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Posts Tagged ‘running’

Getting Into the Swing of Spring

Written by Amy Miller O'Toole on . Posted in Outdoor Rec and Nature

Last time I blogged, I told you that I would update you from Hampton Beach and the Half at the Hamptons half-marathon. Alas, I had an unexpected change in plans. The race was cancelled, due to weather. A major storm was forecast (although it missed us). Boo. I was able to get my hotel rooms refunded, but not my race entry. I rarely, OK never, spend $75 on nothing. What a huge letdown.

I had been planning the weekend getaway for months. Vermont is the kind of place I rarely want to leave, and only do so with good reason. So I was seriously bummed to have to cancel. I know the race directors were under the gun and had to make a decision; I am so glad I was not in their shoes.

So my training continues for the KeyBank Vermont City Marathon in May. I think the Hamptons race would have buoyed my spirits a bit, but I am trudging along nevertheless. This last weekend I did a 14-mile training run. I went to meet my trusty training friends for some Burlington Bike Path action. With no snow, we treated ourselves to capris, short sleeves and fresh breezes. It looks like maybe there is going to be some work done on the bike path? I hope so, I love running and biking on the local bike paths. I think they are very important assets to our communities.

I am looking forward to some longer runs, what I like to call adventure runs. We plan to do point-to-point runs: from Waterbury to Hyde Park or Hyde Park to Greensboro, for example. We get to see some pristine countryside close up. I try to wave a friendly “thanks” to drivers for getting over or slowing down. If it’s you I’m waving at, feel free to wave back!

I have some challenges coming up in addition to the marathon. I have a team of three co-workers for the Corporate Cup 5K. We are hoping to bring our A-game! Three years ago my team placed second; that was a huge accomplishment! My team this year, Lady Lancers, is ready for a race against Team Hyde Park PIE (led by my co-worker and former teammate). There is a lot of good natured smack talk! Fingers crossed for speed on the day. In the opposite direction, I have signed on to a team for the Green Mountain Relay, a 200-mile relay. We have a team of six, so it’s technically an ultra, with everybody running 28 to 40 miles. I have also signed up for the Wineglass Marathon in New York.

I hope your running and training is going well. It’s almost time to get out the sun block!

Running Toward a New, New Year’s Resolution

Written by Amy Miller O'Toole on . Posted in Outdoor Rec and Nature

I have my New Year’s resolution planned out, do you? Last year was to run a race every month. This year is to run at least 1,000 miles for the year. This, I hope, will make me run more during the summer. I was probably at about 900 miles this year.

I can continue with my resolution, because the world didn’t end today. It’s Dec. 21, 2012. Thanks goodness. And tomorrow it will start getting lighter out. It’s hard when it’s dark when you get up, and almost dark when you get off work. Especially as a runner. I will count myself lucky that I can leave work at 3:30 p.m. if I don’t have any meetings. And I don’t have a commute to speak off. So I can get home and changed and out the door for a run by 3:45-ish. This allows me a quick three to four miles before it gets dark.

This time of year is rest and recharge. Try to keep some mileage during the week and get a longish run in on a weekend day. And keep a balance with family time and household chores. It is funny how sometimes I leave work and think, “Brrr, it’s so cold out,” but then remember that running in cold is better than running in the rain — I don’t like to run in the rain. The snow is OK, but the rain just kills my mood. So I go home change into my winter running gear and head out. Then I get warm and wonder why I thought it was so cold. And I remember that winter is so peaceful and pretty outside.

I am trying to be good about just wearing that darn reflective vest (see photo). Even with a short three-mile run on my way home all the cars have their headlights on. I don’t want any kind of negative thought from drivers. I generally try to give every driver a friendly wave, especially if they slow down and move over. I really appreciate the conscientious driver. There are few sidewalks where I live so I have to share the road. I try to follow the rules.

Another way I stay active in the winter is by skiing. This is my first year in 12 without a season ski pass. I know, I know, I’ve been lucky and the passes have usually been the big Christmas present. This year my husband’s dad gifted us Bash Badges to Smuggs. (Thanks Mike!) But now that I am not tied to a mountain, I’m kind of excited to maybe ski some different mountains. Or actually learn how to skate ski, as in, take a lesson somewhere.

So my resolution is to run 1,000 miles. What’s your resolution?

Trotting for Turkey

Written by Amy Miller O'Toole on . Posted in Outdoor Rec and Nature

Amy (in yellow) prepares for Stowe Turkey Trot.

My New Year’s resolution last year was to run a race every month. So far I have been pretty successful. The only month I skipped was March, due to marathon training. There were no races that month that fit the training, and in my mind a race finishes at the finish line.

Getting toward the end of the year, I had signed up for the Santa 5K in Burlington in December, so now I just needed to pick a turkey trot for November.

I was perusing turkey trots and was getting less and less motivated to run one. The thought of getting up at 6 a.m. to leave the house by 6:30 on Thanksgiving was becoming very unappetizing. Sometimes a race turns into such a production. You have to make sure to get a good night’s sleep, get up early and eat something easy on the stomach. Then, I usually have to drive an hour to get to a race.

I had wanted to join the Skirack and RunVermont for their World Run Day 5K, but my mother-in-law has been very sick at Fletcher Allen for the past few weeks and we have been traveling a lot to Burlington lately, so I didn’t want to add another drive Burlington.

Hmm, what to do?

Wait, I thought, doesn’t Stowe host a turkey trot? Oh Google, help a girl out. Yes, I discovered, there was a race at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 17, and it was only a 15-minute drive from my house. Yes! The race cost $10 plus a donation to the Lamoille Community Food Share. I picked up some canned goods at Hannafords, and I showed up to the 5K and signed up. No race numbers at this race, it was truly a fun run. The course was a point-to-point from the Stowe Cinema to Stowe High School. A super cool component is that the majority of the race is on the rec path.

The crowd was comprised of mainly locals, and the winning time was 18 minutes. There was no clock at the end, but my time was right where I normally am for an uphill 5K. I think I came in 15th overall. After the race, there was a raffle. The table was loaded with prizes, including frozen turkeys. (I was definitely winning something, everybody was going to win.) I asked my husband if he wanted the turkey and he did. Finally, my name was drawn and I won the last turkey! We have already ordered a fresh local turkey for Thanksgiving from Green Top Market in Morrisville. So this one is in our freezer.

Winner, winner, turkey dinner!

We made the most of our visit to Stowe. On our way out of town, we stopped by Stowe Kitchen, Bath & Linens and I picked up the Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility Local First Vermont coupon book. I saved $10 at the kitchen store, $5 at Stowe Seafood, and have since used coupons at Lake Champlain Chocolates and the Farmhouse Grill. There are a handful of other restaurants I am looking forward to trying too.

Another fabulous thing happened this weekend too. I was really bummed to miss the World Run Day 5K, and then they had to post pictures of the post-race food: Myer’s Bagels. These bagels looked so good, so I found the bakery and drove there Sunday. I picked out a baker’s dozen and some cream cheese. I handed the cashier my debit card, only to be denied. They don’t take plastic. Argh. Where’s the nearest ATM, I asked? She replied, don’t worry about it, next time you come in just bring an extra $13. I was astonished, and I will be back! Myer’s Montreal Bagels are worth the drive to Burlington.

Well, see you at RiRa’s Santa 5K Run on Dec. 2. I’ll be the one in the Santa Suit!

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