Mileage Recap ~ 1 – 7 Jan WTF Half Marathon Training

How was everyone’s first week of 2018?  I hope that so far, everything is going well.  I’m excited to get some more miles under my belt this year.  One good milestone that will happen is I will make my half-way mark.  I can remember when I was just starting out and 11,315 miles didn’t seem like that long of a way, but…. it’s long.  Very long.

I started this week off with training runs around the neighborhood with the longer run on an actual trail to prepare myself for the WTF Half Marathon.  My first two runs went well and I’m maintaining a solid pace around 10:30.  Here we are just in January and guess what is beginning to happen?  Surely, you must know….It’s already starting to get….hot.  When I was training for the Dublin Marathon, I followed a flatter route closer to home and this time I decided to do one of the mid-week runs on more of an incline.  I have run this route before but it takes me closer to the mountains.  Half-way through I could really feel the heat.  It wasn’t really hot, but it’s already starting.  Still a good run.

I made goal of going to the gym three days a week for strength training.  I really love to strength train, but sometimes you get busy and getting there can fall by the wayside.  I have been going pretty regularly and I’m already beginning to see a difference.  I’m one of these people I go in do what I have to do then I’m out.  I’m in there from 30 – 45 minutes then done.  Arms, legs, abs/back each have their own day and that makes it easy.  Sunday I’m leaving for a rest day.  Which is hard because I feel like I should be doing something.  It’s important to rest.  Too much can leave you with injuries and then the rest is just a struggle.

I went down to Pima canyon trail for this weeks long run only to find the park closed.  It was kind of funny because everyone was parking out on the street and I just thought it was full.  It’s very popular and since the temperature is pristine right now everyone is out and about.  I attached my water belt and started running from the car.  I get about half a mile down the pavement right before the entrance and it’s all blocked off.  Under construction until Fall.  Hmmm.  With that I turned on my heel with the annoying sloshing of the water belt and ran back to my car.

I won’t lie, I was thinking…just go back home, but ain’t nobody got time for that.  There are miles waiting.  I drove to the next trail head I knew that is actually a little closer to the house.  The last time I ran “off-road” was the Grand Canyon Half and that was no joke.  It was in May, snowing, muddy and 6804′ elevation.  It took me almost as long as a regular marathon.  I believe it was around 3:45 or somewhere close.  So, I am always very impressed when people talk about trail running.

This weeks longer run was good.  I really had never run there so I wasn’t sure how many miles it was to the mountain.  I also wasn’t very familiar with the terrain so that cause a little bit of nervousness on how far I wanted to go.  There were moments that I was all alone and a few times I heard noises that actually made me stop and turn around.  Nervous much….uh yes.  I was grateful for the occasional cyclist or people walking. This trail was hilly so there was a lot of energy expended.  It’s just amazing the difference mile 2 to 3 can be as far as burning energy and the body getting tired.  It’s also a little harder on the body and I made sure to concentrate on how hard I was pounding.  Consistency breeds success.

A few photos:

Action video!!!

That’s really funny.  I took a lot of pictures.  I guess I’m more interested in the experience and process than the time.

I was able to finish 10.84 miles this week.  I have 6272.34 miles waiting and 3130.75 for the yearly goal.

Happy Miles to You!!

I thought this was appropriate:

Monday’s Motivation… When One Door Closes… ~ 2017 Mileage Recap

Happy New Year ya’ll!  I had to throw the ya’ll in there because I’m a Southerner…and that I shall remain.

There are usually a couple of things that are happening on New Year’s Day.

  1. You are recovering from a hangover.
  2. Starting to take down the holiday decorations.
  3. Getting ready for the upcoming work week.
  4. Dreading the upcoming work week.
  5. Making lists and smiling about all the “epic” shit you’re going to do this year.
  6. Reflecting on the following year.

Okay that was a bit more than a technical couple, but you get my drift.  I think every year I write how I don’t make resolutions.  I don’t.  I stopped doing that a long time ago.  I make goals.  Sometimes I reach them other times not.  I find goals are different from resolutions.   Perhaps a goal is something that can be started at any time and any day.  Not like some voodoo that needs to happen on a particular day of the year in order for it to happen.  The main gist of this…goals

  1. Start now.
  2. Write the goal down.
  3. Create a time-line for completion or metrics of completion.
  4. Understand your fear and face it headfirst.
  5. Stop taking advice from people who don’t know you, don’t care about your success, or don’t understand your life or dreams.
  6. Follow through.  (The most important ~ a lot of people spend a lot of time “getting ready to get ready” and never really leave the planning stage.

The beginning of a new year is all about the “re” words:

  1. Reflect
  2. Renew
  3. Rethink
  4. Refresh
  5. Re-energize
  6. Reinvent
  7. Rebuild
  8. Regroup

What are your “re” words for 2018?

I had a pretty good year “mile-wise”.  I had a goal to complete a race abroad when I first started this journey and I did it this year.  I would have liked to complete more miles this year, but I did what I could do and was able to follow through to my goal of completing the Dublin marathon.  This year was peppered with some physical discomfort, but now it’s time to re-energize, rebuild, and regroup for then next year.

This Monday’s motivation:

“When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed-door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.”

~ Alexander Graham Bell

Encyclopedia Britannica

I will admit this one blew me away.  I had no idea that Alexander Graham Bell penned this quote.  None.  How often do we spend so much time lamenting change?  Instead of embracing it and allowing new ideas and experiences to flow into our life?   Alexander Graham Bell was born in 1847, Edinburgh, Scotland. He was an American inventor, scientist, and teacher of the deaf whose foremost accomplishments were the invention of the telephone (1876) and the refinement of the phonograph (1886), https://www.britannica.com/biography/Alexander-Graham-Bell.  His mother was almost deaf which influenced his career as a teacher for the deaf.  Very cool.

While I was researching this quote this also popped up…

“I know that when one door closes another opens…but man, these hallways are a bitch!”  ~ Ahhh deep thoughts from Pinterest.  

I completed my year with 789.96 miles.  I am almost half-way home.  My goal is to complete the remaining miles in the next two years.

A girl has to have dreams right?  Here’s to making those dreams “re”ality.  I have completed 5031.82 miles in my journey.  I “re”joice that I gratefully have 6283.18 “re”maining!

Thank you to everyone who has continued to follow me throughout the years and provide motivation and comments.  May your 2018 see goals met, your happiness grow, and peaceful, exciting and “epic” year!!!! Happy Miles to You!!

Time is on my side….

 

 

 

Mileage Recap ~ 10 – 15 Oct…Week 14 Training – Keep Calm And Go Irish

It’s hard to believe that in a week I will be in Ireland.  Roughly 10 months ago on a whim I decided that I would run the Dublin Marathon for my 50th birthday.  Thus began 8 months of training that will end next Sunday, 20 October.  While I was doing my initial planning I had to decide if I would run the race at the beginning of my trip then tour the country or at the end. To me it was an easy answer…beginning.  I wanted to be able to enjoy myself while traveling and this means being able to eat what I want, when I want.  If I toured first then tried to run the race I imagine that would have been 1) boring and 2) a big ‘ol mess. So, I opted to run first then enjoy myself later.

I believe my biggest hurdles are acclimation and sleep.  Anyone that has gone to a foreign country knows it takes a bit to adjust to the time change and I won’t really have enough time, only two days.  I have made peace with that fact that this may be…harder than I thought.  Meaning, this is going to be harder than I thought.

I searched the inter-webs and came across How to Adjust to Moving to A New Timezone – Bekins

Some take ways:

Before the flight

1. Slowly adapt to the new sleeping schedule.

Ok. I did think about this one, but my favorite line states (…a month or two weeks before) uhhhh ain’t nobody got time for that!  The article suggests changing your sleeping habits 15 minutes at a time.  I think I will give this a go for as much as I possibly can.

2. Rest for three days before you leave.

Ok.  Cats/house you’re on your own – peace out!

3. Cut back on alcohol, caffeine, and sugar before you leave.

What that he**!!  Do you not know it’s October Fest and almost Halloween????!!!  I have already bought my candy, and yes I have to sample!!

4. Drink plenty of water.

Done and done…I live in the desert.

During the Flight

1. Drink some more water.

If there is one thing I hate is having to go to the bathroom on the plane.  I’m not kidding either.  Transatlantic is the worst.  I’m tiny and I can barely fit in that tube – but I will have to do it because the flight is about 7 hours…..so drink water I shall!

2. Sleep or stay awake (depending on arrival time).

Oh don’t worry…I will.  Someone has to keep an eye out for shenanigans.

3. Reset your watch.

But it’s so much more fun if I didn’t…no?

After the Flight

1. Go to bed or eat breakfast (depending on arrival time).

I’ll be arriving in the morning, so eating it is…which there is never an issue.

2. Use melatonin.

Baaawwwwaaaawwwaa!  Nice!  I have the system of a horse, melatonin won’t help this gal cut some ZZzzzzs.

We’ll, there you have it ~ Important information about time change and travel.  I will do my best to make the transition as painless as possible.

My week 14 training was very much welcomed.  Time to start focusing on resting the body a bit and my long run was only 9 miles!  Hallelujah!  For the most part feeling ok.  I’m not at 100% on feeling great and there are some aches and pains.  Most runners will read that line and say “when are there not”, but it is possible to run with minimal pain.  There is going to have to be an in-depth after action review on this marathon and my training when it’s all said and done.  But like they say ~ the train has left the station, hop on board!

This weeks mileage came to 22.81.  I have 6386.71 miles gratefully remaining.  Happy Miles to You!!

There’s an Irish party in third class!!

Mileage Recap ~ 1 – 8 October…”If you do not sow in the spring, you will not reap in the autumn – ~ Irish Proverb

My week 13 marathon training plan calls for a long run of 20 miles before the taper period begins.  When I trained for the Saint Louis Rock and Roll Marathon in 2013, I fell short of the 20 mile mark by 3 – 4 miles.  I’ll be honest, I thought I had mapped it out, but I think my training week timing/calculating was off a bit and I just didn’t have time to finish or make it up and I never ran the 20 mile training run required in the plan before the actual marathon.  I was determined this time around not to deviate from the longer runs.  Things happen such as injuries and life but I really wanted to at least complete these longer runs this time around.  I was looking for an appropriate quote to fit this run and I couldn’t believe I found the one I placed in the title.  The story goes like this….

There is no doubt that this time around has been a little tougher to train for a marathon.  I just seemed to have some things working against me that I’ve made note of and will try to improve next time.  (Yes, I plan to do another one)  Some things you just can’t change, like the environment.  It was very important to me that I complete the majority of the runs outside, which I did.  There were a few smaller runs that I completed on the treadmill at the gym, but mostly to give my feet a break.  But I’m happy to say 99% were out in this hot-assed weather!  Not carrying that around as a badge of honor, but let’s be for reals ~ it wasn’t no picnic.  I was lucky the 20 mile long run took place in October where there was a little bit of relief.

Pain and recovery ~ I had a lot of little pains this time around.  Started off with the resurgence of the calf-injury, then the right leg pain and finally the feet.  The physical therapy did help, but also brought about things that needed to be tidied up and addressed.  Of course there is always the time factor, which there seems to never be enough.  I feel that I did well in this training, but I always feel I could have done a little more.  A little older and a little slower….but still ready to keep going forward and achieve this goal.

This weeks run was a pretty good one.  I woke up with a bit of a headache and I won’t lie I did think to put it off until Wednesday.  I ran on Sunday this time because the race will be on Sunday October 29th.  But the first thing I said to myself was “pay now or pay later“. With that I rolled out of bed at 4:15.  When I started off it was chilly (that never seems to last long) clear with no wind.  One thing I need to work on is my warm up, meaning I could do more and better.  I think I don’t like wasting time with the warm up.  Just ready to get this party started.  Not really sure why though, because it seems to take me until mile 5 to start feeling “it” so a proper warm up would be a good thing.  I opted for gel blocks, a couple of Stinger™ gels, and some banana chips for my fueling.  I’m not a big eater before a run or during.  Had my…you guessed it…Eggos™, a cup of coffee and tried to chew down a fourth of a left over power bar for breakfast.  I make good meals after, but the before might be due for an upgrade.  Any way I felt fine.  Around mile 4 or 5 I was feeling pretty good – or maybe that’s when the Aleve™ kicked in ~ pretty sure that’s what it was.  The right foot started hurting early on – pinching – and I adjusted my stride and was feeling good and running pretty steady.  Around mile 15 I just decided that I wasn’t going to run past some of the same houses – again.  I literally was like – uh no.  “Pay now or pay later“.  I can’t stand to see this same route for the 3rd time today! So, I mixed it up and ran around the field at the park while people were playing cricket.  With one eye on the ball and the other on mud puddles from over watering – it wasn’t pleasant and I canned that after three times around.  Then I decided to run up this other road that circles the back of the neighborhood.  It has a pretty steep hill “pay now or pay later“……………………………………yeah that sucked, I won’t lie, but I did it.  Oh this was nice too, while I was running up this hill I was already at mile 19 – I’m telling you this so I don’t feel too bad.  There was this guy and his kid riding bikes on the road up the hill while I was running on the sidewalk.  This is a steep hill.  I remember riding up this once and it wasn’t easy.  I was impressed this little kid was attempting this hill.  So, here I am shuffling along and what looks to be a 7-year-old kid passes me on his little bike that I think he just took the training wheels off.  Yeah, good times.  But, hey what do I care, that Garmin™ buzzed on my arm and I was like ~

Eat that!!!

Yeah baby – 20 done and done!  My average pace was about 13.37.

So, what does the quote and my saying have to do with anything?  I thought it funny, because there were a lot of times I was just like man…this is tough…but I would tell myself “pay now or pay later” every time I started to feel a little overwhelmed.  I was looking for snappy Irish sayings and “If you do not sow in the spring you will not reap in the autumn”  popped up ~ “pay now or pay later“.  I want to reap on 29 October – so I paid now.  Overall I completed 35.87 miles for the week.  Let the taper begin!!  So happy to just say I have a 9 mile long run this week.  Despite the drawbacks, I am enjoying the process and forever grateful.  There are 6409.52 miles waiting in my journey.  I can’t wait to be listening to music like this live!

Happy Miles to You!!

Mileage Recap ~ 25 – 30 Sept…”Your Feet Will Take You Where Your Heart Is” – Irish Proverb

Week 12 Dublin Marathon training is complete.

It’s hard to believe that October is here and my race is in less than a month.  I can remember just thinking about it as something that I wanted to just do, now it’s coming to pass.  I’m looking forward to it, but I don’t think I’ve reached the point of excitement just quite yet.  I’m excited ~ but not crazy excited.

One of the neat things about running this race is I am “meeting” different runners through Instagram who are running the same race.  I get to see their progress and the different types of training they’re doing to get ready.  Even funnier there is this one gal I follow and she is from Dublin and she will be traveling to run the NYC marathon on November 5th.  I’m going to Ireland and she is coming to NYC.  She is doing really well with her training and looks fabulous. It’s fun, almost like an electronic pen pal.  If you want to follow me on Instagram, it’s #11315miles.

It’s also been fun watching my running friends complete their marathons.  I love the bib tracking.  It’s almost like being there watching the race.  You can get notifications sent to your phone so even if you can’t “be” there physically, you can spiritually!  Lots of fun and I would suggest doing it to show your runner support.

This weeks training was fairly decent.  I’m on schedule and I can really feel myself getting stronger as a runner.  In other words the training is paying off.  I feel I could be a little bit stronger.  The training this time around has proven to be a little more difficult than in the past.  As I typed that sentence I was like…uh what?  Yeah, sometimes you don’t see the results you hoped.  Or maybe it’s the dreaded “A” word.  Never!  I refuse to say it’s age!  One thing for certain is it was just harder this time around.

The shorter runs were really good this week.  I had a steady pace around 11:21 and my breathing felt strong with no stopping.  This week’s long run called for 18 miles.  The first half of the run was really, really good.  I didn’t stop for a break and ran straight through for 12 before I started slowing down.  It’s funny to see the metrics on my Garmin because it shows where it went to crap.  What did me in was the foot pain. This time both feet.  Foot pain led to sporadic breathing that led to some upper back pain.   I would have to double over a bit every now and then just to stretch the back out.  I bet some people driving thought I was nuts.  It’s the damn shoes,so I bought new ones today.  Definitely its own blog post.  My arches were hurting so bad that I just couldn’t wait to sit down and rub them and get some relief.  I wasn’t going to be denied any miles so I kept on going.  I completed 18 miles with an average pace of 13:26.  Not sexy, but I did finish and that means more than my pace…at the moment.  One more long run then the taper begins!  Which means no more really long runs until the actual marathon.  I feel I need to have a taper party!!  I finished 32.66 for the week bringing the monthly total to 132.72 miles.  I have 6445.39 miles left on my mileage journey and I’m “feelin good”.  Happy Miles to You!!

 

Mileage Recap ~ 18 – 24 Sept…”There Is No Luck Except Where There is Discipline”

I love that opening quote.  So many times I hear people say, I just got lucky, to explain their accomplishments.  They got lucky on a testgetting a certain job or any other positive event in life.

The definition of luck ~ success or failure apparently brought by chance rather than through one’s own actions.  I guess you could argue there is luck in some things, like being in the right place at the right time or meeting someone by chance and winning the lottery.  But I think most “wins” in life are a conglomeration of little steps that brought you to that final “lucky” place.  So the Irish saying (Yes it’s Irish) in the title, “There is no luck except where there is discipline” just proves my point (or so I like to think:-) )through hard work and discipline…things happen.  Luck, really has nothing to do with it.  What does this have to do with this weeks running mileage recap?  Well, this week was tough for me mentally when it came to my long run.  The running schedule called for 17 miles and I r-e-a-l-l-y didn’t feel like running.  I’m tired of the heat, the nasty gels, the electrolytes, before workout products, recovery protein, my feet hurt and oh by the way I’ve already lost two toenails – WAY before the normal nail losing process.  I lose the same two every long run event, but normally after it’s done.

I know quit whining…right?  I just didn’t want to do it.  But, I got up at 4:30 am and went through the pre-run ritual and was out the door around 5:45.  It wasn’t luck that was going to take me to the end, it was going to be discipline.  Discipline to get up and do what needs to be done to reach the end goal.  This goal just happens to be the Dublin Marathon…and I’m not that lucky.  I had a guy tell me one time that he just went and ran a marathon, no training – just did it.  News flash  ***There will always be people, better then you***.  In everything you do, so know yourself and just get used to that fact.  With all things in life, for most of us, discipline is the key to your version of winning.

I kept mulling it over in my mind that any time I feel like this, it may be a good day!  For the most part the long run was a good run.  The temperature was 66 when I started and I ran that first 10 miles easy with a break for water, some dried banana chips, and a gel.  Got back out on the road and two miles in my stomach felt a little queasy (thank you gel) but that feeling quickly went away.  The next five miles were good, but a little slower.  My feet started to hurt a bit and I actually thought about quitting and finishing up at the gym.  I kept going and the last two miles were difficult.  My breathing was good – but I’m still dealing with the arch pain in my feet.  Not a good sign with brand new shoes (another post).  When my legs and feet starting hurting I focused on using my core and hip swing that does amazing things for the pain in the lower body.  I swung by the house before the last two miles and had some water.  Needless-to-say I had too much water….sigh another lesson learned (many times before – ha!).  Need to watch how you consume. So at mile 16 I was doing the sprint home!  All ended well and I got it done.  Discipline.  My average pace this time around was 13:05.  Hey, I own that pace.  I ended with 32.94 miles for the week that brings the monthly total to 100.06 so far.  I find this song was appropriate for this week.  One of my favorite Irish bands.  On the playlist for sure.  With all the aches and pains that “Linger” I continue on with 6478.05 gratefully remaining.

Happy Miles to You!!!

 

 

Mileage Recap ~ 20 – 27 August…Goodbye Sweet Water Belt, Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow

I have finally said goodbye to a trusty old friend, my old water belt.  I lost one of the pods (for good) and the other one has a tendency of falling out from time to time.  Plus, it’s a small one and it’s just not enough water to get me through until my next water stop on the long runs.  No more freaking out at mile 8 and reaching at the small of my back to see if the pods are still in tact.  No more scrounging around in that sliver of a pouch for a gel or whatever else I stuck in there…

It’s so sad…immediately I thought of this…She’s gone…what went wrong.

…I better learn how to face it…ummm She’s Goooooo ooooo ooonnnnnn nnneee.

Ok, I’m back.  Yes, she’s gone.  Only to replaced by the newer model:

I went to the local Big 5 Sports looking for a newer belt and came out with this.  I DIDN’T want to pay a lot for the belt and there really wasn’t a lot of choice.  It was this, the Camel Back™, or a Nike™ belt that was way too complicated and expensive.  This one cost me about 12 bucks and it did the trick.  It’s a little big, but it actually wasn’t that bad to run with as hydration belts go.  The pouch was nice and large enough to carry gels and some other things without being burdensome.  So, I feel like I did well here.  I tested it out for this weeks long run and it worked out great.  I could have tightened it a bit more, but for the most part it was good.

This weeks running schedule was 4/6/4/12.  I feel like I’m getting stronger and the runs are a little easier.  My biggest hurdle is the heat and dryness.  Although the temps are lowering it’s still dry and stagnant at times.  I blow through my water.  I prepositioned water and snacks and made my loops.  I reported last week that the loop I follow was about 5.5 miles but it really is at the 6 mile mark – or so the Garmin says.  Which is good for me.

This week’s long run was 12 miles.  I was out the door at 5:30.  I was good until mile 6, then I started to get a little winded.  Made my first stop and drank some of the freezing water I had, filled the water pod, made a mistake and the cat ran out the front door, chased the cat and nearly had my face clawed off, and then was back on the road for the remaining 6 miles.  I consumed 4 gels and half of a power bar during the run.  Gels….  I had minimal pain this run.  The feet started hurting around mile 11, but for the most part I felt pretty good.

My pace for the long run came out to 12:20…about what I expected and I’m pleased.  I did my cool down stretches and then I did something new…I took an ice bath.  I didn’t like it at all, but my muscles loved it and I had minimal pain recovering.  Nothing like last week.  This might be a good thing!  Week seven training complete for a weekly total of 28.14 miles (cool downs included).  Ready for week 8!  I have 6592.67 miles remaining on my journey!  Happy Miles to You!!