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. I 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.

How to finish your 4000 footers in 7 weeks

I have seven weeks to finish my 4,000 footers in my 49th year.

Here is my plan for hiking domination:

Saturday: South Twin, North Twin, Galehead – 13 miles
Sunday: Tripyramids – 11 miles

Saturday: Wildcats – 8.4
Sunday: Isolation – 14.6

Saturday: Passaconaway and Whiteface – 11 miles

Saturday: Cabot – 9.6
Sunday: Owl’s Head 18

Saturday: Kinsmans – 10.5
Sunday: Field, Willey – 9

Saturday: Moriah – 9
Sunday: Carters and Carter Dome – 13.8

Saturday: Moosilauke – 7.8
Sunday: make up day if needed

Make the goal by 11:59 Nov 13. 

Nov 14 – start new goal: New England 4,000 footers

Capital Well Sunapee Triathlon Race Report 2020

I finally get to write a race report. Yeah!

The Sunapee Triathlon was a great day. I loved seeing all the tribikes on bike racks as I drove north to Newbury. It felt like race season was back on!

I arrived at Sunapee State Park way too early. I was worried about missing a shuttle but it ended up being walkable from the parking area to the transition. I didn’t have to use a shuttle at all since I was so early. I walked around the beach and decided to stretch and get ready early in transition. And I’m glad I did because as I was sitting next to my bike a high school friend, Kristin said hi. I couldn’t believe it. It seriously has been 30 years since we saw each other. Even with a mask I recognized her immediately. I loved hearing about what she has been doing since high school. She has done a bunch of ½ Ironman distance triathlons and was as excited as me to race. 

Our conversation was cut short as the time to leave transition arrived. I walked down to the beach and put on my wetsuit and waited for the swim lineup. 

There was time for a practice swim and that water was cold. It felt better after sitting in it and then time to go.

Athletes entered the water every five seconds.

The first 500 yards I felt so slow. I sighted okay and seemed to warm up after about 15 minutes. After the first turn buoy the water was choppy and I was extra cautious about breathing in with my mouth wide open – I’ve done that before and inhaled water – bad!

Finally I could see the exit and still felt slow. I need to work on my open water swimming technique for next year.

On to the bike! 

I feel like I pushed it the entire time. The uphills were tough and the downhill were scary fast. It was the first race for my Cervelo and it didn’t let me down.

It was cold, in the 40s for sure, but I wore my NorthFace windbreaker that has saved me on hikes in the 4,000 footers and one cold trail race at Jay Peak. 

I initially thought I’d have to wear tights over my tri shorts for the bike, but I opted out, and no extra hat under my helmet; and these were good choices because I felt pretty good. With the temperature in the 40s on the bike, the one casualty ended up being my feet. Once I was off the bike I realized that my feet were frozen. When I put my shoes on in transition I knew something didn’t feel quite right. 

I started running and it felt like there were rocks in my shoes. 

I knew that feeling too well from other triathlons so it just took time for my feet to warm up and then they were fine.

I felt good on the run. I had a good stride then I looked at my watch and I was running 10 minute miles -booo! 

But then at times I looked down and I was running 8:45 minute miles. It was a mix of hills and feeling good. I just looked my times on Strava and the last mile was 8:35 – hells ya! 

I miss racing so much despite hating the day before a race when I am nervous and race morning that seems to last longer than the race itself. Looking ahead I think 2021 is going to make up for the bust 2020 was for racing.

I haven’t raced an Olympic Distance Triathlon in years and this distance is so fun!
1.5km swim, 36km bike, 5.1 mile run. Just under three hours. Yes! 

Fun!

While I love going long, short is a great challenge to push it the entire time. Well, I didn’t push it on the swim but it was a good lesson that I really need work on swim speed. When you go long, swim training is more about being efficient since it’s a long day. On shorter distances you really need speed on all three. 

Now it’s time to focus on finishing 21 peaks in 7 weeks. I’ve mapped it all out and made plans for every weekend. The Finish the 4,000 footers in my 49th year plan will be the next post. 

Thanks Millennium Racing for a great race. I will see you next year!

The Osceolas in February

I got a chance to hike to Osceola and East Osceola today. Oh my gosh. The slides are so hard.

I hiked Osceola last January and didn’t quite make it to the main peak but today, I did both peaks and feel like I really don’t need to ever do them again. Well, okay, let’s be real, I want to finish the grid in the next year or two so I have 10 more months that I have to do them in. 

My friend Mark, who I know from racing Leadville last year, was up for a challenge and agreed to hike with me. The alternative was running 15 trail miles in Concord. I needed to get out of the city and head to the hills and he was game. Thanks Mark! 

The slides were harder than I remembered from a year ago. They were so freaking hard. It was cold, too. Temperatures started at 12 degrees. I debated for hours prior to leaving Concord about bringing Winnie. I love when she hikes with me because I don’t have to worry about getting back to her. And she loves hiking. She did awesome! 

On top of Mount Osceola

There were two other dogs on the trail and they were so cute and happy. Winnie didn’t quite get along with one of them but we didn’t hike with them the entire way. (I think they didn’t get a long because they were a little too much alike; not exactly submissive but not aggressive either. Not every dog gets along and it’s okay). All three dogs just loved being on the trail with their owner and having a great day. So happy!

Mark and I started with spikes and after the first peak switched to snowshoes and then wore them for the rest of the day. On the slides I was walking like an ape, just trying to grasp a hold of anything to make me not slide down. 

Mount Osceola

We were able to hike around the chimney and reached a socked-in summit. It’s okay – that hike was so hard I was just thankful to make it alive to the summit.

The hike down was tricky. We slid down a lot,  and there were some scary moments when I couldn’t stop. But you know, it was so great to be in the White Mountains, with my dog, with my friend Mark and bag two 4,000 footers.

I needed to get out of the city. I needed to be in the mountains. I needed to have a beer at One Love Brewery and just escape life and endurance training. 

It was a hard day. It was a F**king hard day in the mountains but it was life affirming and filled with all the things I love about my life: dogs, mountains, friends, checking off shit from your to-do list. 

East Osceola

I can’t wait for the next time.

Cannon Mountain January 2020

I headed up north to hike Cannon Mountain today with Vicky and Mike. It was raining hard in Concord and all the way up to Lincoln. Then suddenly, no rain. The Lafayette Campground parking lot had three cars in it (there were actual parking spots, imagine that) as we started up the trail to Cannon. 

The snow was sand-like and the trail pretty steep for most of the hike. Despite a few icy sections, and the ladders, we made it to viewless summit. 

It was a fun hike. A great day to be outside while it rained in Concord.

Vicky on the ladders.

The last time I did this hike was July 1989. It was time to get on this trail and mark off number 10 of 48 at 49.

Just before the summit