Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Weekly Update: 9/11/2017 - 9/17/2017

Recovery from The Flattest Century in the East wasn't too bad, with the trip to my parents I knew this was going to be a really low mileage week and I needed one.

Monday - my appointment with the ortho was in the afternoon and I didn't have time to get out and even walk.  My DX: Patella Alta and advancing osteoarthritis in both knees.  While the right is the one giving ME problems the doc fixated on the left and its tissue paper thin cartilage.   The cartilage is worn away because of the structure of my knee, my knee cap sits too high on my knee and movement causes friction against the cartilage and it wears away, the pounding of running excels this process. 

I'll get some PT to strengthen the muscles around the knee and some fluid injected under both knee caps and see how that goes.  Doc did mention that my muscles, tendons, and ligaments are doing their job quite well.  Probably the falling/weakness/crumpling is due to the kneecap catching on the cartilage and my leg not straightening.  He seems less concerned about that more about my left knee.  I don't have to stop running, I probably should cycle more, however not stand up on the pedals as that causes the pressure I should be avoiding.  

All very fascinating the mechanics of the body. I feel a little relieved that I won't be running any more marathons or ultras and at the same time disappointed.  As my mother says "You are not a natural athlete."

Tuesday - NYC day.  Mehest - Not good, not bad, just kinda like "Why am I still awake for this".  Both Biddy and I are over this project in the worst way.  

This is out by my parents, I always love the lone tree in the middle of a field.
These are soybeans.

Wednesday - Hills with Ro, nice to be back to something normal.

My childhood kitty is buried with the willow tree.  I visit Bells everytime I go home.

Thursday - Drive to MI

My parents are very big into "NO" signs

Friday -  The P loop from my parent's house.  Saw a field of turkey vultures, with one sitting atop a pole.  I hoped I was fast enough he wasn't going to round up what looked to be 50 of them pecking around a mown hayfield and try and chase me down for a more substantial breakfast.

The prairie and the trees co-mingled in the back 80.

Saturday - Did my beer run despite the caution from my father that it was a football Saturday in Ann Arbor.  He suggested I try the new Meijer a bit further out of Ann Arbor, and it was a success, they have a very lovely and large selection of MI beers.   When I got back we all went on a walk around the farm/forest.  Things are progressing nicely since we all started planting trees on 75 of the unforested acres.  The big plantings of 10,000 trees per year happened 1995 - 1998 I believe.  My mom has this all nicely documented.  I have memories of the weekend in April we did this each year, I've probably gotten the details all wrong (except year 1 I remember that clearly).

Year 1:  sitting in the tree planter shoving evergreen saplings in the ground at designated intervals while sucking in exhaust from the tractor.  
Year 2: hardwood planting was a bit less exhaust filled for some reason, my brother and I were really dreading the planter and the exhaust
Year 3: I'm thinking the planter worked well this time.  
Year 4: the ground was soaked after a very very very wet spring and dad couldn't use the tractor so we did this all by hand it was hardwood and it was some freakishly long days.

The pines on the left are from the first planting, they would be about 23 years old.
It was opening day of private land hunting, better to be safe than sorry.
The guys usually manage to harvest a few of the pesky tree eaters during the season.

Sunday - Did the 'hilly loop' backward, which means I have to cross and run on the busy hardtop road.  No incidents.  We met up with my middle brother and his family to watch Jin at LAX practice.  Jin is 7 this year and a very quiet docile boy, John and Julie were really surprised once they put him in the LAX gear he was busy bopping other kids on the helmet with sticks too.  It's fun watching all these wee people run around!  Guess I need to learn about LAX?

They usually can see him amongst the other kids (he is Korean) but with the helmet and pads, he looks like the rest of them.
He and John went on a boys night shopping trip to get some bright colors so they could pick him out amongst the other wee people.  ha ha!  It worked!

Not a high mileage week, I knew that going in.  I was going to bring my mountain bike out to my parents and ride around the back roads, gravel grind.  I decided the gear and the bike would take up valuable beer space so I left that home.  Plus I'm having issues with the tubeless back tire staying inflated. 

Knitting:  Made some excellent progress on the usual baby sweater.  

Reading:  Finished "One Thousand White Women" by Jim Fergus.  I thought it was true, parts of it are, but the whole thing isn't true.  It was a great story and a good read and gave me lots to think about.  The reviews are mostly "that it is a horrible untrue book", feh.  Enjoy the mind candy when it is presented to you.

Started "The Green Road" by Anne Enright, a nice calm novel about a family.  


Feet:  23
Saddle: 0


Beth, good to go home and then to be home. 

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

TFCE - The Flattest Century in the East 2017

This is the 3rd time I've done this century.  2014, 2015, and this year.  I'm glad we took 2016 off, it made this time more enjoyable.  Although with over 3,153 Garmin 810 (3,827 per Ride with GPS) in elevation gain over 100 miles is it really THE flattest century in the East?

I did a little digging into other century rides and found the 2017 EBAC (Electric Boat Athletic Club) Solstice Century was 2,567 Garmin 500 (2,961 per Ride with GPS) on Long Island.

In any event, the TFCE has the undulating coastline of MA and RI and the fact you aren't going 50 miles into the wind and 50 miles with the wind at your back....  The north wind was strong for the TFCE, at least we were in and out of the wind and got a break from time to time.

This is really a great ride and if you are considering a century, this is a really nice one.  The aid stations are well stocked, the volunteers are helpful, the route is well marked (GPS is my preferred navigational tool), the scenery is amazingly beautiful and there are very few cars, and where there are left turns or tricky spots to navigate the Narraganset Bay Wheelmen have provided police service.  The EBAC LI Century is self-supported, so if you aren't prepared you are, well, screwed, only brought one spare tube and no patch kit?  Call Uber? Hope a fellow rider packed two spare tubes OR a patch kit.

Not sure what else to say.  We rolled off before 7:30 a.m. and the first rest stop is 31 miles in, I'd prefer 20, but hey beggers can't be choosers.  The next rest stop is mile 48, this is one of my favorite stops in Tiverton Four Corners, such a pretty part of RI, and the ride out till the next rest stop at mile 72 is beautiful, one of my favorite sections on my favorite century ride.  We all pretty much had enough with 12 miles left.  We stopped at the bridge, got our picture taken watched a few people take a dip in the water and rolled off, tenderly sitting in our saddles and hoping the final stretch of north wind would be kind.  




Beth, looking for the next century ride!

Monday, September 11, 2017

Weekly Recap: 9/4/2017 - 9/10/2017

A day off of work on Monday is nice, sorry Leslie, I know you work on Monday's.  :( but remember you have breakfast beer when I'm at work, ha ha ha!

I went out for a ride.  I was so not into the ride.  I wanted to be.  I never got into it, sadly.  Maybe had I stopped for a muffin in Mystic or a donut at Clyde's Cider Mill my attitude may have shifted.  I thought, oh, I'm approaching 30 miles, I can stop at Grey Sail for a pint.  Sadly it was MONDAY, they are closed....  ;(  first world problems to the max!!

Got Gus out for a walk, we met the new neighbors and he totally was not into a walk so he steered us home and we watched TV.  I know, crazy!!!  The Curious Case of Benjamin Button held our interest, I'm very very very behind on TV watching, I just learned how to use the new remote on Friday.  HA HA HA.  Dave saves movies for me to watch then asks if I've gotten to them.  When it's cold and dark and I knit then yeah, I'll get to them.

Went out for a run, August appears to be back, for this first Tuesday in September.  Lovely.  Crutch was working on that road by the beach and yelled out from his truck where he was having lunch, Paul's Pasta, absolute torture smelling all that garlic and pasta, ugh....  he gave me a hug and proclaimed me sweaty.  Well duh, I was 1.5 miles into a humid run, well a slog, sort of a slow lethargic job.  Nothing really felt good and I should have stayed in for class but my meeting got out too late to make it to the 11:15 class.  Stupid work...  I got 5, a slow 5 and I hobbled the rest of the afternoon.  I'm a mess.

300ish miles vs 0 miles...  

Did one of the Healthy Workouts on Wednesday instead of running, the weather was a bit crazy with a micro burst or some sort of thing with 50 MPH winds clocked near by.  Trees were sideways and we lost 20 trees on campus.  A person lost their life in a neighboring town.  A few friends lost parts of roof and decks.  It was smart to stay inside, plus I was tired.  Feeling every year of my 50 years and tired.  The routine was good and just what I needed.  The gals were supposed to go to Block Island today, I would have managed that just fine, the weather killed it.  Probably for the best.  Hopefully another time. Got out for a walk with Gus then with Jax, and mid walk with Jax the rain started again.  He is skittish in the dark to being with (we are working on it and he has improved immensely) rain?  He's not a fan.  He knew the quickest way home and directed me that way.  I am so impressed with how smart these dogs are!

I suck at parking at an angle

Run with Faith scheduled for Thursday and I was really not feeling it, as I walked off campus she was coming up on my left, having already run 5 miles, I was hoping that wore her out.  Thing is with Ultra Runners in training, it's hard to wear them out.  I remember Chris telling me I looked fresh as a daisy crossing the line for a 1/2 marathon a few weeks out from the ultra I ran in 2015.  I do admit I miss how easy it was to run and run in those days.... the time commitment though...  When we reached Jupiter Point time, I asked how long and she said 4 would be ok.  I know she was being nice...  so we went down Bayberry, which isn't a point but it is a boat launch where she can park for free and launch her kayak and she hadn't been down there so we did that out and back, tacking on not even close to a mile before we did Avery Point and Eastern Point.  All told it was 6 miles, 2 more than I thought I had in me.  I really am getting lazy in my old age....

Sunshine disgusted there is a dog in her house.

Then I ran the Beer'd fun run 3.2 miles and had a beer with Rachel.  I felt like completely cow manure when I got home and wanted to curl up in a ball with my achy feverish body and never wake up.

Circuit class for Friday.  I did get to talk to one of the trainers at the gym about my Wobbly Crumply knee.  She said she wondered what was going on but it seemed like I was modifying as I needed to.  I hate seeming like one of those perpetually injured people with this long laundry list of ailments and physical therapists and doctors.   I'm having a bit of a rough time at the moment and it will pass and I hope to have some PT and be on my way to smoother running.

Ran the Stavros Beach Fun Run in the evening.  Faith was going to go for her seed time for Manchester but wasn't really going to be able to hold the 8:30 pace necessary, especially with the headwind on the back half (1.5 with the wind and 1.5 into the wind).  I can hold an 8:30 for about 200 yards so I'm of no help.  She decided to not make this miserable and run easy with me.  While I used to get so pissed about that.  I do run easy, I don't like to be miserable while I run so I put in 75% effort for anything "hard" and am good with that.  We started out way too fast, I get caught up in the excitement and then have to back way down to a reasonable pace.  I wonder what it would be like if I started at that reasonable pace.  In this case, it was 9:30  I think we could have held that for the whole thing had I not gone out like a bat out of hell.  On the way back, Faith did break the wind for me a bit and it was welcome.  Our last 1.5 were a bit slower than the first, still, she was like a work horse keeping a steady pace, it was me slogging.  I'm lazy, what can I say...  seriously, I am.

Gus finally got his ice cream!

Saturday was a rest day.  I did that and didn't look at Strava and then beat myself about the head and neck for not doing anything.  I've been feeling tired and really really really spacey lately, I KNEW I needed a veg and catch up day.  I did that and was better for it leading into TFCE (The Flattest Century in the East) for Sunday.  I'll catch you up with that later.... for now, to get this published....

Knitting:  Making some progress, I'll make MUCH MUCH more when I visit my parents.

Reading:  OMG I finished Ulysses on Sunday. I am SO glad to have that over and done with.   I started "One Thousand White Women" by Jim Fergus.  The promise of 1,000 White Women to become the brides and child bearers of Cheyenne Indians (in return for 1,000 horses.  Let me set this straight in math:  1 child bearing white woman = 1 horse (of unknown abilities), good to know).  Specifically, May Dodd, released to the "Brides for Indians" program from the asylum she was interred to by her ostentatious blue blood family because of her penchant for being a woman of her own mind.  Completely something acceptable in the 1800's let alone the 1900's or the 2000's.  This was my mother's book club book, I totally latched on to it because we will have grand fun discussing it when I visit this month!  Seriously...


Foot:  26
Saddle: 133

Beth, better get cracking on that TFCE post....

Monday, September 4, 2017

Weekly Recap: 8/28/2017 - 9/3/2017 (caught up!)

The last week of August feels like we were just boiling in the heat of July.  After track and a bike ride on Sunday, I didn’t have any expectations for Monday.  I went on a short, slow, and squeaky run.  My shoe was really squeaking.  It’s time for new running shoes; the tread on these was pretty much worn to the center line grove at the ball of the foot.  They have about 300 miles on them, my ballast wears through shoes quickly.  Dinner out!  Jax and Gus got a walk together.  Really these suck for all three of us, I’ll probably start walking one then walk the other after.

Back to Front L to R
Deb, Inge, me, Heather
See Mom I have friends!
Met up with Faith for a run on Tuesday, about 2 miles in we make the decision to run 5 or 6, and she had 6 so we went for 6 and it was remarkably easy for both of us and speedy for me.  Not normally two words in a sentence for me speedy and easy.  The weather was perfect for running.  About the 6 mile mark we noted we could actually go a full 10K with no walk breaks, so we did that.  A major accomplishment again!  I think it rained later in the day so I didn’t get Gus out for a walk.

This just kinda freaked me out so I had to share it...
Someone needs horns and it's even more perfectly weird.
Maybe a tail and a pitch fork?
Any photoshoppers out there?

Hills with Ro on Wednesday, we discussed our Long Island bike ride that was supposed to be that day but got pushed out due to schedule issues till the next day.  It was rainy in the morning and got nicer as the day progressed, still cool, probably the first day I’ve not worn a tank top in months.  We were happy the trip was postponed a day, the weather was looking ideal for Thursday. Took Gus out for a walk then Jax, while it takes longer it was more fun for all of us.

The Long Island bike ride day was upon us, Dave and I were up and out by 6:20 a.m. on Thursday to catch the 7:15 a.m. ferry with Ro, Mark, Grace, & Steve.  The day started with Grace having a flat tube before we even got on the ferry.  That was changed on the boat and we were off for the second of 4 ferry rides for the day.  9 miles to the Shelter Island Ferry and then we were off to cycle through Shelter Island to the South Ferry and then on to the long part of Long Island.  The wind was not our friend for this part of the journey along the South Fork and the Hamptons, but once we reached Riverhead we would be heading East and the wind would be in our favor.  We made a couple stops here and there and one at the Big Duck!  Then lunch and then we were a few miles from having the wind at our back as we rode through the wine country of the North Fork.  Really a nice ride and Long Island is very very flat so lots of pedaling and very very little coasting.  We had a couple adult beverages at the bar ¼ of a mile from the ferry and made it on the 4:30 ferry.  Gus got a walk, it is trash night on a lot of the roads we walk; one of his favorite nights of the week.

Back to Front Left to Right
Steve, Me, Dave (the Imaginary Husband)
Mark, Grace, Ro

Relive it here.

Back to Circuit Class for Friday and my Wobbly Crumply Knee wobbled and nearly crumpled but I’m able to sense it before I fall, it’s really really wobbly and crumply, I didn’t complete the first set of sprint exercises in class and was able to do the second set without Wobbly Crumply Knee.  Interesting, very interesting.  Gus and I went for a long ramble, I needed to get cash from the money god and thought I'd try the closer one but it was closed, like no more bank, so we wandered around and headed home and there was another money god that would give me money with no service charge so we prayed to it.

Yeah, not so much anymore....  
Early Saturday I bailed on the 55-mile hilly ride with Sir George.  After they finished I found out scary Coach Amy wasn't going to be there, crap.  In lieu of a ride, I decided I'd do my track work out and finished the whole thing.  Walked up to the track, ran 3/4 of a mile warm up 4 x 400's, 4 x 200's, 5 x 100's (I lost count) with recovery of the same distance between and ran a mile home for a total of 5.9 miles.  Felt good.  I like the 100's the best.  Eventually, I will get to putting my times in a spreadsheet and tracking progress.  I was closing in on a 2 minute 400, I'm pretty happy about that!  When I get that assembled I'll share and y'all can see just how much faster you are!!  HA HA!!  Took Gus out to where the XC race was last week and explored a bit.  He hasn't been in the woods or off leash since he fainted at Wahaneeta after he'd been on the Beta Blocker for a few weeks, so it's been at least a month, maybe 6 weeks?   He did great and was alert the whole time and I let him off the leash for about 1/2 mile and he didn't over do it.  He was also very alert on the drive home and the last outings prior to the arrhythmia diagnosis he'd been relaxing in the back seat (totally not normal for him, he is a bit anxious in the car and loves to have his head out the window)

Gus Butt!
Faith texted with a new start time for her laps at Haley Farm / Bluff Point.  9 a.m. Sunday to let it warm up a bit, no telling what the rain was going to do.  She and Crutch were running 25 (she did 25 the day before) I was in for a lap, that is 7 miles.  She was trying the run 5 minutes walk a minute method to see how she felt.  I was a little iffy on this; happy to run along, I'm always game for an experiment.  Plus having done laps at Burlingame when I trained for my lone Ultra once upon a time I know it gets a little tedious, and she had just done the same route the day before.  When I walk it usually means I'm done running, I really wasn't sure how I would respond physically or mentally to this.  It was actually refreshing!  I felt like I could have run another 7 after we finished up the first lap.  I nearly attempted it but know better since I haven't been running much more than 5 or 6 miles at a clip, tackling 14 might be a little stupid or short sighted.  Dunno.

I could feel my Wobbly Crumply Knee clicking a bit, not sure what that was all about, something to note.

Me, Faith, Crutch
The rest of the day was boring house stuff... although we are trying to figure out what has been eating the front mat.  Could it be that Crazy Orange Cat?  Squirrels?  It is making a mess, the four of us make enough of a mess we don't need any help!  Took the boyz on separate walks, while it's more work for me it was far easier on my sanity!

Knitting:  Made some progress on the increasing part of the baby sweater!

Reading:  Ulysses, my friend Sheila asked how it was going.  My reply:

It's the ramblings of a drunk lunatic about Leopold Bloom's day, his random thoughts, his sexual perversions and fantasies on the 16th of June 1904. As with most of the 'classics' overly descriptive and wordy. Dave, while reading Moby Dick "Really, Melville needs 4 single spaced tiny type pages to describe the color white?" It's 30 hours of driving time. I got a little bit out of it but really, it took me 10 hours to figure out that this was about one person and not many persons... Maybe I'm illiterate? ha ha

My mother suggested this may not be the book for me.  I'm going to finish it damn it, I am stubborn!!  It's really not all THAT bad, better on audio I probably would have thrown the book or the Kindle across the room by now...


Feet:  43 - (28 of these are running! Gus is walking longer)
Saddle: 77

All in all a good week, a little light on the bike but totally on me for bailing on Saturday's ride.

Beth, happy with the cooler weather.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Weekly Recap: 8/21/2017 - 8/27/2017

Oh crap.... I thought I kept up on this...

Monday - oh who knows.  Strava tells me 6.8 miles... this was made up of a 5.2 slog and then a 1.5 Gus walk.  Ok, we will go with that.   I imagine I slogged from the Sunday track work out and the fact I am a slogger!  Ha ha ha.  Gus at 1.5 means he was feeling pretty good and wanted to walk!!

Tuesday - Biking into work then to Dog Watch, watched a lap of the race then biked home along Greenhaven.  The sun is setting earlier and it is getting cooler.  Nice ride.  I regretted not riding in as much last summer I think I've got my prep process down and will have a few more rides to and from work before it becomes a weekend thing then I'll transition to the mountain bike for the winter.  Dogs got cheated out of a walk.  I think Dave and I got home at the same time and it was nice to relax.

Wednesday - Hills with Ro!  This was one of our fastest loops yet 13:30 pace!  My track club had their final summer fun run.  It was a new course and done in conjunction with Stonington (CT) Parks and Rec.  Partly on their HS XC (cross country) course starting and ending on the track.  I got lots of jabs about not falling at the start.  Ha ha ha.  I did manage to nearly turn my ankle on the edge of the track, of course I did!  Ha ha ha.  The course was really nice.  I've never run XC before and now I wonder if that would have been something I would have liked in High School.  I know Track wasn't a favorite, then I was out after a stress fracture in my foot and never attempted it again.  My time was a few minutes better than I expected and that made me happy.  Plus the turn out, there were 138 runners for this fun run.  That is fantastic!  The kids who participated in 5 or more fun runs got their prizes.  That was fun to see.  Gus got his walk, he didn't get one on Tuesday and well he was pouting.

Thursday - Took the circuit class at work.  After a 10 mile day the day before this was pretty welcome.  Plus I needed a class last week as part of the fitness challenge at the gym.  I get a tech t-shirt.  Not sure I really need another one, but who knows.  Our site is in second place, I'm pulling my weight and getting to the gym at least 4 days a week.  Gus and Jax got a walk together.  Alway a challenge.

Friday - Run with Faith and we met up with Crutch who has a job down by the beach, a kitchen remodel.  After getting laughed at when I said we'd be by 11:35 give or take a minute, guess when we got there?  11:35.  Ha ha ha.   We did the three points, Eastern, Avery, and Jupiter, and dropped Crutch back off at his job site and I ran Faith back to her car.  This was my longest continuous run this month 6.66 miles.  One of these months I'll have to try and get a few double digit runs in.  Or not... I'm happy to be running pain free.  Gus again didn't get a walk because I volunteered at a local 5K.  Poor pup, I know....

Saturday - track work, week 3 and a bike ride.  We did 400's neither of us were in the mood to run, but knew we needed to do something.  So that was it.  My 400's were the slowest they've been in a while.  All in all it felt better.  Then Ro, Grace, and I went on a 30 mile bike ride.  My bike was just not shifting well.  That was frustrating, felt like the cable was loose.  Gus and I got out for a 2.5 mile walk, the longest in a long time.  He was pretty peppy for the first mile, and needed to take a few breaks for the last 1.5 miles but didn't seem like he took on too much.  He pretty much picks the route.  I know this sounds odd, but if you have a dog you probably have the same experience.  It is their walk, after all.

Sunday - Imaginary husband was up at 4 to go fishing and I was going to go up to Uxbridge RI to do the Narragansett Bay Wheelmen ride today, but I wasn't up in time.  I decided I really needed to clean my bike.  So I did that and in the process of shifting through the gears to clean the chain and the cogs it stopped shifting.  Well crap what the heck did I do?  I noticed the cable was loose so I tightened that.  Still didn't work.  I left it be, Dave would know what to do.  He did.  It needed a new shifter cable, the old one broke, hence the crappy shifting I've been experiencing.  So that is now fixed and I had a nice quiet easy shifting ride before dinner.  Gus got a short walk, he didn't really want to go to far, as I expected.


A higher mileage week for me!
Feet: 36
Saddle: 100  (I'm approaching 2,000 miles for the year!)  Ruby has 4,000 miles on her now!

Knitting:  Nothing

Reading:  Ulysses, still....  the day in the life of Leopold Bloom told by a drunk rambling man, does that sum it up for us?

Beth, Woefully behind on the blog...