Conquering Cannon Mountain

Sunday was the first annual Littleton Bike and Fitness “Sufferfest” at Cannon Mountain. It was a cloudless day and hot. I arrived at the start at the Franconia Inn where around 100 mountain bikers and runners prepared to tackle the daunting trail and mountain course.

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Dave Harkless, owner of Littleton Bike and Fitness

Bridget and I met up with some of the other Pete and Gerry’s Organic Chicks before the start. Of course we had to show our chick power in our cute Skirt Sports skirts. What is more bada$$ than a strong woman racing to the top of a 3,150 ft mountain?

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Strong Chicks in Skirts (Skirt Sports)
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Ready to Conquer Cannon
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Best Training Partner and Friend

The race started with mountain bikers first followed by eager runners. Not sure how to pace this and still unsure of my post-marathon legs I decided to race and have a blast. The first part was on beautiful trails through the woods. The air was pretty motionless and hot. I was definitely glad I chose to bring my camelbak.

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Ready to Suffer
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On your marks, get set, bike! I mean hike!
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Runners Ready to climb
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Ham Branch Trail. Beautiful
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On the move

The trails wound around until we came out of the woods at the base of Mitersill adjacent to Cannon Mountain. At that point the climbing commenced and running turned into a steady power hike. I was definitely happy to be on foot and not on bike. The mountain bikers had to hike too either pushing bikes or carrying them. They definitely endured the true “sufferfest!”

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Are you ready? It’s time to start going up!
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I guess the chairlift is not an option
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Mittersill
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I think one of these trails is called “Gremlin.”
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Echo Lake . . .a swim would be nice right about now!
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Beautiful view of Franconia, NH
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Tough chick on the mountain

It was very hot on the way up so I was happy to be able to cool off along the way with fresh mountain water from the cold mountain streams. The volunteers handing out water were definitely busy and very appreciated!
I was thrilled to finish in a time of 1:33.28 and was psyched to find my friend Bridget the overall women’s winner in a blazing time of 1:13! The cheering at the top was extra awesome with super chick Tricia giving the racers energy into the finish line. Toni chick pushed hard to the top making a stellar comeback from a donkey related shoulder injury this winter (true story!).

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I made it! What an awesome adventure!
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Fastest chick in a blazing 1:13!
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Go Toni! Go! Pete and Gerry’s Organic Chicks were speedy up the mountain!
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Way to push it to the finish on your bike!!
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Love ya’ B!
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Pete and Gerry’s Organic Chicks! Challenge Accepted and Acoomplished!
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Ready for the ride back down on the tram!

Overall the race was a blast! The tram ride down was definitely welcome though (we rode in ketchup). I will definitely be back for more next year!

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Sufferfest

This weekend (Sunday, June 10th at 9 a.m.) I am going to be running at the First Annual “Sufferfest.”  Sufferfest is a mountain adventure race put on by Littleton Bike and Fitness and sponsored by our family farm Pete and Gerry’s Organic Eggs.

Host of the first ever “Sufferfest”
Refuel with Pete & Gerry’s Organic Eggs

The race begins in Franconia, NH at the Franconia Inn and ends at the top of Cannon Mountain in Franconia Notch.  You can pick your “poison” for the race, run it or ride it (mountain bike).  The race will be a grueling 6 mile climb with an elevation gain of 3,150 feet.  For trail enthusiasts and mountain runners this will be an exciting challenge and may even be referred to as “fun.”  I’ll let you know how much “fun” I had post-race if I am still able to stand on my own two legs which are still in recovery mode post Vermont City Marathon.  I am hoping some of the other Pete & Gerry’s Organic Chicks will join me on the mountain!

This race definitely has some cool features not to be missed:

  • It is primarily a trail race (albeit a trail race that only goes up!?!?)
  • If you are running perhaps one of the mountain bikers might let you hitch a ride?
  • When you EVENTUALLY arrive at the finish you will be rewarded with sweeping views of Franconia Notch and beyond.
  • It will NOT be snowing! (and if it is I think I may need to move somewhere tropical)
  • If you actually make it to the summit you can officially call yourself a bada$$ for rocking this awesome challenge.
  • You might win some egg-cellent raffle prizes that include some EXTREME PROTEIN to refuel your body post race!

    EXTREME Protein

You do not have to run or ride back down! The Trams often referred to by locals as “ketchup & mustard” will be there to bring you back to earth the base of the mountain.

Ketchup
Mustard

***DISCLAIMER: If you do not like condiments then you are all out of luck and will have to run or ride back down.

SO who’s in? Are you up for the challenge? If so please register here on active.com and I’ll see you at the top!

Are you ready to “suffer?”

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Fresh Friday-Power Pancakes

I am geared up to try something new once a week. I am sure that I will have successes and flops during these trials especially when it comes to trying new things in the kitchen. I figure being a parent we are constantly asking our children to try new things and sometimes as an adult it can be easy to forget the different emotions that come along with trying new things. When trying something new you can feel excited, worried, nervous, happy, scared, energized . . . the list of emotions is endless.

How do you feel when you try something new?

Starting this blog is my first new big challenge in a while (other than the new and continuing challenge of parenting). I felt scared and even a bit embarrassed to put my writing into public view but now that I am doing it I feel energized because i am sharing my passions and it is also a source of release for me.

So now I will share my first FRESH Friday post. This week I am focusing on fueling my body during my marathon training and also to get ready for the VT City Marathon. Getting enough calories for my body has been a challenge throughout my life. My mom always laughs when we remember how I would come home from school and snack on entire can of baked beans. When I was pregnant with my son Brock my blood-sugar level constantly crashed, I would see stars and immediately feel like I was going to pass out. As the runs get longer during my training I am trying very hard to avoid that feeling and to have the energy to power through.

My big goal is to work on pre-fueling leading up to the longer miles and tough workouts to give me the energy stores that I need. Through the guidance of some other inspirational athletes such as Sarah Stanley I have learned about some new ingredients to add to my diet. This week I made what I’ll call “Power Pancakes.”
The “power” ingredient is Bob’s Red Mill Hemp Protein Powder. I added one tablespoon in with my pancake mixture which includes other favorite ingredients StonyfieldOrganic Milk and our Pete & Gerry’s Organic Eggs of course. Plus some fair trade bananas for some extra calories.

Power Ingredient

I must say that I was a little unsure of the hemp protein powder because I did not like the smell but when I tasted the pancakes they were delicious (maybe a little dense). Hemp seeds and hemp protein powder is plant based protein that comes from a whole food source. Hemp protein powder also contains Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids which are essential to a balanced diet. This type of protein is also easily digested. The Hemp protein powder definitely packed a punch and I felt great on my tempo run after loading up.

The only drawback was that I ended up having to eat the pancakes right before heading out the door due to kid meltdown during the process of pancake creation. Thankfully my beautiful pancakes with strawberry and basil salad as an accompaniment and fresh maple syrup waited for me while I raced to get my kids in bed.

I will definitely be adding Hemp protein powder to my repertoire for cooking and also to add to smoothies when training hard.

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Ingredients for Power Pancakes
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Power Pancakes and Strawberry Basil Salad

Related Articles:

Chocolate Protein Oatmeal with Mixed Berries (tastespace.wordpress.com)

“Benefits of Hemp Protein”

http://www.sarahstanleyinspired.com/2012/02/09/eat-for-health-featuring-hemp-hearts/

http://www.shrinkingkitchen.com/strawberry-basil-salad-with-balsamic-vinaigrette/

Pot of Gold-rainbow included

Rainbow Chard became the inspiration for my post-run dinner tonight after participating in a twitter #wellnesschat. Being a foodie and an athlete I am always interested in learning about the latest food trends or ways to improve my energy during runs (my metabolism is lightning fast!) Plus you know you are a part of my family if you are always thinking about, talking about, and consuming food (perhaps even talking about food while eating it)

Tonight the discussion led by ultra runner Sarah Stanley centered around “real-food” and the use of vitamins and or food supplements. During the talk I gained new knowledge about chia seeds as a great source for omega-3 and also as an excellent source for complete protein and yes this is the same chia as in “Chia Pets.”

Ch-Ch-Ch-Chia Pet!

Did you know that you can use chia gel as a substitute for oil and even eggs (but who would want to replace eggs?) in baking to reduce fat? Chia seeds are also beneficial to athletes due to their anti-inflammatory properties. Who knew?

Several participants of the chat shared their favorite ways to use chia seeds including sprinkling it on Swiss Chard. This led to the creation of my fantastic post run dinner for breakfast. (Chia Seeds not included although I will be adding these to my culinary repertoire soon)

Rainbow Omelette
ingredients

3 Pete and Gerry’s Organic Eggs
Organic Stonyfield Low fat Milk
Bryson Farms Organic Rainbow Chard
Cabot Co-op Salted Butter
Cabot Co-op Cheddar Cheese
Del Cabo Organic Cherry Tomatoes
Salt and Pepper to taste

And here is the pot of gold, rainbow included:

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goodies

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Pot of Gold

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Pot of Gold at the end of the rainbow

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Organic goodness within this pot of gold
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Pot of Organic Gold

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