This was an unpublished account of the weeks leading up to my huge adventure of Colombia. I say the race is 37, but truly turned out to be 42... Here is the lead up of cool cuss going in...
The previous two weeks were great, plain and simple. I had some awesome running days and took full advantage of being two weeks out of a 37 mile adventure race in Colombia.
Last week I really shut it down and tried to "taper," or not get anymore tired than I already feel and be as fresh as I can. The trip will be 12 full hours of travel time before I get to my final destination of Manizales. I'm still unsure of what the race profile is and what day in racing, so it goes, I'm over it.
The week before had three epic days in a row and concluded a 90+ mile week. I Voltroned with myself to the first place I really felt Wild and alive, South Acworth, NH. I used to live here and the energy of the town and trails is overwhelming. I opted to do a "mini-Tour de So. Acworth" which would combine my favorite parts of three different runs, ultimately leading me to the top of Gates Mtn. Gates is a relatively small mtn but does reward with an almost 360 degree view. I brought the girls and it was reminiscent to see Ellie bouncing along the once familiar routes. This run however, did take just under two hours and GPS'd in at just over 16. I made plans to meet Patrick Rich the next day for a run near Killington and ploy three good days in a row together.
Killington with Pat Rich:
This was a great great for me. I got to meet an awesomely great dude, run some new trails and call this dude a friend once all was said and done.
If you don't know Pat, I highly suggest seeking him out for a run or just a chat, great guy... Now that the pleasantries are done, it was one cuss of a cussing cluster cuss run! For real. I have a map of the Long Trail and plotted out a route that was about 12 miles and I figured about 2 hours bc it was up and over Killington. This was a great plan, but I forgot the map, don't know the area well (Pat didn't know the area either) and who was going to know if we (he) would get along?
We met at Plymouth Union and I could tell just from the greeting, Pat was a good dude and I liked him. He did however, have a fuel belt with water and some calories of sorts tucked away. Upon seeing me in just my shorts, he (what ended up being foolishly) put his gear away. Note: over the course of the run I really was witching he had the cussing belt (in hopes he would have shared). I was the usual, under prepared self that I am on adventures.
We opted to just wing it (the way I usually roll) and headed up a didn't road. I felt the pace was hot right from the start but would never admit that on a run, but I felt it was fast. We then started up a very long climb to the top of a defunct ski mtn. Once on top it turned into an access road and we were able to run fast but comfortably. Pat was gracious enough to ask about the glory days of Keene State and the conversation was both organic and fun.
After a while I was beginning to wonder where the cuss the trail was and like magic, a kiosk appeared. It said some stuff about Killington being far away, but we weren't scared so we attacked. Once on the single track trail of the Long Trail it was awesome. We hit a very cool mtn (Salisbury?) which lead to a winding ridge in the trees to the summit of Killington. Very cussing awesome and very cussing far. I feel we were at about 2 hours at the summit before having to navigate down. It was also at this time that I became extremely thirsty and would have drowned a million Beagle puppies for a drink, no lie. As we cruised down an awesome, gradual trail we came across an ice cold stream flowing over moss covered rocks. I felt like a frosh in college again, my mind was saying, "no, you could catch something!!!" But other parts of my body were screaming in celebratory revolt. So, I over did it and drank about 8-10 double handfuls often water, and it was glorious.
Feeling totally refreshed we continued to the bottom only to find that we were a cuss load further away from the cars than I had left in the legs. Without any shame I told Pat I was done, and to our credit, we were 3.5 hours into the run, so at no point did I feel bad about it (especially since I had a white mtns run with Double J and KTilton the next day!).
We approached the first person we came to, a women in a bikini and pushing 65. With no shirt on and rocking swagger stank of short shorts and runners gliss, I felt it would be a done deal for a ride. WRONG! It did however lead to ice tea, ch-Ching! The neighbor next door was a dude with a Mohawk and an attractive lady friend and thought the same thing, only he'd give us the ride and get us the cuss away from his women who was eye yupping the cuss out of us.
Once back at the cars we hit the Plymouth Notch General store. Pat was gracious to hook us up with some beverages and as it turns out, this store didn't get the memo about restocking the shelves every 39 years and all that was left was Moxie. This really made me laugh but it was ice cold and awesome. Only in dire circumstances would I drink a Moxie and that was it. Great run, great dude, and for a better account of the run, read Pat's Blog...
The third day of awesomeness was a run with Jim Johnson and Kevin Tilton along the Pemi River through what they called (bc it is) The Wilderness. This run was cussing awesome. I was done with hilly runs and Kevin prescribed this as "not hilly," which it wasn't at all. It was an 18 miler along the river on awesome trails. Theses two should really start a summer running company and take people for runs and tours of the area. The info these two had was constant and non stop and made the run perfect and more awesome. I decided to bring my magic straw this time so I could drink from any water source while out there. I didn't feel a pack was anything I wanted today so I grabbed te straw (Sawyers) Jim hooked me up with a gel from the silent film era and we piled into KT's race car to drive to the start (as it was point to point).
The run started out on an amazing lead into the trail with views of the whole valley. I really like running along wooden planks and it had some early which was boss. We hit the hut, which I don't remember the name of, and found it to be 98% better than my house I live in. For real.
Since those two are clad in Inov2, I had to rep and sport La Sportiva, notice the product placement...
It was along this ridge/cut we had an opening of the whole valley north and south. Very awesome. Kevin and Jim had unreal info and answered every Q I had.
We then ducked back into the woods which lead to a water stp along a cascading waterfall. I took full advantage of the water situation and magic straw.
We then continued to wind our way along the river and ended with a dip. The straw was awesome, the run was awesome and it was great to (yes Jim, we Voltroned) meet up with these guys. I have been fortunate enough to have traveled abroad with both these guys and it was fun to reminisce. Kevin and I hit Italy in 2004, and Jim and I survived The Netherlands in 2011, next step for a another trip combining all forces.
All pictures are courtesy if Jim, thanks a ton for a great run!!!