Challenges Pave the Way for Breakthrough

findingfabulousatfifty.wordpress.comHello and Happy Monday from the LadyBird’s world! It’s been a couple of weeks since I touched base with a “Weekly Wrap” and I know everyone’s just dying to know what’s been happening with my training, right?? Ahhh yes, I thought so! Before we get into the details of the past few week’s happenings, let’s see what my training looked like … Continue reading

March Runfessions

runfessionsWow! It’s the last Friday of the month and that means it’s Runfession time! You know, getting all of that “stuff” off your sweaty souls/soles.  I almost let the day get away from me, but never fear …I have a few confessions of my own to make here!

I runfess …that I’m still not running as much as I’d like to be at this point in my training cycle because frankly, I don’t know what the &#@% is going on with my feet and these orthotics! I did go in for an adjustment on Monday and while they felt a tad better, they just aren’t comfortable to run in. But I won’t go down that ugly road again. Let’s just suffice it to say that I’ll be making another appointment next week and I’ll leave this time with a major ‘fix’ or my $400 in hand. Continue reading

Peace Be With You

It’s Tuesday afternoon and I’m just now sitting down to write my weekly recap from last week. Why, you ask? Well, the truth of the matter is that Sundays are just too hectic for us and I’m not organized enough to have it ready the Saturday before. Usually I will get it done on Monday mornings while sipping my coffee but I didn’t even take the time to write it yesterday ….I believe I have a severe case of Spring Fever and I’m loving it! It’s just too dang pretty outside to be cooped up inside on the computer. I hope you are having beautiful spring weather wherever you are and if not, I hope you see some soon!

I’m weeklywraplinking up with Tricia and Holly for their Weekly Wrap. Please stop by and visit them and all of the other incredible women that link up each week! I had a great week of workouts last week that looked something like this …

Weekly

Half marathon training is now in its second week and I’m taking it super easy, nothing fancy here. The name of this game is to just make it to Utah without aggravating my ankle and be able to actually complete 13.1 miles. And I’m good with that. Oh, I could go on and on about being frustrated that it’s taking so long for this injury to heal, that I’m not as fast as I used to be, that I’m a few pounds heavier than I was for my last half or I could even write an entire post about these dang orthotics …but I’m not. I have something else I’d like to share with you this week.

If you’ve been following me, you know that we recently moved to a new city in November. And like most runners would do, the first thing I did was to explore the neighborhood on foot …running, of course. On the edge of our neighborhood, there is a cul-de-sac which houses small businesses such as dentist, doctors, real estate offices. The first time I ran down that street I saw this in the cul-de-sac at the edge of the water….20170320_150713

…I noticed it and it struck me as an odd place for a funeral spray but didn’t have much more thought at the time. However, with each run I became more and more bothered by it and curious as to the circumstances behind it. I did happen to notice a small plaque on the ground with a name and dates engraved. It was a womans name and she was 35 years old at the time of her death. With every run, I would spend the remainder of the miles thinking about her, her family rather than my pace, tempo or niggles I may be feeling. I wondered did she leave children behind, a husband and parents. I would think how fortunate I was to be out there running, breathing in the crisp morning air, feeling my lungs fill with air and hearing the sound of my feet hit the pavement beneath me…fortunate to simply be alive. I would go home to my family and loved ones, I would be able to pick up the phone and call them to hear their voice and tell them that I love them. I would be able to kiss my husband when he walked through the door from work and I would be able to see my children. Blessings that I take for granted each day …blessings that we all take for granted each day. Many times we let anger, bitterness, discontentment and even jealousy cause strife between us and others. We refuse to forgive and offer grace to those that have wronged us and by doing so, we are only hurting ourselves and robbing ourselves of true contentment and peace. But sometimes, it’s ourselves that we are the hardest on, sometimes we just can’t forgive ourselves or let the past go and it sucks the joy of living right out of us. Let go of the past and reach for the future! Forgive yourself and forgive others, life is short and worth living to the fullest, free of anger and bitterness. One of my cousins wrote this the other day and I thought it was worth sharing….

We all lose our way at some point. Standing one minute, on the ground the next. We go from having options to flat being backed into a corner the next. One shoe after the other dropping….

The thing is, we dilute our potential when we fail to accept our past. Whatever it is. Good or bad.

That’s the beauty of the past… it’s over. Those who love you or who will come to love you will stand by you. So you’ve got a past, don’t we all bring things to the table? Don’t we all have demons we fight or have fought?

I’ve learned that if you love the heck out of people no matter what path they’ve walked, it drives people forward. And in turn drives you forward.

I don’t care about anyone’s past. I’ve got mine, you’ve got yours. Put those together and all I see is an ocean of wisdom.

Bring it, this world needs all our wisdom and love. Our younger generation needs to know that when everything goes south, that’s not the end. It just isn’t.

Turn the page of this old book called life. Torn pages, worn edges, broken spine. But such a good story.

G’night friends

– xoxo

As to the woman who lost her life at the edge of the water in my neighborhood, though I never knew her, I thank her for bringing perspective to my morning runs and I pray for continued peace for her family.

Peace be with you!

xoxo,

Finding “Fabulous” at Fifty, one blessing at a time!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This Weeks Gallivantin’: ISO New Gym

December is upon us and another week bites the dust! As if this year hasn’t flown by fast enough; this move is really bringing an end to 2016 even quicker. Just when I’m beginning to feel as if we are getting settled, the holidays arrive …bringing all of the excitement, hustle and bustle of the season along with them. (More on this and my plans for New Years Eve can be found on my Ultimate Coffee Date post; if you missed it go check it out!) Continue reading

Two Weeks of Gallivantin’: Buried in Boxes

Hello there, remember me?? It’s been a couple of weeks …a wild, crazy chaotic couple of weeks! While everyone else out there is running marathons, half marathons, working out and training; I’ve been tossed back and forth between old house/new house and buried beneath a gazillion boxes to unpack! If packing a 2,700 sq ft house, moving and unpacking it into a house half that size were considered an athletic event ….well, I’d be a gold medalist winner! I haven’t run in two weeks and barely gotten any workouts in, yet I’ve actually lost weight. This could be due to the fact that I refused to do any grocery shopping until I got my kitchen unpacked and set up. Yes, living off of salads and wine seems to the magic combination for weight loss!

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This Weeks Gallivantin’: Mile after Mile

Whew! The last week of October was spent mile after mile on the road. Unfortunately, these miles were not spent running, but rather in the car, sitting on my rear …no calories burned there! Yes, the hubs and I got in a lot of windshield time together and while there is no one on earth I’d rather ride shotgun with; we’re tired. However; I’m happy to report that after three trips to Jackson, we have signed a lease on our new “temporary” home. We decided to rent until our current house sells, allowing us time to look around and be sure of the area/town/suburb that we want to buy a home in. Now, for the “not so fun” part…packing and actually moving, ugh! It’s during these big life changes that my body likes to remind me that I’m not as young as I used to be. The mental “thinking” alone about this move has zapped all energy for running; I’m afraid the actual “physical”  move will shut any and all running completely down for a while. Speaking of…. this is what my week looked like in the way of being active: Continue reading

Insanity on the Manitou Incline

If you are looking for an extreme workout, one that will challenge you physically, mentally and emotionally, then look no further than Colorado Springs! The Manitou Incline once operated as the old Cog Railway used to provide access to water tanks at the top of Pikes Peak mountain. It operated until 1990 when a rock slide damaged the rail bed beyond repairs. The incline is now considered the holy grail of cardio for locals and athletes, alike. It consists of approximately 2,744 steps made entirely of railroad ties. Although it is only one mile in length, the ascension averages a 41% incline, 68% at its highest point, and a 2,000 foot climb in elevation! A lung crusher at the very least! Needless to say, tackling the incline is not for the faint of heart or those with any fear of heights.

Three years ago, the hubby and I were in Colorado Springs for one of his Army buddy’s wedding. We arrived a few days early in order to take in the beauty of Colorado and enjoy some hiking. After taking on Seven FallsGarden of the Gods and several other attractions, our “friend” (did I mention that he was in a special forces unit of the Army??) recommended that we climb the Manitou Incline. “It’ll be fun” he said. “You guys will love it” he said. “You guys are runners…you won’t have any problems!” he said. He was wrong. Well, sort of …but I’ll come back to that.

So, the hubs and I type in the address in our GPS and took off toward Manitou Springs. As we are approaching our exit off of the interstate, I see a brown trail cut into the side of mountain off in the distance. For a moment, I thought to myself ….”holy guacamole, that’s it???”  100_3467

I quickly dismissed that as a possibility, knowing that it would be impossible for that to actually be what we were about to climb. Nah, no way. Following the turn by turn directions being barked out to us by “Stella”, the endearing name by husband has given our cell phones GPS, we arrived in the parking lot labeled “Cogs Railway Parking”. My initial thought was, unfortunately, correct …that tiny little brown trail cut into the side of the mountain was now looming right in front of us! My heart sank. We walked toward the beginning of the trail and stood before it, staring in disbelief. My husband then said to me, “We don’t have to do this if you don’t want”. What??? Back down from a challenge? Never! I mean, if an Army special forces Soldier thinks that I can do this, then I will do it …even if it kills me! So, with a nod and a fist bump, we began our climb.1280458_10201357281427854_785132391_n

Things were going very well the first half of the trek up. I have to admit, I was feeling pretty “bad ass” as I tackled those railroad ties with the greatest of ease! Just past the half way point, there is a “bailout” point which takes you back down via the Barr Trail. This is your last chance to exit the incline …continue on and you’re committed to the steepest section of the climb and all of the suckage that comes along with it. We did witness a couple of people make the decision to end their insanity; but we pressed on. To the top or die trying! Insanity!

As the saying goes, hindsight is 20/20 ….I now know why the bailout point is where it is! Just past this point, the grade increases to about 68% and the pain begins. This is where things began to fall apart, at least for me. The difference in elevation between Mississippi and Colorado alone was taking its toll on me, let alone the additional 2,000 ft of elevation I was climbing at this point. My breathing was extremely labored and I felt as if I would pass out multiple times. I would stop and rest on rocks along the side of the trail, while 70-year-old locals would trot by me like they were taking a walk to their mailbox ….this ticked me off. The hubby would always be 10 – 15 steps ahead of me, then he would stop to wait on me, with no apparent difficulty in breathing whatsoever …this ticked me off. We continued on this way ….climbing, resting, cursing, crying, climbing, resting, cursing, crying, climbing….you get the picture. At one point of rest, I thought about our “friend” who recommended this activity ….this ticked me off as well. Who needs enemies when you have friends like this?!? I wondered if they ever performed helicopter rescue missions from this mountain …clearly, the lack of oxygen was beginning to cloud my thinking.

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Notice the parking lot at the bottom of the incline….which is at the top of the picture!

As we neared to top, the grade was so steep that I found myself using my hands as if climbing a ladder. At this point, I was beyond the anger and frustration and I just wanted to get to the top of this dang mountain! Again, the hubs being several steps ahead of me, yells out to me  “we’re almost there, I can see the summit! Keep climbing, you’ve got this!” Yes! I’m almost done. I’m not going to die on the side of this dang mountain! As I reached the summit, I looked up only to see my husband still climbing!!! What??? Yep, you guessed it ….a false summit. 1236800_10201357284787938_521388067_n

For a split second, I thought about crying again but decided it would only slow me down and besides, I was more than likely too dehydrated to make more tears anyway. (We only had one bottle of water between the two of us …again, I blame our “friend”).

Only about 300 more steps beyond the false summit and we reached the top. Lungs were screaming, quads were burning and my head was spinning, yet the amazing feeling of accomplishment overshadowed it all. The view from the top was extraordinary, like none other and we stopped for a moment to marvel at the beauty.1148834_10201357285027944_1020467301_n

At this point, you can connect to Barr Trail and either continue up the mountain to the summit of Pikes Peak or take the Barr Trail back down the mountain, we chose the latter. The return trail consists of approximately 3.6 miles of rocky switch back trails which planted me on my butt several times trying to run down it. I highly recommend wearing trail shoes if you get a hankering to tackle the incline …you can thank me later.

The climb itself took about an hour and a half, including all of my crying and cursing stops. And the trail down took about an hour.

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The trail down was a little treacherous at times as well.

I’ve read that many elite athletes incorporate this into their training regimen with many being able to reach the top in 20 minutes … now that’s insane!

The next evening, while at our “friend’s” wedding, I found myself telling of our adventure on the incline to some of the wedding guests who just so happened to be in the 10th Special Forces group. They stroked my ego just a tad by telling me that they are required to climb the incline quite often for training; however, they are not allowed  to do so by the Army for at least two weeks, allowing themselves time to adjust to the altitude. They were impressed that we were able to complete it after having only been in Colorado for a couple of days…boom! Maybe they were just trying to make this little Southern belle feel better about how long it took me to reach the top, but that’s okay…. I survived the Manitou Incline and I’m darn proud of it!

I will admit, after quite a bit of time has passed; I am itching to tackle to incline once again. Like most runners, the desire to compete against myself and beat my previous time lingers in the back of my mind. Certainly, I will not make a special trip to Colorado just to torture myself once again; but if the circumstances of life ever find me in the area again, I will face the giant …the Manitou Incline, once again.

Have you ever climbed the Manitou Incline or anything similar? If so, what was your time? If not, would you like to attempt this? What is the most extreme cardio activity you’ve ever attempted?

 

I’m linking up with MCM Mama Runs, Marcia’s Healthy Slice and My No Guilt Life for Tuesday’s on the RunTuesdays-on-the-Run-2

As well as Fit Foodie MamaFitful Focus, Fruition Fitness and Pretty Little Grub for their Wild Workout Wednesday link-up. Go on over and check these great ladies out…you will love what you find!WildWorkoutWed