Monday, October 10, 2011

The Numbers Are In!

Anyone who knows me or follows my Blog knows that I'm not a "numbers person". I usually don't know exactly how far I've run or how long it took. I usually don't know what place I've come in for a race or my finish time. I can't reel off my PR's at various distances without looking them up. I don't know weekly mileage totals, my resting heart rate, or my exact weight. I don't even know my husband's cell phone number! But...the numbers are in for my second week post-op! Last week I ran 33 miles and walked 10 miles. This is better progress than I expected and I'm excited about it.

I did several 3-4 mile trail runs with Scout and a mid-week 6 mile road run with Mary. Friday, I met Brian and Tom for a preview of the new recreational trail from Biddeford to Kennebunk. Coincidentally, Brian's arm is in a plastic splint from a tennis injury. With my arm in a sling and strapped tightly to my side and Brian in his splint, walkers on the trail probably wondered when running became a contact sport. Both men had signed up for the out and back half marathon to be held on this trail next weekend. Neither was in top shape for various reasons so this was a trial run for them. The trail is very nice, both scenic and flat. The surface is packed crushed stone. I enjoyed the leisurely pace and good conversation. I think both Tom and Brian proved to themselves that fit or not, they can both finish the half marathon in good form. I'll be checking the results, so they'd better!

Saturday, Kevin and I drove to East Burke. It was a very busy mountain biking weekend there. They close the trails November first, so riders are taking advantage of the prime trail conditions while they can. I strapped my arm down, put my Nathan pack on, and started out. I ran the familiar trails in the opposite direction we usually ride. Most riders familiar with the trails ride the same direction we usually do, so I didn't meet many cyclists on the trail during the morning portion of my run. When I got to Heaven's Bench I looked for Kevin. I just figured he'd be near there around that time, I reached him by cell phone and he joined me within five minutes. Kevin biked with me and showed me some trails that I usually don't bike due to their very skinny and long bridges! It was fun to run them.

We parted ways and I crossed Darling Hill Road and started back toward the vehicle. These trails were a little congested with mountain bikers, but it is so easy to hear them coming and just step off the trail so they can pass. Not one of them seemed out of control or unable to avoid me if they had to. Throughout the day, many of them gave me praise and encouragement, "Now that's dedication!" "Way to get up that hill!" "Didn't we see you over on East Branch? I can't believe you're still running!" It kept me feeling strong.

With another mile or two to go, I met a Grandma on her commuter bike on the easy Bemis Trail. She had lost her grand kids and her way. We studied the map together and I showed her that she had to turn around and go the direction I was headed, the way she had just come. She came close to tears, "I'm not riding up and down all those hills again! I am not riding over those little bridges again and through all that mud!" I suggested an alternate plan, cut through a hay field and ride back on the road. I was happy to see her riding up the road and reaching the parking area at the exact same time I arrived on foot from the woods. She had a big smile on her face and waved to me. I felt glad that her day was getting better. The grand kids probably got Hell from her later.

Sunday, I was toast. I laced up and tried to do a short trail run, but it turned into a walk. That's OK. Sometimes I just need a walk in the woods. Kevin took his bike out and we worked on training the puppy to run with the bike. Scout did great! He doesn't have any fear of the bike and does a good job staying out of the way... for the most part. There was one scary moment when Kevin was riding over the narrow Clencher behind Scout and Scout suddenly stopped. I wasn't sure which one of them was going to tumble down the steep slope into the river. Luckily, Kevin was able to keep the trail and Scout rolled and slid a very short way down the slope before merrily trotting back up to the trail. No harm done.

After we got home, Scout reminded us that although he is big, he is still just a puppy. He grabbed my camera off my desk and chewed it into pieces when we weren't looking. Enjoy the photos on this post, they are the last ones from the camera!


  1. Laurel, you are hardcore!

    Love your KT photos. I was in the NE Kingdom visiting my folks last month and got some good runs in on the Kingdom Trails. The skinny bridge photo - Jaw? Love Heavens Bench, too...

    Back in SoCal but homesick for Vermont...

  2. Yes Sue, Jaw! I get hurt often enough on the bike without riding those skinny bridges! We love the NE Kingdom and spend a lot of time there. We're hoping to buy a cabin in the area very soon.