Mileage Recap ~ 4 – 10 Sept…If you’re lucky enough to be Irish… You’re lucky enough!

Week 9 Dublin Marathon 2017 Training is in the bag baby!  This week officially starts the looooong runs – and no I’m not talking about what happens when you’re dehydrated.  It was a good week as “they” say.  I’m not sure who said it, but I believe it was “they”.

This week’s running plan called for 4/7/4/16 and I’m happy to say I threw in a 4.5 on Thursday for good measure.  The temperatures at the beginning of the week where hot and my first three runs were a mere ok.  Saint Sebastian looked down on me Saturday morning because it was cool, breezy and overcast!  Thank you sweet Patron of Athletes!  Oh and Archery….this was the only photo I found that didn’t have arrows in his bloodied body….

I got up around 4:15 am and had my normal breakfast of two Eggo™ waffles, water, a cup of coffee, an Aleve™ and a sports gel (which I take 15 minutes before I go).  I ran with my water belt and carried 3 gels and some plantain chips.  I froze two bottles of water each with a Lime (great flavor) Gu™ tablet.  I tried the lime flavor this time around and it was great, I highly recommend it, as it wasn’t as sweet as the berry and didn’t leave that lingering aftertaste in my mouth.  I left those on the porch for my rounds, along with a free sports bar I got at last weeks Hero run (peanut butter and jelly ~ which sucked majorly).  I managed to get out the door around 5:45 am.  It was a little darker than I wanted, but I needed all the time I could get for 16 miles while it was still cool and overcast.

There were a lot of people out running!  Groups of runners young and old and then my long-lost friends…the cyclists.  It feels good to say my long run was successful.  I started off a little stiff, but into mile 3 I was feeling pretty solid.  There is no doubt the weather had a lot to do with my performance.  I have succumbed to the fact I am not a desert girl.  I do much better in the cooler temperatures.   My pace wasn’t really too much faster and I took a lot of breaks.  I was drinking so much fluid, so I made sure that I stopped each time I ran by the house.  My pains were minimal.  All the physical therapy has helped realign my pelvis and I’m feeling stronger in my core.  Not too shabby for an approaching 50-year-old.

Around mile 10 I started to develop some pain under my arms.  It wasn’t muscle pain but chafing!  A lot of sweating + the wrong shirt = what looks like 2nd degree burns.  Yeah….that was nice.  Apparently, St. Sebastian doesn’t do chafing.  There is no saint for chafing, so will hand that over to St. Jude, the Saint of Hopeless Causes (No…I’m not kidding…look it up Sparky!).  At mile 15, the sun…decided to finally say ~ “yeah you’re too slow…I’m coming out, let’s get this parade over with”.  At that moment, I became – a clock watcher.  You know, take two steps, look at your watch only to find you’ve only taken two steps.  But, I got it done in 3:21.

I decided to take myself down to the IHOP ‘ cause I could “ate a reverend mother for breakfast”.  I had hash browns, two eggs, sausage, crepes and four cups of coffee.  And so it begins…. and that was my second breakfast. I actually have my own IHOP mug at home.

So, what does all this crazy tally?  32.52 miles for the week with 6542.45 miles gratefully waiting.

When it’s good you can dance an Irish jig, eh?  Happy Miles to You!!

 

 

 

Mileage Recap ~ 28 Aug – 3 Sept…The 9/11 Heros Run

I decided to change-up my running routine this week and run the 9/11 Heros Run sponsored by the Travis Manion Foundation.  1LT Travis Manion was killed while serving in Iraq.  The Travis Manion Foundation is one of the more interesting foundations, in that it places veterans in mentoring roles with community youth that need positive role models.  The meaning of their motto, “If not me, then who…” stands for their mission to Redefine Americans Character through mentorship roles.  The Foundation realizes that many veterans experience difficulty reintegrating back into civilian society.  Often they feel displaced in their own community and mentoring youth without good role models provides purpose.  From the website:

You can check them out more here:  http://www.travismanion.org/character-does-matter/

When I signed up for the race it asked the question who is the hero you are running for?  There have been so many heros of 9/11 and unfortunately, there will continue to be more in a conflict that seems to go on endlessly.  We are very fortunate to have individuals military/civilian that will step up when called to duty.  We see it in all facets of life not just military conflict.  Look at the Texas flood.  The United States if filled with GOOD people.

 

A few shots from this weekend.  I ended up running around a 10:25 average pace and 11th in my age group.  My daughter made the sign!  She is such a great supporter!

 

 

 

Week eight marathon training went well.  My training plan called for 4/6/4/14 which ended up being 4/6/4/3.1.  I had every intention of “making” up the other 11 miles….and that pretty much went out the window Saturday night.  Yes, I know tsk tsk, but it will be okay.  Just clicking my heels three times….there’s nothing like mileage!

If I have to hold my Guinness with two hands instead of one, I – will – be – okay.

This is a picture of Jason Momoa from GOT looking like he’s holding a Guinness…it has absolutely nothing to do with this post…moving on.

So yes, training was good and I will be back on track Monday ~ meaning no more “side gigs”.  Pace is remaining the same in the 10 – 11 minute window for shorter runs and around 11 – 12 for the longer runs.  I’m glad I took the time out to do something different.  Stats are as follows:  17.70 miles for the week ending August with 96.11 total miles.  I have 6574.97 miles remaining in this journey!  There is always sadness when thinking about 9/11. Especially for all the life that was lost.  Every day is truly a blessing, we never know when it will be our last.  Celebrate every day.

Leaving this post on a high note, I’ve been looking for music for my run.  I’ve been erring on the side of native…if you know what I mean. Found this little diddy…I’m in the back. (Just kidding)  Happy Miles to You!!

Mileage Recap ~ 20 – 27 August…Goodbye Sweet Water Belt, Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow

I have finally said goodbye to a trusty old friend, my old water belt.  I lost one of the pods (for good) and the other one has a tendency of falling out from time to time.  Plus, it’s a small one and it’s just not enough water to get me through until my next water stop on the long runs.  No more freaking out at mile 8 and reaching at the small of my back to see if the pods are still in tact.  No more scrounging around in that sliver of a pouch for a gel or whatever else I stuck in there…

It’s so sad…immediately I thought of this…She’s gone…what went wrong.

…I better learn how to face it…ummm She’s Goooooo ooooo ooonnnnnn nnneee.

Ok, I’m back.  Yes, she’s gone.  Only to replaced by the newer model:

I went to the local Big 5 Sports looking for a newer belt and came out with this.  I DIDN’T want to pay a lot for the belt and there really wasn’t a lot of choice.  It was this, the Camel Back™, or a Nike™ belt that was way too complicated and expensive.  This one cost me about 12 bucks and it did the trick.  It’s a little big, but it actually wasn’t that bad to run with as hydration belts go.  The pouch was nice and large enough to carry gels and some other things without being burdensome.  So, I feel like I did well here.  I tested it out for this weeks long run and it worked out great.  I could have tightened it a bit more, but for the most part it was good.

This weeks running schedule was 4/6/4/12.  I feel like I’m getting stronger and the runs are a little easier.  My biggest hurdle is the heat and dryness.  Although the temps are lowering it’s still dry and stagnant at times.  I blow through my water.  I prepositioned water and snacks and made my loops.  I reported last week that the loop I follow was about 5.5 miles but it really is at the 6 mile mark – or so the Garmin says.  Which is good for me.

This week’s long run was 12 miles.  I was out the door at 5:30.  I was good until mile 6, then I started to get a little winded.  Made my first stop and drank some of the freezing water I had, filled the water pod, made a mistake and the cat ran out the front door, chased the cat and nearly had my face clawed off, and then was back on the road for the remaining 6 miles.  I consumed 4 gels and half of a power bar during the run.  Gels….  I had minimal pain this run.  The feet started hurting around mile 11, but for the most part I felt pretty good.

My pace for the long run came out to 12:20…about what I expected and I’m pleased.  I did my cool down stretches and then I did something new…I took an ice bath.  I didn’t like it at all, but my muscles loved it and I had minimal pain recovering.  Nothing like last week.  This might be a good thing!  Week seven training complete for a weekly total of 28.14 miles (cool downs included).  Ready for week 8!  I have 6592.67 miles remaining on my journey!  Happy Miles to You!!

Mileage Recap ~ 26 June – 1 July…Have You Hugged Your Physical Therapist Today?

I think everyone should go to physical therapy at least once a year in my humble opinion.  You most likely will be blown away at how out of balance your body gets with the normal wear and tear of daily life.  I first went to a PT after I had my knee surgery four years ago.  As I was doing my rehabilitation exercises my PT casually mentioned that it looked like one of my legs was longer then the other.  Upon closer inspection she mentioned that my pelvis was twisted.  In order to get myself in alignment not only did I have to do knee strengthening but pelvis stabilization exercises.  I have always had hip issues and this was most likely due to that fact.  I had also received an MRI about 3 years ago meant for the hip and you know how that goes.  It’s like taking your car for an oil change and the mechanic says “yeah we changed the oil but did you know your radiator has a leak”?  This was one of those moments.  I go into for the MRI for the hip and come out with a slightly bulging disk review.  Hmmmm.  I know if I just don’t think about it, won’t the diagnosis magically just disappear…….

Fast forward to the present, the doctor wants me to get a follow up MRI. Since I have been having a few niggles here and there I was nervous about the prospect of the bulging disk because I still was having pain radiate down my right leg from time to time and of course the left knee issues.  Good news – no bulging disk!  It was gone.  I was a little perplexed because the doctor told me if there was damage or the disk was herniated then it wasn’t going to fix itself.  So he gave me an order for physical therapy to “fix” what needs fixing.

I love my PT!  She first made me go through some exercises and evaluated me then measured my hips and said, yep your right hip is rotated 1.5″ inward.  Amazing.  So I’m way out of alignment and now I have to work to stabilize and bring the pelvis back.  I asked about the bulging disk and she mentioned that if it’s no more than 9 degrees it can correct itself.  That’s great to know.  She also mentioned that the new running shoes I bought, the ones where they watched me run then made a determination on the correct shoe, were wrong!  That sucks.  Because my arches are so high the “stability shoe” I have is incorrect.  So, I will need to purchase the right shoe before I get up into the longer runs.  There is plenty of information and research on how the wrong running shoe has caused major injury and damage to the body.  My personal mantra is you can skimp on everything else but never on the shoes.  You don’t have to buy the most expensive pair, but a good shoe and one that is correct for you.

I’ve been attending PT for two weeks now and I can tell a difference already in my pain level during and after a run.  It is really amazing.  During my last session I mentioned that my right glute was really tight and I started prattling on about foam rolling and the PT says with a huge grin let’s do some myofascial release! Yay…uh what is that?  As a registered yoga instructor I know about fascia.  Fascia is the thin sheath of fibrous tissue enclosing a muscle or other organ.  The collagen fibers that make up the fascia need to stay supple and be able to slide and move.  When muscles stay tight, the fascia clings to them, and both can become rigid over time.  That’s why it feels good to stretch, foam roll, tennis ball therapy and do yoga.  You may even have purchased an instrument for myofascial release and not even realize it!  For more on fascia read this article:  A Body Part You Never Knew Could Be Making You Miserable .

Back to myofasical release.  The PT tells me to go in this special room.  I’m excited because I think I’m getting a spa treatment!!  She comes back with a tool like this:

It looks like a shoehorn.  I realize there might be people out there that don’t know what a shoehorn is….I’ll give you a clue…it helps you get your shoe on…Google it my friends.  All the while I’m still smiling.  She then hands me the tool to inspect and she speaks in a kind voice, “see it has a little serrated edge at the top almost like little teeth”.  She hands it too me like a dentist hands a child the drill before getting a filling.  See Jimmy, it’s really not that bad, and will be over  before you know it!  Okay….spa treatment!  Then she smiles and says, “Oh yeah this might cause a little bruising”.

How could something so right go so terribly wrong!  My sweet PT went from all smiles to badass in 3 seconds flat.

It was like a bad European women’s wrestling match dream.  Spa treatment, spa treatment, spa treatment…I clicked my heals three times as I felt those little teeth digging into my right glute and I realized I wasn’t in physical therapy Kansas anymore.  PT smiles and laughs ~ “you thought you were getting a spa treatment didn’t you”!  I had to laugh…how the heck could she read my mind!

 

I’m not going to lie, it was damn painful.  I’m still feeling the “release” as we speak.  The only problem with PT is doing the homework.  You go and have these sessions, but then you have to be disciplined enough to come back and do your homework.  I would say I’m a C+ student at the moment.  I am doing the exercises, but I could be more disciplined.  Over all I’m pleased and hope this will make me stronger.

Running was good this week.  Still hanging at the 6 mile mark for the long run.  The long run was about at a 6 on the 1 – 10 scale with a pace at 11:57.  Slooowww and hot.   Logged 11.78 miles for the week.   I have 6736.58 miles gratefully remaining.  Even though it’s tough I had this song playing and so true.  Happy Miles to You!!

 

Mileage Recap ~ 21 May – 4 June

I looked at my blog page and my countdown widget now says 4 months to go!  This is really going quick almost a blink of an eye.  I am in the very beginnings of training for the Dublin Marathon.  After my calf injury, again, I rested from running for almost a full two months.  During that time I have been strength training, walking and some riding.  I can’t tell you enough how much the strength training has been helping me.  Working on the core and legs have given me less pain in the knees and hips.

I started off just walking then I incorporated short bursts of running then back to walking and it really has helped.  I had minimal pain in the knees, especially my left, all the while building into longer runs.  So it seems to be working.  There is no pride here either.  If I started to feel little niggles I simply slowed down or started to walk.  The best part was my breathing.  I didn’t feel tired at all.  That was a fantastic feeling.  Although, it is starting to get very hot now, the long runs will have to happen in the morning…on a weekend ~ lol.

This upcoming week will be more of the same, building strength, and foot placement.  One of the nice things about starting from the beginning is correcting the errors.  I tend to slog along sometimes so when I’m doing that I mentally remind myself to pick up the feet and swing the hips more.  May has been my biggest month yet this year at 92.66 miles.  I had a total of 26.33 for this tally and 6786.02 miles wonderfully remaining.  I hope this post finds you well ~ 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!

New Year – More Miles and the Danger of DuraFlame

Aaaaannnnd we’re back.  Well me, I’m back.  January blew by.  It always seems that when the holidays are over, everyone is at breakneck speed–to get stuff done.  They don’t always know what, but by God we’re gonna get shit done this year.  That’s how January becomes one big crazy blur.  I used to make New Year’s resolutions.

I’m going to do this, and that, and this and oh yes, that!  Uh…yeah.  So I got tired of that crap.  I mean, you shouldn’t have to wait until the new year to decide – yep, this is going to be the year!  Just do it.  So I don’t even bother with that any more.kewpie-doll

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I just think of an idea, see if it’s viable, I plan, then it’s off I go.  No hovering over the great porcelain god after a night of drinking on NYE celebrating all the “awesomeness” I’m going to do the following year. Just kidding, that was an extreme sentence above, I just wanted to see if you are still with me….ok put it out of your mind.

What was really extraordinary is this year started off with an “un-bang”.  Yes, I believe an infant just learning to crawl would have cleared more  mileage then I did in January.  First, I was traveling.  My daughter was still home from college and we went to Slot Canyon in Arizona (more of that in another post) and I went home to South Carolina to see family and my new niece.  Mixed in with that was an injury.  Nothing sexy like falling off my bike or running a big race and pulling a muscle.  No, that’s not how I roll.  No, I decided that I would tassel with a 6pk DuraFlame box on my way inside the grocery store.  It has been cold lately in the desert.  We do drop to freezing temps from time to time.  It doesn’t last long, but it’s chilly.  There isn’t a lot of wood for the fireplaces here.  You’ll see the prepackaged wood, about five pieces in a bag, but it’s a little pricey.  Burning a fake log, while not that esthetic, does give you ambience and heat.

I’m on my way into the grocery store and I see the box…so shiney, and six logs! You know how they stack stuff at the store entrance.

duraflame I pull a ballerina move by balancing on one leg, reaching down with my left hand to grab the box and throw it in the cart as I’m still walking into the store, mind you.  During mid swing, I hear a pop.  I drop the box and then I became really dizzy and my breathing became labored.  There are moments in life you know aren’t going to end well.  This was one of those moments.  I just stood there trying to gain my composure while my lower back was screaming.  I was hurting so bad my breathing was erratic and thought I would pass out.  I knew that I might be calling for help because I couldn’t move forward.  I stood there holding on to the cart with both hands for what seemed to be 2 minutes in front of the automatic door just watching it open and close because I was in its radar proximity.  Meanwhile, people just passed me.  WTH Ahwatukee?  After I caught my breath I hobbled in to continue shopping.    Long story short – I have been recovering for about 3 weeks.  I was able to get in some walks, a few short runs and a couple of rides.  I was really hoping to blaze out of the 2017 gates, but that didn’t happen.  Bonehead move for sure.  Some days you start the day feeling like Wonder Woman™ and then reality sets in:

clumsy

 

 

 

 

I’m starting off the year with 20.91 miles!  If you do make resolutions I hope you reach your goal.  I have a few goals for this year too….one is to do more miles than last year.  Here’s to all the Wonder Women out there..Happy 2017 and Happy Miles to You! 7042.73 left to go.