Doyle's Emerald Necklace

Doyle's Emerald Necklace

Friday, March 13, 2015

Peaked and Middle Mountains

It feels like forever since I've run in one of my favorite places, the Green Hills. I love the small mountains here, and I've probably run them more than any other mountains in the area. I was a little nervous about the trail conditions since the temps were rising, but I was pleasantly surprised by a solid trail. However, I wasn't surprised by the frozen posthole footprints covering the trail. It's pretty common to start seeing that by mid-March. I don't think people realize that when they posthole through the snow on the trail, it refreezes and becomes dangerous footing for other people, but oh well. I wasn't too bothered by it really; it just meant being extra careful not to step in one of those holes and twist an ankle on the way down. The run up Middle Mt was great. The weather was beautiful. I ran into two sets of people. The first was two women who were really struggling. After I passed, I asked myself, "Were they carrying sleds?" I kept on and ran into two guys all geared out for their Mt Washington summit attempt. Oh wait... what? Continued on up to the top of Middle. I've missed this mountain the last few months. It holds a special place in my heart. When John's dad was deployed to Iraq in 2007, John and I lived alone up here, and I carried him up Middle Mt at least twice a week during that summer. It brings back good memories of the when John was around 1.5 years old, such a busy, fun age, and when it was just the two of us for 15 months. It was also a place I have run to for comfort when I was having a rough day. I reached the summit of Middle about 2 minutes slower than my best, so I obviously have a lot of mountain training to build back up. I had to take a couple of minutes to take in the view and enjoy the silence. There was no wind, and I could only hear my breathing. I rarely have that these days, so any chance I get to experience that feels very refreshing.
I headed back down Middle and then turned on the connector trail for Peaked Mountain. I passed the two women again, and yes, they were carrying sleds. They were fairly hefty women and one of them was struggling even more than before. They were super friendly and smiled as I passed them by again, but I was kind of worried about what they were planning.  Made it to the top of Peaked and took a few minutes there, too. I tried to find Heavenly Hill from there, but I had forgotten my sunglasses and the brightness was really making it hard to see. I headed back down and passed those women again, still carrying sleds. I figured I'd better hot-foot it out of there fast before I got involved in some rescue for their sledding accident. LOL. I had no idea where they were planning to use those sleds. I headed down the Peaked Mt Trail and found the posthole footprints to be about triple the amount as on the Middle Mt Trail. I just slowed it down a bit and watched my footing, which I'm actually pretty good at. (Carrying John all over the White Mts alone in 2007 taught me how to walk, and later run, on these gnarly trails; falling while carrying him on my back when we were alone in the mountains was NOT an option.) Made it down without any falls or broken ankles. 5 miles in just over an hour with 1687ft of elevation gain. I'm hoping to start hitting the mountains more again for the next 2 weeks, until the snow becomes slush. It means shorter runs, but I've been missing it so much. I'll still be hitting the roads for most of my runs, but I want to be getting in 1-2 mountain runs a week, if the conditions hold up.
The rest of the afternoon was great. My friend, Megan, ended up in the Starbucks drive-thru in front of me and paid for my order, which was such a nice surprise. I went from there to the salon where my friend, Nina, works to have her spice up my hair. I'm a natural blonde, but I went even more blonde. I love it. I felt like I was getting pampered this afternoon. Not sure I deserve it, but I'll take it. :)
Headed down to Mass in the morning, so I've decided it will be a zero day. Probably not a bad idea. I would like to have semi-fresh legs for New Bedford.


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