My ultra running playlist is about 3 hours but the plan is to listen to it twice for my long, long run. I could listen to them twice because these are all great songs with motivating lyrics. Here is the list with my favorite lines from each song.
Roll Me Away by Bob Segar Stood alone on a mountain top, starin’ out at the Great Divide. I could go east, I could go west, it was all up to me to decide.
Shallow by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper I’m off the deep end, watch as I dive in I’ll never meet the ground. Crash through the surface where they can’t hurt us. We’re far from the shallow now.
A Song for You by The Carpenters I’ve been so many places in my life and time I’ve sung a lot of songs I’ve made some bad rhyme.
Tougher Than the Rest by Bruce Springstein Honey I’m tougher than the rest.
The Climb by Miley Cyrus There’s always gonna be another mountain, I’m always gonna wanna make it move.
He Knows My Name by Francesca Battistelli I’m not living for applause, I’m already so adored. It’s all His stage. He knows my name.
Maybe It’s Time by Bradley Cooper It takes a lot to change a man, Hell, it takes a lot to try. Maybe it’s time to let the old ways die.
Across the Great Divide by Nanci Griffith Now I find myself on the mountainside, where the rivers change direction Across the Great Divide.
The Fire Inside by Bob Segar Faking the smile, hiding the pain, never satisfied. The fire inside.
City Of Stars by Ryan Gosling City of stars, Are you shining just for me? City of stars There’s so much that I can’t see.
Always Remember Us This Way by Lady Gaga That Arizona sky burning in your eyes. You look at me and, babe, I wanna catch on fire.
Mr. Brightside by The Killers Coming out of my cage And I’ve been doing just fine. Gotta gotta be down because I want it all.
Shake it Off by Taylor Swift ‘Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play. And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate.
Try by Pink
Where there is desire there is gonna be a flame. Where there is a flame someone’s bound to get burned.
Black by Pearl Jam I know someday you’ll have a beautiful life, I know you’ll be a star.
Today Is Your Day by Shania Twain You got what it takes you can win. Today is your day to begin. So don’t give up here, don’t you quit. The moment is now, this is it.
Yesterday, Saturday November 24, was such a big day for me. I headed to the mountains for the first time in 4 weeks to figure out this winter hiking thing. I’ve hiked in the winter and snowshoed but not a big mountain and definitely not a 8 mile 4,000 footer.
I’ve read all the books about mountain rescues and being safe in winter. I had all the gear I needed and watched the weather fanatically. All signs pointed to a good day to hike Hancock North.
In reality I didn’t set out to hike to the top. I wanted to scope it out; at least make it to the trail junction of North and South to see what the trail was like and to test out my snowshoeing skills and try out my spikes. I’d never used spikes before.
The day’s temperature started out in the 20s and not a cloud in sight. The parking lot for the Hancocks was almost full (a good sign that people were on the trail, I wouldn’t be alone). I saw that the trail from the parking lot to the trail was packed so I decided to leave the snowshoes in the car. I could alway turn back if I needed them.
I didn’t need them.
The trail was fantastic; hard packed and I seemed to be following someone wearing snowshoes. I knew this trail pretty well since I’ve already hiked it twice to South Hancock in September . In winter it was glorious. The river crossings were easy.
The snow was falling off the trees and crashing to the ground; sometimes loud sometimes softly. The snow falling to the side of me and behind me was creepy at first because it sounded like someone was following me in the trees, but after a while I got used to it.
After the last main water crossing, shortly before the first junction I met a man coming down from the peaks and chatted with him a bit. I noticed on his watch that he was at 3 hours 11 minutes and he did the loop – that guy was fit. He mentioned my hat, my Leadville Race Across the Sky beanie, and asked if I did it. I said it was my dream. He had raced it and was signed up for the coming race. Two years I said. Two years. I will do it.
It was the first time I said it out loud.
I met a solo woman hiker coming down from South Hancock and another solo man passed us going up as we chatted. With all the people out there and the trail being well marked, I thought I could make the summit. So at the trail junction Winnie and I headed for North Hancock.
The trail got pretty steep about ten minutes from the junction and someone had slid down it, wrecking the trail. I encountered a second hiker actually sliding down. I didn’t have the heart to say she was wrecking the trail; she knew it but did it anyway.
The spikes helped me from falling backwards and I had to take a few breaks to catch my breath. Then Winnie came running back to me and jumped on me and licked my face, which she never does while hiking. We stopped for a break: water and treats. Then started again.
I’m sweating bullets, the views are starting to get good and she runs back again, jumps up and licks my face – it’s time to turn around. Something happened to her or it was just too much – I don’t know but I wasn’t going to force it.
We turned around, 0.2 miles to the top.
The hike down was tough. I fell a lot and slid a lot and stepped off trail a lot. It was a bit nerve wracking when I stepped off trail and my leg disappeared in the snow. We made it back to the junction and I realized how warm it got. My spikes were clumping and I was still sweating going down.
It was a tough hike that I know I have to do again shortly. But you know what – I love winter hiking. It’s so quiet and peaceful. There are less people. It was wonderful to follow a trail in winter and know exactly where to go. The snow made my pace slower so I took in the scenery more than summer/fall hiking. I was so much more calmer winter hiking; I wasn’t in such a rush.
I can’t wait to hike when I need my snowshoes. I’m excited about this new hiking option!
Since this is the fourth time through Lincoln to do the last hikes of the 4,000 footers I have started a bit of a routine. I stop at Half Baked for a latte and then the One Love Brewery for a take home beer. Today, I changed it up a big and got the latte but instead of the beer I stopped at the Mountain Wanderer.
I asked the man behind the counter if he was the author and he was! We talked for a while about winter hiking, Owl’s Head, Hancock and Winnie wanting to turn around. Steve motivated me to try the bushwhack trail to Owl’s Head since it will have a nice packed trail soon. He told me the story about Brutus the dog who has a bushwhack trail named for him. It was a wonderful, informative conversation; I was psyched to buy his book directly from his store. He was a wealth of knowledge and so kind.
It was a good day!
Training for my 2-year plan starts today.
I will finish the 4,000 footers.
I will run/hike 1,000 miles.
I will run a 50 miler in 2019 and I will run a 100 miler in 2020.
Mark and I headed north on Saturday in the wind and rain. He was interested is seeing covered bridges. Here is one of the more famous ones: Jackson, NH covered bridge.
On Sunday, the best weather day, we hiked on my favorite trail: Marjory Swope Park trail in Concord.
One of the momentos from our our trip north is a pint glass from a restaurant we stopped at in North Conway. It the Tuckerman Brewery glass below, third from the right. I realized all the glasses and mugs I’ve accumulated over the years remind me of some fun times all over the country.
Pint glasses (from the left): finishing the Houston marathon 2017, 2nd place sprint triathlon finish prize Tucson 2014, Pemberton 50K trail run finisher prize 2013, Tuckerman Brewery Conway NH 2018, visit to Mississippi 2013, Tucson dog benefit 2105.
Mugs (from the left): 2009 1st Ironman mug, 2016 second St. George 70.3 race, a mug from my time living in Vermont 2001-3, Ironman Wisconsin with Mark 2013, my Christmas present from George from Rocky Mountain National Park.
Such great memories of time spend in mountain and Ironman towns.