Sunday, November 4, 2018

Spooky Night Hike!

October 29, 2018 - November 4, 2018

Monday (5.2) - Crazy storms in the morning, crazy wind while I ran. I am enjoying running to music again, even my Detroit playlist, well maybe not Journey, too many skeevy memories of dances on Friday night, shudder.

Amy gave me a pass to try out Boxing at Barre Coast Boxing.  When the instructor asked me 'any injuries' we both giggled and Amy said, 'Might be easier to list what's not broken?'  I laughed and the instructor looked horrified I said, 'the only concern is my knees so I won't be doing much if any jumping.'

The class was fun, exhausting, my first double in quite some time.  I was a little nervous about how my body would react.  It didn't react like my sick body reacted last time I tried that foolishness.  The class alternated between 5 minutes of different punches to a heavy bag, which was more like a super thick balloon filled with water, and 5 minutes of core and upper body work.  Not sure why we needed to do overhead presses probably to counter the punching, jabbing, hooking, uppercutting, and crossing?  I worked up a good sweat, my knees didn't hate me, score!

He's melting

Tuesday (7 + 9.6) - Hills with Ro then I was off to mountain bike with Jess.  Yeah, not a heavy work day.  That is what vacation time is for.  Ro and I talked about how sometimes we get so focused on the day to day we forget to spend time with people we don't often see.  Jess is one of those people.  For the first time, I asked her if she was available to meet up to ride Haley and Bluff.  She's been to Bluff but didn't know how to get to Haley from Bluff and didn't know anything about Haley.  I'm fairly confident in getting myself unlost there so what the hell.  We met up at 2 p.m. and zipped over to Haley and explored, going in circles as one does when they explore and then venturing to the other side of the gravel path on to trails I had only been on a few times with Gizmo and had never gotten to from where we entered them.

It was fun zipping around on the trails, I almost felt like I knew what I was doing.  These trails are for sure my speed!

Dave is sick and Jax needed a walk, and I needed to take some stuff back to the library so I took care of all that and scrubbed a few crazies off Jax.  Jax was on his worst behavior.  I think he finally got it how ticked off I was with him and he behaved himself after a particularly stupid thing he did.

Wednesday (5.5) -  Walk the long way to lunch got me out in the fresh air which helped my perspective once I realized I had meetings till 5 and my plan to take Jax to the woods to hike trails that would make the GPS shape of a ghost might not happen.  I'm stubborn, of course, I attempted it, of course I did, with the sun setting at 5:44 p.m. and us getting to the woods at 5:50 p.m. per when I started my GPS, this was really stupid.  But we did it anyway, on trails I am not completely familiar with on a course that probably can't even connect.  It was DARK, DARK DARK and there are reflectors on some of the trail markers, I think they are bicycle wheel reflectors (the ones that go between the spokes), one side peeks out of either side of the trail marker and they look like eyes.  I saw other eyes too but we aren't going to talk about that, because they weren't eyes, they were errant bicycle spoke reflectors, yes, yes they were.

Imagine, at night, your headlamp catches the reflector, spaced about a nose width apart.

I should add that Dave and I have been watching "The Haunting of Hill House" and I kept thinking about that while walking and then I'd spook my self with a shadow of the headlamp, or Jax would jump at something.  It really was comedic, I'm sure.

Then your headlamp catches this red one,

When I passed by the place where the Vin Gormely meets the OutenBack, and I do know that intersection quite well, I should have caught it much closer than 1/2 mile down the trail.  I kept saying, hmmm, I don't think this is before the OutenBack until I got to a stream crossing with the three granite slabs (going clockwise on the VG) and we turned around.  I know things are different in the dark and short distances do feel like long distances.

The three granite slabs over the river/stream

We got out of the woods about 7:30 p.m. and I texted Dave to let him know we were on our way home.  He was in Boston meeting with a musician who will be doing recordings with his new Christopher Bass Guitar.  He didn't think he'd be home till about 9:30 p.m.  Ok good, that explains why he hadn't texted asking where we were.  He had no idea about my hair-brained idea.  When I told him he just shook his head and said, "You know that was dumb, right? Why didn't you do Jax's normal loop?"  The whole but the ghost GPS was completely lost on him. Kind of reminded me of the conversation Mikey and I had earlier where he reminded me that a pedestrian got killed on Route 2, and I should never ride on that road.  But how would I get to Route 49 for Tour de Farms?

This was a one-eyed orange monster.
Jax in the background  Oh yeah the silver on his vest is reflective.

Thursday (0) Big old fat zero and I didn't even get the 100% activity level on my watch.  Dave was able to gather up enough strength to take Jax to Arcadia for a hike and get out in some fresh air.  Guess his man flu was ok for a few hours.  Meanwhile, I'm washing my hands and soaking everything in Lysol, and feel fine. Fingers crossed it lasts.

We watched the last episode of The Haunting of Hill House.  It was very disappointing.

Friday (6.2) - I ran the whole work loop, well walk/run 1:00/4:00, in the rain, it was freaking fabulous.  One wouldn't think I'd feel that extra mile, but I did.  That was the first time I'd run that loop since July 2017, and I hadn't run a 10K since December 2017.

Anybody who follows me on Strava saw this picture before, in fact, I recycle a lot of the pictures.  But anyhoodles, the story this tells is very interesting to me.  See where things started getting all wonky right before they plummeted to my slowest run ever on that course (10/24/2016)?  That was early 2016, when my injuries started, funny the signs our bodies send us and the story metrics reveal.  of course I've run this in both directions and the above doesn't show the clockstupid direction, just the clockwise.  That odd duck above the average line, that was on 2/12/17 was when I ran with Faith, running with someone does make a difference.

Oh and the 11/15/12 was a run after I completed my first marathon, clearly I was feeling pretty peppy!

What am I going to do with this knowledge?  Remind myself I am seeing progress, it is slow, however, it is pretty consistent in the correct direction.

Saturday (2.8) - Girls Night Out to celebrate a birthday and retirement all in one fell swoop was filled with laughs, and way too much heavy food.  Gak I was feeling that in my stomach and the run in my knees, but Jax was going bazonkers, so bored.

I took him out and the Imaginary Husband, who is now at about 75% healed from Man Flu, came with us.  I plugged the route into the GPS and had Jeeves give us directions on where to turn.  None of the trails in that section are marked, well Sammy C's is, but otherwise no.  It worked!  We made the Ghost!!  Yippieee I was so thrilled.  Dave and Jax could care less.  Whateves man whateves.

I watched the first part of "I, Tonya" that Dave was watching when I got home on Friday.  I didn't pay much attention to Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan, other than the fact the knee bashing happened in Detroit.  I had to look up the year 1994, I was working my first Jobby Job at FoMoCo and never was much into getting wrapped up in the latest social drama.  Shortly following that was OJ Simpson which I only remember because Andrew came over that day to not talk about his mother's cancer, she passed a few days later (June 1994).

Sunday (3.2) - My intended Mountain Bike ride was thwarted by a very sad looking Jax.  I took him on a hike on his usual loop backward.  We ran and played and he brought sticks to me to play 'stick' and it was nice to be outside in the sun and fresh air. 


Finished the back and fronts, and on to the sleeves!


by Ron Chernow

Status: in progress

I have forever been amazed at how much history I don't know and amazed at how much history other people think they know based on a 2 sentence meme.   Taken out of context anything can be made to mean anything.  That point is driven home in Thomas Jefferson's opinions of Alexander Hamilton based on hearsay and second-hand knowledge.  It is epically amazing to me how much isn't known about the history of our country and how much of what is known is biased based on the sources of this information, or skewed to make a particular point.   All that aside Hamilton is the father of the excise tax on whiskey to pay for the government.  At least that is how I'm interpreting what I read.  Guess I'll have another beer and pay for the mess this country is in.

Beth, a week where she didn't have to think about running she just did it and enjoyed it.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Totally enjoyed a rainy Saturday, focus on the good

October 22, 2018 - October 28, 2018

Monday (6.3) - Enjoyable run at lunch time even sucked it up and went down to Jupiter Point.  I dug up my iPod and listened to some music on the run and that was a helpful distraction.  For my 3:30 run segments I saw and felt some peppy paces,  yeah!!  I can't remember why or when I stopped listening to music, trying to remember how to switch playlists on the iPod (its a shuffle, do they even make those any more?) took a few tries and I don't remember how I switched from the Tabata playlist to the Running Music playlist.  I pressed buttons till it all worked, ha!

We don't talk about him snuggling with "Big Mean Kitty"
The look of disgust on his face cracks me up.

Jax decided that he did not want a rest day and took me for a walk.  Surprisingly he is a mile kinda guy and just when I thought he was heading home he went straight!  He got his mile.  Good for him.

Tuesday (7.7) - Ro and I were meeting late in the afternoon to walk, but I still wanted to move for lunch, and I knew I'd be in NYC on Wednesday, I took the long way to the cafe and back with my lunch, and as it happens dinner for Dave because there was way to much food.

May - Spot on!

Ro and I met up, neither of us were in the mood for hills, she had an 8 mile run earlier in the day, complete with pick ups.  We did the beach and Avery Point loop and caught up enjoying the sun immensely.

Jax got to run around on the beach so that got me off the hook for a dog walk, instead he wanted to play tug o'war.  Ok

Wednesday (1.3) - My big debut on the stage moderating a panel discussion between 4 colleagues, two with me on the stage, one in Brazil, and the fourth was recorded earlier.  Quite the technological feat pulled off brilliantly by the guys in the tech booth.  Having worked with them for years I was completely confident this would go smoothly, the rest of the team were not so sure, we would be flipping back and forth between Brazil, video tape, and live in NY, something anything was bound to go wrong.  My biggest fear was not filling up the 45 minutes we were talking, meanwhile I've spent the last month peeling people off the ceiling reassuring them it would be brilliant, the run of show was on point to the last detail and Jose and crew nail everything they do.

Kind of handy reference

Not trying to brag or anything, HA HA, Yes, Yes, I am, clearly, bragging, it went as scripted.  I'm pleased, very pleased.

There is a lot to be said about planning.  Made me think of my training plan for my ultra.  I still have it hanging up on the bulletin board and see it daily.  I may have pitched nearly all of my race bibs and most of the stupid medals in fits of rage or self pity from injury and illness over the last few years.  That, that I kept, I took it down a few times, and looked at it and nearly threw it in the trash, but something wouldn't let me.  It is a daily reminder of working the plan and seeing results.

Ice Age 50K training plan

Jax took me for a walk when I got home and it felt nice to move and get some fresh air.  Gak the air in NYC is disgusting and there was some driver ahead of me on the highway with a bad exhaust and it wasn't until after 8 p.m. until I could take a deep full cleansing breath.

Thursday (7.8) - Run at lunch, I upped the run section to 4 minutes and left the walk at 1 minute.   Wednesday was the day the Prednisone was dropped to 5mg, I wasn't, and still am not sure about the effect.  The run felt good, it was windy and that always changes how the run goes, parts are easier and parts are harder and was it the wind or was it me or was it both and then I added on 30 seconds of running, so there were several different factors at play for the overall outcome of the run.


I was out of work early for the annual mammogram, it was quick and efficient, per usual.  That gave me the opportunity to take Jax on a hike.  We went to the old Burlingame Campground, so cool.  We explored different camp roads and checked out the old campsites and camp buildings.  Kind of eerie with the setting sun.  We will go back there, he seemed pretty curious about everything so hopefully, this will keep his interest for a few more hikes, plus it is a super easy and gentle path.

Old camp site

Friday (1.6) - Fuzzy on Friday, ah yes, I forgot my backpack at home, Thought about going for a ride, figured I better get Jax out to the woods because it was going to be crappy on Saturday.  Half-assed a hike with him, trying new to me trails, he didn't really care because they weren't boring carriage road/double track, they were fun rocky and narrow single track.  I managed to get most of my docket at work done, and prepped for the next week, so it was a pretty good day.

Let's get crazy -- Jax

Saturday (1.8) - As planned it rained and rained some more.  Fortunately we got a break around dog dinner time and I took Jax out for a stroll.  He was really into this in town walk, guess he was bored from watching me knit all day?  I enjoyed knitting immensely and am nearly done with the left front of the sweater.  It was nice to knit for hours and not have shoulder pain, well a little but nothing like I've experienced.  Not even worth taking something for it.  In fact, I have only take a couple acetaminophen since the first of the month, and that was due to hormonal crap and not auto immune crap.  This is the longest I have gone in a year not taking something ibuprofen, naproxen, or acetaminophen (or all three) daily in over a year.  My liver is probably happy about that?  I even got brave and pulled all but one of the bottles of pain relievers out of my purse!  Living on the edge!


Sunday (4) - Not exactly a stellar lets get moving day, I think two days of lazies did their toll?  Took Jax out to Yawgoog, in Richmond RI.  It is a Boy Scout Camp, HUGE!  I'm guessing it is where the troops meet for a jamboree.  I'll have to find out more.  The trails were great and we were going to go around the lake, but that didn't quite pan out. I'm not great with directions or maps but I am pretty resilient at finding a plan B or C or Z or whatever it takes.   There was a couple miles of slippery ledge that Jax loves so much so he was content and then we had a little hike on some calmer terrain, he was bored.  We will be back now that I have a better bearings and can make sense of where we were versus where I intended us to go. 

Still not much color
Lake Yawgoog
Beautiful sky


Making stellar progress on the cardigan, looks more like a vest, still need to finish the left side, the sleeves, and the big deep cowl collar.    This was taken after I finished the right side.  To quote Flounder from Animal House "This is going to be great."  I can already tell it is is going to be a warm comfy sweater.


"The Curiosity"
by Stephen Kiernan

Status:  Finished

I love this story.  A great mix of sci fi and ethics and human behavior.  The characters are wonderful, and by that I mean you have a very visceral reaction to each and everyone of them, I love it when an author can write a character so well you can see them in your head.  Not all the characters are lovable, some are down right despicable. 

"Alexander Hamilton"
by Ron Chernow

Status:  Started

Guess it's time to learn something?  The book has gotten great reviews from friends and I enjoy Chernow's writing. 

by Charles Bukowski

Status:  Started

Mind candy, for sure.


A pretty good week. 

Beth, in awe of how things evolve. 

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Can versus Allow - the lessons my immunocompromised body teach me

October 15, 2018 - October 21, 2018

Monday (5) - Not quite as peppy as Friday, an excellent run.  A little bit of rain in the beginning.  Felt good to run around the UCONN Avery Point campus.  Guess I accomplished my goal of 5 mile runs far earlier than I expected.  I'll stick with the 3:30 of running for another week and then up that to 4:00.  Underneath it, all my knees are still my knees and I need to be kind to them.

For Dave and Jax
Tuesday (4.1) - Walk at lunch, the air was cool and crisp and the sun was bright, all that felt super nice.  I didn't feel so conspicuous walking for the first time in a while.   Dave took Jax to the beach, they seem to have resolved their differences.  Jax decided to crawl up on my chair with me so he could have some attention.  He is a goofball and definitely perks up with the cool and dry weather.


Wednesday (5.7)  -  The fire is on, Jax was happy to curl up in Gus' bed and enjoy soaking up the heat.  Funny for a dog who hates the heat he LOVES the fire.   Not a flattering picture of him, but I don't think he cares.

Happy for a fire.

Hills with Ro was fun, especially fun to be able to almost talk in complete sentences while power walking UP the hills!

Thursday (3.7) - Not a running day but I didn't have enough layers to only walk.   I ran a bit to warm up it felt good to be outside and in the fresh air and sunshine. My hands froze and it was only mid 40's. I should know better.  They burned when they warmed up, it's only October!!


Friday (3.1) - Hike with Jax.  I knew I wasn't going to be able to run with schedule conflicts.  While this bummed me out not to get in a second 5-mile run. I'm happy I got in one good one!

Burlingame North

My perspective has changed so much over the years.  I was thinking about that when Jax and I were in the woods.  I'm still uber bummed he isn't the great conversationalist of Giz and Gus, they seemed to enjoy my stream of consciousness jibber jabbering and would come to check in with me from time to time or at least look interested. Jax is visibly annoyed with my stream of consciousness jibber jabbering, and don't pull out the phone to take a picture or OMG talk on it if Dave calls.  So I have to think about these things and not vocalize them.  Oh well...  Guess that is what this is for, except I'm not in the woods having all these brilliant thoughts I'm in the house not having brilliant thoughts and can't remember what I was thinking about in the woods.  Jax is snoring on the couch, of course, he is.

Saturday (7.7 & 2.8) - The day started kind of depressing, a second pot of coffee depressing.  By the time it brewed the sun came out!  Yeah!   I went for a gravel/trail ride in Arcadia.  I really didn't have a plan, I knew some of the roads and knew the GPS was easily accessible so I figured I'd see where my wheels took me.  Trail riding requires thought, you can't just pedal you have to think about what to do next.  It is a great way to get out of my own head, even on the 'easy' gravel stuff.  After a few miles of  'easy' getting on to the single track was less scary.  I need to warm up, I guess.  It was nice to be completely absorbed in the trail and where to steer and what to aim for, versus what to avoid.  I go where I look so looking at trouble, guess what gets me into trouble!  It was fun to do one of the more difficult trails without Dave telling me what to look out for.  I'd get myself in a jam and then get myself out of it.  Really it was nice to be outside, in the fresh air and sunshine and pedal.

Barney on the trail in Arcadia.

Jax and I went to Riverwood, the Boy Scouts were there doing some camp maintenance, I had to direct Jax away from that and on to the trails.  He did perk up when we were heading back towards the camp and he knew there were people there when we left.  He got out for an hour and got some exercise, and some new smells and some exploring.  It really is weird having just one and I'm still not used to how independent he is, I probably never will get used to that.  But when he needs someone to do something for him he for sure lets one of us know.

Very serious.
Spud in the background.

Sunday (6) -  I decided to tackle Green Fall Pond again, this time from the pond and not the Narragansett Trail (the one where we needed to cross a stream).  This worked out well just going around the pond, lots of rocks and roots and fun things for Jax to explore.  We did have to cross a bridge, not something Jax enjoys, they really freak him out.  The oddest things freak him out as well, like the cement cylinder in the trail.  He wasn't so sure about that.  I coaxed him over the bridge and didn't have to carry him, phew. 

The scary bridge.

That was less than 2 miles, so I thought we'd explore Carter Preserve.  I've ridden by it on my bike a number of times and didn't know a thing about it so it would be new to both of us.  I figured like most of the Nature Conservancy preserves it would be small so I didn't really study the trail map or look at distances.   Whoops!  We logged over 4 miles in there.  Easy trails but still after scrambling over rocks for two miles at Green Fall Pond Jax was going to be tired, mission accomplished!

What is that thing in the trail? -- Jax


All in all not as exciting a week as last week.  I'm still fretting over the scale and my puffy face, but I'll take feeling better over a couple extra lbs.

Funny how two weeks ago I finally came to terms with my health and fitness and the next week WAZOWIEEEE steroids changed everything.  I wonder, if I had known the impact would I have asked for them for the Mount Washington Century?  I feel like I could conquer it now...    Guess this is a good barometer for what I CAN do versus what my body will ALLOW me to do.   I'm feeling a lot less like a failure and a disappointment this week, and I believe that will continue because I have learned some very valuable lessons.  As GH says "Should make you appreciate how tough you've been when not feeling well!" 


It isn't easy to take a picture of cables...  The color is a dark plum.

It is an interesting twist cable pattern.  Really hard to capture.

This is the back and the sides knit as one piece.  On either side above the ribbing are the pocket holes.


by Min Jin Lee

Status:  Finished

Historical fiction about a Korean girl coming of age, getting married and living in Japan, facing the discrimination of not being Japanese.

"The Curiosity"
by Stephan P. Kiernan

Status:  In progress

I downloaded this as an available now.  Little bit "Time Travelers Wife" little bit science fiction.  Told from several points of view about the reanimation of a man frozen in an iceberg.  I'm rather enjoying this one!

"The Witches of New York"
by Ami McKay

Status: In Progress

Interesting, unfortunately, it amplifies my everyday frustrations dealing with misogynists.  Intelligent perceptive women are not witches nor are they evil.  We really haven't moved forward as a society in so many ways.

Beth, who really can call herself one tough bitch.