Sunday, April 5, 2015

Easter Hike

Happy Easter!  He has Risen!  He has rising indeed.  What a beautiful day to be out in God's creation.  It really is the best worship place I know!

This weekend I didn't have to think about homework or online meetings.  I finished my last assignment Thursday night.  I am waiting for the professor to tell me when to submit my Portfolio and then for it to be scored.  But for all intents and purposes I am done!  Woo hoo!

Saturday morning I went into Corvallis to watch my friends participate in the Beaver Freezer sprint triathlon.  I had a great time.  I got to see Wendie, Josh, Kristy and Chad all come into the bike transition after their swim.  And I got to see Wendie and Josh finish the bike and start the run.  And I got to see Wendie finish.  Then I had to go pick up my daughter so I couldn't stay which was a bit of a bummer.  But I saw my friends at one point or another through their event which was fun.  I also got to see a lot of other friends that were there to cheer people on or had done one part of the sprint as a relay team.  It made my heart happy to realize all of the connections I have made the last few years through running.   :-)

Bailey came along.  It's always a good way to have her practice how she walks on the leash and how she behaves in public.  There are a lot of people, kids, dogs, bikes and distractions.  She was fabulous.  I had brought along her service vest so that I could bring her into the pool area.  Evidently she has grown a bit since the last time I had it on her because it didn't fit anymore.  Oh well.  :-)  Guess it's time to buy a new one.

Today it was time for my weekly hike.  Joe worked on Saturday so he was planning on getting off work and heading out to do a 1.5 hours run up Fitton Green.  I didn't want to tackle that big hill today so I decided to start at the same parking lot as Joe but go up Mulkey and then Bald Hill.  Joe and I started out together and then he ditched me about 1/2 mile in.  His training for Ironman Canada is starting to amp up so I appreciate just getting to start and end our adventures together.

I love hiking with my friends.  I am, by nature, a very social lady.  But I have learned that I am not truly an extrovert.  I like some me time.  I like the quiet.  I like just doing my own thing on occasion.  I have realized that in the past I have gotten that me time by escaping into a good book.  The opportunities to loose myself in a good book have been very limited the last year and a half.  Hiking has become another avenue to do the same thing.  Only now I'm escaping into nature.

I have always listened to music when I run.  I have not listened to music on any of my hikes since Christmas.   I have discovered a great delight in listening to the sounds of the forest, or the meadow or the trail.   Last week some crows flew very low over my head and I could hear the beat of their wings.  It sounded so powerful as I watched them push themselves higher into the sky.

There are wild turkeys living in the area around Bald Hill.  I haven't seen them yet but can hear them saying "gobble gobble" in the bushes.  Once there were two groups that were talking to each other on each side of the trail.  One group would make a racket and then there would be a pause and then the group on the other side would make a racket back.  Sounded like they were arguing with each other.

Today there was a lot of fog on the drive to the gate where I was going to park.  I didn't expect to get many sun filtering through the tree pictures but I did get a lot of lovely pictures anyway.  The forest is beautiful in all it's moods.

There are more wildflowers every week.  This week all of the new ones were purple which is my favorite color!  They are so dainty and fragile looking.
There is also more green on the forest floor each week as we get farther into spring.
It rained quite a bit this past week so there was more mud on the trails than there was the last time I was here.  Bailey was full of spit and vinegar this morning and ran and ran and ran.  She discovered a delightful new game where she runs as fast as she can and then slides through a muddy spot to stop and change direction.  She did that the entire way up and the entire way down Mulkey.  Goofy dog.  She was a muddy mess but a very happy puppy!
This is her running around me and then up ahead.  She is really good about waiting for me at the corners.

This is at the top of Mulkey.  When I see this tree I know I get to start heading downhill. 
Field between Mulkey and Bald Hill
The view at the top of Bald Hill.  Lots of fog but it was still pretty. 
 I ran the entire way down Mulkey and didn't stop until I got to where I connected with the Bald Hill trail.  Struggled a bit going up Bald Hill.  Couldn't keep my breathing steady which was a bit frustrating.  I kind of trotted down the other side of Bald Hill.  It was pretty muddy and slick so I couldn't go terribly fast.  Once I got to the paved trail I was able to start running again.  Joe had finished and was backtracking from his truck to find me.  I was very pleased when I looked down at my phone and saw my current pace.  I was breathing hard but it was manageable.  I didn't run for very far but I was pleased to run a fast pace for me at the end of a hike with two big hills.  :-)
My current pace was the 11'43" on the left side.  Yay!
I was pretty happy with the overall pace as well because my running sections helped balance out the trudging sections.

These are my Easter flowers!
My goal was to hike every weekend during my practicum.  I made my goal.  I have hiked 75 miles since January first and ran a 10k.  I'm looking forward to making new goals and having the time and energy to do some things during the week.

I had a doctors appointment last Friday and had a good talk with my doctor.  Down a few pounds since the end of January.  I have not weighed myself since Christmas at home.  When he didn't give me an exact number of pounds I didn't worry about it.  I told him that my clothes were fitting way different which seemed to reflect more than a few pounds.  He said that was a better indicator and I should go with that.  :-)

We also had a very candid conversation about my journey and how it has not looked like most people's journey when they are watching what they eat and exercising more.  My husband and most of my friends like to say that it's just a case of eat less, move more.  For most people.  Not me.  I have really had to work on letting that go.  It bothers me partly because I want to see results because I'm working hard.  Everything else I work hard at I can see the results.  Not this.  And I worry that my friends that have simply eaten less and moved more and had awesome results will think I'm not really doing what I say I've been doing.  Yes, I worry about what they think.  Their opinion matters to me.  But once again I am dealing with that too.  That is my own insecurities.  They love me and have supported me without ceasing from the day I laced on my first pair of Nikes.  I have gained new friends that have done the same thing.  I believe that if they really thought I was kidding myself or cheating they would call me out on it.  So here is another thing I am learning to let go of.  My journey is different and if someone is judging me because it's slow or it is not always pretty I guess they were never really my friend to begin with.  But I don't think I have anyone like that in my life right now so I'm feeling pretty blessed.

My doctor and I have made some adjustments, made some goals and overall we are happy with the fact that I am heading in the right direction.  Working on being the healthiest me I can be.

I'll be looking around to see what my next goal is going to be.  CLR is still a long way off so there might need to be a few smaller things tucked in here or there in the meantime.

Looking forward to the next adventure!

This song was stuck in my head and my heart the entire hike.  Happy Easter everyone!  Remember that He has RISEN!

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