Wednesday, February 14, 2018

2018 Bamboozled IPA Pre-Game 5K

Bayle Mt
I decided to spend most of this week off the roads. Between them being icy and me feeling unhappy with every road run, I decided to take a break from them all week until Sunday's 5K. I didn't do any long runs this week either, but I got in two 12 mile runs on snowmobile trails on back-to-back days which probably didn't help my 5K Sunday. But whatever. It is what it is right now with my short distance speed. In general, I feel like I made the right decision to stay off the road to force me to keep things slower all week. By the end of the week (just to clarify, Sunday is the last day of the week Haha), I finally felt recovered from the 50K thru the stressful week. The 5K was a major disappointment, but I walked away from it feeling pretty good body-wise. 53.2 miles for the week. 3,730ft of elevation gain. I was happy with that but hoped I could get back up to 60 again the following week.

With John finally going to his first full week ever of full-time school, I hoped the issues with his dad would die down. They did a little bit, but he still bugged the hell out of me since he was incapable of figuring out the tuition and getting the school van set up on his own, so I had to do it. I created a monster by taking care of EVERYTHING when we were married (or since we first moved in together in 1999 for that matter). He never had to personally pay a bill, do taxes, stress over the debt we accrued in our 20s, etc. I even had to pay the bill when we went out for my birthday. Pretty much left him clueless to taking care of most adult things. So now I'm still stuck with this responsibility when it has to do with John. Frustrating but it's the only way things will get done properly and on-time so I just dealt with it. It was definitely a lot better than the previous few weeks for sure.

John's week at school went really well. Better than expected! Since I was at work, I didn't see him again until I picked him up at school on Tuesday afternoon. I learned from the director and a teacher that John decided to jump into two extra classes instead of the three he had chosen. His first math class ever...Pre-Algebra! He told me, "Math was so much fun!" Say what? Wow. He also spent the entire drive home working on his drawings for art. Who is this kid? Haha. It made me so happy for him. He was so happy! I know school is new and it will get old no matter how great the school is, but he really went into it with an open mind and positivity this time. Let's just hope the school can stay open. If not, I don't know what to do for him. I just don't think the public school is the right fit for him yet.

Monday, January 29, 2018- Typical Monday with plans to get up at 4:15am for a run before work, but I failed. I had showered right before bed the night before, though, so I decided to sleep until 5:40am and skip the shower. Instead, I would plan to run at work and then shower after. That ended up working out. I felt like a jerk, though, because with 5 minutes left to run, the mechanic showed up to take our truck and the rest of the crew and my partner were changing over equipment to our back up truck while I ran. I just wanted to finish it up, and since I normally don't slack off or try to get out of things, they didn't mind. As soon as I was done I jumped in and helped get the job done. 4 miles in 29:32. 7:23 pace! Haha. We actually spent awhile getting it set up since Rob and I are pretty anal about our truck, and then I showered. It felt good to get all of that out the way, have breakfast and get ready for the rest of the day. Nothing exciting. Only one call during the day and one at 4:20am.

Sat in the ambulance for awhile at Freedom Fire while my partner had something to deal with at the fire station.
Tuesday, January 30, 2018- Left work and drove over to Gilman Valley Rd to do a run on the Corridor 15 snowmobile trail. I did this run last year on snowshoes, but this year the trail was just a very thin layer of icy snow. No snowmobiles had been on it for awhile, but it was perfectly runnable with microspikes. This run starts off with a lot of climbing before it turns to rollers and then a slight downhill to Marble Rd, which was my planned turnaround until I came across a clear, runnable trail of Bayle Mt! I've been up there when there's basically no snow, but the trail has still been totally covered and not packed down at all. Today was different, so I changed my plan to run up the mountain....and I stole my own Strava CR! Haha. Which surprises me since I had to actually walk around a huge patch of ice at one point, but whatever, any CR makes you feel good. It felt great to stand on the summit since this has become one of my favorite smaller mountains to run up in the area.

Bayle Mt trail

View of Ossipee Lake

Dork on a mountain

The snowmobile trail (Corridor 15)
I turned around from there for the run back to my car. 9 miles exactly without even trying for an even 9. 1:43:12. Seems slow, but that was because of the mountain part. I was actually pretty happy with my pace on the rest of it. 2,066ft of elevation gain.

The rest of the day, I kept forgetting what day it was. I'm so used to John being there on Tuesdays that I kept think it was Thursday. I actually didn't do much other than an upper body and ab workout since I was a bit at a loss. Haha. Free time, and I really just missed him. But it was good that he's at school since as I said before, when I picked him up, he was so happy.

Selfies with Phoenix while I waited for John to come out of the school

This Tuesday free time is still weird to me, and I do miss doing things with John. However, I'm still seeing him after school, and he's been staying with me on Thursday nights mostly since he doesn't want to live in the van. I think with him in school now that I would rather not have my alone night. I'd rather see him. His dad is still responsible for him if I go away for the night (which is rare), but I like having him at home with me; he's much happier this way.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018- Could barely get myself out of bed, but I did it. 3 miles on the treadmill. 21:46. 7:15 avg pace. It's something. The 24 hour shift was actually pretty busy. First ski accident transport for me this year. Coming down to the 1 year anniversary of the worst 911 call I've ever been on. Haven't thought about it too much except one morning during the long drive to a race when it brought me to tears as I passed the hometown of the deceased. But other than that, I've been doing well with it.

Thursday, February 1, 2018- I was in no hurry today after I got off work so I went home, took my time and then hit the snowmobile trails again since the roads were a complete mess, and it was snowing pretty hard. I had to do a short run on the road to get to the snowmobile trail, part of Corridor 19 through Conway and a small part of Madison. For some reason, I'd never done this section. Kevin Tilton had biked part of it the day before, so when I saw his post, I decided it was time for me to check them out. Even though it was snowing, the snowmobile trails were still in the same condition as Tuesday so all I needed were microspikes (Disclaimer: They aren't actually "Microspikes" but a total knock off that cost me only $17.98. They look exactly like microspikes, but the quality is obviously not quite the same. I would still rather buy a new pair for $18 every year than spend $60 on a pair of Microspikes that have never lasted me more than 2 winters.)

The run had quite a bit of climbing once I hit the snowmobile trail. It wound around behind Cranmore Shores via the power lines and then a fun, hilly stretch in the woods before evening out to more gentle rollers until I turned around at mile 6. I debated making a whole loop via North Conway instead of turning around, but since I didn't know the mileage, I decided to just stick with the out-and-back for 12 miles total in 1:52:16. 1,166ft of elevation gain. Really enjoyable run in the falling snow (minus the road part at the beginning and end).

Dork on a snowmobile trail
After I showered, it was time to get rid of the long, red nails I'd gotten in Hawaii so I headed to the nail place. It's seriously my favorite pampering outside of a massage. The nail salon had just gotten in some new metallic colors that the nail tech offered me in place of what I picked. I was like hell yes! I want to do a different one next time. Super cool how they're purple at one angle and green at the other.

From there, I drove to Hemlock Lane to take Phoenix on a walk. She was having an insane amount of fun just running through the woods. Drove me a little crazy, but she needed a good walk today. Found a tire swing by a snowmobile warming hut that was all locked up. Couldn't resist so I untied it from the tree and swung on it until my hands were frozen.

I couldn't get my blog post done on Wednesday at work with all the 911 calls, so I finished that up later that night and got in my upper body and abs workout. Had some beer and watched Impractical Jokers. Bryan dropped John off for the night with me. He was happy to be home doing his thing, and I was happy to have him there since he was just about to leave for Florida for 5 days with his grandparents.

Look at that fool! I'm talking about the glass, you jerks! :)

Friday, February 2, 2018- Bryan picked John up to take him to school so I slept in. Still not wanting to run on the road, I ran from home to the snowmobile trail by Coleman's right across Rt 16 from my neighborhood. It starts with a short section that spurs off of Corridor 19 to go into Conway and then meets Corridor 19, which I ran all the way to the Silver Lake Railroad and back. This wasn't the wisest choice of runs. Every single time I do this, I feel completely beat up and sore the next day. This section follows the railroad bed the entire way. It has some very, very gradual ups and downs, but feels very flat. Funny, about 4 days after doing this, I had a Facebook memory pop up from the first time I ran this trail in 2014 and I said how sore I was from running this flat trail for so long. Haha. Guess I didn't learn. Plus, it's extremely mundane just staring down a never ending railroad track. Don't get me wrong; it's very beautiful, and I'm sure I'll do this run again next year, but it definitely did a number on me this year and might have affected my race on Sunday (I only say *might* since I don't know that for sure). 12 miles total in 1:47:20. Only 257ft of elevation gain for this one, but it hurt the most. Give me hills, dammit! Haha.

Corridor 19 through Madison
I took a quick shower then drove into North Conway to finally use the 1 hour massage gift certificate that I won at the Purity Spring race. Donna Cormier really does give the best therapeutic massage I've ever had. Just like last year, she had me snoring. Haha. I really needed that today. I had a little time to walk the dogs on the Pudding Pond Trail before picking John up at Cranmore after skiing.

I had no desire to upper body and abs work tonight so I skipped it. I felt pretty beat by the time we got home, although I did have enough energy to build a fire. The rest of the night I was on the couch. This strong beer got the better of me, and I, of course, said mean things to someone I shouldn't have that always leads to regret the next day. I don't have a problem saying things when I'm completely sober, so my filter gets really clogged when I've had anything to drink. Oops. Haha.

Good, but it made my mouth overflow with garbage. Haha.
John made biscuits at school that morning. SO GOOD.

Phoenix and Rowlette watching me build a fire.
Saturday, February 3, 2018- I didn't sleep in late today. I wanted to get my run in and then had to pack up my stuff for the night and next day. I was taking John to his grandparents' house in Marshfield, MA to stay the night before catching a flight to Florida the next day. It would be a short trip, but that was perfect for him after just going to Hawaii for a long time. I was actually kind of bumming to see him go, so I made plans to do a little brewery hopping after I dropped him off.

I had originally planned to drop him off then go for a trail run at F Gilbert Hills, but that would mean dragging John out early. I wanted him to have the morning at home instead so I changed my mind and just did a short run on the treadmill since the roads were still crap. Ran pretty easy for a change. 5 miles in 38:11.

Noticed this frozen face John had made on the window the night before. Haha
John packed his suitcase while I packed a bag for the night. I also had to pack food for the dogs and a sleeping bag since I planned to sleep in my car in Weymouth, MA that night since that's where the next day's 5K was. There were plenty of people I could have stayed with that night, but I didn't want to ask. I kind of just wanted to do my own thing. I'll admit that it was a bit lonely going to all of these breweries alone since I had no one to talk to, but at the same time, it was nice just doing my own thing. It was a very rare kid-free Saturday so I wanted to do what I wanted to do and not follow anyone else's plan. It was a trade-off, and I ended up having a fun time. Plus, I'm just used to doing things on my own so it's cool.

The drive to Marshfield wasn't too bad (just a little traffic on 93S). John slept the whole way as usual. Haha. I was excited to go out, but I was also sad to leave him. After I did, I took the dogs on a short walk at Carolina Hill where I used to spend a lot of time walking and running when I lived on the South Shore.

After the walk, I started my drive south by going north to Braintree first. Haha. Widowmaker Brewing was right off 93. Rachel Flaksman suggested it and since I'd never heard of it before, I figured it was worth a stop. It was a really nice space. One of the bigger breweries I've been in. They had quite the beer selection so I decided to get a flight to start...well, that and a meatball sub; I was starving! The beer was good. I wouldn't say awesome, but definitely good. Would I make a special trip here again? Nah, but I would go there again for sure if I were in the area. I enjoyed the Russian Imperial Stout and one of the Double IPAs. Since it wasn't super awesome, I got a half pour after the flight and then left. I needed warmer temps and RI beers so I continued south.

Next stop was Proclamation Ale Company. I had been wanting to check this place out since I'd heard it was pretty awesome, so tonight was the night! I got a Broze Oatmeal Stout and headed right to Asteroids. One of the coolest parts about this place is free arcade games. I really wanted to play Galaga, but it was taken so I made a pretty horrible attempt at Asteroids. The hand coordination isn't there anymore so I gave up and found a place to stand near a corner where I didn't feel as weird being by myself. I planned to get another beer when I was finished with the Broze but changed my mind as I walked to the bar. Paid my bill and left.

Took this on the sly. Selfie dork.
I let the dogs out in the back of the parking lot before driving a short distance north to Buttonwoods Brewery in Cranston. I had a hard time finding street parking out front and just happened upon a quiet parking lot out back that was at the end of the road. Not a thru-way. Hmmm. I think I just found my hotel room for the night. It was seriously perfect. Better than the Walmart parking lot in Weymouth I had planned. Haha.

This brewery is in an old mill,and when I walked in, I really, really liked it. I could feel this was a good place. The beer I got was excellent. There was one guy running the whole show at the bar who wasn't missing a beat. The place is on the smaller side, but not too, too small. It was just comfortable. This would be my favorite stop of the 3. I definitely want to go back and try some of their other beers.

Something Deep About Life Stout

Dragon Ninja. Collaboration with Long Live
I closed my tab just before he stopped serving at nine. It was a short walk to my fancy place for the night. Haha. It was actually a nice night. Not too cold. Got a pic of the moon before zonking out. Asleep by 9:30pm. Perfect since I had to get up for the 5K the next morning around 6:30am. Plenty of sleep. I'll admit that I wasn't comfortable all night. Phoenix and I played sleeping bag wars quite a bit and I occasionally had to stretch my legs out onto the window, but other than that, it really wasn't bad. Although I felt pretty safe here, I did have my huge knife on hand just in case. Haha.

Sunday, February 4, 2018- Bamboozled IPA Pre-Game 5K-

Woke up to a nice morning. Took the dogs out for a bit then realized I needed a donut. I wanted to hit PVDonuts, but they didn't open until 8! That's so late for a donut shop. The one place open at 7am that wasn't too far was 4Corners Coffee. Although it was the opposite direction than where I was going, it wasn't too far. I just needed something heavier than a bagel, and I remembered that I've had good runs after eating a Holy Donut, so I figured why not. I have to say, from the outside this place doesn't look like it would have amazing donuts. Looks a little like a Honey Dew Donuts. Kind of. But OMG, when I walked in, I think my mouth literally fell open! DONUT HEAVEN! Amazing square donuts that were so hard to choose between, but I opted for the chococlate mint one with a thin mint on top. So fucking good. It was so heavy that I didn't even finish it!! I don't do that ever. That just meant I got to enjoy it post-race.

The drive to Weymouth wasn't bad. I was one of the first ones there and was greeted by Bob "Fitz" Fitzgerald and Michelle LeBrun of New England Runner. I've had the pleasure of getting to know these two over the last year and a half so it was good to see them. They're fun people. They're actually the reason I found this race since I saw in the New England Runner email. Looked fun since it was at a brewery, and I needed the 5K "speedwork". I was already coming down there the day before so it seemed like a no-brainer to sign up. I was excited to learn that Mimi Fallon would be there, as well. I knew she'd give me a run for my money in the race which is what I needed. Plus, she's super cool, and I enjoy talking to her. 

Once I got changed, I took Chill on a run of the whole course just so there wouldn't be any surprises. I was glad I did since it probably helped me out in the race a bit. We ran a little extra for 3.3 miles at a very easy pace. Gone are the days where I warm up on the 5K course at a 7:30 pace. I traded Chill for Phoenix, but only did a half mile with her. She didn't want to get out of the car since it was a wee bit chilly out. Once I returned her, I headed up to the finish line where I found Mimi and talked to her for a bit. I was surprised to learn she left the BAA! She was much happier (and more comfortable) to be wearing the HFC singlet. She was unfortunately sick today so I had a feeling she might not be running as fast as normal. I was hoping she could help push me to a faster time than I have been running. 

I lined up with her and a few of her teammates after a bit of a delay with the police car arriving to lead the race. There was one young girl lined up front who looked fast so I wasn't expecting to win today. I got off the line ahead of Mimi and the younger girl, but it was only about 100 yards before this other woman came flying by me. She pulled away pretty quickly so I assumed she'd be out of sight after the next turn, but I was wrong. It was only about a quarter mile until I passed her easily. I was in the lead for the women. I felt like I was running quick, but it also felt a tad too slow for a 5k, and just before we went under Rt 3, a police car with lights and sirens going came flying up behind us forcing us all to move quickly to the opposite side of the road. Haha.

Once we turned off of the main road, the course climbed for a good .6 or .7 until just past the mile 1 marker. I felt like I was moving once we crested the hill and the course leveled out. I started to pass a few of the guys who had been ahead of me. I felt like I was holding my pace and not slowing at all which made me happy because I was running scared! As we finished up the lollipop loop just before mile 2, I heard a, "Go Mimi!" not far behind me. Oh shit! Knowing I was getting close to the downhill we had come up for mile 1, I picked up the pace a bit to stay ahead and flew down the hill until we took a right back on the main road. This last part was a small hill before it would flatten out and turn right for the downhill finish. I never took a look back. I just ran as hard as I could in hopes of holding Mimi off. She outkicked me at Ribfest last year so I knew she was easily capable of doing it again if she was close enough. I lucked out, though, and took the women's win. I was happy until I saw the clock as I approached the finish. Omg. What a terrible time!!! 19:35!! Are you kidding me?? How?! How is that possible?! That's barely faster than when I was sick as a dog in the blazing heat at the Downtown 5K. I was SO disappointed. Definitely happy for the win, but oh my god. Seeing that time on the clock was just a major punch in the gut. I ran faster than that on the indoor track. Ugh. My splits were negative, but as I suspected, way too slow in the first mile and even the second. 6:26, 6:22, 6:03 and 5:52 for the last .1. Mimi came in not too far behind me in 19:51. I seriously think she would have run much faster had she not been sick. Full Results

Michelle caught my finish. She's the only reason I'm smiling. 
I couldn't wallow in my sorrows, though; there was beer to be had. I took Chill on a short 1 mile cool down then headed into the brewery for beer and the awards. This was really fun, and I ended up hanging out with Fitz and Michelle until nearly all the other racers were gone. The beer was good here, too, so it's definitely a place I would come back to...maybe even their summer 5K.

I hit the road for the trip home, only stopping for gas and groceries at Trader Joe's. I was STARVING and snarfed down a chicken salad wrap from there as soon as I got back in the car. 

No Superbowl parties for me, but I think I had partied enough for the weekend. I don't normally watch the Superbowl, but I decided I would tonight. Good thing I don't really care about the outcome much since it didn't go the Patriot's way. Haha. It was actually really fun to watch. Still hasn't turned me into a football fan, but I can see why people get into it so much. So overall, it was a really good weekend even though I was already missing John. I was happy with my race win, and the terrible finish time was really a good thing. Showed me that I needed to change up my training. With the help of a friend who knows me well, I'm going to do just that. It won't be a crazy change, but I know there are things I don't do right or things that I should be doing that I don't. Just need a little guidance from someone I trust since I'm pretty fucking stubborn. Haha.

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