Monday, August 31, 2015

August 31 (Monday)

August 31 (Monday) - 13.5 miles from Andy's house.  We ran a couple snowmobile trail loops on the SOS trails off E.Madison Rd. and then headed over to Lead Mine and did the Jackman Ridge Trail and then back up to Andy's.  Saw a big black bear cross in front of us on Lead Mine.  Solid run for a Monday.  It's all about time on feet today.  1625 ft of gain mostly all on trail.

314 miles for the month of August.  That's pretty decent for my first real month back.  Now gotta think about getting some real work in, now that I'm building a decent base back up.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

August 30 (Sunday)

August 30 (Sunday) - 10.3 miles late in the day from the corner of Lead Mine and Black Brook Rd.  Just an out and back on the flat section that was actually proposed for a leg of the Reach the Beach relay this year...  Added a loop around to Mary's Mtn. / Trout Pond area and down to Shawtown and back over to the snowmobile trails.  Relatively easy.

70.8 miles for the week and my 4th week at 70 in a row... Not as much climbing but still over 3700 feet which is probably still above what most people get just by default... Only 7 runs this week so not bad.  Things are looking up although I haven't worked on any speed at all.  My leg has been bothering me off and on but nothing stopping me from running.  Going to keep being consistent and getting the work in.  It's the only way.

Dog days....

A busy intersection on the proposed RTB route...

Another busy intersection.... the vans would have had to bypass.... too much traffic.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

August 29 (Saturday)

August 29 (Saturday) - 10 miles (Strava knocked me down to 9.9 even though I ran 10.05) easy in Conway in the am.  Had to get the run in before a long day entertaining our parents and a few other guests for Morgan's 1st birthday party.  Met Kevin off of West Side Rd. for some easy trail miles in the Marshall Conservation Area and the Mineral Site (including the High School Loop).  Ran w/ him for the first 7.5 or so and then I added on some easy miles solo on the railroad tracks (up to the bridge which was basically not passable) and surrounding area to make 10 miles.

Later on, we had a great time celebrating w/ the family.  Kevin dropped by w/ his son Colin and Ryan and Kristina swung in later on for some food and drinks.  Good times.  Beautiful day.

Friday, August 28, 2015

August 28 (Friday)

August 28 (Friday) - 13 miles (flat) very late in the day from the house. Solo down 113 to 41 and out to the Ossipee town line (within view) and then back.  Kept it just under 7 min. pace nice and relaxed and easy, yet my leg was really bothering me.  Not good.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

August 27 (Thursday)

August 27 (Thursday) - 5 miles very easy w/ KT on the trails in Conway.  100 mile race pace.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

August 26 (Wednesday)

August 26 (Wednesday) - 14.5 miles after work on the roads.  Solo from my house, up 113 to Albany/Conway and back into Madison up Tasker Hill / Allard Hill to Eidelweiss and through around the ponds and then back down.  Good rolling loop...over 1000 ft. Humid but not too bad.  6:26 pace overall for the 14.5...slightly working on some of the climbs but pretty much within myself the rest of the time and starting to feel normal again.  6:25s would be a deal breaker though.

On the way up 113 I saw ANOTHER dead porcupine on the side of the road but this time about 1.5 miles from my house.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

August 25 (Tuesday)

August 25 (Tuesday) - 7.2 miles on the snowmobile trails / single track in Big Pines / and on the paved and dirt roads in Tamworth with Ryan and Kristina from their house.  Climbed up to the Great Hill firetower in the pouring rain (lightning too)... passed on climbing the metal tower.

Saw another porcupine on Fowler's Mill again near Ryan's.  That's two in like a month on the same stretch of road (although this is the first live one).  Sadly, later on on my way out, this one too was laying in the middle of the road.  Someone had gotten him while we were on the run.

Monday, August 24, 2015

August 24 (Monday)

August 24 (Monday) - 10.5 miles real easy on the roads late in the day.  Just out and back on 113/41 to East Shore Drive and then came back West Shore.  The weather was real pleasant tonight but I still came back a sopping wet mess.

Also...I started to run w/ the Ipod again... not sure why, but I suddenly remembered that I enjoy running with it (as long as I'm on the roads)...I don't like running w/ it in the woods for some reason.  But on the roads, it makes the time go by.... of the gems that popped up on the mix as I was jogging tonight...

Sunday, August 23, 2015

August 23 (Sunday)

August 23 (Sunday) - Busy day around the house...worked outside in the yard and woods most of the day and STILL didn't get it mowed (it rained off and on).  Finally wrapped up and got the shoes on at around 6pm and hit up a solo lake bang around Silver Lake for I think the first time all year.  Not sure I have a complete traditional lake bang this calendar year...the bugs are usually very bad for most of the spring/summer on the Lead Mine stretch so I don't even bother...and of course in the winter it isn't plowed so it's inaccessible unless on a snowmobile.  According to Strava, since I've started using it and had a GPS watch, I've only done a lake bang around Silver Lake, counter-clockwise,  4 times.  That means every other time I've ever done it, it's been clockwise. I find that hard to believe but maybe it's accurate....or maybe it's just that it's not showing all of them for some technical reason.  This was the quickest I've done it though by far according to Strava, and it didn't feel bad at all, so I guess that's a good thing.  I do remember hammering a couple times that aren't showing up on Strava so maybe it was pre-GPS watch.  I remember one time specifically with Kevin in 2012 when we ran pretty quick in that direction...had to have been when I didn't have my watch.  The bang only has 500 ft. of gain but it's really just in 2 hills on Lead Mine Rd.  The rest is pretty flat.  10.54 miles - 1:07:54.  If I can keep getting a run or two like this in, and feel comfortable doing it, I'll be right where I need to be.

Another 70 mile week.  70.4 miles to be precise.  If you take the .04 to .05 I have to add to each ending of the runs in order for Strava not to screw me out of a tenth of a mile, I'd have a couple more tenths per week ;).  I had 1 double and 1 'short' run this week.  No workouts yet but 3 weeks at around 70 in a row is definitely making progress.  The last 5 weeks have looked like this: 56.9 / 63.8 / 69.7 / 70.1 / 70.4.  That 69.7 mile week was only on 6 days.  I've only taken 1 day off in the last 35 days but have run 39 runs in the last 35 being consistent is one thing I have going for me...which is nice.  Previous to those weeks, the first 4 were: 25.5 / 30.6 / 31.7 / 44 / as I was ramping up towards a consistent number after making the decision to start running again after I thought the leg was beginning to get better.

Last 5 weeks I've gotten in some consistent climbing too... It comes with the territory... I want to try to focus less on the slower climbing and more on the normal miles though...will be basically running in just one part of town every day which kind of sucks but the results start to show....

As I type this though (Monday morning), my leg throbs in pain.  It doesn't really bother me running, but the consistent throbbing most days is probably something I'll have to put up with for a while according to what I've read.  But as long as it doesn't start on me while I'm running, I'll continue to try to build fitness and focus my attention on trying once again to put something special together for 2016.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

August 22 (Saturday)

August 22 (Saturday) - 9 miles early in the am with BJ Bottomley (my UML teammate from 95-97ish) from his place in Freedom.  A nice loop on the roads including Cushing Corner.  Good to get it out of the way.  Headed down to MA for the day w/ the family for a cookout / graduation party.  Good thing I got this in early...didn't get back until very late.

Friday, August 21, 2015

August 21 (Friday)

August 21 (Friday) - 12.2 miles after work with 2200+ feet of gain just in the Trout Pond area.  A nice loop from Andrew's house, up Goe Hill, down the top end of Daniel Ward (Class VI) Rd. to the trail up and over Stacy Mountain down to the snowmobile trails around Trout Pond...then a big loop down to Shawtown around Mary's Mountain (not going to the summit) and then through Shawtown to the climb that is to the northeast of Blazo Mtn. Then back down to the main intersection at the base of Mary's and then back up Goe Hill to E.Madison Rd. and out.  Poured the entire time but it was MUCH better than running in the heat and humidity.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

August 20 (Thursday)

August 20 (Thursday) - 6 miles easy w/ Darin from my house at lunch.  Madison 5k course out and back.  Hot and Humid.  We were going to go longer but Darin was pressed for time.  I figured I'd go back out later on after work but that didn't materialize.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

August 19 (Wednesday)

August 19 (Wednesday) - Another hot and humid day...I waited not quite as long as yesterday to get out the door, but did wait until about 6pm.  It was still very humid.  The air was thick and wind.  I hit up the High St. / Washington Hill loop because it is half dirt road and in the deep woods.  The downside is that it's a little on the hilly side with about 4 good climbs but I was planning on just keeping it under 7s and was a bit under that.  A couple of the miles were way quicker because of the downhills but all in all I was able to relax on this run and hit the splits without much effort.  I had to work a couple of the hills to make sure I was hitting the splits but the rest of the run was easy.  Fitness is slowly coming back and this type of effort is starting to feel like it used to.  This needs to be my normal run for me to get where I want to be.  Still got work to do though.  11.6 miles total for the loop (915 ft of gain).

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

August 18 (Tuesday)

August 18 (Tuesday) - Just brutally hot and humid weather this week.  Waited again until very late...past 7 pm, to run. 8 miles.  Just out and back on 113/41.  Flat, slow, easy.  Leg actually spoke to me on the way back for some's very strange.  Some days nothing, some days it's there yelling at me. Either way, after 2 days of doubles (even though they were pretty low volume), I needed a 1 run /easy day.

Monday, August 17, 2015

August 17 (Monday)

August 17 (Monday) - 5 miles at lunch on the roads (flat).  Hot as b*lls.  Another 8 miles after work late to avoid the heat of the day. Was still very humid though.  Leg actually hurt briefly with about 2 miles to go.  Going to probably go easy tomorrow and watch it.  Last thing I want is another setback with this thing when I'm finally making improvements. 13 miles on the day with next to no climbing thank God.  Probably lost 10 lbs of water weight.  Got another 15 to go...

Sunday, August 16, 2015

August 16 (Sunday)

August 16 (Sunday) - Holy crap it was hot today.  I had grandiose plans last night to get out and go long this morning before the temps blew through the roof.  Needless to day by noon I still hadn't put shorts (or pants) on yet.  It was 90 degrees out and the humidity was outrageous.  I took the girls to the beach and headed out into the West Branch snowmobile trails and into the Pine Barrens for a small loop in there (unfortunately there was no snow in there).  I bailed at 7 miles and jumped in the lake for an hour to cool off.  I took water on the run and kept it at an honest pace on the rather grown-in trails in there, but was cooked.

Later on I headed out for run #2 after making a minor technical error in judgement (i.e. eating leftover Chinese food from last night right before).  Needless to say I bobbed and weaved into the bushes to purge a spring roll and some rice somewhere between miles 2 and 3.  I went out and back for 8 miles nice and relaxed on Rt. 113.  It was dark when I finished and the temps were perfect.  Running in the evening in the summer is pretty sweet. I should try it more often...especially on very hot days.  Happy to get 15 miles in for the day but did it the easy way with 2 runs.

70.1 miles for the week and ONLY  7800 ft. of elevation gain (far less than the near 11k I had last week). I have to stop screwing around with mountains and crazy-hilly loops now and focus on normal runs and try to get the mileage up and pace down. That's how I get fit. There's no way around it.  I've been slowly creeping up the miles each week since running seriously again after my stress fracture.  65 mpw average for the last 4 weeks....slowly moving in the right direction...

Saturday, August 15, 2015

August 15 (Saturday)

August 15 (Saturday) - Weird day all around.  Worked on an electrical project at the house and kept thinking about running and every time I looked outside it started pouring out.  Finally late in the day I hit the neighborhood for a light easy run during the break in the weather.  Just 6 miles easy on the roads and some snowmobile trails.  It was so hot and humid out and I hadn't eaten anything except a blueberry muffin in the morning, so I bonked at 4 miles pretty hard.  It's been a while since that has happened to that degree.  Made it home in time before is really started pouring again.

Friday, August 14, 2015

August 14 (Friday)

August 14 (Friday) - 11.4 miles on the roads after work... From the house, down 113 to 41 and then out and around the Carved in Bark neighborhood and back.  Nice and flat.  Eased up the tempo just a bit but kept it comfortable. A nice honest run for where I am fitness-wise. Very hot and humid out but it was tolerable.  Leg started acting up just a bit around 8 miles but by the end it was ok.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

August 13 (Thursday)

August 13 (Thursday) - Didn't start out until rather late in the day. Wanted to get on softer surfaces as my leg has been sore the last day or so (mostly when I'm not running it is throbbing right in the area where the fracture was).  Got in an easy 7.3 miles in the Goodwin and Burke Town Forests over in Madison/Freedom on snowmobile trails and old mountain trails.  Just parked at the usual junction of Black Brook and Lead Mine and headed in. Went up and over to Goe Hill from the bottom and then headed up Goe Hill to the back of Darin's property on the class VI Daniel Ward Rd.  Then ran down to the trail up to Stacy Mountain. I had done that trail before in the winter either last year or the year before and didn't have my Garmin with me at the time.  Previously, I found a trail down the other side which was very hard to follow (especially in winter). I got lost many times and then finally punched out into an area I had never seen before (or at least that appeared very strange to me in the winter time).  I wanted to get back to that area of dirt road it came out on and find the trail sign I had seen back at the time which really confused me. I had been thinking about it for a while, each time I am in there... wondering .  Because it was getting dark when I first did it, I had to turn and head back up and over the mountain and back down to Darin's to get out of there before dark.  This time, I had more time and it was easier to follow the trail down.  I did get lost on the way up (the trail is very tough to see in spots even though there is pink flagging periodically on the trees I believe put there by Sandy Brown for her horse routes) but managed to finally figure it out after 10 minutes of walking around.  Once over the top, I came down the trail I had found last time and it was easier to follow this time without snow everywhere.  I still got confused a few times so it was very slow going but finally punched out on that section I had found last time.  Now I know exactly where it comes out and I know where I can get that trail up to Stacy Mountain from the normal snowmobile trails in the Trout Pond area.  Very cool.  Especially since I didn't have to go back up and over Stacy again. I just dropped down to the SOS trails again and got back to my car.  If it hadn't been so late, I would have added on, but it was well after 7pm so I called it.  The great news is that the bugs are basically gone!!!

Back on the summit of Stacy Mountain

Almost a view on the way down...

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

August 12 (Wednesday)

August 12 (Wednesday) - 6 miles (solo) from the house.  Needed to back off a little and rest the legs after some heavy climbing the last week +.  Easy 3 up E. Madison Rd. and then slightly quicker on the way back down.  Solid short day in the August heat.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

August 11 (Tuesday)

August 11 (Tuesday) - 8.3 miles in the rain on Corridor 19 snowmobile trail and Mason Brook Tr. loop w/ MQ.  Flattest run in a while....

Monday, August 10, 2015

August 10 (Monday)

MQ at the Liberty Cabin just below the summit of Chocorua
August 10 (Monday) - 8 miles on the roads in the AM with Mike Quintal who was up for a few days visiting, and BJ and Carson Bottomley.  From my house, up around the 'neighborhood loop' which is hilly as sh*t.  A good 1000 feet of climb almost in the half dirt/half paved loop.

Then in the afternoon, MQ and I hit up Chocorua for a 7.7 mile jaunt up and back on the Liberty Trail.  Another 2900 feet on the day.

Total of 15.7 miles with 3900 or so feet of elevation on the day.  Not bad for the day after running in the Pemi and climbing 3 4000'ers with Ferenc.  Between the last two days, I've had 7300+ feet of climbing.  It may be time to start running on the flat roads again before I get used to the slow pace of these grinds... They definitely make you stronger though.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

August 9 (Sunday)

August 9 (Sunday) - 16.9 miles in the Pemi with Josh Ferenc.  From Zealand (Zealand Tr.) up to the hut, then up to Zealand on the Twinway and out to Bond and West Bond (to bag West Bond for Josh).  Rained most of the time out on the ridge but not pouring...but enough to get us soaked.  By the time we got back down to the hut, it was sunny and dry again.  Great run though.  4200+ feet of gain.  10,500+ feet of gain for the week on only 6 days...

Saturday, August 8, 2015

August 8 (Saturday)

August 8 (Saturday) - 10.8 miles up and over E. Madison Rd. and then up Fox Rd. and through on some logging roads and old carriage road for a bit.  Was planning on a bit less but felt ok once I got out there and stretched it out a bit distance-wise because I took yesterday off.

After the run we got ready and headed out to the Madison Bean Hole Supper at the beach and met my parents and my brother and his family there for a nice time at the annual event that my family had been going to back in the 70s and a kid I used to go back in the day when we stayed in Ossipee... then a 20 year lapse before picking back up the tradition now with our own families...

Friday, August 7, 2015

August 7 (Friday)

August 7 (Friday) - Off day. First day off in over a couple weeks.  Worked all day and then had to shoot down to Wakefield to drop my girls off before Kristin and I hit up the English Beat live at Tupelo Hall in Londonderry.  Great show!  Third row right in front.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

August 6 (Thursday)

August 6 (Thursday) - Trail run from Ryan's house.  Snowmobile trails and some redlining of the Brook Path towards Wonalancet.  Snowmobile trails off Fowler's Mill...across 113 and onto some other forest roads until we got to the Brook Path..then out to the Wonalancet end, turn and back all the way through to 113 again and back. Nice and easy. Very cool trail along the river...a really nice waterfall and swimming hole and some smooth trail running right along the brook.  8.4 miles.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

August 5 (Wednesday)

August 5 (Wednesday) - 16 mile run from King Pine to the Maine state line and then the loop down into Freedom/Eaton and back.  I've done this run a few times and parts of it multiple times.  I've never done it this fast though.  It's a very hilly run with almost 2200 feet of elevation gain over the 16 miles.  A lot of the loop is dirt/gravel/ and the rest pavement.  I had in the back of my mind before the start that I could average maybe 6:45s on this run even with a 8-9 minute 7th mile which climbs straight up for the entire mile from the Maine line.  There's about 5 big climbs on this run and the rest you'd have to work for.  I felt great until about 10 miles (just over 66 minutes) and then started to feel the effort.  I was running slightly up tempo at that pace because my fitness isn't 100% but I was not killing myself on the hills and I was never running all out on the downs or flats because I was weary of the distance at this point in my comeback.  I was keeping it honest but trying to plan for the entire run.  If my watch said 6-anything or low 7  by the time I was splitting a mile, I was happy.  But by 11, right before hooking a sharp right onto the climb up at Cushing Corner, I bonked hard.  I had a gel with me but decided to push on without out it. I felt slightly better on the descent and flats but once I hit the last big climb up at 12.5 I was hurting badly.  I almost had to walk.  I just don't have the good strong climbing legs right now and my cardio was off.  I felt strong but not strong enough to push the pace as I did earlier in the run.  I survived the climb up to about 14 miles and then dropped for the most part during the last 2 and let gravity help me through the splits.  It didn't help that it was pretty warm out and bright sunshine bearing down on me for most of the run.  I do love the route though.  It's quiet and honestly I'm not sure if I actually saw a car go by me the entire run.  Too many off-leash dogs though (and by extension, asshole dog owners who should themselves be slapped instead of their dogs).  I got run at by 4 dogs and barked at by another 4 at least.  I can deal with the annoying barking as I run by but the chasing and jumping up for a mile down the road is unacceptable.  I guess nobody ever accused these dumb hillbillies of being smart about anything so I guess owning an animal responsibly fits into that pretty nicely.  1:48:21 for the 16.1 (6:44 pace).  Just under my target but had to work for it.  Next time it will be easier.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

August 4 (Tuesday)

August 4 (Tuesday) - Met up with Ryan from his sprawling remote palatial estate in Tamworth for an exploration of the Skull Cairn Tr.  He mentioned to me last time we were at the junction of Hammond Tr. and Liberty Tr. up near Chocorua, that there was an old trail that came out about 100 yards down the Hammond Tr. and it was long since closed.  It looks like the trail (from the research I did) was decommissioned in possibly around the early 1940's or so.  It was last referenced in the 1940 AMC guide as:

1940 AMC White Mountain Guide - Skull Cairn Trail
Ascending the mountain from the S, this trail cannot readily be followed by one unfamiliar with it, as the blazes are obscure. It leaves the highway from Chocorua to Wonalancet, 1 5/8 m. W of Lake, near the top of a Sandy Hill, and follows the Old Mail Road R (NW) to a cairn in the N part of a pasture a few yds. S of the town line and National Forest Boundary (red stake). The Old Mail Road turns R (E) to the Hammond Farm. After crossing brook (last sure water), it ascends through hardwood and over ledges. Its upper end is on the Hammond Trail about 100 yds. below the Liberty Trail and is marked with three blazes set vertically.
Distances. Highway to junction with Hammond Trail 3 ½ m.; to summit of Mt. Chocorua 4 ¼ m. 

1934 AMC Map (from Franklin Sites) showing the Skull Cairn Trail between the Liberty and Hammond Trails.

So we kind of knew where the top was (I wish I took a picture of the tree w/ three blazes set vertically)...but to find the bottom was a little more challenging.  I did a little research and knew the trail from the bottom was off of a small clearing/junction called 'Blacky's Flats' where Old Mail Road meets the Highland Trail (two trails in the Chocorua Conservation Lands trails).   I did some planning from Ryan's house where it looked to be about 2 miles to Blacky's Flats via the snowmobile trail that heads up around James Pond.  Looking at some old USGS maps and Strava I planned the route and we took off to find the trailhead (which according to people online was obstructed and grown in).  We hit the snowmobile trail about a quarter mile from Ryan's and headed up around the James Pond area and overshot the trail we were looking for.  We popped out back onto the road inadvertently and just hopped down on Old Mail Road for a more direct shot up to Blacky's Flats.  We got to the junction about 1.5 miles longer than originally planned but as soon as we were there (and saw the little trail sign for Blacky's Flats) we saw the trailhead immediately behind some downed trees.

We hopped on the trail, almost immediately crossed over the National Forest boundary and proceeded to follow a very obvious and nice old trail up a ways until we saw the welcoming sight below:

About a quarter mile or so up the trail at a hard right turn

From there it climbed up pretty steep in spots but there were a lot of blowdowns and the trail was very rugged.  Once we got up to the large cliffs, we lost the trail for a bit.  Ryan finally found that it cut up between the two huge cliffs via a very steep cut in between (with root steps).  It was a pretty tough and slippery climb as it's not obviously well travelled and was filled in with leaves.  Once at the top, we got some nice views of Chocorua Lake:

Chocorua Lake w/ a nice rainbow to the east

From there, it climbed up some nice trail at times and other times it was a blowdown filled mess.  We came to a small swamp and lost the trail again.  We cut right across it because it was bone dry.  We searched for 10 min. or so until we found the trail over to the far left behind a lot of blowdowns and a gnarled mess of bushes and trees.  Once through that, it was too much further up some windy, grown in trails until we finally reached the top junction of the Hammond Tr.   We saw the tree mentioned in the 1930s/1940 AMC guide with the three blazes on it which was pretty cool.  Then we headed back down the Liberty Trail and out to Ryan's again.   Just over 9 miles total and 2100+ feet of elevation gain.

Monday, August 3, 2015

August 3 (Monday)

August 3 (Monday) - 8.1 miles on the roads from the house after work.  Very hot out...and just beat out the storm that rolled in and knocked out power for over an hour.  Was going for 10 originally but backed off at around 4 miles and decided to head back.  Kept the pace honest for where my fitness is, but with the heat it felt far more difficult than it should have.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

August 2 (Sunday)

August 2 (Sunday) - 8.5 miles in Freedom and Effingham w/ BJ Bottomley and his son Carson.  BJ was my college teammate at UML and his son is now entering 8th grade and is already a running stud.  He was pushing the pace.  I don't think I ever ran 8.5 miles over the course of 2 days in high school, let alone in one run... Good to get this out of the way early when the temps were reasonable.

My future running stud...  Those shoes may be a bit too big to fill at this point though..

Saturday, August 1, 2015

August 1 (Saturday)

August 1 (Saturday) - Spent most of the day w/ the girls and my parents down at the Madison Community Fair at Burke Field.  Played a little bit of basketball (until Tabby got hurt) and ate a lot of non-vegan food.  Then later on we went back for the BBQ they had at the same place a few hours later.  By the end of the day I wasn't in running mode but did get out for a very easy 3 miles in the trails behind my house instead of taking a zero.