Loon Mt Race 2019

Loon Mt Race 2019

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

2019 Kennett Challenge

Since I left my story hanging at the end of the last blog post, I'll go ahead and get right to it first thing rather than wait until I get to Wednesday of this week. We all know that could take hours! Haha. I'm going to leave out some details with this recap of the Shit Storm.

Literally like a week before this when I posted my Bridge of Flowers post, I told Jeff at work that my blogs have been so boring lately since I haven't had drama. Well, I jinxed it because once again I can't just peacefully go about my life with John and my dogs. Long story short...Bryan got arrested last Wednesday. He and John had a bad blowout and Bryan ended up leaving John at the river with 2 people he didn't know. There's more to this story, but I really don't want to put it all on here. Bryan called me and told me he left John. I told him someone would call the police. They already had. I got off the phone with Bryan and immediately called John who was with a police officer at First Bridge. I was at work so Jeff and I drove the ambulance down there to get John. The police officer told me that they had pulled Bryan over and arrested him. John was pretty upset and still crying a bit, but he was happy to get into the ambulance with me. We drove down to Bryan's van to meet a police officer there who had Chill. I found out I could take Bryan's van myself which I thought was best to save him all of the money for towing and impoundment. So Jeff drove John in the ambulance and I drove Chill in the van. I took a photo because I needed to document this fucked up situation with something comical.

Let's not forget I was on the clock and now out of our coverage area. I had no idea when Bryan was going to get out so I had to put Phoenix in the ambulance and grab stuff so John could stay overnight. at work. We lucked out with no 911 calls during this, but we got our asses handed to us a few hours later with 4 calls in a row. We were gone from the base over 4 hours.

But anyway, the police officer who had Bryan arrested called me later when he let Bryan go to tell me the deal. I have to say I was pretty impressed that his impression of Bryan was spot on. That makes me feel better knowing that someone else sees there's something off about him. And by off, I just mean weird. He's always been weird, but he's just gotten weirder. The police officer also let me know that he had to contact DCYF and that they would be contacting us both. What I didn't learn until they called the next day was that not only was Bryan listed as a perpetrator, but SO WAS I! What?! They wanted to meet with us so I told them they could come over right then, and they did. Fortunately, I keep my house neat. Maybe not always clean because of the dogs and the sandy driveway, but I keep it very neat. I hate clutter.

They came by and talked to John first to make sure he felt safe with me and get his story. Then they talked to me. Fortunately, the reason I was listed as a perpetrator turned out to be part of a story that the police officer had remembered slightly inaccurately. I was being accused of letting this happen before and not contacting the police based on the story I told them about about Bryan leaving John on the Kanc. He did all of this by memory so I didn't blame at all for mixing up a minor detail. The story DCYF was that Bryan left John on the Kanc and I had to go pick him up; I was listed as a perpetrator for not contacting the police about this, even though I'm not sure why I would have even if I had picked John up. The truth is, I was actually about to call the police to find John, but luckily Bryan got my text and went back and picked up John. So he didn't actually leave him. Phew. That's only reason I didn't call the police that day. They also thought I had full custody which was an easy thing to misunderstand since I said John lives with me full time. We have equal parenting in our divorce decree (although it hasn't been equal parenting for a long time).

Once we cleared that, the rest went fine, but I was left with a dilemma. They told me that if I allow John to be with Bryan unsupervised and this happens again, then it's on me. So there's where this becomes a difficult situation for me. Fortunately, John doesn't want to see Bryan right now, but he only said he didn't want to see him for a little while. The truth is they had had a mostly good summer together. Swimming down the river. Hiking. Doing father and son things which is great. And I was so happy that they had made it through without any big issues. School was about to start the next week. Yay! They made it...until this. It just makes me so sad and I'll admit it that I was pretty down about the whole thing over the weekend.

So right now, John isn't seeing Bryan. Bryan is still following through on paying for John's school stuff. However, he has been a nightmare between phone calls and text messages. Attempting to use his interrogation techniques on us, which have failed since he taught me well. He can't get a single one by me now since I recognize every card he plays. (I'm not even sure he's aware he's doing this; after interrogating prisoners in Iraq, I think it's almost just an automatic thing he does.) He doesn't think he did anything wrong and said if he were in the same situation he would do it again. He yelled at us for not defending him. So that sealed the deal on unsupervised visits for sure until DCYF completes their report and Bryan has his court date. I almost need someone to tell me what to do, but I hate it when people tell me what to do and tend to be defiant and do the opposite. Haha. I think what will probably happen at the very least is that I'll try to get full custody of John, not to keep Bryan away from him, but to ensure that I'm the one making decisions for him. I'd also like to have a court order for Bryan to pay something. I have no desire to ask for child support if he's going to pay for John's school, but if he stops doing that or John decides to go to the public school, then there needs something to be in place to ensure that he still pays a fair share, something he did not do the first 3 years of our divorce. I paid 99% of John's expenses then, but it's been even since he started paying for the school and I am very happy with that. I'd really like Bryan to have some court-ordered therapy, but I don't know if that will happen. I think he's just going to end up with a fine from this incident  and that's it. So family court is where I'm going to end up with this.

The whole thing is just sad. I'm not surprised it ended up this way, though. Bryan often treats John the same way he treated me. He can just be mean as hell even though deep down there is a good person in there. That's why I think he could use therapy, but he would never go unless forced. And even then, I'm not sure it would help because he would resist it. Bryan thinks he's always right. So that's my latest drama. I left out details of the incident since I don't think I should post that here, but I think I still wrote too much as always. I'm a little embarrassed now, too, since I have to work with the police officer who had Bryan arrested. Now, he knows my shit. Haha. I laugh, but it does kind of suck when this is the only way some people will know me.

I do feel some guilt with this. I know Bryan is messed up. I knew about the other times he was really mean to John. Two years ago I was going to take the steps to get full custody and child support, but I didn't. But I honestly thought they were over that bump. John didn't complain about Bryan once this summer. If I asked he'd say that he was sometimes a jerk but the summer had been ok. Unfortunately, I just learned the week prior to this incident from John that Bryan would scream at him and call him names in front of people at Frontside Grind. Ugh. I had no idea. But there was a good part to this story. John said that when this happened he would just sit there and laugh because he knew it wasn't his fault. That it was his dad making himself look bad. I think that takes a lot of maturity for a kid to get to the point when he realizes that it isn't him. He's not to blame. That his dad's behavior is his dad's problem, and John is not the cause of it. I think it has helped that I've been able to tell John that I was treated the same way and that it isn't him.

So anyway, this really sucks. I don't want to keep John from Bryan. I hate this whole situation. I'd be more than willing to do supervised visits, but I don't think Bryan would ever agree to that. So a part of me is starting to feel like the bad guy even though I know I'm not. I don't think there's a clear answer right now. I don't think anyone is happy with the situation. I just wish Bryan could see what he did wrong, but he hasn't and that's become the biggest problem moving forward. I know he cares a lot about John. This whole incident actually started from a place of caring, but then he ended up in a rage-like state because he assumes no one understands what he's saying. There is just no easy answer right now.

Running for the week! I had planned 50 miles and ended up just shy of that with 48.7 miles. I had definite plans to run the day the whole aforementioned incident occurred, but with all of that and an afternoon of non-stop calls, I just didn't have time. Decent elevation gain still 8,819ft. This was supposed to be a race week with the Wapack Trail Race, but I just wasn't into it at all. My gut told me to skip it and definitely not make that long drive. I had zero regrets. I was too stressed and depressed over everything anyway. I suppose it technically wasn't a race-free week with the Kennett Challenge on Tuesday, but I have a hard time putting that in the "race" category, but I suppose you could.

Monday, 8/26- Zero miles. Walked 1.49 miles on the trail out back. Supposed to be 2 miles, but it was interrupted by a 911. Did 10 minutes of glutes.

Tuesday, 8/27- 8.6 miles. Even though the morning run probably made me run slightly slower at the Kennett Challenge that evening, I knew that I would finish an easy 2nd there no matter whether I had fresh or tired legs. So I drove right from work to the Mt Kearsarge North Trailhead. This is one of my old favorites that I hadn't run up in awhile. This morning's weather was absolutely perfect so that made this run ideal. I felt really good the whole run up and was shocked to find it was my fastest time up since September of 2015. 51:17 today (50:59 in 2015 and my fastest ever was 49:32 in 2014).

 I was surprised to run into people on their way down so early. One was another runner I didn't know. Another was a mountain biker who would end up dropping his hat. I picked it up and carried back to the trailhead. In hopes he might be on Strava, I checked my Strava Fly By. He wasn't on it, but the runner was. Turned out to be a local person who runs a lot. Mountains, trails, roads. But I've never heard of him or met him. Weird!

I passed one last hiker just below the summit so I had the place to myself. I had thought my shoes felt funny on the way up, and once I stepped onto the wooden fire tower, I knew something was up with one of my shoes. When I looked I found the tread had ripped off part of the sole. Guess these are junk now! They were one pair of my Saucony Peregrine 8s. Although they didn't have even 200 miles on them, I really worked them hard. They were the ones I ran Escarpment in which is probably what destroyed them. I pulled off the ripped piece and just hoped I'd be ok for the run down. It ended up being fine even though it felt funny.

I took a photo of my shadow and waved. Haha.

I ran easy back down. 5.8 miles total in 1:40:59. 2,551ft of elevation gain.

When I got home I did my upper body and abs workout, then John and I took the dogs for a walk at the Albany Town Forest. 1.9 miles there.

John wanted to stay home instead of going to the Kennett Challenge so I went solo. I showed up just before the men's/boy's race started. I put on my shoes and then ran a little bit out on the course where I stopped to get some photos of the men/boys coming through before continuing on. Only ran .7 miles. Got back and met up with the other White Mountain Milers ladies. We had a great team today. Corey Dowe just moved up so she joined us. We all knew she would win by a lot and break the course record no problem. Based on the rest, I knew I'd finish second. Terry, Kim and Suz would easily finish high up to hopefully give us the win over Kennett HS and Fryeburg. I did two strides right before lining up with the team. We lined up and were off.

Corey was ahead already in the first 20 yards. Although I was second quickly, I had people right on my heels. I figured Terry was one of them, but the other one had to be a high school girl. This was confirmed when I heard someone cheer her name. She was on me, but her breathing was pretty heavy. This doesn't mean much since the last time I did this race 2 years ago, the girl behind sounded like she was dying but would go on to win the race. But, I was pretty sure there were no girls on the high school team who could beat me. She hung on for a good quarter of a mile, but that was it. I kept Corey in view, but she was already really far ahead as we circled back near the start and the cheering crowd. I would run alone the rest of the race. We passed the mile and headed off toward the woods section of the course which slows you down a bit. There's a huge difference between the mile times. I kept running as fast as I could, but last time I had the two girls here to race. Now, I had no one. I couldn't even see Corey again until I was back out on the field. As I passed the crowd, I heard Corey be announced for breaking the course record in 11:29. Smoking! I came through in second just under a minute slower than Corey in 12:27. I was happy with that. I ran 12:15 in 2017, but I had competition the whole race so I figured my speed was comparable. I had forgotten how hard 2 miles is since I never run that distance. Felt good, though. The next ones through were a minute back from me. The KHS girl who had been on my heels at first, followed by Terry. Kim and Suz weren't that far back so we easily took the team title by quite a bit. Our points total was 21. We won a bag of Hershey Bars that no one else wanted much of so I took them home. There was a lot of food after and I took some home for John, too. This is always a fun time.

The White Mountain Milers men also won.

Wednesday, 8/28- Zero miles. This was an unplanned zero. I've already been through enough of this day with you. Haha. John would end up staying with me at work until my shift was over the next morning. Bryan actually came by to get Chill while we were out on all of those 911 calls. He shouldn't have done that, and he's lucky the police officer who had him arrested and then released him didn't see him there. He was actually on the same 911 call as I was at the time. Bryan videoed John as he asked him questions like he was gathering proof of this "misunderstanding", as he called it. I only know about this video because he posted it on Facebook. I was able to see it before he blocked me. Haha.

John and Phoenix at work with me
Thursday, 8/29- 8.3 miles. This was supposed to be a longer run, but with John home instead of being with Bryan, I didn't want to leave him all day. The shortened version of my Middle Sister run was still long enough. With stops I was out there well over 2 hours. I ran up the Carter Ledge Trail to the Middle Sister Trail to the top of Middle Sister and back down Carter Ledge. I felt really good on this run, too. I stopped on the way up to call John then stopped for a bit on the summit before heading down. The run down is really not a run for the first mile or so since it's so damn steep. 1:53:44 for moving time. 2,710ft of elevation gain. Beautiful day up there.

Yes, I'm still wearing the pack. Can't use it to its full potential and Nathan Sports still won't return my emails.

Down Carter Ledge
When I got home, I took John and Phoenix to the lake beach. The public school was back already so we were the only ones there at first. I decided I'd bring Phoenix down to the beach part. An older couple with their grandson showed up right after that. I was hoping they liked dogs. It turned out they did, and the little kid played fetch with Phoenix the entire time. Just before we left he even came over with his towel to lie down next to her. It was so cute. Speaking of lying in the sun. Someone is totally spoiled rotten...

That evening was John's back-to-school potluck. I made that Five Star Day mac & cheese again. Turned out almost everyone else brought mac and cheese, too. Haha. It was a nice time, especially now that I know people better this year.

Friday, 8/30- 9.6 miles. The day got a very late start since DCYF called just as I got into my car to drive to my run. They wanted to come by so I told them to come right over. It wasn't a super long visit, maybe an hour, but I was already getting out late for my run. But it was fine. Not like we were in a hurry.

I decided to change up my run at the Moat Mineral Site to include the Electric Loop today. It's super flat and fast but very winding. Just a fun trail to run. I added that into a shorter loop without too much elevation gain. I wanted to get in more miles more quickly. On Thursday at the xc meet I was talking to this guy, Bob, whom I run into on trails often. We both commented how that hadn't happened in awhile. Well, I was about a half mile from the end of my run and here comes Bob on a mountain bike. Haha. We were both dying. Run was just ok. 1:35:50 for time. 985ft of elevation gain.

I got right in the shower when I got home so that I could get John and the dogs out for a walk. We walked 2 miles on the RR tracks. I usually choose this to avoid people, but this woman with her two grandkids followed RIGHT BEHIND us from the parking lot and onto the tracks. I was so annoyed that I had us walk through the woods to get on the snowmobile trail. A million trails and they follow right behind us. Assuming they're from a place where people aren't used to having space. Haha. They ended up stopping short so we were able to have the rest of the walk to ourselves.

Saturday, 8/31- 5.6 miles. Terry Ballou invited me to a track workout this morning. I had planned a longer run but decided to move it to Sunday. I parked behind the police station and ran the two miles on the Conway Rec Path to the track. I was a little early so Terry and Kim (Proulx) hadn't warmed up yet. I should have just joined them, but I didn't realize what this track workout was going to be yet. Bernie and Eileen Livingston came to time us. When Terry got back, she told me the workout. 2x 250, 150, 100. Say what?! That's like that sprinting stuff! I was a little nervous because I just don't do that type of running ever. My body isn't built for it. And certainly not trained for it either, but I decided to give it whirl. Still didn't do any strides beforehand like an idiot. Right off the line, Terry and Kim were 5 steps ahead of me. The power you need for getting off the line in that distance is not something I have ESPECIALLY with high hamstring tendinopathy! Omg. It was literally awful. The worst. They were both so far ahead of me coming through the line. As soon as I came through I said, "I can't do this!!" I was going to bag this workout and do some 400s or something, but I decided to at least finish off the first set to see how I felt. Terry killed both Kim and me in every run, but in this one, I actually beat Kim by milliseconds. Funny, that of the 3, I actually liked the 100 the best. I ended up beating Kim in this as well. Not by a lot. My legs were aching, but I made the decision to do the second set. Still couldn't beat Kim in the 250, but we were about the same distance apart in the 150 and 100.

Set 1: 50.05, 25.30, 16.84
Set 2: 47.06, 25.97, 17.53

I was happy to have run a negative split in the 250 since the first one was so bad. Haha. My legs were trashed from this workout. I hated it, honestly. That's just not something that's helpful for me...except it would definitely tone up my inner thighs since that's where I was SO sore for days. That and my quads. Ow. I was still glad I showed up, but I won't do that again. I could see doing some slow 100s at the end of a workout or 200s in a ladder workout, but nothing that specific to speed. I ran the same 2 miles back to my car. I was hurting SO badly after that. My tendons were aching, but, fortunately not horribly.

That afternoon I took John and the dogs on a hike up Mt Sabbittus in Maine. We'd hiked it once before back in 2015 so I wanted to go back. It's fairly short but still a good hike. Unfortunately, it was mobbed with people since it was Labor Day. Grr.


John got stung by a bee close to the end of the hike and literally took off in a crazy-assed sprint back to the car. I've never seen him run that fast. So I told him I would bring bees along from now on to chase him so that I could get him to run. Haha.

There were so many other things I wanted to do, but they all cost money and I had next to none so we just went home after the hike. I did my upper body and abs workout after we got home.

Sunday, 9/1- 16.3 miles. I was going to get up early to do my run, but I didn't. Still did the run I planned, though. It had been a few years since I had done the Eaton/Freedom Loop that Jim Johnson showed me back in 2014. It's one of the most difficult road runs around here so I'm glad he showed it to me. Jim was a big help in getting me back into road running since I had such a fear of cars and running on the road, but once I actually had someone to run with and to show me new places to run, I started to love road running again. Although we aren't friends anymore, I'll forever be thankful for him giving me that nudge to get back out on the roads.

A funny part about mentioning that first run here with Jim is that this dog followed us for about 6 miles of the run that day. Every time I have run here over the years, the same dog has joined me for some portion of my run. One time it was 11 miles! Haha. He had no collar the first time he ran with us, but we knew which house he came from. The second time I was out there for a run, he was wearing a collar so I found out his name was "Willy". It had been 3 years since I last ran this route. I didn't even realize that! But as I passed the house, I heard the bark...and then the pitter-patter of dog feet. I turned around to see Willy, now an old man dog. I stopped, put out my arms and yelled, "Willy!" He came running with his tail wagging. He was always a jumper so I was ready when he jumped up. He stayed there holding onto my arm and started whining. I was SO happy to see Willy. He was so old, though!! But it made my day. I stood there petting him and attempted to get some photos, but he was wiggling. Today, Willy only joined me for about a quarter mile before turning back, but it was still so fun running with him again.

The rest of the run was boring without Willy, but it was still good. I was super sore from the track workout but felt good otherwise. Definitely not a fast run today, but this is not a fast course at all. 16.3 miles total in 2:19:47. 8:32 avg pace which isn't bad considering the 2,365ft of elevation gain. This is actually a road run I like because of the long climbs. It doesn't destroy me like most long road runs.

John and I went back for the same walk along the RR tracks in North Conway as Friday. It really was the only way to avoid the Labor Day weekend tourists. Out and back to Pudding Pond. 2 miles.

It's hard to say this week was bad when there was more good, but it did leave me feeling down all weekend. Just so much uncertainty. I seriously think Willy was the brightest moment all week. Of course, John is always a bright star in my life, though, and now it's even more important that he knows that. With him not wanting to see Bryan at all I guess I am officially a "Single Mom". I'm so thankful that John is 13 now and can stay by himself. I don't know what I would have done if he couldn't. With no friends or family here, I would have no help whatsoever. I'm pretty sure I no longer even have help from John's grandparents since Bryan's mom actually got angry with ME when I let them know Bryan had been arrested. As if I had anything to do with the incident. So I'm guessing I'm back to being the bad guy in her eyes. It's ok, though, we'll get through this.

On the running front, I've once again changed up my plans. Yesterday, the Boston Marathon opened for registration. I didn't register. I seriously just can't afford it. Like not at all. We'd be eating ramen for a month and I wouldn't have enough money for gas to get to races. It's just not happening. But...I'm over it already. Will I be bummed out come April? Yes, a little, but I'm actually loving the idea of NOT running a Spring marathon. Probably best since I have DNFd my last two Spring marathons anyway. This brings my focus around to other things like indoor track and shorter distance road races. No long runs on icy roads. Using the spin bike half the time to avoid road running tendon pain. I'm much happier with this.

Will I run Boston in 2021? Yes, definitely...if I can afford it. But this also changes other plans. I will no longer have a qualifier for 2021 if I don't run a marathon. So... I'm going to run the Cape Cod Marathon after all. Even though I'm not in sub-3 shape and probably never will be again, I'm still in really good shape, so honestly, the timing is perfect for it. And as along as I don't DNF, I could jog my way to a qualifying time well under the time requirements. I feel like I should do it now because who knows if I'll be able to run a marathon next fall. While I'm healthy-ish and in good shape, the time is now. PLUS, my entry fee will be reimbursed by my racing team, the Central Mass Striders. So I will end up paying nothing for it as opposed to over $200 for Boston.

Since I'm now doing Cape Cod, I won't be doing the Pachaug 50 afterall since it's the weekend after Cape Cod. I'll put it on next year's calendar. I'm glad I didn't have much other than a pub run (Paddy's) on my October calendar. so it really all works out perfectly. Plus, after Cape Cod, I only have the XC championship (huge maybe) and Lil' Rhody on the schedule. So it winds down nicely into late November and early December. I'm feeling better about all of it right now. Cape Cod will definitely hurt, but I'm going to have time to recover from it before I do anything else big. No double marathons in a week like the last two years. I'm liking it. Plus, it will be a new marathon for me. I'm actually excited for it.

My updated race schedule for now:

Millen Relay 4x400 (9/13)
Pisgah Mountain 50K (9/15)
Lone Gull 10K (9/22)
Waterville Valley Mountain Race (9/29)

Paddy Shillelagh 3m (10/20)
Cape Cod Marathon (10/27)

USATF-NE XC Champs (11/10)
Lil' Rhody RunAround (11/17)

That's really not a lot for a Leslie schedule, but I like it. I could throw 1 or 2 more races in there since we have some local ones, but I'm not putting them on the schedule just yet.


  1. WoW!! Talk About Trials And Tribulations. Just About Every Time I Began Feeling Down, Someone Like Yourself Shifts My Perspective. Sure Wish That There Was A Magical Pill For Helping The Bryan's Of The World.

    But What Really Matters The Most Is That You Have Been There And That You ARE There For John And The Pups. I Know You Don't Have A Dime To Your Name But You Feel Like A Million Bucks When Your On The Trail With Your Happy Pack. Even When It's Slow Going, You're Still Moving Forward.

    Sending Positive Vibes Your Way,

    P.S. There Are A Lot Of Us Out Here In The World Wide Web That Are Proud Of You

    1. You always have the kindest words. Thank you!