Friday, May 30, 2014

Which Parts of Keeping Fit Do You Love?

I love and am proud of the fact that I take the time to keep fit and it takes a lot of time. Sometimes I think about what I could do with that time if I wasn't exercising so much.  But it is time well spent.

I love love love biking. No surprise there. If you've read this blog for more than a minute you know that one. Yesterday as on many bike rides I found myself grinning broadly. I love the downhills.  I love the miles you can cover in a short time. I love the scenery you can see. I love biking in new places. I love old favorite routes. I love biking with friends. I love biking alone.

Sometimes I think I like running best when I am unable to run. I find I miss it. But I don't find myself grinning when I am running. I generally like the feeling I have when I am done. I don't often find myself in the zone.  I love racing and that is what has kept me running. I like running in new places especially on vacations. It's a great way to observe and learn more about where you are.

I do like swimming even though I am still not great. I find it relaxing most of the time and it is such a great fallback when you are injured and just can't do weight baring exercise.  I even like open water swimming if I don't think about what lies beneath.

These days I am also liking the eating part of being fit.  I have changed the way I eat (for the most part) and have lost a lot of needed weight. I am fitting in clothes that haven't fit in a couple of years.  I am enjoying making different meals and truly feel better these days.  I am going on a trip in a month where I won't be eating so heathy but I know I'll get back at it once I'm home.

Off topic now.......we had a great field trip this week. It was a cold and a tiny bit rainy day but it was still one of the best field trips ever. We went to Chimney Point, Vermont and walked over the bridge to Crown Point, New York.  We visited the museum at Chimney Point which had lots of artifacts that the kids loved. They loved walking across the bridge - almost none had done it and then Crown Point was a huge hit. We visited and went into the lighthouse. I had never done this and was equally thrilled.  Then they got to walk around (run) the ruins of two old forts.  To say they were thrilled is understating it.  It was sunny but cool by now and so perfect.  Everyone including me was exhausted at the end of the day.  Lots of enthusiasm all around which is a great way to end a field trip.

Last but not least I picked up four books at the library. I could hardly decide what to begin first as they are all books by favorite authors. I went with the Waldman book and it started out good immediately.  That's how a book should begin.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

A Perfect Day

Sunday was a perfect day in Vermont.  Anyone running the Vermont City Marathon must have loved it.  I definitely have mixed feelings about my choice not to do it.  Last year was so cold and wet.  I never even took off my throw away shirt!  I decided I wouldn't do it this year because of that plus because I had done so darn many halves.  But this is a tough race to not be part of when everyone around here is so caught up in it.  Live and learn.

But I went for a spectacular ride with my husband.  If you read my blog often you know that is a rare occurrence.  But it was such a great ride I might be able to convince him to come at least  once a month with me!  We did a loop that involved 5 towns.  It was hilly and  somewhat rugged for his first ride of the season but he did great. It was 30 miles which is a respectable distance.  Camel's Hump  could be seen from many spots and viewpoints.
Camel's Hump from Williston.

Hubby comes up one of many hills like a champ.

Camel's Hump from Hinesburg.

Camel's Hump from Huntington.

Back in Richmond.

I had some other good rides this week but this one was just magical.  I had my road bike back, the weather was perfect, hubby was along, and I had energy galore. In fact after we got home I took a short break and took off again. I visited the cemetery and then extended my ride so I ended up with 52 miles for the day. I truthfully felt like I could have just kept going.  I hope the weather is nice tomorrow as I can't wait to get back out there.  More than once I found myself grinning from ear to ear as I was riding. Bliss!

Oh yeah........I had a really good 8 mile run on Saturday and some good early morning ones during the week. Life is good. 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Biking, Biking and Running (Pics From Biking - Lots of Them)

I seem to like bullet posts these days so here goes.

I had a mildly good run on Saturday. I ran 8 miles. They were slow but not draining like the weekend before. It was misty so no camera, no pictures.

Sunday was sunny, sunny sunny but cool.  My road bike is in the shop so out came the hybrid. I am very grateful I have more than one bike. I can see a big difference between them but a hard ride is better than no ride at all.  What is with all the wind this year though I do have to ask. I would so love a non windy ride but all sun wasn't bad so I will hold down the complaining.

I rode 32 miles but I must admit it felt like more.  It was a gorgeous route, one that I will do again this year for sure. It goes around Lake Dunmore and it's not crowded at all yet so it was great!  I made some snack stops and picture taking stops as I was on my own and in no hurry.  I have been energized in a good way since I got home.

It's now Tuesday and I have had two busy days.  I ran before work each day. It was cold enough to need a head band, gloves and long pants.  But I got up and I did it.  Slower than death but fun.  I biked after work each day because even though it was a little cool it was glorious out. Neither ride was long. My road bike is still in the shop and man does my hybrid seem slow.  But I have ridden some of the routes I like that have more dirt road so that's been fun.  I don't feel very wordy but here are some pics!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Three Things Thursday

1. I crossed off another bucket list item this week. Well truly I haven't made a bucket list but if I did this item would have been on it.  I went to my first Bruce Springsteen concert!  One thing I'll say for sure is that it won't be my last!  I went with 3 work colleagues and even though we didn't get home until 2 in the morning and we had to work the next day, it was worth it!

2.  I saw my 6th snake of the year running yesterday.  (I went for a pretty decent run the night after the concert on 2.5 hours of sleep.  I think I was still quite jazzed from the concert and was loving running to songs I had just heard live.)  Some years I see none and I am out there a fair amount between biking and running.  I am worried this could be a "big snake" year!  Yikes!  I am not ready for that. I promise no pictures if it is. I'm not hanging around long enough to take one.  When I do see one, I definitely get some speed work in.

3.  School is winding down and I am more than ready. This week we went to the Shelburne Museum.  The students loved the Ticonderoga as always and the carousel.  The school teacher in the school house role played an old fashioned teacher and she scared the pants off me to say nothing of my kids.  I look pretty darn good in comparison!  

Bonus: Some of my on line Mother's Day shopping is coming in!  I got two great shirts from LL Bean. Love them!  Plus some rather expensive biking shorts. One of the ladies I bike with just got some and convinced me to give them a try. I'll let you know.  Her theory was we put in enough miles on the bikes  to deserve some really good padding!  

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Biking and Running - It's Getting Busy

I seem to be back to a lot of biking and running with a bit of swimming thrown in.  One day this past week I managed to do all 3 although not close together with the swim. I had an afternoon appointment so I got a ride and a run in on the bike path.  Bliss.

I had a good ride close to home. It was fine. Then I had a short run at home. Not so good.  6 became 4.

Then Saturday came and an 8 mile run turned into a 7 mile run where I had to walk up every hill and I was dragging. (I never don't run what I planned.  Well, I guess I do but it is unusual and new.) I got home and plopped on the couch.  I have changed my eating and I am still trying to figure it all out.  I have to think it played into my low energy but I'm not giving up yet.  I talked to my mentor (Jameson) and emailed Super Kate for some ideas.  I am trying to do Paleo although not quite 100%.   (but very close)  I have to say I feel better than I have GIwise and some problems I had have gone away. I am losing weight and feeling full.  But I need to work on more water, more calcium and ???? Suggestions welcome.  I could use meal suggestions too.  I am cooking up a storm but don't have a ton of ideas.  Sweet potatoes are my friend for sure.

Today I did a 52 mile bike ride with no problems.  I didn't go fast but that wasn't the plan. I did hills fine and didn't notice any missing energy.  It was a gorgeous gorgeous day here in the 802! I took lots of time for pictures and relaxing.

 Then Jameson came home to help me celebrate Mother's Day.  Of course, Jaxon too!  So it was a good one, just missing my girl.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Wallis Sands Half Marathon Report

Who wouldn't want to race here?

I loved this race. Truly loved it and I will be back next year.   In my home state of Vermont a half was happening that I have run 5 times or so.  I also like that one but felt I needed a change and it was a good one.

The race started early so we were up and on our way by 6.  I got there early enough for the good parking but not for the race t shirt. (only complaint) The smalls that were left would be perfect for the small girls in my 3/4 class.  I got a crew t shirt instead. Not tech. No race lego. Different color. I'm not sure why I took it. I should have taken the small for my race collection.  But as I said - only complaint.

But the bibs were awesome. They had a really nice photo of the race along with the logo and your name. I love having people root for me like they are my best friends.

Plus the race wasn't cancelled!  As I said I got there early but almost didn't have time to get ready because the port a let lines took forever. I had some stranger hold my place as I got more nervous and ran back to my car to put on my shoes, race number, sun screen, hat and all that.  I got back to the port a let line just as the woman was in the front and I would have had to go to the back. Whew.
Enjoying being in the front.

The start was in waves 5 minutes apart with 200 runners in each wave.  The fun/unusual part was I was in the very front to start.  We all giggled and took pictures because we weren't used to that position. Then we had to ask which way to turn as there was no one to follow!
One of my friends sat on the beach near the start as I ran.
The other biked the course.

I took pictures as I ran ant they are so so but the ocean
was stunningly beautiful.

Loved going by several marsh/tidepools.

The first 3 -4 miles are right along the ocean.  It was sunny and windy but not cold. At times I was a little hot and at other times I thought I was dressed just right.  I loved loved this part.  Running by the ocean puts me in my happy place. Throw in a race and I almost can't stand it.

Then we turned toward the town of Rye Beach which seemed to be pretty attractive. The water stop groups all had themes and were very enthusiastic and polite. They were mostly kids and very fun.

I had decided I was going to run 10 minutes and walk 1 minute.  I didn't start this until after the third mile.  I tried to pay attention to people around me to see if it was slowing me down. It didn't seem to be. There were two women in particular I was hanging with for quite awhile.  They were running the whole time.  One I got ahead of in the latter miles and never saw again. The other finished about a minute ahead of me.  I could have run the whole way but having that minute of walking time to look forward to made it all seem very bearable to me.  I walked fast during that minute  using different muscles.  I always start right up once the minute is done.  It also focused me on each mile rather than how many miles I had left to do.
Enjoyed the bike path.

After you run through many neighborhoods where many people are out to cheer you on, you go on a bike path and lord knows I love bike paths.
You can see people on the cliff as they approach home stretech.

 Then you are back running along the ocean and you know the end is near!  Well, sort of. Those darn finishes are always farther than you think they are.  At some point along the way I decided I wanted to beat 2:20.  I had told my friends I would be between 2:20 and 2:30.  I came in at 2:19:54 so yay me!
Exceedingly happy with my age group medal.  It's a pretty one.

I almost forgot about the whole age group thing until I was in the food tent and saw the table with the MEDALS for age group winners. So I went back to check results (being 60 helps with this) and sure enough I was 3rd in my age group. And there weren't just 3 of us, there were 8.

Overall 614/932

Women 433/700

Enjoying the beach holding my new finisher's pint
glass which I had to try out at home.

My supporters!

Plus we got a sweet finisher pint glass.  Will I be back for this one? For sure! I've been saying it's the prettiest half I have run but it is really just one of many.  When All Women and One Lucky Guy was in York, Maine that was a beautiful one and is a route I continue to run parts of when I visit.  VCM is beautiful.  The Shipyard Half in Maine was beautiful.  Providence is nice. Big Lake was nice.  Mohawk Hudson was nice.  Half at the Hamptons which is right down the road is stunning.  Unplugged Half on the bike path is great.   Yeah, I go for the scenery for sure.  Good to have a new favorite that meets that criteria. And it was my 30th half!

Monday, May 5, 2014

A Truly Great Weekend In Maine

My weekend in Maine was really only 1 night and part of two days but as I often do I packed a lot in.  I was there to do a half marathon in NH but I can't be that close to my beloved Maine and not stay there.

Two friends went with me.  We got there and got checked in early.  Two of us were immediately off on our bikes.  I do not exaggerate even a little when I say it was one of the best rides ever.  I'm not sure why. The weather was marginal and it wasn't particularly warm.

But I was in Maine next to the ocean where I so much love to be.  I said out loud more than once, "This ride is pure heaven."  I sighed with happiness again and again.  

I liked my vacation rides in Virginia but they weren't my usual away rides that I love so much.  

We rode from York to Ogunquit where I went into a small grocery to buy something so I could get some plastic bags to protect my phone and camera from the rain.  I haven't put that plastic bag into my bag yet in case. We stopped to take pictures whenever the mood struck.  Maybe it would be more accurate to say I stopped to take pictures whenever the mood struck.
Of course the first stop was at Nubble Light.

The last time I was on this bridge I was running my own half.

At Ogunquit Beach

On the way back....this is Ogunquit Library.  Isn't it awesome?

Back at Nubble Light where one of three weddings we rode by 
was happening.

Fooling around on Long Sands.

Then it was out for a lobster roll and clam chowder before getting ready for my half. 

 The biggest problem was I couldn't sleep. Too wired I guess.  I ended up taking a walk on the beach after midnight.  I could hear the ocean but not really see it! So time to get up came way too quickly.

Half marathon report coming!!!!