Thursday, May 30, 2013

A Rocking Workout Day!

First a swim.  Nothing special about the swim but it is part of the whole picture.

Then I had an appointment so was able to leave work at half day.  I had a doctor's appointment that is always a bit anxiety producing but things went well.  Then since there was time I don't often have I got two more workouts in.  I got home much later than planned but.........

I had a fantastic bike ride. It was an easy one on a flat route.  Two years ago at the beginning of the season there was a lot of flooding in Vermont. The marathon course had to be changed because a lot of the course was underwater.
Part of the flooded bike path.
One of the casualties of the flood was the Colchester Causeway which is an absolute delight to run and bike on.  In the summer there is a bike ferry that gets you to the other side of the cut and you can continue to ride in my beloved South Hero.  I have only used the bike ferry once but hope to get back there this summer because the Causeway has been repaired and is not usable. So the other day I rode from my son's to the bike path to the Causeway and back.  I couldn't remember how far it was but round trip it was 26 miles......a very respectable distance for a week day.
At the end of the Causeway....

Looking toward South Hero

The repaired path.....

You can see the path stretching way to the north...

Beautiful mountains in both directions.

Then I got back to Jameson's and decided I would take the time to run too. It was going to be a tri day. Jameson called just before I left and said he would be home in 5 minutes and if I waited he would run with me. I warned him I would be very slow but he said that would be fine. We only ran 4 miles - my request - but it was great.  I was as slow as promised and that night I was in bed before it was dark but I had a great great day!
Ending my busy workout day by running with Jameson....


Monday, May 27, 2013

Vermont City Marathon - A Hit Once Again

My favorite VCM medal ever

Great day - lots of fun in spite of the weather!

                                                Before the race with Sara - what I was going 
                                                                            to wear

Jameson's clothing choice - we look like
we're in different climates

I agonized over what to wear but there was no getting it right. With temperatures that stayed in the low 40s and a steady drizzle there was nothing to do but suck it up and be wet and cold!  As you might guess the worst part was waiting ahead of time. I was so glad I wasn't doing the second half and waiting around forever!
Jameson's throw away clothes.......

.......although he left on this lovely hat

 We went to Jameson's office and used the bathroom and didn't head for the start until we had to where I once again  had to go and got in the porta pottie line which was the slowest moving ever.  I barely made the start and then..............we were off!

I wore a jacket I would never choose to wear but it was my throw away jacket. Trouble is I never warmed up enough and wore it the whole way so it has lived to be thrown away another day.  Same thing with my mismatched gloves.  I took them off when I was done and my hands were instantly cold. It's amazing that cold wet gloves provide warmth.

During the race I really wasn't overly cold and there were times it was hardly raining. I didn't see a lot of people I knew. Jameson thought the spectators were really quiet but I was amazed at the number out there on such a miserable day.  A friend of mine went and I saw her a couple of times.  My husband went and didn't manage to see Jameson or me but earned forgiveness by giving us a ride almost to the finish line to finish watching the race. I had walked to Jameson's after to SHOWER and change my clothes.  Most.Wonderful.Move.Ever!
Done......about to take the best shower ever!

I'm rambling so I'm moving on to bullet points about the race.

  • I did get a better time than my last two halves although not by a lot. My net time was 2:22 which is about 15 minutes slower than last year here. Yikes. Will I ever get my speed back?  My foot/ankle is so much better although after a race like this I notice that it doesn't have the flexibility it should.  
  • I did have fun.  Absolutely. VCM never disappoints.
  • My teammate who had never done a half loved it and will surely do more.
Sara rocked it!

  • My last couple of miles felt much better than in my last half. I didn't die and I felt quite good even going up the last couple of hills. 
  • My miles were consistent with most times in the 10s with two in the 11s but low. There was one in the 13s but I had to stop and use the bathroom.  And I still beat my last half time. Hated to stop but it was oh so necessary.  
  • Mile 7 flew by and I was sure Mile 8 was mismarked it came up so quickly.  Love it when that happens.
  • I was exhausted later in the day. Exhausted. I think my age is showing!
A very similar picture to the one after
Unplugged 6 weeks ago.  Love
my Jaxon!

  • It was really strange not to have Emily here. A big hole in the joy of the weekend.
  • I love to race.  
  • GI problems after a race.  Yep, that's me these days.  
  • Watching runners finish a marathon makes me want to do another one.
Incredibly muddy at the finish.....

.....but always beautiful.

  • Choices made at My Little Cupcake following the race.  Red Velvet, Pumpkin with maple frosting, salted caramel.  Hit Miss Hit.
  • Three halves in 7 weeks.  Now I've got 7 weeks until my next one.
  • And triathlon season starts soon. :)
Shirt and medal

Saturday, May 25, 2013

What do I Wear - Help Please (and some fascinating info)

It looks a little cloudy. I'd take
that again.
Not so much this.

Losing some excitement for my favorite race.  It has been rainy and cold here for the past few days and the prediction for Sunday is no different.  The forecast presently says a high of 48 and a low of 37 with rain. We all know how to dress for cold and even prefer it for races but throw in the rain and in my opinion it just becomes miserable. Rain with warmth - no real problem but being cold and damp is just plain miserable. I have no idea what to wear. I have never found anything that works.

Suggestions are appreciated! 

I am planning on how to change and shower when I am done my half so I can go watch my friend. I talked her into doing this - her first half- and she is remaining enthusiastic. I have to go watch her and cheer her in.  I have a friend who is going to cheer me on. I gave her an out but she likes cheering at races and has many people to cheer for.  I don't expect my husband to go and that is truly just fine.
I'm in the blue shirt, pink hat.  Smiling. I am smiling 
in all the pictures from my first marathon. I had so
much fun!!!  I was great at finding Emily and Jameson
who were watching me too. I would see them before they would
see me.

Also I found the information below rather interesting. VCM has been posting lots of info on FB and the most recent one was about finalizing the results. I had no idea races went to this much trouble but I found some of the scenarios fascinating.

  • A runner is 1:40 at 10 miles (10:00/mile pace), 2:00 at 13.1 (6:30/mile for this 5k section), then finishes in just over 3:30 (7:00 pace the last half). We contacted the runner, and were told that he ran a friend through 10 miles, then picked it up to his normal pace the rest of the way. The chip data for him and his friend are the same at 10 miles. So in this case the huge negative split makes sense.
  • A runner has no start split, is 1:30 at 10 miles, 2:16 at 13.1, 4:00 at 20 miles, then finishes in just over 5:30. No start split was a tip off that this runner may have started prior to our 8:03am official start. The fact that the 10-13.1, 13.1-20, and 20-26.2 splits were all right on 15:00/mile, while the start-10 split was 9:00/mile, was strong evidence supporting our theory. When we contacted the runner he admitted to starting early.
The shame, the shame!  Glad they caught him.
  • A runner is 1:51 at 13.1 miles, then runs a 2nd half split of 1:23 for a total of 3:14. He is missing the 20 mile split and does not appear in video shot at the 22 mile mark or on the unpublished chip mat data at 21.5 miles. The runner has half marathon times from other races in the 1:45-1:55 range. It is the ruling of the judges that this is a bogus finish time and the runner did not run the entire course-the runner is removed from the results.
  •  Once again........The shame, the shame!  Glad they caught him or her.
  • A marathon entrant (not relay division!) posts a 3:20 finish time with a 13.1 split of 1:45. When reviewing the photos under this bib number the 9 and 13.1 mile photos are of a female and the 26.2 mile photo is of a male. Both runners are wearing the bib on a race belt. When we contact the entrant to determine what happened, we are told they decided to race as a relay instead of the entrant running the whole marathon and they exchanged just before the 15 mile mark. This is of course not permitted. The finish result is removed from our official results and the runners are banned from future participation in VCM.
  • I didn't know there were so many ways to cheat.
Last year VCM also posted pictures of bandit runners on FB and asked for help identifying them. They aren't fooling around!  So WHEN you come do VCM bring all your honesty with you!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Three Quite Different Things Thursday

1. Okay let's start with working out as that is the purpose of this blog. I am tired. I am exhausted. Why you might ask?  I have done doubles for four days in a row. If my memory serves me correctly I:
The first one happened in the morning with the second workout happening after school.  And it isn't the workouts that have me tired. It is the getting up early four days in a row. Sure I get up for work those days but not quite that early!  Usually I plan out just when I am doing what but this week I wrote: Bike when you can!  There were rainstorms and thunder showers all over my weather apps for the week.  Morning, noon and night.  But it turned out I could fit in the bike rides I wanted. All were fairly short. One was on a lovely Middlebury route but they all happened!

Now I am ready to rest and get ready for the two person relay on Sunday.  Vermont City Marathon is the best!  Every day there is an article or two in the paper. I am getting lots of emails with information. Facebook has great updates. It would be hard not be excited about VCM!  Tomorrow I will go to the Expo!  I wonder what I'll see that I need!  My goal for the race is to improve my last half's time.  I also want as always to have fun fun fun!
Back in the day when I ran the whole thing!

2. Wednesday we went on another field trip and I can't begin to tell you how much fun it was. It was to the Montshire Museum, slightly less than 2 hours away.  Four teachers took their classes. Two of us had been before and pretty much talked the other two into going. They were hesitant due to the distance. But now everyone is on board.  It is a total hands on science museum with tons of stuff to do.  It has expanded since I last visited.  The outdoor science playground which contained many water experiments was a huge hit.  Students were engaged the whole time we were there and well behaved.  The day was a delight.  I have to say the kids were very appreciative  of the trip which is not always the case.  I am still feeling a little giddy from the fun a whole day later.

3.  I am clearly keeping my teacher hat on with this one.  I know I make grammatical and spelling errors. I do like to know when I do especially if it is going home to parents.  Sometimes it is hard not to correct people on Facebook.  My biggest pet peeve is the incorrect use of your/you're.  Today I have a new one.  I can't tell you how many times I saw something about the lightEning storm.  In fact I began to think this had become an accepted spelling but nope.  Lightning is what we see in the sky.  Lightening is what happens to your backpack when you take some heavy books out.  Or it may be something you do to your hair.  But it is not what scares many dogs and cats as summer storms arrive.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

What A Day!

Saturday was the most perfect day weather wise here. It was sunny with blue skies and a perfect temperature.  I was determined to get in the 50 mile bike ride I haven't had yet.  I had my route all planned when someone suggested a different one but I am not always the most flexible person so I stuck to my original plan. I had been looking forward to it.  I went on some favorite roads I don't go on often. This was one of them although I realized I usually am going in the opposite direction.

I was thoroughly enjoying myself, stopping to take pictures when I wanted with no worries of holding anyone up.  I did start to feel tired around 25 miles and wondered what was up with that as when I rode 45 miles a couple weeks ago I hardly noticed it. The day was just beautiful.

 My first snack stop was when I first got to Lake Dunmore (the scene of one of my tris last summer.)  I found a great place to sit and sat basking in the sun and enjoying the day.
My plan was to ride around the lake.  The last time I tried this I got lost.  But this time - even though I almost made the same mistake I managed to do it right. I haven't been on the back side of the lake in years.  The road was mostly dirt but it wasn't a problem.  There were a lot of people around getting camps ready for the summer and I was beginning to look for a bathroom spot - the number one problem on long solo bike rides.  I eventually came to Branberry Beach which isn't open yet but there were a fair number of people there enjoying the day.  I had more snacks even though I hadn't even gone 10 more miles, it was just such a great place to relax and enjoy the day.

My bike is looking back toward the beach thinking 
about how to do better this year in the triathlon.

Once I started off again I only stopped once to take one more picture.  The trouble with riding roads you are familiar with  is you dread the hills you know for far too many miles. There were two I was thinking about and they didn't disappoint. One in particular would have been hard no matter what but at mile 52 it was downright awful!  I was feeling very tired and ready to be home. I told myself I could walk up my driveway - the small things we can look forward to.  The last four miles to my house are uphill and they aren't horrendous but being as tired as I was they seemed more so yesterday.  But I did it with 56 miles in the books. Right now I can't imagine doing 100 but maybe I can build up to that.  I was useless the rest of the day!

Today I got a bunch of stuff done before my VERY SLOW 8 mile run. I could tell I was still tired. Note to self. Don't take a long bike ride next Saturday before Sunday's half marathon!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Three Things Thursday

From my outstanding bike ride.

1. Today was a 9 bag day.  It's amazing what working out adds to an already busy life. The time I spent packing for today to say nothing of executing my workouts!  Here are my bags:

Swimming - 2 bags, 1 wet and 1 dry
Biking - 2 bags - lots of extra stuff in case it was cold
Running  - 1 bag
School/work - 1 bag
Library - 1 bag
Small bag to carry book etc. to dentist appointment

But I got new library books and had 3 good workouts so it was worth the time.  My bike ride was incredibly awesome.  It was short (15 miles) but so so wonderful.  As I was riding I was trying to figure out what was making it even better than usual. I never figured it out, just decided to enjoy it totally!

2. Wednesday started out a bit differently. I was at school frantically getting ready for the kids to bust in the door  to start the day when the fire alarm went off.  What?  So outdoors all the staff went and soon the students were arriving and trickling through the parking lot.  Our outdoor crowd kept getting bigger and bigger. Usually fire alarm drills are quiet, orderly affairs but this drill? practice? real fire? wasn't. People were milling about talking and wondering what was  going on. Every second time one of my students asked me what was going on and when we could go in the building I told them ever so patiently of course that they knew just as much as I did.  Eventually we got the message that we should have our morning meetings out there. So all over the playground classes were circling up and starting their meetings. Of course my plans were inside so it was all made up on the spot.  The greeting we did was one we were always squished doing but here we had plenty of room. (Look at me being positive.)  I had a colleague ask me about it later as she said it looked like a fun greeting. (It is.)  Then we had sharing. I was running out of sharing ideas so I polled my kids and they wanted to bring collections. About 3 kids a day are bringing one.  I have to say I LOVE seeing their collections.  Today they reminded me their collections were right in their backpacks which they had brought from home.  Then every class out there was playing, Duck Duck Goose, so we had to join the party.  Well 3 kids got hurt on the stones and finally it was time to go in. The worst part was that we were out there for a FULL HOUR and I missed some of my oh so precious special when the kids aren't with me and I have time to plan!!!  But other than that we really did quite well for an impromptu unplanned hour outdoors with the whole school.
And what was the problem? The fire alarm got pulled and then it wouldn't go off so we had to wait for the fire department to come and make sure it was functioning correctly.

3. Today on the radio I heard about what has to be the worst job ever............boa constrictor catcher in NYC. If you lose your boa there is a man to call! I heard it on NPR!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Not the Smartest Bicyclist in the Bunch

The weather here has been fabulous which makes it easier to not have to scramble to bike when it's not raining. But last week was busy so it was more about fitting in my workouts when I could. Following my half last weekend I did doubles MTW.  Good planning? Of course not but that is how the week unfolded.  I did something in the morning before work followed by a different workout after work.  Monday's bike ride was a new one, 23 miles or so and very scenic. It was a bit hilly but okay. I am amazed at the roads near me I never go on.  Two of these roads I never go on in a car or anything so it was delightful.  

The rest of the workouts were pretty typical until Saturday. I ran 10 miles and a little bit also in a new place.  It's really not a road I'm likely to repeat as there was a lot of traffic but it was nice to go elsewhere. What I'm most amazed about is how lame I am in today.  I ran 13 last weekend so why am I lame now?  I hadn't planned to run today which worked out well.  Today I planned a long bike ride which didn't quite happen.  I did 20 on one of my regular routes with a friend I never bike with and that was wonderful. 

 Then I started out on the second part where I was going to do 30 on a route I haven't done in a long time.  I am dying to get 50 in and can't seem to get there.  A little bit down the road, my chain came off. I stopped to fix it and could not get my right shoe out of the clip.  I have been having trouble with this but thought it was me. I actually had to take my foot out of the shoe and then I got the shoe out.  If this had been the other side I would have done something about it sooner because that is my dismounting side.  But when I got going I could not could not absolutely could not clip in again. Finally I stop to check it out and something is missing from my shoe and pedal. So I ride up and down this road a few times trying to find it. No luck. I go back to my car and go to a bike shop which was just opening. I really need to give this shop more business as I love them.  I went there for a different repair once and was so pleased.  Well, I had lost my cleat because I hadn't tightened it when it was loose. Who knew?  The guy put a new cleat on, fixed the pedal, sold me a set of wrenches to do it myself,  (ha!) fixed my chain problem and told me he would show me how to fix a flat.  I decided to wait. Never did he show his astonishment at my ignorance of all things to do with maintaining a bike.  He did keep saying when you put a lot of miles on which I liked that he assumed I would put a lot of miles on.  Once I left I decided it was time to go home and spend MD with my son and husband so still no 50 miles for me this year. It had also gotten much colder and I was a bit chilled from stopping. I did get 25 in so that was okay.  Not great but okay!  

Now pictures of Mother's Day and a field trip in my work life!
Biking with Sara - we biked well together.

A picture on the bridge where I usually prop my bike.

Later going for a walk with my grand dog, Jaxon.

What a clown!

Prancing with his stick.

So much to explore and do.

Just hanging out after the walk.

At the Biodome in Montreal. Loved watching this beaver swim.

Always love cats!

Penguins are pretty awesome too.

There is a sloth in there.  I always spend a lot of time finding
the sloth and watching the sloth.  It was great when
he moved because then you could see him.

Walking through the rainforest environment.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Racing is Fun Again

Oh my, I had fun today at the Maple Half.  It was an unbelievably gorgeous day.  Middlebury was buzzing with excitement and there were about 1000 runners.  The temperature was perfect.  My goals were small. I think the only one I stated was to be faster than 3 weeks ago. I still planned to run/walk it and thought I could be faster but this is a much hillier course.

What went well:

  • I ran the whole thing! Unexpected but it was going well and as I got past 6 miles that became my goal.  I don't think it would have slowed me down to walk a bit in the last few miles but I really wanted to be able to say I ran it all.
  • I had fun.  I had lots of fun.  I loved racing today!  I love being part of a large crowd (relatively speaking) who all like doing what I am doing and are out there enjoying the day in such a fabulous way.  Yes, it became hard the last few miles and I really slowed down but never was I overwhelmed and ready to throw in the towel.
  • The GI distress waited until the race was done!
  • I saw people I knew, a few cheering their children and others in the race.  I love the local feel, knowing the route, loving part of the route as a biker but getting a chance to run on it too.
  • I wasn't last.
  • I always say I love the Unplugged Half and this one but I really like this one better. If I decide to not do so many next spring, I will need to remember this and choose this one in spite of it's hilliness.  
  • My fastest mile was 9:26,
  • My overall time was about 12 minutes faster than three weeks ago.
  • I kept my overall pace in the tens (barely but it was there) 
  • I just realized this was my 25th half marathon!!
Before the start with Christa 

One of the hills...on the way to the Morgan Horse Farm

A herd of cows on Sheep Farm Road

Cute kid running with her dad- she was doing the whole thing
and had also done it when she was 7 and 9.  He was great with her.
They walked some, talked a lot, stopped for the bathroom.  Low

Looking back toward the Morgan Horse Farm 

The last 5 miles are out and back with some long hills.

Still going out.

Still heading out. Once I turned around I guess I was too
tired to take more pictures.

Later eating lunch on Church Street with my favorite people.... 

......and dog.
What didn't go well:
  • I could have been faster but truthfully that wasn't on my mind. I wasn't looking at my pace to see how I was doing and that was kind of relaxing.  So this one could be both places.
  • My slowest mile was 12:00.
  • Worrying about GI distress.
But no question........on a feel good score it was a fabulous race  !!!!