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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mileage Recap ~ 10 – 16 Dec…Running In The Rain

Hello happy readers!  Rain has the power to renew.  Take the dirtiest of days, give it a good rain storm, and the result is a feeling of invigorating renewal.  The landscape looks and smells refreshed.  This weekend was a wet one in the D.C. area and the temperatures were somewhat mild.  I wasn’t going to let something like a little water stop me especially when I feel there are demons that need to be exercised.  Running in the rain is the perfect medicine.

I made it to the trail around 0830 on Saturday and it was about 52 degrees and raining moderately hard.  There is always a moment of self-induced suck, while sitting in the car telling myself, yeah you can turn off the engine now and step outside.  The water is fine!  I make sure I have everything, scarf, gloves, and music….check.  Open the door and get hit with a blast of cool (not cold) water pelting my face.  Either way, I’m sure everyone has experienced leaving a nice warm car, only to be accosted by cold temps.  A shock to the body for sure…add rain ~ yeah not the best feeling in the world.  But, I needed to make a concerted effort to get outside when I can…even if it’s raining.

Believe it or not, it wasn’t that bad.  You could make the argument if it were colder….obviously it would be snowing, but 52 wasn’t too bad a deal.  My biggest threat were decaying leaves and wet pavement.  I wanted to hit three non-stop and walk three back.  Even with the weather the pace was decent:

10:25 pace with side-stepping leaves and puddles of water.  I felt good on the run and ran a straight three then walked three back for a total of 6.02.

I did stop to take pictures on the way….

A holly tree on the path.

The Potomac

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yes I was there…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This weeks miles were bella totaling 63.09!  On Sunday I road 15 then, in the rain again, I walked two.

Indoor bike – 55.06

Running – 3.02

Walking – 5.01

This 51-year-old body is feeling strong.  I have completed 5943.53 with 5371.47 gratefully remaining.  I hope this post finds you slaying those demons that disrupt and keep you from living the life you were meant to live.  Just remember it’s never too late to learn to fly….. Happy Miles to You!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mileage Recap ~ 3 – 9 Dec…I’m Tracking

Happy Sunday everyone!  As I run through my calculations of miles completed it’s always a pleasure to see the “miles remaining” is less than the “miles completed”.  Although the journey is still a long one and there are plenty of adventures to be had, it is positive.

I have an Instagram friend, Dr. Linda Sinnott, who went on a big life transformation to loss weight.  It’s funny because she and I are very similar; both in our 50s, yoga instructors and love fitness.  She worked out for 365 days straight, making a commitment to herself to live healthier.  It’s been fun watching her progress.  As with anything that is worth fighting for, you have to make a commitment and work at your goal.  You have to be consistent.  Make an effort to be present and show up for whatever it is you are attempting.  Some days the results are pretty and other days just butt ugly.  Eventually, the effort will pay off…at least that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

I decided to take a page out of her play book and complete some miles every day.  I was in the gym some days and then decided to time myself on Saturday with a two-mile run.  I have been continuing with strength and endurance training with hopes of getting a better pace during the winter months.  Happy to report:

Not too bad if I do say so..lol.  I walked a mile after then ran a final mile for a total of 4 miles on Saturday.  The week was a good one.  I rode the indoor bike 10.5 (11 on one day) each day with the exception of 5 miles on Friday for a total of 62 miles for the week.  I love the morning when the sun is just up on the trail.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have completed 5880.44 with 5434.56 miles gratefully remaining.  I’m still tracking, still working and still earning every mile.  I hope this post finds you in a great state of mind; present, full of hope and still tracking.  Happy Miles to You!!

This song came on for the second mile on Saturday and is great for the pace….

 

Day 4 of Gratitude ~ Mileage Recap 22 Oct – 4 Nov… In The Arms of The Angels

Happy Sunday everyone.  I usually do my mileage recaps every Sunday, but every now and again, time and circumstances get the best of me.

First, let me give a shout out to all my friends who ran the New York City Marathon today!  They say there was 50,000 runners.  Unbelievable!  I was reading an article about a teacher who experienced one of the major school shootings and she had a quote that running “heals the soul”.  I agree with that statement. That will be one of my last races I do in my mileage journey.

Training is steady as she goes for next week’s 2018 Veteran’s Day 10k Race.  Not a long race, but the beneficiaries of the race will be Team Red, White & Blue, a group that helps veterans around the area.  There are chapters all around the country.  I’m just happy to be running.

Running

I continue to improve my pace on the shorter runs.  My breathing is good and my stamina is slowly building.  It has been a bit of a struggle trying to get back to what I consider an optimum pace for my age ~ lol!  I still maintain my goal to beat my PR marathon goal of 4:41 and keeping my average pace in the 9:00 min range. I finished October with 58.65 miles ~ about 10 shy of last month.

This weeks long run was okay.  I was a little winded from lack of sleep (excuses I know) but I got it done.  The trail was covered in leaves in a lot of places which made running difficult because I was looking at the ground so I wouldn’t slip and fall!  Plus I was taking pictures!  I think my pace would have been in the 10 minute range.  It was just so pretty!

You can see the leaves falling in the video!!!

I have completed 5734.82 miles in my journey with 5580.18 gratefully remaining.

Cycling

Not much to update here, after the 10k I look forward to focusing on my cycling.

You might be wondering why I titled this post in the arms of the angels.  It is one of the reasons I’m calling November my month of gratitude.  Not only does it have to do with my birth month and that I want to scream from the hills every day isn’t promised and is a gift.  Let’s face it, soon I will be 51 and although that is young these days, I do look at it as a time to be thankful and grateful for each day that I am given.  I recently found out a friend of mine committed suicide last month.  I was notified by Facebook© IM of all things.  This would have been the only way this person could have notified me and I don’t hold it against her because I didn’t know her personally.  I have a love/hate relationship with IM.  Technology is awesome.  We can find old friends, share ideas and pictures and converse instantaneously from around the world.  I have a few friends that ONLY use this method of communication.  Needless to say I find it rude and a little cowardly.  People who only IM are lazy and frankly if someone doesn’t take the time to call you ~ they’re letting you know that, yeah you just don’t mean that much to me or I can communicate only when things are convenient for me.  I know not everyone will agree with my assessment, but think about a person who only converses electronically ~ you may begin to see that person in a new light and agree with me on certain points.

The individual that died was a big part of my life for about five years.  She was a step-sister in a marriage that didn’t work out.  We were all young during that time.  It was a difficult time in my life and when she contacted me about six years ago I had reservations about starting up a conversation.  We became online friends and kept in touch with each other through the years.  She had experienced a lot of ups and downs, but I always kept a line open and offered my telephone number many times in case she wanted to call, but she never offered hers.  I hadn’t heard from her for a while and then a couple of months ago she contacted me to tell me her mother had passed from pancreatic cancer, again I offered her my number.  I had checked up on her a couple of times insisting she give me a call.  I got her address and sent her a sympathy card which she acknowledged she received and that she would respond.  During our conversations she had told me how she was working hard ~ studying for a Spanish test and how things were going well.  She had missed her Mother, but that life was moving forward.  Then I heard the news that she had hung herself.  As I write this, I can’t put into words what I’m really feeling.  Bewilderment, sadness, and sympathy for a life cut short.  I was dumbfounded as to why she would do this until I went on her Facebook page and saw how she had been battling depression for a long time.  It’s sad for me to hear and I often find myself thinking about her even though I hadn’t seen her since she was a little girl.  I guess I feel she just didn’t get a fair shake.  Life isn’t fair, no doubt.  So, if you’re following me in this month of gratitude ~ I ask for a gift gentle reader.  Reach out to someone – by voice.  A short call or a meeting for coffee.  Talk to them and let them know you care.  It doesn’t have to be sappy.  Sometimes just sitting there, together, sipping wine or drinking coffee is enough.  Pick up the phone and say hello.  That might be all it takes.  I firmly believe we have allowed ourselves to become too dependent on communication through social media programs as primary communication.  We are forgetting the art of conversation and interaction with other people.  My thoughts only…

Rachel was a beautiful woman:

 

She leaves behind two children and will be missed.  Even though we separated under strenuous circumstances, life is about forgiveness and growth.  Rachel is in the arms of the angels and free from the pain she experienced on this beautiful earth.  May she rest in peace.

I feel I should post this to help anyone in need:

National Suicide Hotline:  Call 1-800-273-8255

I hope this Sunday finds you in a peaceful state of mind.  Happy Miles to You.  “in this sweet madness, this sweet glorious sadness”….