Traveler Beer, Millennium Running, New England Half Marathon, October 1, 2017

4 Oct

Sunday, October 1, 2017

1:49:54, Age-grade result: 1:35:29, Age-performance %: 68.29%

Photo courtesy Millennium Running

One of my favorite races.   A point-to-point 13.1 mile course from the NH Motor Speedway in Loudon to the golden dome at NH State House in Concord.   The “rolling hills” and dirt roads in the first 10k and a long downhill stretch into Concord before beautiful finish on N. Main St.

For me these days, a half marathon isn’t really something you can just “jump” into without a bit of mileage and forethought.   Earlier this year, I wasn’t sure I could even complete the distance.   I recently had 20 ml of fluid aspirated from right knee and 15 ml from left knee, then 4 weeks of Euflexxa injections, both knees. I’m feeling super grateful to just be running right now.

Logistically, you need to think about a point-to-point and longer distance race more than just a 5K too.   Saturday, I picked up race number at Millennium Running Retail Store in Bedford.   My hamstrings have been incredibly tight, so I used gift certificate I had won towards a TriggerPoint “Grid Vibe” foam roller  and used it as soon as I got home.

New Trigger Point Foam Roller

 

Race morning, alarm went off at 5:15 – water, coffee & more foam rolling. I strategically planned parking (north) for easy in/out driving and caught the shuttlebus beside the NH State House to the NH Motor Speedway.  I used Biofreeze and Aquaphor to work on tight leg muscles during the shuttlebus ride.   Chilly morning, 2 jackets, warm Sporthill pants, throw away shirt, arm warmers, gloves.

I had never used Millennium’s bag check, but decided to for the logistics of this race. I went to the table in the tented registration area and got my bag tag and large, clear plastic bag.  I didn’t do a extensive warm-up, just some “dynamic stretching” to try to get legs loose.  Crap, right thigh muscles felt so tight, I’d have to pay attention & hope they wouldn’t seize up.

We lined up and were off. Speedy friends were out of sight early on Route 106.   I’d just run my own race, stay loose and try to get this body through it.   The miles were clicking by pretty fast. I never felt the need for any water, Gatorade, GU, etc.   I was having so much fun out there, the miles were ticking by and I didn’t want the race to end.

Having fun

Camraderie on the hills – Millennium runner, Luis Figueroa, thanked me on FaceBook afterwards “for the push …!!!”

Old Shaker Rd (dirt), having too much fun! Photo courtesy Luis

Gorgeous Millennium inflatable arches and 5k, 10K & 10 mile splits. Spectators cheering at Old Shaker Rd and Clough Pond, Loudon (3.4 m.); Flagg Rd, Loudon (4.2 m); Shaker Rd & School St, Concord (6.2 m) YAY, now on my training route!!!

I caught up to friend, Greg Audet, gutting it out after a week of being ill.  We were within view of my alpaca & cashmere goat friends at Executive Council Andru Volinsky’s house – Greg heard me yell to them: “Buck, Cody, Mike, Scooter!!!” and they answered me back!!! I think Greg got a laugh!

Alpacas: Buck, Cody, Mike & cashmere goat: Scooter! Seeing them is a reward during long runs!

I loved seeing a biking neighbor 3-4 times who gave me strength and encouragement at top of Shaker Hill.   He said he’s been seeing me out there for years and I was the smoothest runner he’d seen (exactly 24 years on those roads!)   Cute x-c girls at Shaker School water stop – one called me out by name, seeing my name on race number, it warmed my heart.   Even more fun, at 10 mile mark I saw running friend, Tim Pifer, cheering me.  Then at 11 miles, Eastman St @ Portsmouth Ave., (our awesome new roundabout) high fives from Dana Breeden and John Mortimer himself.

I couldn’t get over my body’s ability to keep it going, no issues, so I was getting ready to plan a strong finish.   Strategically, I love the “danger” of moving up a few places on the pedestrian bridge over Merrimack River.  The little bridge is narrow & moves a bit high above the River. “Go, Sarah, visualize finishing strong at 28 marathons (15 Boston Qualifiers), you know what to do body.”  Another fun x-c girls water stop & (I think) live radio broadcast new Delta Dental.

Would the “final hill” up to highway & North Main tighten me?  Keep loose, keep passing.  The beautiful straightaway – downtown Main Street, paying attention to form – Amber, then Eric Eastman yelled out to me, that fabulous, huge black & white inflatable finish arch, timing clock, announcer WMUR Sports Director Jamie Staton’s generously kind, enthusiastic shout out, fantastic as always!! Keep form, finish strong and done!!!   Woooooo!!!!! What a feeling!!!

Towards finish line

Received my medal, water and kept moving, the post race endorphins felt super.   Pretty seamlessly picked up my bag a gear check, had a few photos with friends. Main Street was buzzing with fun!

WMUR Sports Director Jamie Staton and Millennium Running Owner & Founder, John Mortimer, both do a fantastic job!!!

Complimentary Stonyfield yogurt products, Powerade, Muscle Milk bars & drink, American Flat Bread Pizza with portable wood fired oven. There was a great live band, tents with give-aways (new toothbrush, little toothpaste, floss, spike bag, white Wayfarer style sunglasses for a co-worker friend!) Apples, bananas, string cheese.

Knees held up! Both aspirated & 4 weeks of Euflexxa injections

Checking in with friends how their races went.  I checked results on the screens at timing trailer and was thrilled for a top 5 finish in such a competitive field!!  I’d hoped for top 8-10 out there today.

With Millennium Running friend, Eric

Sponsor Traveler Beer was doing promotions, so I posed for a photo with a fake mustache.

Traveler Promotion with ‘stache

The reps said that in a few minutes they were going over to The Crazy Goat, promoting Traveler, with complimentary beer pint glasses, etc, and suggested I go over.   I gently stretched in front of The Crazy Goat (love the name) and heard that Margaritas Mexican Restaurant (the other post-race spot) was packed.

Cool swag: high quality fleece jacket!! Medals and Traveler Beer New England Half glass post-race from The Crazy Goat!! Love it!

My stomach didn’t feel up to eating or drinking anything more than water so I headed home for 2 NUUN electrolyte tablets x 32 oz water…  and an ICE BATH!!! Yes!!! The old routine!!  Everything I could do to aid postrace recovery.  Later, compression socks, taking it easy (at least easy for me), did some grocery shopping & when I finally got hungry, put together a really healthy post-race celebration meal.   Plus fresh tuna. Massage the next day.

Postrace kick of anti-inflammation: fresh garlic, Vidalia onion, turmeric, zucchini, summer squash, rainbow chard greens, 5 varieties of my own homegrown tomatoes, my fresh grown parsley & Greek oregano, asparagus & green beans = YUM!!!

I feel so fortunate and grateful, it could not have been a better day. Living the dream!!

 

Long run friend, Jim, texted this photo early race morning

 

Points Chase Standings, as of Traveler Beer New England Half Marathon, updated and emailed to us the next day.   Hanging in there!

Points Chase F50-59.fw

Points Chase Standings F50-59. Still doing well in standings with great ladies

 

 

 

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Northeast Delta Dental Halfway to St. Patrick’s Day 5k & 10k, 9/10/2017

3 Oct

Sunday, September 10, 2017 10:15 start.  The Wild Rover, Manchester, NH

PODIUM DAY!!!! 1/93 YAY!!   23:07 (different course from last year) “kick time” 6:05/mile

9th female, 29th overall

 

Bagpipes & kilts. Photo courtesy Millennium Running

Northeast Delta Dental Halfway to St. Patrick’s Day 5k & 10k.   My 4th time racing this event.    2016 and 2015 race write-ups.  Another fantastic event by Millennium Running and John Mortimer, who keeps raising the bar of excellence.

Race Start! 1000+ runners take over Elm Street! I’m about 4 rows back, on left of shot, red & black Whirlaway uniform

The starting line, Elm Street, downtown Manchester is in front of where I used to work at Federal Court.   For 23 years I worked in downtown Manchester and covered many lunchtime miles & races there.   I love when they shut down Elm Street for runners!!!  Both 5k and 10k races started together with 511 runners for 5K and 513 for 10K = 1024 runners!!! Wow!!

I did a pretty good warm up, strides & dynamic stretching on Elm Street.  The start was nicely done with mayor Ted Gatsas and an impromptu crowd rendition of the national anthem.

The gun fired and we were off.   I told myself to run my own race.  Up North Elm to the uphill right hand turn and trying to keep strong.  My pace picked up as I got in the groove.  I tried to stay strong and push, push, push!!  5k’s are “uncomfortable”

Familiar with the course, I kept looking for the Bridge Street light and right hand turn.  Keep it together, be strong, form, focus.   I had it in me to throw in a powerful kick for the finish line – here was my chance, time to FLY!!!!  Gorgeous sight, the black & white inflatable Millennium finish arch & the timing clock.  Fabulous hearing my name announced by WMUR Sports Director Jamie Staton’s generous shout out – fantastic!!   Woooo!!!!  Over the line, whew!!!!

 

Photographer caught me with both feet off the ground. Millennium clocked my “kick time” here at 6:05/mile

 

There was no line for results screen at timing trailer, so I quickly looked and found out, what?!?!?!  1st AG!!!  Over the moon thrilled!!!  Unreal!!  No way?!?!  Through luck, I managed an Age Group win!!  They don’t come often for me and I deeply savor and cherish them.  There’s no feeling like striving at running (almost 40 years) and getting something like that- wow, amazing!!! Living the dream for sure!!!  I feel so grateful.

There was a lot of fun going on post-race.  I gave my beer ticket to Greg Audet and did a 20 minute warm-down.

Post-race celebration. Photo courtesy Millennium Running.

 

When I returned, chatted with runners.  There was complimentary Rustic Crust Flatbread pizza, Stonyfield Yogurt, PowerAde, fruit, plus booths and entertainment at Wild Rover’s Celtic Festival.

Music, bagpipes, Irish dancing.  Extras from Millennium included free digital photos emailed to us, finisher video, stainless steel drinking mug.

Very fortunate day! Podium, 1/93 AG! Hard to see in photo – Guinness award glass in engraved “Delta Dental Halfway to St. Patty’s Day 5k”

Friends Eric Eastman and Greg Audet

Friend, Greg Audet and finish line

 

Very fortunate day. One to cherish for a long time! 1/93 AG. These don’t come often or easily!

 

Points Chase Standings F50-59

Points Chase status, all females. Very grateful to be on list with these fast ladies

CRAFT Sportswear, Millennium Running NH 10 Miler – August 26, 2017

1 Sep

Lake Massabesic, Manchester

Podium Day 2/78 AG !!  Wooo!!!

Race capped at 1,200 runners

Photo courtesy Millennium Running, Lake Massabesic

This was my 4th NH 10 Miler, having run previously in 2011, 2015 and 2016.   It has been a mental adjustment to go back after the 2011 race because back then (1:10:01, 7:01 pace, which was a 10 mile PR by 4:49 minutes!) was so speedy.  I’ve been working to find a “new normal” with my pace, miles, injuries and find new ways to enjoy it and not get jammed up comparing my times to back then.   I am finding a ton of enjoyment in the new AG, but know it is fleeting since I am a “young” AGer and soon the younger AG runners will age up too.   Hopefully Millennium will consider 5 year age groups to help us!!

This year was a 8:00 a.m. start, so set alarms for 5:00 Saturday a.m., taped my feet (posterior tibial tendinitis) the night before.  Smoothly arrived at Lakeside Lanes, Candia Road parking lot by 6:56 a.m.  The temperature was chilly enough to wear a jacket & gloves before the race!   Tremendous contrast to last year when race was hot.   Visited with friends, some pre-race nerves.

Before the race with celebrity announcer, WMUR TV Sports Anchor Jamie Staton!!

Approximately 4 weeks ago, NH Orthopaedics Center aspirated 20 ml from my right knee & 15 ml from left knee (great for movement, I can crouch down like a kid picking berries!) and I’m partway through series of Euflexxa injections in both knees.

Euflexxa goes here in knees

My “mechanics” feel different, plus I am running very little, so I just hoped to treat the race like a long run, do my best & have fun.

We lined up and WMUR-TV Sports Director, Jamie Staton, kindly let me leave my jacket with him.   The gun fired and we took off.   The course encircles Lake Massabesic in a clock-wise direction with the start and finish located at the Lake Massabesic parking lot . . . and some challenging hills.

Lake Massabesic on right, gloves & singlet on August mornng

I did not end up taking water (or Gummi Bears!) but awesome to have so much available out there.   John Mortimer and Millennium Running crew do such a great job.

The relay was also underway with Andy Schachat announcing at ½ mark!   At that point I was finally able to catch up to friend Greg Audet.   The hills were just as challenging as I remembered, but a lot of camaraderie tackling them.   Another female & I worked together up and over the last hill, but my calves were spasming on the final mile downhill.

Lake Massabesic on right

I kept my gloves (with Whirlaway singlet & shorts) until just about the end, ditching them near veteran runner Lucien Trudeau.   With my calves ready to seize up, my “kick” was abbreviated.   Still wanting to finish strong, my form must have been rough because just before the final turn into the parking lot, John Mortimer yelled to me & asked if I was OK.  Absolutely man!!

Rounding to the final straightway, finish line in sight & hearing a fabulous shout-out from WMUR’s Jamie Staton!!!   Seeing the clock coming into view, the whole feeling is extraordinary as I crossed the line, stopped my watch and felt a little emotional to get through so successfully. My knees, lack of training, mental struggle – dang, I got through another, wow!!!!!  I was handed my medal and kept moving.

Finish Line!! Feet low, don’t seize up calves

The results were right there and the line was short.  Those screens on the timing trailer (and cool results printer kiosks) gave me a ridiculously overwhelming surprise!!!  WOW, podium!?!!  No way?!?!?!  I was so fortunate and hugely grateful for a podium day!!!   2/78 AG.   Holy freaking cow, truly such a gift – adding to the extraordinariness of the day!!!  Wow!!!!  Very unexpected and so thankful for all the great fortune, great people and circumstances in my life – totally “living the dream”

Podium Day 2/78, with superspeedy Pat Bourgault

Post race food included Rustic Crust Flatbread Company; YASSO Frozen Greek Yogurt bars “Dessert With Benefits” (100 calorie toffee caramel chocolate chip);  Stonyfield Yogurt, Organic Fruit, Dasani Water, Gatorade.   We received quality shirts from race sponsor CRAFT Sportswear.  Also, frozen CryoMAX ice packs right at the finish line – popped one on calf!   “Scientifically Proven to be the Longest Lasting Pack, up to 8 hours 36-40 degrees”

Podium Day!! Mason jar award glasses, gift certificate for Millennium Retail Store, CRAFT shirt, finisher medal

Even more extras including, awesome free digital photos & finisher video a few days after the race.   John Mortimer and the Millennium crew think of everything!  They even emailed us the day prior to the race to remind us to get there early for parking.

1:23:33, AG 68.90%, PODIUM DAY!!!!! YAY 2/78

Points Standings were calculated I am so excited to be doing well, which keeps me feeling very motivated!!

 

Celebrating with Award Glass!! Fresh squeezed lime; lemon-lime seltzer; dash of Diet Polar Orange

Cleome “White Queen”

27 Jul

For my “White/Chartreuse Moon Garden,” I searched all over the area for the tall Cleome, “White Queen”.

Cleome hassleriana White Queen

“Clusters of large white blooms show off against the dark green leaves below and add sparkle to every other color in the garden.  This beauty blooms without pause, beginning in late June here and continuing until frost.  It produces large, globe-shaped flower heads composed of amazingly delicate, spidery blooms.  It is tough and vigorous, smiling through heat and drought in every corner of the country.  It can be used as a backbone plant in a mixed border, and is a constant companion in the cottage garden.”  (Quote from White Flower Farm)

Cleome “White Queen”

 

White Queen was an important part of my Moon Garden last summer.  For this year’s garden, I started looking in May.  I tried 5-6 sources, but couldn’t get my hands on any.

Then crazy luck.  I think it was July 4th holiday weekend.  Driving around, late afternoon stop at a garden center to peruse their nearly sold out annual rack.  One unlabeled 6 pack, bone dry, nondescript, almost weedy appearance.

I recognized the structure and leaves as tall cleome.  Studying it really closely, one tiny solitary bud looked white.  The other tiniest buds in the 6 pack looked pink & violet.   I figured it was a Queen Mix and hopefully had at least one white cleome!   Fingers crossed, this would be too good crazy luck.  I had to take home this incredibly far flung, promising, unlabeled, neglectedly dry 6-pack.

Immediate water to help them & consider locations for potential pink/violet colors I don’t need in White/Chartreuse Moon Garden.   Popped in the ground and within a few days, grew taller and stronger and revealed, yes. . . guess what?!?!  YES, score!   One white tall cleome, here she is, 4 times the size when I found her.

Growing strong

If you look closely at the ground in above photo, you can see the additional twist to the story.    In the bit of space I cleared to plant her, same as last year,  I noticed the tiniest green sprouts in the area.   As days passed and White Queen got stronger, I watched the tiny sprouts nearby developing tiny leaves the similar shape as bigger White Queen.   Hey, wait a second… this could be really amusing.   I gave the tiny spouts some water, diluted fertilizer and watched.   Days went by and I was curious if all the sprouts would crowd each other out or be too weak.   Last fall, when the Cleome flowers were done and I put the garden to bed for winter, I noticed some dried seed pods opened.   Similarly, I took all the seed pods I could find and also sprinkled them like nature would do.  These seedlings were going to be tall white cleome!  The tiny seeds had unexpectedly sprouted.

Self-seeded Cleome getting taller and even flowering

A month ago I barely had ONE white cleome, now these little ones appeared from last year’s seeds.   Lots of them!   Over the weekend I marveled at the appearance of one, only 1/5th height of the big one and already flowering.  (little one is lower right corner)

White Queen cleome (center) with little self-seeded White Queens (left & right) and lower right, one already showing flowers!

close-up of self seeded Cleome flowering (quickly!)

 

Enterprise Bank Boot Scootin’ Boogie 5k and Brewfest Music Festival, July 15, 2017

20 Jul

Londonderry Athletic Field Association Complex

Podium day,  1/111 AG

6:30 PM race start

Boot Scoot Ready!

Bonfire, beer tasting, concert, mechanical bull, 16 breweries, 1400 people! Millennium Running continues to expand on the fun!

My third consecutive year competing at this race and like last year, grabbed a black Dunkin’ Dark Roast iced coffee on the way, hoping for some energy. YUM!!!   Concerned because I’ve been dealing with heel pain the past month and Thursday before the race, I even had to stop my run because it was so painful… no expectations, wondering about the pain to gut through a race… at least it isn’t marathon distance. (At podiatrist appt 2 days post-race, heel x -rays and ultrasound showed I have a calcaneus bone bruise – ouch!!!  “a bone bruise can be described as a stage before the fracture”)

Superfast friend Pat Bourgault was racing (2nd race of the day) plus a very large field of competitors… gulp… extra daunting.   Picked up my race number, singlet, wrist band, tasting glass (5 oz) for the Brewfest and walked back to the car for some banana & warm up.   The start line was located differently from last 2 years.   We lined up in the start corral for the national anthem, nervous anticipation, the gun fired and we were off!!!!   After we got to the bottom of the first hill, right on Mammoth Road (128) I tried to not let a few friends get too far ahead of me.   Greg, Ellen and Pat are all so fast.   We looped into the residential neighborhoods where we were cheered on and I tried to keep pushing . . . keep it together. . . I didn’t have too much extra, just hang on.   I think Violent Femmes (alternative rock 1980s) were on the iPod Shuffle.   Hoping for the next mile marker, keep hanging on.   I tried to keep Pat in reach, she is such a strong, fast, tough competitor.

Back out on the main road for uphill climb towards the school (Millennium Mile start).   When you’re in race mode, roads seem extra long and steep . . . focus on form, nothing to set off right heel.   Mammoth Road hill, up, up, up – then right on Sergeant for some more uphill . . . focusing, go, go, go!

Coming towards finish line

Yay, I could hear announcer Andy Schachat’s voice coming towards finish line.   Anything left I could find, kick with it. . . . go, go, go, strong finish . . . I rounded the final left, the finish arch will be soon, kick it super strong . . . finish clock in view and hearing Andy Schachat’s super generous, complimentary shout out “Sarah Prescott, future NH Hall of Famer” makes me feel so rewarded. . . over the line!!! WHEW!!!!

Kept walking, moving for a bit.   WOW, WOW, WOW!!!!   Somehow I got it done and I am ridiculously grateful.   I tried to drink some water and check in with friends, then see how I did at the instant results on TV screen mounted on Millennium Running Timing Trailer. What?!?!? When I saw the “1” in division, it seemed too good to be true!!!  No way!?!?!  Unbelievably fortunate for how it came together.   Truly a gift I’ll savor for long, long time – a podium day is never ever taken for granted.   Dang, holy cow.

Trying to slow down, I picked up a sample of flatbread pizza just out of the fire  http://www.americanflatbreadproducts.com/revolution/ I love watching the wood fired oven and the philosophy of American Flatbread.   I also grabbed a spike bag from sponsor Enterprise Bank (needed one!)

American flatbread pizza. Flatbread pizza oven!!! YUM!!! Loved the Revolution: caramelized onions, mushrooms, blend of fine cheeses and herbs.

Pat and I picked up our awesome cow bell awards!! FUN!!! LOVE them!!!!   Millennium Running is always thinking, perfect tie-in to the event!!!   We also were awarded Millennium Retail Store gift certificates.

With Pat Bourgault and awesome cowbell awards!!! FUN!!

Trying to take it all in, savoring the night, so much good stuff at once . . . awesomeness all around.   My heel gave such an incredible effort and hurt as Pat and I walked the half mile back to the school parking lot.   I totally wanted to see the bonfire, but walking or putting weight on my heel was rough, dang.   What would my coaching advisor do?  Put ice on it, don’t delay.   (At least I got to see “the Northeast’s largest contained fire” bonfire the two prior years!)

On the ride north, I quickly picked up celebratory raw tuna and got home by 9:00 for some asparagus, zucchini/tomato/ fresh herbs/garlic/onion celebration dinner and recounting the events.

Cowbell award, tasting glass

I feel incredibly blessed . . . totally fortunate & living the dream!!!

Singlet, tasting glass, cowbell & gift certificate awards. Millennium does an incredible job!

23:25  Age Graded 71.32%, AG Time: 20:42

Unexpected, lucky Podium Day. . . cherish & savor

Tomatoes with potato leaves?!? Brandy Sweet Plum (BSP)

5 Jul

Yup!!  Brandy Sweet Plum, one of the cherry tomato varieties I grew last year and again this year has potato leaves!  They look really interestingly cool, potato  leaf tomato !!  Photos of my BSP on July 4, 2017.

Brandy Sweet Plum, potato leaf!

 

From Wikipedia: 

Potato leaf (PL) is one of two major types of leaves which tomato plants exhibit. The other type is referred to as “regular leaf” (RL).   Simply stated, potato leaf tomato plants have a smooth leaf edge[1] when compared with the serrated edge of the regular leaf.   The shape is oval and may feature notches separating large lobes.[1] Its color is dark green.[1]

Brandy Sweet Plum – the fruit will be pink when ripe.  Fascinating how the flowers become orbs

Tomatoes and potatoes are both nightshade vegetables… “as they are cousins, more or less, they share some of the same traits, including similar foliage. Leaf color and size can vary with each variety of tomato and is influenced by climate, nutrients and growing methods.  At the end of the day, potato leaf tomatoes can be chalked up to just one of nature’s curious quirks, a good one that allows for further varieties of tomato to be grown even if just for fun.”

Brandy Sweet Plum, lots of fruit coming – hang in there little ones!

 

Description:  BSP   “AKA Brandysweet Plum.   Seeds sent to Gary Ibsen for TomatoFest seed trials via Kenneth Cook from N.H., from Neil Lockhart  and from Gaza Korbely from Hungary.   This is a wonderful indeterminate, open-pollinated, compact, potato leaf, tomato variety that was an accidental cross between Brandywine and Sweet 100, yielding abundant crops of 2 oz., jade-pink, elongated cherry fruit with the rich, complex flavors of Brandywine combined with the pronounced sweetness of Sweet 100.   I’ve been told that it is difficult for these cherry tomatoes to make it out of the garden and into the kitchen because of their superb taste.   A great snackin’ and salad tomato.”

Growing, growing – what are you?!?

5 Jul

Of the 7 cherry tomato plants, the fruit on one has been way in the lead.   Hmm, the fruit is supposed to be 1″ ripe… these guys are looking like monsters!!  What’s going on?!  These are not looking like cherry tomatoes – this is curious…

Looking bigger than a cherry tomato!

Yesterday, I looked closely at the name tag – what I thought was a chocolate  cherry –  then looked closer, hidden deeper in the soil… the rest of the name… what?!?!  I’m not imagining their difference from the cherry tomatoes, the name revealed this is actually a beefsteak heirloom chocolate Cherokee.   No wonder these look different!!!   Rather than 1″ little cherry tomatoes, these are reported to be 3-4″ (although one post said “as large as grapefruit”) 10-14 oz.  I had wanted to try something different this year – OK, this will be fun!  Can’t wait to try them!!

chocolate cher… rest of the name tag – that explains the monster size!

Description of Chocolate Cherokee:  A stabilized version of Cherokee Purple. Craig LeHoullier stabilized this rogue heirloom in 1995, originating from the popular old heirloom from Tennessee, Cherokee Purple. Big, sprawling vigorous plants that yield 3-4-inch, 10-14 oz., mahogany-colored beefsteak tomatoes. Cherokee Chocolate has developed a great following among celebrity chefs because of its exceptionally rich, complex, tomato flavors and wonderful chocolaty appearance.

Immediate Care RibFest, 5 Miler, Millennium Running.

21 Jun

RibFest, 5 Miler, Merrimack, NH. USATF New England 5 Mile Championship.   June 18, 2017

RibFest Banner

My fourth year competing at this race!! Bib #4, Cool!! Link to 2016 race report (blog)

So much awesomeness. Whirlaway teammates, USATF NE friends, Millennium Series friends!! Congratulations to everyone who raced!

Chosen as the 5 mile USATF Grand Prix Championship, RibFest welcomed New England’s top elite runners… even beyond my anticipation.  Wow.

Over 30 Whirlaway runners and we posed for a Whirlaway team photo.   I did a few strides and lined up with some younger Whirly girls.   Bit of an uphill at the start, then north on Daniel Webster Hwy.   I worked with friends Greg Audet and Ellen Raffio, entered the turn-around at Horseshoe Pond and got to see the lead pack and how things were playing out for racers in front of me.   Longtime teammate and friend, Karen Durante, pulled ahead and friend Eric Eastman was near me as we began return south to towards the brewery/finish.

Photo courtesy Krissy Kozlosky

Kept realistic/low expectations.   Spectacularly speedy Whirlaway teammate/friends in Age Group, Tina Dowling and Holly Madden were there, and even Mimi Fallon was racing Sunday.   Translation, I was not sure I’d finish in top 10 for USATF-NE AG.   Just run my own race.   Cherish the opportunity to be able to do this.   Last year at RibFest, I went out too fast, so with that on my mind and knowing the incredible depth of the competition, I had different goals for the race… hold steady, no pressure.   I never shifted out of that gear.   Coach Kazanjian yelled to me to finish strong as I rounded the turn towards downhill finish.   Around the corner to straightaway and announcer Andy Schacht gave me a generous, kind shout out as I approached the finish line.   Phew, done!!

Teammates gathered, great stuff… keep moving/stretching… we were all too sweaty for hugs.   After watching WRT teammate Ruben Sanca’s prerace warm-up; the whoosh from lead packers doing prerace strides; Jen Mortimer’s description of the men’s finish and the female winner (course record); runners who doubled with Mt Washington Saturday, Ribfest Sunday; Millennium Series friends… tried to take it all in, being in the presence of so many extraordinary runners, front of the pack to the end.    We’re all out there, doing it, covering the same distance, same humidity, everyone overcoming challenges.

John Mortimer, Jen Mortimer and Millennium crew never cease to impress by putting on another outstanding event.   From the attention to detail, extras, TV celebrity Jamie Staton and Andy Schachat’s professional announcing; instant, personalized results at finish line on 2 flat screen TV’s mounted on the Millennium Running Timing Trailer.   Personalized results texted/emailed to pre-registrants.   Free digital race photos.   Start/finish was near historic Anheuser-Busch’s Clydesdale Hamlet.   Got to see the Clydesdales and some huge hosta!

Clydesdales (stock photo)  and about them

Amenities included free Pizza (Rustic Crust), Yogurt (Stonyfield Organic), PowerAde and Dasani Water (Coca Cola), Muscle Milk.   Tech shirt, two (2) beer tickets, early entry to Ribfest.   The Ribfest event described as “… enjoy the best barbecue in New Hampshire with music and entertainment! New England’s premier family event.  Vendors with ribs, pulled pork, burgers, hot dogs, ice cream, cotton candy”

pre-race aroma of fried dough and BBQ

Quote from friend & teammate Holly Madden, “Ribs were smokin’ at the Humidfest (Ribfest 5 mile) in the thick muggy air, but the WRT ladies did very well.   Master’s team win, 50+ team win, and an excellent performance by Karen Durante in the 60 (but doesn’t look it)+ division”

Cool, number 4!!! 4th year competing at RibFest. BBQ tool from last RibFest

On the ride north, I stopped to see both Dads for Father’s Day – cards – visiting.   Grabbed some celebratory Ahi tuna for later.   Checking race results later at home, I actually did make the top 10 for USATF-NE AG!! Wooooo 6th!!   Definitely a spectacularly fantastic surprise.

Age Grade % 70.59

Whirlaway Women 1st!!

 

05.07.2017 Millennium Running, Members First Credit Union – Cinco de Miles

10 May

May 7, 2017, Millennium Running, Members First Credit Union – Cinco de Miles.   The race sold out, 2000 runners were expected.

Very grateful for a podium day!!!   2/215 AG      73.05% age grade     23:12

Cinco de Miles

Saturday, I drove the course & picked up number at Millennium retail store.   I eyed some cool Oofos “recovery” sandals at the store… OOlala. They were motivation to race hard and hope for a podium placement for a Millennium gift certificate towards buying them!

My third Cinco de Miles and this year a new course, started at Bedford High School, finishing at Shorty’s Mexican Roadhouse.   The roads reminded me of racing USATF-NE 20K and 12K Championship races.   9:30 a.m. start.   Perfect racing weather and gorgeous time of year, chartreuse and lots blooming.   Still taping both feet for posterior tibial tendinitis, not much training, no speed workouts – no expectations.   Warming up on the track, ahhhh, I’ve felt this fantastic track before!

I haven’t raced with my shuffle in a while, but it worked out well.   Lined up with my friends a few rows back for a few fist bumps, national anthem, and unexpected sprint by Mort to the lead vehicle, and we were off!!!    Down the hill & right.     The course support was super, hearing the marching band, football team water stop, cheerleaders.   Right turn onto Wallace and anticipating the incline which somehow didn’t feel as taxing as I expected – maybe I went out properly.   Seeing the right turn onto 101, here it comes, then I tried a hard kick for final turn but got jammed behind some dude – dang!!!!   Go with whatever I can and over the finish line!!! Fabulous hearing a shout-out from professional announcer Andy Schachat!!

Some post-run stretching and to Millennium’s timing trailer TV screens to see holy cow, yay, a podium day!!!! 2/215!!!!    I am very, very lucky being young in my age group right now – totally cherishing it!!    Woooo, the Millennium gift certificate for an award, yes!!!   Can’t wait to get those Oofos recovery sandals at the Millennium store… are they open yet?!?!   Which color should I get?!?!?   The hard effort towards winning them makes it even sweeter!!   Plus, a Millennium Running margarita glass to celebrate!  The following Saturday, I also received a Shorty’s gift card – wow

Up some pretty steps behind the restaurant was a beautiful grassy area with a patio, outdoor seating and the bartender trying to entice me with a margarita.   The live band starting to rock.

Race numbers, 1/4 zip up long sleeve tech shirt (my 3rd Cinco! Each a different color)

Millennium Running gave us ¼ zip up long sleeve tech shirt, womens size!   Plus two (2) tear off drink tickets, one for Corona beer and one Don Julio Margarita!   Rustic crust flatbread pizza, Stonyfield yogurt, Muscle Milk.   John Mortimer and Millennium crew does a super job with the attention to detail, professionalism, innovative ideas.   Chatted with Jen Mortimer and walked back to the high school for car with Dave Audet, lamenting the challenge to motivate ourselves to train sometimes.   I’m so thankful for the opportunity to do this and the fabulous positive friends, health, experiences & overcoming challenges.

Very grateful for Podium Day

I phoned my dad at the hospital before the race, he’d been here in Bedford for some of my races over the years.   After the race I stopped by the hospital, still in my Whirlaway uniform, race number, sunglasses, podium jacket, and he wanted to hear how my race went & tell the doctor about the races I’d done.    After that, I put in 5 hours of gardening/yardwork (we have a team “activity challenge” at work – me, competitive?!)   Finally settling down around 8:30 after a fabulous day… living the dream

1/4 zip up long sleeve tech shirt (womens size!) Award, Oofos, celebrate!!

 

Oofos running recovery sandals!! Motivated me to race a bit harder!! Women’s OOlala Sandal

 

New Oofos Women’s OOlala Sandal

 

Not my best shot, weird leg angle

 


llennium

Apple Therapy + Derry Sports & Rehab Millennium Mile, Jan 1, 2017

9 Jan

 

My third consecutive Millennium Mile

My third consecutive Millennium Mile

Millennium Mile

Named one of America’s ‘7 Must Do- One Mile Races’ in America by competitor.com

3/100 PODIUM DAY! A second faster than last year !!

I am feeling very grateful and extra fortunate for a “podium day” against such speedy women!  Also, incredibly blessed for friends, fun and being part!

Thanks Apple Therapy Services for being a race sponsor and getting me through injuries.

This was my third consecutive year racing Millennium Mile.   Even though temperature was around 40, decided to not wear shorts due to the wind.  I picked up my race number, did a brief warm up along the course, had some banana… got up to the line early enough to do some strides.

Another runner doing strides near me was shirtless!   Beautifully done National Anthem and the anticipation… getting prepared and we were off! I love seeing the ¼ mile markers and when the course goes slightly downhill… saw Dave Audet, but couldn’t pass him.   It’s so cool when you start being able to hear announcer Andy Schachat’s voice as you approach the finish line. It’s fabulous to know that you don’t have far until the finish line – plus Andy’s calling out how many seconds left to break a 4:00 minute mile, 5:00 minute, 6:00 minute, 7:00 minute, etc.  The “built in” warm down is back to the start and it’s fun to encourage other runners who are still on the course.

With WMUR Sports Director Jamie Staton

With WMUR Sports Director Jamie Staton

 

With Pat Bourgault

With Pat Bourgault

 

Podium Day with Pat Bourgault

Podium Day with Pat Bourgault

Great quality hats, 3rd in AG gift certificate & Pilsner glass

Great quality hats, 3rd in AG gift certificate & Pilsner glass

 

Podium Days are always appreciated !

Podium Days are always appreciated !

 

Results     Podium day!   3rd in AG  3/100     6:15   (one second faster than last year)

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