Monthly Archives

September 2010

Challenge, Life

Lessons learned from getting off my ass

I allowed Jillian Michaels to kick my hindquarters again today with her kettlebell workout. It’s surprisingly fun; you get to swing the kettlebell around (wheee!), all the while praying that you won’t let go and send it flying into the tv. I am too sore for words.

GOYA Day 13 GOYA Day 15

Since I’m now at the halfway point of the GOYA challenge, I decided to compile a list of things I’ve learned so far:

– The harder the workout, the happier I get (but pushing myself is still a huge challenge).

– When I can’t find the motivation for a hard workout, getting out for a brisk walk is surprisingly effective.

– So far, the happiness effect only lasts through the day of the activity…

-…so it’s much better for me to exercise early in the day (but this clashes with my procrastination).

– Doing strength training again feels amazing for my noodly appendages, but it doesn’t give as much of a happiness boost as running or hiking.

Challenge, Hiking

Silver Peak

GOYA Day 8 GOYA Day 9 GOYA Day 10 GOYA Day 11 GOYA Day 12 GOYA Day 13

My laziness may have prevented me from updating my blog, but it hasn’t foiled GOYA! For more on days 8-13, click on the photos above.

Day 11 deserves special attention since it was all sorts of awesome. After several days of migraine and general malaise, I suddenly woke up clear-headed and happy as a clam.

GOYA Day 11

To celebrate my newfound willingness to leave the house, JK and I met up with Josie to gorge ourselves on free samples at the PCC Healthy Living Fair in Issaquah, then drove up to Snoqualmie Pass for a TNAB-style ascent of Silver Peak.

Good views, excellent company, crisp autumn air and a beautiful sunset made this the best GOYA yet.

Silver Peak | 6 miles | 2000 feet elevation gain –

It's just like TNAB!

Backpacking, Canada, Hiking, Top Trips, Travel

Rocky Mountain High, Eh?

My workout of choice for Get Off Your Ass today was Level 1 of Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred DVD. Since there’s nothing very interesting I can say about this (except that I can barely lift my arms right now), I’ll post an overdue trip report instead. Yay!

Since I am the only one of her friends without a job, a life, or an ounce of sense, Karen talked me into (ok, it wasn’t that hard) joining her on a last-minute road trip and hiking excursion to the Canadian Rockies.

We started with a backpacking trip to Lake of the Swarming Mosquitoes. Sorry, Lake of the Hanging Glacier. This must be one of the prettiest lakes in the universe, but OHMYGOD, the evil, bloodsucking mozzies just wouldn’t leave me alone. Graahk! We bushwhacked/scrambled up to a ledge about 1000 feet above the lake in hopes of escaping the little bastards, but no such luck.

Fake smile Lake of the Hanging Glacier
The Beatles in concert Mosquito aftermath

We stayed there one night and then went back to civilization, also known as Radium Hot Springs. Mmmm. Karen thought they wouldn’t let me in since the mosquito bites made me look like a leper, but they took pity on me and I was allowed to soak my bumpy body for an hour or so before we drove north into the Rockies. Even the views from the car were amazing.

Maybe we should have pulled over Blurry but handsome moose

After spending a night in the Waterfowl Lake campground, we hit some of the touristy spots. My favorites were Parker Ridge in Banff National Park…

The Map n' Point Karen on Parker Ridge

…and the Edith Cavell trail in Jasper National Park.

Now THAT'S a real smile Angel Glacier

After spending another night by Waterfowl Lake, I woke up the next day not feeling quite right…and then ended up spending the whole day running between my tent and the campground bathrooms. Do yourself a favor and stay away from the food at the Icefields Parkway Visitor Centre, even the little veggie burger that you think can’t possibly do any harm. *mumble grumble*

After a day of “rest” in the Lake Louise campground (complete with grizzly-proof electric fences!), I was ready-ish to hike again, so we donned our helmets and ice axes and set out for Caldron Peak.

The trail starts at the Peyto Lake viewpoint, so obviously the views are redonkulus right from the beginning. We dropped down to the lake shore, followed the river up to a primitive log bridge, hiked up the moraine, then made our way to the steep scree traverse towards Caldron Lake (you can see it in the photo below, to the left above the waterfall).

Peyto Lake Route
She trusted that rusty cable way too much Crossing the river

Karen coaxed me partway across the slope, but then I just froze and had to sit down. I hate this kind of terrain; there was no trail due to frequent rock slides (that’s always comforting), so you had to make you own steps on the hard dirt covered with rolling scree. When I looked down and realized that a slip would equal certain doooom, I had to call it quits.

My turnaround spot Ugh

While Karen sped ahead to attempt Caldron Peak, I moseyed around on the plateau, exploring the Peyto Glacier hut, making good use of their facilities (blast that veggie burger!) and trying not to beat myself up for wimping out on our climb. As thunder and hail started rolling in, I found a spot below the moraine where I could wait for Karen. After a while I realized I was sitting right next to three steaming piles of bear poo, and was mildly perturbed when I discovered that I had left my bear spray in the car.

Mmm, Peyto Peyto Glacier

Luckily Karen wasn’t hit by lightning and I wasn’t mauled by a bear, so, reunited at last, all we had to do was hike the 1300 feet of counter-elevation to get back to the car. Hnngh.

After a well-deserved meal in Banff, a good night’s sleep at the Two Jack campground and a heavenly soak in Banff Hot Springs, we jumped in Karen’s truck and drove home (stopping for Timbits and Hickory Sticks along the way).

Big thanks to Karen for a Moste Excellente Adventure, I’m already looking forward to my next trip to the Rockies…this time it’s going to be a fall trip when the larches have turned and all the %&$@ing mosquitoes are DEAD.

Karen’s trip report on

Challenge, Life

GOYA, now available in blackberry flavor!

Since it’s Labor Day today, I had the pleasure of having both of my boys at home with me. For our exercise, we decided to brave the pouring rain for a brisk walk to PCC to pick up some necessities.

Rattus Albinus

Most of this route is on the Powerline Trail, which is chockablock with blackberries at the moment. We grabbed an extra produce bag at PCC and filled it up with two pounds of deliciousness on the way home – even Wellie ate a couple of berries straight of the bush! We arrived home soaked to the core, but happy. Hear that? Happy. GOYA for the win!!

– 5.6 miles | 500 feet elevation gain –

*sound of Ingunn stuffing her face* GOYA Day 6, now with blackberry delay!

Challenge, Running

GOYA 3-5

Well, it didn’t take long for this to become a literal challenge! On Friday I couldn’t for the life of me find the motivation to exercise, so I called for backup. JK agreed to a quick run in the Redmond Watershed Preserve after work…but when we got there, I could barely find the energy to walk, let alone run. At least I got to use JK as my personal therapist to let off some steam about how crappy I was feeling (words flow freely when you’re walking in nature) and that I felt guilty for not doing something more challenging for GOYA.

JK’s words of wisdom for the day: “Focus on what you are doing, not on what you think you should be doing”. (Yes, everything I need to learn about life always essentially boils down to “Be here now”.) I decided to try to take his advice, and suddenly I was able to run again and get lost in conversation.

Side note: we saw two piles of bear scat in the Watershed. It still amazes me that there are bears and cougars running around here.

– 3.5 miles | 170 feet elevation gain –

Green green Redmond Watershed Warrior

I kept that mindset going throughout the weekend when we both realized that we just didn’t feel like hiking. Instead of feeling guilty about not being out in the mountains on a weekend in September (the best hiking month in Washington), we made some good food and enjoyed curling up at home with our books. This also gave me a chance to come up with some good cross-training activities since I’m trying to ease back into running.

First up, yoga. Omgz, GOYA is an anagram of yoga – surely that must be a sign! JK and I both used to love Ashtanga Yoga, but we just stopped practicing after we left California. Dusting off my mat felt amazing, and I can’t even remember the last time I was this sore. Since I was already feeling all New Age and junk, I tortured myself for fifteen minutes on my Shakti Mat to really get the blood flowing.

Urdhva Dhanurasana

Sunday was a day of epic laziness, but we took our bikes out for a ride on the East Lake Sammamish Trail and stopped by Marymoor Park on the way home so JK could boulder for a bit. We only biked 16 miles since my butt hasn’t touched a bike seat since the dawn of time (between that and the Ashtanga, tomorrow should be a hoot), so I felt like I didn’t get a good workout in. It would help if there were more hills; all the elevation gain is from the one evil monster of a hill that leads back up to our house. Now that part just about killed me.

I’ve come to the conclusion that if this project is going to work, I need to push myself harder (bigger rush of endorphins and sense of accomplishment) and do so earlier in the day (so I can really benefit from the rush).

– 16 miles | 270 feet elevation gain –

GOYA Day 4 *oops Day 5* Phil Spiderman