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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Change Is Hard…Doing Nothing is Harder – My Ode to 2018…May She Rest in Peace.

What would you do to be happier?  That my friends is a very loaded question.

I wish I could say 2018 was a banner year.  Let’s just say I am looking forward to 2019.  I just got around to “updating” my working status on Facebook (not that it’s necessary) to living in the DC area and working at the National Archives and Records Administration.  Those in my inner circle laughed a bit and yelled “old news”!  I kept it on the low burner because it was a major change and upheaval. This isn’t a negative post but a post about growth, change, uplifting myself and somewhere down the line winning.

After serving in the Army as a logistician, Army wife, mother and eventually a civilian which totaled about 20 years I decided that I needed a “change”.  From there I moved to Phoenix, AZ and went to esthetician school to, how can I say this, entertain my more artistic side.  I have always played a balancing act with my technical side and my artistic side.  I decorated cakes for many years and found being an esthetician to be artistic but on another level.  Unfortunately, there were many things about it that just didn’t fit and so I moved on to work for a private business.

I have never publicly written about my time at this place of business.  It was the first time out of college that I had worked for a private company and not the government.  I worked directly for the CEO/owner and all I can tell you it was 9 months of pure hell.  I have no sympathy for the devil of which he must have been related.  Sitting on the couch with him during my third interview I knew taking this job was a mistake.  There is something in trusting your gut.  But me, being who I am, I was willing to give it a go.  Worst.Decision.Ever.  He ran me ragged and was prone to changing his mind constantly, not in a good way, and wanted to be treated like a king.  The only task I will bring up just to give you insight was stocking the personal fridge with Perrier™.  He drank massive amounts of Perrier™ and required his personal refrigerator to be stocked daily.  He drank the lemon and lime flavor and I would place the bottles lined up with labels facing the front.  They had to be perfectly in order by flavor…. yeah think about that for a moment.  I mean I can be type A, but damn.

I decided that I needed another change, but most of all I needed to make myself happy and take control of my happiness.  Believe me, this is a hard tasks for Catholics.  Guilt anyone?  I felt for the three years I was in Arizona I was just floating through a fog. Arizona was pretty…in parts, but it just wasn’t for me.  That’s right class, at 50 you can decide to change – and change I did.  Daunting.Scary.Unpredicable.  Yes, all of those words and a whole lot more.

I started feverishly applying to other jobs ~ everywhere.  I prayed.  I cried.  From time to time I felt sorry for myself.  Oh, and I flew to Dublin, Ireland and ran a marathon in between this mayhem.  I would wake up early in the morning and apply for jobs all day long.  Sometimes even on weekends.  I was relentless.  I can remember starting my day with this saying:

“Help me find the right job, the right place, I’m ready for the good stuff”.

Everyday.  Day after day, for nine months (no symbolism here – lol) until I finally got a call from the National Archives and Records Administration.  I had been wanting to get out of the logistics field and I applied for an Executive Assistant job to the Archivist of the United States of America in DC.  After three interviews, I got the job.  It was one of the happiest and scariest days of my life.  I had no apartment and only one friend in the area.  I packed up my Subaru and drove across country to my new life in DC.

I was extremely lucky for my friend Rajni who lived and worked in the area.  It was like she was there at the right place and time.  I owe her a debt of gratitude I will never be able to repay.  I stayed with her for a few weeks and eventually found my own apartment.  The transition was mentally hard.  I hadn’t lived in an apartment since my 20s.  Making that move from a big house to a small apartment wasn’t easy.  All the things I had I left behind ~ I only took the necessities.  Again mental, but necessary for change.  Sometimes you throw things out to the Universe.  You taunt it by saying – “only if”.  Then the Universe throws it back and says “put up or shut up”.  So then you have a choice to take the “red or blue” pill.

“You take the blue pill—the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill—you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes. Remember: all I’m offering is the truth.” ~ The Matrix

I took the red pill.  I wanted to find my truth – and so I did.  I left with what I could fit in my car and drove across country, by myself, in search of better.  Change is so hard.

There were times I would walk through my apartment looking at all the nothing.  I would sit in the silence on some days and just think about what was next.  I would get up each day and push a little further, grow a little larger, and eventually smile a little wider.  When I think back at the first time I stepped into this apartment there was a sense of despair and laughter.  There were days I would cry and days I would walk through laughing that this was mine.  I did it.

The job, what can I say.  I work for the Archivist of the United States in downtown DC.  He is amazing and the people I work with equally amazing and talented.  An academic atmosphere.  Even better, I like everything about the place and what we do for the country.  I can say I’m very happy.  I’m happy living in DC and with my job.  It has been a little over 10 months and I love my truth, my little red pill.

I am learning to embrace my future.  I continue to expand and grow.  In order to move forward you can’t dwell on the past.  Study it.  Accept it. Challenge it.  If a little 50 year old female can do it, so can you.  Change is so damn hard, mentally, physically and spiritually.  If you find yourself contemplating about 2018 and where your going, might I suggest taking that red pill?  Open wide and wash it down with your favorite beverage.

I hope this post finds you with a hot crazy determination for life.  The kind that burns the soul, makes you cry and shake and demand you do whatever it takes, however hard it may seem, to stay the course and find your truth.  Yeah, there’s going to be plenty of dead bodies along the way ~ so bring the body bags and a big ass shovel to bury that shit.  Six feet down – three feet wide –  cover it all nice and pretty, dust off those hands and make a sign of the Cross if you have too.  It’s over.  Happy Miles to You!

 

 

 

 

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 ~ 26 Nov – 2 Dec…Where Did 2018 Go?

Happy Sunday Everyone!  Where has 2018 gone!!!!

I can’t believe the year is almost over.  I think the virtual snow will start to fall on my blog now.  Hmmm, I’ll have to check that out.  Just a short update this week.  Nothing of substance to report.  I have been focusing on my cycling a bit more until the year’s end.  The weather here in DC has been cold then warm then cold again.  I am getting over my cold I literally got on Thanksgiving Day.  It has been a good 8 days and I have just the remnants of a small cough remaining.   I’m still acclimating and getting over the asthma I developed while living in Arizona.  It’s been hard, but I’m beating it or maybe it’s becoming more tolerable.

This weeks training focused on indoor cycling.  I was hoping to get out on Saturday to do some cycling but it was a little too wet and I decided to do a little run instead.  I was opting for 3 since I was just getting over my cold, but ended up doing a cool 4 at a 11:00 pace.  Slowly chipping away at that pace time.  And yes I paid for it with about 5 minutes of hacking afterwards.  I felt like I coughed up a lung.  Awe well, that’s why I have two.

I ended the week with 45.62 miles with 5496.56 miles gratefully remaining.  I hope this post finds you with joy and peace in your heart.  Happy Miles to you!!

This song is most appropriate for my trials and tribulations as it pertains to my asthma….

Breathe me…