Thursday, July 16, 2015

Whitton Pond/Chocorua

Monday was hot as hell, so I was a completely lazy wimp and stayed inside the ambulance base in the a/c all day. But as soon as 5pm rolled around, it was a different story. Run time. I drove from the base to Silver Lake Railroad where I parked and ran a long loop through Madison up High St to North Division Rd  then ventured off for an out-and-back on Salter Hill and Mudd Rd. Most of Mudd Rd is private, but I ignored the private signs and kept going until I hit Whitton Pond. There was no way I was running all that way in 85 degrees and a deer fly swarm not to go in the pond. Whitton is another beauty of a pond. Crystal clear, private and amazing views. I took a refreshing skinny dip (no pics this time; that was a one time deal), sat on a rock and then continued back the way I came.
View of Whitton Pond

Post-swim at Whitton Pond
My deer fly swarm joined me once again as I continued a loop to Washington Hill, to Deer Hill and back to the railroad station. Overall, it was an ok run. I felt a little drained about half way through, but the shade and later hour helped it cool down some. 12.3 miles. 7:43/mi pace (doesn't include my 10 minute stop at the pond). 1,210 ft of elevation gain.

Tuesday morning was perfect for a run up Mt Chocorua. My legs were a bit tired from the night before, so I decided to go at a comfortable pace up the mountain and not try to kill myself. I took the Piper Trail to the top. Fortunately, I started early enough that I passed all of the hikers and had the summit to myself. It was hazy, but still beautiful. The cool breeze felt great.
View from the top

Summit of Chocorua
Clear view that only lasted another half hour maybe
Not the photo I was looking for, but I thought it was kind of cool.
I stayed on the top for about 10 minutes, then just as I was coming off of the summit, something blue caught my eye. It was a dog's tag. The phone numbers were face up, but when I turned it around, I saw "Jack" on the other side. I knew one Jack who had been on the summit the night before, so I messaged Ryan Welts and Kristina Folcik to show them what I had found up there. I carried it back down with me and took it to their house later in the day. That's my definition of "trail magic".

I prefer to make a loop on Chocorua, so I headed down the Liberty Trail. About 1/10th of mile in, I spotted a large black dog. Oh wait. That wasn't a dog. It was a bear! Second one in a week! Cool. It must have heard me because it quickly walked into the woods... somewhere. It was right near where I needed to go, so I moved slowly through this section so as not to surprise it if I came across it. I didn't, so once past there, I continued my run. From Liberty, I took the Hammond Trail to the Weetamoo Trail which brought me back to Piper and my car. 8.3 miles total. Although the entire loop took longer than when I did it last August, I was surprised to see I beat my own fastest time up Piper in 1:04:45. I wasn't even trying to move fast, so I was pretty excited. Now, I want to go out on fresh legs and push it to try to get under an hour. Maybe next month or in September.

John came home shortly after I got back from my run. I had to run errands most of the day, so we only took a short walk on the Flat Mt Pond Trail after we filled our water jugs at the Sandwich Spring.
John and Phoenix at the Spring

Deer flies and rain made it a short walk

Pretty view
Since it was Tuesday, we went to Whitaker Woods for the Summer Series race around 5pm. I planned to make it more of a tempo run this time around, not just a jog, but still not race pace, so I started out on the quicker side. My legs were a little tired from Chocorua so I took it pretty easy on the big hill. Just past it, this older teenage kid came barreling past, then proceeded to cut right in front of me, so close that the bottom of his foot hit my knee. I wasn't happy, but I was going to let it go... until about 30 seconds later (after I caught up next to him), he did it again!!! I was pissed and said, "You need to watch out! You just cut me off twice." He said "sorry", but that doesn't cut it for me, so I decided to pick up to race pace for the last mile just to be sure I beat him. :) I finished about a minute faster than last week and over a minute slower than my fastest time. I'll probably go back to jogging pace next week, unless someone pisses me off again. Ha ha.

We had to leave right away for John's ninja class. John had his own race through the obstacle course there, coming in third among the 6 kids there. Not bad considering the two kids who beat him are 3 years older.

Wednesday was a 24-hour shift in North Conway. I took a zero (with the double on Tuesday, I've been opting out of the treadmill run on Wed morning). We were somewhat busy and had a transfer to Dartmouth during the night. I still got a decent amount of sleep. 4.5 hours. :)

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