Waterville Valley 2019

Waterville Valley 2019

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Unplanned Race Free Week

View of Lake Winnipesaukee from the trail up Mt Roberts
I was originally supposed to race the Wachusett Mountain Race this weekend. I had registered for it and needed to do it to count for the USATF-NE Mountain Series (since I don't do Pack Monadnock or Greylock), but I woke up Friday morning and realized I just didn't care at all. I had no desire to make that long drive again, dragging John out there for a race I don't really even like. So I made the decision that morning that I was going to skip it. I had no regrets then, and I still have none now. It's not that it's a bad race; it's just not the type I really enjoy. Plus, I think it's lame that the Mountain Series only counts for the first 3 miles (the uphill part) of the race. The last 3 miles downhill don't count. I understand that people wanted more uphill-only races in the Series so they made this change to reflect it, but uphill-only on pavement doesn't excite me.

Other than the Mt Washington Road Race, I predict uphill-only, paved mountain races will die out. The Mountain Series already attracts a much older crowd, but Wachusett was even more of an older crowd in general. This type of racing just doesn't attract many young people. The trend is towards longer trail races. Someone commented on FB about discussing how we need to attract more young people to the mountain stuff. I had to ask why the need. It falls in line with the whole "need" to attract more women. Why is it a NEED? It's there. They know about it. If they want to do it, they will. Stop forcing the issue with enticements. That's such a superficial way to draw people in. Mountain racing is a whole different ballgame. They may come for the discounts and free stuff once, but it takes a LOVE of this style of racing to stay in it. Just let it be. Let it flow the way it will. Stop it with this "need" thing. Let it evolve naturally. Races come and go. Just like people come and go with running. You can't force it on people in hopes of making it stick. Focus on the product you're giving. If people love it, they'll be there.

So, anyway. What did I do this week instead? Well, I worked and ran a lot. I'm starting to feel like my old self again. For the first time in years, I'm finding myself lost in my head running down a trail not even feeling like I'm running. Like it's on automatic pilot. Not even having to think about it. It's such a neat feeling, and I really don't know the last time I've felt it. I feel like I'm flowing again. My tendons have seen a significant decrease in pain (although they were very achy on Thursday). There could be so many reasons for this. The new car, which is WAY more comfortable. I switched office chairs out at work. Less road running, although I did quite a bit of it this week. Getting stronger from so much mountain and trail running. It's probably all of these things. So that's great.

I've seen improvements in my intestinal issues over the last 2 weeks, as well. I can't say for sure why, but I started taking a product for gut health (leaky gut) about 4 weeks ago. I spent some time looking at different products and came across one that had mostly great reviews.

Most of the reviews sounded like people with similar symptoms as me and many said that they saw a difference in 2 weeks. I struggled trying something that cost me $42 for a 2 month supply, but oh my god. Exactly 2 weeks after taking this, the insane bloating that I've had every night for over a year was gone. The constant gurgling...gone. "Other things" are more normal than not, although I still have a few rough mornings. Haha. But seriously, it's insane how much better I feel. I also noticed something that coincided with this. For the last 2+ years, I've had very bumpy, itchy lower legs. Not on the calves, but on the front of both lower legs. Came on suddenly one day, just like this intestinal issue. Itching like you wouldn't believe. I found an eczema lotion that helped the itching for a few hours, but this isn't eczema. Two weeks ago, the itching was GONE. And the bumpiness is nearly gone, as well. I'm not sure if this was related to my intestinal issues since it started over a year before them, but something in this product is helping that, too. Honestly worth every penny. I'm stunned that something is actually working. $42 is worth it (although the cost went down!).

Of course, my body wouldn't let me enjoy feeling 100% great. The pulled tooth!! Argh! This actually got worse. I woke up on Monday morning with the left side of my face completely swollen and in pain. I was pretty sure it had gotten infected, which is common with dry socket. I tried to stay in denial all day until around 4 when it was so much worse. I called the dentist and had to make an appointment for the next day. I knew this meant antibiotics, which I don't like taking, but it was necessary. The appointment was silly since he just confirmed what I already knew and wrote me a prescription. In and out in less than 10 minutes. My face would end up puffy all week on that side, but after about 3 days, I was finally able to open my mouth all the way for the first time since the extraction. Most of the pain subsided except one spot that feels like a needle is stabbing me constantly. Since I could finally open my mouth all the way, I was able to get a look, and wtf, a piece of my BONE is jabbing into my cheek and gums. It's the most annoying pain because it's tolerable, but it's just constant. I guess I have to wait and see if it heals over it, but, man, this can't be normal. He did have to break the bone to get the tooth out, but shouldn't he have sutured it or something so that it wasn't jabbing into my cheek? Ugh. It gives me a bit of a headache at times, but I'm going to deal with it for now and wait it out to see if it heals on its own. For now, I'll just continue to look like a toddler trying to eat. Haha.

This week was a good one for running! I got up to 60 miles. It was a little too much road running, but it's just how it worked out on a few of the days. I also worked my regular 48 hours plus the 9 hour track shift on Thursday...which is what I think made my tendons hurt on Friday.

It's weird looking back to a year ago when I had just DNFd the Vermont City Marathon and was now on a 2 week no-running break. What a difference. I'm already in better shape than I was then. This injury screwed up my whole summer. I never got to do the Ossipee Mountains Loop at Castle in the Clouds. So I finally got back up there this week. I ran at the track. I did a new pub run here in town. Pretty good week. 6,539ft of elevation gain.

Random stuff first....

I don't know why this one made me laugh so hard, but it did.

Saw this at Dunkin' Donuts. How could I not add Chill to it?

Facebook memories is cruel sometimes. My sweet Coy dog on the Tahoe Rim Trail in 2009.

Coy by Lake Tahoe
The Pineland Farms Trail Races on Sunday were a disaster this year. I considered registering for the 50 mile day-of without telling anyone. SO glad I didn't! What a mess. So here's a memory of Chill and me at the 2014 Pineland Canicross race. I had put on a ton of weight over that May. When I saw my photos 3 weeks after this at Mt Washington, I got myself back on the ball and in better shape by Loon. No idea only 2 months after that I would be in the best shape of my life because of the Divorce Diet and Exercise Program. Haha.

Canicross 5k 2014
Below is a good Facebook post about the events that happened at Pineland on Sunday. Edited to add that the RD disabled visitor posts on the race page, but so far the link below still works.

Monday, 5/20- 2.2 miles. This number isn't accurate since I did stair repeats in the bay. It was super hot in here so I was sweating buckets. Used my watch with the GPS turned off. Ran up and down for 30 minutes. Threw in double step jumps every 4 or 5 passes on the stairs. I was sore again from this but not like last time before Boston. Only lasted 2 days. I honestly really like this workout and wish I had thought of it over the winter when I was stuck inside.

Tried to get my race results posted, but I kept getting interrupted by people. Then we had to do the blood pressure clinic at the Gibson Center. When we got back the new manager asked us to go through the State check list on both trucks. Ummmm. No. I got him to have the next day's crew do the other truck. They never do truck checks so it was time for them to do something. Went through the truck which took awhile. Found quite a bit more that needed to be fixed than I expected. But anyway, it took me until the afternoon to get the results all in the spreadsheet. Went to upload to Cool Running...Error code. But it said to email Jason Somebody to report it so I did. I got this back...

Jason probably lost his mind and quit. Haha. Fortunately, Richie Blake told me how to get it to work. You have to use Internet Explorer AND clear the cache first. Really, Cool Running? They probably still use dial-up. But I got it done finally. Skipped the weights today. Didn't even bring them.

Tuesday, 5/21- 12 miles. Went home after work. As soon as John left for school, I called the Albany Service Center where my Kia Soul had been parked for 2.5 weeks. I gave the guy 1.5 weeks to look at it before I called. I kept driving by to see my car parked behind a pile of other cars. WTF. So I called the previous Wednesday looking for an update. "He just stepped out, but I'll have him call you when he gets back in." I never got the call. I was too busy to deal with it the rest of the week, but today, I was getting my car and taking it to Frechette. So I called and the guy who answered was the guy who does the heavy equipment, trucks and diesel stuff. I told him that I was picking it up but that it was stuck behind other cars.

I walk over and see that he's moved the car, but he's looking at the right rear tire. He looks at me, and I can see that something is wrong. He says that the right rear brake is locked up probably from the car sitting for so long and from the rain. I was fucking PISSED. I was trying not to be mad at this guy because this wasn't his fault. He doesn't do the regular cars; it was the other guy. My mouth was in agony so I'm sure I wasn't able to hide my anger well enough with permanent pain face going on. He ended up getting a hammer out and loosening up the brake for me then found my registration. I felt really bad that he had to clean up this other guy's mess. He's apparently a really good mechanic for that other stuff so I won't shit on him, but if you own a regular car, do not take it to the Albany Service Center.

I thanked him then drove the car home. Since I had my dentist appointment at noon, I got dressed to run then got back in my little car and drove it to Frechette just hoping that I didn't get pulled over during the 3 mile drive for the expired inspection sticker. They couldn't get to the car until today (5/29), but I was at least put in the book unlike the other place.

Since I had no way home, I decided to run from there. I wanted to do a longer run up Passaconaway Rd and back the Kanc, but I was unsure if I'd have the time. I ran that direction anyway. Passaconaway is awesome for running. Quiet, barely used paved road along the Swift River. It was pretty nice. I got to 4 miles and looked at my watch. I stopped to double check how much farther I had to go. It was going to be cutting it close to getting home on time. Plus, running on the Kanc scares me since most of it has no shoulder. I decided to just turn around, go back the way I came and run home through Conway Village. I wanted to take the RR tracks, but I didn't know if I could get across the RR bridge or not so I planned to cut through the cemetery and over to the middle school from there...except I completely forgot that the Pequawket Pond outlet ran in between there so I couldn't get through. Haha. Ran back to the Village, up West Main St and then onto the RR tracks for the way home. This last mile was a little slower than the rest from trying to run on the RR ties, but I still ran this at a pretty good pace over. 12 miles in 1:28:10. 7:18 avg pace.

Passaconaway Rd
After the dentist, I took Chill and Phoenix on a walk on the trails near Redstone Quarry. 2.7 miles.

Took some pics while I waited for John to get out of school.

School dog

Actually took effort to smile with the left side of my face.
Enjoyed a beer that night that Jen Graves brought me to my race. That was really nice of her.

Wednesday, 5/22- 4.5 miles. Somehow managed to get up at 4:30am for a run. Soooo boring and slow. I doubt I'll be able to make a habit of this one. Ran the same loop as last week around Conway. 36:54. 8:07 avg pace.

It was EMS week this week and hell froze over. Other than when I won Red Sox tickets, this was the best EMS week from our company since I've been here (8 years in July). Ben & Jerry's ice cream and two Fladbread pizzas! Way better than the $10 Subway cards we've gotten the last 2 years. Our new manager is definitely stepping up to the plate, and it's appreciated.

I still got in my weight lifting, glutes and abs today and then walked 2 miles on the trail out back.

You're probably wondering if we ever actually work since all I do is workout, eat and write my blog. Haha. Well, yes and no. We did have calls today, but it's been VERY slow. It always is after skiing ends until mid-June. But even when we're "busy" we still have time to do other things.

Thursday, 5/23- 11 miles. Club Motorsports opened for the season a few weeks ago so it's back to picking up some overtime shifts. However, I will NOT pick these up almost every week like I did last year. They destroyed me. Way too much sitting. So much tendon pain. I'm planning to do them once every other week at the most and probably not even that much. Going from a 24 hour shift into another 9 hour shift is brutal on my body. But, anyway, today was my first day working there for the season. The manager who used to be so friendly wasn't at all which was sad. He's had it with our incompetent company, but he has no other ambulance options. My partner there is in such bad shape that he can't even walk so I know that has pissed the manager off, too. And I'm sure he's angry at having his hands tied. He wants his own ambulance, but the owners won't approve it. It sucks for him so I get it. He still waved at me, but never stopped to chat. Only one person was friendly. Bums me out a little, but whatever. Nothing I can do about it. I'm showing up and I'm able to do my job. Everything else is out of my control.

We were told that truck checks were supposed to be done on the track truck daily. We don't have time to do them at the base so I always do them at the track. Would you be surprised to learn that NO ONE has done a truck check?! Every time I pick up a shift at the Tamworth base, the truck I'm on is a disaster! Today was no exception! It was missing State required items and tons of other things. My partner can't even help (literally physically unable) but loves to stand there watching me do everything. I was so pissed and finally told him this was unacceptable. He's been on that truck for most shifts since this season started.

Pretty similar to my Christmas Day truck check. It also had 2 out of date fire extinguishers on it.  Idiots. Reminded why I stopped working out of that base. Fortunately, we got it mostly restocked back at the base after our shift, but it shouldn't have been like this in the first place. It at least kept me busy for awhile.

I ran the track twice at lunch. The GPS messed up and lost about .3 miles on the last loop so the time was wrong, but I was shocked to see I had run both hills my fastest. Weird. My previous fastest times were when I was in really good shape. Hmm. Maybe I'm in shape? It seems like it. It feels like it. But it's so hard to tell. But I keep taking Strava CRs...from my former fast self.

5 miles total for the track. Should have been closer to 37 minutes, but I added on the extra to make the watch say 5 miles so it was 39:19.

We actually got out early enough that I was able to stock the truck (mostly) then still have time to go home, eat something and make it to the first Tuckerman Brewing Pub Trail Run. I was glad I was able to make it. Andrew Drummond switches from Ski the Whites to Run the Whites for the summer and decided to add in a pub trail run on Thursdays. It was actually a good turn out. We ran from the brewery to the Albany Town Forest. I ended up mostly with Brittni Gorman, Ryan Murphy and this guy who works for REI. It was a good group. Fun to chat with as we ran. Got rained on at the end, but it was still fun. Ran way more than I intended. 6 miles total. 56:40.

Most people stayed for beer after. It was a good time, and I love how it's right down the street from my house.

Smiling is still a struggle with the tooth thing. I didn't put enough effort in here. Haha.
So while I was out having a good time, poor John and I just nearly crossed paths since Bryan decided to kick him out of the car in Conway Village by the library with his 14.5 lbs backpack with only one strap and with Phoenix. He had to walk home. His phone had died, but he stopped at First Stop and tried to call me but didn't realize you don't have to dial the area code from a land line in NH so it didn't work. He basically walked right past Tuckerman Brewing even knowing the car was there. Took the RR tracks and then walked the road the rest of the way home. 2 miles. WTF. Bryan never fed him dinner. Why did he do this, you ask? Because John forgot to tell him what time I was coming home after the pub run. The poor kid. Killed me knowing I was right nearby and totally clueless as to what was going on. He's had a few issues lately with Bryan. I'm not sure how the summer is going to go. It ended up being ok last year, but their relationship has gotten worse since last year. Ugh.

Friday, 5/24- 18 miles. As I mentioned before, I got out for a loop in the Ossipee Mountains today. I had missed this run so much. It's mostly non-technical on carriage roads and just a lot of easy running. Amazing views of Lake Winnipesaukee and solitude. Just as I like it. I was a little bummed out to have quite a bit of tendon pain today, but it made sense from the track and a lot of road running. I also felt pretty tired for some reason. So I didn't go into it feeling great, but the weather was perfect and I wasn't in it for the time. This would actually be my second slowest time on this loop. Just when I thought I was in fast shape, I'm reminded that I'm not. Haha. BUT still managed to snag a CR up Black Snout by way faster than my previous fastest time. Haha.

Took the usual loop from the Shannon Pond Trailhead. Ignored the trail closure signs since it wasn't bad. The trail had washed out (this has been a long time coming for years now so not surprised), but it was still runnable and only like 2/10 of a mile. I wasn't changing my route just for that.

Ran up Mt Roberts which is the longest climb at 4 miles total. This has a lot of technical single track with amazing views on the way up.

After this it's all carriage roads until mile 17 so it's mostly easy running. Hit all the summits except Faraway Mt to complete the loop. I started to bonk in the same exact place as always...within 100 yards of the Turtleback Mt spur trail. Today, I brought plain water and a water with Nuun. I started using Nuun back in 2009 when I first tried it and bought some at the Santa Cruz Running Company the day before the Santa Cruz Mountain Trail Races. I used it up until 2015 when I tried Tailwind. Well, after using Nuun again on this run and seeing a much better result, I'm going back to Nuun. I always had great luck with it so I'm not sure why I changed, but it made me feel so much better for the rest of the run. 3:13:08. 3,160ft of elevation gain.

I grabbed coffee and a snack for John at Cup & Crumb then drove to his school to pick him up. It's only 15 minutes from Castle in the Clouds. I wished I'd had time to go home and pick up Phoenix since I gave her the shaft today, but I didn't so I just hung out and waited on John.

I was definitely happy I had made the decision to skip Wachusett because I was beat. But I still had to get the dogs walked so I walked them a mile and then used the gift certificate for pizza at Elvio's that Jim Boule had given us. I got home to find John out cold. He didn't wake up again until the next morning. So no fresh pizza for him. Haha.

Beer that Beth brought to me at the Dirty Girl

Saturday, May 25- 6 miles. Sleeping in was awesome. Lazy morning. Then I ran from home up Heavenly Hill and over to Tin Mountain. Ran most of my course then back. Fell down this granite slab on my way back down Heavenly Hill. Stepped on this mossy dirt that I've stepped on probably 50 times. Today was the day it finally gave way causing me to fall on my tailbone and then slide down the slab on my left side. Ouchy. No real harm done other than some scrapes, though. Made me think of Dave Mackey's accident. How he had stepped on that same rock many times over the years and that one day it finally gave way. He wasn't as lucky as me since he suffered a bad injury that led to a partial leg amputation.

1:18:29 for the run. 1,286ft of elevation gain. Crazy to get that much gain just running trails from my house.

Got a text from the friend who overstayed his welcome after the Dirty Girl asking what I was up to today. That went unanswered. Sometimes it's just easier to ignore people. I was spending the day with my kid and no one else.

This afternoon, we were finally getting the bikes back out for a ride on the Mountain Division Trail. I've been looking forward to this for the last 2 months. It took awhile to get the bike rack on the new car (planning to keep it on the little car, as well as my kayak, once it's out of the shop), then I loaded up the bikes. Dawned on me that John's bike was probably too small. Hmm. Well, that was confirmed as a definite when we got there. He was still able to ride it, but this would be the last time. Still had a fun 8-mile ride out-and-back. Stopped at the pond where we saw turtles, a blue heron, a beaver, a woodchuck and jumping fish. Haha. John sat down by the pond for about 10 minutes. On the way back, we ran into Kevin Tilton with his wife, Jess, and their son, Colin. He said he was trying to figure out whose car that was with the CMS sticker on it. Funny. Now neither one of us recognizes our new cars.

I know. I know. But there's literally nothing to see there. Haha.
Drove over to Saco River Brewing after for a beer and pretzels. They actually had the maple soda on tap again so John had that. He actually had a decent time there for once. I only had one beer then we left.

Sunday, 5/26- 6.2 miles. Pretty lazy day in general. I ran the boring road through Cranmore Shores. Ran 6.2 miles just to make it 60 for the week. Slow pace. No motivation for this one really. 48:55. 7:48 avg pace.

It was sunny and warm...until we got to the lake. John still wanted to swim, and he put in the effort, but the water was too cold even for him. We had some sun, but mostly clouds. Stayed about an hour. At least we tried. Haha.

Breaking the rules for 8 years and counting

Stopped at Walmart before going home to see if they had any cheap mountain bikes. They had all basically been wiped out so I looked at what was left. The lady working there came over to ask which bike I was looking for and said she would be putting together more bikes the next day if I wanted to come back. While we're talking to her, this guy comes up and complains to her that no one is doing their job in dairy and that it's wiped clean of half & half. Haha. He turned out to be her husband. So we get to talking and I tell him we're looking for a 26 inch bike for John. He said he bought one here at Walmart 2 years ago and never used it. Said it was brand new still and that he would sell it to us for $40. Hell, yes. Made arrangements to pick it up on Tuesday. Making deals at Walmart. Haha. I've been around enough sketchy people in my job to know that these people weren't sketchy. Ended up being totally legit. Picked up the bike at their house for $40 yesterday. Brand new mountain bike just as he said. Awesome.

Took the dogs out when we got home then John spotted our porch snake! He's back. And he's HUGE. He had also just eaten something large. This snake is awesome because he eats the mice so I love having him living there. Totally harmless.

Chill cooling off in our brook. It's nice this time of year. Gets mucky by late summer.
Not sure what got into me, but I swept and mopped the whole house. Put away all the laundry. Washed all my bedding and then made dinner. Guess I was feeling domestic for a fleeting moment. Haha.

Good low-key week and weekend. This coming week has another adventure and the Cranmore Mountain Race on Sunday. Hopefully, my adventure works out so I have something good to write about in the next post.

I love this song by Dido...

Sunday, May 26, 2019

2019 Westfield 5K/Dirty Girl Trail Race

This year's Dirty Girl Trail Race shirts. If you didn't follow along with the drama between Tin Mountain and me back in the Fall, here's a short recap. They didn't like my logo because they found it offensive to women. We went back and forth. I agreed to change the logo, but only after I had already come up with the one above. I felt we were being censored so I wanted the new logo to reflect that. It turned out all to be unnecessary because Tin Mountain had the logo wrong the entire time. They disliked the logo from 2016 which I had changed for the 2017 and 2018. Haha. I decided to make a statement with the new logo, but I did NOT let anyone outside of a very small circle know what it was because I didn't want anything to happen pre-race day over it. I'll admit that I was slightly nervous, but wow, the positive feedback was huge! People loved it. They loved the shirt style in general, too, but I got so many good words about the logo. Everything about race day went well, but I'll recap it later.

This post will recap the 2 weeks leading up to the Dirty Girl Trail Race since I got way behind on the blog. There will be way too many photos, but maybe that will help me keep words to a minimum. Haha. Surrrrre. It was a fairly stressful 2 weeks since the Dirty Girl was coming down to the wire, and I had so much to do. I wasn't super excited about the race, though. My issues with Tin Mountain had killed my mojo, and I was telling everyone that this is the last year of the race. This bummed me out because I had FINALLY been able to make a course that really suited what I wanted to have from the beginning. It was finally perfect; 2 challenging distances. And, now, this was supposed to be the last year. Even with that thought, though, I put as much effort into it as always except for spending 5-6 hours clearing leaves with my feet. I just couldn't do it this year. I raked the opposite side of the road, and that was it. It would just have to be marked extra well. Despite this being the 6th year of the race, I was still having anxiety of screwing things up which I assume is pretty normal for a race director. So these two weeks were basically just regular stuffed combined with stress. Haha.

I stupidly didn't see a need to recover from the 50K so I went right back into a high (for me) mileage week. I wasn't sore the day after the 50k, but I expected to be sore the next day. I wasn't. I never really needed to recover much for 50Ks in the past, but I was in shape for them before so it surprised me to feel perfectly fine. My body finally broke down and told me to cut the shit by Friday. I ignored it, though, and ended up super exhausted by Sunday. So for the following week, I cut it way back. Fortunately, I didn't really have a choice. I was just way too busy so it forced me to take a much needed easy, low-mileage week.

Funny photo someone sent me last week. I used to make New England Runner Magazine for my running, but I have reached a whole new level! Drunk Simon Says, holding a stack of three beer cups and wearing 2 hats! Hey, as long as I still make into the magazine somehow I'm happy.

I died laughing when I saw this. There I am front and center. Hahaha.
Week May 6-12, 2019

58.9 miles. 8,438ft of elevation gain. 6 trail runs, 2 road runs and 1 track workout. I lifted weights 2 days while at work.

Monday 5/6- I decided to run at work on the trail out back. I felt good with just some slight fatigue still in the legs. No soreness. 4.1 miles in 33:21. The GPS is very inaccurate since I watch it lose .05 miles for every out and back. Today was about 10 out-and-backs total so I lost about a half mile that I know of. It's just too small of an area for the GPS to be accurate. I watch it during my runs here, though, just to see the inconsistency as I run. I'm only curious, since it doesn't matter at all. Running at work at all is a win.
Did this just to annoy the person who likes to label things with his label maker. :)

Catching some rays. Neeeeeeed sun!
Tuesday, 5/7- I decided to do an easy, shorter mountain run today up Black Cap via Red Tail and down Kettle Ridge. Wow. What a mess! Red Tail was a disaster. So many trees leaning into the trail right at face level and tons of debris. Probably my slowest run up ever due to this. Kettle Ridge was in much better shape because so much of it is in the evergreens. It was tough with Phoenix, though, because of all the switchbacks. She likes to cut them all but some were so long that it would take me awhile to get back to her. I don't like leaving her alone in the woods too long since she's so small. I probably won't take her on Kettle Ridge again. She wasn't doing anything wrong, but I didn't like the distance between us at times. My legs actually felt heavy today but still not sore. 7 miles in 1:25:11. 1,651ft of elevation gain.

Phoenix on Black Cap

Trying to use self timer. I actually liked this messed up one the best.

I didn't do much else today except go to the store then pick John up at school. I found some pics in my Google photos from John's phone at school today.

Love me some Spencer beers
Wednesday, 5/8- Not sure how I motivated myself to get up at 4:30am to run before work, but I did. It helps having the sky somewhat light at that hour. This run was still excruciating. I just can't run that early. I ran the short loop around Conway; into the village and back via Cranmore Shores. 4.6 miles in 36:30. 7:56 avg pace felt way too hard. I was still happy to get something in since, like I said before, just getting a run in on my work days is a win. 24 hour shifts don't make it easy. 

I did my weight training, glutes and abs at work. Thinking of going back to Zuzka Light workouts, but I'm actually liking the weight stuff. I might just do her ab workouts or something. I don't know.

Thursday, 5/9- I was very ambitious about today when I woke up. I planned to run the Sisters and Mt Chocorua in a huge loop, clear the other side of the road on the Dirty Girl course, run the Great Glen Trails Spring Trail Running Series that night, then run up to 4000ft on the Auto Rd. Hahahaha. Yeah, no. I made to the clearing the trail part, but after that, I went right to this...

Porter release at Saco River Brewing
I had a vague plan for the Sisters/Chocorua run. I started at White Ledge Campground and had a definite plan of summiting all three Sisters peaks and Chocorua, but I was still unsure on the way back. I originally wanted to come back down the entire other side via Hammond and Weetamoo back to Piper then back up to the Carter Ledge Trail. I think it came out to 13ish. But after a sufferfest of debris and snow going up the Middle Sister Trail, I decided to just come back down Piper then back up to the Carter Ledge Trail (via Nickerson). It still ended up being a decent long run and way more time on my feet than I thought. 

Carter Ledge started off in really decent shape. So did Middle Sister as it went through mostly evergreens. But oh man, when I hit the leafy tree section, I ran into a HUGE mess. It was difficult to even run because of all the sticks catching on my legs and feet. By the time I got to the part of the trail that goes up a brook, I had to powerhike it. Just too much shit all over the trail. I even had a hard time following it because the trail was basically non-existent so I followed the trail markers. 

I finally got up to the first view point with about a mile to go to the summit and encountered SO much snow the rest of the way. And this was a lot of snow, most of it in posthole condition. Someone else had been through there recently so I had to step in his/her footprints to avoid postholing myself, but even then I was constantly falling into a hole a foot or so deep that would scrape my ankles up. At one point, I actually wondered if I would be able to get up there and thought I might have to turn back, but I just kept going. Needless to say, this was extremely slow going.

I'll admit that this really sucked. Haha. But I finally made it up to the summit of Middle Sister. It was a beautiful day up there, and I had the peak to myself. I hoped for the same when I got to Chocorua. 

On Middle Sister. Chocorua's summit is in the background
The trail went across South Sister and then down to the trail in the woods where I encountered more snow. This part was mostly hard-packed at least so I was able to run on most of it. I finally got out of it and made the run across the rock slabs and up to the summit of Chocorua. Just as I'd hoped, all to myself. I'll be honest that I was actually surprised not to run into Bryan and Chill since they hike up here almost every day Bryan is off work.

Muddy, wet shoes

Looking back at Middle Sister and Mt Washington in the background

I ran back the way I came to head down the Piper Trail. It had taken me so long to get up there that I decided to scrap the Hammond/Weetamoo idea and make the quicker descent on Piper. This was the first time I had ever done the Sisters/Chocorua loop. There is no direct way from Piper back to Carter Ledge so I've been deterred by that all of these years. You have to run almost all the way back down Piper to the Nickerson Ledge Trail which has you climb all the way back up to the ledge then head back in the same direction I had just come down Piper basically. It is the only way back to the Carter Ledge Trail which leads back to the car. I was dreading this climb back up and out-of-the-way direction, but it turned out not to be that bad since it was probably only 250ft of climbing. I finally got back to my car over 3 hours later. 10.85 miles on my watch. Actual measured distance was over 11. 2:50:59 for moving time. 3,404ft of elevation gain.

I was pretty worn out so I knew my plans for the Great Glen/Auto Rd runs were definitely not happening. I literally live exactly 5 minutes from this trailhead so it was a quick drive home. I showered and then took Phoenix with me to rake the Laurel Loop across Bald Hill Rd. This is the only section Tin Mountain will let me rake. And they should. I don't know if they realize that I actually made this the official trail in 2014 in my first year of the race. I've been doing it every year since. For some reason, this year it was in much better shape than ever before so it didn't take me as long. It's only about .7 miles and usually takes close to the 3 hours. This year was only just over 2 hours. 

The trail before I cleared it.

A cleared section

It was right from there to Saco River Brewery to try a porter that was brewed in a pumpkin. Haha. It was definitely interesting that's for sure. I took two bottles of their others beers home. 

Found another photo of John's at school in my album from today...

Friday, 5/10- Since I didn't have a race this weekend, I decided today would be a good day for a track workout. I drove over to the Conway Rec Path parking off East Conway Rd and ran the trail 2 miles to the track, just like I usually do for track workouts. It basically poured rain the entire time which I didn't mind since it meant cooler temps. There was only one small section that pooled on the track so that was decent, too. 

Today was 6x800. I wasn't expecting much, but I thought I would be running around 3:00 for most of them then drop down below that for the last two. That did NOT happen. I would end up having the worst track workout I have ever had. It was so bad that I was screaming out loud after every 800 either, "Oh come on!" or "What the fuck!" I was so mad. I felt like I was running harder with each one, too. I couldn't believe that not only did I start off slower than I ever had, I actually kept getting slower! I didn't even want to look at the results of this disaster ever again, but I took a screen shot to share just how bad it was. You will agree with me. Haha.

I wanted to blame the rain. I wanted to blame the very few puddles. I wanted a reason for this disaster. Am I this out of shape? I didn't think I was at all. It turned out that there was an explanation for it. I was beat to shit. I struggled with the 2 mile run back to the car. By the time I got there, I realized there was no way I could go run the errands I had planned. I was fucking exhausted. I drove right home, took a shower and struggled to eat something with my head down on the bar. I could barely keep my eyes open. I moved over to the couch and couldn't get myself off of it for over 3 hours. It would have been longer if I didn't have to pick up John. My lack of recovery from the 50K finally got to me when I tried to put in a hard effort. It was crazy. I was like a zombie.

Curled up with Phoenix
By the time I went to pick up John I felt a little more awake. I was so glad it had poured rain all morning so I didn't feel obligated to get up and take the dogs on a walk. 

Waiting for John 
When we got home, the rain had stopped so I did finally feel obligated to take the dogs on a walk so I took them up Heavenly Hill. It was the first time up there in many, many months. The trail wasn't bad at all. The usual leaves but very little debris. I did struggle a bit with fatigue on the way up, but it felt good to walk.

Saturday, 5/11- I slept in as planned. Had coffee on the big deck with the dogs.

I ran from home to B&M and Whitton Ledges. I thought it was slow, but it turned out to be less than a minute slower than the last time I ran this in the fall. It felt too easy, though, so that I felt like I hadn't done anything by the time I finished. I guess that's a good sign? 7.4 miles. 1,096ft of elevation gain.1:11:24. Such a beautiful day for this.

In the afternoon, I sat in the sun. Yay! And then John, the dogs and I walked a 2-mile section of my course so I could do some minor maintenance and get everyone else some exercise.

I liked the dog reflection in the glass. An awesome gose from Schilling.
Sunday, 5/12- As much as I'm not into road running right now, I still love to run on the dirt roads, especially the ones that are inaccessible all winter. I really didn't need the miles, but I wanted to run the South Conway roads (Potter/Gulf/Greeley) since I missed them so much. The loop is 11 miles, so 11 miles it was! The nice thing about today is that I ran just to run. No specific pace or time. Just running comfortably. It ended up being my slowest run of that loop, but I didn't care. It just felt good. There is one paved section but it's not too long before I ran up Gulf Rd. The weather was perfect. 11 miles in 1:30:46. 8:15 avg pace. 968ft of elevation gain.

View from the run
I had about an hour from when I got home until I was meeting Haley Heinrich at Tin Mountain to show her a loop of the DG course. I was pretty tired, but I figured we would run slowly and talk. I felt really bad leaving John at home half the day, but he preferred it. Haha.

I met up with Haley who had brought her cool husky, Kato, along. Our run was good, but I was pretty tired. I struggle to talk and run so I was running super slow. It was fun, but I realized that my course was pretty hard. It felt like the longest 5 miles ever. Haha. My own course always gets me. We actually ended up running it 2 minutes per mile than the last time I had run it. 1:02:56. 741ft of elevation gain. I felt kind of bad, but I had done way more than I should have this week. Monday would be a rest day.

I finally got John and the dogs out for a walk down the RR tracks to Pudding Pond. 2.2 miles. I had actually planned the trail, but John wanted to walk on flat. Haha. I was actually relieved to be walking on the flat.

Since it was Mother's Day, I decided I wanted to go to Fiesta Jalisco for dinner. I'll confess that I chose this because their Instagram post said moms got a flower. I wanted a flower. Haha. The food here is actually really good, but I was bummed that they never brought us chips and salsa before our food came out. That's like the main reason we go to Mexican restaurants, right? I had to ask for them and still ate them before I ate my dinner. John wanted fried ice cream for dessert so we had that, too. I was so stuffed. It was fun. I really do love hanging out with my kid.

Week, May 13-19, 2019

I had way too much going on this weekend and just no time for any kind of long runs at all. It was a good thing, though. I didn't need to be worried about miles this week. I had to get everything together for the DG, have my tooth pulled and drive over 3.5 hours out to Westfield, MA for the USATF-NE Grand Prix 5K. I knew that would be a long drive, but I didn't realize just how long until this week. OMG. It was actually 3:45 there and about 4 back. What had I done? It was the day before the DG so that stressed me out, too. Haha.

I ended up with 36.6 miles for the week. That was actually more than I thought I would get so I was happy with it. 4,157ft of elevation gain.

Monday, 5/13- Planned zero day to recoup a bit from the week before. I was definitely tired. It ended up being the right decision. I did my shoulder workout, glutes and abs at work.

Work has been so slow the last month and a half. Today was no exception, but we did have a fire up on Rattlesnake Ledge in the Green Hills that made it more exciting. It would have been better if I had been able to go up there, but we had to stage below in case anyone got injured. Grr.

Jen was my partner today
Speaking of work. Some big changes went down over the last few weeks. Our manager was demoted back to field supervisor. I'd be lying if I said I didn't play a roll in this, but I was happy to hear that they had already suspected he wasn't doing his job and wanted to replace him. I just provided some fuel for the fire. So we got a new manager. He's been with the company for a long time managing dispatch down in Merrimack. We were a little leary, but he's actual been good. I like him. He's really trying to do his job. In fact, he actually has some balls and fired Minion. I couldn't believe all the karma paybacks happening. It's like a dream come true all of these years. Finally someone holding people accountable. I'll admit it's been a little too much management these last two weeks, but I'd rather that than none. And he's trying. We've already seen improvements, but did I mention he fired minion?! I still can't believe it so I had to write that twice. I have this as a screenshot to remind me of this glorious day.

I hope the improvements continue. It's not easy to make changes in this business, but I give him a huge kudos for trying.

More John photos
Tuesday, 5/14- I had to run right from work since I had my dentist appointment at 10:30am. I didn't have time for a long run, but I still ran a nice loop from work on the mountain bike trails. Ran up the trail between Middle and Rattlesnake Mts and back around the Outer Limits. It was a good run...except for the snow I encountered above 1000ft. Come on, weather! Cut the shit! 6.2 miles in 1:11:58. 1,250ft of elevation gain.

The orange chair remains!
I wasn't looking forward to the tooth pulling, but I was looking forward to getting rid of my failed root canal tooth. I couldn't believe I was going to have a missing tooth, but it was dead already anyway. The tooth extraction wasn't horrible, but I have to admit being able to hear and feel the pressure of it was not enjoyable. It was totally painless, thankfully. Because the tooth was so brittle, it did end up breaking making it a surgical extraction. The tooth was super stubborn and took a lot of work to get out. With the surgical extraction, it meant quite a bit more trauma to my mouth, but I knew it would be worth it once it healed.

I didn't realized until the day before that I wouldn't be able to exercise really. A blood clot forms in the area, and you have to be really careful not to mess it up for the first 24 hours. It took forever for the numbing to wear off so it looked like I was having a stroke. My race shirts had come in the mail so I put mine on to take some photos.


So you can see the style and fit. Softest shirts ever!
I stuck to only soft foods for 48 hours and took it pretty easy. This gave me a reason to finish off the ice cream. I was able to walk the dogs a mile on the RR tracks, but walked very slowly and easily. I unfortunately had to shop for food for work the next day. I bought soup, mashed potatoes, apple sauce, yogurt and more ice cream. Haha. No alcohol was allowed or any hot liquids so no beer or an afternoon coffee for me. Boo. I didn't mind. Too be honest eating and drinking have not appealed to me in the last week. The tooth ended up not being too painful after the numbing wore off. Just a little achy so I took some Ibuprofen. I dislike Ibuprofen, but it has been my friend the last week.

Wednesday, 5/15- I couldn't get up to run since it hadn't been 24 hours so I brought clothes to run on the trail out back in the afternoon at work. I ran 3 miles in 24:01. Nothing crazy. Just something. My tooth wasn't bad at all until that evening when I was standing in the kitchen and felt something come out of the tooth hole. Sorry I know that's gross, but it turned out to be the blood clot. I didn't know for sure at the time, but I suspected it. It wasn't long after this that I ate dinner and ended up in more pain. We had a 911 around 11pm, and I was in agony. Like nerve pain shooting all around the left side of my face. Over the next few days, I would have minimal pain until I ate or drank anything. Then it would immediately be throbbing. It had to be dry socket.

Facebook memory from 10 years ago when we moved out of our cute yellow house at 122 17th St in Pacific Grove, CA. I loved that little place. John with Coy and Spot. (Photo is bad quality; taken from my flip phone! Haha).
Thursday, 5/16- Today was course marking day! Tom Hooper could only do today, but that was fine with me and worked better anyway. He gets going so early, though, that I once again had to get my run in from work and make it quick. Knowing Tom would probably be early, I decided to do a fast road run around North Conway. It actually ended up being a good run! For the first time in a really long time my pace matched feel! I still have auto lap turned off on my watch so I just guessed my pace along the way. Looking at it after, I realized I was spot on. Sweet! And weird, my tendons barely hurt and the plantar fasciitis not at all. Hmm. 8.5 miles in 1:00:47. 7:06 average pace. The first and last miles were partly on the railroad tracks and a dirt road, too. 206ft of elevation gain. I was crazy happy with this run and how good I felt.

I raced home to shower then met Tom up at Tin Mountain. I brought Phoenix along. Tom was super tired and could barely function after bartending long hours the last few weeks in Durham. He could also barely move after leg day the day before. If I had known he was in such rough shape I would have told him not to come. I can mark the course myself, but it's nice to have help. Just walking the course would end up destroying him. Haha. He always forgets just how long it takes to mark it because it has to be way overmarked with the leaf covered trails and so many intersections. This isn't one you can just run and drop flags every 100 yards. Plus, today it was almost 2 miles longer than the years before. I had about 300 flags and ran out so when we got back to Tom's truck, he unloaded most of the race day gear into my car, handed me some more flags and then bailed. Haha. I'll admit I'm super proud that my course destroyed him just walking it. Haha.

I went back out in the pouring rain to finish marking the course. Phoenix refused to go back out in the rain so I left her in the car. I ended up 10 flags short, but those could be left until race day. I ended up walking 5.85 miles in just over 3.5 hours. Craziness. But I marked the hell out of that thing. No one was getting lost due to improper markings, that was for sure.

In the rain

I was so happy with my new course. I'm no artist, but a race course design is a race director's art. Figuring out the design to make it all flow is not an easy thing, but after pouring over the map and piecing together my old course, I was able to make it perfect. It was a very challenging, beautiful course. It was my baby. Haha.

I wasn't done yet. From there I had to go into North Conway to shop for awards. Yay! My favorite part! Shopping as if I have money. I went to the Handcrafters Barn where I bought the top 3 overall in each distance awards. They would also be getting a 4-pack of Smuttynose beer each. Next I needed an Athena award for my new Athena category that one of my long-time racers had suggested. I loved the idea and ended up with for signed up. I stopped in at the amazing North Conway Olive Oil Co. to get a bottle of olive oil as the award. Omg! Amazing! I even bought some for myself. This place it a must on anyone's visit to NoCo. Next stop was the White Mountain Winery for a bottle of apple wine for my last place finisher.

I hadn't eaten all day so I grabbed a slice of pizza at Boston Brothers and tried to figure out what the hell to get for my age group awards. With the two different distances, I had just doubled the amount of awards I needed without adding anymore money into the pot. 22 age group awards would be expensive. A friend suggested cookies as an award. Well, duh. Why didn't I think of that? Cookies it was...but I had to make them. Tomorrow!

It was after 4pm by the time I was done with DG stuff so it was back to Saco River Brewing for another beer release, Ghetto Box, a milk stout. Yay! A place not afraid to do dark beers in the spring. Kind of funny because probably half the same people were there who had been there last week. Haha. The beer was so good. I stayed for another one and then went home.

Sweet brewery dog
You'd think I was done for the night, but noooo. I had agreed to make a dessert for the Spring Fair at John's school on Saturday. Fortunately, lemon pie was easy to make.

Such a long day with still so much to do. I wouldn't be able to do anything Saturday while in Westfield so I had finish everything else the next day.

Friday, 5/17- I had another busy day ahead of me so I opted for a short distance run up Middle and Peaked Mountains with Phoenix. It would be only 4.8 miles, but it still took 1:03:36. 1,668ft of elevation gain. I don't need the big mountains to get elevation gain around here. With Westfield the next day I didn't want to do any fast road running or any long mountain runs. This was perfect.

Phoenix on Peaked Mt
It was back to Dirty Girl work after that. I picked up the bagels at Bagels Plus then went to Shaw's for the muffins I buy every year, oranges, cream cheese and the cookie mix for the cookies. We picked John up at school and then I spent over 4 hours on my feet baking cookies. Nevermind, I had a race the next day. Haha. I had to get this done tonight. Everything had almost come together. My bibs were all set. My supplies, the food, the paperwork. Still so much to do race morning, but I knew once I said "go" it would all be good from there.

You bet I had a beer while I made cookies. I actually had 2 beers.

I made over 10 dozen cookies, packed my race bag, took the dogs out then went to bed.

2019 Westfield 5K- USATF-NE GP#3

I had been really excited about this race since it was something new to the Grand Prix, and I'm all about something new. However, I didn't realize just how far of a drive it was OR that it started at 1pm until earlier this week. I knew it would be close to 3 hours, but, oh no, not the case. 3:45!! OMG. In that case, I was glad it started at 1pm, but that meant getting home late and having to leave Chill for almost 12 hours. Ugh. Plus all of that time in the car for John! I was stressing. My race was the next morning. I felt like I still had things to do. So thankful this was only a 5k, and it was supposed to be a fast course.

We finally arrived at the parking area/start. This was a HUGE lot, so I don't know why everyone crammed in together. I guess these are mostly city people who are just used to it. I headed straight for the back of the lot. There was one other car there so I made sure not to park too close because I assumed she was there for the same reason as me. Turned out I was right. It was Abby Mahoney who does a lot mountain stuff. She asked if I parked there for the same reason, privacy and the woods (bathroom haha).

Everyone else...


I ran into a whole bunch of people I knew when I picked up my bib and found the whole Whirlaway crew on my walk back. It was SO nice to see everyone. So many people I hadn't seen in forever since I skipped the first two GP races. I've missed these people.

Christin, Amy and Amanda with E-J hiding in the back

Christin and me. I meant to retake this since it came out so bad, but we forgot. Haha.
I noticed when I parked that it looked like there were trails out back. Just looking at the land, I knew there had to be a brook or river back there so I just knew there had to be REAL trails somewhere so I took Phoenix with me to warm up and explore. The first part looked like a place where the town dumps some stuff and ATV trails, but I just kept going down. I smelled trails. Haha. I got down to the end of a fence line where I went around and voila! I was on awesome marked trails in the Stanley Park Wildlife Sanctuary. We ran a short loop in the shade along a brook. It was a really warm day so the parking lot was hot. This had to be about 15 degrees cooler. No lie.

Neat sign I came across
When it was finally start time, I left John and Phoenix and walked to the start. Talk about crowded and confusing. It was so crowded that I couldn't even see the women's elite corral on the other side of the men and started to squeeze in with the men before a guy I know told me it was on the other side. I had to go in from the front which put me way too far up, but I was with all of my Whirlaway friends and Amanda Watters so it was fine. We'd spread out fast. We were all chatting when this poor girl with a stroller who was also very confused rolled right into the front of the elite women. Some of the other girls had to point her back out of it so she could move to the back. It really was confusing, and it would have been crazy if she had stayed there. An accident waiting to happen. Honestly, the start line was definitely too tight, but this was their first year at a Grand Prix race, and they just didn't know. Just one of those things you learn as you go, and as soon as we started, it was fine. I actually preferred the way it merged with the men from the outside so we weren't cut off.

So the start was uphill, but not very long. I'd heard this course was flat and downhill, and as soon as we got up the hill, it flattened out. I was running right behind Christin and Lauren Tilton at this point. It felt fast, but I knew it was going to be fast so I just held the pace I was going and focused on Lauren as someone to stay with. Hit the first mile in 5:58. That was perfect. Fast course so I was hoping to run around this. On the elevation profile it looks downhill, but it honestly felt just flat for the first half of mile 2, then all of a sudden, I swore we were running uphill. I thought this was all downhill or flat. So I figured maybe it just seemed uphill. Well, no. I wasn't the only one who thought this and it turned out we were right. On our run back after the race, we were running downhill for this section. Explains the sudden 6:14 mile. I wasn't expecting this slight uphill or I probably wouldn't have gone so fast in the first mile. Fortunately, mile 3 started with a decent downhill for the first half. I had been hanging onto Lauren this whole time and started to gain on her when the course flattened out to where I was literally right behind her. I was hoping she wouldn't see me, but as we turned left to the finish, she spotted me and put on the gas. Ugh. I felt like I was going to barf. It was a good thing, though, because I followed, and had she not done that, we probably wouldn't have broken 19 minutes. Came through in 18:51. 24th female. 4th master female. That was the hardest I've raced in a long time. I learned a few days later that I actually won $50 in prize money. Sweet!

So much pain face! Haha. Lauren beat me across the line.
I saw Dave Principe and Steven Croft at the finish and talked to them for a bit since I hadn't seen them in awhile, but then Christin dragged me out for the run back to the start with the Whirlaway ladies. The run back felt like the longest 3 miles ever. Honestly felt like we ran a 10K by the time we got back.

I wanted to get John out for a walk on the trails with Phoenix before we left for the long drive home. He was actually happy to get out there. It's such a pretty spot. I felt so bad for dragging him out there so it was nice to see him enjoying the walk.

I changed quickly then we drove to Five Guys for food. As we were making our way back to I-90, a car accident had just happened forcing us to drive 10 minutes out of the way. Ugh. The drive home took about 4 hours. I was dreading the drive back out this way the next weekend for the Wachusett Mountain Race. My poor kid.

I had John take the dogs out when we got home. I got right to work on Dirty Girl stuff. I cut the oranges then loaded everything into the car. It really didn't take that long, but it was still pretty late by the time I was done. I set my alarm for 4:30am so that I could take Chill with me on one last course check to make sure the markings were still in place.

Dirty Girl Trail Race

Race day is always filled with anxiety. The course check, getting everything set up. Putting volunteers in place. So much to put together in a few short hours. Ugh. Up until I say, "Go!" I'm a ball of stress. Haha.

The run with Chill should have been low-key, but he got too hot quickly and was moving so slowly. Poor buddy. I realized there was no way I was getting through the whole course, but so far everything was still in place...or so I thought. We made our way across the road, the only section I didn't mark. Tom had done this part by himself while I worked on another part. As soon as I got over there, I realized nearly every flag had to be moved AND where were all the flags?! Omg. In his state of delirium, he hadn't marked the course well AT ALL. The entire .7 mile section had to be fixed! Like totally reflagged. I didn't need this this morning. I was going to have to drive down there quickly after the start and reflag the trail. Fortunately the rest of the course was good. I had to assume the part we didn't get was still good, too.

I drove Chill home, quickly showered, got John and Phoenix in the car then drove back up to Tin Mountain. I expected someone else to be there besides Jotham, my Tin Mountain guy, but there was no one. It was 7am. (I meant to tell Paul Kirsch 7am, but told him 7:30am so that was my fault.) Luckily Jotham was there at least so that I could get in the building to set up registration. I had told registration people 7am and a few other volunteers 7am. By 7:30am, when registration opened, I only had on registration person and 3 other volunteers there, Joe LaRue, Kevin Tilton and Rick Chalmers. Eek. No one else to help set up or anything. Everyone else was late. I was freaking out. I had to throw Rick on registration until the other person got there. And then this awesome intern at Tin Mountain walked up and offered to help. Yay! He ended up doing the shirts at registration and helping with timing!

I just happened to mention to Kevin that I had to remark the course. He was supposed to help Paul set up but since Paul wasn't there, he offered to do the marking. This was such a relief, and Kevin knows how to mark so I sent him off to do that in his jeans. Haha. That was such a huge help!!

Finally everyone started to show up. I ended up with so many volunteers this year. More than I've ever had! I had 2 new intersections that needed people so I took 2 people I had knew could do the job right to those spots. That took me about 25 minutes total so by the time I got back up to the building, it was time to send the racers to the start line. My first aid volunteer had finally arrived so I quickly showed him the gear then made my way to the start. Paul and Frank Holmes were all set with the timers. I gave my goofball pre-race speech. Introduced the Dirty Dude (the one guy who won the raffle to run the race) so they didn't think some creeper guy was following them. Haha. Then finally, my favorite part. Go!

I start it on a short road section so they can spread out before the single track.
I can't tell how much stress relief this moment is. Most of my work was done. Now, I could put the rest of it in my volunteers' hands and hope for the best. Haha.

I set up the food which I put outside in the main area this year. It looked like possible rain, but it held off for perfect race weather. After that, I had to conquer my greatest feat. Getting John out of the car so he could work the water stop. Haha. He actually got right up so I took him and Phoenix down. I had moved this water stop right near the finish this year so that made it easier. I needed to get Phoenix out so we ran out to a spot just as my first 5 mile runner was coming through. It turned out to be Nicole Gray. She's the head brewer of Garrison City Brewing who brings the beer every year.

I ran back to the water stop where John was and took some photos of him handing water to racers.

I had one injury shortly after that who had to drop from the 10 mile race, but she pushed on through to finish one loop. She said she "fell off the cliff". Haha. Yeah, I could see that happening. Hopefully she was ok for her 50 mile race at Pineland today.

The rest of the morning was filled with cheering on racers, talking too much, drinking beer and then doing the awards. Haley Heinrich was the first finisher in the 10-mile by a huge amount. 1:38:00. Haley could easily run a 1:05:00 or faster in a road 10-mile. This just shows how hard he course really was. Most people got right around 10 miles on their watches so the actual distance had to be something close to 10.5 miles. Around 1500ft of elevation gain.

It was awesome watching people come through so proud of themselves. They were smiling and telling me,"Thank you." It's amazing the different crowd and reaction I get when I've made the course more challenging. No complaints. Nothing but smiles. To finish something so challenging is far more rewarding. It was so awesome to watch. It nearly brought a tear to my eye. And my feeling of being done with this race went away. Seeing all of these happy women makes me want to continue it...but not somewhere else. At Tin Mountain.

I didn't create this race for the sake of having a race or for women. I created it because my first time walking on these trails in 2013, I immediately thought, "I need to put on a race here" I did it because of the place. It only became all women because I had already taken over the Get a Running Start all women's race in North Conway that year and wanted to change it to a trail race. So, now what? Make nice with Tin Mountain? Ask if we can continue the race there? Well, maybe so. My cold heart melted seeing these happy women. I don't think I'm too proud to at least ask. But we'll see. Now, it's about just relaxing a bit. I'll figure this out in the Fall.

Full Results

Josh Fields came out again to be our race photographer. Race Photos can be found here.

Fabienne spitting water at the 10-mile turnaround

Garrison City beer!! So good.

Liz, Paul and Tin Mt dude doing the timing. They were such a big help.

Beth!! Happy with her 5-mile finish!

Stephan, the Dirty Dude

John eating a bagel. My awesome helper.

Haley winning the 10-mile

Nicole, from 5-mile winner to brewer. Setting up the beer. 

One of John's teachers, on the right
With everyone's help, it was broken down quickly after the awards and it was time to go home. Unfortunately, I made the mistake of letting my first aid guy help bring some of the stuff back to my house. I had so much to do, and I was on social overload after this weekend. I just wanted to hang out with John and get things put away. My fault, though, for offering him a beer when he got there. Nice guy, but he wouldn't fucking leave!! I should have made him, but I didn't. Instead, 7 hours later!!...I faked falling asleep on the couch to get him to leave. So draining. Seriously. I didn't even get to eat until after 9! I didn't get the results up. I didn't get to hang out with John. I didn't get to decompress!!! But seriously, my own fault for not sending him on his way after the beer. Totally drained me. I'll never allow that again. Especially since he sent me a text storm the next day. I ignored half of it and only wrote short replies to the rest. I think he got the picture after that. I've known him for 8 years. I consider him an acquaintance, but that's it. Why do I attract the wrong people?! Haha. Anyway, I learned my lesson.

So all-n-all, it was a good two weeks! Everything went well with both races. I was super stoked. This has put me in a good place now to continue on with my own running. Speaking of....I need to end this and go for a run! Look for the next post this coming week when I'll be all caught up. Yay!

Cannot stop playing this song....