Blackout 10K 2020

Blackout 10K 2020

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Spring Update


It's been awhile since my last post. After winter, there hasn't been much too exciting to write about. We finished off our last ski day with the Wild Corn Shindig at King Pine. Ryan had a pretty good race. I did not. Haha. It started off ok until it came to the first downhill on nothing but ice (This slope was actually my favorite black diamond when the snow was good, too!). I fell right away and every time I tried to get up, I fell again, for a total of about 5 times. Haha. I really am a terrible skier. I made the huge mistake of not wearing gloves so when I got to the bottom, I noticed I had sliced open my thumb. Blood was everywhere, even on my skis. Pretty comical. Got back into it and actually passed some people on the boot pack. At the start line of the race, I couldn't hear the course instructions due to the music playing and of course ended up alone with no markings at one intersection. The woman in front of me went the wrong way, then I thought I was going the right way, but ended up at the jump and the finish and we were supposed to have another short lap. Since I never heard the rest of the instructions, I assumed I was the one who went the wrong way and dropped out of the race. I hung out for a little bit waiting for Ryan to finish, totally missing his jump when I looked away for a split second. I made my way over to him at the finish and told him I had gone the wrong way so I had dropped out. He informed me that I HAD gone the right way and that I had to do another short loop from the finish line. What?! He said even he didn't know when he came through on the first loop until Hilary told him. I debated putting my skis back on and going back up just to finish. Finally, I was like, "Fuck it." Put my skis on and finished the race...dead last. Haha. Whatever. I'm not competitive at this stuff anyway so it didn't matter. Ryan was pretty happy with his race so that's all that mattered.

Ryan was luckily able to start running again the following week after 8 weeks off. He's taking it very slowly getting back into it by only running 3-4 days a week then road biking or rollerblading instead. So that's been our life the last 2 months basically. Just running on the weekends locally and non-locally. We've hit up the Belknaps, a first time for me, Beaver Brook, also a first for me, Pawtuckaway, the AT out near Glencliff, the Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway and the Ossipees, both with Adam Wilcox. We haven't gotten out on the big stuff yet after making a huge mistake on the Nancy Pond Trail where we "ran" 4-5 miles on shit snow. Brutal. We were never so happy to finish a run. Haha.

My own running has been coming along. Ryan and I run together on the weekends, and I get out on my own during the week. We've had the occasional opportunity to run together during the week, but it's rare. After skiing all winter, I ended up putting on this huge ass, mostly muscle from skinning uphill on skis. It's so big that my clothes don't fit quite right. I'd be lying if I said all the weight I've put on is muscle, but unfortunately I do have some jiggle on the hips and waist. Racing was the only reason I stayed thin all of these years so when that mostly ended last year, I immediately put on some pounds. No matter what I ate or how much I ran, it stayed on, and so far that's mostly been the case still now. I only do Crossfit 2 days a week so I'm not sure if that has anything to do with my increased weight, but I'm definitely the heaviest I've been since 2010. 128 isn't big, but it will most definitely affect my speed. So far, it hasn't affected my regular mountain and trail running, but as racing picks back up, we'll see how that goes. Haha. But if my body reacts like it used to, I should see some of the weight come off once I do start racing. Not expecting much of a performance any time soon, though. I'm planning to start with the Whitaker Woods Summer Series races on Tuesdays in June. I'll stick to not racing these and using them more for speed work. If the Friday Night Vertical Races are happening this summer, I plan to do those, too.

As far as other racing goes, I don't have that much planned. After having the last year off without much racing, I realized I was doing too much. It made sense due to it being my main social life since I'd been alone with just John up until last August. But now that I have Ryan in my life, I don't need that other social life as much. I'm enjoying sleeping in and coffee in bed and then running random places together. Life is so much less stressful that way. Racing can be a good stress, but it had consumed my life over the previous 5 years. I loved it, but it was definitely still stressful competing all the time. So for now, the only races on my schedule are the Mount Washington Road Race, Loon Mountain Race, Waterville Valley Mountain Race, Cranmore Mountain Race and the Boston Marathon. We have a tentative plan to take a vacation out west later in the year for another race, but it's too far out to make definite plans. I'm sure I'll add in some other races as the year progresses, but that's all I have so far.

While my running has been progressing well, I have unfortunately had the return of plantar fasciitis. I had spent 3.5 years with it in my right foot up until last April. Cutting back miles and no races seemed to have cured it. I spent almost one joyous year of no foot pain until I noticed its slow return in the LEFT foot this time, around the end of February after skate skiing. Then I noticed it while wearing my Bog boots at work in the Covid Testing Center. Long days on my feet in loose shoes. We were working outside all winter so these boots were almost imperative, but they definitely didn't do me any favors. The pain was only minor since I was only running 3 days a week, but once I started picking up the days and miles, it came back in full force, just like the summer of 2017. The pain can be excruciating at times and especially running downhill. I finally decided to see Hilary McCloy for dry needling and help with foot and lower leg strengthening. It seemed to be helping, but I'm still having a lot of pain at times. If you've never had plantar fasciitis, you might laugh it off like I did when people said they had it, but it seriously is one of the most debilitating injuries for a runner. Hilary's exercises seem to help so I'll keep doing them. Hopefully, I'll at least get to the point of it becoming just a dull, nagging pain like the right foot did eventually. But, man, right now, it really sucks. And, yes, I've tried everything you might want to suggest so I don't need anymore "advice". Haha.

Now onto non-running related stuff. Work has been killing me for the last 5 weeks. No sleep on Mondays for 5 straight weeks has been really rough. Wednesdays have only been slightly better since I get 3-4 hours of sleep. We finally got a break this past Monday with only one daytime transfer. I couldn't believe it. It's still better now that we're based at Memorial Hospital on Mondays. Saves driving back and forth to Tamworth. Plus, we don't deal with any drama. The base still needs some work, but it's been really nice being up there now. I'm still in Tamworth for 911s on Wednesdays, though, but we're now the only crew here so, also... no drama. I'm still at Conway Fire and finally got off probation in April. It should have been sooner, but everyone totally forgot about Chris Perley and me until we mentioned it to Garrett. The following week, we got a text saying we were off probation and now had our official Conway EMT helmets. I was super excited to try it on at my next shift, but now I'm not so sure I'll actually be able to ever wear it. Haha.

After a nice break from the Covid testing center for most of April due to a scheduling glitch, I've been back at it every Friday. We've gone from over 150 tests a day now to around 30, just like last summer. We're still swabbing positive people almost every day, but the numbers have gone way down. It's been excruciating sitting there for 8 hours with multiple hour breaks at time. We've been begging for the hours to be shortened, and literally just as I was writing this, the text came though. Starting tomorrow, we're open only 8-noon. Yay!! Now, I'll be more likely to help out on other days occasionally. I knew this position would be coming to a close at some point, and while it's been good, I'm ready for it. I have a feeling the Covid Cottage will close its doors completely by the end of the year. I've enjoyed being a part of Memorial's staff since the beginning of the pandemic, and it's the only reason I'm still there. I'll be happy for it to end if it means the end of the pandemic. 

In early April, Ryan and I bought tickets to see Greensky Bluegrass in New Haven, CT on a whim. We love their music, so we decided to venture down there for the show. Of course, 2 weeks later they booked a show at Meadowbrook in NH. Haha. Oh well. We looked forward to the weekend for over a month. Booked a cute Aibnb in a 1952 restored camper that was affordable and looked fun. Well, the trip ended up scaring us away from people, indefinitely. We're pretty much recluses to begin with, but this just sealed the deal. The Air B&B ended up being pretty awful due to absolutely ZERO privacy the whole time. Other Airbnb guests were in our space the ENTIRE time we were there staring at us. Posted quiet hours were 10pm, but they were still up playing music and talking loudly at midnight. Not only that, but the owner had joined in! We really wanted to sleep so Ryan finally had to get up to let them know they were keeping us up. Pretty sure the owner took offense to that, but these were her rules she had posted. And they were literally right outside the camper. We bolted as soon as we got up the next morning. 

The concert could have been great, but, man, the people were just obnoxious. Luckily, the music was absolutely amazing!! So good! I'd love to see them in NH, but now we're too scared. Haha. I think being so isolated outside of work for over a year has just made us extra sensitive to crowds and people in our space. The weekend wasn't all bad. We got in two good runs, one just across the border from Brattleboro, VT and the other on the Shenipsit Trail in CT. The second run was so peaceful with hardly any people. We felt like we could breathe again. As soon as we got home to our privacy in the woods, we felt so relieved. Now, I'm really thankful for our house here. The quiet and the space are what we crave, and I feel so lucky to have bought this house back when it was still cheap. It's market value has increased over 45% since I bought it. To buy a house here now would be impossible. I'm thankful I have this house to raise my son in and to now share with Ryan. It makes me happy.

Other happenings (Including a few running photos I forgot to include earlier). My 45th birthday came and went. I had to work a 24 hour shift so I wasn't able to celebrate that day. Birthdays only mean getting old now, so it wasn't exciting anyway. I did get surprised by Ryan and John the night before when they sang Happy Birthday to me. That was totally unexpected and awesome. I pulled out my phone to snag a photo quickly so it came out blurry. Haha.

Other random stuff over the last two months...

Lunch in Nashua after our run at Beaver Brook

Great Hill Fire Tower walk after helping Ryan with chores at the farm

Bed dog snuggles

B&M Ledge Hike with Ryan and John

Ryan lying in the snow at Gunstock during our Belknap traverse run

Post-Belknaps Twin Barns Brewing

Huge lump in the middle of my right shin from a box jump miss at Crossfit. This was just after the left leg healed from the same thing. Haha. 

We finally broke out the hipster Solo Stove. Got made fun of by my fire department coworkers for posting public photos of the stove too close to the house and without a permit. Not that I would have been fined since they're my coworkers. Haha. I made Matt sign a fire permit the next time I was at work. 

Rare to get John out on walks with me now so this was nice.

Ryan, Phoenix and I took a hike up to the Red Hill Fire Tower from Sandwich for a rest day.

My birthday present form Ryan. Haven't been able to use them much yet.

Ryan was just doing what the sign said!

Short Friday run up the Kelley Trail and down Old Mast Rd. Ended up in almost a foot of snow at one point.

Pawtuckaway run. I felt so bad. Ryan felt like shit the whole way. This photo hilariously shows it. Haha.

Sitting outside at the Memorial base before having my ass handed to me with transfers all night long.

South Doublehead hike with the dogs. I'd only planned to walk up just to the steeps but decided to keep going...wearing jeans. I'm sure the people I passed on the way down thought I was some dumb tourist. Haha.

Post Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway run beers and mexican food in Concord

After 7 years alone, my tulip found a companion. Phoenix loves lying in the sun so much!

Date night at Liquid Riot in Portland with this hottie

Conway Fire Department going away party for Tyler Richardson at Tuckerman Brewing. Ryan finally got to meet everybody.

John came home from school one day and spent 5 hours chopping wood and building a fire. His only phone time was when he applied for a job. This is such a rare moment so I put all other plans aside to hang out with him.

Phoenix loves Ryan

Laughing so hard we were nearly crying. Meanwhile, Phoenix was afraid for her life. Haha.

Bleaching his own hair and he didn't need my help. 😭😭

Albany Town Forest walk with John and the dogs

Sunrise from Maine Medical Center. Just another all-nighter at the job

Took Phoenix out for our first paddle of the year on Lake Chocorua.

So while the last 2 months haven't been super exciting, they have still been pretty great. Even after 10 months, I sometimes still can't believe I snagged such an amazing guy. I feel whole now with Ryan in my life. Like the piece that was missing the whole time. How did I get so lucky? I'm looking forward to having an entire summer together and celebrating our 1-year anniversary on August 6th. Plans are still up in the air for it, but we'll do something special.

John is about to finish his first year of high school. I'm still not sure about the public school education, but he's been doing well enough during a tough year. Thankfully, it was in-person for the whole year (minus a few remote days). He's in for a shocker next year when the school day returns to normal with an extra hour added on daily so I hope he adjusts ok. He might try the ski jump team next year, too, so that will be cool. He hasn't heard back from any of the jobs where he's applied so it looks like Storyland will be the fall back. I was hoping he could get a job closer to home since getting him to and from can be challenging with our schedules, but at least I have Ryan to help. Bryan is heading out west for few months to find aliens but hopefully he can help out if/when he comes back. He did actually step up and take John to school yesterday when John overslept. He's also said he'll pay for half of John's drivers ed course so that's cool. As crazy as he is, he's still not a deadbeat dad. Paying some child support would be nice, but I honestly don't need it so I don't even want to fight that battle. Not worth it for anyone. The most important thing is that he still has a positive relationship with John and that is definitely the case now. I'm sure I'm the "bad guy" parent attempting to enforce rules, but I don't mind. Somebody has to do it! Haha. I'm not even a strict parent at all, anyway.

So that's the update. Would have been more thorough if I hadn't waited 2 months. Hopefully, I'll put something up after the Mount Washington Road Race (which I'm actually training for...somewhat). 'Till then!