Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Weekly recap: 9/21 - 9/27 (final)








Well it's kinda obvious with my last post the walking miles are divided up between Gus and Jax.  I'm finding it harder and harder to go on these walk with out my Gizzy.  We do venture to both ends of the block, that's about all my arms can take and all he has the desire for, although my arms are getting stronger.  What am I going to do when he is gone?  Drag around 80 lbs for 1/4 of a mile twice a day?  I'll think about that later.

For now he is my happy curmudgeon, yeah kinda like jumbo shrimp.  Clearly in no pain and not suffering.  We will cross the Rainbow Bridge once we arrive.


Well back to the running part of this show...

Monday - OMG what happened to Monday?  A run never happened, I think the chaos of an early morning trip to the hospital for the annual mammogram, think this was my 13th?  Gak.  Now they want to do an ultrasound to get a baseline because the boobs are dense.  Every year it's the same thing, the tech calling them dense.  It's not funny being reminded I have stupid boobs! Really, not funny...   I'm a bit at a cross roads with the additional test.  I passed on the BRCA testing, despite being heavily encouraged by a few cousins (they were negative, why put myself through it).  Now this, are we searching for problems or is this truly a baseline?  Cancer is a concern, I mean really, my  mom has it, her mom had it, her mom had it, her mom had it, my father's mom had it, her mom had it... two breast cancers in the bunch...  is it worth the agony???

Good grief this is getting depressing...  I probably won't do it if it is more than a baseline.  I see so many false positives with breast cancer and don't want to put myself through that.  The body fights it off till it doesn't.  And all the women in my family are well into their 60's when they get diagnosed. At this point it is a personal decision, I feel fine and if I was the least bit worried I'd demand tests.

SO anyhow, the rest of the day was meetings stacked on meeting (no time to sneak away from my desk) then off to TRX.  I considered running after TRX but didn't, didn't even get in a dog walk.  Huh... guess it was a rest day!

Tuesday - Worked from home in the morning, got a nice little run in on some roads I've run before and some I've only biked.  That was a fun little jaunt around.  May do that loop again.

I had a long conference call so I took Jax on a walk at lunch to wear him out a bit, he gets a bit freaked out by the dining room table talking so his post walk nap was perfectly timed!  Loving the cooler weather and being able to walk dogs in the middle of the day!

Gus got a walk at night, he's been so hit and miss on his mood with the walks.  He was totally engaged and happy.  The cooler weather agrees with him.  He is my next worry, at 8 years old...

Wednesday - I had to go into the office for most of the day.  Took a nice run at lunch, did something completely different than the usual loop and ran "The Bitch" twice, a nice 0.2 mile 9% grade hill.  I only lost 10 seconds on my time from my first pass and my first pass was following a long down hill and my second pass was following a bit of an incline.  I did have the benefit of Faith flagging me down on Thomas Road, so I got a short breather.  All in all I was very pleased with this run, especially seeing a mile back in the 9 minute range and a portion of a mile in the 8 minute range.  Point out they were down hill and I'll smack you, tee hee!!

Posted Wednesday - and can I say how many times I think Wed - nes - day as I was taught in elementary school?  that and Feb-ru-ar-y, Mrs. Kanutsen, you rocked third grade for me!!!  

Note:  Gazelle that was on how to spell it not say it.  You don't even want to know what Wends-day sounds like with a northern Wisconsin accent!!  Ask me to say milk sometime and have a laugh!

Thursday -  working at home all day - I'll get a run in at some point and probably go to the Sneekers run for a double and some human interaction.  I love the pups but really, I go a little nutty being alone all day, which truly surprises me.

What happened - I worked at home, no surprise.  I got in 6 miles during the day and 3 miles for Sneekers plus much needed human conversation!!  I really need to remember to use the inhaler before I run, otherwise my pace is picking up to pre-heat levels.

Friday - I took the day off.  A run in the a.m. maybe a bike ride.  I miss the bike.  My wounds are healing nicely.

What happened - I worked a bit, took a nap, went for a hike, went for a run, took Gus for a walk.  I'm thinking the ASICS GT1000 aren't getting any more flexible, they still feel stiff with about 25 miles on them, I don't think I dislike it and I'm not sensing any new aches or pains and the usual ones aren't any worse or any better.

Saturday - Morning Heart Walk in Watch Hill and the Mixed Doubles 10K in the afternoon.  I have to look up my time from last year.  I'm not in any sort of shape for speed.  Gak...

What happened: Heart Walk for Team Brylee.  Brylee is a 7 year old girl in Indiana.  She is Jennifer's 'Run for Buddy' and has a heart condition, 7 open heart surgeries, one for every year of her life, I can't even imagine.  It was an emotional walk for Jennifer, and the rest of us.

Mixed Doubles 10K, she runs 5K he runs 5K age groups based on the combine ages of the partners.  The curmudgeon and I ran, we were in the 100 - 109 age group (age:  104)  We placed 5th out of 7. After the walk the gals went to The Malted Barley for lunch, so a Ruben pretzel sammich and a couple Founders stouts probably weren't the best idea for any kind of stellar time...  However the power of focus proved pretty powerful for a 27:44.  We were about 10 seconds off last years time.  He was a little ticked I actually tried and this meant he had to try.  HA!  I'm horrible, I know!

Sunday - Bike ride for sure, I need a nice long one.

What happened: Finished up the Berlin Marathon Challenge (26.2 over 4 days - it was a combo of running and walking finishing up with a dog jog!)  Ran errands and stopped at a pub to watch the Pats  / Jaguars game.  I'm slowly getting over my 47 year avoidance of football.  It's a long story.  Let's just say its tough for me to watch the Superbowl.   The husband arrives home late, sure to be disruptive to my sleep, the dogs will be happy to see him. I'll be happy Monday or after a good nights sleep. Hey, it is what it is.

Beth, who may see if one of the neighbors has a wagon maybe she can cart the curmudgeon around so he can see the old sights and smell the old smells...

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Weekly Recap: 9/14 - 9/20









Back with the chart....

I start typing this up at some point and put in what my expectations are... and that's when the "what happened"comes in...  I do have a training plan for this 1/2 in October, I follow it loosely... mostly I'm winging it and considering deferring the Gansett 1/2 or maybe not, I doubt I'm going to get serious about racing in the near future, who knows. 

Monday - Recovery from the TFCE, takes a bit of time for my insides to get all righted.  It was far to nice to pass up a short run, so I didn't.  All in all it felt good to zip down to Eastern Point and back.  The low humidity definitely helps my pace, I really need to get back to speedwork.  Took Jax on a walk and we all settled in for some Game of Thrones (season 4)!  Making good progress on the next baby sweater, easy knitting I don't have to think  about and can concentrate on the show.  

Tuesday - Decided it was time to conquer all three points, a whopping 6 mile run and I have no idea what mental block is going on with Jupiter, Avery, and Eastern Points all in one run.  I used to do that pretty regularly.   Fortunately Avery Point offers a pit stop, as the week went on apparently it was going to take a week for my insides to cooperate.  The humidity was starting to creep up, crap...  Gus and I went on an after dinner stroll and then we all settled in for Game of Thrones and knitting!

Wednesday - Hitting all three points again, but a mile shorter by zipping down Tyler.  I always think of Mimi Zuliani when I pass by Cushman, she has been gone 6 years in December.  I will forever be grateful I stood up and excused myself from a meeting that was dragging on because I had a lunch date with a woman who was in the end stages of cancer and I didn't want to miss that opportunity to have a social outing with someone I respected and admired.  LIFE work balance, LIFE always should come first.   Faith and I were running opposite directions and stopped and chatted.  Nice to see her and catch up a bit!  Gus was the lucky recipient of that evenings walk as Dave took Jax to the field to run around!  No Game of Thrones... Dave was out for the evening with final trip prep.

Thursday - Short run to Avery Point as I intended on running the club run at night.  I left work late and didn't change, no place to change, aw forget it.  I went home and Dave suggested a ride.  This is the third ride we've done this year.  I wasn't passing that up.  We went out to Watch Hill and then on to Misquamicut and a quick trip around the Post Office and it was getting dark.  On the way back, less than a mile from the house, he was supposed to go right, he went left and I went right and into the back of his tire.  In what can only be described as slow motion I bumped his back wheel and was obviously going down.  Dave sped forward.  I couldn't get my right foot out of the clip and skidded on the asphalt.  With blood dripping from my elbow, I stood up, after getting my damn cleat out of the clip.  Dave said "Is the bike ok?"  I suggested he might want to ask if I'm ok first.  He said "Quit being dramatic, you are standing up, you are fine, is the bike ok?"  I looked at the bike, and said, "My hip hurts, did I hit my head?"  Dave said "You didn't hit your head.  Did you scratch the bike?" 

I put the chain back on and inspected, all seemed fine, the front break was a bit off center, and easily righted.  We went home to a barking Gizmo who also was unconcerned about my injuries and wanted dinner as it was now one hour later than dinner time.

All is fine, my hip has a nice bruise forming, my right elbow is scuffed up, bruised, and weeping, so there is still grit in it.  Same elbow I was picking teeny rocks out of for a year after a mountain bike crash (which was actually more of a crash where I went off the bike over the handle bars) in West Virginia in 1997. Mostly I'm glad I didn't break one of my aging hips! 

No dog walk, so we finished up season 4 of Game of Thrones.  Seriously people, have some respect for the material you check out of the library.  Disc 5 was so scratched we had to use the closed captioning for Episode 9 to figure out what was happening. Knitting went on as usual.  Good to keep my hands busy!

Friday - On Thursday, before the crash, I decided this was going to be a rest day.  I got my 90 minute Friday afternoon nap with Gizzy, then Gus and I went on a nice stroll.  

Saturday - "run with the Housewives of Narragansett, I'm aiming for 13.1 because I'm bagging Jamestown 1/2 as I just don't want to run that race.  I want to run when and where and with who I want."  *dramatic foot stomp*

What happened? Did my 13.1.  Jackie and Mary did 20, Nicole 18, Kathy tagged along for 5 and Patti who FINALLY had a good run did 8.  This was the longest run in quite a while for me.  When did I get to be so lazy???    Strava Challenge done.  It's not that I can't run the miles, it's that I'm lazy? or unmotivated? or who knows....  these are rhetorical questions.

It was a lovely run with lovely gals and fun conversation!

Gizzy and I had an outing, he enjoys getting out of the house and wandering about.  His mode of transport is much different not being able to do more than scoot on his back legs.  

He is quite content with this and can get moving pretty quickly when he wants to!  It tires him out a bit, not to mention us...   He takes on quite a bit of the weight when he is moving, when he stops, he hangs from the back leg leash.    (Jax is the one running towards Giz, who snubs him)

Jax and I had a lovely stroll and ran into the Illustrious Seth on his own stroll pre-gig at the Malted Barley.  Jax was completely overwhelmed with all the people downtown and quite the mild mannered dog!  

Sunday - "Bike and maybe a run.  Dave is up and out for UT at 3 a.m. it will be an interesting week solo."

What happened?   Dave was up and out by 3 a.m.  I played WWF until I fell back asleep.  If I would have tossed and turned to get back to sleep Jax would consider me up and in the mood to wrestle.  Um, no.  I know it is going to be hard for the first couple night's Dave is gone to get him, mainly, to settle in and go to sleep so best to not encourage middle of the night wrestling.  

No bike, no run, Gus got a nice walk in the crisp nearly autumn air.  As I type this I'm 845 steps from meeting my 15,000 daily step goal.  So a big fat zero. (well I only hit 10, 554 for Friday, that was a rest day... so...)  I'm good with that.  I accomplished several nagging chores out of the way, funny with no spouse in the house to offer unhelpful commentary as one works on projects how much one can get accomplished

Beth, looking forward to being unsupervised for a week!!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

TFCE 2015 - Recap

The Flattest Century in the East  (except they added over 600 ft of gain ?!?!??! 2,704 feet last year )

Last year this was my first century, and it was fun, or I remember it as fun.  I’m beginning to think that I block out the not fun parts, like mile 60 where I am more than half way done yet still 3 hours from being done, and replace them with mile 90 where I’m ready to sign up for the next one and bummed, well not totally, that I’ll be loading the bike in the car in 30 minutes.  

This year I joined the Narragansett Bay Wheelmen to be sure I’d get a spot in this century ride.  In fact I signed Dave up.  He didn’t participate… rib injury and upcoming trip to UT and his general hatred of the road bike, that’ll be the last time I do that!  I have enjoyed the periphery of being part of the NBW, lurking and getting to know people better through the pretty much daily eMail interactions of the club.  They are very active and TFCE (The Flattest Century in the East) has been their main event for the last 44 years.  Just as long as the Blessing of the Fleet (my favorite race to run and hate). 

Front of the T-shirt

The club has been around since May 15, 1879; it started as the Providence Wheelmen and has merged with and evolved with other clubs to become the Narragansett Bay Wheelmen, one of the largest bike clubs in the country.   The history of athletic clubs is interesting what brought them together, what keeps them together, what makes them grow.  

The cycling community is very different from the running community.  There aren’t a bazillion people posting about cycling like there are with running.  This is curious to me.  Is it perceived bicycling is easier than running?  Or that running is just so difficult only certain people can do it and must post obsessively about it?  Or that running is for obsessive people?  Or that cyclists are quiet, unassuming bad asses like ultra-runners?  Then again most everyone hates cyclists, especially motorists, and apparently even more so motorcyclists, so maybe it's better to remain in the shadows and not prompt the haters?

On my run on Saturday there was a very large group ride coming through the downtown areas of Pawcatuck, CT into Westerly, RI and several of these bicyclists were trying to get around a car with its blinker on attempting to parallel-park.  First of all cyclists are to obey the rules of the road.  We don’t have the right of way when turning left.  We have to give way to the motorist parallel parking.  Just as we do while we are driving our cars. It was complete chaos and a bit of yelling by the cyclists, the clearly in the wrong cyclists, and the elderly gentleman trying to park his car.   I bit my tongue, ok, I may have muttered “and this is why people hate cyclists, a bunch of elite pompous asses who don’t think rules apply to them”.   

I look forward to these cycling events and I don’t look forward to them.  


Motorists:  Dealing with the motorists who hate all cyclists and blare their horns or try to cut in as close as possible, is scary.  I have had several moments where I am as far right as I can get and I can hear that engine screaming up behind me thinking “This is how I die”.  So to have close to 2,000 cyclists between the 100, 70, 50, 30 mile events (I’m  not sure how it breaks down I am curious to know how many ride each route) on the roads for a day, there are going to be some ticked off motorists. 

Bikers: They ride in gloms pretending to be pacelines and won't yield to the cars behind them.   Or ride side by side and not get over, and you've all heard this rant before, why repeat myself.  I am not a perfect cyclist, I never claimed to be, however when there is a large group better to be uber careful for the rest of us who tend to cycle alone and don't want some angry motorist taking it out on the solo cyclist.

The weather was going to be iffy.  Was it going to rain was it not going to rain?  The rain held off until we were all packed up in our cars and heading out of the parking lot! 

Bottom line, I go into them with a bit of trepidation; there is a lot that can go wrong between bike failure, accidents, weather, other cyclists, and motorists.  There is also a lot that can go right.  

The plan was to meet up at registration, Ro, Mark, Me, and Sara.  This was going to be Sara’s first century, I thought her husband was going to be riding with her, unfortunately not, baby duty.  I couldn’t let her ride alone and I was pretty sure Mark and Ro would enjoy an additional person in our group, someone new to talk to.  We took off by 8 a.m. as planned.   The first stop is at mile 30.  

Back of the t-shirt

I started my GPS as soon as I pedaled away from the car, every freaking foot counts!  So my mileage was a bit off with the rest stops. 

By the time we hit mile 30 we were ready for a break.  The cold and damp was starting to give way to a bit of warmth, and we were glad the sun wasn’t out beating down on us!  A PB&J fit the bill and filled up one bottle of water.  I was doing OK with water intake; a bottle every 20 miles is really the minimum.  I knew that as the ride progressed I’d get to that and then some.  After the UCAN debacle, I’m staying away from the electrolyte mixes.  I stashed away my rain jacket and hoped I didn’t get chilled.   

We were about 10 miles past the aid station and Sara noticed Ro’s back tire was losing air.  We all yelled up to Mark who was happily pedaling away with the group he caught up to.  Ro told him, “The faster you go the slower I go.”  She gets a little tired of him saying “Let’s go for a ride” then dropping her after the first 5 miles.  Boys… whaddya gonna do right?  Be they 6 or 60 they want to go fast!  We stopped I got to use my fancy frame pump and we had it up to about 90 lbs of pressure when the SAG wagon stopped and helped for the last 20 lbs of pressure. 

After the tire and tube blow out for the New Haven Century last year, I got a pump with a gauge because I can’t tell how full the tire is.   I was happy to get use out of the pump and not with another blow out! 

The SAG wagon drove off and eventually we saw Mark talking to the driver.  He had asked if the driver saw three ladies riding together.  The driver said, “Yes they were very nice I helped them blow up a tire” he said “Oh that must not be them”  har har har.    

The next  road was where Mark crashed last year.  He touched Ro’s tire and went down BOOM, quite spectacularly.   We suggested he/crash ride ahead of us, he thought that would be a good idea and he waited for us at the end of the road.  So this next 8ish miles were all new to him as he had not ridden them but he had his bike with its bent derailleur hanger were transported from the crash site to the 48 mile rest area in Tiverton, RI. 


We stopped at the aid station and Ro’s tire was soft again.  The bike mechanic found the teeniest piece of metal in the tire and tube.  Put in a new tube blew it up and we were ready to roll on!  Just like last year my knees went “GROAN” as we started.  A mile in and all was fine, but wow that first mile is tough.   

This part is coastal and pretty, I remembered it as much prettier, I also remembered there being rumble strips along the solid white line.  Those were gone so that was nice.   The lack of rumble strips helped!  It was also much sunnier last year, so that could have something to do with the ‘remembered it as being prettier” 

This 24 miles seemed a little flatter or maybe we knew it was only 24 miles till the 72 mile aid station?  Who knows.  

About mile 60 when I was seriously regretting this idea, and hating that I had been lax about getting on the bike in the last few weeks, Mark spied a couple cyclists struggling with a CO2 pump and we stopped and my handy frame pump came to the rescue!  Plus a little bit of a break from the saddle, perfect timing.

At the last aid station Sara needed an extended break and I agreed to stay and told Ro and Mark they could venture on.  They were good with hanging around and we all hung around for what amounted to an extra 5 minutes.  A round of ibuprofen as provided by Mark and that definitely made the last 30 miles better.

We made a stop at the bridge with 15 miles to go!  I really need to get a new helmet that fits better, mine is always crooked!  We were iffy on the stop, but it made the last 15 so much better!!

Whoop!  We rolled into UMASS Dartmouth campus happy and thrilled to take another cyclist on their first century.  

As the skies darkened, we collected our shirts and magnets and said our good byes and congratulations!  Loaded up our bikes in the mist and by the time we were on our way the skies opened up and poured buckets.  We were very very lucky cyclists!!

Beth reporting on her 2nd Century for the year!  And is wicked flattered she can impress some pretty impressive people by riding a bike for 100+ miles  (come with me some time, it's fun!)

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Weekly Recap: 9/7 - 9/13 (final & now with chart)

I'm woefully behind, not as behind as others...

I'll stick the stupid chart in here when I remember.









Monday - oh yeah the NHRR comedy routine!  And a 2.2 mile walk with Gus.  He is great therapy, he walks and sniffs, but not too much.  Keeps a steady pace.  He has some jaw issues so once in a while when he yawns he screeches, it isn't pleasant, for anyone.  Guess this means he probably won't be biting anyone, so that's good right?   He is embracing being 8 for sure, quite mellow and laid back.  He did sneak in a few going around the other side of the pole and gave me a look like "Ooooops I forgot I'm not supposed to do that."  it was cute, and very forgivable.

Tuesday - I can't remember why I didn't run, but I didn't.  I think I had a meeting to struggle through or something.  Jax got a 2.2 mile walk and he, well he is Jax and there isn't much we can do about that.    Game of Thrones was in at the library so Dave and I started watching season 4.  Couldn't remember season 3 fortunately the DVD has a nice recap.  We looked at each other and said, no more binge watching, I can't remember most of this.  One episode a night was the deal... let's see how long THAT lasted.

Wednesday - 5ish mile run sans Faith, her school and work schedule is all different...  it was a shitty run as far as running in the shitty weather goes.   2.2 mile walk with Gus, he really didn't want to go, it was humid and miserable. 

Thursday - I had high hopes all this shitty humidity would be gone.  The Weather Channel sent out an alert about rain at 11:17, well that didn't happen.  I slogged through 5.2 miles.   Jax and I caught up with a 2.2 mile walk, he really does enjoy going on a walk or maybe getting out of the house.  The rain caused most of the dog markings to wash away so he ran out of pee long before he finished his path, seemed a bit depressed about that.  I assured him he could mark another day. 

Friday - I did nothing, not even a nap.  Dave was off playing bass with one of his drummer buddies leaving me unsupervised to drink beer, knit, and facebook - I did neither spectacularly well, luckily I didn't have to rip out the knitting or apologize to anyone, I managed a whopping 3 beers...   The dogs and I went to bed early with the hopes for an early morning run.  Dave was fishing and would be up at 5 which meant we'd all be up at 5.

Saturday - With Dave up and out at 5:30 we were up and moving by 6, I can only keep the mongrels quiet for so long.  Carried the old Gizmo down the stairs, he is getting used to me carrying him and freaking out a bit less.  He isn't sure I'm qualified to carry him down stairs or make dog breakfast.  Poor guys is going to have a shock when Dave's in Utah for a week...

Everyone ate, I decided on coffee (which delays any run by 2 hours) and maybe the day would get cooler as it progressed and I'd run later.  I didn't wait long enough, 5 before noon with the first few being decent.  Decided it was time to mow the lawn and I hadn't used the Garmin to get the squiggly GPS and find out how long the process took with mowing 75% of the hill.  That was kind of fun almost 1/2 mile and 24 minutes.  We have a very tiny lawn!

HA!  The GPS otally can't color in the property lines.

Watched as the neighbors with the chicken coop loaded it on to a trailer and sped away.  Guess they flew the coop, who leaves in the middle of the month?  It will be interesting to see who ends up in there next.  

Gus and I took a 2.5 mile stroll on a different route, he wasn't impressed.

Sunday - The Flattest Century in the East.  Had 1,000 more feet of elevation gain than last year... I'm thinking it's no longer the flattest.  The day threatened rain all day.  It didn't rain till we were biking back to our vehicles and once everyone got their bikes packed up and changed the skies opened up and a deluge was dropped.  Sorry for the bikers still out on the course, we certainly felt pretty lucky.  I'll recap that in another post. 

Took Gus out for a quick walk to keep moving.  After riding 103 miles, and sitting in the car for 90 minutes, spending the rest of the evening sitting in a chair, knitting, watching Game of Thrones and drinking beer was going to be a bad idea.  And the one episode per night lasted until then.  Dave's argument was we missed Friday.   Not exactly valid...  but I bought it and stayed up past my bed time because I knew I wasn't going to sleep well anyhow, I never do after a big effort, and had a third beer to ensure that fate.  (Actually, I slept pretty well, surprisingly well)

Beth, figuring out when she can get back to MI to replenish her Mitten Craft Beer supply