Thursday, October 26, 2006

Injuries, Injuries, Injuries

Of course when I happen to mention how I've been working out for a month, I get injured. I started off with my knee hurting when I walked down the stairs, which I found out was chrondomalacia (at least that's what I found in the internet). I stopped jogging and began icing my knee. Well, that seemed to work, but now it's an old injury I had. Several years ago, I overextended my left hip, which resulted in pinching a nerve. This was very painful for me. I had a hard time walking and had to limp. As a result, I spent six months without working out.

I'm feeling that pain again. I worked out today (nothing out of this world). There was no running involved. I went on the treadmill (walked), elliptical (lasted about 10 minutes), and the stationary bike (another 10 minutes). I'm not ready for working out. I stretched out a bit to see if my back will align itself. I don't want this to ruin my hiking (like it did last time).

That's my update. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to do any of the activities I've wanted. I'm sad.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Some More Hiking

If you haven't hiked and want to try it, the first thing you need to make sure you have is a map of the area. We've never bothered doing that in the past and found out yesterday how important it is to have one. We went to Harrimon State Park to hike where we use to go hiking about four years ago. We really weren't familiar with the area even though we had hiked it before.

I realized that we were hiking two trails combined. What we didn't know was that one of the trails was the Appalachian Trail. We found out because we ran into some friendly hikers that told us where we were and showed us that map they had. We ended up getting off the Appalachian Trail and following the Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail that should have taken us back to where our car was.

Unfortunately, the map was outdated. We came across a paved road, which I immediately recognized as Seven Lakes Drive. I knew if we made a right on the road we would eventually get to Lake Tiorati, but on the map it showed that by following the Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail we would end up at the lake. So, we crossed the road and got back to the trail. About thirty to forty minutes into this part of the trail, we see the lake. At this point, we're not sure if to get off the trail and go to the lake or stay on course. Since we were confident about the map, we decided to stay on course.

It seemed that the trail was bending towards the lake, but suddenly it began going away from it. We ran into some racers and they told us to go back to the road or go off the trail to the lake. If we decide to go back to the road, we have another forty minutes and that does not include the time to walk back to the lake. If we decide to go off the trail towards the lake, we have no idea on which side of the lake we'll end up at. We opted for the lake because it seemed the quickest way to get back.

Going off trail was definitely a challenge. The ground was very mushy, which made us have to hop from rock to rock. Luckily, we had found some good branches that we used as walking sticks. That helped us out tremendously. My knee was really bothering me (yup, have to lay off jogging for a bit) and the branch relieved some of the stress. After probably fifteen minutes, we see a road and realized that we're on the right side of the lake. We finally get to the road and walk over to the lake for the view. We were so tired at this point that we decided to walk back to the car. We did stop at the visitor's center and bought a map. We told the guy about our ordeal and he informed us that they had changed part of the trail. So, the maps were outdated. Dan grabbed a pen and made the changes on the map.

After we left the park, we decided to drive to the mall. I needed some cargo pants, which of course I found none that would fit me correctly. They need to make pants that fit girls with curves. Anyway, we stopped in Barnes and Nobles and I decided to spend some of my birthday money on hiking books. With the map and the books we got, we will be better prepared for our next hiking trip.

Now for right knee, I had to take a bath last night and do some major stretching. I'm going to lay off jogging this week to see how it feels. I have to say that the bath worked really well. Depending on how I feel, I will go to the gym on Wednesday and workout on the elliptical machine. I think I may have to postpone the eight mile hike for Sunday (unless I get trekking poles this week). I'm not letting this minor injury set me back. I will work through this. I have already lost two and a half inches around my waist. I don't want to ruin my progress.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Why so Quiet?

I've been caught up in a "new" activity that I've been devoting a tremendous amount of time to. It has even gotten in the way of my crocheting/knitting time. If I could only get rid of work and the amount of time I spend online (I need to cut that down; it's getting in the way), then I would have all the time in the world to do both activities. The reason I'm choosing today to tell you about it is because it's been exactly a month since I started.

I was really sad and angry on September 11th. I tend to do several things when I feel this way. I either stay in bed, eat, or work out. Usually when anger is involved, I try to get rid of it as fast as possible. I don't like that feeling to linger around. The best way to release the anger is by working out. I started exercising again!!

This time around, I wanted to remain quiet about it. I'm always telling you how I'm going to workout and never do it. I'm tired of letting you down and most importantly, myself. I decided that I would start working out and once it's become a routine (which usually takes about 4 to 5 weeks), I would let you in on it. So, it's been 5 weeks and I'm feeling great! I've already lost 2 inches around my waist and don't get winded when I'm running up the stairs.

Not only have I started working out, but I've also started jogging. This is a huge step for me because I've never been able to jog. I've always been very active, but jogging just kicks my butt. I'm jogging/walking instead of hitting the gym. There's this beautiful parkway by where I live that is lined with green. People bring their kids and dogs here. Many people also jog around the area. It leads to the Botanical Gardens and if you make a left, you end up in the Bronx River Parkway Reservation. I've been taking my time enjoying the greenery. I'm loving jogging. Although, I think I might have overdone it on Monday, I've been feeling great. I'm taking it slowly so that I don't mess up my knees.

There are several reasons why I started jogging. First off, I think I might have gain a few pounds. My clothes are fitting tighter. I definitely need to take care of that. Secondly, jogging is something I've always been bad at. I need to condition my body to running. It is a great exercise to get into and it makes your legs look great. Thirdly, I'm tired of going to the gym. I love being outdoors. It inspires me to stay out longer. To be honest, exercising outside is very spiritual for me. I feel that everything around me is rooting me on. It's a great feeling. Last, but not least, I want to become fit for hiking. What better way to do it than to task my body by jogging? Hiking requires that your entire body be fit. Jogging takes care of that, especially the legs. I want my legs to be able to handle going up and down the mountains without burning. The last time I went hiking, my legs burned so much when I was going down the cliff that I want to make sure the burn lessens.

I'm going on a long hike in 11 days that I want to be prepared for. This hike will be about 8 miles long and take about 5 hours. There's a very steep ascent in the trail that I want to be prepared for. Jogging should prepare me for it. I'm sure I'll do fine, but I don't want to be the one that has to stop and turn around because my body can't take it anymore. I have six more jogs until the day of the hike. With the hours I have at work, I'm only able to jog 4 days a week. I might have to wake up early this Friday and Saturday and jog before my doubles at work. Six jogs might not be enough, but then again, I don't want to over do it.

Now that my secret is out, I want to keep you updated on my workouts. I think it will be a great inspiration for those that are contemplating on working out or are already working out but need moral support. Exercising is very important to me. Your body was meant to be worked out. It is extremely beneficial for all of us to workout. Obesity is a major problem in the United States and we need to do something about it. One thing is for sure, we need to move our asses!