Sunday, August 6, 2017

2017 World Run-Paddle Biathlon Championship

Trail up Whitface
I almost quit my blog two days ago, then decided against it. Then yesterday someone told me I reminded him of this person on Instagram. She was the type of Instagram poster I can't stand (although definitely not the worst). I temporarily disabled my Instagram account. My blog posts were being compared to the #lookatme posters on Instagram. Feeling discouraged and horrified that that's what I'm perceived as, I decided to quit my blog. And then this morning, I got an email that Freddi Triback had left me a comment on my July 4th post. She didn't have to say much, but it was just a few kind words that made a big mark. So I decided to keep posting. (Thank you, Freddi!) I won't lie. Still feeling discouraged about it. He didn't mean it to be negative. In fact, I think it was meant to be a compliment, so I feel bad that I kind of blew up over the comparison, but I REALLY can't stand women like her on Instagram (lost count on how many ass pics she has up). I guess I see why there's a similarity, though. Selfies, abs, etc., but I'm not putting this out there in hopes to get as many followers as possible and a million likes. I have no idea who reads this (unless you've told me haha). I don't advertise my blog either. I don't put knew posts up on Facebook. I don't mind people seeing it (or else I wouldn't do it), but I figure the people who really want to read my brain spewing are reading it. My blog tells my story in words, and photos accompany it. Instagram is a superficial photo "story" accompanied by searchable hashtags and inspirational quotes or song lyrics. I guess another difference is that my blog isn't in your face, while the whole notion of Instagram is to be in your face, to get as much attention as you can. While I obviously don't have the highest self esteem, I still don't really have a need for attention to boost it. Yeah, I post a lot of selfies on my blog. Who else is taking pictures of me in daily life besides John occasionally? I love photos. I always have. (I have got to find one of my first selfies ever that I took in 1997. It's so bad that it's hilarious.) I figure my blog should have pictures of me, and I try to make them interesting or fun. Running photos get boring. But now I'm thinking... does it make me seem attention-seeking like her? The only saving grace is that I beat this Instagram queen (and that name is deserving since she has almost 16,000 followers) at Cranmore this year. Thank fucking god (if there was one).

One of the many #lookatmyassphotos on her Instagram page, and the quote below it couldn't be anymore perfect in making my point. I was also a bum when I attempted to read Dharma Bums in 2002 back when we lived in our van and on the trail for 2 years and didn't have social media to post about it. I made it about 1/3 of the way through the book before I was bored to death. Kerouac was not that interesting.  (I blocked out her Instagram username. I don't want to be responsible for more followers.)
Speaking of attention seeking. Yes that was a nice segue into an issue I feel I have to address. Of course, this issue would get more views on Instagram. Haha. But I'm going to leave it here. There's a certain female runner on the New England running scene with whom I do not get along. It happens. We don't all get along, and I'm not going to bash her. We have opinions of each other, and we're entitled to them. Whatever. Not everyone sees eye to eye. However, when it comes to someone spreading a lie about me, I feel like I need to call her out on it. Not by name. Just need to speak up for myself. I was told by a friend recently that this person messaged him privately and randomly told him that I try to break up marriages. If you think about it, I should be flattered, right? I mean, she thinks that I'm awesome enough to be capable of such a thing! Haha. Well, I'm not. The only marriage I've broken up, or even attempted to break up for that matter, was my own. This person has accused me multiple times of having an affair with her husband, as well. I did no such thing. Not at all. I've never had any interest in her husband whatsoever. I don't even know where this came from, but for some reason she continues to believe this happened. I've denied it over and over, but to no avail. I do have friendships with married men, but I'm not trying to break up their marriages. That notion is ridiculous. So, if this rumor of my "reputation for trying to break up marriages" lands in front of you, know that it's untrue. I'm 41 years old and have a kid. I'm not THAT desirable (except among the desperate and odd, apparently, and I don't want either). I will never settle for someone again just so that I'm not lonely. I'm comfortable being on my own until I meet someone who knocks me off my feet. Will that happen? Probably not. I'm way too picky. Haha. Anyway, I debated posting this here or not, but it just has me wondering who else she has told this to, and I felt a need to defend myself. And wow, this blog post is starting off way too negatively, but I swear I'm not feeling negative at the moment.

I'm still behind on my posts because I can't NOT blah, blah, blah. Haha. But I'm going to try! I promith! Haha. That's the word my best friend and I used when we were lying. :) I really don't remember much about this week other than that I was extremely fatigued and hungry for snacks. After a week of not being able to buy food, John and I walked through Market Basket like thru-hikers just off the trail drooling at shelves of food that could spark gluttony. Hahaha. I still didn't buy too much, but damn, soft french bread! Mmmmm.

I had no good runs all week; they were all horrible (excluding the run portion of the biathlon). I had no energy whatsoever. Had to cut my long mountain run short. I could barely run what I did attempt. Checks of my resting pulse at work had it up in the 60s, so I knew something was up and decided to keep the miles under 50 for the week. Well, it was still barely under 50 since I ran 44.5 miles with 5,948ft of elevation gain. This was going on week 3 of calls in the middle of the night for all shifts except the Wednesday shift of this week. I just hadn't been able to catch up on the lost sleep, and it finally caught up with me this week. Add that to the increasing plantar fasciitis pain, and I was a mess. I've just gotten used to the hamstring thing now. It's like a soreness, but the plantar fasciitis, omg! Like Heather Mahoney said, until you've had it, you think everyone else is just being a wimp, but wow, no. It's crippling! I get it now. It's just indescribable just how painful it can be. When it's hurting, it's constant SHARP pain, like the foot is broken. All of the downhill portions of my mountain runs are just as slow, if not slower at times, than my uphills. I'm at the point where I don't know how I'm going to pull off the Ragged 75 Stage Race. I'll admit that I'm pretty nervous about it. Fortunately, I've built in 2 weeks of nothing after Ragged. I had planned to ramp up my road/track stuff, but I may have to take those two weeks off instead. Although it doesn't really make sense, I went against my plan to stay off the roads until after Ragged and decided to start getting my ass into road shape again. Probably why the PF is hurting more. I feel like I want to have a jump start on it if I do have to take some time off after Ragged. I'll lose some fitness, but at least I'll go into it in a little bit better shape. Ugh. Everything seems so up in the air right now. I feel like if I can just get through October's big races, I can start to cut back and let myself heal up after that. I have some short distance trail races in November, but after Thanksgiving, there is nothing on my calendar until 2018. I might just take December off completely from running. Get in the pool and do Zuzka Light workouts. Hopefully walk into 2018 healed up. Out of shape, but healed up. Just start back over from there. Blah, blah, blah. See now! I kept my promith! ;)

Monday, July 17, 2017- Busy, busy at work. We had a pretty bad call. I was pretty happy with the care my partner and I provided and how well the two of us worked together in the back. Calm and collected and kept the patient alive. The person unfortunately didn't make it due to her injuries. I didn't feel too much emotion over this one. It was a young person; it was all business, but I'm all of a sudden finding it on my mind. I can't stop remembering her perfect finger nails. Unfortunately, this all of a sudden brought the bad call from February back from where I'd been successful at locking it away. Boom, just like that. All I see is his face over and over and over. The strong emotions I felt then have subsided, but the film is playing in my head again. I'm hoping it's short-lived. Busy overnight, too. No sleep. The cycle continues.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017- I forgot my original plan, but whatever it was got nixed. I decided to drive up to Hurricane Mt Rd after I got off work to do a Black Cap run up Red Tail and down Kettle Ridge. I used to do this run a lot, but now, not so much. It was nice to get back up there. It's a gentle climb up, and I didn't feel that bad on this one. It's always funny running into hikers who've walked the mile up from the top of Hurricane Mt Rd. Most of them don't know the trail I came up exists. I ran into a couple on their way down just below the summit and heard, "Great job! You're almost there!" Haha. I laughed and just said, "Yeah." I get those cheers of encouragement a lot on my mountain runs. I don't mind it really; it's just funny. I attempted to follow the blazed trail pointing toward Maine that I've never ventured on, but it fizzled out quickly. I'm not sure if it's just over grown or if I hit the end. I wasn't interested in finding out so I turned around. 7.6 miles total for the run. 1:31:09, definitely on the slow side. 1,661ft of elevation gain.

When I got home, I got in some upper body and abs work and was about to hop in the shower when my pager went off for a second 911 call in North Conway. I waited until the second tone to see if anyone signed on, realized I was the only one available, told John I was going to do that call and then drove to the base. Funny, on the way there, I got delayed due to the traffic from the duty crew's 911 call. Haha. I called the fire chief's cell who was on scene at the call I was headed to to let him know I was delayed. I was confused when my friend, Melissa, answered. Haha. She had also responded to the call since she's on North Conway Rescue, also. I also had to make sure someone from North Conway Fire & Rescue would be available to drive the ambulance since I was responding as a crew of one. It was all set. I got A3 and drove to the scene. It was funny because we ended up with the duty crew coming on the call after all since they cleared the hospital and we needed a paramedic. This was a much longer call than I thought it would be. Haha. I was so gross from my run, too. Oh well.

I'm feeling uncomfortable with every selfie I post now. ugh. Me getting ready to drive A3 back to the base after our call. 
As soon as I got home, John and I went to the head of Silver Lake so he could swim before we had to head to the Whitaker Woods race #6. I was pretty beat and planned on jogging it, but once again, someone fast showed up, Sean Livingston's daughter, Abbey. I ended up working way harder than I had the energy for after I realized she was right behind me just after the mile point. I couldn't hold it the last half mile, though, and got passed by Abbey and Sean. 20:52 for this week's race.

As soon as I finished, I went right to the car to take John to his ninja class. This Tuesday was super busy and over before I knew it.

REALLY good beer

Wednesday, July 19, 2017- I actually got up to run on the treadmill, and it kicked my ass! I don't think I've done one of my usual 5 mile progression runs since May, and yeah, I'm out of shape. 36:42. 7:20 pace. Not horrible, but I had to work for that. As always it's 1-3% elevation every half mile so it's a tough run anyway. I need to do more of these, but I'm struggling getting up early with the lack of sleep. Ugh. The Tuesday night races don't help, so maybe when those are over, I'll feel like doing the Wednesday treadmill again.

I was super excited to work with my old partner, Michelle, again! We worked together for 2 years. It was fun to be at work again! We weren't busy this shift and actually slept all night.

Thursday, July 20, 2017- Still woke up super groggy, even though I slept all night. I don't know why that happens every Thursday morning, but it's every week. Like I said, my resting heart rate was pretty high this week, so I was just run down in general. I should have known my planned run was not a good idea. I knew I was going to struggle before I even started out for a 10-mile loop over Whiteface and Passaconaway from Ferncroft. It was worse than I thought. I was dead at the get-go. By the time, I entered the woods, I could barely run. When the trail got steeper, I was running at a crawling pace. The woods were SO humid and hot. By the time I passed mile 2, I think I was power hiking more than running. It was a sufferfest. I knew I wasn't going past Whiteface today. I was cooked. When I got to the top, I stopped and sat down.

I was trying to capture misery. Probably should have taken a #lookatmyass photo instead.
I ran on to the true summit, turned around and ran back down the mountain. It seemed to last forever. I was so hot and drained. 8 miles total at a crawling pace. 2:16:11. 3,036ft of elevation gain. I wanted nothing more in this moment than the cold beer I'd brought along for post-run. I was on-call that night for work, so if I wanted to have a beer, it had to be early, so I sat at the trailhead and drank a pretty awesome beer that Michael Crutchley had given me at Beavers.

I had picked today's run because of its proximity to the Sandwich Spring since I had to fill up my water jugs.

The nice thing about cutting my run short is that I had enough time to kayak on Silver Lake before the on-call shift started at 5pm. I did my usual paddle from on end to the other. 5 miles total. No kayak beers and no selfies!! Can you believe it?

As soon as I got home, I showered, started making cornbread...then got called into work. It would be a busy evening for the duty crews. Between 5:50pm and just after midnight, I got called in three times! The nice part about that, though, is that every time I'm called in, I get two hours of overtime on top of the $50 stipend pay. In actuality, I probably worked a total of 2.5 hours. I wish the pay was like that for every shift!

Found these when I got called into work the first time. Take one? Why, yes, I took two.
I so needed sleep and crossed my fingers after getting home from the third call-in that that was it. Fortunately, it was, and I slept in until 8:30am.

Friday, July 21, 2017- Since I had to fill out my timesheet after the on-call shift, I decided to run from the North Conway base on the road. Not sure what I was thinking. I'd waited until it was insanely hot and the Friday traffic was in full force. Moron tourists drivers were on the loose! And...that's why my run ended up being called North Conway Run Rage. I almost got hit twice crossing the same crosswalk. Both cars got WTF arms. I had to ask a group of tourists blocking the entire sidewalk if I could get through. Cars going over the white line, way too much traffic and the heat led to a case of run rage. That run was a horrible idea. Haha. I really struggled in the heat the last two miles and just felt wicked tired. 8 miles in 59:42. 7:22/mi avg pace.

Took a funny photo of Chill today that reminded me of Large Marge. What do you think? Hahaha.

After John came home, we went to Story Land. On the way, we stopped at the bank to cash a $15 check that my grandmother had sent to John for his birthday back in February. It's been in my purse forever. I told him that if he wanted any food, he had to pay for it himself. He walked in with $15 and out with $0. Haha. Ugh. I guess he needs some work on not blowing all of his money in one place. Haha.

John about to shoot me with water on Pharaoh's Rain
John went on his own while I hit the bathroom. I got back over there just in time to get some pics of him on the Roar-O-Saurus. That ride is still so much fun.

Got home and started getting my stuff together for the run-paddle race the next day. Thankfully, while looking at something else on my calendar, I noticed the race was on SUNDAY. Wow, I almost drove us down to Concord for nothing. Haha. No idea why I had Saturday in my head.

Saturday, July 22, 2017- After my run rage run the day before, I couldn't bring myself to run out on the road in traffic hell. For once, running around my neighborhood sounded far more enticing. Haha. But I decided to mix it up a bit and add in some hill work on Tabor Hill and then cut through the woods to the Waldorf school to add in a trail loop. It was actually a fun little run! I put on headphones, too, just for something different. I ran 6.3 miles in just over an hour, so it was slow. The hill work I ran slightly slower than usual, but not that much. Got 3 of those in. Ended up with 908ft of elevation gain since that trail is a decent climb. I'll probably do more of these in the future.

After my run and upper body/abs workout, I took John to the beach at Silver Lake. Once he got in the water, he literally didn't come out for 3 hours! No exaggeration! I just sat there while he swam and started to get a little antsy towards the end, but I guess this didn't show because some guy walked by and said, "Wow. You look so chill." At first I was offended that he thought I looked like a dog. Haha. Kidding. Thought it was funny because I was at my most antsy when he said this.

I should have brought two beers.

A selfie with my kid
After literally staring at people as they ate snacks from large bags full of food the entire 3 hours, I was starving. I felt like I really needed to spend some money so we could have a good dinner. The only place nearby was this Farm-to-Table store in West Ossipee so I knew it was going to be overpriced, but I found a huge frozen lasagna with grassfed beef for $12 that I knew would make 3 meals so I got that. It ended up being SO good. I decided we needed to make a trip to Market Basket the next day while we were in Concord for food. My plan to hold out another 5 days wasn't happening. Haha.

Sunday, July 23, 2017- World Run Paddle Biathlon Championship-

It's not as huge of a race as it sounds. Haha. This is the brain child of Tom Walton, the cross-country coach at NHTI in Corcord. I know Tom from the snowshoe series. In my search for kayak races, I came across his event that included a 2.5 mile trail run, followed by a 2.5 mile kayak race on the Merrimack River. This sounded super fun so I signed up.

The drive wasn't too bad down to Concord. I did have to stop once when I noticed my kayak was turning sideways. Oops. Haha. It's not the best set-up at 75mph, I guess.

The weather was really nice so we lucked out. When we got there, I took Phoenix for a warm up on one loop of the trail (x-c course) to check it out. It was going to be fast. Hard-packed and flat. I bought Phoenix back and went back out for another loop. When I got back, I saw an older couple had arrived with racing kayaks. Hahaha. Yeah, I knew I didn't stand a chance of winning this now! I got all ready for the race...then start time rolled around with no race start. It turned out that Tom had put down 11am on the FB event page and 10am on the official brochure, so he decided to start it at 11. This was a bit frustrating, but I just decided to pass the time by running another warm up loop and then chatted with Ellen Raffio. As race time approached, I jumped in the river so that I would be cool for the run, then it was time for the pre-race meeting.

Once instructions were given, we lined up for the run. I figured my only chance was to run fast and beat the woman in the fast boat by as much as possible before we got in the water. This would end up being useless. Haha.

The run came easy fortunately. 2 loops of the xc course came out to 2.4 miles at a 6:20 pace. First woman to finish the run and in the water with about a 4-minute lead on the racing boat. This course involved two loops around an island in the river. I was paddling as hard as I could, but I had feeling my boat was still going to be no match for this...

I was about to learn a hard lesson when it comes to sports that use equipment. You can buy yourself a win. As hard as I paddled, I watched her catch me at the beginning of the second loop and pass me with very little effort as if I was standing still. I could say it's not fair, but even my crappy boat was far better than some of the others there. As a friend pointed out, it's the same with bike racing. It was hard for me to accept as a runner, since even the best shoes really mean nothing for the most part. All the work comes from the body. I would end up finishing a distant 2nd place.

When I was exiting the water, I said to Tom that I didn't stand a chance against that boat. He agreed with me. Haha. He said I could have used his (the same racing boat) for the race. Dammit! Oh well. I did get a chance to take it out. The boat weighs about 30lbs less than mine, so you can carry it with one hand. With the scoop paddle along with it, it was unbelievable the difference! So much faster. I wished I had used his boat because she never would have caught me. Haha. Oh well. I was a bit miffed; I'll admit it. I'm not used to losing because of a difference in equipment, so it was a tough lesson for me to soak in all day. Even my boat was a lot faster than a lot of the other boats out there, so none of it was really a "fair" competition. But it was still fun and it had me looking forward to my next kayak race two weeks later.

We hung out and waited for everyone to finish. John swam in the river a little bit, and I got Phoenix out for awhile to bark at people. Haha.

I packed some nice looking clothes for him that he happily put on. He looked so spiffy!
After I loaded up my boat, we drove less than a mile to Market Basket to finally buy groceries. This place was amazing! So much food and so much less expensive than home where I pay tourist prices. I found so much stuff and walked out paying less than I would have up here by far. It was so nice to buy food again. The only other time I've been like this was when I was out on the trail hiking for days in between towns, but never in my life have I had to wait to buy food until I got paid again. Even though, I feel like a sad piece of crap that my life has turned out this way, it's making me appreciate things more. It will be a good lesson for John that's for sure, and hopefully, it will make him not want to be like me so he'll actually be successful in a career some day. Of course, there are ways I would like for him to be like me, i.e. become a runner! Haha.

We drove home from there, and on the way back I got a call from the neighbor saying Chill was at his house. HUH? I locked Chill inside before I left. Hmmm. The neighbor was cool since he knows Chill and said he was fine, just wanted to let me know. We got in the neighborhood and I had John get out to walk Chill home. Bad dog. It took me awhile to notice how he got out, and he's never launched himself through a screen window before, so I'm assuming the bear was in the yard. It's funny, though, because John's mini trampoline is right under the window, so he must have used that for extra umph. Haha.

I had John walk Chill home while I followed. The car was too full of stuff to fit Chill in.
Chill's escape route. 

The rest of the evening was spent playing with the dogs and having some beahs and not much else.

Someone on Facebook added a link to this song in his post, so I clicked on it since I usually do when people put songs on, and I was like whoa! What is this and how I have I missed this band?! I'm usually pretty good with keeping up on the obscure new music out there, but I missed this one! I really liked the song so it went right to my playlist and made it this blog post's song.


  1. hey Leslie!
    If you like the selfies, then you should put them up- it's your blog after all. I'm impressed that you manage to put so much of yourself out there every week- chapeau!

    1. Thanks, John. It's funny when I brought my blog back to life I swore I wouldn't write like this. Haha. Guess I didn't follow through on that. :)

  2. It's your blog, do as you want ;) I keep a blog theses days mostly for myself and the grandparents -ha! I don't really care if no one reads it or if people think blogging is passé. Much like my running, it's an outlet and a chance for me to express myself. Keep on doing your life your way :) I always enjoy reading your posts!

    1. Thanks! That's how it's been for me. Just basically a journal for myself. I like to go back and read my funny posts to make myself laugh sometimes. :)

  3. Exactly, it's your blog, instagram, facebook, whatever, do with it what YOU want. I like your selfies, you usually look happy unless you are trying to capture the misery of the moment. Funny you mention equipment helping the athlete in things other than running. Quite true. I've been looking at carbon wheels for my bike. I'm still the engine, and this could gain me speed and a smother pedal... damn that guy I sat next to on the bus back from PTown... I'll continue to debate it... Keep on writing and taking selfies!