Mileage Recap ~ 27 May – 2 June…The Daily Grind

Happy June!  The year is going way too fast.  I can’t believe it’s already June.  As I write this blog it seems like I have been here so many times before over the years.  The miles are slowly lessening as the years pass by.  The changing of the seasons and I keep moving forward.

I have been using my new Vivoactive for about a week now and I really like the way it handles.  It does a lot of what the old one did, but easier to activate etc.  More streamlined.

The exciting news this week is I have formally registered for the 2019-37th Annual RBC (Reston Bike Club) Century on 25 August.  Interesting that this is being held in a extremely hot and humid month instead of October.  Hmmm…I guess that will add to the challenge.  I have begun training with my longest ride being 60 miles.  As I mentioned in my last post I have moved away from training on the W&OD trail to Prince William Park.  Less people and more of a challenge.  I will continue to update on my training progress.

I have been trying to do a little something something every day.  Miles that is and I’m on a three day run.  Let’s see how long I can keep it going.  It’s warm now so rain or shine I should be able to get out and buy some asphalt.

Some pics from the week:

Greasy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This week’s long ride was out on the Mt. Vernon trail and came to 19.97 – lol.  Just couldn’t stand to go an extra .03.  Hey it’s where the trail ended and the watch went “click”.  Like I said before, let it go.  Clock it, log it, move on.  Rolling in some old miles earned on April 7th came to 4.81.

Today I went back out to Mt. Vernon Trail and laid down 6.03 walking miles.  The body is feeling good and my faith is exceptional.  I was able to complete 38.43 for the week with 4722.98 miles gratefully remaining.  Today on my walk, the trees are all filled in with the many spectrum of greens, the air weighed heavy with humidity and there was a slight breeze blowing.  My soul is at ease and I hope yours is too…Happy Miles to You!!  This brought me peace today as I was walking.  Such a beautiful song:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mileage Recap ~ 28 Jan – 3 Feb….Unbreakable…Yes, I’m Going Down Swinging

Happy Sunday everyone!  Wow, January seemed to have blown by and now we are into the month of love or not depending on your take on things.  You know how the song goes…”If you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with”.

As you might have recalled from last week, my car was broken into and therefore, the blog post I wanted to write had to wait until this week.  I just didn’t have the mental energy last Sunday.  Good news Safelite™ came out and repaired my window and I’m back in the car business.  Bad news, according to my friends this will happen again.  Welcome to DC.

2019 has started of with a bang.  I was furloughed for the better part of January and I finally went in for my MRI of my back.  I knew going in that something wasn’t quite right.  I have been experiencing a very directed pain in my lower right back for a while.  Did I ever mention I really hate going to the doctor…yeah well, not always the best thing, but yes I don’t like going to the doctor.  After waiting for a week…the diagnosis is in!  I’m going to look at this from a glass half full perspective.  I’m not upset, no defeated (quite the opposite)…I am unbreakable.

Have you ever seen the Netflix™ show Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt?  It is the life Kimmy after her rescue from a doomsday like cult.  She and the other “mole women” are trapped in an underground bunker for years, rescued and released out into the modern world.  It’s quirky and funny and Kimmy Schmidt learns to put a positive spin on not so positive situations.

Courtesy of Netflix

Courtesy of Netflix

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have been diagnosed with spondylolisthesis in L1 – L5 of my spine which is causing degenerative arthritis.  The doctor also thinks it is congenital issue that worsened with age.  You can’t spell it without LOL in the middle.  Get it?  Hell, I still can’t even pronounce it correctly yet.  “Spondylolisthesis is a slipping of vertebra that occurs, in most cases, at the base of the spine. Spondylolysis, which is a defect or fracture of one or both wing-shaped parts of a vertebra, can result in vertebrae slipping backward, forward, or over a bone below”.  Thank you, WebMD.  In some places I have bone on bone.  What does this mean for me?  I know what you’re thinking…settle down, breathe and don’t get carried away…it ain’t over.  It means the running part of my journey is over.  Yes, you read that right the rest of my mileage journey will be earned cycling or walking/hiking.  Say hello to cycling Laurel.

When Dr. Cherrick, told me the news I was a little put out and then became a bit defiant.  I mentioned to him that all of this would just have to wait because I have already begun training for the Shamrock Marathon in March.  He just let me prattle on for about two minutes looking at me with annoyed eyes, mentioning that he can’t stop me from running, but then added…I wouldn’t do the race.  He left the office to bring up my images and then I saw the arthritis in my back and then the places where there was no cushion.  He continued on that I was close to needing surgery, but wasn’t that far gone if I changed my habits and committed to cycling which is low impact.  The fix is facet injection and more physical therapy if I so chose.  The other option is fusing the vertebra together.  Uh, no…nada, nein.  Not.Going.To.Happen.

As we used to say in the Army, if the path to the target has changed, adjust fire.  That’s all this is…the target moved, I am adjusting fire.  The goal remains, I just need to get there in a different manner.  I haven’t run since the diagnosis and I haven’t had the pain I’ve been experiencing. Literally, non-existent.

I am excited and more determined than ever.  Cycling gear is so much cooler than running gear.  I absolutely love cycling and I fully intend to keep the energy high.  I never do things small manner.  My first ride was a century – lol.  I also bought my first carbon frame bike – 2018 Fuji Grand Fondo.  Sweet ride:

Now I just need better weather.  My response to this diagnosis is 234.72 miles for the month of January with running (before diagnosis), walking and trainer rides.  I also have broken the 5,000 mark in my mileage journey with 4958.98 miles gratefully remaining.

I remain with much gratitude in my heart and an unbreakable determination.  It’s time to get road ready and conquer the rest of these miles.  Life is good.  When life gives you lemons…make lemonade.  Adjust fire.  Happy Miles to You!!

I thought this song was appropriate…”sugar I’m going down swingin'”.

am I more than you bargained for yet 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mileage Recap ~ 10 – 16 Dec…Running In The Rain

Hello happy readers!  Rain has the power to renew.  Take the dirtiest of days, give it a good rain storm, and the result is a feeling of invigorating renewal.  The landscape looks and smells refreshed.  This weekend was a wet one in the D.C. area and the temperatures were somewhat mild.  I wasn’t going to let something like a little water stop me especially when I feel there are demons that need to be exercised.  Running in the rain is the perfect medicine.

I made it to the trail around 0830 on Saturday and it was about 52 degrees and raining moderately hard.  There is always a moment of self-induced suck, while sitting in the car telling myself, yeah you can turn off the engine now and step outside.  The water is fine!  I make sure I have everything, scarf, gloves, and music….check.  Open the door and get hit with a blast of cool (not cold) water pelting my face.  Either way, I’m sure everyone has experienced leaving a nice warm car, only to be accosted by cold temps.  A shock to the body for sure…add rain ~ yeah not the best feeling in the world.  But, I needed to make a concerted effort to get outside when I can…even if it’s raining.

Believe it or not, it wasn’t that bad.  You could make the argument if it were colder….obviously it would be snowing, but 52 wasn’t too bad a deal.  My biggest threat were decaying leaves and wet pavement.  I wanted to hit three non-stop and walk three back.  Even with the weather the pace was decent:

10:25 pace with side-stepping leaves and puddles of water.  I felt good on the run and ran a straight three then walked three back for a total of 6.02.

I did stop to take pictures on the way….

A holly tree on the path.

The Potomac

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yes I was there…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This weeks miles were bella totaling 63.09!  On Sunday I road 15 then, in the rain again, I walked two.

Indoor bike – 55.06

Running – 3.02

Walking – 5.01

This 51-year-old body is feeling strong.  I have completed 5943.53 with 5371.47 gratefully remaining.  I hope this post finds you slaying those demons that disrupt and keep you from living the life you were meant to live.  Just remember it’s never too late to learn to fly….. Happy Miles to You!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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”….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mileage Recap ~ 15 – 21 October…To Bling or Not to Bling: Is That the Question?

Hello everyone and happy Sunday!  I hope your days are getting spookier as we approach the 31st!  Yes, I’m still a kid at heart.  I love this season, it’s just one awesomeness after the another.  At least that is my perspective.  I have already got my Halloween cards out and have brought in jack-o-lantern cookies to the office.  I was good this year and have only bought two Fall baking magazines.  It’s tempting for me to walk by the magazine stands and not pick one up.  Baking is something that tires me out but also brings me intense joy.  I tend to select recipes that challenge me and can take longer than reading the back of a box and popping it in the oven.  There is something about creating a treat that looks nice and is fun to eat.  But I will admit, after I create I often find myself saying ~ yeah I don’t need to do this again.  I get over that feeling and before I know it I’m back in the kitchen creating again. There’s just something about when the seasons start to change that’s invigorating.  The air is cool and crisp and the colors of Fall are just brilliant.  I love decorating my space with the warm glow of lights and candlelight.  It’s such a warm feeling.  Every year I say I’m going to do less, but that never seems to happen and it’s not lost on me that what goes up….must come down!

Back on the mileage train this week.  I was very well-rounded.  I walked, ran and got in some outdoor cycling. I have been waiting to get on the bike outside, but the weather was a little iffy.  This weekend had a little rain, but I was able to get out and complete 10 miles on the bike.  I pumped up the tires, oiled the chain and put the rack back on the Subie.  It’s amazing when you don’t use certain muscles in a while how bad they hurt doing something you think is fairly harmless.  My neck is screaming from bending forward!  I forgot too ~ I woke up and my neck was hurting so bad I thought I was getting a sore throat…then I remembered…ooohh yeah.  Funny how that happens.  I went back out to the Mt. Vernon trail wearing my long sleeve Autumn jersey ~ which was fine for the first five miles then I got hot.  It’s so cute with it’s leaves.  I had to take it slow on some of the turns because there were so many wet leaves on the winding path.  The last thing I wanted to do was wipe out.  Glad to say ~ no falling for me.  Always a good thing.

I have been trying to find different riding events around the DC area and finally decided to drop in to a cycling store close by.  I had taken my bike to get serviced at another store during the summer not realizing there was one right down the street.  I love when I go in to a cycling store.  How can I say this…some women like jewelry.  Not.this.gal.  Nothing like carbon, aluminum and spandex to get this heart pumping. The main reason for going in the store was to just see if they had some group rides or at least a schedule of some rides in the area.  I ended up getting into an hour-long conversation about rides, bikes and something that I have wanted a long time…the cycling trainer.  For those of you who cycle know what the trainer is.  It’s a small piece of equipment that you can place your bike on and ride…inside.  When I lived in Phoenix I could ride all year round.  That’s not the case in Virginia.  Trainers come in a lot of different price ranges.  The ones at the store ranged from $199 to about $1500 ~ from the basic to the extreme.  Think Peloton™…only better.  Buying a good bike is a lot like buying a car.  You walk around, kick the tires, and of course look at the prices.  New models, colors and better brakes are all part of the game.  One is lighter and more streamlined.  I’m walking around the store talking trainers and the manager brings me to a bike set up with the $599 trainer.  Basically the bike is in the trainer and hooked up to a tv that has races…all around the world.  So while your ride you’re participating in the race.  Not only that, you can race against your friends and family…anywhere.  It’s better than Peloton, because you’re on your own bike.  The manager and an associate tell me to get on and give it a whirl.  My mind was saying no (it was too tall for me) but my body said…oh yeah.  I got on that thing and started riding ~ my cute little Avatar was in some race in Italy.  As I started pedaling I could just feel the smile across my face getting bigger.  I was literally giddy ~ almost laughing. They both just laughed and said I don’t think we have ever seen a reaction like that on any customer.  They said my face just immediately brightened up.  I’m laughing now just thinking about it…  It was pure joy.  Like I said, some women like diamonds, but a good bike and an awesome trainer are a girls best friend.

You’ll be happy to know I left empty-handed and acquired the information I came for…group rides.  They have one every Saturday and from there I can learn about other events in the area.  So for now I will have to just dream…maybe one day.

Back down on earth I have signed up for my next running race in the area.  That brings me to the title of this post!  Bling.  For most of my races there has been some sort of bling associated and don’t forget the t-shirt.  I don’t do races just for the bling…but come on man…it’s cool.  It seems like the medals keep getting cooler by the year too.  Sometimes I think I see a medal and I’m like…I’m going to run an event just to get that medal.  Hmmm, maybe not the whole reason to do an event, but it is fun.  How do you feel about it?  Do you only choose events that have bIing?  I didn’t get anything for the Vermont half marathon.  Just a t-shirt.  Insert snappy comment here _________!  I have signed up for a 10k run on Veteran’s Day, sponsored by the local RWB here in DC.  RWB stands for Red, White and Blue.  It is an organization that sponsors a lot of different activities for anybody who wants to join, but there is a heavy veteran population in the group.  It’s a good way to get involved in events and meet people who have the same interests.   The veteran day 10k will pass by some of our most treasured veteran memorials, so I’m looking forward to November 11th.  Most likely will only be a t-shirt, unless I’m within the top three in my age group.  I checked last years paces for women 50 – 54 and something tells me I’m going to be happy with my t-shirt.  Hey, I’m stoked.  I’m a veteran and I’m alive.  I’ll take the t-shirt any day of the week.

This week’s miles came to 20.88 and a total of 43.16 so far for the month.  I hope to break last months miles!  I have completed 5700.73 in my journey with 5614.27 gratefully remaining.  I hope this post finds you in an Autumn state of mind.  Now to get baking.  Happy Miles to You!!

I know I’ve played this song before…but so appropriate!

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 ~ 16 – 22 July….0.0 and Still Motivated!!

Happy Sunday Everyone!  Just a quick check in.  Yes, you read that correctly!  I logged a big 0.0.  I’m so proud of myself, because it means I was disciplined enough to rest my ankles.  Which is way hard for me.  I did do plenty of yoga, eccentric heel drops and iced all those sore spots.  I’m ready to start next week and get back in the swing of things.

I picked up some K tape at Rite Aid and hope it gives me a little more support.

 

Ahhh they make it look so easy.  At least there is a picture of how to apply, I will give it a shot.  I hope this finds you in good July spirits!  Happy Miles to You!!