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!!

 

 

 

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 ~ 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!!

 

 

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 ~ Week 4 Century Training – How To Tell When S*it Gets Real

Nothing says you’re in, like paying for a race….and it’s non refundable.  It’s almost like you gotta show up.  It’s a badge of honor – meaning I don’t give a rat’s patootie, I’m showing up and so help me if they peel me off the roadthis is happening.  Yeah, $160 worth of happening…and that was the lowest entry fee for the El Tour de Tucson century race, not counting hotel, gas and food.  Meh, whatta gonna do?  It is what it is.  Don’t you love that played out cliché?

Well, s*hit got real this Saturday as I not only completed my long ride, but it was the longest I’ve ever done.  The target was 2.5 hours of riding time.  Here is the break down in a lovely graphic.  I was able to get in 31.47 miles at a 13.1 avg. pace.  I’m pleased with that.

week-4-long-ride

For the most part of the ride I felt really good.

 

 

 

 

 

 

gu-gelI stopped after an hour to ingest a Gu gel pack.   I had it in my back jersey pocket (do you call them pockets?) it was warm and not as viscous, which made it easier to swallow.  Thank goodness because damn…have you tried these things?  About 3/4 of the way in I began to feel a little light-headed, but not anything that would make me stop for a long period of time.  I tried to make sure I took little sips of water.  I’m always mindful of how much water I take in because I don’t want to have to go to the bathroom.  Okay… there’s some get real s*it for you.  I mean really, riding a bike with a full bladder is a no go.  There is nowhere to go either…a rock, rattle snake, or a scorpion.  Choose.  Cyclist depends…hmmm.

Needless to say I was happy, though there is a mental mountain to climb.  Realizing if I don’t find a route that has the mileage, I’m going to do this three times during one ride…before it’s done.  Oy…but I’ll do it.  That’s also some real s*it if you were wondering.  There’s lots of s*it that’s real…but that’s some really real…okay I digress.

I did pick up this little beauty:

helmetI do believe I was long overdue for a new helmet.  I need to do some research on how often helmets should be changed.  What’s funny is this one fits better than my old one.  The other one was cheaper and this helmet by no means was the most expensive.  I bought it for about $50.  I have been to a few stores that have said price doesn’t mean safety.  They’re all about the same for safety.  What you’re paying for is air flow, aerodynamic, and frankly fit.  I like it.  There is a ponytail port!  May it keep all my wonderful brains in tack if something happens.

 

I only had a chance to ride 3 days this week.  Again, life happens (work) so you just have to do what you can. Next weeks long ride will be a three hour ride. More…real s*it.  You didn’t think I’d let that pass did you?  Nah!

Excited but fearful.  I can’t explain it…that’s where I am right now.  I’m loving it.  Week four came out to 48.09 grateful miles.  I am grateful for this opportunity.  I have 7664.21 miles remaining in my journey.  I hope this Sunday finds you grateful.  Happy Miles To You!

 

June Mileage Recap ~ Breaking the 8,000 Mile Mark!

Happy Fourth of July!  I hope everyone who celebrates is having a wonderful holiday today.  It’s always good when a holiday is in tandem with a weekend.

June came and went with a vengeance.  I mean where did that time go?  Maybe it has flown by because I have had the pleasure of my daughter home with me that has kept me busy and traveling home to South Carolina.

First, June mileage has been the strongest so far!  I concentrated on running in May and now will throw my efforts into cycling.  An exciting announcement is I have broken the 8,000 mile mark.  Now remember we’re counting down – lol.  I’m now in the 7,000s!  Exciting for sure!  It’s always nice to see those miles melt away.

Second, I made the trek home to see my family in South Carolina.  My parents rent a house about every summer out on Fripp Island and all the siblings and their families come down to live under one roof for about a week.  It is a very generous and wonderful gift.  I can’t tell you how calming and invigorating it is to just hear the wind blow through the palms or the ebb and flow of the waves.  I love Fripp because it’s not over commercialized beach resort.  Don’t get me wrong there is plenty of things to do there, it’s just not a hectic or crowded beach place.  You can really come down and relax.  If you want some night life you can be in Beaufort, SC in 30 minutes.  Beaufort, SC is my new love too.  Such history there and a beautiful southern town.

I was able to get in a couple of runs.  I had no problem adjusting to the humidity and my skin was thankful for it.  I would have ran more but I was busy doing this:

Feet

 

ahhhh!

 

 

 

 

 

Fripp is interesting because it is home to protected deer and some alligators.  The deer are friendly and will come up to let you pet and feed them….the alligators I would suggest leaving them alone.

Can you see me?

Can you see me?

Deer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fripp is a combination of swamp, beach and dry land vegetation.

The moss hanging from the trees is my absolute favorite.

The moss hanging from the trees is my absolute favorite.

Swamp Vegitation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We took a nature boat ride and ended up on a small island to pick up shells.  To my surprise there was a combination of dark and light sand and it sparkled when the sun hit it just right.

A detailed pattern in the sand.

A detailed pattern in the sand.

Driftwood on the beach

Driftwood on the beach

Moment in time....

Moment in time….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are many beaches to enjoy on Fripp, but if you choose to be more adventurous you can go one island over to Hunting island.  There is a lighthouse to explore, beaches and a pier for a small fee.  Well worth it especially if you love lighthouses….which I do.

Hunting Island LightHouse

Spectacular view inside the lighthouse.

Spectacular view inside the lighthouse.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Towards the end of our trip we stopped in Beaufort, SC.  I absolutely fell in love with the charm of this town.  Huge trees with moss hanging from the trees, plantation houses that have been turned into bed and breakfasts, eateries, art and plenty of history.  I just loved it.  I’m a bit of a history buff and nothing says history like an old graveyard.  Yes, I’m one of those.  I find cemeteries fascinating, the older the better.  A few of my fave pics:

Decorative door

Decorative door

My favorite tombstone in the cemetery.

My favorite tombstone in the cemetery.

Dying so young.

Dying so young.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grateful for this life experience.  As I write this I’m thrilled to have reached another milestone in this journey.  I have completed 3332.64 miles and have 7982.26 miles remaining.  A little tired at times, but no worse for wear.  I look forward to the next adventure.  Happy Miles to You!