Friday, July 30, 2010

A Relaxed Friday

Today I...

Didn't run so I stayed in bed and blogged

Finished the book I was reading

Made cards with some extra photos I had

Went to visit my son where he is house sitting and.......

Played horse with him.  Guess who won?

Soaked in the beauty of Lake Champlain.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Three Things Thursday

When I began it was cloudy and pleasant out.

1.  :( :( :( I did an 18 mile run and it did not go the way I wanted.  I was going to take 3 pictures - before, the stop at the car and the end.  But in the end I only wanted to get in my car and go home.

The Good:

  • The weather was decent.  It started out cloudy and a good temp.  Even when the sun was out there was a constant breeze.  A lot of the run was in the shade.
  • As always the bike path was gorgeous.
  • I did all the miles scheduled.
  • The first 9 miles were pretty decent.
The Bad:
  • My heel started out hurting around Mile 10.
  • My heel hurt a lot the last 5 miles.
  • I did all the miles scheduled.
  • My pace was slow slow slow. Do I blame it on my heel pain or would I have been slow regardless?
  • I lost a lot of confidence on my last two long runs and wonder about the marathon in October.  Should I take some time off?  Will I be ready? Can I do it?
Back at the car to refresh my water bottles, put on more sunscreen and wish I was done

2.  We are going out to dinner tonight to celebrate our 27th anniversary!  

3. I hate hate hate to see July come to an end as it means school is on the way.  Our rooms/curriculum/materials etc. don't magically get ready and a lot of hours in August are spent in the classroom. I hate to see my lazy crazy days of summer come to an end. So for now they won't.  Yes, I'll be in a lot in August but it won't start immediately!!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Getting Lost in A Book

Tuesday I picked up some books I had reserved at the library.  I have to have a pile of books to select from, I can't have just one choice. Even when I  go on vacation I take more books than I need (except when I went to CO I misjudged and ran out of books on the way home - too many hours in the airports) so I will have some choices.  I have favorite authors I follow and I am always thrilled when a new book comes out.  As I am writing this I am reading Emily Giffin's Heart of the Matter.  It is entertaining chick lit, perfect for summer vacation. But  in the spirit of honesty, I read chick lit all year. I work hard and if I want to be entertained when I read rather than informed, I deserve it!  I also picked up Elizabeth Berg's new book  and Seven Year Switch by Claire Cook.  Plus I checked Outside Magazine out because I had heard a fascinating interview on NPR about orca whales at theme parks and I wanted to read the entire article.  It had many good articles in it including one on competitive water sliding! Who knew?

I have several books upstairs to read too that I got at Target or Amazon, usually second hand books.  Once I find an author I like I try to find older books by the same author.  Recent books I got secondhand include Crazy for the Storm which is a memoir of survival - those always appeal to me; The Central Park Jogger; Methland The Death and Life of an American Small Town and Strides by Benjamin Cheever. Someone -sorry I  forget who - highly recommended this one on their blog.  All non fiction.

 But I also got So Happy Together  (I'm guessing it was a If You Liked This You'll Love This recommendation -I'm a sucker for that ploy) and Capturing Paris (by a recent author I discovered)and Life Without Summer.

 But I also like to reread and recently reread Maeve Binchy's Nights of Rain and Stars and Jodi Picoult's The Tenth Circle. Both of those authors are top favorites of mine.

One of the very best things about summer is all the time to read and the ability to get lost in a book with no worries.  There's nothing like a book that you hate to finish because you don't want it to end!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Twice a Day

Yesterday I ran twice.  Both runs were fairly short which I may need to change in the coming weeks. I want to start getting a little prepared for my 100 on 100 race at the end of August.  It is a relay made up of 6 runners in our case.  We each run 3 different legs of varying lengths.  I was a bit surprised last year at how different it felt to run 18 miles in 3 segments rather than all at once.  I had a very difficult time with the middle segment in the heat of the day.  So I am going to run twice a day at least once a week and I  hope to get in one practice day with 3 runs which I did not do last year.

  I thought my evening run was going to be awful as I am an early morning runner when not working.  It turned out to be much better than my earlier run with more energy and a better pace. Go figure.  I waited until 7 or so and it was not hot or humid which certainly helped! This morning I ran 8 and I can't say  much about it other than I did it.  Tomorrow I am not going to run and hopefully with weather cooperating I will do 18 miles on Thursday. I am hoping the extra "rest" day due to the two runs yesterday will help with the healing heel.

Sadly I will not be racing this weekend unless I stumble across some race close to home.  My husband can't go to recycling and it is way past my turn to go.  Our recycling center is  open one morning a week so there aren't a lot of options!  I have had a little bit of  a racing streak going and I would love to continue it but I don't see it happening.

I have not signed up for other races yet in August but there is a race in New York where you race a train that intrigues me. I would like to talk someone into doing this with me but that is unlikely.  Anyone out there doing it?

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Silks and Satins 5K

Darlene and me before the race

It is easily the most humid day we have had in awhile!  But I got up and raced so hurrah for me!

I was up before 4 and on the road by 5.  I had to drive slightly more than 2 hours but I am okay with a road trip to race and meet a new friend!  I know the way well from the years my kids were on the swim team and we had many many meets at RPI.  However there was a detour and in the thick fog it did throw me for a bit.  I did fine until I got to Saratoga and missed the turn for the race.  Once I realized it and found my way back I turned to the right where many cars were going.  It made sense to me that these cars would be going to the race. Well they were BUT they were going to the HORSE races.  The very nice man directing traffic, held traffic up for me to back up, turn around and cross to the left where I should have gone in the first place. If only all people parking cars were so sweet.

It took me awhile to park my car, get my number and chip and find Darlene.  I barely had time for a port a pottie stop before the race started.  I prefer to enter a race a little more relaxed but oh well.  Darlene and I found a spot somewhat near the front and the race started.

Like I said when I started the post, MAN IT WAS HOT!  I had been told this was a flat course though and I wanted to do well.  It was only 3.1 miles compared to the 8 I ran last weekend.  Trouble is there doesn't seem to be any easy distance.  My first mile was 8:19.  Alright!  That gave me some wiggle room .  I was trying to do the same thing I did last weekend where I consciously picked  up the pace and continued at that pace as I counted breaths slowly to 100.  I really feel like this helps and want to keep trying it. I can settle into a pace pretty easily and be content. This forces me to pick it up for at least awhile.  The second mile seemed really long and I couldn't believe we hadn't come to the mile marker yet. There was still a crowd of people around me, it never thinned out too much.  My second and third miles were 8:42. Again, I was fine with this.  I tried to push it for the final tenth. I could see that the clock was on 26 and I wanted to keep it there so I picked it up.  My pace was 7:31. Oh if I could only see that for farther than a tenth!! I ended up at 26:43 which was better than any other 5K I have done in 2010! My overall pace was 8:36 which I am thrilled with.  I felt beet beet red when I finished!  I looked around for Darlene but missed her coming in.
I'm done and exceedingly hot!!!

We finally met up, via cell phones!   We hung around watching the horses practice on the practice track.  We chatted about racing and wishing we had more friends to run with and race with. Darlene just started running two years ago!!  I loved meeting her and am sure I will be racing with her again!
Watching the horses on the track

Watching the horses on the track

Stats:  I was 6/25 in my age group and 383/881.  I'll take that!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Three Things Thursday

1.  Take a look at upcoming races on my sidebar.  There are two things of note.  First I am racing a 5K in New York this weekend which Darlene highly recommends!  Plus it has the added benefit of allowing me to meet Darlene!  The race is in Saratoga.  So before I come back to Vermont I plan to visit Target and pick up things on my department store list. We are woefully absent a good department store in my neck of the woods!

2. Take another look at the races on my sidebar.  I have finally finally made up my mind and registered for a fall marathon.  I got shut out of a couple and this one appears to be closing soon.  The good news is Emily is doing it also.  The bad news is it is a 6 hour drive and my heel is giving me some major issues. I am doing what I can to help it and being hopeful.  But I have odd timing.

3. Today I ran 16 miles as part of my marathon training. I was slow but part of that slowness was due to my heel not feeling so great. I didn't have to alter my gait and it wasn't in horrible pain but I want it to have no pain.  I have been icing it and doing the stretches my chiro recommended. I see him again on Monday.  The good parts of today's run were that it was on my favorite route - the Burlington Bike Path. It was overcast and therefore not that hot.  I wasn't super tired and ready to die at the end of the 16 miles.

Here are some pics from the route I love.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

I Fitness Belt Review/ Awesome Pace Run ETC.

This morning I had an awesome 8 mile pace run.   I ran an 8 mile race on Sunday plus 8 miles yesterday so I guess 8 is my number at the moment.  T came early (6:30) to run with me.  Usually we chat and catch up but when I am doing a pace run I need all my energy to try and make the pace.  I was going for  a 9:45 which is my dream marathon pace.  The temperature was 58 degrees when we started. Bliss!  I had originally told T I was going to run in Burlington today because I would be there anyways and the road has been closed this week.  But I haven't run with T in forever and we decided to take a chance on the road closure.  We came to signs within the first mile that clearly showed they would be back working on the road today.  I yelled to T to stop and we talked it over. We decided to still take a chance that we could get by the road work on the way back by going through the woods.  The other side was a drop to the river and not passable.  So we continued on.

The first mile was 9:46 which wasn't great because my first mile tends to be faster so I wasn't sure if this meant I wouldn't be able to hold my pace.  The first four miles are slightly to more than slightly up hill.  There is a downhill but it is the first thing I come to and I am so not ready to take advantage of a downhill yet!  The second mile was 9:43 which I was pleased with because I tend to slow down here. The next two miles were 9:56 and 9:58 which I would have liked to have been faster but they weren't terrible as these two miles have some hills.  I was thinking I could make up the difference on the way home.  T had been leading for the uphill portion but we changed for the way back.  I looked at my watch at each mile. I though I was putting in a very good effort for Miles 5 + 6 but my watch showed 9:44.  I decided I wouldn't make up the difference after all.  (When I got home and looked each of those miles were 8:44 in fact so I was doing a great job making up the earlier miles after all.)  Mile 7 was 8:50 so I finally thought I was gaining some ground.   My last mile is always a slow one for me from being tired and two hills at the end.  I did it in 9:43 so I was thrilled!  My overall pace was 9:26 which was a nice confidence booster for me!

BUT let me get back to the road closure. On our way back sure enough the road was closed but we continued on by the sign announcing this. Going another route would have been a lot farther on foot and we both had places to be.  When we came to the road work a culvert was being dug.  The men stopped the backhoe and told us to come through.  My question was where as we were staring at a deep ditch, the drop off to the river and the backhoe itself.  Well, they motioned us to walk along the edge of the backhoe and the rocks next to it.  I gingerly walked along as we both kept repeating thanks so much! I would have loved a picture of it but besides the fact that I didn't bring my camera that would have stretched their patience to a breaking point!  

"Yes we did stop our work to let you through our construction site even though it was clearly posted as closed and you want us to what as you cross through???!@#$%^&*"

Monday I ran 4 miles on the dirt road near my house somewhat back and forth to fit in my four miles since my main route was closed.  That worked out fine. Tuesday I also ran 8 miles and headed along the river section I don't often go by. When I got to the bottom of the road I turned right and ran along a state road. I never go this way. It is very flat and boring and there is heavy traffic with a very small shoulder.  I ran along it for about 2 1/2 miles and then turned around. At some point I noticed that both sides of the road I was running beside with basically no shoulder were heavily covered with poison parsnip.  My husband has been warning me about this plant all summer.  I realized that if I had to get off the road more it would not be good.

Wild parsnip is a nonnative, invasive plant that is rapidly increasing in many areas of

Vermont. This plant, native to Europe and Asia, is in the Umbelliferae family (also known as
the Apiaceae family or in common terms, the parsley or carrot family) and is believed to have
been introduced as a vegetable plant as the taproots are edible. As wild parsnip has spread
within Vermont, so has the realization that human exposure often leads to serious burns and
blisters on the arms and legs. Being able to readily identify wild parsnip will minimize
inadvertent and excessive exposure to this plant and the often painful results that follow.

I did manage to get home without any poison parsnip incidents but I will continue to be careful as this plant is nothing to mess around with.

I Fitness Belt Review

I received an I Fitness Belt to try out and review.  First let me say that I do tend to use a belt when I run to carry various items. I prefer the belt to an arm holder for my Ipod unless I am on a treadmill.  I have used a variety of belts with some satisfaction but none have stayed in place and NOT MOVED like this one. I had read this on other blogs but didn't quite believe me!  I love it.  I got the double pouch so I could carry my Ipod, camera, phone, sport beans...........whatever.  I must say I love it!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Stowe 8 Miler

Parking area before the race

I love this race mainly because it is a loop. I do NOT love it because of it's distance. I would have really rocked it today if it was the Stowe 5 Miler!  I do not know what the temp and humidity were but it was hot!  Thank goodness for shaded roads in spots but I don't ever remember being so soaked from sweat!

Mom and Daughter ready to race

This race was part of the New England Grand Prix series so there were seriously fast people there!  There was a cross country start in a wide field and teams got to be lined up together on the start. This seemed to be a big deal.  I must say it worked fine as I never felt crowded or pushed.  The first couple of miles passed fairly quickly with people settling into their places.  In the second mile I decided I was going to pick up my pace for 100 breaths each mile.  It seemed to work well in Mile Two although 100 breaths takes one farther than I would think.  Mile Three was where the uphills began but this strategy worked well as my pace was still fairly even.  Mile Four had this Wonderful long downhill that was also shaded.  This was my best mile the whole race.  I still held it together for Mile 5 but Mile 6 was my slowest mile as well as somewhat hilly.  I was really tiring although I still went for the pick it up for the 100 breaths approach.  I continued to be very tired in Mile 7 but at this time I knew the end was approaching.  I did not manage to do a faster anything in Mile 8.  It is pretty much all uphill.  I did not realize quite how much until I was driving past the course on the way home and could see that yes it was ALL pretty much uphill.  My last mile was not my slowest which is amazing.

Parking area before the race - very pretty, don't know how much you can tell but trust me it is!

So what was my time and stats.  My time was 1:13:46 for a 9:14 pace.   I have not yet gotten below a 9 for anything beyond a 5K.  I was 559/884.  I was 9/22 in my age group. I'll take it. I was hoping for more but it didn't happen today. (Last weekend I was 559 but out of far fewer people and I was 9 in my age group but out of fewer people. What are the chances of that?)

Here are my splits:
Mile 1: 8:50
Mile 2: 9:07
Mile 3: 9:11
Mile 4: 8:25
Mile 5: 9:06
Mile 6: 9:49
Mile 7: 9:36
Mile 8: 9:31

Emily ran the race with me. Her goal was to break an hour. Her time - 58:28!

We got there an hour earlier than needed because I had the wrong race start time.  Last weekend I thought it was a half hour later. I guess I need to start looking and stop assuming I know. The good thing was there were plenty of small shirts left. The bad thing was it is the same shirt as last year.

Done and ready to head home!

  I am glad I raced today but my PF is KILLING me tonight. I thought I had it under control but I think it is time to see my chiro about it.  I was visiting them about this same time last summer and it helped a ton.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Bling - love it or hate it

Marlene had a fun post showing her bling and suggested we reciprocate!  I love my bling and am happy to oblige!  Generally my most recent medal or two hang on the fridge hidden amongst all the other junk!  The rest of my medals are in a box tucked away with other running stuff I want to keep.

I counted my medals and if I counted right there are 23.  Some are finisher medals and some are prizes for age group wins.  (When you get older it is a bit easier to get there hence: Age Groups Rock). 

 I do have a "trophy table" that I have a few awards on.  It seems to be getting cluttered with other stuff lately. Surprisingly two of these are from marathons but that is because they were small marathons. The picture is from the Maine marathon last year which was my worst marathon ever.  It is the one I need to redeem although I am doing very  poorly picking out the marathon I want to do.

Okay now for a few of my favorite medals:

This medal doesn't look like much but it is a medal from the first race I ran.  Before that I walked in races and did rather well!  But.........I am very competitive and there are not many races around that have a walking component. Plus there were more opportunities for cheating (people would run in parts even though it was a WALKING race and it drove me nuts).  When I got to this race, a local 4 Miler there was a walking fun component but it wasn't timed.  That was not fun to me so on the spur of the moment I decided to run as I had entered as a runner so I would be timed.  I had NEVER.RUN.EVEN.ONE.MILE.BEFORE.THIS.RACE.  So I ran the entire four miles and ended up third in my age group. I was pretty impressed with myself but quickly realized that was a fluke. But I found out I could run and quickly went on to enter more races as a RUNNER!! 

This medal is from my first marathon -enough said!

This is from my fifth marathon - I love that the medal is the shape of the state. Yes, I belong to my local Geek Club.

This medal I like for a couple reasons. I love it because of it's colors and looks. Plus it is from my best half marathon.  It was in New Hampshire and I ran it in 2:00:55.  I have not hit that close to 2 hours again.  

So there are my medals.  Thanks, Marlene, for the opportunity to get them out and play with them. They are usually put away in the box. No one really cares to see them but  if I have raced  during the school year I take my medal as I earn it into school to show my students as they do love to see them.  I hope I am inspiring some of them to someday race and earn their own medals!

Bondi Band Giveaway Winner

Anne's a winner!

Woo Hoo!  My Canadian bloggy buddy Anne at Asthma and The Gift of Running won the bondi bands!  Contact me at, Anne and I will get your bondi bands in the mail!  Send me your full name and address!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Running in the Garden of the Gods and on the Santa Fe Trail -Mostly Pics

Wow!  Wow! Wow!  The Garden of the Gods has to be one of the most beautiful spots on Earth.  I was running in it early this morning when it was still cool.  M rode her bike as her foot has been bothering her.  There were so many beautiful things to look at the entire run. I have certainly been lucky this summer with running in so many beautiful spots!  Later this afternoon we went on a very small part of the Santa Fe Trail.  I wanted to get a little more running in as tomorrow I will be airports or on airplanes all day. M  was only too happy to oblige and dying to show me more parts of this fantastic city.  My vacation is coming to an end but I have wonderful memories and many stories to take home with me!!

The kissing camels on top left!  Look at the gorgeous sky!

I love the red rocks and the evergreens

Happy to be running here

Running by Balanced Rock

Looking back where I already ran.  This was another hilly run!

I liked seeing some of the rocks in shadows.

All the different shapes!

The following pics are from a very small part of  Santa Fe Trail

Watching gliders at the Air Force Academy

I saw this sign when I was done.  But truthfully I was more worried about snakes.  

Another photo from Summer Round Up 12K

I'm home now after a loooooooooooong day getting back.  I have had some great vacations this summer!  I do love Vermont though and look forward to a short run tomorrow before I start to catch up on things to do around here!