This past weekend, Eric and I escaped a hot, humid NYC by heading north to Liberty, Maine. My college roommate’s husband is from Maine, and as I’ve mentioned over the past few years, they invite all their friends up for a weekend at “camp.” It was the 16th annual Here’s to Good Friends (2013 and 2014 recaps, respectively) where people from all parts of Scott and Sara’s life come together to hang out for a weekend. The location is called “camp” because it used to be just a piece of land that his parents bought years ago, so back in the day everyone camped in tents and such. It has slowly evolved into a house with fun things like electricity and running water, so it’s a whole new world! I only started going after the house was finished, so I never got the full camp experience, but that’s okay. Everyone still takes a shower in the lake, which is still fun and back to nature. Since the number of people who come always seems to be growing (peaking at around 30 people on Saturday), it is suggested that people bring tents and camp out. (I somehow manage to get a spot in the house…see also: Eric and I don’t own a tent.) But it’s so fun, and we just hang out and enjoy everyone’s company. It’s a lovely, relaxing time.
- Drinking coffee by the lake. Much more relaxing than listening to Manhattan traffic.
- Campfire, campfire, campfire. It was a chilly year at camp this year, and sitting by the fire was amazing. My hair might still smell like campfire…
- Annual walk to ice cream! A bazillion flavors to choose from, life is rough. (Lemon custard, so good and refreshing.)
- Finishing a book I’ve been working on for awhile.
- Catching up with friends! Excited to have Sara so close again.
And of course, I took to running. Running in Maine is always fun because it’s so different from running in the city. Being surrounded by trees and running to a place affectionately called Blueberry Hill – the blueberry part because the hill has blueberries, which people were out picking one morning and hill because OMG IT IS A HILL. I believe it’s about a 300ft climb over half a mile – I don’t know much about elevation changes (maybe I’m a wimp?), but that hill is haaaaard. I walked up part of it every time. See also: Maybe I need to get into better shape.
My first run was three miles on Friday – I hate three mile runs because I think they should be over so quick, but then they’re not. Also, it’s about a mile to the top of the giant hill, so you basically spent the first 1/3 of the run dreading the hill and then suffering through it. I took it slow and the splits kind of tell the tale of the elevation: 8:34, 8:20, 8:00, hahaha.
My second run was six miles on Saturday – much better! Enough to get my legs rolling and to be rolling up and down some hills. I kind of wished I’d brought by handheld water bottle with me, but I didn’t, sooooooo oh well. Luckily the weather was quite moderate and I wanted it more as a placebo effect than anything else. I was proud of myself for sticking out some long climbs – as part of the out and back I did, three miles is at the bottom of a long downhill, which means you turn around and have to run right back up the hill. Rough! At one point, a minivan pulled over to ask me a question – I’ve watched too much Law & Order, so it makes me nervous, especially since it’s not the busiest road known to man. My fears were silly as they just asked me if I knew were the shingle factory was – no idea, sorry! Back on the run, power up the hill. I flew down the last hill, clocking in at a 7:23 mile. Quads be screaming.
Last run of the weekend – long run time! I was nervous about doing a long run because it was my first double digit run in about four months! Definitely my longest run since coming back from injury. My hip/groin has been a little cranky, so I’m worried that at some point I’ll hit a mileage that will cause problems. Stretching and warming up seems to make it feel better, so I’ll stick with that for now. In the meantime…11 miles needed to get done.
After some tasty coffee, banana, and Honey Stinger waffle, I headed out the door. I only packed a tank top and shorts, but it was a little chilly out – 59 degrees, cloudy, with the threat of rain. Dare I say I was a little chilled at the start? Knowing that wouldn’t last long, I headed out for a loop around the lake. I’ve run around the lake in previous years, and it’s about nine miles – not bad, but adding an out and back at the end always seems to drag along. The nice part about the route is that the two major hills are in the first few miles, so once you get over those, it’s just some nice rolling hills the rest of the way. Can’t complain about that! It took a little while for my legs to warm up (per usual), but once I got moving, I was just in the groove. I was grateful for the cooler temperatures since I didn’t have a water bottle with me – even better was when I got a light sprinkle of rain at about mile 7! Nice little cool off.
Otherwise, I just hugged the side of the road, occasionally getting more onto the shoulder when traffic came by. It’s not too busy of a road, and I definitely didn’t see anyone else out running – the silent camaraderie in Central Park is cool, but sometimes being out there solo is such a good feeling. The miles clicked off pretty easily, and I only really stopped to make sure I was headed in the right direction. With about two miles to go (and the out and back left to complete…), I was definitely ready to be done. I wasn’t tired, but my legs felt a little achy and I wanted to get back before any crazy rain happened. (Lake showers in a thunderstorm seemed like a bad plan, although luckily we just got a little rain later, no storms!) I threw down a 7:23 mile at the end, which I’m sure isn’t how the book would say to do a long run, but I liked that I had some oomph in my legs at the end of my longest run yet.
11.06 miles in 1:27:57, avg pace of 7:57, HOORAY (apparently it changes slightly when uploaded to Sport Tracks, who knows)
Maybe we should keep the cooler temperatures around a little more, hm?
My artsy “I ran around a lake” picture.
Another reason to hurry back from to hurry back from the run was that we were having lobster for lunch! Growing up in Chicago, we weren’t really exposed to lobster all that much outside of eating at Red Lobster with my grandma. Even then, it wasn’t quite the rip-apart-your-food type of eating, and I usually got the shrimp anyway. But when you’re in Maine, you do at the Mainers do and eat lobster. It’s my once a year foray into the gross inside of a lobster (what is that green stuff anyway??).
And a delicious Shipyard Summer Ale to wash it all down. That’s what we call rehydrating, right?
Eric and I headed back to NYC on Monday, but not without a stop at Bennett’s in Kennebunk for some delicious sandwiches. Otherwise, we survived yet another road trip together. And I’m surviving running in the NYC heat and humidity this week – can we go back to Maine? Or at least teleport me there for 60 degree long run days? (I say this knowing that it can also be 90 and humid up north as well…)