Mileage Recap ~ 2 – 9 July…Running in Monsoon Season

Last week’s runs were pretty uneventful.  Which I guess is good because there hasn’t been any injury and physical therapy is keeping things in check.  For the most part, I’ve been doing and feeling well. The long runs are still a walk and run combination because of the heat.  I don’t really want that but the heat is just too harsh.  I go for as long as I can, walk to catch my breath then start back up.  My goal is to not walk at all… but I guess if I have to pick between walking a bit and passed out on the side of the road, I’ll pick walking…for now!

The monsoon season has officially started here in the desert.  The normal run dates are July 7th and September 13.  It’s kind of a double edge sword.  For running it cools things down, but kicks up the dust making it hard to see and breathe.  In actuality, it can be down right dangerous.  If you haven’t been here during the monsoon season, may I offer you a taste?

Courtesy of Dreamstime

Courtesy of Arizona Painting Company

 

The monsoons can be very dangerous but like I said it is nice to run in the rain.

This weeks mileage came to 13.15 with an overall pace of 12.19 for the long run of 7.02.  I did speed work on the treadmill last Wednesday trying to lower that pace.  I was very proud of myself for last weeks long run because I was on the road 0500 with starting temps at 98 but lowering to 94 because of a slight breeze.  I have 6723.43 graciously remaining.  One of these days I’m gonna run for fun….  Happy Miles to You!!

 

 

 

Mileage Recap ~ 21 May – 4 June

I looked at my blog page and my countdown widget now says 4 months to go!  This is really going quick almost a blink of an eye.  I am in the very beginnings of training for the Dublin Marathon.  After my calf injury, again, I rested from running for almost a full two months.  During that time I have been strength training, walking and some riding.  I can’t tell you enough how much the strength training has been helping me.  Working on the core and legs have given me less pain in the knees and hips.

I started off just walking then I incorporated short bursts of running then back to walking and it really has helped.  I had minimal pain in the knees, especially my left, all the while building into longer runs.  So it seems to be working.  There is no pride here either.  If I started to feel little niggles I simply slowed down or started to walk.  The best part was my breathing.  I didn’t feel tired at all.  That was a fantastic feeling.  Although, it is starting to get very hot now, the long runs will have to happen in the morning…on a weekend ~ lol.

This upcoming week will be more of the same, building strength, and foot placement.  One of the nice things about starting from the beginning is correcting the errors.  I tend to slog along sometimes so when I’m doing that I mentally remind myself to pick up the feet and swing the hips more.  May has been my biggest month yet this year at 92.66 miles.  I had a total of 26.33 for this tally and 6786.02 miles wonderfully remaining.  I hope this post finds you well ~ Happy Miles to You!!

Mileage Recap ~ 24 – 30 April…Discipline

There’s nothing like starting over from the beginning, but that’s exactly what I’m doing when it comes to running.  I have a feeling, the knee and calf injuries will always be with me in some form.  Meaning that unless I stop for a long amount of time, it’s going to continue to hurt.  I will say that I am very proud of myself.  I didn’t run or cycle for two weeks.  Instead I have concentrated on strength training at the gym and in yoga.  There are so many different exercise to do that will help strengthen the core and legs for runners.  Google strength training, core, knee pain etc. and you will be inundated with different exercises to perform.  Sometimes it’s just daunting, so I pick out a few I like (that don’t cause pain) and focus on those until I get ready to try something new.  Strength training ALWAYS works.  I can already feel the difference in how my body responds and thus the more I can use my core the lest impact I’m going to feel on my knees, feet and lower back.

It’s all about discipline and not taking the easy way out.  You could insert that sentence anywhere in everyday life.  In order to train for something as big as a marathon you have to be disciplined in the way you eat and exercise.  I’ve often been told by a few people that they would love to run a marathon, but started training and realized that “hey this requires a lot of time and work”.  It does.  I do something at least 5 to 6 days a week to keep up.  Unless you are in tip top shape, it’s hard to come back after not doing anything for 2 to 3 weeks, and it doesn’t get any easier as you age…believe me.  So the starting from scratch part of it I’m not looking forward to.  I was just getting my breath down and kind of getting in a groove.  Now I must start again and when I say start again, I’m going back old school.  You know the walk 2 minutes run 2 minutes program. Physical and mental discipline is key.  In my opinion, injuries give us a chance to listen to our bodies before something big happens.

This week was positive.  I got out and walked and even got in a short ride today!  It felt so good to be on the bike again!  I could have gone a long way today, but I stuck to 11.75 miles.  Everything felt good but again discipline and no pushing.  I was so happy I got in 17.58 this week for a total of 47.09 for the month.  Feels good.  Half of last months mileage, but that’s the way it goes.  I’ve got 4430.66 in the bank with 6884.34 painless miles remaining.  (Just kidding).  Happy Miles to You!!

Mileage Recap ~ 2 – 16 April…Damn

Happy Easter!  Any time you have a post with Damn in the title you know it’s not going to be great.  I was starting off pretty good with the running.  I was running on the treadmill a couple of times a week with the long run building up on the weekend.  At the moment I’m going between running and cycling.  Everything was moving along swimmingly.  I was able to get up to 5 miles for my long run.

This week I was going for a shorter run and then my right calf muscle pulled…again.  This is an old injury.  This started about three years ago.  It comes and goes.  Most likely due to over use.  I have been really hitting the training hard and I’m doing a lot of different things.  Weights, cycling, yoga and of course running.  No doubt it’s overuse.  Right now I take 1 to 2 rest days.  I really hate losing momentum but it looks like I might be out for two weeks of running.  My ankle is now swollen because of the calf injury.  Foam rolling, ice and Aleve™.

I’ll give myself a week of no leg action, but still continue with my strength training.  Then next week will most likely be a walk week.  Minor set back, but something that needs to be addressed now.  Pay now or pay later and I really want to be strong for this run.

Finished with only 15.17 miles this time.  Disappointed but not a show stopper.  I have 6890.17 miles to go.  Resolute ~ Happy Miles to You!!

Mileage Recap ~ 8 – 16 Apr…Ending The Week With A Pima Canyon Hike

I love the cool days, especially in the desert.  The sky is a beautiful blue and the colors of the mountains and plants are vibrant.  Maybe it’s more enjoyable because I wasn’t sweltering under 115 degree heat.  I’ll take all I can get.

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I had one of those ah-ha moments when I realized that my race was less than a month away.  Since my cycling my long runs really haven’t been very long.  I’m pleased with this weeks run of six miles, but it’s a little lax on where I should be for training.  It’s ok.  It is what it is and I’ll make it work.  Needless to say this weeks long run was good.  I felt good.  Started off flat and descending a bit while the return trip…well what goes down must come back up. It was a little trying and I did have to stop and wog a bit but I finished up running which is what counts to me anyway.

Decided to wear my water belt instead of the hydration pack this time around and it was fine.  Next long run I’ll need to soldier up and wear the pack, this time with more water.  I know it’s going to be rough because I filled it up today for my hike.  It really is like a mini rucksack.  Granted I had my phone, keys, wallet and a couple of snacks.. just in case.  I filled the reservoir to capacity and it was a little heavy.  Walking is no bid deal, running will be another story completely.  I think I should have bought a lighter pack…but I’m not turning back now.

Finished the week with the hike.  So many people out and about.  It was funny because people were all over the place, looking like ants coming down from the mountains.  I tried to find some of these paths to climb up but didn’t have much luck.  This is the second time I’ve been to the canyon.  I did stray from the trail once but thought better and turned around when I couldn’t figure out the path up.  I imagine the entrance to those paths were either farther down just not where I was located!  I started walking down a wadi and realized this is how people get lost and die in the desert…yes it is.  I found myself alone in a canyon and looked up at my surroundings and the mountains looked the same every way.  I can see how people can get disoriented.

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For those in colder regions I hope Spring has Sprung and you’re on the way to more beautiful weather!  19.26 miles this week with 8,185.85  gratefully awaiting.

And remember….

“You were given this life because you were strong enough to live it.

~Unknown

Happy Miles To You!

 

Mileage Recap ~ 1 Feb – 12 Feb.

Hello everyone!  I hope this finds everyone in good spirits as we find ourselves in the month of February.  I love the cooler months and I always loved when the seasons change.  I can appreciate a good snow fall and all the beauty it brings.  I will admit however, that once the holidays have I am always chomping at the bit to get outside and start gardening.  I absolutely love to plant things and watch them grow.  There is a certain satisfaction of planting seeds in the earth and watching them grow into something beautiful.

The last few days here have been absolutely beautiful reaching into the 80s. Yesterday was the first time I actually went out sleeveless.  I won’t rub that in too much as I know a lot of you are in the low 20s still.  It’s not without a cost though, at least for me.  I have received my allergy test back and it looks like I’m severely allergic to about 5 different grasses here.  It has been difficult at best.  Although my running has picked up it does make it difficult to breathe at times.  Like all things, this shall pass.  I will continue and eventually I will acclimate.

I have been running and walking as of late.  Still a little too dark in the morning to ride and it isn’t  jiving with the work schedule.  So with a combination of walking and running I was able to complete 19.30 miles so far for February with 8,284.86 gratefully remaining.  Happy Miles to You!

Mileage Recap ~ 12 – 24 Sept and My Big Hill Mess

Fall has arrived!  Only between 0500 and 0800 in Phoenix, but at least its cooler and I try not to worry about the mosquitos ~ which are brutal in the morning and the evening.   All I want to do is sit outside a bit in the cool air and without the gentle buzzing of disease carrying insects.

I have remained steady in my mileage this month.  I’m becoming more confident with my new pedal system and find that when I stop it is easy for me to click in and get going again.  There have been a few teeth sucking events but for the most part so far so good.

My long ride took place on Wednesday 16 Sept.  I wanted to complete at least 15 so I could begin to get back into the groove of longer mileage and join some rides and start looking towards completing a half and a full century for cycling.  So I decided to start on one of the medium routes that I had done during August when I was riding 300 miles for children’s cancer.  This route is hilly with a sizable hill on the route back.  I’m not sure what the elevation is but it is sizeable.  Really, this isn’t a fish story.  I need to take a picture next time.  The first time I road this route I had regular bike pedals and I could only make it up the hill halfway.  Even though I stopped I was able to pick back up and keep riding up the hill.  Fast forward to Wednesday….que music and wavy distortion.

I’m on the first part of the leg and the counter hill is sizeable but not as steep.  The whole time I’m thinking to myself this is going to suck coming back.  Already there was doubt in my mind.  I road to the end and began to make my way back home.  I would say it was a good 7.5 miles in, so about halfway.  The road is flat but I’m still thinking my strategy of attacking this hill.  I mentally psyched myself out and analyzing how and when I might fall.  It didn’t help that the douche bag alert was alive and kicking and at DEFCON 4.  I had already had a close encounter with….a school bus.  I was coming up to a light I would go through – it was green by-the-way and the school bus was hell-bent on turning right.  It cut me off and was so close I could feel the breeze.  You’ll be happy to know no middle finger salute employed.  But really?  Come on, I do believe I had the right-of-way.  So I was already a little frazzled.

The longer I ride I’m thinking that I just need to calm down it’s probably not as bad as I think and that if I have to stop, I’ll just stop.  Pedaling, pedaling and I round the corner I gain a little speed because I’m going down a hill.  I realize great!  This will give me what I need….to….get to the top!  Yes!  You know how you see things from a distance and you think…this isn’t bad at all.  Then there is a sudden clarity that you are full of crap.  Piece of cake.  I am….over-confident.  Pedaling….I am really over-confident in my abilities right now.  Pedaling….damn I am really over…okay I’m not going to make…yes I can!.  Ok I have to stop!  Unclick, unclick…panic I can’t unclick fall towards the curb!  Fall towards the curb!  Sigh I unclicked!

I made it about halfway up then it became hard.  I was beaten…this time.  Luckily I unclicked and was able to stop without falling.  Speeding cars and all.  This stretch of road is heavily traveled by cyclists but is a four to six lane well-traveled road at times.  I gathered myself and rested a bit and thought okay start back up.  Uh no.  Between starting on a hill, trying to click in and regain balance.  Unfortunately, this was a little above my skill set at the moment and I must say a little defeating.  So there I was halfway up the hill and I had to WALK the bike the rest of the way.  What’s going through my mind with my head hung low?  I wonder if I’m ruining my new shoes?”  Listening to the clack of the metal clips on the road.  Trying to walk on my heels.  My pretty white shoes.  I sounded like I was in tap class.

I made it up the hill with a slightly bruised ego and a few scrapes on my shoes.  Got to the top and kept on rolling to make it home and a little under 15 miles.  Needless to say I will ride that hill until I totally conquer it.

I completed 41.11 miles with 8,597.70 graciously remaining.  No middle finger salute needed.  Take the time to enjoy the change of the seasons.  Each one is beautiful in its own way.  Happy Miles to You.