Monday, December 28, 2015

Ossipee Mountains Loop Run

After 48 hours of sitting torture, I couldn't wait to bolt out of work at 7am on Christmas morning and drive over to Castle in the Clouds for one of my favorite long mountain runs. The weather for the day was predicted to be unbelievably awesome. Temps in the 50s and bright sunshine. It certainly lived up to its hype! It was SO, SO beautiful! Never could I have imagined being able to run this loop on "dry" trail on December 25th. I had to take full advantage of it.

I started at the lower trailhead off Rt 171 and started my clockwise loop up the Shannon Pond Trail. This is almost 4 mile climb from the road to the top of Mt Roberts. 

No snow on the peaks except barely a smidgen on Mt Washington
I felt good running-wise, but my lower back and tailbone were killing me right from the start. I didn't care, though. I could still run. It was so much slower than the last time I did this loop, but I was in peak shape then. This would be the longest run I've done in 3 months, so I knew it would be a challenge. The run was beautiful, with views of Lake Winnipesaukee in places that leaves were blocking it over the summer, so that was a nice change. I hit all of the summits along the Lakes Region Trust trails, except Faraway Mt. Some day I'll venture over there. After all of the rain we had, the trail was saturated for a good 2/3 of it, but I didn't mind wet feet in such warm weather. It was complete solitude for the first 14 miles of the run, just like I like it. I have a tradition of summit sign selfies, so I proceeded to continue it. Haha.

Bare legs on Christmas!

The last 4 miles were tough. Between the intensifying back pain and my lack of fitness, I felt pretty fatigued. The last mile, I was all done, but it was just basically stumbling downhill. Finished with 17.8 miles, even though it's actually 18.3. I was using my watch which died at 17.8 miles... well before I finished. As a backup, I had the Strava app going on my phone that was buried in my pack. It tends to short me on mileage when it's in the pack, and it did, but whatever. At least I captured the full run. 3:12:42 with 3200ft of elevation gain. So much, much slower than before, but I just have to accept it. I felt so good mentally after I finished. I needed that run so badly. One of things I felt I'd missed while injured, the long mountain run, I was given another chance to do before the snow flies. It felt great. I was hurting pretty bad all in the lower back, tailbone, glutes and hips, but the runner's high kept me happy. 

I drove home from there with the intention of wrapping John's Christmas gifts before he was dropped off in 2 hours. Instead, as I pulled down my road, I saw John's dad's van sitting in my driveway...2 hours early and not agreed upon. Needless to say, I wasn't happy. I never did get to wrap his presents. I only got him 3 things, and he really didn't care, but still, I was kind of disappointed. I had put his stocking together on Tuesday night, so at least he had that. He was psyched to get two XBOX ONE games from me. He ended up completely beating one of them by Sunday. I got him a new backpack, too, and that was it for our Christmas around the tree. :)  

Money from Nannie and Grandpa

My post run snack. :)

I left him to his games and proceeded to finally work on some "winterizing". I brought in all of the outdoor furniture and then cleared out my parking space in the garage so I could put my car in there during storms. That meant a lot of shuffling of summer stuff. I also brought all of our downhill and backcountry ski gear into the mudroom, so we're all set for that. I spent a good 2 hours getting this work done. And strangely enough, I was no longer in any pain.

Later on, we went up to my friend, Jen's house in Bartlett for dinner with her and her boyfriend. It was nice to hang out and chat. Dinner was good. It was an early night. Nothing too exciting for our Christmas, which is good. I think the insane build up of it is just too much. Adults trying to recreate some magic that doesn't exist only to have it all end abruptly just as winter is getting started. No wonder so many people get depressed around this time. Christmas is over, and now, there's nothing to look forward to. Just my thoughts on it. I do like a lot of the aspects of Christmas, like the lights, the tree, the getting together with people. I'm not as bah humbug as I appear, but I do believe it's too much. Even John is starting to understand that. Until his dad bought him the XBOX ONE, John only wanted a cheap headset for his XBOX 360 for Christmas. He's really starting to understand that money doesn't grow on trees and that I couldn't give him a lot for Christmas. He appreciates the few things he did get, and it's nice to see that in a 9 year old boy.

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