Loon Mt Race 2019

Loon Mt Race 2019

Monday, September 2, 2019

Feeling Off

Alice Bemis Thompson Wildlife Sanctuary in Sandwich, NH
These last two race-free weeks were supposed to be a time to recover from the racing while also getting my mileage back into the 50s. That definitely happened the first week, but the second week, not so much. Working 62 hours and a 2-day FEMA course led to a sudden setback due to way too much sitting and sleeping in the horrendous bed at work. Tendon pain!! My high hamstring tendinopathy was KILLING me all week. This resulted in less miles, and even the runs I did get in, I felt like ass. All of them. I'm sure that also had to do with next to no sleep Sunday and Wednesday from 911 calls, followed by difficulty in getting back to sleep. So needless to say, the race-break did not go as planned. I had registered for the Wapack Trail Race on Sept 1st, but, now, I'm seriously considering skipping it. It's a tough, technical 18-mile course so if I'm not feeling up for it by Friday, I'm not doing it. I need to be feeling good to do a race like that. I'm only out $10 if I skip it since I qualified for the Trail Race Director discount entry. Not a big deal. I'd still really like to race this weekend, though, but something shorter and easier. Problem is, entry fees are sky high for nearly every race now so I'll have to find something I can afford.

I've learned over the last 2.5 years living with high hamstring tendinopathy that the biggest factor that makes the pain increase is hip tightness. This shouldn't be any surprise considering the hips affect everything. Much like the week before Eastern States 20 when I ended up in excruciating tendon pain during the race, it started after working a 34 hour shift. Sitting during the last 10 hours of that resulted in major hip pain which in turn caused the tendons to flare up. And this past week, I worked a 38 hour shift going in Sunday night at 5pm and didn't leave until Tuesday at 7am. Two nights in a row in that bed (even with my foam mattress on top) left my hips in pain. Then I only had time to do a road run Tuesday morning. Another 24 hours at work followed by two 8-hour days sitting in that FEMA course. My tendons felt exactly like they did at Eastern States. I was able to roll out the hips but found extreme muscle tightness at the top of my glutes that I can't work out by myself. I desperately need Tina for a deep tissue massage, but it isn't in the cards right now or the near future. But I am finding that if I can loosen up the hips enough, the tendon pain decreases.

What I only just made the connection with, however, is that spinning loosened my hips right up. Now it all makes sense. I wish I had figured it out sooner. So last summer, I took 2 full weeks off running and ran very lightly the 3rd week. All I did otherwise was spinning, nearly every day of that running break. By the end of the 3rd week, I was in zero pain on the right side and very minimal pain on the left. That lasted a month before it came back. Anyway, I took the 8 weeks off in November/December from running but instead of spinning, I did Insanity Max 30. After the 8 weeks, zero change in the tendons. This was frustrating to say the least. I still had tendon pain but was also very out of shape. What a waste. So this past Saturday, there was no way I was running so I got on the spin bike for an hour workout. When I stepped off the spin bike, I was like, "Wtf." My tendon pain was back to its "normal" (some degree of pain but usually very minimal, like a light soreness), probably an 85% decrease in pain. An hour prior to spinning, I was hurting badly. Then it dawned on me that the spinning must have loosened up my hips. It all makes sense now as to why after only 2-3 weeks spinning last year I felt "healed". Now I'm kicking myself for not doing spinning during my 8 weeks off. Grr. Oh well. I got past it. Luckily, my upcoming winter plan involves half running/half spinning. But for now, I really need to get in a few spins a week, I think. Doesn't have to be long or too intense. 20-30 minutes maybe? I just need to get myself back in the swing of things. Now is not a good time to feel off.

August 12-18, 2019- 53.6 miles. 11,916ft of elevation gain.
But let's start with the first week when I didn't feel off...ok, except my plantar fasciitis. Yes, I'm a mess. Haha. I got my mileage back up and did 3 pretty tough mountain runs. It was extremely humid all week long which made it tough, but I still felt good.

Monday, 8/12- Zero. Planned day off. Walked 1.1 miles out back. It was so hot that I had to quit after a mile.

That night Jeff and I took the ambulance to the North Conway Rec Center for the Bernie Sanders Town Hall. I don't know who planned this one, but it was a terrible choice of venue. No air conditioning and so many people crammed in there made it so stuffy and almost unbearable. Bernie was literally about to pass out when they took him out of there. They had to rush him to a cool office. Horrible planning. The whole thing was kind of meh. I hate the cheering/booing and there was a lot of that. Bernie said nothing but the same things he's been spouting and he dodged nearly every question, which I don't understand at all. Nothing was controversial in my opinion, so I found that very odd. Maybe it was too hot for him to think clearly. I don't know but I wasn't impressed. I voted for Bernie in the 2016 primary, but after tonight, I definitely wouldn't be voting for him. It's not because I don't love his ideas. And he's very genuine in what he's promoting, but it's just too broad and too optimistic. He needs to narrow his talking points down to the few that are most likely to be changed. He's just too far left, in my opinion. I consider myself a moderate Democrat and while I would love to see his most of ideas happen, I think he's living in a bubble, and his hardcore supporters are, too. It's just not realistic right now. It was still worth hearing what he had to say, but it definitely took him off my primary voting list. At this point, I don't have a clue whom I'm voting for in the primary. Definitely not Biden, but amongst the others, I just don't know. I'll wait until closer to primary time to decide. And it really is a tough decision. Vote for whom I think would do the best job or for whom I feel can beat Trump? I hate Donald Trump with a passion. Like HATE is not even strong enough of a word. I can't imagine him being President for another 4 years. So what do I choose? We'll see.

Tuesday, 8/13- 12.1 miles. I couldn't believe I had never run the Mt Stanton, Pickering and Langdon traverse, but for some reason it was never on my radar. After hiking it in the Spring with John I told myself I was going to run it soon, but I didn't. When trying to think of where to run on Tuesday, this popped into my head so it was decided. The trail continues on farther than Mt Langdon, but I only planned to do the 3 mountain traverse. The weather was pretty awful with 90% humidity. I was drenched in sweat and pretty drained quickly. So much so that I almost turned around after Pickering, but I pushed on to Langdon. I knew the trail was fairly rough to follow between Pickering and Langdon, but what I didn't know was just how tough this run would actually be. In fact, my only comment on my Strava post was, "That's a tough run." Had the air been drier and the granite slabs less slippery, I'm sure it wouldn't have felt as bad, but today was rough. Somehow, I still managed to snag two Strava CRs. Those should easily be broken in the near future. Despite struggling through the run, I still felt physically strong. 8.75 miles in 2:11:11. 3,386ft of elevation gain.

I did my upper body and abs workout when I got home, and then John and I went to Pirate's Cove to play mini golf. John still had two tokens for free games that I had forgotten about. He's gotten much better at it since we last played, and not because he's practiced. He's just smarter and more coordinated. He even got a hole-in-one, and I only beat him by 10 points. Haha. It was fun. We used to get dropped off at Putt-Putt all the time growing up, so I've always loved mini golf.

Phoenix needed a walk after that so we drove over to the Dahl Sanctuary by LL Bean. It's a fairly short walk down to the river, but that was perfect since it's all I had time for. John wanted to go home before I had to go to the last of the Summer Series races at Whitaker Woods. Although I was ready for the Series to be over, it also marks summer coming to a close so that bums me out. Fall is my favorite time of year, but I'll be honest that after the winter we just had, I wouldn't mind summer extending through mid-October, followed by Fall extending through March. Haha.

I arrived at Whitaker to find a Merrell rep there doing shoe demos. Sweet!! I love getting the opportunity to test out new-to-me shoes. The last Merrells I wore were a great pair of soft clog-type shoes that I loved. Sadly, my feet "grew" a size after having John so I couldn't wear them anymore. I had John wearing Merrell Glove's for years when he was little. They held up well and were so good for John's feet. So it was worth trying out the shoes. I opted for the Bare Access Flex 2 trail runners. I'm not big on zero drop shoes, but these seemed worth a try. I ended up really liking them. So light, and running fast felt so much easier. I'd like to pick up a pair of these at some point. I just really liked the feel of them. I'd end up running my second fastest time for the Series in them. 21:02 to finish off the season. Sealed my Series win as well. Full Summer Series Results. I'm all about the swag so I snagged some free Merrell sunglasses on my way out. Score!

Wednesday, 8/14- 3 miles. I actually got myself out for a run on the trail at work in the afternoon today. Not super fast at all since I was kind of tired from the day before. 24:18.

We had a stupid car accident near Diana's Bath late morning. I called it, too. I said this was probably someone doing something really stupid. It turned out to be more stupid than I could imagine. No idea what that driver was thinking. Someone posted a photo of the accident on Facebook. You can see me in the bright vest off to the right.

I spent over an hour in the evening planning out a run in the Belknaps only to wake up to a really nice day so I changed my plans to run Mt Mooselauke.

Thursday, 8/15- 11.1 miles. I hadn't done Mooselauke since September 2016. I was actually in really good shape then so I did not expect to run anywhere close to the times I did then, but I didn't care. I love the summit of this mountain. Mooselauke was my first time ever above tree line in my life back in 1998. I would also learn that same day/night what attempting to camp above tree line was like when the wind was so insane overnight that my tent alternated between being pressed flat against me and nearly being ripped off of me. One of the most insane nights I've ever spent. Haha. So today was just running for fun. I didn't want to put in any effort to beat my times from 2016, and I was also adding in the All Merrill Trail at the end to make it almost 2 miles longer.

As I started up, I passed a family. The one leading the way was maybe an 11 year old boy. Right after I passed him he said, "Are you doing this for time?" I said, "Not today." He replied, "What's your fastest time up it?" I said, "About 56 minutes." He said, "That's pretty good." I got a kick out of that since I didn't expect an 11 year old to be so knowledgeable. I kept going and remembered walking some of the sections on the carriage road in 2016, but I never seemed to hit those sections today. It all felt runnable. I had forgotten the mileage and thought I still had 2 miles to go when I passed a sign that showed the summit only .9 miles away. Oh! Ok, then. I guess I was feeling good since I made it to the summit in 54:38, almost 2 minutes faster than 2016. Wow. I was ecstatic, especially since I wasn't even trying. Of course, as I'm writing this, I'm bumming about how it all went downhill the next week.

I hung out at the summit for awhile talking to some AT thru-hikers. One was actually from Bartlett so I talked to her the most. It's neat talking to them. I don't usually tell them that I'm a former thru-hiker, but something came up so I did today. 

I moved on to finish off my loop run. The trail was pretty crowded until I finally turned off onto the Asquam Ridge Trail where I knew I'd see no one, and I didn't. There are no views on this trail, but it's fun to run. I ran the descent at a very easy pace. I don't bomb down downhills during training runs anymore. I save that strictly for races since I don't want to destroy myself. So I doubt you'll see me take another Strava downhill CR again unless it's a race.

I got to the All Merrill Trail intersection and took the left. The trail goes up for a long gradual climb before long switchbacks back down to intersect with the Asquam Trail again. I honestly couldn't figure out the point of this trail. It seemed to go nowhere. As I closer to the end of it, it all made sense when I saw that it was a ski trail. Ohhhh! Now it made sense. Haha. It was a short run back to the trailhead and then to my car. 11.1 miles total. 2:20:58. 3,130ft of elevation gain (3 miles more than Tuesday's run, but 200ft less of gain, as well).

I changed clothes back at my car then headed into Lincoln to have beers and lunch at One Love Brewery. I had $20 in gift cards from the Loon Mountain Race. Chris gave us each $10 cards for volunteering. Christin gave me hers. I just realized that John never got one. Haha. This was one of the nicest days we had for over 2 weeks. A little cooler and drier. I sat outside on the deck. I love going out to eat and sitting outside. I've always been a big restaurant person having grown up in a city that was way ahead of its time with eclectic restaurants of all types. I'd do it more often if I had the money. Probably not the healthiest way to eat, but honestly, it's better than what I eat at home.

I drove back across the Kanc. I was super gross from the many sweat layers, but I didn't want to waste time getting Phoenix out so I switched out cars and headed to the Madison Boulder to walk a mile on our secret trail before continuing on to Silver Lake. We paddled out to the tip of the peninsula where West Shore Drive is and then turned around. Sad to think the kayaking days of 2019 are numbered. When we got back to where we put in, one of the local runners I know was there with his dog playing ball. Phoenix joined in and played for probably 15-20 minutes! She was having so much fun with this other dog. She's really come around lately with being better about the barking around other people and dogs. She'll still do it, but it's diminished significantly. It makes it so much easier to take her places now. I'm loving it.

You can see the controlled burn smoke off to the left. The scent in the air was strong pine.
I saw this on FB and would love to copy this sign for here. So many people keep cooking fish here at work! I thought that was an understood "something you just don't do" in a communal work environment, but apparently no one here got the memo. I love fish. I love pretty much all seafood, but to have that smell lingering at work makes me want to barf. Someone keeps cooking fish in a pan I used to make breakfast and doesn't clean it properly. I love it when it heats up and I smell fish. Oh, come on! Barf-o-rama!

Friday, 8/16- 5.8 miles. With a long run planned for Saturday, today was an easy day. I ran from home up Heavenly Hill and did a loop around the Tin Mountain trails. We had had some rain overnight so everything was wet. With the overgrown sections of this run, it didn't take long before I was soaking wet. With the humidity's return, it took almost 4 days for my shoes to dry. 1:14:13 for the 5.8 miles. 1,247ft of elevation gain.

Today was John's library day so I dropped him off at 2:30pm then went back to Tin Mountain with the dogs for a 1.7 mile walk. Poor Phoenix got stung AGAIN! She kept licking her paw and then trying to wipe the sting off her head. Poor baby. You can kind of see the sting. It's lighter part above her left eye.

Barking out the window at nothing
After picking John up, we went home. I got in my upper body and abs workout before I got too lazy and skipped it. Haha. I was looking in the mirror at my hair. I air dry it most of the time in the summer, and it's crazy how naturally curly it is underneath. I have ringlets. I tried to take photos of one crazy ringlet, but they all ended up blurry.

"I've been clean for 5 years!!" Haha
Saturday, 8/17- 17.4 miles. I actually got up early....on a weekend...when there was no race! I never do that! I wanted to get in a long run in the Green Hills so I didn't want to be gone all day. Being on trails and mountains this run was going to take long enough. I thought it would be nice to get out while it was cooler, but it didn't make a difference. It was SO humid. I honestly don't know how I got myself not to quit halfway. The entire run was a sufferfest. My legs felt super heavy on top of the shitty weather which is funny because the temps were in the 60s when I started, but literally like 90% humidity. On top of all that, I had a major plantar fasciitis flare up going on. I think I know the culprit of that. When my newer La Sportiva Mutants shrunk, I broke out a really old pair of them to wear. I wore them on all the long runs this week. I think they were so worn out that it caused the PF to be inflamed. That was so stupid on my part. I should have known better. It's possible that was also a factor with the tendon pain even though that didn't show up until Monday morning. The timing definitely coincided with the old shoes, though. My foot is still hurting me as I write this. So needless to say, this run wasn't pretty. 

I started out at Thompson Rd and ran the mostly flat Pillar-to-Pond Trail to warm up. The climbing starts after that, and while there are a few good downhills along the way, it was mostly climbing from mile 3 to mile 12. So it's a tough run. It climbs up into the Twilight Zone/Outer Limits trails area before taking the unofficial trail up to the col between Rattlesnake Mt and Middle Mt. It continues up a bit before a short downhill and then climbs up to Middle Mt. There's a nice break here with a downhill for a bit before climbing back up to the summit of Peaked Mt. You drop about 400ft before taking the Black Cap Connector Trail back up for about 3.5 miles to the summit of Black Cap. I was so happy to start the looooong downhill from here. As I was on the Cranmore Connector Trail, I ran into Ryan Murphy on a fat bike. It's always cool running into people you know out there. I summitted Cranmore then ran the service road almost to the bottom before doing one last climb back up to the Black Cap Connector Trail and then back to my car. When I took off my singlet to change clothes, I literally could have wrung out a puddle of sweat from it. It was crazy.

These little mountains in North Conway can destroy you if you want. They look small from North Conway, but they can be tough to run. I ended up with 3,844ft of elevation gain. 3:32:59. This was slower than when I did this last year, but I'm not surprised with all of the negative factors. I'm glad I got it done, though. I really needed a longer mountain run than what I've been doing.

Middle and Rattlesnake Mountains from Peaked Mt

Me on Peaked. I think my camera lens was covered in sweat.
That afternoon, I drove John and the dogs to the Albany Covered Bridge over the Swift River to hike the Boulder Loop Trail. With it being later in the day and kind of rainy, I thought the crowds would have dispersed. Oh no. Not even close. Ugh. We bagged the Boulder Loop Trail idea and opted for a walk on what used to be (still is?) the Nanamocomuck Ski Trail turned logging road. Parts of the trail are still there, but they destroyed most of it. The trail is still accessible, just farther down now. It ended up being a nice walk because no people were there. The only people we did see was when the trail went along the river and we could see the Tourist Zoo at Lower Falls. Haha. The rest we had all to ourselves. 2.4 miles total. Not the plan, but it worked out better than the plan.

He loves to swing "weapons" around while we walk. You'll see this again later in this post. Haha.

Phoenix eating blueberries

Chill waiting for me to throw the stick

I don't know why I wasn't hungry, but I only ate cheese and crackers for dinner...with a beer of course. Lounged around on the couch. I was beat.

We have two small bears living out back. They were here as cubs. Not sure why they've been so active, though, all of a sudden. I'm seeing them all the time now. I'm figuring with all the berries and the brook, it's made a good spot for home.

Sunday, 8/18- 4 miles. Easy day on purpose. I ran a slow 4 miles on the flat trails at the Albany Town Forest with Phoenix. Made lots of stops for her to cool off. Just getting something in. Got in another day of upper body and abs after that, but it was so humid that my sliders wouldn't slide across my floor. I had to improvise a little to get it done.

That afternoon, John and I went mountain biking on the Stick n Stones Trail in the Green Hills and did lots of loops on the pump track. I hadn't done the pump track in years so I forgot how much fun it is. It only came out to 3 miles total. I would have preferred John do more, but he actually biked Sticks n Stones pretty hard. I couldn't keep up with him.

When we got home, I had to get ready for work. I needed overtime so badly, and picking up the 5p-7a Sunday night didn't seem horrible. I figured it would mostly be sleeping. When it got time to leave, I hated the thought of it. I was going to be for two nights and working 38 hours. I've worked 48 hours and never felt like this, but some reason this really bothered me. I hate it that I have to work this much overtime to maybe make an extra $100. But an extra $100 will pay for food or part of a bill so I needed to do it. But, this was me...

I hated leaving John, but at least he doesn't care. Phoenix on the other hand was basically crying and making me feel guilty. I almost just brought her with me. 

Tone dropped as soon as I got there. It was a car fire. I got some photos, and one of the fire fighters got a few from his body cam (The firefighter's name is Nick so later on I sent him the photos I took...except I sent them to Nick Fox in Rhode Island. Haha). This was a nearly brand new truck. The guy said he had been smelling gasoline all day. It started smoking as he was driving so he got off the road into a mostly empty lot and got out. The fire caused the emergency brake to let go and the truck rolled to the edge of the woods. Fortunately the fire dept was there before it could spread. Kind of scary to see the aftermath of the fire. It has some sort of new aluminum framing that completely melted. I guess this is a thing so if you own one with the new aluminum, and it catches fire get out fast. Haha.

If you're asking why that guy has no fire gear on, you're not alone. I was wondering the same thing. 

We had two more calls before morning. I didn't get any sleep really. What little I did was definitely not a sound sleep. 

August 19-25, 2019- 38.3 miles. 5,551ft of elevation gain.

Honestly this mileage really isn't that bad considering how much pain I was in and how busy I was. I only took 2 zero days with one of those being the hour spin bike workout. All but Sunday was pretty short. I could have actually run longer on Thursday night, but I honestly got freaked out where I was and just wanted to turn around. Haha. I probably shouldn't have run on Friday morning since I was in so much pain from the start, just like my previous worst. If that happens again, I'm going to turn around and get on the spin bike instead. I know I said before that with this chronic injury, sometimes it's going to be bad and I just have to be ok with taking the day or so off. Running doesn't make it better. Now I know that spinning does, and I've also learned from the past that spinning keeps me really fit so I don't have to worry I'm losing anything by taking a day here and there.

Monday, 8/19- 3 miles. 24:24.I had to run today even though my hips were killing me from the awful bed. No way was I going 38 hours without a run. I got it done right after our truck check so that I could shower after and be all set for the day. I also did my glute workout later in the day, but none of this helped. By the evening I was in so much tendon pain. 

Tuesday, 8/20- 8.5 miles. Even though my tendons hurt I still followed through on a planned road run. Not the best idea, but I just wanted to get the run done sooner and go home. I wanted to see John and the dogs. I actually didn't feel bad after I warmed up the first mile. Ran the North Conway loop from work. The first mile was slow anyway since part of it was on the railroad tracks and then the dirt road before getting out on the pavement. 7:58 for that mile. Picked it up from there and finished off the run in 1:01:15. 7:11 avg pace. Not bad, but I knew already after I finished that I wasn't doing the 10-miler this weekend. 

It was so nice to go home after this. I did my upper body and abs workout then took John and Phoenix to the lake beach. There was the cutest bulldog there swimming in a lifejacket.

Chill was home when we got back
I dropped John off at home then took Phoenix with me to Whitaker Woods for awards night. I was definitely not running. I never do the casual events after the Series is officially over. I walked Phoenix a mile before the awards. I had her hang out there during. She was only a little annoying. I won the 1st woman overall award which turned out to be a new running pack! Omg I was SO excited. Something I've needed for years. I also won a daypack filled with stuff. Useful stuff! This nice loot was provided by our local Eastern Mountain Sports. I couldn't wait to take my new pack on a test run.

I look so awkward in this photo on the far right. Haha. Glad Phoenix got in it, though.

I didn't want today to end because the next 3 days were going to be torture since I had a 24 hour shift, followed by a 2-day FEMA course. That part actually ended up being interesting, but the sitting destroyed me.

Wednesday, 8/21- Zero. No idea what we did today for calls except we had some overnight ones so I got next to no sleep. Did glutes. That's about it.

Thursday, 8/22- 7.8 miles. Showered before I left work. Planned to get a bagel sandwich real quick before stopping by the house briefly to let Phoenix out before my course. Checked my bank account. No deposit from work. That's odd. I always get paid Thursday morning through my bank, even though pay day is the next day. Figured it was just a delay which has happened before. Still got a sandwich but opted for only 2 plain bagels instead of a lunch bagel for later, too. I was actually in a foul mood. I was taking this course (FEMA's L550: Continuity Planners Workshop) because the guy whom I was looking to replace at that job I applied for had recommended it to me. I figured it could only help and it was actually geared toward healthcare. I wasn't happy to be going because I felt like I had already been passed over for an interview and that this course would be a total waste of my time. I almost didn't go.

The course was at the Conway Fire Station. I knew one person on the list for the course so I was a little nervous to be in a crowd more experienced in this than me. When I walked in, I was actually really happy I'd shown up because the guy who recommended it to me was there! Yay. So he would know that I was here and took the course. I talked to him, and he said that the boss had been out of town and was going to be doing interviews the following week. Yay! I hadn't been passed over. I was happy again. The course ended up being pretty interesting, and I was in a room with intelligent people which was nice. And the instructors were fun. I was so tired from no sleep, but I still found the information to be something I'd like to know more about.

I went home briefly for lunch and while there got an email from Careplus stating we wouldn't be getting direct deposit this pay period! Thanks for the notice! WTF. I immediately texted my manager asking when the checks would be in North Conway because my mortgage payment was coming out of my account automatically the next and I NEEDED that paycheck. He said sometime in the morning. Oh hell no. Turned out a bunch of us pitched a fit so he drove the 2 hours up here late afternoon to give us our checks. I still wasn't sure the check would go through, but my plan was to wake up exactly at midnight on the 23rd and do mobile deposit. I wanted to ensure I got paid. This company is showing all the signs of it about to go under. I need out now! And that's why I was getting more excited about the possibility of a new job.

The course ended at 4pm so I drove over to the winter parking area for Foss Mt in Eaton. I had planned to run 9-10 miles. My tendons were very achy to start but they did warm up. I ran up Foss Mt then back down and continued on Foss Mt Rd until it ran into Willis Bean Rd. I had planned to run this to the Maine border and back. Well, I rarely ever get freaked out, but this road freaked me out. It was in the middle of nowhere! No cell service for most of it. No houses. And it was basically a rough jeep road. It just seemed like the kind of place sketchy people would hang out. It was a nice run, and I was relieved to get a 1x signal back, but it continued to give me the heebie-jeebies so I finally just turned around. Just felt so creeped out back there alone. I was so happy to turn back on to Foss Mt Rd. I decided to summit Foss again, but this time via the old (closed) trail. It was pretty overgrown, but I really liked it. I can see why they closed it since it was also pretty eroded. And the new trail is wheelchair accessible for most of it. I ran over the summit and back down the new trail then back down Foss Mt Rd to my car. Came out to 7.8 miles. About two miles less than planned, but I was fine with it. I already knew this was going to be a low mileage week. 1:11:24. 1,302ft of elevation gain.

Willis Bean Rd
I drove straight to the base to get my paycheck and then home. Just as planned I set my alarm for 12:01am and deposited the check. It went through. Phew. Supposedly it was just a change in payroll companies. This is the second time in 8 years this has happened. Probably didn't pay the bill.

Friday, 8/23- 5.4 miles. This is the run I mentioned at the beginning where my tendons hurt so badly that I should have just turned around and gotten on the spin bike. I will never run from my house in that much pain again. Terrible run through Cranmore Shores, even after warming up. Could barely move. I was glad to get something in before the second day of the course, though. 5.4 miles. 43:30. 7:59 avg pace.

I left my class around 8:15am and left John at home to sleep. I was coming back to get him at lunch. The class was pretty much the same format, and I enjoyed learning more this stuff. The morning seemed to fly by. During a break I called the library to ask if the teen program John had been going to was still going on today or if it was over for the summer. The woman in charge said it was over but then asked me who my kid was. When I said John, she said to bring him by and that they would still do it for him and any other kids they could get ahold of who had been doing it. Yay!

I had to drop him off early at the library to make it back to my class, but he was welcomed by Tara (the one who put on the program) with chips and homemade salsa. She said they had decided to order pizza, too. Perfect! This worked out so well for him. I hated the idea of leaving him all day long at the house.

The afternoon went by fast. We finished the course material, took our final exams (I only missed one, and that was a stupid mistake), then they let us go at 3pm. Course complete. I was hoping this would help me at least get an interview with the new job, but no, it looks like I didn't so it was a waste of time. I mean, I guess it wasn't totally since I did like the material and the people, but the pain from sitting was excruciating by this point. And I had just wasted two beautiful days sitting in a classroom for nothing. I should have gone with my gut and never shown up in the first place. Oh well. I can't say I didn't try. Not surprised, though. I never expect good things to happen so I'm not too disappointed when they don't. However, I am disappointed that I'm back to the drawing board on the job search. I've applied to 3 other jobs and heard nothing back yet. I must look like a dummy on paper.

I had time to pick up the dogs from the house and take them on a walk before picking John up. We went to the Albany Town Forest for 1.7 miles. The usual loop.

 I picked up John then had to go to Walmart to get a few things. John asked for an iced coffee at DDs so I got in line and waited and waited and waited and then left. Got him an iced coffee from a different DDs. No idea why there were no employees at the one in Walmart.

LIES! You aren't sorry!!!
Saturday, 8/24- Zero miles. I was in way too much tendon pain to run so I decided to do an hour workout on the spin bike instead. I followed one of the Gymbox videos on YouTube. It was hills and short sprints. Great workout. And as I mentioned before, I was in a lot of pain when I started spinning. An hour later, I was nearly pain-free. Back to my "normal". I couldn't believe it. How did I not make the connection sooner? At least I finally did. I got in my upper body and abs workout after the spin bike.

That night was an event called Swallowtail's Supper Club at John's school. It was a dinner put on my the kids. Since John was working the event for 5 hours, I decided to do the dinner as a guest. I honestly couldn't really afford it, but I decided to do it anyway. Since John would be working hard on his feet for 5 hours that night, I took the dogs on a walk in the Albany Town Forest by myself. Since it was a cool day and the dogs wouldn't need to cool off in the river, I decided to finally check out the trails on the opposite side of the Kanc in the Albany Town Forest. It was short loop, but it was nice. It was basically a loop that climbed up then went back down. 1.3 miles total. I wanted to walk it again, but Phoenix was acting weird today and did not want to walk. She's been a bit paranoid since the bee stings. 

John had to be dropped off an hour before the dinner actually started so I dropped him off then went to the spring to fill up our water jugs. I still had time to kill so I walked out on the boardwalk at the Alice Bemis Thompson Wildlife Sanctaury. It was so perfect out there. Great weather and just pretty. I hung out for about 20 minutes before heading back to the school for the dinner.

I was nervous being at the dinner since I really didn't know anyone, but fortunately, I was seated with John's former math teacher and his 2 younger girls (the oldest was working the dinner) and another parent who was pretty cool. I was glad I wasn't the only one there as a solo adult. I brought wine and a beer. There was live music. The dinner was good and the kids worked their asses off. John was doing dishes and cooking. Once it was all over, he had to stay and clean up. All of the table and chairs had to be put away so I helped do that. It sucked, but we got it done. It was nice to see John actually working hard, and he earned $75 to go towards his fall trip cost. It's a taste of what's to come next year in a real job. 

Sunday, 8/25- 13.5 miles. I had yet to get a full Moat Traverse Loop in this summer so I decided to do this today. John was going to sleep late anyway and then we would take a late hike up Cranmore. I was a little nervous as to how my tendons would feel. Fortunately, they were ok, but they did start to fatigue on my way back. 

I did the usual loop from High St, up the the former Moat Mountain Trail to the current one and then up South Moat. That climb will forever destroy me. There were a lot of people on the trail today so I didn't linger long on the summit of South Moat before moving on. I had the trail free of people until I got to North Moat, but it was still very few people and then only two couples after that until I finished. Normally I do a mix of trails and road on the way back, but I really wanted to get home so I stayed on the Forest Service Rd to get it done faster. 13.5 miles in 3:03:18. 3,629ft of elevation gain. 

The run was mostly good, and I was so excited to be testing out my new pack today. Yay....but it turned to boooo. I had filled up the front pocket bottles and found the whole pack bounced so much that it was loosening the chest straps constantly. By the time I got to the top of South Moat the bouncing had caused the straps to chafe the hell out of my shoulders. I was so disappointed. It got better as I drank the water, and by the end there was no bouncing. But I was bummed out big time. And then it got even worse. When I took the pack off back at my car, I realized the purple dye had bled all over the white pack. It doesn't affect the function obviously, but come on now. I have sent two messages to Nathan Sports about this and have received no reply so I'm kind of annoyed. I'm just so crushed that this pack I've needed for years turned out to be crap. :(

I went home showered and then we headed right out for our hike up Cranmore. I was planning to by drinks at the Meister Hut, but when I realized it would be closed by the time we got up there, I decided to pack our own drinks, a beer for me and a soda for John. We walked up the Jen's Friends Hill Climb route to the Hut. No one was there so we had the whole deck to ourselves. The view is of the Moats where I had run in the morning. The weather was absolutely gorgeous. Just a perfect way to spend the early evening. Peaceful and beautiful. The dogs just wandered around finding snacks while we sat at the table. Such a perfect spot.

The leash weapon returns!

How I was feeling about it taking 20 minutes to go a quarter mile. Hahaha.

Moat Ridge
We walked back down a different way taking Charlie Doesn't Surf and then cutting straight back down a slope that I realized had been mowed. 3.4 miles. What a great way to end the day with John.

So, during this second week, I mentioned to Jeff this week that my blogs were kind of boring now since my life was so drama-free. Well, you know that jinxed it and the Shit Storm was incoming. This is why this blog post is getting finished today (9/2) instead of last Wednesday. I couldn't think or write after what happened. I know this is mean, but the rest of this story is To Be Continued....


  1. What a bummer about the pack! Is it a Vapor Howe? Ugh. The dye things stinks but moreso the bouncing. That is no good. Should be better than that!!

    And are you telling me I still have years to go on the 1 mile = 1 hour pace for hiking?!? ha ha ha. That is our pace with Sam ;)

    1. Hahaha! Glad I'm not the only one with a meandering kid. I do actually love it since it means they're enjoying it, but, yeah, many more slow-paced hiked to come!