Thursday, March 31, 2011


1.  I got my Boston information! are thinking......I didn't know AJH was running the marathon.  Well, no, I am not,  I got the B.A.A. 5K Race info.  And I can tell you from looking at it with photo ID required to pick up my stuff, prize money, official race photographers.............I don't need to  worry about taking the time to hang around for age group awards. But it's my Boston and I'm going to have a great time running it!

2. I  will be watching the marathon! I will be there to cheer Emily on of course but if I recognize you I promise to cheer for you too.  Heck I will be cheering for everyone!  I hope to meet up with at least a few of you.

3.  It may be two weeks to Boston but it is one week to my half marathon!  This is a new race for me, supposedly flat, close by and T is running it with me.  My training has gone fairly well and I am feeling ready!  Bring it on.

The school day is over and we are raring to get going!

4.  Today was the first run of my running team or whatever you want to call it.  One person will probably not be doing it and one was home sick but three women showed up ready to run. We did 2 1/2 miles and everyone declared themselves ready to come back for more.  That was my main goal. They are finding other races too.  It was fun to run with co workers and to run in a place I rarely run. I really don't love running in the town I teach in. I'm not sure why.  Maybe I just like to separate my home and school life a bit.  When everyone was back at school I continued to get my own workout in. This is the part I am going to have to figure out.  Today I ran for about another 35 minutes and called it good.

Time for a walk break

5.  I am now in the fifth season of Lost. It is the first season that I had not seen any of.  It is a bit bizarre and not my favorite season but I am still hooked.  I will watch all 6 seasons to the end if only to find out how they decide to end the series.  I am reading Blood Money by Greg Iles. I like some of his books more than others. I am unsure how I feel about this one yet.

6. In the bad news department we are supposed to get one more huge snowstorm tonight and tomorrow. In no shape or form do I welcome this but if we at least don't have a snow day I can survive it.  It will definitely wreck my early summer plans if we lose yet another day of our vacation.  I am ready to run in capris (not being greedy and asking to run in shorts) and two layers instead of 3. I would like to leave my gloves and hat at home and not have the temperature be the first thing I check when I am getting ready for a run.  We have a decent amount of bare ground now  even in my town and I would like to keep it that way.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Strides/ Not Scrapbooking / Coaching!!!!!

This  most recent book I finished that is my gym bag book. My gym bag book is often non fiction, sometimes about running but also likely to be a biography.  It is a book I can put down.  It may be a book that I was reading, couldn't get into and decided to make it my gym bag book rather than abandon it completely.  This theory is a foolish one because I only read while warming up, cooling down and the occasional break.  A book in my gym bag does not get read quickly. But back to the above book. I enjoyed this book a great deal. I liked the writing style (Ben Cheever, son of John Cheever)  He discussed many things running in a very entertaining style.  I am going to check with T and Emily. If neither of them are interested I will pass it on to one of you who wants to read it.  Next up in my gym bag: Running on Empty which I will review and also have a giveaway.  


When I said that I made running scrapbooks on my last post, believe me I was using the word very loosely!  I have binders with plastic sleeves that I stick things in. They do not have prettily bordered pages with cute cut outs. There is nothing wrong with that, I just don't have the patience.  


Unbelievably some women I work with have asked me to coach them to a 5K.  This discussion began over some adult beverages so I didn't think too much about it over the weekend.  But the talk was still going Monday morning. We have already met and planned our "first" race.  It is in early May which is not that far away but everyone is game.  I had thought July 4 might work but two of the runners will be gone.  One race was declared in too boring a spot so now we have a race where it is pretty and rather hilly. It is a race for a charity that I did last year and liked (the charity) very much.  We will run/walk together twice a week with everyone doing at least one more run/walk on their own.  Three of the women have very young children and time is an issue.  Some of us will do the local 5K on July 4 and I am planting the seeds of a late summer/fall race in their heads.  These are all great women and I can't wait to get started! They may not know it but I am not going to let them get away with only one race.  

From a racer who walked
(This is a horrible horrible
picture from Beach to Beacon)

To a runner who ran races
(Second Vermont City Marathon - 
pink hat/blue shirt - in heaven!!)

To Coach -  No Photo Yet!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Monday Brain Exchange

Here is the question from Finishing is Winning's Monday Brain Exchange.

Do you enjoy writing your race reports?  Do you use them later for reference?

I do like writing my race reports and I absolutely use them later for reference. This year when I ran the Hampton Half again the temperature was basically the same.  I used last year's report to see what I wore which helped tremendously. I would not have written that anywhere else.  I am a total geek though and I also have a running scrapbook that I use for reference most of the time. I don't do detailed reports but I always have my time, pace, placement and pictures. I try to take a picture of any bling including the t-shirt. I am on my second book now (I use a binder) and soon will need to start a third. I make these solely for me. I am the one who looks at them both for pleasure and to refer back to times etc. Sometimes I put the bib in or flyer.  I have one binder that is just my first marathon - where I put EVERYTHING including cards.  

First Marathon - Man was I proud!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

T's Back and T's Back


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Distance: 6 miles
Temperature at start: 18 degrees
Weather: Sunny, cold, windy
Conditions: Dry with some ice
Layers worn: 3 on top, hat, turtle fur, gloves, winter pants

Distance: 12 miles
Temperature at start: 13 degrees
Weather: Sunny, cold, windy
Conditions: Dry with some ice
Layers worn: 3 on top, hat, turtle fur, gloves,  pants

Yup! T's back!
T's back running with me after 3 weeks and 
this is T's back!  (Can you see
why I teach third graders? Their humor
is wearing off on me.)

My runs this weekend were:
Great because T was back and we had tons of catching up to do. It took both runs to properly catch up.
Confidence boosting because the longer distance was very doable.  The last 4 miles were the fastest.
Cold - see above.  No narrative needed.
Best part of weekend: non running - birthday shopping with my son. We didn't find much in the way of presents but had a great time together and managed to find some sweet treats as we were shopping. Fresh Market has the best cookies in the world.

Back on one of my favorite roads.  The last 
time I was on this road I was freezing my
fingers (as well as everything else)  on my bike.

Pretty but cold.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Thanks Johann, #1 of TTT

One of the many winter storms I ran
in this year - back when I used 
to like snow!

I love the support of other bloggers and of course everyone loves compliments.  We all get our share of love and support from each other.  Lately I have been doing a lot of complaining about the weather. I said I was done but once again it is snowing outside tonight - rather hard. But I'm only telling you, I am not complaining. Of course not.  In my last post though when I was still that whiny Vermont blogger, Johann wrote You are certainly one of the most hardcore winter runners I know.  Nice! I needed that.  Just the other day at work a colleague asked me if I would be glad when it was nicer out so I could START running again.  I politely said, "Well I run all winter but yes I will be glad when it gets nicer out."   The  people who see me daily don't have a clue but my friend on the other side of the world sees me as a tough winter runner.  I am not the only one out there.  Marlene and Jenn run in weather equally bad or worse  as do many of you.

I have been out to dinner two nights in  a row in the middle of the week no less. Last night it was with my husband and our friends that we like to go out with.  There was a special at our favorite place to head to.  In spite of the special we managed to drop a significant chunk of change but we all had a good time.  Today sped by at work with barely time to breathe and off I was again, this time with colleagues from other schools and someone else was treating all of us. He kept insisting we get the whole works- appetizers, salads, entree and of course my favorite  - dessert!  Tonight it was chocolate cake with an Italian filling with hot fudge. Yeah that one had my name on it.  It was great to have time to talk to people I never have a chance to talk to and it was delightful.

Talking about winter and cold I am still up because I am hard boiling 20 eggs to take to school tomorrow so my students can be Emperor penguin fathers and take care of the eggs.  If you have followed me for awhile you know I did this last year too. It is one of my favorite days of the year in spite of when the big, bad skuas ( would I be one of those?) swoop in and steal the eggs from the penguin fathers. Some kids take their egg sitting duties very seriously and there can be tears. I warned them all today more than once but they are all game to give it a try!  Good times in third grade!  


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Do you remember those mud photos I showed you?

Vermont photographer 

turns mud to money

Okay, not really.  I saw this today and thought, "Oh, man. I should have sold my mud photos to finance all those race destination trips I want to make."  

The above photo and the following two are really taken by: /Photos by John Churchman

The stock-photo photographer for Corbis, Getty and Photolibrary, among others, has sold a muddy-road photo to Subaru for an advertising campaign the automaker recently launched for its four-wheel-drive vehicles. Churchman declined to say how much he was paid for the shot but said it was in the thousands of dollars.

And just in case you thought I was kidding about the mud, look at these pics.  

Right now though it is not  a problem one little bit because what is it doing out?  It is snowing. What was on my car this morning? Snow.  What was it doing Monday?  Snowing. Why did the kids come in early from recess, yes early from recess?  Because it was too dang cold!  What is it supposed to do Wed. Thurs and Fri?  Snow.  So for now, mud is not a problem other than the huge ruts that are frozen into place on the roads and the huge potholes threatening to swallow any car smaller than an army tank.

I promise next time I post, I will not complain about the weather.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Mud Season

These ruts were frozen this morning but when
it warms up, look out!

Saturday I nailed my pace run. I needed to run 5 miles at a 9:30 pace.  Friday the weather was beautiful and very spring like.  Today when I got up what was it doing?  If you are thinking, snowing you win the prize. I did not feel like I had won any prize.  I got dressed accordingly - no capris this weekend like last weekend in DC - and headed out. T is gone to visit her son so I was on my own.  The roads had only a few icy spots so that improved my chances of hitting my pace.  My first four miles were great with the last one being  a bit slower. I actually ran these five miles faster than the five miles I ran last Sunday in the St. Patrick's Day race.  For me that is amazing as races really do get me to push it much more. But last Sunday I was not rested and yesterday was   a rest day for me.  It felt great all the way around.  Even though I was disappointed in the weather, later in the day when I headed into school for a few hours to work on report cards, I was glad it was cold out.  That is rather selfish of me, but it's how I felt!

Okay now it is Sunday the first day of spring. I'll get back to that fact.  I had an 11 miler on taps with no T here to run with me.  I took my time getting going as I am just plain sick of the cold and I wanted it to warm up. By the time I left it was in the high 20s but don't worry, it took me so long to run this 11 it warmed up just fine.  I still am wearing long pants, two layers on top (one fairly thick), gloves and a fleece headband.  When I am finally in short sleeves and capris you will hear my hallelujahs all over the country.  So because I was running alone I had my Ipod and caught up on some podcasts.  I must say from listening to them I now have a new item on my bucket list. I am so going to do that Goofy Challenge some day.  It probably won't be until I retire because it totally doesn't fit into my school calendar but it will happen.  I ran these miles rather slowly. I wasn't feeling the love right from the start.  I never was completely dying but there wasn't a whole lot of enthusiasm either.  I stopped to take a break take pictures quite often.
Even the paved roads are in tough shape.

 I saw some ducks that were rather amusing.  They would swim upstream, turn around and ride the current down.  They did this several times like little kids playing in the water.

 I also saw a weasel after something in the road. I tried to take a picture but once he saw me he was gone fast.  I also had  a dog come after me. T would have died!  I thought I knew where all the dogs are on the route. This guy appeared out of nowhere but when I turned and yelled he stopped.  He would start after me again but if I turned and glared he instantly stopped so I wasn't worried and just continued.  Finally I was back on home stretch with 11 in the bank.

I had to watch my footing as if
I was on a trail.

Okay back to spring.  It is my least favorite season especially this part of it.  Right now everything is mud mud mud.  Our driveway is a mess. The roads are a mess. I tried to take a picture of the ruts. The pictures don't do them justice. Some roads become impassable.  The weather.  Friday - when I was at work - was quite nice. Saturday and Sunday let the colder temps return. What did I get in my email an hour ago? A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY.  If you look at the forecast for the coming week, there is snow pictured in the next 5 days.  This is spring?  

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Three Things Thursday

1. Wednesday I went to a conference (another week without being in the classroom all five days). It was an excellent time. The presenters were a husband/wife team from San Diego but originally from Burlington.  He was an absolute riot.  He managed to teach us a lot while being highly entertaining.  The conference was on co teaching which seems to be the new hot teaching method around here although I am sure it's not new everywhere. My principal sent me to a co teaching workshop early in the year and the special educator was there too. She rearranged her schedule and we are now co teaching math together with the help of other adults.  We are quite committed and I expect it will continue into future years if schedules allow.  I won't share all the stories this guy told but one of his funniest ones was something his teenage daughter said to him once.  As he says it  wasn't funny to him at the time, but what  a great line when the circumstances are right.

"Buy yourself a dog. 
Name it Clue,
 then you'll have one." 

Wish I had said it first but now I've got to wait for the perfect opportunity to use it.

2. I only went to the gym once this week. I had a great speed workout which surprised me.  Maybe one of these days I will have MY speed back.  Today I had my bag all packed for the gym but when I walked out of the building it was pretty nice out so once again I drove home instead and hit the road.  Absolutely the right decision.

3.  Happy St. Patrick's Day!  I wore my race shirt - love it when I have a legit reason to wear a t-shirt to work.  I wore my bright green shoes too.  When I picked up my bib last Friday in DC there were some St. Patrick's Day tattoos to take. Well, I may have taken a few extra enough for both third grades.  Today I was loved as we paused in our learning to apply tattoos!

Reading - Well, I recently finished the new Jodi Picoult book. I enjoyed it a lot.  
Watching - I am almost at the end of Season 3 in Lost. In fact I am going to have to stop blogging and go watch some.

Have a great weekend.  I want to read about lots of good runs and weekends.  I am sure I will have them too but I also need to work on report cards.  Not so sure I want it to be nice on Saturday while I am stuck doing them.

Monday, March 14, 2011

St. Patrick's Day 8K and A Bloggy Meet Up!

Before the race start -the Capitol in the distance

This was my fourth race of the year.  Guess how many have been in Vermont?  A big fat zero.  Two were in New York, one in New Hampshire and now one in DC.  Yeah, I travel for races.

The weather on race day was the nicest one of my days here in DC.  I hadn't brought a lot of clothes so there wasn't too much agony over what to wear.  Capris, short sleeve shirt and a long 1/4 zip for before and after the race. I tied it around my waist to avoid a bag check which worked just fine.
Before the race start 

First problem though- I stopped to use the Port a let as soon as we got there and got separated from Emily.  I never found her again before the race started.  She was looking for me too but no go.  I did see her when we met when the race wound back on itself  which was great. I didn't check my watch a whole lot and just tried to keep pushing. I was tired from all of our running, walking and fine dining but hoped to get in the 9s, lower being better.  We went by the Capitol many many times.  I didn't realize how many times we would meet the faster runners.  I was feeling great about how many people were behind me when I found out they started in waves and therefore after I did. I confess I was in the first wave as I was trying to find Emily.
Meeting the other racers

One of many times we could see the Capitol

When we got to the 5K point my time was okay.  As always it seems  better if you go by Garmin then the race stats but here goes. Of course I have never done an 8K so that would be a personal best.  But my Garmin clocked it at 5.03 so no personal best there.

My race pace was 9:40 (Garmin 9:33).

Splits were 9:26, 9:47, 9:29, 9:41 and 9:27

I was getting tired as the race was near the end but I could see the finish line.  There were the balloons.  Wait, wait, Noooooo, we made a turn and went down a little side street to turn around and come back and then head to the balloons.  That was not a happy feeling once I realized that.  But I made it to the end and quickly reconnected with Emily.
Em and I at the end - our first race of the year together

Cute entertainment

After the race was over I got to meet DASH!  I loved meeting her and her friend, Liz.  Both of them know Emily so there were lots of connections here.  We chatted for quite awhile over coffee (in my case) at Starbucks.  Dash and Liz might be heading up to Maine to do a really fun half in the fall.  (All Women and One Lucky Guy) It is a great course and I highly recommend it. Bar injury I will be there this year.  Anyone else interested?  

A bloggy meet up with Dash!

Having coffee with Dash and Liz

Walking home from the race - my first time walking alone,
I am very good on the Metro BUT.....

I got lost twice and man am I tired when I get home.

But we went out to eat - a great brunch and then just laid low before I went to the airport ridiculously early - that's me!  I slept most of the way back before landing and returning to................snow, snow, snow.  Yes, a lot melted this weekend but there is still plenty around.  Last night it was cold, dark, snowy, cold, dark, snowy, cold, dark. snowy. I just wasn't feeling my usual love for Vermont.

Today I did a lot of yawning at school, I do much better on more sleep than 4 hours.  After school I was going to head to the gym but it felt rather spring like out so I came home and ran outside.  As tired as I was it seemed like it would be much less painful outside...........and I was right.

Yes, DC was great but Vermont's not too shabby either!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

DC - The Monuments and Memorials Edition

Ironic, I am the one who is cold and using
the cuffins on the sleeves.  Em is perfectly
comfortable with the temperature.

I had a great run today with Emily.  She went 22 miles and I went about 10.  She was nice enough to go my pace for the beginning of her long run.  We headed into Georgetown and then along the Potamac.

  We ran past the Lincoln Memorial and across a bridge into Virginia.

 Then we ran along the river until we came to another bridge and came back by the Jefferson Memorial.

It is really awesome to be running and looking at all of these monuments and memorials.  We ran along the tidal basin

over to the the WW2 Memorial, then the  Lincoln Memorial again,

 by the Vietnam Wall, past the Washington Monument

and eventually by the White House back towards Emily's abode. She continued on her way whereas I continued eating like a 12 year old boy and refueled with Krispie Kreme doughnuts, a scone (although truthfully I still haven't eaten that, iced water, a banana and coffee.  (When I stopped eating unhealthy things for awhile, sigh I didn't keep it up, a doughnut was the last thing I added back in.)  I love glazed doughnuts.

Later today we went into Georgetown to do a little shopping and to grab some cupcakes from Baked and Wired.

 We did quite a bit of walking and were both rather tired.  Not really the best strategy for the day before a race but I am not in DC that often and when I am I want to run and eat when I can.  It is a race with over 6000 people so I don't expect to be doing anything wonderful. But it will be fun!