Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Wallis Sands Half Marathon

I better do this post before my next race. Did I really use to post a few times a week?

I have another half this weekend through poor and ignorant planning. My knee is kind of sore so I am doing nothing and will take it really slow this weekend with no expectations this weekend. None!

But last weekend I was hoping to do better than my half in March. I did by almost a minute faster per mile.
Inside the lighthouse.

Portsmouth Headlight

This half was in Rye Beach and I did it last year.  I stayed in Hampton Beach which is not where I usually stay.  It was nice to be on the beach but I do like York, Maine better.  When my friend and I got there it was raining. We did some shopping in Kittery which was a huge score. I have a worn a new skirt every day this week. I wish I had gotten more as they are comfortable, cute and cheap.  Then we went to see Portsmouth Headlight and I went to the top.  I love lighthouses so this was a big score.  Then it was to the hotel to check in.  
Biking on Hampton Beach

Next I rode up the coast!  Yes!  Yes!  Yes!  I rode to the race site.  Then it was out for my first lobster roll of the weekend.  
A small part of the bike path

Coming into the finish

At the finish

Then it was time to race on Sunday.  It was very foggy when we started out.  But within an hour it was sunny and warm. I was a little overdressed but not too bad.  I stayed around some people but passed others.  I was feeling good, not as fast as I used to be but way faster than my training runs were. I kept a reasonably steady pace. I walked a minute every mile which worked great.  I missed the mile marker for mile 9 so all of a sudden I was at 10 with only 3 left to go.  

The first few miles were along the ocean and then it veered inland past the marshes and into the village. The last few were back through the marshes, then along a bike path and finally along the ocean again.  I loved the bike path. Everything was in bloom and so pretty.  I tried to appreciate the scenery and not think about being tired. Truthfully, I was feeling great and not that tired so it wasn't hard.  
Approaching the finish

My stats weren't great  but okay.  I did not win an age group award. I was 5/8.  My other stats were so so but like I said, I was thrilled with my time and running.  I felt good and had a great time. What more could I ask for? 

Now this weekend I get to do it again but at a much slower pace.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Vacationing on the Cape.

I spent most of my April break biking and running on Cape Cod. It's not everyone's idea to exercise madly while on vacation but it's definitely mine. The rain held off for the most part but it was quite cold and we wore lots of clothes! But if that's what it takes to bike in a beautiful setting so be it.
My rides were from 60 to 17 miles with a total of 222 miles. Oddly enough I ran 22 miles. I am not sure what it is with all the 2s. To me this was a great vacation. It could have been warmer but the scenery made up for it.  Riding along or near the ocean is so sweet in my world. A lot of our rides were on bike trails that were not next to the ocean but we often ended up there.  The ocean, beaches, and lighthouses were everywhere!  
This is the bike trail we rode the most.

Some of the cranberry bogs.

Look at the bikes on top of this trellis. One
of my favorite sites on the Shining Sea
Bike Trail. Some of this trail
went right along the ocean.

The bike trail coming back from the Coast Guard Beach in Nauset.

At the Nauset Lighthouse.

One of my morning runs on the beach. 

We used this to get back up.

I enjoyed my runs. The terrain was quite different than what I am used to.  I either ran along the road overlooking the ocean or on the beach.  Truthfully, the tide always seemed to be coming in no matter what the tide charts said and I wasn't totally comfortable with the small distance between the water and the dunes.  The dunes were steep with limited access to get up and down and I didn't want to be caught down there.  There was a lot of evidence of where houses used to be as the dunes have receded!  

My knee is doing quite well.  The chiropractor I am currently going to twice a week seems to be making a difference.  So far she has treated other things and hasn't even started on the knee itself yet but the neck bones connected to the............

I'm still slower than I can believe but I am very happy to be running. I still can't do my favorite breast stroke when swimming but biking is very possible and I can run quite well without repercussions.  It's not all better but it is so much closer.  When I can't run I miss it more than I would expect.

I have been doing lots of new routes with running which I love.  On the Cape of course. When I go to my chiro appts. I run after one of them in Middlebury. I've run around the college some and even on the track.  I throw the track into the middle and enjoy watching all that is going on.  I go in different directions out of town depending on how far I want to go. It will be even nicer now that the snow is gone. 

So that's my life now. I haven't been reading blogs and I apologize. I hope to get back to them this weekend.  

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Running Favorites

Darlene tagged me to write about my running favorites and I'm doing it right away so I don't forget.

1. Location: trail, road or indoors

I am definitely a road person although many of my roads are dirt.  Is that like a hybrid?  I like bike paths too but I'm not a trails in the woods runner.

2. Time of day: morning, noon or evening.  
I prefer morning but work and life interfere and it is often evening.
This was taken the other day and it was around 5 PM.

3. Weather: mild or hot?
I prefer mild although really I most prefer crisp cool fall days.  I would never never say hot.

4. Fuel: before, after or sometimes during.
I prefer after.  

5. Accessories: music, watch or more?  I love my music when I am on the treadmill. In fact it is a necessity. Generally outdoors I listen to podcasts when I run.  When I am near the ocean I listen to the ocean.  I like a watch if I am not running  on a route that I know the mileage of. I am rather anal about this.  I need my phone to take pictures. The other day my phone died in the middle of my run and I changed my route!  I wanted to wait until I could take pictures on the route I had planned. I am still stewing over the missed pictures of the route I did take!
I have been running after my chiro appts. (for my knee) 
and really enjoying the new places.  

6. Rewards: food, wine or?? 
That's a tough one. I have no regular reward.  There is certainly no place to get anything near my home.  The other day after my run I did go to a favorite place to get sandwiches for dinner and while there got a Monument Farms chocolate milk which is often a reward especially while biking.

This is after the same chiro appointment and it was
an easy run that was delightful.

7. Type of runs: long, intervals, hill repeats, tempo, progression or recovery/easy.

I am the easy run lover for sure.  I like long runs too but most of my runs are easy ones.

Feel free to do this or let me know in the comments some of your preferences.  

Today I am happy to say I am heading out for a bike ride. It is finally going to warm up.  Yesterday was freezing and I wore multiple layers while running and still froze!  

Enjoy the rest of the weekend.

Sunday, March 29, 2015



Not running - ugh.  I haven't run since the NYC Half Marathon.  Although my knee didn't hurt during it, it hurt a lot after it and it was time to rest it.  I have been disappointed that 2 weeks off hasn't done more for it than it has.  Yesterday though I did walk/run a mile.  It felt okay the rest of the day and is feeling okay today.  I didn't have knee pain last night.  Generally sleeping is the worst time.  It feels okay today so maybe I am turning a corner.  I may try a short distance today.  I am seeing a chiropractor who told me to listen to my body.  How does it feel while I am using the knee and how does it feel after and the next day?  So I am trying to do that.  Ugh.

Swimming - I feel like swimming is going better. Some random guy at the pool helped me with my stroke and I can see a difference.  You would think I would be swimming more but I'm not.

Biking - My bike is tuned up and ready to go but the weather isn't cooperating.  I may get out there today  but maybe not.  Although I ride into the cold weather in the fall I want to begin in the spring with it being reasonable. When I do start it will be with my older bike as there is so much crap on the roads.

Signing up for races - I have two tris/dus I worry might fill up but I am hesitant on signing up for more while injured.  But maybe today I'll bite the bullet and do it.

Eating - As with swimming which I should be doing more you would think I would be doing less while not exercising much.  Nope.  Having a hard time with this one.

Reading - I'm doing lots of reading.  I finished a book a week or so ago that I loved.  It was The Art Forger by Barbara Shapiro.  I loved it. Right after I read it they did a piece on the art theft that the book is based on on NPR.  If you read it and like it let me know.

Listening - I'm listening to lots of podcasts as usual.  My new favorite one is Invisibilia.  I am dying for Serial to start up again.

Vacationing - I am not going to be going to Florida to ride to New Orleans. Flights are too expensive.  My friend that I was going with is going to Cape Cod instead.  I will probably go for part of the week to bike there.  I am hoping to be running too as running by the ocean is one of my favorite things in the world.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

New York City Half Marathon

Last weekend I raced in the NYC Half Marathon. It is one of the three biggest races I have been in.  I went down on Friday and made a 3 day weekend of it.  Love NYC and I hadn't been in awhile so it was great.

I arrived with my friend early on Friday.  We left stuff at the hotel which was right in Times Square and headed off to the expo.  The expo was good although it wasn't as big as I thought it would be.  I got a couple of shirts that I liked a lot and a new waist pack.  One of the shirts has the race course on the back in case I forget where I ran.

Then we became tourists by first going to the top of the Empire State Building. I have been up a couple of times but it was a clear day and there were no crowds and no lines!
Then we played near the jumbo tron (???) in Times Square for the Revlon Ad.  You keep showing up and it is addictive to try and get the best picture. It was hard! Here are a couple of the tries. I have the hood on.

We ended up at the ticket booth getting tickets for a show Friday night even though we were already going Saturday night.  We got tickets for If Then with Idina Menzel (did I get that right?) which is ending soon. It was superb. I enjoyed it so much!  Saturday night we saw Aladdin and IMO you can't go wrong with Disney on Broadway.  

Saturday we spent a lot of time trying to figure out where the race was ending and where to meet.

 I don't like that this race didn't have a family meet up area.  Sat. was rainy and cold so trudging around trying to figure this out was a pain. Then we went to just below Central Park to hit up F.A.O Schwartz, the Apple store and Nike. We also went to the Public Library which has the most fun store.  I was exhausted and ready to go back and rest before the show.  

I must admit I was nervous about getting to the race in the morning.  I changed my mind several times about how I would get there but ended up going up very early. I took the Metro and got off not quite where I should have but it all worked out.
I was in wave 3 which was the last wave to start. It was much colder than predicted so I did not have the clothes I wished I had.  It was cold waiting and I never took off my throw away top.  Once I was ready to I thought about hitting the windy road along the river and decided to keep it on. Smart move!

Once we began I was finally running through Central Park which has been on my bucket list for so long!  I was in heaven.  There were 20,000 runners in the race but it truly wasn't too crowded.  We ran through CP for a few miles and yes it was hilly.  Then we went into Harlem for an out and back before going back into CP.

When we were going back through CP I spotted the only person I know from NYC. It was Ali (the one who blogs) and I have only met her once. But I yelled to her and told her I was Emily's mom and she went crazy.  She was spectating and cheering on runners. Her enthusiasm left a smile on my face for several miles.  Then we left Central Park. I was looking for a bathroom without lines and shortly after we left I found one. Score.

Then it was up 7th Avenue on the way to Times Square which was incredible.  I loved this the most by far which surprised me because I thought Central Park would be my favorite. But Times Square with no traffic and people cheering you on......epic!

We turned and ran down 42nd Street which was great.

I was not running fast but I had a pace I wanted to maintain.  My long runs had been so so so slow that I was a bit worried.  I had been running a mile and walking a minute and had planned to do this during the race but I felt so good I didn't.  I have been having a lot of trouble with my knee but it didn't bother me at all during the race.  It was going to be a very tight time getting back to the hotel to catch the shuttle to the airport. I had this in the back of my mind throughout the race.

Then we turned onto the West Side Highway which runs along the Hudson. It was open and windy but I was okay.  I loved all of the course.  We went through a tunnel which was pretty cool.  This is a picture of coming out of the tunnel.

I thought I was still doing well but my last mile was slow.  

I did finish in the time I wanted, somehow met up with my friend and then we took the Metro back. I was freezing and sore.  Stairs were a problem.  The worst part was the walk back outside in the wind to the hotel.  We got back and thankfully there was time to change before the shuttle got there. I made it by about 10 minutes.  

Then it was a long day at the airport but our flight wasn't canceled although that was in some question.  

Overall I loved this race. I wouldn't do it again (probably).  It was expensive and there are lots of races out there. Next year I 'd like to do the half in DC that is the same weekend. Plus the race is on a Saturday which would be more relaxing.  I'm glad I did it though, it was a great weekend.  

My knee has given me a lot of grief since the race. I have not run since. I have a PT and a chiropractic appointment this week (long story).  I am discouraged as I have been working on it for awhile and cut back my training considerably.   It doesn't hurt to run generally but getting up after sitting or sleeping and driving are the worst.  I have two more halves in May.  I don't care about them AS MUCH as this one but I do care.  It's time to heal.  

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Running in Snowy Maine

I spent a few days in Maine and did some winter running there.  Man, do they have snow.  In fact our first day there, we were literally snowed in for awhile. It was fun to laze around and not be able to get out.  I had brought my coffee maker anticipating this so life was good.

Yeah, I could have gotten through this snow but being snowed in was
so much more fun.
After we got shoveled out I went for one of three snowy/cold runs in Maine. I just dressed for it, put on the Yak Trax and loved it.  There was so much snow!  The banks were unreal.  I ran by Nubble Light every day and took multiple pictures. I think it is a law that you can't pass it without taking a photo.  I knew where there was an open hotel with clean bathrooms about half way so that was good.  
It did not feel like -22 at all.  

I was fascinated by all the snow and one run I took pics of a few of the summer places no one would be
visiting anytime soon.

One of many pics I took but this is the one NBC news wanted to use.

Signs also amused me - the ones you could still see.

There was one sunny day where the ocean was just stunning.  I was also fascinated
by all the colors of the water and the ice in the ocean.

This is one of many big banks. Driving was tricky because you had to get out in the
road to see.

We did a little shopping  and I had lobster rolls every night.

Then I came down with this rotten cold I have now and I was ready to come home.  

I've had some good runs at home too although my knee has been bothering me. I went to the PT yesterday and I was rather encouraged by her assessment.  I was very worried she was going to tell me not to run. My NYC half marathon is a month away!  I am not running right now because I am in bed feeling less than stellar but I am hoping to be back at it tomorrow.  There is supposed to be snow here over the next few days but  I am going to try to do one speed work session on the TM and my long run outside. I do love snow and Maine was like it used to be with such huge amounts of it!  I know they are sick of it but it certainly worked for me!

Hope you are all healthy and running and doing what you love.