Mileage Recap ~ 10 – 16 July…Hmmmm I Wonder What They’re Doing In Dublin Right Now?

Feeling this tonight…

01 A Horse With No Name

Let’s come back to Dublin in a minute.  I have been blowing through my water on my long runs like a fish during a feeding frenzy.   At the moment I have a small and (old) water belt that I use.  I’ve had it since I started running. Two lovely golden pods.  One is larger than the other and the pods don’t always stay on the belt.  Especially if I have been running and listening to my music too loud I don’t hear it fall off and literally on my return of the route path, I have seen a pod laying in the street.  I have done this about three times and I have found the pod each time.  It’s like the belt that won’t die.  So, you can see why I haven’t given it up on this old belt.  It’s a zombie belt!  Just keeps coming back from the dead.

I decided that I would try some of the electrolyte tabs to give me an extra boost.  I went down to my friendly Big 5 sports store and all they had was GU™ tabs.  I wanted NUUN™, but to be honest, I’m not sure why.  Probably because that’s the brand I hear about the most.  I’ve used GU™ gels of course, but not the electrolyte tabs.  The purpose of the electrolyte tab is to replace electrolytes when you sweat.  As I have said many times, I’m in the land of sweat…and sand.  Sometimes I think I’m the Queen of this land….

There were many flavors to buy and it reminded me of all the flavors you can find in Gatorade™. I decided to try the Tri-Berry.

On the bottle it says that “the tabs are reformulated with xylitol to help reduce gastrointestinal distress (thank goodness that’s one thing we don’t need) when compared to sorbitol”.  So did I feel magically delicious after drinking it?  No.  I tried them before I ran to see if they upset my stomach and like most of these things I find them  too sweet and leave that tongue smacking after taste in your mouth that you can’t fire hose away.  Don’t get me wrong it was good tasting it’s just that it was too much sweet for me with the recommend 16 ounces of water.  That’s just me, of course.  I diluted it a bit more, which probably defeats the purpose, but I found it much more palatable. I did use them on last weeks run and I felt like I always do…”Brother can you spare some water?  I’m out of GU™ drink.”  I always want to ask the passing cyclists.  Maybe the metric is I wasn’t face down on the pavement?  Hmmm, not sure.   The overall assessment is that heavy sweating = loss of electrolytes.  These babies will replenish that loss.  They are easy to carry and it didn’t upset my stomach.  Will I try them again?  Yes.  A different flavor and of course a different brand as well.

This weeks mileage is inching up there!  Exciting!  I have about 118 more days until the Dublin Marathon.  Oh that reminds me, let’s check in with the Dublin cam:

Dublin Cam  I can’t wait to stand outside the Temple Bar!  Maybe you’ll see me on the drunk cam, oh I mean Earth Cam, Earth Cam!  This is a G blog you know.

Ok, back on topic, this weeks mileage.  The runs this week were really good.  The body is feeling good, despite the heat.  I am settling in to a nice groove by waking up at 4:15 and being out the door and on the road by 5am…most days.  It’s imperative on the long run day.  This weeks long run was 7.5 miles, the pace is a little slower than I would like at around 12 minutes.  The run felt good and even was a little overcast today with some humidity.  I logged 21.61 miles for the week with 6701.82 miles gratefully remaining.  May all your clovers be four leafed!  Happy Miles to You!!

 

 

Mileage Recap ~ 2 – 9 July…Running in Monsoon Season

Last week’s runs were pretty uneventful.  Which I guess is good because there hasn’t been any injury and physical therapy is keeping things in check.  For the most part, I’ve been doing and feeling well. The long runs are still a walk and run combination because of the heat.  I don’t really want that but the heat is just too harsh.  I go for as long as I can, walk to catch my breath then start back up.  My goal is to not walk at all… but I guess if I have to pick between walking a bit and passed out on the side of the road, I’ll pick walking…for now!

The monsoon season has officially started here in the desert.  The normal run dates are July 7th and September 13.  It’s kind of a double edge sword.  For running it cools things down, but kicks up the dust making it hard to see and breathe.  In actuality, it can be down right dangerous.  If you haven’t been here during the monsoon season, may I offer you a taste?

Courtesy of Dreamstime

Courtesy of Arizona Painting Company

 

The monsoons can be very dangerous but like I said it is nice to run in the rain.

This weeks mileage came to 13.15 with an overall pace of 12.19 for the long run of 7.02.  I did speed work on the treadmill last Wednesday trying to lower that pace.  I was very proud of myself for last weeks long run because I was on the road 0500 with starting temps at 98 but lowering to 94 because of a slight breeze.  I have 6723.43 graciously remaining.  One of these days I’m gonna run for fun….  Happy Miles to You!!

 

 

 

Mileage Recap ~ 26 June – 1 July…Have You Hugged Your Physical Therapist Today?

I think everyone should go to physical therapy at least once a year in my humble opinion.  You most likely will be blown away at how out of balance your body gets with the normal wear and tear of daily life.  I first went to a PT after I had my knee surgery four years ago.  As I was doing my rehabilitation exercises my PT casually mentioned that it looked like one of my legs was longer then the other.  Upon closer inspection she mentioned that my pelvis was twisted.  In order to get myself in alignment not only did I have to do knee strengthening but pelvis stabilization exercises.  I have always had hip issues and this was most likely due to that fact.  I had also received an MRI about 3 years ago meant for the hip and you know how that goes.  It’s like taking your car for an oil change and the mechanic says “yeah we changed the oil but did you know your radiator has a leak”?  This was one of those moments.  I go into for the MRI for the hip and come out with a slightly bulging disk review.  Hmmmm.  I know if I just don’t think about it, won’t the diagnosis magically just disappear…….

Fast forward to the present, the doctor wants me to get a follow up MRI. Since I have been having a few niggles here and there I was nervous about the prospect of the bulging disk because I still was having pain radiate down my right leg from time to time and of course the left knee issues.  Good news – no bulging disk!  It was gone.  I was a little perplexed because the doctor told me if there was damage or the disk was herniated then it wasn’t going to fix itself.  So he gave me an order for physical therapy to “fix” what needs fixing.

I love my PT!  She first made me go through some exercises and evaluated me then measured my hips and said, yep your right hip is rotated 1.5″ inward.  Amazing.  So I’m way out of alignment and now I have to work to stabilize and bring the pelvis back.  I asked about the bulging disk and she mentioned that if it’s no more than 9 degrees it can correct itself.  That’s great to know.  She also mentioned that the new running shoes I bought, the ones where they watched me run then made a determination on the correct shoe, were wrong!  That sucks.  Because my arches are so high the “stability shoe” I have is incorrect.  So, I will need to purchase the right shoe before I get up into the longer runs.  There is plenty of information and research on how the wrong running shoe has caused major injury and damage to the body.  My personal mantra is you can skimp on everything else but never on the shoes.  You don’t have to buy the most expensive pair, but a good shoe and one that is correct for you.

I’ve been attending PT for two weeks now and I can tell a difference already in my pain level during and after a run.  It is really amazing.  During my last session I mentioned that my right glute was really tight and I started prattling on about foam rolling and the PT says with a huge grin let’s do some myofascial release! Yay…uh what is that?  As a registered yoga instructor I know about fascia.  Fascia is the thin sheath of fibrous tissue enclosing a muscle or other organ.  The collagen fibers that make up the fascia need to stay supple and be able to slide and move.  When muscles stay tight, the fascia clings to them, and both can become rigid over time.  That’s why it feels good to stretch, foam roll, tennis ball therapy and do yoga.  You may even have purchased an instrument for myofascial release and not even realize it!  For more on fascia read this article:  A Body Part You Never Knew Could Be Making You Miserable .

Back to myofasical release.  The PT tells me to go in this special room.  I’m excited because I think I’m getting a spa treatment!!  She comes back with a tool like this:

It looks like a shoehorn.  I realize there might be people out there that don’t know what a shoehorn is….I’ll give you a clue…it helps you get your shoe on…Google it my friends.  All the while I’m still smiling.  She then hands me the tool to inspect and she speaks in a kind voice, “see it has a little serrated edge at the top almost like little teeth”.  She hands it too me like a dentist hands a child the drill before getting a filling.  See Jimmy, it’s really not that bad, and will be over  before you know it!  Okay….spa treatment!  Then she smiles and says, “Oh yeah this might cause a little bruising”.

How could something so right go so terribly wrong!  My sweet PT went from all smiles to badass in 3 seconds flat.

It was like a bad European women’s wrestling match dream.  Spa treatment, spa treatment, spa treatment…I clicked my heals three times as I felt those little teeth digging into my right glute and I realized I wasn’t in physical therapy Kansas anymore.  PT smiles and laughs ~ “you thought you were getting a spa treatment didn’t you”!  I had to laugh…how the heck could she read my mind!

 

I’m not going to lie, it was damn painful.  I’m still feeling the “release” as we speak.  The only problem with PT is doing the homework.  You go and have these sessions, but then you have to be disciplined enough to come back and do your homework.  I would say I’m a C+ student at the moment.  I am doing the exercises, but I could be more disciplined.  Over all I’m pleased and hope this will make me stronger.

Running was good this week.  Still hanging at the 6 mile mark for the long run.  The long run was about at a 6 on the 1 – 10 scale with a pace at 11:57.  Slooowww and hot.   Logged 11.78 miles for the week.   I have 6736.58 miles gratefully remaining.  Even though it’s tough I had this song playing and so true.  Happy Miles to You!!

 

Mileage Recap ~ 18 – 25 June…Dublin Marathon Route

If you have been watching the news, you have seen that Arizona is under extreme heat warnings.  Temperatures that haven’t been seen since the 1990s.  It is hot.

I love the 0.0% too, not.  Crispy anyone?  I was good this week and out of the house by no later than 5:30.  Five is probably going to be the earliest I can do.  It’s just getting light and I won’t have to worry about getting eaten by a pack of coyotes.  Or at least I will be able to see them coming.

I haven’t been blogging about the actual race yet so I figured at four months out it’s time to start.  Dublin Marathon baby!!!!  So excited to be taking part this year.  The first thing to discuss is the route.  Apparently the terrain will be moderate and will wind through the city.  I kept thinking that it will be hard to concentrate because I’ll want to look at everything while I’m running!  I plan on running with my phone too.  I have no shame in stopping and taking a snap!

Here is the pdf of the route.  SSE-AT-DM16-ROUTE-MAP

And a small birds eye view:

Apparently they didn’t change the 2016 to 2017 yet.  It looks like it will be fun and there are plenty of water and gel stations and restrooms.  I thought it would be good to start learning the lingo as well.  From what I read the Irish don’t use the word bathroom.  Instead they say Mná = Women or Fir = Men.  So noted!  My hotel is very close to the start and finish line which provides the added benefit of just walking and not having to worry about public transportation.

I have started incorporating speed work on my Wednesday training day.  As much “speed” as my body will allow these days.  I can’t say enough how much this is helping my overall long run.  I did about 20 – 50 yard sprints and 2 – 100 yard sprints.  Mix in some core work and it was a nice work out.  My shorter run was a nice run of 4 miles and I was able to keep a 11:05 pace.  Felt good and not winded.  This weeks long run was about 6 out of 10 stars.  I was hoping to attain this but….

Running GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

It was hot and I felt like I was carrying a lot of weight in my back.  I had to walk a bit but found it easy to start back up.  I was really tired towards the end but finished 6 miles with a 12:05 pace.  Slow but it will improve.  I blew through my water too.  I mean I was rationing towards the end.  I have accepted that training in this heat will include walking.  Overall, feeling good and determined.  I finished 11.25 miles for this weeks training.  I have 6,748.36 miles gratefully remaining on my journey.  Happy Miles to You!!

This song is more than appropriate for what I’m running through:

 

 

Mileage Recap ~ 5 – 17 June A Slow and Steady Build

I happened to be flipping through the channels the other day and I came across some sort of “seniors Olympics” challenge.  It wasn’t the actual senior Olympics (and no, I’m not old enough for that yet) but something similar and the commentator was interviewing different people and the events they were participating.  It truly was amazing to see people running the 50 yard dash at age 90.  It was slow, but man what heart.  After about 10 minutes in, they interviewed a guy in his late 80s.  This guy was in phenomenal shape and spoke very eloquently about his participation in the events.  What stuck with me is he said never stop, you have to keep moving, our bodies are meant to move.  He went on to say I know my body, I know when I need to slow down.  I thought that was very good advice from a senior and true for everyone at every age.  Know thyself.

Marathon training for me is moving right along.  I have had some really good days and some not so good days.  I started with  walking/running the first week and then slowly built on continuous running with both weeks longer runs capping out around 5.5 miles and some speed work on Wednesdays.  The first weeks longer run was a real pain in the tail and out and out sucked.  Literally.  Allergy season as been on full blast for me and as the heat rose I found myself really struggling to breathe at certain points.  You know the “I gotta stop and bend over or I’ll pass out” type of feeling.  Started off well, but slowly deteriorated into yikes, but I finished it with an 11:50 pace.  I know, it’s slow, but that’s how things are rolling these days.  Also, don’t forget it’s getting…hot.  I’m usually out between 6 – 6:30am (way too late) and it’s already hitting the high 80s.  I will need to do a bit better than that as the runs get longer.  I think I will be safe at around 5 am – at least from the coyotes!  Next week it’s supposed to hit 1990 highs here – meaning 120s.  Go ahead and say it… It’s going to hurt!  In more ways than one.

Disney’s Hot Sun

But forward we shall go.  I’m enjoying the process. There always seems to be a bit of a climb for me when I start running again.  There is this threshold I just need to get passed and it seems a whole lot harder here in the desert.  I added another 26.41 to the tally with 6759.61 miles gratefully remaining in my adventure. I hope this finds everyone’s Saturday full of joy and hope.

“You are never a loser until you quit trying.” – Mike Ditka

Happy Miles to You!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whatever You Are, Be a Good One ~ Abraham Lincoln

I took a few weeks off from blogging to gear up for my daughter’s graduation in Seattle.  My daughter is one of the most persistent people I know. When she was three I put her in a beginners dance class.  I wanted to make sure that she learned to love music and the expression of dance from an early age.  I can remember going to dance class when I was a kid and I always found it a great way to express myself.

She danced until about six, then lost favor and we bounced around for a couple of years trying different things.  There was basketball, soccer and then gymnastics.  Gymnastics lasted for about 4 years before it really started taking a toll on her body.  So in 6th grade she decided to start dance again and as they say, the rest is history.  One of the things I so admire about her is her desire to continue to improve, learn and to stay with the program.  Not once, that I knew of, did she ever waiver on what she wanted to do, become a dancer.   All the late nights, weekends and dance competitions for….YEARS!  She kept at it.  We drove all over the country to different schools to apply and she finally settled on ASU the first year eventually transferring to Cornish College of the Arts.

I can’t tell you the pride I had when I finally saw her dance her senior project.  It was amazing to see how far she’d come and the joy.  Now the work really begins, but what an amazing journey so far!  I like that saying, “whatever you are, be a good one“.  In essence that has been what I’ve been telling her the whole time.  Find your passion and give it your all and love what you do.  I really do believe it.  If you are in the right place, doing the right thing ~ you will shine!

 

 

 

 

 

 

This month is actually looking up for miles.  I’m logging 1 – 20 May this post at 71.99!  I had some nice rides and starting very slowly with the training for the Dublin Marathon.  It’s hard to believe it’s 5 months to go!!  I have 6812.35 miles gratefully remaining. Happy Miles to You!!

Mileage Recap ~ 24 – 30 April…Discipline

There’s nothing like starting over from the beginning, but that’s exactly what I’m doing when it comes to running.  I have a feeling, the knee and calf injuries will always be with me in some form.  Meaning that unless I stop for a long amount of time, it’s going to continue to hurt.  I will say that I am very proud of myself.  I didn’t run or cycle for two weeks.  Instead I have concentrated on strength training at the gym and in yoga.  There are so many different exercise to do that will help strengthen the core and legs for runners.  Google strength training, core, knee pain etc. and you will be inundated with different exercises to perform.  Sometimes it’s just daunting, so I pick out a few I like (that don’t cause pain) and focus on those until I get ready to try something new.  Strength training ALWAYS works.  I can already feel the difference in how my body responds and thus the more I can use my core the lest impact I’m going to feel on my knees, feet and lower back.

It’s all about discipline and not taking the easy way out.  You could insert that sentence anywhere in everyday life.  In order to train for something as big as a marathon you have to be disciplined in the way you eat and exercise.  I’ve often been told by a few people that they would love to run a marathon, but started training and realized that “hey this requires a lot of time and work”.  It does.  I do something at least 5 to 6 days a week to keep up.  Unless you are in tip top shape, it’s hard to come back after not doing anything for 2 to 3 weeks, and it doesn’t get any easier as you age…believe me.  So the starting from scratch part of it I’m not looking forward to.  I was just getting my breath down and kind of getting in a groove.  Now I must start again and when I say start again, I’m going back old school.  You know the walk 2 minutes run 2 minutes program. Physical and mental discipline is key.  In my opinion, injuries give us a chance to listen to our bodies before something big happens.

This week was positive.  I got out and walked and even got in a short ride today!  It felt so good to be on the bike again!  I could have gone a long way today, but I stuck to 11.75 miles.  Everything felt good but again discipline and no pushing.  I was so happy I got in 17.58 this week for a total of 47.09 for the month.  Feels good.  Half of last months mileage, but that’s the way it goes.  I’ve got 4430.66 in the bank with 6884.34 painless miles remaining.  (Just kidding).  Happy Miles to You!!