Mainely Running
Join me as I train in Maine and race all over the world in pursuit of my goal to run a marathon on all 7 continents

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

This is getting expensive

I have had so much fun with triathalons this summer that I decided I wanted to do another this season. I searched around for a localish race that wasn't sold out yet and settled on the Maniac Sprint Tri.

It is is early September, so I could still squeeze in a half marathon later in the fall. 

I got through the whole registration and then it came to payment, which is where I stopped. Once you add in the USAT day license and the processing fee, it costs more than $100. 

I don't mind paying that much for a couple big races a year, but I can't really afford to pay that much for a race every month or so. This is just going to be a fun, casual race for me and $106 seems like a lot. 

How much are you willing to pay for a race? Should I sign up anyway?

Also, check out my guest post today over at Hot Bird Running.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Peak's Island 5 miler 2013

Last weekend I did the Tri for the Cure, a big race with all the frills. This weekend, I did just the opposite, a small bare-bones road race. This is the 5th year in a row that I have done Peak's and I continue to love it. Travelling out to an island on a ferry just makes for such a fun day!

 I enjoyed a quiet traffic free bike ride over the bridge to Portland and to the ferry terminal. We took the 7:45 because my Mom and friend Jocelyn were volunteering, so they needed to be there well in advance of the 10:30 start. I had a long wait before I ran, but it was nice to just chill out, people watch, and look at the ocean. This is a very family oriented, friendly race and it was great to see so many kids!

The first 2 miles of the race are great- it winds around the backside of the island so there is a cool breeze from the open Atlantic and lots of downhill. After mile 2 there is a long slow climb and then my least favorite part. Miles 2.5-4 have us doing a little zig-zagging around on the west side of the island. I hate turning away from the finish! The last mile is in the open sun, so it is hot and long!

I raced hard last weekend and my legs have felt pretty heavy all week, so I didn't have a real time goal. I was hoping for sub 45, but with the heat, I just decided to run without my watch and do what I could. I was thrilled when I neared the finish and saw 42:xx. An 8:28 pace without really pushing too hard?? I will take it!

After I finished, I ran threw the sprinklers a few times to cool off, did some quick stretching, and then headed to the beer tent! There is a free Shipyard beer for all runners and volunteers and we took advantage. Nothing better than a cold Maine beer after a hot race!

After enjoying the beer garden for a bit, I was starving so we headed to the Cockeyed Gull for lunch. There is an optional lobster bake post race, but we chose to do our own thing. We ordered a feast of goodies to share- seaweed salad, a hummus plate, shrimp and pineapple skewers, and an Asian veggie noodle dish and enjoyed our lunch on the deck out over the water.  

After lunch it was beach time. We enjoyed a leisurely pedal to the beach, and then spent a blissful hour swimming and lounging.

This is my absolute favorite type of summer day. A ferry ride, a race, beer, a great lunch, and some beach time. Even though it's just a short ferry ride away from home, I felt like I really got away! 

Friday, July 26, 2013

Serial i-pod killer

Tuesday morning I grabbed my i-pod to take on my run only to find something that has become all too familiar in the past year. My i-pod was dead and would not turn on. I charged it all day and still nothing. AGAIN.
water + crack = death

6 times in the last year my 6th gen i-pod just died. Only 1 time was there any water damage. I had dropped my i-pod and it cracked and then I proceeded to run with it in the pouring rain for a week. The rest of the time though, it just stopped turning on. I didn't run in the rain. I didn't do anything. It worked one day and then it didn't. It happened 3 times in 4 weeks, when each i-pod was only a week old!

Am I just a serial killer of electronics or is there something wrong with this i-pod model??

After very unpleasant experiences at the Apple store I wanted nothing more than than to say F you Apple and buy a different mp3 player. BUT, I love i-tunes. I listen to a lot of podcasts, and I love how i-tunes automatically downloads new ones, syncs them with my i-pod, and deletes the ones I have listened too.

So, I bought a new one. BUT, I did not get another 6th gen replacement through the Apple store. I bought it at Best Buy and bought the 3 year warranty.

Am I a total sucker for getting another one?

Do you listen to music/podcasts when you run? What device do you use? Did anyone else have problems with the 6th gen i-pod?

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Criminal Justice Fitness Test

The BF is a police officer and he has to do a yearly fitness test. He was complaining about it, particularly the run. To see if his complaining is legit, or if he is just being a big baby, I decided to do the test myself as a mini workout this week. Here is is case you want to try too!

1. Maximum Push-up test (untimed)
2. One minute sit-up test
3. 1.5 mile run

There are fairly strict rules for each portion.

 MAXIMUM PUSH-UP TEST (untimed): You will assume the standard position for a push-up. An administrator will place a 3-inch measuring device on the surface directly under your chest. You can not wiggle to get to the UP position. You may rest only in the UP position. If you do not touch the 3-inch measuring device or do not go all the way up, those individual push-ups do not count. If you come out of the plank position or any parts of your body touch the floor other than your hands and feet, the test is over. 

ONE-MINUTE SIT-UP TEST: Your hands will be placed clasped behind your head, fingers are interlocked. A correct sit-up is performed by sitting up until the upper body is perpendicular to the floor. The complete sit-up is finished in the correct “UP” position. If your buttocks come off the floor, your fingers come unclasped, you do not come all the way up to perpendicular or your shoulders do not touch the floor, those individual sit-ups will not count. 

 1.5 MILE RUN: A measured, level course will be used, such as an indoor or outdoor track. Exact distances will be indicated. A monitor will keep record of the distance and time the applicant has completed.

I had no problem completing the test. In fact, I found it pretty easy. That, naturally, didn't make the BF too happy. So he made me try it again, this time with the guys standards. And it was way harder. I made it, but JUST barely, and I was hurting.

Do you think this test is a reasonable test of fitness? Do you think the female standards are too easy? The male standards are too hard?

Monday, July 22, 2013

Tri for the Cure 2013

My Tri for the Cure 2013 day started bright and early Sunday morning. The race started extra early this year because of the tides. Since the race is only 2 miles from my house, I figured I could leave an hour before the opening ceremony and be okay. Not so much! I sat in traffic all the way there and was majorly freaking out. Note to self, just leave early always. So much better just to get there early.

But, I ended up having plenty of time to park, lay out my stuff in transition, go to the bathroom, and get in the water to warm up.

I love the energy at this race. I got such a nice happy excitement as I headed down to the water and saw all the athletes and spectators. The opening ceremony started with a dance that got us all even more excited and ready to rock. The ceremony was also incredibly moving as cancer survivors and Maine Cancer Foundation staff told their stories and spoke about the impact the race proceeds have. The cancer survivors all came forward at one point and you could just see that cancer affects people of all ages, shapes, and sizes. I was in tears at several points. 

After the opening ceremony, it was swim time! It was a great day for a swim. The water was calm and has warmed up a lot in the past few week to around 64. I was in the fourth wave.

I started near the front because I was hoping to get some clean water. I have gotten to the point where I don't mind the ocean itself as much, but I hate being surrounded by people. Unfortunately I was in a pack of swimmers the whole time. I was kicked, hit, and generally just bounced around. I cleared a lot of the people in my own wave, but then caught up with the slower swimmers from the wave before me. But I just kept my head down (literally) and kept moving. I finished the swim in 10:54, good for 14th in my division. 

I had planned to meet up with my mom near the fence in the mini-transition to hand off my wet-suit and goggles, but she wasn't there. So, I had to carry my crap the 1/2 mile up the hill to the transition. Oh well. I slid on my bike shoes and helmet, grabbed my bike, and I was out of there. 

My favorite part of the tri is when I first get on the bike. I like speed, the cool rush of the breeze on my wet skin, and mostly knowing that I am done with the swim! The bike felt great. I ended up in a group of 3 other women and we went back and forth the whole ride. It made it a lot of fun and really kept my pace up. I even got to embarrass the BF during the ride. He was working a detail directing traffic on the route, and as I rode by I yelled "R.D. is a hottie." His partner cracked up and he turned so red. I love the last mile of the bike. You come through Willard square and there is so much crowd support. I felt like I was riding in the Tour de France. I finished the ride in 49:55 for an average pace of 17.7!

And then it was run time. I wasn't particularly looking forward to the run because it was warm and sunny. But, I slipped on my fancy Asics Noosa Tri sneaks and I was off. I didn't wear my watch, so I had no idea what my pace was. I felt like I was barely moving and my legs felt heavy. It also felt like forever before I saw the first mile marker. I dumped water over my head at both water stops and just tried to keep moving. I hate the last mile of the this course, you feel so close to the finish but they make you loop way around the back of the campus and the path just keeps twisting and turning and you still aren't done. I just tried to stay with one of the women I hooked up with on the bike. She crossed the line just in front of me. Thanks new friend for keeping me going! I gave her a nice sweaty hug which I am sure she appreciated. 

 Now it was time to relax and enjoy all the awesome post race amenities. I posed for a picture and then hit up the Whole Foods food tent. Holy moly what a spread. I left with a full plate and a whole bag of goodies for later. They had all kinds of bars and snacks to sample. I had a snack while I waited in the massage line, which was nice and short! After my massage we sat and listened to the band while admiring the view and watching the other racers finish.

I was so happy when I checked my times later. I did WAY better than I expected. 

This race is so well run, so inspirational, and so fun. I already can't wait for next year!

Friday, July 19, 2013

What am I runner or triathlete?

I had the spring and summer of this year all planned out. I started off with a distance running heavy calendar as I trained for the Santiago Marathon in April. I did the Derry 16 miler in January, the 26.2 with Donna (I did the half in Feb), and then Santiago in April. Then I switched over to tri mode doing a lot more cross training and speed work, doing the Tri for the Y in May, several 5ks, and then the Tri for the Cure this weekend.
marathon runner


In past years even when I switched into tri mode for the summer, I continued to do some distance, usually at least one 13+ miler a month. Not this year- I haven't run longer than 10 miles since April. So now I am approaching the last race I signed up for this year and I am wondering what to do with myself.

I will have to start marathon training in late fall for Tokyo in Feb 2014, but I have a big gap in there. Which brings up the fundamental question. What am I? Am I a runner? Am I a triathlete?

I have always identified myself as a runner, but if I am honest I have to admit that I enjoy triathlon more. However, my 7 continent marathon goal is still my primary focus. So I have to ask not just what do I enjoy more, but what will help more me towards that goal? I have 2 different options- a triathlon in September or a half marathon October. Training for the tri will help with speed and I will enter marathon training mentally and physically fresh. Half marathon training however will help me build a strong base for marathon training.

What should I do? What are you race plans for the rest of the fall?

Thursday, July 18, 2013

A no win situation

I have this situation going on with a close family member that is starting to feel hopeless. It is nothing new, but recently things have come to a head, and it isn't good. The problem is that I have already done everything I am able to do for this person. I am out of options.

image source

This is a strange, and terrible, feeling for me because I have never found myself in this situation before. In school and now in work, if I work hard enough, I do well. Running is not something that comes easily or naturally to me, but I know that if I put in the work, I can finish the race. There are of course terrible runs and terrible races, but the overall trend is one of progress. That is one of the reasons I think I like working out. I like following a strength plan and being able to lift heavier weights as the weeks go on. I like following a marathon training plan and being able to run farther each week. I like results, I like progress. 

But this is out of my hands. You can't force another person to change. And I don't like feeling helpless.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Why I Stop Reading a Blog

With the end of my beloved Google Reader and the transition to Bloglovin, I had a chance to review the blogs that I follow. I ended up not adding quite a few to Bloglovin because I realized that I skip the new posts pretty much all the time. So what is the point in having them clutter up my feed?

whomp, whomp....
I started thinking about WHY I wasn't interested in those blogs anymore and I found 3 trends.

1. The blog had changed focus. Bloggers are people and people change. It is natural. They have major life events and find new passions. Sometimes the blog takes on a new focus and it just doesn't interest me as much anymore.

2. The blog has gotten overly commercial. It is basically just about the blogger getting free stuff and doesn't have any real content anymore.

3. The blog has gotten preachy. I don't know if preachy is exactly the right word, but basically I am not a fan if it feels like the blogger is lecturing me all the time or is always trying to teach me something. I don't read blogs primarily as a method of learning or of news. I have other sources for that.

How often do you review the blogs you follow? Why have you stopped following a blog?

Thursday, July 11, 2013

100% Humidity Track Workout

I work up this morning to thick fog, 100% humidity, and a dead ipod battery. 

I knew I could face a long slow slog of a run through this humidity so I headed to a track to try out a workout I saw in Runner's World last month. 

4 x 400, 4 x 200, 4 x 100

I ran a mile to the track as a warm-up and did equal distance recovery between intervals (i.e 400 m walk/jog between 400's) and ran back home for a total of 6 miles. 

Now speed work might not be the first thing you think of when it comes to a super humid day, but it really worked for me today. 

-Since I was at the track I had access to my water and a towel without having to carry them to the whole time
-The shorter intervals made it mentally and physically easier to really push myself
-The recovery time between intervals really helped me from over-heating
-The variation in intervals kept my mind occupied so I didn't even miss my music

I was a sweaty mess by the time I got home!

What is your go-to workout when it is really humid?

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Fun Family Fitness

I will admit, I am usually pretty selfish when it comes to my workouts. It is my time and I like to be able to go as hard (or sometimes as easy) as I want to. But this past long weekend when I was at my Mom's she asked me to please help her exercise more. During her school year she is so frantically busy that she stopped exercising and now she is having a hard time getting back into it. We also had my little cousins visiting and nine year old boys have a lot of energy and want to be involved in everything. So my challenge was to think of ways to include the family in my workouts so that we all had fun and  I still got a good workout.

One morning I brought everyone with me to one of the Boothbay Land Trust's trails. I ran, my Mom and Aunt walked, and the boys did a little of both. It was a hot day, so it was nice to be on the shady trail with the ocean breeze. The trail was pretty muddy from all the recent rain, which added an extra challenge to my run, and some extra messy fun for the boys!

Oven's Mouth Trail
On the 4th of July I came up with a circuit style bootcamp. It worked well because each of the adults could work at their own pace while the boys played and then joined in for the running between rounds.

And another day I ran while my Mom and the boys biked. They were a little faster than me, so I had them stop at all the side streets and do jumping jacks until I caught up. 

I never felt like I sacrificed the quality of my workout and it was a lot of fun to include the family. 

How do you include others with different levels of fitness in your workouts?

Monday, July 8, 2013

The Most Me version of Me

I went up tp my Mom's on Southport Island for the long holiday weekend and I woke up every morning feeling so happy. I love waking up in the boathouse with the sun streaming in my window, looking out over the harbor to the sound of lobster boats and the bell buoy. As I ran down a shady dirt road one morning, I started thinking about how free and at ease I feel there. I almost feel like a different person.

pretty morning view, even at low tide

I feel like we all have different versions of ourselves. I have the work version of myself, in a suit and heels, focused and professional. I have the city version of myself, in a cute outfit at a fancy bar. I have the athlete version of my self in a tri suit at a race, competitive and intense.

I am all those things. And at different times, I like being them all. But I like being the Maine Island Girl version of myself best of all. I like being barefoot, in cut-off shorts and a tank top, with windblown hair. I like being tanned and salty from being outside all day. I like to stand in the garden and eat sun warmed strawberries from breakfast. I like to wake up early and go out in the kayak in my pajamas as the sun rises.

I like to shock all the tourists standing at the town pier by docking my boat perfectly and then making a flying leap off the boat and onto the dock. I like eating corn on the cob and lobster outside with a huge crowd of friends and family. I like knowing everyone in every car I pass on the island. I like sitting in the boathouse at night and playing guitar and singing with my family.

Do you feel like you have different versions of yourself depending on where you are or who you are with? When do you feel most like yourself?

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Accountability Tuesday: Public Shame Edition

So you know what I wanted to do today? Skip accountability Tuesday. Not mention the horrible week I had at all. Let this goal, like so many others before, slowly fade away to the place where dreams go to die.

The whole one small serving of dessert thing? Total failure this week. One night after we went to the new self-serve fro-yo place I came home and ate about 4 brownies after the BF went to work. Sunday we went up to my Mom's where some massive cookie baking for the church sale was in process. I had about 5 s'mores brownies, 5 funfetti cookies and a couple dark chocolate cookies.

I made myself get up early this morning and run 6 miles on tired legs in the pouring rain. I don't know why I have the discipline and motivation to train for marathons, but not to control what I eat. So as tempting it is not to share my failure publicly, I am not going to do it this time.

"Still Time To Change The Road You're On."  quote and map art via Etsy

As a type A personality I tend to be all or nothing. If I don't succeed immediately, I give up. But I can see now how that sabotages me. Eating 2 cookies instead of 1 isn't what I might have aimed for, but eating stopping at 2 is still better than eating 10 cookies. So I will keep the same goal of sticking to one serving, but also recognize that I will slip up. And when I do, I need to forgive myself, stop eating, and move on.