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!!

 

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.

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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!

 

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!!:-)

week-three-long-ride

 

 

 

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.

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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

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Wooden gate

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Oldest church in Santa Fe

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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.

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Our A frame cabin. Hey there’s Jen!

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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.

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Our beautiful world.

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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!

 

 

 

 

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:

Feet

 

ahhhh!

 

 

 

 

 

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?

Deer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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!

 

Into Everyone’s Life A Little Pain Must Fall ~ Mileage Recap 18 – 31 May

May was great for two reasons: 1) My completion of the Grand Canyon Half and 2) My daughter came home from college (at least for a while) .  Needless-to-say we have been adventuring!

I didn’t want to lump all my miles into one post so just decided to finish up with May.  May was a strong month for me and I have been busy to say the least.  I finished up a little under April by about 8 miles.  Mostly running miles and now I  begin to focus more on cycling and my goal to complete a century.  I’m finding training time and availability of races an issue, but I will keep going forward to complete this goal.

This month also celebrates a milestone ~ I finally have fallen off the bike.  I can’t tell you how many times I have told myself before taking off for a ride that eventually it’s going to happen.  Now I wish I could tell you that it happened while I was powering up a hill, escaping from some wild animal, or cruising around some corner.  Nope!  I was screwing around trying to get something out of my pack….lost my balance and over I went.  For a moment I just sat there…dazed really.  It all happened in slow motion too…I just toppled over.  I broke my fall with my left hand…so I felt that jarring pain the next morning for sure.  My left handle was a little worse for wear.  I’ll have to get that into the shop soon.  Still works but annoying as heck.

Left Side of the handlebar is bent.

Left Side of the handlebar is bent.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I try to remember to turn on my Garmin to capture my miles, but sometimes I just forget.  I was able to capture a little bit of hiking mileage at one of Arizona’s “swimming holes” at Camp Verde called the bullpen.  Just two hours away from Phoenix the desert turned to green and offered up miles of clear water and green.  To get there was five miles off the beaten path and a mile walk after that, but well worth the effort and a good time.

Camp Verde CampVerde_BullPen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I finished the month of May with a total of 68.42 miles.  I have completed 3,236.20 miles so far and 8,078.80 adventures await.  I hope this finds you well.  Happy Miles to You.

 

 

 

 

Good Eats ~ Chicken Tacos

I haven’t been posting as much in my good eats sections as much as I have wanted so I’m aiming to change that a bit…or at least try.  I love food…one of the main reasons I run:-).  I also love dessert.  I am good at preparing both, but love making cakes, cookies, and generally anything sweet.  Funny, I don’t eat a lot of sweets, but I like making them and sharing with friends.

I truly believe everything in moderation.  I don’t believe you should deny yourself anything good.  By good I mean something made well and using natural ingredients, not processed crap.  It’s hard but with a little preparation you can have healthy GOOD meals and a dessert every now and then.

Today’s recipe is….chicken tacos.  I have been receiving Health© magazine through courtesy hotel points.  The magazine isn’t bad at all and the recipe section has some good dishes to try.  This recipe was fantabulous!  Everything you need in a soft tortilla.  The best thing is after I ate it I felt good, meaning no feeling blah after you eat.  I like when I eat food that generally makes me feel good.  I’m sure you all know what I mean.  Sometimes we crave things eat them and wonder why did I just eat that?

It takes about 30 minutes to make.  Fast and easy on a work night.  377 Calories, 16g Fat (3g Sat Fat), 118 mg Chol., 8g Fiber, 24g Pro., 38g Carb., 596mg Sod., 3mg Iron, 146mg Calcium.

Here was my picture:

Chicken Tacos

Not too shabby…not too shabby.

 

 

Visit the site for the full recipe at http://www.health.com/recipes/chicken-tacos.

Happy Miles To You!