Sunday, September 14, 2014

Sundays in the Park

Last week, this week and for the foreseeable future I've blocked out a maximum of 3 hours at Ridley Creek State Park. I love this park.  You've heard me see that before. RCSP is close enough to my house that I can aim for a 9 am start - allowing me at least one day to sleep in - and be back home and cleaned up by 1:00 p.m. Plenty of time to enjoy Sunday. The trails are challenging enough to get in a good workout and peaceful enough to provide a true recovery from Saturday's longer hikes. I feel really lucky to have this gem so close to me.

I hope to encourage more fitness buddies to join me. Last week Sara was there. She's running  a half marathon in Bucks County today and training for the Goofy Challenge so I don't expect to see her hiking as much between now and then. Today I was by myself. I left from area #16 and completed 5.25 miles on the White and Blue trails. I even ran a little of the trails today. It felt good. I saw a few runners; a couple of dogs (all leashed); a turtle and a lot of sunshine peeking through the trees.

Today's peacefulness completely wiped away the ugliness of yesterday's long hike.  I'll spare you a detailed account because it will likely just sound awfully whiny. The bullet point review is this:

  • Tired
  • Under-hydrated going into it (although did well during)
  • Woke up to serious allergy face
  • Being backed up to a tree by an unleashed german shepherd whose owner tried to tell me it was my fault for being afraid of the dog.
  • Trying to back track on a trail that I swear behaved like the stairs at Hogwarts - changing direction at will. 
  • Finishing the last 1.5 miles in a downpour. 
The upside? I did get out and do it. I finished 6.25 hours of the planned 7 hours. Despite lots of stops to regroup my overall pace was good. Those things totally make up for the frustrations of the hike.

SSH 2015 is scheduled for September 12, 2015. Registration opens February 1st! I have a lot of work to do between now and then. Specifically more, steeper climbing. But I will be there. :)

Keep smiling and keep moving.
-Paula

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