Uncategorized

Fat Tuesday With Jordan Metzl

Jordan Metzl, MD

This week’s adventure was in New York City. I was invited by one of my best friends to attend a running event set up by Dr. Jordan Metzl, MD (@drjordanmetzl). I have been to a couple of other #ironstrength events by Jordan, and they are always fun. This event was entitled Mardi Gras.

I had worked from Amsterdam that day and was thrilled with no weather delays, making my commute from JFK into the city a cool breeze. It also gave me a chance to catch up with Marge’s daughter Ava, a smart tween who was working on her book report. I had done my weight room routine too before work, so the evening was going to be a “touch of cardio”.

The weather was a bit crisp, at temps of around low thirties. I’m still more of a Florida bird, used to a “cold day” being 50 degrees and was prepared wearing tights, @brooksrunning shoes, two shirts, two wind breakers, gloves and a fleece jacket. Marge and I left with every intention of walking to the New York Running Company, near Columbus circle, but it wasn’t hard to convince me to take the train instead. The wind was blowing a touch.

I had been to this store before. A few years back, I went there to buy a pair of running shoes for a spec shoot on the Brooklyn Bridge with David Clifford Photography (@cliffordphoto). I got great service. If you’re unfamiliar with what “spec” means, it’s when an entire crew works free in hopes of getting pics picked up by a magazine, or otherwise used professionally. Though I wasn’t selected that year for anything, it’s still a compliment by a Boston native to be asked to show up to this, even unpaid. I had so much fun, a few years later, I hired David to go to Ireland and work with Brian Ankers (one of Ireland’s best athletes), his wife, and me. We had a ball.

The funnest part to the New York Running Company store is the vibe. Fun people working there, a fun setup and they have lockers available to lock up your goods so you can come straight from work and get social. There was also a calendar of events on the back wall. While we waited for the event to start, we chatted with a few people who had participated in the New Year’s Polar Bear plunge out in Long Island and checked out some clothing they had just gotten in.

The run was fabulous and led well by Jordan. His following is much larger now that ever. I was rather pesky in getting a picture prior to the run as I knew I couldn’t keep up with his pace. It was meant to be “selfie included”, but I only got half my face. I was grateful I got something! I like having proof I was actually there.

It was a beautiful night to run. There were a few runners who joined us who were from Texas. We tooled through the mall, across the street and took off. I tried to take a few pics, but just wanted to enjoy the run. The Jackie O reservoir located there is my very favorite running path in Central Park. We didn’t tool over, but maybe I’ll do it on my next visit.

Central Park was well lit at 6:30 pm & there were TONS of running groups already out. Marge and I kept a conversational pace with a goal of 3 miles and stopped about 3/4 of the way and took group pictures of another running group for the leader. I was cracking up and was glad I could help. They were just so funny. It was at the beginning of their run and they were all amped to get it rolling and this was at around 7 pm.. I’m sure we were welcome to join them, but we kept it rolling the opposite way, & didn’t slow them up.

Marge had an 8 o’clock meeting and I was fried, so I peeled off and walked back to her place off west end avenue. It was worth the trip and I was up at 4:30 to fly home to Florida. Another successful day in the city.

To register for Jordan’s events, go online at drjordanmetzl.com.. Many of his events are free o’ charge and easy to get to for the New Yorker. It’s a perfect way to socialize and mingle with young professionals.

#workhardlaughharder

Uncategorized

Over the hills and through the Farms

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was a sunny day, crystalline blue skies and positive vibe all over the place. I had just finished taking a gander over the Cliffs of Moher and decided on the walk back to the car that I just couldn’t waste a sunny day lounging in the hotel. I had planned to go driving up in the hills and made that day my day to do it.

Facing east to the ocean, car radio jamming the Disciples jam “On My Mind” & deciding whether to turn left or right at the stop. I had the GPS ,and hit it to go to Westport.

It was a right hand turn at the stop and a clear jam. I saw all kinds of rolling hills and was careful to pay attention as you just plain had to slow down or stop completely to let other cars pass. I was unfamiliar with a one lane road that two cars (going the opposite direction) were allowed to take at once. I figured the last thing I needed was a head on collision, so I only went fast or the speedlimit when I was going downhill and in full view of oncoming traffic. I stopped once to get a picture of a donkey and again to get a picture of a cow. The fences in Ireland were fairly low and some were made of granite rock.

I got to Westport after passing a roadside section of sheep that was located across from Castletown school. I found a parking spot to get pictures and a video (both found on my social pages at bethadair13, Insta & Twitter.) The most hysterical part to getting this picture was when I hopped out of the car I was trying to be fast in order to get moving again. Two sheep had crossed the fence and were on the road near me in the car. When they saw me getting out, they hauled butt back over the fence and went to eating like I never was there (and like I didn’t notice two sheep hightailing it over the fence). I started cracking up. A few sheep hooves in the air and back to eating like nothing ever happened, so damn funny. I had hoped to get a video of them saying “BAAA”, and did.

I later posted it to Instagram (#drive) and suggested there to @tonybakercomedy & @lesdoggg (two comedians) via instagram that they do a voiceover and make it like the sheep were mad about @terrellowens not getting into the Hall of Fame last year. I had seen Leslie Jones last July 13th at the set of the @WendyWilliams show and never stopped laughing. Tony had done a voiceover to a video with a Corgi doing leglifts and I never stopped laughing. (“and we lift, and we lift…..we’re cooking with grease now y’all”,) I still don’t know how they got the dog to do the leglifts, but it was a scream. Terrell didn’t get into the NFL Hall of Fame last year and I was miffed. Never met him in person, but felt it was silly to skip him twice. The high reception count, his yardage, and he showed up at the Super Bowl in my hometown playing the Pats with a taped up ankle. Aside from all of that, he never sat out a National Anthem. I still miss the days when showboating on touchdowns was allowed. The “Dirty Bird”, the skips and hops, the moonwalks and everything else that went into who got the ball in the endzone was fun to watch. My favorite about his playing was what I like to call the “Grab and Pull”. He’d get the passes that weren’t literally in his hands and would pull them in and keep going. Many receivers do this, and it’s fun to watch. Seems to me all the QB needs to know is which play they are doing and what yardline the receiver will show up at (give or take a few defensive players to avoid). At any rate, the sheep were in protest with me and hope the voiceover gets done.

Back on the roads I passed Neale Cemetery and got to Westport . The last time I was there, no one was hardly there. It was a cold day, during the week and rainy and somewhat foggy. You could hardly see the other side of the mountains with the fog. I got great pictures I’ll blow up at Costco and have framed for my place. Last year I had driven to Westport from Abbeyglen Castle hotel and the Clifden area. I had gone around this radical cliff I wanted a shot of with the sunny day. I tried to get to it and got lost again. I still don’t know if the signals were getting lost with the GPS or I just got twisted around. I ended up in a pasture with a road on it in Sheffey somewhere, surrounded by cows and wondered if I was trespassing on the road. The cows were uninterested in being near the road and there was no place to park the car. While I was slowed to nearly a stop I tried to find a map and decided I was just going to have to get to the end of the road because there wasn’t even a place to turn around (there were small hills on each side of the gravel road). During my lost tour I had on Irish radio and the familiar song Jump was on. It wasn’t @DavidLeeRothor @VanHalen, but the song was using the same lyrics and it was a lot slower. I was grateful to know the words to something ,because being lost in the farm area, that was about all i knew at the time!  I posted the small video on Instagram (#DrivingDownAGravelRoad).

The drive was a success and I made it back down to the motorway and to Bunratty. Once at the hotel, I was grateful for a fun day and that it stayed sunny.  I hope this blog entry finds you laughing, and if you aren’t, find a way to do it, or make someone else laugh.  I know I will be:-)

@bethadair13, Insta & Twitter

 

Uncategorized

The Cliffs of Moher

It was the second day of my Ireland  trip and though I have been to Ireland many times before, I have never ventured to see the Cliffs of Moher, or much of the West Coast. I would either get side tracked with seeing other things, visting with friends, or wanting to wait until it was a sunny day.  The day I went it was crystalline clear.

I wanted to get more experience driving on the other side of the road, tooling to the outskirts of Shannon, Limerick, Westport and Clifden. This trip didn’t disappoint. This trip was a solo ride over the hill and through the farms to see water, ancient school houses, cows, horses, donkeys and sheep roaming freely.

I got up around 9 or so and looked out the window and noticed it was another sunny day. My phone was finally working and in the US it was 3 am. Too early to call anyone there, except maybe the local rooster. I grabbed my GPS, a jacket and drove to the Cliffs. On my way, I took into account that it was a good thing that the car I rented was small and able to weasel through skinny streets. Most of the time this trip, there weren’t many cars coming in the opposite direction. It was a crystal clear day, most everyone was at the beach and everyone kept saying that it was their summer. I suppose I take summer for granted being at the beach most of the time at home, but was so grateful my vacation was getting sunny days.

The drive was full of scenery. I opted to jam to Spin FM most of my stay in Ireland, with an occasional flip to another station when I got bored. I did spend a lot of time in the car, and was glad to do it. It was the only way I was going to see parts of Ireland and venture to places unseen by a bus. I also was glad to be back in a manual transmission, though on the other side of the car, but not a boring automatic.

On the way down the N67 from the hotel it was Usher with Ludacris, and later on another station it was the Eagles. I’m a bad singer, any roommate I ever had growing up said it, so I know better than to make a bet I’ll win karaoke or think I might be the next @ArianaGrande. I still have a good time singing though, solo car jams, running on the beach when no one is around and anywhere else I can get away with it is where I’ll sing. I’ve often said that I doubt I could’ve gotten through a marathon without tunes. When I first started running, I wanted to get to thirty minutes nonstop. This was when I was a teenager.   I had read somewhere you needed to be at a full thirty minutes of running before you could even deal with speedwork.   I alternated running and walking to songs with a headset to the local radio stations (back then it was a FM stereo and the radio stations were usually WAPE or Rock 105.) One song on running and one song off by walking. I’m always looking for a good beat. These days, good beats get me through eighty reps of ab work on the Captain’s chair per set or a good 9 mile run in humidity where when I’m done, it’s nothing but nirvana. The goal is to keep this up and not slow down, merely stay “status quo”.

When I got to the Cliffs of Moher, I parked for about 6 Euro. I was excited to see what was up on the horizon. It was crowded, with buses pulling in and lotsa people all around. The walkway went all the way up to the middle of each of the two cliffs.  The pathway went right up the middle and once at the top it was a dichotomy of picturesque beauty hat I doubt man could recreate.

I decided facing the water that I’d go to the right up the hill, and see the cliff with the castle on it. I looked over the cliff and there was a boat and a plane flying over. Behind me there were cows and horses. I did a quick video which I enjoyed, and since i had so much fun doing a video with the deer and have goals in getting commercial work someday, it’s time I practice more.  If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, or wish to see the pictures without following, my tag sign is @bethadair13.

The view from the top of the first cliff had some cows on the way to the cliff to the other side.   On my way there, I decided  I’d stop by and see Elsie & company. (The cows who were all relaxed).   It was a scream. I decided I’d have a quick video there, too.  The best way I knew how to make it funny in the video,  was to say they hadn’t had their coffee yet. All five of them were laying down. I was hoping for a “moo”, but didn’t get one so I left the scene and walked up the hill. A section of the hill was fenced off and you were allowed to go past the point, but not without a warning that you were headed to a dangerous area & to be cautious. The other signage was encouraging anyone depressed to stop and get help. It never occurred to me much that peeps might go there to jump off. There was a suicide in my family and anyone that’s been through it knows it’s heinous. I didn’t want to put a sober mood to my fun day, so I kept the momentum going and hopped the wall everyone else was hopping and got pictures of the gulls down below and a 360 view of the trip to that side of the hill. I posted it on my social pages @bethadair13. They were just incredible.

I didn’t get to chat much with anyone there. I heard a lot of different languages, Chinese, Russian and Spanish. The most entertaining bunch was the pack of ladies were headed up the hill together and chatting on days of their teens. I imagined they must’ve been in their 70’s.

It was around 1 or so and at that point I still had a good bit of the daylight left. I had to take advantage of the good driving conditions. Had it been raining or dark, I doubt I would’ve done all that I did.

The next stop was a solo car jam up to West Port. I had been there the previous year, under worse weather, but still as cool.

I’ll write on West Port, and my trip around the hills of the outskirts of Clifden, as well.  I don’t regret my decision to go on the backroads one bit.    I plan to blow up many of the pictures from my iPhone somehow and have them framed.  I did this once, from a picture I took with a Kodak disposable camera I bought on the road back in 1992.  I was in Rome and wanted a picture of Palatine Hill.  It still is in a beautiful frame and in my foyer hallway.

 

Remember to laugh every day or make someone else do it. I know I will be:-).

@bethadair13, Insta & Twitter

 

@bethadair13

Uncategorized

The Irish Runner 5 mile.

 

It had been awhile since I had done a race & I had never had the pleasure of doing a race in Ireland. The last one being the Gate River Run 15K last March. I had tried to do as well as I could in the race, but was challenged with a lot of changes.

The good news is I can still do around 45 or so minutes. I typically train at a 8:30 pace, so I was even off from that. I was a touch jet lagged at the race, & let’s all be real here, I was never a Usain Bolt.  I’d say fastest days are likely ending their reign. One thing I did do, & do a lot at the race, was laugh. You just can’t beat the Irish for a positive vibe & optimistic view on everything. I typically “hit the door” with anything negative, but notice in Ireland I have to do it hardly ever. Love it!

I got to the store on Friday night by the “hair of my chinny chin-chin”. I had gotten registered online & thought that race packet pickup ended at 8. It ended at 6. When I noticed this, it was 5:00 pm, on a Friday night. I don’t recommend renting a car and driving downtown under duress when you are new to a city, & new to the other side of the road. My saving grace was the guy standing outside smoking, close to a few blocks from the corner to where the store was located. He said, “there’s a parking garage over there”.

Once parked, I was running through the city to get to the store & since my phone didn’t have service, I had to ask for help again. I asked the 2 guys standing on the corner near Wicklow avenue where Elverys Sports was located. It was 5:45 and the clock was burning. They were happy to help & I was only a few stores away.

The staff couldn’t have been nicer. I know they might’ve thought I was crazy when I gave them a bag of stroopwaffels, but they had no idea how much hassle I had gone through to get there before the doors shut for the night. I had planned to do it anyway, but it was even more deserved to such a nice staff. I had blown in from Amsterdam to the US a few days before & brought over a few bags of cookies for friends in Ireland. I’m a flight attendant, we are either on time or an hour early, so inching the needle of the clock right up to the minute was uncomfortable. It was like being late for a class in college when you’re first on the roll or just barely making the train you knew you had to be on. I don’t recommend driving at 5 o’clock in the city if you aren’t familiar with the roads. I had driven in Ireland once before, last year. The only thing that kinda was nerve wracking this year was there was a train going the other way that was about 2 feet away from my drivers side door, with no railing in between. There’s a reason you can’t roll the back windows down easily. As a retired babysitter, I frequently catch myself thinking of safety, and what could go wrong if you didn’t. On the other side of the car was a sidewalk full of pedestrians and the cyclists were all around, some weaving in & out of cars. It was a clear sunny day in Dublin, & everyone was out to enjoy it, including myself.

I got my race number and the next morning headed over to the race start a couple of hours early. I was hoping to meet up with some of the editors of Irish Runner Magazine at some point and also see a few monuments around the park that I had seen there a couple of years before. I had been there on a layover with work as a flight attendant. Jim Schofield Photography got shots of me on around the park back in 2015, running with elite athlete and Connemara 100 winner, Brian Ankers. Before I got to the monument, I was driving & did a quick glance & noticed about 20-25 deer parked in a soccer field at about 8:30 AM. I had never seen anything like it. A clear day, even Bambi & her posse were out to take a gander at the city for a sunbath and graze pre-race.

I hopped out of the car and grabbed my phone. It was something that was only good for pictures or email if I had wifi, so I was glad I had it then. I weaseled as far up as I could to the deer without disrupting their day. There was another photographer there & he later said they were “very relaxed”. They let me get about 5 small car lengths away before one doe stood up and probably said to her buck husband, “she’s crazy and so are you if you stay here”. Most of the bucks were big and I counted an 8 point set of antlers on one. I don’t hunt, at least not this week, and have heard in my travels a bit about deer. The bucks were a riot, positioned all around. The doe that stood up eventually calmed down & went back to eating. I made a video you can find posted on @bethadair13, on Instagram, if interested in this. It was the perfect start to my day. In the US, the media has said the deer ticks will be bad all over this year & about the last thing I need is Lyme disease so I did check when I got back to the hotel.

The race itself was a blast. Pacers running with green balloons, a flat course a good bit, in and out of shade and a hill located around mile four or five. I did stop once, something I rarely do, but I knew I wouldn’t set a personal record, so why not. I can’t say I won’t try to do faster next time, because that is just how I am, but I do races mostly for getting out and socializing. It’s so fun to meet people from different professions around the world. If you are into sales, going to a race is a good place to market.

After the race, I got a picture with some locals at the end and ran to the car to grab a few things. When I came back to meet up with some more friends, most of the race was clearing off to the childrens area. It was also a family run, but I had hoped to see Frank Greally (@FrankGreally1) and Feidhlim Kelly(@FeidhlimKelly) and any other writer and runner. After aimlessly walking around, I went into the Legends tent, a place I had been invited to attend by one of the editors. When I got there, I wasn’t interested in food, but water was great, & there was a hysterical man there that said, “so you’re here to raid the food table again are ya?”. So funny! I laughed, chatted a bit and then asked where Feid was, and he said go to another table. While walking around there, another man approached me and asked if I had read the book he wrote called, A Golden Era. His name was Michael Gygax. I said no, I was unfamiliar. He said “well it’s for sale for 20 euro”. I bought a book and chatted with him a bit. He noticed my team running shirt, American accent, and asked where I was from. He said he was also a playwright and author to other publications and thanked me for buying his book. I wanted to
“market” my area a bit, for the Gate River Run 15K in Jacksonville, FL. The only way I knew how to do it in Ireland was give a local the shirt to the number one running specialty store in town, 1st Place Sports. This sparked a short conversation on social media and marketing.

I am not paid to do these things, I do them as a gift on gratis on occasion. It was easy for me to do, and I enjoy it. I also told them about sportscasters from my area and what they do, but not sure it sunk in. I asked Michael if he had thought of marketing his book more on social media, He was full of personality and said, “When I have time to do social media to market my book in between writing plays and books, I will get right on it”. The laughs were just getting started. Shortly thereafter, Noel Berkeley (@NoelBerkeley) walked up and introduced himself and asked where I was from. Probably the most entertaining thing to me that day was “You know the record holder to your hometown race(gateriver15k.com) still holds the record”. I did know that, and agreed that the talent was a gift that was polished by hard work and training. Noel later said, “you know, I competed with him in the ’92 olympics and he’s a stellar athlete. He never did drugs and always worked hard.”. I didn’t doubt any of this, ’cause I had gotten advice from him several years ago on drillwork and how to improve my gait and foot strike. I let Noel talk though, and tried not to interrupt. If you google the Gate River Run record holder, you’ll find his name, and maybe a story on his wife and girls, all of which are very pretty. He’s running a company he created as well. I lost touch several years ago, but hope they are well.

I walked off thinking, “man, it’s a really small world”. I was in the elevator with three people earlier that day and they lived on Beach boulevard, about 15 minutes from my place in Florida and now I’m a race in Ireland talking to guys that know people from my hometown. It was a trip.

I was invited to go partying on the beach but needed to get back to the hotel for check out and to get to my castle hotel about 2-3 hours away. I was quite excited to get my vacation started. I was grateful to the hotel for extending checkout to 3 pm and wasn’t rushed. Before leaving town, I met the Ankers and got caught up.

I had only met two of the Ankers four kids before, so it was a treat to meet the other two girls, Lucy and Sophie. Aaron, their son had grown at least an inch since last year and Saoirse was even prettier. Lucy was excited to share the stories of her horseback riding adventures and Sophie enjoyed telling me about the beach trip they were taking the next day. Jenny, Brian’s wife, is still as fun and sweet to be around as well. I video recorded Brian on some of his training mileage, which still floors me, and I posted on my social media pages one short video interview. The best news was that Lucy’s femur was completely recovered. She had broken her femur two years back jumping at a jumpy house and was fully recovered with no limps and ready to take on the Kentucky Derby. I was highly entertained. Fearless, it’s a way I remember being, to the tune of a few childhood fractured or sprained ankles, that heeled and only miffed me off that I was missing recess at school and slowed me down.

Given I had planned to attend this event a few months prior, I didn’t realize that it hit Father’s Day weekend. I did feel like a shaved dog at one point about this, as it’s shameful I wasn’t in South Carolina with my Dad. Gratefully, my Dad understands my goals and outgoing personality and enjoyed hearing about my adventures when I called on Father’s Day from Ireland. I’ll be in South Carolina a month late, in July to see my family. (I was glad my phone stared working and once checked into the hotel in Bunratty, and I was able to chill a touch, and get rolling with my plans to see the sights.) If interested, check my blog a bit later to read on my adventures of the Cliffs of Moher and tooling to West Port.

I left the race laughing and motivated to fitness train harder and show up in September prepared for ventures related to my modeling goals. I plan to tear it up and the vacation did what it was supposed to, recharge.

I hope this finds you laughing and if you aren’t, find a way to do it everyday. I know I will be:-)

@bethadair13, Twitter

Uncategorized

My 2017 Gate River Run Experience

This year’s Gate River Run was nothing short of a “laugh fest on overdrive”. I’ve often said, “if I’m not laughing, it’s not worth it” and about all I did at this expo, race and post-race was laugh. It was just that fabulous.

My history with the GRR goes back about 8 or 9 other GRR races. My personal record with the race is 1:10, and that was in 2004. I knew this year I would not be doing any personal records, for lotsa reasons. I had a hernia fixed on 12/22 which slowed down my training a few weeks, I had picked up 5-6 lbs. that I haven’t lost as of yet, and my longest run since the Onward Shay half marathon back in October
had only been 7 miles. I showed up the start line this year with the attitude of “it’s more about the mingle and less about the time this year”. A rather “jack in the box” approach to finishing.

The race expo was a fab kickoff. I found the capri tights I’d been looking for there (20-30% off), noticed Brooks Adrenalines on sale too, and ran into three friends I hadn’t seen in ages. On the way to the parking lot, after getting my race number there was a man walking near me to his car and he said, “man, I’ll be lucky to finish this year without stopping”. I said join the club and I was right there with him on the lack of training this year. He was a scream, never caught his name or saw him again, but the funniest thing he said, was he was going to be “losing face” by running with his neighbor who was retired and 20 years his senior and would probably cross the finish way ahead of him. It was the best kickoff to my weekend. I said getting in the car, it’s more about the post-race this year, and we both cracked up.

The day of the race was fab. No rain, a light breeze and temps in the low 60’s. I didn’t catch the humidity percentage, but it was “do-able”. With my Onward Shay half marathon finish time I did back in October (a little over two hours) I was able to be seeded in the orange section.

At the race start, the ropes went down and we were off. The first mile was slow, at about a ten minute mile. Back in the days of my more intense training, I might’ve tried to weasel ahead and get faster at the start. But this year I figured who cares, and to just focus on not stopping until I get to the bridge.

Miles 2-5 were on negative splits, getting several seconds faster per mile than before. I settled in at a decent pace and got water any time it was offered. I didn’t wear a watch, but the pace was probably around a 9 minute mile, maybe a tad better. My training pace is 8.5 minute miles, so I just chalked it up to being a slow day.

Miles 5-7 felt great. I was amazed I had no aches or pains and just loved it. Nirvana had really kicked in. I knew my biggest challenge would be after that anyway.

After mile 7 things were good, but the thought of the bridge and the wind were nagging me. No matter how loud I had my headset jacked, the thought never went away. Everyone that knows me knows I train with music. I love it. Rock and Roll, R&B and top 40 have always done me right. When I got the bridge I saw 1:11. It was funny, I thought to myself, “well, several years ago that was my race finish, and now I still have 1.3 miles). I did about a minute uphill and then walked 60 seconds. I did the math and thought if I could just pull out the stops, I might be able to get 1:22. I took off again. The wind was blowing sideways, and once I got the top, I knew I had the downhill on my side. I never stopped again.

I crossed the line with 1:24 on the clock, which later equated to a 1:23 chip time. I turned the corner to exit and had made it in to a top ten percent finish. That probably made my day for a whole week. I jokingly called it “Beth returns from the dead” and said “alrighty then” to the lady handing me the hat, with a big smile. I wore the hat all day, celebrated with a few beers and had my boyfriend take pictures of me with Sam Kouvaris, @samkouvaris (the local sportscaster), Colleen Clarson, @colleenclarson(the race media post) and Herb Peyton (entrepreneur, Dad of the former mayor of Jax and founder of the Gate stores). The day got even more fun with seeing a few friends I hadn’t seen in awhile. My boyfriend and I stopped to get a burrito on the way to my home at Sierra Grille. It was fabulous.

My next race is the Irish Runner 5 mile on June 17th in Dublin, Ireland. It’s a festival of sorts with a few races for the family. Register for the event at Irishrunner.com.. I hope to see everyone there.

Work hard and laugh harder:-)

Uncategorized

The Alien is Gone

Only my good friends and family knew I went through hernia surgery on 12/22. I won’t say that surgery was something that I looked forward to, but it was necessary to fix an epigastric hernia. My first question for the doctor was how I got it. He said it was a ligament that gave way, congenital defect likely. I don’t lift heavy weights, 10 lb for upper body and not much heavier for lower body so I couldn’t point the finger to that. Sometimes I’ll lift a bag at work or strain on occasion. You take all of that together and there you have an quarter sized alien coming out of your stomach that won’t go away without a surgery fix. Mine was slightly noticeable in a bikini and I was sick of it. It was located 4 inches above my belly button. And, by the way, babies are born with this same affliction, so I can’t pull the “age card”

I had asked around, and did some research on what surgeon to see. I even asked my attorney exhusband who he saw to get his lower hernia fixed. I didn’t go with his surgeon because his doctor had a few revision surgeries under her belt and some complaints online, too. I don’ t have time for a revision, or patience either for it. I did look at the education of the doctor and asked how many surgeries he had done.

I also asked questions to the surgeon on when he thought I’d be back to work and to full strength on fitness training. His advice was back to work in 10 days, and not to attend a gym for 2-3 weeks. I followed his advice. I could walk outside or what, but advised to stay out of a gym for bacteria exposure and also since my incisions were fairly deep, no jacuzzi or ocean swimming for a full three or so weeks.

I also consulted with Bart Yasso. Bart is on staff as a senior editor at Runner’s World Magazine and he said he was back to work in a few days and back to full strength training in a few months after his surgery. He had mentioned his hernia on a post somewhere online. I could deal with a few months. The only other runner I knew that had one fixed was Dathan Ritzenhein and I never got to ask him via email how his recovery went. He’s elite, finished top 10 in Boston, that’s wicked fast. To be that fast is out of my comprehension.

Many of you know I’m a flight attendant. I love the job and didn’t really want to part with the trips I got over the holidays (which tend to be better than what you get other times of the year, even at my seniority of 25 years). My family didn’t think it was too wise to do the surgery near Christmas either, but I kinda just wanted to get it over with while I’d satisfied my deductibles for insurance. No sense in racking up a new set of bills in the new year.

I did a few things for myself to keep my mind busy and to not gain weight during the holidays before this surgery. One being a photo shoot a week before the surgery. Nothing says don’t go “hogwild” on cookies better than getting in front of a camera with a bare mid-drift in mid-December. I still ate cookies, but didn’t bake in 2016. No big deal. There’s next year.

My abs weren’t exactly where I wanted them to be for the shoot, ripped, but for being mid-December and still some what flat, I was happy. My weight the day of the shoot was about 127 or so, I can’t remember. Normal photo shoot weight is 125. I’m 5’6.5″ and that’s good enough for me. If interested, the picture of me in the green shirt (on my profile picture on my social pages) with the tie and silver buttons was taken from this shoot. The abs are unedited. The cute green tie hides the “alien”.

The day of the surgery I checked in at 0500. I had a friend take me. Something I was very grateful for, and much better than paying a nurse I didn’t know to come help me. At check in it was pretty routine, change into a gown and roll down the hall after a shot before you see another pack of doctors to get anesthesia to knock you out.

It went well. I saw the doctor beforehand (in between seeing the anesthesiologist and a couple of others) and confirmed with him just one more time that no incisions would be made directly down the middle of my abs. I work in the gym enough and spend time trying to get some sort of results out of my abs and didn’t want a surgery to put scars right between the abs. My surgery was done laparascopically with two 1 centimeter incisions made on the lateral sides and one 1 inch incision made right near the hip bone. (The larger incision was for the camera).

I got out of there and wokeup in a row of beds with a few other people next to me. One lady was about two beds down and coughing a lot, another man didn’t say much and I was ready to go ahead and get on out.

I had another friend pick me up. She and her husband are retired and I know them from the gym. Rita is probably the fittest “70 something” and can train harder than most women in their forties. It’s amazing. I surround myself with people like this on purpose. The funniest thing she said, “come on Beth, get dressed. Sheldon is waiting in the car”. I rolled over sideways and the pain was so ridiculous that I really got a touch worried. I expected pain, but had never had any gut surgery and it was definitely “gut wrenching”. It was worse than the gum surgery I had before and the knee surgery I had to fix a meniscus tear a few years back.

The day of the surgery I knew I’d need pain killers. I hate taking them, but did. (Pain medications scare me, and also back me up, which I didn’t want to fool with). It hurt to cough, laugh, raise my head, roll sideways or even get up. I never knew how much abs were involved in just basically getting around. I knew running or most things would be out of the question. I was instructed to wear a elasticized belt around my waist (I called my girdle) and this would be in place for about 3 weeks. I hated it. It was uncomfortable and even at work I had to wear a lot of clothes to hide it.

Days 2-4- I got increasingly better. I could walk without pain, managed to attend a Sunday Jaguars football game and could take small walks around my neighborhood. It was great! I had to ask friends and my Dad to tone it down on anything funny. Laughing was just that painful. A total first for me. The only pain killer I used was 200-400 mg of Ibuprofen.

Day 4-6 I was better everyday. Rolling over didn’t hurt. I could sleep on my side (instead of my back) and I attempted a walk on day 6. It was about an hour long and outside. I loved being outside and about half way through the beach walk, I decided I would not be working out again for days.

Day 7 I went to South Carolina. I drove instead of flying for a lot of reasons. Being in the car that long wasn’t bad, and I had to get up there to watch football on TV with my family. It still hurt to laugh. I had to ask my Dad more than once not to make me laugh.

Day 11 I walked an hour

Day 12 I did the eliptical without using the arms.

Day 13 I did 50 minutes on the eliptical, no arms.

Day 14 I did a short walk.

Days 15-19 I did nothing fitness wise and saw the doctor for followup. I was cleared to train full strength in a gym and advised to listen to my body.

I’ve enjoyed being back to weights and cardio. I did register a total of a 6 pound weight gain after it was all said and done, but it will be off before too long. I’ve cleaned up my diet expect to see it gone by April.

I’ve ran 5-7miles nonstop several times at about a normal training pace of 8.5 minute miles.

I did miss one trip at work for doing something a bit overly “gung ho”. I did an hour of weights, ran 7 miles and then took an evening walk with a friend all the same day (about 5-6 weeks after surgery). The next day (the day of my trip) I felt a pain I hadn’t felt in a good month. It was gone two days later and I was back to work next trip and have felt fine since. I am going to be conservative for another two months.

My next race is the Gate River Run 15K and if I can’t run all of it, who cares, but I at least want to run 3/4 of it. I’m more looking forward to mingling and seeing friends than doing the mileage. I hope to see all of you there and if you’ve got an “alien”, don’t be afraid to get it fixed or that your training will be over.

#workhardlaughharder

Uncategorized

Onward Shay

I was excited to attend the Onward Shay event. I had read about it with a column by David Willey, @dwilleyRW, on staff at Runner’s World magazine. I usually read David’s editorial every month. I loved the idea behind Onward Shay. It was to commemorate Shay Hirsch, who passed after an 11 year battle with cancer. Shay was married to George Hirsch, who was worldwide publisher of Runner’s World magazine.

Shay sure sounded like a special lady. I never met her, but everyone at the race and expo that knew her said how special she was and I loved the story on how George and Shay met. She was always looking out for others and she was always with a smile, from what people said. George met her at a race and introduced himself and asked her out. She said no, so he showed up the next day to seek her out and run the marathon with her. I imagine they chatted quite a bit over the course of 3+ hours and she got a Boston qualify running with him. He stepped aside before the finish line as he never registered for the race. The story kinda reminded me of Jim Morrison. He didn’t meet his girl at a race, but said she was “the one” and followed her until she went out with him. Both cases are merely an example of an interested guy that doesn’t want to date online. (Of course dating online didn’t really show up till the late 90’s, and if you watch the show Catfish on MTV, you might not ever want to try it). Not to say nice people aren’t online, just that meeting in a scenario like this is more original.

Also, I might add, a beer was created in the memory of Shay, and The Onward Shay marathon. It’s an IPA entitled “Onward Shay”. It can be found at the Payette Brewing Company, @PayetteBrewing, Boise, ID. Such a radical way to celebrate life, and a fabulous postrace beverage.

It was a clear sunny day on the morning of the race expo. I had taken a few flights to get to Idaho the previous day. It was what I jokingly called, “let’s play a game of how many time changes can I do today and still keep my sense of humor?”. I had worked out of Amsterdam on Friday, landed in Newark at 5:30ish and got flagged in customs getting to my next flight to Minneapolis. I figured if I got held up in customs and didn’t make my flight, then I’ll catch a flight home in the morning and Boise wasn’t in the cards this year. As it turned out, it was.

People ask me about my job and why I do it. I’m a flight attendant with a major carrier and love my job. This race is a prime example of why I fly, to get to fun events when I’m off of work. I joke I don’t fly solely for my health, but the flight benefits sure do come in handy. After work on Friday night, getting into NYC no one can skip security or customs, even as a crew. I did not violate any rules trying to do it coming from Amsterdam, but got “flagged” and sent over for additional screening. I just had to smile and say “sure, go ahead and do the once over”. Friday it was quite entertaining. No one was telling me why I got flagged, just “do what we say and this will all go away”. When I got to the second area, the guy looked at me and laughed and said, “so what is it that you are here for?”. I hardly had the answer. He said he still had to follow rules, too. “All you brought back from Amsterdam was cookies?”. It was a yes, because this trip I was packed to the gills with clothes for Boise and stroopwaffels were all I had room for. He went through both of my bags. When he got to the running shoes he said, “running is every flight attendants choice of exercise isn’t it?”. I laughed and said, “yeah, we try to stay in shape”. The next five minutes were a laugh fest, the guy was asking me why I had laundry pod detergent capsules and self tanner spray. He was african american and said he’d never need self tanner. I said I agreed and he was saving money with not buying it. I got done with the screening and made it through customs.

I got to the flight to Minneapolis and over to the flight to Boise. Given I travel standby, it’s not when you want to go, it’s when there’s a seat available. I was grateful for open seats and an open row in coach. I opted out of food and took the whole row for “coach row crash”.

When I landed in Boise with a car rental reservation but I found out they closed at 11:30 and took off. I was miffed. Given we landed at midnight, this did me no good. The initial company I booked with shouldn’t sell car rentals if they plan to be closed when flights are still landing. All the other counters were open and with no lines. I got by three counters looking for a decent rate. When I went with the last one, the guy said “yeah, they stranded a whole Canadian soccer team last night”. My only response was, “man, that’s worse than this”. Probably the thing that made my night was the kid making the reservation for my rental car said I didn’t look as old as the birth date on my driver’s license. I walked off thinking “well, the other peeps can cut out early anytime they want”. At least their competitors knew how to work.

I got to the race expo. A local at the grocery store gave me directions & it was all within close proximity to downtown. And was trying to iron out the issues with my race number. My relay team was comprised of two others who were paralympic athletes and we were still down one more runner a few weeks ago. I was still looking for the last one when the other two team members said they were injured, and likely not even going to be able to do the race at all. They both ran into issues with sores on their “stumps” while training and needed to pull out to not risk infection. I was disappointed at first, but it’s just one race and I agreed it was the best thing to do. There will be other races, and like I told one teammate, “if you push your injury and still run the race, you might be out of work for a few weeks with infection in your blood which is worse”. No one is going to pay his bills but him. The way I see it, no race is worth sidelining the paycheck. Nowadays, you even have to worry if your insurance will cover your doctor bills.

They couldn’t have been nicer at the race number table. They got my race number and downgraded me to a half marathon and I said I’d try and run at least 7 miles of it. I had no idea what I could do, and knew after mile 9 it would all be mental. The longest distance I had done since the 2003 NYC marathon was 15K, but after that distance, I had no idea what kind of shape I’d be in. I only run 6 miles a week, if that, at low tide at home. I do no formal training for running as I no longer do much racing. I keep about a 8-9 minute pace for that, which is fine by me. I raced a lot of 10K’s in my 30’s and got bored with the schedule it took to get my race times down. I now cross train hard with other forms of cardio (eliptical, bike, swimming and walking). I also work in 2-3 days a week of weight training. I’ve really taken a liking to my cross training, and with my international travel, it fits. I figured I could do two hours of running, because I’ll sometimes spend 2 hours in the gym (one hour for weights, the second for cardio), and I love it as much as I love to eat.

The first athlete I saw at the expo was Amby Burfoot @ambyburf. He’s the ’68 winner of the Boston marathon and an excellent writer. I’d been reading his stuff for years in books and Runner’s World magazine. Probably my most favorite article he wrote was on what it was like to run with the legends like Bill Rodgers and Frank Shorter back in the day. Amby went to college with Bill. He said in the article that back in college Bill was usually pulling in from late night honky tonks. (All I could do reading that was laugh). I saw on the expo bulletin board that Frank Shorter and Bill Rodgers were going to be speaking and were also selling their books. When I met Bill, all I did was laugh.

Leading Ladies in running were also speaking at the expo. Joan Benoit Samuelson, @JBSamuelson, talked a lot of her training, love of running & challenges she faced in running after a arthroscopic knee fix. She overcame the knee surgery in weeks, won Olympic Gold, & is still a strong runner, completing marathons on a regular basis. I found her story compelling. I was once told I’d never run again after an arthroscopic knee surgery, and though I don’t win Olympics, I still run once a week. (In my case, the doctor gave me the worst case scenario post surgery). My injuries were from going down a flight of stairs the wrong way. The tear in my knee wasn’t healing on it’s own and a scope was recommended. I’m grateful to still be running. Any runner will tell you, getting news you may be out of running is the social equivalent to telling a squirrel not to have nuts, or a literal buzzkill to a party where a DJ prematurely throws a ballad into a 4 song dance jam to a full dance floor. I’m grateful I can still run, I love it that much. I think you get the gist.

Also at the expo, an interesting tip I picked up was from Mary Wittenberg, @marywitt She said to cut out caffeine for a complete week prior to a race, and then have some on race morning. I’m going to try this on my next race day. Sounds like a fun way to get a race going and taking a break from caffeine isn’t a bad idea now and then.

Getting back to Bill. I mentioned I was from Florida and we had the Gate River Run that he should come back and run it. He said in front of Frank Shorter, (without asking Frank), “Frank and I would love to be at the race. I need to beat him you know.”. Just a scream, and I said I didn’t work for the race, but had to support my hometown somehow by mentioning the GRR and would be at the Onward Shay half start line with a Gate River Run shirt on. I mentioned the 70 keg post race too, and that you see friends you haven’t seen in years. Even if you don’t run the race, it’s a blast. Meeting Frank was a pleasure too, as he went to the University of Florida, so we chatted on how the Florida/GA game that was on TV as the expo was going on. I love football, missed all my games this expo, but who cares.

After the conference was over, George Hirsch, @giorgiothon, who helped create the Onward Shay event, took pictures with all of the athletes and some of the locals that were left at the expo. I was unable to chat much with George, but enjoyed meeting him. He still has the passion for the sport. I posted all the pictures on my Twitter, Instagram and Facebook pages. I headed out to grab dinner afterwards and was dead to the pillow solo at 8 o’clock local time. On the east coast it’s 10 pm, my usual bedtime.

I got to the race and met Keith Hughes. He is the race director for the event and it was a pleasure to meet him. We chatted quickly on how his training was going and how much fun the event was going to be. He mentioned too, the reason there were costumes from the Wizard of Oz was because Shay loved the movie. It was a scream seeing girls that took the time to make blue checkered tights the color of Dorothy’s dress in the movie. My phone went dead and I didn’t get pictures of this, or the ruby sparkled running shoes I saw, but it was a nice touch. The locals really went the extra mile.

There was a short delay in the race start. Normally I would’ve been miffed, but given I needed to find a restroom, it worked out just fine. I made it back before the two minute delay ended and started with everyone else. I’m not sure why there was a delay and didn’t bother to ask later.

The course was flat and scenic. It started raining about mile five and i was thinking, “really mother nature? today?”. If I had any control over the weather, it’d be cool and sunny at all of my races. This race was reminiscent to my very first NYC marathon in ’97. It was a tad rainy then, but I had such a blast. Locals lined the streets all along the course. I was so glad I didn’t have to see a time clock every mile because it just would’ve pissed me off. Back in my “glory days of faster race times” I’d have wanted to see a click at every mile, but this one, no. I knew I was running slower than normal and set my mind to just not stopping until mile 13. At mile 5, Amby was yelling, “Beth, wake up, I’m trying to cheer you on”. I had my headset on, and was jamming to Boston and other rock tunes.

I usually listen to rock, top 40 or R& B, and it keeps me focused. I can tune things out and just focus on what I need to do. It works in the gym too, because I love to chat with friends. IF I had the headset off, I’d never get any weight training done because I’d always be talking. Seeing Amby made my day. Yelling my name in the race and cheering me on like he was to several other runners was very kind.

After I passed the sign for 6 miles, the rain kicked up a bit more. I put my jacket back on and tried not to get wet though I knew it was inevitable. It was nothing but a hydroplane through then next few miles. I felt so good at mile 9, and was on total “runner’s high”. I wish I could bottle and sell the feeling you get when you get a runner’s buzz. It’s practical nirvana. I stayed in the nirvana zone till mile 12. After that, my legs were asking me what the deal was, and, “when are you gonna knock this off?”. One local said at mile 13, “it’s almost over”. Another local said, “I like your jacket”. I was so happy I had ran steadily the whole time without stopping. Even when I grabbed water or the sports drink, I kept going. I didn’t want to hit any walls. It was what I had to do in the ’03 marathon. I set my mind to running 20 miles without stopping and it was “touch and go” afterwards.

It’s best if you can get through the whole distance without stopping, at least for me. I haven’t tried the Jeff Galloway method as of yet, but maybe one day:-). Before entering the race, I even gave myself the option to “DNF”, but didn’t need to. I said from the start of entry, I was there more to mingle and see friends than to run hard and try to set “PR”‘s.

I saw a sign that said 14, and thought I’d taken a wrong turn so I asked a lady standing next to the sign “where’s the finish line for the half?”. She said, “about a quarter mile ahead”. I walked about one minute and then kicked back in for a running finish. The best part to my finish was the announcer yelled “Beth Adair is coming across the line now. She’s from Florida”. They were yelling all of the runner’s names by their race numbers as they crossed the finish. It was a nice touch, and I was happy with a 2:08+ finish. I came across in 3 shirts & 2 pairs of pants that were soaking wet and a jacket unzipped so you could see the @gateriverrunjax shirt. (I wanted to market my area a touch). All of my makeup was off, and of course it was a bad hair day, but such a blast!!

My PR 15k is 1:10, back in yesteryear. My PR half marathon of 1:51 was in 2000 at the Bermuda Half Marathon. A 18 minute difference with no formal training was thrilling. My best finish time in a full marathon was 4:16, at the 1999 @nycmarathon, so the way I see it, it’s 17 years later, and I’m not in a bad place. I was never a Usaim Bolt anyway, haha. I’m grateful for all my miles.

May you all find inspiration from my writing and remember to laugh everyday:-). “Work hard and laugh harder”, I say, and because it’s always worth it:-).

#runhardlaughhard
#workhardlaughhard

*It is not recommended that you increase weekly mileage by more than 10% per week. Though I enjoyed the half marathon, next time I’ll either train for it, or have a backup relay team:-)

Uncategorized

Chariots of Fur 5k

It was a cool morning of 53 degrees with a heinous wind whipping around for the Chariots of Fur race. I showed up to Jax beach with a jacket, an ipod and no dog for the 3.1 race for dogs. I knew when I pulled in this was going to be a fun experience, and had hoped I’d run into the friends on Facebook that shared the race on their pages, Kim Pawelek and her husband Keith Brantly.

As I got out of the car, two cars down, there they were, Kim and Keith. They had just pulled in the lot. The timing couldn’t have been better. I got out and said hi, with my hair sticking out from the wind and barely any makeup on and you could tell it wasn’t photo shoot day. Their dogs, Scout and Chase were eager to get the day started, probably more so than me. I wanted to get a picture (glam or no in my case), so I could put away my phone. As we were posing, we were in good company with Greyhounds passing by with full length coats on, and the loud speaker announcing the “warm up session with Doga will begin in five minutes”. As I walked to the car, I could hear the instructor saying “ok, double dog down”. I just had to laugh. A “double dog down” with a dog, that’s classic.

The race itself started at 10 am. We all shuffled to the race start on the beach and planned to go out and back on what was a blustery day, which could’ve been much worse with rain. I needed to be done no later than thirty minutes so I could hit the car, the shower and attend a memorial service of a friend from the gym who had passed away. When we got down to the beach, I knew I was going to need my tunes. The wind was at our backs going out, and any beachrunner like myself will tell you it’s usually better to have it in your face on the way out and at your back on the way to the finish. I forgot to give Mother Nature the phone call before I left my condo.

The whole idea of the race, the name and the beach run brought back a memory from my teens. In high school, I would sometimes ride my bike to public beach access at Solona road in Ponte Vedra, and run down the beach to Corona road and back with a headset on. Back then, there was no Lodge, A1A was a two lane highway and then I’d only dream of doing the River Run. One afternoon, I got on the beach to run and a pack of guys were teasing me as I ran by humming the tune of the movie “Chariots of Fire”. This only made me laugh and I raised my hands in the air and acted like I was carrying torches. They laughed and one guy, Bill Luebke, said “hey Beth”. Once I passed them, I jacked up the volume to the song “Boys of Summer”, by Don Henley. It was on the radio then, just released, and it was then I made the goal of having my own place in PV and a nice ride, while singing “deadhead sticker on a cadillac” that day. There were no ipods or cassette players, they hadn’t been invented for years and the only way to hear music was being at the mercy of the DJ. Rock 105 was usually my station, along with an R & B station in town famous for hits by The Time. Truth is, I doubt I’d like running without music, or most other forms of fitness training. Let’s face it, I wasn’t a Shalane Flanagan out the gate, and just ran for recreation. I know I’m not a phenomenal singer, so singing only gets done on the beach when no one is around, in the shower, or in the car when I’m alone. I have a good time. Today singing was only brief, after the turn back, followed by a few facewind cusswords and on to cracking up laughing at the dogs. One pair was having a lickfest with the dog next to him and another decided the ocean was more fun than the running.

I got in under 28 minutes and cooled down walking to the car, among the other doberman’s and retrievers and made the funeral on time. The pouring rain didn’t hit until much later, so the day was a success. As always, I’ve said, if I’m not laughing, it’s not worth it, and today was full of laughs:-).

bethadair13@gmail.com

Uncategorized

Always a positive vibe in Ireland

I go to Ireland once a year, either with work on a layover, or on my own. I’m Irish by descent and do it for luck. It brings me luck at home, on the road, and anytime I’ve gone there, people are always happy to see me. Once I went and got work in modeling when I got home. Once I went and sold a piece of property in 2 weeks when I got home. Once I went and had one of the funnest photo shoots ever in Phoenix Park. Once after my divorce I went to forget about any drama, and when I got there, I forgot what drama was. You get the gist.

This year I was able to get one of the layovers at the tail end of January. At my seniority, it’s hard to touch in other bases, but not impossible. We changed hotels to a four star in Ballsbridge, a town I’m still unfamiliar with, but it was fab. When we landed, it was sunny and no rain expected until we were leaving the next day. Perfect. It kinda doesn’t matter though, because even when there’s rain, you still have fun:-).

I had plans to get in, sleep, hit the gym at some point, shop for a childhood friend in TX who just had her baby (a baby named Declan & she is more Irish than me with 3 Irish names). I also had hoped to meet up with the Ankers, a family of athletes. Brian has been known to do wild things like run 100 mile races in 15 hours and thirty minutes and he set an Irish record once for doing 84 marathons in a year. His wife Jenny trains hard too, and on top of it, runs the house with 4 kids (who are not always at the same school).

The trip was a success. I got in, slept, hit the gym for an hour, went out to Grafton street and shopped. While walking downtown I got a text from another friend in the US telling me she was at the car wash. I was about to head into a pub to get on wifi so I could tell the Ankers where I was. It was wild how technology has changed. I don’t have international calling for a lot of reasons, and was hoping it all panned out to meet up with my Irish friends. It did. Though the wifi came in and out, Brian still got the message on Facebook, and he, two of his four kids, and brother all met up with me for an hour. It was great! We have a May photo shoot planned, one that will go well no matter what. We missed Jenny, because she was home tending to two of their other kids who were sick. We got a chance to discuss a bit on where we’d go, touch on how our training was going and what we’d be wearing in the photo shoot in May. I did enjoy too getting a bit of chat with his brother and kids. I just love the accent there, so fun! Jenny was glad we met up, too.

When the Ankers left, I walked over to the Hairy Lemon and met up with my crew. There were about 7 of us from the crew out, and the others opted to stay in. (It would have been guilt free to do either, because back at the hotel, you had a jacuzzi tub and killer gym. A nice combination). We had some food, and then tooled around the Temple Bar area. It was a blast. I hadn’t been out in awhile there, probably about two years and just cracked up at some of the costumes. We noticed some locals wearing 80’s trends, so I snapped some pics and posted the album on my Facebook pages as well as social media under bethadair13 on Twitter and Instagram.

I shut it down and hailed a taxi with the crew and was up for the weight room at 6 am. Pickup was 8:45, and it was a great trip home:-). I’ve often said, “if I’m not laughing, it’s not worth it”, and laughing is all I do in Ireland.

Uncategorized

51 hours in Paris

The month of January really kicked off well. I had been staying in NYC cat sitting for nearly a week previous to the New Year and was excited about my first trip of the year, Paris, France. My year was starting off on the high octane that I was wanting.

I had a 51 hour layover in Paris and had all sorts of things on my list to do, tooling to the Eiffel Tower, checking out Pere LaChaise cemetery and even reached out on Twitter to a couple of Paris running groups for possibly meeting up.

I pulled in to Paris with a cold and rainy day, full of wind blowing sideways and cold temps. The running groups were awesome before I left the US, and wanted to meet up. The plan was to get in, sleep 5 hours, go run with the group before dark and then the next day go sight seeing. The weather threw a wrench in my plans so running was out on the arrival day. We agreed to try and meet up another time. I fully expected the next day to be raining, but looking out the hotel window next day was nothing but “alrighty then”, sunny skies and “Bon Jour Paris”….. I hit the hotel gym and with plans to be all over sight seeing like white on rice. The crew was fun, they would’ve been up for some of it too, but I was up at the crack of dawn and I was an eager to get rolling.

I got a map, directions to which trains I needed and headed out. There was a cafe I wanted to go to, as well as the ATM and Mono Prix (the French version of a US Target). Given the attacks that happened, the French aren’t messin’ around, and everyone got scanned getting into Mono Prix, myself included. They checked purses, bags and anything else looking suspicious. I’m cool with this, and hate the attacks happened. I first got my salad at the cafe, and gave the roll I didn’t touch (or take out of the bag) to the homeless guy sitting roadside on the way to Mont Parnasse metro station.

I never seem to be able to figure out the French metro machine, even in English. I needed a day pass, for 7 Euro on one train (the Green Nation), that would take me to Pere LaChaise and then I could hop off and get back on and tool down to the Eiffel tower. Out of nowhere, a girl speaking good English asked what my problem was, and I knew I’d probably be asked for money. My life is a trip, and there I was in Paris, trying to figure out a machine, and getting summoned by a local homeless girl on what and why I was fooling with the machine. She got my ticket in two seconds and the fare was 7 Euro. I gave her the 3 Euro change from the 10 I used. She was pissed and wanted more. I walked off wondering if I should have just said leave me alone. I don’t need the guilt trip for not paying more. I work my butt off, and used to work two jobs, so I kinda don’t want to hear it. I didn’t tell her, but she got the money I was going to use to buy my coffee at the shop near Pere LaChaise. Oh well, business is business.

My funniest experience with a homeless person was in New York City, back in 1992. I used to take the train to the city to use the Jack Lalane gym (an affiliate then to Bally in FL), near 5th avenue and 53rd from Union Turnpike in Queens, NY. The homeless guy there was a scream. I watched him one day while waiting for the E train. Locals would get off and say while giving money, “that’s all I got today man, have a good day”, and he was asking another woman how her son was doing while she waited on her train (obviously they’d chatted before). It was cheap therapy, “homeless style” from what I gathered. And, you got a friendly face on the other end of the coffee cup asking for money. He usually got people to laugh at something, too. The New Yorker’s loved it. I wanted to tell sweetie in Paris to go to training in NYC.

Pere LaChaise was a blast this visit. I had gone in 1992 or 1993 to see Jim Morrison’s grave. He had a following then, and it hadn’t changed. (See my social pages at Instagram or Twitter, bethadair13 for pictures or videos). When I got there this year, there was a sunny sky, cool temps and what had changed is you can take a picture of the map at the entrance of the cemetery with your phone, eliminating the need to buy a map. (Back in 1992, funds were so tight I didn’t buy the map and tooled around hoping to run into Jim, which I did). This year, the funniest thing that happened was on my way out of the walkway of Jim Morrison, towards Chopin’s grave site. There were three local French cemetery caretakers fixing a mausoleum. They were humming the tune “Light my Fire”. It was probably one of the Doors biggest hits and so appropriate to cap off my trip out of the cemetery. Just hysterical, I loved it!

In my domestic travels, I’d sometimes layover in Cleveland, Ohio. Once, I took a visit to the Hard Rock cafe in Ohio and noticed Jim Morrison’s Dad had written letters to a judge asking him to pardon him for some of the stuff he’d done. He’d been in trouble with the law. Doubt any Dad wants to see their son get hooked up with LSD or any other drug.

Next stop was to the Eiffel Tower. I got there and it was about to be dark. Two legs were shut down to visit and the lines were long, but will only be longer when the summer gets here. Security is tighter than ever. I opted out of a tool up the tower (I’ll do it later) and walked across the street to get coffee and sit on the wall to watch the boats. Dinner that night was a trip back across town and at the hotel. I ran into the crew on their way out to dinner. I was shutting it down, and headed to bed.

The next morning, I hit the hotel gym and worked back to the States. Another successful layover.