I don't really know why I decided to look up the origin of my last name a few nights ago, but I did. This was my favorite. Haha. People often ask me how drink so much beer and still run so fast. Well... I'm a fucking O'Dell. Haha. And on the other side I'm a Dooley. It's in my genes! My favorite part of that, though, is "Fun Person!" Even though I've felt very unfun lately, I actually consider myself to be pretty fucking fun. I like to do things, go places, eat good food and drink a lot of good beer. Too bad my fun self scares people away. Their loss. I'll just continue to have fun doing whatever the hell I want without them. :)
So you can probably tell I'm feeling a lot better now. A lot of uncertainty and difficult decisions over the last few weeks finally seem to be settled and accepted. I made peace with the other person. Agreed to keep things on a friend level, stay in each other's lives, but keep it more simple. It's actually been working out ok. Not how I wanted it to be, but it is what it is, and I've accepted that. I'm just working on keeping more of my life to myself. I don't need to share so much of it anymore. Obviously, if you read my blog, you know I'm an oversharer anyway, so this is probably a welcome relief to him. Haha. I'm slipping up occasionally but definitely getting better about it.
Even though I'm feeling better about all of that, it didn't really get resolved until later in the week, and then I had a pretty upsetting incident with John's dad on Friday. It was like February 2015 all over again when he was a nasty, nasty person to me for a situation that wasn't my fault. And just when I was thinking things were finally at a good point. But at least this time, he recognized it was wrong and admitted he lost his shit. I think this stuff will happen occasionally. Some trigger will just bring back those feelings of rage and hatred that existed between the last two years of our marriage through 6 months after our divorce. I think it's how we deal with it after that makes a difference now. Recognizing it, admitting the mistake and then just moving on for John's sake. This incident did result in John not wanting to be with his dad on Sunday as planned, but his dad tried afterward to make it right. Neither of us is perfect, but this was a good example of how we can deal much better in the aftermath.
The week culminated with ME totally losing MY shit when I couldn't get the car up my road after we got home from the snowshoe race. Failing to get up the slippery road on about the 5th try (there would be a total of 11 attempts) drove me to my tipping point. All of that anger, sadness, frustration, etc of the last few months finally came out in a fit of rage. Tears, hitting my dashboard (which really hurt my hand, by the way haha) and screaming, "I'M SO SICK OF SHIT!!!" It was funny because through all of that I kept telling John that this just me having a much needed breakdown and that I had to get this out. And I sure as hell did. Haha. Honestly, the sense of calm I felt after was the first moment I really started to feel better about everything. It was then that I realized that I had so much pent up emotions. I knew how I felt about things through it all, but the anger that I thought I'd gotten past was obviously still there. I'm hot headed, so this hot head has to let it out every now and then. And 4 days later, the sense of calm is still there. So, seriously, I'm feeling pretty good right now.
So onto the running part. A good week mileage wise. 60.3. Exactly where I want to be. Definitely not getting in the mountain runs I would like because I seem to have bad luck with the weather during the time I can get out there. I don't enjoy breaking trails up mountains. I like to run on them when they're packed down and have yet to hit it right. This week was tough weather wise, so I never actually got in a long run. I did manage to have 4 days at 10+, though, so I call that good enough. I do what I can do. I felt pretty good this week, too, so I was really happy with that.
I was disappointed to see the Kingman Moonlight Snowshoe Race postponed from what would have been the most pristine snowshoe running conditions to February 25th. I do, however, completely understand why Chris made the call the week before. This is the one race when a last minute decision on whether to hold the snowshoe race or not cannot be made. So once again, I won't be running Kingman! The World Championship Snowshoe Race is that same day in NY. I've already paid my entry fee and for accommodations. I'll admit that I was a bit annoyed that wasn't taken into consideration since quite a few of us who are loyal to the Granite State Snowshoe Series will be at World's and will have to miss Kingman. And funny this was the 2nd time in 3 winters when I ended up at the Bradbury Whiteout Snowshoe Race instead after Kingman was moved when conditions to race would have been fine. But oh well. Can't dwell too much. Just kind of screws up my plans for the Series. I just have to hope I do well at Exeter next weekend since I was already missing another GSSS snowshoe race (the morning after Kingman) due to World's. The championship race on March 5th is going to count as 2 races for scoring, so right now, my standings in the finals are completely up in the air. I'm almost to the point of not caring anymore, though. The GSSS has been pretty disappointing most of the years I've done it. I'd say 2015 was a great year, but other than that, people seem to be losing interest in the Series. Chris mentioned changing things up next year, though, so I hope that works out; it needs improvement with scheduling and, in my opinion, choice of races included in the Series. As of now, I would almost rather go to the final Bradbury snowshoe race or Ski to the Clouds than the GSSS championship....all scheduled for the same day!!! If Kingman had happened as planned, I probably would have ended my series races with Exeter.
My calendar has really filled up with more double race weekends planned through mid-March. The plan is to end doubles after that EXCEPT the weekend of Mt Washington and the Ribfest 5 mile. That being said, my weekly mileage might actually decrease between now and mid-March because of that. Not certain, but I suspect it. These next two weekends are going to be tough. Not sure what I'm thinking with my planned races because two of the 4 are hard road races. I guess in a way I do know why I've done it somewhat, but I'm worried it could end up being too much. Might have to really take next week back a bit in mileage AND speed. I really want to be ready for New Bedford this year; it's been my main goal for the winter. I was extremely unmotivated last year. The year before, I ran a decent time, but it wasn't a good race for me; I was in shape to run a 1:21 easy that year. I have a totally different attitude about it this time around. I may not even run it as fast as 2015, but it sure as hell had better be faster than last year. After that, I have one major goal race in April and one in May, with some other stuff just filling the void. I would actually post all of my race calendar on here if I wasn't worried a certain someone would show up to watch from the shadows.
On to the weekly report!
Monday, February 6, 2017- Got my 5 mile treadmill run in much earlier in the day this time. 36:09. The day ended up pretty quiet until a few calls after 5pm. Slept all night.
Tuesday, February 7, 2017- What's become typical for most Tuesdays, a snowstorm blew in. Rather than sliding around on slippery roads and risk getting hit by a plow, I opted for 10 miles on the treadmill. Like I've said before, it's a much better workout anyway. Way more beneficial than running outside in shitty conditions. Felt pretty good. In part because I added four new songs to my running playlist. It's how I get through treadmill runs. 1:10:57. Same approximate elevation gain around 1,035ft for the run. I didn't feel like I had to work as hard this time around so that's a really good sign that I'm improving my fitness at that distance a bit. The 10 mile distance is really my borderline to where I'm not super great or horrible at them. Right on that line of mediocre. It's the distances after 10 that I feel I'm better at. We'll see how it goes at my next 10-miler coming up here in the near future. It still bothers me that I've twice run a 10-mile split in a longer distance race much faster than any actual 10 mile race itself. At Boston Prep 2015, my 10-mile split was 1:04:33. At the 2014 White Mountain Milers Half Marathon, my 10-mile split was around 1:02:40!!!! That's just crazy. My 10 mile PR...1:06:02. Sooooo, how does that work?! I have no idea, obviously. I'll be honest that if I don't break 1:05 at my next 10 mile race, then I'll be pretty disappointed. Granted, it's on day 2 of a double weekend, so I'm probably setting myself up for failure. Haha.
Anyway, John and I went out into the storm for breakfast at the Sunrise Shack. Breakfast beer and coffee and the biggest omelet I've ever had! I had to take half of the home fries home; they would be all I ate for the rest of the day.
|John at Sunrise Shack. Moat Call it a Day DIPA and a coffee.|
A few of us were able to talk the owner of the gym to still hold ninja class that night since it keeps getting cancelled on Tuesdays due to weather. John's class only had 2 people show up, so Coach Carl worked them hard. John got in a really good day of exercise. I got in my usual Upper Body and Abs workout that night, too, so we both had a good day.
As soon as we got home from ninja, I went out and snowblowed the driveway for about an hour or so. Even though it was still snowing, the snow was going to turn to freezing rain within hours, so I needed to get the 5 or so inches that had fallen up so that I could get to work the next morning. I wouldn't be able to snowblow the frozen rain with my snowblower. Just as predicted, the freezing rain started around 11 when I took the dogs out, and the next morning, the driveway was a frozen mess. I realized at that point I needed to hire a plow for the rest of the winter.
Wednesday, February 8, 2017- Actually struggled through the first mile of my morning 5 miles on the treadmill so I decided to keep the rest of it easy. Funny how different I feel from one day to the next. The early hour is a factor for sure since I don't do well going right to run from waking up. And some Wednesdays, I'm just more tired than others. 36:35 for the 5.
Work started off with a call then was quiet until later and then two back-to-back middle of the night calls. Only got about 3.5 hours of sleep.
Thursday, February 9, 2017- Woke up to another big snowstorm, which be number 2 of 3 for the week. I barely made it down the driveway because it was a total mess. Nothing I could do at that point. John and his dad had been staying there on Wednesday night, but he typically won't help clear the driveway. He didn't anticipate this and ended up getting majorly stuck when he and John were trying to leave. I finally went out to help, but he really didn't want me out there so I went back in. Probably took them 45 minutes to get out. I was getting a little annoyed since I wanted to leave for my run before the snow got even thicker. I just didn't want to leave yet in case he really did need my help. At that point I knew I had to find someone to plow the driveway ASAP. Crazy that I knew no one except a coworker in Tamworth, so I texted him asking if he knew anybody up my way. He told me that he would do it, which was cool. I was relieved to have that set and left for my run.
I'm pretty surprised I've never done this run from my house before. I've done part of it where I started at the Community Market in Madison and run the snowmobile trail to Silver Lake Railroad and back. I remembered that was 9 miles. My goal was 12 miles total, so I thought it might be close to that. I decided to wear my oldest Dion Snowshoes since I would be running on the road briefly until I met up with the snowmobile trail/RR tracks across Rt 16 at Coleman's. By the time I hit the RR tracks, the snow was already pretty thick with fresh powder. Since I knew I would be breaking trail the whole way, I didn't mind this nearly flat route to Silver Lake Railroad and back. The snowmobile trail does a straight shot on the RR tracks the whole way. It starts off on the Conway bypass before it meets Corridor 19 (the section I had run before). I'll admit that it was a long 6 miles. The snow was falling hard so it was getting thicker quickly. The wind was blowing and my eyelashes were freezing up constantly. I dressed warm enough and thankfully chose my heaviest set of (ugly) wool leggings. Had I not, my legs would have been FROZEN by the end. The longer I ran, the thicker the snow got and the harder it was to run. My pace went from the high 9s into the 10s by the time I reached the Silver Lake Railroad station. I found it pretty crazy that from my porch right to 113 at the Station was exactly 6 miles on the dot. I thought it was would be close to 6, but exactly 6?! That's just crazy. Turned around and headed back. A snowmobile had gone through behind me, but it actually made the trail worse. Breaking trail was actually easier, so I ran off to the side until I ended up back on fresh unbroken tracks where the snowmobile had gone off a different way. I was getting really tired by mile 9. My original snowshoe tracks were barely discernible through the fresh snow that had fallen. My pace at this point continued to drop considerably into mid-11 to nearly 12-minute miles. By the time I hit Coleman's I was really done. I was covered in snow from top-to-bottom. I made it home slogging the last mile on the pavement in my snowshoes. 12 miles in 2:07:49. That was truly a LONG run. Good endurance training, though.
|My legs when I was done with the run. Craziness.|
Anyway, got in 20 minutes of a workout and felt fine the rest of the night. John isn't normally with me on Thursdays but had messaged me earlier asking if he could come home for the night. I normally keep this night quiet and to myself since it's the ONLY night of the week I get that, but I said yes. Still no plow, so my plan to go out for errands was out. Might as well have John there with me.
|Had to have a really good snowstorm beer that night. I snagged the very last bottle of it they had when I stopped at Foolproof a few weeks beforehand. Didn't need to go to Barrel Reserve Night after all!|
|Girl dogs begging for dinner|
I had just enough time to get out for very much needed run before Bryan brought John back. They literally pulled in the neighborhood right behind me. I wanted to get in another 12 mile run, but something somewhat decent, so it was down to the roads near Chocorua Lake. My go-to for post-snowstorm road runs. I wore my Hoka Speed Instinct's with microspikes. The road is very well plowed, but it was still slightly soft with snow most of the way making the run a tad slower than usual. By mile 9 the microspikes were starting to make my feet sore through the Hokas, but I finished it up. The day was absolutely beautiful. So worth getting out. 12.4 miles in 1:37:50.
|MY Hokas with Chocorua Lake and Mt Chocorua. And no, it is not MY mountain, although it is in MY town, not Tamworth. Haha.|
|See the age spots?! I've actually had those since I was 35. One of the reasons I get my nails done. So I can look at my hands and see something nice. My most frivolous expenditure.|
Got in 20 minutes of upper body and abs, then had the Mt Yasur porter I got at the Tilted Barn. I think it took me less time to drink it than it did to get it filled. I got myself some strawberries and cream white chocolates at the store to give to myself for Valentine's Day. Haha.
Saturday, February 11, 2017- Friday's snow storm dropped another 3-4 inches of snow. It was still tapering off most of Saturday morning so it was back to the treadmill for me after sitting around for awhile pounding coffee. Bryan actually asked if I wanted to go for a run while he would take John to Frontside Grind. Ugh. That rarely happens on a weekend and I was stuck inside for my run!! Figures. That's when I could tell he was really trying to make up for the day before. John didn't want to go to Frontside Grind, so he stayed with me while I got 6 miles in on the treadmill. 43:47. 7:18/mi pace. I had intended to run easier than that, but I felt really good so I increased the speed. I snowblowed the driveway as soon as I was done with my run. What a pain in the fucking ass. Seriously. With a driveway as long as mine, it's just such a waste of time. Started to notice that the snowblower was barely working. This was fluffy powder and the blower could barely throw it. It also was barely moving. Something is definitely wrong with it. When I was done with that, I spent about 20 minutes digging out my completely covered mailbox, only to have the plow guy come through and cover it back up part of the way. I wasn't too upset about it because he at least moved out some of the snow in front of it. After that, I dug out the area around my oil outtake and scraped (very little) of the roof with my roof rake.
John and I went back to Believe in Books that afternoon to cross country ski again. After realizing it wasn't busy at all on Tuesday, I decided to bring Spot and Phoenix along this time. We did the exact same loop as Tuesday, except in the opposite direction. 2.5 miles again. Trail still hadn't been groomed, but my backcountry skis are fine with that. John has regular straight skis, but he's hardly ever on groomed trails with them. He's freaking fast, too! Seriously! I tried skiing all out, like as fast as I could, and he caught up with me quickly every time. If I could just convince him to join the nordic ski team...!
|She actually loves plowing through fresh snow.|
|Snow depth outside at Frontside Grind...prior to Sunday's storm that brought another 14-15in. Another 15-18 today, so I can't wait to see what it looks like tomorrow!|
Sunday, February 12, 2017- Bradbury Whiteout Snowshoe Race-
I didn't have to get up super early, but when the alarm went off at 6:15am and I didn't know where I was or why the alarm, I decided to snooze for another 30 minutes. Those 30 minutes made all the difference. With another snow storm approaching and the roads not yet clear, I decided to leave 15 minutes earlier than usual. We got there 15 minutes later than usual. Wow. Does Maine not know how to clear roads? The storm had been gone for nearly 24 hours at this point. Literally, 302 covered in black ice from Bridgton to Raymond. No exaggeration at all. Cars off the road along the way. I don't know how many treks I've made to a Bradbury snowshoe race on shitty roads. It's kind of funny. The snow covered back roads were actually safer and easier to drive on than the main ones. Maine might want to look into reconsidering SALT on its roads. Might actually save a few human lives. While I'm all for a safer environment, do you really think the families of people who have died on those roads are happy we saved some fish or animals by not sanding/salting the roads? If you read up about it, it all comes down to money, not the environment... as does everything, right?
All I can say is that without my car being a standard, I would have already wrecked the damn thing. Having a stick shift has allowed me to get away with only front-wheel drive and all-season tires... for the most part. (Obviously, not being able to get up my road once or twice a winter could be fixed with better tires and 4-wheel drive). But seriously, having a 2-wheel drive and a standard actually teaches you how to drive in these conditions, and while I can't say I won't ever put my car in a snow bank, I will say I'm a really good driver in this shit. People are usually pretty surprised to see me pulling up in my hamster car in this stuff. I will be honest, though. I'm not afraid to admit it. I SO want one of these....
|My dream car complete with terrible gas mileage and all. Brand new, this exact color, all the bells and whistles. That's not a possibility in my current life, but maybe some day.|
I finished 1st female, 9th overall in 33:37. Full Results. The interesting part is that most of us ran this race at a much faster pace than the Squall. Soft snow and a longer distance you'd think would have been slower, but I ran this one at an average 8:54/mi. The Squall averaged 9:42/mi. I felt terrible at the Squall, but I think the sparse snow conditions actually made it slower, as well. Even though I gave the last two miles a good effort here, I can't say that I actually gave 100% for this race. I do feel like I could have definitely run harder overall. I just didn't really want to; I wanted to enjoy it. I'm bummed I won't make it to the third race of the Series. Like I always say, I love the Trail Monsters and their races. Looking at my calendar, though, I still won't make all 3 summer trail races, but it looks like I can definitely make the Scuffle (since I decided not to do Whiteface) and most likely the Bruiser! The Mountain Breaker is my favorite of the three, but it's same weekend as the Ragged 75 Stage Race I'll be doing. I'm also doing the Pineland 50, so I'll still get my fill of Trail Monster races for the year.
|Talking to Ryan Triffit and Jeff Walker post race.|
|At least it's better than Von Trapp!|
|I also had the best brussel sprouts...and stole John's fries.|
The rest of the night was the usual. Did some laundry, my upper body workout and watched the Walking Dead. Excited for new episodes to finally be back on. I was SO tired, though, that I barely kept my eyes open. I was dreading the next morning because I knew I had to get up at 4am to snowblow, and there was a potential of two feet of snow that would be awaiting me. Ugh.
Now, hmmmm. What song? As if anyone actually cares and listens to them. But I guess I care. How about an "old" one. Hard to believe this song is 13 years old now. I can still listen to it over and over.