Sunday, January 27, 2013

Who Runs Outside When It is Below Zero?

That would be me!  It's not the first time but it is the first time this winter.  First I ran on Saturday. T and I headed out when it was minus 3 with just a little delay for me to find my face mask.  It felt cold but not unbearable.  My hands and feet have definitely been colder on other runs.

  When we turned around 4 miles into the run we were running into a colder wind.  But it wasn't the cold that was bothering was that the bathroom was still 2 miles away. Why do our bodies betray us when we are trying to make them healthier?  Eventually got to the church with the clean bathroom and continued on. The sky was a brilliant blue today and the river was a deep gorgeous green so our surroundings were beautiful in spite of the temperature.

This is my first week of training for my half marathon in April.  I had a long break from a training schedule and it feels good to be back on one.  I had a great speed workout on the TM and one other treadmill workout this week that was also quite splendid. It can also be nice to have a bathroom a few steps away!  The gym has a couple new treadmills I like so it isn't as bad as when there seemed to be only one I really liked at all.  There are some months the gym membership seems worth it and this was definitely one of them.  I don't like running outside in the cold and dark after work.

 I ran outside again on Sunday. It had warmed up and was -2!  Truly though I was never that cold and the day was just gorgeous.  We went on a new route as I was thinking of my daughter telling me I always ran the same route (a route  she thinks is dangerous) and I had a lot of other routes I could take. Well, yes.  BUT they all involve hills.  But for some reason today that sounded okay. It would be a little shorter than the 6 I have been doing on Sundays but more of an effort for sure. I tried to take pictures of the hills especially the one that goes on forever and I do mean forever.  My pace was seriously slow but it really was a very nice change.  Most of the time when I am on these hills I am on my bike and MOST of that time I have done a loop which ends up with me going down these hills. But I do ride up them some and  was thinking today I should add them in on a regular basis as it would be such great hill work! 
Starting up the first big hill

Another hill...

The beginning of the one that goes on forever.....

......and on and on.......

......and on and on.......

Here I am coming up  it.

Another face mask day....

Getting closer to the top but....

.just when you think you are there there is one more section

.Beautiful views all around.

We've turned and are headed down toward home.

I definitely want to try that route again both on my bike and as a runner! Who knows?  Maybe I'll even try to find some other routes I never go on in my own home town!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Three Things Thursday

1. I feel like my workouts are not exciting enough to blog about lately.  Next weekend I have a race - yay!  I have two races in February I'm already registered for.  The second one is partly on the beach. Should I plan on my time being (even) slower than usual due to the sand or if it is hard enough is there no big difference?  I have never raced on the beach and am looking forward to it in spite of the fact that it is in New England in February.
And when the race is done:
After Party will be at the Carousel Lounge with free pizza from the Community Oven, 1 free beer from Cody Brewing Company for every participant (age 21+), hot chocolate and live music!
2. Speaking of New England in the winter, this morning at my house it got down to -22 degrees.  Wow!  I had no intention of running outside as I never do these days before work but if I had I think I might have just gotten myself to the gym. I thought maybe school would be delayed - busses might not start, they wouldn't want the kids waiting at the bus stop but nope.  It started at 8:00 as usual and even though lots of kids in the school are absent I only had one kid out.  My kitties are no fools and this morning found two of them in one of their favorite spots near the woodstove.

3.  And speaking of school my school year has really calmed down for various reasons I can't go into but my day is much easier.  Huge relief.  But I'm still thrilled tomorrow is Friday and the weekend is almost here!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

True Confessions

I now have my Ipod.  After two days of looking for it I had given up.  I had put stuff on my phone so I could give it a try. BUT I didn't like using it in the car for my podcast listening as it made the phone hard to answer and just wasn't as friendly as my IPod. So I had pretty much decided I would get a new one when Friday night I looked at the top of my microwave and there it was.  I am not a complete idiot who missed seeing it there all that time. On Fridays I have a cleaning lady (best money I spend all month) and she found it.  I had to call her to see where and it had been UNDER the microwave. When I set it and my phone on the counter it must have slid under it. I then moved my phone to another counter without a thought as to where I first placed it and this is not one of the places I scoured looking for it.  So yay to my Ipod being found!

I ran the same thing this weekend as the last two weekends, 8 on Saturday and 6 on Sunday.  Nothing too spectacular about either run.  This week I start training for my April half so I will begin speed work,  pace runs and tempo runs again. I do none of these unless they are written on a training plan as I am basically lazy. Really!  I like to do my speed workouts on the treadmill as it keeps me honest.

Hey all you Maine bloggers..........what touristy things would you recommend in Maine especially in Portland?  I will be there in Feb. with a couple of girlfriends (non running :() and we are looking for things to do.  We usually shop and eat out a lot but we want to expand our horizons this time.  We are planning on going to the art museum in Portland and the Shipyard Brewery.  But what else do we want to do?  All suggestions welcome.

I had forgotten that 4 years ago I did an inauguration race this weekend. Main points
  • it was freezing - well below zero and we huddled in the car until it was time to run
  • I did it with my daughter
  • we drove 4 hours. It was the only inauguration race around but truthfully when I signed up I mixed up Dartmouth with Durham  (both college places) and didn't think it was that far
  • Both Emily and I won age group prizes and came home with lots of goofy stuff
  • we did a little post race shopping in Kittery at the factory outlets
  • I smile as I think back so overall it was a good experience!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

I Pod or I Phone While Running?

I have always loved my Ipod.  But I have lost it - again.  My car - which I love except for this- has a very very small space between the front seat and the console. If you drop something there it disappears, sometimes for a long time. It's the Bermuda Triangle of cars. When I went to watch Emily run the Lake Placid Ironman we lost the key to our cabin.  We looked and looked but no luck. About a year later it showed up on my car floor. I guess it eventually found it's way from under the seat.  I lost my Ipod once before and it was nowhere to be seen. Nowhere. But I used a ruler to eventually work it out of no mans's land. Well it has happened again and I have looked several times, used a ruler and I JUST CAN"T FIND IT!  I was ready to run out and buy a new one - I use my Ipod daily - when I thought about my phone. I know many people use only their phone.  So I talked to my son and thought I would give it a try. I won't tell you how long it took me just to figure a few things out.  But I'll try it for a week and see. I have some of my music loaded (not much) and my podcasts. When I ride in my car I listen to podcasts.  Now I am wondering if I will be able to listen to podcasts with the phone plugged in and answer it? Reach it?  I am sure these are laughable questions but that's how I roll.

But my main question is what do you use for music when you work out?  If you use the phone is it not too bulky?

Today I did a workout with no Ipod and thought it would be awful but I actually had a great workout!

Plus I couldn't get on my treadmill and I used a new treadmill at my gym and I liked it a lot. So I now have 3 treadmills I like as there are two of these new ones.

I went to the broken wrist doctor today ( too tired to think of the correct term) because my wrist has continued to bother me.  As recently as two weeks ago I winced twice when I picked something up.  Two odd things - it is the side of my wrist that I didn't break.  And today we couldn't make it hurt.  The thing that causes it to hurt the most is opening a jar.  Plus it hurts every morning when I wake up until I flex it some.  The doctor did not think I was a  nut case, at least she appeared not to.  More xrays were taken and things looked fine which is of course good news. She wants to see me again in a few months.  She wanted to know if I had any tris coming up. She must think I am really hard core as it is January in Vermont and there is snow on the ground and ice in the lakes.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

How Many Is Too Many?

How many is too many triathlons for one season?

I realize many factors weigh in to this decision........costs, time, date, family, other races, life in general.

Tris are definitely more expensive than running races but I suspect in my neck of the woods they are not as bad as some other spots.  So cost is a factor but unless I go completely crazy not prohibitive.

Schedules......I don't want to plan my whole summer around tris.  I want to do other races (maybe) and visit friends (definitely) and have time for family and friends at home.  So how many is too many?

And what ones do I choose?  I think I want to go back to the three I did last summer.  I was originally going to do of the Lake Dunmore series pre broken wrist.  This summer they are offering four sprints (the only tris I am considering.)  I love this series, I can practice all of the race as often as I want and it is a great spot to do all three disciplines!  I would like to do at least 2 of these.

Vermont Sun Triathlon - June 30, August 11, August 25
Lake Dunmore Triathlon- July 21 Cost for each of these is $65.00.

I am already registered for Mascoma Man which was my first tri last year. This year it is on July 27.  The cost is $70.00.

I want to do the Circle Tri again this year which was my third tri of the season last year.  It is on Labor Day weekend on Sept. 1. It is $65.00.

Here is a new race I want to do but it is the following weekend in Maine.  It is called the Pumpkin Man Triathlon and even though it is Maine near the seacoast it is not in the ocean. Huge win!  It advertises clam chowder and whoopie pies to eat!!! Even more of a huge win. How could I not do this one?  I looked at it last year but it was full.  This one costs $85.00 and has 550 racers so it would be the largest tri I have been in.

There was also another tri in NH I liked the looks of called Give Peace a Tri. I was going to do that one pre broken wrist.  There is nothing new yet for 2013.  This was $43.00 at it's most expensive point.

Plus I joined whatever the triathlon organization is so I don't have to add on to my race fee each time. So I need to do enough tris to make that fee worthwhile!

And of course I may yet see other tris within driving distance I liked the looks of.  So I am thinking I may end up doing 6 - 8 triathlons and that doesn't sound so bad.  I will not say they are just sprints because when you are talking triathlons that include swimming just doesn't enter into it. So I guess through the writing of this post I am deciding that 6-8 triathlons are not too many!

Can I really put that wet suit on that many
more times and make myself get in the water
and do my version of swimming?

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Lackluster workouts

I managed to run 14 miles each of the last two weekends which is big miles for me these days.  It was 8 on one day and 6 on the other.  This weekend was spring like and some of the snow is disappearing. I just as soon it snowed some more but that sentiment is not shared by everyone (including my husband who plows us out.) I feel like I'm not doing a lot in the workout world but I'm getting in 7 workouts which isn't shabby.  The effort on the trainer is not at all comparable to all those wonderful long rides I was doing before.  When we were on our way to the movies today we saw someone biking but I didn't have any desire to jump out of the car and join them. The roads are icy in parts and covered with slush. So I'll keep up my mediocre training rides and call it okay for now.

I don't talk about my weight a lot on here but it is always something I work on.  This fall I ended up gaining about 15 pounds which I am not happy with.  I always gain some over the holidays but not that much.  So my son and I are in a friendly competition to lose weight and mostly encourage and support one another.  I won the first week!  He sent me a text telling me he won but when I responded with my loss my phone started pinging with messages. He had the nerve to call his mother a cheater, tell me my loss wasn't healthy and on and on. Then he admitted that I did a great job and that actually we both did!
I need to learn how to go "off" my diet without going crazy.  I want my clothes to fit and I want to feel better about myself.

Last but far from least I want to ask people to be thinking about my friend, Christa.  I posted about her in a post where I had to tell what bloggers were my heroes.  She has been battling breast cancer for 7 years and has had a setback. She always has the best outlook and lives her life to the fullest. I see her at races all the time.  At this time she can't run. Please send positive thoughts her way, add her to your prayer list... whatever works for you.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Running Pop Quiz

I copied this Pop Running Quiz from Darlene.  Right now I am finding my workouts very unexciting so I love other things to blog about.  I should call it Pop Workout Quiz though.

1. FUEL: Shot Bloks, GU, Energy Chews, Candy or Other?
I like Shot Bloks but my favorite is Honey Stingers.  I like everything I have tried in this line.  

2. Race Length: 5k, 10k, 1/2 Marathon, Marathon, Ultra or Other?
I love Ten Milers although there are not many of them around here.  To me they are the perfect distance.  When I run a half marathon I usually die after ten miles so this distance works well for me.

My husband is driving beside me as I race in the Adirondack Distance Run.  Traffic
was bad and for awhile it looked like I would beat him to the finish.

3. Workout Bottoms: Skirts, Running Shorts, Capris, Pants or Other?
This is tough. I love both skirts and capris.  I think capris win out over skirts for the most part. I certainly wear them more often but that is partly due to the temperatures I run in.
4. Sports Drink: Gatorade, Powerade, Cytomax, you stick to water when you run or Other?
If I use these - I rarely do, it is Gatorade.  Lately I use them more on my bike long rides than for running

5. Running Temperatures: HEAT or COLD?
I definitely prefer cold.  I love running not just in cool weather but in cold weather. I really love running when it is snowing.
I loved running on this day. I had the road pretty much to myself. This was in 2011. 

6. Running Shoe Brands: Saucony, Mizuno, Nike, Brooks, Asics or Other?
Well it used to Brooks but I seem to be becoming a Hoka fan.

7. Pre-race meal: Oatmeal, Bagel, Banana, Eggs, Cereal or Other?
Always toast and peanut butter.
8. Rest Days: 1x per week, 2x per week, never ever ever or other?  

I have 1 rest day per week.  But I only run 4 times a week. Right now I am running 4, bike training 2 and swimming 1. I plan to step the swimming up to 2 soon. When it is tri season I will be running 4, biking 3 and swimming 2.   I can do that when I am working less and it is lighter longer.  
Cross training works well for me. 

9. Music: Have to have it or go without it? 
I have to have it on the treadmill.  I do enjoy  running with music a lot.  I also listen to pod casts.
10. #1 reason for running: stress-relief, endorphins, you love to race, so you can eat all the cupcakes you want, weight-loss, love running for social reasons or other?
I run because I love to race.  It is also a stress reliever and I believe all that stuff about living longer and better if you exercise. But the bottom line is the racing. If I didn't race I wouldn't run.  
Racing continues to get me out of my comfort zone 
trying new things and going new places.

Give this a try if you wish. I had fun thinking about all these things and what was important to me.


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Five Random Points and Be Sure to Watch the Video

1. Welcome back bloggers! There are a lot of bloggers who have been missing in action back! It's great to hear from them and see what they are up to!

2. I've been on a bit of a going to the movies kick.  Three of them I have seen with my husband. The first one we saw was ARGO and I haven't seen anything since I liked nearly as much. I would see it again with no problem.  Then I saw Lincoln which I also liked a good deal.  Then we saw Les Miserables and I am sorry Darlene, but it didn't do much for me. I liked it but I did not love it and would not want to see it again.  Most recently we saw Promised Land which was also just okay.  Nice scenery in it.  I think the next one we are going to see is Zero Dark Thirty.  Any recommendations? Do you have a favorite movie you have seen that I should catch on DVD if it is already gone?

3.  Here's another one I don't like but it's tv not a movie. I think I may be the only person who doesn't care for Downton Abbey.  Actually doesn't care for is a bit mild.  I don't like it at all.  Perhaps I didn't give it enough of a chance but the one time I saw it I thought it was like watching paint dry. Sorry.

4. I have a little bit of an itch to travel to a race, probably a half marathon next summer. Any recommendations?

5. One more thing.......this was posted on Facebook and happened at a local ski area.

What's random in your life?

Sunday, January 6, 2013


I got the idea for this from Michael at Slowly Tri-ing.  She earned a boatload of medals
in 2013. When I went through my races my haul was paltry in comparison but if I have a chance to play with my medals I'm going to. So first the medals from this year and then a few favorites from past years.

Half at the Hamptons - I believe I have 3 of these.  This newer design was not my favorite.

Garden of the Gods

The Circle Triathlon - Loved this!  Loved their motto printed on the other side,
 (the skills, courage,and confidence to tri)  loved
that I have a triathlon medal. Didn't know I was getting one.

Vermont City Marathon

Providence Rock and Roll Half Marathon

Cherry Blossom Ten Miler - I actually paid
to get this one when I signed up.  I do like it and don't 
expect to do this one again any time soon so it was 
worth it.

Past Medals
Here are a few of my older medals.

This may be my favorite medal - just the look of it.

My first running race - I placed and won a medal in
my age group.

I like this Maine medal in the shape of the state.

A different Half at the Hamptons medal.

Another Maine medal - All Women and One Lucky Guy

Just a 5K but liked it. This year we didn't
get a medal.

Another Big Lake one - love the colors.

Like this half one - the shape of the lake

VCM is what I have the most medals from. I think I have 
6 in all.

Do you like medals? Do you ever choose a race based on the medal?  What medals are your favorite?

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Numbers for 2012 and Goals for 2013

Here are some stats for 2012.

18 = races done (includes tris etc.)
3 = triathlons done
1= duathons
1 = bones broken (so so sad at the time)
1067.1 = miles run (made 1000 but not by much)
103,922 yards swum (sounds impressive but not really)
1821.8 bike miles ridden (pretty sweet!)
8 = commutes to work (pretty sad!)

I'm most proud of the triathlons done.
I'm most disappointed by the number of commutes to work. The first year I took up biking I couldn't run at all and I wasn't swimming so I biked to work all the time!

I have been keeping records for many years.
Here are two highest and lowest.

Highest number of races 23 in 2011, lowest 11 in 2006
Highest number of miles run 1655.5 in 2009, lowest 1067.1 in 2012

When I think about my goals for next year I don't have any huge goals that are new.  I still want to try to ride a century and that will be my biggest biking goal.  I want to balance racing and biking and find it hard to combine the two in the fall which is a prime season for both. I loved not having a lot of races this fall so weekends could be devoted to those long bike rides.  I already have a late Sept. half marathon which will change that next fall.   I want to continue to cross train as I have found it works very well for me on many levels.  I want to stay sane and know when I can't do it all.  This is mainly during school.  I want to continue to race new races, race each month and see bloggy buddies when possible. I always want to race with family when possible.  And I guess I still want to learn to change a flat! I don't really have new goals as I still want to concentrate on triathlons which are oh so new to me. And have I mentioned.........I have already registered for a triathlon for the summer of 2013!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

First Run 2013

Oh my.  I am slow these days.  Oh well.  I need to work on it or not complain.

Pros of First Run:
I ran it with my husband.
I love starting out the New Year with a race.
It was cold but not unbearable.
It was slushy but not too slippery.
My time improved by the end.
Mile 1: 9:31
Mile 2: 9:52
Mile 3: 9:03
.1 8:24
The winners of the prizes are listed on the wall when you finish. You just pick them up, no long drawn out drawing of tickets with many people not being there.
You see lots of racers you know.
I was racing.
I got to see Jaxon when I was done.

Cons of First Run:

I was slow.
I didn't win a random prize.
I went out too slowly and took a long time to pick it up.
I barely kept my time under 30 minutes.
We look a little gruff. I hate to ask people to retake pictures
so I said it was fine.
I never never worked so hard to be under 30 minutes.

Look who I got to see afterwards!