This weekend I planned a 22 mile run. Meanwhile, at work they’re doing a contest encouraging people to live healthy lifestyles, and this month’s contest encourages people to go for a hike. So when I left the door Saturday morning, I headed for the nearest state park. That mean running through Chester into the next town over. I ran from south to north through Raymond. Finally I found the sign I was looking for.
From there, I ran into Nottingham (3rd town that morning).
I was still feeling pretty good at this point. I had about a mile to go to get to Pawtuckaway. I made it, said hi to a groundkeeper, took a selfie, and pushed on.
Not bad. Biting my tongue a little, but not bad. Then I met Nicole, shared my annual pass, and pressed on. Hi, Nicole!
“Where did you come from?” She asked me. “Chester.”
“Chester? That’s far!”
About 9.5 miles from my door to hers, to be exact, but I had further to go. To count as a hike for the work contest, I needed a trail. And to hike. Fortunately, there was a trail about a quarter mile from Nicole.
Say hello to Woronoco trail. I actually turned left instead of right at this photo, and run up the North Pond branch. When I got to mile 11, it was time for another photo before turning around and heading home. Hiking portion of the run? Roughly 2.5 miles.
That look on my face? That’s me realizing that there are no short cuts… I’m 11 miles from home. Might as well get after it… Fortunately, the views were nice.
From that point it was about five miles to civilization. And what kept me going at this point? I’ll tell you what. The thought of an ice cream sandwich. I ran to the corner gas station, and was disappointed to find they didn’t have any. But they did have this:
An orange Wonka Push Up is a beautiful thing after 16.3 miles. 70 calories of deliciousness. I also bought a bag of ice and refilled my hydration pack. At two liters, I had emptied it nearly completely. As it was strapped to my back the previous three hours, the ice I started with had fully melted. The ice water in my pack was so good… The ice at home? Much less so.
I filled the tub with cold water, got in, then emptied these three bags of ice into the tub with me. I screamed a little. It was pretty intense. My toes hurt. My hips hurt. My left calf muscle started to ripple as I tried not to cramp / lock up completely. But after ten minutes I was able to drain the tub and refill it with hot water. Ahhh, now THAT felt good. I may have enjoyed a beer at the time… not sayin’, but that may have contributed to my mood.
Fast forward 24 hours, and my daughter and I headed back to Pawtuckaway, this time for some hiking. After 22 miles yesterday, it was good to “just” hike 5.25 miles. We hit the Split Rock trail, and saw 32 salamanders. Last photo of this post is from this morning: