Sunday, December 30, 2012

Saturday - 12-29-2012

Saturday morning Kevin picked me up and we met Judson Cake over at the Great Hill Rd. junction with  Hemenway Rd. in Hemenway State Forest in Tamworth.  This is a great place to run.  I've been here a few times now and there is a nice firetower you can climb to get a good view of the surrounding mountains.  We stayed low however and stuck to the snowmobile trails that were nicely packed although a little loose for my taste.  Snowshoes would have been a MUCH better choice but we decided to go without.  I still strapped on the Microspikes over my Terrafly's (which are Gore-Tex). I love that combination.

We ran pretty conservative early and then Judson and I started pushing it a little bit harder as the run went along. It was around 4.5 or 5 miles of snowmobile trail and then about 3 miles of snowpacked dirt road on the way back.  Big rolling hills. Judson and I pushed the pace a little more here and just got a good honest tempo going.  It was nice to get running on something relatively fast again after a few days of being in the deep slow snow.  The snowmobile trails took a bit out of us all, as it was about one step forward and a half a step back each time.  There was just enough give to the snow to make it a good workout.  In the end it was 8 solid miles in a whoppingly slow 70 minutes on the nose.  The road pace was probably just under 7s on the slick packed snow, and the snowmobile trails were God knows what.  That's what I'm learning up here.... 5 miles is taking over an hour now a lot of times because the effort is ridiculous.  In the winter, unless I'm all on the roads, I will have to solely base my training on time.  Doing 10-12 miles per day on snowshoes (on the terrain we have around here in the mountains) will take forever.  Not to mention the conditions right now.   I think if I can keep up a few  runs like this each week and maintain some other mileage on the roads, I can move into the Spring fairly fit.  We'll see.

It was nice catching up w/ Judson's been a while.

Kristin's parents are spending Sat/Sun with us so I probably won't start back up until Monday.  Good news is that my foot is feeling better.  Not 100%, but not horrible when I'm trying to climb on the snowshoes... moving in the right direction.

If you haven't tried these, I strongly recommend. Kristin bought me a pair for Christmas... I have been wearing them off and on for 5 days now and I think I can already tell the difference in my feet.  They hurt like hell at first, but you get used to them.  I have horrific hammertoe.  I think I can already see this working to correct it.  It also says it's good for plantar fasciitis. Give it a try if you have got some foot ailments...

Friday, December 28, 2012

Friday - 12-28-2012

The sleepless nights continue w/ the baby (but it's well worth it!)... I went out and shoveled for 90 minutes and removed 14-15 inches of snow from the driveway.  Then I headed out back and up to the Cascades, breaking trail on the new trail I cut straight up my backyard + the out and back to the Cascades and down to the Historical Society (made a small loop out of it).  The goal was just to pack it out.  I did 2 'Cascade bangs' and added on a little bit to make 4 miles.  It was exhausting. 28:21 working basically all out on snowshoes.

Then, about 60 minutes later, I met up with Don Fredrikson down at the Silver Lake Post Office/Train Station for a headlamp run on the NH Corridor 19 snowmobile trail that cuts up through the center of Madison.  We headed out on the nicely packed (but slightly loose) main trail along the tracks (noticing an abandoned snowmobile about 2 minutes in that was stuck).  We ventured off the corridor trail to the left off of Junction H and followed snowmobile tracks nicely laid out over the the stretch all the way up to Wildcat Mountain Drive.  It's a very rolly, isolated stretch of dirt road and wide snowmobile trails that were cut into the large acreage years ago for a possible development that never happened. Now it's a snowmobiler's and off-roader's playground.  We almost made it to the gate before turning around at 30 minutes.  We got back in almost the same time, with Don and I alternating the lead.  He's getting pretty damn fit and it was his first time on snowshoes this year.  The footing was good, but a tad loose in spots making it very tiring as we were moving at a decent clip. Don took 3 spills.  We got back in 29:25 for a very solid 7 miles on 'shoes'.

After the shoveling and 11 miles on snowshoes, I was TOAST!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Thursday - 12-27-2012

After a couple days off, tending to the new family, I got back at it.  Thursday afternoon I met up with Kevin, Tim Livingston (2012 WMM Half Marathon Champ), Peter Haine (WMM and GBTC), Terry Livingston Ballou (Central Park TC), and I believe her husband, for a snowshoe run on the trails at the base of Rattlesnake and Middle (behind Walmart) in North Conway.  It was a small section of snowmobile trail and then a lot of breaking trail on single track.  We took turns (Kevin, Peter, Tim, and myself) breaking new trail over a pretty hill section.  We did an out and back (30 min out, 23:49 back...what a difference having broken trail does!). 53:49 total for about 5 miles of work.

It snowed over a foot here (14-15 inches or so in spots).  It laid down a great base over a few inches that were already there...

Looking up E. Madison Rd. 

The house needs paint but it's even more apparent right after it snows and everything is white around it.

The side and back yard...

Monday, December 24, 2012

Monday - 12-24-2012

Happy Christmas Eve to everyone out there...

Shot home at about 1:30pm from the hospital in N.Conway and banged out a 10 mile hilly run out and back on 113 (my house to 16 and back) and then up and back to Pound Rd. to make it an honest 10.  Felt decent.  Cold as the dickens but a beautiful clear day.  On the way up and down to 16, the views of Chocorua and that whole ridge as well as South Moat, Carter Notch/Wildcat/Carter Dome are awesome.  Ran a lot of it on the nice gravel shoulder along the side of 113.  I like this 10 miler.  It's a main road and has some traffic, but it's not bad.  It also flies by because theres a couple of big hills (especially on the way back).  They are nice and steady...not too steep.  I have to add on a little at the end to make 10 and it's always tough going past the house at the end and going up to Pound Rd. and turning around but I can't be skimping out on the miles...gotta start chipping away at this and get back into something that resembles racing shape.  1:07:52.  That's a Casey Moulton effort for Mt. Washington Valley roads. I'm surprised I was able to do that without working very hard at all.  It felt very comfortable and nothing bothered me.  Big surprise considering I got zero sleep on a horrific cot in the hospital room last night with a baby needing to be fed every hour or so....Two near-sleepless nights in a row....

Quickly showered and got back to the hospital.  We are staying one more night here and then get to bring home my new baby girl on Christmas Day.  An incredible end to a bad year for me running-wise.  But all in all, this year was a win because we bought our home and started our family...which are the most important things of all.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Sunday - 12/23/2012

Welcome to the world Tabitha Rose.... 6 lbs 15 oz.  20 inches... 18 days early.  Nice xmas present for sure!  Born 4:14pm on 12/23/2012 in North Conway, NH.

Saturday - 12/22/2012

Saturday I met Ryan Welts over at the Hancock Overlook right at the hairpin on the Kanc.  The plan was to go up Hancock Notch Trail to Cedar Brook Trail to Hancock Loop Trail and do the two Hancocks (which I haven't done yet).

On the way over the Kanc, it started to snow and the road got progressively worse.  It was icy and snowy but the good news is that at 6:30am you can take your sweet time as there is no one on the roads (especially the Kanc).  After Ryan got there, we suited up and left the snowshoes behind (which I was a little sad to do, but we figured the snow would be 'ok' on the trail and were banking on it being packed out a bit).

We hopped on the trail across the road and immediately noticed how brutal the footing was.  Postholing every other step gets VERY tiring after a while.  Someone had been in there but with boots on, so the trail wasn't packed down at all, just very difficult and sloppy.  We toyed w/ the idea of turning around multiple times, to go back and get the snowshoes. Finally at about 22 minutes in/up, Ryan turned and suggested we go back, get the snowshoes, and then just go up and do the Osceolas instead (which I also needed).  I immediately agreed.   We turned and unfortunately had to head back the way we came.  44 or so minutes total on that sloppy mess.  We hadn't even reached the trail junction which was only 1.8 up. I'm  guessing we were close though.

When we got back, we grabbed the shoes and hopped in Ryan's car for the quick 1 min. ride around the hairpin to the Greeley Ponds Trailhead.  The trail had some snowshoe activity on it, so it made it WAY easier to run on.  Also, the fact we were using the snowshoes really helped prevent the constant breaking through and postholing.  The snow was good and deep and the only thing difficult about the lower section was the bog bridges (which had a lot of deep, heavy snow around and on them) and the occasional breaking through down into some big pools of water under the snow).   We ran up to the 1.3 mile mark junction of the Greeley Ponds Trail and Mt. Osceola Trail and hopped on for a hike up to East Osceola (4156 feet) then a run/hike across to Mt. Osceola (4340 feet).  It was a GRIND but the weather was awesome and the snow got better as we went up.  I bagged my #s 31 and 32 for the 4000'ers.  The view from E.Osceola is non-existant because it's a forested summit.  The views from Osceola were obscured by the storm, so there wasn't much to see but it was awesome getting out and always great to be on the trails and in the high peaks.

On the way back down, we rocked.  I have some great footage I'm piecing together of the trip.  I put up part 1, which is the Ascent.  I have a lot more to go.  It was so fun coming back down and almost skiing on the Dions!

In the end, we finished up w/ a total time of 2:53:02 including the few miles + we did on the way up to the Hancocks before we bailed.  A good solid 3 hours for near 12 miles of snowshoe running and climbing.  I also got some more redlining in as well, which is always good!  The only thing that bothered me was my heel.  I had a massive blister on my heel spur from the strap on the snowshoe.  I've gotten it each time this year.  I'll have to put some padding back there for racing and for the next time I decide to go out for a 3 hour snowshoe.... Good times....can't beat it.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Friday - 12/21/2012

Well the world was supposed to end today but apparently the only thing that did was some old-ass calendar system that is obviously flawed now.  I'm fairly sure the one we are using now doesn't have an end date, but I could be wrong.  In either case, I worked again through the day, having to wrap up everything before the holiday break (I'm off through until 1/2/2013).  By the time I thought about getting out the door it was dark as hell.  I did get out for a quick 3 mile shakeout (22 min) around the neighborhood.  Some light flurries in the air.  I was planning on doing a long snowshoe climb on Saturday so I didn't push it too much on Friday night.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Thursday - 12-20-2012

Out and back on NH 113 from my house up to Rt. 16 in Albany and then back + out and back to Pound Rd. for an honest 10.  1:07:52 and it's a pretty hilly 10 but it's just about the flattest 10 miles I can find around here from my front door... Foot felt ok most of the way and did bother me a bit on the way back up the hills...but it was tolerable.  The work continues... A couple of flakes started falling just before I finished.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Wednesday - 12-19-2012

The day came and went...worked until after dark.  Couldn't coax KT to get out the door so I hopped on the trainer VERY late before bed for 30 excruciating minutes.  What a disaster.  Had to get the trainer, bike, and pump from up in the attic...Then I spent about 30 minutes just trying to find my shoes (which were up in the attic under 1000 other items).  By the time I had everything set to go it was past my bedtime but I still spun for 30 measly minutes before packing it all up again and putting everything away.  I'm not sure it was even worth it.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Tuesday - 12-18-2012

Got a great honest snowshoe in with KT at the Mineral Site in Conway.  We started at the lower gate  (can't actually go higher because the road is closed). I ran about 22 min prior to Kevin showing up and went up to the height of land on the road to the left of the fork before turning and coming back down.  Then I did a couple loops on a small section of snowmobile trail near the gate before Kevin came up. Then we headed out and did some of the newer WMNF trails (29th edition of AMC) in the Mineral Site.  No one had been in there.  It was breaking trail the entire way, which is exhausting.  Even on the road we were breaking trail in VERY wet snow (and deep in a lot of spots).  It was just deep enough to be very tiring.  We hit the single track for a few miles and we switched off back and forth breaking trail.  I was suckin' wind pretty bad even when I was stepping in Kevin's tracks.  It was a fantastic workout for the lungs and for the legs.  Wet snow trailblazing is TOUGH.  We did about 5 miles of that and plus a couple previously I had before he got there gave me about 7 miles (maybe a tad more) in 1:12:22.  That is a workout!!!  If I keep doing this a couple times a week (or more) this winter, I'll get into great shape for nationals.  I remember talking to Kelly Mortenson (12th at 2000 US Olympic Marathon Trials) who is a monster snowshoer,during a cooldown after snowshoe nationals a few years ago and he told me he does something like 7 or 8 hours a week on snowshoes and goes for like 2+ hour snowshoe runs...I think that is what I've been lacking over the last few winters..consistent snowshoe terrain to battle with.  Up here, there's certainly no shortage.  It may be my only option most days!!

...side has been 101 days since Kevin Tilton updated his blog.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Monday - 12-17-2012

Photo above: access road from Mooney Hill in Madison into an old camp along Forest Brook.

Woke up to find that after near 24 solid hours of snowing it was a winter wonderland outside (6+ inches with slightly less in the deep woods).  I took advantage later in the day and got my first snowshoe of the year in.  I ran 40 min (probably close to 5 miles) up through the Cascades, to the camp, and did a few out and backs on some trails and roads in that area before heading back down.  Felt great to get out and cut fresh tracks.  Foot felt pretty good the whole time.  No real issues.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Sunday - 12-16-2012

Sunday before heading over to my parents house to visit, I was able to get in a lake bang (10.5) miles  and felt nice and rush, no reason for excitement.  Not sure if more than 3 cars passed me in 10 miles.  It was so nice and quiet.  The stretch on Lead Mine Rd. made me feel like the only person in town for 7 miles until I got through to Rt. 41 and then actually saw a couple cars (trucks actually) but that was it.  FREEZING cold.  My face was bright red and my nose was numb by the time I got back home... My foot felt actually really good for most of the run but I did tweak it after I got back and stretched a bit too quickly on the front steps before going in.  It flurried lightly the entire time but the snow didn't pick up until we got down to E.Wakefield to see my brother and sister and their respective families + my mom and dad and my cousin Eric who was in town (as he is every Thanksgiving - Xmas) from Las Vegas.  Everyone was playing out on the lake (yes, it was frozen and the snow out there made it fun for the kids to slide around in) but I wasn't about to press my luck after last year.  It snowed all day and it took a long while to travel north just a few towns back home, as we sat behind 3 different plows on Rt. 16.  It's really piling up out there fast.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Saturday - 12-15-2012

Still suffering w/ stomach problems and had an 8am-4pm 'baby boot camp' class at Memorial Hospital in North Conway with Kristin.  Stomach was 'ok' but still bothering me.  Will try to get out Sunday and then try to pick back up on Monday.  Will also try to get back to see Jean to get another massage soon.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Friday - 12-14-2012

Still sick but felt slightly better later in the afternoon.  I was going to try to run early but Don stopped in on his way home and wanted to get together to run at 5:30pm so I agreed to wait.  I waited and just before I left to go over, he had to cancel so I was now facing trying to run a few miles in the dark alone and my stomach was still really bothering me so I had to make the relatively easy decision to rest and not make my stomach pain any worse. I instead took Kristin out for something to eat and then caught the Hobbit at the Mountain Valley Mall.  Great movie. I really liked it.  My expectations were definitely met.  We saw the 3D premiere at 7:45pm and there was about 20 people in the whole theater and all of them sitting behind us.  I love it here.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Thursday - 12-13-2012

Sick as a dog all day.  Was in bed most of the day (although working still).  Gastroenteritis hit hard and I was vomiting and really struggling with headache and severe abdominal cramps and pain.  Got very little done in life let alone running.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Wednesday - 12-12-2012

Wed after work Kevin dropped by on his way home from working down the end of E.Madison Rd. and we headed out for a run.  I had a nice session w/ the massage therapist in the afternoon but my foot and legs felt good enough to do a light run.  However my stomach did not.  My stomach started to give me horrific waves of pain...worse than I can remember.  I reluctantly just wanted to get something done so we headed out to do a hilly 5.5 miler that runs like an 8 miler, out on the roads behind my house.  Immediately I could feel my stomach getting brutal. Running was definitely exacerbating the problem but I stubbornly kept going thinking running would make it pass.  No dice.  It got worse and worse.  The uphills were obviously bad.  The downs were tolerable.  When we got back from this good Mt. Washington training run, I had all I could do to stand up straight.

I headed basically straight to bed after my shower.  By 6:30pm I was puking.  I had sessions of projectile vomit at 6:30 and then about 3 hours later it started about an hourly trip to the bathroom to quickly throw up everything I had in my stomach from the past day.  I was hugging the bowl at 2:30am 3:30, 4:30, etc.  By 5am I was better.  Dehydrated, but better.  My constant waves of pain and discomfort that was on a seemingly 5 second on, 5 second off schedule, was gone.  Now I was left w/ severe dehydration and a slamming headache (both I'd take over the stomach pain I had)...hell, I would even take puking over that stomach pain.

As I sit here typing this the only thing I dare to put in my system is water and even w/ that I'm nervous.  Whatever I got could have come from anything, even my well I guess.   Hopefully it isn't that.  I even bypassed my morning coffee.  Nothing is worth getting that again.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Tuesday - 12-11-2012

Tuesday was another busy day at work and I was again late getting away but Roger and Don waited for me at Whitaker Woods (and Kevin was even later than I was).  We did the 5+ loop around the roads at the base of Cranmore and then KT and I added on another couple for 7.1 total before calling it a night and I made my weekly Tuesday night trip to Hannafords to stock up the homestead.  The run was slow and easy as it always is on Tuesdays but that's good for me right now as I get back into the swing of things.  Foot felt 'OK' and was a little strange near the end, but nothing major.  I need a new headlamp and Kevin needs to update his blog.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Monday - 12-10-2012

I was busy as cuss (as Ferenc would say) towards the end of the day and didn't get to meet up w/ KT until later than I had planned.  We started probably around 6pm and met at the ranger station on the Kanc which is only 6 miles from my house (a tad closer to Kevin's but good enough for a centralized meet up point).  I wouldn't mind doing this run more this winter.  It's easier for me to shoot quickly over there than most other places we've met at so far, late in the day.  There are some good trails behind there that go over into the Kennett XC course and trails behind the Jr. High.  The trails continue north a bit and follow the Kanc between the road and the Swift River.  We did 4 bangs which was just about 10 miles.  The trails and woods were completely snow covered, though thin... but the snow made for some good visibility with the headlamps.  It drizzled and lightly flurried the whole time and I mistakenly didn't bring any change of clothes but only had a 10 min. ride home....foot felt pretty solid the whole time. Wore the Orocs with the metal spikes which was probably overkill as there really was no ice, but it made my foot feel surprisingly OK.  They are really stiff and I haven't worn them since my nightly bang around the lake in E.Wakefield last winter where the road was a solid block of ice for months... I go to get some work done on my foot tomorrow afternoon....can't wait!

Sunday - 12-09-2012

After the Tilton's holiday party and a late bedtime on Saturday, I waited to run until later on Sunday.  It was a beautiful day out nonetheless and I spent the afternoon preparing a lot of down limbs and trees out in the back woods for burning and started clearing the 'ski run' in preparation for snow (which we did get, but not enough).  I cleared the trail all the way up to the Cascades trail junction up on the ridge.  I decided to eventually create my own little network of trails in the 4 acre lot we have (all woods) behind the house. It will be nice for the kids to be able to walk around some of the trails (and maybe bike when older) and it may be ok for snowshoeing, xc skiing, etc. in the winter.  It will be a fun project to start but obviously won't really get off the ground (other than the ski run I already made) until the Spring now.

At about 3:30 or so I met Kevin and Don over at Walmart in N.Conway for some snowmobile trails. We did an out and back on the Corridor 19 trails and headed up a little bit of a climb on the way to Black Cap before coming back down.  Headlamps were on on the return trip.  8 miles total.  Foot bothered me the whole time.  Drastically different than yesterday's run..   55 miles for the week however was a huge win for me and a step in the right direction 'fitness-wise'.  I still need to figure out the foot though.

I capped off the night with a fire burning nice and warm out back and burned through all of the wood I had spent a couple hours piling up.  The coyotes were making a ton of noise and it is very dark back there.... Kristin joined me for an hour or so.  Good times.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Saturday - 12-08-2012

Late on Saturday morning I headed out on the Kanc to my new favorite trails over at the Sawyer Pond/Rob Brook area.  I parked at the Sawyer Pond Trail trailhead off the Kanc.  The weather was in the mid to high 30s and seemed to warm up throughout the day just slightly so it was actually ideal.  My plan was to go end-to-end on the Sawyer Pond Trail + add the small section of the Brunel Tr. I didn't have off of Church Pond Rd. and also the small loop around the Sawyer Pond Campsite.  Just about 13 miles total.  This is a relatively easy trail to run as it was apparently (in my best KT voice) an 'old railroad bed'.  It doesn't have much climbing and the trail is in phenomenal shape.  It makes for very easy running.  The first challenge was to immediately figure out how to cross the damn Swift River that literally cuts across the first 40 feet of the trail.  I ended up having to take my shoes and socks off, hike up my pants, and wade across the freezing cold river to the other side.  The water came up a bit too high for my taste... Great way to wake up and start off the run!

The trail follows the ski trail a bit (a section I had already done) and then heads up across Church Pond Rd. (FR35).  Sections leading up to that are awesome as they weave through an awesome pine grove forest (my favorite) before connecting eventually to a snowmobile trail (FR318).  Between Church Pond Rd. and the snowmobile trail there is some good steady uphill sections but nothing crazy.  It was all filled in with leaves but the rocks and roots were minimal so it made for pretty good running.

Once I got to the junction of the snowmobile trail and Sawyer Pond trail, I ran right into 2 moose standing at the trail sign.  I stopped to turn my camera on and they were immediately spooked. I got some garbage footage of them running away.   From there, it's about another mile and a half to the campsite and shelter at Sawyer Pond. When I got there, half the pond was frozen over (barely) and there were 2 full packs hanging in the shelter, but not a soul around. I explored the campsites, bathroom area, and loop around the shelter but didn't see who had stayed there and left all their gear.  The fire pit was used and there was still things left about the area.

I continued on after taking a few pics and headed the 1.5 miles steadily down an easy grade out to the parking area at the junction of Sawyer River Rd. and Sawyer River Trail.  I passed 5 people all in a group, almost at the end of the trail on the way out.  Those were the only people I saw all day out on the trails.  I turned around right at 1:00:06 (although I did a bit more running on the way out than the way back) and headed back in about 46:30 for a total time of 1:46:36.

I absolutely love those trails (or that trail I should say).  I definitely want to check it out again when the trails are 'shoeable' this winter... Not sure how we cross the river though..that's the toughest part!

Some Photos posted here...  

I'll whip up the video of the run probably some time tomorrow..

Now off to Kevin and Jess' for their holiday party!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Friday - 12-07-2012

Holy cow it was busy today at's been pretty busy lately and I've found myself looking up at times for seemingly the first time in the day and seeing the dim light of the sun going down.  The days go by so quick.  By the time I wrapped up everything and put my running stuff on I almost opted out completely.  It was pitch dark and with 4 street lights in town and not that many houses around, it's pretty much as dark as it can be by 5pm.  I opened the door and it was snowing out.  I hesitated for a moment but headed out for whatever I could get in.  If I was healthy, I would be able to hop out much easier.  But the fact that I really have no idea how long I can go before disaster may strike, I have a little bit harder time getting out the door than I have in the past.

I was about a mile into a run up E. Madison Rd. near the cemetery with my headlamp as the only light source in half mile radius (even the houses I did run past had zero signs of life)...when an suv came up from behind and slowed down next to me.  All of the sudden I heard the question that kind of took me by surprise... 'Mt Washington Hotel?'... I heard from the driver as he leaned out the window... I immediately responded back 'Are you serious?'.  I'm not sure why I said that but I almost figured it was someone I may have known that was playing a prank on me...but as I moved in closer to the car which was now stopped on the side of the road, I noticed that it was a family that sure enough was looking for the Mt. Washington Hotel.  I talked to them for about 10 minutes trying to get them to realize where they were and how far off they were and what they needed to do to get back on track.  They were from Stoneham, MA and had come up 93!  For anyone reading this that is not familiar w/ the area, that is no where near this place....they were so far off it wasn't even funny.  They must have cut over from the Kanc and then gone terribly wrong.  The guy kept shouting into his phone's GPS and it kept giving him different directions that were completely wrong.  They had no clue where they were.  They thought that they were going to find the hotel by heading east down E. Madison Rd.  I told them they had about 50 minutes to an hour or so ahead of them if they turned around and headed up through N.Conway and up 302 through the notch.  It was snowing and dark.  They were screwed.  They turned around and headed back after I verified that his GPS was now sending them in the right direction.  His wife was screaming at him the whole time and his kids were yelling at the mom.  It was a sh*tshow.  She was obviously super aggravated by that point so I can only imagine what had been happening in that car before they stopped to ask me.  That was the excitement on the run anyway....

I went a mile out, turned around, ran back, and then 2 miles down Village Rd. to 41 and Silver Lake and turned and came back.  6 total.  The roads were getting slick and slightly icing over as the snow fell... Foot felt OK.  Really bothered me by the time I got in the shower for some reason.  Now as I type this it seems alright but kind of sore on top across the toes.  It continues to baffle me but hopefully I can get in for some treatment this coming week.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Thursday - 12-06-2012

8 miles on the roads from my house here in Madison down Village Rd. and up High St. to North Division Rd. and up to Joy Farm road and then back.  Probably 1/3 of the run was on nice quiet dirt roads in the northwestern part of town.  The views of the southeastern part of town are awesome from up on High Street on the way back. I also went past the entrance to the area where supposedly there is one of, if not the last, areas in the state of NH and New England that has a known rattlesnake population. Supposedly there are still timber rattlesnakes up in this area of town but just about every site on the topic refuses to give the name of the town or area where the known dens are found.  I hope I didn't give anything away...but I've heard it through the grapevine on a few occasions so I don't think I'm revealing too many secrets here.  I didn't venture into the area enough to look around.  There are plenty of other areas to explore...

Overall, honest run just over 8 in 54:48.  Hilly roads as usual and the uneven surfaces made for a decent effort.  My foot was not good about halfway in but I survived.  By the end, I was fine.  It really felt good by the end and I walked around and stretched a bit before going back inside when I got home.  Progress is definitely being made. If I can keep banging on the roads like this a few times a week, my fitness should improve.

I came back to a couple of boxes of road kicks from Inov-8.  I must have 40+ pair of Inov-8's now and I just received some good road shoes to try out before the snow flies (and then once the snow melts away, I can try racing in some)... The Road-X 233s (the green/gray pair) are probably the closest thing to a longer distance road flat that they make. I wore these at Boston this year (although I jogged 16 miles of it in 90 degree weather) and for numerous road races in the past (my other pair was a red/white test pair).  The Road-X 255s (the white/blue pair) are the road trainer that Inov-8 makes.  I have 3 pairs of these.  I wore these for training and for up to 50K races.  I know Ben Nephew races a lot of longer races in these.  He's modified the bottom of them a bit to add more traction.  The out-soles of these are admittedly very flat and lack a lot of tread.  Definitely strictly only road worthy unless modified. I think Kevin refers to the shoe tread modification as 'Nephewtizing' the shoe.  They are one of the only 3 arrow shoes they make still.  The 233s are 2 arrow. With the state of my feet right now, I'd prefer as many arrows as they can throw at me.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Wednesday - 12-05-2012

Wednesday afternoon KT dropped by to do a run around my neighborhood but it turned into about 30 minutes of mingling around the woods in back of my house up near the Cascades and in back of the cemetery before coming back.  We spied a possibly snowshoe trail for when the swamp freezes over in back of the town cemetery.  It was too wet to try to cross yesterday.    Neither of us were feeling that great and my foot wasn't quite up to the challenge but it wasn't terrible.  I think Kevin's foot was bothering him more than mine was but we called it quits after a half hour as he had to hit the road and I was starving.  I hate the days getting dark by 4:30...I think the sunsets officially start getting longer now so that's one positive.

I've been stretching, icing, rolling (on my spiked ball), soaking in epsom, wearing my night splints, and just about everything else I can think of to try to get this foot feeling better. I 'think' it's working but I'm still going to schedule something with the therapist for hopefully this coming week.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Tuesday - 12-04-2012

Tuesday night run at Whitaker as my 'day off / rest day' after 3 pretty solid days of running.... Met KT (about 15 min late again), Roger, Joe, and Don at Whitaker Woods in North Conway for an easy headlamp 5 around the neighborhoods at the base of Cranmore.  Probably did about 5.5 total as Don and I ran a bit ahead and looped back a few times.  Foot was not as good as yesterday for some reason and started to bug me just a bit.  On the way home I stopped at the grocery store and it rigged up on me just about as bad as it did in August. NOT good.  Same crap.  It's isolated to the very bottom inside of my arch and that one muscle. It seems to just be super tight and really gets painful when I go up on my big toe.  Pretty depressing turnout...but I stretched and massaged before turning in.  Will have to watch how it progresses (if it progresses) the rest of the week.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Monday - 12-03-2012

Late Monday afternoon KT met me at the Churchill House in Madison (aka my house) and we did a nice solid clockwise lake bang.  10.5 miles in 1:12:11.  My foot threw 3 sharp pains at me about 4.5 miles in.  I had to quickly stop and stretch out the calf and it seemed to hold the rest of the way and I was able to finish up strong.  We had to run the last few miles in the dark with no headlamps and zero reflective clothing (during 'rush hour' in Madison)... Again, Kevin was 10 minutes late to my house, so that would have made a little bit of difference.  We talked at length about how he is going to start blogging again.

This house we bought was originally built in 1779 as a single family home.  It was expanded in 1800.  It later became an inn and stagecoach stop called 'The Atkinson Inn' by Samuel Atkinson.  The earliest record of this is from 1822.  In 1827 Samuel Atkinson got a liquor license and was able to put a small bar in the front (my current living room) and sell liquor.  The outline of where the bar was is still visible on the floor and on the ceiling.  I actually have a real receipt in a frame up in the hallway upstairs from 1832 where Sam Atkinson sold some rum to a customer.  The Atkinson Inn stayed in operation until 1865.  Then Nathaniel Churchill bought the house.  Since there obviously was no photography of anything back during the Atkinson Inn days, the only real photos I could find of the house was much later when it became the 'Churchill House'.

Below are some old photos I found of this place from some online scans of a postcard and of a flyer from the 1904 Madison Old Home Day booklet.

Below: The Churchill House (my house) probably around 1900.  The back of the postcard said something about 40 boarders staying there at the time.  This was from the Museum of the White Mountains and Plymouth State University's Digital Collection.

Below: From the Madison Library and Madison Historical Society (which is my next door neighbor)

A Picnic Party from the Churchill House at Goe Hill. Will Kennett is driving the oxen, “Bob” Kellock is the boy with the panama hat and flauntroy tie. (As written on the back– no year given.)
FEBRUARY 16, 1977
The meeting was held at the home of the Alexander’s in Silver Lake. Kay Eglit presided with about 23 members present.
Briefly, Nathaniel Churchill was born in Newmarket, 1771-1772. He was left with a 1 year old boy on the death of his first wife. He then married Mary Jackson, went to Brookfield, and may have come to this area in 1815 to a farm at the corner of Colby Hill Road and the Conway Road. He was listed as Highway Surveyor in 1817. He was also listed in the 1830 census, and thought to have been re-married at this time to Anna, who came from Vermont and was his third wife. In 1830 Nathaniel, Jr. married a March uniting the two families. Most of the family died in this period from Typhoid fever. John March went to Camden, Georgia and built a mill staying there about four years. The last record of John March was the 1853 census. It is believed that he bought a boat, went to Cuba, and died in a storm.
Nathaniel Churchill, Jr. bought the present Churchill House in 1865 and was married to Elizabeth Goldthwaite. The Jackson family, the Colby’s and Churchill’s intermarried. It is known that the present Meeker place belonged to Nathaniel Churchill, Sr.

Below: Some scans of the 1904 Madison Old Home Day brochure.

Below: Scans I made of the actual Churchill House brochure that I have as part of a historical bundle of papers I got from the previous owners of this house (since 1970).  It is 4 pages including front and back. It looks like they either spelled 'Chamblin' Ledge wrong or somehow 'Chamberlain Ledge's' name has morphed over the years.  This brochure was definitely post 1900 as it has a long distance telephone 'nearby' and could accommodate 2-3 automobiles.  The added buildings in back (which are no longer here) are surely what made this place 'accommodate 35 guests!'... The piano is gone (previous owners took it) but they did leave what could be the original croquet sets which are still up in the attic in chests.  I'm still trying to figure out where that 'Chocorua View' can be 'had' here...

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Sunday - 12/02/2012

Sunday afternoon I headed back to Crawford Notch but this time w/ KT to run up the highest public 'highway' in the state (and seemingly the Northeast although I'm not sure if some of the mountain auto roads in NY or ME count as 'public' or 'highway/thruway'...I know the Mt. Wash Auto Road does not).  The highest point on Jefferson Notch Rd. is 3009 feet (the southern start of the road is just shy of 2000 ft down near the trailhead of the Crawford Path).  The temps were pretty warm considering.  Both Kevin and I were VERY overdressed and I was really feeling it early.  I got very overheated and ran the majority of the run with my hat and gloves tucked into my jacket.  I felt 'OK' at the beginning (on the Mt. Clinton Rd. portion, which is paved the whole way, although the pavement is VERY rough and definitely hasn't been maintained at all any time recently).  As soon as we started across Base Rd. (that goes up to the Cog Railway station) and hit Jefferson Notch Rd. (which is all unpaved and was caked with snow and slush for most of it) I hit the wall.  I felt horrible.  The climbing (although gentle) started to get to me quick and I really started to feel tired and sluggish.  We backed off a little and then a lot.  I was borderline jogging up the road near the end.

We made it to the top of the notch and the highest elevation of the road at 3009 feet where the trailhead parking lot of the Caps Ridge Trail is.  We averaged around 7:43 pace for the climb from the car to the top, which wasn't bad...but I felt like death.  I haven't run that aggressive on the road in a while and doing 2 runs yesterday (one of them up a mountain) probably added to my demise on this run.  I'm just not in shape right now for this type of stuff and it is glaringly obvious.  Still got a lot of work to do!   I took a few photos and video and then we headed back down.  It took us 4 minutes less to get back (which is an indication of how rigged up I was running, late in the run on the flatter sections).  Up in 52 min and back in 48 for 1:40:00 total.  I think Kevin said something about 7:13s for the way back down (average).  For this area, that is pretty good.  This ain't no flat road running scene up here...

Any day I can run in this type of let me rephrase...any day I can simply just be out in this type of surrounding is a good day.  Not ONE car passed us during this entire run, even though the gates were still open (in looking at the photos, you can probably guess why).

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Saturday - 12/01/2012

Saturday morning I met Kevin Tilton down at King Pine in Madison, NH about 4 miles from my house (south on E.Madison Rd.).  He was 10 minutes late.  King Pine was making snow as it started to lightly flurry at the start of our run.  They are planning on opening in a couple weeks I think.  Kevin and I ran somewhere around 6 miles or so on the trails around King Pine and Purity Springs on some of the nordic xc trails and snowmobile trails.  It was cold as hell and started to snow pretty good by the end.  Foot felt 'OK' but not great.  43:23 total.

In the afternoon I headed north up to the AMC Highland Center in Carroll, NH and hopped on the Crawford Path (from the parking lot down by Webster Cliff trailhead, so there was about .2 miles each way on the road before and after the trail).  It was snowing pretty good and there was substantially more snow up there (being about 2000 feet at the trailhead).  I shot up the Crawford path to the Mizpah Cutoff and up to the Mizpah Spring Hut (3800 ft).  From the car it was about 3 miles each way.  Slow and steady on the way up (44:45 up).  Spent a few minutes monkeying around and taking photos and video before heading back down in a blistering 29:38.  Past 3 groups of people on the way up and the way down (same group).  From Mizpah Cutoff on the way up, there wasn't much broken trail (as opposed to the Crawford Path, which was heavily travelled).  Halfway up the cutoff I passed a group coming down and from that point up, there was some good packed prints to follow.  The footing was a little dicey and the rocks were just popping up enough to be dangerous.  Good to get out and get in some mountain running that wasn't too awful on my foot.  It's a long grind up, but it's not super steep at all so my foot was OK.  Thought for a moment about heading up to bag Pierce (again) but opted to call it at the Hut and head back down.

The run-up below (change quality to HD)...

Enjoying the weather below....

Friday, November 30, 2012

Friday - 11/30/2012

After a rest day yesterday, my foot felt 'OK' today and I was able to get out tonight for a solid run (relatively speaking) in Madison and a sliver of Conway. I met Don Fredrikson at his mountain top estate on the side of Rock House Mountain.  Don lives 0.2 miles from the Madison line and is smack dab in one of Conway's two teeth (Conway looks like it has two big teeth if you look at the town outline).  His place is pretty sweet and has a beautiful view of Kearsarge and Mt. Washington from a nice big deck.  We did a VERY dark and hilly headlamp run up and down the loops around Little, Middle, and Big Pea Porridge Ponds.  My foot bothered me about 5 min. in but by the end it was actually a little better.  7 solid miles in 20 degree temps.  I think 2 cars passed us the whole time.  Mostly all dirt roads.  Zero streetlights.  I'll take it.  Tomorrow I'm gonna start keepin' track of running again....good or bad.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Wednesday - 11/28/2012

Wednesday was more of the same...stumble out of bed, take off the 'boots', and pretend my feet and ankles and lower back aren't completely killing me, limp down the narrowest stairs in the valley, waddle into the kitchen like a zombie, and fire up the coffee maker with one eye half open and the other completely closed. 4 cups later and I'm doing the occasional stretch, rolling my foot on my spikey ball, and walking around periodically so I don't completely lock up before sitting back down and staring at a computer screen (or screens) for hours.  It could be worse...  By the time I think it's mid afternoon, the glow of the soon-to-be winter sun is starting to fade out the side window.  I quickly fumble for my phone to try to salvage a run w/ KT but he's out today so I was staring at a dreaded headlamp run on the roads of Madison, in the cold, alone, and injured...with nothing to talk about (to keep my mind occupied) or think about other than my foot and how much I miss racing and even just easy running without pain and discomfort.. If you asked me last year at this time (while I was still down in the southern part of the state) I would have said that on any day, in any conditions, under any circumstances, I would prefer to run up here than down there.  While this is still true, I find it harder on some days lately to get out (solo) if I want to take it easy or if I want to ease back from injury, just because of the amount of hills around this joint.  Also, considering the town of Madison (I think, by my math) has about 5 street lights total and zero sidewalks, it's a bit tough to run on the roads without making darn sure you are paying attention.  Sure, there's 1/100th of the traffic here than in Salem, but still the occasional hillbilly will come screaming by and one needs to be aware.  The fact that most roads here seem to have an inordinate amount of shoulder does help, but then you are one step closer to getting mauled by a dangerous animal jumping out from the shadows... Any way you slice it, it's interesting after dark here on the roads.  Over in Conway/North Conway it's slightly better as there are more lights but there is also more cars.  The best options for after-work runs I still think is in a group (of 2 or more) and either on snowmobile trails or dirt roads over in Eaton, Albany, or quieter portions of Madison and Conway.  At least there, I can do a run w/ KT for 8+ miles and never see a car in either direction on some nights.  Sometimes not even a house light.  Lately, it's been tough to get anything of quality in because of my foot, although I am having fun running when I do get out on the trails...redlining has been OK but it's hardly keeping me sharp.  So I got out slightly early yesterday and hit up the roads for 6 miles and got back just before it got completely dark.  Nothing to blog about, but certainly better than nothing.  I headed down 113, shot off for a couple minutes down an open gate along the powerlines to check out how the snowmobile trails were looking, then got back on the road and headed up towards Tamworth before turning around short of the town line and heading back down.  Mostly up on the way out, and down on the way back.  My foot feels 'better' on the roads when I don't have to do any serious pushing off or getting up on the toes.  At least normal running I don't need to get that high up on the toes.  If I was racing on the roads, it may be a different story.  I felt 'ok' so that's a win.  Called it at 6 and headed back inside to get warm.

Side note... The XMAS decorations are up and in full's a taste:

Below: The 'spare' room.  A room we normally just pile furniture and other things that are extra.  We put up the tree the previous owners left up in the attic. 

 Below: The living room w/ our normal tree. Look close and you can see Deacon laying in his bed at the foot of it.

 Below: The stockings hung on the fireplace in the main living room.

 Below: Some lights and a mini tree in the dining room area.

 Below: A sled we found in the attic.

Below: Looking out from my chair in my office.  My mini tree to the left.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The latest...

So it's been quite a while since I've posted...  I've been struggling to run about 40-50 mpw up here in the north country although the weather has been decent and I really have no excuse to not run other than my foot still bothering me bigtime some days.  It's probably about 60% now, but only when on the roads or flatter loops.  I obviously prefer to run trails and mountains, but the climbing is horrendous on my toes and ball of the foot.   Whatever I did to it in August did serious damage and it has taken months to improve with any noticeable significance.   I can barely go up on my toes on my left side and struggle mightily when climbing very steep trails.  I start to go flat-footed as much as possible and only find myself pushing off on my right side, which destroys my right calf.  So needless to say, I can't do any sort of good climbing but the normal trail and road runs go OK for now.  I'm essentially just going through the motions and trying not to get fat (which I think Kevin Tilton refers to simply as 'training in the winter here in the Mt. Washington Valley').  I've decided to just finish out November and December (so essentially 2012) and call it a wash.  I hope to get back to the grindstone with a fresh start in 2013 with some changes from top to bottom.

I've done a lot of good redlining and peak-bagging lately with KT and it's been great to get out again and 'run' for an hour + per day.  I've done up to 12 miles or so during some of these sessions and it's been OK.  If you are friends with me on Facebook, I regularly post on there (if you aren't friend me!). I've posted a lot of videos and photos of some of our runs but have had little desire to blog.  I am forcing myself back into the swing of the blog to try to keep motivated now that I am confident I can do some decent training (within reason).  I think if I stick to flatter runs for now, I can get back some fitness and start building while my foot continues to heal.  There are some good folks to run with here in the valley and even though the days are somewhat short at this time of year, it's still no excuse to sit on my backside and not continue to 'build hurtin' bombs'.

I missed some great races locally here since I went down with injury in August.  The Kennett XC Challenge (White Mountain Milers vs. Kennett and Fryeburg Academy, where it may have been my last chance to beat Silas Eastman before he becomes a household name), the Millen Mile, Kismett Cliff run, the White Mountain Milers Half Marathon, and the Madison Thanksgiving race.  Needless to say, I've been pretty depressed about that.... but I have a lot more to look forward to once the dust clears on this year.  I am expecting a baby daughter in January and that will be greatly exciting.  I get a lot of 'you're running will be over' and 'have fun now before it's all over' when talking about having a child.  Everyone seems to think that as soon as you have a baby, your life is somehow completely changed.  That's certainly true to a degree....but I'm not planning on hanging up my running shoes simply because I am becoming a father.  On the contrary.  I am going to continue to train, race, be fit and healthy, and competitive to not only set a good example for my children but also to be a responsible parent and take care of myself physically and mentally.  I understand when people tell me this (it's been a lot of folks) when they don't stop and consider that I work from home and see my wife 22 hours a day (less an hour or so if I go out running or she goes out to yoga, etc.).  I will be around my family (as long as my job lasts as-is) all day.  My thought (as well as that of my fully supportive wife) is that if we can't spend at least an hour a day doing something we love to do or need to do to stay healthy and strong, then there's really something wrong.  Considering I will have the unbelievable chance of being home with my wife and child during the day and I won't be travelling or commuting to work a couple hours a day + like some folks do, I should have ample time to get my run in during the afternoon or morning and not have to worry about missing family time.  If I was commuting and didn't get to see my family as much as I do now, I'd maybe think about cutting back my focus on running and training and racing, but as of now, there will be no plans to back away from being me and enjoying life as I have been this past year (injuries aside).

As I focus now on the impending doom of getting buried with snow, I am getting excited about building strength this winter on some snowmobile trails, great snowshoe runs, and some nordic skiing as well.  I am starting to think about what I want to focus on for running and racing in 2013. It's hard to really focus on what I really want to do, which is dip my toes into some longer ultras this coming year, because my foot is still junk and I can't quite fathom being able to go the distance just yet.  But I'm keeping that in the back pocket for now and have penciled in some dates of the GSSS races I want to do + the USATF NE Mountain dates and a couple of other 'no-miss' races for me.  The USATF GP voting is still going on, so I can't commit to any of those right now.  Which brings me to another subject which is the voting for USATF slates (if you haven't seen DD's 'rant' on this, check it out here).  I spent 1 hour drawing up all my 'conflicts' for each race in each slate and figured out which one would yield the least amount of conflicts and pain in my schedule.  It was slate 3 for me. The marathon was a wash so I voted for Manchester because it's way closer to home, but I don't care if it's Cape Cod that gets the nod.  If I'm healthy, I'll run either one.  The problem is that when it came time for me to vote, I logged onto the site and accidentally voted for slate 2!!!  I have no clue how, but I had a momentary lapse of reason and clicked the wrong thing.  I inquired about having it changed on the backend, but no dice. I understand they can't change the vote and it was my fault for accidentally voting for slate 2.  If slate 2 wins by 1, I'll be miffed.  If it or slate 1 win by a lot, I won't really care.  Either way, I'll only be able to make a few GP races next year at best.

So in summary, I hope I haven't completely lost all my readership...I'll start posting again..maybe Eric MacKnight-style where I wax poetic about all my meals, television habits, and bowel movements....or maybe Judson Cake style where I carve out all my insane workouts (although I almost never do any) on a daily basis...We'll see how it goes.  Either way, I've missed blogging and I've missed reading about other's hijinx as well...

As of now...the night runs are in full effect here in the valley. It seems a nice short/slow run at Whitaker is becoming a Tuesday night staple...

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


Going on 4 weeks ago I was amidst a marathon training push to get ready for Cape Cod in October.  I had been ramping up the miles while not really doing all the other things that go along with smart training (like stretching, icing, etc).  Needless to say a breakdown was inevitable and that's exactly what happened.  I was out on a seemingly harmless 5 mile easy run with Kevin on the snowmobile trails behind Walmart in Conway when disaster struck.  I landed on my left foot as I normally do and immediately felt a sharp, shooting pain all over my foot.  Enough where it stopped me in my tracks.  I stopped, took my shoe off immediately, and tried to massage it because it kind of felt like a cramp I had a couple of years ago when I was up in VT running with the Keenyans.  But this time it was much worse.  I was able to hobble back very carefully to the car (about a mile) while barely landing on my foot.  From there, it is going on a month and probably more (by the time it's all done) without running.  

It didn't get any better after a couple of weeks of doing next to nothing.  I had Doc. Brown come look at it and I went to see a local massage and cold laser therapist here in the valley and had some work done.  It is progressively getting better, but slowly.  I still can't run on it and this past weekend, I hiked Chocorua with Kristin's dad and it was bothering me the whole time.  The big problem for me hasn't been the sharp, shooting pain that is seemingly all over my foot and tends to move to a different spot each time it acts up.  The problem for me has been the mental aspect of thinking it is going to possibly hurt again with my next step. The pain is so bad that it actually scares me to even take a normal WALKING step/stride, let alone a running one.  Sometimes I go days without any 'pain' but know as soon as I push off with the ball of my foot, I'll be in for one of the worst pains I can remember.  I've been consciously thinking about the pain EVERY SINGLE STEP I've taken since the day it happened.  I sometimes feel as though I'll never be able to run again because of it.  But I know that will pass.  I hope it will pass.

The weird thing is that the pain is not localized to any one area.  I can't find any part of my foot that hurts when I poke, prod, twist, squeeze, massage, etc.  It's fine.  But every once in a while I'll get a searing pain just sitting here.  Then I'll be able to walk around no problem, but as soon as I push off or lean to a side or walk on an uneven surface, disaster strikes again and I'm back to square one.  Because it doesn't hurt ALL the time, I have been told through some medical professionals and a podiatrist that it's most likely not a stress fracture.  It could be a nerve thing or most likely just a deep bone bruise.  I could go get an xray, as enough time has passed now where they could determine whether it was/is a stress fracture, but I kind of don't give a sh*t.  I guess it has just soured my whole taste for running right now.  I almost just don't want to deal with it, hang it up, and just go on w/ my life in other aspects (I 've got some big life changes coming anyways).  Regardless, it has sucked to have to miss all this running, miss really cool races like the Kennett HS XC Challenge, The Millen Mile, Pisgah, UROC, etc.  I had to miss a Seacoast race and now am in danger of actually losing that series if I can't compete in at least one of the two remaining 5ks in October (Great Bay seems to be my only chance).  I also shelved any hopes of running a fall marathon.  Now I am staring at snowshoe season in the face soon and just want to be able to compete (at any level).

I've been able to ride my mountain bike and have been doing some cool loops here locally in the woods around Madison/Freedom. I've done some road biking too but not much.  Kevin just got a road bike so we'll ride a little more now, but I really just want to get back out on the trails and run again.  I did manage to get 2 small runs in last week (Mon and Tues) but quickly went back on the DL.  I ran last Monday after thinking I was over the hump.  Kevin and I did 3.2 miles (a short out and back on Town Hall Rd. in Jackson) and it started to go on me on the way back.  The day after, Darin and NIck Brown and I did a 4+ mile loop from his house, up Daniel Ward Rd and down Goe Hill back.  I felt OK on the entire run, but after standing around talking to Darin after, I turned to walk to my car and it went on me again.  It's a sudden sharp stabbing pain that takes over my whole foot in an instant.  I wouldn't wish this on anyone.  It has completely ruined running for me and just thinking of running and watching people run, train, and race even online, makes me cringe. I look at how they land on their feet and just feel uneasy (like someone scratching their nails on a chalkboard). It sucks.  Darin prescribed some topical anti-inflammatory I have been using and I think it's getting better, but I still don't know and really just don't dare to test it out just yet.

In the meantime, I've been focusing on work, projects around the house, and getting ready to be a dad.  Yes, a dad.  For those who aren't friends w/ me on Facebook, I am expecting to be a dad around the 9th of Jan. or so.  It is a little girl.  We're excited. It's about time.  Puts things in perspective.  Starting to realize what the most important things are in life and it's made this whole injury a little easier to deal with.  

i'll try to update the blog still, even if I'm not running.  If I have any interesting hiking, biking, etc. related happenings that I think are blog-worthy, I'll share.  I've just not been motivated lately. Hopefully as I climb the ladder again with training and eventually racing, I'll get back into the running blog.  I haven't even been following many other blogs since going down.  It's funny how that happens.  One thing for certain is when I come back, I'll be making some changes.  Changes in my racing, my involvement w/ certain things, my training regimen, etc. I am not going to be as obsessed w/ numbers as I once was.  Compared to some others, I wasn't too too crazy about high miles or my training pace, but I still focused too much on the less important things and really didn't know or realize what works best for me.  More miles (for me) does not equate to better performance.  It actually breaks me down.  I look at a guy like a Pat Moulton, who runs a very simple training plan that keeps his mileage respectable but not outrageous and he's able to race at a very high level all the time.  I now know I don't need 100+ miles per week to get into a nice rhythm so I can race 5ks to 50ks.  I just need to get back to basics.  I'm also going to mix things up a bit in order to try to inject some excitement and change in my running and racing. I've been on fumes for a year now.  Since going down with an injury in the Netherlands last year in August, then really getting hurt a month later in late September, I've had a horrible time with my day-to-day running.  I managed to run OK in the late spring/early summer but have gotten hurt yet again and it's made me realize that if I want to get back to where I was in mid 2011, I need to make a lot of changes.  Let's see how that goes.

Below, the most recent photo of me from last Sunday at the Jim Liberty Cabin on the Liberty Trail in Albany, NH.  I'm not THAT fat yet...

Monday, August 20, 2012

Training 08-20 - 08-26

8-24 - Friday: 10 miles (trails).  Ran 5 from my backyard up to Cascades and the abandoned camp along the river, then around some of the old logging roads and trails on the other side of the river. Nice and easy.  Feel really beat up.  [36:21].  Then met Kevin over at Walmart right after for another 5 (out and back) on NH Corridor 19 in Conway.  My left foot started to cramp bad on the way back w/ sharp pain (just like in VT a couple years ago when I ran with Josh and Greg and Justin).  Same thing.  I had to stop for a second, hobble, massage my foot, then hobble back to the car.  Hopefully all I need is some rest.  [40:25].

8-23 - Thursday: 7 miles (roads and snowmobile trails).  Ran down to the train station at Silver Lake and then hopped on NH Corridor 19 and headed north for a bit before hopping off and taking some power line trails and then back on the roads.  Nice and easy. Hot out and I need some rest.  My legs have been trashed since my calf went on me.  I'm beginning to think I'm overrun and may need some down time.  Things hurt and it's just the way it is.  Always hobbling around nowadays and haven't felt fresh in a couple months. [50:21]

8-22 - Wednesday: am - 4 miles (trails and roads). From my house, down 113 to Ward Parcel trail. 1  mile loop in there, then back and up to Cascades + add-on and back down.  pm - 19.5 miles (roads).  From my house to the Pizza Barn in Ossipee and back.  Thought it would be around 10 out and 10 back.  Was close. Measured when I got home.  Very even splits.  1:07:34 out and 1:07:23 on the way back (and I took a slightly longer way back and didn't cut through the town garden across the street from my house and just went to the end of the street and around...probably 20 second difference). For the way my legs felt when I left my house, I'll take it!  My hamstrings were super tight all week (I think from the Washington climb on Sunday). They were really sore from the get go today but I managed to just keep it steady. Cardio is ridiculous right now...but legs are really giving me a hard time.  If my legs and feet didn't hurt so much from top to bottom, I'd be in pretty good shape.  [2:14:58].  Total for the day: 23.5.

8-21 - Tuesday: 10 miles (trails).  Just shy of 3 loop around Whitaker Woods trails [20:05] then 3.1 5k Fun Run w/ the Milers after the Summer Series awards.  [22:47]. Then immediately into another 5k loop of the course in [21:09]. Then 1+ mile loop with Roger as a cooldown - [10:33]  Total [1:14:38].

8-20 - Monday: 10.5 miles (roads).  Solo lake bang (clockwise) around Silver Lake.  Started off nice and easy and started picking it up a little on Lead Mine...eased into a steady pace on the backside stretch on 41 and back up 113.  Awesome weather...warm but not that humid...really nice time of year (now that most of the deer flies are gone)  [1:10:47]

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Training 08-13 - 08-19

Weekly Wrap Up: 86 miles with one decent road race (or at least 80% of it), a tempo trail race effort, some good road runs, a nice trail run, and a fantastic long run in the mountains.  I was well under my goal for the week (again) but considering my calf isn't 100% yet, I'll take 86 miles.  Just gotta keep buildin' them hurtin' bombs...

8-19 - Sunday: 12.1 miles (trails, mountains). Solo. Redlining up at Mt. Washington.  From Glen Ellis Falls, went up Glen Boulder Trail to Davis Path.  Then along past Boott Spur and up to Crawford Path and then up to Mt. Washington Summit.  Awesome day for it.  Not hot, not that cold (until I got up to the summit and stopped to take get a quick snack) and absolutely zero wind.  Not too many folks out on the trails other than Tuckerman, which was ridiculous.  I think most people think that's the only trail that goes up the rockpile.  Came down Tuckerman for just a little bit and bolted across the Lawn Cutoff and then down Davis Path a little and then onto Boott Spur Trail all the way down to AMC Pinkham Notch Lodge.  Then cut across to Direttissima for the way back to the car.  [2:50:01].

Photo Set from the run can be seen here.

8-18 - Saturday:
11 miles (roads, dirt roads, trails). From my house, up to the Cascades then out to Mooney Hill (extended loop) and up to Pound Rd. and down to E. Madison Rd.  Then headed up Lead Mine Rd. and then up Daniel Ward (through Darin Brown's property) and up towards Stacey Mtn.  Didn't make it to the top as I wasn't sure where the trail (if it exists) was off of the end of Daniel Ward.  Explored up there for a bit and then headed back down to Darin's and out down Lead Mine again and back to the house.  Felt great despite the heat and beating sun.  Calf wasn't an issue at all.  [1:15:04].

8-17 - Friday: 10 miles (roads).  E.Madison and Silver Lake.  From house, down 113 to Silver Lake and down around East Shore Drive a bit and then back.  HOT.  Calf twinged a little on the way back but manageable. Moved pretty good on this one for a change (it's about the flattest 10 miles you can come up with around here). [1:07:32].

8-16 - Thursday: 13.2 miles (roads).  4 mile w/up (3 w/ Nathan Huppe and another mile w/ strides before 10K in Rye) + Race: Saunders at Rye Harbor 10K - 2nd OA - 32:32.  Got my arse handed to me (again) by Andy Huebner.  I ran a so-so race.  Good enough for 2nd and some cash and swag.  I ran 40 seconds slower than 2 years ago (the last time I raced there) but I'll take it.  2 years older and I've been battling my calf the past week +.  I kind of thought a DNF or some other disaster was a possibility, so I'll take the 2nd place.  The results are currently messed up with some guys missing from the top 10 but I'm sure they'll fix it.  Cooled down another 3 miles w/ Verrington, Darin Brown, and Nate 'the Great' Huppe along some nice oceanside roads and part on a rocky beach.  Hit up the food court in the Fox Run Mall in Newington w/ D.Brown on the way back up to Madison.  Not sure what the weekend holds in store (other than the Mahoney-Searles wedding festivities on Saturday in Tamworth) but I'm playing it by ear.  Will see how the calf holds up tomorrow.  May just put some miles in the bank instead of race again.

8-15 - Wednesday: am - 4 miles (roads) in E. Madison.  Out and back on E. Madison Rd (w/ hill) [27:38].  pm - 8 miles (roads, trails) in Madison.  Out and back on E. Madison Rd. + out and back down 113 + up to Cascades and back down.  [56:16].  Total for the day: 12

8-14 - Tuesday: am - 8 miles (roads, dirt roads) in E. Madison. Hilly loop out back from my house. Felt ok. Lots of climbing over first half. Calf felt OK. A little hint of a problem early and that's all I need to ruin the run. Just kept thinking about it the whole time and kept it nice and easy.  It's hard not to get a workout in when doing these runs.  The hills are like nothing else I have been used to and there is no getting away from them around here.  Hot and sunny.  [58:39] - pm - 9.5 miles (trails) - 2 mile w/up (15:00) then Summer Series 5k (trail) - T-1st. 18:20. Ran w/ Tim Livingston and talked the whole way. Easy tempo effort and neither of us raced at all..just kept the turnover going.  Last series race of the year.  4.4 mile cooldown w/ Peter Haine, Zach, and a couple other local speedsters over the trails in Whitaker [35:39].  Calf felt good on warmup and during the race it was a non-issue.  Cooldown there was a tiny bit of discomfort, but not bad.  Total for the day: 17.5

8-13 - Monday: 10.2 miles (trails) in North Conway w/ Kevin Tilton and Josh Katzman (Inov-8).  Started at Cathedral Ledge and ran up and around all the trails between there and the mineral site area.  Lots of single track climbs, some snowmobile trail, logging roads, and some stream crossings.  Nice and easy while watching my calf and trying not to strain it.  Side-stepped a lot of the climbs.  The calf seems to be better on trails than roads.  I think the steady, unchanging stride of a road run is what is aggravating it.  Good to mix it up a bit and get off the pavement.  I have been icing, massage, stim, stick, heat, and stretching. We'll see how this week goes.  [1:48:00].

Monday, August 13, 2012

Wellinghurst 5k

On Tuesday night the White Mountain Milers Weekly 5K Trail Series took a week off as it does each year, in order for the locals to run the James Wellinghurst 5k in Madison, NH.  This race literally starts .1 miles (one tenth) from my house. I can see the staring line in front of the Madison Church from my living room window.  This makes the shortest commute to a race starting line that I've ever had. I literally could see the registration table from my front yard.  I jogged up to register and went back down to the house where my parents were waiting to take a walk up to the starting area to watch the race go off.  The race is pretty low key, with no bibs and a $5 entry fee.  But it is literally in my front yard so I couldn't pass it up.

On Monday, my calf started to go bad on my run and it really made me cautious about my morning run on Tuesday.  I previewed the course (which is just over 3 miles and not a full 5k) and ran very easy, as my calf was still a problem.  By race time, I warmed up very lightly and shorter than normal and then got on the line and hoped for the best.

The course starts on a downhill on Rt. 113 (Conway Rd) and then hooks right, right in front of my house, and heads down 113 in a nice downhill slope for the entire first mile (with one small bump in the middle). The course then climbs up a little before taking a sharp left onto Danforth Ln and starts to climb for most of the 2nd mile, gradually up Danforth, which is also paved.  3/4 of the 2nd mile is uphill and paved, and then turns to dirt and a logging road that cuts across to Winter St., which is a nice dirt road that is all downhill back to Rt. 113. The course then takes a sharp left back onto 113 and hooks around by the lake and over to the train station / Silver Lake post office to the finish.  The last mile is a combination of some downhill and flat dirt road and paved road.

As the gun went off, I quickly moved out to the front and immediately found out that I had a hard time pushing the pace because of the downhill.  Starting downhill in a '5k' is tough.  I'd much rather have the downhill in the middle or end of the course.  Having it at the beginning, when you are fresh, is pretty difficult, for me anyways.  I felt like I was going too slow but couldn't really go much faster.  It was a weird feeling. I kept thinking that everyone was going to come blowing past me but that didn't happen.  I missed the first mile split but I know it was fast.  The chase pack went through in sub 4:50 so I know I was a bit faster.  I pushed OK up the 2nd mile and felt 'better' but not that great.  I cut across the dirt road and over to Winter St. for the dirt road descent back to 113 and clicked through 2 miles in 10:04.  I had a pretty good lead and rolled down the 2nd mile and dumped out onto the main road, where I saw Kristin and my mom driving by and they were yelling for me as I hit the last flat road section to the finish. I wasn't really pushing it here and just kept up the steady pace as I didn't think I was going to run that fast after splitting over 10 minutes through 2...but I came across in 15:04.  That was 16 seconds under Kevin Tilton's 2004 record run of 15:20.  Zach Switaj (UMass Dartmouth) was 2nd in 16:08 or so and Tim Livingston was right behind him by a couple seconds.

After the race, I headed back up the course for a cooldown with Zach before he drove me back down from the church for the awards.  For my efforts, I got a Madison Old Home Week t-shirt and bragging rights for taking down what some were saying was the most impressive course record in Madison ;).  After, I jogged up to Burke Field with Roger Marcoux (who won this race in 1989) where I met my parents and Kristin for a BBQ and live band as part of Old Home Week.  After that, I jogged back up the road (less than a half mile) to my house and called it a night.

Good times in town, as usual...