Wednesday, November 28, 2012


Today was my annual skin cancer screening.  I am a light skinned light haired blue eyed skin cancer event waiting to happen.  I've gotten several things cut out, cut off, and today I had something burned.  An Actinic Cheilitis burned off of my lower lip.  Doc said this will hurt,  I braced myself.  It didn't hurt, I didn't flinch, he said, you are a tough broad..   A few minutes later, it hurt, like a burning sensation... I've noticed this spot get darker as the summer progressed.  I'm not as diligent as I should be with sunscreen...  Doc said that the bottom lip gets hit with the sun even with a hat, try Zinc.  Ok...

After my appointment, it was still light out and I had an hour before sunset, time for a quick run!  As I reviewed the pace/elevation chart I was AMAZED at the consistency!  This is something I have been striving for.  Even with the big up hill I stayed steady.  WOOT!!

Pace / Elevation - the spikes are traffic lights and stop signs

Beth who ran out of steam mid post....

Monday, November 26, 2012

Monday Funday Runday

Monday, not the favorite day of the week. Getting to bed a little late on Sunday night and then suffering a bit of insomnia and fighting Gizmo for some covers didn't make for the best nights sleep.  I let the alarm lapse 30 minutes, figuring who really would notice that I was in at 8 rather than 7:30?

Of course Gdogg was in early, on Monday, he does have afternoon activities with his son on Monday so sort of explanatory.  The rest of the boyz arrived later.  We all exchanged holiday pleasantries and got to work.

I didn't have time for a run before lunch so after lunch it was!  The temp was 47 with a windchill of 45.  I checked, so perfect skirt weather, plus this was only 3.2 miles.  It was slow, a recovery run is supposed to be slow, right?  I felt good, and my knees felt good.  Ran into a couple guys I used to work closely with post run and caught up.  Nice!

TRX was in the evening, and what happens in TRX stays in TRX, remember?  Talk of cancer and running and movies.

Beth, with not much to say or can say, you decide!

Sunday, November 25, 2012


After giving a friend new to running in the winter, he is training for his first 1/2 marathon happening in April,  some advice on dressing for the weather, my current predicament is rather funny!  It was semi solicited advice, his question was how to deal with the cold air and getting his lungs acclimated.  Something I never really thought about, or if I did it is a distant memory.   A friend of his and I pelted him with advice and what we wear and what works.  I am a girl, I wear skirts, I like skirts, I used skirts in an example of when I switch to tights, when the temperature is consistently below 32F I switch to tights.  His friend suggested he reconsider skirts.  Perhaps you had to be there for the exchange?

Anyhoodles as I got dressed this a.m. for my 19 miles I checked the weather it said the temperature was with in my skirt range, what I neglected to check was the wind chill, NOT in the skirt range.  As you can see in this history of the weather, it was above 32F at around 8 a.m. and due to climb, however the 10MPH wind was dragging that down to 29F holding it pretty steady and the sun that was out, went under cover of clouds.  Blargh...  whaddyagonnado?

Temp History

The usual suspects were out this Sunday a.m.  I asked the stoop sitting smokers if they ordered this weather, they said they did not and we vowed to figure out who did and have them return it!  Many of the dog walkers had Santa suit dog coats on their dogs, so cute!  It really was cold, and it really was a beautiful day, until it wasn't.

The wind was bearable, just before the second hour started there were enough trees to break the wind.  After that, not so much, and I was running into the wind.  Absolutely nothing breaking it.  Lovely. This made me think about Phoenix in January and the Rock n' Roll marathon, hmmm maybe I'd be too warm, I should check the weather for that time of year.  At one point Katy Perry California Gurls came on and I tried to take myself to sunny warm SO CA. Feh, sort of worked, at least singing took my mind off my cold and getting colder legs, is that really possible, how can they be getting colder?

I pushed through, knowing that I had posted I was doing this 19 for a couple of fellow runners experiencing some running challenges.  I knew where I could short cut my route and get in just about 16, I landed at 15.78 at my front door.  I entered the house, and Hubb said, "You look cold. Really cold. Your face and legs are beet red."  I said "I am" and pulled up my shirt to show him my even more beet red belly, yeah that was under cover of a shirt, long sleeved, those come out at temps below 40/45F, it was beet red.   As I warmed my legs by the fire and as they started to thaw - Ok, yes, a bit dramatic, they weren't actually frozen, just REALLY cold - the pain then started.  I commented "Wow my legs hurt."  Hubb chuckled and said, "It is going to get worse, jump in the shower and warm up those muscles."  His years of skiing and swimming taught him that lesson, I suppose, I never did ask how he knew of this torture. It was painful. I'd rather have shin splints.

The water warmed me up quite nicely and I got fairly well stretched out.  My right knee is tight from my tight IT band.  I'll roll tonight and that should help break up that scar tissue.  I really need to focus on not letting the IT band get worse...

As I still 'owed' 3.25 Miles, on the 19 commitment, and Gizmo hadn't been out of the house in a week, I took him on a hike in the woods to more than make up for the mileage shortage.  Taking a leaf colored dog to the forest covered in leaves does present some challenges, fortunately he does have a handsome gray muzzle making him easier to spot.  Plus he 'checks in' regularly in the event someone is handing out a treat.  He loved romping through the woods, he loves going somewhere and doing something and not having the other dogs around.  I took him on a slightly different path at Bluff Point, so there were new things to explore and he could get off leash more as there are less people who venture down those particular trails. Yes I was dressed appropriately and did not freeze!

Sometimes a leaf colored dog is hard to spot among the leaves!
All in all the run really wasn't bad.  I started out a little fast, walked a little between some discomfort in the knees and just plain having cold legs. Guess it is time to put away the skirts and dig out the tights or at least pay attention to wind chill. Live and learn, right?


Beth, who will be packing tights for tomorrows run and remembering that thing called wind chill!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Turkey Trot (and catch up)

Spending a week away from my adult home, in my childhood home was nice.  The down side is it does cause one to get behind on things like eMail and blogging, oh yeah, and current home chores.  I left with a critical yard clean up weekend on the horizon.  Apparently, I was missed, Hubb took care of his own laundry and did one hell of a job with the fall clean up of the yard.   Meanwhile, as I was busy not being home, I did keep up on my running, and even ran a race while I was in SE MI!  As to eMail, I was behind before I went away I may never catch up, oh well...  Kinda like when I was in Grad School and just starting out after graduation, if the bill came in an envelope with red lettering, it meant last possible chance to pay this before what ever was shut off, those got paid first. I'll follow the same protocol and look for the notes with the red flags!

Just cause it is flat, doesn't make it any less pretty!!

Southeastern Michigan is flat, it really is.  A whopping 71 feet of elevation gain on the dirt roads by my parent's farm and 88 feet of elevation gain for the Ann Arbor 5K Turkey Trot.  In comparison the Mew's Beer & Gear 5K course had 152 feet of elevation gain.  A hill is a hill, right?

Cute Shirt!  Love the look on the turkey's face!!

I ran with Cyndi and her Daughter.  Well Cyndi and I ran together her daughter took off with a goal to beat her last years time, and she did!  She bettered her time by nearly a minute!  Cyndi is just getting into running and we ran walked the course.  Studying the pace elevation charts for the RI and the MI race,  the pacing with Cyndi seemed was much more consistent while we were running, but then there was a HUGE hill in the beginning of the RI race.   (you can click on the images to see them full size)

MI race - Ann Arbor Turkey Trot 5K Pace Elevation

RI race - Mew's Tavern Beers n' Gear 5K Pace Elevation
So who knows how to make a comparison between the two?  Or if there even should be a comparison made?  Both races were run with different goals.  I ran the RI race with an expectation of using the last hill to gain some progress on my 5K PR.  I ran the MI race to spend time with my friend and to encourage her.  At one point she said "Beth, say something encouraging."  I said "Your lapping everyone on the couch."  "Just think this was Rod's first 5K in 2009."  That helped, I think.  The suggestion to count backwards from 100 going up the last hill, which was a pretty steep hill, wasn't too helpful.  I meant for just me to count out loud and she joined me, making the hill worse...  alas, communication, I think I recall a previous race with a little bit of miss-communication in it!  Two data points don't make a trend so don't go jumping to conclusions on my ability (or inability to communicate), okay?

Tomorrow I have 19 on the schedule, wowza.  It is 8 weeks out from the AZ Rock n' Roll Marathon.  What exactly was I thinking signing up for another marathon so quickly, and then being 99% committed to one on April 27th in KY?  I may need to be committed, that is if I don't end up injured. Feh, I think I am slow enough to not get injured, it is speed no distance, right?  Shhhhh.... just let me believe it is speed, my mother will assure you no one can convince me there isn't a Santa Claus and to just let me live blissfully in my own happy place.

Saw a beautiful sunset on my drive through NY, along the Southern Tier expressway.

Chautauqua Lake, New York --  November 19, 2012

Beth, in her happy place, plotting the 19 miles for tomorrow!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Running the Flat Lands

Visiting my parents for the Thanksgiving week.  This means running in the flat lands of SE Michigan.  During this a.m.s run I had an incredible 71 feet of elevation gain.  I think I may be a little lightheaded as the elevation is some 800 feet above sea level.


 Either the altitude sickness or drinking too much with my father last night could account for my slow pace?  Or I'm just slow?  I'm lapping everyone on the couch, so neener neener foo foo....

The run today was on back roads, dodging farm trucks and dogs!  Very grateful the neighbors did not try and pick me off as I ran!  Also happy to have had some dogs to run with, or were they chasing me?  I'm not really sure.  In any event, nice pups. Note the hunters orange shirt, I wasn't going to be mistaken for a deer, and definitely not a gazelle considering THAT pace...

After my run, I spent time with mom, well, I was her minion unpacking boxes and putting things away. They are finally moved back into their house after a the house fire the 26th of December last year.  The 11 month ordeal of the rebuild is one for the history books and a story better left untold.  Let me just say that there are evil scheming contractors out there and may karma bite them in the ass for what they put my parents and all the independent trades through.  My father got into the act and suggested he too needed a minion and I needed to do some weight training to go along with my running. Little did I know this was also going to involve, stairs.  Ok, so I was carrying the boxes down stairs, but hey I still had to climb up the stairs!  Yeah, didn't think that was going to elicit any pitty...

The satellite map is far prettier than the street map, I ran out to the main hard top road, and then around the block.  I love the look of farm fields, looks like a homey patchwork quilt.  This image must be from the late spring/early summer everything is green and growing.  Now, it is dead and brown, and mostly plowed.

Beth, enjoying some time with her parents

Sunday, November 18, 2012

PR = Personal Record

Some call it a PR some call it a PB (Personal Best).  I like PR because that is what I heard first.  PB is what my English running friend calls it and well, I like to disagree with him, so there you have it, PR it is.

I PRd in the Mew's Tavern Gear n' Beers 5K this afternoon! 27:27 was my net time per the chip in the bib, and the Garmin is close enough!!  It was a hilly 5K and while I was a little limpy in the beginning I did manage to finish strong!  I need to take care of my right IT Band and the resulting right Knee pain, and I have no idea what is up with the left Hamstring,  Rolling rolling rolling and stretching stretching stretching should help!  Oh yeah and some ice and rest mixed in for good measure.

From Detroit Runner's post I found this site Athlinks.  Very cool  It crawls the web finding your race results.  There are a couple missing but hey, this is totally cool!

Shows my first road race to the latest, not including todays stellar performance, I'm sure that will show up eventually.  Also there is a section for my trail races.  I'm tickled.  I've been meaning to catalog all of this.  I'll review bib numbers against the list and see if this list of 21 road and trail races contains all the races I've run since I started racing in 2010.  Woot...  

Beth with a new PR

Friday, November 16, 2012

Endings / Beginings

Supersonic said it best "  Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end."

Tonight in Yoga Heidi announced she was leaving at the end of the year.  It was a difficult decision for her, but she needed to make more money than the yoga studio was providing.  After class we had a private conversation about what was going on. Everyone has their own challenges and obligations.  I am so sad so loose her as a Yoga instructor.

This whole month has seemed like beginnings and endings.  Nothing tragic, just in general a lot of change.

Beth, still trying to figure it all out...

Monday, November 12, 2012

"Your Fire is Back"

After an interesting conference call my work hubb says "Beth you've got your spark back, atta girl." I've been a bit out of it, not quite mopey just not me since I got back from the Marathon.  Post Marathon Depression, it really is a real thing.  All that build up that HUGE serotonin release the high, oh that high.  I floated on that high for a week.   Note: I sit in an open floor plan in a tri desk the three of us in a small space all facing in.  You don't hide much of anything from anyone in that situation.    Tim was great about talking me off the ledge for my pre race stress and poking me appropriately to get my fire back.  You can't ask for a better friend, hence my 'work hubb'.

After lunch I went on a quick 5K run around the block and felt even better, got a little spring back in my step as some would say.  Hmmm... maybe the brain chemicals have reached a level of homeostasis?  I knew I should have doubled up on the Zoloft for the week after...  Ran in to a fellow runner, just back from 10 miles.  We compared race results over the weekend and talked about the post marathon depression, seriously people, this is a REAL thing, I'm NOT making it up!!!

TRX was tonight, just two of us and the instructor.  Lots of talk about cancer and who has what and who just died from what. The things we gals talk about.  Then we got on the subject of generators.  I am the only one lacking a generator.  Lots of talk about wattage and how to wire it and turn it on and off and well, totally not girly conversations of TRX classes past.  Hey whaddya want, we just dealt with a Hurricane and a Nor'Easter out here in New England whaddaya think we are going to talk about?

A friend of mine announced he has signed up for his first 1/2 marathon!  I'm so proud.  He has been running for a while and having a goal for 13.1 in April 2013 is awesome!!  So proud!!

So yeah, my fire is back, I am feeling more like my feisty self, bring it!

Beth, is back, back again....

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Catch Up!

Seems like all I've been doing is catching up lately.  It is a complete mystery to me where time is going.

Thursday was a non-running day, I enjoyed my break. I went out to Newport to pick up my shirt and bib for the race on Sunday.

Friday I took to the trail at Bluff Point.  It was 3.8 miles and 38 minutes of bliss.  I ran the 2nd half of the trail, considered taking a small loop on the 1st half of the trail but it was getting close to dusk and I didn't know if that would be a good idea.

On the trail the swans had returned to their spot.  They scare me.  Not as bad as geese do.  Guess being attacked by geese on the family farm does that to a girl?  I know the Canadian geese freak me out on the golf course, but then I do have a golf club in my hand so I can defend myself.  Running, not so much, I couldn't out run them as a child, doubtful adult Beth would be any more successful.   I know, of all the things to be scared of, geese, swans, long necked winged birds.  Funnily enough ducks don't scare me.  Go figure.

Swan, beautiful and scary

Saturday, oh my, what a disaster.  I went out with the designs on a 12 mile run to Watch Hill and back.  My IT Band had other plans.  5 miles in I called hubb and had him come get me.  I felt so defeated.  But hey, I don't need to aggravate the overuse injury, right?  I need to treat/manage it like I did for the PF.  Plus I had a race on Sunday.  Then again I had 17 miles on the schedule for the weekend.  So that all went pear shaped in a big way.  The rest of the day I spent with girlfriends.  I haven't seen E and H in FOREVER we had lunch and shopped and caught up.  We need to get together more, once every couple months is NOT enough.  Something to work on.  H travels for work so taking her away from home for a day of the three she spends at home just seems so unfair.  We will figure it out!

Sunday, today, the Pell Newport Bridge run.  I ran it last year. I spent the night in Newport because the race start was 6:30 a.m. and I was on the 5:45 shuttle to start and was all weirded out about getting up early and making the shuttle and getting a good nights sleep.  A year of races and getting up early traveling and running a good race solved that problem.  This time I slept at home, so up at 4:15 to leave by 4:45 to catch the 5:45 shuttle.  I slept OK, I never sleep well the night before a race, and having had such a crappy run, well let's just say I was focused on sleeping well, and I did!

Pell - Newport bridge 

The run last year was cold, this year not so much!  YEAH!  There were 2,500 runners and walkers.  Walkers, yes.  I have nothing against walkers but please, please, please, if that is what you are doing line up in the walker corral not the runner corral.  I wasted precious energy passing all of you lined up in the earlier corrals. Not placing blame on you, that lands squarely on my shoulders for not realizing the number of walkers participating   Next time I will line up in the 9 corral versus the 10 corral.  Oh yeah and don't walk 4 astride.  While I may not be aiming to place in the top 10 I do have a PR from the last race I want to beat!

I did beat last years race time of 40:42 with a 35:54.  I am pleased.  That puts me at a 8:59 pace for this 4 mile race.  Granted the down hill from the top of the bridge helped.  I had negative splits, I cut nearly a minute off my pace on the down hill part of the bridge, so yeah!  I finished strong and look forward to next year.

After I showered, fed myself, and re-hydrated  I took Gizmo on a hike and we enjoyed ourselves.  My poor guy was going crazy from not being out all week.

Walking in the woods gives me time to reflect. Running does to, with walking I can think more deeply as I'm not worried about twisting my ankle and can explore my thoughts a bit more!  I thought about something a friend said to me in the last 6 months, maybe longer ago, I'm not sure.  He said "Beth, you have changed,  You are a different person from a year ago."  I denied it, he pressed the point, I insisted I haven't changed I am still the same person I was a year ago.  That conversation has been playing and replaying in my brain since we had it.  More frequently lately. He was right, I am not the same person I was a year ago.  I don't think I've changed at the core, I think I found me.  I think the outside more reflects the inside?   Running did change the outside of me.  I have been amazed at the transformation.  Running did change me mentally.  Increased confidence.  Then I wonder did it change me or did it bring me back to me?   Maybe running just brought me to the next stage on my journey?

I discussed this with Gizmo, he would stare at me as I prattled on, then wander off to sniff something and come back to report to me what he smelled.  Yeah, we don't speak the same language; still we had a nice conversation.

Sir Giz of the Mo  -  LOVE my curmudgeon!

The rest of the day was fiddlefarting around. Coming back to that question of have I changed? Perhaps it is more of an evolution?

A friend posted this Nancy Thayer quote to her wall today:

"The universe is always speaking to us...sending us little messages, causing coincidences and serendipities  reminding us to stop, look around, to believe in something else, something more."

I do believe this life is a journey, my soul has something to learn in this body, what that is I may never know. My job is to live this life.  What happens when this soul learns the lesson of its destiny?  Does it go on to a new lesson?  Has this soul met the souls I know now in lessons of the past?  Is that why I feel like I've known someone forever?  Will this soul meet up with souls I know now in the future?   I hope to meet up with the souls I've met on this journey in the next and the next and the next.

Has running changed you?  Has any new venture (writing, boxing, singing, acting, biking, etc) changed you? Love to hear your thoughts!

Beth who ran, thought, and got little else done....

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Getting My Legs Back!

Monday's run my legs felt like lead, it was awful, and I kept kicking my right ankle with my left shoe, that was a lovely bloody mess on my now 'recovery run' Brooks.

Sunday I went to a running store in Providence to have them take a look at the shoes I trained in, the Asics had about 400 miles on them and the Brooks about 250.  I ran the marathon in the Brooks and they gave me fits with the shoelaces becoming tight at the top and loose at the bottom?  Weird.  Anyhow.  I plopped down my bag o'shoes and he took a look at them.  Declared both shoes to be appropriate for my supination. However, based on the wear pattern on the Brooks they are too firm and based on the wear patterns on the Asics, perfect for me.  So hey, cool, I like the Asics much better.  I bought a new pair and will pick up a second pair with the next version is released in a few weeks.  I like to have two pair of shoes to alternate between.

I wore the new Asics and a new running shirt today.  Old running skirt, which is now too big and I guess I need to buy more, darn.  Possibly I was in the groove due to the new duds or possibly my legs were just ready to run again.  It also could have been the boy runners giving me the thumbs up for being out there in the cold and wind.  Oh it was WINDY alright.  I ran up hill into the wind on the start of my run and downhill into the wind on the end of my run.  I was really feeling good and my time shows it. Not my best 5K time but hey, I didn't fall apart!

I'm ready for a long run over the weekend and have a race on Sunday.  Think I'm getting back in the swing of things after my first Marathon adventure.

Beth, getting her legs back

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Arizona Rock n' Roll Marathon

Today I signed up for the AZ Rock n' Roll Marathon, January 20, 2013, less than three months away.  Promptly I put together a training schedule. Because that's what I do.

I made an improvement from the Marine Corps Marathon Schedule, adding in a spot to capture my actual mileage.  Looking forward to training once again and working on my speed.  Think I can cut off 10 minutes to be sub 5?

My Garmin and I are back on speaking terms.  Seem he was not linking with the computer, so a little re-calibrating and all is right with the world!

Beth, coping with post marathon depression by signing up for another one

Monday, November 5, 2012

Superstorm Sandy - Catch Up

Wow, what a week it has been.

Friday in Yoga Heidi talked about what we learned from Superstorm Sandy.  She asked us: "From this experience what have you gained."  I like that she asks to seek out the positive in experiences, what should we be grateful for?  While the devastation was horrific, I saw people and neighborhoods pulling together, and that is wonderful, I am grateful people can pull together.  I also am grateful to have made three new friends, fellow runners, female runners, who get each other.  Glorious.

Monday I was supposed to be on Amtrak heading back from DC to RI.  That didn't happen.  In fact it NEVER happened.  By Wednesday, my three new friends and I were ready to head back home.  MAC lives in New Jersey so we rented a car on Thursday and drove.  A and G were able to get their flights re-booked to Denver for Thursday.

We had a fun week.  Tuesday I went for my first run, post Marathon.  I intended on going for 3 miles and went for 5.  I'm slightly directionally challenged and altered my course a bit.  After running into the wind for about a mile I remembered that I ran into the wind away from the hotel so running into the wind wasn't going to get me closer to the hotel.  I got myself all unturned around and back to the hotel.  It was cold wet windy run and I enjoyed it!  Later on, MAC and I went exploring and shopping and picked up a couple of Italians.  I have a hand bag problem and of course MAC has one too, go figure.

What sort of Italians were YOU thinking?

Wednesday the four of us Marathon Chicks went exploring the National Mall in DC.  I was the only one who had never been...  it was amazing and chilling and beautiful.  This picture says it all for me, the past and the future in the present.

The past and the future, in the present

Thursday MAC and I got in the car and drove her to New Jersey and then I got myself to RI.  The national news wasn't exaggerating about the gas lines in NJ.  There were lines on the thruway service areas backed up nearly a mile, amazing.  In town most of the gas stations were closed and had a police officer standing guard.

Friday I went back to work, medal in hand!  Due to power outages and possibly lack of interest the office was sparsely populated.  I was able to get out for a 5 mile run in the morning and check out the damage along my route.  Wow.

The tattered American Flag moved me

Saturday was a dog focused day.  Took my eldest to the trail to hike, not a lot of damage, all the trees that fell across the paths had been removed and Gizzy enjoyed mommy and me time.  Took the girl to do a beach survey.  Wow.  Lost a lot of sand. It ended up behind what used to be big dunes at two of the beaches we went to.

Sunday was a long run, I went out to Watch Hill to see what there was to see there.  The sand that used to be under the cabanas was in the parking lot.  It was a nice run.  I wore my new bright orange "Runner 4 Life" long sleeve shirt, I am sure I was visible to the awful drivers out here.  My IT band was acting up by the end of the run, but a little ice and stretching and being kind to it will be back to normal soon.

See the daylight under the cabanas?  You didn't used to be able to see it.

Today I went on a short run during work, 3 miles.  It was slow, my legs felt like lead.  I think it is time to take a couple day break and let them heal.  They gave me a lot of good miles in the last week, they need a rest.  I am fearful of getting soft, but that can't happen in 3 days, can it???

NONE my Garmin is acting pissy...  maybe later...  I really really want to see my MCM splits!!!

Beth who now has internet access and can blog more regularly about running