Mileage Recap ~ 3 – 9 Dec…I’m Tracking

Happy Sunday everyone!  As I run through my calculations of miles completed it’s always a pleasure to see the “miles remaining” is less than the “miles completed”.  Although the journey is still a long one and there are plenty of adventures to be had, it is positive.

I have an Instagram friend, Dr. Linda Sinnott, who went on a big life transformation to loss weight.  It’s funny because she and I are very similar; both in our 50s, yoga instructors and love fitness.  She worked out for 365 days straight, making a commitment to herself to live healthier.  It’s been fun watching her progress.  As with anything that is worth fighting for, you have to make a commitment and work at your goal.  You have to be consistent.  Make an effort to be present and show up for whatever it is you are attempting.  Some days the results are pretty and other days just butt ugly.  Eventually, the effort will pay off…at least that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

I decided to take a page out of her play book and complete some miles every day.  I was in the gym some days and then decided to time myself on Saturday with a two-mile run.  I have been continuing with strength and endurance training with hopes of getting a better pace during the winter months.  Happy to report:

Not too bad if I do say so..lol.  I walked a mile after then ran a final mile for a total of 4 miles on Saturday.  The week was a good one.  I rode the indoor bike 10.5 (11 on one day) each day with the exception of 5 miles on Friday for a total of 62 miles for the week.  I love the morning when the sun is just up on the trail.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have completed 5880.44 with 5434.56 miles gratefully remaining.  I’m still tracking, still working and still earning every mile.  I hope this post finds you in a great state of mind; present, full of hope and still tracking.  Happy Miles to You!!

This song came on for the second mile on Saturday and is great for the pace….

 

Mileage Recap ~ 15 – 21 October…To Bling or Not to Bling: Is That the Question?

Hello everyone and happy Sunday!  I hope your days are getting spookier as we approach the 31st!  Yes, I’m still a kid at heart.  I love this season, it’s just one awesomeness after the another.  At least that is my perspective.  I have already got my Halloween cards out and have brought in jack-o-lantern cookies to the office.  I was good this year and have only bought two Fall baking magazines.  It’s tempting for me to walk by the magazine stands and not pick one up.  Baking is something that tires me out but also brings me intense joy.  I tend to select recipes that challenge me and can take longer than reading the back of a box and popping it in the oven.  There is something about creating a treat that looks nice and is fun to eat.  But I will admit, after I create I often find myself saying ~ yeah I don’t need to do this again.  I get over that feeling and before I know it I’m back in the kitchen creating again. There’s just something about when the seasons start to change that’s invigorating.  The air is cool and crisp and the colors of Fall are just brilliant.  I love decorating my space with the warm glow of lights and candlelight.  It’s such a warm feeling.  Every year I say I’m going to do less, but that never seems to happen and it’s not lost on me that what goes up….must come down!

Back on the mileage train this week.  I was very well-rounded.  I walked, ran and got in some outdoor cycling. I have been waiting to get on the bike outside, but the weather was a little iffy.  This weekend had a little rain, but I was able to get out and complete 10 miles on the bike.  I pumped up the tires, oiled the chain and put the rack back on the Subie.  It’s amazing when you don’t use certain muscles in a while how bad they hurt doing something you think is fairly harmless.  My neck is screaming from bending forward!  I forgot too ~ I woke up and my neck was hurting so bad I thought I was getting a sore throat…then I remembered…ooohh yeah.  Funny how that happens.  I went back out to the Mt. Vernon trail wearing my long sleeve Autumn jersey ~ which was fine for the first five miles then I got hot.  It’s so cute with it’s leaves.  I had to take it slow on some of the turns because there were so many wet leaves on the winding path.  The last thing I wanted to do was wipe out.  Glad to say ~ no falling for me.  Always a good thing.

I have been trying to find different riding events around the DC area and finally decided to drop in to a cycling store close by.  I had taken my bike to get serviced at another store during the summer not realizing there was one right down the street.  I love when I go in to a cycling store.  How can I say this…some women like jewelry.  Not.this.gal.  Nothing like carbon, aluminum and spandex to get this heart pumping. The main reason for going in the store was to just see if they had some group rides or at least a schedule of some rides in the area.  I ended up getting into an hour-long conversation about rides, bikes and something that I have wanted a long time…the cycling trainer.  For those of you who cycle know what the trainer is.  It’s a small piece of equipment that you can place your bike on and ride…inside.  When I lived in Phoenix I could ride all year round.  That’s not the case in Virginia.  Trainers come in a lot of different price ranges.  The ones at the store ranged from $199 to about $1500 ~ from the basic to the extreme.  Think Peloton™…only better.  Buying a good bike is a lot like buying a car.  You walk around, kick the tires, and of course look at the prices.  New models, colors and better brakes are all part of the game.  One is lighter and more streamlined.  I’m walking around the store talking trainers and the manager brings me to a bike set up with the $599 trainer.  Basically the bike is in the trainer and hooked up to a tv that has races…all around the world.  So while your ride you’re participating in the race.  Not only that, you can race against your friends and family…anywhere.  It’s better than Peloton, because you’re on your own bike.  The manager and an associate tell me to get on and give it a whirl.  My mind was saying no (it was too tall for me) but my body said…oh yeah.  I got on that thing and started riding ~ my cute little Avatar was in some race in Italy.  As I started pedaling I could just feel the smile across my face getting bigger.  I was literally giddy ~ almost laughing. They both just laughed and said I don’t think we have ever seen a reaction like that on any customer.  They said my face just immediately brightened up.  I’m laughing now just thinking about it…  It was pure joy.  Like I said, some women like diamonds, but a good bike and an awesome trainer are a girls best friend.

You’ll be happy to know I left empty-handed and acquired the information I came for…group rides.  They have one every Saturday and from there I can learn about other events in the area.  So for now I will have to just dream…maybe one day.

Back down on earth I have signed up for my next running race in the area.  That brings me to the title of this post!  Bling.  For most of my races there has been some sort of bling associated and don’t forget the t-shirt.  I don’t do races just for the bling…but come on man…it’s cool.  It seems like the medals keep getting cooler by the year too.  Sometimes I think I see a medal and I’m like…I’m going to run an event just to get that medal.  Hmmm, maybe not the whole reason to do an event, but it is fun.  How do you feel about it?  Do you only choose events that have bIing?  I didn’t get anything for the Vermont half marathon.  Just a t-shirt.  Insert snappy comment here _________!  I have signed up for a 10k run on Veteran’s Day, sponsored by the local RWB here in DC.  RWB stands for Red, White and Blue.  It is an organization that sponsors a lot of different activities for anybody who wants to join, but there is a heavy veteran population in the group.  It’s a good way to get involved in events and meet people who have the same interests.   The veteran day 10k will pass by some of our most treasured veteran memorials, so I’m looking forward to November 11th.  Most likely will only be a t-shirt, unless I’m within the top three in my age group.  I checked last years paces for women 50 – 54 and something tells me I’m going to be happy with my t-shirt.  Hey, I’m stoked.  I’m a veteran and I’m alive.  I’ll take the t-shirt any day of the week.

This week’s miles came to 20.88 and a total of 43.16 so far for the month.  I hope to break last months miles!  I have completed 5700.73 in my journey with 5614.27 gratefully remaining.  I hope this post finds you in an Autumn state of mind.  Now to get baking.  Happy Miles to You!!

I know I’ve played this song before…but so appropriate!

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…..