Saturday, March 31, 2007


ROTARY CLUB 5K, WINCHESTER, VA, held the last Saturday in March every year. Here's the list of past records, with enlarged details below; keep moving down to see my time today. :-D

And today, March 31, 2007:

Ellie Hamilton, 55, Winchester, VA 28:33

Whoo HOOOOO!!! After that slogging, cursed 16 miler day before yesterday; then, yesterday, I decided not to be a wimp and went out and did 5 miles right on top of it just to show 'em; thought about skipping the race today to be cautious, since I'd probably be slow and stiff and didn't want to add insult to injury.

I went to the race. I ran. I was not stiff or slow. I did not hurt. I pushed hard. I did good!

However..... pride goeth before a fall. :-/

I was the only one in my age group. AND..... rather than an age-group award anyway, I won 2nd out of 3 female masters overall. No mention of my age (55) OR that I had set a new age-group course record by nearly 3 minutes (2 minutes, 54 seconds. The announcement was only, "Masters Female, Second Place, Ellie Hamilton, 28:33," polite applause, third place, some other lady, and on to the age groups.

There were, they said when they got to the older age groups, "no female finishers over 40." "Unless I'm missing someone," he said. There had been 3 of us. We'd won Masters' awards. I wanted to yell, "Yeah, there's 3 of us, we already got our medals, and I set a new age-group record!" but I kept quiet.

Anyway..... I know what I did, and so do a few others, since I told them, dragging them over to the past-results list to show them my age group, then the time on my watch. One girl who was standing there checking her own status looked where I pointed, then said to me, "But that's not your age group, that's 55-59...." and I said, "Yeah, I'm 55!" I love when that happens. I love when the woman passing me on the course looks my age and I figure I don't have to worry about her because she's probably at least one age group lower, which she usually is.

So I'm bragging, since I didn't get recognized. Second place female master, but FIRST in my AG with an all-time AG course record by almost 3 minutes.

OK, I'll sit down now....

Friday, March 30, 2007


I would love to know what the rest of you eat. Do you follow any specific food plan? High-carb? High-protein? High-PowerBar?  Paleo? Anything you avoid? Fat? Alcohol? Crystal Light?
Do you eat when you're hungry or on a schedule or when your job allows for a break?
Do you try to keep your calories down, or up?
How does your diet change as you get deeper into your training season? Do you eat differently for speed workouts (if any) than for long runs?
Have you identified any food or indulgence that will make or break a run?
What to you eat/drink on your long runs?
Inquiring minds want to know. 

Thursday, March 29, 2007


What a crappy run today. 16 miles, and I walked miles 12, 15 and 16. Does it count as a 16-mile run if you walked 3 of the miles?
I think if it had been a marathon and I'd felt like this at miles 15 and 16, I'd have DNF'd. I don't LOOK like I gained a hundred pounds in the last few days but I must have; I sure felt like it.

This is the point in marathon training when I think, "And just WHY is it that I'm doing this? I seem to have forgotten."

And I think, whatever made me think this was a good idea? Oh, yeah, I remember, I thought a marathon would be fun. Again. Shucks, I've only run 22 of them, I can't be expected to remember what it feels like.

Except I'm thinking, I usually feel like this around the time that my long run gets to 16 miles. Seems to me I feel better on the 18 and 20-miler. I think. I don't keep good records so I can't go back and look, but I'm thinking, after doing this 22 times, I've got a vague recollection that 16 miles sucks worse than any other distance for me.

At least I hope it does. I sure don't want 18 and 20 to be worse.

And I don't even want to think about 26.2 right now....

Tuesday, March 27, 2007


OK, blog gang, look at this and tell me what fun it looks like!
Instead of the Paul Bunyan Marathon (see my right-hand sidebar) on July 15, just another marathon....
How about my first ultra, on a rustic island off the coast of Maine, two weeks later?? More time to recover and train after my Memorial Day Weekend Vermont City Marathon, and still plenty of time to re-train for a hopeful BQ at the Clarence DeMar Marathon in NH, Sept. 30) !?!
I would do the 50K for my ultra debut.... or maybe try the 50-miler -- heck, I'd have 2 months to recover before my next marathon, and I'd get all that endurance training.

Great Cranberry Island Ultra Marathons
50K 50M 100K
Brief Description:
The Great Cranberry Island Ultras are arguably the most unique and newest ultras held in the US. Cranberry Island is the site of an infamous 5K race held in the 80s that attracted a cult following and international attention. Our island community has a long history of supporting, encouraging and producing excellent runners and events. We offer a stunning course, amazing hospitality, and excellent competition. These events are strictly limited to the first 100 who enter.

Great Cranberry Island 50 kilometers: $50.00Great Cranberry Island 50 miles: $50.00Great Cranberry Island 100 kilometers: $50.00

Getting There:
You take a ferry from the mainland. Fun!!!
Entry Requirements:
All competitors MUST have run an ultra marathon OR finished at least three (3) full 26.2 mile marathons to be considered for a spot in our starting field

Participation Requirements:
All competitors MUST agree and plan to camp overnight (Sat night) for the fire side post race party, dinner and awards ceremony. We supply plenty of free camping space including showers. Participants must bring appropriate camping gear.

* Held entirely on a quaint offshore Maine island accessible only by boat!
* Route is multiple out and backs (4 mi per round trip) lap counters provided
* Unique awards for ALL finishers!
* Post event lobster bake, bonfire and awards party free to all registered competitors!
* Great family weekend, beachcomb, picnic and explore!
* Music on the route
* Stocked water & food tables every 2 miles
* Free, rustic overnight camping, at the town field start / finish area.

All those out-and-backs could be monotonous, but on the other hand, after each one a person could buoy herself with, "Heck, another whole segment is only 4 miles...." and look at all the opportunities for restocking and refueling, even if the aid tables aren't as promised.

I am really, really interested in this!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007



At first I thought LaKisha was the sole candidate in this year's contest.

Then Melinda Doolittle rocked the stage with "I'm a Woman" and it became a two-woman show.

Then Jordin, seventeen years old, suddenly turned into a star.

I'm a musician. I'm a singer.

Jordin at seventeen has a profound talent, which becomes more developed and refined with each performance. I am very impressed with this young musician.

Jordin's not going to win. At seventeen, her talent, although great, is not developed enough to outstrip her two primary rivals.

But I can't remember when I've seen a young talent who had impressed me so much. Tonight, her presentation of Tom Jones' "I Who Have Nothing" brought highest praise from Simon:

"I feel like jumping off a bridge. It was so gloomy."

EXACTLY!! And she brought that out so strongly that Simon said he felt like jumping off a bridge.

Jordin won't win. She's a teenager. Melinda has a great talent and more experience.

But I am deeply impressed with Jordin's musical, artistic, and stage ability, and she gets my vote. Yup, I'm voting. What the hell.


Well, I'll be. Thanks to a comment from ShirleyPerly on my post yesterday, I've found me a new, way more BQ-able marathon in September. Still in New Hampshire, and the same weekend. (And when you click on her link, make sure you read her report of this weekend's bike ride!)

I've pretty much decided that the Clarence DeMar Marathon wins out over the New Hampshire Marathon in its course profile, as well as in the comments on .


The main issue is hills. Although I'm a strong hill-runner, they are apparently the downfall of the runner attempting to BQ or PR at the New Hampshire Marathon, according to previous runners.


PLUS..... I'm hoping Shirley is going. We met at Ironman Florida, but didn't get to see much of each other. She, too, is working on the 50-State marathon quest. It would be a lot of fun to run this marathon with her.


Here's a really nice photo essay from a fellow who ran the Clarence DeMar. Looks like a winner to me!


Thank you, Shirley!!

Monday, March 19, 2007

I didn't set out to do a tempo run...

...... but WOW!! I don't know, something clicked just right, because, check this out:

6.2 miles (10K)

It almost seems like something must be wrong, the distance is off or something... but I know it's just over 6 miles, I forget by how many 10ths.... I'll have to measure it later. If I'm wrong, then I'll willingly eat my words.

Yippee!! The maximum I need to run a 4:15 Boston Qualifier is 9:45/mile (which would give me exactly 4:15 and is cutting it a little too close; I hope to maintain 9:35.)

This is looking hopeful. This could actually happen!

Sunday, March 18, 2007



3rd place, women 50-59, in the Winter Series Races of the Shenandoah Valley Runners.

These were the low-key races with no awards, just door-prizes, consisting of things like boxes of Swiss Miss and Fiddle-Faddle. "Cheezy Prizes," they were called. But fun to get. And in these races, you racked up points; how you placed in your age group multiplied by how many races you ran. I missed a few races, so I was outstripped by those who had perfect attendance, but I did my best, and this is what's fun:

Came to a place to spend the winter where I didn't know anyone, found out there was a running club, joined the email group, someone invited me to the first Winter Series 5K with her, I had fun, joined the club, went to more races, got to know some folks, had a great time, got recognized for my participation with an awesome shirt to commemorate the whole experience before I move on to New Hampshire next month.

Super sweet!

(The pot-luck banquet was good, too..... I'll eat sensibly tomorrow....)

Saturday, March 17, 2007


This is the coolest!! is a system of "releasing books into the wild" to be read by others, while you track where the book goes. It's like geocaching with books! Too cool! Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

You join the website (free and private), register a book with an ID number, pass it on by giving it to a friend or leaving it in a book exchange spot (like a laundromat), and the chain is started. If you are lucky enough to find a book with an ID (like finding a geocache!) you go to the website and report your find; then, again, pass it on when you're done.

I love my books but in the RV I don't have room to keep them. With BookCrossing I can "let them go" without really letting them go... I get to see where they are and how they're doing, who they've met -- just like grown kids! I love it!


Several people have asked me, so here's the quick-and-easy explanation. (The explanation, not the process, is quick and easy, LOL!)


Basically, I stitched photos together in Photoshop Elements, uploaded the result to, then pasted the HTML tag into my template under "Head."


It took a lot of trial and error to get it right. I had to do a lot of resizing and moving images around to get them to fit together (like a puzzle, it was fun) and there are still a couple of mistakes -- like Abbie's head poking up into the picture of my medals. I have some new pictures I might want to add so I may be messing with it some more.


I had put up a longer post about this, but then thought maybe that wasn't what people wanted, maybe they were just asing a question, not asking for step-by-step instructions. So here is the new abbreviated version. If you would like the blow-by-blow, let me know and I'll email you the long one.


OR..... what I should REALLY do is say, "Send me your pictures and I'll make you one for a price!" :-D But I'm such a good blog friend, I'll just tell you how...


OR.... if you don't want to do it yourself..... I'm no HTML wizard but I could give it a shot. Here's my email address:
What the hey, nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007


Wow. Today I ran my long run on the same route as last week's Winterspring Run.
Today I'm calling it "Summerspring Run."

Nearly 50* warmer than on this day last week. 75*F today.

No snow falling. None left on the ground. Winter-dried grass, in a few places blackened from fires started by trains yesterday. Homes were endangered but not harmed.

Last week, daffodil leaves poked through the snow. Today, the daffodils are blooming.

Last week, I heard robins and redwing blackbirds. Today, added to those lovely songs were the songs of spring peepers. Now, THAT is a song I love hearing.

Last week, Journey cavorted through the roadside snow. Today, she swam in cold farm ponds to cool off.

Last week, people were shoveling their driveways. Today, they were plowing their fields.

Last week, I ran fast to get home out of the cold sooner. Today I ran slowly so as no to overheat in the unaccustomed summer temperature.

Last week, I finished my run covered with snow. Today, I finished covered with salt from my sweat.

Last week our bathroom pipes were frozen and I walked to the bath house for a long hot shower to get warm. Today, a shower only lukewarm to cool down.

Last week, I came home to a home fragrant with the stomach-warming spicy chili cooking in the crockpot. Today, hamburgers and potato salad and cold beer.

Last week, 12 miles, or a little less, just under 2 hours. Today, 14 miles, almost 2 and a half hours.
Both with the same afterglow.... tired, hungry, happy.
This is amazing.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007


Monday nights I generally spend the evening at the home of our young campground managers, caring for their 8-month-old son while they go out. With not much to do, I've taken to watching Supernanny, and I'm often impressed with her solutions to critical family problems.

Last night's show featured a family with a rebellious, disrespectful teen boy, a girl about 5 years old who kept getting up at night and coming to her parents' bed, and a 14-month-old girl who was still nursing at the breast. This "prolonged" nursing was treated as just one more out-of-control issue in this out-of-control family.

The first 2 kids' behaviors I agree are problematic; the nursing toddler? Sounds normal to me. My friends and I, in the 70's and 80's, all nursed our kids until they were two or so. So do a lot of mothers. But the promo clip briefly showed the child nursing, then slurping sloppily from a sippy cup, featured Supernanny saying the child clung to Mum like a koala, and the voice-over saying, "Get that kid a bottle!"

Which Supernanny proceeded to do. Asked the mom why she was still breastfeeding and got the kid on the bottle within days.

I object on several grounds:

  • Supernanny (who has no children) is misinformed about what's normal. In much of the world, as well as in many circles in North America, nursing is continued into the second or third year as a matter of course. It's a fallacy that nursing is just for little babies, and an expert as current as Supernanny ought to be savvy to this. I was appalled at her ignorance.

  • Abrupt weaning such as was carried out in this case is emotionally traumatic to both parties and is unhealthy for the mother. She continues to produce milk, which causes engorgement and swelling, and ensuing pain and possibly infection.

  • I disagree with having weaned the child to a bottle. If she's young enough to need a bottle, she's young enough to continue nursing. Weaning a cup-cabable child to a bottle seems pointless, and reduces breastfeeding to a mere "where the milk comes from," without considering the many emotional, social, and health benefits to the child of continuing to nurse when both she and the mother are willing.

  • The American Academy of Pediatrics currently recommends that breastfeeding continue for at least the first 12 months of life.

  • It was none of her business. The mother had not expressed any discomfort about her nursing daughter.

    • As children grow, their naturally-growing interests and abilities gradually replace nursing times. If the mother feels it is time to stop, one of the advantages of having the child a little older is that mom can explain and reason a little bit: "I think we should save nursing for bedtime. Let's just cuddle and read a book."

      I think the mother and child could have been taught some "nursing manners" -- the when, where, and how of their nursing relationship could have been pulled off more esthetically. The child nursed whenever and wherever she wished, and the mother was not discreet in the process. This is, perhaps, one of the behaviors that gives longer breastfeeding a bad name.

      Supernanny skillfully and effectively showed the mother how to demand respect from her older son without showing any disrespect for him. She offered good suggestions for teaching the other little girl to sleep in her own bed.

      But she blew it on the breastfeeding issue.

    Saturday, March 10, 2007


    Either someone was still hungry after dinner, or that was mighty fine Hamburger Helper.

    That's milk on the road. Milk. I saw liquid sloshing out of what looked like a milk truck, from the joining between the two tank sections as he made a right turn. When I rode up to it, yup, it was a milk truck, and that was milk. You can see my tracks where I rode through it. There was no way I could catch up to him and tell him, "Hey, pal, your milk's leaking." a lady once said to me once in the grocery store. At the time I had a baby about 4 months old in the kiddie seat in the cart, and this lady came up to me, tapped me on the shoulder, and said, "Excuse me, ma'am, your milk's leaking." I gasped and looked down at my chest, covering my shirt with my hands. Somewhat flustered, she pointed to the floor underneath my cart and said, "No, I mean, in your cart, your milk jug's leaking."

    Bike ride on which I saw these things:
    30 miles, 2:16, SHORTS AND SHORT-SLEEVED JERSEY!! Spring will come!!


    So, you've got all these blog links in your sidebar, or in your Bloglines feeds.

    What makes you like these blogs?

    People with the same interests? (That's a big one... considering the size of the Tri-Blog Alliance including its official and unofficial members.)

    Do you like training details? Race reports?

    A variety of topics, including sketches of personal lives, current-news commentaries, heated discussions, humor? (I vote big for humor but can't seem to get the hang of producing it myself.)

    Short posts? Long and detailed? Photos?

    When you visit a blog, what keeps you coming back?

    Friday, March 09, 2007


    Remember the term "junk miles?" Miles you run that don't accomplish anything? I think I just ran 8 of them. Or rather, ran 5 and walked 3.

    It was one of those runs where you keep on going figuring it has to get better.

    It didn't. After feeling like I was flying day before yesterday, today I had cement legs. And finally, a mile after my turnaround and 3 miles from home, I said "The heck with it" and walked it in.

    My legs feel stiff and my Achilles tendons are sore again. I thought I was over my (very short) cold but my throat is scratchy now. I'm tired. I just want to go to sleep.

    What, now I ask you what, did those miles accomplish for me? I should have turned around after the first 15 minutes.

    8 miles, 1:40 -- first 4, 41:26; second 4, nearly an hour.

    Wednesday, March 07, 2007


    Falling snow.

    Light breeze -- cold going into it, toasty warm going with it.

    Wet roads. Robins. Redwing blackbirds fill the air with their chirpy buzz.

    Leaves of daffodils and tulips show through the deepening snow cover.

    Quiet farm road. Weatherbeaten sheds.

    A lone black cow drinks from a pond, misty through the foggy snow.
    No camera.

    Maple buds.

    Silent solitude but for falling snow and the echo of a dog barking.

    Wood smoke curls from chimneys.


    Pink fleece top with icy snow-covered front.

    Companion dog with slush-frozen underside, gambols through covered grass.

    She tosses up tufts of the fun white stuff.

    Almost 12 miles. Under 2 hours.


    Now I am cold.

    Hot shower.

    Warm clothes.

    Now I'm sweating.

    Dinner is in the crock pot.

    Smells wonderful.
    I'm hungry.
    I'm tired.

    I'm happy.

    Tuesday, March 06, 2007

    WHOA !!!!!!

    Check out my banner!!! I did it myself!! HTML-disadvantaged me! Hardly any mistakes in it! Whooo!!!

    Sunday, March 04, 2007


    Lately, when I try to leave a comment on a blog, about half the time Blogger will not let me see the verification code I'm supposed to replicate to verify my veracity. All I get is a little red X in a little black box. I'm thinking where I'd like to send that red X, by Fed-Ex.

    Saturday, March 03, 2007


    I'll let you know how I do. I think the race info on the website is funny, so I'm sharing it with y'all.

    Mar 3, 2007 Retro Ramble 3.8 Miler
    War Memorial Building, Jim Barnett Park, Winchester, VA. Who can ever forget Boy George, The A-Team, Cabbage Patch Dolls, and Parachute Pants? Unfortunately, not us, so come celebrate the 80's by wearing your favorite 80's attire and answering 80's trivia questions!

    Directions: From Winchester: Hey, you should know how to get there, bucko! The War Memorial building is located near the outdoor pool. From Beryville & East: Follow Rt. 7 into Winchester. Turn left onto S. Pleasant Valley Rd. Turn left at first light onto Cork St. Take first right into the park on Maple St. Take first left and the War Memorial Bldg. is on your right.

    I can't remember what I was wearing in the 80's, except jeans, sweatshirts, and running togs, so I'm just wearing my running clothes. I don't even have a race shirt from the 80's -- wore 'em out or cut 'em up to make a quilt (which I haven't yet.)

    Bleah. Last night and this morning I've felt like I was getting sick. On the course I felt my can of Slim-Fast and my pint of coffee the whole time. Heart-rate was nuts. I walked the hills and some of the flats. My rival for third place in the 50-59 overall winter standings passed me -- we've been passing rights to the 3rd-place title back and forth like France and Germany claiming Alsace-Lorraine. My time was 37:47.

    I did, however, win a can of Repel Sportsman bug repellent in the 80's Trivia Contest, for knowing that "Meathead" was Archie Bunker's nickname for his son-in-law. I consider "All in the Family" more 70's than 80's but the instigators of this are only about 40, so they remember it from the 80's.

    I couldn't identify my "name that tune," which blew their minds. I said, "I didn't listen to my children's music," and the MC said, "This was the 80's," like, it was back when everyone was growing up. Like I said, I didn't listen to my children's music. I recognized the song but couldn't identify it.

    I feel crappy. I'm going back to bed. My whole chest feels tired.

    Friday, March 02, 2007


      Beautiful day.... almost 60*F. A little on the windy side... 15mph gusting to 30, but I love biking again. Especially with countryside views like this.

      Details: 24 miles... 7 miles farther than last time. With my new saddle, no sore sit-bones.


      5K race tomorrow!

      Thursday, March 01, 2007


      --- Sam Walter Foss
      There are hermit souls that live withdrawn
      In the place of their self-content;
      There are souls like stars, that dwell apart,
      In a fellowless firmament;
      There are pioneer souls that blaze the paths
      Where highways never ran-
      But let me live by the side of the road
      And be a friend to man.
      Let me live in a house by the side of the road
      Where the race of men go by-
      The men who are good and the men who are bad,
      As good and as bad as I.
      I would not sit in the scorner's seat
      Nor hurl the cynic's ban-
      Let me live in a house by the side of the road
      And be a friend to man.
      I see from my house by the side of the road
      By the side of the highway of life,
      The men who press with the ardor of hope,
      The men who are faint with the strife,
      But I turn not away from their smiles and tears,
      Both parts of an infinite plan-
      Let me live in a house by the side of the road
      And be a friend to man.
      I know there are brook-gladdened meadows ahead,
      And mountains of wearisome height;
      That the road passes on through the long afternoon
      And stretches away to the night.
      And still I rejoice when the travelers rejoice
      And weep with the strangers that moan,
      Nor live in my house by the side of the road
      Like a man who dwells alone.
      Let me live in my house by the side of the road,
      Where the race of men go by-
      They are good, they are bad, they are weak, they are strong,
      Wise, foolish - so am I.
      Then why should I sit in the scorner's seat,
      Or hurl the cynic's ban?
      Let me live in my house by the side of the road
      And be a friend to man.