Wednesday, April 18, 2018

2018 Merrimack River Trail Race

This photo could be the story of my life. I'm actually laughing as I write that because I was laughing when it happened and sometimes you just have to laugh at your ridiculous life. It just sums it all up right there. That was the first of strange events that happened on Thursday, but I'll get to that later. Haha. Things were looking up this week. I felt so much better. I ran a really difficult long run and felt pretty good. I was ready to get back into it...until the 3rd of strange events happened on Thursday, but I'll get to that sooner rather than later. Yes, I'll be taking everything out of order. It's kind of how my mind works and how I do things. Always bouncing around different thoughts and doing multiple things as once until I realize I never finished the previous things. I do have the ability to focus sometimes, but not so much lately. My life has changed so drastically in the last 3.5 years that a lot of it is still new to me, and it's just so much. New relationships, new lifestyle, being single, just so much, letting people go, making new friends, letting people into my world for the first time ever. So I think that has a lot to do with my scatterbrain that is evident here. But I'll stop this before I keep going and prove myself right! Haha.

So like I said, I was feeling so much better and ready for marathon training crunch time, then whoever has my damn voodoo doll stuck a needle in its stomach. I got food poisoning! Vomited all night long starting just before midnight on Thursday night and continuing until about 7:30am Friday morning. Left me feeling tired and empty. Just what I needed, another fucking issue. Fortunately, I got out whatever the hell made me sick that last time I was up close and personal with the toilet, but it left me completely depleted and no desire to eat anything for 2 days. I basically had to force food down, but it just sat in my stomach most of the time. I wasn't even sure I would be able to race Merrimack on Saturday. Fortunately, I pulled it off and was able to get out of this very brief setback quickly, but what the FUCK. I mean seriously. I've never been this person. This person who always has something wrong with her. I'm not one of those people who plays up being sick to keep people's attention and pity. Why would I do that? I don't have the attention. I can't milk it so that I don't have to do the chores or take the dogs out or make dinner for John. We get no sick days at work. John can help me a bit, but I still have to do it all, sick or not. I don't like being sick. I used to consider myself a really healthy person, but I'm realizing that I really haven't been healthy much for awhile. I don't like being weak. This makes me feel like a weak person in general, and weak is NOT my M-O. I feel pitiful, and I hate that. Ugh. And it seems like all I do in my blog posts is complain. Bitch, bitch, bitch. When in reality, I actually laugh all the time. I'm just having a hard time writing funny things now or talking about the things that make me happy, except for John and the dogs. I don't have another Vermont City Marathon Blog Post left in me anymore. It's probably the most amazing blog post I ever wrote, and it can still bring me to happy tears every time I read it. But that person just isn't in me right now. So many good things I thought were possible then and in the year that followed were all false, and I am in a rut. A life's rut, not just running. Fortunately, I am strong enough of a person to realize that I will get out of it at some point, and that maybe I just have to hit all the lows again to get me there. That's what got me out of my marriage. I hit the last low and it gave me the push to finally change it. I feel like that's what's happening now. It's like I have to feel all of this shit. Live it, breathe it, cry over it and then I'll be able to slap myself upside the head for being a whiny bitch and move on. I know I'm going on and on again, but this is my outlet for it, and if you choose to read my drivel, I really do apologize. Haha. Why I choose to put it out there for the world to see, I really don't know because I've always been a fairly private person, but I guess I don't care about that anymore. And I also apologize for this never ending paragraph. I really did try to edit it and find a way to break it off, but it just never had a break. It's like a run-on sentence which takes me back to my inability to focus. Wasn't this supposed to be a running blog? Haha. I'll end it with a positive spin, though! I'm still down 4 pounds from being sick. Not quite my ideal race weight, but still under 120. Normally not the best way to lose weight, BUT every year since 2012, from mid-March to mid-April I've gained 7-8lbs for absolutely no reason I can figure out. This is FIRST time since then that I haven't which means I don't need to go crazy cutting weight for VCM...unless I start eating like a pig again in the next few weeks and gain all of the weight back plus some. Haha.
Ok. We all know this is a lie. It will happen again.
I was surprisingly able to get my miles back up to 60 for the week. Woohoo! Even with Friday's setback I pulled it off. I can't say I had a good race at Merrimack, but I expected it and went into it with the attitude of just enjoying the race and new course, which I did. The running plan didn't quite pan out due to the craziness of Thursday/Friday, but it just made things interesting for a day. Haha. I can at least say that I'm mostly happy with how the week turned out running-wise. I'm not super optimistic about Vermont City anymore, but I'm not giving up yet. I still have a little time.

Monday, April 9, 2018- I needed to recoup from the Doyle's after party so I opted not to get up and run early. The weather for the day looked beautiful so I decided I would run loops around the base later on.

Upon getting in my ambulance at work, I realized we had a terrible cardiac monitor on it. No way was that going to fly with us, and it's actually not even supposed to be on our ALS trucks since it has no capnography. So Jen and I ended up pulling off a heist at the North Conway base and switched out the crappy monitor with the really nice one that's just sitting on our backup truck there. (There's a whole issue going on there that I won't go on about.) We got caught off-guard and found the "supervisor" was there unexpectedly. He tends to hoard supplies and good equipment at the North Conway base while leaving our Tamworth base stripped of supplies and with bad equipment, so there was no way we were asking if we could switch monitors. The good monitor belonged on an active truck working under an ALS contract, not sitting on a back up truck under a BLS contract. So Jen distracted him upstairs while I pulled off the switch. We drove away with a high-five! We totally got busted due to the company snitch, and I guess the "supervisor" was pissed, but we had a legitimate reason for taking it, and the monitor stayed on the truck through Saturday. Haha.

After we had our first call, I decided to run. Jen offered to pick me up in the ambulance if we had a 911 if I wanted to run the road around the block instead of circles around the building. I totally took her up on that. I put my work clothes in the ambulance and went out. The block is just over 1.5 miles total basically running in and out of 2 towns 6 times. I only wanted to run close to 4.5 miles so I ran it 3 times. Very boring, but it felt so good to get out for a real run at work. It was a bit chilly but so nice out, and I felt really good, too. The tendons were barely noticeable, and the head cold was pretty much gone. The run was a little fast the first few miles since it's so flat, so I slowed it down. Mostly awesome positive splits. Haha. :) 4.7 miles for the total in 34:46. 7:20 avg pace.

That evening we had another encounter with the terrible paramedic on a 911 call. He kept his composure this time, but I wasn't going to stand for his behavior. He moved our bag to where I couldn't get to it so that he could put his stuff in the truck. When I got in after he did, I immediately demanded he get my bag and proceeded to throw his gear into the doorway. I then did the body block so that Jen and I could actually do the care that was needed until it was time for me to drive. En route he did nothing for the patient and called in a stroke alert when Jen and I knew he wasn't having a stroke, just low blood sugar. When we got to the hospital, the doctor wouldn't even listen to the paramedic. Literally turned his back on him mid-sentence. Turned out that Jen and I were right. How scary is that that an AEMT and an EMT knew better the patient's condition than a paramedic? He was very quiet on the drive back. Wouldn't even speak to us. I don't know if it's because he knew he was wrong on this one or if he just hated us that much that he couldn't say anything. Haha. It turns out things are actually in the works to have something done about him. It isn't just us, but also the hospital. It will be interesting to see what comes of it. Crazy the drama that surrounds EMS. You just don't know until you're in it just how cutthroat it can be. Blows my mind sometimes, and then I realize that oh yeah, I'm a guilty party in it.

We lucked out with sleep this time around. I was so glad, too, since I really needed it for the next day's long run.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018- Being gung ho about the clear dirt roads, I finally decided to try a run I'd never done before. With 16 miles as the plan, I mapped out the run on Strava, and it came out to 15.9. Wow! The elevation gain showed over 1500ft so I knew I was going to be in a world of hurt, but I was looking forward to it. It did NOT disappoint. I started at the Silver Lake Railroad in Madison and started on the familiar run up High St to North Division before veering off into uncharted territory toward Drake Hill Rd. It was as much of an ass-kicker as predicted. About 50/50 dirt road/pavement.
My splits were all over the place for the run with the drastic changes in ups and downs, but mile 5 took the cake with a steep climb of 242ft. 9:08 that mile. Haha. The rest of the run hovered in the 8s for the most part with some dips into the 7s. My plantar fasciitis decided to flare up a bit in the last 5 miles and became excruciating by the end. Although, the tendons were sore, I was surprised at just how minimal it was. I finished the run off with an even 16 miles by going .1 past the railroad station. 2:08:53. 8:03 avg pace. Normally I'd be upset with an average pace like that, but not on that run. It was pretty tough. 1,562ft of elevation gain. Pretty much what was predicted. I was actually pretty happy with this run despite it looking slow "on paper" (can we even use this term anymore?).

I got to John's school early for pick up so that I could get the dogs a walk in on the Jackman Pond Trail beforehand. The school dog joined us again which was fun...until I lost her. Oops. She's only 9 months old or so and a great dog but still doesn't listen too well so when we got halfway around the pond and she bolted, she didn't listen to me calling her back. I was so worried for the rest of the walk, but there was really nothing I could do since I had to get back to the school. I just hoped she ran back on her own. We finished off the full 2 mile walk just in time for John to come out. I told him about the dog so he went inside to tell the director, and it turned out that the dog had already come back on her own. Phew! I thought I'd lost the school dog forever. Haha.

That night was the usual ninja class and then prepping for another 24 hour shift at work. John decided to wear his mask from Halloween for ninja class and made me put it on. I don't think it quite fit my face. Haha.

So pitiful. Haha.
Wednesday, April 11, 2018- Usual treadmill run in the morning. 4 miles in 31:06. 7:46 avg pace. Nothing crazy. Pretty steady day with calls. It was seizure day apparently. One might have been faking it, even though I don't think so, and the other had a massive brain bleed. Fun, fun! A few other things here and there, but once again, a full night's sleep! Can you believe how short this part of my blog post is?! I'm just adding in these extra sentences to make it longer. :)

Thursday, April 12, 2018- It started off normally then turned into far more drama than I'd planned. Haha. My brother and his new girlfriend were coming to Boston for a conference he had to attend. Crazy that this would be my brother's first trip to New England since New England has been my home (for the most part) since 1999. Obviously, this would be their first time in Boston, so I was excited to have them here. We were going to go out then I was staying over with them that night.

I left close to 9am for the drive south with a planned stop at Middlesex Fells to run the Skyline Trail before going on to Boston. I had been noticing some increased shaking in my rear passenger side tire lately and just hoped it would hang in there until my appointment for new tires the following Tuesday. Well, just as I crossed the Rochester/Dover line, the tire blew. You'd think I'd start cussing up a storm and pitching a fit, but instead, I just started laughing. I did it to myself. I waited way too long to get the new tires, so I just laughed at myself and got a tow truck via my insurance company. The tire was absolutely dead, and I wasn't wasting any effort putting on a spare. My car is 6 years old with 130,000 miles on it, and I've never once used the towing that I pay for, so I decided today was the day.

At least it was good weather!
The tow truck driver got there in about 20 minutes then drove me south to Town Fair Tire in Somersworth. My appointment for Tuesday was the same company, just the one in Portsmouth, so it kind of worked out. What didn't work out was that they didn't have any tires close to the cost of what I had ordered, but I really didn't care. This was going to save me a trip back down here on Tuesday, and it would all be done with. I would only get to Boston about 2.5 hours later than planned. No biggie, though, since it didn't really matter when I got there. It was actually the best time my tire could have blown since I was alone with nowhere I really had to be at a certain time, and I was right near a tire place. So, it all worked out in that sense. What also didn't work out was that I now had to run in Somersworth instead the Skyline Trail. Booo.

I got my car all set then ventured out on a run of Somersworth. I'll be honest in saying that it definitely wasn't something worth running again, but the day was beautiful (I even got a slight tan!) and new-to-me roads at least kept it interesting. The guy at the tire place recommended the power line trail right next to there, so I was super excited...until it ended .85 miles into it. I forget that non-runners often don't get the distance thing. Haha. But it was ok, I just turned and started running the road. I ran through a cemetary and then about a half mile of trail at ballpark before finishing it up on the road. I did miss a turn somewhere on the way back since I didn't realize at the time that I came out on a different road from the ballpark than I went in on. I was glad I had my phone so I took a look at the map and readjusted my route back. Haha. 8 miles total in 1:02:49. 7:50 avg pace. I ran comfortably and never looked at my watch. 328ft of elevation gain. Once back, I changed clothes then waited another hour before my car was all done and I was back on the road. Woohoo.

So that's what tread looks like!
The drive into Boston was quick except for a slowdown on Storrow Drive. I had booked valet parking at the Mandarin Oriental on Boylston since it was right near the Marriott where they were staying. Hard to believe with Boston Marathon weekend coming up that the cheapest parking for 24 hours in the Back Bay was here, but I managed to luck out. $20. Easy enough. And valet parking just makes you feel fancy for a few minutes before reality kicks in and you realize you look like a hick from New Hampshire.

I met my brother, Brandon, and his girlfriend, Jessica 2.0 at the bar of the Marriott. She's called 2.0 because Brandon's 2nd ex-wife is also Jessica. Haha. Yeah, we O'Dell's aren't the greatest at holding down marriages. Only my brother, Jason, has survived. But to be fair, even though my parents had been previously married before marrying each other, they have been together for almost 45 years now. So there's something to be said about 2nd marriages at least. Well, unless, you're Brandon. Haha. So, anyway, I said a quick hello, grabbed the room key and headed upstairs to clean up. At this point, I hadn't showered in 31 hours and I had run. Talk about gross. So I showered then got all dressed up for Boston! Ok, so dressed up is the same as my every day and post-race clothes (just cleaner). Granted, if it were warmer, I would have worn a dress...that I'd wear every day in the summer and post-race (just cleaner). Haha.

I look so...what's the word? Oh! New Hampshire!
I met them back at the bar, and by this time I'm starving. I never ate dinner the night before (although, I'll confess that I had a Butterfinger Blizzard that my partner, Jeff, bought me around 5ish; it could definitely count as dinner). We decided to venture out somewhere to eat. I didn't realize that they wanted me to choose a place. Hmmm. The places I wanted to go were kind of a long walk, like the Barking Crab and the Tip Tap Room or the North End, and Jessica didn't bring any shoes for walking. Haha. She ended up being a trooper in the boots she wore and still walked pretty far. As far as the Back Bay for restaurants, I had no idea. Then Brandon asked about Cheers. I'll admit that I went to Cheers my second time in Boston in 1995 since my friend wanted to show me all the stuff, so I got it. I walked them over there and they got their token photo by the awning and under the sign. We decided to go down to the pub for a drink and apps since I needed food. Well, the beer list sucked and the quesadilla there is most likely what made me end up sick all night since I walked out of there definitely not feeling right. It was only an app quesadilla  and chips and salsa so it really wasn't much food, but I walked out of there with my stomach feeling like I'd just eaten a Fisherman's Platter.

Jessica and Brandon and Plain Jane

Turns out they wanted to see Quincy Market so we could have gone to the Tip Tap Room or the North End after all, but at this point no one was hungry. I walked them through there, then they wanted to stop at Sterling's in Govt Center for more drinks. So, at this point, I had had one beer and was about to have one more. My brother was just about to have his 3rd and 4th vodka and soda, although these would both be doubles so it was more like 5th and 6th. On our way out of there, things started to get weird. We walked up the steps to the T station to take the T back so that Jessica didn't have to walk, and Brandon started to get a little mean to her. So... they were fighting. Awkward!

Once back at the Pru, Brandon had to veer off and make an appearance at a conference event in the Sheraton so Jessica and I went back to the Marriott bar and hung out chatting for over an hour until Brandon came back. It was fun getting to know her a bit since this was my first time meeting her. For some stupid reason, I ended up ordering a burger even though I wasn't hungry at all. That ended up being a bad idea. When Brandon came back, the night ended up turning bad. I don't want to bash my brother too much here, but he and liquor don't mix, and he had had three more drinks at the conference thing, then two more with us at the table.. He turned into a monster and was so mean to Jessica. We got him back upstairs where he proceeded to start screaming and kicking our room door which caused that inside door lock hook to fall, locking us out. He started to fight the guy who came to unlock it and screaming at people who came out of their rooms. I was mortified, embarrassed and nearly in tears since I was having to physically get in between him and the hotel worker. He's had incidents like this before after drinking liquor, but this was my first time ever witnessing it. It was really hard to experience. He almost got kicked out and arrested, but we got him in the room. He insisted on going dancing, though, and said he was going without us. I just couldn't do it. I was done. And I was starting to feel sick. He walked out, so Jessica went with him. I was happy to be away from it, but I was so disappointed in how everything had gone down. It got worse since they just ended up back at the bar downstairs. I don't know how he wasn't arrested, but they both made it back to the room within about 45 minutes. At this point, I had been lying in the bed the whole time pretty sure I needed to throw up. And sure enough, I did, and then I did again and then again. It was so bad. What a fucked up day!

Friday, April 13, 2018- After throwing up one last time in the morning, I was so shaky and dehydrated that I got dressed (in the running clothes for my now thwarted run along the Charles; day 2 of thwarted run plans!), went downstairs and bought a Gatorade and a Life Water. I sat in the lobby and pounded the Gatorade then waited a bit to see if it was going to stay down. Fortunately, it did so I went out for some fresh air and a walk down to the Public Garden where I sat in the sun for awhile watching all of the excited runners there for the marathon. I have to say that I really enjoyed being in Boston seeing all of the excitement a lot more knowing that I wasn't running it. Haha.

I walked back with the expectation that Brandon would still be asleep. I planned to wake him and say a quick goodbye since I just wanted to go home at this point. He turned out to be awake, though, and I'm really glad he was because we (Him, Jessica and me) ended up talking about the night before for probably an hour. He had vague memories of the night, but remembered none of the anger and meanness. I didn't sugar coat anything for him either as to how he was and that he needed to cut out the liquor. It was a good sign that he didn't try to brush it under the rug. He kept wanting to talk about it and asked us a lot of questions. I could see true pain in his face for having let this happen. I think it really helped him to hear it from me because I'm his sister, and he genuinely felt badly that he had acted that way in front of me. He figured out as best he could that he had had about 13 drinks (plus one beer) over the course of the day, with most of them over a span of 6 hours. I was really glad I did stay and help him get through that. Jessica would end up texting me three days later to let me know that he hadn't touched another drop of alcohol and that he couldn't stop talking about that night. That he felt so badly about it. She said she finally had to tell him it was ok and that he could stop. She said the rest of their trip was wonderful. I was SO glad to hear that. I just hope he can stay away from it since nothing good has come from it for him.

I said my goodbyes and took the elevator down. My stomach was starting to feel ok-ish so I got a small coffee and lemon loaf at Starbucks downstairs before walking to get my car. My car was pointing towards the Boston Marathon Finish Line when I got in it, and it's a straight shot down Boylston to 93 so I went that way, driving under it. That was pretty cool.

I was able to keep down the coffee and lemon loaf, but it just sat in my stomach. I still felt completely drained and tired. I could barely keep my eyes open for the drive. I had planned to run from John's school when I got there, but when I passed the Cotton Valley Rail Trail in Wakefield, I turned around and went back to it. I thought this would make a good run, even though I had absolutely no desire to run. Haha. I was so tired that I had to sleep for about 20 minutes first before getting myself out. From Rt 16, the rail trail looked completely clear of snow and ice, but that would not be the case. Haha. A quarter mile in, showed it to be the opposite. Almost 100% covered. I had microspikes in the car, but I didn't feel like going back for them. I just ran a mile and a half out then turned around. I was way too beat to even be running and the snow/ice just made it worse. Not even worth the effort. The only thing it did help was to loosen up my legs that were so sore and stiff from the drive. 3.1 miles felt like 20. 28:17. Hahaha.

I stopped at the store then picked up John from school. I was so happy to see him. I had called him the night before when Brandon and Jessica left to go dancing since I needed someone to talk to about what had just happened. Kind of cool that he's old enough now for me to do that. (My other friend I would have messaged about it had long since gone to bed because he had to get up early for work. WTF. Work on Friday? What's that about?)

Once we got home, I took the dogs out, showered and then plopped down on the couch for This is Us episodes. I was so tired. Like so, so, so tired. I'd still eaten nothing since the lemon cake so I had to find something I could stomach. The only thing I felt like eating, and I'm guessing probably because of the high sodium factor, was ramen. Yes, that 10 cents a package ramen. Haha. This exactly...

So I had ramen for my pre-race dinner. Haha. I knew I had to just give up on doing well the next day. I didn't even know if I was going to make it to the starting line, to be honest. I decided I was definitely going down with the plan to race. If I threw up or felt really bad on the warm up, I'd just stay and spectate or volunteer (if needed). At that point, it almost sounded like a much better idea. Haha.

Saturday, April 14, 2018- Merrimack River Trail Race-

I did make it to the start line!
I had been really excited to be going back to Merrimack after skipping it last year, especially with the new course. I was a little bummed not feeling the 100% I thought I would be feeling just 2 days prior, but it was what it was. I was just happy to be there. Even though I had no desire to eat anything, I forced down a bacon, egg and cheese bagel on the way and had some coffee. I really needed the calories to get through the race, and I just hoped that I didn't ruin getting to the start line by stupidly eating a breakfast sandwich. Haha. My stomach was definitely wonky and I was a little nervous since it felt like the food was just sitting in it, but once we got going on the warm up, I felt ok, and my stomach seemed to settle. It was nice being here and seeing so many people I knew as we ran the warm up. It was a lot of the Mountain Series crowd whom I won't be seeing much of this year. The weather was so nice and a lot warmer than expected. I was way too warm by the time we finished the 2 miles. I can't remember the last time I'd been at a race start with pleasant weather. Haha.

I stripped down to my singlet, made sure John and the dogs were all set, then walked over to the start. Petey gave his usual fun pre-race announcement then sent us on our way. I love this race because you literally have about 10 yards from the start before it turns right into single track. Whenever any of my racers complain to me about my race needing more than a 1/4 mile of wide space before entering the single track, I'm seriously rolling my eyes (in my mind) and thinking, "I should introduce you to the Merrimack River Trail Race." Haha.

Today, I was really thankful for the less crowded race because it made that quick entry into the single track not bad at all. I fell right in line with some people right away. In fact, it was so perfect, that once past that bridge, there was very little place exchange for me the entire rest of the race. I passed a guy just before the overpass, and he passed me right back. One guy passed me shortly after that and ended up between Christin and me. Later on in the race, I would pass one guy who then passed me back. So I literally gave up one place the entire race. Crazy since it's usually so different there for me. But, anyway, I felt like we were going at a good pace and not crazy fast like the last two times I've run here, but when my watch said 6:56 for the first mile, I was a bit taken aback. Oops. That was too fast. 2 and 3 years ago that wouldn't have been too fast, but in my broken condition today, it was too fast. I didn't look at my splits again until mile 5, so when I looked back and saw I ran 7:19 and 6:56 for miles 2 & 3, I realized why I was all of a sudden beat at mile 3. Haha. Of course mile 3 is where we start the real rolling part of the course so I slowed anyway. The hamstring tendon problem was ever apparent on the every single climb, even the short ones. Just no power at all. Power hiking will have to become my friend again for sure since it's now MUCH faster up the longer, steeper hills than running. Comparing a few of the climbs on Strava from the past years really shows how much my tendon problems have slowed me down. 10 seconds slower over .1 for "The Dipsea Steps" segment on Strava compared to 2015 is significant.

For the first 3.5 miles, this one guy ran right on my heels. Like, literally right behind me. All it took was the one and only longer, "technical" downhill to lose him. Like he was on my heels at the top and by the bottom, I could barely hear him. Man, I looooove technical downhill. Haha. I was happy to lose him because he was driving me nuts running so close. No idea who he was either since I never once turned around to look at him. My guess is that it was either the guy in the blue shirt or the guy being covered by my ponytail. Haha.

As we approached the power lines, I could see the guy standing where the trail would begin the loop, thus the end of the out-and-back that used to be so crowded on the old course. This also meant the new longer, steeper climb to the power lines. It did not disappoint; it was certainly steep. As I approached the last third of it, I did finally start power hiking, and sure enough, it was much faster than my run. I think that helped me run it faster than people who ran the whole race 10 minutes faster than me.

We crossed the power lines and began the loop section which I really, really liked. We stayed up high on the way back and then down lower on the way back. The amount of rolling hills pretty much stayed the same. After the turn back at 4.75 (GPS) miles, the two guys in front of me had about a 15 second lead on me, and I never once saw a single person behind me the entire second half every time I looked back, so I kind of got complacent for the section back to the powerlines and found myself losing focus and thus race mode. I got it back a little after we got back on the out and back section when I caught a glimpse of Christin ahead of me, maybe 45 seconds. I ended up picking it up a bit and passed one of the guys in front of me. Unfortunately, I don't think he liked that very much and just stayed on my heels and tried to chat. And of all questions he chose to ask, "What team are you racing with?" Hahahahaha. I was definitely not running chat pace, and then I realized this wasn't a one word answer. Damn me and my damn multiple teams! Hahaha.

I had the angst of Scarlett!!
I finally decided against explaining and just said, "CMS". He kept talking and I humored him with a response, but that was it. I had no more breath for talking and he finally passed me again to catch the guy in front of me. Since I no longer had any glimpses of Christin (and would learn she put on over a minute on me in about the last 3.5 miles), I kind of lost focus again. I could still see the guys in front of me, though. Strangely, we came up on a guy who was running really slowly. I thought it was a guy must have been way out front who had dropped back, but looking at the photos, he was never in front of us, so he must have just turned back at some point to jog it in. But I had him, and the other two in my sights when I all of a sudden noticed we were almost down to the road. It only took a second to realize that we were on the old course. That we'd missed the turn up the new big (and final) climb. Ugh!!! I was so mad. How the hell did I go off course at Merrimack AGAIN?! Haha. Well, just like last time, I followed the people in front of me. I must have been totally zoned out to have missed the turn since the course had been really well-marked. I was actually pretty bummed out to miss the hill, and I thought about turning around and going back. In hindsight, I probably should have, but I could already see that we were close to the intersection of the correct course so I kept going. The only thing I worried about was whether or not Christin was still ahead of me. I knew the wrong way was maybe only .1 shorter, and she had had a huge lead, but it still made me nervous. Fortunately, Brian Gallagher just happened to have dropped out of the race and was walking back just as we came out on the road so I asked him if Christin was still ahead. He said she was. Phew. I was relieved. No one had been anywhere near me from behind when I went the wrong way so I wasn't concerned about having taken anyone's advantage away so it all worked out. I would have have stopped and waited if I had passed Christin by going the wrong way.

This last section was flat and fast just like the beginning, but I was kind of losing energy at this point. The two guys who were right in front of me at the road crossing put on a full minute on me for one and 31 seconds for the other which shows just how slowly I ran. They had never really been more than 10-15 seconds ahead of me the entire race. I just couldn't muster up the speed, and I think a lot of that happened to be just from being sick and depleted since it really should have been much faster than it was. I gave up a little too much in the last quarter mile or so and cost me going under 1:14. Haha. Oh well. Came in 3rd female in 1:14:05. 21st overall. Full Results

Coming into the finish
I wasn't super happy with my time, but it was all good. I was ok with it since I know that I'm slower right now than 2015 & 2016 with my body just falling apart. Haha. I was still happy to get 3rd female. And I really loved the new course. It probably won't work out to run it next year since I really am planning to do Boston in 2019, and they will probably fall on the same weekend. So it looks 2020, I will be back at Merrimack! Haha.

As soon as I finished, I grabbed some snacks for me and cookies for John. I took those back to the car then went out for a 2-mile cool down on the trail in the opposite direction of the race. For my award, I got another pair of the gloves and some Goya cookies, and then I actually won something in the raffle this time! Yay. 2 pairs of socks, chestnuts and Cream of Wheat. Haha.

I stayed for a bit after getting warmed up in the car then John and I took the dogs for a walk on the trail. John fished a basketball out of the river that looked almost brand new and was still almost completely pumped up.

We went right home from the race with only a stop at Starbucks and Five Guys for John. My stomach was still messed up, but I tried to force the Goya cookies down. I couldn't finish them and wanted nothing to do with food the rest of the day. When we got home, John was still in the backseat of the car when he said he was stuck and needed my help. I turned around to find this vine ring he'd brought back from the Rivah stuck around his neck and shoulder! I quickly rushed back take some photos. Hahaha! :D Then I helped him out of it.

I showered then hit the couch. I was so done. Whatever energy I had had left was completely gone. Not eating didn't help. I couldn't even get up. I watched 3 episodes of This is Us, and one of them was the really sad episode (not going to give it away) so of course I cried. Haha. The show is a little depressing, but it's also so good! Typical Saturday night in Loserville. Maybe one day that will change, but I don't see it anytime in my future. At least I have my awesome kid who finally came in there and saw me in my sad state. He made me laugh and then asked if I wanted some cinnamon toast. For the first time ever, my kid made me dinner. It may have just been toast, but the cinnamon sugar part was something he had made in baking class himself. I asked for just one slice of bread folded over since I didn't think I could eat more than that. Omg. It was so sweet of him. To go without being cooked for for so long and then have it be John who made it for me really made this so much more meaningful.

I went to bed pretty early. I was so tired.

Sunday, April 15, 2018- I actually got a lot of sleep and felt much better the next morning. The weather was so crappy, though. Nothing but ice. I almost fell so many times just taking the dogs out. It was nasty. I wasn't driving or running outside anywhere this morning. So depressing. April 15th and I'm having to do a long run on the treadmill. It was supposed to be 13 miles which I would have had no problem doing 2 months ago, but, now, I'm done with long runs on the treadmill. I was amazed I made it to 10.5, and it seemed like FOR-EVER. 1:20:05. 7:38 avg pace. Exactly what I was going for pace-wise today.

After my run, I thought I would be tired, but I actually felt good. I had eaten some Cream of Wheat (haha, my Merrimack winnings) in the morning before my run and didn't feel bad from it. I kind of had my energy back, too. Good thing food poisoning effects are short-lived. Haha. I took the dogs out again, and I could tell by the sound of the cars on Rt 16 that the road was clear. What to do? What to do? Go play candlepin! I dragged a reluctant John out to Saco Valley Lanes in Fryeburg, and once again, John loved it. He even wanted to play a 3rd game. He got his first spare ever, too, which had him almost beating me in the second game. I had a good first game, but it went all downhill from there...kind of like my races lately. Haha. It was still really fun. I just wish it wasn't so expensive or we'd play more often. It's the only thing to do indoors around here. This place sucks so bad. It really does. We make the best of it, but it just has so little to offer outside of the mountains and lakes.

That was pretty much it for our day. I did actually eat dinner that night and really looked forward to WATCHING the Boston Marathon from a distance the next day. Haha. I was so glad not to be running it this year. For once in my life, I was thankful to be poor or else I would have been out there. Haha. Thanks, but no thanks. I'll take my chances on it again next year.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

2018 Doyle's Emerald Necklace

Coming off a bad race and my body a mess meant it was time for a down week. Would I have done that on my own? No. Probably not. Haha. Thank you to "Coach Person" for keeping me at bay because it did wonders. I struggled through some of my runs with the lack of energy the first part of the week. Energy came back, but I was still struggling to breathe due to the congestion that lingered. The cough diminished, but I would still have many coughing fits...especially when someone made me laugh. I still had no appetite until Thursday when it finally came back. So things definitely got much better by the weekend, just as I was hoping since Doyle's Emerald Necklace was on Sunday. I wanted to have a good race for the first time in forever. Crazy how much better I felt in a week since the Boston Tune-Up. Tendon pain was significantly diminished. I needed this light running week more than I thought. It was a nice mental break, too, kind of like my week off LAST April when I didn't have to think much about running. Basically just getting some runs as best I could. Ended up with 37.1 miles this week. 1,463ft of elevation gain. One zero day that I really needed on Monday. One treadmill run, one trail run and 4 road runs, including the race on Sunday.

Unfortunately, the only thing the light week didn't help was the intestinal issue. It's safe to say that it wasn't bacterial. Kills me that I took antibiotics for nothing, but it was still worth trying. I thought that maybe, just maybe it was getting better, but nope. Some days are definitely worse than others, but overall, there has been very little, if any, overall improvement. Where do I go from here? Haha. Nowhere. Just going to deal and hope my body will eventually heal on its own. Positive thinking...which I do very little of these days. I guess it's time to start.

Monday, April 2, 2018- I originally thought I felt good enough to get up and run something, but when my 4:15am alarm went off, I knew it wasn't happening. I needed the extra hour of sleep more so than a run. I needed it more than I knew because we'd end up having our asses handed to us overnight at work. Work was somewhat busy. Just Jen and I alone had 5 calls total and 4 transports. There were 3 more transports plus 3 other calls combining all the crews. Just by luck of the draw, we did the most. The early evening calls were fire alarms so we ended up in fire alarm battles with the other overnight crew hoping we'd win out. We lost. Haha. It was fun, though. Actually had Jen and me in hysterics as I tried to clear us over the radio, fumbled my words, started over and then we both busted out laughing over the radio. Haha. That was followed immediately by a message to me from Duncan, the one who was dispatching us, with a "Wowwwww." And laughing emojis. Haha. Duncan used to work with us until he got the dispatching job; his leaving was the reason I was able to take the Monday 24 hour shift Tamworth. It was pretty funny, though. The only problem? Laughter brings on a coughing fit that lasts about 5 minutes.

Speaking of coughing. I was feeling better on Monday, except still pretty congested. I took a walk around the ambulance base many times to make the 3 miles. We had beautiful weather up here while southern New England was in a snow storm.

We ended up with 2 calls overnight which left us little sleep time. It seems like intentional overdosing season is here. Tends to happen at the end of Fall and the beginning of Spring. This was our second overnight call. We had the misfortune of the worst paramedic I think I've ever worked with showing up and taking over the scene. He was awful. And when I say awful, I mean AWFUL. He doesn't know what the hell he's doing so he panics and then starts screaming at everybody. It was totally unprofessional and uncalled for, and he did very little for the patient still. Jen and I did our jobs while he fiddle-fucked around and then questioned my blood sugar reading because he assumes our equipment is faulty. He literally stopped patient care to take the test strips out after I had taken the reading. I knew what he was doing, and I finally got a little snippy with him. He was looking to see the expiration date of our strips because he didn't believe the reading I got could be accurate. I said, "Those strips aren't expired. I checked those myself this morning." Honestly, I even had it memorized. 11/18. Still delaying care, he says, "How long have they been opened?" I said, "I can't tell you that." Him, "Well, if it's over 3 months, then they're expired." Me, "It's highly unlikely these have been opened for over 3 months. We go through them quickly." Then he mumbled something about me switching trucks which I can't even figure out the meaning of. He was also making up different women's names for me the entire time. "Janet" and then "Sue". That dick knows my name so I don't know what the fuck that was about. First off, he ended up doing nothing for this patient other than delaying further care by sitting on scene. Jen and I did most of the work before I got in the driver's seat to drive. First thing you learn as a basic EMT. This is not your emergency. It's your patient's. Well, he turned this into his emergency and made clear his incompetency as paramedic. I came really close to telling him to calm the fuck down, but I bit my tongue. He's a dick and will always be a dick. Turns out he did the same thing to another crew later that day. He was even screaming at nurses and other people on scene. Totally unprofessional. If I knew a complaint against him would go anywhere, I'd make one. His behavior and terrible care were uncalled for.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018- I was super tired when we got back to the base after that call and wasn't super psyched to see a message from John's school on my phone that John never showed up at his van stop. OMG. I'm in a panic just hoping he overslept. Fortunately that was the case, but it was too late for him to catch the van. I was already getting out of work late because of the last call so I told John I'd come home and take him to school as soon as I could. Tamworth->home->Tamworth. Oh remember, that change in the parenting plan I didn't agree to? Well, Bryan did it anyway (unofficially since I didn't agree to it) and picked up a permanent shift that morning. So I was able to throw that right in his face. He's stolen even more of my time now. He was supposed to be responsible for John until 10am. It was perfect timing to show how him violating the parenting plan resulted in me having to pick up his slack. Will he learn? Nope. He's not there in the mornings to make sure John is up for school. He thinks because he's working every day he deserves a pass at parenting, like that makes up for it. Instead he's shirking his responsibility as a parent. He spends (if even!) a total of maybe 10 hours with John a week. Maybe 4 hours on Monday and Wednesday evening and then maybe 2 hours tops with him on Thursdays before he drops him off at home with me even though it's his parenting time. I just don't have the heart to make my son live in a van anymore. I provide his only home, and if he wants to be there every night, he can. Me? Tuesday, Thursday (most) and Friday from when he gets out of school until he goes to bed. And then I have him every weekend. All of it. That doesn't qualify as equal parenting time, and if I wanted to pursue it in court, he wouldn't have a leg to stand on. A judge would probably laugh in his face. However, I'm trying to avoid court because it costs $$$$, and I want him to continue following through on paying for John's school since it's the first real financial contribution he's made to John's expenses in the 3.5 years we've been divorced. So, anyway, Bryan drama. And guess what, there's more! But I'll leave that one out. Just more attempts at manipulation to leave himself in a better position and me screwed over. He really and truly thinks I'm stupid if he thought I would fall for what he tried to pull today. Amazing. The one positive thing that HAS occurred since John started school that I should point out is that their relationship has improved greatly. No more angry outbursts. No more fighting. So in a way, I really shouldn't complain because now the time they do spend together is actually quality time, and that's a huge deal. They needed the space apart to make their relationship better. I'm just irritated that I'm getting taken advantage of in the process.

So as soon as I got home from work, I made coffee quickly since I was struggling to keep my eyes open, then John and I got in the car for the drive to school. He was less than 30 minutes late so it wasn't too bad. Once I dropped him off, I decided to go ahead and take the dogs for a walk on the Jackman Pond Trail (it literally runs through and behind John's school's property) before driving home. It was actually a really gorgeous morning. We walked about 1.5 miles total then I drove home.

Still in my uniform and you can tell how tired I am. Greasy hair. >26 hours since my last shower. Haha.

I was feeling the lack of sleep at this point, but I still needed to get a run in. It was too nice out not to. I parked at the Conway Lake Beach and ran up Davis Hill, partly up Gulf Rd and then back to the car via Brownfield Rd. I coughed quite a bit in the first mile, but it mostly stopped after that. The run was slow for the long, gradual climb up, and then faster for the last 4-ish miles. I definitely felt worn out, and my head was pretty congested, but it was still an ok run. 8.2 miles. 1:04:29. 7:51 avg pace. 574ft of gain which is almost all in the first 4.5 miles.

Almost kayak ready on Conway Lake
I only had time to shower and write my report from the middle of the night call before I had to go back to John's school to pick him up. I took the dogs out again, and Phoenix played with the school dog again. I took a look at the lambs before John came out and realized there were pigs, too!!

Looking much better cleaned up. Procrastinating on writing my report

John is always happy and talkative when I pick him up from school. I love it. He even hung out in the kitchen with me a little bit before going off to his room. I was trying to get a photo of the National Snowshoe Race medal that I didn't want but was mailed to me anyway. Haha. Had no idea until later that John photobombed me. Haha.

This was the photo I was planning to use for this, but I had to put the one above in too...

John's mop head climbing on me in the car
I was surprisingly not that tired, but I still sat around for a few hours before John's ninja class. I didn't really go to bed at a decent hour so I'd pay for that the next few days since I couldn't catch up on my sleep.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018- I was able to get myself up easily for a 5 mile run on the treadmill. I actually felt pretty good and ran it slightly faster than I planned. Also added some 3% grade back in there, too. 38:16. 7:39 avg pace. Not fast like I used to run on the treadmill, but faster than I've been running lately. Haha.

7am marked the start of my torturous 48 hour shift. I did it to myself. I'm too busy every other Thursday this month to pick up a shift so when I saw the open 24 hour shift on the tradeboard for this Thursday, I cringed and then clicked on the pick-up request button. I got the shift and then proceeded to question my sanity for the last week. It's ALL overtime for the last 24 hours of the 48, and I really need the money to get new tires for me car...yep, still procrastinating on those. My car has to be inspected this month, and all 4 tires are bald so it definitely won't pass. haha. Weird that the two back tires lasted 4 years, but the front two only lasted 2 years. They're the exact same tire, just purchased to 2 years apart. It could just be how much more I'm driving now than I did the first year or so with the older tires. But anyway, I sucked it up and packed for 48 hours at the North Conway base with a plan to run on the trail out back on Thursday.

We had just enough calls throughout the day to keep from getting bored. Two of the 911s were to the same place twice. Grrr. The first 911 ended up being a critical patient. And then the other was a sign off. Got in an upper body and abs workout during the day. Yay! Energy is coming back. The last call got us back to base just before midnight. Got only about 5.5 hours of sleep.

Thursday, April 5, 2018-  I got up at 6am to run on the trail out back of the base so I could get that out of the way, shower and get on with the day. 5 miles going back and forth on the trail. It was really cold and windy. Brrr. My 5th mile got a little messed up with the GPS so the time is also messed up. Ran in the 8s for pace even though the GPS shows 9. Added on 5 minutes to mile 5. Haha. I thought I would run another 5 miles later in the day, but Coach Person talked me down since it wouldn't really benefit me much while I was trying to recover. I was happy he said that because when it came to later, the last thing I wanted to do was run again. I did end up walking 2 miles on the trail out back instead and doing abs and plyo. That was enough. The day was painful with only ONE call...a fire alarm. I ended up watching episodes of This is Us on my phone. Haha.

Friday, April 6, 2018- It felt so good going home. Yay!! It took me awhile to get back out of the house for a run up Passaconaway Rd/High St/Crossover Rd. Only 6 miles. I guess I was feeling pretty good because I ran it faster than planned. 44:00. 7:18 avg pace. Rain and snow were predicted for later in the day, but I lucked out with sunny skies and warmer than expected temps.

I ran some errands that included getting my nails done and the grocery store then it was home for awhile. Bryan had the dogs with him all day, and I was really missing Phoenix. 5 minutes before I had to leave to pick up John, they came home. She was so excited to see me and went nuts. I could barely snag a non-blurry picture of her. It was so nice to have my dogs home.

The snow started on our way down to pick up John. 1-3 inches possible. I thought it would never stick, but it definitely was. And it didn't stop. Got heavier and heavier. After I picked up John we drove all the way to Saco River Brewing in Fryeburg for their first ever can release. By the time I got home, my car had accumulated about and inch of snow on the hood. It was crazy. And the snow never stopped. By the next morning, we had close to 4 inches of snow! WTF. Ugh. Fortunately, this time of year, it melts really fast, but still. We didn't do anything but hang around the house the rest of the night.

Their beer is great.

Phoenix was extremely jealous that John had Chill up on the couch.

John snuggling with Chill
Saturday, April 7, 2018- Woke up to a beautiful mostly sunny morning. It made the new powder snow look so pretty.

I had some bills to pay that morning and decided to do my car and dog registration online. The pin they gave me for the car didn't work so I ended up doing it by mail. Saved me the $3 fee anyway. Then I went onto the dog registration page which did work...except it said their rabies vaccinations on file were expired. Huh. I pulled their rabies certificates out of my file. Phoenix's was good since I did it last year, but oops, Chill's had expired in FEBRUARY. Eek. I had no idea! I realized that this had to be taken care of TODAY since they were due on April 30th. I couldn't make any of the other clinic times at Petco, Petsmart or Tractor Supply except today. And of course, neither our Petsmart or Petco offers them so I realized we had to go to the Rochester Petco and get there before 1pm! Ugh. I had no desire to make the drive today, but it had to be done, and it's only an hour from my house.

Good thing I only had 4-5 miles in the plan for my run this morning. I decided to do a loop from home through Conway Village and back via Cranmore Shores. The way out was fine, and I felt really good. The quicker pace came easy. This was a good sign for the next day's race. I felt like all of my energy was back. Yay! Unfortunately, running through Cranmore Shores on the way back was a bad choice. The paved portion still had a lot of snow on the road, and the dirt road part was completely covered. Slowed me way down, but that was probably a good thing anyway. 4.5 miles in 34:09. 7:34 avg pace.

I showered then we headed down to Rochester. It ended up being a better choice since most of the snow in the woods was melted unlike my planned hike here in North Conway so it all worked out. We got to Petco at 12:30. It only took about 25 minutes to get in and out of there. $19 for an exam and the vaccine is all I'm willing to pay. Any regular vet would have been a minimum of $100, I'm sure. No thanks. I'm just complying with the law. My dog doesn't need all the other crap they would try to push on me.

Chill didn't love Petco
Since I still wanted to take a walk/hike with John and the dogs, I did a search for nearby trails and one caught my eye. Mt Teneriffe. Never heard of it, but it wasn't a long drive north into Milton, so I followed the directions and voila! In basically the middle of nowhere, a hiking trail owned by the Nature Conservancy with no one else at the trailhead. We had the place completely to ourselves. There was no trail map and very little on the internet, but it seemed to be some sort of loop trail so we just followed it. And sure enough it was mostly a loop trail. No real mountain summit that I found, but after seeing a friend's Strava who decided to copy our hike this week, it looks like there is an open summit on the trail from the opposite side of the road since he checked that out, too. I didn't even see that trail. Next time! It was a really nice walk in the woods, though. 2 miles total. John seemed to really enjoy it and didn't complain once. Not even when we got there.

It was cool to find a new place to walk in between here and Rochester. On the way back to 16, I discovered another set of trails just off the highway that I never knew about either. That trailhead was packed, though, so we made the better choice since the dogs were free to go off-leash where we were.

Once home, I had some weird motivation and energy to sweep the whole house then do a 10-minute ab workout of Zuzka's that was new to me and then 10 pull-ups after. I'm still slacking on the abs, but I will get back into it. Part of the problem is that I used to come home after my runs and go right to an ab workout, but this time of year, I'm so cold when I get home that I have to get right in the shower. Last year, I was still motivated to do a workout later in the evening. This year, not so much. Hopefully, once it warms up, I'll stop slacking off.

I got all the packing for the next day done. Put all the laundry away and was in bed at a decent hour. So unlike me, but I guess I finally felt good just in time for Doyle's. I still expected to suck speed wise, but I hoped that I would feel ok at least.

Sunday, April 8, 2018- Doyle's Emerald Necklace 5-Mile Race-

I got up at 5am which was way too early, but I was excited about the day. John and I were both getting a break in that he didn't have to be dragged to my race, and I got to go kid-free and without mom guilt! Yay. John's grandparents were back from Florida so I had asked them if they were available that day. I really didn't want to bring John to Doyle's this year. It's basically just a big party and I just couldn't do that to him. Plus, I really needed a stress-free day from the worry and guilt about having him with me. I wanted to hang out and just have some fun. I don't think that's wrong. Haha.

The drive down seemed quick since it was less than 3 hours. Haha. Oh the days when I had a strict 2 hour max drive time limit. That was mainly just so I could get back home in time. Haha. Now, I'm like, "Yeah, 3.5 isn't too bad." :) I got there really early and got basically the exact same street parking space as last year. I picked up my bib and then had 45 minutes to sit in my car and recoup from the drive. I put my feet up since the drive makes them swell up and I shut my eyes for awhile. I didn't sleep, but it helped a lot. Right around 10am, I went out for a warm up. It was a little early, but I knew I'd do a little more before the race start. Went out and back for 2 miles. I did NOT fall into the golf course mud like last year so that was a positive! Haha. It was pretty cold and windy out there in spots. Definitely not quite like the day we had last year that was sunny and much warmer. I went right back to my car to get ready for the race and waited until 20 minutes to the start to come out. It was going to be COLD in a singlet and shorts just before the start. I ran up there and then added on enough to get myself another mile. I totally forgot they started late last year, and it looked like this year would be the same. Fortunately, it wasn't quite as long. Boston's mayor showed up and got the show on the road. Two Boston firefighters and a Boston police officer sang the National Anthem which was awesome. I found a pic!

The race finally got underway, and I started off quick just like last year. I knew my closest competition there was Amanda Watters, and since she had beat me at New Bedford and the Boston Tune-Up this year, I was pretty sure she would beat me today. Other than that I wasn't sure, so I kind of wanted to go off fast again like I did last year, just not THAT fast. Last year, I was actually much faster than I am right now, but the tendon problem had just started about a month prior, and I was in a lot of pain (which led to a week off the week after Doyle's). I was in much less pain today, but I knew I didn't have the same speed as last year. My only goal was a sub-32. Since I knew the course this time around, I knew where I could be faster or slower and knew that the first mile did not need to be a 5:56 this time around. Haha. This year, I hit it in 6:11 which was fast, but honestly, I thought it was perfect. I was first woman at this point, but I knew Amanda wasn't far back. Mile 2 is the toughest mile of the 5, but this time I was a little bit more prepared for it since I hadn't killed myself in mile 1. I got a little nervous when we turned into the field parking lot, though, because I all of a sudden felt that feeling in my gut. Oh no. No no no. Ugh. I honestly thought from this point on that I might not make it without stopping; I hadn't even hit mile 2 yet! We had quite the headwind in some of this mile, but I still ran it faster than last year in 6:27. Not too long after mile 2 we hit the turnaround. I was nervous to see how close the other women were behind me. Amanda was literally right behind me running with Mike McGrane, her husband. They both passed me a little ways after the turnaround with Amanda looking strong. She's been running really well the last 6 months or so, so I was happy to see her doing well. It was actually helpful for me once they passed me because she gave me some motivation to keep my pace up. Last year, the first woman was so far ahead that I only saw her the first mile, so now having Amanda and Mike ahead really helped me run a fast 3rd mile in 6:08.

I ran with that guy behind me until he beat me in the last .25. He helped push me a little for a few miles. Photo by Ted Tyler
At this point, they had gaped me by about 20ish seconds, and I made a really strong effort to keep that from getting bigger, and I found that I was pretty successful. They never got much farther ahead than that. It was definitely because of them that I was able to run miles 4 and 5 also faster than last year. I came through the finish with 31:40 on the clock, but I guess my chip time and watch both read 31:41 for the official time. 2nd woman again! I originally thought this was 2 seconds faster than last year and was psyched, but after looking later, I realized it was 2 seconds slower. No big deal, though, since I was super happy to have run basically the same time as last year. 31:41 is nowhere close to my PR, but considering how my body has been going to shit the last month or so, I will take it!! And not only that, but I ran a MUCH smarter race than last year. And the best news... I made it through without having to stop. I think it just felt off because I was running so fast, and I haven't done that in weeks now. Haha.


Full Results

I love Doyle's because there's no such thing as a cool down unless you mean the cold beer! I only made a quick trip to the car for my jacket and pants before I was in the beer line and heading to the Tuesday Night Turtles table with 2 beers in my hands. Haha. I talked to Mike McGrane, Amanda and Scott Mason while I downed the first beer, then went back to my car to put some real clothes. It turned out to be FREEZING the whole time so I looked like a total dork in my goofball hat and non-matching jacket. The boots were at least the right call. Haha. Good thing about beer, though, is that it starts to warm you up so the party continued. I knew this was a race I had to do when someone first told me about it in 2015. This was confirmed in 2017 and continued in 2018. It's just so much fun and a must-do if you like a good post-race party...which everyone knows I do. Haha. I ended up winning a $15 Doyle's gift certificate, but somehow ended up with $30 more after dancing with Paul Hammond. Haha. So now, I'll have to go back and spend more time inside the bar than the way too short (yet memorable) 2 minutes I did this time around.

Just like last year, all of a sudden we were the last ones left and it was time to go. Boooo. I hate it when it ends and I have to go back north alone. But it was a fun time and soooooworth it. Here's a group shot. There was one other photo of Scott's that I liked of Paul Hammond and me with Dave Principe photobombing it, but I'd have to buy it to post it. Haha. But here's the link: Paul, me and Principe Photobomb

Group photo with a minor tweak. Technically I'm the only one who actually doesn't belong in this photo, but I like to just join in anyway. By Scott Mason
The drive back was fine. I stopped at Trader Joe's on the way and then went right to pick up John at his grandparents'. They had had a good day which was nice. I was so happy it all worked out. We were home early enough that I took the dogs out and then had time to make some dinner since I had basically eaten nothing but half a piece of banana bread after the race. The weirdest part was getting out of the car and not being sore, stiff or in pain. Seemed I'd turned a corner. I was still beat, though, and went to bed pretty early.

So coming off a good race, I'm ready to get back to it. Realizing that my tendon pain had decreased immensely since the race earlier in the day was a good sign. Vermont City Marathon is coming up soon so it's time to get back on the ball and run a respectable race. In the mean time, I'll be racing some trail/mountain races that I'm COMPLETELY out of shape for. Haha. First up is the Merrimack River Trail Race. I missed it last year, and I'm looking forward to the new course this year!

Here are some pics I found on John's school FB page from his baking class. He made the BEST cinnamon sugar bread I've ever had. Seriously.