Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Oops I forgot to get a picture with your wife in it! 

Dear AJH,

Why have you not kept me in the loop?  I just found out that one of the last races you did was the Speedway 5K. And your friend T told me that you have not even been running for a month.  I am so sorry to hear that.  I know how running keeps you sane.  But I also heard that you have taken up biking. That is such good news.  You know that next to race car driving biking is one of my top loves.  It seems like we have some common interests.  I will be back in New England this coming weekend.  If you are around I have a great opportunity for you. It is not a race but you can raise money for a good cause and we can get together again.  It is the Dempsey Challenge.  As you see not only will you raise money for a good cause but you would get to shop at LL Bean and the outlet stores you love in Freeport. Perhaps Patagonia or Horny Toad are having some good sales.  So, AJH, will I be seeing you?
The marathon course

Dear Patrick,
I would love to be in Maine this weekend being part of the Dempsey Challenge. But you will understand when I tell you why I can't be there.  Family is important to me as it is to you.  I will be in Corning, NY to cheer my daughter on in a marathon. I thought we would be running it together (I mean that in the loosest sense - running the same race not side by side believe me) however I am not running so I will be the best race fan ever!  But I am sure our paths will cross again.
My Marathon Girl I will be Cheering for on Sunday!

Monday, September 27, 2010


The causeway on an overcast fall day

I am beginning to realize that I am obsessed with biking.  (I'm sure most of you could have told me this awhile ago.) I tend to get this way with new things.

 I had another fun ride Sunday. It was cool and I was thinking I was going to be cold but I was fine. I was wearing my compression sleeves because my calves hurt and they helped keep my legs warm!  It was overcast and a little windy so I felt like I had a great workout!  I had that wonderful tired feeling I often have after running.  I went on the bike path after leaving my husband off to pick up his car. I parked at the southern end of the bike path, rode the 7 miles on the path and continued over the bike bridge to the causeway.  It wasn't crowded anywhere which surprised me but I guess not everyone thought it was a good day.  I did avoid some showers so was lucky that way.  Even though the bike path is mostly flat I felt like I rode hard and got a great workout.  It was just short of 25 miles.  My weekly total was almost 70. It is a lot easier to rack up the biking mileage.

As I was riding I was thinking about biking and running.  When I am running I often love it when I am done but definitely not always while I am actually running.  A lot of the time I love love love it when I am biking!  I love rolling hills the best, it beats the monotony of too much flatness. Does this mean once I can run I won't?  No way!  I can't wait to run again. But in the meantime I am finding people to ride with, figuring out how to commute to work more often, finding old routes I used to love and discovering some new ones. I wish I had  started riding earlier this summer as I have so many ideas of places to ride but that old cold white stuff will be falling soon and covering the roads and freezing my toes off.  I am not sure what I will do if the non running continues into the winter.  Well, let's not go there.  Erase that thought fast! 

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Fall is My Favorite Season

At home - our own beautiful foliage shot

 I did not run at my PT appointment on Friday.  My PT and I mutually agreed that it wasn't time.  I was totally okay with it.  Once it is harder to ride my attitude may change but right now I want to go longer without the running.  I don't want to do more damage.  I am not totally resting it with the biking but it is much better than the running impact.

Today I had errands to do in Middlebury so I took my bike and rode on an old favorite route from when I lived there. I had run on parts of it recently but it had been many many years since I had biked it. I got a friend to come with me.  It was a completely gorgeous day, mostly sunny and perfect temps. The foliage is really getting beautiful and I wanted to get out and enjoy it.  I plan to do the same tomorrow. It was  a pretty typical ride with rolling hills for the most part.  The beginning is mostly uphill and today there was very dusty construction going on. At one point my friend asked me if we would be coming back through this. No we are doing a loop!  We actually headed back into Midd. at one point but took a sharp turn to head back the way we had come on an alternate road to extend the ride.  I love being on new roads and gawking at the sights!  I took my camera so bear with me as there are plenty of pics!
Looking toward Middlebury College and the Green Mountains

Looking toward Lake Champlain and the Adirondacks

My friend 

Isn't this a great shot? It was just gorgeous!

Almost back

Going through the covered bridge into town

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Three Things Thursday

Ready to head out. 

1. I rode my bike to work today! I loved it.  I only had to leave about 5 minutes earlier than usual unlike when I ran it last spring. It is slightly less than 4 miles and a lot of it is downhill!  It was cold but a great way to start the day. I got to see my bike all day (in the front of my classroom tucked behind my chair) and know I had a ride home ahead of me and not a visit to use the elliptical at the gym. That certainly brought a smile to my face each and every time I thought it!  When I rode home I rode right by my turn and continued up the road.  I do have my minimum mileage to ride and just the ride to and from work wasn't going to cut it.  I probably looked a little strange with a huge backpack on my back.  Speaking of which I think it is time to get a good saddlebag. Any recommendations?

It's getting pretty around here!

2. When I talk about my workouts each day I realize I have been shortchanging myself when I think about what I do. I am spending about an hour a day stretching.  This has to count for something!  I get up about 20 minutes earlier to fit it in in the morning and no matter how tired I am I do my stretches each evening.  Not aerobic and not exciting at all but I surely hope they are helping!

3. Grey's Anatomy season opener tonight..........the only show I watch live. It certainly can't beat the finale for excitement!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Slow down those thoughts

Are you sick of hearing me talk about biking yet?  I had another completely awesome bike ride tonight. I went to my PT appt. and as soon as it was over headed to the bike path.  It was cloudy, windy and looked like it could rain any second.  It never did rain but it was very windy the whole time and I LOVED IT!  There is something about the lake when it is stormy.  You hear it more, the waves are beautiful and it just gives me a satisfied feeling to be a part of it.  I pushed myself to ride a fast ride and managed to ride 7 minutes faster than last week even with the wind.  I caught myself grinning several times with pure joy.  Finding the time to do something  you thoroughly enjoy after a stressful day at work makes all the difference!  I came home feeling great rather than tired, grumpy and stressed.

Before I left my PT appt. she told me to bring my running shoes next time as she is going to have me try running on the treadmill.  Within the next 60 seconds an amazing assortment of questions and thoughts ran through my head, some completely insane,others not so much:

I can get my September race in this Sunday. (no re injury possibilities with this one)
Maybe I can run in that marathon next weekend. (see above)
Maybe I can go for a run this weekend. (a real possibility)
How will I fit my bike rides in? (This was a very serious thought. Who would have guessed a month ago I would even care?)
Well I could run and then bike after. (again a possibility)
Maybe I can do that half marathon in November. (not sure about the reality of this one)
What if it is too soon?   I don't want to go backwards. (a real fear)

"Okay, take a deep breath and remember..... she only said I was going to try running.  Need to slow down these thoughts and wait and see what happens." 

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Le Tour de Farm - Sample after sample after sample!

Le Tour de Farm exceeded all expectations.  We were told to bring or buy a lunch because the samples would be small. Well, they weren't and they were delicious. We made it the entire 30 miles and yes I am tired but not dead. I will absolutely go back next year.
Waiting for our wave to go

The day started out rainy but before we had even started to ride it had stopped.  They started the 30 mile riders in waves. I was in the second wave. I don't know how many there were.  We started up a hill right away but it wasn't too long before the first farm stop. When I saw maple candies I knew it was going to be a good day!  There were maple walnuts, maple candies and several grades of maple syrup to sample!
Off we went again.  This time we turned onto a dirt road and went down!  The next farm stop had hard boiled eggs (organic) and organic honey to sample.  There were chickens wandering all over the yard.  

With a good friend I used to work with
The third stop was my favorite.  There were three types of cooked squash, pork soup (I passed on this but comments were good) and cookies. And they encouraged us to try each kind.  I tried all the squash so of course I had to try all the cookies! I liked the pumpkin chocolate chip the best.

Lots of squash...

....and flowers.....

....and cookies at this stop!

I thought I parked my bike in just the right spot for a farm tour!
After this stop it was a longer way to the next one. We rode through some apple orchards on the way and parted with the 10 milers who looped back toward town.  Once we got there a friend informed me the cider doughnuts at this stop were why one did this ride.  These were a purchase not a sample but with a recommendation like that I had to buy one!  Apples and cider were the samples.  There was a band playing and probably the longest line we saw all day.  And yes the doughnuts were great!

     Through the apple orchards
After this stop we separated from the 25 milers. We got some glimpses of Lake Champlain along some very pretty but hilly roads.  Then we were in Orwell where we sampled turkey cooked a couple of ways and the best ice cream ever. I am not a chocolate ice cream person and this was just unbelievable.

     A glimpse of Lake Champlain

The town green!
There was some discussion about sticking to the pavement and not going on the dirt road to the winery because it was very hilly.  I really really didn't want to do this. I like to meet my original goals and yes I wanted to go to the winery.  When we came to the point of decision we went right to the dirt road. Oh yeah, I was in front, I went right to the dirt road! 

   Riding by some sheep

Waiting for the others on the way to the winery, a beautiful spot

 When we did reach the winery it was up a hill and around a corner or two just to get to it.  This was one stop where they truthfully said, "Have as much as you want!"  Maybe not a great idea when you are riding a bike!

Some of the vines

Leaving the winery
After we left the winery we had several more hills ahead of us but first we stopped for liquid yogurt where they again wanted us to sample all of the flavors. Darn!  Okay I can to be polite. They also had some calves and a cow to be photographed with. I got talked into doing it.  Had to be because it was the stop after the winery!

Yeah, I am a dork petting a cow. Who talked me into this?
Then we went about 4-5 more miles back to the beginning where there was an apple festival going on with many local products for sale!  We hung around awhile and then headed home. And because we hadn't had enough of each other we went to one rider's house and made waffles and had local sausage and her own maple syrup in the spirit of the day!  Can't wait to do it all again next year!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Tour de Farm - well almost!

This week's foliage progression -hard to tell but changes are happening!

Today I thought I would be riding in the Tour de Farm. But I goofed - yet again - it actually takes place on  Sunday. So more about it later.  But here is what it is.

 The 2010 Tour de Farms will be held on Sunday, September 19 in Shoreham, VT. Rides of 10, 24 and 30 miles will be offered. Cyclists will have the opportunity to sample foods from a variety of farms along the routes. Bicyclists will enjoy a variety of food samples from farms located along the routes. In 2009, samples included bread, cheese, chili, yogurt, cider, apples, and quiche. There will be some additions this year, including food and a celebration at the finish as riders arrive back in Shoreham.

A gorgeous day once we hit the sunny places!

Instead T and I did the same ride I did last Sunday. She loved it!  It is a good workout without killing you.  The problem today was it was 31 degrees when we started. You go downhill first and then it is flat.  The sun is nowhere in sight as it hasn't come over the mountain yet.  I had to stop and warm up my hands.  I had gloves on but they weren't cutting it. My face was freezing too.  Once we started again I was fine. We went uphill for quite a ways and then it was both.  Overall a great great ride! HInts for the fall riding I will be doing?
Playing with the gorillapod-judging when to go - obviously a miss

And we're off!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Three Things Thursay

1. My training this week:

Four miles on the elliptical on Monday.  I would spell this workout B-O-R-I-N-G.  I needed to keep the course flat or it definitely hurt my heel.  My overall effort could have been much better but see the previous sentence. I am making real progress and don't want to wreck it.

14+ miles on the bikepath on Tuesday following my PT appt.  It is a flat path but it was exceedingly windy and I did feel like I got a very decent workout.  I always love the bike path so life was good. My husband was using my camera so no pics which was fine on the bike path but later I was dying to have it. (Why you may ask?  To be answered below!)

Four miles on the elliptical again today and I must say they were much better!  Maybe I am getting my elliptical groove back. I had thought about biking but it was pouring and cold.  I can run in that but I guess I'm not up for biking in the same weather.  So the gym which I have been paying for all summer and not using so there  is a plus side!

2.  Tuesday while I was on the bike path it was also raining at times, sometimes hard. As I was driving home I was driving in and out of rain.  The sky behind me was sunny and the sky in front of me was very dark!  I looked for the rainbow and oh yes there it was.  I like rainbows as much as any little girl hooked on Wizard of Oz.  The entire way home I was looking at a rainbow but... that isn't all.  It would fade and then show up again. Well, I hadn't seen it for awhile and when I came around a curve I made a loud gasp! It was startlingly beautiful and vivid.   Unbelievable.  Man I wished I had my camera then.  I couldn't believe how vivid it was.  Plus I could see the end of the rainbow! Even as it left the sky and fell across the trees the colors were clear and bright.  If only I had gotten to the end and found the gold!  I did call a friend to tell her to go out and look. Her husband - coming from a completely different direction - had just called to tell here exactly the same thing!  But - no pictures!  It did certainly make my ride home a treat.

3.  Okay I've got to go do something.  OUCH!  That hurt. I just removed my "upcoming" marathon from my sidebar and have no - yes no - upcoming races.  THAT.DOES.HURT!

***But a totally awesome bike ride on Saturday!  I'll fill you in after!  And I'm off to do the exercises my PT gave me so that running will happen sooner rather than later in my future!***

No rainbow pictures so this sunflower will have to do!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Another Great Weekend!

You come down a hill before this uphill which makes it oh so much fun!

Okay I am over my discouragement of healing time for the heel.   When I go back to the gym I might feel differently but today I'm happy so I'll take today.  I am doing my stretching exercises needed and I had another awesome bike ride. I called a friend to see if she wanted to ride with me and she absolutely did. It is easier to find biking partners than running partners. So we did the route I often do which is slightly more than 15 miles.  It was a sunny gorgeous day and we got a lot of talking in too.  Even though we work in the same building I never see her. I don't know if I even saw her to say hi to all of last week. Ridiculous but reality.  She took a few pictures for me that I could never have gotten with the Gorillapod.

Almost at the top!

And I'm there!

View from my friend's house. It's wonderful!
Sunday there is a race in Burlington that I have run in for several years.  It is one of my favorite races. It is a 5 miler, a distance I like. It is end to end so no going back up what you have come down.  It is mostly on bike paths which I love. It is all hills which I don't love especially because the last couple miles are uphill but in spite of that this race is a winner for me. But I am not going to race in it and continue to baby my heel.  Hopefully I will be racing other races later this fall including at least one new one.  I am beginning to accept that I won't be doing my marathon although I haven't totally yet which is so crazy because I am not running and I certainly haven't been doing those all important long runs. To go from nothing to a marathon would be insane and set me back. Why is it so hard to know all this in your head but believe it in your heart?

Riding beside a nothing special river   perfectly acceptable river
just not as nice as "mine"     

Today (Sunday) I had another great bike ride.  I have to say this injury has certainly had a golden lining. Why did I ignore my bike so long?  I went about the same distance as yesterday but the terrain was harder.  I headed down the hill along the river, then turned onto the road with the poisonous parsnip but it has all gone by. This was the busiest road for traffic so I was glad not to be on it too long!  Then I headed UP the mountain for about 3 straight miles of uphill, some steeper than other parts. I just took my time.

Some of the uphill

  I wasn't sure where I was going to turn.  I had planned to take a right about 2 miles up the road but decided to keep going.  I was having fun and decided to go farther plus it helped me avoid one majorly steep hill.  When I jump into the water I am a "jump in all at once and not a wade in kind of gal." But when it comes to hills on a bike I like the wade in and tackle a little of the steepness at a time versus the jump right into it and pedal up that massively steep hill!  When I was at about 3 miles up the mountain I veered to the right.  If I continued going on the main road it takes you over the mountain to 3 major ski areas eventually.  
                    Veering toward the right
Now I had hit dirt road. It continued to climb but nothing terrible.  I enjoyed this road a great deal as I am rarely on it even in a car.  It was pretty deserted until I came to the Meditation Center where something was certainly happening as the field was full of cars, there was a school bus there and a gazillion people walking all over the road.

  Once I got off this road I had a choice of going right or left and I went left toward the center of town.  At that point I was where I usually ride/run but I had certainly taken a different route to get there.  I loved that it was a loop.  My usual ride has a loop in the middle but some of it repeats. 

Heading down toward the center of town

 Overall I did 60+ miles in 4 bike rides this week and I feel good about that.  I only thought about the race I would have liked to have been doing once or twice on this ride! Not bad at all!

I've got to do this ride again when the leaves have changed!

My husband and I got to the movies again this weekend.  We went to The Switch which I totally enjoyed. I laughed a ton which was just the ticket!  We weren't sure we would get there after yesterday's debacle but we managed to. Have a good week everyone!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Did you take my car?

I was sitting drinking my coffee when my husband hurried in the house looking a bit worried and asked me if I took his car. Well, I am sitting right here drinking coffee so where do you think I took it?  He said it wasn't outside and of course I had to check and no it wasn't. Did someone steal it?  We were both home so that would be a rather brazen move. took off for a journey by itself down the lawn and way down into the ravine/bank next to our house.  My MIL's car did this years ago here but it just stopped at the bottom.  No such luck today.  But it has now been towed up out of the bank and appears to be pretty much fine.

We couldn't even see it from the house but there it is peeking
out of the bank.  Not stolen!

Jameson hamming for the camera

The tow truck has arrived!

This is where it was!

Another shot!

So the moral of the day: Leave your emergency brake on or don't leave it in neutral! And note please it was my husband who did this, not me!