Saturday, I had 40 miles to knock out in Training Peaks. Earlier in the week, I scoped out a trail that I had not done before that I had heard was awesome! Paved, flat and uninterrupted – The Western Maryland Rail Trail. I wanted something a little ...

 
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Journey to IMMD: If it ain’t raining, You ain’t training… and more...

Journey to IMMD: If it ain’t raining, You ain’t training…

2017-04-22 11.48.18

Saturday, I had 40 miles to knock out in Training Peaks. Earlier in the week, I scoped out a trail that I had not done before that I had heard was awesome! Paved, flat and uninterrupted – The Western Maryland Rail Trail.

 

I wanted something a little closer to home that I wouldn’t have to worry about cars and such. The weather was looking iffy, but the weather report said it would be cloudy on Saturday and rain on Sunday. It would suck for the Half Marathon but so be it. I packed everything up on Friday night and was ready to roll.

 

Mmmm Hmmm…I want that job where you can be dead ass wrong 50%+ of the time and still get paid the big bucks. I woke up early on Saturday to rain. Uggahh!!

 

I piddled around and wasted a hour debating what I would do. I stared at my trainer for what seemed like an eternity dreading 40 miles on the trainer. It is just like the dreadmill…hours of going nowhere, not fast – just ongoing suffering. I then tried to figure out when I could fit it in? After the half marathon? YEAH RIGHT. I’m dedicated, but I know EXACTLY what would happen – NOTHING.

Then it hit me – these conditions just might be what it will be like at IMMD. Cold, raining, windy. Before I could talk myself out of it, I grabbed my rain jacket and got in the car. Western Maryland Rail Trail is a fast hour and 10min from my door and I was there in no time. I started at the beginning of the trail at Ft. Frederick State Park (exit 12 of of I70). Less than a mile off the exit is a free parking lot (Big Pool Junction). There are restrooms to use so you can relieve yourself privately before you get started.

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The trail is BEAUTIFUL. 22 miles of almost totally uninterrupted (nolights, road crossings – except for the occasional tow path crossing and the parking lot entrances in Hancock), completely flat, paved trail. AWESOME!

 

At approximately mile 10/11, you come into Hancock where the C&O Bike Shop is located. There are other wonderful restaurants and ice cream shop if you are so inclined. If you drive up to Exit 3, there is another free lot right before the town center. This might be a better option if you plan on doing a double. You are at the mid point of the trail and thus you would never be that far from the Bike Shop and your car if you ran into trouble that you couldn’t fix on your own. I noticed that there were plenty of places along the route if you had to jump off for sustenance or a restroom. Plenty of nature though. The view and sights are along the way is beautiful.

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      Me – on the trail w/C&O Bike Shop in background

The first 15 miles were not bad at all. It was a light drizzle but most times it was just cloudy. At 15, the rain started to pick up so I decided to turn around before it got too bad.

2017-04-22 10.24.26

    Mile 15 – Snack break & decision to turn around

 

NOPE. The rain steadily pick up and was a pour for my last 10 back to the car. Amazing how you find energy and speed when you want to GET OFF THE BIKE AND OUT OF THE RAIN.

 

I got 30 of the planned 40 done in the rain and I survived. My goal was to maintain a 16mph pace and I did approx. 15mph (rain, cold, wind). Not bad. I’m going back next weekend and do the whole trail. Who’s coming?

 

NOTE TO SELF: Also throw in car a change of clothes & towel when you are planning on crazy stuff. Actually, just put a jump bag in the car and leave it there.

    



Journey to IMMD: It is too early for a Meltdown

At the beginning of this month…on a Sunday long run day…I had the first of probably plenty of meltdowns:

 

2017-04-02 11.45.42

Here I stand up against a tree at mile 5 of a 10 mile wog ~ which I WALKED ~ trying to get my head back in the game and get back to my car. (I reached out to my FB family of crazy for support)…Y'all send me some good vibes cause right now I wanna call Uber.

Imma eat my snack, stretch, do a gut check and get movin'.

 

I was no mo good and needed to get my ass in gear. My fellow RipItTeam Members, Friends, Family and #TeamRightBehindMe stepped up to the plate, gave me a virtual kick in the ass and I got to movin’….

 

I attacked 3.5 miles, which got me back to the lake and then I ran into turtle village…
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I walked back to my car, enjoying the beauty,nature the sun and reminding myself why I am doing all of this. I checked in on my friend, Norm who was in the mist of slogging through IMTX70.3 and I prayed for his run as I know he struggles through injuries too. I made it back to my car and 10 miles were done. Ugly but done.

 

I wrote this on my FB page when I got home later that day:

I am humbled by the response to the first of probably many meltdowns as I adapt, improvise, overcome and train like a madman towards 140.6.

 

My friend and consigliere, Brett H Lewis, sent this to me to remind me of my why and that I am RELENTLESS!

I love you all and I hope you will stick with me through the ups and downs of this journey.
#TeamRightBehindMe #IMMD2017

2017-04-02 16.07.04

    



JOURNEY TO IMMD - My Talismans

I have been remiss in blogging my IM Journey as I said I would and was soundly called out about it. I had to find an app that let me post on the phone and on the fly because by time I finish my daily Training Peaks Suffrage doled out by Coach Suzy, work, shove some semblance of food in my mouth - oh yeah - Feed the fam too, Ian usually in a state of OMG, there are 6 hours till I start again. The balance thing - BRUTAL. So, I have Bball practice duty tonight, found an app and I'm trying it out.--->>>

Last month (March 10th), I was hanging with my sorority sisters and after dinner we stopped in a store called Alex and Ani. They were all into the bracelets and I was just hanging cause I never heard of them. When my partner in crime, Patty,  asked me if one of the bracelets was a fit for her personality I was confused but read the symbols meaning and said yes. 

Then I started looking at all the "talismans" and their meanings and decided to put a set together that represented my journey to IMMD. My coach, Suzy McCulloch Serpico and trainer/mentor Shawn Chevalier always encourage to have that one word/phrase to get you through the tough times. 

This is my word -->

RELENTLESS - to be a fiery, driving force that lets no obstacle or setback get in the way of achieving a noteworthy goal.

I put this set of bracelets together as my reminder of my why...


SWIMMING - Perseverance, Heart, Sportsmanship

BIKE - Wellness, Movement, Spirit

RUN - Endurance, Heart, Sportsmanship

5 (Numerology) - Adventure, Free, Variety

FOUR LEAF CLOVER - Blessing, Fortune, Prosperity

GODSPEED (Cuff) - Journey, Blessing, Protection

I wore them that Sunday (March 11) at RockN Roll DC. It was colder than a witches tit. It was just downright disrespectful cold.


I had a real bad day...of my own making out there. My nutrition was so far off to be considered non-existent...and during those last 3/4 miles when I had no more gas, when I wanted to quit, give up and take a knee...I remembered I was RELENTLESS and I heard the jingle on my wrist...

And I brought it in.

    



Do Epic Stuff 2017–IMMD

2017-01-01 10.41.26

I haven’t blogged very much lately, but I wanted to make the big announcement and ask that you join me on this EPIC JOURNEY!

 

I promise to do better and keep you posted as I work on achieving my 2017 goal of completing my first Ironman. I signed up for Ironman Maryland after a lot of thought and reflection. I know I said I was going to hold off on any more long course racing for a while; however, a couple of things changed my mind.

 

First, I knew that if I put it off, I probably would never do it. Life has a way of getting in the way of best intentions and I ain’t getting any younger.

 

Second, I have arthritis with bony spurs – pretty bad in the left knee and I started out 2017 back in the Orthopedic Office getting shots in both knees…I could barely walk or go from sitting to standing to walking without significant pain. I knew I was having problems. Longer distances were becoming a serious problem with swelling, discomfort and extended recovery. I was getting slower and slower and the knees were getting worse.

 

Options? Walk – WALK FAST

So, knowing that I probably won’t be “running” much longer, I decided to GO FOR IT NOW! While the going is good.

What’s the plan?

  • I have an AWESOME coach
  • I started training EARLY, Jan 1 – burn out is a thought but I need to build up, get strong over a longer period of time and arrive to the start HEALTHY.
  • I have a great, balanced race schedule to get me race ready, practice nutrition, transitions and MENTAL TOUGHNESS
  • I am surrounded by the most AWESOME group of athletes, spectathletes and friends that believe in me.

The GOAL is set. The PLAN is written. Time to EXECUTE the plan.

 

On top of all of that, I was chosen to be a Ripit Events Ambassador. #RipItAmBADASSador

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Yes, I have discount codes to the RipIt Events Races.

 

Join me as I go on this journey to do EPIC SHIT and be a BADASS! See you out there!

    


Inaugural Disney Paris Half Marathon

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Last year this time, The FireMarshall asked what I wanted for my 50th Birthday. Epic Party – Epic Trip. I planned the party – it was EPIC and the trip was for me and a friend to go to Paris for the Inaugural Disney Paris Half Marathon. Not to be outdone, I also had to participate in the first Chateaux to Castle Challenge (which meant I had to do a Disney Half Marathon in the states before Paris – I did the Star Wars Half Marathon).

We had a Grand Epic Time.
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Disney Paris, in its entirety, including the two parks, Disney Village (their version of Downtown Disney) and the hotels immediately surrounding the parks could probably all fit inside of Magic Kingdom. Despite the size, the parks were packed and the lines just as long for the rides – of which we rode none. Just walking through the park taking pictures, seeing the characters, pin trading (or, in our case, buying) and people watching was just fine.

The only disappointment was that they ran out of the unique race pins by 10am of the second day the Expo/Packet pickup which meant they either didn’t have enough for each participant or they let people buy several of them before allowing registered racers the opportunity to get. Now they are on sale on Ebay for $650. No sir! Although I know someone will pay that. HUMPH. There were a few glitches that were probably only noticeable to regular runDisney participants – small expo with not enough gear/variety, not enough big screens in corral to see what is happening at start and poor sound system and not enough porta-potties near the corrals. Otherwise, both the 5k and Half Marathon were fun & scenic. Lot of photo ops!
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The Inaugural Race Party was nice, but they were not prepared for the number of people that paid for it as evidenced by the long lines and long wait to get food. The Wild West Buffalo Bill Show – I was pleasantly surprised by my amusement. The show was actually pretty good and entertaining. We were on the Green Team and our Cowboy sucked.
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IMG_0223  IMG_0221
 IMG_0209     IMG_1971
After the Half Marathon on Sunday, we hobbled back to the hotel lodge and enjoyed cocktails in the lobby bar as we planned our transportation into Paris for the rest of our adventure. Grown Women Gone Wild – Paris Edition will have to wait for another post.

Suffice it to say, we came, we ran, ran some more and had the time of our lives.
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Of course, I put a little video together from the two races. Enjoy!
 
    


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