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Ok, I've got to be honest. I am still recovering from yesterday's fiasco. Getting on an unmarked " trail" that led me to the middle of nowhere, with out a coat, with out water, with out a cell phone. Pure stupidity on my part. And it was downright dangerous. What was I thinking!!! I guess I thought since I had done so great on the South Trail, I was ready  to take on the world!

I am still sore. I ache all over. I even skipped out on my Zumba dance class today. I needed to recover both physically AND MENTALLY!  Somebody/ Anybody-  please  re-iterate to me how ignorant that was for me to even THINK of doing something like that. Seriously. I am ready for your verbal bashings. I need it so that this really sinks in how stupid that was yesterday. See original post "search for the north trail" if you have no idea what I am talking about.

577 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: fitness, walking, health, beginning_runner, who_wants_to_get_active, jenny_hadfield, whowantstogetactive

So yesterday the weather was fairly nice (about 48) and I decided to go to this new park area that was supposed to have a 2.4 mile south loop, and a 1.4 mile north loop. I figured, if I could do them both, it would give me a pretty good idea of what my time will be in the 3.7 (6K) on 4/18. I was so excited to be in this new area and try out these new trails!

I parked the car, looked at the map that was posted at the beginning of the south loop trail, stretched out for a few, and was off!

It was fabulous! I LOVED the south loop.

I started with a 5 minute walk, then jogged for 15 minutes, then a 4 minute walk, then jogged the final 8 minutes til I crossed the finish line. So, a 2.4 in 32 minutes. I was very happy.

And the trail was really pretty, so lots to look at as I was training. Nice ponds, some soccer fields, pretty wild grass fields , a wetland area and a natural prairie restoration area.There were several other people out on the trail. A happy "hello" was said every time you encountered someone.  And the best part,  all along the way, there were mile markers. Well, actually  ever 1/2 mile. So I could tell how much I had gone, and how much further I still had left.

When I finished, I stopped back at my car, and  logged the time  and distance on a sheet of paper,. I was really warm by now, so I shed some layers, left the heavy jacket behind, the cell phone, the water bottle, etc. Then I  checked the trail map again, and went across the street to what I assumed was the north loop. Although I did find it odd that nothing was marked like it had been on the south loop. But it would only make sense that the South loop was on the south side of the road, and the north loop would be on the north side of the road. Right?

So, figuring I did the 2.4 in 32 minutes, I could certainly knock out another 1.4 in the same time or less, allowing me plenty of time to get my 5 year old picked up from kindergarten.  So , off I set!

I was "power walking" on the trail, and it began up a hill, then past some soccer fields, then took me past some corn fields, hmmm... I thought.... this should be curving back at some point soon. Still, I pressed on. Huh, don't see any homes in sight. Don't see any people. No bikes, no dogs. Where exactly is this trail taking me? Up a big hill, winding around, now down the hill. Ok, this is getting kinda scary.I checked my watch. I've been walking for 30 minutes already. Shouldn't I been done? But I've been going north this whole time! OH NO! I'm starting to panic. I will never make it back to my car in time to get Eloise from school. Now I'm getting cold because I had left my jacket in the car. I couldn't call the school to let them know I was going to be late, I left my phone in the car. Fear is setting in. Where am I? Ok, calm down. I am coming up to some kind of building.  There are two buildings down there at the bottom of this hill.  What are they? Oh my gosh, it is an  Animal Control Building, and the other one is a Water Treatment Plant! I am definitely NOT on the 1.4 mile "north trail". I don't know where I am, ok, I see a subdivision off in the distance. Maybe the trail goes through that housing area, loops around and brings me back to my original starting place. NOPE!  All of a sudden, the trail ended. Just stopped!  Just like that!  Boom- DONE!. It ended in the parking lot between the two buildings.  Boy this is a stupid trail. I hate this trail. I will never take this trail again. Ever. I am now standing just a few feet from a  two lane road ( which fortunately had guard rails) and some train tracks. Ok, get your bearings.

Then a train came by. A train. OK. What route does that train take? THINK. THINK! OK. Got it!  I know where I am now.WHAT THE HECK AM I DOING WAY OVER HERE? I AM NO WHERE NEAR MY CAR! Ok, calm down.  I just need to head East, and I can pick up this one road and go south, and I can get back to my car. This was a very scary moment. I was jogging again at this point, knowing I was pressed for time. I was going to be down to the wire to pick up my daughter. The "Panic Mode" kicked in. Although I was so sore and tired I had been out for over an hour and a half, it seemed like  I had the adrenaline to be able to keep pushing, knowing I had to get back! It was nerve racking to say the least, to have to be running along side of the road. But I finally made it to my car, and drove like a bat of of you-know-where  to my daughter's school. My fingers were frozen, my face was sweaty and  purple (from running). My heart was still  racing. Everything ached. My ankles, my calves, my thighs, even my rear. So much for this nice little 1.4 mile "North loop". I hated that "trail" or whatever the heck that was. Maybe it had been part of a bike path at one time, who knows. But it is the "trail that leads to no where!" now.

OK, I am at the school. Yes! Eloise was still there!,  The teacher looked a little irked like "Don't you realize I need to each lunch, lady?"  or  "The afternoon class is probably already on their way! " "Can you please pick your kid up on time ??!"  I didn't bother explaining to her that I had been foolish enough to go out running  alone, on an unmarked, unfamiliar trail, with no jacket, no water, no phone. I was just glad to be back home, with my daughter safe in tow. Several safety lessons learned that day!!!  (And I still never found the north loop!)

848 Views 7 Comments Permalink Tags: active, walking, beginning_runner, who_wants_to_get_active, jenny_hadfield, whowantstogetactive

Greens and Grains

Posted by mvalenti Mar 11, 2010

A while back I took the time to meet with a nutritionist twice a month for about six months. She helped me analyze my food intake and make adjustments that improved my energy and balanced my diet. One of the most important things I learned is that people in general need to eat more greens and grains. So everytime I sit down to make my meal plan, I ask myself if I have enough greens and grains. One of my favorite grains is quinoa so I wanted to share some tasty quinoa recipes with you all. Enjoy!


Cajun Corn and Kale Salad


  • 1 sweet onion minced
  • 1 red bell pepper chopped
  • 1 green pepper chopped
  • 1 bunch of Kale--steamed, cooled and drained (you can squeeze excess water out of the kale once it is cooled)
  • 1 can of corn (or 2 ears of corn, cooked and cut off the cob)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • cajun seasoning - if you do not have any you can make it by mixing the following ingredients together: salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, crushed fennel seeds, thyme
  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa cooked and cooled (I'm not sure if this is the right amount for the recipe so just make a bunch and mix in the appropriate amount)



Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and enjoy. This is great to eat as leftovers so make a lot and eat it for lunch throughout the week.


Almond and Fennel Salad


  • 1 C quinoa
  • 1 C seedless, red grapes
  • 1 fist-sized bulb of fennel, finely chopped
  • 1/2 C silvered almonds, lightly toasted
  • 1 T fresh thyme
  • 1 T fresh tarragon leaves, chopped
  • 2 T red wine vinegar
  • 3 T olive oil
  • 1/2 t salt
  • fresh pepper, to taste



  1. Wash the quinoa until water runs clear.
  2. Cook quinoa in large pot of boiling water for 10 minutes.
  3. Drain the quinoa and rinse with cold water
  4. In the same pot bring 1/2 inch of water to a boil, place the colander or sieve that was used to drain the quinoa in the kettle. The quinoa will steam in the pot-covered-for 10 minutes without touching the water. The quinoa is ready when it is fluffy and dry.
  5. When quinoa cools, combine all the ingredients in a bowl.
4,298 Views 1 Comments Permalink Tags: nutrition, recipe, health, healthy, energy

Wow what a busy week

Posted by Blake500 Mar 11, 2010

Sorry I have been silent since last Monday.  In the last week and a half I have battled a cold, a hurt ankle, a mission team of 15 teenagers staying at my house for 4 days, and the nasty "thow up" bug they apparently left behind that's wreaking havok on my wife and girls but has thankfully passed over me!  Other than that I'm doing great.


Good news is that as of Monday I'm down to 240 lbs!   That's 13 lbs in 2 weeks.  Even more amazing is that I accomplished this weight loss while we were hosting a mission team of hungry teenagers last weekend.  In the 4 days that they were here we bought 16 dozen Krispy Creme Donuts, made 2 batches of home made brownies and pumpkin bread, went out for an ice cream run to Baskin Robbins, and ate out at CiCi's Pizza Buffet, Moe's Giant Burritos, and 5 Guys Burger and Fries!   All though it killed me... not one of the Krispy Kreme donuts ever touched my lips! (Boy it was hard eating those things without them touching my lips )    Everywhere else I practiced moderation and portion size control.  Turns out half of giant burrito on whole wheat tortilla with no chez, sour cream, or guac is actually pretty good!


Running was hard last week because of my ankle.  I think I just did too much too fast.  I should have taken a few weeks to ramp up.  I have discovered ankles that are used to being propped up on a pillow while watching CSI don't like 250 lbs slamming down on them for 30 minutes a day on a tread mill, and they are not afraid to tell you about it.  I bought an ankle brace and just walked for the last 3 "running" dates and this has seemed to placate the angry body parts.  I'm planning on jumping back into the world of running on Saturday but I haven't figured out how to tell my ankles yet.


I'm really enjoying the "cross training" working outs.  I've chosen a real simple exercise program with two stretch bands: one big one that hangs from the door for upper body work work out and another one that goes around and connects both ankles for a lower body work out.  I also use a big stretch belt that goes around my waist and stomache to remind me to hold my stomache muslces in.  I only do 10 exercises but do each one all out and try to switch to the next one with out taking a break (which gives me a nice cardio work out at the same time.)   I can really feel and see a lot more tone in muscle groups in the last two weeks.  (I took a "shirtless" before picture but haven't worked up the nerves to post it, maybe after the race I will be brave enough to post the side by side before and after.)


The pro's of using the work out bands is that the bands were cheap, they are very mobile so I can take them with me on our up coming trip, and I can use them anywhere in the house I want to.   The negatives is that while seeing Dad lifting huge amounts of weights and dumb bells brings confidence to your children, I'm not sure what lasting impression my kids are walking away with after seeing Dad pulling on to a giant rubber band hanging from a door while is ankles are bound and he's wearing a giant black girdle.  I may be paying for some therapy sessions in the future.


Finally to help people get to my blog a little better, I picked up the web site name and directed it here.


Well that's all for right now.  Good luck everyone!



594 Views 1 Comments Permalink


Posted by ilived Mar 11, 2010

Lately I have strayed away from my true reason for wanting to get in shape, my family.  Yesterday was a fun reminder of just why I have to stay active and non-complacent.  I took my boys down to the park in the morning and that was fun.  And then in the afternoon we took a walk down to the soccer fields so that my two year old kick his soccer ball around. He had a blast!  And for the first time I could go back and forth, up and down the field with greater ease.  I was pushing my 9 month old around in the BOB and the laughter was flowing though the air.  My reminder of how important it is to get fit so that I can do those types of things. I had gotten caught up in the,"  I got to look good!"  thought process.  That will come along in good time if I keep on keeping on.  My wife and children are going to love me no matter what way I look and the people who truly care aren't going to mind if I don't have a chiseled chest.  It' Jason who has to be happy in his skin and remember what really counts.  Have a great day all!

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