Today’s long slow run was an adventure for me. I headed out towards my favourite place Evansburg State park with the aim of trying to join my run from home up with a trail that I like to run over by the Perkiomen River. I knew I was going to run all that way because that would have made it a twenty plus mile run, but I wanted to over lap them at least a little.
My legs were weary before I started and perhaps going to bed two hours later last night wasn’t such a good idea as I planned for an earlier start to overcome Sunday morning dithering. I did a little rolling with The Stick and stuffed down a Clif bar. I loaded up my water bottle and some Clif shot blocks and headed out.
The initial 4 miles to the park went by uneventfully and thinking back now I can barely remember them. It’s only for the GPS that I know which way I went. That is weird.
Once across the Skippack river I tried to find the place where the the Perkiomen/Skippack trail joins into the park. I headed in the general direction I felt it should be and then spotted a horse trail off to the side and darted down that.
This trail twisted and became narrow and I soon lost all sense of direction but at least it was single track so I couldn’t get lost. Eventually it came back out on a park road and I could see the sign that showed the park rules. I was right where I needed to be. Talk about luck! I then headed off down the Skippack trail a little way until I thought I should turn back.
But did I turn back or go off exploring new routes? Silly question.
I headed off to try and find my way back to home through some different roads. Thirty minutes later I had no idea where I was so I stopped and brought up my GPS app. Yikes. I had made a few wrong turns that had me headed out further than I wanted to go. I plotted the fastest route back which would unfortunately mean running up a very long hill. A very, very long hill. It is known locally as Mile Hill and it is at least that long. Oh well.
Once I got to the foot of that hill unrealised I was about to run out of water. The sun had come out partway through the run and I was melting and was drinking too quickly. I popped into a Produce Shop and asked them to refill my water bottle, but instead they gave me a free bottle of water. What lovely people! It was enough to fill my bottle back to the top and to give me a little to refresh me.
Then it was time to take the hill. It was a long slow grind and I was already exhausted from the heat and miles. But I fought my way up the hill without stopping for a rest and then only had two miles to get back home. Hurrah.
There was an interesting decomposed possum by the side of the road. It was just bones and looked like a fossil (as I guess that’s how I’m used to seeing skeletons), but I find it fascinating to see how creatures are structured.
Anyway, I made it home and my distance/pace is nothing to write home about but considering two stops (and I don’t think the timers stopped) it wasn’t too bad. 14.7 miles with 8:50 pace. 876ft of gain through the run with most of towards the end.
** Immediately after this post I went inside to shower, felt faint and passed out. Too little food, a bit of dehydration, standing up too quickly and the crazy 86F heat were probably to blame. I now have a cut across the bridge of my nose where my glasses were when I head butted the granite countertop in my kitchen. My wife caught me so I didn’t hit the deck and after some TLC, Honey-Grahams and a cup of tea, I feel a lot better. During the run I lost 3 lbs from sweating despite having had 4 bottles of water when I returned. I should have eaten while I was doing the blog and messaging with my friend. Lesson learned.