Monday, August 27, 2012

Preparation For Virgil 26.2 Mountain Marathon!

Sunday--Preview of the course. It was a nice day in Cortland and the ski resort had motocross competitions on the ski slopes. Luckily for me, I was on trails that were out of the way.  I started at Gatherings a little restaurant at the ski resort and went looking for Tone Road. I ran to the Hope Lodge and soon realized that Tone Road had to be in the other direction so  I ran back to my car. I looked at my gps on my phone and yup, tone road was the other way.  2 miles in and then I began the ascent. The trails of the Finger Lakes is so pristine. Tons of roots, Intense trees that provide a jungle of shade(so much that some sections were as dark as night), nice creeks, and many climbs and steep descents all on single-track. I followed the white trail markings all up Virgil Mountain at 2,180 feet or so from about 1,000 feet then you descend into the darkness and then come into the second ascent section of Greek Peak.  Both these climbs you ascend 1,000 feet. Along the way, there are many ups and downs.  I will say that I found my new Sunday Long Run location at Greek Peak while at 8.4 miles away, it boasts every great form of trail and mountain running anyone could ask for and then some.  It was a great day. I ran 13.1 miles on the trails, plus 2 miles on the roads, plus 3 miles around a service road on Tone after the run to cool-down..  18.1 miles not bad for a Sunday!

Monday---Dropped Netflix movies off at the local grocery store then headed up Lightning Hill Road or something or Lighthouse Road up into Homer, NY and along the high country of Homer. I had one super serious climb where the incline almost made me powerhike the last section but I kept fighting through the pain from my sore legs post trail 18 miler at Greek Peak.  It was a little on the warm side for Cortland with temperatures in the mid-80's but I felt pretty good regardless.  80 minutes and 13 miles in the books!

Tuesday--First Day at Olympia. Ran in the morning for 30 minutes around Homer, NY then did a nice 45 minute hill-run in Homer over by the CCC (Cortland Country Club).  Was able to tack on about 75 minutes and about 12-12.5 miles of work.  I have been feeling great running here and the fall weather is picking up some steam. The low for Wednesday will be 48 degrees!!!!

Wednesday---Ran mid-morning out on 281 past Homer onto 41 West to Skaneateles. The nice mid 50's at 10-11am was so perfect as fall is starting to creep into Up state New York!  I ran nice and relaxed and strong towards the last few miles.  I am excited about Sunday's race and work is new and exciting and I look forward to selling footwear and sporting goods! Got in about 78 minutes and about high 12.0 mileage range maybe about 12.7 miles or so.

Thursday and Friday, I took it easy running out into Homer on flats both days. First day ran out along 11 for an hour and then Friday after work logged an easy run of 45 minutes.  Bring on the steep climbs of Virgil Peak and lets hope my legs will keep up with me!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Current Running Schedule

Sept 2nd--Sunday---Monster Trail Marathon at Virgil, NY

Sept 9th--Sunday---Ithaca 5& 10 mile Races--Ithaca, NY

Sept 14-15  Reach The Beach Relay New Hampshire--Acidotic Racing--I would be gone Sept 13-15 And Come Home on the 16th.

October 21--Either Cortland Leafpeeper Half Marathon Or Syracuse Empire State Half Marathon

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Next Race: Monster Trail Marathon COrtland, NY

I am excited about classes and running my trail marathon in Virgil, NY come September 2nd.  I am so ready to rock and roll and am really eager to run a very competitive trail race again with mountains and a longer distance where my 50k debut at White Rock Mountain in Arkansas proved to be a huge success though my Inov 230's ruined my legs for about 10 days afterward. SO the theory is run in more cushioned and stable shoes such as the La Sportiva Raptors and I should be good.

Saturday---82 minute run out along Route 215 towards the mountains and Willowbrook Golf Course. I felt so strong today running up the steep inclines.  It was nice to run in such cool conditions as the sun was going down.

Sunday---Run up to Mcgraw--I ran out along Highway 11 and over to 41. I passed under the main overpass and then hit the section of road out along 41 towards Mcgraw. I ran up a very very steep road maybe 15% grade as my legs gave out as I neared the mile long crest. I ran back down as it was time to head back and my legs felt like jello the whole rest of the way. I really enjoyed heading into Mcgraw and I feel like the places that I can run to in the Cortland area is sooooo expansive that  I do not think I will ever get bored of this place. It may take me a life-time to run all the great roads and trails of this area.

Monday---I ran along the trails of COrtland high school and then ran up Page Green Road to Blodgett Mills Road. I ran about 83 minutes and maybe around 13 miles. I felt a little tired going up the steep sections but overall, I feel that I am adapting well to running in the high hills and small mountains of Cortland, NY.  From the previous day, I was a little jazzed-out in my legs but I feel like Tuesday will be a nice fun day of training for me! The weather is sooooo nice here with highs in the 70's and maybe 80 on the dot and lows in the low 50's in August just make me question exactly what we will have this fall!

Tuesday--Wednesday--Thursday And Friday---I have run all the directions of Cortland from Wolf Road in Homer, Highway 11 up in the mountains over Highway 81, Walden Oaks Neighborhood, and Lorings Crossing Road towards Truxton.  My training has averaged about 76 minutes per run and about 13-14 miles per run. I have felt great and have run so many inclines.  I now can run almost 5,000 ft in vertical gain in one run which is insane and my legs and lungs are really feeling great. As I continue to train in Cortland, I feel that I will become more and more a climber which is my inexperience.  The leaves are just starting to turn and classes begin Monday. Ashlee has already began her classes and everything is starting to come full tilt.  Time to rest and relax and enjoy my weekend.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

On the Horizon

COrtland is a day away and I am so excited.  I have been running well and my training has been fun. I ran trails today and logged about 78 minutes out in Montgomery and yesterday ran at Princeton Walk for a 60 minute night run. The humidity has been nothing short of tropical here in New Jersey and I am ready for some nice mild weather in Cortland.  I cannot wait to explore the area and to run up some mountains!!!!!!

THe time is here. I am ready to start school and to get in some great training for the fall and the winter. I hope to run the Monster Marathon in Cortland on September 2nd as my first big race and then I look to run the New Hampshire Coast to Coast Relay with Team Acidotic Racing on September 17th and then I hope to run either the Empire State Half Marathon or to run the local Cortland Leaf Peeper Half Marathon around my birthday October 21st. The Cortland YMCA has a road-racing circuit that  I look forward to running some local 5k's.  THe opportunities are endless and I cannot wait.  I will have the chance to really run a great trail-racing circuit and I can run marathons and halfs galore in Upstate country. I will also look for a local running club I can meet-up with maybe the Triple-cities running club or the local Ithaca based Finger Lakes RUnning and Tri Co. I will also rock the OK RUnner singlets in competition every now and then as that was my first group to represent as well as in my vast training. I am ready to rock and roll. May THe CORTLAND DAYS BEGIN!

(Photo from cortland taxi)

After all the moving of boxes...I took Thursday as an off day from running.  I then followed up with a mountain assault of Greek Peak in Virgil, NY which was amazing as the sun was setting and got to run up one ski slope and ran the 500k condos and multi-million dollars homes of the peak.  It was a thirty minute hill run that was so much fun. I have a feeling that I am going to be doing my Sunday Long RUns at Greek Peak as it has great trails and uphill challenges similar to Loon Mountain in NH and Mount Washington.

Though the mountains here may not be as tall, they are super steep! Just breathing in the mountain air felt great and it was soooo cool to see all of the mist coming from the tops of the mountains as the clouds floated over the tree canopy

Today---I took my father home to Princeton and ran an 84 minute run into Plainsboro out by Plainsboro North High School. It was hot and humid in the high 80's. I had the nice trails to run through Plainsboro and really am looking forward to getting back to Cortland. I have grown-up around Princeton and it is a great area but I feel that my second homes are in the green mountains of New York.  I have always loved the outdoors and  I feel better then ever about the opportunities I will have out in that neck of the woods.

Monday August 13----RUn up along main street of Cortland and then I hit the hard inclines up the mountains heading toward Greek Peak. I found out that Greek Peak is 8 miles away from Cortland instead of 15 miles and the route over by Blodgett Mills connects onto Page Green Rd that takes you into Cortlandville. The rolling hills and mountains are so beautiful and it is amazing that all it takes is say 3 miles to be up into the 2,000 ft peaks of central NY! I also found out the the Cortland high school has really amazing running trails on the campus that they use for their cross country meets. That means I have easy access trail running again. SO far, there is greek peak, limehollow, Suny cortland trails, and cortland high school as places in cortland with superb trails for running fast and up mountains.
I logged 89 minutes and I am feeling so good in my new environment. I love this place. Great weather and I never feel like I am going to roast from the sun as the sun and clouds are mixed throughout the day so you get the best of both worlds.

My next shoe for my Monster Trail Marathon in Virgil, NY at Greek Peak....THe La Sportiva Raptor!!!! An aggressive mountain running shoe that can handle ultras and sharp descents and ascents with ease.

Tuesday--Run along Route 11 North towards Homer. It was a busier run then yesterday as I believe it to be a trucking route to Ithaca or something.  As I entered Homer, I felt like I was still in Cortland though the adorable little shoppes and the pine-tree-lined streets made me feel like I was in a mountain town in Vermont.  I passed a pub called Dashers and that reminded me of Ashlee. I passed many people on the super-wide sidewalk saying "Good Morning" to each one and to my surprise, they responded back with the same phrase.  As I left Homer, I entered the beginnings of Syracuse land as Tully, which i believe is a suburb of Syracuse was only 11 miles away.  I then ended my out and back run to a small lake or reservoir that had lovely green blue water. I took a moment to rest and just let the gentle breeze blow past me.  I am so amazed how easy it is to run in this area. People always move to the other side of the road and many people wave at me and yell kinds words of encouragement like "Keep it Going!" or "Wow you're FAST" or "You're unbelievable RUN BOY RUN!".  As I turned around, I took another route that hit right by the Cortland Country Club. It looked like a nice course with its lush green fairways and high-perched pine and  spruce trees.  I cut over by an athletic complex and then headed past the Cortland Regional Hospital straight for home. It was a great day and I am so proud for Ashlee and her sister, Nichole for working out so hard at the gym. We are going to be one healthy good-looking family by years end!!!!

Wednesday-- 8/15----Nice intense run full of vertical gain. I probably gained more in this run than I have ever done before in my life.  I ran on Penndelton Road out along the great mountains or rather hills of Cortland, NY.  The first incline I hit was steep as there was at least a 600ft gain probably more in the mile long steep grade. Once at the top, the road kept cresting and heading upwards. I followed Penndelton Road up to Tower Road where I heard the rumor that it was one of the highest points in Cortland County.  I charged up the last steep climb to the radio tower high above the clouds of Cortland after going through 7 big climbs in the run.  Once at the top, I rested at the tower looking out at the amazing view. To my surprise, I was pretty much eye-level with the clouds as I could not see any other taller mountains in the foggy morning sky.  It was amazing. After 38 minutes out, I enjoyed the view and then headed back home. I hit 77 minutes for the day and about 12-13 miles of work. Cortland really is an amazing place. If you are into peace and tranquility when you run, this place brings it. Every-time I have run up in the mountains of the area,  I have felt so relaxed and at ease with my surroundings. The views are killer and the weather is ideal. I could run in the 60's all day long as the nice low breeze cools things off and occasionally the sun comes out then is followed by more clouds.  I believe I probably ran about 4,000 ft of elevation gain but that might be a big stretch. I summited about 4 big high points and descended many big gully sections where I could have gained close to 1000ft per mountain so I am guessing I ran a big run maybe the most I have ever done in terms of mountain running.  I look forward to improving my climbing abilities as that is my weaker skill against mountain runners that have made the USA teams. Next summer if all works well, I think I will be a big threat because I can already feel the strength I am gaining from resting and running here in Cortland!

Thursday--Run in 83 degree weather to Lime Hollow Nature Center. It was a longer trip to the nature center than I predicted but I made it there and was able to run along the trail for maybe 7 minutes. It was not much but I got a nice taste of those trails and they were awesome. Secluded trails in the woods with nice crushed gravel under-foot was perfect.  Running along the nice country road was peaceful and I accidentally took the long way through the Cortland campus up more hills towards home. I ended up with 84 minutes under my belt and maybe 13 miles for the day.

Friday--Ran early in the morning out on Highway 13 towards Truxton.  It was nice to scout out the Leafpeeper Half Marathon Course and to see Yaman Park where they have a lake and a beach with real sand. I was able to run 72 minutes for the day and it was a nice and overcast day. I had the fresh smell of farms with hay and cows and all the bells and whistles that make farms...well, farms!  I really like this route that is the closest from our place because I can just roll out of bed and run nice easy climbs and the route is scenic and quiet. There are a ton of little side roads that I can explore in the future and I cannot wait!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Summer of 2012 in Review

Princeton Reunion 5k--
The Summer is a month away from being over and it has been a hard but wonderful summer. Waking up at 4:55 am every morning for work has been brutal but it has all paid off as Ashlee and me are right around the corner from being in Cortland, NY!  Are place is set and ready for move-in and school is right around the corner too.  This summer has been quite an adventure.  We have been to New Hampshire, Cortland twice, camped out under the stars, the Jersey Shore, working all the time and the Ivy.  It has been hot in New Jersey at times and at other times it has been a nice change to Oklahoma's 120 degree heat.  Here are a bunch of photos Ashlee has taken from all the various races:
And the race is underway
FInishing strong

Sunset finish at Firecracker 5k in Princeton

The start of the Loon Mountain Race!

4000ft up the mountain at Loon !

As Ashlee is in Oklahoma, I am going to put in some hard training as I will not have much else to do besides prepare for moving.  I have been running a nice solid 72 minute run and a 65 minute run in the rain yesterday at Autumn Hill Reservation. It was a nice run and I am excited about being able to run mountain trails and can camp out in all the NY state forests and even the FInger Lakes!
It is time to finish out the summer and prepare for a wonderful fall in Upstate New York!

Friday---I have had some nice training runs lately.... Ran in sweltering heat the other day out towards Blawenburg and ran down Mountain View Road. The Heat and Humidity was awful as the 90% humidity mixed with the mid-90's heat to have me sweat like I was under Niagara Falls.  It was great to pass through Blawenburg as that area is at the cusp of the Sourland Mountains and the running is great: you have trees, hills, no busy roads, golf courses for water, and just pretty views that you would find in Vermont.  I pushed through the fatigue and was able to log 14.45 miles and 83 minutes. I was running as fast as I could and afterwards, I powered up with a fruit smoothie and settled for a very uneasy stomach.

Saturday---TOday-- Ran in the morning after work with my father out along Bunker Hill Reservation/Natural area.  We ran the trails and soon I was out by myself. The early heat was already stifling as I pushed across the creek that runs into the golf course and then headed to a little farmstead in the woods.  I turned back and was chased by a horse fly, bathed in the creek, and then decided to run home on the roads in my trail shoes: La Sportiva Vertical Ks.  My legs feel sore in weird spots because of the waves of the trail shoe running funny on the roads.  I really did not care about this occurrence becuase I just wanted to make it home as my singlet was drenched in sweat.  I must say that New Jersey has been more like Florida this summer with the high heat and humidity.  I hope fall comes soon as the trails will be a great asset to have in Cortland such as the Kennedy State Forest in Virgil and the LimeHollow nature trails.

Sunday--77 minute Run

Monday--- 82 minute run with my father out on the towpath. First 20 minutes with him and then the fast pick-up tempo run.  I felt great and the towpath even had some nice cool spots which was awesome.  Ran a 75:23 half marathon and then finished the last mile and a little bit! That is below 5:50 which is great and I was able to log about 14 for the day.  I might be interested in running the Catherine Valley Half Marathon in Watkins Glen, NY on AUgust 19th and this towpath run would be similar to the race conditions I might encounter. IF I can run that type of pace (5:40) in trainers just running fast, then I know I can race a great pace.