Mount Washington Road Race Training Update

Running above the clouds Gunstock

It’s 19 days till the Mount Washington Road Race. Holy cow! How did that happen?!?!

I thought it was time to give a training update.

In a word, things are good.

After my aching back and piriformis issue a few weeks ago, I’m back to feeling normal. I’m running paces that I haven’t seen in awhile (and effortlessly which is a real surprise) and my weekly mileage is up into the low to mid 30s.

I’ve been trying to run the hilliest routes I can find around town for the majority of my runs. For someone who used steer clear of the big hills, I now have grown to kind of like the challenge. And what once used to seem like a quad and lung burner hill isn’t even noticeable now. Well, it’s noticeable but not THAT noticeable. Now that’s a good feeling!

Over the past two weeks, I’ve done two trail runs that had serious up-ness. I’m really enjoying trails right now. It makes me feel like a kid again. I’m definitely interested in exploring more trails and maybe a few races this summer. Am I ditching road running? Absolutely not!


Last weekend it was the Mt. Major sunrise run with Sarah. There were a few steep sections that had me sucking wind and unable to do more than a power hike than run. Overall I felt good during. Of course, the ultimate run-rise view makes a 3:45 wake up time worth any amount of climbing. However, my legs were totally trashed for 4 days afterwards from the descent. Good thing we aren’t allowed to run down Washington. I can’t imagine what that would feel like!

Gunstock Hill Training

Yesterday I tackled Gunstock Mountain. Karin, Robin and I did a combination of a steep maintenance road and single track trails with a 9%-25% grade for a total of 1200 feet of elevation gain. The 9% wasn’t bad. Not entirely enjoyable but not bad. I could still run or something that resembled a run because at times I felt like I could walk faster than I was running. But I told myself to keep running, pump those arms and move!

The 25%, however, was a beast. As it should be because it’s 25%. Combine that with loose gravel and that it was raining, it makes for some messy running, er, hiking because who runs at 25% grade? Even with trail shoes, I lost traction a few times.

With 19 days till race day, I’ve still got a lot of work to do. However, the consensus from those who have done Mount Washington before is that you are never going to be ready. It’s a beast. There’s no section that’s easy or a place where you can recover on flat ground. It’s all up for 7.6 miles. Why am I doing this again? Because it’s fun!!!

Linking up for the weekly wrap.

Road or trail?

What’s the earliest time you would get up for a run?

14 comments on “Mount Washington Road Race Training Update

  1. Please don’t tell my BRF about your 3:45 wake-up! She likes to start running before it gets light which is harder and harder these days! I will get up at 4:15 for a 5:00 am class, but on the weekend I like to at least keep my usual weekday alarm time of 4:39. Those trails look gorgeous though – I guess the scenery helps distract from the challenge!

  2. I’m excited for you! I’m running trails a bit more these days too, although there are very few that I’m comfortable on alone which means working out schedules with others. But it’s worth it.
    Your race is so close! And that description- whew, intense. You and Sarah are my heroes! 🙂

  3. I’m so excited for you! I did a training hike yesterday at a 25% incline and it was hard enough to hike – you’re so strong and prepared for this race to have run that! Trails hands down. I usually run on paved or gravel trails but my husband and I went real trail running yesterday and it was so much fun!

  4. Any race that starts with the word “Mount” is going to be challenging in my book. The trail pics are beautiful. That is something I’d like to do more of. I’ve just got to locate them. Not an easy feat around here. I’m pretty sure a 25% grade would kick my butt. Kudos for enjoying that up-ness. We are honored to have you here on the Weekly Wrap! I hope you will make it a habit!

  5. I love all your pictures from the trails! It definitely looks challenging. I’ve only ran on paved trails down at the beach, but that doesn’t count as trail running in my opinion. 3:45 is way too early for me. I have gotten out at 4:30 during marathon training to squeeze an 8 miler in before work, but that’s rare. I’m usually out between 5:30-6:00 on weekdays. Weekends are a different story. I’m guilty of hitting that snooze button one too many times.
    Debra @HappyRunningSole recently posted..Weekly WrapMy Profile

Comments are closed.