Mileage Recap ~ Week 7 Century Ride Training…The Ricky Ride.

Week 7 officially means I’m past the half-way point training for the El Tour de Tucson.  If you’ve ever trained for a race (any race), what would you say is the hardest aspect to the whole process?  For me, it’s time.  There never seems to be enough of time.  I’m getting antsy just thinking about the time it takes to train.  It’s jubilant and annoying all at the same time for me.  The excitement of getting out there and achieving more miles, than the stress of other crap I have to do on the weekend.  Plus, as we speak I still need to wash my bike.  Saturday’s are pretty much a wash for me.  I get up early, do the ride then just relax and do little things.  Or at least that’s my excuse!  Then Sunday I do what I have to do.  #whatever #stopwhining

whateverDon’t want to bend over that crown might fall off!



This was the first week that I used my new shoes and clips for all three rides.  I thought I would manipulate my clip on the right foot, just adjust it a little for comfort but I totally screwed up the way it was supposed to turn.  I should have turned the clip inward not outward for a more comfortable fit.  That was a very uncomfortable ride, but it was short so I just powered through.  I definitely would not recommend doing that as you can screw up your knees.  The clips are good but not very easy to release.  It takes a good bit of turning and I get nervous from time to time.  Something quick happens I’m going down.

I added another water bottle attachment to the bike this week.  I’ve only been riding with one, but last week I blew through some water.  Having two water bottles is a smart move in the desert.  I don’t have to “ration” because I don’t want to stop.  I’ve also incorporated my house as an aide station.  It’s sort of in the middle, so I can stop if I need…aide.  I had some snacks, top off with water, and needed bathroom breaks.  I wanted to make sure that I’m drinking and eating to keep my energy up.

Cycling and running are very different on the body, or at least for me.  When I ran my marathon it was tons of sweat and I burned about 2000 cals when I was through.  I wasn’t really hungry during the race at all.  Cycling is a different story.  I start to feel hunger pangs after two hours and I’m into the 2k for cal burn with these long rides…weekly.  I’m making sure I take a gel every hour, drink sips of water throughout and eat the snacks I’ve brought.

That brings us to the “snacks“.  That was a really good nutrition bar, said no one ever.  I’ve just come to the conclusion nutrition bars are just that, for nutrition and that’s it.  There is no cheesy grin like in the Mentos© commercials.  Hey that was an awesome chia bar dude! So, I have decided I may try my own pomade of power snacks.






Bacon.  Bacon dipped in some type of power powder, dipped in chocolate.  You think I’m kidding…I bought two packs of Applewood smoked bacon today…hmmmm.

By now you’re probably wondering…who is Ricky.  This is Ricky:

rickyI was at my second stop eating (I use that term loosely a 2nd Surge Gel™ when out of the blue…Ricky was just there.  He just came up and started talking…really fast.  The conversation started off with him saying gettin’ some miles in…then after that it was a blur.  Ricky was talking so fast I had to count my gel packs to see if he downed one without me looking.  He’s been climbing these hills for 66 years! (He said he was 70).  All, I got out of that was he lived there before anything was built and that he was a fighter and he kicked someone’s ass.  I asked him if I could take his picture.  He was sweet as molasses… if you could understand him.  Here’s to you Ricky, keep on rolling.  I slowly got on my bike and pedaled away and left Ricky to attack those mountains.

Training takes dedication and planning.  I am a planner.  I think I like figuring out how I’m going to complete the training as much as training itself.  I make charts and track my progress. The process of getting up and that first initial thought of what lies ahead of you.  There is a pang of nervousness and a feeling of being overwhelmed that must be pushed aside.  Isn’t that how we live our lives in other aspects too?  An overwhelming task before us and the struggle to meet, attack and complete that task.  Mental mountains.  I open my garage and this is what I see:

week-7-morningDarkness.  A beautiful moon, some stars, and the place I hang my hat at this moment in time.  I take a deep breath, knowing I have four hours ahead of me.  There is that quick glimpse of…how to accomplish this task?  How will I do this?  How do I complete this monumental task before me.  Then I throw my leg over the bike…and I don’t fall down.  Whew, this morning is starting off positive.

Surprisingly I felt pretty good on this ride.  I have passed some major mental battles of distance and clock watching.  I know where I am on the route with time and distance.  Around three hours in I felt a little delirious.  I popped my third gel and I felt better and finished strong.  Four hours looked like this:


Pace was the same as last week!  Thought that was interesting.  Finished 71.94 for the week and 7466.23 miles gratefully waiting.  Happy Miles to You!



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Mileage Recap ~ Week 6 Century Training

The week is already over?  It appears that I am experiencing some serious ground hog day syndrome.    Meaning, work during the week, then my long ride on Saturday, a weekend that blows by and I’m up doing it again.  That is definitely where I am at this moment.  There is no sleeping in either.  I have four….yes four cats.  No, I’m not a crazy cat lady, at least not yet.  But would that really be a bad thing?  Living with four cats means, you do not sleep in…at all.  I’ve never been one to sleep in as a child or of course the US Army.  To me sleeping in is about 0600.  If you ever catch me sleeping in until 0800 then there must have been some serious shenanigans happening the night before.

I was extra proud of myself this Saturday as I got up at 0500 and out the door by 0600.  It’s dark at that time in Phoenix now, but I can’t let that stop me.  I purchased a new light for my bike.  It is obnoxiously bright.  So bright if you look at it too long you feel sick.

I know there are some women who love bright shiny things.  I have never really been one of those gals.  Sure, I like beautiful things, but give me gear or books.  If I had a choice I would spend my money on cycling (or running) gear and the rest of it in the book store.  This segways into the fact I needed new shoes.  The cycling shoes I started with were great, but I think they could have been a half size larger.  Now that I’m putting in a lot of miles I can really feel it in my feet.  Here are my new shoes:

new-shoes shoesSee how they sparkle! My heart just skips a beat and there are diamonds inside!  One interesting aspect of this purchase is the clips.  For seasoned cyclists this may seem basic, but I didn’t have a good clip on the other shoe.  This one is broader and will be better for me.  Of course with new shoes and clips I found out the pedals I had wouldn’t support the new clips and I had to buy new pedals.  I tell ya, every time I walk into Global Bikes® I spend money.  But here they are and they are so pretty.  What do you think I should call them?

On the advice of a friend I decided to try some new gels.  I purchased Accel ™ from Pacific Health Labs – Link here:

accel-gelsReview:  Overall I’m pleased with my first purchase.  When you visit the site they have protein powders and some other products for sale.  It was a good selection of products and not so much choice where you feel overwhelmed looking through the site.  It was simple and easy to order and the price is great.  I ordered a box of ten assorted gels and a box of 2nd Surge gels (6ea).  It arrived fairly quickly and if you really need it fast then of course you can pay more for postage.  One thing about gels, for me at least, is the texture, overly sweet and sometimes a little nausea that follows after I eat one.  I love sweets, but I don’t like that sticky, syrupy sweet stuff.  Which is hard to get away from with gels.  These are not as sweet or viscous.  I also didn’t get that little pang of nausea that sometimes happens after taking a gel.  I did feel a burst of energy and there was no crash.  General overview – I liked them better than the Gu ™ gel.  I used two gels on my long ride, one regular then the 2nd surge on an hourly basis and felt a constant energy flow with no crashing no nausea.  I will definitely try them again – you should give them a shot.

This week I had two 9 mile rides during the week and then my long ride on Saturday.  As I mentioned before, I was out of the house by 0615 and the goal was to ride for 3.5 hours.  I was hoping that being out at that time there would be less traffic, but I was surprised that quite a few people were out.  A combination of “getting away for the weekend” and most likely errands for most.  Douche bag level alert was high. Drivers were in no mood for cyclists and had to get things done.  I was honked, buzzed and cut in front of….what’s that you say…yes the f bomb was dropped.  It seems to roll so eloquently off the tongue in this situation.  What?!  I try to behave, but sometimes it’s really just too much.  It’s usually someone sipping their latte and on the phone or going to a garage sale.

I felt really good on this ride.  I didn’t have any of the mental obstacles I did the week before, I wasn’t clock watching (as much) and I’m covering more miles faster.  My pace was 13.4 this week, up from 12.7 and 13.1 weeks before.  I’m not too worried about pace.  Almost everyone I discuss cycling with is all about the speed.  I will submit that’s a great goal to get faster but I’m more concerned about distance and completion.  Those have always been my primary goals.

A nice bike shot.

A nice bike shot.


I know I don’t look too happy here…but I am. I also just texted my Dad to wish him a happy 73rd birthday.










My long ride this week was 48.39!  Another new first!  Grateful!  The weather was cooler than last week and I think this helped me.


The mileage for this week came to 67.60 miles.  Feeling good and ready for next week’s challenge of 4 hours.  Total miles completed 3776.83 with 7538.34 remaining.  I can’t wait…every mile is an adventure.  Happy Miles To You!










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Mileage Recap ~ Week 5 Century Training and Race Dedication

Week 5 is under my belt!  I’ve been getting in at least three days of riding, four if possible during the week.  As long as I can hit that long ride, I figure I’m okay.  Another week with a longer ride and so far I’m feeling well.  Got out of the house around 6:30 to an overcast morning, which I was grateful for, but not really cool.  That overcast lasted about a good hour and-a-half then it was full on sun with a little wind.  I wear sunscreen and I still got a little burned this time around.  Not bad but I may need to invest in a cap and go for some long sleeves.

I made sure I stopped on the hour for water and a bar or at least what I could eat of a nutrition bar.  No gels this time around because…they just didn’t come in time, mail order.  It was okay, Saturday mornings I take the time to eat something even if it means getting out a little later.  Although, now that I’m riding 3+ I don’t want to wait too long to get started or I’ll be home by dinner.

The route that I’m using is just going to have to suffice.  It’s long and challenging and just makes more sense then driving somewhere right now.  The only drawback I have is the traffic.  Heavy at times and c-r-a-z-y.  Especially now that it’s garage sale season.  Nothing says be aware as people scouting neighborhoods looking for a deal.

Douche Bag alert was at medium level this time out.  I need to come up with a color coded chart, just like homeland security.  If there are three lanes to drive, please get over and share the road!

Like I mentioned before I felt pretty good on this ride and I completed more miles faster this time around.  The last 15 minuets I found myself clock watching and finding “another place to ride” to make up the time.  During that last 15 I began to feel, I won’t say dizzy, but maybe done.  Ready to give it a rest.  Whenever I stopped for a snack it was only long enough for a few bites and to take a photo.  Like this one:

roadThis is a picture of the last stretch.  By this shot I’m already 25 miles in and when I complete the loop it’s about 32 miles give or take.  It is a slow gradual climb.  Don’t let the “flatness” fool you.  Different areas of the road are steep then even out again.  The desert at it’s finest…hot, dusty, dry and it a lot of places barren.  Surprisingly, lots of people out biking and running.



As with most of my races I do them for a reason, i.e. dedication or raising money for a particular cause.  It’s no different with this race.  I don’t think “race” is really the right word.  It is more of a challenge, a very big challenge.  Doing these challenges is an honor and because it is where I am at peace.

In a couple of posts back I blogged about going on a girls trip with two friends from high school.  I am very sorry to say that my friend Jen’s husband, Tim Stachelski, was diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer.  I know there was a longer more scientific name attached, of which Jen will surly remind me, but there it is in basic form and black and white.  He is only in his 40s and loves the outdoors, cycling being one of his sports.  I don’t know him very well, but being the type of person I am, my heart does bleed for him.  I hope that all my good energy finds him and he makes a full recovery.  This one is for you.

The snap shot for this week:

week-5-long-rideLook at that calorie burn!  It doesn’t count if I eat everything that isn’t nailed down.:-) I hope this post finds you at peace.  I finished 58.34 miles for the week (child’s play), with 7605.87 miles waiting to be claimed.  Happy Miles to You!!


Posted in 2016 | 1 Comment

Mileage Recap ~ Week 4 Century Training – How To Tell When S*it Gets Real

Nothing says you’re in, like paying for a race….and it’s non refundable.  It’s almost like you gotta show up.  It’s a badge of honor – meaning I don’t give a rat’s patootie, I’m showing up and so help me if they peel me off the roadthis is happening.  Yeah, $160 worth of happening…and that was the lowest entry fee for the El Tour de Tucson century race, not counting hotel, gas and food.  Meh, whatta gonna do?  It is what it is.  Don’t you love that played out cliché?

Well, s*hit got real this Saturday as I not only completed my long ride, but it was the longest I’ve ever done.  The target was 2.5 hours of riding time.  Here is the break down in a lovely graphic.  I was able to get in 31.47 miles at a 13.1 avg. pace.  I’m pleased with that.


For the most part of the ride I felt really good.







gu-gelI stopped after an hour to ingest a Gu gel pack.   I had it in my back jersey pocket (do you call them pockets?) it was warm and not as viscous, which made it easier to swallow.  Thank goodness because damn…have you tried these things?  About 3/4 of the way in I began to feel a little light-headed, but not anything that would make me stop for a long period of time.  I tried to make sure I took little sips of water.  I’m always mindful of how much water I take in because I don’t want to have to go to the bathroom.  Okay… there’s some get real s*it for you.  I mean really, riding a bike with a full bladder is a no go.  There is nowhere to go either…a rock, rattle snake, or a scorpion.  Choose.  Cyclist depends…hmmm.

Needless to say I was happy, though there is a mental mountain to climb.  Realizing if I don’t find a route that has the mileage, I’m going to do this three times during one ride…before it’s done.  Oy…but I’ll do it.  That’s also some real s*it if you were wondering.  There’s lots of s*it that’s real…but that’s some really real…okay I digress.

I did pick up this little beauty:

helmetI do believe I was long overdue for a new helmet.  I need to do some research on how often helmets should be changed.  What’s funny is this one fits better than my old one.  The other one was cheaper and this helmet by no means was the most expensive.  I bought it for about $50.  I have been to a few stores that have said price doesn’t mean safety.  They’re all about the same for safety.  What you’re paying for is air flow, aerodynamic, and frankly fit.  I like it.  There is a ponytail port!  May it keep all my wonderful brains in tack if something happens.


I only had a chance to ride 3 days this week.  Again, life happens (work) so you just have to do what you can. Next weeks long ride will be a three hour ride. More…real s*it.  You didn’t think I’d let that pass did you?  Nah!

Excited but fearful.  I can’t explain it…that’s where I am right now.  I’m loving it.  Week four came out to 48.09 grateful miles.  I am grateful for this opportunity.  I have 7664.21 miles remaining in my journey.  I hope this Sunday finds you grateful.  Happy Miles To You!


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Mileage Recap ~ Century Training Week 1 – 3 Chasing El Tour de Tucson

Did I mention I’m training for a Century ride?  Yes.  Well, I’m retraining.  I started last year and I had to stop because of a new job and I just couldn’t find the time to train.  Now I’m back at it again and I’m already at week 3.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with a Century Ride ~ it is nothing more than riding 100 miles at one “sitting” so to speak.  That is really all I can tell you.  I’m a newbie.  Meaning I’ve never done one.  This will be my first race.  Now, before all of the “well-seasoned” riders fall out of their chairs, suck in their teeth, or yell that’s crazy!  Let me explain, that’s how I roll.  “Ain’t nobody got time for that!”

So I’m going for it…

I actually found a plan off the internet, that really wasn’t a great plan so I’m improvising.  the plan I found was geared towards time but an 8 week plan.  The 12 week plan I found was geared more towards improving time and miles.  When you work, you kind of have to take what you get so I combined the plan to be based on time for 12 weeks.

I’m a little behind on blogging so I just completed week 3.  I road for three days during the week before work…means getting up at 5:30 to do anywhere from 7 to 10 miles each day with the long ride on Saturday.  I’m supposed to be including hills, no problem here, and speed work…still trying to figure this one out.  I’m thinking spinning might be a good addition when I can for bursts of endurance.  All I can say is I’m excited!  I love a new challenge and truth-be-told I just love cycling.

This weeks long ride was 21.45 miles.  I felt strong and no injuries so far.  Total miles for Weeks 1 – 3 comes to 132.72 with 7,712.30 gratefully remaining.  Happy Miles To You!!:-)





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Mileage Recap …The Girl’s Trip Special Addition and August Recap

I have joined the ranks of thousands of other females and embarked on the time honored frilly favorite…the girls trip or aka girls vacation.  A couple of weeks ago I flew out to Denver and met two high school friends to reconnect.  We stayed a few days in Summit Colorado and made our way down to Santa Fe, Flagstaff, Sedona and finally Phoenix.   It was a week full of adventure and discovery and I was able to put in some miles along the way.

First stop was Colorado.  What a beautiful state.  We stayed in Summit for a few days with little side trips.


Beautiful Colorado



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Next Santa Fe, New Mexico.  This was my first time in Santa Fe and it was just bustling with shops, artisans, bands and plenty of food to eat.  I did a lot of walking and I got in one good run.  Some of my faves:

Candles in the Basilica

Candles in the Basilica


Wooden gate


Oldest church in Santa Fe


Love the dried chilies

















Next Flagstaff.  I absolutely loved this place…why you ask, because it has trees and is cool.  If there is one thing I have learned to appreciate being in the desert is that I miss green and trees.  Stayed in a cute little A frame on Fort Tuthill, owned by the US Air Force.  Only open to the military.  Have some magnificent woods in Flagstaff and I was able to get in a 5 mile hike.


Our A frame cabin. Hey there’s Jen!


Inside was so darn cute and it came with a family of feral cats! I was in heaven.









Bonus stop! The crater outside of Flagstaff. This was really cool!









Next Sedona, AZ.  Sedona is absolutely gorgeous.  Lots of art and artsy people.  We went on a Pink jeep tour to one of the Vortexes.  Visiting one of Sedona’s many vortexes attracts many kinds of people.  I found it interesting that our guides theory is completely scientific.  The reason humans feel energy at the vortexes is due to magma closer to the earth’s surface.  Don’t know if that was true, but interesting anyway.


Our beautiful world.


Obligatory tree pose.

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Then finally back to Phoenix, AZ.  Was grateful to travel with these two ladies and will have memories to last a lifetime, or until my memory fades….with all of this travel I had a very good month with cycling, running and walking with 76.54 miles for August and 7,845.02 miles gratefully remaining.  Sometimes I think it’s weird to “share” my mileage adventure in a blog.  Often feeling it is a little arrogant…that must be the Catholic in me.  I will say, social media has it’s good and it’s bad.  This is it’s good.  I’ve been friends with these women since high school ~ this year will be my 3oth high school reunion.  Life is short…live large.  Happy Miles to You!





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June Mileage Recap ~ Breaking the 8,000 Mile Mark!

Happy Fourth of July!  I hope everyone who celebrates is having a wonderful holiday today.  It’s always good when a holiday is in tandem with a weekend.

June came and went with a vengeance.  I mean where did that time go?  Maybe it has flown by because I have had the pleasure of my daughter home with me that has kept me busy and traveling home to South Carolina.

First, June mileage has been the strongest so far!  I concentrated on running in May and now will throw my efforts into cycling.  An exciting announcement is I have broken the 8,000 mile mark.  Now remember we’re counting down – lol.  I’m now in the 7,000s!  Exciting for sure!  It’s always nice to see those miles melt away.

Second, I made the trek home to see my family in South Carolina.  My parents rent a house about every summer out on Fripp Island and all the siblings and their families come down to live under one roof for about a week.  It is a very generous and wonderful gift.  I can’t tell you how calming and invigorating it is to just hear the wind blow through the palms or the ebb and flow of the waves.  I love Fripp because it’s not over commercialized beach resort.  Don’t get me wrong there is plenty of things to do there, it’s just not a hectic or crowded beach place.  You can really come down and relax.  If you want some night life you can be in Beaufort, SC in 30 minutes.  Beaufort, SC is my new love too.  Such history there and a beautiful southern town.

I was able to get in a couple of runs.  I had no problem adjusting to the humidity and my skin was thankful for it.  I would have ran more but I was busy doing this:









Fripp is interesting because it is home to protected deer and some alligators.  The deer are friendly and will come up to let you pet and feed them….the alligators I would suggest leaving them alone.

Can you see me?

Can you see me?










Fripp is a combination of swamp, beach and dry land vegetation.

The moss hanging from the trees is my absolute favorite.

The moss hanging from the trees is my absolute favorite.

Swamp Vegitation















We took a nature boat ride and ended up on a small island to pick up shells.  To my surprise there was a combination of dark and light sand and it sparkled when the sun hit it just right.

A detailed pattern in the sand.

A detailed pattern in the sand.

Driftwood on the beach

Driftwood on the beach

Moment in time....

Moment in time….

















There are many beaches to enjoy on Fripp, but if you choose to be more adventurous you can go one island over to Hunting island.  There is a lighthouse to explore, beaches and a pier for a small fee.  Well worth it especially if you love lighthouses….which I do.

Hunting Island LightHouse

Spectacular view inside the lighthouse.

Spectacular view inside the lighthouse.










Towards the end of our trip we stopped in Beaufort, SC.  I absolutely fell in love with the charm of this town.  Huge trees with moss hanging from the trees, plantation houses that have been turned into bed and breakfasts, eateries, art and plenty of history.  I just loved it.  I’m a bit of a history buff and nothing says history like an old graveyard.  Yes, I’m one of those.  I find cemeteries fascinating, the older the better.  A few of my fave pics:

Decorative door

Decorative door

My favorite tombstone in the cemetery.

My favorite tombstone in the cemetery.

Dying so young.

Dying so young.

















Grateful for this life experience.  As I write this I’m thrilled to have reached another milestone in this journey.  I have completed 3332.64 miles and have 7982.26 miles remaining.  A little tired at times, but no worse for wear.  I look forward to the next adventure.  Happy Miles to You!


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