Wednesday, May 06, 2015

7 Sisters 2015 Race Recap

Courtesy of
What do you do the day after running 3 laps of an obstacle course race located on the beach, covering approximately 12 miles?  Why you go "run" the 7 Sisters Trail Race of course! 

Billed as the "Hardest Up/Down Race" by Runners World Magazine on their America's Best Trail Races list.  With a cutoff time of 12:00 for the turnaround.  Whelp, make that 11:30!  Apparently I missed the posts on their Facebook page about the change in cutoff.  What was already going to be a challenge, I had been freaking out for days about now making the cutoff, and I just lost 30 minutes, was now something I seriously thought I would DNF.  

I arrived early with plenty of time to register, use the bathroom, and do what I really love to do: visit with people!  I knew quite a few people running, several who had come out just to spectate the start, and it was a fantastic way to spend the morning.  It wasn't long before we were lining up, I missed the group photo, and we were off.  It is a matter of yards before the trail takes a turn and we are going UP.  The ups and the downs are no joke.  
Up we go.  Photo courtesy of Heather Gannoe
It was hot.  I was sunburned from the day before.  I had a plan to drink every time my Runkeeper spoke to me which was every 15 minutes and every mile.  This worked well.  I would eat something every 1-2 times she spoke to me and ingest a salt tab every hour or so.  I never bonked.  I never stopped sweating.  Despite my legs feeling brutalized, I never actually felt bad.  

Top of the first section of the ascent after the cutoff.  I MADE THE CUTOFF!!!
I was really worried about making the cutoff.  Luckily for me, despite saying 11:30, they seemed to have adjusted the cutoff to be 2:30 hours from the time your wave started.  I made it, with mere minutes to spare.  I had just enough time to get some fruit, refill my pack, rinse my hands, and get back on the course.  I never got a photo of the view from the Summit House but it was beautiful.  The volunteer at the top told me if I hurried, I should catch a pair of females who were just ahead of me. That running together keeps you motivated.  So I moved, as fast as I could.  I finally caught up to them!

Heidi, Marie, and Cat.  What amazing people.  I had a great time with them.  Heidi was struggling, so I did what I do best.  I figured out where she was hurting, helped get her moving, rubbed out her butt, and got her to smile.  Marie was moving slowly as she had rolled her ankle, bad enough to slow her down but not so bad she didn't make the cutoff!  Cat was amazing. Turns out we have mutual friends. After staying with them for quite a while, I had to keep moving as my legs were wanting to tighten up.  I could hear them off and on and when I came in to the last aid station, signaling we had two miles to go, I was able to see them come in.  Heidi, despite her pain, was adamant that she was going to finish.  I had to hug her before moving on again.
The LAST tiny bit of downhill before rounding the corner to the finish!
Luckily they took off not much later and we were able to semi stay together the rest of the race. Coming down the last hill together and seeing the finish line. We all dug deep and gave everything we had left to give.  My friends cheering at the finish and willing to hug my sweaty nasty self was amazing.  Thank you all for the support.  I cannot wait for next year.

My official results! 429. Hannah Hawley, 33, VT 5:51:23 out of 434 finishers, 471 started.
Recovery #chocolatemilk with my 7 Sisters hat.  That pattern? That's the elevation!

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Frigus 2015 Race Recap

10887264_1619465784948111_4202685732232091291_oFor the second time in my life, I let Andy Weinberg talk me into doing a race that I was convinced was beyond my capabilities.
The Endurance Society's second event.  Frigus.  A winter race with the options of a 10k, 30k, or 60 snowshoe; 10k, 30k, 60k back-country ski; 5k sled run; and combined, 30k ski, 30k snowshow, 5k sled run.
I wanted to sign up for the 10k snowshoe.  I ended up signing up for the 30k snowshoe.
Taking place at Blueberry Hill Inn in Brandon, Vermont, with packet picket offered Friday evening in addition to Saturday morning.  While a room could be booked at the Inn, it was rather pricey.  They also offered space in the upper loft of the ski lodge where we could drop a sleeping pad and sleeping bag.  We had access to bathrooms and running water and a place to sleep that couldn't be closer if we tried to the start for $12.  Arriving early meant that time could be spent with other racers and the race directors.  I couldn't imagine starting the race any other way.
10974727_1627509224143767_5408604746780086258_oWith packet pickup, we were provided with our bib, a t-shirt (reminded me of our NE Spahtens shirts in the male cut) that were unisex size but super soft.  We signed waivers, confirmed our distance and were given the option to change it, and were reminded of our start times.  They had the finishers medals on display, as well as the winners certificates, and the winners Endurance Society etched maple syrup bottles.
A great evening of visiting with friends, a decent nights sleep, and it was morning and the air was buzzing with the energy for the day.  The morning was spent visiting, hugging, feeling nervous about the race!  The temperatures were in the single digits when we started with the highs promised to be in the low twenties.

All the skiers were to start at 7:15, all the snowshoers were to start at 8:15, and the 5k sledders at 9:15.  Andy called out that all heats would be starting on time.  10 minute and 5 minute warnings were given, that a brief meeting was to be held before each heat started and they wouldn't be waiting if you weren't there.
10506838_10155223366425357_4869254861594683998_oAndy instructed everyone to get behind the start line for the skiers, a combination of 10k, 30k, 60k, and combined racers.  They were given there briefing and off they went.  An hour later, the snowshoers were given the same.  We had 2 miles of gradual up, 2 miles of steep up.  We would have one aid station at approximately the halfway point.
And we were off.
Neely Fortune, Mathieu Lo, and I decided to stay together, walk the course, have fun, push ourselves to finish.
The first section of the course was for all 3 distances.  At some point the 10k would turn off and we would continue on.  It was incredibly inspiring to watch Mark Webb crutch his way up the hill, taking on the 10k.  I was able to have a glass of wine with Amy Parulis and her father as they were doing a party lap 10k to celebrate his birthday.  I tackled Mathieu, my way of passing along Ilene's hello.  Got a hug from the fantastic Richard Ricciardi.
The course was beautiful.  Mountains, streams, lakes, snow.  We went uphill, downhill, flats, up and down.  We passed my next home, crossed some bridges, saw some skiers out for a jaunt, snowmobilers, and we were at the aid station.  Greg Tappin was there with a smile and my chocolate milk and gluten free pretzels for me!  While we were there, we were lapped by a 60k skier.  He was flying!
10676158_627406416924_7211098258695582779_nWe were told we were approximately halfway.  On we went.  We would get passed by more 60k snowshoers, Drew lapped us on his way to a 2nd place finish, listened to music, and start to feel our bodies breaking down.  Hip flexors, knees, chafing.
It wasn't long before the finish line was in sight.  My own personal cheering section was waiting for me.  I hurt.  I wanted to cry. I did it!  I hugged Lisa Klinkenberg, looked at the ground, and laid down.  I was exhausted.  I was given my medal and mustered the energy to stand up and get inside where there was chili and warmth.
10801600_10153062948853903_839463310116814731_nThere was a fire outside to enjoy and racers still on course.  We enjoyed the fire, the sunset, and cheered racers as they came through.  Since the course didn't close until midnight, there was a bit of time left to wait.  Having been in the back of the pack too many times to count, whenever possible, I like to be there to greet finishers.
We took a trip up to the aid station in hopes of catching friends and cheering them on.  We missed Amanda and Billy, helped out Ryan with encouragement to keep going since if he finished he would be the 2nd place finisher for the combined, cheered on Shannon and Doug, visited with Jane and Ted, and heard from Eric that he hadn't passed Liza and Jordan.  Worried that they were headed back to base, we headed back ourselves.
The fire needed stoking, racers were finishing, and eventually we got word that Liza and Jordan were still on course and would be finishing close to midnight.  It was an amazing atmosphere.

Overall, The Endurance Society nailed it.  There seemed to be no issues at registration, they didn't run out of medals, race directors were visible and available.  No one got lost, the event started on time, everything that was promised was delivered.
My Official Results: 8:04:05 for the 30k Snowshoe
Next year: make my first lap faster than this year... and still go out to finish the 60k!!!
I cannot wait for Infinitus!

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Stop Hiding Behind Your Comfort Zone

where-magic-happensWe have all heard the saying “Life beings at the end of your comfort zone.” by Neale Donald Walsh.
We all have places we feel comfortable and confident.  We know that we will succeed, even if it takes effort and all that we have, we know we will not fail.  That is our comfort zone.
It’s important to know where your comfort zone is.  To know what your boundaries are.  It is within those boundaries you can relax and reflect.  It should be where you can recharge and reevaluate.
Now comes the hard part.  Step outside of it.  It doesn’t have to be big.  It doesn’t have to be an all or nothing mentality.  Find something to push you.  That is where you grow and learn about yourself.  That is where you find yourself.   Don’t like meeting new people?  Introduce yourself to one new person, not a whole group.  Don’t think you can run a 10k?  Sign up and finish, however that happens.
Comfort zones are wonderful.  Reach for growth, step outside of it!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

What it takes to be an inspiration.

Just what does it take to inspire someone?Not necessarily as much as you might think.  It will differ for each person.  You might not even realize that you are being an inspiration.  Everything that you do can be inspiring to the right person.

Did you share a recipe that was healthy?  Someone might have seen it and decide that looks good and takes a step to cook a meal at home instead of going out.  Guess what! You just inspired someone.

Did you post a photo of yourself at the gym?  Someone might have seen it and decided they were going to do something active.  Guess what! You just inspired someone.

Did you do something that pushed you outside of your comfort zone?  Did you shout it to the roof tops when you finished?  Someone probably saw it and probably decided to do something else to step outside of their comfort zone.  Guess what! You just inspired someone. 

I know that running a marathon or an ultra marathon is inspiring.  So is running a 5k when you couldn't run 30 seconds a year ago.   You know what else is inspiring?  Walking a 5k even when you are worried people might be looking at you. 

Anything you do that pushes you is inspiring. Remember that what you are doing could be inspiring someone, just as you are being inspired by others.

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Resolutions and Goals

I am not a big New Year’s Resolutionist.  If I set them too quickly, without a lot of thought, they usually aren’t right for the long term and I give up.  If I spend too much time setting them, the year is too far into it and I give up.  Sometimes I set them too hard and challenging, so I give up.  Rarely do I set them too easy but when I do, they are over before I even get the satisfaction of working on them.  Sense a theme here?  I give up on them.
Goals should be in constant evolution as you grow and change.  When you realize there is something you want, figure out how to obtain it and go for it.  Don’t wait for the New Year to start your weight-loss journey, your sub 3:00 marathon, your quest for all the 4,000 footers in NH, the list goes on and on.
So what are you waiting for! Just because New Year’s Day has passed doesn't mean it is too late or too early to set those goals.  Goals are motivation!
Set your goal.
Set when you want to achieve your goal.
Write down the steps needed to achieve your goal, including mini goals.
Execute your plan.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Butternut Squash Lasagna

One of the meals I have missed since going gluten free has been lasagna.  I haven't dared try to use a GF noodle to recreate the dish as I don't always like how the noodles are the next day.  I have found I tend to prefer them fresh and that doesn't translate well to lasagna.  It got me to thinking about the ways that people use different squashes to replace noodles in other dishes, zucchini, spaghetti squash, etc.  I have often enjoyed a butternut squash lasagna with a white bechamel sauce and thought that would work quite well as a replacement in lasagna.  So I set out to do just that!  It came out amazing and I cannot wait to make it again.

Butternut Squash Lasagna

1 Butternut Squash, peeled, seeded, and sliced approximately 1/4 of an inch thick
8 cups Simple Meat Sauce
8oz Shredded Cheese, Italian Blend works nicely
16oz Ricotta
16oz Chopped Frozen Spinach, defrosted and squeezed in a towel to drain excess liquid.
6 cloves of Garlic, mined
2 Eggs
2 TBS Garlic and Herb Seasoning
Salt and Pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  In a bowl, mix the ricotta, spinach, garlic, garlic and herb seasoning, and salt and pepper to taste.  Finally mix in the two eggs.

In a large baking dish, 9 x 13, start by laying meat sauce and a single layer of butternut squash, a little overlap is okay.  Layer in half of the ricotta and spinach mixture and top with a third of the shredded cheese.  Repeat with more sauce, squash, the rest of the ricotta and spinach, and another third of the shredded cheese.  Top with the one more layer of squash, more meat sauce, and the rest of the shredded cheese.

Bake for 60 minutes until squash is cooked through and cheese is lightly browned and melty.  Allow to cool a bit before serving.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Simple Meat Sauce

I have been wanting to make a gluten free lasagna for a while, so today was the day.

But first, let me take a selfie!

Okay, just kidding, first I needed to make a meat sauce.  This made more than enough for the lasagna, left me with enough leftovers to make a serving or two of pasta, and enough to make meat sauce poached eggs for breakfast.

Simple Meat Sauce
1 Onion - diced
1 Pepper, any color - diced
2 TBS Butter
20oz Ground Turkey
14oz can Tomato Paste
32oz can Diced Tomatoes
32 oz can Crushed Tomatoes
2 TBS Garlic and Herb Seasoning
Salt and Pepper

Saute the onions and peppers in the butter.  Add the Garlic and Herb Seasoning, continuing to heat until fragrant.  Stir in the three cans of tomato product, seasoning with salt and pepper.  Bring to a simmer and cook for at least an hour.  Add more salt and pepper to taste.  The longer it cooks, better better it gets.  Enjoy!