Sunday, September 21, 2008

Something Clicked! ....and Hiking in Robert Louis Stevenson State Park

I've got it! That elusive thing called motivation. It's not seeping out of my pores or anything but it's enough that I want to track and feel a real desire to meet (but not exceed) my weight-gain goal. I'm feeling real ownership of this goal. I started my meal tracking at GoogleDocs and plan to waltz into my nutrition appointment with one month of tracking.

My returned motivation is partly due to all the encouragement you guys gave me. As the "You can do it!"'s and the "We believe in you!"'s came in something just clicked in my brain. Yes, I can do it. These people know my struggle and they believe and by golly they are right! A million thank you's for the support, it really makes a difference in my life.

So what else have I accomplished this weekend? I've been hankering for some hiking and when Weekend Sherpa described a hike in Robert Louis Stevenson State Park above Calistoga in the Napa Valley, well, it was just what I was looking for. The weather was beyond perfect, sunny but not hot, a nice breeze now and then, enough clouds in the sky to provide gorgeous backdrops and welcome shade.

We started out headed for Table Rock, a rock formation that's supposed to be out there somewhere. It wasn't very far into the hike before we got huge payoff views. Here I am at the first vista.

Did I lie about the gorgeousness of it all? This was less than a mile in.

And just around the bend, another beautiful view of the Napa Valley. Here's my favorite hiking buddy posing for me :) I really couldn't believe that this awe-inspiring hike was hiding away up here.

About 1.3 miles in we came upon an incredible rock formation. Big huge pieces of rock jutting out of the ground. I felt like a kid in a playground. We climbed all over it and had fun taking pictures and posing like we'd summitted Mt. Everest.


Notice the sky? Days like these fill me with gratitude. We decided this was the perfect spot for lunch. We had deli sandwiches and fruit. I had a chicken breast sandwich on whole wheat bread with avocado. That and my banana was a meal I could feel good about.

The views were nearly 360°. Here I am dangling my feet like a little girl.

After lunch we carried on toward Table Rock. We practically had the place to ourselves. We saw only a handful of people all day. But probably the greatest thing about this hike, besides the views, was the changing landscape. We'd go over barren, rocky patches and then be pushing our way through 6' tall vegetation and manzanita bushes. Miguel was having all kinds of fun playing with all the rocks. He got a little big for his britches though when he tried to move this one!

For a while in college I considered majoring in Geology, I just love rocks and terrain and stuff. How excited was I when we came upon a rock garden, with a labyrinth! Out here in the middle of nowhere!

I almost feel guilty sharing all these pictures with you. But come to Northern California!! I promise we'll share :) Here's Miguel next to another fabulous rock thingy. Made me wish I had my old Geology teacher, Mr. Hamilton, with me to explain what all these things were.

So we were happily hiking along and enjoying the scenery when we started to wonder if we were ever going to get to Table Rock. It wasn't getting late really but we also didn't want to push it and have to hurry back to the car. We decided to hike a little while longer and see what we see. While I wouldn't describe the hike as grueling, we were both sweating and some of the uphills had me breathing deeply. I'd forgotten to wear my heart rate monitor, which bummed me out. I feel better when I know I'm not pushing it.

Anyway, further hiking brought us no closer to anything that looked like Table Rock so we decided to turn back. About a half-mile back we noticed another trail that we probably should have taken. We hiked down that for a bit and decided it was probably the trail to Table Rock. But by this time we were both sort of ready to make the return trek to the car.

So, sadly, no Table Rock for us. I can't say I'm disappointed. The weather, the beauty, the rocks, the blue sky, the breeze, the plate was overflowing. We hiked 4.3 miles in all. But with the sometimes treachourous terrain it really felt like more. All told we were out there about 3 hours.

My aunt is in town visiting my mom so on the way home I decided to call and see if they wanted us to stop by for dinner. Yep! We decided on Chinese Food. I probably burned a ton of calories during the hike, and I'm not supposed to be losing weight, so I decided Chinese Food was an acceptable choice. We had a nice dinner and by the time we got home I was exhausted! I slept so good last night.

Next week I'm shooting to track all week, get in two additional days of at least 30 minutes exercise, and reap the benefits of my newfound motivation. Oh! In my next post I need to update you on my plans for the Oly in October, the Marin Triathlon. Rest assured, I will be there one way or another!!


  1. Yay for motivation! I love those "click" moments... they help push you along for a little bit longer.

    And those pictures are so pretty. I think I need to move out of Illinois. Cornfields... cornfields... highway... cornfields.

  2. YEAH!! I'm glad it clicked! And great photos!!!

  3. Oh my gosh those photos are awesome!!! I love the rock garden! How unexpected.

    I'm glad that things are clicking for you. I really think the main thing will be to just not let pregnancy be an excuse for eating whatever you want..many of do that...I know I did..

  4. Those are beautiful pictures. Isn't Northern Cal the best?!

  5. Thanks for sharing the photos! Just read another blog where her and hubby went hiking today.
    Keep up the good work with being motivated and journaling of not only your food, but your experiences with this pregnancy.

  6. I had to do a double take because I thought it said "something kicked!" LOL.

    Days like that make it all worth the effort, doesn't it? I love those puffy clouds in the sky.

  7. Your photos are always so gorgeous. I may have to seek out this place for a hike during our next trip in the area. If I go, I'll let you know so you can steer me in the right direction toward Table Rock -- though the alternate looks equally worthy.

  8. What a beautiful day! Love the pictures. The 'rock garden' looks almost like a 'labyrinth' to me. It's certainly in a great 'meditative' location for hikers to pause and reflect on their 'journey' in a metaphorical sense. Check this out......

  9. So no offense or anything but I'm totally having a hate on for you right now! Okay just really really jealous! I love hiking and we have some good hiking here but nothing like that - so so beautiful!

    And I'm so happy it clicked! I think pregnancy is all about relaxing and really just focusing on being healthy and I think that that is exactly what you are doing!

  10. Wow, these pics are amazing, I so wish I could come across something like this in MN. I might have to do some searching this week for a new weekend walk location!
    Anyways, hooray for your new found motivation. I am just catching up from last week. From the sounds of it you have an amazing plan and you know what you need to do. Good luck and keep us posted!!!

  11. I am so happy that motivation decided to pay you a visit and you let it stay :-) You're going to be the fittest mama ever and your son will be thankful for it.

    That scenery is something that I miss about Nor Cal...but not enough to come back LOL.

    If you can't do the tri volunteer, I promise it's rewarding and everyone is so thankful you're there...even if your freezing hands are writing on them with a Sharpie (more on that on my blog)

    xox from NY

  12. Michelle, I missed your freak out as I was in the midst of an interstate move. And even though its too late and you've had your "click" moment I really want to say Of course you can do this! And you will!
    I look forward to seeing your growing tummy poke out of the fit, slim rest of you!

    Lovely hike too

    BEst go, I'm unpacking in my new house today,
    Happy days

  13. Wonderful blog, and congrats on the pregnancy!

    You posted on my on-again-off-again blog a while back - I'm hoping to start up regularly again, now that I have regular 'net access.

    I swear, I'm hoping to follow in your shoes over the next year or so - I'm trying to get healthier, for myself and for the opportunity to have a healthy pregnancy down the road (hopefully starting next fall!). I'm also a wannabe triathlete - like I said, I want to be like you!

  14. Beautiful!!! Okay, I've got to figure out when I can come there before babykins is born. And then after again, of course.

    And look at you go with the food tracking. Outstanding! I did see those m&ms you tried to sneak in there. Way to be honest...hehehe

  15. Beautiful photos! Glad things "clicked" and your motivation is back. You're absolutely right of course, you CAN do it. :-)

  16. Your pictures are always so wonderful Michelle and these are stunning!

    I can't help but believe you are on track even though sometimes it may not feel that way. Come back to these pictures if you start to doubt.

    You look great and very healthy and happy.

  17. I admire you for keeping up with fitness activities! You ROCK! You sound so resolute about the goals, too. That is awesome!

  18. Awesome pix...I miss NoCal!

    I think the mojo came back as you moved into the second trimester. I had lots more energy then. The first (and the last...for me unfortunately...were the most difficult)

    You look so happy!

  19. OH MY GOSH Girlfriend!! First let me say CONGRATS to you and Miguel on the baby boy!! I have been dealing with some issues here myself and haven't been keeping up with everyone like I should have. I am so excited for you both. I know you will make a wonderful mother.
    Do NOT sweat the weigh gain during pregnacy. I gained 12 pounds total for my first child,ate VERY Healthy and he was 7lbs and 3 ozs.
    Second child I gained 8 pounds....ate healthy and she was 7 lbs 8 ozs!! Who knew? I was expecting to gain 50 pounds seriously even though I was heavy to began with. Trust me God knows what he is doing. The goal is a healthy and happy baby no matter what.
    You are such a beautiful person inside and out!! It won't take you long to get back to your prepregnacy weight!!
    WOW...congrats again!! I can't beleive I missed so much lately!!

  20. Note to self: Take trip to Napa. Those are some great pics.

    Motivation ebbs and flows. The important thing is to make the most of it while you've got it and find ways to jumpstart it when you don't.


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