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What Adds Life?

I’m often asked, “what motivates you to train so hard?”. I’m not an Olympic athlete, with a dossier of high ranking medals or stats.  I’m an everyday lady, with a schedule of commitments & responsibilities just like everyone else.

To answer the question, it’s really quite simple, the day goes so much better with a workout before I get going. It’s usually part of my daily routine. I do have caffeine to get my day going, too. You might wonder, what kind of caffeine? Either Plain coffee, a Coca-Cola or Diet Coke, or diet Mountain Dew, & usually not more than 2 at a time, of either of those. I did do some research, according to a study by the Mayo Clinic, an 8 oz. cup of coffee contains 95 mg of caffeine, most 8 oz soft drinks contain 24-46 mg, per serving.

I did drink regular Coca-Cola prior to running one of my marathons, the ‘99 New York City. I remember riding on the bus to the start of the ‘99 race, drinking a coke. Friends were commenting & one did say “well, if you did it in your training, I don’t see what difference it makes today”. I agreed. I was taught not to start anything new on race day. I did have my marathon personal record that year, too. (Not a Boston Qualify, but a 4:11 net finish). The Coca-Cola might’ve helped, & it was a windy race.  That was a long time ago.

I no longer do marathons. I’ve put them on the back burner until I’m 70.  I don’t need medications for blood pressure or cholesterol (my blood pressure was 12/69 last week, & my total cholesterol was 181).  The goal for me is just “status quo” for the time being.

My best advice if you are new to fitness, get it done before the day gets going. If you’re new to fitness, see a doctor before making any changes to your diet or fitness regimen.  (This includes changes in your caffeine intake).  You will find that you won’t want to miss your fitness training.   I’m 50, and at this point, I’m glad I can still maintain my level of training, but I know men & women in their 70’s working harder. I’ll save harder training for my retirement, in another 15 years.

As in the old Coca-Cola slogan, “coke adds life”, so go find something to do that’ll “add life” to your own day. Take a walk break with new jams on a headset at lunchtime, or join a new fitness group. You’ll find the laughs will come easier & any stress will be easier to manage. Make a list of the things you’ve been procrastinating on getting finished, and start getting them done, too.   If you’re new to it all, get “Clearance Clarence” before getting it started.

 

Untill ll next time, work hard & laugh harder.  Keep up the positive momentum on getting things done.

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Murad Resolution

Over the last several years I noticed an increase in occasional breakouts. I had made no changes to my diet, I’ve been drinking at least 2 quarts of water a day since the age of 18, and had made no changes to my lifestyle, either. The only thing I could contribute the breakout to was a hormonal change, stress, or clogged pores. Given I’m nipping on the heels of menopause with age, I had hormonal tests done.

In the course of about 2 months, resulting in a hormonal test, and a trip to the dermotologist. I learned I wasn’t in menopause as of yet, and my pores had been clogged. I took a trip to a surgeon’s office for a consult (because there i knew I would find a highly trained aesthetician), for a vitalize peel, which helped and then switched my facial cleansers to Murad.

The product itself is great! I picked it after seeing at Sephora,. I bought the Murad Acne starter kit, which retailed at the time for 32.00, and have been using it ever since. I like the travel size ones best, which in my job as a flight attendant, are perfect.   Occasionally there is an ounce requirement I can’t exceed getting through security, notably when traveling to the United Kingdom. (I usually go to London a few times a year).  I’ve tried other products, and in my 40’s and now over 50, this one is the best!

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Carpe Viam

Anyone in the running community will tell you, to get to the Boston Marathon is no easy feat and this year was extra special. It marked the 50th anniversary of Amby Burfoot’s @bostonmarathon win.  It was fun too, to invite locals down to FL for the @GateRiverRunJax.

I met Amby back in 2012. I had talked my good friend Marge into joining me for a “girls trip” weekend in Pennsylvania and running a 10K at the festival. She agreed to leave her family at home and take off “Thelma and Louise style” to PA.. I knew we’d see members of a magazine staff, & I knew elite runners would be there. What I didn’t know, was how much fun & how humble it would be to meet Amby.

Back then, Amby was selling one of his books, and chatting with runner’s from all over. We were talking with him about Florida and he had mentioned he and his wife were going to be moving to CT and had been looking at real estate. They had planned to set up one of their retirement homes in CT.

Over the course of the last 6 years, Amby has written two more books, traveled to Boise a couple of times with George Hirsch (former worldwide publisher, Chairman of the NYRR, & founder of @OnwardShay), gotten settled in CT and also traveled a few times to Mexico (where his wife Cristina is from).

Amby knows everybody, and I’ve even joked, “if you’re a runner, and Amby didn’t meet you, you didn’t exist”. If you ask me, he is just that hooked up with the running community.

Once I landed, got checked in to the hotel, and “Uber-ed” over, I walked right in and the first person I noticed was @DeenaKastor. She was signing books, getting photos with fans and had George not come over to say goodbye to her, I would have missed him and Amby! I quickly got a picture with everyone and was able to later chat with Amby on his current training and goals for the Boston Marathon this year.

Beth Adair, Deena Kastor

At the conference, I asked what kept him going and what his best advice was for anyone his age or near his age in keeping fit. He said to just “keep moving” and recommended walking. For the race on Monday, he said he’d be doing a 4:1 ratio of running to walking and said he was going to start training for shorter distances. Over the last many years, he’s completed the Manchester Road race over 50 times, been healed from depression caused by a C-diff infection (and was the most challenging health issue he’s dealt with ever) and has enjoyed training in CT and Mexico, “snowbird style”. He and his wife spend winters in Mexico.

Since 2015, I’ve been doing international trips as a flight attendant out of the New York City base and knew I’d be getting a unique gift for Amby to celebrate his 50th Boston Marathon. I had a trip to London, and while tooling around shopping, I was in Harrod’s and saw these great chocolate bars that resembled bars of gold. They were solid chocolate and a signature line to the Harrod’s brand packaged in gold packaging. I bought 5 (one bar for every 10 years) and gave them to Amby and his wife, as well as gave George Hirsch pictures when I saw him with friends last October, ( my running team was in Boise at Onward Shay). For many people like myself, it’s more fun to give gifts than get them, and gag gifts are even more fun.

After Marge and I attended the conference and met some fun followers, like John Young (@dwarfparatri), and met writers, Jonathan Beverly (@jbevrun), @DeenaKastor, & Scott Douglas. I got pics and had some laughs. Probably the most comical of the day was when Deena Kastor asked what race I attended to qualify for Boston. I answered, “well, I’m not exactly running, and haven’t qualified yet”. She laughed and made a few motivating comments as to how I’d do it later. Truth be known, I tried three times in the @nycmarathon, and I decided after the last one I completed in ’03, that I’m not going for it again until I’m 70. It’s a long way off, but till then, I’m crosstraining hard in the weight room and enjoying other forms of cardio in addition to my running.

The rest of the weekend was a riot, we checked out a few pubs, hit up a workout at @PlanetFitness in Revere and went shopping.  We stopped by the @BrooksRunning expo booth too, at Seaport to see some of the staff.   Marge got her daughter & husband a few things, too.

Marge is a business woman in the New York City area and gave me advice that I needed to write a blog posting once a week and circulate into a feed called “Scoop It’. This would help promote my brand on social media and generate more followers to what I hope to accomplish.  It was advised that to get your business more business, you have to get more web circulation through writing.  I’m grateful for such a fabulous friend!  I tend to surround myself with people who will motivate me to work harder and in turn, I try to motivate others.

I have a photo shoot with Paul Buceta up in Toronto in late May that I’m excited to do. I shared this with most everyone I chatted with this weekend. It will just be a blast! It’s for my campaign rolling, called “fitness over 50” and for @STRONGFitnessMag. Funny too, I was sitting at the pub @theblackroseboston and a man who missed his Boston qual by 20 seconds (and a touch miffed about it), was asking my opinions on his startup concept. It was a treat to offer advice on getting hooked up in social media, contacting a few contacts I had in Australia related to his business fitness concept and also to mention (since he and his girlfriend were from Toronto), to check out all of the @OxygenMagazine issues of the last year. (Oxygen Magazine is a Canadian magazine). I recommended too, he start writing a blog once a week (the new advice I was just given).  And, also, to check out any ladies fitness magazines, such as Strong Fitness, Muscle and Fitness Hers, and etc..

I don’t believe in a whole lot of coincidence, so it was great that I met this couple, and even if I never see them again, my “two beer stop in” to a pub in Fanueil Hall might’ve flipped a switch to motivate more health and wellness. It was funny too, the aggravation the man had with his “near-qual miss”, and the couple was entertained I showed up in a “no qual zone” just to see friends.  (No qual zone being my fun way of bypassing I hadn’t tried in a few years and have no plans for another 20).

I got the short phrase, and name of this blog post, “Carpe Viam”,  from an article Amby wrote on Ryan Shay. It means “seize the road” and when you are in Boston on marathon weekend, even if you can’t “seize the road”, you’ll “seize the vibe” and get motivated to get moving on a project. You might even motivate others to get projects going, too.

Until my next post, remember to work hard and laugh harder. I know I will be.

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Got Fitness?

I was asked sometime in the last few months, “What motivates your fitness?”. It was by an attorney. I have a diverse bunch of followers, and love it. To motivate any profession to train hard or start training in the gym or in fitness is nothing but a compliment. “Got fitness? Let’s get it going.”

To answer the question, it’s rather complex, but the goal in any workout for me is better health. Life for me flows better with a hard workout. If I can get it done before the day gets rolling, I can handle any stress that might crop up much better. I typically try to laugh everyday and usually find humor in most everything. I’m way past my twenties, and glad I’ve made it this far without serious health issues. With heredity, I’m faced with possible arthritis, blood pressure issues, type 2 diabetes and cancer. None of that sounds like a blast, but even if I had any of them, I’d still do the treatment. Fortunately, with hard training and a cleaner diet, you’ll see results, too.

I’m going to the @bostonmarathon this year, and can’t wait! I tried to qualify for the race in my thirties in ’97, ’99 and ’03 at the @nycmarathon. I wasn’t too heinously upset when it didn’t happen, as I came close once, uninjured & at a finish time of 4:16 (net chip time 4:11). I just figured all I need to do is get older, so I’ll wait till I’m 70 to try again. In the meantime, I’ll cross train hard and run casually, and likely not exceed distances of 15K. I wasn’t born with the God given talent to be, “fast out of the gate”.

This year is a special year. The Boston Marathon ’68 winner, Amby Burfoot (@amburf) is celebrating the 50th anniversary of his win. He’ll be running it, again. Just amazing! He’s in his 70’s and still training hard. I met Amby years ago, through an expo with Runner’s World Magazine. He was there in PA selling his books and very enthusiastic about running. He even convinced a friend she could do a marathon, which she later did, years later, at the New York City marathon.. Most runners understand the addiction, the “buzz”, and why you’d even want to try to run a marathon. What blew my mind was the fact he could do it so fast out of the gate. I look forward to seeing friends at the expo and meeting people that can do what I can’t do, it’ll be a blast.

My best advice if you’re challenged in your fitness or trying to get motivated to get back to training, is to keep it fun. Go buy a new shirt, keep up the positive vibe (even if that means putting negative people on the back burner awhile), download a new song, buy a bikini, even schedule a photo shoot. If money is tight, google positive quotes, & find optimistic things to read.

Hoping to see you all at the Boston Marathon, and if you can’t make it look for fun pictures on my social pages. I’ll try to find as many elites and fun people as possible. I just can’t wait!

Until then, work hard and laugh harder, and thanks for the follow:-)

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Employment Nirvana

About three years ago I was sitting in my friends apartment in New York City. It was a fun weekend, in the summer and I was hanging with one of my best friends. I had a birthday about 3 days before blowing into NY & noticed the weather in Ireland was calling for partly sunny skies. I travel for a living, it seemed like a waste of a day to just sit around in Ireland and not get some fitness shots.

Modeling is a bit of a hobby and I enjoy it, and all the more when I can get decent results from my training. I love to eat, and I love to workout. It’s a constant balance and always with a laugh. I just feel so much better when I get my workout in.

I asked my friend Marge, “how would you go about finding a fitness model in Ireland”? She made it seem easy, and it kinda was. I put Irish male fitness model in the search engine, and checked every site I could find as well as on Facebook and other social media. I was in my late forties and was seeking a male to work with about the same age, or within five years. All the models I found were much younger. If there was a 40 something, he wasn’t in sight.

To find the photographer, I googled photographer’s too, & really just wanted someone with experience. Someone local, that knew the weather, and how to get good light out of a cloudy day if that was what we got. I was scheduled to be in Dublin in less than 40 hours. Everything was done through email correspondence and I checked everything online to make sure I wasn’t dealing with a weirdo. To be honest, finding Jim Schofield was about the easiest of the equation. He had pictures online and a work ethic and said he worked on an hourly rate and we’d shoot for 2 hours and he’d pic out unedited pics after the shoot to email back to the US. We did it that way, just that fast.

I told Jim via email what I was looking for and he said (after about a day) he couldn’t find anyone fitting the age bracket. He said he could find flat abs, semi-ripped and a serious athlete, but he was late 30’s. I was late forties and told him and said I didn’t want to look like his mom. Jim said no worries and just do it.

I don’t remember what Jim’s rates were, but it was well worth it, and I never had to worry. He somehow found Brian Ankers.

My plan was to land in Dublin, hit up a nap after being up all night and then get up, shower change and get out the door for the shoot. It got changed a touch with a heinous weather delay getting out of the US and my 3 or 4 hour nap got eaten up. I landed, pulled into the 4 star hotel, The Shelbourne Hotel and went straight to the shower. All I had time for was ironing clothes, doing my hair and then trying not to let anything mess up my “gung ho” vibe.

Meeting Jim was nothing but a riot. I was waiting outside the hotel holding about 4 outfit changes and clothes for myself and whoever I was working with and asked the bellhop to take our pictures. It was a scream!  The accent, the vibe and he was on the phone with Brian Ankers, explaining where we’d meet.

Jim decided we’d be working four scenes in Phoenix Park and explained (in the car) I’d be working with Brian Ankers. He said Brian was an ultra marathoner, had set the Irish record that year in running 84 marathons in one year. 84? Say what? Back then, his personal record was 3:07 for a marathon. He also worked two jobs, was happily married and had four kids. We only had 2 hours, because we were working in between two of Brian’s jobs. I thought about getting a tad stressed, but figured it was better to just fake it. Fake it till you make it with any stress, that was where I was headed there. My talents weren’t what Brian’s were in athletics. I had been married before, helped raise two of my former husbands kids, (which is no easy task) and worked only 1 job, and hadn’t run a distance longer than the New York City marathon, or a weekly mileage not exceeding 49 miles a week. I felt a bit underequipped in athletic talent. I was still stoked for the shoot though.

We got to the park and I needed a restroom. This is where the things were a trip. I had walked trying to find a ladies room, but there wasn’t one. There were some people redoing the floors in a cricket house & they said I could go in there and use the one there. I didn’t hesitate and ran in. When I walked out of the bathroom, there was shirt hanging on the wall. It was a soccer styled shirt, short sleeved and had the name Adare on the back. What a trip. My last name is Adair, with a different spelling. Our ancestor’s moved from Ireland in the 1700’s. I decided this was good luck and whoever was outside waiting to work was the best person Ireland had.

Brian was going over the scenes with Jim when I walked up. It was fabulous. The shoot totally rocked. I loved the accent and couldn’t stop laughing. The best thing too, we got a touch of sun. In between scenes Brian talked of his wife and kids. He said he couldn’t do what he did without her support. I didn’t know then, but later I’d meet Jenny and the kids and she’s every bit as fun and pretty as he said. His kids, they are a scream, too.

We worked four scenes with about 4 different outfits and it’s what I like to call “employment nirvana”. Everyone wanted to be there and no one complained. When the shoot was done, Brian invited me and Jim to his next job, a boot camp class. Given I’d been up all night long, I was completely fried. The best compliment was from Jim and Brian, they both said they liked my energy. I’m glad they saw me this way.

Brian went on to win Connemara 100 later that year in 2014. I was published in Oxygen Magazine Australia in a two page spread in August of 2015. I worked another shoot with Brian and Jenny at the Wicklow Mountains up near Glendalough in 2016, with David Clifford Photography. That shoot rocked with the weather. It was sole grade sunny skies and we got good film. I wasn’t on point with my abs, but Brian and Jenny were. We are all still fabulous friends, and I’m grateful for their friendship.

Beth Adair, Brian Ankers, Jenny Ankers

The clothing we used in the first shoot was all Adidas wear and shoes. The second shoot was in New Balance. This was all before I was picked up by Brooks in one of their campaigns, #BrooksEndorsed.

Remember to always laugh, keep the vibe going, & even if you don’t think you got it in you, you do. Thanks for reading my blog and remember to #workhardlaughharder.  I know I will be, and you should, too:-).

Beth Adair, Brian Ankers, Saoirse Ankers, Aaron Ankers, Jenny Ankers, (front row, Sophie Ankers, Lucy Ankers)
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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

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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

 

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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

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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

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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:-)