Mileage Recap ~ 8 – 14 July…Every Day is a Winding Road

Happy Sunday my friends!  As my Century ride approaches ~ I am keeping the faith and moving forward with training.  I normally train by myself, but every now and again I have a riding buddy join me.  I have found that when my buddy joins me, those hills seem to be easier to climb.  I’ve thought about this a lot and my prognosis is that neither one of you wants to show the other you can’t make it up the hill, so a buddy makes it easier!  Ha!  It has to be it.  So maybe training with a partner is the best option.  It leaves the mind clear or at least that is my take on the situation.

I continue to gain a little bit of mileage every day ~ when I can.  Sometimes life just gets in the way but every week I keep chipping away and I just love to see that Total Miles Completed number go up and up.  It’s exciting!

I went out to Prince William Forest Park for my long ride this weekend.  My goal was to do three loops and three series of hills without freaking out or stopping.  Not really focusing on too much distance, but the quality of the ride.  There you go ~ quality not quantity.  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.  I went for three laps starting at a point closer to the entrance of the loop.  Not quite the 10 mile loop but just focusing on the hills.  I did three laps and made it up all hills for a total of 9.  Felt good and I’m ready for next weeks long ride.  I was able to get some running miles in too.  The weather hear has fluctuated a bit from hot and humid to warm and an nice breeze.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Climbing those hills was a bit easier this weekend.  I just concentrated on my breathing and taking my time.  I didn’t stress or worry.  Seems to be a winning combo when I can do it right.  Feeling powerful….  Hope this post finds you in a good way this Sunday.  I have completed 6876.27 miles with 4438.73 gratefully remaining.  Life is good.  Life is beautiful.  Life is what you make it and how you see it.  Happy Miles to You!!

“life’s like an hourglass glued to the table…just breathe”

 

 

 

 

 

Mileage Recap ~ 17 Jun – 7 July…I Got This…Sometimes It’s Good To Ride The Wave

Happy July 7th my friends!  I have been hitting it hard trying to get those miles in towards that 11315 goal.  I have been steadily trying to do something every day, but as you know life happens.  I’m proud to report June was a banner month with 221.26 miles under my belt!

I traveled home to South Carolina to be with my family for a couple of days and was able to get some miles in on the road and beach.

I always love visiting my family at Fripp Island in South Carolina.  It’s a good time to get reacquainted with family.  I took a long ride out to one of the islands and back.  Hot but so good for the soul.  When I ride it gives me time to think about things.  It is enjoyable in a strange way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have a friend that I still keep in contact with from high school.  Although we don’t talk as often as I would like, we have kept alive a vibrant relationship.  These are the small blessings in life.  We went on a cross country trek a few years ago after her partner died of cancer.  It was an uplifting and raw trip.  I am always amazed how life has it’s twists and turns, but yet I still remain grateful for it’s blessings.  It is hard at times, but I trudge forward.  I remember when I was leaving Phoenix for DC, she told me that sometimes it’s ok “to ride the wave”.   I have never forgotten what she told me and think of this statement often.  She was telling me it was okay to go with the flow, to stop trying to swim upstream.  It’s hard to hear that from an old friend, and unfortunately I am an expert at swimming against the tide.  She knows me ~ and was telling me to submit to the changes of life and stop fighting so hard.  I am a fighter and I like to control the outcome of things.  I bring this up because as I was sitting on the beach, I happened to watch a school of small fish trapped behind the rocks as the tide was out.  Every time a wave would come in the would frantically swim against the tide, then the water would bring them back and it appeared they would swim with the tide.  Not just because it was easier, but by swimming with the tide they had accepted a new path.  It was strange to witness but so much in sync with life itself.

I have been training for this Century coming up in August and at times I feel like I am swimming upstream.  Fighting the hills and the training itself.  Today I went out to Prince William Forest Park and I just let all that fear go.  Put the bike in the lowest gear and I made it up all the hills twice over.  Bella good!

On one of my long rides I came across two fraternal twins.  They were trying to take a picture of themselves jumping off a bench.  I offered to take the photo and they in return took a photo of me in my sweet new butterfly jersey.  LOL!!!  It was great talking to them.  They had just finished college and we talked about finding your bliss and that it is important to do want gives you joy.  It was an uplifting conversation.

Smiling was just too hard here…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was able to complete 231.94 miles this round with 4473.24 miles gratefully remaining.  I made it up those hills and I am trying to ride the wave.  All right now…..Happy Miles to You!!

Mileage Recap ~ 10 – 16 June…Sam Anthony

Happy Tuesday!  Getting to my mileage recap a bit late this week, but better late than never.

I often wonder, do I really like to write?  I mean, I have been banging away at this blog for the most part of 5 years now.  Maybe writing this blog is the challenge and not the miles.  My problem may be I have too many things I want to write about and don’t take the time to always jot down the ideas.  Just think how much better my prattle would be if I took those ideas out of my head and made some notes from time to time.  The writing process would be much more palatable.  But no, let’s give two cheers for doing things….the hard way.  I feel like Wimpy from Popeye™…

I’d gladly pay Tuesday for a blog post today.

To answer myself, yes I really do like writing.  Maybe one day I will become a bit more organized in my thought process…maybe not.

I gotta say, I’m tearing it up this month so far.  I continue to chip away every day with a bit of mileage greatness.  I have 120 miles under the belt just for this month.  Progress friends…can you feel it?

Yeah, me too.

In the past I have dedicated runs/races/rides to individuals in my life that are overcoming their own obstacles.  My post is titled Sam Anthony.  Sam is my co-worker at the National Archives in DC.  I have worked closely with Sam for over a year and he is a most outstanding individual.  Sam is fighting cancer for the third time and is taking a bit of a hiatus to fight this disease.  Sam is a bright and active individual.  He brings a lot of intellect and laughter into the office, so it is my honor to dedicate my next Century ride to him.  I will talk more about Sam and what he is going through as I move closer to my ride.  I often text him after I completed my ride to tell him if it was a good or bad ride.  He always texts me back with something positive and some words of wisdom.  This is the amazing part of Sam.  When faced with adversity, you just have to do your best.  Life can be so draining at times, but how we react makes all the difference.  It is uplifting to see others face their challenges with love, strength and class.

Century training is moving along nicely.  Last weeks long ride came to 21.67 miles.  I rode on Father’s Day and decided to go to the Mt. Vernon trail instead of Prince William park this time.  Didn’t want to deal with the traffic and I had other things I needed to get done that day.  The ride was pretty good and this time I decided to go a bit further and ended up at National Harbor.  I saw I could even go a bit further, so may next time I’ll see how far it goes.

This weeks miles came to 34.57 and I have 4628.21 miles gratefully remaining.  I hope this post finds you fighting the good fight.  Happy Miles to You!!

This song resonated this week….

 

 

 

 

 

Mileage Recap ~ 3 – 9 Jun…I Fear

Hello and Happy Sunday.  You know what that means ~ another blog update!  So, lets all take a deep breath in and let out a collective sigh, that this is happening ya’ll.

Fear comes in many different forms depending on the situation involved.  That’s a really big news flash for you and it doesn’t take a Psychiatrist to charge you a $100.00/hr. to figure that one out.

The fear of a test, water, bugs, planes, crowds or dangerous events…the list is vast.

Merriam Webster defines fear as  “anxiety and usually loss of courage. fear of the unknown dread usually adds the idea of intense reluctance to face or meet a person or situation and suggests aversion as well as anxiety.”

Ooh, the loss of courage.  That just sounds bad, but alas, tis true.  The loss of strength and courage to complete or face a task.  Damn…that sounds real bad.

Fear can have a positive effect such as fleeing a burning building.  But for many, fear causes anxiety and plays on our inability to understand unknown events.  Therefore, we fear unnecessarily before the outcome is really understood or known.

What yellow brick road am I taking you down this time you ask ~ hills of course.  You know those beautiful tree lined things in the forest or whatever rural area you’d like to wrap your head around tonight.

I fear hills.  Or better ~ I fear my inability to get up the hills.  Or better yet ~ I fear my inability to get up the hills and fall.  There…now we get to the crux of the situation.  The final outcome has three possibilities 1) I get up the hill, 2) I’m able to unclip in time and walk up the hill, 3) I am convinced I am Wonder Woman and therefore find out otherwise and fall on the hill.

This weeks training ride was to be around 40 miles.  I drove out to Prince William Park early Saturday morning, the weather was great and I was in the mood to ride.  I could tell in the first 10 miles this wasn’t going to be an easy ride.  I was a little winded and frankly a little tired this week.  Then it became mental and fear set in or should I say anxiety.  When I reached mile marker 7 I actually started feeling a sense of dread, because I knew what was coming at mile 8.  This was fear, I was already thinking in my mind that I wasn’t going to be able to climb three consecutive hills for two miles, much less do it three more times.  Even though I had done it the previous week.  I had no idea what the outcome would be, but I was already thinking the worst.  I was thinking about unclipping, I had the fear that I was going to fall.  Riders know the pain from that one.  If you’ve never clipped into pedals on a bike, it’s a sobering experience.  Everybody falls.  That is the mantra.  But….it’s scary.  Trying to unclip when the shit hits the fan…is well scary.  Must I say it again?  Yes…it’s tres mui.  And falling…hurts.  I have had anxiety of falling since, well, my last fall.

I pass the 8 mile marker and immediately I’m in a dark zone of anxiety.  I round this corner after descending feeling all soulful, then the bike Gods thunder ~ “God giveth…and he taketh away”!  Oh yeah, he took it away ~ that feeling of riding down a hill, green trees lining the street, wind in your face, creek on the side of the road and the beware of bears sign….yeah good times.  I round that corner and it hits you in the face.  It doesn’t even kiss you first.  It’s just like…let’s get to the good stuff.  This was the first one.  Let’s call it, baby.  I manage to make it up this one, heart pounding out of my chest.  My eyes look like that kid from the Little Rascals.   I’m even practicing getting out of my seat.  I make it up, but there is no smile on my face.  Then there is a teaser hill to follow.  No one likes a tease.  You descend a bit then there is a little climb…then Papa hill is right around the corner waiting for you.  Kind of like when you were a kid and acted up at school, you knew that Papa would be waiting at the door with the belt to give your ass another go when you got home for slapping another kid at school.  Southerners will know exactly what I’m taking about.  Well, lets just say ~ my ass got beaten in a major way.  Halfway up the hill I was done.  I wasn’t even going to try it, because I was so afraid of falling.  Even unclipping was hard (especially if you try to do it ascending) and I began to panic a bit.  I unclipped and did the walk of shame up the hill.  I was mentally done for the day.  I then made the plan to just ride back and forth and avoid the major hills.  Wasn’t even gonna try the Momma hill.  No.

The only way to get around this can be with more practice and mental clarity.  I love the mental challenge that cycling gives me, but as you can see I have a long way to go.  Challenge accepted 🙂  It’s just one of those things I’m going to have to get past.  Focusing and being present would have helped too.  My mind was too busy concentrating on something that didn’t even happen or may not have happened.  The fall.  This can happen in every day life.  Wasting so much energy on the unknown.  Courage in all ways….

Ok, squirrel moment ~ what happened to the spell check on WordPress, anyone know?

Back…I have continued to gain miles for 9 straight days.  I had 60.20 miles for the week with my long ride coming to 22.87.  I have 4662.78 miles waiting for me to grow a backbone.  A few pics from the week:

Because sweaty selfies are so good….

You didn’t think I wouldn’t post trees?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This week’s song is by the Toadies.  Awesome and describes this week perfectly….

“When I’am away….come on in, yeah”

Mileage Recap ~ 27 May – 2 June…The Daily Grind

Happy June!  The year is going way too fast.  I can’t believe it’s already June.  As I write this blog it seems like I have been here so many times before over the years.  The miles are slowly lessening as the years pass by.  The changing of the seasons and I keep moving forward.

I have been using my new Vivoactive for about a week now and I really like the way it handles.  It does a lot of what the old one did, but easier to activate etc.  More streamlined.

The exciting news this week is I have formally registered for the 2019-37th Annual RBC (Reston Bike Club) Century on 25 August.  Interesting that this is being held in a extremely hot and humid month instead of October.  Hmmm…I guess that will add to the challenge.  I have begun training with my longest ride being 60 miles.  As I mentioned in my last post I have moved away from training on the W&OD trail to Prince William Park.  Less people and more of a challenge.  I will continue to update on my training progress.

I have been trying to do a little something something every day.  Miles that is and I’m on a three day run.  Let’s see how long I can keep it going.  It’s warm now so rain or shine I should be able to get out and buy some asphalt.

Some pics from the week:

Greasy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This week’s long ride was out on the Mt. Vernon trail and came to 19.97 – lol.  Just couldn’t stand to go an extra .03.  Hey it’s where the trail ended and the watch went “click”.  Like I said before, let it go.  Clock it, log it, move on.  Rolling in some old miles earned on April 7th came to 4.81.

Today I went back out to Mt. Vernon Trail and laid down 6.03 walking miles.  The body is feeling good and my faith is exceptional.  I was able to complete 38.43 for the week with 4722.98 miles gratefully remaining.  Today on my walk, the trees are all filled in with the many spectrum of greens, the air weighed heavy with humidity and there was a slight breeze blowing.  My soul is at ease and I hope yours is too…Happy Miles to You!!  This brought me peace today as I was walking.  Such a beautiful song: