Monday, March 20, 2017

Trail Race in Powder/Snowshoe Race on Ice

Another double race weekend! Which meant another recovery week with shorter, slower runs. That's pretty much what my running is shaping into right now through April. I actually couldn't remember any of the runs I did without looking back at Strava. The only thing that came to mind when I thought of running was snow and wind. Haha. I still got in 56 miles for the week surprisingly. I didn't expect to break 50, so that was a plus. I didn't take any zeros, so that helped. Plus two races over the weekend added on more miles than I would normally get in if I wasn't racing both days. Speaking of, don't ask. Because I don't know why I have done this to myself for the 3 weekends of the last month. I was actually going to skip Belleville Pond on Saturday because I only have to do 4 out of the 5 races in the 4th Season Series, but I just didn't want to miss it. I knew it would hurt my snowshoe race on Sunday, which was dumb because it is an All-Terrain Series race. My performance was mediocre and definitely hurt me in the percentage points, but oh well. The craziest part of the week was that the trail race ended up being in about 3 inches of fresh powder snow, and the Northeast Federation Snowshoe Championship race was basically on a sheet of ice, due to lack of snow (as of this writing, they got 34 inches of snow yesterday; figures. Haha).

Monday, March 6, 2017- Ran the usual 5 miles on the work treadmill, but slowed the pace just a tad from what I usually run. 36:32. Really only 30 seconds slower than usual. Work was the same as usual, except we had a call around 0545 that had us getting off shift an hour late, thus cutting into my run time.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017- I don't know what it is about Tuesdays, but the weather almost always sucks! The only day we can usually ski, and it's just shitty typically. Today was no exception. Woke up to a light layer of snow on the roads which meant slippery shoulders. I rushed home and back out for an out-and-back up Rt 16 to West Side Rd. The plan was to stay on West Side, but the snow covered shoulders gave me nowhere to run on a busy road, so I took a left on Passaconaway Rd instead. Typically a super quiet road, so I was able to run in the road most of the way. Ran out to Cross Rd, where I hit 5 miles and turned back. Just as I turned the corner into Conway Village, John's dad passed me; I noticed John wasn't with him. I don't think he realized I wasn't home. Haha. Oops. No big deal since, like I've said, John can be home alone for short periods of time now. Finished up my 10 miles back at the house in 1:15:41. Very easy pace. Not much elevation gain. Hamstrings and glutes were really sore during this run. I think the snowshoe running is aggravating them.

 The rain started as soon as I finished. Once again, no skiing for us. It's just not fun to me. We did end up running errands. Bought wood pellets, dog food and a grocery store run. Then took the dogs on a short, very icy walk in the Albany Town Forest. The weather was just gross. I'm turning weak...or maybe I'm just over it. Haha. I've done my time living in the literally hiking and sleeping in the rain for days on end. Soaked clothes, tent, backpack. Just not really into that anymore. Haha.

Got in my upper body and abs workout before taking John to ninja class. Home late as usual.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017- Finally decided to shake things up a bit for my morning treadmill run. On Sunday, Jamie Woolsey and I were talking about her uphill treadmill runs in preparation for Mt Washington. I've known about this training for a few years now, but I've never had any desire to actually try it. Talking with Jamie about it lit a spark because at 4:30am, it seemed like a good idea. It was a tough workout. I didn't do all uphill the whole time, even though I probably should for the specific training, Instead I did intervals. First half mile was at 1% grade 8.1 mph. Slower pace to warm up. The next half mile, I bumped the treadmill up to 10% (the highest my treadmill will go) and dropped the speed to 6.5 mph. It wasn't easy. Next half mile, back to 1% and 8.5mph. Continued this for 5 miles. Last .2 miles, I took all of the elevation away just for a quick recovery before stopping. 5.2 miles total in 42:42. Figured out elevation gain using a calculation to be about 1452ft. Not bad...especially for an early Wednesday morning run when I'm usually still half asleep during my run. Haha. If I'm up for it, I think I'll continue this workout for my Wednesday morning runs.

Crazy busy day at work. Got to work with Conway Ambulance using their bariatric truck and stretcher for the first time. That was interesting. Sad such a thing has to exist, but it's great that it does. No way are two of us lifting a 400+lb human being. We'd be injured for sure.

Thursday, March 9, 2017- Brought my clothes to work for my run so that I wouldn't have to go home and, thus, procrastinate. I wanted to run on Haley Town Rd in Fryeburg since it had been awhile. I'd never run the entire length of the road so that was the plan. Parked at the Visitor's Center, changed clothes, then walked the railroad tracks about 50 yards to Haley Town Road. I was shocked to find someone had sanded the road. This is Maine! They don't do that here! Haha. Looked like it had been done by a small truck, probably someone who lived on the road, since the sanding ended somewhere in mile 2. Boo. The previous day's rain had now frozen into black ice on the road edges, but like Passaconaway Rd, this isn't a very busy road, so I was able to run in the middle of the lane where it was dry, for the most part. When traffic came, I ran on the side of the road which was dirt and had traction. Most of the run out was under beautiful blue skies, not too cold. Felt really nice since I tend to forget what sun is. I had to run a very short distance down Hampshire Rd to make the run out 5.5 miles, then turned around.

As the miles clicked on, the sky began to turn gray. Then during mile 8, snow flurries started. By the middle of mile 9, I found myself in a total whiteout. An insane, blinding snow squall had moved in. Heavy snow blowing into my eyes and quickly covering the road. Mile 10 was like running on a slip-n-slide with my eyes nearly closed. I was wearing my Hoka Hupana's, and while I like them, I can say they have zero traction in these conditions. I had to slow way down and ran an 8:29/mi avg pace for mile 10...which was all downhill. This would have been a run in the 6s normally. This snow squall was so crazy that I had to stop and take some pictures. I was barely moving anyway, so it wasn't a big deal to stop briefly.

So this squall lasted less than 15 minutes. It ended just as I finished mile 10...which also happened to be near where the sanding was! Yay! Mile 11 was back in the sun/blue skies on decent road. Ran that in 6:56/mi avg. Since my watch is kind of crappy with accuracy, I had 11.2 5.5 out, 5.7 back. 1:24:25. 390ft of elevation gain, so once again, nothing crazy as far as long climbs go. Once back at my car, I was soaking wet from the snow squall covering me and then melting, so I changed clothes, then drove home under blue skies. Haha.

I decided to go to Maine to pick up a haul of beer I had ordered from the Bier Cellar that I hadn't been able to pick up as planned after the Bradbury Squall race. I guess it's been months since I've been in there, but, still, the same guy who is always there recognizes me the second I walk in and immediately works on getting my order together without me ever saying my name. He has a really good memory. I really wanted to pick up this beer because of our usual Rhode Island race beer trade coming up Saturday.

I was STARVING when I left there so stopped in for a very quick lunch at the King's Head in Old Port. Of course, some creepy, older guy at the bar tried to talk to me. Why do I attract that? I was able to fend him off quickly, but then he just annoyed the bartender instead. Haha. He was looking at a local magazine and asked her, "Do you think this ad is sexist towards women?" She takes the magazine, looks at the ad, then says, "Well, I don't think it's sexist considering this is a women's magazine." Hahaha. I was laughing inside. Lunch came out quickly, and I only had one beer. I was probably in and out of there in half an hour.

Six Grain Milk Stout by Austin Street, one of the many great beers on tap here
I had to hit Bissell Brothers after that since I promised Scott Mason some. Stayed for one small drink there. The place was dead so I was able to get a good table in the sun looking out the window.

I thought about going to a movie while I was there, but there wasn't anything I wanted to see, so I just headed back home. Quick trip. I was home around 6pm. Got in my upper body and abs workout, then watched My Best Friend's Wedding which I probably haven't seen since it came out...TWENTY YEARS AGO! How did that happen?! Funny to watch silly movies from the 90s. I loved that corny stuff then. I also watched the newest Impractical Jokers episode since it's my favorite show then went to bed. Totally wild and crazy night, for sure. I'm turning into an old fuddy duddy.

Friday, March 10, 2017- Slept in until 7:30ish, but didn't get out of bed until 8. Fridays are my lazy mornings! I love them. I was in no hurry to get out for my run since it would be an easy, slow as hell 6 miles on Corridor 19. After I took the dogs out, I sat down at the computer and finally got my stuff filled out for a new passport. My passport still said "Leslie O'Dell Beckwith" on it, and since John and I might visit Canada at some point this year, I decided it was time to send out for a new one. When I was done, I got changed into my running clothes, stopped at Walgreen's for a passport photo (why I did this on greasy, slept on hair, I don't know) then drove over to Hemlock Lane for the run with Spot and Phoenix.

The trail was solid, a lot of it ice. Microspikes were perfect for this. Ran 3 miles out to where the Mason Brook Trail starts then ran back. Phoenix decided to go on her own adventure at one point making me have to stop for 5 minutes. I was rip shit when she came back covered in something gross. She can't understand a word I say, but I still scolded her. "This is why I don't run with you!" "You can't just take off like that! You're too small! You'll get eaten!" "Next time, you're going on a leash!" "You're really pissing me off right now!" I went on and on like this as we ran. If anyone were listening, he/she would probably be laughing his/her head off. Haha. Finally made it back. 6.1 miles in 58:53. Super slow. And funny, this run has over 500ft of elevation gain, but at that slow pace, you really don't feel it.

Ran a few more errands. Post office to mail the passport, store again, farm stand for eggs, then home. John showed up right after I did. We ended up staying in for the rest of the day/night. Since we would be out of town the rest of weekend, I decided to let John have time at home.

John making Chill wear sunglasses

Taking the dogs out behind my house
15 minutes of upper body and abs, followed by packing for the double race weekend in Rhode Island and Vermont.

Our company newsletter was released, and, I, unfortunately, got chosen to be in the "Employee Spotlight". Ugh! Definitely embarrassing, but I was surprised that I haven't been made fun of more than I have! Mitch, my boss, actually wrote a decent description. Just missed that I was NOMINATED as Athlete of the Year and not the actual Athlete of the Year, but that's ok. Reading it kind of makes me sad because I sound so great and driven...yet, I live in small town America living paycheck-to-paycheck making $11/hour. It really doesn't compute. Haha. And funny, one of my coworkers this morning even said, "After reading that, we were wondering why you work here!" Haha. Exactly. Just the one part of my life where I haven't been driven. Oh well. In due time. When I grow up. Haha.

Saturday, March 11, 2017- Belleville Pond Trail 10K-

Knowing I was coming down to Rhode Island in hopes of racing on dry trails, the weather gods decided to spit out about 3 inches of fresh powder the day before. Finally a snowshoe race with good snow! Oh wait...not a snowshoe race. A trail race!! Ugh! Haha. What to wear?! I knew shoes with good traction, so my La Sportiva's were the obvious choice (Hopefully will try the Hoka Speed Goat's in the near future to test out their grip!). I didn't know yet if extra traction, i.e. microspikes would be useful or not, but I brought them along.

Woke up at 4:15am. Loaded up the car with stuff, all 3 dogs and John. The ride down isn't usually bad, but I struggled this time. I've gotten used to going down the night before instead of driving in early, so I'm not so used to it anymore. Struggled to keep my eyes open. Had to drive through Boston due to I-95 being shut down in Wakefield for an accident; I was really happy there was no traffic! We made it there pretty early. Only Scott Mason and one other car were there. Mike Galoob was there but off marking the course so check-in wasn't ready yet. I decided to go ahead and do my first mile warm up with Chill wearing microspikes. Stepping out of the car, I was met with a brutally cold, gusting wind. Yikes! I wore my down puffy jacket for this. Since no one was there, I let Chill run mostly off leash after I passed Mike going the opposite direction. The spikes weren't bad. I could tell they weren't necessary, but I seemed to be getting a decent grip. Put Chill in the car, checked in. Bib #1 again! Yay! Haha. Came back. Took off the microspikes and ran another mile, this time with Spot. My La Sportiva's have great tread, but there was definitely a difference. After Spot's mile, I knew I was going with microspikes. Poor Phoenix got the shaft for the second year in a row. I only had time to run her a half mile, but she really didn't even want to get out of the car in that wind anyway.

John was awake and cozy in his sleeping bag by this time. Complaining that he couldn't load his music on his phone, until I reminded him that he drained 10 gigs of data in a span of an hour when he didn't realize the wifi had cut off on his phone while watching YouTube. So...for three weeks, we will be in "Safe Mode" which means FREE, yet VERY SLOW data. Haha. I wasn't really mad about the data thing, because he didn't turn off the wifi. It cut off on its own, and he didn't know it. I was able to look at data usage and figure out when this happened and with what app. He was at the house, so it was an honest mistake. I've told him now that we know, he has to always check he's connected to wifi before watching YouTube. Anyway, his music finally played just before I left the car to go to the start. Phew. Walked to the start line, and this was funny. A few people had been standing on the road, so other people thought they were at the start line so they filed in until everyone was lined up at what they thought was the start. Meanwhile, Steve Brightman, Jonny Hammett and I were standing at the actual start line by the baseball field. I was laughing. Even people who've run this race many more times than I have were lined up with the group in the wrong place. Hahaha. Mike Galoob walked around the building and told everyone to line up at the start line that was where we were. Hahaha. I was already there, but standing a good distance away from the start line. Like 5ft back. EVERYONE lined up behind me. Hahahaha! I was like, "Wait a minute!" and moved behind the fast guys. There was one somewhat packed down rail in the snow. Outside of that was fresh powder. I lined up in the rail, but that ended up being silly since I immediately had to move out of it as we rounded the ball field.

The race spread out quickly. So quickly that I was pretty much by myself as we entered the single track. I had some guys a little bit in front of me. Seth Acton was one of them and two other guys I didn't know. Those guys would be in view nearly the whole race, although I would pass one eventually. Running through the snow was pretty fun. Definitely much slower than it was last year, by far. I was immediately happy I wore my spikes. On all of the ups, even the little ones, they made a difference. I would have been sliding all over the place without them. When we got out to the double track section that was super fast last year, I was once again happy to have spikes since there was some ice in this section. I was really pushing hard trying to keep up with the group ahead of me and not let the guys behind me pass. Other than a guy just after the start, I never got passed by anyone. And I only passed one person. The course was familiar as we got close to the power lines with it's short steep climb, down and across the power lines and up a very short but steep hill into the woods. This is where the guy in front of me started having trouble. He had on no traction and ended up having to walk up the hill. I'm not sure what happened there, but I caught up to him quickly as he stopped and was adjusting his shoe or something. I wasn't sure, but I kept moving. I remember this rolling section being pretty difficult last year. Small rollers that still allow you to go fast, but it hurts. The guy I had passed caught back up with me quickly, but every time we hit any hill, he would fall back. If he had had traction, he would have run that race a lot faster. He kept me on my toes, though. I really didn't want to get passed back. At the same time, though, I started asking myself why I was racing so hard. I really didn't need to; I knew I was going to be first woman. Slowing down would save my legs for Sunday's race. Running in this soft powder snow took a lot of effort. Part of me wished I had been able to slow down, but I just couldn't bring myself to do it.

We made a familiar turn onto the power lines briefly, but this is where the course stopped being familiar. We still ran back in the direction we had come and then turned again to go in the opposite direction, but some of that, I just didn't remember. I know my watch isn't accurate on the trails, but I glanced at it just to get an idea of where I was. I remember thinking we still seemed so far out for so few miles left. Turned out I was right. After making our way back onto the single track close to the pond, I looked at my watch and knew for sure the course was longer than last year's. I was running slower, but not THAT much slower. Finally, the left turn to the bridge came into view. I know this spot since it's the half mile turnaround for my dog warm ups. haha. As I approached the bridge, Scott Mason was there ready with his camera. He was snapping photos as I crested the bridge.

He stopped shooting just as my foot slid about three feet down the bridge. I don't know how I stayed upright. I almost made Scott's Wall of Shame! Haha. I finished up this last trail portion back to the other ball field that we run around to the finish. At this point, I just kind of jogged it in, finishing 1st female. 6.7 miles on my watch in 54:45. Full Results. Last year, I had 6.2 miles on my watch and ran it 9 minutes faster. So longer distance in snow made it much slower. But, honestly, I was really slow. There were people ahead of me whom I beat by a lot last year. My glutes and hamstrings were pretty sore when I finished. They had been when I got out of the car after the drive. By the end of the day, they would be pretty painful. I knew that I'd probably screwed up Sunday's race AND that I would need to take some major zero days the following week.

As soon as I finished, I talked to Jonny for a few minutes about the race then needed to put on some clothes. The wind was blowing hard, and it was COLD. I put on some clothes then went back out with Chill for a cool down. Ran into Andy Neil along the way, so he joined us. Only a mile, but it felt good to loosen the legs back up.

John stayed in the car the whole time. It was SO cold and windy that there was no reason for him to come over to the awards. It was almost the exact same crowd left as after Beach Race. Steve Brightman and I were the winners and walked up together to choose our prize. We both chose the same thing. Of course! Haha.

Whalers Wanderer. It was really good!
After we were all nearly frozen to death from the wind, a group of us headed over to Oak Hill Tavern for beers and lunch. It was a good time. We had the waitress take a group photo of us. I turned part of that into a Michael Crutchley/Grumpy Cat meme. Haha. If you read my post from last year's race, this is where I first heard of a stuffie! I've been ordering stuffies since and ordered two today. I was super jealous of everyone's cornbread and chili last year, so I made sure to opt in this time around. Combined that with a good beer.

Michael Crutchley, me, John, Jonathan Short, Beth Lazor-Smith, Seth Acton, Jonny Hammett, Patrick Quinn, Scott Mason and Rachel Flaksman

I took one look at Crutchley's face and thought, "He looks like Grumpy Cat!" Hahaha

Pat, Scott and I toasting!

#stuffiesNOTonthelevel Last year Eric Narcisi put our stuffies on the Level Renner tab and coined the hashtag: #stuffiesonthelevel. No Eric this year! Boo!! 

By the time the check came, I realized once again that I was the only one who never has cash and needed to put our food on a card. I was just going to take everyone's cash and put it all on my card, but Jonny Hammett thought that was silly and ended up paying for our lunch. He's so nice. I always feel weird about people paying for my things because I can't often return the favor, but Jonny just told me to bring a lot of beer to Brrr-lingame in exchange. Will do! That's on my list for Thursday's errands. Haha. Maybe some day I'll remember to have cash in hand.

Rachel, Scott and I headed over to the Tilted Barn Brewery after, just like last year after Oak Hill. We each had their Cactus DIPA. It was so good! I filled my bottle with Mt Yasur porter, then John and I began another long drive Vermont!

Photo that Scott Mason took of Rachel and me
We didn't go to far north before a stop in North Attleboro at Monkey Joe's for John to have some fun. We had a Monkey Joe's in Fayetteville, NC when we lived on Fort Bragg. I used to take John there all the time. He loved it so much! The last time we went was for his 5th birthday party. It was so weird to be back in a Monkey Joe's 6 years later with him now one of the big kids. And I no longer had to follow him around to protect the little kids he liked to push down. Haha. It was nice just sitting down while he played. He instantly made two friends and played for almost 2 hours with them. He had so much fun! I was so happy to see him having fun there.

We still had a LONG drive ahead of us to Bennington, VT. The drive would end up taking us into New York for awhile before going back into Vermont and arriving at our motel around 9pm. I'd booked us a room at the West Road Motel. It didn't have great reviews, but the place was great. Very outdated, but it was such a beautiful location and perfect for taking the dogs out. It was crazy cold, though. Below zero. I was nervous about the race the next morning. I am so sick of racing in the cold. Ugh! Had a night cap then went to bed. John stayed up a little later playing Roblox on his computer.

Sunday, March 12, 2017- Northeast Snowshoe Championship Race-

Woke up to temps around zero in Bennington and around -3 degrees up at the race at Prospect Mountain. It was so beautiful out, though. I'll take outdated for a view like this...

I got up and took the dogs out right away. One step out of the door smelled like skunk spray, but I didn't see one around. Phew. This was great since I could totally let the dogs run free down the hill. When we came back up to walk around the pond, I was throwing a stick for Phoenix and Chill when I looked back to call Spot, who was sniffing around. And what do I see?! A skunk literally running up to Spot!!!! She didn't see it, thankfully, and I screamed for her to come. She started running to me completely oblivious to the skunk that was now starting to run as well. The skunk started chasing us around the pond!! I started running and kept the dogs running by throwing their stick. They never once noticed the skunk that chased us ALL THE WAY AROUND THE POND! It was so crazy but so funny at the same time. We managed to get ahead of it and run back to the room before it caught us. Oh my god, could you imagine the 3 hour drive home in a car with a dog who'd been sprayed by a skunk?! Spot really lucked out. Haha.

The skunk finally disappeared back to wherever we had disturbed it from. I made coffee and woke John up. Chill was hot in the room so I tied him up outside as I loaded up the car. Crazy dog. Those temps were comfortable to him.

I dragged John out eventually and drove up to and passed by Prospect Mt. Totally didn't even see it. I was about 2 miles past it when the road started to descend. Oops. Turned around. For some reason, I remembered it being on the opposite side of the road so I wasn't even looking that direction when I drove by the first time. We parked. The crowd was small so far, which didn't surprise me. It was brutally cold!! Stayed below zero through the race before finally getting about zero. I brought John in the lodge. He was not happy to find no wifi nor good cell service. I told him he would have to read his books instead. That's when I learned we didn't have them! They were on the bookshelf at home. Eek. He was able to download some music, so that's what he did during the race.

I went out for a mile warm up. I was SO sore in my glutes and hamstrings. I had a bad feeling about the race. Good thing I wasn't expecting to win. Kasie Enman was there (since it's an All Terrain Series race) and also the woman who was first master at World's. I knew I was going to suck and that my percentage points for the ATR would be bad. Kasie would end up obliterating me by over 4 minutes. Ugh! Hopefully, that won't hurt me too much for the ATR, but it probably will. I think 2017 is just going to suck for me. I've had a good winter for the most part, but I am insanely slow. It's a good thing I've decided to stick with mostly trail racing this year or I would probably be totally burned out and discouraged by year's end. The last two years of intense road racing is starting to wear me down. It's time to cut it back.

So anyway, my face nearly froze off during the warm up around the parking lot. I was not looking forward to this race, especially since it was going to be on pure ice for the most part. There was no snow here, and Tim Van Orden had to do his best to pull off the race. I think he changed the course 3 times over the week as the snow melted. I was sad to learn the Vertical Challenge was cancelled because John was going to do that one. He wasn't disappointed, however. Haha.

It was finally race time. Stepping out into the arctic from the warm lodge was not encouraging. I ran up the hill with Dave Dunham who gave me a quick run down on the course. Two loops of rolling hills all on nordic trails. Tim started the race pretty quickly. It was a lung burner from the start right up hill. I went out way too fast. Kasie and the other woman passed me right away. I would only see them ahead of me for a short distance. I had trouble getting the speed up. It didn't help that I didn't know the course so I figured I would just run it slightly slower until I warmed up and completed the first loop. My toes were numb the entire first loop, plus some.

The course was a beast. Climbs and rollers, a little down, then a steep climb before a quick downhill to complete the first loop.  About 3/4 of the way through the first loop, I actually had thoughts of dropping out. I honestly wasn't sure I could finish, but by the time we got down to the bottom to start the second loop, I felt like I could go on. I was bummed to see Jamie Woolsey maybe only 10 seconds behind me at the turnaround. This meant I'd have to push myself through the second loop! Cry!! I was able to stay just behind this one guy for most of the race so he helped pull me along. Other than him, I saw no one in front of me after the first mile. Knowing the loop this time around made it easier to gauge where I could push ahead. I could feel my toes by mile 4, so I was actually feeling much better on this loop than the first. It paid off. I was able to get a better lead on Jamie (but not much!) to keep my 3rd female position. 6.2 miles on my watch in 49:33. I was so happy to cross that finish line. That course was just way too fast being on the ice, and my legs were in no shape for speed today. I wasn't too happy with my race, but I did it to myself and expected a poor performance so I really didn't dwell on it. It's my own fault for doing too much. I had to be happy with 3rd female and leave it at that. Full Results. No pictures from this race since no one was out there taking any.

I was so happy to get back in the warm lodge! John was up and about the room. The owners had turned on the hot chocolate machine for him so he had a hot chocolate and was buying some food. He actually seemed perfectly content. He didn't need internet. My face was SO RED and would end up peeling from the cold burn later the next week. No wonder all of those old-time photos from New England show hard-worn faces. They were out in the cold all the time.

We took this funny selfie. My face is SO RED from the cold.
I took the dogs out briefly, then came back in and sat with Diane Levesque and Brian Gallagher and John for the awards. Diane and I were both taking handfuls of Toblerone chocolates from the snack table (no wonder I'm gaining so much weight!) The awards finally started, and it was a choose-your-own type award. I was so hoping no one would pick the one I wanted, and they didn't! Yay! It's an Insulated Eco Vessel. I didn't get it for coffee. I actually picked it because it will keep beer cold at the lake beach!! And it will look like a coffee! Haha. Much easier way to break the rules. :)

Fred Ross snapped this photo of us during the awards
We left right after this and headed east for home! But not without a stop at Whetstone Station in Brattleboro. The place was packed, so we waited about 25 minutes. Chris and Karen Dunn had the same idea and walked in just before we were seated. The beer and food are good here, and our waiter was great!

John just got a small chicken breast with teriyaki sauce so we had to make one more stop in Concord for dinner for him on the way home. I was so happy to get home! And we made it back in time for The Walking Dead! Haha. I skipped my upper body workout. My abs were actually sore frome the races, and I was just worn out, so I only got three days in with that this week. Good enough. I'm about to pick it up again with the legs soon to strengthen up for mountain racing season, just over a month away! I'll miss the two mountain races in May, but that's going to be made up with a lot of mountain/trail running and training on the Cranmore course. So looking forward to that!

So, after weeks of beating myself up, it definitely caught up with me. I needed some major zero days the following week. New Bedford Half Marathon was coming up. It was my goal race up until this point. Now, I was feeling pretty discouraged about it. I was in a lot of pain in my glutes and hamstrings and knew that there was no way I was going to recover from that in 6 days. Thus began the dread that would last all week. Oh well. My racing obsession is sinking in that it's starting to be like last year at this time. Same thing. I did too much. I started to have mediocre races. It's a pattern I'm falling right back into, but if I don't race, I'm so freakin' isolated! I like to be alone, but I need some human interaction! So it's a catch 22. Race too much? Wear myself out and have mediocre results. Race less? Be completely isolated for weeks (other than with John of course) with the inability to get in any good runs on the weekends. Same dilemma as last year. And I'm obviously still trying to figure it all out.

New album by The Shins came out. Almost all of the songs are great. This is my one of my favorites...

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