Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 Recap

Gizzy, Mr. Schedule, was adamant, no make that ADAMANT he was going for a walk at 7:30 p.m. last night or was going to blow out my ears (and Dave's) with his whining.  Well, he is a 13 year old boxer, and my special guy, and if you know dogs they have the attitude of an only child (or so I'm told from people with actual human children) that is an attitude of: me me me me; Gizzy won this argument, paws down.  Oh yeah, we do have three...  there isn't a sane brain cell between the two of us, well at least according to our families.  Prior to this disruption I got a quick peek at Mike B and Seth's year end recap so this gave me something to roll around in my head while Gizmo did his thing.  How to recap...  As usual I over think things.

I set my self with some BHAG - Big Hairy Audacious Goals - and I think I looked at them at the end of the first quarter and that was it.  Guess I expected I'd just meet them by chance?

Mileage 1,500 miles, 1 race per month, 2 marathons, one with the Lung Cancer Alliances's Team Lung Love, 6 1/2 marathons.  Ummm, yeah, I ran about 1,000 miles, total between walking, biking and running I sit at:  1,455 best as I can tell it breaks down to: 433 biking and 1022 running / walking / hiking.   Running consists of 37 races of 310.8 racing miles, ridiculous, no wonder I wanted to throw in the towel and never run again after the second marathon of the year.  

37 races breaks down:

  • 2 marathons
  • 7 1/2 marathons
  • 5 10 milers
  • 1 8 miler
  • 1 7.4 miler
  • 3 10K
  • 1 5.5 miler
  • 2 5 miler
  • 2 4 miler
  • 12 5Ks
  • 1 relay (20 miles over 30 hours on 2 hours sleep)

Ridiculous, period, end of sentence.  At some point I had designs on PRs (without putting in the requisite work, mind you, reminiscent of my 5th trimester of college - that didn't go so well, either) but at least I didn't have to face my parents with an expulsion letter from the dean, just look myself in the mirror, and be honest, not really sure which was worse.

Not quite this bad!!

PRs?  HA! Well, actually, 2! 

5K my goal was sub 27 - holding strong at Mews 2012 27:27,  my best for 2013 was 28:02 (Guilford Frost 5K where I coughed up a lung after being sick for a week) 
10K my goal was sub 1 hour - PR at the Niantic 10K 1:00:26, close...
1/2 Marathon my goal was sub 2 hours - holding strong at  Newport 2012 2:09, at least I could get Nicole to a PR for that 1/2 in 2013 at sub 2:30.
Marathon my goal was sub 5 - PR at the Arizona Rock n' Roll 5:01 close...  we won't discuss MCM, that was a disaster, much like my 5th trimester of college, you get out what you put in.

To blatantly steal, "hobbies in various states of disrepair"

Books - I read more substantial books, maybe Goodreads will tell me pages in 2012 vs 2013, because the number was pitiful.  All in all I enjoyed the books, some non-fiction, mostly historical fiction.  I am the daughter of a history teacher, she appreciates my love of historical fiction, but if there isn't a story to get involved in and characters to love and hate history doesn't really interest me and she appreciates that and offers up books of that ilk.

Knitting - no socks, just baby sweaters, lots and lots of baby sweaters, seems all were appreciated too!!  I did make amazing progress on my first Fair Isle and have yet to finish it... next year it will be finished, my knitting friend needs to catch up!  I'm not cutting apart all that work solo!!  My knitting student talked me into a cabled fitted sweater, I swear it isn't going to fit me, no matter what that gauge swatch says, so my mom may have a new blue sweater for her 70th birthday.

Diet - Out the window, let's not discuss it.  I've been eating like I'm constantly training for a marathon and drinking like I just finished one.  Betty Ford or a Weight Loss Camp probably aren't on the agenda...  the numbers on the scale are the numbers on the scale, this is the part of Weight Watchers I hate, the numbers, I can't keep to my goal weight, but I can keep to my clothing size.  So, I dropped out....

All in, I'm happy with 2013, I learned some great lessons, lessons I will carry forward into 2014.  What I most love about 2013 was getting to know other runners, to finally break out of my bashful shell and realize they really don't care about my pace, they, like I, thrive on the love of the run, period.

Beth, not really sure about setting goals for 2014, just wants to focus on the 50K and being the runner she can be.  If she feels she MUST participate in a race, maybe volunteer, and not run it...  

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Trail Cuteness!

Saturday 15.4 / 2.3  - Since this ultra is on a trail I need to get in trail miles. Well, yeah, duh, ultras are traditionally off road.   Burlingame is close, familiar, well marked, well traveled, and very pretty.

Anyhoodles, 16 was on the schedule and Burlingame is 8 mile loop, ok 7ish mile loop if you don't start at the line at the top of the road, which I didn't.  I stopped the spacewatch at 15.4 miles.  I contemplated running around the parking lot to get to an even 16 . Yeah, that didn't happen, I was ready to be done.  Even after wandering around for a bit I couldn't summon up the ambition or desire to do 5 laps of the parking lot (a lap is about 0.1 miles).  

Dave had already biked, he was up and out the door by 6:45 a.m. ugh...  I figured 9 a.m. would be more reasonable, especially after a bottle of wine and too much Chinese food at Dave's cousins house on Friday night.  I seriously have a problem with overindulgence.  Guess I can be glad I haven't put on 12 lbs in 5 weeks (ha ha ha)??   Dave passed me on his way home (my way out to the trail) and called to wish me luck and let me know there were two spots a little slippery in the north part of Burlingame.  Oh ok...  I was a little nervous about this,  why?  Oh, who knows why I get nervous, it is a silly waste of time, yet, still I do.  And wait, when did this good luck thing start... *scratches head*

Lap 1 was nice, a few bikers out there, one other runner, it was a little chilly at first but I warmed up quickly and settled in to a rhythm.  I do like the hydration backpack there is storage and the sloshing noise is comforting, well, when it doesn't spook me.   I'm a screamer, more of a yelper, when I'm startled.  And yes, on occasion the sloshing would startle me.  Don't ask, I've lived in this mind for 46 years and it still confuses me!  Friday night, I was telling my BIL and a cousin-in-law about the night run of the Bourbon Chase and how people would 'sneak up on me' say hi and I would scream.  I was off in my own little world and easily startled.  So yeah, approach with caution I may be off somewhere else.  I do this at work to, as Mike couldn't find the time in 3 weeks off to update his blog B could attest to.  Anyhoodles, off course, again, this trail is very runable with rooty and rocky sections I partly run and partly walk.  By May, hopefully before, I expect I will be able to run nearly the whole trail.   The Ice Age 50K trail has limited rock gardens and roots, there are however, relentless hills.  I will attack the hill part on my Wednesday runs, there are good hills around campus that will work well for that part of training.  

Trail Cuteness! There was a stocking on the other side.  Very sweet.
Lap 2 felt more difficult in parts.  By the end I felt pretty exhausted.  Eventually I'll wear the heart rate monitor and get some sort of effort reading/suffer score.  I saw a couple of the same bikers, one stopped and chatted for a minute.  I step off the trail so they can get by, that is how it works, right?  Always say Hi, have a great ride or something pleasant.  He knows several of the guys Dave knows, that was interesting.  I tried to remember something distinctive because dollars to donuts Dave was going to try and figure out who the person was.  I was thankful for the distraction and trying to think of the 20 questions Dave would ask about who I saw and knowing I didn't pay attention to the right details.  HA!

My goal was to keep my pacing between 12 and 15, and end up in the 13s  13:07 was my over all.  I'm honestly pleased with my results.   At the moment I can't imagine running 4 laps, equivalent to 50K,  I do have 19 weeks to get to that point!!  

I did move pretty slow and carefully the rest of the day, that was the most miles I've run (or is it ran) at one time since October.  I hadn't realized there had been no long runs in the last 8 weeks, huh...  A couple mile dog walk after dinner was welcome to soothe some of the aches! 

Sunday - 6 up and out before the weather turned ugly.  Dave and I have been in discussions about does it feel colder when it is dry or when it is damp. I'm still on the fence on this. What do you think?  This a.m. was low 40s and damp and it felt colder to me than if it was low 40's and dry.  I think.  I nearly turned around and put on a hat and gloves.   That may have just been an excuse to delay the inevitable first mile working out the kinks. 

Debated on the North End or not and decided to start out on one of the routes I used to walk Diesel, the first 1.5 miles.  As the steps clicked away everything felt better and better, although gloves would have been welcome.  My hands still don't feel warm.

To get to 6 a lap around the track was necessary, flat and welcome before descending towards home.  

Beth, on the way to 50K, one step, one run at a time.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Ice Age 50K Training - Starts Now!

Monday - 0   This week kicks off Ice Age 50K training.  The gears started clicking in Dave's head, "Hey wait, you didn't run on Monday, you started training with a rest day? Maybe I'll take up running."  Ha ha ha, very funny.

I found a 20 week training program, alternating between hard weeks and easy weeks (it starts on a hard week)  M/F are cross/rest I will have to monkey around with the Tu/Th the weeks I travel to NYC.  I was hoping I could back this off to twice a month, unfortunately no, the recent shake ups in my division mean face time has become important, again, my bosses boss has left the company...  Blargh.  I was coasting pretty nice in the fall with every other week and not every week.  I do wish the Donnie Wahlberg doppelganger well as he goes off to fulfill his career ambitions, but really, tossing around promotion and then flying the coop a few weeks later doesn't leave me with a lot of hope.  Tis the way the worm turns.

So yes, Monday started off on as a rest day, well TRX, so a cross training day.  I misread the schedule and ran an 8 on Wed when a 6 was called for.  Whoopsie.  Being the planner I am, here we go, all ready to be scribbled and scratched over with actuals!

Tuesday  - 4.1 / 1.9  Nothing spectacular, I was up rather late on Monday night, so yeah... Took the beasts to the beach in the afternoon. I've been curious about Jax's mileage when we go to the beach, he is all over the place.  I hooked my old spacewatch to his collar and off he went.  Dave was sure he would notice it and pay attention to it and try to get it off his collar.  Actually, no.

We walked 1.9 miles and Jax did his thing for 2.8 miles, so about 40% more than we did.  Interesting.  His GPS map was fun to look at to, he is all over the place.  I'll be doing this again, kinda fun to see!

Oh and don't worry none of this counts towards the current Strava challenge, they are labeled as "hike" only "run" counts!!!  I checked, to be sure.  

My GPS map (not quite that straight of lines, way straighter than Jax's, though):

Jax GPS map (you really have to open it up to see the squiggles and circles):

Wednesday - 8 knowing we had to be on the road to the in-laws by 11 and this 8 was probably going to take me close to 90 minutes, hey I'm feeling sluggish and really didn't feel like working all THAT hard on a 26F feels like 6F day.  Plus I wore my Santa hat and that damn pom pom thing kept bonking me in the head and was getting annoying - well that is just an excuse.  Fortunately the sun was out and I was amused by the pom pom shadow, especially when it would whirl around in a circle over my head, generally going around a corner or a curve.  So that was fun and I was quite happy to have this time to myself as the rest of the day was not going to be that way.

As usual my in-laws out did themselves and we both had a grand time eating way to much. 

Thursday - 4.4 I decided to check out Westerly's North End.  A little tough getting moving!  I haven't been on that side of the tracks in a while and I always get lost in that awesome little neighborhood and this morning was no exception!  Now that I have a better map in my head I can explore some more and not worry about getting too turned around.

Friday - 0/4.2 (walk) late night Thursday in Narragansett with Dave's cousin and family made for a slow start this morning, but hey it was a rest day.  Took Gizzy for a stroll after his breakfast and enjoyed the parts where I could feel the sun.  When I was given a reprieve from the Smith/Jones clan I tried out the new harness I got for Gus.  He is a horrible puller and wiggles out of the collar and this makes me nervous with busy roads and other dogs he is and probably always will be unpredictable.  Got the harness all sized to him and he pranced, seriously, he PRANCED around the front hall.  Hmmm... this is an interesting turn of events.   I loaded up with treats and poop bags and off we went, at a reasonable pace, him prancing along with this head tilted as if to say "Check out me and my red harness, I'm da bomb, don't ya know."  Amazing.  We saw other dogs and he noticed them and just kept on his merry way, even as one had a frothing fit.  Huh...  We met up with a woman and her child and he was all into getting petted.  Huh...  That was the most pleasant walk I've had with him in, a long time.  

Perhaps the most hysterical walk was with he and Gizzy and they spied something across the street from where we were and the two of them, nearly 160 lbs of combine muscle took off, dragging me down Chester Street, just a couple blocks from the house.  I was quick witted enough to not let go and flip over so they dragged me on my back till I could stop laughing and regain control of the situation.  I think they may have stopped and looked back with this, "Really, Beth." look on their faces.  And, of course, being on the ground also meant I needed to be licked and sniffed.  Hey, at least they stopped and it was early enough in the a.m. no one saw and there were no cars.  

Saturday - 16 on the plan - two laps of Burlingame seems reasonable.  The Ice Age trails are not technical, they are relentlessly hilly so I do need to find something akin to that for my long runs. Suggestions?  Dave thinks I'd be better off in Big River, I reminded him the trails aren't marked...  then again I do have the 'find home' or whatever function on the spacewatch...  hmmmm

Beth, back to training, and this makes me happy

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Happy Birthday to my Mom and Gizzy!!

Beth, happy to celebrate one more year with my family.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Winding Down

My weekly recap was thwarted by a marathon of Breaking Bad season 2.  I know you are as bummed about this delay as I am...

Monday - 3.7 / TRX - Took a nice slide around campus, it was icy in spots and not so much in others.  Felt good to get out even though it was late in the day.   It was pretty windy out and I was assured "It isn't that bad." by a couple of runners coming in from their run, yeah, it wasn't all that bad, but still I cut my run short and didn't run down by the water.

As Monday goes, it is time for TRX.  We have a long windy steep driveway to navigate after a snowstorm it gets a little dicey.  My second try, I made it up the driveway!  One of the gals bailed and wouldn't even park her car at the bottom and have one of us drive her up.  She hates driving in snow.   We did get to initiate a new member to our TRX hen party, well it isn't a hen party anymore.  Poor Don, no topic is off limit, including snot rockets!    And with a new member we all get re-schooled on the right way to do things.  I kind of appreciate the reminders!  

Tuesday - big fat 0 -  I thought I might have time for spin before venturing off to Richoni's Lounge in Groton.  Alas, I was assured I did not, 5:00 sharp.  After waiting for 30 minutes for the rest of the gang to show up, I most certainly did have time for spin.  Blargh.  My fault.  Nothing like a couple of drinks in a dive bar.  Plus it gave some time for the snow to stop and the roads to clear!!

I am not too hip to pop culture, anyone know what this means, besides the obvious?

Wednesday - 2 - NYC day.  I was a little concerned about black ice on my way to the highway, the roads seemed fine at the frightfully early hour of 5:30 a.m.  I used to be up and running at that time, once upon a time.  I've been contemplating reconsidering sleeping in.  I'm landing on the side of, no.

I decided to turn Strava on and see how far my walks were, 2 miles, not to shabby!  Eventually I will get an overnight in the city and I can run in Central Park.  For now, a few block walk down to Bryant Park is the only thing on the agenda.  

A little snowy and chilly to take a seat!

Love how all over the place the lines are.  The triangle on 41st between 3rd and Lex is a mystery to me!

Thursday - 5 - was able to get out for a run pre lunch.  It was yet another holiday lunch... when will the madness end? This was a nice run, windy again, not bone chilling cold, I could have done with two tech shirts instead of the heavyweight shirt I did have.  When it gets near the end of the week my gym bag gets lighter and lighter.   The office pretty much cleared out before the lunch, most people weren't coming back.  It was nice and quiet and productive and I was able to get to Ro's spin class! She claimed to be tired from her plane back from Jamaica getting in late.  Tired for this woman is still energized!!

Friday - big fat 0.  Lunch with the girls, ANOTHER holiday get together.  I had to go back to work so only one glass of wine to their bottle each!  My first time eating Pho too!  Yummy stuff.  I have no idea why I've never eaten Vietnamese food before Friday.  After finally getting my inbox to a manageable size and cleaning up the last few things on my to do list it was time to pack up for the year!  I decided not to text the girls and see where the party had ventured off to.  Instead I went home and took a nap, I even slept through all the dog dinner time commotion!

Saturday -  5.1/3.9 - Ah, Yule, Winter Solstice, the shortest day and longest night.  It was a while before I wrapped my mind around that concept, the day was still 24 hours but a short day and a long night?  Huh...  sort of like the realization that a gallon of milk is the same as a gallon of paint, just different size and weight, a gallon is a gallon no matter the container or the liquid.  

I took an enjoyable run when I got up, wasn't really sure where I wanted to go so just did one of the usual routes.

Took the old guy out to walk around Napatree Point.  He enjoyed it, mostly, 3 miles is pretty much his limit, so we pushed it a little bit and it is harder walking on sand and through the rocks.   The fun part of our little adventure was trying to determine if the water was shallow enough to walk across from the jug handle.  Alas, it was not.  Although there was a part that was, as we walked the long way around I saw some people manage to get across without having to take off shoes and socks (as I did) and wade!!

Sunday - 3.6 / 2 After giving Crutch a hard time for stealing my running buddy Nicole it was my turn to run with him, yeah.   The message was simple, meet me at the park and ride for the Green Falls loop if it wasn't pouring out.  Ok sounds good.  I was told it had technical parts and very runnable parts.  As long as he didn't lose me I figured it would be ok.

Wow, what a beautiful trail!  Wish I would have brought my iPhone for pictures, but with the rain and the rocks I'd of surely slipped and broken the damn thing.   Crutch was a very good tour guide and kind with his pacing, plus the stops to check out the beauty of the forest were welcome!  The descending grade road back to his truck was welcome to.  Stretch the legs a bit and not worry so much about tripping and slipping!  

With the nice weather and the fact the pack hasn't been out in a while Dave suggested a trip to East Beach in Charlestown he drove a few miles down the beach and we walked to the breachway and explored the cove.  Always a fun time.  Dave spied a snowy owl and I tried to catch a picture of it in flight.  It is a bit blurry.  

Ok it is a lot blurry....
For some reason once we get back there Jax and Gus play like crazy, in and out of the water, and all in and around the scrub trees.  It is hysterical to watch them going berzerkers.  Even Gizzy got a little goofy with them.  When it was the three of them he, Sage, and Diesel also used to go berzerkers back there.

Monday - Big fat 0 and TRX.  Being the first day of vacation and relentlessly rainy I decided  to tackle  some indoor projects I'd "get to when I had time".  Holy cow do they pile up!!!  

A member of my knitting club was 'gifted' a knitting machine, she couldn't get it off her hands fast enough.  It made it home with me last week and I put it together and fiddled around with it and its bazillion parts, I'll stick to my knitting needles.  Way to many moving parts.  If we still had cats they would go bazonkers for it, I'm sure.   Hopefully the next person on the list gets my eMail and I can pass it along.   Yeah, honestly, I need another hobby like I need a hole in the head.  Discretion is the better part of valor.  Does that apply here?

The tree is up, Jax has destroyed one gift bag, fortunately it was empty.  Previously it held some goat milk soap and caramels, so yeah, I'm sure the smell was driving him bonkers.

I have no idea how this tissue paper got stuck in my mouth!!

Beth, getting caught up!

Friday, December 20, 2013

The Last 10 Years

This week I was eMailing with a friend who generally responds with one or two words, maybe a sentence, if at all.  I received sentences over the course of two replies, well there was a full moon, so yeah that could explain it. After picking myself up off the floor at this outpouring of narrative I noted the last question "Any New Years Resolutions in the works?"  A question, OMG could this lead to yet another reply??? (if you are curious, not yet... I'm hopeful! I'm always hopeful, leads to massive disappointment at times.  Hard to teach an old dog new tricks.)

This got me thinking to the goals I set for myself in the beginning of this year.  I really don't like "resolutions"  Merriam-Webster defines:

noun \ˌre-zə-ˈlü-shən\

: the act of finding an answer or solution to a conflict, problem, etc. : the act of resolving something

: an answer or solution to something

: the ability of a device to show an image clearly and with a lot of detail

I have plenty to resolve, and internal conflicts and unanswered (or unanswerable) questions  (comments from the peanut gallery welcome!!)  But really isn't it about goals? Merriam Webster defines: 

noun \ˈgōl, chiefly Northern especially in 1b & 3a also ˈgül\

: something that you are trying to do or achieve

: an area or object into which a ball or puck must be hit, kicked, etc., to score points in various games (such as soccer and hockey)

: the act of hitting, kicking, etc., a ball or puck into a goal or the score that results from doing this

What am I trying to achieve?  Sure I'd love to fit in to a size 2 permanently, but really, is that going to happen?  Ok maybe once last year for like a month, but for a long term possibility, not so much.  I like food and booze WAY to much!!!  Honestly, I want to enjoy life, and as I'm finding out to enjoy the last 10 years of my life, whenever they happen to be. 

A friend posted this video that also had me thinking along the lines of the last 10 years.


Even with exercise and taking care of yourself it could go either way, we just don't know…  odds are taking care of yourself now will help in the future...

I rode with one of my co-workers to a holiday lunch on Thursday.  On the way back he asked if I was staying home or going home.  Always takes me a minute to get my head around this question.  I am staying home, I went to my parents for Thanksgiving.   I did say that I'd be going 'home' for my mother's birthday, next December, she will be 70. His parents are 75 (mom) and 85 (dad).  I asked if he has started seeing a decline, he said, he has and we talked about the timing and the details.  

So my mom was 62 when she got diagnosed with Lung Cancer.  My fear was this was the beginning of the end.  My father assured me "Your mother will die with lung cancer, not from lung cancer."  He is a good dad, this pushed me through many a tough time, and still does.

She ran for many years, close to 20, and eventually that became painful to the point she had to stop.  Muddy, pay attention --> this woman didn't stretch or strength train either; but then again way back when she started, probably before you were born, no one probably really considered such things.  So she took up walking.  When I would visit we would walk together, even after she started treatment we would walk.  As chemotherapy goes the treatment became worse than the disease and the walking ended, I was sad it ended.  She still does yoga, not so much going for long walks. I do fully believe her active lifestyle pre-diagnosis and treatment really helped her get through treatment. 

So what am I doing?  Am I prepping myself for the inevitable?  Surviving a cancer diagnosis and treatment like my mother and her brother (the one time tri-athlete, which is a HILARIOUS story, two time marathoner, and avid biker, many years riding the California Aids ride 500+ miles from San Fran to LA) or my father to be strong and support my spouse through a chronic illness?

I really don't know the answer to that question and honestly I don't want to.  Life unfolds as it is meant to. 

As to goals, for 2014, I am running a few races, ones that are important to me. Maybe that is actually a resolution?  

Anyhoodles, the Fourth Season Trail Races because what Mike does is great to promote trail racing and getting out on local trails, not to mention supporting the Johnny Cake Center.  The RI Triple Crown of Trail Racing, because I am a sucker for a series (please please please not let Run for the Beavers be while I am stuck on a boat with my in-laws, I'll hate it just that much more).  My big race for 2014 will be the Ice Age 50K, in May in La Grange, WI. Not sure what the rest of the year will have in store.  

Well, yeah, Blessing of the Fleet, after all who can avoid that shitshow?  Dave even asked if I was going to run that next year, seems he sort of enjoyed spectating on Avice Street. I said I would if I wasn't trapped on a boat with him and his parents.  Yeah, that went over like a fart in a space suit...

After that, yeah, Michael Gorman's words to me: "Life unfolds as it is meant to."   

I've been digging through pictures for the 2013 holiday card, and I keep seeing this one. This is one of my favorite running pictures, OMF 2011, the end of the year I fell in love with running, this was my 5th and last race of 2011.  

Old Mountain Field 2011 - Happily my form HAS improved!!!  

Beth, trying NOT to think too much.   (I'm dubious on that too) 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Beth happy this was the last commute to NYC for the year.   Well, unless there is a trip to Tiffany's in my future!  

PS Name the place you'll find this lion statue.  

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Newport 10K - Recap

My 37th and last race for the year.  I've found a 12 step program and am signing up. 

Just before Thanksgiving, a note went around from the running club about signing up for this race as a team event.  A couple back and forths with Jeff and I was OK with this team business, the top 3 in the team get scored, fingers crossed for 4 women.  

Hey, I like the aspect of a team, and I set my own goal sub 1 hour 10K.  I ended at 1:26 the last two miles and the minor excuse for hills seemed to be were that 27 second went.  Newport 10K-gate?  LOL...

On the way home I got panicked texts from two of the gals I ran the Bourbon Chase with, the Ice Age 50K was filling up fast, they were signed up and didn't I talk them into this crazy idea.  Well NO, Tonya talked me into the 1/2 it last year, then bailed, because her injury from kicking a goose stopped her training.  I am terrified of those nasty creatures and if she kicks them I'm totes running with her.  So MAYBE I may have been an instigator.  I loved that race last year, so why not run nearly 3x the distance this year?  They are nice trails, hilly, not technical, nice, and the people are great.  

So anyhow, the Newport 10K race.  

There was snowstorm bearing down on New England, not really a big deal or was it?   Somewhere I read to check Spliter Race Systems for any race delays or cancellations.  Eventually I did get around to this.  1 hour delay, race start at 11 a.m. Checked the WTAC page and it had already been posted.  I thought about it for a few minutes and posted the pic of the screen to the Event page, because, that would be where I would check for any delays or cancellations.  

The snow stopped and the rain started about midnight.  Ick... it stopped about 8 a.m. and the day started to look promising for not running a race in the rain.  It was in the low 30's cloudy, I dressed for that.  The sun came out, it was nice, I was a little warm.  I have NO idea how the guys ran in shorts and singlets, well I'm sure the hats and gloves helped keep them warm?  Or was it the pace?  

I ran a good race.  It is OK to say that, right? The first 4 miles were strong and where I wanted to be to hit sub 1 hr.  Mile 5 and 6 it got a little slow, maybe the 25 ft incline?  maybe I was a little tired?  Seeing the WTAC men on their cool down lap did help get my feet moving a little faster.   Thanks guys!!

Hey to finish 27 seconds later than I wanted to is a win.  Usually I'm 5 or 10 minutes (or more) past my goal.  

Running in Newport is fun, I was prepared for Ocean Ave to be cold and windy, with the wind coming off the water.  The wind was really coming off the land or not at all.  Nice!  Although I was getting kind of toasty...

Part of the run, past Fort Adams, I started missing my running buddy Nicole and thinking about the Newport 1/2.  I was so not into that race or racing or being around people, yeah that should have sent off big red flags for me.    Eventually that subsided as I turned the corner on to Ocean Ave and recalled the trolley tour with my Aunt and Uncle just a few months earlier.   I slowed a bit at this mile 5, which was over all an elevation loss, then turning the corner for mile 6 elevation gain, and the finish.  I knew it was an up hill finish because I ran out that way for my pseudo warm up, just something to get the muscles moving a bit.  

All in all I'm pleased with this race and I'm ok with being pleased too.

Congratulations to WTAC for the win for the men and women, and for the men taking 6 of the top 7 spots.  You guys train hard for these races and it pays off!  Well done!!

December 23rd starts training for my first 50K (May 1oth, the second day of my 47th year).  I'm looking forward to this.  Possibly looking forward to having a schedule? or goals? or a spreadsheet? all of the above? 

Beth, who is not racing as much next year, that was a distraction from progressing towards being the runner she could be. 

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Snowy Saturday Catch Up (I should probably use the thesaurus for an "s" synonym for catch up)

Monday  - TRX / 0 run / 2.8 walk   Joy sent me home with cookie dough to begin my holiday baking on Tuesday night!  Whoop!  I had intended on starting on Sunday, once I realized I didn't put pecans on the list for my Paternal Grandmothers Rum Ball recipe, progress stopped.  You have to have the pecans, period.  My brother's and I remember Uncle Mickey feeding us those rum balls at the Aunt House in Lakewood (OH).  We were three happy kids, for sure.  Generally passing out on the ride home to MI!!  I think we eventually confessed to this in our 30's, we confessed to a lot in our 30's once we realized our parents had no clue what we were really up to during those tender formative years.  

Missing the pecans, doh!!

Tuesday – Treadmill Run 2.5 / Spin.   And a flat tire!  I got out to the parking lot to find a note in my door handle “Flat Tire”.  

The note I found in my door handle.

I looked, sure enough back left was flat.  Crap.  I called Dave, because what else does one do but call their spouse?

Me:  “Hi.  I have a flat tire.”
Dave: “Why are you calling me. You know how to change your tire.” 
Me: “Yeah, but it is cold and dark and I parked in a puddle.” 
Dave: “Call AAA.”
Me: “Good idea, the guards can’t help, they aren’t allowed, but really some light would be helpful, and also not parking in a puddle.”

I walked up to the guard shack to see if they could do anything.  Well mobile patrol can shine their headlights, but nothing more.  Yeah that is what I expected.  Once upon a time I bought guard services so was pretty clear on their service levels.   AAA would be an hour, because of the snow storm.  Yeah, there were some flakes on the ground and it was cold.  I called Dave and said it would be an hour, can he just come to campus and change my tire, or shine some light so I could, I’d buy him dinner either way?   I chatted with the guard until Dave got there, interesting guy.  He started over at the plant side 35 or so years ago.  He told me stories about when he was a kid playing in what was his neighborhood and is now a parking lot.   The building and razing of buildings over the years.  Watching people rise up through the ranks.  Fascinating and interesting stories about very familiar names and places around campus. 

Dave changed my tire, we all knew he would.  Rather efficiently.  Volvo makes a very interesting jack raising device.  I was able to get it fixed at the tire store where I purchased it too!  “Things work if you let them.”  Name THAT B movie and who said it…

I didn't get home till nearly 9, so no holiday baking...  Dave was making a dent in the cookie dough...

At least the tire was fixed because the thought of driving Dave's truck to New Haven on Wednesday was not thrilling.

Wednesday – NY day, up at 5 a.m. out the door by 5:30 a.m. on the train by 6:52 a.m.  (6:34 if all goes really really well)

After sticking my foot in my mouth (congratulating someone on their pregnancy who wasn't pregnant) at my first meeting.  In my defense, that dress was doing her no favors and LOOKED like a maternity dress and if it wasn’t she really shouldn't be wearing an empire waist, because yeah, they make most women look pregnant.  That dress would have made my rail thin husband look pregnant.  

I spent a couple years with 50 extra lbs packed on. I'd of NEVER worn such a dress.  My girlfriends would have never allowed me to buy it.    If you are curvy think Joan from Mad Men. Fill out the dress...  As my friend says, "Dress the fat." and she is right, dress it and work it.  Deffo works for Joanie!!  And real life people too!

Nice brisk walk to Bryant Park to watch some ice skating and just observe humanity in all of its forms.  I love people watching.  The ice skaters, the ping pong players, the tourists, the residents, all so fascinating.  There were plenty of kiosks to do some shopping in.  I decided against that. I only had an hour and the walk to and from my office to Bryant Park is only 6 long blocks, 12 round trip so just under 1.5 miles.  (oh does that count for my walk?) I should turn  Strava on for this, ha! 

Yeah Claire kicked me out, again, with all the leg bouncing...  wiggles was at it again!!!

At 3 was our departmental holiday get together at the Wheeltapper Pub.  Open bar and heavy hors d'oeuvres.   

In the elevator down Claire asked me where this place was, and then said "Oh great, ask the person from Rhode Island to navigate where we are going."   Larry said "Well she knew where it was last year, so I think we are in good hands."  

All in all my 3rd year with this group, it has taken me a while to let my guard down and get to know people, being on a layoff wave really messed with my head and sometimes I feel like my boss is still doing me a favor by keeping me employed.  Which in reality is far from the case, I know this, I just don’t believe it. 

Nice event.  I managed to get the 5:48 train (cupcakes procured, of course), home by 9, awesome!   I really need to learn to stick to beer and not order a cocktail at these things…  

Thursday -  4.2 Run / 2.9 Walk - Nice chilly run for lunch.  Ok it was chilly on the way out with the wind off the water at my back and cold on my way back with the wind off the water on my face.  My face felt very frozen, I couldn't even manage to move it around enough to work up a good spit ball by the time I neared campus and then I wondered if that would just end up freezing or splatting me on the face, the former would be kinda funny, the later, not so much.    All in all perked up my mood, a little tired from a long day yesterday and one more drink than I should have had.  OOPS.

After a brief discussion with my knitting student I'm trying to decide if I should pull out the back of the sweater I’m making.  My gauge is off, far tighter than my swatch predicted.  The sweater will fit, it will be snug, crap…  I do have to pull out the neck and shoulder edge (the top), I misread the directions.  I hate unpicking bind offs and staggered ones are even worse.  

Pinned to the blocking board
I can stretch it to meet dimension but it seems a little too stretched.  Still on the fence on what to do.  I'll probably finish it and just find a smaller person to give it to.  It is a fitted sweater and the pattern is very fun to knit.  Tough call.

Friday - 2.6 Walk - Not a complete slug.  Wow this week wore me out.  I got home and immediately crashed on the couch.  Not always the best idea to then be able to sleep at night, I managed.  Gary's girls (chickens) have been laying very well and he brought me in some eggs.  Breakfast for dinner on Friday night!

Blue, Pink, and Brown!!

Farm fresh eggs are the best, reminds me of growing up!  

We watched the first couple episodes of  Breaking Bad Season 1.  Interesting show.  Took a few weeks, maybe a month, for it to be our turn at the library.  Instead of working on the sweater I decided to start a new project.  A Wingspan scarf.

Absolutely fascinating construction and super easy to knit.

Saturday - 3.3 Walk - Well at least I am moving.  I took Gus this time, he is much quicker than Gizzy, although I am worried he will wiggle out of his collar if he sees another dog.  I have to get a harness for him and Jax, they make me nervous on walks trying to free themselves from the oppressive leash.

Spent the rest of the day making goodies:  rum balls, Tom's favorite cookie, and sugar cookies; knitting while watching the rest of Breaking Bad season 1.  Oh, Tom's favorite cookie isn't actually the name of it, but this is how is mother titled the recipe card.   

And this leaves us with Sunday, the Newport 10K.  Should be interesting.  My first Westerly Track and Athletic Club (WTAC) team event...  

Beth, back to blathering or rather documenting every minute of her week...  thanks for tuning in!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

I've no creative title so --> Weekly Log 12/2 - 12/8

Sometimes it never dawns on me that everyone hasn't experienced the great grid of the Midwest.  After a couple comments on my Strava runs from visits to SE MI to visit my parents and where I spent some of my formative years.  I decided to look at some google maps to see what I could see.  Pretty interesting. 

A grid with diagonals, typical Midwest. Not exactly challenging to find running routes.

 Where I live now, I tried to get something akin to the farm country I grew up in.


A little challenging, trying to figure out what connects to what, how to avoid bad roads, you can end up running way longer than you intended, or the same route over and over and over.

These pictures represent the same amount of acreage, to get some sense of scale.

For the last 14 years I've tried to explain to my father ‘you can't get there from here’ really is a real thing and sometimes you just can’t.    Look at those maps.  Midwest: If you can’t get there because a culvert is flooded or the road washed out or an accident or who knows.  You just went around, the beauty of a grid.  Out here: I try and ‘just go around’ and I've ended up in another state!! Of all the places I have lived I do love it here, best, it is beautiful, and I’m never lacking for a beautiful place to run, hike, or bike.  MI has beauty too, it is just more spread out and not within a 20 minute drive or a long run.  WI was so brief and all I really remember was the snow filling up 12 foot ditches and lots of cows, but I’d love to go back and see if it still looks the same. 

Apparently I signed up for the Providence Downtown Jingle on December 8th.  Whoopsie.  I’ll be missing that as Dave already made plans with his family.  I’ll pick up the shirt and the bib.  Damn.  Guess I didn't write that one down.  When on earth did I sign up?  I have bib #33, so must have been a while ago?  Good Grief…  the shirt is nice, this will be my 4th DNS for the year (Resolution Beach Run, Four Seasons Run for Hope, Pell Bridge, and now the Downtown Jingle); better than a DNF, right?

Monday – I took a zero, nada nothing, not even TRX, went out to a benefit dinner at the Dog Watch Café, in Stonington Borough.  One of my running buddies sister has cancer, mesothelioma, specifically, she is the same age as my husband (47) extremely healthy and fit.  She was diagnosed earlier this year and has been declared cancer free. YEAH!!  A friend of hers is running the Boston Marathon through Dana Farber Cancer Center charity team.  The restaurant will donate 15% of the total bill for anyone who mentioned the Dana Farber Cancer Center or Run to the Roar.  The funds raised were over $400 and the Dog Watch Cafe upped the donation to $750.  Fantastic!!!!

Tuesday – Walk with Ro, spin class, and a 3 mile walk with Gizzy.  I don't usually count walks, but I've started tracking the miles for a group I joined and it has been fun seeing the different totals between run / walk / bike...  

For a 13, well December 25th he is officially a 13, year old boxer boy, 82 in human years, he is pretty amazing.  Keeps up a nice clip, so much so I feel a twinge of shin splints acting up from time to time!  Walking is very different than running, there isn't much propelling you forward.   He sprints well struts, he has more of a strut, stops and sniffs, and struts on to the next smell, I swear he is trying to trip me when he stops short.  Sunday we had a little scare with him at the beach. (Don't worry Mike, all is OK)  He got a little crazy playing with the young guys and had to sit down then lay down to catch his breath.  It was so horrible to see those big brown eyes looking up at me with this “Make it better.” look in them.  Took him a few minutes rest then a few minutes of slow walking and he was back to himself, trotting around staying at least 100 yards away from everyone.  Probably scared him a bit too.  Hard telling what it was, he may have tweaked something or just got too out of breath.  We will make it a point to get out a little more frequently as the weather gets cooler!!

From tonight, he is reminding me it is very close to dinner time.  Silly b

 Wednesday – I took another zero, what a lazy slob.  I left my gym bag at home too…  I felt like a schmuck for wasting a beautiful day to be outside. Things happen for a reason! Work kept me chained to my desk so it was for the best.  Considering the 'layoff notice' dreams have started again, I needed the focus and feeling of accomplishment.  When I got home, kinda late, Dave’s truck was outside so I figured he was back from riding Bluff Point with his buddy.  Since he was home first he was to feed the dogs.  I unpacked the groceries put them away puttered around with the mail and the dogs would NOT stop pestering me.  I went upstairs to check and see if Dave was done in the shower or what he was doing.  Huh, he wasn't there.  Mike must have driven, kinda explains the dogs behavior.  Someday they will forgive me for ‘forgetting’ to feed them…  he got home an hour or so later.  Said it was different riding Bluff Point in the dark (they started from the Haley Farm side) because he hasn't ridden much out there so not really sure what to expect.   I had hoped he brought my space watch with him so I could see some different trails, no dice.  Oh well.  The mail produced a new bike helmet and a merino wool bike shirt.  I AM getting out at least one more time before the end of the year!! 

Thursday – 3 mile run with Ro and Spin.  I picked up some locally brewed beer when I was in MI.  Weird buying beer in the grocery store at 7:30 in the morning on a Saturday, but hey, I really didn't feel like going into town or leaving my parents house other than to run, so stopping on my way home was what I did.

Anyhow, since we were finally home on the same night we sampled the beer:  Arbor Brewing Company Sacred Cow IPA and Bells Midwestern Pale Ale were what I picked up.  Dave liked them, me, not so much, too bitter.  I had also picked up, locally, some Leinenkugel's Orange Shandy, figuring it may be like the Shandy (the one at the top of the menu) at The Malted Barley.  Ah, not so much, more like OJ with a kick, just a tad too sweet.   Oh well...  

I needed that run with Ro.  My confidence has been waning lately and I was so fearing running with or around anyone.  She was clear on an easy conversational pace. It was a miserable overcast misty day too, I was glad when she didn't cancel.   I could have gone another mile or so.  Definitely Ro could have, she is an animal!  Just what I needed!

Friday - Another 0, this is getting ridiculous!!  I lugged my bag in and everything.  I did get half of my to do before the end of the year list done and figured out how to order a new smart phone through the 'why do they need to make this so complicated and unintuitive procurement system' at work.  I needed to consult, TWICE, with the most rockingest Admin ever to get this purchased on my existing account.  Krikies...  

I did get to attend Fiber Fest at on of the local watering holes, a group of knitters/crocheters/weavers meet at Par 4 on the first Friday of the month.   I met the 'president' of the club a TRALP (Tuesday Running and Libations Professionals) way back before the weather got brisk.  She is a transplant from MI and I'm not even sure how the conversation managed to get on knitting while we were running, but it did....  She is a scientist and I'm not, so that probably explains it because well, yeah, I'm not a scientist...  I was surprised to see another runner I've just started meeting up with on my at work runs.  Running and knitting, interesting hobbies, doubtful I'll combine them like some who run and knit a scarf.  Seems kind of dangerous, the needles aren't exactly sharp but anything with a point and enough force and someone could loose an eye!  Ouch!!

Out of the corner of my eye I catch someone waving, Jackass!  He was there for a retirement party for one of the guys he worked with at the plant.  After my civil knitting and beer drinking was over, I stopped by so I could meet some of the bozos I've heard about over the years.  

Saturday - Dave was up and out the door to ride Burlingame. The beginning of shot gun season too.  Well, Burlingame is state land so probably ok...  Hmmm, what to do what to do run or clean the house.  It has been a while, and I feared the dust bunnies were going to overtake the front stairs.  Three dogs and shedding season it is hell, simply hell...   And it would be warmer in a few hours and I so wanted to go for a ride.  After all the domestic crap was over and Dave was home and I was ready to go ride.  He shook his head and said it is going to be cold.  Oh it was, I've been colder, for sure...  By the end my big toes were very cold (and have since warmed up), I need some booties for over my shoes and a better hat or helmet liner.  I kept having to stop and take off my helmet and pull the hat down over my ears!!!  His parting words were "Don't go to far. I'm going to be catching up on Wipe Out and I won't be able to come get you."  Oh what a guy!

14 miles and it was fun.  Looking forward to my booties and helmet liner arriving and going for another ride!!!

Sunday - Probably a 0.  Holiday Brunch at the Worcester Country Club with Dave's parents. 

Beth, surprised she didn't have as lazy of a week as she thought she had!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Beth, Jax, and Gus