Tuesday, October 21, 2014

I Got to Race My Bike Again



This was the third year in a row I have done this duathlon. It has ALWAYS been freezing and sometimes raining. So why do I keep doing it?  As the title says I get to race on my bike!
Some nice shots Darlene got of the race area.


This year it was a new course. I think I like the old one better - more scenic - but there is no place to be inside at it. This one was at an orchard and you could get warm.

Darlene came and spectated for the third time and she appreciated the orchard building for sure. Thanks so much Darlene for coming to cheer and taking lots of pics!


The run was shorter. Each run was 2 miles which was a great distance in my opinion.
Do I always look this awkward getting on my bike?

The headband under the helmet isn't a great look but
was really necessary.

I'm just about done the bike. Can I stop now?

I was 89th after the run out of 101 people. I must admit I   was surprised by how few people were behind me.  Oh well, more to pass on the bike.  I did pass 20 + people.  You rode a mile and a half and then did a 7 mile loop twice before heading back. Bad news - the winner lapped me on the bike loop. But barely - it was just before the turn and only him. Good news - I lapped two people on the bike loop.  It was somewhat hilly but not bad. It was windy which is never fun.  I wasn't cold though which was great!  I enjoyed the bike as I always do.



Nope, I've got to run again.

Far from last and I am done.

Then it was time to run again.  Oh well.  I was in much better position and only two people I passed on the bike passed me back. I ended up in 63rd place!  Much better than 89th.

I did win in my age group.  I was the only one in my age group. I was the oldest woman there. But I am claiming that medal. I ran hard. I biked really hard. I earned it. I didn't give into the cold and leave to shop and not bother racing.

I won a medal and a candy apple. The candy apple was nicely decorated but I didn't want it. I took it into the granddaughter of the woman who works in my room at school and she was thrilled.  I won a random prize of hor d'oerves (No idea how to spell that) for 10 at a tavern in Lathem, NY.  Well, sounds great but not so close to where I live. So I mailed it to Darlene who deserves something for all that cold spectating!

I did shop on the  way home. I went to Target which is always a thrill. I made a couple of scores at Eddie Bauer too.  I bought some crack at Target, some very cute capris on sale, some pumpkin products and odds and ends.  In case you are wondering about the crack it was white chocolate candy corn M+Ms.

I was exhausted when I got home but a day spent racing is a good day!


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Memorial Bridge 5K

Memorial Bridge connecting Maine to NH

I'm always up for a new race on the ocean.  This one started in Maine and quickly crosses into NH for the rest of the race.  It crosses the Memorial Bridge which was just updated two years ago.

We had a hard time finding the race, actually drove over the bridge without knowing it.  It's well marked on the NH side but not Maine where we entered it from.  We found ourselves in Portsmouth and kept driving around looking for Badgers Island. When in doubt find some people who look like runners in a parking lot and yell to them for directions.  It worked. Turned out to be near the bridge, registration, race start.....all that.

There were super clean bathrooms at registration!  That's worth a mention.
Lindt chocolate for swag - a good sign

It was raining and cold, not so great and I wasn't sure what to wear.  Not surprisingly I overdressed.  I knew after we started that I didn't need the jacket I was wearing.
Taken from the bridge before the race

First we ran across the bridge into Portsmouth, NH. This was in the harbor and it's quite nice. I love Portsmouth although I haven't spent a lot of time there.  The race went through Portsmouth which is nice. I have done other races there and went on a couple of the same streets.
I'm in the pink hat being schooled by that little kid.

When I would check my Garmin at mile markers I seemed to be doing well.  These days I seem to have trouble getting under 30.  So I was thrilled with my overall time of 28:48.  It was good enough for a 2nd in my age group and there were 11 of us so not bad.  Prizes were only given for the first though so I didn't hang around in my wet clothes as it was raining even harder and I wanted a hot shower.  I was 233/400 overall, not quite top half but good for me!


I would do this race again especially in nicer weather as it includes  a Maine weekend!

As I said it included a Maine weekend.
Saturday was rainy and sort of cold so after a hot shower it was time to do a little shopping. Kittery was packed so we only hit  a few stores and I bought very little.

By the time we got back to the hotel it had cleared up and it was time to try a bike ride in Wells. When I am riding near the ocean I am certainly in my happy place.  Here are a few photos to share.




That was followed by a never disappointing meal at Maine Diner only to wake up on Sunday to the most glorious day ever. I got one more ride in from York to Ogunquit and back.  That is a ride that feeds my soul like no other.  





Maine......the way life should be.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Loving Fall

This fall is the most spectacular in quite some time.  I took a short run and ride where I can hardly call it aerobic because I stopped so much for pictures.  I took over 130 pictures!  It is absolutely my favorite time of year.  The main problem is it's way too short.  I also got up to the Islands where the foliage isn't at the beauty it is around here yet, it was still an amazing day.  I've gotten a couple of great rides in after school too although that is getting harder and harder.  I may do a race this weekend although I seem to be putting off registering. The weather sounds like it's going to change so maybe it wouldn't take away from my biking.  I'm still happily going to my strength class once a week and managing to do some on my own at least one more day. It isn't much but it's way more than what I was doing. So not much to say here but I'll throw in  a few of my many pictures. Enjoy our beauty!






Sunday, September 21, 2014

Loving Life


I read this quote in a book by Anna Quindlen, one of my favorite authors, and found it perfect.  I added it to a picture from my bike ride in Ogunquit/York.  


Wednesday I expected to be picking Em up at the airport in Albany. But she got a voucher to come into  Burlington instead, although much later. A win for all of us.  It was closer to pick us up. She has a free flight in the future. I got a ride and a run in that I thought wouldn't happen on a very pleasant day.



Emily came in to talk to my class about her 100.  They had such good questions and I learned some new things about the race too.  One guessed it took her two weeks to do it.  They wondered what she ate and where she slept. I was amazed no one asked about the bathrooms or lack there of.  It is hard for them to comprehend someone running 100 miles.  It is hard for me to comprehend someone running 100 miles.  I loved having her there and having my students meet her.  

I have to say although I don't want to jinx it that I am having such a good year at school. Please, please no one move in to change that.  I have a great group of kids. I have two good math groups.  What a difference it makes to have even keeled students.  


There's not a lot of color change yet. I took this one today when I was running. Again, I wasn't sure if I could run or bike and I managed to do both in perfect temps.


I went to my strength class again this week.  It was complicated to  get there because  I was letting Em use my car but I worked it out.  My first ride forgot me but I still got there. I am enjoying it a ton.  When I did the exercises myself on Tuesday I definitely did something wrong because my shoulder hurt the next few days.


Today, Sunday, the whole family summited Mt. Abe.  I am exhausted. My children tell me we will be going up Mt. Mansfield tomorrow. I am not a hiker. I am tired.  I am dead.  Things ache.  We shall see.







Sunday, September 14, 2014

Maine, Vermont, A 100 Miler


  • I'm tracking Emily running a 100 mile race and it's exhausting.  I'm sure she's tired too but mothers don't sleep when their offspring are alone in the dark woods running up and down mountains.  She is now at Mile 80 and being paced by a good friend. More to come on this.
Here's my FB status from yesterday to tell you a little more about the race.
I'll be thinking of Emily Halnon all day today, through tonight and into tomorrow as she runs her first 100 miler, Pine to Palm in Oregon. Not only does she decide to run a 100 miler she chooses a difficult one with 20,000 feet of climbs including 3 "epic" climbs of over 7000 feet. She has 34 hours to complete this race which is her goal. I hope she enjoys the journey. I'll be glad when she reaches the end!
This is Em during a 100 mile relay.  Now she's doing it all.

  • No race this weekend so a bit more about Maine.  I love Maine.  No secret!  Last Saturday after the race we went to the beach and sat and watched people, the ocean, read, all that good stuff. Bliss. 
Yeah, I'm in my happy place.

  • Then we drove to Nubble Lighthouse and took pictures even though I have several hundred at this point.  Then it was time to eat. What to get?  I got lobster macaroni and cheese.  My friends didn't finish theirs but I had no problem.

    We each had a couple of beers.  I forget what I got  first but then I got Shipyard Pumpkin Ale.  They put it in a Miller glass and put my friend's beer in a Pumpkinale glass. Well, that wasn't right so I got the beer switched around and all was right with the world.

    This is from my house, how it should be done.


    Sunday we got up early and a bike ride was on tap. First there was a catastrophe.  You know when you hear a bump and look in your rearview mirror and there are no bikes where there should be bikes that all is not right with the world.  I can feel some of you shuddering now (Kate). I pulled over and the bike rack had gone down (because someone hadn't clicked it shut) and the bikes had bounced on the road a couple of times while still on the rack.  I couldn't stop exclaiming over how stupid I was.  My friend kept saying it was okay. If you are going to do something to someone's bike or whatever, she is the person to be with. She stayed calm  and kept saying it all could be fixed.  Well, my bike was fine but hers appeared not to be.  She could ride it though we could see things that were bent.  We could quickly see it was not as bad as it first appeared.  (It has been in the shop now since it's trauma.  I couldn't talk about this until I knew it was okay.  It just needed a part straightened out and is fine.  Phew!) So we rode to Ogunquit Beach from Maine and I easily knew those would be the best two hours of my month even though the month had just begun.  Bliss Bliss Bliss.  And more bliss.  And then some more.  
    When I first got to the Nubble.

    I love this library.
    Oh my.  Bliss.

    Back in Vermont I have given myself two weeks off swimming now that I have no tris. I went back to the gym this week for my runs and they were quite good. I did a long run of 6 miles at home yesterday.  Yup, that's my long run these days.  I also have started strength and stretch exercises and a class. Badly needed.   I did my class in the middle of my run the other day and I was shaky when I finished the run. I badly need to do this and I'll let you know that I am.  There I said it. I am going to stretch and strengthen twice a week.
    Vermont is pretty sweet too.

    I got two short bike rides in after work, both quite nice. I hope to go longer today but I am waiting for it to warm up. Friday's ride was quite cold and yesterday's run was Arctic! 

     Back to tracking Emily.

    Okay many hours later......it was exhausting tracking her and there were times I was worried. But she came through in 28:10:35. She was the 8th woman. Go Emily! She was incredible in her first 100. I say first because I am a realist.  What a rock star she is.



Sunday, September 7, 2014

Pumpkinman Triathlon Race Report

My last tri of the season was a ton of fun.
On the way to the start

I will admit that I was very worried before it began.  I knew it was weedy and the pond had some scum on the top.  I found myself doing lots of deep breathing, bending over so I wouldn't throw up and humming.  Yeah, I'm that person you want to be standing next to at the start.  I was quite worried I was going to lose my cool again but once it started I was truly fine.  I did encounter weeds of course but was able to handle it. I was in the 4th of 8 waves so I had people around me the whole time which I like.  My goal was to only get passed by people in the wave right behind me and that happened.  I did pass a few and I felt like my time was great. It was 12 something compared to 15 or 16.  I did a great job of swimming in a straight line. I questioned my route because so many people were way out but I was fine.  I did the breast stroke because that seems to keep me calm these days.
Last year I did the swim in 12:23. This year 12:38 but that's close enough.  I was worried I'd be way up. I am not sure why I am faster here.  I was 402/476 in the swim. How many people would be happy with that? But I beat 74 people. In my world that is good.

The race gave a wet suit to the person in the exact middle. I thought that was a great way to give it.  Many people were joking it needed to go to the slowest swimmer.

Before the tri - checking out the pond

Walking up the hill.....

Once done I had to do the hill climb.  They give a prize for this too. No chance whatsoever!  I did it in 2:11. I think the winner did it in 47 seconds. I cannot imagine. I was very slow!  
The hill climb - awful!

When I got to the top my bike was right there. IMO I had the best bike spot in the place.  I could find it. It was on the end of the rack when you ran in. I had a fence to put stuff near if I wanted.  Yeah, I had to run through transition with my bike but on the run I was right there.  Loved it. Between the hill climb and first transition that part was about 30 seconds faster this year. I did well in transitions.

Bike racks at this race have lots of room. There are numbers for exactly where you put your bike.
Happy happy!

On my way back in.

Then it's bike time and I start out with a smile on my face!  Love it. It was a bit crowded at first and the whole time there are bikers around you.  Fast athletes were in the later waves so I had many passing me but I also passed a decent amount of bikers. (31)  It isn't an overly hilly course although you have to pay attention to pot holes.  I was slightly faster than last year - 52:43 to 52:16.  I had hoped to improve it more but oh well.  I was 277 out of 476.  So I beat almost 200 there.  My pace was 16+.  

I did well in T2.  2:05 last year. 1:32 this year.

And..........then...........it.........was...........time.................to................run.

It was hot. Really hot.  Like 88 degrees. And very very very humid.  It was hard to run to say the least.
On the run - heading out.

I did it but it wasn't pretty.  I kept thinking I needed to pick up the pace but didn't seem able to.  I was 3 seconds slower than last year overall so I wish I had found it but........  I was so happy to finish.  That was a long 3 miles.  My time went from 28:00 to 29:20.  I was 288/476 which is actually closer to my bike than usual. A lot of people had trouble on the run!  

My happiest statistic is that of all women there I was 111/233 overall which is top half. I say a big woot woot to that.
On the podium - such fun.


I was 1/3 in my age group. I wish there had been more of us but I'll take it. It was fun to be on top of the podium.  
Drinking the pumpkinman ale - love it!

My overall time was 1:40:14 compared to 1:40:11 last year.  I think that's good with the change in the weather.  I was 299/476 total.  

Hate to see these ending for the season.