20070623 - A Little Distance

Okay, here's the deal. At the end of July, we've got the Jay Challenge. We have to run 31 miles and I personally want to average more than 3 mi/hr, although 3mi/hr is my realistic goal (at that speed, thinking of it as a 20min pace isn't as helpful). tMail & MPM will probably want to target 4mph, but that's their deal.

So this means that on Saturday I want to put in some distance - between 10 and 20 miles. I don't care about the surface - as long as I'm working hard that's fine by me. The key characteristic is distance (or alternatively, time, if it's a hard push). I don't know who's up for this weekend (tMail has a tri) but here are a few suggestions - I'll come up with some more tomorrow. All of these have a combination of rugged, steep and flat/fast:

  1. Mt. Cardigan (Cardigan Mt. State Forest/AMC Cardigan Reservation). Starting at the AMC Cardigan Lodge (1,400'), a large facility like the one at Lonesome Lake in Franconia Notch, there is a network of trails that can be traversed for any length trip. There's a double ascent that I've been mulling over that hits Orange Mtn (Mt. Gilman) at 2,684', Rimrock at 2,800', drops back to 1,700' and then rockets up to 3,155' (Mt. Cardigan) in only 1.1 miles. Most of the steep gain is in the last 1/2 mile (about 1,000') over bare rock. It's not as hard as Huntington Ravine - but the same kind of environment. After that, it's about 5 miles of lovely woods and fast trails back to the AMC lodge. I forget the mileage - maybe 12.
  2. Hale/Zealand loop. This goes up Hale, then the following route: Lend-a-Hand to Twinway out to Zeacliff. Then out to Thoreau Falls and back on the Ethan Pond/Zealand trails. Maybe 14 miles total. I've never seen Thoreau Falls. This is a much more rugged route, although not as bad as in the Whites. Hale Brook is very steep, like Glen Boulder or Liberty Springs. Lend-A-Hand drops down kind of the way the Bridal Path does below Greenleaf Hut and then is fast to Zeacliff. Ethan Pond/Zealand are flat and fast.
  3. There's a 16 mile loop in Crawford Notch that goes up the Avalon Trail, Past Mt. Tom, down the A-Z trail ("Avalon To Zealand"?) to Ethan pond. Past Thoreau Falls and back to the Willey Range Trail and home again. It is pretty flat for much of the route, but there's the initial climb up to where the Mt. Tom jct is. Then, after all that flat trotting, the Ethan Pond trail curves back east toward Crawford Notch and there's a very steep ascent up to Mt. Willey. I came down this w/ g-$$$ and MadDog last fall and don't recall the terrain, but it's steep up and it comes after about 10 miles of the hike.
I can say for sure that I plan on doing this at a good clip. I doubt as fast as some of you lunatics can hamma, but this won't be a toodle in the park for me. For a 16 mile trek like #3, with it's ruggedness and challenging ascents (even though Ethan Pond is flat), I'll be targeting a time around 6 hours. I really need to be working very hard for at least 5 or 6 hours.

Some logistical things: I plan on using my teeny little black diamond pack, w/ no extras. I'm bringing a 1.5L bladder and a water pump/filter unit. I'll have food, and that's it - maybe a change of shirt (since I may be testing a sausage casing that I kind of hate), change of headsweat and change of socks.... and no poles, although I may regret that.


  1. MZ,

    I like the sounds of all three suggestions and number 3 has me drooling. As I mentioned I am game for something on July 1st and July 8th, (I have some Friday commitments that will keep me out late so Saturday I will be a slug). I want to do these distance hikes with good rest.

    The set up I had for our adventure up Monroe and Bad Boy with water and supplies was good. I had some things (leg warmers, shell) that I could probably leave out, but had because I knew we would be on Bad Boy watching Treadmill and wanted to keep my core warm. I would probably bring more food if anything.


  2. i got a little chilled on the summit, having only a long-sleeve summer top (i ditched my windbreaker in the car hoping the summit wouldn't be in the clouds or that i wouldn't be standing around long - dumb).

    #3 is the most interesting to me as well. We can try that a week from saturday. For the weekend of july 7/8 i have my Kyudo workshop so i will probably do something mid-week either before (july 4th?) or after.

  3. MZ,

    That sounds good #3 would work on the 8th of July for me....Mid week July 4th I will tentatively be hiking Franconia Ridge with friend from work at Easy pace...all are invited it would be a good hike for a Mr. Riley...

  4. i think you have pool-water in your ears. i'm *unavailable* on 7/8.

    regardless, i'll post some stats for the hikes in question when i have a chance to map them.

  5. hold on i am jumping up and down on one foot and shaking my head.....all out....

    confirmed MZ is unavailable July 7th and 8th...

  6. goddamn kids, all hopped up on crank, rock, "X" and red bull.

  7. training over next two days....