Sunday, May 21, 2017

Weekly Recap - 5/15/2017 - 5/21/2017

Someone turned the heat on this week, I'm not pleased.  Guess it's part of the cycle of the climate?  Looks to be a small blip into these wretched temperatures, and by wretched anything over 75 meets that mark for me. We all have our own benchmarks!

I'm back to running on Monday, it was in the 50's and raining, well only sprinkling then the sun came out and it got warm, a pleasant warm with a breeze.  I managed 5.7 at a reasonable pace.  Definitely felt the Dirty Girl 10K course in my calves.  My right one was the most prominent in the ouchie department.  

I've never been in Manny's but he has great signs!
As the day progressed my allergies went bananas... lovely.  By the evening swallowing was difficult and I was sure I caught Stupid Cold from Stupid Husband.  Sleep was fitful. Even with a triple dose of Cetirizine and vitamin I, blech....

I started Tuesday grouchy with a scratchy throat and a nose like a faucet... of course, I went outside for a walk at lunch, versus taking a class in the gym.  It helped, mentally, not physically, to be outside.  I planked along the shore to get in my daily minimum of 3 minutes of planking.  I surprised Stupid Husband when I came home early to nap, he actually seemed a little sorry he may have given me Stupid Cold.  

One of the views from my at work runs
Took Gus out to the woods, because that makes dealing with pollen overload that much better.  

Seemed like Wednesday started out a bit better, less scratchy throat and eyes and more snot fest.  Seriously, this is ridiculous, this is why I'm not a fan of this weather.  Made it mostly through the whole day of work.  Slogged through Wednesday Hills, well they were fairly average, not a slog.  So I've got that going for me.

I knew Stupid Husband was going biking and hoped he would be gone before I got home.  He wasn't.  I did manage to knock his bike over as he had it leaned up against the front door.  Who does stuff like that?  Stupid Husband or people who don't realize there are other people in the world?

One left after this one.  So tasty.  So not available here...  :(
Jax and Gus got a walk, we enjoyed our quiet time.  Well after Jax treed a squirrel and tried to pull my arm off getting him.

The temperature went up and I stayed inside for HEAT Class on Thursday, even upped the heavy weight to 15 lbs.  We did a circuit of 11 weight exercises 10 repetitions and 1 1/4 mile run four times for class.  It was fun.  It was better than sweating in the oven outside.

Took Gus to the beach for the first time in forever.  We used to go all the time in the winter, mostly because it was easier to keep an eye on the nut cases, not sure why we fell away from our 'family' beach trots on the weekends.  Things change, I guess.  I took Gus out to Quonnie which is usually a very quiet beach we can walk to the breachway and back for a 3-mile walk.  I used to take the dogs out there quite a bit.  Once summer comes they can't go to the beach so we do different things and when fall comes around it is nice to be in the woods and the beach gets forgotten about.

Gus at Quonnie!
A little part of me melted overnight and I woke up Friday knowing that Saturday was predicted to be in the mid 60's and I would be happy again.  That is probably the only thing that kept me going, even through a sweltering 5-mile run where I stuck close to the shore to stay cool.  I could feel my speed sagging so I did telephone pole pickups to boost back up my speed and not be a total slug.  It helped, it helped a lot.  I've been told that helps, huh... it does.  Better keep that in mind.  It's not too far between telephone poles, or a Bill corrected me Utility Poles, so I'll keep that in mind when I'm slogging.

The fountain in the park, so eerie, and also reminded me of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil
Muwahaaaaa
Took the boyz out after it got dark for a short walk,  they are a pain in the ass otherwise.  They slept and the temperatures dropped and we were all quite happy on Saturday morning, even when I was up and moving at 6 a.m. to be at Faith's by 7 a.m. for a bike ride.

Me Joe and Faith in the back
Jess up front!
We had a nice 43-mile ride and there were opportunities for me to burn off some extra pent up speed, ha ha ha.



Gus got a hike and collected three ticks.  Dave let one of the ticks Jax collected loose in the house.  Ugh..

Up early again on Sunday for Tour de Lyme, I rode the 58 mile loop and Dave met up with some of his mountain biking buddies to do the 28 mile mountain bike loop.  The proceeds go to the Lyme Land Trust.  There are truly beautiful places in that area.  The road loop is very hilly, over 4,000 feet of  climbing, you seem to be always climbing, there are only a few long sections to cruise.  This was the 3rd time I've ridden this, the second time the whole loop.  The last year (2015) I rode this I skipped the last loop.

My first 100 mile week of the year, there need to be many more of these, probably not that much elevation with every ride!  I was so beat, the gut punch is the mile long climb at the end of the ride.  You are so ready to be done at that time.  I toyed with the idea of adding on 4 miles to get the Gran Fondo (100K - 62 miles) for May.  I can do that next weekend on the nice flat shore!!



Dave decided we needed to do lawn work.  I requested specifics on this.  To me this is mow and trim, to him this could be anything from that to raking the whole yard, to moving stones, to planting, to digging and moving dirt.  He and I, surprisingly, were on the same page, I mowed and he trimmed.    

This was super tasty, hope there is more on Thur for the Beer'd run!
The dogs got a quick walk and we went to the movies to see Smokey and the Bandit, yes that one from 1977!  TMC is doing re-releases of 'classics' on the big screen.  It was fantastic!  I was close to begging off but movies back in the good old days were well, good, and 90 minutes and not full of graphic and other nonsense.  This did not disappoint.  I remembered seeing this at 'the show' in the little town I grew up in, they had $2 movies all second releases. It was fantastic!  Next month is The God Father and Some Like it Hot!   

Books:

I finished "A Confederacy of Dunces"  Oh this is good, hysterical, very entertaining.  I have no idea why I picked this one up and I am glad I did!  Yes Muddy, Ignatius is incredible, the picture I could paint in my head had me laughing a lot.  Myrna and Irene were fun to picture.  Totally and incredible find!

I started "1984" by George Orwell.  Krikies, it's been years since I've read it and it is eerie and terrifying.

Knitting:

Nearly finished the left sleeve on the sweater.  Started the cuff and if the weather is supposed to be as bad as it is predicted I'll get that done and start on the right sleeve and catch up on Blindspot.

Mileage:

Feet:  35, only 16 running.  I do need to get that up to 20...
Saddle: 100, on target for May, I did enjoy my back to back ride, but not sure if I can do that every weekend.



Sincerely,
Beth, totally craving one of those maple glazed bacon donuts!!!

Monday, May 15, 2017

Weekly Recap - 5/8/2017 - 5/14/2017 - Big 50 and a Race!

I thought for a while I was never going to get the 7 Sisters mud out of my feet!  It seemed permanently embedded despite all the scrubbing and soaking.  Ewwww gross I know!

Since I was a slug on Sunday, I ran on Monday and felt pretty good about it.  Seemed rather surprising, but really Saturday wasn’t a lot of running, just a lot of I don’t even know what to call it.  The run felt good and I was glad to get out in the cool air.  Why can’t it always be like this?

Polly Coon bridge on the left, the gate thingy is on the other side, someday I'll remember to get a picture


Gus got out for a trip to Grills, I wasn’t sure where I wanted to take him.  I thought about Woody Hill but there is something going on there and walking through soccer fields while kids are playing would be inappropriate.  Gus is fascinated by the Polly Coon Bridge.  I don’t know exactly what it is.  The weaving to get onto the bridge gets him a little flummoxed but once I go through first he is right there ready to pass me and then stops at the top of the bridge and watch the river.  Maybe it’s the noise his claws make on the aluminum bridge maybe it’s the water, I’m clueless.  So we hiked up about a half mile and back out, I think we may have been trespassing, we weren’t on marked trails and popped out into someone’s back yard, oops!  Then back to the bridge and at this side doesn’t have the weaving thing (what would that be called) and he could jump right up on the bridge and prance to the center and watch the water.  Getting back off wasn’t a problem, he remembered to weave through the posts and not try and fit through the openings on the thingies he needed to weave through.   We attempted to complete the blue trail but it was flooded, really flooded so we turned around and went back the way we came and investigated another unmarked trail.  Looks like it may have been a tow path at one time?  Not really sure.

Tuesday was my big 5-0!  I actually slept past 6 a.m. and woke up at 8 terrified I had just slept through my birthday.  The white and black alarm clocks decided to sleep in or not to bug me, I’m not sure.  Either way, it was quite surprising to sleep that late.  

Dave took me to breakfast, we never go to breakfast I thought that would be better than dinner.

I took myself on a 50K bike ride and got a flat.  WHACK I hit something and the back tire went BOOM then fwapa fwapa fwapa.  Well crap.  Took me a minute to remember how to change the tube, once I got the tire off the rest of the process came back quickly.  Couple times dropping and then having to find small parts, like the valve stem which isn’t THAT important but the nut that holds the back wheel on, well that WAS important.  It tried to run away!  Got it all assembled and pedaled the rest of the way home, 10 ish miles, with no problems.  Guess I changed the tube correctly.  Glad I had a tube.  Dave’s comment to my scratching my head about changing my tire was “If you can’t change a tire you have no business being on a bike.”  Well ok then…  (I don’t disagree with him, it was so abrupt and harsh I had no witty retort)

Parts all over the place.
It's amazing how much I forget and then once my hands start the process; how much I remember.
I had to retrieve the lug nut from the ditch behind me, whoops, butter fingers!!


Enjoyed my day very much and Dave baked me a carrot cake while I was out on the bike!  Whoop!!  Dogs got a double walk, Jax was being a jerk… no real surprise there Gus was being tolerant, he usually lets Jax do what he wants, and waits, impatiently to get moving again

My Mom gave me this cake plate for my birthday years ago.
I love that he remembered and used it.


Back to the same old same old on Wednesday, no Ro to run the hill loop with, I managed a pretty peppy pace on my own!  Fastest time yet running the loop. No dog walks.  Nice quiet solo evening and two bored dogs.

Welp, 50 should plank for 5 minutes?
This was a bit of a struggle.


HEAT class, Thursday, at the gym, Tabata protocol.  A Tabata is a set of  8 20 second work 10-second rest, then 1-minute recovery between each set of 8.  We do something similar in spin, the 1-minute recovery is a very active recovery, in class, we didn’t do anything for a minute.  For the 6 exercises push-ups, burpees, curls to overhead, jumping squats, mountain climbers, and finally triceps it was a good class.  Wonder how much of this I will feel at the trail race on Saturday.  Fortunately, this is a trail race, not a mountain race, well it’s on a mountain just not scaling the, from Strava looks like less than 1000 feet of elevation gain.  Ok, I’m not terrified.

This photo reminds me of a pack of playing cards my paternal Grandfather snuck to one of my brothers, it had scantily clad girlies.   My brother was so in awe!!

Board meeting at night, one of the officers brought, beer, real beer, and of course I managed to spill part of mine all down my shirt.  Keeping it classy!  Gus got out for an in town walk, he was bummed.  Maybe I’ll get him to the woods on Sat or Sun, depending on the blasted rain.

Friday morning was a panic of packing for the trail race in New Hampshire on Saturday.  I could stop back by home on the way up or not, it’s easier to make sure I have everything and just leave from work. This is especially more important as Dave has a cold, ugh… How inconsiderate of him.  (ha ha) I’m glad to be gone for two days of that and hope he didn’t infect me, probably did, bastard.  I wondered why he had been slothful the last couple days.  He needs to stop hanging out with people with kids and/or school teachers, they are germ factories.

Realized I hadn’t submitted my April expense report at work and that I could get reimbursed for my tolls for the drive to NJ.  Tolls around here are no joke.  It was $17!!  And I noticed a lot of activity on Dave’s EZPass…  Dave was home then.  He didn’t loan it to anyone, whoever pinched it is certainly having quite the time driving around MA/NY/NJ/DE.  $64 and I may not get those charges reimbursed.  Kinda glad I got the reminder to submit my April expenses, could have gotten a lot more expensive, at least now any charges I won’t be responsible for.   I love how so much is digital, and hate it all at the same time.

My drive to New Hampshire was uneventful.  I made a pit stop at PVD Donuts, very good!  Not your traditional donut.  Got to the place I like to stay.  It reminds me of the apartment I had in grad school, I think it why I like the Scenic Inn in Conway.  It is about the same size, except the apartment had a much smaller bathroom and a kitchen.

Maple Bacon.
It was delicious.


My trip was to run the Dirty Girl 10K trail race on Saturday, put on by 603 Racing, Leslie O'Dell as the race director!  Rachel and Scott also came up from Rhode Island, Rachel to race and Scott to take pictures.  Even better, I got to meet Hoop in person!  I really really enjoyed this race!  Especially once I got out of the herd, I actually passed people (!!!  IKR  !!!)  and once I got where I should be three gals and I were passing back and forth.  It was challenging and fun and had a very runnable section, a perfect mix of everything for 6.4 ish miles (I had 6.5 on my space watch).  My goal was 1:30 I didn't adjust for the terrain, 1:45 was B goal and do not die was the usual C goal.  1:44.17  full results here.  B by the skin of my teeth!!!  I was spent and the run up to the finish was agony!  Definitely on the list for 2018!!  The Turtle (Rachel) only beat me by 3 minutes, whipper snapper!!

Scott Mason was there to take pictures.  He generally takes a shot making me look like a complete goofball, and I love it!

Wheeeee!!


The sound of the rain on the copper roof is really soothing to me, I got a really great night sleep.  Gus did his best to disrupt my sleep, well he wanted Jax's spot and once Jax moved Gus settled in.

After a morning of rain and watching the weather it was time to make a decision and get out in the woods.  I saved Jeff Walker's latest foray out into Barn Island as a course and intended on seeing if I could follow it via Strava.  Well, it worked.  There were a few times I had to turn around after going off course.  I generally 'do' Barn clock-stupid, and I couldn't figure out how to quickly reverse the route to make it more familiar, so I did it clockwise and it was fun.  We hit lots and lots of mud and running water what with a night long rain storm.  Gus was quite pleased.  He got a bath as soon as we got home.  He wasn't so keen on this but was happy to be white white instead of white gray.  He thanked me by dropping lots and lots of fur during a good grooming.  He manages to hold on to his fur until the last possible minute and drops it all at once, leaving a big white furry mark!

It's mud Beth, get over it.  -- Gus


The sun came out after a while and Dave and I tackled the yard, Bob's side of the lawn is growing like crazy, he fertilizes, we don't...  So something had to be done with the knee deep section of lawn.  We got through that and vowed to spend a couple hours next weekend doing more clean up work.  The good thing is my haphazard flower beds are really starting to fill in and now we need to find some ground cover to take over the lower beds, we intended on making them some outdoor space and that is just not happening.  We live in too crowded a space to have outdoor space we'd both love.  We do need to move and get a house more out in the country.  We haven't made any plans but I've picked out a few roads I'd like to live on.

Books:

Finished:  "White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America" by Nancy Isenberg.  Feh, it was billed as "In her groundbreaking history of the class system in America, extending from colonial times to the present, Nancy Isenberg takes on our comforting myths about equality, uncovering the crucial legacy of the ever-present, always embarrassing—if occasionally entertaining—poor white trash." Not to my eyes/ears it was a been there done that of popular and unpopular culture.  The only gem I did glean from this was America was Britan's dumping grounds for their unwanted.  Bottom line, either you love this or you don't; there is very little middle ground, which also seems reflective of the political and social climate we currently experience.  Maybe I need to work on MY middle ground?

Started: "Confederacy of Dunces" by John Kennedy Toole, Walker Percy (Foreword) This is truly interesting/hysterical,  Kennedy Toole finished the manuscript, committed suicide and his mother set out to get his book published.  Percy was dubious, yet compelled to not set down the manuscript.  And that is exactly how this novel is reading/listening.  I want so badly to hate the characters, yet I can't, they are such buffoons it is so not reality and so entertaining Kennedy Toole uses every stereotype in the book to grand excesses and I can't help but snicker or laugh hysterically!  Perhaps because I am listening to this it may be funnier?  The narrator does a really awesome job.

Knitting:

The sleeve is progressing nicely and I should be able to show a finished next week!!

Mileage:

I got my mileage back up, but my biking needs to be hitting the 100-mile mark, not the 30-mile mark.  That can start happening now that my 'races' are mostly over.

Feet:  37
Saddle: 31

May 11th was Strava's bike to work day, it was miserable cold when I woke up... I opted not to.










Sincerely,
Beth, excited about the new decade!

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Weekly Recap: 5/1/2017 - 5/7/2017 and a 7 Sisters recap


Oh, Monday Monday….  I took spin, I knew running would not be enjoyable in the least.  Spin was barely enjoyable!  The two walks on Sunday did help work through some of the stiffness post-race.  Spin did help going down stairs my legs were less grouchy.    Gus was on a mission for his walk, intervals seemed to be on his mind and we’d go super-fast for a block and then stop and check pMail and then off again at a breakneck pace.  And it went on like this and my encouraging him to turn towards home was being completely ignored, so we walked 3.6 miles, fortunately between a turning car and an opossum the right turn (away from home) I knew he wanted to take was forgotten about.  He did try and turn me around when he realized we were on the way back home.    Silly Dog.


Gus!


Tuesday Faith had a 30 minute easy run on her schedule so we met up for 3 miles, easy for her, well medium for me.  It was a nice relaxed run, and I felt much better.  SO much better I went for a bike ride, a very speedy bike ride.  And  I didn’t walk the boyz so they were ticked and decided that 2:30 a.m. would be a good time to be awake, ugh.  The ride was nice and was speedy, managed 30.4 MPH on a flat section of the road!!!  Woohoo….




And guess what Wednesday my legs felt like lead, well duh….  I slogged through a 3-mile run vowing to take it easy until 7 Sisters.  With rain on the horizon for Thur and Fri, that probably will be the case, maybe some rowing, maybe a class?  Gak, I’m sure none of this will result in crashing and burning at 7 Sisters, that, for me will mean getting out of my own way.

Dave and I went out for a Mountain Bike ride, I very much enjoyed this ride!  Unfortunately, no dog walks again, they did let us sleep, so that was lovely.  They were probably tired from not getting their usual 20 hours of sleep?





Decided Thursday would be good for the Strength and Cardio class at the work gym, interesting workout, decreasing reps of weight exercises and increasing cardio, kind of a ladder? I know it was nice out and not raining and I missed a good running day.

With the rain expected now for Friday I got out of work early to take Gus on a hike and scrub off some of his old guy energy, apparently, they become seniors at about 7 or 8.  Gus is 10 July 16th this year, he is nowhere close to being a senior, age is just a number.  We did the hilly loop of Riverwood Preserve.  We went clockwise this time.  Gus was full of energy scrambling up the ledge and then much to my horror jumping down.  He weighs 80 lbs,  he would be very heavy to carry out!! 


Gus, way in the upper right after scrambling up the granite ledge

It had been two days since he was out, a combination of me wanting to do different things and not taking the time to get him out for a walk.  And with the pending rain and my pending disintegration at 7 Sisters, it was really a good idea to get him out and get me out to test out the Inov-8 one more time on ledge, granted it was dry, not slippery ledge but I think they are gummy enough I shouldn't have too much of a slipping problem like I did with the La Sportiva.  

Jax got out for a walk to and around the park, for the 1.3 miles this is it can take forever, Jax likes to smell and observe his surroundings.  I do my best to let him do what he wants, it is his walk.  I won't let him chase other dogs, people, trash, cars, or cats.  He thinks I should.


Jax stalking Yoko, the crazy orange cat


Took Yoga on Friday, that was nice.  A long day at work.  What is it with people who need to make their lack of planning an emergency on my part at 3:30 on a Friday? To bed early to meet up with Jonny and Crutch to carpool to 7 Sisters.


Jax noticed Gus lost a piece of kibble and he will stand there for as long as it takes a Hooman to move the feeding station so he can get at the kibble.

Saturday was my second attempt at completing the 7 Sisters trail race.  Trail race really is a misnomer, this is a mountain race.  It rained the day and night before, making the Mt. Holyoke range very wet and muddy and slippery and sloppy.

I made it further than my last attempt, but still, I haven't completed.  

I got out to the turn around with 20 minutes to spare (I had 2.5 hours to make that point) and contemplated just calling it quits once I got back to the Mountain House because at that point Jonny and Crutch could drive up to get me.  If I would have finished I would have been out there for 5 hours, possibly a bit more.  I really didn’t want to spend the rest of the afternoon getting back to the start, frankly.  I enjoyed the out and on the way back I caught up with a couple and we were all having a grand time joking around.  The gal suggested we call Uber, I said I have a credit card.  At that point, the guy she was with was totally hurting and really couldn’t hobble to fast.  

We got up the stairs to the Summit House at the 3-hour and 6.66-mile mark, and I was glad to call it and have my bib pulled (for a second time with my second attempt at this race) and get a shuttle back to the start.  At the point, I got to Jonny’s car I was at the 4-hour mark I figured it would take me to complete the out and back.  I think, had the conditions been better, I would have picked my way up and down the remaining 6 sisters and finished.  The amount of slipping and sliding I was doing was getting to the point of falling seriously or doing the splits and I am not that flexible.


And that's how I feel about the 7 Sisters


Jonny looked miserable when I saw him.  I felt horrible for him and knew I wasn’t alone.  Crutch was his usual happy self, he really enjoys this and does really well with the steep climbs and descents. Watching the front runners run down something steep and slippery with no fear is truly amazing.  Seeing the tremendous amount of talent in the top 20 runners was amazing.  Those men and women have an amazing talent.

Bottom line, it really isn’t my thing.  That said I would love to go and complete the back part of the course so I can say that I have fully completed 7 Sisters.  Preferably on a dry cool day, not a humid wet day, emphasis on the wet part.  It is truly beautiful with amazing views.  I think 600 runners on the course at the time really destroys the course too, I wonder how long it will take till it comes back, that breaks my heart to see trails abused like that.

I'm not ruling out mountain races, shorter, I think 6 – 7 miles is a good distance for me with that amount of climbing.    We all know our limits and I’m more one to stay within them rather than push and go up to or over the edge.    Hell maybe someday I can convince someone to come with me and spend the day hiking out and back, I imagine that would take 6 – 7 hours at a conservative pace, and taking the time to enjoy the views.  Probably not a bad way to spend a nice cool and dry spring or fall day.

And on Sunday I did nothing more physical than a short hike and enjoyed being a slug the rest of the day. 

Knitting:

Got the sleeves of the sweater started!  Yeah Me!


I think I'm really going to enjoy wearing this once it's finished!


Books:

White Trash is still slightly annoying, I'll finish it.  The author seems to want to place blame and can't decide which political party to blame and then when she decides she then contradicts herself.  This is really not what I was expecting.  Yes, Mom, I know you enjoyed the book!

Mileage:

Low on the run side shy of 23 and higher on the saddle side 42.  Planking is going well probably need to up the ante a bit.




Sincerely,
Beth, happy to be in one piece!


Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Weekly Recap 4/24/2017 - 4/30/2017

Awww you guys and your comments are THE BEST!!!!

So this was going to be a weird week with travel mid week then the NY for the Shape Women's Half Marathon.  I'm running it with some co-workers.

Usually, I'm pretty diligent about updating my online diary here every day.  Now I'm wracking my brain trying to remember what happened on Monday...

Oh yeah, meetings, meetings happened on Monday.  I managed to get home and get out for an hour on the bike.  Man, I needed that.  The rain was scheduled for the next two days, plus that whole driving to NJ thing...

The bike ride was good.  Ruby was scrubbed pretty clean and had a freshly lubed chain and we enjoyed our meander around Westerly.  I think the rain started just after I got Gus and Jax out for a short walk after dinner.   They have been doing remarkably well together in the nearly two years I've been walking them together.  I'm glad I took the chance on double dog walks with two very differently mannered and personality dogs. They do balance each other out.


Ying and Yang



The rain was coming down in buckets on Tuesday, I think, or wasn't it?  I can't remember any more.  I don't remember having to use and umbrella to walk into work, but I do remember having to use my windshield wipers on the drive in.  Went out for a run at lunch.  I am so lucky I have this option.  The weather was great, till it wasn't.  A few sprinkles and I thought wow if I ran faster I'd be much closer to campus and whoomp there was the rain.  Fortunately not a cold day so it was enjoyable.   The rain meant no dog walks so I spent the evening with the boys and the Furmanator.  I think this causes, even MORE, hair to come out, but whatever.  They enjoyed the attention.

Knowing I have this 1/2 marathon on Sunday I really shouldn't run 5 miles at a time, save some energy, however, I was so anxious about this meeting in NJ, I needed to do something, 3 it was and that helped SO much to calm me down on Wednesday.   The drive to Short Hills was unexciting and the evening activity went well.

I didn't sleep enough, which I knew might happen, but once I finally fell asleep I did stay asleep, so albeit short it was a decent sleep.  There were no catastrophes, which is good, it is hard to control the events at a public meeting.

Made plans with Rachel to run at the Beer'd fun run on Thursday.  It starts at 5 which may be why I've never put this fully on my radar.  It was a fun run.  You donate $20 to Running for Rescues, and you get a 20 spot card, you run the 3.2-mile loop, and go back to the brewery, get your card punched and get a beer and enjoy being smelly and sweaty with other runners.

Got home with enough time to grab something quick for dinner and take the boys out for a stroll.  We went down the path Gus and I discovered a week or so ago.  Jax was glad for some new roads, I think he gets bored easily?  I'm pretty sure he doesn't see well because he kept lunging at rocks or pieces of asphalt.  Or Gus goaded him into it by perking up his ears and when said thing didn't move Gus gave up and Jax was ready for it to scurry away so he could chase it?  Dunno...  They are endless hours of amusement, for sure.

Friday isn't a running day, although the weather finally looked spectacular.  Circuit class it was and I felt remarkably refreshed after class, huh, didn't think that would happen.  I'll get in short run walk sometime tomorrow, probably after I get to NYC.  I may get sick of Central Park by my second lap on Sunday, but probably not.


These are "money plant' biennial flowers.  A since passed co-worker gave me the seeds years ago.
Slowly they've been filling this bed, as they grow every other year, one year is full and the next not so much.  
Rest In Peace Mimi, your flowers live on.

Got Gus out to Riverwood Preserve for a hike, he was lagging behind, it's tough for them, Jax was the same way on his hike in Arcadia, lagging behind with the warmer humid weather.  Although Jax will take a break and lay in the water.

Jax, he is not a dummy!

After finishing up most of the chores I do when I have a plethora of nervous energy I left for NYC on Saturday.  I didn't get a run in the park, but I did bring stuff.  The 3-mile walk to the YMCA and the post-dinner walk were enough activity.

Yes, the YMCA!  I stayed at the YMCA on W63rd it was extremely inexpensive and easy.  Since the race was at Central Park, across the street, no sir!  Yes, Sir!  Granted it is a sleeping room but I decided to splurge and get a private bathroom.  Well, it's a shared private bathroom, but no one else was in there but me.  It was like a high-class dormitory is the best I can describe it.

All I could think of was singing the song and remembering my mother telling me about my Uncle Bob dancing to this at all the family weddings.  Hard to believe he's been gone 10 years this May 2007 was quite a year...

I had a lovely dinner at P.J. Clarke, when I travel alone I sit at the bar to eat.  This time was no exception.  I picked that restaurant because it seemed like something my Mom would enjoy going to, for the history of the place.  I sat by a lovely couple, well she was lovely, Thelma-Louise and her husband, Dennis, Dennis was a dirty old man, funny, no doubt he was funny, and I have no problem with the dirty old man part, he was well into his cups at that point also.  Thelma-Louise has her handsful with her third husband, it was the third marriage for both of them.  They've been married 13 years.  I said, well third times the charm?  They thought that was good.  They may have been telling me stories, who knows.  It was far more entertaining than playing WWF or on FB during dinner.  The food was mediocre at best, the atmosphere made the meal for me, the atmosphere being the regulars of Dennis and Thelma-Louise, the bartender assured me he was harmless.  HA!  How funny is that!!??

Up and at 'em Sunday to find coffee and a bagel before the race (Shape Women's 1/2 Marathon).  Not a problem in NYC finding either.


The flowers were so beautiful in Central Park

I debated on a race recap.  I can boil it down to my goal was 2:30, I finished in 2:27 on my Garmin, I've yet to look at the official results.  I gave myself permission to walk the second lap of Harlem Hills and I didn't.  I started falling apart a bit in the last 5K and held it together and finished happy!  I'm very happy with my performance. NYRR (New York Road Runners) put on a fantastic race, they have every detail nailed.  The weather was perfect, cloudy, the temperature was in the high 50s, light breeze, trees, and flowers all in bloom were beautiful however played a bit of havoc with my sinuses post race.  Could not have asked for a better course, scenery, and volunteers.  


Gus sporting my Medal!



Gus took me for a nice walk before dinner, which was a GIANT hamburger.  Fortunately he was very nice and didn't make me walk very fast.
Books:

I finished "Just Mercy:  A Story of Justice and Redemption" by Bryan Stevenson.  The injustice in our justice system is appalling.  I wonder how many innocent people have been incarcerated for life or put to death at the hands of a corrupt system of white men.

On my quest to get a better understanding of things I don't understand I started "White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America" by Nancy Isenberg.  So far it reads like a dissertation by an Ivy League white northern never venturing more south than the Hamptons.  Surprise!  The author was educated at Rutgers and University of Wisconsin - Madison, and currently teaches at the University of Louisiana.  I'll keep at it, but I think this may end up being mostly anecdotal quips with no real analysis based on some of the reviews I've read.  Damn...  I was thinking this would complement "Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis"  by J. D. Vance with scholarly research and analysis.

Knitting:

Finally got the button band bound off now to start the sleeves! 

Mileage:

This was a pretty high mileage week for me, feetwise, not so much saddlewise.  

Feet:  40.9
Saddle: 15




Sincerely,
Beth, feeling confident and looking forward to the next challenge!

Monday, April 24, 2017

Weekly Recap - 4/17/2017 - 4/23/2017 (possibly an offensive rant)



Catching up on other's blog, there is always something that sticks out to me or reminds me of something I said with a lot of passion.


"Well, anybody can jog or walk a marathon and not pass away, but to run/race it with gusto, you have to suffer every time." -- Muddy Puddin'

The Boston Marathon was Monday.

I have a tremendous amount of respect and awe of this particular race.  You have to meet a standard to even apply to run Boston, and that isn't a guarantee you get in!  Could this be construed as unfair?  Perhaps.  Personally, I'm not all about a trophy for everyone. 
Skip to ENDS if you don't want to read my opinionated rant... Fore warned is fore armed!

I've nothing against charity running, I've done it, several times, two half marathons and two marathons, and now I bike a charity bike event, my team was formed specifically for raising funds for lung cancer.  I have a tremendous respect for those who do this.  What I have equal respect for is the sanctity of the Boston Marathon.  It is an elite event, one you qualify for, one you train for, one you race with gusto and you suffer.

Not everyone qualifies for the Olympics, right?

Several people I know were charity runners at the Boston Marathon, I donated to them, either for their cause to show support for their efforts or both.

It became clear one of these charity runners was only in this to say:  "I ran Boston".  The training commitment wasn't there; the commitment to the charity was non-existent, the injury list became longer and crazier as marathon Monday approached.  They made it to the start line and were disqualified when they didn't make the cut-off for a timing mat.  Seven hours and many facebook posts later they crossed the finish line and someone gave them a medal. (There is so much wrong with this picture) 

There is being a tourist in races to enjoy the scenery and the experience (me, usually) or being a tourist by walking 26.2 miles, and believing they are justified to be pissed off that everyone went home.  This annoys me, no this chaps my ass, and there I said it.  It annoyed me long before Mikey qualified for Boston, however, missed gaining entry by 8 seconds, and was it one of these charity bibs?  I dunno, however, that is what it is most easy to direct my disgust towards. 

If this makes me a horrible human being, so be it.  I'm a horrible human being.  My mother has assured me, in general, I am not horrible, however when I whine, weelllll then I'm really not very likable....

Anyhoodles, it takes a lot of time, energy, concentration, and dedication to training to run those paces to qualify in your age bracket.  Boston is for the elite, and those who treasure what it means to them and to the running community, not a means to get a BOSTON STRONG 26.2 tattoo...

Guess I wasn't quite done, I certainly am opinionated, yes, and everyone is entitled to their own opinion.  This is my space to let out my opinion.  I'm not lobbying for anyone to agree with me on this point.  Or argue with me.

ENDS

After an eating, standing and being uncomfortable, trying to make awkward conversation with Dave's brother's wives and the three teenage girls and the 6-year-old boy (I seem to do best with the boy) fest at the in-laws, I woke up in a grouchy mood on Monday.  No surprise there, except Dave always seems to be surprised by my surly attitude.  I was awake well past 11 p.m. I stood in his mother's kitchen for 5 hours trying my best to be the good daughter-in-law, sat and ate for an hour, and then drove home,  Welcomed, after 10 p.m. by starving dogs who didn't know if they wanted to be fed or go to bed because it is way past dog dinner time and dog bedtime or be mad at us.

Yes, yes I don't like my time taken away from me and get nasty about it from time to time.

After I got off the bike on Saturday, I was cold and hunched up in the shoulders and managed to tweak something in my neck, so I had a stiff neck on top of all this.  I couldn't turn my head to the right, so of course, people wanted to stand to my right to talk to me.  They got a lot of side eye, and it all wasn't just because I couldn't turn my head!  Fortunately, Amy was in the gym today and she could straighten me out a bit and ordered me to ice my neck. UGH, I know heat feels better, however, ice is healing.  I obeyed Ms. Sharp Elbows and dealt with the rash of crap the boyz gave me.  I did get in a very very short run, and it felt good to be outside and moving.   

Nope, still surly....

Gus got a walk, we explored a new path I've been observing being built.  I kind of thought I knew where it went, and for the first time, probably ever, I was correct. It dumped out into a dead end in a ‘subdivision'.  Kind of a nice distraction from the usual routes we take.  Lots of bunnies! Gus was quite interested in trying to chase them!  My right arm is now longer than my left!!  ha ha ha


Ok maybe a teensy less surly....

After a reasonable night sleep, Tuesday wasn't so horrific, or I wasn't so horrific, other than it being tax day.  There were still a couple three numbers Dave needed for his portion of the taxes.  These required me to make a few phone calls and deal with some uber helpful customer service folks!  All in all not bad and I became slightly more informed and thanked the uber-helpful customer service gal!!

I really really didn't want to run, and that meant I really really needed to run.  The 5 was completely average and instead of the usual clock-stupid direction around Eastern Point and Avery Point I ran clockwise.  This also afforded me to not run into the icy south wind coming off the Long Island Sound.  Good grief I work and run in such a beautiful place during the week.  I was a little more able to turn my head to see over my right shoulder to not get smacked by a car, so this was also good. 



My planking was particularly good, yeah me.  I'm really thrilled I'm sticking with this.  If I gave up the beer I might even have enough confidence to run in a sports bra!

The evening switched back to cool which meant both dogs came to bed with me, Jax to find a warm spot to snuggle in for the night and Gus to wake me up at 3 a.m. because he was cold and I needed to do something about this.  Dogs are perpetual 2-year-olds, aren't they? 

Fortunately, Wednesday didn't start as abruptly as I expected it might, my 3 a.m. wake up decided to snuggle in with his face on the pillow and not his butt and fart, thank-you Gus for that small favor?  Yes, not letting dogs in the bed would also solve that problem, however, they are boxers and very much pack animals where togetherness is essential.  Meanwhile, Dave had his half of the bed all to himself, lucky him.  And really, besides being a horrible human being, I love my dogs and love snuggling with them, no matter what.  Well, not so much after they get skunked.
Sleepy Jax!

Ro and I did our last hill power walk until June!  She and her boyfriend are going out West for 6 weeks for some epic rafting, biking, hiking, and skiing adventures.  We were talking about how they first started talking about this trip and it seemed so far in the future, and now, here it is, they leave on Sunday.  I'll miss her while she is gone, and I'll enjoy seeing her and her boyfriends' adventures for the next 6 weeks.

NYC for the day on Thursday.  We met with the team lead and she very awkwardly asked us to 'slow your roll' for a month or so, we were getting through the documentation too quickly and they couldn't keep up.  Huh, well that certainly is an interesting turn of events.  So we will have our Thursdays back for the next month and go from there.  We think this may be a two-month hiatus, just in time to be in NYC in the dog days of summer.  I'm happy to get Thursday back at least for a few weeks.  The project is mentally exhausting and it takes us till Monday to feel right again.  It's nice to use the old brain for a new experience!
This cracks me up, Jay takes Blossom for a walk and Yoko (the crazy orange cat) tags along for a stroll!

Sluggish Friday was met with rain and a circuit class; I'm enjoying the strength training.  Based on how much I didn’t feel the workout on Sunday, I need to up the ante to 15 lbs as my heavy weights.  Work consumed me the rest of the day.

Either Friday or Thursday I threw my hat in the ring for Seven Sisters, this was the beginning of my undoing in 2015.  I'm healthier and in better shape, I may not have the miles under my belt, so recovery may be a bit tender and extended. 
This is more because I did give up during that race, and I know why I gave up.
I've dealt with that demon.

I met up with a friend to bike in Mansfield, CT on Saturday.  When I got up I did the usual weather check and the rain was going to hold off until 3 p.m.   Well that changed on my 50-minute drive out to meet Jess.  We had coffee for an hour and took the time to chat, which was really nice, so much easier than talking while riding.  I have to say that I'm glad it turned out that way!  The weather app said the rain was ending so we went out.  Well, THAT storm ended and a new one started.  We soldiered on. The course seemed to be a lot of downhill in the beginning... and we were both a bit bummed it was raining and slippery and best to ride the breaks down the hill.  Eventually, the rain slowed, after pounding for a bit, and the uphills started!  HA HA HA!  It was such a beautiful ride with an enjoyable companion I'm happy I went and didn't bail because of just a little rain.

The rain followed me home... oh well.  Ruby needed a good cleaning, she was a disaster!
Oh my poor bike, so gritty!

Finally feeling normal and getting a good night sleep Sunday was fun.  My legs felt like lead from the cold wet ride on Saturday, I managed 6 and that was good, it should have been 8, Gus took me on a 2 mile cool down walk, and later we went on a 2.25-mile hike. 
New outdoor dog beds.
Jax is a little dubious, they both came and laid with me on the one I took the picture from.
Then they were happy and both checked out the other one. 
Soon it will be warm enough for sunbathing.

Knitting:  

As expected I managed to nearly complete the button band on the trip up to Worcester to visit the in-laws. 

Books:
Finished "Wilde Lake" by Laura Lippman, it moves slowly in a delicious sort of way, never rushing never feeling like you HAVE to get to the next thing, it unfolds just as it should.  Even the ending, she finished the book at the same cadence, and it ended and I didn't feel like I was exhausted with the sprint through the finish chute, it ended just as it should end, slowly fading away.  I really enjoy Lippman's writing style.
Started “The Scribe" by Matthew Guinn, another one that is evenly paced in its writing and how the story unfolds.  A murder mystery set in the Reconstruction Era. A very interesting story set after Atlanta burned.  So far, this is excellent and accurate historical fiction.

Mileage:

I knew going into this week it was going to be a low mileage week, sort of a taper for the 1/2 marathon on the 30th and sort of a result of my general mood and available time.
Not quite 20 running and not quite 9 walking with 23 on the bike.  Planking is good.  All in all, for my general disposition I got a lot done.






Sincerely,
Beth, onward with a better attitude (finally)...