Monday, January 16, 2017

Week two of Boston training: Quite uneventful!

As the title of this post should lead you to believe, compared to last week, this week was downright quiet. Thank heavens.

I took ZERO workout selfies. I am sure everyone is very sad about this.
I will entertain you with pictures of random things.
I will be SURE to bring back the sweaty selfie next week. 

On Monday, I had a little run in new shoes. Another pair of Clifton 3's, they have been serving me well. The old pair had well over 400 miles on them, so it was time.
New shoes!
I also cashed in a lovely Holiday gift and got my hair done. I look better now. 

The one and only time that my hair will ever look decent. After professional help.
Tuesday was a rest day.
I got my stitches out! (no pics of that either, you're welcome)
To recover from that ordeal, Eric and I went out for a quick drink with my Dad and sister. We met up with a friend of ours, and her Mom and Daughter.
We are geeks, and like to show up at every opening of every pub in our area. This was such an occasion, and X Vault opened with a bang, as essentially the whole town showed up. It shows promise as another local venue worth visiting. (in short, good drinks, interesting menu, nice ambiance, typical chaos of opening day!)

X Vault, opening day
Wednesday was weirdly warm, temps hitting almost 50.
The snow melted, and with that the reemergence of the strangest piece of yard art in town.
The penis frog.
Well. Hello, Mr. Frog.....
WHY? But really, WHY? Where would you buy a dong frog, and more importantly, WHY would you??

Thursday and Friday were uneventful. A couple treadmill runs, and a round of 8x400's which reminded me that I am, in fact, not in great shape (no kidding.) I did my long run (10) plus hills on the treadmill on Friday. Again, uneventful (sweaty though.)

On Saturday I had an easy recovery run (right about at a 9:40 pace which was actually a tad quick.)
Andy (Eric's twin, if you don't remember) and his kids came over, and we headed out to see Rogue one. It was excellent. We also made the kids play Pokemon with us, and it was great fun.
Then we headed to Vivo (in Bridgton) for some great dinner. Vivo never lets me down in the food department.

Dinner at Vivo with the Fam!
The kids brought me the best gift!
A bottle of wine the size of my leg. I am #soblessed (but really, I was super pumped.)
My new baby!!! I love you, big wine!!!
Sunday was a reasonably exciting workout day.
I did a 40 minute sufferfest bike video.
I then ran 2 miles.
And *swam* in the pool for 10 hours, and managed .25 miles.
If anyone was curious, I am a dreadful, dreadful swimmer and my whole *swim* consists of me attempting not to die. Not cute.

So! Week two done, and it wasn't very exciting in the exercise department. Week two rarely is, if you really think about it. Week three is going to be very similar but I'll try to come up with some better stories about it...

Weekly stats:
Miles run: 27, just as prescribed.
Longest run: 10. Which feels long now. It won't soon....
Other: 1 bike, 1 strength work out (bad) 1 swim (ugly)
Wildlife sightings: 18 wild turkeys and one Penis Frog
Low/High temps: Negative 9/Plus 47. Go home winter, you are drunk.
How am I feeling? Good, I can eat solid food again.
Beer of the week: CRAP! I drank a few beers, obvs, but nothing new... I did have a delicious mojito at X Vault though, so we shall consider that to be the winner.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Week one of Boston Training: PR or ER!!! Or, just ER...

This week started out just fine and dandy. (if only such things could last.....)

Monday was the big day, a nice fresh and glorious beginning! Week one, day one started off with a bang.
OR, a boring 5 at a 9+ pace (as prescribed.)
No duck sightings either, so overall a bit dull.

Tuesday was a day of complete torment.

Sufferfest, UGH!!
A 40 minute sufferfest bike ride, which is a horror.
I find the challenge of cycling to really be above and beyond that of running. Most likely, because I do not have the correct muscles. I yelled the F word quite a few times. Also, biking makes my butt hurt.
I also did a bit of strength work.

Wednesday was another run, on slush and slime covered roads.

Excited to run on the slime
Despite the crap conditions, I went for it and did my week one "mile test." Just a quick sprint to see where the fitness is at, you know? I managed a 7:25 which seems right. Yes, the smegma covered roads didn't help but neither did my exploding heart or lead filled legs. I should be able to do a bit better on this test in a few.

Thursday I had quite a bad accident at work and landed myself in the ER for the morning.

Whoops. All jacked up.
 I apparently was due, as it has been 23 years since my job has sent me, bleeding, to the hospital (although there were times in my 20's when I could have made the trip... but didn't because #stupid)
Anyway, I sustained a great blow to the face and earned myself my first ever CT and my first ever stitches. My brain is fine. That's all that matters. My jaw is jacked up and I can no longer eat anything other than mush. (but not broken. thank heavens.) My chin got stitches, and now I feel like I have a little blue beard which is creepy.
At the end of the day, when you walk away from a horse accident alive, you are happy. A few inches in either direction and I'd probably still be in the Hospital, or worse. It was a bit of a freak thing, so I can't give a good lecture on safety first or similar....
My Dad and I had a lovely morning in the ER, playing with the striker bed.(even in the ER I get bored easily..)  Eric brought food (which I couldn't eat, because chewing...) My Mom didn't get summoned to the Hospital because I never really had a major meltdown (I have a real issue with needing to go under the knife- avoided for the time being!!) But she made me soup and eggs and soft things. Everyone was glad that I was mostly in one piece.

I took Friday off because that's what one should do, after being in the hospital.
I ate soft foods and ibuprofen. 
Soft foods and my liquid diet.....

Saturday I went on a little baby run...
Wait for it....
Not exactly the right one, but we aren't gonna be picky at this point. So yes, we were upgraded to a 2017 model for our troubles and got a 2016. UGH.
The treadmill seems nice. Nicer than my face. There's gonna be nothing but slow ass running until I talk to my other Dr next week. (or maybe even no running. I'm not an idiot.)
I still could not eat other than frigging beer and coffee protein shakes and many healthy liquids.

Beer of the week, important part of #liquiddiet

One more run on Sunday, on the new treddy since it was a whopping 15 degrees out. I had a bit more fun during this run, as I was feeling somewhat better and played with some of the features.
I did a couple loops around some fjord in Norway. Pretty entertaining.

It's wicked dark, but this is my treadmill.
The weekly wrap up:
Miles run: 22.4
Other: 1 bike, 2 rounds of strength work
Trips to the hospital: 1
Duck sightings- ZERO
Low/High temps: 4/38
General feeling toward life: Mostly good but busted up face time was sucky. Feeling quite exhausted for a couple days post injury. Bad sleeping skills.
Beer of the week: Sebago whistle punk DIPA, a really pleasant and floral DIPA that still packs a punch. Nice hops, a bit of a throwback in today's world of super fruity/juicy IPA's.

Friday, January 6, 2017

The final week. Before the first week of actual training.

Last week (the week that ended on New Years) was the final week of the fall hiatus and I sure took advantage of it.

So much lazing around, eating cheese and bacon and cake.

Well... Not exactly. While it wasn't complete debauchery, I imagine it is also the final week of having 3 days off and only running 14 miles.

It also snowed an absolute crap ton.

Which meant a ton of work cleaning it up..

Too much snow
While a dedicated day of snow removal is good and all, I like structure, and am ready for some to return to my running life.

I have 15 weeks, which includes taper, to prepare for Boston. I schedule a 2 week taper so that is 13 weeks of actual training. One of those weeks will be a slack off week, where I take a massive cut back. I do not plan to schedule this for "week 3" as I, lazily, did for Hartford. Oops.

My plan does not really differ much from the past couple years of marathon training.Once I get into the thick of things,  I tend to plan a day of speed, one of hills, one of half easy/half base, a long run and a very very easy day.

In an ideal world I would keep up a fine regimen of strength and cross training.
Perhaps ride my bike, with great skill, a few days a week.
Plan my meals with macros. I hope macros have a high percentage of peanut butter.

In all likelyhood, none of those things will happen. Ain't nobody got time fo' macros.

What can I actually promise you, of fine reader??
An honest blog. You won't get any bullshit from me.
I also won't try to sell you things.
I'll fill you in on (per the requests) Ducks, food, grass, beer, my glorious outfits, all bobcat sightings and (everyone's favorite!!!!) "What I think about while running"
Yep. I'm gonna tell you. ALL about what I think about. LUCKY!!!
I'm also all kinds of out of shape right now. So there may be tales of struggle. REAL STRUGGLE.

Right, so that's it for now. I'm off to make some gains, have a protein shake and lift heavy weights.
(no. I am not. But I wanted to see if anyone actually reads to the end....)

Monday, January 2, 2017

Happy New Year! 2016 recap.

Warning! This is a late 2016 recap. People who are on top of things had theirs done weeks ago.
Mine is here today. It is done before my taxes are, so it's still winning.

2016 was the year of the medals!! If Eric or I could find way to add a medal to the pile of loot, we did. (I think I finished the year with 17 or 18 medals. Looking at Instagram last week, I saw that some people have like, 60!!! Holy shit people, that's a crap ton of race money! And a lot of 5k's that give out medals, hahah.) But seriously. For me, this is a lot of bling.

The proof is in the picture below. While, obviously, I received only one medal at Boston, my little trophy wall deserves mention. #muchathlete

I got ultra creative and made my Dopey Challenge medals into magnets. (so maybe #muchartist!!)
I ran the New England double (VT City AND Hartford) for another 3 (well, 4, cause Eric and I made VT city a relay too! But then I went and lost that medal..)  (so... #muchfail?)

Finally we had Lumiere's Challenge to round out the year. PHEW. #MUCHdisney
Clearly a LOT of winning happening in our home. 
Medals, medals galore

Dopey was definitely a highlight of the year. The whole event was a lot more fun than I had anticipated, and the three of us had a really good time.
If/when we return to a Disney race it will be this one!
(as everyone knows, we returned for Lumeire's challenge in November. It was fun, but not on the same level.) Maybe it's because Andy wasn't there....

Dopes at Dopey!
Boston, and the lead up to the race, definitely fills in the #1 slot of 2016 racing.
My training was the best I have ever had.
My two lead up races (Hampton and Eastern States) were excellent.
Despite inconvenient race day temps, I ran smart, and finished strong and healthy.
There was nothing better than having a great group of friends there too. So much fun!
Add in the fact that it's also a fun family weekend and it can't be beat.
Boston weekend: #1 for 2016!!
The big winner

Hartford was good too, but in a different way.
I was so pleased to finally, FINALLY, chip a few minutes off the old 3:33:xx, which had been my go-to time for 2 years.
I also had the best 23 miles of any race, possibly in my running lifetime.
I did not have the most delightful training though. The heat, my busy schedule and generally feeling "blah" for the final 3 weeks got me down.
That being said, a 10 minute 2018 BQ time might balance out the general dislike.

Gritting my teeth at the Hartford finish
In general I felt that had a smart and solid year.
I claimed age group PR's in the 10k, 13.1, 26.2 and (I think) the 20 mile distance.
I raced two strong marathons and finished two others, just for fun.
I had two very dedicated and focused training cycles.
Eric and I ran some new races, and saw some new places (like Burlington, which I LOVED!)

This year I really enjoyed both training, and racing. I am comfortable with who I am as a runner, and with how I do my running. As with any sport it took me a while to get here, and I still have a lot to learn. I feel that I'm doing at least a little something right though. I hope to continue to be lucky enough to enjoy my hobby for many years to come.

I do not know how many miles I ran last year. At some point I will look.

In MUCH more important news....
In 2016, I also drank some very, very good beers.
Since good beers REALLY is what this blog is about, here are a few of my favorites. 

WINNERS. Like, real winners not just "here's your finishers medal" winners.
And just like that, it is 2017.
Today was the first day of Boston training.
This winter is shaping up to be a monster!
And guess what? Still no treadmill, or ANY sign of one! *shocking*

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Fun new Holiday gifts and the treadmill fiasco

Hey all! Thanks for the input in the comments of my last post. Good stuff, and I was excited to discover that I have more that one reader. :-)
Feel free to add your comments on what my weekly Boston Training recap topics should be here.

Moving on,
The Holiday season is upon us. This means it is time for FUN NEW THINGS!!!
(and the magic of the season. and togetherness. and stuff.)
But who are we kidding? It's the season for fun new shit.

First off, my fabulous Christmas gift!
Eric came through (again) as the best Husband ever (he has a great record if we are being honest here!)
I noticed on Instagram that some of our East Coast friends were signing up for the California International Marathon. I was definitely envious and hinted, with no actual expectations, that an trip to this race would be an amazing gift.
Much to my surprise, it happened.

Well isn't this nice!
I was. Literally. Speechless.
This has been a race that I've been interested in for a long time. As much as I'd love to run Big Sur, the timing is very poor and it is hard to get into (but someday, it will happen.)
A December marathon is excellent. The course sounds like it will play to my strengths. While I have been to the West coast it was long ago, and it was not California!

The list of things that I want to do while there is long... My excitement level is VERY high! In addition to this it will be wonderful to have an "east coasters on the west coast" runners party while we are all there.

Stop reading now if you don't want to hear more about our never ending treadmill fiasco.

Eric and I have been mourning the swift demise of our treadmill. Since this winter has come on with vengeance, reducing us to either road running in deadly conditions or staying on the bike, we have been especially sad. (I have, anyway.)
On cyber Monday, we found a good Holiday deal on a treadmill that is a significant upgrade. Good Holiday deal or not, it was still more than we wanted to pay out.
The good news is, this is the Holiday season. My parents wanted to give us a nice Christmas gift so they chipped in for the new beast and BOOM, done.
Sort of.

Quality pic. But it's the best I can do since we are NEVER EVER gonna get this thing.

There has been a pretty significant fiasco in its delivery.
 I can not say enough bad things about MDX Group shipping... The treadmill was out for delivery on the 22nd of December, the truck had issues (which can happen) and the driver said he would see us first thing the next day.
That day came, and almost went. I called up MDX and was told that the treadmill was back in the warehouse (where it had been since the FIFTH of December) and would not be delivered for three more weeks.


Long, long story short. On the 23rd I spent over 2 hours on the phone with MDX (whose business motto is "fuck off") and then with Nordictrack directly to get the issue resolved. I felt that a promise of delivery prior to the New Year was a reasonable request.
If it had been my business I also would have offered me a shipping upgrade beyond curbside delivery... Well, that did not happen.
Honestly, at this point we are still playing the wait and see game.
The Nordictrack people were exceptionally helpful.
MDX shipping, for the most part a complete failure in the customer service department.

Days later, with no news I called back.
"Hi Ethan" I said "I'm SURE you aren't happy to hear from ME again!!"
He probably wasn't. But he tried. 
Nordictrack went as far as to upgrade the treadmill to a better model (great!) And to upgrade my shipping to get the treadmill where I want it (super!) But we don't have it and have no idea when we will. (BAD.) 

(and the fiasco continues....)
Right after I hung up with Nordictrack, MDX called me to tell me that Treadmill #1 would not be delivered until between the 16th-20th "most likely the 20th" due to issues that are not of any interest to me. I was like "NOPE, there is a change of plans, kid." And then I listed off my many, many complaints. Which were met with radio silence because they are clearly accustomed to having very disappointed customers. Good work guys. Quality. So impressed. NOT.
(and they have NO IDEA what is going on. Like, zero clues. HEAD DESK)

I am THIS CLOSE to saying, screw it. And cancelling the whole damn order.

FIRST WORLD ISSUE. I know this. Regardless, I'm annoyed.
Let's assume that I'll have the beast in the basement next week and the story will be over.

Want to take bets? Will it? Or will I be live tweeting another 2 hour phone conversation with Nordictrack/MDX group next week? Will I ever actually get this treadmill? (I'm not sure at this point.)