Doyle's Emerald Necklace

Doyle's Emerald Necklace

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

2017 Massasoit 10K Trail Race

First kayak of 2017. FINALLY!
This was a weird week. After the crazy busy weeks prior to this, it was almost a downer. I hardly talked to anyone other than John all week. Hung out with friends on Saturday at the Massasoit Trail Race, but other that and some coworker talk, it was a quiet week for me. From crazy busy to not left me a little blah. There were times I was at home and realized there was nothing I had to do. I still had a good week, though. Even though we had some TOO HOT weather, it allowed me to get out on my kayak for the first time this year. I was so excited about that!

Once again I ended up just shy of 50 miles for the week. All I had to do was a measly 1.3 mile cool down after Saturday's race, but I didn't feel like it. Haha. Oh well. 48.7 miles for the week, but a decent amount of elevation gain at 6,949ft. I only needed 50ft to make that 7000, but I didn't bother. Haha. That probably makes you OCDers cringe, doesn't it? ;) Run time was a crazy 8 hours 18 minutes, but that's mainly due to Thursday's extra long bonk fest mountain run. In general, though, I was happy with the week. The hamstrings seem to be getting better and better...only to have plantar fasciitis rearing its ugly head. I mentioned in a previous post that I was having some minor issues with it. Well, it seems that every time I take a walk or stand on my feet for awhile, it has gotten worse. It wasn't bothering me much running until after all of that raking I did at Tin Mountain. Now, it's pretty bad at times. It comes and it goes. The Strassburg Sock I got to wear overnight actually does seem to help some, but not as much as I had hoped. I've never had this before, but now I understand why it's so debilitating for runners. But like I said, it comes and it goes, and of course, one injury is finally on its way out and another one moves in. I can't win...except an occasional race. Haha. This one I'll just have to play by ear. Seems I'm always injured the years I don't have insurance (or only have useless insurance), too, so I can't get diagnosed or treatment. I just self medicate with more running! Hahaha! Seems logical. ;)

Monday, May 15, 2017- Showed up at work to no partner then spent 1.5 hours on the truck check. One of the worst I've walked into. Truck was a disaster! I finally got a partner around 9am and then the rest of the day was busy as hell. Only got in a 1.1 mile walk in the afternoon. Funny. I took a few random pictures today at work.

Cookies I brought in leftover from my race so that other people would eat them. I ate half the box. Haha!

Only two of these were for me. The rest is money I spent out of my own pocket for work. Aspirin for our jump kit since ours was long expired and we had none to replace it with, dish soap and a new sponge for the kitchen. 

View from my bed at work. Yes, I sleep in the kitchen.

Me on my bed. Wearing reading glasses I should be wearing more often to read.
Tuesday, May 16, 2017- We actually slept all night and didn't get a 5-6am call! Wow. This was an off-week for the track, so I decided just to run and out-and-back from work. Once I stopped doing the two 10-hour shifts in Tamworth, I've stopped doing most of my old runs that I'd do after work. I'm starting to miss some of them, including this run to the other end of Lead Mine Road and back. The whole run is 11 miles. 4 paved and 7 dirt road. Mostly flat on the pavement and a lot of hills on the dirt road. It wasn't super fast, but I felt ok. 11 miles in 1:24:49 with 739ft of elevation gain. It was really beautiful morning to be out for a run.

Stopped briefly to snap a photo of  Lead Mine Rd. Quiet and peaceful. Saw 4 cars. Two of those cars were people I knew. Haha.
John had a dentist appointment in Gilford, but I still had time to lounge in the sun with coffee when I got home. It was so nice!

What's under that "denim" running skirt I wear. Haha. Who knew?!
John's dentist appointment was quick and uneventful for once!! Finally! I used to be one of those people against fluoride toothpaste (haven't used it myself for almost 20 years!), but I finally had to break down at John's last visit and buy him the prescription fluoride toothpaste. He had been using the regular fluoride toothpaste to no avail, but this stronger stuff I think did the trick! It's about time. Even formerly earthy, crunchy people like me will change our minds at times.

As usual, we hit Waukewan Highlands Park in Meredith for a short walk on the way home. Not a single complaint from John. He's been enjoying everything we're doing once he's doing it. Kid just needs that push!

I joked around earlier with John that I wanted a Mother's Day present so he walked up to me during our walk and handed me some flowers. That was sweet.

When it's nice out after the dentist, we stop at Flurries in Meredith on the way home. It's right by Lake Winnipesaukee and has good beer. Ice cream for John. Six Point Puff for me!

Once we got home, I realized I had nothing that I HAD to do. No errands to run. No trails to clear. No race prep. I decided to break out the tent I bought on clearance at the end of last summer and set it up. It's SO nice. Both of my old tents have busted poles. Still usable, but not for long. One is 20 years old and the other 13 years old, so I decided it was time to finally get a new tent. It's like a fancy version of my 20 year old tent! I love it. So much mesh for when it's hot. Two doors, two vestibules and freestanding!! Egads!! I felt like a hiker gear junkie again for a few minutes!

Since it was so nice out, I decided to do my upper body and abs workout on the deck. This particular one was body weight only, so I didn't need my equipment. Perfect for a workout on the party deck! Only 15 minutes, but no equipment did not mean easier! This was actually one of the hardest upper body and abs workouts by Zuzka Light that I had done. I was dying. And ok. I took some photos. I never, ever, ever take photos of me working out...but I did this time. The funny thing is that I'm supposed to be touching my toes in this shot...but I couldn't. So inflexible!

That was harder than I expected!
I was beat by the time John's ninja class rolled around so I opted out of a second run once again. Walked all three dogs instead then caught the last half of John's class.

Wednesday, May 18, 2017- Up at 4:30am as usual to run. Same treadmill climbing interval workout that I've been doing. It's exactly the same every time because it's hard enough. It hasn't really gotten easier except that one morning when I was on that detox diet. Interesting. Hmmm. 5.3 miles in 43:38. Half mile intervals 1% grade at 8.5mph and 10% grade at 6.5mph. 1,452ft of gain. I feel like it's helping to do these, but I could be dead wrong. Maybe I should hire a coach to guide me! Haha. I'd just ignore him/her and do what I want.

Today ended up being wicked hot out and that would mean one thing. Crazy busy 911 call day!! We were so busy consistently through the day, but fortunately our last call only took us just past midnight and we got to sleep the rest of the night. That last call was one of the more entertaining calls I've been on in awhile. Tip: Don't combine a broken heart with tequila and then call 911. Haha!

Skipped walking today so that I didn't end up a sweaty mess in the oppressive heat.

Thursday, May 19, 2017- Woke up to it already 70 degrees and humid out. Knowing that the high for the day would be 95 degrees, I'm not sure why I continued with my original plan to run the Kismet Cliff Run course. Not only did I know it would kill me in the heat, carrying two liters of water from the start wasn't going to do me any favors either. This would be my first run in heat like this since last August! My body was not going to be ready for it. Oh I was right, too. One of those times you wish you were wrong. 79 degrees by the time I got started, and I was bonking already on my way up Cathedral and Whitehorse Ledges. I was pretty much done before I ever turned right to start the Kismet long course (Beast of the East). I should have put up the white flag then and turned left instead of right. I was too determined to do the whole course. I'd planned this for a week and stubbornness would win, dammit! All I can say is that had I not brought along water (with electrolytes) and a pack of Salt Stick Chews, I'm not sure I would have made it through without suffering badly...if I made it out at all. That sounds like an exaggeration, but it isn't. It was over 90 by the time I finished. That would have been a dangerous situation to be in without any fluids or electrolytes when you aren't acclimated to warm temps. I bonked basically the whole "run" even with drinking all 2L and eating six salt sticks. By the end I was even walking some downhills and flats. I was destroyed. Completely. I've bonked hard before, but this one takes the cake. At one point on the way up North Moat, I found a teeny tiny snow patch. I shoved a handful of it down my sports bra. I took 5 minutes in the cool wind on the top of North Moat just to cool off before the descent. By the time I got down North Moat, it was a suffer fest back to Echo Lake. 13 miles, 4,321ft of elevation gain (which isn't accurate; it's closer to 4,800) and 3 hours and 38 minutes later, I was done. Immediately stopped and walked over to the edge of Echo Lake. Failed at an attempt to dunk myself, but just feeling the water on my legs was good enough. Just to get an idea of how bad that is, my last two finish times at Kismet were 2:50 and 2:42. Almost an hour longer today. A lot of stopping and walking and suffering. Hahaha. Did I regret it, though? No. Because I HAD stayed hydrated and kept up the electrolytes, I didn't feel like shit when I finished. I was really tired, but I felt good otherwise. Just needed a shower and a recovery beer!

On the way up Red Ridge

Only cool moment on North Moat

Hazy view of the Presi's from North Moat
Cool pic I took when I was done
Showered and ready for my recovery beer. 
I rested on the couch to recoup with my beer. I wasn't really hungry at all, as is usually the case when it's really hot out, but I forced myself to eat a little food before it was finally time to go KAYAKING!! I was giddy with anticipation. It's one of my favorite things to do!! By this time it was nearly 95 degrees. The only place to be was on the water! I loaded up my boat and drove to Silver Lake to paddle from the foot of the lake to the head of the lake and back for a total of about 5 miles. The wind on the water was amazing. It was like the perfect temp! And I was surprised to find all of that upper body work has paid off. I felt like I'd been paddling straight through the winter. No muscle fatigue at all. I felt so strong that started thinking about signing up for some kayak races over the summer (I would end up searching that night and found two that I can definitely do. Yay!). I was so, so happy to be out there on the lake. I saw a few loons and heard one calling; that just doesn't get old. And, yes, of course I had a kayak beer, silly. Who doesn't have kayak beers? Geez.

After a full day, I was pretty beat when I got home, but I still managed to bust out a 15 minute upper body workout. Probably not necessary, but I wanted to hit my goal of 4 days a week. TV the rest of the night until I fell asleep on the couch.

Friday, May 19, 2017- Slept in pretty late. I was in NO hurry this morning. With a race on Saturday, today's run was going to be short and easy. The day was much cooler than the two previous days, never getting out of the 70s. Perfect. I opted for a trail run in the Bolles Preserve doing the same route I always to there. My quads were feeling the North Moat descent a tad, so I ran very slowly. 5.8 miles total in 59:46. Over 900ft of elevation gain, so it's not really a walk in the park, but compared to the Kismet course, it was.

I stopped by the house after the run just to pick up the dogs to take them on a walk while I ran some errands, but found John and his dad already at the house. I was a little annoyed because this keeps happening earlier and earlier every Friday, and I usually don't know John is being left there. It wasn't a big deal, but I had to ask Bryan to let me know next time he's dropping John off early, just so I know he's there. The timing was good, in a way, though, since I had planned to do some errands with John later anyway. So we walked the dogs for about an hour at East Bear Paw. I signed John up for the track program at the Conway Rec and then headed to Nike for some new running shoes. He actually needed two new pairs and tried on a lot until he found two pairs he really liked. He was so cute at how excited he was over his new shoes. We also got his friend a birthday present while we were there. John was actually going to this friend's house later to spend the night and all the next day with him and go to his birthday party. I had already signed up for this race when he got invited, so I asked if he could stay with them for the day so that he didn't miss the party. Had that not been possible, I still wouldn't have let him miss the party. I would have bagged the race in a heartbeat. Seriously. But it all worked out for him to stay over. It's the same friend who usually comes over to our house and goes places with us, so I didn't feel bad asking.

Once back home, I had a beer in the perfect weather on the deck, sauteed some fiddleheads I got at Sherman Farm in garlic and butter and made tacos for John and me.

He never DOESN'T want to play stick.

Fiddleheads were so good!
After dinner, it was time to take John to his friend's house. I was actually kind of sad to see him go; I hadn't seen much since Tuesday. But I knew he would have a much better time with his friend rather than driving 3 hours to a race in Taunton. He would end up having an awesome time.

Saturday, May 20, 2017- Massasoit 10K Trail Race-

I found this race on Running in the USA back in March and put it on my calendar. I had nothing planned for this weekend, so it seemed like something cool to do since it would be new to me. They had a 30K/50K on Sunday, too, but since I originally thought I was still doing the 50 miler the following weekend, I was set on the 10K. Tony Wild, Rachel Flaksman and I talked about this race at some point in March and made it a set plan to do it. I was pretty excited about it.

The 4am alarm was difficult, but I got right up, took the dogs out and then made it out of the door by 4:45am. The sun is already rising by this time, so that made the drive much easier right from the start. Plus, I got to watch an amazing sunrise as I passed through Ossipee. Although it was 3 hours, it really wasn't bad. No traffic at all made it seem fast, and I ended up getting there a little after 7:30am as planned. I wanted to arrive early so that I could run a full loop of the course, but after spending 10 minutes walking around in a group of people trying to find the registration area, I wasn't sure I'd have time for the full 3 miles. I was nervous about the course being marked well, if we couldn't even find the registration! It turned out to be extremely well-marked, thankfully. Haha. I picked up my bib and shirt then ran into Tony on his way down. I got ready for my warm up then talked to Tony when he got back to the parking area. He is SO cool! He brought me half a dozen donuts from PVDonuts! I've been wanting to get there, but it hadn't worked out. So they came to me!! He also brought me 5 beers!! He's way too kind!! Thank you, Tony!

I decided to eat a quarter of donut since I couldn't control myself, then headed out on my warm up. I started the course right near the start. This is a beautiful park, and the trails were FAST. It was a mix of double and single track. Mostly double, though, with either gravel, smooth hard-packed dirt or soft sand. No real climbs for the first half which is where I decided to turn around. I knew I had to go out extra fast from the start to get a good lead. Even though I didn't see them, I knew the second half was a tad bit hilly. As with most trail races, I like to go out too fast from the beginning to get out of view if I can, then slow it down a bit later. It's how I've always run trail races for the most part. How I managed to hold back at Sleepy Hollow, I don't know, but I guess I'd run it enough to learn the hard way that that race isn't for starting off too fast. Haha. I turned around to head back to my car, but I forgot that going backwards on the course wouldn't be as easy to follow, and I was right. I all of a sudden found myself running the course in the direction of the race meaning I had missed a turn somewhere. Eek. I turned around and was a little nervous until I spotted what looked like a sign deep in the woods and sure enough, it was the way back, but I had some how cut off close to a half mile due to the wrong turn on the way back and ended up with 2.6 miles instead of 3. Good enough. I needed to get back to the car and get ready to race.

The air was chilly and cloudy prior to my warm up, but close to race time, the sun came out and the temperature rose a little. It was definitely perfect singlet weather. It was, in fact, just plain old perfect racing weather!! So glad the race was today and not on Thursday! I found Tony, Rachel, Michael Crutchley and Pat Quinn down at the start where we chatted a little before it was time to line up. The 10K and 5K started together, and I was kind of nervous not knowing who was in what distance. During the pre-race briefing, it was asked of all 5Kers to raise their hands. Phew! I didn't get a good look at everyone since I was focused on the two women lined up next to me. One was the 5k. The other was not. Unfortunately, the other 10K woman was wearing a singlet and looked fast. Plus, she was doing the serious race warm up stuff there on the line. Dammit. I might actually have to race today. Go with Plan A. Start out too fast. Haha. She definitely made me nervous, though.

Finally it was go time, and I shot out quickly ahead before we reached the first very short section of single track. I was going all out. This course was way too easy for me, but I wondered if it also might be too easy for her. Well, at the first sharp turn, I did the look back and saw she was pretty close. Fuck! I picked up the pace even more to catch up to the guy in front of me whom I passed just past the first mile. At the next chance to look back, the second woman was nowhere in sight. I decided to keep pushing through this first easy section. Hit mile 1 in 6:57 and mile 2 in 6:58. By mile 3, I knew I could slow down. Over half of mile 3 would be climbing so I decided to cut it back a bit. The guy I had passed stayed right with me until passing me back around 2.5. I would get passed by Michael Norton at this point. He apparently knew who I was from the Mountain Series in 2015; he definitely looked familiar, but I don't think I'd ever met him. He moved out of sight fast! Another guy in front of me looked like he had bonked hard all of sudden before mile 3, so I passed him quickly. I could see no one in front of me at this point, so when I came through the start/finish to start the second loop, I had no idea who was still in front of me. I was pretty sure the guy I had battled with the first 2.5 miles had stopped at the 5K, but other than that, I had no idea who was now in front. All I knew was that I was in the lead for the women and planned to keep it that way. First loop measured 3.2 miles on my watch, and my split was 23:12.

I'd had plenty of chances before the start of the second loop to take some look backs. There was NO one in sight. Not even a guy. So I had a feeling I had this in the bag. Only question would be my overall place. I definitely slowed down by this point. I didn't need to push so hard anymore. I still kept the pace quick in the 7s for the remainder of the race, but I would end up running the second loop 2 minutes 12 seconds slower than the first loop. This second loop would be completely alone the entire way. This, in and of itself, made it hard to really push myself anyway. By mile 5, I started to feel some soreness in the hamstrings. Prior to that, I hadn't felt them at all. This was definitely progress! I came down the final run around the pond to finish the race in 47:37 and learned I was 2nd overall!! Sweet!! Total distance on my watch was 6.36. Crutchley got over 6.5. So the course was well over a 10K. Pretty much just like my race. Full Results

Only pic so far by Rachel Flaksman, as I finished the race
Pat Quinn would end up finishing in 3rd behind me, and the second woman, 4th, and over 3 minutes back. Since it was such a small race, they started the awards pretty quickly. It was funny since they made up these wooden medals with the places written on them. I got the first overall female one. Later on, Pat would tell me that he got my medal since it said 2nd overall finisher. Haha. He was actually right, but I didn't care at all. Just found it funny that some races still don't expect a woman to finish in the top 3. I don't often, but this also happened at the Battle for Black Rock Ultra in 2014 when I finished first overall and all they had was the first female one to give me. Good thing I don't have to worry about that at my race since it's all women! Haha! The cool part was that all 5 of us would win an award between age groups and top overall, so we all walked away with something.

I snapped this photo of  Pat, Rachel and Tony after the awards. Look at that row of awesome calves!
I was happy the awards weren't long and drawn out. Short and sweet. I walked back to my car and took Phoenix out in the woods before we all did a quick beer exchange (imagine that!). I changed clothes then drove to New Bedford to meet everyone at Pour Farm Tavern for lunch. Tony, Pat and I got there before Rachel and Crutchley and made the decision to sit outside in the sun. We had half of our beers down before the other two arrived. Haha. The day would be end up being better weather than expected so sitting outside was the right choice. We all had great beer and everyone except Tony ordered the Cubano sandwich. Omg. It was so good! A fat city squirrel would join us for lunch, as well.

Pat and Crutchley had to head off to other plans while Rachel, Tony and I decided to hit Long Live Beerworks in Providence. I could only stay for one drink since I really needed to get on the road to get back. It was still nice. Scott Mason joined us, and we hung out on the deck where Phoenix put herself as Head Dog of the deck. I had a Nitro Cart Stout that was awesome. I was sad to take the last sip and bid adieu, but I had to get back to my kid.

Scott Mason took this. Unfortunately, the fold over top of my skirt makes it look like I have a huge gut. Haha.

My Long Live mates!
(I just realized after looking at these two pics that I was the only one standing in the sun. Haha.)

The drive home wasn't too bad, but I did hit traffic off and on making the drive nearly 4 hours. I was back in town by 7pm and drove right to John's friend's house to pick him. I guess he was having a great time because he didn't exactly jump up to leave. 20 minutes later, I finally got him out the door. He had had so much fun. The party was at an indoor sports place with baseball, kickball and I'm not sure what else. He hated it the last time he was there, but said he had really enjoyed playing there this time. He said he loved kickball now that he learned how to play it. I was so happy to hear he had fun without me. I knew I made the right choice in leaving him there. Once we got home, I took out all three dogs, and John would end up staying outside running around the yard for like 45 minutes before ever coming inside. He still didn't sit down. Instead, he told me he was going to show me a magic trick. After a few tries, he was finally able to put 19 pencils through a ziplock bag filled with water without it leaking.

Sunday, May 21, 2017- Woke up late. I needed to sleep in after the day before. I decided to sit down and finish my last blog post with coffee, then I woke John up before heading out for my run.

I decided on hill repeats in the neighborhood for today and felt surprisingly fresh. One mile warm up through the neighborhood followed by 10 hill repeats on Tabor hill. I'm pretty sure my neighbors who were having a yard sale loved having me run by literally 20 times. Gave me a chance to peruse the yard sale on my way back down the hill without actually going over there. Haha.

I ran these repeats significantly faster than the last time so that was a big plus. The hill is about .13 miles, 55ft of gain and an average 8.6% grade. My splits in seconds: 57, 56, 56, 58, 58, 58, 57, 57, 57, 56. Started a little too fast then got them where I needed them to be and finished strong. I feel like my uphill is definitely getting faster, even through this now 2.5 month long ordeal with the high hamstring whatever-it-is. I know I'm not as fast as a year ago, but right now, major improvement from the end of March is all I'm looking for. Ran a mile cool down to make it 5 miles for the day.

Showered then decided we needed to get the bikes out for the first time this year. Another perfect day had to be spent outside! I had to hook the bike rack back up and pump up the flat tires before we were good to go to the Mountain Division Trail. I was laughing when I saw John pedaling his bike up the path because he has grown SO much since last Fall! His seat was at the lowest setting and his knees were coming nearly up to his chest. Haha. We stopped and I adjusted his seat a good 4 inches! Craziness. It was also the first time I've ridden with him when it was super easy for him. The 8 miles went by quickly!

Before I adjusted his seat. You can kind of see his right knee is up really high

When we were done, I realized I only had a few errands and it felt great. Dog food and a stop at the store. I got John a burger at Wicked Fresh, but opted out for myself to save the money. That place is good but pricey.

Once home, I decided to take the dogs on a walk up Heavenly Hill and brought the rake along to clear the trail. It didn't need to be as thorough as the Dirty Girl course, but it needed something. It wasn't even runnable downhill with all of the leaves. Spot changed her mind after hearing gun shots at the firing range, but Chill and Phoenix joined me. Omg. Did I walk into a bug hell nightmare! I don't know how I managed to rake that trail. I was swarmed all over by black flies AND mosquitos. That's like my nightmare. I just moved very quickly. Immediately turned around at the top and went back down. Raking a few more spots I had missed. It definitely could have been better, but not in that bug hell. Why do I live in a bug infestation again? I couldn't wait to get inside away from them. It was such a relief.

Got my upper body and abs workout in then made us dinner. Just sat down with a beer and took some pics of my beer with the blanket monster when my pager went off for a second call at the ambulance. Thank goodness I'd opened a stout so that I could just leave it sitting there. I asked John if he was good while I took the call. He told me to go. I signed onto the call and drove to the base. Another crew member met me at the base where we picked up the ambulance. We both came from Albany, and from time of tone to the getting on scene with the ambulance, was only 16 minutes. Not too shabby! I ended up teching the call in, and we had a quick turnaround. It was nice to be wearing my own clothes for a change. So much more comfortable. I got back home about 1.5 hours after I left but get paid a minimum of 2 hours, and this was overtime. Worked out great. I'm hoping to respond to more of these if I can.
Blanket monster and beer that I finally got to drink
So a lot of good things did happen this week even though a lot of it was a little lonely and just blah. I tried to write only positive stuff this week, though, since I'm really feeling a little more optimistic about my running, even with the plantar fasciitis. I think getting some real Vitamin D and sunshine are making me feel better in general. Even though I'm not at an ideal weight, I still feel so much fitter in a way. Having your whole body feel strong and not just the legs from running really does feel great.

Double race weekend coming up. Not sure how I'm going to do at them since Wachusett is an uphill mountain race. Not my strength, but I'm still looking forward to it for Mt Washington training and just seeing how the hamstrings hold up for such a long road climb at a quick pace. I just have to go with the flow at this point because everything is what it is and there isn't much changing the fitness, or lack there of, situation other than time. But we'll see! Maybe I'll surprise myself.

This song totally doesn't even go with the tone of this blog post, but I really like it!

Thought I'd end the post with some pics that were found from Sleep Hollow by Penny Lang. I like them.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Race Directing/Racing

Room with a View
I'm having trouble actually titling my posts these last two weeks. Haha. Just too much going on besides a race. Seems like that's always the case, but these weeks leading up to my annual go at race directing were even more so. I was SO busy. Like round the clock. I did take time out on Thursday to go hang out in Boston with my sister again, but that just led to me being even busier to try to squeeze in everything last minute. My upper body and abs workouts had to take a backseat for another week. I still got in 3 workouts, though. Much better than just the one workout the previous week.

Mileage was just below my goal at 47.8 miles. Had it not been pouring rain at Sunday's race, I would have run a longer warm up and cool down to get 50 miles, but I just wasn't feeling it. That being said, I did NOT take it easy this week at all. I ran hard on every real run I did. Not really intentional, but when I realized I was feeling beat at mile 1.5 in Sunday's 5K, it dawned on me that I hadn't taken it easy at all, and my legs were just dragging. I was still super happy with all of my runs (well, maybe not so much the 5K). None were high mileage, but I ran them all to my max. Ended up with 4,984ft of elevation gain (Should have run up Heavenly Hill just to get the extra 16ft, but I didn't notice this until today. Haha).

With my race being on Saturday, I had planned a no race weekend originally, but after my terrible finishing time at Children's the weekend before, I thought it might be a good idea to jump into another 5K for the speed work. Flatter course and it went even worse! Haha! Oh well. But like I said, I was really there for the speedwork. Trail running and racing right now are not helping me in the speed department. I feel like they will over the coming months, but not right now. Between the hamstrings and taking almost all of April really easy, I lost the speed quickly. And, just like last time, it's going to take months to build it back up. I'm still trying not to do too much road running right now to keep the hamstrings happy and just to build a good mountain running base. Plus, I can finally enjoy the mountains and trails, so I'm gonna!

Monday, May 8, 2017- Snore fest. Had some calls, even an overnight one which didn't set the week off right with lack of sleep, but oh well. That's the nature of the job. Only walked 1.1 miles around the base late in the afternoon.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017- I wasn't sure if it was good idea or not, but I decided to go back out to the track for another go-round. I went right to the Conway Rec Path trailhead straight from work again. Changed clothes and then ran the 2.1 miles to the track. Changed into my rubber spikes and decided on a ladder workout.

I don't normally wear white socks, but I mistakenly grabbed them the night before. Dork.
Much to my surprise, I felt really good out there. My left hamstring issue wasn't bothering me at all. The right side creeped up on me a little bit towards the end of the workout. My right calf was probably hurting the most, but I think that was due to being out of spike running practice. So I did a ladder of 400, 800, 1000, 1600, 1000, 800, 400. I didn't quite hit my negative split goal (Do I ever?!), but it wasn't too far off so I was happy with it. I purposely ran the 1600 slightly on the slow side to where I was still pushing hard, but not dying. Rest was 400m between all except the 400 and 800 on both ends. Only a 200m rest. 85, 2:59, 3:52, 6:24, 3:52, 3:01, 86. Not bad at all! And closer to my regular times for those distances from last summer. So that made me feel pretty good. I still don't plan to do weekly track workouts yet. Going to keep them to every other week, I think. Maybe some time in June I'll be ready to make them weekly again. Ran the 2.1 trail miles back to the car and hurried home.

Quickly got a shower and some coffee before Tom Hooper got into town to help me flag the Dirty Girl Course. I guess this isn't what he was expecting and some of the course seemed to horrify him, like the scramble down some large boulders. Haha. I told him it was a rough course and that it had to be marked really well. No one ever listens to me, but when we ran out of flags by mile 2.8, he understood. Haha. He was floored that we had used all the flags that Six03 had used for an entire 6 mile course. This isn't the kind of course you can skimp on flags with. Nothing is straight forward, and there are a lot of twists and turns and cross trails. What I did love were the Six03 arrow signs for the trees. They were a nice addition to the marking flags and marking tape. Tom worked on those while put down the flags. Three hours and 3.4 miles later, we were done for the day. I still had a lot of work left to do to get the markings up to my preferred level, but that would have to wait until Friday. Tom was not expecting this to take that long, but like I said, the course isn't easy to follow.

As we were driving out, we parked by the road crossing to run down with two LARGE arrow signs to put up where my course fiasco happened last year when a volunteer sent everyone the wrong way. Just as we got down there, we ran into a woman out doing "trail maintenance" for Tin Mountain. I finally had a witness to the ridiculousness I've been dealing with up there regarding the trails. As I mentioned in my last post, I was told AFTER I had spent 7.5 hours raking the trail to make it clear and safe for my racers that I wasn't supposed to do that. Well, we ran into the poster child for the overly conservative. I almost lost my shit on her when she told me I wasn't supposed to rake the trail. After I told her that I would not have been able to put the race on with the trails in the unsafe condition they were in due to them basically being NON-EXISTANT, she replied, "Well, everyone knows where the trails are anyway."

Did she REALLY just say that???
Tom and I looked at each other with eyes so big, they nearly popped out. Ok slight exaggeration, but you get the idea. Fortunately for her, but not her dog, right at that moment, her dog got a small stick wedged in the roof of its mouth. It definitely helped keep me from blowing up. She got the stick out, and it was time to leave before I did say something more, but just before letting us go, she had to tell us about the bird nest by the bridge at the pond outlet and asked if the race was going through there. Oh, you mean the bridge designed for PEDESTRIAN use?! And, yes, the race is going across it. Yeah, well, "The birds aren't going to like that." Am I living in an alternate universe? Is this the Twilight Zone? How about the Matrix? It has to be one of the three. I don't know. But what gives?? I HAD to get out of there before I found a flower to rip apart in front of her! I do my part with generally using non-toxic products (except admittedly for my last house cleaning), recycling nearly everything, low energy use, being kind to animals (this doesn't include humans), etc, but COME ON! Is it just me or are they so far inside a bubble that they can't see outside of it? Maybe I'm just an asshole. Forgive me for wasting 7.5 hours of my life doing nearly all of your trail maintenance and for giving you all of the proceeds from my race. The thing is, I love Tin Mountain. It's basically my neighbor. I'm a member. My son goes to homeschool group there once a week and loves it. It's an amazing place. It just seems like they only want to share very little of it with the outside. Hopefully, we can reach an understanding next year. I really do. I love putting my race on there. To end it because the trails aren't allowed to be maintained just seems absurd to me. Rant over. 😊

Tom and I went back to my house where John had decided to stay while we marked the course. We had some beers, then Tom had to get back to Dover for the Pub Run. I was STARVING and told John we had to go get burgers NOW. It was finally time to try the new place Wicked Fresh here in town. There have been lines out the door (literally!) for weeks, so I waited. Today was the day, and when we got there, we were the only ones there. Within half an hour, the place was completely packed. It was SO good! Definitely recommend it. It's kind of like a Five Guys, but better, and it's locally owned and operated.

We had a little time back home before ninja class so I managed to squeeze in my upper body and abs workout, even though I was pretty tired. Then it was off to ninja. I took the dogs on a half hour walk from the gym, then caught the second half of John's class.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017- Got up early and was back at the same treadmill climbing interval workout that I've been doing. 5.2 miles. Half mile intervals. 1% at 8.5mph and 10% at 6.5mph. 42:51. Approximately, 1452ft of vertical gain. Same thing as always. I know I had intended to only do this workout through mid-May and then work on just straight climbing, but this workout is still really hard for me, so I think I'll stick with it. I have no idea if it's going to help me at Mt Washington or not. I do feel like my climbing has improved, but with this hamstring issue slowing me down, I don't think anything is going to help me do well. I have a feeling I'm going to walk away from Cranmore disappointed. Not because it will be an awful race really, but because I'll know I could have done so much better if I were 100%. And Cranmore is so important to me every year. It was my first real mountain race in 2011. It's my hometown race. The downhill was my idea. So I just have a bad feeling I'm going to walk away feeling sad about it, but that's ok, right? I try not to get too bummed out over race results anymore, but this one will hurt both figuratively and literally. Haha.

Work was slowwwwww. Got in a 2 mile walk on the trail behind the base. Slept all night. It was so nice. And oh yeah, so all of those sleeping issues I've had. A lot of that has been at work. Sleeping on really old, uncomfortable mattresses. I waking up nearly every shift with excruciating hip pain, so much so that I couldn't go back to sleep. I've been having the same issue at home. I sleep on a king size futon mattress that is 9 years old and SO uncomfortable. I need a new mattress so bad!! (Bear Mattress would be ideal!) But I can't afford one, so I finally broke down and got a cheap ass foam mattress topper and a new pillow for work and a down mattress topper and new pillow for home. OMG. What a difference. My sleep has been SOLID ever since. And no waking up in pain!! Why didn't I think of this before?! Oh well, better late than never. Haha.

I'm always leaving my water bottle in Tamworth on Mondays. I received this text stating that my bottle was on its way to me in North Conway. Haha.
Thursday, May 11, 2017- I went right from work to the Piper Trailhead. Since I was headed to Boston, I needed to get my run in ASAP then get home and clean a little bit more for my next house guest before I had to head down. It was beautiful day! Hard to believe we had great weather on Tuesday and Thursday this week. It was time to finally get myself to the summit of Chocorua for the first time this year. I ran up via the Piper Trail which starts off at an easy grade until it hits the steep rock steps and granite slabs that I just suck on. I felt completely out of shape during these sections. I struggle running any kind of steps because I have no power. It was only 2.5 years ago when I all of a sudden dropped down to 114 lbs and was so light on my feet. I was so fast!! Now, I'm almost 10 pounds heavier and feel like a giant lard ass hauling myself up mountains. I'll admit I long for that body and fitness level again, but the weightloss was all due to divorce stress and the mental stamina was due to the great optimism I had about my future at the time. I no longer have either, and I'm injured. Haha. From the top to the bottom in only 2.5 years. I'm being overly dramatic right now, but sometimes that's really what it feels like. And I don't just mean in running. I mean in all aspects of my life. Oops. I'm REALLY bad about veering off into tangents making my blog posts excruciatingly hard to read. Sorry, but it will happen again and probably numerous more times in this very post.

So anyway, I'll admit this run up was a struggle for me. The hamstring thing is really slowing me down, even if they're only slightly aching. But what's funny is that in general, I feel like they're getting better. By the end of the run, I felt pretty good. I ran into a few short stretches in the shady area up high just before the open ridge. Easy enough to walk through or around. I finally made it to the top in about 1:06 and decided to hang out for a bit. The wind was pretty strong and cold so I sat behind some granite for about 5 minutes.

First time I've ever worn these. Haha.
Whenever I run up Piper, I make it a loop run so I ran down via Liberty, Hammond and Weetamoo. I never ran into a single person the whole run. It was awesome. One thing about mountain runs is that I'm rarely ever chasing a certain pace. I stop freely to take pictures and rest on summits. The pressure of hitting those perfect paces to put up on Strava just don't exist. Any competition out there is with myself. I never chase after other people's CRs. I always look to see what I ran before and just hope to either equal or better it, if I can. I'm my own competition. Strava on the road is like racing every day to me. Out on the trails and mountains, it's just fun and for myself. So today, was my second fastest time up Chocorua via Piper. I was happy with that. Total run time was 1:51:40 and 8.1 miles. 2,801 ft of elevation gain.

I was done early enough that I had time to come home and veg out with coffee for a bit before cleaning up the house. I was glad I didn't have to clean much this time. I was out of there just as intended at 2:30pm

The drive down to Boston wasn't bad until I got into the city. Only about 10 minutes of traffic before I arrived at the Club Quarters Hotel where my sister had been staying all week. It was SO NICE!! I used the valet to park my car, and then got the key to the room my sister had left for me. I felt so fancy! But I looked like a bag lady. I had 4 bags and a gallon of water. When I stepped off the elevator on the 9th floor, there was a purified water station in front of me. Of course there was!! I got to the room. It was basically a studio apartment! I could so live in that! I immediately opened the curtains and sat in the window with a Trillium beer that Kevin had left on my car. I'm such a dork, but I was SO giddy to be in such a fancy place. Hee hee.

My sister showed up shortly and we headed down to the lobby to meet up with her conference buddies who wanted to go to Luke's Lobster for dinner. I was game...until we walked in there. It was like a deli. Thank goodness my sister and I are on the same page. She was like, "I want to eat at a real restaurant and drink beer!" Yes! Haha! I agreed and then suggested we try the Tip Tap Room. Awesome choice!! Great beer list and good food!

Bread Pudding, Mmmm.

From the Tip Tap Room, we were off to the Wild Rover for karaoke. I really wanted to dance, but I was game for karaoke. As long as I had enough to drink, I'd get up there. The bar was pretty fun. I haven't done karaoke in a LONG time, and after that performance, it will be probably never again. haha. The line to sing was long so I had to wait. Some people were good and some bad so I was like whatever. Haha. Finally, my turn came. I had chose R.E.M.'s Fall on Me. My sister videoed, and I could put it on here, but I'm not going to. Let's just say that it was BAAAADDDD. Even during it, I could hear my voice and it was so off-key. So funny, though. I insulted the crowd right off the bat by saying, "This is a song from the 80s, so none of you will know it." Haha. I took some pictures with my phone of the video, so I'll share a few of those even though they're blurry.

The real song, in case you don't know it.... since it's from the 80s and all. Hahaha.

Once I was done singing, we found out there was a DJ upstairs! Yes! Dancing!! The crowd up there was young, and it was so weird. All of the guys could really dance. The women, not at all!! Yikes. I found this guy from Lowell with a huge gold chain and gold teeth hanging with an old dude dancing on the stage so I joined them up there. That was a good time. They could dance, so we had a blast. Unfortunately, the younger guy wanted to give me his number. After pulling the old feeling of my pockets then saying I don't have a pen, he called me back from the 90s and told me I could put it on my phone. Oh, yeah! Duh! Dammit. Demere was laughing her head off that I got "digits". Hahaha. Um, yeah... no. Haha. Demere and I were ready to leave by then. It was late. We walked back to the hotel. I brushed my teeth, then crashed hard. Fun night!

Friday, May 12, 2017- No idea why, but I woke up at like 5:15am and pretty much stayed awake. Wide awake. I think it was probably the stress of all the things I had to do today in order for my race the next morning. Eek! I had to buy all the food and finish marking the course!! I finally got up just before 7am and told Demere I was walking down to the coffee shop. I looked like a bum in sandals and running pants. People were staring at me. Haha. I got to the shop 2 minutes before they opened and waited with a guy who had also been at the same hotel. He noticed I was wearing sandals. Haha. We got to chatting about coffee shops in California since I ordered a pour over which was a mainstay at the coffee shops in California. He used to live there as well. I always got a pour over. Not as popular here on the East Coast, even though it's how I do all of my own coffee when I'm camping. Got a scone, a latte for Demere and my coffee and walked back to the hotel. People still staring. Like looking me in the eye. This is the city. You aren't supposed to do that. It was weird. I must have looked totally out of place.

Demere had to pack up and leave early so I did the same. I hated saying goodbye since I don't know when I'll see her again. This is what it's like to have family (besides John). I always forget. I don't feel like I'm missing out until I get a chance to see my siblings and realize that I am, but it is what it is.

I headed down to the lobby, got my car then headed north out of the city to Middlesex Fells to run the Skyline Trail. I saw Matt Veiga do this run once on Strava recently (well, he did a double loop of some sort) and decided I had to check this place out! I had planned to come down in April to run it and then hit Boned Up Brewing, but that was the day I decided to run the Sweet Trail and go to Portsmouth instead. Today was the perfect opportunity! This trail looked pretty awesome, and it did not disappoint. I started up on the north end and ran a counter clockwise loop. The trail was great. Constantly rolling, technical, but not overly, and then a great view of the city. It was such a fun trail to run and so well-marked. We don't have trails quite like this that are just constantly rolling, so it was a nice change. It was pretty challenging for sure, too. I was tired by the time I finished since I ran it pretty hard. Still barely under a 10-min avg pace. 7.7 miles in 1:16:07. 812ft of elevation gain. That says something about just how rolling it was because it's highest point is only 283ft. Some troll would flag my run on Strava saying it was by vehicle, when it obviously wasn't even possible. That's a first for me, but I've heard of this happening to other people. Good thing I could unflag it easily.

I drove right home as soon as I was done. I had a lot to do so I just changed clothes then headed right back out the door. John decided to stay home. He definitely got a little neglected a few days while I worked on race stuff, but to him it was awesome that he could stay home not have to go with me. Haha.

I decided to get the food first. Picked up some awesome cakes at Riverstone's Bakery in Fryeburg with a gift certificate that Christie and Richie Giourard had given me. Then it was off to Hannaford for flowers as my mother's gift in the raffle, cookies and oranges. Bagels were all set coming from Bagels Plus. I ran into Andrea Leonard at Hannaford who just happened to have just run my course. Despite the incomplete markings, she was able to find her way fine. She only had a little trouble figuring out which way to go on the boulder scramble. That was such a big help because I now I knew I needed to mark that better.

I dropped the food off at home, grabbed the dogs, then went right up to Tin Mountain to finish marking the course. I thought it would take less than an hour since I would be running most of the way, but I found so many places that needed to be taped off that it took much longer. I used close to half of a 1000ft roll!!! I put down 100 more marker flags and a huge sign indicting the end of each lap. I wanted this course to be nearly impossible to go the wrong way on! I could not have a course mishap like last year!!

When I was done, I was so tired and so hungry! Rachel Flaksman was staying with me overnight and then running the Dirty Girl the next morning. As soon as she arrived, she, John and I drove into Maine and met Scott Mason, my official photographer haha, at Ebenezer's Pub in Lovell. I suggested this since I knew neither of them had been there and the beer list is amazing, especially for this little pub in the middle of f-ing nowhere on a golf course. Funny that our waitress had just moved to Brownfield from Block Island! I was surrounded by Rhode Islanders. Haha. As per my typical luck, the keg kicked in the middle of them pouring my beer (this ALWAYS happens to me), but it was still good. Great burger and beer and company.

Cheers! John's shirley temple is in there, too. Haha
Saturday, May 13, 2017- Race day!! I was nervous, but not about racing since I got to enjoy sitting back and watching the racers go on their own. I love that part. I love NOT racing on these days. I was nervous about another course mishap, but I had really made a strong effort to mark the trail exceptionally well. This year, I was able to delegate bagel pick-up from Bagels Plus with Victoria Weigold. That one task has always left me rushed since it's on the north end of North Conway, and I can't pick them up until 6:45am. This made it easy for me to get to the race at 6:30am. Tom Hooper was already there unloading his truck and setting up the new finish line location in the middle of the yard.

Finish line at the top of an evil little hill. Muwahahahaha
Paul Kirsch showed up and began unloading the sound system and then we both walked down a water jug and the table to the pain in the ass water stop. I could move it closer to the main area to make it easier, but where it is is just the perfect spot. So every year, we hike it in. I had a dolly that Paul picked up from my house to make it easier to roll the water jug down. I carried the table on my back. Haha.

When I got back up to the field, the place was starting to fill up. I checked on my awesome volunteers at the registration area to make sure all was good. We had no questions or issues whatsoever for the first time ever. Things were moving smoothly! I woke up John and then drove him up to the first water stop by the road. Poor kid. I woke him up and then dropped him off all by himself to sit in the black flies, who decided to make their debut today. He had agreed to work the water stop well beforehand, and I really needed his help. I hardly had any volunteers this year. I would end up with just exactly enough.

When I got back, I started moving everyone down to the start line. I was still short just ONE volunteer for the first intersection, so Paul agreed to go down for the beginning. With 5 minutes to spare, I ran down to the start.

Me running down to the start with my flags for demonstration
Your markings on the course
I don't have a loud voice, but it helped that Tom drove his truck down so I could stand on the back to give last minute race instructions. Just as I was about to get started, the one last volunteer I needed to relieve Paul was walking up the road. Kevin Tilton!! Yay! Perfect timing. And the perfect person to stand at the intersection and guide runners through laps one and two. When I was done with my pre-race briefing which was probably overly long like my blog posts, I sent them on their way. The weather was absolutely perfect so Roger Marcoux was able to get a great video of the start and some of the pond bridge with his Dragonfly.

This is when I was SO much happier that this was a longer race. It gave me time to set up all of the post-race food then get out on the course. John hadn't eaten so I called him after Tom told me everyone was through the first water stop. He wanted a bagel and so did his co-water stop person so I decided this would be a great opportunity to see some of the runners on the course and just get a little run in. So off I went. I found Kevin who was just starting to send the front runners on to their second lap. I ended up in the middle of the top 10ish so I snapped some pics then ran on up the trail. Next thing I knew, bagels went flying and I was on the ground. OW! My own course had taken me down! And hard! That hurt! I started laughing because I SO deserved that after designing this really difficult course. Haha. I had some decent carnage from it, but I picked myself up and ran on to give John his bagel. I didn't stay too long since I wanted to be back for the first finisher. John was content, and I was happy to see him helping out this year instead of sleeping in the car. Haha. I ran back up. When I got to where Kevin was again, some runners went by and one asked, "So I have to do all of this shit again?!" Hahaha. Yes, you do!! Haha.

On my way back up, I found my only DNF making her way back up to the start. She said one lap was enough, and I didn't blame her. This course is HARD. It really is.

I made it back up and poured myself a beer! Nicole Gray, the head brewer at Garrison City Beerworks, had brewed up a special beer just for my race!! 6 Miles of Mud Porter. Tom Hooper had come up with the idea and asked Nicole about it. She came through with an awesome beer. Not only that, she also ran my race!!

Finally, my first finisher, Sarah Canney, as expected, came through! I knew she was going to be my winner and I was pretty excited about it. She ran an awesome time on the course in 1:06:44. Read Sarah's race report here. Sarah and I have been racing almost all of the same races this year, so I was happy to see her take the win.

Runners continued to pour in. I got the awards set up and just kind of walked around making sure everyone knew about the food and beer. So many happy runners!! Last year was so somber, so this was great! It felt like the first Dirty Girl again, but even better! Not a single complaint. Smiles all around. I was so relieved and so happy! It went so well! A few falls and another foot through a bridge (Lisa Plante haha), but no real injuries. The worst trail carnage went to ME and Cathy Craven. I actually witnessed Cathy go down while I was out on the course. Almost a year to the day, Cathy won the best trail carnage ever when she fell on her face while running along the Cliff Walk in Newport, RI, so it was fitting that both she and I went down.

After most of the runners came in, I started the awards. John had come back and was running all over the place with Sarah Canney's kids. He was having so much fun! It made me so happy. Today was awesome!! Even better was when I looked at the awards list and realized I had a story for nearly every person on there. Maybe it was the beer, but I was having a great time with the microphone. Haha.

I was super excited to be giving away four gift certificates for a pair of Hoka's that Jack Pilla had brought along with his shoe demos. Jack is the team manager for my Hoka One One Team New England and had offered to do demos for my race. That was so cool. I didn't expect him to bring free shoes or anything of the like, so when he handed me 4 gift certificates, I was shocked. I decided to give the 1st overall a pair and then give away the other 3 in the raffle. Jack had a lot of interest over at his table trying out shoes. A huge thank you to him for driving over from Charlotte, VT to do this for me.

John helped me with the raffle after yelling into the microphone that it was fun to talk on it. Hahaha

Jotham Oliver, my Tin Mountain contact (who agrees with me that the trails should be maintained)

No idea what I was doing as Keri Bassingthwaite was finishing
Scott Mason got A LOT of great photos at the race! They all came out so good! Check them out here.

The race was a success!! Such a relief!! I couldn't have been happier. Packing up was quick and then it was off to drop John and some stuff at home. He was ready to do his own thing, so I left him there to meet Rachel, Scott and Beth Lazor-Smith at Hobb's Tavern for lunch and beer. I was already 4 beers in so I only had one there and huge lunch (French Dip and sweet potato fries). I hadn't even run yet! I didn't know how I was going to!

My plan was to head back up to Tin Mountain and run the course as fast as I could. It had taken me 1:26 the first time I ran it, but I was pretty injured and running through a lot of snow patches then. I needed to see what I could REALLY run on the course. I honestly don't know how I did it. My stomach was full and I wanted to barf multiple times throughout the run. Plus, it's hard to run race pace when you have no one to race! But I ran hard. Only had to stop once at the road crossing for two cars. One of them happened to be Kevin! Haha! I couldn't believe I beat Sarah's time with a 1:05:32. That hurt!! My legs were shot!! Who designed this f'ing course?! Haha.

The rest of the night, John and I hung out at home. I uploaded the results and relaxed for the first time in weeks. But relaxing was short lived. I finally made the decision that night to get up early and run the Moms on the Run 5K the next morning in Dover. Hahaha. Dumb.

One last photo for the day of Tin Mountain with my favorite flowers.

Sunday, May 14, 2017- I woke up to the sound of pouring rain! Omg. Did I really want to drive to Dover to run a 5K in the rain?! I didn't...but I did. It was in the low 40s here at home, and I thought of how I probably wouldn't get myself outside to run in this gross weather otherwise. AND there would be nothing for John to do. If we went to Dover, I could get him to the trampoline park in Portsmouth after. So it seemed like the best choice for both of us would be going to Dover.

We got there pretty early. It had rained the whole way down, and it was still pouring rain when we got there. I would end up letting John just sleep the whole time. The 5K would be short, and there was no reason to make him get out and stand in the rain. It was the windy kind of pouring rain. Seriously not fun for someone standing around. I was do a rare day-of registration; I don't do these often because they're more expensive. This was the first time using a kiosk with tablets for registration. Pretty neat! I got an email immediately after I registered showing I was in the system. So efficient and a great option to have if you're a larger race that can afford this type of thing. RunReg  offers this option so I looked into it, but found it to be too pricey for my small race when I usually only get 10 or so day-of registrations. Haha.

I went out for a 2-mile warm up and was drenched by the time I got back. My feet were soaked already, but I still wasn't regretting my decision. I needed the speed work, even though my legs were feeling a little fatigued from the Dirty Girl run the night before. I got back to the car and changed out of my soaked outer layers and just sat in there until 5 minutes before the race. There's a theme every year at this race, and this year was to wear flowered clothing and/or actual flowers. I decided to play along and wear a flowered skirt. Haha. Kind of pointless because it was so soaking wet that  you could be barely see the pattern, but I still attempted to be a good sport!

With 5-minutes to go, I ran over to the starting line. The rain was blowing sideways at this point, and I was freezing standing there. The guy next to me said, "You must be planning to win since you have a singlet on." Hahaha. I told him I was starting to regret that decision, but the more clothing, the heavier it would be with all the rain so I sucked it up for the 5 minutes before we were off.

Just after the start. I feel like I've been head-to-head with kids lately! At least I beat this one!

 The start is on a slight downhill so it was fast, but it turned right into a headwind. I was happy I'd worn a hat to keep the rain out of my eyes. This course is considered flat and fast, but it's one of those deceptive courses that has just enough of an incline that it slows you down a tad. I still thought my first mile would be under 6, but that's the 2 months ago me thinking. Now, I'm a slow, fat cow and hit the 1st mile in 6:07. Granted the wind and rain sucked, but it was a net downhill. Ugh.

Most of the first half of mile 2 was mostly downhill with a tailwind until we turned right back into the headwind and the sneaky gradual uphill that lasted for about the next 1.3 miles. Just slight enough that it appears flat...until you race it. If you've ever done the Cigna/Elliot 5K, think the first mile on Elm St. That is an effing uphill for the first mile. Same idea as here.

Moms on the Run, miles 1.5-2.8

Cigna/Elliot, the first 1.3.

Just before mile 2, I felt beat and my legs heavy. Hit mile 2 in 6:20. Ugh. Awful. But it would get worse! Mile 3 would still be into a headwind and gradually uphill for the first .8 miles so I just sucked bad. My legs were junk. BUT I knew I was going to be first woman so I didn't care at this point. Just reminded myself that this was speedwork that I really needed! I was ready for this to be over.

Final turn about .2 from the finish
I could tell I had slowed even more on mile 3 and didn't even bother looking at my watch until later. 6:29. Yikes. Came into the finish in 19:32.

I keep dying laughing at the look of sheer terror on my face. Hahahaha
Oh my god. I couldn't believe it was worse than last week!! How was this possible?! I ran Doyle's at only a slightly slower pace than this. I can't believe how quickly I've lost my speed! 4 weeks was all it took. Granted, I'm a shitty 5Ker in general, but it's amazing how fast it was gone! But I knew not to be too disappointed. There was a reason for it. Had I not been injured, I would have had the Newport Marathon under my belt right now. I would have been recovered and still fast. I wouldn't be so over my race weight! But why is it so hard to give myself a break sometimes?! Even though the hamstring thing is actually getting better (with running!), it's still there towards the last third of every race. I'm not 100%. I'm not going to race 5Ks like 100%. But, seriously, mid-19s?! UGH. I was running those when I was still running in the high teens for marathons. Come on! Ok. I digress, but, yeah, the frustration is there, obviously.

When I walked back to the car, I noticed that the car next to mine was running. I looked over and saw a kid about the same age as John sound asleep in a blanket in the backseat. Hahahaha!! John was sound asleep in his sleeping bag in the backseat of our car. Glad to know I'm not the only parent that does this. Haha!!

I managed a mile cool down in the pouring rain. Haha. Awards were quick. I won a gift certificate for a massage in Dover. Not with Tina, though! Ahhh! Haha. I'm hoping it's a therapeutic massage since I need one of those, too, every now and then.

John needed breakfast, so we went to Adelle's Coffeehouse before going to the trampoline park.

We drove over to Blitz Air Park where I paid for an hour of jump time. John would end up making friends and the employees didn't seem to care that John's tag showed his hour was up a long time ago. So they just let him stay for as long as he wanted. Two hours and 45 minutes later, he was finally done! NON-STOP the entire time! Although it sucked for me to be standing/sitting there for that long, I didn't mind one bit. He was having so much fun with his new friends and playing dodgeball. I knew I had made the right decision this morning at O'Dark-Thirty to come down to the seacoast.

He was moving around so much that I only got one blurry photo. Haha. 

Even though it was Mother's Day, John didn't know it was, and I don't typically celebrate these stupid holidays anyway, so it was just another Sunday for us. I hate seeing all of the Facebook posts of people's mothers because I can't help but think of all the people who've lost their mothers. This holiday must make that hurt...another reason I hate most holidays. Happy Valentine's Day...even though you have no one to spend it with! Happy Father's Day...even though you lost your dad awhile back! Merry Christmas... even though you still have to work all day and it's celebrating the birth of a fictional character anyway. Happy Thanksgiving... even though you have no family to spend it with. Happy Memorial Day... even though you actually lost someone in a war while everyone else is having BBQs. Happy Easter... even though you don't have a religious bone in your body and can't understand how these delusional people are celebrating a fictional tale of a man rising from the dead. Happy Labor Day... even though you have to work this day EVERY SINGLE YEAR. Happy St Patrick's Day... even though you aren't fucking Irish and it's not even an Irish holiday anyway! I honestly hate all of this bullshit. Can you tell? Haha. I think birthdays should be celebrated because that is a single person's day to age another year. Not some generic holiday blown out of proportion for businesses to make money. And that's it!! Arrghhhh! Hahaha.

Wow. What a negative way to end a blog post, so I'll blab on a little to end it on a positive note. Haha. Back to Mother's Day. I had a few people wish me a Happy Mother's Day, and I did appreciate that acknowledgment. :) Despite my feelings on holidays, Sunday was actually a pretty great day (5K time aside) for both John and me. The whole week was pretty awesome, in fact! The Dirty Girl was a success, and I got a race win. The weather was beautiful and I had a lot of good, hard runs all week. I got to hang out with my sister in Boston and go dancing for the first time in a long time. It was a great week! So busy, yet so fun. Probably one the best weeks in a long time.