Saturday, March 30, 2013

That was fun!

Big River, trail half marathon with a 10K option, 11 a.m. final race in Off Rhode Racing South County Fourth Season Race Series.

Friday I was released from PT, the hips may never fully align, close enough works in this case.  I have plenty of strengthening and stretching exercises to do and the pain is mostly non-existent.  I'm good with that.  This made the prospect of this morning's trail race even more appealing.  Trail running is easier because it is softer and I generally go at a slower pace navigating the roots, rocks and hills; frankly I really enjoy being in the woods.

Saw two people I knew by more than just facial recognition!  So nice to have familiar friendly faces.  Met E's husband, P, they were doing the 10K. She is just starting out running and 10K is her furthest distance thus far.  We run at a comparable pace hopefully we can run some of the local trails in the near future.  Michael of Forward Momentum was there with his always encouraging words, thanks!! Hoping that you had a much more successful run!  Other faces I recognized but had no names for, so HI!

Mike Galoob, Race Director, introduced the course and mentioned that they did the best they could with marking and if you got lost track back to the trail, failing that just keep going down hill eventually you will hit Carr Pond and follow that till you find more orange flags.  If you are even more lost than that, well he really wasn't sure what advice to offer.  Giggle...

E and I ran pretty much the same pace for the first 3 miles where the 1/2 split from the 10K.  We wished each other well.  Me thinking, bloody hell I'm going to be out here for three hours at this pace...  well, it is what it is and damn this is so beautiful out here and it is a fantabulous day too.  Totally game for spending it in the woods.

I was doing just fine, passed the water station just after mile 4, passed mile marker 5.  Climbed up a nice rocky area and that is when I noticed I didn't see any orange flags.  I stopped for a little bit and looked around.  I went right, this is where I went wrong.  Eventually finding Carr Pond, and some orange markers, again another right turn.  Figured I missed a turn somewhere on that hill?  Then there were runners coming at me.  Huh... they said, "Turn around" so I did.  Trotted along and then saw some more orange flags and a mile marker.  Mile marker 4.  Huh...  Wait Mike said something about the 10K following the path around Carr pond.  Wonder if I've managed to find that trail.  Do I turn around and figure out where the 1/2 trail is or just keep going.  Considering it took me nearly an hour to get to mile marker 5, maybe this is a sign from above?  My guardian angel Eve?  My left calf said, "If you turn around I swear I am going to make you scream."  Hmmm...  Kind of a compelling argument, no?

Where it all went amiss:

Thankfully I am not the only one who got lost, some tried to find the trail, never making it to Carr Pond but finding the "10K return" signs and followed them to the finish line. I hung around at the end for about 15 minutes.  Looked like who ever was going to be done was done?

I can't stop laughing.  I giggled most of the way home.  Hubb was amused by my story; suggested he go with me next time and he can bike and I can run.  Seems fair enough.  But I'll keep the car keys, just in case!

Of course I took a hike back in to the trail to snap a few pictures.  This trail really is beautiful and had a few things that made me wonder.  I passed the time making up stories about things I saw.

Maybe this is where Jimmy Hoffa ended up?  I'm a Michigan, Motor City transplant, nuff said!

Was the rock split before the tree or did the tree split it?

And how fast is fast enough?

The sign says:  "You need to go MUCH faster than you THINK!!!"
Beth, just makin' it up as she goes along.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Chasing Skirts

I was poking around on the internet for a sparkly running skirt.  I thought maybe it might be fun to wear a sparkly pink running skirt for the Jamestown Bridge 10K next weekend.  I see the gals in their sparkly skirts in the bazillion St. Patrick’s Day races I ran, they looked like fun.  From what I remember of this race last year it was fun and there was even a guy dressed as a bunny rabbit!!  Anyhoodles,  I had no idea where they purchased such things.  Then I saw a post about sparkly skirts and I checked out the referenced website and well now I’m tooing and froing on the purchase of this.  I'd spend more on a few after work cocktails with one of my gal pals in NYC and I’m getting all wigged over $30 bucks?  Sometimes my internal dialogue doesn't make sense to even me.  I can’t imagine what Hubb deals with on a daily basis. 

So this prompted me to google “sparkly running skirts” there were pages and pages of blog posts and articles about skirts.  I was a little surprised people were so emotive and verbose about this apparently very controversial topic.  Wow.  I used to run in shorts or tights and that was ok and somehow I stumbled upon running skirts.  I can’t remember how but I fell in love with them from the beginning and have nearly completely switched to skirts. They are fun, they have pockets -  LOVE pockets – they fit nicely, and the don't ride up or bunch.  It all really is a matter of personal preference, what the individual is comfortable in they will run their best and enjoy the race!!  Not really sure why women running in skirts is such a big deal or controversial.  

Some men wear skirts, mostly kilts, I've seen a few pink tutus...  Back to kilts, I saw quite a few of them over the bazillion St. Paddy’s Day races and a few during the Marine Corps Marathon last year.

MCM 2012 Firefighters
Occasionally you may see a hamburger...

Nice Buns!! - Gansett Marathon 2012

I will be purchasing one in pink, a sparkly skirt, not a hamburger.  The next decision is bright pink or a muted pink?  OR Hold the pickles, hold the lettuce, special orders don’t upset us?

Tomorrow is a 1/2 marathon trail race.  After all this skirt talk, I'll probably wear tights, the prickly things were pretty plentiful when Gizmo and I went out to check out the Big River trails.  But who knows, as Miss Scarlett says, "Tomorrow is another day!"

Gizzy is good for about a 4 mile hike in the woods, which is probably more like 5 for him because he takes side trips here and there and then has to catch up.  We went two miles out and back, very cool trail, running or mountain biking.  Hubb nearly has me convinced to dust off the old Bontrager and get it tuned up.  These trails seemed much more my former biking ability levels, so maybe.  

Presently, Lord Giz of the Mo is at my feet snoring rather loudly, he was quite happy for an adventure that did not include the youngest members of the pack and to show me how to run the trail.  For a 12 year old boxer boy he is very spry!!

The brief hike along the first 2 miles of the 13.1 mile course was great, it really is a lovely trail and I imagine the deeper into the woods it goes the more lovely it becomes.  Very much looking forward to tomorrow!  Thanks for the encouragement Michael!  I'll probably be DFL PLEASE don't let that hold up any of the post race festivities, although, maybe make sure I am out of the woods before the last person leaves?  HA!!

Beth, the mostly skirt wearing runner

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Defining Runners

Work Boyfriend could see it when I came back from my run.  He said "Oh it was a good one, she's all wild haired, glassy eyes, goofy smiles. It seems like it has been a while you've had a run that good."  GDogg just shook his head as I tossed my gym bag in to its spot and plopped in my chair.  "Ahhh, that was great.  Buckle up boys it could be an interesting afternoon, someones got a touch of the runner's high."  GDogg looked jealously at me and said "Please tell me you made a pit stop at Par 4.  Because it is so wrong to enjoy running THAT much."  (Par 4 is a local watering hole, a whole 3/4 mile from the office)

I have no idea what exactly it was, the tunes came on at the right time.  Yeah yeah, I know I wasn't going to listen to them. The sun was out, and it was warmer than I expected (slightly over dressed, better than under dressed not a big fan of being a Runnercicle!!  Taylor Swift's "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" came on and I just love the song, the words, the beat, just love it.  I sing this song to the only pair of jeans I kept, it is over we are never ever getting back together.  When I'm feeling fat and depressed I go and put them on, over what ever I am wearing, and watch them fall to the floor and I feel a little better.  Oh, you can hear "Your So Vain" playing in the background too?

"Shut Up and Let Me Go" by The Ting Tings came on at some point.  Hubb always says he'd love to see a guy band, not a fru fru boy band, cover this song.  I agree it could be a lot of fun to see and to sing.  It really is a fun song.  Imagine a group of middle aged guys, rocking out to this?  Epic!!  Guess the fun songs, the 6.5 mile run, the other runners, the sun, and the lack of pain in my hip all were the perfect combination.  I would have run longer, I had things that HAD to be done today, so I headed back to campus.

I posted the Taylor Swift video on my FB page with a couple comments.  The Par 4 reference reminded a running friend of cutting across a couple of fairways at a private golf course praying the toilet was unlocked, the quip at the end was "I felt like a real runner."

This got me thinking about the phrase "real runner" I've probably said that same thing "I felt like a real runner."  You run, your a runner, period.  I've drilled that into my own head and continue drilling it into other's heads.  Sometimes I feel like it is a battle.  The statement was clarified they did, in fact, consider them self a real runner, it was just that they never had any of the bathroom stories or injury sagas of other runners, so they felt more genuine. Aha!  I totally get it!!  Maybe I don't need to go into battle mode when I hear that phrase, eh?

I thought well maybe there are serious runners and not so serious runners.  Serious runners are the ones training to qualify for Boston, or  the Olympics?  But then that puts a lot of  runners out there in some sort of no mans land where they are training to achieve a certain goal versus those some may classify as tourists in races?

Another running friend was so happy to have found some "real runners".  I asked her what she meant and she said, "Nice helpful supportive runners, ones that say hi back or wave back."  Huh, I had never thought of it that way before either.

So then do we have pro runners and amateur runners?  Guess the pros would be have endorsement contracts and the amateurs not?  Not so sure that really works either.

Then I see things like this:

And just land on all runners are special, in their own special way!

Can a runner be defined?  Should a runner be defined?

Beth, a special kind of idiot!

Stats from today's run:

I remember it as sunny, huh.  My splits show someone starting out too fast!

It makes a picture!  

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Leprechaun 5 Miler

I am a fairly bashful person who observes the world with great wonder and excitement.   Running has helped quell a bit of this bashfulness, we are all in this together lined up in the start chute, battling it out in the finish chute, cheering on other runners on an out and back course, I feel a sense of belonging.  I also get a little goofy after races, sort of like a couple Jack and Diets in to the night goofy, and have been known to talk to strangers.

Yeah yeah get to the point...

During the Leprechaun 5 Miler I was sure I had seen Syracuse, so hey, if that was you, how the hell are you? You owe me a race and I'll be stalking you soon. Then I was nearly certain I had seen an old boss, it certainly looked like him although the woman he was running with didn't look like his wife, hmm, then I thought, wait do either of them run?   After the race, making my way to the water I stopped and had a conversation with someone who I was certain was a former co-worker. I asked how the job was treating him and if he liked the new company,   how was his time, then he said to his son (wait, son, he has a daughter) tell her your time.  The son proudly said 42 minutes and we clinked water bottles.  I wished them well and wandered off to get a banana. Wow, that guy must think I am some weirdo, he wasn't who I thought he was.   After finishing my banana and finding a garbage can, I saw a couple guys trying to take their pictures with the Long Island Sound in the background.  I knew I didn't know them, but hey they needed some help and I know I've asked plenty of people to take my picture after a race.  I managed NOT to not take a picture of my own face, love the iPhone for that flip the camera around feature, but whoa  not expecting to see my freckled forehead!  They were pleased to have some help.

The race was held in Madison CT on the water, beautiful place for a race.  It was and out and back (I'm starting to like these) beautifully sunny, and a bit of wind from the west, so yeah, finishing into a wind.  There was a woman with a double stroller running about the same pace as me.  OK, a little faster...  I am amazed by these women.  More power to you!!

Out and back along the Long Island Sound

Very nice running weather!
The race was well organized with plenty of volunteers.  I was going to try the Water Stop Pro Guidelines at the water stop but they had hard plastic cups not paper cups, so oh well.  I slowed down and gulped and ran on my way.    Nice race, one I will be on the look out for next year.  I finished at 48:45.  The Garmin didn't start right at the start.  I was pleased that my pacing was pretty steady all but mile 4.  Huh...  musta been the head wind?  HA!!

And something completely off point, but makes me laugh and maybe I can tie into the talking to strangers theme?  Hubb came home from his Friday afternoon ride with a story about a girl he has seen on the trail a couple times. She was extremely serious and focused the last time he saw her. There was a race on the trail this a.m. and she must have been getting in some extra practice on Friday?  Anyhow, Hubb and his buddy saw her, then she got in her car and moved it a few rows away, and then got back in the car blasting music and parked near them again.  She was fiddling with something on her bike and eventually came over and said "Hey, like I don't usually like ask dudes for help or anything.  My pedal is stuck."  Hubb said he looked over at his buddy and said "Dude, I think you are the Dude in this situation." and winked at his buddy.    I think he was still a little ticked over getting a strawberry and banana GU in trade for a Honey Stinger Waffle, two things he can't stand in a texture he isn't a big fan of.

Hubb asked if I ever ask for help.  When it comes to porta pottys, buses, and water I tend to not be so shy.  He said, "Well duh, but what about equipment issues?"   I looked at him and said, "Hon, if I can't tie or untie my shoes I have no business running."

Beth, talking to strangers

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Let's NOT Talk About the Weather

Welcome Spring!

From "The Week"

I’m a little tired of all the bitching and kvetching about how cold it is and how the ground hog lied and what about global warming. Spring starts March 20th, it has for years. Yes, yes, last year in this area it was a high of 60 degrees, nice and warm.   Rewind to 2011 it was a high of 42, remember that?  Rewind a little further and 2010 presented us with a high of 69.  Just for giggles, let's peek at 2009, a high of 43! Are we starting to see a pattern here people?   *SMIRK*

BTW The average temperature is 48 for this area. Check at the wayyyyy bottom you can find the history for your area.  Golly gee wizz, I am so glad Al Gore invented the internet so all this information at our finger tips.

See, lots of varying data points!!

So there, nener nener foo foo, it is the cycle of the weather. Can’t we find something of substance to discuss? Perhaps the 7 Marines killed in a training exercise? Ok ok, yes a rather headdy topic. So Failing that topic of substance, if we HAVE to talk about the weather, what are the weather predictions for Boston? Or is it too early for that? I’m not even running it and I’m on the edge of my seat hearing about it from co-workers and virtual friends!

I digress… (Surprised?  No?  Didn't think so.)

So what have I been up to that is soooo important I can’t blather on and on in this blog? Please, let me account for my absence.

Monday: A lovely quick morning 5K naked run, no tunes, no watch, started the week. I think I’ll try to run sans tunes more often, perhaps just using them on long runs? The weather was nice, I remember it as sunny and a bit windy. I ran clock stupid, to take advantage of a set of long hills (going down versus going up, yeah yeah, lazy me) this also seemed to put me running into the wind more often than not. Not sure how that is possible when running a rectangle… Monday night is TRX. I do love that class and the gals. The topics vary all over the map, we all got the most laughs out of food. Where to get the best hot fudge Sundae and friends that will drive you all over hell and back only to never find one and ending up at the grocery store to get a pint of to die for ice cream. The downfalls of eating a whole box of Fig Newtons, don’t ask, if you don’t already know you don’t want to and don’t try this at home. Why, yes I can eat an entire box of Fig Newtons. I'm not proud of this.

Tuesday: I spent the day in Manhattan. This is a very long exhausting day. I was supposed to attend a morning seminar on Anti Bribery and Anti Corruption, it was cancelled due to the Government sequester. Blargh. Of course, to make best use of my time, I arranged other meetings for the afternoon the kind were you want to see ‘the whites of their eyes’. So no choice but to make the trek into the city. The bonus for me working in NY for the day, is being able to spend it with my boss. No, I am not being sarcastic, hard to believe, IKR? We share an office for the day and had quite a few things to discuss. It is nice to be able to have conversations as the topic arises either from all of a sudden remembering or an eMail reminder. All together an extremely productive (and exhausting) day. I managed to get on a train before 6 p.m. with some Crumbs cupcakes (Peanut Butter and Monkey Business) for hubb. When I finally got home the pack was happy to see me and get dog hair and slobber on my good clothes, grrr.. Of course my ever faithful Gizzy was right there to help me with my PT, I don’t want to get up any early than I have to so I do it when I get home. It is nice to not be alone, but I could do without the face licking. Thanks pal…

I'm bored.  Why can't I lick your face?

Wednesday: A nice quick, afternoon 5K, sans tunes was on the agenda. I did wear the Garmin. I only peeked at it twice. I think I’ll borrow the idea of wearing it backwards just so I have it but it is hard to read. The sun was brilliant on the wonderful first day of spring the wind was gusting 19MPH off the water. UGH. As I left the building another runner said, “The wind is strong and cold, however it is not constant. ENJOY!” I did and had a new fleece running top, so happy to not have to wait until fall to wear it for the first time!

Thursday: No planned run for today. I’m dreaming about a trail run tomorrow afternoon, cutting out of work early for an “off site meeting”. I’ve also been pondering signing up for a ½ marathon trail run at the end of the month.  There is also a 10K option. I really want to do the ½, for the experience, the longest I’ve run on trails is 9 miles. No doubt I can do it. As one of my marathon girlfriends says “Beth, we are marathoners we can do anything.” Honestly, I’m most concerned about slowing the whole race wrap up process down, when I come straggling in as the last runner. Hmmmmm….  Thoughts? 

Beth, quickly catching y’all up, thanks for stopping by!

P.S.  One of the fun agenda items for my "off site meeting" tomorrow afternoon.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Wrestling and Pondering

The Shamrock Shuffle in North Kingstown, RI was great.  Still not the beautiful 50F(antastic for running) temperature of last weekends Ocean's Run.  32F temps are ok it was the 22F (reezing) windchill at the start of the race that was not so ok.

Yeah, yeah, it is March, what are ya gonna do.  We were so spoiled last year, on this day, it was 48F for race start and 50F for race end.  One never knows what March is going to hold.  Winter is overstaying its welcome and spring is still off in the distance.

I ran a bit slower this 5K from the O'Niatic race yesterday.  Tired legs, many hours spent staining woodwork, one more slice of pizza than I should have, and who knows.  I could have pushed myself a bit harder.  This was a flat course and I need to learn to not rely on the hills to pick up my pace.

What is interesting is comparing the two races.  Similar amount of elevation gain 44 for O'Niantic and 48 for the Shamrock Shuffle.  O'Niantic was an out and back and Shamrock Shuffle was not.

O'Niantic Splits.  My official time was 28:46, I forgot to stop the Garmin... whoopsie!! So based on my official time my last split would have been 0:35 ???  oh here we go with math again...

Shamrock Shuffle Splits.  My official time was 29:19, I have no idea where the extra 7 seconds came from, I started the Garmin before I crossed the mat and after I crossed the mat, who knows, gremlins?
But really they are so similar, there is a difference of 44 seconds in there some where.  Huh...

Then check out the pace charts:


Shamrock Shuffle

Fascinating.  I held a very steady pace for the O'Niantic, in fact if you would have asked me I would have said I ran pretty smoothly.  My Shamrock Shuffle was all over the place, holy cow!  Maybe I spent to much energy speeding up and slowing down and that caused the 44 second deficit?

This is all rather curious... something to ponder... electronic gremlins?  Thoughts?  Anyone?  Buller?

Anyhoodles, on to the important stuff!!!  I met some other women runners!  YEAH!!  Nice gals, hung out with them for the free beer at a local pub.  We even had our picture posted to the race's Facebook Page! Glad to get to know some other women runners, finally!  Looking forward to hearing about their races and running again with them in more local races!

Cute aren't we?

Hubb went out for a bike ride in the afternoon and I thought about going out and running the course he bikes and meeting up with him at some point.  He bikes it clock-stupid and I run it clock-wise.  While it would have been nice to see hubb's smiling face and to surprise him.  I opted to knit (those babys keep coming and those sweaters aren't going to knit themselves) and then take a nap.  The nap was heaven, absolute heaven, the eldest member of the pack was all for this curling up and snoring in my ear, oh Gizzy, you are a trip.  I was out for nearly two hours.  The youngest member of the pack and I haven't had our weekend morning wrestling matches in a few weeks, all this business of me getting up early to go out and race or run or brunch with girlfriends is really not his idea of how to celebrate the weekend!

He took this opportunity to nuzzle me and be his cute flip floppy self.  We had a good 20 minutes of wrestling and I managed to NOT get another black eye.  He is a spaz, you'll have that with 2 year old boxers.
Jax who has endless energy!

Beth, curious about this whole splits discrepancy and happy to have met some women runners!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Identification / 5K recap / Goals

At the start line for the O'Nantic 5K this a.m. as we were all huddled together trying to stay warm in the 32F ish temperatures.  The gal next to me said "I've never seen one like that before."  All I could think of was the Lady Gaga song "Monster" until it registered she was talking about the RoadID on my shoe.

She showed me the RoadID she wears on her wrist and said the shoe one seemed much less irritating than the one on her right wrist.  (she wore her watch on her left wrist)  I said that I agreed and also pointed out the BandID I had on my watch.  She said "Two seems a bit much."  I said maybe it was over kill however I said "Well if my left hand is severed there is still the one on my right shoe and if my right foot is severed there is the one on my watch."  We both laughed and agreed that running with ID was much safer than running without and she would be looking for one that she could attach to her shoe.

Shortly after that the gun went off and the mad rush and halt once people realized they needed to funnel across the starting mat.  We looked at each other and laughed and both said "Hurry up and stop."  And then we were off.

It was a fast and flat course, very nice!  Along the way I saw a co-worker and his grandkids "Carr!!" I shouted as that is how we greet each other in the hall way "Carr" I say and "Lazor" he says.  He had no idea it was me and just yelled "Hey, YOU."  I'm sure it dawned on him a little later.

Love the maps Hartford Marathon Foundation puts out for their courses:

It was a nice race, 891 runners and walkers.  Very well organized and the course marked with lots of volunteers, YEAH VOLUNTEERS!!

I think I am beginning to hate the 5K race a little less.  I've started reading "Run Less Run Faster" in the last week and looking at my recent 5K times compared to my 1/2 times and my full marathon times I am not pushing myself hard enough and can be much faster than I am in my longer distances.

The prescribed FIRST schedule and workouts will fit in well with my work week and my travel schedule.  I'll give it a 100% effort and see where it lands me.

After the 5K today one of my running buddies and I were talking about the FIRST program and what our BQ times are.  We are the same!  He is definitely a speed demon compared to me  (his 22 minute 5Ks compared to my 28 minute 5Ks)  with a little effort I be we can both get there!!

I hesitated on the concept of run less.  I love to run, just to be out there running along with no determined pace just a general idea of what ground I wanted to cover.  I'll give it a shot.  Marine Corps Marathon is October 27th plenty of time to work on my speed.

Beth, not dreading the 5K race...

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Race photos from this weekends two races came out.  I'm not as dorky looking as I normally am...  they didn't get the big laugh from hubb as some from races past.  This is is favorite picture of his dorky wife  (Gary Batch 5K for Meso Sept '12).  He calls them my "spaz hands"...

Beth, dorky and I know it!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Not Broken, Just a Little Bent

First PT session was today!  Friday's intro session was cancelled due to the snow.  What snow I pondered, we had like an inch at the shore, in land, they had a foot or more, and the doc is inland, so no PT.

I've never had PT and had no idea what to expect, since I had to go to work I threw some yoga pants in my bag figuring my work clothes weren't going to be appropriate.  Good call on the yoga pants.

First up was an initial interview on my problems and where they ranked on a pain scale.  By the time the doc got done explaining the pain scale I had forgotten it.  I wished I had taken notes or he had a laminated card I could refer to. I gave it my best shot as to the pain scale, he asked about specific pain in the last 7 - 10 days, nothing much over a 5, mostly 1's.

Then we got to flexibility testing. I always freeze up for tests!!!  First up was a spine flexibility test.  That was interesting.  Forward, backward, and side to side bending.    I was in the acceptable range, pshew, I passed!  Next up were flexibility tests on my legs and hips.  Just to be sure this was really an SI joint issue.  He said,  in fact this was an issue with my SI joint, he had similar problems.  In my words, the muscles holding the joint in place were tight and needed to be stretched and strengthened to let my pelvis on the left align with my pelvis on the right.  This would allow my left leg and my right let to be more aligned.  Seemed like my left leg was about 1.5 inches longer than my right with the misalignment.

How the body functions fascinates me.  Our bodies are such amazing pieces of machinery, truly amazing.  Through the whole session he told me what muscles were being worked and what each did.  Eventually I'll get all the details.   I think what really sold me was the discussion on how with women the hormonal cycles impact a woman's flexibility and how child birth can mess with the pelvic alignment.  We are meant to be more flexible in the pelvis.  I think this really surprised me as the gals at TRX discussed the whole female cycle (sorry guys) and besides the crazies there is a general lack of flexibility and how most of our primary care physicians didn't account for this fluctuation in hormones as having an impact on our physical being.

Tomorrow hubb is up and out early to go biking with some buddies; leaving me with dog duty and my first at home therapy.  Should be an interesting morning.  Hopefully the boyz won't be too interested in what I am doing, famous last words...

Beth, on to a new adventure in healing!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Math does not lie

Last February I was eMailing with a buddy about a race I came in last in.  I wasn't embarrassed that I was last,  or even upset, I finished what I started see: ""Start as you mean to go on".  I was actually embarrassed to hold up the awards ceremony!  I mean really, the folks that came in first had to wait around nearly an hour before yours truly crossed the finish line!! He and my father pointed out that the race results clearly showed three people only finished one lap of the two lap race, so I wasn't last, huh.  I remember crossing that finish line and knowing I was the last person out of those woods and even when I said, I'm last, I heard oh you aren't last.  I assured them I was.  My buddy, being the engineer he is, pulled up the race results and did a statistical analysis on them.  I love engineers.  He replied with this:

 “Congratulations on the race.  Great job!  I took the results and ran them though a statistical analysis.  Your time was only 2.35 standard deviations below the average.  In statistical speak anything within +/-3 std deviations is considered “normal”.  So you were absolutely in the same class as the rest of the runners – math does not lie.” 

Holy cow Math does not lie!  What a genius!

 That phrase “Math does not lie.”  Runs through my head when I’m racing/running.   Because I have not become smart enough to figure the splits to meet my goal ahead of time and write them on the back of my bib to peek at during the race. I have to do the math in my head.  Which, in retrospect, probably isn't a bad thing because I suck at doing math in my head.  Ask my hubb who nearly goes crazy when I’m trying to figure out a 15% tip.   He looks at my puzzled face and says, "Hon, you are a numbers person why is this so difficult?"  I freeze, I panic, I have no idea.  Finally, after years of this dance, he said move the decimal point over two places, remember that number and then cut that number in half and add the two numbers.  Holy cow, that is 15%.  What a genius!

For my first Marathon our team coach gave us some tips and tricks for when the going gets tough.  Count backwards from 100, the amount of concentration you have to have is amazing and you forget that your body hurts you forget that you are tired you are just trying to remember 99, 98, 98, 90, oh wait I messed up 100, 99,98,97,96, 95, 94, 93, 92, 91 wow I’m on a roll, oh I like that shirt, wow bright shiny object.  Oh shit what number was I on?  Hey wait aren't there dunkin donut holes coming up at mile 24, what mile is this 15, hmmm how long will it be till I get to mile 24, lets see 24 minus 15 is 10, no wait it is 9.  My pace is 10:45 so crap that is a lot of math to do.  Let’s round up to 11 and hmmm.  Before I knew it a mile or two have gone by and I was feeling like running.  What a genius!

I love those “What a genius!” moment, someone making something easier or maybe just a little less painful.

And that is what I thought about on my 'recovery run' this morning,  Despite the sharp stabbing pain in my left hip I went out, figured maybe 3 miles at most, just down to the beach and back.  After dropping my badge at the guard shack and chatting with the guard, he commented the St. Pat 5K shirt was a cool shirt. I headed out with a right hand turn, bag the beach, let's explore a bit and try a new route.  50 minutes and 4.4 miles later I was back at the guard shack retrieving my badge feeling refreshed and sans hip pain.  

Beth, thankful for all the geniuses in her life

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Ocean's Run 1/2 Marathon

Today was the 2nd 1/2 marathon of 2013 for me.  Ocean's Run, flat and fast.  I'll drink to that! I'm not wicked fast and may never be; simply happy to enjoy a nice long run, with my slowly mending hips, in this wonderful state of Rhode Island, on a what turned out to be a beautiful sunny Sunday morning!

TriMom puts on a great race.  This is the 3rd one of theirs I have run and have to say these gals have it locked and loaded on how to put on a race, every thing is easy for the participants from picking up race packages to parking to water stops every mile.  Kudos!!!

The course started from the South Kingstown Town beach and wove through the beach and farm community of Manutuck.  Matunuk was hit pretty hard by Superstorm Sandy.  Yesterday, Lord Giz of the Mo and I went out to Matunuk for a little 'mommy and me' time (enjoying the balmy 52F temps).  Places where there used to be land and homes gave way to make the vast ocean even vaster.  I noticed quite a few for sale signs, I do wish the residents well.

The landscape in the country side is as beautiful as the beach.

Cows!  I'm a country girl at heart and farms make me feel all warm and cozy!

Walden's way.  Oh yes I do believe Thoreau could appreciate these woods.

It was overcast and in the high 20F when I left the house this morning.  By race start it was high 30F and still cloudy, about 30 minutes into the race the sun poked its head out and stayed out.  It was nice to chase my shadow for a portion of the race. The temps never got much above 45F so perfectly pleasant for a race.  The head wind for the last 3 miles was even pleasant!  Yeah, may be time to get back in to therapy?

There were several out and backs in this race.  Normally I am not a huge fan of these, although there was one in the AZ Rn'R marathon and it was nice to see one of my marathon girlfriends so I am beginning to appreciate the beauty of this type of race.  I noticed the front runner, hey wait I recognize him, well wait, he had a woolly beard the last time I saw him, could it be? Hmmm something to ponder.   I was able to give a high 5 to my friend Don on this first out and back, that was super cool!  He is the hare to my tortoise pace, plus it was so cool to actually be able to know one of these fast people! On the second out and back again the front runner, yep, that is him.  How cool!  By the 3rd out and back he was mile 10 to my mile 7.  I clapped and yelled "Go Mike".  As I neared that same mile 10 who did I see with several other top finishers, on their cool down run, Mike.  He clapped and yelled "Go Beth".  I've said before that seeing a familiar face really puts a kick in my step and that was what I needed to get out of my slowing pace.

I finished respectably strong, I started out a little fast, per usual but didn't fall apart.  Quite pleased to see only two splits in the 11 minute range, my intention was a 10:30 pace.  I stayed pretty close!!  Now to work that back to  a 9:05 pace to meet my goal of a sub 2:00:00 1/2.  (my PR is 2:09:00)  Good to have goals.

Great race, definitely one for the books for next year.

Post race I was able to congratulate Mike, so impressive.  Meet up with my buddy Don and his wife, thanks for taking the picture Suzan!  And formally met one of the guys I've run trail races with (Hi Michael nice race!).  Nice to start putting names to the familiar faces in this running world; I am starting to feel like I belong!

Beth, enjoyed running in Rhode Island and now is contemplating a nap!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Does size matter?

After the St Pat 5K in Providence this a.m. I posted a picture of the medal.  Yes, yes, a medal for a 5K, it is actually pretty nifty.

Back to the story, I posted a picture of the medal with a caption of "A nice jog with 7,000 people".   Side bar:  I spazed and didn't stop the Garmin so I think my time is about 28:30.  Feh, I'll take it.  Back to the story, this got me thinking -  7,000 people you question - well I don't know for sure it was 7,000 but it was well over 5,000 and I am pretty sure I saw bib numbers in the 6,000 range.  Seriously, can I tell this story here?  Stop with all these questions.  This is getting to be like talking to my hubb or one of my ex-bosses who wanted the punchline BEFORE the joke!!!  OK so this got me to thinking about the number of people in a race and the fun of the race and what makes a race fun or people want to participate.

Stick with me here as I eventually get to a point or a question.  Having been accused of telling to many tangential stories and not tying them all up with a pretty ribbon (right Jimmy?) I am really focusing on being more organized.  Oh stop laughing.

So, about my Walkman.   No wait that is a different, completely unrelated story....

Starting out the race was a glom of people.  I hear a woman behind me say, well there is the gun and now we wait.  The runners go out first then the rest of us.  That got me thinking, how many people am I going to have to pass on this up hill start.  I thought I was pretty close to the front.  Oh bother, never mind, remember you told Brian you were going to attempt to run so hard you felt like puking, focus on that.   But I won't be able to run hard if there are people in my way.  Huh...  The crowd started moving.  You know that huge rush forward to a gigantic stop and everyone realized they needed to funnel down to cross the start line.  Yeah, that one.  Giggle.

The race started on an up hill it was an out and back, which meant it ended on a downhill!  Perfect opportunity to pick up some speed and work towards that puking goal.  And if I puked possibly I could get out of that big glom of people that always seems to hold up any forward progress towards getting away from the finish line and into some open air to breathe and keep moving.  I just ran I don't want to stop I want to walk really fast and find a bottle of water, not chit chat, in the famous words of  Sweet Brown "Ain't nobody got time for dat."  My niece just introduced me to this gem last weekend.  Why yes, yes I do live under a rock.

Weaving in and out of people wastes energy. I tried best as I could to find a wide enough spot and squeeze through on a forward angle rather than side to side.  This got me to thinking what is the best way to pass through people, some were walking some were running slower than me, some were faster and I watched as they wove their way through the crowd.  I wasn't seeing them have any more luck than I was having.  There should be some unwritten rules of courtesy on a road race with a large number of entrants.  The slower stay to the right, much like how the roads are supposed to be managed.  Yeah, good point, no one obeys those rules on the road what makes me think they would stay right and go left for active passing?  Well at least the walkers should stay to the right?  Thoughts anyone?

Then this thought led me down another path, if my intent was to be competitive and get a PR (my current 5K PR is 27:27) shouldn't I find a smaller race, one where my energy can be focused on forward movement and not on trying to pick the best line through a crowd of people?  So was it fair for me to even consider racing a race of this size?  Clearly there were people racing this race, they lined up at the starting line. I'm not that fast, I am a middle of the pack runner, not the leader of the pack.  Maybe I needed to line up further towards the front?  In a glom of 7,000 people is there really a point?  The race was chip timed so it started when I crossed the start and ended when I crossed the finish.

I reviewed the races I've run in the last year, ranging from a few hundred  to a few thousand to Marine Corps Marathon of 25,000 runners.  MCM was crowded you were always around people, thing was you seemed to be around people going your own pace and those going slower did tend to stay to the right when they felt like they were getting passed, or at least that is what it seemed like to me.  The only time I felt like I was about to trip on people was the last 3 miles of that race.  I had gas in the tank and was hell bent on burning it and wasted some weaving around walker walking 2, 3 or 4 astride.  They called it quits and I wasn't going to do that I was running that whole race, period.

Perhaps I will focus on the smaller local 5Ks for achieving my goal PR (25) and sign up for large 5Ks only if I like the shirt.  Which is WHY I signed up for this one.  It is cool, no?  Can't wait to wear it Monday's recovery run!!

Where I've ended up, large races have their purpose, the pomp and circumstance and small races have their purpose competition.  When one signs up for a race they need to figure out WHY they are signing up and WHAT they intend to GET out of the race.  Thoughts?

As I made my way back to my car, after losing my trail of bread crumbs I ran into two guys who asked:  "Did you win?"  I smiled and said "Hell yeah! The only thing I lost was my car!"  we all laughed.

Win or lose, as long as you can laugh you won!

Beth, off to take Lord Giz of the Mo for a hike and pick up her race bib for tomorrows 1/2 marathon

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Theme of 3

Bounced out of the house on time this morning, surprisingly perky after being visited by Mr. 3 a.m. insomnia for 90 minutes.  I keep trying to break up with him, yet he won't let me go.  Alas, what is a girl to do?

I arrived at work and for some reason I was compelled to check the shoe compartment on my gym bag.  There were shoes in there alrighty, the shoes I wore to work yesterday.  I completely forgot to repack the running shoes when I got home from TRX, unloaded the bag of the stinky clothes and the work clothes and reloaded with extra socks and bras because, well THOSE are what I generally forget.  So there you have it 3 bras, 3 pairs of socks, several shirts a couple skirts a pair of tights and no shoes.  Well shit.  Guess who ran in the dark tonight?  Moi.  And since 3 seemed to be the theme, I'll run three miles!

I did have a couple tanks in then gym bag, so at least I was prepared for my chair massage!  I snagged that out of the bag and stuffed it in my purse and off I went, feeling rather light not lugging my bag.

Ah, Tuesdays, chair massage day with Amy of the pointy elbows.  We caught up on the Tough as Nails run and me figuring out how to get my SI joint realigned and vanquish the pain.  She said "Beth, how did you figure that out?"  When I told her what I was doing to relieve the pressure.  I said "You Tube, I found a video."  She laughed and said "You are something alrighty."  Puffy heart her!!!   My back is nice and tenderized from her pointy elbows and my neck is a few millimeters longer.  Ahhh....

Hubb called to tell me he was going out for an evening trail ride on the bike and to remember to pick up salad and coffee at the warehouse club.

When I arrived home, the young pups were in their crates and I felt so horrible just saying HI and dashing upstairs to change in to my running gear (complete with a reflective vest!) to get 3 hilly miles in.  They do this incredibly cute thing of spinning around clockwise in their crate and then downward dog all in unison.  They did their routine and looked at me as I was heading out the door with this "Really?" look on their faces.  The elder dog just whined because he thought he was going somewhere.  I said I'd be back in less than 30 minutes and it would be dinner time when I got back.

Quick three miles. Starting to get some of my speed back!

My time is getting there.  Really what I liked was the representation of my Orangie and Taig heritage.
Not quite in the right order, the flag of  Ireland is the green white orange order. 


I love this course!

Worked with the hills, just have to push harder on the mile 2 up!
Beth, who should probably find some theme of three to go with the third month of the year

Monday, March 4, 2013

This and That

Today I logged 4 miles!  4 PAIN FREE miles!  I do believe I am on the off cycle for injuries, touch wood it stays that way.  After the Brutal Tough as Nails race it wasn't until the Friday after I felt comfortable running again.  I mustered up the courage and ran on Friday, it felt good to be out.  My left hip was sore and tender and I took it easy.  I iced after my run, ice is my friend.  I have several ice methods in the freezer at work.  A bottle for my foot frozen veggies for my back and a small actual ice pack I can discretely put on my knee.

Small digression, I have the same icing systems at home.  My Brother In Law was over several years ago and was doing a little cooking.  He mentioned that I may want to try another brand of peas as the ones he used in some stir fried rice for his kids didn't taste quite right.  I grimaced and said he used my ice pack.  Well that explained everything.  From that point forward I have kept my ice paks in a plastic bag, to distinguish them from other frozen vegetables.  I probably should write 'Ice Pack Don't Eat' on them, because someone may not realize that these are special?  Um, yeah, I'll put that on the 'to do list'...  so if you are in my freezer or really anyone's and you see frozen veggies in a plastic bag, you may want to ask first.

Ask first, there may be a reason these are in a special bag!!

And back to our regularly scheduled programming...

I went to yoga. It wasn't the usual detox with Heidi, new instructor and a vinyasa class.  I hemmed and hawed about going; Hubb and he said he could offer me no opinion, to do what I wanted.  I went.  Me and one other student and the instructor.  10 minutes in I could tell this was a bad idea.  The thought of leaving did cross my mind.  But it was a new instructor and I hate hurting people's feelings so I muscled through and paid for it dearly.

Hubb was out for the night with his buddies and I was in full pain management mode by the time he got home.  A few Advil, my trusty ice packs on and off every 20 minutes, and an impressive dent in a freshly opened bottle of Jack Daniels.  I wasn't feeling much pain when he arrived home.  The things that man puts up with.

Doubtful anything but the ice and perhaps the Advil helped.  I woke up with a little of the Irish Flu and a hip not so happy with me. Fortunately we didn't have much to do but visit the Hubb's parents and that involved a nice long ride in the car with heated seats and that was lovely.  By Sunday afternoon things had worked themselves out and we took a nice 2 mile walk on the beach with the dogs.

So that gets us back to my 4 mile run today!  Also took the Monday night TRX class and am feeling wonderful.  I know the hip thing has to do with my SI joint and this being the second time I've encountered this I am seeing a Sports Med Physical Therapist on Friday.  I imagine he will help kick me in the butt and I'll get religion on stretching and foam rolling...

Beth, a little less injured than this time last week!