It’s June 1 – the New Normal

Let’s start with the temperature this morning: 35 degrees. The morning dog walk at 5 a.m. was COLD. My winter coat was put away. It was a brisk walk.

Today the YMCA opens and I have a reservation for a lane in the pool at 12:15. Yes! I actually like knowing I will have a lane to myself at a particular time. The weight room isn’t open yet but once it is I’ll be happy to reserve a time. 

Also today, I start a triathlon training plan. I’m not exactly sure what I’m training for but I’ll be ready when a race is open. Ironman did announce the rules for their races, yesterday. It looks like Ironman Florida could be an option. Plus they fixed their website urls; they were all wonky. Stuff like that drives me crazy. 

Also today, I will be eating at a restaurant. That will be interesting. It’s the new normal.

Races Canceled So far:

The White Mountain triathlon is canceled and race organizers are allowing registrants to race Lake Sunapee triathlon or defer to next year. It would be fun to swim in Lake Sunapee. However, September 19 is the 50 miler at Gunstock, bummer. So I’ll defer to next year.

August 7 is the Ragged Mountain Stage race. This isn’t canceled yet, but I’m half expecting it to be. I have two months left to train for it and I’ll be ready. It’s okay if it is postponed to next year. 

So much is changing in the world. Here in New Hampshire, in my corner of the world, all seems calm and somewhat normal. I know it’s not, really. Everything that is going on in the big cities, the violence and looting can be stopped with action, writing letters and taking part in conversation. I will do my part. As Anne Lamott says, I’ll pick up trash.


Heading into the Holiday Weekend

It’s Friday and I just got back from a short hike with the dogs in Winant Park. We saw the usual players: trail runner, people with dogs, people without dogs. Despite hiking earlier and earlier I still seem to see more every day. It’s all good. Goldie is coming on command and I can get her on a leash at the end of the hike which I couldn’t do a week ago. Winnie is getting older and grumpier so at the last half of the hike she is on leash. 

It’s been a good week so far. I’ve run all the mileage I am supposed to according to the 100 mile training plan.

Today is an off day in preparation for tomorrow’s 18 miler. I finally feel like I’m back on track and feeling strong while running.

The holiday weekend is turning out to be a busy one, plus the weather is going to be fantastic. Hiking Monadnock on Sunday, which I haven’t hiked in over 30 years. Hiking Ragged on Monday, which will be hard – the mountain is tough! And running and mountain biking with friends the rest of the days. 

I have been thinking about my goal of running 100 miles in 2020. It more and more looks like it’s going to be a self-supported 100 mile run in October. I’m thinking 5 10-mile out and back routes to my house. I’ve been scouting out runs which is making my longer runs more interesting and keeping my mind occupied. 

Here’s what I’m thinking for the self-supported 100:
10 miles out to Bow and back 
10 miles out to Oak Hill (East Concord) and back 
10 miles out to Boscawan and back 
10 miles out to Hopkinton and back 

Which leaves one more out and back left to figure out. And most importantly which legs to do at night from a safety perspective. 

Fun, Fun. 

Have a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend, friends. 

Goldie says hi friends! I’m cute.

Do you like running?

This morning I read an article from a Facebook Group post. The article: Why I won’t stop running due to COVID.

The question the writer posed to himself “Do I like running?

McConaughy’s story made me think about this year and how wacky my training plans were compared to a year ago. Last year my motivation was high to run a race that was way out of my league and at high elevation. [Leadville]

The challenge spurred me on to do my training plan every day, lose weight and created a new world for me in ultra running. I remember feeling excited about every run. When I knew I had to run 10 miles or 20 miles, I was looking forward to the run, planning what I would listen to and what I would eat for a meal after (I love a good post-run food plan).

However, 2020 started so different because I was injured and training for a 100 mile race I wasn’t super excited about. Training and motivation were nothing like a year ago. The weather beat me up and I didn’t follow the plan. I wasn’t excited about running and spent more time in the gym lifting weights.

McConaughy’s article reminded me of the feeling of being on trails. As soon as I hit a trail I’m suddenly feeling better and happier. While I am faster on the roads (and like seeing a faster pace on Strava) and sometimes do enjoy roads, I’m happiest when I am surrounded by trees, running past an occasional stream and see dirt under my feet. 

Like him, “I was captivated by the challenge of trying to run longer distances in more wild places.” That’s why Leadville was such a positive in my life last year. The Leadville 100 was long and wild. I wasn’t sure if I could do it. That’s what got me up in the morning and out the door to train. That drive and happiness drove my desire in all aspects of my life. I was so excited for whatever was around each new corner. 

McConaughy asks himself and readers, Why do you enjoy running in the first place? For me, I like the simplicity of running. Not much gear is needed and I can open my door and go. I especially love running to the top of hill, and when I’m fit, I recover fast and keep running; it makes me see progress and makes me happy. I love the days when I can run 10 miles and it feels relatively easy. 

There may be no races this year but somehow I will run 100 miles if I have to do loops around my house and ask friends to support me.

I had this poster on my bedroom wall during high school. It’s still true.

Leadville 100 Canceled, 2020

I just read the news about Leadville 100 Run – canceled. My heart sank.

While I’m not racing it this year, I know how I felt at this time last year training for the August race: I was tapering for my first 50 miler as part of my 100 mile training plan, I was close to race weight, I was laser focused on training for my first 100 miler. Leadville was my entire world.

And to think that I went through all those tough training weekends and then the race was canceled – I’d be devistated.

However, in ultra running and triathlon there are so many things that can go wrong in any training cycle: injury, sickness, weather. There are so many factors at play in training for an A Race. We have to remain positive and know that it will be there next year.

I’m disappointed for my friends who are in the middle of training and planning for Leadville. I know they are sad.

Leadville, Scoping out the course before race day

At the same time I get a reminder of one of the best things I did in 2019: train for my first 100, travel to Colorado multiple times, run with friends at 10,000 feet and strive to finish something unknown.

Leadville 100 Race Morning

Training was hard but I was so motivated. Race day ended early with a disappointing DNF. But I’m not done with you Leadville. I will conquer you. I will run that red carpet.

And some day. Some day. I will be a Leadwoman. How’s that for lofty goals?!

Walking Tour of Concord NH

I got an idea in my head that I would walk all the streets in downtown Concord as a way to get three miles in. Copying the idea from Rickey Gates who ran every street in San Francisco. Since I can’t run, yet, I decided I would walk (without dogs). I don’t count mileage when I walk dogs. 

Today I decided that on this walking tour I would listen to my new playlist I just created for April. I started from my house and headed to downtown. I walked up and down the streets:

I decided to take some pictures of the beautiful buildings and some trees.

My playlist was pretty awesome.

Girl from the North Country – Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash. 
I recently watched Escape at Dannemora and this song played during a dramatic scene. Plus the lyrics are pretty awesome and I love the North Country. “So, if you’re travelin’ in the north country fair, Where the winds hit heavy on the borderline, Remember me to one who lives there, She once was a true love of mine.”

Time to say goodbye – Andrea Bocelli 

Change – John Waite
From the soundtrack Vision Quest – just love this song. “It doesn’t matter who you are It’s all the same. What’s in your heart will never change”

Pretty – Ingrid Michaelson
“I’m not just pretty, No, I’m pretty damn good, Sure in my own skin, Again and again and again.”

Roll Me Away – Bob Segar
Pretty much my anthem: “Stood alone on a mountain top, Starin’ out at the Great Divide, I could go east, I could go west, It was all up to me to decide.”

Shallow – Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper
“Tell me somethin’, girl, Are you happy in this modern world? Or do you need more? Is there somethin’ else you’re searchin’ for?

When You Were Young – The Killers
This is my all time favorite Guitar Hero song to play. “Can we climb this mountain, I don’t know Higher now than ever before, I know we can make it if we take it slow.”

My Body – Young the Giant
This is a great song to run to but alas, I walk: “My body tells me no! But I won’t quit ‘Cuz I want more.”

He Knows – Jeremy Camp
“He knows. Every hurt and every sting. He has walked the suffering. He knows.”

Just be Held – Casting Crowns
This is one of my favorite songs. Beautiful: “There’s freedom in surrender. Lay it down and let it go. So when you’re on your knees and answers seem so far away, You’re not alone, stop holding on and just be held.”

Nothing Compares 2 U – Chris Cornell version
I just discovered this version by Cornell that is on the playlist. I like the Sinead O’Connor version but I can’t listen to it. “It’s been seven hours and sixteen days, Since you took your love away.” Here’s the O’Connor version:

Colorful – The Verve Pipe
The Chris Cornell song reminded me of this song that was on the Rock Star soundtrack so I added it to the playlist. I just love the final scene in the movie when this song plays.

Happy Sunday.