Mileage Recap …The Girl’s Trip Special Addition and August Recap

I have joined the ranks of thousands of other females and embarked on the time honored frilly favorite…the girls trip or aka girls vacation.  A couple of weeks ago I flew out to Denver and met two high school friends to reconnect.  We stayed a few days in Summit Colorado and made our way down to Santa Fe, Flagstaff, Sedona and finally Phoenix.   It was a week full of adventure and discovery and I was able to put in some miles along the way.

First stop was Colorado.  What a beautiful state.  We stayed in Summit for a few days with little side trips.

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Beautiful Colorado

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Next Santa Fe, New Mexico.  This was my first time in Santa Fe and it was just bustling with shops, artisans, bands and plenty of food to eat.  I did a lot of walking and I got in one good run.  Some of my faves:

Candles in the Basilica

Candles in the Basilica

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Wooden gate

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Oldest church in Santa Fe

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Love the dried chilies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next Flagstaff.  I absolutely loved this place…why you ask, because it has trees and is cool.  If there is one thing I have learned to appreciate being in the desert is that I miss green and trees.  Stayed in a cute little A frame on Fort Tuthill, owned by the US Air Force.  Only open to the military.  Have some magnificent woods in Flagstaff and I was able to get in a 5 mile hike.

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Our A frame cabin. Hey there’s Jen!

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Inside was so darn cute and it came with a family of feral cats! I was in heaven.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Bonus stop! The crater outside of Flagstaff. This was really cool!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next Sedona, AZ.  Sedona is absolutely gorgeous.  Lots of art and artsy people.  We went on a Pink jeep tour to one of the Vortexes.  Visiting one of Sedona’s many vortexes attracts many kinds of people.  I found it interesting that our guides theory is completely scientific.  The reason humans feel energy at the vortexes is due to magma closer to the earth’s surface.  Don’t know if that was true, but interesting anyway.

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Our beautiful world.

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Obligatory tree pose.

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Then finally back to Phoenix, AZ.  Was grateful to travel with these two ladies and will have memories to last a lifetime, or until my memory fades….with all of this travel I had a very good month with cycling, running and walking with 76.54 miles for August and 7,845.02 miles gratefully remaining.  Sometimes I think it’s weird to “share” my mileage adventure in a blog.  Often feeling it is a little arrogant…that must be the Catholic in me.  I will say, social media has it’s good and it’s bad.  This is it’s good.  I’ve been friends with these women since high school ~ this year will be my 3oth high school reunion.  Life is short…live large.  Happy Miles to You!

 

 

 

 

Mileage Recap ~ 17 – 27 Apr…Ten Days Until the Grand Canyon Half

This month has been my best mileage month in a long while.  For the most part training for the Grand Canyon Half has been good and fairly pain-free.  I have been switching between the hydration pack and the water belt.  I’m not really sure which one I will be using at the race.  I like the pack because I can pack more in (phone, keys) but the water belt is lighter.  Training with both has been more challenging than I thought.  On the days when there is a little bit of a struggle carrying water isn’t the best fun.  I just realized that this will be the first race where I have to carry water.  There are no water stops at the race.  I think it will be safe to say speed won’t be the main objective.

My longest run last week was eight miles.  It’s so funny how some days you just feel great and others your feet are like two bricks.  I carried the hydration pack on this run.  I felt good and for the most part my pace was strong and I had to walk several times.  But…I got it done.  I filled the pack up all the way with water, 2L, and really didn’t drink but one-quarter.  It was hard and it wasn’t.  I didn’t feel as winded but there were points I just had to stop and wog a bit, mostly uphill.

Pain is to a minimum but I’m experiencing all the familiar foot and back niggles that remind me of when I first started running.  Just shows I haven’t been running for a while.  I remain excited about the race and my goal is to finish strong and thankful.

Mileage count for this entry is 28.62!  Really very happy about that number.  Miles remaining = 8,157.  Happy Miles to You!

Midweek Mileage Update and Using Salty Four Letter Words

Now that I have your @!#$ attention!  I haven’t included a sidebar post in a while and I thought meh ~ what the heck.  Had two interesting experiences today…so stay the #@!% with me if you can.

Have you ever met someone and immediately knew you didn’t like them?  I mean, the more they talked you just couldn’t take it?  That happened to me today.  I was at the bank for what I thought was a business credit card meeting with a lady who travels around to the bank branches helping clients.  The minute she walked through the door…I didn’t like her.  I think it was a combination of her and the spiel I was about to hear.  I just didn’t want to hear that $%^&!@#$ today but had to honor the appointment.

She was one of those people who would be talking and then immediately squirrel!  And some crazy #@$! too!  I mean I was thinking what the heck!  Ha!  You thought I was using the other word didn’t you!  I will admit this was the first time I really was ready to walk out of something.  I mean I was through with this one…and she knew.  She knew she was losing me.  Then…all of a sudden…she dropped the f-bomb.  Bam!  It was like a nuke had just gone off.  Everything was neutralized around me and there was no sound.  Just the ringing in my ears and her mouth moving.  After I got over the shell shock and my hearing came back she started cussing like an old salty sailor.  I’m thinking to myself what the !@#$!  It was like the Charlie Brown teacher.  She’s talking and I’m having a conversation with myself and all I heard was a muffled sound.

Self, I asked, why do you think she’s speaking this way?  It was a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde moment.  I really think she thought speaking this way was…going to…bond us.  Now don’t get me wrong…I’ve used some salty language.  Four letter words and me, well let’s just say we’re not strangers.

The whole time I’m analyzing what was it about me that made her think I would be like @#$! yeah!  Was it my eyes?  My mouth?  My I couldn’t give two @#!$@ attitude!  Holy *(%$ she’s a mind reader!  She knows.  She knows what I’m thinking.  Finally I say, “I do believe I have misunderstood this meeting and what it was for” and I just wanted to get the #@!$ out.  I get up to leave and she says you know I’ve had two surgeries for aneurysms.  I sit back down.  “Yes”, she said, “I’m not like most people”.  “I live every day like it’s my last and I am grateful”.  Well, now she’s talking my language.  I softened a bit and listened to her story, shook her hand when she was through and told her to have a wonderful day.  Interesting how something so ##@$@@ weird actually turned out okay.

Second, I texted a friend of mine just to see how she was doing.  She immediately told me about a dear friend of hers that suffered a seizure and is now in the hospital for about three months for rehabilitation.  It’s weird how you just know sometimes that something isn’t right.  Just happened, like that.  Both of these women are young and if you read this blog regularly you know how I feel about dying young.

If I may plant the seed, know that no one is promised tomorrow.  Do those things you want to do…see those places you want to see…and be those things you want to be.  It ain’t !@#$%^& easy but maybe some of it can be won.  How about these “salt of the earth” words: live, love, life and hope.  Had a good run, it’s coming back.  Allergies are a little crazy but what the heck!  Adding 3.55 at a 10:00 pace.  8,224.38 miles gratefully remaining.  Happy Miles to You!

 

Mileage Recap ~ 19 Feb 22 Mar…Grand Canyon Half Is A Go

Hello Friends I hope this post finds you well and excited for Spring.  What have been up to you ask?  Cue a hefty chuckle….well last I left you lads and lasses I had a friend visit and I was gearing up for the Grand Canyon Half.  Everything is great, really…great.  Except for that little visit to the allergist.  I had found out through an “Arizona blood panel” that I was allergic to 5 grasses…not 4 but 5.  So, the follow up was the “prick” test.  Yes, that should be the proper name.  The roll you on your stomach and “prick” your back with about 25 different things to see the allergic reaction.  Of course, the grasses started to react on my back.  Not crazy, but whelping none-the-less and started itching.  The nurse, bless her, decided she wanted to give me some “relief”.  Now folks, this was a blue or red pill situation.  Anytime someone says with a shot in their hand…”may I administer this?” you better think long and hard.  Do I really need it….do I.  So there I was nodding yes as she administered the Epi pen to the affected area.

I’m laying on my stomach and I start to feel jittery.  I’ve never had an Epi so I wasn’t really sure what it was…I mean I know people who have allergies take it for bee stings…but why the hell did I say yes again.  The nurse applies an ice pack to the area and says lets sit up.  Again I start to feel really jumpy.  Nurse…”oh that’s normal everybody feels like that”…okay.

I get off the table and sit in the chair waiting the required 30 minutes.  Then….all-of-a sudden my head began to hurt so bad I was doubled over…and screaming.  I don’t think there has been any moment in my life that I was screaming from pain.  I thought this was going to be a 911 moment.  I was going to die in that cubical…surrounded by the torn paper on the medical table, a used Epi pen and a bewildered nurse.  I mean heck if I’m going to leave this world can we make it a little more interesting.  Both the doctor and the nurse had looks of fear and confusion.  I come to find out that they’ve seen over 10,000 people and this has never happened.  Of course not….I’m so lucky to have won the pain train lottery.  BLUF (Bottom Line Up Front) I have very low blood pressure.  The Epi pen, which is adrenaline, shot my blood pressure up 55 points and caused a strain on the veins in my head, thus the pain and thank goodness not a stroke.  But don’t worry…I’m still here and thankfully.  I never want to experience that again so now I can’t have shots and have to take an allergy pill.

Good news is I am on track for the Grand Canyon Half on 7 May.  This will be my second half marathon and a destination run to boot!  I also paid half the entry fee for being a Vet – awesome.  Not so good news the closest hotel I could find is 53 miles away from the starting line.  Whew!  This will be one spicy meatball!

I finished February with 41.41 miles.  This mileage recap comes to 33.04 with 8,238.15 painlessly remaining.  Happy Miles to You!

 

January Mileage Recap….Blogging is Hard Sometimes

Hello everyone hope this finds you well.  Quick post here today as I have begun working again and am still trying to find my “work” legs so-to-speak.  My year is starting off well with 51.35 miles for the month of January.  Still trying to beat away the seasonal allergies that have been wreaking havoc on my face and neck.  So I have been running more than cycling to minimize the wind burn that seems to happen.  But like they say, “What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger”.  Am I right?  Total miles completed 3,017.99 with 8,297.01 gratefully remaining.  Happy Miles to You!

 

Happy New Year! I’m Back…. Yearly Mileage Recap

Happy New Year!

I want to thank everyone who has been gracious enough to visit my blog from time to time.  I just received notification from Word Press that I have been blogging for three years.  It’s hard to believe that it’s been that long.  I’ve been running, riding, and walking through the cold, heat and every now and then the rain.  Sometimes the words like the miles have come easy and other times not so much.  I will be honest these last few months I haven’t felt like blogging much.  I began to wonder if I really wanted to continue writing.  I even placed the blog on private status for a while.  I enjoyed completing the mileage but the process seemed sort of empty.  There was a struggle going on to whether or not I really wanted to continue talking about it and why was I really doing what I was doing.

Also, a little something called allergies happened here in the valley.  Yes.  Allergies.  Yeah, I’ve had them before when I was a kid.  Snotty nose, mouth breather, walking around with a bottle of Afrin like it was a second arm.  But this was different.  There is sinus allergies then there are skin allergies.  The kind of allergies where you just want to claw your face off.  Sooooo….yes, this was a new and interesting aspect of Arizona that frankly I just wasn’t ready to experience.  Extreme dryness and cold causes very bad itchy dry skin.  I’m happy to report I’m better.  But it sure took a bite of many of the activities I like to do.

My stats for 2015 1,179.24 a cool 404 more than 2014.  Not too shabby considering this year’s been filled with change.  Since my quest has begun I have completed 2,984 miles in some way or another.  It’s strange because I am and I’m not tired if that makes any sense.  The holidays are through and it’s time to move forward with 2016.  I’m excited and pensive at the same time.  I feel like I just need to get on my bike and ride….hmmm that sounds like a familiar song.   For January I have completed 28.36 so far.  I have 8,331 miles graciously awaiting.  I hope this finds you happy and with much love in the new year.  Happy Miles to You:-)

Mileage Recap ~ Sept 25 – 9 Oct and Preparing for My First Group Ride Evah

September ended up being a good month for miles.  It’s funny because it didn’t seem like I completed that many, but when I double checked my Garmin I logged 106 total cycling and running miles.  Up from just 62 in August.  My mental goal is to complete 1500 miles before the new year.  At the moment I’m presently around 990 so it will take some effort to get the job done.  Even as I’m typing those words I’m already beginning the alter ego competition of yes I will complete that or at least give it the good ‘ol college try.

I’m slowly getting back into running.  Very slowly.  I’ve come to the realization that if I’m going to bike 19 miles or more that doesn’t equate to getting up the next day to run 5 or more miles.  A little hard on the body…well maybe this body and let’s face it I have 8,000 more miles to go and I will finish strong.  You like that positivity don’t…come on you do..it’s awesome.  Withstanding I don’t get hit by a snow bird come this winter.

Last Sunday’s long ride came out to 19.05.  The route is a common route with rolling hills and flat areas.  The weather has cooled down substantially in the mornings which has made riding and running much more enjoyable.  I did notice for some reason the Garmin didn’t pick up the elevation gain this time around.  Weird that it picked up everything else but not elevation gain.  It might be because I have been carrying my Garmin around in my back pouch because the band finally broke.  I would like a new one but this one is still working, soooo I guess I will break down and buy a new band.  Fairly easy to do..thanks Amazon!

This ride was a good one because not only was it fairly cool it was raining.  I imagine raining and bikes don’t really go over well, especially if brakes are involved.  Brakes?  Who needs ’em.  Stop, Drop and Roll.  No no I’m kidding, but there is something satisfying about being in the rain.  I love it.  In the Army we say, “if it ain’t raining, you ain’t training“.  Ah yes where would we be without making something hard harder.  It reminds me of on of the live versions of “Proud Mary” by Ike and Tina Turner I listen to on my iPod when I run.  It starts off by saying “They want us to start off by doing something nice and easy, but we never ever do anything nice and easy…we do it nice and rough” and we’re rollin’…..

Sunday Ride

When I ride I find I do my best thinking.  Not sure if this is a good or bad thing yet.  I like to look at the scenery as I roll by.  So many things go through my head.  Acclimation comes in many forms.  Trading four gray cubicle walls and a familiar life of over 20 years for an expanse of desert lately has been humbling for my soul.  I have stepped out of that life into a life where things just keep rolling.  By that I mean there is a wildness we don’t appreciate, know or acknowledge outside the safety of our physical and minds walls at times.  When faced with that sort of difference and change you notice things that maybe you didn’t before.  The rain in the desert; animals scurrying around, the items people discard on the side of the road, and will internet service ever get better in the valley.  The basics you know.  It’s strange being out of your comfort zone.

I have pulled the trigger on my first group ride this Sunday.  It will be 15 miles and fairly flat.  That’s what the announcement says.  Uh-huh we’ll see.  It’s time I get out and play with others ~ to which I apologize up front:\

September finished with 106 and rolling into October with 35.  There are 8,544 thoughts remaining.  Happy Miles to You!

Mileage Recap ~ 22 Jun – 30 July The Great Cycle Challenge Completed…And A Little Rest Earned

The break felt good ~ from miles and blogging.  I completed The Great Cycle Challenge for the month of June.  I logged 300.69 miles on the bike and raised a little over $600 for children’s cancer research.  Although the donations were raised for children, I dedicated my ride and miles to my Illinois neighbor and friend, James Boivin.  I love a challenge and it was for a good cause.  The month of June were the most miles I’ve ever logged in a month.   Even on school days I had to get up.  I got up every morning and tried to get out before the heat.  I think there were about 3 days I didn’t ride due to rain or other circumstances.   Well, worth the effort and time.  When I first thought about the challenge I was throwing 500 miles around, I’m glad I came off of that number just a bit….;-)

During June I finally took a bicycle maintenance class.  Especially, since my chain fell off on one of the long rides and I had to learn on the fly.  I can now replace the inner tube and reset the chain.  The correct patch to use because of the high heat.  I know what I need to carry just incase.  I’m glad I went and I understand the mechanics of my bike much better.  Also very important to carry a phone.  I was warned that someday all of the above just might not work.

It has been a challenge to re-engage running after riding for a month and basically taking the next month off.  I have gone on a few small runs.  The first one I had to walk just a bit.  Breathing a little too hard.  All in all I’m getting it done.

I completed 300.69 for June and 23.90 for July ~ another 324.59 to add to the count.  So far a total of 793.99 for the year, already passing 2014 total.  There are 8,740.76 challenges remaining.  Happy Miles To You!

Mileage Recap ~ 23 – 31 March 2000 Miles Completed!

Such a happy post today!  I have surpassed the 2000 mile mark of my journey!

2000 Miles Completed!

2000 Miles Completed!

I have walked, cycled, ran and crawled to get those miles.  There were good days and bad days physically.  I was outside when the weather permitted and continue on inside when the weather or the body said no.  It’s a good feeling to see these amount of miles behind me.

March ended on a good note.  I’m getting used to my new environment here in Phoenix, AZ and happy that I can go out more often.  I completed 105.76 miles for the month a good 19.22 more than February.  Such a great goal to reach but so many more to go.  Dare I say I’m excited?  Well, I am.  As I write this I would love to go out and do some more, but I know better to pace myself.  It’s about finishing strong.

There have been many times where I just don’t want to stop moving while I’m out.  I see something that’s beautiful and I wish I had stopped just to enjoy it or take a photo.  I love taking photographs.  When I cycle I have the phone with me so sometimes I stop.  As I was making my route there is this beautiful range of mountains.  It never gets old and they have their own beauty.  I love the color of the sky how it transitions from lighter to darker.  It’s good to get the miles but enjoying the journey is just as important.

MountainBike Ride

2000 miles under my belt may seem just a drop in the bucket especially with so much more ahead of me.  I am grateful for the follows and the kind comments on the blog.  This is turning out to be a fantastic journey.  I hope this finds you with much love and peace ~ 9,288.21 miles gratefully remaining.

Mileage Recap ~ 16 – 22 March…Acclimation Where For Art Thou?

I have been doing some small runs around the area and this past week I finally put the front wheel on my road bike and took it out.  Since I moved to Phoenix 3 weeks ago I’ve been venturing out on a couple of routes running but I’ve kept the road bike inside opting for the stationary bike at the gym.  Cycling appears to be very robust here and that has me excited.  Everyday I see groups of people riding and even last weekend a road race, so I’m excited to look a little further and see what there is to see ~ but first I must become acclimated to my surroundings.

I didn’t really think it would be that hard.  My first few runs were pretty good but last Thursday I wanted to run about 5 and I just couldn’t finish the whole thing running.  I ran and walked.  Panted and groaned.  Either I didn’t have it in me physically or mentally.  Maybe it was both but I would run a bit then I had to walk.  Either way I finished over my 5 mile goal, but it was still a crappy run.  So, I decided to look at my Garmin and compare the elevation in Illinois to Phoenix, AZ.  I realized it was more here but it is about a 947 ft elevation difference, plus it’s dry:-).  It’s going to take some getting used to.

My first bike ride out, was Sunday.  Wiped off the bike and headed out of the drive way.  I haven’t had a chance to get on the bike for about 4 weeks.  I rolled out of the driveway and immediately I felt a little uncomfortable.  I started asking questions in my own mind “is this MY bike?”, “who screwed with the seat?”, “somebody changed the height of the seat!” as I tried to find my bike legs again.  Yes it was my bike and no one screwed with the seat ~ I just haven’t been on the darn think in 4 weeks.  I don’t have clips yet either.  Why ~ because I don’t trust my self to unhook my feet fast enough yet.  Case in point as I was trying to put my feet in the stirrups and wondering if someone had screwed with my bike.

Who screwed with my bike?!!

Who screwed with my bike?!!

It is true what they say ~ once you learn you never forget how to ride a bike.  I did a pre-victory lap around the hood and set out on my way.  I played it safe because there is a lot of traffic here.  It’s a suburb of Phoenix but this must be where racecar drivers go to retire.  It reminds me of a cartoon when the light turns green everyone speeds than comes to an abrupt halt at the red light.  Interesting for sure and one needs to stay alert.  The ride was a success with no passing out and I did have water this go round.  I was able to get 30.93 more miles under my belt for the week.  That leaves 9,317.59 glorious miles remaining.

What’s the longest it’s taken you to get acclimated in another area?

May all your miles be happy ones ~ Happy Miles to You!