Mileage Recap ~ 16 – 22 April…Happy Earth Day

Happy Earth Day everyone!  I didn’t even know it was earth day until I saw it on Google.  They have a great video on Dr. Jane Goodall.  I can’t think of a better representative for Earth Day then Jane Goodall.  I love all the work she’s done with primates and her overall sentiment that the earth is something to love, cherish and pass on to our youth.  If you would like to know more about Jane go to this link: http://www.janegoodall.org/

There are a lot of “days” out there to be celebrated and I imagine for most people some of this stuff is just a waste of time and money.  Maybe so in some cases, but I think earth day is a great day to reflect on how we live in our environment now and what can we do to improve and consume less.  At least I do. This weekend’s weather was true spring weather in Alexandria.  Blue skies, a little nip in the morning with it heating up later.

As I ran my longer run this weekend I took in the beauty of the trees, river, blue bonnets, and even the dandelions. Birds are singing and squirrels are running about the woods.  People moving freely and enjoying the warmer weather, just being. I know what you’re thinking…oh brother, so it was a nice day, so what?  Well, I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’ve been in places, countries if you will where it wasn’t such a nice day.  Actually, it was quite the opposite.  Despair, anger, death and hopelessness.  I think often about my time in Somalia and it’s sad to know that there are places and people in this world who can’t go out and let the beauty of the world wash over them, even if it’s just for an hour.  These are the things I sometimes think about trying to log these miles. Thoughts that I will always carry with me until the end I guess.   If I were Queen for a day I would change these things if I could.   So, out of all the days Earth Day is a bit of an enigma.   It’s fun to talk about, but harder to walk the walk.  As I age I always think, hmmm, do I really need that or turn off the lights, recycle, conserve water.  I ask myself how much is enough.  It’s hard because no one wants to be uncomfortable, including me.  I do try though in mind, spirit and action.

This week I picked up more mileage than the prior week.  The plan was to cycle today but “bad kitty” (aka my bike) wasn’t having any part.  Cleaned her off and started to air up the tires only to find a valve issue…again.  I guess the trek across country was a little more damaging than I previously thought.  This weeks business will be to find a cycle shop and take her in for some my need professional maintenance.  I ran instead.  Started the week off with a longer run, indoor cycling on Thursday and a longer run today of 3.5 miles.  Slowly bringing the distance back up.  I felt good today ~ pain is low and I ended up running 10:39.  Not too shabby but the annoyance level was a little high because of the bike.

Total mileage came out to 17.63 this week.  I’ve already passed March numbers and I’m not even in the hotter weather and have a week to go!  I have 6030.71 miles graciously awaiting me.  I hope this post finds you well enough to go outside, close your eyes and let the beauty of this earth wash over you.  Happy Earth Day.  Happy Miles to You!!

If I could change the world…I surly would.

 

 

 

 

Mileage Recap ~ Apr 9 – 15…Spring Fever

It’s hard to believe I’ve only been in D.C. a little over a month.  It seems a lot longer and when I look back at all the progress I’ve made from moving into a new place, starting a new job and just getting back into the swing of things it’s a little surreal.

I’m ready for Spring!  How about you?  There is a lot of push and pull in the weather.  This past week has shown some nice temps with Saturday reaching 87 degrees according to my thermometer and now it’s in the 50s and raining!

This week was an improvement in miles ~ and that’s what it is all about!  I was able to take a few walks at lunch time when the weather is good. Sometimes it’s hard for me to pull away from what I’m doing and leave during lunch.  I’m sure a lot of you do the same thing.  But it’s important to get away from that computer and if nothing else take that walk to clear the mind and stretch the legs.  Now if I can just eat my lunch away from my desk I’ll be doing well!

This weeks mileage was a good combination of treadmill, walking and running.  The nicer weather had me out after work with a few runs in my local area.  I have been slowly pushing the length of each run trying to get to a nice solid running mileage during the week and then pushing for the longer runs on Saturday.  I started with 2.5 and then a 2.75 during the week and ended with a 3 mile run on Saturday.  For the most part feeling pretty good.

I was so pleased with Saturday’s run.  First time in a while I took the water bottle and gels with me.  The best part about the run, well the two best things, the trees and the weather.  It was so wonderful to hear the leaves rustling the wind, the birds singing and the sun shining on the water.  It put me in a great mood.  Even better my pace for this run was 10:04.  Haven’t seen that for a long time!  Overall felt good and a positive end to the week.  Something to smile about!

You can see the trail and winds 8 miles both ways.  I can’t believe I got a shot and no one was in it.  There are a lot of people on the trail.  Looking to practice on this running and cycling.  I completed 12.53 for the week, up four.  I am very close to breaking 6K!  It’s going to happen people.  I have 6048.34 miles gratefully waiting.  I hope this post finds you “spring” ready!  Happy Miles to You!!

Spring always gives me Fever…..

 

 

Mileage Recap ~ Winter Trail Frosty (WTF) Half Marathon

The first word is always the hardest to write.  Hmmm, ok let’s go for the utterly mundane and say I have completed my third half marathon.  I would have tried to bang this post out yesterday, but I was tired and hungry.  Oh so very hungry.  Where to begin…”It was the best of times, it was the worst of times….”  Oh very sorry, wrong story.

On Sunday I completed the Winter Trail Frosty Trail Half Marathon that took place in Papago Park in Tempe, Arizona.  I get a lot of junk email for different types of races. I searched for races that take place in January in Arizona and the WTF came up.  I thought it would be cool to do one closer to home.  This race is hosted by 131 Event Productions, who sponsor similar races across the country.  I guess it would be safe to say they are a franchise.  I signed up originally because I wanted to do another trail race.  I have done a few trails before with the last one, the Grand Canyon Half, in 2016.  So, I was ready to try another trail run.

About a couple of weeks before the race an update was sent out that mentioned something about insurance and injury and that the run wouldn’t  take place through the park but around the lake area closer to the city.  I was surprised and a little put out but it was a chance to get some miles in and to focus on PRing my fastest half time.

I had been good with hydrating and eating the whole week.  Focusing on good energy foods.  The morning of I did have this:

No, it’s not just ordinary toast…it’s cinnamon sugar toast.  I had it growing up as a kid and had been craving it so I made it for part of my breakfast.  The other part was a Kashi cereal that tastes like Captain Crunch™.  Don’t judge.  Packed about two gels for every two miles and headed out the door around 7:15.

Arrive at the venue and begin to drive to the parking lot only to see cars driving back.  A sure sign that there are no more parking spaces.  I was beginning to realize that  maybe I should have left a little earlier.  I found myself parking in a park down the road with others about a mile from the start.  Park the car and realize that I need to step up my game.  In other words, girlfren you need to start wogging to the start line.  I needed to get there because I wanted to get one last bathroom break in before the race starts.  Get to the start line and look for portos.  What!!??!!  Looking….looking…oh there…they…are….  WTFrack!  There were only six portos and the line was out the…well you know.  I mean come on!!!  Six?  Heck, women alone need six!  Now we have to share them?  So, there I stood and I’ll tell you I wasn’t happy.  If I someone shooting the shyster I know my ice eyes were beaming through the back of their heads.  STOP TALKING….”five minutes till race start” the announcer bellows.  No way was I going to get this done.  I made the call to get out of the line and go back to the start.  Once the race began I ran to the porto and waited for six minutes, then I started my race.  Yeah.  Awesome.

The race

The race was a combination of a quarter and half marathon.  The half marathoners (me) got to do the course…you guessed it, twice.  As my readers well know, there is nothing I hate more than a lapped run.  It’s boring.  Did I say it’s boring?  But sometimes you just have to deal.  I start running down a small path and the next thing I know it’s starts to go through the park!  A real trail run.  Uh, hmmm what about the insurance blah, blah, death, blah blah…???  Yes, ladies and gentleman, we have ourselves a real trail run. I was happy, but a bit shocked.  I sure as heck wouldn’t have worn my Hokas ya’ll!  But there I was hopping over rock and sand.  The majority of the trail was single person wide with a few concrete cross overs and some flat areas.  You know what that means right?  Here’s a hint:

Can you guess?  It was a caterpillar run.  Meaning, you’re only going as fast as the person in front of you.  A lot of stop and starting.  Awesome!  One thing I will say, the difficulty was higher than the Grand Canyon Half.  You had to be careful where you stepped and it was constantly up and down.  I was very careful on descending because I didn’t want to hurt my knee again.  That’s what got me in trouble last time.  It was a tough course.

Here is a picture I took on one of the few places that was flatter.  Mind you I was already halfway up the hill.

Support

This is where things get a little iffy and I really want to say something about this because I have noticed this happening in MANY events I’ve taken part over the years.  For the first part there was heavy support.  The trail was marked okay, not great.  They marked it with bright green tape (the route to follow) and orange tape (where not to go).  There were volunteer guides to set you on the right path at some of the more tricky parts.  After the first round, i.e. the quarter marathoners completed their race, the volunteers magically disappeared.  Now you would think, well you ran it once surely you would know where to go.  Not so.  Runners were getting tired and paying attention to foot strike.  I saw a lot of people get turned around at some of the more confusing points, myself included.  Then the ultimate no no, they took away some of the water points.  Look, I didn’t bring my water belt.  I train with one, but I look forward to running a race without one, especially if there is water support.  Right or wrong, we can discuss that in the comments section.  A lot of people had their belts or hydration packs.  Maybe I should have brought mine.  The water points were about every two miles for the first part of the race, but seemed to disappear the second half.  This is what I find at a lot of these events.  You have the fast people who will finish the race in one hour, but then the other 90% don’t.  The other 90% paid for this experience too and therefore, the event managers need to follow through and support until the last man or woman crosses the finish line.  Some of these races are expensive.  This one wasn’t too bad, but still the support needs to be the same for all.  Unless there are some stipulations in the event rules that state support cuts off after a certain time, support the runners.  I was really counting on one of the water points only to find it packed up and gone.  Not cool.  I will be writing 131 productions.

The finish

The finish was great and well supported.  They had lots of food and water to refuel and the bling wasn’t too bad either.  The medal was crazy big and a little heavy!  I wonder sometimes if you can get addicted to the bling.  My body was a little sore, but overall this was a pain free race!

I was pleased with my performance.  I was going to say I didn’t PR but I guess I did because this was my second trail half.  I ran 3 hours and some change for the Grand Canyon and I finished this run at 2:59.  Granted the elevation differences are not the same with two very different environments.  I came in 9th in my age group for this run.  Don’t get excited, there were eleven in my age group.

After the run I was really hungry even after eating cake and a banana at the finish, so I treated myself to Culvers.  I hadn’t been there in a while and needed something good!

And here I thought they did the pickle like that especially for me….no, it’s everyone.

I completed 27.45 miles this week bringing me to 5110.36 miles completed in my journey with 6204.64 gratefully remaining.  I hope this post finds you surrounded by the people you love.  Happy Miles to You!!

Once again I felt like I was on the moon.  I got in the car to go home and this was on the radio….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mileage Recap ~ 10 – 15 Oct…Week 14 Training – Keep Calm And Go Irish

It’s hard to believe that in a week I will be in Ireland.  Roughly 10 months ago on a whim I decided that I would run the Dublin Marathon for my 50th birthday.  Thus began 8 months of training that will end next Sunday, 20 October.  While I was doing my initial planning I had to decide if I would run the race at the beginning of my trip then tour the country or at the end. To me it was an easy answer…beginning.  I wanted to be able to enjoy myself while traveling and this means being able to eat what I want, when I want.  If I toured first then tried to run the race I imagine that would have been 1) boring and 2) a big ‘ol mess. So, I opted to run first then enjoy myself later.

I believe my biggest hurdles are acclimation and sleep.  Anyone that has gone to a foreign country knows it takes a bit to adjust to the time change and I won’t really have enough time, only two days.  I have made peace with that fact that this may be…harder than I thought.  Meaning, this is going to be harder than I thought.

I searched the inter-webs and came across How to Adjust to Moving to A New Timezone – Bekins

Some take ways:

Before the flight

1. Slowly adapt to the new sleeping schedule.

Ok. I did think about this one, but my favorite line states (…a month or two weeks before) uhhhh ain’t nobody got time for that!  The article suggests changing your sleeping habits 15 minutes at a time.  I think I will give this a go for as much as I possibly can.

2. Rest for three days before you leave.

Ok.  Cats/house you’re on your own – peace out!

3. Cut back on alcohol, caffeine, and sugar before you leave.

What that he**!!  Do you not know it’s October Fest and almost Halloween????!!!  I have already bought my candy, and yes I have to sample!!

4. Drink plenty of water.

Done and done…I live in the desert.

During the Flight

1. Drink some more water.

If there is one thing I hate is having to go to the bathroom on the plane.  I’m not kidding either.  Transatlantic is the worst.  I’m tiny and I can barely fit in that tube – but I will have to do it because the flight is about 7 hours…..so drink water I shall!

2. Sleep or stay awake (depending on arrival time).

Oh don’t worry…I will.  Someone has to keep an eye out for shenanigans.

3. Reset your watch.

But it’s so much more fun if I didn’t…no?

After the Flight

1. Go to bed or eat breakfast (depending on arrival time).

I’ll be arriving in the morning, so eating it is…which there is never an issue.

2. Use melatonin.

Baaawwwwaaaawwwaa!  Nice!  I have the system of a horse, melatonin won’t help this gal cut some ZZzzzzs.

We’ll, there you have it ~ Important information about time change and travel.  I will do my best to make the transition as painless as possible.

My week 14 training was very much welcomed.  Time to start focusing on resting the body a bit and my long run was only 9 miles!  Hallelujah!  For the most part feeling ok.  I’m not at 100% on feeling great and there are some aches and pains.  Most runners will read that line and say “when are there not”, but it is possible to run with minimal pain.  There is going to have to be an in-depth after action review on this marathon and my training when it’s all said and done.  But like they say ~ the train has left the station, hop on board!

This weeks mileage came to 22.81.  I have 6386.71 miles gratefully remaining.  Happy Miles to You!!

There’s an Irish party in third class!!

Mileage Recap ~ 25 – 30 Sept…”Your Feet Will Take You Where Your Heart Is” – Irish Proverb

Week 12 Dublin Marathon training is complete.

It’s hard to believe that October is here and my race is in less than a month.  I can remember just thinking about it as something that I wanted to just do, now it’s coming to pass.  I’m looking forward to it, but I don’t think I’ve reached the point of excitement just quite yet.  I’m excited ~ but not crazy excited.

One of the neat things about running this race is I am “meeting” different runners through Instagram who are running the same race.  I get to see their progress and the different types of training they’re doing to get ready.  Even funnier there is this one gal I follow and she is from Dublin and she will be traveling to run the NYC marathon on November 5th.  I’m going to Ireland and she is coming to NYC.  She is doing really well with her training and looks fabulous. It’s fun, almost like an electronic pen pal.  If you want to follow me on Instagram, it’s #11315miles.

It’s also been fun watching my running friends complete their marathons.  I love the bib tracking.  It’s almost like being there watching the race.  You can get notifications sent to your phone so even if you can’t “be” there physically, you can spiritually!  Lots of fun and I would suggest doing it to show your runner support.

This weeks training was fairly decent.  I’m on schedule and I can really feel myself getting stronger as a runner.  In other words the training is paying off.  I feel I could be a little bit stronger.  The training this time around has proven to be a little more difficult than in the past.  As I typed that sentence I was like…uh what?  Yeah, sometimes you don’t see the results you hoped.  Or maybe it’s the dreaded “A” word.  Never!  I refuse to say it’s age!  One thing for certain is it was just harder this time around.

The shorter runs were really good this week.  I had a steady pace around 11:21 and my breathing felt strong with no stopping.  This week’s long run called for 18 miles.  The first half of the run was really, really good.  I didn’t stop for a break and ran straight through for 12 before I started slowing down.  It’s funny to see the metrics on my Garmin because it shows where it went to crap.  What did me in was the foot pain. This time both feet.  Foot pain led to sporadic breathing that led to some upper back pain.   I would have to double over a bit every now and then just to stretch the back out.  I bet some people driving thought I was nuts.  It’s the damn shoes,so I bought new ones today.  Definitely its own blog post.  My arches were hurting so bad that I just couldn’t wait to sit down and rub them and get some relief.  I wasn’t going to be denied any miles so I kept on going.  I completed 18 miles with an average pace of 13:26.  Not sexy, but I did finish and that means more than my pace…at the moment.  One more long run then the taper begins!  Which means no more really long runs until the actual marathon.  I feel I need to have a taper party!!  I finished 32.66 for the week bringing the monthly total to 132.72 miles.  I have 6445.39 miles left on my mileage journey and I’m “feelin good”.  Happy Miles to You!!

 

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!!