Thursday, August 27, 2015

Weekly Recap: 8/24 - 8/30 (final)









Back at a full week of work and running…  weird… 

The gym at work is having a contest to see which site gets the most log ins from the time period of July 6th to August 28th.   We’ve gotten one maybe two notices about where we are in the rankings of the sites.  At week #3 we were 3rd out of 10.  I have no idea where we are now.  There is also an incentive to get a $25 gift card for 25 visits during this period. Totally doable if you go to the gym an average of 3x per week.  I don’t always do this, sometimes I run after work and don’t go to the fitness center.  I'll miss the 25 by one visit.  Bummer.

Monday - 

Run and TRX, it was still humid, the temps were lower so it felt less humid.  Back down into the low 10's.  Getting better.

Tuesday - 

All I could think about today was root beer...   no run after work with the girls I was bummed

Wednesday - 

Run with Faith, best in such a long time!!

Thursday - 

TRX for lunch and a run after work with Ro.

Friday - Hike with Jennifer / Schonning 5K (maybe)

What happened?  Facebook posted an memory of a Fair Isle vest project I haven't touched in 2 years.  Jennifer bailed. I wove in the ends of the vest and stabilized the steeks and prepared to cut the steeks.

Saturday - 11 with the Housewives of Narragansett at 6 am.

What happened 11?  where did that come from??  I ran 8 before 8 a.m. and was good with that.  I'll catch that missing 3 to hit 30 later (yeah right sure I will).  Enjoyed my run with Nicole, Mary, Kathy, and Laura.  I haven't run with Nicole and Mary since forever, this was very nice and reintroduced to Kathy and met Laura for the first time.  Nicole was doing a 17 mile run and happy for what ever company she could get.  We stayed with her for the first 8 and then she found someone for the next 8 and did a mile solo!

Nice way to spend the morning and I think I'll get my self together for more of these group runs.  I'm so good with the 11 pace!!!

Did some very satisfying house chores - edging the lawn.  I love this chore.  Except Dave broke the hand edger and I had to buy a new one.  Who knew Home Depot was open at 8 a.m.?  Now I do!  Got a nice new one, wow they have improved a lot in the last 15 years.  My old one I bought when we bought the house.  Guess it was due to break?

Then I worked on cutting the steeks in the sweater and stitching the shoulder seams and picking up the stitches for the neck opening and then on to the shoulder edging.  I've only been working on this one for 4 years.. or maybe 3.  This one didn't end up in the notebook because of the color charts, however I do have pictures from when Elizabeth and I started swatching and casting on for the real deal when we decided to work this project together and mid way through she and her hubby moved to Manhattan.  Blargh... I miss our Saturday night knitting dates.  :(

Oh and Sara texted, she can't do the 50.  I'm working on plan B... 98 by myself sounds horrendous at this point....

Sunday - 98 on the bike, meeting up with Sara for about 50 of the miles.

What happened:  Dave had an early ride I had dog duty and took this as an excuse to hang out with the pups!   Gus is losing a tooth, getting old sucks, poor guy. 

I got some cleaning done and the shoulder edging done on one side and picked up and knitted a round on the other sleeve and decided it was time I actually got off my ass and 'took some exercise' as the Brits say.  I had 3 miles to go to hit this ridiculous 30 miles a week goal, I had 4 miles to hit my 31 per my plan, and I had 4.9 to hit the "Ultra-Trail du Mont-Balanc Distance Challenge"  170K ( 105.6) for the month of August. 

I sign up for these things and sometimes do them sometimes not.  I've been watching as people really focus on completing the challenge and thought if I was going to bail on the GranFondo 150K  (93.2) on the bike I better get one done other than the gimmie 10K.

Seemed pointless to just go for 3 and especially after it became obvious it was far more humid than I thought it was, 5 it was, I made up the route as I went, taking a tour of St. Michael's Cemetary, so very peaceful.  The folks at the top of the grave yard have a nice view.  And then to check out the yard work of the Pawcatuck residents.  Lots of people having evening BBQs!

So there you go, BOOM, done.

The Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc Distance Challenge


Beth, looking forward to less humidity and cooler temps...

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The Sweater

Disclaimer this is not running related, there may be some random running thoughts... as I start this I'm really not sure where it is going to go.

Intermingled with my weekly recaps are notes on if my knitting student shows up or not or I get to run an extra day because she gave me a heads up or I brought my running gear in that day.  

From my knitting notebook it appears we started on this sweater in November or January of 2013 based on the entries previous and later I'd lay money on November.  With my handwriting it isn't always easy to tell.  The second of November was a Saturday and I imagine I started the week before Rory so I could get a feel for the pattern.

I have a few projects I intermingled in the last nearly 2 years working on this sweater.  My knitting note book tells me 5 scarves, 5 dog sweater and 8 baby sweaters.  The next half of my knitting notebook is going to be better organized.  I'm pleased I remembered to get the pattern name and the date, I'll work on the  yarn and the needles going forward.

I'm a wing it and see how it works knitter, I will blindly follow the directions hoping that at some point they make sense and I get in a rhythm. If it doesn't work I rip it out and start over keeping in mind what seemed to throw me and usually try 2 is right. You know how you just know, this isn't right, yet you keep going?  Yeah, that's me.  Rory is a read all the directions first and make a plan and ask a lot of questions I can't possibly answer until I have the yarn and needles in my hands.  I knew this was going to be the case from the beginning so I knew I wasn't going to be able to help her unless I knitted the sweater along with her. I did my best to stay well ahead but not too far ahead so that I could still remember what I did and try and decipher my notes. 

If you are still with me and not a knitter, knitting instructions are like stereo instructions.  Boring and crazy.  And it is a lot of tiny words crammed on to a page and bizarre shorthand.  

The red circles are me circling the size of the sweater I am knitting - and no a secret decoder ring is not issued, you gotta figure it out on your own!!

Usually with a sweater you start with the sleeves you can work out all your issues with gauge and tension and get into the rhythm of the knitting, sleeves are usually pretty basic.  Well these started with short rows.  Ugh... no... short rows mixed up with cables and a precision knitter, that is a recipe for me losing my wing it and see how it goes mind.  We started with the back.  This presented it's own problem as there is a split in the back so you knit half first and then the second half and then join them.  

The back of the sweater, I have the right sleeve sewn in.  You can see the split, and then you can see the decreases to give this thing a nice shape!  Fortunately the knitting wasn't too tricky even with the decreases.  Then you go to shaping the arm holes (see the left side of the picture) and you ran into decreases up against a cable although this wasn't as bad as for the front.

My fear the whole time knitting this sweater was it was not going to fit me.  I will report that with the right sleeve sewn in it fits lovely!  Big relief.

So the back went well and there was some tricky decreasing for the neck, you can't really see in the picture but the neck bind off is about 10 rows below the shoulder bind off.  We made it through the back with little insanity on my part.

Then it was on to the front.  These were going to be more tricky.  I started the front, um dunno, but I finished them on 11/1/14 (I can clearly read my handwriting)  so a year later and I have the fronts done and the back done.

The front requires the Right Front to be knitted the opposite of the Left Front and also button holes in the Right Front.  And some crazy decreasing for the arm holes.

I do have pictures of the fronts on a blocking board, however these below turned out much nicer. The right front has the sleeve sewn in and the side seam sewn (the second picture)  The left is only sewn at the shoulder seam (first picture) you can see a bit of the crazy decreasing to the right dimensions for the sleeve!

Left front only sewn at the shoulder and left sleeve unsewn

Right front and right sleeve sewn in

The last thing we did were the sleeves.  I started this on 11/1/14 and restarted them a week later because I clearly had messed up the short rows to make the nifty point at the bottom of the middle cable.  I was ok with that.  My short row experience is limited to the heels and toes of socks and frankly I knew I wasn't nailing it and those don't need to look perfect anyhow.

There was a lot going on with the sleeves, first you have the short rows to make the point, then you have to decrease a bit and increase in the center and on the edges to get to the gather of the cables.  Then after the cables there is increasing between the cables and at the edges until you hit the point where you have to shape the shoulders.  This was probably going to be my undoing, reading the directions ahead of time made it impossible to wrap my mind around what was going on.  One sentence at a time was confusing, there were a lot of "and at the same time" going on.  Just go with me here if your not a knitter and still with me.  It's difficult, not explaining color to a blind person difficult, explaining bike shifting to a new bike rider difficult.  Once they get it they get it.

I finished the sleeves on 6/27/15.

I started sewing it up the next week. I'll finish in a few more weeks.  I like the company of Rory to chat with while I sew.  She will help me with the crochet edgings and hopefully by November I'll have a new sweater!!

Beth, and that's the story of the sweater

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Battle of Stonington 5K - Recap

The original Battle of Stonington was fought in August 1814 in the War of 1812.  The small fishing village sent the British packing after 4 days of gun and cannon fire.

 "... Suddenly this tiny little town of Stonington was victorious and sent the British Navy away with its tail between its legs. For a couple or three weeks Stonington was the biggest news in America." - Author James Tertius deKay.

The modern day Battle of Stonington is a road race started in 1998.  The lead up to the road race are 5K fun runs on Tuesday from June until the week before the race.  I enjoy these fun runs and it is sad when they end.  "The Borough" is a great place to run.  Two laps make a 5K, plus you get a Popsicle stick (you only have to complete 1 lap to earn this) and can redeem that for a beer or a wine or an actual Popsicle!

The Battle of Stonington 5K arrived, I hemmed and hawed about going and running or going and cheering. I've been very frustrated with my running lately, I know I can do better and I go through this in the heat of August, every August.  It's part of the process I told myself so just enjoy the run, you aren't going to win any races, well maybe against a turtle, then again if that little bugger bites my ankle it may win, so who knows, nothing is ever certain, well death and taxes...

A goal:  sub 29
B goal:  sub 30 (thanks Jeff)
C goal:  do not die

I figured this time the C goal was a gimme, there was no way I could possibly run a sub 30 5K with as crappy as my runs have been.

It is a two lap race, mile 1 went well 9:02, I felt good, and when I looked at my watch I thought, keep this up and you are sub 28.  And then it starts falling apart, I start thinking...  Mile 2 barely buzzed 9:50 and I though well I'll walk  a few steps, sub 29 may be salvagable right?... Mile 3 and I've been back and forth with this gal in a pink shirt, she was a run walker, I guess.  Wow those folks can run fast when they run, so they pass me, then they walk and I pass them.  It is frustrating to me, I am working very diligently on being a duck and letting it roll off..  Mile 3 buzzes and I have 0.1 to go, pink shirt passes me I am not letting this happen and pass her, then think.  Wait, do I really want to do that, no, no I don't.  I grumbled to her "Let's go"  "We've got this" and we both run.  She was probably a little stunned. 

As we crossed that timing mat at 29:50 she grabbed my hand and we raised them in victory.

I did find her name and sent her a FB message, as we aren't friends this goes to the 'other' folder and most likely she'll think I'm some crazy stalker.  But if she doesn't have any of the pictures of this, my friends took a bunch, and I'd like to share.  Nice when you have fast friends they can get pictures of your finish because they are done and bored waiting for you!

At the end of the day, to me running is about team spirit and camaraderie, not beating someone. 

This re-invested me in running, maybe even racing. I love the picture Sharon captured The thrill of victory for both of us. I have no idea her demons she has no idea mine, we did have a joint demon - that timing mat.

After the race Way Hedding said, he loved seeing me and my girlfriend cross the line hand in hand. I said "I have no idea who that woman is but for those seconds we were best friends."

Beth, guesses she is capable of sub 30 5K the initial goal of many runners, now, back to speed work with this damn humidity goes away... ok, before, but she won't enjoy it.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Weekly Recap: 8/17/15 - 8/23/15 (final)

I'm kinda getting bored with this format...  gotta figure out how to change it up.  I do like the weekly to review later... hmmmm....  then again 4 people read this so...











Monday - I drove back from MI.  Waze had me going down the PA Turnpike (I-76 for those not in the know) and over the George Washington Bridge.  Huh.  Well trust in Waze and it was good.  I left the folks around 7:40 and made a couple stops to see if I could find some Short's Brewery ControversiALE.  No dice.  That was one of the requests Dave made along with Arbor Brewing Company Sacred Cow IPA.  Not that I didn't already have a trunk full of MI beers not available here. 

I imagine I-80 was all clogged up with construction traffic?  Dunno.  NOT very surprised that the drive was easy until I hit Old Saybrook, CT the set up for night construction and ended up with a 15 minute delay and another 10 minute delay in New London, CT for some repaving they are doing before the Gold Star Bridge. I'd been on the road 12 hours at that point through 5 states with no issue, other than rain causing flooding on the road.  Seriously even getting over the GWB and onto the Henry Hudson Parkway was a breeze... 

Monday is a rest day so that's a zero. 

Nice to sleep in my own bed and with air conditioning.  Gak I can't handle the heat lately.

Tuesday - Debating on the Battle of Stonington.  I bailed with the rain last Tuesday and a chance to finally do what Dave wanted to do for dinner on Tuesday night.  Both were bad ideas, in a way.  The Taco Tuesday was a bust and now Thumbelina won't let up that I bailed on a run because of rain.   He'll be getting a box of circle band aides and I may even let Way know he has them so he stops nip bleeding through his shirts...  all in good fun, all in good fun...

What happened:

Totes forgot to bring the prezzie for Thumbelina, DOH!!  I ran the race - recap to come

Wednesday - I probably should get with my 1/2 training plan. 

What happened:  I ran at lunch and biked after work.  Running was awful.  I hate this weather.  Please when is it going to snow?  I'd rather run on ice.  Biking wasn't bad when I was moving.  I went and creeped on the WTAC fun run.  Muddy - nice tan!  Mikey  - always appreciate a hand slap and a 'you go girl'.  And then did a loop around the pond and headed back home.  Got in the shower just in time to have Dave get back from taking the young guys out to run and he got to feed the heard.  Smirk.

I have to find this training plan I made.  I am sure I had way more miles than 5 and there wasn't any biking.  I love biking, it is so freeing and so much easier than running, even when dodging summer people and crazy drivers....

Thursday - Run

What happened:  I sweated off 3 lbs for 5 miles.  No I couldn't just give up at 4.3. That stupid 5 mile kudo rule.  Yes, I say it is stupid, however it really isn't because what's the point for anything under 5, right?  I really have to get back to 5 being a minimum run and not this 3 bullshit of late.  That aside, it is hot and humid and the sun came out and made it worse.  Bitch bitch bitch...  The sun that bright on a nice 40F day, I'll take it.  A nice snow covered road with sun that bright, oh yes!  It wasn't over 80, it was the 98% humidity that sucked.  I could wring out my running gear, blech...  There was a breeze and I changed course to catch it, even just a whisper of a breeze helped.

Friday - Bike & Hike with the Jennifers - we now have Plan A, B, & C depending on one of the Jennifer's schedule and the pending rain.  I hope we stick with Plan A.

What happened:  Plan Beth take a Friday afternoon nap with Gizzy and runs the final Fun Run at Bluff Point.  If it weren't for the walkers I'd of been last!  Thank you Denise and Melinda!

It cooled off a bit, the humidity was a bit less, or so I convinced myself.  It was a good run and Denise made Terimisu (or however it is spelled, I'm going with a Beomeunisim here)...  not a bad run.  I haven't run Bluff Point in a long time.  That used to be where I'd run before I'd go home in Friday, I should resurrect this transition.  A half hour in the woods is a good way to start the weekend!

Saturday - Run, gak do I really want to run in Narragansett at 6 a.m.?

What happened: I bailed on Narragansett at 5:30 a.m. and the Mystic at 7 and ran my own 10 mile loop, which was barely going to be 9 until the cleaning guy at Northwest Marina gave me a bottle of water. I felt I had to fulfill my commitment to myself of 10.  It was a very well done regression run, each mile slower than the next.  I'm NOT apologizing for my pace, I'm stating a fact.  By the time I got home I was spent.  No fuel and a bottle of water at mile 7, I'm going to promote myself to rock star status!

The fly by shows one of the bikers who passed me and Dan from work who was running towards me and then turned left before I saw him, he probably saw me plodding along?  Who knows.  There were a couple of speedy gals out there.  Seriously, I have no issues getting passed.  Say hi, though!

Signed off on my Volunteer assignment for the Rhode Warrior 1/2 Ironman and Olympic distance tri.  Ran into Gazelle and his lovely wife and then Shawn.  Rock stars all of them in my book. That swimming thing is NOT for sissies!!  

I was going to bike down to the beach to pick up my packet to get in some much desired bike miles.  Biking with all the summah people is not wise...  I don't have to be at my post till 8 on Sunday, I should bike out there.  The weather seems like it is shaping up NOT to rain - knock on wood and potato chips!

Sunday - Bike / volunteer at Rhode Warrior 1/2 Ironman

What happened:

I volunteered.  The bikers were about a half an hour later than I expected.  I wondered what was going on.  I saw Shara, missed 5K, and worried the down biker was Gazelle.  It was a good hour? before I saw him biking through.  I don't know who crashed on Buckeye Brook, I do hope they are OK and I'm glad it wasn't Gazelle...

For my 5 hours of standing on my feet I get two race entries.  As a flagger I have no right to stop traffic.  I wish people understood that.  I can slow them down by standing in the road, and then deal with the wrath of the drivers pissed because I was in THEIR road.  It's worth the frustration, mostly.  

I was supposed to take a 50 mile bike ride or run 3 miles.  I tried my best to get invested in "Cider House Rules" and took a nap.  Irving annoys me as a writer, but I'm managing to get somewhat invested in the book, hopefully enough to have a conversation with my buddy up in Maine who really thinks I need to read this book... The nap was delightful, I can rarely think of a nap that wasn't.  

So I didn't hit my 31 miles for the week per my training plan, which I'm actually fairly on target for mile wise, not pace wise.  Ya know what, I really don't care about pace.  I'm done apologizing for my pace, I enjoy running, ok I enjoy the eating and drinking it allows me and I enjoy being called crazy, maybe not the constant right foot left foot part...

Next week is a new week to get it all together, right?  Plus a century ride on the weekend... because, I enjoy the bike so much more than running.

Beth, attitude adjusted after a weekend with her parents.  It is tough raising parents, they seem to be happy and well adjusted, at this moment.  

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Weekly Recap: 8/10 - 8/16 (final)










Monday - my rest day, it was a beautiful day to run, I didn't, I did do TRX.  Felt way better than last Monday post the PMC.  Took Gus on a nice long walk, he really does enjoy his evening strolls, I think even a bit more than Giz does.  Gus is very focused, there isn't much prolonged sniffing around or investigating or even curiosity about other animals or people.  Well the two skunks, of course, caught his attention.  He wanted to go investigate the smelly kitties and was a bit put out that he wasn't allowed to, seeings how he never asks for much.  Sheesh...

Set and sewed in the right sleeve on the sweater and sewed up the arm and side seam, it fit!  So far so good. I'll set the left sleeve sew and finish up the left arm and side seam and hope it still fits.  Definitely good in the length for the body and the sleeve, the big test is the width of the back, with the other side seam sewn.  Bites nails.  This is why I like knitting one piece sweaters, there isn't all this nail biting.

Tuesday - It rained I didn't run, no speed-work no Dog Watch.  I did go home on time and hang out with my husband who has wanted to go to $2 Taco Tuesdays at the local Mexican place for quite some time and has had his nose out of joint  because I have Tuesday activities.  So yes, Paul the rain played a part as did the spouse.  Well it was a bust, the food has been getting less than stellar and the service gets slower and slower. For two beers each and him 4 tacos and me 3 the meal should not have taken 2 hours.  Jax didn't get a walk, it was his turn, poor little guy.  I sacked out on the couch with Gizmo as Jax took my favorite chair in protest of us not being home.  Those dogs are so funny.

Wednesday - Faith was running late and clearly said I'll meet you on Easter Point Road.  I figured she'd park down by the beach where she usually parks so I veered off of Eastern Point Road and on to Meech to go down to where I figured she'd park.  Um no Faith.  Well crap.  Ran back up Meech to go back to campus to find her standing there in a nice bright orange shirt.  What the hell, I had on bright orange...  we are back to our twinsy thing again!  She parked down at the UCONN Campus and ran up Eastern Point Road.  So I was a mile and a half into my run and she was about a mile into hers.  We did the usual loop and I cut it off at Plant Street to get a little over 5 for the day.  We walked a couple times at my request.  As Faith reminded me, it takes longer to recover from big events than we think it does.  I'm going to go with that for my current performance.  Plus it was 80 and full sun.  Gak.  I'll go with I'm still recovering, rather than I'm old and slow.  Mikey's post about runners not enjoying running ran through my head the whole time.

The Strava Fly By is funny.  see if the link works for you.  We just missed each other.

I managed to get a massage appointment for a little later than I planned so I missed yet another WTAC fun run.  I've been by for several, on my bike.  That's still athletic right?

Thursday - "Run of some sort, girls night out"

What happened, a run, that's what happened.  Nice matchy match outfit Mikey!  Dosed myself with the albuterol and by mile 2 I could breathe, really breathe, wowzers, I remember that feeling.  Better follow the 30 minutes pre exercise RX, eh?  Damn, I was hoping the breathing was cause I was fat and old...   I'll cop to the old part, totally.  Go ahead, try it, tell me I'm fat...  ha ha ha ha

Walked Gus, he was happy it was his turn again.  Although he really has a thing for skunks, and this could be problematic, or smelly, if he gets too close.

Friday - "Drive to MI"

Got to my parents early, easy drive, took I-80 in and that seems to be the quickest.  Stopped at Meijers and Krogers to find my dad some of that "Not Your Father's Root Beer" - no dice, only the Coney Island brand and I'm not so hip to that brand, not as much flavor as the NYFRB.  Oh well.  Dad had cold Labatts for me.  I miss Labatts, yes you can get it out here, but it's not the same as the MI Labatts.  Yeah, my husband thinks I'm off my rocker too.

A storm rolled through and the power went out about 9 p.m. so we sat around with flashlights for a while then gave up and went to bed.  The power came on about 2 a.m. Always fun to find out what lights were on!

Saturday -  "Run the flat right angles of the Midwest, the weather is supposed to be cool so 9 probably won't kill me!"

It was hot, sitting and sweating hot.  Ugh.  I ran 5.1  I'm done apologizing for my pace, my pace is my pace and that's that.  No more "Easy" run or "Recovery" run, period.  I was a little worried about the dusty roads, but the storm Friday put enough water on the gravel to stop the dust and even wash off the corn and soybeans.  The Wagner's dogs didn't come out to greet me, they were busy chasing the grandson on his 4 wheeler.  Yeah, that's more fun than chasing me, I guess.

My kid brother made the hike over from Paw Paw on his Harley, any excuse to take a ride.  He didn't mention where he took his birthday week motorcycle trip this year.  Sometimes he just rides around one of the lakes, the Great Lakes...

Sunday - "See Saturday"

It was hot, even more humid, I made 5 and to keep it interesting I ran out to the hard top road to have a little under a mile of asphalt.  It was early enough so the road wasn't too busy.  My mother does not like this route of mine, but what she doesn't know.  Except that she was sitting out on the side porch and figured out that I wasn't running down to the hard top and back that I was running 'that route that's going to get you killed'.  That route is actually more shady and a few more corners too keep it as interesting as running the Midwest grid can be.   Amazing how shady corn can be when it's right up against the road.    Wagner's dogs did come out to see what I was up to.  They may recognize me they may not.  I saw them galloping towards me and stopped and walked a bit till they were completely uninterested in this human and went off to hunt things in the corn field. 

I have a hard time remembering how all the roads interconnect.  I was going to see if I could add on a bit.  Glad I didn't do that, a culvert went out and the road isn't a thru road anymore.  Although I'm sure I could have navigated it on foot, well depends on their farm dogs temperament, I can't always get lucky like with Wagner's pups!

Good visit with my parents, nice to see them as healthy and well.  Not at all looking forward to what this winter does to their health and spirits. 

Beth, excited to go see her mommy and daddy and her youngest brother!