Monday, May 29, 2017

ALL the Waterford Hills, Part Two

I had an amazing week of adventuring!!

As much as I love marathon training, this is probably my favorite kind of running. 
I LOVE to see my town (and surrounding areas) without the confines of mile repeats. I love to see new places and to see the TOP of places that I already know. I like the challenge of running straight up. (go figure. it is inexplicable.) (and, as it turns out, I prefer my hills to be paved!)

Anyways, on to the gritty details of the week of climbing. 

Hill #1
Monday was a cold and rainy day. 
I concluded that a run over Mill Hill, with a side trip to the Hawk Mt trailhead (to scope it out) was in order. 

Mill Hill, in and of itself it a bit of a brute. (and, is another hill that the crazy Mt Washington racers seek out. And no, I am not running Mt Washington. I have always thought it would be a poor choice but maybe next year I will reconsider....)

Due to the weather the view, although still nice, was limited. 
Typical apple trees, fog, Mt Tir'em in the distance and Keoka lake (the lake is there... you just can not see it!!)

This run was a pretty solid workout. Wow! Especially with the side trip up Hawk Mt access road.

And yes, my GPS went insane. 

I was very happy with this run, and quite soaked upon my arrival home. 

Hill (mountain) #2

I bit the bullet, knowing the trail itself was only .75 mile, and made the climb. 

Maybe a bad idea...? 
The trail, while slightly more treacherous than a paved road, was absolutely manageable. It was a wide, and very passable road with some loose rocks that might merit attention. Other than that, it was a doable trail run for a road running princess such as myself. 

Also, not so steep as to cause immediate death. 
PLUS, a pokestop at the top!!

The infamous Strava screenshot. #proof

But honestly, the trail was pleasant and would have been even nicer, had I been walking with a basket of snacks and beers to enjoy at the top. But, if you decide to run up a small mountain, this is the one to do. Short, sweet and great views. 

I paused for a few photos at the top, since it is not every day that I run up a mountain. 

Basically a cliff. And I am scared of cliffs. 
The views were just amazing. And the bugs were terrible. 

This was a very enjoyable experience, and a route that I plan to do again. 

Hill #3
Deer Hill 

As promised on Temple Hill day last week, Deer Hill was in order for this weeks excursions.

Deer Hill goes over a pretty substantial bump, which takes a person all the way to Harrison. The steep portion on the hill measures just over 1.5 miles long, which is no joke. 
To this point (insert ominous music here) this was my most challenging run of the week. 


The weather was yucky, another 52 degree rainy day. Not really too bad for running but quite bad for my top of the hill photo op.... 
Believe it or not, this photo is looking at exactly the point I was on, on Temple Hill the previous week. You can't really tell but trust me.... Stupid clouds. 

On Deer Hill, looking at Temple Hill
And as I said, this hill will fuck you up.
(and cyclists take note, the road is about to undergo resurfacing and is in horrible condition!!)
This was my first time making the Harrison to Waterford climb on this hill and it was fine, and I made it, and it wasn't horrible. BUT IT WAS HARD. 
Luckily, I was in a good mood, and was in no hurry, so I looked at all the blast zones for the upcoming roadwork, and enjoyed my time. 

Hill #4:
Mt Tir'em

I was not planning to do both of Waterford's "mountains"in one week, but as luck would have it, that is how it worked out.

I ran to the "trail head" of Mt Tir'em, which must be almost impossible to find if you do not know the area.
On my way there, I took a quick pic of Keoka lake will Mill Hill looming in the distance. Gahd, so pretty. I will say it again, I am a sucker for a perfect view.

My town is perfect this time of year. NOT so much in January. 
Since I know exactly where the trail begins, I got off to a good start. (which did not last for more that .10 mile!)

Compared to Hawk Mountain, Tir'em was difficult to run. While Hawk was essentially a rocky road to the summit, Tir'em was a windy, rooty, very steep, rocky, mostly single track path.

I have walked this trail several times with no difficulty, but running (with the mass quantity of very slick leaves) was a whole different kettle of fish. I will admit, there were some moments that I chose to walk, as falling down was not in my plans.
It was also effing steep and, no lie, running up some of that crap was just not gonna happen.

Another day, another mountain
I did make it though! .75 miles after heading straight uphill, I came to the top (as one does) and I took a few minutes to appreciate the view.

I have to wonder if that is the same lake from my Hawk Mt climb- I think it is!!
I have been on top of Tir'em several times, but I took a few moments to walk around and check things out. I always like the large cave like stones, which I remember climbing on when I was quite a bit younger!

Pretty cool, huge rocks. 
I noticed a trail leading down the "back side" of the mountain, I have never gone down that way but would be curious about its destination. (but not curious enough to check it out on that day!)

Running down was scary for me. I am certainly not a serious trail runner! I shuffled down tentatively, and I think my decent took longer than my climb. Yikes!!

Yeah good lord, NOT FLAT.
So yeah! That was my week. Lots of fun stuff.
I actually have to do some investigation of which Waterford Hills I am going to miss if I don't pay attention. I have a few lined up for the coming week, and hopefully we get some nice days for me to tackle them on...!

Weekly Stats:
Mileage: 26.6
Feet of climbing: 3,034 ft
Most feet of climbing in one run: 884 ft, Mt Tir'em
Hilliest MILE!!: 379 ft, Mt Ti'rem (but Deer Hill was CLOSE, at 316 ft!) 

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