(Wo)man vs. Mountain

After a month of being away from my weekly ass kicking hike I decided to head back to Shaw Butte with the same girlfriend I work out with regularly.  Yes, I am a glutton for punishment. 

Although temps were over 100 degrees, the humidity has definitely been very high over the past few weeks.  The desert's weather has definitely changed here.  Gone are the days of with-out-fail dust and thunder storms in the afternoon. 

Anyways, I knew last night would be tough but thinking that I had to start somewhere after being away, I plugged on ahead.  Although it's tough, it is such a beautiful hike.  We could see the monsoon storm clouds coming down from the north; a shield of gray dropping from the sky over a nearby neighborhood.  Someone was getting pelted.

At first I was thinking, this isn't so hard.  Must be because I'm no longer carrying around 20 extra pounds.  However, when we reached an area with a steep incline near the top, the sun unleashed its full fury on us.  My stomach was starting to turn.  I stopped for awhile to rest and hoped that the nausea would pass.  After a few deep breaths it did.  We continued up.  Then my girlfriend starts telling me about after a marathon she completed how sick she got.  She started to describe it in detail which was really more than I needed to hear.  I'm thinking, why is she telling me this knowing how nauseous I just was???  Apparently thats all it took for me to hurl off the side of the mountain.  Luckily there were no other hikers near us at the time. 

I stood for awhile contemplating returning to the bottom or continuing on to the top.  Actually after that I felt much better.  She confessed a few minutes later that she decided to tell me about her own hurling experience because she knew that I'd feel better after I hurled myself.  Well, thanks. . .I think.

We made it to the top and sat for awhile.  It felt like the temperature dropped about 10 degrees which was a welcome relief.  The breeze blew cool, too, which is a nice change from the 'hair dryer on high' breeze we usually experience.  The sunset was spectacular.  It sunk into the western horizon casting a red glow on the roofs of the buildings below much in the same way the sunlight sparkles off the ocean at sunset.

There is so much natural beauty to experience there that it makes the hike worth it despite the heat and how yucky I felt on the climb.  No matter how long I have lived here or how long I will continue to live here I will always be in awe of the desert. 

Tomorrow night we'll return for another butt kicking hike.  The sky is like a kaleidescope this time of the year.  Depending on the setting sun and the monsoon clouds one never knows what feast Mother Nature has in store for the eyes.  

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Shaw Butte at Sunset

I took this last night on another hike up Shaw Butte.  It's actually getting easier each time I do it.  The picture should be titled 'The View From Shaw Butte At Sunset.'  The shadow against these mountains is Shaw Butte.

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Tales From The Scale – Week 3

Yesterday was Monday so I went up to get weighed in and was pleasantly surprised to be down another few pounds.  So far this hasn't been as hard as I thought it would be to stay on a weightloss plan.  I was in Tucson over the weekend and still splurged on a tamale and a steaming bowl of menudo served with a bolillo roll.  Here are my stats for the week:

Lost: 2.8 lbs

Total Lost: 5.4 lbs

To go: 14.6 lbs

One of my goals from last week was to increase the exercise.  Well, over Saturday and Sunday I walked over 10 miles.  A girlfriend and I were going to sign up for a race in Sabino Canyon late Saturday afternoon.  Although we didn't actually sign up for it, we just showed and walked it.  It was quite hilly in areas, especially at the end.  I was completely out of breath and didn't think I'd be able to make it.  However I kept pushing forward.  It really is mind over matter.  Sabino Canyon was 3.5 miles in and 3.5 miles out.  We did a smaller hike on Sunday on flat ground and that was a little over three miles. 

Clothes are starting to feel looser already.  I love that!  In addition to having clothes just fit better, I want my cholesterol to be at a normal level.  I get these emails from the hungrygirl.com website that feature recipes and other little tips.  Someone had sent in a question regarding high cholesterol.  The response was that the person had used an item called Benecol to lower their cholesterol.  I guess it contains plant sterols.  I figured, what the heck, I'll give it a try.  I don't have medical insurance and I'm not fond of placing chemicals in my body to control things so this may work.  I ordered it online because the local CVS didn't carry it.  I'll post how it works in a few months.  They are caramel flavored so maybe I'll feel like I'm getting a treat.  Hope they're not nasty.  Has anybody ever tried these before?  I'd be interested in hearing.

 

I haven't thought up a goal for this week yet but I'm sure I'll think of one.  Hope everyone is having a great week!

*Disclaimer: I don't endorse the product in the picture.  I've never tried it.  I apologize if this came off like an infomercial or worse yet, spam (ick!).

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