Sunday, August 23, 2015

Grey Rock MEADOWS Trail Hike, Fort Collins CO (Day 2)

As I said in my last post, we ran out of time to summit The Rock on Wednesday, so we vowed to come back Thursday and tackle it.  After reading up on both trails, we decided to test out the Meadows trail - it's longer, but was supposedly a more gradual incline to we figured we could make better time if we tried it this time around...
We started a little earlier and were on the trail by 2 PM. However, we didn't end up reaching the first summit until 5 PM!  This trail was killer, the first mile was MUCH steeper and since the trail isn't frequented quite as often it was very overgrown in parts.  Not to mention the trail was basically lined in Poison Ivy, not cool.  We ran into a few people along the way and they all said this was the easier trail, but we were beginning to doubt their sanity.  After 2 hours we reached what we thought was the first summit, only to find out we still had to go around ANOTHER mountain.. We sucked it up and continued on - at this point we were running extremely low on water and on moral, but we assumed we were close so we kept going, we couldn't have been more wrong.  About 45 minutes later we finally reached the Meadow, which was breathtaking, but at that point we were very nervous about our water situation so we didn't stop long.
After the Meadow we still had to get to the first summit (our second or third of the trip by then) - we ended up doing a lot of bouldering, which none of the trail reviews mentioned.. When we got to the end of the boulder field we realized our error - at some point (we have no idea when) we actually got off the Meadows Trail and ended up on a third trail that we had no idea existed - adding roughly 2 miles and the additional summits to our trip.  I haven't seen anything on any trail websites about this third trail, but when we reconnected with the Meadows trail it was obvious what had happened...  I wish I could tell you where we got mixed up so you could avoid it, but I honestly don't have the slightest idea..

By the time we got to the base of The Rock, it was already 5 PM - even LATER than the previous day.  Due to the time constraints, and the fact that we were now dangerously low on water, we unfortunately were unable to summit it, yet again.  I swear we will do it soon - everyone said the top it absolutely amazing.

We took Grey Rock Trail down, and made the descent in an hour an 7 minutes - we were on a mission to get back to the Jeep and get some water in us ASAP.

We will probably not attempt The Meadows again just based on that experience, and if you do please be careful and watch the trail so you don't make the same mistake we did - unless you want to, it honestly was a beautiful hike and the first summit we hit had incredible views - just make sure you are prepared!

Lesson learned for sure - watch your trail, bring MORE water than you think you'll need, and just prepare for the worst in general - God forbid something had happened up there, especially when we were off the trail - things can go south pretty quick!  Day 2 took us 4 hours, and we were really moving - start earlier than we did if you can, especially to avoid that afternoon heat - it was crazy hot out Thursday!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Grey Rock Trail Hike, Fort Collins CO (Day 1)

Last Wednesday John and I hiked Grey Rock Trail in Poudre Canyon (about 20 minutes from our house in Fort Collins).  There are actually 2 trails - so we came back the next day and did the Meadows Trail too (that part will be a second post, because trust me, it deserves it's own).

It was an absolutely beautiful hike - we started around 2:30 PM and reached the first summit around 4:30 - since we started so late we didn't want to attempt the final summit due to time constraints, so we vowed to come back the next day to tackle The Rock.
It was a moderately difficult hike, pretty steep in parts but totally do-able.  We ran into a fair number of other hikers ranging in ages from children to adults - if they could do it you can!  Just take your time, it's very rocky. We saw one snake, non-venomous, but we did run into a group that saw a pretty large rattler on The Rock so just keep an eye out.

We left the first summit around 5 to head back down and made it to the Jeep by 6:15 - the descent is much faster than the climb and felt a lot less strenuous.  The whole trip took us a little under 4 hours and trust me, we took our time.  Granted, that is without summitting The Rock which based on what other hikers told us would have taken roughly an hour each way so keep that in mind for sure - it would not be a good hike to do once the sun drops for sure.

And now, the photo-dump, I will try to keep it in chronological order :-)

Check back tomorrow for Meadows Trail, the 'supposedly' easier of the two trails (spoiler alert, it kicked our asses).

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

How to Balance Health and Fitness with Real Life (Part 1)

If you follow me on IG (or Facebook) you may have already seen the photo I posted last night with the caption below:

If you close one eye, and squint the other, I kinda have abs..
I haven't tracked a single macro in a month, the batteries in my food scale have been dead for over a week, and I've only been in the gym a handful of times in the 2 weeks since I got to CO. I've had some beers, more frozen custard and fast food burgers than I care to admit, and some KILLER mac and cheese. I've been on top of mountains, in canyons, and on rivers. I have been living LIFE and enjoying every second. And to me, life > abs. So there's that... Now, back to life :)

I wanted to touch on this a little more today, because lately this has become a topic very near and dear to my heart: balancing health and fitness goals with having a real life.

When I first started working out, I was pretty good at balancing everything - I'd work out a few days a week and eat pretty clean, but I also allowed myself to live my life at the same time.  I started competing, and still kept a fairly healthy balance between the gym and real life - but somewhere around my 3rd or 4th show I lost all concept of balance.  Both pre-contest and 'offseason' I was basically letting my physique run my life - counting every single macro I ate, weighing ALL of my food, killing myself 7 days a week in the gym, and not really allowing myself much freedom from that routine...  Don't get me wrong, I still had some fun here and there and let myself stray a little, but everytime I did I was so overwhelmed with guilt that it was almost crippling.  I truly let my abs (and the rest of my physical appearance) run my life - I can look back now and realize how crazy it was, but at the time it was normal.

Don't get me wrong, if you are actively competing or doing something else that requires your body to be in 'peak' condition a majority of the time I get it, it's important, but please don't make yourself miserable doing it.

I have taken it pretty easy lately - my workouts are no longer 2+ hours, I take days off and don't beat myself up over it, I get outside and do active things like hiking, whitewater rafting, walking the dogs, running (who am I)..  I eat mostly clean, but am far more likely to partake in a burger, ice cream, even a beer (or 3) when the opportunity presents itself.  I stopped counting my macros, quit weighing out all my food, and am finally learning to go with the flow every once in a while.  I am extremely 'Type A' so this can be tough at times, but I am learning to accept that sometimes you just have to run with it.

I am still in the gym 3-5 days a week, and I still lift heavy weights.  I don't ever plan to quit because I truly LOVE working out, but I think I am finally learning to balance the gym with real life, and it's pretty damn cool.

So please, don't beat yourself up if you stray from the plan a little (unless you're one of my clients in which case I WILL FIND YOU lol).. Enjoy your life while you can and stop being so hard on yourself.  Someday you'll look back and can either be proud of your six pack abs or you can look back on all the awesome memories you made outside the gym, because trust me, it's a lot more fun out there :-) 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

More CO Pictures!

You'll have to bear with me for the next little while, I am overwhelmed with the beauty of Colorado, and therefore I am flooding all forms of social media (and the blog) with pictures.

Today, John and I went out and scouted the Poudre River before we raft it this weekend with some new friends - we also went off-roading in the Jeep to the top of a mountain (spoiler alert, I have learned I am not the biggest off-roading fan...).

We were actually super impressed with the Poudre - we weren't really sure what to expect but the water looks incredible!  I will be sure to post a recap after our trip for all my fellow boaters out there!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Life Recap (GA -> CO and other happenings)


It's been awhile, and we have lots to catch upon, so please, take a seat.

First and foremost, I am now located in Fort Collins, CO!  We left Georgia July 31 and arrived in Colorado August 2 - I now a have new appreciation for truck drivers and get anxiety if I am in a car longer than 15 minutes..

My view for 3 days...
The road trip was.. interesting. We got here in one piece and are finally settling in to our new home! The biggest issue so far has been adjusting to the elevation - it really is a lot rougher than I anticipated!

I have to be honest, during the moving process/travel time/etc... my diet and training went out the window.  For the past 2ish weeks I have basically been eating whatever I can get my hands on and training has been very minimal and basically only when I can find a few minutes of spare time.

Luckily, I haven't lost anymore weight and I still look about the same - that just goes to show you that taking some time off won't destroy all your progress!  For years I was terrified to stray from my diet/training plan for fear of losing all my gains - it has taken me a long time to be OK with taking time off here and there without having a panic attack over it.

Roadtrip Day 2
Roadtrip Day 3
First lift in Colorado!
I am hoping to get my training and nutrition back on track this week, and hopefully I'll be able to start my bi-weekly check-ins again Monday (my last one was May 20th!! I'm anxious to see what kind of difference there is going to be almost 3 months later)..

In other news, I left my job of 5 years at Orica to pursue my passion of personal training!  It was not an easy decision, and has caused more sleepless nights than I can count, but ultimately I am eager and excited for the change.  I have really amped up my online training, and am interviewing for positions at local gyms in Fort Collins to begin one-on-one training!  This has been a dream of mine for 6+ years and to finally make it a reality is such a huge leap of faith.  I have never been more nervous and excited for something in my entire life!

So that's where I'm at right now - trying to figure out life on the other side of the country.. Wish me luck!  Oh, and since you haven't seen them in a few months (unless you follow me on IG) here's dumb & dumber.. They are perfectly content here in CO - honestly, I don't think they know the difference..

Fill me in! What have I missed in your life??

Monday, August 10, 2015

MIMM: Rocky Mountain National Park (Photo Dump)

For my first official 'Marvelous in my Monday' link-up with THE Healthy Diva, I couldn't think of a better topic - what is more marvelous than these absolutely breath-taking Rocky Mountains?! We went to Rocky Mountain National Park on Saturday and honestly, I am still in awe.  These pictures do not even come close to doing justice to the beauty of these mountains!

I am going to let the pictures do the talking, so enjoy!