Grand Trailfest: Confidence Journal Entry #7

The morning alarm blared far too early and this time coffee was not strong enough to loosen my fog but that was OK as Jill was driving us today to our simulation run of the Utah Canyons — via downtown Washington, DC.

Our Thelma and Louise cross-country road-trip for The Grandfest is less than 2 months away, and we both were having car concerns. While we may stray from details in the original movie flick — I longed for safety features, and Jill preferred a car that would just drive itself. The car gods granted each of us our wishes – and we traded in old cars for newer models. When Jill arrived to pick me up for destination-DC, we stood outside pushing the key fob begging her Jetsons-electric car to open the doors. 10 minutes later the car agreed to let us in, and off we went — not quite ready for the car to drive itself.

Continue reading Grand Trailfest: Confidence Journal Entry #7

Grand Trailfest: Confidence Journal Entry #6

Blog Post:  by Jill

We are 5 weeks in and I am just leaning in to contribute to our Grand Trailfest training journal.

The challenges of the training go beyond the quick steps on hot pavement; out maneuvering the invisible spider webs in the early morning hours; avoiding prickly, clinging bushes as we trail-blaze through uncharted fields; swatting away hungry mosquitoes; timing our training to finish before the sun tops the trees; or regulating fatigued bodies through 3 consecutive days of long-distance training. It is about doing this journey together.  So when the 4 am alarm beckons us to wobble out of bed and wipe the stardust out of our eyes, we are certain our training sista, will be waiting. Continue reading Grand Trailfest: Confidence Journal Entry #6

Grande Trailfest: Confidence Journal Entry #5

The best discovery of surviving 3 days of running in excessive heat — is learning that training in heat is a handy substitute for training in higher altitudes.   According to research, if your training lacks altitude, just run in an oven.     Grand Trailfest, here we come!

Given this news, we’ve considered adjusting our attitude.   Maybe it could get a little hotter?   Maybe it’s just fine that streets buckle at 5AM?  Maybe we can sleep past 4AM for a change?   Maybe all of those ice cubes in our Camel-bak’s are unnecessary? Continue reading Grande Trailfest: Confidence Journal Entry #5

Grande Trailfest: Confidence Journal Entry #4

Too Hot!!!

The weather forecast is filled with phrases such as  “Excessive Heat”, and recommendations to stay inside, find air conditioning, avoid exercise, and I thought about heeding those warnings. Continue reading Grande Trailfest: Confidence Journal Entry #4

Grande Trailfest: Confidence Journal Entry#3

When the FitBit reads oh-four-thirty-ish, running gear includes headlamps and the thick wet morning air belongs in a sauna — you can stake claim to the label:   Sleep-deprived East Coast runner.  Or, simply someone who has lost their sensibilities.

Yes, the Grand Trailfest is under 3 months away.  Yes, we are still searching for replica-trails that will mirror the conditions in high-altitude desert.   Yes, the East Coast is baking in heat and drowning in rain making for super-humid-roaster conditions — the opposite of high-altitude desert.  Yes, we search for that fine-line of training too much or tapering-too-soon, and yes, yes yes, we err on the side of training-too-much. Continue reading Grande Trailfest: Confidence Journal Entry#3

Grande Trailfest: Confidence Journal Entry#2

Detour! 4th of July festivities take over our running route

Three back-to-back training days included a 13 mile jog/walk on the 4th of July (with fireworks detours), an 11 mile run the day after with less than 1/2 mile of actual trail running, and a final day of 6 miles that included 2 miles running home-runs over-n-over on the local baseball field.  Here is where I discovered running the perimeter of the infield — it is approximately 1 tenth of a mile, so by my estimation I scored 20 home runs. Continue reading Grande Trailfest: Confidence Journal Entry#2

Grande Trailfest: Confidence Journal Entry#1

Jill insisted we take to the trails of Patapsco Park near Ellicott City at 0600 and I was not one to argue when her mind is made.  So off we went, first along  delightful pavement of which I am familiar, then over to a rocky trail surface filled with stones 3 inch in size, millions of them and all ready to tug and turn ankles.  My feet hurt, possibly because I wasn’t wearing trail running shoes and I watched our trail leader (Jill) sprint off ahead, wearing the proper shoes.   Eventually, I caught up, and we made it inside of the park, the campground where everyone was still sleeping in their tents and I wondered what it might be like to sleep in — for once. Continue reading Grande Trailfest: Confidence Journal Entry#1

The Grande Trailfest beckons

jilljaneThe sistahood (sister-in-law’s Jane and Jill) are bonded by more than family, same age (within months), and hours and hours of training and partaking in exercise events that sometimes requires kicking and fussing (think open water swimming) to get to the start line.  The sistas are bonded by a twinge of madness that includes never saying never  — from ultra distance inline skating, bicycling touring the northeast, triathlons, duathlons, marathon running, or just running for donuts. Continue reading The Grande Trailfest beckons

Cycling & Pioneering for the greater cause — a Greenway version of the Appalachian Trail (without the wilderness!)

You’re doing what?
This November, I will bicycle my way from Titusville to Key West, Florida — putting the finish on a 3000 mile journey that began in 2015 in Maine.

But, why?
I’m a test-rider & fundraiser for the East Coast Greenway Alliance – a non-profit.  I bicycle with a group of 40 — who experience the current state of roads-n-trails network — to recommend what needs to be improved.  We raise funds for car/free or safe passages city-by-city from Maine to Key West.  Think, the Appalachian trail along the entire US East Coast, without the wilderness.

Can’t you just bicycle on the current roads? 
Sure — if you like playing russian roulette with traffic.  The goal is to create an off-road experience for as many miles as possible — so that families, children, walkers, joggers, bicyclists and anyone who wants to enjoy being outside — can do so safe from traffic.

Who’s driving this Greenway?
The East Coast Greenway Alliance — The East Coast Greenway is a collaborative effort that has attracted more than $1 billion in public investment in its first 25 years. The dream of a 3,000-mile protected biking and walking route represents a commitment to public health, environmental sustainability, economic development, and civic engagement. Together, we are connecting people to nature and communities via a safe, accessible Greenway.

Can I help?
Yes, you can.

Any tax-deductible amount you can afford to donate helps to create this Greenway of safe passages for all to enjoy — along our beloved East Coast.   Any donation — you will receive a personal, sincere thank you e-note, from me

Most importantly,
Thank you for taking the time to read.  Not everyone is in a place where they can donate, and I am just grateful you are in my life.

Traveling cross-country via Amtrak

When a bicycle ride is too slow and an airplane is too fast, the next best option from California to DC is an Amtrak train.   Before we secured tickets we had to be sure.  We watched a YouTube made by a nice man with a camera who took us on a Superette-tour of the Amtrak sleeper room — equipped with bunk beds, private wash and bathroom and extra room for two people to watch the scenery roll by for 70-odd-hours straight.  We couldn’t wait to settle in on the California Zephyr for the first leg to Chicago. Continue reading Traveling cross-country via Amtrak

Writings and journeys, flavored with spice…

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