Sunday, August 12, 2018

2018 Run 4 Kerri

This was actually a really good week for the most part. I had my first (and last) free weekend of the year. Even though I didn't see John for over a week, it was nice to have a weekend to myself again. I think the last one was in November. I did have the dogs with me, which was kind of a pain in the ass since it was so hot out and I was camping in Rhode Island Saturday. I felt I took pretty good care of them to make sure they were good, but some jerk had to ruin it all just before I left RI for home on Sunday by leaving me a nasty gram on my car about my dogs...who were tied up in the shade outside of the car. Pretty much killed what had been a good day and left me so angry. I just wish people would stop acting like they know better than you what's good for your dogs. My dogs were perfectly fine and content and then someone's complete ignorance just ruined it. Oh well. I'll try to focus on the rest of the week that was pretty good now.

It was a fairly low mileage week with 36.6 miles. Got in 3 races if you can actually count 2 of them races. I did a lousy track workout and the White Mountain Milers I'll Be Dipped Prediction Run. And one 30 minute spin on the bike. 3,783ft of elevation gain. It seemed like I actually did a lot. My body felt like it did. Just didn't add up to much mileage-wise. Working an extra shift at the track usually puts a damper on my mileage, and I've been working a lot of extra shifts. As much as I hate them, I have to do them when I can. This week's track shift ended up being really fun, though.

Not much else to update since I just finished that last blog post 3 days ago. Haha.

Monday, July 30, 2018- Zero day as (almost) always. Got in a 2 mile walk around the base. We weren't overly busy but had some calls into the evening. Work days tend to blend so I actually have trouble remembering which week was which, but I do remember the one drug related call we had. 4 days out of rehab and back at it. He claimed to have only taken Gabapentin which I learned the next day randomly is a thing with opiod addicts. I guess it's not a new thing, but it's becoming the NEXT big thing. Johnny's. Where there's a will, there's a way, and they will find it...and most will eventually die long before they should.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018- I really, really, really wanted to do a track workout this morning, but I kept thinking it might be a bad idea and planned a long run then changed it back to the track. Drove to the Conway Rec Path start behind the police station and ran 2 trail miles to the track. I'll be honest. I've really missed this Tuesday thing I used to do in 2016, back when I was fast and had no pain. I had to cut this out of my routine last year because of the plantar fasciitis and the tendon issue. Funny. I still have both, but I'm not letting them keep me from the track. I need to be doing workouts, especially with the Millen Mile only a month to the day away. Eek. 4 weeks of track workouts won't do much, but I think it's at least worth the effort just in case it does help.

As soon as I got to the track, I changed into my regular Skechers road shoes that I just happened to have in the car. Otherwise, I would have been stuck with spikes. I had planned 6x800 but the thought of it sounded daunting and monotonous, so when I told a friend my plan, he suggested 400, 400, 800 x2 and 6 x 100 instead. I actually really liked that plan. It came out to basically 4 800s instead of 6 and an extra 600, but I have a feeling I would have quit at 4 anyway, and this broke it up a bit. Well, the workout went terribly. Seriously horrible. I'm terrible at pacing on the track, but since I've been so lost with feel matching effort, I have no idea what I'm doing out there. All I can say that was good about this was that I got in a workout. 89, 91, 3:06, 92, 92, 3:09. 20, 21, 21, 21, 21, 20. At least the 100s were mostly consistent. I wasn't really upset about the workout, just disappointed in how much I've lost with being in-tune with my body and its pace based on feel.

The run back on the trail was nice and actually pretty quick, the fastest I've run those two miles back to the car.

John was home when I got home, and we planned a bike ride on the Mountain Division Trail today. We ended up running into goats on the path which was funny. They live next to the trail so it wasn't a surprise to see them; just funny. We stopped awhile and picked blackberries, too. 8.1 miles total on the bikes.

Whitaker Woods was that evening. It was so hot and humid, and I had no plan to go all out. I definitely wanted to run quicker than the week before, though. The first mile, I was insanely sore from the track workout and ran it in 6:28, 10 seconds slower than two weeks before. On the second mile, a younger girl passed me. I didn't really care much. I didn't try to follow at all since the hill would give me trouble still. I just ran at a decent pace, not all out, but making a good effort. She gaped me quite a bit, but as we crested the top of the hill, I noticed she fell back a bit. She stayed ahead of me without gaining any ground on the second short hill, but then I easily passed her on the downhill. I think she went a little too hard on the uphill to maintain her pace, and I ended up staying ahead of her the rest of the race. And I never once felt like I was going all out tonight. Surprised me to see I ran my fastest time of this season in 20:46. The girl I beat wasn't very far back at all, but I was happy to still pull off that win.

In an effort to get back home as quickly as possible, I drank a cup of water and bolted to my car. I was pouring in sweat but turned on the A/C in the car and changed in the back seat. As I got out, I finished putting on my shirt and saw someone walking toward me who called out my name. I would end up completely blindsided by this person. I had no idea who she was and no idea what was going on. I think the confusion on my face confused her into thinking it was guilt, but it was honestly a completely confused face of I don't have any idea what the fuck was going on. Fortunately, once she clarified, I breathed a sigh of relief. I knew what she was talking about, and thankfully, I was able to put her mind at ease. I had no idea this person had been dealing with a complete misunderstanding for 7 months that had left her so worried and stressed out. I was so happy to be able to give her peace of mind. We talked for probably 30 minutes. And you know what caused most of this issue? This fucking blog (which has caused me so much trouble; you'd think I'd give up on it, but fuck that). All of my sublties in my posts led this person astray, and I feel badly for it. But I'm so glad the way it ended. I wish she had approached me sooner. I can't imagine living with that kind of anxiety for 7 months. And I know I'm being subtle now, but that's to protect this person's identity. I really hope she's doing ok now. But, wow. Talk about being caught off-guard and my hand almost squeezed to death. Haha. Hopefully, if she's reading this, she can laugh at that, too. And I promise, if I ever have the money I will try that shiatzu massage. :) So much for trying to get home early, but it was ok and totally worth it. I may have to deal with some awkwardness in the future, but that's ok. At least I know I did nothing wrong here. And I'm glad this person listened to what I had to say and believed the truth. Too bad my arch enemy couldn't do the same thing. We'd still be friendly right now if she had. Oh well. She's no loss, however, I assure you that.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018- No idea why I can get right up at 4:45am on Wednesdays to get on the spin bike, but can't even budge on Mondays. Haha. So, yeah, I was up and got on the spin bike for a 30 min ride. I'll admit it. I miss the Wexer videos at the gym. They aren't on YouTube, and they're only designed for use by a gym. I couldn't even subscribe if I wanted to. I know it would have been wrong, but I wish I had videoed them for future use. They were so good. I could have at least written the workouts down. Oh well. Tried the Global Cycling Network for the last time. The people look like they're not even trying except one guy who has a pain face that makes no sense. Haha.

Haha. I was like, um, maybe if you guys weren't wearing ridiculous hot-as-fuck biking tops in probably 80 degrees indoors, you would feel better.
Still got in about 35 minutes of a workout of sorts, but I basically had to adjust the resistance on my own since they do way too much rest in between sets.

Today was the dreaded 1st of the month which meant the monthly truck check. It involves cleaning EVERYTHING and doing a complete inventory check. Plus washing the truck and sweeping the bay at the end. Took us 3 hours. I was pouring in sweat so badly that I ended up just having to do most of it in my sports bra. My thick EMS pants were soaked in sweat when we finished. I was pretty pissed off to find out the three crews in Tamworth didn't do any monthly truck checks. No repercussions at all. Jeff and I purposely brought paperwork down for it on Monday so they would have it. They claimed they had no paperwork. Well, they could have asked, and I would have faxed it down to them, but no, they're lazy. So those trucks continue to get filthier and filthier.

I didn't get any type of walk in today at work, but I got in abs and upper body at least. I had to work with my manager for part of the shift which was good because he got to witness the 3 frustrating hours I spent going through the missing/incomplete Temsis reports list. I haven't spent that long on this stuff since I started it 2 years ago. So frustrating. Doing reports within 24 hours is a New Hampshire requirement, not a suggestion, but we have people that can't seem to do that part of their job properly. I deserve more money for this bullshit. I really do. I agreed to a $.50 raise for this. So dumb. Should have been no less than a $1, but I had no idea the mess I was walking into. I busted 4 people (including one who flat-out lied to me about it that morning) who haven't been scanning paperwork in to their reports. The good thing, though, is that I sent out SO many messages, and most people responded by getting the shit done.

Doing my abs in my teflon-coated uniform shirt that might as well be a plastic bag
Had a call around 11pm and then another to the nursing home in the middle of the night that woke me up out of a deep sleep, which is not good. I rarely sleep deeply at work, but the few times I have and have been woken up by a tone, it has not been good. I was so out of it that I couldn't think clearly. My patient care was fine, but unfortunately, we had piss-poor staff that could barely give us a decent history on this person. They handed us two packets of paperwork on our way out that should have included her DNR since they said it would. I was busy during transport just trying to finish getting a good set of vitals that I never had time to look at the paperwork. Short transports sucks sometimes in this way. When we arrived, the ED realized there was no DNR in her paperwork. UGH. That's something I should have caught. I was pretty mad at myself for that because this woman needed intervention if they didn't have the DNR. Fortunately, the nursing home sent it over quickly. She died 3 hours later... as she had wanted. No intervention. But ugh. I hate it when I look incompetent like that. At least, I did do my patient care properly and fixed what the nursing home had screwed up as far as her Sp02 was concerned. Unfortunately, the woman was on her way out already so all I provided was probably some sort of comfort. No harm done at all to the patient, but being half asleep is tough on the brain sometimes.

Thursday, August 2, 2018- Bryan and John left early this morning for a week in Truro on the Cape. The Beckwith family tradition since the 50s. I do miss this sometimes. While I was always thought of as an outsider because I liked to do more than just sit on the beach all day, I still enjoyed the Cape. I'm glad Bryan still goes every year with John even though he doesn't enjoy it. It's good for John to spend time there with his family. Here are some photos that were in my FB memories today from my last trip to the Cape in 2014. I started the divorce process the following week. I only just learned 2 weeks ago from John that Bryan told him and his whole family that I had already had a boyfriend and was cheating on him before he cheated on me. Hahaha. Now things make a lot more sense as to how his family treated me during the divorce. And, man, I'd really like to meet this boyfriend I supposedly had. He was probably perfect for me. Maybe he sent me flowers  and treated me like a queen. He was probably younger and smoking hot, too. Damn. Too bad I must have amnesia. Hahaha.

I had to take care of the dogs quickly, then showered and headed down to Tamworth. No ambulance fiasco this time. Ernie and I took A5 over to Club Motorsports for our track detail. Today was Dodge day, the same people who put on Jeep day last year. Fancy catered food that we were actually allowed to eat this year. And AYCE! The best part. Lobster rolls!! I so wished I was a fatty today because I would have eaten no less than 3 lobster rolls. And omg, the best lobster roll I've probably ever had. The High Roller Lobster Co out of Portland was a caterer of the event all sponsored and paid for by Dodge. The guys working it were really cool. I asked how much these would cost on the market right now, and he said $24-27!! OMG. Fortunately, you get 3/4lb lobster at this place as opposed to a 1/2lb since the owner used to work the docks there. He gets a discount that allows them to serve more. And they don't skimp AT ALL. So if you're looking for a lobster place in Portland, ME, this is the place to go. They also serve good beer.

Watching the rain roll over the Sandwich Range
I so wish I could share the videos and photos from today, but we aren't allowed. These are 2019 not yet on the market. Today was the media's chance to test-drive the new Dodge Challengers. I'm not a car person and usually just spend all day in the ambulance, but today was fun. I even ventured down to the fancy tent at one point for a fruit cone, coffee and other snacks. It was nice being included with big-wigs this year. Haha.

We actually got out early. I was thankful for this since it gave me time to go home briefly to let the dogs out before heading back to Silver Lake for the I'll Be Dipped Prediction run at Dave and Kerry Oedel's (pronounced exactly like my last name). After being pent-up for 2 days, I planned to do the 3.1 miles at a quick pace. I needed to expel some energy. I really had no idea what to put as my prediction. I originally thought 21:05. This is an out and back on a hilly dirt road so it's not as quick as pavement. I didn't want to go race pace. I thought about my last 5K being 19:42 and thought that maybe a minute slower would be a better choice, so I picked 20:44. No idea why I chose 44 over 42, but I did.

I got in a mile warm up then lined up with the White Mountain Milers group. The turnout was decent.

Bernie started us off, and I went out first to lead the way. Even though I've run Lead Mine Rd many times, for some reason I forgot how much uphill I would have on the way back. I was thinking the opposite. Hmmm. I stayed at a quick pace on the way out. No idea what my splits were since we couldn't wear watches. I'm guessing around the halfway point I started to die. I felt like I had slowed considerably and then the hill killed me. The last 1/3 of a mile was fortunately downhill and flat so I kicked it in. I had no idea what my time was, but I was pretty sure I was WAY off my prediction. Probably a minute slower. Oh well. All I could think of was getting myself into the lake. I was dying. It was SO hot out. I grabbed my bag out of my car and made my way to the lake where I jumped in and swam out to the floating dock. Surprisingly, I had the whole thing to myself for over 10 minutes. I just lied there on the dock as it rocked in the waves. I could have fallen asleep. I was cooled off and comfortable. Finally, everyone else joined me. Bob Benes ended up pushing me off the dock to be funny. Haha. We all swam around for awhile talking and then headed back to the house for potluck.

I felt badly, but since I worked 2 days straight, I didn't have anything to bring for the potluck. I didn't even have time to swing by a grocery store since there aren't any close by (don't get me started on that rant! Haha). There was way more than enough food, though, so it was ok. We had a great time eating out on the deck. They finally announced the winner, and much to my surprise, I won! 20:40 was my time! I was shocked. Only 4 seconds off. Crazy since I'm the last person who should ever win a prediction run. I won a White Mountain Milers shirt which is a really nice shirt. I think we hung out about an hour before everyone started to leave.

I made my way into the house to say goodbye to Dave and Kerry. I feel like I hardly saw them this year, and they were already headed back to Georgia the next day. They are the nicest people and have been so supportive of me in my single life, but today, I was hoping I could get out of there without the questions, but it wasn't to be. Both having been divorced previously and then having met each other, they were so excited for me back in 2015 to be single again and told me that I would meet someone, etc. Well, now, on the 3rd summer since, I saw the look of concern in Dave's eyes. And then he asked something along the lines of "Why haven't you found anyone yet?" Ugh. The disappointment in his voice. And not disappointment in me but for me. I found myself stumbling over words. I didn't want to say the real reason, but I was just about to when we were interrupted. I was saved. I was just about to say, "I'm just not that likable, Dave." And it's true. I could have added that, well, I'm not that likable except to the desperate ones like that cowardly Tinder-obsessed man whore I wasted a month of my life on last fall. My likability didn't last long with that one either, though, but the feeling was mutual at least. (Oh, and no. I didn't meet him on Tinder; I don't do dating sites). I fortunately never had to give Dave the straight answer. It kind of made me sad, though, as if I had let them down. But, it's actually really nice to know that they care. Seriously, the nicest people.

I was so happy to come home to my dogs and weird to also be home to a quiet house. I'm never home alone at night anymore since John lives here 100% of the time. I don't mind him being here on Bryan's nights. He's usually doing his own thing anyway, but it didn't dawn on me until I was home in the quiet just how long it had been since I'd been home alone at night.

Friday, August 3, 2018- I had plans to run up Middle Sister, but it was SO humid and I knew that I wanted to do the Friday Night Vertical race that night. Plus, I didn't want to destroy my legs for Run 4 Kerri, so I started out pretty sure I would just turn around at the top of Carter Ledge. It was only like another mile to the top of Middle Sister from Carter Ledge, but it's a steep-as-fuck mile so I opted out. The run to Carter Ledge was plenty for the morning. 5.1 miles total in 1:12:49. 1,657ft of elevation gain.

As soon as I got home, I picked up the dogs and went right back out to walk them in the Bolles Preserve. I couldn't get over how hot and humid it was so by the time we got down to Chocorua Lake, I couldn't resist a quick skinny dip in the water. And NO PHOTOS this time. I had way too many hits from nudist sites the last time I posted a pic of me skinny dipping in 2015. And it was just of my back, too. So tame. But anyway, that felt really nice and eliminated my need to shower before going up to Black Mt for the evening's race. Haha. I would have just sweat 5 more layers anyway so the lake was good enough.

The site of the skinny dip! Haha

Post skinny dip. Fully clothed!
The temp inside my house when I got home. Gross.
We went back home. I had a beer and lounged around a bit before heading up to Black. The crowd was small tonight. Despite being super humid the temperature wasn't too bad. Today's course was about 2 miles and would wind back and forth before ending on the lift summit. I really wasn't out here to race per se, but I thought a win would be nice. This was my first time actually running the race. The other two times I made it up here I wasn't running at all and power hiked the whole way. I was really looking forward to the actual running part even though I knew I would power hike some of it. I didn't warm up at all since I knew I'd be warm within 50 yards of climbing. My legs were a bit beat from the get-go, but I felt ok. This course was fun and mostly runnable and I finished 1st woman. We finished in a light drizzle which no one seemed to mind since it brought some relief from the heat. Sarah Chapin and Mike Radz joined in tonight so I got a pic of Sarah and Tuck on the lift summit. The views ended up being beautiful.

I ran down following a few people for the shortest route back. I changed into dry clothes, but as soon as I walked in the bar, it was so hot that I was dying and pouring in sweat again. I had to go back outside a bit to cool off until it was time for awards and the raffle. I felt bad when I realized most of the participants had brought raffle prizes. I didn't realize we should, but I would definitely bring something the next week if I made it up there again. I won a baguette and then scored with a 4-pack of beer in the raffle. That made up for not being able to afford a beer at the bar tonight. I was saving what little money I had for the trip down to the Rhode Island the next day.

I was definitely beat by the time I got home. I packed up most of my stuff for the 2 days we'd be gone and then went to bed.

Saturday, August 4, 2018- I woke up around 6am and went right out for a very slow, easy run with the dogs at the Albany Town Forest. I wanted to get them exercise before we left for Rhode Island. I just needed something short since Run 4 Kerri was the next day. We ran 3.7 miles.

We got home. I showered and just as I got my pile of stuff ready to load up the car, the pouring rain started. Haha. I donned my Frogg Toggs poncho and loaded up the car. Left exactly on time as planned. It would end up downpouring most of my drive. It made the drive a little slow since people were driving slower, but there were fortunately no accidents until just before the RI line. It wasn't too bad, and just as I was about to be forced to merge right two lanes, the accident scene cleared and my lane was reopened.

I met Tony Wild at Wildflour Bakery in Pawtucket to give him my old jogging stroller. Not the nicest one, but I loved it because it was lightweight. It had been sitting in the upstairs of my garage for just shy of 5 years so it was filthy. I hosed it off then wiped it down. One tire needed a new tube, but other than that, it was good to go. Even if they just use it to test him out in a stroller before buying a better one, I'm still happy it will be used again. The best part of the morning was finally meeting Tony's wife, Kate, and of course the little guy, Ian. We had a pretty quick snack before Ian started to get squirmy. Oh, I remember those days. Haha. Even though it was short, it was a good visit. And Tony even brought me two Proclamation Pentultimate Unicorn beers AND $25 DDs gift card. He's always so generous.

I wanted to hit a few breweries before making my way down to Burlingame Campground for the night so my first stop was Buttonwoods, the same brewery I camped at back in February. I took the dogs out out back first then moved to the front since no one was there but like one car. A ton of people showed up after I did, but I think the rain might have deterred the crowds. I got my beer and stood where I could see the dogs in the car.

I just had one beer there then headed down to try out Beer on Earth. This place was a bit odd since it was brewery inside of a Great Harvest Bread Co. Although not quite accurate, I felt somewhat like I was in a Subway shop. I had two smaller pours of their DIPA and the porter. While the beer was good, it wasn't something outstanding that I would recommend you rush to visit. The atmosphere leaves a lot to be desired.

Sat where I could see the dogs in the car

I went to the Dollar Tree across the road for some water and then drove down to the campground. It was still pouring when we got there and to the site. I sat in the car for a bit before it finally stopped for the most part. There was nothing but a drizzle off and on the rest of the night. I took the dogs for a walk (on leash!) as soon as we got out of the car. I found a small trail where I could let them off leash briefly then walked them down to the pond to get in the water and cool off. While it slightly cooled off during the evening, it was still really warm and very humid all night.

I made macaroni and cheese for dinner since I'm fancy like that. Also had one of the beers Tony gave me, even though it's strictly prohibited there. Not like I'm getting all rowdy with my buddies at the campsite. Haha.

Once I ate and cleaned up everything, I took the dogs on another walk and found a section of the North-South trail that I didn't know was there. I totally missed it the last 3 years. I didn't go far since I was wearing sandals and it got kind of muddy. Once back, I brushed my teeth then got in the tent for the night. It was not a good night's sleep AT ALL. It was sticky warm, and then some dumb bird, probably a turkey, decided to park itself in the tree above my tent. It gobbled ALL NIGHT and kept setting the dogs off. I barely slept at all. Ugh.

Phoenix in the tent
Sunday, August 5, 2018- Run 4 Kerri-

This would be 3rd year doing Run 4 Kerri and has become a favorite of mine. I love being part of the elite field here, even if I'm feeling less and less like I belong in it. Something about this race really makes me love it. It's like coming to a small town race where the people are so friendly, yet there's an elite field added in. The purpose of the race is to raise money for a scholarship fund in memory of Kerry Lynn Bessette who died of meningitis her freshman year of college in 2001. Her family puts on this race for her, and it's just one of those races I want to be a part of. We get free entry into the race as one of the elites, but, as I have the last two years, I always donate that entry fee back. It took me over a month after I registered to have the extra money for the donation, but I still got it done. I just can't take the free entry for this one and feel right about it. Kerri's mini doc is linked here.

I arrived pretty early so that I would be able to get a good parking spot to set up the dogs. No one would end up parking next to me. Haha. Kind of like the bus ride at the Lovell race when no one would sit next to me. It was actually a good thing, though, since it meant the dogs wouldn't bother anyone. Phoenix barked some, but not too bad. I kept her under a beach umbrella in front of the car on the grass...and on a blanket of course. I brought Chill over to the school where there was some great shade on cool pavement. Another dog was tied up there, too, so I made sure it was a female dog first before bringing him over. Ended up being the perfect place for him.

I went out pretty early for a warm up because I hate just waiting, and I wanted to see how I felt. Instead of the usual 3 miles, I just ran 2. I wasn't worried about getting in miles today. Just needed a good warm up. Plus, I'd get another half mile in on the way to the start anyway. I felt ok, but I still wasn't optimistic about today's race. It was already blazing hot in the sun and really humid. I just hoped to break 26 minutes today.

I checked on the dogs and then went back to the elite room to get ready for the race then ran up to the start. I ended up talking to Crutchley a bit before standing with Scott and Maureen in the shade before it was time to line up. I really didn't know where to stand since the women's field was pretty good this year. I knew I wasn't coming in top 5 for sure. I only hoped for 1st master female today. I just made sure I lined up well behind the top women.

Finally, we were off. I definitely didn't want to go sub-6 on the first mile today, but it felt like I was going way too slow right off the bat. I was with really young girl for about 3/4 of the first mile before Bob Jackman caught up to me. I attempted to stay with him and we crossed the mile in 6:10 (what was called out; my watch got 6:05). Ouch. Super slow. Much slower than I expected. Laura Brustolon passed us right around this point, and then as we made the sharp turn left, I couldn't keep up with Bob anymore so I fell back. I was kind of on my own at this point, although I had a feeling that younger girl was still close behind. Mile 2 was tough, but I still felt alright. 6:12. Slower, but I was ok with that. Right after the mile 2 marker, I just died. I had nothing but to hold on. Mile 3 has a couple of hills and some sharp turns. As I crested the hill at mile 3, I saw Marissa McPhillips just ahead of me walking through the water stop. I was so dead that I still couldn't catch her. 6:36 for mile 3. The course continued straight and then slightly curved right. As I came around it, Marissa was on her knees in someone's yard looking like she was vomiting. She was standing as I passed. I was dying here so badly that I couldn't even say anything to her. Only a mile to go. And I still can't believe I ran this last mile as my slowest. With the last downhill and flat to the finish you'd think I would run faster than mile 3, but I didn't. I was on death's door and just hoping not to get passed by another woman.

Cresting the top of the last hill before the push to the finish

I didn't have much left in me, but I gave whatever I had through the finish and just barely beat the younger girl I'd been running next to in mile 1. 6:40 for the last mile, but I made my goal of sub-26. 25:45. And crazy, I came in 6th female! I just missed 5th place. 1st master female. Yay! That meant $50. I was banking on that money since we were supposed to go out after the race. That meant the difference between no lunch and maybe 2 beers or lunch and more beers. Haha. Full Results.

I was dying after the finish. Just drenched in sweat. Pretty sure today was the equivalent weather as 2016. Too bad I'm not in shape like 2016, though. I ran about a minute slower than 2017 which I knew would happen. A lot of people ran slower than usual so it wasn't just me, and that made me feel better least.

I checked on the dogs, then joined Bob, Jackie, Nick Fox and Steven Croft for a cool down to the beach. None of us had any desire to run more miles than what would get us to the beach. I ran down here for a swim in 2016 and recalled it being the warmest water I'd ever been in in New England. I didn't swim long then because I didn't want to miss the awards. This time was different. After getting out past the seaweed, the water was SO AMAZING. It was the perfect temperature. I swam in the waves and floated. It never felt too cold. I didn't want to get out. I honestly haven't stopped thinking about it constantly the last week. I just want to be back in that water. We stayed out there a pretty long time, but then those damn awards called me out of it. To find water I can swim in up here is so rare. South Kingstown Town Beach is where it's at! Haha.

Rinsed off quickly then ran the mile back to the school for the awards. I changed quickly right after, loaded up the dogs and drove over to Mews for lunch. I parked in the shade and put the dogs outside. I had to go out mid lunch to get them in the brook out back. They both went swimming and then I rejoined the group in the bar. The BAR. The place I'm rarely able to sit since kids aren't allowed. Haha. As we headed out, George Ross wanted to snag a photo of me by his car like the ones he took at a photoshoot of his. I'm not quite the caliber of those Burlesque girls, but I gave it a shot.

I knew I had on "boy shorts" underwear to hide most of it. Otherwise I wouldn't have done this. 
The rest of the day was spent with Bob, Jackie and Nick at Whaler's, Proclamation and Buttonwoods. The first two were fine. The dogs came in Whaler's which was awesome. I wish I had taken pics of the dogs in there. Chill was so good. At Proc, I put up the umbrella again in some grass by the car. They were fine. That last one was a bit much and where I got my nasty gram that I found on the way out.

First off it wasn't 93 degrees. Not even close. They were tied up in the shade and perfectly fine. Also, the brewery doesn't have a/c; it was hotter in there than outside. We weren't even there that long. Plus, I don't have a/c at home. My dogs don't live in a/c. Unfortunately, I let this ignorant bullshit set me off. And I could see some woman watching us from her house across the way so I was sure it was her. I wanted to beat her ass, but I left in a total rage instead. Ruined what had been a fun day up until this point where I was leaving. Ugh. I wish I could go back and just leave for home from Proclamation like I should have.

The drive home wasn't too bad since it was late. No traffic. Got home late, but it was fine. I planned on that anyway. Unfortunately, my anger at the dog note ended up causing me to lash out at someone who was just trying to make sure I was ok. All I saw through my anger was someone just pitying me. I hate being pitied. So it set me off. I'd feel pretty lousy about this whole thing for nearly all of the next week, so I tried to be as antisocial as possible. I can't say I feel 100% better about it right now, but I'm getting over it. Haha.

I just want to be back in this water....

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

1500m & 5K

Baldface Circle Trail
I am SO far behind on the blog! Work has either been so busy or the crew office too hot to sit in for long periods of time. And like I've said before, my computer is just super uncomfortable to sit at. So this will have to be one of those pesky catch up posts for July 16-29. Two weeks, and 3 races (kind of, if you count Whitaker Woods). A mix of trail, mountain and road runs and some spinning. The first week's mileage stayed extra low due to aborting a trail run only .7 miles in. 24.2 miles. 4,587ft of elevation gain. The second week, I did end up picking up the mileage to my highest week since May! 44.8 miles! 3,196ft of elevation gain.

I've been really afraid to up the mileage much since I'm not 100% with the tendon thing. I had some major soreness a few days and had to back off a bit. I've been doing a lot of short, fast stuff, but I still see zero improvement in speed. It's just getting worse for the most part. I can't believe I'm running this slow right now. I might actually be done forever when it comes to speed. I did end up backing out of the Mansfield Double Up and the Ragged 75. I feel very happy with both decisions since it's the right thing to do. I could have finished Mansfield, but it wouldn't have been enjoyable at all. I'm in no shape whatsoever for Ragged, not even "just" the 50K. I'm really hoping I can start to pick up the mileage soon or else I might have to consider dropping from Hartford and Baystate Marathons. I really, really, really don't want to do that. I'm a mess, running...more so in just life in general...everything. I can't even keep the one person in my life I'm closest to (other than John) without nearly fucking that up often. It's almost like I purposely try to sabotage any close friendship for some reason my crazy brain can't explain to me. I don't know. I guess I feel I don't deserve to have this person in my life a lot of the time since, like I said, I'm a mess. But at the same time I can't imagine this person NOT being in my life since this is such a deep friendship for me so I don't know why I fuck it up like I do or why he even puts up with it over and over. I would have dropped me as a friend a long time ago.

These two weeks were all over the spectrum emotion-wise. Mostly good days, though, with some moodiness mixed in there. The financial stress has been getting to me a lot lately. I just wish I could be one of those people that didn't have to worry so much about money all the time. Living paycheck to paycheck is no way to live; I never thought I'd be one of those people who would have to. I went to a private high school. I got a Bachelor's Degree. I was supposed to be all set in life, right? It's ALL my own fault, but I just don't know how to fix it. I feel so stuck that I don't even bother trying to change my situation anymore. Looking at job openings just depresses me because it all just screams, "Impossible!" at me. I've definitely hit that point where I no longer see possibilities. I've kind of given up. I still think about the future, and I believe I will make it better for myself, but it's hard to see through my current fog. I didn't mean for this to turn into my sob story again when I really have nothing to sob about. I'm just being a cry baby wallowing in self pity.

Even though it's not the most fun topic, I should update my intestinal issue...with nothing to update. Hahaha. It's still the same although I haven't had any problems during races since June. After getting down to 116lbs, I realized I needed to do something about the sudden weight loss so I just upped my caloric intake. I wasn't sure if this would do anything, but it seemed to have worked. I'm back up to around 118-119 which is good. But really nothing has changed as far as this goes. I'm just used to it now. It started out of the blue on February 22 and has been the same ever since. I don't know what caused it. Ibuprofen could actually have done it since it is suggested as a known cause, and with my injury, I had been taking way more Ibuprofen than I should have for about a year prior to it. But I don't have anyway of knowing if it was or not, just pure speculation on my part. Haha. So that's that.

Now that I've gotten all the bull crap out of the way, I can move on to the day-by-day, which I will attempt to keep brief since I don't even remember most of it anyway. Haha.

Monday, July 16, 2018- Got myself up early for a 30 minute spin on my new bike. This would be the only Monday since that I've gotten up to ride. I'm just too lazy on Mondays. 5.5 miles according the cheap thing attached to the fly wheel. I have no idea if it's accurate. I'm still working on finding good spinning videos on YouTube. I've tried a few more than once, and I'm definitely NOT into the Global Cycling Network's videos. They are more geared toward using a trainer vs a spin bike, and I find they just don't give me a great workout. My favorites so far are from The Gym Box channel. Once I got past one instructor's irritating high-pitched voice, I found I really liked her workout.

Got our asses handed to us at work big time this week. So little sleep tonight. Definitely the most gruesome call I've ever been on, but it was so gruesome that it almost looked fake.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018- Drove down to the Trout Pond trailhead in Freedom right after work to run the Jackman Ridge Trail/Mary's Mt loop that I've done a few times over the years. I was pretty sore from Beaver race so it took a good mile to loosen up. The air was disgustingly humid. It's been basically disgustingly humid since then. Haha. 6 miles in 49:41. 840ft of elevation gain. A decent run. Not my fastest, not my slowest.

Mary's Mt

John and I went to his school around noon to help paint signs for the road telling people to slow down. Another kid joined us, but he wouldn't listen to me when it came to doing the paint right so his ended up a do-over for another day. Haha. It was fun, though. John painted the background on his sign, and I did the lettering. Not sure it was a good idea to have my 4 year old art skills in charge of painting signs. Haha. After that, we fed the pigs apples then took Phoenix and Liebling on a short walk to Jackman Pond before a thunderstorm blew in.

Our sign

The other kid's sign. Haha.

Jackman Pond
Phoenix doesn't care for Liebling. Haha.
That afternoon was the Whitaker Woods weekly trail race. The rain had cooled it off slightly so I felt way better than expected. I decided to go all out tonight...well, if you can call my mediocre uphill running "all out". I'm not sure what made me want to do this, but I felt good. Hit a 6:18 first mile which is about 10 faster than usual. Managed to pull off my fastest time this season so far in 20:51. A far cry from 19:50 days 3 years ago, but I was really happy to have improved by 21 seconds.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018- Got in another 30 minute spin on my bike to start the day. I'm really liking having this option!

The day time at work was actually pretty quiet with only a few calls, but ugh, we went out twice overnight which just kills me every time. Got in 2 miles of walking and ab work.

Thursday, July 19, 2018- As soon as I got home from work, I decided to take Phoenix on a walk up Heavenly Hill before I left for my run.

My run plans had me driving down to Mass again to work on the same trail I've been working on since December. With only about 10 miles to go until we completed it, I figured 10 miles total out and back this week and the next would have us completing the trail. That did not go as planned. Hahaha. First off, I left early enough to get there 20 minutes early, but a bad accident in Wakefield, Ma made me about 20 minutes late. Ugh. The description of the trail made it seem obvious, and we had a goal to take the Strava CR for this section. But once we started looking for the trail, we didn't see it. Wtf. It was SO overgrown so we followed what we thought was the trail for far too long before calling it quits and going back. We couldn't even run this part since there was so much brush. Once we got back, we actually found the trail! It was right there!! With trail markers. What dopes. Yay! So this time we could run until about .1 miles when we hit more overgrown stuff. My running companion really LOVES ticks so he also loves this section through the brush. Haha. Ok. So he actually said he was turning around. I told him he couldn't be a quitter, but he stopped just shy of major boggy area. To prove it was fine and that we could get through it, I went on ahead...about 5 yards. All of a sudden this fucking grass shit was stuck to my legs like tape. As I tried to move through it, I was pretty sure it was ripping my skin off. OMG. Annnnnd...that's when I called it quits, too. Haha. We gave it a good .7 mile try. At this point we had been either walking, bushwhacking or running for about an hour and just said fuck it and went to a bar in Attleboro instead. Haha. We could have just crossed Rt 1 to run in Gilbert, but I was over it. We also could have paid more attention to the map to see that we could have skipped this whole bog section by taking the road around to where it connected to the Wrentham Town Forest, but whatever. By the time we were back to the car, my legs felt like someone had poured gasoline on them and lit a match. I still have no idea what this grass was, but it fucked up my legs big time. Haha.

The bar was way more fun than running. I can run any day. Sitting at the bar having adult conversations happens very little despite what I'm sure most people think about me and my beer guzzling habit.

On the way home, I had this need to get off Rt 1 and head over to Revere Beach. I was starving for Kelly's Roast Beef, and I wanted to see the beach. I don't know why, but I hadn't stepped foot on Revere Beach since I lived in Revere in 1999. I've been driving by it for almost 19 years now and never stopped. Tonight was the night. It was so beautiful out and I just needed to smell the ocean. So I made the detour. Found a place to park then walked to Kelly's. Got my sandwich and walked out to the beach. It was perfect evening....and then some motherfucking seagull swooped in and ripped half of my sandwich out of my hand! Hahaha. The rest of it ended up in the sand. I was NOT wasting that sandwich so I wiped off the sand as best I could and finished it off my crunchy sandwich. Fortunately, the seagull only took one half of the bun and not the beef. He brought all of his friends with him, though, so I had an audience as I finished my dinner. Haha.

It was weird walking back and remembering my 22-23 year old self running this strip every day I was home there. I lived in Point of Pines (the north end of the beach) and ran all the way to the south end. I could only measure the distance with my car then, and it came out to 5 miles round trip. I loved living in Revere. It was my first home in New England. I reluctantly left to move in with Bryan in Brant Rock in Marshfield because he wasn't willing to move in with me in Revere. This was the beginning of my life of following Bryan and letting him dictate everything I did. It made my life more difficult. I now had to commute to Logan airport from the South Shore, and all of my flight attendant friends were left behind on the North Shore. Most of our friends in Marshfield were coke heads. Why I allowed myself to always be the one to give up the things I wanted and make all of the effort, I'll never understand. But it's what has led me to my current trapped situation. Who knew I'd spend 16 years following someone else's life only to wind up in my current dead end? I can't believe that was me. I think that's one of the reasons I waited almost 19 years to revisit Revere Beach. Coming back brought out all of these thoughts and emotions. I want to stop that girl as she's running and tell her to do what SHE wants in life and to never settle.

In my innocence before the thievery.

The guilty party
I knew the stop at the beach would make my drive more difficult, but it was worth it. I struggled to stay awake but made it ok. My legs were even worse than earlier. The photos don't do it justice.

Friday, July 20, 2018- My indecision on where to run today was made easy when I got the dreaded "You've lost your CR" on Strava. Oh haaaiiiillll no. And it was only by 12 seconds! It was the Baldface Circle Trail full loop. Although I run the Baldface's once every summer, I had only taken the Baldface Circle Trail up once in 2013. I remembered it being steep. I had all 3 dogs with me, and Chill freaked out so bad on the ledges that I pretty much had to drag him up them. Since then, I've always taken the Slippery Brook Trail up. Well, today was the day to revisit the Baldface Trail Loop and take my CR back. Haha.

I decided not to bring Phoenix since she had gotten so hot on our Baldface loop last summer, but just as I was walking out the door and looked back, I saw the tears in her eyes and couldn't not bring her. This would be a mistake because once again, she got too hot. It was so hot out and the sun was beating on the granite. With her being so low to the ground, she was in the worst of the heat. I felt so bad and ended up taking extra long breaks with her along the way up. I brought her water and she drank quite a bit of it. Once we made the summit of South Baldface, she was much better for the rest of the run.

The ledges were steeper than I remembered. No wonder Chill freaked out! This shit was scary! And no wonder I said I'd never take this route up again. And I WILL never take this route up again. Haha. Yikes.

I'll admit that this run totally destroyed me. Between the heat and being out of shape, I was stumbling big time. I knew before I was done that I had to back out of Mansfield and Ragged. If I couldn't do this 9.4 mile run without struggling, there was no way I was doing those races. This run is what sealed that deal for me. I still took back my CR, but not by as much as I thought (And I'm sure it will be taken back from me in no time. And funny enough, right after I wrote that, I got the notification that it was taken...and by my arch enemy, too. Hahaha. She can have it, though. I have no plan to ever go up those ledges again.) With the extra long stops along the way for Phoenix, I ended up putting on an extra 25 minutes onto the run. I always stop on this loop anyway, but usually not that much. But nonetheless, I beat her time by 22 minutes. 2:30:24 moving time for me. 3,480ft of elevation gain. I was trashed. So was Phoenix. It laid me out for the rest of the day. Haha.

Poor baby. :(
That was it for me for the day. I went home, showered and then vegged. John was dropped off by Bryan for the weekend. I was giving him a race-free weekend...even though it wasn't race-free for me. I had registered for the Lovell Old Home Days 5K for the next morning. Ugh. I just ruined a hopeful good time with the mountain run. Oh well.

Saturday, July 21, 2018- Since Lovell is only a 35 minute drive away, John was able to stay home for this one. Although I knew about this race, I'd never done it. This particular weekend in July has been a traditional race-free weekend for me for years, but I really wanted to get out and do a 5K. And it was cheap! $15! And I still got a shirt. There were donuts and watermelon and AMAZING awards. Go figure! Low entry fee- you get more. Price gouging fee- you get less. Hmmm. Haha.

Anyway, I got to sleep in until 7am which was nice and then leisurely make my way over there. I was surprised and happy to find a group of women here from the Valley! We had a whole White Mountain Milers team. I was glad I had chosen my WMMs singlet for this one. Terry Ballou was there and had won this race numerous times. I knew she would give me a run for my money today. Kim Proulx, Suz Laughlin and Michelle Henley were also there. Even though I've known them for years, I'm still not a part of their group. They often train together and hang out together so I was still somewhat of an outsider which was rubbed in my face when we boarded the bus to the start line. It was like the kid being picked last in P.E.(even though I wasn't that kid; I was always picked 1st or 2nd haha) NO ONE would sit next to me. One woman even walked towards my seat, looked at me then turned around and went back to a different one. I finally got a seat mate when it was the very last seat left on the bus. Wow. I sure felt awesome after that. :( It's not like I smelled or looked unapproachable. I was looking at everyone as they got on the bus wondering if they might sit next to me. Maybe it was the desperate eyes. It certainly couldn't have been the knife across the throat motion I was doing to them all. Haha. Kidding. I swear I had on my best "I'm nice and not competitive at all" face. Oh well. But funny, all I could think was that this was the story of my life. Always the outsider but just on the edge. One foot in the circle.

Once at the start, I lined up in front since I could see some little kids getting on the line. This older but fast looking guy asked me what I planned to run. I said I didn't know (and I really didn't; my legs were JUNK). He said he only asked because all the other women looked afraid of me. Hahaha. This made me laugh. Terry moved up to the line with me and finally Silas Eastman and another fast guy jumped in. We were off! I found myself immediately 3rd in a pack of 3, Silas and the other guy. At first I was worried since I should never be running anywhere near Silas, but I could feel I was running a good, conservative pace. He looked like he was putting in no effort at all. And I would be right. As soon as we hit mile 1 at the base of the one big hill, he took off! 1st mile was 6:15. Actually slower than I'd hoped. Mile 2 climbed a hill and then had a nice bit of downhill as it came though the town square. I got passed by a young kid just as we climbed back up a short hill. We passed his coach who told him to slow down so I passed him back just as we hit the mile 2 marker and the dirt road. 6:12. The last 1.1 miles were all gravel road starting with an ever so slight downhill to a turn around and then an ever so slight uphill before turning back into the park for the finish. I DIED in this mile. 6:35. It seems this is becoming way too common for me lately. A part of it is probably because I was purposely going out fast in the beginning while the tendons weren't bothering me. Plus, like I've said, I've lost all sense of feel in my pacing since this injury so it's really fucked me up. Fortunately, I was still able to pull off the 1st female win. I did end up getting passed in the last mile by the older guy from the start so I came in 4th overall. And once again running pretty much the same damn awful time I've been running 5ks for over a year now. Ugh.19:41. In fairness to myself, I'd trashed myself the day before. My legs were not in top shape. I probably could have run a 19:30 had I had fresh legs. No matter what, I will never be good at 5Ks. I have to look at it as strictly speedwork and just be happy with the effort.

Coming into the finish

Terry (2nd), Kim (3rd) and me.

Us with Bernie and Eileen Livingston
As I said, the awards were awesome. And so were the donuts. I ate two and brought some home for John. Such a nice event with really nice people. I might have to make this an annual race if it works out.

I still can't figure out why I had that face. Haha.

Looks like a giant blueberry. Too bad some people can't appreciate wild blueberries.
It was a hot one out by the time I left, but I still vowed to get John out on a hike to pick blueberries (which no one should ever NOT do when perfectly good blueberries are presented to him haha). Burnt Meadow Mt is always a favorite of mine for a short, steep climb up to a good view. And it's never crowded...except today! Ahhh! I definitely wasn't expecting people, but somehow it's become well known which meant leashed dogs for most of the hike. John was actually very pleasant for the whole hike even though he constantly asked how much farther. Haha. Once at the top, I took the dogs to the shade and found blueberry mecca. John was in heaven. Phoenix, too. I was actually surprised at just how long we stayed up there, but John was loving it. The breeze was great so it was really nice. I picked blueberries until I was full and watched John as he picked more. Such a great hike with my sweet kid.

Did I say sweet? Haha.

We lucked with a lull in people and had the summit to ourselves for probably 30 minutes before heading down. I stopped off at the pond across the road from the trailhead to cool off the dogs and then we went home. I had planned to mow the yard, but I was beat.

Sunday, July 22, 2018- Slept in pretty late. Woke up to pouring rain. It would rain almost all day so we never really left the house. It was just a good day to stay in and do nothing....well, almost nothing. I was REALLY sore from Baldface run and the race so I decided to skip running and do an hour on the spin bike. I have to admit that it was really nice doing it by the open window listening to the pouring rain. I made John pancakes as he had been requesting for weeks now.

Don Fredrikson stopped by to drop off a portrait of Spot that his boss had experimented with on wood. It came out really neat. I still miss my Spot dog.

Super lazy day. I really can't remember the rest. Haha.

Monday, July 23, 2018- Another zero day for me. And a quiet day at work! This would be two quiet days at work this week with sleep overnight! Yay! I walked 2 miles at work. I got in two ab exercises before getting a 911 call and never went back to finish the workout. Oh well. I'm kind of in a lull with that again anyway. Not sure why I've lost the motivation for that. I'll still do something about 3 days a week, but it's not the usual stuff. I even cancelled my Zuzka Light membership since I wasn't using it, and I can put that $10/month to other things. I know most of her workouts by heart now, so I'm still doing a lot of the exercises, just not the full workouts.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018- I really wanted to get some road miles in and do a "long" run...which sadly is 10 miles. Haha. I felt ok surprisingly, but I also ran at an slow-ish pace. I feel like a broken record when I say I wasn't paying attention to pace, just trying to get in the miles. Between being sick last fall and now, I feel like this is 3rd or 4th time I'm starting back from scratch, although this time is much, much worse. Ran out and back on Ossipee Lake Rd and part of Pequawket. 1:16:35. 7:39/mi pace so not bad, but not good either.

I took John to play mini golf at Pirate's Cove. He had won 4 free games last fall at the 100 Acre Challenge, and we both totally forgot about them, so I figured today would be fun to do that. It actually ended up being really fun. It wasn't crazy crowded. We had to wait a bit between holes, but it wasn't enough to be annoying. I had a really good game going under par with one hole-in-one. Haha. I smoked John, but he still got two hole-in-ones and said that he should technically be the winner because of that. Hahaha. I don't think so. :)

It was pretty hot out so John wanted to go to the lake and swim after so we did. It was actually really nice out there with some clouds and the usual breeze that blows through there.

I went to the Whitaker Woods race even though I had no desire to run. I was actually a little sore and stiff from the morning run by this point and it was SO humid, so I planned to just run a very easy "jog" tonight. Fortunately, Terry Ballou had the same plan so we ended up running it together and just chatting the whole way. It was crazy just how hard the effort seemed at that slow pace. We crossed the line together in 26:08. My first time not being 1st woman, but I was perfectly ok with that. I usually try to sneak away to that I can get back home, but I ended up chatting with a few people for awhile after.

Wednesday, July 24, 2018- Up again for 30 minutes on the spin bike. Definitely liking this routine over the treadmill. Not helping my weekly mileage at all, but I'm fine with that. Not a crazy busy day. Had a few calls in the afternoon while I was working with my supervisor as a partner. His driving scared the crap out of me; I'm surprised he hasn't gotten into an accident with the ambulance yet. Just terrible and unnecessary. We each teched a call and had a fire alarm. When my regular partner got back, we had no more calls and slept all night.

I got in a shorter than usual walk and did ab work so the day wasn't totally just sitting on my ass.

Thursday, July 25, 2018- For some reason, I wake up at work on Tuesdays and Thursdays very groggy and puffy. My eyes were so puffy that I was actually having trouble seeing. It was crazy. I already had a run planned for the afternoon, but when I got home, I actually went out for a slow 3 miles around my neighborhood just to sweat out some of the water retention. I don't normally like doing neighborhood loops, but I had no desire this morning to get out on the busy road to run. Since the run is hilly and I knew I'd be running hills in the afternoon, I just ran easy. 3 miles. 24:58. 8:17/mi avg pace. 260ft of elevation gain (only adding this so you can see how much gain you get in such a short distance). This definitely worked in sweating out the water, and I felt so much better.

Drove back down to Mass, without hitting traffic this time. Plan was to attempt the section of trail that was aborted the week before, but from the opposite direction and just skipping the overgrown section. The original plan for 10 miles was just going to be too much so I studied the map of the Wrentham Town Forest and found a way to hit the section of the trail we wanted and then take a shorter route back. And for all went according to plan!! I think this was the first time we didn't go the wrong way nor had trouble following the trail...even though parts of it were a tad overgrown. The best part was the blueberries which only I ate. WTF. So many blueberries to be eaten and then wasted on wild animals and birds instead! Sacrilege! Hahaha. This section of trail had 3 rocky summits with the final one having a decent view north. It was hazy, but you could just make out the Pru and the Hancock in the Boston skyline. You can't see them at all in my photos, though. Best selfie ever....

It was pretty hot and humid so the run was at an easy pace. I'm usually the one dragging behind so it was nice to run a pace where I could keep up and still talk at the same time. Haha. 5.2 miles total in just over an hour. Then it was off to the bar for a few drinks before I headed back home.

No stops this time since I wanted to get home at a decent hour. Had to work the track the next morning, and I knew I was walking into a fiasco for that. I should never have asked my manager which truck to use. Should have just grabbed the only extra truck in service when I got home and brought it down the next day. But don't listen to me. I don't know what I'm talking about...EYEROLL. I was asked to come in early by driving completely out of my way to the North Conway Base to pick up A3 to bring down to Tamworth for the track detail. I pulled A3 out of service on July 4th for smoking, burning brakes that was most likely a seized caliper. It was supposedly fixed until this afternoon when someone brought it back to North Conway from the track and it all of a sudden had the same brake issue. It was so bad, she actually thought it was going to catch fire. OOS. My manager knows about this, but again, tells me to drive it down to Tamworth the next morning. I refused. I said the only truck I'm going out of my way for is A7, the only extra truck in service. HE refused. So I basically wrote back I wasn't picking up any truck. Not my problem. I was showing up at the Tamworth base in my personal vehicle at my scheduled time just as I'm supposed to...more to the story.

Friday, July 26, 2018- Woke up early to get in a run before the track. This is one of the reasons I actually like working the track on Fridays instead of Thursdays. I get a day off in between the shifts and time to run in the morning. I had the 1500m race the next day so I didn't need to do anything crazy this morning so I just ran a loop from home through Conway Village and back via Cranmore Shores. 4.6 miles in 35:13. 7:38 avg pace. It would have actually been faster, buuuuuutttt, I had "issues" in the last 1.6 miles. Haha.

Showered then headed off to Tamworth knowing full well I was about to walk into a shit show. We had no truck for the track. The perfectly good truck was still sitting in North Conway. In an effort to keep me from grabbing it, our manager was trying to put a broken one back in service on Thursday night. The best part? He actually ended up in said truck on an early 911 call this morning since he happened to be there. Truck basically died and couldn't get up the hill to the patient's home. Conway Ambulance ended up having to take the patient instead. Now there was no truck. I love it when I'm right. So I asked him why I couldn't bring down A7. His reason? Because he wanted to keep a back up truck in North Conway so as not to have Conway Ambulance cover us if we needed a second truck. He didn't want to give them the satisfaction of having to take a call for us. Well, didn't that just fucking happen this morning? Duh. Plus, we don't even have a back up crew unless someone just happens to be available and hears the tone. And, also, he just risked the $2000/day the company gets by doing the track detail just to save face. So Ernie and I ended up taking his personal truck up to the track which does not cover the contract at all. Ugh. So embarrassing, but fortunately Mike knows us and that it's not us who are the problem. I told him flat out that we did have a truck that we could have used but that we weren't allowed to bring it. I wasn't going to be a part of that lie. One of our 911 trucks did show up an hour or so later to sit with us until a truck from our southern NH base was brought up for us to use. But wtf. How incompetent can you be? And oh my god, just as I'm writing this, my Monday partner texts me and says to look at today's Conway Daily Sun....
Area Towns Concerned About Ambulance Service
Some of this has to be taken with a grain of salt, though. Mike Dow has a conflict of interest because he WANTS Tamworth to use their own ambulance and will put our trucks in service even when we've done nothing wrong. Plus, he treats with us with disrespect on every scene I've ever been on with him. That being said, the complaints about contract violations are 100% truth. They all happened. They're constantly happening, but they're just not getting caught most of the time. At least I can say that I personally am NOT guilty of any violations. I do my job. I'm out the door immediately for 911s. I show up for work. Jeff and I were the only employees on last Wednesday who completed a monthly truck check (and PROPERLY). It took us 3 hours. 3 other crews (6 people) failed to do their job with no repercussions. I'm not one of the incompetent employees here, but unfortunately, that doesn't matter. I'm lumped in with it all, and I hate that. When I started here, Will Riley ran a tight ship. I was trained properly and you didn't have the option to slack off. That was 7 years ago. I don't think we have any downhill left to fall at this point. The one good thing is that I work one 24 in North Conway where we rarely have issues with Fire and Rescue, and I've known most of those guys for years. But damn, I hate being associated with this shit. Oh well.

Anyway, sorry about that added blabbity blah, but it had to be addressed since it literally came up just as I was complaining about the company. My only issue with the article is that it fails to address the conflict of interest with those Tamworth Rescue members and how they treat us with disrespect on scene in front of patients. Oh the small town politics are definitely exciting, though. Haha.

Ok. So the day at the track was very uneventful. The truck we got from Careplus South had over 447,000 miles on it, but it was actually a much better truck than some of the ones we have. It drove great and the A/C worked really well on high idle. So I spent half the day in the back in the A/C after it got too hot outside under my umbrella.

We actually got out 3 hours early which was awesome. I could have run more or gone to the Friday Night Vertical Race, but with the 1500m the next day, I decided to just do an ab workout...or at least I attempted to. Something thwarted my initial attempt.

Sorry for the degrading to women shirt. Haha.
Saturday, July 27, 2018- USATF-NE Outdoor Track and Field Championship 1500m-

Since I had backed out of the Mansfield Double Up, I decided to go back to Holy Cross in Worcester for another go at the 1500m. I knew I could run it faster than 3 weeks prior and really needed to prove that to myself. Unfortunately, I forgot to factor in the difference in weather between the two races that would play a role in today's race.

John didn't seem to mind going to this one since we didn't have to leave super early. He slept the whole way anyway. When we got there, I made sure to snag one of the shady spots on the side so that John and Phoenix would be good to hang out in there. Emer O'Donoghue brought John another bag of clothes for John. I love her!

On the drive down
It was funny to go to an Open championship but have the field be all masters (30+) except one person. Most of us were there for the All-Terrain Series so it was a group I knew. The oddball was the young open runner. Haha. She was seeded first and had a PB that was crazy fast. I was seeded 4th behind Apryl Sabadosa, and the second seed was a no-show.

After a warm-up with Barb McManus, I headed over to the track with my race gear and found everyone. We moved to the shade to wait until we were called.

Me, Barb, Jim Pawlicki and Kim Gordon
The beautiful cool, dry weather from 3 weeks prior had been replaced with a hot, humid day. The heat radiating off the track was insane. I realized then that the time I hoped for (sub-5:10) might not happen today. I just hoped that the faster women in front of me would pull me along to something better than the 5:15.69 I had run at the first race. When it was finally time to start, we exited the shade and lined up. The heat was pretty atrocious so I just hoped for the best.

Nancy, Emer, Barb, Kim, Sharon, Jennifer, me, Apryl and the one person on the line I didn't know.
It's funny looking at this photo since only 2 people on the line actually look like they run track. Haha. As soon as the gun went off, we fell right in line with the seeding. I could tell the first girl was going  pretty easy so I wasn't too worried that I was hanging with her and Apryl. 

I immediately noticed the effort today was much harder than 3 weeks ago. I felt like I was trying twice as hard, but I vowed to hang with the first two for as long as I could. We hung together for the first 2 full laps before the 1st girl made her move. Apryl started to follow, and I just hung on to the pace I was running as best I could. By the last lap, the first girl had gaped us by a lot, and Apryl had fallen back just a bit. I would still finish 4 seconds off of her despite my best effort to close the gap. I was psyched to see I'd run faster as planned. It wasn't the time I wanted, but I couldn't complain at all. 5:13.65. Just over 2 seconds faster. My 3rd place was helpful since it meant more points for the ATR scoring, but unfortunately, with so few participants, I only got 88 points. Grr. Oh well. Full Results

We were all pouring in sweat post race.
I'm not sure why I'm doing the ATR this year really since there's no "best-of" when it comes to scoring. Every race counts, and since I missed Wachusett, I don't stand a chance at winning the Masters. Previous ATR Series counted a certain number of races so that you didn't have to complete them all to count for the Series points at the end. I'm really not happy with the way they're doing the ATR, and they announced it so late that the participation level is low. Dave Dunham did a great job with it before, but they basically ignored him and then went behind his back to do it themselves. Kind of annoyed with that. But that being said, I do love the idea behind the ATR. It's what got me out to the hot-as-balls 5000m on the Bentley University track in 2015 which changed the course of events for me in more ways than one. I'm hoping they can pull together a bit better series next year since it won't be last minute. I'm still 5th with only doing 2 races so that's not bad. Current series standings after 3 events with 2 to go:

After a 3.8 mile cool down with Jim and Barb, I decided to take John to lunch at the Brew City Grill in Worcester. We can't eat out as often as we used to, but he was starving so I decided today was the day. This place was pretty good. A good beer menu and food. I think they thought we were crazy to ask to sit outside, but under the umbrellas it was nice. I didn't really want to sit in freezing cold A/C inside. I hate that. There are times I love A/C, but if I can sit outside comfortably, I'll choose that instead. John was super happy, and we had a great time.

We went home from there with only a stop at Trader Joe's on the way. Since I had dragged John to a race, the rest of the day was his to do what he wanted. I took the dogs over to the Albany Town Forest for a short walk before a thunderstorm rolled in.

Sunday, July 29, 2018- Slept in since I could. Haha. I really wanted to get in some miles today, but I had no desire to do it on the road so I put together a trail run from home that would take me on some trails I hadn't run on in a couple of years. These aren't actual official trails but something that someone else discovered and told me about in 2014. I'd done them all many times but never from home and never all of what I did today at once. I guessed it would be 11-12 miles. The first part would be mostly on dirt road through the Coleman's pit again then up onto the trails to B&M Ledge first. It was so humid that I was dripping sweat when I got up to the ledge. I didn't stay long before I moved on over to Whitton Ledge.

B&M Ledge view
The trail over to Whitton Ledge was pretty overgrown in parts, but fortunately it eased up as I entered the woods for the climb up to the Ledge. It was absolutely gorgeous up there today. I found a tick trapped in my sweat which surprised me since I haven't seen a single tick on me or the dogs in over a month now. Little bastard got tossed over the edge of the cliff as I made an evil laugh. :)

View from the ledge of Whitton Pond and Mt Chocorua

From here I backtracked on the long downhill back to the Coleman Pit before taking Ledge Pond Rd out to another "secret" trail that would take me to Boulder Rd in Madison. This trail does see snowmobiles in the winter, even though it's not an official snowmobile trail. I popped out on Boulder Rd right at the Madison Boulder parking and ran down to and around the boulder. It never ceases to amaze me.

I ran back to Coleman's from here and then took a shoot off from the road to Rt 16 for a very brief run on the road just to cross the bridge to the storage units which are right behind my house. I needed .2 miles to make it 11 so I ran my own trails for a loop to finish at 11.1 miles. 1:43:08. 1,271ft of elevation gain. I was most curious as to what the elevation gain would be since I had never put this whole run together before, and of course, Garmin decided to do an update that wouldn't let the Forerunner 220 sync runs. I had to wait until the following day when I got tech support to show me how to force the computer to recognize my watch since the update also messed up its syncing with Garmin Express on the computer. Grr. But anyway, it was an awesome run and one I would do again for sure. It was gross out, but it would have been way worse on the pavement.

After I showered, I took John to Conway Lake to swim. I think we spent close to 3 hours there! He never got out of the water. This 5 year old kid was out there swimming and wanted to hang out with John. I was thinking John might play with him for 5 minutes or so then move on, but no, he played with this kid for over an hour. It was so sweet. I think most 12 year olds would have been annoyed fast, but John seemed to enjoy it. Maybe it's because he doesn't have siblings that it kind of gave him a chance to act like a big brother or something. I don't know, but it was cool to watch his patience with this kid and keep him entertained while his parents got to enjoy a little down time.

So this was supposed to just be a brief catch up post. Sorry! Hahaha. And now, I'm still not caught up! But I'll get last week's post up before this week is over. I will be home a lot this week. Such a rarity. Haha.

I've tweaked my race calendar quite a bit  lately. I took a lot of stuff off I had planned, and until the NH 10-Miler, everything except Run 4 Kerri has question marks around it. I might do a local 3-mile race. I've already decided not to do Cigna Elliot, Bobby Doyle or Saunders. I just don't feel like driving or paying for them. There is a trail race in Maine that I'm leaning towards, but I'm not sure whether I'll be able to afford the entry fee yet or not. It's not a high fee, but I'd have to pay for it with my paycheck where most of it goes to my mortgage, and I already have two bills to pay with that check, as well. The hole I'm digging just keeps getting deeper. Fortunately, the 10-Miler is paid for by the team. I only have to pay for maybe 4 more races this year with low entry fees and the 100 Acre Challenge that John and I are going to do together, so that's good. The other 5 I have planned are taken care of by the team or are free entries for me. Thank goodness. Of course the Boston Marathon registration is coming up and since I chose to use my reimbursement check for the spin bike, it doesn't look like I'll be able to afford 2019 Boston after all. I've never really caught up from the brake repairs on the car. I definitely could have chosen Boston over the spin bike, but I feel like the bike was a better decision. Oh well. I'll run it again some day. Qualifying should never a problem for me. Plenty of years left to run it...I hope. Haha.

I just like this song for the "I'm a Mess" part. I'm not in therapy or a user. Hahaha.