Monday, October 29, 2012

Marathon Recap - Quick Post

I don't know where to start....

Saturday a.m. Hubb dumped me off at the train station for my trip to DC.  The train was on time and the next 6.5 hours were mine to nap, read, hydrate, Facebook, WWF, listen to a book.  I listened to a book and started a second. That was good to calm my nerves.  Nerves for a lot of reasons:
  • would the train get in on time (2:30ish) so I could get to the expo and pick up my bib
  • would my back seize up during the race
  • am I hydrated enough
  • why the hell did I buy trail mix with raisins, didn't a friend tell me to not poop my pants at the finish
  • oh crap I have no idea how to get to the hotel (I did get THAT figured out) DC has a wonderful Metro system
  • have I gotten enough sleep
  • and so on...
Eventually I just settled into watching the scenery go by and listening to my book.  The train ride was nice, I really enjoyed it. Much much nicer than the commuter rail in to NYC on a weekly basis.



I did get to the expo in time to pick up my bib!  Thanks random guy for taking my picture!!


Had a lovely dinner with Team Lung Love, Julia made a wonderful video of the runners and who we run for.  We all told our stories of how we are connected to Lung Cancer and why we run.  It was wonderful.

I slept fitfully.  Glad I had slept well in the previous week. 

It was chilly, I had a rain poncho and a long sleeved t-shirt to pitch once the race started. There were a few sprinkles, no real rain. PSHEW!!  Hurricane Sandy was delayed in making landfall and the only thing we felt were the winds.

Race gun was 7:55. We were in 'Runner's Village' with enough time for a team mate to meet up with her running club and use the porta potty and get to our starting corral.  We lined up in the 5 hour corral with the 30,000 other runners I didn't need the long sleeves or the rain poncho to keep in the body warmth, pitched those.  There were prayers and God Bless America and a fly over by the Osprey (I hope I get that right - stuck in the hotel for the foreseeable future and have limited access to the Internet to blog and fact check)
The race was awesome.  I've been having problems with my SI Joint all week, and it was tight when I started and it hurt for the first 4 miles.  Eventually I managed to let go of the tension and worry and get into stride.  That was key, just letting it go and running. I trained for this, I wanted this, I was going to do this.  I was even enjoying running WITH people around.  I had no idea how inspiring it could be or how helpful.  My pace stayed pretty steady!  Once I stopped thinking about my back and worrying I'd wake up paralyzed the next morning all was good.  I thought about what the Lung Cancer patient goes through, the chemo, the radiation, the surgery, and how painful that was and it wasn't TEMPORARY, my pain was TEMPORARY.

I don't even know what to say about running 26.2 miles around our nations capital.  Awe inspiring?  A cloudy, 60 degree day are actually perfect running conditions. 

I crossed the timing mat listening to "Open Road" by The Gibson Brothers.  Marc MacGlasshan plays the hell out of that Smith Creek Mandolin and I just love listening to Leigh and Eric too!  It took nearly 20 minutes to cross the timing start mat from the 7:55 gun time.  The music kept me going.  A little George Thorogood reminded me of my work peep and made me smile.  Some Sargent Vines cadences kept me in line.  Songs that remind me of friends and songs friends recommended came on at THE right time.  I finished to Flo-Rida "Wild One" too perfect.

There were points I thought, what are YOU doing Beth, WHAT ARE YOU DOING?  and I would dig into the tips and tricks to get through it, and just get through it!  I thought about who I am running for.  Held my hand over my mother's picture for strength.  Touched the names on the back of my shirt for strength. I run for Lung Cancer, To End The Stigma. 

At mile 23 Team Lung Love was there cheering us on.  I felt like a million bucks and had 3 miles to go.  I wanted it to end but didn't want it to end.  I mean a freaking Marathon, I was running and about to finish a Marathon!!!  Julia snapped a pic...  A friend said "Look at that shit eating smile."  Love it!!


At about mile 24 there were Dunkin Donuts munchkins.  I've never had a better munchkin!!

I finished 5:09:55 with a smile on my face and nearly in tears, I DID IT!  I wanted to be sub 5. Then I thought about it.  A year ago my longest race was 4 miles, and that was November 13, 2011... so yeah, I'm pretty proud of what I have accomplished in less than a year!!!

After the race I re-hydrated and ate and laughed with three new friends!


Sincerely,
Beth, the marathon runner, OMG

PS  I slept well, and feel great the day after.  Wonder what tomorrow will bring? Stuck in DC, till Wed...

Friday, October 26, 2012

Race Schedule

So I need to pick my next challenge.  Marine Corps Marathon is this weekend, Sunday, first marathon in a hurricane, I don't do anything simply do I?

My next races

November 11th Pell Newport Bridge Run (4 miles)
November 22nd Ann Arbor Turkey Trot (3.1 miles)
December 16th Old Mountain Trail Race (3.1 miles)  (first in a series of 5)

Think I may start training for Tough Mudders/Spartans or Ultras... hmmmm

For now


Suggest some races, please!!

Sincerely,
Beth, who's ready to run!!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

No point to this post

SI Joint (sacroiliac joint) is my latest glitch.  A few stretches from Amy "the goddess" Massage Therapist and a couple others from You Tube plus icing and I am back to 90%.  Should be 100% tomorrow.  OH yeah, and some Ibuprophen, shhhh don't tell my Brother In Law.  All is fine, and I cannot wait to run on Sunday!!  Even with the pending hurricane!

Friday is a workday, I am sure I won't be as focused as I should be... a co-worker's son is hosting a 'spooky trail' on Friday night and Dad is hosting an adult beverage around the bonfire.  Should be a nice night, one drink and that is is for me, and then off to bed.  I've been relegated to the guest bedroom to be sure I actually get sleep and don't have to struggle to move around sharing a bed with a person and four dogs. Hubb insisted.  OK, sure.  Last night was heaven.  Back in my bachelorette bed, so soft and comfy, no wonder why our guests never want to leave!??!

Sincerely
Beth, who felt the need to post only to post the 26.2 Miles what could possibly go wrong?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Four Days!

Is the Marine Corps Marathon really only four days away?   My shirt is done, my dress picked out for the dinner the night before, my back is tight ricking frickin fracking, my PF is non-existent, still noodling over what to pack to wear over or under my jersey for the a.m. of the race, all that is left is packing and double checking on train tickets and credentials before boarding the train to DC on Saturday morning.


Not perfect, however way better than past years jerseys with my atrocious handwriting.

My back - holy crap it is tight and tweeked.  Way better than yesterday so I think by Saturday I'll be in fine shape.  I may not get to run prior to leaving for DC, and that has me a little spooked.  But hey, my legs will be good and rested, right?

I've been drinking a cup of water an hour (well not when I'm sleeping) as prescribed by my veteran marathon running BIL.  Eating more carbs in the form of whole grains than I've eaten in months.  Think my glycogen stores will be all set.  I exist on vegetables  fruit, chicken, and cottage cheese.  Oh yeah, and Jack too....  can't forget about my man!!

Sincerely,
Beth, who isn't quite in full raging PMS (Pre Marathon Syndrome) but on the edge


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Traveling Tuesday?

Monday -
Snuck in a run on Monday.  Why is it I always feel better after the run?  I should really get my lazy ass up at 5 a.m. and go run before work, I'm so much more productive and with it after my a.m. run...  yeah, right, not gonna happen.  I like to run in the light.

3.7 miles, much of it into the wind, it was wonderful.  I felt a little freer and looser after Amy worked her magic on me.  Amazing, truly amazing.  I will never understand the people who run on the dreadmill...  really?  As I was getting back a couple guys were leaving, I wished them well, as I always do and said it was brilliant outside.  I should get used to the "she has three heads" look on their faces.  What is it with people out here or is it just the people who work where I work?  Whatever.

TRX was a full class and everyone was either tired or hungover so we were full of piss and vinegar, made for a fun class!

Tuesday -
NY was off the schedule for today.  I need to keep rested up for Marine Corps Marathon on Sunday. So today was a rest day and basically crazy with meetings / deadlines / appointments.  Vanity got the best of me and I scheduled a hair appointment,  I was scheduled to go the Tuesday I got back.  Hey, I'm meeting new people, I don't need to be all gray and shaggy, right?  Yeah yeah I'll be in a running skirt and race singlet for the most of it, but there is dinner the night before.

I had an eye appointment at the end of the day.  I get to keep my eyes, she did say she could make my distance vision better but I'd be in readers all the time, rather than in low light or when my eyes are tired.  I'll pass.  I can always turn around if I miss a street sign!  She did spot me a few extra right contact lenses so I'll have an even set.  Doc says, "You are a righty, rightys loose the left lens."  I replied "Remember I live in the old Conway house, I'm not normal."  We laugh.  Fun having an Eye Doc who grew up one street away from where you currently live.

My back started spasming in the morning.  I have a bestie with all sorts of back problems and I once asked her what a spasm felt like.  I am glad I did because I now know perhaps 1/10th of the pain she felt day after day for years on end.  I texted her when the pain got to the point it hurt to breathe.  She gave me some words of wisdom:  "Heat, light stretch, then ice." I told her that worked well and she quickly texted back "I forgot the most important part, Jack on ice in a glass".  LOVE her!

7 years ago Hubb and I started on a big remodel upgrade project, kitchen and bathroom.  All this was prompted by an incorrectly placed piece of flashing causing a leak.  In any event, all the plaster and lathing came out of the ancient bathroom and kitchen and they became new upgraded rooms.  During the tile work in the bathroom Hubb managed to get enough of the grout down the drain to clog it up.  He said, "Don't use the tub." So for the last 6 years there has been this deep soaking tub going unused because he said he needed to unclog it.  Nagging doesn't work, never has. For some unknown reason he decided to take a look at the tub drain and get it working.  The now ancient and dried grout and hair were easily removed and now the tub works.  My spasming back had a nice soak in some hot epsom salts and a nice bag of peas to ice it afterwards.  Wonder if I can get him to hang the mirror in the bathroom?  Yeah, don't push my luck.

I should be in fine shape to run tomorrow.  Quick chair massage with Amy and maybe she can get the rest of the spasm out of my back and I can put in another 3 or 4 miles.  I can only run 7 between Wed and Thur.  Wondering if I should even do that, but it feels so good, it is hard to resist the call of the endorphins.

Monday Run Stats:

Summary


Elevation Pace.  WHAT happened at mile #2?


Splits - Consistentish

Route

Sincerely
Beth, craving endorphins and a limber back










Sunday, October 21, 2012

OUCH!

Today was my last long run before the marathon.  In one week from now I will have run my first marathon.  I am so excited, I'm not really that apprehensive.  I've trained for this.  I set out a decent training plan and mostly followed it.  As of today I've logged running nearly 350 miles and at a 10 min mile pace that is nearly 60 hours of running.  This does not include my walking or any other cross training.  Is this enough?  To finish respectably, yes.

Training Plan with Notes
The changes I have felt and witnessed in my own body and mind have been amazing on this soon to be 18 week journey culminating in me finishing my first marathon.  Truly a challenge I am thrilled to have taken on and hunger for the next one.  Any suggestions on my next marathon? next challenge? next race?

My pace was slow today, I was feeling a little, honestly, hung over.  Even the pic Hubb snapped of me in my "Never mess with a woman who runs 26.2 miles for fun" tech shirt showed me to be a little "delicate" as one of my British friends calls it.  Although my shirt is really a mauve not a purple so maybe it was the lighting?

Hubb "Should you really be wearing that shirt yet?"

I ran my usual long run route.  Said HI to the ladies stoop sitting sipping coffee and smoking their cigarettes.  The little old man was shuffling across the street to pick up his Sunday paper, no dog, I wonder if the dog just wasn't into going out on this crisp fall a.m. or if he expired.  Kinda the same old same old, not a lot to report on.  One other runner, lots of cars, no bikes.

When I trained for the Providence 1/2 marathon I ran in May, I would post my route as a rorschach test, while not an inkblot sometimes it made interesting figures and people enjoyed pitching in guesses.  My purpose was to talk about Lung Cancer and who I had dedicated my loop in the park to.  I still do that loop and still think about and meditate on someone I know with or has passed from lung cancer or someone who has a loved one with or has passed from lung cancer.  I dedicated this loop to the last name I've added to my list, a new friend had an Uncle who passed from Lung Cancer, quite quickly after diagnosis.  This disease touches so many people in so many ways.

See anything? The loop in the park is just to the left of the green bubble.

This afternoon my massage therapist friend came over to the house to work on me, mostly my legs.  She arrived at 3 to the chaos that is our house with four dogs barking and jumping all over the place.  She is not unaccustomed to dogs and took it all in stride.  The fearsome foursome also joined us for my torture, er massage, session.  There were a couple of screams and yelps that upset the dogs a bit.  These were prompted by Amy releasing my bound together IT band and hamstring.  I was ordered to sit on ice as soon as she left.  GLADLY, that HURT and I could feel the pressure release.   What surprised me most was the fact my toes stopped cramping up.  Holy cow, she worked all that bound up fascia up and down my legs and hips from the PF and the compensation my muscles made as I was recovering from the PF.  Who would have thunk this was the reason my toes were cramping and flipping me off!!

Amy mentioned she reviewed my PF treatment plan with the trainer for the CT Sun Women's Basketball team.  She is their massage therapist.  I run in some pretty impressive circles, eh?  She said the trainer wished his athletes were so diligent with recovery from injury.  If only he could get the women to follow the plans he laid out for them they would see results and here is this pure ammature plugging along and seeing actual results.  I felt pretty smug, wouldn't you?

The dogs did their best to keep an eye on Amy and also win her over with their charms.  Love them!

I've been frothing at the the mouth to run Bluff Point, I think I mentioned it rained all day Friday.  I did take my eldest dog out there.  I've never taken anyone out there, it has always been my place.  Half way through the trail it dawned on me this has always been just my place.  I was happy to share it with Gizmo.  He loved the one one one time although was getting pretty tired by the end of the trail.  We saw some beautiful sights and he seemed to sniff some interesting smells.  Slowly the sun came out making it an even better trip.   I did want to splash through the mud and puddles.  I tried to remain dignified, it was difficult.

View of the swamp just before the first uphill.

View of the LI Sound, sailboat in the distance.

The last downhill
There were a few runners on the trail.  I was so jealous. After the marathon you can trail run again, don't risk injury, don't risk injury!!!

On the last downhill from all the rain the trail was pretty beaten up.  I caught the glimpse of a runner behind me, bright green shirt, nice!  Making sure she can be seen!  Two thumbs up.  I maneuvered Gizmo to the more rutty part of the trail, giving her the best part of the trail for THE best part of the trail.  She passed, we exchanged hellos and thank you's.  I said "This is the best part of the trail, isn't it?" She said "Yes, down hill and near the end."  then we both heard it, CRACK, the tell tale sound of a dead tree falling in the woods. The at least 5 inch in diameter dead tree, fell, she instinctively put her hands over her head, the tree, missing her head by inches, caught her left foot.  She fell.  I rushed up "Are you OK?"  She got up, stopped her GPS, looked around, disgusted at the forming scrape on her left shin, and answered "Yes, I think I am fine.  Do you have a cell phone?"  She was going to call her husband.  They were staying at the Marriott and he ran part of the trail with her and was going back to the hotel.  No luck getting ahold of her hubb.  We walked out to the parking lot.  Chatting about running.  She was one week out from the New Orleans Half Marathon and was wondering if what felt like a broken toe or two were going to cause her to not PR that race.  I told her was training for my first marathon and while wanted to run the trail, didn't for fear of injury.  She said "Totally hear you there."  Ooops sometimes I need to think before I speak!!

When we got near the trailhead, we were about 0.2 miles from the end, there was her husband.  He saw her with me and another woman and our dogs and the blood running down her left leg and said "Oh honey what happened?"  She had kept it together very well until then but really wanted to break down "I nearly got killed by a tree falling." I could hear her voice crack.  He comforted her and eventually realized they had RUN to Bluff Point and shouted, "Hey, can you give us a ride?"  Of course, no problem.  Loaded them and Gizmo up into the car and we chatted about running and injuries and that she would just tape up the toes and run next weekend.  Atta girl, don't let this near death experience get you down.

Her husband asked if she was planning on wearing heels to the wedding they were attending.  Really?

I never asked their names, I do have their phone numbers from her trying to get ahold of him.  Maybe I'll text them and see how she is doing.  Guess I could ask if she wore the flip flops or the heels?

This is why I don't run without my phone.  I had a nasty tumble on the Vin Gormley trail that shook me up bad enough to keep it with me.  Not that anyone would have been able to find me, but at least I could try!!??!

Stats:


Slow but steady

Sincerely,
Beth fully in taper mode

Friday, October 19, 2012

Journey

"We are on a journey to become who we already are." -- Rolf Gates

Friday is yoga day, and after having run on Mon, Wed, and Thur I really need to take this resting the legs business seriously.   It rained most of the night and the day well all I could think about was the muddy fun I could have on the trail.  My inner 12 year old boy has to stay under wraps until after the Marine Corps Marathon, I can't risk injuring myself.  I did my best to contain myself and focus on yoga as my reward at the end of the day.




We had a full class and one rooster, so all the hens behaved themselves.  Friday night is a detox class to get rid of the toxins from the week and start the weekend off fresh.  I felt pretty peppy and happy walking into class, as evidenced by my returned cheshire cat grin and sparkly eyes.  Practice was wonderful, the room was a bit warm, not hot, just warmer than we have been used to.  The community center must have turned on the heat!  Of course as soon as they do that the outside temp creeps up, go figure.  Nice to work up a bit of a sweat seeing as running wasn't on the agenda for today.

Heidi ended class with a poem from Danna Faulds, I think it was "No Limits".  It was about not being any limits to love.  I need to pick up some of her books.  This is the second poem of hers which really spoke to me.  I wasn't able to find it on the internet, darn.

I did find this poem from Danna Faulds, it spoke to me in a similar way.


Limitless

Sun says, "Be your own
illumination." Wren says,
"Sing your heart out,
all day long." Stream says,
"Do not stop for any 
obstacle." Oak says,
"When the wind blows,
bend easily, and trust
your roots to hold."
Stars say, "What you see
is one small slice of a
single galaxy.
Remember that vastness
cannot be grasped by mind."
Ant says, "Small does not
mean powerless." Silence
says nothing. In the quiet,
everything comes clear.
I say, "Limitless." I say,
Yes."

Yoga practice is precious to me. Being in this being for that space of time, seeing what it's limits are for that space of time, being in that moment, being me.  Running is the same for me, it is my time with this being, no one's expectations to live up to.  I go into practice or a run and I come out just a little bit closer to who I am, on this journey of life.

Sincerely,
Beth, feeling very centered and happy

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Tongue-Tied Thursday?

Don't have much to say today....

Trying to figure out the expression:

Determination
Aversion
?

Care to pitch in a thought?


I did a 41 minute 4.3 mile run at work today.  It felt great!  I wanted to run longer.  Sunday I get to run 8 and then seriously have to taper and let my legs rest for the big show on October 28th, Marine Corps Marathon!!!

Sincerely,
Beth, feeling bashful

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Cupcake Classic

I love all the women with running pages on Facebook.  So many interesting stories and people.  Mostly running moms.  I'm not mom, I am a woman and they seem to accept me sans children.   I’m not sure when or how I stumbled upon Run with Jess, I clicked "like" and haven't regretted it.  My parents met in Peoria, IL so double positive karma, running and Peoria!  When I saw her virtual Cupcake Classic 5K I had to sign up.  What could be better run a 5K and eat a cupcake?  Then I saw the shirt!  I finally have something to wear with my black plaid running skirt!  Black isn't a color I gravitate towards, bright colors catch my eye.  Not even really sure why I bought that skirt to begin with, finally have an appropriate top!

Today was my chair massage, it has been weeks since Amy and I could hook up to work out the kinks and break up the fascia in my upper back.  The tightness down my spine had gotten to the point it was affecting my jaw.  Yes, I could have gone someplace and gotten full sports massage.  Frankly I’d rather Amy’s pointy elbows up and down my back.  Finding a massage therapist is like finding a yoga instructor, you just have to click.  Amy has been working on me for nearly 4 years?  I remember walking into her ‘office’ with my head cocked to a side, explaining what was wrong.  She said "Oh sweetie you're a wreck"  sliding into the chair and she continued “Do you want to feel better or do you want to be fixed?” I said “Fix me”  she touched my back and said “Yep, this is solid cement” cleared her throat and said “OK hang on this is going to hurt and you must ice your back.”  H.O.L.Y. C.O.W. it hurt.  I could, after the 15 minutes she worked on me, move my head!  Slowly it got better and better and better to the point where a year later Amy says “Look at this Beth, you can touch your hands together behind your back.”  Wow…    As I've noted before with commitment you see results.  I have seen results with regular massage therapy on my back, my carpel tunnel is gone, my tennis elbow is gone, I can turn my head, I can nearly get my hands in prayer position behind my back.  This all roots down to 1) posture 2) muscle memory and 3) Amy's magic pointy elbows.

Noting I had a 2 hour block of uncommitted time, I grabbed my running gear and headed to the gym to meet up with Amy and then go run.  She wants to throttle me when I do this but it is the only way I can fit it all in.  My day starts heating up in the afternoon and while I arrive early and get MY to do list done, others to do lists filter in after 11 a.m.  But enough about that, again not why you tune in.  Amy got me limbered up and said “ICE, Beth, ICE.” 

Checking the weather it was just under 60 degrees, perfect for long sleeves, Cupcake Classic time!  I know, I know you don't wear the shirt for the race, I broke the rule, I'll pay the fine.   But hey looks cute, right?  And I totally figured out how to flip the image to make the lettering not backwards, pat on the back (gently please it is a little sore).


Cheesey smile

Since I've managed to find a perfect 5K route at work I ran the same route I've run a few other times.  Focusing on speed consistency and pushing off with my mid foot rather than pulling myself forward with my heel strikes.  I think I'm getting it, yeah!  There are some rolling hills on this about mid way through, and most days I have to dodge golf carts, fortunately I haven't had to dodge any golf balls, I imagine they would win!  The leaves are looking so beautiful.  I love fall.

When I got back to the gym, I met up with the two walkers I walked out of the gate with.  They remarked on what a cute shirt and how bright red my thighs were.  I didn't think it was that cold outside and besides my belly also gets red when I run and that is not exposed to the elements so who knows.   We had a nice chat about why we run, one of the walkers runs for beer the other one doesn't run.  I’m not a big beer girl, I like whiskey.  She said, you don't find a lot of women runners who drink whiskey, I said IKR?  We got back to the topic at hand:  Running and Cupcakes!!!  I kept thinking how good a cupcake would taste and hoped there would be one in the cafeteria.

No cupcakes in the café, bummer....

On the drive home I stopped with the intention of picking up two cupcakes, well they only had one so Hubb is getting some torte thing.

Stats:  (kinda been there done that with this route)

Summary,  Deffo did not burn a cupcake worth of calories


Getting consistent with the splits!
Sincerely,
Beth, enjoying a chocolate peanut butter cupcake!  MMMMmmm

Monday, October 15, 2012

Scolding

My BIL called last night and after talking to his brother for a while wanted to chat with me.  Sure, love chatting with my favorite BIL.  Oh boy he was NOT pleased with my race yesterday.  To run hard three weeks out from a marathon, what kockamamey plan was I following.  I assured him I had two 20 mile runs under my belt and all was ok and it wasn't until I was 10 miles into the race I realized I really could PR this one.  So we spent the rest of the conversation discussing marathon prep, hydration, nutrition, porta potties, and what was the next goal, maybe I needed to set my sights on a Tri.  Hubb rolled his eyes and demanded I remind my BIL about more important things, like some TV show or something. *rolls eyes*

Tonight at dinner Hubb decided to probe into what BIL and I discussed, he picks up on the porta pottie part of the discussion. "Hon, really, you don't want to know and you KNOW I'll tell you so, please, change the subject."  He decided to ask my thought on if Cancer is always present in the body, he must have wanted me to do all the talking or he would have picked a different subject.



BIL suggested I take it easy on my legs and shorter slower runs.  I listened, surprised?  Did my work 5K route at a 10:30 pace.  When I got back to my desk Jackass said, "That is slow." I may up the mileage, who knows.  What I did remember to do today was stretch post run.  OMG, so much better.  I think I finally have all the kinks worked out of my hips, but who knows.

Monday is also TRX.  The two quiet ones again tonight!  Felt good to work the muscles.

Sincerely,
Beth, in taper mode, day 1....

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Commitment = Improvement?

Once upon a time, in my teenage years, my father sat me down to have a little talk with me about commitment and finishing things. Starting something with the intention not to commit to finishing it was something that rubbed my father the wrong way.  I can understand that, mostly.  I am quite certain there was another message in there, or maybe that wasn't the message, in any event I walked away with "Start as you mean to go on." rattling around in my head for over 30 years.  Gosh, I'm old.

At the end of the Newport 1/2 Marathon:

Medals, hey I earned them!
When I ran the Providence 1/2 marathon in May I was satisfied with having bested my last 1/2 marathon time by over 1 hour (finish time 2:17). Training and focus pays off!  While training for the Providence 1/2 marathon I craved a bigger goal, a marathon.  Part of training for a marathon is getting in long runs.  I thought it would be appropriate to find one or more races a month corresponding with my mileage.  Somehow, and I'm not sure how it transpired, I happened upon the Jamestown, RI half marathon in July and that worked with my mileage charts.  What I also noticed was it was part of the "United Healthcare Triple Crown"  I have wanted to do another race series, I enjoyed Off Rhode Racing's 4th Season Trail races immensely.  Digging into the website a little more I discovered I had already run leg 1 in May, in Providence, this was leg 2 and leg 3 was Newport in October.  Well there is a fine how do you do!  These miles work in with my long runs and are part of a series.  I signed up.

Sweet, eh?  

I reported on Jamestown back in July.  It was a good race.  I didn't run it as fast as I had wanted to (2:21), but hey you'll have that.  I've logged two 20 mile runs under my shoes and the Newport 1/2 worked out perfect for my taper period.  Woot!  Saturday there was a special pasta dinner for the 245 of us who participated in all three races, I totally spaced on it and didn't go.  Oh yeah, I never did report back on the calming the overactive mind session I attended on Saturday, another time, I'll recap.  In any event, I went into Newport Sat afternoon to pick up my bib and the goodie bag. Holy cow, it was down at the yachting center, so no parking.  Had I actually been thinking in a focused manner, I would have parked at that first lot and walked the 1/2 mile down to the yachting center and not drove around like the unfocused space case I've become.  To say it was chaotic in Newport would be kind.  Who knew Newport is still hopping in October, plus there was a seafood festival.  Grrrr...  Wonder why packet pick up wasn't at the hotel as it has been for other races... well not my decision to make, right.  Oh and my bib number wasn't there, someone else had 3346... oh well...  I know I've picked up the wrong bib prior so what goes around comes around.  As long as the chip worked, I'm good!


Bummer not a logoed bib.

With the chaos of picking up the race bib ringing in my head I did focus on get up early enough to leave the house by 6:30 a.m. which WOULD get me to the parking area and shuttle busses by 7:15, PLENTY OF TIME.  Well, not so much.  Getting to the parking area took an extra 30 minutes.

Traffic everywhere, the theme for the day, apparently.

I managed to get through the porta potty line and on a bus before 8.  The whole time I'm wondering, if  the bib mix up and the excessively long time to get to the parking area could this be some sort of a bad omen?  One of my fellow Team Lung Love runners is sidelined due to an injury from coaching his kids soccer game.  I want to run MCM!!!  Back to the "Start as you mean to go on."  I kept on keeping on.  I have to get in at least a 12 mile run, and 13.1 was the race length, perfect, no?  After getting dropped off and figuring out where the chute was and being thankful I was NOT in the porta potty lines at the race start, I was in the chute, re-tying my shoes when I noticed everyone was moving. (we've been discussing the lack of focus and scatter brain, right?)  Oh crap, the gun went off.  Oh well, they are walking the start is pretty far away, I need to tie up my shoes and get my Garmin started.  The race is chip timed so it only matters when I cross the mat.

It sprinkles a little at the starting line, feh, whatever, the weather was kind of up in the air anyhow.

Warmer than I expected, but WINDY, so glad I wore long sleeves.

Last night Hubb asked how many people were running the race, I think it was close to 3,000 or maybe over.  There were a lot of freaking people.  I was never running alone that was for sure.  The scenery was beautiful and the other racers were great.  With my delayed start I did need to navigate some walkers and deal with the run/walkers in the first 1/3 of the race.  Usually by the 1/2 point people find their groove and those people who run their hearts out then walk then run again are behind the middle of the pack runners and we can just run along happily.  I walked a few of the water stops, or maybe all of them, again that whole scatterbrain thingy acting up again.  My mind was all over the place as I was running and there were people all over the place.  Look way up ahead in these pics the line of people never seems to stop. It was a perfect tie in to the chaos in my brain.  I never did look behind me but I imagine it was more of the same.  Amazing.  I reminded myself this is why I am participating in races to get used to running around people and dealing with the chaos and trying to stay focused on my goal.  I am much more used to it now!!

Fort Adams loop, windy nice water views.

Water and Wind

More along Ocean Drive, beautiful course.

When I hit mile 10, running amongst all the opulent mansions, I realized that I really could PR!  Leaving work on Friday Jackass and I joked around and I said, "Oh I'm trying for 2:09"  Well I damn near hit it with 2:10.  Which is also 7 minutes off the Providence race results!  Woot!  Commitment = Improvement?  I tried to keep on a good pace for the last three miles.  I managed mostly (see splits).  My chip time may vary a bit from the Garmin time as I did slow down during a few waterstops and I think the Garmin stops, while the chip just keeps on ticking.

Actual race start time was to be 8 a.m.

What I did notice about my splits were how up and down they were.  I need to see if this factored into the terrain?  It does appear I focused for the last three miles, and sort of lost it a bit on the flat level straight away to the finish.

Stats:

Summary

Route

Splits

Elevation / Pace - sort of resembles a scattered brain?  Can you see when I finally saw the finish line?  I really sped up!

Sincerely,
Beth who completed the United Healthcare Triple Crown series... "Start as you mean to go on."

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Tests

Crazy morning meetings left a space at noon to go for a run! The sun is starting to set earlier and earlier which is going to make trail running challenging.  Grumble grumble grumble....

I decided to see if I could better my time from yesterday on the 5K route!  I also emptied my gym bag and try to be a little more organized with its contents!  Both were successful!

The weather was beautiful and sunny, a little chilly just in the high 50F temperatures.  I don't ever remember if there was a breeze, so there probably wasn't.  I picked a long sleeve technical T and some shorts.  Same deal as yesterday the Garmin was right on the money and I left my badge in the basket at the guard shack and ran through the smokers.  UGH...  Up the hill and around the course.  Such a beautiful day.

There were people running on the treadmill.  I don't get that.... why?  I motioned for one of the guys to join me outside, he waved me off...  ok, enjoy your dreadmill run.

As I was running, I was thinking about this business leaving my badge at the guard shack and then just walking up and grabbing it out of the basket and walking back into campus.  I wonder, as do other outside at work runners, if someone really wanted to get inside did anyone think they could run up, grab a badge and get on to campus?  I wonder.  Maybe the guards pay more attention than we think they do?  I bet they do.  They know who comes and goes through that particular gate.  But still, hmmmmm maybe this could be part of my plot for my NaNoWrMo novel for next month?  Hmmmm....  I'll have to contemplate that a bit more.

Otherwise my thoughts were on the awesome news from my mom yesterday.  She passed her CT.  Translated this means her scan results were exactly the same as last years results which were the same as previous scans all the way back to about 36 months ago.  This is really really really amazing.  15% of Lung Cancer patients make it 5 years post diagnosis.  She reached that milestone in August!  Now this was the one year milestone from the last time she had a scan.  This is even more amazing to me because my parents have had an incredibly stressful year.  On December 26th 2011 their house burned.  I'd say half of it had to be rebuilt.  One half of the upstairs and the whole roof.  They still aren't in the house due to gross mismanagement of the project.

Let us back up even a few more months.  October of 2011 she was told by her oncologist that he saw no need to continue with frequent scans.  He showed my parents the current scan and laid the one 24 months old on top of the current one, they were identical.  He said he was comfortable with waiting a year that while he couldn't state the tumor was dead without testing it, he didn't want to poke it and if it wasn't dead have it wake up.  (my interpretation)  They were ecstatic, went out and bought a huge flat screen TV, two new living room couches, and for my parents to do such a thing is a big deal.  They were tired of their ancient TV and really wanted more comfortable couches.  Good for them.  So then less than two months later their house burns!!  So yeah, can we say stress?

Combine all the stresses of a house fire.  All those memories in the attic, gone.  All the antiques in their bedroom, gone. Watching as NOTHING happened on the reconstruction for months. Witnessing the demo crew gut their house they lovingly and painstakingly restored.  I'll stop there, you get the point, a lot of stresses   SO if something was going to happen could stress cause it, sure why not?  Cancer feeds on weakness, and stress weakens the immune system.  So yeah, there was a worry, especially as we got closer and closer and they were still not in their house and lawyers started getting involved...

And I digress, this has been something weighing heavy on my mind, and now it isn't. They should be back in their home by the end of the month and I will be able to go spend a week with them in November, I miss my quarterly long weekends in my childhood home.

Back to my run.  I felt great.  A little tired, but energetic, if that makes any sense.  I know that this was probably my last run before the 1/2 marathon on Sunday so make it a good one!  I think I accomplished that!


Yesterday was 28:42 // 9:14mi  so yeah improvement!

When I got back into the gym I got distracted, yes I am going to the focus workshop on Saturday!  SO I forgot to stretch.  I was in the shower feeling antsy   I thought oh shit, I forgot to stretch.  How does someone forget to stretch?  Well I guess they just do. I stretched a bit but not enough. This did not make for a fun afternoon.  Everything, especially my lower back, tightened up.

I checked the yoga schedule, a basic class.  Oh what I need a nice gentle yoga session.  Of course I'm running late and scramble into class to find just Heidi, the instructor.  She said, "Beth, Hi!" I said "Oh wow, just me?"  She said "Beth, you know it is Thursday right?"  I said "Yeah, I wanted a nice gentle class because I managed to not stretch after I ran and my lower back is tight." She said "OK, first, your coming on Saturday right?"  I nodded, she continued "Well yes, it is just us, this will be nice."  I agreed and said our last 1:1 class was wonderful.

We had a lovely class, working on hip opening and twists, just the thing to loosen a tight back.  As I was leaving I said I may not see her on Friday night but I would see her on Saturday!  She just chuckles at me.

Stats:




Sincerely
Beth, thrilled her mom passed her test!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Beginning of Taper

Tuesday was a NYC day and a rest day.  Spent the better part of my day with my boss working through project issues and getting involved in new projects. And that isn't why you tune in, is it?

Today started my first taper run.  I've been reading about tapering and really am not sure what to do or what to expect.  One article said to run 20% fewer miles but at a more intense pace.  OK, well lets give that a shot.

I was feeling pretty good this morning, nothing ached or hurt, well there is the blister mess on the back of my right heel, a bandage helps with that chaos.  Bounced on down to the gym to change.  Chatted with the gal at the desk about the Terri Brodeur walk on Sunday, figuring out how we were each connected in with the Brodeur family.  She asked if that was my first time I volunteered, I said it wasn't and that I always appreciate the traffic and safety folks for the races I run.  She agreed they rock.  Nice gal.

The first dilemma was what to wear, it seems since the bra incident I have been packing extra everything in my gym bag, I really need to get a handle on what is in there and repack more efficiently!  Which really is pretty simple isn't it?  BUT the weather is fairly unpredictable and my running skirts seem to be getting big again, ugh.... So at least three shirts, tank, short sleeved  and long sleeved, shorts and a skirt, shoes, bras, socks, flip flops, toiletries...  yeah the bag gets pretty full. Maybe I should just get a bigger bag?

I got outside  the Garmin was right on top of getting a signal and I flipped my badge into the basket at the guard shack and said toodaloo to John and went off running first through the smokers.  Ugh, barf, blech.  I wasn't sure how far I was going to run, I figured 3 miles but which route would I take?  I felt like a little bit of hills so I ran the road through the golf course, perfect.  I checked my Garmin a couple times and it seemed like my pacing was going to get me in under 30 minutes.  Huh... well I haven't managed that for any of the recent 5Ks, so what the hell lets see what I can do.  Besides the 5Ks have been in the evening, this is what I am telling myself.


I did have a little left in the tank and could have pushed harder.  Maybe tomorrow?  Maybe not?  All in all I was completely surprised by this.

Stats:




Sincerely,
Beth who was pleasantly surprised today

Monday, October 8, 2012

Stability

Hubb made plans to fish today.  So this became a work from home day.  He was up and out at the crack of dawn so the dogs were also up.  They aren't used to him being gone and the panic of who was going to feed them breakfast set in.  That and the general panic of their routine being messed with they were up and at 'em and I was going to be too, well ok.  The first panic to deal with was, yes I am qualified to serve dog breakfast and it won't turn into a 'dogs breakfast'.  They were pretty persistent and the whining and carrying on is intense, seriously guys I am not going to forget.  In any event, I got the right amounts in the right bowls and they seemed satisfied and were settled in for their morning nap before 8 a.m.   What a life they have.

Meanwhile I get myself all booted up on the work computer and my inbox was exploding.  Lovely.  One thing I forget is sitting all day at work is different than sitting all day at home.  There is no one here but me and 4 dogs.  Well considering my co-workers, there isn't much difference, other than they can carry on a conversation, most days.  By the end of the day I was more tired (even though I had a nap) than I was in the a.m.  I contemplated bagging TRX; no, Beth, you made this commitment, stick to it, suck it up and go, you will feel better. 

Hubb had been home from fishing for a bit over an hour and was peacefully snoozing on the couch with our girl, Sage, in his lap.  Well as much as a 70 lb boxer is a lap dog.  They looked quite content.  I wished him well with his nap and I'd be home in a couple hours for poached Tautog.

TRX was just two of us, the quiet ones, and the instructor. We ran through our workout, caught up on the gossip, I found out the participants in the bar crawl I was hosting in a few weeks had increased from 5 to 20!  Yikes and the more the merrier!  It was a good workout   I couldn't keep my feet in the straps for the side plank rolls.  I put them on the floor.  Just too shaky and off balance, I guess.  I will master that move.  I think it is more a feeling of instability than strength?  Or being able to feel secure in instability is a big part of strength? Some Mondays I do it other Mondays, not so much.  You'll have that right?

When I arrived home I realized I had started feeling better, I must have needed that human interaction and some activity?  Could it be I was worn out from an extremely busy and active weekend and the sedentariness of working from home made me feel more lethargic?

Sincerely,
Beth, looking forward to the adventures of this week.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Focus, Focus, Focus

Quick catch up on Friday, Yoga Detox!  I was scattered and bumbling into Yoga, muttering 'focus focus focus' to myself when Heidi said "Hey, Beth we are having a session on balancing the overactive mind next Saturday, think that might help?"  My reply: "focus focus focus, huh? oh yeah, yeah, I think so!"  At this present moment I can't think of what was going on other than realizing that I had to be up at 4:30 a.m. to get myself together to volunteer for a local breast cancer walk.  This is year number seven of the Terri Brodeur Breast Cancer Foundation Walk Across SE CT TBBC Foundation for more information on this wonderful foundation.  They give 100%  of donations received to research!  I've been volunteering for the Traffic and Safety committee for now the third year.   The Traffic and Safety people are so important to keeping the participants safe in any walk or run.  I appreciate the volunteers at the races I run, this is the least I can do.

Yoga was good, once I got focused on the task at hand.  We did a lot of hip opening poses, which was nice prep for this Sunday's 20 miler!  Of course the Friday Night Yoga Chickens were up to their usual antics.  At one point Heidi instructed us into Child's Pose and to put our hands on our butts.  Debbie named this the Ass Asana.  Yeah, it as funnier at the time.  We closed Yoga with a nice Oooooommmmm all feeling much more centered than when we ventured into class.

The walk on Saturday was great.  The weather could not have been more perfect.  It was a long day, so very worth it.

Today was my second 20 mile run.  I had a stretch of 23 miles.  I ran 20.5 partly because I was running, ha, into logistical issues with parade goers in our little town, streets being blocked off and parade watchers putting up chairs.  Instead of fighting through that frustration I took the hill to home.  I ran up the hill at nearly a steady pace!  I think all the people lining up to watch the parade were a bit of an encouragement?

When I got home and guzzled down my chocolate coconut water while walking up and down the block something on the back of my right shoe caught my eye.  Blood?  Wha?   New shoes attack again (dress, not running), I had a little blister thing I put a bandage on and well the rubbing on the sock and the back of the shoe, wow, there was a lot of blood, I'll spare you those details.

Of course this needed to be documented!  While I was taking the picture a neighbor came up and said "Hey, Beth I hear you are a marathoner!  Congratulations!"   I corrected him and said in three weeks, hey, lets not count our chickens before they hatch, right?  He said it was rather impressive and wished me luck!   Sweet guy.

Well that is gross.
The run was good, really good.  20.5 miles in 3:56!


I kept pretty consistent through the run it was tiring and parts frustrating, all in all I got out of my own head about running while I was running and let my thoughts take over on other matters.  I haven't figured a solution for world peace, yet, but there is always hope, right?

On my run back into RI from CT one of the bikers who hang out on the bridge was grinning ear to ear and said "You go girl" and held out his hand to give me a fist bump.  Rock on dude, thank you!  That was a good lift nearing mile 14! Never underestimate the power of giving someone encouragement, even someone you don't know.

It was a beautiful cool, sunny, fall day, perfect for a run.  A few walkers out, a couple other runners and the usual bikers.  Really nothing much to report about the run.  I think I am fairly tired.  But it goes to show you what a little focus does for a person.  My last 20 miler was 4:16 with a pace of 12:47 pace.  Think how much better my 1/2 at Newport will be Sunday after a Saturday Meditation session?

Stats:
Summary

Route

Splits - Mile 17 - 19 were a little tough the rest pretty consistent!

Pace / Elevation.  Kinda explains mile 17 - 19, eh?  HILL!

Sincerely,
Beth, satisfied with today's run.