Monday, June 13, 2016

Hiking In Acadia Part Two: The Day We Hiked Our Faces Off

After a rip-roaring start to our first day of hiking in Acadia, we had decided that day two would be an attempt to explore as much of the park as we possibly could. We were due for 7.5 miles running as part of our training for Team Nuru International's Marine Corps Marathon exploits this fall, but we wanted to get some hiking in before our run. So we started on a fairly smooth and textured Ocean Path en route to Thunder Hole, but something about the path was just a little unappealing. It was a gravel path, and at least for the first few hundred feet it ran alongside a very busy stretch of road. We decided to backtrack and took another trail that took us along a small peninsula on the far side of Sandy Beach.

We looped around that trail and found a little rocky hideaway that I quickly became our favorite spot in the park. We enjoyed it so much that it became our place of rest and refreshment all of the remaining days we were in the park, but on this day, it was simply discovered and noted for a later time for further exploration.

After our first major hike of the day, we thought it was an appropriate time to venture toward Jordan Ponds House for some lunch including popovers-an interesting take on a roll that was pretty delicious! As we looked over the lunchtime fare, we decided on a buffalo meatloaf sandwich, and we were not disappointed. But we were pretty full, so we thought this was no time to think about going for a run. Instead we walked off the meal on a three mile hike around Jordan Pond Trail.

From there, we felt like we were ready, so we made a wardrobe change and donned our running threads. We made our way to Eagle Lake. It was a six mile loop, so we started thinking about creative ways to get extra mileage in. Where we landed was two different places on the mileage. Jamie made the statement that she was content with a little over six miles for her run since we had walked so many miles already, and that she wanted to run it easy. I decided the opposite, I wanted to run the distance a little harder, and try to push myself a little farther.

So we started the loop, and every couple of minutes, I would loop back to check on Jamie, and then dart forward again. In my mind, I wanted to push my pace, push my distance, and attempt to increase my steps per minute. The loop around Eagle Lake was a carriage road so it was graveled and even.  After our run we both felt energized and content. We finished together by walking up a connector road to our car and decided that we would call it a day after our run, order take-out, and make our way back to our room for rest and recovery. We logged about 19 miles that day!

Thinking back to it, there was something refreshing and enticing for each of us as we took different paths to push ourselves along trails both walking and running. It was as though the very wilderness was imbuing us with energy as we made our way along loops. I believe that as a result of our time, we are likely to incorporate more outdoor time into our weekly rhythms, and I hope that no matter where you live, your schedule affords you opportunity to do the same!

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