Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Mass State Tri Race Report

Oh man. I so want to take a couple of weeks off from racing. But at the same time. I walked down my stairs yesterday, saw my Tri bike with the race number still on it and thought,"Oh that was fun, I so want to get out there and rock again."
Reality being, if I don't give it a rest for a couple of weeks the only thing I'll be rocking is the outer core of this hole I'm in.... as in past the mantel, core, earth, rock....nevermind

I'm pretty glad the rain subsided right as I was waking up at 5. Held off all morning until the skies opened back up in the afternoon. Wasn't even as humid as I was expecting it to get. I have to say that so far I haven't had a race with bad weather. (Well Putney was really rainy, but it was a mountain bike race after all)
As i was setting up my transition area, and putting my bike in the very cool white wheel holders Max Performance supplies, I chuckled to my self as the two people next to me had garbage bags covering their transition layout. I mean seriously? If it's going to rain your crap's gonna get wet any way... Keep it simple

Another week, another late Tri start. Plus another heart stopping rendition of the National Anthem sung by a vocally challenged 7 year old girl. Plus this time we had to watch all the sprint race waves head out ahead of us. Thirty minutes after the scheduled race start we were in the water, off and away.
Going out and pushing it harder through the swim seemed to feel pretty good this time around. Things were going well in the water (I was tracking much better this week) until I ran into backstroke guy again. Frickin' Ass. He wasn't as annoying when he was going straight doing the crawl. But then he'd flip over (I could tell because I caught glimpses of his feet and was thinking,"man that is such a weird movement. not a natural looking kick, oh, wait, is he...who the hell backstrokes? Oh man it's this jerk again...how'd I end up near him two weeks in a row....I need to start swimming faster...") he'd flip over and start backstroking right across my newly aligned straight as an arrow path. But after a couple minutes of that he'd roll back over and swim straight. Straight toward the same buoy I was headed to. Ending up swimming way too close to me. Oh, but then he'd flip back over and swim into me...Dude, seriously?

Any way, out of the water. On to the bike (past the transition setups still covered with G-bags). Over the bumpy pavement for the first few miles. Past Pat Cronin (Wheelworks Swim coordinator). Up the mile long hill. Down and around the weird side road turn around (which was actually kind of cool, because you could see how many goobs were ahead of you. And I'm taking fast goobs that could beat you. Not the innumerable goobs that were doing the sprint race and not the ones that I lapped my second time around, those are a different bread of goob.) Past Nick Normandain. Past speedo boy (yeah he was wearing soccer shorts again, someone buy him a Tri kit). Along the down hill. Passed by Nick, kind of. Around the right hand turn that I didn't think Nick was going to take so I hit the breaks in anticipation of him going straight through the interesection. (he turned right) Saw mom. Hauling along the awesome flat section. Past third place. Up the hill. Weird turn around with a look at the leaders. Downhill. Ripping fast into T-2. I always half ask my self if I really am going too fast into transition and I'm gonna jump off the bike into some funky half stumble/fall/run thing. But come on, seriously? that's not gonna happen.

Way too long of a run with the bike in transition as we had to run the length of transition area twice to make the entries/exits even. It was really fun whipping my bike around and tossing the rear wheel into the white bike racks. Def different than just hooking the brakes on the rack.

I saw the parents on my way out of T-2 and gave a little wave. I didn't want a repeat of the running disaster at Old Colony, and so tried to hold it back for the first mile. Which more or less worked. But I quickly settled into the chasm of the 6-minute mile curse. (or slightly under: 5:58ish) Yeah, that's okay, but we all know it's no 5:30. Stupid running legs. I did pass a TeamPsycho member, and that's always fun. I was closing in on the guy up in the lead too (Murry McCutcheon)....until we reached the first (of two) little turn arounds. Guess I was too close for comfort and he kicked it up. I had no response and was pretty happy to hold on for second. Sure would feel nice if those legs felt like they could pop and be snappy. Of course if your legs feel good you're not going hard enough right?

Overall it did feel like a really good effort. I couldn't have left a whole lot more out on the course. I might of been able to push out some seconds on the run if I was fighting for it. But I'm pretty happy with the times. Fastest bike split, second fastest run behind old Murry, and not insanely far behind out of the water, which is all I can ask for there.

Results are: Here

Hardware: None (they opt not to give medals and award shwag instead)
Shwag: Fuel belt for first place in the Elite division (this is my third fuel belt won as well as my third fuel belt that will go unused. Sweet. At least this time it's not a size small, that one was way too small for any normal sized athlete. And athletes don't run big)
I also won a big bottle of Hammer Gel (apple cinnamon) and a water bottle during their pre-selected raffle. Add the water bottle in the registration packet and it's a two bottle day, which is totally awesome because my overall laziness bites hard when I forget to washout and dry my waterbottles. The results being a fresh lining of
nasty black spots in each sun baked nutrient rich mold breading heaven aka the inside of my waterbottles. And you know that crap is not only pretty gross it's wicked hard to clean off. I must have ten bottles from this season alone that are on the 'Do Not Use' shelf. Any one got any good method of cleaning them?

Shirt: Boring. Undoubtedly destined for the rag pile.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Just Chillin' with my new Friends

Maybe I should take out my garbage...


My Transition Area

Clean and Simple

ps: I didn't take the gel

Friday, July 25, 2008

Appleman Race Report

Yeah....I took a wrong turn.

In no small thanks to Frank, I've had it in my mind that I could/would win Appleman this year. That was part of the reason I did this race. Marc Saucier is the race director and he's also a Wheelworks Multisport member. Frank: "How cool would it be for Marc if a Wheelworks racer won Appleman. Toby, you'll totally win and destroy the field, this is your race..."

Yeah, well maybe if I had stayed on the course.

The swim was in a very 'pondy' pond. Like mucky floor, reeds and stuff, brown water, pond like smell. It pretty much rocked. I definitely didn't have that floating smooth feeling that I had at the start of Mooseman. Nor did I find that groove that I found at Mooseman. For whatever reason I've really been drawing to the left during my swim lately. I think the prescription is some more open water swim training to figure out how to go straight. Any who, I would take half a dozen strokes and look up to find the big orange buoy off to my right. Okay that's cool no big, turn to the right a little. Half a dozen more, off to the right again. What the frig! It pretty much went on like that for the long 13 minutes that it took me to struggle through the water. Quite possible I could have been in the low 12's, dang maybe even sub 10 minute, if I could just fricken swim straight.
The crazy thing is a couple of races ago I thought I was doing a really good job at staying straight when every one else was way of course. I worked with Hank a little last week to work out the left arm kink in my stoke (just one of many kinks I might add). So perhaps I'm just overpowering it too much on the left side and not compensating. ....maybe....

Yup, on to the bike. Wait, T1. Nothing too special here. Except that I heard that sound again when I mounted my bike Cyclocross style (no, this time that sound was not me mashing my nuts). I thought it was me coming down too hard and knocking the saddle a little loose and knocking the pitch out...Except that I could tell that the nose never moved up nor down. I realized after the race that the paper race number (oh and my number is another tangent, which I'll get to after this one) that the taped on number was squished down against the frame. It wasn't squished down when I put it on...hum maybe that crack sound is the seat dropping down....sweet. That would mean my seat's been getting lower and lower for the past 5 races. Double sweet. Plus I have no idea what the proper height is. Triple sweet. And when I went in to see Ed Sassler at Wheelworks (the man who fit me on the bike, and scheduled me for an appointment at 1pm on Sunday to put me on a new non-impotence inducing saddle) oh! yeah he was out at Hyafitchmouthportbergvilleport......I don't know where he was, but the point is he wasn't at the shop. Quadruple sweet!
I think I got the height figure out today. The bolts holding the seat post up were def loose. So take a spin tomorrow, see how it goes, and get old Ed to work things out next weekend.
Oh, the race number. Yeah, so as if Frank telling me I would totally win wasn't enough Wendy Fiske was kind enough to give me race number 1. Just another dimension to add to the head game before the gun went off. (Which, by the way took way too long to go off. I like Bhudist monks as much as the next guy. But hearing them chant just might be the last thing I'd like to stand around and listen too when a race is already 15 minutes late. Well, that and the National Anthem, 'sung' by some local 12 year old brownie scout. That was pretty rough too.)

Aaaaany way. Back to taking a wrong turn. So I jumped on my seat, lowered my seat post, got my feet on my shoes cleanly and started hammering away. I knew the course a little bit from last year and knew that early on the bike we took a left hand turn and stared to cruise down hill a bit. We were coned to the left half of the road and I came upon a volunteer waving a flag across from a road to the left. "Man," I thought," this is kind of a butchered corner. You think they could have put down a little bit of asphalt....Wow this whole road has all kinds of pot holes... Huh, where do I go now, do I take a right han....Oh can't go right.... 'up can't go strai....crap, this is so a dead-end street. Shit..."
I hit my watch when I turned around and it took me 22 seconds to get back up to course. Double that, and add some for stopping to turn around, and not having carried speed passed that turn and I'm rounding it up to a minute that I lost.

Cranked along for the rest of the bike feeing pretty good popping over the hills. Pretty nice course out there. Rolling. No head winds. I was expecting some mean up hills after all the down we seemed to go over but it never really came. I gobbled up a couple of those good swimmers that break early. Including this little teen-aged swimmer Philip Lavely who was rocking it topless with a pair of nylon soccer shorts over his jammers. I ripped by him on an up hill and had to work very hard to not compliment him on his shorts.

Smooth in and out of T2. Only two people ahead of me now. That feels better than the 10 or so after my wrong turn. A couple of reports put me approximately a minute out of second. Nick Normandin feel by the way side about a mile into the run. It was slightly up hill for the first mile, then we had a steep long down to a nice flat section of pavement. On this latter section I started to feel good and got grooving. Then it got nasty: A sharp left took us into a field. A hot, sunny, very muggy, grass field. I could catch glimpses of Chris Ramsey's red jersey, but was slowing down through the field, right when he was getting out of it and speeding up. Of course speeding up meant entering the woods and spending the next half mile running on a trail that was mostly uphill. The woods were a nice little change of pace. Once out of the woods it was down another long steep hill. I nice flat section back around the pondy pond. Across the sand (sand at the end of a race always sucks) and over the line. I had the fastest run split, which was a little surprising as I was under the curse of the 6 minute mile....again. Third fastest bike split (stupid wrong turn) by only 30 seconds. And I came in 2nd overall. Would've been cool to represent the race number, but maybe next time.

Results are posted: Here
Hardware: Another 1st place finishers medal (?) Just like last weekend's Old Colony medal
Schwag: A gift certificate for All Three Sports. Which, I think I've already lost or put in the wash...


Fricken water aerobics!!! Wow, this is the second time in three weeks that I've gotten closed out of a pool becuase of water aerobics. The first was down in Vernon and there was a whole lane open and seperated by a lane maker that wasn't being used....but nooooooo I couldn't use it becuase the pool was 'closed'. With like 10 people doing aquaerobics in the other 6 lanes of the pool. But I couldn't use the lane becuase the pool was 'closed' and that's the way it works.

Now I just got closed out the craponial because some funky thirty something, glasses in the pool wearing, lady was rolling her hands around in the air like she belonged in the mud pit at a phish concert. Her two little groupies were jaming along with her to the tune of an irish jig, I kid you not. Three people need three lanes of the damned pool? I think not. But I couldn't swim down in the open lane because they need their "peaceful, quite time" her words not mine.

I wanna say that maybe they should aquasize for more than 50 minutes a couple times a week so they'll actually loose a couple of lbs, then they could do real exercise like the rest of us, instead of their current half assed physical activity. But I know I shouldn't say that, and I could never understand what it's like to have my body be fighting me every day and all that, and it's good for them to be doing something. They should just do that something in only part of the stupid pool.

so there

Monday, July 14, 2008

I like the Podium

It was good to get back to the Olympic distance at the Old Colony YMCA race and it was a bit of a reality check. My last two Tri's were short sprints with short runs. My runs felt really good and I was hoping that I would be able to a) tweak some more power out of my biking legs for upcoming races and b) attack the next couple of weeks with some fresh legs after a recovery week. However I ended up posting the fastest bike split and coming apart on the run, not running sub 6's like planned.

Part of my misery on the run must no doubt be due to working three hot days on a roof and another ripping off Clapboards and doing some LPG work with my new buddy Jim. Being a recovery week it turned out that I spent more time recovering from work and not being bothered with recovery/tech specific workouts.
Also the choice pre-race dinner of Swordfish, mussels and grilled buttery potatoes is definitely not the chosen meal of champions. However, I somehow remember eating the exact same meal the night before a race last year with similar ill consequences. Humm.....what? Pretty sure I've learned my lesson now. I'm sticking to pasta and meatballs. (Why is it that races are always on Sunday instead of Saturday? Way to kill the weekend.)

See how I'm really setting my self up for a killer race here?

Never the less the alarm went off and Sarah, Evelyn and I busted down to Middleborough in good time. The swim looked awesome and pretty short for a 1 mile swim until I found out that it was a two looper with an exit out of the water between laps. Which was actually pretty cool to do, except that it's a little tough getting back in the water and thinking "Shit I got to do that again....man....stupid swimming" Plus they started the 39 and unders in a second wave 3 minutes back from the 40+ crowd. Why, who knows. Maybe to give us the added challenge of swimming through throngs of geriatrics. I mean if it was like 10 minutes or something maybe, but just three minutes. Dang, start them second right? This week it was much harder to see where any green caps were (my wave) which was a little disappointing. Plus my stomach was slooshy and soft for most of the paddle. (thank you very much Mussels) But I managed to finally feel a little bit smooth on the second lap and pull out an okay swim for myself.

Old Colony was a pretty well put together race but they could pull together the transition area a little bit. It was ambiguous where you came in from the swim, came in from the bike and where the run entered and exited. And the transition area was wide open. Which is kind of nice because you can sneak in and get your gear before the race is over. But it always adds an air of Amatureness.

I tried not to rush T1, made it smooth and ran out to the road over the 50 yards of pine wood chips that the race directors were kind enough not to cover up with any type of mobile carpeting. Later in the day I realized that a couple of the hot spots on my feet were in fact splinters.

This past week I did manage to practice my shoe-putting-on-while-riding-the-bike technique and it paid off. (Once I brushed off the sawdust and wood chips) This was a 4 lap pretty flat bike and I was coming in pretty excited to see how I could throw down. And perhaps I got a little excited about it. I was rolling on the first lap in an "I can keep this up for an hour" mode. Which more or less turned out to be true, except for feeling slower on the latter two laps, and thinking "huh, there wasn't a hill here on the first lap". I hit my second Gu a little later than planned which helped neither my run nor the chunks of Swordfish still banging away somewhere between my small intestine and colon. I was pretty happy averaging somewhere in the neighborhood of 25 mph, but it's still a far cry from an ideal ride of 27 mph. Any way, it was on to the run. (It should also be noted that there were like a bajjilion people on the bike, due to the laps. Which, while fun and fast feeling when you just completely blow by people, makes for tough passing and tough cornering.)

OH, have I yet to mention how crazy uncomfortable my saddle is? Like after half a lap (read 8 minutes) I thought my lower genital region was anesthetized. I was praying for any kind of hill to get me out of the saddle for a minute, which only came on a couple of slight downhills, the course was that flat. Not to mention this saddle seems to do something funky with my upper/inner hamstring area. Not exactly straining it, but setting in some discomfort.....

And that's what I felt when I got off the bike. I couldn't believe how tight that area of my hammy was. I kind of hobbled out of T2 and tried to get my legs moving on the dirt road that lead out to the rest of the run. My first mile on the run was a promising 5:45. But having lost just a little bit of steam on every consecutive lap of the bike didn't bode well for what was to come on the run. I could see three people ahead of me and It was time to do some reeling. Mile one: No one yet, but they're right there and I'll be damned if they get too far away. Mile two: okay, huh, not really getting any closer. Mile three: yup caught this guy, but he's in the 40-45 group and def slowing up, that guy in the black and yellow is so not coming to me. Mile four: okay lets just see if we can hunker down and not lose any spots. About 800 yards after mile four: okay so those two guys just came rolling by me with no hope of me catching a ride, try not to drop any more spots. (one of the guys was Brian Dolt, whom I used to do some swim training with, and whom I had caught on the first lap of the bike) Shortly before this point I could feel my self slipping (and watch my splits slipping too! YEE!). Maybe if I drink some more water that'll help? I usually don't drink much, but maybe it'll get me through. Or maybe it'll give me a vicious cramp and make the last mile and a half that much more burtal as if my failing legs and negative mind weren't enough. I held on for the last two miles and ended up running them in a pretty impressive 8:30 (or so) pace. When do I ever run at an 8:30 pace? Probably the most nasty part of the race was coming into the rather long access road to the finish and expecting to run back across the wood chips into the finish chute, but oh no!!! Take a right instead and run on a busted old dirt road for another quarter mile! That was just mean.

Glad to be done I was hoping that a couple of the people in front of me were teams or of the 40+ ilk. But not feeling so psyched about my overall performance (run in particular) headed to the lake for a little cool off.
Much to my chagrin I squeaked out a Third place finish about four minutes back from the leader and 2 back from Brian. If it wasn't for the wheels coming unhinged on those last two miles things my read a little different, but four podium finishes in four races isn't so bad right?

Thanks for coming down and watching Ben, Sarah and Evelyn. It helps a lot to hear some cheers. Especially when I'm out on the sand and headed back into the murky Tispaquin for round two, ready, fight!

Results should be posted here: Old Colony YMCA
Hardware: '1st place' (?) finishers Medal with a cool little twirly piece in the middle
Shwag: Tub of HEED drink mix (Ben said to go safe with Lemon-Lime, maybe if I do well next week I'll go for the Mandarin.)

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Lube it up!

So I accidentally forget to put on chamois cream before a couple of rides recently. Yeah, I know, bad idea.

I was out the door and just about on the pavement when I remembered, but said, "Screw it. It won't be that bad." Um, it's that bad. I know there's a reason that a put on chamois cream every day. I guess a reminder every once in a while isn't so bad. Even with really nice bike shorts the cream's pretty important.

Back in the day during roller skiing practice we'd through vasoline under the armpits to fight body chaffing. And that actually worked pretty well. Works pretty well on the groins too.

But since doing Tris I've started using Body Glide which is my overall favorite. A couple of years ago they changed the packaging and I swear they changed the formula and i don't like it as much but it still seems to be the most versatile and consistent product to date. Plus it's pretty cheap. 8 bucks for a stick and it lasts for many a swipe. And while vasoline works fairly well it's a little to sticky and sloppy.
I recently bought a tube of Chamois Butt'r. Works okay, but doesn't seem to hold up really well in all day situations or through the swim portion of Tri's. However the big plus is the tube format. You can squeeze a whole butt load of this stuff into your hand (and then your loins) and the quantity factor def seems to count for something. (I'm not sure about the larger dose in practice, but squeezing half a cup of goop into your draws sure makes you feel like you're going to have a smooth ride!)
Taking a hard stick of Body Glide and trying to rub it all over your goodies just isn't as pleasurable. In fact isn't not very pleasurable at all, and much less so when you're doing it in a parking lot before a race, with people around.
Any who, the other product I've used recently with even less success is Assos's Chamois Cream. I tried to blob it on but found that it didn't have much tenacity and wore out quickly. On the up side the witch hazel is tingly and cooling, and that's nice. Plus it reports healing properties and a whole list of stuff but I don't really buy it. I tried to rub it all over my chamois before my ride like they kind of suggest, but still with lack luster results. They suggest using this product to keep your chamois supple after your wash your shorts. But this stuff's also too expensive for that. In my book 20 bucks is too steep for keeping your chamois soft when you're not wearing your bibs and then having to come riding side saddle. I think I'll mix in some Gold Bond with my Body Glide and save a couple of bucks.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Ahhh, that's a win!

I raced the Give Peace A Tri race yesterday. For its third year, it's a well run local triathlon over near Keene, NH. It's capped at 200 participant, but could most likely pull in more. Clean swim in Surry mountain lake, pretty flat short 8 mile bike and a senic '3 mile' run with one little pop of a hill.
I got in the water a little late for my warm up and barley got back to the swim start when the horn went off. That was a little crazy and poorly timed (since when do these races start on time?) I remember last year's swim being a short 1/4 mile around one maybe two buoys. But I think they got a couple more markers and stretched the swim out this year. This was the first swim where I could really tell how many people were ahead of me and about how far up they were, that was kind of cool. Despite the hectic start I managed to get in a groove as best I could.
I came out of the water 5th and had a smooth T1 'till I jumped on the bike and heading up the steep hill out of transition couldn't get my foot on my right shoe. I like thinking that putting my shoes on while I'm biking is a faster way to go. But the last couple of races it's been a little tricky sliding my feet in or finding the top of my shoe as I jump on the bike. It's definitely the way to go with long transition areas or longer races. But with short races and short transition areas shoes before bike might be the way to go.
I passed the good swimmers quickly on the bike and then focused in on the leader Don Mills. For most of the bike I could see him but could do little to pull him and his road bike in. Turns out he's a roadie that's moving over to Tri's and it shows after he threw down that ride without so much as aero bars.
In and out of T2 with a couple of seconds gained on Mills. For the first half of the run he was right there in front of me, oh so close, but I didn't seem to be gaining any time on him. Then we hit a little dirt road stretch with the pop of a hill and I started closing the gap. I ran behind him for a while waiting to see how he would hold up. I put in a small attack with a little more than a mile to go but with nothing doing. I poured it on 400 yards before the last turn and the downhill stretch into the finish. Mills hung tough for about 300 yards and then finally started to lose some steps. That allowed little relief through the home stretch and I had to keep checking my shoulder.
Battling it out and coming up with a Win was/is a really good feeling . It finally makes triathlon feel like a real race and not just a time trial. Pretty exciting I gotta say.
Results haven't been posted yet. (In fact they didn't even have them to post after the race, which was a little lame. They got to work on that) But I finished in about 41 minutes. Which is about 3 minutes faster than my time for last year, and 2 minutes faster than the winning time from last year. Plus it seemed to me that the swim was def longer this year.
Also the '3 mile' run is a little dubious in length. I put down a surprising 16:48 last year. Which is possible but fast. But this year my watch looked back with a 15:20. Almost a minute and a half faster than last year! I'll take that. But that would mean 5 minute miles, and I'm just not sure that I'm pulling those off yet.
All and all a really fun race (winning is definitely fun!) with lots of good cheering support (Thanks Mom, Dad, Miche, Sarah, Ben, Liz and that over friendly guy you all made friends with). It makes it a lot more fun to have people out there to race for.
Of note is the TEAM WELLS relay team: Michelle's first Aquaman experience started with a smooth swim and a nasty fast bike. Then my Mom pulled out a ripping 5k race (under 30 min!). Great job guys, it was great to watch you race!
Oh, I almost forgot to add that I made the paper! Check it out here: Keene Sentinel Article
Results will be posted here: Give Peace a Tri
Schwag: A gift certificate for two to lunch at a bistro in Keene (that was for first place)
A stainless water bottle (that was for first in my AG)

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


Okay, so clearly I'm not gonna be happy with dropping out of my first race ever. And because of a stupid broken chain none the less. But let me just list a couple of other things that are crappy about XTERRA.
90 bucks for an off road race. 90 bucks!!! There's no police detail, no road permit fees. I'm down with paying for a good race that is safe and well run. But dude, seriously, for a race that doesn't even have chip timing. Come on. There must be a butt load of fees to pay to the XTERRA peeps.
Due to no chip timing and the havoc that waves starts would wreak upon the stopwatch holders there was one big ol' funky mass start.
....Which is actually kind of cool, because then you know how you're doing against everyone in the race. So that part I liked, but it still sucked because I paid 90 bucks and had to drop out.
And seriously who's good at off road triathlons any way? Notice how all the really good triathletes do regular road triathlons and then jump into XTERRA races and throw down? And how'd Conrad do in Hawaii ironman last year? Huh?
Naw, I bet some of those guys are still pretty nasty athletes. But XTERRA is so the Busch league. Kind of fun, and hard, but so the red-headed step brother.
I'm hoping to give another one a shot later this summer and have a change of heart (and a chain tool).

Coming down is the hardest part

On my list of athletic goals is to tackle as many state summits as possible. I think for now that pretty much means New England and New York and I'll take it from there. But I hiked up Mt. Greylock last fall and am looking for more.
After a disappointing attempt at Four Gaps up in Warren and a mechanical DNF on Sunday morning I decided to knock off Vermont's Mt. Mansfield in the afternoon.
Coming from the north side I drove up over the pretty crazy smugglers gap road (Scenic route 108). The cliffs and mountains that rise up above the road are pretty amazing and distracting. The boulders that determine the road's windy course are equally impressive but turn out to be more of a hazard while you're driving too fast and trying to look up at the gnarly crags.
Down on the Stowe side of the gap I parked at the hard to find trail head for the Long Trail and started on up. In my mind this is my perfect idea of a challenging hike; Very few flat sections, lots of rocks to work up and plenty of hand over foot sections. But in reality I had no pop in my legs and it turned out to be a very slippery, quick, not so fun walk up the mountain. I covered the 2.7 miles, and what must have been a couple thousand feet, in just about an hour. The top was covered in clouds. I caught a couple passing views of the valleys below, some fluids and half a powerbar and turned around.
I recently got a pair of GoLite Sun Dragon trailer runners that look pretty bitchin. The aggressive lug was reason enough to buy them. They're actually really great for trail running. But they really suck on rocks. Particularly really wet rocks. It's like having half a dozen slippery little spikes under your foot. Soooo not the right shoes for my hike. The whole hike was pretty much on rocks. Rained on, cloudy, misty, damp rocks.
Cautiously back down to the car in a little under 40 minutes. I thought that a round trip a bit under 1:50 was a good way to top off an otherwise disappointing athletic weekend. My ITB's and quads are still a little sore due to all the eccentric loading from coming down the mountain. But it's great to have another mountain crossed off the list.