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 ~ 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!!

 

 

 

Mileage Recap ~ 2 – 16 April…Damn

Happy Easter!  Any time you have a post with Damn in the title you know it’s not going to be great.  I was starting off pretty good with the running.  I was running on the treadmill a couple of times a week with the long run building up on the weekend.  At the moment I’m going between running and cycling.  Everything was moving along swimmingly.  I was able to get up to 5 miles for my long run.

This week I was going for a shorter run and then my right calf muscle pulled…again.  This is an old injury.  This started about three years ago.  It comes and goes.  Most likely due to over use.  I have been really hitting the training hard and I’m doing a lot of different things.  Weights, cycling, yoga and of course running.  No doubt it’s overuse.  Right now I take 1 to 2 rest days.  I really hate losing momentum but it looks like I might be out for two weeks of running.  My ankle is now swollen because of the calf injury.  Foam rolling, ice and Aleve™.

I’ll give myself a week of no leg action, but still continue with my strength training.  Then next week will most likely be a walk week.  Minor set back, but something that needs to be addressed now.  Pay now or pay later and I really want to be strong for this run.

Finished with only 15.17 miles this time.  Disappointed but not a show stopper.  I have 6890.17 miles to go.  Resolute ~ Happy Miles to You!!

Mileage Recap ~ Week 7 Century Ride Training…The Ricky Ride.

Week 7 officially means I’m past the half-way point training for the El Tour de Tucson.  If you’ve ever trained for a race (any race), what would you say is the hardest aspect to the whole process?  For me, it’s time.  There never seems to be enough of time.  I’m getting antsy just thinking about the time it takes to train.  It’s jubilant and annoying all at the same time for me.  The excitement of getting out there and achieving more miles, than the stress of other crap I have to do on the weekend.  Plus, as we speak I still need to wash my bike.  Saturday’s are pretty much a wash for me.  I get up early, do the ride then just relax and do little things.  Or at least that’s my excuse!  Then Sunday I do what I have to do.  #whatever #stopwhining

whateverDon’t want to bend over that crown might fall off!

 

 

This was the first week that I used my new shoes and clips for all three rides.  I thought I would manipulate my clip on the right foot, just adjust it a little for comfort but I totally screwed up the way it was supposed to turn.  I should have turned the clip inward not outward for a more comfortable fit.  That was a very uncomfortable ride, but it was short so I just powered through.  I definitely would not recommend doing that as you can screw up your knees.  The clips are good but not very easy to release.  It takes a good bit of turning and I get nervous from time to time.  Something quick happens I’m going down.

I added another water bottle attachment to the bike this week.  I’ve only been riding with one, but last week I blew through some water.  Having two water bottles is a smart move in the desert.  I don’t have to “ration” because I don’t want to stop.  I’ve also incorporated my house as an aide station.  It’s sort of in the middle, so I can stop if I need…aide.  I had some snacks, top off with water, and needed bathroom breaks.  I wanted to make sure that I’m drinking and eating to keep my energy up.

Cycling and running are very different on the body, or at least for me.  When I ran my marathon it was tons of sweat and I burned about 2000 cals when I was through.  I wasn’t really hungry during the race at all.  Cycling is a different story.  I start to feel hunger pangs after two hours and I’m into the 2k for cal burn with these long rides…weekly.  I’m making sure I take a gel every hour, drink sips of water throughout and eat the snacks I’ve brought.

That brings us to the “snacks“.  That was a really good nutrition bar, said no one ever.  I’ve just come to the conclusion nutrition bars are just that, for nutrition and that’s it.  There is no cheesy grin like in the Mentos© commercials.  Hey that was an awesome chia bar dude! So, I have decided I may try my own pomade of power snacks.

mentos

 

 

 

 

Bacon.  Bacon dipped in some type of power powder, dipped in chocolate.  You think I’m kidding…I bought two packs of Applewood smoked bacon today…hmmmm.

By now you’re probably wondering…who is Ricky.  This is Ricky:

rickyI was at my second stop eating (I use that term loosely a 2nd Surge Gel™ when out of the blue…Ricky was just there.  He just came up and started talking…really fast.  The conversation started off with him saying gettin’ some miles in…then after that it was a blur.  Ricky was talking so fast I had to count my gel packs to see if he downed one without me looking.  He’s been climbing these hills for 66 years! (He said he was 70).  All, I got out of that was he lived there before anything was built and that he was a fighter and he kicked someone’s ass.  I asked him if I could take his picture.  He was sweet as molasses… if you could understand him.  Here’s to you Ricky, keep on rolling.  I slowly got on my bike and pedaled away and left Ricky to attack those mountains.

Training takes dedication and planning.  I am a planner.  I think I like figuring out how I’m going to complete the training as much as training itself.  I make charts and track my progress. The process of getting up and that first initial thought of what lies ahead of you.  There is a pang of nervousness and a feeling of being overwhelmed that must be pushed aside.  Isn’t that how we live our lives in other aspects too?  An overwhelming task before us and the struggle to meet, attack and complete that task.  Mental mountains.  I open my garage and this is what I see:

week-7-morningDarkness.  A beautiful moon, some stars, and the place I hang my hat at this moment in time.  I take a deep breath, knowing I have four hours ahead of me.  There is that quick glimpse of…how to accomplish this task?  How will I do this?  How do I complete this monumental task before me.  Then I throw my leg over the bike…and I don’t fall down.  Whew, this morning is starting off positive.

Surprisingly I felt pretty good on this ride.  I have passed some major mental battles of distance and clock watching.  I know where I am on the route with time and distance.  Around three hours in I felt a little delirious.  I popped my third gel and I felt better and finished strong.  Four hours looked like this:

week-7-long-ride

Pace was the same as last week!  Thought that was interesting.  Finished 71.94 for the week and 7466.23 miles gratefully waiting.  Happy Miles to You!

 

 

Mileage Recap ~ Week 6 Century Training

The week is already over?  It appears that I am experiencing some serious ground hog day syndrome.    Meaning, work during the week, then my long ride on Saturday, a weekend that blows by and I’m up doing it again.  That is definitely where I am at this moment.  There is no sleeping in either.  I have four….yes four cats.  No, I’m not a crazy cat lady, at least not yet.  But would that really be a bad thing?  Living with four cats means, you do not sleep in…at all.  I’ve never been one to sleep in as a child or of course the US Army.  To me sleeping in is about 0600.  If you ever catch me sleeping in until 0800 then there must have been some serious shenanigans happening the night before.

I was extra proud of myself this Saturday as I got up at 0500 and out the door by 0600.  It’s dark at that time in Phoenix now, but I can’t let that stop me.  I purchased a new light for my bike.  It is obnoxiously bright.  So bright if you look at it too long you feel sick.

I know there are some women who love bright shiny things.  I have never really been one of those gals.  Sure, I like beautiful things, but give me gear or books.  If I had a choice I would spend my money on cycling (or running) gear and the rest of it in the book store.  This segways into the fact I needed new shoes.  The cycling shoes I started with were great, but I think they could have been a half size larger.  Now that I’m putting in a lot of miles I can really feel it in my feet.  Here are my new shoes:

new-shoes shoesSee how they sparkle! My heart just skips a beat and there are diamonds inside!  One interesting aspect of this purchase is the clips.  For seasoned cyclists this may seem basic, but I didn’t have a good clip on the other shoe.  This one is broader and will be better for me.  Of course with new shoes and clips I found out the pedals I had wouldn’t support the new clips and I had to buy new pedals.  I tell ya, every time I walk into Global Bikes® I spend money.  But here they are and they are so pretty.  What do you think I should call them?

On the advice of a friend I decided to try some new gels.  I purchased Accel ™ from Pacific Health Labs – Link here: http://www.pacifichealthlabs.com/.

accel-gelsReview:  Overall I’m pleased with my first purchase.  When you visit the site they have protein powders and some other products for sale.  It was a good selection of products and not so much choice where you feel overwhelmed looking through the site.  It was simple and easy to order and the price is great.  I ordered a box of ten assorted gels and a box of 2nd Surge gels (6ea).  It arrived fairly quickly and if you really need it fast then of course you can pay more for postage.  One thing about gels, for me at least, is the texture, overly sweet and sometimes a little nausea that follows after I eat one.  I love sweets, but I don’t like that sticky, syrupy sweet stuff.  Which is hard to get away from with gels.  These are not as sweet or viscous.  I also didn’t get that little pang of nausea that sometimes happens after taking a gel.  I did feel a burst of energy and there was no crash.  General overview – I liked them better than the Gu ™ gel.  I used two gels on my long ride, one regular then the 2nd surge on an hourly basis and felt a constant energy flow with no crashing no nausea.  I will definitely try them again – you should give them a shot.

This week I had two 9 mile rides during the week and then my long ride on Saturday.  As I mentioned before, I was out of the house by 0615 and the goal was to ride for 3.5 hours.  I was hoping that being out at that time there would be less traffic, but I was surprised that quite a few people were out.  A combination of “getting away for the weekend” and most likely errands for most.  Douche bag level alert was high. Drivers were in no mood for cyclists and had to get things done.  I was honked, buzzed and cut in front of….what’s that you say…yes the f bomb was dropped.  It seems to roll so eloquently off the tongue in this situation.  What?!  I try to behave, but sometimes it’s really just too much.  It’s usually someone sipping their latte and on the phone or going to a garage sale.

I felt really good on this ride.  I didn’t have any of the mental obstacles I did the week before, I wasn’t clock watching (as much) and I’m covering more miles faster.  My pace was 13.4 this week, up from 12.7 and 13.1 weeks before.  I’m not too worried about pace.  Almost everyone I discuss cycling with is all about the speed.  I will submit that’s a great goal to get faster but I’m more concerned about distance and completion.  Those have always been my primary goals.

A nice bike shot.

A nice bike shot.

week-6-ride-selfie

I know I don’t look too happy here…but I am. I also just texted my Dad to wish him a happy 73rd birthday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My long ride this week was 48.39!  Another new first!  Grateful!  The weather was cooler than last week and I think this helped me.

week-6-long-ride

The mileage for this week came to 67.60 miles.  Feeling good and ready for next week’s challenge of 4 hours.  Total miles completed 3776.83 with 7538.34 remaining.  I can’t wait…every mile is an adventure.  Happy Miles To You!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mileage Recap ~ Week 4 Century Training – How To Tell When S*it Gets Real

Nothing says you’re in, like paying for a race….and it’s non refundable.  It’s almost like you gotta show up.  It’s a badge of honor – meaning I don’t give a rat’s patootie, I’m showing up and so help me if they peel me off the roadthis is happening.  Yeah, $160 worth of happening…and that was the lowest entry fee for the El Tour de Tucson century race, not counting hotel, gas and food.  Meh, whatta gonna do?  It is what it is.  Don’t you love that played out cliché?

Well, s*hit got real this Saturday as I not only completed my long ride, but it was the longest I’ve ever done.  The target was 2.5 hours of riding time.  Here is the break down in a lovely graphic.  I was able to get in 31.47 miles at a 13.1 avg. pace.  I’m pleased with that.

week-4-long-ride

For the most part of the ride I felt really good.

 

 

 

 

 

 

gu-gelI stopped after an hour to ingest a Gu gel pack.   I had it in my back jersey pocket (do you call them pockets?) it was warm and not as viscous, which made it easier to swallow.  Thank goodness because damn…have you tried these things?  About 3/4 of the way in I began to feel a little light-headed, but not anything that would make me stop for a long period of time.  I tried to make sure I took little sips of water.  I’m always mindful of how much water I take in because I don’t want to have to go to the bathroom.  Okay… there’s some get real s*it for you.  I mean really, riding a bike with a full bladder is a no go.  There is nowhere to go either…a rock, rattle snake, or a scorpion.  Choose.  Cyclist depends…hmmm.

Needless to say I was happy, though there is a mental mountain to climb.  Realizing if I don’t find a route that has the mileage, I’m going to do this three times during one ride…before it’s done.  Oy…but I’ll do it.  That’s also some real s*it if you were wondering.  There’s lots of s*it that’s real…but that’s some really real…okay I digress.

I did pick up this little beauty:

helmetI do believe I was long overdue for a new helmet.  I need to do some research on how often helmets should be changed.  What’s funny is this one fits better than my old one.  The other one was cheaper and this helmet by no means was the most expensive.  I bought it for about $50.  I have been to a few stores that have said price doesn’t mean safety.  They’re all about the same for safety.  What you’re paying for is air flow, aerodynamic, and frankly fit.  I like it.  There is a ponytail port!  May it keep all my wonderful brains in tack if something happens.

 

I only had a chance to ride 3 days this week.  Again, life happens (work) so you just have to do what you can. Next weeks long ride will be a three hour ride. More…real s*it.  You didn’t think I’d let that pass did you?  Nah!

Excited but fearful.  I can’t explain it…that’s where I am right now.  I’m loving it.  Week four came out to 48.09 grateful miles.  I am grateful for this opportunity.  I have 7664.21 miles remaining in my journey.  I hope this Sunday finds you grateful.  Happy Miles To You!