Thursday, August 15, 2019

Over the Edge - Follow Up

I wrote about my experience for Catalyst Chiropractic's Blog

What I'm discussing here are the many floors on a stair-master I promised.

Quoting directly from my donation page.

Committed to the rappel. Too far down to climb back up!

Between 5/14 and 6/1, I will climb one floor on a stair master for every dollar donated.  Donate $50 and I'll climb 50 floors.  Donate $100 and I'll climb 100 floors(might take me 2 climbing sessions)
Floors Donated: 408
Floors Completed: 144
The about tally is as of June 28th when I rappelled off the Brady Sullivan Tower.

This post is to update and keep track of floors climbed. I have not forgotten I just got distracted by the nice weather and running outside. 
Aug 11, 2019 - YMCA Nashua - Victoria Falls 33 Floors      Total: 177

All United Way photos from the event can be found here and are used with permission.

Monday, July 8, 2019

Loon Mtn Race

Loon Mountain Race in Lincoln, NH
July 7, 2019
This race is part of the USATF Mountain Series, I ran as a Gate City Strider.

I'm aware I haven't written about Mt. Ascutney, but Loon just happened yesterday and I have it fresh in my mind.

Thanks to an amazing offer from a friend with a place in the region, instead of driving up the night before or the morning of the race, we went up Friday evening and spent the weekend relaxing by one of the smaller NH lakes.

While the time was relaxing, it didn't come without snags that wouldn't happen at home. Eating on a strange schedule, eating too much sugar(roasted marshmallows are a favorite food), and not enough sleep. The night before the race, the children had a rough moment of homesickness and missing Moxie, their dog. I think I got 3 hours of sleep that night, as we had to get up super early for the race.

Before we left I had 1 waffle as I don't like to run with a full stomach, or even partly full stomach. I knew I was dehydrated and had struggled all weekend to drink water. I mention all this so you know where I was at once we got there.

Arriving at Loon, the kids were a bit bouncy, hungry and tired. Husband was in the same state. Thankfully it wasn't long between check in and race start. Once I was on my way the family headed out to find breakfast.
The views from this race were just amazing.
I just wasn't feeling this race. I wasn't excited, I wasn't nervous, I had thought this would be the highlight of my weekend, but I knew it wouldn't. This was just a step along the way to get Mountain Goat status. I was under trained, not to the extent that I was worried about injury or getting a DNF, but enough to know this would be hard. I told my husband to plan on me taking 3 hours to finish.

Jumpy stones, but unlike my LARPing days, the penalty for failure was wet feet.
Every time I looked at the course map, I read it but never fully processed trails. The first few miles were pleasant in the trails with shade. I ran some, I walked some, I skipped some. I tried to keep my feet dry until I failed to and decided to embrace it. I had moments where I had one of those video game power ups and for 15-30 seconds I leaped up a hill rock to rock, occasionally splashing in the muddy puddles. This part of the race was pleasant. I should run more trail races.
The first aid station felt like it took forever to get to. But I saw a familiar face, took a moment to drink water, and refill my bottle. The next section would be alot more sun. I have decided my least favorite trails are sandy gravel ones that sneak into your shoes. I had failed to glue my gaiter hook and loop stickers to my sneakers so I went without. These trails were slippery but not like mud.

The next section was sunnier and I had an incredibly difficult crossing of a ski hill. Walking across a steep hill, my ankles were pissed. I eventuality walked sideways as that was just easier.

Then we hit the lower speak easy. This was the not boss hill. It was challenging, I took breaks. I enjoyed the view. I knew I wasn't getting any kind of decent time, so I just enjoyed the hike.
Not Upper Walking Boss
The next turn was back to a sandy, gravelly hill. On this hill the men, who started the race 75 mins after then women started to pass me. I tried to be aware of where they were to keep out of the way and stopped a few times to let them pass. At this point I was just hoping for the final aid station, I was going to gu(but then forgot and just did clif blocks the whole time). I wanted a full water bottle before I hit the walking boss.

As I got close to the aid station there were spectators cheering us on. I made a mistake. I filled my water bottle but the bucket was empty and I topped it off from anther bucket, that unexpectedly had the electrolyte drink in it. I don't know what they were offering but it was some horrible tropical chalky disgusting mix. The chalkiness made me worry about dairy and I spent several minutes debating if I should drink anymore. Because of this mistake I minimized how much I drank(it was horrible and I guess I wasn't that dehydrated as I suspected I was as if I had been dehydrated it would have tasted fine.) I did a good job remembering my electrolyte pills.
Beginning of the UWB.
I was also passed by spectators on the course, which was odd and I hope they went an easier way up to that point. I saw several familiar faces before getting on the trail that leads to the upper walking boss. This trail was all down hill and I walked it. Trying to avoid being run over by male runners flying down it. The steepness of it made me uncomfortable running much of it and I was exhausted. My goal was to finish without injury and this trail screamed injury to me.
The view was almost worth walking up this hill(UWB).
At the base of the Upper Walking Boss I took a picture with the sign, paused a few moments, before crossing the checkpoint and starting the hill. Wow, it was brutal. I would take anywhere from 5-20 steps before needing to stop and just recover. I took steps backwards just to use different muscles, I did sections on hands and feet, oddly after those I'd get fist bumps and high fives from the men that passed me. I didn't put that together until after when I was telling my husband about it. I flipped off the signs and chatted a bit with the woman who would sit down every 30 ft or so to stretch her bum. It was hard, seriously hard. Not even fun hard, just hard. I worried about missing footing and tumbling downward. I worried about bumping other runners. I knew I'd make it to the top and I knew I'd finish, but I had little concern about time. I spent a moment admiring the view. It felt like it went on forever. I kept checking my watch to see how far I hadn't gone.
There were two signs on the boss.

Nearly at top.
As I neared the top and the finish line a spectator said sprint when I got to a person. I grumbled back at them, there was no way I could sprint. I was toast. I had left everything on that hill. I tried to run over the finish line but I was done, and walked myself over those mats. I had done it.  Mountain race Five was complete!
I looked around, asked someone to take a picture, drank some more plain water. I'm guessing that the electrolyte drink was dairy free, as I wasn't literally dead.
The trail to the gondola rides down.
The next step was to get to the family, who rode the gondola up the mountain. The joke about the mountain races is, just because the race is over doesn't mean the miles are over. I walked the sunset loop which was a crazy steep down hill follow by a short up hill to get to the gondola place and find the family. We chatted, I drank more water, and grabbed an orange slice. As there wasn't much to do and I was toast, we got in line for the gondola. It was then that I remembered I was afraid of heights and the last gondola I was in I tried to jump out of into a tree.

The boys told me the ride up was scary but fun. They warned me that the gondola goes fast at first and then slows down and that when it passes a pole there is a bump. They were right and I was crazy nervous as the gondola speed down the first incline before slowing and bump-bump. This ride all the windows were open so we had a nice breeze and while we slowed a bit the ride never came to a stop. Apparently on the ride out it was like being left in a hot car. Aside from minor moments of panic, I enjoyed the ride down. Then it was time to walk to the car, drive to the lake house, pack up everything and head home.
Pace and heart rate chart really shows the effort of the UWB.
I failed all levels of post race recovery.  I failed to remind my husband to bring my recovery drink to the top of the mountain, I failed to lie down and do a leg drain, I failed to eat much of anything all day with the packing and the driving. Then dinner decided to take longer than normal to cook. The first meal I ate was at 7pm.

I'm glad I'm done with Loon. I have no interest in running the race again or as I overheard someone say extreme hiking the race. It was an experience and I'm glad I can say I did it, but I don't need to repeat it. It's funny how little things can taint an experience. Spectators for the race were supposed to get discounted gondola tickets. As I expected it to take me 3 hours to finish, there was no rush to the top for my family and they went to breakfast. When they got to the mountain to buy tickets, they discovered they missed the discounted tickets by 15 minutes(at 10:07am) and would have to pay full price. This was never posted or mentioned in anything leading up to the race. I doubt the organizers even knew there was a cut off for this discount.  It's a minor thing, but it just rubbed me wrong and it's a big reason why I won't go back. That said the organizers of the race, ran a good race, they were great with communication, registration was easy and the aid stations were well stocked. My only issue was with Loon and a rude employee, likely amplified in my head by hunger and exhaustion.

I didn't bother with editing this write up, so there will be mistakes in the words chosen, the grammar and spelling. Thank you for seeing past it to get to this point.

Next race is Greylock Mountain Labor Day Weekend and my official mountain goat completion.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

The 27th Annual Wachusett Mountain Race (3 Mile & 10K)

Wachusett Mountain Race (3 Mile & 10K) in Princeton, MA
May 25, 2019
This race is part of the USATF Mountain Series, I ran as a Gate City Strider.

I'm halfway to Mountain Goat status. 3 completed, 3 to go.

I'm not sure where to begin with this race. My family joined to cheer me on. 

It wasn't raining! Apparently I signed up super early, as I got bib number 3!

I'm glad I opted out of leggings at last minute or I would have over heated.

The first half of the race was a 3 mile hill climb and that was the USATF scoring portion. The second half makes the race a full 10k. To be honest, I'm not sure I've earned my team any points. 
Official finish photo at the end of the 10k!

The first 3 miles I powered my way up with the help of a GLRR member whom I've run with at races in the past. 
Race friend. We played interval tag at Gate City Marathon last year.

On the way up, a man on a cycle commented that I had the "best race outfit", some where on the way down I realized he was saying "nice butt" in more polite terms. 

My down the mountain time was much slower than expected. I messed up a bit with gu and electrolyte pill timing and realized I needed a bathroom, and there were none to be found, unless you count all the trees. I've never learned that skill though. Running made it worse, so I power walked my way down. 
Epic pre-race portopotty line!

I did not consume any of the hundreds of gnats swarming on the way down. I'm sure I was a sight to see waving my hands in front of on face. 

Hal's and I pre-race silly photos
It was great seeing my boys at the bottom when I finished the race and thankfully the epic portopotty line had cleared. 
Jack and I doing pre-race silly poses.

The views were amazing! I would run this race again just for the views. 
The camera really doesn't capture how fantastic this was and it wasn't raining so I could actually see.
I'm skipping Cranmore for family plans, next race is Mt Ascutney to start off my birthday weekend of races.

Looking at how short this post is, I guess my statement, the worse the weather, the better the stories.

I'm fundraising for The Youth Council, please consider donating as a birthday gift to me. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Race Schedule 2019 - Update

A while back I posted my race plans. I just completed the first half marathon planned, and thought an update was in order.

My bibs on the wall of my adjusting room at the office.

Race List

Jan 1 - Peanut Butter Chip Chase 5k - Finisher with Family spectating
Jan/Feb - Freeze Your Buns 5k Series
Feb - Fudgicle Series
February -Taji 100 Virtual - Finisher
Mar 16 - LebRec Shamrock Shuffle 5k - Finisher
Apr 7 - Nashua Soup Kitchen 10k - Finisher
Apr 20 - Sleep Hollow  Finisher
May 5 -  Pack Monadnock- Finisher 
May 19 - Gate City Half Marathon - Finisher
May 25 R - Wachusett Mtn 10k - Finisher
Jun 8 R - Ascutney Mountain
Jun 9 R - WRT Flat and Fast 5k  My 42nd Birthday!
Jun 13 R - Hollis Fast 5k Path Of Life team
Jan 14 R - Flag Day 5k Amherst
Jun 23 - Capital City Classics 10k  (may conflict with boys track meet)
Jun/Jul - Mine Falls Trail Series (once Youth T&F is over)
Jul 7 R - Loon Mtn - Finisher

Planned (if there is an R next to race name, I've already registered)

Sept 1 R - Greylock
Sept 21 - Greenfield NH Fire Fighter 10k
Sept 29 - Granite State 10 Miler
Oct 20 R  - Baystate Half marathon
Nov 2/3 - Hamster Wheel
Nov 24 - Novemberfest

On June 27th I have the opportunity to rappel off a sky scrapper if I can raise at least $1000 for The Youth Council(I'd love to raise more, they are a fantastic organization doing great things). Help make my 42nd birthday EPIC, donate on my fundraising site

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Gate City Half Marathon 2019

This post contains affiliate links. I make a commission for purchases made through those links in this post. These types of links are indicated by an *.

Gate City Marathon, Half and Relay in Nashua, NH
May 19, 2019
This race is part of the NH Grand Prix, I ran as a Gate City Strider.

I did not ask my husband to edit. You have been warned

Lessons Learned: Don't shave the day before a race and actually follow a training plan.

Observations from the Race

Going through transition with Phil
Started race with two friends, Phil and Susanne. Susanne was running her first half marathon and she finished strong long before I did.

Managed to stay with a fairly big pack of people for the first few miles, sometime around mile 3 or 4 Susanne was doing much better and took off to chase her goal time.

I liked the new course and how the first loop overlooked the second loop.

The course support between NPD, volunteers directing runners, and water stops was great, but the water stop ahead signs near Greely Park(Concord St side) were a bit early for the actual water stop location. We were running along wondering when it would appear.

The weather was unpredictable as to be expected, and while last year was ridiculously hot, this year turned cold and wet. I was happy to see that silver blankets were being handed out at the end.

Once again drinking Tailwind Rebuild* after a race reduced the feeling of eat all the things hours later.

I have no idea why in my head a half marathon is "no big deal" and should be easy. It's not easy, it's not a minor feat, it's hard and even on my 3rd half it was still hard.

Robbie, Phil and I. All smiles before the start
I need to go back to over dressing for the weather. I foolishly shaved the day before and ended up with tiny dagger like hairs on my inner thighs, then I wore one of my shorter skirts. My friction defense application wasn't doing much good even after three layers, once it got cold and started to rain, the goose bumps sealed my fate to chafe.

Please donate to my Youth Council fundraiser and help push me off a sky scrapper in June. For every dollar you donate I'll go walk a floor on a stair master, you'll be helping encourage my mountain training.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Climbing For Charity

Make me climb! For every dollar donated between May 14th and June 1st, I will climb 1 floor on a stair master machine. The Brady Sullivan tower is 24 stories high. How many times can you make me climb the equivalent stair cases? 

If you donate $25, I will climb 25 floor on one of these challenging machines.

Donate $200 and I'll climb those 200 floors, but it may take a few sessions to get them all in. 

Your donation will be going to a great cause, The Youth Council and you'll be helping to encourage me to train for those mountain races. I'll post pictures of the climbing screens as proof your floors were climbed. 

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Over the Edge

A week ago I was asked to jump off the Brady Sullivan tower to raise money for the Youth Council here in Nashua.

That's sounded scary, downright terrifying in fact, so of course I to agreed to do it.

Donate here!

I've had sometime to read up more on what the youth council does and I'm asking you please donate to their cause. This is much more than me having a exciting opportunity to rappel off a sky scrapper, this is about kids at risk.
Stock photo from Pixabay
One of the big programs they have is a court diversion program. This program allows for first time offending juveniles, children, who have committed only minor offensives. To face consequences outside of the court system. Last year only one participant failed to complete their contract, with the program. This in my eyes is huge, as this program helps children who have made a single bad judgement. Because that is exactly what they are, children who made a single mistake. It helps them to not suffer lifelong consequences from a single foolish mistake. After that the program helps to reduce the likelihood, of a second offence.

That alone is fantastic, but this is why it strikes me.

Did you get surprised by the recent college scandal? Where you shocked that wealthy people, used their money to buy their children into colleges, they might not qualify for?

If you search enough you'll also find that wealthy people hire lawyers to make charges against their children go away or have their children face minimal penalties for felonies. It's almost a joke in this country that the better your lawyer are the less likely you will get in trouble. Now I can't speak for what happens at home between the parents and the child for consequences, but those wealthy children rarely have to worry about future back ground checks for jobs.

Me in 1995 for Senior Prom
I grew up in Lexington, Massachusetts. I can't name names as the details have been forgotten in time, but I can tell you bored rich kids get in trouble. They make as many bad decisions as any other kid, sometimes more. They will have to cross a serious line, before they even have to do more than apologize to the police officer at the scene. The police know that arresting those kids would only cost the town, and county money, when the city fails to prosecute against a high priced legal team.

The Youth Council program allows children without family money to avoid LONG TERM consequences of  bad decision made with the inexperience of youth. The kids don't get away with with their crime, they still have various tasks to complete as part of the program. They get a chance to learn from their mistake, and to become better members of society. Not every youth can sign up, juvenile officers from the Nashua, Hollis, Merrimack, Hudson, and Litchfield police departments forward arrest records to the program. Where the program processes the records for the best candidates.

If you're still not sure the Youth Council Program is a good idea, imagine the amount of tax dollars saved by the future years of these youth not becoming repeat offender adults.

Please donate to this program, and if you are reading this knowing you are one of those children that benefited from the uneven playing field of socioeconomic classes, toss in a few dollars.

Stock photo from Pixabay