Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Mount Adams Challenge

Monday, June 27, 2016- My first week of two 24 hour shifts, instead of 2 10s and a 24, was FINALLY here, and I was SO excited to have my first Thursday off in awhile. The only problem I have with the two 24s is that I have a really hard time getting up on Mondays to run beforehand. I've gotten so used to the afternoon, even though I don't like running in the afternoon, but now that was over. So, needless to say, Monday, I took a zero. It wasn't such a bad thing. If I could pick any day that would be the best day to zero, it would be Monday, so it kind of works out. Definitely makes it harder to get higher mileage weeks in, but that might also not be so bad. I did walk on the treadmill at work for 2 miles and got sleep that night, which was nice. John called during the day to let me know that he and his dad were going to Marshfield, Ma through Friday morning, so I was now going to have a Tuesday free.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016- No more sleeping in on Tuesdays since I'm out of work by 7am. Tuesdays have officially become track day. Since John was out of town, I didn't have to rush to get back by 10am, so I took my time getting ready then drove over to the Conway Rec Path to do a 2-mile warm up on the trail to the track. I was solo this week, so I had to come up with something to do on my own and decided on 12x400 with 400 rest in between. I've definitely decided I like 400s. It seems to be the one I can be the most consistent with. My first one was a little fast, but I was able to fix that with second one and ran pretty well for the remainder. 86, 88, 88, 88, 88, 88, 88, 87, 87, 87, 85, 85. I was definitely pleased with this, even though I'm not sure if it's that good or not. Haha.

The sprinklers felt great on that awful black top

I broke down and got spikes.
I ran the two miles back to the car, but I was so hot that I stopped to skinny dip in the Saco on the way back. The mountain run I had planned for right after the track got scratched off the list. I wanted to kayak instead and did a 5-mile end to end trip on Silver Lake. I love kayaking and need to fit in more of it. I had to make the most of a rare Tuesday free.
Kind of gross

By the time I finished kayaking, I rushed home to shower and head to my next fun thing...the Six03 Dover Pub Run. I know it's a far drive to run 5 miles, but it's not something I ever get to do, and Dover is one of the pub runs I hadn't been to yet. The last pub run I went to was this same Tuesday a year ago. I just wanted a chance to experience it, so I don't know why people are SO shocked I drove all that way. I obviously travel all over the place, so what's the big deal? Anyway, I talked to Amanda DeBlauw beforehand, and she, like me, just wanted to run an easy 5-mile loop. We were joined by Mark Breen and two other guys. One of them would drop off after a mile saying he was injured. This dude gave me a bad vibe, and I'm not sure I believe he's injured; I just don't think he could keep up with us. Haha. We weren't really going that fast and ended up with 5.2 miles at 7:47/mi pace, exactly what I was hoping to run. The run was great and took us through a kind of rural area outside of Dover. I  might try to make to another one of these this year. As soon as we got back, I walked to my car to change clothes for the Brickhouse. The "injured" guy was there and started talking to me and saying things you don't typically say to people when you first meet them. I won't elaborate, but I really think he was just there to hook up so I ignored him after that and then felt sorry for the poor girl he was all over at the bar. He seriously just gave me a bad vibe. After the track workout, kayaking and the pub run, I was STARVING. I didn't really have much time to eat during the day, so I stuffed my face and had two beers. It was nice actually knowing a few people at this pub run since I used to be all alone at the Rochester one, so I had company to talk to the whole time I was there.
Poutine and a sweet potato burger. I ate every bite.
Wednesday, June 29, 2016- No idea how I got myself up to run less than 12 hours after the pub run, but I did. I had to shorten since I got up 10 minutes too late for the 5 mile run. I ran 4.2 to even the mileage out to 20 so far for the week. Quick progression run with elevation at 7:04/mi pace.

On to another 24 hour shift that ended up being really busy. We had some great storms that led to awesome skies all day long.

Thursday, June 30, 2016- Yay!! Thursday was finally here!! And my plan to do the Mt Adams Challenge was falling into place. My friend, Doug Mayer, came up with the idea of this challenge after doing something similar over in Europe. The challenge is to run a certain route up to the top of Mt Adams in under 2:10, and then if you complete it, you get a free latte at the White Mountain Cafe and a free beer at SaALT, both in Gorham. Sounded like a win-win all around. Here's a link to read more about it in depth. Mount Adams Challenge.

I marked the route on my map.
Run up Mt Adams? No problem. I also expected to run it around 1:40. Easy peasy. Well, it didn't turn out that way at all. Haha. I knew I had some Clif Shot Blocks in my pack, so I thought I would have some of those at the start and then a few more on the way up. I got to the Appalachia Trailhead, put on my shoes then grabbed the shot blocks. Only 2! Oops. I had nothing else and 5.4 miles of climbing to the top of Mt Adams. I SO did not anticipate the difficulty of this run on no fuel. It started ok. I felt good. Comfortable pace. Missed a turn less than a mile in, but probably only lost less than a minute here. Back on track. The grade gets steeper and the footing much rougher and technical in the second mile. About 2.5 miles in, the route takes a sharp right off the Brookside Trail onto the Watson Path. There were plenty of warnings to be careful here since it was easy to miss the trail. Well, I still missed it. Some hikers were coming my direction just as I passed it, so I was looking at them and missed the trail. I didn't realize it until I hit the next trail intersection. Dammit! I actually had to stop to look at my map to see how back I messed up. It wasn't too, too far, so I made my way back, and just my luck, the two hikers I had passed were stopped in the trail right where the Watson Path veers off and were completely blocking the trail. Ugh. They moved out of the way for me, but it still lost me some time. In the grand scheme of things, I maybe lost 2 minutes, but they would make not much of a difference in how awful my run up would end up being.

I was still feeling ok and really enjoyed the Scar Trail section. The real climbing would begin after this on the Airline Trail. Just as I got about treeline, I started bonking hard. I was all of a sudden stumbling and falling. I ended up hurting my already hurt hand from Mt Washington's fall. I started watching my time get slower and slower and slower as I climbed on. I was still able to run somewhat on Gulfside, but I stumbled even more and fell 3 times. My body was so depleted. I had zero energy. When I watched my gps hedge towards 1:50, I knew I was going to meet the challenge but with a very disappointing time. Since it no longer mattered, I walked the entire Lowe's Path to the summit. Didn't run a step. I was so done. I was barely moving by the time I reached the sign in 1:55:19. 5.4 miles 4592ft of elevation gain. The weather was cool and absolutely gorgeous, so I enjoyed the cool breeze at the summit. Took the required photo with the summit sign and my watch. A guy who was on the summit offered to take my picture with the sign, and then I proceeded to guzzle water. I was so thirsty and soaked in sweat. Pretty dumb move on my part not making sure I had some sort of fuel and at least some electrolytes.

Because I was so soaked in sweat, the cool wind made me chilled pretty quickly so I didn't stay on the summit long. I even had to put on my jacket to stay warm until I got lower. Because I was so beat, I decided to the shortest route back, the Airline Trail. The first part was so rough, that I barely ran, but as soon as I got down the steep part, I ran the whole way down. 3.8 miles. By the time I was down there, I could barely stay upright. My plan to run easy at the last Great Glen Trails race a few hours later was a no-go. I was way too beat. I changed clothes then headed into Gorham for some lunch and my free latte. I got shot down on the latte, unfortunately, which really bummed me out. They told me I had to get approval first. I'd not heard of anyone not getting their free drink right away, but since Doug had given me a $20 gift card to the place way back when I helped promote Run with the Alps, I was able to use that and still get a free latte and panini. I needed food so bad and scarfed it all down. I was able to reach Doug while I was still there, so he got me on their approval list. I guess I have a free latte next time!

When I left, I still had an hour before the pub opened for the free beer, so I drove back up to Pinkham Notch to fill my water jugs at the spring, then drove back to SAaLT for the beer. This place was great, and the owner didn't even question me on the Challenge. I had a nice Allagash Black in front of me quickly. I talked to him for awhile until they got busier. I struck up a conversation with another woman who was also solo at the bar which is a rare occurrence. I usually get chatted up by men or am able to avoid all contact with the others. Haha. She was cool. We talked running and hiking then wished each other well as I headed out.

I drove back up to the Notch to Great Glen Trails. I was still attending the end of the series party. It kind of hurt not to be running, but on the other hand, I was literally hurting and made the right move. I caught up with Meg Skidmore and Tara Soraghan before the awards and raffle. I saw Margaret there and assumed she got her win tonight to seal first place. Well, she got first place, alright, but she didn't run it either!! Argh! If I had known that, I would have mustered up the energy to run the course easy so that that we would have tied! Of course! haha. Oh well. 2nd was fine with me. The whole event took way too long. I just wanted to go home! Most people win something in the raffle, which I did, but when I saw what I won, I busted out laughing. There are multiple of each raffle item EXCEPT what I got... a Salomon pint glass! Of course! Hahaha!

I bolted out of there as soon as I could. I ate ANOTHER meal that I had taken to go from SAalt when I got home, plus had another beer. I was done in and and this disappointment had started to set in. I know I said no more disappointments, but in this case, I definitely should have done better than a 1:55:19. By far. So the plan is to go back in September and give it another go. It may not be the 1:40 I thought, but I really hope it's about 10 minutes faster.

Friday, July 1, 2016- Woke up to OUCH in my calves. SO sore. I needed a road run with little elevation so I decided on Haley Town Rd in Fryeburg. It had a been a little while since I had done this one, so it was good to go back. My calves were on fire, so I planned this to be an easy run. Maybe I should stop "planning". I ended up running this really quick considering my dead legs. 8.1 miles at 6:57/mi pace!! Even though it has hills, they are gradual, so I tend to run "flat" stuff fast without even trying. I think I only felt the real effort in mile 7, but other than that, it came pretty easily. I really shouldn't have done this run this fast, though. My legs were so sore by the afternoon, and I was starting to think I had fucked up Loon which was 2 days away.

I had a lot of errands to run after this run, including getting John a fish to surprise him. Someone had left a fish tank in the EMS room at the hospital  with a sticky note that said "take me home". I had to follow instructions, so I did. I finished up my errands and came home. John was already there, so I didn't get to surprise him with his fish in the tank. Grr. But he didn't mind. I'll admit that I wanted an excuse to be lazy for the rest of the day. I have trouble not doing anything, but I was SO tired, and as luck would have it, thunderstorms rolled in and it rained the rest of the day and night. Ahhhh. I needed the forced rest.
John's new fish
Saturday, July 2, 2016- I slept in really late then decided to run on the treadmill because I could keep it flat. Only 3 miles at 1% grade 7:05/mi pace. Legs felt ok, but then I took the dogs on a walk up Heavenly Hill to get them some exercise. It was on this walk that I would have my first calf cramp ever in my life! Uh oh. Loon was one day away! Haha. I knew I was screwed. It wasn't extremely painful and only lasted a few seconds, but I would end up having two more during the day. Only in the left leg. Walking up the Hill probably wasn't a good idea.
Me with Chill. He looks so dumb here. Haha.
Since John and I were going to Lincoln for the Loon Mt Race bib pickup later in the day, I decided to take him to the Squam Lake Science Center again. We hadn't been in 2 years; the last time we were there was three days before I ended my marriage, so it was kind of weird to go back in my new place in life where I am so much happier. I think John enjoyed it way more this time, too. I practically had to drag him out of there to get to bib pickup on time.

From there we drove up to One Love Brewery in Lincoln. Yes, I'll admit it. I wanted to do the early packet pickup because it was a brewery. Unfortunately, this was a brewery that only had one beer of its own, a kolsch which I don't like anyway. I felt like I had to try it...and then regretted it when I tasted it. Blech! No good at all. The place seemed nice, and they did have other good beers on tap, so I can't diss the whole place, but they need to do something about that beer. Like get rid of it and start over. According to Untappd, they have had other beers, so if they bring back that Inka Binka stout, I'll try them again.

My beer, front bib, back big and EJ in the background entertaining people. Haha.
A busy day, but we got home before dark. I needed to start thinking about LOON! This would be my 6th Loon Mt Race. I've had so many ups and downs here. I wasn't too nervous due to it being a National Championship year, but I was still hoping I'd run well enough to be happy with it and not cursing my bad choices over the last week.

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