Maintaining the Momentum

Joe and I hiking at Deep Creek Lake State Park

After a few days off from work and a quick getaway, I’d say I get a B for exercise but a F for eating.

Thursday I had the day off so I went to the gym where the girl on the treadmill next to me was either talking to me half the time or the TV. I never really figured it out since I was watching a movie on my iPod. That night we went to Graffiato for Joe’s birthday. The restaurant had a really nice, relaxed vibe and the service was fantastic. At a restaurant like that, you have to try a little of everything. Luckily the plates are small and when you share them, you get just enough of a taste without having to stuff yourself. So we started with an heirloom tomato and cheese salad, followed by the polenta with spicy meatballs, chicken thighs in pepperoni sauce, the Vermont pizza (mainly cheese and bacon), the Nutella cookies and the chocolate tort with sea salt gelato. Everything was SOOOOOO good and of course none of it was really healthy. Joe and I were so stuffed at the end that we promptly came home and fell asleep for a nap at 7 p.m. Well, I napped and Joe pretty much slept on into the next morning.

Friday we left for Deep Creek Lake. Unfortunately we hit on and off traffic from Silver Spring to Hagerstown so instead of taking three hours, it really took about four. We got in at about 5 and checked into our hotel. We walked to dinner at the Santa Fe Grill which was packed. (Although I thought it was great that there wasn’t a lot of traffic at the lake, there are only a few restaurants, which basically meant they were all packed.) Again, I pretty much failed in eating healthy. We started off with onion rings (anyone who knows Joe knows that he can’t go to a restaurant without ordering an appetizer, he likes to try lots of things) and I had a couple of Blue Moons. For dinner I had the taco supreme quesadilla. One bonus: they gave you the option of a whole wheat tortilla. I was pretty stuffed after the onion rings and one segment of the quesadilla. I ate one more slice so I didn’t bring back the whole thing but I felt like I was going to explode. When we left, it was thundering and lightning so we had to double time it back to the hotel. At least that helped burn a couple of calories.

On Saturday we got up early, grabbed the free breakfast at the hotel (eggs, sausage, biscuit, and a banana, so not great but not TOO awful) and headed to the state park. We got there a little after 9 and the place was pretty deserted. People in Deep Creek definitely get a late start. Since there was still a lot of parking at the beach area and the kayak rental place was still closed, we decided to start the day with a hike. We grabbed a map and found the trail head. Unfortunately there was a large sign that reminded you that you were in “bear country” so I spent a good deal of the hike on high alert for growls or breaking branches. It didn’t help that Joe told me someone had spotted a bear on the trail a day or two before according to the trail log we signed when we headed out. Or that he kept saying “Wait! Did you hear that?” just to freak me out. Luckily we didn’t encounter any bears, just a lot of chipmunks and one large toad I almost stepped on. I think the total hike was about 4.5 miles and there was one stretch that was very steep so we got a good workout to start the day.

Kayaking on Deep Creek Lake

After the hike, we headed to the beach area and grabbed a picnic table. The night before we bought some stuff to grill. I insisted we get turkey hot dogs and whole wheat hot dog rolls. The turkey dogs weren’t great but I’ve had much worse. With enough mustard you barely notice the difference and they only have 45 calories. Of course I had a large helping of Route 11 chips as well. Mmmmm….so good. After relaxing for a bit, we went to rent a kayak. After listening to the Wisp Resort employee complain about irritating customers and the heat (it was 85 but he claimed it was normally 75), we finally got on our way. I’d never been kayaking (just canoeing) but I LOVED it. I was prepared to have my arms tire easily but they didn’t, even when we were paddling against the current. I can’t wait to try it again, maybe on the Potomac or the Chesapeake Bay. Of course Joe says that will be a lot different than kayaking on the lake so I should be prepared to be tired. Anyway, kayaking was my upper body workout for the day.

After kayaking we went back to the hotel to shower and eat the leftovers from the night before. Then we went to a place called Smiley’s which had an arcade, miniature golf, go-karts, and batting cages. Since the golf course was pretty packed we decided to start with the batting cages. I LOVE going to batting cages (partly because hitting a baseball or softball is one sports-related thing I actually do better than Joe and we’re competitive!) but these were REALLY disappointing. I scanned my card to use the cage and missed the first pitch because the machine launched it about two seconds after I hit the start button. Once I was actually ready to go and  in place next to the plate, the machine threw the next pitch…about two feet short of home plate. So I moved up and was finally able to hit it. Unfortunately the “softball” was made of rubber and looked more like a softball-sized dodgeball. One of the two machines pitched the ball about a foot outside (for a righty) too. And when Joe switched it to pitch baseballs, the machine only pitched maybe 6 balls out of what should have been 16. Clearly the machines were low on baseballs. Very disappointing. Then we played the LONGEST game of mini golf ever because there was a group of nine and a group of five in front of us. Joe beat me by five strokes on that. Since you can’t go to the lake/beach/wherever without ice cream, we grabbed some before we went home. At least we’d been pretty active all day.

Our plan for Sunday was to try to rent a boat or kayak again but when we left the hotel (after another big breakfast), it started to pour. We drove around for a bit looking for something to do but since it was obvious that the rain wasn’t going to end anytime soon, we decided to just head home. I was super tempted to stop at a Roy Rogers on the way back to grab the BEST fast food sandwich (Gold Rush) but it wasn’t really lunch time yet so I flew right by them all. We stopped at the outlets in Hagerstown and swung by Nike and Under Armour. There was a pretty good sale at Under Armour so I got a new shirt (which says RUN on the front to keep me motivated) and a new pair of workout capris. I find that buying new workout clothes is a good way to get yourself excited for your next workout.

We made it back!

After relaxing at home for a couple of hours, I insisted we drag ourselves down to the gym. That way I would stay on track and stay motivated. I knew that if I took too many days off from the gym, it would be harder and harder to go back. I was hurting a little bit thanks to the pretzels and chips and dip we had for “lunch” but I made it through. Next time I’ll be on week 3 of my Couch to 10K workout so I’ll be alternating running for a minute and a half with walking for three and a half minutes for a total of about 56 minutes. Joe and I also signed up for a 5K on Sept. 10 so that I have a reason to stay on track with the running. Sept. 10 is about midway between now and the Tough Mudder. I definitely need to up the weight training though so tomorrow I’ll hit up the weight room for a bit.

From now on I’m going to end my blog entries with a countdown to the Tough Mudder….so only 89 days to go!