|About 30 minutes into the start of Winter Storm Helena|
|Treadmill literally at its max|
I changed into dry clothes when I got back to the base and drove over to the Tamworth Lyceum for a latte and whatever that delicious sweet thing was that I got. It tasted like a pumpkin cake covered in a sweet cream frosting. I don't know if that's what it was, but it was so good. I did NOT need that, though. I may have run 15 miles, but the sugar consumption over the last month really didn't need to continue. Haha.
|Latte at the Lyceum|
|King Pine skiing in the frozen rain|
Wednesday, January 4, 2017- No idea how I got up at 4:30am for my treadmill run. I had had only about 8 hours of sleep in two days. I was definitely tired and ran it on the slow side for me. 5 miles in 36:47. We ended up being SO busy at work starting before 8am. We were either on a call or I was writing a report until the evening. How we managed to not get called out overnight is beyond me, but we did get an early wake-up call at 6am that put us about 30 minutes past the end of our shift. The sad part about that is that our company won't pay us for the full 24 hours unless we go out at night between 10p-4a, which we didn't. Busy as hell but giving the company 4 hours for free. I've said it before, and I'll say it again. Worst company I've ever worked for in my life. But I choose to stay, so it's my own fault.
Thursday, January 5, 2017- A beautiful sunny day, so I had to get up in the mountains. The temperature had dropped close to zero overnight so I expected the trails to be pretty solid. My original plan was Chocorua, but after seeing another friend's post earlier in the week at Castle in the Clouds, I knew I had to go over there. I spent about 30 minutes that morning plotting out 5 different routes. I didn't want to do a long run since I had an appointment with Tina at 3pm in Dover. I ended up not running any of them. With Spot and Phoenix in tow, I started at the lower trailhead on 171 and ran up the Shannon Pond Trail which is also a snowmobile trail in the winter. Footing was solid, especially with microspikes. I had finally decided on a Bald Knob loop, but I only made it about 10 yards before I started postholing and turned around and continued on the snowmobile trail. At this point I really had no idea what the rest of the trail would be like, but I knew I could always just stick to the snowmobile trails if need be.
At the fork where the snowmobile trail and the Shannon Brook Trail split. Two trails diverged in a wood, and I- I took the one up Mt Roberts, and that has made all the difference in having bruised shins or not! Ha.
The trail had been packed down at some point. The rain from the day before melted it, and then it froze solid making it the perfect running surface with spikes, so I decided to continue with it up Mt Roberts. As long as I stayed in the narrow, packed portion of the trail, it was solid and made for awesome running. It was beautiful, and I was really enjoying myself. Then all of a sudden conditions changed as soon as I hit the ledges about 1.3 miles from the summit. The solid footing began to feel less solid. The previous day's warm sun must have melted the snow and only a very thin layer had frozen over top. I learned quickly that one misstep off the packed trail (which was soft itself) meant postholing through the ice into the soft snow below. And that meant my shins jamming right into the ice. There was a lot of cursing going on when that happened. I had to slow it down at that point to carefully follow the trail. It was SO beautiful up there. So worth it. The freezing rain had covered all of the trees in thick ice, and then about .3 from the summit, there was a fresh layer of snow that must have fallen overnight. The mountain tops were all white from that and the ice. Even though it was chilly from the cold temp and wind, the sun was warm, so I was able to stop at the summit for longer than usual.
|Spot and all white|
|The trees were covered in ice.|
|Phoenix on a fresh layer of snow just below the summit|
|The sun went behind the clouds and made this a great shot of Phoenix and Lake Winnipesaukee.|
|My little dog is tough.|
I changed into dry clothes that made me look like a local. I'm assuming this because I stopped at Cup & Crumb on the way home for a latte and pastry (and I wonder why I'm gaining weight!). When it came time to pay, the barista didn't even ask if I was a member; she just turned the computer to me to input my member number. Never asked if I was a member like they usually do. So I had to assume I looked like a true local who had just stepped away from my farm work to grab a snack. Haha. I definitely looked it.
|I could not get a good picture of the bruises, but you can kind of make out that half of my shin is swollen and bruised.|
After driving in two circles around downtown Dover listening to Google tell me, "You have arrived. Your destination is on your left," over and over and over, I finally had to park and call Tina to get directions to her new space in the Bending Bodhi Yoga Studio. Turned out, Google was right. I had arrived at my destination, and it was on my left. There was just no sign. I love her new space at the Yoga studio! My massage was wonderful as always. It was LONG overdue. I was a mess! But Tina worked her magic. I still can't recommend her enough! Tina Carr, Licensed Massage Therapist.
My next destination was just down the stairs on the other side of the building. Garrison City Beerworks, where I was meeting Tom Hooper briefly. Maureen Gillespie just happened to be walking her dogs and saw Tom, so she was there, too. Although I was there for the beer, it was also somewhat of a business meeting with the owner to talk about sponsoring my race and another trail race Six03 is putting on in April. I'm excited that we'll have Garrison City beer as one of our awards at the Dirty Girl.
|Maureen, Tom and my flight at Garrison City|
|Mark at the Brickhouse|
Woke up extremely bloated. Major water retention. Not TMI this time since it always happens after the massage. This was why I had originally booked the appointment for the week before. This made me nervous for Saturday's race, but there was nothing I could do at this point.
After little sleep all week, I slept in then drove up the icy Kanc to Bear Notch Rd. I had planned to run a quick 6ish miles in microspikes. The road had been packed down by snowmobiles, but the warm temps had really softened it up. Snowshoes would have been a much better option, but I didn't have them. Since I knew this wouldn't be the quick run I had planned, I decided to just add on miles and ended up doing 10. It was slow, but still a good workout, nonetheless. 1:27:59. 8:41/mi avg pace. It was probably a good thing I was forced to keep it slow since I had a race the next morning anyway.
|View from the run|
|Bear Notch Rd|
|Photo Rachel took of us|
|Me with Spot and Phoenix in the hotel room|
|Selfie I took of us at Doherty's|
Saturday, January 7, 2017- Resolution 5k Beach & Trail Race
Woke up to dark skies. The inevitable snowstorm loomed off to the south. The snow was set to fly right around the race start time. I was happy for the easy drive down to Narragansett, but I had a strong feeling we wouldn't be going home that day. Knowing this, I should have gone ahead and extended our stay another night at the hotel. Not sure if our second night would have been the same rate, but it would have been worth a shot to save $30! I had booked way in advance with a cyber Monday deal. But I still wasn't ready to make the call, so we checked out.
Once at Scarborough, it was cold and the wind was picking up. I was psyched that Mike Galoob hadn't postponed the race because what lay ahead was a pretty cool race experience. I checked in, then took Chill on a 2-mile warm up backwards on the ocean side of course. I warmed up quickly once I got moving. Although the trail along the water was snow-covered, it wasn't too slippery since it had been packed down. I had been dying to do this race, and as I ran the course, I was so happy to be there. So beautiful! On the way back, I ended up getting taken out by dog and fell into the seaweed. It was actually pretty funny. The dog was trying to play with Chill and ran over, cutting me off. I actually had Chill on leash at that point, believe it or not...although I let him off-leash for most of the run when there were no other people around. The puffiness/water retention was still there, unfortunately. It definitely affects my running, but I hoped I could get through it today. I'll have to plan my next massage much better because it ended up taking 5 days for my body to return to normal.
|I beat Michael Crutchley in the registration competition and ended up with bib #1. Haha.|
By the time we lined up at the start 10 minutes later, the snow was really coming down. It was COLD. Huge difference from an hour earlier. As I stood on the start line, a guy walked up and introduced himself saying he was on the FB beer page and had brought me some local beer in case I didn't get a chance to have any due to the storm. I was like, "Wow!" This person didn't even know me and brought me beer. I was floored. Pete Rumsey left me four Proclamation beers, one of which I enjoyed that night. I don't deserve such kindness, but I certainly appreciated it.
Mike Galoob got the race going shortly thereafter. I was ready to get going and warm back up. The race started heading south down the beach which meant the tailwind. It was a quick pace, and this young girl shot out way ahead of me. I had no idea who she was, and I couldn't catch her the entire stretch down the beach. I was trying, too. I was just hoping she had started out too fast and would slow, but I wasn't sure at this point since she was hauling ass. I felt really heavy, as I worried I might, but I still ran as fast as I could. As we approached the turnaround about .4 miles into the race, I was in a group with Seth Acton, Andy Neil and a guy in FiveFingers (Hell, no. My feet would have been frozen! I was a part of that FiveFinger craze back in 2009 and gave it up when winter hit and my feet froze! Never tried it again. Haha.) As we turned back the other direction, the wind and snow blasted into our faces. The snow was stinging my eyes, so I had to hunch over and keep my head down. I could barely see. The wind was fierce. Such a difference from one direction to the other. I immediately got passed by Andy and Fivefingers, but instead of dropping back, I followed. I had a chick to run down. And as I hoped, she slowed way down, and I quickly passed her. I had no idea if she would still chase me down, so I basically ran scared the entire rest of the race. As we got near the other end of the beach, I peeked up to see Scott Mason there with the camera, so I opened my eyes and looked up just long enough for the photo op. Hahaha.
|Move over Conway Daily Sun. I'm now invading Rhode Island newspapers!|
|I'm a goofball.|
I only stayed warm for a few minutes, then had to get to my car for more clothes. I originally wanted John to get out and take a walk down the beach, but the weather was brutal by this point. The change in just 1.5 hours was crazy. I didn't even encourage John to get out. Most people were finishing and bailing. I tried to take Spot out for a cool down, but she was so slow and literally turned around to go back to the car. I switched her out for Phoenix, who was a little better, but it was still slow enough that by the time I got her back, I was just too cold. I had planned to get in 4 miles for a cool down, but I couldn't warm up and decided to bag it. I did a quick beer exchange with Steve Brightman, Rachel Flaksman and Scott. I had beer for a few other people, but one had already left and the other didn't race. By the time I drove out of there, my cooler was spilling over with beer. Full Results
|This is what I brought home minus 2 beers that I drank that night!|
I took a few pics of those of us left. I even got to take another beer home since there were more raffle prizes than people left.
|Jonny, Muddy, Steve, Seth and Mikey|
|Seth and Steve|
|John at Mews|
Unfortunately, I stupidly only packed for one night, so I had to make another stop at Target to get some things, including more dog food! At this point, the roads were so bad that I was starting to get on edge and couldn't wait to get back to the La Quinta for the night.
|Actually worse than it looks|
|Phoenix buried in the snow. Haha|
|One of his few calm moments|
|Beer from Scott. And Spot trying to tell me she wanted up on the bed.|
The next morning was beautiful, and I was even more bummed that we couldn't stay and enjoy it. It was chilly, but the sun was warming things up quickly. The snow was so pretty when I took out the dogs. I had planned to jump on the hotel treadmill for 5 miles before we left, but in my search for the fitness center, I discovered there wasn't one. A sign on the bottom floor actually said "fitness center" with an arrow pointing into the wall. Haha. No fitness center existed. So much for the treadmill run. I packed us up, dug out the car and we hit the road. I realized that we were passing Providence when PVD Donuts would be open. Sweet!! Until I drove over there to see it closed. BOOO. Of course, they were closed for the week. I really do have a lot of shit luck occasionally sprinkled with teasing glimpses of good luck. I swear. Haha.
The drive wasn't bad at all. Moved right along making good time. John and I snowshoed up Heavenly Hill with dogs. He slid almost all the way back down having a blast.
|John on Heavenly Hill|
I had a good week mileage-wise. 60.2 miles. So I'm hitting my goal of 60 miles a week more consistently. I'm finding it to be a bit of a struggle to make 60 miles with my schedule. I have to make an effort to hit that, especially with two 24 hour shifts a week, but I've been successful so far. I won't be upset if I don't hit 60 every week, but I'm keeping it as a goal anyway. Up next...the first snowshoe race of the season at Whitaker Woods!