Saturday, May 31, 2014

Weekly Recap - May 26th - June 1st


Wow June already, Dave’s big announcement at dinner on Sunday was, well a few more weeks and the days start getting shorter.  I am seriously considering sending him away for some reprogramming of this negative attitude; I decided it was just easier and cheaper to kick him instead. Right on his sore shin, alls fair in love and war, right?

Monday – 10.5 / dog walk

As I didn't run long over the weekend and really feel like I need to and do want to get in at least one run 10 miles or over once a week.  I ran long on Monday.  As I went downtown I thought, oh the parade, and altered my course.  As I was heading towards Boombridge (aka cow patty lane) I thought I could go out and see the cows, which would be a much easier run than winding my way through Pawcatuck to run the Greenhaven loop.  I really wanted to run the Greenhaven loop, so I did.   We could call this a reverse progression run; I just got slower and slower and slower.  I can’t even say why, I brought water, so it wasn't that, my legs were a little tired, so maybe it was that.  The breeze was awesome, even running into it.  Running with it at my back, oh good grief I could smell myself and that sucked.   Dave dislikes washing my running and biking clothes with his biking clothes he is sure my stink is going to get into his clothes.  What-a-guy, right?  Well… I should give him a break, he does the laundry, after 16 years of me doing it this has been a nice change of pace!  So anyhow… it just got slower and then the light at the bottom of the last hill ran through what seemed like two cycles till I got a walk signal and I was fine with the break, besides I didn't want to be a scofflaw and jay walk, right??   The little rest did make the last ½ mile up the hill a little easier, it would have looked a little better had I stopped my watch, whoopee twang.

I contemplated taking a bike ride later in the day, the weather was weird and I was enjoying doing nothing productive, and lazying around with the dogs.  Gizzy curled up with me for a small nap, always a nice thing.  Took him for a walk after dinner, a short one, we went a little too far and fast on Sunday with Gus.

Tuesday – 4  run / 15 bike

Bumped into Mike B on the way out to run, so he pulled me along for a little over 3 miles and I went left and he went right and we ended up back at campus, him a few minutes after me.  I could have really used some water midway through the run.  Ummmm do I suggest stopping at the cafĂ© at Avery Point (they have a drinking fountain) or no? I sucked it up.  Turns out that would have been a good idea.  Sorry Mike!  This was the first run with really little wind at 70F too.  It was nice along the water, for sure. Summer is coming, blargh.

Vinnie’s issues are not catastrophic; a wire came loose from the solder on a control module.  Instead of a not getting out from the dealership for under a grand it was $117, hmmm what can I do with the $900 I “saved”??  Nice to be able to raise and lower the windows, lock and unlock the doors, get into the trunk, not have the windshield wipers going all.the.time, and have the interior lights intermittently flash on and off.  Seriously, cue the Benny Hill theme music.  I took a video, it loses a lot in translation, one of those ‘you had to be there’ kind of things. 

Had just enough time before dog dinner time to get in a rideto the beach and back.  Enjoyed weaving in and out of traffic, shhhh don’t tell Dave.  Decided to go East on Shore Road, and it was into the wind, it felt like I was standing still at points.  Hmm this will make west bound on flat Atlantic pretty easy and fast.  Oh yeah!!!    That was fun, now I wish I would have pushed just a little harder in the beginning, who knew what I could accomplish if I tried a little harder?

Wednesday – 5 run / bike trainer

Wednesday was its usual windy mess, I went right out of the gate and should have gone left, and well I was going to have wind either way, I suppose.  Along the sound who do I spy by Mike B running with his new faster than me slower than him friend.  

It was cold and windy when I got home from work so I decided it was time to figure out this trainer Dave bought from a friend.  I did a little googling around and found a You Tube on how to put the bike on the trainer, glad I did that.  All went well.  Tried to figure out the ‘remote tension’ adjustment device; threw that to the side, it dinged up my handle bars.  Off and on the bike to get the tension right and I’m still not sure I’m doing this right…  Jax did not like the noise the trainer made.  Gizmo laid on one of the dog beds and stared at me like I was loony and eventually fell asleep.  Gus made himself scarce.  Dave was out riding with friends.  Managed half an hour on the contraption; good enough for the first shot, plus it was well past time to feed the dogs.

Thursday  - 32 bike / dog walk

Decided to finally just do it and bike to work.  16 miles and some change one way, took about an hour, and there were some hills I forgot about.  One of the bikers I sit with suggested a different route, longer but may skip a hill or two… I’m dubious, however I like biking along the shore so I’ll try it.  




The ride home was uneventful and the same time as the ride to. Nice!



I prepped the day before bringing in clothes and leaving my gym bag at work.  That worked out well.  I didn't forget anything important so I’ll call that a win. 

Friday - nothing - dinner out with runner friends!!

Saturday - 30 bike / dog walk

After a leisurely breakfast with a friend (yeah, dinner out then breakfast out the next a.m. I certainly have the high flying social life) rounded up Dave for our ride. I mapped out a 23 mile ride for Dave and I and carefully wrote down the turns and put the paper in my jersey pocket.

As we started out Dave suggested I find a route that didn't mean we were biking into the wind up hill the whole way, har har har.  What is it with the wind lately???   Several suggestions on my form were mentioned in the first two miles.  Yeah, yeah, thanks.  My legs are tired and I'm tired and I wondered quietly if maybe this wasn't a good idea...  

I missed a turn and it started to become apparent so we pulled over (Dave suggested we do this before we got to the top of the hill, we were climbing a hill? huh) I looked at my notes and with the miracles of smart phones and google maps and I could see the error. We turned around, noting that now we were going downhill with the wind at our back.  Off of Rte 91 on to Switch (the turn I missed) we were on nice back roads, found the Woodville Damn, very cool.  The road wasn't the greatest in spots but soon got better.  We wove our way back down towards Westerly and Dave commented that this 20 mile ride was turning into longer.  I said, umm I think we will hit 30.  His comment was "Anything over 30 means you are buying ice cream."  Um ok, (I always keep money in my saddle bag - I know those are a violation of the rules, hey I'm a scofflaw and far from perfect) I wound us around and back close to home and then TA DA the Dairy Queen in Pawcatuck, CT.  Not stellar ice cream like Buttonwood Farms (maybe next weekend we will go there) definitely ice cream and a good calcium filled lunch (don't judge) and we trekked the mile towards home, with a lap around the block to actually hit a full 30 miles!!



Fun time and so great to see this beautiful area on the bike!


Sunday - Back Roads Ramble 5K / Maybe I'll bike to and from the race.  Maybe a run later in the day, maybe not.

Sincerely,
Beth, plugging along....

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Wordless Wednesday





Sincerely,
Beth, the trainer isn't as bad as the treadmill, yet.  Jax didn't like it much, though...

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Weekly Log 5/19 - 5/25

Monday - TRX & dog walk

I may stick with this being a non-running day or I may not.   TRX was good, we hadn't had class in a while it was nice to catch up with the girls!  Took Gizzy out for a little stroll after dinner.  

Tuesday - 19 Bike & dog walk

Left work a little early and went for a bike ride.  I wasn't really sure where I wanted to go but I was sure I wanted to avoid any hills.  Not really that many true hills on the coast, but there is one in Watch Hill up towards Taylor Swift's house so I avoided that. Figured I'd work on a bit of speed along Ocean Drive, flat with a few rolls.  According to Strava managed 17 MPH on that segment, cool.  So then on to Atlantic, right along the ocean.  BRRRR it was a bit chilly and at that point I decided to not make this a brick and shed my shoes and run a few miles on the beach.  Wimp.  East bound on Atlantic was into the wind and I just concentrated on a steady pedal knowing that I'd turn around and hopefully find some more speed with the wind at my back for the west bound trip.  Success East bound 13 MPH  West bound 18 MPH, Dave cautions me that these aren't accurate.  I did get a cadence sensor so that may help get some truer readings?   I was going to set that up on Thursday and test out the trainer Dave procured for us.  Vinnie (the Volvo) had other plans, he decided to go into electronic freak out mode (it was like driving Christine - lights flashing, windshield wipers going, windows not going down, etc) lovely, I thought Ford was supposed to have fixed all these electronic issues.  Hopefully the usual remedy of unplugging the battery over night will work.  Unplugging it for an hour certainly didn't.  190K miles at  7 years old, this should not be happening, right?

Wednesday - Walk with the usual suspects & Bluff Point (3.6)  run with Ro & Dog Walk

Caught up with Don and Ro, Don is running Vermont City Marathon this weekend, GO DON!  He commented that a friend convinced him to run this and then dropped out. He has had a rough time training for this, going into it with a BQ in mind and now it is simply to finish.  

Ro and I ran Bluff Point, easy she says, which is still pushing for me and I need to learn to run and be slightly uncomfortable.  Not as uncomfortable as trying to keep up with Crutch or Mike B!!  The problem with running solo is it is hard to push yourself, it is easier to be pushed (as much as I grumble about it - Crutch) or to have to chase (Mike B - you're still yapping you can keep going) someone.    I accumulated a collection of CRs as I expected I would keeping up with the humming bird on crack AKA Ro.  

Thursday - 5 & Spin

Caught a HUGE break between rain storms.  So proud of Mike B for going out in the rain, and not getting lost in another trailer park (HA great story) and making new friends!  Went out for 4 and decided on 5 at the point I had to decide on 5.  Nothing spectacular.  I did try just going easier up the first hill to warm up, and that helped.  After the first mile it is down hill so that is always nice to see that speedy mile and then grumble that the next isn't as speedy.  Ah well...  at this point I'm happy with anything under 10 min/mile and need to get serious, I keep saying that don't I?? 

Sub for Spin which was weird.  She didn't have much of a plan so I kept the tension high and just worked on keeping going with that higher tension hoping it will transfer somehow to the road bike.

We "interviewed" a dog sitter for Gizzy.  He is way to old to put in the kennel at 13.5.  Boxers just don't live very long and he is healthy and active and spry, still he is old and we accept that, he is a grumbly old man and deserves to be coddled (which apparently I do WAY to much of, phttt, I love my old guy to pieces).  He definitely took to Bailey and I think will enjoy being the only dog for a week.  Being the only dog has been his goal since we adopted him on NYE of 2003.  He was an only dog for a week then Lola and well the history is here

Friday - goofing around in NYC with a friend - well if Vinnie will let me drive him to New Haven... blargh.  The sound track to my drive should have been the Benny Hill theme with the windshield wipers that won't stop and the interior lights flashing on and off...  Took the Shoreline from Old Saybrook figure 40 minute in Christine would be safe enough and New Haven is just too seedy to trust that all would be ok.

Saturday - 25 Bike with Dave
We got a bit of a late start, emergency trip to the dump because Dave forgot to unload the sawdust in the back of his truck, then I put the cadence sensor on my bike and Dave had to re-do it.  I had it right, phttt... 

The weather was weird, definitely knee covering knickers and long sleeves.  The map was weird to follow, lesson learned, look at a 'real' map and make notes on the hand drawn map.  We got a little turned around in the Fort Weatherill, pretty area so nothing lost, we just missed a few miles of road.  The goal was a lap around the island, and that is what we did.  As we approached Fort Getty, the choice was another out and back to Beaver Tail Lighthouse to get us up over 30 miles.  I was ready to be done.  So much for the goal of 40.  I may have over done it a bit last weekend my legs were tired, whine whine whine...

On the trip out and the trip home Dave kept hinting around that he'd like to have a Garmin 800 to be able to see where he was when he was exploring in the woods.  Guess going around in circles is getting annoying?  Definitely would have helped navigate the one area we (ok I) got confused and we wouldn't have missed two parts of the ride.   (Yes he did finally purchase one, it is on its way).

Sunday -  10K run & 14 mile bike

Got up early to take advantage of the coolness of the morning and went out for a run with nothing particular in mind other than about an hour because I was riding with Nicole later in the day.   The music on my iPod is getting stale.  It has been a while since I changed up the music.

Nicole and I rode down to the beach and then around the pond and back to my house.  

Google Maps

It had been a while since she was at Misquamicut.  Considering she lives near a (nicer) beach, doesn't surprise me!  I pointed out where the Rhode Warrior bike and run would start, the point was to give her a little bit of a feel for the roads she's be biking and running.  We will do more parts as her training progresses.  I'm looking forward to more rides with her.  It was fun.  On the way back to my house I noticed she was in the smaller gear.  I asked why?  And she looked at me, um I don't know how to change the gear?  whats the difference?  I explained how to shift up to the bigger gear and her frantically, or rapidly, pedaling feet slowed to a more reasonable rate and she was going much faster.  The look on her face was one of absolute relief.  Her comment was "I couldn't figure out why it seemed like I was pedaling more than you were, now I know."

I didn't get in a long run, for now my shorts still fit, but I can see this is going to be a problem over time.  I missed my bike and running miles goals, so I need to spend some time planning how to fit it all in.  Mostly likely I will ride my bike to work once or twice a week.  


Sincerely,
Beth, rethinking her plan, with plenty of time for adjustments!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Wordless Wednesday

 
And here we go again...  Dave saw this on the dining room table and groaned, no no more training...
 


Sincerely,
Beth, who better not leave things like this on the dining room table!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Tour de Lyme - recap

This wasn't billed as a race, and when I contacted the organizer asking about the 57 mile ride in the Tour de Lyme, only really concerned if there was there a time limit, he replied with we designed the route to be a 3 - 4 hour ride, this is not a race, no time limit.  Huh... I am not quite clueless on my bike pace, and figured 4 hours would be short, perhaps 4:30?  I can run 20 miles in 4 hours this would be like running 20 miles right?  Don't even ask me how I came up with this logic.   

What the heck, in for a penny in for a pound and why would I bother to drive 40 miles to ride a 26 mile route (remember the rule I set up for 5Ks after last year, if it takes longer to drive there, re-think that plan) when I could just do that at home.    Well I did want the organized biking event experience so there is that.

Parking was chaotic and confusing, but I managed to get it figured out, I swear it looked like the sign said I had to go straight, alas no....  Package pick up was easy.  Got a red band on my wrist as I was doing the red route, a t-shirt (2 actually), a cycling cap, and a water bottle (2 actually).  Dave groaned, we don't need any more water bottles...  well, erm I didn't know it was in the bag(s) till I got home, so stuff it.

There were 4 road rides 57, 26 challenging, 26 easier, 8 mile family ride and 2 mountain bike rides (1 hour and 3 hour), 575 riders.  This was the second year for the race, last year rained so they have NO benchmark for what could happen with the absolutely perfect weather on May 18th.  

The ride benefits the Lyme (Connecticut) Land Trust, what a great way to showcase the land in the land trust!

Before signing up I looked at the route on Strava and really didn't notice the elevation, details...  My focus was on the miles, nearly a metric century and the longest ride I've had is 33 miles, last summer when Dave and I went to Buttonwood Farms for ice cream (1,477 in elevation).  I did just get done training for and running a 50K so I figured my endurance isn't in question.  Well my leg endurance, my butt endurance, well yeah, in a bike saddle for 41/2 to 5 hours, what on earth is that going to feel like?

Looking at Strava afterwards 57 miles and 3, 555 feet of elevation gain.  Holy quivering quads.  They are burning just thinking about some of those "will this ever end" long climbs and the" really, straight up at that angle, is that even possible" hills.   What did I learn about hills? 
  1. When petting adorable dog half way up a hill don't try and jump back on the bike and go straight.  You have to weave back and forth across the road to get moving back up the hill again.
  2. Just keep pedaling.
  3. When sitting hurts, stand and it doesn't hurt so bad.
  4. Just keep pedaling.
  5. When standing hurts, sit again and it doesn't hurt so bad.
  6. Just keep pedaling.
  7. Shift forward and pedal more.
  8. Just keep pedaling.
  9. Shift backward and pedal more.
  10. Just keep pedaling.
  11. Enjoy the downhill, although it is a bad idea to scream "Wheeeee" like the pig in that Geico commercial, people get concerned that you are hurt (or maybe insane?)
My butt managed, I think it just takes time to get it toughened up.  Getting off the bike at the 'rest areas' was a good idea. The first one was at mile 23.  Walking was an interesting experience, I felt drunk. 

I talked with a few people:

One woman who could only ride 30 miles before she had to pick up her daughter, her husband was also riding and would go ahead and then come back and check on her.  He did say to me, "You and my wife are the only two women in pink.  So if I ride by and call you sweetheart don't get offended."  I said no problem.  Turned out his wife and I are of similar ability and rode together for nearly 15 miles.  When he would come back and check, I'd say "Checking on sweeheart?"  They were cute.  Mary and I rode together and chatted back and forth for a while.  Ever observant me took mental notes on how she navigated the hills, very constant and steady pace and when she would stand to pedal and then sit down. 

Then there was another gal that I managed to pass (not flying by just keeping it consistent as I learned from Mary) on the uphills, and she screamed by me on the down hills.  I don't mean literally screaming at me, she FLEW.  I am terrified of crashing!!!  I'd pass her on the up hill and she would say "See ya on the down side, you need to learn to fly."  HA!!  I'd probably end up a tangled bloody mess at the bottom of the hill.  She was funny, we would always see each other at the rest area.

After passing back and forth, exchanging pleasantries, for 20 miles,  this guy says "We ride similarly."  I said "Yeah, seems like it."  Back and forth about the beauty of the course and the day. Then he said it "I don't think I can finish"  I looked over at him (consider my own burning quads, sore butt, and contemplation of cutting corners) and abruptly said "We are not having THAT conversation, new topic."  I can't even believe I said that (OK I can).  Must be I attract people who need a little pick me up?  I should be helpful and flattered not frustrated? Maybe started with, "Just keep pedaling." and then launched at him?   He was taken aback and quiet for a moment or two then stuttered and said "My wife decided to be a triathlete a few years back and she didn't even know how to swim."  I said, "Perfect, I'm a bit unsure on the swimming part, this is hopeful, go on."  And he did, I think there is something different with an athletic couple, far more pride in each others accomplishments because each of you know what it took to get there.  This man beamed with pride telling me how she learned to swim and not be afraid of the water, she has completed "a handful of sprint tris" and is training for her third 1/2 Ironman (New Bedford).  He does worry that she takes on too much, "You women, you just don't know when to stop."  I had to laugh at that. 

After the ride, still smiling...

The route:

The route was gorgeous, so many places I wanted to stop and take a run in the woods or snap a picture. Had I done that I'd be out there till dark!  The sounds of the rushing streams and the peaceful lakes complimented the ride. Truly this route show cased the best the Lyme CT area has to offer!

It was well marked with some sort of sticker arrows on the hard top and signs at the turns.

There were a couple of lollipopish loops in the course.  It was tempting to take the short cut, it isn't a race right? I would know so there is that, in for a penny in for a pound, right? Burning quads and ouchy butt aside, this was a great experiment for me to really figure out what works and doesn't work for me on long rides and how to push through the mental part of the distance and put into play the helpful suggestions Dave has gifted me and what I was observing from the other riders. 

http://app.strava.com/activities/142774445  - HTML still doesn't load....
And I turned off the space watch for a mile and a half - doh!! 

Sincerely, 
Beth, pleased with her first organized bike 'ride' and doesn't think she violated too many of 'the rules'.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Weekly Log 5/12 - 5/18

Monday:  5K / beer shopping / nap

I arrived at my parents house a little earlier than I expected on Sunday, I was ushered out of IL by my friends stating there was a storm a brewing and I should be ahead of it.  No worries.  Midwest storms come up like a freight train.  I was in and out of the car giving my tight achy hips a little walk around, still made pretty good time.  It was nice to be at my parents before sunset and hang out on the back porch in the unseasonably warm weather. Nice for my Mom to have all three of her kids, and her grandson, visit on Mother's Day.  Mom and Dad were warned that I may not be 100% and that I'd probably sleep late on Monday and would be going for a run.  There is just something about being in your childhood home.  Even with the re-build after the fire it still pretty much feels like the same place.

Slept like a rock till all of 7 a.m. I was up and out the door for a short run, figured 2 miles and never remembering how far point A is from point B in the straight line of road I ended up being so close to 5K I just had to make it an even 5K.  My hips were tight, for sure, but loosened up after the first mile.  Everything worked and felt good, no residual pain in my right ankle.  I'm interpreting this to mean I was well trained...

Demonstrated how to use a foam roller to my mother, and she attempted it.  Spry lady she is for 69, for sure.  She found a little relief for the achy and tight spots on her hips and IT bands that have been giving her trouble, a tightness she couldn't relieve with yoga.  My father found all of this slightly amusing and shook his head just making sure his wife and (favorite) daughter were ok rolling around on the floor.

Late in the afternoon Mom and I snuggled down on our respective couches to read and fell asleep in 30 minutes.  Blissful nap before the middle boy, his wife, and their son came over for dinner.  Jin was excited to have a birthday to celebrate.  Oh to be 3, nearly 4, again, he is so much fun.  He picked out a lovely glow in the dark wand for me that we promptly had to go into a windowless bathroom to play swords.  He needed to show me how mine lit up but his didn't because he had already tried it the day before.  Too cute!!  We also had a rousing game of some sort of catch and throw the ball and 'It's your turn to go get the ball that fell off the porch."  Love this little guy to pieces.

Tuesday - nada - driving

Well I did pull over mid way through PA to take a little snooze.  Hey when you gotta nap you gotta nap, it is all part of the recovery process right?  Dave and the dogs were as happy to see me as I was to see them.

Wednesday - 5 mile run 21 mile bike ride

So nice sleeping in my own bed even trying to find leg room through all the dogs piled on top of me.  Dave is happy to have me home partly for me being home and partly because the dogs glom on to me for the first few nights I'm home and they completely ignore him.

Nice easy run when I got up, did some house chores, unpacked, took a nap and then went for a ride with Dave.  Ahhh...

Thursday - Spin / 2 mile dog jog

Spin kicked my butt, or really my legs.  Guess they are a little tired?  I wanted to run, wasn't sure about even committing to a 3.6 mile trail run at Bluff Point so I went home and decided Jax would be the victim of a dog jog.  He is such a goof ball.  He sprinted for the first 10th of a mile and then was all, wait, you are keeping up with me and stopped...  ha!  Eventually we got into a rhythm and then he'd see a person or another dog or a car and all hell broke loose, gahhhhh.  I'd have to calm him down, mostly by forcing him to sit and staring at him.  Yelling only adds to the excitment.  He gained his composure fairly quickly.  Guess for try #2, not so bad.  Gus is just way more focused on keeping a steady pace while Jax is looking for the next party...

Friday - Nada

Traditionally a rest day, I stuck with it and took Gizzy for a walk around town and that was it for activity.

Saturday - 10 mile run

Waking up to a message from a friend that her mother passed away early in the morning, she had lung cancer and was only a few weeks out from her diagnosis, not exactly a great start to the day.  Hits very close to home for me.  I didn't have a plan other than 10 miles. When I trained for my first marathon I did a loop in the park and dedicated it in honor of or in memory of a lung cancer patient.  I haven't done that loop in a while.  While it isn't easy to run and cry, it made me feel better taking in the beauty of Westerly's Wilcox park and send off some healing energy to Janelly.

After the loop I decided on the Greenhaven loop, I haven't run that in a long time, this was also a favorite while training for my first marathon.  There were a few people out.  Most notably a woman pushing a tandem stroller with her two girls, 2 and 3 years old?  They were pretty small but not too big.  This is a hilly area.  We passed each other as I was coming down a  hill and she was heading up.  I met up with her on a flat part, she was stopped to let traffic pass and I had to stop and tell her how impressed I was. She said well I have to get home some how!  I'm still in awe of the folks that blow by me in jogging strollers.  Wow.

The rest of the day was reading, Dave teaching me how to change a bike tire, and taking Gizzy on a stroll.  Oh yeah, and a nap...  recovery, right?

Sunday - 57 bike ride - Tour de Lyme -  I'm a little nervous about this mostly doing something to violate biking rules.  Dave reviewed some with me as well as pointed me to a helpful website:  The Rules  #5 is my favorite and I do violate #93... wow there are a lot of rules...  I guess I'll recap the Tour de Lyme...

Sincerely,
Beth, back to training

Friday, May 16, 2014

"What would you do differently?"

Thursday Mike B asked me:  "What would you do differently?"

What a great question!

I hadn't even begun to think in earnest about the race.  My blog post was my gut reaction and I'm glad to have that documented to read later and see what nuggets I can glean from it.  Because I'm now at the point I'm half seriously contemplating the next one (and I am completely sober).

As for an answer my immediate thought: fuel, and honestly I don't think that was an issue, I don't recall feeling that spaced out starry eyed pre-sugar crash.  However it concerned me in the beginning of the race when I realized I'd had half a bagel with peanut butter and half a bottle of water and half a bottle of diet coke. I stuck to the fueling I had used during my training runs, two GU chews every 3 miles and water.  At the aid stations after mile 7 I consumed: 1/4 of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, probably what amounted to a handful of chips, a banana and an orange (maybe two - I love oranges) and probably over 100 oz of water, maybe close to 150 I wasn't monitoring it very well, plus some coke and Heed.

All in all I feel like I did well with my fueling, mostly because I didn't crash or hear the trees talking to me.

Maybe more hill training?  I'd of walked less of the flat prairie with more hill training (or less sun and heat?)

Maybe a time goal?  I went in with a 7:30 goal and with the heat upped that to 8:00.

I think that is a fantastic question and for most of my previous races I could tick off quite a few things, the first being training and the second being why did I want to do this race, what was my reason?

Do you ask yourself "What would I do differently?" 

Sincerely,
Beth, just jabbering away in a stream of consciousness with no real answer....

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The Next Thing

I will be hanging up my running shoes, well not really, they just won't be getting as much mileage over the summer.  My bike on the other hand, will be getting the miles.

After receiving a Christmas card from Diane Legg questioning if I'd be interested in joining Team Lungstrong, I couldn't help but say yes and commit to the two day ride (Welleseley to PTown) and fund raising ($4,300) for the Pan Mass Challenge (PMC) August 2nd and 3rd.  Diane is a 9 year lung cancer survivor, I first met her when I ran the Providence 1/2 Marathon in 2011 and again in 2012 with Team Lung Love.  Her passion and spirit were amazing to me, and it gave me hope for positive outcomes and long term lung cancer survival.

During my taper I drafted my training plan for the PMC, lots of bike miles for sure.  I'm not sure I know what I've gotten myself into what I do know is it is for a cause I believe in and a team I am proud to be part of.

I cajoled Dave into a bike ride today, he is not a fan of the road bike, however he knows I enjoy it and I did just have a birthday and he did commit to one bike ride a week with me if he bought the road bike (to compliment the 3 mountain bikes - fat tire / single speed / 29").  I lead and set the pace, it is kind of unfair that he drafts off of me, but you'll have that, either that he'd be waiting for me to catch up.  It does give me the encouragement to push a little harder than I would while riding solo and he also can help me make adjustments.  The rule is one possibly two per ride.  Today was seat height. I changed shoes from last summer and my winter/fall boots so maybe that was the difference?  or my legs shrunk?  He has been mentioning he thought my seat was to high among a multitude of other things for a while.  See the one maybe two things rule. So anyhow 15 miles in he says, yep that seat is to high, pull off.  So I do, right into the sand at the shoulder.  Holy wow, yeah the bike comes to a standstill in the sand, how about that.  I didn't topple over, which is good.  Got out of the clips pretty damn quick.

Down went the seat and my butt stopped hurting, huh...  The second suggestion was to stop pointing my toes when I pedal.  Ok so between small and big gears I'm all confused now I'm pointing my toes?  Translate, please!  My toes are down and my heels should be down as I crank up hills.  WOW!  I don't have to drop into granny gears (big gears right?) I can use my quads between the foot position and the seat being lowered maybe 1/4 of an inch.

Sincerely,
Beth, on to the next thing, stay tuned...

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Ice Age Trails (IAT) 50K - Recap

Where the hell does one start to recap a 50K race?

What do people usually talk about when they aren't sure?

The weather:  The day started at 52F and climbed to 72F, no humidity, relentless sun.  I mention this because this winter was serious cold weather training as was spring.  I don't think there were any long training runs over 55F?  I need to start recording the weather in my log, don't I??  I had been watching the weather, hoping it wasn't going to be raining or snowing, it NEVER dawned on me summer would decide to come on May 10th...  huh...  This weighed a little too heavy on my mind, of all things right?  I did remember sunscreen so I'm not a burnt to the crisp, my skin color does not match my hair color, PSHEW, thank you SPF 10,000,000!!  My gal pals pointed out my killer tan lines, white feet and brown ankles.  Thanks gals...  Let's not talk about the soon to be permanently missing toe nail, okay?

The course:



The elevation profile:


IAT 50K Elevation - relentless


The results: here  I was 137 out of 149 finishers (200 registered runners), 7:54:45. This was the largest field of runners, and from the heat, (and I wonder if the law of averages also plays in with the largest field) the highest number of drops they have ever had in the 33 years of the 50 Miler, 15 years of the 50K and 2 years of the 1/2.  A little bit about the race, one of the oldest ultras in the US, here.   I don't know how to find out the number of drops of the 200, I don't know that all 200 started.

I am absolutely in awe and honored to be able to run the same ground as some of the top ultra runners.

The first 13 miles.  

Start was prompt at 8:15 a.m. the temp was 52F and breezy. I was nervous.  The RD asked who was running their first Ultra.  Of the 200 starters there were 20 of us?

This section was as advertised:

"Expect narrow, single track winding up and over hill after hill until you finally reach Aid Station 9. There are some flats; but, they are few and far between."

The first 1.6 miles led us to the first of 3 hard top crossings.  Everything was well marked.  The white was for the 50Milers and the orange for the 50Kers.  The bibs also matched the course markings, nifty eh?  And I had on orange socks...  I was just hoping to NOT get confused...


Out of the woods - yes there is an orange arrow

And on to the prairie?  Um nope...
This section was about a mile with the steepest grade of 16%.  We exited through some old growth pine forest.

And leaving
 To enter the next 5 mile chunk of hills, 10 - 24% grade.

Entering

Entering

We exited down a nice steep, horse crap covered trail.  Really? I have to pick up my dog crap. And we also had to contend with horses on some of the trails we ran.

Leaving

 To entering the unknown for 1 mile to the turn around.  Unknown, right? Nope! More hills!  10 - 13% grade hills.

Entering

And a little further in

And then back the same way we came.  At about mile 10, I had to take a picture... It really doesn't capture what my eye saw, but we were pretty high up!

Amazing views!

Commentary:

No lie this was single track and hilly.  I did note was it was nearly rock and rootless.  No rock gardens, no roots imitating speed bumps like the RI trails. I did train for distance, not so much the hills.  I stuck to my plan of walking the ups and running the downs.  That made it more tolerable. My right ankle, the one I twisted back in November and again on my last training run was bugging me.  Oh crap, this is NOT happening, put it out of your mind.  It doesn't hurt, you are being a wimp.

I did get a chance to talk to a few people. I seemed to go back and forth with a Badgerland Strider who ran in sandals, a very tatooed woman, and Susan for this stretch.  There were a couple other runners who once they found their groove they were long gone.  And of course there was "the chatter", I could not get him and his buddy to pass me until I finally just pulled off the trail and stopped and waited for them to gain some distance on me.  Frigging annoying.  I run alone, mostly, and the racket was making me bazonkers. I'd rather of put air back in my hydration bladder and listened to the sloshing! I lost the Badgerland Strider with about a mile left to go on the out and back, never saw her again, she may have dropped, she was really struggling, not to chatty, fine by me.  Susan was pretty chatty, she fell and banged up her ankle and was constantly talking about how she couldn't DNF or she could and I found all this rather distressing and tried to slow up or speed up and lose her. Eventually she decided I was too slow and sped up.  Pshew...  So much for the camaraderie of the middle of the pack, eh Chris?  Honestly I was neither looking for it nor did I want it for this battle of wills between me, myself, and I.  I did catch up with Susan on the second loop and she was hobbling pretty good, hell bent on finishing, and was walking with her husband.  I am proud of her mettle and determination, races like this really demonstrate the drive people have.  And yes, I was glad to continue to run alone, chitter chattering with someone I would approach or who would approach me.  2 or 3 sentence and off one of us went, quite enough interaction for me thank you very much.

The last 18 miles:

This section was advertised:
"The Nordic trail is very wide and scenic. This 9.0 mile loop is very representative of the glacial topography and natural diversity that you can expect in the Kettle Moraine.
The trail or tread on the Nordic is very runnable. There will be sections in the pines and meadows that you will want to develop some speed. Easy on the feet, joints and with towering trees all around."

And then on to the two laps of the 9 mile Nordic loop.  The last 18 miles. 10 - 20% grade hills.

Decisions Decisions...  (Race day this was marked Right 50K  Left 1/2 Marathon)
One of the bazillion hills - if I was smart like a Gazelle I would have counted them on lap 1 to count them down on lap 2!
This looks so much less daunting in a picture...

Commentary:

It was all good, grassy soft pretty, no shade and that sun wasn't letting up...  oh whatever.  Then the hills started.  Holy guacamole. How could I have forgotten these hills?  I now think I understand how women forget how horrible child birth is and I bet in the middle of delivering the second one they say, "Oh yeah, now I remember this agony."  It was kind of like that.  (My mother sort of agreed)

Ok so I only have to do this twice, right?  Or I could drop, I could DNF.  I could couldn't I?  I was what 15 miles into this 31 mile race and was considering dropping.  Who are you?  It is just a few hills, it is just a little sun, there are aid stations with food and more water, you are nearly half way through, what about that 50K magnet for your car? how will you face Crutch, Seth, Mike B, Jeff, Galoob, Nicole, Michelle, Jackass, and any number of people??  Ok so at that point if I'm asking myself how will I face people this is some mental issue that I needed to stop right now.  I went back and forth fighting with the DNF demon.  Fighting the unwilling versus unable demon. Completely gobsmacked when someone would comment on me smiling. Me, feeling like I was going to crumble, smiling?

When I rounded the corner up the hill to complete my first loop, there was my cousin Tobi.  My mood immediately lifted, we hugged, sweaty disgusting me, she hugged sweaty disgusting me!!  We screamed (we are girls, this is what we do).  She said I looked great I said be honest because I am thinking about quitting.  She looked at me and said you look amazing besides our Grandmothers and Great Grandmother will so come back and kick your lazy ass from here to Cleveland!  Um, yeah.  She walked with me to the next aid station (only a few feet) helped fill my hydration pack, got me some electrolyte tablets, said that she had to help several 50 milers when they dropped and they were crawling, there was no way I was even close to that beat up.  I love my family.


9 miles left to go!
Quick posted it on FB because I KNEW someone would send me strength, right?

For the first twoish miles of that last 9 mile loop I was in 7th heaven running along... then the hills started.  Fck...  Ok aid station in 3 miles, run to that, and then to the next and then to the finish and you are done.  There is beer at the finish line.  There is Tobi at the finish line.  For those of you who read this who aren't runners, I can't imagine there are many, but I know at least one of who hasn't said "Why would I read that it's just about running." and who has been at one of my races and knows that thrill of me seeing someone at a race (and their own feeling of elation knowing they've just made my day) and hugging a sweaty disgusting runner (seriously I am disgustingly sweaty and stinky and you hug me???).  Seriously being there to cheer on someone, no matter how little of an effort you think it is is a HUGE thing to the person being cheered on.  HUGE!!  I walked a lot of that last loop, I finished it, with a few tears of joy.  I am proud of myself.

Will I do it again?  I dunno.

How did I feel after?  Elated, exhausted, tired, thirsty...

How did I feel the next day? Surprisingly not sore, a little achy in the hips, ankle pain is gone, throat sore from all the pollen in the air, a bit of a headache. Kinda tough to get moving but once I start walking all is good.  Stairs aren't too scary.

When am I planning on running again?  Monday, just for a few.

Sincerely,
Beth, an ultra runner.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Weekly Log - 5/5/14 - 5/11/14 or 4, 3, 2, 0, 0, 31, 0

Monday -  4

Here we go... 4 on the schedule for today I left with no particular place to go, figured I might run by the HS, and just decided to tackle the hills on Tower to then run down Oak and see where my feet took me.  They decided they would like to run up John Street, a slow 100 foot over 0.5 miles, nothing too significant, but it had been a while since I did it.  Considering I opted to stay on Elm when this biker decided harass me a few weeks ago on my Sunday a.m. run.  Saw a familiar blue pick up truck and quickly noted, CT plates and the driver stopping.  Shit, this is going to mess up my segment.  Do I stop my watch, will that fix it, oh whatever.  I suppose I grumbled something, in jest, of course.  He scrambled out trying to get his fancy schmancy space watch to pick up a signal and I said it was a mile till home, he was welcome to run with me.  And off we went.  I never much like running South on that section of US 1 in town because the drivers only look left for on coming traffic and don't look right to see if there is a pedestrian or a runner.  We only had to zig zag once, at the usual spot.  I've nearly gotten creamed there a couple times.  I swore the driver saw me, that was the last time I jumped to that conclusion.  I often wonder if the driver of that white pick up looks both ways before turning right at that intersection, I'm pretty sure evil Beth emerged.  

I begged off any further torture when we got to my street and down Granite went Mike noting that he has a segment along this section.  Hmmm....

And a pictorial representation because, oh who knows why...  I'm finally figuring paint out after all these years...


Stunning isn't it?

The rest of the day was filled with work, I was working from home as Dave was in Maine getting another tree and more maple syrup,  so I better at least check eMail.  Glad I did, got to save the day with my pack-rat tendencies!  After that work business was over I made a trip to Wallyworld to get the$12 deposit (?) returning Vinnie's shot battery, after so many weeks of it sitting on the porch.  Wowza that was heavy and so glad they have handles on them now. Took a look around my absolutely needs to be cleaned car, and thought I better NEVER let Mike B see the inside of this car.  Considered for a moment cleaning, but that would mean getting rid of Sage's dog drool on the rear windows, sentimental I am sometimes, maybe I should vacuum out the accumulation of sand...  another day, perhaps. 


Sage, absolutely enthralled with what ever audio book I'm listening to.
We were at a full stop and the car was in park.
Tuesday - 3 and Spin 

Reviewing my calendar in the afternoon I had a meeting that would preempt spin, thems the breaks right?  As the day went on and meetings became markedly shorter, yeah, people are doing their homework making it easy on me!  The late afternoon meeting was cancelled and I was free to go to spin and have a quick run pre spin, per usual. 

I went left out of the gate, I was going to fight the wind either way, right?

Ro suggested I needed to get serious about hill training, next Wednesday...  Um, erp, I was planning on taking it easy for a week after the 50K, you know prevent injury and illness...  The matter is still up for discussion, she suggested Thursday.  Ro, for those that don't know her has more energy than a humming bird on speed....  love her to pieces...  but really?

New Girl made an announcement a few weeks back, she signed up for Surftown after a long hiatus from running.  She bounced in this a.m. telling me about her initial training runs and pacing.  A little disappointed she was so slow. Oh pishaw on slow, slow schmoe, you are coming back from a pretty horrific injury, take it one run at a time!  That was a bright spot on an otherwise uninteresting day!


Wednesday - 2 and panicked packing

Took a nice 2 mile jog with Gus.  When I woke up this a.m. it appeared we were short two dogs in the bed, Gus was not in his usual place, draped across my legs, and Jax was not between Dave and I tossing around trying to get one or both of us to wrestle with him.  Huh.  I got up and went to the basement to check outside, there was Gus, looking a little green.  We've been having food issues with him.  I was thankful he went outside to do what he needed to do.  He had two greenies in two weeks, too much.  We will go back to once a month.  Those things are truly doggy crack. Fortunately the latest dog food is not causing any problems, pshew!!

I went back upstairs and finally saw Jax all curled up with Dave, OMG they were too stinking cute.   

When I got home Dave was out biking in the woods.  Eventually I will be out there, eventually...  so I took Gus.  Dave said he seemed good the rest of the day and ate his breakfast with no issues.  Gus jogs the best. Minimal pee stops and he could careless about cars or other people even other dogs.  We did our two.  Yeah, 2 miles 25 minutes, not quite worth getting sweaty if you ask me.  I went for a bike ride ~15 miles.  I forgot to start my watch when I left the house, whoops.  

Packing wasn't too bad,  Dave did laundry, oh how I love that he does this and as hard as it was to ask him to do laundry, he still did it.  I have no idea what I am going to wear for the 50K, bottoms I have figured out, no worries, not a skirt though, the shorties I've been wearing are much easier to deal with and they haven't chafed me once when I've had to drop them and pull them up, to um, poop or pee, lets be real about this.  I'll be running 7 - 8 hours, it is going to happen.  

Top, the temps are supposed to start at climb from 53F to 70F  by 5 p.m. and minimal humidity and cloud cover.  I'm thinking I'll be down to a tank top at some point or should I start out there?

Thursday - 0 and drive

Friday - 0 and drive

Saturday -  50K

Sunday - hobble to meet up with some friends in IL before venturing off to MI to see my mom and dad...

Sincerely,
Beth, anxious and excited.



Sunday, May 4, 2014

Providence 1/2 Marathon - May the Course be With You - Recap

Going into this I was decidedly indifferent about this race.  It was more an opportunity to run with Nicole, since she is the one who texted me eons (Sept '13) ago saying there is a discount for signing up for the RI Triple Crown, lets do it.  This was also way back when that drunk woman kept stealing my credit card and signing me up for races and before the race we don't talk about.  I even bought the insurance, well unless you have a doctors note it is worthless...  so lost seven bucks or something, and not to mention I can't run the 2nd race, which made even doing the series unappealing...

Friday Nicole and I went to Providence to pick up our bibs.  What a cool number! I was a little less indifferent.



Saturday Nicole had a pasta dinner for three of us running, she and I the half and Sarah, running the full, and families.   Talking about past races, the good the bad and the ugly, over dinner.  I was kind of looking forward to it, a little iffy about the weather and the slight possibility of rain and not so keen on the predicted wind gusts (in the 30MPH) coming towards us the last 3 miles of the race course. My indifference was starting to wan a bit more. 



Nicole doesn't like to drive past Warwick and I was completely content to drive.  I also made sure I didn't over sleep like I did for the last race Nicole and I were supposed to meet up for and car pool. A bit of redemption for me in that aspect too.

Ok so enough of the blather already Beth tell us about the race.  This is the view from the middle of the pack, a different view for those of you used to being in the front of the pack.

The last time I ran this I was 2:18 ('11), my 1/2 PR is 2:09 (Newport '12).  This is the first time Nicole ran this course and her 1/2 PR is 2:27 (Newport '13) I'd be lying if I said I didn't want to better her PR just a little bit. She asked I emphatically denied having any plans of such a thing. She is a strong runner and accepts being pushed way more than I do.   We went into this with a 2:30 race in mind, I went in with a 2:20.  A nice training run for me and a good pace for Nicole.

We were able to see Sarah cross the start line for her Marathon.  Very exciting!!   It is different seeing people cross the start line.  At this point I was significantly less indifferent about this race. 

Miles 1 - 3  - the fun miles!

Once we were off, I saw a familiar face standing on the traffic island, the quickly mentally trying to put it all in context.  CHRIS!  Hi! 

Phil runs up, always so over dressed, how do you NOT melt!  We ran together a bit, introduced Nicole.  Apparently he drafted us for about half the race, a FB post noted the wheels fell off about 1/2, insufficient training and he would be better trained for Surftown.  I thought he sped off!  

Then I see Amy (of the pointy elbows) and her guy Joe trotting along.  Took me a minute to get her attention.  "Hey Blondie" I yelled and eventually had to slug her in the shoulder.  We wished each other well exchanged introductions and they also sped off.  We caught up again about mile 8.  Still waiting on her finish line story!

This was getting fun, I knew people!  People knew me!  It truly is the simple things.

We went out a bit fast.  I knew we were, I was so caught up in the vibe and the beautiful running weather, it was hard to back off.

The first hill was a bit of a struggle, and they became something for Nicole to bust my chops about! swear this is the last hill!!!

Miles 4 - 11 - the not so fun miles

The middle chunk of the race always plays mind games with me.  Mostly, why am I doing this.  It wasn't as bad this time, but there were moments and the distractions helped quell the voices.

A gal approaches us saying, you two are running about a 10:30 can I run with you? I'm just not feeling this race.  Sure, no problem, doubtful we will hold a 10:30, probably closer to an 11.  Nancy was fine with that and we exchanged stories.  It really is helpful to have someone to talk to when running, or for me listen to.  I seriously lack in topics of conversation unless you want to talk about dogs, knitting, or what ever book I'm reading about the holocaust and/or WWII (or running).  The mommies talked about kids and I learn SO much about parenthood and motherhood, I'd never pass on the chance to listen in on these conversations, so thank you ladies! 

This part of the course is also very beautiful running up and down Blackstone Boulevard, beautiful homes and lawns.  There are parts more city, I think the pretty parts make up for the iffy ones.

Hills 2 - 6.  Every time we'd see a hill I'd say, "I think this is the last one"  By the 4th hill Nicole said, "Are you sure? I'm thinking I need to stop believing you."  

We settled in to a nice respectable pace, walking water stops and enjoying ourselves.  I was really enjoying this run, oh wait, race.  The weather was perfect even the wind came around at the right times.   Just a beautiful day to enjoy a nice run.  Have I said enjoy enough?

Once we got past mile 7 I really started to feel in a grove, looking forward to that down hill after mile 9 and then the long flat (seriously I THOUGHT it was flat) until the end.

The down hill took everyone but me by surprise.  Didn't I emphasize it was steep?  Perhaps not...  no one fell so that was a good thing.

Miles 11 - 13.1 - the fun miles!

Nancy sped off as we climbed the last hill (#7) at mile 11, we never did see her again.  Nicole had pretty much had it at mile 10 so I was gently tugging her along, and SWORE that was THE LAST hill, but there maybe one more bump!  HA HA HA

My usually full repertoire of dog stories completely left me and I couldn't even think of a story to tell to get her mind off of the pain and frustration.  I'll have to remember the Diesel locking himself in the UHaul.  That one usually gets a laugh.

We were also running into the wind, the gusty wonderful wind, it was tough and it felt so good.  Usually the wind feels awful and brutal running into it, this wind didn't feel that bad. I felt good and really wanted to go a little faster.  I wasn't going to leave Nicole behind.

At the 13 mile sign, Nicole said, "Go just go." I wasn't going to be told twice and upped it up a few gears and ran like a bear was chasing me (Chris, thanks for the comments, I felt great, glad I didn't look like a hot mess) to the finish line (hoping Nicole would find another gear - and she did, she said "Once you took off I thought, no don't leave me.").  I backed off a little bit so I didn't totally chick a guy over the finish mat.  I could have just kept running many more blocks, I felt so good and so freaking comfortable with what I've accomplished in my training and how I feel, I uber positive for the Ice Age 50 50K on the 10th.  I absolutely needed this boost to my confidence.  Thank you Nicole for not letting me wimp out and not run it.

2:24:46 for me and 2:24:58 for Nicole.  Sarah 4:33:03 - this was a vendetta race for her, her first full (Hartford '13) was a disaster, this race restored her faith in herself and her training - ALWAYS a good thing!!  Full results here.  You can see the run on my Strava feed on the right.  I can't get the HTML to load the picture.  

All in all a good race, the roads in parts are a disaster, on the positive you aren't shoulder to shoulder with other runners!  2,000 1/2 marathon finishers and 1,333 marathon finishers, not a teeny tiny race, small though and very well done.



We hung around for a little bit after our finish and saw Monica finish and we were getting chilled and it was just time to go home, so we did.  Hoping Nicole enjoyed her beer in the shower and a nice nap in the afternoon!  I took Giz and Gus for a walk, seriously I'm going to go bazonkers with all this energy stored up...

Sincerely,
Beth, ready for the 50K on the 10th!  Eternally grateful for everyone's support and encouragement!!  Thank you!!!!