Sunday, August 13, 2017

Pan Mass Challenge 2017

This was my 4th Pan Mass Challenge (PMC).  My second out of Sturbridge.

It really is hard to know what to say about the two days on my bicycle with nearly 6,000 like minded bikers.

Billy Star provided some stats, so let's start there:

This charity ride is very important to me, really, it is the high point of my year.  I've been raising funds for Lung Cancer awareness and research since 2011, running 1/2 and full marathons for the cause was one thing, but to me, this is a bit more.  The whole event is focused around raising funds for cancer research, period.  My total fund raising for this event is approaching $25,000 for the 4 years I have been riding.  This is fully a result of my generous friends and family!  Thank you!

2017 is the 10th year my mother has been living with lung cancer.  That is truly astounding.  With a small hop forward in lung cancer treatment, the 5-year survival rate has budged from 15% to 17%.  We are still losing more than 50% of those diagnosed with lung cancer in the first year.

So 100 people get diagnosed, let us be generous and say 50 of them live a year, of those 50, eight or nine people will make it 5 years or more post diagnosis.  Pretty cruel fact, facts are facts, and I want to see those facts changed.

Oh and before you get all well they smoked, didn't they?  60% of those diagnosed with lung cancer either have never smoked or haven’t smoked for decades.  Honestly, does anyone DESERVE cancer?  no, no they don't.

In 2014 I joined Team LUNGSTRONG.  LUNGSTRONG was formed in 2011 with 8 riders in the PMC. We are now over 60 riders strong!  LUNGSTRONG rides to benefit LUNG CANCER research at Dana Farber Cancer Institute, under the direction of Dr. Pasi Janne, where there is a commitment to world-class care and innovative lung cancer research to develop new, more effective diagnostic and therapeutic techniques.

Lung Cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths, killing more Americans each year than breast, prostate, colon and pancreatic cancers, combined. Yet lung cancer research is the least funded, relative to mortality rates.  With increased funding for research, we can reduce the mortality rates for lung cancer.

The Lowe Center of Thoracic Oncology at Dana Farber is a leader in innovative research in lung cancer. As one of the nation's premier lung cancer programs, the Lowe Center of Thoracic Oncology is raising the bar for thoracic treatments by fostering collaboration between its clinical and laboratory researchers in order to provide optimal, individualized therapies to patients.

It is kind of a big deal, at least I think so and the people treated at Dana Farber think so and the people and their families benefiting, even if it is only for a short while, from the research done at Dana Farber.

So the fun part of this is the ride.  Like I said in my previous post I do get wiggy about things, more about the logistics and a little bit about the doing of it.  That many miles and hours on a bicycle is a big commitment, physically and mentally.  Anyone goes into a big event slightly sleep deprived and anxious, I can't believe anyone is completely calm.  If you are, what's your secret???

Friday I took the day off.  I was going to work from home, but only did a few things, probably enough to not take it as a vacation day, but we shall see how this all shakes out at the end of the year,  I usually end up carrying days over anyhow.

I didn't want to miss out on getting an overnight parking spot at the hotel, I wouldn't be staying at that hotel but that would be the hub and where I would be dropped off on Sunday evening.  I got up there way too early.  Lesson learned.  But I was able to find a nice cool spot to veg for a couple hours before registration opened and I could pick up my stuff, get my bike looked at, and take part in the drinks and food.

My pre ride bike evaluation turned up what looked like a small cut in the sidewall of my brand new front tire.  Do I get a new one or not.  I got a new one.  I could hear my father and my imaginary husband saying, 'They are just trying to get money out of you, you don't need a new tire'.  But then who exactly was going to be there when, in the predicted rain for Saturday's 109-mile ride, was going to be there them? or me?  Me.  So a new tire it was.  Did I do the right thing?  Sure, it gave me peace of mind.  Otherwise Randy said my bike checked out, he cleaned the chain and lubed it and pumped up the tires and I was ready to rack my bike and go find some food and beer.

After a bit of a snafu getting to the right hotel for the night, I snuggled in for a few hours for my 3:30 wake up to get this party started!  I slept fairly well for trying to sleep in a stuffy room with daylight peeking in through every crack in the curtains!

4 a.m. on the bus ready to get some breakfast and get on the bike to roll at 5:15 a.m.!

The rain was off again on again in that annoying misty spray, it was hard to know to put on my rain jacket or not and I was on the verge of leaving it in my car when I decided to keep it with me and managed to shove it in my cycle bag under my seat.  I ended up needing it with in a mile of starting and then again after lunch when the rain came down like BBs.

The first few miles we are rolling on US20 East bound closed to traffic.  It is AMAZING to have the whole road with just cyclists.

This also helps everyone sort themselves out so when we do get on secondary roads and have to stay to the right people are about where they belong pace wise, much like a trail race where the field sorts it self out and much like a trail race, the road runners get WAY too far up in the mid/back of the pack and then cause a traffic jam once we get on single track.  And like a trail race, the best place to pass these folks is up a hill.  Good thing I love hills!  Nothing is more self-satisfying than saying "ON YOUR LEFT" as you crank past someone struggling up a hill.  Tee hee....

It is so amazing to see how many people are out so early cheering on the riders.  The tears start quickly with the signs about survivors and especially the children diagnosed at a young age and then the child holding the sign, I'm so and so.  SOB SOB SOB!!!

The first stop is Whittinsville, 25 miles in.  Here I was able to get rid of my rain jacket and stuff it back in my saddle bag.  Had a 1/4 of a fluffer nutter sammich and took care of biological balancing.  I was feeling pretty good and making decent time.  I'm not recalling much else about the first 90 minutes of the ride at this point.  Oh, wait, yes!  Snickers bars!  OMG, I love love love the Fluffernutter sammiches but that Snickers Bar was like gold.  I also took a Salt Stick Cap, and I was behind on my water consumption.   I should have finished at least one bottle. This was also the end hilliest hilly section of the 109 miles.

The next stop was 18 miles away in Franklin, MA.  This sends us out on some very quiet residential streets, there are a few families out cheering people on.  Mostly in bathrobes with coffee cups and I love that!  The next 27 miles are pretty sedated, and I look forward to completing them as it is the last big climb and then the lunch stop where we join up with the folks who start from Wellesley.  We were met with rain for about 10 miles before lunch and when I stopped it was pouring.  I didn't want to take to long at lunch but still, I didn't want to ride soaked the radar was so spotty and any rain wasn't going to stick around too long.  Also, the next stop is only 14 miles away, less than an hour.

The rain pelted me like bbs for those 14 miles and finally started letting up just as we approached the last mile (mile 83) before the Lakeville stop.  This is where all the posters of the "Pedal Partners" are and usually their families at the poster.  Those kids with cancer tear me apart.  Most of the "Pedal Partners" are at the Lakeville stop.  Also at this stop is Del's.  I love this stop for a lot of reasons.  All of that and clearly the rain had stopped and I could put my balled up road grime covered and soaked rain jacket under my bike bag for the remainder of the journey.

You can see the rain drops on my helmet!!
The next stop is Wareham, it is 18 miles away and then it's only another 9 miles until Bourne.  It is a tough call to stop or not to stop.  I was jonesing for a Snickers bar and to biological balance (I caught up on my water drinking, clearly).  I was so glad I stopped!  I ran into a huge group of the Wellesley LUNGStrong starters!!  Whoop I could ride into Bourne with them!  Of course, I managed to drop a few of them and then waited and then at the last 1/2 mile I cross chained and dropped my chain and couldn't catch up to ride over that interim finish line with the gang.  Bummer.

I've been in the same dorm room since my first PMC so I knew where to go, but first I stopped for a beer and chatted with one of my team mates from St. Charles ILL!  I checked the dorm assignment saw 4 names and 3 bags and there wasn't a bag in the room. Ok, we'd only be three.  I took the top bunk and got my extension cord and fan all situated and one of my roomies came in.  She remembered me from last year, I, of course, oblivious, had no clue.  She remembered the fan and the extension cord, not me, I'm pretty sure.  She had her own fan and extension cord!

The shower was heaven on earth and it was nice to be in non-restrictive figure unflattering bike clothing for my hot dog fest at the food tent!

We got our team picture taken:

I'm front row third from the left (of the picture), Dave and Diane Legg are to my left (or the right of me in the picture - Dave's rocking his plaid shorts)

Diane did a great toast for Living Proof:  Seriously listen to it, it is very short.

And the Living Proof riders and volunteers got their picture taken:

Relive the ride here.

Up at 3:30 a.m. for Day 2!

I slept a bit, rested mostly.  I found out if you stay on the ship it is air conditioned.  You can't flip flop around in bed as there is limited space between you and the bunk on top of you and you sleep in a room with 10 or 30 other people.  Did I mention it is air conditioned?  No flipping fan needed!!!

We were to meet at 4:30 a.m. at a designated spot, before this you needed to get your bag packed and loaded into the right truck and get some food, hence the early wake-up!  Day 2 is bacon egg sammiches, my second favorite to Fluffernutter, at least for this weekend's gastronomical festival!

I didn't get any coffee knowing that we'd be rolling by 5:15 a.m. and the first stop was at Barnstable in 24 miles, I could wait for 90 minutes or less for coffee and the bathroom....  well everyone else had the same brilliant plan.  Well, I guess when you are trying to move thousands of people it is never going to be easy.  The coffee lines went quick and I could drink that while I waited in line and caught up with team mates and a coworker who also rides this ride.  I've worked with Dean for 7 years, he has never acknowledged me until that weekend, and true to form, he was back to looking through me at work this week.  Lawyers, waddayagonadoaboutem?

Back on the bike, and back with the team.  The rollers through Barnstable are a favorite of mine and a lot of people.  I couldn't help but blast up the hills and blast down them!  I did my level best to stay with everyone.  We were all a bit concerned because Diane passed on this stop and hadn't had anything to eat before we left at 5:15.  Diane Legg is our team leader, this is her 7th PMC, riding with Stage IV lung cancer.  She was diagnosed at age 42, 13 years ago.  Read about her here and here and well Google her, be inspired.  She is an amazing woman, no she is a force, a real force lung cancer has to reckon with.  She is winning. She is a face of Lung Cancer.

At the end of the ride in Provincetown

The stop in Brewster was 16 miles and we all regrouped there.  Diane ate and really looked and sounded great.  She knows her body and well she is in charge.  It is our job to worry!!

This is the part of the ride that usually makes me hate the PMC and hate other riders.  I stuck with the team and well I loved it.  It was awesome.

Ok, so I was biking and playing with my phone, a no no.  But awww all the little LUNGStrong girls right in a row, it's cute, no?

The next stop is Wellfleet, with the ice couch.  Ahhhhh

Cool the tush with some fresh chamois cream, ahhhhhh
Christine and Martha didn't know about this - I was happy to share the experience.

And we were ready to roll!

This is the last leg of the journey, well mostly.  There is a decision point to go straight to the finish or do the dunes.  I convinced Kim, a first timer on our team, to do the dunes.  She's forgiven me!

Kim and I at the finish
Kim's mom was diagnosed with Lung Cancer when she was carrying her first child,
he has welcomed a sister and her mother, their grandmother, has been there to celebrate every one of Ryder and his sister's birthdays
We had a minute to spare to meet up with the rest of the team and Dave and Diane to roll the last mile in our biker gang to the finish.

Yeah, playing with my phone again, cool shot, no?

And PMC 2017 is in the books!  About 1/3 of the team.  Some finished earlier, some went to the family finish.

 We showered, ate, drank and I got on the bus back to Sturbridge at 2 p.m.  Most everyone takes the party ferry back.  This wasn't so much fun the last two years so I thought I'd take the bus, get a seat on the right side window and sleep for the 3 ish hours back to Sturbridge.   I did get my desired seat, however, a very friendly and engaging investment banker sat next to me and we chatted about bikes, gear, power meters, carbon wheels, the best hills we've climbed, and the best bike rides we've done for the trip back to Sturbridge.

It was a great event.  It is an emotional weekend for me.  So many people have been impacted so many more people will be.

Relive it here.

That wraps up my 4th PMC.  I'm a few hundred dollars away from the Heavy Hitter goal.... so if you'd been considering donating, the link is here.  And if your company matches, don't forget to do that and let me know!  Seriously, don't feel obligated.

Beth, really it's hard to know what to say other than this is truly the highlight of my year.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Weekly Recap 7/31 - 8/4

So here's the deal, I get wiggy from time to time about big events.  Pan Mass Challenge (PMC) is one of the big ones for me.  There is just so much going on, between the anniversary of my mother's cancer diagnosis, and the constant nagging, is this the last one (sorry mom), and the fund raising, if I don't make my 4,800 goal the balance comes out of my pocket, (I made it), but then there is the can I make 7,500 for a heavy hitter designation.  I'm shy about $1,000 when all the matching dollars come in, so that won't happen.  I did get a $500 bonus at work; I could donate to myself and then double it, or I could do something for me for a change, or I could donate it to a local charity or another friend having a difficulty meeting a minimum goal.  Money is a constant worry for many people, and it tears me apart, and mine is about a charitable donation, somehow that seems really wrong.  I believe in the cause and the purpose.  The funds go towards lung cancer research at Dana Farber.  Maybe I'll just buy beer... yeah, right, it goes in the bank for retirement or layoff, which ever comes first.  Funny, I've not even had a second thought about riding 192 miles over 2 days.... I like riding my bike, it doesn't intimidate me.  Ask me to go on a run with you and I'll go apoplectic, it's not a strength.

I was looking for something else and found this.  Thought it was funny. 

Monday is a running day, I was looking forward to running.  I don't do much of it in the summer heat
so when I do it is kind of a treat.  The first three miles were like a knife through butter they felt good and smooth and then the last 3, and I walked 0.2 of them and turned off my watch while I walked them (oh hush, you know you've done it too to not make that over all pace go into the stratosphere - and even at my conservative pace I do the same thing, funny isn't it?).

Gus was totally not into a walk, but he walked a mile any how.  He wasn't completely into walking but was ok with it and much peppier when we turned towards home.  It happens.  Jax got out for a walk and was an angel, for Jax, which really isn't saying anything positive.  He will be 7 in September, and has mellowed greatly, still no where close to mellow.  For that, we are thankful.


Not a running day on Tuesday, I am digging.  I rode my bike into work.  A bit cool in the a.m. which says nothing for the guy that's out at 4:30 a.m. 365 days a year riding.  Who am I to whine?  I dread the rise in the first mile of the ride.  It wasn't as horrible as it usually is, so I am either doing something right or I really wasn't awake?  About 3 miles in I realized I forgot my ID badge and crossed my fingers Lenore was working the guard shack because she knows me and I didn't have my drivers license with me so I could get a Day Badge (or a Douche Badge as they are otherwise known).  Lenore was working.  John is on vacation in Ireland with the family so for sure my second possible option was not going to happen!!  I managed to get myself on to campus and into my work space but not into the gym to get ready for work.  The DB doesn't have my usual access only basic access, oh this was going to be a problem...  I managed to get in and cleaned up and presentable for work.

Boot Camp was killer, I've blocked it out.

Met up with Ro to ride to the Dog Watch Fun Run in Stonington Borough, fun ride.  It was just the two of us and we keep pretty good pace with each other.  We made it to Mystic just as the bridge went up. Ro said the usual group is there well after the bridge is back down.  Neither of us thought we were riding that hard, we weren't it was an average ride.  We walked with a couple other gals, I had my free beer and took the direct way home.  5.8 miles, who knew.  Usually, I meander my way home the long way.  Ro seemed really concerned so I wasn't going to do anything but go straight home and text her when I got there.

The Fountain in Westerly's Wilcox Park. Such a beautiful place for a stroll.

Hills with Ro is on tap for Wednesday.  She is still recovering from the Mount Washington Century and did admit they didn't start and finish at Tin Mountain but they did do that section the next day.  She said after you rode 108 miles you rode up that mile?  Yep.  That was the end I had to get back to my car and I was NOT going to walk any of that century +.  We had a good walk and I'm in for next years century.  I loved it the first time I did it and so what if it is the weekend before PMC, I could do nothing for the week and be ok for 192 the next weekend.  Right?  She wanted a less peppy pace, we were pretty on target of our usual pace, just a tad slower on the two last hills, but not by much.

This guy kinda scared me with all his accessories.
He was a super polite driver who stopped for people in cross walks.  Looks can be deceiving!

Boot Camp again on Thursday, at least there were no burpees.  Gus walk in the evening rounded out my activity for the day (well I did mow the lawn).

Chillin' on the porch watching the world go by.
Packing and getting myself and my bike to Sturbridge was all I planned for Friday.  A day of rest from time to time isn't a bad thing!

I'm publishing now, and updating for the PMC early next week.

Knitting:   Nothing....  not really surprising.

Books:  Started "The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead.  The story is about an actual rail road under the ground helping the slaves make their way north.  Currently Cora and Caesar are at a stop along the way trying to decide if they should stay and make their life in South Carolina or continue north.  Based on what's happening at this station, akin to the Tuskegee experiment and not many degrees of difference from the slave life they knew, I hope they leave soon and make it much further north.


Feet: 19
Saddle:  41

If this weekend goes as planned I will have surpassed my 1,600 mile saddle goal for the year!

Beth getting ready to ride!

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Weekly recap: 7/24/2017 - 7/30/2017

I ran one 50K with only a hydration pack guess this makes me a bad ass... ha ha ha once in a while I need to feel good about my minimal accomplishments amongst the masses of over achievers.

Trying to get back to a normal week, a week of travel throw me off, and one of the nephews visiting threw me even more.  I'm old and set in my ways, it's only going to get worse.

My right knee continues to be wonky, sort of collapsing like the joint doesn't exist.  I'll have to do something about this sooner rather than later.  Seems to be worse after a long bike ride.  I probably need to raise up my seat a bit to get more extension in my leg.

It rained on Monday and I do love to run in the rain and it was chilly, even better, I didn't have enough time to plod my usual route.  Got Gus out for a walk, the band and color guard were practicing at the High School.  The music caught his ear and the activity his eye so we hung out there.  I really am apprehensive of walking him too far from home.  He is going to be heavy (80 lbs) to carry back if Dave isn't home to pick us up.  I'm totally being overly dramatic, it will pass...

Gus, ogling the girls, like a dog.

A cool day on Tuesday, unfortunately not a running day, but a boot camp day.  The knee did the funky collapse thing, but I can't remember which form of torture, I think it was jump-squats.  Crap. Dave's nephew was staying for a few days, so there was some scramble to make up the guest room and after we took him to dinner I got Gus out for a later than usual stroll.  Gus didn't want to come to bed at the normal time, Nathan was far more interesting.  Both the dogs got me up at 2 a.m. to check on Nathan, of course.

OMG I can't believe how beautiful it was and this is so close to what we saw
Hills with Ro is Wednesday and it was nice to get back to the routine.  The knee didn't do anything funny, I was happy about that.  Dave and Nathan spent part of the day making a board game out of wood, Catan, it sounded similar to Risk.  Nathan was happy to have this and they did a lot designing with the CAD program and the CNC machine, making designs on the game pieces. I got to see if the pictures made sense.  Dave took Nathan out on a mountain bike ride, to get out of the house.  He came back unscathed, phew I was worried this was going to be a 'you break it you buy it' thing and we'd end up with a teenager.  The dogs were busy keeping an eye on Nathan all day so they were worn out and didn't come looking for a walk.

Between getting Nathan back to his father, and Gus having an appointment with his cardiologist early Thursday morning and me needing to go up to Amesbury MA to meet with my LUNGStrong team the day was kind of topsy turvy.  I took the day off, took a few calls, got Gus to the cardiologist.  Dave would need to wake Nathan up (teenagers sleep till the crack of noon, my parents were correct) and get him moving to then get to the appointment and then take him back to his father's.  Plus there was a ride with my riding team planned and I don't get to see them much as they are over 2 hours away.  The ride was canceled due to lack of interest, harrumph.  I took a ride locally and stopped for ice cream.  The drive up to Amesbury took an extra 90 minutes because of traffic.  At least I had an interesting book to listen to?  The knee got wonky after all that sitting, and this is what makes me think its related to riding because it had been since Tuesday that it felt wonky.  It was good to see my team.  The color on the shorts from last year was off so who ever bought them last year got a new pair in the right shade of blue.  I can't tell the difference, I'll have to line them up to see.  SO I'll be all matchy matchy for both days.  The new Jerseys are accented with a cool electric green print.

Relive the ride here.

For Aimee, my friend visiting last week.
After a long day, it made a tired start to Friday.  I went out for a walk run, I didn't want to do anything at all.  I knew I'd feel slightly better if I did something, anything.

Ahhh a blizzard, that would make me so happy.
The blizzard was such a tease, I am so disappointed, I was humored by the continued alerts from January.  I ran and walked and got in a 5K, I felt a little better.  Work would be great if it wasn't for people.

And work...

The Imaginary Husband turned 51 on Saturday, finally, he is back to being older than me and I get the benefit of his tales of experience.  Cue eye roll...

I puttered around with those "it only takes 5 minutes" chores that many people (ok maybe only me) let pile up until they are a good couple hours.  It was a pretty productive couple of hours making me feel better, funny how that works.   I knew I needed to wash my 2017 LUNGStrong jersey and the shorts.  I also needed to try out the shorts.  Last year I ended up with men shorts, the color was off so the company (Primal) gave us replacement shorts.

I took a short ride to see how it all worked together.  The men chamois was fine, actually better than all but one of the female specific chamois I've experienced, as disturbing as that sounds.  The women's was a bit wider in the ass, I'll need to make sure I have a few individual packages of chamois cream or make my ass wider?  Um, no.

I'll still bring my Voler shorts, I love them.

Sorry about that ramble....

I went out for a ride and all was ok.  The issues I anticipated with the initial try on of shorts were bang on, so I know how to manage them.  Saw one of the running club guys, running, of course.  Always nice to see someone I know.

Strava allowed for a bit of fun afterward.  Always a good time.

I can't find the other one where JHuckle said I had a bright shiny smile.
If I didn't know my purpose by now, perhaps it is to make Paul feel unworthy of being acknowledged by me
That was so horrible to type.

HA! This all goes back to a run where Paul was hiding behind Jenn and I apparently I snubbed him.  Jeff V was out in the middle of the road, plus I've seen JV towards me far more than I've ever seen Paul run towards me, so it was easy to recognize him as I was biking towards the group of three.

Of course, I also recognized Jeff H when I was out on the bike...  I can't find the convo in either of our feeds... oh well...  It was funny, trust me on this...  Poor Paul, it seems my lot in life to make him feel left out...

It was nice to have the opportunity to sleep in on Sunday, I couldn't, even with the imaginary husband feeding the dogs so they would leave us in peace and not have upset tummies for not being fed.

I got out for a ride to Napatree to talk to my old neighbor Tom Papadilla and to take a walk during high season.  Then pedaled my way home via Dusty's, nothing spectacular ice cream wise, however always interesting viewing the beach inhabitants.

Sampled Jeff H's home brew stout.  He better not let the housesitter let me raid the fridge!\

Wee bit fizzy settles quickly into a nice easy drinking stout.  Wonder if he needs a dog sitter for Shep and Maggie???


Feet:  23
Saddle: 79


OMG "Small Great Things" by Jodi Pioclult.  

It is hard to know what to say about this book. It is eye opening. I give this 4 because I liked it.

Why did I like it? It made me think. Really think. Picoult broke down, as best she could, for a white woman of privilege what it is like to be a black woman making her way in the white world of privilege. I had to really think about the definition of privilege during this book and after listening to the author's notes. Privilege isn't one sided and it isn't all encompassing it is made up of tiny small things that make a person life easier, make making it through a persons life easier. I am not a Cheryl Sandburg fan, I view her as starting life on third base and resent her audacity to tell me to lean in. To me, she has privilege, how dare she tells me what to do, she has not one single clue what it is like to start at bat, to start from the beginning.

People have commented on my privilege, I recall various comments made to me through my life indicating how much easier I had it than they did in one situation or another. Fair points and they always brought me back to ground level understanding that with what I have, I have a responsibility to bring people up, not put them down or use them as a stepping stone for me to rise higher.

That is the message I ultimately walked away with. We all have our perspective and we all have some form of privilege, it is our responsibilities to use these things to the advantage of all not just those like us.

Even for the main character, a light skinned black, her privilege over her dark skinned sister.

The story is disturbing and it is upsetting, it is real, real in terms of race relations, both inter and intra not changing much in 400 years.

Is it wrong a white woman wrote a book about a black woman's experience? Is it wrong gentiles write books about the Haulocost or being Jewish? Why? Something to think about.

I started "Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead.  So much for light reading....



Beth, not sure what to think about privilege.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Weekly Recap 7/17/2017 7/23/2017

Why do they call it Tourist Season if we can't shoot them?

I spent Monday - Thursday in NYC.  It was hot and smelly and awful outside.  Fortunately, I wasn't required to be outside too much.

Monday I had a meeting at a tricky time, either I left on the early a.m. train or a late afternoon train after the meeting got out.  I really needed to be on my game for that 30 minutes so I left on a late afternoon train.  As I drove to the train station, reflecting on, yet again, being a superstar (ha ha ha - like I could ever be that high on myself) ok having a good meeting with people who matter, I thought, oh shit I have my smelly wet running clothes in my gym backpack and they are going to spend the better part of the week baking in the hot car.  That is going to be disgusting, no uber disgusting or would that be meglo-disgusting.  I decided to take a chance and see if I could find a spot in the garage.  That ended up putting me on the next train, but I did get a spot and my clothes would only simmer not boil. And for clarification, it's the commuter Metro North Train, not Amtrak....  BIG difference.

My lunch run was hot and miserable, I can't believe people did speed work.  I could barely move my legs or breathe for that matter.

The train ride in was per usual, and getting to the hotel uneventful.  After I figured out where I was staying.  Why do I not check this stuff before I leave the office, rather than fighting with my work phone to divulge this data?

I grabbed a Corned Beef and a couple Guinness at Muldons, I love that place, so not pretentious.  While I miss Dave and the pups I do enjoy having a huge bed free of dog hair to sleep in.  My big plans to run the East River Greenway on Tuesday a.m. dwindled as I enjoyed lounging about and looking at the awesome view of Roosevelt Island and Queens well what I could see through the smog.

So no running, and enough walking to and from the office and to and from dinner to at least get my daily requirement of activity in.

I was up and at 'em on Wednesday to take on the East River Greenway, I stepped out into the lovely Convection Oven known as NYC at 6:30 a.m. Made my way down to the Greenway the passageway under the FDR smelled like urine, it was not pleasant, in fact, most of the smells in the city in the summer are not pleasant.  The run was uneventful and unexciting.  I went down 2.5 miles and turned around to come back.  That's the amount of time and energy I had.

Today was our team building, there are about 50 people in the group I work in, we are divided among four different functions.  I am lucky as I get to work across most of them and know quite a few people despite working not in NYC.  This summer's events were a charitable project for Free Arts NYC and then a team building event where we went to one of those escape rooms, this was called something different.  There were 5 different rooms so we were divided up.  If you've never done one, it is a really interesting activity on team dynamics and working together.  Our team failed spectacularly.  Between the Function VP and one of the folks who set up the meeting on the team, there was a lot of posturing going on and not a lot of listening.  So no, not a lot of team work.  Of course, I pointed this out from time to time and was ignored.  I let it drop once our VP Maggi finally caught on.  She is a lovely woman and has a heart of gold and is so frigging sharp me harping on this point would have backfired epically.  Fortunately, with age comes the wisdom to FINALLY realize when to let something go.

It was an awesome event and I'd love to try one of those escape rooms again, especially now knowing the format.

My plans to go to the 102 floor of the Empire State Building after dark were thwarted by my desire not to cook in the Convection Oven aka NYC Streets.  I've been to the top in the daylight, I think at night it would be amazing.  Fortunately, this is an option 365 days a year and in the fall when the sun sets earlier I can do this after an NYC work day.  She says optimistically!

Thursday isn't typically a running day and it was even hotter outside.  I went for my meetings and caught an early train 4:42, making a stop at The Beer Table for some Train Beers.  High-class train beers, for sure.  I saw and Evil Twin Maple Stout in the window and for whatever reason, their logo looks like EyeWitlin to me and when I said that the guy looked at me like I was an absolute moron.  He was COMPLETELY correct in this assessment, however, he did manage to get the beer I was interested in and his co-worker helped me pick out a couple more.  I'm sure I'm now one of those people they laugh at.  Totally fine, because really, it was pretty funny and I clearly wasn't paying attention and made words up!  Ha Ha Ha

It was nice to be home and unpacked before 8 p.m.  My colleagues on Amtrak didn't get in until 9:30 and it was after 10 before most of them made it home.  While being with the unwashed masses on public transport isn't always fun, it can be more efficient.

Friday is a running day, and I ran, and I also stood under the outdoor shower at Eastern Point Beach.  I think I will continue this until someone makes me stop.  Sure my shoes squished a bit on the way back to campus, they will dry.  That 1.6 miles was probably the best of the run as they were into the wind with the wind off the water and I was wet with water instead of sweat!!

Dave, the Imaginary Husband, was up and out early to ride Case Mountain (I don't think it's a real mountain, but for CT is it??) on his Fat Bike because something broke on his regular mountain bike and he was too wussy to ride his single speed.  I asked if he got two spares parts instead of one to ensure what ever it was didn't break again.  I surely am NOT winning wife of the year award, that was never my goal in life anyhow!!  HA!

It was up to me to make my own coffee and feed the dogs.  They were happy with my usual generous portions and I was happy with my extra scoop in the coffee bean grinder.  I wrote down the 'correct' grams somewhere, but who knows where those are.

We all had a lovely breakfast and I went out for a ride.  I really need a century (100 miles) for July, and clearly, that wasn't going to happen on Saturday.   I opted out of George's drop Century ride, on the DROP portion of it.  I can drop myself quite easily on a century and with this hell like weather I wasn't going to set myself up for failure.  George assured me I'd love the ride and keep up.  I, well, I have my own doubts about my abilities on the bike.  I left early for me on Saturday, crossed paths with coworker Dan (I'm sure he had no idea who this biker was cheering him on) and several other nice runners a few bad bikers and quite a few nice bikers.  Bad bikers are the ones who pass you and never say "on your left"  I have yet to do the Strava Fly By to find out who the jackasses are...  I may, I may not.  For Christ sakes, bikers have a bad enough rap with car drivers don't fuck with your own kind on the bike and be an asshole.

Relive here.

I did something I never do and that was stopping for lunch.  The lunch, if it was a regular lunch was unremarkable, probably horrid, but after a few hours on the bike and not having breakfast it was delightful!!!  I enjoyed people watching and then pedaled my way home, to ensure I could stop by Grey Sail.

OMG, they had Black Mast Porter on tap and I was happy!  I'm really a dark beer fan....

I enjoyed my ride and ventured home.  Still getting there before Dave so I mowed the lawn.  It was my turn....

Not exactly recalling the events of Saturday night so they must not have been impressive, so on to Sunday.  Dave had no plans and I was going out for a ride.  Not sure how long.  I pedaled along on some familiar and unfamiliar Rhode Island roads.  Thought about it and really wanted to edge the lawn, it was both perfect biking and lawn work weather.  We get so few of these days in July I was very torn.  I ventured on a road I wasn't sure where it went but really should have known!  HA HA HA, sometimes being a Midwesterner in New England sucks, no grids!!!  I went North, into the wind on RI112 and realized where I was actually heading.... shit,  I hate riding on RI138 and really don't want to back track and ride on US 1 in the summer at this time of day.....

I tried a cut through, it turned dirt with a steep rocky up hill.  I turned around and braved RI138 till I hit a familiar road and then braved the craptastic Woodville till I could get off that and head towards home on Tamaquock road.   It was after I got off Tomauaog that an obnoxious person in his huge white with a brown stripe truck decided to torment me.  I turned into a driveway with an open garage and pedaled in like I lived there.  I figured the homeowner would accept my explanation better than the giant asshole in the big truck trying to be intimidating.

Relive here.

All the while I was riding I was thinking of edging the lawn.  I do love this job.


For a week being in NY, I accomplished more than I expected milewise.

Feet:  22
Saddle: 102


I continued with  "Small Great Things" by Jodi Picout.  Wow.  This is truly disturbing subject matter. It was a hard decision to leave my iPod in the car and not listen to this book in the hotel room.  We can tell ourselves things are not the same as when my mother was a young girl, I really seriously wonder if there has been any progress.


Nothing, nada, zilch.  

Beth, wow it's Wednesday, this traveling stuff really throws her off her game

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Weekly Recap: 7/10/2017 - 7/16/2017

And another week starts.   Monday was humid and warm, I won't say hot even though it was.  I'm not going to whine and complain like SOME people when it is cold and they wish for the HHH.   I did ask one of his running partners to whack him on the back of the head anytime he complained about the weather he pined for in the weather I so dearly love.

And anyone else that runs with him, please do the same.  I'm not fast enough on my feet to keep up.  Maybe I'll bike around with a whip?  he he he  (see he really needs to resume reading my blog, for warned is for armed???)

So Monday was weird, I felt like I got a good nights sleep. So apparently I didn't work hard enough on the 100K bike ride?  But then again it is a nice change of pace to sleep after a long day.  I didn't get around to jotting anything down so from memory it was hot and humid on Monday and I was miserable and tried to stay near the water and try and not bitch about it too much or punch Mikey who likes this weather.

Got Gus out, the humidity is still too much for him and I'm still really nervous about him passing out last week.  We had a nice walk and there were so many white dogs in the park it was kind of fun.  It is too soon after Gizmo to start the pre-grieving process I go through with the pups.  I'm really not ready for it.

Met up with Faith on Tuesday for an 'easy' 30 minute run for her.  She judges 'easy' on heart rate so we kept it in range by walking a bit. I was fine with whatever, Tuesday isn't a running day and it was nice to spend time in the miserable weather with someone who was just as miserable as I was.

Met up with Ro and Pam for the Dog Watch fun run, we walked the 3.1 miles and I was fine with that.  I'm getting my miles in this week.

Wednesday was going to be just as miserable as the rest of the week and I did a stupid thing and attempted the hill loop without Ro and running it.  Gus wasn't getting out, and he was pissed.  I think it rained, I'm not sure.  I am sure he was pissed.

Hoped to ride in on Thursday but that didn't happen for whatever reason, could be rain could be who knows, could be the heat and humidity.  Ro and I went out for our flat loop and both were happier for that and the brief breezes and shade the loop offered us.  The rain was coming and the temps were dropping it was near 60 when I got home.  Gus and I got out for a much needed and peppy walk.  Such a happy boy he was!

Friday's are never my day, I'm tired, and really didn't want to run but I did and the weather was conducive for it.  I went home and took a nap, the boyz swapping out snuggle time.  I needed that nap.  Not sure what it is about Friday, I am a disaster by 2 p.m.  Gus and I got out for a bit of a longer walk.

Run with the Beavers trail race on Saturday!  I have wanted to run this race for years, one thing or another got in the way, stupid other races, stupid vacation with the in-laws, stupid injury, stupid fear, like I said stupid stuff.  And even more stupid was dropping to the 5 mile.  I could have done the 10 it would have been painful.  In hindsight I'm glad I dropped down, I got to spend some time with Julia who I never see.  We connected in 2011 with my first 1/2 marathon I ran with Team Lung Love for the Lung Cancer Alliance.  It was a race I was so NOT prepared for and really launched me into for real training.  In the process of training for the second 1/2 the next May, and raising funds for Lung Cancer Alliance I got the bug to do my first marathon, with Team Lung Love, of course.  And this also started my blogging in earnest to record my training.  Julia suggested it as a way to enhance my fundraising.  It never panned out that way, however, it was a great way to see what others were doing and eventually meet many of the people's blogs I followed and who followed mine.  Julia lost her mother to Lung Cancer and was looking for an outlet to raise awareness and worked with Lung Cancer Alliance to create an endurance team focused on fundraising for their mission.  I haven't talked much about cancer lately, I did use to quite a bit.  It's on my mind daily, either my mom, my family, and my friends.

Where was I going with this?  Yes, Julia saw I posted I was going to this race and she was interested, it was the day of her birth, and she is a spit fire powerhouse on the lookout for ways to celebrate life, was it technical, she had just done the short course at Exter and found that technical (rooty and rocky).  This got me on the trail of finding people who had run both Exeter and Beavers and their opinions.  The opinion was Beavers was more technical, was she still interested.  YES!  OK, no time like the present to toughen up one's ankles.  I honestly don't know from technical.  I think that everything is fun and the rockier the more fun.  My focus isn't on racing it is enjoying the experience and maybe just maybe exploring places on my own, with my uber-faulty sense of direction!

We talked on the way to the race, and how to find this place, I said 151 Pulaski and it will show up as either Glouster or Chepachet, both will work.  So that put her mind at ease.  My GPS says Glouster, her's also.  We met up before the race start and chatted a bit I introduced her to who ever wandered by.  She was curious about Leslie O'Dell, the superstar runner.  After the race, I had the opportunity to introduce them and they had plenty to discuss.  It was kind of fun knowing I know someone she wanted to meet.  Yeah, I do get star struck with all these super fast and super cool runners I know.  I'll admit it.  The thing is though, they are all such awesome people it makes it even better to know them.

That was a complete nonsensical two paragraphs, or three?  The race was awesome, it was great to see Julia, it was great to see everyone and put new names and faces together, although I did get them all mixed up.

Photo by Scott Mason
I was a bit humid and he was in a great spot mid way up a small rise
An evening of sampling Vermont IPAs (IKR, me and IPAs) with another couple, Dave mountain bikes with Bill and Dace (which is Latvian and sounds like Dutzy) is his wife.  They are a childless couple our age with a love of rescuing dogs.  The IPAs were ok, I can't remember the one I really did like, I didn't get a picture for the beer page, whoops!

Usually, I wake up ready to go on Sunday, none of us were having anything of getting out of bed, or even crawling into bed for scratches (Gus).  Partially it's the week ahead being spent in NY and totally messing up my lunchtime runs.  I am going to make such a great grumpy old lady, aren't I?  Plus I am so behind on my bike miles.  I got out for a 30-mile ride, not even close to what I needed for elevation, but I did have a girlfriend and her husband and one of her kids coming to visit.  Her daughter Lauren lives in NY, sort of west of Westchester County CT.  And they were visiting Lauren and wanted to see RI. meet the dogs, and see if this husband actually existed.  I was the avenue to do these things, ha ha ha.  Aimee is a breast cancer survivor.  They caught it pretty early, it had spread to her lymph nodes, surgery x2 and chemo got everything and she has been clean for a year now.  Last time I saw her she had no hair, she has hair and has had several hair cuts.  I remember that was a big deal for my mom too.

She made me take my baseball cap off...

It felt like there hadn't been time and distance and we were teenagers again.  But then I walked into a room with a mirror.  It was great seeing her daughter all grown up.  I remember when the twins were born, I was in Grad school in Ohio and Judy and Tammy were visiting and we all rushed back to Michigan to see the first babies (Lauren and Amber) of our group from High School.


I've done nothing but look at it and say, I really should.


I finished "Lilac Girls"  I should start over from the beginning.  What an awesome novel, well told and documented historical fiction.  At the end, the author's epilogue gave details on what was true and was not and where she enhanced the story.  It was an amazing book about a horrible time in history, also one I love to know more about and three very different woman's experiences.

Caroline Ferriday, a New York socialite and philanthropist; Kasia Kuzmerick, a Polish prisoner at the Ravensbrück concentration camp for women; and Herta Oberheuser, a Nazi doctor at Ravensbrück. How could Caroline be so selfless, how could Herta be so heartless, and how could Kasia ever move forward.  Caroline and Herta are actual people, Kasia (and her sister) were a combination of several of the 'Ravensbruk Rabbits' the author researched.

A wonderful book that would invade my thoughts and dreams, I am sure it still will.

I started "Small Great Things" by Jodi Picoult.  This one may disturb me more than "Lilac Girls".  The subject matter, race, privilege, and prejiduce, sounds gut wrenching.   Probably more disturbing as this is a current event.


There has been planking, I've not been recording it.  I should get back to that.  Recording it makes it happen.  Not sure why I fell off the wagon.

Feet:  37
Saddle:  30

Beth, happy to finally get to run with the beavers, although the beaver didn't show up, maybe next year??

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Weekly Recap 7/3/2017 - 7/9/2017

One of those odd weeks with two Fridays!  I couldn't take off Monday and waste a perfectly awesome quiet day in the office.  It was me, the intern, and the brit.  I went out for my lunch run and the intern had left for the day and the brit was head down elbows up doing his best Schroeder imitation on the keyboard.   This was nice it gave me time to think through a project I am really not invested in, those suck, and I have two of them.  This one just needed a kick in the pants, to get me pointed in the right direction.  Fortunately, some feedback from a co-worker on my initial communication really helped me get some forward momentum.

It was hot for my run, it is late morning in July, kinda typical.  I was slogging along my hip flexors very not happy with me.  I can't imagine why?  100 miles on the bike in two days?  Eventually, they shut up and felt normal as did everything else.  My turnover was super slow, and my heart rate stayed low, which is actually very good.  I was going to head back after 2 miles, but the breeze off the water at Eastern Point was pretty nice, so I ventured off to Avery Point and it was just as lovely.  On my way back I debated doing another lap at Eastern Point and saw Dawn and Beth out with the same kind of melting pace, we high fived each other and this really perked me up.  They are out there getting it done!  I did the lap at Eastern Point Beach, wishing the gal that sits in the admission booth a good afternoon, and decided I'd take the long way up the hill and not the short way.  Pretty happy with all of this especially when I hit the top of the hill and had the last few 1/10's of a mile downhill kind of in shade!

Relive the run here.  I really do get to run in a pretty spectacular place during working hours.  Nothing to complain about!

After realizing I didn't get my day to myself on Tuesday, I got out of bed when Jax woke me up and fed the dogs and tried to maybe fall back asleep.  That wasn't happening.  I was in the mood for some Dave's Coffee and a muffin.  Not exactly in the diet plan, but then what really is?    I got up got dressed pumped the tires, faced a bleary-eyed Imaginary Husband questioning what I was doing.  "Going on a ride, to the beach, not sure where else, see you in a couple three hours."  I really wanted the peace and quiet of being with me, myself, and I before an afternoon and evening of his people.  I'm cranky like that or use your own c-word, I really don't care.  They aren't my people, my people have their own quirks, not being flexible to allow a working person to be home well before 8 p.m. to decompress enough to get to sleep at a regular normal time, isn't one of them, they are totally hip to your schedule.  Perhaps being from uber-schedule orientated genes on both sides really helps with respecting a person's personal schedule.   Perhaps being from a lay all the cards out on the table sort of people makes a difference in figuring out what will work for all the people, not some of the people?  Yeah yeah, I get it we are all different.  I wholeheartedly believe in being honest in what you want and expect will get a group further than going with "my way or the highway" as option A.

I had a lovely ride, it was as I expected with lots of cars, a few impatient people, and gridlock at the intersections leading to Misquamicut.  I got out to Dave's Coffee, there was a line!  I have never seen a line.  I have seen these guys and gals in action so I knew it would be quick and painless.  It was!!!  A Cold Brew coffee and a Blueberry muffin and I was happily ingesting sugar and caffeine via the muffin and the coffee.

The day with not-my-people was fine.  We are all different and our ability to integrate with not-our-people says a lot about a person.  The Imaginary Husband hasn't been to MI in a decade...

This cracks me up every time we pass it...
If corn oil comes from corn does baby oil come from babies?
Then old man oil comes from old men?
A late night, we did get to see some fireworks on the drive home, I really wanted to leave before dark because, "amateur night". It's the New Year's Eve of the Summer; a day spent drinking at the beach and then navigating home after fireworks.  Oh yeah....

I wasn't really in the mood to deal with people on Wednesday, fortunately, Jackass is with his not my people in Pittsburgh, Number One Smart (#1SG) guy was in, and still on the high from his daughter's wedding, so he was fun to be around!

Ro texted they were back from VT so hills were on.  I was a little bummed to not run, but once we got walking and talking I was so much happier to spend the 5.6 miles with Ro.  Such an awesome friend.  Someone who you can say anything to and talk about anything, definitely glad I pursued this friendship.

Gus went on the Sotalol, this is a beta blocker and it will even out his heart rate. Lots of hoomans take this drug.  We will be able to increase his activity, slowly, and soon I'll have my hiking buddy back.  I'm not kidding myself that this isn't serious, however, there is no point in him not having fun, life isn't so great if you aren't having fun.  He will get another 24 hour Holter monitor test in a few weeks and nothing further has been discussed on the mass on his heart.

After 6 years of walking by this statue, Jax finally noticed and was all WTF is that guy doing on that rock??
Happy Thursday isn't a running day, Rachel begged off Beer'd and I'm not disappointed. I'd rather go for a ride after work.

Circuit Class today, Addy killed us again, I have a feeling my shoulders are going to feel all the flys and overhead presses.

New bike shorts were in the package on the porch when I got home.  They were ok, a little big in the waist and longer than I'd like.  But I think they will work for long rides.  I'm super picky and they don't accentuate my pooch so I'm ok with them.  Plus they don't make my legs look like overstuffed sausages.  Where are all these thighless women bike shorts seem to be designed for?  I went out for a 20-mile ride, nothing spectacular, mostly to see how they rode and what the chamois did or rather didn't do (shift).

Got the boyz out for a walk, Gus seems to be ok on this Sotalol dosage, after a whole 24 hours we won't know anything, it takes a few weeks.

He enjoys smelling flowers?

The last thing I wanted to do on a rainy Friday was to get out of bed and go to work.  I didn't really even want to run, but at 10:45 I picked up the backpack and headed to the fitness center before my brain even realized what I was doing.  Guess that's a good thing?  My run was nice, it was a bit rainy and then not and then misty.  Saw Mikey and the boys out on their run.  Sarah stayed in, Mikey tried bullying her into going out and she stood her ground!  Good for her!  Don't let those boys bully you!  Finished up the 10K goal for a Strava badge.

Gus got a walk after I got Friday afternoon nap and dinner.  OMG I wanted that nap ever since I woke up, it was grand!  It has been too long since Friday afternoon nap.  The rain stopped but it stayed misty most of the afternoon and into the evening, and for our walk.  We need the rain.

Not sure what it is about Saturday's lately but I don't want to do anything.  I go to bed Friday night sore with plans for an awesome Saturday and wake up not so sore and unmotivated.  After basic housewifery and cleaning my road bike (Ruby) and messing with the tubeless tires on the mountain bike (Barney).  I did not know I needed to pump them up and spin them to get them to reinflate... so that's fixed and now I can take Barney out again.  I was feeling too lazy to load Barney up in Eddie and go out to Barn Island so I took Ruby out for a quick spin along some favorite roads.  That seemed to pull me out of whatever the hell this Saturday blah feeling is.

Early to bed and up early on Sunday to drive out to Caramel NY to ride the Tour de Putnam with Tanya!  This is her neck of the woods and she has come out to mine twice to swim for the Rhode Warrior 1/2 IronWoman relay while I biked and we managed to sucker someone into that horrific run.

It was a great ride!  I don't get to ride with people very often so it is a treat!  Relive it here.

Gus got a walk and didn't pass out so I'll call that a win!  Let us make it until fall when the weather is more suitable for a boxer and then he can run and jump and play and what happens happens.


Finished "Boston Girl" by Anita Diamant, a story about a woman's life very well told and enjoyable.

Started "Lilac Girls" by Martha Hall Kelly, stories from my favorite time periods to read about, the Holocaust, Nazi Germany, and WWII.  It's not a favorite time period, I love reading about the time period.  The perseverance and senseless tragedy.  I'm really drawn to this time period and the stories about the heroic women, fiction, and non-fiction.  What strikes me about this book is the three families of women and their friends, very female focused book.


I really am not making much progress on anything.  I did get some buttons to sew on sweaters, and there they sat there mocking me until I sewed on some of the buttons.  It is hard to think about sweaters in this weather.


Feet:  24
Saddle: 136

I have fallen off the daily plank wagon, however, I do them after I run....  1 min each side and 1 min front or 30 front and 30 back.  My back planks need a lot of work!

Not unhappy about the low feet mileage, however, I will be after Run With The Beavers next Saturday, biking is more fun for now.

Beth chugging away