Castle in the Clouds Half Marathon 2014

Castle in the Clouds Half Marathon 2014

Saturday, March 28, 2015


Took a zero day from running, but John and I hit up the last day of the ski season at Black Mt. John decided to try pond skimming for the first time and had a good run. 


Eastern States 20 in the morning. Nervous, but that's the norm for me.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Snowmobile Trail and Road and Work Drama

Yesterday turned out to be quite the interesting day. I woke up to the official ambulance email containing the new published schedule. FINALLY! New town contracts created the need for a new staffing schedule due to shift cuts. Having to keep my trap shut and even lie when asked about it for the last month was starting to really get to me. I knew I was going to be on it. I've known for awhile, but the issue was that at least 4 people were let go, and I was the ONLY addition to the schedule. This ties into the drama that exploded the other night while I was at SOLO. My friend was listening to the coworker (whom I ousted from the Wed 24 hr shift) scream at our boss over the phone for being taken off the schedule. I was informed my name was mentioned in this screaming fit. Said person brought it on himself; it pays to work hard and do your job. He had to leave before our staff meeting the next morning because he was too angry with me. We used to be friends, but I think it's a safe assumption that we are not anymore. That's all I can say about this even though there is actually more to this story. But I am very excited to be going back to the ambulance. I realized my mistake in leaving by the second week at the chiropractor, and it's taken me almost 7 months to get back, but I finally got it. Relief. I like the crazy, uncertainty of the job since you never know what's going to happen over the course of a shift. And in celebration, I'm considering ending my 7 month long prank that I've been playing on one of the crews since my last full-time day last September. But I'll end it for maybe two weeks, only to just start it back up again. Ha ha. Pranks and EMS workers go hand-in-hand.
So since I'm supposed to be writing about my running (which seems to have taken a backseat to my drama lately), I guess I'll mention yesterday's run. Although, compared to the story I wish I could write here, it will seem very boring. :) Knowing I had to hit the staff meeting before heading to the office, I decided to stick close to home and run on the snowmobile trail in Madison. I was happy to find the trail fairly solid even after the warm temps, so I ran a pretty decent pace up to Lead Mine Rd and back. It's exactly 8 miles from the closed gas station where I usually park. Good rolling hills. Rushed home, made it to the staff meeting. I breathed a sigh of relief when I saw the person mentioned above wasn't there. From there I headed into the office where I would be meeting the new person I had to train. And, um, wow. Not fun at all. A very drab personality who is too cool for school. I guess she was a former big wig in the Bay area who seems to think she doesn't need to learn my job because it's beneath her. So, I'm training her in the few things she's willing to learn, and then she'll just have to get the rest on her own. I'm done. The office went from laughter all day on Wednesday to a very somber mood on Thursday. I was so willing to teach the other woman, but this one just brought me down big time. Just before we left for the day, she said to my other coworker and me, "Life just seems so unnecessarily hard here." I busted out laughing (in my head). She is in for a rude awakening; this isn't even close to life in San Fran. I think she's just in culture shock and will hopefully come around because if she doesn't, she will be miserable here.
Today was much of the same. I was teaching someone who appeared to be extremely frustrated with systems in the office and was expressing it constantly. I do understand that frustration, but it just wasn't doing any good or helping anyone. My boss was acting really weird in front of her, too. I wanted to walk out. 3 days left, though. I can do it.
Thank goodness we're out at noon on Fridays. I have 2 hours to get in a midday run, so I usually go somewhere close. Kevin and Alan had run a loop in Center Conway on Monday that I had never run before so I decided to check it out. I parked at the lake beach at Conway Lake where John and I are a fixture all summer and headed up Brownfield Rd. I actually felt really heavy and slow, like I had just gained 10 pounds, but I'm finding that I often feel this way on midday runs, so I think it just isn't my best time of day for a run (or so I thought). I wanted to add on a little so I ventured off onto Gulf Rd which was a really quiet dirt road with a pretty long uphill. The road was surprisingly solid, hardly a bit of mud. I did a little out-and-back and then crossed right over to Davis Hill Rd to loop back to Brownfield Rd and back to my car. I was surprised at how hilly it was and can't believe I've never thought to run out there. I've run Potter Rd before, but I really enjoyed Gulf Rd and Davis Hill. I ended up with 8.6 miles and decent elevation gain of 530ft. What I wasn't expecting was to see I had run it as fast as I did at 6:52/mi. With the climbing and the lead legs, I thought for sure it was slow. I really only run by feel when I'm training and never look at my pace. I always seem to be off from where I think I am to where I actually am, so I really need to get a grasp on matching the two up. Then, I get in road races and constantly eye my splits on my watch. I think there might be some sort of disconnect there that I need to work on now that I'm road racing again. But knowing me, I won't work on it. Ha ha.
This afternoon, I went up to Tin Mountain Conservation Center to meet with my new liaison for the Dirty Girl Trail Race that I will be putting on May 31st. This will be its second year; last year was a huge success. It's a trail race only for women that I came up with after taking over the Get a Running Start Race in 2013. I kept the Running Start race on the road for the first year but changed the distance and the venue. It was also pretty successful, but I thought it had lost its niche and wanted to completely revamp it, which I did. I don't know if that pissed people off or not, but, honestly, it doesn't matter. The women who came out last year "loved" it. I had over 100 registrants and 80-something finishers. It was definitely a course that no one expected (except my friend, Kyla, to whom I gave a course tour prior-to; she also ended up being last year's winner). The 3.8 mile distance was deceptive... on purpose. I also made sure it went the most difficult way possible. I purposely put the finish line visible around mile 3.4 just so people thought they were finishing, only to learn they were going right past it and had more to go. It was awesome. The wounds, the suffering, the compliments ("You used to be my friend," "Fuck you," etc). For most people, it truly was a sufferfest since most of them were new to trail racing. That was my goal, so this year will be much of the same. Today, I was asked to move a portion of it off of a certain trail; I pretty much said no. ha ha. Then I thought better of it and said, "Let's just play it by ear." I might as well have winked as I said that. So it will depend on the Lady Slipper situation that week. I really don't want to reroute it since it's one of the many difficult portions of the race, so I'm crossing my fingers. My only complaint from racers last year was the bottleneck after entering the single track; I tried to explain trail racing, but newbies really don't get it. So to reward them for their request, I'm probably going to move the start onto the road for more room to spread out. To punish them for their request, I'm going to start it on the downhill side so they have to start on an uphill. Ha ha. Oh and my shirt design idea is sure to offend someone, but that's my nature. Hoping I can pull it off. So if you're reading this, and you're a woman, sign up now. If you're a man, talk some random woman into running it and tell her it's easy. You/They can sign up here: Dirty Girl Trail Race.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

SOLO and Back

Today ended up being an interesting day. The new front desk girl at work has strep throat and had to call out, so it was just my replacement and me. I ended up training her in the front desk job, as well as mine. I'd been training her for a week now. One of the coolest people ever, seriously. But right around 3pm, my boss calls her into his office and lets her go. Wtf. He told her she was learning too slowly. Meanwhile, he had already hired someone else. So now, I get to train another new person for the next week. It took a lot for me not to walk out right there (just like my two recent coworkers did), but I kept my cool and carried on, working my job and the front desk for the rest of the day. I can say that I am not very happy about having to start over with someone new tomorrow, though.
After work, I raced home to change into my running clothes and run up to SOLO for their monthly seminar so I could snag 2 CEUs. 3.6 miles 7:09/mi. Once again I showed up sweating like a pig with major stink, but one of my friends hugged me anyway. I'm sure he regretted that immediately after. Ha ha. Not long after the seminar began, my phone started blowing up with text messages, and since curiosity got the better of me, I had to look. The drama at the ambulance with the new schedule change had begun and people were getting word they were being let go. The saga is still unfolding, and I'm sure I will have more to share tomorrow.
So anyway, I decided to stop being rude and listen to the rest of the seminar talk, which was actually pretty interesting and always good to refresh on. After that, I hung around for about 10 minutes with a bunch of EMTs I know and have worked with. Funny that half of the conversation was about running, and I was the only one of the six of us who runs. I didn't even start the conversation. Ha ha.
It was time to run home, so I stepped outside into... snow, of course. It wasn't that bad, but I could hardly see anything except the snow flurries with my headlamp. 3.6 miles back at 6:50/mi (mostly downhill on the way back). 7.2 miles for the day. Good for a Wednesday. I'm up in about 6.5 hours, and I have no idea what my run will be. I guess I'll figure that out then.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Valley Loop

I got up early this morning to get in a longish run, but then still spent 1.5 hours procrastinating with coffee and reading the local paper. I finally dragged myself out the door when I realized I was going to run out of time if I didn't get in gear. I had a loose plan in mind, but pretty much made up my route as I went along, running a big loop through Albany, Conway and Madison. I had no idea what the mileage would be, but as I was running up 153, I knew it was going to be close to 15. And I was close. 15.4 miles, 7:32/mi, 1069 ft of elevation gain. Pretty decent run. I started to get tired towards the end, but I was starting to feel hungry. I hadn't eaten anything yet all this morning. And, I still waited an hour to eat after I got home.
The rest of the day was uneventful. John and I took a short walk up near Thorn Pond in Bartlett. The sun felt so good that as soon as we got home, I spent the next 1.5 hours sitting in it. I've been dreaming of this for what seems like forever, and it was definitely as wonderful as I remembered. I even broke out the bare feet from their winter hibernation.
Pardon the toenail polish leftover from 3 months ago. Lol.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Frost Mountain

Long day at work still training my replacement. I was able to get out for a ski at lunch, but I had to cut it short since the trail was just too icy. Looks like my last few shifts will be back to just taking a walk at lunch. I found out today that I will still have one more full week after this one at the chiropractor. The start day at the next job got pushed back a week. A little disappointed, but that's ok; it's not really a big deal. I can handle another week. The second new job should start next week, but I can do that one whenever I feel like it. I have to keep both jobs under wraps, as told by both of my managers, because of the potential drama it could cause if I started blabbing. The drama will be there, but I guess this their way of putting it off.
After work, I drove over to Brownfield, as planned, to finally find Frost Mt. I hit the snowmobile trails and found my way right up the mountain. It was just before sunset, so I enjoyed a beautiful sky up there and for the rest of my run. It was very beautiful. I stopped at the top for awhile to enjoy the view and take a few pictures.

The mileage wasn't really there so I just decided to wander around a bit, running down and back on the snowmobile trails, and I ended up at Frost Mt Yurts. I ran on some of their xc ski trails and even checked out one of the yurts. Pretty sweet spot. I got to my car right at dark. I took it easy on this run just trying to enjoy it instead of busting out the speed. 6.4 miles 10:09/mi pace 1408ft gain.
I realized tonight that it's only about 9 weeks away from the Vermont City Marathon. Or should I say 9 weeks away until I totally embarrass myself? VCM- Invited Athletes

Sunday, March 22, 2015

March 22

I have to admit it felt great to sleep in for a second morning this weekend. Sleeping in for me is 7am, but compared to 5am, that's a lot. Got up, took the dogs out and then had coffee. Once John woke up I made him breakfast, changed into my running clothes and headed out with plans to do 13 loops around the neighborhood. 2 minutes later, I was back in the house changing into different running clothes to run on the treadmill. Last night's wet snow fall had left the road completely covered in ice, so I had to abort my outside running plans. I knew that I had no other option but the treadmill AND that I had to do 12 miles on it. Omg. I didn't have 12 miles planned for any training purposes. 12 miles was chosen because today would have been my 12th wedding anniversary. I decided last night that I wanted to run 12 miles in order to celebrate that it WASN'T my 12th anniversary. Seems weird, but fitting. It's like a celebration of being free. So when I realized I had to do this on the treadmill, I considered bagging the whole idea. But in the end, I did it. 12 miles. Happy Non-Anniversay to me! Hell, yes. :) 12 miles 7:13/mi pace. Felt really good.
The wind had really picked up, but John and I had to get outside to do something. I decided a hike would be better than skiing and chose Peaked Mt as we were driving out of the driveway. It ended up being cold and windy, but the sun was shining and hardly any other people were out there. John didn't complain one bit and seemed to actually enjoy himself. The only problem for me is that he is really slow. In the summer, it's not really a big deal, but in that cold wind, it was killing me. I kept having to stop and wait, which would leave me getting cold. So I just encouraged him to keep moving as much as I could, but the hike still ended up mostly like the picture below. Ha ha ha.
John stopped while I freeze to death. Lol.
Despite the slow speed, we still had a great hike. Any time I can get him in the mountains without a single complaint and with a lot of smiles is a win in my book.
Peaked summit

Peaked summit

Peaked summit

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Hill and Loops

It was back to the regularly scheduled programming for my raceless weekend. I have to admit it feels really weird, and I'm definitely having withdrawal symptoms. I couldn't do enough today, so I ran twice, downhill skied, did an upper body workout and an ab workout.
I had to stay close to home, so I took the dogs on a snowshoe run up and down Heavenly Hill twice. I wasn't exactly dying to do a snowshoe run, but it was either that or posthole the hell out of my trail. 2x Heavenly Hill came out to 2.7 miles in 42:18, 975 ft of gain. Obviously not pushing myself. When I was done, I changed into my Hokas (which felt really good after a 3 month hiatus) and hit the neighborhood for 6 loops. I also took it pretty easy on this one. 5.6 miles 7:34/mi pace. 8.3 miles for the day.
Skiied with John at Black Mt after that. Spring skiing at its finest. Then I ordered us pizzas to-go from the Shannon Door on the way up to Pinkham Notch to get spring water. They weren't ready yet, so I got to enjoy the live music for a little bit. It was funny; the stale beer smell immediately made me think of Rick's Bar where I used to work when we lived in Key West. On the way home, I got a text from my mom. "Just got your message. Your mailbox is full. Picking Nannie up for dinner. Call back if you are sober." What?!! Ha ha ha! Not sure what that meant, but I did call her back and made sure it was before I fell off the wagon. :)
More loops tomorrow for my run. I'm not sure how many I can handle, but I might have to break out the music for that one.