Thursday, January 10, 2019

2019 Foulmouthed New Year's Mile

John and me before the Foulmouthed New Year's Mile
After I finished my year in review post, I realized that it was WAY too positive. So positive that I actually left out some serious negatives. Go me for having a good blog post! Hahaha. The parts I left out were significant, though. After rereading my National Snowshoe Race post, it dawned on me that I had left out my intestinal issue thing, my plantar fasciitis and the biggest of all at that time, having been anemic for months! Totally forgot about that; it was already affecting me before the snowshoe race. If any of you have tried to run through anemia, then you know what I mean when I say it feels like running with 100 lb weights on each foot after a week of no sleep. I had started having symptoms at some point in late 2017, but I remember by late January, early February having trouble keeping my eyes open all day, every day. I had no energy to do anything. I still ran but it was slow and the effort felt like a marathon; it became a chore. A lot of things made sense when I realized I was having nearly all of the classic symptoms of iron deficiency. Fortunately, I nipped that in the bud by the end of April. Just a simple over the counter iron supplement that I took a whim on. I'm still taking it daily, by the way.

Also after reading that snowshoe post, I realized I had been dealing with the intestinal thing for almost 3 weeks at that point, and I felt like I was digesting nothing. To say I was a disaster for the rest of March and April is understatement. Even got sick again, which I rarely do. Weakened immune system is another symptom of anemia. The only race I managed to still do well at was Doyle's Emerald Necklace. It was a rough go through the first half of 2018.

On a brighter note, though. New Year's Day 2019 started off on the right foot. Yes, the foot with plantar fasciitis, but that's not what I'm talking about here. I'm talking a brightness. Yes, the sun was out, but I mean things were good! Haha. Day 1 of the year was an awesome one, and I hope that was a prediction of the year to come. I ran my first race in 6 weeks! I don't know the last time I went 6 weeks in between races. Not even when I was deathly sick in 2013 did I do that. Plus, John came with me and also raced!

I registered us for the Foulmouthed New Year's Mile in South Portland, Maine. It was only a mile so I wasn't worried about my tendons. And I knew John would finish. I had originally planned to do the Millennium Mile, but when I saw I had to register John as an adult, making it more expensive than Foulmouthed, I changed my mind. They lucked out, though. Probably the only race in New England that day with a tailwind. The rest of us raced in every wind but a tailwind. Haha. I had really wanted to run the downhill mile since it's fun to do stuff like that (like Hollis), but when I thought about it, I preferred to run a legit mile race to see where I was in my fitness. This course was definitely legit and not a fast course even though it was flat. Two sharp turns, a rotary and wind that was either sideways, a headwind or a diagonal meant it was a race you had to work hard for. I didn't expect to break 6 minutes, even though I wanted to. But considering all the time off I had taken with only 2 weeks of low mileage before this, I would be happy with low 6 minutes.

I was a little nervous since it snowed all night the night before, but by the time I left work the weather was clearing. We had lucked out with no 911 calls on New Year's Eve! So I got sleep. Then I pulled down my road to find the end of my driveway plowed!! I was able to actually park off the road.

We got to the race in South Portland two hours early because I was worried about parking. That turned out to be a non-issue. It was nice, though, since I was able to park near the start/finish. I was also able to take my time and let John sleep more. He wasn't too thrilled about the race, but he never is. Haha.

There was absolutely no snow so I was able to break out of the world of black and white. Haha. I saw grass!! Skies were clear and the sun was bright. Temps would be in the 40s for the race. It was almost perfect...except for the wind. It wasn't so bad when we got there, but after my 2 mile warm up on the course, the wind kicked up across the bay making white caps. The direction of the course would have us never with a tailwind. I would be curious to see what times would have been that day had we run the course in reverse.

I can't say I felt great on the warm up. I felt the tendons but not bad. It just felt weird to be running on a road. It took the first mile to get feel of it again. I still had over an hour after the two miles so I hung out in the car, then took Phoenix out. Unfortunately, my plantar fasciitis had a sudden flare up. It felt like someone was literally driving a nail into my heel. Throbbing pain. WTF. But this is what it does. Never predictable. I woke up John then went back out for a short run to warm back up. Haha.

I told John to show me his not-so-thrilled face. He said, "That's easy. All I have to do is just look up."
I didn't feel bad for dragging him out there. It was only a mile. I didn't care if he walked the whole thing. Just wanted him to get some exercise outside. We walked over to the start. It was crazy how overdressed people were. Like full-on coats. I had on shorts and a t-shirt. I saw a girl in a Dirigo singlet and shorts and knew she would win (she did). Of the rest, I saw only one other girl who looked like she'd run pretty fast (she did; 3rd). I really hoped there was no one else so that maybe I had a chance at 3rd for the prize money, but with the younger girls out there and my lack of fitness, 3rd wasn't likely.

When they moved us to the start, I sent John to the back. I didn't want him to get trampled since it would be a fast start. I lined up not too far back from the start line and just happened to be next to Rick Chalmers, the only person I knew there. A girl that had been next to me moved in front of me, and other than the aforementioned two women, about 3 other women lined up near me. Although my foot hurt still, I knew that with the pain that comes with this speedy of a race, it would only be 10 seconds before I wasn't feeling it at all. And that was true, thankfully!

I was correct with the fast start. It was a bit scary and tight. Almost immediately, the girl who had lined up in front of me made a move to go around a boy, maybe 10 or 11 years old, but she did it recklessly and ended up clipping him with her feet taking him down. In the process of him falling, his legs clipped her feet and she went down. It was scary. I was actually yelling. I wanted to stop to help the boy up, but I would have been knocked down, too. I just barely got around him without tripping over him. I felt really bad to leave them lying on the ground, but people were already moving around them so it was probably safer for them to just stay put and wait to get up. I never saw either again so I don't know if they continued on or not. But after being knocked down at the start myself, I know how scary it is, and it looked like it hurt, too.

Although it slowed us down briefly, it couldn't have been more than a second before everything was smooth again. The field quickly spread out by the time we went around the rotary 1/4 mile in. Rick was running next to me at this point and I was running 3rd female. I knew it wouldn't last since I saw a younger girl pull up next to me. I actually pushed a little bit to stay ahead of her. 2nd was only about 3-4 seconds ahead. We took the first turn into the wind, but it actually didn't feel as bad as it did on the warm-up. Maybe because I was feeling more of the pain of running. Haha. As soon as we took the next right turn, the young girl passed me. We both started gaining on 2nd. For a moment I thought she was going to fall back to us, but I think it was me who actually fell back. Haha. I had lost Rick just after the turn and just kept trying to hang on to the other two women. I was feeling it at this point, though, and they got a little farther ahead. As we made the curve to the finish, the 3rd place girl made a move to catch 2nd, and they battled it out through the finish. She did actually catch her and they finished a second apart, 7 and 8 seconds ahead of me. I had no idea who was behind me so I did my best shuffle/sprint. Just as I hit the shoot, I saw the clock hit 6:00. Damn! Crossed with a chip time of 6:03. 4th female overall, 1st 40-49, 26th overall.

Didn't realize until Jay Kelly pointed it out that I was wearing Six03 and finished in 6:03. Haha.
As soon as I finished, I didn't stop moving. I ran back to the car so I could grab my jacket and phone (for photos) before John ran by. I was actually shocked to see him already running towards me as soon as I began to leave the car. He was moving. And he looked like he was taking it easy. Even talked like it was no big deal.

I ran with him until we got around the curve because he all of a sudden took off at a full sprint. See those girls in the above photo already in the shoot? He beat them! It was a crazy sprint. Which means he could have run that mile much faster. Finished in 9:15. I thought that was impressive for a kid who doesn't run at all. Had he been motivated to do better, I bet he could have finished under 8 minutes.

As soon as he finished he had to sit down on the curb, but he was all of a sudden on the runner's high! It was so cute! Like seriously, giddy, chatty, happy. He stayed that way the entire post race. We got in line for our beer mugs from Foulmouthed Brewing. John only got a mug and said to the lady when she handed it to him, "Yeah, I don't really want the beer. I'm more of a red wine kind of guy." Haha. He was so cute and funny. We went out to the lot where the sun was SO warm and the buildings completely blocked the wind. We hung out with Rick since he was only person we knew there, but occasionally a few other people would join in. The beer was actually really good. It was nice to finally socialize and stand out in the sun. On Jan 1st, I stood outside for 1.5 hours in shorts. What a day!

There was a bit of an issue with the results so it took overly long for awards. There were literally like 15 of us left when they were finally ready. I knew I had won a brewery shirt so I was staying. Really could have used the prize money but I just wasn't fast enough. Haha. Really enjoyed this event put on by GiddyUp so I used the 20% code on the bib to sign up for their next event, the Thirsty Leprechaun 5k on March 16th. Looking forward to a fun 5K instead of the New Bedford Half Marathon this year.

I was super happy with how today went. 6:03 was a good time for where I am right now; Had that been on the track, there's no doubt I would have gone under 6. The only issue was that I did have some tendon soreness after. It makes me nervous, but I'm just going to be cautious. If I overdo it, then it's an automatic no-run day the next day.

After the race, I took John to the Maine Mall to buy him lunch at Johnny Rockets. Crazy how long it had been since we'd done this. Going to the mall used to be one of his favorite things to do. I waited for him to eat lunch then we went to Gamestop where he used some of his Christmas money to buy some new thumb grips for his Xbox controller.

I ordered my lunch from Starbucks since I had the $30 gift card Christmas gift. I was glad I placed the order ahead of time. The place was mobbed. We left for home from there.

Once we got home, I had to do the dreaded snow shoveling from the night before's snowfall. Ugh. Glad I waited, though. It was been very wet and heavy when we left, but after the dry, sunny day, most of the water had drained out of the snow so it was lighter and easier to lift. Still took me over two hours. Bryan would end up criticizing my shoveling. He has no idea how difficult it is to lift that snow. My perma-winter bruise from using my leg to help lift the snow shovel proves it.

After shoveling I made dinner, this red lentil soup that I really like. John came in and asked what was for dinner. I said, "Red lentil soup." His response, "What's for dinner besides that?" Hahaha. Needless to say, I had all the soup to myself. He had leftover pizza. Haha. What a good day. 2019 was off to a good start.

I got up to 29 miles this week. Yay! Slow progress is good for now, but I need to be up to 40 by the first week of February if I want to get started on Boston training. I'll have to play it by ear with the tendons, though. I'd say all of the runs were good. I was pretty fatigued for Saturday's run, but I pushed through it to run my longest run yet. A whopping 8 miles! Haha. I purposely didn't run on Monday. It was actually my first day in 8 weeks without some sort of high intensity workout. I wanted to rest my body for the next day's mile race. I didn't run on Wednesday either because the tendons were feeling the previous day's race.

Tuesday, 1/1- 2.1 mile warm-up at 8:26 pace. Another half mile at 7:53 pace. The 1-mile race in 6:03. Then only a 1/10 of a mile with John. No cool down. Only 3.7 miles for the day, but with the race it was enough.

Thursday, 1/3- I really didn't want to run on the treadmill, but it won't stop snowing!

My drive home from work this morning
Had a duh moment when I realized I could record my treadmill splits with my watch. Turned off auto lap and hit them manually. It was also cool since I could record my heart rate. This would be a usual progression run. This time I added in 2% grade for a total of 2.5 miles (.5 mile increments). The rest at 1%. HR averaged 150 for this which I was pleased with. 7 miles in 51:51. 7:24 avg pace.

Since John had a snow day, I put him to work shoveling half of the driveway while I ran.

Friday, 1/4- Treadmill workout. 10x 1min on/1min off. 1 mile warm up. A little less than a mile cool down. 4.5 miles total in 33:58. 7:33 avg pace. I didn't bother recording splits since it's a pain, but, in hindsight, I should have. Avg HR 156.

Saturday, 1/5- I pretty much destroyed myself on Friday by doing too much so this run was done with a fatigued body (even did this after Insanity Max 30: Friday Fight Round 2). I've been going into every run slightly fatigued on purpose, but I was extra beat today. Planned 8 miles which I accomplished, but I really had to fight for those last 2 miles. I like the idea of training with fatigue; it helps mentally.

Kept these 8 treadmill miles at 1% grade the whole way. Avg HR 149. 1:01:20. 7:40 avg pace. I'll take it.

Prior to this run, as I was setting up, I happened to notice that my treadmill belt is torn!! AHHHH! Not happy about that. I made sure to cut off any loose pieces and so far it's been fine, but I will have to replace it sooner rather than later. It's only $65 which is way less than replacing the treadmill so it won't be too bad. Totally worth it.

Sunday, 1/6- A beautiful sunny day! I had to run outside! Plus, I knew the roads would be mostly dry on my Cranmore Shores out-and-back. Well, all except that pesky 1/4 mile stretch of icy road that's always in my first and last miles. It's not horrible. They sand it well enough that I don't feel like I'm going to fall, but it's still a bit slower with its slight slipperiness. Not horrible though. Skews overall pace a bit, but I don't usually look at those miles to judge how my run went. Although there are no big hills, there are some, and I'm definitely out of hill shape. I didn't actually feel bad, AND I could actually feel my glutes activating automatically!! BUT, my heart rate indicated that I was putting into way too much effort for what my body is ready for. The pace definitely felt faster than it was, but I was very happy with it. 5.7 miles in 44:11. 7:43 avg pace. 357ft of elevation gain which is decent since I've only been doing easy grades on the treadmill. I forgot to turn auto lap back on and realized I really liked that so I'm keeping it off.

Splits so you can see my HR

I skipped Insanity Max Out Cardio on Tuesday because of the race, obviously. That was a no brainer. But other than that, I did all 4 other days like usual. And I did them all before my runs. Like I said above, I went into every run slightly fatigued from the workouts. I still plan to continue these as scheduled through the next 3 weeks. Once(If) I'm running more, I'll cut back to probably 3 days a week, just like I've cut back to 3 days a week with the Booty Core.

Monday, 12/31- First real rest day. Only did 21 Day Booty Core Day 20. The usual. 30 min. Walked 30 minutes in the ambulance bay.
Wednesday, 1/2- Insanity Max 30: Max Out Power (32 minutes) and then 360 Abs at work (15 min). Also did Booty Core and another 30 min walk in the bay.
Thursday, 1/3- Insanity Max 30: Max Out Sweat (32 min). 1 hour of snow shoveling.
Friday, 1/4- Insanity Max 30: Max Out Strength (32 min). Ab Attack (10 min)
Saturday, 1/5- Insanity Max 30: Friday Fight Round 2 (32 min). Super fatigued for this workout. Took more breaks than usual.
Sunday, 1/6- I have stopped doing the Insanity Pulse recovery workout. It's gotten too easy so not much of a benefit. Still did the 360 Abs workout (15 min) and Booty Core (30 min).

Soooooo, I finally tried SKATE SKIING!! And oh my god, it was much harder than I expected. I did do it on tired legs Friday afternoon. I had already done the Insanity workout, plus abs then the treadmill workout. But the day was finally perfect for it so I had to. John had skiing at Cranmore with his school so after I dropped off his skis there, I drove over to Whitaker Woods. I was SO nervous. I started off with the flat field loop and must have looked like a total idiot flopping all over the place. The track was VERY chewed up from walkers, but this really wasn't that bad.

I decided to just skate out to Rt 16, staying mostly flat for my first day. I started to get the hang of it quickly, but for some reason, I couldn't stop digging my left tip into the snow when I was bringing the leg back in. So I had to consciously think about what I was doing the whole time and basically over-exaggerate lifting it up and over. I think some of that lifting weakness is from the tendon injury. My range of motion and flexibility on that leg have been significantly compromised. Once out where the track was less chewed up, I was able to get up to some good speed. I didn't think I was overdressed but I was pouring in sweat. I wish I had brought my HR monitor because it felt out of control. Haha. I didn't have to go fast today, but I couldn't help myself. I'm just not someone who moves at slow pace in any aspect of my life. Haha.

Lucked to find some untouched track and then got behind the groomer on the way back. I hadn't planned to do the Stonehurst Manor trail, but I was catching up to the groomer and decided to detour. This meant a LONG uphill which I cannot get the hang of yet. Haha. I was a bit scared of the downhill on the way back but was surprised to find that downhills were way easier on skate skis. I actually felt more in control. That doesn't mean I'm ready for big hills yet, though.

By the last mile, I was dying. SO beat. I barely made it. My feet hurt so bad (I've since added better insoles) and I was drenched in sweat. I felt like I had just done a 4.3 mile run at 6:30 pace when I'd actually skate skied 4.3 miles at 13:47 pace. Haha. Crazy!! I was out there for an hour-ish. I was so out-of-breath when I finished and I stayed slightly out of breathe for like 20 minutes. I honestly can't wait to get out there again, if the weather would cooperate!

I still had to take care of Phoenix after skate skiing so we hiked a mile up the Middle Mt Trail before turning around and head back to Cranmore to pick up John. 2 miles in 54 minutes. 686ft of elevation gain which left me dead to the world. It was a frozen pizza dinner that night. Haha.


Thursday, 1/3- John's school was cancelled for a snow day which was a little ridiculous. By 9am it was sun and blue skies. A delay would have been sufficient. Thursday is supposed to be my one free day of the week, but Bryan has taken it upon himself to pick up a permanent shift at work on this day even though I did not approve this. Sure, I could leave John all day by himself to play video games, but someone had to be a parent today, and that was me. Bryan still succeeds in stealing my time. The way I wrote that sounds like I don't want to be with John. That's not it at all. We had a fun afternoon. It's just the fact that Bryan sees nothing wrong with it. He has nearly every day free unless he's working. Only picks John up from school and spends an hour or two with him 3 days a week. I'm entitled by the court to one day of my own. I don't think that's selfish. I had to battle with him constantly over this all Christmas break. I think I finally got to the point after today of letting it go. Like I said in my year in review post, I'm ready to end the stress and the drama. And he just doesn't get it. It's like beating a dead horse. I will however continue to remind him that Thursdays are MY day, but I'm done fighting about it.

Since I wasn't going to leave John all day playing video games, we drove up to the Red Tail Trailhead on Hurricane Mt Rd and did a short snowshoe hike with the dogs. It was only short because we were breaking thick trail and it was a lot of work. Very slow-going. Plus John likes to stop constantly to play in the snow. Haha. We ended up looping back down Hurricane Mt Rd where the Red Tail cuts close to it. Only 1.5 miles, but we were out there for an hour and 15 minutes.

As soon as we got home, I reached over to grab my snowshoes to bring them inside....but they weren't there!! I had left them at the trailhead 20 minutes away. ARGH! I had to go back for them. I need those things just for taking the dogs out at home, and I couldn't afford to replace them. I so hoped they were still there. I drove in and didn't see them, but then there they were! They guy parked behind us must have seen them, so he put them where they weren't visible to the road but also where they wouldn't be run over and where I would find them. Thank you, whoever you are!!

Caught the sunset when I went back for my snowshoes
Made a spinach feta quiche when I got home
Saturday, 1/5- I was pretty tired and didn't want to do anything crazy so John and I broke trail on the way up Heavenly Hill. Talk about slow-going, and I was beat. It's super steep, and trying to break trail was a workout. It took over 43 minutes to get to the top. Of course that does include A LOT of stopping for John, but I actually welcomed the breaks. Only 1.5 miles 567ft of gain over .6 miles. Elapsed time was 1:37:09. Moving time was 53:02. Even moving, you can see it was a slow trudge through the snow. I did this in hopes of packing down the trail so I could do Heavenly Hill repeats, but it was still too soft when we were done with it.

Mt Chocorua. Everyone's beautiful mountain.

After our snowshoe hike, I really wanted to go for a beer and listen to some music at Tuckerman Brewing. Just needed to get out a bit. John didn't want to go so I went alone. It's just down the street, and I only stayed for a half hour before going to the store then coming back home. Saw an awesome sunset when I got there. The music was great. Some fun covers. I really liked it, and it wasn't stupidly crowded like it always is. 

Sunday, 1/6- Took John and Phoenix to ski at Believe in Books. Since he doesn't have a pass to the MWV Ski Touring, it was cheaper to pay the $5 here. Plus, it wouldn't be crowded either. It was super cold and windy, but we stayed pretty warm until the end. Started off with me on the skate skis and John on my backcountry skis. After about halfway, John asked if he could try skate skiing. I've been dying for him to try skate skiing for years. When he was 7, I rented him a pair once at Great Glen Trails. It was a day when the trails were pure ice. It didn't work out well at all. Haha. But I thought it would be something he'd like. Well, we switched boots and skis, and off he went, like he'd been doing it for years. What the hell! Haha. He loved it. He enjoys the speed and he was flying up and down hills. I might encourage him to join the middle school team next year at Kennett to learn how to do it better, and if he really likes it and wants to continue, he can. We'll see, though. We skiied 3.3 miles over about an hour and a half. Lots of John stops. Haha.

I was pretty cold so we stopped at Frontside for coffee and took the last two glazed donuts. Haha.
Random Stuff

Still using my acupuncture mat. Love it. Finally got a good photo of the marks.
Funny that my top breweries were in Rhode Island, but not surprising. Counted up 27 different Proclamation Beers that I've checked in. I actually prefer dark beers, but I do drink a lot of IPAs in the summer.

John's Spanish teacher sent us info about a potluck at the Conway Library with Peru as a theme. I doubted we would go to the potluck so I decided to make a Peruvian dish for John on Sunday. It's a strange mesh of ingredients, but John loved it. Came out great!

Sunday night snuggles with my dog
Watched the movie Big Eyes this week. It was really, really good. I highly recommend it. And Lana Del Rey did theme song so of course I love it...


  1. "Mt Chocorua. Everyone's beautiful mountain" Ha Ha well played! Yeah, now that you mention it who hacked your blog and put in that uber positive year end post? I'm glad you cleared up the discrepancies with the facts. You had a tough year and it is nice to really put it in the rear view mirror by completely spacing out on remembering the crap? That acupuncture mat looks horribly uncomfortable. I bet it works though.

    John's line is the best "I'm more of a red wine guy." What a kid!

  2. It took me a second to realize that Foulmouthed Mile is the real name of the event, not your own pet euphemism. I've been to a lot of foulmouthed races in my day, probably at least two dozen. But they only earned that designation because I tend to swear a lot when I'm running shitty races, and every race I have done since turning 35.1 has been shitty.

    I may see if I can formally do a sub-6:00 mile with Rosie on the track soon. This may require being out there when it's really late or really cold, because Boulder has far too many runners in it. But I am a fuckup with a foul, fucked-up schedule, so this shouldn't be a problem.