Monday, April 15, 2019

In a chatty mood

April 8 - April 14, 2019

Monday (5 + 1) - yeah the numbers get rounded up or down I'm not really keeping track other than the total Strava tells me.  I admit I get a little itchy not keeping track, then again I spend a lot less time lamenting where I was to where I am now.

Funny, I was thinking as I was running about how could I have possibly run three marathons and an ultra?  How in the hell did I do that?  I did it, I have the proof.  Guess that was then and this is now and it does leave me more time for knitting and reading?


This made me chuckle.


I started out walking, that stupid hip. I'm sure it is the elliptical.  I ran a few steps and my hip felt better, I kind wondered if it would. Manage to set intervals on the fly and meandered around for 5 miles running for 5 minutes and walking for 45 seconds.  The weather wasn't anything spectacular, gray and really rather disgusting, but it was nice, in a way, it was warm and the fog was really cool along the water.  I kept repeating the same song on the iPod, I used to know how to set it so it would keep playing the same song.  I was in the mood for Seether's Remedy.

Muddddddddddd - Jax


Dave hadn't taken Jax out and it was after 6 when I got home.  Jax was running around with his pre-dinner antics and his dinner ball and Dave thought we'd take a short hike and then feed him.  HA!  Jax is no dummy, he wasn't having anything of putting on his collar or his vest, Dave gave up, fed him and we had a quick hike.

Tuesday (2) - No elliptical, I snuck out of the gym before Mikey saw me.  As I was walking and looking around I saw a deer on the plant side, stopped to take a picture, took me a while fumbling around with my phone and the deer just stood there and stared at me.  I hope it's not sick.  Probably very used to people living on a research campus?  Far far less skiddish than the ones I see in the woods, they scare me I scare them, we stop, we stare, one of us screams and we all bolt away!



Amy of the Pointy Elbows had 15 minutes for me.  She has such insight.  She has MS so we have lots to talk about with invisible illness and staying active and dealing with a flaring beast.  We talk about how I've been feeling and she asked if I kept track.  I've tried, I got an app, that didn't help, then I'd write stuff down but I kept saying I feel ok.  I asked her if she tracked and she explained how she did her journal, every night.  I groaned.  She suggested a different tact.  Document what pain killers you are taking and where you are in your cycle and if you feel compelled to make more notes (napping, pain, etc).  Don't focus on HOW you feel, because no matter what you always say "I'm fine. Which we both know translates to Fucked up Insecure Neurotic and Emotional."  Got I love this woman!   She can feel when my tissue is inflamed and she said it was so bad two weeks ago, it's better this week, and my affect is better so clearly I am feeling better, but I didn't really get into how bad I felt that week, but when she digs into my muscles she knows.  I had no idea.

Wednesday (5 + 2) -  Ro is back from CO!  Hills with her and Dar nice to catch up with both the retirees back from their winter vacations.  Ro to CO and Dar to FL.  The sweater fit Dar perfectly, although I'm a little not sure on the A-Line shaping.

Gus 2017
Jax is in the same spot from the other side.


I had Jax duty and we went to Grills.  It has been so long since I've been there, I did miss it.  We did the old HS XC trail, got a little sidetracked to a hunting blind?  All in all it was good.  Jax wasn't too full of energy so I didn't feel bad cutting him super short on a hike.

Thursday (Core + 21) - First road ride of the season!!  We stayed on flat ground at a conservative pace.  This felt really good and all the tinkering I did with the cleats on my summer shoes before a core work out served me well.  My knees were much happier than they had been on Barney last weekend when I wore my summer shoes.


I think I can use this for my Tue / Thur lunch ride.  I feel SO. MUCH. BETTER. on the bike, omg.

Friday (7) - Met up with Charlotte to show her Bradford Preserve and Woody Hill.  When we met up she said the 3 mile Cross Country Loop?  I said, well I was thinking I'd take you down into Woody Hill so you can get an idea of how to navigate that if you were going to come back and explore on your own.  She was happy the ride was going to be more than 3 miles, pshew!!  We rode the first 1/2 of the XC loop, then Hansel and Gretel. I hopped off my bike for a log and Charlotte said, 'You do know your wheels roll over stuff?'  yeah I can be a wimp.  When we came up on the big boulder roller, I said, 'let me see you go over this, it's a roller' she up and over like butter.  So I did too!  I really need to ride with more women to gain my confidence, it helps to see someone else tackle the obstacle rather than fear crashing.

Can I eat it? --  Jax


We ventured down Woody Hill Road to Woody Hill, I showed her where the trailhead for that was, and we ventured on to Naughty Nurse, a very easy 2 ish mile trail, which loops!  Who knew?  I get so turned around in there...  I had my courage up and tackled most of the things I usually walk.  One did get me pretty well.  Barney's tire hit on the rock and we stopped dead and I fell to my left on the stone wall.  Ripped my jacket and bruised up my elbow.  Damn it!    We looked at the spot and discovered a rock had been moved!  Charlotte put it back, it fit perfect and she rolled over easy peasy.  I went next, a little nervous.  Falling on rock walks hurts!!  Rolled over easy peasy.

Ahhhh I can hang my nose and jowls out the window.  -- Jax


After that my poor sense of direction on twisty trails had to be relied on to get us over the dam.  I managed with one OOOPS we went the wrong way.  And we were over and back on to Woody Hill road to go back and do the second half of the XC trail.

Saturday (23 + 3) - Originally I was supposed to run a 5K with Jess in Willimantic, but she's been having some serious foot issues and didn't even want to trust walking the 3.1 miles.  How about our annual Tour de Mansfield, the short loop?  YES!!  I was so happy to load Ruby up in the car again and head out to Storrs.  The only problem was what to wear.  It was cool and rained all night.  the rain was supposed to end by 10 a.m. in-land.  I overdressed, it was up to 70F.  Whoops.  I forget how much warmer it is in-land this time of year.

Jess and Me
Storrs, CT
After the rain
Before the ride


It's a hilly loop and a good test for where I am fitness wise and how I'm dealing with the beast wise.  I felt really good while we were riding, there were a couple moments where I had some doubts, but they passed.  I felt great after we were done, even though I was a little overheated.  Jess brought shorts, she was smart, I did not.  She got to show off her bruised legs from her mountain bike race the weekend before.

I came home to a sad Jax, his peeps left him, he is home alone so rarely.  I quick took a shower and got out his collar and vest and he was all woo hooo spinning around like crazy.  Well, this is a good sign.  The closer I got to the coast the cooler and foggier it got.  That is also a good sign we can have the run of whichever preserve I picked.  I decided on Grills again and wanted to check out the Big Hill and the new White trail and see where that took us.

Hill?  What Hill? - Jax


Jax wasn't too impressed with the Big Hill but he loved the wild turkeys he saw.  We had a nice hike and I still managed to get turned around and miss part of the White trail, how I turned right off a trail and went up and out and back and ended up not where I expected is beyond me.

Sunday (2) - Beautiful day, perfect for a ride either on or off road, while I didn't feel tired, I knew three days of riding was good and I should finish the taxes and do some housewifey stuff.

Jax:  One of these days Cat
Yoko: Neener Neener Foo Foo
 

Dave and I took Jax to Burlingame late in the afternoon, just as the mist started.  Cooked up a short loop and Jax rewarded us by getting goofy on the slippery ledge downhills.  What is it with him and wanting to play or bash into the back of our legs when its the least little bit dangerous?

I totally forgot to update on Knitting and Reading in my last post...

Reading

"Idaho"
by: Emily Ruskovick

Status: Finished

I'm not sure what to think about this.  I learned something about dementia, something I hope I never have to know, but it was helpful in understanding what some friends are going through and have gone through with their parents.

The story was told from several points of view and the sequence was not sequential, so it was confusing in that way.  Plus I managed to get two characters confused which is my own fault, so that caused some distress.

I can't recommend the book nor can I not recommend the book.  I didn't love it nor did I hate it.

It simply was, a story, in a story, wrapped in another story and it's hard to know what to say, except I learned something and I always like learning things.

"Rose:  My life in service to Lady Astor"
by: Rosina Harrison

Status:  In progress

I like how the author started the book saying this was her story from her point of view from when she interacted with Lady Astor.  Rose, Lady Astor's Ladies Maid, is as much of a character as Lady Astor.   When Rose started out her goal was to be a ladies maid, she made it happen! A different view of what it is like to be 'in service'.


Knitting

I started some mitered mittens from Elizabeth Zimmerman, she writes pithy (the work she uses) directions.  I hate the word pithy, but it works in this instance.

I do like how she instructs:  "you need to get this gauge for this pattern to work" "increase however you like to increase" it is very much up to the knitter to make decisions on parts of the pattern, she gives you the numbers for casting on and when to increase or decrease, but the details, those are yours to determine.

These mitten had an 'after thought thumb' so you knitted the mitten as a tube with an end and snipped as stitch "just about where your thumb knuckle is" and "pick out 7 stitches either side of the snip.  On my hand, the mitten tube was a bit snug and the thumb pulled.

Knitted up a few more cloches, and a couple other different hats.  The cloche pattern is still my favorite.

Landed on finishing up the last of my sock yarn and started a pair of socks for Dave with the once sock on one circular method.  I think they might be too big, I knitted about 3 inches of the foot and Dave seemed to think they'd be fine.  I hope the yarn shrinks up a bit, I still think they will be loose.  I should have only cast on 68 stitches instead of 72, I didn't factor in how much looser my knitting gets once I get past knitting the toe, plus I am using a new kind of needle, pointier and smoother, that has to make a difference with gauge.  Ah, a good dunk in boiling water will shrink even the stubbornest of wool, if necessary.

All in all a great week.  By the end of the week I was feeling like my old self.  I think it's the road bike.  I have missed Ruby, we didn't have a great end of biking season last year but we are starting out the season on the right foot or should I say tire?  ha ha ha

Sincerely,
Beth, a little long in the tooth, thanks for sticking with me!

Monday, April 8, 2019

April, the cruelest month, seems to be cutting me a break!

April 1 - April 7, 2019

Monday (5 + 2) - I couldn't get into a grove running and I discovered I could program intervals on my watch on the fly so I did that.  Somehow the 5 miles was so much easier (ha ha) running 5 minutes and walking 45 seconds.  Dunno.  I guess my stamina wasn't really there on Monday.   I overall felt really good, weird.


Jax entertained me on the Old Burlingame Camp loop (our name for it) with Dave hobbling behind.  Someone cleaned up some of the blow downs that had go arounds.  It will be interesting to see if someone tries blocking the original line versus the go around. Everyone is a trail expert!

Funny, Dave didn't appreciate this...

Tuesday (Elliptical / Booty Core) - Mikey is back to speaking to me as long as I don't go off on weird subjects, in my defense he started it.  As my hip hurt on Wednesday I think its the Elliptical that is the problem.  I didn't hurt last week and guess what I didn't do last week.

Jax was 2 when this was taken.
His "talk to the tail" pose when he didn't want to do what we wanted him to do - I believe Gus was just out of the frame and he may have been stalking him.
Wednesday (3 + 3) - Went for a walk, stupid hip, why annoy it?  It was a beautiful day and as I was avoiding the geese I noticed one with a yellow collar.  I wondered if any of them were still around.  The one with B118 was a mean SOB.  This was C156 and pretty mild mannered.


Goose C156
I didn't think there were still tagged geese out here.
Eastern Point Beach parking lot in the background.

Jax was so not into his Burlingame hike, he is perhaps a little spoiled and is a little bored with the Sammy  C's / Secret Trail / OutenBack / Yellow Dot loop.  Either that or it was 60F and he was a little warm.

Thursday (Elliptical / Booty Core + 1.5)  -  Yeah, so Thursday it dawned on me the connection between my hip and the elliptical, I used a different one, with the same result.  Pain and discomfort.  Well for fuck sake (I like that expression). I was late to the gym and Erik joined me.  I've been listening to Crimetown - Detroit.  I've completely lost my place in which episode I'm some where at the point where Kwamie (The Hip Hop Mayor) is getting indited for lying on the stand and the 14,000 text messages between him and his girlfriend.  I wasn't sad to pull the plugs out of my ears when Erik got on the elliptical next to me.  We had an interesting discussion about his upcoming marathon and coming to terms with what you want to do with what your body will allow you to do and his expectations for his race on Sunday.

Plumber Butt rock
Ha ha

I got home late from work, Dave went off to ride, and Jax was standing there looking at his doggy watch perplexed, it's nearly dog dinner time but he wanted to go on a hike.  The problems this dog faces are real people, Dinner or a Hike but if he hikes before dinner he's going to be hungry.  What to do what to do.  I fed him, changed and then we went on our hike.  A short one, mostly because I'm hobbling and I stupidly picked Bradford Preserve where the kids are in soccer practice and he was so focused on getting down to the soccer fields he was dragging me along.  I parked off the dirt part of Woody Hill Road not thinking that sound travels up.  Oh well.

Friday (3) -   I vaguely recall thinking I'd go out for a bike ride when I got home from work.  What happened was me getting home from work early, greeted by the usual goings on by the LBD (Little Black Dog) and me flopping on the couch with no intention of moving.  I was out cold for an hour, Dave is amazed I can sleep through the CNC machine in the basement.  It is a rhythmic noise with the dust collector humming in the background, if I wasn't tired it would lull me to sleep if I laid down. 



Dave noticed me stirring and said "Hike?".  Sure, I mumbled, please not Burlingame I want to go somewhere different. Jax was busy spinning in circles nosing and punching things while Dave is trying to put on his vest and collar.  I stumbled around and found shoes and non-work clothes.  I suggested Arcadia and Stepping Stone, or are they Step Stone Falls in Arcadia.  Seemed like a nice hike with some hills to get the heart pumping after my coma nap.  The rain wasn't due till 6 or so, so we would be fine. 

See ugly...
But this rock looks like a Grand Piano!


Nice hike, my watch didn't pick up the signal right away so we were shorted a few 10ths, whatever.  The GPS makes a fish!  I thought that was cool! This part of spring is so ugly, the only green things are the briers with their wicked sharp thorns, it will be a few weeks till the pretty green things start springing from the earth.  We did see a few skunk cabbage starting, and the moss is starting to become more of a rich green, but all in all, in my opinion, this is one of the ugliest times of the year. 

Saturday (8 + 2) - Got out on my mountain bike in Woody Hill and Bradford Preserve for nearly 2 hours (1 and a half of moving time)!  Slow going in some technical to me spots, and I got a little lost (typical) and may have trespassed at the quarry, but I'm not sure.  The GPS GlenT sent to Sir George had that as part of the route and there was a definite trail.  I was going to patiently wait for someone to build a bridge over a stream, ha ha, but since there were several crossings that could take a long time, I figured it was a good time to test out the drainage in my summer shoes and collect some mud on Barney and my pack (it's so freaking bright).  Soooo nice to not have to wear winter boots, baggies and a long sleeve tech shirt was all I needed...  ahhhhh....

I managed to ride over the stick, flip it so it stuck in my spokes. 
That was a sudden stop!


I found the trail someone asked me about a few weeks ago.  It was no where near where I thought it was and it was the spaghetti with trails coming so close it was hard to know which direction to go.  I have to study the GPS.  That side trip took me off my main path, but it was interesting, and more importantly I got back to my intended path!! 

On my side trip I met up with a group of bikers and 4 unleashed dogs.  The dogs were friendly, but I really don't think people should not say "Hey they are friendly" and let the dogs run up to the person, because what if the person they are shouting to is terrified of dogs or simply reeks of fear and sets something off in an otherwise mild mannered dog or the dog looses their mind temporarily. 

As an example:  Moe, the disabled dalmatian, when she bit the mail man on his calf after he gave her a treat, he was walking away, we were all stunned! Joe (the mailman) said to us (we were outside working on the house) "Um I think your dog just bit me." and we said "No way"  Well the puncture wound and blood on his calf told a different story.  Then it got crazy from there and poor Joe was the laughing stock of the post office when they found out it was the 'sweet little disabled dalmatian' and not the 'crazy german shepherd' who was the deliverer of the bite. He was a good mailman, but I don't think he ever left another treat for Moe after that, I can't blame him.

Anyhow, I didn't say anything to the people, a couple of the dogs wanted scratches and the others stayed away, I gave scratches and said hi to the puppers and pedaled on my way.

Gus liked this spot too.

Jax spent most of the day alone, and was pretty ticked but he's a dog and not a cat so he doesn't hold a grudge well and once I was cleaned up we went to Grills Preserve for a hike.  It is nice and flat there and just the ticket!  I haven't been there in a few years.  Gus and I used to go there a lot, until he started getting even worse in the car and that 8 mile drive was too much for his nerves, so we settled on a 2 mile drive to Riverwood Preserve.  The land trust had done some 'maintenance' many people weren't so sure about but it has mostly grown back in and seems more natural.  They also have marked new trails (I think the periwinkle color is new) and some new signs.  It was a lovely outing.  Jax enjoyed the same muddy areas Gus used to so that was a nice memory.  I think I have the same picture of them standing in the same muddy spot.  I'm getting more at ease with Gus being gone. 

Sunday (3) -  At the end of the day we got the crazy dog out for a hike in Bradford Preserve.  I really do like those trails.  I even got Dave out on Hansel and Gretel, but he says the mountain bikers call it something different but couldn't remember what and more importantly was I going to be a runner or a biker.  I said I was bi sport.  Ha ha!

Guard Dog!
It was so lovely out Sunday late morning.


Jax was happy that we were busy talking to each other so he could wander off and get into things and not have us calling for him every 5 seconds. 

Along Hansel and Gretel
I'm happy they humor me.
This actually turned out to be a nice photo!


Well that got long winded...  guess I am feeling better.  The prednisone headache and fog lifted for the last week!  The Beast symptoms are at bay.  Touch wood this stays for a while. 

Sincerely,
Beth, future looks bright, gotta wear shades?

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

One foot in front of the other

March 25, 2019 - March 31, 2019

Monday (5) - Well that was an ugly run.  I ran some walked some and that was that.  Jax and I had a nice hike in Woody Hill when I got home.  He was totally not into a hike, I think he wanted me to ask him if he was hungry not if he wanted to go for a ride.  Sorry bud.

The strangest things freak him out.
Today it was this big boulder with the pile of rocks on it.
Took a few tries but we got around it.
Musta been throwing off bad ju ju


Tuesday (0) - Just a chaotic day with a doctors appointment early where I sat in the exam room for 30 minutes.  I'm not exaggerating.  I was ready to get up and leave.  Strolling into work at 10 a.m. elicited some comments.  Har har har...  I didn't get to the gym.  Imagine, strolling in late then going to the gym?  

Jax decided he needed to play tug o'war so we did that.  Jax shoving one of his tug o'war toys in my lap was really unexpected.  I guess he needed to shake the crap out of my arm?  He was at this a good 20 minutes.  I think he misses having a dog friend to wrestle with.

The beast inside decided I needed to be freezing cold.  I'm beginning to think the change of the seasons is bringing out this latest flare.  After piling on a second comforter I was still shivering but eventually warmed up. 

Electric Pressure Cookers (aka Insta Pot) are pretty cool


Wednesday (3) -  A lunch meeting, so I ate, and then thought running might be a bad idea between the eating and the beast.  I walked a mile then started to run and my right knee buckled, well for fucks sake.  At least I caught it in time and wasn't run over by the bus.   I ran about a mile of the three and am fine with that.  But my hip feels fine - so I'll call it a win!

True story


Thursday (4 + 2) -  I could lament the shit sandwiches this week is serving me, I won't, someone has it worse, and despite it all I still manage to be a glimmer of hope for people.  For fuck sake now I'm gonna cry.

I got home to take Jax for a hike and found him sitting in my chair.  I slipped on his orange vest and whispered "Wanna go for a ride?" in his ear and he sprang out of the chair nearly chipping my tooth!  Well ok then!  Far better than Monday's ho-hum reaction.

Leaf flying in the drool!


We went to a new trail, thanks Crutch!  When we pulled up to the trailhead Jax knew it was someplace he had not been before and was all excited to get out of the car and scramble up the first hill.  OMG somehow I think we've finally crossed into being buddies territory.  The first hill was a bit of a doozy, not so fun to start out cold.  But I managed and Jax was having a blast scrambling up and down and sliding on the leaves.  He continued his frivolous gaiety through the rest of the hike. We went out a mile and back the same way.  He really wanted to play so we played stick and then he'd sprint ahead so I thought what the hell and sprinted after him, he thought this was great fun!  I did to!



Thing is with a steep uphill to start that is what you have to look forward to at the end.  The leaves on the ledge were a little slippery and even the little daredevil got a bit spooked sliding, but he recovered.  I was a bit more cautious going down, someone has to drive us home!

He likes to get right up to the edge.
EEEKKKK!

Friday (4 + 2) - Gak, Dr. Done and the Wee Brit's last day.  How did this happen!  I wasn't sure if they'd stay the whole day but it seemed like it so I got out for a run, and then tortured Mikey with conversation after.  He may talk to me again, hopefully.  In my defense, I'll talk about anything.  Wait, is that a defense?  Anyhoodles.



I got back in time to discover Dr. Done gifted me his HUGE cool curved monitor!  We set that up and then called over the techie guys, who ran drivers, and fixes, and changed the box and finally my laptop and whatever that box thingy is called talked to the monitor.  I can have 10,000 things open all at the same time, I won't be able to see them, realistically 6 things, I can see 6 things.

Saturday (3) - We got Jax out for a short hike in Arcadia.  He was happy to have both his peeps and was busy finding sticks to play stick with.  For him, this is us holding the stick while he snaps it.  The better the snap the happier the Jax.   Not many good snappy sticks, plus it was 60F so he was a little overheated.  Time to start remembering to bring water!

Trail cuteness in Burlingame

Sunday (8) - The weather predicted was rain in the afternoon and sun in the morning.  Going to sleep on Saturday night, my plan was to ride in the morning.  I also knew the beast would have the final say.  I woke up feeling normal, the first time in three weeks.  Sweet!!  I was up and at 'em breakfasted, organized my chores for the afternoon of rain and got my bike loaded in the car and off to Woody Hill to ride.  I rode for 8 miles and am figuring out how things connect together.  Passed a group of three runners on the cross country trails, I hesitated to pass because they may have to pass me later on.  They did not, I never saw them again.  Met up with a person to chat with for a bit, that is always fun.  Quick as a bunny the weather started to change, the sun went away the skies darkened the wind whipped up and I seamlessly found the path over the dam and back to my car just as the rain started!  Whoo hoo!

I think it's the other half of the glove someone left at Bradford Preserve parking lot.
If I wasn't so lazy I would have gone there after my ride to see if they matched!
Seems more like a runners glove than a bikers glove?  


The last few weeks have been so sour, to have them end feeling like my self and such a great bike ride was so wonderful.    I know there will be another flare, it is inevitable, I'm concerned the current medication protocol isn't working.  And then I wake up and the constant dull headache is gone and my energy and endurance are far better than they have been.  Yes, yes, yes, one data point a trend does not make and the beast hasn't been slain.  I had an excellent outing and that is some of the best medicine right there!

Reading:

"The Hired Girl"
by Laura Amy Schlitz

Such a cute coming of age story of a hardworking girl stumbling and bumbling her way through a year in her life.   I didn't realize I read this a year ago, I believe I enjoyed it more this time!


"Idaho"
by Emily Ruskovich

A man and his family are torn apart by dementia.

Knitting:

I washed and blocked the Dar Sweater after finally kitchener stitching the arm pits.

They don't look too bad.




I still haven't decided on my next project so I've been making cloche hats.




Not a great week for feeling good, however I was productive and pushed through and made the best of it.  As my mother reminded me "One foot in front of the other" 

Sincerely,
Beth perhaps finally coming to terms with reality, perhaps not.