Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Hiram Hills

Today I ran my first longish run since my 100 mile attempt at Vermont nine days ago. I planned on 16 miles of trails, starting out on relatively easy trails and hitting the Hiram Hills mid run. I made it over Tower Hill and the First and Second Peaks of Peaked Mountain for a total of 4059 feet of elevation gain. There are beautiful veiws of the Ossipee Valley from the Second Peak.

I summited the second peak at almost exactly 8 miles into my run, perfect for an out and back of 16 miles. Unfortunately, I hate out and backs and I have a curious nature. I had noticed a nice looking double track trail heading North between Tower Hill and the First Summit of Peaked. On my way back through I hesitated a moment, knowing this newly discovered trail was going in the wrong direction to get home, but then my curiosity got the best of me and I started down the trail. It was a nice 2 or 3 miles of smooth downhill running (in the wrong direction).

As the trail leveled off, it intersected with a fairly fresh logging road. New logging roads are not ideal for running. There are always a lot of loose rolly little sticks and logs and rocks, and they often dead end at a log yard. But the logging road was heading in a better direction to circle me back towards home so I took it. After a few miles it ended in a dreaded log yard. Ugh, I thought I'd have to back track. But I happened to look through the woods and I could see pavement about 100 feet away. I had never been so happy to see pavement! I bushwhacked the short distance and came out to a narrow road with no traffic and no houses. I knew it had to be one of two roads and I hoped it wasn't River Road in Hiram, because then I'd be a long way from home. I finally came upon a house that I recognized from the cat litter box on a post that they use as a mail box. I was on River Road in Hiram. Boy, did I have a long way to go to get home!

I ran back to Cornish on River Road and then re-entered the snowmobile trails that would take me home eventually. When my Garmen read 20 miles I stopped running, stopped my watch, and took a leisurely 5 or 6 mile stroll home. Twenty miles is plenty for 9 days after my 84 mile DNF. The 20 miles took me 3:36, which is under 11 minute pace on mostly tough trails. I'm happy with that. And I felt fine doing it.

When I got back home I found that my Iodine tablets that I had used to purify stream water with during my run, expired a few years ago. I sure hope I don't get some sort of gut wrenching parasitic illness. Other than that small concern, it was a great run!

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