Sunday, May 18, 2008

Running to Find Where Bob Is!

Indeed Bob had his own set of problems in "Where's Bob", but Lake Winnipesaukee would seem to be a great place to take just about ANY problem and work on a solution. Alton Bay on Lake Winnipesaukee (rhythmically and delightfully pronounced by Rachel throughout our trip) was the site of our most recent run - the Big Lake Half-Marathon on Saturday the 10th of May. Most of the run was along the lake - although hardly level - and it was a picturesque setting in the middle of New Hampshire's Lake District. Beautifully green, significant "Eastern" hills (okay - even mountains), dozens of lakes (to include Squam Lake - setting for "On Golden Pond"), New England village charm and covered bridges all contributed to make this a memorable trip. Neither of us set any records on the race (although Karen had her second best time and I had probably a top 4 time), but since neither of us had really ever spent any time in the State it was a great opportunity and it did not disappoint. The afternoon of the race we thought we still had enough energy to climb Mt. Major - for which the trailhead was only a couple of minutes from our Motel. We learned that many of the Eastern trails were developed before the concept of switchbacks was refined - if you want to go up....then head up! It was steep and strenuous in places (esp. after a race and with Rachel ensuring the quads were worked extensively), but the view from the top was pretty spectacular. We were also able to spend a day in the White Mountains - to include hiking the Flume Gorge and Arethusa Falls along a very scenic 100-mile loop. All in all, an excellent trip, a very good run, and a greater appreciation for one of the smallest States. We also met some great people - to include the race co-directors and a daughter who helped us with Rachel. We recommend putting New Hampshire on your list of places to go!
As for deep thoughts - I might just have a few - related to the course we ran. The outbound portion of the race had some fairly long, sustained grades - and they were into the prevailing breeze. It made for some tough running - but I kept thinking I would benefit from this same layout in reverse - sustained downhills with a tailwind.....esp. as fatigue was starting to set in. Unfortunately, it didn't work out that way. At the turnaround, we took a loop down to and along the lake shore - and lost all of the gained elevation in one short, steep downhill, followed by more rolling hills before we connected back to the original route - for a level 2-mile finish. It was disappointing - esp. psychologically....and I couldn't help but wonder how often we psyche ourselves out when we really don't need to. We all develop expectations - whether realistic or not - and then when those aren't met our performance usually suffers until we put things back into perspective. The message? I guess we need to be careful with our expectations, remain flexible, and find and enjoy the good along the way instead of wondering what might have been or how things could and should have been better. Indeed, the loop along the lake was probably the most scenic part of the course - but not nearly as appreciated as it should have been - when exactly that appreciation could have more than made up for a missed expectation.
So - we never found Bob - but we found a beautiful and charming area well worth a visit!
(Oh, and by the way, 14 down, 36 to go!)


Carl & Karen said...

You have to love a state where you can get to where you're going in about an hour in any direction. This was a great weekend, but really, they all are. They're like regular mini-vacations--that is, once we pay the piper and get that darn run out of the way. Thanks for another good post--I love you!

Mythreesons said...

What a beautiful state... it's definitely one I would love to spend some time in. I didn't catch the "bob" theme? I was a bit lost on that... but it looks like you guys had a nice race and time and I always enjoy your thoughts afterwards. This one especially hits close to home for me.... I think that's one of my biggest problems...getting my expectations or hopes up. Nice post Dad!

Super Daysh said...

Sounds like a good race. I'm jealous that you guys get to travel so much and that Karen gets to go free! So rude. If I got a free buddy pass, I would travel a lot more! :) I'm glad you had fun and glad that you know the movie "what about bob" so well. :)