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.