Wednesday, February 21, 2018

2018 USATF New England Indoor Championship

Lone Tree by Pudding Pond in North Conway
Running this week was so-so. I had some good runs and then some bad ones. Stress was back with everything going on with John and Bryan and really affected my long run on Tuesday so much that I cut it short by 2 miles. I was just talking to Bryan on the phone, and he brought up the point that we disagree on almost every aspect of how to live. He's right. We both even laughed when he said that. But it brought up a good point that trying to share a kid between two people who are so completely different in the way they live life isn't an easy thing to do. My life is more the way John wants to live so it has made things more difficult for Bryan. Couple that with his out of control fits of anger, and he's pretty much lost the kid. I honestly don't want that, but I also can't be the middle man to repair this. I feel like they need to work this through together. Am I wrong, though? Should I be helping? I don't know.

So the week didn't start off great, but it got better. I worked Thursday for some overtime and then the weekend ended up being pretty good. I had decided against the Old Fashioned 10-Miler in favor of another shot at the 3000m at the USATF New England Indoor Championship at Harvard. I wanted to complete the Indoor Points Chase AND break 11 minutes. I was bumming out with my indoor times this year and feeling pretty discouraged all around. I ran a 10:42 at this meet in 2016, and while I knew that wasn't happening this year, I still felt I could break 11. With the tweaks in my training, I felt set up in a good position to do it. I think the biggest change to my training has been keeping the easy days easy and evening out things a little better. Plus, I've been told to do strides. Haha. And not just randomly, but right after a run. That's when I'm normally lazy and ready to be done, so getting my body to do just six of them was tough. Haha. But it helps when someone else is looking from the outside in and can see the things I'm lacking and help guide me in a better direction. Knowing me, I probably would have run really hard on Friday and thwarted my sub-11 on Sunday. I've never really known what the hell I'm doing so I'm really liking the feedback...especially from someone who knows me, who knows my odd schedule and challenges. I don't fit the norm...Monday is the start of my week. Haha. So anyway, the week ended well, and I hit my goal in the 3000m. 10:55.23! I was super psyched! What a great way to end the week. Although I'm not super optimistic about New Bedford or the Boston Tune-Up, I am now feeling optimistic about my main spring goal, the Vermont City Marathon!

I got the email this week officially welcoming me back as an Invited Runner to Vermont City! Yay! I'm actually really excited to be headed back there. Barring injury or extreme heat, I just have a good feeling about this year's race. I don't quite have a definite goal yet other than a sub-3. As I get closer to that time, I'll know better what I might be capable of. Right now, I'm not as fast as I was in 2015 or 2016, but I'm really hoping to change that over the next 2.5 months. Although I know I won't be as skinny or as fast as this, I hope I'm at least feeling that good this year...

VCM 2015
So totals for the week! 56.6 miles. 1,650ft of elevation gain. Would have hit 60 had I finished the long run on Tuesday and not worked on Thursday, but it was still good. I was very happy with it by the end of the week. No trails this week at all. Mostly road and treadmill. I'm enjoying the slower paced runs, and I think they're helping me do better on the other days. You might say, "Well, duh," but like I said I really don't know what the hell I'm doing. I laugh at people who tell me I should become a running coach. Dumbest idea I've ever heard. That girl in the photo above ended up injured exactly 4 months later because she trained like a moron. Haha.

Monday, February 12, 2018- I'm learning that all it took to get me up on Monday mornings is having someone else keeping a watchful eye on my running. I couldn't drag myself out of bed on Monday mornings, but I actually got up even earlier than planned this time! I meant to set my alarm for 4:15am, but somehow hit 4:00am. Instead of going back to bed for 15 minutes, I got right up no problem. Normally I can barely open my eyelids, so this was a good thing. 6 miles on the treadmill in 46:35. Keeping it easy. 7:46 avg pace. I felt good. Like I said, I'm really liking the easy paced runs. Who'd'a thunk?? Haha.

Got to work and started on the truck check when John sends me a message that the school van hasn't come yet. Hmmm. He followed that with, "It's the big van, right?" Um, NOPE. Haha. The goofball got to the stop 10 minutes early, then proceeded to sit there and stare at the actual van there to pick him up for about another 10 minutes before it drove off. Turns out he didn't listen to me the three times I told him about the van. Haha. I was fortunately able to get ahold of the driver's wife who called him; he turned around and came back for John. Crisis averted!

Typical day at work. Nothing exciting or crazy. Overdose and then nothing until 5am for a sick person. Dog at that one jumped up into my face really hard. I actually thought it would look bad, but it turned out not to leave a mark. Phew. So many people are sick right now and not just the flu. I'm crossing my fingers that I don't catch anything nasty. I got in 10 minutes of ab work at some point.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018- While we were still at the hospital for that last call, John sends me a message that his dad was going to take him to the van stop but got angry and threw John's food out of the window then just dropped him off at the house and left. By this point, he had no time to put together a lunch for himself so he pretty much had no food. I was pretty upset to hear this. Told him just to grab some breakfast and that I was running in Tamworth that morning and would bring him a lunch after I was done.

Plan was 14-16 miles for the long run today, so I decided it had to be 16. Little did I know I would struggle just to get to 14. I had chosen a mostly flat route from Tamworth Village with an out-and-back on Depot Rd and Whittier Rd. Things started out well. A tad too fast hovering around 7:12 for miles 2-5. I wasn't really paying attention until I looked at my watch for miles 4 and 5 since it felt too fast so I purposely slowed up to 7:24 for mile 6. That was the last time I could concentrate on what I was doing, and my legs felt super heavy all of a sudden. I was unable to focus at all. My mind was racing over the whole John/Bryan situation. Thinking of John's breakfast being taken from him and thrown out of the window brought me to tears. I started to find my breathing getting out of control, shallow, faster breaths. This made me feel worse quickly. I almost stopped to walk. I tried not to look at my pace since I knew it was dropping. I just felt horrible and just stressed out. I kept thinking how I wish someone could just take me by the hand to guide me and tell me what to do. So this ended up being a pretty bad run. It doesn't look it "on paper", but it was pretty horrible. Felt like I was dying just to finish 14.2 miles. 1:45:11. Most people wouldn't complain about a 7:24 avg pace, but it was barely over 300ft of elevation gain. For me, a run that flat should have been closer to 7:10s right now. But oh well. I at least hit the bottom goal. And it was a beautiful day out so I couldn't complain too much about it. The run did actually end up helping clear my head and easing my anxiety over the situation, but it also totally drained me for the rest of the day.

After changing clothes, I went to the Tamworth Lyceum for a coffee. I know. I swore I'd never go there again, but I really wanted coffee and something to eat plus an apple juice for John. The guy at the counter was unfriendly as per the usual...until I came up with the idea to put John's cupcake in a coffee cup since he didn't really know how to package it with out messing it up. For some reason, this made him a tad friendly. That's honestly a first at this place. I swear. Go in there. You'll see what I mean. Haha. I at least got a friendly goodbye so I might just go back again and test it out. Haha.

From there, I went to Subway to get John a sub and chips then drove it over to The Community School where one of John's teachers pulled me aside and gave me positive feedback on John's reading and writing class. I was so happy to hear that!

I went home, showered and then plopped on the couch until it was time to go back and pick John up. I was totally drained mentally and physically. When I picked John up, he said his lunch was the best ever and that he wanted Subway every day. Hahaha. Not so fast, buddy. That shit's expensive. I'll make him a ham and cheese myself. :)

John with a pair of my Dion's strapped to his backpack. haha

Chillin' with Phoenix while we waited for John
I filled the water jugs up at the spring while we were down there then went home for awhile. John's ninja class had started back up finally since they hired a new coach. I'm still not keen on the 7pm class, but it's worth it for John. Small class but the same kids he's been with for awhile now. Seeing him next to some of them made me realize how much he's grown since November! Crazy! Now, if I could just convince him to stop wearing the pants that are now 4 inches to short. Closet full of really nice pants that fit, too. Haha. Silly kid. While he was at ninja, I went to the store to get him some cookies to give out to classmates for Valentine's Day and then did Taco Tuesday at Jalisco. Went back to catch the end of ninja class and then home for the night. Tuesdays are going to be late nights again, I think.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018-

Love this meme!
Got up no problem this morning for another easy run on the treadmill. 4 miles in 31:36. 7:54 avg pace. Short and slow. Hated that I had to work 34 hours until my next run. Ugh. Why do I do that to myself? Oh yeah...overtime!! Haha.

The day at work started out a bit rough. We had a crew of 3 instead of two after I asked that the brand new girl not be placed as part of the regular crew yet since they had scheduled her with me for 24 hours. When I started here as a brand new EMT, I rode as a 3rd rider for MONTHS until I was set free. Here, they are often giving new hires, and I mean BRAND NEW EMTs, one or two training shifts and then setting them free. First off, it's not fair to other crew member to pick up the slack AND attempt to train someone at the same time. And most importantly, it's not fair to the patient!! But they don't care. It's all about just finding someone with a pulse to fill open shifts. And this isn't just here. This is across the board in the ambulance service world. I had just been put with a brand new person recently, and while she tried hard, it just wasn't right so I said I wasn't doing it again. This person today had been riding for 3 weeks, but had only been on a few calls and had done ZERO patient care at this point. Fortunately, they know I'm not talking out of my ass, so another co-worker volunteered to come in as a third. They are about to throw this poor girl to the wolves so we came up with a plan for a crash course, or basically half throw her to the wolves. Haha. She was going to drive the ambulance, be the first in on scene, the one to do the initial assessment, the one to tech the call in the back of the ambulance, call in the radio report, then give a report to the hospital staff and then write the Temsis report. But she wasn't going to be alone, and that was the key. One of us would be with her at all times to assist and then to provide feedback. It was my way of helping her do it all before she had no help....but unfortunately, some idiot told her I didn't want to work with her, which wasn't true at all.  I didn't know this until later in the morning, however. So she showed up with a bit of an attitude and also without any of her stuff for the 24 hour shift.

We start the truck check and first thing she says is that she needs to go home as soon as possible. I'd already heard that she keeps asking to go home to get things so I was prepared for this. Granted she lives only about a mile away. The kicker is that it's outside of our service area. So I told her that was fine on occasion for an emergency but not to make it a habit and explained the whole thing about being outside our coverage area crap. So I said we could but it had to be quick. She agreed. We continued on with the truck check and explained to her the plan for the day to get her right in there getting experience with us as her backup. She seemed cool with that. Then we got a 911 maybe 5 minutes later. Ended up being an accidental medical alarm, but we still had her go in ahead of us and do the talking and simple paperwork. Good way to start. Easy enough. While we're already out, we decided to swing by her condo. She says, "I'll be quick." Like hell she was. 15 minutes!! I almost drove away. In fact, we were literally about to leave when she walks out carrying all of her stuff for the day and night and a cup of coffee she had just made. Oh hell no. See, I'm not one of those people who only has balls on social media. I have NO PROBLEM saying something to someone's face. She steps in the truck, and I say, "I almost left you." I could see she was a little shocked. I told her that that wasn't cool for her to spend 15 minutes in her apartment after I'd already told her it had to be quick. I literally said, "You need to come to work prepared. We never should have been in here in the first place." Let the pouting commence. Well...little did I know the pouting started before our shift started because she came in thinking I didn't want to work with her. Already too many details here, but anyway. After spending 10 minutes pouting in the other room when we got back, she finally came out and helped us. I'm sorry, but you don't walk in here with 3 weeks on the job making demands and then pushing the limits. I WILL call you out on it.

So at this point I'm thinking this is going to be a LONG 24 hours, but she finally comes into "my" office (I make it mine on Wednesdays haha) and asks to talk. That's when she tells me that someone told her I didn't want to work with her. Now, it all made sense! We actually ended up having a good conversation. Totally cleared the air. I explained her in more details why I asked for a third crew member and how we were doing this to help her not because I didn't want to work with her. My intentions were completely the opposite of what she thought so then she became more receptive to what I had to say. She said she understood that she needed to come to work prepared and other crews had been taking her home to drop things off or pick things up and she didn't realize that it wasn't really ok. Blah, blah ,blah. But anyway, we were honestly good the rest of the day. We only had two transports and then two fire standbys so it wasn't a lot, but it all went according to plan. She had never talked on the radio and got to do that. It really worked out perfectly for her to have a day to just jump into the game but know we were there to help her. It definitely eased her nervousness a bit. The shift ended up being fun. We all got Indian food for take-out and genuinely had a good time. So I was really glad it all worked out well in the end. She was receptive. She did ok with her patient care, and I was able to give her the go-ahead to our manager to be a regular crew member with the right partner. Do I think she should be working as a regular crew member yet? Absolutely not, but I can't do anything about that. Hopefully it all works out for her and her patients.

Our happy Indian food. Loved this!
Thursday, February 15, 2018-  Yay for a full night's sleep with no calls. I got up early to shower then left for the Tamworth base. So funny since half of the crew was impatiently waiting to see how the day went with the new girl. Hahaha. No one is really sure of her yet since she was curled up sleeping on the couch on her first day. To us, that's often a bad sign. Haha. So I told them the whole story. Haha. So much gossip and drama. That's how we get through our days when we're just sitting around. It's actually true!

Since my partner today is apparently above checking the truck, I did the truck check by myself which took quite awhile. I didn't really mind since it killed an hour. We had absolutely no 911 calls during my 10 hours there, but the shift really wasn't that bad. Usually it drags, but it was 5pm before I knew it, and it was time to finally run! Yay!

I was told not to run like an asshole, but I was a wee bit defiant and ran kind of like an asshole. It was a short run that was mostly flat, and it wasn't the route I planned so I kind of just wanted to get it over with. Plus, it was also dark within a mile. I ran from the base with the plan to run the aviation neighborhoods to stay off the main road. Well...I made an attempt and found the paved roads in the neighborhood covered in about 2-3 inches of ice. And I mean covered. I thought it was only at the beginning of the road so I kept going and then realized it went as far as I could see so I turned around and ended up just doing 3 loops of Ossipee Lake Rd, Cross Rd and Rt 41. So I ran from Tamworth to West Ossipee and back to Tamworth 3 times. Haha. I actually felt really good on this so I couldn't help but run fast. Negative splits, too!! So not like me! :) 5.1 miles total in 36:20. 7:02 avg pace. 1st miles was 7:11 and worked down to 6:52 for the 5th. Needed that after 34 hours of sitting on my ass. Since it was Thursday, it wasn't a big deal that I ran it fast. The next two days would be more miles and easy running.

Felt good to be home for the night finally. John was there since he's pretty much there on every Thursday night now. It was beer time for me and lounging on the couch.

Phoenix licking the taco tin

So cute but not sweet. Haha.
Friday, February 16, 2018- Friday was my sleeping in day, but I got up briefly to make sure John had his lunch. His dad picked him up to take him to catch the van, and I went back to bed for a little longer. Haha. Took my time this morning and then drove over to Washington St in Conway to park and start my run from there. Today's run was 10 miles with...gulp... six 20 sec strides at the end. Haha. I know. That's nothing, but like I said, I'm lazy! haha.

Road options in the winter are tough around here unless you want to run on ice. I did not want to run on ice so I made an out-and-back that mainly followed West Side Rd, but I added in two neighborhoods to break up the monotony. One with a huge ass climb both ways. I was told to run easy. And honestly, that's probably why I ran a sub-11 on Sunday because I have a feeling that on my own, I would have stupidly gone out for 12-14 miles in a sub-7:30 pace thinking that was "easy" for me. I probably would have ruined my legs for Sunday. Instead, I just ran comfortably, only occasionally looking at my watch. Ran through Heather Hill and Dandiview which turned out to be good choices. Felt pretty good on the run. Stopped at 10 miles and then did the six strides on Hillside Dr where it was flat. First one was rough. The others felt pretty good, but I was told they're too slow. Haha. Dammit. It takes like 5 of the 20 seconds to get my fat ass up to speed. :) With the jog back, these added on another .7 miles. So total of 10.7 miles in 1:23:16. 7:46 avg pace. 553ft of elevation, which I liked way better than flat running.

Went right home to shower and eat then took Phoenix for a walk on the snowmobile trail starting behind Walmart. Same place we walked 2 weeks ago but farther this time to Pudding Pond. Walked to 2.5 miles total then grabbed some things at Walmart before picking up John at Cranmore and then home for the night. Found mouse #5 dead in the trap after almost a week of no mouse activity so I was kind of surprised to find it. Hoping that's the last of them.

Not photoshopped. Accidental blurriness which resulted in hiding my wrinkles so I like it. Haha.
Saturday, February 17, 2018- I was up pretty early this morning since I had offered to help out at the Whitaker Woods Snowshoe Scramble. Yes, that's right! After 6 years straight of racing the Scramble, I decided not to race it. I never would have thought I'd choose an indoor track meet over a snowshoe race, but that seriously did happen. I had intended to race the Scramble on its original date and then I planned to race both the Scramble and the Indoor Meet, but someone helped talk me down. Haha. If I had raced both, this would have been me on Sunday night: "I can't believe I didn't break 11 minutes. Wahhhh. So disappointed. I suck! I don't know why I'm so slow. I'm a has-been!" Hahahaha. It's true. I would have.

I was perfectly happy not racing Whitaker. Not a pang of regret. I really enjoyed just helping out with registration while also seeing all of the faces I've missed for months. Then off they went and stayed behind entering all of the day-ofs into Kevin's computer while I caught up with Erica Kahn a bit. It was great. I really do enjoy this aspect of "racing"... the not racing but still being a part of it and helping Kevin out. He helped out at my race last year so it was my turn to return the favor. I got to spend time just talking to everyone instead of stressing about my warm up and being nervous about the race. Pat Rich showed up for his first snowshoe race, and I made him give me his snowshoes to inspect. Haha. Talk about a well-used pair of snowshoes! Wow! The cleats were rounded. I offered him my Dion's to borrow for the race to try them out, but he ended up declining. On this course, his snowshoes were fine, and he won the race in a really good time. I made sure he took my pair home with him to try out and then wear at Nationals, though. He needs something and with better cleats for that race, and I hated for him to spend the money on a pair without trying them first. So I'm hoping they work for him!

Kevin ended up racing, as well, and came in second. My old friend, Kyla, showed up and took first female. I was so happy to see her take the win. As for me, I took Chill out for a leisurely snowshoe run on the course. Took it super easy since I did NOT want to destroy my legs at all. 3.6 miles on my watch. 36:15. Almost 6 minutes slower than I raced it last year, just to give an idea of how slow I did actually run. It was an absolutely gorgeous day.

View of Mt Washington from the course
I had plans to get in another 4.4 miles on the road, but John wasn't answering his phone. I was guessing he left it by his bed and was in the other room, but since I couldn't be sure, I decided to head right home after my run. Kevin sent me home with one of my favorite local beers, Saco River Brewing's Old Course Porter with Coffee. Thanks, Kevin!

My suspicion was correct. John was fine; it was just the phone was out of earshot. Grrr. Decided to do the other 4.4 miles in the neighborhood. A run I used to hate, but since I don't do it often, it wasn't so bad. There was one ice patch I had walk across twice on each out and back, but other than that the road was mostly clear of ice. Super slow run. 4.4 miles in 36:22. 8:08 avg pace. haha. Now THAT is slow.

Took John and the dogs out for a walk in the Albany Town Forest after I showered. It was such a nice day and I needed to get John out for some exercise then it was back home for the rest of the day and night.

These chunks of ice are from when the river flooded recently

Chill thought he could catch the animal inside the tree. haha.
Sunday, February 18, 2018- Indoor Champs 3000m

I got up at 7am and got right on the treadmill for a really easy 3 miles just to loosen up the legs before our drive down to the Gordon Indoor Track at Harvard University. 8:09 avg pace. Totally the plan and I guess almost the true definition of a "shakeout". I absolutely hate that word after seeing it so misused to title Strava runs, so I refused to title my run with it. Instead, I went with something far more catchy..."Treadmill" Haha.

I knew it was going to snow overnight, but the final forecast said 1-3 inches. Yeah, well woke up to 4-5 inches. Dammit. That meant I had to shovel. Fortunately, it was fresh powder so it was light and made shoveling quick, but "quick" is relative. I still have a huge-ass driveway and spent about 1.5 hours until I had to quit for us to leave on time. Looked like I'd be finishing it up after we got home tonight.

The drive down was easy. No traffic. I had pre-paid to park in the 175N lot right next to the outdoor track on N. Harvard St. Unfortunately there would be no running with John on the track this year since it was covered in snow. Boo. Instead, I walked John over to the indoor track where he would stay while I went back out for my warm up. I still remember being so excited to be there 2 years ago. I had John take my photo in front of the sign. I was feeling really good about my comeback from my injury, and my personal life was going pretty well then, as well. Two years later, things aren't quite as good running-wise and I feel like the stress I've been dealing with has worn me down a bit. I was actually kind of sad that I didn't have that giddiness I had here 2 years ago.

One thing I was happier about this time around, though, was that I knew the deal and didn't feel like a newbie idiot. Haha. I found John a place in the bleachers, changed my shoes and then headed out for a 3 mile warm up that I just ran randomly. It was so nice out!

Once I was back, I only 20 minutes until race time. I ran into Kasie Enman which was nice since I had someone I knew running the 3000m "with" me. (That's in quotes because I'm pretty sure she came close to lapping me rather than running with me. Haha.) I got my numbers, hit the bathroom one more time then went out on the floor to do, ahem, strides. haha. I did about 4 or 5 just to look like I fit in there and then spent the rest of the time talking to Kasie. The only other person I recognized doing the 3000 was Lauren Opachinski, whom I don't know at all, but was at least a familiar face. The rest were all VERY young. I was thinking early to mid-20s when we lined up. I turned out to be way off. Nearly all of them were teenagers! I must have looked absolutely ridiculous out there among them. Haha.

I was seeded second to last (14 of 15 haha) so I was starting up high. This was what I did here 2 years ago so it wasn't new to me. The young girls around me looked confused as you can see by this photo. Haha.

Photo by Kathie Kelley
#13 would actually be the one to push me the entire race. Right off the line we started a game of leap frog all the way to the end. She had a coach calling out splits which pushed her to pass me...which pushed me to pass her. Haha. I fell into last place in the beginning just to keep myself a little slower on the first lap. By lap 3, I pulled ahead of #13. Stephen Peckiconis was also helpful with calling out whether I was too slow or not. The biggest help were the splits I had written on my arm. I've never paid attention to my splits before since I'm clueless on the track, but I was told that this time I was going to. Haha. So every 3rd lap split went on my arm. This, along with the rest of it, really helped pull me along, and by the last lap I knew I had a sub-11 coming. A quick calculation in my head had me at 10:58 if I maintained my current pace, but for some reason, I'm really good at picking up the pace on the last lap. I passed two girls and got passed by #13. I came around the last turn to see the clock totally in my favor finishing in 10:55.23. I was super stoked! Hit my goal and didn't come in last! Yay!!

Yep. I have terrible form. Haha. Photo by Kathie Kelley.
Look at how young!! Haha!

I didn't spend much time there. It was such a late start time that John and I just wanted to go home. I ran a very short cool down in the ice rink which is literally the room next door. Felt so good in there. Wish the track was that cool. Haha. I changed clothes then we left. Dropped my bag at the car then walked over to Trader Joe's which had been the plan on the way home anyway. This was just way more convenient.

No breweries and no restaurants today. Just a quick stop at Barnes & Noble for John to get some books with his gift certificate. We were home right around 7pm. I took out the dogs then got right to shoveling, but not without cracking open a beer to bring out with me. Took me about an hour to finish the driveway. I was beat. Showered. Watched a little TV. Then called it a night. I'd had a successful day. Hopefully this trend continues!

Shovel and beer


  1. A coach? You have a coach? Someone telling you what to do!! And you listen?? (Dripping with sarcasm here). You are a phenomenal athlete, and will become even more so, as evidenced by your 10:55! Congratulations! I totally forgot it was VD last week, whoops.

    1. Hahaha! Not a coach per se. Just someone who could see my problems and is helping to steer me in the right direction since I've been so clueless. He also knows my funky schedule so he can help me while working around that. But yeah, it's on the border of being a coach so the fact that I'm listening is a kind of a big deal. Haha. Yeah V-Day was just another day at work for me. Bought myself chocolate on sale after the fact. Haha. Thanks, Beth!