August 19th: Drove back to Plymouth at 7am for the Volunteer Appreciation thing at 11am. I got to HQ at 9am and John, Tom Giles and I drove together. All the volunteers were there and a ton of food. Chili, pasta salads, hotdogs, blueberry cheesecake, chocolate chip cookies, and many more scrumptious items. I received a certificate of appreciation for being the Franconia Brook caretaker. Cool cool! They also gave us Leathermans with the US Forest Service emblem on the cases. We split after the awards and I headed back to the bunkhouse to get ready for a run and the weekend. The run went well at 5pm and no problems with the legs. I guess I am waiting for my achilles to act up again, so I am hesitate to truly push the pace. Relaxed for the night with the weekend at the campsite starting on Saturday.
Summary: 11.8 miles (81:37). I could feel the achilles in the last mile, but nothing more than a small ache. Iced after the run and before I went to bed. Some trails this weekend, which have been kinder to my legs than the pavement. I have over 450 miles on the Triax Structures so next week I will be switching into my new pair of Nike Lunarfly 2's I acquired from my dad on vacation. Thanks dad!
August 20th: Woke up at 6am and snoozed until 7:10am. Just exhausted. I was out of sync waking up late all the previous week on vacation. No worries. Left the bunkhouse at 8:15am and headed to Lincoln Woods parking lot. Jimmy was there at 9am to drive me up and a stock of toilet paper. Once I got to the campsite, I readied myself for some trail monitoring at the Lincoln Brook/Franconia Brook junction. Sat there for 4+ hours and numerous people passed through the junction, which made the time pass by wicked fast. The most interesting person was a woman, Patty Duffy, who came running through the junction, but she stopped to refuel and ask a question. She was looking for two guys that were gonna meet at this junction. She ended up hanging out for about 15 minutes. She refueled with energy gummies and bit-o-honey (I think that's the name of it). I asked her if she was training for anything. She responded with a 100 mile race in Utah! Siiiiiick! She continued to look for them by running down to the parking lot to lighten her supplies to just her water bladder. I stayed put and kept my eyes peeled as I trail monitored. No sign. As I was leaving the junction at 2:15pm, I intercepted Patty on the way out and we hiked down to the bridge together. She looked like she was maybe early 30s. I ended up looking up her results of another 100 mile race she did in Vermont, Patty Duffy from Springfield Mass = 42 years old. Wow. We discussed running things and her training/races up to this point the next 2 miles. We parted ways at the bridge as I slipped behind the sign to the river crossing to my campsite. I don't know if she found her two friends who were hiking, but there were no reports of missing people. That's always a good thing. Ran at 3:30, set up camp from 5:00-6:00 (water retrieval, toilets, etc). Dinner at 6:30pm. Made my rounds at 7:20-8:00. I climbed into my sleeping bag and a group came in around 8:30pm. They instantly began hacking away at wood. I patiently waited until 8:45pm, but they didn't stop. I got out of bed to just greet them and specifically tell them about the bearbox we have down a little ways. I let them be at their site and bedtime for me.
Summary: Ran 8 miles (62:28). Relaxing along the Wilderness Trail and no pain whatsoever. Though, I forgot to mention that the bottom of my heel was physically bruised but I have no idea why. It acted up last week, then during vacation I asked my mom to see if there was any sign of anything on my heel. There was. No biggie. Just forces to run on my mid foot and toes more. It was tough trying to sleep this night because any pressure would make it throb. Running through it because I'm tough (I guess).
August 21st: Not a great night sleep. Just couldn't get comfortable or something. In addition, the late night hikers across the trail were hacking away again sometime later. I didn't bother checking the time. Didn't wake up to my alarm. John woke me up at 7:45pm by just talking from outside my tent. He was letting me know he was issuing a ticket for improper food storage. And guess who? The friggin hackers that wouldn't stop. $125 bucks later and it was the guy's birthday. Ouch! Made breakfast at 8:20am. Chilled after and made rounds until about 10am. Did some campsite monitoring from 10:30-2:30. Found some untouched blueberry patches. All mine! There was a huge illegal site I measured that was over 1300 square feet and an established fire pit. Made it back to run at 2:50pm. Thunder rolled in about half way through and the downpour set in for the final stretch of the run. Completely drenched! Stopped to greet a group of hikers coming up to my campsite to stay. I said I would see them up there. It was a Yale outdoors group/club staying the night of their 6 days out in The Whites. Neat! Set them up at #16-19 with the tent pads. Two more college groups stayed this night; UNH and Harvard. It was nice having a bunch of people my age at the campsite. I gave them their space, but it was a breathe of fresh air (not sure if that's the phrase to use). Setting up camp and these two people coming running up the trail. One of them had a yellow long sleeve on. I was investigating on what it said and then they ran into my site. It was Sam Wood an Abbey! Sweet. Plus their dog. Cool! They were doing a long run, so we chatted for a bit and let them get back on the trail. Dinner at 7pm and helped out family choose a site beforehand. More rain and thunder before heading to bed and throughout the night.
Summary: 11 miles (77:05). It was my normal horseshoe loop with the extra half mile to Franconia Falls. The thunder rolled in at about 4 miles and the rain started at about 8 miles. Then it began to downpour (buckets) for the last 2 miles. I had to take off my glasses because they were helping being covered with rain droplets. I was drenched by the time I got to my tent. The heel is still kinda bruised and I felt it going to bed. Who knows! Manning up. 60 mile week. Woohoo, back into the swing of things. Previous two weeks were 36 and 43. Didn't feel like I didn't lose my physical fitness, but my mentality didn't stay all that positive for the beginning part of the setback. With this week, I am feeling confident again with my training. I will test out my legs seriously next week.