Sunday, February 21, 2016


Monday 1/18/16- After hitting a lot of roads the week prior, I had no desire to leave work and run on pavement in the  frigid temps and blowing wind. I was due for some fun, so I decided a trail headlamp run was the way to go. The Fat bikes have been a game changer for us winter trail runners up here. Whereas we used to have to go out and break these trails in snowshoes ourselves (or convince Kevin Tilton to do it first so I didn't have to), those funny looking fat bikes have come to our rescue. I love them! They make the most perfectly packed trails so trail running is possible!

I picked up Spot on my way from work to the trail. I parked off Hemlock Lane by Walmart and hit my favorite trails and mountains. I ran the Sidehill Trail over to the Middle Mountain Trail then up Middle Mt. It was cold and windy up there, but I stopped for a couple of photos anyway, then continued on back down the way I came up until the trail junction. The trail conditions were absolutely perfect, and I was enjoying every minute of it. I really needed this run tonight; I love the peace and quiet of the woods and the carefree running I do out there. I haven't been doing as much of it lately because it does very little to help me with my speed, but I do have mountain racing season coming up before I know it so I do need to start training for that, too.
On Middle Mt. Brrrr. So bundled my face is squished.

From the junction, I headed back uphill to the summit of Peaked Mt and then looped back to my car via the Peaked Mt Trail and Pillar-to-Pond. Came out to 9 miles exactly without even trying. I felt so good and so refreshed mentally after all of the road running. My pace was still decent. Certainly not what I was running before I got injured, but I'll get that back eventually, too. Here's a video I made on the top of Middle Mt. The noise in the background is the wind.

Tuesday 1/19/16- Up and back at it first thing in the morning. I wanted a decent run that was slightly less hilly, so I opted for a Stark Rd and Rt 153 loop with an out-and-back through Cranmore Shores. I had a really good run. Solid pace. The only drawback was miles 9 and 10. The headwind I hit was probably the worst headwind I've ever run against. Seriously. I was thankful to be going downhill for most of that. Finished off the run with 12.2 miles at 7:30/mi pace. I was happy with that. Decent hills, but "flat" for what I'm used to. Only 442ft of elevation gain.

We took a short trip to Portland after John came home. I had some beer on hold at the Bier Cellar and John wanted to go to Get Air Trampoline Park. It was so not crowded there, and at one point, John had the whole place to himself. It's great when he can go places during the week when all of the other kids are in school. He got a few hours rest and then it was right to an hour of ninja class when we got back into town. When he's doing something he loves, he goes all out. Waking up early is not one of those things. Haha.

This place wears him out!

Just a "few" things from the Bier Cellar. Spot wasn't happy to share the back of the car with the beer.

One of my Bier Cellar holds. SO GOOD.
Wednesday 1/20/16- Up at 4:30am for my 5-mile treadmill run. I pretty much just stick with the same workout every Wednesday morning and just try to improve on it. It's so early, and I have limited time, so I'm not changing up the distance at all. Just sticking to a progression run with the same incline changes. Never under 1%, and at 3% for a half mile every other half mile. Sometimes I feel great and other mornings I'm tired, so this run can be hit or miss. It's really just about getting something decent in before a long shift of sitting at work. Today's run was good. 7:05/mi pace. 

Worked the first 24 hours in North Conway. Not much sleep on this one since we had a late transfer. I got maybe 3 hours. 

Thursday 1/21/16- Right from North Conway to 10 more hours of work at the Tamworth Base. I was pretty tired all day, but I got a nice second wind for the night's run. I felt like I really needed to get on the snowshoes again, so I picked up Spot from the house and then drove over to Whitaker Woods. I follow a lot of the Scramble course, but I like to add on more single track around the back side which is really awesome. It connects right up with the single track on the race course down near the base of the power lines. I pick the course back up and follow it until it bears right to go towards the finish. I continue straight to do another climb back up the big hill and another single track loop. It's a tough run. The funny part is that it was over a minute faster per mile than the Scramble. Conditions were a little more solid, but not really enough to be over a minute faster per mile and at almost double the distance. I guess I just felt really good. 7.3 miles at 9:07/mi pace. 738 feet of elevation gain. 
The night's beer. Another one of my new favorites.
Friday 1/22/16- I decided to torture myself with the 16-mile Eaton/Freedom loop that Jim Johnson showed me over a year ago. It's probably the hardest road run I ever do. I've struggled through this one even when I'm in great shape, so being out of shape and running it was hell. Without much snowfall, the pavement section was clear. I did have to put on the microspikes for the dirt road section, but it isn't too long of a stretch. Normally, this is the type of run I wouldn't do on the winter with the bad road conditions, but it was a perfect day for it. The weather was absolutely beautiful, so I couldn't complain there. It was the hills!! Brutal hills!!! It's a great training run, but I have to say that I did not enjoy it at all. I was just too out of shape for it and ran over 30 seconds slower per mile. Plus, the pain I have been having in the glutes and lower back became excruciating over the last 6 miles. Not a fun run. 16 miles at 8:13/mi average pace with over 2100 ft of elevation gain. Not a bad performance really, but considering I could run it much faster a year ago was a little defeating.

Profile map of the run. Hurts just looking at it.

John had taken a hike at his homeschool group so he was all set exercise-wise when I picked him up. I was thankful for that since I was beat.

Saturday 1/23/16- I debated taking a zero day, but since I wanted to hit 60 for the week, I decided to jump on the treadmill for a fast 3.2 miles at 6:49/mi pace. That was all I needed. With a race the next day, I need to recover a bit from the 16-miler. 

John and I attempted to ski at Black Mountain, but the conditions were horrible. Beautiful views from the lift, though.

John on the Platter Pull. Not as easy as it looks. I've fallen off this thing at least 4 times.

View back towards Crawford Notch
Since the ski wasn't enough, we picked up the dogs for a short walk at the Albany Town Forest after. We actually had a really good walk and ended up in hysterics after Phoenix got taken out in mid air by Chill. I just happened to be taking pictures when it happened.

He loves to climb trees.

Phoenix being taken out by Chill. So funny.

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