
So the lesson of today: there’s not just one thing you can do to lose weight. If you only try dieting, you will eventually fail. If you only try working out, you will fail. You have to be ready, mentally and physically, to crave foods you used to eat, and to be sore from a workout.
There is no magic bullet
But when you see your clothes are getting too big, you pick Subway of McDonald’s. And you pick running a mile over sitting on the couch.
The best thing in the world though, is when you try on clothes at the store, and tell the chick in the fitting room who has to stand there all day to try to make sure people aren’t stealing stuff, “No, I’m not going to get these. I need a smaller size.”
I recently discovered pinterest.com thanks to That Clever Chick (my big Sis). This is a perfect way to waste spend time looking up useful things on the interwebs all inone place.
For example: looking for tasty health food recipes? Type in Healthy in the search bar, and all sorts of pictures pop up of delicious looking food. You can click on the picture, and that will take you to a corresponding website that gives you the ingredients and directions, along with other recipes on the website.
It’s a great idea because you can categorize all the things that interest you. Remodeling your house? You can collect photos of inspirational pictures of ways to paint or decorate. Feeling crafty? Tons of craft and gift ideas await!
This morning I was checking out the Fitness category, and they have tons of motivational posters and work out tips. Needless to say, I now have enough energy to run through the current storm that is terrorizing the area at this very moment.
This is one reason why the motivational stuff works:
I don’t have an unrealistic expectation to look like a model. I know my hips are much too wide for that!
I have a very reaslistic goal, to look tight, fit, and ripped.
Not scary ripped, but real ripped.
I know I’m not going to have 2% body fat like these chicks (I’m not sponsored by health food companies and paid to take supplements[those things are EXPENSIVE!]) but damnit,
These are my silly travel stories where I use humor and sarcasm to explain other cultures and world events. I use this forum to be a voice for the Little Guy. Little Guys have tiny, squeaky voices and no one wants to hear them anyway.