Mileage Recap ~ 11 – 28 December… Keep On Rollin’

Finally made it back to blogging after a brief illness…aka – cold.  I won’t call it the flu.  If it was, it wasn’t a full-blown knock out drag out.  Head cold and running nose was about the extent.  I’m sure I got it from my daughter who did have it for four days.  She teaches young children dance and most assuredly that’s where she picked it up.  So, I’m back.

The big news is…du…du…dunnnnaaa….I changed my bike tire.  All by myself.  Yep, I finally got around to doing it.  It only took me, hmmm about two hours.  How’s that for some speed.  So glad I didn’t have a wild animal lurking around.  I’m glad it happened, because there were some items that definitely did NOT work or was spent in my tool bag.

I began by watching a 4 minute “refresher” video from Trek (the brand I own).  There was this lovely female giving the demo.  As I’m watching I notice that she is holding the tire towards the camera (obviously) and just seemed to be zipping through everything with ease.  Of course I know she has probably done this many times but she was holding the tire with one hand and using the release tool with the other.  Easy peasy baby!.  I slapped my knee and went down to the garage.

Step 1.  Take the tire off the bike.  First release the brakes…ahhh…then the tire release, yes…oops the chain, hmm okay a little tricky but no worries (uh huh) and tire is off!!!

 Looking good.

Step 2.  Take the actual tire (you know the rubber part) off.  I used these little beauties:

Okay just wiggle…wiggle a little more… some more…dam**!! okay okay it’s off.  Great, just get this off.  Whew.

Step 3.  Remove the old tube and insert the new one.  On the video it said to blow the new tube up just a bit to make it easier to place.  She also used her carbon pod so I decided to try mine too.  Nope!  First one was dead as a door nail.  The guy at the bike store told me they lasted FOREVAHHH…I knew it was BS when he said it but still….  Okay let’s get the tire pump.  I slip the new tube in the rubber tire casing and place one side of the tire back on the rim.  This is very important…because that was the easy part.  The hard part was getting the other side of the tire on the rim before you can inflate the tube.  You didn’t think that was going to be easy did you?  If it was the tire wouldn’t stay on the rim like it should.  This process took an incredible amount of time.  Let’s see, video again…ah ha “if the wheel is to tight going back on…”  ok, ok hmmm.

Don’t even ask why I have the pliers out… I don’t even remember.  Finally, I got the tire on the rim.

Step 4.  Inflate said tire.  Easy peasy.  Nope!  Sunnuva… tire pump is not playing nice.  I don’t like this tire pump anyway.  It’s weird and too big.  For some reason I couldn’t get it seated on the valve properly.  After much finagling I get the tire inflated!

Step 5.  Put the tire back on the bike.  May I present the first piece of evidence:

It just seemed easier.  Okay this is the easy part ya’ll!!  Nope!  HOW THE HELL DID I GET THIS THING OFF!  VIDEO!  I actually took another bike and flipped it upside down so I could see the placement.  It’s interesting the way the chain was laying because visually I thought should have looked different.  Eventually, I figured it out and got everything put back together. Proof!!!  Yeah that plastic glove really helped.

Step 6.  Step back and say damn….I’m good.  And test that baby out before you go on a long ride.  I feel confident that I can change my tire out on the road.  Maybe a little slow, but I’ll get it done.  As they say, “now you know”.

I’m just going to say that all women need to know how to be hands on with their equipment.  Whether it be a bike or a car tire.  You need to know how to take care of things yourself.  Does it suck?  Yeah, sometimes it does, but you never know when you need to rely on your own two hands when help isn’t around.

Running was a little more than last mileage recap.  I even was able to get on the recumbent bike. I was able to log  19.87 miles this time around with 6286.27 miles gratefully remaining.  Thinking about changing my tire brought one song to mind.  If you do a crappy job changing your tire then you can’t keep on rollin’!  Happy Miles to You!!

 

The Sunscreen Chronicles

Whether I’m cycling or running I do try to remember to put on sunscreen.  If it’s early in the morning I usually don’t because the sun is not as strong, but I know I’m still getting sun…so I should.  What I hate is when you sweat and then the sunscreen gets in your eyes and it be like:

 

 

 

 

Running along then bam!  You want to tear you face off!  Here in Phoenix there are a lot of women who run and it looks like they’re wear a burka at times.  This is very popular:

I have never seen any men wearing this full face get up, only women.  Phoenix will give you skin cancer and wrinkles and ain’t nobody got time for that.  I look at it this way, you can’t beat everything in life and there is no way I’m going to run in 106 degree heat with something like a hoodie.  I just can’t because I get too hot and frankly, what can I do about picking up another line.

I have the a strange skin mix.  The Italian in me gives me the olive color complexion that sort of tans and although I can burn (and I have badly) I also don’t get really tan.  It’s like I cap out.  I reach a point and that is it. My face is another story ~ It seems I have inherited what I lovingly refer to as the Irish drinking strip.  Basically, the wide red band that goes across the cheeks and nose.

Uh, no this isn’t a picture of me.

Life is just better with two beers isn’t it?  So what’s the point of this post?  Hmmmm (scratching head).  Ah yes, sunscreen not beer.  I’ve tried a lot of sun screens and a girlfriend of mine gave me some Neutrogena® Ultra Sheer® Face & Body Stick to try and it really is amazing.  Amazing in the sense that if you are running or cycling this doesn’t sting the eyes.  Now I have accidentally rubbed my eyes and it did sting a bit, but just regular sweat and no rubbing it’s really good.  Here is what I use:

 

 

I have read before that anything over the 50 isn’t really offering that much more protection.  It was a while ago that I read that and I’m not really sure if it still is the case today.  This may require more research for a later post. Until then I like both of these and the stick is really good for the face and doesn’t burn the eyes.

Do you wear sunscreen?  Happy Miles to You!!

Women On The Move ~ Cycling Cindy

Hat tip to PedalWORKS on my next amazing woman, Dutch cyclist – Cycling Cindy.  She is cycling the world.  Her website is filled with beautiful pictures of the places she’s gone, plus thoughts, stories and a fun tab called woman departmentA sample:

Hints for Women on a Bicycle

Show on two Wheels: whether you like it or not, you as a lone female are more a of a show than any other combination of people on a bicycle! Get used to it. You may think you are a normal person, as far as that is possible since you are cycling the world on your own, you are not. You are extraordinary! You are doing something super special. Something rarely done by woman in the country you are cycling through! Don’t make the mistake I sometimes do: wondering why every one stares at you! I think I am not the most beautiful species on earth, neither the most impressive or weirdest looking, but fact is: I am. For them I am, all of it, at the same time. Isn’t that a beautiful thing : )

Cindy has a degree in art and you can support her by purchasing one of her wonderful items she has made.

Quite extraordinary and really out there, in the sense of the places she’s gone.  Enjoy!

Mileage Recap ~ 24 – 30 April…Discipline

There’s nothing like starting over from the beginning, but that’s exactly what I’m doing when it comes to running.  I have a feeling, the knee and calf injuries will always be with me in some form.  Meaning that unless I stop for a long amount of time, it’s going to continue to hurt.  I will say that I am very proud of myself.  I didn’t run or cycle for two weeks.  Instead I have concentrated on strength training at the gym and in yoga.  There are so many different exercise to do that will help strengthen the core and legs for runners.  Google strength training, core, knee pain etc. and you will be inundated with different exercises to perform.  Sometimes it’s just daunting, so I pick out a few I like (that don’t cause pain) and focus on those until I get ready to try something new.  Strength training ALWAYS works.  I can already feel the difference in how my body responds and thus the more I can use my core the lest impact I’m going to feel on my knees, feet and lower back.

It’s all about discipline and not taking the easy way out.  You could insert that sentence anywhere in everyday life.  In order to train for something as big as a marathon you have to be disciplined in the way you eat and exercise.  I’ve often been told by a few people that they would love to run a marathon, but started training and realized that “hey this requires a lot of time and work”.  It does.  I do something at least 5 to 6 days a week to keep up.  Unless you are in tip top shape, it’s hard to come back after not doing anything for 2 to 3 weeks, and it doesn’t get any easier as you age…believe me.  So the starting from scratch part of it I’m not looking forward to.  I was just getting my breath down and kind of getting in a groove.  Now I must start again and when I say start again, I’m going back old school.  You know the walk 2 minutes run 2 minutes program. Physical and mental discipline is key.  In my opinion, injuries give us a chance to listen to our bodies before something big happens.

This week was positive.  I got out and walked and even got in a short ride today!  It felt so good to be on the bike again!  I could have gone a long way today, but I stuck to 11.75 miles.  Everything felt good but again discipline and no pushing.  I was so happy I got in 17.58 this week for a total of 47.09 for the month.  Feels good.  Half of last months mileage, but that’s the way it goes.  I’ve got 4430.66 in the bank with 6884.34 painless miles remaining.  (Just kidding).  Happy Miles to You!!

Women On the Move ~ Meet Michele Across America!

I know I’m going to love this new topic I have created Women on the Move.  Already, I have found some exciting subjects, doing great things, to write about.  I have to say up front, I don’t know any of these women personally.  Never met them.  If I do, I’ll let you know, but for the most part I just have come across them electronically and have decided to follow/research them further.

Let me introduce you to Michele, or as she states it, Michele Across America.  You can find Michele at her own blog https://micheleacrossamerica.com/.

Michele is a physical therapist from Napa, CA.  In just 39 days she will be riding across the country to raise money for Multiple Sclerosis.  She was an avid rider in her earlier years completing Centuries and double Centuries (a gal after my own heart) and is now looking to add another amazing feat to her list.  I’m interested in Michele because I have a good friend that has MS as well.  In 2013 I participated in the MS 50 mile walk in St. Louis over three days and raised $1000.  You can read about it here:

https://11315miles.com/2013/04/28/50-mile-ms-challenge-walk/

https://11315miles.com/2013/04/18/50-mile-challenge-ms-walk-update/

https://11315miles.com/2013/05/21/ms-50-mile-challenge-walk-update/

https://11315miles.com/2013/05/31/ms-50-mile-walk-day-one-recap/

A lot of updates….so if you feel like reading.  But this isn’t about me.

Michele will start her ride in 39 days and I can’t wait to follow the journey.  I’m interested in all the logistics and how she’s going to accomplish this grand feat.

Visit her donation page Bike the US for MS found here: http://biketheusforms.org/cyclists/detail.asp?cid=1084

She is also on Instagram at micheleacrossamerica.

As she so eloquently states, “even 1$ helps”.  Yes it does.  Happy Miles to You!!

Mileage Recap ~ Mar 27 – Apr 2. Six Months to Go!

I have changed the appearance of my blog.  I didn’t like how things were laid out and the purple.  I could have changed the color, I know but I wanted a more streamlined look.  In the process I have screwed up where things were located on the menu.  I’m not sure this one is better – but I’m still working on it.

As I was messing around with my blog and happen to notice my count down widget and it is now at 6 months!  Man….time is passing quickly.  I’m glad I still have plenty of time….I’m glad I have plenty of time….I’m starting to feel nervous!  Planning hasn’t extended past Dublin yet.  Meaning I’m still deciding what to do after the marathon.  I’m meeting a girlfriend there and we are still volleying around what we want to do next.  It’s exciting, but I need to get a move on.  I’m slooowly going through Rick Steves “Ireland” book.  Which is phenomenal by the way.  So I need to decide where and what to see next.  I have already received a change of itinerary from my friends at Aer Lingus ~ thank goodness it’s nothing big, but dang!

This weeks training was decent.  I continue to focus on strength training and can see much improvement and lessening of pain in my left knee and lower back.  Honestly, strength training is something I should always keep as part of my routine, but I tend to let that go.  Sometimes I have a tendency just to want to ride and run.

I ran twice this week.  The goal was to get up to 4 miles comfortably.  The first run was great.  I felt good and had a decent pace.  The second run can only be described as Sir Sucks A lot.  I was dragging.  It was funny because my body felt fine but I was breathless.  I had to stop and walk a bit then picked up and ran the rest.  Had a great ride, of course:

Was able to complete 23.3 miles.  The weather here has been great lately.  I love this cycling jersey!  You can’t see it but there is a big cat on the front.

 

 

 

 

I was going to make Sunday my rest day, but I decided to go to South Mountain for a little hike.  I had every intention of just going up one of the mountains and ended up on a nice 2.79 mile hike on the rim of about three of the mountains there.  It was a trail that I’ve never taken before and ended up being really neat.

Pretty steep going down.  I should have brought my hydration pack but I was carrying a water bottle.  So I was doing the one hand shimmy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Phoenix behind me.

 

 

This was really interesting.  As I was ascending there was this nook that was barred up.  A guy was there trying hard to take a photo.  I asked what is this and he said it was graffiti from the 1500s of Friar Marco de Niza.  So, I Googled and sure enough a Spanish explorer.  Amazing.  You can see 1539 towards the bottom.  Click here to find out more:

http://www.psi.edu/about/staff/hartmann/coronado/journeyofmarcosdeniza.html

 

 

I completed 85.52 miles in March ~ a heavy climb from the 35 in February.  I hope to keep climbing.  I am about 1200 miles from the halfway point.  I am still excited about my journey.  So many new experiences to have.  This week I completed 34.07 miles.  There are 6905.34 miles waiting.  Happy Miles to You!!

 

Mileage Recap ~ March 6 – 26…And the Beat Goes On…

Happy Sunday Everyone!  Another couple of weeks have gone by.  Nothing particularly exciting to report and continuing on the path of getting those miles and training for the Dublin Marathon.  In the past I have said there are really only three things I need, kettle bells, yoga and running.  Never say never.   One thing I totally believe in is yoga, that will never change and frankly something I need.  If you haven’t tried it, do.  I started yoga about two years ago after my knee surgery and it has helped in so many ways.  When my practice is steady, I have less knee and back pain.  Through basic stretches you can keep running or cycling injuries at bay or at least minimized.  If you are afraid to try, don’t.  There are many kinds of yoga practices and many types of studios.  You just have to find the one that serves your body and mind best.  I liked yoga so much I became certified in 2014.  I haven’t been teaching since I’ve been here in Arizona, but hope to do so again one day.

Getting back to never say never, I joined Planet Fitness.  You know, the judge free zone.  I wanted to work on strength training more (kettle bells does that) but the swinging was accentuating the pain in my back and I needed to complement it with other weight exercises.  Also, it has been good (although I don’t like to do it a lot) running on the treadmill to give my knee a break when I have fluid build up.  The fluid issue has improved over the last couple of weeks because I have taken it easy and used lots of ice.  I foam roll almost every night and stretch.  It sucks getting older. 🙂

I did get a nice ride in today.  The weather is beautiful this time of year in the desert.  The morning is cool enough not to be too cool and not overly hot.  I say that because it seems to be a series of extremes here at times.  I took my time and took some photos.  I have been doing this long enough now that I’m not too worried about my “time” it’s more of enjoying the process.  At one of my stops along the route I was pleasantly surprised by this sound of life:

If you listen carefully you can hear them buzzing.  I will admit I was a bit scared when I heard them hoping it wasn’t a swarm.  You can also hear another rider turning the bend (gears).

This month is looking up as I have completed 77.54 for the month so far and 35.55 miles this round leaving 6939.41 gratefully remaining.  Happy Miles to You!!