Saturday, April 30, 2016

Big River 1/2 Recap, the year with no course sabotage!

To sum it up:  I went to bad places in my head and for all but a few instances was able to pull myself out.  This race ended up not being about time but about enjoying myself.

Part of the past few months have been to get ready physically and mentally for training for and then to train for and complete a 100K.  I think the thing I remember most about the 50K was the places I went to in my head, I cannot completely block them out, and they lingered through most of 2015 (it started at the one year mark after finishing that 50K) made it a rather miserable year for me (and probably those who had to deal with me).  The last few races have been about not getting so wrapped up in how horrible an athlete I am compared to other people.



Goal A:  2:45
Goal B: 3:00
Goal C:  Do not die

My result:  3:30

Full Results:  here

I think I knew at the 10K split off 3:00 wasn't going to happen, I really struggled with just throwing in the towel and hanging a left on the New London Turnpike and not going back in to the trails.  I gave myself a mile and said, well you could turn around.  But I was running out of water and water was to be had at mile 9.  I only had 3 more miles for water or to be done, suck it up buttercup.

This was about completing 13.1 miles on the trail.  Johnny said his GPS consistently measured 13 miles, and with the in accuracy of GPS on trails lets give it 10% extra, so this was more like 14 miles if it was actually measured.  This was one of the debates in my head for my lack of motivation to keep running and to power walk/hike a considerable amount of the trail in the last half of the course.

I missed this race in 2015 (it was an off year for me in so many aspects), 2014 was 2:54 (after having run most of the course as a warm up to get to my total long run mileage for that training cycle), 2013 incomplete course. All the last three years the course markings were removed for large sections.  Well 2013 I missed a marker, or maybe it was trampled down, in any event...

Let's jump back, A goal of 2:45 wasn't completely unreasonable, 3:00 was more reasonable. But enough of that, it's not about time it's about growth.

The course was great, technical and had lots of flat and fast areas with beautiful views from both areas.  Mike puts on a great race, period.  They have always been unforgettable experiences that challenge me and help me improve my mental toughness.

A big shout out to Seth, manning the aid station at mile 9, he listened to me whine and ask what was the shortest way back and took the most horrible picture (really do I really look like this?  rhetorical, don't answer it)


Anyhoodles, he told me the shortest way back for point to point and reminded me the worst was over.  I sucked it up and rambled down following the orange arrows, for the next few miles when I saw a spot I THOUGHT was the New London Turnpike and could take a straight shot back (with my luck with directions this could have ended badly).  Then I was SURE when it was a slight jog on the NLT.  I went left, back on the marked course, and ran it to the most adorable couple with a friendly and happy black lab.  I petted the lab for a bit and talked to them and then ventured onward. Remembering it was a beautiful day, right foot left foot, and STOP TRIPPING ON THINGS!!!

At the finish I had a nice chat with Mike and a gal I cannot remember her name...  Mike reminded me about my enthusiasm for the series from the beginning, and that made me remember why I started running and truly what it means to me.  It is fun and it makes me feel good, when I let it.  When I don't, I have a year like 2015 that I think may take me a year to recover from!!!

Sincerely,
Beth -- Remembering life is a journey, for some it is far to short, this reminds me to enjoy every step of my journey and to thank all of you who ceaselessly support me, Thank You.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Dogs on Trails

I've watched the Strava posts that are labeled "Don't Worry He's Friendly" and then the picture of the dog bite on their leg.

When Gus and I were out in Grill Preserve on our fake run on Sunday, he only wanted to bomb down the down hills, well it is his time he gets to decide....  We ventured across the Polly Coon Bridge - the weaving through the barriers stumped him!  And we were in to Grills Sanctuary.  Very cool.

Yes, he is off leash until the moment he stops because he sees something or I stop him because I see or hear something.  He stays put (for now) and waits for me to hook the leash to his harness. He sticks close to me and doesn't get to far ahead.  I'm a little lax with behind because I expect to see people coming at us not behind us, but still he gets in his smells and uses the space to open up and run a bit faster.

We were alone on the windy trails until the Tomaquag Bridge.  Then he stopped, in the middle of the bridge (well I had to convince him he did not really NEED to bomb through the muddy water and it would be OK to go over the water - it was quite the debate).  I knew him stopping that meant he spied something.  Another dog.  Shit.  The owner was yelling "He's friendly.  He's Friendly."  I yelled back "He's NOT" the guy was shocked and hurried to get his dog who was romping around in the water and then coming up to investigate this new dog on this narrow bridge. This owner had no collar or leash on his dog and eventually caught up.

Gus, is unpredictable, to say he isn't friendly isn't true, introduced calmly he is friendly.  But to yell "HE'S UNPREDICTABLE" is incredibly long and hard to understand.  The fact that Gus is on a harness makes him less iffy than when he just has a collar around his neck.  I mean really would YOU want to meet another person with a collar around your neck attached to your person and the other person didn't.  (Get your mind out of the dungeon)

The pups met, no big deal.  Not a hair raised on either's back but I ushered Gus over the bridge swiftly.  He only has 4 teeth left and the likelyhood of him actually trying to bite is fairly low.  BUT feeling threatened I'd resort to biting.  And the dogs feed off their guardian's emotions, so if I'm stressed he gets anxious.  (I'm also part of the problem?)

I'm sure this guy was like what the hell is this girl (or insert your own expletive  here) doing on trails with an unfriendly dog...  so be it...  I do remember having a few words with a biker on the JB Hudson who tossed his bike at the dogs when I was out with Diesel, Sage, and Gizmo and the three of them got a little packish.  Taking three dogs to the woods wasn't exactly smart on my part either. I have learned my lesson also.

It really annoys me when people yell "S/he's friendly" about their dog.  Well probably most of the time but who knows.    If you are going to let your dog off leash s/he needs to be under your control.  With Gus I trust him just enough that he won't run off, but I do need to stay on alert and not go places were there are a lot of people at an off time.   With Jax he is shocker collar trained.  As medieval as that sounds, it was the only way to get him to pay attention and not chase vehicles or go into the dunes at the beach (as two examples).  It was becoming a yelling contest where I think he would see just how loud we could yell at him.  Anyhow, Dave takes him out on the more technical trails (Sammy Cs, Secret Trail, etc) in Burlingame for 5 - 7 miles.  Jax sticks with Dave and after the initial training he's only had to shock him once or twice.  Jax knows what's expected he also knows whats more fun...  he makes the correct choice, and if he doesn't he is reminded.  We both think this isn't the option for all dogs, however for this one, it was the perfect option.

So that's a long rambling blather about dogs on trails and their guardians.  Those that don't pay attention to their surroundings are ruining it for those of us who do.

I'm sorry there are assholes out there that have bitten several of you.  I am sure if you cross paths with Gus and I or Dave and Jax, there won't be biting.  Hopefully just a curious dog on the end of a leash, and a runner going on his merry way down the trail, unscathed.

Sincerely,
Beth always trying to be the responsible dog guardian....

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Weekly Recap: 4/18 - 4/24

Monday (8.4) - Wowza was my body tired.  I didn't want to stop my run, I ran out of time not motivation.  It was going to be tight getting lunch and getting back to my desk for a 1 p.m. call under normal circumstances!  So I called it and it was 5.4 all said and done, probably 5.48 but Strava doesn't round up!  My left knee was still a little janky, but mostly the pain I felt was chafing on already chafed areas, not a lot of fun, and as I type this, some days later, I still haven't picked up a new Glide.  The one I have has given up the ghost and it's not gliding on..  Aquaphor worked just as well, just no nifty stick form to apply.  Although it was much easier to feel the disaster of scabbing line on my back than to guess I hit the right spot.

Still got to the BARRE class.  Heather is the instructors name, she asked my name again and said I remembered your athletic build but not your name.  Um ok...  it was a good class.  Again I felt limber like I did the previous Monday.  Score, think I've found what I need.

Gus got a nice stroll.  He needs to get me up at 6 a.m. and not snuggle in bed with me so we can both get our day started on time.  Used to be we were up and out walking by 5:45 once upon a time.  Guess we've both gotten lazy in our old age.


Gus and Jax helping by pre-cleaning and rearranging

Tuesday (6) - Felt a little more put together but got caught on my back foot with someone calling to me "Hey Elizabeth!" I think the horrified look on my face coupled with "What did you call me? Martin?" in that tone Crutch knows from trying to push me along at a race (or at the end of a race). Put him on his back foot.  Then I said, "Beth, my given name is Beth."  He looked confused. And I felt like an ass, I was focused on getting into the locker room and getting changed, not having a conversation about my name!   I've yet to run into him again and his desk is near mine (and perpendicular to Mrs. Crutch's desk)...   So that rolled around in my mind for the hour I was out running on a beautiful day where I was told "go out in short sleeves" by another runner (Lisa) on my way to the gym and her way back from the gym.  Awesome advice.  The wind has kicked back up into the 20's and it was kind of welcome as the sun is getting strong.  My freckles (well sun damage spots) are becoming more plentiful and darker.

My most favorite part of this day was the three hours of me time!  Knitting and watching TV.  I'm not a big TV watcher but wanted to catch up on a series I am kind of interested in.

Nice runner tan lines showcasing my normal Irish skin tone.
This is an afghan for a friends granddaughter.  Her mother used to make these for her grandkids and Ann has no interest in knitting.  An excellent seamstress, no use for knitting.  Long time ago she asked if I would fix one of the kids afghans that had been used as a chew toy by the boys pup!  I asked for the pattern so I could re-knit the section with the  yarn I salvaged.  At that point I thought, what and awesome mindless pattern.  It is three rows, one you have to pay attention to, one you knit and one you purl and repeat. I finished the one for her grandson when I was at my parents in April.  This one should be done by the end of the month (it is much smaller) and I can get them off to her to give to her grandkids just in time for the summer warmth!  Good timing, eh??

Wednesday (7.6) -  Wednesdays are Ro days.  She has a fracture on the backside of her patella (skiing accident). No impact activities.  Walking is fine.  We power walked hills to get our cardio up.  Wow that felt really good!  She is an active person, like 3 times a day exercising, ok maybe maniac is more the right term.  A humming bird on speed.

She got out and seemed in much better spirits when we got back to her house.  She has 4 weeks restricted activity and is thankful in the 6 weeks she's been avoiding seeing the doctor that she didn't do any more damage running or teaching spin class...  She can cycle though so wasn't too sure on this no spinning or no teaching spin...

Gizmo being not appreciative of his little brother, Jax, trying to help him relax
Thursday (0) - Active rest day.  TRX for some core work in the gym and a short hike in Pequot Woods. I felt like being a slug so I was!  I didn't even hit my 15,000 steps...

Friday (9) - Hour run with Faith.  First run in any real heat.  Neither of us are a fan, we got it done!  Also my fastest run of the week and her slowest.  Ha ha we are a pair!!  Fun conversation, heart rate, poop, stupid running articles for women, insurance, and running.

Think I have a path forward on my Heart Rate thing, the standard 220 - age for max heart rate is quite low for me and most active people.   I do need to get my resting heart rate, which is my heart rate before I get out of bed.  I did that on Sat with an app, 71!  WTF? Dave's was 49 and he had been out of bed and back into bed.  Perhaps the three beers and big meal before bed and the fact I didn't sleep well.  Even sitting at my desk at work my HR is 60...  weird.  Well maybe it was because I am tired.  I can't have that shitty of a cardio vascular system, could I?

Saturday (3)  - Today was a morning clean up at a local land trust for Earth Day.  Pulling out years old garbage from the woods.  People suck. I will say that those plastic grocery bags do decompose.  But the crap people put in them does not.  It was an interesting experience, one I will do again.

My family used to plant trees for Earth Day, and by trees I mean more than a few, like 10,000 it was a 3 days project...  These are all planted in the farm fields around my parents farm. 70 acres of trees we've planted  Now it is all on its own, turning into a forest in parts and in some parts, not so much, the land and the trees did not agree.  Random trees and bushes have been filling in those areas.

I didn't get to test out either new pair of bike shorts or get in a run.  Gus got a walk and that is good enough to call it a day!

Sunday (5.5) - Having an aging dog I don't get to spend as much calm time with as I'd like, before he goes over the rainbow bridge.  I think he will be much happier there running around with Sage and Diesel, Dave and I don't see eye to eye on this.  It's kind of a big deal sort of thing to not agree on.  So that sucks up a lot of time and thought.

I got out for a nice bike ride in the afternoon.  I didn't plug the route in to my Garmin, like a good girl.  I decided I would be able to remember.  I missed about 5 miles of the ride.  Yes, it will go in my Garmin.  I see exactly where I messed up and knew I did when I saw Hangman Hill road because I knew at some point I needed to be on that road.  It was lovely and one I will do again, low number of cars and really super pretty and pleasant, plus lots of cows and farms, helped me get through my gloomy fit this a.m.

Gus and I went to Grills while Dave and Jax went to Burlingame.  My intention was to run Grills with Gus, Gus did not have the same intention.  Instead of pushing him to do something he didn't want to do, it was pretty clear after a mile.  We hiked 5.5 miles and ran a few downhills and a couple flats but only when he'd start.  I think we both needed to decompress after the stressfest with Giz in the a.m.

Weekly total:  39.5 (run: 22.7 walk: 16.8)
Yearly total:  676.3 against a straight line target of 633.6

Biking:  212 against a straight line target of 633.6, not as depressing... will be able to get in more biking as the weather has improved immensely.

Not a bad week, not a great week, a so-so week.  Two weeks left till I have to get serious about following my training plan.  KO 5/9/16  (my birthday)

Sincerely,
Beth, bitten by a tick, will be interesting to see how this plays out...

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Rutgers Unite 1/2 Marathon - Recap

I can't even remember when Mary Ann and I signed up for this, way back before it got cold I think?  We live close, yet see each other once a year for a race.  It works.

This one would be different because she is near Piscataway NJ and she invited me to stay at her home with her fiancee!  Usually we get a hotel somewhere.  She's been dating H (also a widower) for about 3 years and they got engaged on Christmas Eve when he handed her a big box in the car and said "Here open this."  and she proceeded to open box after box after box till she got to a little ring box.  Rather unconventional however they are in their 60's and unconventional really works for them!!

I never knew Mary Ann's first husband, Richard. He passed away from lung cancer.  He was the reason we met and became friends.  She is a free spirit; it is refreshing and energizing to spend time with her.  To say I was shocked when I found out she was 60 when we met would be an understatement!!  Runners seem to not age or behave like regular people?

Partly this run would be to get in the longest run I've had since October and mostly to see Mary Ann and meet H and spend some time together.

Mary Ann and Me at the finish!
Aren't we adorable?

Rutgers Unite 1/2 is flat, wicked flat, 247 feet of elevation gain!  OMG really?  Neither of us looked at the course map before we started the race minimally we were hoping for no surprise hills.  Well there was one, at the finish... with a course that flat the 30 foot uphill 'grind' was torture!!




Full results here.

My results:
Nothing spectacular - 2:33 

First Male:  1:11 
First Female: 1:25

A goal:  2:25
B goal:  2:35
C goal:  Do not die

My hope (no planning goes into hoping) was to end up with an average pace nothing north of 11:30, to at least not do worse than my 10 mile solo long run.  I'd of liked to (again no planning goes into liked to) manage 10:40 pace (2:20).  It was pretty clear from the first mile that wasn't in the cards for me.  I also suspected I was going to fade in the last 5 miles.  Maybe that set me up for fading?  Who knows...  Yeah, we all know the mind plays one of the biggest parts (other than actual thoughtful planning) in where we land to our goals.

We lined up behind the 11 minute pace group.  They were much faster than 11 for the first few miles.

I have a new water belt; the belt (Ultraspire) holds a 20oz bottle in the center of my back.  I've run with it already, so this wasn't anything new on race day.  Unfortunately I hadn't tightened it up enough and it was bouncing left of center on my back and my left hip and whole leg hurt. I was panicking because I couldn't fix it while running and the pain was getting worse and worse and I wasn't even 2 miles in.  Shit.  I stopped and dorked around with that for a few minutes to get it to tighten up and stop the annoying bouncing. 

Got that all situated and I felt good for the first 1/2 of the 1/2 and then my mind started and I couldn't stop it or I let it do it's thing.  The jury is still out, on what I consciously or unconsciously did (or will admit to - revisionist historians are the best aren't they??).  I think I wanted to test how far I could let it go before I was unrecoverable. 

I never reached unrecoverable, I met it at the brink, we shook hands and parted ways.  I explained to the demon I do this stuff because I enjoy it and what a beautiful course and what nice people!  So buh bye and check in from time to time but don't set up shop in my head.

How to break this down...

Mile by mile?  Seriously?  Not worth your or my time to break it down that much.  The first half I was peppier than the second half.  I had a porta potty stop.  I was a happy camper when it was done, and I was so ready for it to be done.  I left nothing on the course.

It was flat and fast, definitely if I trained I could break 2 hours on this.  Will I do that? Probably not.

It was a well-organized and well managed race, definitely would recommend it.  Rated as one of the top 1/2 Marathons in NJ, and it is deserved.

In the 1/2 there were just over 3K in the 8K just over 900 runners. Not a crowded race, you were never alone and you weren't tripping over people.

The gear bag had a really cool map of most of NY/NJ/CT with races on it.  I don't know if these are CGI (the sponsor of Rutgers 1/2) races or not.  I thought that was a really cool thing worth mentioning, otherwise the gear bag had its usual packet of BioFreeze and other advertisements.  The expo was small, so if you go to a race for the expo, this isn't the one for you!

The one thing, the only thing that bugs me is this Epic Suffer score.



I could not possibly have been running anaerobically for 1:43.  Considering my previous weeks suffer score, where I ran at Tempo pace, it seems odd.  Could the ambient temperatures make a difference? Could the fact I'd already run 23 miles be it?  No I ran 22 before my 10 mile run the weekend previously.



My pace distribution was similar, a little heavier on the endurance on the 10.5,  I would expect a peppier pace for the 1/2 running with people and all between the two runs so the heart rate thing makes no sense.  I trust this more because it is based on a recent 5K of 29:50.



Alas I will figure it out, reccomendations on things to read or people to talk to to understand?

After an always tense drive from NJ through NY through CT and finally back in RI where the traffic was light to non-existant (but wait tourist season is on it's way) I enjoyed this:

Kind of a nifty medal.  Not sure if I'll keep this or it goes in the Medals for Mettle box.



Sincerely,
Beth, not an epic recap, to apparently what my heart rate deemed an epic race, but my mind calls a fun time. 

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Weekly Recap: 4/11/16 - 4/17/16

Monday (9.7) – Way to follow up a long run!  I’m pleased I got in 6.5 although Strava gave me 6.9 for the same 1:07, a 9:30 something pace.  HA, hardly.  I knew something was screwy when I was at an 8 ish pace going up the hill on Benham then a 17 pace going down the hill on Shennie.  Not steep hills mind you, more like gradual rises and falls.  Just enough of rise then fall for me to have a 30 secondish difference in paces from the first mile to the second.

Blue is where I ran, red is where Strava said I ran. Fascinating!

After much internal and some external debate about what to do about core strength training I decided on a BARRE class at the Westerly Y.  I miss TRX dearly, but refuse to pay for a class at the Y.  Beth logic, don’t question it.  I think we pay enough and aren’t getting full use of our membership so an additional expense seems silly.

BARRE as described by the Y – “Barre:/Barre Blend: workout is a series of movements that strengthen the entire body and insures that no muscle is overlooked with a combination of functional strength, the core conditioning of Pilates and the flexibility of Yoga.”  It does fall in the intro/beginner class category, a workout is what you make of it, you can focus and apply yourself or you can move through the motions and get nothing from the hour.   \

I do need to get one other session of yoga or something… this will work, for now.

Gus got a much wanted walk about town; still not keen on this tooth brushing business.

Tuesday (5) – Rainy run in some new shorts!  Way to give them a test.  I was rather skeptical, they seemed too short.  Actually quite flattering and didn’t ride up and held up great through the rain and dried rather quickly!  Plus a zipper pocket.  Oiselle is the brand.  I’ll give them a couple months in the rotation. The other pair I’m still not quite sure about, but if I run in them I’m gonna have to keep them…  Always fun to have new running clothes to try.    Are guys as picky about their running gear as women?

Next up on the difficult to please me list are bike shorts.  My favorite ones aren’t made anymore, so I’m trying new ones.  I found some that seemed good till it went on a ride where I got off the bike for a bit and the chamois has a minor weave in it and it felt like I was sitting on a waffle iron.  Guess those are quick trip bike shorts eh?

Wednesday (6) - Beautiful sunny day and me with a stiff knee and lead legs, I could not pass up on going out.  I got in my 6, I wanted to stop because I was so sluggish, that wasn't an acceptable reason.  My knee never loosened up and it never felt worse, so I kept going.I can't even say that I gutted it out, I ran, period.   Another new pair of shorts.  I think they are a bit short.  A friend, unprompted, said he could tell they were new because he could see my tan lines.  Thanks?  But he assured me I was not too old and could pull off the extra inch of skin showing.  Hmmmm...

Spin at the Arcadia Y.  I think I'll keep going to the class through the summer, it really is a good class.  We did hills and speedwork.  While it would have been better to be actually out on the bike it is nice to have the class and catch up with Jennifer.

I really need to consider this 1/2 on Sunday and maybe some sort of taper. I want to at least finish and not implode!!

Thursday (7.3) - I took a Zero for an active rest day.  My lunch walk felt great! It was nice to see the things I run past on weekdays.  Even at my pace I miss things.  Like the giraffe statue in someone's back yard.  Huh...

Gus and I had a nice stroll.  He found a dime.  We have a fund for the dog's yearly Dairy Queen trip, it is all the change and paper currency found on dog walks.  I think we are at $3.50 or something like that, after the plusses and minuses.  Yes I do take them to DQ and they do get a small ice cream all of their own.  I really don't keep it in a separate jar, I really should though.  It probably adds up over time.  Gizmo found a $5 once, that was pretty exciting.  I find money running or on bike rides.  There was a wad of dollar bills in a ditch, there were 14 of them, wonder how they managed to get there.  It certainly was worth turning around on that busy road to see what exactly was that wad of what looked like dollar bills!

Friday (5.5) - Friday's with Faith have resumed!  Thing is this is both of our 'rest' days.  Well not mine until May 9th when my training officially starts.  Faith's 100K starts July 16th. We did an 'easy' 5.  My suffer score was through the roof and hers?  Well, not so much.   I may need to figure out my HR training zones?  It was a nice run where we weren't scared by Mikey B.

Saturday (0) - Drive to NJ to Mary Ann and H's place, pick up bibs have a great dinner, watch a few movies, have beer and then remember we have a half marathon to run in the a.m.!

Sunday (16.3) - Rutgers Unite 1/2 Marathon - recap to follow.  This was a long run for me, I had goals, I met one well two, I didn't die.  I learned a few things and had a really good time on what is actually a very flat and fast course.

Gus demanded a walk after dinner and is now snoozing quite contentedly on the couch.  A walk is good for recovery and it was nice to get another hour of fresh air today after being in the car in crazy NJ/NY/CT traffic for 6 hours today.

Weekly Mileage:  49.8  (r: 36.3 w: 13.5)

Yearly Mileage:  636.8 against a straight line target of 595.1

Overall a good week, my mileage is getting up there, nearly 40.  I haven't had a 40 mile week since September.

Sincerely,
Beth, kinda tired....


Sunday, April 10, 2016

Weekly Recap: 4/416 - 4/10/16

Monday (6) - The Cherry Blossom race sent out a note that we should take a couple days off and resume running 2 days after our race and maybe run 2 or 3 miles at an easy pace.  Hmmmm, but it's Monday and it's time to run.  So I did.  And well if I run, I run 6.  I really don't think this applies to me, and honestly, I didn't race the race, I ran it, and damn if running those flat flat flat roads was so easy on my knees!  Brrrrr-lingame beat up my knees pretty well.

It was a good run and I enjoyed being out, bummed I missed the last of the snow and ended up running in the rain.  Took a peek at where the car went into the drink at Eastern Point Beach.  This is a huge fear of mine! Fortunately she is OK.  But really I do double check that I'm in the right PRNDL since starting to drive an automatic.  At least with a stick you have a bit of a warning you are going the wrong way, automatic and step on that gas solidly and whosh there you go!

We are having weather some people dislike (snow) again and people are losing their minds.  Really?  I thought New Englanders were a hearty bunch.  OK, the runner ones are, the rest of them, wow, go pull up your big girl and boy panties and move somewhere else.  Meanwhile, despite the ballerina neckline this totally suits the ones not whining!!

Moral:  Make the best of your situation!
Gus didn't get a walk, he did get his teeth brushed, to say he wasn't pleased is pretty accurate.  He enjoyed the 'poultry flavored toothpaste' but the brush not so much.  This is going to be a long process.  SO he didn't get a walk post brush to reinforce good things happen when he cooperates.  Guess we shall see if he curls up with me Tuesday a.m. if he forgives me.

Yeah, no this wasn't the case.  It was more me talking sweet and getting the toothbrush in his mouth and trying to hit one of his 4 teeth, although it felt like there were more teeth in there, hmmmm....
Tuesday (9.1) - Dave was up and out by 6 a.m. to get some instrument wood in New Hampshire, leaving me with solo dog duty, I wish he'd of let me know before I left work Monday so I could have made Tuesday a work from home day.  Oh well.  The dogs were all ready for me to hunker down on the couch. When he's not home I'm perfectly content to work from home.  Besides I may have actually been able to get started on the dreaded taxes!!

The day started with a headache about 4 a.m. some acetaminophen was all that dumped out of pill bottle on my table so I took those.  Gus took the opportunity to curl up with me in the space Gizmo and Jax weren't using.  Didn't even put a dent in it so when I was up at 7 I rooted around for the Vitamin I and dealt with Dog Breakfast.  Got into work and immediately downed some coffee, yes, that was going to help.  Um no...  Went out for my lunch run a bit early.  Maybe the sun and the fresh air would do me some good?  Not so much.  I enjoyed the run for its ability to take me out of my mind and blared my music maybe a little Pop Evil, AC/DC, and Motley Crue would drive away what ever demon was twisting my brain lobes in to ever tighter ropes.  Guess the good thing was I couldn't feel any other aches!!

After some food more Vitamin I downed with iced tea for more caffeine a bit of the edge came off.  When I got home I took Gus for a walk and that helped clear my head a bit more and the twisting and poking in my brain seemed to go away, really the evil little thing was hiding behind my left eye.  Yippieee....

Thinking it's either because I'm a girl or I have a sinus infection.  Guess if my teeth hurt tomorrow I'll know it's a sinus infection.

Wednesday (2.8) - The little demon headache was running around trying to hide in my brain, but eventually went away and my teeth felt fine.  Girl logic, don't question it, it's really not worth it.

Ro and I used to run on Wednesdays, till the skiing accident.  She can't run, and hasn't run.  She begged off, I insisted we walk if she could do that.  We walked.  I thought I might run after, but for whatever reason I'm hungry and can't even fathom running, so I had lunch.  Feh, tis what it tis.  I can run on Thursday, more important to catch up with Ro and her torn meniscus.

Because of things going on with my company my evening meeting wasn't necessary (I had to forgo spin for this meeting and I was on the wait list but still didn't get a bike) so I found a massage appointment.  I'm always leery with a man masseuse,that they will be too gentle, they won't be as aggressive with their elbows in my difficult to break apart fascia to get to my problem muscles.  Well, lemme tell you, Warren rivaled Amy tonight.  I finally had to say UNCLE when he got at the bound up crap on the right side of my lower spine.  PERFECTION!  I'd totally let him and his elbows go after my pirifomis.  After 55 minutes on my back I can finally turn my head and see over my left and right shoulder.  Hmmmm... since Amy seems to have fell off the planet, it may be a good idea to see if I can get another appointment with Warren.

Thursday (5.3) - It was raining and I needed to run.  So run I did.  I didn't make my 6, but Muddy still gave me kudos.  It looks like I put in effort, I kind of did and kind of didn't.  It was really a fun run aiming for the puddles and enjoying being outside drenched.  It reminded me of the one Girls on the Run 5K I did, poor Sophie, her first 5K and pouring rain.  She skirted the first puddle, I suggested she run through it and I stomped through it and she looked at me like I was nuts.  By the end she was plowing through the puddles too!  Good effort on my part and I enjoyed being out for the run and the novelty of being a weirdo.

An evening of chaos and not home till nearly 9, as a result Gus is a little ticked with me.  I'll take him out on the trails over the weekend.

Friday (5) - No I'm not back sliding.  I ran with Faith and let her push me a bit.  I need it once in a while instead of my usual shuffling.  Plus I'm tired, whine whine whine...  We had a nice run which I managed to take us into the wind the whole time!  Whoops!

Saturday (4) - Yeah it looks like I'm backsliding, seriously I'm not.  I took a zero today and went to the most killer Yoga class with Jennifer at LA Fitness in Cranston.  Wow, excellent.  Then we swam, it felt good to get back in the pool.  Laps on my front and laps on my back.  I prefer swimming with my face out of the water.  We all have our things.  The class was late a.m. and we all slept in so even a morning walk with Gus didn't happen.  Neither of us could remember the last time we slept till 9 a.m. we both needed it.

After I got home Giz and I went to the beach dragging him around for 1/3 of a mile in the sand is exhausting so I took Gus out to Barn Island for a walk to relax.  He hasn't been out and I feel guilty.  Dave takes Jax out a couple times a weeks to Burlingame he rides and Jax runs. As Dave says "all dogs all the time" yeah, it's kind of true.  They are so sweet and they let us sleep in this morning, no 6 a.m. WOOHOOO IT'S A NEW DAY LET'S GET IT STARTED, WHERE'S MY BREAKFAST, OPEN THE BASEMENT DOOR I GOTTA PEE running up and down the hall jumping on and off the bed crazies...

My plan is a long run on Sunday, 10 miles or maybe 11.

Sunday (13.5) -  There may be a dog walk later who knows.  I really need to clean out the flower gardens and it would be nice for Gizmo to get some time to sit in the sun and get some fresh air.  There was a dog walk, Gus is rather persuasive.  The grocery shopping didn't get done... oh well, who needs food.

For whatever reason this long run took a lot out of me.  I am more tired than after Brrr-lingame or the Cherry Blossom, how can that be?  I wanted to stick to a slow pace 11:30.  Hey, even 11:30 is slow, for me!!  ha ha ha.  I peeked at my watch every couple times it buzzed and it seemed like I was reading 11:40ish pace.  Imagine my surprise when 11:30 on the nose popped up as the pace for the run. Weird.  All in all a good run, I felt good for all but a few miles when I was desperate for a porta potty.  This is happening regularly and beginning to disturb me.  Mile 7 there was one in Avondale.  I went by the boat yards, in season they have them, off season, not so much.  So the track of my run goes hither and yon a couple times as I was on the hunt for the blue or green box of relief!

Weekly Mileage:  45.6  (run:32.9 walk: 12.7)
Yearly Mileage: 587 against a straight line of 556.5  (for a bit of a bank going again)

All in all the week ended better than it started.

Sincerely
Beth, off to do some gardening she guesses....

Monday, April 4, 2016

Cherry Blossom 10 Miler - Recap

November co-worker, Miho, had the brilliant idea of entering the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler.  She set up a team for the lottery, so we either all got in or not.  A few of us did the NYC ½ lottery in 2015 and some of us got in and some of us didn’t, so that wasn’t so much fun.  This would be better!

The lottery closed on December 11th.  That was the day I put my name in.  I was really struggling because I knew I had the Rutgers ½ two weeks after and I don’t like to be gone twice in a month.  Did I really want to use up the last of my credits from when Dave went to Utah for a week leaving me to do solo dog duty for 7 days?

December 14th our team was alerted, we were in!  There were going to be 7 of us gathering in DC to run.  Two women I work with, two sisters of one of the women, a friend and a boyfriend of another woman.  

Those 3 or 4 of you who follow me regularly know that I imploded at Marine Corps in 2013 so the thought of going back to run those same streets was a little overwhelming couple that with my lack of miles and motivation in 2015, my longest run was 13.1 at the watershed Gansett ½ in October.  It was time to get back to enjoying running in 2016.  For me this meant to run races for fun, and not commit to to much in advance.  

I’m not a big fan of huge races or out and backs, so going into this I really had to focus on getting in a good 10 mile run with 16,000 of my closest friends and nothing more than that.

Goals:

A:  1:45
B:  1:50
C:  Do not die

1:45 was easily achievable with a 10:30 pace, a pace I maintain fairly regularly with not much effort.  Could I maintain that pace weaving in and out of people in the 20 MPH NW winds?  

Fortunately it has been windy for my local runs so I knew what the struggle against the wind would be, but maybe would all these people help block the headwind?  Not so much.

Full results here.

My result: 1:47 10:39 pace – pretty darn close to my A goal, honestly I really wasn’t focusing on anything but feeling good while running and not letting the demons I’ve allowed to sabotage me lately win and only checking my watch on occasion.  I had the pace set to the pace at the moment, not the lap pace so it wasn’t much help anyhow!  I could feel when I was lagging and the paces showed me what I felt.  I feel like such a grown up runner girl being able to 'feel' my pace.



I’m pleased with my effort and result.  Mostly how much I was able to change my attitude about the things I like least.

The odds were stacked against this race, overall dislike of huge races, running around people, navigating around people, out and back courses, and my recently acquired (an now gone) fear of completing a 10 mile run.  (Wonder if there is a 10 mile phobia?)

Driving into DC with trusty Waze by my side, Thomas told me I would be in DC in 5 hours and 39 minutes.  I don’t think at 7:30 a.m. he really had accounted for the slow driving due to rain nor the unbelievable traffic in DC or the fact I need to stop to get coffee, food, and gas.  We arrived 7 hours later, two hours before bib pick up closed.  That was my main concern, get to DC before 4:00 so I had 45 minutes to pick up my bib.

Bib pick up was easy; all you needed to know was your number.  My friend was stuck in traffic and wasn’t going to make it to bib pick up.  She forwarded me her confirmation and I was able to pick up her bib also!  Off to get the race shirt and wander around the expo.  All super simple and not over crowded.  

The race also had a great app that helped with directions and questions and runner info.  I’ve never used one of those before and it really was a good resource.

I took a short walk to the start area, the Washington Monument.  I hadn’t been there since Marine Corps 2012 when I met three new friends and we were ‘trapped’ in DC for nearly a week due to Super Storm Sandy knocking out power and flooding train tracks.  It looks even more beautiful on a sunny day with the grounds filled with people flying kites.  Truly amazing to see in our current state of constant chaos; people enjoying themselves.

Our met for dinner at a brew pub, great conversation, laughter, good beer, and good food, just the right stuff to ensure a good night’s sleep!

We arranged to meet at 7:15 a.m. for a quick photo and those that wanted could go off to their corrals.  We decided to all stay in the second to the last corral mostly to stay warm!  It was cold, and windy.  The day before the race the race director made the decision to take down all course signage, timing clocks, tents and eliminate the pre-race activities, all but the singing of the National Anthem, and all post-race activities.  The communication on this was EXCELLENT at the expo, via eMail, and via the app.  Race day greeted us with 20 MPH sustained NW winds with gusts to 50 MPH.  A half marathon in Middletown CT was postponed due to the winds there.  I think their winds were a bit stronger.  Syracuse, on the other hand had their 1/2 in a blizzard (or something like that).


The Group!
Emily, Tanya, Miho, me, Rebecca, Mary, Kelly
Miho's boyfriend took the picture

We got our group picture, Tanya and I snapped a selfie and in the middle of a conversation our wave was off.  Whoops, get the watch started and run silly girl!



Mile 1 (11:01) was as expected weaving in and out, I let the crowd carry me along and didn’t get frustrated with the people walking.  Running into the wind.

Mile 2 (10:21) a pace more like I expected, half way across the bridge, no one blew off in the gusts!  Into the wind most of this mile.

Mile 3 (10:25) off the bridge and back into the wind for our second out and back.  My hands were burning and stinging, they were FINALLY starting to warm up in my gloves, yeah!!

Mile 4 (10:38) and with the wind at our back, my hips were tightening up.  Eat a couple gummy things silly.  SO I did and that felt better. Mental or real?  Who knows, chewing the three gummies kept my mind off of anything but NOT choking on the gummies! Passed the water.  Wow the cups were everywhere what a mess, I wonder how many ended up as litter across DC and into the water?

Mile 5 (10:41) the gummies started kicking in a bit or who really knows. We were on our third out and back and back along the parkway we ran from the start out to the bridge.  Really pretty with all the trees, maybe next time we will get Cherry Blossoms.

Mile 6 (10:40)  and back into the wind to then get to the part where had we run a week earlier the view would be 2,000 cherry trees in bloom.

Mile 7 (11:01)  and along the Potomac, I stopped for water, there wasn’t a choice but to stop and get water and then run again.  It was a ZOO!  I think MCM has water on both sides.  Grabbed Gatorade first, whoops, then some water which was what I really wanted.  I doubt I actually needed a drink it was nice to walk for a bit.  Ate three more gummies, probably a good idea to get back on my fuel at 3 miles plan for longer distances. 

Mile 8 (10:39)  and wind at our backs, people were slowing and walking so there was bobbing and weaving.  Someone was passing out Dixie cups of beer, nearly got tripped by someone cutting cross-ways to get the beer.  I passed on the beer, I had a race to finish and while I wasn’t going to meet my A goal (unless I started my watch a minute early) I really wanted to be done, I was getting a little (ok a LOT) tired of being around people.

Mile 9 (10:48) and we are into the wind, the people weren’t blocking it, which was surprising, no matter where I went I couldn't catch a draft.  WOW! I could imagine how beautiful this was in full bloom.  And oh my, was this the site of the 2013 sweat encrusted porta potty break after the 20K mark of MCM 2013, why yes, yes I think it is.  And then the image of the gal who elbowed me in the gut while screaming something foul about slow people.  Ah yes, not a fun memory.  I moved through it, that was a long long time ago.

Mile 10 (10:18) and no break from the wind. Wait? What?  On this pancake flat course we were experiencing a climb; it was all of 20 feet and felt like a mountain!  Where is the finish line? Was it at the monument or before it?  Oh shit there it is!  Better speed up!  So the race ended like it started -- as a complete surprise to me!

Would I do this one again?  Absolutely!  Yes, it has everything I hate about a race and I loved it and would do it again! What was the difference?  Perhaps because it was a surprise to get in, a surprise to start, and a surprise to finish?

Sincerely,
Beth, surprise!

Weekly Recap: 3/28/16 - 4/3/16

Monday (3.5) - Rainy and cold and unmotivated I took a 0.  My left knee feels much better and more solid so I think it was the right "decision" to not run.  Gus and I had a rather brisk walk after dinner.  Wowza I forgot how energetic he can be.  Gizmo woke up not being himself.  I was pretty sure this was the end.   We think his schedule was thrown off from us being in MA on Sunday and not getting home until late.  Plus it was a rainy Monday, perfect day to spend on the couch sleeping like the near dead.


Ok maybe not COMPLETELY appropriate, only a wee bit?  A friend of mine sent this to me after telling me I take the adage "treat every day like it's his last" literally.

Tuesday (10) - What is that idiom: "March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb"  March has been a lion pretty much all month, and there are just a few days left!!  Today we were treated with 20 MPH NNW winds.  There really isn't anywhere to go to get out of them, it's best to gird your loins and JFGID.  I'm sure there are scientific surveys that say running into the wind doesn't slow down your speed more than running with it speeds up your speed and there are others that say you get back about 25% of what you lost running into a substantial wind.  The last three miles of my 6.66 today were slower not only because they were the last three but because of running in a wind tunnel.  It took everything I had to pass a walker.  How embarrassing.



When I saw my watch at 6.66 and I was at the gate, it was perfection.  No point in getting to an even 6.7

Gus and I had a brisk walk in the wind.  Can't wait to get him back out on the trails.  That will have to be next weekend as I'm in DC this weekend.

Wednesday (3.7) - Finally Ro and I can get back on our run/ run & walk /walk time.  I've missed my 40 minutes with her jibber jabbering about this and that.  She had a wicked bad skiing crash a month ago and her right knee is giving her fits and is swollen.  So she is very limited on the amount of running she wants to do however a walk is not out of the question!  Goodie.  I thought I MIGHT get in some more miles running after the walk.  I didn't, I was hungry.  I'm happier having this time with my very few friends!

    
   


Spin was an interval class, wow Kim teaches a great class!  I'll probably miss these over the summer when I'll be out on the road bike...

No dog walk, Dave and I were finally home together, time to get caught up on TV and eat pizza.

Thursday (9) - This wind, ugh.  I know I live on the coast and run on the coast, but really has it been 20MPH++ this consistently ever?  I've only lived out here 17 years...

The run was good, it was a struggle into the wind, I got my 6 and was satisfied with that.

I packed some Skirt Sports shorts I've been iffy on for a while.  I had my usual shorts, but as I picked up those Aimee popped into my head.  She is a HS girlfriends recently diagnosed with Breast Cancer (stage IIIC) so she is pretty far along with the progression of the disease, there is no stage V, and I don't know if they ABC stage IV.  What great news to get on your 49th birthday, eh?  Anyhow Aimee loves purple, and I mean OBSESSED with purple, her wig is lavender!!  These shorts have purple polka dots on them and oddly enough the latest pair of my favorite running shoes came in purple.  I think of her when I run, I pray and send good vibes.  I don't honestly know if this helps, it does make me feel like I'm doing something being 760 miles away from her.  In our private FB group started so she could let us know what is going on I posted a pic of my outfit explaining that: "While I am far away, you are always in my thoughts and prayers and apparently also in my gym bag."  Laughter is good medicine.  While I thought the shorts were too short, they are just fine because Aimee loves purple and knowing you have people rooting for you, her mantra is Go! Fight! Win!, it will be good luck for her when I wear the shorts.  The chemo will attack the cancer and she will survive and live to see all her grandchildren born and at least turn 21.

Gus and I went on a walk, he likes his hour of Gus time, sometimes it is a struggle to get him into the house.  Noooooooo...... I don't want to go in I want to go further.

Friday (0) -  I took a zero, it was a bit of a battle.  Like a few people today I had meeting issues.  Some went out and got their miles.  I had Chicken Schwarma salad (that counts as healthy?)  fortunately not the resultant borborygmus my tripod mates usually get from this lunch (or taco salad which was Mon and Tue).  Finished up some work, edited a document for publication, tinkered with a spreadsheet and went home for Friday afternoon nap.  I'll give myself a pass what with a race on Sunday and all.  Although I've been doing that a bit too often lately and my March numbers show it compared to my January numbers.  Still and all I'm on track to meet my goals.



I am ahead of 2015 for my running miles and I'm very pleased with this.  Walking isn't pulling me along as much as it could.  I've got about a 22 mile bank for the first quarter.

Saturday (2) - The day was spent driving to DC for the Cherry  Blossom 10 Miler.  Happy to get out of the rain and ick of New England.

Sunday (13.2) - Cherry Blossom 10 miler recap to follow. 

After and uneventful ride home I took Gus for a stroll.  I have to start brushing his remaining teeth, I was working up a strategy for this  torture.  He is so schedule orientated I am going to try with the teeth brushing (he has 4) before the walk so he knows he gets something he wants after the torture.  I started last night by sticking my finger in his mouth, he was not pleased with that.  You'd of thought I stuck the finger somewhere else!!  We had a nice walk and he decided to treat me to an early morning snuggle on Monday to let me know I was missed.  Awwwwww..

Weekly Miles:  41.1  (run: 22.7  walk: 18.4)

Yearly goal:  541.4  against a straight line target of 517.9

Sincerely,
Beth, sallying forth to the 2nd quarter of 2016!