Today rekindled a memory of the last 7 miles of the 35.1 mile Rachel Carson Challenge a few years back. The last person in my group just dropped out at the final checkpoint and I was headed up the huge hill along Route 28 all alone, dusk quickly approaching. At the crest of the hill along the tree line I could see a storm approaching (the 2nd of that day) and was wondering where to stick my iphone. Only two options existed, down my shirt or pants. I had already hiked 28.1 miles that day, changed my shoes 3 times and could barely feel my legs but I kept trekking along determined to complete the darn thing. I wasn’t giving up unless someone forced me to quit.
I approached one of the largest climbs on the course and joined up with a young guy who had completed the Challenge the year before. He told me that based on his recollection we would have to run the remainder of the trail to make it before the dusk cut off. I don’t really recall running although I know that I did. I recall going deep into the woods, the rain pounding my shoulders and my legs and feet numb like my cheek at the dentist on Novocaine. He had a camelbak and was super nice to take my phone protecting it from the storm. With less than three miles left, we began weaving through Harrison Hills Park and I remember seeing flying monkeys. Some people see stars, I saw monkeys. They were leaping from one branch to the other, swinging from tree to tree. I could have sworn they could even fly…
I finished the challenge, just in time and forgot about the monkeys.
I saw the monkeys again tonight as I was half way through my high cadence bike ride. Thank god I was on the trainer, in my house. They flew tonight too, right through my game room downstairs. I quickly swallowed some organic stingers (adult workout gummy bears) and never saw them again. Pretty funny when I was done. I would say that was a pretty tough workout.