Ironman Training Update, Biking in Maine

This past week was a bike-centric week and recovery from the 50K. My quads hurt for three days post-race so swimming and biking felt great. 

The week I finished with 15 hours of biking and 45 minutes of swimming: no running. 

I got my long 5 hour tri bike ride in on Friday before heading up to Carrabassett Valley to mountain bike. It was great to get out of town and visit Patrice and Clay. The trails at the Carrabassett Valley Outdoor Center are amazing; and endless. It was fun to just follow them around and get two good great training days in. 

Riding on fatigued legs from my 77 mile bike on Friday was great training. We rode 15 miles on Saturday and just about 8 on Sunday. While Sunday was an easy ride I was still a bit fatigued. All Good Training.

Today, Monday is a run day. I haven’t run for eight days so I’m excited to see what my legs do. Yesterday I signed up for Ironman 70.3 Timberman. My race calendar is filling up but it’s so fun to have a full summer of races and overdoing it like I also do. Life is good.

4,000 footers update

This weekend I hiked 36.7 miles (Friday was 12.3, see next post)

Saturday and Sunday went sort of as planned: two days of hiking, bagging five peaks. 

Saturday I hike North Twin to South Twin and down and up to Galehead.

I hiked solo and ran into a young man from Dover, NH who I chatted with most of the way. It was sunny and warmish and while I carried 2.5 liters of water and a filter, I worried about water all day. The views from the false summit of North Twin were amazing – I just love that blue of mountains in the distance.

After hiking the southern Presidentials yesterday (see next post) my legs were fatigued but somehow I was able to make it to South Twin. At the summit of South Twin I debated about Galehead. I think I had enough water but the route down to Galehead is relentless. 0.8 miles of downhill stairs as I remembered from the Pemi Loop last year. 

I knew I just had to get Galehead done. I’ve been so close too many times so I just did it. 

The stairs were relentless but actually not as bad as I remembered. Then onto Galehead. One sign said 0.4 another a bit later 0.5. My watch: 0.3 – an easy climb to Galehead with an outlook before the summit and back down to the hut. 

As I started up South Twin I started counting. This works in running and it worked today. Getting back seemed not as hard and I was happy to be done with it. The up and down back to North Twin was okay and I had enough water. I ran out of water at mile nine knowing that at mile 10 or 11 I would get water from the Little River. I alternatively ran/hike the final two miles through the gorgeous fall foliage. 

It was a good day. 

Total mileage: 13.25

Passaconaway and Whiteface

On Sunday I hiked the loop counter clockwise. I may have been one of two people that did. Everyone I passed, and about eight dogs, went clockwise.

I chose Passaconaway first because, again, I got close to the peak twice the last few years and either was too tired or just skipped it. I had to do it, so I started with it. 

The hike up Dicey Mill is really gradual with a few steep sections and then I turned right to go up to Passaconaway. A trail runner passed me and then after about five steep pitches I reached the summit with a little cairn. 

I got confused about how to take the loop trail down so I went down the way I came up. Then on to Whiteface.

Despite being socked in most of the day, there were a few views of the wilderness breaking out.

I passed a pile of rocks, the true summit and up to the granite slabs.

I wasn’t looking forward to them and thank goodness they were dry. I think going down is the better option. Whiteface is definitely not one of my favorites but the loop is fun to run. 

I finished the loop with two summits in 4 hours 26 minutes – 11.26 miles

16 4,000 footers to go by November 14 at midnight.

Lake George Vacation, I Love New York

Peter and I took a three day vacation to Lake George last week. We thought it would be fun to get out of New Hampshire for a few days mid-week and avoid the crowds.

As it turned out Lake George was in full vacation mode: a lot of families and vacationers – All wearing masks and social distancing. 

We stayed in a motel on the lake so we were able to swim:

We biked to town for dinner both nights.

We wanted to hike Prospect Mountain but found out as we were driving that the hiking trail was closed for construction. However, Peter who loves talking to EVERYONE chatted with a woman in the coffee shop and found out about a little known trail on Big Hollow  Road that would get us there. 

We found the road and tunnel underneath Interstate 87 and parked. The trail followed Big Hollow Branch, a bubbling stream with algae on the rocks and many waterfalls and swimming holes. 

We followed the trail and alternatively a logging road. We realized that we would need to bushwack to get to the real Prospect Mountain and opted against it. So we didn’t quite make it to the mountain but it was a gorgeous walk in the woods of the Adirondacks. On the way down I brushed against a Stinging Nettle which caused a burning sensation where it hit my skin. Later causing bumps. It hurt so much. I initially tried to wash my leg and Peter broke out his first aid kit with a soothing ointment that helped. 

Stinging Nettle

The final day we woke up to a foggy, wet view from the docks. We stopped for coffee and headed home. The drive through Vermont reminded me of when I lived in Killington and Rutland. We hike Deer Leap next to the Inn at Long Trail. It was a short hike with limited views due to clouds but worth it.

We were hoping to eat at Inn at Long Trail but they didn’t have outside seating, and may have been closed. I really was hoping to have lunch at a restaurant on the access road but nothing was open. So we continued home and ate lunch in Lebanon. 

It was an amazing vacation in a place I’ve never been. I loved swimming in the lake and riding bikes everywhere. Love, Love, Love. 

Once we got back to town Peter decided that it was time to get clipless pedals for his bike. We went to S&W in Concord and he bought new mountain biking shoes and pedals. Now it’s time for trail riding and seeing who’s the better mountain biker.

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.

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.