Thursday, June 22, 2017

Mt Washington for the third time! There is magic in that mountain!

Mount Washtington Road Race 2017

The big day, Saturday the 17th of June 2017, the weather wasn't as chilly as we expected, I still packed extra layers and wore a long sleeve and a short sleeve figuring once I broke the tree line the wind would be there and I would need sleeves, the last two times this has been the case.

Nothing was usual about this race.  

Power hike pace started early and wasn't disappointed I did this, I got passed by people, I passed people, the crowd thinned.  I did notice that people with other people had more energy.  Seems about right.  

Interestingly, I was back and forth with #37 Ron Johnston a superior runner to me in all aspects.....  not exactly sure why he was in my pace group, but he crossed the finish (2:31) turned around and walked back down this hill.  Probably some super runner training program! 

After breaking the tree line and the cold wind (or any for that matter) wasn't there it was clear this was going to be a death march.... 

I looked longingly at all the snow still in the ravines in the distance.

To relieve the pain that started in my hip at mile 3 I did a lot of marching backward and then forward to take the pressure off my right hip, that did seem to do the trick!

Taking off my long sleeved shirt at the beginning of the dirt section (mile 5 when it was clear there would be no cooling breeze) resulted in me managing to lose the only pair of sunglasses I have ever liked.  I never did feel much cooler.

Finally hearing the car horns in the distance helped to make me not want to hurl myself off the side of the mountain.

My A goal was to break 2:30 (19:44 or less pace).  My B goal was a 20 minute pace, this would get me about 2:32 I was 20:08 and 2:33.  

Full results here

Mark, Jason, Me, Peter, Ro (in front)
Peter placed first in his Age Group!

I think the best part of the wall was seeing Leslie, stopping to talk, she suggested I may want to finish the race first.  All I had to navigate was the wall, and I was NOT looking forward to that climb.  That's probably the minute I lost, ha ha ha!!

Just after, Steve got some great photos and said he drank all my beer.  I said he was a dead man.  The spectators laughed.  That energized me, only enough to miserably soldier at a 21% grade to the finish. 

I am a class act!
Photo by Steve

Ro cheered me on.  

Photo by Ro before the race, I can't find the one she took I must have really looked bad!!

Mark was there and behind him was Mindy who I was so hoping to meet in person.  Got a little more lively and I was mere steps from the finish line.  (Ro in the background)

Photo by Mark Gravell
My Maternal Grandfather always said do something interesting for the camera.

I couldn't even muster up the energy to RUN across the finish line.  I crossed, grabbed the blanket they were trying to put around me, I totally did not need a blanket, and someone put a medal around my neck.  

Photo by Mindy Randall
Bloated and ready to collapse 

All in all a fun race.  

By the time I got back to the car, saw the illustrious Scott Mason, and chatted a bit with Rachel I was clearly not in a good place and needed to barf, but there was nothing to barf.  I got some Gatorade from teammate Peter and that helped a bit, sat in the car fidgeted a lot and managed to feel less like I was going to die or have the dry heaves.

Finally, we got moving, on the ride down we clicked off the 5,000 ft mark and traffic stopped....  I got out as I was surely going to barf now.  I felt much better. At 4,000 feet  I was hungry,  at 3,000 feet I was hoping Steve really didn't drink all my beer.  

OMG I have no idea what was the problem, the heat, the dehydration the lack of replenishing with salt tabs (I seriously need to remember this from the ultra, that got me through the last 9 miles)... dunno, but it was awful and very upsetting.  Really more upsetting than anything.

We had a turkey dinner from Hart's and socialized until we got kicked out, it was the mini convention, they were going to the top to watch the sunset.

This was really a watershed experience for me, all my self-doubt (ok not ALL but a lot) seemed to vanish as the seconds and minutes and hours passed after I crossed the finish line.  

I can't be exactly sure what rejuvenated my spirit, something certainly did.  From the point of vomiting forward, I've been exceptionally upbeat and disgustingly perky.  

There is magic in that mountain!

Video of the race and the winners, they actually RAN !!!  Mount Washington Video 2017


Beth, hoping whatever valley she's been lolling about in for far too long is solidly in the past. 

Oh yeah, and 6/17/17 was my and the Imaginary Husbands 17th wedding anniversary.  There has been nothing conventional about our relationship from the moment we met in 1997; it seemed fitting I was barfing my guts out at about the time we exchanged wedding vows 17 years earlier, ha ha!!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Weekly Recap: 6/12/2017 - 6/18/2017

Hopefully most of you followed the stream of consciousness of my blog last week, that happens when so much awesome stuff happens in a short period of time and I don’t make the time to do a proper reflection.

Monday the heatwave was due to start, anything over 70F is a heatwave to me so I spend most of June – August pretty miserable, less miserable if the humidity is lower, miserable none the less, sometimes a little heat rage rears its ugly head and I have to remind myself it’s not about me and move through it.  Ro and I had plans to walk before she taught spin class.  And when Ro and I walk it isn’t a casual lollygagging stroll, it’s a 14 minute pace, a power walk.  Slowing things down can be good in the long run for endurance and I can’t talk and run so well and we have a lot to talk about so we power walk.   I figured I could get my run in after and have a 10K at the end of the day.

I felt pretty warmed up (ha ha) by the time the run started.  It actually went pretty well, I was shocked.  I didn’t feel like cutting it short or walking.  Hmmmmm

Gus went to the Vet and get some dental work done.  Poor guy was born with a bad set of teeth and gums, so the last 4 may or may not have to come out.  In the pre-sedation check, the Vet discovered an irregular heartbeat, a normal thing in Boxers.  It’s not a surprise, it isn’t happy news, it is something we can manage through medication.  She will do some further testing on him to see what is going on inside that big old boxer boy chest of his.

This was our first outing to the beach, he looks so young!!

I took him on a short walk in the heat, yeah, a dog with a ‘heart condition’ he wanted to go.  This is what we do after dog dinner and people dinner; we go for a walk, so we did.

Tuesday is not a running day and it was hotter, I was glad to be in the icy gym for a circuit class, push-ups, weighted squats, burpees, shoulder press, mountain climbers, bicep curls, and triceps timed 3 minutes with a partner, 10 reps of each then your partner goes and you rest, when a minute left to go reduce to 5 reps of each.  It was fun, I got in an extra 5 reps on each, my partner seemed to think that was pretty ok.  I don’t know why it worked out that way, it just did.  Planked, and got a somewhat healthy lunch…

Dave was gone when I got home from work so I went for a bike ride down by the ocean.  That was nice and cool and there was surprisingly little traffic out.  That added more joy into my ride!

A nice icy shower with all the ceiling and box fans going made everything much better until the Imaginary Husband came home and turned off all the fans, “they make me have a sore throat”.  Um AC does that to me…. So I guess we sit and sweat.   Wahhh wahhhh wahhhh.  See, heat rage… it’s a thing.  And yeah, I'm not an easy person to be around ALL the time.

This is how it feels to me above 70....

Wednesday, while a running day was also a NY day, I got on the train with plenty of time to be in NYC before the meeting I was guiding someone through and wouldn’t you know, 90-minute delay because of a suspicious bag hanging off the 138th Street Bridge in the Bronx.  Good grief…  Of course, we need to be careful and everything has to be inspected and properly disposed of.  I was on one of the old train cars, no electrical outlets.  Thankfully I had fully charged my work and my personal phones.  Work was crazy with trying to figure out who was where and where our presenters in NYC or en-route…  I was very thankful that everyone on the train remained calm, this really impressed me.  For certain there was nothing anyone could do when the conductor announced we were stopped for an indefinite amount of time.  People busied themselves with their devices and making other arrangements for whatever needed to be done first thing in the morning.  Truly impressive, I was honestly concerned what could happen with a mass of people in a confined railroad car, I may have regained just a smidgen of hope for society.

Gus got a short walk, he is allowed those, after a discussion on what a short walk meant we decided a mile was short considering he usually does 3.  He has a mass on his heart and went on Thursday for a series of tests to see what they can discover.

I know Thursday isn't a running day, but I didn't run or do much on Wednesday, I ran at lunch, the weather was perfect, I think even my heat and humidity loving friends would agree, no?  Boy oh boy, that felt good, perfect temperature, breeze, humidity.  I should have done a long run!  Didn't have enough time, I was meeting with the current boss, the hopeful future boss, and future teammate, I needed to be timely!

Gus had quite the day, his abdominal ultrasound was 'unremarkable' this translates to if the mass on his heart is a hemangiosarcoma it has not metastasized into his abdominal cavity.  Good news.   He was fitted with a Holter monitor and I picked him up after work and he was glad to see one of his hoomans.  Not so much for the car ride home, though...  For 24 hours we note what he is up to and the techs that read the results from his 24-hour monitor can identify what is going on with his heart.

The leads disconnected and we reconnected the monitor wasn't one had to fix that.  We will see what sort of data this gives the vet....

I had put on new tires on Ruby and was eager to test them out.  We went on a quick 7-mile spin on Friday morning, and while I really wanted to get in a real ride (20 miles) there wasn't really time for that, I should have made the time, I did not.

I left for New Hampshire a little later than I wanted to, but it ended up being fine.  I made it to the hotel to meet up with everyone on time.  Got our bibs, went to dinner, and to sleep to be picked up at 6:30 a.m.  It was nice to take Friday off, and not have to mess around with work.  Nothing much has been going on lately.

Saturday was Mount Washington, I'm going to give that its own post.  It was a watershed race for me, as I'm coming to realize.

Drove home on Sunday met by two lonely dogs, got Gus out for a short stroll and called the week.


Feet:  23
Saddle: 27

It was a very low mileage week, between travel and the race I didn't get much time in the saddle or on my feet.  I'm good with that.


I am loving "America's First Daughter"  Martha 'Patsy' Jefferson Randolph was a force to be reckoned with!  The book is about Thomas Jefferson in parts, Martha mostly, and of course Sally Hemmings.  It is a romanticized version of history, I'm not fooled, however, I am really appreciating the writing and the narration of Patsy's life as the First Daughter.  Jefferson may have written all men are created equal, he didn't live that sentiment.  Like him or not, he was a founding father.

This is a long one so I'm not sure when I'll be done or what is up next.  I'm thinking Ulysses.  I've never been able to get through that one.  Maybe now is the right time.  I like Joyce's writing.


I wove in the ends on the sweater and haven't started anything or frogged anything.  I need to have a think about this and perhaps finish up some UFOs (UnFinished Objects) sew buttons on baby sweaters, block scarves, that sort of thing...

Definitely, need to find homes for a backlog of baby sweaters.


Beth, a very impactful week, even with the light mileage!

Monday, June 12, 2017

Weekly Recap: 6/5/2017 - 6/11/2017

One of my NY colleagues is in for the week, YEAH!  She and I share a Midwest background, a good sense of humor, and a love for physical activity.  When Tanya said she was driving in from her home in NY I asked if she was perhaps going to put her bike in her SUV?  She said she was definitely considering it would I like to show her around!  OH YES!!

Managed to not wear myself out over the weekend or I got enough rest, snagged all three points (Jupiter, Avery, and Eastern) and the Strava 10K badge on Monday's lunch run.

When Tanya and I started talking about riding on Monday night the weather was beyond iffy, fortunately, the weather gods smiled on us and we had a two-hour block with no rain, no sun either, but no rain.  I toured her around the beachy cute parts of where I live and we jibber jabbered about everything!   Getting back to the Ocean House where she is staying I had to laugh when the guys wanted to take my bike too.  Nope!  How else was I going to get home?  

That is a pretty swanky place and we agreed to meet up on Thursday after she gets all of the leadership team on their planes, trains, automobiles, and helicopters to go home.  We were talking about what we thought of when we thought of New England and we agreed Avondale was one of the things we thought of but I wanted to also show her Stonington Borough so that will be our next bike ride.  And it is fully approved by her coach.  She is an ironWOman athlete and is competing in Lake Placid in September.  All this coach stuff befuddles me as I wander aimlessly between running and biking.  I’ve given up on trying to become a swimmer and not a non-drowner, or actually being competitive against anyone but myself, and even that is iffy.

Click Monday's ride with Tanya and it will give you the birds eye view of our ride!

A good portion of the leadership team was going to be on-site on Tuesday and it was really great to have the ride with Tanya on Monday so skipping Tuesday strength class wouldn't be a huge deal.   It was your basic "shake and howdy" between the NYC and the CT folks, share a few presentations, some laughs, and food.  Extended tour through our open space, with apparently me leading.  I was not planning on that.  Our General Counsel wanted to know what I thought of the open space, frankly, I love it.  I enjoy the interaction with people all day long, and I am pretty much NOT a people person.  Why would I enjoy that, you ask?  It keeps me engaged in what I am working on in some odd way and energized to do my best.  There is some psychological mumbo jumbo my Imaginary Husband could explain to me and the rest of you, but my eyes glaze over..... blah blah blah...

I'm honestly pretty happy with how the event went, and feel ok with patting myself on the back.  And those who know me well know this is NOT a skill in my wheelhouse.

Totally not within the dress code!!

Got Gus out for a solo walk, I was very happy for the quiet time.  It's tough being an extroverted introvert!

And really, for those who watch Gotham, how many time can Fish Mooney die???  It's getting a little ridiculous.

Back to hills with Ro on Wednesday, we were going to do School St. hill repeats, we didn't.  Honestly, neither of us are trained for the one hill but we will manage, it was nice to catch up with my friend who has been off on an epic retirement trip.  More are planned for the future, and while I'll miss the stability in my routine I'm every so happy to live vicariously through her and her boyfriend as they LIVE the next chapter of their lives, POST retirement!

Both Boyz got a walk and well, Jax had had a hike and the two additional miles weren't so good for his ACL.  We may be looking at surgery...  crap...

Will this week ever end?  I had no idea what day it was or what was in store on my calendar when I walked into work on Thursday.  I did know that I had the afternoon blocked off to take another bike ride with Tanya.  Of course, it was a morning of meetings starting bright and early and I couldn't make the long walk to the cafe for the good (and cheap coffee).

Fun Circuit class 15, 12, 10, 8. 6 reps of Squat Thrusts, Weighted Squats, Bicep curls, Tricep, Weighted Lunges, Chest Press, One Arm Row and for each weight series 2, 2:30, 3, 3:30, 4 minutes of cardio. The look on Mikey's face when he saw me on the treadmill was priceless.  I do NOT do satan's conveyor belt.  I encouraged him to get back to class versus winging core/strength/HIIT, plus it's nice to be able to do more push-ups than he can do.  Which, for the record is one, barely!

I'm keeping up with a minimum of 3 minutes of planking.  I rotate through 1 front, 1 right side, 1 left side.  My left side is still building up the strength to a full minute, I do have to rotate off the left shoulder at increasing intervals and making it up after I get off the right shoulder.  It still is a bit weak from the crash in January.

Click Birds eye view of my ride with Tanya to see our ride.  I'm really loving this Relive stuff!

Friday is always hit and miss.  After a frustrating few hours at work, I took off to clear my head and to go for a run.  I got in 7 miles.  Not too shabby.  The weather was perfect.  I saw Mikey out all alone, he looked so sad.

The run got my attitude adjusted and I managed to stay collected for the balance of the day.  Got Jax and Gus out for a walk and Gus sniffed out $10!  Good boy!

Programmed in the route for the 54-mile endurance ride with the triathletes.

Up and at 'em on Saturday, packed up the bike and all the necessary stuff, helmet, gloves, two water bottles, shoes, Garmin.  We had a few minutes to kill while we waited for the second George to show up so George, Cord, Jake, and Joy took the opportunity to bust my chops about my granny gears.  Ha ha ha.  It set the tone nicely, I guess...  I don't have a tri bike like them.

Once George got there and all set up, they busted his chops for a while and I huffed and puffed up the first hill damning myself for forgetting my inhaler.  I really got nervous that this was going to be the ride where I bailed.  George Ross was really good about insisting this was no drop and about endurance and he picked a challenging course and we all get out of the ride what we want or we'd go on our own.  OK....

This did give me the opportunity to ride on a road I have so wanted to ride but have been nervous about the hills.  They were amazing!  I managed to not lag too far behind AND stay out of my granny gear (I got a 'good girl' from Cord, awwww).

At about mile 20 I heard this amazing blast, like a cannon shot.  It was MY back tire.  Shit.  I do carry a spare tube.  Everyone was more than willing to take care of me, ok.  Then I brought out my hand pump.  The chop busting started again (and not for the last time).  We got it pumped up and I was just certain it wasn't quite right....

So when we stopped about 5 miles later at Ekonk Turkey Farm (hoping they'd open early for ice cream for us, nope) I put some more air in my tire.  And BOOM PSSSS.  Son. Of. A. Bitch.  George looked at me and said, "Not hard enough for you Beth?"  So he busted my chops as he changed the tube and assured me that it was my obsessiveness with numbers causing the problem and showed me how to use a CO2 cartridge while they all busted my chops about my pump.  Sheesh.....  And then when we left I forgot my helmet.  It's not like I didn't bring this all on myself....

I lagged behind for a bit, a little out of nervousness I really made an ass out of myself, and I was really hoping for some ice cream....  pout pout pout.

We regrouped a couple times and stopped for hydration at a store at mile 35, only 20 to go!  I tried, again, to beg off, and no one was hearing any of it.

We all finished up with a small detour cutting off 4 miles due to road construction.

Click here to see The group ride - no sound effects from two blown tubes fly over!

The debate weighed heavily on me to run the Back Road Ramble on Sunday morning.  Did I really want to ensure getting an ill-fitting hat for completing the required races in the series?  Did I really want to run in what was turning out to be a hot day?  Anything over 70 makes me miserable.

I plotted out a short bike ride to the race start, packed up my running clothes and trail shoes and pedaled off.  On the ride over I said, "Self if you are there by 10 you run."  I think I actually managed to go even slower than possible on the minimal hills out to Camp Watchaug, a mere 12 miles away.  I got there and was invigorated by the cool breeze by the pond and enjoyed catching up with Jon, Jonny, Seth, and Mike G.  

Everyone was off for the start of the race and I ventured out of the Camp and made it barely 1/2 mile until BOOM ANOTHER flat tube.  You have got to be kidding me with this.  The MS ride was today and there was a SAG wagon that stopped to assist me.  I said I'm not with the MS crew and they weren't obliged to help me.  They did.  And I got a few more tips, mostly that my tires are very thin too flexible if I don't need tire irons to put them back on.  Yeah, I'm getting that drift.  Got another recommendation for Continentals

Got new tubes and the guys at the bike shop suggested I check my rim strip/ rim tape.  Will do when I get my new tires!  Love all the advice, much appreciated.  The Imaginary Husband added his two cents.  I had a lot of data points to make my decision!  


As predicted way back in January when I started this sweater I'd finish it up just as the hot weather hit!  The knitting is done, the end weaving, washing, blocking, and button sewing are up next.

Pictures follow, the merino and microfiber blend will definitely bloom and be more smooth and the sweater more structured after I wash and block it.  Seriously pleased with this sweater, even as it is a bit misshapen with yarn ends flapping in the breeze.  (Pictures by the Imaginary Husband)

Not sure what is next on the knitting docket, I have a pair of socks I started in Hatteras and got pretty far along when I finally realized I had two different sized needles, so I need to frog them (rip them out, rip it rip it, ha? ha? knitting humor) anyhoodles I need to TINK (knit backwards?) ok so my knitting humor is getting a little lost on the non-knitters.... sorry...


Finished:  “Crazy Rich: Power, Scandal, and Tragedy Inside the Johnson & Johnson Dynasty” by Jerry Oppenheimer

Oh boy! If you want a book about the insane antics and lives of the insanely rich, this is a good one to pick up. I don't know when the mental instability started in the Johnson family, however as the generations progressed it definitely reared its ugly head. An entire huge family, inclusive of exes living off a ginormous trust fund from Band Aids.... There are some very sad parts in the book, quite a few Johnson heirs dying tragically at young ages. It's a Page 6 / Tabloid shocker for sure. Do you learn anything? Not much, just shake your head in amazement, all that money, all that power, all that insanity.

Started:  “America’s First Daughter”  Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie

The reviews are mixed of this historical saga, should be interesting to see how it plays out for me.  I am imagining I will enjoy the liberties taken by the authors (or is it authoresses), a true facts and figures historian, based on the reviews, may not be so enthralled.


Feet:  32
Saddle: 125

All in all a pretty good week.  I was happy to get out on the bike 4 times and toughen up the bum, it worked!  I was pretty spent by Sunday and didn't manage a dog walk due partly to the heat and partly to the Imaginary Husband and I going to the movies to see "Some Like It Hot" re-released from 1969 it's a partnership with TMC and Fathom Events, Big Screen Classics.  Next month is Fast Times at Ridgemont High.  "All I need are some tasty waves, a cool buzz, and I'm fine."


Beth, trying to quietly and miserably wait out the next three months like many people miserably waited out the three months of winter.