Monday, April 29, 2013

Less About Running and More General Musings

My dad used to look forward to Monday, so he could relax.  He was always busting his butt from the time he got home Friday night through Sunday night on house projects.  I can’t say that I busted my butt all weekend on house projects, although I did manage to get the laundry done and maybe load the dishwasher?  The dining room rehab hit a bit of a stall but now the moldings are up and should be put back together tomorrow night.  Otherwise, I ran a lot.  Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.  Sat and Sunday were races and running here and there with errands and bib pick up.  Well Sat, more an event, but getting to and from Hartford is a haul for me and there was an impromptu washing of all three dogs followed by a trip to Newport to pick up my bib.  This left me a little spent by the time Saturday night rolled around.  Sunday was the race and a bit of relaxing, a hike with the eldest pup, then dinner out with Hubb.

So we have these three dogs, all boxers, all boys, all about 70 pounds.  Gizmo – he is 12 and basically been a curmudgeon since he was born, we adopted him just after he turned 2, his family couldn't afford to keep both him and his mom.  Gus – he is 5 and neurotic, we adopted him at age 3, after he spent 18 months in a kennel waiting to be rescued.  We refer to this time as “Puppy Prison”.   Gus was on death row for behavioral issues, his issue is being neurotic about everything and once we figured that out we knew how to deal with him.  And finally the puppy, Jax – he is 2 and is slowly starting to mature, Jax’s owner backed over him with his truck and then decided it would be better to destroy this perfectly good pup even with the rescue paying for the operation and his only responsibility being to rehab him after his crushed back leg was put back together and pinned.  He comes to us with no baggage, just the typical boxer mentality of always pushing to find the boundary and being a clown. 

I got home from the Color Me RAD desperately in need of being de-colored.  Gizmo was hopping around with the itchies, it is shedding season and for some reason he just won’t shed, we think he just doesn't want to let go of his fur, no matter how miserable it makes him.  So off to the shower he went for a good scrubbing to release some of that fur (more to come off after he dried).  He willingly climbs in the shower for this torture.  After his torture, he was more than happy to be freed and shake water all over the bathroom and get toweled off.  Jax sees this getting toweled off business, and he LOVES to get toweled off. He will go out into the rain just to come in wet to get toweled off.  He saw the process and jumped in the shower.  ME NEXT!!!  Ok, fine, sure, you could use a bath I am  sure.  He LOVED it, getting sprayed and soaped and scratched and sprayed and his favorite part the toweling off!!!  Poor Gus stood there in the bathroom doorway, “But what about me, why don’t I get a bath? I never get anything those guys get.”  Like I said, neurotic.  He wasn't so sure about the whole thing once he got in the shower but the other two got to and damn it he wasn't getting left out of this.    Hubb came home to find three naked (they didn't have their collars on, we call this naked) dogs in the foyer and yelled up “Hon, why are the dogs naked?”  All three shook the last little bits of water off of them. “And wet?  Oh you guys got baths.”  “Hon why did you wash all three of them, Giz is the only one who needed it?”  I told him the story I just told you and he said “Yeah, that sounds like our dogs.”

L - R:  Jax, Gizmo, Gus, Sage

This picture depicts them accurately. Jax ready for action, Gizmo being curmudgeonly, Gus wanting to please, Sage, the matriarch, she passed away on January 30th  (age 10), The Boyz are now a little lost, she was pretty good about keeping them in line, as you can see from the expression on her face "Jax get serious".

Sunday night rolled around, Hubb and I went out to Captain Scott’s Lobster Dock in New London to eat fish and chips, and completely ruin any healthy benefits of our exercise filled weekend.    Mad Men was less than stellar and it was bed time.  I was happy for  Monday to arrive so I could go to work and relax. 

Well I didn't get to do too much of that.  Catching up from a crazy week last week, a 4.5 mile run to clear my head, and off to see Amy for a massage.  Amy decided she needed to really get in at my lower back and legs with her elbows, she must have sharpened them over the weekend.  Her comment mocking me as I said “I’m not in any pain.” as she reviewed my laundry list of injuries, and dug her elbow in to my hamstrings and butt, giggling and mocking me by saying “Oh, no Amy I’m not in any pain.” And me saying through gritted teeth “Well I wasn't till you jabbed me with your elbow.” Wincing and trying not to shriek in pain.  She is probably reading this laughing hysterically.  I wouldn't have it any other way, but damn I need to seriously make friends with my foam roller so this un-sticking of my muscle fiber isn't as painful!!!

Tonight was also TRX, the usual barrel of laughs. I did buy my own rig to use at home, to get in a couple sessions a week.  I am finding this to really strengthen my core and it is really enjoyable.  Now I just have to find a door in this old crooked house that completely closes and latches.  Didn't think that through all the way, now did I?

Maybe tomorrow I can relax at work?  Famous last words.

Sincerely,
Beth, wondering what tomorrow holds in store...

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Newport 10 Miler - Recap

Again, can't recall what, other than the thought of running in beautiful Newport, prompted me to sign up for the Newport 10 Miler wayyyy back in January.  Must have been running in beautiful Newport?  The United Healthcare Newport Half Marathon  was so beautiful, even though it wasn't the most perfect weather day, wicked windy and not much sun.  Newport is just an awesome place to run!

Running buddy Nicole had signed up for this 10 Miler with designs on a PR, which she then tacked on being  no more than 10 minutes behind me. She lamented blogging about getting a PR and hoping she hadn't jinxed herself.  Well, she killed both goals with a 1:45 (12 minutes off her Blessing of the Fleet 10 Miler and 4 minutes behind me) way go Nicole, very proud of you!!  I also PRd at 1:41 (4 minutes off my Blessing of the Fleet 10 Miler, and a minute over my expected finish of 1:40).  Fellow NRA runner Jen was also in the PRing pack with her own PR of 1:15, Woo hoo!!  This was the first time I met Jen, a very accomplished runner, hope to get to know her better! HI JEN!!

Last night Nicole sent out a message asking if the three of us wanted to carpool.  Sure, I'm all in for that, it is SO difficult to find people in crowds anyhow, at least we would all be together.   The plan was to meet 6:40 - 6:45 a.m. in the park and ride.  All three of us were there by 6:35.  I, a chronically early person, TOTALLY digs other chronically early people!  This was boding well for the day.  We piled in Vinnie and off we went for this inaugural race in Newport.

It was a little chilly at the start, we had on warmer clothes, arm warmers (that were once knee socks, Nicole's matched her outfit perfectly, me not so much) and a bag to check it all in.  I'm slowly getting the hang of this bag check.  Unfortunately I forgot to tape my bib number to the bag, but they had a marker, solved that problem!  Despite the slight chill it was going to be an absolutely gorgeous day.


Very different start to this race than yesterday's Color Me Rad.  Lots of colorful shirts, predominantly Boston blue, yellow, and orange.  And a couple flags.  

He ran the whole race with the flag draped around him.  I kept him in my sights pretty much the whole race!

The race started with a cannon shot after a moment of silence for Boston.  We were given black ribbons to wear during the race.  I pinned mine to my bib so I will always have it with my bib.  What a nice touch.

The Bib Number holds a bit of significance for me, my birthday with a mumble for the finish!!
The course wound its way around Ocean Drive, along Bellevue Avenue with the mansions and rural scenery complete with stone fences and animals!  Nifty video of the start, sort of reminds me of turning on the light and hearing the cockroaches skittering across the linoleum in my apartment in grad school, otherwise cool to see the string of 1,500 runners!

I spied coach Julia from Team Lung Love, running up the left side and quickly tapped her on the shoulder to give her a quick hello!  Awesome runner, she ran Boston last year, in the heat, an absolute inspiration to me!!

Route

Racing on the shore one never thinks of hills, there are hills!  I remember when we first moved to RI and a girlfriend from the vast flat lands of the Midwest came to visit her comment of  "Beth I never imagined the coat to be so hilly."  always rings through my brain. The hill at mile 7.5 wasn't going to get the best of me.  The perfect cheery perky well paced song came on at that point and I nearly skipped up the hill to Jason Mraz singing "I'm Yours" and that hill was mine!  The previous ones offered spectacular views and the ones after? Well they are a hill, just get over it!

Pace / Elevation - consistent and I walked the water stops

That and they were getting me closer to the finish.  Julia spied me in the final yards of the finish and cheered me on.  It was almost like mile 23 of MCM all over again and I got a good burst of joy to get me across the finish line, which seemed like it would never come as we looped around inside Fort Adams.  Ugh...

VICTORIOUS WOMEN RUNNERS!!

We ambled to the car, back to the park and ride, and then on to breakfast!  Discussed our running history, families, and what we were going to do with the rest of the afternoon.  Jen and Nicole are smart cookies as they had nothing on the agenda, while ding dong thought she might (and did) take Lord Giz of the Mo out for a hike in Burlingame.  It was fun.  I managed to figure out where I lost the Sammy C trail  (it is a beautiful and technical trail - plan to attack that post Ice Age Trail 1/2 Marathon) and met one of Hubbs riding buddies out on the trail.  Gizmo enjoyed his outing and exploring the trail and the woods, he was especially thrilled with the running streams to wade in and get a drink of water.

Gotta love that gray mug and muddy paws on my old guy!

Sincerely,
Beth, happy with her racing weekend and ready for Monday to relax!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Color Me Rad 5K - Recap

As it usually starts, Hubb is out with the guys on a Friday night, I'm home, drinking, either catching up on Blue Bloods or knitting and yes, of course, Facebooking.  Someone suggests a race or I find a race and with a little arm twisting, ok not really, I sign up. I can't even remember how many months ago this was...  Karen has just started getting in shape and walking on the treadmill and wanted to have a goal of a 5K.  She invited me to this event "Color Me Rad 5K Hartford"  Huh, usually my invites from Karen involve drinking, why sure, I like running even more than I like drinking and too cool to be involved with her first 5K.

Fast forward to yesterday afternoon and I am out running errands and off to pick up my bib and shirt in Hartford, I get a message from Karen's cousin Tuesday, I have your bib.  I message back, I was just on my way to Hartford thanks for saving me the trip.  I give her my cell number so the group can meet up in the morning and decide that it is time I took a drive around the Colchester Tough as Nails 1/2 Marathon course.  When I wasn't ready to cry in pain from my SI Joint dysfunction I remember it as being beautiful, well yes hilly, but beautiful, even in the raw ugly month of February.  Yesterday, it was even more so!



I need to plan a morning to run that all on my own...

Karen messaged me later in the day things in her house were a logistical nightmare and they were down to one car so she had to beg off.  I was a little bummed but not going to miss this event, sounded like fun.  Next time friend!!

I get up to Hartford, with the directions to Rentschler Field the Color Me Rad website suggested, actually pretty good, except for trying to get into the parking lot, you had to approach from a different direction.  There was no way we were going to be able to turn right into the parking lot (IKR, really weird).  The mini van behind me, turned around and went into the Cabella's parking lot. I followed, figuring we must be headed to the same place, right?  Well we were and parked way in the back of the lot nearest the stadium and all the chaos.  Now to meet up with Tuesday, and the rest of the gang.  She called at some point and said they were waiting in line to get into the parking lot, and to meet by the red shack to the left of the field. I said ok and just wandered around among this sea of people in white cotton t-shirts, white tu-tus, white hats, feeling a little odd with my blue cap and non cotton white shirt and gray shorts and spied what must be this red shack, and it was to the left of the stadium.  Fortunately we were facing the same direction, coming at it from a different angle it could be on the right!  The group of 8 convened and we went off to find the starting corral.


You really can't call this a race, it isn't set up like one, it is an event, and because of this I think a perfect way to experience your first 5K or have a fun outing with the kids.  Seriously, you should not be be out there to PR or race this, you should be out there to get as much damn color on you as possible and have a good time.  See getting all messy, what a great thing for kids, right???  There was even a bridal party.  What an awesome bachelor/bachelorette party!!   Although I will always hold firm that mine was the ultimate, me and my maid of honor going to Napa Valley for a week of wine tasting to pick out the sparkling wine for my wedding.  Then again, I am a little biased...  Anyhoodles...

Sweating it for the Bride

It was a sea of white at the starting line. and the color bombs started flying as we waited!

A sea of white cotton.

So I mentioned that people wore cotton.  After the race I understand why this is important!  My 'run for beer' tech-t did a good job with the dry powder and being colorful, once I started sweating and getting sprayed with liquid color, it did what a tech-t is supposed to do and wick it, spread it around so the moisture releases.  Didn't make for a very pretty finished shirt.

This guy was so ready to take off and run across the finish line!

I did get to run with someone for their first 5K they ran.  Pam, who was introduced to me as Peanut Butter, and Queen Smart Ass, here, so desperately wanted to say "And which one of you is Jelly?" but wasn't exactly sure of my audience as I had just met these 7 people!!!  Nothing like getting started on the wrong foot...  A few hundred yard past the starting line, I looked over and there was Pam we continued to run together, only stopping when we had to for one of the color bombings and to get a bottle of water.  The rest of the time we talked and ran along.  I did make the mistake of asking "Are you a runner?"  She had sized me up as a runner and stumbled with the question.  I rephrased, and will always remember to ask it this way:  "Do you run?"  She then relaxed and went on to explain that she runs a bit and walks a bit and commented it looked like I was a runner.  I never got a change to say:  "If you run, you are a runner."  so Pam, you ARE a runner, next time anyone asks you that question and BTW you look like you are a runner, so neener neener foo foo!!

Beth and Pam!  See that smile, she's got the bug!!

The course was interesting.  For some reason we both thought it wound around the streets.  But really how could it with all these color bombing stations going on.  It was a loopy course around Rentschler Field, and just when you thought this turn was the last one and the finish, you snaked around AGAIN!  That really did make it fun.

All in all this was a great experience, I am terribly bummed it didn't work out for Karen and positively thrilled I could run a race with someone very new to racing, this was the first 5K Pam ran from start to finish.  Michael, I think she may be hooked, I saw that little gleem in her eye as I pushed her to go faster as we neared the finish line!!   Muwahaaaaaa!!!  It wasn't a timed race, and I didn't wear my watch or set my Map My Run up.  I'd estimate we finished in about 35 minutes, not too hard, and not any lolly gaggling around, for sure!

And at the end it was a sea of color.



Sincerely,
Beth, enjoying encouraging new runners!

PS the color is dyed corn starch and comes off of skin really easily.  I'm not so sure on the tech-t or the socks yet, but who knows.  I'm just happy to not look like a badly dyed easter egg!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Home again...

"Running can be anything you need it to be, big or small. It can help you beat addiction or disease. It can burn off five or ten or fifty pounds and change your life. Or in the time it takes to watch a few YouTube clips, it can clear the cobwebs in your head, give you a shot of endorphins, and salvage a forgettable day." -- David Willey, Editor-in-chief, Runner's World

I saw the above quote on Facebook last night, I can't remember who posted it.  The picture linked back to jessicaalrabbit Instagram site.  I should credit who I horked it from, and will be more careful in the future.  BECAUSE it makes me nuts when there isn't a credit given to the 'author' of the quote.  I searched  the interwebs for the quote and came up with David Willey as the 'author'.  OK I'm satisfied.

This struck me as a great quote, my running buddy and I had crazy weeks, I woke up in a different state every morning this week and she had house guests for the last 10 days.  Even though both have their fun and enjoy able attributes, deviation from normal throws a person off.    Plus, neither of us had run since our Sunday long runs and were feeling the need, desperately, to run.

Last night was the group run in Narragansett.  Met some more new folks and one familiar face, or rather POOF of curly black hair from trail runs and cheering him on during the Gansett Marathon, I was happy to formally meet.   It was also so nice for both Nicole and I to be recognized, we were told this was a great group of people and they are!  Of course once the run started, they all took off like bats out of hell and we ambled along at our pace never lacking for a subject to discuss!  The nice part is everyone runs for about and hour and we all meet back up at the starting point to chit chat and stretch.  Eventually the runs will start and end at the beach. The Narraganset beach is in great shape, all they have left to do is resurface the parking lot.

Parking lot post Sandy.  The sand has been returned and the lot ready for resurfacing!

Our local beach still looks like a war zone.  

Our local beach, days post Sandy - there used to be dunes and you couldn't see the ocean from the parking lot.

Earlier in April - parking lot and dunes are back!  Still some repairs needed to the pavilion!

One of the guys mentioned that everyone tends to end up IN the water after the run.  His sentiment was you are running along the shore miserably hot and just can't wait to dive into that water.  Good to know. Someone is really going to have to get over her water intimidation!

On tap for the weekend:  Saturday is the Color Me Rad 5K in Hartford, for one of my friends this is her first 5K.  Have to admit it seems pretty freaking cool, good choice!!  Sunday is the Newport 10 Miler, hope to see a few familiar faces in Newport!   Maybe a trail run, but more likely a trail ride.  Hubb got my aged mountain bike all fixed up and ready to go.  His comment "You are going to need a new bike" wasn't followed by, and your birthday is in a few weeks, so huh...

Whats on tap for your weekend?

Sincerely,
Beth, happy to be running and maybe biking and to be home!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Long Run on the Trails!

Today was the day I was going to get a minimum of a 10 mile in on the trails and not get lost.  I got in 12.13 and got a little lost and *gasp* backtracked.  I also tried out my new hydration backpack (the one I have is gray).

E-Lite Vest - Hydrapack
I can't remember what site I actually picked it up from and it was in a discontinued bin and wicked cheap.  Thing is most stuff these days doesn't come with instructions, and sometimes it isn't all that intuitive.  I got the 1 liter reservoir filled and the hose thing attached and inserted where it belongs.  That was all good.  I put on the vest and the straps were all weird and across my, ahem, lady parts and I thought, that is going to be uncomfortable.  I checked on the site to see if there were any pictures of these things in action and that helped me understand about the magnet and how to feed the hose but these straps had me stumped.  Hubb took one look at it and yanked up the adjusters on the front straps and yanked down the adjusters on the side straps and said, "That may work better."  I had no idea the anchor points to the vest were actually slide-able! Had he not helped me with my quandary, well it may not have been a fun run.  Guess it was a good thing I divulged the location of the Tramadol.  BTW his ankle is fine, it wasn't sprained he strained the muscle on the bottom of his foot.  Yeah, not sure how that is possible either, but there you have it.

The 1 L of water was absolutely the right amount for my run today, the temps about 40, and windy.  Little cold to start out thankful I had on two long sleeved tech shirts. My lovely Hunters Orange, because I thought it was either 500 (hat and vest - shotgun season) or  200 (hat - pretty much everything else) square inches of Hunters Orange season.  Not fearing color and not wanting to disobey the rules of the woods, I had on plenty of orange even with what was covered up by my hydration pack.   I did seem to be the only person on the trail wearing orange.   Safety first!


Even the dogs have their own Hunters Orange Vests!

It was a lovely run, and part of it was part of the course in the 4th race, Brrrrr-lingame Snow Sufferfest, in the South County 4th Season Race Series.  Wayyyy different now with no snow on the ground but somethings seemed familiar so I didn't get all turned around.

Same place, slightly different angle...  close enough, eh?

Looks like I managed to follow the routes I wanted!  The Orange, Red, Blue, back to the Orange, Green, and back on the Orange!


I did have a little incident along the course, yeah.... happens, doesn't it...




Sincerely,
Beth, with tired legs after an enjoyable 12.13 trail miles in 2:39

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Group Run

Today fellow blogger and runner Nicole and I joined the Thursday night run with the NRA.  No not that NRA, the Narragansett Running Association, silly.

The last time I ran with another person was with the Hare to my Tortoise pace, the supportive and ever awesome Don way back in July last year.  The forces converged and I found someone who runs my pace who also wanted to join these group runs and this running club.  Woot!!

Having met several people at the dinner before the Gansett Marathon and while volunteering and committing that I and a friend were going to join the group run on the 18th, was a good idea!  It was nice to see familiar faces, that always puts me at ease, and they were happy to see we were participating!!  Mostly what put me at ease was seeing Nicole's bright yellow vehicle!!!

A note reminding the group that the group runs were back at the beach, per tradition, post Boston Marathon and that one of the women runners was bringing spare Boston Marathon shirts for anyone who didn't have one so we could run for Boston.  That was super sweet.  Nicole and I both put on the Marathon shirts over what we had on.  The two new people were introduced and the process explained.  Run for an hour, so what ever that works for you with miles.  For us 5 miles seemed reasonable.  Dave and Jim ran with us.  Jim only for a mile as he had participated in the pre-run for 8 miles and only wanted to run 10 tonight.  Have to say it was awesomely impressive to see a group of 6 runners running towards the meeting point all wearing Boston Marathon shirts.  These are the moments I wish I had my phone with me to snap a picture.

The faster runners took off at their pace and the four of us hung back, which is fine.  Dave explained that he runs generally in the middle and would hang back with us till the cut off for our 5 mile loop as he was doing 6 or so.  When we realized Jim had cut out and Nicole was alone, we stopped and waited for her.

For some reason my potty mouth was in full force.

Slight digression... I was able to catch a train out of Grand Central with my pal E  for a much needed therapy session.  She explained this as just my agitation over the bombs at the Boston Marathon.  She is a former runner, her knees took her out of the race.  Her mother in her 80s still runs. The two of them have been discussing this and was it about marathoners?  No I don't think it was, neither did E, her mom did.  It is nice to say what I needed to say about how I was feeling.  She said someone stopped her mid sentence and said "When did you start swearing?"  she realized that this was just her angst over the bombs in Boston.  Probably me to, but then my language has always been a bit on the saucy side, just not usually with people I don't know well...

When we got all regrouped with Nicole I told the story of a group ride hubb led where he left someone behind.  The biker did understand the rule of three.  After the third time you say, don't wait, go ahead, you get left behind.  I think that is a fine rule.  Hubb has had to drop back on group rides and he says it is a tough on both sides, knowing you can't keep up and don't want to hold people back and knowing the person is struggling to keep up and knowing you don't want to leave them.  When hubb told the story I did actually call him a jerk for leaving a biker behind and then when he told me it was a girl I called him prick for leaving her behind.  I think the story is funny. I'll need to be more mindful of my language!!!

What I noticed was how people described their runs, the NRA runners, like Don, describe them in pace per mile.  I describe them in total time to complete.  The pieces of this puzzle started to fall together when Nicole and I were running and talking about the Newport 10 Miler next Sunday.  She wanted to know what I was aiming for, and we both speak total time.  I figure I want to be under a 10 minute pace so 100 minutes and I take 5 minutes off for some arbitrary reason so came up with 95 minutes.  I have to go to a pace calculator to figure out what actual pace that is that I need to aim for (9:30).  Think I am beginning to get the connection between talking pace rather than time, because if you don't know what pace you need to maintain how are you going to finish with in the specified time.  That and the horror of doing math in your head!!

We ran a respectable 5 miles in 52 minutes (or a 10:24 pace)!!  Chatting the entire time!!!

Arriving home Hubb asked how it was I smiled and said "Awesome, can't wait for the next one!"

Sincerely,
Beth who thinks she may be a joiner

Monday, April 15, 2013

Processing

I remember sitting in a hotel restaurant the morning I read about a school shooting, in the mid 1990's.  I remember walking through the lobby of a hotel on 9/11 glancing at the TV watching an airplane crash into a building.  Today after checking my text messages, post afternoon run, expecting to see the finish time of a friend running Boston and didn't well the locker room is in the basement, maybe texts didn't come through.  As I walked back to my desk, I glanced at FB there was a weird post on my wall "WHERE ARE YOU?" then a follow up comment of  "I am having heart palpitations...please...has someone spoken to Beth?" to which I responded with a flip "Why?  I'm at boring work" and then scrolled through my news feed realizing something was wrong, something was seriously wrong and it was serious.  I quickly posted a "Holy Fuck.  Now I see why.  I'm fine and thank you xoxo"

Then I went into an immediate panic over a virtual friend who was at 40K at 2:42 p.m. and the bombs went off around 2:45.  I've gotten attached to this inspiring runner.  Yes, you...  and no not in some crazy stalker way in a you inspire me way. The other two runners I was tracking had crossed the finish at 1:27 and 1:55 (and are fine).  Awesome job!!

Then the stream of messages and texts called.  Holy fuck... people give a shit about me and holy fuck they think I am fast enough to qualify for Boston.  Well, I guess I better get serious about speeding up!

I am a little unsettled by the whole thing, in a slightly teary slightly angry frame of mind. I was also glad to be in familiar surroundings this afternoon.

Sincerely,
Beth, wishing all peace and praying for those who lost life or limb and who got the shit scared out of them.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

"Not all those who wander are lost." -- J.R.R. Tolkien

"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -- I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference." --  Robert Frost

I couldn't say if the trail was any more or less traveled than other trails.  I saw the staggered blue rectangles, the one on top a little to the left, and went straight.  Yeah, yeah, those of you who KNOW about trail marking would have known.  I thought someone was just touching up the trail markers!


My goal was to run what is called "Sanctuary Outer Trail" (the red one on the trail map) and dumps into the Vin Gormley/Yellow Dot trail (orange on the trail map) in Burlingame.  The Sanctuary Outer Trail also follows the Blue Dot North South Trail hence me following blue markers. Should be about 3 miles added to the 7 miles of the Vin Gormley, a respectable run in the woods I really really really needed.  Just call me grouchy!

It went a little sideways when I realized I had run into the camp ground.  I ran around in the camp ground trying to get my bearings.  Someone on a Sunday drive through the campground stopped to ask me for directions.  HA!  I said, I really wasn't sure, go that way and find the hard top road.  Walking dogs and running around town I'm used to people stopping me to ask for directions.  I'm far more OK with it when I am walking.  Stopping a runner to ask directions, that is just mean.  And when you stop me, expect girl directions, I find and remember things by land marks.

Hubb Monday morning quarterbacked the GPS read out and suggested I try back tracking the next time I get lost? Or perhaps try a left hand turn as the blazes pointed out?  In our relationship, he is the one that stops for directions, I'm the one who will drive around in circles, turning right the entire time.

Left - Trail map    Right - GPS readout

I got in 6 miles of the 10 I started out for.  I simply got frustrated, eventually finding the camp store, and ran in a circle debating if I wanted to just run the VG or give up.  I gave up and went back to the pond parking lot quite a lot happier than when I left and in no pain.  First run in many months where I didn't end with some nagging ache in my hip, knee, or heel.  Huh...

Hubb on the other hand is hogging all the ice writhing on the couch with a sprained ankle wondering if we have any Tramadol in the house.  He had a group ride on the North South trail from Burlingame to Arcadia, and apparently there was a little tumble, I'm sure the story will come out at some point?

Meanwhile how does one plug courses into the Garmin 410 Forerunner from another GPS map?  Is that even possible?  Would that even help this direction challenged runner?  It sure would take a lot of fun out of my runs!

Sincerely,
Beth, surprisingly not needing ice post run, and trying to remember where she stashed the Tramadol

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Surrounded by Greatness

Pithy best describes my mileage this week.  Monday was TRX. Tuesday's run was cut short by feeling like someone drove a semi truck through my gut.  Maybe it was the unexpected heat?  Maybe it was the dirty water bottle? Wednesday was insane and I didn't plan well.  Thursday, Manhattan, the city not the drink, I'd of preferred the drink. Friday insane...  so let's just call this a recovery week and not beat myself up...

Today I volunteered at the Gansett Marathon one of 4 marathons held in this wonderful State of Rhode Island and the Providence Plantations.  On Friday night I ventured out to the pasta dinner, more with the intent to drop off a gallon of water, pick up a flag, and to drive the course to be sure I knew where the two spots I was marshaling were.  Maybe I'd stay, I didn't really know anyone there.

On a whim I volunteered last year, there was a last minute appeal for volunteers and I wasn't doing anything that Saturday morning, so what the hell. Volunteering at races and walks is a nice way to pay back for the volunteers at the races I run.  Plus, the exposure to some of the details about what has to happen to put on a race or a walk and you get to see first hand how the community responds to the slight inconvenience in their neighborhood for a couple hours.  Really fascinating way to observe human behavior and attitudes.

The Race Director, introduced me to a club member, very classy.  I sat down at the table and chatted with him and two other volunteers and two other runners joined us.  

One of the runners was from Michigan!  I said I was too, and asked him where, Hudson Michigan, super close to where I grew up in Clinton!  That was very cool.  He is working on doing a marathon in all 50 states, he has 29 done and runs about 6 marathons a year.  His son is the track coach at the high school and is on a 9 year running streak.  We talked a bit about streaking and how do people manage.  He said his son travels internationally and once had an early morning flight so he got up even earlier to run two miles up and down the halls of the hotel he was staying at!  AHA!!  Unlocking the code of this mystery little by little.  Do you streak?  Thoughts, pro or con?

The other runner coaches middle school cross country in Connecticut and her husband tagged along to cheer her on. She was working to get an actual track installed in the school she teaches in, versus using one a town over.

The club member has a goal of running a marathon on each of the continents, at dinner he mentioned he has run in Australia, Antarctica  and South Korea.  Admirable!

This morning, it was nice to see the three runners I met last night, cheer them on by name and see their faces light up with someone saying their name.  I recognized some of the runners from the 2012 race. In particular Keith Straw

http://lvrunningscene.com/ultra-runners-keith-straw/

And several other runners I knew by name and two by sight!

Talking with the other volunteers was great too. My first station was a triple pass for the runners and a water station so plenty of people to talk with and lots of encouragement to just join the Thursday night run, it really is open to all paces. I will actually join a group run on the 18th with a fellow runner and blogger!   At the second I met the president of the running club in my town.  He is a tri-athlete, years of running has worn him out and he prefers the much easier on the body biking and swimming with a short run.  I'd have to work on my weak swimming skills and perhaps therapy for my fear of the water.  Anyhow, he mentioned there were some great members working hard to breathe life back into the club, Kudos to Michael and Muddy!

Sincerely,
Beth, trail running tomorrow, and until the Ice Age 50 in La Grange WI on 5/11...  hope I don't get lost in THOSE woods!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Race Recap


Jamestown Bridge was fun. Trimom really does put on a good race!  Kudos! Nothing is left to chance.  The Trimom folks are always keeping the athletes informed with pre race information.  Bib pick up is quick and easy.  Race day arrival and bag drop (and pick up) seamless.  Seriously excellent preparation and execution!

The race starts with a down hill (the on ramp to Rte 138), then the first climb to the top of the bridge, a little circle bringing you to the first water stop (the water stop pro guidelines were totally on the money!) I was looking forward to the "Last Chance Water Stop" where I'd see Running While Mommy's smiling face.  Of course having never seen her in regular clothes it took me a minute to recognize her!!!  Then it was up the on ramp back on Rte 138 for the second climb.  I climbed with another runner.  I was watching as he kept running backwards then forwards.  After he asked me how much further and I panicked (I couldn't subtract 6.2 from 4.5 - remember the I'm not so good with math in my head post?) and the subsequent math lesson straightened out (it was 1.5 miles by that time) I asked why he kept running backwards.  It was to give himself a bit of a break, he wasn't really trained for 6.2 miles and his shins were bothering him and running backwards was better than walking.  I laughed and said, I'd either end up on my ass or in the Narraganset Bay.  So we ran to the top of the hill together and he slowed down to run backwards for a bit and I coasted down the hill.  Knowing that there was one more hill to climb before the finish.  Passing mile marker 5, looking at my watch, I was nearly tracking to meet my goal of one hour for the race if I managed to keep a steady pace for the climb. I finished at 1:02.




After getting home and looking at last years results, 1:00, and spending 10 minutes beating myself about the head and neck over two minutes.  Insane much?  And then whining to a couple of running buddies, one who is coming back from an injury where she has to start from ground zero and another one who just signed up for her first 1/2.  Unfeeling much?  I decided to set the emotion aside and looking at this logically.   What are the possible variables?  Hmm let's see:  training, weather, other runners.  Last year (consulting the training log) I was seriously training for a 1/2 marathon in May, not just running races for the shirt or the fun of it.  The weather was warmer and I don't remember having such a headwind to the up hill finish.  Lastly, I wasn't chit chatting with a Mr. Runs Backwards, totally ok, talking and running is a good thing!  Net net, I was in a different place this time last year. You know what, I finished the race happy with a big smile on my face, my buddy Don and his Wife said I looked good and happy, at the end of the day that is what counts, right?

It is a fun race, the view over the bridge is amazing and it is such a freeing feeling to be up high and over the water.


2012 race photo.  Still smiling!

Sincerely,
Beth, enjoying a little post race euphoria, and maybe later a little whiskey.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Rituals

Jamestown Bridge 10K is tomorrow.  Usually I take a picture of the bib and the shirt and post it to my FB page.  I contemplated not doing that tonight.  As I showed the shirt to Hubb he asked, "Why don't you wear that shirt to the race?"  I said "Because it is bad luck."

Then I wondered if my shirt/bib ritual was one of these rituals that if I break it I'll have a bad race?  So I quick took a picture of the shirt and the bib and posted with my usual "Tomorrow's fun" caption.  Then  wondered well what is a bad race?   Have I had a bad race?  There is no threat of me actually winning a race or my age group, I've been DFL and DQ, run in the pouring rain (Girls on The Run) so really what is a bad race?    Maybe a race ending with injury? Finishing Tough As Nails 1/2 marathon with the SI joint issues at mile 10? It wasn't a bad race, I finished, in screaming pain, but I finished.  That injury wasn't due to bad luck it was a result of not dealing with the problem when it first happened pre Marine Corps Marathon. Maybe a DNF is a bad race?  For me, yeah, that might be a bad race.  Fingers crossed I won't regret saying this "I'll cross that bridge when I come to it."

Do you have any pre or post race or run rituals?

Sincerely,
Beth, slightly superstitious


Friday, April 5, 2013

An Experiment and Worm Holes

Hubb called me around 9 and asked if I was still planning on running Burlingame this afternoon.  I answered in the affirmative.  He was going to meet a biker friend out there and wondered if we could go together to see if this idea we've had about him riding and me running would work.  Obviously I wasn't going to keep up with the guys on their bikes he figured a 2 hour ride and I can run about 10 trail miles in 2 hours.  So then the question was what route.  We discussed the options on the drive over to the park.  The main loop is 8 miles and I could take a spur down to the lake and back. He suggested I try the Sammy C and I knew from his directions how to get to one of the end/beginning points.   He gave me his nicely laminated trail map, to help in the event I get lost on the mostly unmarked trails, aww what a guy!  I did pretty ok with a couple of oh shit moments where the trail ended up on a big piece of ledge and it took a bit to figure out which way the trail went.  Fortunately there were some bike chain scratches on the ledge that helped guide me.  One venture to the right ended me up on a muddy section (puffy heart) but that ended at a road, with no marked directions to go back to the trail, so I turned around.  That spur wasn't on the map, doh... Then I completely lost the trail, ledge again, and backtracked to an intersection and that led to the main trail around Watchaug Pond.

I logged 6.2 miles (1:24), took the opportunity to stretch, hydrate, poke around in the truck to see if hubb had any honey stinger waffles stashed in the glove box (no, damn), and catch up on Words With Friends!  His buddy came back first, said there was an equipment problem and hubb wasn't hurt, he'd be along shortly.  Buddy couldn't stick around he had a family commitment.  I said, ah ok, no worries, he will be along.  His buddy said again he isn't hurt.  I said, I didn't figure you'd leave him out there bleeding!  We exchanged pleasantries about his ride my run and he was off.  Hubb appeared 20 minutes later, bike fixed.  Problem with the derailleur.  He had just finished building the bike last night, new frame with components from the not so old one with the carbon fiber frame that just wasn't working out. 

Post outing discussions I'm still not completely sure where the trail actually went.  I'll noodle that on another outing.  Hubb studied the Garmin out put and the trail map and his memory of the trail and he sort of knew where things went askew.



Nice Map, eh?  Better laminate my own copy!
I'd say the experiment worked out well.  The bit of down time waiting for hubb to get back to the truck forced me to stretch; I'm not always great about that when I drive somewhere to run.  My left hip and calf are happy campers.

The most curious part was hubb and buddy rode the Sammy C, leaving about 10 minutes after I left, they never passed me.  Perhaps the muddy spur was where they passed me?  Or maybe there is just a worm hole out there in Burlingame?  I really think they would have passed me way before that spur at about mile 2.5...    but who knows, I'm going with worm hole!!

Sincerely,
Beth, calling the experiment a success!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

A Run Down Memory Lane

Work got a little chaotic today and I didn't get out for a mid day run, so after work it was for a fun and very windy 3.6M around Bluff Point.   As I was heading out another runner was heading in.  I asked how the run was and how the wind was.  He ran clockwise and said when he turned the corner at the bottom it was a freeze fest.  I always run this one clockstupid, I like to finish with the down hill.  We chatted about the pros and cons of running the 'big hill' as he calls it first.  There is much more of a long climb if you run down the 'big hill' and your legs are tired for that last climb. I'll have to try it clockwise and see how it feels...

I think there is more of a challenge in the clockstupid direction.

The wind is coming right off the water for the first 1.5ish miles, a bit chilly!
I love this trail, sure the section I did was wide and not technical, sort of a Playskool's My First Trail dirt and crushed stone, a few rocks sticking up here and there.  I do venture off to the side trails on the East side and over to Haley Farm to get my fill of rocks, roots, and mud.


When I run this trail I nearly always think about the first time I ever ran it, June 4, 2010, the Twilight Trail Run.  The second race I had ever run.  48:19, I thought I might die by the end of the race.  My time for that same race the next year was 47:26.  From that day, June 3, 2011, forward pretty much every Friday afternoon I was out on that trail running further and further until I finally ran the whole damn thing.  When I run it these days I recall fondly the rock or tree or hill I would force my self to run to before I could walk again.  It is a nice reality check for how far I really have come since my decision to become a runner in January of 2010 and my decision to get serious in May of 2011.

Do you have a route or a trail or even a race that is this sort of milepost or memory lane for you?

Sincerely,
Beth, skipping down memory lane

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Goals


"Obstacles are those frightening things that become visible when we take our eyes off our goals."  --  Henry Ford

Before I left Michigan and the automotive industry I was 3rd generation Ford Motor Company.  I am sure it broke my father's heart when I left and my grandfather (today would have been his 96th birthday Happy Birthday,  RIP Grandpa) probably turned in his grave when I left.  I know many thought I had lost my mind to not only abandon FoMoCo but the state of MI in 1999.  It proved to be the right decision for the then boyfriend (now Hubb) and I to relocate to New England.  I am sure many thought I had lost complete leave of my usually sound senses.  My goal, continually reinforced by my father, was for me to never have to rely on anyone, that move got me to that goal.  I often wonder if my father realizes how much that statement "Beth, all I want for you is to never have to rely on anyone, ever." meant to me and did for me.

Me and my Daddy!  Of course I"m pretending to NOT pay attention!!!

Me and my Grandpa!!


Last week my boss and her boss and I sat down to deliver my 2012 performance review and approve my 2013 goals.  It was a great meeting.  Seriously who wouldn't want to sit and stare at a Donnie Wahlberg look alike telling you how wonderful you are and how much your boss appreciates you for 30 minutes?  OK so some of you might not find this as appealing as I do...  



The end of the first quarter of 2013 has gone whizzing past and it is time to see how I am tracking towards the 4 goals I set, Chapter 2013 Page 1 Goals.   Years (21) of corporate America coupled with my own neurotic tendencies (and of course the influence daddy has on a girls life) have taught me to make SMART goals.  In case you haven't been blessed with having to make SMART goals as part of yearly objectives I'll give you a little recap.

Goals should be:
Specific
Measurable
Achievable
Results oriented
Time bound

Running - 1,500 miles, 1 race per month, 2 marathons, one with the Lung Cancer Alliances’ Team Lung Love, 6 1/2 marathons.  
1Q13 status: On Track, need to adjust to time goals not race # goals. (Exceeds expectations)
Mileage: 227 miles for 1Q, linearly I am tracking for 908.  Reviewing last year, I was at 161 miles 1Q12 and finished the year at 1031, so totally doable
Races:
January - AZ RnR Marathon, 3 - 5Ks, and I missed one race I signed up for 
February - 1/2 (Colchester Tough As Nails) 1 - 10K
March - 1/2 (Ocean's Run, and I can't count Big River, as I only ran 7 miles), 3 - 5K and 1 - 5 Miler

Reading - 115 books.
1Q13 status: Recoverable, realize that I am reading longer books! (Meets to a little below expectations)
17 books for 1Q, linearly tracking at 68.  Reviewing 1Q12 I was at 46 with about 10 very short books.

Knitting -  10 pair of socks. 
1Q13 Status:  Need to revisit. (Below expectations; need to reevaluate)
I have still not finished the socks I started November of last year! However I have completed 5 baby sweaters and 2 ear flap hats for Hubb.  I need revisit what I am actually knitting.  Perhaps finishing the current socks and two pair of the Hatteras yarn BFF SL sent going on a year ago and another 3 - 5 baby sweaters (so I can get ahead of this baby boom!)  The ultimate goal of this goal was to spend 5 - 10 hours a week knitting...

Diet -  Weigh, measure, and track food consumption a minimum of 4 days a week. 
1Q13 Status: Lacking real effort (Does not meet expectations)
I weigh and measure a couple times a week as for tracking, HA right... not happening.  I am OK with this.  I put on a few pounds post MCM, however have not resumed my horrific eating habits.  OK, so, Hubb and I sharing two Crumbs cupcakes once a week isn't exactly healthful, but it is fun and something we enjoy doing together. We are sacrificing healthful eating for the sake of keeping our marriage strong and healthy, and what couple can't use a little relationship strengthening/bonding?  (anyone buying that?)

I do believe I need some adjustment to my Running goals, in my head I've set out to obtain certain PRs and have done nothing about training for those PRs, and that stuff doesn't happen by magic.  Don't we wish it did?!?!?!?  My focus for this quarter will be on putting together a training plan for speed inclusive of  MCM finish goal of sub 5, dare we say 4:00, could it be possible at this late date to get a BQ and the other races along the way.  Truly this is the one goal that means the most to me. To be able to truly feel like an athlete. The others are to remember that there are other passions in my life I should not sacrifice or slight for the one that gives me the most joy.

Sincerely
Beth, focused and fearless