Out Early for Perfect Weather

It may seem strange to many people that we runners get up early on weekends, but it is often essential on the summer months. We need to be out there before the sun gets too toasty. 

Today I was up a 5:30 and on the trail at 6:30. I drove to Evansburg State Park and used the fisherman’s lot near the entrance as my base. This would leave me with more running through the actual park. As my route shows, I ran through a fair piece of the park and then headed out towards my favourite trail: Perkiomen River Trail. En route I am saw signs for Skippack village and thought: “hmm, perhaps I could go that way and make a loop out of it…”. 

I did some rough estimates in my head for distance and figured it would be around 15.5 miles. I was planning to do 13 but an extra two isn’t a problem… So off I jolly well went on a new route. 

The trail towards Skippack is relatively narrow and very twisty. Fortunately it is well signposted as there are several junctions and (small) road crossings. 

I also discovered that this was quite a hilly route.  

 The road out of Skippack was long. And straight. And hilly. 

It takes you past the entrance to S.C.I. Graterford which is quite well hidden and not really marked on any road signs. There are four roads around the prison and they are ALL called Graterford Prison Road. Very confusing. 

I had estimated that when I reached the Perkiomen River Trail I should be at about 8.5 miles and I hit it at 8.3. Not too bad for a guess! I figured it would be about 7 miles back from that point, but with one big hill to climb. 

I overtook a few runners on this piece of the trail, one who commented that I was fast. She was running with a full camelback water rucksack which looked too big and it wasn’t tight enough on her. Each to their own. Perhaps she was running a very long way today.

Going up the big hill a cyclist overtook me and then began to falter a little way ahead. I nearly managed to catch him to offer a push. That would have been funny! 

At a couple of points I did my cadence check and was at 197, 194, and 184 steps per minute. Not bad over this distance. 

Mapmyrun once again killed the music on my Bluetooth headphones. I use them regularly without the running app and never have a problem but as soon as the app gives announcements it kills the link to the headphones.  This time I simply packed them away and didn’t bother faffing around with them like last time. 

All in all I completed 15.3 miles in 2 hours and 11 mins. That’s about an 8:32 pace. It’s not very quick but the hills were harsh. 

Now I’m sitting outside Starbucks with my decaf iced coffee contemplating a refill before heading home. Life is good.  

 In other news, my local newspaper from home ran a “35 years ago” article the other day and featured in one of the shots was me shouting encouragement to team mates at a Keephatch Junior School sports day, 1980. How random is that? I’m the third one in from the right. 

I don think I ever saw these at the time so to find them 35 years later is really weird. 

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4 thoughts on “Out Early for Perfect Weather

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