Wednesday, August 31, 2011

One Last Bike Ride Before School Starts

Tuesday I got one more ride in before school started.  I rode on roads I have rarely been on in my life. It was very pleasant - mostly flat and a good temperature. I went with two other people I work with. I was really feeling lazy so I was very glad of how flat it was for the most part.  We ended up riding about 24 miles which was more than I intended to do because I had so much to do.  But it will get done, the ride was worth it.  I am going to miss my ability to do rides at my will. It's going to be hard to find the time now but I am going to try and ride at least a few times a week.  It is also going to be hard to ride to school because of the washed out road but not impossible.  The problem is the road I will have to use has an incredibly steep grade. I am not one to shy away from hills but this one is long and exceedingly steep. I seriously doubt I could ride up it but maybe I will have to give it a try.

We rode by Snake Mountain. Strangely I had
no desire to hike there. (Although I have a couple
of times without seeing any you know what.)

This is close to the lake, there were some herons in here.
Magnify the picture and look between the branches. If I have the bird
wrong just let me know.

As we were riding we could see Lake Champlain from many spots.  We all exclaimed because it was BROWN.  It is never brown but this was from all the flooded rivers flowing into the lake.  

The new bridge is almost done.  The arch was floated down 
on barges last week. I would have loved to see it.  My friend, T, 
and her husband rode the ferry back and forth many times to see
it.  People were there on both shores (Vermont and New York),
in boats and on the ferry.  

After we rode the ferry back and forth just to ride
it and see the bridge we continued on our way
with one more stop get a creeme at 
Goodies, renown for it's creemes!  While there
I saw several school kids.  I think we impressed 
them on our bikes!

Monday, August 29, 2011


This is an incredibly sad collection of home videos of a small part of the destruction of Irene in Vermont.

Hurricane Irene hit Vermont hard!  Many of you wondered how I was faring and I thank you for your concern. I am feeling very lucky but many in my state are not so fortunate.  The Southern part of the state was hit particularly hard. Many towns are completely isolated due to washed out roads and bridges.  Three covered bridges were destroyed.  A few people were killed.

We were without electricity from early Sunday morning until sometime today.  Many are still without.  Yesterday I went into school to do some work.  When I came home just a few hours later I was shocked at how much the river had risen. It was the highest I have ever seen it except when the water went over the top of the bridge near my house in the flood of 98 and MANY local roads and bridges were washed away.

Yesterday the roads around us were closing quickly.  The difference this time from 98 was one never closed so we were not isolated and one reopened this morning. The one that is still closed will be closed for awhile due to a large washout.  The town I teach in has a boil water order but I don't think much damage was done.  It was strange because I was living it but my daughter from DC was able to tell me more about what was happening. We had no news and I don't have a smart phone so we were truly cut off.  When I got to work this morning (nothing was cancelled?  Really? ) I spent the first 30 minutes on line reading news accounts and looking at pictures.  I wasn't the only person who came into work with clean clothing intending to use the shower there.

The pictures that I am going to post are taken near where I live and are a very small sample of what Irene did to Vermont.  I heard some news accounts talking about all the Irene hype that didn't pan out. Well, it did here.

 This is "my" river and I feel a deep connection to it but it is certainly a fickle lover who can turn on you in a minute.

About 2:00 Sunday afternoon - the water is generally
far below this bridge. (see below)

The water coming around the corner
heading toward the bridge

The bridge was closed yesterday but people were driving
on it this morning. 

This is in the center of town near the former

Next to the firehouse and the little league

This is the bridge in the center of town that I often

This is Monday morning - near the pictures above.
One person's lawn after the river receded.

All 3 of these are from the same lawn.

This shows where the river was yesterday.

This road was closed Sunday but reopened today.  You 
can see where the river was.  The road
was undermined in a couple of places but I 
couldn't get a picture of it.

This road is closed and will stay closed for awhile.
A mile down this road there is a big washout.

This is a not great picture of the washout
on the closed road. Selfishly I am
also thinking that this is my bike 
route out of town! Same below.

Friday, August 26, 2011

A Challenging Ride

Today I had a challenging ride. What made it so challenging?  Was it unbelievably hilly?  No  Was it super hot? No  Was traffic roaring by me at a scary rate?  Once again, no.  The problem is I decided I would take pictures and show 5 beautiful sights I saw on my ride.  The challenge - it was all gorgeous! But I am up to the challenge and will choose just 5 pictures. I promise.

Today was rather stress filled.  I am rather saddened by how quickly this year is filled with stress. It is mostly due to the pace and demands. Right now I cannot imagine I will be ready for the first day of school.  I will go in at least one day this weekend if not both.  Many things are going well at school the chief one being my team.  There are so many changes (too many for one year is you ask me but no one making the decisions did - what's up with that?) and all new teams is one of them.  I feel we have the best functioning team.  One of our teammates moved to Montana so I was a little worried but our "new" (moved from a different grade) teammate is the best.  But she is pregnant and about to deliver so there is a sub for her.  But once again - GREAT!  So any problems are not with my team. We seem to have the same sense of humor, work ethic with a good balance for stuff outside of school too, and we all like sweets  - important stuff right?

So we had a social hour at the principal's house and many were bringing bikes to ride. Well no one did. So I decided since I was headed to Burlington I would just go on the bike path.  BEST DECISION EVER!  I was smiling as soon as I started.  Still have work to do but the ride put  it on the back burner.

The weather and the day were perfect.  The only problem was too many people, many of whom were clueless but I just maintained my cool and went around them or shouted "on your left" or a rather abrupt "EXCUSE ME! So 5 of the pictures from my beautiful ride are included in this post. I am thinking I need to do this ride on some more Fridays!  Great way to end the week.

 Oh and that run this morning because of the hurricane coming, didn't make it up.  I thought that might happen. I can only get  up early so many mornings in a row.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Three Things Thursday

1. I'm rethinking when I'm getting this week's workouts in. I'm thinking Sunday may not be such a great day around here.  So I will get up early tomorrow and run. ( I hope I do at least.) Tomorrow afternoon I will bike.  And Sat. morning I will run my long one. Then I will take an unusual Sunday off.  I need to get into school this weekend and get some stuff done as I am so overwhelmed with what I need to do.  

2. Speaking of which.....I am in the middle of a bunch of in service days. Most of it is  devoted to Professional Development with some time being left to us to plan, work with teams, look up records, get your room ready and on and on.  It can be hard to sit through Prof. Dev. when you have so much you want to be doing in your room. It can be especially hard when you feel your time is being wasted.  This afternoon was particularly bad.  What was being presented was fine but it could have been done in 1 hour or less not more than two. It went on and on and then more stuff got added that wasn't even planned for.  I now know why sometimes kids bang their heads against the wall over and over.  I wanted to do that very same thing today!  Very very frustrating and it made me very grumpy.  Tomorrow I will arrive with a bright and shiny attitude because I will be working in my room on curriculum with my team, time very well spent.

3. I have a confession to make.  We all make choices about who we follow, who we don't, comments etc.  To me the best part of blogging is the back and forth and relationships that develop through these.  More than a year ago I was following a blog that I decided to stop following.  Once in a great while I go through the blogs I am following and try to clean it out. Sometimes I stop because I never hear from the blogger or I am just not that interested and there is only so much time in the day to read blogs. confession is..............that I stopped reading this particular blog because...............all she talked about was cycling!  OMG! What if people do that to me?  Now I would love to follow her blog but I don't remember it.  Who knew?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

My 7 Links

My 7 Links

To unite bloggers (from all sectors) in a joint endeavor to share lessons learned and create a bank of long but not forgotten blog posts that deserve to see the light of day again.

Thanks to Darlene from My First 5K for nominating me.


1) Blogger is nominated to take part
2) Blogger publishes his/her 7 links on his/her blog – 1 link for each category.
3) Blogger nominates up to 5 more bloggers to take part.
4) These bloggers publish their 7 links and nominate another 5 more bloggers
5) And so it goes on!
And here are my 7 links.
Most Beautiful: A Sweet Sweet Bike Ride - This was a hard one for me as I feel so many of my rides and runs are beautiful.  That is very important to me as a runner and a biker.  I chose my favorite ride from this summer in the Islands. I don't feel my pictures come even a fraction of the way to doing it justice.
Most Popular: It's a long one and you may want your kleenex - My most popular posts: watching Em become an Ironman OR  Be Embarrassed or Embrace the Silliness This one was pretty popular too and seems to still come up a lot. (Sorry I went with two and that is probably cheating.)
Most Helpful: A Great Teacher Thank You - helpful to parents who wanted to give a fun teacher thank you
Surprise Success:  Compression Tights Rock - A tongue in cheek report about how much I like my compression tights.
Most Proud:  Dynamic Duathlon Loved It - Racing a duathlon was a big leap for me!
Most Controversial: I don't think I am very controversial
Not Enough Attention: What was your most meaningful race - here's mine I'm not sure that not enough attention really fits this but I was very touched by those I did hear from.  It is still my most meaningful race.

Okay I am not going to choose people. I am going to be lazy and say if you want to do it go for it. It is actually a rather fun one to do and I hope some of you do it so I can read some of your posts I may have missed.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Running, biking, river stories and work

This is what I see when I go the shorter way.


I had a TERRIBLE run on Sunday for many reasons.  Monday was better and today's was the best yet. The last two mornings have been rather nippy. It was 44 degrees this morning - I wore long sleeves and a jacket!  I was supposed to do a tempo run but I don't know if I would have gotten out of bed for that so I didn't follow the plan came up with a better idea and ran a Fartlek.  It went very well and I came home refreshed.


I had done no riding since last week when I rode a weekly high of 112+ miles in just 3 days. It was an awesome week for biking.  Tonight I just got on briefly and rode a mere 11 miles. But it was a beautiful afternoon and I got out there. There are two places I can make my shortest loop a bit longer and I took one of them but not the second. And that's okay!  But I got a terrible cramp in my left calf.  I have never gotten cramps running. It didn't last long but it surprised me.
I go over  a bridge and see this swimming hole on many
of my runs and rides.

The above swimming hole has many old stories but I will share two quick ones. 
 Once I was minding my own business reading while sunning while four teenagers near me were carrying on about something.  I got up after a bit and went swimming.  When I came out one of the girls said to me, "You're brave." "Why," I asked.  "Well, you went right in there and swam with a snake in the water."
How long do you think it was before I swam there again? 
Another time an Ironman I know got a blood sucker on her foot.  I was across the river and it took me a bit to get to her.  Meanwhile I thought somehow a shark had gotten into our freshwater river and bit her leg off from the way she was carrying on.  But nope, just a bloodsucker.  Truthfully they are truly gross and I don't blame her one bit.


I have been at a math course the last two days. It will continue about once a month through January. It was truly exciting and enlightening.  The instructor was awesome. I have had her before but it has been awhile and I forgot how much I liked her.  I have already learned a lot and am really getting up to date on current research and the new Common Core.  Our country is heading in a new direction. At least most states are on board. Goodbye to NCLB by 2014!  Woot Woot! This course centers on Fractional Reasoning and I have been doing a couple of things wrong. Imagine that!  It was pretty scary what many  middle school students do not know.  I can't wait until it is time to introduce this unit and then continue to incorporate it all year.  There were teachers there from K to 8th grade. We had great discussions and looked at lots of students' work.  
I loved that I didn't have to be there until 8:30 even though we went later in the day. I could get that morning run in.  The rest of the week I have to be there at 8 and I am going to see what I can fit in.  Once real school starts I almost never get it done in the morning. I always say I will once a week but it doesn't happen.  I will shoot for twice a month and we'll see. I am better in the spring when it's light out but as it gets darker in the morning I just don't get out there. Especially when it involves scraping off my windshield in the winter.  

The teacher sitting next to me in the math course shared with me that another colleague had shared with her about my running in my helmet story.  Great.  The more people - especially those I work with and need to have respect from - the better, right.  Missed it?  Too bad. I'm not supplying a link.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Spectating at the Age Group Nationals (mostly pics)

It was a gorgeous gorgeous day in Burlington, Vermont for the Age Group Nationals.  The only thing was that it was too hazy to see the Adirondacks across the lake. It made the lake seem even larger!

It was cool in the morning with a breeze but it certainly warmed up a lot by the time they were running. Emily knew she wasn't on her A game due to a little thing called the Ironman a few weeks ago.  But she did a great job and we were able to spot her several times.  She had the usual crowd cheering her on plus a couple of high school friends and two aunts. The pink shirt brigade!  Everyone seemed to love spectating and cheering all the athletes on.  Yeah Emily for qualifying and getting out there and doing it.

Ready to swim

In the water - you can see her, right?

Running in from the swim

Heading out on her bike (her brother took much
better photos than I)

Coming in on the bike - she said she had forgotten
how HILLY Vermont is

Heading out on the run

Finishing - the run was her strongest

Done and happy!

Friday, August 19, 2011

I Couldn't Do It

Yesterday I posted:  I have another run scheduled for tomorrow and my biking friend asked me if I could go biking again and I didn't even hesitate.........YES!  I don't know when I will fit the run in, it is a busy weekend with some more spectating coming up but I'm not going to worry much. I want another bike ride.

Yes I got up and biked with my friend but I also did the run after I got back. It was 11:30 by the time I went - so not my time of day - but  I did okay and it is done!  I knew if I didn't do it I would try to fit it in tomorrow and I don't want to do that. I want to enjoy Em's race without worrying about my working out.  And I need a rest day.  The last complete rest day I had was August 3 just before I went to DC. I have either biked or run or both every day since.  I am looking forward to nothing (except walking all over creation to try to spot Em in her race) tomorrow. 

Today we did a ride that included a small part of one I did last week
Camel's Hump is behind me, a bit hazy and hard to see.

 The first part was on a busy road (for around here) with no shoulder at a time of day that people were going to work.  It was not fun.  We were all business here - ride fairly hard, no chit chat - just get to the next part.  About 12 miles later we were there and it was heaven.  No traffic, scenic and easy to ride and chat.  C was very impressed with this road and kept talking about how much she liked it.

  Then we turned right instead of left and headed toward Route 17. This was a great road, not a lot of traffic and once again pretty.  We saw a lot of these guys who I thought at first were llamas but they were alpacas. I am not sure of the difference but they were kind of cute.

 When we finally got to Route 17 which goes over a mountain to some local ski areas we thought we would be going down because we had already climbed. Well, not so much. We had a couple miles of climbing to do even though we were going "down" the mountain.  It definitely was the hardest part of our ride especially mentally. 

Finally heading down

 But what a sweet reward once we finally got to the top of this section because then it was several miles of downhill!  I am generally coming up this road so it was a nice switch to be going down it.  We were back where we started with 38 miles under our belt for this ride and it was only 10:30.  Yes!  
When nature calls in VT you 
park your bike by a hay wagon.

Once home I had a couple of choices.  I could go into work but Lindsay told me:
I hope you are taking your last optional day OFF! I sure would :)
and it sounded like good advice to me so I went for that pesky run I was thinking about instead.

Somehow I got through this run after a long
bike ride. Yeah I have a day off coming up!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Three Things Thursday

A beautiful sunset last night

1.  I stayed off my bike today. It was hard but  I had a run scheduled so I got out there and did it. BUT I have another run scheduled for tomorrow and my biking friend asked me if I could go biking again and I didn't even hesitate.........YES!  I don't know when I will fit the run in, it is a busy weekend with some more spectating coming up but I'm not going to worry much. I want another bike ride.

2.  Tomorrow is my last day where it is my choice whether I go into work or not. I probably will in the afternoon but next week there are no choices.   No time for the distance of bike rides I have been doing.  It's going to be tricky but I'm going to find a way to keep running and riding.
Running with my daughter!
Look closely, she's crossing the bridge.

3. I expected to do my run alone today but Emily joined me much to my delight. If I ran with her more often I would get some of that speed back.  The fastest I ever was was a year I ran with her more frequently.  She is in town to participate in the USA Age Group National Championships.  So we will be back out there with our bright pink t shirts. Our wait  won't be as long as when we watched the Ironman but it will be  a fun day cheering our girl on for sure.
Same cast with a few more friends along

*I always like to throw one more in.  I just started a book I can tell I am not going to be crazy about. But I didn't get it from the library I bought it so I know I will finish it.  In fact I bought it twice - once at Target and once off Amazon.  Crazy. So I did return one of them but still I have to read the one I've got. Sigh.  Do you continue to read books you aren't crazy about?  I don't if I borrowed them or got them from the library but I often do if  bought them. Sometimes though I am doing so much skimming it is hard to believe I still know the story line.