11315 Miles

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

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!!

 

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.

Women on the Move ~ Laura Kennington – “Think Big, Be Brave and Start Now”

There is something electric when you witness another’s passion.  You know, you’re surfing the web about YOUR passion and then you come across someone who shares the same interests and is totally taking it to another level.  Even through words you’re excited for them, their achievements, and their goals.  You can’t wait to see how they attack their mountains. Their wins bring a smile to the face, a lightness to the heart and you find yourself saying…yes, I believe…I believe I can…I KNOW I can do this…whatever THIS is to you.

Meet my next woman on the move, Laura Kennington who hails from the United Kingdom.  Laura is an adventurer, public speaker and avid sports enthusiast.  I first found Laura through Instagram.  You can also find her on Facebook, and her personal website at https://www.lauraexplorer.com/ (I just now realized ~ laura the explorer!  Good play on words) or her blog https://medium.com/laura-kennington.

From her about page:

“Laura spent her early years as the only female sibling on a farm in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk. She discovered adventure at an early age by embracing muddy countryside exploration with the beloved family dog, Hobo, a White Alsation.

Years later whilst living in London, she gained a unique insight into sports science and how the human body copes under physical stress whilst working within the fitness industry. This lead to her curiously exploring the limits of her own body – she hasn’t looked back since!

These days Laura can mainly be found pursuing endurance adventures and telling stories

Quotes I love from Laura:

“In Search of adventures in defiance of limits, in love with life.”

“Make a difference through the power of sport.”

Such beautiful statements.  Laura has participated in all sorts of races to raise money or bring awareness to issues she cares about.  If you visit her website you will see pictures of her public speaking events and in the background it says “How to Start Your Adventure”!

Her latest adventure IS and I say is because she is supposed to be finished tomorrow is running the length of Fuerteventura, part of the Canary Islands.  She is running 100 miles and you can follow this journey on #FuerteventuRun on Instagram.  One of the coolest things is this real time tracker called ZeroSixZero.

Check this out!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is this just not the coolest thing!??  Ha!

I meandered over to her blog and clicked on the Nepal Marathon! Wha…wha…What?!!!  Yes, it is a real thing.  There is a Nepal Marathon.  Oh my, goals ya’ll, goals!  She ran the Nepal Marathon, raising money for Support a Survivor of Torture and Human Cruelty.  If you’re interested about the Nepal Marathon click here.  I do believe this might be a bucket list item.

So many wonderful women, so little time….”Think Big, Be Brave and Start Now” ~ Laura Kennington.  Happy Miles to You!!

 

 

 

Women On the Move ~ Meet Michele Across America!

I know I’m going to love this new topic I have created Women on the Move.  Already, I have found some exciting subjects, doing great things, to write about.  I have to say up front, I don’t know any of these women personally.  Never met them.  If I do, I’ll let you know, but for the most part I just have come across them electronically and have decided to follow/research them further.

Let me introduce you to Michele, or as she states it, Michele Across America.  You can find Michele at her own blog https://micheleacrossamerica.com/.

Michele is a physical therapist from Napa, CA.  In just 39 days she will be riding across the country to raise money for Multiple Sclerosis.  She was an avid rider in her earlier years completing Centuries and double Centuries (a gal after my own heart) and is now looking to add another amazing feat to her list.  I’m interested in Michele because I have a good friend that has MS as well.  In 2013 I participated in the MS 50 mile walk in St. Louis over three days and raised $1000.  You can read about it here:

https://11315miles.com/2013/04/28/50-mile-ms-challenge-walk/

https://11315miles.com/2013/04/18/50-mile-challenge-ms-walk-update/

https://11315miles.com/2013/05/21/ms-50-mile-challenge-walk-update/

https://11315miles.com/2013/05/31/ms-50-mile-walk-day-one-recap/

A lot of updates….so if you feel like reading.  But this isn’t about me.

Michele will start her ride in 39 days and I can’t wait to follow the journey.  I’m interested in all the logistics and how she’s going to accomplish this grand feat.

Visit her donation page Bike the US for MS found here: http://biketheusforms.org/cyclists/detail.asp?cid=1084

She is also on Instagram at micheleacrossamerica.

As she so eloquently states, “even 1$ helps”.  Yes it does.  Happy Miles to You!!

Kiko Matthews ~ Transatlantic Solo 2018 – World Record Attempt

First up under my new Women on the Move page is Kiko Matthews from the United Kingdom.  I found her on Instagram – kikomatthews.  I just happened to be scrolling and she popped up and I decided to take a closer look at what she was doing.  Little did I know I would be so blown away by her and her story!

I’m always amazed by how certain events in our life will light a fire under us and create a new passion.  It is no different in Kiko Matthew’s case.  In 2009 she was diagnosed with Cushing’s disease.  Cushing’s attacks the pituitary gland and wreaks havoc on the bodies skin and muscular systems.  What makes her so interesting?  Well, for starters, she is attempting to row across the Atlantic (that’s 3000 miles) unsupported starting January 2018.  Adding her name to the 5 other women who have done this, she hopes to not only add her name to the list but beat the current record of 56 days by 11 days!

You can find her at her wonderful  site http://www.kikomatthews.co.uk/!  But wait…there’s more.  Kiko is also a business owner.  In 2015 she started her own Stand Up Paddle Board (SUP) business.  From her site:

SUPKiko

Founded in 2015, SUPKiko delivers stand up paddle-boarding lessons in Richmond and Hackney. It was responsible for the birth of a scheme called #trash4treats, which has now been taken on by The Big Stand. In collaboration with Moo Canoes, #trash4treats incorporates SUP lessons and experiences (or canoe) with collecting trash from London’s waterways. For every bucket of litter collected during the paddle, customers receive a treat from a local partner/business.

And a Foundation….

The Big Stand

Founded in November 2015 by myself and my co-founder Charlie Head, The Big Stand aims to empower with education and inspire through adventure. The environment and well-being are at the heart of the charity, with the ultimate aim of developing confidence and creating happier, healthier people and environments.

There is a LOT going on here and all of it wonderful.  There is so much to discover you really can’t do it in one sitting.  I did take time to read her Values and Passion page.  I really liked that it aligned to my thinking as well.  There is so much more to discover, so thank goodness I’m dedicating a page!

One of her favorite charities is Women in Sport, UK.  From the site:

Women in Sport

Women in sport are a charity in association with Sport England that research, invest and support women and girls in sport, trying to bring equality to the sports industry as well as promoting and encouraging more women to take up sport, leading to a healthier life. I am passionate about the benefits of sport and encouraging equality between genders and would like to support the charity to help develop both of these on a national and international basis.

Whew!  Exciting and I can’t wait to follow her voyage!  You can also donate to Kiko here:  http://www.kikomatthews.co.uk/get-involved/.

Mileage Recap ~ Century Training Week 1 – 3 Chasing El Tour de Tucson

Did I mention I’m training for a Century ride?  Yes.  Well, I’m retraining.  I started last year and I had to stop because of a new job and I just couldn’t find the time to train.  Now I’m back at it again and I’m already at week 3.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with a Century Ride ~ it is nothing more than riding 100 miles at one “sitting” so to speak.  That is really all I can tell you.  I’m a newbie.  Meaning I’ve never done one.  This will be my first race.  Now, before all of the “well-seasoned” riders fall out of their chairs, suck in their teeth, or yell that’s crazy!  Let me explain, that’s how I roll.  “Ain’t nobody got time for that!”

So I’m going for it…

I actually found a plan off the internet, that really wasn’t a great plan so I’m improvising.  the plan I found was geared towards time but an 8 week plan.  The 12 week plan I found was geared more towards improving time and miles.  When you work, you kind of have to take what you get so I combined the plan to be based on time for 12 weeks.

I’m a little behind on blogging so I just completed week 3.  I road for three days during the week before work…means getting up at 5:30 to do anywhere from 7 to 10 miles each day with the long ride on Saturday.  I’m supposed to be including hills, no problem here, and speed work…still trying to figure this one out.  I’m thinking spinning might be a good addition when I can for bursts of endurance.  All I can say is I’m excited!  I love a new challenge and truth-be-told I just love cycling.

This weeks long ride was 21.45 miles.  I felt strong and no injuries so far.  Total miles for Weeks 1 – 3 comes to 132.72 with 7,712.30 gratefully remaining.  Happy Miles To You!!:-)

week-three-long-ride

 

 

 

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