Thursday, May 30, 2013

Thursday...

Missed Wordless Wednesday...  I was looking for an old picture of me in HS from track...  My mom gave me a bunch of old pictures, that one wasn't in there.  I'll have to hunt it up next time I'm visiting my parents.  My whole one track season in High School, or was it two...  oh what I should have learned when I was  young and not injury prone.

Wednesday I didn't run at work.  Weird for me.  But then I wasn't in NYC on Tuesday so there you have it.

Hubb called when I was nearly home and asked if I was serious about going for a ride, I said I was and would be home in 5 minutes or so.  He loaded my bike in the truck and when I got home I scrambled around  getting my things in order.  After the whole sunglasses debacle I'm getting better about putting things where they belong.

Oh the sunglasses, after running, I usually take off my watch, sunglasses, and iPod if I wore it and leave it in a specific spot.  Well I didn't do this for some reason and spent the better part of three days looking in the same spots for my sunglasses. Isn't that the definition of insanity?  Everything was all over the house, watch on the dining room table, iPod was on the coffee table, shoes in the kitchen (what?!).  I noticed a quilt had fallen on the floor and picked it up. Out of the quilt fell my sunglasses.  Huh.  I must have set them on top of the quilt precariously balanced on the radiator and well you can fill in the blanks.

We did the Sanctuary Outer Trail together; once in the camp ground he took off to do the Vin Gormley and the Sammy C leaving me to have an hour to just ride around.  I decided I just wanted to explore the camp ground and get a little more used to the bike, practice 'jumping' logs and laying off the breaks going down hill.  On the trail I took a nice tumble off the bike because my weight was too far forward and then side swiped a tree as I'm not quite one with the bike.  Watching him it is like the bike is an extension of him.  Even when we used to ride wayyy back in the olden days the bike was an extension of him, although now it seems more so.

I had fun riding around the camp ground and going fast, I really really liked going fast.  Found where one camp trail hitches in to the North South Trail and a way around one of the hills I really dislike, but then that means I'd miss a down hill I'm sort of getting the hang of.  Decisions decisions.



My legs were pretty spent, from Tuesday and I was just tired. I felt much more comfortable on the bike after my little solo tour. It was time to head back to the truck.  Caught up on WWF and Scrabble just as Hubb appeared. So that worked out well..

I really like the speed I can get on the roads and enjoy the challenge of the trail.  Hubb has two bikes, the mountain bike and a fat tire bike.  I may think about a road bike.  Suggestions?

Today was a rest day.  I'm tired.  Tomorrow is the Twilight Trail Race at Bluff Point, this will be my fourth year running that race.  The first two years I ran the short loop.  Last year the long and the long again this year. Looking forward to seeing some familiar faces out there and a familiar trail!

Sincerely,
Beth, glad to just take it easy today

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Day of the Dog

Arriving home tonight I was greeted by three very chatty and animated boxer boyz.  Something about dinner was an hour late and I smelled of another dog.  Dogs and their schedules, ours certainly are very schedule oriented, they don't like it when things are out of the ordinary.

On my non NYC days I wake up before my alarm to this guy, Gus,


sitting down, intently staring at me, wagging his nub of a tail so fiercely his whole body vibrates, waiting for me to open my eyes.  He either wants me to get up so he can have my spot or for me to scootch over so he can snuggle.  This morning that was the 'I want your spot' face.

I got up, he crawled in my spot, rested his head on the pillow and was o.u.t. out.  Didn't even come in to check on me or stare at his reflection in the mirror or guard the doorway while I did my PT.

Tonight was the kick off for the Stonington Village Fun Runs.  Starting and ending at the Dog Watch Cafe in the beautiful and quaint Stonington Bourough, hosted by Steve and Heather.  They are a fun run, so you are really only competitive with yourself.  We were warned to go out slow as this is the first race, didn't we want to see improvement.  Fair point.

I ran 5.5 for lunch today.  I really just wanted to get some miles on my ancy legs.  The 5K was for fun and lets see how my legs would do.  I did pretty good --> 28:47, and my legs didn't feel tired or heavy.  Chatted with another runner for a few blocks, he passed me but I kept him in my sights!



After the race we were given a popsicle stick to cash in for a beer (if we were over 21), sorta disappointing that I didn't get carded (HA HA).  Cashed in my popcicle stick for a Blue Moon and spent some time getting to know Hemi Metzger (the dog in question) and his guardians a little better.  Sweet little rescue boy, quite the sad story, as most are.  Found nearly dead by the side of the road, very beat up (think bait dog sort of wounds) several operations and months of a vet tech nursing him back to health, he was good to go to a forever home.  Really enjoys people, other dogs, not so much.  I can  understand that, considering the suspicion about what he experienced his first year of life.  Gus generally doesn't do well with other dogs, people, well they are his cup of tea!  Totally get the special needs of rescue dogs, they all have their stories.

Lots of chit chat, one interesting tid bit to share --> one of the guys was given some great advice by his 26 year old son.  Don't spend too much time looking backwards, look forward, enjoy life.  We all doubted we were that wise at 26 and it is very good advice!

Sincerely,
Beth, looking forward to these weekly runs and getting to know other local runners (oh yeah and hanging out with Hemi)

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Riding a Bike. It's Just Like Riding a Bike!

Ever heard the expression "Just like riding a bike, you never forget."  Well by golly it is true.  A month or so ago I dusted off my old Bontrager, Hubb gave it some TLC and today Hubb took me out for my first mountain bike ride in oh 15 years.  The last trails we rode consistently were Maybury State Park,  Island Lake State Recreation Area, and a little of the Potawatomi (Poto) in Michigan.    Hubb got back on the bike November of last year in an effort to "keep up with me"!  

Bike all tuned up and oiled I took it for a spin in the neighborhood to make sure it shifted correctly and the breaks worked.  All was fine, and as I remembered.  How amazing my hands just knew what to do to shift in and out of the front rings on the left the back rings on the right, front brake left brake.  It was all good. The little boys jumping things on their bikes waved at me, the dorky old lady with a big goofy grin on her face.  

Off to Burlingame to do the Sanctuary Outer Trail (the red one on the bottom of the map).



He was obviously well versed in the trails in Burlingame, I know them from a runners perspective, very different than biking them, obviously.   The first hill came up quick!  I managed to the top, downshifting correctly.  When we got to the 'third right' to stay on the Sanctuary Outer Trail, again, I couldn't believe we were there already!  He laughed at my amazement.  Thanks hon...  Overall, we went slow, I could sense when a hill or something tricky was coming up and he warned me ahead of time. Things just came up quicker, again, obviously my running pace is slower than my riding.  There was a little walking up hills, a few screams as I felt like I was going to fall off the bridges and actually did on a couple.  This produced a few laughs out of Hubb, once he determined I was ok.  He offered one piece of advice otherwise only amazement that I was doing so well.  The only advice was "Sit back on the seat over the roots."  Damn that helped A LOT.  

About 3/4 a mile down the Vin Gormley I called it quits, time to turn around.  My butt (sit bones specifically) hurt and my legs felt a little rubbery.  My lungs, now they were ready for more, more, more, more.


Speeding along the root and rock free parts was lovely.  I may never be a hard core jump over stumps and logs and rocks mountain biker girl, but the trails (and the mud) are certainly something I love.  A new seat will be procured and my sit bones will be happier.  Yes, I had on a good pair of bike shorts....



After we got home Hubb took a spin around on my bike and said "You really need a new bike.  They are so much better now." Huh...  new seat or new bike?  

Sincerely,
Beth, opting out of the Sunday long run for a short (7.5 mile) bike ride

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Delaney Dash 4 Miler - Recap

Hard really to know what to say about a 4 mile race.  It was out and back, pancake flat, with a loop.  The out and back part of the course was over a causeway, very pretty or very motivating, depending on the weather.


Chilly, cloudy, windy, and mizzly (really it IS a word, thanks Mladen) so absolutely didn't want to spend too much time on that causeway!!



9:33 pace for a total time of 38:14.  My splits were decent:  9:30, 9:55, 9:48, 8:58.  Happy with a negative split!

The other motivating factor was a runner dragging their left foot.  We were back and forth for the middle 2ish miles and finally he passed me and I wasn't catching up.  Everyone has their own running style and I'm sure I do something annoying.

I also ran sans tunes.  For some reason counting backwards from 1,000 seemed like a good idea, and actually it was.  I kept myself in a pretty good rhythm and wonder if I run slower to some songs than others.

Don waited for me at the finish line, he ran a 7:12 for total time of 28:47.  Yeah Don!!!  Hanging around for 10 minutes in the cold, what a friend, eh??  His bride opted to stay home as they had a busy afternoon with a wedding, smart woman!

Definitely a race to look for next year.  The flatness was nice, and on a different day, the causeway would also be lovely!  The cause is a great one, Sean Delaney Scholarship fund.  Also, cancer, which is something near and dear to my heart.  Sean Delaney had a 6 year battle with cancer, ending in May of 2000, he was only 42.

One of the things I liked about this race is it included a 1.6 mile causeway walk for the walkers and clear instructions for the walkers to stay on the sidewalk, this really is nice for those who want to race.  As far as I could tell from my middle of the pack view everyone respected the: "Please be considerate and save, keep walkers, dogs, and baby joggers off the 4-mile race course" on the application form.  This was requested because it is a very narrow race course.

Sincerely,
Beth, 1000, 999, 998, 997, 996...

Friday, May 24, 2013

All GPS Are Not The Same

Michael (or do you normally go by Mike) these shortened names befuddle me.  My name as it is on my birth certificate is Beth.  My hippie parents tell two stories:
  1. My father wanted my initials to spell something and my last name starts with an L.   They also wanted to name me after a very strong woman, Elizabeth, on my mom's side of the family.  This sort of left them with not a lot of options:  EARL, EGAL, ENOL, EORL, EVIL, EXUL.  But B, come on, BELL completely cute for a little girl.
  2. They both wanted something easy to spell, and some variation of Elizabeth, again the whole strong woman thing.
Elizabeth, went by Lizzie, was mugged once, the Chicago police had to pull her OFF the mugger as he was yelling for her to stop.  That is the story as I remember it, and I'm sure it is pretty darn close to the truth.

Oh and I get referred to as BLS because I married a man who's last name is Smith and there was no way I was ever going to be Beth Smith, because, yeah, no...  I'll hyphenate, thank you very much.


Anyhoodles, got WAY off course there, but that plays well into my experiment today. Michael mentioned that the iPhone app for Strava was more accurate than the 'space watch'.  Muddy said that the 'space watch' looses you under cover of woods so up the miles, example 9.48 trail miles is more likely 10 trail miles.

Tuesday night I took Gus on a hike and tracked the miles using the Strava iPhone app, to see how the app worked.  Easier to fiddle with something hiking than running, right? Worked very nice. I even used it on my run with Nicole last night because I misplaced my Garmin.  Called home to see if I left it on the kitchen counter.  Hubb assured me I left Herman, wait Herman, it has a name now? on the kitchen counter and that my sunglasses were still very much lost.  My Midwest enunciation, or lack there of, gives him plenty of fodder for teasing.

This afternoon I took Gizmo on a hike and used both the Strava iPhone app and Herman.  I started both at the same time and off at the same time.

Herman tracked 2.1 miles
Strava iPhone tracked 2.8 miles

0.7 miles is a HUGE difference.  However on a very short number of miles.  There is probably something statistically significant about this, what that is, not really sure.  However, there is a high probability of a discrepancy.  I'll try both on my next longer run in the woods and see what happens.  This also explains why most, probably all, of my races in the woods come up short on miles?  Wonder if this would qualify for Mythbusters?

Oh and my miles, to the tenth, 5.3, matched Nicoles Garmin, we were running in town not totally relevant to the experiment, no woods. However, thought it was a good thing to mention.

Tomorrow is the Delaney Dash 4 Miler in Old Saybrook, CT part of the Shoreline Road Race series.  Bib pick up was today and the swag was a tote bag (never have enough of these), bottle opener for the key chain, and a beverage cozy.  Very cool!

7 is generally a good number for me,  714 would have been pretty cool, though...
Looking forward to running, or with the weather forecast, sloshing, with Don, OK reality -->  meeting up with him and his Bride at the finish line.  I'll also be on the look out for Jim aka Pete Zaria...  nice to finally put a name or rather names with a familiar face from so many local 5Ks.

Sincerely,
Beth, curious about this GPS and looking forward to a run in the rain!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Mostly wordless....

Took Gus on a hike to try out the Strava iPhone app, very cool.  Even better, he may make a good trail running partner.  He wasn't so good on the roads with that ever oppressive leash.  He stuck by me, even before he knew I had bribes in my pocket, never straying more than 20 feet.

Happy Boxer Boy!
We've only gone to the beach together, he isn't so good with other dogs, rather unpredictable....  he is a rescue, after spending 18 months of his 3 living years in puppy prison (AKA kennel) he is neurotic and insecure.  He has been with us nearly 2.5 years, July he will be 6.  I always took him to the beach or Ninigret park because it is open and easy to spot people with dogs, the woods, not so much. So rarely do I run into another person with a dog, I may try him for a short trail run.  He is a pleaser, and seems to have gotten even MORE attached to me since Sage's death in January.

Sincerely,
Beth (and the hubb) rescuer of hard luck Boxers....

Monday, May 20, 2013

Musings on a Monday


Hubb was asking me about Strava last night.  Something about QOMs / CRs or something and what did I use to track my runs other than the Garmin?  He isn't quite ready for tracking his rides, competitive, he is very very much, but to own up to it?  I'm a little dubious…   I know a few people who use Stravat and Rhody Seth mentioned you can track shoes.  So, yeah, I signed up last night.  Thanks for the follow Michael.  I can sync with my Garmin, so very cool, quite pleased with that.  I spent the evening downloading and adding in the shoe data for my post MCM race data.  That is when I switched to new shoes.  This is a pretty cool program, I still need to really spend sometime and poke around.  Definitely a data junkies paradise!

I have the Map My Fitness app on the iPhone and I've used that when I forget my Garmin or I haven’t charged it…  that is OK, but nothing I’m really attached to.  I did find I could load my Garmin data but then there was really nothing to do with it, so, yeah, kinda pointless...  I use it more to see what my few MMF friends are up to, and give them some encouragement.  Then there is Daily Mile, Map My Run, and a boat load of other apps I think Nike has one.  I was a little dubious starting yet another tracking devices...

I've seen this nifty graphic in blogs and wowza, so easy to pull into my blog.  None of the cropping and pasting and rigmarole with the Garmin graphics.



So cool they give you the code to down load into a blog.  Nifty!!

Not even a whole day with this and I'm digging it.  I've only spent an hour looking at this so, all y’all experts happy to hear your advice, comments, and/or suggestions smart or smart assy.

Had a nice little 4.1 mile run at work today.  For some reason I had convinced myself it was rainy and chilly outside.  It was when I left for work, and even on my walk to the fitness center it didn't register it wasn't raining.  I even checked the temp, partly sunny 59F with 95% humidity and WNW wind at 8 MPH.  Still I just HAD to wear my long sleeve shirt from the Ice Age 50.  As I ran up the first hill I was greeted by a very wimpy car horn.  One of my co-workers driving back to site.  Oh goodie, I can tease him about his girly car horn.  It went something like this “ahem, excuse me” “beep” and his big burly hand waved out the car window.  Tee hee…  Because yeah, he commented,  Beth are you ALWAYS cold? It was a little warm for long sleeves.  And you really don't wear pants do you...  Oh stuff it Gar, stuff it and turn up the heat, please!!

Nice run, three days in a row, I’ll probably take tomorrow off and go on a hike with Gizmo, he hasn't been out of the house in a while.  Although Gus has been sticking like glue to me since I got home last Wednesday… poor guy, he must have missed me, maybe he needs a hike?  Feh, tomorrow is another day, depends on who is the most pitiful when I get home from work.


Gus, watching me leave for work last Friday, he does pitiful well, doesn't he?
Catching up on current events I found a story in National Geographic on Mount Everest http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2013/06/125-everest-maxed-out/jenkins-text?src=longreads  got me thinking about nature and trail running and endurance.   Somehow I expected that people trained for this feat of endurance and was surprised to learn that 90% of the climbers aren't experienced and expect they will summit.  I guess if you are forking over $30K - $120K you are coming at this from a different expectation level?  4,000 people have reached the summit and the author went on to say it makes it mean a little less than it did 50 years ago.

4,000 people really isn't that many people, far less than complete marathons and ultras.  Got me to thinking about my two marathons in 90 days, my 5:09 and my 5:01, I am incredibly proud to have these times.  I did it, and it felt great don’t get me wrong, but really isn't this kind of like the more people who summit Everest make the prize that much less.  I recall back to a blog post from The EJN Show, about finishers medals and tourists in races.  I’m incredibly torn up inside over this…  I’m not fast by any means, I need to put in the effort and I will be.  It is enough to just have done it? Or not?  I think about the Gansett Marathon, the only means of entry are qualification.  I like that.  Those are some impressive runners, and with only 3 marathons in the state of Rhode Island, adds just a touch more prestige to qualifying and running in it for those folks striving to run a marathon in all 50 states.

Yeah yeah, I get the ‘you are lapping everyone on the couch’ thing.  I love my friends who think I am amazing, special, inspirational.  I love even more the ones I've been able to inspire or support to do things they've only dreamed about doing. (ahem LN)  Either physical or life changes.  But deep down inside of me I wonder, should I even call myself an athlete?  Am I a problem with the runners of today?  Am I tourist in races? To someone who finishes in the top 10 or 20 is my presence an annoyance? I don't need a medal for a 5K but that was a cool medal for the St Pat 5K in Providence... Then I think back to my second lap on the Ice Age 50 ½ marathon.  There were 50K and 50 Milers passing me cheering me on.  Oh you better believe I cheered them on!  


5K Medal...  nifty? no?

Oh good lord, do I need to go to Sports Therapy?  Maybe I need to suck it up buttercup and just do it and not worry about anything? Any of you feel like this?  I can’t possibly be alone, can I?  It’s ok if I am.  



Ok enough of that whiny girly horse crap...  The other part of this article was about the litter, both garbage and human, as in bodies and excrement along the trails.  Oh my…  I've often wondered about the process of climbing a mountain and what gets left behind, I was thinking more of gear, things shoved in the cracks in a rock to harness ropes too, that sort of stuff, not bodies, feces, or even trash.  My hubb rides the trails I run and if he ever found a discarded GU package that could be by a remote chance mine, there would be words, and vice versa.

And I kind of stop musing at this point... and pause in wonder...  I can't imagine having the privilege of climbing to the top of the world and leaving behind those sorts of traces of my presence...  I get that we all have to eat and shit and we die.  But wow.  Fortunately it isn't out of control and can be cleaned up.

Over my vacation things got all out of sorts, I misplaced my nip bottle and found it when digging for running clothes at the gym... that and just a 'few' Hammer Gels my cousin horked for me...  thanks Tobi!!


Someone used my desk at work and readjusted everything and nosed around in the box where I keep my illegal space heater.  Fortunately I don't have to deal with going to Manhattan this week, because wowza it would be car, train, bus, train after the disaster on Friday afternoon.  When exactly would I sleep?  Feh, it is what it is and can all be righted!!

Sincerely,
Beth, kinda whiny, apologies, and really geeked over Strava!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Matt's Mission 5K - Recap

Matt's Mission 5K race is one in the 9 races in the Shoreline Road Race Series sponsored by soundRUNNER.  Which was the main reason I signed up.  I was a little iffy about driving for two hours (round trip) for a 30 minute race, it started just not making sense to me.

I read a little about Matt's Mission and how it came to be.  A High School student killed in a car accident, he was driving too fast. Gulp. Yeah, lead foot here does need to slow down... Reading about Matt and what the fund does was heart warming.



There were just over 900 runners and walkers.  Also the sky seemed to be threatening rain, we were all assured Matt wouldn't let that happen!  It sprinkled a bit little bit with a little bit of wind before the race.  The course was a big loop, with some nice up hills and corresponding down hills, ending with running about 3/4 the way around the North Branford HS track.  I ran among a couple of mother runners pushing their jogging strollers, bravo ladies, a woman who made an unfortunate underwear choice, stripes showed through her light gray tights, one mother constantly nagging her son to hurry up and catch up, yikes, I'd of probably started crying, and then there was this kid, all in orange, from orange shoes to an orange baseball cap.  He would run like hell then walk for a bit run like hell then walk for a bit.  I'd always encourage him a bit when he was catching his breath.  As we were on the home stretch, before entering the HS Track another runner also started encouraging him.  He'd go a little to fast then slow down and catch up to us.  At the final stretch, just about 1/2 around the track, he was passing me again and I yelled "GO KID GO!"  He flew.  He really flew.  I was smiling ear to ear.  Love the passion and energy of kids.



After finishing, with a respectable 28:56 (27th out of 139 in my age group). I wandered around the 'in field' is that what is it called?  I can't remember I haven't been on a HS track in, well a VERY long time.  Anyhoodles, on the in field, I found the kid in orange.  His mom was sitting on the ground and he was telling her all about his race.  I went over and congratulated him on a great race!  He smiled, his mom looked proud. I said, he really flew through the end. She asked him how fast he ran, he said, he wasn't sure but he was sure it wasn't under 30 minutes.  I assured him he finished in something like 28:40 he was really flying, he was absolutely unconcerned about the seconds "I finished in 28 minutes!?!?"  His mom asked him what he finished in last year, he said it was something around 32 minutes, he thought.  (His actual was 28:52 - although he may have been the kid at 28:39 I wasn't really paying attention to everyone passing me over the finish line).  His mom looked so proud of him and she asked me to take a picture of them?  Absolutely!  They had big grins!

And mom took 6 minutes off her time from last year!!

This made the whole drive worth it, truly this is what these community 5Ks are about, family.  I have no idea where naggy mom and her son finished.  I blocked them out keeping an eye peeled for the orange kid.

A cousin posted this as his Facebook status today:

"TODAY IS THE OLDEST YOU'VE EVER BEEN, YET THE YOUNGEST YOU'LL EVER BE SO - ENJOY THIS DAY WHILE IT LASTS."

A little googling around didn't produce anyone to credit with this quote.  So Annon.. gets the credit. Thinking about the kid in orange versus the kid with the naggy mom, I'm glad I didn't have a naggy mom to suck the fun out of things. I'm happy that Matt's mom has found peace with her sons unfortunate death.  A charity in his name, Matt's Mission, where she is able to keep his memory alive and carry out one of Matt's wishes --> to help people.  Bravo!!

Sincerely,
Beth, content.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Lilacs

This mornings run was filled with the scent of lilacs! It was so wonderful, the first smells of spring.


I ran my hilly 5K route, in Westerly, down US 1 to a loop in the park.  The fountain is operating again, so much I missed in the time I was gone!  Then through town, when is that Irish Bar going to open!?!?, past the Knickerbocker, oh a fund raiser for the dunes, should check that out!  A big thank you to Mr. Driver who stopped to let me cross against the light!  Had enough time to catch my breath for the long slog up Oak Street and then the ups and downs on Tower, to the final down US 1 and back home.  Love ending on the down hill instead of the uphill!

I remember the first time I managed to run the whole way up that section of Oak Street.  Doesn't seem like so long ago, and it also seems like a lifetime ago.

Hubb remarked that I was home early, wasn't I going to run for an hour?  Frankly I forgot what my intention was when I left, I felt good, so I took Gizzy for a little walk, he was happy for some 'mommy and me' time and I needed to cool down.  Hubb was busy packing up the truck for part I of his Saturday adventures, just best to get out of his way!

We parted company for our adventures and reconvened after 9 tonight.

Tomorrow is at 5K in Branford, CT.  Part of the Shoreline Race Series, I supposed I could bow out of it and pass on these races, but the jacket is cool and well, who can't use a jacket?  Hubb suggested I fess up to my jacket addiction, I think he should stuff it, don't you?

Tomorrow afternoon is my first mountain bike ride in, oh a really really long time, should be fun!  Yikes...

Sincerely,
Beth, running in the a.m. and riding in the p.m.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Wordless Wednesday


Time to put together MCM plan for 2014, definitely see changes I can make!


Sincerely,
Beth, realizing it is time to plan!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Hanker for a Hunka Cheese

I successfully completed my first trail 1/2 marathon!  Meaning I didn't get lost or have an incomplete course, whoop!

Key Chain! I didn't expect this!  Thought only the 50K got these!

2:40:52 for a pace of 12:17.  I was aiming for a pace of 12:30 or 3 hours.  Yeah, yeah, I know the math doesn't quite add up.  Not big on math in my head.  I figured 12:30 was a reasonable pace and 3 hours to accomplish something I've never successfully completed, somewhere I've never run, reasonable, or at least wouldn't make me a laughing stock!!  Southeastern Wisconsin's Kettle Moraine forest is beautiful and absolutely run-able, you just have to love hills or at least know how to manage them.

Just a little hilly....


Fairly representative of the course, just hilly as depicted above!
Starting out, the 9:00 a.m. race start was pushed back to 9:30 a.m. because of a mix up between the website and the eMails.  Guess this happened last year also.  I was pretty glad because I forgot my check list and realized, while sitting in the parking lot debating long sleeves or short sleeves that 38 minutes before the race was to start I left my hydration backpack in the motel. YIKES!  It was minimally 34 minutes round trip to pick up said belt, would I make it?  should I chance it?  Yes, no doubt about it.  With 5 minutes to spare my hydration pack and I made it back to the race and started to sprint across the parking lot when I heard some guy ask "Hey, does this start at 9:00 or 9:30?"  I said "The eMail I got said 9."  He said "The website says 9:30."  Huh  so I scrambled across the road thanking the guy flagging cars for his help and deposited myself in a throng of people discussing the 9 or 9:30 start.  Hmmm...  This is boding well for my nerves, quite well.  The RD announced the races start would be 9:30 due to the mix up between the eMails and the website.  Ah.  I decided to go back to my car and regroup.  The traffic guy said "Hey, quick race?"  I said "Yeah, I won, it was easy peasy."  Oh how I love Mid-westerners and our ability to talk to anyone.  I so miss that living in New England, it takes me a while adjust back to my roots where any off hand or sarcastic comment can and most often does start a conversation and not someone looking at you like you have 2 heads and me resulting back into my bashful ways.

I texted with hubb.  He was fishing with a buddy and sent a couple pictures of him and the 15" bass he caught on Watchaug Pond.    Nice fish, horrible smile, and he is taking this opportunity to not shave... Absolutely needed the distraction to calm my nerves.  I know, what is this with me and the nerves lately...  perhaps this birthday I had on Thursday is wrecking havoc with my mind?

This is why I sought some council on sleeves or no sleeves.


The wind had me a bit concerned.  Yes, it was in the forest, however there were large swaths of prairie.  Counsel (thank you Tonya and Michael) suggested sleeves I went with sleeves and did not regret it.  The sun did come out for the last 20 minutes of my run... Otherwise cloudy and windy, even in the woods, and wicked on the prairie.

There were 150 (137 completed) runners for the 1/2 marathon.  We started out at 9:30 in a fairly large glom that thinned out after the 3rd mile.  I wasn't so sure about this, however trotted along with them, mostly Badgerland Striders, discussing the terrain and we came upon the first uphill, it was slight.  One of the guys yells "HILL" and walked the hill.  A few others did this.  I wondered what the rest of the course had in store, if he was treating this hill as a walker.  I adapted to their pace and style until we all broke up.  There were some huge hills (see the pace elevation).  I do like hills and this walking up them was really an OK thing.

It was a two loop course so I took in the sights along the way thinking, I need to remember this for the second loop.  During the second loop I'd find myself thinking, did I pass through that long stretch of trees, realizing that I just had and it really wasn't that long of a stretch.  The benefits of running something twice? My second turn through I was able to see the Ultra Runners, trotting along faster than I, and walking the hills, huh.  The 50K and the 50 Milers had their own course then two or three loops partially on the 1/2 marathon trail.  Seriously to have someone who is running 2 or nearly 4 times as far as you pass you and tell YOU good job, absolutely amazing.  I had no earthly right to be as slow or as worn out as I was, or so I thought.  Hey these guys and gals have trained for this, talking with some after the race, they are truly amazing.  I aspire to 50K.

This was a really easy on the joints trail, nothing like the rocks and roots I am used to.  I kept expecting some.  The material I read said there were rocky sections.  Well, there were, but beaten into the ground pebbles and baseball sized rocks, not the big boulders, or ledge or basketball sized pieces of granite to hop from one to the other on I'm used to.

The race notes said absolutely no headphones. I obeyed, many didn't  I wonder if they were DQ for this?  I found myself getting lost in my head, not thinking of anything in particular, thinking about things, taking in the sights and the sounds and occasionally singing Greased Lightening to myself.  There really is no accounting for taste, and I own that.   About mile 9 I could have used a little of the energy the music provides me, otherwise, I was totally fine, and probably better off, without it.

At the end of the race, after fetching my phone from the car I ran into my Cousin, no really literally into her.  I looked up and thought, what the hell is this woman doing in my space and then it all clicked.  TOBI!!!!  We, the sweaty me and her had a huge hug and tears.  We always cry, what is it with us?  What is it with women being OK hugging other sweaty women?  Sheila gave me a hug after the Run Around the Block race...  hubb, oh he'll wait till after I've showered, thank you very much.  Huh...

Tobi has volunteered at this race, at one of the 50 Miler aid stations, for the better part of the last 12 or 15 years. It all started wayyy back when she was a runner!  When we discovered we were going to be in the same place, it was truly amazing.  She had fun telling people, oh you know that girl from RI, the only runner from RI, she is MY cousin!!


We spent the rest of the afternoon catching up and drinking beer.  By all rights I should be passed out asleep...

Sincerely,
Beth, a little jazzed, maybe a little tipsy on good WI beer, and wouldn't mind a big hunk of WI cheese...

Friday, May 10, 2013

Unstoppable? Perhaps not...

And So It Burns had this in his news feed this morning, it made me laugh for a number of reasons!


I've been traveling.  Driving from RI to MI (via CT, NY, NJ, PA, OH) on the 8th of May.  It is between a 12 and 14 hour drive, depending on what route I take and how often I stop.  Stop for lunch, chat with the trout fisherman along Rte 17 in NY, check out a shop, check out a trail, see what the town of Barkeyville PA is all about, snap a picture of Town of Horseheads sign and chuckle, sometimes I'm compelled to just shut my eyes for 20 minutes.  When I am driving, I am doing my best to stay under 80.

This frog did not look amused...  

After all the highways, it is on to back roads.  When I got on the final set of  back roads to get to my parents house, I fly down the paved part, in the middle of the road, it is in the middle of no where, no really, it is.    When I see headlights coming at me I get in my lane and slow down.  Which I did on Wednesday night.  Those headlights turned around, and then they flipped on their lights.  Whoopsie.  I was pretty sure I had slowed down to something near the speed limit (what ever that is) and because he saw me cross the center line figured he was going to get a drunk driver.

The chit chat started, Lenawee County Sheriff "License, registration, and proof of insurance."  I said it would take a minute for the paperwork, my glove box was a mess.  I handed him my licence and opened the glove box and sure enough everything came exploding out of there.  I found the proof of insurance on the top of the pile of paper.  Pshew, and oh yeah it is current! I handed it to him and he said "I've never pulled over anyone from Rhode Island before.  What is that state like?"  I said "Small."  and flipped through papers, where is the current registration.  He said "No is it rural or city."  I said "Little bit of both."  He then asked the question "What exactly are you doing out here on Ford Highway? This seems a little remote for someone from Rhode Island."  I explained that I grew up out here and was visiting my parents up on XYZ Road and this was the best way from US 23 to get there.  Still shuffling through papers, to find that darn registration.  Last time I got pulled over (STOP LAUGHING SHEILA) was several years ago in North Carolina (pretty funny story actually).  He said, it's that yellow piece of paper.  I said it was last years.  He said it would be OK if my tags were current.  I bit my lip, because yeah that factors into the NC story, he reported my tags were current.  And off to his car he went.

So not a cool picture at night, but can you hear a little Judas Priest "Breaking The Law"?
He came back to the car with my paperwork and licence and asked if I knew why he pulled me over.  I said I was pretty clueless.  I figured he thought I was drinking and driving because I crossed the center line, but hey I wasn't going to say THAT!!  He said "You were going a little fast, 66"  Fortunately I didn't ask "So, what IS the speed limit."  I said "OH, sorry."  He explained that he could give me a ticket or a warning.  I said he should do what he thought best.  He then asked me if I thought he was being lazy if he didn't ticket me, because his shift was ending and he really didn't want to deal with the paperwork.  Oh good lord...  Of course I wouldn't think you were lazy for not giving me a ticket.  (Is this guy flirting with me? Aren't I supposed to be the one flirting with HIM to get out of the ticket - and THIS my friends is why I married a man from NY, the MI guys continually baffled me)  I thanked him and carefully pulled back on to the road and crossed over the hard top on to the dirt road.  He did follow me, until the last turn off to XYZ road.

After I was on my way, my father called.  I always call when I get off the turnpike so they know I'll be along in 45 minutes or so.  He wanted to know if I hit a deer or what was the hold up.  I said, "Oh, I got pulled over on Ford Highway."  He said "Way out there, huh, did you get a ticket?"  I said that I didn't and I was about a mile away I'd see him in a few minutes and that I had a police escort.  He laughed and said "OK see you soon."

So yeah, unstoppable if not for Law Enforcement.  DOH!!

Presently I am in the grand city of Whitewater, WI, calming my nerves before the Ice Age 1/2 trail marathon tomorrow morning.  There is a 50 Mile and a 50 K race also.  Next year a 50K is the goal. You may ask why on earth is she running in WI.  Well...  a friend signed up for the race and cajoled me into signing up for the race it would be fun she said.  I figured it was perfect because I could spend some time with my family in MI motor to WI race, see a cousin or two, motor to IL see an Aunt and then make my way back to the teeny tiny state of RI.  As luck would have it one of my cousins is marshaling at the 50 Mile turn around, so yeah!!


I spent a few years of my childhood living in this state, wayyyyy up north in New Richmond, kinda feels like home wayyy down here in the southern part, kinda.  My mom mentioned that New Richmond had a foot of snow last week, and perhaps I was glad to be a bit more south, OH YEAH!

I walked a bit of the course after I picked up my bib...  very nice, the first miles in either direction are not technical, wonder what the guts of the route have in store?

The 1/2 is mostly the blue loop on this map, hopefully there are not too many places to get turned around...

Like, here 50 yards from the start...  the course is marked with painted arrows on the ground...

Sincerely,
Beth, running in the wilds of Wisconsin.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Sleeping like a baby

I did, in fact, sleep like a baby.  Not the baby I was who slept through the night from the time my parents brought me home.  Like a normal baby, up every hour or so, and fussy....

This mornings 5K was fun.  I managed a 30:20 on legs that felt and moved like lead from yesterdays Nooseneck 18K  (did I mention it was hilly?)  I'll take it.  Nice course, the last up hill was torture, however it ends on a down hill, I just couldn't get my legs turning over quick enough to get there in under 30 minutes!!  Some Domino's pizza delivery driver I'd make, eh?   I have no idea where I placed, I think there was a 90 by my name.  Pretty much how I'm feeling about now...

Michael did well with a 21:56 putting him 10th out of 160.  Pretty cool to say I know such greatness!  Nice to start to get to know all you local racers!  Hope your races or runs or rides were excellent this weekend!

Very cool t-shirt:



There were a couple of young girls who put up a pretty good race with the old lady here.  Always makes me smile  I kept telling them to go go go.  They ran and giggled and ran and giggled, so sweet.

Saturday is the Ice Age 1/2 trail marathon in La Grange WI.  With a couple of long drives, taking some time to stop and see my family in MI and spoil my Nephew with a big bag of presents,  it will be some forced rest days which I do need.  I really really don't like to fly, I really really really like to take long car trips, so this works out well for me.  As luck would have it one of my Cousin's is volunteering at the race and another friend lives in a nearby town!  So not only will I get to run a 1/2 marathon on a beautiful trail I will get to see my family in MI, a Cousin, an Aunt, and friends!!!

Sincerely
Beth, who is going to nap now...

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Nooseneck 18K - Recap

Thanks for all the comments on shoes!!  Awesome stuff!!  I did figure out my mileage on my shoes, seems that while I note which shoes I ran in (on Garmin Connect) the notes field is not a select-able field for the reports, blargh...  I have it dumped into an Excel sheet and typed in the shoes.

First race for May - Nooseneck 18K - for Boston - 5 p.m. Saturday.

I hemmed and hawed about going.  Sought council from one of my friends:

"I'm faced with a pretty serious decision about what to do.  What course of action to take.  What is the RIGHT path:

Do I run the 18K (11.2 miles) race with the group on Sat night?   
I have a 5K Sun a.m. where I am guaranteed to get my chops busted if my time is over 30 min...   
See, serious stuff here.   This is what keeps me up at night.   Well, that, and Gizmo snoring in my ear... Thoughts?"

The response was:

"Seems like you could:

a. Run the 18K and skip the 5K run (seriously, not sure what you were thinking - running back-to-back races!)
b. Skip the 18K and kick ASS on the 5K or;
c. Run both and not give a flying fuck about what people say about your 5K time ("I'd like to see YOU run an 18K and then do a 5K the next day!" - could be your retort)

Fundamentally, what do you want to get out of these two days? What do you want most? To run, or to participate. Personally, I have suspicions that you want to test yourself and run both AND get a sub-30 time on the 5K just to prove you can, but I won't voice that suspicion ..."

This exchange, drenched in sarcasm, reminds me I have great friends!

I had lunch with a bestie, and I didn't exactly make the wisest lunch choice:

Breakfast Burger:   Our grilled burger topped with corned beef hash, a fried egg and american cheese served open faced.

Somehow I missed the burger part of the breakfast burger.  Hubb is hysterically laughing his head off as I go back and review the menu, in the section clearly marked "Burgers, Burgers, Burgers" he wants to know if there needed to be a fourth Burger for me to get the message?  Yeah, I can be a little flakey; when I'm not being intense.  

I was expecting corned beef hash, fried egg, and cheese...  the burger part was very rare and a surprise...

Bestie asked, "So why do you need to be home by 3?"  I said "I think I am going to run an 18K race, it starts at 5."  She just laughed and said "Only you. Let me know how that burger works out."

There were a good number of runners, 3 for the 5K option and the rest (20?) for the 18K.  I started out a little fast, it starts on a down hill.  I kept the fast pack in my sights for the first mile, eventually got passed by the person who beat me by about 7 minutes.  2 hours and 3 minutes later I trotted across the finish line.  It has to suck to be a race director and wait for that last person to come rolling over the finish line, which BTW is UPHILL. One of the other club members was there to snap my picture as I crossed the finish line.  I really have no issue with being DFL.  In fact, the RD said that when they run this race on 12/26 the last person usually comes in around 2:30.  I'm pleased with my time, my goal was 2 even.  The hills were killer, not as killer as Colchester when my SI joint went out of alignment.  So 3 minutes over my goal, not bad 11:08 pace.  I wanted to keep my pace around 10:30 / 10:45, well that didn't happen.  Then that hill at mile 5, I walked.  HOLY CRAP it was steep. There was a little walking on the two subsequent hills...


Well those are all over the place
Perhaps the burger wasn't such a great idea, it kinda sat there like a rock and there were some wicked belches.  Doubtful it had any impact on my time, just not an appropriate pre-race meal.

The route is beautiful.  One for when I'm looking for some hills and a challenge, plus it is closer than Colchester.  If I'm local on 12/26 I'll put this on the list.  After a day filled with eating millions of delicacies my Mother In Law serves I'm sure it will be interesting!!

Tomorrow is a 5K, it is supposed to be flat and finish on a downhill!

Sincerely,
Beth, who will be sleeping like a baby tonight!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Shoes


In the Gym today I noticed another runner’s shoe with a date on it Feb 15th.  I asked the significance.  She said, she runs and changes shoes every four months.  It was easier to mark on the shoe the date and make a note in her calendar at the four month mark than to try and figure out why this or that is now hurting and last week it wasn't.  Her feet and legs like new shoes every four months.  OK.

I've been tracking the mileage on my shoes.  If you ask me what the mileage is on the shoes I'd have to figure it out.  Although my right shin is a little more achy than it used to be, so it is probably time to rotate in a new pair of shoes. I am a data junkie, I love to collect it, and then never manage to DO anything with it...

I keep two pairs of road shoes going.  The trail shoes I've sort of given up on.  I'm finding I like the feel of the trail through my road shoes.  Guess I will see what that does to my legs in the long run.

So it is probably time to rotate in a new pair of shoes, based on this shin thing.  Fortunately, I have four pair waiting in the wings.  They are all the same, and look the same.  Guess I'll be dating my shoes so at least I can tell them apart!

Tell me about your shoes:  One or more pairs going at a time?  Change them regularly?  Think this whole shoe thing is a marketing ploy? Different types of shoes?  Trail, road, racing?

Sincerely,
Beth, with shoes on the brain.