Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Mid-Year Break

Finally, another race-free weekend, and the first one since the first weekend of April. Not only did I need a break, but so did John, and it just happened to fall on the same weekend as last year. Hmmm. Am I following the same pattern? Well, yeah, I suppose so, but if you compare this year to last year, you'd see I've cut my average weekly mileage back by quite a bit. Not really on purpose, but just how it seems to be working out, especially with my new schedule and Mondays pretty much being zero days now instead of at least something. I got in some decent runs, though, over these 2 weeks and didn't miss racing over the weekend one bit. I have so many races coming up that there was no reason to miss it. Two week synopsis....I'll try to keep it short... ok that's a lie. Haha.

Monday, July 11, 2016- Zero Day. Walked 2 miles on the treadmill at work. Pretty uneventful day.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016- Opposite of Monday. Stayed super busy. I got off work at 7am and then eventually made my way over to the Conway Rec path for track Tuesday! I made up this ladder thing that completely kicked my ass. 200, 400, 800, 1000, 1600, 1000, 800, 400, 200. 40.72, 84, 2:56, 3:41, 6:09, 3:46, 3:00, 86, 41.06. Yeah, I definitely suck at this track thing, but my goal isn't actually track itself anyway, soooo... I just consider the fact I'm doing these workouts as a step in the right direction. Haha. 4 miles on the Conway Rec Path for warm up and cool down.

I had a great afternoon planned for John and me in Wolfeboro to kind of copy what we did almost a year ago by biking 7 miles on the Cotton Valley Trail to Albee Beach and then into the center of town for ice cream. This time the plan added beer into the mix. Of course, right?! I had been wanting to try Lone Wolfe brewing for awhile and saw on their website that they were open Tuesdays, so it was perfect. So we loaded up the bikes and drove down. Stopped at the beach for awhile since it was pretty warm out. John swam for a long time. I waded mostly. Then we biked on into town and got ice cream. I reluctantly agreed to let John get a medium, and, um, that was a mistake. It was HUGE and took him over half an hour to eat it. Then we walked the bikes to Lone Wolfe. Took me forever to find the place, and when I finally did, I saw it was closed. WTF. I found out later that it is open on Tuesdays, just not that one. haha. Fortunately, Beveridge Craft Beer and Soap Co is pretty much right next door, and they have a decent tap room. Luck wasn't on my side there either, though. They had Throwback on tap and just as she was pouring my glass, the keg was kicked. Instead of offering me something else or giving me that one for FREE, she said, "It's only a partial glass. I hope that's ok," and then charged me $3 for it. I could have said it wasn't ok, but I really wanted to try this particular beer of theirs, so I just took it. Oh well, we still had to bike back 3.5 miles, and I had another run planned during ninja class so I didn't need the beer anyway. By the time I finished, I realized we had to rush back to pick up the dogs and make it to ninja class on time. The day had flown by.

He's so cute. Love my guy.

Partial Beer. Me no like.

Once John went into the gym for ninja class, I took Phoenix and Spot on a short 3 mile run on the trail and dirt roads. It was SO hot. They were getting into gross puddles and green ponds to cool off. I didn't mind keeping this one short since it was my second run of the day anyway. After ninja, we went home, and I broke open a much better beer. Perfect on a hot summer night.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016- I was so beat that I couldn't get myself for a run. Plus, my hip and glute were REALLY hurting me. I didn't think the 5 miles was worth running through pain. I was actually excited for work, though, because I was getting my old partner back for the day!! And just to celebrate, we took a picture of us on the ambulance for old time's sake. Haha.

I also like to take selfies with creepy looking mannequins, and they had one lying on a bed in the hallway just before you walked into the ER. It scared the crap out of me when I first walked in with our patient because I thought it was a dead person. Haha. Once we left the patient, I went out in the hallway, waited until no one was around and then hopped into bed with it. ;)

Digging the shirt. "Live a little"
We didn't have a lot of calls, but it was really nice having Michelle back, even if just for a day. I actually got an extra duty at work to help out with billing so I spent hours catching up on the mess that was handed me. I'm pretty much the one who bugs people to get their Temsis reports done so that we can bill in a timely manner and get paid for the runs. Compliance was severely lacking, but I'm happy to say that since I took this part over, it has gotten so much better. I got a small raise for it, and the work is easy, so I don't mind it.

Thursday, July 14, 2016- I had a long mountain run planned up Mt Isolation, but as I was driving there, I saw that all of the higher mountains were socked in with clouds. That wasn't a mountain I wanted to run up and not have a view, so I made a quick change of plans and decided to attempt all 4 trails on Pleasant Mt up and down from the summit. Pleasant Mt is also known as Shawnee Peak Ski Area to those skiers out there, but there is so much more to it than that, as I would come to find out. I had to pull over to look at a map and decide which trail I wanted to start from.

I looked at the descriptions and thought it would be a fairly easy 15ish mile run. Well, first off, I can't count, and secondly, I had no idea just how rough some of that running would be. It was a nice cloudy day, but the humidity was insanely high. I didn't bring enough water or fuel for this and ended up eating blueberries to make up for it... which it didn't, and I bonked so hard along the way, not even completing all 4 trails. I had no energy left for it. But anyway, starting from the beginning, I opted for the Firewarden's Trail to start since I thought it would be an easy climb up and then an easy run down at the end. Not too technical, not too steep. That was pretty much the case, and 2.3 miles later I was at the intersection for the Bald Peak Trail. I did NOT anticipate the steepness of this trail, nor how technical it ended up being. It was super beautiful, though, since it followed the ridge up to Bald Peak, and the cool wind at the top felt great. Blueberries were EVERYWHERE, and I couldn't stop eating them. I opted to veer off onto the North Ridge Trail and then down Sue's Way where I met back up with the Bald Peak Trail for a steep, technical run down. By this point, I had a feeling I wasn't going to complete the run I had planned. I was already soaked to the bone in sweat and almost out of water. When I got to the trailhead, I turned around and ran the extremely steep trail all the way back up to the intersection with the Fire Warden's Trail. That climb really did me in, and at this point, I was trying to decide which of the two trails left I was going to do as I ran to the true summit of Pleasant Mt where there were a million people.

I took a break to check the map and drink some water and decided to take the Southwest Ridge Trail down. I chose this in case I decided I was done when I got to the bottom since I could run the road back to the car. The Southwest Ridge Trail descends and then ascends to its Southwest Summit, and then descends down to the road for a total of 2.7 miles. This trail was absolutely beautiful! The views along the open trail were great. When I got to the trailhead, I stopped to drink the last of my water and make the decision on whether to run the nearly 3 miles back up to the summit or run the road for probably 3.5 miles. It only took a few seconds to decide on climbing back up to the summit. I knew I could eat blueberries on the way to keep some sort of fuel going in. The road just seemed completely unappealing. So up I went, and it ended up not seeming so steep.

Once I got back to the summit, I knew for sure that I had no energy left to include the short, but steep, Ledges Trail today. I was tapped out. Just running the 2.5 miles back down the Firewarden's Trail were going to be hard enough. I had sweat SO much that I could actually wring out the sweat from my skirt. I probably had about 3 pounds worth of sweat on my clothing, which meant I was probably really dehydrated. My decision to cut out the 4th trail was the right one for today. I just didn't anticipate the difficulty of these trails. I'll have to go back another time when it's cooler and I'm smarter. I made my way back down the Firewarden's Trail and ran into an older man who was left behind by his wife and friend as they pushed to the summit. He was all done and had called it quits. I ended up talking to him for about 10 minutes before stumbling down the mountain and back to my car. I started the car up and cranked the a/c to stop the continuous sweat fountain, then I changed clothes. The entire run was 15.1 miles with 5,652ft of elevation gain and over 4 hours on my feet. That's what I had originally calculated for all four trails, so I was glad I cut out the last one. I was D-O-N-E. Once I cooled off and shed the 3-4 pounds of clothing, I felt so much better. Dry clothes and a plan...for lunch...and beer. But first, I made a quick stop at Sherman Farm for some chocolate milk that I chugged half of.

Drove to Moat Mountain Smokehouse to use a gift certificate I had left over from the Snowshoe Scramble at Whitaker Woods. I got a 20oz Square Tail Stout which was delish and ordered a pizza. The beer went down fast so I tried a Bavarian Hipster, which was meh. I surprisingly had food left over for dinner and didn't snarf it all down.

Square Tail Stout

Then it was home where I parked myself on the couch for the rest of the night. I was beat, and I had to get up early to head to the Sea Coast.

Friday, July 15, 2016- I was on the road the next morning by 4:30am so that I could be running by 6am. It was only 6am, but as Amy Bernard would say, it was HOT AS BALLS. Like miserably hot, and the sun was already bright in the sky. Humidity had to be close to 90%. Sea breeze? Yeah, no. I had planned to run another long run, about 16 miles, along Rt 1 starting at Odiorne Park, but within the first mile, the heat was already beating me down, so I decided 5 out, 5 back would do it. The good thing is that it was mostly flat, so I could still lay down some speed. A run along the coast is normally pleasant, and, for sure, the smell of the ocean air was amazing, but the running was painful, especially after the day before, so I just wanted to get it over with. I don't know how I was able to maintain it, but I managed to stay sub-7 after the first mile running the 10 miles at an average pace of 6:52/mi. And it was generally negative splits. So I was happy with the run, but once again pouring in sweat and overheated. I had parked right there at the beach so I went out there and got into the ocean. This summer has been so hot that I've actually been able to tolerate the ocean temp a few times. This is a first since I first moved to New England in 1999! That water felt SO good and refreshing.

Post-swim. I look tired.

Odiorne Point

The main reason I was down there was to see Tina at Body Mechanix for a 90-minute deep tissue massage. Massages are really a luxury for me (even with a Groupon!) so I had been opting-out. But a few weeks beforehand, a friend on Six03 highly recommended Tina. At this point, my hip and glute were in a lot of pain. In fact, I hadn't been pain-free since my injury in September 2015. I couldn't even remember what it was like NOT to be in pain. Once the injury healed in the left glute, I was all of sudden in pretty solid pain in the right glute, hip and groin. So I broke down. I felt like I needed to spend the money on this. So my appointment was set for that morning, and I couldn't wait. I had some time to kill in Dover so I hit this sweet coffee shop called Adelle's Coffeehouse. The place was packed and the ambiance awesome. I ordered a latte and got an almond joy donut. The latte was fantastic. The donut could use improvement, by say...adding gluten. Haha. I'm not a huge fan of gluten-free stuff (except Peace of Mind Bakery!), and I don't eat gluten free. So a gluten free donut was meh. Haha.

From there it was off to meet Tina at Body Mechanix. This appointment would literally change my life. This wasn't a fru-fru massage. Not calming music. No relaxation. No modesty allowed. Tina found every little thing that was wrong with me and then some and then worked it all out. I had so many issues that she didn't even get to everything in the 90 minutes! But I walked out of there pain-free for the first time in almost 10 months!! And I would continue to stay pain-free with only minor twinges. And I made another appointment right away. To feel this way is well worth the money. And I highly, highly recommend Tina at Body Mechanix.

John came home that afternoon, and since I was beat from the running and sore from the massage, we went to the lake where I could veg while John swam. I noticed down at the beach that I was having a lot of water retention. I looked it up to see if it was common after a deep tissue massage, and although I could find nothing definitive, I did find a lot of people who claimed to have this occur following a deep tissue massage. It made sense.

John found a heart-shaped rock and gave it to me. He's the best.

Messing with Phoenix who then literally pushed him off the couch. Haha

                  Yes. He actually shot me right after I took this

Doing what we call the "Chris Farley" face

Saturday, July 16, 2016- Slept in then ran 4.1 EASY miles in the neighborhood. The first 2 with Chill and the 3rd with Phoenix. Very slow. 8:21/mi pace. Just getting something in.

Today, I was finally fulfilling a promise to John to use our Fun Pass to go to Whale's Tale Water Park over in Lincoln. It was actually really nice having a weekend when we didn't have to think about any racing. We could make fun plans or have no plans at all. I was kind of dreading Whale's Tale because, well, it was the middle of summer, and that means a lot of people. I was surprised when we got there to find it not that crowded. And it stayed that way all day. The day was somewhat cloudy, so that might have kept people away, but whatever, it ended up being perfect. John's favorite thing is the wave pool, of course. We hit most of the water slides and pretty much spent 5 hours there. It was actually a really fun time. I ended up participating in one of the their "competitions" and lost miserably. Haha. You had to hold a bucket full of water out in front of you. Last to drop it wins. I thought I stood a good chance and naturally put in my stronger, right hand. I completely forgot that I have nerve damage in my right shoulder that causes the muscles to twitch uncontrollably when I hold the arm up for a period of time. I was doing ok and then all of a sudden my muscle just started twitching to the point where it just gave out. I think I was the 2nd one out! Haha. Bummer because I could have won us a $50 gift cert to the Zip line place nearby. Oh well. :) I was so glad we went, though. John had so much fun.

John in the tube with the goggles on

Taking a break from hours of swimming

Moat Miss V Blueberry

Sunday, July 17, 2016- Slept in AGAIN. It felt so nice. We didn't have any plans either. Is this how people live?? Haha. I got a text from John's friend's mom asking if John wanted to go to a cookout at his friend's grandparent's. I asked John, and he was super stoked to go. I had just planned to run around the neighborhood again that morning, but then I realized that I could actually get in a long run instead. So I waited for John to leave and then drove down to Tamworth for one of my more difficult long runs along the rural roads leaving from Remick Museum. This run is tough, but it's really nice. A mix of paved and dirt roads that take you up into the hills close to (and sometime over) the Sandwich line and then up near Great Hill and back down. It was a bit hot out but not nearly as hot as it had been so I felt ok. The run has quite a few hills, some really good climbs, but I was able to hold mostly miles in the 7s which was my goal with this one. The total loop came out to 15.8 miles with 1,096 ft of elevation gain with an average pace of 7:29/mi. I was super happy with that because it's exactly what I was hoping to run. And it concluded my race-free week by pretty much destroying myself. Haha. No rest for this girl!

As soon as I got back to the car, I changed into my sandals and then wandered down the hill to the Swift River for a dip. Then I drove over to Hobb's Tavern for lunch and.... beer!! Haha.

Swift River in Tamworth

Flight at Hobb's
John was still going to be gone for awhile so I went by the house to pick up all three dogs and then took them on a 2-mile walk in the Albany Town Forest. I was surprised to find a brand new bench there at the scenic view of the Moats and the river.

John came home a little while after that. He was as beat as I was, so we both had had a great day.

Monday, July 18, 2016- Much needed rest day for me. 24 hour shift at work wasn't too busy. We did have to sit in Madison for awhile after a possible microburst went through East Shore Drive ripping up trees, boats and docks. We didn't end up staying long since they only needed a BLS truck to sit standby, and we were an ALS truck.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016- Track Tuesday! I had no idea what to do this time around, but ended up going with 5x1000. Did the usual warm up on the Conway Rec Path and ended up randomly running into Peter Haine. Peter was a KHS star in his day and his dad was our realtor when we bought our house, so I know the family well. Peter just graduated from MIT and is about to start a PhD there, but in the meantime, he was home for the summer for a bit and was just planning an easy, short loop run from home. We ended up running my warm up together (faster than I usually do!) and Peter asked if he could join me on the track. So he ended up joining me for my disaster of a workout. Haha. Like I said before 1000s are REALLY hard for me. I don't know why, but I just can't seem to be consistent, and I ended up running positive splits for these. UGH. 3:35, 3:39, 3:41, 3:42, 3:44. How awful is that?! Haha Oh well. Peter joined me for most of the cool down back until he veered off for home. It was nice catching up with him. Such a nice kid from such a good family.

John came home and then we headed over to Gilford for his dentist appointment at the Children's Dentistry of the Lakes Region. It's a bit of a haul, but he's been going there for years, so we've just stuck with it. On the way home, we stopped for lunch in Meredith and had the misfortune of ending up in the middle of about 50 camp kids. Eek. We still had a time. John played Pokemon Go almost the whole time.

Once home, we didn't have much time before his ninja class, so I grabbed the dogs and then drove over there. The dogs and I did an easy 4 mile trail run.

Goofball after his bath that night.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016- Just could not get up this morning to run, so I ended up with a SECOND zero day. Ugh. I did't really regret it since I had done some good mileage on Tuesday, but still. To just sit around for 24 hours after doing nothing made me feel so lazy. I think the previous week had caught up with me, and I wanted to be rested for Run with the Beavers this weekend, so I just left it at that.

Thursday, July 21, 2016- It was a big day at the party house on Ossipee Lake so I opted for an easy trail run close to home at the Moat Mineral Site. 10.1 miles with over 1400 ft of elevation gain. I brought Spot along and just enjoyed myself.

After the run, I hurried to get cleaned up and drove down to the lakehouse where Amy Bernard and Chris & Heather Mahoney and their families and friends were staying for two weeks. It wasn't long before shit got rowdy since some strong margaritas were poured. I don't do liquor so I ended up stuck in my chair for awhile.

Once I could get up again, I decided to take the kayak out on the lake. I had intentions to sober up, but I was apparently double-fisting beers so that didn't happen. I did end up out there paddling for over 3 miles and just made it back before dark. The drinking ensued as well as a game of Cards Against Humanity which was pretty fun. Once I felt sobered up, I drove home. I started to worry at this point whether I had just destroyed myself for the weekend's race. I hoped not, but sometimes I can overdo it.


  1. I swell up like a tick after a deep tissue massage, eventually it goes down, and all the what ever it is flushes out. My guy is down to brass tacks too, sometimes bruises, an ocassinal yelp, but wow, what a difference it makes.

    1. Good to know. It lasted into the next day, then was gone. Going back next week. Can't wait!