Training & Racing Update – Week 3

I’m still recovering from the sprained ankle but I’m excited about my run/bike streak. While it’s really a walk/bike streak right now. As soon as I can run, which I am hoping in a week, it will be a rightful run/bike streak.

My walks are typically around Concord, trying to walk a different street each day. The cover image above is Merrimack Street. I love the big houses and front lawns on this street.

Here was a sign near the high school that made me smile. I really like the plants in the logs.

The weather is finally getting a bit warmer and that is good. I hope to ride the tri bike this afternoon.

The bad news: Rock Hopper Chocorua Race, IM Mont Tremblant, – canceled. And I learned today that Mark’s Ironman Santa Rosa was canceled, too. Bummer.

Good News: White Mountain TriRagged Mountain Stage Race,  Gunstock Trailfest – still on as of today. So we just go about our days and make the best of the situation. We get up, we work hard, we get outside and love the one were with.

A Quarantine Life

I’ve been staying home since March 10. Every day I watch and read the news, work, take care of my dogs and sometimes write. The parts of my life that have really changed since the stay at home order is not seeing my parents once a week, not going to the gym, not meeting friends at restaurants and working from home everyday. While it’s been a disruption it’s not total chaos, yet. I’m not complaining about any of it. I’m choosing to remember the silver lining in it all. I just don’t know what it is yet.

I read stories about people who have the virus and are suffering. I read stories about the people who have lost their jobs. Sometimes these stories paralyze me with sadness and fear. But I’m not going to stop reading and watching the news. We have to pay attention to these stories. We have to know the stories that are being told. We need to know and understand the difference between the truth and the lies. If you pay attention, you will know who is telling the truth. 

Training Update

Sometimes I think about how last year at this time I was in full on Leadville 100 training mode. It was my number one goal and fed every part of my life. I can’t imagine how runners are feeling now that Leadville or their other A races will most likely be canceled this year (I hope it’s not). I’m not on a training plan right now. My next race, the Gunstock Trail Festival has been postponed to September. I have two other races I’m signed up for: 3-Day Stage Race in August and Ironman Mont Tremblant. It’s too early to tell if they will be canceled or postponed. Regardless, whatever happens I’m fine with it. I will race them trained or untrained, if they happen.

For now I’m running and biking everyday. I’m mixing it up with road and trail depending on weather. The weather the last three days have been gorgeous with highs in the 60s so I’ve been riding my tri bike. My endurance is improving a little each day. Since I didn’t bike indoors all winter I’m starting from Square One and it’s okay, I like seeing incremental progress. My hope: this weekend ride 40 miles. 

Goldie-Dog Update

She is a crazy dog. She has gotten out of her collar twice now. She sees a bird or squirrel and just goes nuts. When she pulls on the leash it hurts my back so much so I try to get in front of her to distract her attention. Then, she somehow wiggles around and the collar comes off. Luckily, she stays close and will come into the house, but geez. 

She plays and plays with Winnie, sometimes antagonizing her by just casually walking up to her and biting her ear. It’s funny to watch but I know that sometimes Winnie is just not in the mood. Goldie is so cuddly and just needs to be close to me. I just love her to pieces. 

Book Update

The new book is coming along, slowly. I add a little bit to chapters as I think of sentences and ideas. I’ve been preoccupied with reading the New York Times (I still have two Sunday editions I haven’t finished) and watching Homeland.

Heroes

Mountain Biking and Living in the Moment

I’ve lost count of how many weeks I’ve been working from home. I think three but it may be four. I really like working from home because I get to hang out all day with my dogs and take many walks around the block. When I walk I think of writing ideas and create sentences. 

One of the benefits of working from home is I can take lunch breaks whenever I want, specifically the warmest part of the day so I can run or bike.

When I run I think of everything: what I’m going to eat, who I need to call, past boyfriends, trips I’ve taken, races, the Cuomo brothers and their daily banter; basically everything. When I mountain bike I think of nothing except the line in front of me; the line I will take around rocks and roots, and maybe going over a big rock and catching a little air off a perfectly placed rock. 

When I really think about all the sports I do from ultra running to Ironman, the sport I’m really the best at is mountain biking. As I maneuver over obstacles my body seems to know how to move with the bike, and my flow is natural and efficient. Yet, I spent years running and training for ultrarunning, and I pretty much suck at it. To me, running is minimalistic and satisfies my need to be low maintenance; I can run anywhere and all I really need is a pair of shoes. With mountain biking you need a bike, comfortable bike shorts, gloves, a helmet, replacement tubes and more. 

Colorado 2012

I mountain biked more when I lived out west. I biked all around Winter Park and all over the mountains surrounding Tucson. I even did a 24 Hour race with a team when I lived in Tucson.

Looking back, the weather seemed to be a little more cooperative out west and there weren’t as many roots and rocks as the New Hampshire trails. 

Tucson 2014

I’m ready to get back into mountain biking this year and getting better. I have a 10 mile loop that I like to do, right from my door. I’d like to spend less time walking some sections and get faster.

My loop in Concord, NH

I follow Kate Courtney on Instagram and when I’m flying down a hill, in my mind I say, ride like Kate Courtney – body position specifically so my weight is distributed properly. I love her workout videos and how she is so successful at a sport I love. I’m looking forward to going back to the gym after all of this to get back on track to get stronger. 

I am thankful for many things and one of them is that I can ride. Riding makes me happy and makes me live in the moment – nothing else does that for me right now. So I will ride today, maybe even in the rain. I know with the rain and cold temperatures that I will be the only one out there and that may just be a good thing.

Tapering is hard, part 2

Tapering is hard. You have so much free time and your emotions are raging; you just want to run. You want your body to be tired so you can sit on the sofa and veg, but it’s raring to go. It wants to run and play.

I’m restless and anxious.

So after a few talk sessions and advice taking; that has helped me immeasurabley – I decided to head to the bike shop and buy the bike I’ve been researching, and hemming & hawing about. It’s my first time buying a bike with a 29 inch wheel – yickes. But I love her already.

I’m so excited to start riding but I’m not going on the trails until AFTER Sunday’s race.

Leadville Training Week 14 – The week that wasn’t

This week was supposed to be a week where I recover from the 30 miler and taper for the 50. It turned out to be an injury week. My last run was Tuesday morning, a nice 4 miler before work. Later in the afternoon I attempted a mountain bike ride on the trails in Manchester, FOMBA. What a great trail system except that I crashed a few times and had issues clipping out, and injured my left knee.

There was a lot icing and ibuprofen, and perhaps a bit of despair this week. I foam rolled more than I ever have in my life; maybe twice a day. I started swimming on Friday, and on Saturday ended up joining a lane of master swimmers at the Y. That was fun. It seemed by the end of day Saturday it was about 70% healed. I did every type of activity I could except running. On Sunday afternoon I even went on a bike ride on the QR. After 9 months of no biking and swimming, it felt great to be in the aero bars and swim in the pool.

Secret Squirrel MTN Freetown, MA

Sunday was the highlight of the week. I supported Alex at his mountain bike race. I’ve learned how to be an excellent sherpa from Than so it was fun to figure out where he would come out of the woods for a photo op and to cheer him on to Top 10 results. Woo Hoo. After all the races I’ve done and knowing how important it is to hear someone cheering for me, it is truly so fun to do it for people I care about. The mountain biking crowd is so different from Ironman and Ultra running. The race venue was at a park in southeastern Massachusetts, a place I’ve never been and it was great to get out of dodge.

Goal 2 2019 50 Mile
Do it for the sticker!
By the numbers ……

Monday – May 20 – 6 days until race day. 50 Miles. This is my B race. Race 3 of 5 of the dream year. I’m ready. I’m focused. Mark is pacing me and we are celebrating his birthday. Yeah May, Yeah 50 Miles. Yeah to doing things you’ve never done before and crushing it!