Tuesday, February 25, 2014

What Makes One Run Horrible and A Similar One Just Fine?

I have often wondered why one week a run is just fine and the next week the same run is horrible. Sometimes I can pinpoint the reason and other times I can't.

Let's look at my last two long runs.  One was 10 miles and the other was 11.  So the difference in distance wasn't great but the 10 run was a great run and the 11 mile run was painfully horrible.  When I finished the 10 mile run I had all kinds of energy the rest of the day.  The 11 mile run's end found me bent over not sure if I was going to throw up in my kitchen, the bedroom and even the shower. Before I could continue my day I needed to lie down for a bit - with my hair still wrapped in a towel from my shower.  Not dressed and cold........didn't matter.  My husband asked me several times if I was okay to which I kept replying yes when that so obviously was not the real answer.

I ate before the 10 but not the 11.  There's one difference.  Generally my rule is I don't eat unless it's 10 or more.  Oops.

I didn't hydrate for either on the run.  I am MUCH better about this in hot weather.  Even though it was the same for both so not the obvious cause I have to think it contributed and will carry water for my long run this coming weekend.

I was overdressed for this one and don't remember sweating so much on a run in the winter.  It was colder on the 10 mile run and this wasn't a factor.

What was the biggest culprit was the footing.  On the ten mile run I don't even remember  if I wore YakTrax or not.  Whereas on the 11 it was EXTREMELY icy and you had to watch every step for the first half of the run.  I have to think this wore me out very early into the run.  I was counting miles left way before half way which is never a good sign.

So I am determined to have a better run this weekend. I have 12 miles on the plan.  I have no control over the weather but can't believe there will be ice like that again.  I will eat first.  I will carry water.  I'll try not to overdress. (This is a tricky one for me.)

I'll let you know.  Here's to a good long run for this coming weekend for all of us doing one.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Maine - the Shopping Edition

Honesty in the title for those of you who want to skip it!

I always shop in Maine. That's part of the trip.  When I go alone  in April (not this year but something exciting instead) I don't shop.  I bike and run to my heart's content.  But when I go with my friends shopping is big. They don't run.  I.CANNOT.IMAGINE.  Truly.  The highlight for me was my runs. No contest. Running on the ocean beats any meal or any shopping opportunity.  Of course that's easy to say because I did all 3.  

I started out at a mall that had an Athleta store.  I love Athleta and wanted to go to one and try some things on.  Of course I couldn't drive all that way and not get anything.  I got tights and a sweatshirt. The tights are so comfortable it is unreal.  Everything I tried on was.  I did try one dress on that felt like I was wearing a nightgown.  Unfortunately it looked like I was wearing a nightgown too.  So I got just two things but those two things cost plenty.

I went to two different Nikes and only got a rain jacket for running and some fun shoelaces to which  I am slightly addicted.

I bought some fun stickers and foam thingies for a couple fun projects at school at one of those craft stores.

I hit up the Horny Toad outlet and got a great deal on dress I have been eyeing.  There was also a Lululemon outlet but I found nothing there.  It was like their sale racks, less than usual but not wildly so.
It's hard to tell but this is a very pretty light blue.

I also went to Target where I got some books and fun things for the cats.  I had a hard time getting them to pose for pictures though.

This is for scratching and playing with a ball but my cats
want to sleep on it.

Torres tries out a  new bed.

This is a little cozy hiding spot.  Rocco has been in it a few times.  

Yesterday I went to school and worked and need to go back tomorrow.  Today I'm refusing to go on my last "official" vacation day.  After I left school yesterday I decided to treat myself to another snowy owl venture and yay I saw a snowy owl in the tree where everyone has been seeing it.  I could see it quite well with my binoculars.  It was very windy but it didn't seem to bother him at all!

He's up there near the top.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

What State Are You? I'd Like To Be Maine?

Have you done that internet quiz about what state you are?  I did it awhile go and I have forgotten what state I was but I know it wasn't Maine.  If I could choose though, Maine is what I would choose.

My intention has been to get up early and catch a sunrise on a run but I can't seem to do that. I don't have to get up early and when I wake up I want to take my time. It is vacation after all.

I had a good run on Monday.  It was colder but once again bearable.  I thought I might run farther but it took awhile and I had a friend waiting so I cut it short.  But I got almost 7 in.  I went south instead of north with a destination in mind......the bridge below.
I had been here before one spring and thought I'd like to run here again.  I went a tiny ways on the trail
before I turned back.  There was a huge number of ducks around and I hoped another bird (like a snowy owl) might join them but no luck there.  But it was very peaceful and I hated to head back.

I stopped on the beach for a short run.  The sky all day today was as clear as I have ever seen it. The views were magnificent.

 I made a stop at New Castle, NH, a magical place in my opinion.  There's a cute little school there.  Maybe they need a teacher?

Today I did get up early and wow!  I gasped when I opened the door it was so beautiful.

I stopped to take a couple of pictures but I wanted to get to the lighthouse to watch the sun come up so I hurried. It was still somewhat dark but there was a group of 3 runners near me.  The lighthouse was as  stunning as I thought it was going to be.  I hung out for awhile but it was too cold to just stand. I could see the sun peeking behind the lighthouse and reflecting off things way back on the shore but I couldn't quite see it.  When I got back down to the beach, the sun had completely disappeared and the sky was very cloudy.  Here are a few pics to share the beauty I saw.

I have to say I agree with the "sentiment" below.

But a storm was coming and it was time to go home.  Now my husband says I should have stayed one more day. I would have. I would have. But I left and the ride home was not great. I hit snow and I had a mountain to go over. I got off the interstate - bad move - and it was terrible. Continuing on the interstate would have meant a lot longer ride but......  I was behind the plow truck for many miles until he turned around.  I decided not to go the usual way - my husband says I would have been fine - what's with all this late advice - and went over a mountain with several and I mean several tractor trailer trucks.  This mountain is more gradual than my usual one but it was no picnic.  I heard on the news other roads were closed because trucks couldn't make it and were blocking the road.  But many white knuckle moments later I was up and down the mountain. But then I got stopped for more than 30 minutes because of an accident. When I did move forward it looked very scary.  There was a car and a tractor trailer - upside down.  It was hard to tell if there were any more vehicles.  Very frightening. It's good to be home safe!  

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Maine- Absolutely The Way Life Should Be

It's no secret that I love Maine.  I get over here at least a few times a year.  I come a lot during the off season as it can be a bit nuts in the summer.  Since I love winter it is no hardship to be here in the winter.  I find it very exciting during a storm and love seeing the beach with snow and ice.

Yesterday I drove to Burlington, Ma and met my college roommate for lunch and a little shopping.  I   wanted to go to an Athleta. I could have bought one of everything but only bought two things.  I feel like their prices have increased to rival LuLuLemons.  Oh well, it is nice stuff.  When we came out of the mall it was already snowing and a storm was predicted so I headed north.  I got off the interstate in Hampton Beach and drove up 1A.  Love, love, love driving along the coast.
I got out of my car along the main strip to at least get one picture.  I am finding it hard to get some photos as with all the snow it is hard to get close!

When I got to York I drove to the lighthouse before checking in.  It was dark and windy and cold and really kind of scary listening to the foghorn up there!  I didn't hang around too long as I was imagining my car being swept into the ocean and no AJH being around any more.  

The tree is a Valentine Tree near the lighthouse.  There is a lobster on top and as Char says it just screams romance.  The snow is on our third floor hotel deck (from the roof).

This morning I got up and headed out for a run in spite of the howling wind.  It was my second great run this week.  It wasn't so cold I couldn't stand it, not with the sound of the ocean in my ears and the beautiful blue sky and bright sun.  Loved it, loved it, loved it!  

I love the look of the beach with snow on it.  There was lots of ice on the beach but I had on my Yak Trax so no problem!

Getting down to the beach - twice - was a bit hazardous. I clung to the railing remembering my fall from a few years ago when I really hurt my ribs.  Then I got on my butt to go across the rocks like the old lady I am remembering my sprained ankle from last year.  But it was worth it to run on the packed sand next to the water.

I ran by Nubble Light and it was much less scary today.  Then I went back down to the beach before finishing my run.

I've had two amazing meals today.  I could just post previous pictures from visits to the Maine Diner as I always get the same thing. All days in Maine should include lobster in some form.

Yep, Maine.....The Way Life Should Be.

Friday, February 14, 2014

My Best Run In Ages

I whined about having a snow day off from school on my last post.  I take it back.  I  love running in snow storms and it's been a really long time since I ran in a good one. Today was perfect.  It wasn't too cold.  It snowed the entire time.  There was enough snow to need my Yak Trax but except for the driveway it was manageable.  I spent a good deal of this run grinning from ear to ear.  I just loved it.  I was in my element.  Yeah, you get the point. There is a reason I live in Vermont and days like today are a part of it.  Bliss. Pure bliss!
This was near the beginning of my run. I don't really run across this bridge but I did to take a picture. I liked this shot looking through it. The next one is across the bridge. I didn't run up that road.

I ran along the river in the opposite direction I usually go in. Then I DID run up this very steep hill.
I thought about walking but I didn't although calling what I did running is a bit of a stretch.

This was at the top of the hill.  Beautiful!

I've taken many pictures of this barn. Here's another.

I'm back at home catching a glimpse of the sun in the middle of the snowstorm.

I'm tooling around my yard and I love it. I am up to my knees.  We didn't get as much as a bit south of us but this is the most we have gotten in awhile. It is still snowing! It started last night and has not stopped more than 24 hours later!  LOVE!

Now my husband and I are going to try to go out for a Valentine's dinner. He says the roads aren't that bad so we're giving it a try.  

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Vermont Rocks

This is the village I teach in.  Nice article and video about the local garbage pickup.  Here is an older video below also which I was able to upload directly onto the blog.


There seem to be a lot of Vermont factoids on FB these days. If you want to be an Olympian in our country your chances are best if you're from Vermont.  (What happened to me?)  How cool is that!

If you were going to win a medal what sport (winter) would you want it to be in?  I'd want to be known as that amazing slalom skier!

Here's a fact from the article.
But if we consider population size, no state is better at producing Winter Olympians than Vermont, and it's not even close. One out of every 48,000 people that live in Vermont is on Team USA. New Hampshire is second with one out of every 147,000 people.

We have finally gotten a little snow.  Unlike the rest of the country it has been a bit sparse for my taste. I took the picture above when I returned from the gym early Monday morning. I was fitting in my workout when I could.  The picture below is from the following morning when I was leaving for work.  We had gotten more snow - somewhat unexpected.  

Everything is so pretty when the snow is fresh.  But I do not want a snow day this Friday. I want to get out at a reasonable time in June.  It is the last day before vacation and there is fun stuff going on. Do I want to celebrate Valentine's Day on February 24?  No thank you.  

I cannot wait for vacation and a chance to head to Maine.  Cannot wait!