Monday, June 12, 2017

Many Waterford Hills, Part Three

Last week, I returned to my quest of running all of the hills in my town.

The previous week had been something of a bust. I was extraordinarily busy at work, and except for one small run, I did not have time to hit the roads. Such is life.

Last Monday it was 53 degrees an raining. Typical Monday. 
Perfect for running two of the tough hills in town. I tackled Valley Rd Hill first (which my biking husband says is a "category three climb" whatever that means...) And my second hill was Plummer Hill which was steep. Like stairs. 

Valley Hill and Plummer Hill

It was not good photo weather and all of my photography skills went to waste. *sarcasm* It really was pouring down rain!! And I know everyone reads this blog for the AMAZING photos so I really dropped the ball... 

I did manage to take a pic of a pretty stream, so there's that. 

Such *skill* with an iPhone camera
I returned to my car sopping dripping drenched. 
Better cold and damp than boiling hot and sweaty though!!

On Wednesday I tackled Rice Rd/Hill with the intention of hitting the summit and then running back the same way, giving me time to hit another hill. 

That plan went to shit when I saw a BEAR. While he scampered quickly away, banging and crashing through the underbrush, there was NO way that I was running back towards him. 
So on I went. Mildly terrified. 

Even though I felt alarmed by my bear sighting, I still managed to have a pleasant excursion. 
It was very pretty, in that Maine Landscape kind of way that I seem to like so much!

Yes, this is lovely
I saw some cows too, who were super nice, but very very buggy. 

Happy cows
Also, more streams. The wet spring has made for some gloriously babbling brooks. 

Mini waterfall
The whole run ended up being Rice Hill via Brown Hill down Valley Hill and concluding with a trip back up lower Rice Rd.


Eric joined me on Friday for the trek up (what we refer to as) Pietree Hill. While this is part of Sweden Road, Pietree Orchard is at the summit, and referencing a map has done nothing to help me to determine the name of said hill. So Pietree Hill it is. 

While relatively short, this was (at this point) the trickiest run of the week. It is a long hill, and has some extremely steep portions.

Good gravy... The whole thing is a "steep portion."
So yes. Steep shit. 
It was also rather humid, and despite the air temp only being 63 we both felt warm. 

Hot and sweaty Bradlowski's
We took a couple quick pics to prove that we were there, and then we sprinted back down. Sprinting back down such a steep hill results in some terror, so we do not advise this method. 

The view from Pietree Orchard. It's easier get there via car. 
Saturday took me up and over Blackguard road, over what has been determined to be "The back of Beech Hill". 
I felt some confusion about what hill I actually ran. This was due to an randomly named farm (when you live on Beech Hill, and name your farm "Thunder Hill", it is quite charming but mostly confusing.) 
The there was a teensy sign that said "Strawberry Hill" which I believe I passed over a potion of.
However, I sought expert advice on the matter and thus, Beech Hill it is. 

This run was a BEAST. JESUS H WARD.

I'm still crying
It went up for 3 plus miles and was really quite difficult. Big Big long hill. FML.
Paved road gave way to dirt road, which eventually changed to an ATV trail that meandered through the middle of nowhere. NOWHERE. 

Zero cell service. I recommend bringing a friend for this run. 
(as a general rule I do feel safe in my town. I carry mace, a (useless) phone and I ALWAYS tell people where I am going and when I will be back.) That being said, I am a woman of the 2017's and feel much safer when I have access to my phone. If for no other reason than being able to call for a ride if I get sick of running!

The good news is that my camera still worked so there will be no shortage of "field and hill in the summer" photos ;-)
You will be able to see the weather change over the course of this run though. Very sunny to start, as seen below. 

I believe we are looking up Beech Hill
The trails were in good shape considering the wet spring, and made for some enjoyable "trail" running. This is about as "trail" as I like my runs to get! (especially when my phone isn't working and I can not call 911 if I trip on a rock, and break my face open.)

An extra well maintained stretch of trail
The downhill portion of the adventure was quite pleasant, although warm. It was the first day of "hot" weather, and was humid and about 75. 

While I never felt like I was at the very peak of a hill, I still saw some nice views.
And increasing clouds, as I got closer to the finish.

I'll never get sick of field/mountain. You guys probably are though.
This run logged the most impressive amount of elevation for the week. While 1200' isn't a lot to a seasoned mountain runner, it is for me (as I am a little pavement princess!!)

I was not planning to run at all on Sunday. It was forecasted to be 90 (and it was) and I have no need to run loads of miles right now. Especially not in the disgusting heat. 

However, I felt like having a little hike and I chose to make it a hobby jog.

Moving away from "field/hill" into "woods/lake"
Just a little jaunt up Hawk Mt again, it was beautiful and breezy at the summit!

Basically a recovery run!

A good week of running, with a lot of fun adventures and a few more hills now checked off the list.
The next week will be a big challenge with temps soaring into the 90's, and a multi day horse show. We shall see how it goes.

Weekly Stats:
Mileage: 28.5
Feet of climbing: 3,855 ft
Most feet of climbing in one run: 1,239 ft, Blackguard rd "Beech Hill"
Hilliest MILE!!: 305, same run. Lots in the mid 200's though.