Thursday, September 30, 2010

Thursday Randomness

  • 296 days until Ironman Lake Placid.  Yes, I am going to count this down and drive you all nuts.
  • This is week two of the Mandy is a slug project. I have spent a lot of time in my very neglected garden pulling weeds, harvesting tomatoes, butternut squash, and pumpkins.  This is the first time since some time in January that I haven't had planned workouts on my schedule.  It is kind of weird, and I feel a little lost to be honest.
  • I have a stand to tune my bike now, a friend found one at a garage sale for free.  I am psyched. Now I just need to learn what to do with the bike once I get it up there.
  • The ride to work sure has gotten a whole lot more interesting. Weird, there are not many reds or oranges in the leaves this year.
Somewhere on my drive into work
  • This post-it note is awesome.  It describes my approach to life to a "T" - I tend to jump into things and learn how to do them as I go.
  • My friend Erin is the BOMB.  She just sent me the best care package ever with all kinds of goodies.   Thanks so much Erin!
Erin and I in Baxter State Park, Maine.
  •  Erin's fiance just finished the Vermont 50K, a 31+ mile trail run.  Congrats Jeff!
  • I will be having a Road ID giveaway soon.
  • Yeah I do not have a whole lot more going on right now, but I have some plans for some fun stuff this weekend, so stay tuned.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Muttley Monday: Bailey's House

Bailey seems to be a pretty popular guy with my followers, and I always get tons of responses on any picture I post of him, so I thought that I would give him his very own day on my blog. 

Muttley Monday are just a short, sweet post with a picture or two of Bailey.  He deserves it. 

Bailey's House: 2010 Toyota Tacoma
Bailey in his dog house
Bailey's back window (note triathlon sticker to the right)

Some would say that $20K+ is a little extravagant for a canine's crib, but I disagree.  I need a way to get to work anyway, and he lets me drive him around sometimes.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Thursday Randomness

This has been kind of a down week for me as far as training.  I have a pretty bad cold which is kind of dragging me down.  So anyway, here are a few random things that happened this week:
  • Bailey and I hiked to Moxie Falls.  Actually the it is more of a walk, only .6 mile in on a very well used trail.  It was jamming, they are emptying the lake (well lowering the lake) to work on the dam and so it was pretty cool.
    Moxie Falls ~ 80ft drop
  • I don't think I am good at off season.  I am eating everything in sight, it is kind of ridiculous.  Pretty soon I am going to have to change my blog to that Chunky Chick From Caratunk...Caratunk Chunk?  Something like that.  Working on reeling that stuff in, I can't gain back what I have lost for weight, that would just suck.
  • I am going for a run today and then maybe a swim.  It is 50 degrees here today, and I think the water has to be at least 65 or so, so it should seem warm, right?
  • I am thinking about doing the Cadillac Challenge, a century ride around Mount Desert Island.  Check it out:
    Uh, does that say $5 for a supported century ride?
    Sounds pretty laid back to me.  I am not into structure right now, I am saving that for later.  I have a few friends doing the ride and I have a feeling it will be a nice way to cap off the season. Unless it rains, then I am going to wuss out and drink Bloody Marys.  It will be the last time I get to wuss out, so I am reserving the right for now!
  • I joined Jon and Kevin's new blog, 201Ironman.  Check us out!  It is pretty awesome that there are so many fellow bloggers out there planning an Ironman in 2011.
  • I want to learn how to tune/take care of my own bike this winter.  It is way too far to drive to a bike shop from here.  Plus, the last time I called made a reservation for a tune they kept my bike for 6 hours (I KNOW!!) - and nothing was wrong with it!  Including driving (1+hr each way), that is over 8 hours for a bike tune.  That is just stupid.
  • Anyone want to teach me to tune/take care of my bike?
  • Bailey chased a huge bull moose the other day at work. It had a really big antlers and I could hear it's rack banging against trees as the moose was running away from Bailey (who was in hot pursuit).  I tried to call him off, but he gave me the finger and kept going.  Bull moose are in rut right now around here, so it isn't the best time for an elderly dog to be chasing them because they might turn around and charge.  Funny, I was thinking that as I was yelling, when I heard the moose coming back towards me, chasing Bailey, rack banging off trees again. Bailey was running right to me, looking for help, with the moose right behind him.  We got out of the way in time.  The moose watched us as we left, grunting now and then, as we made our way out of the woods and back to the truck.
  • That would be moose #5 that my dog has tried to run me over with.  Thanks bud.
  • When Bailey was done, he looked like this:
    That was so much FUN! Ouch. Now I can't walk...
  • I have watched a few new shows this season.  I really like Terriers (thank you for existing FX), but I wasn't impressed with Hawaii Five-O.  I am not sure what I expected, but something better I guess. 

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Lobsterman Race Report

I am not happy with my performance in this race, although I did have an awesome time.  Here is the report!

I arrived early and got a primo parking spot.  I  like to get to races early, it is kind of weird, I know, but getting there early is really a good thing for me.  I fiddled with my bike and talked to a few folks until transition opened.  I picked up my chip and walked over to body marking and the girl I walked up to looked at me for a second and asked me, "Are you Caratunk Girl?" 

That was awesome.  Turns out she is friends with my buddy Kristel who pointed her to my blog.  She had just finished her first Half Ironman last weekend.

Anyway, set-up was normal.  Looking back on it, I think I felt kind of flat.  Not amped up like I should have been, just kind of going through the motions, not really focused.  That might have something to do with my sub-par performance, I don't know.

My buddy Winnett and I got in the water pre-race, and it seemed to be around 60 which was much warmer than last year.  I got my face used to the water and then waited for my wave start.

The Swim ~ 1.5 kilometers ~ 34:27 ~ No Sharks
This is kind of fun because it is a deep water start.  There was a whole lot of excitement as we were hanging out in the water waiting for the announcer to tell us to "GO GO GO!"

What more can I tell you about this swim?  There was some bumping around, a few elbows, a few grabbed feet.  Nothing out of the ordinary.  The water is cold, murky, and salty.  I don't like swimming in the ocean because of the saltyness.  And the things that can eat you, but I covered that already.

I felt good to the first buoy, I couldn't see the second buoy until I was right there.  The third buoy came pretty quickly for me, but I swear the shore was moving away from me as I came in from that third buoy.  Seaweed wrapped around my arms, legs and face a few times.  I thought I swam hard, but I was a full 3 minutes slower than last year.

I got out of the water quickly and ran up the ramp to transition.
Thank god I am out of the fing water
T1 ~ 2:49
Yeah, whatever.  That was about 20 seconds slower than last year.

The Bike ~ 40 K ~ 1:29:24 ~ 16.7mph average
I beat my old time by 25 seconds.  I am not impressed given the fact that I increased my volume significantly leading up to Timberman and have been doing some interval work leading up to this race.  I expected the biggest gains here, and I didn't get much.

The course is on roads that are in great shape through a really nice area. I would call the course rolling, but not overly hilly.  But I just couldn't get up to speed on any of the climbs.  I am a fantastic descender though, I have a weight advantage on all of those skinny hill climbers that kept passing me.

Everything was very well marked and as usual, the volunteers rocked.  I came in from the bike feeling pretty good, but I knew I wasn't as fast as I had wanted to be.  
Bike in, note shoes are OFF!
T2 ~ 2:11
Almost a full minute slower than last year.  What was I doing?  Making a sandwich?

The Run ~ 10k ~ 59:41 ~ 9:37/mile
At least I am smiling!
I wasn't expecting much improvement at all here after the season running I have had.  This was 2 minutes slower than last year. 

At the start, my body was revolting more than normal post-bike.  Everything hurt.  My toes, my arches, my calves, my shins, my quads, my hammies, my stomach was cramping, my arms...EVERYTHING hurt.  I felt like a complete turd.  This has never happened to me before, the full body assault.  I kept pushing through, telling myself it would go away.

I was shuffling big time, but I kept running (can you call it that?) and got passed by a few 75 year olds.  I started to come out of it around the 5K point.  My stride opened up a bit and by mile 4, I was feeling great.  I was passing people like crazy.  I would look at each person's back and pick them off.  I kind of wish it was 10-13 miles, not 6.2.  I wish there were mile splits, because I know I was running very strong in the last 3 miles.

One girl I passed said, "Holy crap, great running!"

At the 5 mile mark, I felt like I was making headway.  I was picking off people (I got past both the 75 year olds too), focusing on their back, reeling them in, getting past them and looking on to the next.  I was alone on the loop around Winslow Park.  Then as I made the final turn to the finishline, I saw another person about 100 yards ahead of me, she was only about 20 yards from the finishline, waving to her friends on the way in. 

I sprinted as hard as I could, and her friends suddenly started yelling at her to "Oh no!! GO GO GO" because I was coming fast on her back.  She put her head down and ran hard the few feet she had left to the finish. She got me by 1 second, I almost had her.  

We laughed and hugged.  She said she could feel me coming up behind her, like a big rush of wind.
Final time: 3:08:45

Friday, September 17, 2010

Lobsterman Pre-race Thoughts....

Lobsterman Swim Start
Lobsterman olympic distance triathlon is tomorrow.  I am psyched, it is a beautiful and well run should do it!  There are a few things about this race that are on my mind...

I have a completely irrational fear of getting eaten by a shark....
I have a few irrational fears that are kind of completely ridiculous.  Like the ocean for example.  Well, not the ocean, but the things in the ocean.  I just don't like to swim where I am part of the food chain or where things can do things like bite, sting, or eat you me.

I am not an ocean person.  I am glad it is there, I appreciate its beauty, but I do not really care to spend time in it.  I like to watch it from my house.  Like on TV where the sharks can't eat me.

I told you it was a completely irrational fear.

This might seem strange for someone who will throw herself off a 10 foot drop on a river riding an inflatable dragon.  I understand the river, it flows downstream, unless it is going upstream due to an obstruction (See? It totally makes sense).   I don't understand how oceans work.  The currents seem to go everywhere and there are big hungry things in there that want to eat you me. 

OK, enough of my irrational fear, you get the picture.  I plan to swim fast as I can, staying in the middle of the group so the sharks can pick off the faster and slower swimmers.

The water is F-ing cold....
Another beef I have with the ocean.  It is cold, salty, and murky.  I can deal with the cold actually.  The salty and murky kind of freak me out.  Mostly the murky.  Sharks like murky water.  But they don't like cold water much, so I may be in luck.

How cold you ask?  Let me see...I was wondering too, so I checked the buoy temperatures in the waters surrounding the race.

Lower Harpswell Sound - 59 degrees
Casco Bay -  58 degrees
Central Maine Shelf - 57 degrees..WTF?????

I quit looking because it kept getting colder on every buoy I checked.  So high 50's - Ironman Saint George temps I believe.

There is free beer at the end for racers...Need I say more?!

Race Plan.... 

The SwimGoal 30 minutes (last year I did 31:54)
The Bike - Goal 1hr 25 minutes (last year I did 1:29)
The Run - Goal 57 minutes (last year I did 57:14)

Goal Time: < 3 hours and not get eaten by a shark (last year 3:03:42, no sharks)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Baxter Park Trip Report

I had a fantastic four days in Baxter State Park - it is one of my favorite places and this trip just made me love the place that much more.  This report is long, but is going to be heavy on pictures and light on words, or at least that is my plan.

Erin and I met in Millinocket after work and got to the Roaring Brook Campground at around 7 or so.  It was getting dark and we wandered around aimlessly looking for our lean-to for a while.  Nothing can confuse a couple of foresters more than a bunch of signs telling them where to go. 
Home sweet home, Roaring Brook

Eventually we found our lean-to settled in and had some dinner. We hadn't seen each other for a long time, years actually, but it was like we had just seen each other last week.  We talked late into the night and eventually our conversation drifted off to sleep.

Day 1 - hike to Russell Pond
I woke up, stepped outside the lean-to and saw this guy:
I am pretty bad at getting pictures of anything that moves, sorry this is blurry.

We had breakfast, packed up, threw what we didn't need in the truck (including my keys), and started searching frantically for my keys.  I eventually gave up and said I had a spare set.  I figured I packed them away by accident.  We headed to Russell Pond ~ 7.5 miles.

The hike was fairly flat and easy, with a few small stream crossings that had bog bridges over them.
We knew there was a bigger stream crossing over Wassataquoik Stream that we would probably have to take off our boots to cross.  When we got there, we searched around for rock hopping possibilities and finally decided we had to suck it up, take off our boots (we didn't want 3 more days of wet boots), and walk across.  I went barefoot, Erin was smart and brought some Crocs.
Wassataquoik Stream Crossing
From the crossing it is only about a half mile or so to Russell Pond.  There is a scale there to weigh your packs, which is really cool.  Erin's pack weighed 45 pounds!! Mine only weighed 40, so we decided Erin is way tougher than I am.
We found our campsite, got our tent set up, re-fueled and relaxed for a few minutes.
Home sweet home, Russell Pond
I was pretty excited that there was a 2-hole-ah outhouse.  I don't know why but I thought it was awesome.  No, we didn't poop together, but it is still funny to think about.
2 hole-ah
We had gotten there fairly early, and the park has an awesome program where you can rent canoes for $1/hour or $8/day, all based on the honor system.  We rented a canoe and cruised around Russell Pond for a few hours.  The rain had mostly held off and a thick fog surrounded the mountains, but it was still really cool.
Russell Pond
Day 2 - hike to Davis Pond
We woke up to a clear beautiful day.  We were excited to get to Davis Pond, Maine's most remote campsite (~ 6-7 mile hike from Russell). 

This guy started grunting, so we started moving along
One of many small stream crossings
The hike to Davis Pond is beautiful, I would call it a moderate hike with some stream crossings and some slippery granite slick rock/slides to climb as you approach Lake Cowles and Davis Pond.  This place is worth every effort, it is pretty amazing.  A lot of people don't realize the awesome stuff Maine has to offer, and I think if you were to show someone who didn't know a few of the following shots (especially the stuff from Day 4), they wouldn't guess it was Maine.
Erin looking at Lake Cowles
Davis Pond (and my toes at the bottom of the pic)
Home sweet home, Davis Pond
This was amazing because we had the entire place to ourselves, our own little slice of paradise. 
Day 3 - The North Peaks, Hamlin Ridge, and Chimney Pond

We knew the next few days were going to be some rugged hiking, and we were psyched.  This is where this gets very picture heavy, with very few words.

Coming up out of Davis Pond

 Hiking the ridge line on North Peaks Trail

North Peaks Trail, looking toward Davis Pond
The North Peaks Trail go over the northern peaks of Katahdin.  It is an out and back trail, and on the way out, it was pretty foggy.  Walking into the mist is a pretty neat feeling.  Things started clearing up as we headed back along the trail toward Hamlin Ridge.

Katahdin looking toward Pamola Peak and Knifes Edge
Erin pointing at Knifes Edge
Me on top of Hamlin Ridge
Hamlin Ridge Trail

Chimney Pond from Hamlin Ridge
Chimney Pond
We talked to a few people on the way down Hamlin Ridge who told us it was going to rain and that we "better bring our raincoats" if we planned on summitting Katahdin. We are not easily dissuaded, and we talked to the ranger at Chimney who basically said the same thing and that there was a 50% chance of rain. Erin looked at me and said, "Well, then that means there is a 50% chance of sun!" I agreed.

We decided on a 3:30am wake up to try to catch the sunrise on Baxter Peak.
Home sweet home, night #4

Day 4 - Early Summit, Knifes Edge, and home
We were up before the alarms, and the wind was really howling, but it wasn't raining.  We got packed up and ready to roll.  The plan was to leave the heavy packs at Chimney Pond and summit light on gear, and pick the packs up on the way back. We were on the Cathedral Trail by 3:45 am.

My headlamp was giving me some trouble, it would go off after about 5 seconds.  It was beyond annoying. The Cathedral Trail is the most direct route to the top, requiring some bouldering type climbing.  It is a ton of fun until your headlamp craps out.  Anyway, I would turn it back on to see my hand hold, get the hold, turn it back on, get the foot was interesting.  Erin helped the best she could by climbing then turning and lighting things up for me with her headlamp.  As we got closer to the summit, we got into a thick mist which was kind of neat.  By 5:45 or so we were very close to the top and we didn't need headlamps anymore thankfully. 
6am summit - in the mist
We decided to go ahead with our plans to hike Knife's Edge despite the fact that we were in a thick mist.  That was the best decision we made all day.
The mist starting to clear
Erin posing with a cairn near Knifes Edge
Mist rolling off Baxter Peak

Looking down on Chimney Pond from Knifes Edge
Part of the Knifes Edge trail, climbing to Chimney Peak
Me and the Knifes Edge
Erin and I, mist rolling off Baxter Peak
Dudley Trail down to Chimney
We were back down to Chimney Pond via the Dudley Trail by around 9:30am, and we noticed that lots of people were just signing the register to start their climb.    We grabbed our packs and got going, we had another 3 miles to hike to get back to the truck.  It went by rather quickly.  We met a lot of people on the trail, something that hadn't happened to us for most of the trip, but we were both so happy to have gotten to experience what we did. 

We were back to Roaring Brook before noon.  Once at the truck, I unlocked it (with the spare key - remember, I had somehow lost my keys at the beginning of the trip) and dug around for my change of clothes.  In the pocket of the jeans I had packed away were my keys.  Ha.  I guess at least they were safe.

I took Erin back to her car, and as we were trading gear around, it started raining.  We both looked up for a second, mouths open, then looked at each other and smiled.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Sunday Tagged!!!

That is not me, but that is where I am today
I have been tagged by 3 people this week, and since I am hiking in Baxter right now (I am assuming this scheduling thing works!) I figured it would be a good Sunday post while I am gone. 

Tag #1:

Luke from the Super Fatlete Tagged me to answer 8 questions asked by the tagger and in turn write 8 new questions and tag 8 people.  Thanks for the tag Luke!!

The questions Luke tagged me with are...
What is your favorite song quote?
Oh geez.  I don't know.  All I have is Salt and Peppa's SHOOMP in my head right now for some reason.."Thank your mamma for a butt like that."  I am not even an Rap/R&B girl, but now it is playing over and over in my head, so I am stuck on it.  Now you are too!

What is your favorite exercise or workout?
I like long rides, runs, and swims.
Favorite place to go on vacation and activity to do?
Check out what I am doing now.  I am a terrible sit-stiller so all of my vacations are active and outside.  So, the answer is going some place where I can get away from people (under my own power), be with my friends, be active, and enjoy the outdoors.  Like right now I am on vacation - carrying a 40 lb pack and hiking 8-10 miles a day.  Now that is my kind of vacation!
Do you collect anything, if so what and how did it start?
Triathlon gear.  After my first race.  I can't afford to collect anything else.
Hardest obstacle you have had to overcome in your weight loss/fitness/training goals?
Weight loss - the last 10 lbs.  Still there, stubborn little f-er.  Also it is hard training in a town of 60 resident who all think you are nuts and try to convince you to "take it easy".  I will do that when I am too old to do this.

What do you do now and if you could choose any career what would it be?
I am a forester.  Any career?  A writer.  But one that sells lots and lots of books.
If you could choose and exotic animal to have as a pet what would it be?
Tazmanian Devil.  I like their attitude.
Would you mess with this guy?
Do you use a reward system for your goals, (formally set or not) and if so what is your favorite reward?
My reward is the race I trained for...and the off season I guess.  After my last race of the year I really take some time off to recharge, this year especially! 

Tag #2
Christy from Going the Distance tagged me the Happy 101 Award.  Thanks for the tag Christy

So I have to list 10 things that I like - here goes!
  1. Rivers, especially the Kennebec, Penobscot, and Colorado.
  2. Dogs, especially mine!
  3. Reading - currently reading The Girl That Kicked the Hornet's Nest
  4. Old pictures
  5. Mom's cooking
  6. Being alone deep in the woods
  7. Maine
  8. Raspberries
  9. Tosh.0
  10. Laughing - hard and loud, till my belly hurts
Tag #3
The awesome Anne Marie from AM Goals for the Week awarded me with the Cherry on Top Award.  Thanks for thinking of me AM!
This one is a little scary! You have to do 3 things:
#1 Answer this question:
If you had the chance to go back and change one thing in your life, would you and what would it be?
Oh geez.  

Thinking about it, the one thing I should have done that I didn't was play soccer in college.  I had a chance, the coach called me and asked me to come on board and everything.  But I was an idiot and thought I wanted to be like the girls I went to high school with who didn't play.  What a dope.  

But I guess the good thing is about not playing soccer is that I played Rugby, which really helped me hone in on my drinking skills.  My biggest claim to fame was out drinking the Colby College men's rugby team.  Yup, all of them.  Hey, we didn't win many games, but we beat EVERYONE at the social.

Also, I wish I didn't chose a school whose mascot was a beaver.
Nothing intimidates another team more than a fierce looking beaver.

#2 The second thing you have to do is, pick 6 people and give them this award. You then have to inform the person that they have gotten this award.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, I will get to that part later.

#3 The third and final thing is, thank the person who gave you the award.

Done! Thanks so much Anne Marie

OK as for tagging people, (since this is my blog and I can do what I want) I am not going to tag anyone. 

Sorry, I am lame.  

But, I will say I would love for you to do one or all of these on your blog and let me know you did so I can stalk you properly. 

I will post my report on Baxter Park when I return!
H2O Audio - Beat The Boredom