Tuesday, October 10, 2017

2017 Lone Gull 10K- USATF-NE GP#5

War on Drugs at the Blue Hills Bank Pavilion 
Moved on into week 3 after being sick and still not feeling 100%, but I was definitely a lot better than the previous two weeks. Unfortunately, though, I still couldn't breathe well, especially with the continuance of that damn HEATWAVE. Ugh. Some of the mornings were cool, but the humidity was just insanely high. This did not help things when trying to run. I was still able to get in some decent miles this week; they were super slow, but I at least completed them all. Haha. I also felt like they weren't a waste. Got in a long run and a really good tempo run, so I was not complaining. I had to keep the uphills at a minimum, though, because I was still really struggling on them as I gasped for air. I did one mountain run and definitely felt it.

I knew Lone Gull was going to be bad, but after the Downtown 5K the week before, I had decided to keep a positive attitude about it. I didn't care so much about this one now, since I was able to accept it after the 5K. I'd go out and just do what my body would let me. I wasn't in 10K shape prior to getting sick anyway, so it was better to just prepare myself ahead of time for the inevitable. I couldn't prepare myself for the 6.2 miles of physical torture I had to get through, but mentally I could and I did. I actually cared more about Saturday night when I had the extremely rare chance to go see a show in Boston. This was something I never get to do so it ended up being far more important than worrying about Lone Gull the next day.

50.4 miles for the week. 3,530ft of elevation gain.

Monday, September 18, 2017- No idea why I was so motivated, but I actually ran 3 miles on the treadmill at work. Within the first few minutes, I was reminded of why I stopped running on the thing. SO uncomfortable. No give. It felt good to run, but I really felt it in my high hamstring area. I suspected way back in the spring that running on this treadmill might have contributed to this injury. I think I might have been correct. I'm not convinced it was the main cause, but I think it was definitely a factor. I may run on it again occasionally, but I'm definitely not going to make a habit again. I had the treadmill at max speed and ran the 3 miles around the usual time. 22:06.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017- Humid and gloomy day, but this was one of the cooler mornings so I ran a long run right from work. I chose a super boring route, but I needed a flat run and those are few and far between around here. It was choking humidity outside, so I wasn't even sure I could finish it. Good thing I'd have 3 available ambulance taxis to come to my rescue this time. Haha.

The humidity wasn't as bad as I expected it to be, but it still affecting my breathing, and, thus, my pace. Had to keep it on the slow side the whole way. It was the only way to get it done. Even though it's flat-ish, I still had some hills that I struggled up. I had just planned to do an out-and-back on Ossipee Lake Rd but changed my mind at the Bennett Rd split. Bennett has some huge hills. I don't really care for running on Rt 153, but I figured since it would only be brief, I decided to take it back over to Ossipee Lake Rd. And I learned that the distance between the two via 153 is actually not brief when you're running and not driving! Haha. I seriously thought it would be like a half mile, but it was 1.5 miles. Just not a fun road to run on. Got to Ossipee Lake Rd and headed back to the ambulance base. I just might have hit over an 8-minute mile in there. Haha. The last two miles are mostly a gradual uphill. My foot really started hurting...to the point that it was radiating into my right ankle. That's never happened before (or since!). So weird. Plantar Fasciitis is such pest. Finished up with 16.2 miles. First completed long run since the Green River Marathon, the day before I was sick. Woohoo! 2:05:31. 7:42/mi avg pace. VERY slow for me on such a less hilly route, but I just needed to get in the miles at this point. 541ft of elevation gain was still more than I expected.

Managed to get in my upper body and abs workout today. These have been so sporadic since my energy level has been so low. It's really only now as I write this 2 weeks later that my energy is back 100% (the lungs aren't, though. ugh).

John, the dogs and I took a short walk on the Audubon Trails by LL Bean down to the river. It was gloomy out, but I thought it would be nice to go down to the river. We were immediately attacked by mosquitoes and headed right back to the car. Haha.

John by the Saco
Stopped at the end of my driveway to get my mail and found the latest issue of Runner's World (that I didn't subscribe to) in there. Took one look at the cover and saw the dumbest headline. Snapped a pic to send to someone, walked in the house and threw it in the recycle bin. I don't exactly dislike Runner's World, but it just doesn't appeal to me. I'm not really in its target market anyway and maybe that's why. I really hope that Leslie Beckwith chick it's addressed to doesn't mind that I tossed it.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017- I actually got up to run on the treadmill before work. Only ran 4 miles, though, since I turned off my alarm and reset it for a time that would cut my run short. Still, though, I ran! Haha. 29:09. Felt pretty good. Spent an hour of the evening pacing in the ambulance bay just to loosen up the legs after so much sitting. We have this cool clock in here left behind from the previous business.

Fairly steady with calls today at work, but I still managed to finish my catch up post. I was starting to get super excited about the upcoming War on Drugs show Saturday, but first I had to get through this 24 hour shift and the next day's 10 hour shift. And what a weird week for our 911 calls, too. A guy who was tased. A suicidal child. A car vs bicycle. A 3-car accident involving a tractor-trailer that everyone walked away from. A mystery problem. And other weird stuff. Just the gamut of problems when the week was all said and done.

Thursday, September 21, 2017- Got up at 6am, showered, loaded up my car and then headed to Tamworth for my next shift. I hate 34 hour shifts, but I needed the money and my Club Motorsports detail was cancelled. I got outside for a 2-mile walk in the morning after dropping a check at the Community School for John's Friday classes. We had a huge car accident, but that was it for the day. I was SO happy when 5pm rolled around. Time to run! Yay!

I chose to run the exact same route through the two aviation communities in West Ossipee that I had run maybe 4 weeks prior. I wanted to attempt something speedy and relatively flat to test out my fitness. Well, it looks fast on paper, but it was about 10 seconds slower per mile than the run prior to getting sick. I didn't have to struggle for it like I did the last time, but we had actually lucked out with cooler, drier air today which I think made the run feel easier. 7.4 miles in 51:33. 6:54/mi avg pace.

I ended up not getting home until really late. I HAD to go to the store to get John's food for his lunch the next day. Didn't get paid until today or I would have done it at work the day before. Drove all the way up to Hannaford in North Conway. John needed $5 for ice cream during their bike ride at school, and I had zero cash on me. The self check-out never gave me the option for cash, that I was expecting. Went to the ATM, but of course I only had a $20. Figured I'd break it at Discount Beverages, but I was 3 minutes past closing. Hoped the one by my house would be open. Nope. Ended up at the Community Market in Madison where I bought some beer to break the $20. Haha. Got home after 9pm! Long day! After all of that, when John came by the next morning to get his lunch, he told me he already had the $5 for the ice cream. Haha. Oh well. I was able to get some good beer at least, and I tortured Phoenix with a beer photo op. :)

Friday, September 22, 2017- I was woken up to John coming in super early to pick up his lunch and bike for school. He was not happy to be up that early so I was a little nervous about his upcoming day. I really hoped he would have fun. If not, in his eyes, it would all be my fault. Haha.

With Lone Gull on Sunday, I decided to do an easy run up Mt Kearsarge North with Phoenix. The weather was beautiful in the morning, even though it was starting to heat up fast, and the humidity was kicking in. The first part is somewhat gradual, but as soon as I hit the steeper part, I was still having breathing issues. Not horribly. I felt ok in general, but I had to keep it slow. Ended up only 5 minutes slower than my fastest time up there so I was pleased with that considering how I'd been feeling for weeks now. 54:43 to the top. There were people in the fire tower who were super nice so I talked to them for a few minutes. Phoenix hates going up there and refused. She was very upset with me. I didn't stay long because I didn't want her barking at people. The way down was pretty slow just because. Haha. 5.6 miles in 1:18:37. 2,579ft of elevation gain.

I went home to do a quick upper body workout. I'm totally slacking on these since getting sick and working the 57 hour work weeks, as I mentioned above. I'm going to wait until after Hartford and Baystate to get back into 4 days week with it. 2 days seems to be maintaining it just fine for now.

Picked up John from The Community School at 3:30. I was nervous as he rolled his bike out to the car. He was in a good mood and said that he had fun. PHEW. As a parent who kind of pushed her kid into this, I was really hoping for the best. So glad he liked it and has continued to like it. He was beat, though. Sound asleep by the time we got home, and I couldn't get him out of the car for a few hours haha.

Since the Kismet Cliff Run was on Sunday, Tom Hooper, Tony Bargado and John Sheedy were using my house as pre-race headquarters on Saturday night. It really worked out since I would be out of town, and they could take care of the dogs for me. The only downside...I had to clean. Haha. Not that they would really care, but I did, so I spent 5 hours making the place look somewhat presentable.

Cleaned so many Six03 water bottles! 

Spotted this lone leaf growing from my "steps" outside
Saturday, September 23, 2017- Today was going to be a BUSY day!! Like non-stop. I got up super early and ran 4 miles on the treadmill. Easy and flat. 30:22. Then it was off to Believe in Books for the 100 Acre Challenge. This a race for John every year (even though he would still only do the kids race). He loves obstacle races. He doesn't love me waking him up and dragging him over there so early, but I was helping Richie Blake (Yankee Timing) with the timing of the kids' race and inputting day of entries into the computer so I had to be there by 8. I let John stay in the car another 45 minutes to get sleep.

I enjoy going to this race and seeing John finish. This year, he actually finished 3rd in his age group! He was so excited and won 4 free passes to mini golf. Afterwards, he finally agreed to do the long course with me next year! That will be so fun! And I can still help Richie with the timing of the kids race. Richie was super generous as always and paid me way too much, but it was definitely appreciated. I was able to pay for the night's concert ticket with it instead of out of my budget AND I could have lunch at the brewery after the race on Sunday. Sweet! Oh, and I could also swing by the bagel shop for breakfast for both us on our way home.

Timing the kids race

Photo by Richie Blake

Photo by Richie Blake

Photo by Richie Blake

Coming into the finish

John opening his award
I had to pack up for the rest of the weekend, and it took me way longer than I planned. I wouldn't have time to shower again before the concert so I brought my flat iron to maybe make my hair not look like a wind-blown frizz ball...didn't help. Haha. We left a little after noon to head to Gloucester. My friend and teammate, Regina Loicano, was not only putting us up for the night but also keeping John while I went to the War on Drugs concert. She was so nice to take on the extra kid, especially since she had also sustained a sudden foot injury the day before. So she was bumming. When we arrived at her house, she was the most gracious host!! She put out a huge spread of food, ordered pizza, too, and just made sure I was all taken care of. I ate so much that I was full the rest of the night. Haha. I was SO bummed for Regina, though. When I saw her foot, it was extremely swollen. Her home race, Lone Gull 10K, was the next morning, and she couldn't race it. Running means so much to her, and I hated to see her with an injury after so much good training for Baystate. After multiple doctor's appointments the next week, they diagnosed her with a stress fracture. I felt so guilty leaving her and wanted to hang out more, so I did end up leaving about 45 minutes later than planned to head to Boston. Regina took John fishing for the first time while I was gone and sent me a pic. She truly is one of the kindest people I've ever met. I'm so lucky to be surrounded by the nicest running friends!

I was really excited about the show! 20 years since my last big show is a long time to go without, especially since I was so into live music at one point in my life. I didn't want to pay much for parking, so I chose the $5 garage about 1.2 miles from Blue Hills Bank Pavilion. I didn't mind the walk since I needed to stretch my legs and help my food digest. Haha.

I met up at Harpoon Brewery first with Patrick Quinn who had invited me to the show, along with his brother and a coworker. The place was jampacked with people much younger than us. Haha. I'd never been here before so it was fun. Had a few beers, then walked next door to the Pavilion.

Pat and my beer
The show was awesome! We had a really great time. The facility was amazing, too. Great acoustics. Music was even better live! Someone there put most of the show on YouTube after, so here is one song, if you're interested.

$12 beer! Pat bought a round. We about gagged when the guy said $48 total!!

Rather than have me walk the mile back to my car, Pat and his brother drove me back to the garage. It took us a few tries due to road closures which was funny, but I finally made it and headed back to Regina's in Gloucester. Awesome night! I probably won't go to another show for 5 years, but this should hold me until then. Haha.

Sunday, September 24, 2017- Lone Gull 10K- I was so happy to wake up at Regina's instead of my house since it meant sleeping later. I was only 10 minutes from the start. I had slept pretty well even though the night had me on a bit of a high before I could fall asleep. Once I was out, I was out. Woke up feeling rested, but still coughing up so much junk. That wouldn't be the worst of it. It was HOT AS BALLS again!!! Why me?! I thought 2015 was hot and humid. It was, but at least we had a headwind on the way back to cool us off. This year, it was nothing but hot, stagnant, humid air. I knew this was going to suck no matter what. That air would be really hard to breathe in. I didn't know if I could even break 41 minutes. The difference between the week prior was that I had actually accepted it this time. I wasn't going to be upset after. I felt so much better than the week before. I knew my lungs were still full of gunk. (I would still be coughing up so much mucus for 2 weeks after this race!) I felt I had all of my energy back at least, so I would give it my best. Not start off too fast like I did the previous 2 years.

John would end up coming to the race with Regina later, so it was nice for me to be able to get there and warmed up without having to worry about John. I ran a 2-mile warm-up partly with Amy and then the rest with 2 Whirlaway guys. I felt super shaky after the warm up. Charlie Bemis offered me a granola bar which did the trick, then I ran to the start. I decided to go with the CMS sports bra due to the heat. Once again, I don't know how anyone where's a singlet in that weather. I lined up with Amy and some other people and then we were off. I was smart the first mile. I stayed at a comfortable talking pace. The ocean air was just cool enough that I felt I could breathe alright. 6:00 even for the 1st mile. Perfect...and then we hit the 2nd mile that veered away from the ocean. Stifling. I knew I was done there. All of a sudden I couldn't breathe. Immediately it was a struggle. I had to slow way up and tried to get back in a pace where I wasn't dying. 6:27 2nd mile. Horrible, but I just didn't care at this point. I was still able to cheer on a few of the top guys as I was heading into the turn around part on mile 3 since it was flat and we had some ocean air creep in there. But as soon as we hit the hill, I lost everybody I was with. I was struggling for air. Heather Mahoney passed me and asked how I was doing. All I could answer was, "You can hear my breathing." Haha. At this point, I just wanted to drop out. I've never come that close to seriously dropping in a road race. I've said I wanted to, but this was the first time, I seriously contemplated it, but then I thought about the Series and how I needed to complete it, so I carried on. 6:27 3rd mile. I passed a front of the pack runner who had dropped and was walking. I so wanted to stop with her, then I kind of got pissed. If someone in my position could keep going, she probably could have, too. This made me not want to drop out even more. Mile 4 was AWFUL. 6:43. I just needed it to end. I started getting passed at this point, but I didn't care. I had to finish no matter what my time was. Finally mile 5! 6:27. Geez 3 miles at 6:27. At least I was consistent for half of the race. Haha. Funny that 6:00 for mile 1 was actually me being conservative. Haha. One more mile, I got passed by two Amanda's, Watters and Wright. I like them both and cheered them on. Great to see Amanda Wright back out there after going through injury and surgery and recovery. The last mile dragged. I couldn't breathe. My teammate, Jenn Brooks, finally caught me in the last stretch. I had no kick. I jogged it in to finish in 40:19. 4th in the 40-49. 3rd in the 40-44, which meant I had 8 points for the GP score! Sweet! Finishing paid off!! Like the week before, just by showing up, I was able to keep my Series lead in the the 40-44. I had something to be happy about at least!!

Photo by Kim Gordon. I did actually smile for her and Scott Mason this time. 
As soon as I finished, Christin came over and got me a bottle of water. I was dying. I moved right to the shade where I talked to Ginger Reiner for a bit. She's been having an amazing year. Jenn and Regina joined us. I felt so bad that Regina had to miss the race. She was still out there cheering, though, and took care of John in the process. Such a wonderful person!!

It took me awhile to get my shit together after. A lot of chatting involved when you know so many people at these races. Dave Dunham gave John his race shirt, as he often does. (John is actually wearing the Lone Gull shirt as I write this. Haha). We had to stop at Ed Sheldon's cool car thing that he had painted with the Central Mass Striders logo. Ed and his wife were sweet and let John sit in it for a photo op.

Ed and me
After that I got a 1.5 mile cool down in with Amy and Christin. I SO wanted a shower, but since there wasn't one, I headed for the ocean. It was so hot out that the water felt warm, and the waves were amazing. I realized as I walked out diving into the waves that this was my first (and last) real ocean swim of the year. It was so refreshing. I miss the ocean often! Upon getting out, I realized I had set my dry stuff a little too close to the water and it was currently being soaked with sea water. haha. Oh well. That hit the spot. I changed and then it was Whirlaway party time in the parking lot. That was a really good time hanging out, and it was a mix of a lot of teams. Good beer, too. I put the beer I brought Scott Mason into his cooler and realized my mistake of not taking all of his beer and running. Haha. I made my own meme out of the little fat girl running meme and sent it to Scott later. The lot party was so the place to be, and I was glad we all waited to hit the Cape Ann Brewery after that. Once we were hungry, though, it was off to the brewery for lunch.

Nightshift Buzz that E-J Hrynowski gave to Scott and then eventually me at the Cape Ann Brewery.
Amy, Mike D, Scott, me and Pat

Not the first time I've seen Paul Hammond get extra close with a dog. Haha.
The drive home was easy since the weekend traffic was going the opposite direction. I came home to a 4-pack of Alchemist in my fridge from John Sheedy, so that was a nice surprise!

So the day ended up being good. Very disappointing race, but I didn't let it get to me this time. Acceptance had occurred. Such a bad fucking year, though. Wow. Amazingly bad. And there's more bad to come with TWO upcoming marathons. Haha. And guess what?!! The current weather forecast has the first one with a high of 75! Hahaha! Of course it does. Of course. Maybe the second one will be cool. Ugh. It just sucked getting sick. I wasn't in great speed shape beforehand, but getting sick sealed the deal. I was done for the year. I couldn't believe how much stuff I would continue to cough up. No wonder I couldn't breathe! Seriously. I turned out to be just one of MANY people I know with some sort of chest illness, so at least I have a club of other sickies out there to commiserate with. And the excuse bag I've filled up is pretty much one of my best!

Heard this song while at the nail salon this week. I'm not a Miley Cyrus fan at all, but it's with Adam Sandler, and who doesn't love Adam Sandler? I thought it was beautiful. 

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