Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Mt Kearsarge North Below Zero

I thought Monday's run was cold, but I woke up to temps below zero! And since it was Tuesday, I had to get up and get out first thing before John came home at 10am.
I left the house headed for a run on Hurricane Mt Rd, but within a half mile of a drive, Mt Kearsarge came into view with its fire tower literally glowing in the sun. It was such a beautiful day despite the cold temps. I immediately changed my mind and decided that I had to run up there instead. I never do mountain runs in the winter without my running pack and an emergency bivy, but this time I didn't have it with me. Not the smartest move, but I felt confident I'd be fine.

Not surprisingly, I was the only car in the lot that early. Spot joined me for this one, and she was so happy to be out there. At 12 years old, she is still super strong. Fast downhills are the only place where she's slowed down, but she still keeps up well enough. We headed up the well-packed trail. I had on microspikes, of course. It was COLD. I think it took me a good mile before I warmed up, and the entire run up was very slow. One of my slowest times up the mountain. A little discouraging. My fastest time up is 48 minutes. Today, it was 57. I've obviously lost a lot of my uphill speed, but I think the extreme cold also had something to do with it.

Once at the top, it was GORGEOUS! Bright sunshine, blue skies and a fresh layer of snow covering all of the mountains. Spot and I went the fire tower which had been warmed up by the sun. I was soaked in sweat from the run up, though, and began to chill quickly. I couldn't stay long, so I took some pictures, then we headed back down.

The conditions weren't quite perfect enough for one of those extremely fast runs down Kearsarge. Snow was a little too thin with the icy layer just underneath. It still had a good grip, but I wasn't confident enough on it to let myself go at full speed. Plus, I'm still having the on and off back pain, especially with the downhills, so I'm not sure I would have opened it up anyway. So I took it pretty easy. Towards the bottom, I started passing people carrying full Everest-like gear on their way up. I bet they thought I was nuts. Haha. 5.9 miles for the run. Glad I made the decision on Kearsarge. It was so worth it.

John and I spent the afternoon running errands and then picking up our season passes at Black Mountain. Since we were there, we decided to take our first ski of the season. They only had one trail open at this point, but it was still fun. We did three runs. The day had warmed up to the 30s, so skiing was actually very pleasant. I felt pretty good on my feet. This is our 5th season skiing at Black, so I've definitely improved at skiing, but it still scares me to death a lot of the time. John loves it, so I do it for him, and I get such a sweet deal on the season passes that it's hard to pass up.

John had ninja class that night as usual, and I decided to do a short 3 mile snowshoe run near the gym while he was in class. It was more just breaking trail through a heavy, icy crust. Wicked slow, but definitely a good workout.

Needless to say, I was beat after the day's activities. I hardly sat down other than driving. I had dinner and a Foolproof Peanut Butter Raincloud Porter. Good stuff. Then I was in bed early.

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