Sunday, March 26, 2017

3/20/2017 - 3/26/2017 Crazy week

Crazy week…

Monday I drove back to RI, it was an easy drive, seriously easy drive, scary easy drive.  Even the usual frustration once I cross the Hudson River didn’t happen.  Wow…  I’ve been doing this drive for 18 years, nice to catch a break?  Hopefully the universe isn’t being sweet and nice while preparing something horrible for me.

Gatsby my parents super sweet nice cat

It was nice to sort of sleep in on Tuesday, get some chores done, go for a lovely run, then take Gus out for a hike and later on Jax for a walk and finish up the last of the chores.

Sunshine the antithesis of her name.
She is evil.
I sleep in her room and she is not happy about it.
A few years ago there was a series of Wicked Windy Wednesdays, they seem to be back, 30 MPH sustained winds with gusts, from  the NW so I decided to run hills.  The hills I run are to the North, a nice added challenge, the way back is nice, with that feeling of someone gently pushing your lower back and moving you forward.  For the horribly steep hills the West wind helped ease me along, so that was nice.  Spin at night.  No dogs walked, I was tired and my hip was aching.

One of my favorite Calvin and Hobbs!

Off to NYC for the day on Thursday for what is turning out to be a fun and exhausting project.  We got our beers and on to the train.  I had time to walk the pups, it was national puppy day, how could they not get a walk?  Despite waking me up at 2 a.m. to go potty Gus did get to join in on the walk.  He is so concerned he is going to miss pre-bed treat time.  He isn't.  I didn't check on his progress getting out the dog door.  He hung out in the basement for a few and then clambered back up-stairs. He got his treats, went to the Gus Hut and then at 2 pranced and stared me down till I woke up so he could go out.  Grrrr....

I slept really well and woke up pretty refreshed on Friday, considering the 2 a.m. wake up prance and apparently, as reported by my imaginary husband, tossing and turning and blurting out snarky comments in my sleep (no it never stops) I guess I didn't sleep to well the previous night.  He said it is preferred to me swearing like a sailor or singing (I can't carry a tune in a bucket).

Strength and Conditioning replaces Core and Functional Strength, it's all drills. My shoulder was feeling much better after a bit of a break and minimal planking.  Gus and I got a hike before dinner and that was enough aerobic activity for me.

Gus on the very edge of the ledge at Riverwood Preserve.
I think he does this to freak me out.

Strava has a new feature, or I just noticed it because they sent me an eMail...  either way it was pretty interesting.  I have been using a heart rate watch for a while now, and this is how it collects the data to tell you about your Fitness and Freshness.  You can include all activities, or running or cycling.  I haven't used a hr monitor on cycling for a while, just for spin class.  I took those readings out and it dropped by fitness by 6 points, which is fine.  Maybe I'll record my HR on my road rides and see what that does.  Just have to figure out how to not have the miles count double. I probably won't, one more thing to deal with.   Anyhoodles, this was the graph it gave me for the last year.

The yellow line is where I stopped running and started Physical Therapy for my hip injury.  My fitness level was over 100% based on their measurements, my fatigue was even further off the charts, kind of makes sense.  Once the running stopped the fatigue slowly dropped and the fitness plummeted, which doesn't give me a lot of faith in these measurements, they would be based only on walking when I used the HR monitor watch.  I can't remember when I switched to the Garmin Vivofit watch which I wear all the time, so those measurements may be more accurate?  Dunno.  I have been feeling much more fit and before I went to MI I was feeling fatigued and welcomed the break, probably too much sedentary, but this too will be over come.

All in all it made me believe that what I have been feeling and seeing in my pace and my overall fitness is in fact real improvement.   I'll probably forget this even exists until the next time Strava blogs about it, but for now, it really does look like a shit storm was brewing with my injury!  Validation?  My hip still aches from time to time and I still ice it after hard efforts or when it is achy.

I do wonder if categorizing my dog walks and hikes as running skews this measurement a bit....  all in all I believe it is moving in the correct direction (or in corporate speak directionally correct - directionally isn't an actual word).

The other thing that happened on Saturday was the Brrr-lingame 10 mile trail race.  I debated on switching to the 5 mile versus the 10 mile race.  I decided not to so I was going to do the 10, and then nearing mile 4 I was pretty much going to DNF until this girl zoomed up on me out of no where and I asked if she wanted to pass, she said no, please no, don't make me pass, I like your pace and I was just sure I was the only person out here.  I said "well ok, please let me know if you want to pass, you really did zoom up on me, you must have energy"  She assured me she did not and please let her tag a long I was helping keeping her going.  I admitted she was keeping my pace up (and this is evidenced in the increase in speed from mile 4 to mile 5).  I was debating the whole time on dropping at 5 miles.  Then she said are you running the 5 or 10 I said 10.  Well now I was stuck, damn it....  I encouraged her to pass me as she approached the finish line and wished her well and she thanked me for keeping her going.  Once I was out of sight of everyone I walked.  I walked a lot in that second lap, it was 11 minutes slower than the first lap!  I'm usually a 1 - 2 minutes slower on the second lap!  Whoopsie, totally dogged that lap.  ;)

There are 5 miles per lap

I did it, this was my longest trail run since Big River last April, and my longest continual run since I went out with the hip injury.  I knew going into this 10 on the roads was going to be a stretch, 10 on the trails was probably borderline silly. I needed to do this, period.  I did it and I'm happy I didn't DNF, and was able to work through some serious side stitches in mile 4.  Mostly I'm thrilled to have helped someone get to the finish line, that really makes my day!  I may never see this gal again, or I may, earlier this year I had a woman come up to me and thank me for keeping her going at the Resolution Beach and Trail 5K the previous year.  I did remember her, she was pretty pregnant at that race.  She thanked me and it took me a minute to recognize her post baby!

We all have different reasons we train and race.  As long as those reasons make us happy and keep us moving forward that is all that we should be concerned with!

After a fitful night sleep I woke up Sunday to the gloom and no energy.  Fortunately not achy from Saturday's effort!  Small win I'll take it.  I pottered around all day, accomplishing the annoying things needing to be done and knitted.  Jax and I had a power nap and Gus stared on jealously.


The sweater is shaping up nicely, after finishing the back, I picked up the stitches for the collar.  Not one of the more enjoyable parts of knitting.  The collar is a wide shawl collar and the back of the collar is a bit longer than the sides, so I worked those short rows up on Sunday and I'm pretty happy with how it is looking.  I'm a bit nervous I am going to run out of yarn.  I have 4 balls left, two for each sleeve has to be plenty.

The front -- it will be long sleeved

The back

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn  -   I hated the main characters, they were horrible people.  The book wasn't a bad book the story was well done, although it did seem to wrap up super quick, most things were drawn out in the book but the ending was BOOM and done.  It was a well written book with great twists, although a little too much gore at the end.

The Old Ways: A Journey on Foot by Ronald Mcfarlane - Very much a change of pace book, discusses the old lanes, paths, broom-ways, roads, etc traveled by foot in England.  


Feet: 32
Saddle: 15

Nothing stellar, still figuring out how to get it all in with NYC for one day a week.


  1. I don't think I want anything that monitors my fatigue. I feel it, I know it's there. I want it to go away. In all seriousness, tho, I'm going to get out the HR monitor and start working on doing some HR training.

    1. I'm not sure if you check comments or check that little box, but I have seen a drastic improvement in my stamina with the weekly hill power walk, a 14ish pace is nothing to sneeze at with the route we walk. I'm hanging my hat on that as a driver of fitness, 'slow' and solid helps. Good luck! I look forward to reading about your adventures in HR training!

  2. Congrats on Brrr-lingame, Beth! That course is NOT easy. It just wears you out and chews you up. You're supposed to hurt on the first lap! If you don't hurt and question your sanity, you're not running it right. Anyway, that is a pair of brass ones to run your longest run in a long time at that venue. Cheers!