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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

Some pics from the week:

Greasy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

Old vs. new

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

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

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

Rider

 

 

Steam coming off the road.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

You’re welcome 😐

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Mileage Recap ~ 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 ~ 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.