Hiking Gunstock Mountain

Last weekend Peter, Pete and I hiked Rowe, Gunstock and Belknap Mountains with the dogs. It was a rainy, cool-ish day; perfect for dogs to stay cool.

We started up from the base area after the dogs swam in the pond. The trail to Rowe is beautiful. I felt like I was in a different world because the woods were so dark and foggy. Rowe is a quick summit and then on to Gunstock. Toward the top we ran into mountain bikers coming down. That would be a fun thing to do – ride this trail.

The top of Gunstock was socked in and it started to rain/mist more. Perfection!

Then we headed over to Belknap and Pete got to the summit tower first. With no views I opted out. There were perfectly placed puddles for the dogs to cool down in as we headed back down.

My favorite part of this loop is Brook Trail. There is a bubbling brook that follows the trail to the end and the dogs got to drink, play cool off in it for the last 30 minutes.

This is the first time I’ve hiked in the Belknaps and it certainly won’t be the last. Just to think that I will be working at Gunstock in a few short weeks is exciting and I cannot wait!

I’ll be hiking, running and biking these trails over and over again. What a fantastic place. Oh, and I did have excellent company this weekend!

Somewhere in the Belknap Range….

Tired dogs are always good, too.

Tired dogs in the parking lot.

July 4th and Plan for the Week

While Saturday and Sunday during the July 4th holiday weekend was a no-training weekend, Friday morning I finally got a ride in along the coast of New Hampshire. I rode from my parent’s house up and down the coast in Rye and North Hampton. It was very windy in some spots but the views were worth it.

North Hampton Route 1A, bike ride heading north.

It’s a bit treacherous biking on Route 1A. I did almost get clocked by a car that weaved into the the bike lane. When I looked up I noticed he was looking at himself in the mirror. Tourists and locals alike, on recreation bikes and walking, were oblivious to cyclists. Next time I’ll do that mid week and much earlier in the day.

Saturday and Sunday was more of a swim-and-walk-the-dogs kind of mellow weekend which means I’m really off my training plan. It’s summer and while a training plan is good it just seems right to take each opportunity for fun despite what the plan.

Life is so good right now so no regrets. Ever.

Watched One Week, again, the ultimate Canadian road trip.

This week: 

Run: 40 Miles
Bike: 75 Miles (road and mountain)
Swim: 6,000 yards
Hike: Ragged, Sunapee (during the week), 1 4,000 footer during the weekend

There is the plan. Now it’s time to execute.

Ironman rescheduled, Presidential Traverse and more

It’s been an adventure-filled week of mountain biking, running in the humidity, swimming in lakes and rivers, and dogs wrecking my stuff. News about Ironman Mont Tremblant came this week. They offered some options about transfering to a 2020 race or postponing until next year. I have until June 29 to make a decision. Options include Lake Placid, Wisconsin, Chattanooga and Texas. All really great options that would get me training hard. I told Mark I’m going to concentrate on running this year and just postpone until next year. However, stranger things have happened since I may be up for more adventure and craziness.

Mont Tremblant options……

Mountain Biking
I bought a season pass for Bear Brook. It was time. I love this place. And since I never take pictures while biking all I have is a screenshot from Strava of a fun adventure on Sunday.

Running
Running has been difficult with a sore back (thanks dogs) and the heat. I had dog training on Saturday mornings for the last 6 weeks so runs sometimes were cut short. I didn’t have that excuse this past Saturday. Long runs are my nemesis and this needs to change pronto. 

Gunstock 50 miles is coming up in September.

My mid-week runs have been decent and certain hills I’ve been getting stronger. This coming Saturday I’m running/hiking with my Leadville friends so I know I’ll get in 22 miles. 

They promise water at Lake of the Clouds.

Presidential Traverse
I’m so excited for Saturday and running/hiking the traverse with the same people I ran/hiked the Pemi Loop with last year. I’ve been wanting to do the traverse for so long and now I get to. I even had an opportunity to hike it mid-week with another group this week but I couldn’t make dog kenneling and logistics work, but that would’ve been epic and helped training for Ragged Mountain.  

The YMCA is opening more options this week and I will start weight training this morning. I don’t want to overdo it before the Presidential Traverse on Saturday but I’m excited to get back to getting stronger. 

Having a beer with my dad at the Atlantic Grill on Sunday. Happy Father’s Day.

The week wouldn’t have been completed with some sort of destruction of property. I wanted to give Goldie another chance at free reign of the house while I biked and came home to this:

Goldie’s destruction of property. She is lucky she is so darn cute.

This week is the last full week in June and then it’s on to July.

Make this week a good one!

I’m tired and cranky, Ironman training

Today I’m going to bike and run and hike two mountains. I can do it all today. 

Okay, how about a hard trail run after a tough week of weights and running – and call it getting back at it. 

Am I a triathlete or ultrarunner or off-road triathlete?

I want to be all of the above. But I’m so tired. I’m not recovering well. I wake up tired. But I’m going to keep at it and get better. I know that I’m aging but I just have to do everything right so I can do all my races, or at least the ones left. I want to finish a 100 miler this year. I want to hike all the 4,000 footers again. 

After taking the dogs to the river after my run I decided to take the afternoon off. And decide to attempt the 100,000 vertical challenge for June, July and August. As of today I’m at 8,138. I have a great plan to run, hike and bike 33,333 vertical feet for three months. 

Heading into the Holiday Weekend

It’s Friday and I just got back from a short hike with the dogs in Winant Park. We saw the usual players: trail runner, people with dogs, people without dogs. Despite hiking earlier and earlier I still seem to see more every day. It’s all good. Goldie is coming on command and I can get her on a leash at the end of the hike which I couldn’t do a week ago. Winnie is getting older and grumpier so at the last half of the hike she is on leash. 

It’s been a good week so far. I’ve run all the mileage I am supposed to according to the 100 mile training plan.

Today is an off day in preparation for tomorrow’s 18 miler. I finally feel like I’m back on track and feeling strong while running.

The holiday weekend is turning out to be a busy one, plus the weather is going to be fantastic. Hiking Monadnock on Sunday, which I haven’t hiked in over 30 years. Hiking Ragged on Monday, which will be hard – the mountain is tough! And running and mountain biking with friends the rest of the days. 

I have been thinking about my goal of running 100 miles in 2020. It more and more looks like it’s going to be a self-supported 100 mile run in October. I’m thinking 5 10-mile out and back routes to my house. I’ve been scouting out runs which is making my longer runs more interesting and keeping my mind occupied. 

Here’s what I’m thinking for the self-supported 100:
10 miles out to Bow and back 
10 miles out to Oak Hill (East Concord) and back 
10 miles out to Boscawan and back 
10 miles out to Hopkinton and back 

Which leaves one more out and back left to figure out. And most importantly which legs to do at night from a safety perspective. 

Fun, Fun. 

Have a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend, friends. 

Goldie says hi friends! I’m cute.