Sunday, February 27, 2011

Yes..snow ...again....on....both...Saturday..and..Sunday

Heading out on the first mile.  Snow is fresh
and pretty because we got 10 more inches :(

I am all done with winter.  I will give it - reluctantly -until the end of February and then it needs to end.  We had about 10 inches of snow on Friday.  The roads were plowed on Saturday but T and I stuck to the back roads away from the traffic.  We went 5 miles. This was my first time out since being sick.  I was slow and my side hurt a little.  But it felt good to be out even if it was a lot of effort to go that distance.  I had originally thought I might do the tempo I missed.  Well no that wasn't going to happen.

Today when I got up I looked out the window and once again - it was snowing.  Good thing I left the Yak Trax on my shoes.  We did the "backwards two" miles first on the back roads and then headed out to the "main" road.  We went 9, felt like 19!  My side hurt more probably because I did a fair amount of stuff yesterday which included  a lot of lifting.  I am not doing all my stretches yet as some just hurt too much.  I just don't have all my oomph back.  I hope it returns by the end of the week.
Do you think these guys are sick of winter
too or indifferent?

These were taken today when the snow was so 
fresh it was still falling.

I spent a lot of the last few days working on my teaching relicensing.  I had two binders to fill with various documents and plans and goals etc.  It used to be we just wrote a check and took the right courses.  We still write the check( bigger), take the courses plus all this additional work. It changes every time I have to do it so you don't even know what to expect.  One of my friends on FB that teaches in another state read my moanings about how I was spending my days. She writes a much smaller check and fills out a simple form. What do other teachers do in their states?

I tried reading She's Come Undone by Wally Lamb and just can't get into it.  Should I try longer?  It is just so depressing.  I am now reading a historical romance  enlightening novel by Rosalind Laker.  It should be a good read.  And Lost Season 2 continues!

I have edited my races to include the St. Patrick's Day 8K I will be doing in DC!  Yeah!  Will anyone be there? I know Dash will be. :)  It will be my 4th race, two in New York, one in New Hampshire and one in DC.  No, I don't travel for races.
One more shot

Friday, February 25, 2011

Four Things Friday

The snowstorm I didn't run in.  This is at dusk,
my house is at the top where the lights are. Those
are my footprints in the unplowed driveway.

1. Today  I must say I felt much better.  I was actually up and dressed for the major part of the day. I cooked supper for the first time in days when my husband announced that he was going to bed as he must have what I have had.  Today I stretched, showered, dressed, ate and got some work done.  The best thing about being sick and letting the personal hygiene slide (I brushed my teeth at least) is that when you feel better and get cleaned up you feel like Miss America!  Another plus of all this - go on vacation - eat tons -everything you want - come home and get majorly sick - no worries about gaining those unwanted pounds!

2. We are getting quite a storm today and it is definitely the type I like to run in.  Because Hubby was sick I headed outside and loaded up all the wood buckets to keep the home fires burning and went and got the mail.  I must say the effort it took me to get up and down the driveway made me realize NOT running today was a very good call! But tomorrow I plan to give it a try.

3. I made some phone calls today for some appointments.  One appointment is for March 19, 2013!  Yes, I did not type that wrong - 2013.  When my dermatologist gave me the number he said it would be a year.  His nurse warned me it would be two and she was right.   I had a mole removed more than a year ago that was a pre melanoma. A plastic surgeon did the surgery and said the scar would be gone in a year. Well, not so much. It was lessened but not gone.  The problem is that the next time insurance doesn't cover it but I want to go have the consult and see how much it is and what they can do.  It is not dreadful where I gasp every time I look in the mirror.  But your face is pretty prominent except when you wear a face mask running in the cold.  We'll see.  I have LOTS of time to think about it.

4. Watching - Lost season 2.
Reading a book by Wendy Wax - total predictable chick lit - light fluff. Perfect for being sick - no deep thinking involved.

And thanks for all the nice comments.  I could certainly feel the bloggy love when I was sick!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Oops - Guess I Did Get Hurt

I was a little premature when I said I wasn't hurt badly by my fall.  That night I was in agony. I could only sleep on my back.  If I tried to sleep any other way I was immediately in tears. Plus I was nauseous and had diarrhea.  I still feel horrible but in the dark of the night I thought I had some internal bleeding going on, cracked ribs, I was nauseous due to those internal injuries.......all kinds of fears.  Now I am thinking I am extremely sore and will not be lifting anything heavy anytime soon and I have some kind of flu or food poisoning.  This is just like New Years. What a crummy way to spend vacation days but so glad I am not still there or traveling home.

I continue to be very sore, spend all my time in bed and make quick trips to the bathroom.  I cannot believe how much I have slept over the past two days.  Thank God I was home when this hit.  The "good part" is I should take a running break for either my flu or my injury.  Now I am having to take half as many days off as both things happened at once.  If not for the flu or whatever it is I am guessing I would have tried to run with my injury by today.  Now I am thinking I am not going to run even tomorrow but I hope to get back out there Saturday.  We'll see what tomorrow brings.

I'm having a hard time eating anything, nothing is the least bit appealing.  What makes you feel better when you are sick?  Chicken soup won't do it. At the moment fudgesicles are what is cutting it!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Two Great Runs on the Ocean

I had two cold wet great runs on the ocean.  No resting from my race when there is an opportunity to run at the ocean.  Monday morning I opened the hotel room door to check the temperature and immediately said, "Oh @#$%!"

There was a bunch of snow on the ground and I so wasn't mentally prepared to run in the snow.  But I am who I am so I stopped swearing, got dressed a little more aggressively for the weather and headed out the door.  There were 2-3 inches of light - COLD - fluffy snow and my ankles were immediately cold.  It was hard to know where to run. There are no sidewalks anywhere in the Northeast because of all the snow.  So I was on the side of the road but it was hard to tell exactly where I was in the road.  There was no traffic at all so it wasn't too much of a problem. When  I anticipated this run I was thinking of gazing at the beautiful ocean  and listening to the waves rolling in. Well no.  I could barely see the ocean.
There is a row of houses on that cliff.

The tide was out and visibility was practically nil.  I ran to Nubble Point Lighthouse, one of my favorite spots in Maine.  There was a man there taking pictures so I was not the only nut out there.  I got him to take a picture of me.  He probably thought I was going to stand there sedately and seemed a little surprised as I ran toward him!

Then I continued around the point to "see" more of the ocean. I did run on the beach just a little but I got my feet rather soaked and gave up quickly.

We headed to Freeport to do some serious LL Bean shopping and some Horny Toad outlet shopping. Presidents' Day is a great day to shop in Freeport!  I got fun stuff  for me and maybe a few things for other family members! I got some more Nike sneakers for $36!  I have a bit of a sneaker fetish going on right now.  On the way back we ate at the Maine Diner for the second night in a row. We decided that they do a lobster roll up just right but the stuff we got last night - not as good.

Tuesday I got up very early and headed out to catch the sunrise.
Love seeing the sunrise on the ocean!

It was very cold but that's the norm so what can you do?  It was very clear and gorgeous.  The sunrise did not disappoint.  On the way back I thought I would go down to the beach.  My husband is always warning me about slippery steps.  Well he wasn't there to warn me and I was hurrying to get down to the beach without a care in the world when my feet went out from under me.  I instinctively grabbed the railing but the railing was ringed with ice so I "slid" the rest of the way down.
The very icy railing - that saved me!

The slippery steps

The only thing that hurt(s) is my side where I crashed into the railing but I really could have been hurt. I stepped quite gingerly up them when I was leaving believe me.

Jill, these two pictures are for you as you said:
btw, it can't be THAT cold, the ocean isn't frozen yet.
I'm seeing lots of ice around here, it's cold!  

One more sunrise shot!  

And now I must say - it is good to be home!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Half at the Hamptons Race Report

 If you read my post yesterday you know the cold had me worried!  It was as cold as it has been all winter and the wind off the ocean was particularly brutal!  I knew I could do it but I didn't know how much I wanted to do it.  Overall I am thrilled with how this race went.  The biggest piece was how good my heel felt!  YES!  Now I can begin to think about a fall marathon if things continue to go well!  I said I wasn't going to race it but we all know how well that can work.  Even though it was not a PR or even close I absolutely did race it.  I had said I wanted to have 10 minutes a mile or better and I wasn't at all sure I could do this.  Any long runs I have done since I started running again have been very slow - high 11s or 12s.  Miles 2, 3, and 4 were close to 10 minutes so I didn't think I would be able to hold that pace.  So yeah, I began to race!

I'm going to pattern this after last year's race report.

We're off!  I had a big smile on my face as well as being a little 
choked up!

I was pleased with my splits.  I certainly finished well.  I swear the last few miles are slightly downhill as they felt so great.

I did one of the big race no nos at Mile 8 where I had a Gu I have never tried before but I felt like I was flagging and needed a boost.

My mile splits were:  (My Garmin ended up showing 13.26.)

9:24 (knew I couldn't maintain this)
9:59 (began to get worried)

8:39  Garmin overall pace 9:38

Race stats
10/32 age group
2:07:32 time
9:45 pace

Following/passing other people

I seemed to be passing a lot of people (for me) throughout the race.  I also did well on the hills, not getting passed much and even doing a little passing.  I had one woman tell me early on that I was pacing her well.  We ran together for awhile and then I went ahead and never saw her again. On the other hand there was a man I was following that I passed and later he zipped by me and I never saw him again. But overall I felt like I did much more passing than being past.  I felt really strong the last few miles and knew I was going to meet my goal. I was thrilled!

Love this section - gorgeous!

The Course/Traffic

It was the same course as last year. I had forgotten how much of it was in the neighborhoods and not along the ocean.  This was good though as it was more sheltered from the wind.  It was a bit hilly but nothing terrible.  Two women near me were complaining about the hilly course but I figured it was like the temperature.  It is all relative depending on what you are used to. 

So much of it is  on the ocean and it was another gorgeous day. The sky was a brilliant blue and it was very clear.  I took my camera and took some pictures (like Julie and Johann- I kept running as I was taking the pics.  Do you two stop and focus or just keep running?)  as we were headed back along the ocean.  It was a little cold and tricky getting the camera in and out of my pocket but I don't like running with something in my hand.  But once again - what a gorgeous day!  Love love love the ocean.

 The race started an hour earlier this year. Traffic was much less and I suspect this was why it started earlier. This was great as I wasn't afraid I was going to get hit by a car!
Getting near the end!  

I feel great as I pick it up for the finish.


There weren't a lot of spectators but the ones out there were great. Any cheers were so appreciated.  My friend, H, came with me again.  She managed to see me and take pictures at the beginning and end.  I had missed the mile 12 sign so I wasn't quite sure how close I was to the end.  It was great to hear her and have an idea so I  could start to really POUR IT ON!  Thanks, H, for taking those pics and cheering!

The Weather/Outfit

I've already talked about the weather. I know Chris K likes to know what everyone wears plus I found it very helpful to read about what I wore last year when I was trying to decide this year's outfit.  So this year my outfit was basically the same - so hard to believe as it was Arctic Circle weather.  I wore a long sleeve top with my Lulu hoodie.  I only wore the hood as I was waiting for the race to start.  I wore my  tights which were thin but perfect.  I think the only change was a turtle fur.  My headband and gloves were thin.  It worked!


The race was well organized. As I said I liked the earlier start. Staying in the hotel was great esp. this year. I didn't want to go out into the cold until I had to.  A clean bathroom to use until the race start too!  I did not like watching the flag being whipped around by the wind as I contemplated what the race would be like weather wise.


I liked last year's medal better but at the same time I like that it wasn't the same.  The shirt is a woman's fit again - a big plus but it wasn't a tech shirt - not so great.

Just like last year I ended the day at my favorite diner with a lobster roll and homemade chocolate cake!  Yum!

Sunday, February 20, 2011


Race report to come but here is a quick snapshot- my goals and how I did !

My goals are a bit different than usual.  You've heard me say I am running it, not racing it but I would like to have a decent run.

#1 I want my heel to feel good all 13.1 miles! Yes
#2 I want my heel to feel good all 13.1 miles! Yes 
#3 I want my heel to feel good all 13.1 miles! And Hell Yes!

Okay time to move on.

#4 I want to run 10 minute miles or better. Oh yeah!  
#5 I want to enjoy the crowd, the sun, the ocean, the whole experience! Absolutely!
#6 I want to feel pleasantly tired when I'm done with those race endorphins coarsing through my body! Totally!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Wind? Cold? Snow? Yes to all 3! I'm in Trouble!

Looking out the hotel window at SNOW on the beach!



I need some reminders of all those days I ran outside in God only knows what temperatures this winter.  I never let the temp keep me inside on the weekend.  I can do it, right?  But right now I am questioning my sanity.

It is so cold and windy and miserable.  Tomorrow I will be running not 3, not 4, not 5 but 13.1 miles in this!  And that is after standing around waiting for the race to start! Easily the worst part.

I need to get rid of these negative feelings!  I need to change my attitude.  I am spending lots of money to do this!

I know I can do it but I'd like to have some fun while doing it!

By tomorrow morning I will be ready!

This pic doesn't begin to convey how cold I am!

Thursday, February 17, 2011


!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Racing this weekend!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

1.  The predicted weather for my half marathon this weekend is 32 degrees, sunny but windy.  Hmm. What do I wear?  I'm packing for a few days so I can only bring so many possibilities.   Last year I bundled up quite a bit for this race. I just went and read my race report from last year......33 and windy.  It told what I wore and said it was perfect so I guess I will dress similarly this year. 

One thing I read in the report in huge letters was how much I loved the Maine Coast.  Hello??? This race was in NH.  But I do love the Maine coast and maybe I just thought I would shout it out no matter where the race was.

My goals are a bit different than usual.  You've heard me say I am running it, not racing it but I would like to have a decent run.

#1 I want my heel to feel good all 13.1 miles!
#2 I want my heel to feel good all 13.1 miles!
#3 I want my heel to feel good all 13.1 miles!

Okay time to move on.

#4 I want to run 10 minute miles or better.
#5 I want to enjoy the crowd, the sun, the ocean, the whole experience!
#6 I want to feel pleasantly tired when I'm done with those race endorphins coarsing through my body!

2.  I was going to write about what I was reading and watching but I keep abandoning books.  I just picked up Storming Heaven by Kyle Mills.  Perhaps I'll stick with this one!  It started out well.  I am also reading Strides: Running Through History with an Unlikely Athlete by Benjamin Cheever which is quite interesting.
I am watching Lost. I am on Season 2.   I have seen the first three seasons before.  Maybe the first four, I am not sure but the first one is worth watching several times!

3. I went back to the gym on Wednesday but today I ran outside after work because it was 41 degrees!  It was  a heat wave. I will run outside in anything on the weekend but during the week I turn into a wimp and go to the gym.  It felt GREAT to be outside!

Of course it is a little tricky when you go to leave 
for work and one cat is on your gym bag
definitely not looking like he wants to be disturbed!

One's in the box - no problems there.

And the other one looks so relaxed and comfy you just want
to put your work stuff down and try and match
him for getting comfortable!

But no worries, I did make it to work that day and  tomorrow after work I begin vacation!!!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Sick Sick Sick


I ended up staying home sick on Monday.  My alarm went off but once I got up I quickly realized I did not feel at all well.  At first I called in and said I would be in for the morning. Then I thought about it and realized I would be pretty miserable. Yes, I had a lot to do at school but it will wait.  So I called again to say I would be out all day.  I hung up and then I couldn't remember if I really said I would be out all day so I called a third time.  The person who calls for the subs almost had a heart attack when she saw all the messages  not realizing 3 were from one idiotic too sick to think clearly person. So I spent the day reading blogs and Facebook taking naps and getting better.  Back to school today but I can't say I felt all that good!


Today at work I was there but not in my classroom.  I had meetings all day.  What fun - not! By the end of the day I felt almost as miserable as the day before. I considered skipping my workout but thought I would give it a  try.  Best decision I could have made!  I even went ahead and did the speed workout I was going to put off until tomorrow.  It went so well it was almost effortless.  Where did that come from?


Okay if you have been following me for awhile you know that I truly love winter.  I love the snow. I love watching the snow.  I love running in the snow.  I don't let cold temps keep me inside.  But there is  just a small part of me that is getting sick of winter.  Yep!  You heard it here first.  AJH is getting ready for spring.  Maybe it is seeing all those pictures of all of you running on green grass in shorts and short sleeves.  Maybe it is my two new running skirts just waiting to be worn.  Maybe it was that 6 inches of snow I found on my car this morning when I didn't even know it had snowed. Maybe it was that bitter cold breeze across the back of my neck as I walked to my car after my workout.  Whatever.......!  I'll manage.  I won't be making any plans to move.  But it is supposed to be in the 40s this weekend and I'll take it!  

I was so hot here I was dying but a nice middle ground 
would do!  I'd be happy to be wearing one layer on top.
It could be long sleeves and capris on the bottom!  

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Weekend Running

At home - the run is done! Cold out but gorgeous!

Well, I had a cold and didn't really feel like running this weekend. I did do both runs but they were less than stellar efforts.  Yesterday it was around 25 degrees but windy.  We got 8 slow miles in.  Today it was about 1 degree and just plain cold.  T warmed up but I never did.  Next weekend I run (not race) my first half marathon in a long time.  The weather is promising, it is supposed to be warming up all along the East Coast!  Let's hope so!

Climb every mountain!

I did see both my chiropractor and PT on Friday. I had not seen the chiro since Sept. He thought my heel was in excellent shape and was even impressed that my calves are not too tight!  I guess all that early morning stretching is paying off!

These guys "greet" me when I get home!


Thursday, February 10, 2011

Many Things Thursday

1.  I did get to the gym for my additional two weekday workouts. Wednesday I had a quite successful tempo run!  I had all kinds of energy.  Today I felt similarly to Tuesday and just got through it.  Soon it will be the weekend and I will be running outside!  

2. Tomorrow I go to both my PT and my chiro to see how my heel is doing! It's doing quite well thank you!  I remain pleased but cautious.  I am always waiting for the pain to start again.  It isn't perfect now, I have little twinges but I do mean little!

3. Mood at work is lifting but we are all just making it to the weekend.  Thank God for the students who can lift you up (as well as bring you down.)  One thing for sure is it is never boring and you don't have too much time to be gloomy.  In spite of it being a horrific week I got a lot done at work. My web page is finally active - that took forever!  My students are doing an awesome writing piece. We have spent a lot of time learning about the race to be first at the South Pole.  Each student is now writing a series of letters from Robert F. Scott to his wife.  "He" writes as they are getting ready for the race, on the way to the Pole, at the Pole and on the way back - until just before his whole team dies!  Yes, a real mood lifter! Seriously it is a fascinating piece of history.  The students can really show their voice in the letters.  These letters are then made into a book.  The whole Antarctica thing is my favorite thing I teach all year.  Now we are moving onto penguins and the kids will think they have died and gone to heaven.  Of course one of the highlights is learning there is a jackass penguin - after all these are 8 + 9 year olds.

4. I was asked today how I was liking winter.  When I said I was loving it I could tell that was not the expected answer. If truth be told I am beginning to be a little quiet about my love for this winter.  I don't go on and on to my husband. He is working outside most of the day, comes home and plows the driveway and even when it hasn't snowed comes home and pushes back the driveway so a car can get through.  Then he shovels snow off the roof, rakes snow off the roof and shovels more snow off the roof.  He brings in all the wood for the wood stove to keep us very warm.  Me - I walk from my car to the building I am going to or I go for a run in it which I love.  I sit in a warm house and watch the snow gently falling outside. Or I sit in a warm house and watch the snow blowing everywhere falling like mad outside.  Hmmm.  I wonder why I like winter and he is JUST.PLAIN.SICK.OF.IT!

5. I had a student ask me today, "Just how many pairs of sneakers do you have?" I was sporting my newest pair which everyone keeps asking  if they glow in the dark.  Yeah, they are that bright and loud.  I ordered them on line and truthfully thought the color was much softer and was shocked when they came.  I had them all ready to send back when decided I needed more loudness in my life.  Got to say, I'm getting lots of compliments on them.  Just don't wear them on a day when you want to fade into the background.
Okay they look kind of soft and pretty here.........nope totally bright and in
your face.  The green is pretty much fluorescent.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Did I just write I never bailed on workouts?

This has been one of the most horrific and emotionally charged weeks at work ever.  I say week even though it is only Tuesday because there IS NO WAY it is only Tuesday.  That would mean I have 3 more days to get through before the weekend.  I have 8 more days to get though before a much needed vacation. I'm not going to go into the whys of the hard week yet.  Let's just say words I used to describe yesterday included disheartening, discouraged, depressed, disappointed.  I'm sorry to be mysterious, I just don't have it in me to go into it right now.  So today when I left work I came home. I did not go to the gym.  I will still get my 5 workouts in this week. I just couldn't do it today as planned. I was too tired mentally.

The icing on the cake yesterday was my notification from Vermont City Marathon that I did NOT get into the two person relay. It was a small disappointment in the big scheme of things but it hurt.  My daughter assures me I will be able to buy a bib but just in case let me know of good Memorial Day weekend races particularly in the Northeast.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Hard going

I had a long run today and it certainly could have been better. I'm not going to talk about the temperature and whether I thought it was hot or cold.  It was quite funny how many of you gave me grief for calling 15 perfect for a race.  Never entered my mind anyone would disagree.

Today the roads had the remnants of yesterday's storm.  A majority of my run was like running through soft sand.  I think I sang this same song last weekend.  But this week I went 12 long miles!  Once I turned around and was on the last few miles the road was fairly clear but the damage was done. I was shuffling (phrase picked up from Andrew who must have had somewhat of a similar run) along and could not seem to pick up my pace.  I wanted to turn around early but I hung in there and got the whole run done!
This was more than half way - no choice to quit now.
I was on my way home!

I did get my camera out from time to time and take some pictures.  Brilliant idea as each time I had a chance to rest. I listened to several podcasts on my Ipod as T didn't come down because the roads were too bad.

I saw MANY more people outside than usual.  Everyone was shoveling out.  It is getting so there is nowhere to put the snow.  At the General Store they were trying to clean off the roof - on both sides.  (This is what my husband was doing at home yesterday.) There were 3 guys on the first side - two working and one watching.  Then on the other side they were using the tractor.  I wasn't quite sure how and I didn't hang around to find out.  I JUST WANTED TO GET HOME! ENOUGH ALREADY!