Wednesday, May 3, 2017

2017 Waldorf School 5K Trail Race

A lone tulip by my house
Wow. What a good week this ended up being. It also happened to be my birthday week. While I had to work a 24-hour shift for my birthday, a couple of friends really made up for it. It was nice because this was probably the first birthday when I really didn't care about it at all. 41. So boring. Turning 40 was such a huge turning point. 41 just feels old. Haha. But it was really nice that I actually had people who cared this year. I took it completely off of Facebook and blocked posts to my FB wall for the day. I only want "Happy Birthday" from the people who really care. And that's how it worked out.

The best part of the week was the trail running I got in and the TWO races that I ran over the weekend. Saturday, I was first overall at the Waldorf Forest Trail 5K, and Sunday, I was first female at Sleepy Hollow (see the next blog post for this write-up)! All of this with the hamstring issues still going on, even though it would vary throughout the week with how they felt. I even got in a track workout! Probably not my smartest move, and not to mention being very discouraging, but it felt good to get back on the oval. I was super happy with the mileage and elevation I got in, as well. I was back up to 56.6 miles which is perfect when I'm spending a lot of time on my feet. Nearly 11 hours of running and 6,622ft of elevation gain outside plus another 1,452ft on the treadmill to total 8,074ft of elevation gain for the week. Really just trying to get into mountain shape FAST. Steve Brightman had the perfect name for this training, "Binge mountain running training." That's exactly what I've been doing the last 2 weeks. It ended up paying off, too!

Monday, April 24, 2017- The usual work. As planned, I decided to continue following the detox diet somewhat. I haven't figured out how to time it right in the morning yet and ended up getting to work a few minutes late. Even though it's not ideal, I'm making all 3 juices for the day before I leave and bringing two along. I just don't want to drag the juicer around. Such a pain. And, apparently, I only wanted to drag half of the blender around since I completely forgot half of it. The blade and cup part would have been useful.

Smoothies were supposed to be my main food for the day, and somehow the base blender didn't make it in the move last year. I finally asked my coworker, Scott, if he had one at home I could borrow. He did! So about an hour later, I was back in business.

Got out for a 1.2 mile walk that was interrupted for a 911. Easy call. I teched it in. Quick turnaround so we were back at the base pretty quickly so I finished up another 2 miles of walking. All outside in circles around the base. My co-worker, Jen, came out to walk, too, so we packed down a nice track. No calls overnight OR around 6am. Unbelievable!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017- After last week's incident with John and Bryan, I decided go right from work to my run from now on on Tuesdays. I felt I was a trigger for their issues last week and didn't want to have that happen again. Drove right to the Conway Rec Path and ran the 2 miles on the trail to the high school track. I was psyched to be back to my Tuesday morning routine at the track. It had been 7 months since I'd done an outdoor track workout. I was feeling pretty tight and sore for the warm up and started to think 6x800s weren't a good idea, but I changed into my spikes and did it anyway. While it felt good to run fast, I wasn't really running fast. In fact, it felt like I was taking it easy, except the legs could go no faster. The hamstrings hit their max. Meanwhile, cardio-wise, I felt like I was going about 85%. I knew it would be like this, though, so I did my best not to be disappointed and just focused on being consistent. 3:07, 3:07. 3:05, 3:07, 3:06, 3:05. Terrible times, but good enough, otherwise. I ran the two trail miles back to my car and went home.

The skies opened up not long after I was done which bugged me because John and I were going to clear some of the Dirty Girl course, Heavy wet leaves would have sucked to move, so I decided to wait until the weekend. Got in an upper body and abs workout when I got home.

We went out for errands then stopped over at the track meet to pick someone up who was volunteering there. I had no idea there was a meet until she told me. If it wasn't raining, I probably would have stayed, but John was in the car with the dogs and we needed to take a short walk. As I was getting the dogs out, I turned around to see a photo op! Kevin's car was right there!

We only took a short walk on the Rec Path before turning around then went home for a bit. I decided it was time to start Tuesday doubles again, so while John was in ninja, I hit the Outer Limits trails for a 4.5 mile loop in about 45 minutes. I lucked out only running in the pouring rain for the last mile. If felt so good to be back out there on the trails. No snow!! Yay!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017- My 41st Birthday!- I got up like usual and did the same treadmill climbing repeats that I have been doing. 5 miles. Every half mile 1% and then 10%. It felt really hard today, but I got it done in 42:48. 1,452ft of elevation gain. Part of my rushed mountain training.

Just another 24 hour shift. It didn't even feel like my birthday, but I wanted SOMETHING, so I told John to bring me a whoopie pie at work. Around the middle of the day, I heard a knock at the office door, and there John was with a whoopie and a happy birthday. All I wanted. :)

That wasn't the only thing I got today, even though it wasn't a birthday present. The company got me my very own pager! Yay! With the new town contract, we can respond when not on duty for second call while the duty crew is on another call. It doesn't happen often, but it does happen, so I now I have my own pager so I can listen in to the goings-on in North Conway.

We actually ended up pretty busy this shift, but no transports! That still means report writing, and my partner seems to think those types of reports are beneath him, so I ended up doing all five. Three reports were sign-offs which require just as much as, if not more, information than a transport, so I was pretty busy with those all day and never finished my blog post. I never made it out for a walk either. One call in the middle of the night woke me right out of a deep sleep which made me pretty tired the next day.

Thursday, April 27, 2017- My birthday observed. With plans to head down to Dover around 11am, I brought my stuff to run the Green Hills right from work. I hit the trail right behind the base and made a loop through the Outer Limits again then continued along the backside of Rattlesnake and up to the ridge. I hit both Middle Mt and Peaked Mt summits before running back down to the mountain bike trails again for the run back to the base. 2 miles longer than I anticipated and pretty challenging for my first "long" mountain run of the year. I felt SO out of mountain running shape during this that I was feeling pretty discouraged about Sleepy Hollow. I thought for sure that being out of shape and being injured were going to make my race go horribly. Little did I know. Haha. The loop ended up being 9.8 miles in 1:53:51. 2,126ft of elevation gain. You wouldn't think you could get that much climbing on the those small mountains, but they're deceiving.

I look forward to seeing this chair in the Outer Limits every Spring. No idea why it's there, but it's become a fixture of the trail.

Dork on Peaked
While I was out running, someone had the nerve to put beer on the hood of my car to take a photo. That blue car looks awfully familiar. I triple dog dare him to pull that stunt again. Beer on my hood. Good beer. Every week. I dare you. ;)

Three beers from Trillium. Thank you, Kevin!!
Since this took way longer than expected, I rushed home, showered and then hit the road to Dover. I had a 90 minute massage appointment with Tina. My whole body felt like a mess, and she confirmed that. My back and neck needed a lot of work as well as the hamstrings and glutes. I really needed this appointment. While her massages are anything but relaxing since she's really working the muscles hard, it still felt great to veg out for 1.5 hours. I felt like a million bucks when I left there. Tina does absolutely amazing work. Even though, my hamstring pain returned the next day, it was significantly reduced and remained that way through Sunday. I think this massage was definitely a factor as to why I had good races.

Tom Hooper and I were originally going to run the Dixon's Revenge 20K course after my massage, but I was way too beat. He was also beat from running 8 miles on the course already. Neither of us wanted to run the 20K, so I met him over at the rail trail in Rollinsford to do an easy run on the 5K course. And typical Dover, as I passed Philbrick's on my way out of town, there was someone I knew walking to his car. Haha. A beep and a wave. A return wave, and I kept going. I knew I wouldn't get out of Dover without seeing someone. Haha.

I changed clothes then Tom took me on the tour. This place was so nice! The trails were a little flooded, but after the first time running through the huge puddles I was used to it. Made me bummed I wasn't coming down for the race, but I couldn't not go to the Waldorf race, my literal neighbor! Quick change of clothes then it was over to FINALLY check out North Country Hard Cider. I'm not much of a cider drinker, but this is hands down the best cider I've ever had. So unique! 9 different types on tap. And it isn't for the weak. They have some strong stuff. Ended up having a long conversation with this investor in Polartec who was out from Santa Barbara. He was there with some Polartec employees. Pretty interesting guy who has been investing in shoe companies since the mid-90s and who happened to have a house in Hingham right near where I lived there. Too many cider tasters left my memory foggy on the details, but he had a wealth of information to share on the history of the modern shoe industry.

I needed food after the cider so I made the short drive to Revolution Tap & Grill in Rochester. They've added an upstairs bar since I was last there. Quiet, and the Six03 pub runners were still up there. I only knew one of them, John Brady, who also happens to be on the secret FB beer page and a paramedic, so we chatted a little bit until my food came. I was the only one left at the bar so I talked to the bartender for awhile as I ate. He sent me on my way with a Rockingham pint glass. That was cool of him. The struggle was real for the drive home. I had struggled on the drive down to stay awake, and that was in the middle of the day. I had to fight sleep hard for the drive home. I was never so happy to pull into my driveway and then go to bed.

Friday, April 28, 2017- Slept in and had a super lazy morning. It was another gorgeous day! I took the dogs out and wandered around in the yard a bit before going back in. The snow pile had melted significantly, and green grass was making an appearance. I even had some flowers bloom finally!

What I woke up to

Speaking of flowers. A friend gave me these for my birthday. I mentioned that I hadn't been given flowers since 1999. Next thing I knew, I had flowers in my hands. :)
I was feeling pretty beat from the day before and planned an easy 7 miles with Phoenix and Spot at the Mineral Site. It would end up being easy and slow, but also 11.1 miles! I always forget to add on 4 miles in my plan when having to start at the winter gate. Oops. Phoenix was a huge pain in the ass. Within the first mile she took off causing me to stand there for 10 minutes waiting. I was so mad, but, fortunately, I anticipated this and leashed her right up. Running with a leash SUCKS. Phoenix thought so, too! I don't like running with dogs on leash. It's not the way a dog should run. Dogs do quick sprints, stop, sniff, resume, jog, sprint. They aren't really meant to run continually at an unnatural pace. And that's what a leash does. Some dogs are used to it and super well-trained to run on a leash, but mine aren't, so it was a struggle. Phoenix can run MILES, but her pace is slightly slower than mine when she's just following along. She'll run, stop and then sprint to catch up. Having her on a leash was basically just me dragging her by the neck. I finally had to let her go. She was good until a turkey appeared. Then it was back on the leash. Then off. And then she got it. If she even as much as stepped off the trail, all I had to do was hold up the leash, and she was back right with me. Sucked, though, because I had to keep checking that she was there the whole time. Made for a slow, slow run. I realized she needs bells on her collar next time. Spot does her own thing the whole time. She's super slow and tends to need a lot of water breaks, but she is so good about keeping up. She knows this place like the back of her paw and takes constant shortcuts through the woods. I never worry about her. I could seriously leave her in those woods and she would find her way home. That's the bear hunting dog in her.

Other than dog issues, the run was actually pretty nice. I always miss these trails in the winter. A few snow patches remained here, but nothing significant. All of the brooks were flowing hard which meant walking through nearly all of them, but the cold water felt good as the temps rose. I made a loop around with my goal almost always being to go by Thompson Falls at some point. I hit it right at mile 7 this time and realized I was beat...and I had 4 miles to go. Haha.

I noticed as I ran the trails that nearly every trail sign was gone. I was told the bears had been chewing them, but these were all pulled out of the ground and moved somewhere else. I ended up finding the one at the intersection of the Mineral Site Trail and the High School Loop. It had been carried down the trail and thrown in the water. Since my feet were already soaked, I decided to wade in and pull it out. I left there by the trail and then let my friend Dylan, who's a forest service ranger here, know about the signs. I've been her trail sign police for a few years now. Haha.

Finished up the run with 11.1 miles in 2.5 hours (including stops). 1,420ft of elevation gain. Two long challenging runs in two days that had me a little nervous now about the two races over the weekend. Oops.

Ran a few errands before coming home. John was already there. I did my upper body and abs workout and then we lounged around for the afternoon until it was time to meet Rick and Amy Bernard at Flatbread for my second birthday "party". Haha. I decided to make dressing up for Flatbread a tradition so I did my best to look girly. John wanted to do the same thing, but his pants needed the button sewed back on and I couldn't find my sewing kit. He opted to still wear his nice button-down shirt with sports shorts. Haha. I think it was a better choice since it was pretty warm out and inside Flatbread. We had a fun dinner, as always, then went to Ben & Jerry's for ice cream after.

I try, but my hair will always need help. Haha.

Inside joke between Amy, Heather Mahoney and me. You can tell I was about to laugh. Haha.
The GIANT pizza!
John trying to imitate our inside joke from the pic above. Hahaha. He's been so funny and witty lately.
Thank you to Rick and Amy for taking me out for my birthday! The last time that happened where I was actually taken out and didn't pay the bill myself was for my 31st! 10 years later! Wow.

Saturday, April 29, 2017- Waldorf  Forest Trail 5K-

This is probably my shortest commute to a race ever. Haha. The White Mountain Waldorf School is literally on other side of my property line on two sides, making it my next door neighbor. (Odd tidbit: my property line abuts none of the neighboring houses. An odd pathway of property surrounds my property by the Waldorf School and Coleman's making it completely separate from the neighborhood. I don't even own half of my driveway. I have a "right-of-way" there to just near where it turns.) When Kevin Tilton told me about this race a month ago, I knew I had to do it. How could I not? Plus, I was curious to see the trails they had in place. I had been on them before, but I rarely use them since I have my own. I was trying to picture how they had enough trails to make a 5k. Well, they don't really, since the course was two loops, but, man, did they do a great job adding on a new trail over there. I was super impressed with their system. And I must stay I was also very shocked at how difficult the course would be. I was not expecting that.

Since I only had to walk over, I was still able to sleep in, take the dogs out and finally have coffee in the sun on my party deck, that I've never had a party on. Haha. This would pretty much be the last time I would sit down the entire rest of the day. I definitely did not rest up for Sleepy Hollow.

About an hour before the race, I ran over to the school to check in. They were using old school popsicle sticks for "bib" numbers which I love. I took my swag and ran back home to leave it there and get John. We then walked back over to the school. I was shocked at all of the people. Only about 15 had pre-registered. They ended up with 62 total! Not bad at all for day-of! I took a quick run then came back to the start. I only knew 3 people there, but quickly learned that a lot more people knew me. It was a little odd at first since I wasn't exactly expecting to be known by this crowd, but then I realized how much more comfortable it was there and felt I was among friends quickly. John had checked out the obstacle course and decided to walk home. Haha. I was ok with that since he did get up and walk over without a fight; I think he was interested.

A look around, and I was pretty sure I'd have this race in the bag. Only one guy had me a little concerned. He was older but looked pretty fit. I lined up right on the start line and then we were off. I wasn't the first off the line, however. These two young girls, maybe 10 years old, took off at a sprint ahead of me. We made it around to the parking area when they started to fall back and I heard one of them say, "I'm just going to jog, now" and the other replied, "Yeah, me,too." It was cute and totally made me smile.

Once through the parking lot, the course entered the woods. I knew this was going to start off with a climb, but I'll admit I didn't realize it was going to be a LONG steep climb. The trails were cleared and in great shape, but they still had plenty of roots and rocks. It nearly abuts the Dirty Girl course, so I was used to the technical part of it, but this climb went on forever. My quads were burning. I did not want to be going this hard the day before Sleepy Hollow, but wouldn't you know it, the tall, fit dude was right on my heels. The course gains about 160ft over .3 miles. Then it drops over 100ft over .1 miles before turning left to go back over the top part of the climb again where it gains back over 100ft over .3 miles. OUCH. And I say that because this is a 5K. A longer trail race, this would have been nothing, but a faster pace for the 5K really hurt. And the dude stayed right on my heels this whole time.

There's a nice reprieve with a 1/2 mile of downhill dropping about 200ft to the ball field, followed by a short run around the field, then climbing up the hill out of the ball field. This is our sledding hill in the winter. It's a scary sledding hill because it's long and steep so it hurt. I was happy to see I'd made a huge gap on the guy behind me. He was just coming out of the woods when I hit the uphill.

Now, it was back up for another lap of the course. 200ft climb over about .7 miles before cresting the top. There was no sight of the guy behind me, so I slowed way down and ran this climb about a minute slower than the first time. I had no need to kill my legs for Sleepy Hollow if I knew I had the race in the bag. Once at the top, it descended all way back to the ball field, did the loop, then climbed the steep hill again. A short loop around the buildings and then back to the finish. Came through first overall in 25:17. Yeah, seriously. A 5K in 25:17. I had 2.8 miles on my Garmin, but that doesn't mean much in the woods. That course was hard. For a 5K especially. Let's just say I was very impressed. I actually consider it much harder than my race. My race is 6.4 miles on my GPS and has about 780ft of elevation gain. 2.8 miles here and 549ft of elevation gain. I totally didn't expect this. I thought it was going to be some rinky dink easy trail race, but no; it was LEGIT. And not to mention an awesome spread of food after!! Starbucks coffee. You would never know this was their first time putting on this race. It was very well organized and marked. There are always improvements to be made, but this one doesn't need much. The only one they really need is to have all of the many photographers out there actually share their photos! Haha. This happens all the time, though. People who take a ton of race photos but never share them. I don't get it. Maybe they'll get photos at some point, but there are none as of now.

I decided not to cool down as soon as I finished. I was pouring in sweat and felt really hot, so I found some shade and stretched out. Once I was cooled off, I joined the other racers who had finished, including Richie and Christie Girouard. I hung out for a long time for awards and met a lot of the people who work there at the Waldorf School. I talked to the director a bit since I would like John to consider school next year, but I'm not sure this would be the best fit for him. It's so close, obviously, but I really think he would do better at The Community School.

They gave me my award  before the awards ceremony so we could take some (non-existant) photos. Haha.  The award was a Nalgene bottle and gift certificate for their parent/child class that I can't use. Haha. Awards could definitely be improved but I'm not complaining; that's really just from my perspective as a race director and runner.

Once I got home, I had a few things in the yard to get done like pick up the collapsed wood pile that was finally melted out. I also needed to saw a tree, but all I have is a hand saw, so that didn't go well. I at least got a path cleared. Haha. Then I went to work on Bryan's Dodge Sprinter that has been sitting in my driveway for 7 months. I mentioned to Tom Hooper after our run that we had one. I told him that it's in rough shape, but he was still interested. It needs a lot of work, but after mentioning it to Bryan, he said, "Just give it to him." I was able to jump start it fine, but it had sunk into the dirt so much that it took me awhile to get it out. It was so weird being in the van. I haven't driven that thing in 2.5 years now. It ran ok, but I realize going downhill that it had no brakes. Haha. Omg. Like no brakes. So I just drove it in a loop around the neighborhood then brought it back. I would love for Tom to take it and fix it up. I've hated seeing it sit in the driveway for so long going to waste.

Driving my old Dodge Sprinter around. It's filthy inside. Ew.
I went right in and showered after getting in that thing. I had dirt all over me. It needs a thorough cleaning for sure. As soon as I showered, it was off to Tin Mountain with John and the dogs to start clearing the Dirty Girl course on the opposite side of the road. This section is only around .8 miles, but we only got to .6 miles before calling it quits for the day. That .6 miles took over 3 hours!!! The trail is a huge mess and not even visible. I couldn't just quickly rake aside a few leaves off the top. The layer was THICK. John even helped me for some of it using his small rake that worked great around tight rocks. The dogs just looked confused the whole time. Haha. I now realize I have a huge project in front of me to get this done. Ugh. If only they would still let us use the leaf blower...


After. Not perfect, but at least you can see a trail there.

More before trail

More after trail

Dogs sitting on the cleared trail

The witch is on her broom (ok. it's a rake).

Me acting like I'm normal, unlike the previous photo

John raking the course
I couldn't believe we had been out there over 3 hours. I had to stop. I hadn't sat down since maybe 8:30am, and it was past 6pm by this point. I needed a beer and food!

I had one of the beers Kevin gave me. Pot & Kettle by Trillium is SO good!
I opted out of the upper body and abs workout since I had pretty much already done one with the raking. It was time to pack and start focusing on Sleepy Hollow the next day.

1 comment:

  1. Yeah you have to do something with that hair, ha ha ha!! You clean up nice!