Monday, May 1, 2017

2017 Rescue Run for Marine Mammals Trail 5K Race

Spot and Phoenix on Cathedral Ledge
Like I said in the previous post, I decided to start back running again this week. I'm not healed by any means, but I can run. It's slow. 100% effort isn't showing in the speed output. Oh well. It felt great to be out on the trails again now that the snow is melting FAST. I feel like I have a huge part of my life back. Haha. If I'm forced to live here, I'd really like to use the only part I like about it, the trails and mountains.

Oh, and speaking of trails and mountains... There's a new blog and Facebook page out there as a good go-to for the New England MUT Running. You'll find all sorts of race listings, results, photos and just general information about mountain, ultra and tail running. You can find the Facebook page here. It's a great source for finding all of the New England MUT information in one place.

I didn't get any mountain runs in this week, but I was satisfied with what I did do. I stuck with the plan to still take Monday off, and then also took Friday off, so the mileage was very low at 35.2 miles. Exactly where I needed to be. Got some good elevation gain in, too. 4,114ft on actual dirt and another 1,452ft on the treadmill. So the climbing was at least solid. That's what I need the most training in right now. Too bad, it won't help me much, though. There will be no speed at Sleepy Hollow. There was no speed at Saturday's race. Everything is just slow...for my standards. Slower than I am when I'm healthy, by far. But I'm dealing.

Monday, April 17, 2017- No intentions of getting up early to run because I wasn't running today. A lot of other people were, though. The Boston Marathon! I am SO glad I opted out of it this year. I did not need to run another freakin' hot Spring marathon, but I had fun watching it on my phone all morning at work. I walked 2.5 miles on the treadmill while watching it. I was following quite a few people, and for some, it was very painful to watch. The slowing of most people was consistent across the board. Some did as well as can be expected, while others just had an awful day. I felt their pain. The weather was almost the same in 2016, and the Vermont City Marathon was a hell of a lot worse. How I managed to still run a 3:06 at Boston and a 3:07 at VCM is beyond me. I'm hoping Baystate is perfect. Slow day at work. Slept all night.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017- I was super excited to get home to change clothes and go out for a run! I had a trail run planned in the Green Hills. I couldn't wait...and you know where I'm going with this, right? Thwarted! Haha. Bryan ended up having issues with John. He's supposed to have him until 10am. I was headed out the door to get my run in when Bryan pulls up and just drops John off because he was upset with him. Didn't ask. Whatever. Long story short. John ended up staying with me. I was pretty upset since I don't ever drive somewhere to run while he's home alone. I always run from the house so that I'm in the vicinity. I'd so been looking forward to this run after a week off. It wasn't right for him to just drop John off like that, but he was pretty upset and I could see that they needed a break from each other. I decided to just take a chance and drive to Redstone and do the trail run as planned, even though I wasn't super comfortable with it.

I parked at work because the trail runs right behind the base and called John to let him know I was about to start my run. And it rang...and rang...and rang. No answer. Ensue panic. I immediately started the car and drove back home, hitting redial on my phone the whole time. 17 times, in fact. No answer. I get home and burst into the house. He's there, and he's fine, but he has his gaming headphones on both ears!! I didn't have to say anything, though. He knew immediately and said, "I guess I shouldn't be wearing these." It was hard to be upset at him. He didn't realize he couldn't hear his phone, and he realized his own mistake. But now, I was left frustrated about what to do. I finally decided to just drive up the hill to Tin Mountain and run my new course for the Dirty Girl Trail Race. This ended up being a good choice. I had only been able to estimate the new course as a 10K-ish, but with the snow cover, I haven't been able to get out there to actually have a course to share with the racers. There were quite a few spots still covered in snow, and the trails are quite the mess, so it was slow-going for me. I ended up with 6.4 miles on my GPS, so the course is probably something closer to 6.7 or so, but I'm still calling it 10K-ish. Haha. The longer course was so much more enjoyable. It will be challenging at the longer distance since the course is pretty technical, but I think they will actually like it better. That's what I'm hoping for anyway.

It's all gone now!

One of my favorite parts of the course
My first run back in a week. I'm glad it ended up being this one. It was forced slow-going for the most part. I didn't feel like I'd lost any fitness, so that was good. But the hamstring issue was still present. Definitely better, but still there. I knew it would be, but I was nervous as to what degree. It was a good place to test it out, and I wasn't far from home since Tin Mountain is almost literally my backyard.

By the time I got home and showered, it was time to get John out of the house so I decided we'd walk up Cathedral Ledge Rd while it was still snow-covered and closed to vehicles. We brought the dogs along. John seemed to enjoy himself, but when I looked back through the pictures, I started cracking up. Almost every picture is of me just standing there with John in the background trudging up the hill. Hahaha. It looks like I haven't walked at all and like John is putting forth a lot of effort walking up this steep hill. It seriously cracked me up when I looked at them all in a row. I'm only putting all of them on here so you can see what I mean....

I at least got a dab out of him in this one.

We hung out at the top for about 10 minutes and then walked back down via the Climber's Trail. 2.4 miles total for the walk. That was good enough since John had ninja class that night, as well. Afterward, we went to Frontside Grind where I got that shot of espresso I mentioned in my previous post. My only deviation from the Detox Diet.

I got in my usual strength training when we got home and then took John to ninja class. Pretty busy day.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017- How I can get myself up on Wednesdays to run but not Mondays, I don't know, but I did it this morning. I was actually up easy and full of energy, ready to go. It was an early morning treadmill run and back to the 5 miles of Climbing intervals. My energy level was so high that I was able to to the 10% grade half miles slightly faster than usual. I think the Detox Diet played a roll in this. I'm more often than not struggling through these early morning Wednesday treadmill runs. I'm a morning runner, but not that early. Definitely not my thing. It used to be...just like a lot of things used to be, like way back when I was an extremely Type A person. Once that went out the window, so did my early morning, pre-coffee runs. Once a week is all I can muster... and not even all of the time. But today, it went really well. Same half mile intervals. 1st half mile at 8.5mph and 1% grade. 2nd half mile at 6.6mph and 10% grade (my treadmill's max). 5.2 miles total in 42:39. Approximately 1,452ft of elevation gain.

Work was pretty uneventful. I took a 1.5 mile walk out back on the trail. Cut it short when it started raining. Only fire alarms until we got a pretty serious call in the middle of the night, but that was it. Last day of my detox. I was feeling really good. My energy level continued to stay high all day. I was looking forward to real food and beer the next day, but at the same time, I was bummed to be coming off the 3 day strict diet.

Thursday, April 20, 2017- I woke up a little tired from the middle of the night call, but really not too bad. I had a hot cup of coffee for the first time since Sunday. I'll be honest. The first sip tasted funny...but only the first sip. After that, it tasted so good. I love coffee. Once I got home, I actually continued with the diet. I juiced and made a smoothie, but also ate a tortilla. (I think I've mentioned that certain whole wheat tortillas are one of my favorite foods. Haha.)

I really needed to go to Runner's Alley today so I decided to run in Durham on the Sweet Trail again, so I made the drive down and brought Spot and Phoenix with me. The weather was perfect down there, and I knew the Sweet Trail would be completely snow-free. It doesn't have a lot of elevation gain over the course of the trail, but it's just perfect enough with small ups and downs and slightly technical to make it super fun. The last time I ran this, I busted it out as fast as I could. And for some reason I did the same thing today. It ended up being about 1.5 minutes slower than last time, but the run out to Great Bay was just shy of 2 minutes FASTER than last time. That's probably why I died in the last 2.5 miles on the way back. I had a complete lack of energy by that point. Probably due to the detox diet AND running too fast on the way out. And then there's that pesky bilateral hamstring thing. I was extremely happy with this run. I still have speed on the trails somewhat.  I actually broke two of my course records and took back a third. The other 4.... well not so much. Haha. My trail legs aren't quite there yet, but give me another month, and I'll be good to go. 9 miles on my GPS this time which is off from the last time, but it's a windy trail. It's not going to be accurate...ever. 1:14:09 for the whole run out and back. 336ft of elevation gain. A small amount by my standards, but this trail is hilly for the most part.

Once I got back to the car, I took Phoenix and Spot out for a walk. I took a different trail labeled as "Other Trail" on the map. It went straight where the Sweet Trail turns right. We walked to where it ended and then turned around. 1.9 miles total for the walk. This was the best thing I could have done for my legs because it kept them loose after the run instead of getting right in the car where they would stiffen right up.

I drove down to Portsmouth. I was STARVING by this point, but I popped into Runner's Alley first. I had a $40 gift certificate, and the one thing I came for was $39.20. Perfect. Turned out to be less with my Six03 15% off, and then I learned I have a $15 store credit. I have no memory of that! But I'll take it. Funny. While I was there, a woman started asking an employee about group trail runs in the area. I hear him mention the Six03 Pub Runs to her. He looks over, sees my Six03 jacket and refers her to me. He stays there listening to the information I gave her about how welcoming and fun the groups are. When I'm done, he mentions that she also look up acidoticRACING online as well. Once he pauses, I say, "I used to be on acidotic, too!" Hahaha. So then I referred her back to me again. It was really funny, but I honestly was one of the best people for her to run into there with my wealth of information.:)

Anyway, I was there to buy a Strassburg Sock. Ever since walking around in my snow boots all winter, plantar fasciitis has crept up on my right foot. I originally thought it was from running, but I started to notice it subside if I wasn't wearing my snow boots for a lengthy period of time other than around the yard. It would immediately return after any walk in the snow boots. And now, it was to the point of being pretty painful after I stupidly hiked in the snow boots the week before. So I found the Strassburg Sock online. A call to Runner's Alley confirmed they had it, so there I was. Since wearing it, I have had some relief, but the jury is still out. I'll need more time using it before I say yay or nay.

It was right to the Portsmouth Brewery for some FOOD and BEER. I walked in and took a right to sit at one of the "I'm alone, loser" tables at the bar. As soon as I sat down, I looked over to see I was sitting right next to five hot military guys. Well, hello there, eye candy. Haha. I have to admit I had trouble not looking over there like 100 times. It was like the Starbucks on Fort Bragg where I liked to sit and "people watch" in the mornings sometimes. Mmmm Hmmmm. :) Anyway, the waitress was a total buzzkill when she came over and talked to me like a dummy who didn't know beer. "We have light beer, dark beer, hoppy beer." And that's when I said I would get up to look at the menu on the wall by the bar. She got a clue, realizing that I wanted to know more than that and improved her descriptions. I was satisfied with that and ordered a Sonya de Ponya Double IPA. Oh man. Did that beer taste good.

I have yet to order anything other than the Pastrami Sandwich there because it's seriously the best pastrami I've ever had. It comes with chips and salsa, which I prefer over fries. Once again, the waitress ruins it. "So you want fries on the side?" I was actually confused for a second because it clearly states it comes with chips and salsa. So I think I looked at her blinking and said nothing for a second too long before saying only, "Chips and salsa." Yep, she thinks I'm a bitch. Haha. My pastrami was out in less than 5 minutes. No exaggeration. Sooooogooood. It's so messy, and I'm totally stuffing my face when all of a sudden I hear, "How's the sandwich?" Seriously?! Did one of the hot military guys just talk to me while my face was covered in mustard and my mouth full?! Why yes. Yes he did. Somebody talked to me?! What's this about?! I quickly swallowed and wiped my face. I started to answer how it was awesome and the best pastrami ever when all of a sudden, as if she teleported there...the damn waitress is right at my side and interrupts me! OMG! Ms Buzzkill! Hahaha! Damn her to hell! Ok not really, but I never heard another word from the tables of hotness. Maybe it was my inhaling every single bite of my food like a starving orphan along with another beer that was a turn-off. Maybe. Just maybe. Ok. Yeah, probably. Definitely. And now I know why I'm single. Hahaha. I paid the bill (I still tipped her 20%!), hung my head in shame and walked out...alone. :) Walked over to Popovers from there. Got myself a popover for later and and chocolate dipped marshmallows for John.

I finally stopped in at Stoneface Brewery's new space on the way home. The place was hopping! Tracy Burton was there working so I talked to her for awhile. I had one Mozzacolypse and took 4 cans for the road. The new space is really nice, and the hours are finally extended, so this will be a more frequent stop.

Once home, I did my upper body and abs workout then watched Impractical Jokers with Phoenix before the previous night's lack of sleep hit me, and I zonked right out.

Friday, April 21, 2017- I had to get up early to get my car into Frechette Tire. I'd called on Monday to set up the appointment. My car was due for inspection, but, unfortunately, my check engine light had been on for 2-3 months. Ugh. I was just hoping this inspection wasn't going to cost me nearly $700 like last year's, but I still dreaded it. Well, did someone who should wear a gold chain bling that says "Unlucky" in cubic zirconias, finally have some luck! On my way home from Portsmouth and after months of being on, my check engine light went off!!!! I couldn't believe it. The timing was impeccable! I was so excited, but figured it would turn back on as soon as I started it up Friday morning. Well, it didn't. Got to Frechette and sat in the waiting for an hour and half, nervous like I was waiting for the doctor to come out and tell me the bad news. But luck persevered! It passed inspection!! I only paid the $45 inspection fee and drove out of there feeling like the valet drivers in Ferris Bueller's Day Off.

Except my Kia is no Ferrari.

So it was more like this:

I swear that gold chain he's wearing has "Unlucky" written in cubic zirconias on it. 
On to The Mill after that to get on the elliptical. It seemed Thursday's run was probably a little too much, so I decided I needed to back off for the day and skip running. My hamstrings were wicked sore so I knew I'd overdone it. It was pouring rain so the little room was packed. Fortunately, no one was on the elliptical. I talked to two of the old guys in there to whom I'd talked the last time I was injured. They were fun to talk to until the term "Raghead" was said. Oh, that's right. I forgot it was still 1950 up here. That's when the headphones went in. Unfortunately, the tv was stuck on Fox News so I read its subtitles for 45 minutes. I also watched the gym drama unfold. I couldn't hear a word of it, but I saw this woman standing a few feet away from the treadmills staring at the two people on them. They hadn't been on it even 15 minutes yet! But she stood there and stared. I see the younger woman get off the treadmill pissed off. I see the starer smile and get on the treadmill. Younger girl still pissed off gets on the bike. At this point I'm bummed I didn't take an earbud out, but oh well. Back to Fox News and my "Pump" playlist that includes offensive songs that my son introduced to me, like the one below. Parental Advisories are for stiffs, right? Right? Am I right? Crickets.

5 miles in about 46 minutes. Good workout for sure. Then it was out in the rain for a walk with Spot and Phoenix down to Sunset Beach and back. 2.4 miles.

The rest of the day it poured rain. John came home. I went back out to the dump because my recycles were spilling over. It was time. Came home, did my upper body and abs workout then made us dinner. I sent John out with the dogs in the rain. About 5 minutes later, the door opens and this kid who looked exactly like John said, "I just ran that as fast as I could. It was so much fun! I'm going back to play in the yard now." Who are you and what have you done with my son? Haha. I watched him from the windows out running around the yard in the rain playing stick with Chill. I couldn't believe it. He NEVER does this. Then he busts into the house telling me I have to check out the huge frog in the pool. So I go out and sure enough a huge frog is in the pool/basketball court/whatever it is. John picks up the frog to save it and takes it down to the brook. Yep, an alien has taken over his body! This was pretty much how the ENTIRE weekend went. Like a HUGE change in him. As if something clicked. Maybe his fallout with his dad on Tuesday sparked something. I don't know. But the attitude was gone. I think I only heard him complain once, and that was when I woke him up the next morning. That's a legitimate complaint. Haha.

Saturday, April 22, 2017- Rescue Run for Marine Mammals 5K Trail Race

Earth Day or something. I used to be into all of that saving the planet stuff, but when your life changes to the point where so many other things are more important, you kind of change your tune. I'm more worried about having enough money in my bank account to pay my mortgage and bills every month while also raising a kid. Earth Day just means so little to me now. I know there's a counterpoint to that, like the big picture and all of that blah, blah, blah. I get it. I get the big picture. I grew up rich. As a kid, I donated money to St. Jude Children's Hospital and the North Shore Animal Rescue League every year starting when I was 11. I was able to live carefree and worry more about the environment and all the things that are wrong in the world, but I just can't do that anymore; there's no room for that in my life right now. I have to keep my worries confined to my own selfish needs. Do I hope that changes some day? You're damn right I do! And the day I'm out there helping others and saving the planet because I have the means to do so will be a glorious moment because I'll finally have something to give. Until then, Earth Day is just another day. For now, my help will be in the form of race entry fees going to help various causes like the Rescue Run which I ventured down to again today.

I ran this race two years ago and really loved it. Just a 5k, but such a beautiful setting at Odiorne State Park. For such a short race, it takes through enough different terrain to make it challenging. Hard packed trail, climbs up bunkers and a short section out on the beach. When I decided to back out of the marathon in Newport, I realized that I now had this weekend open. Instead of going for my 4th year in a row up to the Ammonoosuc Amble 5-Mile race, I decided to go back to the Rescue Run. It's so well organized, and I had such a good race there two years ago. I wanted a low key, fun race, and one that was in a fun place for John. I even signed him up for the half mile.

It was a somewhat early morning, but the drive to Rye wasn't too bad. The weather on the other hand wasn't good. A strong, cold wind off the coast made it quite chilly, so I warmed up in two jackets, pants and a hat! I went out for a warm up just kind of doing my own thing. Not following the course. Ran most of it backwards. Haha. That made a few runners uneasy; I got comments on how I was going backwards. Yes, I know. On purpose. How strange of me. Haha. I ran into John Carton out there and talked to him a bit. I knew very few people there besides him, The Raffio's and Diane Levesque and Brian Gallagher, but that was it. Definitely a strong NH Seacoast crowd. After my warm up, I attempted to wake John up, but that was a failure, as it always is. Haha. I wanted to wear my singlet, but I was actually cold and wore my arm sleeves for the first time in probably 6 years. It ended up being the perfect choice.

Due to the large field of racers, they had 3 starting waves. I was obviously in the first wave. I chatted with a few guys at the start line and then a fast-ish looking Runners' Alley runner lined up behind me. Dammit. I was hoping I'd have no competition so I wouldn't have to try very hard. My hamstrings were bothering me quite a bit, so I knew I wasn't going to be nearly as fast as the last time. That coupled with a muddier, more slippery trail meant a super slow time.

We were finally off! I remember feeling so light and fast right from the start 2 years ago. I did not feel that way today. I felt like I was taking it easy even though the leg speed was at its max. Ugh. A very frustrating feeling. The Runner's Alley girl was on my tail, but I tried to keep focus on John Carton who was right in front of me. He smokes me at the snowshoe races, so I thought if I could stay as close to him as possible I might actually do well. At the first mile, the trail does a small loop, and I was able to see I had more of a lead on that girl, but it was still way too close for comfort, so I just continued to give it my all. The beach section was followed by a rocky and muddy section, but it didn't last long before we were back on harder packed ground. But this is where the course takes you over two bunkers that are short, yet very steep, climbs that totally knock the momentum out of you. You have time to recover after these, and I was able to make up a lot of time for the 3rd mile. A look back at one point saw no one. I was psyched I was about take the women's win, even if it wasn't 2nd overall this time. I came through the finish in 19:22, nearly a minute slower than 2015, but I was in the best shape of my life then and NOT INJURED, so I really couldn't complain at all. Full Results.

Awkward when they drop the tape before you touch it. Haha.
This time the mascot loved us equally.
As soon as I was finished I went to the car to get John up so he could do his run. He is SO hard to wake up sometimes, and this was no exception, but I finally got him out of the car still half asleep and only 20 minutes before his race. We got his bib, then decided to hang out inside the Science Center there to stay warm. They don't have much in there as far as sea life, but what they do have is pretty cool.

I took a selfie with the fish. Haha

Tiny seahorses
It was finally time for John's race, and Diane Levesque joined me to cheer him on. Sarah Canney was there with her kids, too, so we all watched the start together. John didn't really look ready to race with his hands in his pockets. Haha.

As soon as they started, another kid tripped John up and he went down. I was thinking, "Oh no! Now, he's going to hate this even more!" But he got right up and started running. Phew. The half mile took them out on a lollipop loop by the ocean where we lost sight of them. The first 2-3 kids came into view so I started looking far behind them for John. Much to my surprise, he came into view not far behind the lead runners! He was right behind two other boys as they approached the finish. I couldn't believe my eyes when he outkicked them both to the line. Once again. Where is John and what have you done to him? haha

He was trying so hard!

 I love the smile!
He totally disappeared by the time we got over there. I looked everywhere and finally spotted him sitting on a rock still out of breath. I motioned him over because they were starting awards already. He was pretty excited about his race and started telling me that those boys had wanted to push it at the end so he just followed. I have to admit I was a little upset that they called my name right in the middle of him telling me this because he was totally interrupted. Just really bad timing! But when I came back over I made sure to get the rest of his story so that he didn't feel like I didn't care.

The awards were pretty decent. $50 to the Portsmouth Brewery (which I would realize a little later was also for Smuttynose), year membership to the Seacoast Science Center there and a ski pass to Waterville Valley. John Carton, who was standing with us, also won a pass and gave us his since he doesn't ski. So that was awesome.

As much as I wanted to stay and walk out on the jetty like two years ago, the weather was too cold and windy. I was starving anyway. Since I had JUST been to the Portsmouth Brewery, I decided to drive down along the coast through Rye and Hampton Beach to Hayseed Restaurant at Smuttynose Brewery. The food and beer were really good, although I ordered onion rings which I'll never order again. They ended up making me feel so sick the rest of the day. With that, I had a roast beef sandwich. John ordered way better than me with the roast pork sandwich. I wanted to steal his! I had two great experimental beers and then we got their homemade s'mores for dessert. That $50 gift certificate was long gone. Haha.

We went right home from there. The dogs had been cooped up all day so I decided to take them on a walk up Heavenly Hill, but once I started walking up, I decided I needed to run instead. Haha.
I was wearing jeans and a sweater. WAY overdressed. By the time I got to the top, I was pouring in sweat, but it felt so good! I needed something to help get the onion ring gross feeling out of my belly.

We went right back down to the house. I did my upper body and abs workout and then chillaxed the rest of the night with John.

Sunday, April 23, 2017- Woke up to a gorgeous day! The dogs were antsy to get out for their morning round on the trail.

Very impatient

 Giant rodent on a log

Huge snow pile still in my yard

So close!
I was pretty sore in the high hamstrings/glutes so I did not want to run on the road, even though I contemplated hill repeats on Tabor Hill. I decided that it was time for Heavenly Hill repeats instead! The trail is a huge mess of leaves that made running downhill pretty treacherous, but I was still able to run uphill mostly on them. I need to clear the trail badly, but my course at Tin Mountain is taking precedence right now so mine will go on the back burner for about 3 weeks.

I always bring the dogs on the first up/down, then take them home. They're always super gung-ho about halfway up, then they disappear on me. That's fine, but Phoenix decided to pull a 10-minute disappearance which annoyed me to no end. She finally caught up and I took them to the house. Now, I could actually just focus on the running. My goal was 5 times up and down. It doesn't sound like much, but each up is .6 miles and over 400ft of gain. So it's tough, especially on the last two, and the temperature had warmed up quite a bit. Finished up the 5 repeats with 5.7 miles in 1:22:11. 2,367ft of elevation gain. Basically a mountain running simulation right from my yard. You can't beat that. Totally private trail to myself to train on that gives me that much elevation gain. I'll admit that I like living here for that...but still, my house would be much better as my vacation house. Haha.

Top of Heavenly Hill on the 5th repeat
When I got back to the house, I hurried to get showered and a backpack packed to take John on a hike. It was way too nice of a day not to get into the mountains. As with the weekend's theme, John didn't complain at all the whole time and was actually having fun! We went to the Green Hills for a hike up Peaked Mt. We took the Middle Mt Trail up and then the Peaked Mt Connector the rest of the way. Hard to believe it's been 10 years since I used to carry John up Peaked and Middle at least twice a week in his kid backpack. Now, he's a big kid who's doing it himself.

John usually doesn't want to hang out on summits long, but he wanted to stay up on Peaked for over 20 minutes. He even wandered on his own around the summit and sat by himself. 3.6 mile hike. Great way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

I was checking to see if I smelled of mountain goat.

John sitting by himself

We had to go for ice cream at Ben & Jerry's after. It just seemed like the right thing to do on a day like today. Quick stop at the grocery store, upper body and abs workout and then vegging out before heading back to work the next day. Great week getting back to running and really enjoying the Spring weather. It's like being able to breathe again...finally. Now, if I could just get my kayak out soon, then all would be good. :)
Abbey Dubbel for the evening beer

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