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!!

 

 

 

 

Mileage Recap ~ 25 – 30 June

Hello everyone and Happy Sunday!  I still continue to move towards my halfway point!  It’s getting exciting and close!  Can you feel it?  My goodness I’ve been doing this a long time now, but I’m chipping away at that mileage and getting closer to the end goal.  It never seems to get old.  I mean sometimes it gets a little monotonous, but when I’m done or complete my mileage I still get that sparkle!

animeme.wikia.com

This week was pretty good week.  I tried to do something every day and have continued to work on my strength training with a combination of low mileage runs and did some indoor cycling.  I was going to do a longer run on Saturday, but opted for some faster paced runs to see how I felt.  I did mile sprints with the fastest being 9:45 and the slowest 10:14.  My Achilles on both ankles still continues to bite at me a bit.  Strange that both are hurting and I did pull back from riding today to give them a bit of a rest.

Good news I am a go for the Quantico 12K on 25 August.  It is in the Marine Corps Marathon family of races.  I’m excited to have signed up for my first race in Virginia.  I will be posting more about that in the future and race details can be found here Quantico 12K.

A couple of interesting things this week.  First, my mile pace runs on Saturday.  It really heated up this weekend.  Both Saturday and Sunday were in the 90s and the humidity was off the chart.  Any time it’s that hot it’s always important to hydrate and safely push yourself.  I learned something important about myself on Saturday, or at least found an inner fire that I seemed to have lost over the years.  I am competitive, but I like to call it a niiiccceee competitive.  When I was younger I was very competitive, but maybe I have mellowed over the years.  For my pace runs the first mile was more down hill than up.  I was at a good steady pace, listening to Led Zepplin’s Stairway to Heaven, when another runner (female) passed me.  She passed me, but then cut right in front of me and then proceeded to slow down.  Now, do I care that she passed me?  Uh, no…people pass me all the time, but normally they get on with it!  She slowed down so much that I had to slow my pace down.  She was close enough that I could touch her.  The first thing that went through my head was to slow down and let her get far enough ahead that I didn’t have to pass her again.  Thus playing the….pass game.  Something all runners know well.  I have been running long enough now that I do try to keep a steady pace.  It doesn’t always work, but for the most part I try.  I didn’t want to be “that guy”.  But then I thought, what the heck?  I said no way, you’re going to pass then pass.  I kept my pace and me and Robert Plant climbed that Stairway To Heaven together.  I blew by her and didn’t give her a second glance.  No!

 

Second, just to let you know how hot it was today.  I happened to be driving to Safeway and I saw a guy walking his dog on the sidewalk during the middle of the hottest part of the day.  All of a sudden the dog lurched forward and collapsed.  At first I thought it got bit by something, but the owner kept on walking with one of those retractable leashes unaware.  Finally the leash pulled taut and he went back to attend to the dog.  I watched them for about 30 seconds and I drove up to the light and turned around and stopped on the busy street.  The dog had collapsed due to heat exhaustion.  We loaded up the dog in my car and I drove him and his dog home.  He kept saying in disbelief he couldn’t believe it this happened.  The dog was old and it was way too hot.  If you’re too hot, your pet is too hot.  I’m glad that I was in the right place at the right time.  The dog was about 50 lbs and that would have made a long walk home.  Be careful out there!!

I was able to complete 101 miles for the month of June, about 17 miles shy of last month.  Total miles completed comes to 5521.99 with 5793.01 gratefully remaining.   I hope this post finds you cool and well.  Happy Miles to You!!

Keep climbing that stairway….and it’s meant to be played loud.  Oh yes….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mileage Recap ~ 11 – 24 June…The Fripp Trip

Happy Sunday everyone!  It’s been a couple of weeks, but I’ve been busy logging those miles and had a little R&R as well.

I’m riding a high after just coming back from a few days down in South Carolina’s Fripp Island.  My family has been meeting there every summer for a while now and every year it’s fun and new memories are made.  It’s wonderful to see everyone and catch up.

Fripp Island is south of Beaufort, SC and is a beach island without all the overcrowding of tourists.  There is something for everyone in regards to housing/hotel renting.  Large homes, condos and hotel rooms are available for rent.  There is a marina, pools, plenty of activities and of course the beach.  I like it because it is truly a low key beach experience.  You can go and just unwind and not have tons of people around.  If you’re interested visit this link:  Fripp Island  A few photos I took on the island:

View from the back of our house.

Turtle nesting

This was a whole tree that had washed up on shore!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some wonderful sites, but family makes it great.  This trip was especially great because my Father beat thyroid cancer.  We are all so happy and he looks great.

 

 

 

 

Family

My siblings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was able to get some running/walking miles.  It was hot and humid, but the island offers wonderful scenic paths or beaches to run.  I had two run days of three miles each with cool down and plenty of walking.

That was the good news.  The not so good news is the Army Ten Miler in September is closed!  I now must go into a waiting status to try a pick up a slot.  That’s what I get for waiting.  I was looking forward to participating and didn’t think the race would fill up so quickly.

The last two weeks saw 41.86 miles completed, a combination of running, hiking and cycling.  My goal is to beat last month’s 118 miles.  The weather here as been good, but a little rainy.  Today was longest ride since I’ve been in the DC area.  A total of 19.76.  It was kind of funny because I have been riding the Mt. Vernon trail and I keep pushing it a little further to see where it goes.  I made it all the way down to the bridge (I forget the name!) that crosses the Potomac into Maryland.  I passed the turnoff to the bridge and slowed down to turn around.  I didn’t have room to turn around on the bike so I had to stop and inch the bike around.  I thought it would be easier to just unclip one foot and turn around….uh no.  I knew exactly what would happen and there I was in slow motion…falling on the sidewalk!  If you can believe it….no one saw me fall, but I felt it, all the way home.  I did get across the bridge:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A little glare. 19.76

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The mileage count so far is 5508.86 with 5806.14 gratefully remaining.  I have 148.64 until the halfway point.  I hope this post finds you and your family well.  Life is short don’t put off reaching out to that special family member.  Happy Miles to You!!!

Every time I hear this song I smile.  When I was a kid I had some friends that I would see every summer at my Grandmother’s house on Long Island and we would put on shows for the neighborhood.  We bought some Donnie and Marie microphones and covered them with foil (we were embarrassed).  We dressed in red, white and blue and sang this song to our neighbors and friends…for 25¢ of course:)  Even they were family.

 

 

 

 

 

Mileage Recap ~ 4 – 10 June…Steady As She Goes

Happy Sunday Everyone!!

It’s been fairly uneventful this past week.  Always a bit of a drag coming off a holiday and a four-day work week to a full work week!  Not complaining too much – lol, but you get my drift.  It’s been so rainy here in the DC area.  It seems every time I want to get out it’s raining or the threat of raining.  It’s been slowing my outdoor game just a bit.  This week was good for miles.  I’ve been hitting the indoor bike on the rainy days and got in a small run.  I’m up to 11.5 miles on the indoor bike on the longer ride days.  I’ve been trying to do a little something every day in the mileage category.  On strength training days I try to get at least two miles in on the bike.  I can really see a difference and uptick in my running and cycling performance.  In the past I didn’t pay a lot of attention to strength training, just didn’t make the time.  I’m definitely making time for strength training now, even if it means fewer miles for the week.  The outcome is better.

This weeks miles came to 29.70.  I am 190 miles away from the halfway mark, with 5848 miles gratefully remaining.  How do you think I should celebrate my halfway mark?  I hope this finds you enjoying your June Sunday, rain or shine…steady as she goes!  Happy Miles to You!!

I googled steady as she goes…and this one came up!  It’s kind of catchy….

 

 

 

 

 

Mileage Recap ~ 7 – 13 May… Mother’s Day 2018

Happy Mother’s Day!

Even though I feel the greeting card companies have created this day to sell stuff, and it worked, I still like to reflect on this day.  If you read the blog regularly, 11315 miles was created and dedicated for the purpose of honoring my mother Karen Ellen Dennis Mastromonico by celebrating one mile for every year of life.  I have been walking, hiking, running and cycling for a while now in honor of her memory.  It has been an adventure participating in different events, celebrating the joy of life in the memory of someone who died so young.

Like most women (moms) I decided to treat myself to a little Barnes and Noble from time to time.  I surely don’t need Mother’s Day to buy books and it only becomes better when I have my monthly free café drink.  There I was walking the tables stacked high with books, with many of the tables touting various slogans ~ Mom will love this for Mother’s Day, Books only a Mom could love, or Books of Inspiration.  I rounded this one table and there were all sorts of girl power books.  For some reason I was feeling the girl power and came across books with quotes from famous women and then there in the middle of the table was the book, Mother Teresa, Her Essential Wisdom.  I am fascinated by nuns and who better to read about than Mother Teresa.  I was particularly interested because I had read a story a while back that for the last 50 years of Mother Teresa’s life, she struggled with a dark presence in her faith.  It really is an amazing story.  She mentioned that she had a calling within a calling, to serve the poor and the unloved.  It is hard to imagine that she dealt with a dark side of faith with such a strong calling to serve the poor.  I find it fascinating that some women have this calling and give up so much to serve others.

Mother Teresa was the founder of the Order of the Missionaries of Charity.  She was born in what is known as modern day Macedonia but spent most of her life as Mother Teresa of Calcutta.  A funny story about the Missionaries of Charity.  While Pope Saint John Paul II was alive I was fortunate enough to get tickets to the Pope’s Easter mass at St. Peter’s Basilica.  Pope John Paul II was in failing health and was relegated to a wheelchair.  When we showed our tickets to the usher, who looked like CIA, we were led down the main aisle towards our seats.  I was a little embarrassed as we kept moving forward.  I thought surely at any moment we would tuck into a pew.  Nope, kept going forward passing people who were now staring.  The closer we got to the altar I was really embarrassed.  Why are we so close?  The next thing I know the nice gentleman sat us down in the seats that surrounded the altar.  In other words it was like stage seating at a concert.  I couldn’t believe it.  Finally, the church began to fill and there were priests and nuns all around us.  The priests looked the same but the nuns all had on different garments of their order.  Well lo and behold a group of nuns sat behind us that were talking and laughing like teen-aged girls.  I turned around and it looked like there were 12 Mother Teresa’s behind me.  It was quite a sight.  They were pumped and when they wheeled Pope in, the house came down.  It was their rock concert.

The mass began and if you ever have been to a Catholic Mass you know we get our exercise.  Up, down and kneel.  We weren’t in a pew but folding chairs and I was constantly getting bumped or pushed by the people behind me.  It was starting to get a little annoying until I realized that one of the nuns behind me was so short she couldn’t see.  She was jumping and tucking her head in between to see past me.  She couldn’t have been more than 4 feet and some change.  When I turned to look at who was making all that commotion she just gave me this electric smile filled with so much joy and a mouth full of some other language of which some words that spilled out in broken English ~ I’m sorry.  I realized that this was her event.  I spoke and gestured to her and her friend “let’s change seats” and I thought they were going to explode as they muscled me and my daughter out of the way.  They wasted no time switching and there I was in the middle of the Order of the Missionaries of Charity.  It was quite the experience.  Women are tough…even if they’re small.

I was able to get in a sampler of miles this week.  I ran, cycled and walked.  The weather was rainy and cycling had to be indoors.  On Saturday I went for a nice hike on the Mt. Vernon trial.  It was hot an muggy but all the trees are flowering and the wild flowers are gorgeous.  I finished 29.08 for the week leaving me with 5,952.18 gratefully remaining.   If you are celebrating Mother’s Day and your mother is living, never miss a moment to let her know how much you love her.  Even if it is just a simple text.  Life has a way of changing quickly.  I leave you with this:

The woman is the heart of the home.  Let us pray that we women realize the reason of our existence:  to love and be loved and through this love become instruments of peace in the world.

~ Saint Teresa of Calcutta

 

Happy Miles to You!!  This song seemed appropriate for those who have lost their Moms, written by John Lennon, Julia, who passed away in 1958..