Monday, March 13, 2017- Like I said zero day, but I planned ahead for Tuesday's impending doom of Storm Stella and brought my stuff for the pool at Purity Spring. Slept all night...then second week in a row. A call at 0545! Of all mornings when I wanted to get out on time so I could workout and beat the storm. Actually lucked out and the patient signed off. We got back to the base right at 7am.
Tuesday, March 14, 2017- Of course there's a blizzard on a Tuesday!! Always a Tuesday or a Thursday. Grr! But I rushed out of work to Purity Spring to get a quick aqua jog in the pool. The flurries had already started by the time I got there, but it was light. I had just enough time. No one was there except one other woman so I had some room in the pool to move around. It was weird. I've been able to put that 911 call out of my mind for the most part, thankfully, but the second I started aqua jogging, all of a sudden, the heartbeat on the monitor just popped into my head. That was it. I don't know why just that or why then, but it quickly faded and I moved on to other thoughts. The 45 minutes seemed to pass quickly, and the snow outside the window was getting heavier!
I had arrived before the desk was manned, so I stopped back by to give the woman my punch card. I basically got scolded for arriving with a punch card before 8am, and then she said that I was lucky no one showed up for class that day or I wouldn't have been able to use the pool. I was a little confused and said I didn't know there were classes on Tuesday mornings. She said, "Yes, every other morning during the week. Monday, Wednesday, Friday." Haha. She apparently didn't know what day it was, but I didn't correct her. Just stated that I was trying to beat out the storm and figured it wouldn't be busy. If there had been a class, I would have gotten out of the pool. I was a little annoyed since that did cost me $10 for the one visit to the gym/pool with only one other user, and I was now being reprimanded for coming in before 8am. Geez. She's lucky I decided to be an honest person today instead of like what I did at the Planet Fitness in Waltham. Haha. Ok, maybe that last sentence shouldn't be followed with a "haha." Oops.
The roads were already getting slippery on the drive home through East Madison, but I made it with just a quick stop at the Community Market for a few things. This storm was going to be nuts, so I knew I wouldn't be going back out again until the next day for work. John's dad had already messaged me asking if he could go ahead and leave John at the house. That was cool since I was on my way anyway, so John was there when I got home. This is his kind of day! Not having to go anywhere!! Haha.
|Trying to pet Spot when I got home|
|Phoenix was jealous|
|Only the beginning of Stella|
|Chill the snow dog|
I cracked open a beer and spent about 2 hours rearranging that whole thing. Once I was done, I realized I no longer needed both of those racks so I moved on to my dreaded bookshelf project.
And I don't have a before picture of the bookshelf, but this is what it ended up with...
It's not a bookshelf technically, but the one we had was gross, ugly and falling apart. I happen to like these kitchen racks for shelving.
When I was done there was no rest. The snow was coming down so hard and fast that it was over a foot by this point. I had to get out and snowblow to keep up with it. If I tried to wait, my snowblower would never be able to pick up almost 2ft of snow at once. It was slow enough with a foot of snow already and took me FOREVER to get through it. By the time I made it to the other side of the driveway, I kid you not, 4 inches had already fallen back over what I had started with. I couldn't keep up at all, but it was still better than nothing. Took me 2.5 hours and I didn't get to part of the driveway by the house. I was exhausted! It's not just standing behind this thing that moves for you. You still have to push the stupid thing. Plus, I had to shovel still and scrape whatever of the roof I could get to. When I came inside wanting to collapse, I found John hadn't completed the one job he was given to do. Sweep the house. I was so mad. After busting my ass, he started complaining about having to sweep! Well, I made sure he did even though he wasn't happy about it, cussing, complaining and sighing the whole time. It was actually hard to hold back the laughter. You'd think I'd forced him to poke out his eyes. Haha
I relaxed for awhile, but still had to take the dogs out and do laundry before I went back out to snowblow AGAIN around 11pm so John's dad could get down the driveway to park his van for the night. The storm had actually passed and only about 4-5 more inches had fallen. I still had to shovel again to get the snowblower out, started it up...only to have the shoot where it throws the snow clog up with snow. I'd clear it; it would clog. Over and over and over!!! By this time, I had lost my shit completely. 1.5 hours and I made it 2 ft. No exaggeration. I was in a complete meltdown. Thankfully, what I had cleared earlier was enough for Bryan to get down the driveway. He pulled in with his headlights right on me. Took one look at me then told me to go inside. That he had it. Haha. Nice thing about an ex-husband is that he knows you well enough to recognize when you're losing your shit. I felt really bad because he'd just gotten off work, and it seemed like 10-15 minutes before he could get the thing going. When I last looked he was still snowblowing and shoveling. That was probably the nicest thing he's done for me since well before we even got divorced. I was sure to thank him the next day. I was so tired. Out cold as soon as my head hit the pillow.
Wednesday, March 15, 2017- No way could I get myself up at 4:30am to run after the day before. I was so beat that I struggled all day long. The skies were clear and the day beautiful, but I was stuck at work. We had some good calls all back to back to back in the middle of the day and then nothing else the rest of the shift. I tried to write my blog post, but had trouble concentrating and took too long.
Thursday, March 16, 2017- Decided it was time to run again. I needed to fill my water jugs so ended up parking at the spring again and running from there. This time towards Center Sandwich instead of Wonalancet and back. I had a loop planned originally but then realized those were probably dirt roads that would still be covered in snow/ice. I didn't want to run in microspikes today so I ran an out on 113A and 113 to Upper Rd and then back. I ran easy, rarely looking at my watch. It was a beautiful day out, but this run was hilly, and I was still really sore and stiff. Starting to think New Bedford was going to be bad. Looked like the weather was going to be awful, too! 45mph winds and 3-5in of snow!! What?! My goal race now looked bleak. My run was 10.4 miles total in 1:21:23. 718ft of elevation gain. I wasn't too psyched about how I felt. It was as if I had taken no rest at all. My quads and glutes felt exactly the same. Could I have high hamstring tendonosis? Possibly. Time will tell, but that's what I meant in my last post. I might already be injured! This pain really came about after the Granite State Snowshoe Championship Race. I was sore from my long run the Thursday prior to the race, but this really came on after the race.
Once back at my car, I filled up 23 gallons worth of water. In the process, I ended up slightly dropping a jug and spilling water all over my legs and hands. By the time I finished filling the jugs, my hands were in agony from the cold. Someone had pulled in the lot just as I was finishing so I couldn't change clothes there so I drove with my hands practically inside the heating vents to warm them. The thawing was excruciating. I parked at a trailhead to put on some dry clothes and then drove on to the Tamworth Lyceum for a latte and a blueberry thing. Haha.
It was home from there and into a hot shower. Ah. I didn't stop there, though. It was right back out to Tin Mountain to ski with Spot and Phoenix. I was originally hoping to pack down my trail race course (shameless plug here!!!!! Dirty Girl Trail Race!), but hardly any of the trails had been touched. The ones that had were either by another skier whose track was way too narrow for me or a few snowshoe tracks that were hard to ski in. Most of it was untouched and what wasn't I still broke trail alongside of it. That was tough! I made it 2 miles in over an hour. I was pouring in sweat. It was an even harder workout for the dogs, especially Phoenix who still sunk into the snow the whole way.
Thursday is normally my day to myself, but John had asked if he could come home that night. Even though I wanted the quiet, I also wanted him there, so he came home right after I did. I still wasn't done, though. I still had to get in my upper body and abs workout. After that, I was SO done and sat down the rest of the night watching something on tv I can't remember. It definitely wasn't basketball. I hate basketball...and I played it for 10 years and got two varsity letters...for riding the bench. One of the worst experiences of my childhood. Seriously. Too stubborn to quit, but I've never liked basketball since except for shooting hoops on our own "court."
Friday, March 17, 2017- Couldn't help myself with a slightly offensive post on Facebook. Haha. But it is SO true:
I'm pretty sure I only got unfriended by one person...whom I was about to unfriend myself. So that worked out. Haha. Don't get me wrong, I'm all about the fun of St Patrick's Day. It's just a pet peeve of mine when people refer to themselves as Irish, Italian, French, etc. when they're AMERICAN. They may be of 100% Irish or whatever descent, but don't call yourself Irish if you weren't born there or don't hold dual citizenship. For someone like me to say that would imply I grew up in mid-80s Ireland when the economy sucked, The Troubles were ongoing in Northern Ireland and emigration was at all time high. I am not Irish. I'm an American who, in the 1980s, lived in a middle class (then later upper class) neighborhood. My parents both had great jobs, and I went to private school. Big difference. Celebrate your heritage! By all means!! It's good to keep that going, but don't identify with something you are not. And then don't get your panties in a wad when someone like me writes it on FB. And this just proves that I'm right! It's basically on a shirt! Haha
Anyway, it was actually pretty enjoyable for the most part. I actually liked most of the responses I got!
John's dad picked him up then I went out for another slow, easy run through Cranmore Shores. Still sore, but not as bad. 5.8 miles in 45:32. Some of the roads were slow going since they were snow covered still, but I didn't care. Not breaking any CRs today. Once again didn't even look at my watch.
Came home, showered, then packed up our ski stuff for $17 day at Wildcat!!! It's our favorite mountain, but it's usually for rich people, not us. But on $17, here come the locals! Haha. Every time we've been able to go to Wildcat, the weather and conditions have been phenomenal. Today was no exception. I picked up John from Frontside Grind then drove up to the notch. The wind was whipping over the Presidentials, but the sunny skies won out. Even with the wind, I was never cold once. It was perfect!! John was so excited.
The first run down Polecat was tough. I wasn't used to skiing in so much snow so I had to get used to it. On the second run, it was way more fun, but my quads were already on fire!! Polecat is 2.5 miles long and took over 10 minutes to get down. I'm not into speed. Skiing still terrifies me. Fun is a green slope at a slow pace. Haha. After the 2nd run, John said he was ready to go down the other side. That meant blue trails. So, blue trails at Wildcat are like black diamonds at the other mountains around here. I don't do those. No thanks. But John really, really wanted to, so I reluctantly agreed. Oh my god. I was scared to death the whole time. It was awful. Haha. John had to keep waiting on me. By the time we got to the bottom, I told him I was never doing that again. Hahaha. It was time to take a break so into the lodge we went. Yes, of course, it was beer time. Pig's Ear Brown for me. A drink for John and some chicken fingers. So healthy! Now, where to sit? Even though signs clearly state no bag storage on this floor, every single table was covered in people's things! Why do people need to bring in all of that stuff?! That's something I'll never understand. No need for it. We've never once brought in a bag to a ski lodge. Put on your boots at your car and carry your skis over. What more do you need?! My wallet, phone and keys go in my pocket. Obviously, I must not be meant to be downhill skier. Haha. So in trying to find a place to sit, I spot two empty seats. Of course the floor under those seats was covered in bags and shoes, but this isn't elementary school. No saving seats. Just as we're sitting down, I see it's right next to Mick Arsenault! Funny! He met his dad there to ski for the morning. I talked to him for awhile until they left. We finished our drinks and food and then headed back out to ski some more.
As we were getting on the lift, John said he really wanted to do the blue trail again. I told him I couldn't do it. It terrified me. I could see the disappointment in his face. So I finally had to make one of those big parental steps. Let him go alone. For me, this wasn't as simple as letting go. He's responsible; that wasn't the issue. This was letting my kid go after the incident I had recently had to go through at work. Skiing is a high-risk sport. So many injuries. Deaths. But I know John loves it, and I didn't want to hold him back. We got to the top. He went right. I went left. I tried not to worry and just enjoy myself. Most of the people had left so I had the trail to myself most of the time. It was really fun, but as I got to the bottom, I started to look around for John, and there he was. Arriving at the same time as me. Phew. Then he said, "That was so much fun! Let's do one more!" How can you say no? You just can't. My quads were trashed and screaming, but back on the lift we went. Absolutely no line. Once again at the top, we parted ways. Again, alone on the slope for the 2.5 miles down. When I got to the bottom, I didn't see John, nor did I see him on his way down. A little bit of panic started to form until he popped out of the crowd by the racks. He had beaten me down. Haha!
It was time to ski back over to the overflow lot where we parked. John was so happy! That's when I realized that next winter, it might be time to just buy him a season pass to Wildcat/Attitash. If he's ok with skiing by himself, we can afford it! John said he was game. Right now, it's "only" $400 for a Peaks Pass (7 mountains total) for a junior. I talked to Bryan about it, and I think we're going to do it. A pass for me or Bryan is out of the question. Just not affordable. But between us, we can pull off a pass for John.
|Trying to get myself psyched up for New Bedford with my team glass. It didn't work.|
We didn't leave until 11am, so we still had time to hang out at home. I got on the treadmill for a FLAT, slow 3 miles and stupidly felt this false sense of optimism. I felt great! I had this feeling that things were going to go well and I would have a good race. Usually when this happens, it comes true because a lot of it is mindset. But for me, it would be wrong. Dead wrong. And, duh, of course I felt good. I ran the 3 miles in 23:35, a 7:52/mi avg pace. Easy. Oh well, at least I did go into it feeling as positive about it as I could.
|This happened along the way. I think I've driven over 30,000 miles in the last year. No wonder my ass hurts.|
|Spot rolling in the snow|
|Phoenix's perch during the drive|
The place was definitely a dive, but the room was actually really clean. The only issue I ended up having with it was that the bed halfway collapsed overnight! Hahahaha! I woke up feeling like I was rolling right, but it was so slight that I didn't think much of it until I saw the bed the next morning. Pretty funny. But seriously, no other issues besides that. We didn't go out for dinner this time around. I got Five Guys from right next door and had a beer that I brought from home. John was pretty happy there since he actually likes hotel rooms. I'd prefer to camp myself, but campgrounds aren't open right now.
|I'm trying to watch tv, Chill|
As you can see from all of the room pics, I was pretty bored. Haha. I did watch Marley and Me on TV and vowed not to cry at the end this time. I failed. Haha.
Sunday, March 19, 2017- New Bedford Half Marathon-
Woke up to no snow, mostly cloudy skies and wind. It wasn't so bad where we were, so I thought maybe the weather wouldn't be so bad after all. It was definitely nice having the 11am start time, so we didn't have to leave until 8:45am. I love not rushing out in the morning. The drive over was only about 35 minutes. The drive was interesting to John because he got to see a nuclear power plant for the first time (that he can remember). He just stared at it.
*Editor's Note- It has been brought to my attention that I am mistaken. This is a coal plant. Oops. I'm a moron. Haha. Oh well. It's still cool to look at.
I decided to park on Water St right next to the Y like I have the last two years. It's just so much easier for going in and out of there. I went in to get my bib and left John in the car to get his warm stuff on. He was going to hang out with Tony Wild and Scott Mason during the race. While I'm sure he would have been fine in the car with all three dogs, New Bedford is just one of those places I wasn't comfortable with him doing that. Plus, I really like it when he can get out and walk around and actually take part in what's going on. He generally enjoys it and gets exercise at the same time. Plus, he's always hanging out with cool people. Tony is one of those cool people since he speaks John's language. John is really into manga and anime, and Tony knows all about it! They've had multiple conversations about this. It's great. Last time we saw Tony after Exeter, I told him that he and his wife needed to have kids. Haha. He is so good with them, or John, at least.
It worked out that Scott and Tony were in the Y when I messaged them so we met up, and I left John with them. Then I went out for a warm up. Where I ran for the first mile, there wasn't much wind, but when I turned around to run back up most of the last mile of the course, I hit an insane headwind. Oh boy. This was NOT good. Finished up two miles at my car. After the race, I felt like I should never even have bothered warming up. I titled it "Pointless warm up" with the description, "Should have just pounded two beers in my car instead." Notice that was in the description box...not the title, Strava users!! :) Haha. The warm up had been extremely slow, and I was feeling it in my glutes. I kind of had a bad feeling, but at the same time, I still felt like I could pull off the same time as last year. My original goal of 1:24:30 was already thrown out the window. With the wind, I thought maybe a minute slower. Once again, I was wrong. DEAD wrong.
Got to the start and made my way up to the front where the women line up only to find Ginger Reiner and Diana Bowser there. I talked to them for a bit. I think they were dreading this as much as I was. It was cold standing at the start in that wind. I was happy I had gone with the long sleeve and 3/4 tights (skirt thing) just for this part. People quickly started to file in. It was great being surrounded by a big group of fast women that I've gotten to know over the last few years. The wind was beating on us, so I knew this first mile would be nothing like my first mile the previous two years, 5:45 and 5:50. I was already feeling a sense of dread and just wanted to get this over with. I didn't have a good feeling. I was relieved when we started just to be warm, but it was right into a crazy headwind. I was struggling from the get go, but I felt strong and stayed in the group I wanted to be in with Christin and Amy and a few other women who are usually close...at the beginning anyway. The pace felt quick, but against the wind, I knew it would be pretty slow. 6:34/mi. Ouch, but we were all in the same boat. The next 2.5 miles would be mostly climbing (with one nice downhill before the long climb up Hathaway). I felt really good here. It helped having some strong women running with me. Surprisingly, I ran this last climb to mile 3.5 my fastest ever. It was probably due to us having a bit of tailwind by this point, but, still, this climb is tough. I felt good by the time we made the left turn to start the LONG descent for over 3 miles. In 2015, this is where I hauled ass and started passing people. This year, it's where I got passed. By nearly everyone. All of the women, except Diana Bowser, just pulled ahead. Diana would the one person I would run with almost the entire way. She probably didn't know this since I was right behind her, but we were literally right together until I passed her in mile 11 or 12. She actually helped me keep going that whole race.
The 3 miles seemed to go on FOREVER. The best part was right around mile 5 when I saw John! I always, always, always love seeing him during races. I think I need to find a non-runner guy who will come to all of my races and hang out with John. Hahaha. And I don't really remember a tailwind or a headwind here. It was nice, but I guess I really wasn't speedy through these miles. I didn't feel bad, but I was comfortable in the pace I was going and didn't want to try pushing it yet. I knew what was coming and wanted to save my energy. As we approached the bottom of the hill where we take a hard left, I could see flag blowing hard to the right. That meant we were about to turn into the wind. Ugh. And sure enough we did. It was a blow. I could not run against it. My pace slowed 24 seconds for the 8th mile. This is when I started to get passed by women I beat at Amherst. It was as if I was standing still. I felt like I was giving 100% effort at this point, but I could not go any faster against that wind! Tammie Robie and Kelsey Allen went by me at the same time. I could still just barely see Amy. Christin was long gone. Mile 9 was a bit of a reprieve since we had some shelter from the wind for a good portion of it. I was still already feeling discouraged, though. I actually never looked at my watch once from mile 1 until mile 12. Not once. I knew after mile 1 that this race was going to be slow. But it got slower than slow.
Towards the end of mile 9 and the start of mile 10, you can see water out ahead of you. It was all huge white caps. It was almost like knowing you're walking into your death, but you don't stop. You just keeping going. It's inevitable. I knew it was going to be strong and thought I was prepared for it. I was not! At the turn, the wind slammed into me so hard that I felt myself get pushed backward for a split second. I wasn't prepared for THAT. I could not move! But then, all of a sudden, like within seconds, I started getting passed like crazy!!! I was like what the fuck!!! It was mostly men at first. Like I was standing still. Then women! I was seriously going ALL OUT. I didn't know how these people were running against that wind. Was it because my glutes/hammies were hurting me by this point and I just couldn't get the power to move against the wind? I'd love to use that as an excuse, but I really don't think it was that. I think a lot of it was due to my size and lack of strength (nothing to do with my soreness). The extra 5lbs probably did make a difference in that wind. Lack of leg training?Yes, I think so. I've run a lot of hills, but that's it for my legs. In the summer when I'm cranking it out on trails and mountains, my legs are considerable stronger, but right now, I honestly think my lack of strength training in that area held me back. I don't think it was particular to me just being slow or having a bad day since I never actually felt bad. I really do think it was a failure on my part to train in that area. At the time, I couldn't figure it out. I was getting so pissed at being passed in droves. It seemed like Diana, Tammie, with whom we were slowly catching up with, and I were the ONLY ones being affected by the wind. I started to get so pissed off and so frustrated. Like I said, I didn't look at my watch until mile 12. I didn't even look at my splits until later that night. I couldn't bring myself to do it. 7:29 and 7:18 for miles 10 and 11. OMG. I'm so glad I didn't look or I would have been even more upset. There was a slight break in the wind during mile 12 so I was at least able to bring my split under 7 minutes. Woohoo. 6:54. When I saw the clock roll just past 1:20 at mile 12, I cringed inside and thought. I may not break 1:27 minutes!! Funny to think that I was horrified by that when I ended up not even breaking 1:28!!! I didn't feel bad in mile 13, surprisingly, but I still couldn't run against that wind. 7:28 for mile 13. Once again. Glad I didn't look.
Finally, the turn at KFC. Downhill. It seemed longer than I remembered, but I think that was because I was mentally all done. I could see Scott Mason in the distance so I looked a little harder until I could see Tony with John. I was so beat. I managed to wave and smile at John just before the turn onto the final stretch. That's why I was still smiling in Scott's pic. Not sure I could have mustered a smile otherwise.
|Coming into the finish|
John and I started to walk back. I was frozen by this point and ended up having to borrow John's "Kenny" jacket for the walk back to the car. I was dying. Thank goodness he had that jacket. Once back at the car, I changed clothes, but could not get warm. I was shivering uncontrollably. Just could not get warm. I was glad the Moby Dick Brewing Co was literally right there. It was so warm inside that I was comfortable again within minutes.
I met Tony, Scott and Mike Daniels there. They had two rounds, while I just had one. I couldn't stomach another one. Their beers were not good. Yuck. The place just opened last week, though, so they'll improve. I'd definitely give them another shot to impress me.
We went from there to Freestone's at Scott's suggestion. Fitz and Michelle and some of the BAA people were at the bar so we said a quick hello, then got a table. We were starving. Better beer was had here. Troegs Java Stout. The food was great, and we ended up having a good time. I only had the one beer, surprisingly, but I think I was just so full!
|Scott and Mike. Tony was there but out making a phone call. I love how John put his face in the shot.|
The ride home was tough for me because it was when I could finally reflect on my race. The first time I allowed myself to even think about it. It immediately brought me to tears. I had had such a bad race. And, yes, the wind affected everyone...but not the same. I was one of the ones who just couldn't handle it. I was so down about it the whole drive. Pissed about all of those people passing me. I felt like I just sucked so bad. I had two friends say the exact same thing to me; that I was being too hard on myself. They were probably right, but this one hit me really hard. To have it go from my goal race to a total shit show is like a punch in the gut from my own fist. I knew my time would be slower than I originally wanted, but by over 3.5 minutes?! The wind was a huge factor, but I think it was my inability to power against the wind due to lack of strength that made it so bad. So really, it was a rough day, but it's my own fault. But, then I think. How can I possibly fit in leg work without getting too fatigued? This is what happens EVERY time I try to add leg work in. My legs end up overly tired and sore too often before a race. Once again, it's like I should cut back on racing so that I can cross train and build strength so that my races are better, but if I cut back on racing, I miss out on a lot of good races and the chance to be social. So it's like, what do I give up? For starters, it IS the racing... to a point, since I backed out of the marathon. That weekend will now be race-free. The weekend after will be a fun race. I think that after the 15K on April 1st, I'll add in the leg work and see how it goes. I can't have a New Bedford 2017 happen to me again. It was bad. So bad. I sucked! But it's changing my perspective on things, so it has its positive.