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.

Training & Racing Update Week 5

This last week was good. Hiking, Running, Biking.

Although the training plan had me on a recovery week so low-ish mileage was good. 

I didn’t bike as much as I did last week since it was so windy but did get 40 miles in. My ankle is about 90% – it’s still sore – but after a recover day today, Monday, I hope to hit my mileage numbers this week and get some decent bike miles in, as well. 

Things seem to be returning a little bit back to normal. Restaurants open outdoor seating today. Stores are open, sort of. The YMCA is still closed and I’m eager to see what being in the weight room will look like when they do open. Also, I wonder what swimming will look like. 

I still haven’t heard from upcoming races such as the White Mountain Triathlon and Ragged Mountain Stage race. 

My neighborhood

The trees and grass are finally green. Spring has arrived in Concord. Week 5 is looking promising to get my miles in and keep the momentum going as we head into the strangest Memorial Day weekend ever. I hope to do some hiking somewhat close to home, perhaps Ragged Mountain and / or Kearsarge. I’ll wait to head north to the White Mountains after the holiday. 

Still working from home….I don’t want to go back to office life.

Do you like running?

This morning I read an article from a Facebook Group post. The article: Why I won’t stop running due to COVID.

The question the writer posed to himself “Do I like running?

McConaughy’s story made me think about this year and how wacky my training plans were compared to a year ago. Last year my motivation was high to run a race that was way out of my league and at high elevation. [Leadville]

The challenge spurred me on to do my training plan every day, lose weight and created a new world for me in ultra running. I remember feeling excited about every run. When I knew I had to run 10 miles or 20 miles, I was looking forward to the run, planning what I would listen to and what I would eat for a meal after (I love a good post-run food plan).

However, 2020 started so different because I was injured and training for a 100 mile race I wasn’t super excited about. Training and motivation were nothing like a year ago. The weather beat me up and I didn’t follow the plan. I wasn’t excited about running and spent more time in the gym lifting weights.

McConaughy’s article reminded me of the feeling of being on trails. As soon as I hit a trail I’m suddenly feeling better and happier. While I am faster on the roads (and like seeing a faster pace on Strava) and sometimes do enjoy roads, I’m happiest when I am surrounded by trees, running past an occasional stream and see dirt under my feet. 

Like him, “I was captivated by the challenge of trying to run longer distances in more wild places.” That’s why Leadville was such a positive in my life last year. The Leadville 100 was long and wild. I wasn’t sure if I could do it. That’s what got me up in the morning and out the door to train. That drive and happiness drove my desire in all aspects of my life. I was so excited for whatever was around each new corner. 

McConaughy asks himself and readers, Why do you enjoy running in the first place? For me, I like the simplicity of running. Not much gear is needed and I can open my door and go. I especially love running to the top of hill, and when I’m fit, I recover fast and keep running; it makes me see progress and makes me happy. I love the days when I can run 10 miles and it feels relatively easy. 

There may be no races this year but somehow I will run 100 miles if I have to do loops around my house and ask friends to support me.

I had this poster on my bedroom wall during high school. It’s still true.

Another injury, ankle this time

I was on a roll, until I wasn’t 

I love the SNL skit with Roseanne Rosannadanna. Gilder Rader was hilarious and I always think of her rambling commentary and Jane Curtin bringing her back to reality. “It’s always something,” she would say.

For me, I think of this skit when I’m on a roll and then get side tracked; which in endurance training happens at least three times a year.

On Tuesday I twisted my ankle, bad. I was trail running in Winant Park and I noticed a runner on the trail that paralleled my trail. I didn’t want to startle him when the two trails merged so I was watching him. When he noticed me, I waved and – boom – I wasn’t looking at my feet and my ankle twisted so hard I almost screamed in pain.  I hobbled home (1.5 miles).

I twist an ankle at least once a week but never to the extent of Tuesday. I do all the flexibility exercises for ankles and feet, and typically don’t get injured. But Tuesday….. Ugh. 

I have two dogs to walk and so this week was a bit trying on my nerves as I hobbled around the block walking the dogs. Goldie is terrible on leash and when she sees a squirrel ….

My new start was a bust. This week I wasn’t able to capitalize on last week’s training. I walked this week but no biking or running. Today I hiked with Winnie and took Goldie on a walk to the park. Later today, I plan to do a 3 mile walk around Concord and maybe a short bike ride.  But that is it.

I’m guessing that running isn’t going to be a thing for another week. Meh. I think today I’m going to take advantage of Netflix and cable TV. And of course, the Andrew Cuomo hour coming up shortly. Man, that guy can talk.

Monday, Training & Racing Update – Week 2

Races:

Rock Hopper Chocorua Race – canceled.

White Mountain TriRagged Mountain Stage RaceIM Mont TremblantGunstock Trailfest – still on!

Training:

Training is going well. I ran every day last week which was big (BIG) for me. It is good to get back into running shape. It’s so easy to lose it. I ran my favorite 10 mile loop from Winant into Swope in Concord with so many hills, rocks and root.

1,428 elevation change!

This is now week 2 of 28.

The big test this week is going longer. I’m excited to have today off and get in a 40 mile week!

Week 1 & 2 – 100 Mile Training Plan

I didn’t get to bike at all last week. The snow, rain and wind prevented that. Plus, my mountain bike was in the shop after the chain broke on my ride last week. I brought it in for a full tune up so it was gone most of the week. I’m excited to road and mountain bike this week; and the weather forecast looks good!

Happy Monday!