Monday, June 6, 2016

Pre VCM Week

I actually did decided to do a taperish kind of thing for the week leading up to VCM. I was feeling beat and knew that if I didn't cut it back, my legs would be fatigued for the marathon. Plus, with the weather forecast calling for higher and higher temps at VCM, I knew I had to be feeling 100%. I had done pretty well the previous week, but after racing on the track, I felt like I needed to be diligent about taking it easy the following 6 days. And I did pretty well. Kept the week under 30 miles prior to the marathon, which is where I wanted to be.

Sunday, May 22, 2016- After getting to bed late so late after the track meet, I decided to sleep in. John did the same. I went our for a Heavenly Hill run with the dogs. It was really warm out. About 72. All I could think of was the projected forecast for Vermont City...maybe 81 at this point. I thought that if I was dying in 72 in the woods, what would 81 be like??? My legs were super, super tired and sore from the flat track running, so I only did the Hill up and down 3 times. 3.5 miles with 1,448 ft of elevation gain. It was slow, but that's what I was going for. The dogs only joined me for the first one; they were too hot after that. I changed clothes after that then John and I drove over to Fryeburg to do a bike ride on the Mountain Division Trail. Once again my legs were trashed, but it was fun and good exercise for John.
John on the bike path

We spent the rest of the afternoon and early evening at the Tuckerman Brewing Co for an outdoor band. That was a lot of fun. I knew some people there and socialized for a short time, then John and I hung out together on the opposite of field together. I wasn't really feeling chatty and enjoyed my time with John listening to the music and having some beers. 
I love this picture of John

Monday, May 23, 2016- Usual Monday 10 hours at work. I walked on the treadmill midday for about 2 miles. I wasn't on call after work because my parents were supposed to be visiting, and I had dropped the on-call shift. I couldn't get it back, so I just used it as an opportunity to run somewhere I normally couldn't. I hadn't been over to the Marshall Conservation Area off West Side Rd in Conway since they added some new trails, so I ventured over there and ran the trails. Just followed whatever I could find with no real purpose to my run other than just to get something in and enjoy it. At one point I came out into a neighborhood of McMansions and ran up and down one the roads to reach a different part of the trail network that would lead me back to my car. I ended up with an easy-paced 6.3 miles. Another slow, easy jog. It felt good.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016- Slept in again then headed out with Phoenix and Spot on run up B&M Ledge and Whitton Ledge. I normally turn around at Whitton Ledge, but I decided to go on and follow this old, barely used trail that's marked with orange blazes just see where it went. From the ledge it descended steeply until I was all of a sudden in this guy's backyard. He came out of his house just as I approached so I said hi and told him I had followed the trail down from the ledge. He was super friendly and told me he had built the trail and gave me directions on where to go to make a loop along the pond and back up to the ledge. He said his family owned all of the property but that I was welcome to use it. Very cool. I proceeded along a trail that went around the pond. It was so cool running around the pond. I then picked back up the blazed trail for the run back up to the ledge. From there I ran back to my car on Ledge Pond Rd and hurried home. The run was 7 miles and a lot more climbing than I planned, but I didn't run too hard, so it didn't wear me out too much.
Whitton Ledge view

Not my best selfie. Haha.

Spot in Whitton Pond

Trail along the pond

Rain was coming in
John came home shortly after I did from the run. We originally had a big day planned since I thought my parents were coming to visit. With the rain starting to fall, we didn't do much other than some errands. I'm not super motivated to take long walks right now while the black flies are out, so anything we do is short. Since John had ninja class later, we skipped the walk. I did end up taking Spot and Phoenix for a short loop by the gymnastics place while John was in his class. Phoenix ran off into the woods barking at one point. She wouldn't come back, so I followed her high-pitched bark into the woods to find her standing next to a HUGE porcupine. She was lucky she didn't get quilled. The porcupine scampered off and climbed a tree.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016- Usual 5 miles on the treadmill. 7:15/mi pace. Progression run with elevation. Same as always. On to my 34 hour shift. Really quiet until 4pm when we did 5 calls up until 1am. Got back the base around 2am that night but had trouble going back to sleep. Ended up with only 3 hours of sleep. This worried me since VCM was only 4 days away. Not a good week to have that sleep deficit.

Thursday, May 26, 2016- The last 10 hours were quiet with only one call. It took me longer to leave work at 5pm, and then I got stuck behind the slowest cars ever. I ended up getting to Great Glen Trails about 20 minutes later than usual. Good thing I wasn't running up the Auto Road this time around. I needed to keep the legs as fresh as possible, so I just ran the weekly trail race at a slower, just for fun pace in 25:40. I still finished 2nd for the women. Haha. It felt good to take it easy for a change. Going out at 100% on Thursdays is tough for me. I ran some of the single track mountain bike trails behind GGT after the race just to get a few more super easy 1.7 miles in. Stopped for water at the Pinkham Notch Spring and then on to the Moat to finally use the gift certificate I got for winning the Granite State Snowshoe Series. It had been sitting at the Moat for 3 months! Got some nachos for takeout since I was starving.
View from Great Glen

Pinkham Notch Spring

Nachos with a Bissell Brothers Substance

Friday, May 27, 2016- Lack of sleep had caught up with me, so I slept in until 8am. I needed the rest. Plus, I knew my run would be short, so I didn't have to save a huge block of time for it. I just ran through Cranmore Shores from home when I finally got myself out the door.  I meant to run it slowly, but it ended up being kind of quick, and I even broke one of my own course records on Strava. Haha. Oh well. 5.7 miles at 7:19/mi pace. Not much elevation gain, which is what I was going for. Around 300ft. This would be my last run before VCM.

I was really excited to get my kayak out on Conway Lake since it was so warm out, and I knew the lake would be quiet. I'm not a fan of kayaking with a lot of motor boats, so I figured this would be a good chance to do that. I parked off of Potter Road and just paddled out until I had to turn around to get home in time for the John drop off. Haha. It would end up being a 5-mile paddle. It was so beautiful out. I LOVE being out on the lake in my boat in the quiet. So peaceful.

Oh course I had a kayak beer. This one isn't as good as I remember.

I look like a goofball in that hat.
After John came home, I dragged him along to the nail salon to get my nails done. I decided to do something special for myself for the marathon, and that was what I came up with. Plus, my hands and nails just take a beating at work and looked awful. When I was a flight attendant, I always had acrylics. I've had them again once or twice since then, but it had been awhile. Now that I have them again, I think I'm going to keep them going. They just look nice. Haha.

Mr. Cool at the nail salon
Once we got home, I spent awhile packing up for the weekend in Burlington. The forecast was pretty much set, and I knew we were in for a really hot day. I was glad I was able to prepare myself mentally ahead of time, but that didn't change the fact that I was nervous about it. Boston was so hot, and that hot would be over 10 degrees cooler than VCM was predicted to be. I started to really feel the stress of the race coming on, but I was still so looking forward to the weekend away with John in Burlington.

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