Sorry for the radio silence. I’ve been overwhelmed with trying to stay on top of a large training load as well as driving all over New England, and I haven’t had time to get enough sleep, let alone post a blog.

I’m in the middle of some big training. In the week ending yesterday I trained 32 hours including a classic intensity session with Tad Elliott on Tuesday and the Loon Mountain Hill Climb trail running race yesterday. Another notable session was a 5 hour, 54 mile skate roller ski I did alone on Wednesday.

Yesterday’s running race was much better for me than the Mount Washington Hill Climb. After a big training week, my energy felt a little suppressed and my legs felt a little tired, but I felt like I’d made large fitness gains from where I was two weeks earlier.

It took a little while to warm-up my tired legs. For the first 3+ miles, which are more rolling than uphill, I followed last year’s winner Brandon Newbould, who led from the gun. I stuck on his shoulder and tried to make it as easy as possible. The places where I struggled the most were transitions from downhills back to uphills. It took me a while to get tension out of my legs running uphill. Following Brandon didn’t feel easy, and I wasn’t at all sure that I could break away at any point.

Once we hit the first sustained uphill, I started to feel much better. I was transitioning often from running to walking, hunched over with my hands on my knees. I went around Brandon and started to gap him. It wasn’t a deliberate move, but I kept pushing when it was clear that he wasn’t coming with me.

The rest of the race was almost all climbing, and I felt strong. I was moving well without tension and I finished a minute and 40 seconds ahead of Brandon, who held on to second place.

The race effort felt reminiscent of two good mountain running races that I had last summer in Utah in the Cirque Series, also while I was under a large training load. The first thing my coaches did when I talked to them on the phone after the race was temper any sense of accomplishment that I was feeling by reminding me that I do not want to be in the same place I was in last year.

We are now putting together the plan for the next couple of weeks. We will not take the positive sign from yesterday’s race as an excuse to continue trying to push for more fitness gains, as we did last year.

I don’t have a ton of pictures from the last week. I have gotten out for a couple of great road bike rides with Brayton Osgood.

Our loops have included some dirt roads.

I’m getting the true New England experience.

I can’t get over how good the riding is out here. There are so many options for good roads!

And I love the views from the ride.

We flirted with some serious thunder storms, but Brayton is good at looking at the radar and planning our routes accordingly… and we’ve been lucky.

On a different note, I just got my first climbing rope ever. I’m very excited to put it to use when I have the opportunity this summer.

Here’s a picture from Loon just before the start yesterday.

After some torrential rain that washed out several roads and made my drive over to the I-93 corridor on Saturday night way longer than it needed to be, we got spectacular weather yesterday morning.

My plan is to continue to post regularly, unlike the last week.