Thursday, August 21, 2014

Color Me Rad

The Color Me Rad "race" series came back to Maine this year.  Last year I was unable to attend because it was the day before the Rev 3 triathlon and I needed to rack my bike, sign in, packet pick-up etc etc.  Last year a million people from our town went (slight exaggeration since there are only 2500ish people in our town, but whatever) and everyone had #allthefun and I was sad I missed it.

This year I signed up early in February to get the cheapest entry fee.  My husband said he didn't want to do it so I signed up just myself and the kids.  Note to self:  sign husband up for any untimed fun race whether he wants to do it or not.

Truth be told when the day of the race came, it felt a bit like a chore to hurry up, get it done and over with.  Oldest kid had to work later so we had to drive over and then come right back.  I didn't get a chance to pick up the shirts/bibs the day before so we were going to need to do that that morning.  And it turns out that everyone was tired from the day before so we left the house later than we should have.  Ugh.

I remember there being an issue with crazy bad traffic last year so I was worried about that but it ended up not being a problem at all.  Either there were way less people doing it this year, or the cops and volunteers had a better system of getting everyone in and out.

I wanted to get pictures but strangely enough, no one would pose with me.

 no we will not smile for the camera

I'm not sure why.....
what? grampa boxes aren't cool enough for you?

They finally relented and we got some nice before pictures.

 all smiles once we bought them tutus, and color packets...

It was really a fun atmosphere with music playing, people doing zumba and an announcer calling out everything.  We were supposed to go in the 9:00 am wave but it really didn't matter.  We ended up starting around 9:30.

I have to say, this was a pretty fun event.  Everyone there was there to have a good time.  People had costumes, tutus, crazy colored socks and a big smile!  There were moms, dads, babies in strollers, toddlers toddling, grade school kids sprinting--then walking--then sprinting again.  Big people, small people, heavy people, skinny people, fit people, unfit people.  Everyone was doing what they could and having a great time doing it.

There were three stations where you got color powder flung at you.  I was glad to have the sunglasses that they gave you with your registration and I tried not to breathe as we went through.  People were high five-ing each other and everyone was just in a great mood.  At one point we were running along a walking path that went parallel to a fairly busy road and the cars were honking and passengers were waving.  Everyone was just having a fun time with this event.

I have no idea what our pace was, but I know it was pretty slow since I was not winded at all.  It was like a faster walk for me, but that was fine because I wanted to stay with the kids.  Manimal ran with me for awhile while the girls were up ahead, then he went ahead with his big sister and I ran with Princess.  My husband did his best running and we ran across the finish line together.

They gave you a color packet to use at the finish and we got even more colorful.  My son was loving this part!  He got to make a huge mess and everyone was doing the same.

color bomb at the finish

Even the babies got some color!

random baby covered in blue.  permission to take photo granted by mom--no worries...

Grabbed some after photos,

then we had to head out so the kid could get to work.  All in all, I'm glad we did it because it was pretty fun.  It was pretty expensive to sign up the day of--$50, but I had signed the majority of us up way back in February so the fee was much better--$25.  Plus, a portion of the entry fees go back to the YMCA's in Maine (that were participating) and I think they get to split up more than $6k.  Any volunteers that the Y recruited got the Y an additional $75 per volunteer.  I wasn't able to volunteer this year, but will probably do it next year.

This is a race to do with a group of people for sure!  Everyone can do it.  So if one comes around your area, get a team from work, a family team, a bunch of friends or whoever and go do this event.  It's just fun.  You'll get people to "run" who said they never would.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Bradbury Mountain Breaker 9 Mile Race Recap

Sunday was part 2 in a trail race series at Bradbury Mountain--just past Freeport, ME.  The land of LLBean and all things outlet shopping.  I had completed the 6 mile race a month before and found that to be challenging and difficult, but this 9 miler was supposed to be the most difficult and technical of the 3.  Good stuff.
challenging.  um yah.

Mile 2 and 6.5 were the ascent to the summit.  I was a little scared when I saw this elevation profile.  Nine miles is a challenging distance for me anyway, but to climb a mountain while doing it..... twice!  I was just glad my friend Danielle was going to be there.

Race time was at 9:00 a.m. which is nice because I could leave my house at 7:30 and still be there with some time to check in and meet up with any friends that might be there.  It was looking to be a gorgeous day, a bit cooler and not so humid.  Perfect running conditions.

oh I look so happy.  

Bib pick up is so so simple at small trail races.  Give your name, here's your bib, here's your shirt.  Done.  No fanfare, no hoopla, just get your bib and get out of the way.  I found Danielle and we took #alltheselfies.
Because what race would be complete without the obligatory selfie?

We found Jim and then had a real photo taken pre-race.

A quick trip to the porta-potty and it was time to start.  I don't remember too much about the miles except they were slowish and hard.  The trails were technical--meaning lots of roots and rocks to worry about tripping over.  Danielle was coming off a 20 mile run the day before so she had no plans to run this fast.  Which was great for me because that means we could stay together!

Mile 1:  11:24
Mile 2:  13:36
Mile 3:  16:29
This is the mile that included the first ascent to the summit.  There was no running.  Just walk/climbing.  And a ridiculously failed attempt at a decent selfie at the top.
 really, I'm pathetic.

At this point we had joined up with another runner who tagged along with us.  It was great to have someone to chat with.  She and Danielle would talk about marathon training and I didn't have to participate at all.  Which is perfect.  I like listening and adding a word or two here, but I'm not very good at carrying on a conversation while trying not to trip and smash my head on a rock.  So I was perfectly happy.

Mile 4:  12:12
Mile 5:  13:40
Mile 6:  14:20

I had a gummy energy chew thing that was at least a year old somewhere around Mile 4.5 (the halfway point) and it was perfect.  I chewed it for probably 1/2 a mile. (time release energy....I might be on to something)  It gave me a nice little pick-me-up and I actually felt GOOD.  Imagine that.

I wasn't winded from running so much as my legs (quads specifically) were really starting to hurt.  If we weren't climbing up, we were coming down and the constant pounding really took a toll on them.  And we still had to climb to the summit one more time.  ugh.  That just about killed me.
 this is not the trail to the summit.  that was steeper.  just to give you an idea of what kind of climbing we were talking about.  
not much running going on here.  everyone was walking.

Mile 7:  17:32  slow ass climb, almost dead at the top, ready to quit all things running here.

there's all three of us, me trying not to die.

Then it was down hill again!  WOO!  The down hill felt great and I decided not to quit running just yet.

Mile 8:  12:29

One more mile left.  Thank you sweet baby Jesus.  We were almost to the finish (maybe 1/2 mile left?) when Kathryn and I (Danielle had moved on ahead of us) went to pass a teen girl.  She was bent over clutching her knee.  I asked if she was ok and saw that she was in tears.  Kathryn and I stopped to help her.  Poor thing.  I think she was just done mentally and her shins hurt from shin splints.  We both grabbed her arms and helped her along.  She started running a bit and we told her we'd stay with her.  We were almost done and that she could do it.  I held her hand as we ran and she calmed down a bit and seemed to stop crying.  We got near the end of the woods and you could see the finish line.  We had to run across a grass field to get there.  She saw that finish and just took off!  We both yelled to her to "go girl and finish!".

Mile 9:  13:49 (forgot to turn off watch)

I think that mile could have been faster if we hadn't stopped to help her, but I'm glad I did.  Turns out she was 15 years old and I would have been so grateful if that had been my daughter and someone took time to help her along.  I wasn't winning any awards that day and 30 extra seconds didn't mean squat.

Total time 2:03:18

There were plenty of snacks at the finish line--mostly all homemade baked items that runners brought themselves.  I missed out on the watermelon this time.  Last time, I got a couple of pieces before it ran out, this time I was just slow enough that it was all gone when I got there.  That was really all I wanted at the finish.  Next race I'm bringing my own god damn watermelon!  I'll have enough watermelon for every damn runner and guest there.  I just can't eat regular food after running.  But watermelon?  Mmmmmm.  That was my only complaint about the race.  And I can't even really complain about that since someone probably brought it in and donated it.

One more race left until I'm officially a BADASS.  The last race in the series is the Bradbury Bruiser 12 mile race in September.  I can't wait!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

the stupid bike rider

Some may think that I'm a fairly smart girl, but sometimes I am just clueless.  Take last night, for example.  My hip flexors had been sore lately (no idea why, but that's another post), so I thought I would go for a bike ride instead of a run.  That actually seems pretty smart.  Point for Michelle.

So lately I've been doing my exercise a little later in the evening because it gives me a chance to get home, see the kids, make dinner, eat a little, then head out while they are all watching Wheel of Fortune or Criminal Minds or whatever.  So it was 7:00 and it looked like it might rain, and I thought I'd better get going before it does.  Quick change into bike clothes and off I went.

Right away I noticed that my back tire looked a little low.  Shit.  Well, I thought I'd just keep going and see how it went.  If it was really hard to bike, I'd just pull over and pump it up with my handy-dandy bike pump I had bought earlier in the summer.  See this post.  The guy at the bike shop sold me this specific pump telling me it would work with my skinny little tire hose thing.  Another point for Michelle for having a bike pump.

This is part of where I'm clueless.  I never actually read the directions or tried out the pump.  I just put it on my bike and assumed that it would work fine when I needed it.  He told me it was the right one, so I believed him.  Minus 2 points for Michelle for not checking or learning how to use it.

Ok, back to last night-- I just kept riding and was probably about 10 miles from my house.  It was 7:30 and because it was overcast, and later in the summer, it was starting to be a little dark-ish.  No big deal.  I looked down and my tire looked really low and it was hard to bike up a hill so I thought I'd just pull over and fill it.

I hopped off, got the pump and tried to pump my tire.  PSSSSSSSSHHHHHHH was all I heard.  Completely flat tire now.  Womp womp.

Tried to pump again but I couldn't get the pump attached properly to the tire thing.  God damn, I'm pathetic.  I don't even know the right words to use.

Oh, guess what?  I didn't bring my phone either.  Minus 2 points to Michelle.

So I walk to the nearest house to ask to use the phone.  I go to the front door (which clearly no one uses, but I was NOT walking through their garage to knock on that door), knock and wait.  The guy looks at my like I've got six heads and I explain my predicament and ask to use the phone to call my husband to come get me.  He leaves me outside (fine with me) to get the phone, then hands it out to me (like I pose some threat to him in my bike shoes and bike helmet...... whatever) and call my house.

Of course, no one answers.  I call my husband's cell phone.  Goes to voicemail.  ugh.  Meanwhile the guy at the door clearly just wants me to leave.  He asks where I live.  I tell him.  Whoa, that's a long ways away.  Yah, dude.  Thanks.  It's really not that far if your bike doesn't have a flat tire.....  Call the house again and Princess answers.  Phew!  Help is on the way.

I thank the guy and head back to my bike as he deadbolts the door.  Jeesh.

I start walking in the direction of home just so I don't get malaria from all the friggin mosquitoes trying to suck me dry.  I'm walking my bike, carrying my bike shoes, on the side of a road almost to the end of a peninsula, and it is almost dark.  Three cars pass by me and not one single one stops to see if I need help.  That seriously surprised me.  I heard the first car coming and I was quickly in my mind trying to decide if I would accept a ride to meet my husband half way or just keep walking.  No matter.  They drove right by.

I suppose I will admit that I was not waving them down or asking for help, but seriously, I like to think that if I saw a woman at the end of the earth, alone, at dusk, walking her bike and carrying bike shoes, I would stop to see if she needed anything.

And then on top of that, my husband drove right by me as well, like he didn't see me cause the kids thought it was funny to see me waving at them as they drove by.  Nice.

Anyway, the point of this story is I am not smart.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Tri for a Cure Race Report

A few months ago a friend was looking for a person to do the bike portion of a tri relay that she was signed up for.  The biker they had couldn't participate this year and so she needed a fill in.  The race was the Tri for a Cure, which is a hugely popular race here in Maine.  It fills within minutes and many use a lottery system to get a spot.  Oh, and it's all women!  Fun!  Not to mention it raises money for cancer research and treatment for people right here in Maine.  A good cause indeed.

I had toyed with the idea of doing this race for a few years, but had never tried to get in.  So when I saw Kristal looking for a biker, I offered right away!  I think I got the best part of the tri for sure!

Like any other fundraising race, this one had a $350 fundraising minimum for all participants.  I got a late start since I was a fill-in, but did manage to meet and exceed the fundraising requirement.  Thank you, thank you to all that donated.  I really appreciate your generosity.

The weekend of this race was a particularly crazy one for my family--I had one kid at lacrosse camp and another at field hockey camp and neither were near each other.  I was driving all over the state to get everyone everywhere.

Saturday was packet pick up and bike racking day.  I was fine with that because even though it was 90 minutes away from my house, it was close to where one of my kids needed to be that morning.  I went right at 10:00 when it opened thinking I would be in and out.

um, nope.  you don't even see the half of the line going to the left.....

I guess everyone had the same idea.  After about an hour's wait, I got my shirt and stickers for my bike.  Then I had to walk to a different location to rack my bike.  ugh.

 bike is ready to go

The next morning was a pretty darn early start for me.  Again, I live about 90 minutes from where the race was being held and it was starting early due to the tides, so I was up and out at 4:30.  That's AM folks.  4:30 a.m.  I never see this time of day unless it's to pee.

Through the magic of cell phones and texting our team was able to find each other in record time.  Thank god.  One stress over with.  I finally got to meet Candace, the lovely and brave girl doing the swim portion. I was so, so thankful that it was not me swimming.  Swimming in the ocean is my least favorite part of the tri and that morning it was cool, foggy and the water was COLD.  I hate being cold.  Especially cold and wet.

cool, damp morning

There was a fair amount of standing around and waiting as per usual at tris.  Once we got kicked out of transition, we went down to the water to wait for the opening ceremonies.  They do a little bit more than just the National Anthem (which was sung very well--good job Emily Kane) at this tri.  They take some time to honor the cancer survivors that are participating in the tri, which is kinda cool and very emotional for some, and to also remember those that have been lost to cancer.

The survivors are the ones who get to start the race.  The first wave is survivors, second wave survivors that are part of a relay team, then they go by age groups with relay then novices at the end.  It was very emotional to see all those survivors run into the water to start their swim.

swim start--so foggy

Candace was in the second to last group to go because we were a relay team.  Poor girl.  She went for her "warm-up" swim and came back frozen.  The water was 53* that day and even with a full wet suit, she said the water was "ice cream headache inducing cold".  I was, again, so thankful I wasn't swimming.

before her "warm up swim", she's still a normal body temperature here

I left shortly after the survivors got in the water.  I was not doing the running from swim to transition because I use bike shoes so I needed to wait by my bike to swap off the timing chip.  Kristal sent me a text when Candace got in the water and I knew it was going to be about 9-10 minutes from then so I got myself ready to go.

It wasn't too long and I saw Kristal racing up from the swim area, we were one of the first relay teams to head out on the bike!  A quick switch of the timing chip and I was off.  I had some issues getting one of my bike shoes to clip in, but once I did, I took off!

I had told the girls that I thought I could average 18 mph and I wasn't going to let my fast swimmer and fast runner down.  I biked my ass off.  I didn't need to save any energy for the run, so why not hammer the bike?  This tri is a group of all abilities and sizes.  I passed so many people to start, many were on just regular bikes.  I played cat and mouse with a few women who appeared to be serious tri-folks.  You know, tri bikes with aero bars.  I'd pass them on the hills, they would pass me on the flats.  Eventually, that group of 3 women just were too far ahead and I couldn't catch them.  There was one woman riding a fat tire mountain bike that I seriously, biked my ass off to catch up to her.  I eventually passed her and told her she was killing it on the mountain bike--I can't imagine her speed with a road bike and some skinny tires!  I biked as hard as I could and I really don't think I could have biked that route faster than I did.

Soon enough, I could tell I was just about done.  People were lining the road and cheering.  Kristal was waiting for me right at the bike rack and before I knew it, she had the timing chip and was taking off!  I looked around and I was one of the few bikers that was back in the relay group.  Jenn snapped this pic of me while she was waiting for her runner.

hot and tired. and poor posture

I got a drink, changed into sneakers and then made my way down to the finish line.  There was a place where relay racers could meet up and run through the chute with the runner and I totally wanted to do that.  I found Candace and we went down to the chute to wait.

Kristal was looking for a PR on this 5K course so I knew she should be coming right along.  We waited about 10 minutes and there she was!  Candace and I ran in with her and we all held hands.

For about 3 seconds.  Kristal was running about 7:00 miles and she was not slowing down or stopping for anyone.  Including us.

We kept up with her for about 20 yards then another woman was in our way and I had to let go of her hand.  This is the finishers photo:

fucking priceless.  

Kristal winning it all on the left and Candace and I barely keeping up on the right.  Random woman next to me.  I have seriously, never laughed so hard as I did when I saw this picture.  Notice the other relay team coming in behind us all holding hands and running together.  I'm guessing they weren't going for a PR......

I'm still laughing.

We got medals and water bottles and then promptly went to the scoreboard to see where we finished.  Sixth!!   We finished 6th out of 200+ relay teams.  Not good enough for a prize, but close!

Dream Team Redux--that's us!  NUMBER 6!!

We did end up getting a proper finish photo, thanks to Candace's significant other.

Thanks for letting us be in this one, Kristal!  haha j/k  

What a fun morning!  Thank you so much to my teammates for letting me in on this team!  I had a really great time.  The race is very inspiring and has such a good feeling about it.  Women of all sizes and abilities coming together for a common cause.  Everyone so supportive of each other--it was a good day.  I hope they'll let me join them again next year.

Oh, one last photo to share.  When the official photos came out I could not stop laughing at the finisher's photo of our team.  But there was more.  Maybe we could have finished 4th if Kristal was concentrating on running fast rather than hamming it up for the cameras.....

I'm sorry, but is that not the freakin' funniest thing?

I'm still laughing.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Bradbury Mountain Scuffle 6 Mile Race Review

The Bradbury Mountain Scuffle is a 6 miler, the first in a series of trail races at Bradbury Mountain in Pownal, ME.  This is near Freeport--a.k.a. LL Bean headquarters, for those of you not from Maine.  So if you want to come up for the next one, you could get your shopping on at all the outlets after you finish racing!  The Bradbury Breaker is 9 miles and the Bruiser is 12.  If you do all three races, you are officially known as a Bad Ass and get a special hoodie to tell the world all about your bad assy-ness.

Anyway, I was very excited to do this series with my friend Danielle (even though she is SO much faster than me).  I had never done a trail race before and this one isn't too far from where I live.  The price is fantastic--just $20 a race AND you get a t-shirt!  I wasn't expecting a shirt for that price, but was glad to have one.

The weather was nearly perfect, a bit more humid than I care for, but it wasn't raining and it wasn't snowing.  I arrived early, per usual, since I'm always worried about getting lost, not finding parking, or missing the start, and headed to get my bib and shirt.

the plane is in honor of some guy who passed away

Danielle showed up and we managed to get a selfie out of the way before the race started.  I wasn't carrying anything this race so I needed to leave my phone in the car.

she always looks way cuter than me in selfies.  she's a selfie pro.

Anyhoo, more friends arrived and more selfies needed to be taken. Really, that's the whole point of a race, isn't it?

Oscar style selfie

And of course, regular type pics too.

And then it was time to start.  We all gathered at the start for a bit of pre-race instructions, race dedication, thank-yous and all that.  Then it was time to go!  And off we went.
waiting to start!

The start was a bit congested at first, but honestly, it wasn't that bad.  People were really nice about letting you get around them and I certainly let many pass me.  The first mile wasn't so bad.  I kept up for about .75 of it with Danielle and then had to let her go ahead.
I am truly the ONLY one who smiled and waved at the camera.  #noshame

Mile 1:  9:35
Mile 2:  11:33
Mile 3:  12:58

The middle miles were slow and slogging.  I really felt like I was moving fast, but I guess I wasn't.  Each time my watch would beep I'd look down and be shocked at the time.  The first water stop was around Mile 2.5 and I was so thankful to grab a cup of water.  It was humid and I wished I had brought my hydration belt.  Next time for sure!!  As I stepped off the trail to drink my water, a stupid bug flew into my eye!  Ugh.  As if all the sweat dripping into my eyes wasn't enough, now there was bug there.  Thankfully, the volunteer at the table dumped water in my eye for me and the bug swam off.  Not to mention the cold water felt great!  Thank you, kind volunteer!!

12:58 was a little depressing, but some of that time was the water station and bug removal so maybe I wasn't quite as slow as my time shows, but that section from Mile 2 through Mile 4 was pretty hard.  It was technical and in places, steep.  I ended up walking at least 3 of the steeper hills just to try to lower my heart rate a little.  Believe it or not, walking was not really all that slower than my "running".

the two water stops were just above where the E is in Misery.  Pretty smart planning for them as they had them back to back and the volunteers could run between the two tables.  

There was another water stop at about Mile 4.5 ish which I didn't stop at and looking at the time for that mile, I guess I'm glad I didn't since it would have been even slower.
Mile 4:  12:28

Mile 5 was a fabulously flat stretch of what was almost a road.  I was thinking I was about done and maybe it was going to be just like this for the rest of the way.  I was able to speed up and pass about 5 people!  I felt spectacular!  I felt like I looked like Meb with my strides being a bit longer now that there weren't any roots to watch out for and my turnover increased.  I was on FIRE!  Go ME!  Pass everyone!  Win the race!

courtesy of Leslie Witham--picture taker extraordinaire

Then it was there.

Another fucking hill.  And more roots.

Balloon deflated.  Parade rained on.  Cheerios pissed on.

4 of 5 people I just passed, passed me again.  I had used up all my gas on what I thought was the final stretch.  I could have gone another mile like that with flat and smooth, but roots and hills?  Nope.

Mile 5:  9:56

Still pretty respectable time for that mile.

You could tell the finish was near, there were people milling around and cheering.  Runners that were already finished were walking back up to cheer on those who were finishing.  Behind me I could hear the final person who I passed that didn't pass me back.  He was right behind me and I just knew he was going to go by me.

You know what though?  He didn't.  He came up next to me and said, "Let's finish this strong.  Pick it up, you are almost done".  I didn't think I could, but I didn't want to let him down.  That sounds so stupid, I didn't even know this guy, but I really just didn't want to let him down by not trying.  So I did.  I went a little faster.  And then I could see the finish up ahead and I began to sprint.  (I use that term very loosely.  I felt like it was sprinting.....)  He kept with me and never passed me but instead continued to push me on--"Great job, nice finish!".

Thank you, nice man.  

Courtesy of Tamerella photographs--in the process of dying.  Nice, cheering guy behind me.  Thank you guy!

Mile 6:  9:05  Which seems really fast, but my Garmin showed the course to be short--5.72.  So, 9:05 isn't really all that fast.  But whatever, it probably lost satellites in all those trees and the climbing part is worth a least a mile, so really it was a 7 miler.  Right?

The snacks at the finish were watermelon and water which was perfectly fine with me.  I grabbed some of both.  Both were just about gone though when I was there and I was pretty much in the middle.   I hope they had more refreshments coming for those that finished after I did.  I don't expect much with a $20 fee but I do hope there was something at the finish for the back-of-the-packers.

I wasn't able to hang around after for the awards and drawings (if they had any), and I didn't see any official results until coolrunning posted later in the day.

Official time 1:06:01

They didn't divide it up into age groups and men vs. women but I did my own figuring of the 40-49 women and I was 10/27.

I cannot wait to conquer the next two races.  9 and 12 miles are going to be brutal, but at least I have some idea of what to expect now.  There are still some spots available for both races, so if you care to join Danielle and I for the next ones, you'd better hurry up and register.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Better Late than Never--June Review

Hey look!  It's already July 9 so it's probably about time that I post up a review of June, yes?  The kids are all out of school now so that has been both relaxing and busy.  We had a couple of weeks where there wasn't much going on and that was super nice (and weird) to not have to be driving all over the state of Maine for this and that.  But then basketball camp for the boy happened and summer high school basketball for the eldest and BAM!  there we are, back to driving #allthemiles.  It is a bit easier to do when you don't have to worry about getting them up in the morning for school.  Big Sissy is also playing on a club field hockey team that has a tournament in Cape Cod early August.  Practices were looking to be far away for that but they keep switching them around (which is a little annoying) and now they are going to be only an hour away and not two hours.  (so that's less annoying...)

The next two weekends will prove to be challenging as far as getting everyone everywhere since they are the only two weekends that I have races planned in July and of course, the race day falls on the ending of lacrosse camp for the boy and field hockey camp for the girl.  All three things are in three different towns.  Of course.

Anyway, on with the review.

Run--53.07 miles.  Not too shabby for me!  This included a 10 mile road race which is what bumped me over the 50 mile mark.

Spin/bike--230 minutes This number is probably split up half and half with spin bike and road bike.  The spin bike is a perfect replacement for running in the noon time scorching heat.  I did that once last year and just about killed myself for the afternoon.  It's hard to check eyes when you are recovering from heat stroke.

Tennis--5 hours

Swim--a pathetic 2000 yds last month.  Swimming seems less of a priority since I don't have a tri on schedule this summer and if I don't make a plan to get to the pool every Friday after work (or if something interferes with that), I just never seem to make it up.  It's much easier just to throw on sneakers and head out for a run.

Weights--25 minutes  Lame.

Races--only one.  Just the New England Running Company 10 Mile Classic.  I won an entry into the race via Facebook so it was worth it for that reason.  Review of that race HERE.

Things I'm Loving
~loving summer and all that goes with it!  Long, sunny days and cool, starry nights.  Runs at 8 p.m. and make it home just before dark.  Bike rides in the early morning sun and home before the kids are even fully awake.
~a new running and biking buddy (selfies to be forthcoming)
~sunburns that turn into tans
~that I have my first trail race this Sunday! #nervous #excited #nervous
~kids that sleep in and then spend all day at the beach with my adopted daughter/sitter/nanny
~all of this:

 sunset perfection

squid fisher extraordinaire

Things I'm Not Loving
~no-shows that cause me to sit around all day doing nothing, but yet staff complaining because I need to move a Friday and there's nowhere to put those patients.  Not their fault, but still annoying.  I had enough time from no-shows today to see ALL of Friday's patients.  And to write this blog.....
~this getting-older-thing that causes my core to collapse no matter how many sit-ups I do.  When I tighten my abs, they are hard and flat, otherwise, they pooch out like I'm 5 months along.  I'll assume it's to do with age, although if you all have any thoughts on ways to spanx my stomach without actual spanx, that would be great.
taken today, see the stomach pooching out?  I'm not tightening my abs here and this is what happens.

Is it because of the 3 babies I carried?  I stretched that shit out to the max?  Kinda like needing a bladder sling but only for my abs.

I am serious here though.  There is some fat overlying but mostly I feel like it's the ab wall that is distended.  Anyway, I hate it.  It makes me look fatter and frumpier than I am.

Nothing new.  Everything on iTunes seems to be overplayed already or it just plain sucks.  I'm in a music funk.  Top 40 is overplayed and annoying and I don't like anything.  I swear, if I hear that damn Fancy song one more time, I might just implode from the stupidness of it.

This Side of Brightness Colum McCann  I'm not too far into this book but I'm liking it so far.  I really enjoyed one of his other books, Let the Great World Spin, which I read a year or so ago so I know I like his writing style.

There's still some time to get in on the things I'm giving away as I try to raise money for the Tri for a Cure race on July 20.  Click HERE to read the blog and donate or visit my facebook page to bid on items that I am auctioning off.  Any little bit helps.  Or if you would like to just donate, here's the link to my page.

That's it for June!  I have the Bradbury Mountain 6 Mile Trail race this weekend and next weekend I'm doing the bike leg in the Tri for a Cure relay.  Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

New England Running Company 10 Mile Classic Race Report

About 6 weeks ago, I won an entry into this race on Facebook.  I wasn't sure if I would go or not since it was 2 hours away from home, but with a free entry I wanted to keep my options open.  Beverly, MA is pretty close to my in-laws house so it really wouldn't be a big deal to drive down.

It turns out that my husband and friend would be putting in a new door at our house that weekend and they really don't need my skill set to do that (thankfully).  In fact, it is much better if I'm not around since there is lots of banging, sawing, swearing and dust making going on.  Which is super annoying if you aren't the one doing the banging, sawing, swearing and dust making.

I decided that I would leave early Saturday evening to get to my in-laws around 8 p.m.  I was just about ready to leave when some weird looking lines on my back tire just happened to catch my eye.

A closer look revealed that there were actual metal pieces sticking out of my tire.  I guess this is the "radial" part of radial tires?  At any rate, I was thinking that perhaps it was not the best idea to drive two hours (each way) on a tire that worn.  A quick FB poll confirmed that fact.  Side note:  I love that about FB--within 10 minutes I had about 12 opinions.  All said no driving.

Good thing we have 3 cars.  Trip was still on.

I'm not familiar with Beverly and had no idea of the route so that night I took a moment to check out the website to see where I would be running.  They had a map and an elevation chart.

Now if you are like me, you just briefly look at the graph and think: "Holy shit.  This is going to be a death march".  If you are smart, like some other people... (Sarah E), then you might take a moment to look at the scale and see that maybe it's not that bad.  But that's not what I did, so I thought this was going to be a hilly, hot slog to the finish.

Flat Michelle. Brooks sneakers, Tough Chik visor, random tank and InkNBurn peacock skirt.

The race was starting at 7:30 a.m. so I arrived at 6:30 to pick up my shirt and bib.  No line, no pomp, no circumstance, just here's your shirt, here's your bib.  Quick and easy.  I wish I had known they were men's shirts because I would have chosen an XS instead of a S, but whatever.  It's a nice Brooks tech shirt and it's better than what you get at most races.  Especially one with a $35 entry fee.  (I think that's pretty cheap for a 10 miler.)

Parking was a little weird in that you had to park a short walk (5-7 minutes?) away from the start/finish area.  Not being from Beverly, that was a little confusing at first, but I managed to figure it out and since I was there early, I got a decent spot that wasn't half on someone's lawn.

The race started promptly at 7:30 because they needed to beat the commuter rail that comes through.  Smart call, because I would be pissed to stop running to wait for a train.  Anyway, the course wasn't nearly as bad as I had imagined from the elevation chart.  In fact, it was pretty flat by my standards.  Like usual, the first 5 miles were pretty comfortable for me and again, as usual, I went out too fast.

sneakily trying to take a selfie without 300 runners noticing

Mile 1: 8:33
Mile 2: 8:45
Mile 3: 9:06
Mile 4: 8:53
Mile 5: 9:08

Around Mile 3-4 a very nice woman came up behind me and asked me about my skirt.  We chatted for awhile, meaning she chatted and I said umm hmm and yes and oh really? inbetween my trying to breathe and keep her pace.  I did add a few things, but she was clearly more of an endurance runner than I and a multiple Ironman finisher and currently training for the Chicago marathon.  I really thought she was lovely and wished I could have kept her pace because I enjoyed talking with her.

side note: you are welcome InkNBurn for the new customer.

Mile 6-7 is usually where I start to crash and burn on these longer runs and that held true for this race.  I'm just not that great at keeping pace after 6 miles.  As I look back at the elevation chart, it looks like that was a slow incline so maybe that was part of it, but I just could tell I was slowing down here.

Mile 6:  9:27
Mile 7:  9:49

There was a hill right before (during, just after? not sure) Mile 8 that just about sucked the will to live right out of me.  I ended up walking up it because I just couldn't make myself slog up it.  Turns out, I'm a pretty fast walker cause my splits were all under 10:00.  I was pretty happy with that.

Mile 8:  9:56
Mile 9:  9:54
Mile 10:  9:09

After the Mile 8 shuffle, I felt like I managed to pick up my pace a little.  Well, at least I felt like I was moving a bit faster.  I guess I wasn't according to the time, but I mentally felt like I was moving better.  I didn't really care for the last part of the route because you could see where everyone was finishing/finished, but you had to turn left and run down into this cul-de-sac, turn around and then head to the finish.  ugh.  But I guess I managed to find some energy because the last mile was pretty fast!

Not too bad for this old girl.

I really enjoyed the race and wish I lived closer to participate in more of the New England Running Company's events.  They had volunteers at every turn making sure you were going the right way and also cheering you on with their voices or cow bells or whatever.  I felt like the organization of the event was excellent.  There were not a lot of bells and whistles (other than the cow bells....haha), but the price of the race was perfect for that.  They had the usual food at the end:  bananas, bagels, juice, water and small bags of smartfood and veggie straws.  The timing chip was in the bib and the results were posted almost instantly.  I noticed that they had tall beer glasses for the age group prizes with something in them, but I didn't stay for the awards so I don't know what that was.  Looked like a gift certificate for something.  There was also a photographer taking pictures at the finish and out of the 6 he took of me, this one is the best.

The more I look at it, the more I like this picture.  I kinda even look like a runner.  AND I'm chicking that guy behind me.

I wish I lived in an area that had races like this every weekend that were nearby, accessible and inexpensive.  I would run one every weekend.  This was done and over for me by 9:10 and I was back at my in-laws and showered by 10:00.  Still had the whole day ahead of me.

Something to look for when it's time to retire, right?