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!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mileage Recap ~ 1 – 7 Jan WTF Half Marathon Training

How was everyone’s first week of 2018?  I hope that so far, everything is going well.  I’m excited to get some more miles under my belt this year.  One good milestone that will happen is I will make my half-way mark.  I can remember when I was just starting out and 11,315 miles didn’t seem like that long of a way, but…. it’s long.  Very long.

I started this week off with training runs around the neighborhood with the longer run on an actual trail to prepare myself for the WTF Half Marathon.  My first two runs went well and I’m maintaining a solid pace around 10:30.  Here we are just in January and guess what is beginning to happen?  Surely, you must know….It’s already starting to get….hot.  When I was training for the Dublin Marathon, I followed a flatter route closer to home and this time I decided to do one of the mid-week runs on more of an incline.  I have run this route before but it takes me closer to the mountains.  Half-way through I could really feel the heat.  It wasn’t really hot, but it’s already starting.  Still a good run.

I made goal of going to the gym three days a week for strength training.  I really love to strength train, but sometimes you get busy and getting there can fall by the wayside.  I have been going pretty regularly and I’m already beginning to see a difference.  I’m one of these people I go in do what I have to do then I’m out.  I’m in there from 30 – 45 minutes then done.  Arms, legs, abs/back each have their own day and that makes it easy.  Sunday I’m leaving for a rest day.  Which is hard because I feel like I should be doing something.  It’s important to rest.  Too much can leave you with injuries and then the rest is just a struggle.

I went down to Pima canyon trail for this weeks long run only to find the park closed.  It was kind of funny because everyone was parking out on the street and I just thought it was full.  It’s very popular and since the temperature is pristine right now everyone is out and about.  I attached my water belt and started running from the car.  I get about half a mile down the pavement right before the entrance and it’s all blocked off.  Under construction until Fall.  Hmmm.  With that I turned on my heel with the annoying sloshing of the water belt and ran back to my car.

I won’t lie, I was thinking…just go back home, but ain’t nobody got time for that.  There are miles waiting.  I drove to the next trail head I knew that is actually a little closer to the house.  The last time I ran “off-road” was the Grand Canyon Half and that was no joke.  It was in May, snowing, muddy and 6804′ elevation.  It took me almost as long as a regular marathon.  I believe it was around 3:45 or somewhere close.  So, I am always very impressed when people talk about trail running.

This weeks longer run was good.  I really had never run there so I wasn’t sure how many miles it was to the mountain.  I also wasn’t very familiar with the terrain so that cause a little bit of nervousness on how far I wanted to go.  There were moments that I was all alone and a few times I heard noises that actually made me stop and turn around.  Nervous much….uh yes.  I was grateful for the occasional cyclist or people walking. This trail was hilly so there was a lot of energy expended.  It’s just amazing the difference mile 2 to 3 can be as far as burning energy and the body getting tired.  It’s also a little harder on the body and I made sure to concentrate on how hard I was pounding.  Consistency breeds success.

A few photos:

Action video!!!

That’s really funny.  I took a lot of pictures.  I guess I’m more interested in the experience and process than the time.

I was able to finish 10.84 miles this week.  I have 6272.34 miles waiting and 3130.75 for the yearly goal.

Happy Miles to You!!

I thought this was appropriate:

Mileage Recap ~ 11 – 28 December… Keep On Rollin’

Finally made it back to blogging after a brief illness…aka – cold.  I won’t call it the flu.  If it was, it wasn’t a full-blown knock out drag out.  Head cold and running nose was about the extent.  I’m sure I got it from my daughter who did have it for four days.  She teaches young children dance and most assuredly that’s where she picked it up.  So, I’m back.

The big news is…du…du…dunnnnaaa….I changed my bike tire.  All by myself.  Yep, I finally got around to doing it.  It only took me, hmmm about two hours.  How’s that for some speed.  So glad I didn’t have a wild animal lurking around.  I’m glad it happened, because there were some items that definitely did NOT work or was spent in my tool bag.

I began by watching a 4 minute “refresher” video from Trek (the brand I own).  There was this lovely female giving the demo.  As I’m watching I notice that she is holding the tire towards the camera (obviously) and just seemed to be zipping through everything with ease.  Of course I know she has probably done this many times but she was holding the tire with one hand and using the release tool with the other.  Easy peasy baby!.  I slapped my knee and went down to the garage.

Step 1.  Take the tire off the bike.  First release the brakes…ahhh…then the tire release, yes…oops the chain, hmm okay a little tricky but no worries (uh huh) and tire is off!!!

 Looking good.

Step 2.  Take the actual tire (you know the rubber part) off.  I used these little beauties:

Okay just wiggle…wiggle a little more… some more…dam**!! okay okay it’s off.  Great, just get this off.  Whew.

Step 3.  Remove the old tube and insert the new one.  On the video it said to blow the new tube up just a bit to make it easier to place.  She also used her carbon pod so I decided to try mine too.  Nope!  First one was dead as a door nail.  The guy at the bike store told me they lasted FOREVAHHH…I knew it was BS when he said it but still….  Okay let’s get the tire pump.  I slip the new tube in the rubber tire casing and place one side of the tire back on the rim.  This is very important…because that was the easy part.  The hard part was getting the other side of the tire on the rim before you can inflate the tube.  You didn’t think that was going to be easy did you?  If it was the tire wouldn’t stay on the rim like it should.  This process took an incredible amount of time.  Let’s see, video again…ah ha “if the wheel is to tight going back on…”  ok, ok hmmm.

Don’t even ask why I have the pliers out… I don’t even remember.  Finally, I got the tire on the rim.

Step 4.  Inflate said tire.  Easy peasy.  Nope!  Sunnuva… tire pump is not playing nice.  I don’t like this tire pump anyway.  It’s weird and too big.  For some reason I couldn’t get it seated on the valve properly.  After much finagling I get the tire inflated!

Step 5.  Put the tire back on the bike.  May I present the first piece of evidence:

It just seemed easier.  Okay this is the easy part ya’ll!!  Nope!  HOW THE HELL DID I GET THIS THING OFF!  VIDEO!  I actually took another bike and flipped it upside down so I could see the placement.  It’s interesting the way the chain was laying because visually I thought should have looked different.  Eventually, I figured it out and got everything put back together. Proof!!!  Yeah that plastic glove really helped.

Step 6.  Step back and say damn….I’m good.  And test that baby out before you go on a long ride.  I feel confident that I can change my tire out on the road.  Maybe a little slow, but I’ll get it done.  As they say, “now you know”.

I’m just going to say that all women need to know how to be hands on with their equipment.  Whether it be a bike or a car tire.  You need to know how to take care of things yourself.  Does it suck?  Yeah, sometimes it does, but you never know when you need to rely on your own two hands when help isn’t around.

Running was a little more than last mileage recap.  I even was able to get on the recumbent bike. I was able to log  19.87 miles this time around with 6286.27 miles gratefully remaining.  Thinking about changing my tire brought one song to mind.  If you do a crappy job changing your tire then you can’t keep on rollin’!  Happy Miles to You!!

 

Mileage Recap ~ November…And Some Rambling Thoughts

It’s always good to have a bit of a blogging break.  Sometimes you just need to get the creative juices flowing again.  Thank you to everyone who sent me messages of support and congratulations last month.  Going to Ireland was a great experience and has renewed my love for running and the reason why I do it and I’m reading to do more.

I keep an Excel spreadsheet of all my miles and it’s amazing that I have been doing this for 5 years now.  I haven’t been blogging that long – or at least I don’t thing so!  Reflecting, I have mixed feelings about the 5 years. I would have liked to be further along, but 11k plus miles is a lot of miles when you add in everyday life to the mix.  But no worries, it’s all good and it will get done.  The more I do this the more interesting I want to make the challenges.  Why just go through the hum drum of tracking regular mileage.  It’s almost like there needs to be a prize at the end.  Thus, races and rides right?

It was good to have an easy month in November, but now it’s time to gear up again.  The weather is nice in Phoenix….now.  So, time to dust of my trusty bike (which I didn’t get to ride much while training) and get moving.  I covered 15.74 miles in November and 4.95 miles for the first week of December for a total of 20.69.  Not much, but it was a much-needed break.   I have 6318.78 miles gratefully remaining.  Happy Miles to You!!

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

Week 12 Dublin Marathon training is complete.

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

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

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

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

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

 

Mileage Recap ~ 18 – 24 Sept…”There Is No Luck Except Where There is Discipline”

I love that opening quote.  So many times I hear people say, I just got lucky, to explain their accomplishments.  They got lucky on a testgetting a certain job or any other positive event in life.

The definition of luck ~ success or failure apparently brought by chance rather than through one’s own actions.  I guess you could argue there is luck in some things, like being in the right place at the right time or meeting someone by chance and winning the lottery.  But I think most “wins” in life are a conglomeration of little steps that brought you to that final “lucky” place.  So the Irish saying (Yes it’s Irish) in the title, “There is no luck except where there is discipline” just proves my point (or so I like to think:-) )through hard work and discipline…things happen.  Luck, really has nothing to do with it.  What does this have to do with this weeks running mileage recap?  Well, this week was tough for me mentally when it came to my long run.  The running schedule called for 17 miles and I r-e-a-l-l-y didn’t feel like running.  I’m tired of the heat, the nasty gels, the electrolytes, before workout products, recovery protein, my feet hurt and oh by the way I’ve already lost two toenails – WAY before the normal nail losing process.  I lose the same two every long run event, but normally after it’s done.

I know quit whining…right?  I just didn’t want to do it.  But, I got up at 4:30 am and went through the pre-run ritual and was out the door around 5:45.  It wasn’t luck that was going to take me to the end, it was going to be discipline.  Discipline to get up and do what needs to be done to reach the end goal.  This goal just happens to be the Dublin Marathon…and I’m not that lucky.  I had a guy tell me one time that he just went and ran a marathon, no training – just did it.  News flash  ***There will always be people, better then you***.  In everything you do, so know yourself and just get used to that fact.  With all things in life, for most of us, discipline is the key to your version of winning.

I kept mulling it over in my mind that any time I feel like this, it may be a good day!  For the most part the long run was a good run.  The temperature was 66 when I started and I ran that first 10 miles easy with a break for water, some dried banana chips, and a gel.  Got back out on the road and two miles in my stomach felt a little queasy (thank you gel) but that feeling quickly went away.  The next five miles were good, but a little slower.  My feet started to hurt a bit and I actually thought about quitting and finishing up at the gym.  I kept going and the last two miles were difficult.  My breathing was good – but I’m still dealing with the arch pain in my feet.  Not a good sign with brand new shoes (another post).  When my legs and feet starting hurting I focused on using my core and hip swing that does amazing things for the pain in the lower body.  I swung by the house before the last two miles and had some water.  Needless-to-say I had too much water….sigh another lesson learned (many times before – ha!).  Need to watch how you consume. So at mile 16 I was doing the sprint home!  All ended well and I got it done.  Discipline.  My average pace this time around was 13:05.  Hey, I own that pace.  I ended with 32.94 miles for the week that brings the monthly total to 100.06 so far.  I find this song was appropriate for this week.  One of my favorite Irish bands.  On the playlist for sure.  With all the aches and pains that “Linger” I continue on with 6478.05 gratefully remaining.

Happy Miles to You!!!