The Sky’s the Limit!

At Southford Falls State Park, I get my first "peak" in the Sky's the Limit Hiking Challenge.

At Southford Falls State Park, I get my first “peak” in the Sky’s the Limit Hiking Challenge.

It’s been a month since the cleanse and things are still overall going pretty well.  I feel like I’m staying on track with my eating and exercise, though I’ve discovered that home-cooked food doesn’t last as long and I keep having to throw things away, even if I have the same thing five days in a row.  I’ve also been feeling good about my strength workouts, have squeezed in a couple yoga classes, and have been keeping up with my cardio philosophy of “anything is better than nothing,” which will usually get me at least onto the treadmill, and sometimes once I’m on, I’ll do a little more than I originally planned.

But I’d rather do my cardio outside!  However, the temperatures are relatively dramatic these days, steadily holding at well below freezing, which also has led to snow and ice.  This past weekend our neighbor asked if I wanted to go for a run.  My first thought was “of course not, it’s 27 degrees outside.”  My second thought was, “it doesn’t look like we are going to make it to the gym today” – we were actually en route to the gym when our plans were thwarted – “and I will be really mad at myself if I don’t do something”.  So we made a date for later that afternoon, and I spent a good half hour researching “what to wear” and digging through clothes.  I have Raynaud’s, which means even when it’s hot out I can have very cold hands and feet (sometimes in a lovely shade of purple), so I was worried about being too cold.  In the end I brought a small backpack and stuffed it with extra layers – I would rather not need it but have it than need it but not have it.

My neighbor is clearly, despite her protests to the contrary, in better shape than me; consequently I got a better workout than her because I was struggling to keep up.  But I was super glad I did it.  It was my first 5k since before I was sick, I got to experiment with what to wear in freezing temperatures, I got to practice running uphill (why yes, it turns out there is a near-never-ending hill nearby, who knew), and most importantly, I now have a friend who will push me and I will push her out of the house.  She admitted that if I had said no, she would not have gone, either; we already have a date for this Saturday.  I’m so pleased with this development.  Plus, she’s like one of the sweetest people on the planet.

We also discovered that Connecticut is having a “Sky’s the Limit Hiking Challenge.”  We used to hike a lot – like every weekend – but in recent years have switched to biking due to the awesome bike trail nearby.  The objective is to hike 10 of 14 identified “peaks” (and I’m really using that term only because they describe it that way) to earn a medallion; if you do all 14, you get entered to win a hiking staff.  I don’t know why this is appealing to me, as I don’t need a medallion and we already have plenty of trekking poles; I think it’s calling out to the accountant in me.  Nonetheless, I mapped out all the parks, which are all over the state, and have vowed to look at it each time we are traveling to something outside our backyard.  I told my partner to add brewpubs he’s interested in to the map as his incentive to join this plan.  Last weekend we had to head down to the southern part of the state (ball dance practice, don’t ya know?), and we did indeed knock out our first hike (again, I use the term loosely, as it was only a mile or so round trip) on a very cold day.  It was lovely to be in the woods on a day like that, actually, as there weren’t many people around, and the ice formations on the water and damn were quite nice.

So the year is off to a good start, and I’m feeling strong, dedicated and motivated.  Now if only the scale would start moving in the right direction…well, I suppose stuck at exactly the same spot all week is better than it moving up!

The Connecticut State Parks and Forests challenge: http://www.ct.gov/ncli/site/default.asp

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One thought on “The Sky’s the Limit!

  1. Pingback: New Year’s Goals (not resolutions) | No More Messing Around

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