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“I’m losing, just not losing big”

I have started to post less and less in groups on Facebook.  Frankly there are groups that I will read posts from but will never posts.  I’m just flat out tired of being ridiculed and laughed at.  I get enough … Continue reading

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Running in the Rain

I’ve decided I have gone completely around the bend.  I’m a hopeless case.  Hang it up…. just figure it out as you go… That said… yeah… it was a neat morning run. It was entirely too warm and humid to … Continue reading

Rock Hall 10k 2018

It was an awesome race slash training run. I mean, seriously… training run with bling! What could be better?  It was a small enough race that it didn’t take fifteen minutes to cross the starting line but a big enough race that you didn’t feel like it was a bunch of people from work who decided to run together on a Sunday morning.  I’m pretty sure I will do this one again (although I may make it a half instead of a 10k next time).

Started out feeling really good.  The morning was fantastic.  Kind of on the damp side and cool enough that wearing a light hoody was comfortable.  Bear didn’t bring one and, riding on his scooter, he regretted it.  He looked really cute wearing my Figment hoody.  Walking kept me warm, but driving his scooter (given the speed he was going) made the trip from Tower City to the Rock Hall a bit chilly for him.  It was even worse when he was chasing the pigeons.


The only problem I really had with the race itself was that the half started at a different place than the 10k and 5k and finding where we were supposed to line up was a little less intuitive than some other races I’ve done.  DSCF1773It was kind of neat to see other people wearing getups too.  I absolutely loved the guy in the gorilla outfit.  He said he would so anything for a laugh.

Squirrel Girl was just a little stressed over the race.  She didn’t train so much and  was really feeling the stress lined up at the starting line.  She was worried about finishing at all… about finishing in under 3 hours… her knee giving her issues… she was stressing quite a bit.DSCF1774
Turned out she didn’t need to stress all that much. She and I ended up finishing about one chip second apart. I would have beaten her by about 5 minutes but about mile 2.5 pushing too hard and the humidity absolutely made me feel crappy.  Crappy enough that I spend precious minutes being sick in the park.  NOT how I wanted to do this race.  BUT it did give me a reality check and make me slow down to a very fast walk the rest of the race.

I suppose Squirrel could have reminded me that you’re not supposed to push too hard too fast the way I remind her all too frequently, but I have to give her credit for not.

I have to admit though, that even slowing down (for me) and not having trained (her) didn’t really impact either of us finishing strong.

I went in to this race having my doubts. I was worried about the temperature and humidity in August, especially this year (it’s been really bad this year). I was worried about how my weight loss was going to play in to my race. But thanks to supportive people I met through WW who are as crazy (if not more so) as I am I’ve learned to listen to myself, to my body, and how to fuel my body for long runs… and not stress nearly as much as I have been over possibly eating too much or gaining back what I’ve worked so hard to lose.

Did we both push too hard?  Oh yeah.  Squirrel tends to be very light headed and shaky when she gets through most any finish line.  I know the last mile she was fighting to keep herself going.  I keep impressing upon her that she needs to take training a little more (than not at all) seriously so her body doesn’t get shocked by the race effort.  She did eat watermelon (me too… beat the heck out of even the thoughts of a banana)after the finish line.  But this morning her thighs and her abdominal muscles are complaining quite a bit.

Me?  Despite the fact that I should have finished sooner (I will plan better next race for feeling crappy), I felt really amazing at the finish line.  I finished strong and (yeah, I was tired) didn’t really feel like I wanted to pass out in the grass.  The ice packs that PNC handed out were very welcome as were the towels that one of the vendors was giving out (after I soaked it in ice water in the water pools at the finish line).

I’m proud of myself.

I’m proud of Squirrel Girl (and will now be highly harping at her to train better for February).


Lessons learned?

  • Listen to the advice I give her.
  • Find shorts for under the goofy skirt because leggings might not be the be all and end all
  • Train for one minute one minute walk run ratio because I need to get faster
  • Drop several running groups that I belong to on Facebook because hearing how much other people believe that having a 10 min mile is so freaking slow that they may as well just quit because that time is so slow and sucks so much is demoralizing
  • Hills are not the enemy
  • Waterstops are your best friends
  • home made peanut butter and jelly fuel baggies are kind of awesome if you don’t look at them when you eat them.

 

Onward and upward.

Next race?

Amish Country 10k in just under 3 weeks.  With any luck, this race will be less humid and chillier.  If I can just keep timing my Orencia infusions so they fall shortly before races, I will be in pretty decent shape!

 

Love and Light
April
8/20/2018

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Those Days When You Just Want to Curl Up And Cry

Yesterday was one of those days that I would have loved to simply have either been able to go crawl back into bed and forget ever happened or to at least have been able to do it over with different … Continue reading

Well This Sucks (on no plastic straws)

I watched a video this morning on the banning of plastic straws and its impact on the disabled community.

I’m all for saving the planet.  I’m all for saving the animals that are impacted when plastic straws (plastic lots of things) enter the water and the wilds.

But at what cost?

I’m ‘lucky’ (tongue in cheek sometimes).  I’m able to buy alternative straws (forever straws… my wicked cool metal foldy straw is supposed to be coming in November… knock on wood) and to use them.  But there are many people who can’t invest that kind of money in a straw.  There are a lot of people who require a straw that bends (haven’t seen a forever straw that is bendy yet).  There are a crap ton (a metric crap ton to be more exact) of people like me, who look at the straws in the older dispensers that are not wrapped and that lord only knows who has touched or coughed in on and mentally freak because either they have issues in their brains with germs or they have compromised immune systems and have issues in the rest of their body with germs.

The report had it’s due diligence done.  People went out and asked companies in the cities where straws are already banned if there were straws available to people who can’t bring a cup to their lips because they don’t have the use of their hands and arms to do so.  The people wanting their freedom to live the lives they have in the most independent way possible sometimes need the simpler things just to be able to be functional.  There were many companies that didn’t even have straws available to be used by the people who NEED them.

I don’t NEED a straw.  Sometimes it is nice to have a straw but it isn’t something that I need.  If I do want a straw, I do want one that is either within my control to clean or that is wrapped.  I don’t want the people who go to the bathroom and leave without washing their hands and who cough into their fists and then wipe their nose with their hands touching my naked straw (or silverware or whatever).  And don’t get me started on people who grab your glass by putting their fingers into the glass when they hand it to you at the fast food places.

People who are differently abled have the right to their independence and the people who provide goods and services have a legal responsibility to provide them with reasonable alternatives when requested as necessary.

It sucks enough to NEED to need the extra assistance.  Adding to the troubles that people with disabilities have by taking away their ability to interact with what they need to survive isn’t the answer.

 

Love and Light
April
8/13/18

 

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When the Aloneness is Overwhelming

Last night’s coffee for breakfast.  The windows are wide open because the nights are cooler for a bit.  The cat is a bit on the demanding side but the purrs are nice. Yesterday’s training run was 9 miles to the … Continue reading

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The Quiet of Early Morning

This gallery contains 2 photos.

It’s just before dawn.  Puppy doodle and I are sitting on the porch by Tiki Torch light listening to the crickets and locusts singing their songs.  It’s beautiful music… The rain last night did nothing for the humidity and I’m … Continue reading

Realizing how far you have come

I refuse to tell people that this is what to do… or this is what will work for everyone… because that is a bunch of hooey. Everyone knows that nothing works for everyone and what works for one person simply can not work for others.  It irritates me when other people do it.  I won’t.

That said… this is where I am this morning…

This morning I hit what my PCP suggests ought to be my goal weight. That means I’m about 15 pounds from my actual goal weight.  THAT means I, very soon, need to start going to the stupid Weight Watchers meetings so I can hit goal there and become lifetime.  I still resent the hell out of that little ploy, but it is what it is.  Yay Nestle…

In celebration I drank a cup of coffee with creamer as a morning treat.

Then I got ready for my run.

I started playing Pokemon Go as a way to see if I can do something distracting during my run.  Hatching eggs.  Unfortunately, the app calculates really badly… I can run 2.5 miles and not QUITE accumulate 1k distance in egg hatching.  But steps is steps and they eventually hatch.  I thought maybe that my fanny pack would count the distance better than my flip belt…  Turns out it didn’t… but… in the process… I had to put my fanny pack on.  This is the utility belt I had always used in races.  This is the utility belt I used before I started on my little weight loss adventure… and my little running adventure.  It fit.  The way the strap was… it fit… 6 months ago… it fit.

This morning when I put it on, this is what I found…. When I strapped around me and held the pack side… I could see my feet between my stomach and the bag.

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When I let go of it this is what happened!!!

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I have officially lost enough weight that my fanny pack needed to be VERY much tightened.  I was, suffice it to say, not only SHOCKED, but very pleasantly surprised.

Today, I adjusted my run/walk/run time so that I ran 30 seconds and walked 45 seconds… I did 2.37 miles this morning in just under 30 minutes.

It got me thinking…

When I first started running (2008… 2009… ish time frame) it was right before I was diagnosed with RA.  RIGHT before… I was doing pretty well… but I was no where near as quick or consistent as I am now.

My first several ‘runs’ I did in the middle of the darkness in the morning around our cul de sac.  I would leave our driveway, jog to the next driveway… make it to the end of the street… walk the rest of the way… and fall down into the yard.  I started adding a little distance.  I would go to the next driveway plus one sidewalk square.  Sometimes the next dandelion.  I worked my way using the First Day to 5K pod cast.

I eventually worked my way up to being able to finish about a mile and a half… run walk running… but I was doing it at about a 16 minute mile.

I finished my first half marathon two months after I was diagnosed with raging RA… 37 joints involved… inflammation everywhere…. My hips screamed the last mile.  I almost couldn’t make it into the house from the attached garage.

When I finished my first Disney half marathon 4 years later, I managed to stay ahead of the balloon ladies but not by much.  I half way trained.  My RA was kind of mostly controlled but I had just started on Orencia.  I was still on MTX.

I was determined to finish Disney…. and it was a personal best time for me.  It wasn’t a great time, but I finished it.

I was 218 pounds when we moved to Cleveland.

I refused to do the math on what that meant BMI wise.  I didn’t want to know.

That was 4 years ago.

February I started back walking very fast to train for Disney.

Then I read that for every 10 pounds weight loss you can shave off 20 seconds per minute off of your run time.  I was determined to get to a 14 minute mile so I could half way comfortably finish ahead of the balloon ladies and still get my picture taken coming out of Cinderella’s castle and maybe even with Goofy on the golf course.

So after my PCP told me that WW is the silver bullet and that I should only EVER eat 0 point foods, I got pissed and joined.  I was determined to make it work.

I needed to shave my time.

I needed to get healthier and stronger so I can help Bear as much as I can through everything that is to come. I need to be as strong as I can possibly be.  I need to be healthy enough to support him enough through everything.  It matters.

And here I am at 165 pounds… 15 pounds short of MY 150 pound goal…

The walmart leggings I started out running in stay MOSTLY up but slide down a few times during a 2 to 3 mile run.

People at work who haven’t seen me in a while have started to comment on how much weight I’ve lost.  I kind of look at that sort of in a hard way… I didn’t really think of how heavy I was.  I didn’t think about how I looked to other people.  I didn’t think… Now I think.

I’m down 4 pants sizes.  I’m running in between a medium and large pair of running leggings.

I don’t hurt as bad as I did before.  I don’t hurt as badly when I am nearly to infusion day.  My hands still ache some days and I still am stiff in the mornings but I feel less bad (does less badly equate to better?  I’m not sure).

And I’m starting to think of myself as a runner.

But it’s not all sunshine and roses in my own head.

Men have started to notice me… started to flirt with me.  There was a guy in Pittsburgh when Bear and I were waiting on the Gateway Clipper who bought pop corn and brought it over so I could help him feed the ducks.  It never dawned on me until Bear pointed it out later that he was flirting.  People rarely ever talk to me so flirting isn’t something that ever crosses my mind. My first thought was… I want very much to go back to being invisible and I should stop trying to lose weight.

But I like feeling better.  I like thinking that I might not need to be on some of the “you’re too heavy” drugs that I’ve been on for years.  High BP meds… cholesterol drugs…

So… yeah… it’s been very much a thinking kind of day… a day of how far I’ve come over the years.

Running isn’t for everyone with RA.  Knee damage, ankle damage, feet and toes… it seriously curtails what you can do with working out… but moving is a good thing and I’m convinced that weight watchers (much as I STILL hate trying to find the logic in stuff) and running have made an incredible difference and I know that I really really don’t want to go back to having a BMI of 36.  Goal for me is now a normal BMI… and making sure I’m around to help when Bear needs my help.

And… of course… doing races…

August … Rock n Roll Hall Of Fame 10k

October…. Towpath 10k
Pumpkin run in Akron

November… Made In America in Massillon Ohio half marathon

February…. Disney!!!

 

Love and Light

April

7/13/2018

A Buff’s Tale… July 4, 2018

What country has the 4th of July…..

<wait for it…>

ALL countries have the 4th of July!  😉
<snicker snicker snicker>

Grand Independence Day in the US.

Here’s to hoping everyone is having a wonderful Wednesday.

My name is Beatrice R Buff and I am… well… a Buff.  That’s me, high atop the Silly Woman’s head, if you really want to know… There’s a better picture at the bottom though <This particular look came from the outfitter store in Nizna South Africa… the look was bought for another who later decided she didn’t like the look after all so my Silly Woman added this look to her collection and it is one she seems to like a lot>.  If you want to learn more about me and my kind, you can find information here.  There are, naturally, other URLs in other countries because, let’s face it everyone… Buffs are everywhere.  Some of us are in Brazil, some of us are in Europe, heck I even know of some of us who are in South Africa.  We are an adventuresome  group and we love to get out and explore.

But come on now, anyway… THIS story is about me in all of my finery and all of my glory.

My tale starts years and years ago, but I will get to that later.  For now… my day.

This miserably hot and humid morning was run morning (again!).  It was 72 degrees F and it was 92% humidity.  It was the perfect morning for fulfilling one of my favorite purposes… riding high atop her head, enjoying my ride, and soaking up the sweat.

Ew, you say?

Ah, but when that is one of your purposes in life, that is just the way it is.

This morning we took a little different route.  With the miserable time she had just breathing before we started, silly woman opted to not do the hilly cul de sac but to try to stay on the more level playing field.  That means I got to see most of our favorite route but I also got to add in an extra out and back to the bigger road and an extra cul de sac we don’t usually do.We dodged a slew of puddles (there was a big rain yesterday afternoon and when the air is this super saturated with yook it just doesn’t dry so fast) but didn’t pass a single car this morning.

Silly Woman got a later start this morning.  She took a few days off from work and has been hitting the streets a little later than normal… It’s kind of nice, for a change, to be out running in the almost daylight.   There is way more to see.  And I mean really, isn’t that what adventures are all about… being able to see what is going on around you?

So this morning’s run Silly Woman started the next phase of her training.  She upped her run time (I love when she runs, there is an extra bounce to my ride) to 25 seconds with walk recovery of 45 seconds.  Granted, the walk portion was slower than usual because it was so humid and recovery after a longer run was a little harder than usual, but she still hit almost every interval and she is creeping up on the time she wants for corral placement at Disney in February.  She’s not confident that she will do it, but I have faith in her.It’s been kind of awesome to ride along with her this far and I think the rest of this adventure is going to be interesting to watch.

Truth be told, it’s kind of nice to have her enjoying the adventure enough to start taking selfies of us.  While I’ve shown up in many of my different guises over the years, I’m enjoying being immortalized on an almost daily basis.  Now if I can just get her to start wearing me in different ways.  Not that I’m complaining, but variety is kind of nice.  I’ll have to start putting a bug in her ear (and since I’m so close and there are lots of bugs, that shouldn’t actually be too hard!).

For now, let’s just say that I’m going to start telling my story and being a part of the action.  After all… being a Buff in an adventure in itself and it’s high time someone told the story!

Signing off for now!


It’s time for my bath in a baggy and hanging out on the line to dry!

B. R. Buff
7/4/2018

Boys and Girls Club of Cleveland 5k race report Cleveland Zoo June 23 2018

So, I won an entry into this 5k at work.  It was timed just right for proving to myself that I could do a decent time in summer humidity.    And it was going to be a fun run for me.

The activities were pretty awesome and one of the best things about the event was the opportunity to get a picture with the four Cleveland Indians mascots.  Ketchup, mustard, onions and slider.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It wasn’t a huge race.  There were about 227 people running the 5k.  It was my first 5k in… 13 or so years… and it was much smaller than my last one (race for the cure in Austin where it took 45 minutes to get to the STARTING line…

This race was a bunch of happy people out enjoying the kind of humid but it stopped raining kind of morning at the zoo.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Bear (way way far away in a light colored shirt facing this way in the picture below) was positioned perfectly to get a picture as I started.  ❤ . My own photography section!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Here is a better picture of him, leaning on his rollator listening to whatever the guy talking was talking about.  Where I was standing I couldn’t hear much more than mumbling.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The motivational signs were awesome.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The bear wasn’t really so sure what the silly humans were doing…. but he was up for a good show.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Given that there are a half dozen golf carts in the zoo and that the tram wasn’t running… I thought maybe this sign was a bit over kill… OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This part of the race irritated the heck out of me… The girl in the blue t-shirt and oversized headsets just went from being behind me to trotting along a short cut to being in front of me.  There was a lot of cheating in this race given the number of runners and the fact that it wasn’t going to actually gain anyone anything by cheating.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I caught up to her (and the guy in the gray) only to have them both take a short cut off course.  Really really?  Have you no integrity at all??  The lady in the purple shirt and I stayed pretty much together until after the big hill when she took off and I lost her.

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Top of the big hill (which I totally beasted I might add) was the flower bed sign.  I think it would be a pain to change every day… OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

After the hill (up and back) OH LOOK… more cheating!!! Three of them this time.  The course goes around to the left (it was an out and back so you went exactly the same way in reverse… except them.

Given that there are three medals to be had in every age group, I really hope this cheating didn’t earn them any bling… OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And there is my cheering section again…Bear… trying to get me crossing the finish line.  I did 3.31 miles per my Map My Run in 38:46 clock time.  My pace ended up being 12:26 (my time is steadily improving)OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd here was Francisco Lindor of the Cleveland Indians.  He was the sponsor of the race this year and he’s a really really nice kid.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And here I am at the starting line.  The shirt… xxl (which was incredibly awesome because the packet pickup people told me there was no way I needed one that big.  THAT made my whole morning.

I finished 187 out of 227.  I wonder what my actual place would have been had the jerks not cheated.  I may have actually improved my standing if not my ultimate finish time.

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All in all a fun race.  I’m incredibly irked that so many people felt it necessary to cheat but I’m proud to say that I know that I did every step of the course and still came in at a time to be proud of.

 

Love and light
April
June 24 2018