Doyle's Emerald Necklace

Doyle's Emerald Necklace

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Downward Spiral to Ascutney

I'll never learn, so don't even bother trying to give me advice. I'll just continue to run myself into the ground, thanks. A downward spiral. And that's pretty much what I started by racing Pack. Do I regret it? Of course not, silly. Did I learn from it? Of course not, silly. Haha. I just set myself up for some really tired legs and 2 mediocre races, which I expected. Ascutney and Mt Washington are NOT my strength. Uphill-only? Nope. I suck. And I doubley suck on tired legs. But I expected it, and I wasn't disappointed. I knew what I was getting myself into, so I just had to do what I could do in the moment and move on. I did make an effort to recover between Pack and the Ascutney Mountain Race. I really did. But it just wasn't enough. I just feel like these are races I HAVE to do, so I'm going for it. I was in a similar position last year, but recovering from just one marathon was easier. Racing Boston and Vermont so close with all of the races in between them. And I mean, every weekend, didn't really let me recover completely from one going into the other. I felt great going into VCM, but I can definitely feel a difference over last year. By this coming weekend a year ago, I was ready to race the Whiteface Skymarathon and actually felt great there. This year, my legs are screaming for a break. Last year, I did myself in with Pack, Hollis and Market Square all within 7 days of each other and destroyed myself, but I was smarter and took some major days off to recoup before Washington. That was my plan again this year, but I didn't follow through. Running obsessed much? Yeah. I think so.

Post Pack Monadnock Week Recap

Monday, June 6, 2016- Nothing too exciting at work. We did two calls back to back in the middle of the day. Dropped one patient quickly at Huggins then bolted back out on another call and brought them to Huggins. It's definitely getting busier with the 911s. Ran into my former coworker, Peter, who now works for Napa, at the Irving gas pump during the day. I've been dying to get a selfie with the Napa hat, so I climbed onto Peter's truck to take one. Haha.


After work, I decided to go to White Lake again and run on the Around the Lake Trail 3 times. I added on the Pitch Pine Trail this time just to see where it went and found it was just about a 1/2 loop to a pond and then back to the main trail. 6.1 trail miles. 8:32/mi pace. Absolutely zero elevation gain. My legs were thanking me. It was just an enjoyable run. I love these. The slow run with no goal. Just running to run. It takes the pressure off of myself, and I really need that the day after a race. I have to keep it fun or else I'll burn out, and I love running too much to let that happen. 

I was on call that night, but I did end up doing a strength workout at home. A little too much leg work, but I cut out some of it and just focused on the upper body stuff. Hopped in the shower, soaped up... then the phone rang. Dispatch calling me. Figures! Rinsed off, quickly washed my hair, got out, combed my hair, put on my uniform, grabbed dinner out of the fridge to bring along then hopped in the car. All of that took 4 minutes. I was impressed with myself. Haha. I was there for 2 hours then came home. Slept the rest of the night. 

Tuesday, June 7, 2016- This was the run for the week that I probably shouldn't have done, but I didn't run it super fast, and since it was Tuesday, I don't think it did too much damage, but did I really need to run 10 hilly miles two days after racing 10 hilly miles? Probably not. But for some reason, I just really wanted to get some miles in on the road. Like I said before, I do what I want, so I did. haha. Parked at Chocorua Lake and ran an out and back 10 miles that I've done many times on the dirt roads in Chocorua. 7:40/mi pace, but that's only because I was able to pretty much fall down on the downhills. The ups were super slow. 742ft of elevation gain. I went back to my run on Strava to read my run description. Pretty much summed it up in very few words.

Haha
I was beat. That night was the first race in the weekly Summer Series at Whitaker Woods, but I just couldn't do it. No way. Even running it for fun was out of the question. Instead, I took John to Conway Lake while I lied on the beach being extremely lazy. I was so lazy that I couldn't even bring myself to change into a full bathing suit. Half would do. Haha. 

I honestly don't even remember the rest of the day other than taking John to his ninja class. We might have gone to the store, but I have no idea. I would definitely remember better if I didn't procrastinate on writing my blog posts. I know I had some good beers. At least I have that memory! Ok, so I had to look that up, too, since I always have good beers.
One I got while we were in Vermont. This is the brewery I ran by during the marathon that tempted me to DNF and go in for a beer.

Really good IPA that Beth Lazor-Smith gave me in a beer trade
Wednesday, June 8, 2016- Skipped the am treadmill run. My entire body was beat and said, "No running!" Somewhat busy day at the ambulance in the afternoon and evening. Like I said, call volume is increasing as it always does in the summer. We're only the one truck in town, so we end up doing all of the calls. Mid-summer will get interesting. We did make it back in time from a call to hit Starbucks and then John's track practice at Kennett. He didn't know I was there for awhile, so I watched him and his friends acting like goofballs building human pyramids and dancing. Haha. He finally spotted me before he started the 50m. He came in last in that and the 100m, but he was trying SO hard. For a kid who hates running, I was impressed he still gave it 100% effort. He's surprisingly enjoyed the track program, but I think if it lasted more than a month, he would start to get tired of it. This has been a perfect chance for him to try it. He definitely doesn't love it, but I think he's still having fun.
50m. In the back.

50m

Goofing around. haha

Bunch of goofballs building a pyramid
We had one more call that evening and then enjoyed a quiet night with sound sleep! 

Thursday, June 9, 2016- It was right into my next shift in Tamworth for the 10. My 3rd to last 34 hour shift! I've been counting down the weeks. I am so, so done with the 34. Another day that was slow in the morning, so I walked two miles on the treadmill. But then we ended up with a working code in an extremely inconvenient location out in the woods, down and then back up a steep embankment. I ended up carrying a lot of equipment out of the woods, going up and down the hill multiple times, so that I was pretty beat by the time I got out of there. Between that and tired legs, I had a feeling the Great Glen Trails race wouldn't go so well, but I drove up there anyway. 

It's about an hour drive from the Tamworth base, so I was in the car for awhile. When I stepped out of the car, I was SO stiff. That was the first time this had happened here. I get there so late that I don't usually have to time to warm up, so I just jump right into racing. This time, I had no choice but to warm up. I could barely walk. A super short .4 mile warm up on the trails behind the building. The wind up around Mt Washington was absolutely insane, but it made for some beautiful cloud formations. It did not make for a beautiful headwind whenever we were out in the open. Fortunately, most of the course was protected, so I can't really pull "Headwind from Hell" out of my Excuse Bag for this one. I think the Excuse Bag only held one legitimate excuse, and that was "Tired".  As soon as I started, the legs felt heavy. I gave everything I had, but it was a struggle. When I saw the first mile was over 10 seconds slower, I knew this wasn't going to be a good race. I was actually surprised to even pull off a 24:07. 18 seconds slower than the week before, but still not bad for heavy legs. Margaret obliterated me this week. Her improvement over each week has been impressive for sure, and I think I'll have to concede the win to her at this point. haha. I really don't think I can race the rest of these hard. It's just become too much at this point. I may give one more of them an all out effort, but I don't know yet. I honestly no longer care enough about winning to kill myself out there anymore. I'm already doing enough, and it's probably doing more harm than good at this point anyway. We'll see, though. If I'm feeling good the week after Mt Washington, then I might make the effort.
GGT Week 5 results
So the wind is absolutely insane. My legs are dead. And what do I decide to do? Run up the Auto Rd to Mile 2. I just wanted to go up there. Not far to where I would die, but I just felt like I needed to get on the Auto Rd one more time. My intended Mt Washington training did not go as planned, and next year, I'll probably skip the Series, but today, I just needed to do something on it one last time before the race. So off I went. I felt surprisingly good, and the first 1.5 miles were mostly protected from the wind, but as soon as I hit that 1.5 mile mark, I ran into HUGE wind gusts. As if running up that thing wasn't hard enough. Running against a headwind made it even harder. I pushed on to mile 2 and found it once again protected from the wind, so I stopped for some sign selfies. :)
Deer in headlights
I ran back down from there and got out of the wind as quickly as possible. I had to bag getting water from the Pinkham Notch Spring on the way back. My bottles would have blown away...maybe me, too! Here are a few pics I took of the amazing clouds.









 I was SO hungry by the time I got back into North Conway that I stopped for yellow curry chicken at the thai place then had a much needed beer to go along with it.

Friday, June 10, 2016- I slept in a little on Friday like I usually do. It was a pretty warm day out, so I decided not to bring Spot and Phoenix along on my run up Black Cap. It's one of my favorite 10 mile trail loops in town. Starts at Thompson Rd, follows the Black Cap Connector Trail up to the top of Black Cap then loops down the ridge to Cranmore. I follow the service road down and then go back up the unnamed trail to the Connector Trail and back to the car. 10.1 miles and 2,362ft of elevation gain in under 2 hours. I kept the pace really slow, so as not to kill myself. Ok, hold on. Wait, wait, wait. I'm such a liar! Did I write at the beginning of this blog that I really tried to recover for Ascutney?! After writing all of this out, I'm calling bullshit on myself! Haha. I totally did NOT try to recover from Ascutney! Who am I kidding besides myself! Hahaha! I think I was delusional in thinking that I did, but there is nothing written that indicates any recovery effort besides maybe Wednesday's zero. And that zero is really just due to pure laziness and not wanting to get out of bed. I guess in my mind at the time, I thought I was taking it easy. Sure, low miles for the week, but with the way I felt and with all of the racing, I could have left out the 100% effort at Great Glen, the 10-mile road run (trails instead!) and the freakin' 10-mile mountain run two days out from Ascutney. I'm seriously laughing at myself right now because it really is funny. Maybe one day I'll smarten up, but I doubt it. Life is way more fun when you break your own rules.
Black Cap. 

View towards Kearsarge and Evans Notch


So glam in my skirt
 I hit Frontside Grind after for my usual latte, then went home. I decided to take John up to Storyland to get our season passes. We were coming back the next day with his friend, but I didn't want to stand in a long Saturday line to get the passes. When we got there, I realized they were open until 5pm, so we spent about 2 hours in the park. The place was dead, so we rode the Roar-O-Saurus 4 times in a row. John did a lot of the other rides and finally wants to ride by himself. I don't mind it all on those spinning rides.
OMG. How did this get on my camera?



Nope. Not doing this ride ANYMORE.

2016 Creepy Clown Photo
 After Storyland, we went to the 99 for dinner. It's definitely not a place I would normally ever go, but I won a $25 gift card through my company during EMS week, so we decided to use it. John was funny and said my beer was way too big. Bigger than my head! So I had him take a photo to compare. Haha. Pretty close!

Saturday, June 11, 2016- I think this is the only day that I actually ran smart. I stuck to 3.1 miles in the neighborhood. The first two miles with Chill and the last one with Phoenix. Spot runs/walks herself around the house. She would look down her snout at me if I ever tried to put a leash on her and run her on the pavement. I've never once run with Spot on a leash (walked, yes), Easy pace (for real this time!) 8:14/mi. See!

I took John and his friend to Storyland for about 4 hours. The place was dead again, there were no lines. Rode the Roar-O-Saurus 3 times in a row. I let them do the other stuff together while I watched. So weird to be one of those parents now who just watches. It's good thing. He's growing up. And I reminded him that in 4 years, he can get a job at Storyland!! Haha! John's friend decided to stay over so that they could have a sleep over.

When we pulled into the driveway, I stopped at the mailbox to get the mail and inside was a surprising piece of mail. I got an invite to be part of "New England's Finest" at the Hartford Marathon! I was invited last year and turned it down, and I really didn't expect to be invited again this year, but there it was. I didn't have to think about it too long. How could I pass up this opportunity a second time? Hartford was definitely not in my plan at all, but the dates actually worked out with it being the weekend of October 8th. I was considering Bay State anyway, so a second Fall marathon (besides Manchester) wasn't a stretch. It just seemed to fall into place perfectly. I'll just spectate at Bay State again like I did last year. That race is really fun to watch anyway. Now, I'm really excited about Hartford, and they do so much the invited runners, too. We even get to bring along a companion who gets entry into the race and can join us for all of the special stuff. Now the question is, who will I bring?? I can't think of a single person who would want to do it with me. I'm sure a lot of people would want to run it, but spend a whole weekend with me?! EEK! Haha. Anyway, I'll be accepting applications to be my companion. A full resume, followed by a background check is expected. Must be a beer snob and like to party. Creepy people need not apply. You know who you are; if you just questioned whether you're creepy or not, then you're creepy. Haha. Ok. I'm totally kidding...except the creepy part.
My pre-Ascutney beer with my invitation letter. Very cool! 
As messed up as I seem running-wise right now, I do actually have a plan. Training is changing the week after Mt Washington. Only 2 more mountain races until September. In between that time, I'm racing one trail race and then ALL roads. So that means, it's time to get serious again and work on getting back the speed. I have a month before the first race, a 10K. Then I get to be part of the elite field at Run 4 Kerri, so that's cool. Both of those races I consider warm ups to the Bobby Doyle, the NH 10-Miler and Seasons 20K, the next 3 NE Grand Prix Races. I really need to pick it up if I want to run decent times at those. This slow stuff isn't helping. I'll still be hitting the mountains on Thursdays, but most of the rest of the week will be road and a day on the track. I've finally decided to try this track training thing. I feel like just racing on the indoor track over the winter really helped, so it's time to train for real. Not like everyone else trains for real, but like a Leslie type of for real. So not actually for real, but close enough. Haha. I'll throw in some longish runs in there, too, just to keep the distance up. We'll see. Hoping to stay injury free and see some improvements back to my former self from 2015...so long ago!


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