Day 4 of Gratitude ~ Mileage Recap 22 Oct – 4 Nov… In The Arms of The Angels

Happy Sunday everyone.  I usually do my mileage recaps every Sunday, but every now and again, time and circumstances get the best of me.

First, let me give a shout out to all my friends who ran the New York City Marathon today!  They say there was 50,000 runners.  Unbelievable!  I was reading an article about a teacher who experienced one of the major school shootings and she had a quote that running “heals the soul”.  I agree with that statement. That will be one of my last races I do in my mileage journey.

Training is steady as she goes for next week’s 2018 Veteran’s Day 10k Race.  Not a long race, but the beneficiaries of the race will be Team Red, White & Blue, a group that helps veterans around the area.  There are chapters all around the country.  I’m just happy to be running.

Running

I continue to improve my pace on the shorter runs.  My breathing is good and my stamina is slowly building.  It has been a bit of a struggle trying to get back to what I consider an optimum pace for my age ~ lol!  I still maintain my goal to beat my PR marathon goal of 4:41 and keeping my average pace in the 9:00 min range. I finished October with 58.65 miles ~ about 10 shy of last month.

This weeks long run was okay.  I was a little winded from lack of sleep (excuses I know) but I got it done.  The trail was covered in leaves in a lot of places which made running difficult because I was looking at the ground so I wouldn’t slip and fall!  Plus I was taking pictures!  I think my pace would have been in the 10 minute range.  It was just so pretty!

You can see the leaves falling in the video!!!

I have completed 5734.82 miles in my journey with 5580.18 gratefully remaining.

Cycling

Not much to update here, after the 10k I look forward to focusing on my cycling.

You might be wondering why I titled this post in the arms of the angels.  It is one of the reasons I’m calling November my month of gratitude.  Not only does it have to do with my birth month and that I want to scream from the hills every day isn’t promised and is a gift.  Let’s face it, soon I will be 51 and although that is young these days, I do look at it as a time to be thankful and grateful for each day that I am given.  I recently found out a friend of mine committed suicide last month.  I was notified by Facebook© IM of all things.  This would have been the only way this person could have notified me and I don’t hold it against her because I didn’t know her personally.  I have a love/hate relationship with IM.  Technology is awesome.  We can find old friends, share ideas and pictures and converse instantaneously from around the world.  I have a few friends that ONLY use this method of communication.  Needless to say I find it rude and a little cowardly.  People who only IM are lazy and frankly if someone doesn’t take the time to call you ~ they’re letting you know that, yeah you just don’t mean that much to me or I can communicate only when things are convenient for me.  I know not everyone will agree with my assessment, but think about a person who only converses electronically ~ you may begin to see that person in a new light and agree with me on certain points.

The individual that died was a big part of my life for about five years.  She was a step-sister in a marriage that didn’t work out.  We were all young during that time.  It was a difficult time in my life and when she contacted me about six years ago I had reservations about starting up a conversation.  We became online friends and kept in touch with each other through the years.  She had experienced a lot of ups and downs, but I always kept a line open and offered my telephone number many times in case she wanted to call, but she never offered hers.  I hadn’t heard from her for a while and then a couple of months ago she contacted me to tell me her mother had passed from pancreatic cancer, again I offered her my number.  I had checked up on her a couple of times insisting she give me a call.  I got her address and sent her a sympathy card which she acknowledged she received and that she would respond.  During our conversations she had told me how she was working hard ~ studying for a Spanish test and how things were going well.  She had missed her Mother, but that life was moving forward.  Then I heard the news that she had hung herself.  As I write this, I can’t put into words what I’m really feeling.  Bewilderment, sadness, and sympathy for a life cut short.  I was dumbfounded as to why she would do this until I went on her Facebook page and saw how she had been battling depression for a long time.  It’s sad for me to hear and I often find myself thinking about her even though I hadn’t seen her since she was a little girl.  I guess I feel she just didn’t get a fair shake.  Life isn’t fair, no doubt.  So, if you’re following me in this month of gratitude ~ I ask for a gift gentle reader.  Reach out to someone – by voice.  A short call or a meeting for coffee.  Talk to them and let them know you care.  It doesn’t have to be sappy.  Sometimes just sitting there, together, sipping wine or drinking coffee is enough.  Pick up the phone and say hello.  That might be all it takes.  I firmly believe we have allowed ourselves to become too dependent on communication through social media programs as primary communication.  We are forgetting the art of conversation and interaction with other people.  My thoughts only…

Rachel was a beautiful woman:

 

She leaves behind two children and will be missed.  Even though we separated under strenuous circumstances, life is about forgiveness and growth.  Rachel is in the arms of the angels and free from the pain she experienced on this beautiful earth.  May she rest in peace.

I feel I should post this to help anyone in need:

National Suicide Hotline:  Call 1-800-273-8255

I hope this Sunday finds you in a peaceful state of mind.  Happy Miles to You.  “in this sweet madness, this sweet glorious sadness”….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chau Smith – Running Goals

In my humble opinion, running is 90% mental.  This is just me talking.  You have to 1) want to run, 2) have a goal, and finally 3) stick to the plan and follow through.  The first two are critical points that will help you get through number three.  There is always going to be a reason (for most of us) not to do something.  There will never be enough time, enough money, or enough energy ~ but there always seems to be plenty of excuse to not (apply your own verb here).

Age.  Getting older.  I’m too old to…  I went to this conference in Atlanta for work some years ago and the speaker was talking about getting stuff done.  Something to that effect.  It was a semi motivational but dealt with government work stuff etc…Maybe even a little boring, until he said something that I still think about to this day.  He said, “we all know 20 year olds that act like they’re 60 and 60 year olds that act like they’re in their 20s“.  The whole point was never giving up, continuing on and not letting age act as an impediment to keep trying, living and achieving your goals.  It’s strange how that line still sticks with me.  I was in my early 30s then and I just thought it was great advice.  If you want to do something, don’t let age be an excuse.

Meet Chau Smith from Missouri.

She is 70 years old and ran seven marathons in seven continents….in one week.  One week…did you hear that…one week.  Oh and don’t be bothered that she ran over 70 races…last year.  From the Huffington Post, “Smith’s legal age is 67. She told The Huffington Post that after her father was killed in the French occupation of Vietnam during the First Indochina War, her mother went into hiding while pregnant with Smith for their safety. After she was born in 1947, her mother didn’t report it for three years. That’s why she wanted to honor turning her real age ― 70 ― this year in a special way”.

Smith is part of a group called Marathon Adventures.  She basically would run a marathon in one country, board a plane to the next and start all over again.  Smith ran in Perth, Australia, Cairo, Amsterdam, Singapore, New York, Chile and King George Island, Antarctica.

She credits running to keeping her healthy and happy, clears her head and that helps her make better decisions.

Women On the Move ~ Meet Michele Across America!

I know I’m going to love this new topic I have created Women on the Move.  Already, I have found some exciting subjects, doing great things, to write about.  I have to say up front, I don’t know any of these women personally.  Never met them.  If I do, I’ll let you know, but for the most part I just have come across them electronically and have decided to follow/research them further.

Let me introduce you to Michele, or as she states it, Michele Across America.  You can find Michele at her own blog https://micheleacrossamerica.com/.

Michele is a physical therapist from Napa, CA.  In just 39 days she will be riding across the country to raise money for Multiple Sclerosis.  She was an avid rider in her earlier years completing Centuries and double Centuries (a gal after my own heart) and is now looking to add another amazing feat to her list.  I’m interested in Michele because I have a good friend that has MS as well.  In 2013 I participated in the MS 50 mile walk in St. Louis over three days and raised $1000.  You can read about it here:

https://11315miles.com/2013/04/28/50-mile-ms-challenge-walk/

https://11315miles.com/2013/04/18/50-mile-challenge-ms-walk-update/

https://11315miles.com/2013/05/21/ms-50-mile-challenge-walk-update/

https://11315miles.com/2013/05/31/ms-50-mile-walk-day-one-recap/

A lot of updates….so if you feel like reading.  But this isn’t about me.

Michele will start her ride in 39 days and I can’t wait to follow the journey.  I’m interested in all the logistics and how she’s going to accomplish this grand feat.

Visit her donation page Bike the US for MS found here: http://biketheusforms.org/cyclists/detail.asp?cid=1084

She is also on Instagram at micheleacrossamerica.

As she so eloquently states, “even 1$ helps”.  Yes it does.  Happy Miles to You!!

Kiko Matthews ~ Transatlantic Solo 2018 – World Record Attempt

First up under my new Women on the Move page is Kiko Matthews from the United Kingdom.  I found her on Instagram – kikomatthews.  I just happened to be scrolling and she popped up and I decided to take a closer look at what she was doing.  Little did I know I would be so blown away by her and her story!

I’m always amazed by how certain events in our life will light a fire under us and create a new passion.  It is no different in Kiko Matthew’s case.  In 2009 she was diagnosed with Cushing’s disease.  Cushing’s attacks the pituitary gland and wreaks havoc on the bodies skin and muscular systems.  What makes her so interesting?  Well, for starters, she is attempting to row across the Atlantic (that’s 3000 miles) unsupported starting January 2018.  Adding her name to the 5 other women who have done this, she hopes to not only add her name to the list but beat the current record of 56 days by 11 days!

You can find her at her wonderful  site http://www.kikomatthews.co.uk/!  But wait…there’s more.  Kiko is also a business owner.  In 2015 she started her own Stand Up Paddle Board (SUP) business.  From her site:

SUPKiko

Founded in 2015, SUPKiko delivers stand up paddle-boarding lessons in Richmond and Hackney. It was responsible for the birth of a scheme called #trash4treats, which has now been taken on by The Big Stand. In collaboration with Moo Canoes, #trash4treats incorporates SUP lessons and experiences (or canoe) with collecting trash from London’s waterways. For every bucket of litter collected during the paddle, customers receive a treat from a local partner/business.

And a Foundation….

The Big Stand

Founded in November 2015 by myself and my co-founder Charlie Head, The Big Stand aims to empower with education and inspire through adventure. The environment and well-being are at the heart of the charity, with the ultimate aim of developing confidence and creating happier, healthier people and environments.

There is a LOT going on here and all of it wonderful.  There is so much to discover you really can’t do it in one sitting.  I did take time to read her Values and Passion page.  I really liked that it aligned to my thinking as well.  There is so much more to discover, so thank goodness I’m dedicating a page!

One of her favorite charities is Women in Sport, UK.  From the site:

Women in Sport

Women in sport are a charity in association with Sport England that research, invest and support women and girls in sport, trying to bring equality to the sports industry as well as promoting and encouraging more women to take up sport, leading to a healthier life. I am passionate about the benefits of sport and encouraging equality between genders and would like to support the charity to help develop both of these on a national and international basis.

Whew!  Exciting and I can’t wait to follow her voyage!  You can also donate to Kiko here:  http://www.kikomatthews.co.uk/get-involved/.

Passion Post #6 ~ The Art of Letting Go

Letting go.  It sounds so simple, but depending on the circumstances it might be painful and tough.  Life’s lessons.  Letting go of loved ones, friendships, and bad habits.  Sometimes we let go on purpose to better ourselves, other times change is thrown upon us and we have no choice but to let go in  hope that there is a lesson to be learned and that in the end we become better.

Letting go is an art form so-to-speak.  You can handle letting go well or you can handle it poorly.   So for this post it’s all positive.

For most women our hair is our crowning glory.  It is the cherry on top.  Our hair defines us.  Don’t think so?  How many times have you looked in the mirror ~ you’re wearing a rocking outfit but that hair!  Bad hair can put a damper on anybody’s day.  We spend lot’s of money each year cutting, coloring and taking care of our hair.  It is the ultimate accessory.  I am no different.  I think I’ve had my hair every conceivable way.  Short, long, colored, punk and don’t forget big.  Hey the bigger the hair the closer to God!    There was a musical based on Hair!

Have you ever thought what it would be like if you lost it to disease?  Would it bother you?  How would you feel?  Hopefully, most of us won’t ever find out, but for many it is a reality.  I have been growing my hair out for the last two years in order to donate to Locks of Love. My hair was getting majorly long and I really, really loved it.  I haven’t had my hair that long since I was sixteen.  I was getting to the point I liked it so much I didn’t want to cut it anytime soon.  Kind of had this feeling….hair blowing in the wind.  Ok, not really ~ :).

Joe Dirt

This weekend I decided to part with my hair so someone else can enjoy it.  I can only hope that each strand will bring someone the happiness and strength they need to fight their disease.  Donating my hair only strengthened my ability for patience and fills my heart with gratitude for giving.  Letting go can mean, strength, respect and resolve.  If you’re interested in donating to Locks of Love see the link below:

Locks of Love

Before

Before

Hair

After

 

Enjoy your Sunday ~ capture your passion.  Happy Miles to you!

Mileage Recap 12 ~ 21 Dec

My weekly mileage  recap is off, so I’m trying to get back on track. Holidays have me hopping. The weather here has been erratic. It has gone from the teens to 64 in a matter of two weeks with snow and rain on the days I wanted to get in some long runs. I’m not one to shy away from rain or cold, but sometimes the weather is just too bad and it’s not safe. So indoors I had to go. Last Saturday was too snowy and this Saturday it was raining hard holding at a steady 33 ~ 34 degrees. To make matters worse the normal gym I go to is renovating. I showed up yesterday only to find every machine taken. I decide to go across the base to the other gym ~ closed at 1300! Ugh. My daughter and I really wanted to run so we both got the bright idea to buy a day at the Y. Yep, the best $20 spent that day. Felt better and I was able to put in five. Nothing like a little holiday rolling.  Total miles for the week 11.32.

Sat (Dec 14) ~ 5 miles on the tread
Sun ~ Rest
Mon ~ 3 miles elliptical
Tues ~ KB/CrossFit
Wed ~ 3.35 miles running
Thurs ~ KB/CrossFit
Fri ~ Rest
Sat ~ 4.97 Miles on the Y tread

Total miles completed so far 983.55 with only 16.45 miles remaining for the 2013 1,000 end of year goal. 10,331.45 grateful miles remaining overall.

Here’s to happy runs.

Passion Post # 5 ~ Distance is Just A Number

I love being 46 years old.  Yeah you heard me.  I love being 46.  I have no desire to be a teenager or a twenty something.  Don’t get me wrong, I liked being a teen, and enjoyed my 20s and 30s, but now I’m in my 40s ~ and I love it.  I’m comfortable in my 46 year old skin.  When I look in the mirror and see the lines that are beginning to form I see battles won and a few I lost.  I see love, happiness and adventures still to be experienced ~ hard work, joy and pain.  Every line that is forming and every line that will be has been/will be earned.  Some are joyous lines others lines of pain.  They’re my lines.

I came across this link someone posted on Facebook directed at how the media portrays women’s bodies, mostly famous artistic women, i.e. models, singers etc.  The woman narrating the piece is specifically zoning in on digitally changing images that make women appear slimmer, have bigger busts and of course flawless skin.  Sending the misconception of how these women look in real life and what is considered beauty.  Hips too wide no problem digital enhancing will fix the problem.  I have no doubt this happens with male images as well.  So you’re asking yourself what does this have to do with running?  A lot actually.  I bet you would be hard pressed not to find in the top ten of “Why I run” posts/articles the reason people started to run is to slim down ~ and that is a great reason There is nothing wrong with wanting to be the best you can be physically and if running gets you there great!  A runners physique is slim and muscular.  I wanted to tie this into running because I’ve had quite a few people discuss with me (mostly females) how difficult it is to be “everything”, be fit and on top of it look great and emulate all of those images you see.

You can access the link below ~ it’s a little long but you’ll get the gist after a couple of minutes.

5 Minutes Of What The Media Actually Does To Women

When I started running I was a good 40 to 45 lbs. over my normal weight.  People tell me today when they look at pictures from a couple of years ago they can’t believe it’s the same person.   I am a petite woman.  I have always been that way.  Like all normal women I was raising a very busy child and working which didn’t leave a lot of time for working out, much less running in those early years, so I gained weight.  One day I was putting on a pair of pants and they were so tight they were high waters!  Come on laugh ~ quite a few of you know what I’m talking about:)  So I finally just got fed up.  I just wanted to be able to feel good and fit in my clothes without the fear of taking out someone’s eye if a button popped loose.  So, I started eating better and planned time   to exercise.  I started to run and it stuck.  Running changes your body and running a lot really changes your body.  I’m back to how I used to be ~ plank meet world.  I’m here to tell you I’m so okay with it ~ matter of fact I’m Amen and pass the pork chops okay.  Jimmy crack corn and I don’t care.  I eat a lot and sometimes not well, but I burn a lot of calories.  I burnt 2500 cals just running the St. Louis marathon.   You get the picture.  I have more time to myself now that the kid is older and in college ~ you’ll get there too.  Let’s face it, training for a half or full marathon takes time.  Time away from family and all those necessary’s you have to do.  Don’t beat yourself up about it if you can only spare a certain amount of time each week.  It is what it is and you do the best you can.

Queue in wavy lines and “take me way back music“.  I can remember, very specifically I might add, being at a pool and jumping off the diving board and a kid I really liked yelled out “you’re flat”!  Well I was 10 and Einstein he wasn’t, but that stuck with me for a long time.  I even thought about enhancement from time to time.  But I am comfortable with my shall we just call it the female “runners” chest.  Let me be the first to say, I don’t think there is anything wrong with “fixing” anything on your body.  If you want to do it and it makes you feel better all I’m saying is keep it in perspective.  Don’t do it because you think that’s what you have to do to be beautiful to others or you perceive that’s what is considered beautiful ~ you do it for you.  Heck, who knows, I might want to get rid of some of the crazy a few years from now.

Let’s fast forward a few years ~ Circa 1995.  I’m in the Army and in the hospital fixing to be induced to receive for our little bundle of joy.  I’m sitting there and I tell my husband to go get a magazine while I’m waiting for the blessed event to start rolling.  Lo and behold he comes back with…wait for it…Cosmo.  Now I don’t know about you, but I quit reading Cosmo back in my early 20s.  I had packed up and moved on from that crazy train long ago.  I said, “you have to be kidding”!  To which he replies, “well it was that or Newsweek”.  I just stared blankly ~ really….really?  So I had to take what I could get and I started reading Cosmo.  In walks the “female doctor”, two “female nurses” and one really young Sargent (that was a little creepy) and they all started laughing when they saw the magazine.  The older nurse blurted out “hey look she’s reading Cosmo!  We stopped reading that year’s ago”!  Guffaw guffaw…snicker snicker.  Then she says, “it’s just kind of funny ~ here you are giving birth and you’re reading Cosmo”!  Ha, ha yes the joke is on me.  Nothing better than having a pregnant body reading Cosmo magazine.

The moral here ~ no one is perfect ~ physically.  Make a reasonable training plan and stick to it the best you can.  Look in the mirror and focus on that image ~ not what the world is telling you that image should be.  Realize that good results sometimes take a little time to achieve.  Let your true passionate self radiate your true beauty.