July 11: Woke up around 645am and had a list of things to complete before I left the campsite. I needed to replace another sign across the river, have John show me how to do some campsite monitoring, clean out some of the sites at my campsite, write out the individual bear incident reports, and plot each site into the GPS. I made a quick breakfast of oatmeal (this time I added a container of applesauce to it to add some much needed flavor) and was on my way across the river. Everything went smoothly and John radioed to me that a boyscout troop was hiking up to the campsite around 930. I was back in time and did my little introduction to the campsite. There were a bunch 10-12 year old boys with a couple troop leaders standing in front me. I didn't say anything about the recent bear activity because that probably wasn't a smart thing to do. I did advise them to put everything that has a strong scent into the communal bearbox. The troop is using my campsite as a base camp and helping us Wednesday (today technically) with the bridge pack out. I will see them again on Friday morning because they are at my campsite until Saturday morning. John and I navigated towards a couple illegal campsites that were points on the GPS. We actually crossed the river without needing to remove our boots. Once we reached the sites, we measured the square footage to see if they were staying active (recently used or getting larger) or revegetating. One of the sites we checked out had a ring of rocks for a fire pit. It was interesting to see these sites that were randomly in the woods, but too close to river. John dispersed the fire ring and we navigated to another site that was on the island right near my campsite. After that, John headed to the ranger pool to cool off and I continued plotting the sites of my campsite into the GPS. I started to become frustrated with the piece of technology because the sites are so close together and the GPS only is so accurate within a certain amount of feet. After plotting site #14 and would walk 20 feet to site #13, the GPS would show me on the wrong side of site #14. I tried my best, but had to stop because it was giving me a headache. I will need to talk to John this weekend about when we head up Friday with Justin (John's new boss and with a speciality in campsite layout) and begin to cut up some of the trees for the natural tent platforms (either 10x10 or 10x12 so 1 or 2 tents can fit on the platform). To my surprise, there was a whole another boyscout troop (about the same ages) that arrived at my campsite. I was almost glad I wasn't gonna be at the campsite during the week, but at the same time I will have to come back to a possible disaster. We will see. It was now 1:30 and the long weekend was hitting me hard. I took a 20 minute power nap in my tent before pushing through the last hour of work. I checked out some of the sites and dismantled a homemade lawn chair at site #12. The materials used were the recently cut down trees and some hacked into smaller pieces. It was assembled last weekend at some point and I missed the people that were responsible for the work. I thought I just had to inform people to not torch the cutdown trees, but I might need to add to "not construct furniture with them." I see it all and more. I biked down around 3 with my 30 pound pack on my back. I have done these a few times now. I would like to mention that the trail is almost all flat or downhill on the way to the parking lot with the exception of two decent uphills that can kill your momentum. It does not help that I have an additional 30 pounds on my back. Everyone knows that uphills can be difficult on a bike (I would rather run uphill than bike, but that's just me). Now imagine a small child jumping on your back and throwing a tantrum so it is swaying left and right on your back. This is sorta what it feels like when I need to make the two small, yet annoying, climbs on my trip down. It sure does beat hiking down though. It takes me a quarter of the time to bike down compared to hiking and way easier on my legs. Also, it keeps me motivated to stay in shape and not gain an extra 20 to 30 pounds because the extra weight kills my butt when I sit on the seat. I cannot imagine suddenly waking up and having a huge gut. With that said, I plan on running for as long as I can.
Arrived in Plymouth and showered up before meeting up with Justin Carbee for dinner and beer at around 545. We caught up on everything and had some laughs. It was nice to see somebody I knew while just chilling in Plymouth. We might make it a normal Monday date night. He dropped me off and I relaxed for the rest of the night before heading to bed.
Summary: An enjoyable day off and a delicious dinner at the Common Man in Plymouth. We both got burgers and a Common Man Ale. My burger had BBQ, caramelized onions and some cheese. Hit the spot wolfing down some real food. Though, the other week I was reading all the nutrition facts on my camping food at the bunkhouse and I realize I eat healthier at the campsite. Between the refried beans, Clif Bars, beef jerky, oatmeal, and PBJs, I am getting over 100% of the recommended iron each day. As a runner, this is the most important thing I look at. I only take a multivitamin during the weekends, but add in an iron supplement during the weekdays in Plymouth. This is because I mostly eat cereal and Bisquick based breakfast items for meals with occasional chicken or vegetables. I do need to focus more on the nutrition while I am at the bunkhouse. This week will have a long run and some double runs with strides.
July 12: Double run with a bunch of relaxing in between because of the heat. Read some Born to Run. Attempted to meet with Steve Sweedler, the landscaper of PSU, but he was on lunch break. I was gonna do laundry, but I felt I didn't need to yet. Stopped at Hannaford's for some jelly and milk. After my second run, I made a protein shake and foam rolled (foam roller is a lifesaver). Showered up and relaxed for the rest of the night.
Summary: 7 miles in the morning (48:38) 7.5 in the PM (47:42) 6:10 for the last uphill (less steep) mile. It helps that it goes through town and along the PSU campus. Jogged to the football fields for 8x100 strides with a couple plyometric drills (high knees, buttkicks, and goosenecks). 16.5 for the day and a solid start to the week.
July 13: Made it a point to wake up at 645am to get out the door for the long run by 730. I fueled up with some Gatorade, a few peanut m&ms, a single packet of instant oatmeal with a scoop of nutella and some water. I brought my second half of my lemon-lime Gu packet from last week. I did the exact same long run loop I found 2 weeks ago. Since I knew the course, I ran it with more confidence and cut off almost 5 minutes off my time. Got back and saw John driving by with kayaks on his roof in the final 100 meters of my run. I waved and finished up. I walked it off, pounded some Gatorade, ate a balance bar, and foam rolled. I iced up the right calf because its a little tender. I did wear my calf sleeves for the run, which does wonder for recovery the following hours and next few days. Once I showered up, I meet with Steve Sweedler, but unfortunately he said there are budget issues so job opportunity won't happen any time in the next couple weeks. Bummer! Oh well. Stopped off in town to my favorite spot, in front of Cicerio's cafe. Checked up on some things and was on my way. The remainder of the day will be filled with napping, laundry and dinner.
Summary: Tough, but rewarding long run as usual. 18.5 (2:03:19). Calculates out to 6:40 pace, which is exciting. Last uphill mile (the same as yesterday) was only 6:47 cuz I was bonking a little for the last few miles. I don't think it helps that the first 12-13 miles is such a fun run and the last 5+ are along route 3 and I need to run on the side of the road. The middle 7 miles are on a dirt road where I can cruise right down the middle. I was 4-time town line champ (uncontested) and had about 8 dogs bark at me along the way. Most were in a house or did not leave the front porch. Of course, one of them came rushing through the front yard at about 4.5 miles and I had to yell "No!" in order for it to stop immediately. I am lucky it was obedient, but it looked like a murderer. It was a boxer pit bull mix I believe. The next dog lunged out at me along route 3 at about 15 miles. I didn't even see the friggin thing until the last second. The house was close to the road and I was in the zone. For some reason, I glaze down to see a pug (but darker hair, I only saw the thing for maybe a second so I don't know what exactly it was) right at my ankles snarling before I juke right and scream with my arm out "No! No! No!" with more a nervous tone in my voice. The dog stopped too. Wow, two obedient dogs on one run. Phew! Though, I did jump into the road for a moment before regaining my spot along the white line. Good thing a car wasn't flying around the turn. Somebody is watching over me.