Sunday, June 6, 2010

3 short stories

I haven't written in awhile, so let's try to catch up.  As many of you know, I'm pacing the Goat at Vermont 100 this year and I am also pacing Bruce G. at Western States in a few weeks.  So, guess who I ran with the past 2 weekends?

Last weekend, I ran the Moates with the Goat (reminds me of a Springsteen tune) up in North Conway, NH.  It was a fantastic run of 22 miles in 7 hours.  We had great views along the way.  I'd say it was a perfect run, but there were a couple things...We were nearly eaten alive by black flies.  I've never seen the black flies that bad.  We couldn't even stop for 2 minutes while up along the ridges.  Otherwise, it was an awesome run.

We started at Echo Lake below Whitehorse ledges.  The funny thing about it was that we did 2 loops around the lake before we found the trail to Whitehorse.    This actually worked in our favor as we were able to shed some unnecessary clothing and add some extra water.  We each carried a full camelback and a handheld 20 oz. bottle.  After summiting Whitehorse via a hiking trail, we connected to the Redridge trail and went down the back side.  After dropping in elevation, we picked up a nice runnable trail for a short bit and then started ascending Middle Moate.  From the intersection of the Redridge trail and the Moates trail, we went 4.4 miles south on a beautiful, but rugged trail with incredible panoramic views of the Whites.

After going out and back 8.8 miles, we ran into a legendary trail runner,  John Cederholm.  John was a big time trail runner back in the day and won the Masters division in the Grand Tree series one year.   He asked about some of the races and we assured him they were still going in full force.   It was a real pleasure chatting with him.

At that point, we decided to continue North over North Moate and then descend along the Attitash trail to Diana's bath.  We ran into another Reach the Beach runner along the way and then Goat lead us on a wild descent on the North side of N. Moate.   After a brief stop at Diana's bath, we decided to take the road back the last 2 miles to the car.  Once back to Echo Lake, we jumped in for a nice cool swim.  It was a great run.  Goat was running strong, and it showed me that he is ready for VT100.  A few more runs like that one, and he will have it all in the bank.

Fast forward to this weekend:

I've known Bruce G. for a few years now, but we've never really talked much beyond small talk.  I met him through Mark and Scott when we were training together for VT100, and we see eachother at various races.  I was really impressed when I heard Bruce was doing Western States this year, and jumped at the chance to pace him at the big dance.  I've wanted to run Western States since I was a kid and my Dad and I saw it on Wide World of Sports.  For some reason, I have yet to apply for the lottery.  

So, I was pleased to get the chance to run with Bruce this weekend.  We met at reservoir 6 and headed south to to my standard "over and back" route to the south.  It provides some nice hills on a 9-10 mile course.  Bruce had done about an hour or more when I arrived since he wanted to get in a 4-6 hour run.  We stayed on mostly double track since Bruce wanted to avoid any chance of rolling an ankle at this point in the training.  He's starting into taper mode which is always sweet relief.

Bruce and I had 3 hours to get to know eachother a bit, talk about race strategy, and work out some logistics.  I learned about Bruce starting his own Wealth Management company after starting a family.  Needless to say, I was impressed.  The more I ran with Bruce, the more I liked the idea of pacing him at WS100.  He definitely has an ultrahead and is very focused on his goal.

After the first loop, we did an over and back of the Heublein Tower loop which gave me 18 or so miles and gave Bruce at least 22.  It was fun and I look forward to pacing Bruce in a few short weeks.

Little Wing:

As many of you know, I love my Granddaughter, Maliyah, beyond words.  Her Mom, Jamie, works 3rd shift everyother weekend, so I have been helping out with babysitting duties.  I haven't seen Maliyah in awhile since they have their own place now, so I was psyched to spend time with her.  It's a tremendous amount of work for me as she seems to be in continuous motion every waking minute.  Nevertheless, it's a real treat as she is starting to walk now and can sway a few words.  She is certainly a fearless climber as well, so can't wait to get her to the cliff.

After having our traditional pancakes at McD's, we picked up some new sandals for her and did some laps on the back deck.  We also put in some plants.  OK, I planted and Maliyah tried to eat them.  Shhhh, don't tell Mom!   My house is not very childproof, so I spent a lot of time chasing her around the house.

By mid-afternoon, Grandpa was wiped out, and thankfully Jamie came to pick her up.  Time for Grandpa to do a little running.

So, I did the river run which is nice and flat for a recovery run.  I picked up a new MP3 player awhile back and am still trying to figure out how it works.  Somehow, I got it stuck in a mode where it kept repeating the same song over and over.  I didn't want to stop anymore to try to fix it, so I kept on running with the same tune over and over.  You might think it crazy to listen to the same tune for 6.5 miles, but it was Stevie Ray Vaughn.  If you are going to listen to anything over and over again, it might as well be the sweetness of his guitar strokes.  After awhile I realized the name of the tune was "Little Wing".  How appropriate, I thought.  I spent the day with Maliyah, and now I'm listening to Little Wing.  Cool!

It seems that life has been going 120mph lately and I barely have time to eat and sleep, but I'm so glad I was able to share 3 great days with 3 great people over the past 2 weeks.   Hope you are all having fun this summer.



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