Monday, May 29, 2017

Weekly Recap - 5/22/2017 - 5/28/2017 interrupted by a rant....

There was a lot I wanted to say about Tour de Lyme but never did.  I was whipped when we got home and then yard work?  Seriously...    And I read my recap, missed a few errors before I pressed PUBLISH, whoops.

So here goes:

It was a great ride, it isn't easy, for sure.  I loved it, loved it more than the first two times I did it.  Definitely on the list for next year.   I wonder if in the fall it would be easier as I have more miles in the saddle by then? 

But really top of mind is:


A couple of the riders had back blinky lights on their bike and their helmet.  I did catch up to one and talked to him for a bit.  As a driver and a rider, I thanked him for his commitment to being seen.  I have a front and a tail light, I have a bit of bright color in my LUNGStrong riding jerseys but should have something additional.  Fortunately, it has been chilly out and I can wear bright orange or pink long sleeves under my jersey and that helps.  I know it makes me crazy to not be able to see people riding, walking, or running on the roads.  When I'm riding, walking, running or driving.  ESPECIALLY driving.  

As Dave and I drove on Town Woods road (to set the scene: narrow windy uphill shady) to the start of the event, there was a biker, in a fully black kit with a black bike and maybe some color on his helmet.  No light, no nothing.  I guess he expected in the very shady road we could see him?  I dunno.  Dave made his usual comments about roadies and I do my best not to react.

Seriously, people, do you want to be a hood ornament?  Do you want to walk straight into me with my ginormous headlamp and flashy red light and light reflective vest when I'm walking 160 lbs of dog in the dark hours?  Do you want to startle me in your black (because it is so slimming) running gear that I nearly hit you because of the surprise of all of a sudden seeing someone appear in my headlights on the side of a windy road on a moonless night?  Do you want to get clipped by a vehicle because you can't be bothered to be seen?  Really this can't be just me.  Who out there has been startled, or surprised by a walker, runner, or biker, blending into the scenery or road colored, and for that matter cars!  OMG turn on your damn headlamps when you drive a road colored car.  Please?  Pretty Please?

Running & Riding Ramblings:

Monday I ran, that was foolish, I was exhausted, Monday is a running day, but after 100 miles on the bike, nothing was happy.  For all my complaining, the short run did help sort things out for me, I am not really great about hydrating while I bike and that has some residual impacts...  I think it was raining, so no dogs got walked, they were miffed, really miffed, like storming out of the room miffed.  They vacillate between behaving like teenage girls and 2-year-olds.

Seriously, You aren't taking either one of us anywhere?

The weather was decent on Tuesday, or was it?  I really have to get better about making daily notes instead of ranting about not being able to see people.  Got out again, Tuesday's not a running day, I was still not feeling very peppy, got a little further than Monday.  No energy no breath no nothing...  took Gus out to Woody Hill with a new place to park and explore.  It was fun, we saw lots of interesting things and recognized places we had been before.  Eventually, I'll be able to assemble some sort of 3-mile loop for Gus for the warmer months.  He really tuckers out quickly when the temps are about 60.  I pulled plenty of ticks off of us before we got in the car and still had more to deal with when we got home.  Ugh..

The "fort".
Oddly it looks inhabited, we didn't get very close.

Hills were on tap for Wednesday and I'll admit I still really wasn't feeling it, but went and got it done, a little lethargic yet not feeling totally spent.  Saw a friend, her daughter, and their pup out for a lunch time run, that was nice, cheered me up a bit.  And saw them again on their way home!  The hills were good, a little slower than I am capable of, not horrible though.   

Left work a little early to get in a bike ride.  My bum was not at all happy with this so I told it we'd stay off hills, till I got fed up with one of the roads and the nasty chip stone and went on a hilly road I've only ever bombed down, time to go up Collins.  Then I got the bright idea to see how I'd feel after a Chase Hill Gut punch, not too bad, so maybe try that sneaky Potter Hill climb.  I pr'd both of those and I'm feeling pretty happy with myself, even faster than Mikey B... so I've got that going for me.  Oh how cute, that rhymed.

Took both the Boyz out for a stroll after dog dinner and they were far more concerned with what everyone else was doing, channeling Gladys Kravitz between stopping to listen to conversations, running up to peer in windows, staring down everyone.  Sheesh, it was embarrassing until it got more embarrassing when Jax lost his mind over another dog.  When they are bad at the beginning of the walk I forget about it by the end of the walk, when they are bad two blocks from home, it's not as easy to forget.

No running on Thursday, took the HEAT class, Chris had a variety of torture, um exercises, for us, burpees, jumping jacks, flys, crazy ab thing on the step, curls, triceps, another crazy ab thing on the floor, and bicycles seem to be all I remember at the moment.   Met up with Rachel for the Beer'd Running Somewhere Else run.  She's nursing a quad injury and I'm lazy.  So she decided she'd run my pace and maybe walk.  I have no idea if she wanted me to finish the run solo or was OK with me walking with her.  I'm thinking she didn't care.  I was wheezing and huffing and puffing and snotting, a freaking mess for sure.  Her quad felt a little better, but I really do think running minutes a mile slower than you are accustomed to isn't great.  I got home and did nothing.  Sorry, Gus.

If I pout RIGHT in your face will that make you change your mind?

I was up in the air on anything for Friday, it is a running day, and well I didn't run, I wasn't feeling it after Friday afternoon nap I took Gus for a hike in Browning Woods Preserve in South Kingstown, new to both of us.  Frankly, I'm over the allergies and feeling like every breath is thru a bent straw...

So, the white arrow is at about the 6' mark.  The trail marker is another 2 feet on top of that!  This is a trail for giants!  While it is not at all technical, one still needs to look down to not trip on the errant rock or root or dog stopping to sniff something...  It's a nice almost 2-mile loop, most of the side trails are blocked off, so that helps the directionally challenged (me).

After a sound sleep, Saturday seemed full of hope and promise.  I planned on a 50-mile ride and well that didn't happen, I did get out and meandered around for 30 very flat miles at not a very peppy pace.  It was good though.  I've confirmed I  cannot stand the Pearl Izumi cycle shorts, they have teeny tiny micro waffles in the fabric on the chamois that feels like I'm sitting on sharp pointy waffles if I get out of the saddle and sit back down.  I've paired these with different saddles and my ass has been different sizes and chamois cream doesn't help.  I'm done with them.  They are going in the garbage.  This is the third year of this pain I'm done.  Hopefully the new cycle shorts I've purchased are better.  

At some point during the ride, I decided I'd rather be vacuuming, that is bad, folks...  I wrapped it up and headed home fighting the tourist traffic even though I was attempting to avoid it.

Westerly does a nice job with the flags along the main streets and have a wonderful memorial at one of the entrances to the park.  Gus was disappointed there weren't any scraps left over from the food trucks from the art show at the park

Started my planned 55-mile ride on Sunday, remembered that the comments about the route I copied were there was a 'section of dirt road' I figured maybe a mile, well it was 3.  After getting the crap scared out of me by Crutch.  I probably wouldn't have been so sensitive if I hadn't had to deal with an angry driver 2 blocks from home.  Calm down people, and maybe use your blinker?  If I have the faintest clue what you are doing (I've generally repeatedly let you know what I'm doing by pointing my arm in the direction I am going).  I may be willing to continue on with what I am doing.  If not. I'm going to wait for traffic to clear and then I'll cross the street or turn.  I really don't want to end up being smushed by a vehicle and end up in the back of an ambulance.  I also don't want to be screamed at, swore at, and called names, believe me, the majority of bikers fear and respect the automobile and its killing and maiming ability, we don't need to be reminded of your power.

Anyhow, I'm pedaling up Dennison Hill road and this ominous black truck slows down and the man behind the wheel shouts.  I think, oh crap....  and pedal on figuring they'd mind their own business.  Nope, he turned around, I see the truck approaching in my mirror and slow way down so I can bail to the side of the road if this idiot (sorry Crutch) decided he wants to bump into me.  As the driver yells something as he passes I catch sight of the decals on the back window, oh it's a friendly!!  Crutch was out running with some friends and apologized for frightening me.  I said it was ok.  I am still thinking he drives a bright blue truck!!  He advised it was far longer than a mile of dirt....  I appreciated that warning.  It really wasn't THAT bad, just slow because I didn't want to blow a tube or puncture my tire, because well that would suck.  Very beautiful and I did remember running Green Falls with Crutch many years ago!

At the point, I was supposed to turn right (this was after the 3 miles of dirt) I turned left.  Buttonwood Farms ice cream was just a few miles away.  I was at 23 miles, and a good time to stop, I didn't have breakfast and was kind of hungry!

Breakfast of champions!
Salted Caramel Ice Cream - two scoops in a waffle cone

Thought maybe I'd stop at Grey Sail for a pint of beer before I went home.  Mile 40, and Grey Sail's beer garden met me with exhaustion, heck mile 30 I was exhausted the sugar from the ice cream did not kick in as I had hoped.  I decided against the pint and just slogged the last mile home and drank some Gatorade, I was THAT thirsty, sadly beer was not going to be the right answer.   I was exhausted, I haven't felt that kind of exhausted in a long time.  The boyz joined me on the couch and we slept for well over an hour (after a shower and real food for me and a couple treats for the bored boyz).

Dave was riding Case Mountain and brought home pizza, what a nice thing to wake up to!  I snarfed down two huge slices of Chicken Pesto pizza from Plum Tomato, and then we packed up the boyz for a little outing. Time to get back to our standard Sunday (dinner) activity of taking the boyz to the flying field in Exeter.  It is much cooler at the field than where we are, it is up on a bit of a hill and catches a nice breeze, even on a sweltering Sunday in August we need long sleeves.  The boyz can scrub off some energy and enjoy rolling around in the nice cool grass and wading in the pond.  

Not sure how the video will turn out!


"1984" George Orwell - it's happening, folks.  

Next up is "Crazy Rich: Power, Scandal, and Tragedy Inside the Johnson & Johnson Dynasty" by Jerry Oppenheimer


Finished the right sleeve, started the left sleeve!!  Wooo hoo!  Guarantee the day this is done and blocked and the buttons sewed on it will be 110 degrees F.

I'm pleased with how it is turning out; usually I am not a big fan of most sweaters I make for myself.
Jax's toes in the upper part of the picture, he likes to help.


Feet:  30 - while a sad week in running, I needed the break
Saddle: 96 - glad to get another week of serious miles 

Beth, terrified to get smushed and to smash someone

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
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!   


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.


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.


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.

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!


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.


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.


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


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.

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.


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. 


Got the sleeves of the sweater started!  Yeah Me!

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


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!


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.

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.

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.


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


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

Feet:  40.9
Saddle: 15

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