4th of July Weekend

I spent most of my forth of July weekend in Keene New Hampshire moving my brother’s stuff out of his apartment since he is living on Tern Island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean until December.

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We drove up there on the 3rd and maybe a stop at the Big Moose Deli in Vermont for Lunch.

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It was a cool place with tons of little Moose carvings and Root Beer from a local place

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I got a quick run done when we got Keene. I tried to find a pool to go swimming at but both the outdoor pools had no lap lanes setup and the only indoor pool was a YMCA that I wasn’t a member at. So I went to sleep early which was ok because we had been driving since 5am to get there.

Saturday I woke up early to get my long run done, and what a difference the terrain makes. It was really tough with all the hills around town, this was probably the hilliest run I’ve ever done. I ignored my pace goals that I had for the run and went by heart rate/feel instead because trying to run a 7:00 min/mile pace up some of these hills would only have lasted a couple hundred yards.

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To start my run I went up to Beaver Brook Park and ran up the hill to the waterfall that I visited last time I was in Keene, and it looked very different.

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After running up Beaver Brook Park I wanted to run by Otter Brook Park and make a loop around the lake. Looking a map before my run I thought I had the route correct.

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But as I found out when I got there the only way into the park would have involved me running down highway 9 for a mile, which would not have worked out well for me. The run up to the ridge was the park sat on was tough, it would have been like running to the top of sugarloaf mountain back in Maryland, the road seemed to go up forever and every.

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When I got route 9 and figured out I had nowhere to go I turned around and went back to Beaver Brook Park and ran  up to the waterfall one more time before I went back. I was able to get just short of 11 miles done which is good for me considering how hilly this run was.

Most of Saturday was spent loading furniture and I tried to find somewhere to swim without any success. Can’t you see how excited I am to help move?

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But for me the highlight of the trip was Saturday night. We went to see the Keene SwampBats play a game. That’s an awesome team name, and they played against the SteepleCats.

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The SwampBats are a team in the New England Collegiate Baseball Summer League. Colleges from all around the country send their players to leagues like this for the summer to get experience and lots of scouts show up since a lot of talented players are all in one place. The SwampBats even have a few players from Arizona State which was the number one team in the country this year.

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The game took place at the local high school at the atmosphere was awesome we arrived 20 minutes before the start of the game and the place was already packed. The town was putting on fireworks after the game and I’m not exaggerating when I say that almost half the town was there.  Keene has ~20,000 and I would guess ~6,000 people were in the stands and another 1,500 by the football and soccer fields just there for the fireworks. We left early to avoid the big crowds leaving since we had to get on the road early but when we got back to the main street in town it was EMPTY. Most of the shops and restaurants actually closed early because the fireworks.

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They had contests and giveaways after every half inning but the best and one of the most creative i have ever seen was the “Batmobile”; I didn’t know about this or I would have signed up. Everyone buys a tennis ball with a number on it. Then in the 6th inning the Batmobile drives around the outfield fence and along the foul lines with everyone trying the throw the tennis balls into the open windows. Of all the balls that make it in the car they draw one for prizes. It was blast, the players were getting into and throwing tennis balls that had bounced towards the dugout.

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Sunday was waking up early and driving back to Maryland.

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I was able to get home earlier enough Sunday to squeeze an 1 1/2 bike to Sugarloaf and back in before it go to dark. I had a good ride considering I had been driving all day and an even better brick run afterwards. It was a quick twenty minute run but I was able to get the first ten minutes at 6:20 min/mile pace and I wasn’t working to hard to hold that effort.

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