Thursday, April 17, 2014

Vacation's Coming!

A few quick things before vacation.

It snowed and I do mean snowed hard on Tuesday night.  First though it poured and the river was raging.  Lake Champlain has reached flood stage but nothing like a couple of years ago.

Before the heavy rain came and then the snow I got a great bike ride in a on a very windy day on my beloved bike path. Can you say bliss?

Today was my first after work run outside. I only went 6 miles but it was a great one. Still cold but good for running.  I am so ready for vacation and some warmer weather.

Saturday morning I leave bright and early for Virginia and a week of biking!  I CANNOT WAIT!

Last weekend - thankfully I didn't know about it until after .........Jaxon got caught on an ice drift. It was right next to shore but he wouldn't jump off it.  It moved quickly and Jameson realized he had to go after him.  Look at the ice in that water!  When he got there and got on the ice Jaxon wanted to play.  I saw more pictures than in this frame and it was unreal how far the ice had drifted.  Jameson said he had a hard time getting out of the water when he got to shore.  Scary scary scary.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

I'm Back On My Bike!!!

Spring is here!  My bike is out and I am riding.

I actually rode my "older" bike the first couple rides to allow the salt to get a little more washed off the roads. Then I couldn't stand it and got out my road bike!!!

I rode 20ish miles on my first ride on one of my favorite routes.  A friend went with me and I kept exclaiming over how wonderful it was.  Heaven.

During the work week I rode after school on another favorite route but I was tired and not feeling it that day and did one loop instead of turning back and doubling it.  Thursday I rode with a friend and we debated not going after listening to wind HOWL all afternoon.  But we went in the direction of the wind first and managed okay.

The cross winds were the worst as I worried about being blown over.  Then we turned around and came back with the wind. That was pure delight and we got 26 in when I wasn't sure we would get any.

I liked that route so much I went back on it today.  I left from home and wanted to make it 30 miles.  BUT my odometer wasn't working.  I went to get it fixed on Friday and still not working.  It works if I am going less than 15m.p.h. but as soon as I hit 15 it stops.  How weird is that! So I guess I need to go back.  In the end the route was 29+ so I did pretty well.

On the way home I stopped for just a bit and watched the kayak race in the river near my house. I am usually doing a half marathon and miss it.  I didn't sign up this year and I must say I was quite delighted to not be doing it. Right decision.

I have still been running and swimming so life has gotten busier. Tomorrow I need to run 11.  It's supposed to be raining but I hope it holds off for a bit!

Hope you are doing something that delights you as much as biking delights me.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

When Is A Goal Stupid?

This  is from the Shipyard Half last year. It was one of my worst
races ever due to the heat, but if I was going to be around for it
this year I would have signed up again. I do like racing. But....

I pride myself on meeting my goals, particularly my fitness goals.  Once set, they are 99% of the time met, barring injury or unforeseen circumstances.

I am struggling with a goal I have right now although I have pretty much made up my mind that I am not going to meet it although it would be possible to.

The goal is to do a race every month. I set this goal pretty much every year. Why? What is it I like about this goal?

It isn't to get me to race more as I race a decent amount.  I generally race between 14 and 22 races in a year.  Closer to 20 is the average.  So that is already more than once a month.  I think when I first set the goal I liked the idea of being able to say that I raced at least once a month.  One thing I definitely liked about it was doing new races.  There are some very sparse racing months in Vermont which has caused me to do several races in states nearby. I like that.  Doing a race a month has forced me to do several new races.  So what is the problem?

April was already going to be a hard month to race. I did not sign up for the half marathon I generally do in April.  Last year I did 5 or 6 halves and I got somewhat sick of them.  I don't mind doing them but the time involved in training interferes with my biking!  And that's why I decided to do less.  Plus last year at this particular half I was annoyed at no bathrooms. It's the small but not so small things.

I am going away in April and will be gone for all of one weekend and most of the next. So those weekends are out for races.  I did find a race for tomorrow but since I signed up it's been cancelled.  I don't want to spend time or money traveling to a race right now.  If I find one close I MIGHT do it but I just might not.  I have a lot to do to get ready to go away and just all the junk that keeps life running smoothly.

PLUS here is the silver lining ...........tomorrow looks to be a quite nice day so instead of racing I may just be on my bike for my first ride.  It depends on the snow melt and temperatures because the roads have been pretty slick with ice some days after the melt when it gets cold again.  But I am going "south" a few miles and it is an amazing difference.

I need to get some bike time in because this vacation I am going on is ALL ABOUT BIKING!  I am going with a friend I work with and 3 people she bikes with on a regular basis. They are all much faster than I am. I need to get some time in the saddle.  I am guessing we will ride at least 50 a day but it should be flat!

Did I say the vacation is ALL ABOUT BIKING!!!!  (I will do some running but I am thinking that will  be a solo activity.  I do love to run in new places and I need to keep up my mileage at least to an extent.) This is obviously not going to be a lazy vacation but it will suit me to a t.

If next weekend is similar to tomorrow I would rather ride my bike than fit in a race.  Plus I am still training for a half marathon in May and do need to fit a long run in.  I seem to be talking myself right out of racing.  To just do a race to say I did one seems stupid. End of my rambling thoughts!
I need to get ready for my favorite type of racing!!!!!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Don't Register For A Race If I Do

Third time since March 15.

Hi Everyone,
We are sorry to report that the 2014 MSD 5K Fun Run for Hunger is canceled and will not be re-scheduled.  The course is considered unsafe because of lingering snow and ice. However, we hope you will return in the spring of 2015. Since hunger in Vermont is a very real situation, we hope you will still consider supporting the Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf. If you wish to make a donation, please email us and we will make sure that your registration fee is donated to the Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf. Otherwise, your registration fee will be returned once we receive your USPS mailing address. If you have any questions, please contact us.
On behalf of the MSD Program, thank you.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Random Bits

1. I seem to be finding not a whole heck of a lot to blog about these days. I continue to train for my next half marathon.  I went back to the middle of the cycle to end at the beginning of May when I once again attempt to go to the ocean and do a half.  It will not be canceled and it will be just lovely.  My training goes well.  I think I am deciding that the tempo run is the hardest for me. I am doing well at the pace run, the speed intervals and okay at the long run. I am doing the tempo but it tires me out!

2. This weekend I have a race coming up. It may be more of a fun run but I am gone for two weekends in April and this was about all that I could find that was close. I am temporarily not traveling for races.  Been there, done that, no race.  So I'm sticking close to home. I am hoping to talk my son into it but have a feeling that won't happen.  My April trip is ALL ABOUT BIKING with a few runs thrown in to keep me in shape for my half.

3. And speaking of is gorgeous. There is still a lot of water in the road from all the melting snow. I was hoping to get out biking Saturday but the forecast doesn't look great.  But I will do it if I can. I am itching to get on the bike.

 4.. Speaking of my son how did he get to be 27?  He is my baby, my youngest, my last born.  How in the world is he 27?  Oh my!

5. We went out to eat on his birthday and I managed to get a new stamp on my brewery card, something I don't think I've done since last fall!

Time to get outside to get some good pics!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Spring Fling 10K That was Really a Winter Fling 10K

If I focus on the weather I can ignore the fact that I am so much slower even with all the training I have done.  As I was racing I was definitely doing some self talk to be positive.  I never like finishing a race disappointed to the point where I don't like racing. I did accomplish that!

I raced a 10K today that is called  a spring fling.  Apparently last year it was 74 degrees.  Today not so much. It was 31 and a cold 31 at that.  I wore pants and 3 layers on top. I walked back to my car to get my neck fleece.  I was probably a bit over dressed but not drastically.  The problem was sitting around wet after and then having to walk half a mile to the car all sweaty in the freezing cold.

There were a decent number of people there.  My miles were all over the place from 9:22 to 10:41.  It was a hilly course but  a pretty one.  I had 3 goals and met one of them. Oops.

Goal #1. Finish in under an hour.  Nope!
Goal #2. Once I saw I wasn't going to do that I focused on finishing under 10 minute miles. Nope. But close and I picked it up in the last couple miles to finish with a pace of 10:02.
Goal #3.  Not to be last.  Yes!  I did this. Some day I will be last and I'll need to be okay with that.

As I was racing I reminded myself that I love racing. I do.
I reminded myself I wasn't home sitting on the couch.
I reminded myself that I was trying and I had nothing to be ashamed of.
I felt fine when I finished.  Then a young woman came up to me and told me I passed her and she could not catch up to me. Then I felt even better!

I did not win my age group although the person right ahead of me was the only other person in my age group!  I did win a random prize.

After I did two errands, one of which was to leave my bike off for a tune up! Some day spring will really come and I'll be able to ride. I got my other errand done and my lovely son called and we went out to lunch together.  We were both freezing!  Then we went back to his house where I promptly sat on the couch and didn't move for about 3 hours. I watched Love It or List It and each time a new one started I had to stay to find out what they were going to do.  Third world problems......which gorgeous place do we live in?

Jaxon snuggled with me some and I may have slept some. I never took off my coat or headband. I am finally warmed up and less tired.

But all in all.....a very good day.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

The Debacle Half

Remember I had my York Harbor Half Marathon canceled two weeks ago because of the snow?  Well, I did.  But I found another race to do in Maine although it was much farther.  It turns out a friend had moved near there so that was a bonus to going that far.

Friday I got in my car bright and early and drove more than 7 hours to Brewer, Maine.  The roads were snowy in the beginning but the untouched snow with the sun shining on it was stunning.  Soon enough I was on bare roads and speeding along.  I stopped for coffee and then made a longer stop at L.L. Bean in Freeport where they had a fitness section that had my name all over it.  I also picked up a much needed running top at Nike (a little sarcasm there) and then continued to Brewer.

I checked into my hotel and was checking email as I waited for my friend to pick me up.  You can imagine my surprise to find an email from the race director that had been SENT AT 4:00 that the race was canceled. SAY WHAT?  I may have used more colorful words.  I was sitting in a hotel room that cost money.  I had put gas in my car more than once to get here.  I had a hotel for another night.  Sure the race itself was cheap but this race was costing me  more than a little money and now it's not happening?  I sent an email to the RD but didn't get a reply.  The deal was we could pick up our t-shirts the next day.

So off with Sarah and I already had a new plan.  I wasn't far from Acadia which is on my bucket list so I thought I would go there the next day and run and sightsee.  Sarah obliged me by taking me by Stephen King's house so I met at least one of my goals.

Then we went to Sea Dog Brewery for a sandwich and some beer. I had a great time catching up with Sarah.  This would have been a much more disappointing evening without her.  

The next day I went and got my t-shirt.  I asked them if I could have my medal which they weren't giving out mentioning how far I had driven. 

Then they brought in the box of medals and gave them to everyone.  Don't worry - I earned it later.  Then they told me to wait and these lovely volunteers went and got me a box of whoopie pies they said were for driving so far. Fun!  It was raining and in the 30s out.  Not fun. They told me to go ahead and run the course but I had no desire to do so.  I didn't know the course, it was awful out, it wasn't scenic. These same volunteers said Acadia was a great idea.  So off I went.

Well, it was disappointing which I never thought I'd say once I got there. I saw some of Mt. Desert Island but all the roads into Acadia were closed. I had understood some were open but I couldn't find any.  It was cold and miserable.  It took longer than I thought to get there and I felt like I had wasted half the day.
I saw some pretty views but there are pretty sights all over 
the Maine coast.

I guess I'll have to go back.

When I left Mt. Desert Island I headed to Sarah's house. She didn't tell me I had to drive over a scary bridge to get there. The picture I stopped and took after I went over it doesn't do it justice.  That tall part is in the middle. She said it had to be closed this year after an ice storm because huge sheets of ice fell and totaled some cars. Great.  I finally got to Sarah's house (cute cute cute) and visited for a bit before I headed down Route 1 for a scenic trip to York.  Well, it was but did it ever take forever. 

They're on Penobscot Bay, way inland but very nice.

 I was a bit grumpy before I got to York where I had a hotel room. Stop at L.L. Bean again? Nope. Stop and run? Nope, it's still raining and cold.  I did want to get to York and as tired as I was I planned to run when I got there.  
FINALLY I was there and got out of my car to a surprisingly warm temperature.  I threw my stuff in my room and I was off. I ran about 5 miles and it was truly one of the best runs of my life.  I needed it after the race disappointment and all the sitting I had been doing.  It was gorgeous, warm and just wonderful!
The tide was very low which made for great beach running.

I went immediately to dinner following my run. First I just sat and relaxed with my beer, my kindle and the moon rising over the ocean.  Then I had the most delicious clam chowder.  I had a lobster roll too which was okay but not as good as the chowder.  I decided I was going to run the 13.1 here the next day.  Too heck with organized halves, I could do my own.

It was much colder and windy but that sun was still shining.  I was up and out by 7.  So many good things about your own race - start when you want - no port a let line.  I went up and around by Nubble Light and then continued out of town. I took a different route than I usually take on my bike (avoiding a hill, I'm no fool) and went along the river. It was very nice. When I finally let myself look at my watch I  was around 6.3. I went about another half and then turned around. I stopped to take pictures, I used a hotel bathroom and never stopped my watch.  It's my race and I can do what I want to.  I went back by Nubble Light and then headed to the beach. I ran back and forth on the beach and stopped to make my 13.1 sign. I was getting rather chilled at this point but I was pleasantly surprised that I was not dead and really could have run more.  
I'm ready to head out.  I added a jacket once
I stepped outside. Good decision.

Spectacular as usual.

First time by Nubble.

Stopping at the bridge on the river. The picture below is
looking back at this from a different bridge.

Short Sands.

Back by Nubble.

Some running on the beach and I'm done.

Soon enough The Debacle Half was finished and I was the winner and held the course record.  No waiting around for an award ceremony.  I was so glad I decided to do this. I am done looking for a half.  I have one in May and that's the next one I'll do.   I think I'll do a shorter race next weekend close to home!  

Once in the hotel I roasted myself in the shower and then went out for one more casual breakfast staring at the ocean before heading back home.  And as much as I love Maine and going away, I'm glad to be home!