Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Weekly Recap: 4/27 - 5/2 (final)


Hills x8 / Stedman's




Rolling hills



7 Sisters (12 miles)


Monday - Ever have one of those runs where you don't really want to but you do because you feel you have to?  That was this one. 

Looking at the GAP (Grade Adjusted Pace) I had negative splits, overall it was pretty consistent. Not that pace is the be all and end all of a run, well at least for me, but it seems that is the second statement I hear about someone's run is "I ran X at Y pace."  Um, ok?   Yeah, Beth stop grumbling or justifying....

As an added bonus, I was treated to a lovely (sarcasm) odor of asphalt milling and tar being laid down section of the road.  I was avoiding the speed-work gang down at Jupiter Point.  To clean my lungs I ran along the shoreline along Avery Point.  That was lovely.  I haven't been there since I ran there in the snow.  Always a nice to have a bit of a breather along the water and get the nice cool breeze from the water.

No TRX, and only a short walk with The Giz, he wants to walk, a mile is about all he can handle, and my nerves don't handle being more than a block from the house.  He is heavy to carry!!

Tuesday - 8 hill repeats on School Street.  Definitely not into this run either.  WTF Beth....  I knew we had two repeats left but there were three sticks left in the pile.  Old people can't remember things so we gather the number of sticks equaling the number of repeats, put them at the top of the hill and take one from the to run pile and put it in the run pile.  I figured I imagined that we'd done 6 and we'd only done 5 and sucked it up thinking, two more after this.  Upon FINALLY getting to the top there was much discussion over how many were left, 2 or 1.  Someone had the bright idea to count the total number of sticks.  There were 9!  Hallelujah!! 

Only one left, we were doing 8 total right, not 9...  9 is next week 7 was last week so this week is 8.  Thankfully we run with two engineers and they get this math stuff.  I, being an accountant, surely can't grasp these higher math concepts with sticks, right?   I require beans! HA!

Next up was the intermediate ride with the Stedman's Women. To say I was a little apprehensive is an understatement, could be why my hill work was so crappy?   I know I will always be intimidated by better athletes, and my omnipresent fear of not measuring up.  (Ok Beth this is a blog not a therapy couch)   Betsy was our ride leader and I let her know that Jennifer and I would hang back, we were looking for a challenge and not sure how up to the 16 - 18 ride speed we were, lastly, it was completely fine to drop us.  I had the route in my Garmin, and it has been behaving, and knew the roads.  She was ok with that and offered up the route card just to be sure I knew where we were going, in the event they did need to drop us.  Nice! Now we didn't feel like we'd be holding them back.  Coupla head cases, aren't we?

The  3 mile ride out on the bike path and my legs were not cooperating, well shit.  Eventually everything fell into a grove and I was good.  To distract me from my dismay, good friends are priceless, Jennifer announced she was signing up for Big Sur marathon for 2016, I asked how much wine she had to drink before THAT decision. Wasn't that really hilly, like mountain hills?  Um, don't mention running up Mt. Washington, but hey that is only 7.6 miles so no big deal? And before I knew it whatever was going on with my legs and my head were gone.  Then we saw a deer and a bright shiny object and a pretty cloud and, and well you get the picture.  Pedal pedal pedal.

When the routes were published I was more than psyched (and intimidated, sensing a theme here?)  that the intermediate would be on Mail Road and Glen Rock Road.  Dave's RC Plane Field is off of Glen Rock so I'd been out on those roads driving many times, they are beautiful and a couple of good climbs and lots of fun rollers. Perfect for a bicycle, convertible, or a motorcycle.  Last summer I saw this was part of Chris's work commute  and I was drooling over the thought of riding on those roads.  Actually packing up my bike and doing them never occurred to me as an option.  This is why I road ride, I can start from my house, same with tending to run more on the roads, I can step out my front door and run.  It is convenient.  It looks like such a hassle to see Dave packing up all his gear and making sure he doesn't forget anything, then there is the whole bike shoe thing.  He drives in his, yeah, no didn't occur to him to bring a change of shoes.  I don't ask, I accept.   So, anyhoodles, actually planning a route and driving to ride roads isn't top of mind. 

Ok where was I in this jumbled mess of consonants and vowels. 

The first big climb is right after you make a left on to Mail Road, so you know speeds are slower from navigating the left and cued Jennifer to get in her little ring and damn it all if the whole chain didn't pop off the bike and twist. 

Of course I hadn't noticed till I got to the mid point of the hill where it levels off for a few feet.  She slogged her bike up, we got the chain straightened out. Her chain is in serious need of cleaning.  My hands were black with grease, shit, damn it, remember to not wipe your eyes and pick up some more Cat's Tongue.  We had a small gear and shifting lesson.  These things aren't learned until you actually have to do them in practice.  I remember having the same thing happen when I shifted into the little ring under tension.  Like a damn can with a snake in it, KAPLOWIEEE.

Betsy came back looking for us and we explained what happened and then we all regrouped.  Betsy and the rest of the gals weren't concerned about having to re-group.   Still made both of us feel a little guilty about holding them up. 


The rest of the ride was great, up and down the rest of the hills on Mail Road to Glenn Rock and back on flatter roads.  I'll pack the bike up and ride that route again, I really enjoyed it!  Definitely challenging for a beginning of the season ride, will be interesting to see how each of us progress and if we actually do get up to intermediate speed of 16 - 18.  I think the hills slowed us a bit and the down time fixing the chain, plus I was so spent for the last three mile pedal back to the bike shop it wasn't funny, no really it wasn't funny, I was getting grouchy....  "don't push me"  HA HA....

Wednesday -   I had a conference call not getting over till 11:30 and Faith had a meeting with her adviser, and luck would have it we could run a little later and even luckier we were both in whiney I really don't want to do this moods.  I feel badly when I'm the only one whining.  Ok no I don't, I should.  We started off at about a 10:30 pace and were just fine with that, mile 1 clicked off and mile 2 Faith looks at her watch and says hmm we've sped up, a lot, like 9:30.  We backed off and eventually got back to somewhere around a 10 and backed off a bit more, well there was a bit of a hill and I was really starting to feel the heaviness in my legs and thinking, hey I only wanted to commit to 3, why are we nearing 3 and I'm no where near campus.  Well shit.  On the way back to my campus, Faith said if she were by herself she would go to her campus and get in her car and go home.  I said, well that is closer than my campus and you can drop me off when you drive by.   At this point I was called an enabler.  Yippiee!!  Oh wait is this a bad thing? In this case, yes an enabler for bad behavior.  I'll accept that.  So, we are turning left and not right and will you really drive me back to my campus? NO.  The answer was NO.  Yeah, I figured as much.

Total miles for me were 4.5 and 6.1 for Faith, she ran me to my campus then back to hers, and stopped by the ocean for a quick cool down by standing in it for all of 30 seconds.  I'm insanely jealous. 

And I tallied my running miles for April 100, Whoop!  Finally!

Thursday - Rest - It was 40F when I woke up at 6 a.m. I'm not biking in 40F, especially on a scheduled rest day.  

After a day at work that can only be described as "People stop pole vaulting over mouse turds"   Gizzy and I went for a mile walk, and he did well.  He is fading and not quite as insistent about having a walk (his whine fest was half-hearted) or about getting his way.  I'm still happy he wants to walk and we will keep it up until there are no more.  

Friday - After last Friday's suck fest on these hills, well really it is one hill down then back up for 350ish feet, I was leery.  I made sure, no egg salad or cinnamon rolls (yes s - of the 7 sins gluttony and sloth are my favorites, I know diametrically opposed, it's girl logic, just go with it).  Additionally not having a NYC day the day before or a full 8 - 1 meeting schedule,  and finally entering the phase of that awful estrogen roller coaster where running is easier for me all played in my favor today.

Angie joined Jennifer and I for this fun.  She figured she'd barely eek out three if she ran at home and while her suggestion of can't we start at the bottom of the hill and then run back down fell on deaf ears, she was still game to see what was going to happen in the next hour or so.  

After what seems like months of  "why am I doing this runs" this one felt great!   Perfect to have before what is bound to be a sufferfest on Sunday.

Saturday - Took Gizzy for a walk, he was much peppier than yesterday and took a solo hike to calm my nerves.

Sunday - 7 Sisters Trail run (12 miles, 6 up hill and 6 down hill or something like that)  it sounded like a good idea at the time...  Recap here.

Beth, feeling in much spunkier spirits!

And 5/3 - 5/10 is going to be a light running week with a lot of travel...

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Weekly Recap: 4/20 - 4/26 (final) And RISP 5K Recap


 Hills x 7 / Stedman's Women's ride

New Jersey


New Jersey

6 with Jennifer




Monday - Went out for a lunch run, the only person on the road, oh yeah it was raining and windy, and once I got back to the guard shack the weather improved.  I wimped out and did 4. In my defense, after nearly getting blown into the Thames River I figured I should head back to campus.  All in all it was enjoyable and somewhat laughable with the conditions and the sideways rain and sea spray along the shore.   Gizzy went for a walk, he is holding steady at a mile and less clumsiness.  

Tuesday - Hills with Steve, Dave, and Ro.  7 sets on School Street. I'm staying consistent with ~2:20 give or take a few seconds to get to the top of the 1/10 of a mile 80 ft climb.  The guys ran Ro and I back to campus, probably to make sure we wouldn't walk.  Dave and I jibber jabbered about the marathon, he has his sights set on qualifying again.  I wish him luck!  We have the same qualifying time, I wish I hadn't mentioned that.  I'm really not interested in running Boston, too many people. 

Jennifer and I met up with the ladies at Stedman's and opted for the relaxed ride.  It was nearly identical to the ride last week, I have to check Strava but I think it is exactly the same.  Jennifer, who does have a better sense of direction than I, assured me we zigged where we zagged last week.  The pace is 14 - 16 and we hung in the back, I think we could have moved up a bit, but both of us prefer to not be in the middle.   Next week we will attempt the intermediate ride (16 - 18).  I manged to get the Garmin all figured out for directions and I'll let the leader know they can drop us, it isn't a problem.  I'm ready for a bit more of a challenge and Jennifer is the one who asked if we could move up!

Gizzy was being a nudge and got a walk before I even got my bike in the house.  Well he is much better and getting the spring back in his step.  Hopefully there is no lasting damage from the Rymadil.  Then again he is 14, and there is that whole aging thing....

Wednesday - My lunch run with Faith.  I know this is going to be a tough run.  The bike ride helps push through the aches my legs feel after hill work, but they are still tired.  Faith is good about letting me pick the pace and we  bounced between 9:30 and 10 landing at 9:53.  I wanted to walk so badly.  Doubtfully it would have helped.  Of course Faith used this as a great warm up and cruised in the 8's once she got rid of her anchor (ha ha ha).

I was in Short Hills, NJ for the evening, so no dog walk. :(

Thursday -  A  lovely meeting in Short Hills, NJ and a decent drive home, once I realized I that I was going South on the Garden State Parkway and I should have been going North - whoops!!!.  Walk with Gus before and Giz after dinner.

Friday - After 4 hours of conference calls I was done for Friday.  I was early to met up with Jennifer for 6 miles on her usual Friday route.  A couple of rolling hills she says.  The egg salad sandwich in my stomach was clearly the wrong choice for lunch.  The first 3.1, which are down  hill really sucked, said egg salad sandwich and perhaps the cinnamon roll at the root of this suck, and that is sad, because the next 3.1 would be up hill.  Jennifer hid some water at the bottom of the hill I was grateful for that as well as copping a squat on the side of the road for a few minutes before we embarked on our uphill journey.  As usual by mile 5 I finally found my grove and could have kept going.  I need to remember this magic number for the warm up for the RISP Foot Pursuit on Sunday, would 5 be too much of a warm up?  Hmmm, not sure.  It is worth a shot to try a longer warm up, lets split the difference and say 3?

Gizzy took me on a walk, we went a little further and he did well.  He is a grouch when he doesn't get his way.  I didn't have a hold of the leash in the park and the rascal scampered off.  When we are around traffic I do keep hold of the leash, for just that reason, he likes to scamper off.

Saturday - Jax got the long walk today.  He is not so sure about kids, they really do freak him out a bit.  Some sort of small deity that all big people bow to.    Dave did mention that Jax looks kind of intimidating walking towards him.  Black dogs get such a bad rap.  I do keep that in mind when people approach.  Kids are usually very unconcerned and Jax looks up at me with this "Please, help." look in his big brown eyes.  Usually the parents, see the black dog and order the child to stop.  That is nice.  He was ready to be home and away from all the small deities running around making him nervous.

Dave and I went for a nice pedal around Watch Hill and Misquamicut.  It was nice despite the wind.  I dug out my knee warmers and that helped a lot.  My Garmin freaked out, lovely.  I reset it and I'll try it tomorrow and see how what happens.   I didn't loose too much biking fitness over the long winter, or at least that is what I am trying to tell myself.  The core group of the running club is looking to ride a century this summer.  The one they've picked looks great!  If all goes as planned that will be 2 of 3 century rides for the summer.  I'm looking forward to biking a lot more this summer than last.

I titled my Strava entry "Pedal with Smith", loved the comments from Gazelle and Muddy - this was how Dave titled his ride (see picture).  He did post despite the snail pace he had to take with his wife.  Creative titler, he is not... although he suggested Ride Beth would probably be inappropriate. Har har har...

Sunday - RISP Foot Pursuit  (Rhode Island State Police) 5K - I ran this last year for the first time and did much better - I was also in the throws of 50K training.  

2014:  Net:  28:35 Gun:  29:08  
2015:  Net:  29:13  Gun: 29:47

Full results here

My A Goal was sub 29; B Goal sub 30; C Goal don't die.    

I lined up too far back and had to bob and weave through the walkers and slower runners who probably lined up too soon.  I think I got stuck in that pace and just couldn't speed up.

I did have negative splits.  Interestingly my cadence also slowed down.  That is rather curious.  Why would that be?  Longer strides?  I definitely felt the speeding up and wanted so badly to stop and walk and catch my breath.  Instead I breathed deeper and slower and hoped like HELL I didn't see Crutch because I didn't have it in me to mutter "Don't push me" because I knew I was eons away from my A goal. 

19:28 /mi9:11 /mi29 ft89
29:26 /mi9:35 /mi-25 ft86
39:13 /mi9:18 /mi-21 ft85
0.18:28 /mi7:53 /mi11 ft84

I'm happy with the result, there were only two WTAC female, sorry Shara and a couple of the WTAC guys are out on medical (?).  Not sure how the club placed.  

Got home to an empty house and three lonely dogs.  It was Gus's turn for a long walk and Gizzy is pretty much at a mile, maybe a mile and a half before everything goes to hell for him.  Getting old sucks.  I feel for him and he wants to go.  I'll have to get a video of his lovely high pitched whine.   Geriatric deaf curmudgeon, stubborn as a mule.

And some dog pictures to entertain you!

Gus's cute feet - I love when he lays like this with the right tucked under the left

Jax - He is finally sitting and wants to go NOW !
Giz - wants to go this way not home!

Beth, better go run trails for 7 Sisters next Sunday!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Weekly Recap: 4/13 - 4/19 (final)


Stedman's Women's Ride








Monday -  I'm getting used to my Monday runs.  It was fairly peppy and nice to get down to Jupiter Point.  I have no idea why that always seems like such a big deal to me.  I did decide to stop fighting the "hills" on Hynes and run down to 349.  Guess this gives me the opportunity to add in some "Bitch" repeats if I'm so inclined (ha yeah right).  I do enjoy the solo run collect my thoughts for the week ahead.

TRX was fun, sucks we won't have class next week, several of the gals are going to Mazatlan for the week.  Um, why not? My liver wasn't going to agree to that and Dave wouldn't be to keen either.  I really need to add in a second weights day.  Maybe my Thursday rest day?  Dunno....

Gizzy really wasn't walking well so we took a short walk around the block.  He was not happy to not cross US 1 eventually he let me win and we went left.  He crab walked  (his back legs aren't listening to his brain and they want to walk sideways, like a crab) a bit.   This is so depressing.... 

Tuesday - Hills!  6 School Street repeats.  By 5 I figured I'd be done.  Nope, the 6th one was tough and I did it.  We will up one repeat a week till we hit 10, and repeat this a couple times till the Mt. Washington Auto Road Race (only one hill 7.6 miles and 4,600~ elevation gain according to my Strava from last year).  I'm looking forward to it this year.  Hopefully I won't have the cough of death, cause that really sucked.

After work was the first Stedman's Women's Ride of the year.  Jennifer and I joined.  17 gals showed up for the first ride, seemed like quite the surprise to the leader!  There were three groups (14 - 16 MPH) (16 - 18 MPH) (18MPH plus) We stuck with the relaxed group and hung in the back, there were 7 of us.  It was nice.  The roads were a little cruddy in places and I really have to figure out how to get the Garmin to direct me.   Over the weekend I can fiddle around with the courses and see if I can figure out what I'm doing wrong.  This was the maiden voyage for the Ruby.  I need to adjust the front derailleur, again, should have taken her out for something longer than 5 miles to see if anything needed adjusting.  Slowly rules of riding in a group is coming back to me.  I hope we can participate a few times a month.  Tuesday night is yoga night and we can't fit both in.  We both really liked this was a women's ride.  

Gizzy had another walk around the block.  After getting up at 4 am to do some research on the interwebs Dave woke me up to suggest we take Giz off the Rimadyl because it seems like he has a lot of the side affects, including clumsiness (the crab walking).  Ok, but did this conversation really need to happen at 4 a.m.?  The walk was better he was much more peppy and stable, huh...

Wednesday - Damn it all if Faith had her work schedule get shifted and we couldn't run.  I was exhausted and really needed a bit of a push to keep from getting lazy, like walking the first 1/4 of a mile of miles 4 and 5 in my run.  Feh, time on feet right?   It was also warm.  I need to carry some water with me, or stop at the college and have a sip.  But wow, it was warm and made running into the wind by the river so pleasant.  All in all it was a good run and probably less frustrating than being exhausted and running with Faith and feeling like I was slowing her down.  It may take a couple weeks of integrating in biking to get my legs used to the additional work.

Gizzy was whining up a blue streak,  totally up for a walk.  He was super peppy and wasn't falling for this turning left, he was going across US 1 with or without me.  I went with him, and we made a full mile.  The clumsiness (crab walk) happened just a few steps from the front door.  Improvement! Couple days of a mile and see if we can add on a bit.  Doubtful we will ever get up to 2 or 3 miles.  But who knows.  Aging sucks.

Thursday - NYC and a rest day, so that worked out nicely.  

Friday -  Massage!  It was nice to not walk with pain!  Giz got his mile and I was good with another lazy day.

Saturday - Morning Yoga class.  I wasn't so sure about this but hey, if it didn't work out then I don't have to do it again!  Very different class than the Tuesday night class.  It was good.  But I could not settle my brain for savasana as it was like 9 in the a.m.  

After class Jennifer and I went out for a 20 mile bike ride.  I was secretly hoping to make it 30 so we could get to the CT/RI border.  The road we ended up on after the bike path was narrow and a little harrowing for Jennifer so we turned around.   The bike path was nice.  Quite pleased we chose that option.  30 miles for next weekend.  I really need to get on the bike more and get on more hills.  All in due time right?

Very cool diving board, very springy with the car springs and Jennifer had that "OMG don't fall in" panicked mom look on her face as I jumped up and down on it.  The water was amazingly clear in this little pond. 

After a nice nap Gus got a nice long walk and was happy with the time with me.  Giz got his mile and didn't get clumsy so maybe we can up it after next week.  

Sunday - I think I get why as you age you don't get technology, you just don't want to?  I have this bike computer thingy and ugh if it doesn't make me crazy I have to read the manual, I know that would make all this so much simpler.  SO anyhow I did manage to ride a course this morning.  I really rode 15 but it gave me 14.8 because that was what the course was.  Ok...  huh.  yeah, read the manual Beth, it will make more sense.

These continual conversations Dave and I have remind me of my last visit with my parents.  My mother got a Kindle Fire in 2013, so she was busy trying to figure it out and giving up (like mother like daughter?)  I NEVER remember her being like that when I was a kid!    She'd fight to figure everything out.  Anyhoodles, the last visit she had a bunch of questions that maybe I could help her with (I bought a Fire for myself just before that visit).  Sure, why not.  We got her eMail loaded and a couple other things and a weather program.  Now she has three sources of weather, the paper (you remember that thing it is solid and leaves ink all over your hands when you read it), AOL, and now the Weather Channel.  She always gives me the weather report, and is amazed that there are three different ones.  She picks the one she likes the best and says that will be the weather for the day.  I have no idea which one is more correct, it all seems to be a fun game for her.  Because really her body aches tell her what kind of day it is going to be, damn the weather forecast!  HA HA!!

And this seems to be where I am with this Garmin 810, Dave has told me as much as he wants to and left this a.m. suggesting I read the manual.  

There may be another bike ride this afternoon after I read the manual...  there should be a run, at least get 20 in this week, slacker!

I'm avoiding running, I'll admit it.  I want to and I don't want to.  I think I went through this in spring last year too.  Biking doesn't sub for running and I do have a 5K next weekend and 7 Sisters (12 miles 6 down hill and 6 up hill) the weekend after so I can't be a slacker.  Maybe after 7 Sisters I can slack and ride more, and start riding to work.  Probably not this week, the only day I can is Monday and it is supposed to rain (sorry all you Boston folks, that really sucks).  Wed / Thur Short Hills NJ - oh that will be a load of fun, not.

Beth, happy to have a free weekend!  (and rambling - if you got to this point CONGRATULATIONS)