Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Down Time/Cross Training

From the White Ledge Trail
This was a mostly uneventful week. My attempt to stay true to taking a full week off of running failed. Haha. But I made it 6 days!! In the mean time, I continued with spin classes, Zuzka Light workouts and some hiking/walking. By the weekend, I was antsy and put in some speed work with low miles. But funny that in only 3 days of running, I still ran 22.1 miles with 1,312ft of elevation gain. I got in 2 spin classes, as well. And two 300 Killer Rep workouts. Not bad.

Not racing for a second weekend in a row kind of got to me, though, since it leaves me pretty isolated. Fortunately, I got to Dover for some social time or I think I would have gone crazy. It's times like this when I realize just how badly I want out of here, even though I know the grass isn't always greener. Yes, I do love it here. I love my house. I love the mountains, the clean air, the lakes, the quiet, but I also feel like I'm missing out on a lot of opportunities. I feel John is, as well. There is just nothing here besides "the great outdoors". I love it so much that he loves The Community School, though, so he at least he has that one day a week. The thing, though, is that he's not really into the things that make this place great. He loves to swim in the lake in the summer, but the rest of the time, he really couldn't care less. He doesn't love hiking. Skiing is ok for about an hour. I just feel like we're both missing out on so much that a city (or at least a more progressive place) would have to offer. I'm sure a part of me would regret leaving, but my overall plan is to keep the house no matter whether I stay or go, so this place will still be here. I just don't know yet how to make the move possible. As I told a friend this week, "I know it's not impossible, but I just don't know how to make it possible yet." It's these isolating weekends that always leave me thinking about this stuff, but I just never have an answer for myself. Pretty frustrating since I'm not unhappy, but I want MORE out of life than I'm getting right now. Just have to figure out how since it won't just magically happen.

Monday, November 27, 2017- We basically did all of the 911 calls today except one sign off. And it must have been Only Women Can Call 911 Day since we had a crazy mom, a dumb mom and one washed up old addict. I get that women's lib is making a big comeback and all, but I'm really ok with gender equality for 911 calls. Haha. One was ridiculous for us to take, but Rescue called for a paramedic unnecessarily. Since the other crew went out for their fire alarm, we were up again in the middle of the night for our 2am call. Fortunately, I had gone to bed at 8:30pm so I got more sleep that night than I usually get even with the call. Speaking of, I was crazy tired all day long. I always am on Mondays. I'm starting to wonder if that building could be a health hazard. Seriously. I did get in a 5-minute ab workout that was so difficult I could barely complete it. Haha.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017- I was happy I still got another 2 hours of sleep after our call so I felt pretty good when it was time to leave. I drove right to Wolfeboro for another spin class. This time I bought a class punch card. 10 visits for $80. How inexpensive is that?! Compared to Cranmore's day pass with spinning at $16. Wtf. Yeah, I have to spend more on gas, but not THAT much. Different instructor today who was pretty good. It once again kicked my ass to where I look around and I'm the only one pouring in sweat. I'm really not used to this high-intensity of a workout anymore, but I'm really loving it. Now, I remember why I loved spinning for all of those years that I took it. It's fucking hard, but I grew up biking all the time, nearly every day up and down crazy hills, off-roading on my 12-speed. It was how I got to and from my friends' houses, and I would often just go out for a bike ride for no reason than just because. No helmet, of course. Haha. That all came to an abrupt end when I got my driver's license. Literally, I didn't ride a bike again until I tried biking to classes 3 times in college before I gave up. So crazy to think that something I was so passionate about (without even thinking of that way) for most of my childhood I have zero interest in now. Even though spinning indoors in a class and biking outdoors are two different things, I still love that burn on the legs from it. It's the same.

As I said before, this time of year is challenging to get out and do things. John had already walked with his dad in the morning so I decided to let him do whatever until ninja class. I was a little bored, but I got in an ab workout that was way too easy but good enough.

My embarrassing Baystate award arrived. Nothing against the award itself. I actually like it, but it's for 2nd in the 40-49 age group, which technically I wasn't. I was 5th. I don't always believe in double dipping with awards, like at my race. I give such awesome awards for top 3 overall, that anyone also winning their age group doesn't really need more so I spread the wealth a little. But in these big races, it just doesn't feel right to me to get this award, even though I do appreciate it. And I still believe that if prize money is involved, double dipping should always be allowed. I was thankful that Millenium Running did that last year at the Manchester Marathon since I was 4th woman and 1st master. They gave me both monetary they should have. But each race can do whatever it so chooses, and I now have this pretty nice award from Baystate.

Seen here with a beer given to me by Michael Crutchley
John and I hung out for a bit in the living room while he made me watch the show Rick & Morty. Omg. Haha. It's as bad as South Park in that it's horrifying, but it's far too crass for me. South Park is more along the lines of political incorrectness that I can appreciate, and I love the show now. John thinks Rick & Morty is great and made me watch 3 episodes. Haha. It's definitely funny, but I'm not sure I really like it. Haha.

John with Phoenix
I got antsy and decided to take the dogs on a walk up Heavenly Hill in the dark before we had to leave for ninja class. My trail was in dire need of raking; it's so steep that it was just constant slipping on the leaves. I should have done it over the weekend, too, since it wasn't raining, but I didn't. Still, the walk felt great. When we got to the top, the moon was pretty bright so I turned off the headlamp for a bit.

Not a great photo
When I got back to the house, John and I left for ninja class...only to find the place dark and locked up for the second week in a row. How did I not know about this?? Another parent/kid pulled in behind us. So we weren't the only ones. I immediately messaged Tiffany, the owner of the gym, to find out what was going on and was told that the session had ended early due to no staff availability. I had never heard this once. She said it was on the paperwork, but it most definitely was not on the paperwork we used to sign up. I signed John up during the last session so it must have been changed after that. She also said it was on the website, which I now see it is, but why was there never any sort of announcement that this had changed?! I was so frustrated!!! Why didn't the coach say something about it being the last class as we left? It's nowhere on the Facebook page. I had no reason to look at the schedule on the website because I had already signed up when the paperwork still said the regular schedule. Grr. That being said, I appreciated Tiffany getting right back to me as I sat in the lot, AND I also completely understand her staffing issue. It's just a "thing" in the Valley and the surrounding area. People struggle to keep staff. She can't find anyone to continue the ninja classes. If I knew what I was doing, I would do it, but this type of class involves more than just making obstacles. Student safety is a huge aspect of this stuff, and I don't have that kind of experience. If you're reading this, and you do have this experience, she's in desperate need of a ninja warrior coach AND she pays well. She actually asked me to get the word out, so there you go. Haha.

My biggest frustration besides the lack of communication was that John did nothing all day for the second week in a row! Ugh. Now, Tuesdays are becoming challenging since taking walks just isn't fun in the cold. Once it snows, though, we'll be out XC skiing. This interim is rough.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017- I got myself up early at 4:45am to do another 300 Killer Rep Workout. It was set up a bit differently in that it was less reps and more rounds, but it still hurt! Only 30 minutes, but I felt like I'd really worked hard. I love these workouts. So glad I found Zuzka Light on Instagram a year ago. $10/month that I've found completely worth the expense...especially if you already have your own home "gym" (that's in quotes because I wouldn't call my workout space in my bedroom a gym haha). It's one of those expenses that I did not cut out. Once I finally started consistently doing her upper body and abs workouts at the end of last December, my strength/muscle mass increased quickly. And don't judge it by the look if you happen to peak at the website. It's not cheesy. She's not full of herself or cocky. Her workouts are really good.

Work was slow with only 2 calls the whole 24 hour shift. As often happens, by 8pm, I get antsy and pace around the bay for about 30 minutes. I think I might be hyperactive. Haha. I think anybody reading this would feel the way I do after sitting around at this job without much brain activity. This blog is the only thing that keeps my mind going on Wednesdays. Mondays, I'm just a brain dead blob. Maybe that's why my blog posts are so long. I'm getting a chance to use my brain!! It's great brain work when we're actually working, but downtime far exceeds 911 calls up here.

My view as I paced the bay
Oh, and speaking of my blog. I got a hit from this page. Hahaha. I'm assuming "Albany" somehow caused the hit on my blog, but very entertaining, I have to say....

Thursday, November 30, 2017- I was fortunate to have a busy day in store!! Yay! I left a few minutes before 7am since the other crew was already here and drove nearly an hour to Wolfeboro for another spin class. Yes, it was worth it. This instructor was the best so far. Very bubbly and positive...which I don't always like, but for a spin class, it's perfect. She also taught the class more as if it were real biking which is my favorite type of spin class. Her music was awesome, and my ass was thoroughly kicked after the hour. Dripping in sweat...the only one...again. I mentioned this to a friend who said I was full of evil toxins. Hahaha. This could be true. I won't deny it. :)

I actually rushed home because I had to meet Terry Ballou and Suz Laughlin for a run at 10:30am. Haha. I hadn't intended to run again until Friday, but Terry extended the invite the night before. How could I say no? I never get to run with people here, so I wasn't going to miss an opportunity. Plus, it was 7 miles at 8:30-ish pace which was perfect. I didn't want to do anything fast. I only had 20 minutes to get changed when I got home, and something distracted me by greeting me in the driveway when I pulled in. John was just about to take her out, but she saw me and jumped in the car.

When I finally got her out of my lap, I had John take her out to use the bathroom while I got changed for the run. I had eaten nothing before or after spinning, so I grabbed a box of crackers. I needed something or 8:30 pace would feel like 6:30 pace. I rushed over to the Conway Library where we were meeting to find Terry there. Turned out, I didn't need to rush. Suz was about 30 minutes late!! Terry and I ran a short loop around the block while we waited for Suz, then when she arrived we headed out.

Our route took us out Passaconaway Rd and High St and back. I was definitely feeling the hour spin class on my legs. 8:30 pace was not easy on trashed legs, as well as trying to talk while running. I was winded. Haha. But it was nice to run with them and chat. The weather ended up being perfect, too. Neither of them wear a GPS (EGADS!) so we got back to the cars, and my watch said 6.95 miles. I made them run it to 7.01 with me. Hahaha. So 7 miles total in 1:00:42. 8:39/mi pace. Haha. I can't believe that pace felt so hard, but it made sense.

I had a deep tissue massage in Dover at 4:15pm so I had some time to veg on the couch after a shower. I was exhausted. Haha. Thursdays are usually the opposite of Wednesdays.

I was SO excited to see Tina. My quads and glutes were a HUGE mess. SO tight. I really needed to see her 1.5 months ago, but I had to wait for the Hartford Marathon prize money to come in. It sucks not being able to do this regularly because it really helped improve my running drastically in 2016. But whatever, I was seeing her now. As suspected, my quads were so bad. She couldn't believe it. I don't think they've ever been this tight, to be honest. These sessions are also great for sharing our drama with each other. I think hers was worse than mine! I hadn't seen her since late July so we had a lot to catch up on! Tina is the best, really. As always, I walked out feeling like a million bucks.

I met up with Tom Hooper and Camie Poplowski downstairs at Garrison City Beerworks. I found them at the bar with Tim Horan, whom I wasn't expecting to see since he announced he was giving up beer like a week ago. Hahaha. You bet I made fun of him. Haha. This guy, Yaz, on Six03 was also there. I was planning to have a couple of full pours then head home, but it didn't quite work out that way. Haha. I at least got to try their white stout finally!!

Camie, Tom, Tim and Yaz
Tim left then Tom, Camie and Yaz wanted to go get food. Yaz's wife was going to meet us wherever we went. They wanted sushi so we went to the Chinese restaurant across the street. I really didn't want to eat there, and I don't like sushi, so I was glad when they changed their minds to go to Ember Wood Fired Grill. Chris Serrecchia (Roxanne's husband. I've mentioned Roxanne before!) owns this place. He bought it after the Orchard Street Chop Shop closed. He also owns the Dover Brickhouse across the street. This was my first time trying this place, and I wasn't disappointed. The only part that sucked for awhile was being the 5th wheel...even though that's pretty much been my whole life, even when I was married. Haha. But oh well. I spent a lot of the time just sitting there quietly eating since I couldn't really fit into the conversation. It wasn't bad, but I felt like an odd duck for awhile. Oh wait, I am an odd duck. Haha. Chris showed up and split a bottle of barrel-aged Old Rasputin between him, Tom and me.

I still hadn't really eaten all day so I was starving. While the other two women ordered the same salad, I ordered the mushroom flatbread and ate the entire thing!! Haha.

Chris had the kitchen make cookies for us, too. I ate at least 3 of those. Hahaha. I have no shame. :)

Camie had to leave, and then Yaz and his wife left, as well. I was ready to depart myself when Chris and Tom insisted I come over to the Brickhouse for a drink. I mentioned that Phoenix was in the car and that I should check on her. Chris asked if she was good. I said, "Not really. She barks at people." He said to bring her in anyway. So off I went to get Phoenix and bring her inside the bar. It was pretty funny because people were so confused. Haha.

She didn't like the bar stool

Tom and I both got a Stoneface RIS, but it was just too much. I barely drank half of it. I was feeling the full stomach by this point. Zach Switaj just happened to be there and came over to chat for awhile with us. I was glad I stayed out. I need this social time. By the time I left, I felt fine and had no trouble with the drive. Rt 16 often puts me to sleep, but I was wide awake this time.

Friday, December 1, 2017- Slept in as usual. Had coffee. Decided I was going to do a long-ish 18 mile run...WHAT?! Yeah, I don't know what I was thinking. Planned my route, got all dressed for it, packed my bag of stuff to change after. I was just about to walk out the door when I told a friend my plans. Sometimes just telling someone else something makes you realize just how ridiculous you're being. Haha. I don't need to be doing an 18 mile run right now. This is supposed to be my down time. He didn't even have to say anything. I realized that I probably should go for a hike instead. He agreed and then it was back to my bedroom to change into a different outfit and pack up my day pack. Haha.

I planned Whiteface until I saw Chocorua covered in snow. I hike in the snow, but in December conditions tend to be dicey with the ice that forms from melting and refreezing. I don't like ice. Once we get snow, and it's packed on the trails, it's great, but I'm not into it right now. I stopped 7 minutes down the road at White Ledge instead. I've done this one quite a bit with John and the dogs. Today, I just had Phoenix. The weather was a bit gloomy so I didn't see anyone until I was about 3/4 through the loop. I didn't even see them coming since everyone of them was wearing black. Phoenix was barking before I could figure out what it was she was barking at. Haha. Since it was still deer rifle hunting season, I was dressed quite the opposite. Haha.

It was chilly at the top, and I found a lot of smooth ice on the backside, as expected. I had microspikes, but they wouldn't touch the stuff. Fortunately, it was easy to walk around and didn't last long. I actually didn't fall until I was back down in the trees when I feel three times within 2 minutes from piles of acorns hidden under the leaves. It was a nice hike, and I was glad I chose that over running. 4.1 miles.

View basically down the Kanc
I went home right after and did the next 300 Killer Rep workout which wasn't quite as hard as the last 3, thankfully. Haha. Showered, then went down to pick up John. I noticed his dad had left his things on the porch and luckily I happened to spot John's phone in a plastic grocery bag. If I hadn't, I wouldn't have noticed the money and sale form for his wreath sale that he was supposed to be turning in today. Must I do everything? Haha. Not only did John forget that, but I would learn that he also forgot his lunch. Such a mess, and his dad is obviously not much better. Haha. I don't mean that in a mean way. I'm at the point where I just have to shake my head and chuckle to myself. I took the phone and wreath money with me to pick John up at school. His morning activity is called stewardship, and right now they're doing community service by going to a daycare and entertaining the kids. Each kid makes up an activity for the kids to do while they're there. John hasn't done his yet but he told me he needs snow to do it. Hmmm. I was actually shocked to hear him say that it was really fun entertaining the little kids, and Leanne, the director, actually made it a point to share with me how great he was with the kids when we saw her the next day. He spent the afternoon moving things and cleaning the school in preparation for the the Holiday Fair the next day. Which is why I had to go to the store after picking him up. I was going to back 5 dozen cookies for it. Yep. Me. Participating!! Woohoo! Gimme a medal! Hahaha.

As soon as we got home, I went right to work on the cookies. I had decided on s'mores cookies which looked awesome from the recipe. Prep time took awhile since I had to double the recipe, but once they were in the oven, I multitasked by making chicken soup for the crock pot. Cooking 5 dozen cookies and prepping the chicken soup had me in the kitchen for over 4 hours! I couldn't believe it!! I was so busy...and I never even got to really eat dinner since the chicken soup had to cook in the crockpot all night. Haha. Unfortunately, the cookies didn't come out great. I used an unopened bag of pastry flour, but it wasn't good. Kind of ruined the cookies... so I thought. The next day, the cookies actually tasted fine, so that was a relief.

Saturday, December 2, 2017- I woke up really early so that I could get a quick run in. I had to have the cookies at the school just before 10am so I was out running by 7am. Instead of just doing the regular blah 5.7 miles Cranmore Shores out-and-back, I did the regular blah 5.7 miles Cranmore Shores out-and-back with 10x1min on/off. Haha. I took it easy the first 1.4 miles and only planned to do 5 of these but then I just felt like continuing until 20 minutes had past and I had done 10 total. Ran the rest of the way home really easy. 5.7 in 43:18. These felt really good, and they're something a friend suggested to me to help work on getting my speed back after recovering from my injury 2 years ago. I added these into my runs in January and February of 2016. That combined with some short, fast races led to my 5K PR at An Ras Mor in early March. So, I'm basically trying to recreate that. The only difference is that I was also training for Boston at the same time. Since I opted out of my usual "every even year" Boston Marathon for 2018 this pushes focused marathon training off for an extra month.

I showered as soon as I got home then struggled to drag John out of bed. Omg. This once lucky mom whose kid never got up early and always slept in is now dealing with a preteen of the same nature. I can't just pick him up and put him in the car anymore. Haha. Instead nice mom turns into yelling mom after 12 times of telling him to get up. Hahaha.

We went back to his school where we dropped off the cookies and then looked around at the artisans' stuff. This one woman had these amazing necklace pendants that were mostly glass bottles of different sizes and shapes holding dried flours, moss, herbs and other plant-like things. They were SO unique. I wanted one so badly and spent 5 minutes just looking at them all, but I refrained. John ended up buying one her moss gardens with his money. These are also really neat. He picked one out, and I said, "Oh look, there's an alien in there," pointing to a small figurine tucked behind the moss. The woman's daughter kind of laughed and corrected me. "Those are forest spirits." Haha. Oops. I still think they look like aliens.

See the little alien in there?
I wish there had been more to see because I wanted to stay longer. This school is such a comfortable place to be, and it was nice seeing John comfortable there and saying hi to the kids he knew.

I brought the dogs along so that we could just take a walk on the Jackman Pond Trail right from the school. John wanted to turn around within the first 5 minutes, but I made him do the whole loop. Haha. He was actually enjoying himself once we got going. It was pretty cold out, but it was sunny and pretty.

Pond was frozen

We went home after that and stayed there the rest of the day/night. I wasn't in a great mood most of the day and felt really tired. I think I was feeling a little isolated and kind of bumming that I wasn't somewhere different. When I finally got John out to cut a Christmas tree down, I all of a sudden felt better. I think I needed the fresh air. That and then by the afternoon I had friend to talk to who helped break me out of the slump.

I got the tree set up, put the lights on and left the ornaments for John to do. Yeahhh. Those ornament are still in the box 4 days later...and counting. Haha. I just realized I didn't take a photo since that's what you do, right? Haha. The tree is shorter than me and from our woods, so it's nothing spectacular. But I like it. Any excuse to have more plants/trees in the house.

I got in a Fit Slide workout that afternoon. These are using sliders or sock slippers. I have both. I liked this workout since it really targets the core while working the legs and upper body. I'll probably stick with these as my new upper body workout when I'm not doing the 300 Killer Rep workouts.

The rest of the night was spent virtually sharing a drink with a friend from afar while I watched Impractical Jokers. John spent his night virtually playing video games with his friends on the XBOX. Like mother, like son. We're both too isolated here. Haha.

Sunday, December 3, 2017- Slept in again. When I woke up, a giant rat climbed out of the sleeping bag to greet me. :)

Pretty lazy morning with extra coffee followed by a run up Heavenly Hill with the dogs. It's funny because I do this run for them, but they always cut off the last part to the summit and wait for me to come back. Haha. Running was difficult with the leaves, but I didn't kill myself so that was a plus. Haha. 1.2 miles total.

As soon as we got home, I changed tops, then John and I went to the high school to run on the track. The weather was absolutely perfect for a track workout. My body, however, was absolutely out of shape for a track workout. Haha. John's workout was just to complete 4 loops. I said I didn't care how he did it. Whether one at a time or all 4 at once or whatever. Just run 4 loops. He wasn't quite ready to get out of the car when I did, but said he would be there in a few minutes. You know where this is going, right? I basically ran my entire workout completely pissed off because he was still in the car. Haha. I ran a one mile warm up and should have gone to the car then to make sure he got out, but, instead, I started my workout. And once I started, there was no way I was going to stop, go out of two separate gates and into the parking lot. I seriously kept expecting him to get out, but with every loop, I got angrier and angrier. Too bad the anger didn't help me run fast, though. Haha.

I probably picked too long of a workout for my first time out on the track since the Millen Mile in September when I was sick as a dog. 4x800, 4x400. This would have been an easy workout mid summer 2016, but right now, not at all. It was a huge shock to my system. The first 800 felt like a snowshoe race with the insane lung burn. My times were FUGLY, too. 3:06, 3:05, 3:04, 3:04. I was pretty much done there, but I continued on with the 400s, and normally I would only do 200 rest with 400s, but I needed full 400s. What the hell has happened to me?! Frustrating. 89 for the first 400 which was too fast. 91 for the second, and I almost quit there. I should have or at least changed it to 2x200, but no, I finished the 400s. 91, 91. At least the last 3 were consistent. I finished it with an easy 400, then got into Mommy Dearest mode and marched out to the parking lot to find him in the car on his phone. I didn't totally lose my shit on him...because there was this older guy there who had been throwing weights getting into his car. I didn't want to lose my shit in front of  someone else, so John lucked out there. Haha.

He was not a happy camper knowing he now had to run 4 loops in a row. I received many glares and evil eyes as he was still running after I finished my 4 loops. I ran the first loop with him, but he stopped to walk. I told him it was going to take a long time for him to do 4 loops if he walked, but he kept walking to finish the second loop...but then he started running again!! I didn't say a word. He ran the last two loops hating every minute. I'm really not a hardass. I just require some form of exercise every day. This could have been much easier had he just gotten out of the car. since he would have had over 45 minutes to get 4 loops done. Lesson learned? Maybe? Doubtful, but one can hope.

He did all four loops in his ski jacket. haha.
I had to go back to the store because I forgot we had a neighborhood get together at 4 at a neighbor's house. I needed to buy some cheese and crackers to bring. We also were supposed to bring things we no longer wanted to do an exchange. I'll be honest. I thought it was going to be really lame. Not many people showed, but the ones who did were really the ones I know best anyway, and it ended up being kind of nice. Someone brought a pitcher of Bailey's and milk on ice which was nice since I rarely have that, and I love Bailey's. I brought a set of wooden bowls I no longer wanted and a leftover award bottle from the 2016 Dirty Girl to give away. I took home some really nice things that the hostess had. A neat glass necklace that was still in the box and shoot from her 20 year old plant.

We were home early, but I was glad we went. It helped to have some human interaction after hardly any since Thursday. Haha.

Walking around with the frisbee stuck around her.
So, like I said, a very uneventful week for the most part, but I think I still had enough brain spewing to fill up the blog post. Haha. I need to go back to my old desk job where my actual work took about an hour, and I spent the rest of the time before lunch writing a daily blog post. :) This next week should actually have a race in it!! And, no. No 10K! ;) I'm going to do the fun Yule Light Up the Night instead. Why not do something short and fun before I embarrass myself at the BU Mini Meet on the 16th? Eek.

First Aid Kit just released another new song from their latest album. Oh my god. It's awesome! Until this song, I'll admit I didn't like the new album's songs so far, but this is beautiful. Even if you're not a fan of this type of music, it's worth a listen because their voices are amazing.

1 comment:

  1. Fireworks is definitely my favourite song off the new album so far as well (by a lot); I love it. I think their living room performance on the fb livestream sounded even better than the studio version!