4,000 footer club

It only took 30 years to get the 4,000 footers done, however, I was out of the region for 15 years. I finished my last one yesterday, August 11, 2019.

But I love a challenge and reaching long-term goals so I’m doing the 67 4,000 footers in New England next so I’ll be heading to Vermont and Maine a lot in the next few months. And, I might have just found a companion to do them with ….. and his dog.

4,000 Footer List, page 1
AMC Guide 24th Edition 4,000 footer list

#doepicshit #ne67

Owl’s Head NH, Finishing my 4,000 footer list

Black Pond Trail

It only took 30 years to finish hiking all my 4,000 footers in New Hampshire. Granted, I was out west for 15 of those years. 

Owl's Head Summit
Owl’s Head Summit

I hiked Owl’s Head on Sunday, August 11 to bag my final peak. Owl’s Head has been my nemesis since several attempts last year and having to turn back due to high water. Fortunately, this year, I met the right person at the right time who was able to hike the mountain with me. I was so afraid of getting lost after reading hundreds of trip reports. But Ross hiked it several times and I felt confident I would make it without being lost in the woods for days. 

We took the Black Pond Bushwhack route and made the round trip in 16 miles and 7 hours. 

Black Pond looking to the Bonds
Black Pond looking to the Bonds

I loved the gently hike to the base of Owl’s Head; just walking in the woods next to a river. It was peaceful and beautiful. 

View from Owl's Head Trail, Franconia Ridge
View from Owl’s Head Trail, Franconia Ridge

The slide and boulders were tough but I gradually got into a rhythm and just headed to the top scrambling up rocks. Hiking down was just as slow. 

I’m so happy to have finished this hike and now I can do the list again, or go right to the 4,000 footers of New England. 

Ross hiking Owl's Head
Ross hiking up the steep trail, Owl’s Head

I love completing life goals. On to the next. 

Next Saturday – Leadville.

Top Notch Off Road Triathlon Race Report

Today was my first off road triathlon since Xterra Indian Peaks in 2009. I used no technology during the entire race except the photo at the beginning. I forgot my watch at home.

Unlike most off-road tris the Top Notch triathlon started with a bike. The bike was 6.5 miles and the first half was on a road and uphill! Then we turned onto some single track for about 3 miles. It was hard. My heart was beating through my chest but felt great on the short downhill.

The swim in Echo Lake was glorious. The water was so clear and I could see a crawfish-like critter scatter around the bottom. I have only swam once in the last four months so I wasn’t really prepared to swim ½ mile but it was a great cool down after the bike. 

As soon as I exited the cool waters, I began the hike up Cannon Mountain. I thought it would be more runnable but it was not. I felt like it was good Hope-Pass-training; endless steep uphill. 

At the top there were beautiful views of Franconia Notch where I hiked last weekend. Since I was in the self-supported Iron category (I completed all legs, instead of a relay), I had to figure out how to get back to my bike, then bike back to my car in the town of Franconia. So I took the Tram down, ran the trail by the lake to get to my bike and asked a few people along the way if I was heading the right way (I didn’t have my phone). Even with no phone I got back successfully. See we can make it through a race with out a phone. Seriously, a guy behind me was Facetiming someone. Luckily, the miles back to the car were downhill.

2nd in my age group, baby!

Such a fun, hard day. Tonight I’m hiking Kearsarge, hoping to get some nighttime hiking in and then a run tomorrow – then it’s taper time! 11 days until I leave for Colorado. 14 days to race day!

Week 4 recap, Run the Pemi Loop

Week 4 was pretty good until it wasn’t. Ha. That is fun to write. Kind of. Not really.

Every day this week was great until the fiasco that was Sunday. The week started with a Tuesday-Wednesday-Friday run schedule. It should have been Tuesday-Wednesday-Thursday and then maybe Saturday would’ve been a little different; but should’ve, could’ves will kill you. 

Saturday was the Pemi Loop with a wake up call at 2:30am. At the Lincoln Woods trailhead at 4:30 to meet Bob, Mark and Jen. We are all running Leadville 100 in a few weeks. We started with headlamps on the Osseo Trail and then about 45 minute in could turn them off.

Up over Flume, Liberty, Haystack, Lincoln, Lafayette, Garfield, South Twin, Bond and Bondcliff.

Stole this picture from Mark’s Facebook page. Franconia Ridge heading to Lafayette.

The best part was the Franconia Ridge and the Bonds. Beautiful, above treeline hiking and running.

Heading to Bond – my favorite part!

The hardest part was the doom and gloom of the Garfield Ridge and the .8 mile climb up South Twin. 

It was a hot day and I did a lot of things wrong: not enough water, no electrolytes, not enough food – all contributing to the fiasco that was Sunday. 

I woke up with low energy and super low heart rate, which scared me. I really wanted to rally and have a great day with a run in the morning to start. But nope. Couldn’t do it. At 5:00 pm I finally got out of bed and got in a swim with Winnie and ate a good meal. Today, Monday, still sore but energy seems to be restored. 

I’m not sure I could do the Pemi Loop solo. It was so fun to talk and laugh with people. There were about 10 runners we encountered that were doing the clockwise Pemi Loop. It’s pretty popular. I think now, two days later, I might do this again. Maybe in the fall. 

Now it’s time for Week 3 and to have a good almost-taper week.

Week 4 Leadville Training Update

I’m currently in Week 4 of Leadville 100 training. I’m going for 75 miles this week

Last week, Week 5, was another week that wasn’t; I didn’t hit my miles and DNS for the Whiteface Sky Race.  [sad face]

I’ve been training for eight months and have learned that some weeks just aren’t great training weeks and you have to take some fun times with your friends instead of running 50 miles in a weekend. I’ve always said I’ll always choose adventure, but I’m a wee bit bummed about last weekend; but not really, okay a little. Grrr.. 

I had fun driving to New York and swimming in Vermont rivers and Lake Champlain with Kyle, Pants-dog and Winnie-dog. It was fun to have dinner on the patio in downtown Plattsburgh. After dinner I knew I wasn’t going to race the next day; I was exhausted. So I slept in and didn’t go to the race.

River dogs

The drive home included a ferry trip to Burlington, lunch on the deck with live music and more playing in the White River in Bethel, Vermont. Later, after getting home I paddle boarded for the first time on the Merrimack. Balance training for ultra running has proved useful in paddle boarding 

Heading to the river to paddle board

Today, Friday, I’m heading into the week on pace to hit 75. 

Saturday I’m run/hiking the Pemi Loop with Bob and Mark

The total mileage will be 31.5 with 10,000 feet of elevation change. We are running clockwise and plan to bag the following 4,000-foot peaks: Flume, Liberty, Lincoln, Lafayette, Garfield, South Twin, Bond and Bondcliff. 

Sunday is a 20 mile run around Concord. 

It is three and a half weeks until race day. 22 days. The last few weeks haven’t really gone as I planned after climbing Pikes Peak but I’m healthy and not injured – so I have that going for me. I haven’t lost as much weight as I would’ve liked – so that sucks. 

But I’m going into the next three weeks knowing I will: 1)  do all the mileage 2) walk/run at night 3) continue accumulating time on my feet 4) stay happy and focused.