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!

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