I again headed downeast since this is the last weekend before the Loop Road opens on May 17. This time with Tracey and Pat. Let’s just say they’re athletes that have a lot of experience in adventure racing. Foul weather, extreme terrain, & pushing hard running/cycling is no prob for these two. So it was game on with the forecast 50°, windy, and rain.
We parked at The Tarn (small glacial pond) and planned to bike the Ocean Drive section of the Loop Road then return to the car, change and run up Cadillac via the Ladder Trail over Dorr Mountain.
The rain started hard once we parked at The Tarn parking area. Soaked within five minutes, I was cheering the uphills so I could warm up and pump some blood into my very cold fingers. (50°, wet, and with the wind chill of road riding I get very cold hands.) We glimpsed Sand Beach, beautiful as ever, and the rocky coast was still stunning in the rainy mist. We rode past Blackwoods Campground just off the Loop Road and climbed up the overpass bank to Route 3 then rode back to the car. (And it stopped raining.) A short ride of only 13 miles but my hands were just not functioning well by the end they were so cold.
We dried off and changed for running. I jumped out of the van, turned to grab my pack (with the car key in it) but assuming I had everything Pat and Tracey, simultaneously, slammed the doors shut as I reached for my pack. Bye bye pack and key locked in the car. Oopsie! Ok let’s run to Bar Harbor or, as it worked out, just Jackson Lab 1/2 mile down the road. The very friendly and helpful security guards let us in to use the phone and within an hour AAA tow truck dude popped the lock in 10 seconds flat. Ok back in business.
Cadillac is deceptively close if you look at the map. Just two miles from The Tarn but pretty much straight up hill. The Ladder Trail is a stairmaster from hell initially, then a short section of iron rungs and bars, then just steep ledge. The view is amazing on a clear day but we were cloud swept most of the way. So we ran/hiked up and over Dorr Mountain then up Cadillac. Cadillac was socked in and crazy windy. We decided to add a little mileage (and not descend iron rungs) so took a trail south that looped back to The Tarn. Really great time to explore and the weather added a nice crazy twist to the whole day.
Of course, Finelli’s pizza in Ellsworth on the way home. So, so good.
Today was Central Maine Ski Club’s 5k run biathlon at Quarry Road Recreation Area in Waterville, Maine. With temps in the 60’s & a warm mist it was a unique warm fall day. The course was awesomely muddy with a few sharp, short hills on the 1.7 km course. The smallish field was comprised of about half Colby nordic ski team members, few to no one in their 30’s & then a handful of 40-50 year olds. After a shooting range briefing & short practice session we prepped for the start.
Runners were released in 30 second intervals & I tried to follow my go-slow-at-the-start rule but it’s tough on a short course. Lap 1 then shoot: hit 3 out of 5 targets and do two penalty laps which was a very small loop around a white pine. Lap 2 then shoot: hit 5 out of 5 targets. Eff yeah. Last lap and I am feeling tired. Like I-need-to-slow-down-or-I-may-fall-down tired. Ran my hardest and finished 3rd woman overall, first in my age class. 3rd by a hundredth. 33:04.20 versus the second place woman 33:04.10. Those two penalty laps killed me but whatevs, I was 3rd woman out of a line of Colby athletes. And I’m 20+ years older so I feel pretty good about my race. And it was wicked fun.
Pineland 25K Recon
Amy & I will be running the 25K race at the Pineland Trail Running Festival Memorial Day weekend. Today we reconned the course. Ouch & humbling. We’ve been doing 8-10 mile trail runs but perhaps too much slowish bush whacking. Planning for overcast 60°’s it turned out to be just shy of 70° & bright sun. What the hell NWS? I’m still adjusting to higher temps so felt it was a tad warm.
The course has relentless short ups & downs combined with running through fields that really work your legs and footing. Hopefully the 50 mile & 50K runners will trod down the fields some before the 25K runners hit it. So a bit of a grind at the end but that’s to be expected & what it’s really all about. Pushing through the hard parts. I could have hydrated better the day before but was able to successfully eat & drink a lot during the run.
Fun day and Pineland Farms is quite the gem there in New Gloucester. Great trails, well maintained grounds, and friendly folks at the YMCA.
I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m a runner. Before this I just thought I’d run in the winter when cycling was tough in Maine. Now I enjoy running & don’t want it to fade away when spring arrives. (This year’s goals include a few duathlons.) Oh but my trusty Newton Terra Momentus trail shoes have 700 miles on them! I really consider myself a fore-midfoot striker but the reality may be different from the heel wear seen above. Regardless, Mama needs new shoes!
I love running trails but will be racing & training on pavement also. Being a gear head, I see the need for three pairs of running shoes. (or please clue me in to the one do-it-all running shoe!) A trail shoe (I’ll keep the Newton Terra Momentus shoes for a while more), a road trainer, & a racing shoe. I really like my Newtons & don’t feel like casting around through the other brands. (New Balance’s Minimus line and new WT110’s is intriguing though for a trail shoe replacement.) So I just took a chance on some Newton Gravity shoes on eBay. A gamble, but potentially my road trainers. For a racing shoe I want to try the Newton MV2. The bottom line: these shoes are friggin’ expensive. Thus the eBay gamble & keeping the Terra Momentus for trails exclusively.
Camden Hills Run
Running trails and good food were the goals for this weekend’s long run. Camden was the obvious choice. Camden is the quintessential cute Maine coastal town, with excellent restaurants, many nice shops, bordered by rugged hills with lots of trails. Being a pretty mild fall I planned a 9 mile run with about 4 miles on the road. My friend and frequent running partner, Amy, was game for a little adventure and came along.
There were some flurries when we left town and amazingly by the time we got to Rockport it was snowing hard with about 1.5” accumulated & the roads starting to get slippery. Crap. (Yes, I checked the weather!) Once in downtown Camden the snow just wasn’t accumulating as much. Phew. The plan was to go up Battie then up and along Mt Megunticook to eventually Maiden Cliff then down to Rt 52 back to Camden.
The trail up Battie is wicked steep so was basically a hike. We ran down the access road to Tablelands trail. Ran that a bit then, due to really wanting to run versus hike, we took the Jack Williams trail instead of going up along Mt Megunticook. The Williams trail was very runable but still a slippery snowy, rooty, muddy, wet rock run. The Maiden Cliff trail was slow & rough then we hit Rt 52 & felt like flying after slogging slowly on the trails. The post run meal was at the Camden Deli. Best lunch view around & a great sandwich.
Another fabulous outfit. LOL. Too much rain to bike so ran instead. Been weeks, so not bad 5K @ 8:58 pace. Actually pretty fun…