Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Enjoying Time Off

View from inside the Mt Kearsarge North fire tower
I finally had to make the decision to stop running this week. On Monday, I was still in it. After my run on Tuesday, I knew I had to stop. It was just too painful. I wasn't upset about it either since it just isn't fun to run in pain. I decided to give myself a week off and then try again. This would turn out to be the most relaxing, stress-free week. I realized on Thursday that I had needed more than the physical break; I needed a mental one, as well. No stress about when and where and how many miles for my next run or stressing over making sure I had time to get it in. It was the perfect week for it, too. I already had a no-race weekend, and I wanted nothing more than to just be on the trails in the mountains. Most of the trails are still snow-covered so I was able to get out and hike them and not worry about slip-sliding in the snow slush. I rejoined The Mill gym at Purity Spring for the rest of the month. Not sure how many times I will use it, but it was $30, and I used all $30 worth already. I also did more strength training, as well. Just mixing it up. We had a lot of beautiful days this week so I got out with John for walks. All around, it was a pretty awesome week. No regrets. Of course, I would rather not be injured, but you do what you gotta do. So, I got in 8.2 miles this week and 29 miles of walking/hiking. Plus aqua jogging, swimming, elliptical and strength training. This girl does NOT sit still. Haha.

I did have to make the hard decision on the Salomon Trail Running Festival at Pineland 50 mile. There's just no way I'll be ready for it. I don't see any long runs in my future enough to get me ready for a 50 mile or even the 50K. So I dropped to the 25K. As far as Cranmore goes, this will be better since it's the following weekend. When I signed up for the 50 mile in early October, Cranmore wasn't on that date yet. I would be destroyed for Cranmore if I tried to do the 50 with no preparation. I really don't think I would have finished it had I tried. So it's a smart decision, but I'm still bummed about it. I had all of these ultras planned for the this year, and they've all been thwarted. The Ragged 75 counts, though, since the 3rd day is a 50K, so I won't be totally out from ultra racing. I will probably also do is the RI 6 Hour Ultra, but it's the week after Baystate, so it will just be a slow fun run through the woods. Oh, and speaking of. The RI 6 Hour 2.0 is now a trail race! More info is here!
I'm going to wait until the Fall to make a decision on that. So, it looks like my ultra plans for 2017 have dwindled, but it's really ok. I have so many other awesome races on my calendar anyway. Just hoping the hamstrings hold up.

So as far as all of the other upcoming races, I'm still planning to do them all. I have no idea what kind of condition I'll be in, but I'm still showing up and giving them a go. It pains me a little not being a 100% at Sleepy Hollow, but what can I do? Oh well. Like I said, the Mountain Series isn't my big goal this year anyway.

Monday, April 10, 2017- Slow day. Walked 2.2 miles on the treadmill. Figured the rest after Doyle's would be good. One 911 call around 5pm and then another at 5am the next morning. Wakefield had three 911s literally back-to-back-to-back starting at 3am which woke me up. So much chatter and more tones pretty much lasted until well after 4am. I felt like I had just fallen back asleep when the toned dropped for our call at 5am. Needless to say, I didn't get much sleep.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017- Got back to the base around 8am and rushed home so I could get my run in. Even though I wanted to be on trails, they were still so iffy. I decided a run on Potter Rd in Center/South Conway would be a nice compromise. Dirt and not busy.

The run felt ok starting off. I ran into Frank Holmes and Chris Ballou right off the bat. They were in the middle of an 8 mile loop from Eaton Beach. I hadn't seen either of them in forever so we chatted a couple of minutes then I carried on. The first mile was good, then I turned onto the unmaintained section of Potter Rd. It was still covered in snow, but some tire ruts made it a little better. Very slow. Probably about 3/4 mile through this section before I hit the other side where it was maintained again.

Unmaintained part of Potter Rd
Once on the other side I continued on to Brownfield Rd to turn around. 4 miles, almost exactly. This is where the hamstrings just started aching! I couldn't help but slow down. I knew right then that this was it. This was the run that was going to make me stop running. I just wanted to stop but had to run all the way back. I was happy for the even slower section of the unmaintained road again. This was mostly downhill so it was a little bit harder to get a grip underfoot. By the time I hit the dry road again, I was really hurting. Getting to my car brought such relief. 8.2 miles of mostly pain and suffering. Haha. 1:07:08.

I went home and sat on my porch in the sun having coffee while I waited for John to come home. Green things are growing! Spring is here!

Phoenix joined me in the sun.
After John came home and I got cleaned up, we went back to Potter Rd for a walk with the dogs. The road isn't closed, but there's so little traffic that I wasn't worried about the dogs being free...or John walking way far behind me. Haha. We saw one car. It was such a nice walk. The dogs were loving it.

That small black speck in the background is John. haha

We walked 2.6 miles total, then drove to Frontside Grind. It was happy hour, so I decided to have a beer. John got a mango smoothie. We sat outside in the sun soaking it up. What a beautiful day!

John pretending to drink my beer

Phoenix wanted to bark at people so she went back to the car. You can just make out her sad face through the window. Haha.
Back at home, I got in 20 minutes of upper body and abs then took John to ninja class. So a pretty fun, busy day.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017- Bright side about taking time off from running: no 4:30am wake-up for a treadmill run. Yay! I slept in until 5:30am instead and then worked out later on in the afternoon upstairs doing Zuzka Light's workouts again. I did the same 550 Killer Rep workout as last week. Such a good addition to my workouts. Works the entire body and just with body weight. After that one, I jumped right into one of her 15 min Fat Burn workouts. HIIT training type workout. I really liked this one. Got the heart rate up. I discovered that I have no problem in the hamstrings if I jump straight up, so that made me happy since I could complete the whole workout. The only things I have trouble with are leaping type jumps and lunges. I can still do lunges, but I can only go about half way down to where it only works the lower hamstrings. I felt great after this. Solid workout. Finished up my blog then got out back for a mile walk on the trail behind the building. It was completely clear! Finally!

Only one call early in the night, then I slept the whole night through. It was awesome.

Thursday, April 13, 2017- I was super excited about Thursday! I had a nice hike planned! Mountains! Yay! Haha. I went to The Mill first and got in the pool to aqua jog. The pool was pretty full, but there's room for 4 people to use it...unless you're an asshole who won't move over and purposely kicks me twice as he swam by. Total douche. He purposely moved over closer to me when I got in and kicked me twice in the arm. No sorry. A dirty look instead. I've been in there when 4 people have easily used the pool, but this guy didn't like it I guess. Fortunately he got out after 10 minutes and shot me a dirty look when he got out of the shower. Wtf. Anyway, I planned 45 minutes to aqua jog, but right around 30, it started to bother my hamstrings. (This is HIGH hamstring- the tendons- the attachments in the glutes, and it's bilateral, in case I haven't been clear on where this injury is exactly. It is NOT piriformis; doesn't match the symptoms.) I switched to swimming freestyle just using my arms for the last 15 minutes. This felt great. They make those leg buoys for this, but I honestly didn't need it. My butt is so buoyant that it was its own buoy. No lie! Hahaha.

I quickly changed clothes then drove up to Hurricane Mountain Road with Spot and Phoenix for a hike up Black Cap Mt. This was SO wonderful! I've been needing this! It wasn't super warm due to the wind, but the sun felt great. The footing was soft, but I didn't post hole at all. Microspikes helped, but they weren't necessary.

Hurricane Mt Rd

Funny pic with Spot

Phoenix on the Black Cap Trail

Crazy windy. I could only hang out for a minute.

Snow is melting like crazy!
The hike was 5.8 miles total and took about 2hours45minutes. It was slow going in the soft snow on the way up, but I didn't care. It just felt good to be out there. Stopped back at Frontside again to use my free drink card for a latte and muffin. I was starving! I felt so rejuvenated and relaxed. This is when I realized that I had needed a mental break from running. I love racing, obviously, but with it comes stress and not just on race day, but from all of the training in order to perform well on race day. And if I'm in pain along with it, it's just no good mentally. It was time for a break.

Latte at Frontside Grind
I stopped at the nail place on my way home to get my nails done, then once home, I jumped right into my upper body and abs workout. Like I said, I do not sit still much. 17 minutes. I'm pretty amazed with the results I'm seeing still. I honestly don't think I would have stuck with this if I hadn't found Zuzka's workouts.

I did finally relax the rest of the evening. Had some great beers. The Libby from Scott Mason and the Cereal Milk from Tony Wild. I have some good beer friends. Haha. Phoenix and I shared a bowl of popcorn while watching Office Christmas Party. I really try to make the most of my Thursdays; it's the only free day I have!

She LOVES popcorn.

Cereal Milk from Long Live Beerworks. I still haven't had PVDonuts, and it's killing me!!
Friday, April 14, 2017- I had plans and not much time to fit it all in, so I didn't sleep in this morning. Got up, dressed and made my coffee to go. It was almost thwarted by Bryan who wanted to drop off John right then so he could work an extra shift. I think not. I kind of felt bad, but then I didn't. He's supposed to have John until 2pm, and I'd taken John 3 of the last 4 Thursday evenings/nights with no reciprocation, so I didn't feel obligated to do him that favor, especially when I had plans to hike up Mt Kearsarge North!

First, I had to hit The Mill. No pool this morning since it's water aerobics, so I got on the elliptical. I had no idea how it would go, but based on my last injury that was in my glute, I had a feeling I would be fine. I was right! No pain whatsoever with the elliptical! It works the lower hamstrings only so I was good to go. Followed the hill workout setting for 45 minutes. 5.1 miles. It felt great to be pouring in sweat by the end. I changed quickly in the locker room filled with all of the old ladies talking about church and Easter, then drove back to Hurricane Mt Rd to the Kearsarge lot. Only two cars in the lot meant it wouldn't be crowded. Yay. I was psyched to find most of the first mile completely clear of snow!

I was able to take my microspikes off for awhile, but then the trail became 100% covered again as we climbed toward the open granite and would stay that way to the top. It was really solid, so I didn't post hole at all today either.

I moved along pretty quickly and got up there in 1:27, about 30 minutes slower than I would usually run it. Exactly what I expected. There were three women in the fire tower as we got up there, but they came down as we were about to go up, so we had the tower to ourselves. Phoenix didn't really care much for the fire tower and walked around nervous the whole time before finally lying down in the sun. This is Spot's old stomping ground since she was born here in the Valley. She was still a puppy her first hike up Kearsarge in April of 2004.

Definitely not thrilled

Just chillaxin'

I like this photo because it got Phoenix in the background

She relaxed for a minute

Phoenix with Mt Washington in the background
We stayed up at the top for 15 minutes then headed back down. Took right around an hour for the walk down. 5.9 miles total. It was so what I needed. Got home around 1:15pm, 45 minutes earlier than I have to be. John and his dad were already there. I sat out in the sun for a long time soaking up rays. It's tan time!

My lunch. haha.
Since I was on day 4 of strength training, I decided to do a shorter 12 minute upper body and abs workout today. Still an ass kicker every time, but I can't believe how much stronger I am than I was just 4 months ago.

So the reason Chill is looking at me like this in my beer pic is because I had to take a beaver head away from him. Chill and Spot found a dead beaver on Tuesday, and this would become the Dead Beaver Saga through the weekend. I think Spot ate it and proceeded to vomit overnight two nights in a row. Gross. All that was left was this damn beaver head that sat in the yard forever. The dogs kept trying to fight each other for it, and I was fighting the dogs to take it away. It was so gross. Finally, after 5 days with dead beaver drama, the beaver head disappeared from the yard. Some wild animal hopefully took it away overnight.

Saturday, April 15, 2017- Yet another beautiful day!! I hated going to the gym, but I needed to get on the elliptical. Dragged John along. Did another 5 mile workout in 45 minutes, but I did the random program which was much more difficult than the hill one. Once again pouring in sweat. I actually took a quick shower this time, then John, the dogs and I drove up to Black Mt to ski! What's that, you say? Yes, ski on April 15th. The latest Black Mt has ever been open. It was close to 70 degrees and the snow was slush, but it was so much fun to get out there one last time this season. After our runs, I let the dogs out to run on the ski slope, then John and I had drinks on the deck. It was so nice.

Beer made by the Moat just for Black Mt.

I had planned to walk the dogs on the way home, but I decided to just wait and take them up Heavenly Hill when we got home. I wanted to check out the trail conditions. I couldn't believe it. The trail was almost completely clear. Yay!! Where there was snow, there were moose prints. The elusive moose that I've still never seen! The clear trail is a mess with leaves, but it will clear up the more I use it now. The log book was finally melted out. It was cool to see the last entry was John's in November. Oh, and, yes. I have terrible handwriting. Should have been a doctor.
Heavenly Hill log book

Spot at the lookout.

I was sweating my ass off.
 When I got back down, I made John make his own pizza. It was great. He kept saying he was hungry, so I kept saying, "Well, then, come in the kitchen and make dinner." He put it off until he was so hungry that he gave in. Haha. I proceeded to eat Cadbury Mini Eggs for dinner. I was gearing up for a detox starting Monday, so I decided to eat an entire bag between today and the following day to get that sugar craving out of my system.

John's pizza

Nice old school IPA that Kevin Tilton brought me back from Colorado.
Sunday, April 16, 2017- Plans. I always have them. I have to be doing something especially when it's so nice outside now! Woke up. Had coffee then got right to my Zuzka Light workouts. The 550 Killer Rep one again, followed by another 15 Min Fat Burn workout. This time the 15 minute workout was ALL burpees. I never knew of so many different ways to do burpees. To say I at least did 200 of them during those 15 minutes might actually be on the low side. That was a hard workout. I'm really digging these 15 minute workouts.

I showered, then John and I hit the road to the Southern Maine Coast. We were finally going to check out Mt Agamenticus in York. It was 80 degrees by the time we got down there, so I was happy I picked an easy hike to the top. John was pretty warm and sat in the shade at the summit when we got up there. So many people! I walked around a bit and ran into Patty Loubris, which was pretty neat. I hadn't seen her in a long time. We talked a bit then I went back to John. We took a selfie then made our way back down. Haha.We took the Ring Trail both up and down since it's a loop, and fortunately, the way down had much more shade. My GPS locator shut off on my phone at the top so it didn't get the full mileage, but I think it was around 2 miles. Nothing crazy. I can't wait to come back here and explore the trails on a long run.

John was dying to get in the ocean so we drove down to Long Sands Beach in York. The place was packed with people and dogs. The water was frigid, but that didn't stop John from going in.

He said it was cold, but then proceeded to sit in the water at the water's edge for at least 45 minutes building a sand castle. I enjoyed just sitting in the sun and feeling sand under my bare feet. It seems like it's been so long!

John finally got cold so we walked back to the car. The water in the car was so warm that John used it as a shower to clean off the sand and salt.

We were both starving at this point, so of course, we had to go to York River Landing where we sat outside overlooking the river and enjoying as much of this amazing weather as possible.

Steak tip wrap. So good. Marshal Island 20 Gauge IPA.
I was sad to see such a great week come to a close and started thinking about how so many friends and acquaintances would be running the Boston Marathon the next morning. Part of me wished I could be there, too, but after seeing the forecast, I didn't wish to be there too long. It looked like it was gearing up to be identical temps to 2016 except with a tailwind instead of a headwind. No thank you. After two hot marathons last Spring, I was happy to do without this year.

I finished off the Cadbury eggs, then got to work prepping for my 3-Day Detox Diet. I had decided to do some sort of detox the week before and found one for active people that looked great. It was a lot of prep, but I needed something to give me a boost. I have been feeling so gross for the last month and was craving sugar and heavy carbs. I wanted something that I could do to make me feel better. With it only being 3 days, I knew I could do it, but I was still nervous. I guess I would find out soon enough!


  1. You look and sound a lot better! Great job on taking a break!

  2. Thanks! I feel so much better! Rejuvenated. Haha.