Stack That Vert!
This week was anything but planned. Earlier this month I was linked up with Noah Hoffman who was set on doing a Presi Traverse on Monday the 10th. Fortunately the weather forecast was in our favor and I felt up for effort. He also came with the Freeman brothers and a nice car spot from Kris Freeman's wife, Amber (Thanks!). This run tipped off an unexpected week filled with mountains, trails, and even a couple rides. Surprisingly, it was bookended with another Presi Traverse with Hilary that left me nice and beat up.
My training has been all over the map lately - road running in May / June was great but it left me fatigued with little gains. Naturally I gravitated back towards the mountains where ultra running has crept back into my mind. That said, there are still road races coming up in August that I'll need to prepare for over the next few weeks. I'm satisfied with the direction things are heading and have some exciting things planned for the rest of the summer.
Monday: Presidential Traverse. First time I've done the full traverse at a decent clip. I was linked up with the Noah Hoffman who had planned this traverse a couple weeks in advance with the Freeman brothers. Although I was banged up from the previous week, I wasn't about to turn down the opportunity to do a traverse with great company, excellent weather, and of course, a free shuttle to Randolph (Thanks Amber!). The goal was six hours which we were nearly spot on given that we added on about a half mile by taking the Howker Ridge trail (perhaps my favorite ascent up Madison). It was fairly busy between Madison and Lakes for a Monday and lots of AT traffic. Nothing really surprising about the traverse - the nordic skiers are endurance beasts and we all moved well at a comfortable pace. Some photos & video from the day.
Tuesday: PM - Bike (1:07), Massage!, Whitaker Woods Fun Run (18:45). Somehow was able to run a respectable time at the fun run on very flat legs. Working on that durability!
Wednesday: Carter Range Loop (3:45). First time up the Imp Face (that I can recall) and connected with Middle and South Carter on the AT. I spotted the truck at the 19 Mile Brook trailhead which made for a solid afternoon loop. The vert wasn't that impressive but I was carrying camera gear and a lot of water which slowed me down quite a bit. Photos:
Thursday: Afternoon Ride (2hrs 22mins / 42 miles). My longest ride in a while on the Rt 113 loop. My bike is stuck in the big ring so the hills are tough and require getting out of the saddle. I should try and fix that for my future rides.
Friday: Long Run (3hrs 32mins / 20.7mi / 4,300'). This was a really important workout for me because I haven't been doing much running in the last week. The specs might not look that impressive but most of this run was on winding and rolling mountain bike trails which the GPS has a horrible time with. The standouts on this run were:
- The steady climb up to Blackcap (1,800'). On the wet snowmobile connector trail. It's tough to be disciplined and not go too hard. I knew there was a lot of running left so I had to dial it back but still ran the entire ascent which was tough.
- Kettle Ridge ascent - 2.5 mile climb back up to Cranmore. I could have skipped out but wanted an extra climb.
- Mile 17 - 5:29 down the Cranmore access road. Quad pounding this late into a run can trash your legs. The access road is pretty steep and loose in sections making a fast pace a lot more work than you'd think. Excellent downhill training.
- Still had legs on the last few miles for a strong finish.
Saturday: Easy 5 (51 mins) back on the Outer Limits trail with Hilary and Squall. Wanted to show Hilary some of the trails I ran on Friday and it was a good shakeout en route to Sebago Lake.
Sunday: Presi Traverse (7hrs 54 mins). Hilary has wanted to check off the traverse for years now and was rightfully jealous after Monday's run. We went from the Daniel Webster Scout Trailhead which I wanted to check out since there's a detour at the moment. They re-route you up the nordic trail that joins about a half mile up from the trailhead but takes a mile to get there. If you're not going for an FKT I would suggest going up Howker Ridge which I find more enjoyable and easier access. The hike was tough - my legs were gassed after the first climb and Hilary was feeling the vert too and eventually some foot and knee soreness which made the last several miles a slow shuffle. We still made great time and it was satisfying nonetheless. Check out the views: