Prep for North Face Endurance race Massachusetts

North Face Endurance Challenge MA

Today is the day before the big race that will define the next 3 years.

No pressure.

This North Face Endurance race in Massachusetts is touted as one of the toughest trail runs, meaning that the DNF percentage is pretty high due to terrain and elevation change. A few months ago I was thinking that I would start and just do what I can. If I didn’t finish, at least I will start – no matter what.

Now, since my training has gone well and I feel good I really want to go ALL IN. I’m going to finish – no matter what.

I want to do the races that I’ve been dreaming about and planning for since 2014 – ultra distances culminating in the biggie – 100 miles.
Tomorrow’s race is now about how to pace and finish a tough trail run at a shorter distance – 26.2 miles*.

I’ve tried over the last few years to sign up for 50 miler and that will force me to train for it; and that just hasn’t worked. It worked for Ironman but a 50 miler was so intense and I couldn’t do the training miles.

So much has changed this year.

I’m highly motivated and my training is going well. I’m 100% vegetarian and 80% vegan (darn pizza and ice cream, but I’m working on it). I feel like I recover better from hard training and I’m a bit lighter (still working on that too). While I’m not living in the mountains (like in Colorado) or surrounded by mountains (like in Tucson) I live in a hilly place and the mountains are 45 minutes away.

I’m working it.

Since I’m not on social media anymore I don’t follow the ultra runners to stay motivated like I used to do. Now, I  watch a lot of YouTube videos and subscribe to newsletters and magazines. But the key is doing the training, following the training plan and staying focused.

Today, one day from race day, I am going to walk and hike but no running. I’ve been tapering all week so I’m going into tomorrow’s race well rested. I’m going to finish this darn race: 26.2 hard trail miles at Wachusett Mountain Resort.
I have all my post-race food ready for me and on Sunday, my recovery day, Mark arrives for week! Woo hoo! He will be training on some hills in Concord all week and hopefully escaping the heat and humidity of Houston. Temps and humidity percentages looks good so far.

Concord NH Temp June 2018

Our next race is Ironman Mont Tremblant.

Here we are back in 2014 in St. George, Utah after Ironman 70.3 St. George.

Kristen Mark IM St George

*Race report will be posted upon completion. 

So Green

Winant Trails May 23 2018

Photo: Yesterday’s trail run in Winant Park. No Photoshop needed. The trees and plants are so green and beautiful.

Daily Stats (May 23):
Hike: 0
Run: 7.5M
Swim: 0
Bike: 0

Kearsarge South

I ran/hiked the Winslow & Barlow Loop this morning. I chose the reportedly steeper, Winslow Trail to ascend and the supposedly mellower and longer Barlow trail down. They were both tough with rocks, roots and rock slabs.

It was gorgeous at the top:

Kearsarge South Summit

South Kearsarge Hike

Next weekend I plan to hike Ragged Mountain and will go longer on the SRK Greenway (Sunapee-Ragged-Kearsarge) trail. I bought the trail guide last year and now I will finally use it.

Daily Stats:
Hike: 2.8M
Run: 0M
Swim: 0
Bike: 13.88

Last Day of April, Maine Marathon 13 Days Away

The last day of April and I’m sad to see it go; really I am.

April was a relatively good month despite the cold weather and Winnie getting sick with some sort of cough and the medicine that made her pee so much but ultimately made her better. It’s just hard seeing the drinking and peeing after Daisy being sick with the same effects.

April was good, calm, normal. I love my job and I love where I live. Everything is status quo. Training and writing. Working and hiking. The snow has melted, and while it is not quite warm, it is finally starting to feel like spring.

Winnie Dog

Yesterday, Sunday my training plan called for a three hour run. I was hoping for as-close-to 18 miles as possible. The route was to run to Penacook, turn onto Washington St. then turn onto River Rd. then up Carter Hill and home. I forgot what a huge hill Carter Hill is [gasp!]. Final mileage: 16. I’ll take it!

The forecast was rain all day so I didn’t wear headphones. So no music the entire time. It was fine. New running routes help take the pain away. It’s amazing the sense of wonder you can get running in new places.

The sun came out for about five minutes during the entire three hours; it was mostly grey with a bit of green. 

River Road Rain Penacook NH

The two best things about the run: running next to the The Contoocook River and completing the 16 miles under 3 hours, which was about the same time I did the 16 mile Boston Prep Race in January. [proud moment]

Now I have one more high volume week, taper and race.

Maine Marathon