Mileage Recap ~ Apr 9 – 15…Spring Fever

It’s hard to believe I’ve only been in D.C. a little over a month.  It seems a lot longer and when I look back at all the progress I’ve made from moving into a new place, starting a new job and just getting back into the swing of things it’s a little surreal.

I’m ready for Spring!  How about you?  There is a lot of push and pull in the weather.  This past week has shown some nice temps with Saturday reaching 87 degrees according to my thermometer and now it’s in the 50s and raining!

This week was an improvement in miles ~ and that’s what it is all about!  I was able to take a few walks at lunch time when the weather is good. Sometimes it’s hard for me to pull away from what I’m doing and leave during lunch.  I’m sure a lot of you do the same thing.  But it’s important to get away from that computer and if nothing else take that walk to clear the mind and stretch the legs.  Now if I can just eat my lunch away from my desk I’ll be doing well!

This weeks mileage was a good combination of treadmill, walking and running.  The nicer weather had me out after work with a few runs in my local area.  I have been slowly pushing the length of each run trying to get to a nice solid running mileage during the week and then pushing for the longer runs on Saturday.  I started with 2.5 and then a 2.75 during the week and ended with a 3 mile run on Saturday.  For the most part feeling pretty good.

I was so pleased with Saturday’s run.  First time in a while I took the water bottle and gels with me.  The best part about the run, well the two best things, the trees and the weather.  It was so wonderful to hear the leaves rustling the wind, the birds singing and the sun shining on the water.  It put me in a great mood.  Even better my pace for this run was 10:04.  Haven’t seen that for a long time!  Overall felt good and a positive end to the week.  Something to smile about!

You can see the trail and winds 8 miles both ways.  I can’t believe I got a shot and no one was in it.  There are a lot of people on the trail.  Looking to practice on this running and cycling.  I completed 12.53 for the week, up four.  I am very close to breaking 6K!  It’s going to happen people.  I have 6048.34 miles gratefully waiting.  I hope this post finds you “spring” ready!  Happy Miles to You!!

Spring always gives me Fever…..

 

 

Mileage Recap ~ 2 – 8 April…Scanning My Sector

Happy Sunday everyone!  Don’t you hate it when it seems like the weekend just flies by?  One minute you’re heading out the door after the bird says go:

And the next minute you’re back at it:

Still a newbie here in DC my weekends are filled with getting my routine down and things to uh…live.  So I’m running when I can, permitting somewhat decent weather, time and always on the lookout for new paths.

and gents!  Let’s just pause for a moment to look at this handsome cat…I mean.. golf clap here.  I venture out when I can at work for small walks to pick up some mileage and then slide on to the Yellow/Blue line home to hit the streets or the treadmill if it’s a crappy weather day.  Today I hit the jackpot!  Right down the road from me is Mt. Vernon and the awesome Mt. Vernon trail!  I have found my first off-road trail that is paved for walking, cycling and running.  This afternoon was great and I went out to explore a bit.  Some scenes from today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not sure why I can’t get my pictures to line up, but hey we’re going to go with it!!  As you can see it’s a very nice path and quite scenic.  I think it’s 8 miles one way, hey I’ll take 16 with a turn around!  There was a stop and drop at mile two.  If you have to go to the bathroom…might I suggest no.  For those who don’t know what a stop and drop is…well I just coined the phrase.  There is no flushing.  Are you getting the picture?  Hmmm.  No?  Well, maybe this will help you out…

Yeah, can you hear me now?

There was a small little irritant.  Cyclists.  What, you say!!  I am one..and..can I just say, the douche meter was off the chart today.  Extreme red ~ douche encounter was imminent.  There are all sorts of people doing all sorts of things on the path.  If you’re a cyclist, you don’t own the road.  You don’t.  Don’t get pissy when people can’t hear your little bell.  If you see someone walking ~ hmm let’s see mother with a baby or an older person walking…if you have a little bell and those people don’t get out-of-the-way for you…speak up and slow down.  Don’t continue to barrel down the path at your full speed, because you can’t be bothered to slow down, and get irritated said person didn’t get out-of-the-way for you.  You look foolish and like a novice.  If you don’t want your  pace interrupted, might I suggest the road?  I wonder if any of the cyclists will read this?  Hmmm, if a tree falls in the woods does anyone hear it?  Most likely not.  All in all I had a great experience and I can’t wait to run and ride on the path.

This week consisted of running and walking.  I was able to pull out 11.97 miles this week with 6060.87 gratefully remaining.  I hope this Sunday finds you well and full of hope.  Happy Miles to You!!

I dedicate this song to all the cyclists out there!

 

 

 

 

Mileage Recap ~ Mar 26 – 1 Apr…Dreamed, Work Hard, Persevere, Believe

Happy Easter to all, and yes it is also April Fool’s Day too!

Over the years I stopped buying greeting cards.  The biggest reason was because of all the crazy stuff written inside.  We all have been there, stalking the different cards.  Serious, funny, and really stupid cards.  I have looked for a card for 15 minutes once.  So frustrating.  I would say about 95% of the time, most of the cards say things that I neither felt or would ever say.  Overly sappy and well, a lot of times, not true.  My card would say:

Happy Birthday to a wonderful person….50% of the time“.  Love you, Laurel.  Or, “Roses are red, violets are blue…uh never mind“.  Not so sincerely, Laurel.  Yeah, you’re not going to find any of those cards.  And then there is the protocol of greeting cards.  Do you write a small message or do you just sign your name?  What does it say about you when you DON’T write a small message?  Does the person on the other end go…that’s lame?  Because you know the card isn’t saying exactly what you wanted it to say or maybe it was an oh crap moment, I need a card as you dig through cards you have had for about five years.  At one point in my life I used to buy cards in advance.  If I saw one that I liked, I would pick it up.  Over the years I have collected quite the treasure chest of greeting cards and have helped many in their time of greeting card crisis.

Then something wonderful happened.  The greeting card companies got smart and started printing blank inside cards.  Genius.  Pick out a card with a flower…own message ~ “you are as pretty as a flower”.  A garden spade ~ “may your garden be fruitful” or some other saying that comes to mind.  Bottom line it’s YOUR message.  You can say what is really in your heart to the receiver.

In my previous post I had said I moved to DC for a job opportunity.  If you read my posts often, you might be thinking WTH?  The bottom line, Phoenix wasn’t for me.  I am one who finds beauty in all things, but the desert wasn’t what made my heart sing.  I had needed a change, but this wasn’t the right change. I can remember years ago hearing about how if you had arthritis or health issues move to Phoenix!  Well, let me tell you that’s not 100% true.  The valley has changed drastically over the years with increased population that causes pollution and non-indigenous plants causing the atmosphere to be much more polluted with allergens.  While there I developed allergies that affected my skin and had made me boarder-line asthmatic.  I was on an inhaler, Singular™ and allergy meds to keep everything in line.  My breathing capacity went down to about 60% at one point and made running and cycling harder.  So, it was time to look for greener pastures and that’s what I did. It took me 9 long months. The whole month of March has been a whirlwind of moving and starting over in another state.  It’s never easy, but with hard work I’m making it happen.

This brings me back to the greeting cards.  I received a great card from my sweet parents.  They read my blog, so I know they will see this post!  I am very thankful.  My parents still send me a surprise every now and again in a card.  I still get that excitement when I see it, the same feeling as when I was 15!  It’s something that never gets old.  Aside from the surprise inside (and thank you very much) was the card itself.  It was perfect.  Does that mean I have to eat my words on greeting cards?  I won’t go that far, but this was the perfect card.  There was a standard card saying but the personal notes from my parents are worth more than any surprise in the card.  Maybe that was the surprise.  The card said the following:

“You have dreamed and good things happened”.

“You have worked hard and achievement happened”.

“You have persevered and accomplishment happened”.

“You have believed in yourself and success happened”.

Dream, work hard, persevere, believe.  It can happen.

I finished March with 41.98 miles completed.  Most of the miles were accomplished on the treadmill, stationary bike and walking.  I was lucky to get out and start to discover some of the green ways around me.  I have 6067.61 miles gratefully remaining.  I keep on keeping on….

Happy Easter.  I hope this finds you in a good place…peace.  Happy Miles to You!!

 

 

 

 

Mileage Recap ~ 26 Feb – 25 March…DC Version

Hello all!  Long time no blog…

There is a good reason for my absence.  I have moved to Washington, DC for a new job.  It came up fairly quickly and I had a good deal of planning to do which minimized my blogging.  I have settled in and will be up and going in no time at all.  The obvious is the weather change.  Baby it’s cold outside!  So a very quick recap today.  I was able to finish February with 86.82 miles and so far for March I have completed 31.75.  There was a lot of hotel treadmill running and incumbent biking.  If you travel, you know what I’m talking about.

Grateful for a new work opportunity.  I have 6088.07 DC miles remaining.  Hope this finds you well.  Happy Miles to You!!

Mileage Recap ~ 19 – 25 Feb…Action Selfies

This week has been particularly cold in Phoenix.  I guess you could say we are experiencing the one week of winter we get each year.  Lows in the 30s and highs in the 50s.  That being said, it makes for good cycling weather.

I’ve been on Instagram for a while now and I had an account for my blog and then a personal account.  For some strange reason, everyone just migrated over to my personal account.  Most likely because my name is easier to memorize rather than the blog name.  I have dropped the 11315miles Instagram account and just post every now and again on the personal one.  I enjoy seeing people all around the world cycling, running or sharing all their cooking dishes.  It’s easy to blow a cool 30 minutes scrolling sometimes.  I try to make sure I don’t let social media control too much of my time.  I do like the virtual “diary” if you will while I’m trying to complete all of these miles.

Some people can just take great photos.  They’re sleeping…looks great.  Eating spaghetti…looks great.  Awww, just came out of the porto potty…looks marvelous.  Me?  Well, I usually look like I’ve just plowed the back 40.  Great.  Maybe one out of every thousand photos, there might be a keeper.

I love to see the “action” selfies.  Sometimes they’re phenomenal.  I even asked a gal one time how she took these cool action shots.  Did she have someone follow her around?  Some were taken at 6am!  Some people are just media geniuses.  I know there are all sorts of things you can do, such as time delay, using your apple watch, etc.  But, I haven’t mastered the art of the action selfie.  You know the cool photo where I’m riding…there’s an awesome background (not someone photo-bombing) and I have this concentrated far-off look like I’m contemplating the price of rice in China. You know the one.  Kinda like this:

I was out for a ride and thought…hey…wouldn’t it be cool to take a selfie…said no one ever!  Believe me, I’m not a big selfie person, but a couple of “proof of cycle” photos never hurts the mileage cause.  This was my awesome action selfie.   I was on mile 9 in a rural neighborhood and thought this is a pretty place.  Do you like how I got in the background?  Don’t I look like I’m concentrating hard?  Whatever Baby!  This is how I roll!

Was happy with my mileage this week, because I slightly edged out last week.  I would have done more, but I had a chemical facial peel (another story) and it stung a bit.  Not good to be out in the sun and sweating for a long time.  I put 30.65 on the books this week.  Looking pretty good for the month.  I have 2973.23 remaining for this years goal and 6114.82 gratefully remaining in my journey.  Sending positive vibes your way.  Happy Miles to You!!

Thought this was a good one for this week!

 

 

 

 

 

Mileage Recap ~ Taquito or Not Taquito…That is the Question.

Hello.  Remember me?  I just love it when you are on a roll.  Nothing can stop you, then something knocks you off that sweet high horse you’ve been riding.  I had finished the WTF Half Marathon and was shopping for new races, admiring my bike and planning.  Then I started to feel a little tickle in the back of my throat.  No worries.  Allergies are going to be bad this year I can already tell.  Dragging a bit, then whoa…what just hit me?

Everyone who isn’t time traveling or living in a cave knows that the flu is hitting people hard this year.  Especially children which is just terrible.  Well, I came down with something.  I believe it was a combination of allergies that I incurred after my last race and some sort of flu.  It was strange because I didn’t have any fever but a full on bronchial smack down.  I mean this thing laid me out and made breathing very difficult.  I think I was on the couch watching TV for about three days.  One of the many benefits I have experienced from running is I rarely get sick.  So, when and if I do get it, I gets it good.

I had taken the bike out on 31 Jan for about 3 miles to test the wheels after I had changed the tubes myself.  I’m happy to report that both wheels did stay on and no injuries were had.  But after three days on the couch I was bored and decided to venture out on the bike again.  I had a lot of energy, but was literally hacking on my return ride.  Have you ever been behind the wheel driving and when you get to a destination you didn’t pay attention to anything on the way there, just sort of zoned out driving? That would explain how I felt riding.  I was able to get in about six miles but the last three were a hacked out mind numbing experience.

I let myself recover a day, realizing that maybe I needed a little more time to heal those lungs.  After another day, again needing to get out and oh I don’t know buy some food maybe, I decided to go to Costco.  I hadn’t been in a while, but nothing says freedom like a pallet of toilet paper and a 100 lbs bag of cat food.

I have a love-hate relationship with Costco.  One being the hyper-commercialism and oooh I need a year supply of Oral B electric toothbrush tips!!!!  Squirrel!!!  So there I was, deep in the bowels of the Costco, slightly hacking, and forgetting what was the reason I was there in the first place.  I am a creature of habit sometimes and I like to start at one point in the store (TVs) and do the rounds.  Knowing very well I don’t require a TV the size of a house I still stare at the quality and make note of the really good price.  I digress.  Oh yes, I remember I needed trash bags.  I then start to proceed through the liquor section, uh huh, uh huh…liking that..good price…into the food section.  Wow that’s a lot of cheese…hmmm…okay trash bags.  In the food section every isle had a nice person offering samples.   You can get juice, chips or chicken just to name a few.  Now I’m going to tell you something very important.  A few years back I took a food sanitation course.  If you ever want to change your opinion of whether you want a free sample or about the restaurant industry in general, take a food sanitation class.  You will think twice about taking the “free” sample or where you eat, I guarantee.  Knowing this, I have been weak on certain occasions and have dabbled with the dangerous with food.

In order to get to the trash bags I had to go through the food section.   My throat was starting to get itchy and I knew I needed to get what I came for and leave before I had a melt down.  I’m almost to the bags and there on the end of one isle was this sweet little old woman.  Taquito, she asks?

Media Medusa

Me:  suuurrrreeeee….

Awesome gifs

Definition:  A taquito, tacos dorados, rolled taco, or flauta is a Mexican food dish that typically consists of a small rolled-up tortilla that contains filling, including beef, cheese or chicken. The filled tortilla is then crisp-fried.

Now, there are certain moments your body is acting faster than the brain.  This was one of those moments.  Why you ask? Well it would be the last two words in the taquito definition – crisp-fried.  Crispy anything and a very sensitive scratchy throat leads to uncontrollable coughing….in Costco.  But there I was, popping that overly salted, fried, greasy radiated meat product into my mouth, smiling and knowing that in 10, 9, … 7…3, 2 …. I slowly listened to the nice lady as she said, “here’s a coupon honey, they’re in the freezer right around the corner” and as I turned the corner hoping to find solace with the frozen vegetables….1….the uncontrollable hacking began.

At first it was just a light inner cough, as my shoulders tried to quell the violent eruption that was about to take place in the frozen foods section of Costco.  I tried to control it as the  last bit of the taquito made its way slowly down my throat, scraping and leaving bits of preservatives in an already raw throat.  My lungs said, oh no girlfriend, this is going to be a good one.  Tears were starting to well up in my eyes as I turned to stare at the frozen broccoli thinking, I rather eat fresh then frozen.  Now I’m starting to get loud.  It’s embarrassing, but luckily in true Costco form, everyone is just ignoring me.  I slowly make it down to the yogurt, hacking while trying to stand straight, and stop to see the Chobani  yogurt selection.  A gallon tub of Chobani, ya’ll.  Yeah, it’s good but I’m just not feeling it today….hacking and trying not cause a scene I somehow end up in the vitamin section.  It’s a good sign because I’m almost to the exit….oh damn what did I come here for…trash bags.  Screw it!!

Even with all the hacking I was able to finish the month of January with 81.54 miles and my recap for this round was 29.41 to add to the spreadsheet!  I can’t wait to breathe in my remaining 6175.23 miles.  I hope everyone is having a wonderful Sunday and breathing easy.  Happy Miles to You!!

This song is VERY appropriate!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mileage Recap ~ Winter Trail Frosty (WTF) Half Marathon

The first word is always the hardest to write.  Hmmm, ok let’s go for the utterly mundane and say I have completed my third half marathon.  I would have tried to bang this post out yesterday, but I was tired and hungry.  Oh so very hungry.  Where to begin…”It was the best of times, it was the worst of times….”  Oh very sorry, wrong story.

On Sunday I completed the Winter Trail Frosty Trail Half Marathon that took place in Papago Park in Tempe, Arizona.  I get a lot of junk email for different types of races. I searched for races that take place in January in Arizona and the WTF came up.  I thought it would be cool to do one closer to home.  This race is hosted by 131 Event Productions, who sponsor similar races across the country.  I guess it would be safe to say they are a franchise.  I signed up originally because I wanted to do another trail race.  I have done a few trails before with the last one, the Grand Canyon Half, in 2016.  So, I was ready to try another trail run.

About a couple of weeks before the race an update was sent out that mentioned something about insurance and injury and that the run wouldn’t  take place through the park but around the lake area closer to the city.  I was surprised and a little put out but it was a chance to get some miles in and to focus on PRing my fastest half time.

I had been good with hydrating and eating the whole week.  Focusing on good energy foods.  The morning of I did have this:

No, it’s not just ordinary toast…it’s cinnamon sugar toast.  I had it growing up as a kid and had been craving it so I made it for part of my breakfast.  The other part was a Kashi cereal that tastes like Captain Crunch™.  Don’t judge.  Packed about two gels for every two miles and headed out the door around 7:15.

Arrive at the venue and begin to drive to the parking lot only to see cars driving back.  A sure sign that there are no more parking spaces.  I was beginning to realize that  maybe I should have left a little earlier.  I found myself parking in a park down the road with others about a mile from the start.  Park the car and realize that I need to step up my game.  In other words, girlfren you need to start wogging to the start line.  I needed to get there because I wanted to get one last bathroom break in before the race starts.  Get to the start line and look for portos.  What!!??!!  Looking….looking…oh there…they…are….  WTFrack!  There were only six portos and the line was out the…well you know.  I mean come on!!!  Six?  Heck, women alone need six!  Now we have to share them?  So, there I stood and I’ll tell you I wasn’t happy.  If I someone shooting the shyster I know my ice eyes were beaming through the back of their heads.  STOP TALKING….”five minutes till race start” the announcer bellows.  No way was I going to get this done.  I made the call to get out of the line and go back to the start.  Once the race began I ran to the porto and waited for six minutes, then I started my race.  Yeah.  Awesome.

The race

The race was a combination of a quarter and half marathon.  The half marathoners (me) got to do the course…you guessed it, twice.  As my readers well know, there is nothing I hate more than a lapped run.  It’s boring.  Did I say it’s boring?  But sometimes you just have to deal.  I start running down a small path and the next thing I know it’s starts to go through the park!  A real trail run.  Uh, hmmm what about the insurance blah, blah, death, blah blah…???  Yes, ladies and gentleman, we have ourselves a real trail run. I was happy, but a bit shocked.  I sure as heck wouldn’t have worn my Hokas ya’ll!  But there I was hopping over rock and sand.  The majority of the trail was single person wide with a few concrete cross overs and some flat areas.  You know what that means right?  Here’s a hint:

Can you guess?  It was a caterpillar run.  Meaning, you’re only going as fast as the person in front of you.  A lot of stop and starting.  Awesome!  One thing I will say, the difficulty was higher than the Grand Canyon Half.  You had to be careful where you stepped and it was constantly up and down.  I was very careful on descending because I didn’t want to hurt my knee again.  That’s what got me in trouble last time.  It was a tough course.

Here is a picture I took on one of the few places that was flatter.  Mind you I was already halfway up the hill.

Support

This is where things get a little iffy and I really want to say something about this because I have noticed this happening in MANY events I’ve taken part over the years.  For the first part there was heavy support.  The trail was marked okay, not great.  They marked it with bright green tape (the route to follow) and orange tape (where not to go).  There were volunteer guides to set you on the right path at some of the more tricky parts.  After the first round, i.e. the quarter marathoners completed their race, the volunteers magically disappeared.  Now you would think, well you ran it once surely you would know where to go.  Not so.  Runners were getting tired and paying attention to foot strike.  I saw a lot of people get turned around at some of the more confusing points, myself included.  Then the ultimate no no, they took away some of the water points.  Look, I didn’t bring my water belt.  I train with one, but I look forward to running a race without one, especially if there is water support.  Right or wrong, we can discuss that in the comments section.  A lot of people had their belts or hydration packs.  Maybe I should have brought mine.  The water points were about every two miles for the first part of the race, but seemed to disappear the second half.  This is what I find at a lot of these events.  You have the fast people who will finish the race in one hour, but then the other 90% don’t.  The other 90% paid for this experience too and therefore, the event managers need to follow through and support until the last man or woman crosses the finish line.  Some of these races are expensive.  This one wasn’t too bad, but still the support needs to be the same for all.  Unless there are some stipulations in the event rules that state support cuts off after a certain time, support the runners.  I was really counting on one of the water points only to find it packed up and gone.  Not cool.  I will be writing 131 productions.

The finish

The finish was great and well supported.  They had lots of food and water to refuel and the bling wasn’t too bad either.  The medal was crazy big and a little heavy!  I wonder sometimes if you can get addicted to the bling.  My body was a little sore, but overall this was a pain free race!

I was pleased with my performance.  I was going to say I didn’t PR but I guess I did because this was my second trail half.  I ran 3 hours and some change for the Grand Canyon and I finished this run at 2:59.  Granted the elevation differences are not the same with two very different environments.  I came in 9th in my age group for this run.  Don’t get excited, there were eleven in my age group.

After the run I was really hungry even after eating cake and a banana at the finish, so I treated myself to Culvers.  I hadn’t been there in a while and needed something good!

And here I thought they did the pickle like that especially for me….no, it’s everyone.

I completed 27.45 miles this week bringing me to 5110.36 miles completed in my journey with 6204.64 gratefully remaining.  I hope this post finds you surrounded by the people you love.  Happy Miles to You!!

Once again I felt like I was on the moon.  I got in the car to go home and this was on the radio….