Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Week 12: 3/19/2018 - 3/25/2018

Experience is not what happens to you; it is what you do with what happens to you." - Aldous Huxley

I don't know much about Aldous Huxley, but he did write the screenplay for the 1943 Jane Eyre, one of my favorite film adaptations of a favorite book.  I found this quote on another blog I read and it summed up the last few months for me.


Brrrr-lingame race to end the week, the format changed to one loop 8-mile course.  Crap.  I was really hoping to have the option of one 5 mile loop or two.  Last year the 10 miles was my longest run in preparing for the 1/2 Marathon in Central Park in April....  This year with all the chaos in my body 5 was what I was aiming for so I didn't cause all sorts of havoc.  But it seems havoc is under control for the better part of the last two weeks and I'm thinking maybe?

Monday (0) - Drove back to RI, 13ish hours.  Made a stop at Wegman's in PA.  Well crap that limit on the beer purchase caused me three trips and I forgot the JaiLai for the IPA lover in my life.  DOH!! I already had a car full of beer, why I needed more is a mystery, most things are a mystery to me and it makes life fun.

Jax wasn't all barky and jumpy when I got home, I was kind of bummed.  But then he didn't have anyone to compete with for attention.  SO maybe we will see a change in him being an only dog?  He was happy to have me to curl up with at bedtime.

In the back is a bag of dried Michigan Montmorency Cherries - they were too tart for Dave and me, however, mixed with some melted dark chocolate, SCORE!
The beer is from PA, very tasty, SCORE!
The cookies are Nabisco Coconut Dreams - Girl Scout Samoa knockoffs, SCORE!

Tuesday (6.4) - Decided since I may attempt 8 on Sunday it would be good to run 5 today and then see if I could up it to 6 on Thursday and how my body reacted to that.  Adding on another 2 shouldn't be too huge of a deal, right?  My pace was better and I felt like I had more energy at the end, and skipped the last two one minute walk breaks, plus it was all downhill so yeah...  My knees did feel it later in the day but nothing else bothered me.  My feet got wicked cold and I got a little nervous this was a harbinger of havoc, but no havoc, pshew.

Jax took me for a stroll.  His version of a stroll is very different than Gus or Gizmo's version.  He smells everything like he is trying to understand and digest Moby Dick and Ulysses all in one sitting.  It was 45 minutes well spent and he curled up in the bed in front of the fire and snored up a storm for the rest of the night.

The original Treacherous Trio when Sage (middle) was not quite a year old.
Gizmo, Sage, Diesel
I love this picture so much it really shows their personalities.
Gizmo being the curmudgeon - Sage behave yourself
Sage being a wild uncontrollable girl
Diesel loving every single moment of life
Wednesday (0)  A week ago I dumped a cup of coffee on my laptop.  It worked the rest of the day and when I powered up yesterday, the keyboard wasn't working. Lovely.  A peripheral keyboard worked, so that was good, but with the pending storm I couldn't take home the one at my desk because all the cords are padlocked together.  IKR, crazy?  After I sought assistance from one of the IT guys, and confessed I killed my keyboard he congratulated me on being the ONLY person to ever be honest about hardware problems and let me borrow a keyboard for working from home on Wednesday as well as walked me through the process to order a new laptop, which I did need anyhow, as mine was on the refresh list.  Huzza!  I will admit it was nice to have a real keyboard and not the laptop keyboard, but I can't keep it.  :(

My exercise consisted of putting all the beer where it belonged and packing up the beer to be distributed and laundry.  No shoveling to be done, the storm didn't materialize for us on the coast.

Jax thinks he would like my cucumbers.
He does not like vegetables.
The look on his face when I offered him one - complete disgust.

Thursday (Spin) Back to work!  What a crazy week.  Lunch meetings meant I was back to Spin in the evening.  I started feeling run down and achy and feverish  Tuesday,  I did my best to ignore it, but experience teaches me that's a bad idea.  I went back on the Acetaminophen and Ibuprofen. Unfortunately, this means I miss an opportunity to make $150, crap its even one of the best ones!  Of course, I'd be two weeks free of the stuff that makes me ineligible to be part of a research blood draw at work and the day after I start back on them the note comes out.  Oh well...  I didn't feel like crap after spin class, so that was good.  Maybe this is a mild flare and won't cause me to miss Sunday's race.  Well long run and beer trade, if we are honest here.  Racing is something I don't do.  Or at least not make me miserable for the days after if I do run it. 

Finally put together Jax and Gus shadow boxes.  I don't know how many years ago I bought ones for them that match the ones for the other three.  So long ago that the modeling clay in the kit was dried out!!  The paw prints aren't as great as the ones for the treacherous trio, but at least I have them and some pictures to frame.  Now to figure out what to do about Gus' urn (wooden box) I didn't get one with a picture holder, but a space for a plaque... crap. It was kind of hard to read the tiny print through the tears and I didn't have my cheaters... oops.  I'm sure I can come up with some creative way to attach his picture.  All this has come a long way since the tin can holding Diesel's ashes!  I really should get him a nice wooden box urn.  The tin can looks kind of odd there on his shelf.

My Thursday night project.  I finally got these assembled after having them for years.
We have the same for the Treacherous Trio.
I love having their paws prints in clay.

Friday (3.2)  Couldn't shake the feeling of crap so I didn't run took Jax on a hike and met up with the Imaginary Husband and a friend biking.  I knew we were going to the same place but I thought we left late enough to miss them.  Jax LOVES to chase the mountain bike... We went on Jax's loop the opposite way so we weren't following the route the IH and Glenn would normally ride.  We ran into them at mile 2 I really thought they'd take a different trail to the big loop.  Now Jax was seriously more concerned about finding them!  Not so clear on the whole directional thing but he could pick up the scent of the tire and was high tailing it to where it leads him (which was back to the car so all in all, not a bad thing).  We had a pretty peppy hike and I will be prepared to run next time because he would have been totally hip to moving at a faster pace.

The Inch Worm Bridge on Sammy C's trail.
Jax was terrified of this for a long long time.
Now he's the king of the bridge!

Saturday (3.2)  I'm beginning to understand what it means to be kind to myself.  I feel like I'm being lazy, but I know what it feels like to feel good, and this isn't that.  The Imaginary Husband, Jax, and I did Jax's loop.  Feeling like I need to be racking up the miles I once did is lessening, remembering the feeling of the bloat from the inflammation is making a bit easier to stomach.  Loosing what amounted to 5 lbs of crud sloshing around in my joints and my face is actually pretty nice.   I used all the extra time I had today to clear off a shelf for the Gus memorial and for Jax.  It's nice to see all 5 of the pups up there, well 6 with Moe and of course a couple pictures of my cats from my bachelorettehood!  

If you aren't going to eat that chicken, how about give it to me?

There was a package in the mail for me.  It was a signed hardcover copy of Colleen Alexander's book!  Faith knows her and had a lovely conversation with Colleen about me, at least from the inscription in the book.  The only thing I have in common with Colleen is Lupus.  I hope I never have to endure what she did to recover from getting run over by a freight truck.  

So thoughtful and well-timed.

Sunday ( 6.4 )  Spectated at Brrrrrlingame.  That was the best plan.  Mike's courses aren't a joke and this one was no exception.  I had enough patience and warmth to wait out the first 10 or so runners at the two spots I picked to snap some pictures.  The gap was a bit wider than I expected for the first spot and then at the second, the gap was HUGE!  The Hammett brother's were spaced way far apart, don't ask me how many seconds, I didn't think to count.   Muddy looked less annoyed and more like he was having fun. I saw Mike Daniels and no Gazelle.  Huh.  Leslie let me know Gazelle took a HUGE digger and his knees were a bloody mess.  Eventually he hobbled by, looking determined to not let a few rocks and sticks and I think it was his knee cap sticking out stop him from finishing the race.  After Pat Quinn passed and a couple other runners I didn't know I went off to get the blood circulating, warm up, and see if I could see the finish.  I was too late to I hiked around the new part of the course. 

The new part is very nice and I've been lost on a few of those trails now I have a 'map' with the GPS of the course I will bring Barney out and bike there.  They are in my skill level.

After a fun lunch, where I ate like I ran 8 miles, I set off for a few errands and to go home.  Dave asked me to take Jax for a hike, I agreed, he went off biking.   I took Jax to one of my and Gus' favorite spots, Riverwood Preserve.  You have to park on a side street and it is a 1/4 mile walk through a small neighborhood, before you get to the driveway for the trail head.  To say it is inconvenient is the truth, which also keeps people away which also means I won't run into people, SCORE!  Jax was a bit apprehensive on a new place but soon he was having a grand time running a head and doubling back to make sure he didn't lose me.  We did part of the big rock climbs in the center and part of the flats, he seemed like he still had some energy so we took a cut across the park and at that point he definitely was ready to go home.   We scared up some huge turkeys, a couple chipmunks, and some ducks. 

I probably have a shot of Gus on this same spot. 
You can see very far from here. 
I think he enjoyed himself.
After dinner Jax was limping.  Perhaps 12 miles of hiking in 4 days was a bit much?  He was fine Monday morning, so he will have a couple days off from strenuous activity.  Dave wasn't pleased I broke the dog. We've struggled with ACL issues with him for a long time, it was 6 months with no issues, we probably did too much.  When I left for work Monday morning Jax was sacked out in the bed in front of the fire and didn't look like he intended on moving, tired pup. 


Feet:  19
Saddle: 15


Still plugging away on the Crazy Easter Egg socks.  Not a lot of down time this week.


Magpie Murders
By Anthony Horowitz
It's starting to get interesting, another death, another twist in the mystery.  I'm glad I stuck with this one.

All in all not a bad week, I had a couple not so great feeling days, but it ended on a high note so we will take what we can get!

Beth, looking forward to some sun, finally!!

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Week 11 3/12/2018 - 3/18/2018

Welcome to the week of the High Irish Holiday, St. Patrick, ha ha ha.  This is one I've chosen to go visit my family for, pretty much every year.  It isn't a  hugely celebrated or understood holiday, it has meaning to me as there is corned beef, and that is my favorite!

Monday (3.1)  A running day and I ran a different loop, I knew it was going to be close to my usual 5K distance, I should have run up one more street, but I didn't...  lots of fire trucks, ambulances, and police cars visiting one of the 'projects' by campus.  This rattled my cage with the sharp loud sounds and that very crazy honk/beep thing.  Jax was crashed out the whole night, he wasn't the least bit interested in playing the dumb game or going for a walk.  I got Gus' orthopedic bed all cleaned up and Jax isn't so sure he's allowed to use it but he does have two chairs, a couch, and 8 dog beds not to mention a hooman bed to rotate through for his daily napping rituals.  Maybe that is why he was so tired?  HA HA

Took me a minute, ha ha ha

Tuesday (1.3) Generally a spin day, but work was called due to the Nor'easter and I had a day full of conference calls and documents to review and really didn't want to dig the trainer out of the attic and set it up, so I called it a zero-day for the saddle.  I'm allowed, I'm not getting paid for exercising, right?  Jax and I took a walk, not his favorite thing but he'll humor me.  
Exhausted after his walk

Wednesday (4) Decided to up the mileage to a whopping 4 and see how it went.  It didn't go bad!  Ran into, ha ha, Mikey on Shennie, he was taking a little break before his last two of his 12+, these would be a slight uphill and into the wind.  Kinda like Boston?  Except it's a left on Eastern Point to the finish...  ha ha.  I'm so funny, not.

We have to donate the extra beds
Thursday (0) Drove out to MI, surprisingly easy trip, 13 hours I took a detour into Wegmans in Wilkes Barre to see what they had for beer.  Found Duck Rabbit Milk Stout, SCORE!!  I meant to stop on the way out of town and get my blood work done for my regular appt in two weeks. OOOPS.  

Snow in PA

Friday (1.4) Really not feeling like running but my mom wanted to go on a walk, even better.  Fortunately, the ground is still pretty frozen and snow can only be found in the shady areas, which was nice so it opened up a walk all the way back through the new forest the old forest and back home through the new forest which is looking pretty amazingly good.  Mom took a nap, we were outside in the March sun.  

Sunshine snuggled under the blankets in her room

Saturday (6.5)  I got up and ran.  A little apprehension as my loop is 5 miles minimum.  Programmed the space watch to do 5-minute run 1-minute walk intervals and that worked out just fine.  If I've managed to learn anything in the last several months is the hell my body will put me through if I overly stress it out, I really didn't want to be miserable for the rest of the day or who knows how long, actually.  

My sister-in-law was up for a walk, in the nice sun, we did a loop around the outside of the new forest and had a great time catching up.  It has been too long since we've had a conversation like that and I think we both needed it.  She brings up odd observations about my brother and I can generally give her the history she needs to figure out what the frig is going on in his brain.  It actually is kind of funny thinking back to our childhood and teenage years.  She is the perfect match for him, I could tell from the first time he told me about her.  Good on ya Markey, ya did good kiddo!

Gatsby looking out the back porch at Sunshine, wondering if he dares disturb his cranky sister

Sunday (1.4) Not feeling much like running plus I had a big outing planned to get beer.  My buddy Rachel sent me home with a list of wants and things to look for.   I was pretty successful and had a lovely chat with the guy at the local specialty beer store.  I'm sure he was entertained by someone older than his mother asking questions about beer and brewers.  I was the only person in the store, which is what I hoped for.  After I spent what amounted to over half of my one-time bonus I made my way back to my parents.  My mother was there waiting for me with her walking shoes on and ready to go walk.  Sure!!  It was a beautiful day and I didn't need anything warmer than the flannel shirt I had on.  We walked the other half of the new forest.

Beer shopping


The House of Morgan 
By Ron Chernow
It is a history of finance, but not as dry as a textbook as the personalities of three generations of Morgan's as well as their families and a few presidents gave it a novel feeling.  Gave me a clearer picture of the history of current regulations and why they are necessary, one family should not have so much power over the economy of the US and frankly globally.  

Gratitude in Motion:  A True Story of Hope, Determination, and the Everyday Heroes Around Us

by Colleen Alexander
As horrifying as it is inspiring, and I hate saying inspiring.  Colleen was run over by a freight truck, fully run over but all sets of wheels, while biking home from work.  She felt like giving up, 5 weeks in a coma, 29 surgeries to survive, the coma was medically induced which meant she could feel what was going on, and not have the power to scream in pain as her wounds from the savagery the freight truck, and her own bicycle did to her as she was run over.  Am I scared to get on my bike and go on the roads?  Yes, every damn time, even before reading this.  I will be more cautious around big trucks, even if they acknowledge they see me, as that driver did to Colleen.

by Neil Gaiman
I have a couple more of his I want to read, very childlike fantasy adventure of life in the London below London, the one that exists in peoples imaginations.  Cute.

Magpie Murders

by Anthony Horowitz 
Mystery, not really sure what is going on yet, dead bodies seem to be piling up though.  Love all the references to different types of birds in people's surnames!


Yeah, this depresses me.  Total miles for the week:  17.2 woo hoo, almost broke 20....

Hot pink!


Finished the bright pink pair of socks and started on some with a colorway that looks like a crazy Easter Egg, or some bean bags I remember from my childhood.  No one would understand the bean bag reference, hence the crazy Easter Egg.

Crazy bright colors

Guess that sums up the week?  It was better than weeks in the past, felt much better running and didn't spend a large part of my waking hours exhausted.

Beth waiting out another Nor'Easter.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Weeks 9 & 10: 2/26/2018 - 3/11/2018

Monday (3.1)  I struggled on this run, just not feeling very strong.  Getting passed a few times by the fast gang doing speed work and their friendly waves and shouts made it so much better!!  It is really awesome to see Sarah nailing her workouts and the boys working to catch her, she is on fire! 

Interesting appointment with my Rheumatologist, after I explained my latest crisis (feeling like death after a bike ride on Saturday) he exclaimed: “Who goes for a bike ride in February?”  Not exactly what I wanted to hear.  After he came back with the latest laundry list of tests he did say that I will need to re-learn what my body can and can’t do, rest and hydration are important; he does have a patient who is an ultrarunner and she has to stay really in tune with her body versus her goals versus her Lupus.  I left feeling defeated and processing the realization what I once knew about myself to be true no longer applies, all the rules have changed.

Tuesday (0)  Between meetings and the general desire to not feel like shit versus get some exercise I didn’t do anything but walk around campus to get some movement.   Contemplated walking Jax, he settled for a back scratch and curled up with me for a few minutes before going to his spot on the couch with Dave.

Wednesday (5.7) Hills with Ro, we were back to our usual pace and level of jibber jabber.  My eyes did no Matrix Jumps (you know where Neo sees the cat twice because of the glitch in the Matrix) and I brought half a bottle of water with, just in case.  That may have helped, or offered some security, who knows.    She flies back to Colorado on Saturday, I’ll miss her.

Number One Smart Guy's retirement dinner.  Damn I am going to miss him.  It was a great time and lots of stories starting with him telling about the physical on his first day, and everyone else pitching in how they met him.  Good times!  His son even flew in from Indiana!  

Thursday (0) It is an off week at the gym, no spin class, not really recalling what happened.

Friday (0) Rain rain go away... this is depressing

Saturday (3.2)  Dave and Jax took me on a hike in the woods, that was lovely for the only non-raining day of the week. 

Have long stick will try and fit through narrow places!

Sunday (0) Again, not really recalling what happened.

Monday (0) Beautiful weather, too many meetings

Tuesday (15 on the bike)  Nice to get back to Spinning.

Wednesday (0) Sad day 

Millie rescued Gus from his situation (which means the family was going to put him down)
she brought him to her home when she could to give him a break from puppy prison and to play with her Durango and Leilah.
Thursday (3.1) Took myself on my weekly run, sad that I'm logging weekly runs.  However not stressing out my body is super important.  Eventually, I will get balance.

Friday (1.3) Decided to take Jax on a hike in Champlin, someplace I know well and Gus and I loved, probably a mistake.  This was compounded by a couple with an off-leash German Shephard.  The German Shephard was wearing one of those choking collars with spikes and not on a leash and clearly after he charged up the hill towards us not on any sort of recall collar or auditory recall. I had Jax on the leash with his recall collar.  After I explained calmly this couple needed to get their dog under control and away from me and my dog as this was our first outing (ok an outright lie, but seriously I'm really fragile right now) together.  They called the dog from the trail below the trail I was on as the dog ignored them.  I shouted my request a little louder.  The woman shouted at me to keep my voice down, I was creating the problem me?  really?  I'm not the one with an out of control 110 lb dog.

I resorted to screaming and crying hysterically.  The woman resorted to yelling and swearing and still not getting her dog who was now barking very nasty at Jax who I was completely covering to protect him.  

She eventually got her dog, didn't even have a leash!  Are you fucking kidding me??

I walked Jax back out of the preserve screaming (shrieking actually) and yelling about how horrible they are and how these are the people that ruin nice things and throwing sticks.  It was kind of cleansing and cathartic.  Guess this is the anger part of grieving?  Jax probably thought I was losing my bloody mind.

Ok, maybe I overreacted?  Or maybe not because I didn't key their car or ram into it on my way out of the parking area.   Naw, I didn't for the other horror stories I've heard people have had with unleased unmanageable dogs in that preserve, they ruined it for me, for sure.

So we went somewhere I've biked and run past many many times and never investigated.  It wasn't much of anything, two flat trails down either side of a canal to the Pawcatuck River.  Then we took a drive around.  Jax LOVES to take a ride in the car, that was the last thing Gus wanted to do, well get his nails trimmed may have been the actual last thing.  It has been a while since I've had a dog in the car that wanted to be in the car.  Giz loved going for rides too, BUT he had to sit in the front seat, after all, he was The G.

Saturday (3.3)  Took Jax on his loop in Burlingame.  This went very well, it was somewhere he was familiar with as was I.  It isn't like we've never hiked together, I'm clearly working through my grief and feeling very insecure.  Jax kept nice and close for the first two miles and then by mile 3 he was ready to be done and kicked up his speed.  I may try and run parts of the loop with him, he may like that.  I just have to keep an eye out to make sure his leg injuries don't bother him (the metal plates from where the family who gave him up ran him over with their vehicle).  

It was just Jax and me for most of the day, the Imaginary Husband was at a going away get together for an Imaginary Friend (ha).  I packed up Gus' crate and the bedding and beds in there.  Wow, we have  8 dog beds and one dog.  Three of them were specific for Gus' orthopedic needs.  I have to get the really nice cuddler cleaned and Jax can use that in front of the fire.  

Sunday (10 Saddle / 3.3 Feet) Kind of a slow start to a sunny morning.  Jax and I hung out on the couch, he really isn't a cuddler or a snuggler, which sucks. It is how he is.  He tolerated me sitting with him, he's ok if he decides he wants to sit on me...  Dave went out for a ride and I finally got my crap together to get out on Barney just as Dave was getting home.  I had nearly 10 miles of mud in Bluff Point, it was packed with people, kind of expected after months of dreariness to finally have a nice day.  I enjoyed myself and got mud everywhere, which is a good thing.  When I got home Dave had the hose turned on so I could spray down Barney before I brought him in the house.  He's all bright shiny purple again.

We took Jax on his loop.  Poor guy was tired... But he managed to suck it up and entertain us and make sure I went on the right path, there are a couple places where it appears to be OK to walk only one path, Jax made sure I followed the rules. 


House of Morgan
By Ron Chernow

This is a long one 34 hours so I'll be at it a while.  J.P. Morgan bailed out the country after the 1907 crash, leading to the creation of the National Monetary Commission Aldrich-Vreeland Act 1907, establishing federal reserve banks to supervise banks (no one person/bank should be able to bail out an entire country). Then they were key in the Glass-Steagall Act (1933) separating commercial and personal banking.  It is all very fascinating how each financial crisis either created or corrected by private banking resulted in new legislation.


Socks started 2 and finished 1.

Brighter pink than I expected, but I like the random colorway

They are as warm and cozy as they look!


I'm not even sure I'm going to include these totals, I stopped measuring against my goal as that was stressing me out.  

Beth, finally not coughing, so there is a bright spot!

Friday, March 9, 2018

Gus July 16, 2007 - March 7, 2018

Gus went peacefully during a lovely snowy evening, he did love going out in the snow. It was time, he rapidly declined physically and mentally his last two days.  

Gus came to us on December 31, 2010, it was a long journey from a questionable home from his puppyhood to being dumped at shelter and then rescued and brought to a kennel (no available foster homes) where he spent his teenage years (puppy prison as we call it) to our home for the rest of his life.  To say he had it rough is a gross understatement, so much disruption and stress for his first three years of life.  He overcame a lot to become a very happy, albeit, slightly neurotic dog, and my best friend.

We've lost three others previous to him, this one has been the hardest for me.

Thank you for all your good wishes during the last two months.  They have been very much appreciated.

It's not good bye it's see you later.