Life's little adventures, accompanied by a running watch

Monday, May 29, 2017

Vermont 100 Crew Pre-Work

When I ran Ghost Train a few years ago, I knew that I would depend heavily on my crew to help get me through the distance.  Scott held down our home base, cooked for everyone, tracked me, massaged my feet, and encouraged me throughout my journey.  The rest of my tribe ran with me, massaged my Achilles in the middle of the night, sang with me, and dressed in Christmas lights.  Whatever it took!  In July, I will take on this important role of crewing for Scott, as he heads into his own 100 mile journey at Vermont 100!

Today, we took a drive to VT to scope out the area.  This scoping expedition wasn’t for Scott,  Nope, it was for me.  If any of you know me at all, you know by now that I have no sense of direction.  And since VT 100 is not like my Ghost Train 7.5 mile route that runners repeat until complete, I will need to navigate through the back roads of VT.  At night.  For up to 30 hours (race cutoff).  The farm areas we saw during our drive were gorgeous and hilly.  As in, ears-popping hilly.  Also, every street sign seemed to signify more hills (i.e. Silver Hill Road, etc).  Hopefully this road sign doesn’t represent too much of Scott’s experience:
Yes, this is a real sign in the area!
I’m super excited for Scott!  His training has gone really well so far and I’m looking forward to helping him get to the finish.  It’s starting to get real, as we turn the calendar to June.  A few more lonnnggg runs for Scott and he’ll be off and running for 100 miles!!

Is it too early to start weather stalking???

Saturday, May 27, 2017

A Tale of Two Pisgahs

During our exploration of North Carolina back in 2015, Scott and I took a hot air balloon ride over the Pisgah Mountains.  I had no idea the elevation was as high, if not higher, than some of the White Mountains of New Hampshire.  That white-knuckle adventure is indelibly imprinted in my memories!

Pisgah, NC

Today, as Scott and I ventured out on a morning run/hike in Pisgah State Park –in New Hampshire – I felt so grateful to be able to live so close and “play” in such a beautiful place.  


Pisgah, NH

By the end of our 11 mile adventure, my feet were tender!  So many many downs. Official elevation (according to Garmin) was 1795'.  

Extra bonus:  our adventure collided with a local trail race.  We got to cheer some runners on and give extra cheer to Arne and Maggie, friends from our running community.  Fun!

Both Pisgahs were beautiful, however I prefer exploring with my feet on the ground and not 5000' feet above!

Friday, May 26, 2017

A Shift

At a work training session a few months ago, one of the ice breakers was to share with the group your favorite food.  Most answered “seafood” or “anything Italian”.  Me?  I had to be a smart ass and answer (honestly, I’m afraid):

Anything in a package.

Yup, there it is.  The absolute truth and no surprise to those who know me best. 

Even before I began running the kind of miles that enable me to eat whatever I want, I had always been able to eat whatever I wanted.  Frankly, I never placed much importance on food.  Only when I began running did I realize I needed to give a little bit of thought to what I put into my body.  Now it was considered fuel.

This is not to say that I don’t enjoy fresh fruit or vegetables.  But more honesty?  I’m lazy.  No thinking or planning needed for a quick buttering of peanut butter toast for breakfast.  Unless I bring leftovers to work for lunch, there’s a good chance I’ll be found grabbing a breakfast sandwich via McDonald’s drive-thru.  Even my GU comes in a package.  And how do I wash it all down?  I grab myself a Coke or some other sugary drink.  What a hot mess.

Something about today was different.  Having nothing to do with weight loss or diet fads, I tried having a bowl of fresh strawberries for breakfast.   Usually, I’m famished by 10:00, but today, I sailed right through until lunch time.  Scott and I had a lunch date, where he brought me a salad with grilled chicken.  I washed it down with a bottle of water.  By the end of lunch time, I was feeling like a rock star.

Then Marissa brought cupcakes into the office.  Sigh.

Fortunately, they were quite mini.  I did have one and enjoyed every mini bite of the mini cupcake.  And I washed it down with water.  Dinner consisting of spaghetti and meatballs (washed down with water) rounded out Day 1 of this fueling experiment. 

The reason for the experiment?  I’m tired of feeling gross.  Plain and simple.  If I don’t want to feel gross anymore, I need to change what I eat and drink.  I still see ultra race goodies in my future, but in its place (like during an ultra race) and not in the form of a daily diet.

I’ll always have a soft spot for packaged food, but more real food is likely to prevent me from gaining too large a soft spot….on me!

Wish me luck!!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Here’s to friends who miss your blog

As I close in on my 50th run around the sun (how has it already been a year), I am reminded of how little I’ve written in my little blog this year.  I’ve had many thoughts, experiences, and opportunities to write about, but like many, I lost the thought or if I did start writing, it suddenly sounded boring.  Today, I felt the urge to write, thanks to a text conversation with my friend Bonnie:

So maybe not a lot of content, but starting off easy with a bullet summary and some photos to describe the last 6+ months:

* Ran 3 loops of GAC Fat Ass.  In a blizzard.
* Ran through the winter in first pair of yak-trax.
* Bella turned 9 years old.

* Participated in my first Ugly Sweater Run/Contest.
* Registered for Ghost Train 100.
* Volunteered as a course marshall at Red Hat Run.

* Enjoyed countless Scores Running Club runs.

* Learned the fun of Mexican Train game.
* Ran TARC Spring Classic 50K.

* Spectated at Boston Marathon.

* Created a new team at work.
* Made new friends at work.
* Made new friends at play (run).
* Missed old friends and old running routes.
* Re-landscaped our front lawn.
* Witnessed some of the most beautiful sunrises/sunsets.

* Saw my first bear
* Joined Scores Running Club Board of Directors as Secretary.
* Joined Race Committee for Drummer Hill Trail Race (6/10/17)
* Joined Race Committee for Stone Arch Bridge 10 Miler (10/28/17)

Looking forward to:
--> Lots of summer evening fires on the patio
--> Lots of running – day and night
--> Lots of swimming at Goose Pond (for Bellz)
--> Lots of hiking
--> Crewing Scott at VT100
--> Our niece’s first baby

and of course....

--> More writing in this blog!

Saturday, December 10, 2016

The day after

I received this text from a friend who knows me (and the process) so well:

It was in response to this text I sent with a narrative of:

                                     Oops, this just happened!

Registering for Ghost Train 100 miler in December is the easy and exciting part.  It’s easy to jump aboard as friends post their news of race registration on social media.  But a lot can and does happen during the ten months between now and race weekend. 

I’m excited to ride the Ghost Train again.  My first and only 100 miler was at Ghost Train in 2014.  I haven’t had the desire to train for this distance since then. Until now. 

Like most “first” races, I had no goals for Ghost Train 2014, but to finish (and finish healthy).  I knew I had 30 hours to complete, so if I finished in 29:59, I’d be thrilled.  I finished in 29:06, so not really that much time to waste!  Also being my first go at 100, I was ill prepared for things like sleep deprivation.  I’m still not sure if I can fully train for that, but at least now I know what it looks like, feels like, etc.

I hope to train for Ghost Train 2017 in a way that will find me stronger during the race.  This includes better management of the night running (I’m pretty sure I walked more than I ran during those night miles), keeping a cool head during the sleep deprived hours, and of course, tackling that dreaded mile 75 moment.

As excited as I am to name my A race for 2017, there’s always that “day after” moment that follows.  Sometimes it’s not the literal day after, but days or even weeks later.  It’s that moment that hits, “Holy crap, I just registered for what?”  And that’s often followed by, “OMG, I have to get serious about my training!”.  And then after the first bad run occurs, “What the $#@& was I thinking?!?”.  And so on.

Fortunately, I’m accustomed to this “day after” syndrome.  And apparently, so are my friends.  We get through it.  We support each other.  We enable each other.  Best of all, we remind each other that we are strong enough to get through the training and make it to the start lines.  Then we wrap ourselves in Christmas lights or sing songs to get each other to the finish lines.  

Meaghan during Ghost Train 2014

So here I go, onto the day after the day after....let the training begin!

Sunday, December 4, 2016

I did not know you had curly hair!

This was an exclamation made at a fun “Cookie Swap” I attended today.  Granted, I am still getting to know everyone, but the person who said it was my running partner from this morning! 

After a group of us finished the 12.5 mile run this morning, we were talking about the Cookie Swap where many of us would be meeting at later in the day.  I joked that I wasn’t sure we would all recognize each other without our running gear on.  Turns out I was right!

Not only did I hear “I did not know you had curly hair!”, but I also heard, “OMG, I had no idea that was you!”.   We all joked about how different we all look when we’re dressed in street clothes and don’t have our hair tightly pulled back or hidden under a winter hat.

Back to the Cookie Swap…So.Much.Fun!  In all my years of baking cookies, I had never attended one before today.  I met more new people, enjoyed some appetizers, shared in some cookie swapping (haven’t tasted them all yet), and had some good laughs.

I’m glad to have spent a few hours running and then sharing cookies with this group.  I’m also glad they have now met the “non-running Lisa” as well as the “running Lisa”.  After all, I haven’t even broken out my winter running face mask yet.  I’d hate to have to start wearing a name tag!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Nothing good happens after 2am….

I would normally agree, and not being a morning person, I think any time before 6am is too early.  For anything.  Never mind for running.  But today, that changed.

Today, I finally joined the 5:30 am crew who meets at a local trail for a 6 mile run in the woods.  I’ve heard of these die hard runners; they roll out of bed and onto the trail and complete their run at about the time I would normally get out of bed.  Today, I was one of them!  And today wasn’t the easiest day for my first time.

Tap…tap…tap drummed the rain on the window sill.  Waking to that sound always presents a risk to a planned run.  The early hour along with the darkness provided a true test for this non-morning runner.  Luckily, I had laid everything out I needed for the run.  We took the short drive to the trail head and waited a couple minutes while the others emerged from the darkness.

Hitting the trail, two things immediately happened.  First, my headlamp decided it was still asleep and wouldn’t stay lit.  Second, some major puddles ensured no one would finish this run with dry shoes.  A third miraculous thing happened within the first mile; I WOKE UP!  I actually enjoy running in the dark and even more so with friends.  There are usually a number of dogs who come along for the run for the treats everyone brings.  Today, I got to meet Bacon, the golden retriever.  Baconnnn!!!!

By the end of 6 miles, I was soaked, refreshed, energized, and extremely proud of myself for getting out there.  Having both my running gear and my work clothes ready was a huge time saver and I even got to work before 8:00…win!  Mentally preparing myself the night before was also key to following through with the plan. 

So go figure, some good things DO happen after 2 am…a good run, good friends, and a good lookin’ sunrise.