Wednesday, December 13, 2017

2017 Yule Light Up the Night

John finishing Yule Light Up the Night
I started to pick the running back up a bit more this week. I thought I would make it to 40 miles, but I was just shy with 38. Good enough for me as I build back up. I also made it to one spin class, which is the plan from here on out. One spin class a week. It won't always work out, but with Olympia Gym's schedule, it should be pretty easy to get there. It was a good week for the most part. Some days were busy while others were not. Finished it off with my first race since Thanksgiving. You can bet I was antsy to get this body racing. John joined me for this one and seemed to enjoy it.

Speaking of John, I feel like I might be in for a fight with his dad that I wasn't expecting. I hope not, but I'm learning about things I don't like that worry me about John's future. I've been avoiding this because I thought things were going well enough and didn't want to disturb the peace. But in reality there hasn't been peace. I found out that I'm being undermined constantly, when I'm basically providing John with 95% of his needs. It could actually be closer to 99%, but I'm trying to be fair. I didn't want to take things to court because I felt it would breed animosity and possibly resentment from John, but I have a feeling it's going to come to that soon. And not exactly because I want it, but because I'm starting to hear it from John. I'm definitely not going into details here, but it's a lot worse than I thought. A LOT. I know his dad cares about him and loves him at the core, but that can only go so far if it's not shown or comes out as the opposite. I don't plan to take him from his dad, but I honestly don't know if he's any longer fit to make the best decisions for John. And anyone reading this who thinks I'm a shitty mom for dragging my kid to all of my races and all over New England, you have no idea how good for him it is to get out of the isolation in which he lives up here. Our weekend "trips" and The Community School are what are getting him out into the land of the living. But, anyway, I hope I'm wrong; I hope his dad can change his behavior, but I'm pessimistic.

Monday, December 4, 2017-

Silver Lake on my drive into work on Mondays
Pretty quiet day at work again. I brought clothes to run on the treadmill but forgot that the treadmill is slipping so that when I got on it, I almost fell off. That would have hurt on the concrete floor. Haha. The belt needs to be tightened with an allen wrench which we have none of at the base. Fortunately, it was a beautiful day outside with perfect running temps, so I decided to run large loops around the base. The only problem was my shoes. I only brought my Hoka Stinson's that I only use on the treadmill. I was now about to run in these clunkers in soft dirt. Haha. It was my only option (well, I had another pair of shoes, but they are strictly indoors only for my workouts and the gym). I was only running 3 miles so I decided to run them at a quick pace and with music to numb the loop torture. Not sure how I did that in soft dirt with the Stinson's, but I did. 3.1 miles in 21:55. 7:09, 7:00, 7:01. I felt really good. I'm itching to run fast again.

My footprints from all of the loops
The loops on Strava. Haha.
The rest of Monday was blah. Mondays at the Tamworth base are starting to get to me. I don't know what it is, but it's depressing, and I'm tired ALL DAY. My partner is great, but just something about working out of that base doesn't make me feel good. I have the worst partner on Wednesdays in North Conway, but I'm much happier working up there. I can't pinpoint it, but something is off down there for me, and it just leaves me feeling somber all day.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017- Got out on time and drove to Wolfeboro for spin class. Only my 4th class since I started, but I'm already feeling like I'm in better shape. It still destroyed me, and I was STILL the only one pouring in sweat. The instructor looked like she was working hard, but she was wearing long sleeves and not pouring in sweat. How am I the only one?? I guess I'm just gross. Haha. When I got home, I did another Upper Body and Abs Shred workout and decided that it was definitely too easy. No more of those. I think they're meant for beginners, but I'm not a beginner. My abs could crush you right now. :) Ok. They're not that awesome, but they're pretty solid...under the beer belly.

Another uneventful Tuesday. I ran some errands then got antsy later on and jumped on the treadmill for 5 miles. Easier than I normally run since I do most treadmill runs as progressions because it's the only time I can force myself to do them. This time I kept it even-paced, but also changed the elevation between 1% and 3% every half mile. 37:48. 7:34/mi avg pace. The treadmill has been a useful training tool for me since I was forced to start using it in late 2014 and the winter of 2015, so I have an appreciation for it.

Hung out with John for the evening and had some beers. One beer I accidentally bought thinking it was SixPoint's 5Beans. I didn't realize they had rereleased 3Beans for the first time since 2013. Not quite as good as 5Beans but still really good.

John was torturing Phoenix and me. Haha.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017- I didn't get up to run before work, but I planned to do the next 300 Killer Rep Workout during the day at some point. I can actually workout at the North Conway base since it's much bigger than Tamworth and has the upstairs room that I use. It was super quiet all day for 911 calls so after I got bored, I finally got to the workout...only to find out that she added the use of equipment to the next one in the Series. Boo. I don't have that at work, so I opted to just repeat workout #2. I love these workouts, and while I don't plan to do them on a regular basis, I'll still use them at work on Wednesdays if I fail to get up to run in the morning. 30 minutes of pretty intense training. Not a long time, but it feels like it when I'm done.

Collapsed on my mat after my workout
Thursday, December 7, 2017- No calls overnight so I woke up feeling pretty good. I was meeting a friend to run later in the afternoon so I was in no hurry this morning. I got in a 15 minute Fit Slide workout, showered and then headed south to Foxborough, Ma where we were running at the F. Gilbert Hills State Forest.

After spending a lot of time perusing segments and other people's runs that were mostly confusing loops that looped back on each other going every which way, I finally found one person's run that was just one loop at 4.5 miles. Using his run as a guide, I came up with a larger loop that I was guessing would be closer to 6 miles.

Although we had to stop to double check the map fairly often, this was still a really good trail run. Once we kind of figured out the blazes and directions we were able to run without stopping more often, and these trails were super fun to run on. The dirt bike sections were actually pretty technical and rolling, but I loved it. I couldn't help but run fast because I don't often get to run trails at a quick pace up here in NH. I didn't fall at all, but I ended up with a few scratches on my back after it was all said and done. We missed a few turns that we'd planned, but it was close enough, and we finished off it off with 5.7 miles, so my 6ish guess was pretty right! Yay! 51:55 with 626ft of elevation gain. Now that I've got the layout of this place in my head, I'd love to come back and explore it more, and also figure out why the hell the water holes are all signed as such, as if it's the desert or something. Haha. Water Hole!

The actual run from my Strava. Pretty close to the plan.
Castle Island Brewing Co in Norwood was the next stop on my way back north. How I'm only just learning of this place, I don't know, because it was pretty awesome. I had the coconut porter and the barrel-aged stout, which were both really good, and a taster of the sour blonde with cranberry since it was suggested that I try it being a sour blonde and all. Haha. I practically had to get kicked out of there in order to make me leave since I didn't want to go, but I had a long drive home. Stopped for a coffee and chips and drove straight home. Downed an entire flatbread when I got home which seems to be a recurring Thursday thing. Haha.

Friday, December 8, 2017- I slept in as I usually do on Fridays then drove down to Tamworth for a long-ish run. I really wanted to get some miles in, but at a comfortable pace so my goal was really just to run and not pay attention to my watch. I'm not ready to do any hard long runs right now, and I'm planning to keep most of them at 15 miles or less for awhile. I planned out a loop that started at Remick Farm and took 113A into Wonalancet and back via the dirt roads of Pease Hill and Browns Ridge before hitting the pavement again at Cleveland Hill Rd for the run back to my car. I love these runs around Tamworth because the roads are typically very quiet with few cars. Plus, the hills are really good training. Never a super fast run with all of the elevation, but I was pretty surprised to find that my comfortable pace for the 14 miles was an average 7:42/mi. That's with 1,087ft of elevation gain. Obviously the downhills helped, but I was expecting something closer to 8 minute pace. I felt good, too, so that was a plus. Overall very happy with this run.

Even though I was right by John's school, I decided to go home and get Phoenix so that I could take her on a short walk before picking up John. We drove back to Tamworth and had time to walk about a half mile of the Bearcamp River Trail that I'd only just learned about. I was curious as to its condition. Unfortunately, it turned out to be in terrible shape. Flooding of the river made it a mess, and when it reached some fields, the footing was rough. This is unfortunate because it had the potential to be a fantastic trail that stretched for 17 miles. We still enjoyed our walk, however, and I do plan to explore more of it in the late Spring next year. Link to the Trail Map, if anyone else is interested. Views from the trail...

Looking back at John's school from part of the trail
Made it back to the school just as John was walking out the door, and, like I said, happy as can be. He loves it there. Nothing else that night except Phoenix couch snuggles and TV. You've Got Mail. Haha.

Saturday, December 9, 2017- No plans really for Saturday. It was supposed to start snowing in the afternoon which made me want to sit on the floor in a corner rocking back and forth while sucking my thumb. I don't hate snow, but after clearing it mostly by myself the last 4 winters, it's gotten old. Plus, my car tires are bald on the back since I've procrastinated on getting two new ones. Plus, I'm just sick of living this far north where it's so much colder and the snow lingers longer. But, as it turned out, we didn't start getting snow until the evening and was maybe 2 inches of nice powder that was pretty and ended up being easy to clear...without the snowblower. My kind of snow!

We still didn't do much since I knew we had a busy day the next day. After the long run the day before, I wanted to do something easy so I did 3 loops of the neighborhood and Waldorf School trails. First was with Chill, then Phoenix, then solo. 5.3 miles total. in 49:03. Not really much faster without the dogs. Haha. I noticed there were two water holes on these trails. I don't know why they weren't signed. :) WATER HOLES!

After the run, I did the next 15 min Fit Slide workout. This one was a little more leg focused than I wanted, but it still worked the core. Made me reconsider just going back to the old workouts I was doing. We'll see. Haha.

I spent a little time FINALLY putting the Ice Spikes that I won at a Bradbury Snowshoe Race 3 or 4 years ago into my old Brooks PureGrit's. I thought I got rid of my PureGrit's but I just happened to find them behind my shoe box. I loved those shoes, but the tread is gone. I realized I could prolong their use with the Ice Spikes.

I had to readjust two on each shoe after I took this photo. 
In the late afternoon, John, the dogs and I walked up Heavenly Hill. I really should have raked the leaves before the snowfall because they were so bad, but it's too late now. As I write this, they're now under about a foot of snow. Good walk, though. John played hard to get with the camera. Haha.

John blur

That was pretty much it for the night once the snow started. It was nice taking the dogs out in it later, though.

Sunday, December 10, 2017- Yule Light Up the Night-

I followed through on NO 10K! But I will admit that it bothered me a bit after seeing the results and that I would have won easily. The winner ran almost the exact same time I ran at Lone Gull when I still couldn't breathe after being sick. I could have easily beat that time. Haha. BUT, I'm glad that I signed up for Yule Light Up the Night at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway because it was something John could do, too. Plus, it was only 2.1 miles which I needed for the speed work anyway. The race follows the the Gift of Lights display through and around the Speedway so it started just after dark at 4:30pm. I thought that sounded neat...until it was actually race time.

The late race start meant no early morning, but I wanted to swing by the yearly Fat Alberta release at Throwback Brewery first, so I still had to get up, have coffee, then shovel the whole driveway. With only about 2 inches of snow and unfrozen ground underneath, the snowblower would have been useless and clogged with sticks and other stuff, so I used this shovel pusher that John's dad bought last year. And wow, it was awesome! I didn't take a photo, but it's this...

It took just over an hour to clear the entire driveway. It was a workout, though. By the time I finished, I was pouring in sweat so I had to jump in the shower quickly and then get John and I out the door and on the road to Hampton. I had actually busted John in the middle of the night still awake so I was letting him sleep in and then sleep in the car. I wanted him rested and in a good mood for the race.

I was only planning to go in Throwback and grab my 4 bottles, but when I had looked previously at their special beers for the release, I knew I had to try 2 of them: Fat Elvis (peanut butter, banana and bacon Fat Alberta) and the Strawberry Cherry Fat Alberta, both on cask. They were each 4oz so I figured it would be quick, but....just as I was walking up to the door, Amy Bernard messages me this...

She didn't know I was walking in. It was just a cool coincidence! Haha! I also walked in to absolutely no line. It was just me!! Perfect timing. I got my 4 bottles and 2 4oz pours and joined Amy, Rick and Charlie Bemis for a bit. Both beers were SO good. It was fun having them to hang out with since it's been awhile since we hung out. I ate Charlie's leftover fries, too. Haha. I wish I could have hung out longer, but I didn't want to drink more than 8oz before the race, so we headed out.

Amy and me
The drive over to the speedway was about an hour, but all on fast highways which was nice. We ended up being some of the first ones there. I picked up our bibs and was told we didn't get hats....even though AFTER I registered, it was posted on their FB that they had 250 hats left!! She said we had to wait until 10 minutes before the race to get ours. Ok. Wtf, but whatever. I went back to the car since it was cold out and we had time. I was tortured with stinky feet. Haha.

I had been sitting for far too long so I went out for a warm up. I ran above the speedway and had a pretty amazing sunset. When I got back, I was sure hell froze over because John was all dressed in his running clothes. I wasn't expecting this at all since I'm pretty sure I still had about 10 more asks left before it became 2 yells before he got dressed. Haha. He had said earlier he didn't want to do the run, but now, he actually seemed excited. It was almost time to get our LED hats so we walked up to the hat pick up and walked up to the table. I told the woman we were told to come back for the hats. She pointed to her left and said there was actually a line for the hats. We look over and see a roped off LONG line of people waiting for hats. Are they fucking serious? Like honestly. WTF was that. Both John and I looked at each other and said nevermind. That's honestly just asinine. 10 minutes before the start. Having people stand in a line to get a hat when they should have been given out to ALL pre-registered runners who registered (that included us) before they were gone. After that, day-of until they're gone. Simple. I was honestly horrified that someone thought this was a good idea. And Millennium usually puts on a top notch event. Like seriously. I've never been to one that wasn't. But this was terrible planning. Not that we needed hats, but we basically paid for them with our entry fee. There were 250 still left AFTER I registered us on Friday, SO we should have been given hats with our bibs. But anyway, whatever. I already have an LED hat, but John doesn't so he missed out.

We walked to the start and I start walking to the back of the line to leave John back there. I asked him, "Does this look like a good place to start for you?" He said, "Well, I want to start with you." Aww. I told him I was starting up at the front where faster people are. He said that was where he wanted to start. So I was like fuck it and brought him up to the start with me. Why not in a race like this with a really wide start? I told him to be really careful, though, since I was worried about him getting knocked down. I just told him to keep an eye out behind him and that if he needed to move to the side to look before he did that so he didn't get run down. He said that he was just going to start out as fast as me. Omg. It was so cute. I loved it even though I knew he wouldn't make it far. It was just cool that he had such gung-ho attitude about it. And omg. It was pretty fucking awesome to start up at the front with him by my side. Just as we were about to get started, a guy decided to make a non-existent space between the guy next to me and me, and in the process, he literally nudged me to the side. I was like WTF. This was wide start and it wasn't tight. Grrr.

Finally we were off and running. I hated leaving John behind right away. It did pain me a bit to do it, and part of me wanted to wait for him, but I knew he could do it by himself and that I would run back to him before he finished. The race started off fast on a downhill, and we were immediately met with ice on the course. This would be the beginning of nearly all 2.1 miles covered in ice. And a lot of it was black ice. The two tunnels weren't icy and a few stretches had puddles instead, but honestly for the most part, it was all ice. It was dangerous and not fun. I don't even know how I ran the pace I ran because I had to slow down in a lot of places due to the ice. On one stretch of ice in the second mile, the guy who had nudged me at the start line passed me. I wasn't taking any chances on falling so I slowed. When I realized it was him, though, I hoped I could catch him back, but we kept running into more and more ice. I started to worry about John and that he might get hurt, but at this point, I just needed to finish, grab clothes and run back to find him. As we approached the finish, I realized I was gaining on start line nudger and just like that, I passed him. Ha! And then I got passed by an 11 year old. Hahaha. But I only cared about beating Mr Nudger and I did, coming in 2nd female and 15th overall. 12:45. Splits were 5:57, 6:10 and 5:35 for the last .1. I honestly don't know how I managed to run the pace I did because I felt like I wasn't going all out most of the race. So to run that time and feel like I could have gone faster was a really good sign. I was happy with it.

Love the new Six03 shorts. I need to see if Six03 can order some new boobs for me next.
As soon as the third woman came in, we took a quick podium shot. Interesting age difference. 23, 41, 32. Three different decades for the top 3. Kind of cool...except I'm the oldest. That's not that cool. Haha.

After the photo, I ran down to the car...nearly slipping on ice...put on some warm clothes and grabbed my phone so I could take John's photo. I ran against the crowd and started to get worried that I'd missed him in the dark, but then I spotted him as he turned into a light tunnel. He was running! I ran with him back towards the finish. He told me he'd started off too fast and had had to walk after that, then said, "That's when I was regretting my life's decisions." Hahaha. He laughed as he said this. It was cute. When we got close to the finish I ran ahead to attempt some photos. They came out blurry, but they're still better than the ONE blurry photo from the race photographer.

As soon as he finished, he started heading towards the car. I caught up to him, and we walked together. I turned on the car in hopes of heat, but, sadly, no. I went back up to the finish to grab soup which turned out to me a congealed ball of rice in broth in a very small cup. I waited in line for that. Took some yogurts, then grabbed my cheap ass coffee mug award. I know. I'm complaining, but I kind of hold Millennium to a higher standard, and this race was a little disappointing. Not saying it was bad. I would actually race it again. I liked the race. I just found some aspects in need of improvement. The best part, though, was that John enjoyed it and would probably do it again, so that right there is enough for me to say it was worth it.

He looks like a runner!!

He was happy he ran under 30 minutes. 
The drive home was dark and cold with no heat in the car. Haha, but John slept most of the way in his sleeping bag. 5 minutes before we got home...the heat came on! Hahaha. Dammit.

The dogs were happy to see us, and I was happy to see Fat Alberta poured into a glass. Called it a night with The Walking Dead.

Fighting over the ball. I found the ball in my bed the next morning.

Yes! Thank you to the person who first told me about Fat Alberta 2 years ago. :)
Guest song choice this week...

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Down Time/Cross Training

From the White Ledge Trail
This was a mostly uneventful week. My attempt to stay true to taking a full week off of running failed. Haha. But I made it 6 days!! In the mean time, I continued with spin classes, Zuzka Light workouts and some hiking/walking. By the weekend, I was antsy and put in some speed work with low miles. But funny that in only 3 days of running, I still ran 22.1 miles with 1,312ft of elevation gain. I got in 2 spin classes, as well. And two 300 Killer Rep workouts. Not bad.

Not racing for a second weekend in a row kind of got to me, though, since it leaves me pretty isolated. Fortunately, I got to Dover for some social time or I think I would have gone crazy. It's times like this when I realize just how badly I want out of here, even though I know the grass isn't always greener. Yes, I do love it here. I love my house. I love the mountains, the clean air, the lakes, the quiet, but I also feel like I'm missing out on a lot of opportunities. I feel John is, as well. There is just nothing here besides "the great outdoors". I love it so much that he loves The Community School, though, so he at least he has that one day a week. The thing, though, is that he's not really into the things that make this place great. He loves to swim in the lake in the summer, but the rest of the time, he really couldn't care less. He doesn't love hiking. Skiing is ok for about an hour. I just feel like we're both missing out on so much that a city (or at least a more progressive place) would have to offer. I'm sure a part of me would regret leaving, but my overall plan is to keep the house no matter whether I stay or go, so this place will still be here. I just don't know yet how to make the move possible. As I told a friend this week, "I know it's not impossible, but I just don't know how to make it possible yet." It's these isolating weekends that always leave me thinking about this stuff, but I just never have an answer for myself. Pretty frustrating since I'm not unhappy, but I want MORE out of life than I'm getting right now. Just have to figure out how since it won't just magically happen.

Monday, November 27, 2017- We basically did all of the 911 calls today except one sign off. And it must have been Only Women Can Call 911 Day since we had a crazy mom, a dumb mom and one washed up old addict. I get that women's lib is making a big comeback and all, but I'm really ok with gender equality for 911 calls. Haha. One was ridiculous for us to take, but Rescue called for a paramedic unnecessarily. Since the other crew went out for their fire alarm, we were up again in the middle of the night for our 2am call. Fortunately, I had gone to bed at 8:30pm so I got more sleep that night than I usually get even with the call. Speaking of, I was crazy tired all day long. I always am on Mondays. I'm starting to wonder if that building could be a health hazard. Seriously. I did get in a 5-minute ab workout that was so difficult I could barely complete it. Haha.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017- I was happy I still got another 2 hours of sleep after our call so I felt pretty good when it was time to leave. I drove right to Wolfeboro for another spin class. This time I bought a class punch card. 10 visits for $80. How inexpensive is that?! Compared to Cranmore's day pass with spinning at $16. Wtf. Yeah, I have to spend more on gas, but not THAT much. Different instructor today who was pretty good. It once again kicked my ass to where I look around and I'm the only one pouring in sweat. I'm really not used to this high-intensity of a workout anymore, but I'm really loving it. Now, I remember why I loved spinning for all of those years that I took it. It's fucking hard, but I grew up biking all the time, nearly every day up and down crazy hills, off-roading on my 12-speed. It was how I got to and from my friends' houses, and I would often just go out for a bike ride for no reason than just because. No helmet, of course. Haha. That all came to an abrupt end when I got my driver's license. Literally, I didn't ride a bike again until I tried biking to classes 3 times in college before I gave up. So crazy to think that something I was so passionate about (without even thinking of that way) for most of my childhood I have zero interest in now. Even though spinning indoors in a class and biking outdoors are two different things, I still love that burn on the legs from it. It's the same.

As I said before, this time of year is challenging to get out and do things. John had already walked with his dad in the morning so I decided to let him do whatever until ninja class. I was a little bored, but I got in an ab workout that was way too easy but good enough.

My embarrassing Baystate award arrived. Nothing against the award itself. I actually like it, but it's for 2nd in the 40-49 age group, which technically I wasn't. I was 5th. I don't always believe in double dipping with awards, like at my race. I give such awesome awards for top 3 overall, that anyone also winning their age group doesn't really need more so I spread the wealth a little. But in these big races, it just doesn't feel right to me to get this award, even though I do appreciate it. And I still believe that if prize money is involved, double dipping should always be allowed. I was thankful that Millenium Running did that last year at the Manchester Marathon since I was 4th woman and 1st master. They gave me both monetary they should have. But each race can do whatever it so chooses, and I now have this pretty nice award from Baystate.

Seen here with a beer given to me by Michael Crutchley
John and I hung out for a bit in the living room while he made me watch the show Rick & Morty. Omg. Haha. It's as bad as South Park in that it's horrifying, but it's far too crass for me. South Park is more along the lines of political incorrectness that I can appreciate, and I love the show now. John thinks Rick & Morty is great and made me watch 3 episodes. Haha. It's definitely funny, but I'm not sure I really like it. Haha.

John with Phoenix
I got antsy and decided to take the dogs on a walk up Heavenly Hill in the dark before we had to leave for ninja class. My trail was in dire need of raking; it's so steep that it was just constant slipping on the leaves. I should have done it over the weekend, too, since it wasn't raining, but I didn't. Still, the walk felt great. When we got to the top, the moon was pretty bright so I turned off the headlamp for a bit.

Not a great photo
When I got back to the house, John and I left for ninja class...only to find the place dark and locked up for the second week in a row. How did I not know about this?? Another parent/kid pulled in behind us. So we weren't the only ones. I immediately messaged Tiffany, the owner of the gym, to find out what was going on and was told that the session had ended early due to no staff availability. I had never heard this once. She said it was on the paperwork, but it most definitely was not on the paperwork we used to sign up. I signed John up during the last session so it must have been changed after that. She also said it was on the website, which I now see it is, but why was there never any sort of announcement that this had changed?! I was so frustrated!!! Why didn't the coach say something about it being the last class as we left? It's nowhere on the Facebook page. I had no reason to look at the schedule on the website because I had already signed up when the paperwork still said the regular schedule. Grr. That being said, I appreciated Tiffany getting right back to me as I sat in the lot, AND I also completely understand her staffing issue. It's just a "thing" in the Valley and the surrounding area. People struggle to keep staff. She can't find anyone to continue the ninja classes. If I knew what I was doing, I would do it, but this type of class involves more than just making obstacles. Student safety is a huge aspect of this stuff, and I don't have that kind of experience. If you're reading this, and you do have this experience, she's in desperate need of a ninja warrior coach AND she pays well. She actually asked me to get the word out, so there you go. Haha.

My biggest frustration besides the lack of communication was that John did nothing all day for the second week in a row! Ugh. Now, Tuesdays are becoming challenging since taking walks just isn't fun in the cold. Once it snows, though, we'll be out XC skiing. This interim is rough.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017- I got myself up early at 4:45am to do another 300 Killer Rep Workout. It was set up a bit differently in that it was less reps and more rounds, but it still hurt! Only 30 minutes, but I felt like I'd really worked hard. I love these workouts. So glad I found Zuzka Light on Instagram a year ago. $10/month that I've found completely worth the expense...especially if you already have your own home "gym" (that's in quotes because I wouldn't call my workout space in my bedroom a gym haha). It's one of those expenses that I did not cut out. Once I finally started consistently doing her upper body and abs workouts at the end of last December, my strength/muscle mass increased quickly. And don't judge it by the look if you happen to peak at the website. It's not cheesy. She's not full of herself or cocky. Her workouts are really good.

Work was slow with only 2 calls the whole 24 hour shift. As often happens, by 8pm, I get antsy and pace around the bay for about 30 minutes. I think I might be hyperactive. Haha. I think anybody reading this would feel the way I do after sitting around at this job without much brain activity. This blog is the only thing that keeps my mind going on Wednesdays. Mondays, I'm just a brain dead blob. Maybe that's why my blog posts are so long. I'm getting a chance to use my brain!! It's great brain work when we're actually working, but downtime far exceeds 911 calls up here.

My view as I paced the bay
Oh, and speaking of my blog. I got a hit from this page. Hahaha. I'm assuming "Albany" somehow caused the hit on my blog, but very entertaining, I have to say....

Thursday, November 30, 2017- I was fortunate to have a busy day in store!! Yay! I left a few minutes before 7am since the other crew was already here and drove nearly an hour to Wolfeboro for another spin class. Yes, it was worth it. This instructor was the best so far. Very bubbly and positive...which I don't always like, but for a spin class, it's perfect. She also taught the class more as if it were real biking which is my favorite type of spin class. Her music was awesome, and my ass was thoroughly kicked after the hour. Dripping in sweat...the only one...again. I mentioned this to a friend who said I was full of evil toxins. Hahaha. This could be true. I won't deny it. :)

I actually rushed home because I had to meet Terry Ballou and Suz Laughlin for a run at 10:30am. Haha. I hadn't intended to run again until Friday, but Terry extended the invite the night before. How could I say no? I never get to run with people here, so I wasn't going to miss an opportunity. Plus, it was 7 miles at 8:30-ish pace which was perfect. I didn't want to do anything fast. I only had 20 minutes to get changed when I got home, and something distracted me by greeting me in the driveway when I pulled in. John was just about to take her out, but she saw me and jumped in the car.

When I finally got her out of my lap, I had John take her out to use the bathroom while I got changed for the run. I had eaten nothing before or after spinning, so I grabbed a box of crackers. I needed something or 8:30 pace would feel like 6:30 pace. I rushed over to the Conway Library where we were meeting to find Terry there. Turned out, I didn't need to rush. Suz was about 30 minutes late!! Terry and I ran a short loop around the block while we waited for Suz, then when she arrived we headed out.

Our route took us out Passaconaway Rd and High St and back. I was definitely feeling the hour spin class on my legs. 8:30 pace was not easy on trashed legs, as well as trying to talk while running. I was winded. Haha. But it was nice to run with them and chat. The weather ended up being perfect, too. Neither of them wear a GPS (EGADS!) so we got back to the cars, and my watch said 6.95 miles. I made them run it to 7.01 with me. Hahaha. So 7 miles total in 1:00:42. 8:39/mi pace. Haha. I can't believe that pace felt so hard, but it made sense.

I had a deep tissue massage in Dover at 4:15pm so I had some time to veg on the couch after a shower. I was exhausted. Haha. Thursdays are usually the opposite of Wednesdays.

I was SO excited to see Tina. My quads and glutes were a HUGE mess. SO tight. I really needed to see her 1.5 months ago, but I had to wait for the Hartford Marathon prize money to come in. It sucks not being able to do this regularly because it really helped improve my running drastically in 2016. But whatever, I was seeing her now. As suspected, my quads were so bad. She couldn't believe it. I don't think they've ever been this tight, to be honest. These sessions are also great for sharing our drama with each other. I think hers was worse than mine! I hadn't seen her since late July so we had a lot to catch up on! Tina is the best, really. As always, I walked out feeling like a million bucks.

I met up with Tom Hooper and Camie Poplowski downstairs at Garrison City Beerworks. I found them at the bar with Tim Horan, whom I wasn't expecting to see since he announced he was giving up beer like a week ago. Hahaha. You bet I made fun of him. Haha. This guy, Yaz, on Six03 was also there. I was planning to have a couple of full pours then head home, but it didn't quite work out that way. Haha. I at least got to try their white stout finally!!

Camie, Tom, Tim and Yaz
Tim left then Tom, Camie and Yaz wanted to go get food. Yaz's wife was going to meet us wherever we went. They wanted sushi so we went to the Chinese restaurant across the street. I really didn't want to eat there, and I don't like sushi, so I was glad when they changed their minds to go to Ember Wood Fired Grill. Chris Serrecchia (Roxanne's husband. I've mentioned Roxanne before!) owns this place. He bought it after the Orchard Street Chop Shop closed. He also owns the Dover Brickhouse across the street. This was my first time trying this place, and I wasn't disappointed. The only part that sucked for awhile was being the 5th wheel...even though that's pretty much been my whole life, even when I was married. Haha. But oh well. I spent a lot of the time just sitting there quietly eating since I couldn't really fit into the conversation. It wasn't bad, but I felt like an odd duck for awhile. Oh wait, I am an odd duck. Haha. Chris showed up and split a bottle of barrel-aged Old Rasputin between him, Tom and me.

I still hadn't really eaten all day so I was starving. While the other two women ordered the same salad, I ordered the mushroom flatbread and ate the entire thing!! Haha.

Chris had the kitchen make cookies for us, too. I ate at least 3 of those. Hahaha. I have no shame. :)

Camie had to leave, and then Yaz and his wife left, as well. I was ready to depart myself when Chris and Tom insisted I come over to the Brickhouse for a drink. I mentioned that Phoenix was in the car and that I should check on her. Chris asked if she was good. I said, "Not really. She barks at people." He said to bring her in anyway. So off I went to get Phoenix and bring her inside the bar. It was pretty funny because people were so confused. Haha.

She didn't like the bar stool

Tom and I both got a Stoneface RIS, but it was just too much. I barely drank half of it. I was feeling the full stomach by this point. Zach Switaj just happened to be there and came over to chat for awhile with us. I was glad I stayed out. I need this social time. By the time I left, I felt fine and had no trouble with the drive. Rt 16 often puts me to sleep, but I was wide awake this time.

Friday, December 1, 2017- Slept in as usual. Had coffee. Decided I was going to do a long-ish 18 mile run...WHAT?! Yeah, I don't know what I was thinking. Planned my route, got all dressed for it, packed my bag of stuff to change after. I was just about to walk out the door when I told a friend my plans. Sometimes just telling someone else something makes you realize just how ridiculous you're being. Haha. I don't need to be doing an 18 mile run right now. This is supposed to be my down time. He didn't even have to say anything. I realized that I probably should go for a hike instead. He agreed and then it was back to my bedroom to change into a different outfit and pack up my day pack. Haha.

I planned Whiteface until I saw Chocorua covered in snow. I hike in the snow, but in December conditions tend to be dicey with the ice that forms from melting and refreezing. I don't like ice. Once we get snow, and it's packed on the trails, it's great, but I'm not into it right now. I stopped 7 minutes down the road at White Ledge instead. I've done this one quite a bit with John and the dogs. Today, I just had Phoenix. The weather was a bit gloomy so I didn't see anyone until I was about 3/4 through the loop. I didn't even see them coming since everyone of them was wearing black. Phoenix was barking before I could figure out what it was she was barking at. Haha. Since it was still deer rifle hunting season, I was dressed quite the opposite. Haha.

It was chilly at the top, and I found a lot of smooth ice on the backside, as expected. I had microspikes, but they wouldn't touch the stuff. Fortunately, it was easy to walk around and didn't last long. I actually didn't fall until I was back down in the trees when I feel three times within 2 minutes from piles of acorns hidden under the leaves. It was a nice hike, and I was glad I chose that over running. 4.1 miles.

View basically down the Kanc
I went home right after and did the next 300 Killer Rep workout which wasn't quite as hard as the last 3, thankfully. Haha. Showered, then went down to pick up John. I noticed his dad had left his things on the porch and luckily I happened to spot John's phone in a plastic grocery bag. If I hadn't, I wouldn't have noticed the money and sale form for his wreath sale that he was supposed to be turning in today. Must I do everything? Haha. Not only did John forget that, but I would learn that he also forgot his lunch. Such a mess, and his dad is obviously not much better. Haha. I don't mean that in a mean way. I'm at the point where I just have to shake my head and chuckle to myself. I took the phone and wreath money with me to pick John up at school. His morning activity is called stewardship, and right now they're doing community service by going to a daycare and entertaining the kids. Each kid makes up an activity for the kids to do while they're there. John hasn't done his yet but he told me he needs snow to do it. Hmmm. I was actually shocked to hear him say that it was really fun entertaining the little kids, and Leanne, the director, actually made it a point to share with me how great he was with the kids when we saw her the next day. He spent the afternoon moving things and cleaning the school in preparation for the the Holiday Fair the next day. Which is why I had to go to the store after picking him up. I was going to back 5 dozen cookies for it. Yep. Me. Participating!! Woohoo! Gimme a medal! Hahaha.

As soon as we got home, I went right to work on the cookies. I had decided on s'mores cookies which looked awesome from the recipe. Prep time took awhile since I had to double the recipe, but once they were in the oven, I multitasked by making chicken soup for the crock pot. Cooking 5 dozen cookies and prepping the chicken soup had me in the kitchen for over 4 hours! I couldn't believe it!! I was so busy...and I never even got to really eat dinner since the chicken soup had to cook in the crockpot all night. Haha. Unfortunately, the cookies didn't come out great. I used an unopened bag of pastry flour, but it wasn't good. Kind of ruined the cookies... so I thought. The next day, the cookies actually tasted fine, so that was a relief.

Saturday, December 2, 2017- I woke up really early so that I could get a quick run in. I had to have the cookies at the school just before 10am so I was out running by 7am. Instead of just doing the regular blah 5.7 miles Cranmore Shores out-and-back, I did the regular blah 5.7 miles Cranmore Shores out-and-back with 10x1min on/off. Haha. I took it easy the first 1.4 miles and only planned to do 5 of these but then I just felt like continuing until 20 minutes had past and I had done 10 total. Ran the rest of the way home really easy. 5.7 in 43:18. These felt really good, and they're something a friend suggested to me to help work on getting my speed back after recovering from my injury 2 years ago. I added these into my runs in January and February of 2016. That combined with some short, fast races led to my 5K PR at An Ras Mor in early March. So, I'm basically trying to recreate that. The only difference is that I was also training for Boston at the same time. Since I opted out of my usual "every even year" Boston Marathon for 2018 this pushes focused marathon training off for an extra month.

I showered as soon as I got home then struggled to drag John out of bed. Omg. This once lucky mom whose kid never got up early and always slept in is now dealing with a preteen of the same nature. I can't just pick him up and put him in the car anymore. Haha. Instead nice mom turns into yelling mom after 12 times of telling him to get up. Hahaha.

We went back to his school where we dropped off the cookies and then looked around at the artisans' stuff. This one woman had these amazing necklace pendants that were mostly glass bottles of different sizes and shapes holding dried flours, moss, herbs and other plant-like things. They were SO unique. I wanted one so badly and spent 5 minutes just looking at them all, but I refrained. John ended up buying one her moss gardens with his money. These are also really neat. He picked one out, and I said, "Oh look, there's an alien in there," pointing to a small figurine tucked behind the moss. The woman's daughter kind of laughed and corrected me. "Those are forest spirits." Haha. Oops. I still think they look like aliens.

See the little alien in there?
I wish there had been more to see because I wanted to stay longer. This school is such a comfortable place to be, and it was nice seeing John comfortable there and saying hi to the kids he knew.

I brought the dogs along so that we could just take a walk on the Jackman Pond Trail right from the school. John wanted to turn around within the first 5 minutes, but I made him do the whole loop. Haha. He was actually enjoying himself once we got going. It was pretty cold out, but it was sunny and pretty.

Pond was frozen

We went home after that and stayed there the rest of the day/night. I wasn't in a great mood most of the day and felt really tired. I think I was feeling a little isolated and kind of bumming that I wasn't somewhere different. When I finally got John out to cut a Christmas tree down, I all of a sudden felt better. I think I needed the fresh air. That and then by the afternoon I had friend to talk to who helped break me out of the slump.

I got the tree set up, put the lights on and left the ornaments for John to do. Yeahhh. Those ornament are still in the box 4 days later...and counting. Haha. I just realized I didn't take a photo since that's what you do, right? Haha. The tree is shorter than me and from our woods, so it's nothing spectacular. But I like it. Any excuse to have more plants/trees in the house.

I got in a Fit Slide workout that afternoon. These are using sliders or sock slippers. I have both. I liked this workout since it really targets the core while working the legs and upper body. I'll probably stick with these as my new upper body workout when I'm not doing the 300 Killer Rep workouts.

The rest of the night was spent virtually sharing a drink with a friend from afar while I watched Impractical Jokers. John spent his night virtually playing video games with his friends on the XBOX. Like mother, like son. We're both too isolated here. Haha.

Sunday, December 3, 2017- Slept in again. When I woke up, a giant rat climbed out of the sleeping bag to greet me. :)

Pretty lazy morning with extra coffee followed by a run up Heavenly Hill with the dogs. It's funny because I do this run for them, but they always cut off the last part to the summit and wait for me to come back. Haha. Running was difficult with the leaves, but I didn't kill myself so that was a plus. Haha. 1.2 miles total.

As soon as we got home, I changed tops, then John and I went to the high school to run on the track. The weather was absolutely perfect for a track workout. My body, however, was absolutely out of shape for a track workout. Haha. John's workout was just to complete 4 loops. I said I didn't care how he did it. Whether one at a time or all 4 at once or whatever. Just run 4 loops. He wasn't quite ready to get out of the car when I did, but said he would be there in a few minutes. You know where this is going, right? I basically ran my entire workout completely pissed off because he was still in the car. Haha. I ran a one mile warm up and should have gone to the car then to make sure he got out, but, instead, I started my workout. And once I started, there was no way I was going to stop, go out of two separate gates and into the parking lot. I seriously kept expecting him to get out, but with every loop, I got angrier and angrier. Too bad the anger didn't help me run fast, though. Haha.

I probably picked too long of a workout for my first time out on the track since the Millen Mile in September when I was sick as a dog. 4x800, 4x400. This would have been an easy workout mid summer 2016, but right now, not at all. It was a huge shock to my system. The first 800 felt like a snowshoe race with the insane lung burn. My times were FUGLY, too. 3:06, 3:05, 3:04, 3:04. I was pretty much done there, but I continued on with the 400s, and normally I would only do 200 rest with 400s, but I needed full 400s. What the hell has happened to me?! Frustrating. 89 for the first 400 which was too fast. 91 for the second, and I almost quit there. I should have or at least changed it to 2x200, but no, I finished the 400s. 91, 91. At least the last 3 were consistent. I finished it with an easy 400, then got into Mommy Dearest mode and marched out to the parking lot to find him in the car on his phone. I didn't totally lose my shit on him...because there was this older guy there who had been throwing weights getting into his car. I didn't want to lose my shit in front of  someone else, so John lucked out there. Haha.

He was not a happy camper knowing he now had to run 4 loops in a row. I received many glares and evil eyes as he was still running after I finished my 4 loops. I ran the first loop with him, but he stopped to walk. I told him it was going to take a long time for him to do 4 loops if he walked, but he kept walking to finish the second loop...but then he started running again!! I didn't say a word. He ran the last two loops hating every minute. I'm really not a hardass. I just require some form of exercise every day. This could have been much easier had he just gotten out of the car. since he would have had over 45 minutes to get 4 loops done. Lesson learned? Maybe? Doubtful, but one can hope.

He did all four loops in his ski jacket. haha.
I had to go back to the store because I forgot we had a neighborhood get together at 4 at a neighbor's house. I needed to buy some cheese and crackers to bring. We also were supposed to bring things we no longer wanted to do an exchange. I'll be honest. I thought it was going to be really lame. Not many people showed, but the ones who did were really the ones I know best anyway, and it ended up being kind of nice. Someone brought a pitcher of Bailey's and milk on ice which was nice since I rarely have that, and I love Bailey's. I brought a set of wooden bowls I no longer wanted and a leftover award bottle from the 2016 Dirty Girl to give away. I took home some really nice things that the hostess had. A neat glass necklace that was still in the box and shoot from her 20 year old plant.

We were home early, but I was glad we went. It helped to have some human interaction after hardly any since Thursday. Haha.

Walking around with the frisbee stuck around her.
So, like I said, a very uneventful week for the most part, but I think I still had enough brain spewing to fill up the blog post. Haha. I need to go back to my old desk job where my actual work took about an hour, and I spent the rest of the time before lunch writing a daily blog post. :) This next week should actually have a race in it!! And, no. No 10K! ;) I'm going to do the fun Yule Light Up the Night instead. Why not do something short and fun before I embarrass myself at the BU Mini Meet on the 16th? Eek.

First Aid Kit just released another new song from their latest album. Oh my god. It's awesome! Until this song, I'll admit I didn't like the new album's songs so far, but this is beautiful. Even if you're not a fan of this type of music, it's worth a listen because their voices are amazing.