Sunday, June 3, 2012

Weekend with J and B

When I went down to Southern for my spring break, I ran into Jen Biestek and Billy Snow and we decided that we, as New Englanders needed to get together this summer to hangout before we all headed our separate ways so this weekend that is what we did!

Billy met me in Vermont and we then drove the 3.5 ish hours down to Jen's house in Wallingford, CT. We arrived in good time, chatted for a bit when we got there, then decided to make our way to New Haven to go eat some yummy Ethiopian food! After a little bit of driving around we arrived at the restaurant  and had some pretty good grub! It was fun to teach billy some basic Ethiopian eating customs and words! We walked around the campus of Yale University for a bit after supper and then decided to swing by Jen's old high school so she could say hi to some people  that were working back stage of a school play. We decided to watch the play for a few minutes which happened to be  the Fiddler on the Roof! It was awesome! It was a neat blessing to watch the the Sabbath scene in the play especially!

We awoke to rain on Sabbath morning so our hopes of going for a hike were temporarily dashed. Instead we decided to dress up in our Ethiopian clothes and go to church, it was fun! Thankfully by the time we got back and ate lunch, the clouds decided to part and the sun decided to shine, so we went for a walk at Sleeping Giant state park! After a nice long hike we came back to Jen's place and made smoothies and pizza. We went downstairs and dug out all of her old childhood books and spent the rest of the evening reading stories aloud to each other, so awesome! It was a fun weekend and a blessing to spend time with good friends and get to know them a little better!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Vermont City Marathon Race Recap!

I have officially returned from my 5 year hiatus of road marathons after running Sunday at the Vermont City Marathon, in Burlington Vermont! Re-entry to the distance was very kind to me and I am very happy with how I did and the race experience was awesome!  Since being a teacher is a very busy profession I would have to say my training leading up to the race was very low key and not at the level where it should of or could of been so I really had to guess what kind of time I thought I was capable of running. Not to mention that my training and racing mindset has shifted greatly since because of doing so much trail running and racing, for me now it is not about each mile split and time but how I feel effort wise. On race day I decided to shoot to run a 3:15 time which is about 9 minutes slower then my PR so I figured it would be a fairly conservative pace run at. I was fortunate enough to have qualified for the preferred corral start so I didn't have the issue of being stampeded at the beginning with stir crazy runners although I do believe it made me start out a little too fast. Overall the whole race went fantastically! I was running closer to a 3:10 pace till about mile 19 until then rolling hills and neighborhoods caught up to me. I was sooo thankful for the abundance of aid stations throughout the course and for the aid stations people had set up in between in their driveways! I believe  it made all the difference in how I did since it was so warm, staying hydrated was crucial and I feel like I was able to do so.  The crowd support was incredible. My favorite stretches of the race are when we got to run up and down Church street in Burlington. It reminded me of running past Wesley College at Boston. So many people cheering! It really energized me! The sound tunnel affect brought goose bumps!

The last 4 miles or so were the toughest just because we were out of range of spectators and we were running on a long stretch of bike path. The last couple miles in a long distance race always seem to be the hardest just because you know you are so close to the finish  yet you just want to be done then! I was fortunate enough that I was able to run with a several different runners throughout the race to help pace myself, even if few words were spoken it helped to now that there was someone else right there. After eyeballing the finish line and the ginormous sea of spectators in the distance was the last little push I needed to have a strong run to the finish in a time of 3 hours and 14 minutes! Not a PR but it was faster then I was going for today! All in all it was a great race. The volunteers were amazing as was the crowd support! Can't wait for my next 26.2! Running a sub 3 hour time is next on my list of goals.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Letter L

L is for Long Trail!

I want to thru hike this rail sometime! I have hiked the stretches that lead to Camel's Hump and Mt. Mansfield...If I could only be a professional, full time hiker. that would be the life :-)

Vermont's "footpath in the wilderness"
The oldest long distance hiking trail in America

Built by the Green Mountain Club between 1910 and 1930, the Long Trail is the oldest long-distance trail in the United States. The Long Trail follows the main ridge of the Green Mountains from the Massachusetts-Vermont line to the Canadian border as it crosses Vermont's highest peaks. It was the inspiration for the Appalachian Trail, which coincides with it for one hundred miles in the southern third of the state.

Although the Long Trail is known as Vermont's "footpath in the wilderness," its character may more accurately be described as backcountry. As it winds its way to Canada, the Trail climbs rugged peaks and passes pristine ponds, alpine bogs, hardwood forests and swift streams. The Long Trail is steep in some places, muddy in others, and rugged in most. Novice and expert alike will enjoy the varied terrain of the trail as it passes through the heart of Vermont's backwoods.

With its 273-mile footpath, 175 miles of side trails, and nearly 70 primitive shelters, the Long Trail offers endless hiking opportunities for the day hiker, weekend overnighter, and extended backpacker.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Letter K

K is for Kale!!!

Eat More Kale! Kale has become one of my favorite vegetables since coming to Vermont! I liked it well enough before, but one day I was walking past a shop and saw the most awesome eggplant colored t-shirt that said 'Eat More Kale' and I was hooked! I went in and bought that shirt just because I thought it would be a very Vermontish thing to wear. The rest is history! Even Chik Fil A tried to get a piece of the action...but in the end just remember weather it is raw, steamed, fried, or baked.... Eat More Kale!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Nature Noises

Went on an awesome hike on Sabbath. Took some really cool pictures. The SD card on my camera went crazy. Bye bye pictures. I will try to share with you the great details of my barefoot hiking adventure...through the description of the noises I heard whilst frolicking through the woods on yet another gorgeous Sabbath afternoon

Rustling leaves blowing in the wind....

Chirping crickets singing in the tall grassy fields.............

The distant hum of cars driving by on Rt. 2................

The babbling of the brooks...............

The gushing crash of water bouncing off and between the rocks

Sweet chirping of birds and their melodious songs............

Squelching of mud in between my toes.............

Buzzing mosquito's and other pesky insects..

The quiet pitter patter of bare feet on the smooth dirt floor of the forest....

The whirring of mountain bike wheels turning....

Tall grass swaying in the breeze

                           Through all of the peaceful 'noise' of the woods I believe one can hear God conducting a magnificent ensemble that is truly worth the extra time to stop and listen to

Letter J

J is for J Bar! *disclaimer* I didn't take this picture because sadly the SD card on my phone went bonkers and deleted the J-Bar pictures I had taken earlier....

J-Bar station at the mountainwe went skiing at this year!

Yes for  the J-Bar, every novice skier/Florida natives best friend! I think it is called the "J-Bar" because if its J shape. Very creative. I became very acquainted with this great skiing aid the first few times I hit the slopes this winter, mostly because I had to supervise kids but it also helped me to become more comfortable with my awesome skiing skills before going up on the the real chair lift! I am proud to say that I eventually did indeed ski from the very top of the mountain all the way to the bottom and lived to  write this post! I can still say that I much prefer the relatively FLAT terrain aspect CC skiing or even better, water skiing!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Letter I

I is for....

(Switching gears here and going for an I shaped picture...I couldn't think of anything "Vermontish" besides icecream and I already posted about icecream)

Spring flowers remind me of the letter I

                       These aren't shaped like the letter I but I thought they were pretty!