Weekend Recap: Sunapee & Liberty/Flume

Mount Liberty Sept 2018

 

On Saturday Winnie and I hiked to the top of Mount Sunapee. The trail was pretty wet and muddy from all the rain. The streams were flowing and Winnie had fun playing in both water and mud.

Sunapee with Winnie. She kept looking uncertainly at the chairs on the chair lift. It was a beautiful, cool fall day at the resort.

We saw a lot of people on the trail and Winnie swam in Lake Solitude. Winnie was beat for the rest of the day. Unfortunately I wouldn’t be taking her to the hike scheduled for Sunday: Flume.  

I hiked the Liberty Spring Trail to the Franconia Ridge Trail. The trail passed over Liberty and then I reached Mount Flume in 2 hours 30 minutes.  I saw a few hikers on the trail going up and about 10 trail runners coming down. I hoped that I would be running down, too.

I tried to run as much as I could but the trail was 75% rock with large roots thrown in for good measure. Once I passed Liberty Spring tent sites I could hear the wind and it got pretty cold. I put on a warmer jacket and a beanie. I didn’t realize that the Franconia Ridge Trail is an exposed ridge only on the northern section that is closer to Lincoln and Lafayette. This part of the ridge was wooded and smelled of pine.

Almost to Liberty, looking north to Lincoln on Franconia Ridge Trail.

The summit rocks of Liberty took my breath away when I saw it for the first time.

My first glance at Liberty – a stunning rock pile

The rock pile seems to rise out of the ground and trees. According to my AMC White Mountain Guide Twenty-fourth edition I hiked Liberty in 1988 and 1991 but don’t remember. I did note that on the 1991 trip I took the same trail starting on the Whitehouse trail. I’m so glad I kept that book over the years. I knew I’d be back to finish all the 4,000 footers.

About 15 people took pictures and hung out on the summit of Liberty. I don’t stop and continued hiking south to Flume; I passed about 10 people headed to Liberty.

Sitting on top of Flume looking south and loving my Altra trail runners.

Since my PI trail shoes were still soaked from yesterday’s hike in the mud at Sunapee I wore my new, not-yet-worn Altra trail running shoes. It was a risk to wear them on this important bag-a-4,000-peak hike but they turned out to be perfect. They got a bit beat up on the rocks and roots, and managed to stay comfortable the entire time.

I did like the Liberty Springs Trail  despite feeling like I walked up stairs for miles on end. As my thoughts started to wander through the sometimes monotonous terrain, I thought about the Grid and wondered if I might try to do it: hike all 4,000 footers in every month.

Sunday’s Total mileage: just about 10 miles round trip. I’m pretty beat and not sure I’d want to do that hike in every month,  but I’ve been thinking about winter hiking and with the right instruction I might give it a try.

Now I’m down to six remaining 4,000 footers: N. Hancock, Waumbek, Cabot, Garfield, N. Twin and Owl’s Head. My plan is to finish them by the end of October. November is too risky with the potential of ice and snow on the trails. I’m hoping that Winnie will hike Waumbek, Cabot, Garfield and N. Twin; the other two are too rocky and long.

Foliage Update: The leaves in northern New Hampshire are just about starting to turn. Next weekend they will be at their peak colors. 

NH 4000 Footer Grid 2018 KL

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

Should you run when you are sick? Long run canceled, I’m sick

I started feeling a cold come on yesterday. I still ran my short run knowing that I couldn’t push it too much because I had a 13 miler on Saturday. I continued not feeling well at work Friday, drank tea and had a delicious smoothie from Live Juice (Wake Me Up with Green Tea, Hemp and Bananas) in the afternoon. Not feeling much better at 7 p.m.,  I went to bed early and woke up with a sore throat and phlegm.

No long run this morning.

I think it’s best to look at the long game when it comes to running when sick.

While I’m not running for the podium, I’m running for health, fitness and longevity. It doesn’t behoove me to run when I’m sick. However, I do have several upcoming races and need to be running long; I can make up for it this coming week.

I will run tomorrow’s Dirty 5K in Hanover knowing I’m taking care of myself today. It’s a three-mile trail run so even if I must walk it – I’m okay with it.

This morning I will eat blueberry pancakes, read the paper and sleep. Sometimes that is all one can do.

Here is a good article by Mindy Solkin : “To Run or Not to Run… What to Do When You’re Sick“.