Thursday, September 29, 2011

You Get What You Wish For (Part 1 of TTT)

1. Was it just last week I was complaining about running?  Now those words are going to come back to haunt me as I went to the doctors today and the words I heard as I was leaving were:

Don't Run For A Month!

Well, I know I said I was going to take a break but I was thinking 5 days for sure, maybe 7. I was not thinking a month.  I guess that is what I get for complaining.

You are probably wondering why a doctor would say that to me. I haven't mentioned an injury. Well, I was using the "Don't talk about it, it will surely go away" approach.  Didn't work.  My heel began to bother me again awhile ago.  I continued the stretches I have been doing all along and hoped it was just a short visit. For a long time it was barely noticeable and I did seem able to keep it at bay. During September I have been thinking I needed to actually see a professional about it but it still wasn't hurting  a whole lot.  So I thought I should go before it did.

I am sure the pain, no matter how much, was contributing to my negative feelings about running.  It wasn't constant or even present on every run but I was afraid it would make an unwelcome appearance.  It did not hurt at all during the half marathon but it hurt the most afterwards that it has hurt in a long time.  So I took it easy this week with just 1 bike ride.  I guess now I am going to find it easier to fit in those bike rides.

I am most disappointed about my race in NH in one week. This is the one I signed up for with work friends.  I have permission to walk it which does not excite me in the least but I will do it.  I'd rather take it easy now so I can do more running later.

I can bike, swim, use the elliptical :( and on and on.  You get it. A lot of you have been here or are here. Another thing that does bum me out is the speed that I am beginning to build up will disappear again.  Oh well.  At least I had a GREAT time at my race last weekend.  I couldn't have felt better.  Now I'll get healthy again so I can do my favorite half in February and others in the spring.  And I plan to be running in that new Santa race in December.  This is a pause.  Not a stop.

2.  I am slowly working  my way through all the library books I got out.  Some I have not finished. Some I skimmed.  So far there are none I am in love with but that is the beauty of library books. It doesn't matter as I only borrowed them.  Right now I am reading The Submission which has a good idea but hasn't captured me.  It is one I will finish though.

3. I had a good bike ride on Tuesday. I took my camera to get some pictures but before I knew it the sun was setting.  Shorter days is not something I like about fall.  But the temperature was great. I went on the road where I got my flat. Believe me I approached all those pot holes much more slowly!

There is some color out there but it is not spectacular yet.  I hope to get out on my bike this weekend and see some more color although I have been paying no attention to the forecast.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Adirondack Half Race Report

This report is all over the place in no particular order.

Overall Feeling
There are many many things I liked about this race.  I already liked that I negative split the two halves. As I was figuring out some stats about my race I also realized my fastest mile was my last mile!  Yeah! At first I thought it was my first mile but the last one beat it by two whole seconds. I would have liked it if all my miles were in the 9s but two got into the 10s. One just barely got there but the other one was solidly in - but following an awesome pace with a mile that was very hilly.  The second half was much hillier than the first.  I am so pleased with how I did. As I was racing I kept telling myself that I needed to be happy when I finished no matter my time. I was never sure that I would end with a pace in the 9s which is what I was shooting for.  But as I was racing I was having fun, running strong and I never got overly tired.  There were no dead miles. I felt good on the hills.  I had picked out various people I thought I would try to stay with for the race. All but one I ended up passing (and leaving in the dust). The one girl I stayed with was a fair ways ahead of me but I could always see her.  By the time  the race ended she was just in front of me.

The Numbers

Here are my mile splits.  The last mile was THE FASTEST with the first mile being second! Good way to start and end a race!

Mile 1: 9:24 
Mile 2: 9:54
Mile 3: 9:50
Mile 4: 9:36
Mile 5: 9:57
Mile 6: 9:38
Mile 7: 9:54  
Mile 8: 10:03
Mile 9: 9:51
Mile 10: 9:33 
Mile 11: 10:24
Mile 12: 9:57
Mile 13: 9:22
Lap 14 8:20

I was 3/19 in my age group!  I left before awards because it just did not occur to me I would win an age group prize.  So I did not get my maple syrup but I do get the satisfaction of knowing I placed!  I was 98/311 female runners. Then I was also surprised to see overall I was 208/498 runners. I always shoot to be in the top half but I don't expect to be in a half marathon.  My overall time was 2:08:55 and according to Garmin my pace was 9:47.  It was in the middle for time of the 5 halves I raced this year. I'll take it.  


This was one well organized race.  Everything was worked out to a T.  I was surprised at the specatator support.  I particularly liked running through the Word of Life campus where it was beautiful and there were a lot of people and cheering.  I hadn't expected this.  There were plenty of water stops and port a lets.  The food afterwards was excellent including soda!  As I was leaving a race director (there was more than one) thanked me for coming to their race.  There was lots of parking and the whole town seemed supportive. I loved that the bus drivers had volunteer t-shirts. You don't always see that.  It is a race I would come back to and it wasn't as far from my house as I had thought it might be.

 The Course

As mentioned the course was scenic but hilly.  There were parts on Route 9 that were nothing special but they were also very hilly so I  was concentrating on getting up the hills, not the lack of scenery.  Even though there were lots of hills at least they were long and gradual not steep. Or as I am always saying when I am cycling they were "doable." 

 Best Pre Race Friend

Darlene got us coffee so our
eyes could be wide open for
the race!

Do you remember the coffee woes from yesterday's post. When I woke up this morning Darlene had already been to Stewarts and returned with coffee for both of us!  Problem solved!  

A Little Complaining
Of course I hugely appreciated the volunteers.  There were many of them and they gave so much time. There is a but though.  So many of them said completely the wrong things.  We were maybe 5 miles into the race when a volunteer kept telling people that the worst was behind us, it would all be easy now.  Well, we had 8 miles left and it was the hilly part. What was she thinking?  And at least one volunteer on every hill told us it was the last hill.  We were told that again and again and again and again. Finally one of them was right.  One other thing was that the mile markers were way off. I just ignored them and paid attention to my Garmin once I realized that.  The marathon ones seemed to be right, it was the halves that were way off.

Sharing my Shirt at School
Today at school I was showing my students my shirt.  They thought everyone got a shirt with a star near MY name.  Got to love them!  They know who the most important racer is.  
Also one student was immediately telling the others I won an award. Her parents were there and heard them announce it. Today the mother and I were "bonding" on email over other good races and race times. 

A Bloggy Meet Up
I got to spend a lot of time with Darlene whom I have raced with 3 times now.  I also met some of her friends, two of whom I follow their blogs.  There was Felice from The Happy Runner and Amanda from Manderez Road to a New Life.

And last but not least the medal. It's a fun one. I'll keep it.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Adirondack Half - Done and It was good one!

Had a GREAT race!
Age Group Award!
Negative split the second half!
Felt strong the whole race!
Report to come!

At the start.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Day Before the Race

The Champlain Bridge is getting closer to opening.

Love any ferry ride!
  • My sidebar says this half marathon is the 24th. Not so much. It is the 25th.  I still need to run it.
  • It has to be a good race when you go on a ferry to get there.
  • The weather forecast is hot and humid.  That is the worst news so far.
  • The course is much harder for the marathon than the half. For sure. But the half is no cake walk.
  • I have done an awesome job carbo loading.  And sweets loading. That helps right?

  • I had a crepe and a half for lunch. One savory, one sweet.  Fantastic.
  • I had a dessert and a half at the pasta dinner.
  • There is no coffee maker at this very nice house we are staying at.  We both brought coffee but no coffee maker.  Oops.
  • The above is a problem.
  • So far we aren't sure how to solve it.
  • The house we are staying in is about 11 minutes from the race in one direction.  Somehow it is about 45 minutes in the other direction. Managed to miss two chances to get on 87.  Until........we were back at the cabin almost and got on when we shouldn't have and had to go 5 miles back toward Schroon Lake and then turn around to come back here.  And we had coffee today. Imagine how sharp our minds will be with no coffee tomorrow.
At the Expo!

Hey our names are on here!

The jacket you get for the race.  Nice change.

  • It was a small Expo but I managed to get a few things including one very awesome shirt. 
  • Race swag included a jacket! Very fun!

The start for the half.......

Yeah these are a sign too!

Where I'm staying with Darlene!

  • Off to bed!  Hope I can get some sleep so I can do a decent job tomorrow!  It's fun to be part of the whole running community with a common love of racing and running.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Adirondack Half

Tomorrow I head to New York for my fifth half marathon this year.  At first I thought this might be my fall marathon but I eventually decided not to do a marathon this year and I have not regretted that decision.  I haven't even been feeling it much for the half.  But there certainly are some positives.

It is a distance I love.   
I have put the miles in.  
I am meeting up with and staying with Darlene.
 It is my second road trip in my new car.  
There is an Expo.  
We are going to the pasta dinner which I have never done for  a race.
If I finish I get a medal.
It is supposed to be very scenic.

And I'm not going to list the negatives.

I don't want it to be my slowest half ever (and I am truly worried it might be.)
I want to be under a 10 minute pace.
I want to be as close as I can to a 9:30 pace.
I want to enjoy the scenery.
I want to have fun.

The times of my four halves this year:

Random Half Marathon Facts

My slowest half marathon ever was 2:12:10.
My pace in my slowest half this year was 9:54.  Yikes that is close to 10.
This is my 18th half and I am proud of that.
This year is the most halves I have done in  a year.
My fastest half was 2:00:55 in 2008.
My favorite half marathon ever that is tough.  I love love love the VCM relays especially the one I ran with my son. It was simply fantastic.  I loved All Women and One Lucky Guy which they have now moved.  Boo Hoo.  I liked the Big Lake Half the first year I did it (my PR race) but not so much the second as it was poorly organized that year.  Probably my favorite is truly the Half at the Hamptons which I have raced in NH the last two Februarys and plan to do again next year. I love winter as you know and doing a half on the ocean in the winter simply rocks my world.

Okay all this thinking about halves is getting me excited. I better go get some sleep so I can get up, pack and be on my way!
Half at the Hamptons!

I'm in pink - doing the first half of
the relay at VCM.  My son is on his roof taking

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Three Things Thursday

1. Thanks for all the advice/thoughts about my lack of loving running and questions on training.  As I read the responses I went back and saw I had typed one thing wrong. I am currently running 5 days a week, not 6.  I used to run 6 but cut back to 5 last year when I returned to running from being injured. Now I think I am going to cut to 4, continue biking until it is time to put it up and then add a different cross training in maybe 1 day a week.  I don't think anything else will tempt me to do it as much as the biking. I might add in swimming which I had thought about at one point. Who knows,,,,,,,,maybe then I'll do the world's slowest sprint triathlon come spring.  Some of you suggested a bike trainer and that might be good for my biking fitness but biking for me is all about the scenery, the new routes I take and what I see. I think I would die on a trainer.  Is there anyone out there who loves them?  The other alternative is the elliptical which seems to be what everyone at the gym wants to use but I feel that is rather deadly too.  When there is snow I should get out my cross country skis again.  Now that might hook me like biking!  Or I could do one of many classes my gym offers. I have ignored them in favor of running but maybe I need to change that. Lots of options out there.

2. I keep a lot of books in my Amazon cart, not because I am going to buy them all but it is my way of keeping track of what I want to read. Periodically I go through the cart while cross checking with my library and reserve the books on line that it has. Well, this week my ship came in. Today I picked up 6 books that I just reserved last Sunday.  I won't put all the pics up but here is the list if you are interested:

The Submission by Amy Waldman
Eyes Wide Open by Andrew Gross ( a thriller - seems to be my new fave genre)
Three Stages of Amazement by Carol Edgarian
You're Next by Gregg Hurwitz (yup a  thriller)
These Things Hidden by Heather Gudenkauf
Stone Rain by Linwood Barclay (new fave thriller author)

I also picked up:
Watch My Die by Erica Spindler (Has anyone read this author?)
Heartwood by Belva Plain

I love having lots of books to choose from when I am finished with a book.  The book that I am reading now is okay. I actually bought two copies by mistake so I sent one to Emily. It is an author I liked but this is not one you can't put down.

3. I just got out my last year's log to see when I put the bike  up. Last year at this time I was biking exclusively so I was biking in some pretty cold winter. Well, the last ride was October 30 and it was a really cold one. T and I were riding on a day that we were stupid to be out in that we were not dressed right for  that showed we are amazing women who will do anything to get the workout in.  I am upset to think that in 5 weeks or less I will more than likely be putting the bike up for the year.  I definitely need to explore some options and see what catches my fancy as a form of cross training.  Maybe I will make it a goal to try one new thing each week.  Hmm.  Maybe two new things in a month!
How long can I go this year?

Still coming - goals for my half marathon on Sunday.  

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

I DID IT! And seeking advice on training........

What did I do you ask?  I finally finally commuted to school on my bike!  It has taken me almost 4 weeks to jump on my bike in the morning instead of sliding into my car and driving to work. I might have done it sooner if the road hadn't gone out but it has been driveable for a couple of weeks now so that is a lame excuse.  I have biked the last two mornings and plan to again tomorrow although my original plan for the week called for two bike commutes.  Once you get all the organization figured out it is easy.  I am getting up about 20 minutes earlier, laying out my clothes (biking and work) the night before, making sure the backpack is ready and making a list so I don't forget what I need to grab.  Monday was a beautiful day but today was raining and I still commuted.  I did have a student ask me how many bikes I have because yesterday I rode my Hybrid and today I got out my mountain bike for the rain.  It took me awhile last night to locate my rain pants but I did.  I HAVE NOT been able to find the wool glove liners I bought last fall and never wore. It got too cold to continue riding. They sat on my bureau for the winter until I finally "took care" of them but where oh where did taking care of them entail? I looked again in a  few new places tonight but still no luck.

Both days that I biked this week, I also ran once I got home. I couldn't really call them bricks as I came in checked email, had a snack, changed my clothes, then got going.  My runs have been less then stellar. Do I really have a half marathon this weekend?  It is perhaps the least excited I have been for a half.  I am excited to see Darlene and stay with her Sat. night before the race. We are going to the pasta dinner which is unusual for me.  There is a race expo and the course is supposed to be very scenic - that is absolutely the way I like it.  But my running is bleeck.  I don't have the enthusiasm I usually do.  I am thinking about doing  a run walk thing but I'm not sure yet.  I have prepared but not as diligently as I usually do.  I usually hit every workout. This time I have done the long runs and the speed workouts but not so much with the tempos and pace.  Hmm. That is quite a hole.  So when I am thinking about my goal I will need to remember what my effort has been.  Some of the problem has been that my heart has been with biking and that has really been my top priority a lot of the time.

I think I am going to look over my training after this.  I am going to take 5 days or so off from running completely.  Then I am going to think about running less often. Maybe my body is telling me something.  When I put the bike away for the winter I need to find another way of cross training.  I can't really say I have been cross training though as I just added biking to my running regimen.  No wonder I have lost some of my joy.  I  am not exactly a young runner and I think I may be asking too much of myself.  I would still like to work out 5 days a week but cut running back to four. I have been running 6 and biking 3 all spring, summer and fall.  My son keeps telling me I am overtraining. Maybe I need to listen.  I am so scared of being a slacker. Seriously. I still remember those days when I did  nothing and I don't want to go back there.

Thoughts?  Have you cut back or changed it up with any success?  

I'll end with a couple pictures from my run today.  I keep thinking I will show you some of our fall color but there isn't much yet.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Tour de Farm 2011

Tour de Farm has come and gone for another year.
First - I loved it.  Second ... I didn't love it as much as last year.  I am not sure why but it could be because it wasn't my first.  I knew what was coming. I had some anticipation as to certain samples and they had changed.  There were not many sweet things and I have quite a sweet tooth.

The weather was fantastic. It could not have been better.  I rode with 4- 6 people for most of it but rode with is a term I use loosely. I rode with them some of the time but I find as in running I really like to go at my own pace.  I would ride with someone for a bit and then just take off on my own and wait at the next food stop.  There were a lot of hills and I wanted to use the downhills as much as I could to get up the uphills.  (I didn't remember that it was as hilly as it was.) The second half seemed to be mostly hills.  But we did it.  And I DID NOT WALK up any hills!  There were people there on single speed bikes to road bikes.  I was impressed with kids who rode the whole 30 miles!   There were a lot more people then last year perhaps because of the weather.  Samples were smaller and you couldn't get a lot of repeats whereas last year you were encouraged to.

The day started again with maple candy and drinking maple syrup.  My husband would be appalled that I chose the darker syrup instead of fancy grade but it is what I like.  Getting to this stop is the only time the riding is really crowded. It is single file for the first mile or more as you make your way from the start to here.  You begin in waves of 50.

The second stop was the one many people skipped.  Last year it was at a farm right off the road. This year you went down a very rough road into a field for at least half a mile (which meant you would be coming up later.)  I did see one rider with a flat here.  My heart felt for her but she seemed to know how to fix it.  The samples here were applesauce, blueberries, unbelievably good hard boiled eggs, honey, and there may have been more.  Only one of the riders in my group came down here with me. I hate to miss anything!  The sheep here seemed to wish we had all skipped it as they took off running at as fast a clip as they could go!

We met back up with them at the next stop which was my favorite last year (squash and cookies)  Well they had neither of those this year. The big deal was tomatoes - prepared in various ways and many varieties. People raved about them but the line was l..........o.............n...............g and I am not a big tomato fan so we skipped that part. I did sample some turkey sausage with chipote on it.

It was a fair distance to the next stop which was a farm stand that went with an apple orchard.  The samples were a small taste of cider and a bite of apple.  The cider doughnuts were the big thing here but I bought an apple instead. I was craving more apple.  This place was packed  the whole time we were there.  We spent a fair amount of time at each stop - eating, talking, seeing other people we know.

The next part of the ride was very pleasant along the lake. It wasn't too hilly until we went toward Orwell and then there was a lot of up and down.  Once there there was a variety of samples and pizza for sale on the green.  The smoked turkey breast was my favorite sample of the day. I did go back more than once for  this. I can't even remember what the other samples were as in my mind the turkey was so much better than anything else.  We did buy and split a pizza, all organic.

While there we managed to be just  bit geeky too taking our pictures in this special tour de farm portrait.

Then the next stop was the winery.  To get there we had to go up the biggest hill of the day but were rewarded with spectacular views at the top.  Some of my party skipped the winery as it was another long trek up a woods road into a field.  The problem was there was grape juice and more cider but no wine.  ???? Luckily all was not lost as the guy brought out an apple pie as I was standing there - apparently the only one of the day and we got a sample.  YUM!

There was one more stop which was drinkable yogurt. This stuff is delicious and I was looking forward to it all day.  From there we continued our roller coaster ride back to the start up and down and up and down.  The bad hills were the ones where there was no down first.  But 30.5 miles later we made it back to the green.  I was a bit surprised at how late it was. This event took the whole day. I don't know if it started later or we just took much longer at each stop. worries........we all had a great time.

It was another great day for a wonderful ride in Vermont.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

30 Degrees in September!

This morning when T and I ran it was 30 degrees.  30 degrees!  I wore two layers of long sleeves, a headband and gloves which I never felt the need to take off. I am not complaining but that change happened fast!  We cranked out 8 miles. While we were running we met several cyclists which is not usual. They had come over Lincoln Gap (starting in the dark) and were doing 6 gaps today.  They apparently do this every year.  One gap couldn't be done as it is not passable still from the flood so they were going to do Lincoln twice which I am guessing is the steepest.  A friend of T's did it earlier this year and I forget how many hours it took but it was a lot.  There is a lot of riding just to get from Gap to Gap to say nothing about going over them. I was a tad envious all day - not of the actual ride but of the goal and how they must have been feeling fulfilling that goal!  They had a great day for it.

After our run I did my stretching and then proceeded to get a lot done around here since I will be busy tomorrow.  Later in the day my husband needed a ride to Shelburne so I brought my bike and got a short ride in.  I was along the lake for some of it. The sun had disappeared behind clouds and it was cool but great for biking. I had brought along my coat thank goodness.  My husband told me I wouldn't need it but apparently his blood is thicker than mine.
One of a few wonderful views while I was riding.

On the reading front I finished State of Wonder by Ann Patchett and enjoyed it a great deal. I keep asking who has read it as it is a good discussion book.  I am reading yet another book by Leonard Barclay who I talked about the last time I mentioned reading.  I love finding a new author I like. He writes thrillers which I love.  I have three more on reserve at the library.  Has someone else recently discovered him too as all his books are out, not just the new ones? I plan to get the ones the library doesn't have with a gift certificate to a bookstore.  I also went back to Borders but I only found two books this time. I missed getting one because I thought I bought it last time but I had not. No worries though as the library has it.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Three Things Thursday Once Again

1. I have had 3 very different runs this week.  Tuesday I did a speed workout on the treadmill and it went great. It had the most repeats I do before my half and I had no problem doing them.  Wednesday was a beautiful day and I decided to come home and go outside. When I started out I was slow slow slow.  I had toyed with the idea of taking a very hilly route.  It is so hilly that the last time I ran it was 2 years ago - yes that is 2 years ago - when I was training to run up a mountain in the 100 on 100.  Since then I have avoided this route completely except for on my bike.  And I don't go up it on my bike very often either.  I'm no fool.  But yesterday I thought I might like to take that route. Why?  
I hadn't done it in a long time.
I was already going slowly so going slow on the hills would be no big deal.
It has gorgeous views I don't see that often.
It was something different.
It is a loop and I never run loops at home.

Look way way up into the distance.  This is the 
BEGINNING of one of many hills.  It continues
past what looks to be the top of it for about another
3/4 mile.  

So when I got to the point where I had to decide - I stopped and used the bathroom to give myself some more thinking time.  I came out and stood there for a minute and then instead of continuing straight I turned left and off to all the hills I went!  (Even the downhills are murder on this route!)
On Monday's ride I saw sheep and then horses. Today
they were in the same place.

The trees are just beginning to turn.

Almost home!

Today I had another good if not great run on the treadmill.  So I loved being outdoors this week but my two best runs were on the treadmill by far.  Odd. But no pretty pictures on the treadmill!

2. I am still having the best year at school. I know it is early yet but unless something drastic changes (you never know who is going to move in) the signs are all there for a good year.  Yeah, I have some harder students but I also had them last year and we have our "living with each other" pretty well worked out.  They know what I will take and what they better not even think about trying.  Plus the class chemistry is good and there aren't many kids who will buy into their shenanigans. The class is small. I dare not tell you how small as I will get hate comments from all the teachers who read this blog.  And as I have said teaching one thing twice (math) is just rocking my world.  Plus all the team stuff and I know you've heard it before but it is so great to be happy at work!

3. I do not have a race this weekend and that is fine. I seem to be "off races" for now. But I do have something I am really looking forward to. Sunday I am riding in the Tour de Farms where you ride a certain number of miles (30 for me) and stop at many many farms along the way.  You get lots to eat and drink (including wine) plus a brewery is one of the sponsors so I am wondering what else there will be to drink.  But that could be wishful thinking.  Last year we got all kinds of things maple at the first stop including maple candy and I knew how good the day would be. The forecast is sunny and not too hot for Sunday and I have some friends who will be riding too. 
Tour de Farms - here I come!