Running with the Hayneses

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!!!

Labor Day Weekend Run in Camden Hills State Park

 

Peter and I spent the holiday weekend on the coast of Maine with Peter’s family and my brother, Lucky. (Fortunately for us, Lucky’s still waiting for his VISA for Saudi Arabia/pursuing alternative job opportunities here in the U.S., so we get to spend lots of time with him! :) ) We love running in new places whenever we travel, so this time we headed to Camden Hills State Park to run the mountains overlooking the ocean. I was originally hoping to do an 18-mile loop that would have allowed us to hit all 5 peaks plus 4 lookouts. However, we decided that we didn’t quite have the time for an all-day excursion, so we shortened our route to 11 miles and were still able to see 2 peaks and 2 lookouts. Also, since we were doing a “shorter” run, we were able to bring along our 15-year-old niece, Grace, for her first-ever trail run!

We parked at the main entrance to the park (mistake–they charge an entry fee here!), and headed up the Megunticook Trail towards the summit of Mount Megunticook. This trail presented us with some pretty serious climbing right off the bat, but within a mile or so we were rewarded with our first view from Ocean’s Lookout.

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Looking down at Camden Harbor and Mt. Battie

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It was the most beautiful, picture-perfect day!

From there we continued for another half a mile to the wooded summit of Mt. Megunticook, where we immediately headed right back down the other side of the mountain via Slope Trail. So much for all our hard-earned elevation gain! During the 3.5-mile stretch from Megunticook to our next peak, Bald Rock Mountain, we mostly followed the Multi-Use Trail. This trail was wide and fairly flat, making for some enjoyable easy running after picking our way up and down Megunticook.

With half a mile to go to the summit of Bald Rock we turned onto the Bald Rock Trail for a steep ascent. The view at the top was WELL-worth the hard climb!

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Looking out over Penobscot Bay and Job Island

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We stood here for quite awhile admiring the view and watching the ferry make it’s way out to Job Island.

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Look at that sky!

We had a hard time tearing ourselves away, but we knew that the fam would be eating dinner without us if we didn’t hurry up, so we grudgingly made our way back down Bald Rock to head for home. We had to re-trace our steps to the base of Bald Rock, and then we picked up the Sky Blue Trail to loop back towards Megunticook. This was a fun, run-able trail, but there was a lot of steep climbing (what’s new?). We completed our loop with Zeke’s Trail, a quick stop at Zeke’s Lookout (not much of a view) and then Ridge Trail, which took us back to the summit of Mt. Megunticook. From there we headed down the same trail that we made our initial ascent on. The second half of the loop was slightly longer, bringing our total to 11 miles for the afternoon. We earned every bite of the lobster feast we had waiting for us back at the house! :)

Blog Changes

 

Do you like the new look? We’re making some changes over here at Running with the Hayneses, and the new layout is a reflection of that. We started RWH as a family pursuit two years ago, but over the years our interests have changed, and at this point only Hannah and I write on a regular basis. Lately I’ve found my focus as a blogger shifting, and since Hannah already has a personal blog, Stedge Racing, we’ve decided to simplify matters by going our separate ways in the blog world. From here on out I plan to maintain Running with the Hayneses solely as a way to document my various adventures, while Hannah will post exclusively on Stedge Racing.

What can you expect from RWH in the future? Basically I see my focus in blogging shifting from pleasing my audience to pleasing myself. Forgive me for being a bit selfish in that regard, and I’ll explain what I mean. I no longer have any desire to participate in the blogging world via daily posts, giveaways, product reviews, link-ups or the like, so you won’t see any of that in the future. What I do enjoy is taking pictures of the places I run and writing the story of each adventure, so you can count on seeing sporadic posts like that whenever I’ve done something that I want to record and remember. You also shouldn’t be surprised if you see a random post here and there with pictures of my backyard homestead, my cats, or my culinary samplings, because I like all of those things as well. :)

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At some point all of us Haynes siblings may well collaborate together again on Running with the Hayneses, so we are going to keep the name even though the focus has changed. Until that day, I hope you’ll continue to follow us individually as we pursue our passions in running and life.

Follow Hannah:

Blog: Stedge Racing

Twitter: StedgeRacing

Facebook: Hannah Stedge–StedgeRacing

Follow Sarah:

Website: Get a Grip Pottery

Facebook: Pottery and Painting by Sarah

Tri Talk Tuesday: Must-have Gear!

 

It’s Tuesday! This week, I’m linking up with Courtney, and Cynthia to talk about our favorite must-have gear!

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To me, I feel like every piece of my gear is essential for my training and racing-that’s why I bought it. However, there are a few items that are ABSOLUTELY essential to me, and I feel like I couldn’t train as effectively without them. Here are my favorite must-have items!

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This is my multi-sport GPS watch. Before I purchased it, I didn’t know what I was missing! Though it’s not essential to everyone, I feel like it’s DEFINITELY a must have for me! It works for collecting data on swimming, biking, and running. For the swimming, it works both in pools (counts laps, records splits, strokes, ect), AND open water (GPS signal)! The running has my favorite feature–you can program workouts into it and have it automatically count down the reps, and signal you if you’re outside of your preset training zones (pace or heart rate)!

2. My Saucony Virrata shoes! 

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Yes, these shoes are a must-have! I spent YEARS looking for the perfect shoe that was comfortable, light, fast, quick to put on, and didn’t injure me! I finally found them in May, and I’ve never looked back! I seriously LOVE them!

3. ASSOS Chamois Cream

With the amount of biking I do, this is the only thing that keeps me from getting rubbed raw and able to hop on my bike repeatedly for every workout!

4. My Visor 

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Training and racing through the hot summer is ROUGH! But, I’ve found that wearing a visor helps immensely!

5. Last but not least, my new Bell aero helmet!

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This helmet is awesome! It’s so light and comfortable, AND it has a built-in tinted visor!!! No more bugs or dirt in the eyes, rain in the face, or sunglasses sliding down my nose from sweat!

What is your favorite “must-have” gear?

How to Mentally Prepare for a Big Race

The last couple weeks, I’ve been trying to figure out how to mentally prepare for a big race! That big race for me being 70.3 Ironman World Championships! In almost every race I do, I either have a time goal, or a placement goal….or both! Typically, in the few weeks leading up to the race, I think alot about the race and how I’m going to get the time that I am aiming for.

This race is a little different for me because first of all, it’s a bigger race than I’ve ever done! I’m literally competing with the best triathletes in the world! Usually I aim for top 5-10 in my age group in a 70.3 Ironman race. However, with this race, every girl in my age group is typically in the top 5! Competition is going to be crazy tight, and it’ll be interesting how I do! Because of this, I really can’t aim for a specific placing goal in this race.

Another reason this race is different for me is because the course is super hard! The elevation profile for the bike is really hilly.

The course has about 4,800 feet of elevation gain which is about the same as IM Lake Placid (one of the hardest IMs)!

 

 

I also know that the run is pretty hilly as well. The run I’m not worried about, because I actually handle hills pretty well when running. The biking concerns me though–I hate hills on the bike, and they slow me down bike time. Because of this, I’m not aiming for a specific time goal in the race either!

So how am I mentally preparing for this race since I can’t think about a time or a placement goal? Well, my goal for this race will be to just race it “well”. I’m hoping to execute the swim, bike, and run all according to plan. I’m hoping to make it through the whole race without crashing from improper fuels, and I’m hoping to be able to put forth a really good effort for each of the swim, bike, and run. Basically I’m going into this race with no expectations about my “objective” performance. I just want to have fun doing the race, enjoy this amazing opportunity, and feel good when I’m done!

How do you mentally prepare for a big race?

Tri Talk Tuesday: Bicycling

It’s Tuesday! This week, I’m linking up with Courtney, and Cynthia to talk about biking!

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I’m putting my own twist on this theme to give you some tips for how to have a successful run AFTER the bike leg of a triathlon! If you’ve been around triathletes, you’ve probably heard them complain about how their legs feel like lead when they start running after a bike leg. While you can’t ensure completely fresh legs after biking, there are some things you can do on the bike to give you better chances of a successful run!

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1. To have a successful run leg, you need to train long and hard on the bike. 

I am a runner by background, so for me, I always thought it wouldn’t matter how the bike leg went; I figured once I got to the run, I’d be fine. While the running IS my strongest leg, a good running background won’t help you if you wear yourself out on the bike because you aren’t prepared for it. One of my triathlete friends wisely told me last fall, “It doesn’t matter how good of a runner you are. If you aren’t trained for the bike, your running will suffer.”

2. To have a successful run leg, you need to have a high cadence on the bike.

An efficient running cadence should be around 90-100. If you expect to be able to get to that cadence on the run, you should be holding that cadence on the bike as well. Also, if you’re doing a fast cadence on the bike, it will keep your legs from getting fatigued from having to power through slowly.

3. To have a successful run leg, you need to stay in a low gear.

Just like you need to have a high cadence, you need to be in a low gear so that your legs can survive a high cadence without getting destroyed. :) Basically you don’t want to go into a gear that you can maintain at least 90 rpm’s in.

Most of what I’ve learned from the bike is by experience, so if you have any other tips, I’d love to hear them!

What do you find works best for you on the bike?

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