Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Road/Trail/Trail Race

Monday- Slow day at work. That's how Mondays have always been, but it was so hot that I just wanted to be lazy and sit in the a/c all day anyway. At 5pm, I headed right from the base for an out-and-back on Ossipee Lake Rd. Why I ran on the road in the blazing heat like that, I'm not sure, except I do know I wanted to get about 8 miles in as quickly as possible. The road is much faster than the trail, but I'm not sure it was worth it. Halfway through, I almost cut through the woods of the Freedom Town Forest to make my way to Lead Mine Rd to get in the shade, but I decided it against it. Ran 4 out, 4 back. The road is nearly flat so even with it being 87 degrees, I was still able to move pretty fast. I never run anything flat, so it was easy. 8 miles in 55:25, 6:53/mi pace.

I had to go in the base for about 5 minutes to cool off in the a/c. I was pouring in sweat and beet red. Way too hot. Then I drove home, showered and picked up my friend, Jon, to go to open mic night at the Red Parka. He'd been wanting to go out but didn't have anybody to go out with, so I said I would go out with him. I was starving by the time we got there, but for some reason I got the salad bar. Salad didn't cut it, so I ended up eating an entire baguette. ha ha. I knew a few people there who are in Wreckless, the same band that played at the 302 the weekend before, but most of the crowd, I didn't know. Not really my circle. Wreckless played a set, as did Carl (John's ninja coach), who's also in the band. An older guy played who was decent, but then this awful, loud strange person got up there for WAY too long. It was excruciating to the ears. He even tried to play, "One more!" Carl pulled the plug on that one. The guy was on his knees screaming into the microphone about aliens or something. Definitely entertaining... for the eyes, not the ears. Wreckless played a really good set after that, followed by a jam band. I was so done by then. I just can't hang anymore. It was almost midnight anyway. Jon was beat, too, so we left. I drove him home first, so I was late getting back and didn't get to sleep until around 1am.

Tuesday- Had plans for an epic run, but... the party life and early morning runs don't work like they used to. In college, I could be out until 2 or 3am and wake up right at 6am for a run. I would be half drunk still and run well, but I was young. Not so young anymore. I could not get myself out of bed in time to do the run I had planned, so I decided to go to the Green Hills for a trail run. By the time I got out there, I only had an hour and 15 minutes to get my run in. I somehow picked the right route perfectly because it took me right around an hour and 15 minutes. I needed to be done by 9:45am. I was done at 9:46am and home by 10:01am (technically a minute late) for John's dad to drop John off.

The run was nothing special or new, and I didn't run it anywhere close to my fastest time, but it was ok. I ran from Hemlock Lane down Corridor 19 to where the mountain bike trail veers off into the woods to run in the "Outer Limits". It's a pretty decent climb up that doesn't give you much of a break. I continued on to Rattlesnake Mt (not the summit) and then back down the other side to the Quarry Trail and back to my car to make a decent loop. 6.8 miles 1,291 ft of gain. Not a bad run, but it could have been better.
Redstone Quarry. I brought Spot along on the run.
As soon as John came home, he hopped on his bike to go see what his friend was doing, and that was pretty much it for the following 5 hours. I only saw him once during that time when I got a knock on the door by a woman I didn't know. She's apparently a neighbor who lives next to John's friend. Just wanted to let me know that John had hurt her son. Ugh. WTF. I was totally caught off-guard. I didn't really know what to say since I wasn't there, and I had never once even seen this woman or her kids. John and his friend had followed her over and were standing there listening. I kept shooting John WTF looks. ha ha. So I said I would talk to him and gave a meaningless, "Sorry," since I didn't know what else to say. I had to talk to John after that to get the whole story. I guess the other kid is 5 years old, and he threw John's watch at John and hurt him. Then John grabbed the watch and went after the kid hurting him worse. Omg. So we had to talk about how you have to be the big guy and not retaliate, especially against a 5 year old, blah, blah, blah. It wasn't fun. But I guess that shit's going to happen when you put a group of boys together. I'm just hoping I got through to him a little bit. I don't want to deal with "MOM" again. Ha ha.

It was long day just hanging out at the house by myself. Normally, I won't do it because I feel like I'm wasting time. I really don't like hanging out at home during the day at all, but I decided to suck it up so John could play with his friend. I'm happy he finally has a best friend who lives on the same street, so I had to let him spend the day over there. A little after 4pm, I went to get him so we could go to the Summer Series at Whitaker Woods and then to his ninja class.

The temperature had cooled a bit, and a light rain had started by the time we got to Whitaker Woods. I had already decided I was racing this time around, so the clouds and cooler weather (still humid, though!) made me happy. I went out for a mile warm up and immediately ran into a group of very fast-looking high school girls all wearing sports bras and small shorts. They looked legit. Damn, I had a bunch of high school girls to beat. No way in hell were they going to beat me on my turf. I finished up the mile warm up, half of it with Roger Marcoux, and made it back to the start with 10 minutes to spare. I was watching these girls continue to warm up. Very intimidating. As I was standing there, I see this woman slowly sauntering over to me. I was pretty sure it was their coach since I had seen her in the woods with them. I think someone outed me as competition because the first thing she said was, "Are you fast?" Ha ha ha. I don't really know how to answer a question like that because it's all relative. And even at Whitaker Woods, I don't usually run very fast. Too be honest, I don't even think I answered her question. I must have looked puzzled because she went on by asking what time I run there. Once again, I wasn't really sure how to answer her. So I told her my fastest time on the course was right around 20 min, but that I had been just running it around 21 or 22 minutes. She said she was worried about her girls getting lost on the course (the signage is a bit confusing the first time doing it) and was hoping her fastest girl (a redhead who actually looked the fastest) would have someone to run with. She thought our times would be comparable. F-Bomb. I was REALLY going to have to race tonight. She was SUPER nice. I talked to her a bit more and found out they are a team called the Granite State Flash. One of the parents paid for a place for them to come up for a running "camp" for a week. Wow. These girls are the real deal. Give them a few years, and they will be kicking my ass.

We lined up at the start, and the redhead went right up to line next to Tim Livingston. I was behind Tim. I knew I had to go out fast. Bernie called it, and off we went. As predicted the redhead flew off the line ahead of me. I wasn't having it. Watch out, girls. 39 year old coming through. I passed her right away, but I could hear her right on my heels for the first half mile. She dropped back a little bit but only by 5 seconds at the first mile (which is flat). I was thinking there was no way she could hang the climb in the second mile, but then again, I didn't know if I could hang since I had already done some decent climbing that morning. I just kept going as fast as I could. From the top, there's a decent downhill and a sharp turn left where I could take a look back. I was shocked to see her maybe only 10 seconds back. What.the.hell. There is one small climb right after this and then a long downhill. I was hoping I could school her on that downhill since it's pretty rooty. The downhill took out Darin Brown who had been about 20 yards in front of me the whole race; he twisted his ankle and started walking. I just kept hauling ass. As I turned sharply to the right for the last part of the race, I looked back and only saw Darin. The redhead was nowhere in sight. Sigh of relief. I didn't let up, though. I realized that I was going so hard that I would probably be able to PR on the course, so I just kept up the pace and sure enough, after 5 summers of trying to go under 20 minutes, I did it. 19:52. A PR on the course. It's sad because 19:52 for a 5K isn't that fast, but for some reason, that course has always been slow for me. I was psyched, though. The redhead came through probably over a minute back, so she really lost it in the last mile. She probably started off too fast trying to stay with me and just bonked hard in the last mile. I was pretty happy to win it. I couldn't let some high school girls beat me at Whitaker Woods! (Not yet, anyway.)

We rushed off to John's ninja class after that. It was a really good class, and I'm impressed by how strong these boys are. The rest of the night was laid back. I made us dinner, took the dogs out, showered and then went to bed. 34 hour shift started at 7am the next morning.

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