January 2017 Notes

Hello friends!

January 2017 has been good to me personally. But I can't help feeling worried/frightened/horrified by what has been going on with my country. I guess a silver lining is... the new administration is helping Americans figure out what they really care about, and helping us remember who we are as a nation and a culture, and then forcing us to stand up for those things and support other Americans too.

This article in the Atlantic was interesting. Watching my Twitter feed is interesting. Talking to friends and coworkers is helpful (conclusion: buy more beans and rice).

I keep thinking of movies and books where truth and good prevails, and how that happens. A chink in a dragon's armored belly, just big enough for an arrow. A small gold ring carried many miles under great duress by "the most unlikely creature imaginable." A rock and a slingshot. A proton torpedo to the thermal exhaust port. Find the flaw, and then move with courage and persistence.

So how has January been good?

Well, I read 9 books this month. My favorite was "Winter: Notes from Montana" by Rick Bass. My next favorite was "Heat: An Amateur's Adventures as Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta-Maker, and Apprentice to a Dante-Quoting Butcher in Tuscany" by Bill Buford. I'd recommend these two to anyone.

I ran 91 miles this month.

I drank zero alcohol this month. I liked it, and will do it again, but I'm going back to moderation for February.

Instead of Facebook I've been reading Twitter as I mentioned, as well as Flipboard (an app that displays feeds in a virtual magazine form), and also dabbling with Youtube. I watched a Marie Kondo video and have been following some of her tidying principles, mainly deciding if things "spark joy." If not, get rid of them. As a result I got rid of a Soviet tea container that I believe is from 1984.

But not before taking some photos!

The three characters on top say "Chai," which of course means tea.


It's a clever design as there is another inner lid that keeps the loose tea from getting everywhere when you first open it.

I imagined the tea inside would have a rich, dark odor of yearning for the samovar, but the 32 year old tea did not smell at all. That made it easier to tidy out of my life. Goodbye, Chai!

Running Recap 2016, Goals 2017

Panorama of a hilltop field near trails I run most often

A running recap for 2016! And 2017 goals. In case anybody's interested.

As mentioned in my last post, I ran the following races in 2016. 80% were on trails.

West River Trail Run (11 miles), 1:57
Vegan Power 25K, 3:12
Pisgah Mountain Trail Race 23k, 2:55
Maple 5k, 0:24:23 (3rd female)
Hamsterwheel 6-hour race 32 miles in 6:15 (2nd female)

I also did the inaugural Ginger Runner Virtual Run. This was a 2 hour run of any distance done anytime on November 19, 2016. Runners from around the world took part and the Ginger Runner compiled some of the videos people sent in here: https://youtu.be/F07FKJBx6G8  You can also watch the ridiculous Donut Challenge GRVR on one of my favorite Youtube channels, Mountain Outpost. (Jamil & Schuyler do the 2-hour run while also trying to eat as many donuts as possible.)

And I co-directed the annual Turkey Trot 3-miler on Thanksgiving Day for the second year. It went really well!


In terms of meeting my 2016 goals, I didn't do a great job. Maybe my goals were too specific, maybe even restrictive. I lost my mojo around March and didn't have a plan B for building things back up again. Here's my list from last year, with comments in red:

Jan-Feb: build up mileage again, slowly. Aim for at least 20 miles a week by end of February. Nope--I finally got up to 20 miles in the first week of March.
Mar-Apr-May: Follow same half-marathon training plan as last year Nope. My hip flexor hurt so I didn't do this.
May 9, Mother's day: HALF MARATHON! Nope. Not only was I untrained, but also uninterested in a road race when I really wanted to focus on trails. It turned out to rain that day so absolutely no regrets.
May-June: Switch to trails/hills and increase mileage a reasonable amount. Start fun run season. And streak! I did streak from Memorial Day up to the Vegan Power 25k, then stopped to focus on race recovery for a few days. I did a FEW fun runs over the summer.
June 18, 2016: Vegan Power 50k in Pittsfield, MA (registered!) Really glad I ultimately dropped down to the 25k distance instead of 50k--that was all I could handle. Good race!
June-July: As much trail-running as possible, maintain higher mileage & hills Nope.
July 4, 2016: Bill Powers Memorial Firecracker 4-miler No.
August 6, 2016: Moosalamoo 36-miler? or 14-miler? (not yet registered)  No no no.
August-Sep: Keep it up! Fun runs end around late August I did some long training runs around this point that set me up nicely for Pisgah. And I took my son to the last fun run (1-miler) and it was truly fun! I'm finally learning that the competition is NOT the point of a fun run. Duh!
Late Sept: Pisgah 50k? (not yet registered) I ended up doing the 23k and felt this was my best race of the year. Really great day and feeling strong. I like middle distance.
Late Sept: Maple 5k Yes! Reclaimed the podium after falling off last year (3rd woman).
Fall 2016: Something else? I'd love to do another 6-hour race at some point. Yes! Hamsterwheel 6-hour again. A mental saga but glad I did it.
November 2016: Co-direct the Thanksgiving Morning Turkey Trot--year 2! Yes!

So I'm dialing things back for my 2017 Goals:

Training: I just finished week 2 of a 16-week beginner marathon training plan, then will immediately follow that with a 10 week intermediate half-marathon training plan, which takes me up to the next Vegan 25K/50K in June. I figure at that point I'll have a good idea what to do next. So far I'm liking the structure of a 26-week training program. 26 weeks! All figured out!

Nutrition: I'm taking a break from alcohol. That is my one nutrition plan for 2017.

Race Schedule: Being hyper-timeline-lady did not work for me last year. This year I have collected a smorgasbord of race ideas and will pick and choose from this list or whatever else comes along:

Cade Cod Trail Race (Falmouth, MA), 5k/10k/50k/half-marathon/marathon, April 9
Traprock 50K/17K (Bloomfield, CT), April 15
Seven Sisters Trail Race 12 miles (Amherst, MA), May 6
Soapstone Mountain 22k (Stafford, CT), May 21
Salomon Trail Running Festival 5k/10k/25k/50k/50-mile (New Gloucester, ME), May 27-8
West River Trail Run 11 miles (Jamaica, VT), June 3
Vegan Power 50K/25K (Pittsfield, MA), June 17
Goshen Gallop 10k (Goshen, VT), July 15
Jug End Loop 6-hour (Egremont, MA) July 29
Moosalamoo 14mi/36mi (Goshen, VT) sometime in August
6 Hours in Paradise (Windsor, VT), sometime in August
Pisgah Mountain Trail Race 50K/23K (Chesterfield, NH), September
Runner's World Festival (Bethlehem, PA), October 20-22
Mt Toby Trail Race 14 miler, MA, October sometime
Hamsterwheel 6/12/24 hour race, November

A few other things on my list that aren't races:
  • Do my first 20-mile training run
  • Traverse Mount Bromley on the Long Trail running north to south
  • Do a night run on trails
  • Find at least one other person to run trails with me
  • Do at least one training run in Pisgah State Park (not just the actual race)
  • Make a list of destination races that I may never do, but nice to dream about