beamychron live now with more narcissism…

28Sep/135

swedish for strive

Posted by ben

Long time, no posting. This was a pretty excellent summer, I have to say. Not much time for posting. Work was a lot more challenging than you would hope for the summer and I was out running or riding most nights. My eating regime has definitely loosened, but I'm happy to say that I've maintained the weight loss goal that I achieved at the end of the winter. Now that I'm in weight maintenance mode, while continuing to exercise a lot, I eat with near impunity. This is good times!

Thanks to the running that I did over the winter, the transition to riding was pretty solid. Which is to say that I felt better on the first bike ride this year than I did at the end of last summer. After a few weeks of fairly casual rides I hooked up with one of Amy's coworkers and he then encouraged me to join a local bike shop for group rides on Wednesday evenings. The bike shop rides usually consisted of 30-50 people that splintered off in to various skill levels and we found our place. By the end of the season I think we had both gotten to the point where we might consider making the jump to the top dog group, though I think that leap is greater than it might seem. So I dunno what next year will bring but it could be interesting. I did have to cut the riding a little short to start preparing for my first half marathon next month. Riding doesn't really translate to running, as I have found. The endurance carries over, but the muscles are different and the wear and tear takes some getting used to. Amy was starting to get nervous for me and my lack of preparation, and so it was with a heavy heart that I hung the wheels up in the garage. I could conceivably do both, but not at the level that the group ride demands, and I'd like to at least say I gave the half marathon a good showing.

So yeah, at some point in the early summer my brother invited me to start using Strava. The best way I could describe it is that it's a social network for riders and runners. You upload your activities to the website and it compiles all of the data into a nice little summary. Strava was actually started here locally and I was aware of it early on, but if memory serves it was a subscription model at the time and I'm not really down with that. Whether or not that was ever actually true, they now have a tiered service where the free option is pretty dang good. So I signed up to keep tabs on my brother's activities, and it had the unintended consequence of further opening up the local riding community to me immediately. You can browse what they call 'segments' in any given area and see the times for everyone who has cleared that segment. From there you can drill in to individual profiles to find out where they are riding and who they are riding with (assuming they aren't private). I'm able to find new rides, build a little network, track my personal progress, and also feed a little bit of a competitive beast that I have never really accepted I had.

Right, okay so I guess you can manually enter data in to the website but the preferred method is to generate some GPS data. The most accessible way for most of us is to use the inherent GPS capability of your trusty smart phone. Strava offers a pretty good free app that you fire up while you're on the run or ride. I used the app all summer on my rides, and then when I started sprinkling some runs in there I carried the phone in my hand. You can pack the phone away in a saddle bag or jersey pocket on a ride, but the running is a pain. I haven't found an arm band or hip pouch that doesn't flop around obnoxiously so my low tech solution was to drop the phone in a sock and hold it. This was definitely adequate but not ideal, so I bit the bullet and recently bought a watch. The watch also came with a heart rate monitor which offers another layer of performance tracking that I like. I can technically pair the watch wirelessly to a sensor on my bike next year, but I think I will probably swallow another bullet and get a dedicated GPS unit for the bike. I do miss the immediacy of the phone - you can upload data directly to the web as soon as the ride is over - but the ergonomic benefits and the increased accuracy of dedicated units are too great to ignore.

forerunner-610

Amy and I went out for an organized 10k trail run this morning and I thought I would see what Strava's embed options look like. So here we are:

The run itself was
B...
U...
T...
FULL.

Typical morning fog hung around until 11am or so, and the leaves are changing pretty rapidly now. I came around a corner at one point, running parallel with the contours and I had a view down into the foggy valley, but the sun was breaking through in places and dappling the floor. The terrain was mostly great single track with plenty of roots and rocks to watch out for. I ran with someone I met recently for about two miles, but then he had a bit of trouble with his dog so I continued on alone and kept to myself for the remainder of the run. Just me in the woods. In my half marathon training I'm finding that I don't much care for longer distances on the road. Even running around a gorgeous lake is pretty boring, but I refuse to resort to audio entertainment to distract myself. One of things I like most about being out on foot is getting in touch with my surroundings and listening to myself. So I think I'm more of a trail runner, but I am still looking forward to putting a half under my belt.

Yeah, so it's been a great summer. I'm going in to winter in better shape than I was last year, and I'm eager to come out in spring even further ahead. I'ma keep on Stravaing. For better or worse, I don't think you can delve too deeply into a profile unless you create an account yourself, but I can be found here if all my fan are interested. 🙂

Filed under: ben running 5 Comments
3Sep/131

Falling into Fall

Posted by amy

I realized that I hadn't posted in a long time and wanted to update the masses of you who read this what is going on in my world.

Post-Prouty riding has been mostly riding to work and the occasional slow trip along the Connecticut River.  I've been ramping up training for the CHaD half marathon in October, which Ben will also be running.  This is a challenging course, with hills throughout the last 4 miles.  After that, hopefully will have some snow this season and hit the trails with spikes, snowshoes, and skis.  I am hoping to register for the Vermont Marathon in Burlington, which is run in May.

Ben and I will be celebrating our 5th wedding anniversary this coming November and we plan to spend a week celebrating at various B&B's and hiking.  We have actually been together, or at least known each other for 10 years now.  A decade of bliss!

Life on the farm has been crazy busy.  Most of the farm crew have returned to school and so we are a skeletal crew in the stand, creating long hours for those of us left.  The final stretch has come and there are two months left until it mostly shuts down.  I get a good workout lifting crates of apples!  The stand is full off delicious veggies, reminding me that late August is truly the bounty time and Ben and I are enjoying shorter grocery store lists and eating whatever is from the field.  Our annual pumpkin festival is coming up in October, which is a fun and frenetic day of all things pumpkin and autumn.  I will get to see some of the farm crew who will return from school to help for the day and it will be great to see them again.  I worked with a great staff of gals this season and I miss them already!  Once my season at the farm is over, I will return to working 3 days/week at Department of Children and  Families helping with their case closures.  I'm SO looking forward to only working 3 days/week!  This will allow me to spend more time at home and visiting friends and family.  It's been a big adjustment to working on a farm and following the flow of the farming season, with summer being the busy time and winters quieter.  I'm looking forward to working there again next season.

Ben and I are also in the process of considering selling our house in the next year or so and starting to look at buying land for building.  We have a lot of work to do on the house to get it ready for this, so winter will also be busy with projects (right Ben?!!!!).

Our own garden is winding down after a bumper crop of cherry tomatoes and herbs and we finally bought a standing freezer in which we are putting up veggies and meat from the farm and lots of pesto!  Our brussel sprout plants look like giant monsters and I'm hoping that the awful heat we've had this summer won't deter them from producing one of my favorite veggies.  I've also planted a fall crop of spinach and kale to freeze for winter and might experiment with overwintering some as well to see if it will be a treat for early spring.

So life is ticking away here at The Logz.  Looking forward to cooler weather and the start of autumn.

Filed under: uncategorized 1 Comment
18May/134

husband beston

Posted by ben

Amy registered me for this year's Raptor Run at the same time she did. For whatever reason they added me to the roster as 'Husband Beston'.

Wife Beston had already run down to the lake from the house and decided to keep going alone rather than wait for the race to start. I wanted a timed run so I could mark my improvement over a relatively unprepared effort last year. So that's why you won't find her on the list this time. She was kind enough to wait for me to suffer through last year, but this year I was going to be more selfish. 🙂

11May/134

my first pogue

Posted by ben

Amy's run it for a few years now as I've watched dutifully from the sidelines, but this year was my first Road to the Pogue. I've been eagerly waiting for today like you might for a new toy to arrive in the mail, which is weird, but true. In the last few weeks I had begun searching out some steeper trail runs to expose myself to things I'd encounter on the course. The edges frayed a little last week as I tried to tackle too much by Wednesday. So I skipped our Thursday evening cross training session and did a light run on Saturday where I still found myself tired. Maybe it was allergies too. This past week, on Tuesday I did a brisk bike ride with my co-worker and a pretty intense cross train on Thursday. Less overall activity than normal, but a lot less than the week before. I hoped the time off would be enough to make me feel good today without damaging any gains I've been making.

A big yellow bus dropped us off in a parking lot near the start. The actual start is 3-400 yards in to the park, up a nice incline. Amy and I mixed a fast walk and jog to warm up the body on the way up. We'd been standing in a slight drizzle for 20 minutes waiting at the other end for the bus, and we were on the last bus so there wouldn't be time for warming up otherwise. The race starts off climbing immediately, which concerned me a little bit since it can usually take me a while to settle in. If I wanted to push myself I'd need a chance to get warm first. The approach was all we had time for.

Before long we began to hear the collective chatter of 300 people above, somewhere in the trees. In the last week, the leaves have exploded to create an unfamiliar veil in the woods. Then suddenly we saw everyone lined up in a relatively flat area on the trail. We settled in to the 10:00 mile section and waited only a few minutes for the gun to go off.

map

I'm embarrassed to say that my adrenaline set me off at a faster pace than I had otherwise planned on, but I felt good, so I went with it - passing gobs of people as I climbed. The beginning of a race is always a cluster F. It's like being on a highway during rush hour. You have to pick your spots and work the soft shoulder to make progress. Scaling back my week really seemed to be paying off though. Things leveled out at The Pogue and I had a moment to composed myself, still making gains, breathing easily. A woman asked me if I knew our pace and I did not. She said she knew it was too fast, but wanted to know how far over she was. I responded with some form of support. Then as we come around the western banks of the pond, the trail begins climbing again for the peak, the point at which Amy had warned me the going gets tough. And she was right. It's then that I started suffering, but I continued reeling folks in and continued a running pace. My plan had been to exhaust myself by the peak and coast down the hill to the end, but I spent it a little more quickly than that and at mile 3 I was questioning myself. Could I maintain? I took opportunities to rest where possible and slowed a bit. What the map doesn't really convey is that as you retrace your steps over the 4 mile marker, coming off the peak, you are again climbing before the 1.8 miles to the bottom. So it's not quite all over when you hit the top.

Also, turns out coasting down the final hill requires a bit more effort than I had thought, but the competitive urge to pass people kept me going, faster and faster as I descended. I recognized some people who attend all the local races and realized.... these are people who normally do pretty respectably (in my opinion). A man sprinted by me when we still had 200-300 yards left, then slowed enough for me to respond. So I passed him on the shoulder and accelerated. I could hear him behind me and that's when the runner's high kicked in. My head tingled, my body got light, and I ran faster. We raced to the finish and he stayed behind, with a congrats to each other at the end.

By my description you'd think I won the whole event. Nah - 113 out of 349. But I'm proud of my pace on a challenging course and the fact that I was somewhere near the top third, considering I don't think of myself as a runner. It does look like I'm in the bottom half of my division though. So there's room to improve. I'd like to break into the top 100 and the top half of my division next year. Next year I may start the race further up in the group. Having no prior experience, I didn't want to overestimate and put myself in a group of people who saw me as a road block.

I haven't participated in many organized events so it's not like I have a long and rich history of chill participation, but normally I'm cool to just go out and participate since there's no way I'm going to come anywhere close to winning. This time it wasn't enough to simply do it. As much as I talked about that being enough before the race, once I was there I wanted to compete. 🙂

There's another trail race tomorrow in Hanover. I might do it as a way to shake up the muscles if I feel like it. The event is part of a series that I hope to partake of as the summer progresses. Some of them I'll skip, just because I don't feel like driving that far. But I do hope to wrap things up with the Farnum Five.

5May/133

nacho

Posted by ben

Filed under: benny likee, video 3 Comments
3May/130

repeat myself

Posted by ben

Did I mention rally is the best racing? It gets into gnarlsbad caverns around 8 minutes.

20Apr/133

snorkel

Posted by ben

$3k could be better spent at our house, for sure, so it's still a dream. But we will have a wood burning hot tub some day. Some day.

hot-tub

After a long day building veggie gardens, I could really go for a nice soak.

Filed under: benny likee 3 Comments
20Apr/130

like rabbits

Posted by ben

raised garden beds

I don't think I'll be up for doubling our count next year, but you never know!

Amy has read that a north/south orientation is better for capturing sunlight so we thought we'd give that a go.

16Apr/130

bonobo + shigeto

Posted by ben

IMG_0581

Amy and I went up to Burlington on Sunday afternoon to catch Bonobo at Higher Ground. I do wish we were a little closer to a venue like that, because a lot of good stuff comes around, but you make the effort from time to time. Can't say I had ever heard of Shigeto and I didn't do my homework ahead of time so I didn't quite know what to expect. Turns out he was two tables over from us at dinner before the show, but I didn't know it till he came out on stage and started twisting some knobs on the digitabulator. It also turns out I'm a fan as this came out of the speakers.

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My only regret is that I didn't get this silky smoothness from the very beginning, but I was a little skittish on the recording. You can hear Amy in the middle tell me I'm going to get in trouble. 🙂 She disappeared at one point, probably to tell teacher.

I've since picked up some of his jams and in an uncharacteristic move I've "Liked" him on Fuckbuckets. When he wasn't taking a breather on the computer he was wailing away on a pretty paired down drum kit. Man, I really wish I could have recorded his whole set. It was very, very nice. We were pretty close to the stage since all the cool people still hadn't shown up yet for Bonobo. Then we took to the back of house to get ourselves up on the elevated area so that short stuff could see the stage for the main event.

All in all, a really good night out! The show ended at midnight, we stopped to gas up on fries and coffee, and hit the road. Even with the foggy bits I managed to carve 20 minutes off of the 1:45 trip. Wwwwwrrrrrrrx at night!

Let me ask you this - 27 year old ladies of the airhead variety. Why do you pay $20 to spend 3 hours screaming at your friends in the back of da club, not listening to music? Is it to be seen, or what?

16Apr/133

Hope Springs Eternal and Bittersweet Beginnings

Posted by amy

By now, you all know of the tragic events that took place yesterday at that most venerable of road races, the Boston Marathon.  As a runner and Bostonian I am sad and sickened at what took place.  But having people that I love so close to the scene is even more traumatic.  My godmother, Rhonda, was about 2 minutes from the finish line when the first explosion occurred.  Her husband and brother-in-law, Rich and Drew were near there are well.  Thank the holy spaghetti monster that they are all safe and unharmed.  But there were a few tense and tearful moments at The Logz yesterday.  There were many more tearful moments as I watched news reports of the events and heard the news of the horrific injuries and deaths.  I went for a run in the woods today and offered my prayers up to the wind and rain.

Bittersweet beginnings because today was my first day working at the farm.  My head and heart are certainly still affected, but being outside in the quiet wind and seeing new life bloom in the earth gave me a small bit of hope that there will be healing.  Or at least I might be starting to heal.  Grabbing fresh spinach from the ground gave me a moment's pause to realize how simple life can be and how quickly it can change.  So hug those you love and eat some fresh spinach.  It's that simple!

Filed under: Life 2.0 3 Comments