Blackout 10K 2020

Blackout 10K 2020

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

First Race Since March!


Carter Notch Run

I love this guy so much. I've never been treated so well by anyone. I feel like a queen. He's amazing, and I'm so happy he's in my life. We're both still completely blown away that this happened. Never in a million years did we ever expect to be together right now. And not just together, but to be in a relationship like we've never had before. I've been attracted to other people throughout my life, but I've never felt the way I do about Ryan. I've never been this open and intimate with anyone like I am with him; we've been able to talk about anything and everything, and it feels like we've been together for much longer than we have. I'm shocked that I was able to completely open up my home and my free time so quickly with someone, but everything about it has felt so right. Crazy to think we lived so close but were forced to be so far apart for over 3.5 years. I actually thought he was a dick and even put up a Facebook post basically calling him a dick and trying to sabotage his races. We laugh about it now because we realized right away that we never really knew each other. He was tainted in my eyes by his ex-wife. But the second I saw him when I stepped out of my car at Chocorua Lake for our first "date", I saw someone different. It only took that one paddleboard date out on the lake for me to be 100% sure I wanted to see him again... and here we are. 

We've been having a great time together, living in our own little world, while so many people in the running community up here think we're total douchebags due to lies that they've chosen to believe. We had an awkward moment when we met up with a few people to grab flags to mark the same section of the Kismet course I always mark. They acted stand off-ish and avoided eye contact. I felt like they couldn't wait to get away from us. No invitation to go out that night for dinner/drinks like the past years. I guess I understand it somewhat since they might be trying not to take sides and still probably question who is really telling the truth. And we both know us getting together so soon after his divorce makes us look suspicious, but at least we know we did nothing wrong. Our consciences are clear. Just sucks to be ostracized. I'm happy we have each other right now and hope that maybe the smoke will clear and people will come around, especially after we start venturing back into the circle of events again soon. I have to believe the dust will settle at some point with most people once they start seeing us around again. But if it doesn't, fuck 'em. Don't need 'em. Haha. 

Speaking of upcoming events, we both have races this Sunday! My first race since March and Ryan's first race in a really long time. I'm doing the New England Half Marathon since I was offered a free entry. It's going to suck so bad. I'm not in any kind of road racing shape, but it will be good to see how I feel. The course isn't what I'd consider a "legit" course since it's mostly downhill, but that doesn't mean it won't hurt. Haha. Ryan is doing the 50 mile race at Big Brad Ultras. Funny we have our first races on the same day. We've signed up together for two other shorter distance trail races after that. Then who knows after that. I have no idea what 2021 will bring. (Updated later in the post).

Ryan is definitely a saint for dealing with a visit from my parents in late September. As soon as I told my mom I was seeing someone, she planned a trip up. Haha. This visit was a bit stressful. Both Ryan and I still had to work 2 days out of the 4 they were here. I gave my parents our room like I usually do since they can't sleep on the full size futon, but I felt really displaced this time around. I couldn't really come up with something for them to do either. They've done all the sights and other tourist things and just didn't seem interested in doing much. Also, having different political views than them made many conversations really difficult. I know we aren't alone in that one; seems to be common in the current political climate. Saturday was an attempt at a nice day. We went to lunch at the 302 and sat outside which was great. My mom said she can't really do strenuous hiking anymore due to recent eye problems so I thought Foss Mountain would be perfect. It's the easiest walk up at only a half mile with half the trail packed and graded and a 360 view at the top. The whole thing ended up being a production, and she didn't enjoy it at all. I don't think they enjoyed much of the visit, but I don't know what else we could have done to make it better. We hardly took a single photo the entire time they were here so here are the few that were taken.

After 6.5 years with no steps to the house other than logs from the tree Bryan took down that destroyed them, I finally have a real man who fixed them. The logs were getting dangerous. John and I had both fallen on them multiple times. Chill was the one who was finally fed up and gave us the push to fix them when he randomly destroyed the smallest log two weeks ago. After working hard all day at the farm on Monday, Ryan came home and built the stairs. He doesn't think it's a big deal, but it is to me. He also grew those pumpkins.

Not too much different than the last blog post which is why the long lag between posts. I'm still doing 2 days of Crossfit a week. I really do like it, even if it means I'm sore nearly every day. Haha. Running has stayed the same. Running on my own during the week then Ryan and I have been running together on the weekends. He took me on my first run on the Nancy Pond Trail (minus the short section I did coming off of Carrigain in 2015). It was absolutely gorgeous. We ran super easy for 15.75 miles. I can't believe I'd never done this one before.

The day before we took an easy run up the Wildcat River Trail to Carter Notch (the cover photo for this post). 8.2 miles. Gorgeous weather both days this weekend.

Also new to me was a run on the Square Ledge Trail from the Kanc. Ryan had taken a bad fall at the end of his run two days beforehand so we had to take it slow. I had run hard on my own at the Mineral Site the day before so I was all for an easy, shorter run. Ryan brought along a selfie stick which I thought was hilarious. Haha. I don't know how I kept a straight face for this photo.

Other runs we've done have been a Flat Mountain Pond Loop, B&M Ledge/Whitton Ledge, Bolles Trail and Speckled/Blueberry Mountains Loop. It's been nice getting out for runs together. Definitely a new thing for me, but I'm enjoying it since it's with someone I actually want to spend time with. Haha. We do our own thing during the week and run together on the weekends. I never thought I would want to run with someone else so much, but I guess I found the right person. 

We haven't just been running together. Ryan, John and I rode bikes on the Mountain Division Trail one Saturday. John had never ridden a road bike before, and after Ryan swapped bikes with him, John suddenly liked biking a lot more. Haha. That evening, Ryan and I went to Tuckerman Brewing for the live music. It turned out to be one of the worst bands I've ever heard. We can't stop laughing about it. Haha. It was a nice night to sit outside with beers at least. We've also taken the dogs on some walks. I haven't been making John take walks since school started back. I feel like he deserves to have his weekends to do what he wants for the most part. Ryan and I took our last paddle of the season a few weeks ago with a sunset paddle on Chocorua Lake. We ended up having a blast. Ryan fell in and I faceplanted on my paddleboard and I still can't stop laughing about it. It was an awesome night. I'm already missing it.

John is taking a STEM Aviation course at Kennett this Fall so he had a great opportunity last week. Ryan and I drove him over to Fryeburg Airport where he got to go up in the Red Baron plane. It was so cool. I was super nervous and excited for him at the same time. He had an awesome flight then went from there to a real flight simulator after. Such a great day for him. And so lucky he had the chance to do this at no cost to us. The Airline Pilot's Association and the FAA are paying for these programs. Lucky kid!

Life has been good for the most part. I'll admit that the crowds up here have really gotten to me, though. It's disgusting the way tourists have overrun this place. This can be a very hard place to make a living, but a lot of us live here and sacrifice to make ends meet because living in such a beautiful place made up for it, but not anymore. Locals can't enjoy anything anymore. It's unreal how bad it is here. I'm so sick of it and want a few weeks break, but they won't leave. The pandemic has allowed all of these people to either not work at all or work remotely. I hate it so much. There isn't remote work for 99% of the people living up here so we can't even leave. I'd love to take a vacation to these people's hometowns and throw trash everywhere and act like an entitled asshole like they do up here. We had planned to hike Peary Mt in Maine on Saturday. A place where you could go any time of year and run into no one. Not anymore. It got so bad that the landowner closed the trail. Thanks a lot, assholes! Tourism is literally ruining our community. I know I wrote this before, but it has gotten even worse in the last 3 months. There is no balance. It sucks. However, we took great pleasure in seeing police towing cars parked on private property at the Piper Trailhead last Saturday. It was awesome! 

I'm sure you can tell by the photos, but I got my tattoo finished. 6.5 hours total. I have to admit that the sitting for the shading was rough at times, but it was so worth it. I love how it came out. Now I want one on the other arm! 

Other random photos from solo runs, walks and stuff:

Pizza on a backboard "table" at work...

For some reason, watching the helicopter land at the hospital never gets old...

The flowers from my love hung on for a long time. It was hard throwing them outside...

Solo run at the Moat Mineral Site while Ryan was injured from his fall the day before...

Run after work at Memorial. Ran from the hospital through Whitaker Woods and then up the Jen's Friends course to the summit of Cranmore...

Another run after work at Memorial up Bartlett Mt. Felt really awful but somehow ran my fastest time up there. Haha. Go figure...

Michelle and I walking down the creepy hallway at Maine Medical...

I'm lazy about laundry so Phoenix made it her dog bed for a few days...

A loop run through Center and South Conway always passes the best view in the Valley. Actually had a really good run today. One of my fastest times for the loop since I started doing it in 2014.

Dog walk at East Bear Paw...

The reason for choosing East Bear Paw for our walk...

Another awesome run this time up Bayle Mt after work. Also one of my fastest runs here...

So this past weekend, Ryan and I both had races. His first in over a year and my first since March. I was offered a complimentary entry to the Delta Dental New England Half Marathon so I decided to accept it. I wasn't super excited since a half marathon on the road is far from what I've been training for. I've had some decent road runs, but road running is very intermittent, and speedy running is rare. I just hoped that the time on feet running in the mountains would get me through it. 

This was an actual race put on by Millennium Running. Putting on real races right now can be challenge, but I have to say this event was VERY impressive and very well done. Just under 1000 people came out for race day. The closest I got to people was just for a few seconds picking up my bib. The shuttle bus ride had me sitting about 6 rows away from the nearest person. We lined up in the corrall 6ft apart then each person had his/her own start. It was kind of cool. The start was at a gorgeous spot in Hopkinton, NH at Gould Hill Farm. Stunning sunrise just as I arrived. I picked up my bib then went for a 2 mile warm up. The weather couldn't have been more perfect.

I watched a lot of the first racers I knew start then got ready for my turn in the corral. I had purposely seeded myself much slower (1:33).than I intended to run. Since we all started 10 seconds apart, I thought it would be best to be the chaser and not the chasee. I knew being passed by people who started way after me would be discouraging while having people to catch would push me harder. This worked well until halfway when I had a mile with no one in sight ahead of me. I finally caught up to some people just as we entered the dirt/gravel bike path. I felt really strong for most of the race. Only lost it a bit in mile 9 while trying to open an Untapped gel pack just as I hit a hill. Totally lost my rhythm. By the time, I got the gel opened and eaten, we entered the bike path. Definitely a very slow mile for me. Luckily, once we were off of it, I was able to get back in the groove and finish strong. 15th female in 1:27:35. The course was fun and beautiful, but not what I'd call legit as far as time goes. It was mostly downhill. The uphills we did have, combined with the dirt path, did make it a little more legit, but I highly doubt I'd run a 1:27 on a more even course right now. I'll take it, though. Very happy with the effort. It was very comforting to see I still had that speed in me that I could maintain for 13.1 miles. Kudos to Millennium for making it happen. Full Results

Athletic Brewing seems to be all the rage now with its non-alcoholic beer. I'd been wanting to try it since Eric at Ultrarunner Podcast started talking about it last year. I was excited to see them post-race giving away free cans. Finally my chance to try it. Since I'm a huge post-race stout fan, I went for the stout. I can't say that it was good. It was very much lacking the flavor and body of a good stout, but I CAN say I've had alcoholic stouts that were much worse, so it wasn't the lack of alcohol that made the difference. I would never spend money on this stout, but I would happily sample free cans of other varieties. The one thing I did really love about this beer... I could drink it while driving home without repercussions. It does taste like a regular beer, but they just need to work on the flavor of the stout. Maybe I'll like the IPA, but I'm not spending money on a 6-pack to try it.

While Ryan and I were both up at 3am for a race, he went the opposite direction to the Big Brad Ultras. I was sad to see he had dropped from his race when I got back to my phone after my race. He made it almost 17 miles before having to call it quits after jacking up his ankle. He was ok with it and home playing with the dogs when I got back. It was a quick turnaround since I had to take John to a friend's house in Meredith. Traffic was a nightmare, but we got him there then I took Ryan and the dogs to Chamberlain-Reynolds Forest to walk. Both of us were moving pretty slowly, but it felt good to walk, and the dogs needed it. We went back home after that.

I didn't realize John didn't have school on Monday... and neither did he, so I drove all the way back to Meredith at 9pm to pick him up. I could barely keep my eyes open the last 20 minutes of the drive home. The next morning, John messaged me that he thought he missed the bus, so I decided to look at the school calendar. No school. Haha. He could have stayed over with his friends! Duh. I'm such a dope sometimes.

So far this week has just been recovery from the half marathon. No running. Just CrossFit on Tuesday followed by my first ride on the spin bike in months. I did a 45 minute power zone ride with Christine (Peloton). I was quickly reminded at how hard the spin bike is. Haha.

So plans for this weekend include another race. A short mountain race this time. Looking forward to something short and sweet. The following weekend, I booked us an Air B&B for a weekend vacation for Ryan's 40th birthday...although his birthday isn't until the middle of the following week. Haha. I wish we could take a longer vacation since it's been almost a year since I've had time off, but I just don't have any vacation time yet. Sucks, but that was a drawback to starting over at a new company. Definitdely starting to feel a little burned out right now. I know I only work 3 days a week, but it's still anywhere from 56 to 68 hours a week (depending on if I pick up a Conway shift on a Friday right after my Memorial shift). No extended time off. When Covid-19 crap started, I was working close to 70 hours a week. I'll have one full day (24 hours) of vacation time by January so I could at least take off one 24 hour shift for a Tues-Sun vacation somewhere. I'm already looking forward to it. Haha.

For now, I'm just really enjoying life with Ryan and John. I still can't believe I have such an awesome man in my life. Someone who was right there the whole time. I just couldn't see it. He made a Instagram post on Sunday morning that almost got me teary-eyed. 

Might as well have been having an affair. That's the lie everyone believes anyway. And we would have been together and happier sooner. But at least we have now and a clean conscience. 

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