Saturday, April 30, 2011

First Massage Therapy Appointment

I was supposed to go to physical therapy for my back, but after waiting for 40 minutes on my lunchbreak and I still hadn't seen the doctor, I decided to bail. I was already nervous about the place, because it was in the ghetto, it was shady looking, and they only had 1 doctor for all these people that they scheduled at pretty much the same time.

I had already been conversing with this licensed massage therapist and thought, why not. I would love to have my friend, JL work on me, because she knows my back; however, she doesn't live by me. So, I went with this lady, but not before getting advice from JL. It turns out the lady lives right by my parents.

How convenient and wished I would have known that sooner. We discuss my accident and what she does. I told her that I usually get deep tissue massages at 60 minutes and when I say deep, it's deep. She, of course, told me that you probably didn't have it deep like the way I give it. Now, if you have a dirty mind, you took that completely different. I can't help what was said. Anyhoo. I told her okay. This is the same response that I get from all of my new massage people. And when they start working it, they think it's deep and it's not. We also discussed that I would breathe and she will ask me about pressure. Yes, things I know. This isn't my first rodeo lady. Plus, I will tell you when it hurts or when it's not too much. Well, maybe not tell her when it's not too much since my back is messed up and I don't want to make it worse.

She told me to face up, which normally, I start face down. She worked a great deal on my neck and figuring out the spots that need fixing. She moved and massaged and it felt good, but my back was begging for attention. She did some weird stuff with my face that was just uncomfortable. She checked my chest saying that whiplash will cauase injury here in the chest. Whatever, it felt good. There was spots she it and my shoulder would get sharp pains. I told her that was sharp and to move on. Then, I got to turn to my back. She was all over it and it did feel good. She noticed that I have a zigzag of pain, which I already knew. Everything was so tight that I could barely feel when she touched me, which is not a good thing. Then, she went after the butt and it did fix a great deal of areas on my back.

All in all, it was a good session, but I'm going to need more. Now, can I afford it right off the bat even though my insurance covers this type of thing. Hmmmmm......

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

When it Rains, It is a Cat 5 Hurricane

Anyone that has read this blog knows that I've suffered a very bad ankle injury that took me out of running, skydiving, etc. for six months (at least). Well, I finally got cleared from physical therapy and started running again (skydiving is something different for different reasons) and hiking.

Then, last Thursday, because the Gods didn't think I was punished enough, bestowed a new injury on me. I was at a stop light sitting there, chilling when a GMC Sierra truck didn't see that we were all stopped and slammed into my car. This sent me in to the car in front of me (not that much damage). The rear of my car is in bad shape, but will hopefully be fixed in 2-3 weeks.

I am okay, but my back, shoulders, and neck are messed up pretty bad. I have no fractures or torn anything, but it's tight. So this means that I'm out for running, hiking, and anything exercising for a while. I have to get ready for my backpacking trip in like 4 weeks. GRRR!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Last Run at the Hotel...this time

Well, I'm heading home today and I only got one workout in on Tuesday morning. I woke up at 4 a.m. and sat in bed until I succumbed to just get up and go down to the gym by 5 a.m. I got there alone, but 2 other gentlemen showed up to workout, as well. I was first and able to turn on the television to what I wanted to watch and that would be Angel, my beloved David Boreanz and all-time best vampire. Edward who? Yeah, more like Edwuss.

Oh, this is a running blog.

I did some stretching and then I hopped on the treadmill. I opted out of the pre-run walk and just started running at 5.5 speed with 0% incline. I kept the information on time so I wouldn't focus so much on the distance. Although, time is not any better. I think I will try to focus on the calories instead. And at the 0.90 mile, I increased it to 6.0 speed until I reached a mile. So, that means I did 1 mile on the treadmill without stopping and at increased speeds. It was hard, I'm not going to sugarcoat it, but I just kept looking at myself in the mirror saying, "Go away fat! Go away." I tried to at least work on my stride, but I kept getting in a rhythm with the guy next to me who was obviously doing the same speed that I was doing. My overall time for the mile was 10 minutes and 40 seconds.

After I hit a mile, I decreased the speed to 3.0 and walked until I reached 1.25 miles. This was done in 17 minutes. I burned 132 calories. I then went to weights. I did 3 sets of 20 squats with bicep curls using the 10 lb weight (yup, I increased it). I also did 3 sets of 20 shoulder curls in between the squats. I did 2 sets of 20 on each leg for the reverse lunge using the 10 lb weight. I grabbed the 20 lb weight and did the arm workout thing that I do that goes behind my head. The last part was the crunches where I did 50 regular crunches, 30 side crunches (turning torso), 30 situps (but not going all the way down...better for your tummy), and 4 sets of 24 scissor ab crunch thingy.

I was hot and ready for a shower, which means a good workout. Now, I have a lot to do when I get home and hopefully, I will have time to run.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Utah...Life Elevated

Moab, Utah is only about 1.5 hours away from Grand Junction heading down Hwy 70 and there was no better opportunity than to just drive for some Utah hiking. My only hope is that I'm not picked up by a Polygamist wanting me to join him as his 8th wife. Okay, that was a slight joke, but funny. The ride up there was beautiful, fast (75 mph speed limit, but of course, I blew throught that), and hardly any people or cops.

My plan was to go to Arches National Park first, stop in Moab for lunch, and then head over to Canyonlands National Park to watch the Annual Jeep Jamboree event. Since it's National Park Week, the admission was free again. I went in to the Visitor Center to find out the best trail for my skills and it was recommended to go to the Delicate Arch Trail. It is roughly 3 miles and a steep climb towards the end, but well worth the view. I bought some water and a hat circa Cuba Revolutionary style (so that will answer to my mother and stepfather on previous post) and then headed out in my car. The road was steep and crazy, but oh so freaking beautiful. It was hard to pay attention to the road, because my head was everywhere.

Check out my new Cuba mother, I'm not turning in to a Communist.

Since it was only 9:30 a.m., I easily found a place to park and got myself ready to go. I did bring shorts, but I was wearing jeans at this time since it was breezy and cloudy (this changed as I reached the steep part). After walking a bit and seeing the historical house (not that big of deal), I took off my long-sleeved shirt and put on sunscreen for my exposed (and burnt may I add) arms; I was wearing a tank top. There were 2 paths that I could have gone and I chose the upper part; I figured I would hit the lower one on my way out to see the petroglyphics of Native Americans.

I started climbing this big open area and boy was that steep. Now, I was wishing that I had shorts. Yes, I know that I should have bought those NorthFace zip short/pants like Ashley, but I didn't want to go 2 sizes up and hurt my ego. I realized now that that was a mistake. I took a lot of breaks on this climb, but I was also checking out the scenery and looking for secluded trees that I could have changed in to my shorts (I did bring them, but it didn't get really hot until I started this part of the hike).

I saw these rocks throughout this climb just stacked up. I meant to ask why, but I just didn't get to it. To me, it's like a marker of some sort or a grave. Who knows?

This beautiful flower was just sticking out of the rocks like it belonged there, but you knew it really didn't.

There was this majestic bird perched on the top of the rocks and I couldn't tell what it was, but I think it was a Hawk or something. However, this moron on top of the rock wanted to get his photo with it and scared it off. Grrr on people.

On my way up, almost to the top, I got a text message that I was excited to know that I got service. Unfortunately, it was really disappointing news and put me in to a bad mood. By the time I reached the Arches, I was annoyed. I tried to sit alone by myself on this rock to just enjoy the view and relax, but that's when about 50,000 kids showed up. It was full classes of kids and of course, they all crowded around me. Note to self: Don't go to a National Park during National Park Week and Spring Break for Utah kids. While I was sitting there, I saw this man in probably his 40s or 50s take one step and basically hold on to the rocks for dear life. He was breathing heavy and looked like he would die. He did have someone watching over him. I assumed he was okay, because I didn't see him again and there were no ambulances or helicopters that showed up.

I tried to take a picture of just the arch without some random person in the middle, but it took forever. In fact, one older gentleman was standing there for 10-15 minutes and then his wife came over for another 5-10 minutes. After sitting there waiting and waiting, I decided to leave.

As I was hiking down, there were so many people everywhere congesting up the trails. I actually tried to get away from this loud German couple in front of me and this really fast guy that was on my toes (leaving his struggling wife behind since he hardly looked back to make sure she was okay), but that guy followed me and then I would always end up smacking in to the German couple. I opted out of going to the lower part of the trail and just took off. I was debating on going in to Moab to eat and cool off, but it was still early and I decided on just heading back to Grand Junction to eat. I was still upset and didn't want to be around people. Needless to say, my trip was not great even though I was surrounded by such beauty.

I do highly recommend Delicate Arch, because it is such a wonderous site and only mildly strenuous. I plan to come back again and really have a better experience now that I know how close it is to Grand Junction (I know I will be back and probably in 2 weeks). I will also never EVER answer my cellphone even if it goes off at the top of the mountain.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Hiking the Colorado National Monument...ALONE!!!

For the first time that I have had to come up to Grand Junction for work, I had to stay over the weekend, which meant that I could play in the surrounding mountains. Since I have a newfound love for hiking (thanks Ashley), I immediately researched hiking options. Naturally, the Colorado National Monument was high on my list and Saturday would be that day.

I actually slept in for the first time in months, so I got off to a late start. I even went to Walmart to get a brand new ipod to replace the one that finally crapped out on me. I wanted to use it when I went hiking; however, I couldn't install itunes on to my work that was a waste. I will have to fix that when I get home. GRRRR!

When I got to the East entrance, the nice lady told me that it was National Park Week, which meant that I get free entry all week. YAY! It also meant that if you have a park near you, go to it and have an adventure. I thanked her and drove on through to where I saw a sign that said Visitor Center 10 miles. It was 10 miles to the next sign; it was more like 20-30 miles to the Visitor Center. However, the scenery was absolutely breathtaking on the ride up. My suggestion would be to go in at the West entrance on your first time; it's farther away from Grand Junction, but it's closer to the Visitor Center (like 7 miles).

I finally made it to the Visitor Center and went over the trails that I should go on as a first timer and relatively new hiker with the Park Ranger. I also bought a much needed power bar and Gatorade for the hike. I decided to try the short (0.5 mile one way) Canyon Rim Trail, which is right by the Visitor Center. The trail was easy and something to just get my feet wet so to speak. The trail was off the edge of cliff. What a view. When I reached the end, I saw 2 people reading and I wished that I had brought my book, but I had trails to hit. Instead of going back the same way, I went back on the road to get a different view.

The second trail (Monument Canyon Trail) was a little difficult and longer, but recommended by the Park Ranger as a must see. I wrestled with dropping in on the top part of the hike (6 mile hike one way with a 600 steep entrance) or the bottom entrance (roughly 3.3 miles depending on where I turned around and I would avoid the steep climb at the end when I'm tired). I chose the bottom entrance mainly because I hadn't eaten since that morning and I didn't want to do die of starvation. Plus, I would still get to see the famous Independence Monument and Kissing Couple.

As I set out on the trail, the other Park Ranger told me that I had to be quiet and not to linger in a certain area, because of the Eagle's nests. I got excited about the fact that I could see Eagles or a nest (never saw it by the way). Up ahead, I noticed a women wearing a dress. At first, I thought she was Amish, but I noticed that the guy was in jeans and a short-sleeved shirt (not Amish or Menonite wardrobe). Since we are close to Utah, I can deduct that she is Mormon and that is the traditional dress of a Polygamist. The husband looked sort of like Bill Paxton from Big Love. I was just amazed that the daughter and mother were wearing dresses on their hike.

The first part of the trail was interesting, because it was next to people's houses. Literally, their backyard is these wonderous mountains. I'm sure they get tired of the foot traffic though.

I signed my first ever Trail Register and got going.

Once you get passed the houses, the trail is a little bit steep and rocky. However, it levels out torwards the middle. It was not congested with people and the scenery was just breathtaking. I was a little worried about water intake and the fact that I didn't have much food in me, but that Power Bar sure helped. There also wasn't much shade and I was wishing again that I had wore shorts. When am I ever going to learn? Somewhere along the line, I rolled up my pants, because I just couldn't take it anymore. I didn't care if I looked like a dork, I was hot.

I saw Collared Lizards, which were amazing and these fast birds that looked like DoDo Birds. You can't tell in the picture, but they have these feather things on top of their head.

I saw some rock climbers. It was interesting, because it was so quiet and you could hear these people talking as if they were standing right next to you.

Everyone was really nice. If you passed someone, you said hello to everyone in the group no matter how many people. After walking a while, I asked these nice ladies where the Independence Monument was and they told me it was around the corner. I was snapping pictures away of what I was currently standing around, because I thought it was it. Thankfully, it was only a mile away. I passed through the no quiet zone (0.5 mile), but didn't see a nest or an eagle.

When I made it to Independence Monument, I was able to find someone to take my picture. He was a photo happy person. He had his bike at the top, but came in at the bottom. He ran off...I guess I was too slow.

I also saw the Kissing Couple, but it was still quite a distance from where I was at on the trail. I kept on going and made it halfway around when I started to realize that the Kissing Couple is close to the end (the steep part). I figured I would turn around, because I could tell that the trail was getting more of an incline and I was feeling the no food in my belly. Plus, I was running out of water...I still needed to make it back.

After I passed the No Quiet zone again (there were people on horseback that weren't so quiet), I found this rock that I had noticed a guy chilling on when I was headed the opposite way. I decided that I would do the same and it was worth it, just to sit there, relax, and feel the mountains. The breeze was nice. I left about 15 minutes later and headed out of the park.

If you are ever in Grand Junction, I highly recommend this trail. I will for sure be back and I will start from the top.

I'm not sure how much I walked. It was 1 mile for the first hike and about 6 miles for the second one (give or take a mile). And I'm not sure how much calories I burned, but my legs were sore.

What I learned was to apply sunscreen on all parts when you remove layers and for God sakes, wear shorts once in a while no matter what the temperature is like in the morning.