Last weekend I had my first night away from the children, other than hospital visits to produce for them another sibling, in 9 years. Friday night I ate dinner at a fancy-shmancy restaurant in Ellsworth all by myself. I ordered shrimp jambalaya and had the prettiest plate of chocolate mousse I have ever seen with 3 scoops lined up with whipped cream and a different berry on top of each, raspberry sauce swirling about the edges. I wish I had taken a picture, but I left my camera at home. I further regretted leaving it behind when I drove past town and saw the raw beauty of Hancock and Washington Counties on my way to the motel in Machias.
Route 1 swooped through tiny picturesque towns and continuously skirted postcard-worthy views of water, islands, and conifers. The next morning I woke to a super hot day, for Maine that is, of 85F and I drove on another 45 minutes east to Pembroke, where the Cobscook 10K would take place. Since I was so early, I drove the course and took in the view at the end of a side road, which literally ended on the gravel beach. If I hadn't been driving the Jeep, I would likely still be there trying to extricate my vehicle, but it was the loveliest place I had been in a long time, fog hovering over the water with islands of stiff hemlocks and fir trees rising out of the mist.
Until the director called us to the starting line all the runners were standing on the west side of nearby buildings, knowing that we would be overheated well before we hit the only bit of shade on the course. Of course that was when the hills began and the road changed to gravel, adding to our misery. This was an endurance race rather than one to be enjoyed, my time (49:55) was 5 minutes slower than my last 10K, run only a month before. Afterwards, I staggered to the shade of the tent, where someone kept passing me slices of watermelon and bottles of water until I was able to sit upright. After the big picnic, complete with salmon, hamburgers, and dozens of desserts/salads, I drove on to Eastport, the easternmost city in the US, and to Quoddy Head Lighthouse, the easternmost point in the US, before returning to my motel and hitting the shower and bed by 7pm.
This weekend's race is not only shorter, a 1 mile downhill sprint, but cooler by 10+ degrees. As Saturday is predicted to rain heavily, I am being flexible as to who I end up taking with me. Also, my goal of breaking 6 minutes might have to be postponed for a year, I would rather not take any chances on slipping and falling just for vanity's sake.