Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Race Break/Race Directing

West Rattlesnake Mt
May 7-21, 2018- Over 2 weeks in one blog post! Ahhh! I don't know how to even write it without writing too much! Haha. I'll attempt to just highlight the things that are worth writing about, but I can't make any promises that I won't veer off on some tangent.

After the week before, it felt surprisingly good keeping to myself for the first week and a half of it before the craziness of my race and my sister's visit. I needed that time to stop sharing everything I was doing. Telling no one what I was doing or anything about it when I was done. Strava was probably the only window into my life for most of the first week. I needed the time to just be in my own little world (or talking to John when he was with me, of course). Just getting back to being alone. Take the race-free time and just focus on quiet down time. Although, it quickly turned into race directing stress by the next week. Haha. And by then, I was more open to people again. I'm so thankful for my sister who came for a visit because she was someone with whom I could truly trust to share the goings-on in my life. She will probably be the last person I trust to share with for awhile. Right now I'm just skeptical and untrusting. Part of that isn't really fair because I'm starting to assume only ill intentions in people, like it's all deception and lies, and that's not a good thing at all because when I think about it, it's obviously not all true. I'll just have to keep working through my shit until I actually believe it, though.

So running went pretty well for the two weeks. I did two long runs the first week and then backed off considerably the second. On Strava it probably looks like I'm tapering, but if you know me, I don't taper, and especially now when I have nothing to taper from! There was no marathon training. There was supposed to be. February was good....and then we all know what happened from there. Haha. I attempted to cram in some stuff, but that's useless. The main reason I backed off the miles was for the tendinopathy. My tendons were REALLY bothering me (if you don't know what this is like, it's really hard to explain. Just think pain all the time that gets worse the longer and faster I run.) The only way to stop that is to back off running significantly. And like it worked the week of Doyle's, it seems to have helped A LOT now. It may mean I can actually finish the Vermont City Marathon on Sunday! Haha. Kind of sad looking back at February when I was pretty certain I could run a sub-3. Fast forward to now when my main goal is just to finish. I couldn't even imagine running a sub-3 right now. I don't even know if I can run a sub 3:10 which is REALLY sad. So that's my second goal. And what if I have to stop to use the bathroom since that's still a major issue? That's 45 seconds to a minute right there. I don't think I could break Shalane Flanagan's 13 second porta potty stop at Boston. She's obviously not just a fast runner! Hahahaha! I have a feeling this is going to be a major shit show for me, and even though I've tried to accept it, I really haven't. I am so fucking nervous about Sunday. And it doesn't help having myself displayed on the website. Ugh. But here it is for you all to see. The has-been...

That last part is cut off. Probably a good thing since it says "Athlete of the Year Nominee".
So anyway, I still hit pretty decent mileage the week of May 7-13 (Monday-Sunday) with the two planned days off. 53.8 miles. I just felt good and wanted to run as much as possible for my last week of long runs. One long difficult road run, one long mountain run, an attempted speed workout, hill repeat workout and one slooooooow run. And a lot of course clearing. I got in some body work, but not much. Not for lack of energy, but because I was really busy. 6,706ft of elevation gain.

The following week of May 14-20, I backed off considerably with 30.8 miles. One 13 mile road run on Tuesday and then all trail runs and some glute workouts and some ab work. Still managed 3,176ft of elevation gains. I love easy weeks when I can just have fun, although the 13 mile run wasn't fun. More on that later.

Monday, May 7, 2018- Got up early and did Zuzka Light's Lifted Butt Series #3. Realized that I was sore in the wrong places for what I'm looking for; too much work on the hamstrings and hip flexors. I plan to continue these after I recover from VCM, but I decided to mix it up with glute activation workouts specifically. I got a mile walk in at work before we got called out for a 911. Nothing worth writing about today except it was the usual Happy Monday welcome from the weekend crew slobs...

Tuesday, May 8, 2018- Even though I probably should have made my last pre-marathon long run one more like the course, I couldn't help myself and chose to do one of my top most difficult long runs from home through Madison and Eaton. It wouldn't actually be that slow if it didn't include the steep dirt road climb up Glines Hill Rd, but for some reason, I really like this run. 18.1 miles in 2:24:32, just squeezing in an average pace of 7:59/mile. 1,667ft of elevation gain. Energy-wise, I felt great. The tendons really started to bother me in the last 4 miles with its mostly downhill pavement pounding. Still felt good after I finished.

I sat outside in the sun with dogs for awhile after. Realized we have a snake living under the porch. I wish I could bring him inside to eat the mice since they keep reappearing like once a month. He's cool, though. Just hangs out.

Got to John's school early enough to take the dogs on a full walk of the Jackman Pond Trail. As soon as I picked John up, he fell sound asleep in the car. He went right from the car, collapsed on his bed and didn't wake up again until 10:30pm, so there was no ninja class for him that night.

Phoenix in the pond

After he woke up
Wednesday, May 9, 2018- Pretty usual day at work. I did not get up to work out since I could do it at work. During the truck check, Jeff opened up one of the pamphlets in the action area that's been there for years. It was made by Memorial Hospital so I always assumed it was something dumb and never looked at it. It turned out to be very entertaining! We were dying laughing. Haha.

See. Looks dumb. And it was.

I love the Assault Scale with the guy gray in a coffin.

I'm still laughing over this bottom photo. Love the prostitute. 
Since I was taking a break from the blog writing, I got my workout in earlier in the day. I found a video of 19 different exercises specifically for glute activation and decided to do them all, 20 reps on each side that took about 27 minutes. I found it really targeted the right area, but they were too easy. Planned to use a resistance band the next time. Followed that with 10 minutes of abs and then a 2 mile walk on the trail out back. Later that night, I was still antsy and walked a mile in circles around the building. Haha. Yep. Definitely safe to say my energy is back. We still had some 911s throughout the day, including a ridiculous frequent flier (who we actually went to this morning 5/23, too!) around 5am the next morning.

John at school today working on a project.
Thursday, May 10, 2018- The 5am 911 almost thwarted my morning plans, but we got back to the base in plenty of time for me to change clothes and then run 3 miles on the trail out back in 23:43. Surprisingly the fastest I've ever run that. I quickly showered, loaded up my car, hit Big Dave's for a bagel sandwich and then headed down to Tamworth for my next shift...but not a regular one! Today was opening day at Club Motorsports, and Ernie and I were the first detail of the year. What a gorgeous day to be out there! It felt so nice being back. I love working here while we laugh our heads off at all the tones dropping for the crews back at the base. Haha. We even got pizza for lunch! I enjoyed hanging out with Ernie today. He's 67 years old and kind of at the end of his physical capability to do this job which often leaves us frustrated with him. Today was nice to hang out and listen to some of his stories about growing up in Ossipee and his many years as an EMT. It gave me a newfound appreciation for him. Really enjoyed the day.

Donut haha

When we got back to the base, I changed my plan for an easy 4.5 mile run to a 5 mile run with a semi-workout. Even with the morning's trail run so much sitting for two days still makes Thursday night runs difficult and tonight was no exception. I gave myself a good mile warm up but just felt stiff the whole run. Attempted the next 3 miles at quick pace, which I did, but the splits were all over the place, and I had to really work for them. 6:33, 6:51, 6:41. Followed that with a cool down mile that was still a quickish pace for 7:15. 5 miles total in 34:56. 6:58 avg pace. I don't know the last time I did any run under 7 min avg pace that wasn't a race. 8 miles total for the day, so I was pleased.

Went home and snuggled on the couch with Phoenix. Bryan dropped John off at some point, but he spent most of his time doing his own thing.

Friday, May 11, 2018- I don't know why, but all week I was dead set on doing the long Green Hills Loop that I hadn't done since August 21, 2015, the day after Saunders on the Rye Harbor 10K and the day before Millennium's XC race. This was the week I've always thought brought my demise. It was too much on my body and it was right after this that I noticed something funky in my left glute that I thought was just a sciatic nerve issue. It would go on to become a full-on gluteal tendon tear 5 weeks later during the Vermont 50. So whenever I think about doing this long mountain loop, I think of that week and what happened so I haven't done it since. Today was the day. The weather was absolutely perfect, and I needed a long mountain run.

Unfortunately, I had a plumbing emergency that set me back an hour. The hose from my sink water pipe to the ice maker in my freezer sprung a leak. Never needing to shut the water off before, I never noticed that there's no water shut off valve under the sink! WTF. So I had to rig something up until I could find a permanent clamp. It worked well enough for me to get my run in at least. Only a slow leak.

By the time I got out to the trailhead, I had enough time to run the loop with about 30 minutes to spare. Phew. Pulled into the lot to find ex-husband parked there, too, and hoped I wouldn't run into him. Fortunately, I didn't. I started the loop with Pillar-to-Pond which is generally flat so it's a good warm up before hitting the LONG climb up through the Outer Limits, up the backside of Rattlesnake Mt before finally hitting the summit of Middle Mt. The orange school chair was there as always on the Outer Limits section.

This long climb up to Middle is about 4.5 miles long so the short downhill before the climb back up Peaked Mt was a nice relief. I had both summits to myself. I had a gel and some water on Peaked because the next section was another long climb after the short downhill section to the Black Cap Connector Trail.

Although the climb back up is almost 3 miles, it's more gradual than the first long climb so I wasn't dying. I stopped briefly on Black Cap before starting the mostly downhill run to the end. My only climbs were to the summit of Cranmore and then the climb back up to the Black Cap Connector Trail. I had a super long downhill on the Cranmore Service Rd and then mostly downhill back to the car. 17 miles in 3:23:46 with 3,854ft of elevation gain. Even though I was pretty beat by the time I was done, it was a normal beat. Not like totally drained or anything.

Tiny patch of snow left on Cranmore

I had time to torture myself by going in Lowe's for a clamp. They actually didn't have what I was looking for! I finally had to ask for help and the best they could do ended up being useless. I still have to return that. Totally a waste of my time there, so much so that I had to rush to pick up John from school.

When we got home, I tried the useless clamp then put my temporary fix back on before ordering what I really needed on Amazon. Haha. Then it was time to sit down on the deck with one of the awesome beers Steve Brightman gave me followed by couch time with Phoenix.

Saturday, May 12, 2018- Slept in then ran 5.6 miles through Cranmore Shores. A much needed recovery day. 47:13. Haha. 8:22 avg pace.

Since it was only one week until my race I figured it was time to get to work clearing the trails. Tin Mountain no longer allowed me to rake the trail so I had to scoot the leaves with my foot. Talk about slow and exhausting. I dragged John and the dogs along with me. John was supposed to help, but that didn't last long. It was actually torture since the black flies were out in full force and we had to wear head nets. Haha. I didn't even come close to getting the whole course done, and it took 3 hours and 43 minutes. Omg.

Uncleared trail

Foot cleared trail. Not too bad.

John had been begging all week to go see the new Avengers movie. Do you know how much it sucks to say, "No, I can't afford it," to everything? Well, I had been good for the last 7 days and only bought a tank of gas and the bagel sandwich (plus two plain bagels) at Big Dave's so I decided I could spend the money...but only at the drive-in. But the drive-in is better anyway! So we headed to Bridgton that night to see the movie. We brought Phoenix along, too. It was so much fun and way more comfortable than a theater.

Sunday, May 13, 2018- I was really glad to have gotten all the long stuff in during the week. I still had so much trail clearing to do on top of getting John out for some exercise. I wanted to spend as little time as possible running so I opted for hill repeats on my neighborhood hill. 10 of them, like always. I expected them to be much slower than I last did them, but I was surprised to find they weren't far off. And ran them mostly like I should with only 2 where I lost focus. Made me feel good to know I'm not that much slower than before. 5 miles total with a slow warm up and cool down. Only 45 minutes so we could get on with the day.

It was back to the Mountain Division Trail for another beautiful day for a bike ride. Same as always except my GPS actually said 8 miles instead of 7.9 for once. Haha.

Since the day before had been so miserable for John, I didn't make him join me for more course clearing. This time it was the other side of the road. No one from Tin Mountain steps foot on that trail before I clear it every year so they have no clue how bad it is. There's literally no trail. This was confirmed the day before the race when my Tin Mountain person contacted me asking if I knew there was a blow down on the trail and said it looked raked. Haha. You bet it was me! Their theory is that raking the trail causes erosion. Well, I've been clearing their trails for years and have yet to see any erosion. They see so little foot traffic that the leaves don't get naturally broken down and moved. Without clearing the trail on the opposite side of Bald Hill, there is no trail! And it has to be raked. Too many rocks and roots to scoot leaves with your foot so I went out and raked it anyway. Also brought some snips to clear stuff including all of the branches on the blowdown. I spent about 25 minutes alone clearing a path through that. So, yes, to answer his question, I knew there was a blowdown haha. This section was less than a mile and took me 3 hours and 19 minutes to clear. Absolutely swarmed with black flies. I brought along a beer to get me through it. Accidentally drank it through my head net at one point. Oops. Haha.

Chill joined me.
I was ALL done when I finished that. 7 hours of course clearing and I hadn't even gotten to the Maple Leaf or Cougar Trails yet. Ugh.

Funny FB memory. By 2017, I had no desire to do that whatsoever.
Monday, May 14, 2018- Once again, I didn't get up to work out...since I could do it at work. This time I brought the resistance band and did 26 different exercises over 30 minutes. Much better workout than the last one. I was going to do abs after that but I got interrupted by my manager over the 911 we had done earlier. Pissed off family because we diverted to Huggins instead of going to Frisbie as planned. The patient was in a lot of pain and asked to go to Huggins instead. He was alert and oriented and thus capable of making this decision. I let him use my phone to try to call his family, but they never answered. Turned out using my phone was a good thing since it covered my ass showing the phone numbers and times that we attempted to call. My manager just wanted the story so he called the family back and explained that someone who is alert and oriented can make their own decisions. If we had refused, that can be considered kidnapping. It turned out they were the Healthcare Proxy for the patient but never told us this or presented the documents proving it prior to the transport. Fortunately, they understood this. And even with a healthcare proxy, if he's alert and oriented, then he can still make his own decisions.

So, fortunately, I was off the hook and it was settled. This isn't the first time I've had issues like this and it won't be the last. Pretty common in this field. At least I wasn't accused of stealing a patient's medication this time. I had to take a drug test for that one.

The rest of the night was quiet.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018- Woke up feeling pretty groggy. I had forgotten to bring my iron to work the day before, but I didn't think one day would make a difference. I was wrong. I had coffee before I left work so when I got home, I decided to hold off on taking iron until the afternoon. I had to get John to his dentist appointment so I wasn't home long. I assumed I'd be back early afternoon, but his appointment with his new dentist lasted 2 hours!! By the time I got him to school, it was after noon. By this point, I was feeling really run down but went ahead with my plan to run 13 miles from John's school with a loop around Sandwich. It was still mile 1 when I began struggling badly. It was just like before I started taking the iron. It had been 48 hours since I'd taken it by this point. I was breathing heavily and had absolutely zero energy. I don't know why I continued on, but I did. All the way up to the Top of the World Rd which zapped me even more. By the time I only had 3 miles left, I wanted nothing more than to stop and walk. I was miserable. My body couldn't even make it to 13, but I forced it to and then walked the last half mile. 13 miles in 1:39:38. 7:40 avg pace. 666ft of elevation gain. So evil yet fitting! Hahaha. ;)

View from the run
I was pretty discouraged, but I knew it had to be the iron. Plus I needed food and some sort of electrolyte drink badly with no time to go home now. The only place close was that stupid Tamworth Lyceum. Ugh. I checked my account to make sure I could afford something and fortunately I could. Phew. I got a ginger cider and blueberry muffin and a drink for John. I think it took 5 minutes to devour the muffin. I drove to the Sandwich spring to fill my water jugs and then went back to John's school to wait a half hour for him to get out. I couldn't keep my eyes open at all. I curled up in a ball in the front seat and closed my eyes.

Once we got home, I took iron and then lied on the couch until it was time to go to ninja class a few hours later. I was so bummed because I had planned to clean my house tonight in preparation for my sister's visit on Friday. I just couldn't do it. I perked up a bit to feel awake but never enough to actually do anything. This meant Thursday was going to be a looooong day.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018- Slept in since I could once again workout at work. Pretty slow day today for calls. It's going to get busy again soon so the quiet is kind of nice. I decided to do the next Lifted Butt Series today and found that it actually targeted the glutes more specifically than the first 3 workouts. Really enjoyed this one. I followed that with a body weight only upper body and abs 15 minute workout. Both workouts together really kicked my ass. Haha.

Found Jolly Ranchers in my car from Chummy, the wheelchair van driver, when I left work the next morning
Thursday, May 17, 2018- Waking up and realizing how much I had to do today made me want to go back to bed. Two days until the Dirty Girl! Eek. To get it out of the way, I ran 5.5 miles from work on the mountain bike trails. Something quick and easy. Took just under an hour. Stopped for a pic of Spot's sign.

I went home for a bit. Race shirts had arrived the night before. Yay! I ordered different ones this year, and while they aren't bad, I'm definitely going back to the old shirts next year.

I packed up course marking stuff then met Tom Hooper at Tin Mountain to do the course marking. I was dressed in pants and long sleeves. Tom made the mistake of wearing just shorts and t-shirt and got chowed by mosquitoes. Like bleeding from them. I felt so bad. But the bugs actually helped us get through course marking much faster than last year. It also helped that Tom mostly knew the course this time around. He kept running up ahead because of the bugs. I had to stop constantly to put up barrier tape. Took us a little over 2 hours. That's not bad with this course since it has to be overly marked. We used about 400 flags and one full roll of marking tape. Haha. Silly me thought new flags meant no rust so clean hands. Haha. New flags just turn your hands black instead.

Tom fixing the sign
Since Tom had to get home to nap before his bartending job, we went for beers at Hobb's since it was on his way home. Tom said he was starving. I said I was, too, so I ordered poutine. Tom ordered a Caesar salad. Haha. Thanks for making me look like a fatty, Tom. Haha. We had a good lunch. Caught up more here since it was too difficult in the bugs. Realized I hadn't seen him since November! Crazy.

Tom headed south from there, and I headed north with the intention of heading into North Conway to get all of my awards, but.... it was too nice out and I have problems with getting things done when there are things I want to do more, like say, kayaking. Haha. Oops. I couldn't help it. I needed...okay, wanted to be out on the lake so I just did it. Went home loaded up my kayak and paddled on Silver Lake for an hour. My first paddle of the year. Love it!

Trust me; it's all about the angle. I don't look good in a bathing suit AT ALL. Haha.
Since I skipped going into town, I would just have to make time for it on Friday. The rest of my night would be spent cleaning my house for Demere's visit. I'm a little ADD when it comes to cleaning so I actually had to keep myself focused to do one task at a time, but I got it all done in about 4 hours. Ugh. Still not that bad.

Bryan dropped John off at the house around 6:30pm and drove away....without feeding John dinner. So I made him come back. Haha. I had to remind him he was responsible for John's food on Thursdays and his school lunch on Fridays. I seriously don't think it ever crossed his mind, in that I don't think he did it maliciously at all. It's just how his mind works and he needs reminding. He came right back, picked up John and took him to the grocery store then made him dinner by the river (I know. Haha) before bringing him back home.

Demere's space all ready for her
I was actually expecting to be up well past midnight cleaning, but I was in bed by then. I felt like things were getting done. All that was left were the bagels, grocery store food and a few awards.

Friday, May 18, 2018- I got up at a quarter to 7 to make John's lunch and get him out the door on time. When he left, I got all of my paperwork printed out with the bib list and organized my clipboards for the registration people. Packed up the box so it was ready to go in the morning. This ended up taking me way longer than I thought so I felt a little rushed to get my run before doing my shopping and picking up John on time.

I decided to take Phoenix with me on my run today. I wanted to check out some new-to-me trails from Redstone Quarry and into the Outer Limits. She ended up being a huge pain in the ass so I had to leash her quite a bit. She used to be the best running companion, but as she's gotten older she's started running after chipmunks and won't listen. She did start listening better when I threatened the leash, but she still drove me nuts. I never used food to train her, but I'm thinking of retraining her with treats. She's so food oriented that I think it will work. I miss running with her so it would be nice to bring her along again sometimes. The run ended up with a lot more climbing and miles than I planned which was 5 miles. I even still cut it short and ended up with 7 miles. One of the trails I thought was new was actually one I ran with Paul Kirsch and Paul Bazanchuk back in 2013 when it could barely even be considered a trail. I started to recognize it and sure enough it came out to the other trail exactly where I expected it to so I knew it definitely was that trail. 7.1 miles total in 1:15:14. I had to stop a lot for Phoenix so elapsed time was actually over 1.5 hours. haha. 1,126ft of elevation gain.

Phoenix on the chair this time. Haha.
I changed clothes when we were done then hit North Conway Village. I picked up the bagels first then went shopping for awards. It was so fun getting to shop like I had money. Haha. Too bad it wasn't my money or stuff for me! Hahaha. It was fun pretending, though. I bought 3 really nice handcrafted things for top 3 overall at the League of NH Craftsman. I totally forgot to take a photo of them! I went to Zeb's for soap for the age group awards in addtion to the Stoneface beer, pint glass and $10 Philbrick's gift card. Then it was off to Shaw's for oranges and cakes.

I picked up John and wasn't home long before I heard from my Dirty Dude, Fred Ross. Fred won my "lottery" for one man to run with all of the women at my race. He was pretty excited about it and turned out to have a wonderful time. He invited John and me out to dinner. John didn't want to go, but my sister arrived around 6:15 so the two of us met up with Fred at Vito Marcello's. Fred was extremely generous and bought our dinner and drinks. It was a really fun time.

Demere and me. Yay!

When we got home, I cut the oranges then loaded everything in the car. I was ready!

Saturday, May 19, 2018- Dirty Girl Trail Race

The calm before the storm
Race day! Eek! I was nervous, but I always am. I got up at 5am, put coffee in a thermos and drove up to Tin Mountain to do a run course check. Everything was in place. I only moved a few flags and one sign that I thought needed to be visible, but other than that and the woods water stop set up, it was good to go. When I got back to the lot, my Tin Mountain guy was there. He'd opened the building so I could start setting up registration. My 3 volunteers arrived early and were ready to go by 7:30am. Paul Kirsch had arrived and started setting his part up. Frank Holmes arrived and took the woods water stop down to set it up. Meanwhile, I bounced around to racers and volunteers. I was slightly short on volunteers this year but my regulars, Hannah Booty, Frank, Bob Benes and  Richie Girouard were there. I had a guy named Chris who showed up to help. And Tony Federer a guy who used to live here in Valley and who made the Tin Mt trail map made a surprise appearance. He ended up filling an important job that was empty...the road crossing! Eek. Tom Hooper set up the road water stops on the way in and then set up the finish line. I helped him move the picnic tables and set up the tents then left him to the rest. I took Chris down to the most important intersection to show him how it worked and ran into Jessica Goldman who said the water stop in the woods was confusing. I had 20 minutes to the start. I was carrying a raffle prize someone brought me and my coffee cup, but as soon as I showed Chris his job I had no choice but to run with all of that stuff in my hands over to the water stop.

Quick selfie as I ran!
I had NO volunteers for it this year so I had to make sure it wasn't confusing. Frank had set it up ok, but it needed something else blocking the trail through there so I fixed it. 15 minutes to the start. Ran back up, got Tony and Richie set with vests for the road crossing. Still had no one for the water stop so I was going to have to do it myself once I got them started.

Moved everyone down to the start. I was shocked to have 32 no-shows. That's A LOT. I wish I knew why. I knew why about 7 weren't there, but other than that, no idea. I had 141 registered by start time, though, so that's way more than last year. I had a few DNFs with total finishers at 107. Not bad. 106 women and one man.

Just before 9am I start the announcements. A minute into them, this car comes through. The racers part the waters. The car stops and this poor girl gets out. She almost missed the start! Haha. She looked so worried, but I just got her name and told her to jump in there. She would be our bib-less runner. Haha. Finished up my announcements then sent them on their way. One racer immediately dropped out at the start line and offered to help out instead. Perfect! I brought her to the water stop with me. A guy spectating his girlfriend followed us down. Just as the three of us get there, my sister calls from the road water stop where she and John are stationed saying some woman was dizzy and about to pass out! Eek. Fortunately, I got my two people at the water stop to stay there for the first loop. After that, I knew it could be unmanned if needed. So then I ran on. I called Tom to let him know about our possible medical since he could get there faster in his truck. He got there and the woman said she was fine and continued on. I decided to continue on foot taking photos of racers along the way. I made my way out to the road where Tony was. Turned out that the woman was feeling bad again and decided to drop out. Richie walked her up, and I ran down the road to see Demere and John.

Once I ran back to the finish line, all seemed to finally calm down. Jotham Oliver, my Tin Mountain guy, had already set the food up for me which was a big help. It was time to start drinking. Nicole Gray of Garrison City Beerworks brought up two beers for the racers. One, she specifically set aside for the race since it was a collaboration between her and two other female brewers. Couldn't have a better beer for an all-women's race than that! It was SO GOOD. I had the IPA as well. Also awesome. I LOVE Garrison City's beers. Nicole is so generous to bring them for us.

I was able to relax a bit and watch the finishers come in. Haley Heinrich came in first overall, followed closely by Hilary McCloy. My top 3 women were close the whole race with each one of them leading at some point so it was exciting to see them along the course while I was out there. I had no idea who was going to win between them so it was cool to see Haley round the wood pile for the win. Haley has improved in her running a lot over the last 3 years and will be one to watch in mountain and trail racing in the near future. Such a good person. So humble and thankful.

Fred Ross took these photos. Caught me drinking beer while Paul was working. Haha.

Two people I haven't mentioned yet other than in passing are Tom Hooper and Paul Kirsch. Paul has been with me for all five Dirty Girl Trail Races. He's done more than me at times. He set up stuff, ran home to get his extra change and then did all the timing. Without Paul, the Dirty Girl never would have even happened once.

Paul carrying Six03 flags
The second person is Tom Hooper. This is Tom's second year helping me out since the Dirty Girl became a Six03 race. He was EXHAUSTED from late night bartending and didn't hesitate to still be here ready to help. First the course marking, buying me lunch and then coming back for race day to set up the start and finish and everything else in between only to go home later and spend another late night bartending. One of the most generous people I've ever encountered in my life.

Tom Hooper
I got the awards together and then started once most of the racers were finished. It was fun even though public speaking especially through a microphone is my nightmare. Haha. John helped me out with the raffle like last year. He always a great time here. It's great when he does get involved and is a water stop pro now. Haha.

More photos by Fred....

Holding up a Stoneface RIS that went in the raffle after the top 3 overall chose their bottles.

This pic was by my sister.
Jessica Goldman surprised me with a beer! It was so appropriate for the race. Bombshell Brown! An offensive pin-up girl just like on my shirts! Haha. (I had someone who was offended by my logo who would not let up; I eventually had to ban her from the Facebook page and asked her to find somewhere else to race today.)

My friend, Beth Lazor-Smith, drove all the way up from Rhode Island again for my race AND brought me a Duck Rabbit Milk Stout. Beth's been facing a battle with Lupus for over a year now and is finally coming back with her biking and running. She could only do one loop of the course today, but she still had a smile on her face when she DNFd.

Another Dirty Girl Trail Race was in the books. Another successful one, too. A lot of happy women today! A huge thank you to Josh Fields for stepping in as official race photographer when my original photographer bailed less than 24 hours before the race! He drove almost 3 hours and stood in the bugs to capture the ladies (and Dude) in action.
Peak Focus Photography- Dirty Girl Trail Race


All finally got packed up so Demere, John and I headed home. Now, I could enjoy my sister's visit. The rain started in the afternoon. We just hung out at the house for a long time while I put up the results. It took me two hours to enter them all manually into a spreadsheet (the downside of not having chip timing) before putting them on Coolrunning. Demere finally said she was hungry, and I realized it was 6:30pm! I took a quick shower then the two of us went out to Barley & Salt for dinner. John once again opted out. It was so fun to be out in town at the bar not alone! Haha. My sister is so much fun so we had a great time.

Sunday, May 20, 2018- Slept in. I needed it. We had a lazy morning. I decided not to run because I just didn't want to. Instead, Demere, John and I took a drive to Holderness to hike up West Rattlesnake Mt. It's the best mountain to bring visitors to since it's a short easy hike up to an awesome view. We brought the dogs along, too, since I had neglected them. Haha.

I took them over to Meredith to see Lake Winnipesaukee and then drove the long way back to stop at the Sandwich Creamery in Sandwich. It's definitely the place to stop for ice cream since it's all on your honor and spot is charming. Demere loved it.

John at the Sandwich Creamery
I cooked dinner tonight since I finally had someone to cook for. John never eats what I make if it's not part of his preferred diet, but, funny enough, he actually ate it! I made sweet potato and black bean enchiladas. So good. Finally opened the Mike's Pastry box that Demere brought us from the North End.

We were chatting and she said it was weird how her coworkers who have gotten into running hang their race medals in their cubicles at work. I laughed because I'm so not a medal fan. Mine literally go in a bowl never to be seen again...until tonight. Haha. Demere asked me to take them out so that she could show them to her coworkers. I thought it was funny so I did. Here's what they usually look like where they hide in my bedroom...

I have to admit that it was actually kind of fun pulling them out and looking at them again. I really don't care a thing about them, but it was neat to see some of the one I'd forgotten about.

Monday, May 21, 2018- I took Monday off work so that I could have another day with Demere so I'm including it in this post. John was off school, but it was Bryan's day to be with him. I didn't tell him, though, because he probably would have tried to pick up a shift at work instead of being with John. Demere and I were going brewery hopping in Portland so there was no way John would have wanted to do that. I went out for a run first thing. Bryan picked up John while I was gone. Demere heard him yell, "Oh come on!" when he pulled in the driveway and saw my car. Haha. John had way more fun with Bryan anyway. They took a hike up the brook on Chocorua. Bryan shared this awesome photo of John on Facebook. He needs to spend this kind of time with his dad so I'm glad they did.

Demere offered to drive us to Portland in her rental car which was nice. We started off at Goodfire Brewing which was awesome. I'd been wanting to try their beer, and it didn't disappoint. It was an absolutely gorgeous day out so we sat in the sun everywhere we went.

Next stop was Old Port/Commercial Street where we planned lunch at Liquid Riot. Of course, they aren't closed Mondays except today! Argh! We ended up walking all around Old Port looking for a place to eat that had outdoor seating. There wasn't much, but we decided on Mash Tun. It was more of just a bar with a limited food menu that you order at the bar, but it was perfect for lunch.

Next stop was Bunker Brewing for more beers. This is probably when I should have slowed it down a bit with the smaller pours, but this was like a mini vacation for me. Haha.

No stop to Portland is complete with hitting brewery row on Industrial Way. The plan was Battery Steele and Austin Street. Battery Steele was closed so Austin Street it was. Their beers have really improved since I was there last. I had two more beers here....and that was probably 2 beers too many. Haha.

Demere was hungry so we went to Tortilla Flats for dinner. I'll be honest that my memory from here is vague. It took me a full day to remember what I even ate. Oops! Thank goodness I had my sister there to take care of me. I need that every now and then. I actually sobered up quickly and felt back to normal by the time we got home. I took the dogs out and then talked to John a bit about his day which he said was fun. That was really good to hear. I was all done for the night and beer'd out. Demere was leaving the next morning. :( It was a short trip, but we had a great time. A big difference between her visit and my brother's. At the end of June, I get to see both of them and my brother, Jason, along with all of their families, my parents and extended famiy in Texas when we all visit my grandmother for her 90th birthday. I'm really looking forward to it. I don't get enough family time so it will be a fun weekend.

So my next blog post will be about VCM. I can wish for it to be a positive one, but I'm not holding my breath so be prepared for another whiney post just in case. Haha.

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