Mileage Recap ~ 26 Aug – 7 Sept…The Reston Century Recap

Happy Sunday my friends!  See, I’m being a good blogger.  Probably because I see the light at the end of the tunnel and I’m excited about finishing these miles.  I feel like 2020 will be a good year, one of pushing to get this done.  I’ve been doing this a long time and I’m happy to be on the down tick.  I’m still catching up on calculating my miles, so bare with me just a bit.

Finally, getting around to the Reston Century recap.  This was my second attempt at completing a century ride.  Some people were racing, I was riding 🙂 My first Century was in Tuscon, Arizona about two years ago.  I love the challenge of the century ride.  It’s challenging for mind, body and spirit from the time you start training to ride completion.  I try to train as I would ride during the event.  Meaning when you feel like crap or are having a bad day…you still push through to the best of your ability.

The Ride:

Beginning:

The Century was hosted by the Reston Bike Club.  Good club in NOVA with plenty of different ride events throughout the year at different levels.  The ride started at the square in downtown Reston and it was a rolling start.  Parked about 6 am and went to pick up my cue sheet and moved out smartly with my riding buddy at 6:30 am.  Roads were marked well and I was ready to go at 6:30 am.

Because this is so important ~ more for my memory if anything else.

 

About 15 miles in was the first rest point.  Unfortunately for me, I thought the two portos on the side of the street was the stop….so I stopped.  Yeah, that happened.  Got on my bike to find the REAL stop about a mile down the road.  If you’re thinking hmmm…yeah this sets the stage for later in the ride.

Happy start!

Middle:

For the most part the route was pretty level and easy to follow.  Got up to Purcellville, VA for another stop.  This is where the peel off was if you didn’t feel the full century ride.  Fueled up on some water and food and said goodbye to my riding buddy.  He decided that he only wanted to do 84 and not the full 103.  Off I went alone.

Three quarters of the ride at miles 65 – 80 were the hills.  They were the steepest I have ever climbed and took a lot out of me.  I had to walk one hill towards the end and in true Laurel fashion I fell on one.  It wouldn’t be a ride if I didn’t fall at least once.  I wish I could say I was cruising along and skidded out and fell.  It just sounds so much sexier, but no…no.  Also, what I’m known for is just toppling over.  That’s what happened here.  I lost steam and just tipped over.

Because…there is no reason to post this photo. LOL!

The ride that never ended….

Got past the hills and also, true to form, found myself alone.  How does this happen?  There are hundreds of people on the ride, but yet I’m by myself.  Was following the arrows, until I got to some town and saw a women scrubbing them up.  I yelled at her…okay I spoke loudly…and asked why she was scrubbing up the arrows.  She mentioned the city didn’t want them on the street passed 5pm.  She pointed me in the right direction and I kept going.  Now what happened after this is hard to say.  I know what you’re thinking ~ you got lost.  Annnnndddd, yes I did.

I ended up in another city.  I’ll be honest, I don’t even remember the name of the city now.  I was riding along and saw two women and I stopped to ask which way was the Reston Town Center.  They both looked at me like a deer in the headlights and just said I was 20 miles from Reston.  Uh….How.Did.This.Happen?  Yep, I was 20 miles off course.  Needless to say I was a bit devastated.  I was following the yellow arrows and for some reason I got turned around.  Both the women told me to call an Uber, but I just couldn’t do it.  I needed to finish.  Then I saw this other cyclist (not in the ride) and he started me down the right path.

 

Not too happy.

I ended up doing about 122 miles instead of the 103 and I still wasn’t finished.  The pic above is a far cry from the starting photo, but then again it was a Century plus!  Once I was on the right path I had three interesting events happen.   I stopped at this BBQ place on the trail and saw this:

Met one of the previous deputy’s of NASA Dr. Michael D. Griffin.  He rode with me for a few miles before telling me his bike isn’t made to go that slow.  Yes, he said that….

Then a skunk ran across my path and I nearly hit an women cycling towards me.  Sigh.

The good news:  I finished 103 miles under the 10 hr mark.  My last Century was 10:02 so this was good for me.

The bad news:  I didn’t finish at the proper place, I called in and had a friend pick me up at the Green Lizard, a bike shop on the route.  Well, it’s all good and I continue on and can’t wait to do better at the next one.

My mileage for this two weeks only came to 4.65.  There was some serious downtime happening!  I have 4,004.19 miles gratefully remaining in my journey.  I hope this post finds you thankful!  Life is truly good.  Happy Miles to You!!

Because I love pavement…

 

 

Mileage Recap ~ 19 – 25 August….Age Is Just A Number ~ Or So I’m Told

Happy Sunday my fellow 11315ians!  Hmmm, I thought that would sound much cooler when I read it aloud, but hey I’m going with it.  As you can probably see, I am far behind in my blogging.  It is November and I’m just now talking about August.  And just to show you how lazy my collective blogging skills are at the moment, this should be the big post ~ the Reston Century.  Alas, I will have to get that on the next round as I try to pull those tidbits of adventure from my brain.  I’m reading “get your Sh*t together” by Sarah Knight.  Maybe there will be something in there I can use to stop dallying with the unimportant sh*t in life and get down to brass tacks.

My Nana used to have this magnet on her fridge that said “screw” the golden years.  Every time I would open the fridge I’d see the magnet and get a slight case of the vapors and thoughts of oldness would swim through my mind as I would contemplate….. is it really that bad, does it really suck?  Sometimes she would walk in the kitchen and I would question “screw the golden years” she would look at me in the eyes and laugh then promptly say yes.  I was in my teens at the time and would collectively sigh a breath of relief as I looked in the bathroom mirror checking to see if any wrinkles were starting to show up…no…everything on the body seems to be, uh, in place…whew!  Ok, ok good I still have time. Fast forward and I am now 52.  For the most part, I don’t feel my age.  I have a few pains every now and again, but all is well in Laurel Land.

But something funny happens when you segway from your 40s to your 50s.  You start hearing the battle cry ~ age is just a number!  Some people say it so vehemently that I feel hmmm what are you trying to tell me?  Almost like I need to do something really bold, just so I can say…hell yes, it is a number bitches ~ watch as I jump out this window head first!  Yeah!  That’s what I’m talkin’ bout.  Age, don’t got nothing on me…can someone please get me an Aleve™ as this sh*t will surely hurt in an hour.

Has there been some slowing…meh sure, but it hasn’t been that bad.  I like to look at it as a state of mind.  I’m WINNING!!!  Some people if you mention age they just get crazy, it seems to happen at 48.  You’re getting closer to 50 and there is a bit of panic, but you’re not full blown crazy yet.  You see it on the horizon and you’ll be dammed if you go gentle into that good night. Hell no, someone get me a Tik Tok account STAT!

Getting older is grace, elegance, humor, joy and experience all rolled up into a tight little California roll.  Get them chopsticks and dig in…because something tells me the last half is going to go faster than the first half.  It’s the way of things.

During this week in August I did some heavy mileage because of the Century.  As I said earlier that recap is coming.  I was able to get  120.17 miles with 4008.84 miles gratefully remaining.  I went out for a walk today and Fall is slowly making it’s way to Winter.  There was a slight breeze in the air; leaves were dancing on the air as I took this 52 year old body out for a walk.  52 isn’t bad ~ I’ve lived 21 years longer than my mother did.  Guess I would say it’s pretty damn awesome.  Be well, be happy and celebrate the lines and the changes.  Happy Miles to You!!

 

Mileage Recap ~ 8 – 14 July…Every Day is a Winding Road

Happy Sunday my friends!  As my Century ride approaches ~ I am keeping the faith and moving forward with training.  I normally train by myself, but every now and again I have a riding buddy join me.  I have found that when my buddy joins me, those hills seem to be easier to climb.  I’ve thought about this a lot and my prognosis is that neither one of you wants to show the other you can’t make it up the hill, so a buddy makes it easier!  Ha!  It has to be it.  So maybe training with a partner is the best option.  It leaves the mind clear or at least that is my take on the situation.

I continue to gain a little bit of mileage every day ~ when I can.  Sometimes life just gets in the way but every week I keep chipping away and I just love to see that Total Miles Completed number go up and up.  It’s exciting!

I went out to Prince William Forest Park for my long ride this weekend.  My goal was to do three loops and three series of hills without freaking out or stopping.  Not really focusing on too much distance, but the quality of the ride.  There you go ~ quality not quantity.  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.  I went for three laps starting at a point closer to the entrance of the loop.  Not quite the 10 mile loop but just focusing on the hills.  I did three laps and made it up all hills for a total of 9.  Felt good and I’m ready for next weeks long ride.  I was able to get some running miles in too.  The weather hear has fluctuated a bit from hot and humid to warm and an nice breeze.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Climbing those hills was a bit easier this weekend.  I just concentrated on my breathing and taking my time.  I didn’t stress or worry.  Seems to be a winning combo when I can do it right.  Feeling powerful….  Hope this post finds you in a good way this Sunday.  I have completed 6876.27 miles with 4438.73 gratefully remaining.  Life is good.  Life is beautiful.  Life is what you make it and how you see it.  Happy Miles to You!!

“life’s like an hourglass glued to the table…just breathe”

 

 

 

 

 

Mileage Recap ~ 3 – 9 Jun…I Fear

Hello and Happy Sunday.  You know what that means ~ another blog update!  So, lets all take a deep breath in and let out a collective sigh, that this is happening ya’ll.

Fear comes in many different forms depending on the situation involved.  That’s a really big news flash for you and it doesn’t take a Psychiatrist to charge you a $100.00/hr. to figure that one out.

The fear of a test, water, bugs, planes, crowds or dangerous events…the list is vast.

Merriam Webster defines fear as  “anxiety and usually loss of courage. fear of the unknown dread usually adds the idea of intense reluctance to face or meet a person or situation and suggests aversion as well as anxiety.”

Ooh, the loss of courage.  That just sounds bad, but alas, tis true.  The loss of strength and courage to complete or face a task.  Damn…that sounds real bad.

Fear can have a positive effect such as fleeing a burning building.  But for many, fear causes anxiety and plays on our inability to understand unknown events.  Therefore, we fear unnecessarily before the outcome is really understood or known.

What yellow brick road am I taking you down this time you ask ~ hills of course.  You know those beautiful tree lined things in the forest or whatever rural area you’d like to wrap your head around tonight.

I fear hills.  Or better ~ I fear my inability to get up the hills.  Or better yet ~ I fear my inability to get up the hills and fall.  There…now we get to the crux of the situation.  The final outcome has three possibilities 1) I get up the hill, 2) I’m able to unclip in time and walk up the hill, 3) I am convinced I am Wonder Woman and therefore find out otherwise and fall on the hill.

This weeks training ride was to be around 40 miles.  I drove out to Prince William Park early Saturday morning, the weather was great and I was in the mood to ride.  I could tell in the first 10 miles this wasn’t going to be an easy ride.  I was a little winded and frankly a little tired this week.  Then it became mental and fear set in or should I say anxiety.  When I reached mile marker 7 I actually started feeling a sense of dread, because I knew what was coming at mile 8.  This was fear, I was already thinking in my mind that I wasn’t going to be able to climb three consecutive hills for two miles, much less do it three more times.  Even though I had done it the previous week.  I had no idea what the outcome would be, but I was already thinking the worst.  I was thinking about unclipping, I had the fear that I was going to fall.  Riders know the pain from that one.  If you’ve never clipped into pedals on a bike, it’s a sobering experience.  Everybody falls.  That is the mantra.  But….it’s scary.  Trying to unclip when the shit hits the fan…is well scary.  Must I say it again?  Yes…it’s tres mui.  And falling…hurts.  I have had anxiety of falling since, well, my last fall.

I pass the 8 mile marker and immediately I’m in a dark zone of anxiety.  I round this corner after descending feeling all soulful, then the bike Gods thunder ~ “God giveth…and he taketh away”!  Oh yeah, he took it away ~ that feeling of riding down a hill, green trees lining the street, wind in your face, creek on the side of the road and the beware of bears sign….yeah good times.  I round that corner and it hits you in the face.  It doesn’t even kiss you first.  It’s just like…let’s get to the good stuff.  This was the first one.  Let’s call it, baby.  I manage to make it up this one, heart pounding out of my chest.  My eyes look like that kid from the Little Rascals.   I’m even practicing getting out of my seat.  I make it up, but there is no smile on my face.  Then there is a teaser hill to follow.  No one likes a tease.  You descend a bit then there is a little climb…then Papa hill is right around the corner waiting for you.  Kind of like when you were a kid and acted up at school, you knew that Papa would be waiting at the door with the belt to give your ass another go when you got home for slapping another kid at school.  Southerners will know exactly what I’m taking about.  Well, lets just say ~ my ass got beaten in a major way.  Halfway up the hill I was done.  I wasn’t even going to try it, because I was so afraid of falling.  Even unclipping was hard (especially if you try to do it ascending) and I began to panic a bit.  I unclipped and did the walk of shame up the hill.  I was mentally done for the day.  I then made the plan to just ride back and forth and avoid the major hills.  Wasn’t even gonna try the Momma hill.  No.

The only way to get around this can be with more practice and mental clarity.  I love the mental challenge that cycling gives me, but as you can see I have a long way to go.  Challenge accepted 🙂  It’s just one of those things I’m going to have to get past.  Focusing and being present would have helped too.  My mind was too busy concentrating on something that didn’t even happen or may not have happened.  The fall.  This can happen in every day life.  Wasting so much energy on the unknown.  Courage in all ways….

Ok, squirrel moment ~ what happened to the spell check on WordPress, anyone know?

Back…I have continued to gain miles for 9 straight days.  I had 60.20 miles for the week with my long ride coming to 22.87.  I have 4662.78 miles waiting for me to grow a backbone.  A few pics from the week:

Because sweaty selfies are so good….

You didn’t think I wouldn’t post trees?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This week’s song is by the Toadies.  Awesome and describes this week perfectly….

“When I’am away….come on in, yeah”

Mileage Recap ~ 27 May – 2 June…The Daily Grind

Happy June!  The year is going way too fast.  I can’t believe it’s already June.  As I write this blog it seems like I have been here so many times before over the years.  The miles are slowly lessening as the years pass by.  The changing of the seasons and I keep moving forward.

I have been using my new Vivoactive for about a week now and I really like the way it handles.  It does a lot of what the old one did, but easier to activate etc.  More streamlined.

The exciting news this week is I have formally registered for the 2019-37th Annual RBC (Reston Bike Club) Century on 25 August.  Interesting that this is being held in a extremely hot and humid month instead of October.  Hmmm…I guess that will add to the challenge.  I have begun training with my longest ride being 60 miles.  As I mentioned in my last post I have moved away from training on the W&OD trail to Prince William Park.  Less people and more of a challenge.  I will continue to update on my training progress.

I have been trying to do a little something something every day.  Miles that is and I’m on a three day run.  Let’s see how long I can keep it going.  It’s warm now so rain or shine I should be able to get out and buy some asphalt.

Some pics from the week:

Greasy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This week’s long ride was out on the Mt. Vernon trail and came to 19.97 – lol.  Just couldn’t stand to go an extra .03.  Hey it’s where the trail ended and the watch went “click”.  Like I said before, let it go.  Clock it, log it, move on.  Rolling in some old miles earned on April 7th came to 4.81.

Today I went back out to Mt. Vernon Trail and laid down 6.03 walking miles.  The body is feeling good and my faith is exceptional.  I was able to complete 38.43 for the week with 4722.98 miles gratefully remaining.  Today on my walk, the trees are all filled in with the many spectrum of greens, the air weighed heavy with humidity and there was a slight breeze blowing.  My soul is at ease and I hope yours is too…Happy Miles to You!!  This brought me peace today as I was walking.  Such a beautiful song:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mileage Recap ~ 20 – 26 May – The Hard Death of My Vivoactive

Hello my friends…yes I know my blogging is sucking…majorly.  Just call it Hooverville.  I promise, I’m slowly getting my creative juices flowing.  Many times I have all these words in my head, but a hard time getting them out on this electronic paper.  They are slowly manifesting from thoughts into words.  Taking some time off had benefits and some certain realities.  One, I just allowed myself to be for a while.  Think about what I was doing without taking it too seriously.  The question I hear you asking…“so you took it seriously?”.  Uh, well think about it…I keep a spreadsheet…lists…photos ~ crazy baby!  Hell yeah!  But yes, I do take it seriously.

Two, it was hard recapping the miles I did complete.  I was doing a lot of miles inside because of the weather.  I would do my miles then take a picture of the machine.  I was doing about 17 miles a day for a while on the stationary.  As I was looking through all the pictures I said screw this I’m not counting these.  Screw it.  Let it go.  I can hear my Dad saying, yeah those miles aren’t real miles. LOL!!!  I love it.  I love my Dad.  He is hard core.  So, I’m living in the light and like most things wondering how I could possibly make this more difficult?  Hmmm, so glad you asked ~ from this point I will only count miles I do out.  Challenge accepted!  No more treadmill or stationary bike miles counted.  Take a deep breath…let it out.  Good.  No?  Oui, so, so good.  Sometimes you just have to let it go.  See it for what it is and what you need.  I needed to just keep moving forward and enjoy what I was doing.  I was in transition from becoming less of a runner and more of a cyclist.  Processing what all these miles mean and next steps.

I’ve lost a good and trusty friend.  Yes, my Garmin Vivoactive has bought the farm; is six feet under; iced; or what other descriptor you would like to give.  She gone.  She was a good lady.  Tracking all those miles for four years.  But she slowly began to tell me, she was ready to move on, join the other GPS tracking devices in the sky.  Just like that, she breathed her last…..  Wow, I’m almost getting a little broken up about an electronic device.  But before she breathed her last she gave me a big middle finger and left me hanging on last weeks ride.  Just sayin’.  If you think about it, what better way to go then just say, smell you later!  That added to my mileage count frustration.  I tried to use my iWatch, but it wasn’t the same.  It was like a drunk girlfriend.  I constantly had to tend to her and never knew when she was going to blow.  Sooooo…

I sauntered down to Best Buy and bought the Vivoactive3. It was the last one they had on the shelf.

Old vs. new

I had to laugh at this picture.  Look how far the design has come.  This was one of the first ones and looks like a mini tablet!  LOL!!!  It still has power too!  But just not tracking.  I haven’t even charged the new one.  Looking forward to testing it out.

Went to Prince William park for this weeks long ride.  Most weeks I have been riding out on the W&OD trail.  Beginning to end it is close to 100 miles.  You can pick up the trail at various points along the way and it ends in Purceville, VA.  Good ride, but lots of people which makes it difficult to run full out on the bike.

Prince William park is much better.  Not crowded and a good course to train with both flat and hilly areas.  This was the first time I road out there and I will be honest, it was a little difficult.  The loop was 10 miles.  The last two miles are three steep hills.  I was good the first two loops, the third I couldn’t complete the hills.  I will admit, it was a hard challenge.  This is a good thing, because I have found a good area to train ~ both beautiful and challenging.  A few shots:

Rider

 

 

Steam coming off the road.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I captured some of my miles from March and logging what I did this week.  I will keep going back until I recapture all the outside miles I did until I’m finally caught up.  Total miles this time around came to 49.82 with 4761.41 gratefully remaining.  Letting it go, breathing deep and moving on…so very on…it’s all good.  Perspective.

You’re welcome 😐

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Mileage Recap ~ 19 – 24 Feb…Shake It Off and Learning How to Cut Bait

Happy Sunday my 11315 friends!  There is nothing better than the second half…am I right?  The first half (whatever your half may be:  life, school, or miles 🙂 always seems to be a learning experience.  It always seems after you’ve been doing a task after a while you really learn it and become proficient.  Once you become proficient you can learn to improve and eventually enjoy!  At 51 (OMG really) I seem to still be learning this lesson not only for miles but in life as well.  But every step I take is wonderful in its own way and I am grateful that I can take those steps.

That’s the way I feel about my mileage journey and of course life itself.  If there is something I can say about myself, I have a very strong will in all things.  I don’t like to fail.  Some life events have been easy and others not so much.  But I have always looked at things from a glass half full type perspective and strive to do my best and be positive.  Today is the first day in a while there was a break in the temperature ~ 66 degrees.  I see people out running and realize that I can’t run long distances because of my back.  Well I can, but the repercussions will speak for themselves.   Kinda sucks to be honest.  Matter of fact the other day I saw people out running and in my mind I said “screw it”  I’m going to run that marathon ~ “whateves”.  Then I pull myself back and realize that for my health, I can’t and I have to find other ways to get those miles.  All is well, I have a beautiful bike and there are so many other ways to get those miles that will be filled with adventure.

Tomorrow I go and get the cortisone shots in my spine.  Hmmm.  My Dad had them and said he didn’t feel anything.  Again I say hmmm!  I had cortisone shots in my knee after my surgery.  All I can tell you (sorry men) but this was worse than a labor pang.  It was a different kind of pain than being in labor.  But it hurt sooo bad.  Let’s hope tomorrow goes somewhat smooth with little pain.

Mileage this week was done on the trainer resulting in 37.33 miles.  When I’m on the trainer I usually go for an hour and can max about 16 miles and some change.  This time I was able to get over 17!  Looking forward to some warmer weather so I can get the bike out more.   I have completed 6503.77 miles in my journey with 4811.23 miles remaining.  I hope this post finds you with a burning desire for life and love.  Is there anything else?  Happy Miles to You!!

Saw this fitting…. “that’s what people say…”  LOL only if you really knew….