My New Gym (for the time being)

A couple of days ago it was pouring down rain. No outside for me today, I thought

But – shout out to the Ambler YMCA in Ambler PA, thank you! – I have some classes on the computer to stream, courtesy of my Y membership. We have the Les Mills series of classes that we do there and I participate in Body Combat.

So I went to the Y’s special site, fired up the old computer, and got kicking and hitting. Where did I do this? My basement. I cleared out a space and set the computer on the freezer –

Basement 3-20 (2)

with my clay table to the left

Basement 3-20 (3)

and the slab roller to the right, both of them cheering me on.

Basement 3-20 (1)

I’ve got to tell you, it worked out great. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to do a familiar activity.

I had plenty of room and I especially enjoyed the instructors’ setting (inside that little computer..) – they were doing most of the workout on a platform set out a little way into the ocean, off the coast of New Zealand. How about that!

 

Pound and Pounded (Apart)

I take a class at the gym called Pound. You use a couple of bright green plastic sort-of-drumsticks as you exercise, hitting them together or on the floor as you do various moves. Let me tell you, you do a lot of squats in this class and your legs will hurt. But the sound of the sticks hitting is a great motivator.

It’s also hard on the sticks. They break. Not every class or even every week, but it happens. And in our gym when they do it’s something to be commemorated. I’ve been hoping I’d someday join that club, and today, I did. One stick, snapped in half! Was I surprised.

Following tradition, the instructor signed my stick parts and I took them home.

Confused 2-12-20 #3

She put my name, the date, and even the song it broke on. Hey, I know it’s one of those things – “you had to be there” – but it put a smile on my face.

(Look here if you want the official info on Pound class).

Art Drop-Off 7/15/19, Running, and A New Secret Ambition Revealed

Lots going on in this post. I’ll start right in. First of all, I was running this morning on the Pennypack Rail Trail. The tiles from the drop-off I made on July 10 (and forgot to check on the other day) – they are gone. Good news!

Next. As I said, I was running on the trail this morning and I left these two tiles on the bench near the 3.0 mile marker:

Clay tile art drop off 7-15-19 #12

And next. I want to tell you about my latest Secret Ambition and what I am doing to achieve it.

Remember my previous Secret Ambition? Handwriting improvement. A little over two years ago, I bought a workbook and retaught myself to write. I had always been ashamed of my penmanship and I realized – I could make a change. I’ve stayed with it and people tell me I have nice handwriting fairly regularly now. It’s a small thing, but I love the way my written works look and I’m glad I did it.

Now to the new idea I’ve been working on. As you know, I’ve been running for about ten years. I was pretty fast and ran quite a few 5K’s along with a few races at longer distances. Then illness, injuries, surgeries, and other life events got in the way. It seemed to me that every time I’d try to get back to my running form, something would happen (such as a stress fracture in my left foot in 2015 that took me out for the whole summer).

Wms Dist Fest 10-09 #7 (12)4

October, 2009. I am the one wearing a pink shirt.

Not to mention I’m getting older by the minute and that’s not helping things!

This year, I was determined to return to running. But, I needed to take into account my changed circumstances. I gave the matter some thought. What do I like about running? Well, it’s being outside, and it’s focusing, and it’s enjoying being on the move. It doesn’t matter to me how fast I go anymore, just that I am…going.

Tyler Arboretum 4-09 Claudia stream crossing2

April, 2009. I never back away from a stream crossing. That’s me in the pink shirt.

I also like having a goal. I’m patient and I stick with things, and I enjoy working through increments of progress that might bore others. So…I decided I would train for a half-marathon, 13.1 miles.

I’ve done one, a race in 2011, in Allentown, PA. It took me a little over two hours to complete the distance. Things are going to be different this time, though. After some thought, here’s my plan:

  • I’m going be the only participant in my race, just me and the Pennypack rail trail. In other words, I am not shooting for an official race. I’m going to be the race. By doing this I take the pressure off myself to meet a deadline and maybe push myself harder or faster than I should. And if (crossing fingers) I need to amend things because of physical limitations, well, I can do so.
  • I do have a floating deadline for when I want to run the official race – I am thinking October or November. The weather will be good for a long run at that time. As I get closer, I will narrow down the dates until I meet my training distance goal and can choose the race day for sure. And this way, I do not have to run in the rain or cold or wind or…
  • Confession: I started working on this plan in April, and I’m just now getting more confidence I can actually do it. But it’s not a sure thing. I need to move ahead slowly. And I need to understand my limitations and respect them, however that turns out.
  • Running – let’s define running. In my race, it means I run more than 50% of the distance, but that I keep moving (no sitting on a bench). My plan is to walk one minute, run three minutes. That’s what I’ve been training.
  • Goal distance in training – I feel I need to be able to run 11 miles in one session. If I can do that, I can do the whole thing. As of today, I am up to 8.5 miles, having started off in April with 2 miles.
  • Training – one long run a week toward the goal distance – the other days run shorter distances with less walking/ walk at a fast pace/ go to the gym and take a class/ mow the grass. See, training is kind of fluid, right?! Just keep moving.
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That is me in a pink shirt. Again. I do like pink, it looks like. Trail run, fall 2011.

  • I chose the Pennypack rail trail because
    • I like it
    • it’s not flat, but because it was built for trains, the inclines are long and gradual and not too taxing, and then on the return trip, that means there are some lovely long downhill sections.
    • there are bathrooms along the trail (more important than you might think, this amenity)
    • it’s laid out well for a long run (round trip 10.5 miles) and so I won’t have to repeat much of the same ground
    • it is shady and the gravel surface is kind to feet and legs
    • I like it.
  • I have no time goal. Finishing is the goal (even if I crawl over the finish line). I think I can count on it taking about 3 hours. That is a long time to be moving and that’s why I need to build up my strength slowly to be able to take the pounding on my joints and muscles.
finish 7-4-17 #56

5K, July 4, 2017. What, no pink shirt?

All right. Now I have told you about this ambition. I will write updates here and there if there is anything interesting to say. I approach this process with a sense of realism – completion of the run is not a certainty. But I am really enjoying hoping to do so.

And – note to self – I must think about what the race T-shirt will look like and think about getting it made! It is safe to say I will be seriously considering pink.

 



Here is where I set the little tiles today. My tentative race route has me finishing at the 3.0 mile marker (yellow arrow). The tiles are on the bench a few yards past the “finish line” (white arrow) – you’re looking back down the trail where I came from.

Clay tile art drop off 7-15-19 #21

 

 

Bears at the Pennypack Trail

On Saturday morning, May 11, yes, I saw bears at the trail.

We parked the car at the upper parking lot off Byberry Road. My attention was caught by the info kiosk (currently undergoing an update – it’s supposed to have more to show than a set of vertical bars…)

Pennypack trail 5-11-19 (3)

I went closer, very cautiously, of course…

Pennypack trail 5-11-19 (1)

and finally dared to draw near the two pink bears sitting on the ledge.

Pennypack trail 5-11-19 (2)

I have no idea why they are there. I notice they are wearing little scarves with a snowflake symbol and 2018 – I think they might be somehow associated with the Olympics.

Well, that raises even more questions, and the bears were not talking.

****************

As a note, in the second picture you might have noticed the sign “Stop This Invader”. It refers to the spotted lanternfly, which is a beautiful insect that does bad things to trees and crops – it’s an invasive pest from Southeast Asia that’s recently made its way to our neck of the woods. It’s easily transported on vehicles, for one thing, and causes a great deal of damage quickly wherever it next takes up residence. I have seen them myself, not at this location, but at another park not too far away.

There have been educational meetings and notices in parks everywhere around us, reminding us to check for the pest as we go in or out. And if you see it or its eggs, kill them and then report the location to the state. More info here, if you are in an infested area, and if you are not, I hope it does not make its way to you.

Trail Run, April 27, Lots of Fun

You’ve heard me talk a lot about the Pennypack – the creek, the rail trail, and the nature preserve. These three things are all located together in one area – the rail trail blends into the nature preserve. Together, they create a complex of trails that I use for exercise – running or walking. A recent post mentions both areas but focuses on the nature preserve – the Pennypack Ecological Restoration Trust.

I’d been seeing signs for a 5K trail run sponsored by the Trust as I went along my way in the parks – I suggested to my husband that we sign up – we did – so we arrived Saturday morning to do the run.

Let me back up. Ten years ago we did a lot of running – a 5K almost every weekend. We did 10K’s. We did a half-marathon. I took it pretty seriously and I won a boxful of medals. Then I had my accident in 2012 that led to my long-lasting health issues. That was the end of my focus on running and I did only one race since 2012, I think – in 2017. Look here to see what that was all about, including pictures of me actually running…)

Things are better now, and when I saw those signs, I took them for a … sign. I wanted to try to run in a race again. And, my husband is now in shape to run, too – remember his knee injury? It left him a little less mobile, but he’s made up for it in determination to get back to as near to his old self as he can and he has worked hard to do so.

So, at about 8 AM on Saturday, we parked the car and walked into the preserve to check in. It was a beautiful sunny day, but chilly and very windy – it had rained very hard the night before and this was the last of the storm blowing out. We picked up our numbers:

Penn Eco Rest Tr trail run 4-27-19 #145

They hand you the number at random. I was 5683, the odd-numbered one, which pleased me, because somehow I think odd bib numbers are luckier. Also, you can tell which one I wore from the safety pins – my husband always uses 4, I use only 2. Yes, it is luckier.

These days, the bibs now have a chip stuck on the back – you pass over a plate as you start and finish to activate it and give you your time. No more pushing to the front at the start so as not to lose time to competitors when the start goes off. The chip knows all.

Penn Eco Rest Tr trail run 4-27-19 #172

We also got T-shirts! Aqua and orange. You will see people wearing them in my photos, but I don’t do it at the race. It’s not bad luck but it’s not…good luck, either.

We joined the crowd milling around outside to wait. That’s my husband wearing the red cap. Remember that, it’s an important detail.

Penn Eco Rest Tr trail run 4-27-19 #217

I took a couple of photos from the visitor center. The trust is comprised of a variety of parcels of land with various histories. Most of what we ran over today was a sheep farm, now planted in native grasses to attract birds and wildlife. Near the finish, though, it’s lightly wooded.

Before the event, I participated in a yoga warm up. The Trust offers yoga classes in which the participants move along the trails doing poses. I thought that sounded appealing. Today, though we stayed in just one spot,  it made for a nice stretch. I am across the circle wearing the gray sweatshirt (pink long-sleeve shirt and black short-sleeve shirt under it. I was cold And I never go out without my belt pack. I might need a tissue. To write something in a notebook. And of course my phone rides along though it never comes out in a race. No.).

All right. Now it’s time to run. We headed for the start. And then – the horn sounded and off we went. I have no photos from during the race (although people did take them, I saw them pull out their phones…not me. When I’m running, remember, I am RUNNING ONLY and doing nothing else.)

I do have some photos from the other day of places we ran today. A quick look:

We ran a short distance along the creek and covered this broken road section. This time, I ran over it and didn’t give it a thought – the last time, I fearfully tiptoed. See what being in a race will do for you.

Pennypack eco preserve 4-19-19 (7)

Here are a couple of views of fields we ran over. A significant section of the race looked like this and the hills are deceptively difficult. In today’s race we entered the fields at this gate, but we turned left immediately and went out in a big circle.

All right. Time passed, my legs kept going, and I finished the race. It took me 41 minutes, 9 seconds. Not bad, I thought. Good enough for 3rd place in my age group (women ages 60-99, if you are interested, and yes, they did say 99. There were 19 people in this category, but no one even near 99).

Hey, that was nice. I felt happy about it. But to put it into perspective – a boy 8 years old won second place in the entire event (not his age group, the whole event). Took him 20 minutes, 22 seconds. Well, now that is impressive, I think.

Then I circled around to stand right before the finish to watch for my husband. Here he comes: (the red cap he is wearing your clue)…

Penn Eco Rest Tr trail run 4-27-19 #910

Now he passes me as I yell so loud that people turn around and look, but I don’t care:

Penn Eco Rest Tr trail run 4-27-19 #109

And he runs through the finish line (this is also where we started, by the way). He beat his goal time by a good margin. It’s a real achievement, what he did, returning to running after his knee injury, and this course and terrain were challenging for people with good knees. Fantastic job he did, I think.

Penn Eco Rest Tr trail run 4-27-19 #111

After we caught our breath, we went back up to the visitor center area and picked up our swag. You see people carrying those green bags?

Us too. At every race, the sponsors often give little gifts to the participants. Here, we received information packets and a few other things:

Penn Eco Rest Tr trail run 4-27-19 #181

With our entry fee we also became members of the PERT. That’s great, I thought. And… the best thing was, we each received a tiny milkweed seedling to plant at home. Which we will do. Actually, we came home with three of them – a lady told me of her bad gardening karma and how one of the volunteers suggested she give her seedling to me. Not sure why me, as neither of these people knew me. Maybe it was because I reacted with such enthusiasm when the volunteer gave me mine.

Penn Eco Rest Tr trail run 4-27-19 #136

All right. We got a bottle of water and could have had more drink and food if we’d wanted – they had a lovely array of fruit and so on, plus, if you stayed longer, you could buy a beer and eat a sandwich. Plenty of people were doing so. But we decided to head for home before our muscles stiffened up too much.

Successful day. I’m happy we participated and that we endured and finished. It encourages us to try another one. Happy Running! Happy Spring! Thank you to the Pennypack Ecological Restoration Trust for inviting us!

Non-Art-Drop-Off, 4/21/19

Another non-art drop-off day. I meant to grab something as we left the house, but I forgot. Well, all right. Next time.

Anyway, on Sunday, April 21, my husband and I took a short drive up to Chalfont, PA, to check out Lake Galena in Peace Valley Park. It’s not far from home, but it’s not on my regular route. It’s been a very long time, in fact, since we’ve been here.

We wanted an easy walk and one that was not familiar to us. This location came to mind and I have no idea why.

Lake Galena is a man-made body of water, a reservoir for the local water authority created in the 1970’s. Interesting history: lead mining was done on the site in the 1800’s (hence the name of the area, Galena for lead). A village, New Galena, and a series of mines occupied the land until the defunct mines were filled with concrete and the remains of the village flooded by a dam. (Source: New Britain Township).

There is a path all around the lake. We parked at the boat rental area (closed right now, open later in the season). It was a nice morning for a walk.Lake Galena 4-21-19 (3)

The pier leads out from the dam to the water outlet. I wished we could have walked out on it but it was gated off.

Lake Galena 4-21-19 (2)

We walked along the top of the dam. To our right the lake, to our left the anticlimax of the outflow – a nondescript creek, that blends into the landscape in the middle of the photo.

Lake Galena 4-21-19 (4)

After we crossed the dam we walked back on the lower road. Here’s a closer look at the outflow. You see what I mean about anticlimax – that huge body of water held back by the earthen dam, and then…this is it?

Lake Galena 4-21-19 (6)

From below, the dam is impressive, though. A mountain that hides a lake. Little teeny people walking along the top of it.

The grounds around the lake are open and of not much interest – mowed areas of lawn, much of it. All right. A nice walk. I can’t say I’d rush back here – it’s a pretty bland experience. But, let’s face it, it’s a drinking water reservoir. A different kind of lake from the ones that form naturally. And, there is the drowned village to imagine underneath the water…that does give me the shivers, a little…

Lake Galena 4-21-19 (1)

Non-Art Drop-off 4/19/19

Yes, let’s talk about not dropping off art, how about it? Usually when I show you photos of a park or scenery, it’s in connection with some purpose, many times dropping off art. For the next couple of posts, though, I’m just going to show photos of a couple of places I’ve been recently.

I meant to bring along something to leave behind, but…I forgot. So look at the photos anyway – there are still surprises.

Today I have some pictures of the Pennypack Creek from the Ecological Restoration Trust’s side of things. To explain, the Pennypack rail trail I usually run on is across the creek from the trust’s lands. There are two bridges from the rail trail to the other side (you can also enter from the trust’s lands itself, of course). I ran from the Welsh Road parking lot up to the second bridge, crossed the creek, and did some distance on the trust’s side.

The trail here is in contrast to the smooth easy rail trail – it’s a former road, now closed to traffic, and it goes from pretty good footing:

Pennypack eco preserve 4-19-19 (1)

to something a bit rougher:

Pennypack eco preserve 4-19-19 (5)

to this…you’d better walk.

Pennypack eco preserve 4-19-19 (7)

There is a lot to see. I’ll show you some sights that caught my eye.

Here’s a large “lake” that catches runoff from the hills. We’ve had a lot of rain lately. Note: it’s on the other side of the trail from the creek. At one point, the lake drains across the road to empty into the creek. Another thing I like about this kind of trail – water running. Or running in water, however you want to put it.

The creek parallels the trail…or I guess it’s really the other way around. The creek was here first…

Pennypack eco preserve 4-19-19 (10)

and looking across it, up there on the ridge is the rail trail. I like to think about what a scenic ride the train journey was along here, back when the train was in service.

Pennypack eco preserve 4-19-19 (6)

Partway through the route, the trail breaks and follows a road that’s still in use and has a couple of houses on it. Also, there is a little farm, with goats. As I went this way, I stopped to say hello to this goat, who did not move a muscle. Why should he when things are so comfortable?

Pennypack eco preserve 4-19-19 (2)

I went all the way to the end of the preserve’s land, which ends in a meadow area. In summer this will be five feet high in hay, and they mow a perimeter path that connects with other paths in this section.

This is a lovely time of year for us in my part of the world as we move from one season into the next one.

Art Drop-Off – Treweryn Farms Trail, March 30, 2019

I’m doing some research for trails to run – as an add-on to classes at the gym, as outings in their own right, or…just for fun. This trail in Lower Gwynedd Township fits all the definitions. It’s very close to the grocery store/cafe location I use for many poetry marathon sessions  , right down the street, and about 5 minutes from the gym. I’ve done this trail quite a few years ago when it first opened, but it’s since been upgraded, and I was curious to see if it would work for me.

So, on Saturday morning, a warm early spring day, my husband and I checked it out.

Treweryn Farms Trail 3-30-19 (2)

We parked in the tiny lot and set off down the trail.

There are several trails in this sliver of land tucked between neighborhoods and Gwynedd-Mercy University. We took the one that runs alongside Trewellyn Creek. There are two dams that created a tiny and another even tinier lake, plus a nice older stone bridge and a more modern plainer bridge. When we got home I tried to find out the history of this tract, because somebody obviously did some engineering here, but I came up with nothing. So we’ll just have to enjoy it without knowing its story.

The trail comes out in a neighborhood of huge fancy houses.

Treweryn Farms Trail 3-30-19 (7)

We turned around and left a tile on one of the bridges.

We continued on. As we neared the parking lot, we decided to take a little detour. On one side of the preserve is the Gwynedd-Mercy campus – on the other side was a Merck (drug company) location, which the college recently bought. I don’t know what their plans are for the site; right now the building sits quietly in the middle of a lot of open land. We walked up and peered in the windows (nothing to see, except for a modest lobby with a nice terazzo staircase).

We circled the building and found this gazebo out back. Obviously it was the designated smoking spot for employees. Not too comfortable. I left a tile there. I am sure it will be there a while, but someday someone will find it.

 

A bush was just about to burst into bloom at the location. Come back tomorrow, I bet you’ll see flowers.

As we went back across the open field, we saw relics of last year – milkweed pods on dried stalks. Most of them had shed their seeds to the wind, but there were some silky-filled pods here and there. We liberated a few – just take the fluff, hold it to the wind, and let go. Future milkweed plants in the making.

Treweryn Farms Trail 3-30-19 (1)

I liked this trail. It’s nothing difficult or demanding, but very pleasant and scenic, and if I want to extend the exercise I can go on to the college’s property or into the neighborhood. I’ll be back.

Happy Spring! Happy Art!

More Orienteering – Hibernia Park, 3/17/19

Here we go on another orienteering session. As I said in the previous post, we’ve done the sport for a couple of years, didn’t do any events last year, and this year – we’re back to it and happy to say so.

On March 17, we went to Hibernia Park in Chester County, PA, about an hour from our house. According to the park’s website, the park is about 900 acres, with a lake, a fishing pond, camping, picnic pavilions, and loads of trails and hills.

We stopped at Whole Foods in Plymouth Meeting to eat breakfast. You need a good meal because orienteering takes a lot of energy.

Orienteering Hibernia 3-17-19 #15.jpg

We arrived at the beginning of the event. Typically, people can show up from 10 AM to 1 PM, register, take their maps and get going. The event ends usually about 4 or so in the afternoon. You come when you want to and stay as long as you want – there’s no official start or group requirements. We like to get going earlier in the day.

It was a beautiful day, but cold and windy.

Orienteering Hibernia 3-17-19 #24

Orienteering is a friendly sport. As the sign says in the next photo, all are welcome. If you are passing by and want to try it, but you know nothing about it, just ask. Someone will explain the basics to you, help you pick out the course level for your skills (or lack of), register you, and get you started off. You don’t need reservations or equipment, unless you do more advanced courses, and then a compass is necessary. Basically, if you can read a map and walk, you can do this sport.

Orienteering Hibernia 3-17-19 #33

We chose to do the orange course. It’s intermediate level and usually about 4 K (as the crow flies. We won’t be following the crow flying idea, it’s pretty much impossible, so we’ll do more like 6 K+, depending on the routes we choose).

We got going – in the beginning the land was pretty flat, but rocky. Most of the route was in the woods, bare at this time of year, but still full of tiny trees, thorn bushes, etc. Here is the first control point. You see what I mean.

Here I am going along an easy trail. Note: I am wearing two shirts and two sweatshirts this week. It’s cold. I got a discount on my registration because I was wearing green for St. Patrick’s Day. And by the way, the choice of Hibernia Park for this holiday is deliberate – Hibernia – Ireland – get it?

Orienteering Hibernia 3-17-19 #a16

Here I am pushing into the undergrowth to get to a control point in a depression semi-filled with water. We used the map to go from point to point and plot our routes. That gets you to the general location.

Then there is an additional key specific to this course on this day, made by the course-setter, that uses symbols to give details as to the exact location of the control. The key symbol for this stop said it was in a pit or depression – so we knew to be looking for such a feature in order to pinpoint the location. My husband took this picture from a trail up above.

This next control point illustrates a lot of things about orienteering that I like, but that can be scary or difficult, too. This control was below the edge of a steep dropoff. The black arrow shows the location (we were standing on the road below it to take this photo, after I had gotten to the location and come back down on our way to another point.)

Orienteering Hibernia 3-17-19 #g110

There were several ways to approach it (brain work is also part of the sport, all right). I could have gone up the hill from the road to the point, angling over above the rocks. In fact the group of fearless young Boy Scouts behind us did just that. But I am fearful of coming down steep downhills. So we took a trail up behind it, crashed through the undergrowth to the spot above it, and then I inched down to it in a seated position. You can’t fall if you are sitting down already, right?

I hit the control and then turned and crawled back up the slight distance, straight up. We only have a photo of me coming up since my husband wanted to pay closer attention to the downward trip in case I…rolled down the hill? Well, I didn’t. All good.

Orienteering Hibernia 3-17-19 #e12

I was so happy to be back on more level ground, I just had to thank someone.

Orienteering Hibernia 3-17-19 #f11

Then we went back to the trail, down to the road, and off to the next location. It was a gimme and I for one was glad for a simple maneuver this time.

Orienteering Hibernia 3-17-19 #h9

So we kept on going. Another uphill trail…

Orienteering Hibernia 3-17-19 #i8

Then off to the side for another control point. You can see how steep the hills were in this section of the event.

After this control, there was just one more, a pretty easy uphill on a trail
exiting into a field, and then a short distance skirting along the trees until we saw it inside the woods – although it was once again located in a boulder field which made it harder to get to. Then a jog to the finish, and we were done!

The whole thing took a little under two hours. Not fast at all, but we hit every control, and we mostly made good choices as to the routes we took. It’s important to remember what your abilities are in orienteering, and to manage things while taking into account your strengths and weaknesses. The shortest route is not always the best one.

All right, we’ll be out there again soon!

Re-Orienteering

You may remember that my husband and I like to do orienteering, which is running around outside following a map to locate designated spots, as quickly as possible.

We’ve done this sport for a couple of years. Here are two posts recounting some experiences, and in them, I go into some detail about the sport – showing the maps, reference materials, and so on. Take a look here and here if you want to know more.

Here’s a picture of what we are looking for. You wear a clicker and tap it into the little reader, marking your acquisition of the target, and then you move on to the next one.

Orienteering 6-17 #1 small small

Anyway, we didn’t do any events last year for various reasons. We resolved that this year we would return. So, on March 10, we attended a day at Norristown Farm Park, sponsored by the Delaware Valley Orienteering Association, of which we are members.

We are very familiar with the park – I’ve written quite a few posts on it. But – when you do orienteering, you go into parts of the park you don’t normally access. The course we did covered about three miles or so, mostly through fields that last year were growing corn and are now filled with stalks cut about a foot above the ground. We did the orange course, which means we were at the intermediate level.

There were remnants of snow still lying on the ground and even more difficult – it had poured down rain overnight almost up to the time we started out at about 11 AM. Not to mention it was about 42 degrees F. So what. We got out there and got moving.

I got my husband to take a few pictures to show. Usually we are on the move and don’t stop for photos, but today, well, why not? Here I am midway through the event. I look so composed, don’t I?

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It’s because I am prepared to conquer the course. Yes, I am! Same photo complete with handy captions for the details.

Orienteering Norristown Farm Park 3-10-19 (1) annotated1.jpg

All right. We made our way around the course, though not very quickly, but that was not the point. The slippery ground and those lethal corn stalk stumps (fall on them and see what you think about it) meant we didn’t do a lot of running. And the ground was soft enough to suck your shoes off if you weren’t careful. The whole thing took us about an hour and 40 minutes.

I do not have a problem running through mud or water. In fact, I seek it out, it looks like.

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Running to a control point. Yes! It’s the right one. Click it!

All right! We had a lot of fun. Looking forward to the next one.

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