Last week was all about embracing walking for exercise. I was pretty sluggish all week and couldn't really get on board with a major sweat session, so I decided leisurely strolls would have to get me by. It always helps to have a destination in mind when I'm walking, so two days in a row I used the local library to get me out the door.
Here's my recap for the week:
Tuesday - short walk to library (the direct route) - 2.6 miles total
Wednesday - long library walk - this route took me far past the library along Sligo Creek and then back - about 4.5 miles total
Thursday - (I finally found my way into the gym!) body pump 75 rep modification - increased weight but lower reps to 75 reps from 100
Friday - 30 min elliptical level 4 plus 2 min cool down
Sunday - short hike at the Patuxent Research Refuge
You can follow my route from the map at the left - I took the large circle around the outer perimeter, which I think ended up only being about three miles (it took me just over an hour, but I was going at a very leisurely pace and enjoying the scenery).
The terrain was completley flat, and a lot of the path was even paved. The trail followed around the edge of a small lake before eventually cutting through the woods and back to the parking lot. While this wasn't exactly a difficult hike, there was no entry fee (aside of course from tax dollars) and the visitors center had clean bathrooms plus nature exhibits (if you are so inclined) - including a giant taxidermied polar bear (odd).
There were a fair number of other people at the Patuxent Research Refuge, but not nearly as many as I would see walking along Sligo Creek in Silver Spring and definitely not the annoyance of traffic sounds. It's been such a long time since I've gotten out into "real" nature that it's made me itch for more. I'll definitely be looking for a more intense and remote hike this weekend.