Thursday, November 28, 2013

Let't talk about the weather....

It has been a year since my parents moved back into their house since the fire.  The evening of December 26, 2011 was life changing for my parents for sure.  Not as life changing as July of 2007.  Nor as life changing as October of 2011 either...  Ok well hard to know what was most life changing.  Although it could have been my mother's realization Tuesday night that her eldest and only daughter is a few years away from 50 and contemplaing running a 50 miler to celebrate that milestone.  She was more dismayed at the fact she could be the mother of a 50 year old...  ok so it is nearly 4 years away...  rather than her daughter doing yet one more bizarre and un-understandable thing.

Ok so that was a lot of information with not a lot of background in that opening paragraph.  December 26, 2011 half of my parents house burned.  Hell of a Christmas present, right?  After a lot of craziness with rebuilding they were in nearly a year later.  Thanksgiving of 2012 was when they were officially moved back into the house, half had to be rebuilt and the other half gutted and re-insulated, plumbed, electrical pulled, dry wall hung, re-finished?  Yeah, yeah it should not have taken that long, especially with the craptastic economy in MI and most of the trades desperate for work.  That is another story and it has been sorted out, obviously, as they were moved back into their re-constructed house.

Light switches aren't where they used to be and the step down to the 'new' part of the house on the second floor, pre-fire isn't there any more and everytime I take that route to go down stairs I end up slamming my right foot against the floor because there is SUPPOSED to be a step there, there was one for over 30 years...  

The other dates all relate to my mother's lung cancer diagnosis in July 2007, with October 2011 being her first full year with only one scan, the scan was the same as it had been since April of 2009 when she decided to stop treatment.  October 2012 the same, the radiologists lay one scan over the other and they are identical.  October 2013 had the same result, her oncologist, said he may consider the tumor dead.  October 2012 scan was very scary for all of us, with all the stress from the fire and the trauma with the rebuilding, IF something was going to happen it would have happened then, this was the conclusion my siblings and I came to.  October 2013 scan was a non-event to us because, mom is just fine, and you know what, she is.  

After a tense 13 hour drive from RI to MI on Tuesday, rain snow rain snow rain and just past Elyria OH it all stopped, dry pavement, I hadn't seen dry pavement since CT!  Whoop!  Watched quite a few cars twirl around on the thruway and end up in the ditch.  My dad and I stayed up a little too late talking (and drinking).  He was diagnosed with COPD in October.  At least he now knows what is causing his shortness of breath and has medication to slow/stop the progression and has to learn to just slow down and not get out of breath and wear himself out.  It was nice to see he was dealing with all of this just fine and making adjustments where he needed to.  

Wednesday greeted me with sunshine, in South East Michigan in November, are you kidding me?  This NEVER happens.  I quick checked the temp on my phone and found it was 59 and rainy back home and it was 19 with the windchill 6.  Huh... Well the sun was out, and here I thought Monday's run would be the last one in sun! 


Huh...  that sucks...
 I ran down to the main road and back to the house, this would give me a good clue on the temps and which direction was going to be colder.  Of course , the direction for the return to the house from the long part of the run was going to be into the wind.  Blargh.  I managed 3.7, I just couldn't do the extra few feet to make it 4 or to Lindsey road.  I was cold and still had to run BACK in the wind.  

The sun was out and it gave me the opportunity to run with my shadow!


Beautiful Sunset!

Beth, looking forward to seeing friends and family tomorrow. 

Thursday, November 21, 2013


I’m not going to call you out specifically, but really, no long sleeved shirt keeps you inside? On a gorgeous 40F day like today?  Really?  Well both of you, so you know you aren't alone.  Women maybe the slower of the sexes however we are the more hardy, a little chill in the air doesn't keep us inside.   And if you need a long sleeved shirt, I usually have an extra, and sometimes they aren't pink!  HA!  Extra because I’m not sure which is going to go with what, because after all it doesn't count if you don’t look cute doing it! 

Yeah, I’m a little amped up today.  First run since Sunday.  Monday was batshit crazy, with what I have a hard time remembering, but wow, by the time I got to TRX my head was spinning and I practically talked Joy’s ear off.  Tuesday I was in NY and managed to find 40 minutes to take a few block walk, I was driving my boss bonkers with all my wiggling.  She said “Beth, do you need to go out and take a walk?”  That was my not so subtle hint my leg wiggling was reaching a 10 on the Richter Scale, time to scrub off some excess energy with a brisk walk around mid town.  She is so funny.  Wednesday was a whirlwind of meetings and no free hour. I lost focus about 3 p.m. and remembered Dave and I needed to straighten up the house before his parents arrived Thursday afternoon.  4 hours of epic cleaning and putting away resulted in a respectable level of chaos on the first floor, we really need a garage to put the bikes in, or maybe a decorative stand for them in the dining room, make them into some sort of an eclectic mobile hanging from the ceiling?  I can only imagine what that Zoning meeting would be like trying to get a variance, even for a shed in the back yard. Pass on that...

Today, finally, a run, not quite 5 miles (totally forgot about the 10K anyway challenge I still have a few days), it was beautiful out, probably didn't really need a hat or gloves, but they were nice as the wind picked up just a skitch towards the end of my run.  I took a left out of the guard shack and not my usual right.  I need to mix it up a little and thought maybe I’d nip down Thomas and do ‘the bitch’ or just stick with the long slowly rising hill climb on Shennecossett. I picked the climb and focused on keeping stead on my pace, I slowed a bit...

My watch is still set to biking, I have to remember to switch that after I get off the bike.  Or just leave it on running and not mess with it.  I ran about 6 MPH so 10 minute miles, I’m happy with that.  Just a gorgeous day to be outside even if it was a little chilly for some!


I skipped back into the office to deal with a stack of papers I've been using as weight training for the last several weeks.    They get lifted from my drawer, walked across the hall to my desk, deposited, scattered about, re-stacked, lifted, walked across the hall and deposited back in my drawer, repeat daily.  Well not when I’m slogging half the stack and my lap top around midtown Manhattan, in heels, medals should be handed out for that, I’m NOT kidding! 

A big project launched on Monday and about half that stack were drafts and notes and things that could just be recycled, very little had to be filed.  I even found a stack in my only filing drawer to recycle, whoop!  Yeah, someone needed to run if recycling paper is getting this big of a cheer…

Took Ro's Spin class, cleaned up, and scampered home to see what Dave cooked for the dinner with his parents.  Indian Chicken, well done.  We use the same recipe and no matter what his turns out different than mine.  Funny how that works isn't it?  Pumpkin Pie for dessert and the FIL and I polished off a couple bottles of champers (hence the spin class), not a bad night.  

Beth, planning ahead for the eating season!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Li'l Rhody Run Around - Recap

Racing locally is more and more fun because I not only recognize the names and/or faces I am also starting to get to know some of the runners.  And meet new ones, thanks for introducing yourself Amada hope to see you at more races!!   Plus who doesn't love running in their own backyard?  I haven't run in Burlingame since April 21st plenty of short hikes with my Gizzy, one or two bike rides, just no running.  Not sure why, just didn't pan out and the closer it got to the marathon the less I wanted to risk injuring myself, and oh yeah that overly ambitious race calendar kinda left no time on the weekends for fun running.  Deffo something to fix going into 2014.

Maybe I want to back up a bit here. Running the 4th Season Races series was my introduction to trail racing and racing in general.  My goal for 2012 was to run one race a month and I found a race in December of 2011 and signed up and as Mike can attest to I signed up for a couple all at once (I think the Resolution Beach and Ryan Park). Then there was this whole series thing and the race locations were so cool I did them all!  I also started looking for more trail races and didn't find many.

I remembered seeing the Li'l Rhody Run Around last year (2012) and I had already committed to Mews Beers and Gear (my 5K PR of 27:27) well crap.  The website had a map so I ventured out to run the course at some point in the fall of 2012.  There was a biker with an NBX shirt noticing I looked rather perplexed, he said "Hi can I help you?" and I thanked him and asked about the trail and he said, just go down the dirt road, through a play ground and look for the yellow arrows.  OK, and off he went and off I went.  It was fun, bridges, rocks, roots, and then there was this wall of granite ledge to scale.  Oh my, have I wandered off course?  Up and over I went wondering how the heck did the mountain biker get through this, did he carry his bike?  (later Dave showed me how to get around the granite ledge - ah ok, not sure which I prefer).

Anyhoodles I put a mental note I wanted to run this in 2013.  As 2013 progressed I got to know several of the WTAC runners, and several other runners!  I felt less and less conspicuous as a slow runner, and more and more and more like I just like to run in pretty places, and no one seems to mind if I come in last or when I finish but they were as curious about me as I was about them and some friendships have formed and some acquaintanceships have formed.

As races have progressed through the year, it has been so great to see so many familiar faces, put blogs together with people, get to know current and former co-workers with similar passions.  This is my last racey race of the year, really, it is!!  Ok, the Ann Arbor Turkey Trot is to get together with a friend and her daughter, not to race, plus they have a super cool t-shirt!!  So this race felt a little like graduation of sorts.  Maybe graduation isn't the right word...

The race itself is put on by WTAC, it benefits a scholarship fund.  This race was the highest participant turn out ever.  The day was perfect, low 50 F temps, slight breeze from time to time, cloud cover.  The best part was after the last runner came through the chute and everyone gathered a light sprinkle started.  Thank you weather gods for holding off!  I understand it was pretty icky for those having to clean up the course, for the participants, or at least me, it seemed like the perfect end.

The race itself.  It is hunting season in RI and the law requires 200 square inches of orange.  I received a note from a friend (Phil, one of the former co-workers I had no idea was a runner until he saw me at Tarzan Brown a few weeks ago) he asked if the Tarzan Brown shirt would work.  I really didn't think so.  Growing up in farming and hunting country, we didn't leave the house with out our hunters orange from October till March.  Besides shotguns at every door there were also orange hats and vests.  And yes, bullets in every jacket my father owned - this possibly explains why I didn't have a second date until I moved out of the house. I assured Phil the Tarzan Brown shirt wasn't appropriate and there would be shirts available, and I would bring my stash of hunters orange shirts and hats.  Not to worry.  He did buy a shirt and hopefully left the tags on it to return it!!

Middle, Eldest, Youngest - and Amile the Shih Tzu with her own orange vest (in the background)!!  Thanksgiving 2012.
Check in was super easy, Crutch was there and recognized me in a minute.  We both exchanged our current knowledge on how our girl Nicole, of Running While Mommy, was doing at the Philly Marathon, her first Marathon.  Crutch had run her last two long runs with her and did a great job pacing her.   She was doing great and running strong.

I had my favorite new orange shirt on "What part of princess don't you understand?"  so all I had to do was wait in line for the porta john and pin on my bib.  Of course I remembered to bring along one of the bazillions sets of 4 pins I have pinned together and pin the bib to my shirt, #107, 7 is generally a good number for me.  Either way it was going to be fun, beautiful day, perfect running weather.  Ran into Buzz as he was scurrying down to get his bib and take care of all that pre-race business.  Tom was in line and we discussed the map of Burlingame I shared with him earlier in the week and how to get to the Sammy C because it is such a beautiful section of trail with all the ledge.  I didn't see Phil, huh...

Lining up I found Crutch and Amanda found us!  I spied all the fast guys in the front.  John Hammett asked which race this was for me for the week.  Ha, thanks...  And we were off.  John's words of advice were don't get to far back or you'll be stuck.  I managed to stay in the middle of the pack for the big bottle neck as we entered the single track and kept up a too fast pace for a few miles.  Phil eventually caught up with me and eventually passed me assuring me I would pass him as I did in Tarzan Brown.  HA!  I doubted that was true.  At the opportunities to pull off I did and let people get by.  It sucks passing on single track and I was enjoying my run.  Eventually I was where I wanted to be, alone, listening to the leaves crunching beneath my feet, reminding myself to step lightly and if you think you need two steps take three and just enjoy this time. A little walking up hills.  Watch the damn rock gardens.  I could remember every place I've stumbled or took a spill, and chuckle to myself.  Well except for that rock garden before the ledge to scale, that spill was a little frightening.  I just minded my Ps and Qs at that point and still managed to roll my ankle a bit but not fall!!!

I totally forgot how rocky and rooty it was after that ledge.  I was a little tired, I'm sure the bike ride and all the hill climbs wore my legs out, and I was getting a little spacey.

Eventually there was the light, the end of the forest and the tarmac.  Crutch was there waiting for me.  OH crap was he going to make me actually run in this last mile?  Oh HELL yes he was.  My fastest mile of the race, I do believe.  The tarmac helps, as does someone pushing me so I don't get lazy, because yeah I think my problem is I'm lazy!  He chuckled when I said "You're pushing me." and he did back off a bit but picked it up a few seconds later.    It was the though of a goose coming across the path that kept my pace up.  Foul fowl they are....  And off to the finish line I sprinted.  Thank you for that, means a lot.

I was surprised to see Seth out there waiting for Amanda, I couldn't imagine she would finish after me, even though she claimed she would be slow.

All in all a great race and a great run for an awesome organization and cause!

Beth, looking forward to just running for fun for a while till training for something starts depending on what happens on December 15th.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Last bike ride of the year?

The weather isn't something I really pay attention to, I have enough to distract me on a daily basis, why add one more thing?  Jackass and I were texting back and forth on Thursday night as we commuted home from NYC.  He was supposed to be on an early train (Mrs. Jackass's birthday) and I'm lucky if I get on the 5:48 train (or watch it leave the station, ha ha).   He ended up on the 6:11, I certainly had more to do in the office and would have been pleased to share my briefcase bar after the hellish day I had.  I don't discuss politics, the only plus for me with the ACA (aka Obamacare) is unending projects.  I can only hope whichever (idiot) consulting firm designed and (moronically) project managed the fiasco is also designing and PMing the reporting systems for physcians (aka The Sunshine Act) because it will make 1 Q 2014 much less stressful for me as they won't be ready for our data.  Anyhoodles, during this texting the topic of the weekend came up and how beautiful Saturday was going to be and Sunday was touch and go.  Hmmmm....

Over our Crumbs cupcakes (Cannoli and Pumpkin)

so hard to make a decision, this is half of the display cabinet

 Dave concurred Saturday was going to be marvelous; he was going to pass on the ride as he wanted to save his legs for Sunday with the guys and well he really doesn't like riding the roads.  This was evidenced by an eMail he sent me earlier in the week:

"Yes this is meant to scare you and remind you to stay aware." With the following link:

OK yes this did scare me and I do try and stay aware.  

I still got on the bike, after my warm bike clothes dried. I only have one set.  Oh I love the sweet man I am married to who will throw in my disgustingly smelly running and biking clothes with his biking clothes. Apparently mine are the only ones that smell and mine contaminate his.  Bwahaaa... right?  I had planned on re-wearing the worn clothes, I know gross, but it takes FOREVER for the chamois to dry, am I wrong?  Dave threw everything in early on Sat a.m. and well they were in my sports clothes basket, so yeah, my bad. Obviously I need more cold / chilly weather biking gear? 

Noank, CT, was my desired destination.  Pretty much all U.S. 1 which Dave can't stand.  It does't bug me, although I was paranoid every motorist behind me was aiming to take me out!  Hey, sometimes the paranoid are right??  

After settling into my solo pace I enjoyed the scenery, even for a major road U.S. 1 is pretty and so different on a bike from being in a car.  It was sunny and beautiful and I said HI and Nice Day to everyone I saw.  I'm weird like that, it doesn't require a conversation just "Hi!  Have a great day!!" in passing...  

Rather pleased I kept up a pretty good pace for being solo! I was a bit worried and wondered how much not wanting to be "slow and wimpy" when I ride with Dave would go by the wayside, apparently not much!  It was an out and back, adding in Stonington on the way back.  Right hand turns are so much easier than lefts!  Plus US 1 has a wide shoulder and some of the other options, back to Westerly, not. so. much.  

The question is are these mid 50's (or higher) and sunny temps the last of the year? Would this really be the last bike ride of the year?  (yeah yeah I could pay attention to the weather, what fun would that be?) 419 miles since August 3rd when I brought the bike home. So much has changed, when I am on it it feels more and more like it is part of me. I love riding it, so freeing and fun.  Could it be possible to hit 500 miles?  3 more rides of 27 miles?  Hmmm...   Then again I feel like I am cheating on my running shoes when I am riding and longing for my bike and feeling guilty when I am running....  this is a sickness isn't it?

Beth, paying attention to traffic, but not much else!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Wordless Wednesday - I love this weather!!

Beth, who enjoyed a brisk and invigorating run along the shore this morning!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

My Alarm Clock is in Maine

The title of this should be Pell-Newport Bridge Run - Recap, it isn't...

I'll start where I left off...

Friday - Thoughts about running the Gold Star Bridge, al la Mike was preempted when   "Lunch with Friends" popped up on my calendar and well running, food, booze, and biking are in my top 5 favorite activities.   Figured maybe I could sneak in a loop at Burlingame post picking up my bib and shirt in Newport.  Well that didn't happen, timing was really off and while I do want to run the woods in the dark, I didn't have my headlamp, and probably should let someone know what I am doing.  (To quote MAC  "Ya, think?") Next best thing is a run around town in the dark. I donned my Choucas hat courtesy of Kristina and my head lamp and headed out the door, to be stopped by Dave, just arriving home from riding Burlingame, laughing at my hipster braids.  There isn't a ponytail hole, so what was I to do?

Big sorry to the guy I nearly blinded. Whoops...  

Saturday - 2.5 beach walk with Gizzy, the eldest boxer and my curmudgeon.  

Noble beast my Gizzy!!
Decided we would check out Napatree.  I haven't been there with him since last year, post-Sandy.  He is approaching 13, old for a boxer.  I figure his curmudgeon-ly-ness helps extend his life time?  In any event, we had a nice hike up and over the hill to get to the beach.  It was funny to see him at the top of the hill.  He sat, like he used to do with Diesel and Sage, he was waiting for the "GO" .   We would make them sit and be still, to check out if it was clear, and if it was we'd say "GO" and all three of of them would run down the hill, ok take off like bats out of hell doing their crazy boxer thing.  I teared up a little bit.  Diesel has been gone a little over 3 years, and Sage passed this January. We've both been thinking a lot about Sage lately.

The Treacherous Trio Gizzy, Sage, Diesel

Sage's birthday is today (11/10), I think it is very appropriate, being the birthday of the Marine Corps and all.  She would have made a spectacular Marine!

"Is that a pledge pin on your uniform?"

OK enough of memory lane. Gizzy curled up with me on the couch for a post walk pre dinner nap, one I planned on to make up for the sleep I was going to not get....

Dave had plans to go to Maine to cut down a red spruce or two.  Again, I don't ask a lot of questions, so I don't know the quantity.  He told me he was going to leave around midnight to get to the Baskahegan forest at sunrise.  I questioned (shocking IKR?) the reasonableness of this plan and was told, "Well what was I going to do in Brookton, ME for the evening?"  Fair enough, I suppose, so leaving at bed time, upsetting the dogs was his plan....  hence my 3 hour nap in the afternoon, making sure I had some sleep for my pending Pell-Newport Bridge race, I needed to be up and moving by 4:15 a.m. to meet up with Nicole.  

As an aside, in case you are scratching your head on this whole cutting down a tree or two business.  Dave is a Luthier.  A Luthier, not a Lutheran, he is Catholic (not by choice, guess you say a recovering Catholic?  I dunno this whole organized religion thing is lost on me) actually, but we aren't discussing religion.  His craft is making stringed instruments.  specifically bluegrass Mandolins in the Lloyd Loar style, and as the economy wound up to take its big *expletive* the bottom dropped out of selling hand crafted Mandolins.  Put food on the table or buy a bluegrass Mandolin, a pretty easy decision.  What he has found success in is supplying the tone wood (red spruce) to companies and individuals at a reasonable cost for top quality wood.  Hunting, harvesting, and processing the wood is time consuming.  The tree needs to grow straight (most trees grow with a slight twist), have few branches, and tight growth rings.  The part of the tree he can use he will bring home and the lumberjack he works with will have a buyer for the rest of the tree.  

 The dogs were up and down until about 1 a.m., as I expected.  I didn't expect Jax to make a beeline for the back yard and start barking up a storm at midnight... oops.  Well figuring nearly all the neighbors leaves fall and blow into our yard (there is some sort of leaf magnetic vortex in our front stoop, I'm positive) I didn't feel too bad, because yeah, I can be a bitch like that sometimes.  I got him inside, shut the basement door to prevent any further barking and waking me up, screw the neighbors and their leaves on our front lawn.   Oh, Bob, I didn't want to disturb Bob, because well, he has a snow blower and the leaves from his trees magically stay in his yard.  Of course we do pay him enough Corona over the summer to help ensure he ventures over to our side walk after a big snow storm?  Puffy heart Bob!! 

Sunday - You may have guessed where this is heading.  Long about 6 a.m. I rollover and look at the clock, normal time for me to wake up.  I look at the clock and ponder "hmm there was something I was supposed to do today."  I panic and remember, "Meet Nicole at the park and ride at 5:15 a.m.!!!"  No I don't remember the race, I remember my commitment.  

Check my phone texts from Nicole and Dave.  I have my phone set to do not disturb between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. only calls from family will come through or calls that are 3 in a row.  Nicole called twice... point of reference if you really need to wake me up call three times... and no I'm not passing out my cell phone number, ha!!!

Nicole is understandably worried as 'Ms. Dependable' is no where to be seen and she can't get a hold of me.

Dave, on the other hand, is trying out voice texting on his phone and hoping to send hilarious texts.... don't ask me why this relationship work, it just does.  We, and our respective families, put the "fun" in dysFUNction is possibly the reason?  Although I'd love to meet a family that doesn't put the "fun" in dysFUNction.  If you know of one, introduce me!

So, yeah, he will not be thrilled I posted this, whateves... Goofball...

Time to re-think my day, well I definitely have time to see Crutch run in Warwick.  Crazy, running for 6 hours? Who does that?  (har har har)  Ro posted something to my timeline about the race and Don mentioned he was running the Conservation 5K in Avondale at 1.  Oh I could see Crutch run, meet Kristina and Sara in person and then get home in time for a bike ride through Avondale to Watch Hill and watch the guys run.  Yes, ALL of you, I'm too shy to say HI, however I will cheer you on!!  Great job Tommy 5K, Gazelle, and Gazelle Jr.  Nice to catch up with you John!!

Crutch looking strong  and determined at the end of lap 7!!

Tommy 5K in the lead, of course!


Don, taking it easy in the beginning

Phil running strong!!

As the awards ceremony was finishing up the clouds were gathering, was I going to make the 6 miles home before it started raining or not?  Fortunately it was just spitting as I cranked my way down Elm Street and up U.S. 1. to home.   A quick shower to warm up and meet Don and and Suzan for a beer at the Malted Barley then home to run around the house with the dogs (they were staring daggers through me when I walked through the door - can you blame them?). Yippiee my Sunday was complete!! 

I'm getting there with the Bluff Ave climb, every time I'm a few seconds faster!  

Beth, who's alarm clock, the one who will wake up and poke her and say "Don't you have someplace to be?" was in Maine, and who apparently can't figure out how to work the one on her nightstand.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Catching up

Monday seems like it was a year ago…  I went out for a run, no expectations of anything spectacular, I just needed to get away from my desk and clear my head.  Things seemed limber and loose and going well, so I took a left on Thomas and decided to get back to campus via "the bitch".  Actually went well.  Although I debated stopping at the top to wait for the light to cross I took the high road and went left to keep moving.  I love feeling of flying running south? down that slight grade on Beneham Rd.  Clicked off my watch and was surprised to see the pace I saw.  Combination of no pressure of training and the cool fall air, I am sure.  Whatever it is, I’ll take it!  Enjoyed TRX with the gals, even though I only missed a week it seemed like longer.

Tuesday was a walk with Don and Ro.  Ro and I were going to run after work, we both bailed on that sighting it would be cold and dark and neither of us were really feeling like running and I was pretty achy, not really sure why.  Ro, the over achiever  ran a couple miles on the treadmill and did spin.  Dave was due to be out late, riding at Big River, Time Trials or something, I really need to ask more questions.  Honestly I was thrilled to have the house to myself for the night, the dogs were a bit upset not having all their humans present and accounted for.   He rode how he expected to ride and came home in one piece, guess I’ll call that a success.  I keep wondering if I can tag along and run in the woods while he bikes...  probably best not to push my luck?

Wednesday, OMG what gorgeous weather.  Wished I would have thrown a skirt in my bag, maybe even a tank, get that last little bit of fall sun before I have to deal with my dermatologists tsk tsk tsks.  Just glad there was a short sleeved shirt in the bag.  It was a lovely 4 miles, ran into Mike as he was heading out, hopefully you didn't melt in that long sleeved shirt!! 

I also got a note from Lani from the Lung Cancer Alliance asking if I would share my fundraising story.  She said the Marine Corps Marathon charity coordinator is looking for a charity runner to be highlighted for going above and beyond their fundraising requirement. Just a couple paragraphs about my story, my connection to lung cancer, how much money I have raised.

Oh goodie, I suck at short stories.  Given the option I will elaborate far more than necessary.  This is going to take a bit of time to get right, I fear.

In reality I am so honored to be asked, I know Lani was really hesitant to ask, we all know this was a tough race for me!  The process of pulling together my thoughts and being told the amount I have raised for the Lung Cancer Alliance since 2011 (over $12,000) gave me a nice grounding as to why I ran this race. This race wasn't about me it was about lung cancer.  

Thursday, spin, of course!  Passed on the Sneekers fun run, running in the rain is fun, running in the dark is fun, running in the dark and rain, not so much.  Dave met me in New London for a calorie explosion at St. Sophia Greek Food Festival.  Oh how I love the first week in November (other than the blasted time change).  Sadly I misread the calendar and the festival started on Tuesday, we missed out on the baklava and spanakopita, although they will have some more spanakopita on Friday, I may stop and pick up some to go.  We were more than welcome to order a tray of baklava for the holidays.  Oh krikies, a tray of baklava and the two of us, we would be bouncing off the walls with all that sugar!!!

Beth, wondering how baklava freezes...

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Tarzan Brown - Recap

1:30 p.m. race on a Sunday, ok.  Up and back on River Road, cool.  Friends, even better.  I was really really nervous for this race.  Was I going to blow up?  Was this going to be horrible?  I know I can run that route at a 10 pace, I did it two weeks ago.  OK, so set a goal of 55 minutes for the 5.5 mile race (which is really more like 5.4, so it looks even better in the record books).

Ran into Crutch on my way from the car to pick up my bib, nice to see a friendly face.  I may be overwhelming with my hugs, though.  Sorry!  He had on hat, gloves, and two shirts, oh shit was I under clothed in my MCM moc tech shirt (it is pretty thick) and a skirt?  Well I do have my Wild Turkey gloves in my purse in the car, I guess I could grab them?  Feh, lets see what the start line feels like.  I don't want to spend the race giving people the bird.

Left glove - I suppose showing the thumb would be helpful....

Got all checked in.  The bib guy says "Oh cool name."  *smile* I love that comment.  Perhaps marrying a beam or gun would also have been good.  But that would have messed with my BELLS initials, and my OCD could go into overdrive.

Found Ro and Mark, finally got to meet Ro's amazing sister!

And the line up starts and talk of finish times and what each was expecting.  I threw out 55, hoping that I could at least maintain 10, especially since the course measures short of the 5.5 miles, so there was a little bit of wiggle room.

Got tapped on the shoulder by people I knew, good luck hugs all the way around.  Yes, Monica, I do know EVERYONE.  HA HA HA!!

And the gun goes off.  And off we go.  Not too cold, not too warm, the wind off the water was nice and calming as my heart was racing.  Yeah, I know pull up your big girl panties and do this thing.  It was nice to have biked along River Road with Dave yesterday, I could remember our conversation about how gorgeous and area we live in, the view running is so different from the view biking.  I huffed it along and got in a grove.  The mile marker sign came up before my watch beeped.  I peeked, 9 ish pace, are you kidding me? Well I feel good just keep it up.   And so on it went as the mile markers went by (and yes I walked two of the water stops) I was peeking and seeing 9 ish pace.  Huh...  I checked the total time and wow, I may come in under 50 minutes.  NO STOP, just STOP, just run silly girl.

I saw the banner and thought THAT was the finish line, I turned up the speed and holy wow, no that wasn't the finish line.  Patrick snapped a nice pic.  Thanks!

Slightly disappointed that wasn't the actual finish line!

Then I finally saw the actual finish line the cones and the timing mat and I went for it. Official time 49:52. Yippiee!!!

Coming up to the line and crossing it I could hear Patrick, Crutch, Ro, and Mark cheering me on.  I nearly ran into Ro, she took one look at me and said "Are you ok?" "Yeah, I just need to walk."  I can't just stop running.  Crutch caught up with me, as surprised as I was with my performance.  We chatted.  The Sullivan's came over to chit chat and comment on 'watching' the marathon.  You can see virtual dots on the course, ok that is pretty cool.  A little big brother scary, however cool.  They had a relative running and for a while I was out running him, then the 1/2 way point hit and the game changed.  All parted ways, I know I was starting to get chilly!!

Caught up with Mark and Ro at the Harp and Hound shared a beer (thanks Mark) and caught up on running, biking, and general nonsense!

Beth, feeling redeemed, normal, and a little proud of herself.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Tour de Graveyards

Thank you all for your support and comments.  Truly that was a tough race for me and my whine fest is over. The race photos came a couple days after the race.  There were a few worth the price of admission. I may fork over the $$ for now I'll violate the no copy rule.  I sent this one to my mom and dad and they were glad to see me smile.   I'm kind of tickled with both feet off the ground...

There were also those, are you kidding me?  I look like THAT? Photos...  We all have them, or at least I HOPE we all have them.

Other than a bit of a twisted ankle on my 'recovery' run on Wednesday all has been well, a little stiff and sore, nothing to horrific.  All the rest of the body is getting back to normal too. Good lord what 26.2 does to a person inside and out.  And we do this for 'fun'...  (yes, I'm considering which marathon I'll run next year, OBX is on the radar...  I'm a glutton)

Had a nice walk on Tuesday with the usual suspects, Don and Ro.  So nice to just talk with them, they've been there done that with bad races, injuries, high expectations, and it was nice to talk and walk, the sun seemed to come out just for us too!!  Don had a stellar race in NC, over the weekend.  Great to hear all about it.  Hopefully he will update his blog and tell the story as only he can!!   As I left my desk Gary stopped me and said "No, running."  I assured him I was only going for a walk.  He reiterated "No, running, Beth."  His wife is an ex-runner (knee issues) with a few marathons under her belt.  He gets it and knew I was thinking about a quick mile...   

Wednesday there wasn't time for a run during work so I figured I'd head out to Bluff Point after my last meeting and get in 3 ish on the trails.  I love those trails.  I learned to run on them.  I remember knowing the first split was 0.1 mile and that was my first goal to get to that point, then I was so thrilled to get 0.7 cut off to go up the hill, the small rolls till you get to see the Long Island Sound, then up and around the up hill with its crushed stone, and a spectacular view of some rocks and usually sailboats on the Long Island Sound, back into the woods, the muddy corner, and so on and so forth till the point where there is one mile left at the cut off for Mumford cove, here there is one small hill and then the big hill down to the bottom and back out.  I remember the first time I ran the whole loop, no walking.  Made me wonder what happened to that girl.  

Lots of leaves on the trail and I do get a bit spacey and wasn't paying as close attention as I should and rolled my right ankle.  I yelled "Son of a Bitch"  (my favorite and very first swear word, oh yes it was!) and caught the attention of some bikers ahead of me, they seemed to take off with a start, like a heard of deer...  I hobbled a bit and all seemed ok, just tender and off I went.  Pushing it just a bit on that final downhill and watching for the rocks under the leaves.  Ahhhhh, definitely felt like I was getting back to me.

And look at that I'm QOM (Queen of the Mountain) for the fire road decent.  Yippieee!!!!  The fire road climb was where I twisted my ankle, guess I have a goal for the next run at Bluff Point?

Thursday was supposed to be a fun run after work, all I wanted to do was go grocery shopping and get home to soak in the tub, again.  Fortunately (?) it was rainy and icky and we bailed on the fun run.  Sad to have missed spin class, I had a late meeting, work, damn it,  does get in the way of fun sometimes.  All in all a good meeting, it is getting towards the end of the year and everyone seems to be remembering they set goals in the beginning of the year and now the adage "Poor planning on your part does not constitute and emergency on my part" rolls through my mind as people are in a panic about what they haven't finished and I've become the road block to completion.  Whoopie twang, folks, whoopie twang...  the process is the process.  

Friday was a complete down day, 88 page corporate procedure to review, fortunately they took on board the comments my group offered so it wasn't too horrific, mostly consistency issues. Happy hour with the girls at one of Dave's favorite restaurants; he came a little later and we stayed for dinner they all went off to Pings (Chinese with some sort of a bowl drink), one day I'll be able to go to Pings.

The only goal I had for today was sleeping in and a nice long bike ride with Dave.  I accomplished both and a few other things (more grocery shopping at my most hated grocery store, ever, disgusting that the employees smoke outside one of the entrances in front of the propane exchange - oh I've written comments and chatted with the store manager about this) chicken was on sale and well, we were out and it wasn't at the store I like, and yes I will drive out to Wakefield...  can't believe our store was closed...  blargh.

Sunny and low 60s for the 2nd of November in New England, Holy Wow!  Perfect weather for a bike ride.  Dave got home from his morning flying RC planes with his buddies, we had a little lunch and off we went for a mellow pedal.  Ahhhhh....

So it wasn't totally mellow, it was mind clearing and FUN!!!  We explored a little 'peace sanctuary' off River Road in Mystic, I pointed out all the old graveyards, love them!!  I wasn't sure about taking Dave riding through them, he puts up with most of my quirks, sometimes it is best not to push the envelope, even after 16 years.   He was surprised there were so many, I don't think it is something he really pays attention to.

Beth, approaching normal!