South Moat

South Moat

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

White Mountain Winter Triathlon

January 9, 2016- Having been on snowshoes twice so far with the bleak winter snowfall, I decided to register for the White Mountain Winter Triathlon in Jackson, NH. It was being put on by Baxter Outdoors of Maine. I had done one of their events before, the Mt Abrams Ascent in 2014, and I knew a lot of people who were going to be there, so it seemed like a good choice. It was a local race and would give me a chance to race on snowshoes before the first snowshoe race of the Granite State Snowshoe Series tge following weekend at Whitaker Woods.

The triathlon consisted of a 5k snow run (with traction), 5k snowshoe run and a 5k freestyle ski (which means you can use whatever type of xc ski you wanted). When you see "5k", it doesn't seem like that much, but make it 15k on snow, and it ended up being a really tough race. I knew I wouldn't win this one because I only have backcountry xc skis, and in a race, most people would be using skate skis. Even if I had had skate skis, I still would have sucked, and the outcome would have been the same. I'm a terrible xc skier; I only did it for the first time 3 years ago, and I've never even tried skate skiing. But I thought this would be fun anyway. My goal was to come through first woman after the snow run and snowshoe run and then hand the reigns over to Meg Skidmore and Hilary McCloy for the top two women. I thought I could still manage 3rd if I ran well in the first two events, but I honestly was out there mainly for the training and the fun.

I got to the Eagle Mt House in what I thought was really early to check in and warm up.
The Eagle Mt House- Creepy

We all got a cool Baxter Brewing glass
Little did I know my warm up would take so long. I ran the entire snow run/ski course which I found surprisingly challenging. I didn't want to destroy myself before the race, so I ran it fairly slow. By the time I was done, I only had about 25 minutes until the start! I rushed to get John situated in the hotel and gather all of my gear. I looked like a mess since I was dropping stuff all over the place. Haha. I made it to the pre-race meeting only a few minutes late. I handed Meg my second pair of snowshoes she was borrowing, then realized I was aiding the competition! Haha. Ryan Triffitt and John Rodrigue from the Trail Monsters came over from the race. Other locals, Andrew Drummond, Hilary McCloy and Gabe Flanders were there along with a few other familiar faces, so I felt comfortable in this group.

We all walked down to the start. Everyone else thought to bring a bag to carry their things in, but I didn't and was dropping stuff all over the place. I'm not used to all of the gear. I lined my stuff in between Meg and Hilary. Meg is the tri-queen and gave me a few tips on how to make my transition a little easier. I've only done one other triathlon (off-road-kayak, mountain bike, mountain run), but those transitions were much easier.

It wasn't a huge crowd, so I lined up close to the front near Ryan Triffitt. We've been pretty evenly matched the last few years, so I knew he would be good to run with. Meg and Hilary were a few steps behind. The RD started the race and off we went. Andy Drummond led the pack right off the starting line and never looked back. A group of about 4 faster guys followed. I took off quickly right behind Ryan. I didn't hold back on this first leg. I wanted a good lead from the get-go. It would be the only thing to keep me in the top 3 by the end after the ski. John Rodrigue passed me pretty quickly, and Ryan held a quick pace. I was able to catch up to him and run most of the first 2 miles with him. John slowed down a bit. I couldn't even see Meg or Hilary behind me at all for most of the snow run. I ran it in 22:56 which was pretty decent considering it was on hilly soft snow.

Once back at the transition, I was a little slow in getting on the snowshoes. I don't know my transition time, but just as I was heading back out for the 5K snowshoe run, Meg was coming into the transition. She definitely has that transition skill down pat because I'd say she was out of there in less than 30 seconds. No lie. When I got a look back after the first half mile, she was only about 30 seconds back. I was running with Ryan and another guy and ended up passing them when I realized I needed to pick up the pace. The snowshoe run was on a different course that consisted of 3 single track loops. It was a bit rough due to minimal snow, but I have pretty good snowshoe running skills after the past few years so I was able to move quickly through the rough single track that had roots, rocks, trees and brooks to avoid. After the first loop, I was able to look back and see I had gained more of a lead over Meg, maybe 45 seconds. I kept running hard through the second loop, but then all of a sudden, I came out of the woods in a different place... ahead of the loop checkpoint! I was right where the 3rd or 4th guy was passing by. I had gone off course! I realized right away that I had somehow gone left instead of right and paralleled the correct trail on the other side of the brook. I knew I had to turn right here and go backwards on the trail to the checkpoint. As I was headed back, I passed Meg coming the other way, which meant she was now in the lead!! But I had to go back to the checkpoint to count. I hit the checkpoint and confused the guy there a little bit, then turned back and continued the right direction on the third loop. I knew I really had to push it at this point to gain my lead back. I booked it up the trail, and it didn't take me long to catch and pass Meg. She never got that far back from me, though. I had to stop at the checkpoint after the 3rd loop to make sure the guy there wasn't still confused, so I lost a little time there. Not bad, though. Still finished first woman through the first two events, running the snowshoe leg in 35:13.
One of the loops on the snowshoe run part
 This next part would be the comical part. Me on my backcountry skis attempting to keep up with skate skis. As Meg was quickly putting her skis on, I told her, "It's your turn," and laughed. She headed out and had a 2 minute lead on me within the first 1/4 mile. She would end up finishing over 14 minutes ahead of me to win the race. That's pretty amazing. I struggled through the ski and just laughed at myself the whole time. I ended up running on my skis for every uphill since it was the fastest way to get up them. Downhills were just hoping I didn't die! I think I yelled, "I'm going to die!" followed by numerous obscenities at least 20 times. I even fell once on a downhill but was able to fall into a position that didn't injure me and allowed me to hop right back up. Hilary and Ryan passed me really early on. I was no match for those guys. I looked like the biggest goofball out there, but I finished completely exhausted in 33:24 for the ski. It's funny that it took me almost as long on the skis as the snowshoe run.
Finishing up the ski. Photo by John Rodrigue

Laughing at myself at the finish. Photo by John Rodrigue
Including the transitions, my total time was 1:35:50. I was SO beat. That was actually a lot tougher than I thought it would be. I hadn't raced for that length of time and that hard since September, so I really felt it as soon as I finished. The course was no joke either. Total vertical gain was just under 1000 ft. I still finished 3rd woman, which was my goal, so I was happy. Including the warm up, I had done 12 miles and about 1300ft of gain. No wonder I was beat at the end.
Race Results.

Post -race was back up at the Eagle Mt House. I met up with John and ordered him some food and grabbed my free beer from Baxter Brewing. Beer never tasted so good.
 Once it was all over, John and I went down into the creepy game room to play ping pong. We had a really fun time and talked about haunted hotels since the Eagle Mt House always makes me think of The Shining.

We drove home, picked up the dogs and drove down to Sandwich to take a short walk on the Brook Path and then fill up our water jugs at the Sandwich Spring. By the time we got home, I was all done. So exhausted. I needed food, beer, a shower and rest.


Brook Path walk
Excellent beer to end the night with, courtesy of Bob Jackman

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Stalker Update

For those who would like to know, here's an update on the goings-on with Blog Stalker, aka Michael Weinberg of Worcester, MA. I think Michael learned today that he fucked with the wrong person. I wasn't bluffing.

After receiving death threats from him, I was forced to go to law enforcement and take this a step further. Michael has been told that he is not allowed to contact me in any way or he will be brought up on charges for harassment. If need be, my next step will be a no-contact restraining order. I think Michael knows he had best comply or I can easily throw up a Michael Weinberg Part III to show the world how he continued to harass and threaten me. He dug his own hole and now he lies in it.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Catch Up

So I have quite a bit of catching up to do on my blog after all of that drama. It certainly hasn't ended, but I won't update anything on here about it today. I will provide an update at some point, but it needs to sit quietly for now. I don't consider myself a drama-queen or attention-seeker, and this BS makes me feel like both. I prefer to live a quieter, non drama-filled life. I don't particularly enjoy a lot of attention, nor do I need it to boost my self esteem. I just felt my last two posts were necessary and decided to bite the bullet and write them. So now, I'm ready to get back to writing my mundane blog that maybe only 10 or so NORMAL people read. :)

My last running-related post was in reference to my last two runs January 6 and 7, so I have 3 weeks of catching up, and that includes 4 races! Egads! Haha. I'll just start with Jan 8's run and then make my next post about the first race.

Friday, January 8, 2016- I had made a last minute decision to sign up for the White Mountain Winter Triathlon in Jackson on Saturday, so I knew I had to take Friday's run fairly easy. The race was going to be tough, so I didn't want to do anything crazy the day before.

Since it was such a beautiful day, I decided to take Spot on a run up and over Hurricane Mt Rd from gate-to-gate. Bartlett to Chatham and back. I hadn't done this one since the previous winter and had been dying to run it again. I won't touch that road when it's open to cars. Way too scary. It's narrow and winds all around. I prefer to share the road only with people on foot or snowmobiles.

The conditions were perfect with microspikes. Solid footing on the packed snow. Ideal. The road immediately climbs steeply with little break before reaching the top at the Black Cap Trailhead. It's a decent gain in just under 2 miles, and I struggled big time. I have lost all of that awesome speed and power I had gained over the last year with the mountain running and racing, so that was a bit defeating. I'll get it back eventually, but I'm not sure if that one will be back anytime soon. That could take over a year! But, nonetheless, I still felt good. I ran into a woman I know through my job who was up there walking and chatted with her for a few minutes. It also gave me a chance to catch my breath. Haha.

The run down to the other gate is just over 2 miles and is also steep. The long downhills are really trying on my lower back/sacrum, so I was a bit uncomfortable by the time I turned around. Even though the climb hurt, I welcomed it because it was a different pain. Haha. It was very slow-going back up to the top, and then I took it easy on the run back down to the car to ease the back pain. 8 miles total. 11:24/mi pace with 2184 ft of elevation gain. Not a terrible pace, but I typically ran it closer to a 10min pace last winter. It was still a good run. Spot's been accompanying me on my Tuesday and Friday runs when I take them off road. She loves that. She can't keep up on the downhills, but that's the beauty of living where she can be off-leash. She just runs her own pace or stops when she needs to and catches up with me after I hit an uphill or stop. Works out great for both of us.
Spot at the top of Hurricane Mt Rd

Spot and me

Thursday, January 21, 2016

"MICHAEL WEINBERG" Part II

Just thought I would update my followers on the latest "Michael Weinberg" of Worcester, Ma's comments since I posted yesterday's blog. I'm sure many of you are curious as to the backlash I might have received from Michael. 14 new comments! I feel all warm and fuzzy inside, especially the part where he told me he loved me and called himself my boyfriend! I'm going to change my relationship status on Facebook ASAP.

I did realize a mistake I made with yesterday's post. I forgot to tell Michael to stop harrassing me. So here it is: Stop commenting on my blog, Michael Weinberg. I feel your only purpose in your blog comments is to annoy and alarm me. And I am now notifying you that I do not desire further communication from you. If you have any questions regarding this, please refer to the New Hampshire Title LXII Ciminal Code Section 644:4.

Now, here are the latest public comments to my public blog by Michael:


Not 100% sure, but that last comment from today almost sounds like some sort of threat.

Honestly, I'd like to get back to my regular blog posts about running and life. I have two weeks to catch up on. I've allowed this harassment mess to supercede my usual postings, so it's time to get back to the good stuff.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

MEET "MICHAEL WEINBERG"- THE BLOG STALKER

Since Christmas time, many of us bloggers on Central Mass Striders have been inundated with comments from one claiming to be Michael Nat Weinberg of Worcester, Ma on our blogs. He began as "Anonymous" until most of us changed our comment settings. He then registered an account to continue his harassment. Although we are not 100% sure he is the Michael Weinberg from Worcester, Ma, he claims to be, he has been tracked via a program to posting from Worcester. So we are assuming that he is in fact who he says he is. This Michael Weinberg ran with members of CMS years ago, and it was confirmed that he was in a treatment facility some years back for mental illness. A photo of him was found in this 2007 newspaper article about the Genesis Club, a psychiatric rehabilitation program.

The reason he is being exposed now is because he has continued to harass multiple people, moving on from the Central Mass Striders to other bloggers. Before yesterday, I have never responded to Michael's comments to my blog. He appears to be talking to me, but I assure you, this was a completely one-way conversation, most of which I have no idea what he's talking about. I have kept them in my "Awaiting Moderation" folder so that I have complete control over them. He has backtracked and deleted his comments from other blogs, but he can't do that with my blog unless I publish them. He did post these to my comments section which indicates he intended for these to be viewed by the public, so all the information in them was written by him with the intent of public viewing. I will not, however, publish these comments to my blog. Instead, you will see them all through screen shots I have taken. Due to the primitive formatting, the messages are in order from bottom to top in each photo. I had issues uploading them, so they aren't cropped, and you will see comments in there twice. And, once again, keep in mind this is a one-way conversation. I never once responded to the this person until yesterday (1/19) when I replied to some of his comments on other people's blogs.

Read each photo bottom to top:
12/26/15-1/3/16
1/6/16
1/6/16-1/7/16
1/7/16-1/9/16
1/9/16-1/10/16
1/10/16-1/13/16
1/13/16

1/13/16-1/14/16

1/14/16-1/15-16
And there you go!
And, by the way, Michael, I do have a gun, and I know how to use it.
This is just posed:
Just posing for the camera
And this is what happened when I got serious:

Oh, if Michael doesn't drink, why does he have an Untappd account, a beer drinking app?

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Treadmill/Tamworth

1/6/16- I woke up at 4:30am to bang out a 5-mile progression run on the treadmill. Felt pretty good and ran a 7:20/mi average pace. Not bad. I love getting a good run in before my 34-hour shift. It was another slow shift in North Conway on Wednesday, and I managed to get another full night of sleep.
The only 911 I had was my own emergent need for Starbucks. :)
Thursday 1/7/16- I woke up at 6am to shower and have coffee, then drove down to Tamworth for the next 10 hours of my 34. Quiet down there, too. Our only call was for a fire alarm activation that we were cancelled en route on. However, our truck's radio wasn't working and we never heard the radio traffic cancelling us. I sounded like an idiot when I signed us off on scene only to be told we had already been cancelled. I imagined the snickering across the OMVA channel. Haha. I didn't mind getting out for the drive anyway.

I brought my big snowshoes along to make out a ski track, but the snow was so solid that the snowshoes didn't break through it at all. I ended up just walking loops around for about 20 minutes.

My 16 year old Tubbs
After works, I decided to do a run that felt bittersweet. The last time I ran it was three days before Lone Gull, when I was feeling SO good. It was a beautiful run with a gorgeous sunset, and I took a lot of pictures along the way to share with someone who lives elsewhere. I wanted to share the beauty of this run. Life was great. So I was happy to be doing this run again for the first time since being back running. Unfortunately, it ended up being a not-so-great run. There they were, in my car. My microspikes. I knew better. I knew the road would probably be icy, but did I bring them along? No. I ended up on a 10.3 mile loop, 2/3 of which was on a slightly sandy icy slab. In the dark with onlyna headlamp to see. Some of the time I could run on the edge of the road, but even that was slippery. I was actually surprised to still do that run under an 8min/mi pace. 7:54. And some good hills. 780ft of elevation gain. So it wasn't a wash. Just more of a disappointment since it didn't hold a candle to the last time I ran it in September.

                   BEER OF THE POST
The end of a 34 hour shift always calls for a beer. Tonight, I chose a favorite of mine for the last 4 years. Breckenridge Vanilla Porter.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Mt Kearsarge North Below Zero

I thought Monday's run was cold, but I woke up to temps below zero! And since it was Tuesday, I had to get up and get out first thing before John came home at 10am.
I left the house headed for a run on Hurricane Mt Rd, but within a half mile of a drive, Mt Kearsarge came into view with its fire tower literally glowing in the sun. It was such a beautiful day despite the cold temps. I immediately changed my mind and decided that I had to run up there instead. I never do mountain runs in the winter without my running pack and an emergency bivy, but this time I didn't have it with me. Not the smartest move, but I felt confident I'd be fine.

Not surprisingly, I was the only car in the lot that early. Spot joined me for this one, and she was so happy to be out there. At 12 years old, she is still super strong. Fast downhills are the only place where she's slowed down, but she still keeps up well enough. We headed up the well-packed trail. I had on microspikes, of course. It was COLD. I think it took me a good mile before I warmed up, and the entire run up was very slow. One of my slowest times up the mountain. A little discouraging. My fastest time up is 48 minutes. Today, it was 57. I've obviously lost a lot of my uphill speed, but I think the extreme cold also had something to do with it.

Once at the top, it was GORGEOUS! Bright sunshine, blue skies and a fresh layer of snow covering all of the mountains. Spot and I went the fire tower which had been warmed up by the sun. I was soaked in sweat from the run up, though, and began to chill quickly. I couldn't stay long, so I took some pictures, then we headed back down.




The conditions weren't quite perfect enough for one of those extremely fast runs down Kearsarge. Snow was a little too thin with the icy layer just underneath. It still had a good grip, but I wasn't confident enough on it to let myself go at full speed. Plus, I'm still having the on and off back pain, especially with the downhills, so I'm not sure I would have opened it up anyway. So I took it pretty easy. Towards the bottom, I started passing people carrying full Everest-like gear on their way up. I bet they thought I was nuts. Haha. 5.9 miles for the run. Glad I made the decision on Kearsarge. It was so worth it.

John and I spent the afternoon running errands and then picking up our season passes at Black Mountain. Since we were there, we decided to take our first ski of the season. They only had one trail open at this point, but it was still fun. We did three runs. The day had warmed up to the 30s, so skiing was actually very pleasant. I felt pretty good on my feet. This is our 5th season skiing at Black, so I've definitely improved at skiing, but it still scares me to death a lot of the time. John loves it, so I do it for him, and I get such a sweet deal on the season passes that it's hard to pass up.

John had ninja class that night as usual, and I decided to do a short 3 mile snowshoe run near the gym while he was in class. It was more just breaking trail through a heavy, icy crust. Wicked slow, but definitely a good workout.

Needless to say, I was beat after the day's activities. I hardly sat down other than driving. I had dinner and a Foolproof Peanut Butter Raincloud Porter. Good stuff. Then I was in bed early.