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 ~ 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….

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mileage Recap ~ 4 Feb – 18 Feb…Returning to the Scene of the Crime

Happy President’s Day my friends!  I almost said happy Sunday.  A friend of mine reminded me that this is the last federal holiday until May.  Hmmm, might need to take a day here or there before then.

Took a little break from blogging last week.  When you have been doing it this long, a break is good.  I haven’t taken a break from cycling though.  I continue to move forward.  The weather here hasn’t been great, so a lot of indoor cycling.  I was annoyed because my trainer I purchased isn’t turning out to be great and I will have to look for another…what are you going to do right?  Lot’s of gym time and finally this Sunday we had a bit (I mean a bit) of blue sky and I decided to take the new bike out for a ride.  I went back to the Mt. Vernon trail and this time there was NOTHING in my car.  I actually rode around the parking lot a couple of times because I didn’t want to leave the car alone.

I finally left the security of the parking lot and hit the trail.  All I can say is #AMAZING.  Love the Fuji Grand Fondo and the tires are a little larger than my old bike and it just handled fantastic.  Absolutely loved the ride.  Unfortunately, the temps didn’t get out of the 30s and my hands were cold even with gloves.  I was only able to get 5.56 on the trail before I had to circle back.

A few shots:

Love these new shoes!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Miles for the last two weeks came to 94.02.  Looking for warmer temps to expand my cycling routes.  I have completed 6466.04 and have 4848.96 miles gratefully remaining.  I hope this post finds your heart grateful and happy.  Happy Miles to You!!

 

Mileage Recap ~ 28 Jan – 3 Feb….Unbreakable…Yes, I’m Going Down Swinging

Happy Sunday everyone!  Wow, January seemed to have blown by and now we are into the month of love or not depending on your take on things.  You know how the song goes…”If you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with”.

As you might have recalled from last week, my car was broken into and therefore, the blog post I wanted to write had to wait until this week.  I just didn’t have the mental energy last Sunday.  Good news Safelite™ came out and repaired my window and I’m back in the car business.  Bad news, according to my friends this will happen again.  Welcome to DC.

2019 has started of with a bang.  I was furloughed for the better part of January and I finally went in for my MRI of my back.  I knew going in that something wasn’t quite right.  I have been experiencing a very directed pain in my lower right back for a while.  Did I ever mention I really hate going to the doctor…yeah well, not always the best thing, but yes I don’t like going to the doctor.  After waiting for a week…the diagnosis is in!  I’m going to look at this from a glass half full perspective.  I’m not upset, no defeated (quite the opposite)…I am unbreakable.

Have you ever seen the Netflix™ show Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt?  It is the life Kimmy after her rescue from a doomsday like cult.  She and the other “mole women” are trapped in an underground bunker for years, rescued and released out into the modern world.  It’s quirky and funny and Kimmy Schmidt learns to put a positive spin on not so positive situations.

Courtesy of Netflix

Courtesy of Netflix

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have been diagnosed with spondylolisthesis in L1 – L5 of my spine which is causing degenerative arthritis.  The doctor also thinks it is congenital issue that worsened with age.  You can’t spell it without LOL in the middle.  Get it?  Hell, I still can’t even pronounce it correctly yet.  “Spondylolisthesis is a slipping of vertebra that occurs, in most cases, at the base of the spine. Spondylolysis, which is a defect or fracture of one or both wing-shaped parts of a vertebra, can result in vertebrae slipping backward, forward, or over a bone below”.  Thank you, WebMD.  In some places I have bone on bone.  What does this mean for me?  I know what you’re thinking…settle down, breathe and don’t get carried away…it ain’t over.  It means the running part of my journey is over.  Yes, you read that right the rest of my mileage journey will be earned cycling or walking/hiking.  Say hello to cycling Laurel.

When Dr. Cherrick, told me the news I was a little put out and then became a bit defiant.  I mentioned to him that all of this would just have to wait because I have already begun training for the Shamrock Marathon in March.  He just let me prattle on for about two minutes looking at me with annoyed eyes, mentioning that he can’t stop me from running, but then added…I wouldn’t do the race.  He left the office to bring up my images and then I saw the arthritis in my back and then the places where there was no cushion.  He continued on that I was close to needing surgery, but wasn’t that far gone if I changed my habits and committed to cycling which is low impact.  The fix is facet injection and more physical therapy if I so chose.  The other option is fusing the vertebra together.  Uh, no…nada, nein.  Not.Going.To.Happen.

As we used to say in the Army, if the path to the target has changed, adjust fire.  That’s all this is…the target moved, I am adjusting fire.  The goal remains, I just need to get there in a different manner.  I haven’t run since the diagnosis and I haven’t had the pain I’ve been experiencing. Literally, non-existent.

I am excited and more determined than ever.  Cycling gear is so much cooler than running gear.  I absolutely love cycling and I fully intend to keep the energy high.  I never do things small manner.  My first ride was a century – lol.  I also bought my first carbon frame bike – 2018 Fuji Grand Fondo.  Sweet ride:

Now I just need better weather.  My response to this diagnosis is 234.72 miles for the month of January with running (before diagnosis), walking and trainer rides.  I also have broken the 5,000 mark in my mileage journey with 4958.98 miles gratefully remaining.

I remain with much gratitude in my heart and an unbreakable determination.  It’s time to get road ready and conquer the rest of these miles.  Life is good.  When life gives you lemons…make lemonade.  Adjust fire.  Happy Miles to You!!

I thought this song was appropriate…”sugar I’m going down swingin'”.

am I more than you bargained for yet 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mileage Recap ~ 14 Jan – 27 Jan…The Theft Post

Happy Sunday my friends.  I meant to spend some time and write a really well thought out post, but unfortunately it will have to wait until another day.  Today was one of those days where you just say ~ really?  My gusto for blogging was cut off at the knees today because someone broke into my car.  Sigh.  I drove to the Mt. Vernon trail to have a Sunday jaunt and when I came back the right back window on the passenger side was shattered and the contents of my vehicle stolen.

Lovely isn’t it?  The funny thing was I wasn’t gone long, but then these things don’t take long.  Whoever it was got me and someone else.  Timing is everything.  So today was spent on canceling things and police reports.

In better news the furlough as been suspended until February 15th.  Back to work I go tomorrow!

Mileage was #killer these past two weeks.  I road/ran/walked 134.53 miles.  I remain grateful to continue on my journey.  Whoever has my stuff ~ I hope it brings you as much happiness as it brought me.  Just a bit of advice though, maybe work hard so you can earn your own stuff!  I hope this post finds your heart joyful and your mind at ease.

I thought this song was appropriate.  Happy Miles to You!!

 

 

Mileage Recap ~ 7 – 13 January…A Snow Day Within a Furlough

Hello my sweet 11315miles readers!  I’m blogging on a Monday because guess… am I furloughed or is it a DC snow day?  Yeah, Just when you thought it was safe NOT to go back to work, we received a generous helping of snow and I’m not making this up, DC is shutdown.  It’s a good thing too, because I think it would absolutely be disastrous driving on the freeway.  Just not worth it for people or emergency responders.  All I can say is when we finally do get back to work ~ trying to figure out our time cards will be a whole lot of fun.  That’s a joke if you didn’t get my sarcasm.

My Dad called me the other day and was like, “so what are you doing with your time“.  That is a loaded question Dad.

Week 1

The first week was all about lists.  All the things I’m gonna get done.  Hot damn! On a normal work week I wake up around 4:30 am and I’m out the door before or at 6:00 am to make the train.  The first furlough day I slept until about 6:00 am.  I was like dammmnnnnn, I need to get up and stop being so lazy!  Then it slowly creeped to 7, then 7:30…  hmmm.  But I’m still getting some mad miles in and a mani/pedi every so often.  The second week I was still looking at my list, then I made another list from the first list.  Call it an improved list.  I have watched all of the Good Girls season 1 on Netflix™ ~ I highly recommend it ~ dark but funny.  I watched Bird Box…uh twice.  Once by myself and the other with my friend.  It’s always fun to watch a show the second time so I could really analyze and criticize what was actually happening. Oh I baked chocolate chip cookies and got kinda of sick from eating the dough.  There might have been a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon in there somewhere…

Week 2

I did get up a little earlier this week because I am trying to get my Virginia drivers license.  I’m convinced when Danté wrote about the 9 Circles of Hell he had a premonition about a state agency that would be created in the future called the DMV.  I believe that the DMV is clearly the 9th Circle of Hell, Treachery.  The first time I went (yes, my friends there is more than one visit) I read the website and brought all the supporting documents.  I was 3rd in line.  Just to say that literally blows my mind right now.  I mean what normal person is 3rd in line at the DMV?  A furloughed person my friends a furloughed person.  I hand my documents to the lady and she says “do you have a passport or birth certificate”.  Uh…why yes I do, but not with me.  The website says you only need that if you don’t have a valid drivers license in another state.  She looks at me and says “I’m sorry, you need to have that too”.  I mentioned that’s not what the website says as I eyed cop in the corner.  I’m sure he had me pegged for a rabble-rouser.  So I smiled took my documents and did what any furloughed individual would do and went to the gym.

I went back the next day for part deux, Saturday.  You know what this means ~ people are off and they are going to Hel…oops I mean the DMV.  I get there around 7:45 on Saturday morning, it’s 27 degrees and the line is already reaching down around the building.  I take one look and I say to myself, hell no.  I do a drive by towards the exit and the only thing was missing from this scene is me rolling down the window and yelling “I’m on furlough – I’ll come back on Monday”!  Maybe do a doughnut in the parking lot and spill my Starbucks™ on the outside of my Subie for visual effect.  Then I went to the gym.  It was on my list.

Oh and I went to Chili’s Bar and Grill for Heavens sake – there might have been a margarita in there somewhere.

Week 3

That brings us to today, Monday, the snow day and week 3 of the furlough.  Now you may ask yourself, hmmm the Federal Government is shut down because of the snow, does this mean the State run DMV is shut down as well?   Well, it’s a crap shoot ya’ll it really is.  (I just ended my sentence with a preposition).  I was there this morning with about 3 other people.  I sat in my car because the building was dark at around 7:50 am, not a good sign that anything will be happening anytime soon in Hell.  Which is shocking because isn’t Hell always hopping?  It’s like – “welcome to Hell – this place is LIT”!  As the clock approached the witching hour of 8:00 am I sauntered to the front door and stood behind one guy holding his VA plates.  He looked at me with sad,  searching eyes then mouthed the words only our Creator could answer ~ “do you think they’re going to open”?  I almost felt sorry for the guy.  Heck I felt sorry for myself that I actually got out of my car instead of gunning it on the ice in the parking lot.  I mean I’m such a glutton for punishment.  I caught myself and in my most unassuming sarcastic voice I could muster – with a small smile, I mouthed the words “nooooo“.  Then he raised his voice and yelled to the Gods – “this isn’t right”!  With that I bid the gentleman good day, turned on my heel and nearly busted my rear on the ice.  The 9th.Circle.Of.Hell.  I got into my car and went to the gym.

Miles this week

One thing I can say, nothing beats miles on a furlough.  I am in week two of my Shamrock Marathon training.  I did a combination of treadmill and outdoor running this week.  I was a little wimpy with the cold and did my long run of 7 miles on the treadmill.  It was actually pretty nice because I concentrated on foot strike.

Proof 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I also got my new running shoes  ~ Saucony™ 10 Riders.  Buying running shoes is funny now because just like cars, you can buy last years model.  I can hear the sales person now, “well these are solid, but the 2019 s have stronger laces and are about .000000001 percent lighter – plus they come in purple”.  Yeah, you know what give me the 2018 s that are half off.  I scored 120$ shoes on sale for 50$ baby!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The next photos are from my walk out in the snow.  I was able to log 3.06 that day.  I love walking in the snow, winter is such a beautiful season.

This little guy or gal, let me get so close. Very interested in what I was doing and we had a chat!


Cardinal kept flying around I finally was able to snap a shot.


I love taking pictures of trees from this perspective.


This is such a fun tree. I love the carving that says Bill still loves Diane ’99.


A good place to offer gratitude and say a few Hail Mary’s.


Another walker was watching me writing this in the snow. I just let him wonder and was on my way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was able to get in 26.15 miles this week.  I have 5142.66 miles remaining on my journey.  I hope this post finds you in a great state of mind and with much gratitude.  Happy Miles to You!!

I love the forest and the trees…I thought this was a fitting song by the Cure.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mileage Recap ~ 31 Dec – 6 Jan… By Crikey I’ve Been Furloughed!

Happy Furlough Monday my friends.  That’s right, I’m part of this big furlough funding mess.  Going on week three here in the big DC.

Without getting too political I will just say ~ enough already!  I’m ready to go back to work.  I’m a bit of a workaholic.  Yes…I’m one of those.  I love to work.  Of course it helps to love your job, but I’m getting very annoyed.  I mean how many mandalas can I draw to relive stress?  It would be nice if they would leave the working folks out of the funding mess – let’s keep the big projects (AKA the Wall) out of normal every day life funding shall we?  Please fight on someone else’s dime, preferably our senators and representatives.  I overheard someone saying, wow, I wish I could get a paid vacation.  First of all, I’m not getting paid right now.  Will I get back pay, yes that is the plan, but just think of all the work that is piling up right now?  That is the downside and no that isn’t fun….at all.  It is going to be a real ass-kicker when I return.  Mentally and figuratively I’m sure!  The upside… I’m getting some mad miles in… oh and I did get a pedicure today too.  Funny thing is there were other ladies in the salon on furlough!  Should have served wine.

In better news my training for the Shamrock Marathon in March has begun.  I started on Saturday and not too much to report but I kicked it off with a five-mile run.  My goal for this marathon is to have an average pace in the 10s.  Normally, I’m rocking an average 11, but my goal is to eventually run a marathon with an average pace in the 9s.  Mind over matter, mind over matter, mind over matter….yes Dorthy, mind over matter.

I need shoes like that…oooh maybe some running shoes….yaaassss!

I will have a nontraditional training plan this time around because I want to keep cycling.  Meaning…I don’t want to lose my momentum on the bike, so something has to give.  I have been getting miles in every day if possible.  A combination of walking, running, and cycling.  Throw in about three (four because I’m on furlough)  days of strength training and I’m a busy girl.  Getting it done.

Pain level is at a steady 3 – 4 out of 10.  Still in the right lower side.  MRI and X Ray are on Friday and will see where we go from there.  No, get that thought out of your head.  I will continue on.

Of course my long run was on a rainy day.  Sometimes I think, hmmm should I just go inside?  Nah, not always.  It wasn’t bad and normally on those days, no one is on the trail.  This is what my run looked like:

I kept it in the 10s!  It wasn’t a bad run and I felt okay.  Some slowing down on the hills to ensure footing.

My week was a good one ~ I completed 51.33 miles.  I have 5185.49 miles gratefully remaining.  I hope this post finds you in good spirits for the new year.  Remember, nothing lasts forever – even a government furlough.  Happy Miles to You!!

This came up on my playlist this weekend and was appropriate.  Absolutely love Annie Lennox and the acoustic version is awesome.