Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Running, Cleaning, Raking, Racing, Sightseeing...

My new AWESOME HAT on the ambulance! I have a thing with posing on the hood of our ambulances.
I was SOOOOOO busy this week. Not only did I have to finish up clearing the trails for the Dirty Girl Trail Race, but I also had to clean my house for a house guest!! I never have guests, so I tend to slack on the cleaning, especially the two rooms I rarely use. My sister was coming from Texas to Boston for a conference and was spending the weekend before with us. I hadn't seen her in 3.5 years!! It's sad because we always have so much fun together. I didn't want to her to visit my filthy house so I had my work cut out for me. Surprisingly, I was still able to get in the miles I wanted for the week. I did not however get all of my upper body and abs workouts in. Only one this week. I wasn't worried, though. Raking was enough of a workout. I ran 51.5 miles and 6,713ft of elevation gain. I actually got back on the road for the first time in 4 weeks for a 5K and then a 13 mile run the day after. I'm hesitant to spend a lot of time on the road still, but I might jump on it occasionally now. The 5K was NOT PRETTY, but it was actually better than I expected. The crazy part is that with the hamstring thing, my legs were all out, but I wasn't going at my max fitness-wise. I usually finish a 5K doubled-over barely able to breathe. I finished this one feeling like I had taken it easy. So weird. This hamstring thing is an odd injury, for sure. It fluctuates so much. After the 5K, the left sided pain significantly diminished, while the right side got worse. The right high hamstring has been slightly worse all along, but, now it's mostly on the right side...except after pro-longed sitting. Then both sides hurt. I don't really know what to do with it now. Resting would probably be the best thing, but the fact that I can still run makes me keep going. Just like I knew when I needed that week break, I think I'll know when I need to take another one. Stubborn. I know! I know!

Monday, May 1, 2017- NOOOOOOOOO! Our month to do the monthly truck check on A12!! I dread these days, especially in Tamworth where we know the trucks don't get thorough monthlies unless it falls on a Monday. Our crew of six is one of the most senior crews in the company, and 5 out of 6 of us started when we had the best manager who made sure people did their jobs and did them right. So we were all taught how to do a proper monthly. It involves cleaning EVERYTHING and checking all of the supply. It's a long process even when the crew who did it the previous month does it right, but on a day like today, it was just a disaster. Dirty, dirty, dirty. Took us 2.5 hours. Took one of the other crews over 3 hours on their truck. I was glad when that was all done and I could finally make breakfast. And that's when I found this....

WTF. This is the song that comes to mind when I'm reminded of my work environment. To icicles of death, broken trucks, no supplies and fellow coworkers who don't give a shit.

Not a crazy busy day. Got in a 2.2 mile walk around the base. And without fail, a 5am call. Got back on time, though.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017- Got out of work before someone could chat me up and drove to Gilman Valley Rd for a run up Corridor 15 to the summit of Bayle Mt. It had been awhile since I'd run up from this side without it being snow covered. And I quickly realized it wasn't straightforward without the obvious snowmobile tracks. There were logging roads everywhere! I went off course the first time around mile 1.4. It wasn't too bad except that it was an uphill. The crazy fog made it difficult to see ahead of me so I ended up at a dead end. Only added 0.6 miles here. The next one was at mile 3.2. I realized quickly that I was off trail, but I was so turned around that I thought if I followed this really old logging road, it would run into Corridor 15. The brush got thicker, and I could kind of tell that I was headed away from Bayle Mt so I turned around. 1.1 miles extra here. Got back to the intersection where I went wrong and still started to go the wrong way. Finally realized the one road that looked like it couldn't be it was actually it. So what had begun as a run with plenty of time had now turned into a run where I had a feeling I might be late getting back. But I pushed on up the trail and then up the steep and rocky trail to the top of Bayle Mt. The summit was nothing but fog, and I realized that I've only been up there once when it wasn't cloudy and/or heavy fog.

The run down the Bayle Mt trail was slow, but then the way back down Corridor 15 was really quick. It's mostly downhill on the way back. I was definitely going to be late, but not by much. I actually only ended up being 10 minutes late, and John wasn't back for another hour anyway. Haha. Total mileage for the run was 11.0 miles. I didn't even make that exact. It came out to exact. Should have 9-ish miles as planned, but oh well. Took a little over 2 hours total, including the stop at the summit and the few stops I made to look around for the right trail. 2,082ft of elevation gain. Good run overall.

I was pretty beat and procrastinated until John came home.

After John did come home, I had to go to Home Depot for supplies. This house cleaning called for drastic measures. I'm talking the Heavy Duty Scrubble Bubble and a hand held shop vac for the cob webs. The cobwebs that are never ending. I take them down. They reappear within days. That's just the way my house is. It's in the woods, and it's not fancy new construction. The popcorn ceiling I've been meaning to scrape down for the last 3.5 years is still there. Why anyone thought that was ever a good idea is beyond me. It makes a great spot for cobwebs, though.

I actually got next to nothing done because I scrubbed the hell out of the bathroom. I'm talking about 2 hours worth. I even scrubbed all of the walls. No half-assed cleaning this time. I put John to work on his room and two of the tables he uses in the living room. He actually did a pretty decent job! I was impressed. His room was a Lego disaster and just a bunch of STUFF all over the dresser. I did a ton of laundry since I had to clean all of the bedding on John's bunk bed. I never even got to the shop vac before we had to go to ninja class.
Rick Bernard's Home Brew
I did take the time to break open my birthday present from Rick and Amy. I had Amy send me a good picture of Rick so I could create a label. I also named his stout for him since it was just a "stout". Body by Bacon Stout. It was actually quite good!! He's not only an excellent cook, but also a pretty good home brewer. I told Amy I needed a clone! Haha.

The dogs got the shaft all day while I cleaned so I took them on a walk while John was in ninja class. The skies had cleared and the sunset was nice. I did manage to squeeze in my only upper body and abs workout of the week around 9pm. 

WOOT. Another pic of my AWESOME hat while I was out buying supplies. :)
Wednesday, May 3, 2017- Got up early as usual and got on the treadmill. Since I knew I was running up the Mt Washington Auto Rd the next day, I decided to just do a regular ole treadmill run. It was pretty crazy how easy it felt after I got warmed up. The climbing interval workout must be paying off somehow. 5 miles in 36:13. 7:15/mi avg pace. Even with the hamstring issue still present, it wasn't an issue during this run.

I'm still doing the juicing/smoothie thing from the detox diet to a degree. I'm following through on all 3 of each while I'm at work Mondays and Wednesdays, but with all of its prep I've been having trouble getting the time down so that I'm not late for work. Barely made it right on time. Going to keep working on this. Haha.

Work was somewhat busy, but it was staggered. Nothing crazy. Got in a 1 mile walk on the trail out back in the afternoon.

Thursday, May 4, 2017- Finally a beautiful day!! It was seriously the most picture perfect day for a run up the Mt Washington Auto Rd. I couldn't have picked a better day. Temps in the mid-40s, sunny and NO WIND. They also decided to close the road to vehicles for the week, so I had no cars to deal with!! Amazing morning! When I pulled into Great Glen Trails, my friend, Sue Thompson who works there, and I had a lengthy conversation about our lack of people coming to our races. It seems like no one wants to travel, and Great Glen is struggling with numbers for the There's a Black Fly in my Eye 10 Mile Trail Race. I've done this race twice and really enjoyed it. Three diverse loops make it fun. For some reason, every year, the registrants get smaller and smaller. Last year, our races actually conflicted by accident, but we're making sure that never happens again. If you're looking for a race in the north country on June 10th, check it out. I might actually be there myself!

After chatting with Sue, I crossed the road to start my run up the Auto Rd. My goal for this run was just to run comfortably. Not even worry about the time. This was basically just a reminder of how awful it is racing up this thing. hahaha. You really couldn't beat the weather and the spectacular views. I actually felt great, but the reminder worked. I'm now, once again, dreading the race. This will be my 6th year in a row racing it, and I still suck at it. Lucky 7s??? In truth, I do love running up this road. Racing it, not as much, but it's tradition now. I prefer to be all by myself on the road around sunset when it's quiet and beautiful. That's when I really love the Auto Rd. I couldn't complain about today at all. My original plan was to run to mile 5, but as soon as I hit the dirt section at 4.7 miles, I turned around. I took 3 steps onto the dirt and it was nothing but soft mud. Not worth the 0.3 miles, so I started my run down. I stopped a lot to take pictures. WARNING: Selfie explosion forthcoming! I know! I'm sorry! But who else is going to take my picture besides a race photographer and my son (whom I force to do it haha)? And OMG! What's this?! More AWESOME HAT bombs!!

Ok. I'll admit this selfie was particular difficult. Drinking water from the piped spring between miles 2 and 3. Water was so cold, my mouth felt numb

Looks solid, but, trust me; it's not.

I like this one for the oil stain behind me Haha. Oh, and the hat!

Held down the camera button as I ran just to have fun. There are like 12 others. Should I post all 12? ;)

I may be a dork, but that HAT is AWESOME!

4000ft. One of my favorites spots on the road

Pro tip: The selfie shot from above makes one look thinner.

There it is! The start line. Right after which I was tripped up and fell hard on the pavement in 2016.
Usually, after my run is when it's time to veg, but oh no, not today! I had to fill up my jugs of spring water at the Pinkham Notch Spring, clear my course and clean my house!

Filling up here takes about 30 minutes since I have to fill the little jugs and pour them into the bigger ones.
I stopped at Starbucks for my free Flat White and a sandwich so I wouldn't have to waste time making food at home. I emptied the car, grabbed the girl dogs and the rake and went back to Tin Mountain. I started where I left off. I recorded it on the Strava app. 3.6 miles and 4.5 HOURS!!! No lie. My hands hurt so badly by the time I was done I could barely grip anything. The trails were a horrible mess!!!!You couldn't even see the trail at all on the Quarry or Bear Tree Loop Trails. It took forever on those raking around rocks. Craziness.

Here I am thinking I've really helped out Tin Mountain with their trail maintenance. I was floored and angered on Sunday when I got a call telling me that leaf blowing AND raking were not allowed and that I wasn't supposed to do that! Since when? Other than the one year, my Tin Mountain contact did use a blower, I've raked the trail. I'm the only one who's ever done ANY maintenance on the Laurel Loop across the road. I even rerouted the trail back in 2014 to the route that was originally intended. They were fine with that.... but only because nobody uses the section across the road except for me alone and for my race. It makes no sense to me that they wouldn't want the trails maintained. I mean. They were not even discernible! I'm not even exaggerating! Not to mention how freaking dangerous that would have been to put a race on in those conditions! There were so many hazards under those leaves that someone would have gotten hurt badly. So I pulled out the threat that this will be the last year of the Dirty Girl. That those trails would not have been safe to put on a running race. My race contact there agreed with me that the trails needed to be maintained; he was the one who blew the leaves in 2015 before being reprimanded. He ended up talking to someone in charge and just told me everything was good, but if they pull this again next year, the Dirty Girl is done. I spent 7.5 hours clearing those trails. I just don't understand it unless they don't want to have a race there anymore and this is how they're going to get rid of us. I can assure them it will work unless this policy changes for next year.

View of South Moat just over the trees from the Frog Loop

I hadn't showered in over 36 hours and I was beat to shit

Snake that was under the leaves that Spot was sitting on. Then Phoenix walked on it right after I took this photo. Haha.

As soon as I got home, I showered and sat down with a beer. A Dirty Girl beer, in fact!! I mentioned that Matt Howard gave me two of them in my last blog post. It was the most appropriate beer for the evening!

Oh! I wasn't done yet! I still had to clean the whole house! That meant sucking up all of the cobwebs (took 2 hours!), wiping down everything in every room and getting the beds made. I started around 8:30pm and didn't finish until 2am!!! Insanely busy day! The next day would be the same. I know what you're thinking. If I cleaned more often then this wouldn't have happened. Well, I hate cleaning and housework and haven't had a guest in 2 years. Seriously. I have absolutely no motivation. I keep it clean enough, but the rest I just don't care to do more often. You get lazy when you have no friends or family ever stopping by.

Friday, May 5, 2017- I slept in as late as I could allow myself. 7:30am. I needed as much sleep as I could get. Got up, took out the dogs, had a cup of coffee then loaded the car for the dump. From the dump I drove to Hemlock Lane to do an easy 5.3 miles on the mountain bike trails. I just did a loop up to the Quarry, across Swamp then down to Pillar-to-Pond for the run back. Not crazy hilly and not super fast. 54:39. 450ft of elevation gain.

I had built time into my day to get my nails done. There's only so long you can go before getting acrylics filled before they will get too long and break off. Repairs cost more money, so I had to make time for them today. It was a nice break to sit before rushing back to the house to shower, sweep and mop all of the floors, shop vac the car and then pack for our overnight in Ogunquit. John and I made it out on time...with 5 minutes to spare!

I was SO excited to see my sister, Demere! 3.5 years is too long. John and I drove down to Logan to pick her up then it was over to Boston for dinner at the Barking Crab. I first introduced Demere to the Barking Crab back in 2007 when she and my niece came to visit. It's been her favorite restaurant ever since. Despite it being Cinco de Mayo, the place was empty. They had the tent up for the season already so we sat out there. The view of the city is awesome.

I wish we could have stayed longer, but we had a drive to make. After the Big River Trail Half was cancelled, I had to pick another race for the weekend. With Demere coming, I didn't want to make her sit in the car for hours to go to a long race. It pained me not to be doing 7 Sisters again or Ralph Waldo Emerson, but I definitely made the right choice with the Children's Museum of NH 5K race in Dover. One I ran in 2015 when I used to be fast. Oh the memories! I booked us the only room I could afford which was in Ogunquit, Maine so we weren't too far from Dover. The place was perfect for the night. And Demere got a kick out of the owners just taping the room keys to the outside of the office door. That's not something you'd see in Dallas. Haha. I crashed fast.

Saturday, May 6, 2017- Children's Museum of NH 5K Road Race-

Morning came too quickly, but we all got up (even John, without a fight!) and made our way to Dover. It was lightly raining so I dropped John and Demere off at Adelle's coffeehouse where they would hang out while I checked in and warmed up. It was perfect. I parked right around the corner in a free lot off of Williams St. I checked in and got my $100 Philbrick's gift certificate that I had won in a random drawing of pre-registrants. Can't believe I won something! I put my stuff in the car then went out for a warm up. I was planning to do the whole course but somehow missed the neighborhood and ended up out in the country. haha. I knew that wasn't right, so I turned around and went back to where I left the course and continued back into town. Still got in 3 miles. Pretty slow pace at 8:28/mi. Both of my hamstrings were bothering me a bit by the end of the run. I knew I wasn't going to be running very fast today, but I expected that. No road runs for 4 weeks, one week off, zero 5K training and half injured. I honestly didn't expect to run under 20 minutes. While this isn't a super hard course, it's also not a fast course so I was prepared to have my ass handed to me, and it pretty much was. I knew Corey Dowe would be at the race, and then Ashley Busa lined up in front of me at the start. She's been running really well lately, so I knew she'd beat me, too. My next best bet would be 3rd, so I just hoped I could get that. Just before we started, Gina got a pic of Tim Horan and me.

Awesome hat alert!
The race finally got underway, and I was in 3rd immediately. Corey Dowe was gone quickly. Ashley was close enough that I could see her the whole race, but she would continually put a gap on me. I was happy to have her in view, though, since it helped push me as fast as my hamstrings would allow. I actually felt pretty good on the first hill. The hill work has definitely paid off, even though the hamstrings are thwarting it a bit. It actually felt good to be running fast on the road again. I think New Bedford was the last time! Crazy!

The first mile is almost all uphill and I came through it in 6:26. Sad. 2 years ago, I ran a 6:04 for the first mile. But, seriously, I was in the best shape of my life and not injured. If I weren't injured now, I would be running faster. Mile 2 is a nice break with a decent downhill before another climb. Then just before you start mile 3, there's a steep down hill that you can really make up time on. I hit mile 2 in 6:15. That was better. Haha. I kept plugging away. Never felt like I was running 100%, even though I basically was. My legs were going as fast as they were capable. One thing I love about 5Ks is that they're over quickly. It wasn't long before I was turning the corner and could see the clock. I hadn't once looked at my watch. Mile 3 would end up being a 6:02 pace. I was shocked to see the clock turn to 19:00 since I really didn't think I was running fast enough to break 20. Came through in 19:23, 3rd woman, 9th overall. A pretty horrible time for me, but all things considered, I wasn't unhappy with it at all. As soon as I finished, instead of doubling over gasping for air like I usually do after a 5k, I just stopped, spotted Demere and John and then went over to them. I was only slightly out of breath, meaning my fitness is still there hiding behind the broken me. Ugh. Full Results.

Gina took this just before mile 3
I talked to Demere and John then went back to the car for warm clothes and out for a cool down. 1.5 miles. I was really sore, but the cool down helped loosen me up so that I felt perfectly fine when I got back. My hamstrings weren't hurting at all the rest of the day.

Once I was changed, I went back to the tent where they were hanging out, then we all walked over to the kids race. They had changed it to an obstacle race which I thought looked too young for John at first, but he got really excited about it. Obstacle courses are this thing! They went through every age starting with 2, so it took forever. Finally, there were 4 boys left, including John. He was really serious about this and tried so hard! It ended up in nearly a tie with the kid he was racing despite falling twice on the wet grass. He was laughing and smiling and just so excited after he finished. I love seeing him have fun out there! Even if I'm giving him the nudge to do it, he's really been enjoying it lately.

The awards started right after. I won 4 lobster dinners to the Weathervane this time! Haha. In 2015, I won 10 and never used it! We'll try to use this one this time.

We walked around Dover for awhile until the Brickhouse opened. I was starving and ordered chicken and waffles. Haha. Never had that before, so I figured what the hell. Afterward, we walked over to Garrison City Beerworks for some flights. It was fun introducing Demere to different styles of beer even though she doesn't like IPAs or dark beers! I have to work on that. Haha.

We stopped at Philbrick's on the way out of town since I now had $130 in gift certificates. The problem with this store is that it really isn't my type of store. I was happy when I realized the ski section was downstairs. I bought John a new pair of mittens for next year since they were marked way down. And since I'm hat obsessed, I bought a hat for me. I'll probably come back in a few months and use the rest of the gift card for some "new" used skis for John.

Once home, I took out the dogs. Demere needed to find a rain jacket to use for the week. John had no interest in going back out so he chose to stay at the house while we shopped at LL Bean. I actually need a new rain jacket, too, since the lining on mine is mostly gone, and picked one out. But I decided to put it back. I could do without a new one right now. Instead I pouted over what I really wanted and couldn't have.

We stopped at Cafe Noche for dinner and margaritas then it was finally home. I showered then went to bed shortly thereafter.

Sunday, May 7, 2017- Slept in super late. Made John breakfast. Demere was happy to veg out for the morning, so I went for a run. Another road run! Two in one weekend after none (except the Auto Rd, but I don't count that) for 4 weeks. I was really itching to do a LONG run. I really, really miss doing long runs. It's been 3 months since my last long run. That was 22 miles. The longest since is New Bedford, so long ago! Wow. I wanted so much to do the 18 mile loop from home into Eaton and back through Madison, so I decided to see how I felt by the time I got to the 6 mile turnaround. Well, needless to say, I wasn't doing the 18. Even though my left hamstring/glute was a barely noticeable ache, the right side now hurt more and all the way down the back of the entire leg. But it wasn't radiating pain from the sciatic nerve. I was actually sore from the race in my right calf and lower hamstring. The high hamstring was the same pain I've had, but the soreness in the rest of the leg, probably from the 5K, made it slow going. I turned around at mile 6, then decided to run up the road on Rockhouse Mountain for the first time which added on another mile. Finished up the run with 13 miles in 1:43:00. 7:55/mi avg pace. 1,116ft of elevation gain. This has never been a fast run, but it's not usually this slow either.

A quick shower then it was off to show Demere some waterfalls and the sights. We drove a long loop down the Kanc stopping at Sabbaday Falls. The waterfall was rushing more than I've ever seen it. Too bad the trail to where you could see it was blocked off. No idea why either. It didn't look damaged. So that was a little disappointing. Pretty funny moment on our walk back out. I saw Amanda DeBlauw walking towards us only to realize it had to be her mother! So I said, "Are you Amanda's mother?" It was her! They look exactly alike. Haha. I talked to her briefly then we continued our drive over to Lincoln, through Franconia Notch, across Rt 3 to 115 and then US 2 that brought us into Gorham. Despite the cloud cover the view from US 2 was still pretty awesome. We turned back toward North Conway and stopped at Glen Ellis Falls. I love this waterfall and knew Demere would really love it when she saw it. It's even amazing when the water isn't flowing as hard. I did not expect it to be flowing as hard as it was. WOW! So amazing!! We were soaked from the spray in seconds.

Demere did this one

She did this one, too.  I thought they were cool.
As planned, we stopped at the Moat for beers and lunch. I was so hungry since I hadn't eaten since the run. I snarfed down an entire pizza and two beers! There was a Lamborghini in the lot. John asked for all of my cash so he could pretend like it was his car and he was made of money by throwing my money into the air. Funny kid!!

I was sad to see the weekend with my sister coming to a close. We had so much fun!! Makes me realize on how much I'm missing out on not being close to family. This is what it's like not to be so alone. Family! I miss my sister! :( BUT... we still have one more day together before she goes back to Texas. I'll be spending Thursday night with her in Boston. That should be fun since I never go out in Boston. What a good, crazy busy week!

I thought I would add that Demere lives in a tiny house that she built herself. It's pretty cute, and she has a blog about it, so I thought I would share a link. The Little Fish House.

1 comment:

  1. I am so glad I'm not the only rotten housekeeper, it sucks so much, there are so many better things to do than scrub floors and re-re-re-re-remove cob webs (and the dog hair they seem to accumulate). Glad you got to spend time with your sister, family really is important and her house, OMG so cool!!