July 19th: Woke up at 5:30am. Literally rolled out of bed to get running at 5:50am. Out for an easy run. Got back and rushed around a little bit to make sure I was early for the first day of my new job. The two people I am working with are Jean and Virginia. They are almost polar opposites, but make it entertaining to work with. The boss, Steve Sweedler, is on vacation in Canada so Jean is in charge for time being. Nothing too complicated at work. I basically mulched with some minor weeding from 7:30-12 with a break a 9, where I sipped on my applesauce in the Hub. I got to talk with talk with Virginia and we got to know about each other's lives. She actually know John, my boss , because John's daughter Lydia is the same age as her daughter. We took a break from 12-12:30. I ate my lunch in the break room then headed the burning bushes. Weeded from 12:30-3:00. It was very tedious, but whatever. A job is a job. It's keeping me out of trouble, I guess. All that wifi I was using was building bad character. The last 1/2 hour of work is always set aside for cleaning up our area we were working at, dumping off our weeds (Langdon Park), and putting away all the tools in the shed on River Street. I got back to rush back out the door just before 4 to get another run in before my sister, Sarah, came by to chill for a bit. I ended up making it back before she got the highway so I could give her directions to the bunkhouse. Sarah arrived at 5:25pm bearing gifts. A care package filled with my essentials. Peanut m&ms, applesauce, Clif bars, Gatorade, Swedish fish, Go Lean Crunch, oatmeal, and a pack of Bicycle playing cards. I showed her around my place and we discussed how our training was going for the upcoming marathon in the fall. We parked downtown to grab some food since we were both starving and didn't eat enough during our busy days. I got the Steak Bomb at the Panther Pub and Grill. And a Bud heavy (Budweiser) cuz I'm a man. We were mistaken as a couple. Again (once at Armadillos in Keene). Of course. Pathetic. It doesn't help that we both ordered a beer. The waitress asked for our IDs and we thought, she will know now that we are siblings because we have the same last name. Or that we're married. Awesome! We split a dessert and joked the whole time about situation. We tend to get off the wall when we are together. Once we got back, we started playing Rummy 500 until my mom arrived at 8:30pm. Then we got even more out of control, but great times. It was nice to see both of them before they themselves headed into the mountains to do some hut cooking at Lakes of the Clouds. I pretty much went to bed right after they left.
Summary: I put in 14.5 miles today between the easy 3 mile run (23+) in the am and the 10.5 (71:30) miles in the pm with 8x100 strides. The morning run was tough, but I didn't hit a wall at any point of the day. I found some sweet trail in Fox Pond Park. I will exploring this more next week. The afternoon run was partially a new route that was something different, but might not do it again soon. I worked from 8:00 pace down to low 6s. It was a solid run, but I do need to make sure I am properly warming up before my runs and stretching adequately after. I was a little rushed today, but didn't affect me. Just took the first mile or so slow to get the blood flowing a bit before working the pace.
July 20th: Woke up at 6ish to make oatmeal with raisins (it's a staple in my diet now) and head to work to pretty much weed all day. Oh wait, I did weed all day with 15 minute paid break at 9 (where I ate a mini Clif bar Sarah gave me) and a 30 minute break for lunch (double decker PBJ sandwich). I got back from work starving again and ripped into the nutella, pretzels and m&ms. Headed out for my run at 4, which was brutal with the heat. The electronic bank sign read 92 degrees at mile 1. I returned the same way and the sign read 93 degrees. It didn't get any cooler. Luckily, part of my run was in the shade. Got back to stretch and shower before heading to Justin's in Ashland for some home cooking. Steak and potatoes. My favorite! I got to meet Gabby, his wife, and the little one, Dominic. He is a cutie. The dog is not. It's a small schitzu. I don't have luck with smaller dogs and it showed when it growled at me when I stuck my hand out to pet it. I retracted and kept my distance. Gabby said it was harmless. Nothing is harmless in the eyes of Eric especially miniature rat dogs. We watched A-Team after dinner. Sweet movie! I also had a couple PBR's, which reminded me of Coolidge Street. Classic times. I got back to the bunkhouse at 9:20pm with nothing done for the early weekend at the campsite. I was heading up a day early because of the road race on Saturday. I didn't do my laundry, but it wasn't really a big deal. I will definitely need to do some on Monday. I made my sandwiches and tossed em in the freezer with some applesauces. Bed time.
Summary: The run was a solid one. I left my running log up at the campsite so I don't have the time. I got in 11.5 miles. I am skipping the long run this week because of the 9+ miles of racing. Like clockwork, I had to poop at about 17 minutes. Only if I could just snap my fingers to feel like I have run 2 miles so I could be civilized and use indoor plumbing. I must have marked my territory over a dozen places on my running routes. I have to remember where I pull off so I don't stop off there again the next day or eve the next week. Maybe I should plot the points on the GPS. Maybe a little extreme. Or I was thinking if my waste was just in a bag or container attached to me that I could detach for my runs. A person can dream.
July 21: Woke up at 6am. I switched it up this morning and made myself 4 eggs with some shredded cheese and a piece of toast with homemade strawberry jam (or jelly, not sure which one it is). Meet John at 7:15 at HQ to quickly go over some things for the weekend. I saw Giff as I was leaving. He let me know he put some metal frame packs next to my car for the Valley View guys to use for the packing out stuff. He also gave me four pairs of waders because the other side of the bridge has more things that are manageable to pack out (the Black Brook side and you need to cross the river to reach it). I was okay with that, but it sorta threw me off in the morning. My dilemma was whether a Forest Service employee was at Lincoln Woods that morning to drive me up with all the extra supplies. I pulled in the parking lot and no white truck in sight to bring me up. Only a volunteer that is not authorized to and John was in a meeting that morning. I ended up seeing Giff in the parking lot and he was able to give me a lift. Once I got up, I headed right over to the campsite that Valley View should of been located and nothing. Nobody was in the entire campsite. Hmmm. Interesting. So I couldn't do much other than set up camp (organizing everything and filtering some drinking water). It was a scorcher out with the humidity so minimal manual labor was the plan. I relaxed until about 11:40 and headed out for a run. Once I got back from the "not so confidence boosting" run, my shirt was completely drenched and I took a dip at the range pool. Good old Tom (not the guy from the commercials) was there with his inflatable raft (doubles as sleeping mattress) and ended up swimming, laying out and conversing with Tom for over an hour. I got back and still no sign of Valley View. It is now 3pm and I am chilling out for the rest of the day. My big responsibilities for the weekend are to replace a sign and post at two different junctions. I decided that I should wait until after the races to do the hiking and manual labor. Two reasons were that the temperature was in the 90s and I didn't want to exhaust myself for Saturday. I listened to the weather channel on my radio and it said a cold front is expected Saturday night to cool off Sunday and Monday. I was playing it smart. Took a power nap and woke up starving at 4pm. I had to wait until about 5:30pm for dinner. Killed time by reading more of Born to Run (sooooo good) and cleaned the bathrooms completely. Appetizers of pepperoni, cheese and crackers combo at 4:30. Started preparing dinner at 5:30. I definitely bumped it up to some gourmet wraps with the addition of white rice to my beans and cheese. Unfortunately, I made like a pound of rice (probably less, but too much to handle by myself). I did whatever I could to finish it off among the 3 tortillas I had. I had to the remains away. After I cleaned up, I checked at the end of the campsite and heard voices. Valley View made it. Brendan explained to me one of the kids "fell" and the rest of the group had to carry his weight while he just hiked with poles. They had to take an extra day and arrived at my campsite a day late. It was cool, but he was bummed they didn't do the service project. The school is made up of 56 kids that are from all over the East Coast that have been set back for one reason or another. They attend Valley View for 2-3 years and finish up at boarding school. The school was started by a psychologist that transformed a piece of farm property into a school in 1975. Since then, dormitories, a gymnasium and other buildings have been built. Pretty sweet! I scooted over the site next to theirs to talk to two kids that are going all over the country for some fundraising. It's called "Love the Bus." they said there is some website, but I haven't checked it out yet. They were camping because there bus broke down in Plymouth. They converted a school bus into an RV by ripping out the seats and stuff. After that, I head back to my site to basically fall asleep at 8:30pm. The tough part was that it only got down to the low 70s so it was brutal in the tent. I was playing cards and holding myself up on one side. I could see the beads of sweat forming on my chest. I stopped and just laid outside of my sleeping bag. I felt a little exposed, but just could not cover even an inch of my body with the sleeping bag.
Summary: The run was a less than motivational run with the race this Saturday. I just headed up the trail about 30 minutes and turned. On the way back, I was talented enough to roll my right ankle 4 times. Two of times, I was hobbling a bit because it was that painful. I toughed it out and got in 9.5 miles (71:00). I wanted 10, but my body wasn't allowing me to run gracefully through the trails today. I was extra cautious on the way back and added on 10 minutes the other way from my tent site. I soaked it in the river and it didn't hurt at all moving it forward or back. The left and right motion was a bit sore. Oh well. Only makes me stronger, I guess.