Monday Motivation

I hope everyone is having a great Monday and a new start to the week.

As I move towards my half-way point I am reflecting on how much I’ve grown since I’ve started this journey and how wonderful it is to be on this path of reverence and service for every mile I’ve completed.  Strength, love, peace and joy.  There have been so many days that I’ve just been tired and the length of the path sometimes seems never-ending.   I love today’s saying ~ only give your precious energy to those who have earned it.  Happy Miles to You!!

 

 

 

 

Mileage Recap ~ 10 – 16 Sept…Almost Halfway There….

Happy Sunday Everyone!  Can you believe that September is almost halfway done?  Do you think that time goes by faster as we age?  I’m not sure about that one.  You’ll have to chime in and tell me what you think.

First, let me say how lucky we are in Alexandria that we didn’t get any residual fall out from hurricane Florence.  My thoughts and prayers go out to those that were directly affected in the Carolinas.  My home is Aiken, SC so the outcome of the storm is near and dear to my heart.  My sister and her family live in Charleston, SC and they had to come inland to stay with my parents.  I am grateful they are safe.  If you had anyone impacted by hurricane Florence, I hope they are well.

This weeks training continues on as I prepare for the Kingdom Half Marathon in Newport, VT.  It has been a bit frustrating trying to get information from the promoters.  One thing is for certain, this isn’t like any race I’ve done before.  After many calls and emails I finally heard something back from the organizer.  At least I know it’s still a go, but not a whole lot more.  It’s very laid back which can have it’s good points but then it’s frustrations too.  I feel like I’m an episode of Wayne’s World….Dude…where’s the race???

Fabulous!!!

Hey, I plan to be at the start line 0900 hours.  I shouldn’t be so surprised by this…I’m the type of person that would put a map on the wall and throw a dart.  Wherever it lands, hey that’s the next adventure.

The unexpected semi~injury of the week took place not on the road or trail but coming out of the DC metro on my way to work.  I get off at the National Archives stop (because I work at the National Archives!) and often the escalators are not working.  I tend to gravitate to the escalator that’s not working for two reasons; 1) you get a mini workout climbing the stairs and 2) it’s less crowded ~ no one wants to take the broken escalator.  There I was climbing the stairs and I was killing it …then about 3/4 of the way up I fell.  I mean I really fell.  I’m glad I was able to break my fall with my hands.  It hurt too ~ I landed on my shin bones.  One leg was bleeding.  It hurt.  There was a guy behind me and his eyes were just so wide!  Lol!  He just stared and asked if I was okay.  Truth be told, I was more worried about my hands touching the escalator stairs then the bruises and bleeding I incurred.  I picked myself back up and just kept going.  Yeah…you’re going to have those days, but I’m okay.

I continue to be on a vegetarian diet.  I make it sound like it’s a quest…I guess it is to some extent.  It’s only been a little over two weeks.  I wanted to see how I would perform physically.  So far, I do feel lighter.  I’m not craving anything ~ although I was thinking of turkey legs on my long run.

This weeks miles came to a total of 10.93 with my long run of 6 miles on Saturday.  It was a decent run with the last three miles being touch and go, meaning the last three contained a bit of walking.  My pace was 11:48.  Not pleased, but I continue to strive to be better.   I have completed 5619.67 with 5695.33 miles gratefully remaining.  I am 37.83 shy of my halfway mark.  I hope this post finds you with much joy in your heart.

Meet me halfway:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mileage Recap ~ 3 – 9 September…Kingdom Run Half Marathon Training

Happy Sunday everyone!  I took a little break from blogging and a rest week before I started training for my half marathon in Vermont at the end of September.  I feel good and am ready to move forward.  I used to not rest too much after I completed an event, but now I do try to take at least a week.  Maybe because I’m getting older!  Lol ~ who knows.

The Quantico 12K was a good race to get me ready for another half.  This will be my fourth half marathon.  It would seem like I should have a few more under my belt, but I complete a lot of miles that aren’t really attributed to events.  It’s all about the journey.  Races are fun no doubt, but it’s not just about the races.

The body is feeling pretty good.  I have a few pains and aches, but nothing like I was experiencing before.  It seems sticking with the right style of shoe was the key and the after care of my legs by foam rolling and icing.  There is always overuse issues, but the right gear is imperative.  I look forward to staying with that trend.

I’m excited for this next challenge in Vermont.  I have never been to the area and have always wanted to explore.  I have a few frustrations with the administrative handling of it though.  I found the race through active.com and from there signed up through the race website.  I signed up and paid, but never received a notice for registration.  I had to email the race promoter to confirm my registration.  I was told that as soon as they were done with the triathlon they were running emails would be sent out.  I was confirmed with the registration, but I still haven’t received any packet pick up information.  The race is on 30 September soooo…you know I would like to have everything tied up!  I’ll give them one more week.

The weather here has been a little erratic with extreme heat than storms.  I wanted to do some cycling, but had to take that indoors because of the rain.  I did get some decent mileage in with a combination of running outside and on the treadmill and some indoor cycling.  I will probably see more indoor running as tropical storm Florence makes its way to the coast.  The total of that mileage came to 19.93 for the week.  I am 48.76 to my halfway point.  It’s bittersweet to say the least.  A lot of sweat, effort and tears.  I have 5706.26 miles gratefully remaining in my journey.  Happy Miles to You!!

“When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.”
― Kahlil Gibran

Not sure if you’ve ever heard of Yebba Smith.  She’s not well-known, but I really like her sound.  Enjoy.

 

 

 

 

 

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 ~ 13 – 19 August…Ready for the Quantico 12K

Hello everyone and Happy Sunday to you!!

My training for the Quantico 12K on 25 August is going fairly well.  The pain I have been experiencing is mellowing a bit and I continue to keep moving forward to this next mileage goal.  This week’s training wasn’t bad at all.  I started out with 3.5 on the treadmill and then went to the Mt. Vernon trail twice this week – once for some speed work and then my long run.  Wednesday was a long work day.  I taught yoga for the first time during lunch and I had a function in the evening which threw my training days off a bit, so this week’s long run took place on Sunday instead of my Saturday. The temperatures cooled off a bit, but it was still humid.  The kind of humidity that you’re good for the first couple of miles then it becomes a sweat fest.  At least for me.

This upcoming Saturday is the Quantico 12K.  I received an email during the week informing me about packet pick up.  Unfortunately, they say to pick up your packet on Friday ~ with closing time being around 7 pm.  Quantico is about 23 miles from where I live in Alexandria.  It seems fairly harmless until you add in DC traffic on a Friday.  The website had a caveat that packets should be picked up that Friday as they can’t ensure you will get yours the morning of…great.  I don’t know.  I’m seriously hedging my bets to pick it up that morning.  The race doesn’t start until 7:25, so we’ll see…..  I’d hate to have to drive all the way out there after work then drive back.  It just seems like a pain in the you know where!

Yoga class at the National Archives

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From the site about the 12k course:

Course

Runners will begin the 7.45 mile journey at 7:25 a.m., on Elrod Road parallel to the Parade Deck near the bleachers. The Quantico 12K will head south before making a right turn on Engineer Road and entering the OCS trails. Terrain will switch from paved streets to gravely paths. The 12K begins a 140 foot climb to its maximum elevation of 219 feet starting at the half mile mark and leveling off 1.5 miles into the run. Making a left onto Iwo Jima Trail runners will reach the first of three water points on the course just before mile 2. A slight downhill from Mile 3 to 4.5 features a 70 foot elevation drop before another short climb. The second water point is located near mile 4 at scenic Buffalo Pond, the furthest point in the course. From this location, runners will follow Engineer Road and begin to overlap with the run portion of the Quantico Tri and include the final water point as part of a two mile downhill. The course makes a left as runners pass the OCS Obstacle Course, before making two quick right turns on the way to the finish line located on the grassy PT field.

 

So, there you have it…that’s what I will be doing next Saturday morning.  I’m excited because this is the first event I am participating since moving to Virginia.

This week’s long run was uneventful and okay.  If I must be honest, my heart wasn’t 100% in it today.  I was a bit tired and just seemed to lose gas after three miles.  There were a lot of stops and starts, but I still made my goal.  Mentally, I just didn’t will myself to get it done like I wanted to.  But, I still pulled 5.10 this morning.  My pace was an average of 11:45.

As I approach my halfway point in my journey I have signed up for another event in September to celebrate.  I have always wanted to go to Vermont, so on 30 September I will run the “Fly to Pie ~ Kingdom half”.  The tag line says “doin’ the dirt”.  Anytime there is “dirt” in the title….it’s bound to be fun (sic).

A few fun photos from today’s run:

I love the entrance to the trail.

Hmmm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I remain grateful in my journey.  It’s easy to get frustrated and lose focus on the end result ~ but still I continue on.  I have 84.54 miles left until the halfway mark and 5742.04 remaining in my journey.  I hope this post finds you well, continuing on and loving every minute.

Listened to this today on my run…just throwing it out to the universe…

 

 

 

 

 

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.