11315 Miles

Run, Walk, Bike…Repeat. Never.Give.Up.

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!!

 

 

 

Women On the Move ~ Dr. Karen Gaffney – All Lives Matter

I love writing about all types of strong women and their accomplishments.  Honestly, I don’t know how I find some of these people.  It’s like divine intervention just leads me to the correct place and wallah!  I’ll start reading and something just connects and then you’re like whoa.  There are women everywhere doing great things and no task is too small.  Not to sound trite or a bit cliché but what we hold in high esteem in the United States sometimes, is less then impressive.  We all like pop culture.  I have found myself glued to The Kardashians© and Real Housewives of Atlanta© on more than one occasion and rarely have I said “hey how about that Grace Hopper, huh”?  Yes, I added a link ~ that is your homework between Fourth of July beers.  It’s a shame we don’t treat women like Grace Hopper as the real rock-stars.  Can you see a show called The Real Female Scientists of Atlanta?  No, I didn’t think so.  Let’s face it, we are addicted to the wrong kind of badassery.  Meet Dr. Karen Gaffney.

Photo courtesy of the Karen Gaffney Foundation

I love the photo above.  She is perfection.  Dr. Karen Gaffney has Down’s Syndrome.  Dr. Gaffney is the first person with Down’s Syndrome to complete a relay swim across the English Channel in 2001.

Karen graduated from Portland Community College in 2001 and received her Associate of Science degree and teaching certificate.  In 2013 she became the first living person with Down’s Syndrome to receive an Honorary Doctorate Degree, Doctorate of Humane Letters from the University of Portland for her work raising awareness for people who have Down’s Syndrome.   She travels the world addressing people on Down’s Syndrome and how she believes is a life worth living.  Unfortunately, the statistics of women aborting fetuses once diagnosed with Down’s is staggering.  This is not a post to discuss abortion or pro-choice.  What Dr. Gaffney is stating and showing the world is that all lives matter and having Down’s Syndrome isn’t a show stopper.  One of my FAVORITE sayings, “One Monkey Don’t Stop No Show“.

Some of Karen’s other swims include:

  • Swimming across the nine mile span of Lake Tahoe ~ which became the documentary Crossing Tahoe: A Swimmer’s Dream (you can find on Amazon)
  • 2009 swam the Boston Harbor to celebrate Down’s Syndrome month
  • 2 Gold Medals from the Special Olympics
  • 16 swims across the San Francisco Bay including the Escape From Alcatraz Triathlon.  (Bucket List Item)!

When she isn’t swimming she is running the Karen Gaffney Foundation.  Stop by and see what she is about.

 

“A life well lived, is long enough” ~ Seneca.  Happy Fourth of July and Happy Miles to You!!

This is for you Dr. Gaffney ~ one of my faves from the Divine Ms. M.  Down Syndrome don’t stop no show….

 

 

 

 

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!!

 

The Sunscreen Chronicles

Whether I’m cycling or running I do try to remember to put on sunscreen.  If it’s early in the morning I usually don’t because the sun is not as strong, but I know I’m still getting sun…so I should.  What I hate is when you sweat and then the sunscreen gets in your eyes and it be like:

 

 

 

 

Running along then bam!  You want to tear you face off!  Here in Phoenix there are a lot of women who run and it looks like they’re wear a burka at times.  This is very popular:

I have never seen any men wearing this full face get up, only women.  Phoenix will give you skin cancer and wrinkles and ain’t nobody got time for that.  I look at it this way, you can’t beat everything in life and there is no way I’m going to run in 106 degree heat with something like a hoodie.  I just can’t because I get too hot and frankly, what can I do about picking up another line.

I have the a strange skin mix.  The Italian in me gives me the olive color complexion that sort of tans and although I can burn (and I have badly) I also don’t get really tan.  It’s like I cap out.  I reach a point and that is it. My face is another story ~ It seems I have inherited what I lovingly refer to as the Irish drinking strip.  Basically, the wide red band that goes across the cheeks and nose.

Uh, no this isn’t a picture of me.

Life is just better with two beers isn’t it?  So what’s the point of this post?  Hmmmm (scratching head).  Ah yes, sunscreen not beer.  I’ve tried a lot of sun screens and a girlfriend of mine gave me some Neutrogena® Ultra Sheer® Face & Body Stick to try and it really is amazing.  Amazing in the sense that if you are running or cycling this doesn’t sting the eyes.  Now I have accidentally rubbed my eyes and it did sting a bit, but just regular sweat and no rubbing it’s really good.  Here is what I use:

 

 

I have read before that anything over the 50 isn’t really offering that much more protection.  It was a while ago that I read that and I’m not really sure if it still is the case today.  This may require more research for a later post. Until then I like both of these and the stick is really good for the face and doesn’t burn the eyes.

Do you wear sunscreen?  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:

 

 

Chau Smith – Running Goals

In my humble opinion, running is 90% mental.  This is just me talking.  You have to 1) want to run, 2) have a goal, and finally 3) stick to the plan and follow through.  The first two are critical points that will help you get through number three.  There is always going to be a reason (for most of us) not to do something.  There will never be enough time, enough money, or enough energy ~ but there always seems to be plenty of excuse to not (apply your own verb here).

Age.  Getting older.  I’m too old to…  I went to this conference in Atlanta for work some years ago and the speaker was talking about getting stuff done.  Something to that effect.  It was a semi motivational but dealt with government work stuff etc…Maybe even a little boring, until he said something that I still think about to this day.  He said, “we all know 20 year olds that act like they’re 60 and 60 year olds that act like they’re in their 20s“.  The whole point was never giving up, continuing on and not letting age act as an impediment to keep trying, living and achieving your goals.  It’s strange how that line still sticks with me.  I was in my early 30s then and I just thought it was great advice.  If you want to do something, don’t let age be an excuse.

Meet Chau Smith from Missouri.

She is 70 years old and ran seven marathons in seven continents….in one week.  One week…did you hear that…one week.  Oh and don’t be bothered that she ran over 70 races…last year.  From the Huffington Post, “Smith’s legal age is 67. She told The Huffington Post that after her father was killed in the French occupation of Vietnam during the First Indochina War, her mother went into hiding while pregnant with Smith for their safety. After she was born in 1947, her mother didn’t report it for three years. That’s why she wanted to honor turning her real age ― 70 ― this year in a special way”.

Smith is part of a group called Marathon Adventures.  She basically would run a marathon in one country, board a plane to the next and start all over again.  Smith ran in Perth, Australia, Cairo, Amsterdam, Singapore, New York, Chile and King George Island, Antarctica.

She credits running to keeping her healthy and happy, clears her head and that helps her make better decisions.

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