Mileage Recap ~ 10 – 16 Sept…Almost Halfway There….

Happy Sunday Everyone!  Can you believe that September is almost halfway done?  Do you think that time goes by faster as we age?  I’m not sure about that one.  You’ll have to chime in and tell me what you think.

First, let me say how lucky we are in Alexandria that we didn’t get any residual fall out from hurricane Florence.  My thoughts and prayers go out to those that were directly affected in the Carolinas.  My home is Aiken, SC so the outcome of the storm is near and dear to my heart.  My sister and her family live in Charleston, SC and they had to come inland to stay with my parents.  I am grateful they are safe.  If you had anyone impacted by hurricane Florence, I hope they are well.

This weeks training continues on as I prepare for the Kingdom Half Marathon in Newport, VT.  It has been a bit frustrating trying to get information from the promoters.  One thing is for certain, this isn’t like any race I’ve done before.  After many calls and emails I finally heard something back from the organizer.  At least I know it’s still a go, but not a whole lot more.  It’s very laid back which can have it’s good points but then it’s frustrations too.  I feel like I’m an episode of Wayne’s World….Dude…where’s the race???

Fabulous!!!

Hey, I plan to be at the start line 0900 hours.  I shouldn’t be so surprised by this…I’m the type of person that would put a map on the wall and throw a dart.  Wherever it lands, hey that’s the next adventure.

The unexpected semi~injury of the week took place not on the road or trail but coming out of the DC metro on my way to work.  I get off at the National Archives stop (because I work at the National Archives!) and often the escalators are not working.  I tend to gravitate to the escalator that’s not working for two reasons; 1) you get a mini workout climbing the stairs and 2) it’s less crowded ~ no one wants to take the broken escalator.  There I was climbing the stairs and I was killing it …then about 3/4 of the way up I fell.  I mean I really fell.  I’m glad I was able to break my fall with my hands.  It hurt too ~ I landed on my shin bones.  One leg was bleeding.  It hurt.  There was a guy behind me and his eyes were just so wide!  Lol!  He just stared and asked if I was okay.  Truth be told, I was more worried about my hands touching the escalator stairs then the bruises and bleeding I incurred.  I picked myself back up and just kept going.  Yeah…you’re going to have those days, but I’m okay.

I continue to be on a vegetarian diet.  I make it sound like it’s a quest…I guess it is to some extent.  It’s only been a little over two weeks.  I wanted to see how I would perform physically.  So far, I do feel lighter.  I’m not craving anything ~ although I was thinking of turkey legs on my long run.

This weeks miles came to a total of 10.93 with my long run of 6 miles on Saturday.  It was a decent run with the last three miles being touch and go, meaning the last three contained a bit of walking.  My pace was 11:48.  Not pleased, but I continue to strive to be better.   I have completed 5619.67 with 5695.33 miles gratefully remaining.  I am 37.83 shy of my halfway mark.  I hope this post finds you with much joy in your heart.

Meet me halfway:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mileage Recap ~ 3 – 9 September…Kingdom Run Half Marathon Training

Happy Sunday everyone!  I took a little break from blogging and a rest week before I started training for my half marathon in Vermont at the end of September.  I feel good and am ready to move forward.  I used to not rest too much after I completed an event, but now I do try to take at least a week.  Maybe because I’m getting older!  Lol ~ who knows.

The Quantico 12K was a good race to get me ready for another half.  This will be my fourth half marathon.  It would seem like I should have a few more under my belt, but I complete a lot of miles that aren’t really attributed to events.  It’s all about the journey.  Races are fun no doubt, but it’s not just about the races.

The body is feeling pretty good.  I have a few pains and aches, but nothing like I was experiencing before.  It seems sticking with the right style of shoe was the key and the after care of my legs by foam rolling and icing.  There is always overuse issues, but the right gear is imperative.  I look forward to staying with that trend.

I’m excited for this next challenge in Vermont.  I have never been to the area and have always wanted to explore.  I have a few frustrations with the administrative handling of it though.  I found the race through active.com and from there signed up through the race website.  I signed up and paid, but never received a notice for registration.  I had to email the race promoter to confirm my registration.  I was told that as soon as they were done with the triathlon they were running emails would be sent out.  I was confirmed with the registration, but I still haven’t received any packet pick up information.  The race is on 30 September soooo…you know I would like to have everything tied up!  I’ll give them one more week.

The weather here has been a little erratic with extreme heat than storms.  I wanted to do some cycling, but had to take that indoors because of the rain.  I did get some decent mileage in with a combination of running outside and on the treadmill and some indoor cycling.  I will probably see more indoor running as tropical storm Florence makes its way to the coast.  The total of that mileage came to 19.93 for the week.  I am 48.76 to my halfway point.  It’s bittersweet to say the least.  A lot of sweat, effort and tears.  I have 5706.26 miles gratefully remaining in my journey.  Happy Miles to You!!

“When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.”
― Kahlil Gibran

Not sure if you’ve ever heard of Yebba Smith.  She’s not well-known, but I really like her sound.  Enjoy.

 

 

 

 

 

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 ~ 23 – 29 July…Back In the Saddle Again!

Happy Sunday everyone!  I left you last week with a whopping 0.0 in miles due to some soreness in my Achilles tendons…on both ankles.  I have been aggressive in my recovery efforts and I’m happy to say I am feeling much better.  Icing, stretching, foam rolling, targeting areas for strength training and the use of the KT Tape© have made a big difference in my recovery.  I’m not out of the woods, but I have had less pain than when I started and no pain just walking.  That’s a big one!

I have used KT Tape before and it can be a little tricky applying it properly.  I’ve never applied it on the Achilles and my first application on my left foot was a little wonky, but effective.  The application on the right foot was much more eloquent.  The desired result was great.  I really felt support while running using the tape.  There seemed to be a certain tightness and that alleviated much of the pain.  Granted, I only ran for two miles with it, but it held up nicely.  I went out and bought more today and will continue to use it during my recovery process.

I started out with a run/walk at the beginning of the week.  You know the feeling when you haven’t been outside in a while and you finally get to go out and everything is exhilarating?  I had that feeling. It was so good to be running again.  A few pangs, but when I started to hurt I slowed down and ensured I walked a bit.  I’m one of those people who just like to push through.  I hate interrupting the flow.  My second run was two miles on the treadmill.  As monotonous as the treadmill is at times, it reduces impact and is part of my recovery and training program.

There is a high school down the road with a very nice track.  I figured this weekend I would give it a go.  When I was in Belleville, Il I would use the track on Scott AFB all the time.  I like running on the road, but sometimes it’s just nice to be off the road and have a flatter surface.  And it’s a track, which means lower impact and it’s good for speed training too.  I walked a mile to the track (great warm up) and ran two miles and walked back for a total of 4.30 miles for the long run this week.  No doubt I will be ready for the Quantico 12K in August.

 

Hawks track in the background.

I logged 9.23 miles this week.  I know..:/, but at least it’s 9.23 more than last week.  I remain eternally grateful for my steadfast journey.  I have 5774.75 miles remaining!  I hope this post finds you back….back in the saddle again.  Happy Miles to You!!

 

 

Mileage Recap ~ 25 – 30 June

Hello everyone and Happy Sunday!  I still continue to move towards my halfway point!  It’s getting exciting and close!  Can you feel it?  My goodness I’ve been doing this a long time now, but I’m chipping away at that mileage and getting closer to the end goal.  It never seems to get old.  I mean sometimes it gets a little monotonous, but when I’m done or complete my mileage I still get that sparkle!

animeme.wikia.com

This week was pretty good week.  I tried to do something every day and have continued to work on my strength training with a combination of low mileage runs and did some indoor cycling.  I was going to do a longer run on Saturday, but opted for some faster paced runs to see how I felt.  I did mile sprints with the fastest being 9:45 and the slowest 10:14.  My Achilles on both ankles still continues to bite at me a bit.  Strange that both are hurting and I did pull back from riding today to give them a bit of a rest.

Good news I am a go for the Quantico 12K on 25 August.  It is in the Marine Corps Marathon family of races.  I’m excited to have signed up for my first race in Virginia.  I will be posting more about that in the future and race details can be found here Quantico 12K.

A couple of interesting things this week.  First, my mile pace runs on Saturday.  It really heated up this weekend.  Both Saturday and Sunday were in the 90s and the humidity was off the chart.  Any time it’s that hot it’s always important to hydrate and safely push yourself.  I learned something important about myself on Saturday, or at least found an inner fire that I seemed to have lost over the years.  I am competitive, but I like to call it a niiiccceee competitive.  When I was younger I was very competitive, but maybe I have mellowed over the years.  For my pace runs the first mile was more down hill than up.  I was at a good steady pace, listening to Led Zepplin’s Stairway to Heaven, when another runner (female) passed me.  She passed me, but then cut right in front of me and then proceeded to slow down.  Now, do I care that she passed me?  Uh, no…people pass me all the time, but normally they get on with it!  She slowed down so much that I had to slow my pace down.  She was close enough that I could touch her.  The first thing that went through my head was to slow down and let her get far enough ahead that I didn’t have to pass her again.  Thus playing the….pass game.  Something all runners know well.  I have been running long enough now that I do try to keep a steady pace.  It doesn’t always work, but for the most part I try.  I didn’t want to be “that guy”.  But then I thought, what the heck?  I said no way, you’re going to pass then pass.  I kept my pace and me and Robert Plant climbed that Stairway To Heaven together.  I blew by her and didn’t give her a second glance.  No!

 

Second, just to let you know how hot it was today.  I happened to be driving to Safeway and I saw a guy walking his dog on the sidewalk during the middle of the hottest part of the day.  All of a sudden the dog lurched forward and collapsed.  At first I thought it got bit by something, but the owner kept on walking with one of those retractable leashes unaware.  Finally the leash pulled taut and he went back to attend to the dog.  I watched them for about 30 seconds and I drove up to the light and turned around and stopped on the busy street.  The dog had collapsed due to heat exhaustion.  We loaded up the dog in my car and I drove him and his dog home.  He kept saying in disbelief he couldn’t believe it this happened.  The dog was old and it was way too hot.  If you’re too hot, your pet is too hot.  I’m glad that I was in the right place at the right time.  The dog was about 50 lbs and that would have made a long walk home.  Be careful out there!!

I was able to complete 101 miles for the month of June, about 17 miles shy of last month.  Total miles completed comes to 5521.99 with 5793.01 gratefully remaining.   I hope this post finds you cool and well.  Happy Miles to You!!

Keep climbing that stairway….and it’s meant to be played loud.  Oh yes….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mileage Recap ~ Mar 26 – 1 Apr…Dreamed, Work Hard, Persevere, Believe

Happy Easter to all, and yes it is also April Fool’s Day too!

Over the years I stopped buying greeting cards.  The biggest reason was because of all the crazy stuff written inside.  We all have been there, stalking the different cards.  Serious, funny, and really stupid cards.  I have looked for a card for 15 minutes once.  So frustrating.  I would say about 95% of the time, most of the cards say things that I neither felt or would ever say.  Overly sappy and well, a lot of times, not true.  My card would say:

Happy Birthday to a wonderful person….50% of the time“.  Love you, Laurel.  Or, “Roses are red, violets are blue…uh never mind“.  Not so sincerely, Laurel.  Yeah, you’re not going to find any of those cards.  And then there is the protocol of greeting cards.  Do you write a small message or do you just sign your name?  What does it say about you when you DON’T write a small message?  Does the person on the other end go…that’s lame?  Because you know the card isn’t saying exactly what you wanted it to say or maybe it was an oh crap moment, I need a card as you dig through cards you have had for about five years.  At one point in my life I used to buy cards in advance.  If I saw one that I liked, I would pick it up.  Over the years I have collected quite the treasure chest of greeting cards and have helped many in their time of greeting card crisis.

Then something wonderful happened.  The greeting card companies got smart and started printing blank inside cards.  Genius.  Pick out a card with a flower…own message ~ “you are as pretty as a flower”.  A garden spade ~ “may your garden be fruitful” or some other saying that comes to mind.  Bottom line it’s YOUR message.  You can say what is really in your heart to the receiver.

In my previous post I had said I moved to DC for a job opportunity.  If you read my posts often, you might be thinking WTH?  The bottom line, Phoenix wasn’t for me.  I am one who finds beauty in all things, but the desert wasn’t what made my heart sing.  I had needed a change, but this wasn’t the right change. I can remember years ago hearing about how if you had arthritis or health issues move to Phoenix!  Well, let me tell you that’s not 100% true.  The valley has changed drastically over the years with increased population that causes pollution and non-indigenous plants causing the atmosphere to be much more polluted with allergens.  While there I developed allergies that affected my skin and had made me boarder-line asthmatic.  I was on an inhaler, Singular™ and allergy meds to keep everything in line.  My breathing capacity went down to about 60% at one point and made running and cycling harder.  So, it was time to look for greener pastures and that’s what I did. It took me 9 long months. The whole month of March has been a whirlwind of moving and starting over in another state.  It’s never easy, but with hard work I’m making it happen.

This brings me back to the greeting cards.  I received a great card from my sweet parents.  They read my blog, so I know they will see this post!  I am very thankful.  My parents still send me a surprise every now and again in a card.  I still get that excitement when I see it, the same feeling as when I was 15!  It’s something that never gets old.  Aside from the surprise inside (and thank you very much) was the card itself.  It was perfect.  Does that mean I have to eat my words on greeting cards?  I won’t go that far, but this was the perfect card.  There was a standard card saying but the personal notes from my parents are worth more than any surprise in the card.  Maybe that was the surprise.  The card said the following:

“You have dreamed and good things happened”.

“You have worked hard and achievement happened”.

“You have persevered and accomplishment happened”.

“You have believed in yourself and success happened”.

Dream, work hard, persevere, believe.  It can happen.

I finished March with 41.98 miles completed.  Most of the miles were accomplished on the treadmill, stationary bike and walking.  I was lucky to get out and start to discover some of the green ways around me.  I have 6067.61 miles gratefully remaining.  I keep on keeping on….

Happy Easter.  I hope this finds you in a good place…peace.  Happy Miles to You!!

 

 

 

 

Mileage Recap ~ 8 – 14 Jan WTF Half Marathon Training…Fly Me To The Moon

I had a good training week.  Meaning, I did everything I set out to do.  Whether that means I did it well, you can judge for yourself:-) Definitely more miles this week but I still didn’t get out on the bike.  Definitely, will be changing that next week for sure.

I have added three to four days a week of weight training to my program and happy to say I have stuck to it.  I have always lifted weights in the past, but sometimes when you’re training for a long race it’s easy to put that on the back burner.  Getting in the car, driving to the gym, etc, etc.  So this year, I’m determined stick with it and this week was a banner week.

Started off with two smaller runs of around 3 and 4 miles each.  The weather is still cool here (in the morning) and I was able to keep a good steady pace around 10:37.  I was happy with that pace because it’s usually up around a 11 or 12 minute pace.  One of my running goals is to keep the pace constant around 10:30 this year.  Working hard!

My long run was not so great.  What’s good about writing about all this is, if you’re a runner or cyclist, you can feel good in knowing that some days aren’t the best.  Everybody has those days.  This weeks long run was around 6 miles and I waited a little later in the day to run.  First, I was tired.  Didn’t get a lot of sleep the night before and I’m an early riser.  Around 5 am.  I have four cats, so you get my drift there.  I could really feel the drag after mile two.  Legs were just heavy.  After around mile two it was the run some walk some day.  Second, it was hot.  Oh yes….it’s back.  I started off without any water.  You know it’s funny.  During this time of year when it’s colder in the morning and hot in the afternoon I always play this game with myself.  Hmmm, can I do it?  Can I do it without water?  And always the answer is…….NO!  Every dang time.  But that doesn’t stop me from going and trying.  It’s only six miles.  My mind says ~ “you got this girl” and my dehydrated mouth says “no, no you don’t”.  On one of my routes I make a pass by my house at mile two and I swung in to get my water belt.  It was thrown in the back of the pantry looking at me like…yeah that’s what you get.  So I strapped her on and finished the run.  Good grief.

Normally Sunday is my rest day, but I wanted to keep going.  One thing I do like hiking.  I went out to one of our trails today and decided to do the mountain rim and one of the trails to the base of another mountain.

Mountain ridge.

I started off by climbing a couple of the mountain ridge lines.  I know this picture doesn’t really look high but I was pretty high up!  It’s nice to be out there because even though there are plenty of people hiking, cycling and running you still have plenty of path to yourself.  Plenty of time to think and just be.  I originally thought to bring music but decided against it.  I don’t know about you, but sometimes to disconnect is the best option.  I like hearing all the sounds, especially any animals that might want to sneak up behind me!  For the most part the path is good footing.  When you are climbing and descending it can be a bit daring!

 

 

 

Even when a cactus is dying it is pretty.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sat down to do some journal writing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And my favorites…

It’s like I’m on the moon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I hiked a total of 4.63 miles this time around.  I logged a total of 19.22 miles this week with 6253.12 gratefully waiting and 3111.53 for the year.  (I hear you laughing….don’t count me out).

I do find some beauty in the desert.  Sometimes when I’m walking or running it’s invigorating other times when I look out its easy for a wave of sadness to rush over me.  I sometimes see just rock, but I know there is beauty in all things, sometimes you just need to look a little harder to find it.  When I got back in the car to go home this song was playing.  I laughed because I thought it was appropriate.  Happy Miles to You!!