Saturday, August 30, 2014

Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park

This past week Tom and I drove up to Bar Harbor/ Acadia National Park for an end of summer vacation before starting law school next week.  The trip went by very quickly, which I suppose is a testament to how nice it is there and how much there is to do.  This was our third or fourth time there so this time we made sure to visit some new places, like Sand Beach, and branch out to new carriage trails instead of sticking to the main route around Eagle Lake. Below are a few pictures from the trip, in no particular order. 
Walking in the shallow water looking for crabs before going out for some great lobster rolls.  
We camped at Hadley's Point campground, which is a few miles outside of Bar Harbor.  It's a very nice campground and we stayed here last year as well.  Here is Tom doing a great job building a fire for s'mores. 
Panorama of the cliffs near Sand Beach.  
Tom out in front on a bike ride through Acadia. 

Had a nice visit with smokey the bear on the way up.  
There was some cool grass at Eagle Lake.  As you can see, it is red on the bottom and green on the top. 
There are roughly 130 miles of carriage roads throughout the park. They are all about this wide and very well groomed.  They were financed by John Rockefeller and took 30 years to complete in the early 1900s.  
On one of the routes we biked on there was lots of evidence of beavers, although we did not spot any actual beavers.  
Here we are in the middle of a bike on top of Paradise Hill.  There is not much cell coverage throughout the park so Tom was happy to find some on the top of the hill overlooking a town. 
Panorama of Sand Beach.  The water is nice and bright blue. 
Tom exploring the cliffs near Sand Beach.  
Sand Beach in Acadia National Park. 


2 Cats breakfast.  This was our favorite breakfast spot of the trip.  Each morning, we set out to try a new place, but we ended up eating here our last two days because it was so good.  I certainly recommend trying it out if you are in town.  The first day I got an omelet and the second day I got raspberry almond pancakes, both of which were great and super filling.  Most of the meals come with a giant biscuit served with strawberry butter, which makes a nice special edition to the meal.  The other good breakfast place is Jeanne's Great Maine breakfast, which we went to on the first day and I got to see an old friend of mine from club soccer and her family.  Those two breakfast spots will fill you up to go on the many active adventures that are offered in the park. 

During low tide there is a large sandbar that connects the main part of the town to Bar Island.  It's fun to walk across and you can even drive on it.  They have pictures up of people who parked their cars on the sandbar and I guess forgot to move them when the tide came in so they were submerged in the ocean. 
There were some great skipping stones on the sandbar.
During our time there, I started studying for law school.  I have some readings due for the first day of class, which is this Wednesday.  I doubt I will be encountering many places as nice to read as this spot over looking the harbor.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Training Tuesday

This week Tom and I are running a middle school/high school preseason cross country camp at Newton North, which has been going great.  After camp yesterday we went out to Walden Pond and there I swam and then ran.

  • One hour total swim workout at Walden Pond with 6 x across the pond the short way progressing each one.  4:08 down to 3:33.
  • 6 mile run at Battle Road trail.
    We found a crayfish...
    …and it was an excellent day for swimming

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

August garden in full bloom

View from the bottom of my sunflower forest.
I had a large beet and carrot patch and one day I noticed all the beet greens were limp and dying.  Upon further investigation, I saw that something had dug up and eaten all of the beets and had left the beet greens in place.  Whatever it was then moved onto the carrots, so I had to pick all of my carrots at once before they got eaten. 

I planted these eggplants inside as seeds in March and planted them outside in my garden in the early summer.  This is my first eggplant (about two weeks ago) and I have one more that is a little bigger than this. 
We have lots and lots of flowers growing.  
More flowers, including my first sunflower of the summer. 
Nasturtium and a cabbage
This flower broke through to the other side of the fence.
Little watermelon
My first dahlia flower 
Three squash and an eggplant.
After having a ridiculous number of tomatoes last summer, I did not plant any plants this summer, but one did grow on its own anyway. 
More nice flowers

We planted some acorn squash this year and it is doing very well.  Squash is much better  fresh from the garden, especially acorn squash. 
And some more flowers!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Training Tuesday

Today was a nice day to be outside, especially since tomorrow is supposed to be a washout.  I had a bike in the morning and then a swim workout at Walden Pond in the evening. 
We got to swim as the sun was setting
  • 43 mile bike with 5-4-3-2-1 high cadence starting at 5 min of 100 cadence, progressing by 5 to finish with 1 min at 120. 
  • 1 hour swim workout at Walden Pond


Also, next week is my middle school and high school cross country camp if anyone is interested in signing up.  More information can be found by clicking here. 

Monday, August 11, 2014

Boston Triathlon

Yesterday I raced in the Boston Triathlon for the second year in a row.  I had a good time racing and was able to defend my title from last year.  The weather was just about perfect for an August race, with sunny skies, and pretty low humidity.  The race takes place at Carson Beach in Boston, with the swim in the harbor, and the bike and run on William Day Boulevard.  So, a nice flat and fast course.  As I was setting up my things in transition, I noticed a smashed glass bottle directly under another racer's bike and sort of spread throughout the area; a hazard of having a triathlon in Boston that was quickly and successfully taken care of by the race staff.  As always,  thanks to all the volunteers out on the course for their time and energy!
The swim start
The swim took place in the harbor water.  The start of the race was delayed 30 minutes due to the low tide, so by the time we started there was a bit less sand that we had to run over, which was nice.  Due to the delayed start, I was also able to have a pack of GU Energy blueberry pomegranate chomps for some extra energy.  The harbor water had very low visibility and seems to be extra salty in comparison to normal ocean water.  This also means there's a bit more float for swimming.  For the swim, we had to swim out to the first buoy, turn right, swim parallel to the beach, then turn right again to swim back to shore.  For most of the way out to the first buoy, I was in a group of swimmers, then after the turn I was in third place and focused on catching the swimmer in front of me, who was maybe 10 seconds up.  I caught the swimmer in front of me around the time that we turned to head back to the beach and ended up exiting the water in second place, which was a nice surprise for me.
Exiting the swim in my ROKA Sports wetsuit
About 1 minute into the run
After a good transition, it was on to the bike.  The 9 mile bike course consists of two out and back loops along the water.  I was the first female out on to the bike but knew that my competitors behind me always have strong bike legs, so my goal on the bike was to go as long as I could before getting caught.  Medena Knespl caught me about 3/4 of the way through the second lap.  She gapped me a little bit, but since I was on a road bike and not a TT bike, I was able to take the sharp turns near the end of the bike course a bit faster, and we ended up heading into T2 at the same time.  On the bike I had a bottle of GU Energy tropical fruit Roctane drink, which was extra good after the very salty swim.

Next up was the 4.4 mile run along the water.  The course follows the bike course for most of the way, then turns onto a walkway over the water, where you run around a gazebo to complete the turnaround.  I felt good and started the run strong through the turnaround, then with about two miles to go, my right calf started to tighten up, and then got worse with about a mile to go, so I slowed down and just ran to the finish.

The end of the run, featuring the side of my SOAS racing kit!
In comparison to last year, my swim was a little better, my bike was 8 seconds slower (but the same mph avg) and my run was 25 seconds a mile slower (last year I was way behind going into the run).  Overall, the race went a bit better than I expected, especially the swim, and I am happy with the result.

Random interesting fact from the day, both myself and the men's race winner ran cross country and track at Newton North, although not at the same time.

Finally, after a fun and successful week of my youth track and field camp two weeks ago, next week (August 18-21) I will be having my Garden City cross country camp for middle school and high school athletes.  Click here for more information about the camp, click here to register, and email me at jessbarton1117@gmail.com with any questions.  The camp is open to all middle school and high school runners, regardless of ability.


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Training Tuesday

This week I am running the Garden City youth track and field camp each day from 9-3.  It is very enjoyable, but also tiring.  It's also good training as my entire body is sore from playing the warmup games with the campers and doing movements that I pretty much only do once a year at camp.  I got my training in after camp today.

  • 4,000 total swim workout at Cambridge Masters practice. 
  • 7 mile normal run.  Tom and I ran at night on Comm Ave, which was great.  I have not run at night in a long time and it was as enjoyable as I remembered it being. 


Here I am putting on my race belt at the start of the run at the
Marshfield-Duxbury triathlon on Sunday.  

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Marshfield-Duxbury Triathlon

This morning I raced the Marshfield-Duxbury triathlon for the second year in a row.  It was a great morning for a race, especially given that about an hour after the race, the storm clouds and rain moved on in.  Overall I feel that I had a solid performance and had a great time racing.

The swim was a somewhat triangular 1/4 mile in the cold ocean water.  The water was 57ยบ, which I felt was quite cold.  I had a good swim and came out of the water right on the heels of the first two swimmers.  At the start I was with a lot of other swimmers, but then once I got out to the first buoy I was up near the front and just stayed with the two guys in front of me.

The bike was 11 mostly flat miles with one not too challenging hills.  There was a pretty strong headwind at times, but otherwise a great course with nice long and straight roads.  I felt decent and just went hard on the bike.  At one point we passed by a beach where a bunch of people were getting their scuba gear out of their cars to go scuba diving.  The water was really clear where we were swimming, so they were probably able to see some cool ocean life.  During the bike I had my usual bottle of GU Energy fruit punch Roctane.

After the race
The run was an out and back 3 miles on the beach during low tide.  Heading into the run I was a minute or two behind the leader at that point, Karen Smyers.  I went out fast and caught up to her a bit before halfway.  It is nice being up near the front at this race because on the way out on the run I was able to pick the path I wanted to run on, whereas on the way back I had a few slower stretches running in the softer sand or on the rocky part near the shore.  This year they put a big orange buoy at the run turnaround and it was interesting being able to see both the turnaround and then the finish the entire time.  I don't know if it made the run go by any slower or faster, but at times it was good to be able to see just how much I had left to go.

Next up for me is a week of youth track and field camp at Newton North.  In the chance that anyone is still looking for a great camp to attend starting tomorrow, we do accept day-of registration.  For more information click here.