Monday, September 26, 2011


I am a firm believer in play. And given the sort of state of euphoria that I've been living in over the past few months, play, has become a mantra. I am making up for lost time in the play department, so please forgive my juvenile behavior.

Over the weekend, the worldwide day of play was celebrated. At the our house, we learned this due to our Nick Jr. being unavailable. No cable. No Olivia! No Bubble Guppies! We were meant to send our kids outside to enjoy the afternoon playing.

Right now, I love that. Lets all turn off our regularly scheduled activities and play! Try something new. Do something fun. Laugh. Run. Play.

I'm playing every day these days. I still work. Work hard, play hard. But play is now a priority. I play at running. I play at horse back riding. I play at P90X. I play on date nite. I play at shopping. I play. Maybe I should be more serious. Maybe I should be more mature. Maybe. But I hope that by playing, I keep my soul and spirit happy and young and teach my girls that play is an essential part of life.

This week recap of running:
Count: 3 Activities
Distance: 15.39 mi
Time: 2:34:24 h:m:s
Elevation Gain: 340 ft
Avg Speed: 6.0 mph
Avg HR: 153 bpm
Calories: 2,031 C

I also did two P90 sculpt / Abs routines on non-running days.

I had an awesome riding lesson on Friday. Riding as an adult is such a different thing. I can finally let my nerves go and just focus on the nuances of my connection with the horse. I had my horse "on the bit" for at least a portion of my lesson which was an absolute first for me. I can't wait to ride again and ride more!

Happy Birthday to my favorite playmate. I love you babe.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Checking In

Just doing stuff. Maintaining my weight loss. Need to get some weights back in the mix. This past week was heavy on the running as I was left to my own devices with hubby out of town.

Count: 5 Activities
Distance: 18.13 mi
Time: 3:40:53 h:m:s
Elevation Gain: 802 ft
Avg Speed: 4.9 mph
Avg HR: 145 bpm
Calories: 2,661 C

Riding is great and I can't wait to do it more!

Friday, September 16, 2011


Intention. This word, spoken at my riding lesson this week, has resonated with me. Living with intention. Moving with intention. Thinking about where you want to go and then shifting your gut to point that way. The amazing thing about riding is that if you are centered, if you have intention, the horse will know, instinctively, and follow.

Every action evokes a response. Know what response you want and then ask for it. Intend it to happen.

I’d like to think that I’ve brought some attention back to intention in the past year. To look forward with an idea of what I want to feel like, what I want to look like, who I might be able to be. I am shifting my weight, shifting my posture, shifting my center.

I’ve exhaled. I’ve sank into my heels. I feel the weight in my ground. I am thinking forward. I am full of intention. I’m not sure where I am going to end up, but I have intention to move forward from here.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Running + 1

On Friday my closest friend from high school stopped at our place on his way thru town. He does this every 2 years or so. I can't complain. If it weren't for the effort that he has made to come and see us over the years, we might not have spoken since 2003. This is a guy who has known me in every happy, sad or awkward phase of my life. I think I shocked the crap out of him when I opened the door. The last time he saw me, I looked like this:

Seeing his reaction to seeing me helped me see what I had accomplished. I had planned an aggressive day of activities on Friday and it rocked! After my riding lesson, we headed up to the Wis Dells and took on the Bigfoot Zip Line. The largest zip line in the country. It was fantastic! The boys were doing tricks, upside down, trust fall starts, helicopter spins. What a rush. Even I got into it! If you are in the Dells, I HIGHLY recommend it. Worth every penny.

We scooted back to Madison, cleaned ourselves up, grabbed a taxi and made our way down to State Street for dinner before the 8pm comedy show. Kyle Kinane had us in stitches and laughing for 2 hours straight was the best way to end the day.

Us, two years later:

But for me the biggest deal of the visit was a run with my old friend on Sat morning. See, he ran cross country in college when I was smoking cigarettes, drinking beer, eating pizza and packing on the pounds. I always teased him for his running - self torture - or some such nonsense. It was only fitting the the first run that I should do WITH someone would be WITH him. So we set out.... I was self conscious for the first mile, acutely aware that I had music and all he had was me breathing heavy next to him. By mile 2 we settled in and then it was fun. A silent communion. Somehow, even without the running, our friendship had always been like this. Running with BWB somehow allowed for me to think of myself as a runner. Thanks, B.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Boiling it down

I refuse to accept that the best days of my life are over.

That's it. That is the WHY. The big WHY. The big bam of emotion that forced me off the couch and into the world last year.

I refuse.

I am not going to take it.


Memories are beautiful things. Wow, I love how a smell or a taste can take you back to a place that -- although maybe a bit fuzzy around the edges -- can be as clear as yesterday. There are certain things that take me back. Rolling down hills. Umbrellas. Salami. All Terrain Vehicles. Yes, these odd items each have some sentimental place in my heart.

Music does the same. God, there are some bands... some songs ...I can't listen to at all anymore just cause I overplayed them in my maudlin youth.

But no. I am not going to live there. It is a nice, glorious, idealized place to visit, but what they say is true, youth is wasted on the young. So instead of letting the world, my life, just go on without me while I lived in my happy little memories, I said: Screw it. Time to make this moment the one that I want to be in.

That is the WHY.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Burn baby Burn!

Just so you all didn't think I was slacking just cause I wasn't writing!!

My workout stats from last week:

Count: 5 Activities
Distance: 8.15 mi
Calories: 2,411 C

This was 2 runs (1 less than 3m, 1 5 miler). I ran the 5 miles in less than 50 mins which is a PR for me!

The rest of the activities logged are P90X. I wore my Garmin for all but 1 of them (skipped the HRM for Yoga X). Calories burned is fairly accurate.

My diet took a hit over the weekend with friends and family visiting, but all and all I am pretty psyched about my fitness right now.

I also took the next step as for riding and ordered some gear. I am still anxious that this is the right step for me, but excited as well. Thankfully, if I change my mind, all items can be happily returned to Dover Saddlery.

Next up: More Zip Lining on Friday with my oldest friend who is coming to visit this weekend! YAY!

Happy Trails!

Friday, September 2, 2011


It has been an interesting week. I've been ruminating in the variety of things I could be doing with myself now that my singular focus (the scale) is no longer my singular focus.

This is what I've come up with so far:

I want to do something that:

1. Challenges me physically and keeps me engaged
2. Forces me to address my long standing body and self image issues
3. Is social
4. Will energize me on a more spiritual and emotional level.

I've been putting feelers out there about horse back riding. I am not sure if riding is the sole activity that will encompass all of the things that I want to accomplish, but it is something I love, fear, respect and wish I could do better. So from that perspective, it has got my attention at the moment.

In the course of putting feelers out there about the riding possibilities in southern Madison, I came across (kismet?) a life coach. Huh. This was an interesting development for me. Life coaching. Would I -- stubborn Mara -- who insists on promoting change from within (dare I say a "self changer") be open to life coaching?

In an effort to be more than the usual Mara, I reached out to the life coach.

The conversation was honest and real and satisfying. It was certainly nice to have someone who doesn't know me -- listen --- and be a sounding board for all the ideas and concerns I have about the next step. The what-to-do-now that is staring me in the face. I suspect if money and time weren't an issue that I would continue having these conversations. I felt invigorated, energized, and ready to tackle something when I got off the phone. Life coaching.... to be continued.

As for the week, I think it has been highly productive. I've signed on to P90X. So far so good. I feel like my whole body has gone thru some sort of tightening up process and am encouraged by the fact that I can actually do most of the exercises. I'm also looking at these routines as a means to an end -- if I do end up riding -- I will be in the best shape I can be in to do it.

Since I started the P90X, I've missed running. Yes, I said it folks -- missed running. Sunday is supposed to be a rest day, but if the weather is nice, I'm going for a jog. I did get a couple of miles logged last weekend and I ran as a warm up on Wednesday but 2.75 miles just doesn't cut it anymore. (Did I just say that out loud?!) Who AM I?

Thus, the searching...