Friday, May 15, 2015

Play Day

Wednesday ended up being a zero day. I couldn't get myself out of bed to get on the treadmill at 0430 before  work. I just could not do it. And when I realized I didn't regret it or feel antsy all day, I knew it was the right move. I needed it. Other than one 911 late morning, most of the day was like this:

Then this:

Followed by this:

And then life got a little more exciting when I FINALLY received the art work for my shirts for the Dirty Girl Trail Race coming up on May 31(shameless plug: Single ladies, wives, girlfriends, sisters, daughters, mistresses, sign up here: Dirty Girl Trail Race registration). I had asked multiple times over the last two weeks for a proof of the design. They kept putting me off. I was getting worried, and then the email came. I was excited....until I saw it. OH.MY.GOD. My jaw dropped. I looked around for a camera. This must be a cruel joke. 
Come run the Dirty Stripper Trail Race!!
What the hell is THAT?! I thought this had to be a joke, but it wasn't. It was not what I asked for. I quickly shot back an email that was, well, a little harsh. Ok, probably too harsh since I said it was awful and probably took 10 minutes to draw. Oops. But I was horrified, in panic mode, AND they tried to blame me for it! They said I only gave them a "few weeks" to design it. I don't know what their definition of "few" is, but I wouldn't call March 21st a few weeks ago. They also said they drew everything I asked for. Call me crazy, but that looks like a bathing suit, not running clothes. I digress. It was down to the wire and no time to fix it, so it looks like last year's design with a different color shirt will be it. I'm bummed, but whatever. It's just a race shirt. This company has had my business the last 3 years, and they just lost it. What can I do? But I have to say, it provided immense entertainment around the ambulance base. Just seeing everyone's reaction when I showed it to them made me realize I was not alone in my horror. Ha ha.

After that excitement wore off, it was quiet again. All until 0100, when we got a patient transfer. Without fail, a quiet day ensures a middle of the night transfer. On our way back, Conway got a call, and, by the sound of it, I had a feeling we'd be headed with that patient to Maine Med as soon as we got back. But good weather was on our side, and Life Flight was able to fly the patient instead. It would have been an all-nighter for us otherwise. Dodged a bullet with that one, but I still only managed 3.5 hours of sleep.

As usual, I ignore my lack of sleep and get on with my plans for the day. Since this would be my last real Thursday free for awhile (picked up a lot of shifts for the next month and a half), I decided to have as much fun as possible. I had coffee before leaving work, so I just came home and changed clothes before heading out for a "short" Moat Mt run loop. I have a whole Moat traverse loop (14.5 miles) that I came up with on New Year's Day, but I didn't want to go that far this time.

I parked on High St at the gate and hit the High School Loop, but instead of following it when it veered right, I kept going to the former Moat Mt Trail. The Moat Mt Trail was rerouted in 2003, but the old trail still exists and is completely clear. It looks like someone uses it regularly for 4-wheeling, so it's easy to run on. I accidentally "discovered" it 2 years ago when I missed the turn on the High School Loop. As I was running up it, I thought it seemed familiar and wondered if I was on the former Moat Mt Trail (which I had done numerous times). Once I hit the reroute, I realized I was right, and this is the only way I ever go up South Moat now, since it makes it easy to do a loop up the Moats and back to the car. I felt really good on the way up South Moat. It's a climb that always seems difficult for me, but I was pleased to find that I ran it in my second fastest time. This was a comforting feeling since I usually run my best later in the year after running mountains all late Spring and Summer. This is definitely a good sign that I will be in mountain shape much sooner this year than the last 4 years when I feel like I start at the bottom every Spring. I'd say I'm 3/4s of the way this year. The weather was spectacular, and I stopped on South Moat for about 5 minutes.
Me on South Moat Mountain 
The next part of the run is my favorite with the run along the open ridge. It's kind of like being above tree line, but you're not. Running and looking out at the view. You can't beat it. It never gets old.
Ridge between South and Middle Moats
I'm always a little sad to drop back down into the trees, but for my short loop, I have Red Ridge to look forward to, since it's also open with a fantastic view. The trail climbs from the woods back to the summit of Middle Moat and then veers right for the Red Ridge Trail.
On the way down Red Ridge
This run brings me back down to the FS Road, and I have a plethora of choices through the Mineral Site at this point. I did the usual Lower Stoney Ridge back to the FR Rd which eventually brought me back to my car. 10.7 miles in 2hrs21min. Just over 2900ft of elevation gain. Beautiful weather, perfect trail conditions. Funny, though. When I finished, I ran into a woman who said it looked like I hadn't even run yet. She was almost right; I felt like I hadn't even run. It was almost too easy. ;)

The play day continued with my plan to kayak on Silver Lake. Fortunately, I have a fiberglass boat, since it's just me, and there's no such thing as help. There's no way I'd be able to lift any other kayak onto my car. I still have to use a step stool. Ha ha.
How cute is that? 
It was a beautiful paddle on Silver Lake, but it was odd having a swarm of black flies following me the whole way all the way out in the middle of the lake. I couldn't really stop for long before they would catch up. Whenever I kayak, I'm immediately transported back to age 24 when it was almost a requirement to have a beer while kayaking, so I couldn't help myself and brought along a 'Ganset Shandy.
Check out that view! The mountains are nice, too. 

I decided to paddle from one end to the other from a parking area off of 113 (that doesn't require a town sticker) to the Town Beach and back. It was pretty close to being the full length of the lake which is about 2.5 miles long. I'm a bit out of upper body shape, and I could feel it in my arms, but my kayak is so easy to paddle, that I didn't have any trouble. It was so nice being out in the middle of the lake, and I literally had the entire lake to myself. I saw two loons, one of which was calling. That never ceases to be cool. I miss kayaking. I haven't done much of it in the last few years, and it's been sad looking at my kayak just sitting there unused for so many years. I finally got a roof rack, so I plan to get out a lot more this summer.
Yes, I'm still wearing the same hat from my run, so I, obviously, hadn't showered. Haha.
As soon as I got home, I changed back into running clothes and drove down to Rochester for the Six03 pub run again. This time, I didn't know anybody there, so it was a little awkward. Only two of us were running the 5 miles, so I just decided to stay with the other person and help him out a bit. It was a super easy run for me but definitely a push for him. He was really thankful for it afterward and pretty excited he was able to run so fast. I was happy I could help him out since I didn't need to run fast on this second run. Afterwards, we had drinks and food upstairs at the Revolution Taproom, which is a pretty nice place. 40 beers on tap and really good food. I had to just throw myself into the group as best I could, and I ended up talking to some nice people. By the time, I was done eating, I could barely keep my eyes open, but this time I didn't spill anything... there. I grabbed a coffee for the way home, and ended up spilling a quarter of it into the cup holder. That reminds me. I still need to clean that. I was able to stay awake for the drive just fine, but as soon as I got home, I couldn't get my head on that pillow fast enough. I didn't wake up again until 8am.

Friday was another day on the trails for me, so after a late start, I hit another of my favorite trails, Sawyer Pond Trail off the Kanc. The trail starts with a ford of Swift River, which can be a pain, but it does keep the riff-raff away somewhat. The river was frigid, and my feet were numb for about 5 minutes, but they warmed up just fine after that. It's a pretty easy run with a gentle grade up and then down for about 4.3 miles to the pond. I've always had the place to myself, and today was no exception. It is so quiet and peaceful there, so I had to hang out for about 10 minutes.
Sawyer Pond

I reluctantly headed back down the trail for the 4.3 miles back. It was an easy run back for a total of 8.7 miles (I actually missed some mileage on my GPS after stopping it to clean out my shoe and forgetting to restart it for .4 miles). Over a 1000ft of elevation gain. Less than an hour and a half of running. I have to admit that it's been nice not focusing on pace/mile this week. I don't even care when I'm on the trail. It's all about the effort out there. I really needed to get off the road this week, although, I might do a short road run around the neighborhood in the morning, but I'm not sure yet.

This afternoon, John and I explored the trails up at the new conservation area off West Side Rd. We walked randomly for almost 3 miles, finding all sorts of mountain bike trails. I'll have to come back on Tuesday to go farther on them. I know some of them end up over at the Mineral Site Trails, but I want to find out exactly where they all go. I love finding new trails. It was super buggy, though. Mosquitos!! I hate them. I think I was whining the whole time about them. John just confirmed that, yes, I was whining about the mosquitos the whole time. Ha ha. The one thing that makes me whine. Bugs! I was swarmed. No mosquitos at my house and not a single bug at Sawyer Pond, not even black flies, so most of the day was bug-free.
John running up a trail
Tomorrow will be a near-o or a zero. I haven't decided yet, and then it's Sleepy Hollow Mountain Race on Sunday. I can't believe Vermont is just over a week away! I'm so ready! I've been ready. But I have a mountain race to get through first.

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