Saturday, March 22, 2014

Spring Fling 10K That was Really a Winter Fling 10K

If I focus on the weather I can ignore the fact that I am so much slower even with all the training I have done.  As I was racing I was definitely doing some self talk to be positive.  I never like finishing a race disappointed to the point where I don't like racing. I did accomplish that!

I raced a 10K today that is called  a spring fling.  Apparently last year it was 74 degrees.  Today not so much. It was 31 and a cold 31 at that.  I wore pants and 3 layers on top. I walked back to my car to get my neck fleece.  I was probably a bit over dressed but not drastically.  The problem was sitting around wet after and then having to walk half a mile to the car all sweaty in the freezing cold.

There were a decent number of people there.  My miles were all over the place from 9:22 to 10:41.  It was a hilly course but  a pretty one.  I had 3 goals and met one of them. Oops.

Goal #1. Finish in under an hour.  Nope!
Goal #2. Once I saw I wasn't going to do that I focused on finishing under 10 minute miles. Nope. But close and I picked it up in the last couple miles to finish with a pace of 10:02.
Goal #3.  Not to be last.  Yes!  I did this. Some day I will be last and I'll need to be okay with that.

As I was racing I reminded myself that I love racing. I do.
I reminded myself I wasn't home sitting on the couch.
I reminded myself that I was trying and I had nothing to be ashamed of.
I felt fine when I finished.  Then a young woman came up to me and told me I passed her and she could not catch up to me. Then I felt even better!

I did not win my age group although the person right ahead of me was the only other person in my age group!  I did win a random prize.

After I did two errands, one of which was to leave my bike off for a tune up! Some day spring will really come and I'll be able to ride. I got my other errand done and my lovely son called and we went out to lunch together.  We were both freezing!  Then we went back to his house where I promptly sat on the couch and didn't move for about 3 hours. I watched Love It or List It and each time a new one started I had to stay to find out what they were going to do.  Third world problems......which gorgeous place do we live in?

Jaxon snuggled with me some and I may have slept some. I never took off my coat or headband. I am finally warmed up and less tired.

But all in all.....a very good day.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

The Debacle Half

Remember I had my York Harbor Half Marathon canceled two weeks ago because of the snow?  Well, I did.  But I found another race to do in Maine although it was much farther.  It turns out a friend had moved near there so that was a bonus to going that far.

Friday I got in my car bright and early and drove more than 7 hours to Brewer, Maine.  The roads were snowy in the beginning but the untouched snow with the sun shining on it was stunning.  Soon enough I was on bare roads and speeding along.  I stopped for coffee and then made a longer stop at L.L. Bean in Freeport where they had a fitness section that had my name all over it.  I also picked up a much needed running top at Nike (a little sarcasm there) and then continued to Brewer.

I checked into my hotel and was checking email as I waited for my friend to pick me up.  You can imagine my surprise to find an email from the race director that had been SENT AT 4:00 that the race was canceled. SAY WHAT?  I may have used more colorful words.  I was sitting in a hotel room that cost money.  I had put gas in my car more than once to get here.  I had a hotel for another night.  Sure the race itself was cheap but this race was costing me  more than a little money and now it's not happening?  I sent an email to the RD but didn't get a reply.  The deal was we could pick up our t-shirts the next day.

So off with Sarah and I already had a new plan.  I wasn't far from Acadia which is on my bucket list so I thought I would go there the next day and run and sightsee.  Sarah obliged me by taking me by Stephen King's house so I met at least one of my goals.

Then we went to Sea Dog Brewery for a sandwich and some beer. I had a great time catching up with Sarah.  This would have been a much more disappointing evening without her.  

The next day I went and got my t-shirt.  I asked them if I could have my medal which they weren't giving out mentioning how far I had driven. 

Then they brought in the box of medals and gave them to everyone.  Don't worry - I earned it later.  Then they told me to wait and these lovely volunteers went and got me a box of whoopie pies they said were for driving so far. Fun!  It was raining and in the 30s out.  Not fun. They told me to go ahead and run the course but I had no desire to do so.  I didn't know the course, it was awful out, it wasn't scenic. These same volunteers said Acadia was a great idea.  So off I went.

Well, it was disappointing which I never thought I'd say once I got there. I saw some of Mt. Desert Island but all the roads into Acadia were closed. I had understood some were open but I couldn't find any.  It was cold and miserable.  It took longer than I thought to get there and I felt like I had wasted half the day.
I saw some pretty views but there are pretty sights all over 
the Maine coast.

I guess I'll have to go back.

When I left Mt. Desert Island I headed to Sarah's house. She didn't tell me I had to drive over a scary bridge to get there. The picture I stopped and took after I went over it doesn't do it justice.  That tall part is in the middle. She said it had to be closed this year after an ice storm because huge sheets of ice fell and totaled some cars. Great.  I finally got to Sarah's house (cute cute cute) and visited for a bit before I headed down Route 1 for a scenic trip to York.  Well, it was but did it ever take forever. 

They're on Penobscot Bay, way inland but very nice.

 I was a bit grumpy before I got to York where I had a hotel room. Stop at L.L. Bean again? Nope. Stop and run? Nope, it's still raining and cold.  I did want to get to York and as tired as I was I planned to run when I got there.  
FINALLY I was there and got out of my car to a surprisingly warm temperature.  I threw my stuff in my room and I was off. I ran about 5 miles and it was truly one of the best runs of my life.  I needed it after the race disappointment and all the sitting I had been doing.  It was gorgeous, warm and just wonderful!
The tide was very low which made for great beach running.

I went immediately to dinner following my run. First I just sat and relaxed with my beer, my kindle and the moon rising over the ocean.  Then I had the most delicious clam chowder.  I had a lobster roll too which was okay but not as good as the chowder.  I decided I was going to run the 13.1 here the next day.  Too heck with organized halves, I could do my own.

It was much colder and windy but that sun was still shining.  I was up and out by 7.  So many good things about your own race - start when you want - no port a let line.  I went up and around by Nubble Light and then continued out of town. I took a different route than I usually take on my bike (avoiding a hill, I'm no fool) and went along the river. It was very nice. When I finally let myself look at my watch I  was around 6.3. I went about another half and then turned around. I stopped to take pictures, I used a hotel bathroom and never stopped my watch.  It's my race and I can do what I want to.  I went back by Nubble Light and then headed to the beach. I ran back and forth on the beach and stopped to make my 13.1 sign. I was getting rather chilled at this point but I was pleasantly surprised that I was not dead and really could have run more.  
I'm ready to head out.  I added a jacket once
I stepped outside. Good decision.

Spectacular as usual.

First time by Nubble.

Stopping at the bridge on the river. The picture below is
looking back at this from a different bridge.

Short Sands.

Back by Nubble.

Some running on the beach and I'm done.

Soon enough The Debacle Half was finished and I was the winner and held the course record.  No waiting around for an award ceremony.  I was so glad I decided to do this. I am done looking for a half.  I have one in May and that's the next one I'll do.   I think I'll do a shorter race next weekend close to home!  

Once in the hotel I roasted myself in the shower and then went out for one more casual breakfast staring at the ocean before heading back home.  And as much as I love Maine and going away, I'm glad to be home!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Last - YES LAST - Stormy Run/Ready for Half

The weather forecast for my half isn't pretty.  It's rainy and low 40s.  I don't like rain and cold.  I can handle snow and cold no problem. I can handle rain.  But rain and cold and nowhere to shower will not be fun.  I plan to pack a towel and a bag of comfy clothes to change into as soon as possible.  I don't really know what to wear.  I am thinking capris although I haven't worn them outside in months.  I would wear a long sleeve shirt and a light jacket, probably a headband and light gloves.  No matter what I wear it won't work.  Thoughts?  Suggestions?

Now it's been updated to snow.  I hope that's true because then I'll know how to dress but I better take lots of choices!

I'm home because we are having our fourth snow day. Tomorrow is likely to be our fifth.  We'll be going late into June now and I have a major trip planned at the end of the month.  Oh well, I'll be ready.

My triathlon season will be a little different because of my trip. I won't be biking or swimming for two and a half weeks I am guessing.  But I am remembering that when I broke my wrist one summer I managed to get 3 tris in before the season ended. I have signed up for one in September - the Pumpkinman again which I loved last year.  I will sign up for more believe me.

I just got in my last short run before the half following our storm.  Today was our fifth snow day.  In the end I embraced the storm. What else can you do?  I love snow storms but let's not push that love snow gods!  Yesterday I offered to help my husband fill the wood buckets which I never do because I wanted to go out and play in it. Just now I went for a short run because I truly do love to run in it! to Maine!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Taper Time!

I just ran my taper run!  Woot! Woot!  It was 8 miles and I didn't need too many layers.  It's not capri weather yet but I can feel it coming.  You could stop and take pictures today and your hands didn't freeze.  The middle of the week had -16 in the morning on a couple of days so this felt fantastic.  Above freezing........feels tropical to me.

I didn't run fast.  My treadmill runs are all so good but outside I settle into such an easy pace. I am hoping next weekend when I am doing my half I am inspired by the race day excitement and people around me (if there are any) to pick it up some!

I need to think about my goals.  I'm pretty pumped for this race even though it's not the original one I had planned to go to.  But getting away is always fun and lord know I love to race.

I was going to have to go into school for the third weekend in a row and do report cards but I stayed quite late two days and I don't have to!  Parent conferences next week so more long days but today.....I'm a relaxing woman.

This week in math we used those fun foam shapes to make some multiplication equations. I love third graders as they thought they had died and gone to heaven.  Also when grading report cards I found way too many kiddos weren't doing it accurately with 2, 3 and 4 digit numbers so I started a subtraction club (everyone joins). There are 5 levels to it and you have to get 100% to move up.  I found some cool bookmarks that have room for 5 dragon stickers that they'll get.  I totally sold them on what a great club this is. Again.....I love third graders!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

I Found A Race

First I have found another race to substitute for the one that got cancelled. It is the same weekend which is perfect. It is much farther away.  But I thought about the time I put into my training a few more hours (one way) doesn't begin to equal the hours I would waste from training.  So I am on my way in a week and a half to Maine but much farther north than usual.  It is the Chamberlain March Half in Brewer, Maine.  It doesn't look scenic or like one I would have picked BUT it is the right distance, it doesn't seem to be hilly, it was cheap and it's not cancelled!  A teacher I used to work with moved to Maine and guess what?  She lives about 20 minutes from Brewer so I'll meet her for lunch.  I think my traveling friend is going with me so we'll make a weekend of it.
I'm going to see if I can rent a room for the night.

Oh yeah, one more thing.  It's near Bangor, where Stephen King lives, and I'm told his house (fence) is a must see. I am truthfully VERY excited for this!  Small blessings.......being positive.

Sunday I made up my tempo run from when I was sick. I wasn't going to but I have a hard time letting go of a workout if I can fit it in.  I did it where I swim and hot tub it on Sundays.  It was a hard run and I was sweating more than a little when I was done. Then I swam and my muscles felt like jelly.  It's a good thing that is not the order triathlons are in.  I kept thinking about how good I felt but fast did not enter into my thoughts anywhere!

Then I visited Jameson and Jaxon so it was one heck of a winning day!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

This Weekend's 12 Mile Run and OH NO!!!

First the good-

It wasn't as bad as last week.  I wasn't counting steps (yes, last week I did that to get through the last mile.)  The roads were mostly clear.  I didn't feel sick when I finished.  It was sunny.  I got really sick this week and almost died Wednesday (being a bit dramatic here), still felt lousy and was home on Thursday and went back to work on Friday but could have legitimately stayed home.  I wasn't even sure I would be able to do this and I could.  I wasn't tired later and actually had  a lot of energy all day.

Then the bad.....

I was really tired though a lot of this.  It was windy.  It was really cold.  I couldn't drink my water without a great deal of effort because of all the ice.  I was achy and tired as I was finishing.

The really bad........

Look at this email I got today.  
It is with great regret that we have to inform you that the York Harbor Half Marathon will not be taking place on 3/16/14.
We were notified by the York Police Dept. and Fire Dept. on Wednesday (2/26/14) that they feel it is unsafe for runners to run on the roads due to the high snow banks and conditions of the roads, i.e., potholes and more snow that could fall between now and race day.   
We tried to work with them, giving them three additional dates to reschedule the race two in April and one early May.  They were not interested in rescheduling.  We gave them an alternate route, they again were not interested in rerouting the course.
Running4free will refund all of your entry fees.  This process might take us 30-45 days as we have to locate everyone’s payment methods and contact information, etc.  Its going to be very time consuming for us to issue refunds through PayPal.  We can not issue refunds through PayPal that are over 60 days so we will be writing checks and mailing refunds if you registered over 60 days ago.  We ask that you bear with us during this process and if you have any questions, please either call or email us. 
We are so upset about this as we have been planning this race for a year now and I know runners have been training for this event.  In 19 yrs of Race Management we have never dealt with a Town that had so little interest in working together and building an event. 
We thank you for registering and being part of the decision process, i.e., t-shirt colors without our customers, we would be nothing.  We were so looking forward to a March Half Marathon in Southern Maine.  We will locate a course and a Town that wants to work with us in 2015. 

Last year I did 5 half marathons not well trained partly because of my sprained ankle. I have trained so thoroughly for this and then this happens!  I am searching for a substitute but halves in New England in mid March are scarce.  

I have to say I also used to do the All Women and One Lucky Guy in York and that got moved to.  I am guessing the town isn't easy to work with.

So if you know of any mid March to late March halves in northern NE or NY let me know.