Monday, August 3, 2009

Sutherland Pond Hike

Saturday's hike was special, because it was also my birthday. You would think that after 34 years, birthdays would not be cause for celebration, but it's still very nice when the love of your life presents you with a gift card to your favorite sports store at the stroke of midnight; and your friends plan a birthday surprise for you in the middle of the woods. At 35, I feel healthy, happy and lucky to be alive.

This trip report I found on the internet describes the hike perfectly, so no more needs to be said about the route.

It was fairly complicated, switching between 5 different trails, but thanks to Richard's keen map-reading ability, we were able to follow the trip report to the letter and cover portions of 5 different trails, with very little meandering off-course. The hike took us 6 1/2 hours, because we took breaks at several places, once to swim in the weed-infested Sutherland Pond, where my surprise birthday cake (thank you, Rajiv and Urmila, for the delicious chocolate cake) was sprung on me, making my day,

once for lunch, several times to enjoy the views,
and pretty tree-fungi,
photograph pine cones,

slowing down to wade through swamps, swat at annoying flies,
cross streams,

losing our way once, and finally making it back to the parking lot at 5:45 pm, hot, dusty and triumphant. Another memorable hike!
Last week's workouts:
Monday: 10 miles + core work
Tuesday: 5 miles + spinning
Wednesday: 8 miles (this was the most humid run I've ever run...there was a curtain of mist over everything and the air was warm and dense when I started running at 6:30 am)
Friday: 18 miles (I remember the first 18-miler I did before my first marathon last knees felt like jelly; this time around, it was a breeze...thanks to all the spinning and core work that's been accomplished over the year)
Saturday: 6 1/2 mile hike
Sunday: 6 miles (I ran the last mile in a thunderstorm...and finished as a huge thunderclap made a dramatic entrance through the clouds).
Total for the week: 47 miles
On another note, Kara Goucher rocks! She finished ahead of everyone at the Chicago Rock n' Roll Half Marathon...women and men included! Go Kara!
Happy week, everyone!


Beth said...

Happy Birthday! Beautiful pictures and a great week of training. Nice!

Irene said...

Birthdays are always cause for celebration, no matter what!

Irene said...

Happy Birthday!

lindsay said...

great week! love the pics, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY! :)

Anonymous said...

Happy birthday!! You had a huge week. Love the pictures and how sweet of your friends to surprise with with a birthday cake!

Marlene said...

What a great way to spend your Birthday. Happy Belated!

Nice mileage, too.

Mica said...

Happy birthday! That hike looks like a beautiful way to celebrate!

X-Country2 said...

Happy birthday! What a great way to spend a day.

Erica said...

What a wonderful way to spend your birthday! Totally beautiful. I hope you enjoyed some special foodie treats as well!

Chad Aaron Sayban said...

Happy Birthday! All birthdays are worth celebrating. Those are really beautiful photos. That must have been a wonderful hike.

Heather said...

Happy Birthday! Looks like you had a great one, what a nice hike. And great job on the training runs, too!

Ali said...

Oh ... I'm a little late ... but


Coloradan said...

Happy Belated Birthday Wishes Kavi. Looks like you had a lot of fun on your big day.

Scheri said...

Happy Birthday :-)

I love all your pictures!!! You are doing so well with your training. Way to go!!

Cindy said...

happy birthday! the hike looks like it was beautiful.
my current hm training plan (with lots of spinning in addition to more focused running) was inspired by you. i think the cross training really really helps. thanks!

Emily said...

Looks like a great place to run. Right now, I'd give anything for some cool running weather!

Great job on your 18 miler! That's a huge accomplishment. :-)

I Run for Fun said...

Thanks, Cindy...glad the approach is working for you.