William’s Lake Race Report!

There were mountain bikers everywhere on the trails…Riding around you and over you on tiny mountain bike trails. Kicking, punching, fighting to get ahead. 

Oh wait, that is a triathlon swim start, not mountain bike race.

That is what I thought a mountain bike race would be like: people scrambling all around you, yelling “move over!” when there is no space for you to move…Falling, crashes, broken bones, blood.

It was none of that.

Since I had the day off, I decided to  pay the $35 registration fee for my first ever mountain bike race: Williams Lake Mountain bike race. It is a race that is part of the New York State Mountain Bike Series. I have always wanted to try one out, and a mountain bike race was on my bucket list of things to try before I turned 30. Alright, so I’m just a year late in checking it off the list. The thing about mountain bike racing, is that during the spring and summer months, 99.99% of my training is for the triathlons, and my mountain bike is forgotten in the back, collecting dust and becoming the residence of insects. My biggest fear about trying one out during tri season, is falling and breaking something, which would mean saying sayounara to racing for the rest of the summer.

But this year I decided, what the heck? I would pre-ride the course the day before, and if I felt it was too intimidating, then I simply wouldn’t do the race. It wasn’t like it cost me the $$$ race fee that I am used to paying for races.

So I went for two mountain bike rides to remember what it is like to be off road and was able to pre-ride the course with a friend of mine (who was one of the reasons I decided to do it– knowing someone else there always helps!).

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Only females would say it is time to stop for a selfie.

I’m not going to lie, I’m not uber confident on my mountain bike…The fear of breaking anything stops me from trying out obstacles, like go over large logs or rock piles. The pre-ride was good in that I was familiar with times when I had to get off my bike (hah!) It was also a time where I realized I should probably do more mountain bike riding before attempting my first mountain bike race, and maybe take care of my mountain bike a little more instead of forgetting about it :-\  Numerous times on the pre-ride my friend Kellie chimed, ” You need to look at Molly’s bike before she goes– it’s making a lot noise…Make sure you look at Molly’s bike…” I guess the fact I didn’t completely trust my bike would survive the race didn’t help my confidence levels either. Thankfully, one of her friends took a look at my bike before I left, and no, I cannot remember the last time I actually put lube on my mountain bike chain (my bad).

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Come race day. My normal pre-race “Ugh I’m going to vomit any minute…why am I doing this again?” thoughts claimed their territory in my head and I drove to the venue. Mountain bike races are very different than triathlons. People aren’t as uptight and the atmosphere is much more of a relaxed one. Kellie showed me how to put the race number on the bike and introduced me to tons of super friendly people.

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The race began with different “categories” starting a couple minutes after each other–similar to a swim start. There weren’t too many women starting, which was nice, because it lessened my fears of the mass start, and our category had to do two laps on the course. (I don’t know how other riders are able to do five laps– I would never be able to survive that).

I’m not going to lie, it was tough. Roots were slippery, rocks were slippery, heck, everything was slippery. I’m not used to, basically, sprinting on the bike for two hours. In fact, I cannot remember the last time I was able to get my HR up as high as it was on a bike in long time. There is more thinking that is involved on the mountain bike: which is the best way to go over/through this? The trails on the course are more technical than I’m used to, and you really don’t have as much time to recover as you do when riding on the road. Not to mention, you use your upper body a lot more than when you are riding in the aero position on your tri bike.

I got off my bike when I had to, and let people pass when they needed to. I tried to keep up with my friend/ mountain bike teacher, who reminded me when to drink (when do you drink during a mountain bike race?!?)

On the second lap, I felt my confidence rise and rode over things I didn’t on the first lap and surprisingly I only fell twice (in the same spot on both laps).

The best part of the race, other than not dying, was being able to ride through a cave. It isn’t every day you have that on a race course.

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I think this is what you do if you are a mountain biker

All in all, I had a total blast. I was reminded how much I love mountain biking, and that I should really spend more quality time with my mountain bike. Everyone I met was super awesome, friendly, and completely down to earth– which is, I guess, how most mountain bikers I’ve met are. It is a type of race I never really thought I would ever do, yet one that I cannot wait to do again!

Thanks for all your help, Kellie! It’s a lot more fun when you get to do a race with a familiar face! And thanks for the tips/ taking a quick look at my super-noisy bike Martin!

 

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What Training Looks Like (and other ramblings)

After looking back at the posts I’ve written, I realized I go through “phases” with this blog: periods of time where I don’t write anything at all, and then times where I write numerous posts in one week (like today, when it just so happens that I am finishing two in one day) What can I say? I have things I want to share! And so does my cat Lucky as seen by the picture below.

My cat felt the need to help with post writing I guess.

My cat felt the need to help with post writing I guess.

Training

Someone I work with asked what my training schedule is like. So, I figured I would post a recent training week. I try my best to do everything before 4pm on days I have off, so that I can spend my afternoons/ evenings annoying my man 😛

bike ( 2 bikes)
• LSD.  70 miles
average cadence on the flats should be 80-90 rpm. Pick a gear that allows you to do this easily while staying within target HR.

• muscular strength = turbo.
Warmup = 15:00.  include 4 x :30 @ 100 rpm
Main set = 4 x 5:00 as 2:00 big gear seated at 60 rpm / 1:00 fast spin (easier gear) @ 100 rpm  / 2:00 big gear standing at 50-60 rpm.  All at HR low zone 3. 2:00 easy recovery spin between each 5:00 interval.
Recovery spin 5:00 then do:  5 x 2:00 @ 90 rpm with 2:00 RI

Run  (3 runs)
•  T-run = 15 minutes. Post muscular strength workout.
•  LSD = 15 miles.
•  Speed.  30 minute run — include 8 x 1:00 pickups at zone 3 (not a full out effort) with 2:00-3:00 zone 2 running between.

Swim  (2 swims)
•  Aerobic.  2700 yards
Warmup = 10 x 50 yards as (2 strokes free then 2 strokes 1-arm then 2 strokes free then 2 strokes other arm) :10 RI between every 50 yards.
Main set = 15 x 100 pull on the :15 RI   then:  10 x 50 as (kick only on one side (use zoomers) / 25 one-arm stroke) on the :10 RI. Alternate sides.
Cooldown = back stroke or easy kick board for 200 yards.

• Speed  2350 yards
Warmup = 3 x 200 focusing on tech while swimming.
Main set = 12 x 100 yards fast on the :20 RI.. Do each 100 yards as: 50 yards moderate pace / 25 yards hard — approx 80% effort / 25 yards easy.
Cooldown = back stroke or easy kick board for 200 yards.


Core (at home)  (2 core)
Side Planks — 3 x 20 seconds per side with :10 RI
Prone Planks — 3 x 45 seconds with :10 RI
Lower abs (rock hollows / flutter kicks / reverse curls) — your choice 3 x 15 reps
Crunches — 3 x 20 reps
Quadruped extensions – 5 times alternating sides. 10 second hold per side ( http://www.acefitness.org/acefit/exercise-library-details/1/14/ )

Strength  (1-2 sessions)
Air Squats  15 reps
Walking lunges 20 steps
Hamstrings 15 reps

So, that is what a week looks like! (And yes, squats are my nemesis).

Things Other than Training

Kevin’s job has allowed him to have some short work weeks, meaning we’ve gotten to spend some mid-week time together, which is fantastic, since I miss out on seeing him weekends and days that I work. From hikes to dining out to road rides enjoying the last of the nice weather before winter arrives.

My first ever Budda bowl...sans bowl

My first ever Budda bowl…sans bowl

Best veggie burgers around...And amazing parmesan frites

Date night!Best veggie burgers around…And amazing parmesan frites

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Last short sleeved ride of the season

Last short sleeved ride of the season

Good thing he knows where the trails are

Good thing he knows where the trails are

Last week I got my very first tri bike, and it sure is a beauty. I’ve been drooling over these bikes for a very long time, and finally decided to bite the bullet and get one. I’ll be spending long hours on this, and have done duathlons/ triathlons for four years without signs of stopping in the near future, so why not get a sport-specific bicycle? Isn’t it gorgeous?

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I managed to finish all of my holiday shopping yesterday! This time of year is my favorite (except the weather) and christmas shopping simply makes me happy. I wanted to buy everything at HomeGoods but managed to have (some) self control 🙂 Christmas music is now playing on the radio–I admit  my holiday pandora radio station is allowed to be on during my commute home after work in the evenings– and I even saw some christmas lights outside! Yes, it was too early to have Christmas decorations in the stores before Halloween. But now, in my books, it is a-okay to have everything Christmas out! Ohh, the joys of being a holiday-loving dork like myself. I am not ashamed.

Oh how I wanted a  sparkly dancing ballerina deer

Oh how I wanted a sparkly dancing ballerina deer

Well, I should get to the pool! Enjoy the rest of your week!

She’s Baaaaack

Wow, has it been over a month since I have written a post? It is crazy how fast time goes. I feel the older I get, the faster months fly by!

November was composed of mostly working, trying to overcome colds, with some runs and rides thrown in with the mix. The bad thing about being a nurse (or, any other employee who must work on Thanksgiving for that matter) is that you miss out on family gatherings. But, let me say despite missing out on the big turkey dinner (actually I did not miss the turkey, since I don’t eat turkey), I am thankful for getting to see a sister for a couple hours, thankful for my wonderful family, Kevin, and great friends, my health, and for where I am today.

Homemade noodle soup delivered to me by a special colleague

Homemade noodle soup delivered to me by a special colleague

Cleaning your bike and derailleur every ten minutes because of mud accumulation isn't too fun...

Cleaning your bike and derailleur every ten minutes because of mud accumulation isn’t too fun…

What I'm thankful for: reminders on my way to work not to sweat the small stuff

What I’m thankful for: reminders on my way to work not to sweat the small stuff

So, what is with the title?

I was lucky enough to have two Saturdays in a row off and was able to participate in two races, and I feel I am back and better than ever.

Last weekend, I ran my first 5k in three years, the Run Santa Run:Return of the Claus 5k. Since I do not really ever run for speed, I used it as a test to see how I could do in a 5k that was not at the end of a duathlon. To my surprise, I did not do too shabby. Thirteenth place out of 400+ runners, plus third female overall made for a happy end-of November. My personal photographer/ support team/ race day chauffeur, Kevin, tolerated my Christmas music in the car the hour + ride to the race to snatch a few pictures of the exciting day. Before the start of the race, there was a fitness instructor who led a “warm up.” As I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to realize that warming up before a race is actually beneficial (wait, did I just say that?!?). For running with a sinus infection,the race wasn’t that bad at all. I still enjoy longer distance races, however, as you do not have to run as fast (well, for your average runner you don’t…Just wait and I might change my mind when I decide I want to run a marathon in a certain time period).

Race day go boom

Race day go boom

Look Kevin! Aerobics at a race!!!

Kevin, do you see this?!? Aerobics at a race!!! (I’m the crazy one turning around)
Okay. Enough of organized pre-race aerobics

Okay. Enough of organized pre-race aerobics

Annnnd, we are off! If you can spot me, I'll pay you a million dollars.

Annnnd, we are off! If you can spot me, I’ll pay you a million dollars.

Today, I ran my first 5 mile race, and got to do it with friends of mine which was a true blessing. It was the MHRRC Knights of Columbus Holiday Run . We did have a threat of snow last night, and I was extremely glad that it did not snow so I could partake in the race. However, even if it did snow, I would still run…I mean, if one of my patients exclaimed, ” you can still run if it snows!” then, I can technically run in the snow. It is just slushier, that’s all.

I had no idea what the course was going to be like, and it did have it’s rolling terrain that I was not expecting. I went hoping I would finish in under 40 minutes, and I managed 36:46–another PR for 5 miles. Not only that, the only female who beat me is a professional duathlete on team USA (my role model). I was pretty stoked. Lets see how my legs feel tomorrow. I was also able to witness friends run their fastest five milers, too, which was even more exciting. It is such a wonderful feeling to see others accomplish something–and to see them happy.

Jen (a mountain biker-turned fellow duathlete- turned runner) close to the finish

Jen (a mountain biker-turned duathlete- turned runner) close to the finish

My first running trophy ever

My first running trophy ever

Cycling chicks turned runners (but still spend plenty of time with their bikes!)

Cycling chicks turned runners (but still spend plenty of time with their bikes!)

In other (exciting) news,  met with my coach last week and decided to face my fear of triathlons and fear of failure and sign up for another half IM distance race next spring! Is it weird that planning/ choosing races do to brings me joy and excitement? I picked a few other races to do before the Patriot Half–I plan on running the Shires of Vermont marathon again, as it was such a (shall I say fun?) lovely race….Well, it was fun when it was overwith 😉 My main concern regarding the Patriot Half is the swim; I went for a swim for the first time since I saw at Onteora Lake this past summer, and it was—ehh—embarrassing. (The last time I was in a pool was over a year ago!) I guess this past race season I spent more time on biking and running instead of swimming. Thankfully, I have a few months to gain back my courage with the swim portion of races.

In the non-athletic news, I’ve experimented with new cupcake recipes. Thank goodness other people like cupcakes, otherwise, I do not know what I would do with all the baked goods I bake. I was also blessed to help decorate more than one Christmas tree. (If you don’t know, I am a complete Christmas dork and love everything about the season!)

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Gingerbread latte cupcakes with lemon cream cheese buttercream and little gingerbread boys

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Mocha peppermint cupcakes with peppermint buttercream swirl

eggnog cupcakes with spiced rum buttercream...Good for warming your soul...I mean tummy

eggnog cupcakes with spiced rum buttercream…Good for warming your soul…I mean tummy

First attempt at homemade peppermint chocolate bark= a delicious success!

First attempt at homemade peppermint chocolate bark= a delicious success!

Kevin's tree--he chose for a snowflake to be the tree topper this year instead of a nutcracker.

Kevin’s tree–he chose for a snowflake to be the tree topper this year instead of a nutcracker.

My favorite snowman nurse

My favorite snowman nurse

The 2013 Geuss Christmas tree

The 2013 Geuss Christmas tree

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My 2013 Christmas tree!

I wish everyone a wonderful Holiday season!

In the Summa’ Time…

What’s been happening so far this summer?

On the 4th of July, my first holiday off since Thanksgiving, I decided to go for a mid-century ride. Despite my detailed directions, I got lost, and never ended up where I wanted to go.

How can one get lose with  directions like this?

How can one get lost with directions like this?

Views from who knows where

Views from who knows where

I lead my first mountain bike ride! We fought the heat and mosquitoes.

Not a real mountain bike ride unless there is blood.

Not a real mountain bike ride unless there is blood.

I decided to be girly and get my nails done professionally.

Sparkles for the 4th of July

Sparkles for the 4th of July

Sweaty runs have occurred.

Selfie

Selfie

Vegan baking adventures have continued.

Blueberry Banana cake

Blueberry Banana cake

Chocolate with mocha frosting-- a hit!

Chocolate with mocha frosting– a hit!

Kevin and I have explored the new addition to local trails….

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And he even went wildflower picking with me!

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His picks matched his shirt

His picks matched his shirt

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I’ve spent time riding a true Dutch bike…Or trying to ride it.

The bike has got to weigh atleast 40 lbs

The bike has got to weigh atleast 40 lbs

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What have you been upto?

Another blog? And my thoughts on Strava…

I decided to dedicate another blog to satisfy my love of cooking/baking, separate from this blog…I forgot how “tough” it was starting this blog a couple years ago. Below is a link. It is a work in progress–of course, the wonderful weather has delayed my work on the blog, as my priorities revolve around outdoor activities rather than blogging 🙂 Feel free to check it out!

That (Vegan) Girl in Sneakers

Views from Overlook Mountain, taken last week on a hike

Views from Overlook Mountain, taken last week on a hike

For the past couple months or so, probably starting February when I started running more in preparation for the marathon, I began using Map My Run to follow my progress. I do have a very expensive Garmin watch and heart rate monitor, but do I use the $350 watch? Nope. The watch still works though…Maybe I’ll start wearing it again now that I feel guilty about never using such an expensive watch. Anyway, Map My Run is a great way to log your progress–the app is free, which is also awesome. However, many of my biker/runner friends use Strava. I used this app maybe twice last year, then deleted it…Not really sure why I deleted it. If you are unfamiliar with Strava (which, I doubt you are if you are up to date on cycling apps), it is basically the same thing as Map My Run. However, there are segments where you can actually “race” other riders (or runners). These segments are usually hills, but can also be segments, like a long, flat road that people use for time trials, etc. The fastest people are called “Queen” or King.” The program then places you according to your time compared to other peoples times. You can also analyze your performance online.

A couple weeks ago, I downloaded the app again. Let me tell you, I think I have actually seen a difference in my cycling. That, or I’m actually focusing more on my rides and pushing myself harder. Perhaps it is the latter. For the first time in a couple years, on my ride, I didn’t simply say (to myself), “Ack, it’s a hill. I’ll go slow.” Nope. My new mantra while going up hills is “Power up!” Pushing myself has definitely improved my tolerance to pain and burning thighs…As well as lead to me beating my “nemesis” female cyclists (road and mountain) whom I have never met.

Strava can also be used for runs…I’m pretty sure it was the reason for one of the fastest 5miles I have ever done.

View of sunset behind the Catskill Mountains

View of sunset behind the Catskill Mountains

I need to warn you, though. It is not always reliable, as I found out today after my run (trying to beat the time I managed for the “fastest 5” mentioned above), when it stopped recording for some reason mid run–and I swear I made a new PB on that run. Grrr! Frustrating! Ohh well, I guess it simply means I will have to do the run again.

Another possible negative regarding the program is it hinders your ability to “go with the flow” if something happens mid run (or mid ride). For example, I ran into an acquaintance on a run once, and had to stop to say hi. I feel it would have been rather impolite to run past her saying, “Sorry, can’t stop–I’m Strava-ing now.”

What are your thoughts on Strava? Is there another app or program you use to keep track of rides or workouts?

 

 

Lazy Weekend Days

I know earlier this spring I made it a goal not to have weekends that were spent doing nothing. But, after what seems like a chaotic month composed of meetings, work, classes, and races, this weekend was spent being lazy. By that, I mean it was spent around the area, spending time with my man, and, least we forget: bikes and running shoes.

What shoe problem? I have no shoe addiction whatsoever. #asics

What shoe problem? I have no shoe addiction whatsoever. #asics

On days off, I’ve been able to engage in some solo time at 909 (a local mountain biking area) learning which paths went where (as well as paths to avoid). Finally, I could show Kevin some local trails he was unfamiliar with. He was able to help me work through some technical parts I’ve been unable to manage (rather, too wimpy to attempt while riding alone). Somehow, he always managed to get ahead of me. I think I need to ride with him more often– I tend to push myself harder physically and mentally when riding with him (and others in general)–mostly, though, in order to keep up with him.

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Dutchess County Trees

A shot by Kevin, whilst waiting for me to catch up.

After showing being lead through trails at 909, it was imperative I introduce Kevin a place I stumbled upon last summer where we could cool off post ride…Ahh, the refreshing nature of rivers during the summer. It’s during the summer when I reconsider taking up triathlons–simply because of the cooling aspect of the swim portion.

Kevin, also a water mammal

Kevin, also a water mammal

Returning to my water roots

Returning to my water roots

Don’t worry, we didn’t forget about road bikes.

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My Deutsch jersey, thanks Mom!
My Deutsch jersey, thanks Mom!

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Kevin stopped next to a sign thinking it needed to be posted in the blog. Alas, I already posted the same sign three years ago here!

We lounged on the porch of the “country house” as Kevin calls it, escaping the heat and humidity, catching up on good reads, and fixing bikes. Life is all about bikes.

Ice cold fizzy water and lemon...The best on a humid, hot day

Ice cold fizzy water and lemon…The best on a humid, hot day

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Taping the handle bars of his newly acquired Serotta

No blog post is complete with an awkward photo taken of you.

No blog post is complete with an awkward photo taken of you.

The evening brought cooler temperatures, and outdoor dining opportunities.

I'll allow for him to have his hot dogs this time.

I’ll allow for him to have his hot dogs this time.

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I missed our after-dinner walks around the neighborhood

Sunday morning, we were able to take a  trip to the Rhinebeck Farmers Market, a small but quaint market I had not had a chance to visit until this weekend.Kevin’s favorite part was his falafel. Mine was organic local mint tea–a much needed refreshing drink on a humid day.

Local cider

Local cider-wine

Waiting in the sun for a falafel

Waiting in the sun for a falafel

Musical greatness, stopping in town from New Orleans

Luke Winslow-King, musical greatness, stopping in town from New Orleans

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Mmmm bread.

Mmmm bread.

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The weekend ended with thunderstorms, sweeping away Northeast humidity…For now.

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Ramblings of a Twenty Something Year Old

If you haven’t noticed, there is a pattern to this blog, of which I do a race-recap after each race: reflections on what went well and what I could have done more to prepare for races.

Once again, I am going to focus on training and preparation, or in my case, lack there-of.

I just finished the Shires of Vermont Marathon this Sunday (perhaps you remember when I signed up for it a couple months ago). Kevin and I made a weekend trip out of it. He truly deserves a gold medal for his support in all my crazy sports endevours.

Indulging in mandatory hydration of team support at Madison Ales Brewery

Indulging in mandatory hydration of team support at Madison Ales Brewery

We stayed at the Four Chimneys Inn, a bed and breakfast less than a mile from the race start in Old Bennington. If you are ever in the area, you must stay there. The Inn keeper, Lynn, greeted us and made special arrangements so that I could eat breakfast early the day of the race. (Marathon man actually stayed there too, and ate breakfast next to us). It is within walking distance to downtown Bennington, as well as the Bennington Monument and Robert Frosts grave.

View of the Monument from behind the Inn

View of the Monument from behind the Inn

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Our room

Our room

Birthday running ribbon

Birthday running ribbon

At the start

At the start

I was not completely unprepared for this one–atleast I did some running in advance. At the half way point, when my legs began to hurt, I remember thinking to myself, “Man, it would have been good to get some more long runs in.” The longest “long run” I did in preparation for this event was a 14miler, back in the middle of April.

Where's Molly?

Where’s Molly?

At mile 18, when uncomfortable turned into pain, all I kept thinking about was the finish.

Honestly, once I passed the start, all I thought about was said finish, 26.2 miles away.

Super happy to see Kev

Super happy to see Kev

My not-too-shabby pace increased mile by mile until, at about mile 20, the running turned into a painful-attempt-to-run, then walk, back to painful-attempt-to-run. At that point, I turned off my iPod (there is just so much of Daft Punk’s TRON soundtrack one can listen to before they go mentally insane) and just focused on not keeling over.

The course, however, was very nice– only a few stretches were along roads with traffic. The rest were on country roads–some gravel/dirt roads. Too my surprise, it was a hilly course as well.

Having completed the Boston Marathon in 2008, I am aware of hilly marathons. The exception in that case was I was regularly running up Heartbreak Hill (easy when you go to school at Boston College). I never looked at the course elevation of this race. For future races, I think that is something I will plan on doing, to mentally “prepare” myself.

There were plenty of water stops, and two stops along the way had gels. We all know my thoughts on Gu (if you don’t, you can read about it here), and this race was an exception to my “no-gu-for-you” rule. I managed two gels during the race, and used them as a distraction more than anything else, as I knew well that no amount of caffeinated artificial gel would miraculously save my legs and make the pain dissapear. At mile 13, I consumed my first, which wasn’t horrific (A mocha flavored Cliff Bar gel). I decided to consume it slowly, over two miles, which helped pass the time. My second gel was over two miles as well, at around mile 20.

Yes, I stopped mid race to take a picture.

Yes, I stopped mid race to take a picture.

It was suprising to have Kevin meet me at different points throughout the race, which ended up giving me a bit of a second/third/fourth wind, considering the fact I was not expecting him to meet me anywhere along the course except for the end.

Finally, after what seemed like the longest half-mile of my life, the finish line was infront of me. No matter what pain you feel, you cannot walk across a finish line. (Well, you can, I just try not to). A nice touch to the small marathon was that as you finished, the MC announced your name and the town you were from. Time: 4:41. I cannot complain about my finishing time, as my goal was to simply finish the race in about five hours.

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Voila. Marathon completed. On the day I turned 27.

Eeeek so old!

Eeeek so old!

The finish had fresh Battenkill Creamery Chocolate milk, which I devoured, despite my feelings towards dairy milk, and, it was the most amazing chocolate milk I have ever tasted. (Infact, this chocolate milk is given to participants of the Tour of Battenkill).

The best part of the Shires of Vermont Marathon, other than being on the celebration of my birth, are the finishers medals. They were all made by a local potter. Definitely more meaningful than mass made bronze medals (although, those are always pretty sweet).

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The weather held up for the duration of the race–some of the misting/showers actually felt good mid race. After, though, it rained the rest of the day. So Kevin and I bummed around Manchester until a celebratory birthday dinner–an early bird special at the Seasons restarurant in Manchester. I had the most amazing veggie burger I have ever had in my life–even Kevin, an omnivore, agreed it was amazing.

Exhausted, achy, and feeling amazing

Exhausted, achy, and feeling amazing

Nothing beats a birthday sundae

Nothing beats a birthday sundae

The next morning, after enjoying fantastic homemade breakfasts, we explored a little more of Old Bennington before heading back to Rhinebeck.

Yummy yummy in my tummy

Yummy yummy in my tummy

Lilac love

Lilac love

For someone used to doing some sort of physical activity every day, “muscle recovery” and “complete rest days” are hard. With such nice weather awaiting our return, I decided to rest my “running muscles” and use my mountain bike muscles on a leisurely paced ride at Ferncliff. Plus, Kevin took a vacation day, so I could not have it go to waste!

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Channeling my inner beaver. Hard to imagine I turned 27, right?

Channeling my inner beaver. Hard to imagine I turned 27, right?

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Kevin playing with his newest bicycle project...Sporting the new Fats in the Cats jersey

Kevin playing with his newest bicycle project…Sporting the new Fats in the Cats jersey

After the marathon, I announed my accomplishment to my mother over the phone. She said something which really struck home: “Moll, imagine how you’d do if you actually trained.”

Hmm. Interesting. Actually train…

We’ll see how that goes.

😉

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This post is dedicated to my biggest supporter, endless motivator, chauffeur, personal race photographer, top rated at “I know how to annoy Molly,” and kick-ass best friend, Kevin.

(And also my folks…If it wasn’t for them, I would not be here today.Literally.)

This Spring I’ve Been…

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Running early in the morning.

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Strolling in the late afternoon.

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Planting.

Who said women can't build walls? Before and after

Who said women can’t build walls? Before and after

Repairing stone walls.

A new daffodil species?

A new daffodil species?

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Taking in spring beauty.

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Soaking up some vitamin D with furry friends.

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Exploring local trails.

Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo

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Celebrating holidays.

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Creating messes in the kitchen.

Homemade peanut butter- never buying PB again

Homemade peanut butter- never buying PB again

Juicin' up a storm

Juicin’ up a storm

Making things from scratch.

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Sporting spring stripes.

It’s a Beautiful Day

Mother Earth decided to skip spring and head straight into summer weather. Two days ago the weather was in the 20’s. Today it hit mid- 70’s. Okay, okay, it is still spring. But what a difference! I ran in shorts and a t-shirt today for the first time since before Christmas! Not to mention, rode in similar attire. It’s about time!

I just got back from my first group ride of the season–last year, the first one was in the beginning of March– and it’s great to be riding with a bunch of riders through the woods. The fact that the sun now sets around 7:40 adds to the greatness. Group rides means spring is really here.

Riding at Taconic 909

Riding at Taconic 909

In the sneakers category, I’m trying to decide on whether to run the Lake George Half Marathon in two weeks…It’s my next weekend “off” and would be a lovely weekend away; affording an opportunity to go back to a place I used to spend summers. It would also allow Kevin and I to do some more exploring of the area–which is something we’ve decided we need to do more, as there is a plethora of activities and sites in our area that we have not explored.

Last weekend, we ventured to Stockbridge, MA to visit the Norman Rockwell museum. For any art enthusiast, or American who may be familiar with Norman Rockwell, this museum is fascinating. During the summer, you can visit his last art studio (we were unable to visit it as, despite the lovely weather, it isn’t quite summer yet).

Kevin next to Norman Rockwell's 1965 Rudge--Kevin has the same one at home

Kevin next to Norman Rockwell’s 1965 Rudge–Kevin has the same one at home

Norman Rockwell (front) riding his Rudge through Stockbridge--a painting he composed

Norman Rockwell (front) riding his Rudge through Stockbridge–a painting he composed

Norman Rockwell: incredible

Norman Rockwell: incredible

We also checked out a special church…Kevin had to see it…It was on his “Bucket List” (well not really, but he acted as if it was). I grew up where we had Thanksgiving on a day when my mother did not work and had time to bake a feast, so when he mentioned a Thanksgiving song, I was at an utter loss as to what he was talking about. Perhaps you know?

Arlo Guthries's "Alice's Restaurant"

Arlo Guthries’s “Alice’s Restaurant”

I do not see the connection between the song and this building, as this is a church, not a restaurant….But I obliged in Kevin’s desire to take a picture.

On the food aspect of life, I’ve realized I love baking (which may have already been apparent to those who read this blog–sometimes it takes me a while to realize things). I baked my first donuts for Easter–Carrot cake donuts with cream cheese frosting!

My colleagues at work have been quite happy with my love of baking, as they are the main recipients of the end products. I have yet to meet a healthcare worker who does not devour fresh baked goods when offered to them.

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Carrot cake cupcakes with marzipan carrots

Carrot cake cupcakes with marzipan carrots

Lemon blueberry cupcakes with lemon cream cheese frosting, and strawberry cupcakes with buttercream

Lemon blueberry cupcakes with lemon cream cheese frosting, and strawberry cupcakes with buttercream

Caught in the act of my baking craze

Caught in the act of my baking craze

…Who knows, perhaps when the spirit moves me, I’ll add recipes to this blog as well.

Outside of biking, running, and baking, I was able to plant seeds in the garden today. Like last years crop, I hope to have sugar snap peas and sunflowers. I decided to add wild flowers in a patch where my carrots did not grow last year.

Lastly, I’ve been experimenting with fashion. I’ve been wearing:

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Fancy flats

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And fancy hats.

Spring Has Sprung!

I think spring has finally arrived in the north east. Yay!

Kevin and I were able to go for our first spring mountain bike ride this morning. Actually, it was our first mountain bike ride together thus far this year. Better late than never.

Shedding layers after shredding dirt…Not used to high- 40 degree weather.

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Kevin catchin’ some air on his $50 Ted Wojcik from 1990.

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As they say, pictures speak a thousand words…

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