Chau Smith – Running Goals

In my humble opinion, running is 90% mental.  This is just me talking.  You have to 1) want to run, 2) have a goal, and finally 3) stick to the plan and follow through.  The first two are critical points that will help you get through number three.  There is always going to be a reason (for most of us) not to do something.  There will never be enough time, enough money, or enough energy ~ but there always seems to be plenty of excuse to not (apply your own verb here).

Age.  Getting older.  I’m too old to…  I went to this conference in Atlanta for work some years ago and the speaker was talking about getting stuff done.  Something to that effect.  It was a semi motivational but dealt with government work stuff etc…Maybe even a little boring, until he said something that I still think about to this day.  He said, “we all know 20 year olds that act like they’re 60 and 60 year olds that act like they’re in their 20s“.  The whole point was never giving up, continuing on and not letting age act as an impediment to keep trying, living and achieving your goals.  It’s strange how that line still sticks with me.  I was in my early 30s then and I just thought it was great advice.  If you want to do something, don’t let age be an excuse.

Meet Chau Smith from Missouri.

She is 70 years old and ran seven marathons in seven continents….in one week.  One week…did you hear that…one week.  Oh and don’t be bothered that she ran over 70 races…last year.  From the Huffington Post, “Smith’s legal age is 67. She told The Huffington Post that after her father was killed in the French occupation of Vietnam during the First Indochina War, her mother went into hiding while pregnant with Smith for their safety. After she was born in 1947, her mother didn’t report it for three years. That’s why she wanted to honor turning her real age ― 70 ― this year in a special way”.

Smith is part of a group called Marathon Adventures.  She basically would run a marathon in one country, board a plane to the next and start all over again.  Smith ran in Perth, Australia, Cairo, Amsterdam, Singapore, New York, Chile and King George Island, Antarctica.

She credits running to keeping her healthy and happy, clears her head and that helps her make better decisions.

Women On the Move ~ Crystal Clark – The Heartland Running Podcast

Happy Sunday everyone and of course Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads.  Next up on my Women on the Move is Crystal Clark from Heartland Running.  I came across Crystal on Instagram, of course, and was curious about her and the running podcast she helps host.  Crystal’s first run was a half marathon and as they say the running bug definitely has bitten her.  According to her Instagram page she has run 15 x 26.2, 1 x 100k, 3 x 50k, 2 x 50 miles and is currently training for 100 miles November in 2017.

Crystal is one of three hosts on The Heartland Running Podcast.  From the site:

Crystal did not grow up athletic and almost failed gym.  So everyone was pretty surprised when she signed up for her first race – a half marathon.  She fumbled her way to the finish line (despite not evening know how far it was) and was hooked.  Since then she has run 20 marathons/ultras including the Boston Marathon.  Crystal’s current goal is to chase down a 100 mile finish.

Crystal lives in Ohio with her husband, son, and their pet cat Geddy Lee.

You can follow her adventures on Instagram @seecrystalrun.

I really like the site because it focuses on the running life in the Ozarks (I lived in Illinois for eight years) and beyond.  Over the last few months I have enjoyed listing to podcasts in the car and wouldn’t mind doing it myself one day. Maybe interviewing women on the move!  They have some good podcasts consisting of inspirational and informative stories/information about running and other sports as well as gear reviews and basic advice.  Really cool and they are fun to listen too as well.  Enjoy (link at the top).  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:



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~ 5 – 12 March and Figuring Out Aer Lingus

I’m annoyed.  Last week while I was adding my post I inadvertently deleted my menus.  I had my posts in somewhat of a decent organization and just like that when I was trying to add the Dublin Marathon tab I deleted something.  The posts are still there, but it will take a while to put them where I want them to go.  So, my site is a little wonky.  Then that brings me to my next annoyance – Aer Lingus.

I wanted to be sure I would have the true Irish experience, even when it came to flying.  Sooooo, I had the great idea that I would fly Aer Lingus.

Let’s just say, these Irish eyes weren’t a smilin’.  This was not easy to do.  I went to the Aer Lingus site and punched in the travel dates.  Lots of choices came back and soon enough I was choosing seats, meals and put in my credit card!  Yay!  Done!  Then comes the confirmation email.  “Due to some complications, your request cannot be processed at this time“.  Oh come on!  You know how you’re excited to get something done then some little glitch happens and everything comes to a halt.  Next, call customer service.  If only I could find the number.  They had a bunch of numbers on the site and you had to choose the number from wherever you were calling, Europe, Asia, United States and so on.  This also wasn’t easy or straight forward.  I call the toll free number and I get in a hardy Irish accent “Thank you for calling Aer Lingus, we are experiencing higher than normal call volume at the moment“, do tell.  So I waited on the phone for 30 minutes, after the 30 minute mark another recording comes on and says maybe it would be best to email and then the email address is given so fast I couldn’t understand it.  Again, I’m searching the site to find an email address.  I finally Googled to find the address.  Why can’t sites be specific.  You have a problem here is the email address, so easy.  I send my email, but I figure I will try and call again tomorrow anyway.

I call the next day and I finally get through.  The gal on the phone was super helpful, got me booked and I sighed relief that it was over.  Only it wasn’t.  I get an email from my bank the next day.  FRAUD ALERT – someone in Ireland is trying you use your credit card!  Sigh.  I’m glad I called.  I let the bank and card company know, yes, I’m going to Ireland and I made the charge.  Isn’t it a little intrusive you have to verify some of the stuff you do?  I mean I see it both ways for security, but I can’t tell you how many times my card was denied when traveling and I would have to call them to verify, yes it’s me.  Lesson, call the bank and card company and let them know you will be traveling.  I almost want to say it’s none of your business where I am at the moment!  I’m glad though, I had two plane ticket charges because of the online submission.  Unfortunately, the representative never took off the ticket reservation I made on line.  It happens that the flights are a few different carriers under the Aer Lingus flag.  I will be flying United Air, British Airways and Aer Lingus.  I’m glad I got this part out of the way, but will be double and triple checking to make sure everything is still lined up.

This weeks mileage was pretty good.  I didn’t run at all this week, trying to get the fluid on my knee to subside and letting my back rest.  I have foam rolled, did yoga to stretch out my overly tight IT bands and glutes, and focusing on core strength.  It seems to be working.  There were a couple of days with some extreme pain but I can tell there is improvement.

More exciting news – I have broken the 7,000 mile mark!  I was looking at my spreadsheet and low and behold I have made it into the 6000s!

This week saw a total of 30.24 miles.  I rode the stationary bike for 6.2 and walked 3.57 and rode my bike 20.47 .  I have 6974.94 miles luckily awaiting.  Happy Irish Miles to You!

Special Edition Post ~ My First Boston Marathon Experience by Kathi White

I have this lovely friend Kathi White.  She is not only a wonderful human being but an avid and talented runner.  I met Kathi when I was living in Belleville, Illinois.  Needless to say we have maintained our friend and running relationship through our distance.  The creed of my blog says: Never.Give.Up.  It means so much more than you probably think.  It’s not just about running and cycling and completing a race to earn a medal or a T-Shirt.  It’s about fighting the hard fight to finish a task you may find important and your journey.  Experiencing the failure, working hard and turning that failure into YOUR victory.  It can be running or something else.  Maybe completing school, preparing for an interview or pushing yourself to new limits to complete something you didn’t think you could ever achieve.  It’s not about being first.  It’s about doing it…whatever it is.

Kathi is a perfect example of the Never.Give.Up creed.  Here is her story and journey about her experience to eventually qualify and then complete the Boston Marathon.  Total respect.

Boston MarathonMedal Medal 2  Start Swag The Unicorn Thumbs Up WonMedal

Opening dialog from Kathi:

My First Boston Marathon Experience by Kathi White
Wow! I don’t even know where to start! So, I will simply start at the beginning. On Sunday, 17 Apr 2016  when I walked into the expo at the John Hynes Convention Center before I even picked up my runner’s bib, the emotions began to kick in and the tears began! I suddenly realized at that exact moment that this is really happening and I am finally here. 4 years of hard work and seven marathons later this is it!
Fast forward to the next morning, Marathon Monday…I was able to connect up with my friend Jill and ride the bus to Hopkinton with her where Athletes’ Village awaited us. We decided to start the race together. We were in the same Wave but different corrals. You can move back to higher numbered corrals but not move up. Jill decided to move back with me. We had a plan/strategy in mind to run a certain pace and to even try to re-qualify for the 2017 Boston Marathon. We soon learned early on after the first 5-6 miles that may not be possible and we should not stress out about our times and to simply enjoy the race for what it is, the tough course, amazing spectators and everything in between from the beginning Hopkinton until reaching the famous finish line on Boylston Street. After all, I had to stress about my time to even get to Boston in the first place. Why do that now that I was there? Enjoy it I thought. Around mile 10 I decided to pull back and let Jill run ahead of me. She made sure I was ok and not hurt and I assured her I was and to have a good run. I even stopped and jumped on a mini trampoline (actually there was about 6-7 of them lined up with kids jumping on them) that was set up along the course!  Yes, this was my first Boston and I decided to enjoy it, soak it all up and enjoy the experience and the people of Boston and the city’s hospitality. I truly felt like a celebrity amongst the spectators! They almost live for this day on the third Monday every April:),,,Patriot’s Day! The course was tough…rolling hills so I began a walk/run marathon until I finished. This story has a pretty cool ending. I had wondered about Jill after we separated at mile 10 or so and if she had already finished before me, perhaps even requalifying. Just before the finish line, I caught up to her. Unbelievable that we reconnected given we were two of over 27, 000 runners on the course!! Definitely a God thing that we found each other again! You can’t make this stuff up! So we got to finish together what we both started back in Hopkinton!! After all of this I do plan on qualifying again for Boston…it may not be for 2017 but perhaps for 2018! I do plan on going back! It is an awesome event and my favorite marathon of all!! Thank you to everyone for all of the kind words, motivation and encouragement along the way!

Questions from editor:

1.  Why did you want to run the race?  What was the motive for you as a person.
Question 1 Answer–I wanted to run Boston because it is the “Taj Mahal” of races for amateur runners such as myself. I figured if other friends of mine can run it or even people that aren’t trying to qualify and are running for charities, what about me? I can work hard and try and make it my goal to run there too. The motive for me was to keep pushing towards my goal of qualifying for Boston and running there and to not give up even if I didn’t get the time I needed after my very first marathon.
2.  Did you have any detractors?  If so what and how did you overcome them.
3.  Describe your feelings when you tried to qualify but didn’t make it for the time qualifications.
Question 2 and 3 Answers–My detractors were different marathons I would run and not getting the time I needed or being misled to believe I possibly qualified. Two of my marathons I ran early on in pursuit of a BQ (Boston Qualifying time) were Run for the Ranch in Springfield, Missouri in December 2012. It was a loop course,,,I don’t recommend this at all. I was supposed to loop it 8 times. I only did 7 after volunteers shouted for me to come back to the finish. I thought it was strange because I thought I had another loop to run. Needless to say, I listened to the volunteer and finished. My time ended and I was led to believe I had qualified for Boston. Not true. Another race I became too hot and so I listened to my body and from miles 16-26.2 I walked/ran until I finished. When I would try to qualify and didn’t I would get discouraged until I could find another marathon to run and qualify for. I was not going to give up easily and let one or two races define me. The marathon I did qualify at after running two years prior was the Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon in Champaign/Urbana. April 2013 I missed my BQ by 41 seconds. I had pr’ed (personal record) by 6 minutes! I was upset to be so close, however I finished in the top 10 in my age group! April 2014 is where I became really hot as explained above. April 2015 was my year! I got my BQ time for the 2016 Boston Marathon by nearly 5 minutes! Boston, here I come!
4.  Talk about the race what to expect so other people may learn from your experience.
Question 4 Answer–I pretty much answered this in my Facebook post above. For first time Boston marathoners, run the marathon for enjoyment and not to requalify! I had sheer intentions going into it I too wanted to requalify there. I realized after Mile 10 it wasn’t going to happen. The course is tough and a lot of gentle rolling hills. You definitely want to take it easy in the first 5 miles as it is all downhill. If your used to running rolling hills, then you may have a good chance of requalifying there. I decided  to take past runners’ advice and run the course, enjoy it, soak it all in, the spectators, everything about it. As I stated earlier, I worked hard to get there,,,,why stress so much now?
5.  Do you plan to run again?
Question 5 Answer–I definitely plan on running it again! out of all of the marathons I have ran, as far as enjoyment, Boston is my favorite! As I write this, I am already looking to BQ for 2018! I registered for my 9th marathon, second for this year. The town I live in is having its first inaugural marathon this September. The Belleville Main Street Marathon:-)
Happy Miles to You

Mileage Recap ~ 13 – 18 Feb

It seems like an odd date choice but I really haven’t been keeping up on the dates with blogging and I felt like blogging.  This week was filled with running and hiking.  I was fortunate to have a visit from a dear friend from Illinois.  The weekend was spent walking around Old Town Scottsdale and hiking South Mountain Park and Pima Canyon.  I had been to South Mountain Park before but Pima canyon was something new.  It really was lovely and even though the scenery was the “same” it was different if you know what I mean.  Here are a few pictures:

D_L1 D_L2 D_L3 D_L4 D_L5 D_L6 D_L7

Hiking came to 6.39 total miles and 7.28 were running/cool down miles.  I just decided that, during the middle of the week, I would start training for a half.  Unorthodox yes, but who cares.  Of course I will start week one over again next week, but I do have to switch the days the plan calls for runs.

Yesterday’s run was far from stellar.  It was warm, so I had shorts and a sleeveless T-shirt and my water belt with one water pod.  I shot out the door and trotted about 50 yards and had to turn around and go to the bathroom.  I hate when that happens.  Okay, take two.  I trotted out the door and hey there I go!  Everything was moving along then dang it’s like a sauna out here!  I mean really where am I the desert?  No problem, I’ll just reach back and get my wat…what the heck!  No water pod.  I mean the damn thing fell off my belt and I didn’t even notice.  How does that happen?  My iPod wasn’t that loud.  So, I’m about halfway through the run and on the return and I’m looking for the pod like a parent looks for a lost child.  I mean I thought I saw it a couple of times, but it was a desert mirage.  I was thirsty too.  You know the kind of thirsty where you’re licking your lips and opening your mouth because it was so dry.  I just haven’t gotten past the crazy thirst thing here…maybe I never will.  I begin fantasizing that I could put up “If you’ve seen me” posters on stop signs.  Or maybe I’d see it run over in the middle of the road.

Okay, now I’m really thirsty.  Allergies are kicking in…agua please.  Maybe some driver will throw a bottle my way…maybe I’ll have to drink from someone’s sprinkler (yes, I’ve done that one)…then I started thinking about people who are trapped in a natural disaster like an earthquake.  You always hear the survivors talk about “Yep I survived off of my urine for 7 days!”.  Really…will it come down to this?  For God’s sake people throw me a bone!

Anyhooo, I made it home and behold!  There was my water pod about 50ft from my front door.

13.67 beautiful miles this go round with 8,271.19 graciously awaiting.  Stay thirsty my friends and Happy Miles to you!


Passion Post #8 ~ Want Life Change…Run a Marathon

A lot has changed since I began this blog a little over two years ago.  What started out as keeping track of running mileage in honor of my late mother’s life has transformed into a major life changes.  I began running for myself.  I liked the results so much I continued on and started this blog and a few small races here and there.  I kept pushing myself into new challenges and eventually completed a marathon in 2013.  There were setbacks along the way…pain and injuries, but I keep going.  If there’s one thing I’ve learned in this life ~ change happens.  Sometimes self-made other times not so much.

Life is all about growing and at age 47 I am ready for change. I’ve been trying to write this post for months but I just didn’t have the time, energy and frankly I do miss my friends back in the Midwest.  I have been associated with the United States Army for over twenty years as vet, spouse and DA civilian.  I would not trade my time serving the military for anything.  Like all people I’ve had good experiences and less than stellar ones with my association.  But as I get older, I know there is more for me to experience and goals to achieve.  So I am reinventing myself and venturing out to try something new.  I no longer work for the Army and I packed up my stuff and moved to Arizona.  Whew!  New places, faces and challenges.

Moving is tiring and so is change.  You may be asking yourself what does this have to do with running a marathon?  Sort of like “hey you know I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night” therefore implying I can do anything.  But…after running a marathon I know I can do anything (within reason of course).  It’s not like I didn’t know that beforehand.  Sometimes along the way we tend to forget we have the power to change our circumstances.  You can do anything you want with the proper planning and passion.  Running a marathon is a life-changing event.  It’s physical, but in my opinion a more mental trial.  You prepare, train and plan.  You nourish your body and be disciplined to follow a regimen that will take you to completion.  When the physical you doesn’t want to participate the mental you must convince that physical self to move forward.   Let’s not forget the passion of will.  You must have the will to succeed and finish.  This is with all things in life.  If you don’t like it then have the courage to change the circumstances.  Stop talking and start walking.  I’m not advocating everyone go out and run a marathon.  Running a marathon was just a normal progression for me and I’m blessed to have been able to rise up to the challenge physically.    Even more blessed that it opened my eyes to new change.

So here I sit, a new path to forge; challenges to tackle and new adventures ahead of me.  It is also scary.  I’m ready to test these feet in a new place.  Here’s to new beginnings ~ Happy Miles to You.