I has an appointment to meet MLC at Valley Green Inn at 8:00 a.m. so I set my alarm for 6:30. I was wide awake at 5:30 so I got up and drove to the Northwestern Avenue entrance to Forbidden Drive instead and walked along the creek to Valley Green. I was there early still so I climbed the hill a bit and ended up with my first hour done before 8. I was curious to see who would show up today. There were a variety of responses to our FB event. All told there were about a dozen of us. Some hikers, some trail runners who had been running since 6 a.m. and decided to join us for some hiking and some recovering from injury trail runners who figured hiking was better than not doing anything. I love this group! :)
We hiked up to the statue of Teedyuscung, a tribute to the Lenape Indians. I chatted with Christine D most of the way. She asked if I had been a runner and the conversation took off from there. I learned that MMT was her first 100 miler and that she intends to do Grindstone which has TWO!! overnights. Wow. I told her about my plan to do the Super Hike and the need to find elevation practice. She suggested Mt. Tammany off the Delaware Water Gap. I am definitely going to check it out.
At the statue the trail runners all got down and did push ups. It's a 'thing' they do.When asked if I was finished I replied "No, I'm supervising. Making sure no one cheats". ;) Most of us hiked back to Valley Green after that. Two hours done, I had 4 to go. I started up the Yellow Trail and headed toward the far end (from where I parked) of the Forbidden Drive at Lincoln Avenue. There are lots of trails up on the hillside and I saw one that looked interesting and off I went. I'm not sure how I did it but I ended up coming down a washed out gully rather than the trail. I crabbed walked most of the way down to avoid going head first. Once I figured out that would work I had fun. I took this photo after I got to the bottom.The photo does not do the steepness justice. It was like this and worse in switch backs all the way down.
I come out on Forbidden Drive around mile 3.5 and crossed over to pick up the trail on the other side. Once at the Lincoln Drive end I walked the drive back to Valley Green and then picked up the creek-side orange trail back to the covered bridge. The orange trail is very rocky between Valley Green and the covered bridge. Well it's rocky everywhere at Wissahickon but this section in particular had a lot of this ....
And a lot of this so it's all good
I made my way back to my car in 5 hours and 52 minutes. The plan was for 6. Close enough.
At the 3 hour mark today I started to feel it in my legs. I kept going because I need to push through when I'm tired. It could happen on Super Hike day too. And with the tag line "Keep smiling and keep moving" I kinda had to. :) And if I had decided to 'go back' at that point I probably would have made it back to my car at the 5 hour mark anyway and then I'd be pissed all day that I didn't do the extra hour.
So why was today such a struggle? It could have been a couple of things. I think the likely major reason is that I did NOTHING since last week's hike. It's also possible my shoes are closer to needing replaced than I thought. But the soreness in my feet could be all the rocks and roots. The elevation gain was the most to date but not by huge amounts. I did sweat more than recent weeks. That could be a factor although I thought I kept up the same hydration pace and took more salt tabs.
And I may have just psyched myself out when I started feeling it at 3 hours in knowing that I hadn't done anything for a week and knowing that I should have...... the mind can be a formidable foe! But I won. ;) IN the end my average speed was only slightly slower than last week! :) Here is the Garmin info.
I give myself big-time points for taking these at 14:5 miles and 5 hours in ....
I even came home and did chores. I need to rest up now. Tomorrow I'm going to meet a group to do 11 miles-ish on the AT near Hawk Mountain.
Keep smiling and keep moving. :)