Mileage Recap ~ Sept 25 – 9 Oct and Preparing for My First Group Ride Evah

September ended up being a good month for miles.  It’s funny because it didn’t seem like I completed that many, but when I double checked my Garmin I logged 106 total cycling and running miles.  Up from just 62 in August.  My mental goal is to complete 1500 miles before the new year.  At the moment I’m presently around 990 so it will take some effort to get the job done.  Even as I’m typing those words I’m already beginning the alter ego competition of yes I will complete that or at least give it the good ‘ol college try.

I’m slowly getting back into running.  Very slowly.  I’ve come to the realization that if I’m going to bike 19 miles or more that doesn’t equate to getting up the next day to run 5 or more miles.  A little hard on the body…well maybe this body and let’s face it I have 8,000 more miles to go and I will finish strong.  You like that positivity don’t…come on you’s awesome.  Withstanding I don’t get hit by a snow bird come this winter.

Last Sunday’s long ride came out to 19.05.  The route is a common route with rolling hills and flat areas.  The weather has cooled down substantially in the mornings which has made riding and running much more enjoyable.  I did notice for some reason the Garmin didn’t pick up the elevation gain this time around.  Weird that it picked up everything else but not elevation gain.  It might be because I have been carrying my Garmin around in my back pouch because the band finally broke.  I would like a new one but this one is still working, soooo I guess I will break down and buy a new band.  Fairly easy to do..thanks Amazon!

This ride was a good one because not only was it fairly cool it was raining.  I imagine raining and bikes don’t really go over well, especially if brakes are involved.  Brakes?  Who needs ’em.  Stop, Drop and Roll.  No no I’m kidding, but there is something satisfying about being in the rain.  I love it.  In the Army we say, “if it ain’t raining, you ain’t training“.  Ah yes where would we be without making something hard harder.  It reminds me of on of the live versions of “Proud Mary” by Ike and Tina Turner I listen to on my iPod when I run.  It starts off by saying “They want us to start off by doing something nice and easy, but we never ever do anything nice and easy…we do it nice and rough” and we’re rollin’…..

Sunday Ride

When I ride I find I do my best thinking.  Not sure if this is a good or bad thing yet.  I like to look at the scenery as I roll by.  So many things go through my head.  Acclimation comes in many forms.  Trading four gray cubicle walls and a familiar life of over 20 years for an expanse of desert lately has been humbling for my soul.  I have stepped out of that life into a life where things just keep rolling.  By that I mean there is a wildness we don’t appreciate, know or acknowledge outside the safety of our physical and minds walls at times.  When faced with that sort of difference and change you notice things that maybe you didn’t before.  The rain in the desert; animals scurrying around, the items people discard on the side of the road, and will internet service ever get better in the valley.  The basics you know.  It’s strange being out of your comfort zone.

I have pulled the trigger on my first group ride this Sunday.  It will be 15 miles and fairly flat.  That’s what the announcement says.  Uh-huh we’ll see.  It’s time I get out and play with others ~ to which I apologize up front:\

September finished with 106 and rolling into October with 35.  There are 8,544 thoughts remaining.  Happy Miles to You!

Mileage Recap ~ 12 – 24 Sept and My Big Hill Mess

Fall has arrived!  Only between 0500 and 0800 in Phoenix, but at least its cooler and I try not to worry about the mosquitos ~ which are brutal in the morning and the evening.   All I want to do is sit outside a bit in the cool air and without the gentle buzzing of disease carrying insects.

I have remained steady in my mileage this month.  I’m becoming more confident with my new pedal system and find that when I stop it is easy for me to click in and get going again.  There have been a few teeth sucking events but for the most part so far so good.

My long ride took place on Wednesday 16 Sept.  I wanted to complete at least 15 so I could begin to get back into the groove of longer mileage and join some rides and start looking towards completing a half and a full century for cycling.  So I decided to start on one of the medium routes that I had done during August when I was riding 300 miles for children’s cancer.  This route is hilly with a sizable hill on the route back.  I’m not sure what the elevation is but it is sizeable.  Really, this isn’t a fish story.  I need to take a picture next time.  The first time I road this route I had regular bike pedals and I could only make it up the hill halfway.  Even though I stopped I was able to pick back up and keep riding up the hill.  Fast forward to Wednesday….que music and wavy distortion.

I’m on the first part of the leg and the counter hill is sizeable but not as steep.  The whole time I’m thinking to myself this is going to suck coming back.  Already there was doubt in my mind.  I road to the end and began to make my way back home.  I would say it was a good 7.5 miles in, so about halfway.  The road is flat but I’m still thinking my strategy of attacking this hill.  I mentally psyched myself out and analyzing how and when I might fall.  It didn’t help that the douche bag alert was alive and kicking and at DEFCON 4.  I had already had a close encounter with….a school bus.  I was coming up to a light I would go through – it was green by-the-way and the school bus was hell-bent on turning right.  It cut me off and was so close I could feel the breeze.  You’ll be happy to know no middle finger salute employed.  But really?  Come on, I do believe I had the right-of-way.  So I was already a little frazzled.

The longer I ride I’m thinking that I just need to calm down it’s probably not as bad as I think and that if I have to stop, I’ll just stop.  Pedaling, pedaling and I round the corner I gain a little speed because I’m going down a hill.  I realize great!  This will give me what I need….to….get to the top!  Yes!  You know how you see things from a distance and you think…this isn’t bad at all.  Then there is a sudden clarity that you are full of crap.  Piece of cake.  I am….over-confident.  Pedaling….I am really over-confident in my abilities right now.  Pedaling….damn I am really over…okay I’m not going to make…yes I can!.  Ok I have to stop!  Unclick, unclick…panic I can’t unclick fall towards the curb!  Fall towards the curb!  Sigh I unclicked!

I made it about halfway up then it became hard.  I was beaten…this time.  Luckily I unclicked and was able to stop without falling.  Speeding cars and all.  This stretch of road is heavily traveled by cyclists but is a four to six lane well-traveled road at times.  I gathered myself and rested a bit and thought okay start back up.  Uh no.  Between starting on a hill, trying to click in and regain balance.  Unfortunately, this was a little above my skill set at the moment and I must say a little defeating.  So there I was halfway up the hill and I had to WALK the bike the rest of the way.  What’s going through my mind with my head hung low?  I wonder if I’m ruining my new shoes?”  Listening to the clack of the metal clips on the road.  Trying to walk on my heels.  My pretty white shoes.  I sounded like I was in tap class.

I made it up the hill with a slightly bruised ego and a few scrapes on my shoes.  Got to the top and kept on rolling to make it home and a little under 15 miles.  Needless to say I will ride that hill until I totally conquer it.

I completed 41.11 miles with 8,597.70 graciously remaining.  No middle finger salute needed.  Take the time to enjoy the change of the seasons.  Each one is beautiful in its own way.  Happy Miles to You.


Passion Post # 5 ~ Distance is Just A Number

I love being 46 years old.  Yeah you heard me.  I love being 46.  I have no desire to be a teenager or a twenty something.  Don’t get me wrong, I liked being a teen, and enjoyed my 20s and 30s, but now I’m in my 40s ~ and I love it.  I’m comfortable in my 46 year old skin.  When I look in the mirror and see the lines that are beginning to form I see battles won and a few I lost.  I see love, happiness and adventures still to be experienced ~ hard work, joy and pain.  Every line that is forming and every line that will be has been/will be earned.  Some are joyous lines others lines of pain.  They’re my lines.

I came across this link someone posted on Facebook directed at how the media portrays women’s bodies, mostly famous artistic women, i.e. models, singers etc.  The woman narrating the piece is specifically zoning in on digitally changing images that make women appear slimmer, have bigger busts and of course flawless skin.  Sending the misconception of how these women look in real life and what is considered beauty.  Hips too wide no problem digital enhancing will fix the problem.  I have no doubt this happens with male images as well.  So you’re asking yourself what does this have to do with running?  A lot actually.  I bet you would be hard pressed not to find in the top ten of “Why I run” posts/articles the reason people started to run is to slim down ~ and that is a great reason There is nothing wrong with wanting to be the best you can be physically and if running gets you there great!  A runners physique is slim and muscular.  I wanted to tie this into running because I’ve had quite a few people discuss with me (mostly females) how difficult it is to be “everything”, be fit and on top of it look great and emulate all of those images you see.

You can access the link below ~ it’s a little long but you’ll get the gist after a couple of minutes.

5 Minutes Of What The Media Actually Does To Women

When I started running I was a good 40 to 45 lbs. over my normal weight.  People tell me today when they look at pictures from a couple of years ago they can’t believe it’s the same person.   I am a petite woman.  I have always been that way.  Like all normal women I was raising a very busy child and working which didn’t leave a lot of time for working out, much less running in those early years, so I gained weight.  One day I was putting on a pair of pants and they were so tight they were high waters!  Come on laugh ~ quite a few of you know what I’m talking about:)  So I finally just got fed up.  I just wanted to be able to feel good and fit in my clothes without the fear of taking out someone’s eye if a button popped loose.  So, I started eating better and planned time   to exercise.  I started to run and it stuck.  Running changes your body and running a lot really changes your body.  I’m back to how I used to be ~ plank meet world.  I’m here to tell you I’m so okay with it ~ matter of fact I’m Amen and pass the pork chops okay.  Jimmy crack corn and I don’t care.  I eat a lot and sometimes not well, but I burn a lot of calories.  I burnt 2500 cals just running the St. Louis marathon.   You get the picture.  I have more time to myself now that the kid is older and in college ~ you’ll get there too.  Let’s face it, training for a half or full marathon takes time.  Time away from family and all those necessary’s you have to do.  Don’t beat yourself up about it if you can only spare a certain amount of time each week.  It is what it is and you do the best you can.

Queue in wavy lines and “take me way back music“.  I can remember, very specifically I might add, being at a pool and jumping off the diving board and a kid I really liked yelled out “you’re flat”!  Well I was 10 and Einstein he wasn’t, but that stuck with me for a long time.  I even thought about enhancement from time to time.  But I am comfortable with my shall we just call it the female “runners” chest.  Let me be the first to say, I don’t think there is anything wrong with “fixing” anything on your body.  If you want to do it and it makes you feel better all I’m saying is keep it in perspective.  Don’t do it because you think that’s what you have to do to be beautiful to others or you perceive that’s what is considered beautiful ~ you do it for you.  Heck, who knows, I might want to get rid of some of the crazy a few years from now.

Let’s fast forward a few years ~ Circa 1995.  I’m in the Army and in the hospital fixing to be induced to receive for our little bundle of joy.  I’m sitting there and I tell my husband to go get a magazine while I’m waiting for the blessed event to start rolling.  Lo and behold he comes back with…wait for it…Cosmo.  Now I don’t know about you, but I quit reading Cosmo back in my early 20s.  I had packed up and moved on from that crazy train long ago.  I said, “you have to be kidding”!  To which he replies, “well it was that or Newsweek”.  I just stared blankly ~ really….really?  So I had to take what I could get and I started reading Cosmo.  In walks the “female doctor”, two “female nurses” and one really young Sargent (that was a little creepy) and they all started laughing when they saw the magazine.  The older nurse blurted out “hey look she’s reading Cosmo!  We stopped reading that year’s ago”!  Guffaw guffaw…snicker snicker.  Then she says, “it’s just kind of funny ~ here you are giving birth and you’re reading Cosmo”!  Ha, ha yes the joke is on me.  Nothing better than having a pregnant body reading Cosmo magazine.

The moral here ~ no one is perfect ~ physically.  Make a reasonable training plan and stick to it the best you can.  Look in the mirror and focus on that image ~ not what the world is telling you that image should be.  Realize that good results sometimes take a little time to achieve.  Let your true passionate self radiate your true beauty.

Mileage Recap 17 ~ 23 Nov

I started “counting” my mileage over a year ago.  My goal for 2013 is to have logged 1,000 total miles from my 11,315 mile goal.  I’m pleased to announce I’ve completed 939.81 total miles since I started; 868.74 miles for 2013 alone.  I think I will have no problem picking up 60.19 miles to reach that goal. 

My long run this weekend was 5 miles and it was my first cold run of the season at a crisp 31 degrees.  The wind wasn’t blowing but I still felt that bite.  Had no trouble breathing but the face was a little numb and I’m not ready to pull out the face mask just yet.  I can remember when I first started running in the cold, it took a bit of getting used to.  Now I don’t fret ~ just saddle up an move out.  We used to call that good training in the Army.

Sunday ~ rest

Monday ~ 3 miles treadmill

Tuesday ~ crossfit and yoga

Wednesday ~ 3 miles treadmill

Thursday ~ Kettle bells and heaven help me indoor softball

Friday ~ Rest

Saturday ~ 5 miles  

May this week find you at peace and Thankful ~ the best miles are hard earned. 

It’s Officially the a Holiday Season: Show Me your Sweaty Selfie and Win!

This looks like fun!

Run Stretch Go

I don’t know about you, but the holidays usually mean a bit of overindulgence, lots of lazing around, and the constant threat of poking my own eyes out due to at least one relative. This year, I’m determined to keep at least 2 out of 3 under control with two little words: Sweaty Selfies.

For those of you who say this isn’t a word: the Oxford English Dictionary disagrees.

So what the heck is a Sweaty Selfie? You know those horrible shots you take and post of yourself after a workout?

Yep, the ones you do to stay healthy like that guy, those are Sweaty Selfies. But it’s more than that.

Katie over at Mom’s Little Running Buddies announced a few months ago she was starting to raise money to help fund some of her dreams. Her fundraising item: #SweatySelfie tanks! I immediately wanted one, because, let’s be…

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Greek-Style Burritos

Greek-Style Burritos

Made these very healthy burritos this evening and they were delicious.  Easy and quick to make.

Greek-Style Burritos


¼ cup Greek vinaigrette

1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into bite-size pieces

2 cups cooked long-grain white rice

2 tsp lemon zest

6 (8 inch) flour tortillas

1 (7 ounce) package ATHENOS Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

1 (4 ounce) package ATHENOS Traditional Crumbled Feta Cheese

1-1/2 cups tightly packed fresh spinach

½ cup plain, non-fat Greek-style yogurt

1 tomato, chopped


  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Heat dressing in large nonstick skillet on medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook 6 min. or until done, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Add rice and zest; mix lightly.
  3. Spread tortillas with hummus; top with chicken mixture, cheese and spinach. Fold in opposite sides of each tortilla, then roll up burrito-style. Place, seam-sides down, in single layer in casserole.
  4. Bake 20 min. or until heated through; top with yogurt and tomatoes.

R.I.C.E. for Runners

Good running recovery advice.

Live, Run, Grow

I’m heading out for my last long training run today before the Marine Corp Marathon in 3 weeks, so I thought I’d share with you how I recover after long runs and races – enjoy!

You’ve probably heard the acronym R.I.C.E. – Rest. Ice. Compression. Elevation. – for treatment of injuries.

Well, even though I don’t think a 20 mile training run or a marathon is formally classified as an injury you sure are giving your body one heck of a beating, so not surprisingly a lot of the R.I.C.E. steps are great for recovery!

R is for ROLL.

Yes, when it comes to running R is for ROLL, not REST!

While your body does need rest to recover from a long run, I wouldn’t suggest planting yourself on the couch for the rest of the day after your long run, for now keep moving!

And give your muscles a…

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Mileage Recap 22 – 30 September

Last week was fun.  It took me off my regular training for the marathon but that’s alright.   A few niggles here and there, but feeling pretty good.  I have ended the month  of September completing 95.41 miles.  Happily have 10,513.96 miles remaining.  Hope you are reaching all of your goals, running and otherwise.  A very happy day to you.

Schedule is as follows:

Sunday – 22 Sept – Rest

Monday – Too much motorcycle riding on Sunday 🙂

Tuesday – Yoga 1:15 hrs

Wednesday – 8 miles

Thursday – 5

Friday – Rest

Saturday – 3.1  Warrior Dash!

Sunday – Rest

Monday – 5.02

Warrior Dash Race Recap – The Best People are Muddy!

Warrior Dash = Team Building!

First a special thank you to Danielle and Seth Beckham for all the support and wonderful photos they took!

Warrior Dash Arch

Warrior Dash Arch

This should say it all

In case you didn’t already know

Finally, after six months of planning and plotting I and a group of fellow work-mates completed the Warrior Dash Missouri on Sept 28, 2013.  I really enjoyed myself and I think the team did too!  I had wanted to do an obstacle race for some time but the opportunity never really presented itself.  It’s always better to do these races with a group than by yourself and obviously much more fun.

Still Clean

Before the mud!

Rachel and Darren

Happy Anniversary!

Danielle and Seth

Happy Anniversary!



Bryan Lee


Attempting Warrior Dash Sign

Attempting the Warrior Dash Sign


Stealing Diane’s water

The girls

Danielle, me and Diane

Photo Bomb

The 5 K course was out in Old Monroe, MO in the middle of a large area that they used for skeet etc and who know what else.  I was a little apprehensive but when we arrived there was an overall positive vibe and everyone was very friendly.  That worry quickly turned to excitement and I was glad to see it in my teammates as well.

We had t-shirts made that said:

TEAm on the front which stands for where we work – Transportation Engineering Agency then the “M” made the word team.  Super nice!  Then we all drew another persons name and came up with nicknames to go on the back.  My favorite was Bryan Hall’s “Runs with Two Beers”.  Just classic.


Waiting to start.

Our heat began at 1000.  They herded us into a waiting area like you see above.  It was a good time chatting with others before the race.

Were off

And we’re off!

Finally, the clock counted down and fire came out of the Viking helmet  to start us off.  The first 1.2 miles was rolling trail.  A nice run to get you warmed up before you reached your first obstacle.  I want to say there were 10 obstacles of varying difficulty.

Favorite obstacle was the mud mounds!  This was insane and not easy!  What made it great you had to depend on your team and others.  There was no getting over this obstacle without the help of your fellow-man or woman!


Mud Mounds – from Warrior Dash site!

The picture doesn’t do it justice.  The trenches are filled with water and there were no ropes to help pull you over not one but four mounds.  This was the third obstacle and it was physically tiring.  See the link below from the Warrior Dash Website to give you a better mental picture of the obstacle.

Mud Mounds

My least favorite obstacle was chained up.  It looks fairly simple but it was nerve-racking coming down the other side.


Warrior Dash photo chained up

See chained up here.

Last Big obstacle

Almost finished!

Finishing as a team

Jumping over fire


Here comes the TEAm!

Our last obstacle – muddy mayhem!



We do this for fun Mud Muddy shot Getting muddy Bryan and Mike Muddy

This is a race for all ages, young and old.  I highly recommend it for families or work team building.  It’s hard enough for you to succeed and have a great time.

Well Deserved beer

Well deserved beer!

The spoils of war



Pontification of mud and lite beer

Team work

TEAm work!

Now we got it right

True warriors – now we got it right!

Girls shot

Girls shot

Happy anniversary

Now that’s an anniversary to remember!

Bryan Hall

Did I just do that?

Group Turkey leg

After the mud

I'm Hungry

I’m always hungry

More Turkey

Corn and turkey legs – hey!


No one escapes the mud – no one!


Some of the best people you’ll ever meet get muddy!

          I hope your week was filled with more positives than negatives – stay muddy my friends.

Laurel Close

Muddy me – Sept 28, 2013 Warrior Dash