Prospect Mountain Road, Alton, N.H. ~9:40 am today: frigid but sun beating down with blue skies. Click to ENLARGE.
by Anura Guruge
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Up until yesterday I had not done my ‘daily’ 2.5 mile slog up Prospect Mountain Road, huffing and puffing, grunting and snorting, wearing my 5 pounds of wrist weights, with the two dogs, this year.
On the days I was supposed to be running, per my ‘3 days on, 1 day off’ schedule (which gives me 6 running days a week, i.e., every 7 days), I had been shoveling snow. I have a perfectly dry, full-width, totally black — with no ice at all — drive as testament. That is the deal in the winter. At least 1 hour of shoveling in lieu of the run.
Though the dogs come and frolic around while I shovel, and I invariably take them for a walk after I have finished shovelling, they miss their run. So yesterday I decided to go for our run though it was cold.
This is said to be THE place where the Mountain Lion crosses Prospect Mountain Road. The dogs are checking it out. There is definitely something that makes them curious at that spot — and has for over 9 months! Click to ENLARGE.
About a decade ago I set myself a 5° F (-15° C) threshold for running. I wouldn’t run if it was BELOW 5° F. I used to run when it was below that and it wasn’t much fun. Biggest issue that I found was that my tears froze in my eyes and I had to be very careful to make sure that my ‘pee-pee’ didn’t get frostbite!
This morning it was borderline. Some thermometers said 3° F and others 5° F. I decided to brave it. Despite the dire predictions by one doctors as to my ever frail health I tend to be, in my own mind (foolishly, no doubt), quite hardy. I slogged it up. It wasn’t that bad. Have to be careful of slipping. Over the ’30’ years I have been running in NH I have kind of worked out how to cope with dirt roads in winter. I know what surfaces give me the best traction.
It is actually quite beautiful out there.
The cold is keeping the cars away. On average I see about 3 vehicles during my 45 minutes of labour. Yesterday I saw 1. Today I saw 2. So it is very peaceful.
I keep on checking for Mountain Lion tracks. None that I can see. The dogs, as ever, as you can see in the picture, showed atypical interest when we got to the ‘swamp’ that is supposed to be where he/she crosses the road. It just could be that other animals too cross the road here to get to the water in the swamp.
Well, I hear it is supposed to be warmer tomorrow. That will be my 3rd day of running on this leg. Then a day of rest.
Enjoy. Get out there.
Wednesday, January 8, 2014. Cold but beautiful in Alton, N.H. The swamp. Click to ENLARGE.