Mileage Recap ~ 22 Jun – 30 July The Great Cycle Challenge Completed…And A Little Rest Earned

The break felt good ~ from miles and blogging.  I completed The Great Cycle Challenge for the month of June.  I logged 300.69 miles on the bike and raised a little over $600 for children’s cancer research.  Although the donations were raised for children, I dedicated my ride and miles to my Illinois neighbor and friend, James Boivin.  I love a challenge and it was for a good cause.  The month of June were the most miles I’ve ever logged in a month.   Even on school days I had to get up.  I got up every morning and tried to get out before the heat.  I think there were about 3 days I didn’t ride due to rain or other circumstances.   Well, worth the effort and time.  When I first thought about the challenge I was throwing 500 miles around, I’m glad I came off of that number just a bit….;-)

During June I finally took a bicycle maintenance class.  Especially, since my chain fell off on one of the long rides and I had to learn on the fly.  I can now replace the inner tube and reset the chain.  The correct patch to use because of the high heat.  I know what I need to carry just incase.  I’m glad I went and I understand the mechanics of my bike much better.  Also very important to carry a phone.  I was warned that someday all of the above just might not work.

It has been a challenge to re-engage running after riding for a month and basically taking the next month off.  I have gone on a few small runs.  The first one I had to walk just a bit.  Breathing a little too hard.  All in all I’m getting it done.

I completed 300.69 for June and 23.90 for July ~ another 324.59 to add to the count.  So far a total of 793.99 for the year, already passing 2014 total.  There are 8,740.76 challenges remaining.  Happy Miles To You!

Mileage Recap ~ 15-21 June Week Three of The Great Cycle Challenge Completed

Week three of The Great Cycle Challenge has been completed.  I’m happy to say I rode my longest this week at 28.23 miles and without any mishaps this time.  Took the bike to the bike shop and they were able to fix the drive train and get me back on the road again.

Nothing extraordinary about these rides this week.  Everything was fairly uneventful.  I guess I should be happy:-).  I was grateful to pick up another 67.76 which now puts me at 230 miles for the month ~ only 70 more to go to finish the challenge.

The mileage count for this week is 67.76 with 8,867.15 remaining.  I hope this post finds you well ~ Happy Miles to You!

Mileage Recap ~ 1 – 7 June Week 1 of The Great Cycle Challenge Completed and Vibe Yoga

I was very excited to get the month of June and The Great Cycle Challenge underway.  I have pledged to ride 300 miles for the month of June and raise $500.00.  I love a challenge especially when it’s for a good cause.  For me it’s more than just raising money for individuals with cancer but dedication of mind, body and spirit to honor those who are fighting the good fight to get well.  I read something many years ago that said life is great when you have your health.  How exponentially true is that statement.  When you are well and feel good life is a such a blessing, but when you are ill day in and day out I imagine that attitude can sink quickly.  I look at it from this perspective; life is a grand gift and not to be wasted.  The fact that you can wake up, move and be is a chance to be the best you can for yourself and to others.

This week has been a very active week.  I have school Wednesday thru Saturday so on those mornings I have to be out on the road by 530 and can clear about 10 miles before I need to head home and get ready.  The week started off well on Monday and Tuesday and I was able to get 11 and 17 miles.

I’m still in the process of trying to find a yoga studio to attend and teach at here, which is proving a little allusive.  So I found a studio called Vibetality to try.  When I was studying for my certification I had a traditional teacher, not a whole lot of yoga fluff.  Since I’ve been out Southwest I have run into many different types of yoga.  Honestly, some of it is fun and interesting.  I decided to try this new studio and signed up for a “yoga vibe” class.  After I pulled the “trigger” I realized the class was only 15 minutes long.  Hmmm, how can that be?  Thinking I read it wrong I planned to be there for my full hour.  Nope it was only 15 minutes.  It’s called yoga vibe, thus the “Vibetality”.  The class is conducted on a plate that vibrates.  When I say it vibrates…I’m not kidding.  Here is a picture of the plate.

Vibe Plate

The teacher instructed that if you are new, you might want to stand more on the balls of your feet and don’t close your teeth together.  Uh….ok.  The theory is that the vibration stimulates the blood and therefore a 15 minute workout is the same as an hour.  When the class first started and I stepped on to the plate I thought no way am I going to be able to do this for the full 15.  Thank goodness I didn’t eat anything and I didn’t have to go to the bathroom.   It was more of the workout and not the spiritual part of yoga.  It wasn’t bad, interesting to say the least, but let’s just say I was so sore that I couldn’t go riding on Wednesday.

Friday rained and Saturday I was able to get 9.  Today was the long ride.  I went my normal route and extended it down in the opposite direction I normally go.  It was extremely beautiful and challenging.  I road all the way to the end..literally.

Day 7 Ride Day 7a

I also climbed the largest hill for me yet.  I was realizing as I was speeding down this mountain that this was not going to be fun going back up this thing.  But I dug in and I was able to do it without having to stop.  That was the great part.  Today’s ride was 20 and some change and looked a little like this:

Day 7b

You can check out my webpage at The Great Cycle Challenge here:  The Great Cycle Challenge Laurel McClean

This weeks mileage was all cycling (as the whole month will be) and came to 68.67 with 9,006.27 gratefully remaining ~ Happy Miles to You!!

Mileage Recap ~ 20 -26 Apr

I’m enjoying the last few days of cooler weather here before it starts to get hot…or so I’ve been told.  We’ve even had a few good showers and there are clouds in the sky today.  Nice weather to get some good mileage.  This week has been the best so far for mileage.  I was able to get in a total of 46.85 for the week.  I ran one day and cycled the rest.  My run was a short 3 miler but I was able to get my pace down to 9:30.  I did experience some of the same hip pain the next day.  That put me back on the bike the remaining days.  Which is fine by me.  I extended the long ride to 23 miles this week.  Inching up the distances slowly.  I have a route that I use and three laps covered what I wanted to complete.  Not bad, but I need to find another route.  It gets a little boring passing something two or three times.  I did see a dead rattlesnake in the road, but that’s as far as the excitement went this week.  I will venture out and try to find something a different route soon.

This week's long ride.

This week’s long ride.

If you are on Garmin Connect you can find me at soar11315miles.  As it stands I’m at 162.89 miles for the month.  I think I will make a short goal and see if I can achieve 200 miles this month.  I hope this post finds you well and achieving your goals ~ 9,136.01 gratefully remaining.  Happy Miles To You!!

Mileage Recap ~ 1 – 5 April…Help Support RADD or BADD!

April already…where is the time going?  Too fast it seems.  The weather this past week has been great.  Not too hot and nice cool breezes in the evening.  I went on two rides and one walk this week.  My first ride was on Wed ~ April Fools Day!  Just a short ride of 10.69 miles.  Not a bad ride until I came out of this neighborhood and was making a turn at a 4 way.  There was a jeep that looked like it just came off of safari.  As I was making the turn he obviously was upset I was taking too long and decided to hit the gas as a scare tactic.  You have to wonder about people.  That extra two seconds to let me cross the street.  I hate to tell you buddy it takes a lot more than that to scare this gal ~ “Namaste”.  Especially if I’m going uphill.  It doesn’t matter if you are cycling or running.  Some people like to irritate or are just plain mean to people on the street.  The guy I used to buy my running shoes from in Illinois said his theory on why some people get too close is interest, like a moth to a flame.  They’re driving and they become “mesmerized” so to speak and get close.  Ok, I sort of buy that.  But can we all agree that there are some real jokers out there, who for whatever reason have something against folks getting out and doing something?

Therefore I’ve decided to start a group.  Sort of like DADD ~ Dads Against Daughters Dating.  My group is:


Runners Against Douchebag Drivers or Bicyclists Against Douchebag Drivers.  Whatever you happen to be doing at the moment.  I mean really can I get an Amen here?

My walk ~ was ok until I had to go to the bathroom.  I went back out though and completed 6.82.

My long ride was on Easter Sunday.  I started off on the normal route then I decided to try something “new”.  New meaning I decided to follow this one street around this time.  The first part was fairly flat and as I rounded the corner to turn the bike path ended.  Normally that doesn’t bother me but here there really isn’t a place to ride if you don’t have the bike lane.  So I make the turn and it’s a climb 4 lane road with median.  I’m about halfway through the climb and I’m feeling the burn.  Probably the steepest I’ve done on the bike.  I get to close to the curb and my right pedal hits the curb and I bounce to the left.  I was lucky I got my foot out of the stirrup to break the fall and a car wasn’t coming.  It would have been a nasty day.  Oh the lessons we learn.  I was given a pass…someone knows I have a long way to go.  35.44 miles for the week with 9,263.46 safely remaining?  Happy Miles to You!

Mileage Recap ~ 16 – 22 March…Acclimation Where For Art Thou?

I have been doing some small runs around the area and this past week I finally put the front wheel on my road bike and took it out.  Since I moved to Phoenix 3 weeks ago I’ve been venturing out on a couple of routes running but I’ve kept the road bike inside opting for the stationary bike at the gym.  Cycling appears to be very robust here and that has me excited.  Everyday I see groups of people riding and even last weekend a road race, so I’m excited to look a little further and see what there is to see ~ but first I must become acclimated to my surroundings.

I didn’t really think it would be that hard.  My first few runs were pretty good but last Thursday I wanted to run about 5 and I just couldn’t finish the whole thing running.  I ran and walked.  Panted and groaned.  Either I didn’t have it in me physically or mentally.  Maybe it was both but I would run a bit then I had to walk.  Either way I finished over my 5 mile goal, but it was still a crappy run.  So, I decided to look at my Garmin and compare the elevation in Illinois to Phoenix, AZ.  I realized it was more here but it is about a 947 ft elevation difference, plus it’s dry:-).  It’s going to take some getting used to.

My first bike ride out, was Sunday.  Wiped off the bike and headed out of the drive way.  I haven’t had a chance to get on the bike for about 4 weeks.  I rolled out of the driveway and immediately I felt a little uncomfortable.  I started asking questions in my own mind “is this MY bike?”, “who screwed with the seat?”, “somebody changed the height of the seat!” as I tried to find my bike legs again.  Yes it was my bike and no one screwed with the seat ~ I just haven’t been on the darn think in 4 weeks.  I don’t have clips yet either.  Why ~ because I don’t trust my self to unhook my feet fast enough yet.  Case in point as I was trying to put my feet in the stirrups and wondering if someone had screwed with my bike.

Who screwed with my bike?!!

Who screwed with my bike?!!

It is true what they say ~ once you learn you never forget how to ride a bike.  I did a pre-victory lap around the hood and set out on my way.  I played it safe because there is a lot of traffic here.  It’s a suburb of Phoenix but this must be where racecar drivers go to retire.  It reminds me of a cartoon when the light turns green everyone speeds than comes to an abrupt halt at the red light.  Interesting for sure and one needs to stay alert.  The ride was a success with no passing out and I did have water this go round.  I was able to get 30.93 more miles under my belt for the week.  That leaves 9,317.59 glorious miles remaining.

What’s the longest it’s taken you to get acclimated in another area?

May all your miles be happy ones ~ Happy Miles to You!

Mileage Recap ~ 23 Feb – 15 Mar…Follow the Yellow Brick Road

I’m looking at the dates and I can’t believe it’s been 3 weeks since I’ve done a mileage update…strange.  Let me check again…hmmm ~ wow I haven’t.  All of this moving and planning has put some things (like blogging) on the back burner.

I’ve been here in Arizona for just about 2 weeks now.  Although moving is tiresome, I was excited to get out and find some new paths to run and bike.  I’m living in a Phoenix suburb and things are very different from the rural Illinois backdrop I left, i.e. busy.  There are paths between the neighborhoods which are good but there is something everywhere.  Meaning, cars, people, etc.  Back in Illinois it was farm land right outside the housing division so quite different from what I’m used too just outside my front door.  Like anything I must get used to a new environment.

I’ve slowly ventured out wondering where this or that path will lead.  I decided, like Dorothy, to follow the yellow brick road.  Theoretically there is no real yellow brick road, just the interesting prospect of where each path leads.  No, I didn’t map anything either but I figured how bad could it be there are houses everywhere (get back to what I mean here in a minute).

I’ve also joined a gym.  It is a far cry from the Army/Air Force gym I attended at Scott AFB.  It’s hard to even make a comparison.  In a military gym there is no fluff at LA Fitness it’s quite a different atmosphere.  It takes a little getting used to….:)  I did some of my miles on the bike and treadmill.  The weather has been nice but I just wasn’t ready to venture out.

Last week I started to reconnoiter the area of operation (AO).  I followed a path as it went up into the hills and onward into a lovely neighborhood.  The streets are alive with runners/walkers and bikers.  It seems that over half the population was out!  I decided to put in 4 walking miles a couple of days ago.  I did about 3 when I realized I was pretty thirsty.  I didn’t bring any water because…uh it’s only 4 miles.  Well Toto, you’re not in Kansas anymore.  Matter of fact you’re in the desert and as my real estate agent told me “Oh yes people die all the time”.  Hmmm.  It is true that accidents happen to the hikers that go up the mountains, get hurt and can’t come down and on top of it they aren’t prepared~so…..  Again hmmmm.

Needless to say it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out the hydration situation here is more critical than back in the humid Midwest.  Plus, I get hot quick when I run, so this just adds to the agony.  Acclimation of  the new environment is in order.  I’m glad I’m taking it slow.  I figured that if I passed out from dehydration ~ hey there’s plenty of people around to help me right?  Right?

I was excited to see there is a robust running and biking schedule.  I’m excited to put my best foot or pedal forward in this new adventurous terrain.

I had a combination of walking, running and biking this time around which came to a glorious 64.88 miles thankfully leaving 9,360.34 remaining in my quest.  May you find your truth in every step forward you take.  Happy Miles to You!