Wednesday, November 22, 2017

2017 L'il Rhody Runaround

My 2017 Hartford poster came so I hung the two side-by-side and then looked like an idiot. 
Since I just had one race in this two week period, I'm once again going to combine the two weeks to end it with the L'il Rhody Runaround. I'll also attempt to skip the tangents in this one. Haha. Easier said than done, but I'll try!! :) The week starting Nov 6 (my week starts on Mondays!), I got back up to over 50 miles...right at 50.4. I had to work for that one, though. I'm not recovered enough to do any runs over 13 miles, and even that is a stretch. Plus, I took the Monday zero day that I normally take. AND to top it off, I ended up working a 67-hour work week! So that fact that I got in over 50 miles without racing was pretty fucking phenomenal. What I learned, however, was that 50 was too much, and I had to back it off the following week. I felt like I was recovering properly prior to this, but I kind of gave myself a step back with the XC race followed by this week of long hours and more miles.

I backed off the following week (Nov 13) only a tad at 44.4 miles. I actually felt pretty good until L'il Rhody. I was hurting badly by mile 5, and my legs felt exactly like they did at Baystate just to a slightly lesser degree. Legs in pain and quads nearly locking up. I think I see a week off in my near future. And if that doesn't do it...then I'll take another week. December is a good time to do it since I don't have much on my schedule except maybe a BU Mini Meet or two. I also don't particularly love running around here in December. The trails suck...oh, and so do the roads! Haha.

Monday, November 6, 2017- This is the quiet season at work, so we haven't been super busy. This was the day we had that one fatal accident I mentioned in my last blog post. It was mostly just us standing out in the pouring rain for two hours. We had one other serious call earlier in the day, but that was it. I did get in 30 minutes of walking on the treadmill. The mileage and time screen no longer works (yes, I tried new batteries), so I don't know how far. I can only know the mileage for running because I always run at the same speed so I just go off my old times to know how far I went. No biggie. It's just walking.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017- Out of work on time and decided to do a Silver Lake loop from work. I've actually never done the "official" loop before. The only time I did a loop around the lake was when I ran in mushy, horrible snow on the snowmobile trail once from 113 to Lead Mine Rd. There was no way I was running back on that stuff so I completed the road loop via 41 back to my car. I remember my feet were soaked, and I was wearing trail shoes. And I had to carry my microspikes the entire 5 miles back. I think that incident thwarted my desire to ever do this loop again until now. From work it adds on over two extra 2 miles to the run which made it 12.8 miles total. I ran a counter-clockwise loop starting with East Shore Dr and Lead Mine out to East Madison Rd. I actually ran the section of East Madison Rd that I've never run before so it was actually kind of nice to do something new. I was slightly sore from the XC race but still felt pretty good. The Lead Mine hills are brutal whether you're feeling good or not, so they brought my average pace up. Still super happy with this run. 12.8 in 1:35:29. 7:27/mi avg pace. 637ft of elevation gain.

No idea why I skipped my upper body workout, but I did. Looking to change that up soon to some new-to-me Zuzka Light workouts to renew my motivation.

I was super excited when the FedEx guy showed up with my new phone!! After two years, I finally paid off my awful Motorola phone. It was to the point of dying at 67% and making me flip my lid. Grr!! So psyched to have a new phone that would hold a charge. Yay!

I didn't do much else today besides attempt to rake the leaves on my trail, but they were so heavy from the rain, it was just wasted effort so I didn't get very far. John had his usual ninja class that night. Typical Tuesday of not getting out of the house much. Haha.

They followed me as I raked. 
Wednesday, November 8, 2017- I actually got myself up for FIVE mile run on the treadmill! For the first time (and probably last) I actually kept track of my splits. It was a usual progression run with 1% for the first half mile and 3% for the second, and I just repeat that until the end.
Mile splits: 752
Pretty cool to see them for once. My treadmill doesn't keep track so I had to do it manually that's why I'll probably never do it again. 36:50 total time.

We were actually pretty busy today at work so it was steady with calls. It makes the time go by faster, and we still slept all night so easy enough. Upon starting the truck check, I happened to notice a stick under the back of the bumper and laughed since it meant someone backed into something. Haha.

The scratches are from when Fryeburg Rescue backed into us a few weeks ago. 
Speaking of the truck checks, this is supposed to be a daily thing with a sheet filled out documenting you did it. When I went to the drawer to put our sheet away, I noticed the stack of truck checks was a mess and very large. No one ever checks them or goes through them, and I guess that's why no one does them anymore. I figured it was time to organize them and put them in my supervisor's (and I use the term "supervisor" loosely) box. Going through them, I realized that since early March, my partner and I are the only ones who have actually filled out the sheet every week. This is why when someone says, "The truck should be all set," I never believe them. And there's always something missing. ALWAYS. So I still do the check every day. This place is just so poorly run it's unbelievable. So this went on my "supervisor's" desk...

He's on this list, too, and the only reason he's done any of them is because of the partner he happened to be with that day. Jared is actually one of the good ones and only worked up here at the North Conway base temporarily, but he did a truck check for every shift he worked. Really pisses me off, but I have no control over it. I'll just keep doing my job like I'm supposed to since I grew up with a good work ethic. Apparently that doesn't exist here in the Valley.

When we weren't on calls, I did my usual billing stuff and wrote my blog post. That took FOREVER with all of the interruptions. Haha. A former co-worker stopped by and brought us donuts!! Just what I don't need, but I'll never refuse a donut so I had two. Eek.

DHART was there picking up some other service's patient as we were bringing one of ours in.
We were lucky this week not to have our worst frequent flier patient call 911. Every time that call comes in, the first words out of my mouth, "Motherfucker!!" Haha. It's become so bad that the hospital has gotten involved in putting an end to it. The previous Wednesday was the 24th ER visit of 2017. My partner and I have done over half of those transports. Always on a Wednesday!! Argh. You try to be nice, but this one is really wearing on my patience big time.

Thursday, November 9, 2017- Got up early to shower before I had to go to Tamworth for another 10 hours of work. But this wouldn't be it for the day. I was leaving at 5pm and coming back into Tamworth at 10pm to work until 7am Friday. It technically could have been a 48 hour shift since I could have told the guy filling in from 5p-10p that I could do it, but there was no way. I needed the 5-hour break, and 43 hours over 2 days plus Monday's 24 was enough. We actually weren't busy, and I ended up almost finishing my Hartford blog. My coworkers are fun on Thursdays and two of them read my blog. (Hi, Jeff! Hi, John!), so they knew the goings-on with my drama so I had fun filling them in on that. Haha. In this job, your coworkers often know TMI. Haha. Just the nature of the job. It made the 10 hours pass quickly. 

More donuts when I walked in!!! Ughhh!

Me at the desk working on my Hartford blog post
The LONG 34 hours of work made my body super, super stiff so the run I had planned at 5p ended up shorter. Plus, I was so unprepared for running in the dark. I rarely have to do it anymore. Plus, I packed the weirdest clothes ever! Nothing matched and hardly any of it was reflective. My arm light's batteries wear dead. Haha. I only scored a point by remembering the headlamp. I knew right away this was going to be just a short, fast run. I wasn't feeling anything more than one 4.5 mile loop through Windsock Village. I used to do this run SO much faster, but tonight it was a huge struggle. Pretty consistent, though, with the splits, but that's easy when it's flat. 31:56. 7:02/mi avg pace.

I was so excited to go home for a little while. Since I wouldn't be there for the overnight, I let John come home (and his dad camp in the driveway) for the night. I was actually looking forward to talking to John to hear his side of the story of why he got kicked out of the Tin Mountain Homeschool Program the day before. Haha. Yep. My kid actually got KICKED OUT. According to the instructor, who had attempted to confront John's grandmother when she picked him up, John had been a problem for the last 1.5 years (since this new instructor started). Well, this was the very first time any of us had heard about it. Seriously, the instructor never said anything to us about problems with John. Not once!! I was a bit perturbed over this since the ability to correct the situation was never given us, but whatever. John hasn't liked this instructor since he started, so I guess it was inevitable to come to this. I got the official e-mail the next day stating John was no longer welcome in the program. I'll admit it. I gave him a high-five for getting kicked out of the program because who manages to get kick out of a nature program?! Haha. I would end up having a conversation with the instructor over the phone. I listened. I was nice (if you can believe it). I understood where he was coming from. Basically, he and John just clashed from the get-go, and John's immaturity caused him to lash out at the instructor constantly. So got it. And John also got it that it was time for him to leave the program after 3.5 years. He had no qualms about it whatsoever. It still irks me, though, that we never once heard that there was an issue over 1.5 years. I just don't understand that. But whatever.

When 9:30 rolled around, I went back to work and right to bed...where I stayed all night. Yay!

Friday, November 10, 2017- I was so happy to get out of there on Friday morning. When I got home, I found John sound asleep and had to rush him out with his dad to school. They thought it was a teacher workshop day. I guess I'm the only one who knows how to keep track of things. Haha.

I needed to be in the woods today for a long run so I decided to run a Green Hills loop in North Conway. My original plan was a LONG run. Like 17 miles, but my body rebelled on that idea. I didn't actually feel bad. In fact, I felt decent, but I knew about 5 miles in that 17 would be too much for legs so after Peaked Mt, I ran back to the trailhead instead of back up to Black Cap and Cranmore. It was still 11 miles of mountain running that kicked my ass, that's for sure. 2:17:35 of moving time. 2,391ft of elevation gain. I stopped briefly on the summit of Peaked, but it was FREEZING. You can see the snow falling on the mountains across the Valley.

Even though I shouldn't have, I really needed a beer after this run and stopped into Barley & Salt. The beers are way overpriced, but it was nice to sit at the bar. Without fail, the empty seat was taken by someone who talked my ear off, but for once, I didn't mind! He was a much older man who's also a local and also a tennis coach at Fryeburg Academy, so the conversation had substance. Not just some guy trying to hit on me which I really hate. I ordered the brussel sprouts since I was starving and just had the one beer.

I went home to shower and then headed to Tamworth to pick John up at school. I got there early enough to take the dogs for a short walk to Jackman Pond before John was done. 

The drive to The Community School via Bunker Hill Rd

Jackman Pond. Looks nice, but it was blistery. Brr.
I got snagged by another parent for my first interaction as a school mom. I don't know how to do that. Haha. It was basically about their annual wreath sale fundraiser. I'm thinking I know no one who has money to spend on wreaths, but I told her I would push John to sell them (he's sold one so far). I was about to back away, but then I was told my help making the wreaths would be great. 

That was not easy to get out of, but they seriously don't want me making wreaths. Like, you all saw my sign for Spot. You can vouch for me. Haha. Now, all of these emails are coming in about helping with the Holiday Bazaar on Dec 2. I have no idea what's going on, and I'm hoping that's ok since John only goes there once a week. I'm just not used to being involved in this sort of thing. I don't really consider myself one of those moms, but maybe I need to be?? Eek! This out-of-the-box mom might just have to pull herself together eventually and get involved, but I really don't know how to be that. Haha.

When we got home, I procrastinated a good hour before I got myself to do my upper body workout. I'll just blame someone else for chatting my ear off. :) By the time I was done, I was beat and sat like a lump on the couch for pretty much the rest of the night.

Saturday, November 11, 2017- Since I really wanted to hit 50 miles this week, I had to get in a semi-long run today. I had coffee and finished by Hartford post finally, then ran from home. I did not feel good on this run and even cut it a mile short. The run up Tasker/Allard Hill and back is very boring to me now so it's difficult mentally if you aren't feeling 100%. I definitely was not. My hamstrings were really sore. I just struggled through this one. 11 miles in 1:25:59. 7:48/mi avg pace. 855ft of elevation gain. I was so beat when I was done that I bagged an upper body workout for the day. The signs were all there that I am NOT recovered, but I'm slow-to-learn, stubborn runner.

I had errands to run that afternoon so John and I walked the dogs after that on the trails behind Walmart. I was really tired.

I even look tired.
Sunday, November 12, 2017- I purposely left a short mileage day for today since I planned a day in Portland for John and me. I had no desire to run on the roads by my house again so I got on the treadmill for another progression run. This time 6 miles. I kept on the slower than usual side since I was still feeling a bit off. 44:01. 7:20/mi avg pace.

What used to be a common day trip for us is now rare. I realized I hadn't been over there since May!! I had a get-together in Rhode Island on Thursday, so I wanted to bring some good Maine beer down with me. I also wanted John to go to the trampoline park which he hasn't done in forever. It ended up being a fun day. I definitely spent more money than I should have, but we were both STARVING by the time I finished my beer purchasing rounds and his trampoline time, but it was worth it. We haven't had a day like that in awhile. First stop was the trampoline park where we waited in line for awhile laughing our heads off at the safety video. John had a great time on the new ninja course they have set up since that's his thing. 

From the park, we went literally about a quarter mile where I stopped in at Allagash Brewing where I was lucky to get their 2017 Hibernal Fluxus to bring with me. From there, it was across the street to Austin Street Brewery in hopes of 6 Grain Milk Stout in cans. They weren't releasing them for another 2 weeks almost, but I stayed for a glass of it. This was my first visit to this brewery. It's cute, but small, and the beer is good. 

I stopped at the Bier Cellar where I grabbed another beer for Thursday and then a few others just for myself that I hadn't tried. Onto Bunker Brewing from there where I was able to get their Dark Wave Baltic Porter to bring down with me, as well.

The pull of Salvage BBQ was too great, and John and I love BBQ! This place is pretty awesome and the food is SO good. We each got chopped pork sandwiches. 

It was time for the dark ride home and the end of the week. I did get myself to do a short upper body workout when we got home. Back to work the next day, but this was going to be a normal 48 hour week again!! Woohoo! So looked forward to leaving work on Thursday morning this time. 

Oops, adding this in. Forgot to mention the mouse! When we got home, I found a baby mouse hiding in the mud room. It was so cute. I couldn't catch it, and the mud room isn't heated, so John made it a bed with some towels to keep it warm. Within minutes, we found it snuggled inside them. The next morning, it was perfectly fine. I left it some water and pieces of apple, carrot and cheese. I was so bummed I had to go to work because otherwise I would have gone to the pet store for a cage to keep it. The thing was tiny and would never make it through the winter. I just hoped it could make it another day/night as is.

Monday, November 13, 2017- Woke up with my plantar fasciitis throbbing and my legs really sore. A friend of mine and I decided to do a test on whether people actually give me kudos just because it's me or because my runs are super duper awesome. Well, after posting a "Big Fat Zero", I've learned that no one cares about my running! Wahhhh! Haha. I think Apryl Sabadosa was the only one who caught on with the kudos thing. I did end up walking on the treadmill for 40 minutes, though, I wasn't a total bum.

I did not touch up this photo. I think my new phone camera is doing it automatically somehow. I wish my skin looked that perfect. Haha.
The snow that was only predicted to a rain mix for 3 hours started around 8am, and it NEVER STOPPED. My partner and I got the very first snow-related motor vehicle accident of the season! We should get medals for that! Fortunately the car into tree wasn't a fatal this time. In fact, there was no injury and we basically just stood around until we were cleared by the fire chief. We thought for sure it would be call after call after call for accidents, but nope, it was quiet the rest of the day other than a few minor things the other two crews went on. Crazy. I guess people were being good. Haha.

Look! It's my car trying to escape this place without me! That hamster-carrying bastard!
My co-worker, Shawn, had made venison stew the day before in two crockpots and gave me the rest of it. OMG. So good. I ended up taking half of it home for another meal for John and me on Tuesday night.

It ended up snowing all day and dropped about 2 inches of snow. I had no idea what my run the next morning would be like in those conditions the next morning. Ugh.

View from the Tamworth base upstairs window
Tuesday, November 14, 2017- I decided to go home and wait about an hour for the temps to rise before running. When I got home, I was sad to find the poor mouse had died. It was in the blankets we left for it and had eaten some food and had the water, so I'm assuming it froze to death. I was SO sad. :( I know that's stupid to want to keep it, but it was a baby. My house isn't mouse-ridden so I don't even know where it came from. 

I buried it in the yard.
With yesterday's snow, I wasn't sure on road conditions and ended up changing my planned route mid-run. I made a loop through Conway Village up to Stark Rd and back 153 and Cranmore Shores instead of the Bald Hill run I planned. The roads were clear except this one dirt road stretch in mile 11 that slows me down after a snow storm. So other than that mile, I was actually really pleased with my splits. I felt great! As I was running down 153, a car slowed as it came up behind me and passed. It was Andrew Drummond (who always passes me at some point when I do this loop). He snapped a pic as I was waving. Haha. 11.3 miles in 1:23:59. 7:26/mi avg pace. 469ft of elevation gain, so not super hilly.

I was in a bit of somber mood the rest of the day. Many reasons really, but I was uplifted when the UPS guy pulled up with my 2017 Hartford poster! Yay! Haha. I took 2016's out of the box (where it's been since I took a photo of it last year) and hung both up in the only place they'll actually fit in my house. Haha. Photos were a bit of a challenge so I got a couple of goofy ones like at the top of this post. Then they both went back into their boxes to stay indefinitely. Hopefully, I can open them again in 2018 with another poster added to the collection. No idea where I'll hang them, so I'll have to get creative...yeah, that's not happening. Haha.

Ninja class for John that night. He's so fucking strong. I love seeing him in that class keeping his body strong. 

Wednesday, November 15, 2017- Woke up at 6:36. Wait. WHAT?! OMG! I had to be at work at 7!!! The new phone's alarm did not wake me up at all!! Wow!! I've only overslept I think 3 times for work in my whole life. This is the 3rd!! Good thing I packed everything the night before. The only thing I had to pack quickly was a run bag to now run at work. I threw on my uniform. No shower. Since I had already packed stuff to shower the next morning, I was all set with that, but I was still running around gathering all of my things. I needed food and quickly put that together with my right hand while make coffee with my left. Literally, I did this. Haha. I was not walking out without coffee! I managed to get out of the door with all of my stuff and dressed by 6:56 is beyond me. I had running clothes, a second uniform for showering after my run, clothes to change into after the morning shower, my food, bedding, 3 pairs of shoes!! Made into work at 7:07am. Not bad at all! A bit disheveled, but good.

As soon as we were done with the truck check, I decided to go ahead and get my trail run in. That way I could shower, eat breakfast and then feel ready for the day. Haha. The trail out back was a bit of a mess with debris and some snow, but for some reason, I ran the fastest I've ever run back there. Once again, feeling great! Only for that to come to a halt on Sunday. 4.2 miles in 31:48. 7:31/mi avg pace. That's fast on that trail.

We didn't have any calls other than a fire alarm until the evening when the tone dropped for the goddamn FREQUENT FLIER!! WTF. Seriously. Fortunately this ended up not being a transport for the FIRST TIME EVER. And yep, when that tone dropped, "Motherfucker!" just came out without me even thinking twice. That would have been ER visit #25 if we had transported him. As soon as we got back to base, we had another 911 that was a transport, but that would be it for the night. I'm getting spoiled with all of this overnight sleep lately!

Thursday, November 16, 2017- Woke up at 6am so I could get a shower in before my shift was over. I wanted to be on the road to Rhode Island ASAP. I just had to stop by my house to drop off all of my bag lady work stuff and get my overnight bag I had thankfully packed on Tuesday night and the beers I was bringing. As I was unloading and loading, it started to snow. Of course, if I'm traveling, it's going to snow. By the time I got to Tamworth, I was coming down hard, but fortunately, it turned to rain by Ossipee. Getting out of dodge before winter trapped me! 

I was super excited for my overnight in Smithfield, RI where I had been invited for a small get-together for the day/night. I was actually the only one not staying the whole weekend since I had to get home to John the next day, but it was worth the drive down even for just a short trip, since it ended up being really fun. A lot of it was just sitting around talking and drinking beer, but it was nice. Wish I could do this more often.

I stopped at Lincoln Woods first to do a short trail run there. I thought I could beat the rain, but it was a downpour at the end. Still fun and brutal. Those trails are no joke. My legs were not happy at all with the climbing. The park is really pretty and there are trails everywhere, a lot of them cleared. I really enjoyed it even it killed me. Haha. 4.1 miles in 39:11. 701ft of elevation gain!! That's a lot over 4.1 miles. Just up and down, up and down. 

Changed clothes then met up for lunch and beer and then went back to where we were staying for more beer and hanging out. 

Cool tree at Lincoln Woods that I couldn't stop staring at.

I think I had too much beer because around 6 or 7pm, I thought I was hungry and ended up eating a huge plate of steak tacos and had another beer at Condesa Restaurante Mexicano. Ugh. I was all done and out cold as soon as I got back to where I was staying.

Ate it all but the rice. Oink oink.
Friday, November 17, 2017- I actually woke up not hungover! The headache I woke up with at 2am was a different story, but I pounded 20oz of water that seemed to do the trick. I got up before 7am feeling fine. Definitely not hungry, though, and wouldn't be the entire rest of the day. I did have a cup of coffee and drove over to the Blackstone River Bikeway to get a run in before driving home. Oh my god. This was SO beautiful. It reminded me so much of my hometown (Athens, GA) and the Cape Fear River in Fayetteville, NC where we lived on Fort Bragg. 

It was really sunny and not super cold out, but the wind!! Ugh!! It was cold. I ended up wearing a jacket and gloves the whole run, even though it was only 40 degrees. I had planned 8-10 miles, but the entire run out was into a headwind so by the time I hit mile 4, I was all done with that and turned around. The tailwind was awesome for the way back; I like it when it works out that way. With the headwind out, my pace was obviously slower than the way back. Mostly in the 7-teens for the first 4 and then sub-7s for the 4 miles back. 8.1 miles total in 57:20. 7:04/mi avg pace. Flat as a pancake mostly so that helped it be quick. I loved this bike path. So nice. Only a few people out there walking and biking. Almost all older people who were super friendly. Just so peaceful and pretty.

I parked under this.

One of two that I would pass along the way
I changed clothes back in my car and then hit the road. I only stopped for gas and was home before 1pm. I would only be seeing John for the night and a few hours the next morning before he went with his grandparents, and I went BACK to Rhode Island. The week before John told me he was invited to a birthday party. It turned out to be the same day as L'il Rhody!! Of course!! Argh. There was NO WAY he was missing that party since he doesn't get many invites, and this was a kid from school. He had to go! But we were supposed to go down to RI for the race Saturday night. I really only had two people I could ask for help...John's grandparents. That's it. I have no one here. It sucks sometimes. So I figured it was a long shot and asked if they were coming up this weekend. They weren't, but when I told them why, they immediately said of course. That they'd be happy to. Wow. Phew. It all worked out. If it hadn't, I would have skipped L'il Rhody. No way could I have made him skip his party to go to my race. I can be selfish, but not that selfish. They saved the day! John and I both would get to do our thing. I was sad to spend so little time with him, but it was fine. And he was really excited to go to breakfast with Grammy and Grampy. 

But anyway, we didn't do anything that night but stay home. I wanted to give him as much time at home as I could before he left again. 

Saturday, November 18, 2017- I got up pretty early and woke John up as he requested. He got all dressed up for breakfast with his grandparents and left with them at 10am. As soon as he left, I took the dogs for a run in the Albany Town Forest. I assumed the trails would be covered with the same icy snow on my trails since it's right down the road so I brought microspikes. I won't say that I needed them, but they definitely were useful and made it a much better run. Funny, along the way, my left ankle gave out on me and I went down in slow motion into a pile of snow-ice. Haha. It was great exercise for the dogs who were going with me to Rhode Island. 5.1 miles in 45:52. 8:24/mi avg pace which was pretty fast considering the conditions. Probably too fast and should have taken it easier. 

As soon as I got home I showered, packed up (again! This is my life!), juiced, forced down some oatmeal and hit the road. We had a girls night out planned in Providence that night. I was staying with Rachel Flaksman, and we were meeting Jodi Hall and Beth Lazor-Smith at Long Live Beerworks at 5pm. The day before Tony Wild was added to the mix and our original plans changed for a second time for a night in Providence. The whole girls night thing was shot. We ended up with Sarah Chapin, Mike Radz, Jen Graves and her husband and Meghan MacDonald at Long Live. Hahaha!

After one drink, we were all pretty cold and moved onto Bayberry Beer Hall. Jen and Meghan had another event to attend so it was the 7 of us there. This place was pretty awesome, but the food is insanely expensive. Most of us, i.e. everyone except Mike Radz, got the Finback Stout. Haha. At 11%, it hit me hard. I needed food!! 

Although another beer at Bayberry would have been nice, I would have passed out. So we followed with our original plan to go to Ogie's Trailer Park for dinner. When we get there, we run into more people we know so we are now a group of 8. Haha! So much for girls' night. It was a pretty fun time with our new group, but I had one more beer than planned and kind of forgot to eat. And I stupidly ordered the tots with the egg on them AGAIN! Haha. I did this after the masters track meet in 2016. Photo of them off the internet....

The egg was quickly discarded, and I proceeded to take about an hour and a half to eat my grilled cheese. Hahaha. I think I was talking a lot. Ok, ok. I was definitely talking too much. Instead of eating my tots, I ended up finishing Rachel's and took mine home for my pre-race breakfast. Yeah, I know. Trust me. I know. At mile 5 the next day, I knew. Haha.

Beth and me at Ogie's

Soooo...yeah. Grilled cheese, tots and 4 beers and back at Rachel's after midnight. Hahaha. Oops!! Good thing the race started at 11am.

Sunday, November 19, 2017- L'il Rhody Runaround-

I actually woke up at 2am and hardly slept again. Off and on really. When I was sleeping, I was having crazy dreams. I've been having a lot of crazy dreams lately. But anyway, I got up around 7:30. Rachel made coffee so I had a cup and took the dogs out back. I was ready to head to Burlingame earlier than planned so I headed down. When I got there, I was probably the 5th or 6th car. I remember the lot filling fast last year. It probably filled up later this year because it was pouring rain. Just as I got there, though, the rain tapered off and only came in light drizzle until it completely cleared out to sun and blue skies about 15 minutes before the start. Perfect!

Picked up my bib then went out for my two warm ups. One mile with each dog. I didn't feel hungover at all, but the tots were heavy in my stomach. Hey, I didn't want to pay for breakfast so I went with the "free" option. Oops. I guess I partied a little too hard this week and probably did catch up with me in the race. It wasn't just the lack of recovery. I'll admit it. Haha. Do I regret it? Nope. Not a bit.

As I got ready before the race, I eyed the parking lot looking for competition and didn't see anyone who stood out. Paige Ethier said she was going to be there, but I didn't see her (she ended up doing the Mews "6.9k" instead). At the start, I caught up with Jeff Walker (RD) a bit. I had already talked to Jonny Hammett earlier. Some of the other usual guys were there like Muddy and Steve Brightman. I was bummed not to see Seth Acton because I needed him to pace me again. Haha. The wind had really picked up just before the start, but we would only feel it for a short time through the parking lot. Just as we were getting ready to start, I noticed a young woman line up near me. Hmmm. I so didn't want to go out hard, but if she did, I was going to follow. And sure enough, that's how it went. Just like with Paige last year starting off too fast. It was way too fast, and I knew this, but she was flying. I had to hang on until I could see her first few steps on the single track. This road portion told me nothing. Haha. I couldn't even keep up with her in the first mile and it ended up being 5 seconds faster than last year. Ugh!! I so hoped she was going too fast.

I was struggling up the hill into the playground so much that she got a really good gap on me. I was nervous. And my legs were already hurting. There was no way I could maintain this. And then we finally entered the single track. I had caught up right behind her and was ready to study the first turn in the single track. Sure enough the "uneasy" arms went out, and I knew I'd have this in the bag before it was even mile 2. Haha. So just like with Paige last year, I hung back. The second mile still continued with too much speed, but it was fortunately 9 seconds slower than last year, and I could feel her backing off, so I backed off with her. This first part of the single track is really fast and even footing other than a few bog bridges. But in almost the exact same place I passed Paige, maybe just a tad sooner, we came across the first "technical" part where the trail goes over some small boulders. She immediately hesitated and I moved past quickly on the left.

The trail gets slightly more rocky and here, and the bog bridges were slippery as hell. I had to slow way down on these and just hoped I could maintain a lead. I thought she was still on my heels, but when I got a glimpse, I realized it was 2 guys and she had already fallen back. Mile 3 was my second slowest mile, but I think it was mainly the bog bridges because off of those, I felt like I was still moving quickly.

With the road section in mile 4, I brought the pace back down, but then it was time for the hills. Small hills, but a lot of them. I started to look back at this point because I was starting to feel my legs so bad here and wanted to know if I had a good lead so I could slow up a bit. I couldn't see second woman at all so I cut it back a bit as we started to climb about half way through mile 5. All of a sudden just before we hit 5, I felt like I was going to barf, like really bad. I considered it even, but I didn't want to lose time so I kept going on. My watch hit 5, and I thought it was 6. I looked again. 5. Omg. I was dying. My quads were starting to seize up just like Baystate, and my glutes were in agony. I didn't know how I was going to finish this. I definitely slowed big time in mile 6 and just made it under 8 minutes by a second. There was still plenty of climbing, but I knew it wasn't long until we hit the road for the run to the finish. As I was running this last mile and a half, I kept thinking how my legs hurt just like Baystate and that I needed time off. Like really needed it. I knew I had this win the bag at least as long as I could push through it and finish. I finally saw Michael Crutchley at the road and he reminded me that this was the home stretch. Oh thank you, thank you. What I had forgotten was just how long this road section was, and it hurt, but then I saw the turn into the parking lot for the finish and knew it was almost over. 55:43. OUCH. Over 2 minutes slower than last year. I knew it would be slower, but eek. Oh well. I was still first female by over two minutes.

I chatted for a bit until I got cold so I put some clothes on and attempted a cool down. I could barely move. My hamstrings were so tight that I ran a super slow mile with Chill. I could barely run more but managed a half mile with Phoenix. Omg. I was so done. I changed clothes then stayed for awards.

Like last year, Jonny Hammett and his wife opened their awesome home to everybody for a post-race party. It was fun hanging out with everyone again this year, and I definitely appreciate the invite from Jonny for a second time. I ended up staying quite awhile, but when I saw it was 4pm, I realized I needed to hit the road.

The drive wasn't too bad. John's grandparents met up with me where our paths crossed in Massachusetts for the John exchange. I was happy to see him and hear how awesome the party was. Yay!! That made me happy.

All in all it was a pretty good week with some pretty awesome moments. I'm psyched I got another win at L'il Rhody even if it was slow, but I didn't expect much out of myself anyway. I got to hang out with a lot of friends...which makes me wonder. Why are my only good friends in Rhode Island? Haha. Makes no sense...but it does. Time to end this post so I can go to bed! Haha.

Song of the blog....