New Bedford

New Bedford

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.