After a long trip home from California we tried to catch up on some overdue sleep. Life is busy for us right now! It is house washing season and Ryan has been making houses shine while I am still trying to master the paperwork end of a business and learn how to use photo shop to create ads and marketing material. I am also learning about web design and SEO stuff. For someone like myself who is very computer illiterate I feel very proud of slowly figuring out this digital world! I haven’t owned a television in years and can’t even figure out how to use a modern television so that gives you an idea of how behind the times I am. I am still working per diem as a dental hygienist in some very nice local offices as well as coaching some incredible ladies who will be crossing the finish line at Vulcans Fury in October! In the last 4 weeks these women have improved their fitness so much and I am impressed with their determination and ability to stick with the schedule and get their miles in! We meet once a week to run as a group and work on trail running techniques and they have a schedule that I modify as needed to keep them healthy and to slowly improve fitness. This is really the highlight of my week! It is so much fun to go running together and see huge improvements each week! I am also doing some online coaching for beginners and it is fun to help people achieve their goals and find a new hobby! On top of all of my working I am also ramping up my mileage again to get ready for Cayuga 50 miler where I hope to have a race where I can actually run instead of stopping a million times to poop or puke. I also hope I am more acclimated to the heat and don’t have to be held back by it. Leona Divide was an awesome race but my legs felt way too good on Monday when I went for my run!
On Tuesday I had a surgery to replace missing gum tissue from my mouth that I had brushed away. Being a dental hygienist I am afraid of getting cavities or having a dirty mouth so I do exactly what I tell my patients not to do-I use my toothbrush like a saw. So, I found an incredible periodontist in Belmont, NH (Dr Sharon Johnson) who used donor tissue to replace what was missing in my upper left quadrant of my mouth. I did not want to have tissue harvested from the roof of my mouth because the healing is terrible from that and she would not have been able to treat an entire quadrant. She did an incredible job of making me feel comfortable and even though it grossed me out knowing exactly what she was doing it went very well and then it was just time to start recovering. There was no running for 24 hours and there was a ton of swelling around my stitches and a lot of bruising. It was pretty sore too but not as bad as I had expected. By Wednesday afternoon I was out on easy runs with my clients and it was just a matter of dealing with the discomfort. I will spare you pictures of my mouth. I will have the stitches in for 3 weeks. If you are curious follow this link to see the surgery but it is somewhat gross to look at. I need three more of these surgeries which will be scheduled after each key race this year.
Sunday we had plans to run the Sleepy Hollow race and my only goal was to just get out there and do it. Ryan is trying to get his mountain goat status so that he can run Mount Washington next year and I was just tagging along and figured I would get a nice fast run in. We drove to Vermont on Saturday and it was so pretty in Burlington! I had never been to Burlington and could not believe how pretty it was! All of the trees were flowering and turning green and the flowers were so bright! Ryan and I had a nice visit with some friends who live up there and finally met their daughter after 2 years! It had been way too long! After a nice visit we went to another friends house and settled in for the night.
We woke up and got a nice breakfast before driving to the race. The race was Sleepy Hollow and was a mountain race. There were some fast people there and I had to turn off my race mentality and turn on the fun. I did not feel fully recovered from the week. Between Leona Divide, my surgery and lack of sleep I was just looking for a nice fast run. Ryan and I did a pre race warmup and checked out a part of the course. I wore my La Sportiva Anakonda’s, La Sportiva team jersey and Andromeda running skirt. I wore my blue sparkle Choucas Fit headband, and Julbo Dust sunglasses. I used my UltrAspire handheld bottle before the race.
We lined up at the start and I was chatting with a girl Christin that I met on my warmup run. She was super nice and it turns out super fast too! I went out just slightly ahead of her and she took me about halfway up the first climb. I tried my best to hang on and she dropped me just before the top of the climb. My legs were on fire! I thought I was recovered from last weekend and my surgery but apparently I wasn’t. My mouth hurt a bit but it was more of a nuisance than a hindrance. My legs did not want to move as effortlessly as they usually do and I could feel the burn in my entire leg. I had very labored breathing still which is very normal for me after long races. It can take me up to 2 weeks to breath normally again. As sluggish as I felt it was very easy to smile and have fun! I just love racing because there are so many people out there just having a good time! I feel like I am in the woods with hundreds of people just like me and it is great!
By the time I got to the third hill I was feeling very sluggish and walked a bit of the climb. My calves were fried so I smiled and jogged/walked my way to the top. Once I started to descend I got into a nice comfortable rhythm and finished the race. I was thrilled to finish 2nd woman! Christin was super fast and I finished about 50 seconds behind her. I am hoping to be able to run with her sometime! I also had the opportunity to meet another one of my La Sportiva teammates Josh Ferenc who was the 1st male winner. I think one of my goals is to meet everyone on the team! I am sure at some point I will!
We let Jack puppy do some swimming in the pond and he got to meet all sorts of doggies while Ryan and I chatted with so many people! It was a really fun race and the people there were great! After chatting with everyone and just enjoying the beautiful day we made the drive home to New Hampshire. It was a really fun weekend and I am looking forward to getting my pop back in my legs over the next couple of weeks! Next up: Soapstone in 2 weeks where I get to see my old Strider friends! Debbie Livingston puts on an incredible event and Ryan and I are excited to see everyone and run the race!
I want to finish by thanking my incredible sponsors La Sportiva, Choucas Hats, UltrAspire and Julbo! Your gear is just amazing and I am so proud to represent such fine companies! Thank you to Ryan for being my favorite training partner (most days! ) Thank you to my friends who run with me, chat with me and keep me sane, you are all awesome! Thank you to my Jack Puppy for always reminding me to have fun and be happy! Thank you to my coach Jack for being such a vital part of my running career, without you I would still be running my annual 50 mile race without training. It is so much more fun when I train! Thank you to Meredith for guiding me on my nutritional journey, I am learning so much and becoming healthier every day! Thank you to Acidotic for letting me be a part of their running club! Thank you to everyone who inspires me and makes my life so enjoyable! I am one lucky girl and because of all the wonderful people in my life I am truly able to stay calm and SPARKLE ON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)