Friday Night Vertical 2021

Friday Night Vertical 2021

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Our 1st Anniversary!


I thought my hat ruined the photo, but it's funny.

On August 6th, Ryan and I celebrated our 1st anniversary of our first date with a canoe trip down the Bear Camp River and into Ossipee Lake. We were so excited for this trip and it turned out perfectly. We packed wine, cheese and crackers (and a cupcake for me and a macaroon for Ryan) and paddled into the evening. It was the first time we've taken the canoe out together since we normally just paddleboard, and I loved it. The whole evening lived up to our high expectations. I can't believe it's been a year since we met at Chocorua Lake to paddleboard, an unexpected good time talking, drinking cider and watching the bats until dark. 

I would never have believed we'd still be so in love with each other a year later. We finally have an adult relationship for the first time in our lives. Amazingly, we've never had one fight. We've had a few disagreements and gotten upset, but never a fight. We've always just talked our way through it. I never imagined I'd have this type of love in my life when my previous marriage involved screaming fights almost every day towards the end. We even had screaming fights within in the first few months. I'm finally with someone who also doesn't want to fight anymore. We get along so well. A perfect match. 

I also never imagined that I'd have someone move in so soon after we started dating (just over a month), but it felt right from day 1 and it's been amazing ever since. Finding love in your 40s is so much different than your 20s. I feel so lucky to have found The One with Ryan. I've never been able to be so open with another person in my life. I'm not saying my marriage was all bad all the time; we had some good times in our earlier years. But I never once felt this closeness I have with Ryan in all of those 16 years with Bryan. It's so different. I look at him every day and think of how lucky I am to have him. He's so fun and intelligent and treats me like gold. And I can't leave out that he's a great cook, too! I scored big time. 😊 

My Crossfit friend, Mimi, bought us the cupcake and macaroon for our anniversary.

Came home from an overnight shift at Conway Fire in July to find surprise flowers from Ryan.

I never updated the blog since we raced Bridgton 4 on the 4th and the Loon Mountain Race. Both were good races for me. After 5 years of missing out on the Bridgton 4 on the 4th race due to work (then Covid), I was finally able to do it! Considering I had absolutely no road running or real speed work under my belt, I went into the race with low expectations. I would end up feeling great and having a good race. I was really happy with my time of 26:16 with absolutely no road training. 2 years ago, I would have cried if I had run that time, but this year, I was ecstatic. And 6th female to boot! I'll take it. My whole relationship with racing has changed since Covid, and I'm enjoying it being that way. Unfortunately, my new race relationship won't do me many favors at the Boston Marathon in 2 months from today, but I honestly don't care. Haha. Full Results.

Ryan in the race shirt. Haha

The following weekend was the Loon Mountain Race. This year, Six03 took over the race directing with the assistance of acidoticRACING. I'd say it went really well. The only issues are the ones the resort causes by being a pain in the ass. I don't know if I'd have the patience to deal with that since I couldn't even handle the strife I had to deal with with Tin Mountain in 2018, although it all turned out ok. 

There were some course changes because of lift work which I thought made this course harder than the previous ones. I found there to be more runnable uphills than previously which is not my strength. I'm much better at steeper stuff where I can powerhike so this course definitely challenged me. I still felt great and gave it a solid effort. I was happy to finish 17th overall. Full Results

Ryan met me at the finish line. We had no desire to run down so we took the lift. Haha. I almost always take the lift. No line at all this year! We went down to the Pemi with beers only to be kicked out by the Loon Mountain people. They kicked everyone out of the river. A tradition ruined by dickheads. Haha. Instead, we joined the Brightman's, Jim Boule and Brian Trahan at a different spot on the river. It was nice catching up with those guys.

I really hated my photos from Loon because all I see is a fat person, but this one grew on me. And without trying, I've actually lost some weight since this photo was taken. Doing doubles every Tuesday and Friday and not working Fridays has really helped. Although, this is the last week for doubles since Whitaker ended yesterday and FNV ended two weeks ago. I'll probably start doing some long road runs soon, though, just so I don't die at Boston.

It was weird having two race weekends in a row for the first time in forever. It reminded me of how much I hate getting up early. I don't know how I used to race every weekend. I guess I was just addicted to it. I'm really enjoying sleeping in on the weekends (unless I work a Friday overnight at Conway Fire, which I do at least once a month). Now that I'm back doing one 24-hour transfer shift, I'm getting the shit kicked out of me with basically no sleep every Monday night. After 5 weeks straight of No-Sleep Mondays, we finally caught a break this past Monday, but it's been impossible to catch up on sleep until the weekend so I kind of need the sleeping in. I always attributed my original injury in 2015 to a culmination of things, one of them was lack of sleep from doing transfers. I raced every weekend then, so I was never able to recover. When transfers ended in 2017 with my last company, I was usually well-rested, but since last Fall when I decided to move to a regular, weekly 24 hour transfer shift, I'm seeing that sleep deficit really affect me. The double runs on Tuesdays have been a struggle. By the afternoon at the Whitaker Woods Summer Series, I can barely think straight, let alone even attempt to run at any sort of race pace. Instead, I've been using it as "workout" and working on building as I go, pushing harder with each mile. It's been great training. Some Tuesdays I run really slow and others a little harder, but at every one, I'm still running the same method. Slow 1st mile and so on. I tried not to race them at all and was mostly successful at that. I did end up going race pace for one of them. The series ended yesterday. I made it to 8 out of 9. Unfortunately, Ryan couldn't make his 6th one to count for the series yesterday because he had a long 10 hour day at work. He's been SO busy this summer with work. It's been hurting him with getting back into shape after being injured all winter since work on the farm really picked up the week he could run again. 

All-nighter to Boston driving this ridiculous rig around the city. Luckily there isn't traffic in the middle of the night. No way was I trusting their 9'8" height with those insanely huge tires and risking the 10'0" height max of Storrow Dr. So I had to take the long way around. 

Me dead to the world after we got back from Boston

Not all transfers are bad especially when you're the 911 crew who got asked if we would do a day time transfer for an extra $145 bonus and got the company card to buy lunch on the way back. We hit tourist haven at the Hookset rest area. Haha. Jeff has been my long-time partner through both Action and Careplus for many years.

Friday Night Vertical ended 2 weeks ago, as I mentioned. I missed 3 FNVs because of the Mt Washington Road Race and two Conway shifts, but for the ones I made it to, I worked on just getting in a good workout. I really needed to train more than go all out at these things. Plus, I ran doubles every Friday except one, so I never could get myself to push as hard like I used to do 2 years ago. Having it untimed kind of killed my racing motivation, too. I still put in a lot of hard efforts but didn't improve at all over the season. One of the FNVs I missed, I actually went up to Black Mt earlier in the day and ran two of the courses so I didn't technically miss out on doing a run there that week. That was kind of fun because I had to find my way on the unmarked course for the first 3rd of it. I really loved this uphill series in 2018 and 2019 and missed it after skipping 2020. It's been great getting back on the mountain again this year for the torture, but I can't say I enjoy the crowd much. There have been some nice people who've shown up, but in general, it's pretty cliquey. The people who used to show up in 2018 and 2019 don't come anymore. One of them actually said it was because of the crowd. We still showed up, but I'm not sure about next year.

FNV Finale group photo with a proper edit of a poisonous person

Ryan and I both had setbacks over the last two weeks. After falling on my left knee two Tuesdays in a row, I ended up having some strange knee pain for 4 days. It was fine after the second fall, but then 3 days later while running up Mt Kearsarge North and just taking a normal step I felt a weird pain a little below my knee cap. It was in the exact spot where I had landed on a root during the first fall. It went away and I had no problems with the rest of the run. But after I got home, it hurt to walk, especially down steps and had a sharp shooting pain when I twisted. I was limping while walking when we got the final FNV that night, but running didn't hurt it at all. The next morning I woke up with the sharp pain again. I jogged in the driveway and had no pain so Ryan and I continued with our plans to run from Zealand Rd to Lincoln Woods. Spotted a car and everything. Within .3 miles of running up the trail, I had sharp shooting pain in the knee. Such a waste, but I couldn't go on. So back to the trailhead we went. I felt so bad for cutting Ryan's run short. He ended up just doing an out-and-back on Mt Hale while I read a book in the car. I hated it that I wasted our day like that. I took the next 3 days off. I kayaked on Sunday and rested it Monday. It hurt to walk and step down both days, but little tests of running on flat found zero pain. So I decided to experiment on Tuesday morning with a run on the track. It hurt to walk out to the track, but the second I started running I had ZERO pain. What?! I ran the first 5 miles then went to the car briefly to get some water. It hurt to walk to the car. Came back and finished off the 8 miles as planned. Walking back to the car, I had NO pain. In fact, I never had pain there again!! Not even a smidgen. Running on the track actually fixed the knee. I'm guess it was all jacked up and the running loosened up. Definitely not the most fun run ever but the 32 laps were worth it. This isn't the first time running has fixed a knee injury. Go figure. I ended up only missing 3 days of running so I lost nothing. The day before I healed up, Ryan got a bad knee injury at work so he was out for 5 days before it finally felt better.

1st fall. Not that obvious but it swelled up 

2nd fall. Running some brand new trails in Evans Notch that still had a lot of tiny stumps. I was being so careful, when, boom! I tripped over one and landed on another.

Nothing will make you feel old like sitting in the passenger seat of your car while your son drives it for the first time. On the 25th, John will be 151/2 which means he can officially start driving on the road. EEK. I decided to take him to an empty parking lot and drive around last week. I thought he'd be bored with it fast, but he loved it so much that we drove around for almost 30 minutes. I'm glad he's excited. I'm excited for him but also scared to death for that first trip out on a real road with other cars. Haha. We also have to teach him how to drive a standard since the Kia Soul will be his car when he turns 16. So that's going to be a challenge. He has to take driver's ed over the winter which costs $700! Such a money grab. We weren't required to take driver's ed when I was growing up in Georgia, but I guess it won't hurt.

John has also been working his summer job 4 days a week. He's only making minimum wage but he's already saved up a nice stash. He's going to try out Crossfit soon, too. I think he'll like it. I quit Crossfit, by the way. Just couldn't make it to classes and get in my runs. The schedule didn't work for me. And it was stressing me out again. I hope he likes it, though. He loves doing chin-ups on our pull-up bar.

Despite our injury setbacks and the humidity, Ryan and I have gotten out for some good runs over the last two months. We both get our alone time with our work schedules during the week, but the weekends are our time to run together. I love it.

On the AT near Goose-Eye

Welch-Dickey Loop the day before Loon

Carter-Moriah. Not sure what happened to us on this run, but we both bonked hard and cut it short

Starr Lake

Table Rock in Dixville Notch

View of the Balsam's
Other stuff...

Trip to Portland

Moxie with Allen's Coffee Brandy at the Great Lost Beer

Mt Parker

My hottie at Northwoods Brewing


Ryan's new paddleboard

3 out of the 4 crews on today at Trail's End Ice Cream for the North Conway Fire fundraiser. Not sure why my pocket looks extra huge. Haha

Andrew and I were the winners of this year's I'll Be Dipped Prediction run. 

So I made this IG/FB post on July 2nd since I was working the last day of Memorial's Covid Testing Center before it closed. I took what was supposed to be the last Covid test in the Testing Center. I was happy to have my Fridays back and watch Covid disappear. Fast Forward only 1.5 months... and the Covid Testing Center has been reopened this week. I can't go back to doing every Friday. I was SO done with it. I may pick up a shift a month, but I just can't do it. I'm so sick of having Covid-19 in my face! Literally! And I'm sick of people who refuse to get the vaccine. I am by no means a general vaccine promoter. I refuse to let my son get the HPV vax. But Covid is a whole different ballgame. Last week, I took an extremely sick woman, who was unvaccinated, with the Delta variant for critical care at a bigger hospital. I donned full PPE for the first time since July 2nd. I sat behind her as she hacked the whole 1.5 hours just hoping my PPE and vaccination would be enough for this variant. Then 2 days later, we were exposed to a guy who turned out to be Covid positive. I was only wearing a surgical mask and I was right next to him the whole time. He was actually vaccinated and had no symptoms. I'd like to think that him being vaccinated made it a better outcome for us. Luckily, I didn't get Covid. But damn. Why can't people get it? It's starting all over again. We are seeing more and more sick Covid patients again. I really want to go on the vacation in November that we've paid for. It will be exactly two years since John and I have taken a vacation. For Ryan it's been longer. The only day I've taken off work in two years was the day I called out sick in May. I've been living with Covid in my face for so long now. I'm so done with it. I know most of us are. 


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