Mileage Recap ~ 11 – 28 December… Keep On Rollin’

Finally made it back to blogging after a brief illness…aka – cold.  I won’t call it the flu.  If it was, it wasn’t a full-blown knock out drag out.  Head cold and running nose was about the extent.  I’m sure I got it from my daughter who did have it for four days.  She teaches young children dance and most assuredly that’s where she picked it up.  So, I’m back.

The big news is…du…du…dunnnnaaa….I changed my bike tire.  All by myself.  Yep, I finally got around to doing it.  It only took me, hmmm about two hours.  How’s that for some speed.  So glad I didn’t have a wild animal lurking around.  I’m glad it happened, because there were some items that definitely did NOT work or was spent in my tool bag.

I began by watching a 4 minute “refresher” video from Trek (the brand I own).  There was this lovely female giving the demo.  As I’m watching I notice that she is holding the tire towards the camera (obviously) and just seemed to be zipping through everything with ease.  Of course I know she has probably done this many times but she was holding the tire with one hand and using the release tool with the other.  Easy peasy baby!.  I slapped my knee and went down to the garage.

Step 1.  Take the tire off the bike.  First release the brakes…ahhh…then the tire release, yes…oops the chain, hmm okay a little tricky but no worries (uh huh) and tire is off!!!

 Looking good.

Step 2.  Take the actual tire (you know the rubber part) off.  I used these little beauties:

Okay just wiggle…wiggle a little more… some more…dam**!! okay okay it’s off.  Great, just get this off.  Whew.

Step 3.  Remove the old tube and insert the new one.  On the video it said to blow the new tube up just a bit to make it easier to place.  She also used her carbon pod so I decided to try mine too.  Nope!  First one was dead as a door nail.  The guy at the bike store told me they lasted FOREVAHHH…I knew it was BS when he said it but still….  Okay let’s get the tire pump.  I slip the new tube in the rubber tire casing and place one side of the tire back on the rim.  This is very important…because that was the easy part.  The hard part was getting the other side of the tire on the rim before you can inflate the tube.  You didn’t think that was going to be easy did you?  If it was the tire wouldn’t stay on the rim like it should.  This process took an incredible amount of time.  Let’s see, video again…ah ha “if the wheel is to tight going back on…”  ok, ok hmmm.

Don’t even ask why I have the pliers out… I don’t even remember.  Finally, I got the tire on the rim.

Step 4.  Inflate said tire.  Easy peasy.  Nope!  Sunnuva… tire pump is not playing nice.  I don’t like this tire pump anyway.  It’s weird and too big.  For some reason I couldn’t get it seated on the valve properly.  After much finagling I get the tire inflated!

Step 5.  Put the tire back on the bike.  May I present the first piece of evidence:

It just seemed easier.  Okay this is the easy part ya’ll!!  Nope!  HOW THE HELL DID I GET THIS THING OFF!  VIDEO!  I actually took another bike and flipped it upside down so I could see the placement.  It’s interesting the way the chain was laying because visually I thought should have looked different.  Eventually, I figured it out and got everything put back together. Proof!!!  Yeah that plastic glove really helped.

Step 6.  Step back and say damn….I’m good.  And test that baby out before you go on a long ride.  I feel confident that I can change my tire out on the road.  Maybe a little slow, but I’ll get it done.  As they say, “now you know”.

I’m just going to say that all women need to know how to be hands on with their equipment.  Whether it be a bike or a car tire.  You need to know how to take care of things yourself.  Does it suck?  Yeah, sometimes it does, but you never know when you need to rely on your own two hands when help isn’t around.

Running was a little more than last mileage recap.  I even was able to get on the recumbent bike. I was able to log  19.87 miles this time around with 6286.27 miles gratefully remaining.  Thinking about changing my tire brought one song to mind.  If you do a crappy job changing your tire then you can’t keep on rollin’!  Happy Miles to You!!


Monday Motivation…It’s All Been Done Before

Have you ever had a really good idea and then you start researching only to find out someone else also had your really good idea and beat you to the punch?  Then what happens?  You give up on your idea.  It happens all the time to me.  It’s like I’m doing the Vulcan Mind Meld with other people…

I’ve got this idea see…. Google…Google…what…no way!   Sigh, yes way.

I think for most of us we give up because let’s face it, to make something better or original is hard work.  Is that the right way to think? No.  But it is the easy way out.  I remember the Commandant of the Transportation School when I was a 2LT, General Montero, would always say; “Take the hard left, not the easy right.”  That was such a profound statement for me.  I have never forgotten that advice for many of my decisions.  Also, one of my old bosses in my college days, Larry Long (what great person), he always would leave me with a nugget of advice.  The best, “Four out of five people will tell you it can’t be done, always be the fifth guy.”  Another code I live by.  Yes, yes there is a lot of similarity and duplication in all things, but just because your idea is similar to someone else’s, doesn’t mean you can’t make it your own, especially if it is important to you.  You are an original, capable of original thought!  I should take my own advice sometimes!  That leaves me with today’s quote:

I’m not sure who said this, I couldn’t find the source.  So true though…I’m sure Sharknado will be a cult classic years to come.  Happy Miles to You!!



Monday’s Motivation…Set A Goal

There are small and large goals.  Some are personal around the corner goals and others won’t be achieved for a few years.  If the goal matters, write it down so you can visualize what it means to you.  I set goals daily/weekly/yearly.  I update my “to do” list during the week.  By writing them down it helps me strategize how to complete them and in many ways gets rid of “mental fog”.

“Set a goal to achieve something that is so big, so exhilarating that it excites you and scares you at the same time.”

~Bob Proctor

About the person who said it….

Bob Proctor is an author, consultant and business coach/mentor from Ontario, Canada.  He works with businesses to help them achieve the mental foundations for success in their businesses.  Happy Miles to You!!

Mileage Recap ~ 4 – 10 December….I’ve Reached a Milestone!

I have reached another milestone…wait this calls for a glass of wine!!  Que angelic music.  There. I have completed over 5,000 miles in my journey.  Updating my Excel spreadsheet, I love Excel.  I have my spreadsheet all nice and color coded…formulas…good times…good times.  This leaves me with a little over 6000 to go.  Hey, in the scheme of things 6000 doesn’t seem like much at all.  I’m having wild thoughts of completing it in two years.  I IM’d my friend Karen today who lives in Las Cruces out of the blue (she’s used to it) and said I’m thinking of riding my bike to you.  She says, that’s dangerous by yourself.  We were in the Army, whatever.  Crazy, ya’ll.  But, I can put the “C” in crazy, thank you very much.  By cracky, let’s dids this thing.

I have slowly increased the running miles per week.  I had two days I ran on the treadmill so I could also focus on strength training at the gym.  The “Judge Free Zone” at Planet fitness.  No one is judging you there.  One thing I really want to achieve this year is less pain.  I haven’t been riding my bike as much while I was training for the marathon, so I knew there was a little bit of maintenance that needed done on the bike.  Out I go Saturday morning preparing to air up the tires, wipe down the bike…okay let me just tighten the valve on the tube.  Just a little loose.  I start pumping the air in the tire and I hear a whoosh…whoosh sound.  Hmmm, let me just tighten up this valve…whoosh…whoosh.  Aww man, I don’t think tightening will help this time around because the valve is broken.  Now, let me just say this, I am a very handy woman.  My first car was a 1967 VW super beetle. A total piece of crap that I scored for about $1500 in the 80s and it probably ended costing me 5 times that much.  Unless I figured out how to maintain, I wouldn’t have a car. Which, thinking about it now would have been better during those high school years.  This is how I pictured myself:

But I think this was more of the reality:

Then there was the Army.  Yes, even as an officer you need to know how to take care of your equipment.  No self-respecting officer wouldn’t.  So, I know a thing or two…about a thing or two…but this was the first time I’ve ever changed my tube.  I”VE NEVER HAD A BLOWOUT either.  Thank you goddess of bikes or something like that.  I sat there for a long time and just stared at it, then reached into my bike pack to pull out all of the things I would need to change the tube.  Fiddled and fiddled some more, hung the tube over the seat, got hungry, decided I needed to watch a video on proper tube replacement, this is sooo not happening today.  Before you ask, yes I have attended the “How to change your tire, Homie” class.  But as we all know very well….

It didn’t happen this week.  Sigh, I know I should have sucked it up cupcake, but my cupcake fell…. along the side of the road and then a big bus ran over it.  It was chocolate too…darn I love chocolate.  I did have a smore last night.  Ok, that has nothing to do with this…or does it?  Bottom line, I will get it done, soon and it will be like watching NASCAR.  Yeah…

In other mileage news I have signed up for my first race of 2018!!  I will be running the Winter Trail Frosty on January 28th in Tempe, Arizona.  Need to keep the momentum going.  Such a positive thing to say!!!  Hooah!

This weeks mileage came to a total of 12.64.  My long run was only 3 miles today.  I felt good.  It has been nice and cool out, but still shorts weather.

Every mile I complete has been a good one and this song came into my head today when I saw the spreadsheet calculations.  I love André Rieu, he brings all sorts of people together to create these awesome shows.  Love the costumes of the people singing.  Oh Happy Day!

I have completed 5008.86 miles with 6306.14 lovely, chocolate (and red wine) miles to go!  I hope this post finds you surrounded by happiness.  Happy Miles to You!!



Monday’s Motivation

“The world is changed by your example not by your opinion..” —Paulo Coelho

Photo: Google ~ Twitter Feed

I love motivational and positive quotes.  But sometimes we tend to throw them around like cheap suits and lazy pontifications.  Not really knowing about the person who wrote them but extolling them like an armor of virtue for ourselves.  So, how about this one, from Paulo Colho?  True, no?  Especially, in today’s era of talking heads and high opining.  Paulo Coelho de Souza is a Brazilian lyricist and novelist.  He is best known for his book, The Alchemist, which I have but haven’t read yet.

Talk is cheap…actions rule the day.  Have a Happy Monday and a great week.  Happy Miles to you!!


Mileage Recap ~ November…And Some Rambling Thoughts

It’s always good to have a bit of a blogging break.  Sometimes you just need to get the creative juices flowing again.  Thank you to everyone who sent me messages of support and congratulations last month.  Going to Ireland was a great experience and has renewed my love for running and the reason why I do it and I’m reading to do more.

I keep an Excel spreadsheet of all my miles and it’s amazing that I have been doing this for 5 years now.  I haven’t been blogging that long – or at least I don’t thing so!  Reflecting, I have mixed feelings about the 5 years. I would have liked to be further along, but 11k plus miles is a lot of miles when you add in everyday life to the mix.  But no worries, it’s all good and it will get done.  The more I do this the more interesting I want to make the challenges.  Why just go through the hum drum of tracking regular mileage.  It’s almost like there needs to be a prize at the end.  Thus, races and rides right?

It was good to have an easy month in November, but now it’s time to gear up again.  The weather is nice in Phoenix….now.  So, time to dust of my trusty bike (which I didn’t get to ride much while training) and get moving.  I covered 15.74 miles in November and 4.95 miles for the first week of December for a total of 20.69.  Not much, but it was a much-needed break.   I have 6318.78 miles gratefully remaining.  Happy Miles to You!!

Dublin Marathon 2017 Race Recap

“Now if you are going to win any battle you have to do one thing.  You have to make the mind run the body.  Never let the body tell the mind what to do.  The body will always give up.  It is always tired in the morning, noon, and night.  But the body is never tired if the mind is not tired.”

– George S. Patton, U.S. Army General, 1912 Olympian

So where were we….yes…in Dublin, Ireland a day before the marathon and no suitcase!  While I was on my day trip to the Wicklow Mountains and Kilkenny I did get a call from the hotel that my bag had arrived.  A huge load off my shoulders but also a little annoyed that I had to go buy new stuff.  It was a damned if you do, damned if you don’t type of situation.  I didn’t want to get stuck so I made the hard call.

I ended up wearing a combination of old and new stuff.  New running skirt, my shamrock compression socks and drum roll please….My Nikes.  In the end, I decided to go with the shoes I railed most about.  I felt that I had more toe space and they were a little more broken in then the Asics.  What can I say….a woman is free to change her mind.








On to the marathon….

I really liked the fact the marathon didn’t start until 0900 for my corral.  It gave me plenty of time to get ready in the morning and eat.  The marathon instructions said be there at 0800, which I thought was a bit early, but then I decided to do just that because I didn’t want to get into any long porto potty lines.  Right….

I stayed at the Hilton and it was a nice walking distance to the start line.  When I got there people were already lining up for the bathroom.  To put it in perspective there were 20,000 participants this year.  I was in corral number four.  This would put me at a finish time of around 4:30.  The porto potties were lined up by the corral time so you could stay in your lane so to speak!  I never miss a chance to have a potty mouth when it comes to portos at a race.  Get it!!!  I mean it’s like a box of chocolates…you just never know what you’re going to get!  Man, I’m killing it today.  Some photos:








Then there is always that guy….








Granted it was Halloween, but dude, really?



I was lucky – clean porta and done early.  It was one of those moments you were glad you got there early to avoid the long lines.

A few pictures from the beginning:

My wonderful friend Diane wore her Wonder Woman shirt and had this support sign!

Wrong time on my Garmin, but I just needed it to track the run. Plus my running rosary received by a fellow runner years ago. I love it and wear it to most of my races.

Can you see “believe” on my shirt.

























For a while it was a little unclear what was going on and where the actual start line began.  I started following the people in front of me at a slow pace.

People shedding their clothes.












We walked for about a good quarter-mile and then I could faintly hear someone on a loud-speaker with a heavy Irish accent.  “Come on lads and lasses” it was really funny.  As we moved closer to the start line it began to get packed.  I mean nose to nose packed.  Then just as I was looking around the gun went off and EVERYBODY started running.  I mean damn…it was like a herd.  In the back of my mind I was like wait, I’m still trying to process all this I’m not ready!  But, the starting pistol don’t wait for no one.  Time to get going.

The race

The weather for the race started off at about 54° and slightly cloudy.  I didn’t have any pain and I was tracking at a good pace.  There were so many people there it really made it hard to “break out” of the herd.  I’m not over exaggerating either.  It was crowded.  Instead of trying to break free and find some space I found the 4:30 pacer and just decided to keep pace with that group.  It was funny because you had three people running with large red balloons with the pace time on them and a large group of people just clustered around.

The first half of the run took us through Phoenix Park and in front of a lot of sights throughout the city of Dublin.  I was happy that I was keeping up with little effort.  The amount of people who were out supporting the race was amazing!  Hundreds of people lined the streets at different points all through out the race.  Offering cookies, candy, and baked goods.  It was a sight to see and a much-needed visual for support.

My fueling consisted of sports beans, gum, and I hydrated at the stations provided.  There was no reason to wear a belt or bring a pod.  There were plenty of water stations and support staff.

Things were good for me all the way up until the halfway point.  There was a half marathon and a full at the same time.  Nothing says “oh, I see you’re finishing” to the person next to you ~  “Yeah I don’t think I got the full experience, I’m going to go around one more time!”  It was at this point I began to see the 4:30 pace balloon pull away from me.  Sigh.  I really wanted to keep up.  I didn’t feel bad, I was just slowing down.

At least I was beating the gal in the full Wonder Woman costume.  Yeah I’m good.  I started to breathe a little heavy at this point.  Everything else was good but the breathing was a little labored.  The course itself was fairly flat.  There were some hills that did provide a bit of a challenge.

Around mile 15 I was passed by Batman and Robin.  I really wish I had my phone to take a picture.  Batman was in a wheelchair and Robin was pushing him. It was one of the greatest scenes I have ever seen at any race.  They were just so positive and happy.

At mile 17 I started to get hungry.  The beans weren’t doing it for me.  The streets were lined with people offering snacks or “jellies”.  I had to laugh at the jellies because they were gummy sweets.  I passed all of that for security reasons.  I mean probably no harm no foul, but I thought better of it….until mile 18.

Yeah, let’s see….laced cookie?  Yes?  No?  “The world is so much better with you in it, Clarice.”  Hmmm, what to do…I ate the cookie.  Heck, I ate a couple of cookies.  Glad I did because they hit the spot.

I never really hit the wall.  The definition ~ hitting the wall or the bonk is a condition of sudden fatigue and loss of energy which is caused by the depletion of glycogen stores in the liver and muscles.  I have before, but not now.  I was just slow.  I will say at this point it began to seem like the never-ending race.  More so around miles 23 and 24.

I find during the last two miles you tend to play patty cake with fellow runners.  You speed up, then slow down, only to be passed by the same runner about 30 times until you get to the finish line.  It’s a little annoying.  Then I was passed by this one girl and I just had to laugh out loud.  Another camera moment!  She had a crudely hand written note pinned to her back that said “I absolutely hate running, I will never f*cking do this again.”  It was just too darn funny.  I followed her until the very end and I kept laughing every time I looked at her.  There were definitely some characters at the race!

The big finish ~ there is nothing better than having someone support you in an endeavor like a marathon.  I was about 200 meters from the finish line and I hear my name yelled ~ and there was my friend Diane yelling and with the support sign.  Such a great way to end a race.

In the end I finish in 5:11:50.  I am pleased.  It’s not easy flying to another country then running a race.  I have enjoyed every step of this journey and the outcome.  This post wouldn’t be complete without a little self constructive criticism.  Did I think I did my best?  No.  It’s as simple as that.  I felt that I could have done much better with everything all around.  Food, training and gear.  I look forward to analyzing my performance and seeing what things I could have done better.  Running this race has fired me up to run another.  I love the race energy and the people.  I would like to train for another marathon in the not so distant future and try to improve my time and running experience.

If you are a runner and want a fun challenge I definitely would recommend this race.  It was very well organized and the the people of Ireland were so friendly.  The proceeds go to assist the Irish Cancer Society.

I want to take this time to thank those who have supported me in this endeavor.  My parents Charles and Darlene ~ thank you for all the texts, love and support.  You both have been a catalyst for reaching for the stars.

My brother and his wife Lori, my sister Elizabeth and her husband Eric for all the love and support.

My sweet daughter who ran out of the house to meet me on my return.  Sorry I didn’t catch the Mr. Mime Pokémon.

Diane who waited patiently for over 5 hours while I completed this race.  You are a great friend.

Thank you to all of my friends and blog followers who dropped by to offer support and kind words.

This race was extra special this year.  One, in a few days I will turn 50.  Where has that time gone?  Two, to honor my Mother, Karen Dennis and her Irish roots.










I completed 47.24 miles from Oct 16 – 29 with an end of month total of 105.92.  I have 6339.47 miles gratefully remaining in my journey.  The body achieves what the mind believes.  What’s next?

I leave you with one of my favorite songs….

Happy Miles to You!!