Running with the Hayneses

Happy Birthday to Me!

 

To celebrate my birthday this year the only thing I wanted to do was to run my age. Oh, and eat cake. :) When I posted on Facebook this past weekend that I planned to run 31 miles to celebrate turning 31 years old, my mom commented that after my run I should eat 31 pieces of cake! I promptly revised my birthday goals to include this suggestion. :)

Unfortunately, I did NOT meet my cake quota (though so far I’ve had 4 pieces in 3 days, so that’s not too shabby!), but I DID run my age for the first time ever!

Peter and I drove to Bear Brook State Park on Saturday morning where we set out on the most epic birthday celebration I’ve ever experienced.

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I had planned out a huge 28-ish mile loop, mostly following the course for the Bear Brook Trail Marathon that takes place in July, and we figured that at the end we’d repeat the first part of the loop to add on whatever mileage we still needed. The trails were mostly really well-marked, but we did get off course a few times, so I was glad that we had that mileage buffer.

We enjoyed a BEAUTIFUL morning with the sun streaming through the trees, lighting up the remaining foliage.

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Most of the trails are in the woods, but we ran a loop around this very scenic beaver pond about halfway through.

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We kept a really good pace for the first couple of hours, averaging 5.5 miles per hour. The trails were very runable with no significant climbs or technical terrain, so we hoped to complete our run in less than 6 hours if all went well.

Unfortunately, all did NOT go well at all. Partway into our 3rd hour, my stomach started rebelling. BIG TIME. As in total digestive shutdown. I felt like I was starving, but also like I would throw up if I jostled my poor bulging stomach even the tiniest bit. Wait, am I re-writing my Joe English Twilight Challenge Recap? It feels like it… :/

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When I first started feeling awful–notice how far ahead of me Peter is. :/

We spent the next couple of hours crawling ever so slowly up and then down Hall Mountain. I actually stopped twice to lay down for several minutes hoping that my stomach would calm down.

No such luck. After a few pity-party tears (I was so miserable but so desperately wanted to complete this run), I finally decided we needed to bail out and make a beeline for our car.

Even with making a “beeline” we were still several miles away, but as the miles slowly ticked by I started to feel ever so slightly better. I even perked up enough to take a picture of this pretty little pond:

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 Hayes Marsh

Soon after that I started revising our revised plan as it appeared that 31 miles was within the realm of possibility after all! We decided to continue to the car, where I could get some bread and water (I didn’t dare eat or drink anything else), and then head back out for an additional 6 miles to complete our goal of 31 for the day.

For our last stretch we chose a route that went up and down Catamount Mtn. This was a pretty short climb, but it was fairly rocky and steep, particularly near the top of the mountain. There were two lookouts at the top where we rewarded with a nice view!

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We did a bit of meandering on our way back to the car to make sure we got in the appropriate mileage, and finally ended up at the parking lot by Catamount Pond about 6.5 hours after we started at Catamount Pond.

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 We were tired but grateful for the journey we had completed together.

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Happy Birthday to Me! :)

Siblings Weekend in Minneapolis

 

Sarah and Jared are expecting their first baby any day now, so I went out to Minneapolis this past weekend to visit them, hoping to be there for the birth of my nephew! Alas, it was not meant to be, but since Hannah and Lucky were there as well, we made the most of the rare chance to all be together!

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And of course whenever we get together, you know there is going to be a fair amount of running involved! :) Sarah and Jared live right up the street from a chain of lakes which are part of the Grand Rounds National Scenic Byway system. The four lakes are all bordered by paved paths, and they are THE place to run in Minneapolis. :)

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On Friday, my first full day there, Hannah and I got up early and headed out for a “quick” run. Our plan was to run around Lake Calhoun and then Lake of the Isles, which would be about 6 miles. We figured we could do that and be back in time to eat breakfast with everyone before Lucky and Jared went to work. Welllllllll, we sort of lost our bearings (everything looked the same!), and accidentally did TWO laps around Lake of the Isles before finally figuring out how to get back home! We missed breakfast, but had a 10 miles worth of an exciting adventure to tell everyone about. :)

For our Saturday long run, Jared took Lucky, Hannah and I on a 13.1-mile tour of downtown Minneapolis while Sarah ran walked some errands. :) Our loop took us through a little of everything, from upscale urban neighborhoods to beautiful parks to the ghetto and then finally right through the downtown skyscrapers.

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Running selfie at the start of our run!

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Theodore Wirth Park

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The foliage was gorgeous!

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The city skyline from the ghetto :)

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Stone Arch Bridge in the Downtown Riverfront District

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Running through the city!

I never would have thought it could be so fun and so scenic to run in a big city, but Minneapolis is a beautiful place!

On Sunday, we decided to get up early again and go for a run before church. This time Jared took Hannah and I on a 7-mile route around Lake Calhoun and Lake Harriet. We left before the sun came up and were treated to a beautiful sunrise!

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Lake Harriet

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Lake Calhoun

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Calhoun with the city in the background

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Hannah and Jared’s shirts coincided very well with the foliage! :)

I flew home Sunday night having totalled 30 miles over the course of 3 days! I firmly believe that the best way to experience a new place is through running, and it was an unexpected treat to be able to run so much and see so many beautiful sights while we were in Minneapolis! And the company was pretty great, too. :)

 

 

The Presidential Traverse

 

Hiking the Presidential Traverse in the White Mountains was hands-down the most amazing experience I’ve ever had, and I am still in awe. I feel completely incapable of finding the words to express how beautiful and special those mountains are, so I’m hoping that my pictures will do the job for me. :)

For those who don’t know, the Presidential Traverse is a one-way trek across the summits of the Presidential Range. There are 9 mountains, all in excess of 4,000 ft.; in fact, all but the last 2 are above 5,000 ft. We chose to start with the Northern Presidentials in order to tackle the greatest elevations gains and most difficult terrain while we were fresh. In all the traverse is 19 miles and 18,000 feet of elevation gain. If you think the stats sound impressive, wait until you see the views! :)

Our day started at 4:30 a.m. with a 2.5 hr. drive to the Clinton Rd. trailhead where we left a car at what would be the end of our traverse. We then had to backtrack half an hour with our second car to get to our starting point at the Appalachia trailhead, where we took the Valley Way trail up Mt. Madison. By the time we got started it was around 8:00–a little later than we had been aiming for, but that still left us with about 10 hours of daylight, which we hoped would be sufficient!

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Jaime says this is her “I-think-we-might-be-crazy-but-let’s-do-it-anyway look”. :)

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We had about a mile of runable trails with beautiful foliage, and then we got down to business:

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Thankfully we knew to expect trails like this after doing the Pemi Loop this summer.

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Our first view!

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And our first snow sighting!

As we came out above the treeline on Mt. Madison, we were greeted by this sign: “The area ahead has the worst weather in America. Many have died there from exposure, even in the summer. Turn back NOW if the weather is bad.” Yes, we kept going. :)

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While planning the trip, we spent many anxious hours stalking the weather reports from the higher summits and deliberating about whether or not it would be safe to attempt this traverse so late in the season, especially since there was ice on all the 5,000-footers and wind chill could easily put the temps in the single digits. After getting some advice from more experienced hikers, we decided it was worth a shot, and it turned out all our worries were for nothing because we had exceptionally nice weather all day!

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The Madison Hut with the Mt. Madison summit in the background

It took us almost 2 hours to cover the 4 miles to the Madison Hut, gaining about 4,000 ft. in the process. It was a tough climb, and when we got to the hut, we realized that we had made a fatal mistake. We had missed the trail that took us up and over the summit and now would have to hike a mile out of our way to get there. I hated to miss the chance to stand on the top of that mountain, but we all agreed that we couldn’t afford to take the extra time if we were going to make it out of the mountains before dark, so we pressed on to Mt. Adams. I guess that means that we did not officially complete the Presidential Traverse. :/ Next time!

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From the Madison Hut on, we were above the treeline the entire way, so we were completely spoiled with views like this ALL DAY LONG. I still can’t get over how beautiful the colors were!

On our way up Adams we discovered what hiking the Northern Presidentials is all about. There are no trails on these rocky summits, only cairns and blazes painted on the rocks to point the way.

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We also discovered that you can’t just step on a rock and expect it not to move–even the big ones often shift under your weight. We had a couple of 50-minute miles here as we worked our way up and over this boulder field.

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From the top of Adams looking towards Mt. Washington with it’s frosty white top.

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Group selfie on the top of Adams :)

We thought going up Adams was tricky, but going down was downright treacherous! The rocks near the top were completely coated with rime ice, which isn’t a big deal when you’re climbing, but makes for very slippery footing when you’re descending. Thankfully the ice only extended down a few hundred feet, so we just picked our way down ever so carefully until we got to more stable footing.

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Then it was on to Jefferson!

1385430_982645769254_3765116453344050405_nThat big one on the right is Jefferson, then the “small” hump is Clay, and then Mt. Washington in the clouds.

Jefferson was another tough climb, similar to Adams, though it seemed longer because we descended a long way into the valley before heading back up.

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Jefferson, looking very formidable and very far away!

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On the summit of Jefferson! Not a breath of wind here–it was incredible!

There was rime ice on this summit as well, but there was also more of a trail here as opposed to just a jumble of rocks, so we didn’t struggle at all with slippery footing like we did on Adams.

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From Jefferson, looking back at Adams (Madison is hidden behind Adams)

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Looking ahead towards Clay and Washington (in the clouds)

From there we headed towards Clay, which was basically just a small blip on the radar screen of our big ascent up Mt. Washington.

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Approaching the Clay summit. I loved the purple lichen along this section!

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From Clay we had a rewarding look back at all three of our previous summits.

Clay was an easy one, just a short climb up, a short climb down, and then the long climb up Washington.1975037_982646602584_7870463500750448682_n

Jaime and Peter hiking alongside the Cog Railroad tracks.

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Approaching the summit!

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LOTS of ice up here!!!

The ice here was pretty bad because there were hikers streaming in from all over, and the trampled ice was a thousand times slipperier than the untouched stuff we encountered on Adams. We had to be VERY careful going both up and down!

At the summit we stopped to eat lunch in the cafeteria (pizza!) and refill our hydration packs. The whole place was a zoo with tourists that had taken the auto road and the Cog up the mountain, but it was nice to sit down for awhile and eat some real food! By the time we were ready to leave, the clouds had cleared out a little, and we were able to see the view that we had worked so hard for!

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It was very cold and windy on top! We didn’t stick around for long!

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View of the valley with the Cog tracks and the auto road in the foreground.

From there we made our way down towards the Lake of the Clouds Hut. The section from the top of Washington to the Lake of the Clouds was the only part of the whole trip where I was cold and had to put on an extra layer. Once we got down off of Washington, the wind wasn’t as strong, and the sun warmed us up again.

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Looking back towards Washington from Lake of the Clouds

Our next peak was Monroe, the first of the Southern Presidentials. This marked a turning point in our journey–the peaks from here on out were progressively smaller, and the trails were progressively more runable.

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On our way to Monroe.

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From the Monroe summit looking DOWN (that’s a first!) at our next peak: Franklin.

The mountains here were spread much further apart. After Franklin we ran along a long ridge to Eisenhower (the first green hump in the picture above), then we had another long stretch to Pierce (the second green hump).

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View from Eisenhower

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8 down, 1 to go!

We finally started descending below the treeline again on our way to Pierce, and there were lots of pretty sections as things got green again.

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That’s Pierce on the right!

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The actual summit of Pierce is covered with trees, so this was our last glimpse out over the valley before we started our long descent. The trail down from Pierce was a little over three miles, but it seemed to take a lifetime. With no more mountain summits to look forward to, all I wanted to do was get out of there as fast as possible. Unfortunately, our progress was still painfully slow at this point because the trail was in large part very steep and rocky.

We stopped at the Mizpah hut on our way down to get some real food for supper because at that point I felt like I would rather starve to death than eat another Clif Bar. They were serving potato-cheese soup, and we wolfed it down! From there we had about 2.5 miles to go, and we ended up doing maybe the last mile or so in the dark. We had brought our headlamps just in case, so this didn’t slow us down much. We finally reached the car around 7:00, 11 hours after starting our journey. It was a long, hard, exhausting day, but it could not have been any more rewarding. I think I’ve been forever spoiled by these mountains–I’m afraid I’ll never want to run anywhere else again!

Joe English Twilight Challenge Race Recap

 

So I did something kind of crazy last weekend: for the first time ever I showed up to run an ultra without any prior planning or preparation whatsoever. Well, ok, I was sort of half-planning on doing it for a week or two ahead of time, but I didn’t make the final decision until about 3 hours before the race started, and then I just threw my running gear in the car and headed out!

I don’t usually fly by the seat of my pants like that, but my primary plan (weather-permitting) for that weekend was to head to the White Mountains to run the Presidential range, and the race was a very tentative back-up plan. Unfortunately, the weather turned out to be awful–it was raining cats and dogs–so needless to say we didn’t dare even attempt to run in the Whites, and I wasn’t especially excited about running a race in those conditions either. The only thing that sounded appealing to me at the time was spending a lazy day at home reading a book on the couch. :)

However, with a little persuasion (and some threats) from Jaime, I decided to give up every vestige of comfort and brave the elements for a 6-hour ultra.

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 The race was hosted at a horse farm, and the staging area where we started and completed each lap was in their indoor riding arena. It was the perfect set-up for a rainy race!

This race was different from all the other ultras I’ve done in that instead of running a set distance, we had a set time in which to run as many miles as we could. The course was a 2.5 mile loop on wide grass paths through the woods with lots of rolling hills. At first I thought this departure from my beloved mountainous technical trails would be tedious, monotonous and not the least bit fun. In reality, I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was none of the above. :)

The race started at 6:00 p.m., so we were able to run about 1.5 laps before it got too dark to see without a headlamp. I took my camera with me for the first lap to get some pictures of the course before settling into serious race mode.

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 We started out in a downpour and had on and off periods of heavy rain for probably the first half of the race. After that, the skies cleared, and we had quite a nice night. 

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We had a nice section alongside the lake before heading into the woods.

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This is what the majority of the course looked like. We were very glad for the easy terrain once it got dark and hard to see! Some parts of the course did get a little muddy after being thoroughly trampled by all the runners, but since the trails were so wide we were able to avoid the mud for the most part.

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We had another brief section along the opposite side of the lake. Once it got dark, the race crew lit big bonfires on both sides of the lake.

I started the race with pretty ambitious goals. Since the course was so easy, I figured I could average 10-minute miles for 6 hours, so I was aiming for a total of 36 miles. Unfortunately, things got off to a pretty bad start and then proceeded to get even worse.

I felt hungry almost right off the bat (that’s the bad thing about starting a race at a time when your belly thinks it should be eating a nice, big dinner!), so I took a couple of Clif gels off the aid table when I completed my first lap. I proceeded to eat them over the course of the next lap, hoping to satisfy my hunger. That seemed to do the trick, so after my second lap I grabbed another gel just for good measure. It was while I was eating this third gel that I realized I had made a mistake. I gagged on the gel and suddenly felt so sick that I couldn’t bear to finish it. After that, it was a LONG time before my stomach calmed down enough that I felt like eating again. I definitely should have stuck with my tried and true Hammer gel, which I had brought but decided not to use because it was more convenient to take advantage of the aid station than to carry my own fuel with me. Lesson learned.

During this time I fell back and joined up with Jaime who was just a few minutes behind me. It was nice to have her company since I wasn’t feeling well and no longer had such grand schemes for my race goals. She wasn’t feeling great either, but the miles ticked by as we chatted away. Even with battling nausea and dwindling energy due to my inability to eat, I still managed to maintain my goal pace up until about the halfway point. Shortly after that my stomach started to feel normal again, and I was able to eat a bowl of delicious butternut squash soup (this race had THE BEST food ever!) I felt like maybe it wasn’t too late to pull off my mileage goals after all. Then, things took another turn for the worse.

For some reason I developed an awful, painful knot in my right calf that plagued me on all the ups and downs of the very rolling course. My pace slowed drastically from this point on, and once again I mentally shifted my focus from doing well to just plain surviving. Jaime and I stayed together and kept each other going. We did a lot of walking on the hills which we had so easily run up in the beginning, and we had one 30-minute mile where I’m not quite sure what happened. Probably a combination of lingering at the aid station, stopping for a bathroom break, and walking more and more often. We did perk up quite a bit near the end when we realized that we only had a little over an hour left and decided to try to squeeze in two more laps.

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We did those two laps and ended up completing 31.5 miles in 5:46, tying for 3rd place overall women! In spite of a certain amount of suffering, I really did enjoy our time together during the race. It was fun to do a new type of race, it was fun to do it in super crazy conditions, and it was fun to do it with a friend by my side. :) I definitely plan to do this race again next year and hopefully beat my distance!

My Life Over The Past Week

 

Because I know you’re all wondering what I’ve been up to for the past week, here are some pictures to bring you up to speed. :)

Warning: If you don’t like mice, scroll down past this next picture. :) I have two cats, one of which is an AVID hunter who loves to show me his trophies, so I see my fair share of mice. However, it’s rare that I see them while they’re still living, and I have never found a mouse nest on my property until last week when I found TWO in ONE DAY!

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First, I brought my car into the shop to have my dad repair the exhaust, and when he lifted the hood, lo and behold, there was a huge mouse nest (with live mice in it) right on top of the battery! Then, later that day while I was working in my garden, I discovered the nest pictured above with four little babies in it!

Speaking of gardening, our growing season is quickly drawing to a close now, and I’ve been harvesting all my fall vegetables. I had a great crop of carrots this year–they completely filled this 5-gallon bucket!

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Another crop that did really well this year was the butternut squash. I picked 12 squash and have the many more still ripening on the vine!

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On Saturday I went to the Newport Town Forest with Jaime and Lucky to run on the mountain biking trails there. We followed a couple of different marked courses that had been set up–one for a bike race and one for a cross-country race–and ended up doing about 15 miles.

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 My favorite part of the trail system–heading up the back side of Colt Mtn.

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View from “The Pinnacle”–it was quite an overcast morning!

Peter’s birthday was also on Saturday, and I made him the most delicious apple pie in the history of the world. We savored it for three days, and let me tell you, there’s nothing like knowing you have a slice of apple pie waiting for you to motivate you to get through your workout. :)

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After biking 8 miles, running 7 miles and doing T25 Ab Intervals, this hit. the. spot. :)

Yesterday we said goodbye to the hens that we started our flock with 3 years ago.

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Over the years these pretty ladies have provided us with countless delicious, beautiful eggs–all shades of blue and green.

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Unfortunately, they out-lived their egg-laying capacity, so in an effort to be proactive about keeping our flock productive and healthy, we decided it was time to cull the old girls. I have to admit, I feel bad about it, and I miss them, but there’s a purpose even in their deaths, and we will enjoy the meat on our table just as much as we enjoyed their eggs. The remaining chickens don’t seem to miss their “angry aunties” at all and are happy to have more room in the coop and fewer rivals for tasty treats. :)

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All in all, it’s been a good week with lots of rewarding moments and fun times with my favorite people. This life is good.

Our First Overnight Trip with Back-to-Back Double-Digit Mileage

 

When you get to the point in your running pursuit where one day of double-digit mileage isn’t enough, you have two choices: you can either check yourself into the nearest rehab facility OR you can do back-to-back long runs! :) Peter and I did back-to-back’s for awhile when we were training for our first 50-miler 3 years ago, but after that race I swore off them, and the years passed happily without the slightest desire to attempt such insanity ever again. THEN, we found ourselves in a position where we needed to prepare for a 6-day stage race (no idea how THAT happened! ;) ), which would involve six. days. straight. of double-digit miles, so we decided that it was time to start doing some multi-day runs to figure out what stage racing is all about.

In an effort to simulate the stage race experience, this past weekend we embarked on our first overnight trip with back-to-back double-digits. What that actually translated to was running 29 miles on Saturday, staying overnight in a 3-sided shelter on the trail, and then running 14 miles on Sunday. The trail we chose for our trip was the Sunapee-Monadnock Greenway, which spans the 50 miles between Mount Sunapee and Mount Monadnock. It took some pretty elaborate planning to figure out how we were going to make this work without carrying our overnight gear while we ran or having someone shuttle us to and fro both days, but we came up with a solution that worked out pretty well. We drove to the trail on Saturday morning and parked our car at the trailhead nearest the shelter we would be staying at, then ran an out-and-back route to the north of the shelter on the first day, followed by an out-and-back to the south on the second day. This unfortunately meant that we couldn’t do the whole length of the trail as a point-to-point run, but we were able to cover the southern half from Pitcher Mtn. to Mt. Monadnock (we did the northern half two years ago).

Our run on Saturday turned out to be on a fairly easy section of the trail with no mountain summits and only one named hill, so we were able to take it really easy and still make good time. Here are some of the sights we saw along the way:

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We started near Stone Pond in Dublin, NH on a cool, overcast morning. Perfect running weather!

DSC00175We ran by LOTS of ponds, lakes and reservoirs during this section of the run!

DSC00176After an hour or so we ran through this blackberry patch, so we stopped to snack on nature’s bounty!

DSC00177A beaver dam created this bog!

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A beautiful hillside field of wildflowers!

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The trail took us through this tunnel to cross under a highway.

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The myrtle covering the forest floor looked so luxurious that we had to stop and rest our legs for a bit here. :)

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Running through the Andorra Forest was my favorite part of the whole run!

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It’s official–fall is here!

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We stopped to rest and eat at the base of Pitcher Mtn. before heading back the way we came.

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The closest we got to a vista on this run.

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More of the beautiful Andorra Forest

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We ran in the pouring rain for at least the last two hours. :/ We were all drenched and cold by the time we finished!

We finished the 28.5 miles in 7 hours exactly, then quickly changed into dry clothes and donned ponchos to keep them dry while we cooked our dinner. We had a deliciously hot and hearty meal of spaghetti with meat sauce, which we ate in the car with the heat on full blast. :)

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After dinner my parents came to pick up Lucky because he had had his fill of running and rain and didn’t want to stay for part 2 of the great adventure anymore. :) The rest of us carried on with our original plan and hiked out to the shelter where we would spend the night. It was about three quarters of a mile to the shelter, which was not an easy trek to make in the dark while carrying our sleeping bags and pillows. Though we were warm and dry in our shelter, it continued to rain hard all night and none of us got much sleep. I was really, really, really dreading another day of running in the rain, so I was extremely relieved to wake up on Sunday morning and see the sun streaming through the trees!

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We had to trek back to the car first with our sleeping gear and then we enjoyed a hot breakfast of egg, bacon and cheese sandwiches before getting started on our second run. This run was shorter, but would include summiting Mt. Monadnock, which is steep and rocky. The first 4 or so miles were on mostly flat forest trails that were easy on our tired legs and similar in scenery to the Andorra Forest from the day before (though I guess I was too tired to remember to take pictures at this point :/ ). After that we started the ascent up Mt. Monadnock, which was gradual at first, but quickly became a rock climbing expedition.

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We were having flashbacks to the Pemi Loop while climbing this section!

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From the top we took a couple quick pictures of the view and then turned around because it was super cold and windy above the treeline!

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We finished our 13 miles in 4 hours, which was a much slower pace than the day before, but that was due to the 30-minute miles we did on the rocks of Mt. Monadnock. :/ Overall, we were surprised by how good we felt both before and after our run on Day 2. After logging 43 miles in 2 days, both my achilles were a little sore, one peroneal tendon was tight, and my feet were rubbed pretty raw from the many hours of running in wet shoes (I didn’t think to bring an extra pair for our second day), but other than that, I had no complaints! I think our first overnight trip with back-to-back double-digit mileage was a big success!

Ironman 70.3 World Championships at Mont Tremblant

 

Nothing like a quick trip to Quebec to watch this girl —–>

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 ….compete in the Ironman 70.3 World Championship!!! 

It was a whirlwind trip up to Mont Tremblant on Friday night and then back on Sunday night, but we had a great time cheering Hannah on as she completed the biggest race of her life! My parents and Lucky went, too, and we all stayed with Hannah and John at the Cap Tremblant Resort just 3 miles from the race site.

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We were greeted on Saturday morning by these friendly visitors passing below our balcony.

Hannah’s race was on Sunday, so we had all day Saturday to relax and see the sites. We spent the morning at the athlete’s village while Hannah did a short workout on the race course and then checked in her bike.

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Athlete’s village set up at the base of Mont Tremblant

While she was busy with these race preparations, Peter, Lucky and I went for a trail run on the mountain biking trails across the road from the village.

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We did an 8-mile loop that involved climbing a fairly significant hill, getting lost, finding our way back to our desired course, and then finishing with a long, flat stretch alongside the river.

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View of Lake Tremblant, where race swim took place, from the top of the hill.

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After our run, we met up again with Hannah and John and our parents and went back to the resort to eat lunch.

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By that time the sun had come out, and we had a great view of Mont Tremblant from our balcony!

We went back to athlete’s village again after lunch to hit up the expo (lots of free samples!) and see what kind of free entertainment we could find. Turns out there wasn’t much other than a short gondola ride —->

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…and lots of opportunities for tourist-y photo ops —->

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We made the rounds and then decided it was time to head out for an early dinner. We found a really nice little French restaurant on the other side of the lake that served fresh pasta dishes.

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Carbo-loading at it’s finest!

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I neglected to photograph the first three courses, but this coconut pie was the dessert that came with my very gourmet meal. A perfect way to end the day.

On Sunday morning we got up bright and early to catch the shuttle to the swim start.

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Hannah’s wave lining up to start.

We watched Hannah start the swim, and then waited near the transition area to cheer her on as she ran for her bike.

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Athletes making their way from the lake to transition. 

We saw Hannah flash by on her bike, and then we settled in for a long wait while she completed the 56-mile bike course. Peter and I used this time to go for another trail run since we knew we wouldn’t see her again for 3 hours or so.

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We did a 12.5-mile loop up one side of Mont Tremblant, along the flat ridge at the top and down the other side.

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Looking down on the lake and the village

DSC00165We got back just in time to catch Hannah as she headed out of the village for her final leg of the race! Then, we re-united with the rest of the fam and headed to the finish line!

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View of the finishing chute from the gondola

DSC00166We cheered our hearts out for Hannah as she rounded the corner and headed for the finish!Bw9dE0BIgAAFPUVShe’s an Ironman 70.3 World Champion and got the medal to prove it!

Congratulations, Hannie!!!