Doyle's Emerald Necklace

Doyle's Emerald Necklace

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Week Post-Boston/Ammonoosuc Amble

Tuesday, April 19, 2016- Since I didn't get to bed until after 1am, I was up late and so lazy. I was still in my pajamas at noon. I was surprised to wake up not really sore. Just barely. That was a good sign. It's funny. I haven't been sore after the last few marathons that I've run. I have no idea why, but I guess my body has adjusted to it a little bit, even though I don't run that many marathons. Whatever the reason, I was happy to hop right out of bed feeling pretty good. The legs were definitely fatigued, but there was to be no running.

After I got myself together, and John was home, we drove over to the Bolles Preserve for a walk. The weather was beautiful, and I felt great. We did a nice 3.6 mile loop with Spot and Phoenix. I was even able to run up a hill to test out the legs and felt good.

I got him a smartphone. Bad decision? Maybe

Pond in the Bolles Preserve

Photo of me by John. Haha

Forward roll to shooting guns

Pretty day at the Bolles Preserve

Spot at Chocorua Lake
John didn't have ninja class that night, so that's pretty much all we did on Tuesday. Lazy day other than the walk. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2016- One of the absolute busiest days at the ambulance I've ever had. 7 legitimate 911s. Only one non-transport (who should have been transported) and 6 transports to the hospital. 2 of them were probably taking their last rides ever, and I was lucky one didn't die on me before we got there. Just an insane day. We were the only ambulance covering all of North Conway (which is pretty much the Wednesday norm now), so we had to take all of the calls. No idea why it was so busy, but damn, that was one of those days when I can actually say I worked hard. John even got to see me go by driving the ambulance with lights and sirens as he sat outside Frontside Grind. I waved as I turned the corner. Haha. I was lucky enough to get about 4 hours of sleep overnight in between calls, so it wasn't too bad. Glad I didn't run that morning either. 

Thursday, April 21, 2016- The opposite of Wednesday. Quiet down at the southern base. We had one call to a brush fire in Eaton that we were cancelled on before we ever arrived. It was kind of nice having a down day, but I was SO ready to run again after work. Two days off was enough. I only planned 5-6, but I miscalculated the distance of my chosen route and accidentally ran 8. I could feel the fatigue in the legs on the uphills, for sure, but other than that, I felt great. No soreness at all. I ran from the center of Tamworth in a figure 8 that did a loop around Hollow Hill to 113 and then up Gardner Hill Rd back to 113 and back to my car. My average pace was quick at 7:25/mi and 527ft of elevation gain. Not a bad first run back after Boston. I felt positive about the next day's run in the Moat's. 
The night's drink. The glass was on purpose.
Friday, April 22, 2016- Since I was feeling good, I decided to do my shortened version of the Moat Loop. I've been dying to do my whole Moat Traverse loop, but it was really too soon after Boston for that. Even though I felt good, I was moving pretty slowly with the tired legs. The short loop is just under 11 miles, so that was good enough. My loop always starts at High St and follows the former Moat Mountain Trail up to the 2003 reroute. It's funny how I've only done the "new" official trail once in the last 3 years, and that's when I was injured. Someone broke my Strava course record this past week up the official trail. I'd held that record for almost 3 years, soooooo..... I'll be taking that back soon. :)

Anyway, today's run was slow. There was no record breaking, and I even walked up some of the steeper really technical section. Legs were tired, and I just needed to be up in the mountains. Plus, I had some sunglasses photos to take. (I took photos of Eric Narcisi's sunglasses every day until returning them yesterday at Big River; my next blog post will just be the photos I took of them.) So I took my time and probably ran my slowest time ever for the loop. It didn't matter, though. I just wanted to get back in the mountains and have an enjoyable run. The run climbed up to South Moat and across to Middle Moat. There were a few icy patches left in the cooler, shady spots, but nothing I couldn't run around. I always have a few choices for the route back to my car after coming down the Red Ridge Trail. This time I chose the Lower Stony Ridge Trail to FR 379 back to my car. I was toast by the time I finished the 10.8 miles. I was out there for almost 3 hours with 2:20:40 of actual running. 2,954ft of elevation gain. I think I stumbled through the last mile. 

Me on South Moat

View of the Presidentials from South Moat

I set up this shot with the self timer to catch some action photos. They came out ok. Took about 10 takes to get the timing right.
My Friday post-run brought me back to Frontside Grind for a large latte and apple fritter. I decided to let my disciplined diet go for a couple of weeks post-Boston. It's about to get strict again to cut the weight back down for VCM. The weather was nice so I sat outside of Frontside Grind for the first time this year. A dad was following his 11-month old around as she was walking around the patio. She had just started walking and reminded me of John at the same age when he first walked. So cute... but I'm glad I'm way past that. Haha.

I picked up John from his homeschool group at Tin Mountain and spent the rest of the night at home. 

Ammonoosuc Amble, Saturday, April 23, 2016- Before Boston, the Amble sent out an email with a code to apply to your registration for one lucky person to win a free a entry to the race. This was a race I had done the previous 3 years, with 2 wins under my belt. They had changed the date from the first weekend of April to the 23rd, so I wasn't planning on running it, but lo and behold, I decided to try the free entry code and won it! That's about the only good luck I've had lately, so I was surprised to get it. That meant I was running the Amble, but I decided I was only doing it for fun. It's such a nice event in the North Country that I really didn't want to miss it; it's become kind of an April tradition for me. 

Every year, I've had competition here, but with the later date, the field was probably cut in half and no women looked like they would be much competition. It was nice to see Kevin Tilton and Ernie Brake show up, though. I usually only know Kevin Callahan, who was also there. The weather was pretty chilly, probably 20 degrees colder than North Conway and under gray skies. Not quite as bad as last year when it was snowing during the race, but just cold enough to call for a change from my singlet to short sleeves and gloves. I did an easy 1 mile warm up and had every intention of putting no effort into this race, but.....that changed. 

As soon as the race started, I was already the second woman. A younger girl shot out in front from the start, but I could tell that she was going too fast and wouldn't hold that pace. I waited about a quarter mile and then blew past her, which put me in the lead. This wasn't where I intended to be. I didn't want to race today, and this course is tough, but now that I had the lead, I decided to hold onto it. So I didn't just run for fun afterall. I didn't push myself too hard either. I ended up running more of a tempo run, never dropping under a 6:00 min pace. This isn't an easy course, but miles 3 and 4 are a quad buster of a downhill that I usually run well under 6 min. I made sure to hold back on this part so that I wouldn't be hurting for the last mile uphill. I took it easy on this last mile since I realized no woman was anywhere close behind me and cruised through finish in 32:49 for the 5-mile race. A respectable time for not pushing myself. About a minute and a half slower than last year, but I didn't care at all. A win is a win, and to race that well only 5 days post-Boston was fine with me. 

I talked to Kevin and Ernie just after. A photographer from the paper was there, but they make you pay to view their photos online, so I never saw any. Racewire failed and only caught the very last few people to come through. No idea how that happened since the guy was taking photos when we all came through. Someone from the race took the awards photos, but those never got posted either. So what I'm saying is... there are zero photos from this race. I know everyone is SO sad about this. Haha. I kind of am because I like to have a photo from each race I do. I'll never understand races that don't get that. I even take photos of my racers at my race and make sure to have at least one photographer there. People love that. Anyway, I did an easy 1 mile cool down then went into the gym for the food and awards. We didn't eat much since we had lunch plans in Littleton. The awards were a bit disappointing, and I kind of sound like an asshole for saying this, but they forgot to give us the bouquet of flowers. Every year, the top winners get a bouquet of flowers. It's seriously been one of my favorite awards for the past few years. I haven't gotten flowers otherwise since 1999, so I've really loved this every year, but for some reason, they forgot to give them to us. They were sitting right there on the awards table and NOONE noticed that the woman forgot to hand them out. Instead I got the usual "I'm giving this to John" trophy. I can't complain. I got a free entry. They put a great race every year. The people are super nice, but I have to say not getting the flowers was on my huge bummer list. Haha. 

We stayed for the raffle then headed over to Littleton. I take John to Chutters candy counter every year after the race, so we stopped in there first, then we walked over to Schilling Beer Co for beer and food. I had been wanting to go there for a few years. The weather had turned beautiful, so John and I opted to sit out on the deck overlooking the river. The beer was good, and we both had the pizza. Definitely a good place that I plan to go back to. 



Progression of photos by John





We drove home via I-93 and the Kanc for some different scenery. John went to his friend's house when we got home, and I took the dogs for a walk up Heavenly Hill. It was such a beautiful day.

Those sunglasses look familiar.

Sunday, April 24, 2016- I decided to take a zero day from running since I had pushed myself more than planned in the race the day before. It's not that I couldn't have run, but I just wanted to rest my legs. I had a hike planned for John and me anyway, so I didn't mind the break.

It was another gorgeous day, so I took John over to Castle in the Clouds to hike up Bald Knob. John has done Mt Roberts, but that's it. I thought he would enjoy the Bald Knob hike. It was slow going at John pace, but I didn't mind. If he's not complaining, then I'm not either. We walked the 2.1 miles to the knob to find the usual amazing view of Lake Winnipesaukee. It never gets old. It was a quick hike back down since John runs most of the downhills.








I enjoy our hikes together. Even though he complains about going on them, he hardly ever complains once we're actually out there and seems to appreciate the views. It's nice to be able to do this with him, too. It was something I used to hope for when he was a baby. That "some day" thing. It's great that it's come true somewhat. I like to seem him away from the video games and phone and enjoying the place we live in. The mountains and trails are the only redeeming quality of this place we're stuck in, so I try to take advantage of it with him in tow as much as possible. 




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