Doyle's Emerald Necklace

Doyle's Emerald Necklace

Sunday, July 12, 2015

7/6/15-7/11/15

Monday- Slow day at work, but I did promise Ryan and Kristina I would help out and take care of their dog, Jack, and a friend's dog, Cooper, at their new house in Tamworth. At first I said I couldn't do it, but then I realized I'm a Tamworth truck, so I could go over there, barring any calls. As soon as we were done with our truck check, we drove over there. I took care of the dogs and scoped out their new property. Very sweet spot. The dogs didn't care much for the ambulance and barked at it. I think Jack was getting antsy for a run. It took me forever to get a picture with him since he kept moving around. Ha ha.
Jack and me
An hour before the shift was over. My partner and I went to Aroma Joe's for iced coffee. As we pulled out of the lot, my partner says, "Where is our usual Monday MVA (motor vehicle accident)?" Well, you don't ever say that an hour before your shift is up because 5 minutes later, a tone dropped for an mva. Ha ha. Fortunately, when we arrived we found a minor accident and two sign-offs for the patients. I thought for sure we weren't getting out on time, but we lucked out... this time. I told my partner never to say that again. Ha ha.

From work, I drove over to Cleveland Hill Rd and parked near Remick Farm and Museum for a road run around Tamworth and Sandwich. I was going to do a shorter version of one of my April long runs. I didn't really know what the distance would be, but I was thinking 10 miles. The temps were pretty warm, so it took me a good 1.5 miles to adjust. I ran Cleveland Hill, up Bunker Hill to 113A, down Foss Flat to Durgin Rd which turned into Brown Hill Rd. Some decent climbs in there and then a long decent back to Cleveland Hill Rd. and back to my car. And so much for 10 miles. Ended up being 13.5 miles at 7:19/mi pace. Decent! And the best part is that I wasn't sore at all from Loon. I didn't feel it all. My legs felt great.

Tuesday- AKA 12 hours later, I met Michael Narcisi at the Mineral Site Trails in Conway to take him on a running tour. Mike was up for a week on vacation camping near Loon and asked if we could get together for a few runs since he didn't know the area at all. I love the Mineral Site Trails, so I thought it would be a good choice. I told him it would be about 10 miles. We ran in on the High School Loop to the Mineral Site Trail, to Tent Boulder, down the FS Rd to the Lower Stoney Ridge Trail to the Upper Stoney Ridge Trail to the top of Whitehorse Ledge. At this point, my legs were dying, and the humidity had to be at 100%. It was a struggle from this point on. Ouch. We headed back down Upper and Lower Stoney Ridge Trails, then up to Thompson Falls, one of those hidden gems right in our backyards basically. From the Falls, we had a short descent on the FS Rd, then a climb back up the Mineral Site Trail. As we got onto the Mineral Site Trail, I had a feeling I was dead wrong on my mileage prediction, so I asked Mike what he had on his watch. 8.8. I laughed. Oops. I told him that I miscalculated the distance and that it would be closer to 13 miles. Mike is so easy-going and didn't seem to care, so that was good. We joined the High School Loop again for the run back to the cars. I was so drained by this point. The two runs so close together and the humidity had brought me to my breaking point. When we go to the end, I was relieved. 13.1 miles with just over 2000 feet of gain. Mike and I parted ways. He headed to find breakfast, and I went home to make my own breakfast and see John when his dad dropped him off.

John and I spent some time at the Conway Lake Beach during the little time we had some nice sun. I was tired, so I rested on the beach while John swam for a few hours. Then it was off to the Summer Series 5K at Whitaker Woods. I thought the humidity was bad in the morning, but as is true to Summer Series fashion, it felt like 200% humidity. Just as with the second race in the Series, I decided not to race, just to take it easy. Although I ran it 2 minutes slower than the first race and at a jogging pace, it still didn't feel easy. The humidity got to me again. But I still managed to finish first woman in 22:02. I might actually try in next week's race, but we'll see. I had to bail right after to get John to his ninja class. By the time we got home it was 8pm, so it was a late dinner and then bed.

Wednesday- Zero day from running. Most of our day was spent on a transfer with a very critical patient. I have never seen so many tubes, wires, cords and machines in the back of an ambulance. It was insane. By the time we got back, it was dinner time, I finished up some stuff on the computer and then attempted to watch an episode of Mad Men, but I fell right to sleep. Woke up to a 911 around 0245. That ended up having us out until 5am. I slept another 45 minutes then took a shower and finished up my second report before driving to the Tamworth base.

Thursday- No calls all day, but the crews had a lot of fun. Very interesting conversations about relationships, dating and strip clubs. Never a dull moment with that crew. It actually made the day fly by.

Instead of my usual Thursday road run, I decided I wanted to check out the Cranmore Hill Climb course. I only wanted to do one loop, but 4 miles was going to be too short of a run, so I decided to add on the mountain bike trails from Hemlock Lane (behind Walmart). For some reason, I thought it would only be about 8 miles. I don't know how I thought that since I know these trails like the back of my hand, but I seemed to be on a roll of bad guesses. I brought along two of my dogs for this run since John's dad had left them at the house that afternoon. I rarely run with them, so I thought it would be nice to bring them along. I headed over via Sidehill Trail, to the Peaked Mt Trail and up the Black Cap Connector a short distance before turning on the steep downhill to Cranmore. We come out on the slope near the coaster and ran across the adventure park to the start of the race. The course wasn't marked, only mowed in some places, so I had to rely on Paul's directions in an email he sent me. Seemed easy enough, but right off the bat, I had to stop and pull up a ski map of Cranmore. Trails aren't marked uphill, so I needed a visual. I was headed the right direction which is a pretty steep climb for about 3/4 mile before a slight downhill. At the bottom of the downhill, I was really confused, so I stopped to look at the email. When I looked up, I was looking at a bear that had just popped out of the woods right in front of us. Instead of being afraid and running away, the bear ran at us. I was like, "Oh shit!" I put my head down and moved quickly in the opposite direction. The thing was jogging towards us, but Spot started barking at it and chased it a little downslope. Then the bear turned around and chased Spot. Just as Spot started to run towards the woods where the bear had come from, the bear immediately stopped and ran back the opposite direction (my direction!) until it stopped and stood still by a tree. I took the opportunity to move up the slope and out of there. Spot followed. Phoenix decided to stay behind right near the bear barking at it, but the bear seemed completely disinterested in my loud, giant rat. I called her finally and she came. Wow. So that was an adrenaline rush for sure. It was scary but awesome. I can only assume it was a female bear just trying to move us away from a cub or cubs in the woods she came out of. She wasn't really aggressive, but any bear running at me is a scary moment.

After our bear incident, we found the singletrack and then ended up on a slope full of blueberries. How could I not stop? Both dogs and I picked blueberries for about 10 minutes until the bugs found us, and we had to move on. Have I mentioned before that I hate bugs? :)
Spot walking through the blueberries

Blueberries were prime
There wasn't much of a climb left from here. I followed Paul's instructions for the rest of the course, except for the very last .2 when we veered left to head back towards the car. I was pretty surprised by the course, as I found it rather tame over the last few years (come race day, it would be a whole different ball game). It was starting to get dark at this point, and I realized that I was way off on my mileage again, so I decided to just cut it straight through the power lines and onto the Pudding Pond Trail and the Pillar to Pond Trail back to the car. This time, I was almost 4 miles over what I thought I'd run and spent the last 2 miles in the dark, using my phone flashlight to see the trail. Oops. 11.8 miles with over 2100 ft of gain. So, for the week, I had already done 10 miles more than I planned. Ha ha.

Friday- Once again, about 12 hours later, I met up with Michael Narcisi for another run. I had asked him the day before if he wanted to run a mountain or something flat. He said he wanted to run something flat, so I pulled out the map to find something "flat" off the Kanc. I really wanted to try something new and noticed the East Pond Trail looked relatively flat, so I told Mike to meet me there. This trailhead rarely ever has a car in it. It's strange. Just like a mile up the road, Greeley Pond Trailhead is always packed. I wondered if the East Pond Trail was really bad or something, but whatever, I'm game to try something new. So we headed up the trail which is flat at first. Within the first half mile, we missed a stream crossing and found ourselves off the trail. After a little backtracking, we realized we missed the arrow on a sign and crossed the stream. At this point, the trail went up and up and up. It was a gradual climb, but it was long. Over 2.5 miles before heading down to East Pond. When we stepped out to the pond, I was floored. Beautiful!!! One of the most beautiful ponds I've seen around here. The water was almost blue out in the middle and so clear along the shoreline. What a gem of a pond!

East Pond. The photo doesn't do it justice.
Such clear water

Mike looking out at the pond
We stayed for about 5 minutes before moving on to do the East Pond Loop to Little East Pond. This trail was pretty easy. Had a slight climb and then a long downhill back to the East Pond Trail.
Little East Pond. Way more pond-like.
Once we hit the East Pond Trail, it was quite the grind of a climb back to East Pond where we stopped again so Mike could take a swim. I prefer to skinny dip (as everyone now knows), so I opted out of a swim. I didn't want to horrify Mike. It definitely looked nice, though. When he was done, we continued the climb up which didn't seem as steep as it did coming down. From there it was a long downhill back to the trailhead. 11.5 miles. Over 2700 ft of elevation gain. Nice "flat" run. :) I plan to come back to this pond again; it might just be my new favorite pond.

I headed home. John came home shortly thereafter, and we went to Storyland for a few hours.
John is soaked after Pharaoh's Reign 
Saturday- I decided to take a zero day again. We spent 3 hours at the lake and then went to a kid's birthday party after that. John was zonked by the time we got home. I finally got a little motivated and weeded my flower bed. It had become ridiculous. I made sure to hydrate all day because it was going to be a hot day at Cranmore the next day.

3 comments:

  1. I ran the Cranmore course Sat afternoon (wife was running the next morning) and had a bear trot out the woods towards me. Showed no fear. I tossed a couple rocks in its direction and it finally decided to move off. I suspect a young male; just curious. Ears were up, not back but does get the adrenaline going!

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  2. Blueberries are enticing them up there, I think.

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