Sunday, December 4, 2016

Weekly Recap: 11/18 - 12/4

Beautiful day on tap for Monday, and after a discussion with Dave on Sunday about when exactly would we be raking the yard I was totally ok with keeping Monday as a vacation day so we could rake leaves and take them to the dump, it think it's called a transfer station out here, in any event they have a place we can dump the leaves for no charge.  Reviewing the weather it seemed Tuesday was supposed to be a rainy mess with no relief in sight.   Considering the neighbors to the NE and SE have the big trees and don't rake.  They wait for the leaves to congregate on our yard, rather, our front walk.  I swear there is a leaf magnet under our front walk. Anyhoodles, this MAY ensure the leaves still on the ground and not in our yard could maybe perhaps remain in their yard and that was a bet we were willing to take.

Three trailer loads to the dump, and a good close mowing, and the yard looked pretty darn good for a yard of crappy grass neither of us have much desire to do much about.  The crab grass blooms in late June and the yard is a shade of green and I'm good with that.  I am disappointed I didn't get around to edging.  I like to do it the old fashioned way with the manual edger.  My hip was my excuse and based on how it has felt lately, I think that was actually a valid excuse!

I got Gus out to the woods, marked trails, to avoid an unintended adventure, and to get him some exercise before the rain and my evening commitments for Tue and Wed night keeping me away from home till late.

The rain happened, as predicted, on Tuesday.  I got out for a lunch run in the warm temperatures and rain.  It felt really good.  I haven't had much alone time lately, and really enjoyed the hour of no people to pay attention to, no dogs to mind, no traffic to monitor.  I listened to my On shoes squeak, they are fun and comfy shoes, just noisy in the rain.  I haven't run with music in months, I'm enjoying not running with music.

Dave decided it would be fun to discuss the Monty Hall problem this evening.  Quite fascinating actually.  If there are three doors and behind two doors are goats and one door is a car.  Choose a door, say #2.  Then door #3 is open, do you switch your choice to door #1. What is the probability the car is behind door #2 versus door #1?  I spend time alone so I'm able to tolerate being around people, he spends time alone and he has to find topics to discuss once he's not alone.  Introverts versus Extroverts. No wonder I'm more exhausted being home than running or biking.

Another cloudy day, not so much rainy, although I honestly can't remember Wednesday's weather as I type this.  But I'm pretty sure there wasn't much sun to speak of.  This was the last day of Lung Cancer Awareness month and I do remember driving to Boston in the pouring rain, it was horrible. The event was very good.  In the Prudential Center in Boston.  A woman, Kimberly Hall, I met years ago at a Lung Cancer conference put it on under the guidance of Diane Legg.  Diane, an 11 year Lung Cancer survivor, and living with Stage IV for the last 6 years, started the first Shine A Light on Lung Cancer vigil in the US, there were 200 vigils on Wednesday night, in 10 years that is pretty darn impressive.  It is a very misunderstood disease.  Bottom line:  If you have lungs you can get lung cancer.  There are things that exacerbate it:  smoking (and that goes for ALL cancers, each has smoking as a trigger - imagine the horror asking the breast cancer patient if they smoked, oh the horror), radon (we have it in our home, do you know if you have it in yours?), asbestos, environmental factors such as pollution,  and others, those are the biggies, and these things can be avoided or  have ways for remediation in many situations.  

A woman spoke about her lung cancer diagnosis and journey.  It started with her slowly losing her stamina, then her breath, and then a cough that wouldn't go away.  She was (and still is) an active woman, weight training, spin, zoomba, walking the dog, leading up to her 50th birthday everything became more and more difficult and she was losing more and more energy.  Finally a friend suggested she get the cough checked out, get an x-ray.  Of course a healthy active 49 year old woman asking for an x-ray labels her as crazy, it's bronchitis, here are some antibiotics see me in a month if it doesn't go away.  A month later, she demanded the x-ray.  It showed shadows, oh you have pneumonia, here are some more antibiotics and go see this pulmonologist.  The pulmonologist ordered a CT, and when the results came back, ordered a bronchoscopy.  She went into the appointment, not understanding why this had been ordered and tried to leave.  The nurse questioned if she knew why she was getting this test.  She said she had no idea.  Then and there the nurse was honest with her and said they were testing for lung cancer.  This was the week before her 50th birthday.

After 4 rounds of chemo and 33 rounds of radiation she was declared No Evidence of Disease (NED).  A few months after that she had returned from a trip seeing her parents and was sore her shoulder hurt her back hurt, nothing felt right.  She went to her doctor.  A PET was immediately ordered and the lung cancer had metastasized to her bones, her shoulder blade, her L7 vertebrae and her hip.  More radiation, and at this point she called Diane who said "Get genetic testing".  She did have a genetic marker ROS1 and was put on Xalkori, a drug targeted for the ROS1 and ALK mutations and NSLC that has metastasized.   It is a maintenance chemo, and it took a year and it worked!  During that year she had a 10 hour surgery to replace her L7 vertebrae as the cancer had nearly disintegrated it.

It was an emotional talk, her husband came up on stage for support and she shooed him away, she was going to get to the end of this talk through her tears!  

It is an insidious disease no one deserves.  

I had a good cry and got home really late and tumbled into bed telling Dave I'd tell him about it later.

The sun came out!  Felt like I hadn't seen it in a month, It had been since Monday, and it was Thursday, I needed to to my PT.  My hip has been bugging me for the past few weeks and I have been ignoring it.  We all know how well THAT went last time.  So I did a short run got some sun and did my PT.  It all kinda sucked.  There was sun and I'll focus on that plus to the day.

Took both Jax and Gus for a walk, not my favorite.  They were really good and really seemed to miss walking with each other, so that made it fun, until mile 2 when Jax tends to lose all of his composure.  Per usual it happened, he lost it.  Black dogs have a bad rap as it is, then to have one barking and jumping at the end of a leash doesn't help.  Mostly this is when a man approaches me, he loses it.  Gus doesn't care, Jeff W can attest to this, Gus was happy to meet a new person, and then it was time to move on.  Same with Mikey, who stuck his hands inside the car window,  we even ran across Seth a while back and Gus was all whaev's man.  Gus is curious, then he somewhat patiently waiting for us to move forward!  I would like to test this man thing out with a guy I know, see if Jax settles down.  It's mostly embarrassing, and a little unnerving because what if it is not just a big stupid show?  

Jax is excellent when Dave and I take him for mountain bike rides, and I can only imagine he is the same when Dave takes him out mountain biking, and he goes solo or with a friend or two.  Jax is curious about people but really just keeps on moving forward.  Dogs on leashes, well he is a little more than curious especially if that dog is losing its shit on the end of a leash.  Jax sits there and looks at us like "WTF is this guys problem?"  as if he's NEVER lost his shit at the end of a leash.  Dogs are really curious creatures...

The PT and the short run and the walk were good.  a nice way to enjoy a sunny day and a mild December evening.

I was exhausted when I got up and knew I really didn't want to and really shouldn't run on Friday.  Decided I'd follow Mikey's lead and take one of the lunch time classes, Stability and Strength.  It was a torture session with 5 different stations with two exercises each a pair of people did for 5 minutes breaking up between the two exercises based on number of reps on one.    I felt it and really did get a good work out.  I need the stability for this on-going hip thing.  It was better it's not, it's frigging annoying.   I got out of work early and came home with the intention of taking Gus on a hike before it got dark.  I took a nap instead.  

Amy with the sharp elbows came over to break up more of the matted mangled fascia and muscles in my hips on Saturday morning.  Holy hell that hurt.  At one point she busts out laughing and comments my toes are so straightened out and separated they looked like fingers.  Well that IT band and something in my quad is a mess.  I need to make really good friends with a foam roller, and make up with my ice pack.  Ugh...    

After that I went to NYC to catch up with a friend I hadn't seen in at least 20 years.  Her husband planned a surprise trip to NYC for her 50th birthday and she messaged me to find out if we could meet up while they were somewhat local.  I jumped at the chance and am so glad I did.  I have admired this woman since we were young girls and she continues to amaze me.  I noticed she was doing a lot of centuries over the summer, she did 7.  Then I saw it, October 9th, her first IRONMAN finish.  Well that explains all the century rides!  Then I had to ask how learning how to swim was for her.  I remember one summer sitting on the dock my father had just put in the pond and the whole thing toppling over and neither of us were swimmers, we were non-drowners.  She said it took about a year, and several injuries to get the hang of it for sprints and Olympic distance tris then she jumped in for Ironman KY (they live in Alabama).   I'm still not progressing from the non-drowning stage to the swimming stage.  I think I can say I lived a full life without ever having done a tri.

That made for a very long day and Dave was up and out early on Sunday to ride in Big River and we were going to ride Arcadia with Jax in the afternoon.  To say I was dreading getting on the bike would not be a lie.  He got home from his 20ish miles in BR rousting me off the couch, loading up my bike and kicking my lazy ass into gear.  I can take about 2 hours, this weekend that ended up being just shy of 7 miles.  My skills and confidence are improving for doing something two hours a week I've progressed pretty well and have my moments of reckless abandon and my moments of oh shit.  Only one crash today.  A few topple overs because I was going to slow down hill.  I don't seem to have that problem on the road bike, I wonder if riding down trails is going to impact how I go down  hill on the roads?  I definitely am more timid on the trails.  It really hurts to fall on rocks.  I am immensely enjoying being on the bike and being in the woods, two favorite things!

He's threatening to work on speed for next week.  Ugh...

Oh and the neighbors leaves are on our yard.  Damn it.


Feet:  20.5, for a yearly total of 1,563.7 against an adjusted target of  A) 1,702 B) 1,660
Saddle:  6.8 for a yearly total of 1,470.7 against an adjusted target of A) 1,644 B) 1,590

Beth, do I really have to go back to work tomorrow??  Whine..................

Monday, November 28, 2016

Weekly Recap: 11/21/16 - 11/27/16

This was going to be another travel week, but I'd have more opportunity to run, so that was good.

After Sunday and all the cold my hip ached, I knew that feeling and tried to ignore it because well that worked so well before.  Monday was back to work for a day, I know it seems silly but it was jut the right amount of time to tidy up a few things and catch up with co-workers before everyone was off to their different Thanksgiving activities.  I couldn't run at lunch time so it was a bit after, it was fine.  Mikey stopped by to see my award and advise that I needed two shirts and gloves.  I guessed on the hat and I guessed right, I needed it.  The wind was whipping and cold ears are never fun!  I trotted around my usual route and felt fine, my knees were screaming cold.  Probably time to consider knickers to keep my knees warm!

Yeah, I'm kind of a big deal in the non-running world, wait
I am big deal in the running world, I have A LOT of DFL to my name, '
race directors quake when they see my name on the entrants list!  It's gonna be a long day...

Up and at 'em to pack on Tuesday, driving out to MI to spend Thanksgiving with my parents, my youngest brother and his wife.  The roads were crowded but not crazy crowded, other than in Connecticut where the drivers are crazy, period.

As expected woke up to rain on Wednesday, its raw and miserable, I'm not amenable to running in that so I didn't; perfect day for knitting, chatting, reading, and napping.  The napping where you wake up and have no idea where you are napping.  It was awesome! 

Thanksgiving started with the Turkey Trot, write up here.  Mark and Judy arrived at noon as expected, we took a walk around the property before dinner.  I took the opportunity to climb up in the tree stands and see what I could see.  My mom wouldn't like it if I did it when I walked with her and I really didn't want to do it on my own for fear they weren't really well secured, because that could end badly.  At least Mark or Judy could go for help!  Nothing went sideways so that was good.

To the right are Roger's grain elevators, I could see at least 1/2 mile, maybe a bit more.

Dinner was excellent and I know I ate far to much.  Even eating far to much at my parents isn't as disastrous as it is at my in-laws.  The amount of butter and salt in her food is obscene and I don't think my father cooks with much, if any, and his cooking doesn't require salt and butter to taste good.

Decided it would be a good idea to run around the block on Friday morning, this is 5 miles any way you slice it.  I knew it was going to be a cold wind going "North" so I didn't do the out and back to the hard top road and just went for the usual block.  Saw a couple people who must have recognized me; I got some hearty waves.  Always nice to see someone on the straight flat muddy roads.  My mom thought I might have gone into town to run.  I may do that next time.  The mind numbing sameness of it all makes me crazy.  At least the loop I run at work I see people and I think that keeps me more engaged?  Got to the Wagner's and their dogs have been dealing with hunters so they came woofing and barking and running full out to see who I was.  I think they recognized me?  I stopped and walked, never smart to run by dogs.  Once they got me to their barn driveway they went back to whatever it was they were doing and I resumed my run.

Up and out on Saturday for the drive back to RI.  I thought I was being sneaky waiting until I got to the Meijer's in Oregon, OH to get some more Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald porter.  Well they were out, jokes on me.  Crap...   Dave did comment we need a better beer storage system and he hasn't drunk a local beer in a long time, I guess we have enough?  Naw....  The drive was uneventful, I took the long way with the intent at stopping at Southern Tier Brewery, well I overshot it by 50 miles. DAMN IT.  I thought it was further in to NY than it was.  Poor planning on my part.  The drive along the Southern Tier was interesting, it was dark before I got to Binghamton NY and that is one of the more prettier parts of that way.  Poor planning all the way around.  It happens, not like that was my last trip.

I was happy to be home and sleep in my own bed although sleeping in on Sunday was only till 7:30, Dave was up and out for a ride and the dogs required attention and feeding.  I decided I'd take Gus out to Barn Island for a run/hike.  See what he was in the mood for.  Running was good by him and we did that.  We also got very very very lost.  I really should pay attention to him, he is smarter than I am in the woods.  After we finally plowed through a bazillion thorns and trespassed on someone's yard we got to a main road I recognized from running and we trekked two miles back to the car on asphalt.   Definitely not Gus' idea of fun.  Never a dull moment?

This is mostly what I was trying to do.  Thanks to Jeff W for sending this to me, the blue circle is where it went pear shaped. The perimeter was what I was hoping I was on.  While I was jogging back down the hard top with Gus and my bloody legs, I wondered if I went down by the RR tracks at Greenhaven if I'd get back on the trail, looks like that was the case.  I might try parking down there and seeing if I can find my way back to where I lost the trail.  Shoot!!!

Feet:  24.6 for a yearly total of 1,543.2 against a straight line target of 1,829.3 (full goal 2,016) and an adjusted full year target of 1,702 or 1,660.  Can (Will) I close the gap on either of the adjusted targets with 5 weeks of running? Probably, my life doesn't depend on it, so either way I'm good.
Saddle: 0 for a yearly total of 1,463.9 against a straight line target of 1,829.3 (full goal 2,016) and an adjusted full year target of 1,644 or 1,590.  Can (Will) I close the gap on either of the adjusted targets with 5 weeks of cycling?  Probably, my life doesn't depend on it, so either way I'm good.

Beth, surprisingly didn't catch a cold with a month of travel, whoop!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Ann Arbor Turkey Trot - Recap

What exactly is there to say about a 5K?  Not much.  I had no goals other than to enjoy running free on the streets of Ann Arbor (MI) on Thanksgiving morning, a little sun would have been nice, but it is SE MI in the winter months, so yeah, highly unlikely.

The race started at 8:30 a.m. so I had to be out of my parents house by 7:15 a.m. this is BEFORE the sunrises, which kind of sucks.  I felt like I was sneaking out, I know my parents don't sleep all that soundly and having someone else in the house is disruptive.  Seemed like a reverse of my teenage years, ha ha....

Parking was free and it took me one wrong turn to get my bearings in the one way street grid of A2.  I found what I was looking for and got my bib.  Wow was it weird to see the back  Beth Lazor-Smith, 49, Westerly, RI.  49?  When the HELL did THAT happen?  I can't possibly be that old, although ask my knees and they'll agree.

I was hoping to find some rejected shirts from prior years, as I have found one of the other two times I've run this 5K.  I people watched to pass the time, lots of turkey hats, I left mine at my parents, oh well, too many turkey hats anyhow.  Lots of families and costumes.  Nice to see.

Oh well, no reject shirts, my Nephew loved the shirt I got for him a few years ago, in fact it was his first day of school shirt!

It was a lollipopish route, I managed negative splits so something is going better for me! 33:49, nothing to write home about, however considering how well I haven't been running I'm hanging my hat on the negative splits!

Overall results here, some serious runners and some not so serious in the 3,000 +  runners who gathered to run.

I'll send the Nephew the medal, he will probably like that.  This wasn't a great Thanksgiving for him, he had bronchitis, he and his mom.  Ugh.  Poor kid.

Beth, on the look out for turkeys

One of the more deluxe 'tree stands' on my parent's property.
Photo by my SIL Judy