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 ~ 17 – 30 Dec…

Happy Sunday fellow readers.  I hope everyone had a wonderful Holiday and is looking forward to the new year and NYE.  I’ll be honest, I’ve never really seen the pull of NYE.  Sure, I’ve gone out and celebrated – heck I’ve even seen the ball drop in NYC.  You want to indulge in crazy, go see the ball drop.  I think everyone should experience that once in their lives.  There was Dick Clark’s Rocking New Years Eve on the T.V. back in the day.  But to be honest I usually was like – meh – who cares.  This year I do plan to ring it in with friends here in DC.  Let’s hope I don’t fall asleep at the table.

I spent my Christmas in Phoenix this year.  It was bitter-sweet to see the place I left.  Some photos:

Arizona has wonderful sunrises and sunsets.

Hiking in the hills.

Mountains off in the distance.

Desert fauna.

Love these flowers.

 

My daughter and I walking.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is the best time to visit the desert in my opinion.  Warm enough for shorts and cool nights, no blustering heat.  I was able to get in some running, walking and hiking while I was visiting.

December has been a great month for miles.  This two-week recap saw 134.65 miles earned with 270.24 miles completed for the month.  I’m happy to say I beat 2017’s miles by 256.40.  Not the level I wanted to achieve, but at least it was more than last years.  I look forward to breaking 2018’s number in 2019.

This Saturday was such a lovely day I was able to take the bike out for a spin and ride the Mt. Vernon Trail (really have to find another route) and cross the bridge into Maryland for a nice 19.88 miles.  A little chilly in places and crowded!  It seemed like everyone was out.  I was dodging people constantly.

Picture from the bridge. That’s the monument in the background.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other exciting news is I have registered for my first marathon of 2019.  I will be running the Yuengling Shamrock Marathon March 17, 2019 in Virginia Beach, VA  Let the madness begin.  This will be my 3rd marathon.

 

I’m going to go ahead and call 2018 with a total of 1046.36 completed.  I have 5236.82 miles gratefully waiting in my journey.  I hope this post finds you in an easy state of mind.  Reflective, yearning, excited and radio-active.

Happy Miles to You!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Change Is Hard…Doing Nothing is Harder – My Ode to 2018…May She Rest in Peace.

What would you do to be happier?  That my friends is a very loaded question.

I wish I could say 2018 was a banner year.  Let’s just say I am looking forward to 2019.  I just got around to “updating” my working status on Facebook (not that it’s necessary) to living in the DC area and working at the National Archives and Records Administration.  Those in my inner circle laughed a bit and yelled “old news”!  I kept it on the low burner because it was a major change and upheaval. This isn’t a negative post but a post about growth, change, uplifting myself and somewhere down the line winning.

After serving in the Army as a logistician, Army wife, mother and eventually a civilian which totaled about 20 years I decided that I needed a “change”.  From there I moved to Phoenix, AZ and went to esthetician school to, how can I say this, entertain my more artistic side.  I have always played a balancing act with my technical side and my artistic side.  I decorated cakes for many years and found being an esthetician to be artistic but on another level.  Unfortunately, there were many things about it that just didn’t fit and so I moved on to work for a private business.

I have never publicly written about my time at this place of business.  It was the first time out of college that I had worked for a private company and not the government.  I worked directly for the CEO/owner and all I can tell you it was 9 months of pure hell.  I have no sympathy for the devil of which he must have been related.  Sitting on the couch with him during my third interview I knew taking this job was a mistake.  There is something in trusting your gut.  But me, being who I am, I was willing to give it a go.  Worst.Decision.Ever.  He ran me ragged and was prone to changing his mind constantly, not in a good way, and wanted to be treated like a king.  The only task I will bring up just to give you insight was stocking the personal fridge with Perrier™.  He drank massive amounts of Perrier™ and required his personal refrigerator to be stocked daily.  He drank the lemon and lime flavor and I would place the bottles lined up with labels facing the front.  They had to be perfectly in order by flavor…. yeah think about that for a moment.  I mean I can be type A, but damn.

I decided that I needed another change, but most of all I needed to make myself happy and take control of my happiness.  Believe me, this is a hard tasks for Catholics.  Guilt anyone?  I felt for the three years I was in Arizona I was just floating through a fog. Arizona was pretty…in parts, but it just wasn’t for me.  That’s right class, at 50 you can decide to change – and change I did.  Daunting.Scary.Unpredicable.  Yes, all of those words and a whole lot more.

I started feverishly applying to other jobs ~ everywhere.  I prayed.  I cried.  From time to time I felt sorry for myself.  Oh, and I flew to Dublin, Ireland and ran a marathon in between this mayhem.  I would wake up early in the morning and apply for jobs all day long.  Sometimes even on weekends.  I was relentless.  I can remember starting my day with this saying:

“Help me find the right job, the right place, I’m ready for the good stuff”.

Everyday.  Day after day, for nine months (no symbolism here – lol) until I finally got a call from the National Archives and Records Administration.  I had been wanting to get out of the logistics field and I applied for an Executive Assistant job to the Archivist of the United States of America in DC.  After three interviews, I got the job.  It was one of the happiest and scariest days of my life.  I had no apartment and only one friend in the area.  I packed up my Subaru and drove across country to my new life in DC.

I was extremely lucky for my friend Rajni who lived and worked in the area.  It was like she was there at the right place and time.  I owe her a debt of gratitude I will never be able to repay.  I stayed with her for a few weeks and eventually found my own apartment.  The transition was mentally hard.  I hadn’t lived in an apartment since my 20s.  Making that move from a big house to a small apartment wasn’t easy.  All the things I had I left behind ~ I only took the necessities.  Again mental, but necessary for change.  Sometimes you throw things out to the Universe.  You taunt it by saying – “only if”.  Then the Universe throws it back and says “put up or shut up”.  So then you have a choice to take the “red or blue” pill.

“You take the blue pill—the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill—you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes. Remember: all I’m offering is the truth.” ~ The Matrix

I took the red pill.  I wanted to find my truth – and so I did.  I left with what I could fit in my car and drove across country, by myself, in search of better.  Change is so hard.

There were times I would walk through my apartment looking at all the nothing.  I would sit in the silence on some days and just think about what was next.  I would get up each day and push a little further, grow a little larger, and eventually smile a little wider.  When I think back at the first time I stepped into this apartment there was a sense of despair and laughter.  There were days I would cry and days I would walk through laughing that this was mine.  I did it.

The job, what can I say.  I work for the Archivist of the United States in downtown DC.  He is amazing and the people I work with equally amazing and talented.  An academic atmosphere.  Even better, I like everything about the place and what we do for the country.  I can say I’m very happy.  I’m happy living in DC and with my job.  It has been a little over 10 months and I love my truth, my little red pill.

I am learning to embrace my future.  I continue to expand and grow.  In order to move forward you can’t dwell on the past.  Study it.  Accept it. Challenge it.  If a little 50 year old female can do it, so can you.  Change is so damn hard, mentally, physically and spiritually.  If you find yourself contemplating about 2018 and where your going, might I suggest taking that red pill?  Open wide and wash it down with your favorite beverage.

I hope this post finds you with a hot crazy determination for life.  The kind that burns the soul, makes you cry and shake and demand you do whatever it takes, however hard it may seem, to stay the course and find your truth.  Yeah, there’s going to be plenty of dead bodies along the way ~ so bring the body bags and a big ass shovel to bury that shit.  Six feet down – three feet wide –  cover it all nice and pretty, dust off those hands and make a sign of the Cross if you have too.  It’s over.  Happy Miles to You!

 

 

 

 

Mileage Recap ~ 10 – 16 Dec…Running In The Rain

Hello happy readers!  Rain has the power to renew.  Take the dirtiest of days, give it a good rain storm, and the result is a feeling of invigorating renewal.  The landscape looks and smells refreshed.  This weekend was a wet one in the D.C. area and the temperatures were somewhat mild.  I wasn’t going to let something like a little water stop me especially when I feel there are demons that need to be exercised.  Running in the rain is the perfect medicine.

I made it to the trail around 0830 on Saturday and it was about 52 degrees and raining moderately hard.  There is always a moment of self-induced suck, while sitting in the car telling myself, yeah you can turn off the engine now and step outside.  The water is fine!  I make sure I have everything, scarf, gloves, and music….check.  Open the door and get hit with a blast of cool (not cold) water pelting my face.  Either way, I’m sure everyone has experienced leaving a nice warm car, only to be accosted by cold temps.  A shock to the body for sure…add rain ~ yeah not the best feeling in the world.  But, I needed to make a concerted effort to get outside when I can…even if it’s raining.

Believe it or not, it wasn’t that bad.  You could make the argument if it were colder….obviously it would be snowing, but 52 wasn’t too bad a deal.  My biggest threat were decaying leaves and wet pavement.  I wanted to hit three non-stop and walk three back.  Even with the weather the pace was decent:

10:25 pace with side-stepping leaves and puddles of water.  I felt good on the run and ran a straight three then walked three back for a total of 6.02.

I did stop to take pictures on the way….

A holly tree on the path.

The Potomac

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yes I was there…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This weeks miles were bella totaling 63.09!  On Sunday I road 15 then, in the rain again, I walked two.

Indoor bike – 55.06

Running – 3.02

Walking – 5.01

This 51-year-old body is feeling strong.  I have completed 5943.53 with 5371.47 gratefully remaining.  I hope this post finds you slaying those demons that disrupt and keep you from living the life you were meant to live.  Just remember it’s never too late to learn to fly….. Happy Miles to You!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mileage Recap ~ 3 – 9 Dec…I’m Tracking

Happy Sunday everyone!  As I run through my calculations of miles completed it’s always a pleasure to see the “miles remaining” is less than the “miles completed”.  Although the journey is still a long one and there are plenty of adventures to be had, it is positive.

I have an Instagram friend, Dr. Linda Sinnott, who went on a big life transformation to loss weight.  It’s funny because she and I are very similar; both in our 50s, yoga instructors and love fitness.  She worked out for 365 days straight, making a commitment to herself to live healthier.  It’s been fun watching her progress.  As with anything that is worth fighting for, you have to make a commitment and work at your goal.  You have to be consistent.  Make an effort to be present and show up for whatever it is you are attempting.  Some days the results are pretty and other days just butt ugly.  Eventually, the effort will pay off…at least that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

I decided to take a page out of her play book and complete some miles every day.  I was in the gym some days and then decided to time myself on Saturday with a two-mile run.  I have been continuing with strength and endurance training with hopes of getting a better pace during the winter months.  Happy to report:

Not too bad if I do say so..lol.  I walked a mile after then ran a final mile for a total of 4 miles on Saturday.  The week was a good one.  I rode the indoor bike 10.5 (11 on one day) each day with the exception of 5 miles on Friday for a total of 62 miles for the week.  I love the morning when the sun is just up on the trail.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have completed 5880.44 with 5434.56 miles gratefully remaining.  I’m still tracking, still working and still earning every mile.  I hope this post finds you in a great state of mind; present, full of hope and still tracking.  Happy Miles to You!!

This song came on for the second mile on Saturday and is great for the pace….