Loon Mt Race 2019

Loon Mt Race 2019

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

2019 Run 4 Kerri

Phoenix riding on the kayak on Chocorua Lake
A little behind on the blog so this will be the Run 4 Kerri report followed by the week of Escarpment and then the Run 4 Kerri week leading up to the race. I'll attempt to keep those brief. My race report should actually be fairly short since it's such a short race and, honestly, not much happened during the race. Haha. I did end up having a much better race than expected even though my legs were truly trashed still from Escarpment.

I had to leave Chill behind for the trip to Rhode Island due to the heat. It would have been doable like last year, but it was better to leave him. He got a walk in in the morning up Heavenly Hill before we left and then Bryan was able to take him on a hike Sunday morning. So he actually got better taken care of than he would have with us.

Although this is my 4th Run 4 Kerri in a row, this would only be John's 2nd trip down with me. He hates camping, and to be honest, I'm over it, myself. I made the mistake of changing campsites this year. I have camped in the exact same campsite at Burlingame State Park the last 3 years, but I thought John might want to swim in the pond so I booked a site right near the beach. Holy moly. The sites over here are literally stacked one on top of the other. It was nuts! It was like being in a city. I really don't get the appeal for this at all. My house is more like camping than this. But oh well, we were stuck with this site. Good thing we weren't there long. The drive down seemed to take forever, and we arrived around 5pm. Set up my tent then John and I took a short walk with Phoenix before going to dinner.

Surprisingly, I had never ventured into Westerly, and since I wanted to go to the Malted Barley, today would be the day. And wow. What a cute little town! I could totally live there. Unfortunately, though, many other tourists also thought it was a cute little town so the Malted Barley was packed...except the bar. The bar was practically empty while all the tables were filled. It's a seat yourself place so with no wait list, we had no way of knowing if people would leave soon or not, and John can't sit at the bar. Pretty annoying to see the open seating but not be able to sit there. So we had to leave and find a different place.

The Brazen Hen looked cool so we walked in. It was freezing in there so I should have walked out then. Instead, we got a table, took one look at the menu and walked out. Too expensive. I didn't like the atmosphere anyway. We had parked near an Italian place that smelled good so we walked back up there. Longo Ristorante would be our third and final try. It was freezing in there, too, but a little more bearable. Unfortunately, our seating was created by moving a two-topper off of a six-topper into the walk way of the waitstaff and literally only half a foot from the other table so that was awkward. I'll admit I was a little annoyed by this, but the food would make up for it. Plus, the atmosphere was nice. The beer selection sucked, but after seeing the prices here, it wasn't like I could have more than one anyway. Money was so tight for this trip, and I had planned to eat a $6 pretzel at Malted Barely, but instead ended up with a $16 pizza. Haha. John got spaghetti and meatballs. The food was delicious, and I was starving so I ate the entire pizza... while the 2 couples next to us each split one. Haha. Eating here definitely meant we couldn't go out to The Mews with people post-race, and I was fine with that. I preferred to get home earlier and not torture John with post-race shenanigans this time around.

I say it every year how much I love this race, and that hasn't changed. People ask why I drive 4 hours for this race, and I always say the same thing. It reminds me of the small town races I used to go to growing up in Athens, GA. Just that close community feel. Plus, you add in the elite field aspect and you get small town mixed with real competition. The best of both worlds. And also, Matunuck is my FAVORITE beach. It's the ONLY ocean water in New England I've ever been able to swim in without being too cold. What makes this race the most special is why it is here in the first place. A family's tragedy turned into a greater good for their young running community. It was all in memory of Kerri Bessette. I've linked this before, but it needs to linked in my blog again. Kerri died of meningitis while a freshman in college. Her brother, Scott, and his parents have led the way for this event to keep Kerri's memory alive in a way Kerri would have loved. Here's her story: Run 4 Kerri Mini-Doc.

I was up early the next morning to get Phoenix out, make coffee and oatmeal (for me) and then pack up the tent. I had actually gotten some decent sleep which is rare when I camp. I had purposely saved some cash to buy John a breakfast sandwich at Dave's Coffee down the street so I stopped there then headed to Mantunuk Elementary for the race. I'm always there super early to get a good parking space in the school lot; ended up with the same space as last year. Haha. I actually kept the car running for John and Phoenix until it was race time so that John could get more sleep. I ran into Scott Bessette briefly while he was amidst pre-race duties then headed into the elite room where I was met by George Ross and Christina Stadolnik, who are now friends of mine. I think back to 2016 when I knew no one in this room. Now, it's a reunion of sorts. There are a few people there I don't know, but for the most part, I feel like part of the group now. Renae Cicchinelli and I sat next to each other in our usual corner of the room. It's been nice finally getting to know her better. The best part about the elite room this year was that it turned into a daycare. Haha. It was fun to watch. Matt and Jill Pelletier with Rowan (my race rival from the 2017 race; beat me by less than a second) and then Bronson Venable and his wife had their infant son in there as well. It livened the atmosphere for most of us.

I realized I had forgotten my visor which left me a choice between a hairband and my Run the Whites trucker hat. I opted for the hairband then headed out for a warm up. Zak Kudlak was in the middle of a many miles warm up and joined me for mine. We ran out to 1.5 miles toward Deep Hole Beach. On the way back, Jonny Hammett joined us for the last mile. Once we got back, I checked on John and Phoenix and turned off the car. I would end up alternating between a/c and windows down for them the whole time. Haha.

The headband had made my head feel really hot. It's one I wear for milder winter races so it was too much. I decided to go with the trucker hat, and believe it or not, it was perfect. It was way cooler than the headband. Plus, it kept the sun out of my eyes.

Before leaving the room, I had George take a photo of Eric Narcisi and I. This is my first time seeing Eric since we ran into him at Foolproof after Run with the Beavers last year. He's back running finally... and running well. After the photo, I took a gel then made my way outside where I met up with Jill and Rowan for the walk to the start.

I stood in the shade before lining up since it was hot and really humid (the usual), then stepped in behind most of the faster people. My legs were truly shot. The quads were heavy still. I actually felt like I was in shape to run this race under 25 minutes again, but I had no idea how badly Escarpment would beat me up. With my tired legs I didn't expect to break 26 minutes today. I was a little bummed because I really wanted to see how I could do today, but it was ok considering why I was beat.

The race was started so suddenly that a lot of us were caught off guard for a second. Well damn, here we go. And no lie, on the very short hill before the long downhill 1st mile, my quads burned. I thought, "Oh shit." I really didn't know what to do at this point because if my legs are burning in the first 1/10th of this race, I'm not going to make it. But instead of cutting it back. I just thought, "Fuck it. Just go with it. See what happens." So I did. I got right with a group of three women, Renae, Eleanor Lawler (whom I'm typically close to at this race) and woman I didn't know on the Ronald McDonald House team, even though she looked familiar and might have been at the indoor meet in Providence. All three women were running fast, and I was struggling to stay with them at first. For some reason, my quads suddenly stopped burning and I could feel myself getting into a groove. Hit the first mile in 6:03 which was perfect. Not too fast and not too slow. I was able to get just ahead of all three women but could hear the RMH woman right on my heels. I was hoping to keep Zak in sight for as long as I could to pull me along, but he was going way faster than planned so I finally just had to focus on staying ahead of the women. The LOOOOONG stretch of road in mile 2 usually hurts, but as soon as we turned the corner, I all of a sudden felt great. They were still hanging onto me, but my breathing seemed to be way more under control than theirs. I hoped that meant something. haha.

I hit mile 2 in 6:08. Also perfect. I kept pushing on, but all I heard from the crowd we passed was, "Way to go, ladies!" I knew the RMH woman was still behind me, but I didn't look back to see who else was there. I didn't want to know. We came up on the sharp left turn that would lead us up the hill to the "big" hill in mile 3. It's not a big hill at all, but when you've been running flat for the 3 miles, this change of gears really hurts. Just before the hill, the RMH woman's breathing was suddenly gone. I could hear no one behind me. Renae would tell me later that she dropped off suddenly there. As soon as we started climbing, my legs started screaming. I could feel the burn and fatigue, but I had some hope as I looked up ahead to see Steph Riley walking through the water stop. I thought maybe I would catch her so I pushed as hard as I could up the hill...but at the top, the burn got me. My quads were screaming and it took way longer than normal for me to switch gears again to a faster pace. It hurt. Mile 3 in 6:26. This was 10 seconds faster than last year but 10 seconds slower than 2017 and 14 seconds slower than 2016. I didn't know this at the time, but I knew it.

Luckily, I finally got going again and the legs were back in action. I was hurting, but the normal hurt of a 4-mile race. Fortunately, I know the course so I knew what was coming. I stopped hearing, "Go, ladies!" and hoped that meant no one was close. As we crested the hill we had run down in mile 1, I could see Steph Riley running hard as she took the right turn. Not wanting to get caught, I made sure I gave it all from here to the finish. I took the right, then the left. I had a hard time seeing the clock but was shocked to see it still in the 24s. Yay! I knew I'd be in the low 25s! This felt like the hardest I'd ever pushed for the last stretch, and I couldn't smile for Scott Mason's photo. Haha. I didn't let up until I came through the finish. Mile 4 in 6:23 which is my second fastest 4th mile of the 4 years, so I'll take that. Finished in 25:14. I was ecstatic to have run that well on such tired legs. Unfortunately, it was my 2nd year in a row finishing 6th female so I was out of the money. Last year, I still got the $50 masters money, but this year, I was 3rd master! Crazy. Sybil Shapiro took 4th and 1st master and Steph was 5th and 2nd master. Damn. Haha. Eleanor Lawler would once again finish close behind me. I wonder at what point she will start beating me. I'm guessing...next year? Haha. Full Results

Photo by Scott Mason
I grabbed some water then ran over to the car to check on John and restart the car since it had warmed up. I was supposed to run down to the beach with Nick Fox and Derryck Coleman but I didn't see them and assumed they had already left so Renae and I ended up running down there together. She had an 8-mile cool down planned so she left me at the beach and continued running while I went for a swim. And wow. Just like last year, it felt so good! I wanted to swim and float in there for hours. It was amazing. I never saw anyone else from the race down there which baffles me so I don't know how I missed those guys since they did go swimming somewhere. It was fine, though. I enjoyed floating in the water in silence. Some day I'll buy a beach house here...said Leslie in her dreams. Haha. I would have stayed in the water longer, but I didn't want to be gone too long. It was like saying goodbye to a friend as I turned to look back at the beach as I walked away.

When I got back, I had John take Phoenix on a short walk on the trail by the parking lot while I attempted to go into the school to change. Yeah, well, I didn't make it far before it was social hour. Haha. Once I made it into the room, I was about to walk to the bathroom when I saw Christina and Mike Stadolnik. I told them to let me know when they do their race couple photo (they do this every race) so that I could sneak into it. They said they had just taken but they wanted to do another one so we did. Haha. If you haven't read my blog, last year at Hartford, I kept appearing everywhere they were so I would joke that I was in their room or standing right behind them, etc. So that's where this came from.

I hurried to change clothes then ran out for the awards. I won an water bottle for the 40-49 age group. Totally forgot to take a photo of it.

George had posted on Facebook earlier in the week that he was giving away his old spin bike to anyone who wanted it. I'm so glad I saw it first because I raised my hand! Yes!! The bike I bought last year is just too small for what I had planned for this coming winter. I couldn't do too much on it without hurting myself (it's made for someone 5'2" and under). I was planning to do spin classes, but George just spared me. The timing couldn't have been more perfect. I was surprised to find that George, Scott Mason and John moved the bike from his truck to my car while I was inside. Yay!!! I have a real spin bike! It may be 17 years old, but it still works.

The drive home. Spin, bike, camping mess and Phoenix
It was weird for the drive home because it's the first time I've ever let John sit in the front seat. And I mean EVER. That's the only seat available in his dad's van so he's used to it there, but I never thought it was a good idea until he was bigger. Didn't really dawn on me until that he's actually big enough to ride there. He still prefers the backseat in this car, though. It's way more comfortable.

The drive home seemed quick. Probably because we didn't go out to Mews...and then Whalers...and then Proclamation...and then Buttonwood. Haha. We were home by 4pm. That's definitely the earliest I've ever gotten home from Rhode Island. I'll admit that I wanted to stay, and if I had more money I would have stopped to at least pick up some beer to go. John was ready to get home. He had just spent 4 days at the Cape and was traveled/beached-out.

John helped me get the spin bike out of the car and then he got stung by a wasp. They started swarming right after we took the bike in. I figured there was a nest we didn't know about under the deck and sure enough, there was huge one right under the top step. Fortunately, I had wasp spray to take care of it. They love my house for some reason and build multiple nests every summer. Such a pain in the ass.

I took the old bike downstairs next to the treadmill. I'm keeping it as a back-up.
There was still too much day left, and the weather was amazing so I took the Kia Soul out of the garage and headed to Chocorua Lake to kayak with Phoenix. It was perfect. We stopped at the other end of the lake for awhile.

Great way to end a great day.

Week, July 22-28- 36.6 miles. 7,887ft of elevation gain. I purposely kept the mileage super low to ensure I was ready for Escarpment. I still ran the Whitaker Woods run and the last Friday Night Vertical of the season, though.

Monday, 7/22- Zero miles. Did glutes at work. Every Monday is Change the Mop Monday at the hospital. We're literally the only ambulance crew who changes out the mop head (and often the water, no exaggeration).

Some more EMT humor that is amazingly accurate, but I would add, "I don't know," in there as well. Haha.

Also today, the EMT in me came out without me thinking about it. I literally busted out laughing as soon as I heard the tone drop for this one...

At least it was good training for the Swift Water Rescue Team

Tuesday, 7/23- 10.5 miles. Ran in the rain in the Green Hills right from work. It felt so good to run in the cool air. I did a 7.1 mile loop at a comfortable pace. 1:09:51. 681ft of elevation gain. This would be the longest run I would do before Escarpment.

Midday, John and I decided to go for a bike ride on the Mountain Division Trail. I brought Phoenix along with the plan to leave her in the car during the ride and then walk her after. It was still cool and cloudy out...until we parked in the lot. All of a sudden the sun was out and felt 10 degrees hotter. Although it wouldn't have been too hot in the car for her to stay since she likes the warm, I could just imagine some ignorant do-gooder hearing her bark and then freaking out that we left her in the car. So the only option was to alternate between letting her run with us and carrying her. I thought this would be easy, but it turned out not to be AT ALL. Holding 15-ish lbs in an isometric hold while trying to bike quickly became difficult to sustain. We finally got just a little past 2.5 miles, and there was no way I could do the full 8 miles so I told John we'd have to turn around. It was still fun. We picked berries and stopped by the pond where John likes to watch the turtles. And it worked out that Phoenix ended up getting plenty of exercise.

I was very productive today and managed to also get my Black Diamond Upper Body and Abs workout in. I have been neglecting it the last 3 weeks, but I've been doing 1-2 workouts a week. Once the crazy 3 racing weeks are over, I'll be back at it more.

That afternoon was Whitaker Woods. I ran a half mile warm up and when I got back to the field, I saw the Salomon rep there with shoe demos. I almost completely forgot. I really wanted to demo a pair of the new Speedcross, but I started my conversation off with letting her know I was a hard sell on Salomon's. I haven't tried a pair yet that I like, but I'm always willing to try new models. So I quickly changed into a pair of the Speedcross 5s. I have to admit that they felt great. I would just need to test them on some technical stuff to be sold. I really wanted to ask her if I could borrow them for Escarpment. I think if we knew I was going to win it, she probably would have let me borrow them. Haha.

For some reason, I wanted to push it closer to race pace today and went out at that pace. Ran the first mile 10 seconds faster than my tempo runs, but all of a sudden I was completely alone. Usually there's someone, but not this week. I lost my racing mojo and cut it back. Still finished it with my second fastest run there this summer in 21:09.

Donna Cormier took some photos at the start and every single one of them was hilarious. So many funny faces, myself and Terry included.

Had no shame in grabbing some swag before I left. I made a beeline for the table as soon as I finished so I could grab the yellow Salomon hat.

Wednesday, 7/24- Zero miles. Took another zero as planned. Did 10 minutes of glutes and walked a mile on the trail at work. Listened to the Mt Everest clip from Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. They bought a domain https://thetopofmounteverest.com/ where you can get your own summit photo without dying so I did. Haha. Good listen if you're interested at John Oliver "Everest".

Thursday, 7/25- 4.2 miles. There are times when I love low mileage Thursdays since it means I can do other things. One thing I had not done in many, many years was get my sea kayak out on the ocean. It's crazy that I haven't ventured down until now. The day was perfect for it, and I would get a short run in on the way down. 

My original plan was to run 6 miles on the Sweet Trail in Durham with Phoenix, and I was actually headed there. As I approached Rochester, I looked off to my right and saw Mt Blue Job, a place I'd never been but had wanted to check out. Well, what better day to do it than today? So 2 exits later I was headed that way. I didn't know the trail system at all, but once I was able to look at the map, I realized it wasn't a big place. I wanted more than 3 miles so I kind of picked out a route that would get us closer to 4 miles. Funny, my whole intentions with the Sweet Trail was to run a flat trail today. This wouldn't be flat at all. Haha. Oh well. Less miles than planned at least. We started off with a climb to the summit and then I followed the trails via the map on my phone and basically ran a lot of the perimeter before making our way up Little Blue Job and then back to the main summit before heading back down. It was a nice run and the blueberries were insane. I stopped constantly for them. Phoenix, too. The run ended up being 4.2 miles in 49:12 with 1,053ft of elevation gain. Somehow I snagged a segment on Strava going as slow as I was. Haha.

It was really hot out.

From there we followed thru on the original plan and headed to the small free beach lot just south of Odiorne State Park. I was SO excited to get in the ocean. I learned to kayak in the ocean back in 2000 with a terrible lake boat. When I finally got my sea kayak, I realized how much more fun it was since I wasn't putting in an enormous effort just to keep the boat from getting dumped by waves, but learning on the dumb kayak really taught me how to kayak.

We put in at the beach and headed out of the cove. The tide had just changed to start coming in again which was my plan so we didn't get stuck way out on the way back in. The only downside was this meant a lot of the ledge rocks were exposed creating a lot of crashing waves by the shoreline. So I had to paddle straight out quite a distance before cutting it back to paddle parallel with the shore. Omg, the second I felt the waves it brought me back to Minot, MA where we used to live and paddle all summer. I miss living by the ocean. Out of the cove, we hit some big waves. It was so much fun, but then I realized that Phoenix was scared to death. Poor doggie! I had to put her in my lap, but she was still terrified, and I could feel her shaking. But she at least felt safer in my lap. I did scrap my original plan to paddle across to the river outlet to Jaffrey Point to see the lighthouse because I didn't want her to be scared the whole time. Instead I paddled all the way around Odiorne Point and back which meant paddling into the calm waters of the harbor. She was so calm and happy to sit on the back again as soon as we got in there. I stopped at the end on a little beach where no people were and walked around a bit with her. On the way back, I was able to paddle more of a direct line since the tide was coming in and covering the ledges. Once again, the waves were huge and so much fun and once again Phoenix disagreed. Haha. With the waves funneling into the beach I had to go out a bit so I could come in straight with the wave line. This is where I used to get dumped in my lake kayak every time, but on this boat, it took very little effort. I won't say I wasn't a bit nervous about dumping the boat with Phoenix in it, but I was pretty confident for the most part. As soon as we landed, I took Phoenix to the car with some stuff then took a dip in the ocean. Oh how I love it! I loaded up the kayak and headed to Dover for the 3rd part of our day, a trip to Garrison City Beerworks. 4.5 miles total for the kayak trip.

Tried to get a photo of the lighthouse.
Garrison City was great. Phoenix was actually really good out on the patio area. And all of the people were super cool. There were a lot of dogs, too. I had a flight then one full pour. Just as I was halfway done with the full pour, Tina, my massage therapist, walked out of the studio where she has her massage place. Yay!! She came over and we talked for over half an hour. I was hoping I'd see her. She's the best.

Friday, 7/26- 3.8 miles. Since I was doing the final Friday Night Vertical Race that night, I opted not to run in the morning. Instead I did my upper body and abs workout. I wanted to mow, but I still can't get the mower to start. Bryan is the only one who's been able to so I've just been having him start it for John to mow. Gives John a real chore at least. 

I walked the dogs at the Albany Town Forest while John was at his Friday library thing. He forgot to change his shoes and realized he was still wearing his slippers when we got there. Haha.

The deer flies were insane today on our walk so I put a fern in my hat. It did actually help.

We just walked 2 miles, made a quick stop at the store and then picked up John. I wanted to bring Phoenix with me for Friday Night Vertical post race but it was still too hot to leave her in the car. If I had known I was going to DNF I would have brought her and run with her. Haha.

I did a short warm up when I got to Black just to loosen up. I gave Andrew a beer to carry up for me in his pack since we were finishing out on the rock ledge tonight and the beer/ice cooler had already been carried up by Jess. This would be my least favorite course of the three but I was still hoping to improve upon my previous time and then enjoy the mostly downhill finish. I started out easy since I didn't want to destroy myself. Jess went up ahead quickly, and I found myself in a group with 3 guys. We reached the summit and then started downhill. I did actually beat my previous time by about 4 seconds, but the race wasn't over. The four of us bounded down the hill and as we're running, I'm thinking, "Damn. Andrew was really cruel with this one making us go almost all the way back down the mountain before climbing up." Um, no. I was wrong. The four of realized that we hadn't seen a flag in forever and that we had totally missed the right turn. Oops. Haha. The funniest part is that the guy who was out front's dog was running with us like every week. All of a sudden it dropped back to me and then as we headed left and down. The dog just sat down. I should have listened to the dog since it knew we were going the wrong way and stopped. Oh well. We laughed about it as we walked back up to the course and then jogged it in. Haha. Dammit. This wasn't first time nor will it be the last time I run off course. Ended up with 2.45 miles and 1,198ft of elevation gain. 28:16.

We hung out talking, drinking beer and checking out the awesome view. It was kind of an omen because I was talking to Nate about Whiteface and Escarpment when a guy standing near us asked us what at hot spot was compared to a blister. Obvious to us, but we explained it to him. I actually thought of this as I was running Escarpment two days later, "Now I could actually show that guy what a hot spot was." Haha.

Look at the dog in front.

The final raffle was back down at the lodge. I won a beer and also got this yummy thing for "winning" the Series for the women. It could have actually been really close if Lydia had made it to two more races.

Saturday and Sunday were already covered in my last blog post with Escarpment!

Week July 29-August 4- 28.1 miles. 3,025ft of elevation gain. Escarpment totally beat me up so this week's low miles were due to an attempt to recover enough for Run 4 Kerri. I took 3 zero days and ran short and easy, but I still felt destroyed by Sunday. As you already read, though, this didn't affect me much.

Monday, 7/29- Zero miles. As planned. Didn't do anything except walk the dogs out back throughout the day. They would come to work with me both days this week while John and Bryan were at the Cape. I was sad not to see John in between me leaving for NY and him leaving for the Cape. An old friend sent me a photo of John with the other kids after they got there Monday night. 

I think she could qualify as an emotional support animal at work. 

Missing: the small children who resemble these 7 older kids. Haha.
Tuesday, 7/30- 3.4 miles. Instead of running in the morning, I decided to take the dogs on a walk on the Brook Path. Temps were in the mid-90s so running would have been miserable anyway. The Brook Path turned out to be really popular with dog people. So many of us out there because it's completely shaded with brook access the entire way. I've never seen that many people on that trail before. All really great dogs. One guy even had a matching set to me, one big dog and one little dog.
3.6 miles for the whole walk. It felt great to just go for a walk this morning.

The water is so amazingly clear.

He stood there for 5 minutes.
After dropping the dogs off back at home, I switched out the Sorento for the Soul to go kayaking on Conway Lake. I didn't bring Phoenix this time since she would have gotten hot riding on the back of the kayak. I paddled out to a small island where I picked some blueberries and took a swim then paddled out around another island before turning around. 4.6 miles total. The lake was the place to be on such a hot day.

After I got home, I switched back to the Sorento and drove to Whitaker Woods for summer series race. Tonight would only be a recovery run for me, and it turned out to be the perfect night for that since it was still so hot. I really enjoyed running this easy for once. 25:23 which is a little over 4 minutes slower than I normally run these. The time won't hurt my total Series score since only your 6 best times count.

Wednesday, 7/31- Zero Day. Also planned, but at least I did some glute and ab work today, although it was totally unnecessary. One of the exercises is a glute bridge and how I noticed my quads were still slightly sore from Escarpment. Work was made much easier by having the dogs with me again. I took them on multiple short walks during the day. It was still so hot out so they stayed in the air conditioning most of the day.

Photo I took during our last walk of the day. Turned out cool with the sun's reflection on the tracks.

Fun Careplus Ambulance things today... the ambulance not only had a headlight out but the left front blinker had gone out on us on Monday night as well. Jeff got a photo of me having to use my arm signal to indicate turning left. Haha. Also funny, when we receive messages like the one below it's because someone already tried it. Hahaha.

Thursday, 8/1- 9.6 miles. I had originally planned a long run. Good thing I changed my mind on that. I even cut short the run I ended up doing. Haha. I decided I was going to do a Bartlett Mt/Mt Kearsarge North Loop. I did this once last year and really loved the quiet, little-used trail up Bartlett Mt since it technically isn't an official trail. I felt alright at first, maybe the first mile, but as the trail got steeper for the second mile, I felt the fatigue in my legs. Last year when I did this was 6 days after the Groton Trail Marathon, and I was in much worse shape and pain than now so at least I felt better in that sense. I beat my time up by about a minute. Really not much faster, but I was feeling major fatigue. I didn't expect this 4 days after the race so I was caught off guard a bit. I decided the smart decision would be to skip the climb up Kearsarge. Finished the loop with 6.1 miles. 1:23:59. 2,125ft of elevation gain.

I went straight home to get the dogs and take them on a walk in the Albany Town Forest. It was another super hot day so they had to get in the water constantly. 3.1 miles for the walk. 

In the evening was the annual White Mountain Milers' I'll Be Dipped Prediction run at the Oedel's house on Silver Lake. I love this event and look forward to it every year... more the post run swim and food than the run, though. Haha. 

It's a potluck so I decided to make a batch of mac'n'cheese using the recipe for the Five Star Day Cafe that used to be in my hometown of Athens, GA. It closed its doors 6 years ago, sadly. 

I reused my Taco Tuesday containers for the mac 'n cheese. Haha
I was actually really beat and had about an hour to sit on the couch with Phoenix before driving to Madison. 

Once I arrived, I quickly brought in my food, wrote down my time prediction and then went out for a very short run. My plantar fasciitis was killing me for some reason so I needed to warm it up. When I came back, everyone was starting to line up. A group of the women had planned to run together so I decided to join in. I changed my prediction time. I had no need to run fast or hard at this. I'd rather just run with the group and chat. 

Before the start
We started off and it immediately felt too fast for a 26 minute 5K, but it didn't matter. Terry, Kim, Suz, Andrea and I ran along chatting. I was actually struggling the entire way. Haha. The leg fatigue was definitely real. I finally decided to fall back a bit at the end since I knew we were way off our prediction. My gut told me to just start walking, but I didn't. Finished around 25:30. My prediction was 26:23. Way off. Haha.

After the run, a bunch of us got in the lake for a swim. It's always the highlight of the event. It was so warm and felt so good. We were in there for a long time. Andrew gave us the run down on his new event Bubba's Backyard Ultra. It actually sounds fun, and if I can afford it, I'll definitely do it; It's right down the street basically so how can I not? But the entry fee goes way up at probably the worst time for me with other things I need to pay for so I don't know if I'll be able to pull it off.

After the swim, it was time for food. It is always a gorgeous night here every year, and this was no exception. Dave Oedel asks me every year why I'm still single. He and Kerry are always rooting for me so I knew it was coming...and sure enough. I was prepared with the actual real truth which is that I don't try at all. Ok, well, maybe that's not the total truth since I don't want to start putting myself down in front of him. We all know I'm no catch. Haha. But, really, if I actually tried, I probably wouldn't be single, but I'd probably just be settling. And this girl isn't settling. I'd rather be alone than ever do that again.You never realize how much you've settled until you're out of it and ask, "What the hell was I thinking all of those years?!" Haha. I can only imagine if one year I do finally show up with someone. They would be so ecstatic. Maybe I could just hire a gorgeous guy ten years my junior to pretend to be my boyfriend. But there's that money issue again. Oh well. Haha.

Friday, 8/2- 6.1 miles. I was so tired that I slept in until 9am! John came home from the Cape shortly thereafter. Yay! He'd had a really good time but was excited to be back to his video games and computer. 

I finally got out for a run. I knew immediately that I had to cut my plan short, once again. Another run I just struggled through. Ran from home to the Madison Boulder and back. Half dirt road through the Coleman's area and the rest on the secret trail to the Boulder. I had to work hard for that 8:37 pace. Haha. 347ft of elevation gain so I can't blame it on the hills. Nope, I was just sucking badly. This meant a definite a 3rd zero day for the week on Saturday. 

I got in my upper body and abs workout, showered, then took John to the weekly library teen thing. I'm so glad he did this and that he likes it. After leaving the library, I took the dogs for a walk to Spot's swimming hole. When we got to the trailhead, I realized that I forgot to change shoes this week and was stuck walking in my Chaco's. This wouldn't have been too bad...if we hadn't found the bees. Haha. All of a sudden, there was a painful sting just below my big toe. I instinctively put my hand down and got stung just below my thumb. That's when I realized it was bees and started flailing and running. Chill was just a little ahead and must have alerted the bees but didn't get stung. Poor Phoenix started screaming so I knew she got stung. I was yelling for her to run! Haha. She did so we lucked out to only get stung twice, but my poor baby dog. She got stung on the bottom of one paw and on her back. The rest of the walk she was freaking out that bees were attacking her. Seriously. She still has PTSD over it. Luckily, I have very little reaction to bee stings. It stopped hurting within 10 minutes, and by the time we were back at the car you could barely even see where I had been stung. Phoenix started acting funny and panting, though, even once in the cool car so I stopped at CVS for Benedry for her just in case. She ended up being fine. 3 miles for the walk.

Licking the sting on her paw. :(
It was weird not heading to Black Mt for Friday Night Vertical, but I was happy to just stay home on a Friday night for once. 

And it's back to the beginning of where I started this blog post. And once again, I'm leaving it a week behind. Since I'm currently in the middle of a 2 week race break, I'll end up catching up by combining these two weeks after my Bridge of Flowers post next week. 

Life has been good for the most part. Bryan and John have gotten along all summer so I think that's helped me be happier. SO HAPPY about this. My running has been going well. I'm finally committed to finding a new job. No more maybe I'll do this, maybe I'll do that and then never trying at either. I spent hours last week fixing up my resume. Sadly, it's nothing special, and the only job Indeed.com has recommended to me was another EMT job. CRY! 😢

After my 2 week race break, September will pretty full with racing except one weekend when my parents come to visit, then I'm actually backing off a bit in October which is usually my double marathon month. Upcoming, I have a long-ish trail race and a 50K, followed by 10K road race and then the National Mountain Running Championship Race. October will maybe be that Bubba ultra, and one road race, then a 50 mile race in November and Lil' Rhody Runaround. At least that's all I have planned for now. All of these cost too much money so I can't really add in more. Plus, I'm supposed to pay for Boston. No idea How I'm going to pull that off AND pay my bills. Haha. I guess I'll be picking up overtime here shortly. Oh well.

Chill during our walk before we left for Rhode Island

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad you made it into Westerly. It is a really cute town! Yeah the tourists take over in the summer, come back after labor day, it's much nicer! Malted Barley can be a pain, we haven't been in years. Even with the addition of the upstairs, the downstairs, and the few seats on the deck it is a mad house, plus when its like that the food suffers.... My thoughts exactly on Brazen Hen, they do have a deck in the back... I took friends from out of town there only because it was the only option and Dave was all WTF Beth, that was stupid. HA! Longo's sound better. When that was a different restaurant with lots of tables in the window, it was Gizmo's favorite place to walk really slow and pee on all the lamp posts, class act that guy, class act!

    You need a basket on the handlebars for Phoenix! She'd be all 'Look at me losers'.

    I can't even imagine camping at Burlingame, I've often thought near the pond would be a nightmare... so many people!!!