Mount Sunapee in November

On Sunday, I took Winnie hiking to Mount Sunapee. I’ve hiked the Andrew Brook Trail three times now and it never gets old. It’s a gentle, nice hike to great views. Originally I was thinking about hiking the Tripyrimids or Tecumseh so I could get started on hiking (again) all 4,000 footers. But it was so cold in the morning, despite the sun, and wanted to wait until it warmed up a bit. I went for a swim at the Y and once I got back and made lunch it was almost noon. There wasn’t enough time left to hike in the Whites.

It’s a 45 minute drive from Concord to Sunapee versus over an hour to Waterville Valley, so I decided that we would hike Sunapee and get comfortable winter hiking on a smaller peak before Waterville peaks. 

Andrew Brook Trail

The first .75 miles of the trail I was able to bareboot it. Then it started to get icy and slick so I put on my microspikes. We got to Lake Solitude in an hour and then about 30 minutes to the top where snowmaking operations had started. According to the Mount Sunapee website they open next Wednesday for skiing. It’s been so cold that I suspect there will be a lot of trails open.

Monadnock Sunapee Greenway Trail Sign

I love being on the Greenway Trail. The sign reminded me of the 3 day trail running event that I’ve been wanting to do for a few years: The Ragged Mountain Stage Race. I wanted to do it last year but I trained for the Leadville 100 instead. So this year, I might just sign up. Three days of 50Ks – sounds awesome.

Solitude Trail Sign

It was a beautiful day for views. I only saw six people the entire afternoon – so quiet. I didn’t see or hear any wildlife other than chipmunks. It was a great day to get used to winter hiking conditions before heading to the White Mountain next weekend to bag some 4,000 footers.

Although, not so quiet from the snow guns at the Ski Resort.
Winnie is pooped

Total miles: 6
Elevation gain: 1,614

Run the Witch Half Marathon Race Report

Kassandra arrived on Saturday from Tucson not only to visit me but to Run the Witch half marathon in Norwich, Vermont. We chose this race because it was a great way for her to see Vermont; a place I believe is so magical and beautiful, especially in the fall. I have always said that as soon as you drive over the Connecticut River from New Hampshire into Vermont it’s a different world. 

On Sunday as we drove in the misting rain, knowing that it was going to downpour at any moment, we were excited for the race and seeing a new place. 

The temperature hovered around 40 and once the race started we warmed up a bit; but not entirely. The course is hilly. The first mile was a warm up and then the hills came. Up and down, up and down, more rain, then the wind. 

Strava data

The first part of the half marathon course is paved and then we turned and ran on packed dirt; it was a nice change. The trees displayed their colors boldly and the scenery took our minds of the pain. 

We finished, got our medal, and changed out of our wet clothes as fast as we could. It was a good day to run and later appreciate the warmth of dry clothes.

Monday Motivation, making plans

This weekend I signed up for the Philadelphia Marathon; a marathon I have been wanting to do for a long time. I almost signed up for Umstead but didn’t get in; a 100 mile race in April in North Carolina.

This week I start a new training block getting ready for a few marathons. The training plan has me biking twice a week which I’m excited for since it’s the best time of year to bike.

My next race is September 22 – Kismet. I’m excited to run/hike it since it’s billed as being very difficult and I haven’t spent much time over by Conway since I moved back to New Hampshire. I’ve never hiked Moat or Cathedral Ledge.

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.

Bike:
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.

Swim:
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. 

Run:
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.