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CMC Athlete of the Month

12 Dec

Fabulous and unexpected honor.   The link is here:

CMC Athlete of the Month: November 2017

Sarah Prescott

Sarah Prescott of Concord, NH has been named the CMC Athlete of the Month for November. Beginning in October 2014, Sarah has put together a streak of 50 straight Northeast Delta Dental Millennium Points Chase Series races! Sarah’s stretch is impressive enough, but it’s her grace and speed that take her to the next level. Always with a smile, Sarah consistently places in the top of her division. In fact, she is currently leading the points chase for her age group! Running an impressive 24:17.3 at the Penmen for Patriots 5k (finishing first in her division), Sarah followed-up the next day by finishing the Manchester City Half-Marathon in under 2 hours. Consistent as always, Sarah ran 24:24.1 to finish off a great month at the Fisher Cats Thanksgiving 5k. What a month, what a streak, what an awesome person! Make sure to congratulate Sarah at your next Millennium Running event, we have confidence she’ll be there! Way to go Sarah!

 

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BASC Santa Claus Shuffle, December 2, 2017

6 Dec

2/172 in AG, Age Grade time 18:60, 73%  (22:20)

20th “podium” in this AG

2017 Northeast Delta Dental Points Chase, Millennium Running Series Race #16 of 17 races

 

Visit with super fast Santa, friend Eric Eastman

Saturday afternoon, 3:15, Elm Street, downtown Manchester.   Imagine 1700 Santas all racing through the center of Manchester… crowds, parade participants & even floats ready to follow the race!!!  Mayor, music, great weather!!

The race expo was in Radisson hotel and I enjoyed seeing the Apple Therapy table and even got to use an awesome Trigger Point Grid roller and chat about Euflexxa knee injections.   Also, Orange Theory had drawstring spike bags for us too!

 

Millennium Running founder, John Mortimer!! The suit is a hoot!!

John Mortimer’s holiday suit was such a hoot!!  I enjoyed chatting with Ellen Raffio during warm-up.  The race venue,  start and finish line inflatable black & white arch are so professional and exciting.   Pre-race nerves.   Checking in with friends, some of us attempting to do the entire series of 17 races!!  Runners are such a great, supportive, positive, upbeat group.   Munched on some banana, put on warm gloves & hand warmers and prepared to line up.   I love the countdown clock to race start, brilliant!!   Millennium Running is always incredibly professional and top rate, John Mortimer and the Millennium crew do it right and always impress me.

Live national anthem, mayor, filmed for WMUR TV, a sea of 1700 red suited Santas ready to fly down Elm Street!!  We were off!!   Having fun, keep it going!   I saw friend, Greg Audet, ahead.   Since it is an out & back course, John Mortimer and the lead vehicle shouted out & cheered us, there were the male & female leaders!!

Through the neighborhood loop and back on Elm Street to see all the other runners too!  Fun seeing parade floats, firefighters ready for the parade, kids lining the course.  Bridge Street intersection, Hanover Street, keep it going… stay strong… looking for that finish line, keep strong!!  I could hear announcer Andy Schachat and I pushed closer towards the finish line and timing clock coming into view. 

Andy gave an awesomely generous, enthusiastic & kind shout out, “the iconic and legendary Sarah Prescott running again to the finish line of a Millennium event!!!” I came in and over the line, whew!  Wooooooo!!!  Done!!!  (finish video, I’m around 6:35)

Superfast friend Pat Bourgault was ahead of me and said hello.  I grabbed a water and circled back to my car for a jacket, saw Dave Audet, Bud… Portland Pie Pizza, organic fruit, Muscle Milk Bars, Stonyfield Yogurt… I offered Beth Connolly my beer ticket.  I stopped by the results timing trailer before the line got too long and hugely grateful for a Podium Day!!

Very grateful for a “Podium Day” it never gets old… cherishing being able to do this with friends & fun!!  2/172 in AG

Very, very cool to see that on the screen.  I feel very lucky right now and I know my luck will run out quickly, so cherishing it tremendously.  And today, if I figured correctly, this was 20th “Podium Day” since I aged up to this Age Group.  It’s a big deal for me… never gets old… I feel very, very grateful to experience it.  

Dave Audet must have a room devoted to awards!

 

BASC Santa Shuffle, bib, award, new Whirlaway singlet

 

I need to remind myself not to get so jammed up my “time” and remember some of the awesome advice from Jonathan Beverly’s book, Run Strong, Stay Hungry – read, reread, repeat…  

 

Fisher Cats Thanksgiving 5k, November 23, 2017

5 Dec

50th consecutive Millennium Points Chase race

6/179 in AG, Age Grade time 21:07, 68.18%

My 4th Fisher Cats Thanksgiving race and I always think back to my first, when we had a snowstorm the night before… the course changed and I didn’t have electricity at home for a couple days.   Brrrrr, that was a test, requiring some inner “Sisu” (“Sisu is a Finnish concept and cultural construct that is described through a combination of various English terms including stoic determination, grit, bravery, resilience, and hardiness and is held by Finns themselves to express their national character”)    2015 Race report 

  2016 Race report  

Even a bit for 2014 Race, as part of this write-up

I love ball park stadium start/finishes!! This Northeast Delta Dental Stadium venue is always a blast.  WMUR Sports Director Jamie Staton was announcing, always awesome too.

Love the ballpark start & finish, jumbotron!!

The Union Leader reported 2,300 pre-registered runners! 

Wow, what a huge & also a very highly competitive field of the best runners.   Nacho Hernando came from NY for the win, and my age group was stacked with incredible athletes!!  Wow!!!  

I enjoyed seeing so many friends – runners are a great group – and come together to support one another, encourage each others to be the best possible version of ourselves.  There is strength within us all, racing is a challenge and that reminds us of our strength which is in us.   Summoning mental toughness, persistence, hanging in there.  Perseverance and grit.   I was feeling challenged for sure… not just by racing… the holidays, family, being down on myself, trouble seeing the “fun” or the silver lining… which sometimes takes a bit more effort.     

Millennium Running founder John Mortimer, keeping it fun!

Enough whining!  Awesome to be familiar with the course and push through the miles.   There was some headwind on the way out, keep strong, feeling the cold air in the lungs, keep strong.   Watching for the next mile marker… keep it going!   As we turned closer to the stadium, Jade was on the side, and I saw Greg not far behind me.   I didn’t realize I had passed Greg.   I heard WMUR TV Sports Director Jamie Staton’s voice announcing and it made me push a bit harder. 

inside the ballpark stadium, on warming track, finish line in sight!!!

 

Go, go, go!!

Strong finish, keep it together a bit more until, whew!!!!! Over the line!!!  Friends Greg Audet and Jade came in right behind me and  Greg apparently had an untied shoelace and Jade had to stop to hurl.   We commiserated together after we walked away from the finish line.   Greg reminded me that even on a “bad” day, things aren’t all that bad.  Dang, sooooo true!!  I am so grateful for so much awesomeness in my life, I am very lucky. 

Running friend, Greg Audet

I grabbed a few apples and water on the ballpark concourse and people were headed away quickly post-race for Thanksgiving plans.   I was disappointed for some reason with my time, placement, not my favorite holiday and I tried to look for positives.  Hmmmm happy to warm up in my car, happy to have electricity this Thanksgiving!! 

I had not figured it out until I counted, but it turned out that this Fisher Cats Thanksgiving Day race was my 5oth consecutive Millennium Running Points Series Race!!  Thanks Greg Audet for letting me know we had “streaks” going… mine started in October 2014!!  ok, THAT is a positive way to think about this race.  Also, it was #15 out of 17 in this year’s Point Chase race series – a checkmark towards getting through another, one step closer.

Race winner Nacho Hernando… great Fisher Cats Mascot Bio: Fungo, the popular Fisher Cats mascot was born in the woodlands of New Hampshire. He grew up as a “kit”, or baby Fisher, and he enjoyed playing with Fisher Price toys. His favorite candy is Swedish Fish.

Acknowledged streak race #50 at Millennium Retail store with a new pair of Newton shoes! Great deal & used a race award gift certificate!

November 12, 2017, Manchester City Half marathon (double race weekend)

4 Dec

Unexpected PODIUM DAY!!!! 2/64 AG,

67.44% Age graded score, Age graded time 1:36:41,     (1:51:17.3)   Cherishing!!

Finish Line Ready!! Night before the race

This was a totally unexpected Podium Day.  Holy cow, runners from all over the nation – beyond my wildest dreams!! The AG winner in front of me came from NY!  And the 3rd place behind me was only 3 seconds behind me, GULP!!  (The NH Chronicle piece indicated runners from 40 different states and 8 different countries were racing)

I tried to prepare physically, particularly after my 6 Euflexxa knee injections, putting in some 12 mile runs, a 14 mile and a couple days a week of several hours biking.   Mentally, I can’t say that I visualized or focused all too well.  Embarrassingly, I’m not very motivated to run.  Gail Martin said: “turns out discipline and desire for future outcome is the drive behind zero motivation. “

I had never raced a half marathon the day after racing a 5k, so unchartered territory.  Also, although I did Manchester Marathon a few times (and many other Manchester races) I had also not seen the entire half marathon course.

Set alarms and had clothes ready to go.  Coffee, then running friend (Granite State Racing Team President) Jim Monahan, picked me up at 7:30 in warm Audi… found a convenient parking spot, stayed warm and walked around a bit.  Nervous energy.   I had our race numbers and shirts from the expo the day before.   The temperature was in the 20’s- brrrr, decided our hats & gloves, walked around the registration area and pee stop before we lined up on Elm Street heading North.   I didn’t want to be cold, so I bundled up big time with white Under Armour balaclava and white Sauce hat.

WMUR TV live, music was pumping, high fives with friends and I pulled Jim closer to the front, just a few rows from the line.

Who is that masked woman?! Hands up!! Let’s goooo!!

Per Coach Amber Ferreria, Jim was supposed to go out easy, negative splits, so I worked to reign him back in the first mile.   Jim saw his fast mile split.  I got ahead by a bit and kept working.  Somehow these days, racing a half marathon feels like what racing a marathon used to feel like!

There was a significant early downhill and some good uphills in the race also.  Later we talked about that downhill and Jim said it was steepest he’d ever done!  I kept working and noticed I was putting in some good effort, so tried to keep a proper balance of pushing.  My calves twinged a bit before we got to Livingston Park trail section (kind of early for this) and I hoped they wouldn’t spasm and really mess up my race.  Pacing, mental tricks, be wary of form if calves are headed towards cramping.   Enjoyed seeing the familiar roads from doing the marathon and work day lunch runs in the area.  Inside my “oven mitt” big gloves, I had cashmere liners (warm!) and hand warmers, and crossing Webster Street I tossed my hand warmers.  Derryfield Park incline, good distractions along the way, awesome spectators.   I tried to keep strong, 13.1 miles is a long way.   I didn’t end up taking water, PowerAde, Gu’s – since I hadn’t done that in training.   No music, just taking it all in, connecting with others and the event.    I pushed and focused.

I was especially happy to get to Hanover Street and I visualized the medal and finish line . . . keep it going.  I saw Jade and I kept focused on the Sheehan Phinney law firm building ahead on Elm Street for the final turn.   Right around Palace Theater on Hanover, Jim Monahan appeared beside me!  I encouraged him, he asked, “want to cross the finish line together?”  He later told me he had been chasing me for a few miles.

In step with Jim

We rounded the left to Elm Street and the final straightaway towards the finish line and beautiful black & white inflatable Millennium arch.    It was pretty epic since we have trained together 6 years, and have many occasions of “pulling each other through” training runs.

Elm Street, almost to finish!!

Running in step, like so many years of running together … down wide open Elm Street.  WMUR TV Sports Director Jamie Staton was announcing and gave me an enthusiastic, generous, complimentary shout out as we approached all the banners & finish staging.  Oh man, that gorgeous finish arch and mat!!! Over the line!!!!!  Epic feeling!!!

We received our medals, offered warming blankets and I needed to keep legs moving.

Post race

We circled back and saw no line for massage, so we had them work on us.   I ate a banana while on the table, hoping to ward off bonkiness.  My quad, calves and right foot were all spasming, pretty funny.   The massage was helpful, we checked the timing trailer for our results, and I was incredibly surprised to see a podium day!!  That was hugely unexpected – I looked online and in my Age Group there were female runners from all over the country.

Results

With that venue and distance, it attracted serious runners.  I hoped for something in top 10 in AG.   2nd in AG, surreal, beyond my wildest dreams!!   I am cherishing it, I am a young age grouper – others will age up quickly.   Plus, age group win on Saturday.   How did I get so lucky this weekend?

I checked results later and the woman who finished 1st in Age Group is from Saugerties, NY and next woman behind me was only 3 seconds back, holy freaking cow!!!

Trying to juggle bottles of Maple Water, hot soup, gloves, trail mix, Muscle Milk bars, Stonyfield yogurt… Jim offered to carry my extra Maple Waters in his coat pockets until they fell out… I fortunately found Orange Theory drawstring spike bags at their table, perfect!!!  Dang, long event training & racing can be a two person event!!  Training partners share long runs, years of seeing each other at tiredest, soaking wettest, freezingest, melting hottest, boogery, pushing hard, competing, injury advice… kindly carrying each others stuff, picking up numbers/shirts at expo, travel together, two minds to figure out clothing layers, keeping Jim on pace, finding secret pee locations.

Unexpected podium day, cherishing!

 

Another similarity to marathon racing…  postrace calorie consumption. I wasn’t hungry right after the race.  Immediately postrace I had a banana, hot soup, Maple Water, then Jim treated me to dark roast black coffee on the ride home (compensation for that 4/10ths of second differential).   After dinner that night, similar to post-marathon, the hungriness hit at 12:30 a.m.!  Dang, I was immediately reminded of marathons (particularly Chicago, Philadelphia, Cape Cod, Boston) when my body goes through the feeling like it can’t get enough calories.  I remember rummaging for change for vending machines at hotels, the “give-away” bars and treats from race expo… fortunately, right after this race I grabbed giveaway trail mix (Orange Theory), Cliff Bar, salted caramel Muscle Milk bar, Stonyfield Greek yogurt.

Hungry post race munchies!!

12:30 a.m. that night, hungriness overtook.   That salted caramel Muscle Milk, could not have tasted better.

Manchester City Marathon, Half, Relay long sleeve shirt

SNHU Penmen for Patriots 5K, Nov 11, 2017 – double race weekend

20 Nov

PODIUM DAY!!!! 1/44 AG, and finished in top 10 for women!!!

69.72% Age graded score, Age graded time 20:40

Cherishing!!

 A few days leading up to double race weekend, temperatures quickly went from comfortable, to brrrr chilly cold… I put together a clothing plan for Saturday & Sunday including a few phone calls with Whirlaway coach, Dave Kazanjian, regarding new Whirlaway singlet. Since he only had x-s available, it was iffy whether it would fit. Amusingly, wearing it the first time over a black, long sleeve Under Armour cold gear ¼ zip top, caused my black Nike short racing shorts to ride up, bun hugger style!! Hahahaha!! A few quick readjustments during the race!!   Tom Raffio said he caught me “adjusting” during the race.

New Whirlaway Singlet test run!

The SNHU campus is much more beautiful than I had imagined. The cedar shakes on the Gutafson building (expo) definitely won my heart.   The people on campus were all very helpful and super, plus the Millennium Running crew did a fantastic job.   I parked easily and had a few bites of banana.   I had previewed some of the roads, but the starting arch wasn’t where I expected – no worries.   We lined up behind Mort’s cool “military” lead vehicle and we had recognition for Veterans Day.

John Mortimer traded for this lead vehicle today!!

Pre-race nerves, oh boy, check in with friends at starting line and feel the adrenalin. The gun fired and we were off, keep focus. There are some hills on the course, dang, work hard, Sarah.   I was chasing friend, Greg Audet, for miles and tied to close the gap in last mile. We tried to work together as we approached the last bit before the finish.

Finish line in sight, focus!

Race announcer, Andy Schachat, gave me a fabulously generous shout out which always makes me feel like an “elite” runner.   Greg was right behind me, but he had switched numbers with female runner Heidi Lewis who was ill, (the computer was updated later) and Andy noticed Greg was not Heidi and temporarily, the results listed Greg as Heidi (podium day!)

Immediately post race, I had a chance to check in with friends who were also running the next day, some like friend Eric doing his first marathon the next day!

Post race with friend, Eric Eastman.

I remind myself to not get too jammed about my finish time until I look at Age Grade calculator.   I went to the results timing trailer and was wowed seeing a “1st ” in division – no way?!?!?! WOW, holy cow!!   I didn’t expect that at all and cherish it.

Feeling very fortunate, cherishing!

Fun visiting with friends and some photos (mug shot!) inside warm Gustafson Center.   Super job, as always, by John Mortimer and Millennium Running crew!

Mug shot with AG winners! Posing with our awards! Fun with friends Mark LaPrade, Bud Marro, Dave Audet, me, Tom Raffio, Ellen Raffio

I complimented SNHU vice president about the gorgeous campus and being part of today and John Mortimer!

SNHU vice president, me, Millennium Running founder John Mortimer

 

I put on warmer clothes, stopped at store on way home, eating a banana, trying to avoid bonkiness, & celebrated with ahi tuna, yay!!!

Post race. feeling grateful!

Healthy dinner to get me ready for racing early next morning!

 

Harvested my own garlic scapes yesterday, own Greek oregano (still going), my homegrown fresh tomatoes (sweet, yum!) still more ripening indoors. Press fresh garlic, add Vidalia onion, zucchini, summer squash, turmeric, Olivia’s Organics “Power Greens” (loaded with spinach & kale) Steam until hot & ahhh, warming me inside

Celebratory ahi tuna for sashimi!!! Protein love #tunasashimi. http://www.makesushi.com/tuna-sashimi/
Also, chicken breasts with capers, horseradish/wasabi sauce, garlic & turmeric.

 

CHaD Trick or Trot 3K, October 28, 2017

8 Nov

My fourth year enjoying this race!  John Mortimer and the Millennium crew do a super job, as always.

Trick or Trot, love it!

PODIUM DAY!!! 2/105 13:23 , Age Grade calculator 11:31 72%

Beautiful venue near Cotton Restaurant/ Arms Park in Millyard area beside Merrimack River.

Merrimack River. We raced across the bridge above.

The weather was gorgeous mid 60’s – I preran the course, hill strides and warmed up with gloves. There was some wind.   Super fun costumes, hanging out with great runner people!

Rock Lobster – B52s on iPod shuffle for upbeat start… dang, I was even bouncing standing at the start!!  I typically feel like I go out too slowly and I didn’t want that to happen on such a short race.    As soon as the race leaves Arms Park, you are on two uphill climbs.  I attacked them aggressively.

Then we take a left onto the bridge across the Merrimack River, cross the bridge and u-turn back across the bridge again.   Stealthy Pat Bourgault snuck past me.   I had not seen Pat and we had emailed earlier that day and didn’t mention she was racing, so I was surprised to see her covert move.

I pushed hard with whatever I had and rounded back into Arms Park towards the final turns and straightaway to finish line.

 

Trick or Trot! Keep it together !

Keep it together, kick!  I love the always generous & kind shoutout from race announcer Andy Schachat!  I crossed the finish line and kept moving.  YAY!!!!!  I circled back to the timing trailer and results screens.  Holy cow, podium day!!!!  YAY!!!  I was 2nd in AG behind Pat!!  I can’t believe it and I am so grateful that my body is allowing me to continue doing this — I feel like I am “living the dream!”

I noted that my time was slightly off from last year, Greg Audet mentioned that the course was slightly different, but I’m not sure that affected my time.  I try to take it all in stride. I should remind myself that I won’t get down on myself until I consult age grade calculator!! AG 11:31 72%

Here is a quote thinking about Age-Grading Results, WMA.  WAVA rankings

“Fortunately, for all of us who are sliding down the wrong side of the hill on a tea tray, there’s an insurance policy – commonly referred to as a WAVA Rating (this used to mean World Association of Veteran Athletes – the governing body for athletes aged 35 and over, but they now call themselves World Masters Athletics). In short, it’s a way to measure your performances that takes your age into account.”

“WAVA works by using a curve on a graph. It doesn’t use the absolute fastest times in the world, because I think we’d all agree that there’s something quite unique about people like Usain Bolt. But with a bit of statistical deep breathing, it’s possible to generate a nice smooth curve that shows the current limits of what’s possible at every age.”

Iconic racer Dave Audet joined me for a photo.   He won his age group (of course!)   A friend reminded me that Audet has done sub 3 marathons in 50 states… among his many racing accomplishments.

Selfie practice – goofballs!!

With running icon Dave Audet

Pat Bourgault and I posed for a podium day photo with our maple syrup awards.

With speedy Pat Bourgault! Podium day and our maple syrup! Great!

Cool award!!! Pure Vermont Maple Syrup, Grade A – Amber Rich Taste, by Mount Mansfield Maple! Super!

After the race, I put on dry clothes and headed to Merrimack Outlets – thinking about fall work clothes.  I had good luck at Ralph Lauren for a couple of cotton cable cardigans.  Navy color (my new interest!!) and cream.   Amusingly, the “girls” size L was just right – I have trouble finding things “petite Sarah size.”  I also found a gorgeous Ralph Lauren navy and white silk scarf… love the look.   I  found a super sale on a Brooks Brothers white crop crochet cardigan (no kidding, like 70% off!) which will be great for next summer with dresses.

I got home later for celebratory tuna and savor the excitement.  Life is good, isn’t it!?!

Look at the great Millennium Running gloves!!!  I figured “glove race swag” would be huge cotton throw-away gloves… dang these are fantastic gloves!!! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE THEM!

Surprisingly awesome quality running gloves!!! John Mortimer never ceases to impress!!

 

Podium Day – grateful

There were some fantastic costumes at the race.   Totally fun to see the kids and adults dressed up!!   My favorite of the day was an inflatable Stay Puft Ghostbuster costume which someone ran in!!

My favorite

 

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

 

 

 

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!)

 

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