Wednesday, December 13, 2017

2017 Yule Light Up the Night

John finishing Yule Light Up the Night
I started to pick the running back up a bit more this week. I thought I would make it to 40 miles, but I was just shy with 38. Good enough for me as I build back up. I also made it to one spin class, which is the plan from here on out. One spin class a week. It won't always work out, but with Olympia Gym's schedule, it should be pretty easy to get there. It was a good week for the most part. Some days were busy while others were not. Finished it off with my first race since Thanksgiving. You can bet I was antsy to get this body racing. John joined me for this one and seemed to enjoy it.

Speaking of John, I feel like I might be in for a fight with his dad that I wasn't expecting. I hope not, but I'm learning about things I don't like that worry me about John's future. I've been avoiding this because I thought things were going well enough and didn't want to disturb the peace. But in reality there hasn't been peace. I found out that I'm being undermined constantly, when I'm basically providing John with 95% of his needs. It could actually be closer to 99%, but I'm trying to be fair. I didn't want to take things to court because I felt it would breed animosity and possibly resentment from John, but I have a feeling it's going to come to that soon. And not exactly because I want it, but because I'm starting to hear it from John. I'm definitely not going into details here, but it's a lot worse than I thought. A LOT. I know his dad cares about him and loves him at the core, but that can only go so far if it's not shown or comes out as the opposite. I don't plan to take him from his dad, but I honestly don't know if he's any longer fit to make the best decisions for John. And anyone reading this who thinks I'm a shitty mom for dragging my kid to all of my races and all over New England, you have no idea how good for him it is to get out of the isolation in which he lives up here. Our weekend "trips" and The Community School are what are getting him out into the land of the living. But, anyway, I hope I'm wrong; I hope his dad can change his behavior, but I'm pessimistic.

Monday, December 4, 2017-

Silver Lake on my drive into work on Mondays
Pretty quiet day at work again. I brought clothes to run on the treadmill but forgot that the treadmill is slipping so that when I got on it, I almost fell off. That would have hurt on the concrete floor. Haha. The belt needs to be tightened with an allen wrench which we have none of at the base. Fortunately, it was a beautiful day outside with perfect running temps, so I decided to run large loops around the base. The only problem was my shoes. I only brought my Hoka Stinson's that I only use on the treadmill. I was now about to run in these clunkers in soft dirt. Haha. It was my only option (well, I had another pair of shoes, but they are strictly indoors only for my workouts and the gym). I was only running 3 miles so I decided to run them at a quick pace and with music to numb the loop torture. Not sure how I did that in soft dirt with the Stinson's, but I did. 3.1 miles in 21:55. 7:09, 7:00, 7:01. I felt really good. I'm itching to run fast again.

My footprints from all of the loops
The loops on Strava. Haha.
The rest of Monday was blah. Mondays at the Tamworth base are starting to get to me. I don't know what it is, but it's depressing, and I'm tired ALL DAY. My partner is great, but just something about working out of that base doesn't make me feel good. I have the worst partner on Wednesdays in North Conway, but I'm much happier working up there. I can't pinpoint it, but something is off down there for me, and it just leaves me feeling somber all day.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017- Got out on time and drove to Wolfeboro for spin class. Only my 4th class since I started, but I'm already feeling like I'm in better shape. It still destroyed me, and I was STILL the only one pouring in sweat. The instructor looked like she was working hard, but she was wearing long sleeves and not pouring in sweat. How am I the only one?? I guess I'm just gross. Haha. When I got home, I did another Upper Body and Abs Shred workout and decided that it was definitely too easy. No more of those. I think they're meant for beginners, but I'm not a beginner. My abs could crush you right now. :) Ok. They're not that awesome, but they're pretty solid...under the beer belly.

Another uneventful Tuesday. I ran some errands then got antsy later on and jumped on the treadmill for 5 miles. Easier than I normally run since I do most treadmill runs as progressions because it's the only time I can force myself to do them. This time I kept it even-paced, but also changed the elevation between 1% and 3% every half mile. 37:48. 7:34/mi avg pace. The treadmill has been a useful training tool for me since I was forced to start using it in late 2014 and the winter of 2015, so I have an appreciation for it.

Hung out with John for the evening and had some beers. One beer I accidentally bought thinking it was SixPoint's 5Beans. I didn't realize they had rereleased 3Beans for the first time since 2013. Not quite as good as 5Beans but still really good.

John was torturing Phoenix and me. Haha.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017- I didn't get up to run before work, but I planned to do the next 300 Killer Rep Workout during the day at some point. I can actually workout at the North Conway base since it's much bigger than Tamworth and has the upstairs room that I use. It was super quiet all day for 911 calls so after I got bored, I finally got to the workout...only to find out that she added the use of equipment to the next one in the Series. Boo. I don't have that at work, so I opted to just repeat workout #2. I love these workouts, and while I don't plan to do them on a regular basis, I'll still use them at work on Wednesdays if I fail to get up to run in the morning. 30 minutes of pretty intense training. Not a long time, but it feels like it when I'm done.

Collapsed on my mat after my workout
Thursday, December 7, 2017- No calls overnight so I woke up feeling pretty good. I was meeting a friend to run later in the afternoon so I was in no hurry this morning. I got in a 15 minute Fit Slide workout, showered and then headed south to Foxborough, Ma where we were running at the F. Gilbert Hills State Forest.

After spending a lot of time perusing segments and other people's runs that were mostly confusing loops that looped back on each other going every which way, I finally found one person's run that was just one loop at 4.5 miles. Using his run as a guide, I came up with a larger loop that I was guessing would be closer to 6 miles.

Although we had to stop to double check the map fairly often, this was still a really good trail run. Once we kind of figured out the blazes and directions we were able to run without stopping more often, and these trails were super fun to run on. The dirt bike sections were actually pretty technical and rolling, but I loved it. I couldn't help but run fast because I don't often get to run trails at a quick pace up here in NH. I didn't fall at all, but I ended up with a few scratches on my back after it was all said and done. We missed a few turns that we'd planned, but it was close enough, and we finished off it off with 5.7 miles, so my 6ish guess was pretty right! Yay! 51:55 with 626ft of elevation gain. Now that I've got the layout of this place in my head, I'd love to come back and explore it more, and also figure out why the hell the water holes are all signed as such, as if it's the desert or something. Haha. Water Hole!

The actual run from my Strava. Pretty close to the plan.
Castle Island Brewing Co in Norwood was the next stop on my way back north. How I'm only just learning of this place, I don't know, because it was pretty awesome. I had the coconut porter and the barrel-aged stout, which were both really good, and a taster of the sour blonde with cranberry since it was suggested that I try it being a sour blonde and all. Haha. I practically had to get kicked out of there in order to make me leave since I didn't want to go, but I had a long drive home. Stopped for a coffee and chips and drove straight home. Downed an entire flatbread when I got home which seems to be a recurring Thursday thing. Haha.

Friday, December 8, 2017- I slept in as I usually do on Fridays then drove down to Tamworth for a long-ish run. I really wanted to get some miles in, but at a comfortable pace so my goal was really just to run and not pay attention to my watch. I'm not ready to do any hard long runs right now, and I'm planning to keep most of them at 15 miles or less for awhile. I planned out a loop that started at Remick Farm and took 113A into Wonalancet and back via the dirt roads of Pease Hill and Browns Ridge before hitting the pavement again at Cleveland Hill Rd for the run back to my car. I love these runs around Tamworth because the roads are typically very quiet with few cars. Plus, the hills are really good training. Never a super fast run with all of the elevation, but I was pretty surprised to find that my comfortable pace for the 14 miles was an average 7:42/mi. That's with 1,087ft of elevation gain. Obviously the downhills helped, but I was expecting something closer to 8 minute pace. I felt good, too, so that was a plus. Overall very happy with this run.

Even though I was right by John's school, I decided to go home and get Phoenix so that I could take her on a short walk before picking up John. We drove back to Tamworth and had time to walk about a half mile of the Bearcamp River Trail that I'd only just learned about. I was curious as to its condition. Unfortunately, it turned out to be in terrible shape. Flooding of the river made it a mess, and when it reached some fields, the footing was rough. This is unfortunate because it had the potential to be a fantastic trail that stretched for 17 miles. We still enjoyed our walk, however, and I do plan to explore more of it in the late Spring next year. Link to the Trail Map, if anyone else is interested. Views from the trail...

Looking back at John's school from part of the trail
Made it back to the school just as John was walking out the door, and, like I said, happy as can be. He loves it there. Nothing else that night except Phoenix couch snuggles and TV. You've Got Mail. Haha.

Saturday, December 9, 2017- No plans really for Saturday. It was supposed to start snowing in the afternoon which made me want to sit on the floor in a corner rocking back and forth while sucking my thumb. I don't hate snow, but after clearing it mostly by myself the last 4 winters, it's gotten old. Plus, my car tires are bald on the back since I've procrastinated on getting two new ones. Plus, I'm just sick of living this far north where it's so much colder and the snow lingers longer. But, as it turned out, we didn't start getting snow until the evening and was maybe 2 inches of nice powder that was pretty and ended up being easy to clear...without the snowblower. My kind of snow!

We still didn't do much since I knew we had a busy day the next day. After the long run the day before, I wanted to do something easy so I did 3 loops of the neighborhood and Waldorf School trails. First was with Chill, then Phoenix, then solo. 5.3 miles total. in 49:03. Not really much faster without the dogs. Haha. I noticed there were two water holes on these trails. I don't know why they weren't signed. :) WATER HOLES!

After the run, I did the next 15 min Fit Slide workout. This one was a little more leg focused than I wanted, but it still worked the core. Made me reconsider just going back to the old workouts I was doing. We'll see. Haha.

I spent a little time FINALLY putting the Ice Spikes that I won at a Bradbury Snowshoe Race 3 or 4 years ago into my old Brooks PureGrit's. I thought I got rid of my PureGrit's but I just happened to find them behind my shoe box. I loved those shoes, but the tread is gone. I realized I could prolong their use with the Ice Spikes.

I had to readjust two on each shoe after I took this photo. 
In the late afternoon, John, the dogs and I walked up Heavenly Hill. I really should have raked the leaves before the snowfall because they were so bad, but it's too late now. As I write this, they're now under about a foot of snow. Good walk, though. John played hard to get with the camera. Haha.

John blur

That was pretty much it for the night once the snow started. It was nice taking the dogs out in it later, though.

Sunday, December 10, 2017- Yule Light Up the Night-

I followed through on NO 10K! But I will admit that it bothered me a bit after seeing the results and that I would have won easily. The winner ran almost the exact same time I ran at Lone Gull when I still couldn't breathe after being sick. I could have easily beat that time. Haha. BUT, I'm glad that I signed up for Yule Light Up the Night at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway because it was something John could do, too. Plus, it was only 2.1 miles which I needed for the speed work anyway. The race follows the the Gift of Lights display through and around the Speedway so it started just after dark at 4:30pm. I thought that sounded neat...until it was actually race time.

The late race start meant no early morning, but I wanted to swing by the yearly Fat Alberta release at Throwback Brewery first, so I still had to get up, have coffee, then shovel the whole driveway. With only about 2 inches of snow and unfrozen ground underneath, the snowblower would have been useless and clogged with sticks and other stuff, so I used this shovel pusher that John's dad bought last year. And wow, it was awesome! I didn't take a photo, but it's this...

It took just over an hour to clear the entire driveway. It was a workout, though. By the time I finished, I was pouring in sweat so I had to jump in the shower quickly and then get John and I out the door and on the road to Hampton. I had actually busted John in the middle of the night still awake so I was letting him sleep in and then sleep in the car. I wanted him rested and in a good mood for the race.

I was only planning to go in Throwback and grab my 4 bottles, but when I had looked previously at their special beers for the release, I knew I had to try 2 of them: Fat Elvis (peanut butter, banana and bacon Fat Alberta) and the Strawberry Cherry Fat Alberta, both on cask. They were each 4oz so I figured it would be quick, but....just as I was walking up to the door, Amy Bernard messages me this...

She didn't know I was walking in. It was just a cool coincidence! Haha! I also walked in to absolutely no line. It was just me!! Perfect timing. I got my 4 bottles and 2 4oz pours and joined Amy, Rick and Charlie Bemis for a bit. Both beers were SO good. It was fun having them to hang out with since it's been awhile since we hung out. I ate Charlie's leftover fries, too. Haha. I wish I could have hung out longer, but I didn't want to drink more than 8oz before the race, so we headed out.

Amy and me
The drive over to the speedway was about an hour, but all on fast highways which was nice. We ended up being some of the first ones there. I picked up our bibs and was told we didn't get hats....even though AFTER I registered, it was posted on their FB that they had 250 hats left!! She said we had to wait until 10 minutes before the race to get ours. Ok. Wtf, but whatever. I went back to the car since it was cold out and we had time. I was tortured with stinky feet. Haha.

I had been sitting for far too long so I went out for a warm up. I ran above the speedway and had a pretty amazing sunset. When I got back, I was sure hell froze over because John was all dressed in his running clothes. I wasn't expecting this at all since I'm pretty sure I still had about 10 more asks left before it became 2 yells before he got dressed. Haha. He had said earlier he didn't want to do the run, but now, he actually seemed excited. It was almost time to get our LED hats so we walked up to the hat pick up and walked up to the table. I told the woman we were told to come back for the hats. She pointed to her left and said there was actually a line for the hats. We look over and see a roped off LONG line of people waiting for hats. Are they fucking serious? Like honestly. WTF was that. Both John and I looked at each other and said nevermind. That's honestly just asinine. 10 minutes before the start. Having people stand in a line to get a hat when they should have been given out to ALL pre-registered runners who registered (that included us) before they were gone. After that, day-of until they're gone. Simple. I was honestly horrified that someone thought this was a good idea. And Millennium usually puts on a top notch event. Like seriously. I've never been to one that wasn't. But this was terrible planning. Not that we needed hats, but we basically paid for them with our entry fee. There were 250 still left AFTER I registered us on Friday, SO we should have been given hats with our bibs. But anyway, whatever. I already have an LED hat, but John doesn't so he missed out.

We walked to the start and I start walking to the back of the line to leave John back there. I asked him, "Does this look like a good place to start for you?" He said, "Well, I want to start with you." Aww. I told him I was starting up at the front where faster people are. He said that was where he wanted to start. So I was like fuck it and brought him up to the start with me. Why not in a race like this with a really wide start? I told him to be really careful, though, since I was worried about him getting knocked down. I just told him to keep an eye out behind him and that if he needed to move to the side to look before he did that so he didn't get run down. He said that he was just going to start out as fast as me. Omg. It was so cute. I loved it even though I knew he wouldn't make it far. It was just cool that he had such gung-ho attitude about it. And omg. It was pretty fucking awesome to start up at the front with him by my side. Just as we were about to get started, a guy decided to make a non-existent space between the guy next to me and me, and in the process, he literally nudged me to the side. I was like WTF. This was wide start and it wasn't tight. Grrr.

Finally we were off and running. I hated leaving John behind right away. It did pain me a bit to do it, and part of me wanted to wait for him, but I knew he could do it by himself and that I would run back to him before he finished. The race started off fast on a downhill, and we were immediately met with ice on the course. This would be the beginning of nearly all 2.1 miles covered in ice. And a lot of it was black ice. The two tunnels weren't icy and a few stretches had puddles instead, but honestly for the most part, it was all ice. It was dangerous and not fun. I don't even know how I ran the pace I ran because I had to slow down in a lot of places due to the ice. On one stretch of ice in the second mile, the guy who had nudged me at the start line passed me. I wasn't taking any chances on falling so I slowed. When I realized it was him, though, I hoped I could catch him back, but we kept running into more and more ice. I started to worry about John and that he might get hurt, but at this point, I just needed to finish, grab clothes and run back to find him. As we approached the finish, I realized I was gaining on start line nudger and just like that, I passed him. Ha! And then I got passed by an 11 year old. Hahaha. But I only cared about beating Mr Nudger and I did, coming in 2nd female and 15th overall. 12:45. Splits were 5:57, 6:10 and 5:35 for the last .1. I honestly don't know how I managed to run the pace I did because I felt like I wasn't going all out most of the race. So to run that time and feel like I could have gone faster was a really good sign. I was happy with it.

Love the new Six03 shorts. I need to see if Six03 can order some new boobs for me next.
As soon as the third woman came in, we took a quick podium shot. Interesting age difference. 23, 41, 32. Three different decades for the top 3. Kind of cool...except I'm the oldest. That's not that cool. Haha.

After the photo, I ran down to the car...nearly slipping on ice...put on some warm clothes and grabbed my phone so I could take John's photo. I ran against the crowd and started to get worried that I'd missed him in the dark, but then I spotted him as he turned into a light tunnel. He was running! I ran with him back towards the finish. He told me he'd started off too fast and had had to walk after that, then said, "That's when I was regretting my life's decisions." Hahaha. He laughed as he said this. It was cute. When we got close to the finish I ran ahead to attempt some photos. They came out blurry, but they're still better than the ONE blurry photo from the race photographer.

As soon as he finished, he started heading towards the car. I caught up to him, and we walked together. I turned on the car in hopes of heat, but, sadly, no. I went back up to the finish to grab soup which turned out to me a congealed ball of rice in broth in a very small cup. I waited in line for that. Took some yogurts, then grabbed my cheap ass coffee mug award. I know. I'm complaining, but I kind of hold Millennium to a higher standard, and this race was a little disappointing. Not saying it was bad. I would actually race it again. I liked the race. I just found some aspects in need of improvement. The best part, though, was that John enjoyed it and would probably do it again, so that right there is enough for me to say it was worth it.

He looks like a runner!!

He was happy he ran under 30 minutes. 
The drive home was dark and cold with no heat in the car. Haha, but John slept most of the way in his sleeping bag. 5 minutes before we got home...the heat came on! Hahaha. Dammit.

The dogs were happy to see us, and I was happy to see Fat Alberta poured into a glass. Called it a night with The Walking Dead.

Fighting over the ball. I found the ball in my bed the next morning.

Yes! Thank you to the person who first told me about Fat Alberta 2 years ago. :)
Guest song choice this week...

1 comment:

  1. I think it is great you bring John to races. He gets to meet all sorts of runners and be exposed to so much more than most kids. I'm not a parent so what do I know. But I do see the end results of parenting, it is pretty clear as adults or soon to be adults (agewise) which kids were sheltered or over scheduled or coddled or spoiled or had parents as perpetual safety nets when they went off the rails. They have no clue on reality and are wildly opinionated on how others should live their lives.... Gak that may make no sense. Love the pups arguing over the ball. Gizmo and Diesel used to do this, a lot....