Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Mini Vacation

Today is the last day of my mini-vacation from work. The weather was hot and humid or threatening rain for the first several days, but we enjoyed ourselves.

Friday evening, after a wonderful mountain bike ride on the Kingdom Trails, we had dinner at our favorite Pub... or almost did. We had just finished our salads and were eagerly awaiting our locally raised hanger steaks, when an incredibly violent thunderstorm rolled in and took out the power. At least Rodger was willing to serve us one more beer before they closed down. We drove under, over, and around at least a dozen trees lying across power lines on the way back to the cabin. Once back safely, Kevin and I had to make do with hot dogs eaten in the dim light of propane.

We kayaked Willoughby Lake on Saturday. After we had paddled away from our vehicle for about an hour and a half, I noticed dark clouds creeping over the mountains to the west of us. We turned back, and got within a hundred yards of shore before the storm hit. The rain came down in sheets. All the beach-goers and other boaters ran for their cars, while we calmly pulled the kayaks up onto the sand. I mean, you can only get so wet, right? I jumped in the lake since I was wet already. It felt wonderful!

We rode bikes at the Kingdom Trails again on Sunday and stopped to ride from Pudding Pond in North Conway on the way home on Monday. Pudding Pond was fun because Scout could run with us since there aren't many bikers and hikers out there. I love the fact that this area is slightly more technical and challenging than what we ride in Vermont. It was a blast. Scout completely wore himself out and refused to play on any of the stunts on Sticks and Stones on the way out.

Tuesday dawned with steady rain. What's a mini-vacationer to do on a rainy Maine day? "Let's go to the beach!" was Kevin's suggestion. We get to the touristy Maine  coast about once a summer. Both Kevin and I tend to avoid going anywhere that everyone else wants to be. With the cool temoperature and the steady rain, it was an absolutely perfect day to spend in Ogunquit. We walked for miles, had lobster rolls and chowder for lunch, waded in the ocean, walked the sidewalks looking at shop windows and people, had a few beers overlooking the ocean, and had a fantastic dinner at The Front Porch, not to be missed if you want to experience fine Ogunquit dining a stone's throw from the beach!

Today we plan to hit the local trails at the Leavitt Plantation. Tomorrow its back to work...for two days before we head north to Kevin's XXth class reunion (I won't give your age away, Kevin). Summers are busy, but we'll have all winter to rest up and recover...between skiing and snow shoeing. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Getting There!

Saturday, kevin and I mountain biked at Bear Brook State Park in Allenstown, NH. Trail conditions were great. We rode steady for three and a half hours and felt good doing it. That made me feel more confident about our up-coming Fruita mt bike trip. We have some high mileage days planned for that trip.

I've been out early every morning for a run. I'm only doing 4 miles each morning, but I feel great! I leave my house at 5AM and run the same loop on auto pilot each day. By the time I get to the trail head about 1 1/2 miles into the run, I am awake and enjoying it. The only time I feel the month I took off from running, is on the hills. I just don't have mye strength back yet. But it's coming.

I will try to do a 10 miler this coming weekend and see how that goes. Also, I need to work on hill clmibing if I plan to run MMD in a few weeks.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Back at it!

Hooray, Scout and I ran 4 fun and energetic miles this evening! Scout was very happy to finally see me moving along the trail at a pace that was more than a walk for him. I have withdrawn from Vermont as there is no way in hell that I am going to be able to run that far that soon, but MMD, my favorite event of the year, is timed just right and I will no doubt see my 6th finish out of 7 attempts in 2013.

I am definitely feeling at 100% normal right now. Of course, I will finish the full 30 days worth of antibiotics no matter how good I feel, but I am so happy to be normal again.

Tomorrow... 5 faster miles with Scout. He'll be thrilled.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Ticked Off!

Well, I've been missing from Blogland for a while. My new job has me writing reports every day. I love it, but it doesn't leave me with a lot of desire to do more writing when I'm off work. In fact, I hardly ever even use the computer outside of work these days. But here I am, so let's catch up!

Training for Vermont was going great. My long runs had increased nicely to 35 painless and relaxed miles and I was feeling strong... and then I got very sick starting on June 11th. Right away I sensed it was from ticks or mosquitoes, since it hit me so hard and fast and I hadn't been around anyone with similar symptoms. Plus I had been spending a lot of time running on old overgrown logging roads and had seen a ton of ticks on me. After a full week of feeling absolutely terrible with a relentless cough, body aches, fever, chills, sweats, headache, sleepiness, and no appetite I developed severe pain and swelling in both lower legs. 

Labs and symptoms point to Anaplasmosis, a tick borne bacterial infection. I was started on specific antibiotics and within a week I started feeling more like myself. So of course, I tried to run!  I tried to run twice last week, but made it less than a half mile each time due to lower leg pain and weakness. Riding the bike didn't hurt, but I was pathetically slow and weak and had to walk a lot of the hills. But, this past weekend I rode the mountain bike like my old self for the first time in a month and tonight I ran three miles. I'm back!

Most tick borne infections will not result in lasting effects if treated correctly, but the key is they have to be treated. Below is a link to tick borne diseases seen in Maine. Don't let it turn you into a hypochondriac, but read it so you'll know what to look for.
Tick Diseases in Maine

I will do my best to keep up with this blog from now on. Heck, I will probably be able to build up to an awe-inspiring 5 mile run by next week, which should make for some fascinating reading.