Sunday, September 29, 2013

Providence Rock and Roll - Again

I did this race last year and enjoyed it a lot.  It was the first of many halves to come that I don't train for. I WAS training for the one last spring when I sprained my ankle so badly. I haven't gotten back on the training wagon since.  This didn't turn out to be my PW but it wasn't far away.  It was 5-6 minutes slower than last year.  My priority has been triathlons and biking. Before I raced today I was wondering if I still like halves.

The verdict is YES!  I do if they're low stress.  I may get back to working on my time but if I can relax about my much slower times I do have fun. Today was VERY low stress. I would run to the mile marker and then walk for a minute.  It made the miles go much faster.  Instead of thinking about how many miles I had left I would know a break was coming soon. The miles went by in a "fast" fashion.

Lovely place to be during the national anthem

Providence has many cute neighborhoods and lots of nice college campuses.  I'm sure they plan the route through some of the nicer parts.  There were very few hills and nothing terrible. It seemed to me that we went down more than up. I wasn't sure how I would feel about doing this the second time but I liked it. I knew where it bogged down (that last winding around part) and there were parts I looked forward to.  I knew the bands weren't going to knock my socks off and that was okay.
Ready to start in my NEW L.L. Bean skirt.

My wave has moved up and it's almost time to go.

 A lot of the race was in the fog/overcast  skies today but then the sun came out.  Starting and ending at the state house is just beautiful.
From very overcast

(the sun's beginning to come out)

To very sunny!

Scene from the bridge

A couple of complaints - not enough port a lets at the start. When it was time to start the lines were still long. I was IN a port a let when they were singing The National Anthem but nothing would have gotten me out of that line.  In the end they started late and I am guessing most people got there in plenty of time- especially with the corrals.

When it was time to leave the line to pay for parking at the garage was ridiculous!  Who feels like standing in a long line at that point?

I did use a port a let during the race.  I think that is going to be more normal in the future too. An old bladder!  I did wait to use one until there was no line and it did make the second half of the race much more pleasant.

A bit of a steep finish

I didn't hang out much after.  I was with no one and I was ready to head home.  The food was not great other than the very cold chocolate milk they had ready.  I made one wrong turn in Providence on the way out (driving in cities makes me nervous) but my old friend, Mr. Garmin, got me straightened out quickly. I knew I had turned too soon but I don't have city nerves to make quick corrections.  Interstate 495 was pleasantly not too crowded either way.  I made a few stops on the way home but nothing too long other than to change my clothes.

I can't say enough about how beautiful the trip was both days.  The foliage in Vermont and New Hampshire is just spectacular.  I didn't take photos as most of the trip was on interstates but I took a quick photo when I got home.

I stayed with my cousin again who went to the Expo with me to pick up my stuff. She is constantly surprised that so many people like to run.  She is nuts about golfing herself.  While at the Expo I picked up my shirt, bought a pint glass, bought a fun pin and then bought a shirt I didn't need at all.

I also picked up some of these salted caramel gus which
I haven't had yet.

While I was at the Expo I ran into some Vermont friends!  They had come down the night before and even managed to get  a beach day in!  
Elizabeth, Christa and me

Next Sunday I am walking with Christa's team Tutus For Tatas in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk.  I have done a better job than I expected with fund raising but there is always room for more. If you would like to donate to our team follow my link.  Christa is a true hero. She couldn't run the half today but she didn't just throw in the towel. She did the mini marathon/5K.  Christa is a fighter and I'm pleased to be able to do a small thing to help her in her fight.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

September Cold

Do all of you get September colds or is it a teacher thing?  I always seem to get sick in the fall once I'm back at work around all those germs.  I'm home in bed for the second day.  It's a  HUGE pain to make sub plans so if I'm home it's pretty certain I feel lousy.  I thought I was going to go back today but when I woke up I knew that wasn't a good decision so I hurried to school to make more plans. I brought a bag full of stuff to work on home with me  if I feel somewhat better which I certainly hope to as the day goes on.  I went into school this weekend to do some catching up but that caught up feeling has vanished for sure. I haven't worked out since Saturday. Sunday was a scheduled day off but not these two.  I'm tapering a bit more than I had planned!

 I hope to be able to do something Wed. and Thurs. and maybe Friday.  Saturday I leave bright and early for my half marathon in R.I.  I will stay with my cousin who I haven't seen since I went last year.  We are not that close in age so growing up she was like an adult to me.  My mother was much younger than her sisters.  But age is not relevant to our friendship any more and I love that we have become very good friends.  We decided last year our mothers would have loved it too.

I have no big plans for the half marathon.  I am certainly hoping it is not my PW.  This has not been my year for halves and I know I have said before.......I need to think about how many I want to sign up for next year.  I'll see how appealing this is to do.  Do I really like them as much as I say I do?

I did an 8 mile run on Saturday and did use the run/walk which I'll use Sunday.  I took some foliage pics which I'll add.  The foliage was just starting but now it's really great.  Pictures that I take never do it justice.  I am looking forward to a pretty ride down to MA/RI this weekend.  Except that whole driving in traffic thing which I hate!!! Busy interstates are not my friend. Last year Providence driving was fine and I am counting on the same thing this weekend.

Is there a race or race distance you keep signing up for that you wonder if it's the best decision?
The leaves are just starting to turn.

Another shot of the moon last week - not my picture
but on the Burlington bike path.

These two pictures are not mine and not this year but they
are Vermont and they surely do look pretty!

Friday, September 20, 2013

The Tide Has Turned

Loving fall and my workouts right now.  First I got up on Thursday and ran with the harvest moon!  It was beyond gorgeous out and I was glad I got up even though I fought it at the time.

Thursday after school I rode with my colleague who is faster and keeps me moving right along.  We left her house and rode to Vergennes to take a loop I have gone on a lot.  The return home included the 6 big hills C complains about but to my eyes she flies up them.  It's funny because we all have different ones we think are the worst.  I have only been on this route twice and I am having a hard time deciding if hill # 5 or hill # 6 is the hardest.  C and her husband each dread a different one and both are different from mine.  But we made it up all of them on a glorious day.  The picture below is one of two waterfalls we went by that I have never seen.  You would never see them from a car.

Then there was today's ride which was almost perfect.  The temperature was wonderful.  My energy level was great.  I voiced several times that I was in heaven.  Well almost.  I seriously with no exaggeration rode by 15 snakes, not all small, not all dead.  I don't think I saw 5 snakes all last year. This is a road I ride a lot and I have never seen them before. After awhile I got the heebie jeebies.  I had planned to extend the ride but turned without doing so.  THEN I gave myself a talking to and told myself to use this day to the fullest, snakes be damned. I was really glad I did as one of the roads I went on had so many animals on it. It's Sheep Farm Road that I ran on just last week and I really like it.  It's dirt so I don't go on it all the time but it was well worth it today.
I love goals - seen on SHEEP Farm Road.

And of course there are a lot of sheep.

A few cows are allowed too.  There was even a llama although
I didn't get a picture.

A sign of things to come.

The last couple of days have reminded me of why I love fall (minus the snakes).  I can't wait for more runs and rides in the next couple of months.  Enjoy your weekend!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Fail Fail Fail Success

Fail # 1

It was freezing and I do mean freezing yesterday. I was already planning to go to the gym so no worries. But when I got there my Ipod was dying and I had no music. Running on the treadmill with no music is a fail.

Fail # 2

This morning I went to the pool to swim.  I was a little late but there was room for me BUT I had forgotten my cap and goggles. I keep an extra pair of goggles in my bag but not a cap (really, I must own 10 of them). So I used the goggles and I have short hair so no biggie.  BUT my goggles leaked and I could only do the breaststroke without going crazy.

Fail #3

I went for a bike ride once I got home today and it was sunny and not as cold as yesterday. In fact I would have said it was nice out.  But the sun was low, most of my ride was in shade and it was COLD!  The fail is I wore shorts not capris, not my warm gloves and a very light windbreaker, not my heavier one or my arm sleeves.  I could have been fine had I dressed smarter.  


In spite of some foolish mistakes, I got all the miles/yards in I planned and didn't let myself quit or do less.  

One More Success

I love the shirt I got at the Pumpkinman Triathlon.  It is the most comfortable race shirt I own and I love the little pumpkinman dude. It is a bit hard to tell but he is a true tri guy. He is riding a bike, wearing googles and holding shoes.  Plus I like that there is not a lot of ads on the back of the shirt but the race distances.  And who knows?  Maybe someone will think I did the half!!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Running and Biking While Managing to Fit in a Trip to the World's Fair

I got my four runs in this week and they were very different runs.  Two were at the gym - boring right? Yep.  But I had one terrific one while my car's oil was being changed. I often bike when this happens but rain was forecast so I ran instead.  I miscalculated the distance so I ran 6 instead of 4. The only problem was being slightly worried I wouldn't make it back before they closed. That helped me pick up the pace!  I took no pictures but it was on a bike route I like. Lots of sheep, cows, horses and even goats.  It was a loop which I prefer and it was a new running route. I've run parts of it before but all together it felt quite different. I need to switch my route more often.

  Saturday again it was supposed to rain so I put off my bike ride and ran - 11 miles.  Yikes!  I have decided I am going to run/walk my half in two weeks.  So at every mile of this run I walked for one minute.  It made a huge difference in my mental attitude knowing this "break" was coming on a regular basis. I didn't die and easily (but slowly) did the whole 11.  I haven't decided what I'll do next weekend. What do you usually do for a distance the week before a half marathon?

Today I rode 32 miles - and these days that is a longer distance for me. I waited for the afternoon as it was low 40s this morning.  I did a loop ride with part of it being around Lake Dunmore.  It was cloudy so not a gorgeous day but I had a great ride and really enjoyed being out there longer than I have been lately.  I dodged  a bullet as when I finished I found my back pouch unzipped. It carries my keys and wallet. Both were still there!  I am usually obsessive about making sure it is zipped. I had a snack when I stopped to use the bathroom and I think I was thinking I would put back what I didn't eat but I put in the bento box instead.  Whew that I didn't lose anything.

Yesterday we went to Tunbridge World's Fair which is in Vermont of course! It is an agricultural fair that we hadn't been to in 12 years.  It was packed but fun. We visited exhibits, animals and ate fair food - mostly maple stuff.  I went to go to get some particular articles that you can't find at a store.  Turned out the woman who owned the business was in my high school class. (We may have changed a bit in the couple of years since then - it took the conversation we had to discover this.)

Then I posted a picture on Instagram only to find out from Pahla that her cousin had posted the exact same picture moments before.  Turns out even though Pahla lives in CA her cousin lives in Vermont. Small world day for sure.

Loved this old bike display.

Had to visit the school.

This guy weighted a mere 3000 pounds.

The Instagram picture that Pahla saw twice!

My husband's new t shirt.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Maine.....the rest of the weekend.....

Maine wasn't all about the Pumpkinman Triathlon.  The race was done and the award ceremony done well before noon on Saturday (which I needed to hang around for!)  I was staying until Sunday so no worries about late checkout.  Just a trip back to the hotel for a shower and to move on.

We went to Old Orchard where the New England Parkinson's Ride was taking place.  There were some college friends riding or working at it that I hadn't seen in years.  One of my friends contracted PD about 4 years ago.  She has published a book about it that I found inspirational.  She managed to find many positive things about her life.  Sue calls her biking team, "Suzy's Shakers."  It took me more than a  moment to catch the play in the name.  She rode 50 miles that day (very hot) in spite of not feeling well.  Her husband rides 50 miles in the dark, then 50 with her so he can do 100 miles.  As I said, inspirational.
Sue is the fourth one from the left.

Then it was to Kennebunk to sit on the beach.  H.....E........A.........V.........E.......N!  No need to say more.

Followed by a pretty easy to take meal at the Maine Diner.  I love Maine so much!

Clam chowder, local beer, lobster roll and OMG - pumpkin cake to die for.  I could have gone home then and been thrilled with my trip.  But the fun wasn't over. Sunday morning we took a bike ride near Nubble Light.  I was big time in my happy place.
I only propped my bike for a minute.  Remember 
the ride it almost took into the ocean here!

Playing in the parking lot while Kay took pictures.

Then the sun came out.

Then we did just a little shopping. I got something for each "child."  I got my husband whoopie pies and I bought a shirt and a 3/4 zip. I didn't get a vest I still sort of wish I had.  

Then one more seafood meal before heading home.  There are many reasons to do the Pumpkinman Triathlon again, one big one being that it takes place in Maine.