Saturday, August 4, 2012

Coming up in August: More races
plus I attempt to bike the Kanc

It's Saturday, Aug. 4 and I've been going through a busy period with little room for running, biking, or anything else that keeps me sane. That's a shame because I was doing so well through mid-July. So I need to pick things up again.

Every year this seems to happen: I get halfway through the summer, and something seems to interrupt it.

Last year, I developed problems with my left Achilles tendon and that shut things down in August. In 2009, I was hiking to one or more 4,000-foot summits every weekend until my company unexpectedly started a newspaper in July.

Well, it's now August, and I need to break the pattern, even though I'm as busy as ever and it's now getting dark as early as 8 p.m. But whatever. I'll find ways to fit it in. I'll have to.

So here's a list of what I plan to accomplish before the month is out:

- Bike the Kanc: a 64-mile round-trip up and down a mountain pass both ways, on a road with no services. Done in two segments: Lincoln to Conway, rest and restock, then reverse. First leg starts with 12-mile climb up about 1,700 feet to Kancamaugus Pass, with last three miles at average 9 percent grade. Piece of cake! Very tough cake, that is.

To do this, I need to make at least one more longish preliminary run, and then have my bike serviced. The tires are well beyond their expected life, and the last thing I want is a blowout on the Kanc.

So if the weather is good tomorrow (Sunday, Aug. 5), I may go for the big prelim ride in the morning. I'll take the bike in for service on Monday, Aug. 6, and get that out of the way. And then, I have a 5K race scheduled up north (in Rumney) early on Saturday, Aug. 11, so that might be the day to try the Kanc, if the weather holds.

So tomorrow, I might try getting down to Nashua early, and then going over to Lowell, then following Route 28 back up to Manchester. We'll see...

- Add six towns: One casualty of July was the quest to run a 5K or better in all 234 New Hampshire communities. I only did one, and that's not going to cut it if I'm going to make my self-imposed deadline of May 14, 2016.

So this month I resolve to complete at least six towns. I have road races in two of them: Rumney and Boscawen. So that leaves four others to do. If I complete them in pairs, then that means two days of 10Ks somewhere on the map, filling in back-to-back communities.

- Get back on the 50 states wagon: I haven't done a "state" run since Maryland back in June. So I better get cracking and figure out a way to fit in one more state this month. I think a likely candidate is Connecticut, as I'll be driving down there for a meeting at some point. Just gotta bring a change of clothes. (September will bring Arkansas and Oklahoma and Missouri as possibilities.)

- Another triathlon? I really enjoyed my first-ever triathlon last month, and so doing another isn't too crazy. There's a good one tomorrow in Concord, N.H. (the swim portion is in the Merrimack River!, but I'm not ready for it.

To prepare for more of these, I really need to start swimming regularly, something I don't do. So I need to start looking at options to do that, other than driving up to Harrisville and swimming in the pond.

- Keep at it in general: I need to make time during the day for some activity somewhere. A good way (until recently) has been biking to my mother's house in Nashua (to get rents, etc.) and then back, a 25-mile round-trip or so. Each day should have enough room for some kind of activity, even if it's hitting the gym for an hour. I could get some reading done there, too!

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