2008-07-20 - Sweet and Sweaty Seneca Sixteen Sunday

16 miles @ ~17 min/mi

Today starting at 5am from Rt 355 Caren Jew and I follow the same route as on 2008-06-14 (cf. Deadfall Day) but are six minutes slower in the crushing heat & humidity, as temps rise from the upper 70s into the 80s with the dewpoint firmly stuck at 70°F. My flashlight's beam reveals a brown frog on the trail; offended, it hops away and quickly vanishes among the leaves on the forest floor. After sunrise a dead mole on the trail distracts us, as do sunbeams over photogenic fog-shrouded meadows and ponds. Caren scrapes a big tick off her leg just after Brink Rd while black stinging flies swarm about my head. On our return journey we meet comrade Mike Acuña and chat with him as we catch our breath. Caren spies a turtle craning its neck as it stands on a log in the middle of the stream.

Caren claims she's "down" but keeps smiling as we trek along Seneca Creek at a good pace, upstream 8+ miles and back. By my watch we're 48 minutes from Rt 355 to the first of three aid stations that Caren planted in the pre-dawn murk (Watkins Mill Rd, 3 miles), 1:26 more (total 2:14) to our turnaround at Watkins Rd (mile 8), 1:34 back to Watkins Mill, and 46 minutes more to touch our respective cars. Surprisingly we go a couple of minutes faster during the last 3 miles than during the first 3; the fact that it was dark when we started may have had something to do with it. Caren's right foot hurts, and I feel a bit of bruising on the top of my right foot.

(correlates: 2008-06-14 - Seneca Creek Sixteen, SuspectTerrain, 2008-06-22 - Rock Creek Park Loop, ...)