Wednesday, May 31, 2017

May 22 - 28, 2017 - Moosilauke Figure 8 and Franconia Notch Loop

Monday: Zero.

Tuesday: Zero. Experiencing nerve pain in my right hamstring area going up and down stairs. My layman's diagnosis that it's probably sciatica and some foam rolling should help.

Wednesday: 24.6 miles, 6956', 12:07 pace. I had to go to Rumney in the morning for a work function and, wrapping up by about lunch time, I seized the opportunity to go a little farther north and bang out a good run on Mount Moosilauke before dark. This is a favorite training route of mine with good distance, elevation gain, views, and a variety of terrain; call the it the Moosilauke Figure Eight.

It goes like this:

  • Start at the Dartmouth Outing Club's Ravine Loj. 
  • Run to the summit of Moosilauke via the Snapper Trail and Carriage Road.
  • Descend the Benton Trail (a nice, lightly used route on the back of the mountain).
  • Take the very runnable Tunnel Brook Trail around the mountain through a deep, narrow valley.
  • Climb steeply back up to the summit on the Glencliff Trail.
  • Descend back to the car on the Beaver Brook and Asquam Ridge Trails.

Today, the run went very well and I set a personal best for the route. I eased into things and found myself making very good time without feeling forced or strained. No issues with my sciatica throughout and only some minor achilles crankiness made itself known. My strengths and weaknesses don't seem to have changed much this spring, I can still roll gentle terrain very well and my climbing is mediocre. Ground conditions were fairly good, with only small patches of snow until the final descent down Asquam Ridge where I postholed crotch deep (with ice water underneath) through rotten spring snow for a few hundred yards. Still, I enjoyed my first good mountain run of the season.

Thursday: Zero.

Friday: Zero.

Saturday: 24.6 miles, 9748', 16:12 pace. The Franconia Notch Loop is another favorite spring training staple of mine and a quick way to accumulate some elevation gain and seven Four-Thousand-Footers; I've done it annually for the last four years. The route goes like this:

  • Park at the Basin off I93.
  • Take the Liberty Springs and Flume Slide Trails to the summit of Mount Flume.
  • Follow the epic Franconia Ridge Trail over Liberty and Lincoln to Mount Lafayette.
  • Descend the Greenleaf Trail past Greenleaf Hut back to I93 in Franconia Notch at the Cannon Tramway.
  • Take the Kinsman Ridge Trail over Cannon Mountain, the Northeast Cannonball, and North Kinsman to South Kinsman.
  • Backtrack over North Kinsman to Kinsman Pond.
  • Descend back to the car via the Kinsman Pond, Cascade Brook, and Basin-Cascade Trails.

While not as strong of an effort as Moosilauke on  Wednesday, I'm pretty happy with my pace and finishing time of 8:16, given that I kept the effort pretty casual. My best time, from 2015, is 7:42. I climbed steadily and wasn't too aggressive on the downhills; prudent given the wet conditions. I was also slowed significantly by stretches of rotten snow below Kinsman Pond. My feet were wet all day but I didn't experience maceration, blisters, or any other foot problems except for a hole in my sock that was doing its best to circumcise my big toe. Time to retire that pair of Drymax. All good preparation for Ultra Trail du Mont Albert Grand Traverse in a month.

Sunday: Zero.

Totals: 49.2 miles, 16703', 11h 37m. Rather odd numbers this week, reflecting my laziness with doing any shorter road runs. No sign of sciatica or achilles pain, or any other kind of injury, though, on the two run/hikes I did do.

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