July 27: Woke up at 5:35 and was out the door by 5:45am. I jogged down to the athletic fields and took off the shoes. I did some barefoot running around the grass fields. It was different, but nice to be off the roads and out of the shoes. Finished up, headed back home to shower and devour food. I did a bowl of Go Lean Crunch, 2 eggs, and a piece of toast with homemade jam. I had cracked open a sleeve of Oreos earlier in the week so I took the rest for breaks. I made a double decker PBJ for lunch. Jean didn't want drive today so I was in the hot seat all day in the big diesel Ford F-250. I felt like the boss on the roads. Pruning all day and nobody was too motivated throughout the day. We took our time with our pruning. I ate 3 Oreos at 9am and saved the next 3 for my 2:30 break. We took 40 minutes for lunch instead of the usually 30 minutes. Everyone was on the same page so it wasn't a big deal. The highlight of the day was when I found a bird's nest with 3 small, blue speckled eggs in it. Cool! I don't know if they were robin eggs because of the splotches. We left and continued on with pruning. There was a sufficient amount of chatting going on. Jean isn't usually a big fan of this, but she was the starter of many of the conversations. I didn't complain. After work, I relaxed for a while and headed out for a run at 6:30. I wanted to check out this trail at Fox Pond Park to see the extensiveness of it. It wasn't as much as I wanted, but I found some additional trails that were not part of the park. They had these homemade dirt bike jumps. I ran around and popped out on a dirt road. I was hoping it would dump me out somewhere new, but it was actually Bink's Hill. The road only a 1/2 mile from the bunkhouse. I still had a few miles to go so I made a loop around town and ended at the football field. Did some strides. Headed home to three pounds of defrosted hamburger meat. Too much for just hamburgers. The inner chef told me, "Make meatballs!" I made a trip to Walmart at 8:45 pm for breadcrumbs, sauce, ketchup, Gatorade, and a couple other items. Returned, made two hefty burgers and cooked up some meatballs in sauce. Relaxed after and crashed for the night.
Summary: 20 minutes of barefoot running plus the run to and from the fields was 4 miles (29:00). The evening run ended being 9.5+ (69:44) with 8x100 meter strides. Both quality runs and the calf is loosening up with the assistance of the heating pad.
July 29: Woke up at 5:40am and was out the door again for some barefoot running. A little less this morning, but definitely enjoyable. Though, I had seen this explosion of feathers where I start at one corner. This morning I ran next to what looked to be the tail end of a bird on the opposite corner of the field. No carcass, just tail with all the feathers in tact still. Strange. Didn't stop to inspect it. I didn't have time to spare. I was heading to HQ to hitch a ride with other employees. John told me to meet there at 7am. I made myself breakfast (Go Lean Crunch with sliced up bananas, I savored the banana pieces as if they were marshmallows in Lucky Charms). I arrived at 7 on the dot with one van leaving the parking lot. I thought, "There should be at least one more." There was, but already at full capacity. I waited until Tom Giles asked me as I passed his office if I needed a lift. He had to do some campsite monitoring at Tripoli Road first, then he was headed over. I tagged along to check it out. It was the Las Vegas of Campgrounds AKA the ghetto AKA dozens and dozens of campsites that were heavily impacted and some right next to the river. I was in shell shock. I didn't know these types of frontcountry campgrounds existed. We checked out about 6 sites and recorded their points on a GPS unit (almost the same one as you have dad). In addition, we roughly measured size, amount of cars that could be parked at the site, vegetation damage, and other important elements on campsite monitoring. Some surprising things I witnessed was a dump log (the natural bathroom at one campsite), a tree swing, and a small gas-powered grill left behind at one of the sites. Every site had a fire ring with loads of burnt trash in it. It just made me realize how lucky I am to be in a backcountry campsite with only 15-20 campsites. There is no caretaker for frontcountry, but people do patrol the areas. Some of outrageous things Tom has seen are people hauling in a generator to power their large screen TVs and stereo systems. Wow. Other stories include underage drinking and drug use. Now, that is car camping at it's best (not). Unbelievable. Then he went on to tell me about the bear incidents that have occurred here. Bears breaking windshields or jumping on the roofs of cars before they begin to rock the cars back and forth. Holy crap! Incredible. Once we were done, we continued on before hitting up Dunkin Donuts. Tom treated me to a bagel and hot chocolate. The first of a few for that day. We arrived at the festival and poked around all the displays. John was doing parking lot duty (ha, duty) so I paid him a visit to catch up from the past weekend and everything. He was released and we grabbed some food. Molly, one of the employees, handed me some cash because she said I was like one of her kids. She didn't want me to go starving. I feasted. By the end of the day, I consumed a cheeseburger, a cupcake (curiosity of John), a Sprite, a scoopful of White Mountain Truffle homemade ice cream, a decent sized chocolate chip cookie, and a thick brownie. I was stuffed. The celebration was a great turnout and we got out of there by 3:30 to make the 90 minute trip back to HQ. It was John, Jenny and I (We's were like peas and carrots and green beans again, stretched Forest Gump reference but I made it). We stopped after a little bit because John was really thirsty. My final treat came here when Jenny bought my 99 cent Brisk drink. Jenny drove the remainder of the ride because John was sleepy. We got back at 4 to HQ and I was on my way home to Plymouth. I ran at 5pm in the drizzling rain. It must of been the hot chocolate because I had to "use the ferns" on five different occasions through my run. Oh well, but it wasn't very amusing. I just had to keep pulling off to the side of the road in the woods. I think I might do my business more on my runs than in the bunkhouse. I save a lot of toliet paper this way. I do try before I make my way out of my runs (no pun intended), but it's that first 2 miles or less than just moves everything along. I don't let it bother me. The remainder of the night was spent eating a meatball sandwich, doing laundry, and Skyping with my family who are down in Georgia at the laundry mat. It was great to see them all and the laundry attendant let me stay until 11 even though they closed at 10. It worked out and I got to see them all without rushing since I started at 9:52pm. Into the campsite tomorrow until Monday. Nice weather for the weekend with a possible t-storm on Monday. Wish me luck.
Summary: 3 miles in the am (24:00). 15 minutes of barefoot running. Felt nice again. It's because I've been reading the Born To Run book and I want to strengthen my feet to be less injury prone. I will stick to trainers, but try to incorporate some barefoot running in the mornings. 7 miles in the evening (53:00) that took almost an hour because of the frequent breaks. Never again hot chocolate from Dunkin Donuts. Or it could of been the hamburger. Who knows? I am gonna assume that it is the hot chocolate because it has happened before. Until next week.