Saturday, July 19, 2014

Red and Yellow and Pink and Green ...

Anybody recognize where that's from? If I tell you you'll start humming it in your head and not be able to get rid of it. Kinda like me right now! LOL But it's a song that often comes to mind when I look at the trail map for Ridley Creek State Park. There is no Pink or Green trail and the Red trail is being abandoned but I did spend a lot of time on the Yellow trail today. Along with Blue and the Horse trail.

I met the MLC group at 8 am. There were 8 of us including Rajiv's wife Arti who hiked with me. We had not met before so we had a great time for just under 2 hours hiking and chatting. She said she had a good time and I really hope she comes back out next week. I hope others come out too. It'd be great to get a hiking group going alongside the trail runners.

After I returned Arti to Rajiv and chatted with Destrie and Randy for a bit I went back into the park to finish my time for the day. Here is a link to Garmin where you can see my map I covered a lot of the yellow trail more than once today since it was the best way to get across the park to and from the other trails I wanted to travel. Arti and I did a loop on the yellow, blue and white trails and then I followed the yellow back toward picnic area #9 where I cut across to walk the horse trail. RCSP has stables and therefore a horse trail.

The horse trail is not much different than the other trails. A few less tree roots (a few), about the same amount of rocks and - of course - horse sh**. Actually there was less of that than I expected and it really doesn't' get in the way of a good hike. I mean let's face it horses don't dump small. It's kind of hard to miss. The only thing the horse trail could use is bit more signage. There was one part where I crossed a driveway with all kinds of 'keep out' signs and while it kinda sorta looked like the trail went across it wasn't clear and the trail on that side was all overgrown with grass up to my elbows. There wasn't any where else to go though so I was fairly certain it was the right way. It was.

As I came around the horse trail alongside Gradyville Road I cut off the trail and followed a driveway out to the road to head toward the mansion/park office to pick up the yellow trail off Sandy Flash Road and back to my car. At this point I was at 4 hours and I wanted to 4.5 hours today. I didn't want to push it too far past that and finishing off the horse trail would have done that.

I didn't want to push to far past 4.5 because I missed last week. I should have done 4 last week and 4.5 this week. I debated briefly last night what to do since it's also been ten days since I last hiked at all. Stormy weather and not feeling good (mostly sinus issues) kept me off my feet all that time. I had done the 8 hours to Independence Hall on July 4th with no ill effects. And the pavement is harder than trails so I figured I'd go for it. If I had to stop and rest so be it.

As it is I finished 13.13 miles in 4 hours and 48 minutes. I stopped the watch after the first set when we stood around chatting for a bit. I left it running all of the rest of the time. Even on event day I will have to stop and stretch and pee and the 12 hour clock won't stop for any of that. I felt great the whole time. No hip or knee issues. My mind was in the game and I think I hydrated well too.

My camel-back has reached its limit though. I may have had about a half hour of hiking left in it. I'm going to need to go back to my car now to refill or carry a pack with more water in it. For now I can do routes that take me back to the car but at least for my 10 hour hike in October I'd like to do out and back (5 hours each way) or ideally point to point so I'll need to figure out how to carry more or arrange drops. Figuring out what works is what this training is all about. So far so good. I ate fig newtons at the 2 and 4 hour marks. That seemed to work well too. The aid stations on the Super Hike are approximately 6-7 miles apart so refueling every 2 hours is good spacing.

All in all it was an almost perfectly awesome day. The only downside was tweaking my ankle. After all the tree roots, rocks, climbing over downed trees and climbing and descending the hills in the park I was fine. When I went cut off the trail to the road I thought I'd walk on the grassy shoulder of the road to avoid cars and because it was softer. A few steps in I stepped in a hole and twisted my right ankle. I had no choice though to go back to my car. And the quickest way was cross country in the park. It was fine climbing but on the downhill every time I stepped on a rock or root (which are hard to miss) it twinged.

I iced it as soon as I got home and I've repeated that several times. I have it elevated and wrapped in an ankle compression sleeve between icing. It hurts like the crazy at the moment. I seriously want to cry. I can't find a position that it doesn't hurt. Even elevated. :( It didn't feel this bad when it happened. Then again, maybe it did but having no choice but to get back to the car my mind refused to feel it.

So I hiked the all the trail colors of the park and now I'm just hoping my ankle is not all sorts of colors tomorrow. Hopefully I'll be back up and walking well again for next week at Warwick County Park for another hike.

I want to say keep smiling but it's hard at the moment. And moving....yeah well maybe later.

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