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Monday, August 22, 2016

From mountains to beach...

Last weekend we were in Lynchburg, VA hiking Liberty University Mountain, and this weekend we found ourselves in Sanibel Island, Florida for our annual vacation.  Vacation is so much more enjoyable when one is fit.  

On a couple of the days, we took the first part of the day to run the beach from our resort to the end of the island and the Sanibel lighthouse. It's an even 2-miles one-way and makes for a challenging 4-mile round trip.  

On a few of the days, we walked 6-miles (Bailey's Market and back).

It's always a pleasure when Dad joins us. The beautiful sunrise is a nice distraction from the difficulty of running on the beach sand. 

Jogging in Florida can be hazardous to your health.  This "little" (8-foot) guy was right next to the walking path that we were on.  Thankfully Debra made notice of him (and increased her pace to 5mm) as I would have been knee deep in gator-mouth before I was aware.

Between beach and pool, morning jogs and evening strolls, our fitness facilitated the rest we needed from this vacation.  Ironic, huh?

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Climbing Mountains

Since jogging/running is my primary vehicle for weight-loss, this blog often highlights my running adventures.  However, I made a conscience decision this summer to experience some activities which provide great exercise benefit while giving the family some (free) variety. Hiking is something we have enjoyed this summer and something that will continue to provide benefit well into the Fall season and seasons to follow.  Georgia is replete of wonderful structured and semi-strictured hiking trails, and the same can be said of destinations that we travel.

While visiting Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia for my wife's graduate degree comprehensive exam, we took advantage of some of the hiking trails on Candlers Mountain.  Candlers Moutain (aka. Liberty Mountain) is owned by Liberty University and showcases the LU monogram that can be seen throughout the campus.  It's also the location of the world famous Snow Flex facility (a year around ski slope).

Do you ever venture out somewhere but not quite sure if you're going the right direction, and it takes a while before you realize that things just don't look right?  I had hiked to the monogram during my last visit, so I knew we were in the wrong part of town; besides the fact that we were headed downward on the other side of the mountain.  Consulting with navigation, I could see that we were above Snowflex instead of heading towards the monogram.  We corrected our direction and eventually found the goal we were after.

It's hard to tell from this photo but this is the monogram, and these rocks are a good 5 foot or bigger in circumference.

Evident by this photo, hiking is a tremendous fitness activity.  I am thrilled that our fitness is at such a level as to enjoy a hike of this nature.

LU Hiking site: https://www.liberty.edu/snowflex/trails-maps/
Trail Map: https://www.liberty.edu/media/7706/pdfs/TrailMap.pdf
Snowflex: http://www.liberty.edu/snowflex/
LU Main Page: https://www.liberty.edu

Monday, August 1, 2016

[Week 30] A surprise in the woods

The scale often lays a facade over the less obvious achievements of health through exercise. As much as I stand in opposition to a negative self-image, the whispers of doubt often prevail. Along comes an occasion beyond the regular that actualizes progress. Last weekend, I went for a Geocaching hike through a Georgia mountain forest with my son and daughter, and we inadvertently hiked for over two and half hours before finding the cache.  Surprisingly, I hiked over 4 miles of trails with much of it involving serious vertical climbs, and I did so without very much trouble. Finishing this hike, I felt a tremendous sense of achievement, not only in the hike itself but in having a great time with my son and daughter without the burden of poor fitness.  Frankly, I just enjoyed this activity with my children, and "unfit" was furthest from my mind.

Stats for the Month of July:
Overall, this was a successful month.  My jogging mileage is back up to the 80s, my weight is down by 11 lbs, and I'm feeling healthy in my core.  We've got one last push before vacation hits.
  • Current weight: 265 lbs
  • 1-Month weight-loss: -11 lbs
  • Total weight-loss to date: 52 lbs 
  • Continuous run: 10K
  • Total Miles: 85 (glad to see my mileage back up) 

(Debra and I after one of our 10K long runs this month -- I'm swimming in sweat -- Besides Debra looking fantastic, she looks good for someone who just completed 8 miles)