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!

Mileage Recap ~ 24 – 31 August: Seattle

Happy Labor Day!

This week’s mileage recap comes from the beautiful city of Seattle.  I had the opportunity to visit last week as we took our daughter to a local Performing Arts College.  I passed through Seattle some years ago on my way to Ft. Lewis for some military training and all I could remember was the rain and temperatures in the 30s at night ~ during June.  Not fun for a Southern girl.  This go round was different, temperatures and weather was very pleasant.  Although I didn’t run much through the city I enjoyed my visit.

To me, Seattle gives you the big city life but not as busy as New York City.  It was easy to move about the city on foot or car.  Parking was crazy expensive.  Here a couple of photos to share:

Walked to the needle from the hotel.

Walked to the needle from the hotel.

I’m a foodie so the public market was amazing.  I think I could go there every day for the fresh veggies, fruit, and food!

The Market

The Market

Fresh veggies

Fresh veggies

Hanging peppers

Hanging peppers

photo 5

Fresh fish

I ate at a restaurant at the market and these crab cakes were great.

Crab cakes from a local resturant

Crab cakes from a local restaurant

How can you not sample the local brew?  Thank goodness I still have over 9,000 miles remaining:)  I could eat my way through Seattle.

IPA from a local brewery

IPA from a local brewery

Totem down by the water

Totem down by the water

I did pay a visit to the city’s Chinatown.  Not bad but nothing compared to San Francisco or New York.  Either way stopped for some really good Vietnamese food.



Visited the town Leavenworth, Washington that has a large German immigrant population (or did).  The town is modeled after towns in Bavaria.  The country side is breath-taking and riddled with wineries and orchards.  Just beautiful.

Reminds me of Bavaria

Reminds me of Bavaria

I tracked three days of mileage in Seattle ~ running, walking and elliptical and was able to pick some cycling up when I came home.  Total for the week came to 26.77 miles with a total of 106.95 miles for August. ~ 9,770.85 miles gratefully remaining.  Happy miles to you.

Meg’s Miles Supporters

You might have heard that some in the running community will be dedicating today’s runs in honor of Meg Menzies who was killed by a driver under the influence on 13 January 2014 while out on her morning run.  You can find the Facebook group link below if you would like to participate.

Megs Miles

Meg’s Miles Supporters

Setting out this morning in support ~ details later.


Mileage Recap 17 ~ 23 Nov

I started “counting” my mileage over a year ago.  My goal for 2013 is to have logged 1,000 total miles from my 11,315 mile goal.  I’m pleased to announce I’ve completed 939.81 total miles since I started; 868.74 miles for 2013 alone.  I think I will have no problem picking up 60.19 miles to reach that goal. 

My long run this weekend was 5 miles and it was my first cold run of the season at a crisp 31 degrees.  The wind wasn’t blowing but I still felt that bite.  Had no trouble breathing but the face was a little numb and I’m not ready to pull out the face mask just yet.  I can remember when I first started running in the cold, it took a bit of getting used to.  Now I don’t fret ~ just saddle up an move out.  We used to call that good training in the Army.

Sunday ~ rest

Monday ~ 3 miles treadmill

Tuesday ~ crossfit and yoga

Wednesday ~ 3 miles treadmill

Thursday ~ Kettle bells and heaven help me indoor softball

Friday ~ Rest

Saturday ~ 5 miles  

May this week find you at peace and Thankful ~ the best miles are hard earned. 

Mileage Recap 7 – 12 Oct

Another week of training down!  I’m beginning to taper for the St. Louis Rock and Roll Marathon on 27 Oct.  I’ve read a lot about different people’s experience on tapering.  The common denominator seems to be the restlessness and anticipation before the race, i.e. sitting still and going on shorter runs to give your body a break.  I’m going to go out on a limb here….I LOVE TAPER TIME!

Taper Week

Courtesy of


Yeah, that’s right ~ I love me some taper….

I’ve been working hard and have a lot of mileage under my belt, so I welcome a little bit of lower intensity to focus on my body, eating properly and easing my mind about the race.  The runs this week were normal and fairly uneventful.  Had the pleasure of running with my friend Kathi this Saturday for the long run.  Kathi is fast, but I enjoy the push.

The weather here in the Midwest is very unpredictable.  Wanted to get out of the house at 7 am and received an update on my phone that lightning was within 5 nautical miles of the base.  I look out the window and everything looks great.  Eh, I’m going.

It’s a cool morning, slightly overcast and an easy run of 9 miles ahead of us.  Kathi is so polite; she can tell when I need to slow down.  She just finished a marathon the week before (her fourth) and was giving me some good advice.  If you are running your first race, doesn’t matter the length, it’s always good to get advice from someone who has completed that length of a race.  They will give you the true ups and downs of what’s going on and how they felt during the run and what to expect.  Granted each race is a little different, but you get the picture.  Nothing beats experience.

Out running on our main road the road kill is in full force.  Sigh….running side-by-side I find myself dodging this and that.  I’m beginning to think I’m running an obstacle race this morning.  What is that?  Kathi, “It’s weird how it gets so flat“.  I’m just bracing for the stink!  Me, “Is that seven or eight now?”  We get to our turn around point and we see the weather off in the distance.  Around mile 5.5 it starts pouring.  You know when you’re with a good running buddy when you both start laughing.  I love running in the rain.  There’s something so freeing.  It’s beyond the fact that you are getting soaked.  You remember when you were young and it was raining outside?  Your parents would yell at you to get into the house.  You’re going to catch a cold!  And you would run around in defiance!  Hey, at least I did.  Well, let me tell you, that feeling you had at five feels the same at forty-five.  The way the drops hit your face.  It was cool and warm at the same time.  Lean your head back and watch those big drops fall down.  We laughed all the way home.  Being rained on…look at it as a blessing and character building and we Army folk like to say ~ good training!

Last week’s workout:

Mon ~ 4.7 miles

Tues ~ 1:15 yoga

Wed ~ 8 miles

Thurs ~ 5 miles

Fri ~ rest

Sat ~ 9.01

Sun ~ rest

Total miles for the week = 26.71 with 10,458.58 (rainy possibly) miles remaining.  Happy miles to you!

Digging Deep

This is a hard week.  I’m tired and need a little bit of motivation.  I missed Monday’s run because I rode my motorcycle for four hours on Sunday.  My body was physically whipped.  So, I listened and took a break.  I want to stay focused, but I also know when to say, okay I need a break and not to take myself too seriously.

This brings me to Tuesday.  Went to yoga class.  Drive up to the studio and notice there aren’t any cars in the lot.  Not a good sign.  Hmmm, maybe class was cancelled.  Then a car rolls up and the other yoga teacher gets out.  I feel bad because I don’t remember her name, but I will remember her…no doubt.  This was the first time I’ve ever really interacted with this new teacher.  I’m excited because – hey I’ll learn some new things.  I go to “my” place and wait.  About 10 minutes pass and I realize I’m the only student.  Here is an equation for you..

Only student does not equal easy class

Guess what…she’s a runner too – that equals hip opening exercises – one on one style!

I have earned the honor of the tightest hips – meaning I do not like to bend certain ways.  Fast forward to Wednesday.  Apparently my hips were very, very angry.  Very angry.  This eight mile run will go down as the worst run ever!  I think someone strapped two concrete blocks to my feet when I wasn’t looking.  I couldn’t believe how heavy my legs felt.  Then the right hip and hamstring were howling.  The whole run was a conversation with my inner running self “Awww come on you can do it…just put your mind to it” ~ eh, be quiet.

Digging way down deep…completed but very hard.

Happy miles to you.