Mileage Recap ~ 13 – 19 August…Ready for the Quantico 12K

Hello everyone and Happy Sunday to you!!

My training for the Quantico 12K on 25 August is going fairly well.  The pain I have been experiencing is mellowing a bit and I continue to keep moving forward to this next mileage goal.  This week’s training wasn’t bad at all.  I started out with 3.5 on the treadmill and then went to the Mt. Vernon trail twice this week – once for some speed work and then my long run.  Wednesday was a long work day.  I taught yoga for the first time during lunch and I had a function in the evening which threw my training days off a bit, so this week’s long run took place on Sunday instead of my Saturday. The temperatures cooled off a bit, but it was still humid.  The kind of humidity that you’re good for the first couple of miles then it becomes a sweat fest.  At least for me.

This upcoming Saturday is the Quantico 12K.  I received an email during the week informing me about packet pick up.  Unfortunately, they say to pick up your packet on Friday ~ with closing time being around 7 pm.  Quantico is about 23 miles from where I live in Alexandria.  It seems fairly harmless until you add in DC traffic on a Friday.  The website had a caveat that packets should be picked up that Friday as they can’t ensure you will get yours the morning of…great.  I don’t know.  I’m seriously hedging my bets to pick it up that morning.  The race doesn’t start until 7:25, so we’ll see…..  I’d hate to have to drive all the way out there after work then drive back.  It just seems like a pain in the you know where!

Yoga class at the National Archives

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From the site about the 12k course:

Course

Runners will begin the 7.45 mile journey at 7:25 a.m., on Elrod Road parallel to the Parade Deck near the bleachers. The Quantico 12K will head south before making a right turn on Engineer Road and entering the OCS trails. Terrain will switch from paved streets to gravely paths. The 12K begins a 140 foot climb to its maximum elevation of 219 feet starting at the half mile mark and leveling off 1.5 miles into the run. Making a left onto Iwo Jima Trail runners will reach the first of three water points on the course just before mile 2. A slight downhill from Mile 3 to 4.5 features a 70 foot elevation drop before another short climb. The second water point is located near mile 4 at scenic Buffalo Pond, the furthest point in the course. From this location, runners will follow Engineer Road and begin to overlap with the run portion of the Quantico Tri and include the final water point as part of a two mile downhill. The course makes a left as runners pass the OCS Obstacle Course, before making two quick right turns on the way to the finish line located on the grassy PT field.

 

So, there you have it…that’s what I will be doing next Saturday morning.  I’m excited because this is the first event I am participating since moving to Virginia.

This week’s long run was uneventful and okay.  If I must be honest, my heart wasn’t 100% in it today.  I was a bit tired and just seemed to lose gas after three miles.  There were a lot of stops and starts, but I still made my goal.  Mentally, I just didn’t will myself to get it done like I wanted to.  But, I still pulled 5.10 this morning.  My pace was an average of 11:45.

As I approach my halfway point in my journey I have signed up for another event in September to celebrate.  I have always wanted to go to Vermont, so on 30 September I will run the “Fly to Pie ~ Kingdom half”.  The tag line says “doin’ the dirt”.  Anytime there is “dirt” in the title….it’s bound to be fun (sic).

A few fun photos from today’s run:

I love the entrance to the trail.

Hmmm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I remain grateful in my journey.  It’s easy to get frustrated and lose focus on the end result ~ but still I continue on.  I have 84.54 miles left until the halfway mark and 5742.04 remaining in my journey.  I hope this post finds you well, continuing on and loving every minute.

Listened to this today on my run…just throwing it out to the universe…

 

 

 

 

 

Mileage Recap ~ 6 – 12 Aug…Manassas, VA

Happy Sunday Everyone!  I’m excited as the approach of the Quantico 12K is right around the corner.  Two weeks to be exact! I had a good training week, slowly increasing my mileage and keeping an eye on recovery and strength training.  I always wonder if the mind overcomes the weakness of the body.  If you’re determined enough, you just make it happen.  Something to ponder.

I ran three times this week combining track, street and trail(improved) running.  On Monday I went to the track after work and ran 3.5 miles.  2.5 miles were steady running and the last mile was speed work.  On Thursday I ran the hood and on Saturday my long run was out on the Mt. Vernon trail.   Each day was hot and humid with a slight breeze every now and again, but for the most part humid.  The temperature was moderate but the humidity was off the chart.  I have stuck to the Asics© and Nikes© and I’m happy to say I feel much better.  Still a bit sore, but definitely feeling much better.

My long run on Saturday started off around 9 am.  A little later than I wanted, but there you have it!  The temperature was 78 when I started and the humidity made it feel a lot hotter.  My first three miles were pain-free.  I had a bit of pain on the fourth mile, and would slow down when I felt the pinch.  I did have a wardrobe malfunction with my socks!  Around mile three they decided to scooch!  That’s a word right?  Left me with two nice blisters on the back of my ankles.  It’s always something.  I’m happy with my performance.  I felt strong and ready to move forward.

Blister

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scooching socks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of the things I love about this area is the history.  I decided to spend my day visiting the Bull Run Winery and visiting a couple of battlefield sites.  First, the Bull Run Winery is a must if you are in the Manassas area.  It’s a beautiful place and you can participate in tours and tasting.  They have food for purchase but you can bring in your own if you wish.  How can you go wrong with wine and live music!?  The wine was fantastic and I ended up buying a bottle of Norton.  Norton grapes are indigenous to the area.  The wine can be a little acidic at times, but this one was really very good.

A few shots:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After the winery we headed on down to Manassas National Battlefield Park.  In 1861, Union and Confederate forces faced off in the first major land battle of the Civil War.  A couple of pics:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This week’s miles came to a total of 11.11.  I am 96.19 miles from the halfway mark with 5753.69 miles gratefully remaining.  I hope this post finds you in good spirits and at ease.  Happy Miles to You!!

I am a rock…in a good way.

 

 

 

 

Mileage Recap ~ “I’ve Got Your Six”

Happy Sunday everyone!  Another week down and 20 days to go before the Quantico 12K.  Feeling okay this week.  The ankles are still a bit sore, but I was able to soldier on as they say.  I kept my running to treadmill and a flat track surface.  I enjoy running on the track.  It is a good break from running on the road at times.

In the past I’ve had about two pairs of running shoes.  The older pair normally would end up on garden duty!  I have three at the moment that I rotate on a regular basis.  I know, most runners are saying ~ is that all!  For the most part I have had a moderate support shoe, usually favoring Brooks©, Asics© or Saucony©.  I’ve come to the conclusion that the rotating between the shoes I have now, Nike©, Asics© and Hoka© were not the same in rise category and therefore, hurting my ankles.  Different rises cause you to use different muscles.  There is a difference in foot strike between the Hoka shoe I have which causes me to strike mid-foot and the other two which is more of a heel strike, causing me to run differently and causing the pain.  So, it’s bye bye Hoka for now.  There are different Hokas of course, but I think I’m going to stick with what has worked for me in the past ~ the Asics and the Brooks.  Maybe throw in a pair of Saucony from time to time.  All seemed to be comparable to my running style ~ and hopefully will mean less pain.   I talked it over with someone at the local running store and the theory seems to hold some value.

This weeks running plan continued on a road of recovery and training for my race.  I ran on Tuesday, did speed work on Thursday and Saturday was my longer run.  I kept to my plan and stayed at three miles for the long run with a respectable 10:37 pace.  I got a little bit of a late start and paid the price for that in humidity and heat.  I was good for the first two miles but that heat started to set in at mile three.  With no breeze it was a little trying.  It wasn’t too boring because I got to see the high school track team stretching and then they played frisbee in the center field.  It was fun to watch.

I run on the farthest lane or the number “6”.  For some reason every time I would pass the number 6 on the track I would think of the saying “I’ve got your 6”.  The quote is a military saying that originated out of WWI.

“In the military, “got your six” means “I’ve got your back.” The saying originated with World War I fighter pilots referencing the rear of an airplane as the six o’clock position. If you picture yourself at the center of a clock face, the area directly in front of you is twelve o’clock”.  ~ https://www.gotyour6.org/about/faqs/

The track definitely had my “6” as it was a bit friendlier on the old ankles!!  The final count for July miles came to 22.68.  This week I finished with 9.95 miles.  I’m looking to keep kicking up that long run distance.  I have gratefully completed 5550.20 miles in my journey with 5764.80 remaining.  I have 107.30 miles until the halfway mark.  I hope this post finds you well ~ and I hope someone has your “6”!  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..