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..

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mileage Recap ~ 16 – 22 April…Happy Earth Day

Happy Earth Day everyone!  I didn’t even know it was earth day until I saw it on Google.  They have a great video on Dr. Jane Goodall.  I can’t think of a better representative for Earth Day then Jane Goodall.  I love all the work she’s done with primates and her overall sentiment that the earth is something to love, cherish and pass on to our youth.  If you would like to know more about Jane go to this link: http://www.janegoodall.org/

There are a lot of “days” out there to be celebrated and I imagine for most people some of this stuff is just a waste of time and money.  Maybe so in some cases, but I think earth day is a great day to reflect on how we live in our environment now and what can we do to improve and consume less.  At least I do. This weekend’s weather was true spring weather in Alexandria.  Blue skies, a little nip in the morning with it heating up later.

As I ran my longer run this weekend I took in the beauty of the trees, river, blue bonnets, and even the dandelions. Birds are singing and squirrels are running about the woods.  People moving freely and enjoying the warmer weather, just being. I know what you’re thinking…oh brother, so it was a nice day, so what?  Well, I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’ve been in places, countries if you will where it wasn’t such a nice day.  Actually, it was quite the opposite.  Despair, anger, death and hopelessness.  I think often about my time in Somalia and it’s sad to know that there are places and people in this world who can’t go out and let the beauty of the world wash over them, even if it’s just for an hour.  These are the things I sometimes think about trying to log these miles. Thoughts that I will always carry with me until the end I guess.   If I were Queen for a day I would change these things if I could.   So, out of all the days Earth Day is a bit of an enigma.   It’s fun to talk about, but harder to walk the walk.  As I age I always think, hmmm, do I really need that or turn off the lights, recycle, conserve water.  I ask myself how much is enough.  It’s hard because no one wants to be uncomfortable, including me.  I do try though in mind, spirit and action.

This week I picked up more mileage than the prior week.  The plan was to cycle today but “bad kitty” (aka my bike) wasn’t having any part.  Cleaned her off and started to air up the tires only to find a valve issue…again.  I guess the trek across country was a little more damaging than I previously thought.  This weeks business will be to find a cycle shop and take her in for some my need professional maintenance.  I ran instead.  Started the week off with a longer run, indoor cycling on Thursday and a longer run today of 3.5 miles.  Slowly bringing the distance back up.  I felt good today ~ pain is low and I ended up running 10:39.  Not too shabby but the annoyance level was a little high because of the bike.

Total mileage came out to 17.63 this week.  I’ve already passed March numbers and I’m not even in the hotter weather and have a week to go!  I have 6030.71 miles graciously awaiting me.  I hope this post finds you well enough to go outside, close your eyes and let the beauty of this earth wash over you.  Happy Earth Day.  Happy Miles to You!!

If I could change the world…I surly would.

 

 

 

 

Mileage Recap ~ Apr 9 – 15…Spring Fever

It’s hard to believe I’ve only been in D.C. a little over a month.  It seems a lot longer and when I look back at all the progress I’ve made from moving into a new place, starting a new job and just getting back into the swing of things it’s a little surreal.

I’m ready for Spring!  How about you?  There is a lot of push and pull in the weather.  This past week has shown some nice temps with Saturday reaching 87 degrees according to my thermometer and now it’s in the 50s and raining!

This week was an improvement in miles ~ and that’s what it is all about!  I was able to take a few walks at lunch time when the weather is good. Sometimes it’s hard for me to pull away from what I’m doing and leave during lunch.  I’m sure a lot of you do the same thing.  But it’s important to get away from that computer and if nothing else take that walk to clear the mind and stretch the legs.  Now if I can just eat my lunch away from my desk I’ll be doing well!

This weeks mileage was a good combination of treadmill, walking and running.  The nicer weather had me out after work with a few runs in my local area.  I have been slowly pushing the length of each run trying to get to a nice solid running mileage during the week and then pushing for the longer runs on Saturday.  I started with 2.5 and then a 2.75 during the week and ended with a 3 mile run on Saturday.  For the most part feeling pretty good.

I was so pleased with Saturday’s run.  First time in a while I took the water bottle and gels with me.  The best part about the run, well the two best things, the trees and the weather.  It was so wonderful to hear the leaves rustling the wind, the birds singing and the sun shining on the water.  It put me in a great mood.  Even better my pace for this run was 10:04.  Haven’t seen that for a long time!  Overall felt good and a positive end to the week.  Something to smile about!

You can see the trail and winds 8 miles both ways.  I can’t believe I got a shot and no one was in it.  There are a lot of people on the trail.  Looking to practice on this running and cycling.  I completed 12.53 for the week, up four.  I am very close to breaking 6K!  It’s going to happen people.  I have 6048.34 miles gratefully waiting.  I hope this post finds you “spring” ready!  Happy Miles to You!!

Spring always gives me Fever…..

 

 

Mileage Recap ~ Mar 26 – 1 Apr…Dreamed, Work Hard, Persevere, Believe

Happy Easter to all, and yes it is also April Fool’s Day too!

Over the years I stopped buying greeting cards.  The biggest reason was because of all the crazy stuff written inside.  We all have been there, stalking the different cards.  Serious, funny, and really stupid cards.  I have looked for a card for 15 minutes once.  So frustrating.  I would say about 95% of the time, most of the cards say things that I neither felt or would ever say.  Overly sappy and well, a lot of times, not true.  My card would say:

Happy Birthday to a wonderful person….50% of the time“.  Love you, Laurel.  Or, “Roses are red, violets are blue…uh never mind“.  Not so sincerely, Laurel.  Yeah, you’re not going to find any of those cards.  And then there is the protocol of greeting cards.  Do you write a small message or do you just sign your name?  What does it say about you when you DON’T write a small message?  Does the person on the other end go…that’s lame?  Because you know the card isn’t saying exactly what you wanted it to say or maybe it was an oh crap moment, I need a card as you dig through cards you have had for about five years.  At one point in my life I used to buy cards in advance.  If I saw one that I liked, I would pick it up.  Over the years I have collected quite the treasure chest of greeting cards and have helped many in their time of greeting card crisis.

Then something wonderful happened.  The greeting card companies got smart and started printing blank inside cards.  Genius.  Pick out a card with a flower…own message ~ “you are as pretty as a flower”.  A garden spade ~ “may your garden be fruitful” or some other saying that comes to mind.  Bottom line it’s YOUR message.  You can say what is really in your heart to the receiver.

In my previous post I had said I moved to DC for a job opportunity.  If you read my posts often, you might be thinking WTH?  The bottom line, Phoenix wasn’t for me.  I am one who finds beauty in all things, but the desert wasn’t what made my heart sing.  I had needed a change, but this wasn’t the right change. I can remember years ago hearing about how if you had arthritis or health issues move to Phoenix!  Well, let me tell you that’s not 100% true.  The valley has changed drastically over the years with increased population that causes pollution and non-indigenous plants causing the atmosphere to be much more polluted with allergens.  While there I developed allergies that affected my skin and had made me boarder-line asthmatic.  I was on an inhaler, Singular™ and allergy meds to keep everything in line.  My breathing capacity went down to about 60% at one point and made running and cycling harder.  So, it was time to look for greener pastures and that’s what I did. It took me 9 long months. The whole month of March has been a whirlwind of moving and starting over in another state.  It’s never easy, but with hard work I’m making it happen.

This brings me back to the greeting cards.  I received a great card from my sweet parents.  They read my blog, so I know they will see this post!  I am very thankful.  My parents still send me a surprise every now and again in a card.  I still get that excitement when I see it, the same feeling as when I was 15!  It’s something that never gets old.  Aside from the surprise inside (and thank you very much) was the card itself.  It was perfect.  Does that mean I have to eat my words on greeting cards?  I won’t go that far, but this was the perfect card.  There was a standard card saying but the personal notes from my parents are worth more than any surprise in the card.  Maybe that was the surprise.  The card said the following:

“You have dreamed and good things happened”.

“You have worked hard and achievement happened”.

“You have persevered and accomplishment happened”.

“You have believed in yourself and success happened”.

Dream, work hard, persevere, believe.  It can happen.

I finished March with 41.98 miles completed.  Most of the miles were accomplished on the treadmill, stationary bike and walking.  I was lucky to get out and start to discover some of the green ways around me.  I have 6067.61 miles gratefully remaining.  I keep on keeping on….

Happy Easter.  I hope this finds you in a good place…peace.  Happy Miles to You!!

 

 

 

 

Mileage Recap ~ 26 Feb – 25 March…DC Version

Hello all!  Long time no blog…

There is a good reason for my absence.  I have moved to Washington, DC for a new job.  It came up fairly quickly and I had a good deal of planning to do which minimized my blogging.  I have settled in and will be up and going in no time at all.  The obvious is the weather change.  Baby it’s cold outside!  So a very quick recap today.  I was able to finish February with 86.82 miles and so far for March I have completed 31.75.  There was a lot of hotel treadmill running and incumbent biking.  If you travel, you know what I’m talking about.

Grateful for a new work opportunity.  I have 6088.07 DC miles remaining.  Hope this finds you well.  Happy Miles to You!!

Mileage Recap ~ 19 – 25 Feb…Action Selfies

This week has been particularly cold in Phoenix.  I guess you could say we are experiencing the one week of winter we get each year.  Lows in the 30s and highs in the 50s.  That being said, it makes for good cycling weather.

I’ve been on Instagram for a while now and I had an account for my blog and then a personal account.  For some strange reason, everyone just migrated over to my personal account.  Most likely because my name is easier to memorize rather than the blog name.  I have dropped the 11315miles Instagram account and just post every now and again on the personal one.  I enjoy seeing people all around the world cycling, running or sharing all their cooking dishes.  It’s easy to blow a cool 30 minutes scrolling sometimes.  I try to make sure I don’t let social media control too much of my time.  I do like the virtual “diary” if you will while I’m trying to complete all of these miles.

Some people can just take great photos.  They’re sleeping…looks great.  Eating spaghetti…looks great.  Awww, just came out of the porto potty…looks marvelous.  Me?  Well, I usually look like I’ve just plowed the back 40.  Great.  Maybe one out of every thousand photos, there might be a keeper.

I love to see the “action” selfies.  Sometimes they’re phenomenal.  I even asked a gal one time how she took these cool action shots.  Did she have someone follow her around?  Some were taken at 6am!  Some people are just media geniuses.  I know there are all sorts of things you can do, such as time delay, using your apple watch, etc.  But, I haven’t mastered the art of the action selfie.  You know the cool photo where I’m riding…there’s an awesome background (not someone photo-bombing) and I have this concentrated far-off look like I’m contemplating the price of rice in China. You know the one.  Kinda like this:

I was out for a ride and thought…hey…wouldn’t it be cool to take a selfie…said no one ever!  Believe me, I’m not a big selfie person, but a couple of “proof of cycle” photos never hurts the mileage cause.  This was my awesome action selfie.   I was on mile 9 in a rural neighborhood and thought this is a pretty place.  Do you like how I got in the background?  Don’t I look like I’m concentrating hard?  Whatever Baby!  This is how I roll!

Was happy with my mileage this week, because I slightly edged out last week.  I would have done more, but I had a chemical facial peel (another story) and it stung a bit.  Not good to be out in the sun and sweating for a long time.  I put 30.65 on the books this week.  Looking pretty good for the month.  I have 2973.23 remaining for this years goal and 6114.82 gratefully remaining in my journey.  Sending positive vibes your way.  Happy Miles to You!!

Thought this was a good one for this week!