South Moat

South Moat

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

2016 Season 20K USATF-NE GP#5...and a Kayak Race

After a good weekend of racing, I was feeling pretty confident in my running, but I still dreaded the Nagog Seasons 20K. I had heard NOTHING good about it. All I could picture was the NH 10-Miler +2.4 miles, and the thought of that left me completely unmotivated to even think about it much. I didn't even want to go. No desire to race it at all, but it was part of the New England Grand Prix that I had decided to do all of in 2016... and I voted for it... only because it was the only option left... but I felt obligated because I had contributed to putting it on the GP schedule. I had to bite the bullet and suffer through another terrible race...so I thought. Turns out it would be one of my best races of the year, and possibly my last good race of the year. Haha. But let's start with a brief (yeah, right) week recap.

Monday, September 5, 2016- 24 hour shift at work. Sooooo busy. Had to hang out on one scene for 3 hours in the morning. I didn't get breakfast until after noon. And then we were out ALL night. Labor Day lived up to its reputation, that's for sure. So the week didn't start off well with the lack of sleep. Made me nervous.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016- I felt no need to get out on the track for Track Tuesday, so I skipped it and ran a short, slowish run from home up Bald Hill Rd and back via the Kanc. One of my usual loops, minus a 3-mile section. I needed to force myself to run easy this week. Double race weekends can be tough on my body, so I was attempting to be smart. I thought 7.3 miles at 7:50/mi pace fit the bill for being smart.

After John came home, we took a walk on the Conway Rec Path with the Spot and Phoenix (Chill stays with Bryan on Tuesdays). John pace, nice and easy. I enjoy these walks with him. He seems to enjoy them, too, as long as they don't have hills and there's a place for him to get in the water. The walk follows the Saco River for almost a mile before turning away toward the school (and the track!), so we walked to there and back. The Saco is the lowest I've ever seen it, although, I'm sure it was lower back in 2000-2001 during the last drought, but I hardly remember it since I lived in Mass at the time. Not much of a swimming hole left, so John waded down the river instead.



Can you guess why a 10 year old boy would ask to have his picture taken here? Haha.


My cocky shirt. Glad I didn't wear it to the NH 10-Miler or Lone Gull.

The LOW Saco

Phoenix


Later in the evening, John had ninja class, and I took the dogs on a short, slow trail, dirt road run from the gym. Just 3.5 miles at an 8:24/mi pace. Home for the rest of the night.

Spot did not approve of the encroachment on her space. Foley Brothers makes some excellent beer!!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016- Wednesdays are always early mornings since I get on the treadmill before my shift. This means a 4:30am alarm. This also meant I was about to hit day 3 on very little sleep. It didn't matter, though. I had to run. I did the usual 5 mile progression run with elevation at slightly slower than usual pace, but still fast 7:11/mi pace in 35:53. This run makes my 24 hour shift bearable.

The work day was typical for us. Quiet during the day, then crazy busy in the evening, resulting in another night of not a whole lot of sleep. I did get 5ish hours, though.

The one highlight of the day was seeing the Conway Daily Sun. Terry Ballou and I made the cover! Finally! I've been in local paper a lot, but never the cover. Jamie Gemmitti's photo finish made it!


Thursday, September 8, 2016- I was pretty excited about Thursday's run. I had decided to make my way over to Mt Moosilauke. The last time I had been up there was during our 2003 AT thru-hike. I don't know why I never ventured over in all this time, but I was happy to finally be doing it. The weather wasn't great, but I didn't care. View or no view, I was doing it. I was definitely tired from the lack of sleep, but I was planning an easy loop run, so it didn't matter.

Moosilauke trails
I decided to start at the Moosilauke Ravine Lodge, so I drove up there and started my clockwise run on the Gorge Brook Trail to the Snapper Trail. Although they were technical trails, the grade wasn't too steep, so I was able to move up these easily to the Moosilauke Carriage Rd which is a wide former carriage road up to the top of the mountain where a hotel once stood. (After camping on the summit (illegally, yes, I know), I can see why a hotel never survived.) The Carriage Rd was actually steeper and more technical than I thought would be, but then eased up with it met up with the Glencliff Trail/Appalachian Trail. I was surprised to see how eroded the trail had become since we were on it in 2003. Interesting what 13 years will do to a trail. There is no smooth trail like this left.

I wrote this in the sand on the trail up Moosilauke in '03
As I climbed on towards the summit for the next .9 miles, I entered a cloud that began to lift just as I approached the summit. And, wow! How did I forget? One of the most amazing summits in the Whites! I had forgotten its beauty. A thru-hiker was leaving just as I got to the top, so I had the summit to myself. The clouds lifted, then blew back in shortly thereafter. I looked down the back side of the summit where I had stupidly camped during my 1998 thru-hike. I learned my lesson. Never ever experienced camping in wind like that in my life. I'll admit that it was scary. It flattened my tent into my face, and I really thought it was going to rip my tent off and blow it away. No exaggeration. I remember lying there in fear and awake all night experiencing my first summit above treeline and the insane wind that comes along with it. I was never more relieved to see morning light when the winds died down, and I realized I had made it. Pure craziness, but I was young and dumb and had to learn my lesson the hard way. Haha.


I love the bright orange visible signs up there.




I left the summit reluctantly and headed down one of my least favorite trails in the Whites, the Beaver Brook Trail. Fortunately, I would turn off onto the little used Asquam Ridge Trail before hitting the insanely technical decent on Beaver Brook to Rt 112. It was still extremely technical and slow-going for the 1.5 miles I was on it. The Asquam Ridge Trail offered no views, but it was beautiful in and of itself with evergreens and moss. Most of it was more easily runnable and downhill back to the lodge. 9.5 miles total for the loop in a little under 2.5 hours. Not a crazy amount of elevation gain at 2,705ft, which is why I chose this particular loop. I didn't want to kill my legs with Seasons coming up over the weekend.

I changed clothes back at the car and then headed down to Lincoln where I stopped at the Black Mountain Burger Company. I was STARVING and in need of a beer! They had a huge beer menu, but there was nothing exciting about it, so I ended up with a Founders All Day IPA. Not bad, but meh. The burger on the other hand was absolutely ridiculous, but so delicious...the grilled cheese burger. A burger in between two grilled cheeses. It was so silly, but I ate the entire thing. As expected, it would be my only meal of the day. Haha.

Post-run beer tastes so good
I had plans to kayak that afternoon, but when I could barely keep my eyes open for the drive home, I knew I wasn't doing anything else. I was SO tired and ended up staying home the rest of the day and night.

She hates posing with my beer.
Friday, September 9, 2016- Yep, slept in. Until 8:30! I got 10 hours of sleep which is huge for me! With Seasons on Sunday, Friday had to be a nice, easy run, so I took Phoenix and Spot across Rt 16, through Coleman's Inc and over to Ledgewood Dr to run up B&M Ledge and then over to the Madison Boulder and back. I couldn't get over how HOT it was. Wtf. The dogs were dying, but fortunately, there's plenty of water along the way. I kept the run at a very slow pace and stopped at the top of the ledge.

Phoenix on B&M Ledge
We ran back down, passed the car and kept going on the road to the "secret" trail over to the Madison Boulder. Spot decided to call it quits at the car. I figured she would just wait there for us until we got back. That's what she did, too,... until people started shooting at the gun range nearby. As soon as I heard the shots, I had a feeling Spot wouldn't be at the car when we got back. She wasn't. Haha. The trail run was 6 miles in just under an hour. Exactly what I wanted to do. Knowing Spot was on her way home, Phoenix and I left. I ran into a guy driving some sort of truck who flagged me down asking if I was missing a dog since he had seen her near the brook. I laughed and told him how she's pretty good at navigation and taking care of herself and would make her way home fine on her own. After almost 13 years of dealing with Spot, I've learned not to worry about her anymore. The dog was meant to wander and navigate since she comes from a line of bear hunting dogs. She even has her own trail on Mt Kearsarge North. I've learned to let her be. She's hurting nothing and no one. Sure enough, she was sitting in the driveway when we got home. She had obviously gone swimming on her way back, then sat down waiting.

Such a happy, healthy dog
I hurriedly changed into my bathing suit, then drove down to Chocorua Lake for a quick paddle around the lake before I had to get home for John. The season for kayaking was winding down, so I knew I had to get in a paddle as much as I could.
My boat with Chocorua in the background.
John had his friend, Dylan, over for a sleepover so I just let them do their own thing all night. I finally got the results from day 1 of the study at UNH today. It was pretty interesting, and I was happy with it. Not sure how to go about using the data without making my runs unenjoyable, though, but it would be cool to put that data to use somehow.

VO2 max is 55 which puts me on the high end of Athletic. And my Lactate Threshold was right around 9mph.

Thought I would include the chart.
I can't wait to find out about day 2 since I really don't know what it all means. Haha.

I had seen in Friday's paper that the Conway Area Lions Club was planning to hold a kayak race on Silver Lake the next morning. How could I not? In fact, I was so excited about it!! I was definitely doing it. I had a feeling the turnout would be low, but it just seemed so fun. The only kayak race I had done was the 1st leg of the Great Adventure Challenge Off-Road Triathlon in 2012. It was a 2-mile paddle on Moose Pond (16-mile mountain bike ride around Pleasant Mt and then a 2-mile mountain run to the top and back of Pleasant Mt). I was actually the 1st woman for this leg, so I figured, I must be a decent kayaker and thought it would be fun to test myself out in this kayak race.

Saturday, September 10, 2016- I got up early so that I could get a quick 3-mile run in on the treadmill. Kept it at 1%. 7:06/mi pace. I had Seasons in the back of my mind. The hills! I didn't want dead legs.

I was psyched to see John and Dylan up on their own about an hour before we had to leave. That would make getting out of the house much easier. I told them they could hang out and swim at the beach while I did the kayak race. John had never been to this beach since you have to be a resident of Madison to use it, so it was new and exciting to him. As soon as I parked, both boys went right into the water.

As expected the crowd was small, and I was probably the youngest adult there, but I was still excited about the race. I spotted Dave Freedman (the announcer from the Millen Mile) and talked to him while I registered. Dave blew out both knees at a young age and gave up running, but the guy can bike and PADDLE, as I would learn. He was the only one I knew there, so it was nice to have a familiar face. I used to talk to him and his wife since John and their son took ninja class together at one point. The race ended up being more of a time trial, so you just started when you were ready. I was the last in and number 12 (total racers). Dave didn't start too far in front of me, but as I said, he could paddle, and I would learn that quickly as he got farther and farther away from me. It still motivated me to paddle hard the whole way around Silver Lake. We had to hit 5 checkpoints on the clockwise loop. It was a gorgeous day to be out there, but it definitely got too hot until we turned around at the head of the lake and hit the headwind. It felt great. I paddled as hard as I could the whole way around and ended up coming in 2nd to Dave overall and 1st woman. Not really that exciting since there were hardly any racers, and I was a lot younger than any of them, but I was really happy with my effort and time. 4.9 miles on my gps in 1:03:47. Dave schooled me by almost 10 minutes!

The course

Coming into the finish.

By the time I was done, my arms were jelly and shaking. I also noticed that my whole body was tired. It had ended up being a full body workout... including my quads!! Eek! They were tired. My core, too. I was beat. There was a cookout after the race which was fun. This was a really great group of people. John and Dylan only got out of the water to eat lunch and then they were back in, where they would stay for a total of 6 hours!! There was an awards ceremony and raffle after. I won $25 to the Sunrise Shack. Breakfast Beers! Yes! They would pack up everything and be long gone before I ever got those boys out of the water. A huge group of other local boys showed up, so they all joined in some game on the dock. I was tired by this point and just lied down on the picnic table bench until it started to rain and everyone was leaving. 6 hours of swimming. I kid you not. They had so much fun.
John in the water



Group of boys on the dock
You'd think they would be tired when we got home, but no. They played basketball on our ghetto basketball court. I joined them over there and had a beer while I watched. They eventually ditched me, but I hung out on the big deck since I never use it. It was nice.

I needed to rest from this point on for the rest of the evening since I had to get up at 4am for the drive out to Acton, Ma. The race I was dreading had finally arrived, and I was NOT excited about it.

Sunday, September 11, 2016- Nagog Seasons 20K

We were up early, and I so did not want to be driving out to Acton, Ma. Like I said, I had no desire to run this race at all. None. After the 10-miler, I figured I was going to run horribly at this one, too, but oh well, I was doing it. The drive ended up not being that bad, and I didn't feel tired at all when we got there. I made sure we were there early, so I could get a parking space. I guess most people didn't know the lot over to the side where I was existed because I was one of only two cars there right by the Red Raven Gastropub, aka race headquarters. I walked over to get my bib# and ran into Stephen Peckiconis who said that I had been registered as a 49 year old instead of 40, so I needed to make sure that got fixed. He was right; they made a note of it, but it didn't really matter because Richie Blake (Yankee Timing) was doing the timing and would probably have caught the error on his own anyway. It's good to know people. Haha.

I decided to go right out for a warm up solo since I was feeling pretty stiff from the drive. It was humid as hell, and I was cursing this. Yet, ANOTHER GP race with shitty weather. Ugh! I ran out of the shopping center and took a left to run where the course wasn't. I didn't want to know anything about the course. It was one of those I needed to go into blindly so that I didn't psych myself out. The unknown was going to be a good thing for me mentally today. I ran out a mile and then back. I felt pretty good and ran it at a decent pace 7:47/mi.

When I got back to the car, I got ready to race and made sure John was all set. Since it looked like it was going to rain, John was happy in the car. I had brought Phoenix along to keep him company. As soon as I was ready I made my way towards the start. I ran into Amy Bernard, Christin Doneski, Lauren Tilton and Dave Dunham on my way. None of them seemed too enthused about this race either. I had such a bad attitude about it since I just didn't want to be there. Just wanted to get it over with. I ran on to the start and found my friend/teammate, Regina Loiacano. I was so happy to see her there since she has a hard time finding help with her kids when she has a race. A big group of CMS women joined us, and I finally met our new teammate, Laura Brustolon. Laura and I had been racing each other since Run 4 Kerri, so it was nice to finally meet her. When it was time to start, I found Amy and Christin to line up with. Caitlyn Germain joined us at the start, too, so we had a nice little group there to start off with. I didn't expect much of myself and decided to go out and try to stay with Christin and Amy.

The race started, and I immediately found myself in the back of a big pack of women. Regina, Jennifer Mortimer, Diana Bowser, Laura Hagley, Christin, Amy and Laura. It was perfect because they set the pace, and there was no way I was passing them. I think it really helped keep the pace decent since the first mile was almost all downhill. It was actually pretty cool because we stayed in this pack for about the first two miles before it started to spread out. We hit the hills right after mile 1, and I realized that these were my kind of hills. I wasn't struggling with them at all and felt good. The entire course is a roller coaster, but the hills aren't steep or long. Those are the type of hills I can do. Along with Laura, I pushed the pace a little bit, and by mile 4, we both started passing some of the women in front of us. Christin had been sick all week, and I could tell she wasn't herself, but it still made me nervous when I passed her. I got even more nervous as we passed Jennifer Mortimer, since she super fast, too. Laura and I would do this push-pull thing as we raced together for miles. After we passed them, we passed this unknown woman who had gone out in front right off the start line. I think she was realizing her mistake at this point, and we passed her easily. Laura and I continued to run hard and fast as we ran those hills. I was so happy to have her there and also happy that she was my teammate! I started to get nervous because by mile 6, we were starting to catch up with Regina and Diana Bowser. I thought we must be going too fast. I was only half way. Would I be able to hang on at this pace?? I had no idea, but I still felt really good. I was actually loving this course. How could this be?! Haha.

Right at mile 7, the skies opened up and hit us with a torrential downpour. Within about 30 seconds, it felt like the temperature had dropped 10 degrees (turned out it was actually a 7 degree drop). The relief was immense. Laura and I commented to each other about it and just kept running. We caught and passed Regina during mile 8, and then Laura proceeded to move in front of me where she would stay for the rest of the race. She was still helpful because she was close enough for me to keep trying to hang on. But the biggest pull was that I was now in 2nd place for the masters women, and 1st kept getting closer and closer. I don't know where it came from, but I kept my pace consistent. Mile10 has a climb that hurt being so late in the race, but I caught and passed (to my surprise!) Diana Bowser. And then I caught EJ Hrynowski. What was going on?! And, shit! There are still 2.4 miles to go! From this point on, I was running scared!! I kept thinking that Diana was just holding back and that she would pass me in the last half mile, crushing my desire to be top master woman. I ran so hard. I watched Laura and kept trying to stay close enough to her. By the last mile, I was dying, but I wanted to be first master SO BAD that I pushed through every ounce of fatigue I had. On the final turn about .1 from the finish, I took a quick peek back and realized that I had it in the bag. The relief and excitement I felt when I crossed the finish line were overwhelming, but I was too tired to barely even breathe or talk. 1:21:39 (gun time), 1:21:37 (chip time, a time I would share with EJ). Laura finished 11 seconds ahead of me, and Diana would finish only 17 seconds behind me. So close!
Turning to the finish line. I looked like a wet dog and wished I had put my hat back on, but whatever. Paul Hammond caught a good shot of me with the look of real determination.
I had no idea that I had finished 7th woman overall. Laura was 6th, and Regina would finish 9th, giving our CMS open team a 2nd place finish, probably our highest finish in the open in who knows how long. Granted a lot people from other teams didn't show for this, but that's no reason not to celebrate a 2nd place. We would take 1st place for the women's masters team. I don't know how this ended up this way, but it ended up being an awesome day for me. I was so happy, especially after the 10-Miler. I needed a better race. I actually ran Seasons at a faster pace than I did the 10-miler, and Seasons had more elevation gain. It was this different terrain, though, that I did so well on. (Unfortunately, this high would be dashed by the next GP race, Lone Gull, but that's another sob story blog post to come. Oh joy!)

I went right to John after I finished and got him out of the car to go get some snacks with me. My stomach was starting to feel funny, so I couldn't eat. We ran into Michael Narcisi who decided to join me for my cool down. John wanted to go back to the car while I did that. I grabbed Phoenix to run with us, and then Michael and I did a really slow 1-mile cool down. I didn't really care about doing more. I'm not one of those people who does long cool downs. I'm lucky if I even decide to do a cool down.

I got changed and decided to go inside the Red Raven for the free beer. I was surprised to see so few people in there. We got 2 free beers!! Where was everyone? It was only Sam Adams or Angry Orchard, but they're both decent, especially when free. I called John to have him join me, and then we sat down outside and had a beer with Scott Mindel. It was nice to have someone I knew to hang out with in there. I still don't know what happened to everyone else, but considering that I was probably only one of 10 people out of 301 who had a good race, I can assume they all just bolted in disappointment. Haha.

I never could find Amy Bernard and the rest of the Whirlaway people hanging out in the parking lot, so John and I left and headed for Everett to Nightshift Brewing. It made the drive home a little longer, but I wanted to check the place out. The whole drive over, though, my stomach started to really kill me. By the time we got there, I didn't feel good at all. I had only eaten half a bagel since the race that I had forced down. I was hoping the beer would be okay, and it was!


Really nice brewery
I have to admit that I didn't find their beer that great...except for Awake, their coffee porter. It's fantastic. The rest were just so-so to me. They aren't bad, but Bright Ideas Brewing Beer was way more outstanding. My stomach felt a little better, so I got some salted garlic tots from the food truck and ate the entire thing. I really needed food. John didn't want anything from there, so I got him food elsewhere on the way home. Eating ended up being a bad idea, and I was so sick after that. The drive home was miserable. It would be like that the rest of the day, and I was unable to eat much else the rest of the day without it upsetting my stomach.

John couldn't wait to get home, and I was pretty much all done by that point. I took care of the dogs, but that was about it. My energy was zapped, and I looked forward to the zero day the next day.

This a random song. Just another one of my favorite Lana Del Rey songs.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

MICHAEL WEINBERG Part IV

Dammit. I was getting ready to catch up on my blog, when I have to interrupt it once again for this foolishness. After a long hiatus, the saga continues again. I found Michael Weinberg of Worcester, Massachusetts had left new comments in regards to me on someone else's blog. Really, Michael? The problem is, even though you aren't posting comments to my blog, you are actually using my full name and yours which still counts as proof  that you aren't complying. Oh and I just gave CMS officials the heads-up about the Freezer 5. Don't count on running that race now. They also know about your encounters with the "CMS girl" you were so fond of, so they can now send out a warning to the club members about you. You're digging your own hole. And, you picked a horrible time to make a comeback because I am in a REALLY bad mood that I expect to last awhile. So CUT THE SHIT.

It's been awhile since I posted a picture of my gun. Thought my readers might like to see it again.
 So, just like before...here's Michael in his element of craziness. Starts off seemingly harmless and ends up creepy as hell. I'm sure there will be more to come!




 






















This latest one is one comment that I had to split into two parts to get it all in. Anybody know of any "special" peanut butter, i.e.one with a tasteless substance?







Want to visit New Hampshire in the winter, huh? Drive down a dark, snow covered road? By all means, but you never know what could be lurking in the darkness beyond your headlights.

This sure as hell ain't Worcester. This is the Wild West of New England.