Monday, April 29, 2013

Biking in Vermont "Ain't" Bad

Lately I've had all these posts about biking in Maine by the ocean and how wonderful it is.  All true!
One of my favorite spots on this ride.

Mr. AJH coming up for his first snack.

But now I'm back in Vermont and biking around here isn't too shabby either.  The weekend weather was gorgeous and I actually got Mr. AJH for a ride on his new bike.  He has declined all other offers which he may have regretted as this one was a rather long ride compared to what the others would have been.  I did cut it a little short but not much so for his first ride of the season he rode 45 miles! The poor man wanted a snack at 10 miles and like a kid kept asking how far we had gone. But he hung in there and felt quite good about completing it all with no whining!
The "new" Lake Champlain bridge. We rode over it because
it was there and my husband hadn't before. Riding over
it and staying in the bike lane near the rail is a little
creepy and I unclipped for the whole way.

From the top of the bridge.

On the New York side for a snack stop. Snacks were
pretty important this ride.

I was doing a route I've done many times with my friend, Cathy, but I've never done it without her and wasn't sure I would know the whole way.  That didn't seem to be a problem.  The only problem I can think of is the continuing wind. The good thing is this ride went in every direction so at least some of the time it was helping.  I wasn't used to the heat and that took me by surprise but I'm not complaining about the heat. (yet)

Last week I rode a total of 186 miles. I am guessing that is a weekly high for me and also guessing it will stay the weekly high for quite some time.  Due to all those biking miles I had a GREAT week last week!

I got out tonight for a quick 10 miles near my house and I must be tired because that amount seemed just fine. I also ran.  The doubles seem to be back as triathlon season approaches.

 I realized today as I headed back to work that if only they would pay me to ride, bike and swim life would be so much easier as my job interferes with my passion.  Somehow I don't think that's going to happen and who knows.  Maybe I wouldn't appreciate biking in Maine so much if it was something I could do whenever I wanted.  Okay off on a rambling thread here.  Time to stop.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Easy Post

I got this from Jamoosh but it is originally linked from here.  Love these easy posts plus I always like reading them.

Best Run Ever

This is a tough one.   How does one pick a very best run ever?  Maybe I should pick my first run which was actually a race.  I was a walker who used to compete in races as a walker.  But this day there was only a fun walk. I am  a competitive person and it seemed like a waste of time to do this just for fun.  So at the minute the gun went off I decided to run. It was 4 miles, a combination of trails and roads. I ran the whole thing and was elated when I finished!  Then  I actually won second place in my age group.  I was hooked, continued to run races and never looked back.
Three Words That Describe My Running
Slow, necessary,  invigorating

My Go-To Running Outfit
This depends on the weather but mostly I like short sleeve tech tees and capris. I do have some running skirts I like.  I always wear a baseball cap or a headband.
I Won’t Run Outside When It’s...
I run outside in everything. I love rain and snow and like everyone else I like a good sunny day.  I don't like humidity and high heat but I will run in it. The one thing I won't run outside in is lightning!
Worst Injury – And How I Got Over It
I have had a few injuries.  The PF certainly lingered the longest and came back once.  There are many ideas out there about what to do for this. I got orthotics, I stretched, I rested, I rolled on a golf ball or tennis ball.  I iced. I did it all. But the thing that ultimately got rid of it was a cortisone shot.  I know these don't work for everyone and it's said that it just masks the problem but I have been PF free for quite a long time now. I do one day less of running than I used to with more cross training thrown it which probably also help. But the thing that irritates it the most is LOTS of walking like when I visit Em in DC and walk miles.
I Feel Most Like a Badass Runner When...
I go out in various weather but particularly the cold.  Cold doesn't bother me at least not enough to not run. I especially love running in heavy snowstorms except for when I step in potholes.
 Running Goal for 2013
My running goal has become to continue to heal my ankle while being a smart runner and to get some speed back.
My Next Race Is...
May 5, another half marathon that I am not prepared for. This one is very local and very hilly.  I'll try the run/walk thing again and complete it, maybe faster than my half two weeks ago!

Maybe next winter I won't sign up for so many spring halves.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Time to Leave

Thursday the weather in Maine turned beautiful!  I hated to leave. When I was running in the morning it kept changing from sunny to overcast and cool and I thought that was how it was going to be.  But once I was biking it turned into a gorgeous day!  My run and bike were both fairly short but great. I cannot get enough of exercising by the ocean.  I always wonder if I lived there if I would stop appreciating it but I don't think so.  There seem to be a lot of people always out walking in Maine. Are people more inclined to exercise there (or any beautiful place) than other places because of the scenery?

I ran 3 days in a row!!! The first time I have done that in a long time. They were very easy runs but still.  I skipped swimming today as I want to do a long run tomorrow and a decent bike ride Sunday and this was my chance for a day off.  Plus I have a lot to do at home.  Coming back to reality - I guess it's the paying after the playing.

Yesterday I also got together with my college roommate whom I haven't seen in 13 years!  I have a feeling now we will keep in touch.  It was great to see her and we had a lot to talk about. In many ways it was like we had just seen each other.

I took this picture when I started out on my run and really like it.

If you look closely you can see some surfers. They always
fascinate me. They were out in force. It was windy. Do they
like that?

It was sunny before it got cloudy again - still on my run.

I also like this shot.

On the bike now and the sun is out in full force.

I was trying to show the flag and how windy it was - once again.

Perfect picture of the Maine coastline.

Getting the lobster for my next lobster roll.

Sharing one of my favorite places with Deb.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

What a Difference A Day Makes

The surfers are back!


The sun came out and it warmed up.  I rode the same distance as yesterday and finished feeling just fine like I could have done more. Yesterday I was dead.  Was it the sun?  Was it the fact that the wind wasn't making me work twice as hard the entire way back? Was it the fact that it wasn't raining?  Or perhaps ALL OF THE ABOVE!

Today's ride was pure delight. Much of it was along the ocean with stunning views and the temperature was perfect.  I ran this morning while it was still drizzly and cool waiting for the sun to come out for a ride.

It was still miserable first thing this morning.
I was trying to show how high the waves were going
up the cliffs above and below.  

One of my favorite sights on vacation plus for Johann.

I hung around the hotel room, went out to breakfast and slowly drove to Kennebunk for the starting point.  The beach was packed mostly with surfers but lots of runners and walkers too.  I headed out taking lots of pictures which I was sending to my husband who always has lots of questions about places we know in Maine.

One of many stops to take pictures.

These three are all Cape Porpoise. A nice out and back side trip.

When I went to Cape Porpoise I had to drive through a water main release and was quickly wetter than I even was in the rain yesterday. Oh well, I dried.  Nothing could take my grin away today.

All these are Biddeford Pool.

The next bump was in Fortune's Rocks. I wasn't able to enjoy it as much as usual because of all the construction. The workers couldn't have been nicer about stopping to let me by but I was pretty conscious of the size of their machines compared to me and my bike. I had to pay too much attention to them rather than the delightful vista to my right.  But next I headed to Biddeford Pool which is surely one of the most gorgeous places in Maine.

I stopped to sit at New England College?? and then turned to go back.  Now last year I got lost so I was working very carefully not to this year. I have to say the map is not correct.  I could not have been more careful but the road names aren't right and distances told didn't match up. I managed to find my way back by keeping the sun to my right (seriously) and kind of remembering some of the roads.

Then I stopped at Maine Diner for a great last supper in Maine!

Nobody does clam chowder and lobster roll like Maine Diner.
I couldn't even take a picture until I had had a bite!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Am I Crazy - Probably!

There is a beautiful light house out there off New Castle but unseen today.
My plan for today was to get up early and get my ride in before the rain which was predicted for 1:00ish.  I got all dressed for cold, wet weather and headed out.  There was a lot of sea spray on my windshield.  Once I was away from the ocean I had to admit that it wasn't sea spray, perhaps it was rain.  I found my way to New Castle, NH, a very sweet island to the east of Portsmouth. I have raced here several times but never been on a bike here and it seemed like a great place to start my ride. I parked at the spot where the race always started.  I got out of my car, unlocked my bike, locked my bike back up and got back in my car. It was freezing and miserable.  I sat there for a very short time and then tried again.  I didn't get all ready and drive there to not even give it a try. I thought I would at least bike around the island. I did wish I had my running stuff as that would have seemed a bit easier to head out for.  This is a great island and I was soon riding along roads that hugged the coastline. I stopped to take a picture but wasn't sure I would be able to as my hands were freezing. Nothing else was particularly cold (you should have seen all I had on)  but there was nothing I could do about my fingers.

I could have taken so many pictures but fingers too cold,
too much trouble to get the camera out of the baggie,
a pain in the rain......
I continued on, past a school - (do they need a teacher - you can see the ocean from some windows!) and along the course I did the 10K on.  One time my husband did this with me and this route brings back many good memories!  You cross various bridges and end up in Portsmouth. I was kind of guessing at the way but decided I would go through Portsmouth and access New Castle from it's other end to return.  I still hadn't completely decided what I was going to do but it seemed foolish to set out for a long ride in the rain and cold. My son's disgusted voice kept playing in my ear when I had casually mentioned I might ride in the rain.  You won't consider riding if it's raining will you? My husband told me to watch out for potholes. Perhaps my family is worried about me when I go away that I might come back with a new injury.  I made a wrong turn and ended up going up  a ramp toward a busy road. I stopped and walked back down it. If a policeman came along I was going to play the ditsy old lady card but I made it down just fine.  I went back to where I thought I should have gone and soon realized that this was the way the race had gone and I knew where I was.  When I came to the turn to New Castle, what did I do?  Why I put on my big girl panties and just kept going!  I wasn't cold. The two worst things were I couldn't wear my glasses - they got too fogged up and were useless and the brakes didn't feel like they were at their finest. But I was aware of both of these things and felt I could do just fine.  I also wished I had a blinking light or reflective arm patch.  Something to throw in for the next trip.  This trip I threw in at the last minute  my rain pants and rain coat. and baggies for my I phone and camera.......good last minute decision.  Soon I was in heaven - moving along easily with little to no traffic on the road and stunning ocean views (some of the time.)

I love riding along the ocean.

A particularly beautiful spot. You go around the corner and
there is ocean everywhere. One of the only downhills.

 I have driven this road many times so had an idea of the route.  I was surprised at how easily I was moving along.  Then it came time to turn around and oops!  The wind had been nicely assisting my forward motion and now it was time to hinder it.  At first it was okay and I do mean okay not great. I was still seeing those ocean views but my rose colored glasses were fogging up.  I was not happy with the wind, feeling wet and tired.  My butt hurt.  The farthest I had gone was 23 miles this year and I was soon past that with a lot left to do.  I really had to pee and as usual there was nowhere to go.  Whine whine whine.  But there was no choice but to continue. Oh yeah,  also couldn't get my snack open.  I knew I could make it but I played that game with myself. If someone I knew and trusted came along with a truck and offered to drive me to my car would I go?   I already have a new longest distance this year.  Well, it wasn't going to happen but I was pretty sure I would say no thanks. Once I set a goal I like to meet it.  So on I went and I finally was back in the neighborhoods and the wind lessened.  Then I was at the island. I came to a sign that said bikes needed to be walked over this bridge.
I was so glad I wasn't allowed to ride my bike on this
bridge. Not being wimpy.  Just following the law.

No problem. I wouldn't trust myself on that at all at this point.  I had planned to pee at my car but there were people watching the storm in cars right next to mine.  My ride ended up being 40 miles which thoroughly did me in!  I was bushed.  So I made my way back to Maine and DD where I finally got a cup of coffee and found a bathroom!  Then I went back to the hotel and relaxed for awhile before I headed out........for a run!
Relaxing is good.

I knew once I stepped out the door I just needed to go!  It felt pretty miserable but off I went.  It wasn't long before I was thoroughly enjoying myself.  I wasn't too warm or cold.  I headed up to the lighthouse and back down the other side of the peninsula.

I was carefully watching where I was going and when I came to the pothole I could see how I stepped in it.
An odd picture of it but you can see it could catch you unaware.

 It was right in line with where I would naturally go when I turned the corner. It was huge! I'm lucky I didn't break my ankle. So I got down to the part where I turned back to the hotel.  I made a goof and ended up on a different road that went back to the lighthouse.  Apparently I can't just run by the lighthouse I need to go up and run around the parking lot even if I was just there.  This turned my run into a 6+ mile run instead of a 4ish mile run but that was fine.  I didn't set any speed records but it felt good to have a run here that ended just fine.  Now I'm waiting for a run here in good weather.
Bike is cleaned up and ready for another ride tomorrow.

Tonight's dinner was at an awesome pub
just down the road.  Fantastic panini 
plus a local beer.  LIG