I kind of knew that today wasn’t going to be the greatest run of my life. It was a good run in the sense that it happened at all, as today was our last day in the beach house, and we had to be out by 10:00am. I knew that if I was going to run, I was going to have to get out really early. I figured that if I woke up early enough, I’d go, and if not, I wouldn’t. The Powers that Be must have wanted me to run, because I was out of bed at 5:30 after 6 hours of sleep. I wolfed down a couple of sausage patties and potato pancakes, drank a little bit of water, suited up, and got out of the house just after 6, before any other adults in the house were moving. I went 5.4 miles at a rather plodding pace. My energy did not feel the greatest this morning, and I’m wondering if I was starting to get a little bit dehydrated after 7 extremely humid days here. It could also have been lack of sleep, or a combination of the two. I am glad that I got out, though, because it keeps me on schedule for the week. My next run likely will be Tuesday morning, and it will also have to be an early, short one, as I have to leave for an appointment at around 8.
This morning, we launched the kayaks at Sassafras Landing and paddled around 5 miles on Miller Creek, which feeds into Little Assawoman Bay. Nice paddle with plenty of wildlife, particularly birds, including herons, cranes, and ospreys. It’s definitely important to get out early this time of year to beat all of the recreational boaters. It was pretty quiet when we launched at around 8:15am, with just a few other boats and personal watercraft out, but it was definitely getting busier, and heating up, as we took out. Sassafras landing is a nice put-in from a sandy beach, but there are many other options for accessing this body of water. Four years ago, we put in at the Kent Ave ramp in South Bethany, which is on the Assawoman Canal to the north. In 2021, we launched a little south of here from the dock behind the house where my brother and sister-in-law’s family was staying. On the south side of the peninsula where we launched today is Mulberry Landing, which looks like another boat ramp. Next time we paddle here, I might check one of these other locations out. Once again, though, definitely need to get out early — preferably before 8:00am.
Today’s ride took me west from Bethany to Frankford (DE) and back, passing through the town of Omar along the way. On the whole, this is a more pleasant ride than south through Bayard, because there is less traffic, and the roads are wider and more bike-friendly. The town of Frankford itself is something of an exception, with more traffic and narrower roads that are not exceptionally well-maintained, but that’s a rather small portion of the ride. My total distance was just under 24 miles, which is about what I set out for today. From Frankford, the route can be extended by heading north to Dagsboro, South to Selbyville, or even east to Fenwick via DE-20 and DE-54.
I’ve been making a glass of cold brew every day this week, and I think I’ve gotten it nailed down to this recipe:
- Pre-moisten 2 new or used paper AeroPress filters
- Set AeroPress up in inverted orientation
- Add 1 heaping scoop (roughly 15 grams) Wellsley Farms Breakfast Blend pre-ground medium roast coffee
- Fill AeroPress a little over halfway with room temperature water
- Stir vigorously for 1 minute
- Press slowly into an 8-ounce glass
- Add ice and top with water
I had been brewing this in standard orientation previously, but a lot of water was dripping through while stirring, which the inverted orientation avoids. I think inverted produced a slightly superior result, but I’d have to do a blind taste test to say for sure. Next time, I think I’m going to try topping off with milk or cream, and see how that tastes.
I also found that using the drip coffee brewer makes a better hot cup with this coffee than the AeroPress method I was using earlier in the week. I’ve been using 4 level tablespoons coffee to 8 ounces (1 cup) water. I’m sure I could get better results from the AP with a little bit of tweaking, but haven’t really bothered fooling around with it.
I ran at the shore for a second time this week. I had hoped to do a 10-miler today, but it was extremely humid, and I was only carrying 16 ounces of water. In spite of that, I ran just over 8 miles at 11 minutes/mile on average. I started out faster than on Monday, and really slowed down towards the end as the temperature was rising, but at no point did I feel like I was struggling. My form felt great throughout, with no discomfort or muscle tightness anywhere. It was the best I’ve felt on a run in a while. If I had had more water and/or some kind of electrolyte drink or energy gel, I could have easily gone farther. I feel like I’ve acclimated to running in the humidity, but if I want to go farther than 6 to 8 miles, I’m probably going to need to invest in a hydration vest. With that said, I do like the Amphipod 16-ounce soft water bottle I’ve been running with lately. When I first started out, I was using a hip belt with a holder for a regular bike-style water bottle, and I used to hate how the water would slosh around in the hard plastic bottle. The soft bottle contracts as I drink the water, so there’s no air in there, and hence, no sloshing. I wasn’t sure I was going to like having to carry the bottle in my hand, but it really doesn’t get in the way at all. It’s a great bottle for shorter runs in warm/humid conditions.
Today’s paddle brought us to Millsboro Pond in Sussex County, DE. This is about a 30 minute drive west from where we are staying in Bethany Beach. I had paddled here at about the same time last year, and wanted to come back with my better half. We spent 90 leisurely minutes on the water and covered about 3 miles. The area of the pond to the north of the boat launch is mostly undeveloped, shallow, and scenic, with lots of wildlife. We saw numerous herons, turtles, dragonflies, damselflies, and various and sundry other creatures. Lily pads are plentiful, and there are a lot of really nice little side channels to explore. I believe this is a man-made pond. I’ve never paddled south from the launch, where I presume the dam is located. From what I’ve seen from the road, that part of the pond is more developed, with numerous docks, waterfront homes, artificial erosion barriers, etc., all of which make it less desirable for paddling in my book (if I wanted developed shoreline, all I have to do is drive 15 minutes from home to Anne Arundel County). There are several geocaches placed around the north end of the pond, and that’s what initially brought me here. I found several of them last year, and a couple of them today, leaving a couple more for a future visit.
I’m hoping to get out in the kayaks one more time while we are at the shore. I’ve been eying Strawberry Landing or nearby Sassafras Landing, both of which are 15 to 20 minutes south of Bethany, and will give us an opportunity to check out Little Assawoman Bay. I rode my bike to the Sassafras Landing launch last year, and it looked like a nice place to paddle.
Today, I took an out-and-back trip from Bethany Beach to Isle of Wight Park near Ocean City, MD. It was the first of (hopefully) 2 or 3 rides at the shore this week. My round trip distance was just under 34 miles. I rode my Masi single speed bike, which is my favorite bike to ride in coastal areas, as the flat terrain makes multiple gears mostly unnecessary. It was a really nice day for July on the east coast, but traffic has really picked up along this route in the post-COVID years, particularly near the town of Bayard. Once I crossed the border into Maryland, the roads quieted down, and I was able to enjoy the ride a little bit more. My main reason for visiting Isle of Wight park was to find a “Cache Across Maryland” geocache, plus a bonus cache. I skipped a few other caches in the area because they were back in the woods, and I forgot to bring bug repellent, which is a necessity around here this time of year, unless you really like ticks and mosquito bites.
This was likely my longest ride of the week. The next time I get out, I’m planning on riding east to Frankford, which is about a 20-25 mile round trip. If I can get out a third time, I’ll either head north toward Holt’s Landing, or south to Fenwick Island.