Sunday, December 30, 2012

SNowshoe Run and Hiking Tuller Hill State Forest

Woke up this morning to more snow.  I felt today was better than any to strap on the Dion snowshoes.  Let me tell you, snow shoes are awesome. To run fast in them, you feel like you are doing higher high kicks with your legs but the running is not too difficult. I really feel like I can get used to this sport.  I ran to the grocery store with them, ran back, then ran half mile loops around our town-home complex while Ashlee made us breakfast.  It was amazing. Yes, it is cold out there, but the sunshine made for an amazing day. The run was great and then we went to the ski resort to hike along the trails of Tuller Hill State forest. We sipped on wine and hiked through two feet of snow. It was a perfect experience. Being able to share a piece of solitude and wilderness with my one true love was something very special and exhilarating.  It was a cold day, but the forest really helped to keep the wind at bay. I have grown to love and respect nature as our natural world really is something incredible and this is one of the main reasons why I run. I love to be outdoors experiencing and observing the world. I like to feel that grain of sand under my feet, feel the crisp wind buffet my skin, the warmth of the sun heat up my hands.  I truly look forward to another day Ashlee and myself can go explore some more!

Monday--Last day of 2012

I ran up the Tower Road Run. I start at Pendleton Road and then work my way up a series of five uphill climbs ascending about 800-1,000 feet.  It is a tough run and the weather this morning was ideal. The sun was out and the snow was even melting a little bit. I kept thinking about snowshoe season and how I am very excited about competing and ensuring myself a place amongst the best snowshoers around.  I also began to tap into the feeling of how tranquil Upstate New York becomes in winter. It is so quiet and peaceful.  In my life, I have never been somewhere where this can occur. Cortland, NY has it.  You can run out of town and be somewhere so peaceful that all your hear is the slight breeze.

2013--Tuesday January 1st

Nice 81 minute run along Health Camp Road. Ran up into the snow-covered hills of the area. It was a nice run. Once I made it up to the peak, my hands were freezing as the wind chill was making my hands become little icicles.  I have a pair of Gore running gloves which are great light gloves but are not the best for temperatures under 25 degrees.  I find that most running gloves work well in cold temps but nordic ski gloves, or trail running gloves from outdoor brands such as Mountain Hardwear are much better for those extreme temps though may be too much for mild winter days.  I really love winter running especially here as the snow pact does limit some mobility while going downhill, it provides a soft surface that leaves my legs feeling alive and rejuvenated.  Snow is actually one of the softer more forgiving surfaces for your joints which as long as you keep your footing, you will truly get a great core workout in and actually feel better doing so.

Also, Thank you to all of my sponsors in 2012: Sierra Designs, Ok Runner, Karhu/Craft, and Acidotic Racing for all of your support and I look forward to making 2013 an incredible year for us all.

Here are the new snowshoe Acidotic Racing kits for this 2013 season. I cannot wait to get mine in the mail and to showcase this 2013 snowshoe racing season in New York state!  Thank you Chris Dunn for the awesome photo of the gear.

Wednesday--Jan 2---Ran with Chris W in the snow. We went out along Highway 90 and Wolf Road. It was rough footing but we made it happen. Got some nice climbing in and ran a solid 84 minutes say 1 hour and 35 for me as running from my house, 11.5 with chris and 1.5 with myself.  13 miles total not bad!  I am running well and the training is paying off.  It has been pretty darn cold in Cortland lately but still the cold does not bother me too much. Yeah my face may get cold, but if you layer, you should not have a problem. It was a nice long run, we had some good climbing and really got in a nice workout.  All in all for a nice day.

Thursday--Jan 3----Run out on Mclean road through the snow.  It was slow-going as the brand new wet snow made for slick conditions.  I ran out towards Limehollow Nature Center but turned off on a road right before the nature center. I ran up and down the hills as the snow began to increase in intensity. It was tough going but made the most of it.  I ran about 1 hour and 37 minutes about 14-15 miles or so.  It was a good grind-it-out kind of day.  It is amazing how much it snows here in Cortland, NY. There are snow showers about every day and usually two days out of the week, some sunshine shows up.  The run felt like I was going in slow-motion but I managed a decent run.

Friday Jan 4--10.5 mile snowshoe run at Hoxie Gorge State Forest. It was a cold morning as temps in the teens and single digits made for a chilly run. Luckily, snowshoe running really warms you up. Everyone has told me that snowshoe running is so much harder than regular running and I would agree somewhat though it is harder, it is not as hard as I thought it would be. Running at Hoxie Gorge, the main trails were in a foot and a half of snow so running was slow going. It did not get much better with the snowmobile trails as the footing was uneven but much better as 6-8 inches of snow covered the trail. I was able to get a nice tempo going up the steep hills and the flats running 7:30-6:20's or so in the snow.  I will say, you do go a lot slower with snowshoes on.  The run was extremely peaceful as I saw nothing but trees, snow and the wind during my run.  There is something about being out there in the snow that makes you feel so alive and jubilant.  Anyway, I ran 70 minutes or so in snowshoes and then ran another mile and a half back to my car in my La Sportiva Vertical Ks which make a nice bootie for snowshoe.  Another nice run in the books.

Saturday Jan 5th---Run out to Homer on 11 then turn back going up along Albany of 75 minutes and about 11.45 miles! Was a slushy day as the snow is melting.  Ran real relaxed.

Sunday Fun Day--Jan 6th---Ran a solid 55 minutes out along Kellogg Rd up to Blodgett Mills and then back again. Ran as it was getting dark and cold.  Had the flashlight and blinking wristband.  I ran my last mile in 5:04 and felt solid and just warmed up by the time I finished.  I am looking forward to a nice long run tomorrow and a chance to compete in snowshoes at the end of this month and into February.

Monday Jan 7th--21.8 mile long run to Summerhill State Forest. I made the journey from Cortland County all the way to Cayuga County and back again.

Tuesday--Jan 8th--70 minute run out to Bank of America and uphill on Pendleton Road.

Wednesday Jan 9th---80 minute run out on Ames road up the massive uphill.

Friday Jan 11--Run in the rain out along Mcclean Road to the Limehollow Trails. Got about 75 minutes in.

Friday, December 28, 2012


For Friday December 28th, I ran this morning in the snow.  It was cold and snowy and man did Cortland get pummeled with snow. There is about 12-16 inches of snow alongside the road.  Ashlee and myself arrived home from Tennessee last night as our flight was continuously delayed.

After a 5 hour delay, we made it home.  To our surprise, it is a true winter wonderland out there! This morning, I ran about 14 miles out along Highway 11 up to Mcgraw. I ran the steep uphill slope section so I could get a nice view of the area and the snow. With my new Marmot Mica Jacket, the wind and the moisture was at bay.  I ran up the steep sections and followed along the snowbank. It was a nice snow run and got in some much needed r&r (run and run).  The wind at times made the temps hover in the single digits but I do enjoy the cold weather.  I am very excited to get in a nice hilly run in.  I ran about 84 minutes and 14 miles.

As the snow begins to take form again this weekend, I hope to get my first snowshoe runs in.  Also, with all of the snow, trail shoes become a better alternative since they usually have a water-resistant upper and have deep lugs and tread for gripping that snow and ice.

I have been really interested in Mammut as a company lately. They have an amazing line of alpine apparel for climbing and mountaineering.  But did you know that they make trail shoes as well.  Mammut is a Swiss brand that is up at the level of a Marmot, North Face, Mountain Hardwear for outdoor pursuits.  Mammut has a new trail running line coming out in 2013 and I cannot wait to see what they produce.  Always know that Wooly Mammoths are awesome and why shouldn't you not wear something with a mammoth on it?

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas in Nashville TN 2012

The time spent in Nashville has been a great break from school and work. I have had the chance to spend time with family, eat piles of food, run all over the place, and just relax and enjoy the holiday.  I have run at the amazing Percy Warner Park on Christmas Day and have run along my aunt's property nestled high-up in the Tennessee Hills. Tennessee is a great place to live and to run. Tennessee has miles upon miles of singletrack trails that meander through gorges, creeks, up hilss and down them.  The weather is failrly mild in the winter though snow does occur in the higher elevations usually near Knoxville and the Smoky Mountains.  The Smoky Mountains is an amazing place in Tennessee where 6,000 ft peaks are king and hundreds of miles of trails await the brave people willing to venture into this wilderness.  In Nashville, I have not seen any country music stars, but the southern hospitality is deffintley here with tons of nice people running out along the various parks.  Percy Warner Park is a great park with trails I explored yesterday. Almost twisted my ankle on one steep down-slope and besides the slick mud from rain the day before, the trails were well-packed. Percy Warner Park, in the Tennessee Hills is where I truly began to foster a love for the hills and mountains of America.  It is here that every holiday I would run until my legs would literally give out. But this year, I can really run up. My legs feel just fine as  I crushed the single track trails and meander along the high-up drive that crests some of the most incredible views of Nashville, TN.  I can say that normally running in Nashville, the hills destroy my legs but this year, Cortland has prepared me well to be able to run hills the best I have ever been able to do in my life.  This gives me great confidence for the winter season of snowshoe and the various road and trail races this spring and summer. I hope to be able to run with the best of them and this year of 2013 will in fact be a big year.  Get ready trail running world, cause I am coming! 

I also hope everyone has had a wonderful holiday.  As we start a new year, lets focus our time on those things as humans we should cherish most: family, friends, and happiness.  When Ashlee and myself arrive back to Upstate New York, we will have some 16 inches of snow waiting for us.  I hope everyone has had a wonderful holiday and be safe traveling back home. 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Nightime Run to My Car and Run To Tuller Hill State Forest from Home

Tuesday Dec 18---Run at night to my car at Olympia Sports.  Ran up along Virgil road at night. Pretty scary and made me think of what goes bump in the night.  54 minute run 8.5 miles

Wednesday Dec 19---Ran out along Kellogg Road to Blodgett Mills then out to Virgil. Ran the higher alpine route that I found out loops right to Tuller Hill State Forest. I ran about 1 hour and 30 minutes and probably 15 miles. Felt fast strong and smooth though the wind on the way back slowed my quick pace down.  I am feeling strong and ready to run some fast times once the snow flies in January for snowshoe!

Thursday Dec 20, 2012----Ran out along Bond Road.  Ran some hills out along Groton. The run felt easy but I was able to get a nice workout in.  The weather is supposed to turn from our mild winter weather to that of a winter Draco blizzard.  The wind at the higher elevations was strong at times and cold, but I never felt too cold.  This run really tells me that I am truly adapting to NY running and that this new form of training has really improved my level of fitness.  I truly hope to network with both Smartwool and Technica which are great companies and I hope to be an athlete that will help forward their brands and allow for a higher level of growth that could allow to help to push these companies into being well-known by all people because not only do they make great products, but their company images are innovative and great I got in 84 minutes of running.   I am really great and  I look forward to the holidays and running back into Nashville, TN for the holidays. Bring on Percy Warner Park and Edwin Warner Park this holiday!  Tennessee hills here they come!

Friday December 21, 2012  --1st day of winter and the end of the world as we know it.  Ran in the rain/sleet/snow/slush up to the East Homer hills along Albany Road. It was a nice and peaceful run. Ran for 70 minutes and 10.5 miles.  I felt like I was in some End of the World Movie as the snow was in full effect as we were in a white-out.  I had just enough focus to look out ahead of myself as I trudged up-hill through the snow.  It was a relaxing run, as I kept running a relaxed pace with the slippery footing and enjoyed my first run in a real snowstorm. Though by the time I came back down from the hilltops, the snow was melting as the air temperature warmed a degree or two which seemed to be just enough to melt the snow.

Saturday--December 22----Blizzard Snow Run.---Ran 70 minutes out in white-out conditions out along SUNY Cortland campus.  It was so cold, windy you name it. I felt like I was in the arctic.  It was crazy. I broke trail the majority of the way until I made it to the school where plows were clearing up the sidewalks and roads.  It was a slow and tough run. Some sections my eyes burned from the 40mph gusts whipping freezing cold snow into my eyes.  

Monday, December 17, 2012

Limehollow Run!!!!

Today after work, I am going to head to Limehollow Nature Center to run some trails in the rain! Should be a blast I cannot wait for 12 Noon!

Had a nice day at work followed by an amazing run at Limehollow. What makes Limehollow so amazing is that there are so many trail connectors that you could run easily 30 miles of singletrack before you crossed the same trail over again.  I set out along the backside of Limehollow and ran out along the trails.  The damp weather did not stop me as I went up the hills and dales numerous times. Yes, at times, I flew through the woods with reckless abandon sometimes having to go off-trail and backtrack.  I ran the High Vista loop and another Oranged marked section that took me to sections I have not been to before.  I even ran a trail section that veered right off of a cliff.  I skidded down the cliff to the base and then ran the trail section back again.  I was having so much fun but realized that I had to head back to the car.  It was a nice 85 minute run say13 miles of effort. Not bad.  I will say that Limehollow is a wonderful facility here in Cortland, NY so check it out next time you would like to run trails.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Karhu--New Shoes!!!!

Just as I did my trail running boom post, Karhu has answered my prayers with an amazing trail runner that is flow racing flat gone trail and it looks and performs like a dream.

Saturday---- Dec 15----Today, I ran with Cortland High, Chris out along Page Green Road. We went up to the hills by Blodgett Mills then hit the loop along Pendleton Road. It was a nice cool afternoon as we had a nice time running and talking. We ran for 77 minutes about 11-12 miles and I ran about maybe a mile or two more. Overall, great for a long day at work.

Stunday--Dec 16--Run out along Homer and 281. It was a nice quiet Sunday on the roads. Got in an hour and a half of running for 14-15 miles.  Woke up early, chugged some water and was out the door. I will say that the weather today was pretty nasty. It was windy and cold with rainshowers that made my skin become bright pink.

Back to Karhu:

We have a new line of shoes and updates I cannot wait to try out and run countless miles in.  Here are the following new shoes:

Karhu Flow Light!!!!--Racing Flat of Legends at 8.0 ounces. This flat looks like to fits like a glove and performs like a racehorse.  This shoe is Karhu's go-to racing flat for 5k, half marathon and up to marathon.  Karhu uses its Fulcrum technology, the shoe will have a nice fluid transition from heel to toe, focusing on the mid-foot strike.  This shoe is light, nimble and its woven upper allows for a wonderful plush racer that is going to make many top athletes very happy!  A must-have shoe for your spring race schedule!

Karhu Flow3 Trainer--8.5 Ounces
This shoe builds on the Flow Light as a lightweight marathon racer and trainer that can handle the long miles, but is also light and supple enough for fast running.  The shoe also features the light woven upper which looks great and of course Karhu brings in the amazing color patterns.  The neon green and blue make it pop at the starting line as you will surely surprise the competition and yourself of how fast you can go.  This shoe has the ability to succeed in a race such as JFK 50 for those long ultras that require a supple road shoe but can handle sections of trail.  This shoe blends together a really soft overall feel with its memory foam heel collar and its soft tongue.  This shoe looks to be a great long-distance racer that can handle the demand of an ultra or can be used for that person who wants a light-weight flexible yet soft cushioned trainer.

Karhu Flow3 Trail!!!!--9 ounces
This shoe looks like a big-time winner and yes as a trail runner I am biased!  Following the Flow series of Karhu shoes, this trail shoe is no different, it is designed for fast performance.  The Fulcrum will provide a great forefoot-focused foot-strike making your running more efficient. I cannot wait to get my hands on this shoe to test it out!  I am even more excited to show everyone at the Cayuga 50 miler this June how Karhu rolls in the trail running segment. This shoe has Karhu's new woven upper which looks to be a winner: supportive, breathable, lightweight, soft, and durable. Around the body of the shoe, Karhu has implemented a water-resistant fabric (black) around the shoe to help aid in creek crossings, wet grass, snow, ice, or any form of moisture out on the trails that would try and enter the shoe. details this as a benefit of this shoe: "5. Essential visibility against angry Moose. "  
This shoe has it made!  Going to be  a great addition to their collection of shoes and I hope it will sway other trail runners to give Karhu a shot because you will not be disappointed.

Karhu Strong4--Stability at its Finest!-12 Ounces
This shoe has great levels of stability and is well-cushioned for those mild to moderate overpronators that need maximum cushioning and support in a light and fast shoe.  Karhu is great in that the fulcrum helps to aid in moving your foot from heel to toe-off nice and efficiently.  

Thank you Karhu for being an amazing sponsor and I look forward to running in this new line come the New Year of 2013--We are going to do great things!
Images from!  Check out the new line of shoes!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Trail Running Boom

Wednesday--December 12, 2012---I had a nice run out towards Lime Hollow and ran on the orange tractor trail. I went off the main trail a little bit and ended up in some brush. I pushed along the overgrown trail all the way to Limehollow road. I then got back onto the main trail and ran along. I felt nice and strong today and the sunshine really helped to brighten things up since we have had so much clouds and rain and snow shower type weather.  I ran really strong the whole way running low 6 minute pace.  My topic of thought today is sponsorship.  I have some support but I would love to see what other connections I can make.

Thursday---Off Day--Skaneateles with Ashlee---Perfect day! Ate food at the Blue Grill Bar and toured the shops. It was a day of walking on Sunshine!

Friday---Head-lamp run around town.  I dropped some movies off, a check for Acidotic Racing for our new snowshoe gear, and then set out towards Groton on 222.  Tons of traffic with all the students done with classes.  Ran nice and relaxed and logged 80 minutes and 22 seconds of running.  Did one slight climb otherwise the running was flat or rolling.  There was a lot of cars everywhere so I kept to the very far shoulder off of the road.

Trail running has been a sport that has grown dramatically in the last few years. There has become a real drive for professionalism and more and more road-runners are giving the trails a shot in the likes of running professional.  I have always loved the trails and that is a major reason why I am getting a graduate degree to manage such facilities.  I have had great support for my running through great partnerships with sponsors.  With the growth of professionalism and trail running as a mode of activity and competition, there are more and more companies investing in trail running design.  Companies are producing trail running-specific apparel (Pear Izumi), hydration systems (Ultraspire) new energy gels (CarBoom)  and trail running shoes (Scott, Mammut, Treksta, Technica, Dynafit).  All these companies had a start in some other form of sport but have now transitioned  into the market.

Here are some brand new companies in the trail running segment:

There shoes are similar to Hoka One in that a bigger stack height makes the shoe rugged and well cushioned for the long trail events.  I really like what Technica is doing with there shoes as they will not only be able to handle well on the rugged Finger Lakes Trail, but will succeed anywhere.  The shoes have nice light uppers and a rocker design to the shoe that works great going uphill and down.  I would love to get my hands on a pair and test them out soon especially on the trails this winter as a shoe that performs in winter can perform anytime of year.  Technica is all about a larger platform and really this shoe probably combines both elements from brands such as Karhu, Scott Sports and then the Hoka One build of the shoe which should make for an amazing combination.
Here is a link to their website:

Scott Sports:
Scott has always been a biking and Tri company similar to Pearl Izumi but has just recently burst onto the scene in the US with trail running. They have become a sponsor of big races, athletes such as Sage Canady and Joe Gray and are about to launch in 2013 a stellar line of shoes for the trail.  I have recently tested a road pair of Scott's and I think they are great.  Very similar to Karhu in their rocker geometric shape of the bottom of the shoe which enforces mid-foot strike just like Karhu's fulcrum technology. Scott makes some great shoes so look out for them. They also have amazing outdoor winter apparel that I have fallen in love with as I bought two 1/4 zip tops from them. Really nice internal fleece and strong polyester outside. Breathes well, keeps you warm, and has great colors. This company will continue to do well.

 This is a Swiss Alpine Brand that this Spring 2013, is launching a trail running line of shoes.
I have seen Mammut apparel for winter sports and it is top notch like the quality of North Face, Marmot, Mountain Hardwear, ect.  I am very excited to find out that they will be debuting trail shoes to their alpine pursuits.  Mammut also has a cool logo- a wooly mammoth, who doesn't want to wear something with a mammoth on it! I do not know much about the technology except the shoes look light and have rugged outsoles which should make the shoe grip well on trail and snow.  

Lastly, One of my sponsors: Karhu!!!!!!
The Karhu Forward Trail!!!
Karhu is a Finnish running brand meaning "Bear"  Their logo of course is an awesome bear with a mountain-like whip through the body.  Karhu uses Fulcrum technology to help propel one from heel to forefoot. These shoes are amazing and for someone with a narrow foot, these shoes fit like a dream.  I have not had the chance to try the Karhu trail shoe but I would like Karhu to make a trail racer soon as this shoe is more of a trainer. The trail shoe of Karhu seems to be more like the Stable 2 which is a great light trainer but the fulcrum plate might end up with too much mud on the inside of the plate. The brand has a great partnership with Craft Sports and the apparel from these companies are amazing.  Check them out!

Thank you for the use of the images and I hope that this post will provide some better insight on new trail running lines of shoes.  

Monday, December 10, 2012

It's A Wonderful Run 5k---2nd place

This weekend I ran at Seneca Falls, NY on Saturday for a 4:40 pm 5k start time. It is the annual It's a Wonderful Life 5k, named from the classic movie where you start on the bridge where the movie is filmed.  I drove up early around 12:30 pm up to the Finger Lakes region as it was a nice easy 1 hour and 20 minute drive. I headed up along the hill and dell to Skaneateles, NY one of the fancy-est finger lake towns around. As I entered the town center, the place was humming with shoppers and people were being driven along on horse and buggy. It was big-time there. I felt like I was truly in Upstate New York village what I had imagined the state to primarily be like.  It was a great trip! I had the chance to see a really festive part of Upstate New York and the Finger Lakes region is amazing.  Auburn was really cool with its Bass Pro Shop and Seneca Falls was so festive and quaint.  I arrived around 2pm and then spent my time running around town taking photos that will be up later.  It is amazing that almost 3-4 thousand people showed up for a 5k. Definitely the largest 5k I have ever been apart of.  I had lunch at a nearby subway.  Then jogged around. I checked in at the Community Center then headed out into town and along the Erie Canal pathway along the river.  I was so excited to see such Christmas Spirit that I maybe jogged about 8 miles before the start time, maybe a reason for tightening up at the finish.

As the race began to grow, the excitement was there. I was determined to take first place. I really wanted that 100 dollar first place prize for Ashlee's gift. The Christmas lights were beginning to come alive as 4pm was here 40 more minutes.  I began to jog around in my race attire and then head to the starting line.  It was packed with people.  Near 4:40, I hoped to squeeze right at the front of the race but of course more knuckleheads kept on getting in the way so I was about 3 people deep, which was okay considering I got out fine and everyone's body-warmth was nice too.  The race gun went off and we were on our way.  The pace was fast from the gun as a pack of about 5 people were apparent. I tucked into the group and just relaxed.  I knew that this race would come down to a smart tactical kick.  We ran across the second bridge and then hit the mile marker. 4:51.  A very honest pace.  At this point, I was in the lead with the third place finisher. We worked together really well and I had a great amount of energy in my stride.  I was just striding along no problem.  Then I continued to push the pace.  It was really nice to see all of the Christmas lights of the town and the festive people along the route cheering and blasting Christmas music.  Back to the race. Myself and the eventual winner separated ourselves at the 2 mile marker. We crossed the line in 9:43 which equates to a 4:52 second mile.  I could tell the pace was wearing on the guy. At this point I made a move, a big one.  I looked to drop him.  He held on pretty well as he made a counter-move at 2.5 miles.  I thought ok, let me think you have me so I tucked behind him.  Once we hit the downtown, I knew about a minute of the race was left.  I was about maybe 2 seconds behind the lead Ohio guy and started kicking.  I caught him right into the downtown as we were stride for stride.  We were glaring at each other to see who had the most.  At this point I went to wide on the road and WHAM!!! My right thigh, slammed against a pedestrian crossing sign.  I tripped onto my hands and scattered along the road.  I exclaimed a mean word and looked up at the Ohio guy who was sprinting all-out looking back at what had happened.  I then bounced back up and then sprinted towards the finish. I ran about 15:24 for the 5k about 10-12 seconds behind the winner. I really wanted a win and felt I had run a sound race but second is not bad and losing to a 15:10 is fine with me.

I felt pretty sore already and just hung around the finishline then jogged to my car and back for the awards ceremony.  I won 50 dollars, a sweet vase, and a bottle of wine-not too bad for one day.  It was a nice effort and I know that 5k is not my most competitive event. Make it a trail race and then you have a different ball-game.  I then drove home to the lovely Christmas lights of all the towns I passed through earlier.  In the dark of the night, the lovely lights made the ride enjoyable.

Still Sore-  Dec 9----I have run 70 at nighttime on Sunday did a loop out on Page Green Road, then over through Blodgett Mills Road over down Pendleton Road and back home.  It was a serene experience to see Cortland all lit-up at nightime from such a high vista. Pretty cool.  Really makes the town look like a nice gem of a place.

Monday---Dec 10---Run of 80 minutes and 13 miles out through Homer up along Highway 11 towards Tully.  Ran to the lakes then headed back.  It was a warm damp day but luckily no rain during the run.  I am trying to get my body back to normal and I think sleep will make that work out!

Tues-Dec 11---Run out along 13 to Parks Road then to Mcgraw North.  Ran some nice uphills it was warmer without the breeze than colder on the way back. I ran about 81 minutes and 13.67 miles.  Felt really good going up and down considering I am tired from the stress of finishing up school and the lack of sleep.  No snow, maybe a dusting up at the higher elevations.

Here is a video of the race taken from the race website:

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

End of the Semester At Cortland-Looking Up

Winter Break is almost here as I write this I have one more paper to assemble then it is smooth sailing for a month or so of Winter Break!  I always love winter break. It is a time to spend with the family and to relax and rejuvenate.  I hope to find time to spend with family, friends, and my cats.  I hope to be able to run well and to see some snowfall so that I can begin my Snowshoe training. I hope snowshoe goes well this year. I also am optimistic for a great Spring Semester.

David Lane has an amazing photo of Cortland, NY
These are the types of view Ashlee and myself get to see each and every day.  Upstate NY is great for running as all those hills allow for you to get tons of climbing and descending training for mountain running. Plus, the views are awesome.

photo from:

Wednesday--Dec 5th---I ran out along Scenic Bike Route 11 south towards Marathon, NY. I turned off at south hill road and went up pretty high on a strong ascent then turned back around. I was able to log in about 14 miles and 82minutes of fun.  It was semi-raining and then transitioned into snow showers on the way back. A little cold like 30's with some windchill but nothing dangerous.  Overall, another solid training day. Getting some great hillwork in to beef up my skinny quads.

Thursday---Run up some sweet hills with Chris aka cortland thunder.  Ran a nice relaxed pace and enjoyed the nice cool winter run.  It was a great chill day and I am excited about the winter-time.  I hope to run well at the It's a wonderful life 5k this weekend.  I have put in the work and I think it is time to run fast! We hit the East Homer hills and it was a great time.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Virgil NY Run-Snow Showers

Friday marked a fun and interesting run. I ended up heading out along Kellogg Road into Blodgett Mills and then into Virgil. This is a great run because it begins flat right in Cortland then slowly and surely creeps up with jaw-dropping climbs that make Central New York mountain running what it is.  As opposed to other great running meccas such as Boulder, Mammoth Springs, Flagstaff, Central New York may not be right in the heart of steep rocky mountains with vistas in the 7,000 range to 14, 000 range but rather I feel you still can get a great workout in with the amount of steep and long maintained climbs along the calm and peaceful roads of the area.  Though you can only top out at about 2,400 feet or so, every climb that is made range from the 400ft to 1,300 ft range in terms of vertical gain. So as the run progresses, you can easily get 5,000-8,000 ft of vertical gain which is insane for this area but trust me these figures are true.  So I made some nice climbs and it made my left hamstring on the way back feel a little sore but I ran today like a tempo. I hit the climbing sections like I was racing Mount Washington and maintained a strong pace through all the climbs never slowing my 7:35 climbing pace.  It was incredible to do such as I usually have a tough time with some ascents and then can dominate others.  The day has been cloudy and overcast as snow showers blanketed the return trip.  I continued to run through Virgil all the way onto the roads such as Strafford Road that I ended up running to on my 2 hour Sunday long run.  I could not believe how far I went and I was only at 37 minutes!  I ran one more incline then headed back at about 44 minutes.  I encountered one car today which is something I am not used to but is great. I had the run all to myself.  The snow showers on the way back was lovely since I have not seen much snow in a long time living out in the south but man it truly puts you in the holiday spirit.  I ran a nice 1 hour and 28 minute run pretty much running even splits.

Tomorrow, I am planning on running out at Hoxie Gorge to run some trail work to mix things up as I have been running the roads a bunch lately.  Maybe the soft surfaces will help to make my hamstring feel a little better.

Saturday--Hoxie Gorge Trail Run on Mcdermont Trail.  I discovered all kinds of new trail sections through the forest which is awesome.  I ran tons of great uphills and had a ton of run. Ran 75 minutes of trail slipping action on the wet leaves and light snow.  Found the Hoxie Gorge Lean-to and checked that out.  Today was not a super fast day, but it was one where I had the chance to test myself on different terrain which was nice. The views I had in the pasture of the run were just jaw-dropping.  Great run in 30 degree temps .

Sunday---Run in the rain. As always my luck went south this morning as it was a lovely 40 degree day.  I set out the door ready to run and as I set out the door, only 5 minutes passed and it started sprinkling. Rain always starts out nice and slow.  I headed out along Kinney Gulf Road and I must say that there were tons of cars out on the roads today-something pretty rare around here.  By the time I was on Kinney Gulf, the rain really picked up. Of course I had a thermal 1/2 zip on something better for a cold dry day not one with rain. So of course I endured the rain for 1 hour and a half as I headed home with frozen hands and a wet top and bottom.  I ran Kinney Gulf all on the flat sections to rest my hamstring and to just run nice and easy. I logged about 15 today and felt just fine. My fitness is solid right now and I am ready to make the big leap to being a full-time professional. I think I truly have what it takes at this point in time and the training here in Upstate NY is really working out so far. I am very excited for the snowshoe season and I hope to see how the winter works out.

Monday---I went out and ran along Ames Road off of highway 13. Probably the steepest climb up in Cortland.  Ran nice and relaxed the whole way and logged about 75 minutes or about 11-12 miles.  The weather has recently warmed up and really 40's felt warm.  I found an alternative path down a dirt road that was super steep. I felt like I was at a waterpark heading down one of those tunnels but my tunnel was carved out by trees. It was pretty cool to see.  I am looking forward to my next few days of running leading up to my big 5k. I hope I can score a first place prize at the Wonderful Life 5k and maybe win some money too. I hope to use my earnings to get Ashlee an awesome blender!

Tuesday---Nice 70 minute run in 65 degree weather-made some nice climbs up along East Homer hills. Came back on 11 through Homer then back home. My body is tired from all this stress from writing and composing my last papers for the semester but all is going well. I am in tip top shape for the 5k this weekend and should come out on top. I am looking for a sub 15 minute performance to ensure a nice victory.

Friday, November 23, 2012

80 minutes: My Bread and Butter

I love going out running my 80 minute runs. I figured I can average a solid pace for that distance. I cover often times 12-13-14 miles or so.  Just the right amount of mileage and my body responds to any form of run: tempo, fartlek, hill run, easy day, surge run, an interval day, it does not matter. I always get in the time and distance and it has been my bread and butter. Today, Black Friday, I worked from 4:30am-12:45. It was not too bad at work though very busy.  Then I headed home and got ready to run. It rained on and off during the run as I went out on Highway 13 and then turned off by the Sole Kote cement center and then hit East River Road and ran the flat gentle road straight into farmland and peace and quiet. Today, the run consisted of many pick-ups and I averaged a strong pace as the course I ran is a part of a half marathon the YMCA : Leaf-Peeper.  On the course I ran 76 minutes which is about a 5:48 mile pace.  Honestly, I can now run in that sub 6 range pretty comfortably which is awesome.  I finished my run with 5 extra minutes and about a half mile which means I ran about 13.67 miles or so.  THe rain was gentle and cool and is the lingering effects of a lake-effect snowstorm coming this way. We shall see what happens. Tomorrow morning, I plan on running some dirt roads up at Tuller Hill State Forest at Greek Peak for a nice 1 hour 35-1 hr 40 minute run tomorrow. It should be run. May the snow fly since a lake effect snow deal is coming our way. Snow showers and maybe 3-5 inches when all is said and done we shall see.

Saturday---Long run at Greek Peak--Tuller Hill State Forest. I ran on the dirt roads through the state forest. It was cold and windy out there today with temps in the teens in the wind and in the low 30's maybe 20's the whole time. I was layered up so I was just fine. A NICE 9AM JAUNT!  I got out of my car at Greek Peak Ski Resort Lodge and then headed out towards Clute road.  There was a little bit of powder snow out on the slopes and on the roads. The inch of snow that had melted on the road iced over and was a little slippery at times but the overall traction was not too bad. While on Clute Road, it is a straight uphill shot to Tuller Hill State Forest. I hit Pipeline road, a rocky dirt road that meanders throughout the state forest and connects to all the trail sections.  I hit the hills hard and worked on that strength.  Once into the tree-line of Tuller Hill, the 30pmh gusts were muffled and actually was pretty cozy.  I settled into a nice pace and as I crested each hill I noticed tons of trucks parked at the side of the road. I thought, trail maintenance?  Probably not. The snow-covered road was slippery in the 2 fred-marks made by some trucks so I ran in the median of the dirt road where the snow was nice and fresh. As I made my descent into the turn, my earlier preconceptions were revealed. Tons and tons of hunters were out trying to kill of some deer this Saturday. They had their rifles, orange vests and cameo, and honestly as I passed by I got a nice "hello buddy, how are you doing?" which was welcoming from these guys.Of course  I responded and told them that it was so nice out here today, probably a perfect day to catch deer.  I then crested another hill and hit the final descent to Snyder Hill road. Usually when I run here, I go right, this time I went left.  I took the road out away from the State forest with more hills out to a blacktop road.  It was Stafford Road.  I then headed downhill on Stafford road to West River Road. From my vantage point, it was a beautiful countryside with the hills having a light dusting of snow.  The wind began to pick up here then I hit West River Road which borders a railroad track that looked unused and a nice little river as it felt like no one was alive out here, just me and the hunters.  I encountered more hunters out here and even hoped to get back up the mountain so I turned into a snowmobile trail straight up the mountain. The snowmobile trail had 2-3 inches of fresh powder on it and it was a challenge to run up the beast.

It was really fun to run up the trail and I felt like I was almost back to Snyder Hill Road then from out of the woods, I came out along a farmstead. I thought well, I am 56 minutes in, I should just turn-around.  I bursted down the snow-bank and retraced my steps. I came onto River Road again knowing I had to make up time. I picked up my pace as best as I could while enjoying the gorges overhead.  I then retraced my steps all the way back trying to handle each uphill like it was my last though they were steep and the footing at times was difficult. As  I was coming out of Tuller on the last climb, I saw two more hunters trotting along the road. They made way for me as we both greeted each other.  I then descended down Clute to home base. Today was a run where I feel so much alive running in winter time. It is a time where we all want to hibernate but by being outside being active in the elements is rejuvenating knowing that mother nature is taking a rest. I logged 1 hour and 51 minutes about right on pace with my out pace for today. It was a great run and I put in some great work for today.  I look forward to running again tomorrow in the snow and cold again but this time out along the town limits.

Sunday---77 minute run out in the snow along Homer out to Route 41 then back again. It was nice and wintery which is a nice change for me. I ran nice and relaxed the whole way through the run and though at first felt a little cold, warmed up nicely.

Monday--Nice 84 minute run. Forget exactly where I went again but I think I did the Kinney Gulf road loop thats right I went to drop off a movie and then hit Groton-Highway 222 then caught the road up to  Kinney Gulf. Did some nice hills again and really worked on that strength. Felt real smooth and just building that strength. I did some strong hill bursts about 6-10 towards the end of the run maybe about 400m just to tax the body.

Tuesday--Morning run out along to McGraw then did a loop up to Ames road and then back to home base. My legs were tired at 7 am this morning but I was able to run pretty well up the hills.

Wednesday---4pm run with a Cortland High runner-Chris. We ran through downtown and then headed up Blue Creek Road. There was this great thick snow falling which made the run very festive. We talked and got to know one another. I think this kid has the potential of running pretty well.  We ran up the hills and down as the sun was going down and the Christmas lights were lighting up the sky beautiful. And from out vantage point, we could see all of the lights in town too. Really nice to see. I logged about 10 miles and it was a solid recovery day.

Thusday--Run out on 13 to Health Camp Road up some insane climbs which really pushed my legs and then back home again. It was a cold morning say 33 degrees and feeling like the mid 20's but honestly, I was never cold once and with the sun beaming outside, it felt awesome.  I can really run well in this kind of weather.  I was not able to run as hard as I would have liked up the steep climbs off of Health Camp but I made the most of it.

I ended the run with 82 minutes in the bag and about 13-14 miles.

Some Sweet 3/4 tights from Mountain Hardware I am saving up for!
Tomorrow, I might make a long run happen just to test my recovery rates as I prepare for the It's A Wonderful 5k next weekend.

I hope to run some snowshoe races this year and to make the USA team: Here is the awesome gear they get for making the team:

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Cortland YMCA Turkey Trot

Tomorrow is the Turkey Trot in Cortland, NY. I have no idea what the competition will be like but I look forward to seeing the community of Cortland come together for the event. Olympia SPorts will be in strength at the event with store's 20% coupons so come to the event to get the holidays kicking!

So, it was so nice to have a local 5k a mile away. I got everything organized and then joined with Ashlee where we waited for the race to start. It was a nice cold morning with temps in the mid to low 30's. For me, I can handle that!  I warmed up well and then just awaited the race start. Scoping out the competition, there was a couple of guys that could potentially give me a run for my money.

From the get go- I was with this one tall blonde dude and he was trying to push the pace.  We were totally at 4:50 pace and I just made sure he was not going to try anything heroic. We stuck together really well with him making mini-moves from a half mile in all the way through the mile at 4:51 to the turn-around point at 1.5 miles.  From the 1.5 mile marker, I kept running my pace at around 5 minutes a mile and the guy I was with let me take the lead. From then on, I kept that pace at 10:00 through 2 miles and then straight into the final push. The last 900m straight-away felt like forever as I knew I had the race in the bag and so I relaxed and brought it home. I hit the line right at 15:30 which was a decent effort. It was a ton of fun running a local turkey trot for once which was my first ever.  I donated the first place turkey to the Salvation Army or maybe to second place. I was pleased with the win and with meeting some pretty fast guys as I think 4-5 guys were right in the 16-17 range which is not bad at all.  Overall, a great day!

Now time to rest, time to watch the Macy's Parade and to watch football while eating yummy Ashlee Prewitt food! Cornish Hens, biscuits, gravy, green bean casserole, and so much more!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Ascent and Descent

I have been stringing together nice runs of varying difficulty and each run has had some form of incline.  My climbing is getting better and better up these steep roads. Today, I ran out along Highway 11 and up along Signal Hill Road in Mcgraw, a very steep steeep steeep road. With the winter fast-approaching, the sun sets by 5 pm so my afternoon run at 4:15 was light for the majority of it before the last 20 minutes were in the waning darkness.

My next race is going to be the Cortland Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving day.  I decided that it would be a great opportunity to be a spokesperson for Olympia Sports and see if I can bring home a turkey for the family.  So if you want to go to a great race in Cortland, the Turkey Trot is where it is at and I will be handing out 20% coupons from Olympia as a portion of the goodie bags for the event.  There is hope to provide Olympia as being a more integral part of the Cortland Community.

My next big race will be December 8th for the It's A Wonderful Life 5k which is a historic race in Senneca Falls NY and has 100 for first place that I hope I can bring on home!

In the meantime, I am just training hard running my 80-90 miles a week and just running the flats some days but have been running the ascents and descents really hard so that I can build that strength for snowshoe season come January!

I had another nice run today---My Karhu Fast 3's are getting used up as while I descend, my forefoot is ailing me a little bit from the worn cushioning.  I have the chance to demo a pair of Scott Sport Support shoes to see how they work out but I bet Karhu at the least will win in functionality and color style.  My November 18th run took me out along Kellogg Road out to Blodgett Mills then up the steep steep steep climbs to the backside of Virgil, NY. THis run is such a nice one as the roads here split and create  tough climbing. I ran all the way up probably in the 1,800-2,000 mark and let me tell you, all this 6%-20% degrees of climbing has made my legs and lungs strong and I can really power up those inclines better than ever before. I hope to continue my training and just enjoying the fall/winter weather where 40's-30's and 20's remain supreme which honestly has been lovely running weather.  WHen I run in the afternoon the 48 degree day cools in the shade of the mountains and as the sun sets, the temperature drops.

Had a nice Tuesday morning run---Wore my new Scott Support 2 trainers---these things are amazing. So light weight and the support is great on the shoe.  The rocker technology is just like Karhu with their Fulcrum which is cool. The upper is nice and breathable and the fit of the shoe works with my foot though all Scott Shoes should be sized up a half size.  Then I also was able to get a zip top from the company and these are soooo soft with the internal fleece. I want more of them as they are not only stylish but so comfy.  I ran out along East Homer and headed to Health Camp Road running up and down the big hills of Homer.  Love this route as I am up in the clouds and there are no cars maybe a few tractors and farmers but really not much of anybody.  Such a great run with beautiful views of the rolling glacial mountains.  Upstate New York is visually sooo beautiful and outdoor recreation is supreme from running to biking, hunting boating golf you name it.  I ran a nice 80 mins and am preparing for the Cortland Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Morning.  I hope to bring some Olympia Sports glory as I am giving away 20% coupons for all those that attend the event.  So come on down and support the Salvation Army and the Clothing Bank this Holiday.  ANd may the fastest person win a Turkey!!!!! I hope that will be me!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Back to the Cold

Ran a nice run Tuesday afternoon up along near Ames Road out along the McGraw border and run a nice strong 75 minute tempo up some inclines and rolling hill terrain. The windchill was in the 20's and some of the higher latitudes I noticed snow! It was caked on the trees, the ground, the cars.  Whenever this happens, I feel like I am running in a mountain town. I love that feeling.  I ran really strong and picked up my pace into the low 6's for the last 4 miles or so.  The cool air does not bother me really at all coming from such intense heat in Oklahoma so I really do not mind running in 30's and 20's as long as I have on the needed layers.

Monday, November 12, 2012

22 mile long run

Yesterday, I ran out along Highway 11 towards Tully, NY. It was a nice 70 degree day and I hit the road with my water bottle and GU.  I set out running a nice 6 min a mile clip along the flat road out to Homer then out towards Preble.  I felt a little tired from a fun weekend at Cortaca, an insane NY football game of Division 3 opponents where everyone drinks to their hearts content and then some.  The run was nice and relaxed and I felt great through about 15-16 miles.  The sun was shinning and I felt strong just clipping away at the miles.  One, Two , Five, Seven, the miles kept on rolling. Highway 11 is nice and chill as the traffic was well, nothing and of course the nice shoulder of the road kept me safe.  I hit the turn-around at a farm past Preble and then  decided to drink some water and down some GU.  I felt like I was just out for a fun run as the pace was strong but not erratic.  I made the turn-around and then headed for home.  The sun was right in the center of the sky as I beamed with joy at such as strong and fun run.  By mile 15-16 I felt a little fatigue but then collected myself and ran tough the rest of the way. The last mile I was sprinting to run faster back then the way I went out but the strong 35 mph mile head-wind of course slowed me down by about 45 seconds. I finished in about 2 hours and 1 minute thus averaging about 6 minute miles maybe faster.  I then took a nice bubble bath and relaxed. I put forth a solid effort and saw more of Central NY.  I almost ran half-way to Syracuse one-way and overall trip would be 8 miles from the dead center of the city. Not bad for a day's work.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Snow Showers---

It already feels like winter here in New York. As soon as November hit, we had snow showers. This was the first time seeing snow in 2 and a half years.  It was so amazing running up on the higher latitudes in Mcgraw, NY and being immersed in 2 inches of snow making me feel like I was living in Alaska or something.  After the Endurance Monster Road Race, I have been training well and have been getting the school work done.  Last week, my training was not too intense, but I did get some nice quality long sessions in of 1 hour and 30 minutes.  The snow has been nice and now it is just chilly when I run in my jackets, tights, hats and gloves but I welcome this weather. Living in Oklahoma, this level of cold is nothing as the wind-chill here is nowhere what was once felt.  I enjoy the colder temps as the 30's and 20's are not bad for running and after you warm-up, you are golden.  There is no greater feeling than being perfectly comfortable where you are and once I warm up, I am golden.  The colder weather means snowshoe running too and I am so excited for it. I love fall and winter running and I feel like it is time to get a real taste of a NY State Winter!

I will be running the It's A Wonderful Run 5k in Seneca Falls December 8th!  After that, it is all about Snowshoe!!!! I hope to become the NY State SNowshoe Champion and even have the chance to run at Bend, Oregon for the National Championships for 10k snowshoe!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Hoxie Gorge State Forest--A Place of Beauty

Just the other day, I ran a long run at Hoxie Gorge State Forest just 5 miles down the road from my house in Cortland, NY.  I will say that since Ashlee and myself have called Upstate New York home, it really is a great place for recreation and the amount of protected forest resources and trails are just crazy scary.  You cannot go 10 miles in any direction in this state without a decent trail system.  Anyway, it was a crisp day as the fall and winter temperatures are looming.  I drove to my usual spot and decided to run out along Freetown road through the state forest property and out into Freetown.  The rolling terrain was amazing and the weather was perfect for endurance running. I must say there is nothing like the solace of winter running and fall running as people are forced to stay inside because of cold temperatures and the loss of sunlight means running while the sun is up is often a challenge.  I set out along my run and it was amazing to be able to just feel apart of nature.  With school and life just being crazy, it is always a sweet thing to be able ti disengage oneself from the rigors and responsibilities of life to just zone out and reconnect with the wilderness that is only found in small pockets.  The run started out nice and controlled and was an endurance-based climbing run where the pace was not too crazy as the steep inclines slowed me down but on the flats and downs I had the chance to open up.  I wore my new Craft Nordic XC ski tights and let me tell you they are awesome. For being so lightweight, they insulate the crap out of your legs.  Listen, Craft is serious! They make some of the best technical apparel out there in my book and the quality is well worth the price tag!  This run brought me back to what I really like about Upstate:  The roads here can be so peaceful and drivers are very courteous of you.  I never feel like someone is about to attempt to run me over which I did have to endure quite a bit in OK.  The weather is cooler which makes for nice endurance running as never once have I felt like my running was compromised because of the weather.  Yes, people are from New York but many of the farmers and townspeople wave and smile at me and even their pets that often chase me are so loving and kind. I will say no dog that I have found off leash has been without there owner screaming at the dog to come back.  Not what I was used to as my dog encounters were one thing I despised about running in the Sooner State.  And I will say there may not be big mountains here but the hills and the roads are steep and long and really make you work on being a strong mountain runner.

I ran 1 hour and 35 minutes and had a great time!  Hoxie Gorge is totally a place to check-out as it is nice and peaceful and has a nice trail network and smooth country roads that go on forever!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Bear Swamp Trail Run

The other day last weekend, I ran with my buddy Chris who mountain bikes out at Bear Swamp State Forest. This has been a stomping ground for Chris and I was excited to check it out.  Let me tell you, Bear Swamp is swampy but also has amazing views of the Finger Lakes and has great wide trails for running, xc skiing and mountain biking.  Of course the trails had there nice climbs and the footing was great considering the slop and mud from recent rain.  We ran about 8 miles and the trail loops were super enjoyable and fun. I never been at a recreation facility as this one.  Great wooded trails and the swamp was super cool.  I had a nice easy day in the build-up to the Monster Mash 3.55 miler and it was great prep for the race.  I ran a fast 17:23 for 3.55 miles and though felt tired still performed like a true champion.  I must say that the Fall season and Winter season are so spectacular. They represent the coming of a time, of an age for nature and for life.  We begin to hibernate during this time but also are giving the chances to reflect on our lives and to foster our bonds with friends and family. It is a time about being thankful for the life you have and for the magic and mysticism of Christmas and Santa Claus.  It is a time to be outdoors and enjoy nature in its purest form.  Yes, many people dislike the cold, but I take it as a blessing as colder temperatures mean that it is time to prepare for another year and to run and live the best I can.  Life is precious and the memories and bonds we make are eternal.

What a lot of people do not understand about running is that is does bring a person closer to the natural environment. Not only am I immersed in the elements but my feet feel every rock and clamber of dirt, I breath in fresh forest air, I push myself up a steep hill created by nature's forces long ago, I look at the beauty of the natural landscape around me and immerse myself within this realm of modern nature.  Running allows for me to be apart of nature in an active way that helps to improve both my physical health but also mental. I say that running is a great tool and assets for me in terms of being a better human being.  When I run, it is not to be selfish though that may seem what those intentions are being perceived as.  I hope to be great at the sport and bring great fame and support for Ashlee and my family one day but also to help inspire my friends, family, and even that one kid unsure about whether to play basketball or to run and by reading this blog decides to embark on such a journey that makes him the next Ryan Hall of USA distance Running.  You never know. But what  I will say is that if you ever have the chance to run in Upstate New York, do so!  This place is an incredible place to run as it has everything needed for a great running stimulus except high altitude.  Bear Swamp is just one of those great resources we have here in NY.  There are tons of great races here and it keeps on getting better.  For now, this is my home and I hope to make the most of it. Whether this will be the end-all place for me and Ashlee who knows but  I will say that as of now, Cortland works for where we are in our lives and truly home is where YOU make it.  If you have the elements you desire as a person, then that is all you need.  RUN Hard America and let us continue to do great things!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Endurance Monster Mash 3.5 mile Race

First off here is the link for the results of the run:

It was a nice cool morning at Skaneateles, NY, which is a wonderful lake town about 29 miles north of Cortland. I woke up at around 7am so that I could check out the town before the race.  It was a lovely morning as I made the drive.  Driving along the farm roads, I noticed intense fog so dense I felt like I was in London or something. After about 35 minutes of driving, I had made it to Skaneateles.  It is a nice place.  I drove to the running store then spent the next hour jogging around while  looking at the town surroundings.  As the race drew nearer, the excitement started to build. Not to mention that they delayed the race time by 10 minutes. I ran through my strides and got ready.  As soon as the gun went off, I knew that I was going to have a great run though my legs were a little tired from the Bear Swamp Trail run the other day.  I settled into  a nice pace and zipped onto a canal trail. The trail was nice crushed gray gravel and at this point about a mile and a half in, I began to pick up my pace.  I knew I was running through the first mile at around 4:50-4:55 as I looked at my watch around the first aid station.  Once out of the trail, the course sharply crossed uphill. It is amazing how every road race in New York always has a little incline or one small hill at the least though most races have some strong hills.  The hill did slow down my momentum but I kept running tough.  Before I knew it, I was at the finish-line running a 17:23 3.6 mile distance. I averaged around 4:50 meaning I ran about a 15:00 flat 5k or even a 14:50 5k.  I won a free pair of shoes, NB Trail minimus and some awesome gloves and water bottle all from Endurance Monster. It was a great race and I ran really strong with all things considered.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Empire State Half Marathon

70:45 Finish time and 5th place Overall.  Winner in my age group and on a nice cool fall day with some strong head winds, ran exceptionally well. I placed 5th in the USATF Niagara New York Half Marathon Championships and was the last place on the podium and 50 dollars richer.

The race was nice and cool with temperatures in the upper 30's and lower 40's. I was at the event with my father as Ashlee was at work.  I will say that as I waited in the coral to start the half marathon, I did not see any fast-looking guys until the last 5 minutes before the gun.  This race started at the Alliance Bank Minor League Stadium in Syracuse and then we would follow the Onondaga Lake Trail which is a great wide bike path.  At 8am, we were off. I was deciding on going out nice and conservative as it was my first ever road half-marathon but soon saw the pack of guys I would be running the entire race with.  This one guy, in a yellow-singlet shot out ahead averaging 5:10 miles and soon was just a glimer in the distance.  In my group of people was a Kenyan wearing some neon clothes, a Saucony-Sponsored guy, and a Master's champion at the age of 41 who could run super fast wearing a YMCA jersey.  I constantly ran my pace with these guys as the lake windchill made things tough for us.  We split several 5:15 minute miles the first 5 miles as I would help surge the group then drop back though I spent the majority of the time in the race working the David Rappleyea, the Saucony athlete. The kenyan constantly dropped back then would surge then drop again. The YMCA runner, Kevin as I heard his name all over the course, "GO KEEEEEVVVIN!" was struggling a little with the pace but I knew was still going to be in the hunt.  At mile 6, I suddenly had a strong stomach cramp that was making me hurt pretty bad.  I immediately, began to drop back intentionally in the hopes of drafting and regaining my feel.  At this point, the Kenyan decided to surge ahead drawing out the other guys.  Soon, the group was gone as the lovely lake trail became lonely for me even though we shot back the way we came with tons of other runners screaming for us on the course.  I could see them battling up front with having maybe a 45 second gap on me.  The sun was blinding me and in a whole world of hurt just told myself to remain strong and hold on for fifth so I could get some hard-earned prize money.  I kept a strong pace and after a few miles, I had caught the group again.  I was with the Saucony athlete, David, as he noticed me right on him. At that point, I just wanted to maintain contact.  I gritted my teeth and hung in there as water and gatorade at every water stop from mile 7-10 gave me the burst needed to hang on and finish in 5th with a 70:45 half marathon which was really a great time averaging 5:24 a mile.
Looking back on the race, physically, I have trained to run faster for this distance and as I run more of these competitions, I should dramatically improve.  It was a great race day and I wish Ashlee was there! I know that she is going to get to see some amazing races very soon!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Greek Peak 5k Oct 13 2012

So just the other day, I decided to run a little local 5k here in Cortland to support the Greek Peak adaptive sports programs.  As I am almost a week away from the Empire State Half Marathon, I felt that a little tune-up race was in order.  The race start time was 11am as this was very beneficial since a massive cold front came through and dropped temperatures into the 20's early this morning.  By the time it was race time, the temps hovered around 42 with a wind chill in the mid to upper 30's. Most people would think of this all too cold but for me, I have found that  I thrive in this temperature range period.  Why I do so well in colder weather beats me.  So anyway, I did my normal warm-up thinking this 5k was going to be around the Hope Lake and ski lodge on their biking trails which are solid blacktop.  To my surprise, this race for the 5k actually incorporated some of the steep xc ski trails around the lake as well.  This was going to be a mountain 5k.  After my warm-up, I began to hydrate ever so slightly with my Camelback Elixer Lemon/Lime and Lemon/Lime Gatorade power mix which produces a light sugar sports drink that is not overdone on either end of the sugar spectrum.  I then stripped down into my racing attire. I had arm warmers, gloves, singlet and shorts just the type of outfit I will wear for the empire half.

It was then time to head off and it was great to have Chris hang out and watch me run around the course.  With the blow of a whistle, we were off. I immediately took to the lead and then headed across the little bridge out on Hope Lake and then made the sharp turn straight up a nice steep ski slope. Obviously, I had to gauge my effort and not to sprint up the hill but rather climb rather strong. I felt that my climbing was very good as each effort I made to crest each summit, I had enough in the legs to surge on the flats and then fly down the other sides of the hills. I shot down the first climb then was directed into more trail sections. With all the wet leaves underfoot and some muddy sections, with road racing flats, my grip on the trail was not optimal.  I only maybe ran 1k of the race on the road or path rather and the rest on the ski slopes. I had no idea how fast I was running but I did feel I had a nice comfortable fast effort going.  I hit another climb then bombed the downhill and then headed out along the bike path. I came through the section so fast I had to stop and ask the race official where to go.  Once redirected I headed out on the path waiting to see where I must head next.  Then  I came near the finish shoot and had the race event directors running to my vicinity to tell me to make a right up another ski slope. This climb was tough. I would say an easy 700ft climb. My pace slowed to a 8min mile as I worked my way up the pitch and then was out along the upper trail sections. I had a few more small climbs to go and looked at my watch as it read 14:34. I am thinking I probably have a half mile to go so I hit another gear through the wet and muddy, leaf-ridden trail sections sprinting all-out. I also thought maybe  I was averaging 5:20 or 5:30 miles which would have been a nice tempo effort with the climbing. But no I was wrong!  I came out of the trail section and then bombed that same steep up hill climb now as a downhill pitch and then flew into the short finish shoot.  I stopped my watch at 15:57.
I averaged 5:08 a mile. I felt great as I hung out with Chris and waited for the awards ceremony.

Overall, it was a great day and a fun race. I am totally going to see if I can be my record!  I learned a lot form the day. Even with mediocre sleep, I performed well. I also am in insane shape to run such a challenging 5k and perform the way I did. I think Max King would be proud.  This was by far the hardest 5k I have ever run and truly was a challenge for all.  Greek Peak is a great place in Cortland to run, race, and train at and I am very lucky to have such a great facility 8 miles away.  Empire State Half Marathon here I come as this will be my next big post. Thank you Greek Peak for the great photos.

Thank you to my friends and family, my sponsors: Sierra Designs/Kelty, Karhu/Craft, Patagonia, Acidotic Racing, Ok Runner for helping me on my journey to greatness. I feel that this year is going to be HUGE!  I cannot wait for the snowshoe season and I am excited for the summer trail season and spring marathon season as well. Bring it on NY.

Some Wonderful photos from the race. Thank you Tim Hannah

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Fall is Here!

Fall has swept the Northeast as the trees are turning the bright oranges, yellows, greens, browns, all of it.  I ran out on 281 today to highway 90. Took that road up and down the hills and had a great time. Really relaxed run of 82 minutes and 12-13 miles.  I am signed up for the Syracuse Empire State Half Marathon Oct 21st and I hope to podium at the event. My training has been coming along nicely as I have not been working a whole lot so I have time to run and to work on my lavish graduate studies.

With the coming of fall means pumpkins, apples, cider, doughnuts, candy, nice weather, and all.

Thursday---A nice 19 mile run and 1 hour and 50 minutes of action. I ran to the town limits of Truxton, NY today on 13.  I was about 1.5 miles away. I was able to get in a nice all run though it felt a little warm from what it has been when in the sun.  Still, the weather is made for long-distance running in comparison to Oklahoma.  This weather has been lovely and I am getting into stellar shape for the fall road races and then snowshoe season which I hope I can win the New York Federation and then have a chance to compete in Bend, Oregon for Nationals and maybe worlds in Italy.

Here are some Google Photos that illustrate what Up State New York Looks like this kind of year. Picture 2 is what I see on my daily running. I get up into the hills and mountains and have a nice panoramic view of the countryside.
Friday--Sept 28--off day.

Saturday Sept 29---Nice morning run out along Albany street then up along the big incline by the cider mill.  Ran by Lightninghouse road then back to home all across highway 13. A nice cool morning run before work at Olympia. Got in 80 minutes

Sunday Sept 30---run in the rain at Limehollow nature center. 70 minute run along the trails. It was a little slick but a great run. The trails through the center are incredible. Great singletrack and snowshoe trails.

Monday October 1----Run out along Kinney Gulf road then I took a left turn up a nice steep hill and ran the local countryside. Nice cool morning and it was another relaxing 82 minute run.  Got the legs moving on some sections but took it easy for the most part.

Review of this week's training----Today I ran out along Tuller Hill State forest on the xc ski trails and the hiking trails all along the route.  It was a rainy morning and it can be hard to stay on trail with all the leaves hiding hidden slick rocks and roots. My first 20 minutes of the run was slowed from the slick conditions but once I left the technical single track into the xc ski trails, I was flying.  I hit some mud spots but my savvy La Sportiva Raptors ate up the trail. I finished the run with some tempo running up the various powerline sections of trail and then finished at Gatherings restaurant. 1 hour 40 minutes of hard work for about 16-17 miles!

I am feeling really strong of late.  I can run up these mountains now pretty relaxed and then recover at the top of them and keep going. I still need to incorporate inclines and ascents into my training as constant climbing is my weakest ability in mountain running and it is a very crucial skill needed. I just have to keep it up averaging 13-14 miles a day to build that base.

Right now in my current racing, I am just working on running some road races before I embark on the snowshoe running scene in New York. I have the Empire Half marathon scheduled and some 5ks in the surrounding Finger Lakes region from now up til December 8th. I had a nice uphill tempo on Tuesday and I feel like  I am going to make some noise in 2013. 2013 will be my year!!!!

Run out along State Bike Route 11 towards Hoxie Gorge State Forest. Let me just tell you that this run today was incredible. Hoxie Gorge is soooo incredible as it is truly a gorge with steep ravines and an incredible forest all right under interstate 81. Really incredible. The run had plenty of sun and started at 3:30pm and by the turn-around point, the clouds came in and then a strong westerly wind came storming in. It was a tough run back but made a nice 1 hour and 31 minute run. Getting in some nice mileage say about 7.2 one way so about a 14.4 mile run plus maybe a little more say 14.5-14.8 mile run! Fall is here as all the leaves have changed and the weather is cool and nice and the running has been ideal just like everyday here. For once in my life when it comes to running, I am beyond happy.  Upstate New York has so much to offer for trail running and just running in general.  I am so excited to continue my journey here and to hopefully develop into a USA team member

Sunday--Nice 80 minute run out along Homer up to Tully NY. It was a nice cool day and the legs felt great.  Had some kids commenting on my rad running shorts and I told them to stay in school and not to do drugs. The weather is really starting to become a whole lot cooler around here and that means I can really continue to ramp up my training. I have loved the fact that I have not had to compromise any bit of my running here because the weather is so conducive for endurance athletes and I do not have to work full-time which helps to give me some flex with my running schedule.

Monday--Oct 8th----Run out along East River Road ---35 degrees this morning as I layered up with a jacket and gloves and half-tights.  I felt pretty good while having another smooth flat run. Tomorrow I think that I am going to hit the mountains pretty hard. I might even drive over to Hoxie Gorge and run the trails and roads there since they are really awesome and I would like the chance to explore them more.

Wednesday---Oct 10--Run at Hoxie Gorge State Forest Trails!!!  Nice 70 minute run on some slippery trail. Nichole is heading home today and it is sad. I know both Ashlee and myself hate to see her go but it is out of our control. Hoxie Gorge has trails that were set-up by SUNY Cortland which is really cool. The trails are great as all Finger Lakes Trails are. They have roots, run by ravines, ups and downs, slippery footing and it winds all around the woods.  It was a great time.

Thursday Oct 11--Quick 50 minute run out on Kinney Gulf Road. Then came into work for a 12-7:30 shift. A long day but fun.

Friday Oct 12---Worked the morning then ran in real cold, we had sleet and some snow today and it is only October.  The temps were 41 with wind chill around 32 and 13 mph winds gusting to 30.  I ran out along 281 North which I have never done before and also cut through 90 in Homer. It was a nice cold day of running and I must say I love wearing tights and gloves. It feels great to run in weather like this.  I am also jotting down that today is the first day without my grandmother Ginger, as at almost 94 years old, she sadly passed away. My hopes and wishes go out to everyone in my family as we share this huge loss. She was the happiest woman alive and I think some of her happiness rubbed off on me.  I love you Grammy and may you continue to inspire in your legacy!

I will be running a local 5k at Greek Peak tomorrow in preparation for the half marathon almost a week from today. It is going to be a nice cool day to race as morning lows will be like 27 degrees and the high maybe at 50.