Saturday, April 30, 2011

My Beloved Bike Path FLOODED!

Lake Champlain reaches flood stage at 100 feet.  The highest recorded level on the Burlington side was 101.86 feet in April in 1993.  The highest recording on the New York side was 102.1 feet in May in 1869.  As of 8 PM last night the lake was at 102.75 feet in Burlington. It is expected to continue to rise as the rivers that were so swollen previously in the week empty into it.  It  was just a few weeks ago I raced a half marathon all along the bike path and it is one month before the Marathon follows the same path.  At the time of the half the worry was clearing the snow off.  
There is a lot of debris everywhere

No hamburgers here today

Childrens' playground completely covered

This is a parking lot

You think?

This is approaching one of my favorite parts on the bike
path. You could not get there.

The "path" continues
around this corner in both directions

This is another part farther south

Tomorrow I have my first race of my many May races.  It is a The Maple Half. I don't have any big goals for it.  I ran it last year in 2:06:18 so I would love to beat that time or at least be close to it. My main memory from last year is the wind.  I don't know if that will be a factor. I am more worried about the heat as 70 is projected for tomorrow and I have still been wearing layers!  Whatever. I plan to have fun and enjoy it. I do have some friends doing it which is always great.  One has become a blogger so go give her a little bloggy love. I am sure she will also be doing a race report after the race.  

Thursday, April 28, 2011

I Didn't Get Hit by Lightning

  •  I did ride my bike on Wednesday which turned out to be a beautiful day.  There was not even a hint of thunder or rain either way.  Communities around us are reeling from some recent flooding though. We got 5/8 of an inch yesterday whereas communities quite close by got over 3 inches. There were several schools closed for flooding, some for more than one day.  
  • I am tired after doing 4 days in a row of biking and running.  Wed. morning my run was rather slow.  Usually if I am running quite early I do well but I just didn't have it in me. The same thing happened on the ride home from work. Good time to wind it down.

A few shots from local flooding 

  • Today it was rather relaxing to sleep a tad later and take my time knowing that I was driving to school.  I got out to my car which apparently was feeling neglected as it took SEVERAL ATTEMPTS to get it started. I hadn't used it in days and it was rather angry. Once I did get to school the skies opened up and I was soaked when I got in the building. The same thing happened as I left the gym tonight. It had been clear and sunny and all of a sudden it was a downpour. Good decision not to ride the bike.  The river was scarily high and crazy on the way home. I was even a little nervous driving near it. 
  • Here is another good reason I paid attention to the weather forecast (as so many of you kindly advised me.) 
  • Authorities say lightning struck a northern Vermont man during thunderstorms that also cut power to 4,000 people and flooded some streets and streams.Richmond Rescue Lt. Andy Squires confirmed to the Burlington Free Press that the man was hit Tuesday night in Richmond but said medical privacy laws prevent him from giving further details. Fletcher Allen Health Care spokesman Mike Noble said the man's injuries are minor.
  • On another note I have now finished all six seasons of Lost. Whew.  That took awhile. I absolutely liked the first 3 seasons the best.  I still choose Sawyer or Hugo as my favorite characters although there were many characters I liked.  I have now started watching Modern Family on my son's recommendation. I have to say I have only seen one  episode but it was laugh out loud funny even early in the morning while stretching!
  • I am reading another book by Penny Vincenzi.  Love her books. They are long and keep me interested and I discovered her after she had already written many books so it was a lot of good reading to catch up on.  

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Double Double Lightning Trouble


I commuted to work by bike!  Go me!  I loved my ride down - yes down in the morning.  I loved looking at my bike propped up all day in my classroom but proof of my awesomeness of getting to work under my own power.  Then when work was over I ran 4 miles with some of my new running friends at school.  I got back from that, changed my clothes so I wasn't starting out wet and headed up the mountain to get home.  Changing may have been stupid as it was raining and I certainly did get wet. But it was a light rain and it wasn't cold. I didn't turn in at my road but continued past to make sure I got in at least 10 miles. Am I nuts to do this? Should I just go home and call it good enough?  Yeah it's not that far (slightly less than 8 miles round trip) but so much of it is uphill.  (And of course that means an equal amount is downhill.) I am feeling nicely tired tonight while thinking I might just get in another double tomorrow!


Today I got up and was running by 5:45.  Those of you who follow me know I am not a before work runner or in in the dark runner.  It should have been light but due to all the rain it wasn't. It wasn't raining too badly although I did hit every puddle due to the afore mentioned darkness.  On the way back I couldn't see because my glasses were so covered with rain drops. So maybe it was raining quite a bit.  I got home, hurried through my stretches and jumped on my bike to head to school. Yes, it was still raining but I had on rain pants and a rain coat. Now I love my rain pants but I can see why people pay the big bucks for Gore Tex because man do I sweat in these cheaper ones. So much that I am not dry which is the whole point.  I had one of those late meetings at school so it was rather late by the time I headed home. I am beat!  I don't know if it is my additional activity or just life.  I didn't plan to taper for my half this Sunday as it is just a race I am doing not an A race at all but I don't know how smart doing all these doubles are either.  I don't even know if they are a double when they are taking place at 3 different times!  I am nuts!

I want to get one more commute in this week but  but am having trouble figuring out which day.  I wanted to drive tomorrow and give myself a break but the weather prediction is worse for Thurs. It is not the rain which bothers me (every day this week is rainy) but Thursday looks the worst for thunderstorms.  I have missed them so far.  What would you do?  Play it safer with the weather on Wed. and ride the bike and fit in a run somehow or save the bike ride for Thursday. I am trying to do nothing on Friday or Saturday to give my body a rest before the half.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Spring is peeking out at least

I think I gloated too much about the awesome spring day on Friday because Saturday Old Man Winter was back.  T said it was snowing like crazy at her house and the ground was covered in white. We were only getting flurries at my house but it was cold, windy, damp and miserable. If she hadn't come down I may have not gone or gone to the gym which I NEVER do on a weekend.  But off we went and I grumped and complained for at least the first mile. The one good thing was that for a change the wind was with us on the way back.  We made it 6 miles but I have had pleasanter runs. I didn't bother take the camera to get any more pics of dismal weather. No biking today.  Tomorrow is bound to be better.

Okay Sunday,today, was better. It was sunny when we started out which lasted a minute and a half. But it was warm and no snow anywhere!  We ran 8 while chatting about our busy May and wondering when we could run together.  Next Sunday I have a half and T is racing in another race. This is a big deal as T rarely races and this time she is racing on her own! Go T!!!  I felt good today and before we knew it back home we were.

BUT I wasn't done. I came in the house, had some chocolate milk, changed my shirt and headed out on my bike!  I went 11, 1 more than Friday but a very hilly additional mile.  I am so excited to have my bike back out.  I am going to try to ride at least 2 times a week including one commute although sometimes that may be additional. So what is it called when you run then bike?  A reverse brick?

Today I came home from Easter dinner and made lunches, ironed clothes, packed running clothes and drove all the stuff to school.  Does that defeat the commute?  Heck no. I am hoping to commute at least 3 times this week and I drove the stuff down once.  The only problem is there is a ton of rain predicted including thunderstorms.  I can deal with plain rain. We shall see.  But the best thing is the idea of commuting by bike tomorrow has me excited about getting up and going tomorrow instead of dreading the first day back after a vacation.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Run + Bike + Spring Day = Happy AJH

Loved loved loved getting my bike out tonight.  I put it away late last fall after a VERY cold discouraging ride when I realized I would not be able to keep riding my bike into the winter without a lot of changes.  My commutes to work ended along with long weekend rides but the timing was good.  Shortly after I was able to return to running.
On tonight's ride I ran into a friend and his baby
that I haven't seen in a few months! Everyone
was out on this spring day!

This morning I went for my usual run in fairly cold temps but not compared to yesterday.  I may have even been a little overdressed.  In keeping with my runs recently I went on a new route.  I went into town the way I usually do but instead of coming back the way I came I turned and kept going.  This route goes up some major hills which is probably why absolutely why I usually avoid it but I loved going a new way. Overall I had a great run.

As the day progressed it became a beautiful spring day, something that has been in short supply around these parts. I went to an early movie (African Cats) and all the way home all I could think about was getting out my bike.  I do want one of my goals is to race a duathlon and if I am going to do this in the beginning of June it is time to get on my bike!

I have run this part of today's route but not often

....but this part was new

I went for just 10 miles today but it was a great ride. I truly love riding my bike but am wondering how I will fit in both running and biking.  May is a heavy race month for me so I need to keep up my running but the duathlon that I may do will do is in early June so I need to be at least somewhat ready for that!  I would like to keep running 5 days a week and also fit in a minimum of 2 rides with at least one commute.  I am looking forward to commuting on my bike again. It is mainly getting organized that is the problem.  There will be much more light than there was in the fall so that will be easier.  Yeah for this spring day for getting me started again on the bike!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Three Things Thursday

1.  Yesterday I didn't run because there was thunderstorm after thunderstorm.  When the thunder stopped it was seriously cold.  You know not much keeps me inside but I couldn't get out there.  I had finally started a cleaning project and was seriously into it. Really. It is not the cleaning I like it is the organizing.  Love it! Today I went through clothes when I switched around summer/winter clothes. It may not be summer or even spring yet but I am done with the winter clothes for now.  I always like doing this as it is like having lots of new things or just finding old faves.  (One of the many reasons I love Vermont and the four seasons.)  I have 3 bags for the yellow boxes (donations) and 3 bags to take to my cousin.  If I could I would just keep on organizing but I think tomorrow is going to be a movie day.

2. So today I ran the 12 miles I didn't run yesterday.  It wasn't raining BUT it snowed - completely serious- the whole time. I tried to take a picture of the flurries but you can't really see them which is odd because it was snowing a fair amount. It wasn't sticking to the road and only a little to the grass.  I had to wear a headband, turtle fur on my neck and gloves. Yesterday when I was organizing in my own little heaven I put away my winter running clothes. I left out just a few - good thing.  I was slower than I would have thought possible and fairly tired but I did it. I ended up going up a hill I have never gone up before. If I do the local race in a few weeks it is where the 5K goes so I wanted to check it out.
SNOW on the ground!

This is the way I usually go.

I took the left side of the fork and went
UP the hill.  

3. Anyone looking for some new digs?  This wonderful mode of transportation takes you to a house across the river. When the river is low they drive across.  When it is really high, I would think they stay put if they are over there.  If you like privacy it could be the place for you. And it is near me so we could run together!

I guess you just sit and hang on.

Across the river you go....... the other side.

So you saw above where I ran today including snow.  Here is where I was on my April vacation last year.  

It was just a bit warmer and there is no snow in sight.

Boston Shopping and Races to Come

It was a busy weekend in Boston but with running stores around and a huge (overwhelming) Expo there was bound to be some shopping.  We actually hit the Expo 3 times.  The first time was Saturday and it was way too crowded and overwhelming. I had no idea where I had been or how to get back to a couple things I was thinking about. We ended up leaving with many free samples but the only thing I bought was sunscreen.

Sunday we went back soon after the 5K finished.  First we ate, then we shopped. It was much better as far as the crowd but I still wasn't feeling it for the shopping.  Maybe this was when I bought the sunscreen, not sure.  Emily and The Rocketship headed back to the hotel so Emily wouldn't be on her feet too long.  But Jameson and I did a bit more "looking" around. We hit up City Sports again.  J had actually gotten running shoes there Saturday night.  I went back to look at a running jacket I had seen on Saturday. They were handing out coupons at the Expo so I was all set with a discount. I had first seen this jacket in DC but talked myself out of it. It was the first thing I spied in the store on Sat. night when J got the shoes and Em picked up a Boston shirt. Still nothing for me. But on Sunday I was ready and thought it was time to get the jacket.

I made sure I got the hood in the picture
as my son thought the hood rocked.  I love
the whole jacket.

Then we headed to Nike Town where J wanted to get some shoes.  I had spotted some the night before but again talked myself out of them. Well, on Sunday the "Go ahead and get it Gods" were whispering in my ear.  I had that post race adrenaline high plus the I'm on vacation mode of thinking and got not one but two pairs. I got the pair I had spied on Sat. night but then J showed me some he thought I would like.  He was right!  I love them!  Maybe he can quit his day job and become my personal shopper. I seem to be going a little nuts buying sneakers these days. If I have to wear orthotics I am going to wear some fun shoes. That is how I look at it.

Perched on the dashboard on the way home.  Love them!

Couldn't resist these either.

Before we headed out to eat Sunday night we hit the Expo up one more time. We remembered that last year there were good discounts on much of the Boston 2011 gear. We all scored. Here is the shirt I got.  

One Busy May

I also need to edit my sidebar because I am now officially registered for the 2 person relay in the Vermont City Marathon. I didn't get picked in the lottery but I have scored a bit off the transfer board. I love love love this race and the thought of not being a part of it was making me very sad!  I do NOT like to spectate this race anymore as I am eaten up with envy of all the runners.  

May is going to be one busy month. I am already signed up for 4 races (two halves) and will probably do one more as it is in my town and that never happens.  Then the one weekend I am not racing there is the Girls on the Run race which I want to help at or at least go see my girls and the other day that weekend is a walk for Juvenile Diabetes and one of my other students has asked me to be on his team.  Holy Batman it is going to be a busy month!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Spectating Boston -Congrats to all the Runners

Emily just about ready to go VERY early
in the morning.

Spectating Boston is an awesome experience. I would not need to know any of the runners to have an awesome time.  But knowing someone...........and having that someone be your daughter = AWESOME.

Some year when I am spectating it will be warm.  At least bearable. But the first several hours were COLD!  Of course what the spectators want and what the runners want are very different things weather wise.

First we got our spots and stayed there with only one person leaving at a time for a break to get warm or use the clean bathroom in the Prudential Center.  As soon as someone left the other two would do the "wide stance" to save the spot.  Don't call us amateur spectators. We had a system and it was a good one.
We rocked as spectators!

Once the first three amazingly fast wheelchairs came through it started moving quickly.  Before we knew it the women were coming.  Is that.........Kara Goucher?  YES!  I thought I had missed my hero, Joan Benoit Samuelson, when I saw a motorcycle escort coming and there she was!  I screamed and screamed and screamed some more!  She is so inspiring!  I found out later when I read about her that her daughter was running her first Boston marathon.  Very cool.

Can't see them but we are sporting cowbell blisters!

The men were coming now also and soon enough it wasn't just the elites. It is always fun to see the costumes although we didn't see too many. I watched one news clip and we missed some pretty funny ones.

If you really want to be screamed for and cheered at stumble, walk, look injured and like you might not make it at the end. Because the crowd goes wild. I think the love from the crowd helped many a marathoner to the finish yesterday.  It was heart warming, heart breaking and just plain inspiring to watch  and be a part of.

I really really enjoy seeing the "slower" runners farther back in the marathon but Em came in and we raced off to see her.
Here she comes - black shirt/pink shorts.

Going by!

On her way to the finish!

She did an awesome job!  She improved her Boston Marathon time by about 9 minutes and had her second fastest marathon ever.  Jameson spotted her from afar (it is great having a tall son/brother) and we were able to wildly cheer for her.

Yeah Emily!

Emily, her supporters and all her stuff!

Now she can wear the jacket!

And it looks GREAT!  

Congratulations, Emily!