Suddenly Summer

It happens every year.

One minute you are sitting in your house freezing and wearing long tights on a morning run.

The next minute you can’t stay cool in your house and are sweating bullets in shorts on a morning run.

Today, on a hot, muggy morning I ran 8 miles on roads and trails. While the temperature on weather.com reported 70 degrees and humidity at 67% it felt higher and I was melting. Ugh. I seriously don’t know how I lived in Tucson for three years. 

I just looked at the details of my Strava and it states that the temperature was 63 and humidity 88%. That sounds a little more correct than weather.com

Either way. Hot and muggy with full sun exposure. I liked the route though: through the quarry trails and over to Winant to run an interesting 8 mile loop before starting work. 

I’m going to try and get away for a short bike ride at lunch time since the weather is so nice; nice bike weather means not windy and rainy. The high today will be 80. I hope to follow the training plan this week and maybe get a 4,000 footer in on the weekend. 

This morning I read a Twitter post about the death of David Clark. I read some posts about his passing last week but only his name was mentioned and I didn’t know who he was; at that time there were few details. I found the story today from Rich Roll who gave a tribute to him and I was instantly drawn into Clark’s story. 

His story is about how an obese alcoholic who loved fast food found a new life in running. And not just running – ultra running some of the hardest races. As someone who struggles with so some of the same things I wanted to know more about his story and bought his book, Broken Open. I’ll let you know what I think once I pick it up from Gibsons.

Weekend Recap Bike, Run, Hike

“that New Hampshire bluff, that promontory of a state … will longest haunt our dreams” Thoreau on Monadnock in 1844 (pictured above)

Such a fun weekend:

Mount Monadnock May 24, 2020
Mount Cardigan Summit – May 25, 2020
Mountain Biking in Concord on new trails
Road biking around Concord 

I had great outdoor adventures with friends but alas running didn’t go so well [sigh]. Starting again today with 8 miles. It’s warm this morning: 55 degrees after waking up to low 40s for the last few days. It’s officially running in shorts in the morning weather – I hope from now on. 

After hiking and mountain biking I really feel like mountain biking helps my hiking. I think it will help my running however my run on Saturday was not so great. I felt tired and my legs felt like lead. It will be interesting to see what my run this morning is like. My ankle is close to totally healed but it’s still a bit swollen and it is achy sometimes while running on uneven surfaces. 

Week 7 Plan

I’m looking forward to this week of running and biking. The weather forecast shows some warm days coming up. Summer is almost here. Time to get back on track, hike some 4,000 footers and explore the world (well, locally until travel restrictions are loosened).

One year ago today, I finished my first 50 miler at Pineland. While I didn’t know it at the time that would be my best finish and last ultra race I finished in 2019. It was seriously, one of my best days ever. Thanks, again, to my BFF Mark Nash for pacing me and having the race of my life.

Pineland 50 mile finish line.

Getting to know a new trail

Quarry Concord NH

Three weeks ago I injured my left ankle. 

April 14 injured ankle, from twisting it while trail running.

I can finally run but there is lingering sensitivity and I don’t want to push it too hard. I haven’t run long in four weeks. This weekend I am trying for 15 miles. 

Cycling is good, though but the weather isn’t cooperating for tri bike time: cold and windy. Mountain biking has been good this past week. I feel like I can escape the cold and wind a bit better on trails with the mountain bike.

I’ve been mountain biking to the quarry and trying to get familiar with the trails. It’s so cool to see the quarry water. I don’t think I have ever seen one like this, just in the movies. The discovery process of learning trails is so fun; trying to figure out which way to go and how to get back to the water. It’s similar to moving to a new place and getting to know the new trails and roads.

I remember when I moved to Steamboat Spring, I signed up for a trail running series. It turned out that by running all the races I got to know all the trails around Steamboat and the surrounding towns. I met like-minded people and stayed for three years. When I moved to Granby, CO and lived on the slopes of, then called, SolVista I made a game out of skiing every trail in a day, which wasn’t difficult since it was small. The idea of really getting to know a landscape by learning trails is something I’ve always tried to do in all the places I’ve lived.

Even many years later this idea of getting to know a place, to really know it, still appeals to me. Just when I thought I knew everything about Concord, NH I then I discovered this trail. There are no real trail maps of it and the city of Concord doesn’t have a map of it on their website like they do for all the trails. 

While there are so many devastating things happening in the world with the pandemic, to be able to turn the stay at home order into a positive, learning the local trails and getting to know home is one of the positive things about the times we are living in. 

Biking Makes Me Happy

Today is Saturday. It is raining with intermittent snow. Who doesn’t love a cold, snowy morning in May? I still hope to run and bike at some point today despite my run/bike streak ending at 8 days.

Yesterday, Friday afternoon, I rode to the quarry trails and found the quarry. The trails are fun and challenging. I was a little nervous once I found the quarry because so many movies have scenes where they find the dead bodies at the quarry or the killers are planning attacks while at a quarry. I felt at any moment someone would appear from the rocks and kill me; and no one would find me ever again. And, I was also worried I would get lost and never find my way home. 

When I left my house I wasn’t planning on finding the quarry I just planned to ride the trails and get comfortable with them so I didn’t bring water or food – famous last words from someone who goes missing on a trail. 

Plus, my ankle is not 100% yet so I didn’t want to be on rocky trails that may put pressure on it and re-injure it – so I planned on playing it safe but as I got deeper into the woods the trail kept leading me on. Despite being nervous about everything I kept riding.

The main trail heading into the woods.

After a few loops around the quarry and getting familiar with where I was I headed home, except that I missed a turn to bring me back to where I entered. I was heading downhill toward the cemetery on a rock-filled trail but I wasn’t sure it was the right trail. I almost turned around a few times but I figured it had to bring me back to civilization at some point. 

The area was a bit creepy and I thought that if I crashed, again, I wouldn’t be found for days despite being less than a mile from the cemetery according to my phone. I finally saw a building, then came to a gate and parking lot. I realized it was a business that has signs in the front that there is no recreational activity allowed on the property but I had to get home so I rode through.

As I rode home I was so happy. Mountain biking makes me happy, happy, happy. Despite the fear and worry just a few minutes ago as I cruise downhill back to my house I am glad I got out for 7 miles. The trails were awesome but next time: food, water and maybe a riding partner. 

The White Mountain trails are slowly opening now so I need to get up there and check off some 4,000 footers. It looks like they are taking a “phased opening approach”. I can wait a few more weeks to head north.  I can’t wait for Goldie to bag her first 4,000 footer! 

Dog love.

Training & Racing Update: Week 3, Run Bike Streak

I’m actually pretty psyched to get in 24 miles last week. The miles were solely from walking until Saturday when I tried a little running. Running didn’t hurt too much but I didn’t want to take a chance and re-injure my ankle. Sunday I mixed a little bit running in and the ankle felt good. I biked 105 miles this week which was a big for me, and where I am in the training cycle for the White Mountain Triathlon (half IM distance); I hope it still happens on June 27.

Week 1 – 3, 100 mile training plan results

The big story: Run/Bike Streak Day 7 on Sunday. I ran/walked and biked for seven days in a row. I’m going to keep doing it to stay motivated – heck it worked to keep me going this week when the weather was crappy. It’s the little things in life sometimes.

My walks and runs over the weekend took me through St. Paul’s campus, one of the few places that is really green.

I’m slowly getting back to hiking since the uneven surface is tough on the sore ankle. Goldie had her second and third off-leash hike. She does great staying close but on the last hike wouldn’t come close enough for me to put her on a leash to get back to the car. After 10 minutes I walked back to the car, opened the door and she followed Winnie right in. Success or Failure. I’m not sure but I rewarded her for getting in the car. 

Trails aren’t as green yet, but close.

I drove to Rye to visit my parents and sat 6 feet away from my mom in the driveway. Sunday was an absolutely gorgeous day with a high of 77 degrees. It was nice to see my parents. Goldie was a little nervous for her first one hour drive in the car but did great over all. She needs to get used to car drives since soon we will be hiking in the White Mountains. Back in Concord it was nice to walk in shorts and a tee-shirt. 

Walking through the arches at the State Capital.

Are you watching The Last Dance? I am and it’s such a good documentary. Highly recommended.

Now it’s Monday and gearing up for work. It will be interesting to see more businesses opening this week. It’s been an wacky week and I can’t wait to see what happens. My plan is to run and bike everyday and more hikes with the dogs in Winant Park. Stay healthy my friends.