I haven’t been home since March, and I have to say, it’s always a little sad to miss a trip home during the summer. There are so many things that are so much a part of the fabric of my life that revolve around summer traditions, such as going to the town pools (where i hung out, swam on the team and lifeguarded for a total of 12 years), going to the Saratoga Race Track, seeing the NYC Ballet at S.P.A.C, and going to the Country Drive In (a summer ice cream place ). This year with going to Africa, finishing papers, interviewing for and starting a new job, I didn’t make it home in time for many of those things. Better late than never, it was still a gorgeous weekend, mildly warm and sunny.
It started with the Amtrak trip I mentioned a few posts ago, some pics from the train:
I arrived at my parents’ house around 2 on Saturday and after a quick lunch, I took a 3.7 mile tempo run. It was probably the first time in three weeks that i have felt almost no discomfort running. It is amazing that a half size up in a pair of shoes could change my world. I feel so unbelievably lucky that I figured out and resolved my problem so quickly. I was pretty terrified when I thought I might not be able to keep training!
Sunday was supposed to be my 12 mile long run, which in theory is a pretty short long run at this point. I could have planned a 12 mile route weaving in and around the streets of the neighborhood, but my Dad suggested I check out the Zim Smith Trail. The trail is a Saratoga Heritage Trail that once completed will span the county crossing Clifton Park, Halfmoon, Malta, Round Lake Ballston Spa and ending at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center.
My Dad suggested I drive to a parking area and then run along a 6 mile stretch that runs from Shenantaha Creek Park to Round Lake. This sounded pretty good to me. I parked my car and checked out my options, there were actually three to pick from.
A hiking trail
The start of Zim Smith going toward the park.
Or to take the path in the other direction
I figured I would have to do all of them to cover 12 miles, so I decided to head up to Round Lake first.
No problem with the speed limit
It was a really pretty morning and a quiet trail for sure
I enjoyed the hints of gold and red foliage
I am really a sucker for canopied trees
So things were going really well, until they were going really poorly.
All of the sudden out of nowhere, I fell. I crashed and burned. I don’t know how it happened, I didn’t see it coming. Maybe I was tired from the hill over the bridge
But down I went. Down like a dog on the highway.
So I stood up in shock. I was bleeding from both wrists and my knee. And my poor ipod took a beating too
So I decided to walk back to the car. Fortunately–I guess—I had only gone a mile, so I didn’t have too far to the car. Along the way, I took a few photos to distract myself
I got to the car and used a wetone to disinfect myself and dislodge the gravel. I briefly considered trying again, but decided I didn’t really want to be running alone and I really needed some bandaids.
I did make a super quick stop to take some photos of Round Lake Village since it is such a quirky little village of brightly painted Victorian era houses. It’s almost like if the Martha’s Vineyard Gingerbread Houses grew up. I used to be jealous of my girl friends who lived in pink and purple houses! I just took some shots from the outside, but the inner village has a great tabernacle and crazy colored homes.
I got home, washed up, slapped on some band aids and headed out for another 5 miles. Total including walk back to the car: 7 miles. I called it a day. One long run missed will not break my training, in fact, I had an awesome 6 mile run this morning, averaging over a minute faster per mile than I have in weeks.
So after my pre-empted run, I had a very important date with my fabulous sister!
We went into Saratoga for brunch. We almost always go to Beverly’s, but we decided to walk around and see what else caught our eye. We decided on Cantina, a cute mexican place we had never been to. We had a great table on the side walk, so we could take in the downtown ‘toga action.
The menu was the best mexican menu I have seen in forever. It was really hard to decide.
The chips were forgettable, but I had plenty of their amazing salsa. This place is not afraid of spice.
I started with a half house salad, which had pear and pistachio.
For my main, I decided on veggie burritos, which were stuffed with beans, zuchinni, asparagus, onion and cabbage and topped with avocado, a dusting of feta and cumin sour cream. Yum! Just one would have been fine, but I ate a few veggies from number 2.
Then we walked about the town for a bit
I think this is a great restaurant name.
Putnam Market is a place that Rachael Ray worked in back in the day
My sister worked at the Adelphi over the summer
And a quick stop at the park for a little flora and fauna
As a note, it was not nearly cold enough (even all the way upstate to wear a sweater and thermal—it was 65 and sunny. I am just a dork.
The main reason I went home was to say goodbye to a very special part of my life–my dog Katie. I was a pretty persistant and demanding kid when it came to things I really wanted, and a dog was one of them. I begged for years and years. By third grade, I was reading the Pets and Supplies section of the classifieds aloud on a daily basis. Finally, the summer after fifth grade, I had worn my parents down. They could no longer satisfy me with pound puppies and turtles. So after several failed expeditions, we found Katie. Our beyond adorable cocker spaniel puppy (1994):
Katie was extremely loyal to the family. She never had a fence or leash to go outside, although she was known to raid our neighbor’s strawberry patch and tomato crop on occasion. In fact, she was actually called Odysseus by neighbors and friends for her uncanny ability to con people out of food.
It was really hard to go home and know that for the first time in 15 years, she wouldn’t be there to greet me, wiggling so hard her back legs could barely stay on the floor.
Here we are in 2003
And here was Kate in March. Still full of life at age 14 and 10 months. She was eagerly awaiting a Newman’s Own Organic Dog Treat in this photo.
My parents said goodbye to Katie in late July. I went home to say my formal goodbye last weekend, but el-pooch-o will always be there in spirit.