Sunday, March 30, 2014

The View From the Top

I had an interesting weekend, partially bad interesting, partially good interesting. The bad interesting part is that I had a nasty stomach bug on Friday that made me a weak, tired mess. I'll spare you the details, but I spent most of Friday napping and wondering why, of all the shades of pink in the universe, they had to choose such an ugly one for Pepto-Bismol. I was still feeling the after effects of whatever I had on Saturday, but I made myself finish my last Couch to 5k workout of the week anyway. I figured I would either get in a run on the treadmill or I would get in a run on the way to the nearest bathroom. Not exactly a win-win, but close enough for me.

I made it through the workout without incident, but I didn't feel great. I kept the treadmill set at 5.3, but I was so exhausted from being sick all day Friday that the workout felt like a struggle from start to finish. I was glad I made myself do it, but I was also glad when it was over so I could get back to binge watching True Detective and trying to stay hydrated.

I was feeling a lot better today, and I was determined to spend as much time being active as possible. After breakfast, I took my bike out for a short ride. I would tell you how many miles I rode except that my Garmin decided to mutiny and not track my ride. When I noticed that it was not working, I decided to track the ride with the Runkeeper app on my phone only to discover that some recent update to the app required me to change some settings on my phone. I didn't feel like wasting anymore time trying to make my devices cooperate so I just decided to call it a fun ride and not worry about the miles or calories for one day.  I had already decided to go hiking after lunch, so after I got home I ate, did a little homework, then headed to one of my favorite parks.

It was a beautiful afternoon, so I wasn't surprised to find the park full of cyclists, runners, hikers, and even a family grilling in one of the picnic areas. The leaves haven't grown in yet, so the whole park was bathed in sunlight. I only go to that park every few months, and I love to see it change with the seasons. In the late spring and summer it is mostly shaded because the leaves are so thick they block the sun. In fall, it is a sea of color as the leaves change. In winter and early spring, it takes on a stark beauty.

Somewhere along the way I ran into these two women who were trying to find their way back to their car. The park is huge with a maze of paved and unpaved trails. They had come with a friend who went off to run while they walked at their own pace. I had no idea what to tell them. I knew how to get back to the entrance I had come from, but all they knew about the entrance they parked at was that there were stairs. I think I stumbled across an entrance with stairs over a year ago in that park, but from what I remembered it was literally miles from where we were standing and I don't know the park well enough to give them coherent directions to where I thought the entrance might be. 

They seemed surprised that I was walking on my own, but I have no idea why. I wouldn't recommend that a woman go to that park alone at the crack of dawn or very late in the evening, but right after lunch on a beautiful day when the park is full? I felt completely safe. I passed people every few minutes on the trail and while I've never tried screaming to see how well the sound reverberates around the trees, I have a feeling the acoustics are pretty good. I wound up wishing them luck and continuing my climb to the top of a challenging hill I planned to conquer before turning back.

The view from the top of that hill was my goal and my reward for this walk. No matter how many times I climb it and take in that view, it never really gets old. I thought about walking a little bit further before turning around, but decided against it. I had forgotten to bring water with me and I was feeling parched by the time I got to the top. Instead, I decided to head back to my car and call it a day. 

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