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

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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

Weight Watchers… Lifetime… the reality

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Okay… I’m trying.  I’m REALLY trying.  I have trouble gagging down the Kool-Aid, but I’m trying.  I still have trouble wrapping my head around an 8 oz glass of skim milk being 3 points but a quart of fat free greek yogurt is… none… but… that’s because I know I’m over thinking everything.

NOT that I’m not having success.  I’m down 32 pounds.  This morning I put on the belt that I bought in Amarillo right after we moved there in 2000.  There was an amazing western wear store there and I fell in love with the belt… and I have been dragging it around for years and I never dreamed I would ever be able to wear it again… and this morning I have it on.

But…

I went to my PCP on Tuesday.  She is THRILLED with my weight loss.  Thinks that I should always try to consume 750 calories a day and burn 2500 calories those same days because… well, duh… that burns fat.

It’s not sustainable

but that’s okay because f$&* you that’s why… LOSE LOSE LOSE LOSE LOSE.

Same logic as… you should really only EVER eat the 0 point foods because obviously no one will ever want to eat… beef… pork… a 1″ square of brownie… and hey… at some point I will just lose it and go completely off the rains.

Except now that I’m only fat and not OBESE, she thinks I need to completely stop at 160 – 165 pounds.  Stop weight watchers.  Stop losing. Just… stop.

I’m not happy with that solution and I am not going to follow her edict.  MY goal is to hit what WW actually says is roughly a healthy weight for me and try to maintain that.

That said…

I know that if I reach goal (her mythical 160 to 165 number) I can become lifetime.  The magical lifetimeness of WW.  Everyone say OOOOOO…. Everyone say AHHHHH.

Yeah, whatever.

Again.  My trouble is… I don’t really do sheeple very well.  I spend a lot of time caught up in my own head.  I’m pretty sure that is part of my Aspie-ness that isn’t a thing any more but that doesn’t change who I am.

So I did some digging.

You can never ever ever ever ever ever ever get to lifetime as long as you’re online only.  HAHAHAHAHA.  Silly goose, wouldn’t want someone playing the system… duh… no no no no no.  You have to get within 5 pounds on online only and then pay $40 a month to get to goal… then $40 a month for the 6 or so (yeah… or 8 or 10 or whatever… hee hee hee) weeks that you have to maintain between 2 pounds over and 2 pounds under your mythical magical number.  Three pounds under? HAHAHAHAHAH… reset your goal weight… reset your 6 weeks… But I’m ASSURED that at that point it is NOT all about the money.

Okay, whatever

Don’t think

BEEEE the sheep.

Maybe I can be a sheep.  Maybe I can be a good little sheep for a couple of months.

Went to talk to the leader of the chapter we have at work yesterday.  Got her version of the scoop.

Yes, you HAVE to lose your last 5 pounds in meetings (kaching).  Yes, you have to maintain 2 pounds over or under for 6 consecutive weeks (kaching).  Then you can be lifetime and if you want you can then continue to lose.  As long as you don’t exceed your goal weight by more than 2 pounds at any weigh in in any month for the rest of your life… you can stay free (and get e-tools and get to go to the damn meetings I don’t want to go to anyway but I will have to once a month so THEY can say I am maintaining my magical mythical numbers.

OH… but if you do continue to lose… they won’t charge you for that.  BUT… They will STRONGLY SUGGEST (read harp at you until you do??? ) that you lower your goal weight to exactly where you are at any given point in time.

Everyone say oooo
everyone say ahhh

One of the women who was in the meeting to be weighed has been forking out $40 a month for seven years and isn’t anywhere near goal.  She’s been gaining and losing the same 20 pounds for 7 years.  SEVEN YEARS… without ever getting near to goal.

I can’t imagine having to go sit through meetings once a week for SEVEN YEARS and paying $40 a month for the privilege.

And, stupid me… I went hunting.  I found on our Library’s digital magazine page the Australian Weight Watchers magazine.  There are, obviously differences… like kilos instead of pounds and other things that are specific to Australia.  But one of the magazines has an article that talks about keeping the weight off and being lifetime and in maintenance.

I was stunned by the statistics that are in that magazine.

of over 900 lifetime members they surveyed (only 900 people… there are MILLIONS on WW… they could find 900 woo hoo people to help with the survey??? ) 94% remain BELOW THEIR INITIAL WEIGHT after one year.  NOT at goal.  Not kept the weight off.  Below their initial weight.  One year.  90% at two years.  75% at 5 years.

But this is a lifestyle, not a diet.

Another study of 2886 members, shows 87% maintaining a 10% weight loss at 5 years and 10 years.  I’ve already lost more than 10% of my original weight.  I will have lost roughly 25% by the time I reach what I would like to be my goal weight.

And I’m sitting here terrified about my 6 week dealy to get to “you don’t have to fork over a bunch of money any more”.

When I am getting close to infusion day I have inflammation.
Inflammation adds weight.  Maybe not a lot, but it adds weight.
I know that to hit my race in February, I’m going to have to go at least one month, maybe 2 (again) at 5 weeks between infusions instead of 4.  That means for TWO weeks… two weigh ins… I will have to pretty much starve for the couple days before my weigh in to not be 2.5 pounds over and then eat everything not nailed down by the next weigh in so I’m not freaking 2.5 pounds under.

But I over think things

I should just blindly sheeple to the Kool-aid trough.

I really enjoy how I’m feeling and I’m completely thrilled that forking out a crap ton of money was incentive enough to hold my own feet to the fire to do this.  I’m even more thrilled that I’ve actually shaved about a minute off of my per mile time while I’m out running in the mornings (and that I can actually go running in the mornings).

But…
I honestly wish I had been told all of the details before I started.  Or maybe I wish I had dug far enough into this when I started instead of just jumping in head first after I got pissed at my PCP.

Happy Thursday
love and light
April

6/14/2018

It’s NOT Okay

It’s not okay… okay?  It’s just FREAKING not.

I’m a little edgy this week, I’ll give you that. Today I go see my PCP and I haven’t seen her since I got pissed and started Weight Watchers.  I’m down but probably not down as much as she will want and she might just get an ear full on how… you know… Sunday when I did just under 13 miles (at least per my fitbit… map my run thinks it’s more… ) I burned almost twice as many calories as I consumed (Yay 23 points… YAY 752 calories intake…. WOOOHOOO… not… ) and how I’m not certain that this is a sustainable “life style choice” for the long haul.

I’m a little stressed.

So yesterday’s reaction to a situation might be a little skewed.  I didn’t THINK it was, but by the comments… and comments to comments… I’m not so certain any more.

I run.

And I’m actually enjoying running.

I’m down 30 pounds.  I’m kind of enjoying how that feels too.

I run in leggings. I wear either a tank, a technical t-shirt or a technical long sleeved shirt.  Running get up tends to not flap in the breeze, it usually fits more on the tighter side.  That’s just the way running stuff is.

I have a running skirt that I’ve been really wanting to try out… but I’m not sure how I will feel about running in it any more… not after yesterday.

Yesterday I went for a walk in Public Square at lunch time.  I wanted to hit my step goal and that was probably the best way to do it.

As I was walking through, a woman who was out for her lunch time run came past me through the park.  She was wearing all black.  She had leggings to her ankles.  She had a long sleeved technical shirt.  She had headsets.  She was going at a dead run.  I wanted to be her so badly.

A herd of piggies (you know the male chauvinist kind) found it necessary to engage in somewhat questionable cat calling.  It wasn’t for her benefit.  It wasn’t just a whistle.  It was rude.

“Look at them titties bounce”
“Man, that is one fine tight little ass”

I guess maybe I over reacted.

I suppose in the “Merca” we live in today that is perfectly acceptable.

I mean there were only about 30 kids under the age of 8 in the park for the lunch time fun that Cleveland has scheduled this summer.  It’s not like they are of an impressionable age, right?

I posted on facebook.  I was really pissed about the piggies.  It’s NOT alright to treat someone’s daughter/sister/mother this way.  It’s just not.

And I got some people (more, I’ll admit, amongst my running group than ‘regular’ facebook) that were as pissed as I was.  When you hear stuff like that, it kind of strikes home that you are not always as safe as you would like to think you are when you are out running in a public place in broad daylight with your headsets on.

There aren’t a lot of people around when I run so I’m not apt to hear the comments.  But there aren’t a lot of people around when I run… so… yeah.

One woman agreed with me and pointed out (RIGHTLY SO) that in today’s political environment, this kind of talk is not only condoned, it gets you elected president.  At which point it was pointed out that… you KNOW… Billy did bad things so it’s perfectly reasonable that it’s okay to say you could grab them by the <you know the rest> and to treat them like less than second class citizens.

Someone from work (who is at Disney as we speak… I’m so jealous) pointed out that… at Disney… there are women who are walking around with furry nether regions sticking out and with shirts cut low enough that nipples are becoming visible (and not during breast feeding) and if it were him with his junk dangling out of his shorts he would be arrested.  He’s right.  There is a HUGE double standard.

It was pointed out to him that body shaming is never acceptable when he said that he and his wife explained to their LITTLE GIRLS (read… I think maybe 6 and 8) that it’s not a good thing to have your nether regions on display so EVERYONE (including the CTV cameras that live stream Main Street USA) can see if they are natural blondes or not.  We aren’t talking about beach attire here.  We aren’t talking about being AT the beach.  Hello…

People are HORRIBLY offended at the THOUGHT of someone who is trans using the same bathroom as they are using… that someone might SEE something… something on their DAUGHTERS or wives… that they shouldn’t see.  Hell, they don’t have to worry about perverts pretending to be trans to sneak in to bathrooms to catch a glimpse… all they have to do is walk through a public place and wait.  It will come to the perverts, they don’t have to seek it out.

It’s a double standard.

Monkey Butt thinks I’m a freak of a feminist… and I guess I’m a freak in general so why not as a feminist.  I don’t think men and women should be treated differently.  I think if a man is arrested for his dangly bits being on public display, then maybe women should have the same experience.  That apparently makes me unpopular.  Women should be allowed to wear whatever they feel comfortable in wherever they feel comfortable wearing it (or… you know… not wearing it) irrespective of location and audience.  I think, if women have chairs and couches in the lady’s room… that men should have them too.  I think having locks on every freaking lady’s room door at work (all… every single one) but none on the men’s room doors is also somewhat hypocritical.

And I’m sitting here thinking… you know… I know I can get away with (in my head) wearing things that I haven’t worn in YEARS… shorts for example… leggings… shirts that aren’t as huge as I can find to hide in…

I know I can wear things that are cuter or that fit better.

But if it means that piggies are going to find it acceptable to make comments… am I really ready for those head games?

I know, I know… piggies will be piggies… and piggies are everywhere.

But that doesn’t make it okay.

 

Love and Light
April
6/12/18

Gallery

Sit with me a minute

Its a cool June morning and I should be off on my walk/run to add miles to the gym. I should try for 13 miles today. The rain isn’t that hard and I won’t melt… But it’s so nice here … Continue reading

But I Caaaaaaaan’t

I’ve been haunting a lot of websites lately trying to figure out 1. just how weird I am and 2. how to get to be a better me. I guess maybe that makes me even weirder but hey.

I’ve been reading a lot about can’t.

And I’ve been getting irritated.

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”  ~Albert Einstein

Girls can’t

Boys can’t

fat people can’t

skinny people can’t

people with RA can’t

people over can’t

I heard a lot when I was growing up all of the things that I was told I can’t.  I worked really hard to prove out that some of those were wrong.  Some stick in the back of my head and I fight the words EVERY SINGLE DAY.

There are a lot of things I know I can’t do.  I can’t “win” a half marathon (marathon) but that is because I never loved running when I was in a position to train that hard for it.  I suppose if I really REALLY trained now, in several years I might actually have a shot at at least winning my age group. I’m not sure if I care that much, and that is on ME.  It isn’t that I can’t.  It’s that I won’t… that I choose not to.

I can’t do a full marathon.  NOT because I can’t (believe me I have been thinking very seriously about training for one… and maybe some day) but because I can’t justify in my head putting in that much work to git-er-done.  I am not incapable.  I choose to not put my effort there. For now.

I got all caught up in my head that I couldn’t lose weight.  I resented being told by the doctor that WW was the magic bullet and that all I needed to do was follow their sheeple and I would magically be perfect. “THE PLAN” works.  It completely works if you work the plan.  I just went out and bought (thank you for the Salvation Army 50% off clothes sale for Memorial Day) pants that are 2 sizes smaller than I have worn in YEARS and they fit (some actually are already baggy).  It works.  I’m kind of scared that when I reach goal that I won’t be able to maintain because the math really doesn’t work in my head still.  Anyone can lose weight if they are running 2 – 10 miles a day and eating 900 calories.  The trick is to be able to maintain a healthy weight and a healthy lifestyle.  I’m trying to learn.

I thought, I can’t.  But I have, I am.

I was registered for a half marathon when I was diagnosed with RA. I immediately went out and googled stuff (duh… and DOH) and what I read suggested that I can’t do half marathons (or 10ks or whatever).  My rheumy suggested that I probably ought not (at least then) run.  I was not controlled in my disease.  I am still only marginally controlled… If I insisted on this, I should train to walk very fast.  So I did.

Only a couple months after diagnosis, and just a month (maybe 6 weeks) after starting methotrexate, I finished my first half.  I almost quit.  Thanks to Monkey Butt walking out to walk me in I didn’t.  But I almost did.  My hips were screaming about an 18 on a scale of 1 to 10 and it was all I could do to move.  But I was stubborn and I was determined and I did it.

And I did it again.

And again.

This morning I have been reading.

One thing I read was the Cleveland Marathon Facebook page and I realized that my PR was even better than it should have been because the course was .18 miles longer than it was supposed to be (so I ‘ran’ 13.28 instead of 13.1 and I still shaved 19 minutes off my time).  That was surprising.  People are SOOOOO upset because there is a decent sized hill in about the middle of the half marathon course and it is a smallish brute.  Austin’s was way bigger.  And Cleveland had awesome signs to entertain you going up the hill.

Did you ever stop and think that a lot of life is kind of like a marathon?  There are hills.  There is pain.  You get tired.  There is rain and heat and utter exhaustion.  But you keep going.  You might bitch later.  You might whine that you can’t can’t can’t can’t can’t… but you can.  And you do.

Don’t get me wrong (and I know I could take a LOT of grief for the misunderstanding here)… not everyone is cut out to run.  Not everyone wants to, cares to, thinks about, running races (or running at all).  There are people with RA that are way more debilitated than I am.  There are people who’s bodies will not allow them to get out of bed.  There are people (I love you Bear) who struggle every day and finally take a deep breath and admit that they need assistive devices.  But we all have our challenges. There is no shame in needing help.  There should be no judgement in running our own races and learning what we need to learn from them.

And in trying to help each other up the hills.

If I was an elite runner (or an elite anything), I probably would have a different mindset.  I would be determined to win at all costs.  But for me, the races are mostly just life.  We are all in it together.  We are all running our own races, and we are running side by side up the hills, through the rain.  Sometimes we fall and need help getting up.  Sometimes we just do what we need to do and push through it all alone.

But you can’t give up.

You don’t know who is watching you.

You can sit down on the curb sometimes and cry until you can’t cry any more, but in the end you just pick yourself up, wipe the dirt off your butt, and keep plodding along.

Some time around mile 9 or 10 (or 19 or 20 as I hear tell) you start to feel so very very alone.  Sometimes alone is accurate.  And that’s okay too.

And when the course gets rough and the hills get long and steep, it’s okay to stop and catch your breath… rest a bit… and keep on plodding on.

 

Love and Light
April
6/2/2018

Gallery

Hydaway… nifty new water bottle

This gallery contains 3 photos.

This is an endorsement… but it is one on a product I bought deliberately and will buy again. Back in 2015 there was a really cool product on kickstarter and I remember watching their ‘ad’ and thinking that it was … Continue reading

Cleveland Marathon Weekend Half Marathon Recap

And already it is over.  Already it is the week after and I am wondering where the time went.  All of the training for this one is in the bag… The hard work is done (for this one) and now it is time to sit back and reflect.

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My first thought (because I just read a Women’s Running magazine article on oooo look at me, I ran my half marathon despite having the flu… isn’t that admirable… look at how awesome I am despite spewing germs over 13 miles and an expo!!!) has been… thank goodness I didn’t get sick through the last few days.  Autoimmune disorder chick doesn’t appreciate the INCREDIBLE ADMIRATION OOOOOOO people get for deliberately spreading germs to 50,000 of the people they contact…  If you wouldn’t go to work and slobber all over your co-workers, don’t slobber all over the race event…

Bear isn’t incredibly thrilled with my reflections… but… it is what it is.  A lot of it is that I’m proud of myself (he’s good with that) a lot of it is that I’m beating myself up (not so good with that).  Now I know, basically, where I stand, and where I need to improve.

My takeaways on the race…

    1. even when the weather apps say it isn’t raining and that rain is pretty far away, don’t believe them.  While it wasn’t exactly rain rain… it was heavy enough foggy drizzle to make the day very chilly and humid.  For not rain… there were a lot of puddles and a LOT of people standing inside for the half hour leading up to race time.  Personally, I thought this was hilarious.  You are going to be out on the course… running… walking… run-walk-running… woggling… whatever you do…. for well over an hour and you are worried about getting wet before the race started.
    2. ‘walkers keep to the right and runners to the left’ gets you run over and knocked sailing if you are stupid enough to be doing intervals and are walking on the right.  WORSE, if you are at mile 12+ you have marathoners RUNNING inches from you despite the fact that you are all the way to the right of the right side of the street and they have FOUR FREAKING LANES to run in… nope, have to run close enough to you that they fling sweat as they pass.  YAY.
    3. Flat course is relative.  There are some kind of big hills.  One is down which was great one is up which I handled better than I thought I would when I saw it… but there ARE hills of varying sizes.
    4. Every other race I’ve done has done a better job of cleaning up after the runners who discard shirts/sleeves/pants/shoes/whatever along the route than Cleveland did.  It’s Tuesday and there are still clothes laying in brightly colored puddles along the sidewalks.  Not cool and it makes Cleveland look very sloppy.
    5. Mario (at the end of the Detroit street bridge was the best cheering section I passed on Sunday.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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It was nice to see people out in the rain cheering everyone on

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That is a LOT of cups

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Yeah, yeah, I have a thing for boats and reflections… Didn’t actually realize what pictures I did end up getting but this wasn’t bad with Tower City in the background.

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It was very cool running across the lift bridges and seeing the G-Tugs hanging out in the fog…

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It was kind of neat running where I walk every day anyway.  It was much more comfortable on the street running than I think it would have been on the sidewalk.

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I kept up with the “3 hour half” pacer for about three miles… but then I lost him along below Tower City.  Shame, too because at that point I really had my heart set on making a 3 hour half.  I wasn’t FAR off… but I wasn’t quite where I would have loved to have been .

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See… this is totally a hill.  Not quite as long as the one in Austin, but a hill none the less.  I loved the signs you pass going up, though… cheering you on…

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This is most true!!!

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I loved passing the interesting artwork.

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and the cool photo ops.

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I had never had Honey Stingers before.  It is my new go-to race food.

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This is an interesting house.  Architecture is kind of interesting in Cleveland.

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Next to the artwork… the people were awesome to pass

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I loved this shirt at the point I caught up to her.  It made me smile because it’s very true.

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This was… interesting… it was kind of annoying when the marathon pacer decided that it was imperative that he cut off the people in the half marathon side of the road so he could high five the people on the stationary bikes because… you know… I was kind of busy running my own race that probably wasn’t as exciting or important as the high fives or the full marathon race… but hey… it was interesting…

I have to kind of pat myself on the back a little, though… I PRed both my races.  I have NEVER EVER run as fast as I did for the 8k and even my Half Marathon time was better than I ever dreamed it would be.  I was hoping to make it (before I set off in the race) in under 3 hours and 25 minutes.  I did.

Now, all I have to do is better my time so I can better my corral in the Princess challenge and I will be set!

Now… onward and upward…

Rock and roll 10k in August
amish 10k September
towpath 10k October (maybe the half??? )
princess challenge 2019
and… next year’s Cleveland challenge series.

I’m trying to not hold out too much hope of being a race ambassador… but I think it would be wicked awesome cool to prove that someone with RA and who is more than a little overweight can ambassador a race and raise awareness!!!

 

Love and Light
April
5/22/2018

2018 Cleveland Marathon Weekend 8k Race Recap…

Well… day 1 (the 8k portion) of my challenge series weekend is done.  The sun is back to shining and it isn’t even noon yet.  Hard to believe… but there it is…

Race day?  Epic

Had to be downtown Cleveland by 7 am.  The race was to start at 8.  Despite feeling shitty and it being windy and cold and humid and rainy (kind of) bear made it to watch.  I was really glad that he was there to cheer me on, even though I know that he would much rather have been in it with me if he could have been.P5191112.jpg

The race started on time with a cheer and a shuffle.  It was a pleasant surprise.  What was just as awesome is that I crossed the starting line about one minute after the “gun”.  Bear and squirrel both snagged pictures of me heading through the starting line.  That was kind of awesome, because I totally wasn’t going to spend $80 on race pictures.

The pre-race, for me, was kind of interesting.  I’ve done Disney race… I’ve done several others… I’ve done Austin multiple times… this was kind of neat.  The starting corrals were the finish line only backwards.    It was interesting walking past the medals and post-race snacks on your way through to the start.


Most of the race was in places I have walked or driven before.  Yay for driving downtown and knowing where I’m going.  There was some interesting new places though and I loved some of the buildings/doors that I passed by.

It always makes me feel kind of weird that I’m one of the only one that is doing the race completely solo.  I pass, or am passed, by people running together in twos and threes and more… there aren’t many of us (or not many that I notice) that are doing the race solo.  I’t one of the reasons that I run with a bell (or bells) so I can remind myself that I am in this for the long haul and I’m all good.

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When you are towards the back of the pack, you don’t get to see many people on the sidelines cheering… there was actually only one that I saw today (but then it was “just” an 8k) but that one was EPICALLY Awesome!!! “May The Course Be With Your” was at the top of the last hill and a most welcome sight.

And… at one hour and 4 minutes… I crossed the finish line.  My chip time said I did a 12 minute 50 second minute mile for the 5 miles I ran today (and I honestly did do almost consistently a 2 minute walk and 30 second run).  I don’t expect to be able to maintain that tomorrow, but so far I did PR my mile time and I’m hoping to PR my tomorrow half marathon time.

I did it.

And I don’t feel like my hips are going to fall off… My knees and feet feel pretty good (much better after a hot bath)… and my omelette I made me after we got home was incredibly wonderful.

I feel frighteningly good.

More to come tomorrow!!!

Love and light
April
5/19/2018

Gallery

Cleveland Marathon Expo Day

This gallery contains 9 photos.

I can hardly believe it is already race weekend.  Today is the Expo.  Packet Pickup.  In just hours it will be race day(s).  I’m not entirely sure what I was expecting, but I was certainly expecting it to be bigger … Continue reading