Mileage Recap ~ 6 – 12 Aug…Manassas, VA

Happy Sunday Everyone!  I’m excited as the approach of the Quantico 12K is right around the corner.  Two weeks to be exact! I had a good training week, slowly increasing my mileage and keeping an eye on recovery and strength training.  I always wonder if the mind overcomes the weakness of the body.  If you’re determined enough, you just make it happen.  Something to ponder.

I ran three times this week combining track, street and trail(improved) running.  On Monday I went to the track after work and ran 3.5 miles.  2.5 miles were steady running and the last mile was speed work.  On Thursday I ran the hood and on Saturday my long run was out on the Mt. Vernon trail.   Each day was hot and humid with a slight breeze every now and again, but for the most part humid.  The temperature was moderate but the humidity was off the chart.  I have stuck to the Asics© and Nikes© and I’m happy to say I feel much better.  Still a bit sore, but definitely feeling much better.

My long run on Saturday started off around 9 am.  A little later than I wanted, but there you have it!  The temperature was 78 when I started and the humidity made it feel a lot hotter.  My first three miles were pain-free.  I had a bit of pain on the fourth mile, and would slow down when I felt the pinch.  I did have a wardrobe malfunction with my socks!  Around mile three they decided to scooch!  That’s a word right?  Left me with two nice blisters on the back of my ankles.  It’s always something.  I’m happy with my performance.  I felt strong and ready to move forward.

Blister

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scooching socks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of the things I love about this area is the history.  I decided to spend my day visiting the Bull Run Winery and visiting a couple of battlefield sites.  First, the Bull Run Winery is a must if you are in the Manassas area.  It’s a beautiful place and you can participate in tours and tasting.  They have food for purchase but you can bring in your own if you wish.  How can you go wrong with wine and live music!?  The wine was fantastic and I ended up buying a bottle of Norton.  Norton grapes are indigenous to the area.  The wine can be a little acidic at times, but this one was really very good.

A few shots:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After the winery we headed on down to Manassas National Battlefield Park.  In 1861, Union and Confederate forces faced off in the first major land battle of the Civil War.  A couple of pics:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This week’s miles came to a total of 11.11.  I am 96.19 miles from the halfway mark with 5753.69 miles gratefully remaining.  I hope this post finds you in good spirits and at ease.  Happy Miles to You!!

I am a rock…in a good way.

 

 

 

 

Mileage Recap ~ “I’ve Got Your Six”

Happy Sunday everyone!  Another week down and 20 days to go before the Quantico 12K.  Feeling okay this week.  The ankles are still a bit sore, but I was able to soldier on as they say.  I kept my running to treadmill and a flat track surface.  I enjoy running on the track.  It is a good break from running on the road at times.

In the past I’ve had about two pairs of running shoes.  The older pair normally would end up on garden duty!  I have three at the moment that I rotate on a regular basis.  I know, most runners are saying ~ is that all!  For the most part I have had a moderate support shoe, usually favoring Brooks©, Asics© or Saucony©.  I’ve come to the conclusion that the rotating between the shoes I have now, Nike©, Asics© and Hoka© were not the same in rise category and therefore, hurting my ankles.  Different rises cause you to use different muscles.  There is a difference in foot strike between the Hoka shoe I have which causes me to strike mid-foot and the other two which is more of a heel strike, causing me to run differently and causing the pain.  So, it’s bye bye Hoka for now.  There are different Hokas of course, but I think I’m going to stick with what has worked for me in the past ~ the Asics and the Brooks.  Maybe throw in a pair of Saucony from time to time.  All seemed to be comparable to my running style ~ and hopefully will mean less pain.   I talked it over with someone at the local running store and the theory seems to hold some value.

This weeks running plan continued on a road of recovery and training for my race.  I ran on Tuesday, did speed work on Thursday and Saturday was my longer run.  I kept to my plan and stayed at three miles for the long run with a respectable 10:37 pace.  I got a little bit of a late start and paid the price for that in humidity and heat.  I was good for the first two miles but that heat started to set in at mile three.  With no breeze it was a little trying.  It wasn’t too boring because I got to see the high school track team stretching and then they played frisbee in the center field.  It was fun to watch.

I run on the farthest lane or the number “6”.  For some reason every time I would pass the number 6 on the track I would think of the saying “I’ve got your 6”.  The quote is a military saying that originated out of WWI.

“In the military, “got your six” means “I’ve got your back.” The saying originated with World War I fighter pilots referencing the rear of an airplane as the six o’clock position. If you picture yourself at the center of a clock face, the area directly in front of you is twelve o’clock”.  ~ https://www.gotyour6.org/about/faqs/

The track definitely had my “6” as it was a bit friendlier on the old ankles!!  The final count for July miles came to 22.68.  This week I finished with 9.95 miles.  I’m looking to keep kicking up that long run distance.  I have gratefully completed 5550.20 miles in my journey with 5764.80 remaining.  I have 107.30 miles until the halfway mark.  I hope this post finds you well ~ and I hope someone has your “6”!  Happy Miles to You!!

 

 

Mileage Recap ~ 14 – 20 May….Finish Your Blanket

The interesting thing about having a blog is being able to think about topics or ideas to write about.  A lot of times when I think of something to write about I try to tie it in to an action from my past, my mileage count and what is going on in the present.  It’s a tall order.  Sometimes I get great inspiration and other times not so much.  I guess what makes writing this blog interesting is there is more than just a purpose of counting the miles ~ there are life lessons, growth and adventure to be had!  There are a lot of great blogs out there to read.  But blogging is hard and can be time-consuming.  Many blogs start but they don’t last long.  I have had a few people tell me they would like to blog.  Some start and it doesn’t last too long and others just never start.  Just like running long distances blogging takes a lot of willpower and persistance.

One of the most prominent features I remember about my Nana was her hands.  She suffered from really bad arthritis that left her fingers swollen and bent.  There have been many times I have looked at my own hands and have seen her hands.  Or maybe what my future hands may look like.  Let’s hope not, but you never know with genetics.  She used to crochet all the time and created some wonderful blankets.  I have many that I don’t even use because they were so beautiful.  I remember finding the art of crochet fascinating and wouldn’t mind learning myself.  Nana told me that she started crocheting because a doctor recommend it for exercising her hands.  She never crocheted until recommended by the doctor.  That recommendation has brought forth some wonderful heirlooms I and others still have today.

Funny it wasn’t my Nana who taught me how to crochet but a childhood friend when I was living in Texas.  I remember seeing her work on a blanket and I just had to learn.  So there in Victoria, Tx, my friend Stacey taught me how to crochet before I was a teenager.  I dabbled in it from time to time but never really produced something viable.  Bottom line, I would start, but I never finished.  If you think about it ~ what a colossal waste of time; picking out the yarn, the stitch, the size hook and starting the project only to put it away and never touch it again.  I started a Halloween blanket one time and I carried that thing around to about three different places we moved to while in the military.  I just couldn’t get rid of it because I knew one day…..

I’m very lucky to have a wonderful friend here in Alexandria.  She really took me under her wing and has made my move an easier one.  She has done so much for me that I wanted to do something for her to show my appreciation.  So….I’m going to crochet her a blanket.  Nothing fancy ~ just a nice double crochet blanket….and I’m going to finish it…no doubt.  Surely you jest,  you say!  Since I’ve been on this journey of completing 11315 miles I’m not the same person who was toting that orange and black half crocheted blanket around.  Waiting for the right Halloween to come around to finish.  I have become someone who can go the distance and finish.  Whether it be a crocheted blanket, a marathon,century or whatever life throws my way.  It might not be perfectly straight on the edges, but it was made with love, joy and a whole lot of heart and persistance.

This weeks mileage was pretty good.  I have already greatly surpassed last month and there is still more time!  The weather this week was a little rainy so some indoor riding and running were required.  I did two smaller runs and two rides on the indoor cycle.  It was supposed to rain today but we had hot, sunny and very humid weather and I went out for a small run.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I got out a little late and I sure did pay for that humidity.  The total for the week came to 27.68 miles with 5924.50 gratefully remaining.  Almost halfway there.

Whatever you do finish your blanket.  It may take awhile, but the path of persistence and will always does and the end result will be worth the effort.  This song comes to mind.  Happy Miles to You!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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!!