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 ~ 24 – 30 April…Discipline

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

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

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

Mileage Recap ~ 2 – 16 April…Damn

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

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

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

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

Mileage Recap ~ March 6 – 26…And the Beat Goes On…

Happy Sunday Everyone!  Another couple of weeks have gone by.  Nothing particularly exciting to report and continuing on the path of getting those miles and training for the Dublin Marathon.  In the past I have said there are really only three things I need, kettle bells, yoga and running.  Never say never.   One thing I totally believe in is yoga, that will never change and frankly something I need.  If you haven’t tried it, do.  I started yoga about two years ago after my knee surgery and it has helped in so many ways.  When my practice is steady, I have less knee and back pain.  Through basic stretches you can keep running or cycling injuries at bay or at least minimized.  If you are afraid to try, don’t.  There are many kinds of yoga practices and many types of studios.  You just have to find the one that serves your body and mind best.  I liked yoga so much I became certified in 2014.  I haven’t been teaching since I’ve been here in Arizona, but hope to do so again one day.

Getting back to never say never, I joined Planet Fitness.  You know, the judge free zone.  I wanted to work on strength training more (kettle bells does that) but the swinging was accentuating the pain in my back and I needed to complement it with other weight exercises.  Also, it has been good (although I don’t like to do it a lot) running on the treadmill to give my knee a break when I have fluid build up.  The fluid issue has improved over the last couple of weeks because I have taken it easy and used lots of ice.  I foam roll almost every night and stretch.  It sucks getting older. 🙂

I did get a nice ride in today.  The weather is beautiful this time of year in the desert.  The morning is cool enough not to be too cool and not overly hot.  I say that because it seems to be a series of extremes here at times.  I took my time and took some photos.  I have been doing this long enough now that I’m not too worried about my “time” it’s more of enjoying the process.  At one of my stops along the route I was pleasantly surprised by this sound of life:

If you listen carefully you can hear them buzzing.  I will admit I was a bit scared when I heard them hoping it wasn’t a swarm.  You can also hear another rider turning the bend (gears).

This month is looking up as I have completed 77.54 for the month so far and 35.55 miles this round leaving 6939.41 gratefully remaining.  Happy Miles to You!!

 

 

Mileage Recap ~ Week 10 Century Training

I have finally completed the last full week of training for my Century Ride.  I was especially happy to begin the taper week!  There really is nothing like knowing that you can take it a little easier.  At least that’s my opinion, just sayin’.  It gives me a chance to enjoy the journey and get ready for next week’s race.  I’m beginning to focus on what I need to take, my nutrition (staying hydrated and keeping the body limber), the logistics of everything (traveling with the bike on my rack) what to do with my bike when I get to the hotel and how far the start line is from the hotel etc.  I’m not sure what I will be doing with my bike while I’m at the hotel.  I definitely need to call.  I’m sure they won’t let me take it to my room….

I plan to blog about my El Tour de Tucson Century Ride step by step, in hopes that others wanting to give a Century a whirl can learn from my successes and hopefully not to many pitfalls.   This last week will be about prep, a couple of short rides then the big event.

It’s amazing how better equipped my body is to handle the distance and hills.  Climbs that I didn’t look forward too before, I can now accomplish with ease.  There was less physical effort needed and I still maintained my same average speed, which is interesting to me.  I really tried to slow down and just complete the mileage but found my speed didn’t go down from last weeks long ride. I think my main concern will be to pace myself during the full race.

Overall I feel good.  My knees and lower right back are hurting a bit and I am a little tired.  I’ve been concentrating on hydration and good nutrition and feel I will be good shape come race day.  I’m going to do a little yoga every day to keep the body open and the hips less tight.  Yoga is so good for you and really makes a difference in overall body health.  I’m partial as a yogi!

Nothing too crazy this week or anything special to note.  National douche bag alert was at a medium level.  It’s garage sale season here in Phoenix, with the cooler weather, and people are driving crazy to find their second hand treasures.

Had two shorter rides during my busy week and then the long ride on Saturday.  Packed my gels and decided to bring a brownie flavored Cliff Bar®.  I was at one of my stops and I was watching a video message from my friend who is working in Germany, love technology, and as I opened the package the bar went flying to the ground.  You know how something happens and you’re in disbelief and just staring.  I looked at the bar on the ground just pondering my next step.  I know what my next step is…pick it up and eat the damn thing.  As I was picking the bar up I turn and see this little kid and his family looking at me as I stuff the bar in my mouth… and I smile.  Yep, leading by example.  Buck up kiddo, this thing cost about $2.50 and I have 20 more miles to go.

What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

week-10

This weeks mileage

Happy that this is my last week!

Happy that this is my last week!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Completed 60.71 miles this week. Looking forward to getting this challenge complete!  There are 7241.92 miles gratefully remaining.  Happy Miles to You!

 

Mileage Recap ~ 1 – 7 June Week 1 of The Great Cycle Challenge Completed and Vibe Yoga

I was very excited to get the month of June and The Great Cycle Challenge underway.  I have pledged to ride 300 miles for the month of June and raise $500.00.  I love a challenge especially when it’s for a good cause.  For me it’s more than just raising money for individuals with cancer but dedication of mind, body and spirit to honor those who are fighting the good fight to get well.  I read something many years ago that said life is great when you have your health.  How exponentially true is that statement.  When you are well and feel good life is a such a blessing, but when you are ill day in and day out I imagine that attitude can sink quickly.  I look at it from this perspective; life is a grand gift and not to be wasted.  The fact that you can wake up, move and be is a chance to be the best you can for yourself and to others.

This week has been a very active week.  I have school Wednesday thru Saturday so on those mornings I have to be out on the road by 530 and can clear about 10 miles before I need to head home and get ready.  The week started off well on Monday and Tuesday and I was able to get 11 and 17 miles.

I’m still in the process of trying to find a yoga studio to attend and teach at here, which is proving a little allusive.  So I found a studio called Vibetality to try.  When I was studying for my certification I had a traditional teacher, not a whole lot of yoga fluff.  Since I’ve been out Southwest I have run into many different types of yoga.  Honestly, some of it is fun and interesting.  I decided to try this new studio and signed up for a “yoga vibe” class.  After I pulled the “trigger” I realized the class was only 15 minutes long.  Hmmm, how can that be?  Thinking I read it wrong I planned to be there for my full hour.  Nope it was only 15 minutes.  It’s called yoga vibe, thus the “Vibetality”.  The class is conducted on a plate that vibrates.  When I say it vibrates…I’m not kidding.  Here is a picture of the plate.

Vibe Plate

The teacher instructed that if you are new, you might want to stand more on the balls of your feet and don’t close your teeth together.  Uh….ok.  The theory is that the vibration stimulates the blood and therefore a 15 minute workout is the same as an hour.  When the class first started and I stepped on to the plate I thought no way am I going to be able to do this for the full 15.  Thank goodness I didn’t eat anything and I didn’t have to go to the bathroom.   It was more of the workout and not the spiritual part of yoga.  It wasn’t bad, interesting to say the least, but let’s just say I was so sore that I couldn’t go riding on Wednesday.

Friday rained and Saturday I was able to get 9.  Today was the long ride.  I went my normal route and extended it down in the opposite direction I normally go.  It was extremely beautiful and challenging.  I road all the way to the end..literally.

Day 7 Ride Day 7a

I also climbed the largest hill for me yet.  I was realizing as I was speeding down this mountain that this was not going to be fun going back up this thing.  But I dug in and I was able to do it without having to stop.  That was the great part.  Today’s ride was 20 and some change and looked a little like this:

Day 7b

You can check out my webpage at The Great Cycle Challenge here:  The Great Cycle Challenge Laurel McClean

This weeks mileage was all cycling (as the whole month will be) and came to 68.67 with 9,006.27 gratefully remaining ~ Happy Miles to You!!

Mileage Recap 15 – 31 Dec ~ Happy New Year

Happy New Year!  I hope everyone had a wonderful time ringing in 2015 and time to reflect upon the previous year.  2014 for me was a good year.  It was a year of challenges and changes.  My mileage goals for 2014 fell short.  I just had too much going on this year to fully complete the original goal of 1500 miles.  I also struggled with bursitis in my right hip.  This sent and continues to send me to physical therapy.  All of this sounds negative, but sometimes we hit some potholes and we pick ourselves up fix it the best we can and keep moving.  This by no means is going to stop my end goal.  It may slow me down, but stop…uh no.

My triumph this year was obtaining my yoga certification.  Yoga has helped me keep the flexibility I need to continue on my mileage path.  It took a lot of my time with the training and extra classes on weekends.  The training just didn’t leave a lot of time for too much else on the weekend.  I’m glad I did it and no doubt yoga will be a major part of me for the rest of my life. 

I added 24.71 to December for a total of 68.29 miles for the month.  It was a combination of indoor cycling, walking and running.  This brings me to a yearly total of 774.26 for 2014.  It wasn’t my goal of 1500 but it’s a “step” in the right direction.  I am grateful that I have the ability to keep moving forward in this wonderful gift we call life.  Mobility is a great gift.  I have finished 1,780.25 miles since I began this journey with 9,534.75 miles waiting to be earned.

I was able to pick up some miles in Arizona over the holidays.  It was lovely to see family and the weather was ~ COLD!  That’s right it got down to the 30s in Phoenix.  At least the sun was shining…at times.  Happy Miles to You!!

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Beautiful sunset from the top

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My daughter

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Love this shot of the valley

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