New Bedford

New Bedford

Friday, September 23, 2011

Race Report #2 (Half Marathon)

September 4th: Woke up at 6:10am. Breakfast of one packet of instant oatmeal. Hit up the bathroom. Pounded Gatorade before heading out to Monadnock High School for the start of the Swanzey half marathon. It was already humid out at 7am. The race didn't start until 9am. Once we got there, I registered the $46 bucks (most I have ever paid for a race) and organized all my stuff back at the car. Saw George Adams and let him know when I was warming up. Chilled at the car until about 8:10-8:15am. Found Big George and we warmed up 2 miles. The last mile of the course in reverse, which was very beneficial for me. I wore a shirt for the warmup and it was real sweaty after just 15 minutes of running. I was deciding on whether to wear a jersey and the warmup confirmed I was going to be running for the Bare-chest club. Got back and switched up my socks, Vaselined up the arms and inner thighs, and jogged to the starting line about a 1/2 mile down the road. Fyffe was shooting for a course record so no point in trying to stick with him at all. I discussed my race strategy and goals with George the day before at the alumni race and Pete's BBQ. I wanted to go out conservatively and hit sub 6s the whole way. He said that would be easy, but the half marathon was a road test for the full marathon. Try to focus on staying relaxed and feeling out the right pace for the full. The race was executed real well. The first 4 miles was conservative at 5:52, 5:56, 5:52, and 5:47. At 4 miles, I started to pull away from George and was sitting in 4th place. I couldn't see 3rd at all. I don't know the rest of my splits because I wasn't wearing a watch so I only knew the first 4 because of George. I knew I was starting to pick up the pace and just held it for the next couple miles. At about mile 5.5-6, I caught 3rd place and cruised past him. I knew 2nd was this guy that went out after it from the gun (he knew he wasn't going to catch Fyffe, but 2nd was a possibility). I started reeling him in at about 8 miles and pulled up next to him for a bit. He let me know that he had blown up. I didn't have much to say and he tried hanging on for maybe a quarter mile. Dropped him. Tim Pipp ran with me from about mile 10 to 11. He was doing a long run so he peeled off after a little bit. I cruised in the last couple miles for a 2nd place finish and $50 bucks (covered the race fee and I got to walk away with +4 dollars, woohoo!). My shorts were completely drenched by the end. I grabbed some Gatorade and some orange slices. Headed over to talk with the guys after (Wilson, Ferenc, and Fyffe) and eventually followed down with George and Fyffe. We got going at a good clip and finished up to grab a burger at the refreshment table. Awards and out to The Brewery for lunch with Kimber. Spinach, mushroom, herb cheese, tomato, and sprouts on a bulkie roll. It hit the spot perfectly. Ginger ale for a drink to settle the uneasy stomach from the race. Stopped off at Titus' to say goodbye then the lake house to say bye to Sears. Got back to Kimber's apartment around 3:00 to relax for awhile. Kimber napped while I showered and watched tv. She woke up as a little cranky pants. We worked through her tiredness for about an hour and finally got her out the door at 6pm for a 6+ mile run. I met her at 3 miles with water and to get a status of how she was doing. She felt great and continued on the new route I mapped out for her. I continued another 3/4 of mile or so to encounter a beast of a dachshund. Not size-wise, but the fight in the dog. I was in a car and the miniature dog was preventing me from passing through the road. It was nonstop yapping at the car thinking that I was going to either turn around or surrender. I had no thought of giving up and planned to force this rodent back to where it belongs, it's yard (not the friggin in the middle road). It took about a solid 5 minutes to herd the animal (with my car) back it's property and yelling out to the owner to grab their dog. She was grateful I stopped, but she kept calling it's name with absolutely no reaction from the dog. She finally came out to the road and picked it up. Kimber would of not enjoyed that one bit. Drove back to the house and waited for Kimber to finish up. She cooled off, stretched and we hit up the grocery store for dinner grocery shopping. We picked up a steak, broccoli, potatoes, some stark rub and rolls. Returned to the apartment to prepare our late night dinner (about 9pm we ate). Everything went fairly smoothly. A little stressful (more for Kimber), but it worked. A couple hiccups was the steak dripping off the cutting board while we were allowing it to soak back up the juices (the cutting board did not have a trench surrounding it), the potatoes were not all cut to the same size (Kimber kindly mentioned that to me), and the broccoli was not properly drained from the steamer (there was water in the serving bowl cooking the broccoli). Overall, a successful meal and we were both starving. We inhaled our food and relaxed for the rest of the night.

Summary: 20 miles on the day and 70 miles for the week with a day off (12+ mile hike on Friday). 2 mile warmup (15:00), 1/2 marathon (74:19), and 5 mile cooldown (31:22). The first 4 miles being at 5:52 pace, I must of picked it up to about 5:35 pace for the last 9+ miles. I was stoked after figuring that out. Solid race and a fun half marathon debut. Wore my new Lunarfly 2 trainers that worked like a charm. 4 weeks until the marathon and feeling confident in my running ability.

Sorry for the delay. I will be caught up before my marathon on October 2nd. Been busy looking for jobs and working. I have a whole lot less time on my hands than I did in the beginning of the summer.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Race report (Alumni 5k) plus Da After Party

September 3rd: Woke up at 7:45am. Made one packet of maple and brown sugar instant oatmeal, drank some Gatorade, and vitamins. Gathered all my things for the race and triple checked to make sure I had everything. Foam rolled before heading out the door at 8:55am. Kimber had to hit up the bank before arriving at the sports complex. I made it a point to remove my hat inside while she was depositing money. I wanted to show off my new hairstyle. She was a little embarrassed, but she still loves me. Alumni race was set to go off at 11:30am. A team was late so we went off at 11:45ish (it was Assumption College and they must of assumed it started at 11:30am, instead of 11). We made it to the parking lot at about 9:40am. Pre warmup to check out the new course at 10:15am. Another warmup once the girls went off at 11:15am. Race went better than I thought it was going to. I stayed tough and ran smooth. Long cooldown with Ryan, Thomas and Paige through Yale woods. All said and done, it was about 1pm. Pete Thomas' (coach) house for a BBQ between 1:30-2:00. Kimber and I killed some time by hitting up Walmart (fit right in with my haircut), Olympia Sports, and Verizon Wireless. Pete's house for a couple hours. Delicious free food and drinks. Ate some steak, pork, pasta salad, stale cookie wafers, and a few lemonades/iced teas. Drove back to Jaffrey to relax for a while. Hit up Kimball's for ice cream. We both got smalls on cones. It was literally 4 scoops of ice cream each. I ended up eating 6 scoops (mine and half of Kimber's). I thought of it as simple carbs for the half marathon rather than recipe for cramps/slowness. Kimber napped after while I watched TV. We got ready to head back to Keene (it's a 30 minute ride and it definitely adds up) for the bars! Wore my Zensah calf sleeves out to reduce any swelling. I was wearing pants, don't worry. We hit up Cobblestone's, McCues, and Railroad. I drank quality by having a Long Trail Blackberry Wheat, a New Castle, a Tuckerman's Ale, and a Long Trail Ale. Not drinking since graduation had 4 beers making me feel pretty chill. Loosened me up and I broke out some moves on the dance floor (I thought of it as a shakedown for the half marathon). Kimber drove Boj and I back. Sobreity test within 2 minutes of the drive. Kimber was practically hyperventilating, but we had nothing to worry about. Kimber only had 2 beers in the beginning of the night. She stopped drinking for 3 hours. She was the designated driver. A state trooper "followed us" for about a half a mile before turning off to a parking lot. It had actually met up with us at a rotary by chance, but Kimber believed it was on our tail right after the sobriety test. It wasn't. We dropped off Boj at his house. He had to climb through the window to enter since the doors were locked. Kimber and I made it back to her apartment by 1. Bed soon after, but not without pounding some Gatorade. 1/2 marathon tomorrow and a early wakeup for the 9am race.

Summary: Solid race. Faster course I would say and most people would agree. A second slower than last year. Can't complain. 2:28 at the 1/2 mile. 5:03 at the mile. A little fast and I was like in 10th maybe. Cooled off the jets for the 2nd mile, 10:23 (5:20). Cruised in and pushed the last mile with Hammet and Tim (probably about 5:07ish) We switched back and forth the last 1/2 mile. We all finished within a second of each other. 16:06 for 6th place overall and the 3rd alumni. 6 mile cooldown (Yale 7) at 45:37. 13 miles for the day. 


September 2nd: Woke up at 6am to get ready for the day with the Forest Service. We had a meeting at 7:30am at HQ for group assignments and responsibilities for the day. The past week was focused on the Kancamagus and the front country campgrounds. This day was more about the high traffic trails such as Pemi East Side Trail that leads to my campsite and Lincoln Woods Trail (the one parallel). Once we were divided into groups, we were briefed on the task at hand for the day for each individual. A team of guys from Maine were down to help us for the weekend. Sweet! It ended up being John and I hiking up past my campsite to the Thoreau Falls bridge (a roughly 6 mile hike out there). Everyone got a later start because we had to review JHA (Job Hazard Assessments) for chainsaw use and level 1 trail work. Once we finished, we hit the trail at about 10am. We drove as far as we could on the trail leading up to my campsite. It was maybe a 1/4 mile before we reached a culvert that was exposed from a washout. We parked just before it and began hiking. The next 12 miles of hiking was pure astonishment and amazement of what mother nature has the power to alter the environment and landscape. Wow! If anybody has the chance to check out the White Mountains in the near future, you should. The river and trails make you feel like you aren't hiking in the same area. The sand deposits throughout the trails and river is incredible. Some of the trails are completely different. Pictures to follow sometime soon. I can't explain anymore. I was left speechless. Once we reached the bridge, we took a break for lunch and refueled for the hike back down. We made it back in great time. The only mishap was the last 1/2 mile of the hike where we had to climb down and back up the huge washout. The culvert was completely gone and moved about 30 feet from it's original position. The trail was basically missing with a stream flowing in the middle fit. We made it down to the stream okay, but climb back up the other side was a bit shaky. John led and the ground collapsed underneath his foot. He came crashing down on me. Luckily I am ridiculously strong and caught him with my arms (aka he didn't wasn't too high on the hillside and it was a sloppy catch by me). Both of us were okay and finished up the hike without any injuries. Made it back to HQ by 4:30 and I was on the road to Keene by 5. Made to Fowler Street (former residence) by 7:15. Tim was the only one home. Goupil arrived soon after. He gave me my white trash haircut with my new gold clippers outside. A mullet. Business inthe front, party in the back. Trimmed up the facial hair. Drove to Kimber's new apartment in Jaffrey. Pasta for dinner. Relaxed and bed early for the alumni 5k the next day.

Summary: Day off from running, but I did hike 12+ miles of quick hiking in on some rough trails. My legs were aching by the end of the day. Foam rolled and sticked my legs that night. Popped a couple Aleve before bed.  

Friday, September 2, 2011

Completely updated! Ca-chang!

August 26th: Woke up at 6:20am to my 1st alarm (which was actually my second one) so I was a little rushed. Off to HQ, but no sign of John at his desk. Waited and he arrive at 7:50am. Got to the Lincoln Woods parking lot by 9am. No government vehicle so I had to hike in. Not a problem, just not used to it. Once I arrived at 10am, I was off to campsite monitoring by 10:30. Back at 3pm. The highlights of the hike were that I saw a bunch of toads AND one frog in a puddle, John radioed in to me that the forest will be closed Saturday at 6pm until Monday at midnight (Tuesday 12am), I hiked the 5 miles out to the base of Owl's Head for the last illegal campsite on the Lincoln Brook trail, and I dipped the top of my head multiple times in the river to cool off. Once I got back, I made a pretzel nutella tortilla wrap and napped until 4:30 because the hike wiped me out a bit. I ran at 5 and had to turn around at the first river crossing on the Wilderness Trail because the water was too high. It was a weird run, but a nice recovery run through the trails. Took a dip in the river. Ouch! Coldness! Refreshing though as usual. The legs and body needed it after the 10+ miles of hiking and hour of running. Cleaned the bathrooms and bearbox. People left empty garbage bags and whatnot. Sorta annoying. The family made it back from Mt. Flume at about 6:45 (I saw them crossing when I was checking out the river in the morning before crossing myself, long day for them). I did freeze-dried chicken a la king with noodles. Tasty, but my gravity water filter was leaking. Luckily, its a one night stay this weekend. Throw the boiling water in the pouch and let it sit for the 9-10 minutes. Opened it up and placed it in the bearbox (locked it up) before making my final round. I needed to cool off. Made it back to eat dinner at 8:15pm. As I was approaching my bearbox, I heard crumbling of leaves. They were infrequent and small sounding. I tried some "Psst!" and "Yaww!" I shined my headlamp down on the ground and it was a huge...toad. What s wimp! I have noticed it is getting darker earlier so that means I need to toughen up a little. Or just make dinner earlier and go to bed earlier. Fine by me! Early wakeup for a morning run.

Summary: 8.3 (63:55). Ran to the first river crossing and tried hopping on the rocks, but some were covered. Some people said there was some rain last night in Lincoln. So I had to turn around and head down to the parking lot. I exited the parking lot and found an abandoned road that I ran a couple minutes in before turning around. No complaints.

August 27th: Woke up at 6am and ran the horseshoe loop first thing. I needed to go to the junction of the Bondcliff trail to do trail monitoring (measure level of traffic). So it was a quick day. I ran, ate breakfast, hiked to the junction, stayed there from 10-1:30. I was cut short because there were technical difficulties in the front country and a meeting at 4:30 at HQ. I hiked back to my campsite, packed up quick, hiked/did an interval workout down the trail to make it down by 3:05. I was supposed to stay at Lincoln Woods and close it up for the day while Allison went to White Mountain Visitor Center. We ended up closing it down together. Drove to HQ and meeting cancelled. Headed home to Plymouth to find Paul (trail crew) and Dick (works for Forest Service) in my driveway. Dick was kicked out of his trail at Campton Campground and was gonna be my roommate for the next couple days. He's 72 and hilarious. Ain't no problem here! We all chilled for a while inside and outside. Paul was looking after his friend's dogs. A 16 old pug and a 10 year old mutt (dalmation, pitbull, and others). Both awesome dogs. Chilled the rest of the night as we conversed about everything. I ate Oreos/Fig Newtons with nutella and peanut m&ms. For dinner pretty much.

Summary: 11 miles (84:38). Early morning run was relaxing and slow. Heel has been completely healed up all week. Been waiting for it to act up again, but I think I am in the clear. 

August 28th: Tropical storm a brewing. Woke up at 7am and was out the door running before the serious weather hit around 9am. It was mostly just a constant rain from 9am until 5pm or 6pm. Not any crazy winds or anything. Lost power for like 8 seconds. Worked on my blog all day and relaxed inside. Serious napping from 12-3:30. Eventually, I went to the grocery store for milk and chicken. I ended up thawing out the meatballs I made a month ago or so. I tossed that on a couple wraps with cheddar cheese. Sooo goooood! Stayed in the rest of the night.

Summary: 8 miles (54:08). I am glad the weather wasn't terrible and I had a window to run in the morning. Solid run with the second half being a good clip. 26 and change. I was gonna do a post tropical storm run, but decided to hold off. I am healthy and don't wanna get greedy with mileage.

August 29th: I woke up at 6:15am without an alarm. Forgot to set it. I had a day planned out of going to HQ to apply to more jobs. I made a lunch and everything. I drive down to main street and I am about to cross the bridge. I see cars lined up along the side. Hmm. I drive last them and realize they can't go any further. Flooded! It was crazy to see! For the details, check out my Facebook for the video and pictures. I changed my plan and cruised around town to check out other areas that were flooded. Made it back to the bunkhouse and chilled mostly the rest of the day. Downtown wifi for a bit, laundry got done, and more blog updating. I cooked up the 3 pounds of chicken I purchased and the two squash from before the weekend. Lunch and dinner the next few nights. Got a quality run in before dinner. I was laying in bed and decided to crack open another sleeve of Oreos. I told myself a couple, but it ended up being the entire sleeve (14 cookies). Oops! Still feel asleep with ease.

Summary: 10.8 miles (72:34). 5x100 meter strides after. The course was an out and back. I ran up Texas Hill Road (which I have done before) and then took a left to continue on the same road instead of a right on Reservoir Road. I made it to Walters Way (about a mile) and screamed down the other side of Texas Hill Road for about a mile. I passed a biker (a serious one from the looks) right before my turnaround point. I stepped off into the woods to do my business as always and caught up to the guy only to crush him on the uphill. I started on the downhill and got about 4 minutes down before the guy whizzed by me. Whatever. He's not getting any workout on the downhills, I am. 

August 30th: I woke up at 6am to get ready for the day of landscaping. I knew our building was partially under water, but I didn't know the damage. Eek! I arrived to a mess. Everything ruined! The day was spent shoveling off the walkways to the athletics fields because it was full of river scum. Mad slippery and smelly! Second half of the day was attacking the actual building. Throwing out chairs, desks, and all sorts of things. It was very unfortunate. Once out of work, I took my bike downtown to the gas station to get air in the tires. They beyond needed it. Not riding on the rim, but if I was 20-30 pounds heavier. Then I realized after I biked all the way down to the two gas stations. They just got flooded yesterday. Their air machines (is that what they are called?) are most likely not working. Should I bother to ask? I didn't. Instead, I ventured on next door to my work and asked John (head lawnmower guy) if I could pump up my tires. No problem. Sweet! Then Jim (grounds supervisor) brought down his pressure gauge to measure my tires' pressure for me. How nice! Biked around campus for a bit and parking myself somewhere to surf the net. Made it back to run at 6pm. Shorter run with a quicker last mile. Dinner was chicken, squash and pasta. I had for lunch as well. Popped on to campus from 8:30-9:30. People watched like crazy. With the first day of classes the next day, everyone was out and about mingling it up. A couple guys smoked a joint behind me, two girls asked me where Crawford Street was (I looked it up on my iPad, bam!), a girl asked me if it was alright that she was a lesbian (I responded with "it's cool with me") and two guys asked me which direction they should go to find girls. I directed them down Highland Street towards Main street. A productive night. Relaxed the remainder of the evening.

Summary: 7.5 (49:46). With a mile to go, I was located in the rotary on Main Street. I hear a girl yell, "Nice shorts!" I gladly respond with a smile on my face after a short pause, "Thank you!" She then states, "No really, they look good! I better see you tomorrow at this time!" Hmm. That's a first. 6:25 last mile.

August 31st: Quick day overall. Woke up at 6am. Work was mulching and weeding. No cleanup today. My boss's last day of work. Officially retired. A small gathering at the HUB for punch and ice cream novelties. I took advantage of the food offering by eating a Klondike bar and two ice cream sandwiches. Biked into campus after work because the people watching is excellent. Once I was hungry, I made the trip back to the bunkhouse for a run at 5:30pm. Lounged around after and made waffles for dinner. I smothered em with homemade blackberry and strawberry jam, drizzled a little real maple syrup, devoured each waffle in less than 10 bits. Sick, right? It's the only way I eat my waffles. Najem can vouch for me if he is reading this. If not, many others can. It's just that Najem is a person who takes monster bites as well when it comes to waffles. It's a connection we have.

Summary: 9+ miles (61:56). I did a mini workout by uptempoing and hitting up some side streets for pickups. It went well. A little tired, but a low-key workout. I did not see the girl at the rotary today, which was a little disappointing. I wanted to see if she had any other creative comments since her first was an original. 

September 1st: Woke up at 6am. Did all my dishes. Work was straight mulching the entire day. Made it home to only head back down to campus to grab wifi. Stayed there until 5:45. Biked back, which serves as a nice warmup for the run. Ran a secluded run on the backspace. Made some dinner. Fresh out of leftover chicken and squash. So I made pasta. At the beginning of the summer, I made the decision to not buy Parmesan cheese. I used the next best thing, Parmesan and ramano Ragu sauce. Such a clever idea. Tasted the same and less expensive. Stopped back into town at 9pm to FaceTime with my sister, Sarah. She just got hooked up with the iPhone 4 from a customer at Starbucks. Siiiick! Packed for Keene.

Summary: 8 miles (52:51). A little antsy with the races this weekend. 25:16 second half with 6 flat for the last mile. Felt smooth. 6x100 meter strides. Fitness test this weekend. 1 by grass 5k and 1 by pavement 1/2 marathon.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Enough with Ketchup, Mustard Entry #1 (Almost present day)

August 22nd: Woke up at about 7am. Made a trip to the bathrooms and most people were still asleep. Got back made breakfast and made another round at about 8:15am. UNH was looking to cross the river, but didn't know if they should go around. I was sorta confused because that would be an extra 5.5 miles. I said I was going to check the river now and at that time, I highly suggested to cross the river. Once I reached the water, my mind was persuaded pretty easily to have them go around. The river was at least 6-8 wider on my side, plus none of the rocks/boulders/stones were in sight. Damn! The water was flowing at a steady pace. Way too dangerous to cross. With that, I revisited UNH and told them to head back down and head up the other side. Since it was still early, they had time. If they were going slow, I suggested to head down the middle via Franconia Brook Trail and stay at 13 Falls Campsite. With the inability to cross, I stayed at the campsite for the rest of the day and worked on the 3rd tent pad by filling it up with the sand/gravel mix. Plus, I sawed down a large sapling that had fallen into the path of the trail at the end by the bathrooms and dragged into the woods. Everything went well and got out of the campsite at about 2:30. Headed back to Plymouth and took the scheduled day off from running. I mowed the lawn that took too long because the grass was extra thick and wet. I had a date with Justin Carbee for dinner at the Panther Pub and Grill.  I grabbed the BBQ chicken wrap and couple Tuckerman Ales. Mmm, hit the spot. Relaxed for the rest of the night.

Summary: As of yesterday, I have 6 weeks of training left until my marathon, 4 weekends of care taking left, and 5 weeks of landscaping left. Homestretch here I come!

August 23rd: Woke up around 6:15pm. Work went by pretty quickly. Nothing special. PBJ, Clif bar and banana for food. Once I got out work, I chilled at the bunkhouse until I was ready to run. I am usually starving get out of work so I shovel pretzels with nutella in my mouth and down a bunch of gatorade. I give myself between 1-3 hours to digest depending on how hungry I was (aka how much I eat). Headed out for my run and ending up doing a few sets of pickups after a couple mile warmup and finished with a pleasing time for the run. It was my first run in my new Lunarfly 2's and they were amazing! Ran in the evening so I didn't feel like making dinner. I just ate a couple yogurts to hold me over. I had a protein shake right after my run. No worries, I eat normal the rest of the days out of the week. Relaxed at the bunkhouse and rested up for another day of landscaping and running.

Summary: 11.7 (72:49). I knew I was doing the loop and wanted to test out my legs in some way. So at about 2+ miles I decided to do 4 sets of 1 min on, 1 min off, 2 min on, 2 min off, 3 min on, 3 min off. I got into groove and the new trainers felt great. I took Gu at 45 minutes, hit 9 in 56:20, and cruised the last 2 miles. Huge confidence booster run and legs felt fluid. Overall pace ??????????

August 24th: Woke up at about 6am and another blah day at work. After this summer, I know landscaping is not something I ever want to go into as a profession or take too seriously at my future house. A small vegetable garden is something I could handle and enjoy. Out of work and same kind of deal as yesterday. Killed some food as soon as I got home. Headed out for a run earlier because laundry needed to be done. I headed out the door at 5:45pm. Kept it easy and made it back to prepare a protein shake/dinner which I don't remember what I made. I think I did chicken. I do remember eating a bowl of cereal before going to do my laundry. Took me the usual 1.5 hours and back to the bunkhouse for the night.

Summary: 8 miles (54:53). 28:35, 26:17 (last mile sub 6:15). Relaxing run and the second half in more or less downhill and flat. I wore my Triax Structures and definitely they didn't feel as smooth as the Lunarflys. My last 5 trainers were the original Lunarflys so that might be it. The bulk of the Triax might have too much of a heel for me. They worked fine, but I might not be able to go back to them as easily or notice more.

August 25th: Woke up at a normal hour for work. Nothing special at work. Just glad it was the end of the work week. With hurricane Irene on her way, my mom insisted that I only stay at the campsite until Saturday. I understood her concern for my safety. It gave me something to think about on my afternoon run. Rain was in the forecast so I got out the door fairly quickly after work (and by that, I sat on my iPad until I was hungry and snacked on something before heading out the door). Last minute decision on the run to make it into a workout. It was my 2nd run in the Lunarflys and they did me no wrong. Solid run. Relaxed for the rest of the night. Did a little grocery shopping for the planned shortened weekend with a couple cans of refried beans, tortillas, and a new jar of jelly. Though I had to ask where the jelly was. I feel like every grocery store I have been into the peanut butter and jelly is in the bread aisle. Am I right? For this Hannaford's, these two essential condiments are in the wine aisle along with some other random shhhtuff. I didn't even wanna look around to see what other items these two poor items were surrounded by. All of their family and friends were on the other side of the store alone. I could hear them crying and complaining about being separated from the breads, English muffins, bagels and other fluffy delicatessens. It would a disgrace. HQ and campsite in the morning.

Summary: 13.9 (88:02). Another confidence booster. Solid run. I was planning on doing this loop so I had my Gu ready for the 45 minute mark. With ran setting in at about 6 miles, it made for a excellent run. The "workout" was basically a tempo 10. I knew where 4 miles so I split from there. 4 miles 27:17 and the remaining 9.9 in 60:45. No pain and no chaffing, which is always a plus after running in the rain.

Ketchup Entry #3

August 19th: Drove back to Plymouth at 7am for the Volunteer Appreciation thing at 11am. I got to HQ at 9am and John, Tom Giles and I drove together. All the volunteers were there and a ton of food. Chili, pasta salads, hotdogs, blueberry cheesecake, chocolate chip cookies, and many more scrumptious items. I received a certificate of appreciation for being the Franconia Brook caretaker. Cool cool! They also gave us Leathermans with the US Forest Service emblem on the cases. We split after the awards and I headed back to the bunkhouse to get ready for a run and the weekend. The run went well at 5pm and no problems with the legs. I guess I am waiting for my achilles to act up again, so I am hesitate to truly push the pace. Relaxed for the night with the weekend at the campsite starting on Saturday.

Summary: 11.8 miles (81:37). I could feel the achilles in the last mile, but nothing more than a small ache. Iced after the run and before I went to bed. Some trails this weekend, which have been kinder to my legs than the pavement. I have over 450 miles on the Triax Structures so next week I will be switching into my new pair of Nike Lunarfly 2's I acquired from my dad on vacation. Thanks dad! 

August 20th: Woke up at 6am and snoozed until 7:10am. Just exhausted. I was out of sync waking up late all the previous week on vacation. No worries. Left the bunkhouse at 8:15am and headed to Lincoln Woods parking lot. Jimmy was there at 9am to drive me up and a stock of toilet paper. Once I got to the campsite, I readied myself for some trail monitoring at the Lincoln Brook/Franconia Brook junction. Sat there for 4+ hours and numerous people passed through the junction, which made the time pass by wicked fast. The most interesting person was a woman, Patty Duffy, who came running through the junction, but she stopped to refuel and ask a question. She was looking for two guys that were gonna meet at this junction. She ended up hanging out for about 15 minutes. She refueled with energy gummies and bit-o-honey (I think that's the name of it). I asked her if she was training for anything. She responded with a 100 mile race in Utah! Siiiiiick! She continued to look for them by running down to the parking lot to lighten her supplies to just her water bladder. I stayed put and kept my eyes peeled as I trail monitored. No sign.  As I was leaving the junction at 2:15pm, I intercepted Patty on the way out and we hiked down to the bridge together. She looked like she was maybe early 30s. I ended up looking up her results of another 100 mile race she did in Vermont, Patty Duffy from Springfield Mass = 42 years old. Wow. We discussed running things and her training/races up to this point the next 2 miles. We parted ways at the bridge as I slipped behind the sign to the river crossing to my campsite. I don't know if she found her two friends who were hiking, but there were no reports of missing people. That's always a good thing. Ran at 3:30, set up camp from 5:00-6:00 (water retrieval, toilets, etc). Dinner at 6:30pm. Made my rounds at 7:20-8:00. I climbed into my sleeping bag and a group came in around 8:30pm. They instantly began hacking away at wood. I patiently waited until 8:45pm, but they didn't stop. I got out of bed to just greet them and specifically tell them about the bearbox we have down a little ways. I let them be at their site and bedtime for me.

Summary: Ran 8 miles (62:28). Relaxing along the Wilderness Trail and no pain whatsoever. Though, I forgot to mention that the bottom of my heel was physically bruised but I have no idea why. It acted up last week, then during vacation I asked my mom to see if there was any sign of anything on my heel. There was. No biggie. Just forces to run on my mid foot and toes more. It was tough trying to sleep this night because any pressure would make it throb. Running through it because I'm tough (I guess).

August 21st: Not a great night sleep. Just couldn't get comfortable or something. In addition, the late night hikers across the trail were hacking away again sometime later. I didn't bother checking the time. Didn't wake up to my alarm.  John woke me up at 7:45pm by just talking from outside my tent. He was letting me know he was issuing a ticket for improper food storage. And guess who? The friggin hackers that wouldn't stop. $125 bucks later and it was the guy's birthday. Ouch! Made breakfast at 8:20am. Chilled after and made rounds until about 10am. Did some campsite monitoring from 10:30-2:30. Found some untouched blueberry patches. All mine! There was a huge illegal site I measured that was over 1300 square feet and an established fire pit. Made it back to run at 2:50pm. Thunder rolled in about half way through and the downpour set in for the final stretch of the run. Completely drenched! Stopped to greet a group of hikers coming up to my campsite to stay. I said I would see them up there. It was a Yale outdoors group/club staying the night of their 6 days out in The Whites. Neat! Set them up at #16-19 with the tent pads. Two more college groups stayed this night; UNH and Harvard. It was nice having a bunch of people my age at the campsite. I gave them their space, but it was a breathe of fresh air (not sure if that's the phrase to use). Setting up camp and these two people coming running up the trail. One of them had a yellow long sleeve on. I was investigating on what it said and then they ran into my site. It was Sam Wood an Abbey! Sweet. Plus their dog. Cool! They were doing a long run, so we chatted for a bit and let them get back on the trail. Dinner at 7pm and helped out family choose a site beforehand. More rain and thunder before heading to bed and throughout the night.

Summary: 11 miles (77:05). It was my normal horseshoe loop with the extra half mile to Franconia Falls. The thunder rolled in at about 4 miles and the rain started at about 8 miles. Then it began to downpour (buckets) for the last 2 miles. I had to take off my glasses because they were helping being covered with rain droplets. I was drenched by the time I got to my tent. The heel is still kinda bruised and I felt it going to bed. Who knows! Manning up. 60 mile week. Woohoo, back into the swing of things. Previous two weeks were 36 and 43. Didn't feel like I didn't lose my physical fitness, but my mentality didn't stay all that positive for the beginning part of the setback. With this week, I am feeling confident again with my training. I will test out my legs seriously next week.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Ketchup Entry #2/Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, VT

Family vacation abbreviated since most people that read this were there witnessing most things. I will focus more on the running aspect.

August 14th: Woke up around 9am. Fueled up a bit and headed out to the trails for an exploration run. Legs felt great on the softer terrain and I allowed myself to get "lost" for a bit. Kimber and Bob arrived later in the day. We hit up the pool and hot tub with some brewskis (we split two beers between 6 people, they were distributed in dixie cups since no glass was allowed in the whirlpool/jacuzzi/hot tub area). Last minute decision to stop by the farmer's market. Kimber met us there. We grabbed a whole bunch of blueberries, hot pepper jam, and sampled everything. We resided back to Trapp for corn hole and more brewskis. Dinner was, I think, spaghetti and meatballs. 

Summary: 12.5 miles (1:34:08). Found some neat new trails compared to previous years. Lots of hills and being lost. Rewarding run to get in 43 miles for the week. I am not too concerned with the mileage this week. I just wanted to be able to run everyday. This upcoming week will be the real test of the achilles. Feel good this week and I will be back in the swing of things.

August 15th (Monday): Fresh start to the week by sleeping in and running a short run with Kimber before we headed out to Burlingtonfor the day since it was planning on raining all day. Great run. Kimber and I cruised back at a solid clip to finish up an out and back. Burlington was all about the Magic Hat Brewery, shopping, and food. A wonderful day with the whole family. Dominic asked me to be in the wedding. Saweet! Retreated back to Stowe for a whole smorgasbord of snacks for dinner. An intense game of cranium was played for the rest of the night. All I have to say is broccholi aka official nickname/ongoing joke for the rest of his life.

Summary: 3.5 miles (27:50+ minutes). 15 minutes out, cruised on the way back. Kimber was pushing the pace, which was a surprising but fun change of pace. 

August 16th: Woke up sometime a lot later than normal, which is an amazing thing on vacation. Ginormous family group run. 9 people running through the trails. We made it to the chapel except for Erin and Dominic. I went back to look for them. They ended making it back and I continued for some more miles. Once we finished, my mom made blueberry pancakes for everybody. Peter, Dominic, my dad, and Frank played a round of real golf while the rest did the mini golf things. We all meet after at Ben and Jerry's Factory. I grabbed a new flavor. I forgot what it was called, but it was bomb. The rest of the day was relaxing as usual.

Summary: 6.5 total (50:00) 23 minutes with the family and 27 on my own. It's nice to run slower and warmup before heading out for additional mileage. Always feels better.

August 17th: Woke up early to run a easy trail jog on my own. Brunch was basically all the leftovers from the past few days at about 11am. We all headed to the Alpine Slide (a tradition). It was Kimber's first time on a chairlift so it was a little nerve wrecking for her. After the one ride on the sled down the cement slide (look it up for pictures and more of an explanation). We played 4 square and life size chess. Kimber headed out at this point. We drove back to Trapp to lay out by the pool. Sarah and I planned to run at 5 and then we figured out their is a small trail race each week right at the Trapp trails. So my mom, Erin, Sarah, my Aunt Kathy and I did the 5k course. It was lots of fun and won a couple certificates to the deli/bakery. We ordered pizza and played another game of cranium at night.

Summary: 4 miles in the am. Nice and easy. 3.5+ mile warmup, 5k+ race (18:27), 1+ cooldown. Ran the first part of the warmup with Sarah then extended it to a loop of the 5k course (it was a double loop course). Cruised through it. No competition in the race so I killed the first mile or so and chilled the rest. I was still working the rest of the race, but I was all by myself. I think 2nd was 20:00+. Once I finished, I headed back to finish with Sarah, then Erin then my mom. That was my cooldown. The course was all trail and lots of switchbacks. Interesting course, but it was fun to change it up. 1st male and 1st female so we walked away with two $15 gift certificates. The day wasn't exactly set up for a race at 6pm because we laid out in the sun for a couple hours, ate tapioca pudding about 45 minutes before the race. No big deal, but Sarah and I felt the pudding on the second loop. 12 for the day. 

August 18th: Woke up and we headed to bakery to use our two certificates for all sorts of treats. The day was spent downtown window shopping. Hit up The Laughing Moon for chocolates. Sarah and I headed out early to run through the trails before we left Vermont. We ran at 2:45pm and started driving back at 5. We stopped at the Tilton outlets for some quick skimming of the stores. Obviously I walked straight into the Nike Factory Store. Found some sweet attire on the clearance rack. Bought the stuff and stayed at my cousins that night.

Summary: A great 7 mile run with Sarah in the trails for the final day in Stowe, VT. Thanks Papa Joe and Grandma for an amazing spot in New England. It is always a pleasant time at Trapp Family.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Ketchup Entry #1/No Running Weekend Part 2 of 2

Sorry I have been way behind with the blog these past few weeks. I have busy vacationing, working and getting my miles back up. I headed to Stowe, VT for family vacation. Alumni weekend this upcoming weekend. Cannot wait.

August 6: Woke up at 5:45am from a strange, not fun dream. I was heading to a road race. I step on the line and see Brian Pennarola next to me. We greet each other and I haven't tied my shoes yet. I start tying them, but mad loose. The gun goes off. I am off running about 20-30 seconds back. I end up not catching anybody or finishing the race cuz I got lost. 1st was 15:15, 2nd was 17:15 and BPenn grabbed 3rd in 20:05. Not the most realistic dream, but it felt real.Finally got out of bed @ 6:45am. Walked over to my bearbox in my boxers to fetch my cooking clothes. Made breakfast. I ran out of Jetboil fuel so I had to boil 16oz of water in the pot. The suggested amount of water is 2 cups (16oz), but I guess it's more like 12-14 because my oatmeal was a bit soupy. So breakfast was bumped up a notch with 5 packets of oatmeal. John stopped in with a little green truck (4072) and head in for the normal river edge patrolling. At 9:47am I officially ran out of Nutella. Ahhh! Chilled at the campsite until 11:30 then tried out some campsite monitoring to learn the ropes on my own. It went well. I talked to a mom about bear management, saw the marijuana guys, and a couple that were having a funny conversation in front of me. The guy was trying to describe a group and he said,"The woman with the big boobs, remember?" The woman didn't remember so the guy tried,"The guy with the cheap mustache?" The woman remembered that. Hahaha. It was comical. Took a rinser in the river, but much more difficult without running beforehand. I probably wouldn't hop in the river everyday if I didn't run. Sorta gross, but I do run so it's all good in the hood. Plus, I wear deodorant maybe 2 out of the 7 days of the week. Anyways, made my rounds from 6:30-8:15. Cut it close for dinner. I prepared, ate, cleaned up, and brushed my teeth in less 20 minutes. It was a record. I was in edge the whole time because it was pitch dark out. Power walked (jogged) into my tent to be done for the night.  

August 7th: Last day of no running. I am itching to try out the legs tomorrow. I woke up at 6:30am. Hit up the bathrooms right away (nothing new there). This morning Lokie (pronounced low-key) was the first to greet me by jumping into my arms and licking my face. I greeted him with a tummy rub and some scratches behind the ears. Lokie is a shetland sheepdog. Reminded me of Chelsea so much (family dog growing up). Made me miss her a whole bunch. I am always excited when people bring up their dogs and allow me to play with them. This family was extra nice and invited for cappuccinos that morning (and dessert last night). I politely turned down their offers. Made some breakfast and took another round at 8:20am. I searched for the bear scat with the husband of the extra nice family who found it the previous day. We couldn't find it right away so Lokie and I continued on until we stumbled upon it. Fun size Twix wrapper sticking right out of it. Cool! I returned Lokie back to his family and we talked for a while about dogs and shelties. Chilled back at my site and napped from 11-1:30pm. Destroyed my last two PBJ sandwiches because I was planning on Subway the next day. Campsite monitoring from 2-3:30pm. Crossed the river without taking off my boots. Completed two sites. Found some wild blueberries along the way, which I picked and ate as if I hadn't eaten in days. Found some cool spots along the river. As I made my returning trip back to my campsite, I met a couple at the ranger pool with two dogs. More dogs! Yay! Talked for a bit and headed back to make another round at the campsite. Talked with the AMC Wilderness Team, changed out of my uniform, ate a Clif bar, filled a bucket of water for filtering, and relaxed until 6pm. Started up Born to Run again. Soooooo good! I cleaned the bathrooms and got chatting with this husband and wife. And apparently there children are just the bees knees. Holy Cross, grad school, nationals for track, trialthons. Wow, they just kept one upping me. It was mostly the wife. She would actually interrupt her husband to take over to make sure I knew all the details about her children. Wow, thanks mom and dad for not bragging to random about any of your children's accomplishments. At least, I don't think you do. I made dinner at 6:15pm tonight to make sure I didn't wait until 8:15 like last night. Dinner was a complete success with the refried beans, rice and cheese wraps. I had a little bit leftover, but I was able to finish it and be part of the "Clean Plate Club." Cleanup was quick and minimal water was used. I ate the rest of the Oreos while cleaning up. I forgot about them so I was able to finish off the sleeve of 8-9 (14 total in a sleeve). I actually brushed my teeth unlike last night which was more of a graze over with the bristles. One last round to check in with the AMC crew. They were making some fancy dinner so I let them do their thang. As I was walking back to my site, I hear "Ooooooohhh" and "The bears!" They must of dropped something or spilled something. Oh well. In my tent by 7:30pm and read Born to Run before dozing off to a deep slumber.

August 8th: Woke up @ 6:25am. I was ready tackle the day. I began stuffing my sleeping bag into it's sack, but the normal necessity to use bathroom took it's priority. I almost didn't make it. I was "pokin nylon." Got back to organize the tent and get breakfast going. Finished up the normal oatmeal with raisins. Headed out for some more campsite monitoring and head out of the campsite by 12 to reach HQ for job applications. Worked on job applications until 5. Got back and tested out the Achilles on an easy out and back. No pain! I can tell it's still there, but better than last week. The rest of the night was filled with laundry and Subway (Buffalo chicken). 

Summary: 3+ miles. 12 minutes out and 11:10 back. A couple test out strides. Good, but gotta take it easy this week.

August 9th: Woke up at 6:25am and made a homemade heating pad while I ate a diesel breakfast (4 eggs and a bagel). Work cruised right by with all the weeding. Jean made me some blackberry jam. Yum! After work, I stopped off at HQ to apply to a couple more jobs. Once I got back, I was excited to test out my achilles on a little longer run. Another successful run. Yessss! Iced after and relaxed the rest of the night.

Summary: Uplifting run. The weekend off was leaving me bumming. Cigna is this Thursday and I wanted to race it. After these two days, I decided to bandit the race and pace my sister Sarah. I went 5.5 (37:19, last mile in 6:05) and it was awesome to get back out there even if it was a short break. 

August 10th: Huge breakfast of cereal, eggs, protein shake, bagel and a piece of toast with the homemade blackberry jam. Work was a breeze and another day of the daily grind. All I wanted to do was test out my achilles again. I got out of work and relaxed for a while before preparing for another run. Heating pad for 20 minutes and adding a few miles on from yesterday's run. Nothing! Good to go. Relaxed the rest of the might.

Summary: Cigna tomorrow will be fun because it will be the first road race that I will not actually be racing, but excited to pace my sister. I am thinking 7:30 pace for her. Not sure what she is looking for. I know she said she wants to run fast and is pumped to run a 5k with all her marathon training she has been logging the past weeks. 7 miles today (51:10). Some serious strides and not sallying them like the past two days. Went well.

August 11th: Another filling breakfast and last day of work before a week off of care taking and landscaping. Woohoo! Headed out of Plymouth and drove to my cousin's place in Hooksett, NH. Sarah and I chilled for a  bit before heading to downtown Manchester. We were pulled over by a cop for not displaying registration on her license plate. The woman was nice and let us go with a warning. The funny part was that I thought she had a shaved head (I was in the passenger seat) and Sarah says she had a ponytail. I still don't know. We warmed up to the starting line, stashed our stuff behind a tree in somebody's yard, met up Sarah's friends, and found a good spot in the mix of the competitive section. Sarah and I people watched until the gun went off. Entertaining as always. Awesome race. Beers after at the local bar on the main strip and jogged back to the cars after. Relaxed for the night.

Summary: Sarah told me she ran 21:30s for this 5k a month ago or so and she felt good. So I thought try to get as close to 21 flat as possible. We hit 7:00 for the first mile, 13:35 and she finished with 21:12. Siiiick. 6:50 pace. We checked back at those previous results and she ran 22:30s. So that means she killed it! 6 miles for day.

August 12th: Woke up in the couch around 9am. Made a egg and cheese sandwich. Frank (my cousin) woke up and came downstairs around 10am. He was making a bunch of bacon. I said I would make him a bacon, egg and cheese. He was for it and I taught him how to cook a egg the proper way. Relaxed for the day until popping into Starbucks (that where Sarah works). She got out of work at 2:30. She made me this delicious chocolate banana shake thing. It was awesome. We headed over to Melissa's (one of Sarah's friends who is training for the half marathon and ran the race the day before). Sarah headed out for 9 miles and then Melissa joined her for the remaining 11 miles. I was helping Sarah out by bringing her car to get inspected and have an oil change. Oil was changed, but the inspection didn't happen. I was stressing because the guy checked the tint of the windows and asked if I had a permit for them. He starts barking at me about it being illegal and a $1000 dollar fine if I get pulled over. I was pretty much silent and didnt have much response. Once the oil was changed, I jetted out of there because the other guy let me know I was gonna fail the inspection with the window tint. Hmm. I got back and headed out for a run. I hooked up with this old railroad bed trail and it was friggin sweet. Perfect on the legs and ending up hitting these snowmobile trails as well. All said and done, I hit double digits for miles for the run. Last time I did that was over a week ago. We picked up some chicken on the way home. Sarah marinated them in some peppercorn sauce and Sweet Baby Rays. Mm mm, delicious chicken and cheese sandwiches. Sarah whipped up some chocolate cakes for vacation. Relaxed the rest of the night.

Summary: 14 miles (1:38:19). Felt amazing. No pain and beautiful trails. Stowe tomorrow for most of next week. The whole family will be there and maximum relaxation.

August 13th: Woke up around 8am. Chilled at the house for the day. Sarah was working until 2pm. I was gonna run at like 11, but I left my car at Starbucks the day before. Dumb me! So I just waited until Sarah got home. Frank's friend stopped by at about 1 or so with her dog. Crazy dog, but awesome. Less than a year old with a ton of energy. Her name is Penny. Sarah and I departed at around 3:30 or so. She renewed her XM radio before we left so we were blasting the beats all the way up to Vermont. Heard some new jams that we were excited to show Katie and Erin (Erin might still be stuck on Hot in Herre). Once we arrived, the rest of the day was all about Scrabble and pizza. I had rancid gas that I couldn't hold in so I just let it go as I usually do. 

Summary: Day off because of the travel day. It wasn't necessarily a planned day off, but it worked out. Tomorrow will be a longer run on the Trapp Family trails.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A Weekend Without Running Part 1 of ?

August 5th: Woke up at 6am and scrambled a bit to get everything ready. Everything fit in my backpack because of the absence of running clothes and shoes. 2 bowls of Fruit Rings and a protein shake (newly purchased chocolate caramel protein powder) for breakfast. HQ at 7am to rendezvous with John and Justin. Meet them at Lincoln Woods parking lot at 7:45am. Drove up in the Ford F-550 (dump truck). Thread everything in the bed of the truck with the sand/gravel mix. Arrived at the campsite and worked from about 8:30-1pm. I had 2 Ritz nutella pretzel sandwiches at 11am to hold me over for lunch. Justin and I worked at the campsite while John grabbed two more loadsat Campton Sand and Gravel. We brought two more pieces for a tent pad from the other sites. We were able to carry one easily (the smaller hemlock), but we were in no way going to carry the larger pine without seriously injuring ourselves. Justin thought on his toes and insisted we use the resources around us. We reverted back to our caveman instincts and rolled the tree over two smaller logs all the way down the campsite. Worked magically. Once we got them to their rightful places, we began peeling the bark away. I used a drawknife for the pine tree. Peeling like a friggin pro. Moving right along. Once we finished those, Justin dropped another tree (chainsawed a tree down) while I started wheelbarrowing gravel down to the area of the next tent pad. Took a lunch break at 1:15pm and then resumed work for a bit before cleaning up the site. John and Justin headed out in the dump truck at about 2:30. I set up camp, checked out entire campsite, cleaned up work area, tidied up the latrines, and gathered water until 4pm. Sat at my picnic table and took a couple power naps on the bench until about 6. Guy stopped by with his black lab to say hi and meet the caretaker. Dinner started at 6:30pm. This dinner went smoothly. Rice, beans and cheese wraps. 1st one broke apart, but the 2nd one didn't. I had leftover rice and pinto beans that I tried my best to finish. I couldn't. I wanted to continue stuffing my face to be part of the clean plate club, but then I thought to myself, "What if I throw up?" For one, that just makes a mess. You're in the woods, you would think you don't need to reall clean it up. With bears in the area, I would need to clean it up thoroughly and bury any of the upchuck. I didn't push my luck and threw the remains in the garbage (it wasn't too much). Cleaned up and made my rounds at 7:30pm. There were only 2 groups when I started that were at the end of the campsite. As I finished with them, three more people had crossed the river to stay at my campsite. First guy was Junior who actually lives in Keene. Once I heard that, I let him know that I just graduated from Keene State. He was like same here (not recently), did you play rugby there? I wasn't sure if he was joking. Did he take more than a quick glance at me? I mean I know the manual labor might of bulked me up a little bit, but not enough to be mistaken for a rugby player. Maybe the uniform makes me look bigger. I don't know, but I let him know I was a runner. He started at Keene in 1991 and paid his way through to finish in 2001 (he mentioned he had a full time job for part of that time). Cool. Some other interesting characters along the way especially at site #15. I talked to the guy for probably 8-10 minutes and he must of taken off his glasses to clean them at least 10-15 times. I wanted to ask him if I could clean them, but I didn't want to interrupt the riveting conversation we were having (I forget it completely because I was so concentrated on whether he was ever gonna stop taking his glasses off his face). Retreated back to my tent site to brush my teeth and retire for the night. Exhausted, but a good day of work.

Summary: First day of 3 days with no running. It wasn't bad because I didn't have a lot of down time after working on the tent pad and setting up camp. Stretched and Sticked (yes that is a verb, for runners) my calves before I went to bed. No dip in the river. 

Friday, August 5, 2011

Quick Work Week

August 2nd: No AM run. Slept in until 6:15am. Double bowl of Fruit Rings (store brand of Fruit Loops) to start the morning. Work went by super quickly with just Jean and I. Virginia was unable to show up. I did a mini Clif bar at 9am, double PBJ at 12 and a banana at 2:30. Jean left at 2:15 so it was just me for the last hour. I don't mind it because I get to drive the truck and I don't feel like somebody is watching me all the time. I got out of work and thought about how I need to make some financial transactions in the near future. I was gonna wait until my second paycheck to deposit two at a time since my bank is 25 minutes away. But I couldn't really wait. I made the hour round trip to Bristol, NH, to the TD Bank. I made it back by 5 and ran at 6pm. Didn't feel like much after so I wiped up some Belgium waffles for dinner. Realized for the rest of the night.

Summary. 14 miler (actually 13.9+) in a quicker time, 86:50. With the last 5 miles in 6:00s. Felt good. I started thinking about the alumni race and the debut marathon in 8 weeks. It got into my head and i started moving from the gates. I probably should of backed off a bit, but no worries. Good start to the week.

August 3rd: No AM run because I am going long in the afternoon. Started my day by waking up at 6:10am and helping myself to (again) two bowls of Fruit Rings. Work went by super fast again and I did the same food schedule as yesterday. This time at lunch, I destroyed my sandwich and then took a 20 minute snooze to rest up for the remainder of the day. Jean had to leave again at 2:30 for her other job. I drove her to the shop at 2:15 and I drove back to the weeding spot(west side of the Mary Lyon building).Virginia needed to leave as well. Again, alone at the end of the day, but it doesn't bother me at all. I finished up and stopped by the GNC in the Rite Aid to grab some protein powder. They didn't have any gold cards in stock for me to renew mine for the first week of the month discounts. I was bummed and got out of their to get ready for my long run. Ran at 5 and explored a new road. Ended up being a longer run than expected and some UNexpected nagging in my achilles. I ran through it for the last few miles and did the best thing after for it. Cut it with my knife. Kidding. Stretched and iced it. Not much of an appetite so I cooked up some rice and yellow squash. Relaxed for the end of the night. As I was grabbing wifi across the street, the little boy from the house started screaming and crying. I took it as my cue to head inside for the bedtime. One more day of work.

Summary: Mapped out the run and it ended up being 19.4 miles (2:11:30). 6:47 pace, but at a cost of my achilles. I should of went less, but I was clipping off the miles. One of the highlights of my run was being yelled at some a car an elongated "eeeek!" and it was within 3 minutes of departure from the bunkhouse. The other highlight was seeing a Chelsea pupper (Shetland sheepdog that we had growing up and it ran away to a better life a couple years ago on the 4th of July) at 5 miles. Other than that, a spirit breaking run with the achilles aching for the last 3-4 miles. I need to take care of it. I will try a easy morning run.

August 4th: Woke up and rolled out of bed at 5:45pm. Headed down to the grass fields for some barefoot running. Achilles instantly sore. Still did a mile on the grass barefoot, which actually felt way better than shows. Threw the trainers back on and instant aching. Iced, double Nowl of Fruit Rings, and headed to work. No Virginia and a quick day. The best part was lunch because I made 2, count em, 2 PBJ sandwiches (Spongebob reference, with the addition of 2 marshmallows). Jean said she could go for a candy bar. Towards the end of break,i made a trip downtown for a Twix (Jean), a Symphony bar, and an ice cream sandwich. Jean left at 2:00 today and I finished up the day. Rght after work, I chilled in town from 3:30-6:00. Got back to the bunkhouse and chilled. To take care of the achilles, I heated, stretched, iced twice. Stopped in at Hannaford's for some cheese and peanuts. I made some chicken fajitas for dinner at 9pm and called it a night. Campsite tomorrow for the long haul. Gravel pickup and drop off all day tomorrow. Should be good cross training.

Summary: 2 miles (16:10). I have decided to take the weekend off. Friday, Saturday and Sunday to rest up the legs especially the achilles. I got ahead of myself after the good showing at the 5k/10k double and hit a big mileage week for the following week. Plus I haven't taken serious time off since cross country. Wow, I just checked that out. My body is telling me something and I am going to respect it by listening. Enjoy the weekend everybody. I know I will try without running. There will be time for some major napping. The upside of a short break.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Sign Replacement: A 2 Day Process

July 31st: Woke up @ 6am. Got out of bed @ 6:30am. It sounded Iike my tent was being attacked by squirrels or something. Or they were attempting to jump and attach themselves on the side of one of my canvas walls. I hit up the bathroom first thing before making a monster breakfast. Since I was graced with extra packets of oatmeal from the people that left their food in the bearbox. I spoiled myself with4 instant packets of oatmeal. 2 packets of peaches and cream, 1 packet of maple + brown sugar and 1 packet of original flavor grits? Realized it after I poured it in with the rest. It looked like parmesan cheese. It wasn't bad. It just gave the oatmeal a slightly different texture, more grainy. After I cleaned my dishes, I noticed I wasn't very conservative with water (I do sorta have an unlimited supply with the river and all). It took me awhile to pour the water in the drainage hole I dug. Usually, I can pour all my grey water at once. This morning, I had to pour, wait, pour, wait, pour. Not a huge deal, but I could of used less. Randomly, I remembered I had a dream that I cut my hair and I qualified/got into the NYC Marathon. Strange, but whatever. The SCA crew came in at 8:45am to do some packing out of bridge materials. Waited at my tent site until about 10. A guy stopped in and planned on doing Carrigan. He had a few days to kill and it had been 20 years since he's been in The Whites. I suggested The Bonds to Guyot campsite then down the Franconia Brook back to Lincoln Woods. He was actually really glad with the suggestion and that was his new itinerary. Made another round at 10am and returned to my tent site to get ready for the sign replacement at the Franconia Brook/Lincoln Brook junction (I had replaced the sign, but I needed to do the post too, just miscommunication with my boss, no biggie). I was on my way with all the necessary equipment to accomplish the job. On my way, I meet a couple on vacation from Virginia. Pretty sweet. They have done backpacking in West Virginia, but wanted something new. In WV, you need to purchase a backcountry permit because there are so few people that head into wilderness. They were so taken back with the amount of traffic on the trails. Another couple let me know the Lincoln Brook trail from 13 Falls is not in great condition. John has told me about it, but I have yet to check it out. Also the girl told me about some wild blueberries along the trail past the junction. Good to know! I reach the junction and unpack my supplies. I pull my radio out of my back pocket and do not an antenna (some words were muttered to myself). You got to be kidding me! I retraced my steps about 10 minutes to the river crossing and found nothing. Headed back and continued to scan the ground. Every stick I am mistaking for the antenna (annoying). I ended up finding it on the way back to the junction. Phew! That would of not been good for the rest of the weekend and after. Government property. I know it's only an antenna, but still. After the 30 minute detour, I began looking for a tree of the right diameter and type for the new post. I initially looked near the swamp/bog area and the trees didn't look too healthy. Finally found one on the other side of the junction, I started to saw away at it with the switchblade saw thing (don't know the official name). After about 10 minutes, I switched to another tree because I was noticing it was a little too thick and too tall. I wasn't sure where it would land according the trail. Safety first! I found another one farther back and on the side of a hill. Ripped right into it. Took longer than I thought. About 35 minutes with frequent breaks and the removal of my uniform shirt because I was working up a sweat. I wanted to saw, "timber!" but I decided against it. Trimmed off the stop of the tree to have 8 feet of the base of the tree remaining. Dragged it out of the woods and sheeted the bark away with the tree bark scraper (another unofficial name). I was flying through it like a friggin pro. I managed to pull off 3 full length pieces of the bark. Dug the hole for the post. Huge amount of rocks. Dad, son and girlfriend passed by. The dad had a Keene State soccer shirt on. Never came up in the short conversation, but it was neat to see. The hole was pretty much dug, so I switched my efforts to removing the sign from the dead tree trunk. No ratchet! I forgot the F***ING thing. I as beyond pissed. I packed up. Refilled the hole and placed the rocks on top of the pile of dirt. Stashed the post in the woods. Radioed to John that I will finish it up the next day because of technical difficulties. What an idiot! I couldn't believe that I left it at my site. I was bumming on the way back. I made it back to the campsite by 3. I had to blow off some steam, but I was starving so I couldn't go for a run right away. I was craving the extra tortilla I had, but wanted something light for a filling. I put my normal snack in the middle, some nutella and a handfulmof pretzels. Mmm, better than I thought! It was sort of a dessert snack wrap. Power napped after the snack until 3:50. Headed out for an amazing run. I stayed on the Wilderness Trail all the way up to the junction of Shoal Pond and Carrigan Notch. It was mostly a single lane trail and followed the Pemigiwasset River. Best one in the Whites yet. Got back and destroyed a Clif bar and took a dip in the river. Talked with a couple of the SCA crew that were relaxing on the rocks. Got back my site at 6:15pm, changed up, retrieved some more water and got dinner going at 7pm. With the consumption of all my tortillas, I tooth easy way out and prepared some freeze-dried beef stroganoff with noodles. Ate it at 7:15 at a completely vacant campsite. There is at least one or two people on a Sunday. I got the song "All Alone" by the Gorillaz stuck in my head. 7:27pm, two guys show up. Woohoo! They already checked out the sites, but talked to me before setting up. They wanted to be close to the river so I said to set up anywhere at sites #1-3. I finished ip my dinner, cleaned up and headed over to their site at about 8. As I am walking to the end of the campsite, I am wondering why the two guys look like they aren't at a designated site. Cuz they aren't! They are setting up the tier below site #3 literally right next to the no camping sign. Really?! What knuckleheads (saying courtesy of Kevin Macknight, my dad)! I would give them the benefit of the doubt if it was 11pm, but it was still light out. I politely asked them to move up. They did without confrontation. Used the bathroom, brushed my teeth, and headed to bed into the tent by 8:15pm. As I laying in bed, a spring popped in my mattress! Good god! Scared the Ba-Jesus out of me! It felt like someone just punched my mattress from underneath. Read a chapter and fell asleep pretty easily.

Summary: 12.5 miles on the day and 80 miles for the week. Happy with the week and even more with the run. I was cruising along and fell into a rhythm early. It was 96:30 total time, but my surroundings were rushing past me at times. For some part of the run, it was almost a "cliff" on the left side of the trail and the river below that. Felt light on the feet and legs. 50 minutes out, 45:15, plus the 75 seconds from the latrines (where I started) back to my site. The last 2.2 miles in 15:08. Enjoyable week and weekend. Tomorrow is a scheduled day off and then back to the grind of landscaping and running in Plymouth. 

August 1st: Rabbit rabbit rabbit. It was first thing that I wrote down in my journal. Counts for something. Maybe. Woke up at 5:30am and went right back to sleep until my alarm did NOT wake me up. The volume was too low and I got out bed at 6:45am. Bathroom run. Breakfast of pretzels with nutella, 4 oatmeal packets; 2 cinnamon and spice, 2 packets of apples and cinnamon + a container of cinnamon applesauce with some raisins. Hot chocolate because it's always chilly in the morning. Relaxed until 9am. At 8:53am, I won the card game my sister Sarah showed me (don't know if it has a name). Victory! I don't want to play again because it might be so long until I conquer again. I thought it would feel better, but it's still sweet. Radioed to Lincoln Woods to inquire about a updated forecast for the day. Thunderstorms after 1. Move, move, move! Packed up and headed to finish up my sign replacement. I placed tne ratchet in my daypack the day before to make sure I didn't forget it. I crossed the river and double-checked on my supplies for a 2nd time. Headed out at 9:40am and everything went extremely smoothy. Snapped some photos and was on my way back in record time for the hike of 1.7 miles (27:30). It was 12 when I arrived at the campsite. Checked on the sites from 12:30-1:00. Biked down with the "small child throwing a tantrum" on my back. Jetted out of the parking lot to meet John at HQ to touch base. As I walked into the door, I was greeted with the report of a backpack being dragged away on Friday night from my campsite. I was mot present there and heard nothing about it until that moment. Hmmm. Wonderful. Food rewards for the bear. Thank you dumb people. Back in Plymouth by 2:30 and resided at my nook outside of Cicerio's cafe. As time passed, I can feel my stomach grumbling and I was in the mood for some hearty food. I snuck into the cafe (where I am rarely, 2nd time for the summer) and spotted a special on the white boars for only $2.50. It was called the spinach special; spinach bagel smeared with spinach artichoke cream cheese, a layer of spinach, a layer of cutup artichokes and a sprinkling of sprouts (just typing the description makes me want it now). Inhaled it and was craving some dessert. They did have ice cream available, but I thought I would support another local business. The ice cream parlor down the way had a variety of flavors. My eye caught Death By Chocolate and I ordered. It had bits of brownie in it! I'm not the person to choose chocolate as the main focus for dessert, but does all Death by Chocolate ice cream flavors have brownies in it? I felt it was unique. Then, I realized that my complete lunch was based on three things; spinach, artichoke, and chocolate. I guess I had a hankering (yeah, I used this word Kimber) for some serious overload of certain foods. Headed back to the bunkhouse, relaxed, then hit up Hannaford's for household essentials. Cereal, milk, eggs, chicken, and bananas. I saw my boss John in the store. It was weird to see him in casual clothes. His wife is doing (walk/run) a half marathon. Cool! I popped into Olympia Sports before to check out some trainers. The guy was very helpful, but basically set me up with shoe (and an insert of course because my "ledging") with lots of cushion. I let him know I wasn't purchasing anything today and he let me know he doesn't get paid based on commission. He is the first person to not give me the salesmen BS. With all this shopping, I had leftovers because I was too tired to make food. But I was creative. I tossed my meatballs and sauce in a couple tortillas with cheese. Relaxed for the night.

Summary: This upcoming week will be a long week. I just have a feeling. Back to landscaping and another week of running. Hope it goes by fast. Wish me luck. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Halfway Through The Internship (Roughly)

July 30: Woke up at 6:00am. Sorta scrambled to get everything together. I spent the night before doing laundry from 7:30-9:30 then I Skyped with my parents and relatives that were down in Georgia for my grandpa's birthday. The laundry attendant allowed me to stay past 10:00, even though they were closing at 10. It made for an interesting talking point with my uncle and my dad. I decided on what to have for breakfast. Since I didn't have any cereal left, I mustered up the energy to make some pancakes with the sandwich maker. Not enough food, but I had to deal with the limited breakfast options. Left for HQ to meet John. I also needed to watch a video on "Staying Safe in Bear Country: A Behavioral-Based Approach to Reducing Risk." It was extremely helpful because I was able to see what some of the sounds and actions it makes when trying to show dominance. It was 45 minute video and I think I dozed off for 2-3 minutes towards the end when they said "So let's recap on..." I laminated a couple "Bear Alert" signs for my campsite. John said he would give me lift up to the campsite so I meet him at the parking lot. We passed two women hiking as we drove up and one smiled while the other put a big stink face on. Ugh! They did have two cute puppers with them so it cancelled out the gross face the woman gave us. John wanted to check out all the campsites once we got there. We observed some interesting things. At site #15, the people built an overhang for the front of their tent as an extension. It had poured the night before so it was sorta understandable to see. Though, they tied a tree sapling perpendicular between two trees over their tent. Then they stuck two poles in the ground and rigged a tarp between the sapling and the poles. It was basically a canopy for the tent. A little much and John let me know I should talk to them about it. There was food in a fire ring at site #10. Pathetic. Some People honestly don't even have a little respect for the campsite and the rest of the people using it. Leaving food behind or out while you are not (at any time of the day) will attract wildlife especially bears. I did talk to the two women and asked what they were doing this weekend? The response I get is "Hiking, not much else." Fine, sorry I asked. I cleaned the bathrooms and set up my site for the next 2 hours. A couple stopped by as I was finishing up the bathrooms and we greeted each other. Before anything else, I said "Dylan, right?" He gladly said, "Good memory." It was now 12 and I ate my PBJ and my applesauce to fuel up for my run. I planned on running at about 2:00. I only had managed to get 6 hours of sleep the night before so I was kinda tired. Maybe a power nap of about an hour to catch up on some sleep. Whoops! Feel asleep from 12:30-2:30. Ran at 3 o clock to Franconia Falls and back. Super crowded at the Falls and I got to witness people using the natural rock slides. Sweet. Got back and had to bike down immediately to grab the "Bear Alert" signs. Cruised down and struggled on the way back up. I almost didn't make it up faster than the fastest I have run up. Less than a minute difference. As you can tell, I am not a very talented mountain biker. Took a dip after in the river and changed up to make rounds from 5:50-7:50. Plus, I grabbed a bucket of water for filtering. I did get to talk to the two women (couple) with the two dogs and both of them were very nice. We ended talking for a while about jobs, the whole bear situation, and their planned hiked for the next day. The family from the previous week (the wife with the airhorn) were back for another weekend. Their son brought a friend that was doing the whole camping thing for the first time. Dinner from 8 to 8:20. I switched it up this week with the beans. I purchased Goya kidney beans in sauce. Delicious. It felt like I was eating almost real food because they were individual beans and not refried dog poop mush. The only problem was the fact that after each wrap finished, it was as if just sliced my hands open. Blood (sauce) all over my hands and on the plate I was eating over. I kept it clean, but I don't wanna take my chances with the recent bear incidents. I have separate clothes for eating/cooking that I keep in my bearbox, but still. I also purchased regular Goya pinto beans that I will be trying next weekend. I will keep you guys updated on the experimentation. The rest of the night was spent in my tent relaxing and falling asleep before 9:30pm.

Summary: I was happy with today's run. It was my classic 12 mile horseshoe course to the Falls and back. For feeling kinda groggy after my run, I ended up with a solid time of 81:18 and 17:14 for the last 2.7 miles. It was quicker than I thought I was gonna be. No course record, but a unexpected hard effort for the final stretch. Gonna be a higher mileage week with about 10 on Sunday. No complaints. Calves are much looser and feeling good. Sign replacement mission tomorrow. Should be a positive learning experience since I will be completely on my own for this one. 

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Work Week Part 2

July 27: Woke up at 5:35 and was out the door by 5:45am. I jogged down to the athletic fields and took off the shoes. I did some barefoot running around the grass fields. It was different, but nice to be off the roads and out of the shoes. Finished up, headed back home to shower and devour food. I did a bowl of Go Lean Crunch, 2 eggs, and a piece of toast with homemade jam. I had cracked open a sleeve of Oreos earlier in the week so I took the rest for breaks. I made a double decker PBJ for lunch. Jean didn't want drive today so I was in the hot seat all day in the big diesel Ford F-250. I felt like the boss on the roads. Pruning all day and nobody was too motivated throughout the day. We took our time with our pruning. I ate 3 Oreos at 9am and saved the next 3 for my 2:30 break. We took 40 minutes for lunch instead of the usually 30 minutes. Everyone was on the same page so it wasn't a big deal. The highlight of the day was when I found a bird's nest with 3 small, blue speckled eggs in it. Cool! I don't know if they were robin eggs because of the splotches. We left and continued on with pruning. There was a sufficient amount of chatting going on. Jean isn't usually a big fan of this, but she was the starter of many of the conversations. I didn't complain. After work, I relaxed for a while and headed out for a run at 6:30. I wanted to check out this trail at Fox Pond Park to see the extensiveness of it. It wasn't as much as I wanted, but I found some additional trails that were not part of the park. They had these homemade dirt bike jumps. I ran around and popped out on a dirt road. I was hoping it would dump me out somewhere new, but it was actually Bink's Hill. The road only a 1/2 mile from the bunkhouse. I still had a few miles to go so I made a loop around town and ended at the football field. Did some strides. Headed home to three pounds of defrosted hamburger meat. Too much for just hamburgers. The inner chef told me, "Make meatballs!" I made a trip to Walmart at 8:45 pm for breadcrumbs, sauce, ketchup, Gatorade, and a couple other items. Returned, made two hefty burgers and cooked up some meatballs in sauce. Relaxed after and crashed for the night.

Summary: 20 minutes of barefoot running plus the run to and from the fields was 4 miles (29:00). The evening run ended being 9.5+ (69:44) with 8x100 meter strides. Both quality runs and the calf is loosening up with the assistance of the heating pad.

July 29: Woke up at 5:40am and was out the door again for some barefoot running. A little less this morning, but definitely enjoyable. Though, I had seen this explosion of feathers where I start at one corner. This morning I ran next to what looked to be the tail end of a bird on the opposite corner of the field. No carcass, just tail with all the feathers in tact still. Strange. Didn't stop to inspect it. I didn't have time to spare. I was heading to HQ to hitch a ride with other employees. John told me to meet there at 7am. I made myself breakfast (Go Lean Crunch with sliced up bananas, I savored the banana pieces as if they were marshmallows in Lucky Charms). I arrived at 7 on the dot with one van leaving the parking lot. I thought, "There should be at least one more." There was, but already at full capacity. I waited until Tom Giles asked me as I passed his office if I needed a lift. He had to do some campsite monitoring at Tripoli Road first, then he was headed over. I tagged along to check it out. It was the Las Vegas of Campgrounds AKA the ghetto AKA dozens and dozens of campsites that were heavily impacted and some right next to the river. I was in shell shock. I didn't know these types of frontcountry campgrounds existed. We checked out about 6 sites and recorded their points on a GPS unit (almost the same one as you have dad). In addition, we roughly measured size, amount of cars that could be parked at the site, vegetation damage, and other important elements on campsite monitoring. Some surprising things I witnessed was a dump log (the natural bathroom at one campsite), a tree swing, and a small gas-powered grill left behind at one of the sites. Every site had a fire ring with loads of burnt trash in it. It just made me realize how lucky I am to be in a backcountry campsite with only 15-20 campsites. There is no caretaker for frontcountry, but people do patrol the areas. Some of outrageous things Tom has seen are people hauling in a generator to power their large screen TVs and stereo systems. Wow. Other stories include underage drinking and drug use.  Now, that is car camping at it's best (not). Unbelievable. Then he went on to tell me about the bear incidents that have occurred here. Bears breaking windshields or jumping on the roofs of cars before they begin to rock the cars back and forth. Holy crap! Incredible. Once we were done, we continued on before hitting up Dunkin Donuts. Tom treated me to a bagel and hot chocolate. The first of a few for that day. We arrived at the festival and poked around all the displays. John was doing parking lot duty (ha, duty) so I paid him a visit to catch up from the past weekend and everything. He was released and we grabbed some food. Molly, one of the employees, handed me some cash because she said I was like one of her kids. She didn't want me to go starving. I feasted. By the end of the day, I consumed a cheeseburger, a cupcake (curiosity of John), a Sprite, a scoopful of White Mountain Truffle homemade ice cream, a decent sized chocolate chip cookie, and a thick brownie. I was stuffed. The celebration was a great turnout and we got out of there by 3:30 to make the 90 minute trip back to HQ. It was John, Jenny and I (We's were like peas and carrots and green beans again, stretched Forest Gump reference but I made it). We stopped after a little bit because John was really thirsty. My final treat came here when Jenny bought my 99 cent Brisk drink. Jenny drove the remainder of the ride because John was sleepy. We got back at 4 to HQ and I was on my way home to Plymouth. I ran at 5pm in the drizzling rain. It must of been the hot chocolate because I had to "use the ferns" on five different occasions through my run. Oh well, but it wasn't very amusing. I just had to keep pulling off to the side of the road in the woods. I think I might do my business more on my runs than in the bunkhouse. I save a lot of toliet paper this way. I do try before I make my way out of my runs (no pun intended), but it's that first 2 miles or less than just moves everything along. I don't let it bother me. The remainder of the night was spent eating a meatball sandwich, doing laundry, and Skyping with my family who are down in Georgia at the laundry mat. It was great to see them all and the laundry attendant let me stay until 11 even though they closed at 10. It worked out and I got to see them all without rushing since I started at 9:52pm. Into the campsite tomorrow until Monday. Nice weather for the weekend with a possible t-storm on Monday. Wish me luck.

Summary: 3 miles in the am (24:00). 15 minutes of barefoot running. Felt nice again. It's because I've been reading the Born To Run book and I want to strengthen my feet to be less injury prone. I will stick to trainers, but try to incorporate some barefoot running in the mornings. 7 miles in the evening (53:00) that took almost an hour because of the frequent breaks. Never again hot chocolate from Dunkin Donuts. Or it could of been the hamburger. Who knows? I am gonna assume that it is the hot chocolate because it has happened before. Until next week.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Work Week Part 1

July 26: Woke up and planned on jogging a few miles. Exhausted from the weekend so I slept in and ate a big breakfast before work. I had a bowl of Go Lean Crunch, 3 eggs and a piece of toast with jam. Packed a double decker PBJ, a mini Clif bar and an applesauce. As I am gathering my things for work, I am having trouble locating my wallet. I slowly go into panic mode for two reasons; wallet is not being found and it is now 6:45 and I need to be to work by 7. It's only a 3 minute drive, but I just can't stop looking for my wallet. I begin ripping through my house and began to think it might of slipped out of my back pocket when I was downtown the night before. Hmmm. Would it still be there? It started to rain when I drove back to my house and it's nowearly in the morning, maybe no one has passed by it yet. Please be there. I had cash in there. My drivers license. These are some of the thoughts rushing through my head as I am driving downtown. I tear up a little realizing losing my wallet in New Hampshire would be a stressful next few days or few weeks replacing things and such. I yell in my head, "This is why you carry a backpack (a murse) so you don't lose things." I have lost multiple possessions out of my back pocket such as my student ID and money. Maybe it because my pants are too baggy and I have no butt to fill them out. The combo might be working against me in these situations. Whatever it is, I was on a mission to get downtown the fastest way possible without getting pulled over (about 7-9 miles over the speed limit). It was no where in sight when I reached my spot from the night before. Now I really freaking! It was 6:50am and I couldn't go to work without knowing where my wallet is or without canceling my debit cards before work. I went back to the bunkhouse to make a one last final effort to find it. I check everywhere; bed, laundry bag, bathroom, shower, refrigerator, and all my clothes I had worn the day before. I glance at my night stand and it's just chillin at the base of the black lamp secretly slightly tucked underneath a piece of paper. Seriously? A take a huge sigh of relief and make it to work 2 minutes late, which is nothing. Another coworker arrives anywhere between 7:05am and 9am, or not at all. That is exactly what happened. Virginia did not come in today so it was just Jean and I weeding everything. The day went by fairly quickly. It started to rain and thunder around 1:45pm. We escaped into the truck (Steve, our boss, is okay if we sit in the truck to let the rain pass). Jean needed to leave at 2:30 for her other job so we both called it a day after the rain picked up. I headed to the Pease Public Library after work to update my resume and make some progress in the job application process. Did that from 3:00-4:30. Ran after that. Calves mad sore from the race still. Got in the mileage and stretched a bunch after. I was excited to do some major cooking this night. First, I sautéed some yellow squash in butter, olive oil and seasoned with pepper. I let these cook for a 6-8 minutes because I knew they took the longest. I cut up some chicken and cooked it butter, olive oil, worcestershire sauce, chili powder, cayenne pepper and cumin. I cooked up a bag of white rice pretty much at the same time as the chicken (boiled the water from the beginning so it would be ready at any time). I cooked everything at the right time to be done at all the same time. Ca-chang! I sometimes have trouble with this aspect of cooking. It was delicious and a huge amount. I split it up into two servings. You know the normal proportions of a chicken salad or chicken parm, there is almost never enough chicken for every bite. Well, my proportions are slightly, pretty much, most definitely the opposite of this. I had just enough rice for each piece of chicken because that is how I roll.  Rest of the night was relaxing and my normal night routine of being in bed before 10pm. This is because I have no television or computer to keep me up after hours. It works out. 

Summary: I ended up running 14 miles (94:27). It was an enjoyable run. I did wear my calf sleeves because they were still wrecked from Saturday racing. Mostly the soleus muscle (lower calf) on the right side. I have been icing religiously and sticking my leg to work out the soreness. I probably should of doubled today instead of one longer run or only 10-12 miles. Oh well. Long run tomorrow. Not sure where.

July 27: Woke up at 6 to make myself another big breakfast. 2 bowls of cereal, 2 eggs, and a piece of toast. I was pumped to have leftovers for lunch today at work. I still made a PBJ (single, no double decker) for 9 o clock break. Today was something new for work. Pruning! We got a mini lesson from Steve and then got to work for the rest of the day. The only tough part was getting to the middle of the bushes and the fact that it poured the night before. Within the 10 minutes of pruning, my shorts were soaked and the bottom half of my shirt. I luckily had a few layers on because it was chilly in the morning. I wasn't soaked to the bone. My shoes and socks definitely were, but it was supposed to warm up by the afternoon and it did. We hit up the president's house to do some pruning and I threw my long sleeve thermal and t-shirt to dry on the hood of the truck. I pruned in my beater. I felt naked, but it was much easier. Plus, I had a dry layers for the rest of the day. I did whack the back of my head on the corner window sill. It jostled me up a bit, but no blood. Jean left at 2:30 again and the last hour of work was weeding at the blueberry bushes. Virginia showed me this edible weed I could eat (no, not marijuana). It was tasty, but I felt like a rabbit chomping on the stuff. No worries. A little snack before the end of the work. I headed home to relax and fuel up the long run (peanut m&ms and honey roasted peanuts Sarah gave me, perfect). I decided to be smart and turn my bedroom into the KSC training room. I made a homemade heating pad (a wet towel in a ziploc bag and nuked it for 5 minutes) and threw a shirt on my calf to prevent burning. Sat there for 15 minutes, stocked, foam rolled, stretched and was on my way. I had passed by this old railroad bed that is now gravel and dirt. I decided to see where it led. I checked to ensure it ended up some place runnable. It did so an exploration was in store. It was 4 miles on the roads. I turn onto the trail. Its scenic and good footing. Within 5 minutes, I approach an electric fence so I did what I do best. Jump it and head into unchartered territory. I then had to climb a metal gate into somebody's front yard aka farm. I see the railroad bed continues on the other side so I was too intrigued to just turn around. I cross safely without any gunshots or barking dogs chasing me through the yard. I reach the other side after passing some cows to come across another electric fence/metal gate combination. This time they are very close together, but I felt I was nimble enough to carefully step over the electric fence and climb over the gate without falling or slipping off to receive some shock. I continued down and reached a road. I continued on this until about an hour and turned around. I ripped open my vanilla bean Gu packet at 45 minutes and I thought I was eating some Breyer's vanilla bean (extra creamy edition). Damn, ordering a bunch those in the near future. As I was making my way back, I decided to run around the farm with the electric fence since there was a sign posted on the gate stating "STAY ON THE TRAIL OR STAY HOME." I didn't feel like getting shot or something. I made it around and hopped back onto Bog Road. I came across the path I originally turned onto. The trail continued on the other side of the road and I decided it would be beneficial to check it out (and it wasn't pavement). This worked out to my advantage very nicely. The main reason being was a started to chaf on the worst part of the body. My ding-a-ling. It the first time, but I have only heard of the horrifying stories. Since the trail was secluded and I couldn't see a soul in sight in front of me. I let it free to relief myself of the chaffing. It was remarkable mostly because I was pain free. This lasted about 2 miles until the trail ended and turned into a dirt road. It was deserted as well, but I didn't want to take my chances of being arrested for indecent exposure. The dirt road was Moit's Place, which is off of Loon Lake Road. I knew where I was and cruised home. As soon as I got back, I started feeling a bit nausea. I think it was the fact that I was a dehydrated and the long run does that to me sometimes. I didn't have much of an appetite for serious food so eventually I made some Belgium waffles. I topped it with my homemade jam and bananas. Hit the spot and relaxed for the rest of the night. Slept like a rock.

Summary: I mapped out the run and it came out to 18.3 miles (2:07:46). 7:07 for the last uphill mile, but overall pace was 6:57. The calves were less sore by the end of the run and the heating pad made a huge difference. A fairly smooth long run and I was glad I didn't concentrate on the speed of the run so much. Somebody asked me what I think about when I do these long runs. So I started to think about it on my runs and what I see is usually dictated by what my eyes are seeing. Especially in new areas. This long run was filled up with commenting (in my mind) on the houses and buildings I passed. Not much else going on with my runs. At times of course, I think about running when I am running. For example, I have been trying to envision my marathon race on the long runs and even the 10 milers and shorter runs. It works out and I never find the necessity to use music. It throws off my breathing and pacing. I can't do my normal body check to make sure my form isn't breaking down. 

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Mondays Are Relaxing

July 25: Woke up at 5:15am to my alarm to see if I could get up early. Nope. Snoozed until 6:30am. Crawled out of bed and took a walk to the latrine. I am always waking up and having the necessity to use the restrooms; must be the beans. Made the breakfast of champions, oatmeal with raisins and applesauce with a helping of pretzels and nutella. It was chilly this morning. I bundled up with two layers on top, two layers on the bottom, and a layer on the skull (US Forest Service winter cap). Since I have been awake, I've been have these huge pockets of gas that are exiting as fairly loud flatulence. I hope I don't wake anybody up as well as attract any bears. They all smell of last night's dinner. As I was waiting to make another second round, I sat and did the usual. Played cards, read Born to Run, and wrote in my journal. Throughout these activities, there are red squirrels making the most high-pitched chirping sounds (look up red squirrel videos on YouTube to get real sound). I felt like the dog from the movie Up! Every time I heard a squirrel, I looked and pointed (with my eyes) right in the middle of playing cards. No hesitation. And eventually saying in my mind, "Squirrel!" What a loser. This morning was fairly low-key so I made an effort to organize all my gear within the bearbox and my tent. Spent about 45 minutes (from 10-10:45) giving my site a makeover. It just needed some TLC from the divided weekend. It was mostly that things were not in their places (Mom, if everything has a place, things stay clean longer and will easier to clean in the future). I organized my backpack for the trip down, removed the mystery black garbage bag out of the communal bearbox that had been there the entire weekend, and tidied up my tent for following weekend. The garbage bag had some trash in it, but it did have some food. I snatched the packet of instant oatmeal (peaches and cream flavor, yum) and threw away the rest. Plus, I kept the hiking fannypack for myself. The perks of a caretaker. Two side notes: I saw an older couple both wearing a set of headphones hiking "together" (more a brisk walk because of their lack of heavy-duty backpacks). They were walking in single file with about 5 feet between em. I thought it was a pretty strange sighting. Walk together and talk, weirdos. Also, I found a white garbage bag in the bathroom that was definitely somebody's trash he or she left behind because he or she didn't want to carry it out. People are just so nice these days. You're giving me your trash? Just for me? Wow, you're just swell. Pathetic! From 11am until about 1, I worked on making the pile of sand/gravel mix disappear and finally officially finished filling in the friggin tent pad (a little bit of a tongue twister)! Bam! As soon as I finished, an older man biked up to my campsite with a fully packed backpack (probably about 35-40 pounds). We got chatting and he had asked how long I stay up at the campsite for. I responded with 4 days (Friday to Monday) and this older guy was gonna do the other 3 days, but a possible job opportunity popped up that he was pursuing. You know what he said? "I think I'm that older guy." I meet Paul from Maine that was gonna be the caretaker during the week at Franconia Brook. Hm, so that was kinda neat. He expanded on the job opportunity as a temporary district ranger position for 8 weeks that was located about 12 miles from where he lives. They ended giving it to a guy that was transferring from somewhere else, but he grabbed a part time job with his friend. I let him do his thang and set up camp (at the tent pad) while I made my final rounds to the occupied and vacant campsites. I rediscovered the underground fire at site #11 that was not completely out from the attempted extinguishing the night before. The difficult part was the shovel was less effective than my bare hands in digging up the smoldering soil. I was tearing up the ground and becoming more frustrated with the extent of fire's area coverage.  I was at it for a solid 40 minutes before completely putting it out cold. I passed by Paul a few times along my travels of filling up my bucket at the river. I noticed he rides a Blue Water Huffy bike, fairly goofy, and an extremely outgoing person. Then I thought to myself, is this me in 40 years? I didn't really mind what I was witnessing. Once the fire was put out, it was 2:00. I checked on Paul one last time and asked him what he was planning on tackling for the upcoming week. He is staying along the East Side Trail and exploring the old campsites from the early 1900s. The trails used to be an extensive railroad system when they were clear cutting the forests. He had a map of the campsites and he had some coordinates a bushwackers club had on their website. He continued to ramble (as do I) about how his wife and him find it almost boring now to use the actual trails. They enjoy using the map and compass technique to reach a destination. Another positive fact, he is happily married. His wife even let him get away for the week while her side of the family visited. Some allowed freedom from the house, awesome! If I am this guy in the future, sounds like a quant little life he lives. A father and daughter stopped in to sites #16-19 to set up camp. We all got talking for a while and I realized it was 2:20 and I needed to stop by HQ before heading back to Plymouth. I bid them good morrow (movie quote from Role Models) and headed back to my site. Next thing I know, I am rushing to the bathroom debating on whether I am gonna make it in time. I was doing the run/walk thing that sometimes makes things worse. I ended reaching the toilet in time, but it was a close call. I crafted a manpon (reference to Rob and Big) for the ride down just in case on an emergency. I made it down to the parking lot, changed up out of my uniform (changed the boxers) and headed to HQ to drop off the bear incident reports. Left at 4:45pm from HQ after discussing the incidents with Justin and Clara. Drove home to Plymouth starving, ate anything I could get my hands on, unpacked, showered and headed to Hannaford's to spend my race winnings on a serious shopping list. I spent 50 minutes or so picking up canned soup (on sale), angel hair pasta (only kind I like), tortillas (not quesadillas), burrito seasoning to flavor my new cans of plain pinto beans and kidney beans in sauce (worth a shot to get away from the refried bean much), big container of mini pretzels (I ran out), dozen eggs (protein!), gallon of whole milk (because I afford the extra fat and it's delicious creaminess), ground beef (for burgers), chicken (more protein), bananas (potassium and less likelihood of cramps), yellow squash (for some much needed nutrients), and a green pepper (for my burger and it was on sale). After all this shopping, I was too hungry to cook so I stopped downtown to grab some Subway (Italian BMT is the sub of the month) and FaceTime with my dad. Unfortunately, the power went out after some time due to the thunderstorm and I retreated back my bunkhouse. 

Summary: A relatively relaxing day and I prepare myself for 3 days of horticulture at PSU. Running this week should be a solid week. I am worry less about pace and get in the mileage because of the 9+ miles of racing. I am gonna try some barefoot running and get in a longer run on Wednesday. I don't head into the campsite until Saturday because there is the Weeks Act 100 Year Celebration on Friday all day.