Mileage Recap ~ 16 – 22 April…Happy Earth Day

Happy Earth Day everyone!  I didn’t even know it was earth day until I saw it on Google.  They have a great video on Dr. Jane Goodall.  I can’t think of a better representative for Earth Day then Jane Goodall.  I love all the work she’s done with primates and her overall sentiment that the earth is something to love, cherish and pass on to our youth.  If you would like to know more about Jane go to this link: http://www.janegoodall.org/

There are a lot of “days” out there to be celebrated and I imagine for most people some of this stuff is just a waste of time and money.  Maybe so in some cases, but I think earth day is a great day to reflect on how we live in our environment now and what can we do to improve and consume less.  At least I do. This weekend’s weather was true spring weather in Alexandria.  Blue skies, a little nip in the morning with it heating up later.

As I ran my longer run this weekend I took in the beauty of the trees, river, blue bonnets, and even the dandelions. Birds are singing and squirrels are running about the woods.  People moving freely and enjoying the warmer weather, just being. I know what you’re thinking…oh brother, so it was a nice day, so what?  Well, I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’ve been in places, countries if you will where it wasn’t such a nice day.  Actually, it was quite the opposite.  Despair, anger, death and hopelessness.  I think often about my time in Somalia and it’s sad to know that there are places and people in this world who can’t go out and let the beauty of the world wash over them, even if it’s just for an hour.  These are the things I sometimes think about trying to log these miles. Thoughts that I will always carry with me until the end I guess.   If I were Queen for a day I would change these things if I could.   So, out of all the days Earth Day is a bit of an enigma.   It’s fun to talk about, but harder to walk the walk.  As I age I always think, hmmm, do I really need that or turn off the lights, recycle, conserve water.  I ask myself how much is enough.  It’s hard because no one wants to be uncomfortable, including me.  I do try though in mind, spirit and action.

This week I picked up more mileage than the prior week.  The plan was to cycle today but “bad kitty” (aka my bike) wasn’t having any part.  Cleaned her off and started to air up the tires only to find a valve issue…again.  I guess the trek across country was a little more damaging than I previously thought.  This weeks business will be to find a cycle shop and take her in for some my need professional maintenance.  I ran instead.  Started the week off with a longer run, indoor cycling on Thursday and a longer run today of 3.5 miles.  Slowly bringing the distance back up.  I felt good today ~ pain is low and I ended up running 10:39.  Not too shabby but the annoyance level was a little high because of the bike.

Total mileage came out to 17.63 this week.  I’ve already passed March numbers and I’m not even in the hotter weather and have a week to go!  I have 6030.71 miles graciously awaiting me.  I hope this post finds you well enough to go outside, close your eyes and let the beauty of this earth wash over you.  Happy Earth Day.  Happy Miles to You!!

If I could change the world…I surly would.

 

 

 

 

Mileage Recap ~ Apr 9 – 15…Spring Fever

It’s hard to believe I’ve only been in D.C. a little over a month.  It seems a lot longer and when I look back at all the progress I’ve made from moving into a new place, starting a new job and just getting back into the swing of things it’s a little surreal.

I’m ready for Spring!  How about you?  There is a lot of push and pull in the weather.  This past week has shown some nice temps with Saturday reaching 87 degrees according to my thermometer and now it’s in the 50s and raining!

This week was an improvement in miles ~ and that’s what it is all about!  I was able to take a few walks at lunch time when the weather is good. Sometimes it’s hard for me to pull away from what I’m doing and leave during lunch.  I’m sure a lot of you do the same thing.  But it’s important to get away from that computer and if nothing else take that walk to clear the mind and stretch the legs.  Now if I can just eat my lunch away from my desk I’ll be doing well!

This weeks mileage was a good combination of treadmill, walking and running.  The nicer weather had me out after work with a few runs in my local area.  I have been slowly pushing the length of each run trying to get to a nice solid running mileage during the week and then pushing for the longer runs on Saturday.  I started with 2.5 and then a 2.75 during the week and ended with a 3 mile run on Saturday.  For the most part feeling pretty good.

I was so pleased with Saturday’s run.  First time in a while I took the water bottle and gels with me.  The best part about the run, well the two best things, the trees and the weather.  It was so wonderful to hear the leaves rustling the wind, the birds singing and the sun shining on the water.  It put me in a great mood.  Even better my pace for this run was 10:04.  Haven’t seen that for a long time!  Overall felt good and a positive end to the week.  Something to smile about!

You can see the trail and winds 8 miles both ways.  I can’t believe I got a shot and no one was in it.  There are a lot of people on the trail.  Looking to practice on this running and cycling.  I completed 12.53 for the week, up four.  I am very close to breaking 6K!  It’s going to happen people.  I have 6048.34 miles gratefully waiting.  I hope this post finds you “spring” ready!  Happy Miles to You!!

Spring always gives me Fever…..

 

 

Mileage Recap ~ 2 – 8 April…Scanning My Sector

Happy Sunday everyone!  Don’t you hate it when it seems like the weekend just flies by?  One minute you’re heading out the door after the bird says go:

And the next minute you’re back at it:

Still a newbie here in DC my weekends are filled with getting my routine down and things to uh…live.  So I’m running when I can, permitting somewhat decent weather, time and always on the lookout for new paths.

and gents!  Let’s just pause for a moment to look at this handsome cat…I mean.. golf clap here.  I venture out when I can at work for small walks to pick up some mileage and then slide on to the Yellow/Blue line home to hit the streets or the treadmill if it’s a crappy weather day.  Today I hit the jackpot!  Right down the road from me is Mt. Vernon and the awesome Mt. Vernon trail!  I have found my first off-road trail that is paved for walking, cycling and running.  This afternoon was great and I went out to explore a bit.  Some scenes from today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not sure why I can’t get my pictures to line up, but hey we’re going to go with it!!  As you can see it’s a very nice path and quite scenic.  I think it’s 8 miles one way, hey I’ll take 16 with a turn around!  There was a stop and drop at mile two.  If you have to go to the bathroom…might I suggest no.  For those who don’t know what a stop and drop is…well I just coined the phrase.  There is no flushing.  Are you getting the picture?  Hmmm.  No?  Well, maybe this will help you out…

Yeah, can you hear me now?

There was a small little irritant.  Cyclists.  What, you say!!  I am one..and..can I just say, the douche meter was off the chart today.  Extreme red ~ douche encounter was imminent.  There are all sorts of people doing all sorts of things on the path.  If you’re a cyclist, you don’t own the road.  You don’t.  Don’t get pissy when people can’t hear your little bell.  If you see someone walking ~ hmm let’s see mother with a baby or an older person walking…if you have a little bell and those people don’t get out-of-the-way for you…speak up and slow down.  Don’t continue to barrel down the path at your full speed, because you can’t be bothered to slow down, and get irritated said person didn’t get out-of-the-way for you.  You look foolish and like a novice.  If you don’t want your  pace interrupted, might I suggest the road?  I wonder if any of the cyclists will read this?  Hmmm, if a tree falls in the woods does anyone hear it?  Most likely not.  All in all I had a great experience and I can’t wait to run and ride on the path.

This week consisted of running and walking.  I was able to pull out 11.97 miles this week with 6060.87 gratefully remaining.  I hope this Sunday finds you well and full of hope.  Happy Miles to You!!

I dedicate this song to all the cyclists out there!

 

 

 

 

Mileage Recap ~ 26 Feb – 25 March…DC Version

Hello all!  Long time no blog…

There is a good reason for my absence.  I have moved to Washington, DC for a new job.  It came up fairly quickly and I had a good deal of planning to do which minimized my blogging.  I have settled in and will be up and going in no time at all.  The obvious is the weather change.  Baby it’s cold outside!  So a very quick recap today.  I was able to finish February with 86.82 miles and so far for March I have completed 31.75.  There was a lot of hotel treadmill running and incumbent biking.  If you travel, you know what I’m talking about.

Grateful for a new work opportunity.  I have 6088.07 DC miles remaining.  Hope this finds you well.  Happy Miles to You!!

Mileage Recap ~ Winter Trail Frosty (WTF) Half Marathon

The first word is always the hardest to write.  Hmmm, ok let’s go for the utterly mundane and say I have completed my third half marathon.  I would have tried to bang this post out yesterday, but I was tired and hungry.  Oh so very hungry.  Where to begin…”It was the best of times, it was the worst of times….”  Oh very sorry, wrong story.

On Sunday I completed the Winter Trail Frosty Trail Half Marathon that took place in Papago Park in Tempe, Arizona.  I get a lot of junk email for different types of races. I searched for races that take place in January in Arizona and the WTF came up.  I thought it would be cool to do one closer to home.  This race is hosted by 131 Event Productions, who sponsor similar races across the country.  I guess it would be safe to say they are a franchise.  I signed up originally because I wanted to do another trail race.  I have done a few trails before with the last one, the Grand Canyon Half, in 2016.  So, I was ready to try another trail run.

About a couple of weeks before the race an update was sent out that mentioned something about insurance and injury and that the run wouldn’t  take place through the park but around the lake area closer to the city.  I was surprised and a little put out but it was a chance to get some miles in and to focus on PRing my fastest half time.

I had been good with hydrating and eating the whole week.  Focusing on good energy foods.  The morning of I did have this:

No, it’s not just ordinary toast…it’s cinnamon sugar toast.  I had it growing up as a kid and had been craving it so I made it for part of my breakfast.  The other part was a Kashi cereal that tastes like Captain Crunch™.  Don’t judge.  Packed about two gels for every two miles and headed out the door around 7:15.

Arrive at the venue and begin to drive to the parking lot only to see cars driving back.  A sure sign that there are no more parking spaces.  I was beginning to realize that  maybe I should have left a little earlier.  I found myself parking in a park down the road with others about a mile from the start.  Park the car and realize that I need to step up my game.  In other words, girlfren you need to start wogging to the start line.  I needed to get there because I wanted to get one last bathroom break in before the race starts.  Get to the start line and look for portos.  What!!??!!  Looking….looking…oh there…they…are….  WTFrack!  There were only six portos and the line was out the…well you know.  I mean come on!!!  Six?  Heck, women alone need six!  Now we have to share them?  So, there I stood and I’ll tell you I wasn’t happy.  If I someone shooting the shyster I know my ice eyes were beaming through the back of their heads.  STOP TALKING….”five minutes till race start” the announcer bellows.  No way was I going to get this done.  I made the call to get out of the line and go back to the start.  Once the race began I ran to the porto and waited for six minutes, then I started my race.  Yeah.  Awesome.

The race

The race was a combination of a quarter and half marathon.  The half marathoners (me) got to do the course…you guessed it, twice.  As my readers well know, there is nothing I hate more than a lapped run.  It’s boring.  Did I say it’s boring?  But sometimes you just have to deal.  I start running down a small path and the next thing I know it’s starts to go through the park!  A real trail run.  Uh, hmmm what about the insurance blah, blah, death, blah blah…???  Yes, ladies and gentleman, we have ourselves a real trail run. I was happy, but a bit shocked.  I sure as heck wouldn’t have worn my Hokas ya’ll!  But there I was hopping over rock and sand.  The majority of the trail was single person wide with a few concrete cross overs and some flat areas.  You know what that means right?  Here’s a hint:

Can you guess?  It was a caterpillar run.  Meaning, you’re only going as fast as the person in front of you.  A lot of stop and starting.  Awesome!  One thing I will say, the difficulty was higher than the Grand Canyon Half.  You had to be careful where you stepped and it was constantly up and down.  I was very careful on descending because I didn’t want to hurt my knee again.  That’s what got me in trouble last time.  It was a tough course.

Here is a picture I took on one of the few places that was flatter.  Mind you I was already halfway up the hill.

Support

This is where things get a little iffy and I really want to say something about this because I have noticed this happening in MANY events I’ve taken part over the years.  For the first part there was heavy support.  The trail was marked okay, not great.  They marked it with bright green tape (the route to follow) and orange tape (where not to go).  There were volunteer guides to set you on the right path at some of the more tricky parts.  After the first round, i.e. the quarter marathoners completed their race, the volunteers magically disappeared.  Now you would think, well you ran it once surely you would know where to go.  Not so.  Runners were getting tired and paying attention to foot strike.  I saw a lot of people get turned around at some of the more confusing points, myself included.  Then the ultimate no no, they took away some of the water points.  Look, I didn’t bring my water belt.  I train with one, but I look forward to running a race without one, especially if there is water support.  Right or wrong, we can discuss that in the comments section.  A lot of people had their belts or hydration packs.  Maybe I should have brought mine.  The water points were about every two miles for the first part of the race, but seemed to disappear the second half.  This is what I find at a lot of these events.  You have the fast people who will finish the race in one hour, but then the other 90% don’t.  The other 90% paid for this experience too and therefore, the event managers need to follow through and support until the last man or woman crosses the finish line.  Some of these races are expensive.  This one wasn’t too bad, but still the support needs to be the same for all.  Unless there are some stipulations in the event rules that state support cuts off after a certain time, support the runners.  I was really counting on one of the water points only to find it packed up and gone.  Not cool.  I will be writing 131 productions.

The finish

The finish was great and well supported.  They had lots of food and water to refuel and the bling wasn’t too bad either.  The medal was crazy big and a little heavy!  I wonder sometimes if you can get addicted to the bling.  My body was a little sore, but overall this was a pain free race!

I was pleased with my performance.  I was going to say I didn’t PR but I guess I did because this was my second trail half.  I ran 3 hours and some change for the Grand Canyon and I finished this run at 2:59.  Granted the elevation differences are not the same with two very different environments.  I came in 9th in my age group for this run.  Don’t get excited, there were eleven in my age group.

After the run I was really hungry even after eating cake and a banana at the finish, so I treated myself to Culvers.  I hadn’t been there in a while and needed something good!

And here I thought they did the pickle like that especially for me….no, it’s everyone.

I completed 27.45 miles this week bringing me to 5110.36 miles completed in my journey with 6204.64 gratefully remaining.  I hope this post finds you surrounded by the people you love.  Happy Miles to You!!

Once again I felt like I was on the moon.  I got in the car to go home and this was on the radio….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mileage Recap ~ 15 – 21 Jan…Pain Is Temporary

There are no gains without pains.

                                                Benjamin Franklin

Pain can occupy the mind, body and spirit.  How we choose to react to pain is obviously our prerogative.  We can accept it and let it make us wiser and stronger or allow it to defeat us.  The choice is ours.  I often wonder sometimes that when you hurt yourself physically and you see  the damage like blood etc., mentally your reaction is more intense.  Would be something good to research!

This weeks training for the Winter Trail Frosty Half Marathon is going well.  I was able to get in three runs; 4, 6 and 9 miles.  I had some good paces for the shorter runs and kept a predictable 11:11 pace for the longer run.  I will say though training this time around has seen things speed up.  The 6 mile run, a combination of steady two miles and the remainder was intermittent speed work.  I really liked doing it that way because I warmed up and I felt strong throughout.  After each run I have a cool down walk and that always adds to my miles.  Otherwise, feeling good and I think I’m ready for the race in a week!

Soooo, I had planned to get in a bike ride today.  You may remember I changed the rear tire and the front tire needed changed too.  Just didn’t get to it in the same day.  Today I started to change the front tire.  Sigh….  First, the positive.  I got the tire off and replaced the tube, quick.  I mean it was good.  Now putting it back on was a bit of a challenge, but I got in on in about 10 minutes this time.  My levers slipped and…wait..wait.  Levers don’t have minds.  I was attempting to put the tire on and the levers slipped because I wasn’t holding them properly.  Then my hands kind of bonked together and my nail from one hand gouged out the thumb on the other hand.  If you have a queasy stomach please scroll down.

What?

What?  Aww suck it up!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nice eh?  It looks worse than it really was.  This wasn’t the main problem either.  There is a very important lesson in all this.  After I got the tire back on I was so happy ♪ where’s the pump ♪ pumping…. hmmm

pumping ♪♪♫♫!!!!  I’m going for a ride….♪♪ ♫♫

What the!!!  The valve is bad.  So, ladies/gentleman ~ girls/boys always ensure your gear is worth a dang before trying to implement it in whatever activity you wish to partake.  After all of that, I was not defeated but realized that I needed another tube and that wasn’t going to happen today.

All in all a good week of miles.  This weeks round-up equaled 25.66 miles in total.  I have 6232.09 bloody miles remaining.  Just kidding, this isn’t Vikings!  Or is it??!!!   (Courtesy of History.com)

SKOL!!!

I thought this song was appropriate, kinda cheesy but my thumb ya’ll.  Happy Miles to You!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday’s Motivation… When One Door Closes… ~ 2017 Mileage Recap

Happy New Year ya’ll!  I had to throw the ya’ll in there because I’m a Southerner…and that I shall remain.

There are usually a couple of things that are happening on New Year’s Day.

  1. You are recovering from a hangover.
  2. Starting to take down the holiday decorations.
  3. Getting ready for the upcoming work week.
  4. Dreading the upcoming work week.
  5. Making lists and smiling about all the “epic” shit you’re going to do this year.
  6. Reflecting on the following year.

Okay that was a bit more than a technical couple, but you get my drift.  I think every year I write how I don’t make resolutions.  I don’t.  I stopped doing that a long time ago.  I make goals.  Sometimes I reach them other times not.  I find goals are different from resolutions.   Perhaps a goal is something that can be started at any time and any day.  Not like some voodoo that needs to happen on a particular day of the year in order for it to happen.  The main gist of this…goals

  1. Start now.
  2. Write the goal down.
  3. Create a time-line for completion or metrics of completion.
  4. Understand your fear and face it headfirst.
  5. Stop taking advice from people who don’t know you, don’t care about your success, or don’t understand your life or dreams.
  6. Follow through.  (The most important ~ a lot of people spend a lot of time “getting ready to get ready” and never really leave the planning stage.

The beginning of a new year is all about the “re” words:

  1. Reflect
  2. Renew
  3. Rethink
  4. Refresh
  5. Re-energize
  6. Reinvent
  7. Rebuild
  8. Regroup

What are your “re” words for 2018?

I had a pretty good year “mile-wise”.  I had a goal to complete a race abroad when I first started this journey and I did it this year.  I would have liked to complete more miles this year, but I did what I could do and was able to follow through to my goal of completing the Dublin marathon.  This year was peppered with some physical discomfort, but now it’s time to re-energize, rebuild, and regroup for then next year.

This Monday’s motivation:

“When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed-door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.”

~ Alexander Graham Bell

Encyclopedia Britannica

I will admit this one blew me away.  I had no idea that Alexander Graham Bell penned this quote.  None.  How often do we spend so much time lamenting change?  Instead of embracing it and allowing new ideas and experiences to flow into our life?   Alexander Graham Bell was born in 1847, Edinburgh, Scotland. He was an American inventor, scientist, and teacher of the deaf whose foremost accomplishments were the invention of the telephone (1876) and the refinement of the phonograph (1886), https://www.britannica.com/biography/Alexander-Graham-Bell.  His mother was almost deaf which influenced his career as a teacher for the deaf.  Very cool.

While I was researching this quote this also popped up…

“I know that when one door closes another opens…but man, these hallways are a bitch!”  ~ Ahhh deep thoughts from Pinterest.  

I completed my year with 789.96 miles.  I am almost half-way home.  My goal is to complete the remaining miles in the next two years.

A girl has to have dreams right?  Here’s to making those dreams “re”ality.  I have completed 5031.82 miles in my journey.  I “re”joice that I gratefully have 6283.18 “re”maining!

Thank you to everyone who has continued to follow me throughout the years and provide motivation and comments.  May your 2018 see goals met, your happiness grow, and peaceful, exciting and “epic” year!!!! Happy Miles to You!!

Time is on my side….