Monday, April 9, 2018

White Mountain Weekend - April 6-7, 2018

I was able to get up to the Whites this past weekend.  Went up Thursday after work and came back Saturday afternoon.  It was a great trip that trashed my legs.  Mission accomplished, I guess.

Friday at 6 a.m. I went up Mt. Isolation.  It was cold but a bluebird morning and the views were great at the top.  I was a little nervous as there a bushwhack section that is often used in the winter - I ended up following a lesser used whack but it came out on the official trail all the same.  I was moving pretty well on this morning hike.  Isolation was #42 of the 4000 footers for me.

After a short rest at Pinkham Notch I drove a little further up Route 16 and hiked the Imp trail to Middle Carter (#43).  It didn't take long before the morning climbing caught up with me.  This was a tough ascent.  It was beginning to snow on the way up and it picked up as I went but luckily the temp was fairly mild and I never got cold.  I debated whether to continue on to South Carter or not - it added about a mile of trail and 1.5 miles of road to get back to the car.  Ultimately I decided to go for it since I was already up on the ridge and the climbing was more or less out of the way.  The trail was a little tough to follow at times as there were many blowdowns on the ridge.  By the time I got back to the road it was really snowing and had to be careful of traffic.  The drive back to Jackson was the diciest part of the day.

So it was a tough but great day of hiking.  24 miles / 7k elevation / 10.5 hours - that's a good day's effort and a fair gauge of my abilities right now.  I definitely have some more work to do.

Originally I had grand plans for Saturday morning - I had wanted Owl's Head for #44 but my legs were in rough shape.  Tight calves but it was discomfort behind the knees which was the worst part.  I had considered hiking Moosilauke but even that seemed ambitious.  As I was driving to the other side of the mountains in the morning I decided on Mt. Tecumseh.  It's fairly easy as 4ks go and I had never been to Waterville Valley so far as I could remember.  This ended up being a great choice.  There was 5-6 fresh inches of snow and I finally had a reason to bust out my snowshoes.  Plus there were lots of people hiking and it was nice to see other folks about spending the previous 10 hours of hiking by myself.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Belleville Pond 10k and Brrr-lingame Race Videos

Fell off the blog train again.  Trying to writing a summation of the weeks gone by but until then here are some videos I shot from the recent 4th Season Trail Series.  I had a lot of fun shooting these races - trying to figure out where to go to get footage was a interesting challenge.  The stabilizing gimbal I purchased now allows me to get some smooth action footage.  I'm happy with the end results.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Week 6: 2.5.17 - 2.11.17

Monday - 0 miles

Erm, my lower left outer leg has some pain today.  I'm guessing from yesterday's long run.  Decided to rest today.

Tuesday - West Greenwich, RI - 3 miles

More discomfort from the other leg.  Janky right ankle isn't doing too bad these days (though I still aggravate from time to time).  Annoyed to take another zero but it didn't feel that bad towards the end of the day and with some time to kill before picking up Ezri I opted to run some dark dirt roads in Big River.  Headlamp was necessary off the bat and there were some sneaky ice patches hidden under a very light layer of new snow.  Always a little freaky running here in the dark but no real leg issues.

Wednesday - Pawtucket, RI - 7 miles

Ab Ripper X (15 minutes)
A late morning snowstorm dropped probably 3/4" of snow up in Providence.  I went to lunch a little to run along the 10 Mile River bikepath.  Only a few hearty souls out but it was a joy to run in the storm.  Both lower legs didn't feel too bad.  Made it back to the car just before it turned to rain/sleet.  A few hours later the beautiful snow had been turned into a slushy mess.

Thursday - Charlestown, RI - 8.5 miles

Working from home today so I got two runs in - five miles in DuVal in the morning and 3.5 in Carter Preserve in the afternoon.  Repeated some of the DuVal hills to maximize elevation at 900 feet and took it easy in Carter.  Lower legs feeling it this evening!

Friday - Smithfield, RI - 6 miles

Got out of the house early and went up to Wolf Hill for hill repeats on the Mary Mowry trail.  Wolf Hill was surprisingly icy - a reminder of how different conditions can be in the NW corner of RI.  Thankfully Mary Mowry wasn't too bad.  I went up six times, power hiking the first half and jogging the second.  A good workout and I only nearly wiped out twice.

Saturday - 0 miles

No running today but I did take some footage of the Old Mountain 5k.  Hopefully it will be ready soon.

In the late afternoon Ezri and I went to Rock Spot for some climbing.  She's an old pro at this by now but I've actually never been.  I went up one of the tall ones first which was a mistake - I'm afraid of heights and once I saw how high I climbed I freaked out a little.  After that we stuck to the shorter climbs on the second level.

Sunday - Exeter, RI - 12 miles

I woke up at 5 AM for my long run and almost bailed because who wants to run in the cold rain.  Glad I didn't because it turned out not to be so bad.  Went over to Arcadia and stuck mostly to dirt roads.  I figured they'd be in good condition but I was wrong.  Most of them were muddy messes - it was like running in sand!  It was worth it to get to the Ben Utter trail and Stepstone Falls - the water was as good as I've ever seen it with all the rain.  Glad I didn't bail and it ended up being a solid end to the week.

Weekly Mileage: 38  miles / YTD: 125.4 miles

Time on Feet: 6h 21m / YTD: 26h 54 m

Elevation: 4,358 feet / 17,767 feet

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Week 5: 1.29.18 - 2.4.18

Monday - 0 miles

Tuesday - 0 miles

Wednesday - Seekonk, MA - 4.8 miles

A nice layer of snow on the ground after yesterday.  I brought my snowshoes with me to work but it would have been overkill.  Instead I just wore the Speedcross which were perfect.  Great run in the woods at the Caratunk Preserve and with the snow/bare trees I discovered a little shack in the woods near the trail.  I was a little afraid of getting a face full of shot from a grizzled hermit but the shack was empty.  In fact there was a little log welcoming visitors to this wonderful little shack.  It even had a old wood stove.

Thursday - Providence, RI - 6 miles

Ab Ripper X (15 minutes)

Actually did a workout in the morning which needs to become a routine.  It's February now - let's get it!  At lunch I went over to College Hill and ran some repeats up Jenckes Rd.  It's a steep climb and wore me out.  Sidewalks were mostly bare with some slushy spots.  Felt like a good workout with about 1100 feet of climbing.

Friday - Exeter, RI - 9 miles

Light snow/rain mix this morning and I headed out early to run in Arcadia.  Good snow base that was perfect for the Speedcross.  A few bare sections, a few wet sections but most trails had a minor amount of snow cover.  Couple sections up high had as much as 3 inches.  Solid run incorporating the Breakheart and Shelter trails.  Another 1000 feet of climbing.

Saturday - 0 miles

Sunday - Charlestown, RI - 12 miles

Happy birthday to my girl Ezri.  9 years old!  We had much to do before her party so in order to get a run in without too much wife aggro I woke up at five and got to Burlingame for a 5:40 start.  First hour was in the dark with my headlamp and I was disappointed that the snow had receded so much already.  Did a couple loops on Burlingame North and it was finally light enough to turn off the light midway through the second lap.  A good couple hours of trails.  After a kids party I was pretty beat and happy to be back home for the second half of the football game.

Weekly Mileage: 31.8 miles / YTD: 87.4 miles

Time on Feet: 5h 35m / YTD: 20h 33m

Elevation: 3,648 feet / YTD: 13, 409 feet

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Week 4: 1.22.18 - 1.28.18

Monday - Tamworth, NH - 4.5 miles

My long weekend in New Hampshire with my wife sadly wrapped up.  I went out early and did a bit of redlining on the White Ledge trail on the slopes of Chocorua.  Started the hike in the dark using my snowshoes on the frozen choppy snow.  A mix of conditions, including bare trail at points and treacherous rocks freshly coated in ice from the freezing rain.  No views but I was happy to get a couple hours in before heading home.  See last week's blog for the video (it's mostly about Waumbek but the last few minutes are of White Ledge).

Tuesday - 0 miles

I'm experiencing my usual post-NH hangover.  Not from libations but rather from the return to the flat city wasteland of Rhode Island.  This state bores me now. It was raining all day.  I decided to hang out in Mopeytown (aka my office) instead of being productive and going to yoga.

Wednesday - Providence, RI - 5.5 miles

I tried to psych myself up with some repeats on Jenckes hill.  I'm out of shape but the temp was nearly 40 degrees and it was good to get back out there and punish my legs.  Jankle was a little sore afterwards but nothing concerning.

Thursday - East Providence, RI - 5 miles

10 degrees colder today and a steady wind made for a nippy run on the 10 Mile River Bike Path.

Friday - 0 miles

Saturday - Wakefield, RI - 8 miles

Ezri began another round of drama club at the local theater and it gave me an hour and a half to kill.  Spent the time exploring Old Mountain trails and finding the connector to South County Commons.  Then I ran little loop repeats on the hilliest section of trail I could find to almost eek out 1000 feet of climbing.  Gorgeous day.

Sunday - 0 miles

Opted not to run early in the cold rain.  My excuse is that it's flu season.  Thoughts of running later in the day of course drifted away...

Weekly Mileage: 22 miles / YTD: 55.6 miles

Time on Feet: 4h 52m / YTD: 14h 58m

Elevation: 4,478 feet / YTD: 9,761 feet

Things are slowly getting there.  Much more work to do...

Friday, January 26, 2018

Week 3: 1.15.18 - 1.21.18

Ankle finally began to feel better this week.  Doc confirmed that nothing major going on - just a bad strain.  Did a short run along the bike path which felt fine so I guess I've got no more excuses.

Wife and I went up to Conway for a couple days.  We hiked Waumbek which was a tough hike for her but she did it!  #40 for me.  I got a sweet gimbal for my GoPro which really improves the footage.  Take a look:

Weekly Mileage: 13 miles / Year to Date: 33.6 miles

Time on Feet: 5h 23m / Year to Date: 10h 6m

Elevation: 3000 feet / Year to Date: 5193 feet

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Week 2: 1.8.18 - 1.14.18 - The Jankening

Monday - Seekonk, MA - 2.6 miles

Ankle remains sore but I can't stay contained indoors.  I brought my snowshoes with me to work and at lunch went over to the Seekonk Meadows for a lunch run.  It was 30ish degrees so I went with shorts.  I immediately regretted it as the snow was unbroken and soon the back of my legs was caked in frosty snow.  Soon though I found some broken trail and I was able to work into a run.  That melted the snow and warmed me up.  I did a mix of running and walking and my Dion snowshoes worked great.  They are not the straight up running shoes, but the ones designed for both hiking and running.  They worked well but man it's hard work on unbroken/half-broken ground.  A good 45 minutes of effort.

Rest of the week - 0 miles

I paid a price for Monday's snowshoe effort.  My ankle was very sore the next day and though I could walk on it fine through the week there is still major discomfort.  It's painful to apply pressure at points and I guess in retrospect this is a full-blown ankle sprain.  Fuck this shit.

The first race of the 4th Season Trail Series is this weekend but I haven't even considered running it.  So far rest has done little to make this ankle injury better so I suppose I'll need to get it looked at next week.

Sunday morning, 12 days after the injury and the ankle aches even when I'm sitting on the couch - a frustrating start to 2018.

Mileage: 2.6 miles / Year to Date: 20.6 miles

Time on Feet: 43 minutes / Year to Date: 4 hours 43 min

Elevation: 200 whopping feet / Year to Date: 2193 feet

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Week 1: 1.1.18 - 1.7.18

Here we go - a new year, another chance for blog redemption!  This is a big year for ol' Seth as I turn 40 in April.  Let the midlife crisis begin!  Perhaps my ascension to Master status will inspire me to up my racing game once again.  Here we go!

Monday - Charlestown, RI - 8 miles

It was about 10 degrees out and my wife helped motivate me to get out the door to start the year right.  Ventured over to Carter Preserve and ran a mix of the usual trails.  Just enough snow on the ground to provide a nice crunch.  Chilled at first in just my cold compression tights but eventually I warmed up everywhere except my elbows which always fare poorly when the weather is especially cold.  Do they make elbow warmers for such occasions?

Tuesday - South Kingstown, RI - 6.5 miles

Ab Ripper X (15 minutes)

Started the day with a return to the Ab Ripper.  I mean to restart these morning workouts or die in the attempt!

I'm working from home this week and went over to DuVal at lunch for some crunchy trails.  Not as cold as yesterday but I was still chilled for the first couple miles.  Right towards the end as I'm approaching the cemetery I tell myself to keep my eyes on the ground - my stumbles always seem to come right at the finish line.  It didn't matter though, I still managed to bend my right foot backwards on a rock.  Pissed that once again I have summoned the Jank Monster™ ™to derail my efforts.  I hobbled along for a few steps and then was able to shamble the final stretch to the car.  It was very tender afterwards.  I'll almost definitely need to take it easy for a couple days.  Curses.

Wednesday - 0 miles

Yeah, the ankle hurts.  As does my pride.  I had hoped to get in a run today before the storm dumps on us tomorrow but it is not to be.  Looks like I'll have to be content with dragging in firewood as my day's effort.  My whole right foot is very swollen.  Luckily being in my snow boots seems to stabilize it so I won't be able to shirk my upcoming shoveling duties.

Thursday - 0 miles

The latest blizzard has arrived and I've got the basement cookin' at 80+ thanks to the wood stove.  Amazingly we haven't lost power which is a welcome break.  My foot is still very swollen.  Walking around isn't bad but I've got to continue to take it easy so that I can make a quick recovery.  Dammit.

Friday - 0 miles

A goodly amount of shoveling yesterday and another big round this morning.  Plow guy came in the night so we're in good shape post-storm.  Foot swelling is finally going down.  I was looking forward to some snowshoe exploring in my new Dion's at, say, Carter or DuVal but it is not to be...

Saturday - Charlestown, RI - 3 miles

Ankle remains sore and a bit swollen but I would not be denied another day.  Strapped on my snowshoes and hiked three miles in Carter Preserve, breaking trail most of the way.  Kept the pace easy and other than the wind chilling my nether regions as I battled the drifts in the grasslands I was very comfortable in the cold temps.

Sunday - 0 miles

Mileage: 18 miles

Time on Feet: 4 hours

Elevation: 1,993 feet

This ankle injury is an annoying way to start the year but I'll be back to running soon.  Anyway with the decent snow we got and my apathy towards roads I may just be looking at more snowshoeing for the time being anyway.