Mileage Recap ~ 2 – 9 July…Running in Monsoon Season

Last week’s runs were pretty uneventful.  Which I guess is good because there hasn’t been any injury and physical therapy is keeping things in check.  For the most part, I’ve been doing and feeling well. The long runs are still a walk and run combination because of the heat.  I don’t really want that but the heat is just too harsh.  I go for as long as I can, walk to catch my breath then start back up.  My goal is to not walk at all… but I guess if I have to pick between walking a bit and passed out on the side of the road, I’ll pick walking…for now!

The monsoon season has officially started here in the desert.  The normal run dates are July 7th and September 13.  It’s kind of a double edge sword.  For running it cools things down, but kicks up the dust making it hard to see and breathe.  In actuality, it can be down right dangerous.  If you haven’t been here during the monsoon season, may I offer you a taste?

Courtesy of Dreamstime

Courtesy of Arizona Painting Company

 

The monsoons can be very dangerous but like I said it is nice to run in the rain.

This weeks mileage came to 13.15 with an overall pace of 12.19 for the long run of 7.02.  I did speed work on the treadmill last Wednesday trying to lower that pace.  I was very proud of myself for last weeks long run because I was on the road 0500 with starting temps at 98 but lowering to 94 because of a slight breeze.  I have 6723.43 graciously remaining.  One of these days I’m gonna run for fun….  Happy Miles to You!!

 

 

 

Women on the Move ~ Laura Kennington – “Think Big, Be Brave and Start Now”

There is something electric when you witness another’s passion.  You know, you’re surfing the web about YOUR passion and then you come across someone who shares the same interests and is totally taking it to another level.  Even through words you’re excited for them, their achievements, and their goals.  You can’t wait to see how they attack their mountains. Their wins bring a smile to the face, a lightness to the heart and you find yourself saying…yes, I believe…I believe I can…I KNOW I can do this…whatever THIS is to you.

Meet my next woman on the move, Laura Kennington who hails from the United Kingdom.  Laura is an adventurer, public speaker and avid sports enthusiast.  I first found Laura through Instagram.  You can also find her on Facebook, and her personal website at https://www.lauraexplorer.com/ (I just now realized ~ laura the explorer!  Good play on words) or her blog https://medium.com/laura-kennington.

From her about page:

“Laura spent her early years as the only female sibling on a farm in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk. She discovered adventure at an early age by embracing muddy countryside exploration with the beloved family dog, Hobo, a White Alsation.

Years later whilst living in London, she gained a unique insight into sports science and how the human body copes under physical stress whilst working within the fitness industry. This lead to her curiously exploring the limits of her own body – she hasn’t looked back since!

These days Laura can mainly be found pursuing endurance adventures and telling stories

Quotes I love from Laura:

“In Search of adventures in defiance of limits, in love with life.”

“Make a difference through the power of sport.”

Such beautiful statements.  Laura has participated in all sorts of races to raise money or bring awareness to issues she cares about.  If you visit her website you will see pictures of her public speaking events and in the background it says “How to Start Your Adventure”!

Her latest adventure IS and I say is because she is supposed to be finished tomorrow is running the length of Fuerteventura, part of the Canary Islands.  She is running 100 miles and you can follow this journey on #FuerteventuRun on Instagram.  One of the coolest things is this real time tracker called ZeroSixZero.

Check this out!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is this just not the coolest thing!??  Ha!

I meandered over to her blog and clicked on the Nepal Marathon! Wha…wha…What?!!!  Yes, it is a real thing.  There is a Nepal Marathon.  Oh my, goals ya’ll, goals!  She ran the Nepal Marathon, raising money for Support a Survivor of Torture and Human Cruelty.  If you’re interested about the Nepal Marathon click here.  I do believe this might be a bucket list item.

So many wonderful women, so little time….”Think Big, Be Brave and Start Now” ~ Laura Kennington.  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 ~ 20 Feb – 4 Mar – “So let it be written. So let it be done…”

I will turn 50 this year.  I always found it funny that most women, never like to say their age.  When I meet people, men and women, and as I get to know them more I ask straight out – “how old are you”?  It seems like the most logical of questions.  One that has no malice.  In my mind asking someone their age is simply another opportunity to know someone better.  In many cases, I feel knowing someone’s age helps understand the experiences they have been through and the life they’ve lead.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been “out” and I will ask a woman her age and I’ll get the – um – uh and the occasional outburst from a conversation clinger, you should never ask a woman her age!  Well, why the heck not?  You trying to be someone you’re not?  And then promptly the conversation changes to something more palatable, like politics.  I mean for heavens sakes no one really gives a rats ass.  REALLY they don’t.  So, please feel free to chime in here.

So, let’s get back to me….(kidding!)  I will be 50 this year.  I thought that it would be a good opportunity to do something wonderful.  My mother was Irish/Hungarian.  A very spicy mix.  I’m Irish/Hungarian/Italian – a flat out nuclear explosion fo sho!  So what better way to honor this Irish lass?  Dublin Marathon 2017 – here I come!

dublin-acceptance-slipBam baby!  I signed up a couple of weeks ago and have been making plane and hotel reservations, which is another post all in itself.  I’m excited.  I’ve always wanted to go and now I can run and accumulate miles, honor my mother and be a tourist.

Everything is still fresh and new so I have a lot of research to do.  The race takes place in October, about 3 weeks before my actual birthday.  I have gratitude.

Now let’s get down to some real stuff.  I am suffering – and that is the right word – from some back pain.  After the Duralog incident it took about two weeks and I was on the mend – then a more direct pain in my lower back has returned.  I’ve had this for years but it has come back something fierce.  I had an x-ray a few years back for something else but it showed that I had a slight bulging disk.  Not too bad but it was there.  Don’t you hate it when you go to the doctor for one thing but they find “other” things.  It’s like taking your car in for an oil change and the mechanic tells you that you need something else or the car will die.  I’m not worried – I am resolute.  I don’t want to cause damage, but I’m not quitting either.  So, it’s been a little hard.  I’ve done some running.  I’m slowly building up.  I don’t want to blow anything out.  I can intermix with cycling and I’m hitting yoga and weight lifting.  And that’s all I have to say about that…at the moment.  Tiger Balm…is my new friend.

Getting back to age.  Be proud of your age.  For every 50 year old – there is someone who didn’t make it to 50.  There are so many younger people who need solid older people around for mentorship.  Honor the old, they’ve earned the right.

Mileage is still is lacking in numbers.  I had the opportunity to go see my daughter perform her senior college project last weekend.  She is getting a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance.  Yes, I’m proud of her.  She has the balls to go and do what she wanted to do.  I feel that you can be successful in many things and a good start is knowing what you want to do and go get it.   Everything else will fall into place and it never happens the way we think it will.  But maybe therein lies the beauty.

Life at any age is beautiful – even through the pain.  I finished 21.53 with gratitude.  There are 7005.18 lucky leprechauns left to catch with their pot of gold!  Happy Miles to You!

Mileage Recap ~ 6 – 19 Feb 2017 – What To Do Next?

It’s always funny when I sit down to write about my miles.  Usually, I have all these things I want to say and I can bang out these electrons easily.  These last couple of weeks I’ve been traveling a bit – new niece – then it’s back to the grind.  I try to stick to a process ~ blog on Sundays start on Mondays.  Sometimes this process doesn’t seem to work.  I’m anxiously awaiting the days to get longer so I can get out and ride my bike more.  It usually starts around March.  It will be nice to get out early before work and if I can’t do it then I’ll have some daylight afterwards.

I follow some cyclists and runners on Instagram and I’m always amazed how many marathons, half-marathons and road races some people complete.  I have only participated in one marathon, 2 half-marathons, countless smaller races and one Century.  I guess I look at all the miles in between as accomplishments until I can decide what event I want to participate in next.  I think I look for the purpose in the event I choose.  Sort of a been there done that sort of thing.  Once done, let’s move on to something else.

So, I’m looking for my next “big” thing.  My next event of purpose.  I will turn 50 this year.  It’s hard to believe.  I don’t feel 50 at all.  At least my mind doesn’t feel like 50.  Isn’t that the way it always goes.  The mind says yes but the body says no.  All in all I would say the body is holding up well too.  A few aches and pains but the show shall go on.

My miles for this couple of weeks came to 19.56 with 7023.17 happily remaining.  Don’t worry…things are about to get real busy:) Happy Miles to You!!

Mileage Recap ~ Week 10 Century Training

I have finally completed the last full week of training for my Century Ride.  I was especially happy to begin the taper week!  There really is nothing like knowing that you can take it a little easier.  At least that’s my opinion, just sayin’.  It gives me a chance to enjoy the journey and get ready for next week’s race.  I’m beginning to focus on what I need to take, my nutrition (staying hydrated and keeping the body limber), the logistics of everything (traveling with the bike on my rack) what to do with my bike when I get to the hotel and how far the start line is from the hotel etc.  I’m not sure what I will be doing with my bike while I’m at the hotel.  I definitely need to call.  I’m sure they won’t let me take it to my room….

I plan to blog about my El Tour de Tucson Century Ride step by step, in hopes that others wanting to give a Century a whirl can learn from my successes and hopefully not to many pitfalls.   This last week will be about prep, a couple of short rides then the big event.

It’s amazing how better equipped my body is to handle the distance and hills.  Climbs that I didn’t look forward too before, I can now accomplish with ease.  There was less physical effort needed and I still maintained my same average speed, which is interesting to me.  I really tried to slow down and just complete the mileage but found my speed didn’t go down from last weeks long ride. I think my main concern will be to pace myself during the full race.

Overall I feel good.  My knees and lower right back are hurting a bit and I am a little tired.  I’ve been concentrating on hydration and good nutrition and feel I will be good shape come race day.  I’m going to do a little yoga every day to keep the body open and the hips less tight.  Yoga is so good for you and really makes a difference in overall body health.  I’m partial as a yogi!

Nothing too crazy this week or anything special to note.  National douche bag alert was at a medium level.  It’s garage sale season here in Phoenix, with the cooler weather, and people are driving crazy to find their second hand treasures.

Had two shorter rides during my busy week and then the long ride on Saturday.  Packed my gels and decided to bring a brownie flavored Cliff Bar®.  I was at one of my stops and I was watching a video message from my friend who is working in Germany, love technology, and as I opened the package the bar went flying to the ground.  You know how something happens and you’re in disbelief and just staring.  I looked at the bar on the ground just pondering my next step.  I know what my next step is…pick it up and eat the damn thing.  As I was picking the bar up I turn and see this little kid and his family looking at me as I stuff the bar in my mouth… and I smile.  Yep, leading by example.  Buck up kiddo, this thing cost about $2.50 and I have 20 more miles to go.

What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

week-10

This weeks mileage

Happy that this is my last week!

Happy that this is my last week!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Completed 60.71 miles this week. Looking forward to getting this challenge complete!  There are 7241.92 miles gratefully remaining.  Happy Miles to You!

 

Mileage Recap ~ 15-21 June Week Three of The Great Cycle Challenge Completed

Week three of The Great Cycle Challenge has been completed.  I’m happy to say I rode my longest this week at 28.23 miles and without any mishaps this time.  Took the bike to the bike shop and they were able to fix the drive train and get me back on the road again.

Nothing extraordinary about these rides this week.  Everything was fairly uneventful.  I guess I should be happy:-).  I was grateful to pick up another 67.76 which now puts me at 230 miles for the month ~ only 70 more to go to finish the challenge.

The mileage count for this week is 67.76 with 8,867.15 remaining.  I hope this post finds you well ~ Happy Miles to You!