Monday, June 11, 2018

Staying Busy

John and me in the Great Hill Fire Tower
Not much to write about this week really. I held myself to my no running rule which became a little tough over the weekend. Seeing everyone's race posts/photos kind of gave me the itch to run, but I didn't. Two full weeks off is what I promised myself before I do any test runs. I know the injury isn't gone and won't be for a LONG time from what I've read, but I'm still hoping to throw some running back in there. Not sure how much right off the bat, except that I'll still be racing Ribfest 5-Miler on 6/17. Still planning just to powerhike Mt Washington on 6/16, but even that will leave my legs pretty tired for Ribfest. Hoping to get through it with a respectable time and minimal pain, but we'll see. This next week will be a test for sure.

After an easy rest day on Monday, I really hit the spin bike hard for 4 days straight and then overdid it a bit on Friday when I did the bike for an hour, then hiked up Mt Whiteface and followed that with the Friday Night Lights vertical race at Black. I woke up Saturday pretty sore and tired so I took that day off biking and just did some short hikes. Sunday I got back on the spin bike and the mountain bike. So even with no running, I'm pushing myself pretty hard. I have to stay in shape somehow. And as we all know, I'm a hyperactive person anyway so I can't just sit around normally. I was tortured a bit with that at work since I picked up some extra shifts this week. One 10-hour shift on Thursday and then the on-call shift Saturday night. I still managed to walk while at work at least.

I still feel fit, but by the weekend I was missing that awesome feeling I get from running. I think the worst part is that I feel like I'm missing out, but that will change in the coming weeks. Even if I can't run much during the week, I'll still be at races. I need that part to escape from my sad, little life.

So an interesting thing. About a month and a half ago, a friend's wife suddenly came down with the exact same intestinal issues I've been having. Symptoms the same. Luckily for her, she was able to get a colonoscopy and a diagnosis. Although I have no idea if we have the same thing, she was diagnosed with a sub-type of microscopic colitis which is what I've suspected I have as well. Mine is just a hunch based on symptoms, but I was really curious to know the treatment. And as I suspected...steroids for 6 weeks. Yeah, no thanks. Maybe when hell freezes over. Haha. That's what I suspected since I've learned that's pretty much the treatment for most intestinal problems. So no matter what I have it really doesn't matter because the treatment is the same, and I'm not putting steroids in my body. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know that living with what I have cannot be good for me in the long term either, but steroids are scary with nasty side effects. I can't do it. I AM down another pound to 117 which is a good race weight; so as long as I'm not drastically dropping weight or getting sick, I know that my body IS digesting enough even though it honestly doesn't feel like it. If I do see a sudden change with this issue I'm having then I will have to rethink the steroid thing and hell might just have to freeze over for 6 weeks. At that point I'll have to do a cost-benefit analysis and make a judgment call, but that wouldn't be until I actually have insurance that's probably not happening anyway. Haha.

Other things this week...hmm. I'm digging here. I cut my hair. Haha. Not a real cut, though. Just trimmed the ends a bit at this awesome salon called my bathroom. Haha. I haven't gotten my haircut since November so the ends were looking pretty dried out so I knew I had to do something. And I like I said before, I've basically given up on trying to look good, so I didn't care how it came out. It looks pretty awful and is super uneven, but whatever. I don't care anymore. My looks have never gotten me anywhere before and they won't ever, now that I'm getting older. Haha. Plus I just saved about $60. Along those lines, it's kind of interesting that the week after I got rid of my nails, my nail salon closed its doors for good. There are others, but I really liked this particular place. Tells me the timing is right. And the nails never covered up the old hands anyway. I'm not really writing this to put myself down. Aging is a fact. Every year, I'm going to look older. I still think I look pretty good for my age so I'll take that. Haha.

Monday, June 4, 2018- Super quiet day at work. Walked 30 minutes on the treadmill since it was raining all day. I spent most of the day working on last week's blog post. It was actually the perfect day to be at work since the weather was gross.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018- Drove right to Integrity Fit to spin for an hour. After a day off, I pushed extra hard today. As always, my ass was kicked and I was soaked in sweat.

No idea what the shiny thing is in my mouth. Spit bubble? Haha.
I was a bit rushed to shower and head out the door since John overslept and had no time to make a lunch. So I had to bring him lunch by noon.

The day was gloomy, but I lucked out to miss the rain completely during my hike up to Big Rock Cave with the dogs. I didn't have a lot of time since I wanted to go to the grocery store before coming back to pick John up. This was the perfect hike for today. Only 3.6 miles round trip and not too difficult of a hike. As the place is called, it is a rock cave that's pretty fun to crawl around in. These are basically giant boulders that fell (rolled?) into each other at some point, and they are huge. I took a shot with Chill in it for some perspective on their size. I still couldn't fit the whole boulder in the shot.

Here are some other photos from the hike. Sorry, not sorry, for the selfies, but it's my blog, so I will put as many selfies as I want on here. Haha.

There's a giant rat in the cave!

I made it to the store and back to John's school just in time to not be late. Haha. I got in an upper body and abs workout when we got home then got to work making a pasta dish for the potluck at John's school Wednesday night. It's a yummy dish, but only when eaten fresh, I learned. By the time it was at the potluck, it had dried out and not many people ate it. This turned out to work in my favor, though, since I now had dinner for dayyyyyz. Haha. The usual ninja class that night. Kind of looking forward to this ending for the summer since it's so late. I packed tonight for my next 2 days since I wouldn't be back home until Thursday night. I had to pack clothes for two spin sessions and two work days, plus a change of clothes after the 2nd spin on Thursday and a stuff for two showers. This was like going away for the weekend...except it wasn't fun. Haha.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018- Woke up at 4:45am happy that I HAD packed everything the night before since I basically just had to change into my workout clothes, pack up my food and coffee and then head out. Since I didn't have a lot of time, I only did a 30 minute spin video at the gym, but I made sure to pick one that kicked my ass. I had planned to shower there, but someone was using the one shower that's at the gym. Well, so I thought there was only one shower. Haha. Turns out there was a second one; I just didn't see it and thought it was a regular bathroom. Oops. It wasn't until someone told me the next day that I realized it. Haha. So I just went right to work from the gym and showered there.

This would be the 3rd Wednesday in a row of nothing but one fire alarm for the whole 24 hours. I was fortunate, though, to be able to leave for 4 hours from 5p-9p. My coworker, Bill, offered to cover for me so that I could go to John's portfolio showcase at school that night. I was so happy I was able to go since I had been dying to see the sheep he and some classmates built to study its anatomy. John's focus was the heart and lungs. I'll be honest. I really had no idea what a portfolio showcase was. I thought John was doing a presentation. Instead, it turned out to be each student presenting his/her work throughout the year. They had to show what they had done in all the disciplines required by the school. None of it is like a regular school so I'm not going to explain it. Haha. Check out The Community School's Facebook page, though, if you want to see photos of the students' portfolios to get a better idea.

I started with John, of course, and looked through his work. He had his own table and everything organized how he wanted it. Once I "got" what this was about, it all made sense. This was basically each student's unique display of their work, set up only by them. John's favorite part of history he studied was the Korean War so he had a photo of one of the battles. One of his team collaboration jobs was moving the fencing together for some animal pens so he hung a small piece of fencing up. The funniest part was that he learned at some point that eating the flower of the dandelion made him throw up so he picked a bunch of dandelions for his table. Haha. There rest was just all of his writing on display. The parents were supposed to go around to all of the kids' tables and provide feedback/criticism. I couldn't hit many of them, but it really helped seeing the other kids' work for me to understand exactly what was expected of them. So I was able to go back and give John feedback for the things I think he needs to work on. This process was actually really helpful to me for that since I honestly didn't know. Now, I can see he needs to write more and work on his handwriting, for example. I loved seeing John super excited to share what he had done with us. This sounds cheesy, but it really warmed my heart so much to see him there as a part of this. Like it almost brought me to happy tears.

Another good thing was that Bryan was there. This was our first John function that we've ever attended together. It actually went well! We were genuinely friendly to each other. When he's being nice to me, it's easy for me to talk to him like an old friend. We spent over 16 years of our lives together so you'd think it would be easy, but I guess it's really just specific to this type of event/environment. Haha. But whatever, it was kind of nice.

They used real sheep's wool for the outside of the sheep. Haha.
I looked at 5 other students' portfolios then I had to leave. On the walk out the skies were gorgeous. I snapped some photos as I walked to my car.

As I drove, I headed into some crazy cloudy skies. I took this photo to send to someone, but never did and never will. Oh well. Haha.

Once back at work, I did some abs then went to bed.

Thursday, June 7, 2018- I was actually pretty bummed to be working today. I had originally NOT picked up a shift this particular Thursday on purpose since I had planned to finish up doing the trail exploration in southern Mass that has been ongoing since December. So it did kind of bother me today that I couldn't run. But now I didn't need the day off, and my partner, Jeff, wanted to take the shift off so that he could go to his daughter's scholarship night at school, so I picked it up from him. I needed the overtime anyway since I haven't had any the last two paychecks. Plus, I had Jared as a partner, and he's one of the good ones here. We had two calls, a fire alarm and one transport. The day didn't drag at least. By the time I finished my report, it was 5pm and time to leave. Yay!

I drove right to North Conway to get on the spin bike at the gym. A guy was in there using a bike which has happened a few times. They're always just using the bike, but not doing a video so I ask if they mind me putting on a video. They've been cool about it, and this guy actually joined in the "class" until he had to leave. Kind of made a little more fun with a real person in there. Since it was so late, I only did a 45 minute spin which still kicked my ass as much as the hour class does. Haha. When I was done, I tried the only core-specific video I could find on there. It was 10 minutes and just a little too easy for me. Haha.

It was so nice to go home after 2 days of being gone! Yay! The night was cool so I finally opened the Stoneface RIS that Tom Hooper had belatedly given me for my birthday. Good stuff!

I sipped on this for 2 hours. No lie! Haha.
And of course dog snuggle time
Friday, June 8, 2018- No sleeping in. I was up at 6:45am to make John's lunch and make sure he was up for school. He had overslept AGAIN on Thursday and missed the van. School is out for summer in just a few days, but before it starts back up in the fall, I'm getting an old school loud-as-fuck bell alarm clock that will wake his ass up. Haha.

It was back to the gym for an hour spin class this morning. For some reason, it felt harder than the last time I had done this particular one. My legs felt a little trashed. I still got through it.

I rushed home to shower and get back out to the Ferncroft trailhead so that I could fit in a hike up Mt Whiteface with Phoenix before picking John up at school. As always, I had remembered the mileage wrong and thought it was 3 miles to the summit, but it was 3.9. Haha. This meant a bit of rushing to get to the (true) summit of Whiteface and back down by 3pm. I hauled ass up that thing even though I was pretty beat from the spin class. Made it back down by 2:40pm.

The views from this mountain are amazing on a clear day like today. Lake Winnipesaukee, Squam Lake, Ossipee Lake, Mt Chocorua, Mt Passaconaway...and so on.

View of Whiteface from Ferncroft Trailhead. It's the mountain in the background.

Chocorua is the tallest one in the distance.

I love breathing in the air up here on the ridge. And the smell of Balsam Fir is awesome.

Very much not an exciting summit

She loves to cool off in the water. Haha.
I hustled it back down the mountain almost at a run, but not quite going there even though I had the itch to. Picked up John and headed home.

Even though my day wasn't over as far as doing stuff, I still had a post-hike beer when we got home. Steve Brightman gave me this one after Cranmore.

I had a couple of hours to veg at least. I should have eaten more, but I had absolutely no appetite today. I ate a bagel (still left over from my race haha) before the spin class and then an apple on the hike, but that was it. I force fed myself veggie chips in some effort to have energy for the vertical race later, but I didn't eat many. I wasn't feeling sick at all, so the loss of appetite didn't make much sense. Too busy to be hungry maybe?

I let John stay home again while I drove up to Black Mt for week 2 of the Friday Night Lights race. I'll be honest. I wasn't really feeling it. And I had no desire to be social tonight, but I was looking forward to the race part. I did my best to act like a normal person and talked to people, but I'm reminding myself to get there at the last minute next time so I can just go right into the race. As with last week, I planned not to run a step and ended up in last place right from the start. This course wasn't a good one for me since about 3/4 of it was less steep and easily runnable for most people. It was only the last part up some steep glades where my power hiking would have an advantage. I only passed 6 people this time and was part of the back of the pack tonight. It was totally fine, but it was REALLY hard holding myself back from running on the first 3/4 of that. Haha. The course was only slightly longer at 1.4 miles tonight and took me just over 26 minutes.

I only took a few photos tonight. This one is of Andrew videoing everyone. Rich Leonard is the one smiling. I wasn't the only one to comment that this is the first time we've ever seen him without his wife, Andrea, who was off on a girls weekend. Haha.
I once again attempted to be social but it was actually a struggle. I just wanted to be alone so I finally left for the walk down by myself. I took last week's course down so that I would most likely stay alone. The evening was gorgeous and even a little bit chilly! Perfect. I had planned to stay for the raffle. No beer since I didn't want to spend the money. I changed my shoes and then took my bag out to the car where I planned to leave it before walking back to the deck for the raffle. But when I opened my door, I realized I just wanted to get into my car and drive away so I did.

I was finally hungry when I got home and ate some of the pizza I had made for John before I left. My body was really tired which came as no surprise. An hour of spinning, a hike of a 4000 footer and another 1000+up Black Mt was a lot for one day.

Saturday, June 9, 2018- As soon as I sat up out of bed, I could feel a lot of soreness in my legs. I also had some slight pain in the tendons. I had overdone it the day before. I couldn't help it, though. I had so little free time that I wanted to fit it all in in one day. Haha. And I even ran out of time to kayak! :)

I knew spin was out for the day. John had to be at his school from 9:45am until noon for the senior graduation so I just planned to do an easy hike up Bayle Mt with the dogs while he was there. I didn't have a lot of time since just the drive over to the Ossipee side of the mountain took 20 minutes each way so I opted to take the shortcut trail from the snowmobile trail that connected to the Bayle Mt Trail. It probably cut off a half mile each way and gave us just enough time to get up there and hang out for a bit before heading back. This was only a 2.6 mile round trip hike so it was perfect for my tired legs. And it was ANOTHER beautiful day.

After I picked up John, I took him to the trailhead off of 113A for a hike up to the Great Hill Fire Tower. He wasn't getting away with no exercise! Haha. :) This is a pretty easy hike and only 2.3 miles round trip. It was pretty buggy, but nothing has yet to compare to last summer. That was the worst summer bug-wise I'd ever experienced up here. Once at the top, Chill kept trying to go up the fire tower but would only make it half way up the first set of stairs before getting scared and going back down. It was kind of funny. I carried Phoenix up to the top. She was definitely not a fan of this.

Phoenix with the look of terror

Poor Chill finally gave up trying. Haha.
The hike down was quick and then we went home. I got in an upper body, abs and glutes workout and that was it for me before I had to be ready for work at 5pm. The on-call (stipend) shift is ok for me to do since I'm not leaving John behind for too long. I can just rarely pick them up on the weekends since I race so much. Since I had nothing going on Sunday and they were desperate to fill the shift, I decided to pick it up for the extra cash.

I was happy I got dinner made before I got called in just after 6pm. When I got to work, one of the other crews was back in service so I headed home after chatting a bit. About two miles from home, a tone went out for Ossipee Corner, so I turned my car around and went back. The other crew was transporting to Memorial from West Ossipee at that time. I was back at the base maybe 10 minutes before we got a tone to Center Ossipee. Always Ossipee. I hate that town. Ours was for an assault so we ended up transporting. I was home around 10pm and luckily didn't get called back in again before my shift ended at 7am. Stipends are a great way to make some money if you get called in. I made $116 for 4 hours of work. I'll take it!

Sunday, June 10, 2018- Today was a struggle because I really wanted to be racing. The weather was too beautiful not to be out there. I had originally planned to race Nipmuck South as part of the Grand Tree Series, but it wasn't to happen obviously. That would make two planned Grand Tree races in a row I would have to miss (Cranmore was the other). Ugh. My schedule is so tight as it is since the Grand Prix races coincide with many of them. I have Upton and Busa Bushwhack on the calender but now I have to fit one more in as well to count for my 6 races. I had Wapack 18 mile race as tentative one, but I'm not feeling that one at all so I'm either going to do the People's Forest Trail Race or Monroe Dunbar Brook. Neither is ideal schedule-wise, but I'll just pick the least cumbersome of the two. And of course, any racing is all dependent on how I'm feeling with this injury thing that I probably won't be good about resting properly. Haha. I don't care much how I place in the Grand Tree, but I just wanted to count this year. And hopefully, next year I can do more of them and get off the roads a bit more than I have the last 4 years.

So anyway, I slept in pretty late this morning to finally catch up a bit then went back to the gym for an hour of spinning. I felt completely recovered so the easy Saturday was the right move. I'm really hoping this spinning will help me next week at Ribfest. I'm really nervous about how it's going to go.

I went home, showered, then dragged John out to mountain bike on the trails by Echo Lake. I like biking these because they're gently rolling so we can ride quickly. The trails are very rooty in spots, but other than that it's smooth sailing. We only biked 3.1 miles which was good enough for me. Haha. That's also just enough time to keep John interested, too.

I was surprised he actually accepted my suggestion to go to the lake beach after. Yay! We found the beach completely unoccupied when we got there which was so weird. Maybe it was the yellow, pollen-filled water that turned people away, but not John. He thought it was fun to swim in. Haha.

It wasn't long after we arrived that some others did, too, and unfortunately, it was the four awful kids we'd run into there last year. I wrote about them in some blog post from last summer. They gave me a bad vibe to my core last year and today was no different. I don't know what it is exactly, but there's just something so off with them as if they could be dangerous people some day. I hope I'm wrong, but I don't think I am. Right after they arrived, some people showed up via boat and proceeded to yell at their kids constantly. Argh. Haha. So much for  a quiet beach. The water was actually kind of cold even for John so he only swam for about a half hour then joined me in the sand for about 20 minutes before we left.

I could have done more like mow the yard (the mower had just overheated and works fine now!) or do upper body and abs, but for some reason, my ass would not get off the couch. Haha.

So considering this post took me no time at all to write meant a pretty uneventful week. My life is very much not exciting when running isn't involved. Maybe I should make some gym rat friends I can pump iron with so I can write about how much I can lift. Haha.

Ok. Nah. I'll stick with running. :)

1 comment:

  1. You did have a lot to write about!! Yeah I can see you as one of those fake tanned oiled up muscle girls, ewwww not! Kismet your favorite nail place closed up shop, it was meant to be! Hope your two weeks off shows improvement and you don't over do it!