Monday, August 22, 2016

Weekly Recap: 8/15/2016 - 8/21/2016 + Rhode Warrior recap

There is always something nice about a week that starts with a fresh pair of contacts and payday!!!  With electronic everything the thrill of payday is kind of lost, however the fresh pair of contacts thrill is alive and well!!

Monday (0/5.6/0) - Took a walk at lunch, it is still miserably humid.  Maybe I'm glad I'm 'on the shelf' at least I'm not miserable running?  Gus wasn't much into a walk either, 9 and this humidity is taking it's toll on his energy level.  The boys ran pretty hard on Sunday night and I think he wasn't completely ready for a walk, should have taken Jax...  oh I didn't just say that...

Tuesday (3/3.1/0) - Runish at lunch, run for 40 seconds walk for a minute repeat 10 times!  Felt fine, I feel the hip, but I think that is more a factor of the weak muscles and the non use and I am hyper aware of it.   Last Dog Watch fun run, well walk for me, I walked with Pam and Anita, it was nice to get to know them a bit more on our two lap trot around the borough.

Wednesday (0/0/13) - PT in the morning, I'm not released yet. I'm actually kind of ok with this slow progression back to full time running.    Rode my bike to the Westerly fun run, I was volunteering for taking times, it was less stressful as it was my third time doing this and the kids must have recognized me as "that lady that makes us spell our name and still spells it wrong when we watch her write it down".  I got a new blinkey light for my bike it is supposed to be noticeable from the sides, it is brighter than my old light so I'm good with that.  I do need to put on my front white blinkey light.  At least the mini van moms and big truck dads can see me better to aim at me?  Ha Ha...

Thursday (0/6.2/0) - PT + 25 min of water jogging/aqua running, it's feeling much less odd now.  Coming to terms with still being in PT, all in all I feel better and I can stand on one let to put my pants on AND it doesn't hurt to get in and out of the car, definitely progress in the correct direction.  Walked at lunch and took Gus out after dinner.  Still a bit too humid for him to go 3+ miles, he was dragging at the end.

Friday (2.5/1/0) - 6 200's!  I ran them probably harder than Joe would have liked.  It was fun and nice and made me happy, I did walk the 200 back to the start, a nice l o n g recovery before I ran again.  It would be nice to start back at this running thing with a bit peppier pace...   however I'm not supposed to treat these as speedwork, but there is something about being on the track that kinda clicks in my brain.  As the day progressed my hip got achier and achier. Shit...



Saturday (0/2/0) - Took Jax out in the a.m.  I think he thinks we are going to do something fun and he gets all excited, then we go for a walk and he gets bored.  It is still a little too humid for the smush nosed boxer boyz but they manage.  It was pretty clear I needed to slow down on Friday, my hip hurt and nothing seemed to quell the ache, I was a bit nervous for the bike race the next morning...

Sunday (0/1/54.5) -  Rhode Warrior 1/2 Iron Triathlon, talk to me about actually racing and working hard on the bike during my climb up Rte 49 / Pendelton Hill and I'd tell you to "bite me" which is what I told myself on most of the uphills.  I longed for a century ride, there is nothing like the relaxed century ride, ride 20ish miles, take a break, get off the bike, stretch, have a bite to eat, chit chat, and get back on, repeat till you've ridden 100ish miles.  I pushed for 95% of the bike ride, there were points I totally slacked.  The effort I did put in when I put it in showed in the number of PRs on Strava segments for me, and in my overall time.

Our team Big Shorts to Fill, a stupid name, we renamed ourselves Team Freckles, because, guess what, we all have them and the Irish/Scandinavian roots to go along with the freckles and the red hair!

Me, Tanya, Steve

Most of the time on the bike I felt like I wanted to vomit, that sucked...  When I got off the bike Tanya got me some water, watermelon, and salty chips, that HELPED immensely, then we cheered on the runners, our runner, he rocked, and talked nutrition.  She is doing her 4th 1/2 Ironman in Austria next weekend.  And for this one she got a coach and has learned so much, I am grateful for what she shared.  I remember my cousin giving me some SCaps for my last 9 miles of my 50K and that making a HUGE difference, in a very rough race for me.  I think a bit of proper pre-planning and during race nutrition would have helped immensely.  I'm very pleased with my results, not so much with my attitude towards myself during the race.  Maybe a coach is a good thing, she was as skeptical as I am, however talking through what she has learned and how he has helped has really opened my eyes to this being helpful and real, not a, umm, I don't know the right word at the moment, frivolous, unnecessary...

As of Monday afternoon, after three showers I still have the "R" on my right calf.  The markings on my arm are gone.  I'm wonder if people wonder:
  1. Did she escape from the hospital before surgery on her right leg? 
  2. Does she not know which is her right leg?
  3. fill in the blank...

Weekly Mileage:

Feet:  24.2  Total - 1,157.0 against a straight line target of 1,289.3
Saddle: 67.2  Total - 1,135.1 against a straight line target of 1,289.3

Probably both are out of reach, but who knows.  It doesn't hurt to keep track and I'm not going to beat myself about the head and neck with the results.  Minimally it would be nice to top my 2015 totals of
feet: 1,679  saddle:  1,568

Sincerely,
Beth, who thinks sitting on ice is awesome for bruised and sore bum bones.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Weekly Recap: 8/8/16 - 8/15/16

Feeling  a little bit lost with nothing looming in the future...



Monday (0/0/0)  -  I had a few meetings first thing in the a.m. then went to PT and then the grocery store.  Anyone who things going during the day during the week is easier, they are insane.  It was horribler than the horrible experience of the weekend, maybe because people were non-destination orientated?  I rarely go to the store hungry, I went in for eggs, milk, 1/2 and 1/2, and OJ, came out with that plus deli meat, bread, cheese, enough ingredients for 4 spinach quiche, a couple large potatoes, and surprisingly only one tub containing 2 dozen cookies.

Dave mentioned the cookies seemed a bit light when I got home.  Well, I was 'attacked' in the parking lot by 3 small children with glasses of milk chanting "Cookies"  "Cookies"  much like the paperboy Better Off Dead "I want my two dollars".  I HAD to open the cookies and give each of them 2.



Yeah he didn't buy it either...

After all that trauma, I went to the Y to do some aqua jogging figuring the warm water would feel good.  Of course my inability to understand the scheduled showed through as I attempted to get into the pool during "MA'AM THESE ARE PRIVATE SWIM LESSONS YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED IN THE POOL"  whoopsie, ok, gotcha... sheesh no need to be surly...   much to their dismay grabbed a water belt and went to the cold pool, sheesh...  relax people, relax.  Have you never encountered an idiot?  We are everywhere!!!  ;)

This was all followed by a superb 2 hour power nap.  Drool included.  The rest of the night was spent cooking only two quiche and polishing off a bottle of the most amazing beer.

Tuesday (0/0/0) - Back to work and into training to sit all. fing. day.  I was going stir crazy.  I needed to move my legs were stiff and swollen and sitting, no matter how much shifting and sitting cross legged, was uncomfortable.   I sucked it up and suffered through.  They had cookies and brownies... so it was OK.



Massage at night, it was painful, and necessary (the massage and the pain to work out a large percentage of the bound up muscle), I'll be back in a few weeks to get the rest of the kinks out.  I am very remiss with massage and I pay for it when I do get them because they are painful, two days after I'm glad I did it.  Mid yearish resolution, make an appointment once a month and just freaking do it.

Wednesday (0/2.2/0) -  More training.  OMG who was the moron who thought THAT was a good idea....  oh yeah, me...  whoopsie...  Sitting made me cranky, and it kind of showed...   besides table top exercises with report outs are stupid, who's with me on that?  



I am so not ready to get on the bike again, even though I have a new pair of bike shorts.  I'll wait till Fri, if not Saturday when I'll take Faith to a bike path for an uber easy ride.  A friend reminded me of the bruises I had on my rear after the Mt. Washington century and wondered if I had the same, um no. Not that I noticed,  I had TOTALLY forgotten about those, thanks a lot for the reminder... file that in things I'd like to forget and a century I WILL ride again, it was amazing.

Took Gus for a humid walk, it's like walking through water.  The humidity is tough on me with no exertion, I can't even fathom how I used to even attempt to run in this shit...

Thursday (0/2.8/0) -   Aqua Jogging + core work in the pool in the a.m.  Next week will be my last week, I'm kinda sad and I'm kinda glad.  As I started on my usual list of exercises, waiting for the session to begin, I wondered if I should really be here.  Got to step up the tempo on some of the core work in the pool and that was fun.  For those who think it's a vacation, try it, the water creates tension and then the water is, you guessed it, fluid, so when you move one way that's the way the water goes, well you have to move another way and have to fight that current you've created. Then there is the buoyancy factor to contend with for some of the exercises, while it's great the water lifts up the leg, you really have to work to bring it back down. It is a brilliant way of recovery therapy and strength therapy. 

Armed with my 'routine' I'll be able to keep this as part of my regular exercise schedule.

Debated going for a bike ride, the weather was iffy and well, why push it.  

Jax deserted me for the evening and went up to the bedroom to, as I later found out, chew on a roll of toilet paper, Dave will have fun cleaning that up!  Gus was dancing around for a walk, so we went on one.  He nearly melted.




Friday (0/0/0) - I haven't been as focused on work as I should be, so I did that today...  Dave took me for my Birthday Ice Cream at Buttonwood Farms, and I'll take him for his when we get around to it.  Yeah so my birthday was like 3 months ago, Birthday Ice Cream is Birthday Ice Cream and on these horridly humid days, it is welcome!!


He took the dogs to the field to run and I stayed home and cleaned my bike.  Gak it was a disaster, between the icky Gatorade (ugh I hate that stuff, it is necessary, but it kills my stomach for days afterwards - 2017 remember some Scratch or Heed or Edurolytes.  At least replenish the salt and not have the weeks worth of icky stomach afterwards.  Love sugar, prefer it in cookie form.


Both the boys were sacked after dinner.  

Saturday (1.3/0/0) -  I am so over this heat and humidity, bring back the snow.  I'm miserable.  


This was the big day, my first RUN.  Well more of a "run", 4 laps (I did 5) jog the straights walk the curves at the Stonington track as they have a turf field. (And they REALLY need to replace their American Flag, it is in atrocious shape)  In retrospect I think Joe meant for me to run on the field not the track, feh...  Felt freaking fantastic and horrible all at the same time.  My first opportunity to sleep past 7 a.m. in WEEKS so I did that which put me out on the track after 9 a.m.  Slight breeze was OKish...  All in all it felt good, a bit of discomfort in the hip when I pushed the pace, when I backed down (staying just below 10) it felt better so that's good.  I'm pleased and I get to do it again on Tuesday!






I couldn't even fathom going out in the humidity.  Gus was disappointed he didn't get a walk, he'll live.

Sunday (0/3/15) - Took the bike out to Narragansett to cheer on the crazies running in this weather at the Bobby Doyle Summer Classic 5 miler.  It was hard to breath walking.  Cheered from the start but every one was all glommed up and the only people I could pick out were the Walkers.  Went to a different spot, where everyone had been running about a mile, probably not even that, and the front runners were DRENCHED.  Ugh.  Spotted many folks I knew, cheered when I could get my act together.  The owner of the driveway suggested I get out of the way as they were leaving, I said, maybe the wanted to wait a few minutes there were quite a few runners coming down the road.    Don't people pay attention when the race officials let the people know there will be a race in their neighborhood and their road maybe congested for a 30 minute period on a particular day?  This unfortunately put me in a bush behind a telephone pole with not a lot of opportunity to move (and stay in the shade) once the runners started coming!

Decided I wanted to take advantage of lovely flat Narragansett and go out to the Lighthouse.  Got to stalk a few runners, so that was fun!  The closer to the ocean it was a bit cooler, all relative when you are dealing with soup for air.  Negotiated with myself to go out on the bike path for a bit.  I lost AC won.  

Mileage:

Feet:  9.3  1,211.6 against a straight-line target of 1,250.8, the ~120 is probably recoverable at this point, but who knows.

Saddle:  15 1,068.2 against a straight-line target of 1,250.8,  ~200 is recoverable however not sustainable, and I kinda knew that going into the year.  But hey, I have quite a few months left to bike!

All in all I am still feeling a little lost a week out from the PMC, pretty typical.  I think not having any century rides planned or race commitments adds a little bit to the uncertainty.    I checked into a few centuries, the timing didn't work out, so I'll be tackling the 87 mile Hilly Ride again the weekend after the Rhode Warrior (Aug 27 or 28, which ever looks to be the better weather day) and digging through maps to find a century I can self support and not completely lose my mind doing for September and October.  

Running will pick up in September, I'm really scared of the pain coming back, it was awful for a long time.  I'll take it slow and see where I land as the local races start coming up closer on the calendar.  I do have the RnR 10K Nov 13th in Las Vegas with some work colleagues.  Can't stay that I'm looking forward to running in the desert. 



Sincerely,
Beth, on to the next adventure!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Pan Mass Challenge 2016 -->> 192 Straight Outta Sturbridge

I didn't get the t-shirt because it was black, but I liked the theme!!


192 Straight Outta Sturbridge.

Friday I decided to use the navigation system in Eddie, my new ride, mistake.  Waze is so much better, the BIB* sent me up I 395 and over on the Mass Pike.  Where I sat, on the Mass Pike.  I should have asked Trusty Thomas my Waze guide to get me there with none of THAT Mass Pike nonsense.  I have to have a little chat with the BIB and see what I can do about changing her voice and ability to plan routes ala Trusty Thomas.




*BIB - Bitch in the Box  (I learned this term on the Bourbon Chase relay in 2013, it is uber appropriate because >>>  the female navigation voice sounds, to me, like she's in an utter panic the driver is going to pull a Thelma and Louise and go straight over the cliff into Dead Horse Point (Moab UT) and kill us all.  Nails on chalkboard to me, I can't imagine what she sounds like to guys, thankfully some navigation systems let you change the voice.)

I managed to get a spot on site at the Sturbridge Host Hotel where we'd roll out at 5:30 a.m. on Saturday.  This was good, because I'd have close access to my vehicle and would not have to schlep everything all at once and I could get my bearings before fully embarking on this adventure. My mother and father said I was slow to fully walk on my own, I was always an inch away from a wall or a table, walking but not quite confident enough to go through the middle of the room until I fully explored the boundaries.  Funny how we really don't change much as adults.  So parents, tell your kids how they were in the times before they remember, it may help them ease gracefully into adulthood!!

The Pan Mass Challenge is a 36 year old well oiled machine.  The volunteers are amazing, more amazing than the riders, IMHO.  They ensure we get checked in, fed, off on time to start our ride, fed along the ride, attended to medically, our bikes attended to as needed, and at our destination safely to be fed again and attended to as needed.  Anytime I've asked a question they've had an answer, either they know or they know who to ask.  Truly amazing.  To seamlessly and effortlessly shuffle around 6,300 bikers (and we all know bikers can be self important asshats) on 14 different rides covering one million miles, during the span of 48 hours.  Remarkable, truly.

All of this will raise $46,000,000 for cancer research at Dana Farber.  Forty-Six Million dollars, I can't even wrap my mind around how much money that is and what a difference it will make in people's lives, in the lives of my family and my friends.

Friday - Check in was well coordinated - find the first letter of your last name and stand in that line.  This always makes me uneasy.  My last name starts with an L, not an S.  I have a hyphenated name and the state of RI won't hyphenate the name on the drivers licence so this gets me directed to the S not the L line.  The volunteers, they get that we aren't completely stupid and know our last name, instead of sending we hyphenated folks to our spouses last name, oh the horror, they note the actual first name and find our packet, asking shoe size to get the socks that match the jersey.  I get the socks for my husband, he likes the PMC socks, I'm not a fan. Jersey, Socks, Water Bottle, Tags for luggage and Bike all in a nice carrier bag for groceries.  Instructions to put the bag for the jersey on the top of the luggage before we zip it up in case both of the luggage tags get ripped off they can open the bag and find out where it is supposed to go.  Brilliant.  I need to remember this for packages I mail and bags I send on airplanes.

Racked my bike in the sea of bikes, rack #26!




Wandered around the exhibit got a temp tattoo for my calf.  Managed to not buy anything!





Lesson learned:  I really should have never changed my name.
But Lazor-Smith is so freaking cool...
After 16 years I should know what to expect...

They fed us well and Harpoon was there with beer.  192 is my new favorite.  192 for the number of miles in the traditional route.  It's a lovely red ale, perfect for this stout and porter gal.  I had three and plenty of protein, chicken, roasted pig, eggs soaked in pickle juice.  I'm a protein hoarder not a carb hoarder.  The week up to an event I love a lot of protein, helps me get through and recover.  EVERYONE is different, do what works for you, totally not advocating one method over another. 



The Sturbridge LUNGStrong starters don't have the benefit of Diane to arrange all the accommodations!!  I ended up on an air mattress in a conference room with 10 other women.  Actually wasn't that bad after they got the lights turned off after 10 p.m. We had a 4 a.m. wake up.  Ear plugs and a face mask are on the packing list for next year.   I may opt for the conference room next year depending on how much the hotel option is.  $60 bucks and I got what I paid for in all aspects!

I met up with Steve at the start,  he and his girlfriend were smart and booked ahead, and also planned a week on The Cape for after the ride, wicked smart!!






The sea of riders at the start.  Most wear the event jersey the first day.  We break the rules and wear our LUNGStrong Jersey from the last yeas so we can be found by one of the 67 other team mates!!




We rolled off just a little after 5:30 with U.S. 20 to ourselves.  The coordination with the local police and the state police is amazing, when Billy Starr can get roads blocked he does, and for as long as he can, other wise we have the  benefit of orange cones and occasionally a motorcycle cop escort.  Truly amazing, and a gift for any cyclist.  A gift that should not be squandered by bad bicyclist behavior.

The first 20 miles were tough for me, I forgot my inhaler and the humidity was daunting.  I urged Steve on and to not wait for me as it was going to take awhile for me to get in my grove, the youngster pedaled off happy to not be saddled with the geezer, I'm sure.. ha ha ha.  he's a great guy and we both trained alone, that makes it hard to ride with someone you only ride with once a year!!

After the first rest stop, 25 miles, Whittinsville, I felt much better.  I also recognized the terrain from the Friendship Valley Tour Dave and I did for the organization Alternatives Inc, Dave's father is very involved with this organization, and it was a nice 30 mile loop you could do once or twice, once was enough, the roads were in pretty bad shape!

The next stop, Franklin, was surprisingly close at nearly mile 43.  I grabbed some fruit and got a picture!




Then lunch, someone mentioned the hill before lunch was a bitch.  Oh goodie (no seriously) it was a GREAT HILL, a sneaky one, you go up and then you think you are at the top and pedal for maybe a 1/10th of a mile and there is more up hill!  Wooo hoo.  Mile 70 was lunch and where we met up with the Wellesley start riders on our team.  Most of the Sturbridge starters were ahead of me by about 10 minutes, no worries, it was nice to see everyone I had started with the last two years!!

Then it was on to Lakeville to see the Pedal Partners, and meet mile 85 of my journey.  Here they have Del's Lemonade in both lemon and watermelon.  I had one of each, that sugar got me to the final rest stop.

I know it seems silly to stop at mile 100 of a 109 journey, but a top off on water was really necessary, I went through a bottle and a 1/2 in those last 9 miles of my journey to Bourne!!

When we got to Bourne it was like being greeted as royalty with people cheering.  If you've NEVER been a spectator at any sort of athletic event, it is so helpful and energizing to the folks participating.  Do it, really just go out there and cheer for people you don't know and may never meet, I love that aspect of athletics as much as I love participating.



I took a dip in the ocean, to calm down my aching legs, they enjoyed the cool water.  Got a nice cold shower, into clean clothes and off for meat and beer!

Make some dedications about why we PMC


"My Mom!  LungStrong!"


"Ride to the Roar"  (for Lisa!!)


We had our team photo and our living proof team members photo.


LUNGStrong - 68 strong!!


Living Proof - our living with cancer riders!!


And then bed.  My first year a friend said pack a fan and an extension cord if you are staying in the dorms, it is stuff and the moving air will help you sleep.  He was so right.  I had my trusty small fan and my extension cord, it blew on my feet till the 4 a.m. wake up call when a roomie pulled all the plugs to encourage us to get up.  I waited till the three of them were done and two were out before I got up, no point in tripping over people to start Day 2....

They have these amazing egg and sausage sandwiches, I had two and 1/4 of a cantaloupe, and a carton of chocolate milk, the coffee line was far to long and I was ready to get rolling.

I was rolling about 5:00 and up and over the Bourne Bridge and on to the Cape Cod Canal Path....


Sun coming up over the Sagamore Bridge Cape Cod Canal Bike Path


The amazing sun in the open harbor - Cape Cod Canal Bike Path

The first stop was 24 miles at Barnstable, I got coffee and chatted with Steve and his father John and we all remarked at how great awful coffee tastes when you REALLY need coffee!!!  Grabbed a muffin for some sugar and I was off.

We were back on the bike path and then once we get off the bike path we get treated to a long climb to a sneaky climb (my favorite) and are treated with a few miles of rollers.  This is one of my favorite parts of Day 2.  I learned how to conquer rollers my first time out, it was amazing, plus you had MILES to practice and get the rhythm down to not lose speed on the way up and gain more on the way down.   These start with one of those climbs I love, just when you think you are done the road turns and there is more!  I loved passing people up hill, I really do like climbing, such a conquest!

Caught up with the team at this point and enjoyed the company for a few miles.

Mile 40 we were in Brewster and the ICE COUCH!  OMG, nothing feels better than sitting on a bag of ice.  Horked down a few fluffer nutter sandwiches, got some ice in my bottles.  Totally lost track of every one and hightailed it to the last rest stop in Wellfleet, figuring they all left without me, and it was so much fun riding with people.  And I'm totally NOT a people person!!!

I never did catch up, which means they all left after me... :(

In Wellfleet, after climbing the hill to the rest stop, I fed my face more, I was really craving sugar and salt and knew I didn't consume enough water.  I took the time to find some shade, drink and eat salt and sugar, yummo.  The LUNGStrong folks trickled in so I hung out till they were ready to roll so we could all roll into the finish together.

Guess I was the one who ditched them in Brewster... 

Ran into a few of the people I met along my wanderings in Bourne, people look so different in bike helmets!

It was a nice break and so welcome after all the miles, I only had 25 to go and would be with my group, I could do this!!



We rolled on into P-Town on US 6.  Quite impressive to see 25ish riders all in the same jersey!

And we rolled to the finish, with seemingly millions of people cheering us!  So happy to be done!


Dave and Diane Legg - His 8th her 5th PMC
I will eventually get a picture of him helping her up one last hill with his hand on her back pushing
Stage IV Lung Cancer has nothing compared to this woman's zest for life!!


The team who rolled in together - some just wanted to be done and went for it.
I can TOTALLY understand.
After two solo finishes I wanted a group finish. 




Iced my aching knees and caught up on Facebook and WWF!!  My hip wasn't talking to me so I let it suffer till my knees felt better than gave it both packs!




Showers / Food / Beer and on the ferry back home to be greeted by some humpback whales swimming along and then a fire boat in the Boston Harbor.


They were spraying and jumping - hard to capture on film, it was really cool!!


Andrew would have LOVED seeing this!
Bus to Sturbridge to collect Ruby, and put my well earned 192 magnet on Eddie and head home!




On Monday I cracked open the Allagash Leslie O'Dell gave me a bazillion months ago at the Brrrlingame race - my reward for being so understanding and concerned about her stalker - HI Michael.



It was a good weekend.  Can't wait for next year!

Sincerely,
Beth, energized, exhausted, and enthused.

If you were inspired and are able to donate:  My donation page: HERE 

If you were inspired and think I'm totally crazy the comment section is below!!