Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A cold morning

This morning I dragged myself out of bed. It was a rough night as I was up with one of the kiddos and didn't go to bed early enough. 5:00 am came too soon. I took a couple minutes propped up on elbows before getting out of bed. I can't lie back down completely, as I won't let myself roll over and go back to sleep.

I have found a new motivation to keep running. Cold. It was about 0 degrees celsius (that's 32 fahrenheit). I went out in my pants, short sleeved shirt and arm warmers. It was great while running, but not so much for walking. I cut both my warm up and cool down walks short to keep warm.

In other news, last night I swam 21 laps without stopping for a break. That's just over 1 km (0.6 miles). It's also more then double what I've done before.

Sadly, it was also my last swim before my pool closes for three weeks for cleaning. I'll be going into the city once a week to swim during this time, but I have to decide what to sub in for my other swim workouts.

Do I do an extra run, since I have my 5K race in 2 weeks? Do I get more serious about cycling? (A lot of my bike rides are pretty relaxed and not as hard work as they could be). Exercise dvds, or exercise machines? (I have an elliptical, rower and recumbent bike.)

I'm actually kind of bummed about my pool being closed. Since restarting the C25K, I've remained injury free and have never felt stronger and more fit. I really think part of that is due to the built in cross training that comes with triathlon training. Swimming is a great workout without pounding my body the way that running does.

I haven't decided yet, but I'll be setting my September goals shortly, so I'll have to make a decision on how to approach it.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Sometimes the scale gives you what you deserve...

...and this is one of those weeks.

So, we all know that there are times the scale completely screws you over. You had a great week, eating well and exercising. Then that scale shows you a number that's the same or even up. Other weeks, you fall off track, but amazingly still see a loss on the scale. Overall, it averages out. But, in the short run, the scale doesn't always give a "fair" number.

Having said that, I'm happy to say that this week, I got what I deserved.

After a week of staying on track, and tracking, I'm down to 218.8, for a weekly loss of 2.2 pounds and a total loss of 25 pounds even. This time I deserved it. I nailed my workouts and achieved new milestones in both swimming and running. A great week for me.

I'm also out of the 220s, a big deal for me. 5 years ago was the year that I gained immense amounts of weight and hit 255 (pre-pregnancy). Since then, I have only ever gotten into the 220s, never below. I've spent a lot of time in that weight bracket, since it was my high weight the time before when I gained weight. I seem to pause and plateau in that weight bracket. I use the word "plateau" liberally though, because the plateaus are usually of my own doing and as a result of me getting mentally stuck.

So, goodbye 220s. We will never meet again.

And thanks for giving me what I deserve scale.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

5K Baby!

I officially declare myself a 5K runner.

In the rain, no less.


Sometimes you don't succeed

Yesterday, I went for a run. I've followed the C25K program for 8 weeks now, plus 2 weeks following it initially and a few weeks recovering from a knee injury.

It was supposed to be the day that I conquered the 5K, running the whole thing.

It didn't happen.

After a really bad night's sleep, I slept in (thanks to a truly wonderful husband). Then I got up and had a light breakfast. I'm trying to get used to running later on the weekends, since my race in a couple weeks won't be at 5:00am when I normally run. So, a few hours later I went for my run.

After my warm up walk, I started running. It was okay, but I was feeling a little off. Around 1 km in, my route took me past a washroom, and I thought perhaps that was what I needed, so I stopped in. No problem, I could start running again.

I went down the big hill. Running down hills is pretty neat. You start going really fast. Just let gravity take hold while you move your legs. Back to level ground and a steady run.

Not feeling so hot. I asked myself if it was just the little voice telling me I should stop. Was I just feeling tired? No. I was feeling faint. I was getting the feeling that I sometimes get while hiking. The feeling that says "stop now, or refuel". My body's way of telling me that if I didn't stop, it was going to stop me.

I stopped and walked.

I started running a few more times, but every time, within a minute or so, I started getting the fuzz in front of my eyes and the light feeling in my head. I have fainted before, and I'm familiar with how it feels. I wasn't eager to keel over on the pathway. So, I walked the rest of the way home.

See, in my infinite wisdom, I had gotten up 3 hours later then usual, eaten a breakfast much smaller then usual, then gone for a run a few hours later without eating anything more. Even when I go for my 5:00am runs, I put a little something into my stomach prior to leaving.

Sometimes, you don't achieve the goals you set out for yourself. Sometimes you don't succeed. In many ways these moments are the ones that shape us far more then our successes.

So what now?

Now, I go for another run this morning. Normally, I wouldn't run two days in a row, but tomorrow's a rest day anyways, so I'll have a day off before my next run. And yesterday, I don't feel like the running I did pounded my body enough to prevent me from running on a subsequent day.

Today will be the day that I conquer the C25K.

I'll remember to eat first.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Three things Thursday

Is it Thursday again already? Clearly, I have not been blogging enough, since there are only two posts since my last Thursday one.

1. I finished my final 4.5 km run this morning, which means my next run will be 5K! The C25K program has worked fabulously for me. I remember back to my second week and thinking those 90 minute running segments were brutal. Now, in two days I'll be running a non-stop 5K!

2. I had my tomatillo a few days ago, and to be honest: meh. It was okay, but not terribly impressive. I googled what to do with it, and the biggest thing I found was that people use it to make salsa verde, or other mexican sauces.

Ultimately, I decided to eat it naked. I enjoy most fruits and vegetables that way and I think it's important to be able to eat produce without embellishment. Plus, I wanted to really taste it. It was pretty tangy and to be honest, a bit sour. I may get them again and try one of the sauces I can make with it, but I won't be getting them to eat on their own or in salads.

3. My goggles are really bugging me. They don't seal well, particularly when I wear my swim cap. Any tips on how to wear goggles and a swim cap together? These aren't super cheap goggles: aqua sphere ones. Not terribly expensive, but enough that they should be decent.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Setting a pace, being sustainable

Sunday, I swam 500 metres of front crawl at the pool. I did that full distance without stopping for a break. This was a new accomplishment for me by quite a bit. My previous maximum was 150 metres before I would stop at the end of the pool, gasping for breath.

I realized that I was going too fast. When I learned to swim, I felt like I had to go fast so that: a: I could breath often enough, and b: I wouldn't sink. I had a lot of trouble slowing down and on a couple occasions even had to stop and tread water because I caught up to another swimmer in the lane and had only one speed.

This is a lot like weight loss. How many of us start off eager and excited, roaring out of the gate? We lose weight at a break neck speed those first few weeks and then fizzle out. I'm sad to say that some of the bloggers that started out at the same time as I did haven't blogged in months. I always wonder what happened to them, and I wonder if they started off too fast and fizzled out.

When making the choice to change your lifestyle, the steps have to attainable and sustainable. It's great to lose 3, 4, 5 pounds those first few weeks, and many do. To expect that rate to continue is unrealistic and setting yourself up for failure.

You have to make changes in steps that you can achieve as well. I do think it's good to overhaul your diet in one step, but it's probably best not to start training for a marathon that same week. Make sure the changes you are making are things that you can incorporate into your lifestyle.

It shouldn't be too hard to lose weight. Seriously. After the first couple weeks of adjusting, it shouldn't be something you always think about and work at. If you do, it's going to be exhausting and at some point you're going to get tired of it and quit.

Find foods that you enjoy and fit into your new lifestyle. Find exercises that you do for the joy of doing them rather then to burn calories. Life is so much more then burning calories and losing weight.

We should be losing weight so that we can live life better. Not living life so that we can lose weight.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Weigh in accountability

One of the things that keeps so many people on track with weight watchers is the weigh ins. They aren't public, but the person weighing you in sees your weight and writes it down.

Many bloggers post their weight weekly. It's a far more public way of weighing in, but for many of us, it works and keeps us on track.

When I started this journey, I did both. I went to weight watchers and I posted my weight weekly. Then my weight loss stalled. Then I stopped posting it. Then I started focusing on fitness goals and hoped the weight loss would take care of itself.

I've discovered that, despite being incredibly active, I am still not one of those people that can eat whatever I want. What a shocker.

So, I've started focusing again on what I eat and I've started keeping track of it. As a result, I've started losing weight again and I've decided that it's time to revisit that accountability thing and post it.

So, after months of sitting at a 20ish pound weight loss, yesterday I weighed in at 221.0, for a total weight loss of 22.8 pounds.

Not terribly impressive, given I've been doing this since January. At the same time, 22 pounds down is not 22 pounds up, which is the other direction I could be going. The discoveries I've made during this time are nothing little. I also feel strongly that this is for good. I may be taking some of these steps slowly, but I'm not going back.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

3 things Thursday

I've decided to steal this post from a few other blogs I read. I'm not sure who started the 3 Things Thursday, but it's a good idea. Maybe Tall Mom?

1. I'm now running in full dark. When I started my early morning runs, I usually ran at sunrise. Then for a while, at least the sky was light. Now, for all intents and purposes, it's still night time out there. In fact, last night I rode my bike home from the pool after sunset and was out this morning before sunrise to run.

2. Last night I was able to do 3 laps (6 lengths) of the pool, in front crawl, without taking a break or switching to back crawl. This is a new milestone for me, as my previous maximum was 2 laps.

3. I'm starting to see every area of my life as being connected to attaining a healthy weight. If my kitchen is clean and I'm keeping my kids busy, I tend to eat healthy, balanced snacks and meals. When my home becomes a disaster and I let them watch too much tv, I tend to eat my boredom and get mopey.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


It's easy to write posts when I'm feeling strong, or I've just nailed that workout, or I'm doing well. What's hard is to come out and say that I'm having a hard time.

That's the case right now. Ever since getting back from my fabulous anniversary backpacking trip, my eating has gone to hell. I'm still nailing the workouts - fortunately that's become largely ingrained.

But the last week, my eating has sucked. I haven't tracked. I've been grabbing the "extras" when I grocery shop and I've been eating too much.

Amazingly, my weight has been remaining fairly steady. However, I can't count on that continuing, and even if it does, one fact remains. I am NOT happy with my current weight. In some ways, I don't even care that I can run 25 minutes, or swim front crawl. I want to like the way I look. And right now I don't.

There's two things to consider when trying to dig yourself out of a hole. First: why did you fall into it? Second: What are you going to do about it?

Why did I fall into it? I haven't quite figured it out, though I have some ideas. After the high of my vacation, it was back to the real world. While in the mountains, there was no commitments, no time line. We chilled and did what we wanted. Which was to hike.

And I ate. While backpacking, the foods we ate were rich and calorie dense - exactly what is needed when expending thousands of calories a day. Trail mix with peanuts and m&ms, beef jerky, granola bars... All the kinds of foods that you should eat when you are expending huge amounts of energy, and not many other times. Coming back to real life, I'm back to my 45ish minutes of cardio a day and therefore not needing this food.

Understanding why I fell into it is of importance in avoiding it in the future, but the more important question is how to get out of it?

Well, to be honest, I'm already digging myself out. I wasn't lying when I said I find it really hard to write when I'm not feeling strong. Part of what is letting me write this post is the fact that I'm on the way up. The last two days, all my food has been recorded. I'm back into my calorie range and I'm avoiding my trigger foods.

There's something to be said for a slogan of a bit athletic wear company. Just do it. Sometimes, that's what you have to do. Just do it. Make the decision and follow through on it.

Next time, I'm starting to struggle, I'm going to try to post right away, and then I need all of you to tell me to get in gear and straighten up, okay?

Yesterday, I went shopping after my swim and instead of buying a chocolate bar, I bought a tomatillo. Anyone know what to do with a tomatillo? Should I eat it the same way I eat tomatoes? With a salad? On it's own?

Sunday, August 15, 2010

A letter to the little voice in my head

Hey little voice,

Shut up, alright.

I can too run 25 minutes straight. Stop telling me to walk.

I went through childbirth naturally, with no drugs. Running 25 minutes is easy.

This relationship isn't working for me anymore. Get positive or get out.


Deb, the runner.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Floe Lake - Day 2

Our second day was the date of our fifth anniversary. To celebrate, we got up at a crazy early hour to watch the sunrise.

When the conditions are right, the sunrise at Floe Lake is spectacular. The cliffs light up in an amber colour and you can see a distinct line as the sun hits the rockwall. The mountains and the glacier reflect in the lake. We saw an amazing sunrise here when we were on our honeymoon.

Sadly, the sunrises weren't quite as perfect during this trip, but it was still a beautiful, peaceful morning. We brought our cooking gear down to the lake and boiled water for hot chocolate and oatmeal. Then we sat by the lake and watched the beauty that is Floe Lake.

Our second day of the trip was our "easy" day. We were camping at Floe Lake for two nights, so no need to pack up camp, and it meant that we didn't have to carry our big backpacks.

We were doing a hike up to Numa pass, the highest point on the entire Rockwall trail. It was 2.7 km (1.7mi) one way, with an elevation gain of about 300m (984 ft).

When we started this hike, I had a similar feeling to what it's like when I ride my bike alone after being used to pulling the chariot. I felt like I was flying. We only had a small daypack and my husband chivalrously carried it for most of the hike.

It starts off with a short, but steep incline and then goes through some meadows of wildflowers before going back into the trees. Then it goes up again, and we went above the treeline.

The views are great even before getting to the pass, because you can look back and see Floe Lake from a distance. It's also easier to capture on the camera from further away, as you can get more of it one shot. It still doesn't really capture it, but it gives a glimpse of the beauty.

The hike up was work, but it wasn't too rough. After finding the first day easier then I expected, I wasn't as surprised this time. The hike was shorter then the day before, although still steep, and I wasn't carrying a pack. It feels so good to be able to really enjoy these hikes rather then just cursing on the way up and then enjoying the view.

We found a great rock shortly before the pass for a couple shot. One of our hiking poles converts to a mono-pod, one of the best decisions we made back when we bought all our gear. We've got some great pictures with it.

We also saw a deer running along the side of one of the mountains. No pictures, I'm afraid. We tried, but at best you'll see a speck on the mountainside. Those guys can move fast!

Just before reaching the pass, we had evidence of why you don't do some mountain trails prior to mid-July...

No worries though, this was the biggest patch of snow we saw anywhere, and it wasn't even on the actual trail.

We made it to the pass, then we went a little ways along the ridge you can see in the snow picture. The views were amazing and endless. Mountain after mountain spread out before us.

There's one more installment in this series, so if you've liked it so far, join me tomorrow for the evening of Day 2 and the way down on Day 3...

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Floe Lake - Day 1

So as regular readers of my blog know, my husband and I recently completed a backpacking trip. This wasn't just any backpacking trip. This was the first one we've been on since our honeymoon - 5 years ago.

For the first summer since then, I am neither pregnant (despite what the bike technician may think), nor do I have a young baby. Thanks to helpful grandparents, we had somebody to watch the kids. It was time to get back into it.

We started the day off early, with a 4:30 alarm. We like the early starts because it means we can get a good part of the hike done before the heat of the day.

Sadly, a good part of Kootenay park burned in forest fires 7 years ago, so the view from the parking lot is mostly burnt forest.

The trip we decided to do is one reminiscent of our honeymoon trip. For our honeymoon, we did the full Rockwall trail: a spectacular trail featuring stunning views , glaciers, and wild flowers.

For our fifth anniversary, we decided to go up to Floe Lake, the most beautiful part of this breathtaking trail. Like every section of the Rockwall trail, the beauty is bought by hiking up serious elevation. The hike in was 10.7 km (6.6 mi) with an elevation gain of 692 m (2270 ft).

I won't deny having an element of trepidation in going on this hike. When we went on our honeymoon, I weighed around 30 pounds less then I do now. So, in addition to lugging a 40 pound pack, I was carrying that extra weight on my body. I knew that it wasn't going to be easy. While I was determined to do it, I just hoped it wouldn't hurt too much.

The start of the hike was a bit cool. We got to the trailhead and started our hike around 7:30, so we expected that. Didn't need toques though, so it wasn't that cold.

The beginning of the hike goes through the burnt forest and over a river. Last time we did this hike, it was only 2 years after the forest had burnt. It was neat to see the difference in 5 years. It will still take decades for the land to recover, but we saw small trees growing up and fields full of wildflowers.

The elevation early on wasn't too rough. We stopped for breaks when we needed to, and had frequent drinks or grabbed some trail mix. We stopped for a longer break about halfway at a little "bench" that somebody had made out of rocks. It will probably outlast any wooden bench.

It wasn't long after this that we hit the switchbacks. I'll admit that this is the part of the trail that I was dreading. When we did this section five years ago, it was on the way down. Even at that, the downhill wasn't the kind of down that was relaxing. It was the brutal down where you have to watch your footing and your legs ache.

I took plenty of breaks to catch my breath, but I started to realize something. This wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. My pack wasn't that heavy. In fact, it felt way easier then carrying my daughter since it was much better balanced. I was taking breaks, but not as often as I expected and I recovered my breath fairly quickly.

I realized that I am fitter then I was last time I did this trail. I won't say in better shape, since shape is subjective, and my appearance is not "better". But, it seems that the running, swimming and biking have done me a world of good. A trail that I expected to kick my butt was only making me stop on occasion for breath.

When I figured we were about halfway through the switchbacks, I was feeling low. This is a feeling I'm very in tune with while hiking. It means I need to eat or I'm going to crash. So, we stopped by a little stream and had a more substantial bite to eat.

We started back up the switchbacks and in a few minutes we saw a couple hikers coming down. One of them asked how our hike was going and between breaths I told her is was great. She told me we were almost there.

Almost there?

Well, almost there is subjective, I figured. Especially for somebody on their way down. I was sure we had a lot more of those switchbacks ahead of us.

Amazingly, she was completely right. I thought that the hike hadn't been hard enough yet, and therefore was expecting more ahead of me. I didn't realize how much my body is now capable of. We came over a rise within minutes of talking to her and could see the lake between the trees.

After a short jaunt through a meadow of flowers, the trees opened up, and we got our first full view of the lake. This was also the site of the best campsite there, and since we had an early start, it was the one we got to claim.

Here is the view from what became our campsite:

This is one of those places that pictures can never truly capture, but I give you what I can.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

That little voice in your head

*First off, I do plan to do a trip report from my recent (fabulous) backpacking trip. It's going to be a longer post with lots of pictures though, so I'm not getting it done quite yet.

Do you ever have to go to battle with the little voice in your head? I'm not quite sure what spurs that voice on. I think it might be an evolutionary thing. At one point in evolution, it probably was best for us to rest whenever we could and eat whatever we can get. We no longer starve for weeks or have to run from wild beasts though.

This morning, while running, that little voice made an appearance.

The voice is common when I run. It almost always kicks in at about 1.5 - 2 minutes. "Take a break", it says. "Walk for a bit."

The voice almost always makes an early attempt to thwart my exercise routines. Whatever I am doing, it starts telling me to slow down or stop very early on. I find if I push through that initial time period, it will quiet down for a bit.

This was my first run in the last week, since I took a couple days off when I was backpacking. Today I was on week 6, day 2. I had 2 ten minute running intervals. When my running intervals were short, the voice seemed content since I would stop running before too long anyways. Now that my running intervals are longer, the voice makes multiple attempts.

"Just for a minute, take a breather."

"You've probably run for at least 5 minutes. It wouldn't hurt to stop now."

"Nobody will know if you don't do the whole interval."

The thing is though, I didn't need to stop. I was breathing hard and my heart rate was up, but I wasn't exerting myself that much. If I'm honest, I could probably even push myself to run faster. (That's a goal I'm not worried about just yet though; for now, I consider it enough to run.) I could have maintained that pace for significantly longer. So, why does the voice keep telling me to stop?

Perhaps for the same reason the voice tells me to eat that cookie or have a second helping? Perhaps because deep inside I am still afraid of giving something my all and actually succeeding - or not. If I choose to give up, I won't fail because I couldn't do it, after all. I just chose not to. Yet, if I let that little voice win, I don't win. I know that. That little voice might be entwined with me, but it isn't me.

am the one that tells that little voice to shut up. That I can keep running. I will keep running.

This morning I won the battle with the little voice. As I often do, I threw my arms up in the air victoriously when I finished my second running interval. (I'm sure people see and wonder at that gesture on occasion, but I don't care.)

I will continue to win against that little voice. Sometimes I just wish it would shut up though.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

I'm back!

I'm not quite out of vacation mode yet, so no long post today. I'll just leave you with a view of the campsite I spent a couple nights at this weekend.

If there is no other reason to be in good shape, it's so that I can get to places like this.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Going to take a hike

Well folks, I bid you farewell for a few days. The bags are packed. The grandparents are here to watch the children. My husband and I are getting up at some crazy early hour tomorrow to drive to the mountains and hike to Floe Lake where we'll celebrate 5 years of married bliss (okay, almost bliss) and stay for 2 nights.

See you in a few days!

Monday, August 2, 2010

August Goals

So, the last two months, I've started setting specific goals. I like what it does for me. Even when I haven't achieved everything exactly how I planned, I've learned from it. Either I've learned that I am capable of much more then I thought, or I've recognized areas that I need to work harder.

I have come to one major conclusion in the last few weeks. I am not losing weight at the rate I would like to. Since January, I have lost a grand total of about 20 pounds. (Progress picture soon to come, since I haven't done the 20 pound one.) I am not going to whine or complain. I had hoped to reach the weight I was at, when I was married, by my fifth anniversary - which happens in 5 days. That isn't going to happen. I am around 30 pounds away from that.

Having said that, I am the one that has the power to change that. I can't change what I have done, but I can change what I will do. Over the rest of this year, I intend to start dropping the pounds as I increase my fitness level.

I still will not make one of my monthly goals a weight loss one. I believe firmly in setting goals for things I want to do, rather then things I want to have happen. Weight loss is something that will happen as a result of following through on my other goals.

The next month is one in which my routine becomes a little more normal again. Aside from this week: In a few days, my husband and I are going for a 3 day backpacking trip for our anniversary. After that, we're home, and there aren't any more significant disruptions to our routine.

Without further ado, my goals:

1. Track my food intake everyday.

Last month, I had a goal to track my food intake 5 out of 7 days. The very first mistake I made in achieving this goal was in how I set it. I allowed for failure right away by not giving myself credit to be able to do it every day. At this point, food tracking is something that needs to be a habit. One doesn't create a habit with inconsistency.

This is also the first goal because, if I'm serious about losing weight, it is the most important step.

2. Run 3 days a week, Bike 3 days a week, Swim 3 days a week.

Yesterday, I suggested that I should have broken this into three goals, yet here it is in one. Today, I actually considered not including it as a goal, as it is almost a habit or a routine. It's also something enjoy and want to do. Having said that, it takes a long time to make something into a true habit, and I think I still need to be focused on keeping it part of my routine.

3. Time how long it takes for me to swim 500 metres.

Most sprint triathlons are about 500 metres for the swim. Even though I am 3/4 of a year away from my first triathlon, I would like to have a benchmark. A time that I can work to improve. I also know I am now capable of swimming 500 metres. I may have to switch to backstroke for part of it, but I have done it, and can do it again.

4. Keep my dishes up and keep the island in my kitchen clean.

A bizarre goal to include on a weight loss blog? Kind of, but not really. For one, all areas of life are connected, and when you start letting chaos intrude into your home, it becomes very easy to let it intrude into your health and fitness routines. For another, the kitchen is the hub of food preparations. I am far more likely to cut up fruits and vegetables if there is a clean knife and cutting board handy and there is room on the counter to use it.

5. Hike to Floe Lake in Kootenay park.

My husband and I are doing one end of the trail we did for our honeymoon. It's about 10 km with about 1000 metres of elevation gain. We'll also be carrying packs that weigh about 50 pounds. The middle day, we'll be hiking up to a pass that has spectacular views.

For me, backpacking is one of those times when my body becomes very clear about it's needs. I don't overeat, because I don't need digestive issues while hiking. I don't under eat, because my body literally shuts down and becomes incapable of hiking. I do eat a lot of food, and feel no guilt. It's nutrient dense, mostly clean foods, and home made.

I'm looking forward to August being a turning point for me. Up till now, I've come to know myself a lot better and figured out what is making me tick. I've discovered a love for activity and learned to run and swim. Now, it's time to lose the pounds so that my body is capable of everything I want to put it through.

What are your goals for the month?

Sunday, August 1, 2010

A review of July

July was a busy month for me. I had a family vacation and visitors. I broke down some of my barriers and achieved things I didn't think possible.

At the same time, it wasn't perfect. I struggled a bit with my eating, and in the midst of potty training my son, spent far more time indoors then I would have liked.

My goals for July included:

1. Swim twice a week, run three times a week, bike three times a week.
2. Hike at least 4 times in the month.
3. Take 1 day a week as either a rest day or an active rest day.
4. Track my food intake at least 5 days a week.

1. This should have broken up into three separate goals, as it would have been easier to evaluate it that way. Overall, I'm happy with what I achieved in this respect. I swam 3 days a week, and discovered that it isn't as tough to work around the pool's summer schedule as I thought. I continued following the C25K program, running 3 days a week. My biking suffered when I became a shut-in to get my son potty trained in time for pre-school. Having said that, in the last couple weeks, I've upped the ante and started riding my bike to the pool in addition to the rides I take my kids for.

Perfect? No.
Overall a success? Absolutely.

2. This is the goal that I thought would be easy to achieve. Given that we started off the month with a camping/hiking trip. Sadly, I did not meet this goal. We went for 2 good hikes as a family (with the kids mostly in the carriers). On our third attempt, my daughter decided she would NOT be carried anymore and we spent the time throwing rocks in a stream instead of hiking. After our vacation, weekends seemed full of family events and busy-ness.

Goal achieved? No.
Lesson learned: when the kids are involved, it's unrealistic to set specific goals that require their cooperation. It would be better to plan a trip to the mountains as a mental health requirement but realize that actually hiking depends entirely on the mood of 2 and 3 year old we bring along.

3. This seems like an easy goal to achieve and in some ways it is. Having said that, when trying to fit in 8-9 workouts a week, it's easy to just power through and do something every day - and that is what I was doing in the month of June. This month, I ran on Tuesday, Thursday and one weekend day. Then I swam on Wednesday, Fridays and Sundays. I had to remember that Monday was my rest day, so if I did take the kids for a bike/chariot ride, it was an easy and slow paced one, so that it could be considered active rest.

Goal achieved? Yes.
Lesson learned: it's easy to overdo things. Sometimes those of us that are overweight are that way because we have trouble with moderation. Replacing one type of excess with another is not a good thing.

4. It seems like I completely forgot about this goal for the first few weeks of the month. Tracking food intake is one of those things I wish I didn't have to do. After putting some thought into it and writing a little letter to myself, I realized that it is something I need to do - at least as this point in my journey. I find it far to easy to overeat and justify it by the amount of activity I am doing.

Goal achieved? No.
Lesson learned: I still need to work on this one. Watch for a repeat of this goal when I list my goals for August.

Overall, I'm happy with the last month. I've reached new heights by following through on some of my goals. I've learned new things about myself in examining why I didn't achieve others. Setting goals isn't like homework or tests when we were in school. I am the one that evaluates how I did. The single most important aspect is that I grow as a result.

(I was going to set August goals in this post, but it's gotten pretty long, so watch for them tomorrow.)