Last-last weekend (my original draft said last weekend, but.. I always start blog drafts and don't post them. So it has turned into last-last weekend), Beau told me he would be busy all day studying. At first I was a little bummed he couldn't come to my race with me, but then I started planning all these fun random things I'd been wanting to do.
First: the Freedom's Run half marathon. This event was awesome. I've never gone to a race completely on my own before- normally, even if I don't have friends to run with, Beau is my support crew. Not this time! It was weird parking and walking to the starting area and figuring it out all on my own. And not having anyone to look for in the crowd. But I ran fast on a hilly course, had a PR of 1:54, and felt great the whole time. In the finish area, they had a fun photo booth set up with all kinds of props. It's possible I'm the only person who did this activity alone, but I'm cool with it.
|"It's rude to count people as you pass them... OUT LOUD"|
After the race, I went to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy to a) check out the hiker book and see who passed through after us, b) complete my 2,000 miler application, and c) get myself (and Lady Forward, at her request) a 2,184 mile sticker for my car. You may recall this photo:
Every thru hiker stops in to the ATC and gets their photo taken and added to the hiker book. I, of course, was dying to see who I knew in the first half the hike and after getting ahead of them, never heard from again. I wrote down full names to find people on facebook. It's so funny to see people's real names after only knowing them by the trail names- almost like I'm finding out their real, more boring, identity. In June, they will publish all the names of hikers who finished the trail in 2012 in the AT magazine and we'll be able to see a complete list.
I also found out that they don't even make the 2,184 stickers anymore. They did have some old 2,179 stickers from 2010 (the trail length sometimes changes from year to year), so I got that instead.
Next, as I was driving home, I saw a flea market. Pullll over for some spontaneous perusing. I picked up a squash and some apples at the vegetable stand, then was on my way to Leesburg for some thrift store shopping. When I parked the car, I saw the car next to me had an AT license plate. I was all excited to put my sticked in the window so when he left, he could see that we were friends. In my favorite thrift store, Blossom and Bloom, I found a skirt and a top AND my Halloween costume. Get ready. It's awesome. Beau and I were assigned the task of heading up the ward Halloween party, so I feel like I should make a bit of an effort.
I'm sure Beau had as much fun as I did while he was studying, right?
In the evening, Beau and I tried to plan our AT fireside we were giving the next day. We made an outline, but it was so hard to try to script the whole thing! We ended up presenting it without ever having gone through the presentation, but it went really well.
|AT cookies, anyone?|
It was cool to see how many people came to the fireside and how interested they were in asking questions. A few people brought their children, and one girl (maybe 10 ish?) told me afterward, "I want to hike now, too!" YES, child, yes you do. While sure, there is girls camp, girls in the church do not have nearly the same exposure to hiking and outdoors experience that the scouts do. My 4th year hike at GC is what originally introduced me to backpacking, and I hate to think of all the girls that never had an experience that physically pushes their limits. There is such a strong connection between challenging yourself physically and becoming a stronger person mentally. Go take a hike!