Thursday, October 20, 2016

Maine Adventures

At the end of August, I decided that I wanted to go home to Maine. We hadn't been there since I ran my 50K last May, and I really wanted to go to try to see some fall foliage. We decided on Columbus Day weekend because I had the ability to take Columbus Day off as a vacation day since there were no classes in session that day where I work.

The plan was formed and then we just had to decide which mountains we wanted to hike with my mom and dad. We also decided to do a second round of trash the dress photos, since my mom is an amazing photographer! Originally, my dad was supposed to work nights but he switched his schedule with someone else, so he was able to join in all of the fun!

Our first stop, after getting there at midnight on Friday night, was to hike up the Beachcroft Trail to Champlain Mountain. We also wanted to check out Huguenot Head, which required a small amount of bushwhacking (really it was just going up the rock faces to the top, it wasn't bad at all).

The five of us on our way to Champlain 

Mike and Bernie on Champlain

First peak of the day!

Mike was proud of himself for making it up to Huguenot

After that, we stopped quickly for some lunch while watching the seals in the ocean. And then since it was still early we decided we weren't done hiking for the day. We went over to the trail for Day Mountain, and originally decided to go back down and then drive over to a different trail head to hike up to the Triad.

Bernie looks so cute here

Once at the top of Day, we realized that it wasn't too far to get to the Triad. We decided to just keep going and while it was steep, it wasn't too bad.

Beautiful foliage 

Mike and Bernie, on the fourth peak of the day

Relaxing with my guy

We took the carriage road back down to connect with the Day Mountain trail and didn't have very far to walk back to the car. We got about 7 miles for the day total!

Those are big dogs!

Sunday was our trash the dress session, and while it was rainy and a bit cold we had a lot of fun and my mom took a lot of great photos! Since we walked probably close to 2 miles, we decided to call that our hike for the day (and yes I did that all in my dress). Some of my favorites are below.

Mike and I decided to leave around 11am on Monday, so we had enough time for a short hike and some breakfast before heading out. We decided to do the Beehive, since Mike and I had never done it before. At first we were all going to go up the back of it, but we decided that Mike and I would go up the cliff trail and my mom and dad would take the Bern up the back to meet us at the top.

All of us together in the beginning

About to start the iron rung portion, eek!

Gorgeous views

The iron rungs and the cliff trail were really cool! We had never been able to do this hike before since we hike with Bernie a lot, and it was amazing to finally be able to do it. It didn't take too long to get to the top and we eventually heard my mom and dad who got there before us.


Mike making his way up one of the iron rung sections

I love this photo my mom took of us almost at the top

It was so windy at the top, but we made sure to get a lot of photos of the foliage.

Fifth peak for the weekend!

We almost blew away doing this 

Great weekend

Once back at the car we had about 1.3 miles for the day, and our short trip to Maine was pretty much over. I wish we could have stayed longer but I hope we get to go back next year!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Sawteeth Mountain and Pyramid Peak

Back in September (on September 24th), Mike and I went back to the Adirondacks for another adventure in the High Peaks. We didn't bring the Bern again because we were going to be hiking on AMR land and dogs aren't allowed.

After a nice night at the Rooster Comb Inn (which unfortunately the same cannot be said for Saturday night, some people were extremely rude that night and were up until 2:30am), we woke up bright and early and got ready for the task ahead.

We had been going back and forth on which peak/peaks to hike and since it was going to be a clear day, we decided on doing Sawteeth with a few detours. It was our first time going to the Ausable Club (except for the time we did the Great Range Traverse and changed our route to finish the hike there), and we had a bit of a hard time figuring out where to park. Once we finally found the right parking area, we got all of our stuff together and set out for a nice day of hiking.

We had to walk back toward the club and chatted with a couple of women as we all walked to the trail register. They were planning on hiking the lower great range, so we went separate ways after signing in.

The gate at the start of our hike

This was our first time making the long trek along Lake Road, and it was long. I didn't realize that it was almost 4 miles to the end! I kept questioning if we were almost there, and eventually we were there. Well, we were at our first detour point.

We were going to go to Fish Hawk Cliffs too, but decided to save it for another time

Indian Head

Mike and I had never been to Indian Head before, and I am really glad that we made this detour! It was probably my favorite part of this hike. We had it to ourselves and we spent a decent amount of time there before heading back the way we came to get back on Lake Road.

Doing our thing 

Mike taking in the view

When we got back on Lake Road, we didn't have very far to go to get to the end. We arrived at the dam and after a few photos we got on the trail toward Rainbow Falls. This was another detour for the day, and it was a good one as well! There wasn't a rainbow there on the day we hiked, but it was still pretty.

The dam

Rainbow Falls, so pretty!

Then Mike and I went back and started the hike up the Gothics trail toward the junction for Sawteeth/Gothics. It was pretty steep but we made it up there relatively quickly. When we got to the junction, I dropped my pack and off we went to our final detour for the day - Pyramid Peak.

At a nice viewpoint on the way to Pyramid 

We love these views!

While Pyramid is over 4,000 feet in elevation, it is not an official 46er. It was still worth the extra 1.2 miles roundtrip! The views were outstanding and we marveled at the Great Range and that we hiked it all in one day!

 Us on Pyramid Peak

Part of the Great Range

Back at the junction, we stopped and ate our lunch. We chatted with some other hikers who were taking a break there as well before heading up to Sawteeth. We didn't have very far to go and made it up the .5 mile climb to the summit of our 14th high peak!  We chatted with a few more hikers before continuing down the scenic trail.

Looking back at Pyramid

The view from Sawteeth 

Our 14th peak! 

Being silly on Sawteeth 

Beautiful day

I really enjoyed this part of the hike. While there was a lot of up and down, it wasn't too bad going in the direction that we went. There were a lot of scenic overlooks and we had great views of the lake. We didn't see very many people, but a few were heading up in the opposite direction.

At one of the overlooks 

We lucked out with the weather!

We never saw signs for overlooks 1-4

As we got closer to the bottom of the trail, we walked along the lake for a little while and then I saw the dam. We actually missed part of the trail and were walking along an unofficial path near the dam, but that's alright.

Relaxing at the overlook 

Probably my favorite overlook along the scenic route 

Back along the lake 

The dam, again

I wasn't really excited to walk back along Lake Road for 4 miles, but we made decent time (and only had to take a break or two because my hips and legs were hurting). I was so happy to see the gate at the end of the road!

See ya, AMR!

We had a great day and got our 14th high peak in 10 hours and 21 minutes over 16.8 miles!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Rev3 Cedar Point Half Race Recap - Run Leg

Did you miss the swim and bike legs? Check them out, here and here.

Well, here's the final installment of our Cedar Point Half race recap, finally!

After coming into the transition area from the bike leg, my legs felt tight and heavy. I was a little bit worried but I tried not to worry about it too much. I knew I had plenty of time to finish the race and I was just going to try to enjoy myself as much as possible out there.

Before I left the transition area, I had a volunteer spray sunscreen on me (I'm glad I did, Mike didn't and he had a bit of a sunburn after the race!) I walked out of the transition area and then started running out of the parking lot of the amusement park. We had to run back through the way we came in from the swim and through another parking lot before getting on the road. I told myself to keep running as long as possible because I knew once I started to walk that I would be walking quite a bit.

I made it to past an aid station before I walked up a hill over the bridge. I ran down the hill and then kept going toward the rest of the course. The run course had changed this year and featured a lollipop course. We had to run the lollipop twice before heading back the way we came to the finish.

It was warm out, but it wasn't too bad. I was able to run quite a bit and just focused on getting to the aid stations. The first 4.5 miles were pretty nice and I was keeping up a decent pace. Right around 4.5 miles you start the lollipop portion of the course, so I turned right to keep going.

When I walked, this guy would pass me, but then when I would run I would pass him. We kept doing that for a long time and even ran with each other for a little bit later on in the race.

The lollipop portion takes you out near the water, which was a nice change of scenery. When we got to one portion we were told to keep going to the flag and then turn around. I thought the volunteer meant the American flag, but he meant the flag color coordinated to our race distance, which was much closer!

When I turned around to go back to continue on the loop of the lollipop, I saw Mike running toward me! He threw his arms up and was so happy to see me. He said, "I didn't think we would see each other!" We high-fived and kept going. I thought he might catch up to me, but he didn't. I could see him behind me for awhile, though (he was on his second loop of the lollipop, while I was on my first).

Running through the town of Sandusky wasn't bad, but there weren't too many spectators. There were some and they did cheer us on as we ran through downtown. As we made the turn toward the start of the lollipop again, I was happy that I was almost done with the first loop.

We had to grab bracelets after each lollipop loop to keep track and I took mine from the kid volunteer. I turned around to see if I could see Mike before we went our separate ways, but he wasn't close enough to me.

The second loop of the lollipop went by quicker than the first, since I knew what to expect. I always love thinking, "I don't have to do that part again!"

I ran with the guy that I kept passing when I ran for a little while and he said it was his first 70.3. He eventually got ahead of me since I walked a bit more on the way back, but he only finished a few minutes ahead of me.

At the end of the lollipop, I took my second bracelet and I was able to go to the right to finish the out and back portion toward the finish line. I had about 4.5 miles to go. While running this part of the race, I saw someone pass me with a Bike Zone tri top on. Bike Zone is a bike shop in Rochester, so I mentioned something to him about that. He said he used to live in Rochester, but didn't anymore. We chatted a little bit more before he got ahead of me.

Mike finishing up his race

As I made the final turn back toward the park, I was so happy. I was getting tired and just wanted to be done. I had actually thought I might have a chance to PR, but it wasn't meant to be.

I could see the amusement park rides for awhile, and I just kept moving to get closer to the finish line. As I ran through the final parking lot, I knew I was really close to the finish. I made the final turn toward the finish line and looked for Mike, but I didn't see him anywhere!

I ran closer to the finish line and then felt someone tap me on the shoulder, it was Mike! He had grabbed his stuff from the transition area after he finished and then just made it in time to see me start to run toward the finish line. Rev3 allows family and friends to cross the finish line with you, so he decided to catch up to me so we could cross together.

I love this photo!

I was so happy to be done, but also really proud of us and our finishing times. We were both only 6-7 minutes slower than our PRs, and considering we had just raced an Ironman 3 weeks prior and training didn't go as planned this year, I was happy!

Fun medal!

After eating and changing, we went on some roller coasters to finish out our race day!

Run Leg (13.1 Miles) - Jamie: 2:17:09, Mike: 2:19:42
Finishing Times - Jamie: 6:23:36, Mike: 5:58:19