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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Adventures in Hiking and feelings of gratitude

Hi friends, how's your week so far? I'm bopping along with my training.  I'm up to 5 miles without stopping, but my pace idles at 15 mph.  My running partner is at 10:33 mph. I'm jealous for sure but I remind self that jealousy robs me of my own victory. So there is that... This morning, I dd a timed mile and I really pushed.  I was third from last and I came in at 11:19.  I'm doing the happy dance.  Gosh, if I could only sustain that... but it's an improvement and I won't be greedy.  I was scheduled for a 6 mile run but instead, I did a 6 mile hike.

My buddy Pablo and I drove to Carson Pass to hear a speaker talk on the history of Lake Tahoe and the Mormon Immigrant Trail. I didn't realize how vital the Morman's were to that region. Interesting stuff until I realized I was covered in ants...

After the history lesson, we hiked to Frog's Lake where we ate our lunch.  Afterwards, we continued on until we got to the sign that pointed to the Pacific Crest Trail.

The Pacific Crest Trail spans 2,650 miles from Mexico to Canada through California, Oregon, and Washington. My friend says there's a movie I need to watch about a woman who hiked this trail (I Made a mental note of that movie).  Gosh, I can't imagine walking to Mexico especially after hiking for about 2 miles on the trail. It was very rocky.  I didn't want to share this with my friend, but I was nervous. Look at them rocks?

Lots of small rocks

Elephant's Back in the distance

My friend wanted us to climb Elephant's Back by going up these rocks and then circling around.  Just look at Elephant's Back? It's deceiving for sure.  I tried to walk up but it was so unstable. I was scared to death that I would slip on a rock and fall and roll off the mountain.  I'm brave but not stupid. I could tell my friend wasn't too sure of me because he said "ummm let's try and get you home in one piece."  I was like "COOL!".

We headed back to the sign so we could hike to Lake Winnemucca.  Isn't it beautiful?  I would love to camp here but I doubt I could get my family or husband to do this hike.

After having a snack, we headed back to Carson Pass.

But first, I needed a picture to prove that I was  here.

Can I tell you a secret?  The last time I hiked with my friend  we did Mt. Tallac,  It was a goal I set for my 50th birthday. I remember being very tired. Two months later, I was diagnosed with Stage 2 Invasive Breast Cancer.  The fear of that disease was with me the entire hike to Lake Winnemucca. I talking to God the entire hiking trip... I continued to Him for his grace and mercy that I was here... I think this is why I've started to blog again.  To have tangible proof that I am was here. Does that sound odd to you?  We all think about our legacy, right? 

This morning as I logged onto Facebook, it shared a memory from 3 years ago when I climbed Mt. Tallac.  Another reminder of how blessed I am.  I'm so incredibly grateful for the last 3 years. You know, I start each morning counting my blessings and setting my intentions for the day. 

I do my best to stay out of Fear.  I remind self that it's not what God wants for me or for you.  Some days are easier but I remind self that "today is the day the Lord has made for me... I shall rejoice in it."  I'm so thankful I have the Lord to lean on. I don't mean to sermonize this post. I'm just incredibly grateful for his mercy.

That's all.


Wednesday, August 5, 2015


Hi friends, how's your Wednesday?

I'm bumping along. This morning, I ran with my friend who does 11 minute miles and I really pushed. It was hard. But I shortened my running pace to 14 minutes.

After my 3 miles, I did my Kaia workout. It was tough... I could barely walk into my office. 

Stackin workouts is no joke.
I was reading Cup of Jo on my lunch hour and well, I couldn't resist resting my dogs... LOL.

It felt good to UNLOAD my thoughts in yesterday's post.  That was yesterday and today is today.  Don't you just love how you get a fresh start each day?

 Later, gators.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Having to worker harder

Good day internet. I hope things are going well for you.  I am struggling.  Don’t you just hate yourself for feeling jealous of someone else’s victory?  I don’t like this about myself. I’m trulyhappy for them but I feel like everything I do is mediocre. There are some people who excel at everything. I am not one of those.. 

Part of my half-marthon training is to do my Kaia Fit workouts which include HIIT, Tabata, AMRAPs and PLYOMETRICS.  They are tough. There are three levels (balance, Strength & Kaia). I generally work out in balance and strength. I work my ass off but I’m not winning any beastmode awards. But I’m okay with that… I’m getting through the workouts. I’m progressing.

Week 1, I did my running first and then my Kaia workouts.  It wasn’t so bad. If you look at my Saturday training below, I did an intense bootcamp class and I went all out, then I ran. It was tough.   But I made it through week 1 despite my sciatica. I saw a doctor but I’ll save that for another post.

Week 1:
Mon.                    Tue.                      Wed.                    Thur.                    Fri.                  Sat.
Kaia Fit                Recovery             Kaia Fit              Kaia Fit               Rest                 Power Hour
Run 2 miles                                       Run 3 miles                                                           Run 3 miles
(31 minutes)                                      (45 minutes)                                                          (48 minutes)

Week 2 is here and I did my Kaia workout as prescribed.  Except,  I saved my run for the evening. Immediately after work, I headed to the park. The weather was warm but there was a breeze. I was hoping my rested legs would mean a good run. NOPE…  My pace was 16.35 per mile. 

Yesterday's run was slower than last Saturday's run where I stacked my workouts. 

I know my only goal for my first half-marathon is to complete it and not worry about my time.  That’s what my common sense tells me, but then there’s that mean girl inside me that is jealous of my running partner who busted out a 12 minute mile. ;-(

I’m happy for her, but by the end of our 10 weeks, she’ll be running 10 minute miles, and I’ll be lucky to run a 13 minute mile…. I’m not looking for sympathy. Honestly. I’m just venting.   

I am so grateful that my body allows me to exercise but I would love JUST ONCE not to have to work so hard to achieve a goal where for others, it comes easier. Or does it?

I remain hopeful,

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Week 1 -Training

Happy Thursday all.... hoping your day is going well.

Mine started out with a sweaty workout before heading to work. I just love morning workouts, especially given the 106 degree weather of the last couple of days.  I really feel bad for Daniel working in this hot weather...

At least my workout was only an hour.  We have  new owners at Kaia Fit and man-o-man. The workouts are intense.  I am being truthful when I say I can barely keep up.  One station was two burpees, and two frog jumps repeated 3xs. Then it was Russian dances on a tire, then front lunges halfway down building and back, then wall squats. That was only 1 station out of 5...

It was 74 degrees at 7 a.m. Gotta love this hot Sacramento weather.  The upside is my skin is aglow LOL

I arrived at work at 9 a.m. and completely forgot that my co-workers were giving me a much belated "congratulations on your wedding" potluck. I really do not like all the fuss.  I never know how to act or what to say as "thank you" never seems sufficient. Am I the only one that feels that way?

 Just look at the lovely cake my co-worker made for me.  Isn't it gorgeous?
 And it tasted wonderful as well.

I felt a little guilty about eating cake. There goes the calories i burned and then some.

Here I am all showered and ready for my day... Big difference, right?

I'm having a really good week. This is Week #1 of training for the Urban Cow half marathon. I'm scared to pieces.  I have sciatica issues and I'm not sure if it's very smart, but I generally try and do something outside the box just before my birthday.  So here I am training for my first half-marathon.

Does anyone have any suggestions in terms of running shoes?  I have Nike Max but they just don't feel right. I'd love to hear any suggestions.

All my best,

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Where has she been?

Dear Blog,

I've missed you.  I still read lots of blogs, facebook and Instagram but I've strayed from blogging here and sharing my thoughts, food and shenanigams.  I want to change that but I don't know how often I 'll get to come here so for now, I'll just pop in here and there to document my life. 

Life is so short and things change within an instant and paulawannacracker is sort of my  "footprint" that I was here... Does that make sense?  It's also an awesome way to take the pulse of my life. 

Things are going well. I'm very happy. I continue to work out. Not so much to lose weight but because my soul needs it.  I still bike some and food is always in the center of my universe. Let me catch you up on what I've been doing.

 I've been working out at Kaia Fit. It's functional fitness and it's an awesome community of wonderful and supportive women. Today, I did three handstands. Who does that just before their 53rd birthday?  Me, that's who.

I've been embracing all facets of my gym.  We ended a 6 week program with fun obstacle courses.  Here I am going down a slip n slide of baby oil and shaving cream.  Life is teaching me to be more in the moment and it's awesome.

 What is even more awesome, is I get to share this workout with my daughter.  She was smarter than her mother. Instead of going down the slide, she had us drag her. Now why didn't I think of that? See, she's smarter than I.

I also been doing army craws. Ouch... my poor elbows. I'm learning to push myself  harder. You might think you're too old for certain activities but please, do not let that hold you back. I've been working out with some pretty awesome woman who are 50 and older and they're running, biking, swimming and kickin butt. It inspires me and well, I'm not taking anything for granted. Each day presents itself with good and bad... I'm learning to embrace it all.

I've had two high school friends pass suddenly and it's just another reminder to savor everything the day has to offer.

For instance, my husband... yes, my husband. After 14 years together, Daniel and I married. It was just he and I at the courthouse and it was very special.  The following weekend, our families celebrated with music, food and lots of laughter in our backyard. It was a perfect day.  My grands had a blast dancing.

Speaking of grands. I have a new granddaughter.  She just turned 1 years old. I'm truly blessed.

We planted a garden in our backyard and today, I made the best sandwhich in the world.  I am not exaggerating.  Sliced cherry tomatoes, avocado, salt and pepper on top of flaxseed bread. It was everything...

 I've been spending lots of time in the sun... As you can see, my hair is growing... thank goodness my chemo curls are almost gone.  Don't get me wrong, I was grateful for hair but there is only so much you can do with curly hair.

If you've followed my blog in previous years, you may remember my goal has been to lose weight.  Luckily, that goal has changed.  For over 1.5 I've been trying to lose 10 pounds so that I can have breast reconstruction surgery after my double mastectomy. The weight has not come off despite my efforts.  I was sad, but I got over it. My mantra was "it's all about the journey" and I held onto that but now, I  truly believe it.  My victories are that I am alive and enjoying my husband, children, grandchildren and a body that allows me to push it beyond "I can't do it."

I am capable of so much. I just needed to push past that voice that said: "It's embarrassing!"... "what will people think?."  "you'll look ridiculous."

I've grown alot these past 3 years. Cancer will teach you lessons that maybe you didn't want to learn but man... after the storm has passed... Life is truly magnificent.

Relish it... Do something silly. I promise you. You're your biggest critic.


Friday, September 5, 2014

What a busy month I've had. I don't know where to start. I had hoped to blog about my TRI training... but that just didn't happen.

Lately, the back of my car kinda looks like this.... I have my gym bag, my yoga mat, jump rope, hand bag, resistance bands, helmet and my bike.  Each day, I'm either doing a workout, trying to swim (more on that in a bit), biking or doing yoga flow.

I did take a week of vacation to celebrate my 53rd birthday. Getting older if complicated.  On one hand, you dislike getting older but truth be told, what's the alternative?  I'll take the birthdays thank you very much.

I wanted to celebrate my birthday in beautiful South Lake Tahoe. We stayed at this old lodge called the Lazy S. Lodge. It is right near Emerald Bay and right out our back door, was the bike trail.  A hot tub and swimming pool. Perfect location and this meant I didn't miss my training sessions. We rode our bikes to Pope Beach. Ate our lunch right and just basked in the sunlight. 

Pope Beach, South Lake Tahoe (Mt. Tallac in the back ground)

 I also did a little jogging.  I did two miles while Daniel rode along side me on the bike. Two miles was tough.  Maybe it was the elevation.

 My favorite part was just sitting at the beach... 

Isn't it glorious when you're able to get away from the hustle and bustle?

When we returned to Sacramento, I still had a week of vacay.  I wanted to maximize this time off with training.  About Training.  It doesn't look like I"ll be doing the Triathalon.  Swimming is just so hard and I cannot for the life of me master the breathing. I've not given completely up... I'm not going to lie. It's discouraging but I really want it so I'll keep trying.

Instead of the TRI, I'm going to do the Granite Man Dualathon.  I first went to scout out the location.  Granite Beach.  Here I am...

I had the best luck. There was a guy who had done the Granite Man several times and was just returning from riding the route.  He offered to do the ride with me.  I know it's not safe to ride with random strangers but there were several people out there.  

Man, those hills were tough. Lots of sharp turns. The picture above is the easy part. 

I finished the route and now at least I know what I'm in for....

I am really excited. The scale isn't going down. I am still NOT losing weight. They say portion control is 80% of weight loss and well, I need to stop fighting that...  I get depressed that I'm not losing weight but I'm super excited that I'm stepping out of my confort zone and living each day...

What else can I ask for, right?

Friday, August 1, 2014

Happy Friday... Can you believe it's already August?  Where is my summer going.

Speaking of summer. Man was it hot in Sacramento.  After work and blogging, I got in my car and headed to Kaia Gym.  Once there, I popped open my trunk.  This picture kinda makes me smile.

Just look at the crap I have in my trunk:

Bike Lock
Gym bag (with toiletries and work clothes)
Resistant bands
yoga matt
kaia bag for swings

You should see what I have in the front seat.  Mesh bag with:

swim cap
bike shorts

Crazy, right?

On bike night, I am always a little frustrated starting out.  Getting my bike out of the car is a pain.  Once out, I need to put my wheel back on and connect my front brake. I have yet to manage this without stress.

Once out on the road, we practiced hills on the American Bike trail. It was HOT out there. At least 100 degrees.  It was hard to concentrate on the hills because once I got up, I was so light headed. I got so light headed three times that I had to stay back from the others. There are times I am so happy that my body allows me to do so much, and then there are times that it JUST BONKS OUT on me.


After an hour, I was ready to call it a night.

On our way back to the gym, we stropped to check on a group standing on the side of the trail. There was another woman sitting down with her head in her lap. Apparently, I'm not the only one bonking out. Biking is so different from other sports. You really need to fuel and hydrate property. I'm pretty sure I bonked out because I hadn't eaten since lunch. I definitely  need to make me some protein/carby type snack to eat before heading out and while on the road.

Coach said fueling is a big part of biking.  I have so much to learn in these 10 weeks.  Slow and steady, right?  Keep showing up Paula... it's not about the destination. It's all about the journey.  Keep pedaling.

Sometimes you just gotta talk yourself down from the tree.

Have an awesome weekend.  Do you have any fun plans?