Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Hiking in the White Mountains in New Hampshire (pictures added later)

Today Tristan and I had our first full day of hiking. Initially it was predicted to be rainy and drizzley, but upon getting up we determined it was going to be rainfree for the first part of the day so got ready for hiking quickly.

We headed up to Bretton Woods for some coffee and treats then to the Amnousuc Ravine Trail to hike to the falls. But it was sunny and clear!!! So Tristan and I revised our strategy and decided I should take the Cog Railway to the top of Mt Washington, while he hike up the Amnousuc Trail to the summit (or to the falls/gem pool if the weather turned worse). I have never taken the cog railway and really enjoyed it! It was easy, not to fear inducing and the views were beautiful. Upon getting to the top I wandered around a bit and even did a few "laps" in the parking lot going from the Tuckerman Ravine trailhead to the summit. I also took a bunch of pictures because it would be sunny and clear sky then clouds would come in and visibility would be mere feet! We had only 1 hour on the summit and this hour went fast. As I was standing on line for my return train I was pleasantly suprised to see Tristan who had come up behind me to give me a hug. He is lucky he did not get punched:-) I had only about 2 minutes before my train left, so we took a few rushed pictures then I got on my train and headed down the mountain.

After I returned to the base of the mountain, I started hiking up the Amnousuc Ravine Trail to meet up with Tristan. At the lower falls we ran into each other. Overall my hike up wasn't too bad, although I was still a bit tired from Sunday and my hamstrings were a bit sore. The views going up the trail were spectacular and we were so lucky it continued to be sunny or at least fairly bright until 3:30 when we returned to the car.

Stopping at the Wiley House for the best Clam Chowder ever it started raining. But we both had gotten a full days activities before this so it was okay.

I will post pictures later...it is just the internet connection is a bit iffy. Also I will post my VT50 race report later. I am still working on it and hope I will have it finished (complete with pictures in the next few days). In fact if it would rain more on our vacation, I would be more productive posting because when it is nice we are trying to cram as much activity as possible into our day!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

A Successful but Miserable Vermont 50 km

Today I ran the VT50, 50 km race for the first time ever. It was the most miserable ~12 hours I have experienced ever!! The race started in the rain, and finished in the rain. The course was trail (which I dislike) and there were so many hills! But alas I feel this EPIC battle in which I won made me stronger and overall was positive.

Also, I was lucky enough to meet up with my friends at the race and during the race I saw lots of friends from the VT100 including the Race Director Julie Hutchison. She is so SWEET!!! And gave me the best hug at mile 15 when I was starting to struggle.

I am not sure if I will ever return because this year (and apparently every other year) it rained and made the course so muddy. This made it really slick and the entire time I struggled to stay on my feet. While I did not fall, I did crash into a few tree's and stumbled well over 100 times. And I pretended the course was a slip and slide and would walk up one step and slip backwards 4 or 5!

My post race shower was nearly 1 hour and I am not convince I am clean. But it is good enough because I am exhausted.

Friday, September 25, 2009

FDA/Industry Statistics Workshop=Done; Ultra=Up and Marathon=On Deck

Today was the final day of my FDA/Industry Statistics Meeting. I think it went well but my "pre-specified" (important statistical concept) definition of success was pretty minimal with simply no one maiming another, no police and no fire/rescue. This is the same definition I would use if I had children to define a successful day, but I aim low to ensure success:-)

I do have to confess I nearly wiped out a person in my organization who is two above me but in a different branch. In my defense I was walking quickly (as I have done for the past few days) and he was apparently trying to run interference. Luckily I am pretty small (we'll say less then 100 lbs...right???!!!!!) So our near collision did not take out anyone. Also other then the fact that we almost both got my breakfast all over us, it could have been worse in that I did almost let go of my plate which was covered in food (I am an ultra-athlete preparing for a race on Sunday so I need my FOOD!!).

I am still facing blister issues. Even though I taped my feet (following the instructions about feet...an owners manual and the www.kickrunners.com extreme running forum), my blisters are even worse today and at least one blister has popped making it extra painful. I tried to earn sympathy by mentioning it to my co-chair, our volunteers and others. But then when I indicated that my blister go worse during last evening's Fleet Feet Fun Run (followed by Brusters with Gilligan of course) somehow I lost the sympathy card.

Tommorrow morning Tristan and I leave bright and early for BWI to head to VT/NH. I should not be up now (10:30 p.m.) considering how little sleep I have gotten (and will continue to get in the next 2 days). But alas I am more wired then if I had pounded a 12 pack of diet mtn dew (which I sort of may have done this morning--in fact at one point I had a diet dew in one hand and a big cup of coffee in the other. Hydration is the key to a healthy lifestyle, right? This earned me a few quizzical stares but no one challenged me about my addiction/love for all things caffienated).

I am really excited about the Vermont 50 this Sunday and am really looking forward to seeing and spending some quality time with my friends: Shane, Tony, Steve, Larry, and many others before, during and after the race. Sadly so far it sounds like the race (as well as much of our vacation) will be spent in rain. However, perhaps this will help me prepare for future ultra's in which the weather is not as nice as this past weekends Trails for Tails 40 miler.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

FDA/Statistics Industry Statistics Workshop...I never knew it would be an endurance event

Today I finished my second of three days of co-chairing a 750 person workshop/conference. The first day was not too bad with simply several 4 hour courses in the morning and several 4 hour courses in the afternoon. Other than mad rushes during registration and dealing with last second issues at the begining of the courses it was not too bad (I even got to post mid-day) Today I was on my feet from about 5 a.m. until late afternoon. During this time I took over 35,000 steps as per my pedometer. And I also learned either I am the only person who walks with purpose or else I have a freakishly long stride as I tried to deal with all sorts of glitches, challenges and crisis. Out of over 100 folks I interacted with, not one kept up with me and towards the end of the day I realized I needed to try to slow down as to not be several turns ahead of people I was trying to assist.

I also figured out my ultra ability to eat on the go was a benefit today as I sat down twice. Once when I needed to attend to a blister and at the end of the day when I was feeling exhausted and needed to take a breather. In fact as I sat down I debated this wisdom and mentioned to the person I was talking to "I hope I don't succumb to the Lure of the Chair". I think she had no idea what I was talking about until I suggested I might not be getting up anytime soon:-)

Tommorrow I have a jam packed morning however, hopefully most of the crisis will be averted because we learned lessons today. And tommorrow afternoon the conference ends at 3, so hopefully I will be able to get home, pack and rest a little before my Epic adventure to Vermont/New Hampshire starting with a flight at 6:15 on Saturday morning. I really need my head examined because in the past 7 days I will have gotten up prior to 4 a.m. at least 5 times. And by Sunday this statistic will be 7 times out of 9 days!

On a positive note practicing functioning with little rest and lots of "time on feet" should prepare me well for Javalina Jundred...if only I can make it through VT50 50km, New Hampshire Marathon, New River Gorge 50 km and Marine Corps Marathon. I will have to dig deep but I know I can do it!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The FDA/Industry Statistics Workshop

Like most runners I have a day job. This is good because I really am bad at running so probably would be living on pennies a day if sponsored (although if any company wanted to sponsor me I am open to it...I'm thinking of you Bruster's:-) And we know from my neighbor that if you google up Brusters Gaithersburg my blog is listed within the top 3 hits...

Well, alas back to my point. I am the FDA co-chair of this conference. I have known for almost 3 years I was to chair this conference when I was selected for the FDA Statistics Association President Elect. The conference is now here and I will have very limited time to post (this post is pre-written). Because of the economic upheavel, I was worried there would be 3 people in attendence, my industry co-chair and my husband (a fellow FDA Statistician). But alas as of last report there are well over 700 attendee's signed up...And I did not threaten bodily harm to any of them; although a) I have never threatened bodily harm to anyone and b) threats of bodily harm from me kind of seem preposterous as I am pretty weak and in fact my arms are still jelly from my recent tri!)

Because of this conference I have slacked off from running a bit (although swollen ankles from my recent 40 miler might also be a contributing factor). Hopefully on Thursday I can get a good run in during the evening particularly since the Fleet Feet Running club is having "Brooks Poker Night". I am feeling optimistic/lucky although I am not sure if I need good running or good poker playing skills. If it is running prowress I need, I may be in a jam. But for poker playing, I have card counting skills, a bachelors degree earned in the shadow of Atlantic City (Go Stockton State!) and of course a statistics background to allow me to determine probabilities on the go.

Immediately following my workshop, Tristan and I will head out on our Anniversary Trip to VT/NH. During this trip I will be running the VT50 (but only the 50 km option cause I sissied out of the 50 miler a few weeks ago for several reasons) and the following week, the New Hampshire Marathon. I have not done the VT50 before, but hope it is not to difficult. On a positive note, it is shorter than my recent tails for trails 40 miler. I have done the NH marathon and really have enjoyed it the past few years.

I am also really excited about this trip!!! On Saturday after arriving in New England by my favorite airine Southwest (I LUV Southwest), we go to Wakefield to pick up Pacer Shane from the VT100.

I am so excited that Shane is going to run the 50 miler. It will be his first ultra (and in fact first race of any signficant distance...GO SHANE GO!!! After picking up Shane at Wakefield and of course the requisite trip to the Gingerbread construction company, Tristan, Shane and I head to VT. In VT we will meet up with Anthony (VT100 in 2008 and 2009, Umstead100, and several other events), Eddie, and Steve (my ride to the Self Transcendence Marathon).

Although the weather may or may not be good for the event, I know I will have a great time with my friends! And of course I will have a belly full of gingerbread construction company muffins so life will be good:-)

I am not sure I will have time to post between now and this trip (or even during the trip) so please pardon me if I don't post for a bit.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Belated Diamondman Triathlon Sprint Tri Race Report

At the start of the race racking my bike. Oddly enough there were all sorts of wetsuits in the transition area and I kept asking the young lady next to my bike what the deal was. I kept thinking that there was some crazy abandon your wetsuit and run away thing going on because of a lake monster...alas we had to go through the transition area (and had 5 minutes in it) after the mandatory pre-race meeting

Here I am swimming along the course. As you can see there is a kayak not too far from me and you can see a shadow of my arms (unlike the Columbia Tri). But you will also notice I am a bit pink with perhaps even a hint of purple because it was so cold in the water!
My friend the kayaker who took many pictures of me as I was swimming along. Sadly the pictures are not very impressive as I did the breast stroke the entire way because I did not want to put my face in the super cold water...BRRR

Here I am taking care of my feet. You will notice my right foot is sneakered up and the other foot has a water shoe on it. And of course I am drying off before I put on my sneaker because I for one have standards! In fact you will notice only a small handful of cottonelle wet wipes to my right as the lake was pretty clear and I perceived it to be clean.

Here I am at the bike portion. If you look really closely over might right shoulder, you will see that there is a redish blob in the background...that is the motorcyle cop who traveled with me for about 14 miles of the race, complete with lights flashing! It was a bit distressing at points, but on the other hand at least I knew if I took a spill I would be getting help immediately. Unfortunately at my snail like pace I would probably be more embarrassed then hurt!

I signed up for the Diamondman Triathlon many months ago intending to do the half iron distance. Sadly (or I could be honest and say Happily!) I ended up with a conference in which I was a short course instructor related to Technical Writing (yes, I know how can a statistician teach a class as unrelated to one's field as this? Well, that is a story for another day).

I was able to gracefully bow out of the half-iron and drop to the sprint distance. Although the sprint distance was 0.6 mile swim, 17.5 mile bike and 2 miles of running, which in my opinion was kind of WAY further then a sprint. Particularly since the two parts I disliked the most were closer to the olympic/internation distance. But apparently anything seems to go in tri's!

The Diamondman Tri was held in Delaware, about 1.5 hours and 100 miles north of my home. And less than 70 miles north of Centennel Lake site of the IronGirl Triathlon. I assumed the water would be similar to my August Tri. But I could not have been more wrong. In fact the tri was "wetsuit legal". What this means in laymens terms is that the tri was in bitterly cold water. The entire swim I expected to see icebergs, polar bears and penguins floating by. But alas I had no wetsuit so I had to simply "suck it up and deal" as one of my old coaches put it.

Arriving at the tri I observed my friend Ethel C, who was there to support her friend, Kerry who was doing her first half Iron Distance tri. Kerry finished in a really impressive time of 5+ hours! Because there was a staggered start, the sprint distance competitors had a long time to wait after the transition was closed. But in fact it was a bit shorter then I expected timewise as the start was about 600+ meters from the transition area. Luckily I had decent water shoes which might have a little arch support.

Upon getting to the lake I realized I needed to pee a little. Unfortunately I did not realize that I should have waited and tried to pee in the lake to warm the water just a little. On line I met a nice gentleman Hamilton (or Ham to his friends which we became while waiting). He had run Old Dominion, Massanutten and some other 100 milers! We chatted about ultra's and life in general which kept me occupied while the minutes ticked away.

After my potty break I continued to the Lake. Finally my wave (the final wave) was allowed to enter the water. Continuing the theme of a long distance to something, we had about a 300 meter swim/walk in the water to get to the open water start. I did not realize how far it was and pretty soon as I am ambling over to the start, the air horn goes off. Alas, I was okay with not starting at the front to minimize the chance I got trampled, kicked or smacked around. A few minutes later I get to the start and start my long 45 minute journey around Lums Pond (it's really more of a lake!). There were plenty of kayakers, folks on motorized boats and young lifeguards in boats and on surfboards all around the course. I chatted with most of them and other then being cold accepted the swim grudgingly.

The one nice thing about Lums pond was that the water was considerably clearer than the Centinal Lake at the IronGirl. I could see my hands as I did the breast stroke even when they were a foot or two away from my face. This was nice because I did not worry each stroke that my hands would abruptly fell off my arms. As I swam around the buoys I took a few pictures which amused the volunteers no end. One volunteer even commented that she had never seen anything like what I was doing but was impressed by the fun I was having. Ultimately she became my private race photographer taking pictures of me throughout the rest of the swim.

Finally the swim was over, I got a picture with my friend and started my long walk/jog/run to the transition. At the transition I improved my time by 10 minutes from IronGirl (go me!!) needing only a small feet cleaning. This was actually influenced by the fact that the lake water was very clean and the last 50 yards of the race was on a cement boat ramp that prevented mud and dirt buildup.

Cleaning my feet was a breeze and I just used a few wet wipes to get them tidied up and a towel to dry them off. As I was in the transition area, my 2 friends who I was neck and neck with during the swim headed off into the bike portion. I successfully had taken over last place in the race.

This meant for the bike portion I had an escort. A Delaware State Police Officer. Complete with flashing lights. The entire time I could see his lights reflecting in my glasses and would worry I was about to get pulled over. This particularly became a concern when I was in the section the race director suggested we needed to go slow (that was marked with "Slow" on the pavement). I took the RD's advice and did slow down but in retrospect I think this advice was not meant for me.

Because of my stalker (ie the police officer), I felt compelled to pedal the entire time. Because Delaware is rather flat, the few inclines really did not provide much momentum and for some reason the entire pedalling experience was a struggle. In hindsight as I was moving my bike from the car to my house I may have figured out the cause for this, my back brake pads were slight askew--doh!). But alas, I tried to pedal hard and keep up a decent pace so as not to get DNF'ed or anger the cop (who came complete with gun, taser, handcuffs and other stuff).

Also having my personal security detail/entourage, I also realized there was no way I could discretely stop, find a nice la tree and take a whiz. This really depressed me as my 3rd or 4th diet mountain dew was catching up to me and my bladder:-) I have heard a rumor Ironman competitors will pee on their bike. I cannot imagine doing this so alas I kept pedaling and tried to think dry thoughts.

The bike section was sort of shaped like an L with two out and back sections. There was a small loop in the first out and back(~10 miles) then you passed by the start/finish and continued on about 4 miles, then turned back and returned to the finish. It was discouraging as I passed the start/finish line to see so many folks finished but I kept pedaling along. In the first out and back section I saw about 30 riders and as I went to the second out and back I saw considerable fewer (maybe 20 riders). Not knowing the course did not help me any so until I turned back towards the start/finish line I had no idea where the rider in front of me was. They were probably about 1-2 miles ahead of me, so pretty much my last place finish was assured in my mind from about mile 14 on. At that point I also got rid of my tail, the police officer so he could find and stalk the last half ironman bicyclist.

I then kind of phoned it in for the last 4 miles because I was tired of pedaling, too far from the next biker and I really hate biking! During this section I was passed by several elite half ironmaners. They were very nice and respectful in passing and I did my best to not let my stinky biking adversely impact their performance. Finally I was done and it was time for my 2 mile run!

About 200 meters into the run, there were many porta potties...score! I had a bunch of choices and picked one that was in the middle. It was a satisfactory experience but definitely did not help my 2 mile run time. In fact I think I might have run 50 milers with faster average mile splits. Oh well, at least my bladder was happy. The run was an out and back in a cute state park campground that reminded me of my mom. This was sort of happy but also a bit sad. I know she would have liked to see and do so much more with her life and this state park would have been one she would have particularly enjoyed. Finally I made it to the turn around, grabbed a gatorade and headed back to the start line. Finally 3 hours and 6 minutes after I started my epic journey was ending.

This tri continued my streak (or maybe started) my streak of dead last finishes as more recently I finished dead last in the Tails 4 Trails 40 miler and of course I was last female at VT100. I really need to do something about this. I think the easiest strategy would be to find people who are even worse then me and have them sign up; because getting better just sounds like hard work!

I definitely would consider doing this race again. The Pirhana folks put on excellent events and the race although challenging was alot of run.

After the race I hung out with my friend Ethel for a bit chatting about ultra's and marathons and then I had to scamper off at 12:30 so I could get to the conference for the short course I was instructing.

I arrived at my short course freshly showered with 5 minutes to spare!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Tails for Trails Ultramarathon 40 miler: Race Report

Gilligan at the start meeting a fellow dog. That dog (a Husky) did actually run one lap for an 8 mile run (as part of a relay team). Gilligan on the other hand did not.
Gilligan trying to be a part of the race by running just a few meters. Gilligan bailed after about 10 seconds after this picture was taken. I am shocked he did not try to get in my finishers picture although he was at that time tied up with a table, thus unable to act like he ran the full 40 miles.

At the beginning of the race a bunch of runners along the shoreline. This was within the first mile of the race start and was a very pretty section of the race.

Here I am at the lake during my second lap. This run along the shoreline was my favorite section because it was very picturesque and it was a pretty easy trail running surface. Sadly during the second portion of each lap of the race, the trail was more rustic.

Tristan and Gilligan met me at the second lake which we ran around in the second part of the loop. You can see here that the trail is a bit challenging with rocks, roots and in various sections was pretty steep. Although ahead of me for this picture, Gilligan quickly fell behind even though during this picture I was at mile ~30. And then he took a refreshing dip in the water taunting me with his lack of focus on running the race but rather on having a good time!
It was nice to see Tristan and Gilligan on the course and I like that because there were 5 loops I did get to see them several times.

Yesterday I ran the Tails for Trails 40 miler. I had a GREAT time! I signed up for this race in late April/early May when it opened. As per the race directors Kev and Fay (Fay who I ran with at the Bob Potts Marathon), I was the first person to sign up this year. Unfortunately my ability to sign up fast is not at all correlated with my ability to run as I came in last place in a time of 11 hours and a few minutes.

However, I am very proud of the fact that I placed in the top 3 women out of 7 women starters, so relatively speaking I was not exactly last place.

The race was super well run, lots of fun and had lots of energy. It was obvious that it was a race directed and organized by seasoned ultra runners with well stocked aid stations, lots of supportive volunteers and a pretty cute course. Sadly the course (as advertised) was predominantly on trails, thus it was a trail race. I am not good at trail running at all hence my abysmal performance. I would like to state the first I lap I got lost (with others) 3 times and the second lap I decided to blaze my own trail a few times (some repeat mistakes some new).

While the terrain for this race was a bit challenging (harder than Rocky Raccoon 50 but easier then the JFK50 miler Appalachian Trail section), it is definitely manageable. I just truly am a trail running sissy!!

The course 5 laps of 8 miles. It was shaped kind of like a figure 8 with a bit on a road that was an out and back connecting the two loops. The second loop around a lake I was really looking forward to. Sadly things on paper are not always reflective of what to expect. The second lake was a doozy with several steep sections, rickety bridges, one guardrail you had to climb over and several downed trees to climb over. The piece de resistance in my mind was the hill ending with a cemetary!!!! Although on one of my laps that is not where I suggested they should start looking for me, but they should in fact look for me at the massive down tree which on several occasions I considered lying in front of and refusing to go (a move I learned from the best: Gilligan). Alas I kept going knowing I had a top 5 place within the first 3 laps (because of race attrition not because I am any good). The top 3 placement was icing on the cake (still caused by attrition).

Tristan & Gilligan came with me to the race and for 2 laps Tristan paced me (sort of--it took him about 1 mile to catch up to me out of the main aid station start/finish because he too got lost). In the mid-afternoon, Gilligan and Tristan also met up with me at "Hideous Lake" as I started calling it (that and "the cursed lake"--I alternated between the two comments because over the 5 laps it became the bane of my existance). The weather was perfect for them to enjoy the race, the state park it was held in the and really nice late summer/early fall day.

Overall, I had a GREAT time at this race and do look forward to coming back again next year to run it. I think the fact that the race is raising money and awareness for a Pennsylvania no kill shelter is just an added bonus.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Brief Summary of my Delaware Diamondman Triathlon

It is lucky I switched from the Half Iron distance tri to the sprint Tri this past Sunday. Even shortening the distance of my event, it took me well over 3 hours to complete the Tri.

Even worse for 14.5 miles of the 17.5 mile bike I was the last place person and there was a cop who was following me on a motorcycle with lights going. It was really disconcerting and I kept feeling like I should pull over. Oh yeah and I felt like I had to pedal the entire time (I totally would have stopped pedaling had I not had an audience/escort!)

The other valuable lesson I learned is that a wetsuit would be a wise investment. Apparently my previous experience at the Columbia IronGirl last month in a lake that was 78 degree bathwater temperature water, this time the lake swim was in 68 or 70 degree "wetsuit legal" water. The entire swim I thought I would freeze to death. In fact in my little pack of the 3 swimmers at the back we joked about how much we wish everybody would pee in the water just to raise it a few degrees. Alas it seemed no one did because it was bitterly cold.

At one point a person in a raft who was watching the swimmers mentioned that his raft had sprung a leak. He climbed up a bit higher on the raft to keep warm. I gave him no pity and commented "welcome to my world". Luckily I did not need him to rescue me:-)

I will write up more about this event when I have more time (I am on a communal computer at my conference), but I will say I did have fun, saw several friends including my friend Ethel who is an ultra-runner who has run a bunch of marathons and ultra's that I have.

And I was able to socialize a bit after the event, cheering on competitors and still made it to my conference where I was a short course instructor with 5 minutes to spare (and I even showered, which I imagine the attendees in the course appreciated)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Umstead 100 miler bound: March 2010

I marked my calendar many months ago for an appointment at 12 noon. This is in the top 3 events of the year and I was mentally and physically prepared.

And at noon, with my husband on speaker phone talking me through it, I was able to successfully register for the Umstead 100 mile endurance race within the 4-6 minutes it was open online. There were nearly a few mis-steps in this process but luckily I remembered my initials (TJM), my zipcode and who I needed to have as an emergency contact (who knew how much stuff I would have to type in??) But alas with no cramps and no major errors by 12:04 p.m. I had my entry to the 2010 Umstead 100 mile Endurance Run confirmed.

Now I just need to train up for this. I have no idea how I am going to do this when it seems my calendar is solidly booked until Umstead. I have my favorite local race George Washington Birthday in Feb. My favorite race in which the trees go wild: Mardi Gras Marathon. My favorite race where they remember your name, the lower Potomac Marathon. My favorite 50 miler where I saw & interacted with my mom last: Rocky Raccoon. My favorite race run along an old rails to trails, B&A trail marathon and of course my favorite marathon to run into lots of characters: Disney Marathon. And this list excludes my upcoming races in 2009. But I know I can dig deep and perservere!

For those of you who made it into Umstead, congratulations and I look forward to seeing you in March (and I sure am hoping for good weather).

For those of you who did not make it in but do want to run a 100 miler in the winter/spring, I definitely recommend Rocky Raccoon. I will be there volunteering overnight and with the other amazing volunteers will take really good care of you! And Rocky (like Umstead) is an exceptionally well organized and run race! And overall the course while a bit more challenging then Umstead is still manageable.

Finally, since I did switch to the "dark side" of facebook, I have over 180+ pictures from the 2009 just drop me a "friend" evite. Alternatively, if anyone knows how to share this album with non-facebookers feel free to send me instructions...

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Lakelands Kentlands 5km results--same exact time as last year 27:01!

I am shocked by my apparent consistency in running. Looking at the posted results of the 5 km race I participated in yesterday the Kentlands/Lakelands 5km, my time was EXACTLY the same as in 2008, 27:01.

I have no idea what to make of this.

Have I improved? (this year between VT100 and Kentlands I ran 1 marathon, one 10 miler, and my traditional Columbia Triathlon. And on Friday before the race, I ran home from work (+ a little extra to get to Fleet Feet as well as to get some dinner) which was approximately 10 miles total. Have I declined? Or have I plateaued?

Today I am cleaning house because in the next 3 months I have only 1 weekend completely off (at least so far) and many weekends away from home at a variety of events. Our basement/laundry room took me 2 hours to clean because my mom's diabetic cat seems to have forgotten what a litter box is to be used for. After this thrilling way to spend the early morning, I then had to do usual chores of laundry, changing sheets and general tidying. Make no mistake our house is still in shambles (always has been, always will be), but at least now it is in hygenic shambles:-)

Someday Tristan and I need to have a fire sale/garage sale or just need to donate 90% of our junk/stuff/belongings. But in fact not only are we not successful at getting rid of stuff at this point, we keep getting more (three bins of stuff arrived three weeks ago when I was at my Grandma's--of course these items were from my mom's RV, but alas at this rate our house will be condemned for excessive clutter in about 2 days:-)

Yesterday, my sister was able to deal with the final bit of my mom's possessions at the bank and has now completed her final obligation as the executor of my mom's will (by default because my mom's brothers who were listed both declined it--and my parents didn't raise a fool in me, I know executorship is hard even without doing it). It was a sad day for me because at this point other than pictures, memories and my mom's cat nothing is left. This was made even more so because pretty much I was alone except for the dog and cats.

Tristan is on the mountain and Cindy is at my dad's. The one bright spot yesterday is that I also learned one of my cousins (on my mom's side) from Texas had a new baby boy on Friday. Life does go on.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

A 5km Down and waking the family

For those of you who are parents and insist on waking your children on holidays and weekends let this be a warning. Today I sucessful woke up every member of my family prior to my 5km. And my 5km race had a very pedestrian start time of 8:30 a.m. (which I only needed to leave my house by 8 a.m.).

I called my dad at 7:50 and he was not up. The main reason I called him was because I needed to tell my sister (who is visiting him) that I had our secondary cell phone (she needed to have access to me in case in closing my mom's bank account she needed my verbal okay). I then proceeded to call my sister (who was asleep) so that she would have my cell phone number in her phone records. This all was caused by Tristan who is in Washington State with our "real" cell phone that we actually use and know the number (this is a convoluted story that I will use in my defense when they try to disinherit me!).

Well, by the time I headed off to my race, I considered myself successful in my goal of making sure no one in my family wasted a minute of labor day weekend sleeping. Tommorrow I think I will call everyone at 7 and by Monday everyone can be prepared for a 6 a.m. wake up call. This family member does not accept slackers!

My 5km race went pretty well (I need to build up some speed for when my family starts to chase me to beat the crap out of me after Monday morning, right??).

I am not sure how my time compares to last year, but I finished in just about 27 minutes. I was pleased with this performance considering in the past 14 days I have done a triathlon, marathon, 5km, 10 miler and this 5km. Of course this is all in preparation for the next 12 weeks in which I have about three 50 km races, 4 marathons, one 40 miler and a 100 miler! Extend this time frame to 16 weeks and it will include an additional 50 miler and 3 more marathons.

I think I need a nap:-) And probably to re-hydrate.

Friday, September 4, 2009

A Quiet Labor Day Weekend...only a 5 km Race. And issues with Facebook

This weekend Tristan is away climbing some mountain in Washington State (Mt Shuksan).

While he is away, I have no major plans. I have a 5km race tomorrow morning that is located about 2 miles from my house. In the spirit of greenness (and because I am too cheap to get gas very frequently...and the hubby took the gas sipping hybrid),

I will be running to and from the race.

Thursday of this week, I volunteered at packet pick up for the race. It was alot of fun, although I get the sense out of about 11 volunteers there were only a few experienced packet pick up volunteers and only two other people planning to run the race. However, it is a pretty big race (~1000 people) with alot of community support!

This week I also tried to work on my Facebook account (my running friends Frank, Steve, Staci, Emmy, Tony... pressured me to join:-)

I learned Facebook is not exactly compatible with Google chrome (some may remember I just purchased a pink laptop about 1.5 months ago--this laptop has Vista-UGH and google chrome).

The selling point of Facebook as per my running friends was that I could post all 1000 pictures from each and all my various races and then just link it to this blog...well I have been limited to downloading only 5 or 6 pictures because of my computer (and I was shocked by this quota after being told by Tristan, my husband, that he downloaded several hundred pictures from his Mt Rainier expedition on July 4th).

Oddly enough, my husband beat me in registering for facebook (by about 2 weeks because his Mt Rainier climbing buddies forced him to do it).

It actually took quite a bit of effort for us to find each other and become "Friends". Then when I "befriended" him indicating we were spouses, he apparently denied it (to see what would happen). I know we are friends but I am unclear what relationship Facebook thinks we have (friends with benefits who may be legally married in the state of Virginia/US Govt but not considered married by Facebook???)

Hopefully this weekend I will figure out what "app" I need to download or I may try to somehow acquire Firefox, (which I hear is the best web-browser for facebook) so that I can download lots of pictures.

As for Tristan's/my relationship if anyone knows how we can re-form our married relationship within facebook, feel free to post it in the comments.