Sunday, April 26, 2015

Week 4/19-4/26

I decided to take a week's break from my blog. I felt like it was getting pretty boring and just wanted to leave it alone. I'll probably be back to it daily this week, though.
Sunday 4/19- No racing, so it was the usual either neighborhood or Heavenly Hill, so I opted for Heavenly Hill repeats. I did 5 of them, one with the dogs. It's tough seeing I'm about a minute slower on them since November, but I have to remind myself that I was in awesome mountain running shape then. I hardly touched a mountain this winter, so the slower pace is expected. I just hate hitting the Mountain Series every May in just so-so shape. It is what it is, though, and I'm already working on it.
Heavenly Hillx5, 6 miles, 13:52/mi pace, 2,422 ft of gain. Right in my backyard, so I can't complain.
That afternoon, John and I ventured to Lovell, Maine for an easy hike up Sabattus Mountain.
Looking out towards Pleasant Mt

Duck face selfie by John

Monday 4/20- No time for a run today after work since I was going right from one ambulance to another, so I got up at 4am for an 8 mile run on the treadmill. It's been awhile, so I actually enjoyed it. 8 miles in 58:22 7:18/mi pace, always at incline of some kind. And I guess I've learned that what I do on the treadmill is called a progression run. Ha ha. Terminology. But, yeah, I guess every treadmill run I've ever done is a progression run.
We had no 911s at work, so I got to watch the Boston Marathon... on my phone. Not the greatest, but it worked, and it passed the time on a dull day. Finished up there at 5pm, then drove up to Bartlett to crash on the station couch for my 6p-6a on-call shift. No calls that night either.

Tuesday 4/21- Total shit show of a run this morning. I had this bright idea to run over the top of Black Cap Mt with plans to run down Kettle Ridge to the trail to Cranmore, down the service road and back to the Green Hills. I parked on Hemlock Lane by Walmart and headed out on Corridor 19 to the dry trails in the Outer Limits, then back to Corridor 19. All dry. Hit the Mason Brook Trail for the climb towards Black Cap. Good condition, dry. Then I got on the Black Cap Connector Trail. When I hit the first huge patch of snow and WATER (and did I mention this was all in the pouring rain?), I should have turned around, but I kept going. More and more snow, more and more water. I was soaked and postholing and walking! But I kept going!! Stupid. Made it to the top of Black Cap after trudging through snow and water. Soaked. Decided to push on. Fell 3 three times on both knees every time after punching through the snow. I was hating life at this point. Yelling out loud, "This was so stupid!! What was I thinking?" And of course, Red Tail/Kettle Ridge were completely untouched. Thick snow. I would have been postholing. So I bagged that idea and KEPT GOING. Down the Black Cap Trail just hoping to find Hurricane Mt Rd dry. The relief when I saw pavement. Just to get out of the snow and water. BUT, it was 9:45am at this point. I was supposed to be home by 10am for the dropoff with John. OOPS. I was about 6 miles away from my car. So I had to tuck my tail between my legs and text John's dad to tell him I had fucked up.... for the second week in a row (I did this the prior Tuesday, too). Fortunately, he was cool with it. No problem. Phew, but I still needed to get back, so I hauled ass down Hurricane Mt Rd to Kearsarge and made my way back towards Walmart. I had only planned 10 and hadn't eaten anything yet. My feet were soaked; I was soaked, and I was bonking hard by the time I hit North-South Rd. I hadn't planned to even touch the road today, so it just hurt. I tried to run on the railroad tracks for a stretch, but they were just too difficult at one point, so I jumped back on North-South. I was so relieved to make it back to my car. I was so done. 14.7 miles, in 2:27, 2,339 ft of gain, trail, mountain and road. Brutal. Knocked me on my ass for hours after that.
I ended up taking John to Portland to go to Get Air, the trampoline place. I was down for the count, so any hikes were not happening. He loves Get Air, so it was worth the trip over.

Wednesday 4/22- Zero day. Once again, I decided that the extra hour of sleep would be better than the 5 miles on the treadmill I had planned. A middle of the night 911 made me appreciate that extra hour of sleep.
Me, Jen, Michelle on 60A3. Truck check/girl talk.

Thursday 4/23- Long run day. I headed back over to the Tamworth area starting by Chocorua Lake. Started out with a cold wind and drizzle.Ran my usual route there and then onto 113A through Wonalancet. A lot of climbing in the first 10 miles. Around mile 10, I hit the section of road that I had run the week before. I also hit a light snow. Within a mile, I was running in HEAVY falling snow. It was nuts. Blowing sideways. And I was definitely not dressed for it, but there was nothing I could do about it at that point.
Tried to capture a picture of the snow, but you can barely see it!

I ran down Pease Hill to Great Hill Rd and into Tamworth Village. Followed 113 to Philbrick Neighborhood, then completed the loop back to Loring Rd and back to my car by the lake. Happy with the solid effort. 19.5 miles (was supposed to be 18, but ended up longer. I'm sensing a pattern.). 7:25/mi pace 1,479 ft of gain. Mix of dirt and pavement, as are most of my runs. Very happy with this one.
Drove to Sandwich after to fill up my jugs with water from the Sandwich Spring. Good water. Came home for a few hours, then headed up to Bartlett for another on-call overnight shift. I grabbed a radio from the station when I got up there and took a short walk around Thorne Pond. I needed a leg shakeout.
Thorne Pond

Friday 4/24- Slept in at the station until 7am then headed home. I decided to have coffee before heading out for my run. I was really excited about today's run since it was back on some of my favorite trails at the Mineral Site. I decided to bring all 3 dogs with me since I knew this would just be slow and easy, no stress. It felt SO GOOD to be back out there. The trails were in decent condition. I have missed them so much. We ended up doing an easy 10.7 miles, 1.480 ft of gain on the High School Loop, Mineral Site, Tent Boulder and Lower Stony Ridge Trails. The dogs were mostly good, except Chill who rolled in a dead animal. Gross. (And he paid for it, too. High powered hose to his neck is not his favorite past time.) Perfect run for today. I'm really excited to be adding trail back in my weekly runs.
Thompson Falls was really flowing.

High School Loop Trail with South Moat Mountain in the background.

Saturday 4/25- So early in the week, my childcare option for the Muddy Moose Trail Race fell through. John could come with me, but when I thought about having him sitting there waiting for me for two hours, I decided to skip it. But... that meant I had to find another race somewhere. I decided I would do the Chief Maloney 10K, until I realized it was point-to-point. I can't bring John to point-to-point races, so that was out. I thought about the Ipswich 10-miler, but the cost of that one had me opting out of that one. So I decided to search for races on Saturday instead of Sunday. The one that caught my eye was the Kennebunk Savings Rescue Run for Marine Mammals Trail 5k Race at Odiorne Point State Park in Rye, NH. It was at the Seacoast Science Center, so I figured it would be a win-win for John and me. It ended up being a good choice. Not only was the course beautiful, John ended up loving the Science Center and the walk along the ocean after. Turned into a perfect day.
We had to leave early for this one, and it was still pretty cold when we got there. I warmed up right away for 2 miles and realized that I was going to be hot if I tried to wear anything long-sleeved, so I put on the singlet and froze at the start line for 10 minutes. I started in the first wave, since it was an 8min pace or less. There were a few fast, serious-looking women there, doing the typical "I'm fast" stretching and jumping around. I just stood there in my skirt freezing to death. ha ha. As soon as the race started, I went out fast and ended up in 4th right away. The guy in front of me kept cutting me off which really started to piss me off, so when I finally passed him, I made sure to have him running in the grass for a few seconds as I went by on the trail. The course was on a pretty smooth, hard-packed trail for the most part, so the pace was fast. I felt like I was moving faster than my watch was showing, and it was hitting the miles way after the posted mile markers. I don't know if my watch was off or not, but I felt like both miles 1 and 2 were too long on my watch. And the pace per mile just didn't match up with my effort. 
By mile 1, I was in 3rd place, but quickly made a move on the second guy. He hung on my heels for awhile, but as soon as we hit the two short (but STEEP) hills, I lost him. At mile 3, I just hammered it home and knew I had 2nd overall in the bag. The first guy was long gone, but I knew that 3rd wasn't catching me. I finished in 2nd (1st woman) in 18:27, but my watch had 2.94 miles. I honestly don't know if the course was short or if the GPS was off. I really felt like my effort was in the 18:27 range, but I just don't know. There were a lot of tight turns and two runs under bunkers, so it could very well be off, but I don't know if it would be by that much. I wish I knew whether the course was wheel-measured at 3.1 or not, but I guess I'll never know. So 18:27 for maybe a 5k is what it is. And I was happy with it.
Coming in for the finish. Yes, I run for Six03 now.

I cannot stop doubling over in laughter at this picture. Kenny is all over me. Forget about that Eric Couture guy. Ha ha ha.
I did a nice and easy cool down, running with some back of the packers which was kind a neat experience. After that, I brought John into the Science Center, which he loved. I won a family membership, so I'm sure we'll go back. Once the awards were over, we took a walk along the ocean and out to the end of the jetty. The sun had come out and warmed things up nicely. It was beautiful. John had a great time out there; we don't make it to the ocean often, so it was great for both of us. I love this coastline that I'm just now discovering. Perfect race choice for the day.

Sunday 4/26- As much as it killed me all day not to be racing (can we say racing addict?), it felt really good to sleep in until 8am. I needed it. Took a lazy morning. Sat on the deck with coffee. I was already at 59 miles for the week, so I decided to just do 4 Heavenly Hill repeats. I attempted to do 2 of them with the dogs, but two of the dogs bailed on me on the second one and just sat on the trail until I came back down. Chill joined me for both, but I took all of them back to the house then ran the last two solo. 4.8miles 14:47 average pace (gotta work on this one) 1,942 ft of gain. Brought me to 64.4 miles for the week. 7,283 ft of gain. Trying to get back into mountain running shape while also training for Vermont City Marathon. Ha ha. Good week. Mix of pretty much everything which is how I train, so it feels good. Next week will be much of the same with another 5K next Saturday (and maybe Sunday, too).
Once I was done with my run, John and I headed down to Effingham to check out a trail I had been planning to do since 2012. It just seemed like the perfect hike for today, and I was pleasantly surprised by it. It was only 1.4 miles up Green Mt, but it was a pretty steep climb. Very beautiful. At the top is a fire tower that is just way beyond my heights comfort level. I was woozy the entire time I was up there. I snapped some photos, attempting not to look scared, even though I was. John went up and then down fast. He didn't like it either. The view was fantastic. We didn't stay long at the top before heading down.
Yeah, um, this is so cool. Get me the hell off of this thing.

Fire Tower on Green Mt

View to the northeast
We went home so I could shower before going out to the Sea Dog Brewing Co for my birthday dinner. I tried to keep my birthday on the down low. I took it off of Facebook for the day. I just didn't want a 100 "Happy Birthday's" and anyone making a big deal of it. The birthday got leaked by the afternoon, but at least, only the people who actually care wished me a happy birthday. That's all I wanted anyway. I hadn't been to Sea Dog yet, so it was nice to check it out. John loved it there and says it's his new favorite restaurant. Ha ha. I was starving by the time we got there and ate every single thing I ordered plus a 4-beer sampler and a 12oz beer. It was a nice time. The last 2 birthdays were very stressful and not fun, so it was nice to be relaxed and enjoy myself. I've hit 39. It's hard to believe, but it is what it is. The only way to stop time is to die, and I don't plan on doing that anytime soon.
Dressed up for no reason other than it was my birthday and I wanted to

Told him he had to take a picture because it was my birthday.

I bought myself a cake at Trader Joe's, and John lit a candle for me. 
Back to the same ole stuff tomorrow. 10 hour shift in Tamworth, followed by a 14 hour on call shift down there, too. I'll just stay in Tamworth for the overnight.

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