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?

Monday, June 16, 2014

Rude Awakening

I'm not one of those people that likes to weigh themselves every day.  Or even monthly.  I usually just go by how my clothes feel and how they are fitting me.  Since it's finally a bit of summer here, I've been able to wear my summer clothes which are mostly capris.  I haven't worn those pants in a while and since I bought a couple of new things for this season, I haven't had a chance to wear all of them yet.

This morning I grabbed a pair of pants to wear and found that they were a bit, um let's say, fitted.  And I had the ever attractive muffin top.

Hmmmm.  Did they shrink?  Maybe I just washed them and I need to stretch them out a bit.

Blissfully ignorant, I stepped on the scale just to have a look-see of where I was at.  Mind you, I haven't stepped on a scale in at least 3 months?  Maybe 4.  I honestly cannot remember.

Perhaps I should rethink that method of tracking my weight, because the number on the scale shocked me.

Like, really shocked me.

As in, it was the number that I was at 3 years ago BEFORE I had started any of this running stuff.  Did I mention that I was still running and exercising?

So putting two and two together, one can deduce that I must be eating like a teenage boy.  But with a 43 year old woman's metabolism.  How unfortunate for me.

That might explain why my 8 mile run the other day kicked the shit out of me.  Trying to drag around 10 extra pounds will do that to you.

So now it's time to get serious about eating.  Time to reach for more veggies and fruit and less nutella and chips.  Avoid Dairy Queen like the plague.

less of this

Eat more salads and fruits.
more of this

It's so easy to justify that ice cream in your head when you just finished running 6 miles.  Or to grab that burger at the drive through when you are out of town.  Why does junk food have to taste so good???  Why??

So today, I begin the crackdown.  (right after I finish up the Olive Garden leftovers.....)   I know what my weaknesses are and where I need to improve.
1.  less snacking--stay away from the chips, candy, nutella.
2.  double veggies and no carb at dinner.
3.  limited ice cream treats.  Just cause the kids are having it doesn't mean I need to.
4.  eat based on hunger, not time of day.  Then STOP when I'm full.
5.  continue with my exercise, maybe add a short run at dinner time to help me to eat less.

How do you keep your weight in check?  Especially as we age.  I'll take any tips you have.

Monday, June 9, 2014

A Most Fortunate Bike Flat

Now that the weather is finally cooperating and giving us Mainers some sun, I was pretty anxious to get my bike out for a ride.  Of course, I never bothered to get my bike ready in the event that we would have a sunny above 50* day, so when that day came, both the tires were low.

Not a problem.  I put my bike in the back of my van and headed downtown to the gas station where the owner has an adapter so he can fill my tires when needed.  (My bike has a presta valve, which means that it is super skinny and a regular air pump won't work.)  Of course, when I got there no one knew where the adapter was and the owner wasn't going to be in until Monday.  womp womp.

Let me just remind you that I live in the middle of nowhere and the nearest bike shop is 40 minutes away, open from 9-5 and closed on Sundays.  It was Saturday at 4:15.  If I didn't get air that day, I wasn't going riding until the following weekend when when I could get to the shop on my day off.

I tried a shout out on FB hoping my tri/biking/runner friends would answer the call for a bike pump.  Only one did and it looked like the wrong valve.

On to Plan B.  I had class this weekend in Bar Harbor (about 3 hours away) and was heading there again on Sunday so I planned to bring my bike with me and after class go to one of the many bike shops in Bar Harbor to have them pump them up.  Otherwise, it's a week before I can get my bike in to anywhere.

So I get done with class and head to the bike shop on my way out of Bar Harbor.  The 12 year old working there was very nice and filled my tires for me.  I went in and purchased a bike pump of my own so I never have to rely on anyone else to fill my tires for me.  AND it attaches to my bike.  I am so cool now.

looks a bit like a gun.  but it's not.  unless I'm going to shoot you with air.

So, I was taking my super cool self down the road to home so I could go bike when I hear from the back:  PSSSSHHHHHHHHT.

This cannot be good.

I pull over to check my bike and the back tire is completely flat.  ugh....  I turn around and head back to the bike shop to find out what went wrong, just in case the kid screwed up and filled them too much.  Turns out there was a  hole just near the valve.  Fortunately, they had techs available and they kindly replaced the tube for me right then.  Woo!  $20 and 20 minutes is all is cost me.  Probably the least amount of money I have ever spent on that bike at a bike shop.

As annoyed as I was about it happening right after he filled the tire, after thinking about it a little, I ended up being thankful it happened that way.  The last thing I need is to get a flat while I'm out riding.  At least I wasn't 10 or 20 miles from home.

Side Note:  I really should learn how to change a tube if that does happen while I'm out biking.  I suppose that will be my next purchase since the front tire is probably due for a flat.

Happy Note:  I got a 45 minute ride in last night just before dark.  No flats.  

Sunday, June 8, 2014

May Review

As per usual, I am right on time with my monthly reviews.  I just don't feel like I have much to say since I haven't been racing but I do have plenty of things coming up in the next few months so you should hear from me a little more as the summer goes on.

Run--41.58 miles.  Not my best, but not my worst.  I seriously don't know how y'all manage 100+ miles/month.  50-60 seems to be about right for me.

Spin--160 minutes.  I'm getting my road bike out and ready to go today so I imagine this number will go up as the summer goes on.

Swim--5500 yds.  I don't have a tri on the schedule for this year so it's likely this number will not change much.  I like to swim to cross train and it gives my body a break, but now the Y is closed on Sundays so it makes it that much harder to get to the pool when it's sunny and 70* out.

Tennis--6 hours

Weights/stretching--100 minutes.  I had made a decent effort at the arm challenge for May but only to to day 14.  I may just try to finish out the month, doing the exercises not necessarily each day, but as I can.

Things I'm Loving--

~Holy shit these are good.  Seriously.  They are the best bar thing I have ever had.  It's like a fruit roll up with nuts.  There is a grape/peanut one that tastes like a peanut butter sandwich.  All natural, gluten free, no GMO and they taste good!!  Now I need to try to find a cheaper place to purchase them.  If you see them at a gas station, grab one and try it.  I promise you will be surprised.

~The weather has finally improved somewhat here and today it feels like summer.  Unfortunately, I'm sitting in class looking out at the beautiful sunny day as I type this, but I'm done at noon and can enjoy the gorgeous drive home and a bike ride tonight.  Yay for summer days!

~Lacrosse continues to be one of my favorite sports to watch my kids play.  They have a great season--each one of them!  They all have been significant contributors to their respective teams and it makes me wish that the season wasn't so short.

This is the most fun sport I never had a chance to play.  So much fun.  SOOOO much better than baseball/softball.  

Did I mention that my eldest is 'graduating' 8th grade this week?  Oh my.  She is almost as tall as me.

I'm 5'6".  She's almost there.  Let's also remember that at her age I was 4'11" and grew 6" from freshman to junior year…..  Her dad is 6'3".  If she grows like I did, she'll be 5'10".  Grow, baby, grow.

How did my kid get so pretty?  I'm pretty sure I did not look anything like that in 8th grade.  In fact, I KNOW I didn't.  Here's the proof.

I'm the one with her pants down.  why?  no clue.

~Spartan Up--still reading
~Goldfinch--still reading but really, really good so far.  Go buy it.  Now.
~Divergent, Insurgent, Allegiant.  All good.  Good series.  

~Turn Down for What, DJ Snake.
~She Looks so Perfect (for the teeny bopper in me), 5 Seconds of Summer.
~Come With me Now, Kongos.
~Sing, Ed Sheeran.
~Rewind, Rascal Flats.

Please remember I'm still have a fundraising effort for the Tri for a Cure relay I'm doing in July.  I have plenty of great prizes to give away and only one person in the lottery right now.  Here's the link to my fundraising page--Tri for a Cure, and here's the link to the original blog so you can mark down your entries.  Please help me to reach my goal!  All money raised goes to fight cancer right here in Maine.  I greatly appreciate any and all donations.

I hope summer has finally arrived where you live.  Enjoy June!