Summertime Fun!

I’m a big believer in throwing convention out the window, so it should be no great surprise that I’ve been to some amazing shows and on some amazing hikes solo as of late. Summer is for being in the mountains, at the lakes and going to festivals, if someone tells you otherwise, they are a liar! Preferably you can accomplish those three things at once, or at least over a couple of fantastic weekends like I recently did. I’ve had friends who wouldn’t attend something or go somewhere if they couldn’t find anyone to go with in the past and I’ve been that person myself, too. I’m thankful that at this point, when something looks worth doing, I simply choose to do it! Last weekend (7-12/13) I had the pleasure of attending the Green River Festival in Greenfield, MA. It was some of the best music and food I’ve experienced and the people, along with the location, were just great! The acts I was most looking forward to see; The Lone Bellow, Trombone Shorty, Puss N Boots, James Hunter Six and others, all consistently outdid my large expectations. The night ended well too, as I didn’t even hit traffic leaving the sold out festival! (I should note that a few months back my plans for this weekend were to take part in a friends wedding, which I was forced to withdraw from due to lack of finances. And thus did not expect to end up having some a great time for cheap, locally!)

This weekend the good times kept rolling as I attempted a second quick solo hike of the season and planned on not ruining my knee this time! Side note, I did manage to twist my foot pretty good, but after today’s easy run I’m fairly certain I can keep running on it as it heals. I met up with my friend Sully, who also runs with Greater Lowell in the morning on Saturday and we did a comfortable 11.5 miles around Westford, Ma then split ways so he could enjoy some birthday festivities while I flew up to NH and the White Mountains. On the way up someone paid my toll and I hit no traffic, good signs! Arrived at the mountains I had picked to hike around 11:30 and after a final organizing of the hydration pack I was on my way up Mt. Willey at 11:56 AM. The initial climb was steady and slowed me down as my legs and back had to adjust to the ups again. I made the first summit in one hour exactly and spent only about 2 minutes on it as I pondered how long it might take to get the other two and then hurried off. I met some really nice people as I ran the ridges and started to feel pretty good after being so slow on the way up. Only complaint at the point was the constant sweat in my eyes, I have no idea why I didn’t bring a hat and will have to remember that in the future. I made it to the second peak (Mt. Field) in a half hour and ditched my shirt and pack there so I could make good time over to Mt. Tom, the third peak. I got to Mt. Tom in 20 minutes and was feeling really good, with the sweating profusely at bay and the legs feeling light and fresh. I got back over to Field in another half hour and stopped for 10-15 minutes for a snack and to chat with two nice families eating lunch at the summit. They were both from northern Mass and love to take their kids up to the mountains. Just the kinds of Ma. people a NH native likes to come across! One of them even shared some fresh picked raspberries with me! I donned the pack again and ran back over to Willey in a half hour, it took another hour to get back down the steep trail from Willey and I smacked/twisted my foot pretty good near the bottom. I hiked in another half mile to soak it in the icy river near the base of Ripley Falls

The falls were gorgeous and one of the best parts of the day happened on the way in! I carefully ran around a bunch of people on the trail in and one of them was a little girl who remarked to her mother that she wanted to do what I was doing on the mountain and made a running motion with knees raising and arms swinging. Her mom nicely told me as I was leaving the falls and I thanked her and told her that was why I was up there! (It is certainly one of the many reasons I love running) Total time hiking was about 3:40-50 and total elapsed time was 4 hours. Total distance was about 12.5 miles, bringing my daily total to 24 and combined with the long run on the previous Sunday, my 7 day total was over 91. Certainly my biggest week since Boston and besides the foot issue, everything is feeling really good again! I’ve had a couple good workouts on the track and roads in the past two weeks as well and I’m excited to see how this 5 mile race on Thursday goes. Now, off to bed to try and get some sleep so I’m rested when I hit the track again tomorrow evening.

Song of the post: The Lone Bellow – The One You Should’ve Let Go

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