This gallery contains 8 photos.
I have decided that I’m going to make a point. I’ve had it right up to here with the bitching and meaning about how impossible it is to go even to the store with a mask on. It has become … Continue reading
This gallery contains 8 photos.
I have decided that I’m going to make a point. I’ve had it right up to here with the bitching and meaning about how impossible it is to go even to the store with a mask on. It has become … Continue reading
This race review is written from the back of the pack… no judgement on that at all just information… the experience is probably different for the people who were nearer the front.
The Made In America Half, in Massilon Ohio was last weekend. I was torn as to whether (weather) or not to do the race. I kept thinking that it was going to be 25 degrees Fahrenheit. The race only cost me $35 to register. Bear was feeling really really crappy and wasn’t going to be able to go even sit and wait for me (for three hours) in the car in a parking lot. I was torn as to whether or not it was going to be worth going.
I wanted desperately to come in at about 2:43 start to finish.
I finished at 3:01:50. Not awful. Not time to turn in form corral placement for Disney, but not awful.
I’m used to being at the back of the pack. I’m not fast, but I am strong (~Baymax). This race only had just under 300 people who started the race. I didn’t finish last. I didn’t not finish. It was all okay.
It was a really hard race, though, in a lot of ways.
The first four miles are hilly. They don’t actually close the roads. For a ways they close one lane. For a ways they don’t close any of the lanes. For a ways the route is sketchily market at best. But it is a $35 race. And you get a shirt and a medal.
The last 9 miles is on the Towpath. The Towpath in Massilon isn’t as well kept up as the Towpath in Brecksville. I think it might have been paved at some point in its life, at least parts of it, but now it isn’t. It’s packed dirt. So this can actually be said to be a combination road race and trail race. They did (I think they did) salt the course so the ice that likely was there melted even where the tree cover was heavy.
For a while I was sort of traveling near people, but the herd soon thinned out considerably. There were a couple people I could see (if the trail bent right) ahead of me (the yellow jacket helped), and there were a couple people who were behind me that I knew for sure were still back there (there the red jackets stood out) but I was kind of the half way point between people who were a half or 3/4 miles apart. One woman passed me at about mile 9, I passed another woman at about mile 11. For most of the race, though, I was alone. I had entirely too long to think.
There wasn’t an issue with being in the way of anything after mile 4. I passed a couple water stops, but for the most part it was flying alone. There was a train track for a while, there was road for a while, there were even a few houses, but when you are all alone, you are pretty much all alone.
It was a good race. I would probably do it again. The biggest thing that was a let down for me was, at the end, there were no bananas. There was nothing even resembling healthy. There were cookies and chips and water. I would have given anything for either chocolate milk or bananas or even an apple… but… it was not to be.
I did it. I finished. I enjoyed the scenery and I did use it as a training “run” but… it was a very hard morning in a lot of ways.
So, I’m following the Galloway training plan from the RunDisney site. 19 easy weeks to a 10K/half marathon.
I don’t usually get to do a mid week training run during the daylight. I typically run at about 4:30 am. It’s nice to see what I’m passing better.
It was in the 40s and bright and sunny.
It bodes well for the rest of training.
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.
When I let go of it this is what happened!!!
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
Love and Light
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
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.
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.
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!
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.
The motivational signs were awesome.
The bear wasn’t really so sure what the silly humans were doing…. but he was up for a good show.
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…
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.
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.
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…
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…
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)And 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.
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.
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
June 24 2018
Okay, so… I’ve been thinking a lot the last day and a half on finishing a race dead ass last. Not losing. I didn’t lose. Losing would have been quitting because it got hard, or not starting because of the rain, or not trying because it’s work. I didn’t lose. I ran my race and I finished. And I’m glad I did.
But, there are things that you miss out if you are in the back of the pack.
In February, I did the Austin Half. My time was 4:00:39. Not really anything to brag about other than I finished. I was hurting like hell and I finished. Yesterday I did 10 miles in 2:38:57. And I felt pretty damn good by the time I finished.
I learned that, when you’re last, you really don’t seem to count.
The people taking pictures… get great pictures of the HUGE herd of people crossing the starting line… coming around mile 9 or 10 or 12… or across the first street bridge or whatever. They disappear after the huge herd passes. I got my picture taken I think three times yesterday… Once at the start, once rounding the 9.75 mile mark and once crossing the finish line. And that guy really didn’t want to still be there, you could tell.
The people cheering leave. If you aren’t in the herd, you really don’t get cheered so much except sometimes by the people at the water stops.
The water stops dry up and blow away. In the half, right were I NEEDED gatoraid and right where I NEEDED water, the tables were there, there were empty cups blowing around. There was no water. Yesterday, as we were finishing the last two miles, they were pulling the tables and the water buffalos. Poof… no water for the stragglers. The people not elite… the people not fast enough to be in with the in crowd… they probably don’t need water by mile 8-9-10-11-whatever anyway.
I’m not elite. I don’t have a bicycle riding with me to make sure I make my time and get to the finish line in the first handful of runners. I’m not even really middle of the pack. Yesterday, we had the medic buggy pacing us about 7 feet behind my heels. Okay, it may have only felt to me like they were vultures circling the feast, but, you know what, I had THREE hours to finish. I guess technically I had until 10:00 am to finish by what I was told… I finished in under 16 minute miles. I finished with a good FIFTEEN minutes to spare and THAT was after they delayed the start 15 minutes. I might not ever be a good runner, but it really is demoralizing to realize that your ass is what is holding up EVERYONE from going out and having their fun.
I paid my money. I count.
For all of those even planners out there planning races…
Leave the water until AFTER the last runners pass. It’s not that many extra minutes to your day.
Don’t park your porta-potty truck on the course even if you have to wait for us to pass and it takes you an extra twenty minutes on your day. Going around you truck is a pain in the ass and tacky.
If you are the people scraping up the bodies that don’t make it, If I happen to still be up and running (or walking or crawling for that matter) BACK OFF. You are in a buggy. Staying 20 feet back or 30 feet back… or however far back it ends up being that I don’t have to hear you discussing your lunch plans that I’m ruining by being one of the last 10 people to finish.
I may not matter to you, but this matters to me. I matters just as much to me, hell, maybe it matters MORE to me, as it does to mister first place finisher.
And if you are taking pictures, I buy your stupid pictures. Usually. If I’m actually… you know… IN any of them. Want to make a buck (or a hundred bucks)… maybe I count too. Probably not… but maybe.
okay… I’ll quit venting (and hope like hell I can get to sleep soon).
Just… please know… those of us who aren’t in the first half of the pack have feelings. We spent the same amount of money to be here as everyone else, hell, maybe more. Have the courtesy to treat us the way that you treated the guy who finished first in a course record.
So, I’m sitting here on this cool and clear Sunday morning looking at my 10 mile race just one week away. My Figment outfit is pretty nearly ready (I’m working now on arm warmers that are the right color… just in case) and I’m really looking forward to seeing what my time is for this race. I’m liking the course (mostly flat the first three and last three miles with some rolling hills in the middle) and I really think I can improve my chances for moving up a coral in January.
I’m trying to decide what color long sleeved shirt I should wear under my short sleeved shirt (lavender) if it ends up chilly like this morning on either race… I have yellow and white and red, and blue but I can’t find a single lavender long sleeved technical shirt (thus the arm warmers).
Amandya is doing the race with me. She signed up late, and isn’t training, but that didn’t stop her in the half marathon last February. She will make it. I know she will. And I know it will do her good. She doesn’t like the fact that I’m probably not going to stay with her the whole race. I’m not sure why it bothers her… she did 99% of the half all alone… and she is the one that left everyone else in the dust… and I’m just mom enough that I’m feeling guilty for knowing that I have to run this as my own race. I have to push hard enough that I improve my chances in January. And I’m just determined enough to leave her in the dust if I have to. I’m putting the Disney music on her iPod so she has tunes to walk to. I know she will be safe as long as she’s on the race route. And we will be okay.
I’m sitting here, this early morning, with my right ankle wrapped in an ace bandage. I should probably be doing a longish run today (to stick to the Galloway plan) but I was out in the back yard taking pictures of toad stools yesterday and I fell over a leaf and twisted my ankle. In the grand scheme of my life, it hurts about a three. But in the grand scheme of my current determination, it’s worrying me about a fifteen. I’m going to take some industrial strength Aleve and try to at least take a walk a few times around the neighborhood to at least get what might pass for distance work in… but I can’t push… I can’t take the chance of hurting myself worse and not be able to do my best next week.
So… It’s nearly the end of October. Disney let us know that they will ship our wrist bands December 2. Our reservations look nearly right online. and in a week I will validate to myself that I can…
1… finish a 10 mile race feeling way better than I finished the half in Feb
2… get times sufficient to move up a coral or two and improve my chances of not getting swept at Disney
3… race with my Figment outfit. I may not get to get my picture taken with him in my outfit, but I can race through Epcot wearing my two tiny wings and my horns of a steer…
I know that my compulsion to run races isn’t really a popular thing… some people don’t understand why anyone would pay good money to go somewhere and go for a walk. But… it’s something that I really love to do and it’s something that I’m going to keep doing. This feels too good to give up on! As long as I can, I’m going to.
Loner-dom has never been a conscious choice, not by design, not because I hate people. It has always seemed to just happen. Thinking back, making friends was just never as easy for me as it seemed to be for other people. And friends have come and gone, slipping gracefully into and out of my life.
There are a few who I have missed greatly. I have tried to contact some… and all of my attempts, for all intents and purposes, have gone to the great bit bucket in the sky. At some point, you start to realize that it’s just not happening.
I watch people at work go and have coffee together. I watch people walk loops, with other people, around the building. I listen to people inviting other people to lunch. I watch people joking and bring each other donuts and breakfast tacos.
I try to drown out the world at work with my headsets. And I feel a very lame leap of joy when I finally get one of the stupid “atta boy” cards at work… even though the person I got one from had (this month) written one out for each and everyone of the people on our team… I felt stupidly happy to realize that I was included as one of the people on my team.
It’s easier to think it doesn’t matter if you drown out the world.
I know I have friends. I know that I have even more acquaintances.
I got home and I watch the neighbors have parties.
We go on vacation and have to pay someone to watch the pets. There is no one I can ask to watch them.
mostly, my friends live in my computer. Some in my computer at work. Some in my computer at home.
And I finally have a best friend… and a few that I consider to be good friends.
I’m reading Mile Markers (Kristin Armstrong) and realizing just how lonely sometimes I am. I face so many of my runs alone.