Hiking Mount Misery at Valley Forge
Hiking Mount Misery at Valley Forge

Hiking Mount Misery at Valley Forge

If you are into history and hiking Valley Forge is a great spot to stop.

A brief history:

During the Revolutionary War, Valley Forge was commanded by General George Washington and functioned as a military encampment for the Continental Army’s main body.

In the winter of 1777, General George Washington led his 12,000-man army into Valley Forge.  They remained there from December 1777 to June 1778. For six months, Valley Forge was one of the largest cities in the colonies. Washington’s men created crude huts to serve as temporary barracks. George Washington set up his headquarters in a small stone building considered to be the “Pentagon.” General Washington and his men worked there.

Hiking Mount Misery at Valley Forge

During the winter, roughly 2,000 soldiers and about 1500 horses died due to disease or malnutrition.

Today, Valley Forge National Historical Park preserves 3,500 acres of the original encampment site.  Since it’s such a historic area, along with most of Philadelphia, I highly recommend taking a trip if you’re around.

I’ve been to Valley Forge multiple times, but it wasn’t until recently I knew there were trails. My good friend and writer, Jen and I headed up on a cool Thursday afternoon.  There are a few trails that you can hike at Valley Forge and Washington’s Headquarters. Jen actually trained for her trail race in the park. From Washington’s Headquarters, you have the choice to hike Mount Misery and Mount Joy. We chose Mount Misery, but I want to come back to Mount Joy soon.

Hiking Mount Misery at Valley Forge

You can park at Washington’s Headquarters in Valley Forge. At Washington’s Headquarters, there are bathrooms as well as a still in use train station.  There are also guided tours too. Walk down the Train Station platform and down the steps.  As you continue along the gravel path at Valley Forge, you’ll see Washington’s Headquarters.  Continue straight until you get to the road. At the fork, you can start with alley Creek Trail or Horse-Shoe Trail. It depends if you want to start with the easy (alley Creek Trail) and finish with the harder (Horse-Shoe Trail) or the opposite. Horse Shoe Trail is what takes you to the peak.

Hiking Mount Misery at Valley Forge

We started with Valley Creek Trail which is an easy, flat, trail. Horse-Shoe Trail takes you up Mount Misery and the Valley Creek Trail takes you back. You can see an old Covered Bridge as well. Hiking up trails on Mount Misery in Valley Forge is roughly a 4 miles from the parking lot at Washingtons Headquarters.

Hiking Mount Misery at Valley Forge

In all, it was a fun hike and I’m glad Jen and I did the Mount Misery Trail. I’m looking forward to hiking the Mount Hope Trail soon.

Hiking Mount Misery at Valley Forge

You can see more hikes here.

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We both needed a trip out of the house. Diner+hike it was.

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Questions for you:

What is the last historical spot you went to?

Have you hiked Mount Misery at Valley Forge?


Gritty 5k me
Gritty 5k (20:45)

Gritty 5k (20:45)

After running the Heroes to Hero 5k the day before, I wasn’t sure what to expect with the Gritty 5k fun run on Sunday, October 13. The Gritty 5k seemed like it would be a lot of fun and no pressure. There were zero awards for race winners of the Gritty 5k, just most Gritty themed and for Gritty Costumes. All of the proceeds for the Gritty 5k go to the Philadelphia Flyers Charity.  My two good friends Danielle and Amelia, also came down to do the Gritty 5k so it was awesome to catch up with them too.

Danielle and I wanted to do a long run that day to get ready for the NYCM so long run was our primary goal and racing fast at the Gritty 5k was our secondary goal. Since the Gritty 5k starts at the Wells Fargo Stadium, there is plenty of parking.

We got to the Gritty 5k around 7:30 warmed up 4 miles and got to the start around 8:20.

Of course, I left my bib at the car so I had to run back before getting to the Gritty 5k starting line.  I panicked but luckily the Gritty 5k didn’t start on time…at all.

I wasn’t surprised that the Gritty 5k started about 20 minutes late from the warmup and race announcements. I hope next year they either state the true start is 8:50 or do all of the warmups, stretches, dancing, etc beforehand. Anyway, after that, we were off.

Even though the Gritty 5k was massive, the majority of people participating were not weekend warrior road racers. There were more Flyer fans at the Gritty 5k than people who identified as “runners.” More people dressed up as Gritty himself, then didn’t. My feet cringed, seeing people running in converse, basketball shoes, and vans but more power to them or being active and supporting a charity.  There was a huge after-party celebrating the Flyers Home Opener at the Xfinity Live and Wells Fargo Center. If you are looking for a no-pressure, party race, the Gritty 5k is for you.

The first mile of the Gritty 5k was filled with people that took the race out too fast. It goes through the Philadelphia Flyers Stadium. While I know many people don’t love that course, I do. I think it’s well marked and wide.

During the first mile of the Gritty 5k, Girard went by me wearing a full Gritty outfit and wig. I was loling. I felt comfortable and like I was pushing it, but not too much. I considered adding a second race+long run a “danger zone” weekend for me and made sure to listen to all cues from my body.

I hit the first mile of the Gritty 5k in around 6:40 and it felt comfortable. I saw two females running side by side just up ahead and I was hoping to catch them. Around 1.5, I caught them and didn’t look back. We traveled through the Navy Yard. It was windy, but not too bad.

I hit mile 2 in 6:43 and felt comfortable. At the Heroes to Hero 5k, I ran mile 2 in 6:35 and thought I would keel over.

The last mile of the Gritty 5k went by quickly. During the final mile of the Gritty 5k, there was a hot dog stop (instead of water stop). I tried to grab a hot dog but was too far over. I was happy my hamstring felt the same whether I was running or walking. It didn’t seem to get worse, albeit still noticeable. I crossed the Gritty 5k finish line in 20:45 which I was pleased with.

Gritty 5k Thoughts:

It’s been rough not comparing myself to previous years and previous fitness levels, but I know it will come back when it comes back.  I’m happy with my results for where I am right now. Plus, it was fun to get 15 miles in with Danielle, which was the primary goal of Sunday anyway. I had an enjoyable time at the Gritty 5k and I highly recommend it. The Gritty 5k was a well-organized race and a lot of fun.

Have you subscribed to the LOLZletter? It’s a free newsletter that comes out each Monday. In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport. 

Questions for you:

Have you done a Charity race? 

Are you a Gritty fan?

Hiking Wissahickon Creek Gorge Loop Trail

Wissahickon Creek Gorge Loop Trail (Philadelphia, PA)

A couple of weeks ago, my husband and I wanted to check out the Wissahickon Creek Gorge Loop Trail near Philadelphia. The Wissahickon Creek Gorge Loop Trail is located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania that features multiple trails for runners, hikers, and mountain bikers. The orange trail and white trail and slightly more technical than Forbidden Drive. The Friends of the Wissahickon do a great job maintaining the trails for the city of Philadelphia.

We’ve run at Wissahickon dozens of times but never taken the back trails and hiked. The Wissahickon Creek Gorge Loop Trail is a 9.2 mile trafficked loop trail.  It has a waterfall and isn’t too technical that with the right shoes, most people are able to hike.

If you’ve never been The Wissahickon Valley Park, there are more than 50 miles of trails. You can run, hike, or bike and forget you’re still in Philadelphia.

The main trail, Forbidden Drive, runs five miles along Wissahickon Creek. Forbidden Drive is a wide, flat, gravel, road that I’ve run on many times.

While HikingWissahickon Creek Gorge Loop Trail You’ll see a little bit of everything Philadelphia has to offer:

  • Wissahickon Gorge
  • Valley Green Inn
  • Covered Bridge
  • Fingerspan Bridge
  • Runners, hikers, and mountain bikers
  • Possibly horseback riders too (We didn’t that day, but we do many times we are running)
Hiking Wissahickon Greek Gorge Loop Trail
No fast runners allowed
Hiking Wissahickon Greek Gorge Loop Trail
At the top of Chestnut Hill while hiking Wissahickon Creek Gorge Loop Trail

Hiking Wissahickon Greek Gorge Loop Trail

The Wissahickon Gorge

Hiking Wissahickon Greek Gorge Loop Trail
The main attraction of hiking Wissahickon Creek Gorge Loop Trail.

Hiking Wissahickon Greek Gorge Loop Trail


hiking Wissahickon Creek Gorge Loop Trail

hiking Wissahickon Creek Gorge Loop Trail
hiking over the Fingerspan Bridge bridge at Wissahickon Creek Gorge Loop Trail

You can see all hikes here.

In all, it was a great afternoon. Let me know, have you been hiking in Philadelphia? What’s your favorite part?

Me Running Philly 10k
Philly 10k (42:15)

Last weekend I ran the Philly 10k. I’ve never run the Philly 10k before. I’ve always wanted to but the race sells out quickly and you have to sign up months in advance. The Philadephia running community is great and together with the Broad Street 10 miler, RnR Philadelphia, and the Philadelphia and Full marathon, we have plenty of great races.

This year most of my coworkers decided to run so it made it more exciting.

Coming back after my trip to Colorado has been difficult. I’m struggling with adjusting back to the time zone and I’ve been tired most of the time. The Philly 10k starts at 7:30 am so it’s an early wake up.

When my alarm went off at 5:30, I mumbled ugh what am I doing. I was excited to do the Philly 10k but my body felt stiff and I was tired.

I got to center city around 6:30, warmed up for about a mile and then headed to the start. I chatted with my coworkers and by the time I knew it, we were off.  The Philly 10k is one of the few races that runs in South Philly. If you are looking for a unique and fun course in Philadelphia, the Philly 10k is a good option. Plus it gives a competitive  6.2 mile tour of the South Philly.

Me Running Philly 10k
Thanks November Project Philly…even though I photobombed this shot at the Philly 10k 😉

One of my coworkers and I decided we were going to try and run together. We probably started a little further back and we were boxed in most of the first mile. We ran a 6:37 which I was pleased with.

Around mile 2, the race started to spread out and I found some space. Throughout the entire race, I never had a lot of space but I had more as the Philly 10k progressed.

I knew I would not be able to run 6:30s for the entire race. Around mile 3, my coworker motioned to go with her and I didn’t have the leg speed.

I hit the halfway right at 21 minutes. I hoped I would be able to maintain and run around 42 minutes.

During the second half of the Philly 10k, I just put my head down and went. We went down long straight roads. There were several parts that we were running into the headwind. I tried to tuck in behind people but couldn’t really get my groove. I hit the fourth mile in 6:50 and told myself 15 minutes to go.

The next mile was just a countdown to the finish. I ran a 6:58 fifth mile and there wasn’t much of note. I thought for sure my last mile would be over 7 but I seemed to have motivation knowing the race was almost done.

Me Running Philly 10k

We went through a few more turns and all of a sudden I hit mile 6 in 6:50. I just powered to the finish line and crossed in 42:15 chip time.

I think it’s the most amount of time between chip and gun time (nearly 30 seconds). Next time I’ll start a little further up.

Overall Thoughts:

I’m happy with my efforts at the Philly 10k. I didn’t feel great after taking most of the week off and adjusting back from vacation.

Questions for you: 

What is your favorite race distance? 

Have you been to Philadelphia before? 

Me Ouray Colorado
Big Cottonwood Week 12: Rest and Philly 10k

Last week was the week I didn’t realize I needed to catch up on sleep and rest…until I realized it. My body told me it wanted to sleep and so I said: ok.  I’ve gone out west a few times, and typically I don’t have an issue readjusting back to East Coast time. This time coming back home was different, and I found myself wanting and needing sleep. I could have run later at night, but I chose not too.

Monday: 10 miles with Angela
Tuesday: Rest
Wednesday: Rest
Thursday: Rest
Friday: Rest
Saturday: Easy 60 minutes
Sunday: Philly 10k: 42:15 Total mileage 15
Total Mileage: 33.5 miles

Week 1: Hello Humidity
Week 2: Half Marathons and Workouts 57 mpw
Week 3: Travel and More Travel 53 MPW
Week 4: Training: Beach Runs and Long Runs 52 MPW
Week 5: Training: Workouts and 10ks 46.5 MPW
Week 6: Firecracker 5ks 47 MPW
Week 7: Swim Races and Running for Toilets 56 MPW
Week 8: It’s Very Hot 58 MPW
Week 9: Tetris Runner 56 MPW
Week 10: Long Week and Personal 5ks 54 MPW
Week 11:: Quality Miles
Week 12:  Altitude and Half Marathons

Week 13: Cutback Week and Philly 10k


Well, this wasn’t exactly the week I planned, but my body clearly needed it. Truthfully, I’m wondering how I’m supposed to run a marathon in a few weeks, but I know I’ll make it through.

I don’t have any regrets with taking time off. We need that sometimes. Due to running three times, there isn’t much to say. Running with Angela on Monday was tough. She lives at altitude in Colorado, but there were no flat areas to run at all. We climbed nearly 900 feet, including a mile-long climb. It was a lot of fun, but all I wanted to do was sleep afterward.

Philly 10k: 42:15

I’ve always wanted to do this race, but the timing has never worked out for me. This year, my coworkers and I decided to sign up and race the Philly 10k together.

Sometimes after a lot of rest, you feel great. This particular time, I did not, and I feel like I’m still catching up on sleep. Race morning came early, and I woke up, “not feeling it.” I raced the best for the day, and at the Philly 10k, it was a 42:15.  That is actually one of my faster 5ks recently, so I have no complaints.

I’m happy for the day, and it was fun to hang out with my workers. This training cycle has been adjusting to my right now normal. It’s been frustrating after 4 minutes faster about two years ago, but I know I’ll get back eventually.

Next week will be my last long run before the Big Cottonwood Marathon, then off to taper. There have been a lot of challenging days, training for a marathon through the summer but I’m looking forward to it.

Posts from the Week:

Mt. Sneffels Half Marathon (1:33.58)
Exploring Box Canyon Falls (Ouray, Co)
Nike Pegasus Turbo 2 Shoe Review

Finally, have you subscribed to the LOLZletter? It’s a free newsletter that comes out each Monday. In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport. 

Questions for you:

When was your last cutback week?

What is the race you’ve always wanted to run? 


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