Happy Sunday my friends! As my Century ride approaches ~ I am keeping the faith and moving forward with training. I normally train by myself, but every now and again I have a riding buddy join me. I have found that when my buddy joins me, those hills seem to be easier to climb. I’ve thought about this a lot and my prognosis is that neither one of you wants to show the other you can’t make it up the hill, so a buddy makes it easier! Ha! It has to be it. So maybe training with a partner is the best option. It leaves the mind clear or at least that is my take on the situation.
I continue to gain a little bit of mileage every day ~ when I can. Sometimes life just gets in the way but every week I keep chipping away and I just love to see that Total Miles Completed number go up and up. It’s exciting!
I went out to Prince William Forest Park for my long ride this weekend. My goal was to do three loops and three series of hills without freaking out or stopping. Not really focusing on too much distance, but the quality of the ride. There you go ~ quality not quantity. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. I went for three laps starting at a point closer to the entrance of the loop. Not quite the 10 mile loop but just focusing on the hills. I did three laps and made it up all hills for a total of 9. Felt good and I’m ready for next weeks long ride. I was able to get some running miles in too. The weather hear has fluctuated a bit from hot and humid to warm and an nice breeze.
Climbing those hills was a bit easier this weekend. I just concentrated on my breathing and taking my time. I didn’t stress or worry. Seems to be a winning combo when I can do it right. Feeling powerful…. Hope this post finds you in a good way this Sunday. I have completed 6876.27 miles with 4438.73 gratefully remaining. Life is good. Life is beautiful. Life is what you make it and how you see it. Happy Miles to You!!
“life’s like an hourglass glued to the table…just breathe”
Happy June! The year is going way too fast. I can’t believe it’s already June. As I write this blog it seems like I have been here so many times before over the years. The miles are slowly lessening as the years pass by. The changing of the seasons and I keep moving forward.
I have been using my new Vivoactive for about a week now and I really like the way it handles. It does a lot of what the old one did, but easier to activate etc. More streamlined.
The exciting news this week is I have formally registered for the 2019-37th Annual RBC (Reston Bike Club) Century on 25 August. Interesting that this is being held in a extremely hot and humid month instead of October. Hmmm…I guess that will add to the challenge. I have begun training with my longest ride being 60 miles. As I mentioned in my last post I have moved away from training on the W&OD trail to Prince William Park. Less people and more of a challenge. I will continue to update on my training progress.
I have been trying to do a little something something every day. Miles that is and I’m on a three day run. Let’s see how long I can keep it going. It’s warm now so rain or shine I should be able to get out and buy some asphalt.
Some pics from the week:
This week’s long ride was out on the Mt. Vernon trail and came to 19.97 – lol. Just couldn’t stand to go an extra .03. Hey it’s where the trail ended and the watch went “click”. Like I said before, let it go. Clock it, log it, move on. Rolling in some old miles earned on April 7th came to 4.81.
Today I went back out to Mt. Vernon Trail and laid down 6.03 walking miles. The body is feeling good and my faith is exceptional. I was able to complete 38.43 for the week with 4722.98 miles gratefully remaining. Today on my walk, the trees are all filled in with the many spectrum of greens, the air weighed heavy with humidity and there was a slight breeze blowing. My soul is at ease and I hope yours is too…Happy Miles to You!! This brought me peace today as I was walking. Such a beautiful song:
Hello my friends…yes I know my blogging is sucking…majorly. Just call it Hooverville. I promise, I’m slowly getting my creative juices flowing. Many times I have all these words in my head, but a hard time getting them out on this electronic paper. They are slowly manifesting from thoughts into words. Taking some time off had benefits and some certain realities. One, I just allowed myself to be for a while. Think about what I was doing without taking it too seriously. The question I hear you asking…“so you took it seriously?”. Uh, well think about it…I keep a spreadsheet…lists…photos ~ crazy baby! Hell yeah! But yes, I do take it seriously.
Two, it was hard recapping the miles I did complete. I was doing a lot of miles inside because of the weather. I would do my miles then take a picture of the machine. I was doing about 17 miles a day for a while on the stationary. As I was looking through all the pictures I said screw this I’m not counting these. Screw it. Let it go. I can hear my Dad saying, yeah those miles aren’t real miles. LOL!!! I love it. I love my Dad. He is hard core. So, I’m living in the light and like most things wondering how I could possibly make this more difficult? Hmmm, so glad you asked ~ from this point I will only count miles I do out. Challenge accepted! No more treadmill or stationary bike miles counted. Take a deep breath…let it out. Good. No? Oui, so, so good. Sometimes you just have to let it go. See it for what it is and what you need. I needed to just keep moving forward and enjoy what I was doing. I was in transition from becoming less of a runner and more of a cyclist. Processing what all these miles mean and next steps.
I’ve lost a good and trusty friend. Yes, my Garmin Vivoactive has bought the farm; is six feet under; iced; or what other descriptor you would like to give. She gone. She was a good lady. Tracking all those miles for four years. But she slowly began to tell me, she was ready to move on, join the other GPS tracking devices in the sky. Just like that, she breathed her last….. Wow, I’m almost getting a little broken up about an electronic device. But before she breathed her last she gave me a big middle finger and left me hanging on last weeks ride. Just sayin’. If you think about it, what better way to go then just say, smell you later! That added to my mileage count frustration. I tried to use my iWatch, but it wasn’t the same. It was like a drunk girlfriend. I constantly had to tend to her and never knew when she was going to blow. Sooooo…
I sauntered down to Best Buy and bought the Vivoactive3. It was the last one they had on the shelf.
Old vs. new
I had to laugh at this picture. Look how far the design has come. This was one of the first ones and looks like a mini tablet! LOL!!! It still has power too! But just not tracking. I haven’t even charged the new one. Looking forward to testing it out.
Went to Prince William park for this weeks long ride. Most weeks I have been riding out on the W&OD trail. Beginning to end it is close to 100 miles. You can pick up the trail at various points along the way and it ends in Purceville, VA. Good ride, but lots of people which makes it difficult to run full out on the bike.
Prince William park is much better. Not crowded and a good course to train with both flat and hilly areas. This was the first time I road out there and I will be honest, it was a little difficult. The loop was 10 miles. The last two miles are three steep hills. I was good the first two loops, the third I couldn’t complete the hills. I will admit, it was a hard challenge. This is a good thing, because I have found a good area to train ~ both beautiful and challenging. A few shots:
Steam coming off the road.
I captured some of my miles from March and logging what I did this week. I will keep going back until I recapture all the outside miles I did until I’m finally caught up. Total miles this time around came to 49.82 with 4761.41 gratefully remaining. Letting it go, breathing deep and moving on…so very on…it’s all good. Perspective.
Happy Sunday my 11315 friends! There is nothing better than the second half…am I right? The first half (whatever your half may be: life, school, or miles 🙂 always seems to be a learning experience. It always seems after you’ve been doing a task after a while you really learn it and become proficient. Once you become proficient you can learn to improve and eventually enjoy! At 51 (OMG really) I seem to still be learning this lesson not only for miles but in life as well. But every step I take is wonderful in its own way and I am grateful that I can take those steps.
That’s the way I feel about my mileage journey and of course life itself. If there is something I can say about myself, I have a very strong will in all things. I don’t like to fail. Some life events have been easy and others not so much. But I have always looked at things from a glass half full type perspective and strive to do my best and be positive. Today is the first day in a while there was a break in the temperature ~ 66 degrees. I see people out running and realize that I can’t run long distances because of my back. Well I can, but the repercussions will speak for themselves. Kinda sucks to be honest. Matter of fact the other day I saw people out running and in my mind I said “screw it” I’m going to run that marathon ~ “whateves”. Then I pull myself back and realize that for my health, I can’t and I have to find other ways to get those miles. All is well, I have a beautiful bike and there are so many other ways to get those miles that will be filled with adventure.
Tomorrow I go and get the cortisone shots in my spine. Hmmm. My Dad had them and said he didn’t feel anything. Again I say hmmm! I had cortisone shots in my knee after my surgery. All I can tell you (sorry men) but this was worse than a labor pang. It was a different kind of pain than being in labor. But it hurt sooo bad. Let’s hope tomorrow goes somewhat smooth with little pain.
Mileage this week was done on the trainer resulting in 37.33 miles. When I’m on the trainer I usually go for an hour and can max about 16 miles and some change. This time I was able to get over 17! Looking forward to some warmer weather so I can get the bike out more. I have completed 6503.77 miles in my journey with 4811.23 miles remaining. I hope this post finds you with a burning desire for life and love. Is there anything else? Happy Miles to You!!
Saw this fitting…. “that’s what people say…” LOL only if you really knew….
Happy President’s Day my friends! I almost said happy Sunday. A friend of mine reminded me that this is the last federal holiday until May. Hmmm, might need to take a day here or there before then.
Took a little break from blogging last week. When you have been doing it this long, a break is good. I haven’t taken a break from cycling though. I continue to move forward. The weather here hasn’t been great, so a lot of indoor cycling. I was annoyed because my trainer I purchased isn’t turning out to be great and I will have to look for another…what are you going to do right? Lot’s of gym time and finally this Sunday we had a bit (I mean a bit) of blue sky and I decided to take the new bike out for a ride. I went back to the Mt. Vernon trail and this time there was NOTHING in my car. I actually rode around the parking lot a couple of times because I didn’t want to leave the car alone.
I finally left the security of the parking lot and hit the trail. All I can say is #AMAZING. Love the Fuji Grand Fondo and the tires are a little larger than my old bike and it just handled fantastic. Absolutely loved the ride. Unfortunately, the temps didn’t get out of the 30s and my hands were cold even with gloves. I was only able to get 5.56 on the trail before I had to circle back.
A few shots:
Love these new shoes!
Miles for the last two weeks came to 94.02. Looking for warmer temps to expand my cycling routes. I have completed 6466.04 and have 4848.96 miles gratefully remaining. I hope this post finds your heart grateful and happy. Happy Miles to You!!
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.
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…
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.
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.
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.
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!
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….
I can remember the first taste I had of the Army. My roommates Laura and Carol had invited me on a weekend survival trip with the USCA Army ROTC at Fort Gordon, GA. It was a good diversion from the weekend studying I had planned.
The weekend was full of road marches, survival tips and my favorite land navigation (not!). The rest as they say, is history. I was hooked. So much so, the following week I enrolled in Army ROTC and two years later I was commissioned as an Officer in the US Army. I served in Somalia, Panama and South Korea. I have seen the best and the worst humanity has to offer, but I wouldn’t change that experience one bit. I have extreme gratitude to have served our great country as a female solider. It is so great to see how far women have come in all of the forces. We make the circle whole.
Tom morrow I will be participating in my first run in the DC area ~ the Veteran’s Day 10k & 2 mile walk. The proceeds will go to the local chapter of Team Red, White and Blue. I picked up my packet today:
The shirt is super sweet because it has long sleeves. I’m almost tempted to wear it tomorrow, but alas that is a running faux pas. It’s going to be cold tomorrow, so I purchased some Brooks™ running gloves. We’ll see how warm they keep me. Happy Miles to You!!