Doyle's Emerald Necklace

Doyle's Emerald Necklace

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Eaton/Freedom Loop

Monday- Decent day at work. Had an interesting call in the morning which killed a good 3 hours. I teched the call, as usual, and drove my partner all around, also as usual. That part is starting to get REALLY old, so he's in for a nice surprise on Monday when I tell him, he'll be driving for a change. No one EVER drives me around, and it's time to put the foot down. Not one of my three partners drives the ambulance, unless I'm dead tired after already driving 5 hours with Michelle or if I'm in the back with the patient in Tamworth. I need a break from the driving, especially if I'm doing more of the work (patient care) on a regular basis in Tamworth. So, Monday, I'm going to put my passenger seat back, break out a container of bon-bons and put my feet up on the dash while my chauffeur drives me on his errands. I can't wait.

During the day, Ryan Welts sent out a message inviting a group of us on a run up and over Mt. Paugus for a loop. I had already planned a long road run for Monday since I wanted to do mountain/trail runs Tues, Thurs and Fri, so I only brought road shoes to work. I almost always bring both trail and road shoes just in case I change my mind, but I guess I was pretty dead set on the road. I thought about going home to change out shoes and then running with them, but I really wanted to just get going right after work and not drive a million miles, so I backed out on the group run. Looked like a good route from what I saw after, so I'll have to take them up on it sometime. I guess I'm more of a loner when I run anyway, but I really should run with people more since it does help me get faster. I just like the peace and quiet of a solo run, especially after being social all day.

As planned, I wanted to do the Eaton/Freedom loop that I've done a few times, but without the first and last quarter mile on 153. 153 scares the hell out of me in the off-season, so I didn't want to touch it this time of year. I parked right at the base of Horseleg Hill Rd where it meets 153 and ran pretty much a straight shot to the Maine border. I was met by my dog buddy, Louis, who usually joins the run for miles, but this time he only went down the hill and back up. He had an encounter with a bull as we ran back up the hill, with the bull chasing him from the other side of the fence. I was actually a little nervous that bull was going to jump the fence and breathed a sigh of relief when I saw it stop at the end of the fence line. I would have had to sacrifice Louis to save myself if that bull had made it past the fence, but we both made it out alive; Louis opted to stay home this time, and I continued on solo. The roads were quiet with very little traffic, which is why I chose this one. The weather was once again pretty nice, cloudy and cooler, but still probably 100% humidity. I was drenched with sweat the whole way. I felt really good, but it would end up being because I ran so damn slow. It's easy to feel good when you're running 30 seconds per mile slower than you should be, but it didn't really surprise me. With about four miles to go, I started to hear thunder off in the distance, and the dark clouds started rolling in. I was really hoping I could outrun it, but with about 2 miles to go, the sky just opened up with a huge downpour and thunder and lightning. It was actually kind of scary since it was striking close. I hugged the sides of the road to stay out of the open as much as possible and even hid in the woods for a few minutes in the last half mile. I was just hoping for the best and ended up making it out alive. I'll take being completely soaked from the rain over struck by lightning and gored by a bull any day. 15.5 miles in 2:07:15, 8:11/mi pace, 2,194 ft of elevation gain. Slow, but definitely still a good run.

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