Friday, September 18, 2015

Week 9/14-9/18/15

I'll admit to being completely beaten down after the weekend's racing. Just total junk. Although I felt great during the Kismet Cliff Run, I was so done after it was over. I knew this week would be short, easy miles.

Monday-  Work was super quiet, but 3 out of the 4 of us had a really good time. I think I laughed almost all day long. The 4th guy was a fill-in for our usual 4th crew member, and while I feel badly saying this, he just does not fit in. I was happy to have the two there to keep a slow day sane with the hysterics.
60A4. My Monday truck.
This was going to be a zero day, but I owed someone some Strava art, so it forced me out on an easy run with Spot in the Albany Town Forest after work. This happens to be one of the very few places where I can get absolutely no elevation gain around here. Pretty much the Valley floor by the Swift River. It felt great to take an easy run around the trails. When I got to the soccer fields behind Kennett Middle School, I ran all over the place (while confusing two teenagers out practicing goal shots) creating what I hoped would be the Strava art that I intended. It came out almost perfectly. :) And it ended up being a mile! 5.2 miles in 43:34. So super easy. Sometimes, these are the best runs.

Tuesday- Slept in until 7:30am. I was really slow to get moving, but since I was just doing a road run from home, it didn't matter. I decided to do the road loop up and over Bald Hill Rd then back to the Kancamagus Highway to Rt 16 and back home. Although I was still feeling very fatigued in the legs, I ran it at a decent pace. 10 miles at 7:32/mi. 797 ft of elevation gain. It definitely helped having cooler weather since I am significantly affected by the hot, humid weather.

John came home shortly thereafter. It was such a beautiful day, so I decided a hike up Burnt Meadow Mt in Brownfield, Maine was in order. John would disagree with my decision, but he ended up enjoying himself... on the way down. :) It was definitely hot for the climb up, but it's only 1.2 miles, so he didn't "suffer" for too long. Haha. Phoenix and Spot joined us for this one. The last two times I have been on this mountain, my life significantly changed two days later. Fortunately, that trend has passed, and it was just another hike in a beautiful place. 85% of the town of Brownfield burned in a huge forest fire in 1947, and a ski resort at Burnt Meadow Mountain was proposed to help the town build itself back up. BMM Zodiac Skiway didn't open until 1971 and only lasted until 1982 when it lost too much money and ended up closing. The Conway Daily Sun had a good write-up about the fire in 2013: Remembering the Brownfield Fire of '47.


He wasn't actually enjoying the view. He was turning away from the camera being Mr. Complains-a-lot. :)

Glad he didn't know I was taking this one. Haha.
John did a lot of lying down on the trail and the summit for this hike, but he still seemed to enjoy himself on the way down. In fact, he ran down it, as usual.

From there, we drove to his ninja class at Saco Valley Gymnastics. I caught up with some friends there, so it ended up being a good day for both of us.

Wednesday- I reluctantly woke up at 4:40am for a treadmill run and almost bagged it. Thankfully, I didn't. It ended up being a really good run. I felt great right from the start and ran much faster than than the two previous treadmill runs. 5 miles at a 7:05/mile pace. I was glad I forced myself to get this run in since it was another super slow day at work. It's just that time of year. In a few weeks, we'll be picking up British people daily. No lie. It is the freakin' British invasion during Fall foliage. And they tend to cause a lot of car accidents (no surprise there). So, we're not complaining. We ended up only doing one call for the entire 24 hour shift. Both of us actually woke up in the middle of the night and couldn't sleep. I think we're so used to being up most of Wednesday night that our brains were confused. Haha.

Thursday- It was the usual. Drive from the North Conway base at 7am to the Tamworth base for a 10 hour shift. This would turn out to be my last shift with Sol, and we had ZERO calls. Talk about a boring week! Sol is leaving for a new job which is great for him, but now, who will I be stuck with?! If it's the misfit from Monday, I will not be a happy camper. I'll deal, I guess. Sol also worked a 24 the day before at Conway Fire; they didn't have any overnight calls either, but we were both dead tired. We did spend a few hours getting our truck in order and cleaning the house, but then it was couch time after that. Around 3pm, we both got up and decided to head out for coffee... which turned into ice cream at the Rt 16 Dairy Bar. Sol ordered the Mint Chocolate Chip, but after eating half of it, he told me that half of the chips were not chocolate. That's when I informed him that we were in Ossipee and that he probably just ordered the Mint Chocolate Trip ice cream. Haha. Pretty funny stuff. Our afternoon wasn't complete without a drive through the backwoods (Effingham) and then back to the base. Lots of laughs. I'll miss working with him, but I do wish him the best in his new adventure.

After work. I drove over to Tamworth Village for a loop run starting at Cleveland Hill Rd by Remick Farm. I had never run this loop, but I had done all of the roads and thought it would be somewhere between 8-10 miles. I ended up with 10.3 which was perfect. I ran up Brown Hill Rd to Pease Hill Rd to Great Hill Rd and back to my car for a complete loop. Very beautiful evening after the temperature dropped to something reasonable for September. 10.3 miles 7:51/mi pace. 794ft of elevation gain. Quiet run. I only saw two cars.
Remick Farm at the end of my run
Friday- My day to sleep in. I couldn't get out of bed until after 8am, but it was fine. I had until 3pm, so I could take it easy. I had coffee and then took some time deciding where to go. I pulled out my map and finally narrowed it down to the Hancocks off the Kanc. I've been wanting to keep the miles low this week, so this seemed perfect.

Spot joined me for this one since I could tell there would be plenty of water for her along the way. She was so excited to be coming along that she ran outside and sat by the car ready to go. We got going a little after 10am which would be perfect timing to get back and pick up John. Like all of my runs this week, I just went easy. The trail is pretty flat(ish) for the first 1.8 miles, but then starts to ascend gently once I veered off the Hancock Notch Trail. The trail was very nice since it followed the brook up until the fork for North and South Hancock. I chose to go counter-clockwise and hit South Hancock first. The climb was steep, but only half a mile. It has a wooded summit, but there was a nice outlook just below it that I ended up stopping at for awhile.
Overlook on South Hancock Mt.
From there, the trail follows along the ridge for 1.4 miles to North Hancock. Although, it's mostly viewless, I really enjoyed this part of the run the most. It was beautiful in the trees. The trail descended gently then climbed back up to North Hancock. Another viewless summit, but it had a fantastic overlook just beyond it. I also stopped here for awhile.
North Hancock Mt. Looks like I just photoshopped myself into this one from the South Hancock pic.
The descent from the summit was pretty loose footing and fairly steep, but it was also short at .7 miles. I was quickly back on the trail I had come up and ran back the way I came to the trailhead on the Kanc. I only saw one other person on my way down. Spot was happy to see the brooks to cool off in.
Spot in a brook
The run ended up being 9 miles even. The guidebook said it was 9.8, so I'm not sure which one is wrong. Mine could be off by .1 or .2, but I don't think it's as far off as .8. My moving time was 2:20:07. Nothing speedy. Just a fun run in the mountains. 2,791ft of elevation gain.

From there, I went straight to Tin Mountain the back way to avoid Reach the Beach Traffic and waited until John's homeschool group was over. From there, we made a trip over to Fryeburg and then back home for the evening. Saturday's plan is the Jen's Friends Hill Climb at Cranmore and then I don't know what else. I do know that I'm taking it easy in preparation for Sunday's last Grand Prix race of the year at Lone Gull 10K in Gloucester, Ma. Looking forward to it.

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