Day 6 of Gratitude ~ Heroines

Happy Tuesday my friends!  I hope the start of your week is a good one.  I am getting excited about this weeks race and it looks to be a clear but cold day.  Better than rainy and cold.  Planning for two miles today and some strength exercises.

Something to think about….

“Above all be the heroine of your life, not the victim”.

~ Nora Ephron

Happy Miles to You!!!

Race Recap ~ The Quantico 12K

Hello everyone and a very happy Sunday!

I am happy to say I completed the Quantico 12K Saturday August 25!  This was the first run I’ve done since moving to Virginia.  Overall it was a good run for me.  I have slowly started to increase my mileage in running and the 12K proved to be a good start before training for longer runs.

And this is how the story goes:

Pre run

I was a little stressed out about picking up my packet.  The packet pick-up time was the day before the race on Friday.  I was in no mood to drive in DC traffic after work to pick up the packet, 23 miles there and back, then get up at the crack of dawn to go there again.  So, what did I do????  I waited until the morning of.  The website said that packet pick-up the morning of started at 5 am.  I left for the run at 5 am and a 7:25 start time.  I found myself trying to get on I-95, ended up on the Easy Express, got off that and finally got on the correct interstate.  Arrived at Quantico around 6 am and couldn’t find my ID to get on base.  Ugh….  Had to pull over to the side and finally dug it out and continued on to the designated parking lot.  About a quarter-mile to parking, single lane traffic was backed up.  Again stress.  One thing about showing up for racing events, never ever think you are the earliest, because I guarantee there are about 500 people thinking the very same thing.  Twenty minutes later I was in a parking spot and headed towards the tent to pick up my packet.  Score!  I even had time to use the Porto Potty – twice, with 300 of my closest friends!

The Run

The run opened with the posting of the colors and an invocation.  The announcer made some small talk and then decided to point out the youngest runner was 9 and the oldest runner was a female of 69 years young.  Remember the 69-year-old later in the post….

I popped in my ear buds and started off with some Imagine Dragons, there goes the gun and off I go.  There was a 100 yard stretch of black top before the road entered what seemed to be an enchanted forest with improved gravel.  There was a very thick canopy that covered the trail for about 96% percent of the race.  The weather was cool and the canopy made for a nice run.

About a half a mile in, there were portos to the left ~ people were already stopping to go to the bathrooms.  Oh well, when you gotta go you gotta go!  The first two miles are always a bit of a warm up for me.  I don’t feel bad or good.  Just need to find a good running rhythm.  There were a lot of hills.  Just think of it like the surprise in a box of Cracker Jacks© you never truly know what you’re going to get.  A little hill there…a big hill here.  It was a cornucopia of trail running goodness.  Fun to be had by all!  Around mile 3 I started to “hang” with people in the same pace group.  It’s funny how this happens.  You pass them, they pass you, you stop at the same time for water and so on….  You even start to notice their running attire.  Hmmm I like that top…I wonder where she got that….hill!

Water points were plentiful.  Which was nice because I was really sweating this one up.  Around mile 4 I decided I needed to use the porto potty.  Yes, sigh, I know.  It’s almost like it was calling me.  “Laurel, Laurel…can’t have the full race experience without the stinky porto stop”.   I glided on over and there were a set of four lime green portos with grass surrounding them about a foot high.  One’s door was wide open…like choose me.  I did.  Now these portos looked to have been constructed when Jesus was in the Marine Corps, but I’ve been down this road so many times I looked for the Holy water..in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost ~ let’s go…literally.  Did what I came to do and noticed that there was a hand sanitizer machine on the wall.  Hmmm… should I? Heck yeah!  I used the hand sanitizer that probably was installed by George Washington…glop… a nice bit of what I think was clear goo came out and I clapped my hands together and noticed that instead of that nice alcohol dissipating gel feel there was a tacky gooey feel.  I wouldn’t have had it any other way.  I shot out of that porto hands splayed trying to dry them off and decided to wipe them on the back of my shorts.  To answer your question…yes they stuck.  I’m surprised I didn’t run the rest of the race with my hands stuck to my bottom.  Moving forward….

Ahh mile 4…the woods, the smell of nature and running BO,  the Marine smiling at the turning point before … oh damns that’s a big hill!!  Not only was it a big hill, but it was switching back and forth…a couple of times.  I’m not going to lie, there was some walking involved on this one.

Mile 5.  You remember the 69-year-old runner?  Well, at the beginning when they announced her she kind of did a little pageantry dance and started running through the crowd.  The first thing I noticed was she had her hair in a bun with an American and Canadian flag stuck in the back.  Kind of like a nation sharing placard.  You know, the kind of flag you wave at a parade.  I was slowing down a bit.  I was passed by the 69-year-old with the flags in her hair.  Sigh.  I should have said look, I would be a whole lot more impressed if you had the flags of the United Nations on your head!  Now that would be impressive!  There are two take-aways from this…1) I’m happy I was passed by a 69-year-old ~ it lets me know at that age I can still do this; 2)  I have a hell of a lot of work to do….

Around mile 6 we started to cross paths with the triathlon participants.  The trail was divided down the middle and they were running towards us.  There was a turn around point for them and then they were on the same finishing path until the end of the race.  No big deal, just a fact.

Finally, mile 7!  Wait, it’s a 12K… 7.45645 miles…

I had a half a mile to go and I won’t lie…I did slow down a bit and put my hands on my hips.  Chump move, but I did, especially so late in the race.  As soon as my hands hit my hips; I hear this barking behind me “Get your hands off your hips”!  I turn around and there’s this old guy, I don’t know maybe in his 60s or 70s, no doubt a former Marine aaannnnd doing the triathlon, telling me to get my hands off my hips and get a move on… Oh, no you didn’t!  Who did he think he was??!  I turned back around, took my hands off my hips, and got a move on…. don’t mess with a Marine and I did show him my respect.  I love it!  I love military people, as a veteran I think they are some of the best in my book.

I finished the race in 1:26 with a 11:26 pace.  This is the longest I’ve run since I’ve been here and I am pleased with my progress.  I have a lot of work to do, because I’m not satisfied with my result.  After the race we got a nice little swag bag of eats and some hot dogs.  I should have took two of those!  I did have this after at IHOP:

The Nikes© are officially retired.

Total miles completed in my journey = 5588.81.  Miles gratefully remaining 5726.19.  I have 68.69 miles left till my halfway mark.  Kingdom Half Marathon ~ here I come!!  I hope this post finds you at peace, grateful and with much joy in your heart.  Happy Miles to you!!

You know I had to play this!

 

 

 

 

Mileage Recap ~ 6 – 12 Aug…Manassas, VA

Happy Sunday Everyone!  I’m excited as the approach of the Quantico 12K is right around the corner.  Two weeks to be exact! I had a good training week, slowly increasing my mileage and keeping an eye on recovery and strength training.  I always wonder if the mind overcomes the weakness of the body.  If you’re determined enough, you just make it happen.  Something to ponder.

I ran three times this week combining track, street and trail(improved) running.  On Monday I went to the track after work and ran 3.5 miles.  2.5 miles were steady running and the last mile was speed work.  On Thursday I ran the hood and on Saturday my long run was out on the Mt. Vernon trail.   Each day was hot and humid with a slight breeze every now and again, but for the most part humid.  The temperature was moderate but the humidity was off the chart.  I have stuck to the Asics© and Nikes© and I’m happy to say I feel much better.  Still a bit sore, but definitely feeling much better.

My long run on Saturday started off around 9 am.  A little later than I wanted, but there you have it!  The temperature was 78 when I started and the humidity made it feel a lot hotter.  My first three miles were pain-free.  I had a bit of pain on the fourth mile, and would slow down when I felt the pinch.  I did have a wardrobe malfunction with my socks!  Around mile three they decided to scooch!  That’s a word right?  Left me with two nice blisters on the back of my ankles.  It’s always something.  I’m happy with my performance.  I felt strong and ready to move forward.

Blister

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scooching socks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of the things I love about this area is the history.  I decided to spend my day visiting the Bull Run Winery and visiting a couple of battlefield sites.  First, the Bull Run Winery is a must if you are in the Manassas area.  It’s a beautiful place and you can participate in tours and tasting.  They have food for purchase but you can bring in your own if you wish.  How can you go wrong with wine and live music!?  The wine was fantastic and I ended up buying a bottle of Norton.  Norton grapes are indigenous to the area.  The wine can be a little acidic at times, but this one was really very good.

A few shots:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After the winery we headed on down to Manassas National Battlefield Park.  In 1861, Union and Confederate forces faced off in the first major land battle of the Civil War.  A couple of pics:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This week’s miles came to a total of 11.11.  I am 96.19 miles from the halfway mark with 5753.69 miles gratefully remaining.  I hope this post finds you in good spirits and at ease.  Happy Miles to You!!

I am a rock…in a good way.

 

 

 

 

Mileage Recap ~ 25 – 30 June

Hello everyone and Happy Sunday!  I still continue to move towards my halfway point!  It’s getting exciting and close!  Can you feel it?  My goodness I’ve been doing this a long time now, but I’m chipping away at that mileage and getting closer to the end goal.  It never seems to get old.  I mean sometimes it gets a little monotonous, but when I’m done or complete my mileage I still get that sparkle!

animeme.wikia.com

This week was pretty good week.  I tried to do something every day and have continued to work on my strength training with a combination of low mileage runs and did some indoor cycling.  I was going to do a longer run on Saturday, but opted for some faster paced runs to see how I felt.  I did mile sprints with the fastest being 9:45 and the slowest 10:14.  My Achilles on both ankles still continues to bite at me a bit.  Strange that both are hurting and I did pull back from riding today to give them a bit of a rest.

Good news I am a go for the Quantico 12K on 25 August.  It is in the Marine Corps Marathon family of races.  I’m excited to have signed up for my first race in Virginia.  I will be posting more about that in the future and race details can be found here Quantico 12K.

A couple of interesting things this week.  First, my mile pace runs on Saturday.  It really heated up this weekend.  Both Saturday and Sunday were in the 90s and the humidity was off the chart.  Any time it’s that hot it’s always important to hydrate and safely push yourself.  I learned something important about myself on Saturday, or at least found an inner fire that I seemed to have lost over the years.  I am competitive, but I like to call it a niiiccceee competitive.  When I was younger I was very competitive, but maybe I have mellowed over the years.  For my pace runs the first mile was more down hill than up.  I was at a good steady pace, listening to Led Zepplin’s Stairway to Heaven, when another runner (female) passed me.  She passed me, but then cut right in front of me and then proceeded to slow down.  Now, do I care that she passed me?  Uh, no…people pass me all the time, but normally they get on with it!  She slowed down so much that I had to slow my pace down.  She was close enough that I could touch her.  The first thing that went through my head was to slow down and let her get far enough ahead that I didn’t have to pass her again.  Thus playing the….pass game.  Something all runners know well.  I have been running long enough now that I do try to keep a steady pace.  It doesn’t always work, but for the most part I try.  I didn’t want to be “that guy”.  But then I thought, what the heck?  I said no way, you’re going to pass then pass.  I kept my pace and me and Robert Plant climbed that Stairway To Heaven together.  I blew by her and didn’t give her a second glance.  No!

 

Second, just to let you know how hot it was today.  I happened to be driving to Safeway and I saw a guy walking his dog on the sidewalk during the middle of the hottest part of the day.  All of a sudden the dog lurched forward and collapsed.  At first I thought it got bit by something, but the owner kept on walking with one of those retractable leashes unaware.  Finally the leash pulled taut and he went back to attend to the dog.  I watched them for about 30 seconds and I drove up to the light and turned around and stopped on the busy street.  The dog had collapsed due to heat exhaustion.  We loaded up the dog in my car and I drove him and his dog home.  He kept saying in disbelief he couldn’t believe it this happened.  The dog was old and it was way too hot.  If you’re too hot, your pet is too hot.  I’m glad that I was in the right place at the right time.  The dog was about 50 lbs and that would have made a long walk home.  Be careful out there!!

I was able to complete 101 miles for the month of June, about 17 miles shy of last month.  Total miles completed comes to 5521.99 with 5793.01 gratefully remaining.   I hope this post finds you cool and well.  Happy Miles to You!!

Keep climbing that stairway….and it’s meant to be played loud.  Oh yes….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mileage Recap ~ 21 May – 3 June…Don’t Waste A Moment On This Earth

Don’t waste a moment on this earth….

I started out with the best intention to get a recap post in on Memorial Day, but as the weekend wore on I found my chance slipping away until it was too late and I was too tired.  Part of the reason, I happened to hear a thought-provoking podcast from former SEAL, Jocko Willink.  One of the lines that jumped out at me was he said “don’t waste a minute on this earth“, and that just got me thinking about all the things we get wrapped up in that have no meaning and no purpose in our grand plan.  Mr. Willink’s sentiment is focused on the men and women who have bravely fought for us and are no longer here to waste their time.  It’s an intense podcast which most people will not listen to completion.  It’s hard to hear about death and sorrow if you don’t understand about the people who serve. You can listen to the podcast here.

Memorial Day 2018: Remember Me

Don’t wast a moment on this earth…..

Most people celebrate the Memorial Day weekend as a good time to get things done around the house, cookout, plant gardens and just relax from the work week.  But as most people are aware Memorial Day is also a day to reflect on those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for our country and will not be participating in any of the events we hold dear in modern American life.  No matter what you think about the present day political situations or wars of the past, one thing is for sure, those that were called up or voluntarily went to fight wars on behest of the leaders of our government did so without question and did what they were told.  I often think of my Grandfather who served in WWII.  He voluntarily signed up without even knowing what really was going on overseas.  Unlike today where we have news that informs us, back then it was just bits and pieces and nothing was real-time.  It’s a kind of bravery I hope we never lose.  War is a terrible thing and even more terrible is losing loved ones who go and fight, therefore, in my humble opinion we can never forget those that do for us, willingly and without question.

Don’t waste a moment on this earth….

Work hard to find your purpose and embrace it, fine tune it, and live it to the best of your ability.  Leave the noise in the background because in the end it’s only noise not your truth.  Don’t hold back compassion for those around you because they may not be here tomorrow.  Smile and hug often.  Know what is important and leave folly at the wayside.  Don’t be afraid to move on and find what works for you.  Be present for yourself and those around you; a monumental task in itself these days.  If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my life, nothing is certain, you have to take chances, and you have to work hard at all things.  Most dreams don’t play out  the way we run them through our minds.  We get frustrated and sometimes give up and lose our purpose.  Always stand fast and learn to bend, because those dreams might not be exactly how you planned them to work out, but if you believe and work hard enough they will work out the way they should in the end – and sometimes better than you ever imagined.

The month of May was a banner month for miles.  I was able to complete 118.69.  I was hoping for more but the weather!  Rain, rain and more rain.  I accomplished these miles by running and cycling (indoors and out).  I had a really good ride on the Mt. Vernon trail again and even pushed a little further than before finishing 16.90.  The best part is I was able to get up the last hill without getting off the bike!  Sweet!  The total for this recap is 46.80 miles.  I am 220 miles to my halfway point.  Keep on going.  I have 5877.70 miles remaining in my journey.  I thought I would end with a song from Crosby Stills and Nash.  I always found it a somber tune and straight to the point.  I hope this Sunday finds you well…don’t waste a moment on this earth…Happy Miles to You!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday’s Motivation… When One Door Closes… ~ 2017 Mileage Recap

Happy New Year ya’ll!  I had to throw the ya’ll in there because I’m a Southerner…and that I shall remain.

There are usually a couple of things that are happening on New Year’s Day.

  1. You are recovering from a hangover.
  2. Starting to take down the holiday decorations.
  3. Getting ready for the upcoming work week.
  4. Dreading the upcoming work week.
  5. Making lists and smiling about all the “epic” shit you’re going to do this year.
  6. Reflecting on the following year.

Okay that was a bit more than a technical couple, but you get my drift.  I think every year I write how I don’t make resolutions.  I don’t.  I stopped doing that a long time ago.  I make goals.  Sometimes I reach them other times not.  I find goals are different from resolutions.   Perhaps a goal is something that can be started at any time and any day.  Not like some voodoo that needs to happen on a particular day of the year in order for it to happen.  The main gist of this…goals

  1. Start now.
  2. Write the goal down.
  3. Create a time-line for completion or metrics of completion.
  4. Understand your fear and face it headfirst.
  5. Stop taking advice from people who don’t know you, don’t care about your success, or don’t understand your life or dreams.
  6. Follow through.  (The most important ~ a lot of people spend a lot of time “getting ready to get ready” and never really leave the planning stage.

The beginning of a new year is all about the “re” words:

  1. Reflect
  2. Renew
  3. Rethink
  4. Refresh
  5. Re-energize
  6. Reinvent
  7. Rebuild
  8. Regroup

What are your “re” words for 2018?

I had a pretty good year “mile-wise”.  I had a goal to complete a race abroad when I first started this journey and I did it this year.  I would have liked to complete more miles this year, but I did what I could do and was able to follow through to my goal of completing the Dublin marathon.  This year was peppered with some physical discomfort, but now it’s time to re-energize, rebuild, and regroup for then next year.

This Monday’s motivation:

“When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed-door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.”

~ Alexander Graham Bell

Encyclopedia Britannica

I will admit this one blew me away.  I had no idea that Alexander Graham Bell penned this quote.  None.  How often do we spend so much time lamenting change?  Instead of embracing it and allowing new ideas and experiences to flow into our life?   Alexander Graham Bell was born in 1847, Edinburgh, Scotland. He was an American inventor, scientist, and teacher of the deaf whose foremost accomplishments were the invention of the telephone (1876) and the refinement of the phonograph (1886), https://www.britannica.com/biography/Alexander-Graham-Bell.  His mother was almost deaf which influenced his career as a teacher for the deaf.  Very cool.

While I was researching this quote this also popped up…

“I know that when one door closes another opens…but man, these hallways are a bitch!”  ~ Ahhh deep thoughts from Pinterest.  

I completed my year with 789.96 miles.  I am almost half-way home.  My goal is to complete the remaining miles in the next two years.

A girl has to have dreams right?  Here’s to making those dreams “re”ality.  I have completed 5031.82 miles in my journey.  I “re”joice that I gratefully have 6283.18 “re”maining!

Thank you to everyone who has continued to follow me throughout the years and provide motivation and comments.  May your 2018 see goals met, your happiness grow, and peaceful, exciting and “epic” year!!!! Happy Miles to You!!

Time is on my side….