Wednesday, December 27, 2017

All It did was snow

While the title isn't completely accurate, it still felt like that's all it did. I felt like I wasted my life shoveling, and I feel like I risked my life driving in that crap. ALL DAY MONDAY, it snowed! And I drove back and forth to Huggins Hospital in the ambulance in shitty road conditions 4 times. The above photo was the worst road conditions we ran into that night on a 911. Although later that night, we had call crazy enough for my upcoming The People of Ossipee reality show. That's totally made up AND the crazy call wasn't even in Ossipee, but it counts. I'm already sick of trudging through plowed driveways and getting people moved about on ice and snow...and then going home the next day and shoveling it. Haha. Seriously, it's a fucking pain in the ass. If I have to hear, "You're so lucky to live here," one more time, I might lose my shit. It isn't just a fucking playground up here when you actually have to try making a living here AND clear a huge driveway worth of snow multiple times a week... all by yourself (although, I have to give my ex-husband credit for shoveling some, but I just consider it part of his driveway camping fee. And he just stole another one of my beers yesterday when I wasn't there so I might take that credit back). Most people who live here can't afford a plow. Only you rich tourists with your second homes can afford that...which is the reason we can't. And summer isn't much better with its swarm of mosquitoes and black flies, although I do thoroughly enjoy mountain runs and kayaking on the lakes...but I don't have to live here to do that; I can just visit... as a tourist. Haha. Can you tell I'm jaded and bitter? Fuck you and all of your fucking "Yay! More snow on the way! I love it!" Facebook posts. There. That should do it. You can tell now. :) Haha.

So anyway, out of the six days I ran, half were on the treadmill, one was on a snowy road, another on dry pavement and trail and the other was nearly all trail. With all of the snow, I'm surprised I got such a decent mix in. I can't say I felt great all week. I think Thursday's road/trail run was the only run I actually felt really good on. The rest, I was either really beat or just slightly off. Struggled to get 50.1 miles in by the end of the week, but I did it. I seriously don't know how I'm going to bring my mileage up to 60 when it's so hard for me just to make 50. We shall see.

Monday, 12/18/17- Walked 35 minutes on the treadmill at work. Allen wrenches I brought were all the wrong size. Turns out I only have the metric and not the American ones. So the treadmill run I planned was out. It snowed and snowed and snowed. Did I mention this already? I drove in it, walked in it and carried patients through it. That was my Monday.

Tuesday, 12/19/17- So there was snow on my car for some reason. Cleared that. Then drove over to Chocorua Lake with no heat and my windows frosting up. It would start off cold but warm up quickly to the point where I sweat my ass the last half of it. I wore screw shoes which only helped so much. Even though well-plowed, the roads were still just slippery enough with a layer of snow to make it slow-going and extra tiring. 12.6 miles in 1:40:24. Still under 8 min pace overall. 912ft of elevation gain.

Chocorua Lake Rd
Drove home frozen to the bone even though I put on a dry shirt. Jumped right in the shower, procrastinated with a cup of coffee, then sweat to death again afterwards while I shoveled fucking snow. Haha. It wasn't too bad this go-round since we didn't get that much snow. That sleigh shovel is a life saver! Seriously. Still took about 2 hours, though. Time that could be spent doing better things. Just because I'm hardy doesn't mean I like to be.

This next one is like a FB or Instagram photo! #lookatme. I'm smiling as I shovel. #sofun #ilovewinter #strongwoman #beast. When it should really say #imdyinginside #wintercansuckit #snowisonlyfunwhenyouhavemoneytospendonskipassesapresskiskateskisfatbikesetc #help #fuckmyluckthatilivehere

I dragged John out for a walk on the Conway Rec Path with the dogs before we ran some errands. I forgot there was a holiday coming up and was shocked by the packed grocery store. Then I remembered! Christmas! Haha. Then it was home. I decided to try the Sandy Morris Ab Challenge which was really difficult and took just over 12 minutes. Then it was dog time and beers.

The Saco River, about 1/4 of the way eaten by winter

Wednesday, 12/20/17- Got my ass up for 5 miles on the treadmill in 36:36. 7:19/mi avg pace. Then it was off to work for my usual 24 in North Conway. No heat in the car so I walked into the base wearing my winter coat, hat and gloves. My friend/co-worker, Jen Sims, asked why I was wearing all of that. So I told her the blower was broken in my car and that it only worked intermittently, although this would be a full week that it didn't come on. I told her it was $800 to fix which was a no-go. She said she'd give this local guy a call to see what he could do it for. Later that afternoon, she texts me that he'd do it for around $240! Wow. I told her that I couldn't swing it now, but hopefully, I could do it soon. That was awesome!

While the hospital ERs were left with mounds of baked goods from the public, all we got was one stale, leftover gingerbread cookie...I ate the whole thing. 

We were only busy all at once with 3 calls within an hour. A back up crew actually had to come in for the 2nd one since we were still on the first one. Nothing too exciting except I finally got to see the inside of a house I'd always admired from the outside. That's happened a few times. Obviously didn't really get to look around, but it was still neat. Wednesdays have been super quiet lately with our calls coming in later in the day and often back-to-back. 

Thursday, 12/21/17- About 10 minutes before the end of my shift this morning, Jen showed up to drop off a Christmas card for me. I felt bad and said, "I don't have one for you because I don't do them." She then said, "I don't either. That one is special for you. Open it." Yep. The tears came as I read that my appointment with the mechanic was set and paid for. Jen had taken up a collection from anonymous to me people in Bartlett to pay for a new blower for my car for me. She got a huge hug as I cried tears of thankfulness. It was unreal. So unexpected. Jen's been in my shoes before. Probably the only one I know who can relate to my life. She was fortunate to finally get on her feet and make her life 100x better than it was, but she remembers what it was like to struggle. I still can't believe it. I'll never feel like I deserve it. I don't like being a charity case, but in this case, it was different. It was more like Jen paying it forward. I hope I can do something like this for someone else some day. I really do. 

Today was actually a beautiful warm-ish day. Got out for just over 6 miles for a road/trail mix wearing shorts! I felt good on this run and was happy with the pace that averaged 7:17 pace. 44:04. Saw a lot of fat squirrels. Just hung out relaxing the rest of the day then went out for a beer later just to get out. 

Friday, 12/22/17- Slept in later than planned, had a small cup of coffee, then got out for a trail exploration run. Lots of rollers combined with longish climbs that beat me up, but still fun and great scenery. 8.5 miles. Despite changing clothes, I was still frozen for the drive home. The next snowstorm decided to swoop in that afternoon dropping nearly a foot of snow. Ughh. I drove in it once then didn't leave the house again until Sunday when the snowstorm and icy conditions finally subsided, except to go a mile down the the road for beer the next day.

The beginning of the storm on Friday
Later that evening, I did another round of the Sandy Morris Ab Challenge, and it actually took me longer this time!! Ahh! It is really challenging. I can do it, but I have to take little breaks here and there since my abs are on fire. I added in push-ups, pull-ups and shoulder press sets after it just to keep my upper body fit...even though it's less than I have been doing. Kind of want to do this Ab Challenge 3x week for the next month to see what happens. Then I'll get back to the Zuzka Light workouts.

I was low on beer so I opened a year old 12-pack of Von Trapp beer I never planned to open. I don't like lagers, but there were 3 Dunkel Lagers in there that I decided to chill. Surprisingly ok. I actually liked it. I wouldn't buy it, but I wouldn't refuse it either. 

The evening was spent just hanging out with John and dreading the snow clearing I was in for the next day. It was supposed to turn into a mix of freezing rain so I doubted my snowblower would even work. Just the thought of it made me cringe. The snow was still beautiful and all powder that night, though, so it was fun taking the dogs out in it.

Yes, those are my pajama pants. I was holed up for the weekend. Who cares? Haha.

Phoenix brought her tether ball to bed.
Saturday, 12/23/17- Woke up to ice pellets with freezing rain in the afternoon forecast. The once powder snow was already turning heavy. I decided to have coffee and then clear the snow before running on the treadmill. Road running was not an option, and I wasn't about to drive anywhere to run in those conditions.

Reluctantly, I decided to give the snowblower a try. It was useless, so I decided to shovel. What took me 10 minutes with my snowblower attempt, took about 1 minute with the shovel. Too bad that minute turned into 3 hours! The freezing rain began the last hour and the snow became nearly impossible to push. It was SO heavy and then began to stick onto the shovel. Although it wasn't perfect, I got it done, but I was fucking exhausted. I ate something then tried to wait awhile before the treadmill run, but it wasn't long enough. My treadmill run ended up being pretty terrible. I felt the food in my stomach and struggled through what I would consider a really EASY treadmill run for me. 6 miles in 46:33. 7:46 avg pace. Kept it at 1% grade the whole way. So odd that I struggled so badly, but shoveling for that long I guess wore me out.

The rest of the day was a wash. Everything outside turned to ice, and I found out the roads were really awful so I didn't even attempt to drive John anywhere. I made him take out the dogs, but that was it. Such a waste because I'm so lucky to live here. Stuck doing nothing. I could have done the house project that's been in waiting for 4 years of scraping the popcorn ceiling off, but I had absolutely no interest whatsoever. I don't like house projects and yard work. I like to be out doing stuff. This place doesn't jive with that. Paying for my past decisions every day. If I had just left Bryan 2 years earlier like I wanted, we would never have bought the house. I wouldn't be so stuck. But I was weak and scared and needed 2 more years to grow some balls. Haha. Oh well. At least I DID eventually do it, right? :) I'll get through this even if I have to complain about it in every blog post. Hahaha. 

Sunday, 12/24/17- No more snow...for a day! The land was a sheet of ice so I didn't even attempt a road run so it was back to the basement for a LONG treadmill run. I needed 12 miles to hit my week's goal. I rarely run more than 5 on the treadmill, but when it has to be done, I just buckle down and do it. Put on some music and zone out. I felt much better than the day before, but I didn't want to run too hard. Somewhere in between easy and hard. Still a progression run, but I increased the speed less frequently than usual. Also still alternated between 1 and 3% grade, but skipped about 1.5 miles of the 3% for a total of 4.3 miles at 3% and 7.7 miles at 1%. Still came out to about 1,088ft of elevation gain. 1:29:06 for the run. 7:26/mi avg pace. Much faster than I would have run outside on the ice. Definitely not ideal, but I like having the option.

Oops. Didn't realize my treadmill was so dusty. Haha.
I showered then finally dragged the kid beast out for some exercise. We stopped at the Madison transfer station so that I could use my non-resident pass before it expired on the 1st. Turned out that no attendant was even there to check. I wonder if it's like that all the time since this transfer station is so much closer than Conway's where I have a pass. Hmm. 

From there we drove down to where the road to the Madison Boulder ended its plowing and parked for a snowshoe walk out on an unmarked trail to Ledge Pond that I run sometimes. Since the top layer of snow was basically ice, it was a little slow-going so we never made it to the pond. John was going his usual John pace so I decided to turn around at the hour mark. Definitely a good workout breaking the icy snow with my big snowshoes. John wore a pair of my Dion's and was kicking stuff up onto his head. Haha. That's one of the things I don't like about running in Dion's on unbroken snow; it always kicks stuff up and knocks you in the head. 2.2 miles total for our walk.

John's dad had a mix up at work and was waiting in the driveway when we got home in order to head down to his family's in Marshfield, MA. He normally works 3p-11p, but this worked out for them to leave tonight instead of during the snow storm the next morning. So John had to go right in and pack his stuff up. It was a bit rushed, but I let him open up his two Christmas presents under our tree. One from me and one from my parents. They were the only two things he asked for so he was super excited. The hoody and sunglasses, both from one of his favorite animes. He would end up wearing both all the next day, too. Haha. 

It was a bit rushed to say goodbye to John before he left, but I had forgotten about Christmas Eve hours at the store and HAD to leave to get food for the next day. It wasn't crazy crowded this time, and I only needed a few things. Then it was back home. I ate a whole pizza because I had basically eaten nothing all day by that point. Had some beers. Then before bed, I did the Sandy Morris Ab Challenge again. This time almost 2 minutes faster than the first time!! So it's already getting easier. 

So the week was kind of low-key. No race, but I knew I was doing Nooseneck 18K the following Tuesday, so I didn't want to race over the weekend anyway. It was still a good week despite being holed up most of the weekend. 

I was surprised to find a $10 Starbucks gift card arrive in my email from Rachel Flaksman. That was cool. Thank you, Rachel!!

Speaking of Rachel, she passed along a message that the Coward (see the end of my Baystate post) wanted to wish me a Merry Christmas and that it was stupid what he did and asked if she could pass it along since he had no way of contacting me. First off, he's lying. He has my email and phone number. He's just trying to play himself off as this really nice guy who cares. Bullshit. I'm guessing he's running out of good Tinder swipes and that his circling back to his former women is failing him. I've learned a lot about this individual in the last 2 months to know that he's a fucking narcissist. And that he also loves to play the victim card. Oh poor me. Wah wah wah. Dude, you are mentally NOT right. And I'm not pining over you. I never did. I was pissed that I didn't get to end it first! The truth is, I planned to end it the following weekend in person! Yes, that's right. In person. Not the cowardly way with the "path of least resistance". And my response for Rachel to give back to him was to fuck off. And I told her he was lying about not being able to contact me. Nice try. And if you want to keep contacting Rachel to pass along your fake caring, you'll earn yourself another blog post bashing and maybe with your name attached to it next time. Stick with Tinder where you belong. And I'll stick with someone who puts you to shame.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

2017 BU Mini Meet #2

Chill by our tree. Not that I really celebrate Christmas.
A good week mileage-wise! Back up to 50 miles. 50.2, in fact. I'd ideally like to push it up to 60, but I'm finding it really difficult to get more miles in. Looking back over the last 2 years, I've been trying to figure out why it's so much harder for me to get miles in, and I realized that a lot of it has to do with my work schedule. I used to do 10-hour shifts on Mondays which gave me the evening to get more miles in that day. Once I switched to the 24 on Monday, I hardly run on Mondays at all now. Granted, it opened up my Thursdays to be free, but I've been working a lot of Thursdays the last 3 months now for overtime. I did have the previous 3 weeks free to have some fun, but it was back to another Thursday shift this week to make it a 66 hour work week. I still got in a semi-long run and managed 50 miles, so it didn't hurt me at all mileage-wise. Just way too much time at work. Speaking of, I started asking around this week to see if anybody else is feeling horrible after being at the base for awhile, and, sure enough, it's almost everyone. Headaches, congestion, groggy, etc. So that to me is enough to warrant some sort of check of the place, but I'm sure they won't. I know OSHA could be contacted for an inspection, and I'm considering it. Not to get the company "in trouble", but because I truly feel our work environment is unsafe. We already know it's not up to code, but I'm not sure how it "passed" that inspection. Fortunately, I only have one full 24 hour shift left in that building before John and I leave for vacation, but I do still have to work 10 hours on New Year's Day. Ugh.

About our vacation...John and I are headed to Hawaii to visit my parents for 8 days! I realized months ago that I had almost hit my max for earned time so that I could actually take 3 full 24s off and 1 half shift. Technically, I could have taken more, but I didn't want to lose my holiday pay for Jan 1st. I'm so looking forward to the SUN and my mom's cooking and NOT being at work. Sleeping in and running a lot of miles! I'm SO tired of chauffeuring everyone around and just doing everything. Not that I'm expecting my parents to wait on me, but my mom loves to cook, and my dad loves to drive. All of those little things that other people who have other people take for granted. Coffee already made when I get up (since my parents are up at o'dark thirty). And I won't have to take the dogs out either!! Haha. And my parents' house is brand new so it won't be dirty and gross like mine. Ocean air, blue water, volcanoes, etc. It should be a good trip. And we also get to spend my mom's 70th birthday with her which worked out well with the timing. That kind of freaks me out since I remember my mom's 40th birthday. Time has flown way too fast. This will be John's first trip to Hawaii, and it's a place he's always wanted to visit. I went once for a few days to Oahu when I was 15, so the Big Island will be new to me. I'm not sure I'm worthy of such a fancy trip, but I'm not going to turn down the opportunity.

Monday, December 11, 2017- I'm not sure what got into me, but I got up without hesitation when my alarm went off at 4:15am. Got changed and then went down to the cellar for 5 miles on the treadmill. I felt really good. Made it a progression run with 1-3% elevation like I usually do. 36:01. 7:12/mi avg pace.

I was pretty much down for the count most of the day at work. Like I've already mentioned about the building, I felt so groggy and out of sorts all day. Could barely keep my eyes open. I felt fine on our calls, but once we were back at the base, I was in and out of a sleep state most of the day. I opened the window eventually for air, but I still woke up with a headache and congestion. No calls overnight, so that was good.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017- I had planned to go to Wolfeboro for spin class, but our first big snowstorm was already underway, and the roads were awful. It was scary enough just driving home. I was thankful I remembered to put my windshield cover on the night before since it saved me having to defrost (if it's even working!) and scrape my windshield.

After the white-knuckled drive home, I parked the car in the garage where it would stay until the next morning. No way was I driving in this mess again. Just not worth it. This meant an unplanned treadmill run for me. While others were excited to break out their running snowshoes, I was more than happy to be staring at mine while I ran on the treadmill. (You can just barely spot my old green and black Redfeather running snowshoes. My one and only ever sponsorship as a runner.)

Those 17 year old Tubbs get more use in the winter than the Dion's. I use them every time I take the dogs out.
I pouted at first, but it was a MUCH better run than I would have gotten outside. I really worked hard on this one; it's what I love about the treadmill. It forces me to be disciplined. There was no slowing down. Only speeding up!! Even though it's not easy to do since my treadmill doesn't have the option, I kept track of my splits again. It was pretty neat to see how they progressed for this 10 mile run. As far as elevation grade. The first half mile was at 1% with the 2nd half mile at 3%, repeating this until the very last .2 miles when I bring it back to 1% and increase the speed to the "finish". The run comes out to approximately 1,035ft of elevation gain, and I have to admit that it became really difficult increasing speed every mile the 3% grade half miles. But this was definitely one of my best long treadmill runs ever. Splits: 7:33, 7:25, 7:20, 7:13, 7:10, 7:04, 6:59, 6:54, 6:50, 6:41. 1:11:09. 7:07/mi avg pace.

Pouting that I'm about to run on the treadmill. Haha.
I really did nothing most of the day but take the dogs out and do an upper body and abs workout. I opted for one of the old ones that I've been doing, and I was actually sore from it the next day.

Cool icicles before I knocked them down
The forecast kept changing all day long from the snow ending at 9pm to 5pm then back to 9pm then to 7pm. I was dreading the inevitable snowblowing that was to come and finally decided to just get it done around 5pm. At this point, I figured there wouldn't be much more snowfall so I could get it done and not be out there late in the evening. We had about 6 inches of perfect fresh powder which made snowblowing so much easier, but it still took me 2 hours. I know I'll be in tears soon when we get a wet, heavy snowfall and I'm out there for 3+ hours. I'm hoping that kind of snowfall happens while I'm lying in the sun in Hawaii. Haha.

The machine that is my enemy!
Wednesday, December 13, 2017- Day 3 of treadmill running, but this is the usual for Wednesdays for the most part. Same old 5 miles, but since I was a little beat from the previous day's run, I kept it at 1% for the whole run. (By the way, I never run on the treadmill at less 1% grade). 36:20. 7:16/mi avg pace. Work was super slow all day. I started off by washing the truck....which reminds that I need to take a break from this now and wash it again. It sucks because we have to wash it outside and only when the temp is above freezing, but it's still only barely above freezing so my hands end up numb. We had 3 fire alarms in the late afternoon and evening, and by this time, the temp had dropped, and the wind was insane! I felt bad for the guys outside at one fire alarm since it was brutal. I stayed in the truck; not getting out if I didn't have to.

When we got back from that call, I was shocked to find a coworker brought us up crackers and cheese from the company Christmas party. My 7th Christmas and not once has this company put on a Christmas party for us (in 2011, we put on our own), and, of course, when they finally do, I'm one of the only two people who CAN'T go since they decided to have it at Hobb's in West Ossipee. The Tamworth base is a mile from there, so all of the crews there could go. Not that it was anything fancy, but I was pretty pissed that after all of these years with this POS company, they finally give us some sort of party, and I can't go. So to find that they actually thought to send something up to us just blew me away. I ended up taking it all home with me.

Probably the cheapest thing Hobb's offered, but still, it was SOMETHING.
(Oh, and nevermind on washing the truck now. It's windy as fuck and starting to snow again. I'm not freezing my hands off out there.) Speaking of Christmas, this will be my 4th time working a 24 hour shift on Christmas since I started here in 2011. This is the 3rd time it's fallen on my scheduled shift. The other time, I picked it up. I don't really celebrate Christmas, as I mentioned in last year's blog post. I do the tree for John and get him a couple of things usually. This year it's only one thing. He didn't ask for much, and I can't afford Christmas anyway. Haha. Getting really sick of being asked if I've gotten all of my Christmas shopping done. What fucking Christmas shopping?? If John were younger, we'd probably qualify for Toys for Tots and the food pantry's free Christmas food. Haha. If I had family or friends to be with then it would be a whole different story. I love the idea of getting together for the holidays. That part is fun to me, but the rest, I don't care about. It's nice that my parents sent me one of those cool ancestry kits as a Christmas gift, though. I do still accept gifts! Haha. But, anyway, I might as well work the holiday and take off work for my kind of holidays...trips to Hawaii and races! :)

Thursday, December 14, 2017- We had a 911 call just before 5am. When we got back to the base, I put my overnight stuff in my car then changed into many, many layers of clothing for the long-ish run I had planned. It was SO cold out, and I really wasn't looking forward to it, to be honest. Having gotten a look at the road shoulders, I knew this was going to be a slippery run for most of the way. I considered cutting it short, but I really needed the miles. I actually would have chosen something different, like Chocorua since it's well-plowed, but I didn't want to waste time driving. I had to be back at work in Tamworth at 1pm for another 18 hours and just wanted to get the run done and over with so I'd have a little down time at home in between. As predicted, the run really did suck. I ran a large loop into North Conway and out to West Side Rd for the return via Conway. For some reason, I always forget distances and thought this was 14 miles. I was almost a mile off since it was 14.8. 14.8 miles of misery. My friend, Jonathan Miller, actually drove by and texted me later to tell me. He said it didn't look like I was having much fun. Haha. He also said he was surprised to see someone running so fast out in the cold before he realized it was me...and of course it was me. That made me feel better since I felt like I was at a shuffling pace as my feet slid with every step. I kind of regretted passing my bail out point at River Rd, but once I was headed down West Side, there was no escape unless I wanted to ford an icy river, so on I ran. I was so done that when I got back to the base at 14.8 miles. I stopped at 14.8 instead of making it 15. 1:54:28. 7:43/mi avg pace. Not bad considering the conditions really, but when I did a year ago, I did it 7 minutes faster, and that was with making it 15. Haha.

When I was done, I changed clothes then drove across the street to Spectrum to change my pricing over from Time Warner since my bill just went up. I was so excited to find Twizzlers and Tootsie Rolls out for customers to take. I was in dire need of something so I took a handful of Twizzlers. I noticed one guy give me a look, but I really didn't care. He didn't just run almost 15 miles. When the line moved forward to the Tootsie Rolls, I grabbed a handful of those thinking, "I pay a lot of money for cable, buddy. I should just walk out with both containers." :)

I went home, showered, ate some cheese and crackers, then had about 45 minutes to relax on the couch before I had to go back in to work. I was working with a new-to-me partner at work so I was a little nervous about that. It's tough working with someone for the first time since you have to figure out how to work together and it can sometimes take awhile to get into the groove so that you aren't stepping on each other's heels. She's a paramedic so she isn't new, and she worked here awhile ago but at a different base. We just never crossed paths as partners. She was super quiet so I texted someone else in the room, "Is she friendly?" She mouthed, "I think so." Haha. We got a 911 call shortly thereafter, and it was quiet at first, then we had a moment of confusion on the road we were driving down that totally broke the ice. I realized she's a lot like me. Quiet with a new person but then a total chatter box once we're comfortable. I ended up enjoying working with her, and I thought she gave great care to the patient. She even cleaned the back of the truck before we got to the hospital!! That's when I had to question her. "Are you sure you're a paramedic?! I need to see a copy of your license!" Hahaha. Paramedics are notorious for leaving the back of the truck trashed after a call. She got a kick out of that. And after our 5am fire alarm call, as we drove back we realized we've had similar lives the last 3 years, so it was cool. Now, I wouldn't mind working with her again. It usually takes multiple shifts to get comfortable with a new partner, so I'm glad it went well.

Friday, December 15, 2017- I was SO happy to get the hell out of work. Working 42 hours over two days at this job sucks. I was lucky I got that long run in between shifts. I drove straight to Wolfeboro from work for a spin class. When I walked in, I ran into my friend, Katja Fox, who was using one of the spin bikes before class. We talked for awhile until I realized it was 8, and I didn't have my bike set up! Oops! Fortunately, the instructor had to help a new person, so even though we started late, she added on an extra 5 minutes to the class so that we got the full hour. As I walked out of the bathroom after changing, I saw a mirage!! It was 3 boxes of Dunkin' Donuts!! But, no! They were real!! Yes, please! Haha.The guy working there explained that it was a kind of a joke that they were there because the weight loss challenge group had their weigh-ins that morning. I guess the instructor brings donuts in to entice them before their weigh-in. Kind of mean, I guess, but it meant a donut for me. I don't turn I've said before. I walked out with a creme filled donut in hand. Still can't figure out why I've put on weight, though. Hmmm. ;) Haha.

I didn't have much time when I got home before I had to go back out. John had been included in the Secret Santa at school, but he wasn't told about it. I found out late the night before, so John didn't have time to get his person a gift. I talked to Lianne, the director, who told the person and what they wanted so I had to go into North Conway to get something for her. It was a teacher who likes chocolate, fortunately, so I stopped in the Lindt Chocolate store where I didn't refuse the free sample, AND I didn't refuse the white chocolate peppermint bar for $1 as I checked out. These extra pounds, I've put on. Seriously, no clue how it's happening. :) Considering all I had eaten that day was the donut and the free sample before I left there for a snowshoe run at Whitaker Woods, I don't think it was that horrible that I ate the chocolate bar. Obviously not good for me, but I was still far under how much I should have eaten.

I wanted to get a snowshoe run in for some miles and while conditions were good. I didn't necessarily need the extra workout, but I wanted to do it. I wasn't expecting to be breaking as much trail as I did 3 days after the storm. Phoenix came along and helped me with breaking trail. It was a nice shock to my system, as snowshoe running always is. Plus, my legs were already a bit trashed from spinning. Still really fun, and I'm glad we got out there. Only 3 miles, but with all of that fresh powder, it was slow going in 32:25, but damn if those weren't pristine conditions for a snowshoe race. I won't be snowshoe racing much this coming season, but I'll still be out running on snowshoes quite a bit.


From there, I drove to John's school to drop off the Secret Santa gift for their Christmas party started. I had time to drive over to the Sandwich Spring to fill my jugs before coming back to pick up John. We went home from there, and I was actually starving by this point, so I made us some spaghetti. Halfway through, I lost my appetite, but I forced it down since I needed food for the next day's indoor track meet. Eeek!

Saturday, December 16, 2017- BU Mini Meet #2-

It was back to the indoor track for me today. This was where my first indoor track meet was 2 years ago, and I was so nervous...for multiple reasons. Even though I suck worse at indoor than I did then, I'm no longer nervous and it feels like "old hat". I no longer feel like a clueless dummy. I still feel morbidly obese walking into the place, but whatever, I'm over that. Even at my thinnest I couldn't have pulled off the runderwear. Haha. For me, this was just a chance to get some speedwork in and dust of the indoor track cobwebs. I had originally planned to do all 3 BU Mini Meets, but they decided not to do the 3rd one and put the first two on back-to-back weekends this year. So I opted just to do the second one. It's funny how people seem shocked to hear I'm doing both the 3000m AND the mile! Omg! As if it's a lot. As far as indoor track goes, I guess it is, but for me, it just makes sense to do 2 events if I'm going all the way down there.

We arrived kind of early, and I noticed there weren't many people I knew there and the crowd was about half the numbers of what it's been the last two years. That was a good thing since it meant the events would get done quicker. As soon as John and I got there, we saw Scott Leslie finishing up the cool down. Of course we were the only CMS people there. Kind of funny how often Scott and I do the same races, and we both have "Leslie" in our names. I later ran into Darin Brown there; funny that we both drove down there, and we only live about 10 miles apart. I worked with Darin on the professional level since he was an ER doctor here at Memorial for years, but I still know him better as a runner. His wife is the veterinarian who took care of Spot after her paw got caught in an animal trap.

Now a familiar site. Never thought I would race indoor.
I got John settled in his usual spot, but this time, he wasn't allowed to just sit there on his phone the whole time. He had to run 8 laps with me in between my 3000 and mile. I couldn't have him sitting there all day again. I warmed up inside since I didn't want to miss anything. I ran 12 laps then got my stuff ready for the race and took it out on the floor. After our heats were called I ran a few extra laps while the first heats raced. I was in the last heat where the seed times were 1045-14??! Omg! No wonder I was 5th in the heat. I thought I was being conservative by putting 1105 for my seed time considering I ran a 1058 here when I was just getting back into shape in 2015. The heat was filled with kids, one of them who has been seeded right next to me now two years in a row. That was kind of neat. I was in a good spot not to get stuck as number 5, but it would end up not working out that way. The kids on the high track would end up merging in ahead of me since they went off too fast, and for about 100 meters of lap 2, I was totally trapped. I finally had to tell the little kid trapping me on the right that I had to step through to go around the one in front of me. It probably helped me not go too fast, but it was actually really slow. I still have no idea what I'm doing out there, but I had a girl in front of me to pull me along. That lung burn came on quickly, but I still felt like I was going too slow, and that was confirmed when Darin called out that I was at a 6 min pace halfway through. For some strange reason, I have learned how to pick up my pace in the 5 laps of the race. I can't do that in a regular race, but it's probably because of the people ahead of me doing the same thing. I was able to pick it back up a bit and finish strong, but it was still 1106. Eek. 1 second slower than my conservative seed time. Ouch. I was disappointed at first, but how can I be? This is just about building my speed back up that I've lost over the course of 9 months. Plus, I think I went out too slow in addition to getting stuck for 100m. And I ran a 5:57 pace overall which means I did get faster the second half. It decided it was a good effort and shifted my focus to John's mile and then my own.

John definitely wasn't happy that it was time for him to run. I was only asking a mile, though. It would actually be over a mile really since we were running on the outside of the track, but I just called it a mile. 8 laps. He changed clothes and sulked down to the track with me. It was super warm and dry in there, so I could tell he was getting winded and hot fast so I tried to stay behind him in order not to push his pace at all, like he was having to keep up with me or something. I just wanted him to run his pace to finish. And he did. He didn't enjoy it, and he did the typical John thing by asking if we could just stop early before the last lap. Haha. I said no. :) He finished the 8 laps in 10:10.

By the time we were done, I could feel the track hack coming on. It's a cough that comes from sucking wind in that hot, dry air. And ugh, I had to run again. I actually felt ready for the mile. The 3000 was like dusting off the cobwebs. I felt better about my feel on the track this time around. While I waited for the mile, I happened to notice Brandon Newbould was there. This was kind of funny because he had texted me the day before about snowshoe races, and I spent a lot of time messaging him back. If I had known I was going to see him today, I would have just told him in person. Haha. He was there as a coach, not to race, but I still had some time to talk to him about and learned that he's also dealing with plantar fasciitis. Like me, he's had little luck in curing it.

It was finally time for the last heat. Mine. I was once again too crowded. This time I was seeded 13th and would have to start on the high track. It was way too tight, too. I was going to have to let the kids to my right go ahead of me or I risked stepping into the inner lanes too soon since I was the lined up first on the inside. So the start was tough and kind of slow. By lap 2 it was still crowded and the girl seeded last cut inside of me and we accidentally elbowed each other. In lap 3, some dude cut around to my right and nailed my other elbow. By lap 4 it started to thin out a bit and I passed the girl seeded last. Lap 5, I picked it up and ran really hard through the end giving the last lap everything I had. 5:44. Decent! I'd take it! I know I can run that faster, but I was really happy with it in the shape I'm in AND after doing the 3000m! I felt better about what I was doing out there for sure. I still have a lot of work to do, and I mean A LOT, but I have time. I'm not starting off in a horrible place, so I'm pretty satisfied with my start. Now, I have to figure out what to do next. BU Mini Meet #2 full results

My only other definite is the Masters meet, but now, I'm trying to decide between the GBTC meet and the Moose Mountain snowshoe race. I've decided to skip the Whitaker Woods snowshow race and do the Resolution Beach race instead since it's part of the 4th Season Trail Race Series. I hate to miss Whitaker, especially since it's local and it's put on my Kevin Tilton, but I want to complete the whole 4th season series if I can. But that's why I might do Moose Mt the following weekend. If I do GBTC and the Masters, then I would probably do New England's, as well, although I had planned to do the Old Fashioned 10 Mile race again. Decisions! Decisions!! I'll decide when the time comes.

I skipped a cool down, changed clothes, then John and I headed out. I was going to stop for food and beer near Boston, but I decided to wait until we got to Stoneface Brewing in NH since it was right off the highway and quick in and out. Of course, I should have known I would run into someone I knew. I actually almost ran into an entire group, but I ended up just missing them and having a drink with Mark Arsenault. He had planned to leave after one beer, but he got sucked into the Six03 group when they arrived. I had to hit the road. I had porter and their brisket grilled cheese. So good!

We ended up in an unexpected snow storm on the drive home to the point where it was a whiteout until about a mile from my house. The skies were clear with stars at my house. So crazy. Lazy the rest of the night after taking the dogs out.

Sunday, December 17, 2017- Pretty laid back day. Slept in until someone woke me up, but I still didn't get out of bed until 8am. After coffee, I got in a 6 mile run through Cranmore Shores. Wore my screw shoes which would end up being the right move since about half the run was slippery. Ran it really slow in 45:35. 7:50/mi avg pace.

John and I took the dogs xc skiing in the Albany Town Forest. It was a beautiful day, but still cold. The snow was perfect, though! We only did two miles since I stupidly made a nail appointment at a bad time, but I had to get them done today since I broke one.

After getting my nails done, I had the misfortune of braving what must be Christmas shopping crowds because the pet store and grocery store were packed. I HATE going to the grocery store when it isn't crowded. Haha. Fortunately, I got in and out of the pet store quickly, and, no, I don't want something from the pet bakery. I never do. Please stop asking. Do I look like I waste money on the pet bakery? I'm buying your cheapest grain-free food. Haha.

When we got home, I made a butternut squash and carrot soup and then relaxed the rest of the night. Only 48 hours of work before fun Thursday! I can do it!! :)

So overall, another mostly uneventful week other than the Mini Meet. I'm looking forward to another free Thursday before I work another one on the 28th, but only 10 hours that time. No race next weekend, so it's going to be another quiet one.

I've been putting together a specific photo album from the last two years, and in my search I happened upon a lot of Spot photos. Here are two that I really liked of us that I thought I'd end this post with.

And I still can't get enough of Sia. This is a piano version of Elastic Heart. Don't read into this one. Haha. I just like the song.