Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Boring Life

The postings on this blog has gotten few and far between lately.  I don't have much to talk about with no races on the schedule.  I'm still running, probably more than usual, but none of it is really blog-worthy.  I run alone, mostly during the day or early evening and mostly on the road but sometimes the trails.

Life has slowed down a bit, which makes things a little less crazy at home.  Last night the entire family was at home by 5:15!  Everyone.  Nothing planned.  No activities.  We cooked a real dinner and ate it together. Imagine that.  The kids carved their pumpkins and were still in bed before 8.  Ahhhh.

So this is a little bit of what my boring ole life has been like lately.

receiving the runner's up trophy--not super happy about it.

Regular season champions and tournament runner's up

A sad last game for sure, but our field hockey team has not won anything for a really long time so to be the number one team at the end of the season is fantastic! 

Halloween dance recital!

Dance recital number 1 is out of the way.  Princess' dance studio does 3 recitals a year:  Halloween, Tap Nutcracker and the spring recital.  The girls did a tap routine to The Adams Family and a jazz routine to Bruno Mars Just the Way You Are.  One down, two to go.

FYI--Elvira hair is not easy to work with.

This past weekend, Big Sissy had a 3 hour tryout for club field hockey.  Three hours is a long time to sit and wait in a not-so-warm indoor turf facility so I ended up going for a run.  I didn't have any Garmin with me so the guys at the dome told me the high school was just down the road and they had a track there.  I ran to the high school, about 1 mile, and then did 6 x 400 on the track.  I timed myself even though I have no idea what time I was shooting for or what is even good for my ability.  The splits were:


I walked in between the 400's to give me a total of 2 miles on the track and then ran the last mile back to the dome for a total of 4 miles.  After looking up times and talking with a running guru, based on my half marathon time of 2:01:03, I should be running 400's somewhere in the range of 1:45-1:55.  Hmmm.  So I either need to sprint slower or stop being so slow and lazy step it up for my 13.1.

Afterthought:  My legs were so sore the next day!  Sprinting kills me.  Maybe I should do it more.  Hmmmm.

I found a recipe on facebook, of all places, that was a new way to make spaghetti squash.  I've done the usual and replaced my pasta with the squash when having red sauce and meatballs, but that is getting old.  This one ended up being very tasty.  Cook the squash first by cutting it in half, scooping out the seeds and placing the halves face down on a cookie sheet.  Bake for 20 minutes or until done.  Scrape out the squash using a fork and place in a bowl.  Saute onions with olive oil (and butter, yum!) and whatever spices you like. Add the onions to the squash when they are clear.  Add shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream, I think the recipe called for 1/2 c. of each but I just add until it looks good.  I suppose you could use plain greek yogurt if you would prefer.  Mix it all up and then bake in a casserole dish for 20 minutes.  YUM!

I have eaten the whole thing already and I only made it last night.  Therefore, no picture.  #bloggerfail

Do you use the track for your workouts?

Any good spaghetti squash recipes?

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Trail Run and Five Reasons Outdoor Runs Beat a Treadmill

This morning was another beautiful fall day here in Maine.  Perfect temperatures, sun, vibrant fall colors.  Really, what more can you ask for?  We have been so spoiled with the perfect fall weather this year.  I guess we are getting the good weather now that we didn't get in July.

I took the opportunity this morning to head out on one of the many trails that we have here in Boothbay and Boothbay Harbor.  The Boothbay Region Land Trust oversees all the these trails and there is no fee to use them.  Anyone can come and enjoy the beauty of these trails that bring you close to the ocean and coastline.

I tried to find one of the longer trails to run so that I could get a decent workout.  I chose to go to Oven's Mouth Preserve.  It has two sides--East and West--so I'm able to run two separate trails.  One side has 3.7 miles of trails and the other has 1.6 miles.  I ran all the trails available on this preserve.  I didn't see a single person out there so it was so quiet.  The fall colors were so pretty, I really could have done this all day long.  I was gone about 70 minutes and I guess it was around 5 ish miles?  I didn't wear a Garmin, I just ran.  Over roots, rocks, dirt, a bridge and through grass.

 Exiting Oven's Mouth

  Looking back at the bridge that connects Oven's Mouth East and West

on that bridge seen above

Which brings me to my next topic:

Five Reasons Why Trail Running in Maine is Better Than the Treadmill


2.  This is your view

instead of this
photo stolen randomly from the internet, I didn't run this

3.  When you need to spit or blow your nose, where do you do that on a treadmill?  When running outside on a trail, the world is your tissue.  Blow your snot rocket as you wish.  No one cares.  You can spit at trees, or on a bush or on your shoes.  Wherever.  It's all good.  

4.  You get to run across this

this I actually did run across.  twice.

instead of this

5.  Lastly, did I mention this?

Oh yeah, I think I did already.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

September Recap

Once again this report is oh so late.  I need to quit having a race right at the beginning of the month so that I can get the previous month's recap done first!  Or maybe I just have too much to do. 

Run:  50.6 miles 

For the past 3 months, I have hit the 50 mile mark.  I'm pretty pleased with that and I think that is a perfect number for me to try to maintain long term.  I am not a 100 mile/month-er and I never will be.  I think mentally, it would be too much to maintain, and also physically not the best for my body.  So this was a good month for running.

Bike:  170 minutes

Quite a bit less than July, and one good ride short of August.  With the days getting shorter, there just isn't enough time to get out on the bike.  I haven't gotten in the swing of spinning at the Y yet, but that will happen soon enough.  I think my riding outside time is pretty limited from here on out.  Back to the trainer I go.

Swim:  2000 yds

Lame.  Lame.  Lame.  This month was just too busy with the kids activities to get to the Y with any consistency.  Princess now takes dance twice a week and of course, one of the classes is on Friday.  My swim day.  Saturdays have been filled with field hockey and soccer and the Y has been closed on Sunday for summer hours.  After this weekend, the Y will now be open on Sunday so that will give me another day to be able to get my swim in.  I do miss it.

Tennis:  2 hours

Weights:  40 minutes

Races:   I scored a new PR at the Harborfest 5K held right in my hometown.

23:18 baby!

Things I'm Loving:

This weather!  Oh the weather!  For once the weather is *FANTASTIC* here in Maine.  Fuckin' fantastic!  Beautiful sunny skies, 65* temperatures, 45* at night.  Did I mention the sun?  It is so perfect.  I wish the weather could be like this every single day.  Well, actually, it has been for around 3 weeks now.  Perfect for just everything.  Field hockey--

Apple picking--


We couldn't ask for a better fall.

Music I'm Loving:


I am reading all things Jack Reacher right now.  I don't know if I'm late to the game with this series, but apparently, there are 15 or so books in this series by Lee Childs.  Jack Reacher is the bomb.  I've read Killing Floor and Trip Wire and I am currently reading Die Trying.  Thankfully, there are so many to read so I've got plenty of books to keep me occupied for awhile.

I'm so glad I don't really care about movies because I guess they've cast Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher, which is horrible considering Jack Reacher is supposed to be 6'5" and 250 lbs.  Did they not look at Tom when they cast him?  Jack deserves better.

Things I'm Hating:

I need a root canal and crown.   That sucks on so many levels--pain and misery, cost, missing work, cost, pain and cost.

On the bright side, once it's fixed, it's fixed.  I shouldn't have any more problems with it.

Have you read any of the Jack Reacher books?  What do you think about Tom Cruise playing him?

Have you had a root canal before?  Was it awful?

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

This Marathon.

Click on the picture to see the full effect of my face.  It is fantastic.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Maine Half Marathon Recap

The Maine Half Marathon was a race I signed up for during the summer because I was going to run it with my friend who had never run a half before.  I had run this race two years ago in the 50* pouring rain and it sucked.  Read all about it HERE.  Unfortunately, Bobbi didn't end up running it because she was injured.  But thankfully, I found Danielle was running it just 4 months after having her baby!  She is awesome! 

I went back and forth between wanting to run it and not wanting to run it.  In fact, I decided just that morning at 5:15 that I was going to go.  I had nothing set out and nothing packed.  See, part of the problem was I hadn't done any long runs over 8 miles.  That's some good training right there.  The other issue was that my son's soccer game was at 9:00 a.m.  I couldn't do both.  I was really torn between doing the thing I said I was going to do and paid money for, and being the good mom and seeing my son play. 

I did the selfish mom thing and went to the race.  I still have a little mixed feelings about my choice, but I hadn't missed any of his other games and he still has his tournament in 2 weeks that I am going to see all of.  So I went.  To make up for it, I took the kids apple picking in the afternoon.  That gets me back my good mom points, right?

Anyway, I got up around 5:15, banged around in the dark trying to collect all the crap I need to run for 2 hours straight--sneakers, clothes, fuel belt, music, ear buds (where are the damn ear buds???  there are 50 pairs when I don't want them and none when I do want them..), water, bib, clothes to change into.  Jeez, this getting ready for a half marathon thing takes a lot of time and stuff!  Probably should have done something the night before. 

I left the house around 5:45 and headed to Portland.  I got there super early, which is great, and scored a perfect parking spot, maybe a 100 yards from the start/finish!  Score!  No lines for the potties.  Double score!  After a bit of texting, Danielle found me and we headed over to the start.

so happy there's no rain

We found Danielle's friend, Kristal, and then it was time to run!  The first mile seemed like forever.  It goes along Back Cove in Portland and I don't know if it was all the people or what but it seemed to take the longest time to reach the mile marker.  The route was a little different this year because of some construction on the bridge but I barely remember the course from 2 years ago, so other than the addition of some hills that sucked, I didn't find it much better or worse than the other course.

Not sure which mile it was, maybe Mile 4?, but we were overtaken by the moose man.  A bit humiliating, but he was indeed faster than us (me).

a man wearing a mailbox that looks like a moose.  Antlers and all.  And he ran a half marathon.  Maybe the full, not sure.

Go Mooseman Go!

Right around Mile 6 we saw a girl pushing a stroller-like thing.  As I got closer, I could see a sign that said "assisted runner" and that she was disabled.  I yelled a little "you go girl!", and then could see her face as she looked up with a big smile.  It was familiar.  I looked to her bib for her name.  I knew it!  I knew her!  She was my patient!  With a little bit of tears in these eyes that never cry, I ran over and hugged her and told her how awesome she was.

This girl was a perfectly normal teenager all the time I saw her in high school.  She had something happen while in college that caused cardiac arrest and she has since been disabled.  It was a total shock to see her out running.  Just amazing.  I should remind myself of that when I start to whine about my pains and feel like I want to quit.

Mile 8 was difficult because there was a big hill.  I still had Danielle with me, thank god, because I probably would have walked it.  She was all like "you can do it!" and "this will be easy!", like she was just heading out to get an ice cream or something.  I need more Danielle's in my life.  After that friggin hill I think I started to slow my pace some.  Danielle went on ahead because she some speedy marathon runner, or something like that, which was fine with me.  I didn't want to slow her down because I knew I was getting to that hard place.

I thought Mile 9 would be uplifting because I knew I only had a 5K left to do, but somehow it wasn't.  My ankle started to hurt.  It felt like I had twisted it but I couldn't remember doing it.  It hurt so much on and off that I started doing this limping, hobbling thing.  I'm not sure that helped any because my knee started hurting.  I can't even imagine what I looked like then.  Men, women, grandma's and kids on tricycles (not really, but you get my point) were passing me then.  I'm surprised I didn't see the lighthouse guy sprint by me.

The last 2 miles suck so fucking much because you can see the finish.  And you can also see how much further you have to go to get there.   I used every once of will that I had to go that last 2 miles.  And for once, I actually had some recognition crossing the finish.  "Here comes Michelle Bouchard of Boothbay Harbor!  Great job Michelle!"  I was the only one crossing at that particular moment!  Yay!  That means I'm probably going to get a finish shot.  This is a first.

Finish time 2:01:08.  Not the sub-2 I wanted, but still a 50 sec PR.

danielle, kristal and me.  they are all like, Let's get pizza! and I'm all like, I can't fucking stand up.

Can you even believe how awesome the finisher's medal and the shirt is?  This race swag rocked!

see the cute lobster and the Boston Strong?

The lobster on the medal is on a disc that spins inside the outer part of the medal.  My best looking medal so far.

So to summarize the 2013 Maine Half Marathon and my experience this year:

~I suck at being a mother.
~I am a mediocre runner that gets chased down by moosemen.
~I need to do more long runs.
~The race swag was more than spectacular.
~The weather didn't suck.
~Always be grateful for what you have, because someone else is working harder with less.

The End.