Thursday, February 28, 2013

Mammut---My First Official Title SPONSOR!

I would like to thank everyone at Mammut for getting me onboard as their first trail/mountain ambassador and I hope to showcase the brand, the company, and its absolutely amazing line of equipment, apparel, and shoes!  Thank you and let the journey begin!

Look out for me at the June 8th Cayuga Trails Race wearing all the latest Mammut Trail gear for what is going to be an epic race.  The goal is to run the best 50 miles of my life and hope to reach the podium. I would be satisfied with a top 10 finish but I think placing higher is totally in the cards for me. Top 3?  Well, we will just have to see. 1st? 2nd?  On June 8th, all will be settled out on the course. Train hard and see you out there on the trails and I hope everyone runs the best race of their lives come June 8th!  See you out on the trails!

Here are some of the newest trail running products courtesy of Mammut online!


These are all items that are either apart of the MTR line for trail and mountain running and there are a few pieces that are more alpine based that work well with trail running as well.  The Mammut MTR line is one that is going to be tough to beat from their shoes such as the Dyneema 201 which should be one of the better trail running flats on the market.  Check back for gear reviews and test runs!  Go Mammut, Absolute Alpine.

Thank you again for the chance to represent you and I will do the very best I can!

Training has been going very well for this week.   I have been able to get in a varying type of running which is always nice. I had a snowshoe run at Limehollow Nature center that went well, numerous uphill runs, some slower paced efforts, as well as some shorter up-tempo running.  I put in about 84 miles of work and today for Saturday--March 2nd, went on a nice run in some Smartwool Baselayers I received to try out.  Smartwool makes some great stuff. Not only are their products lightweight, but they insulate well and keep you dry through snow and all kinds of gross weather.  I was pleasantly surprised with how the baselayers kept me warm during my run out along Kellogg Road to Blodgett Mills and out on Highway 11 towards Marathon, NY.  The baselayer pants really performed like a pair of running tights though had more flexibility to them than spandex.  It was a lot of fun. i was able to run 82 minutes and 13 miles.  I ran nice and relaxed and with the new tights felt like I had a solid stride.  I am counting down the days until snowshoe nationals and I cannot wait.  Each day, I am out on the roads or trails, I am working hard to ensure my performance at the snowshoe race proves to be a top-notch performance.

So far so good. I am excited for the weekend so much needed R&R can take place.  I can also devote a little more time to training, so Sunday should be a fun long-run. I hope to put out a nice 2 hour run under my belt to stress the legs and lungs and hopefully will set me up for another great week.

Check out some of Smartwool's baselayers as many of them can act as outer layers for high intensity activity.  Have a wonderful weekend out running!

SNOWSHOE SUNDAY!!!!!------March 3, 2013

Long run at Greek Peak North Country Trail and forest access roads in Kennedy State Forest.--90 minute total run all in snowshoes. Ran up the steep elevation gains about 3k of elevation gain. This run had me set out around 8am to Greek Peak, our local ski resort in Cortland.  I headed out there as the trails are the best around and I hoped I could find some groomed xc ski trails.  What did I find?  Groomed Trails! Finally!  For the first time in snowshoes, I was able to run fast uphill and not be sloshing around because of the snow conditions.  Every snowshoe race I have done so far, the course has been primarily lightly-packed snow trails meaning (someone in snowshoes took one step on the trail kind of grooming job) which is practically breaking trail.  This was great as it was totally snowmobiled out with nice grooved tracks perfect for my shoes to track over it.  I hit the first massive 2 mile climb to the summit of Greek Peak or Virgil Peak as it is sometimes called and ran on a wide snowmobile trail.  I had my Nathan Lab hydration belt I won at the Highland Forest 10k regional snowshoe race and this thing works great!  Keeps liquids from freezing and hugs the body well without any bobble.  I then had a choice...Do I continue on the snowmobile trail or get risky and break trail along the Finger Lakes trail that heads up into the woods.  I chose the latter.  I plotted through 2 feet of snow for another 1200 meters or so rolling up and down the crests of the trail then came out right along the Summit of Virgil Peak. I then trekked downhill along the power line section back to the logging roads.  The footing was also fantastic here as well as I picked up my pace envisioning myself making the USA snowshoe team. If I do make the team, it would be my first USA team and would be a truly incredible achievement.  I lost track of time in the run and realized that I needed to head back.  I turned back for home. I retraced my steps and got a nice tempo going downhill to Tone Road.  I hit the snowmobile trail and kids skiing on the slope parallel to me were yelling at me with lovely greetings like "Hey Man, HEY MAN!" or "HI, HI!"  It was fun to see the kids skiing down meeting me at the bottom.  I headed back to the car and headed home.  What I learned from the days workout was that I am not only fit, but I never thought I could run through snow the way I do.  It is amazing how snowshoes work.  Thank you to all those snowshoe companies out there for making great products. Special shout out to Bob Dion of Dion snowshoes for introducing me to great snowshoes and to Chris Dunn of Acidotic Racing for getting me going in the snowshoe and mountain running scene here in the Northeast.

Monday---March  4----Simple hill run up along Albany street along my favorite loop here in Cortland.  Got in the vertical, picked it up and the flats, and flew on the downhill sections.  It was cold out there.  A steep wind chill made it feel in the teens and single digits.  I think it is supposed to warm up this week into the 40 and 50 degree range.  Only a matter of time.  Overall, a nice 11 mile run or so with about 800-1500 ft in vertical gain and about 70-73 minutes out and about.

Tuesday  March 5---- A easy run out on 222 to Kinney Gulf Road and then back home.  I ran about 10.5 miles today at around 65 minutes and ran nice and easy with one climb the whole run.  I am trying to rest up so that I can get in a nice 80 minute run tomorrow morning.  The temperature around Cortland is supposed to warm-up into the mid-40's so we will see and it will be nice to run in a long sleeve t instead of a jacket or midlayer zip.

Wednesday---45 minute dark Ithaca Run along 6 mile trail.  It was dark and scary. I ran just to get some work in as my school work was taking the cake with my 20 page trail running in wilderness areas project based in the Adirondack region.  It was a great day at the Finger Lakes Running store and had a nice run with hills and ran very relaxed. I also recieved a free pair of Asics Gel 33 Lytes which are low-profile and fast. With my orthotics, I can fly in those shoes.

Thursday---March 7th---Morning run out along the uphill Route 11 Mcgraw route.  I ran up the steep uphills with my Asics Gel Lytes and ran nice and smooth.  My legs were feeling a little sore from the 6mm heel to toe differential but the shoe is fast and lite which is a nice change.  The weather was not too cold and I ran really well today getting in the mileage and I look forward to a long run tomorrow to make up for Wednesday.

Friday---March 8th----Ran through Homer onto 281 and then back. Got in a nice 90 minutes and made it to the town of Little York. It was very windy and the wind chill was cold though on the way back, things had warmed up which was nice.  Less than a week away until I leave for snowshoe nationals so all of the hard work is done. Now I can sit back and enjoy the ride or run rather.  I ran in my Karhu Strong Motion control shoes without my orthotics which proved to have the same feel.  Had a nice solid long run and ready for another tomorrow in Ithaca!

Saturday  March 9---Fun run in Ithaca. Ran some trails and even Buttermilk Falls which is where the Cayuga Trails race will be in June.  I ran with a buddy I met from the shop and we ran a nice 80 minute run real chill and fun. As a local Ithacan, he showed me some amazing trail sections that I absolutely loved.  Running through gorges and seeing water cascading down slopes and seeing even real waterfalls everywhere was quite a sight.  The weather has warmed up to around 50 and it was a glorious day out there. My Asics Lyte 33 2's are awesome shoes.  So light and with my orthotic, I get that  stability in a light package.

Sunday  March 10---Nice 10 mile run with Chris out along the fancy homes and the hills of Cortland/Homer.  ANother wonderful day in terms of the weather and I was testing out my Sketchers Go Runs.  More of a neutral cushion shoe, the shoe performed well out there and will be my main trainer I feel.  It has the softness under-foot to take me on 20 mile long runs but fast enough to get the leg turnover.

Monday--March 11---Fast uptempo long run out along Page Green Road to Greek Peak. I had about 3k of vertical throughout the run and slugged through the first half of the run with a nasty 30mph headwind.  Having a headwind like that plus steep climbs made me remember those runs out in Oklahoma. The weather was mild near 50 though the wind cooled things off.  I hit the ground running hard on the way back with my new Sketchers shoes I had the chance to demo. So far, so good with these buggers.  Overall, a total day of 84 minutes and 14-15 miles.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Run with Jordan Kinley, Mammut and Trails

First off, I looked at and found this awesome article on the inaugural Cayuga Trails 50 miler which is going to be a star-studded event where I hope to really show the established elites my fitness levels which I feel are at the same levels as these individuals. It is going to be a major profile event and it is going to be so exciting to compete with the likes of Sage Canady, Dave Mackey, Jordan McDougal, David James, and others.

Feb 22, 2013--Ithaca day. I met up with Karhu/Craft rep and friend of my Jordan Kinley for a nice morning run.  We ran out along the Cayuga Lake trail for a solid 65 minutes. It was great to check in and run with a buddy of mine I have not seen in such a long time.

Feb 23---Run up the steep hills of NY with sleet and freezing rain. My legs felt a little tired but managed to keep it together for a solid 70 minutes with at least 2k in elevation change. I am trying to ramp up the vertical in my training to ensure strong closing speed and endurance for the Snowshoe Nationals as the race will be just near or at altitude and to ensure a top spot in the race, I will need a strong last 3k to seal myself a spot on the team.

Photo taken from  East Homer in the snow, what I see on a daily basis way on top of the high hills.

Feb 24----A solid 84 minute Long-grind-it out run.  I pushed every top incline and on the flat sections on the high ridges, opened up my stride to that of a more road savvy pace.  The wind was whipping up snow but the pace seemed relaxed and I flew up each steep slope managing sometimes a wobble on some of the steeper pitches.

Karhu Flow Trail!!!!! Snowshoe shoe anyone?

I am really excited about working with an outstanding outdoor company as a professional trail/mountain running athlete. I will not disclose the company until all the logistics are finalized but I am very excited about this opportunity.  This is a dream come true and I hope that I can not only bring some other great trail runners onto the team, but also act as the voice and spirit of the company.  They make incredible alpine-specific outdoor apparel and equipment and with the right levels of exposure in North America, which I hope I can contribute, will truly showcase the brand.  They have made a whole new trail/mountain running line and their products look amazing. From the apparel, the hydration, the SHOES!  Watch out America!

I also would like to thank Smartwool for joining my list of sponsors as a prodeal package which gives me sweet discounts on all of their apparel and I hope that in 2013 I can continue to work  with them to produce some amazing socks as an ambassador of their brand.  Which people...MERINO WOOL is an AMAZING FIBER. Worth the money and it feels soooo good! Check them out!

Monday---Feb 25---I am learning how to run tired. My legs this morning felt like they did not want to work.  My body is sore, and running uphill has been tough but I know that I need to in order to get my legs ready for Snowshoe Nationals.  This morning, it was snowing again which makes you feel that Old Man winter is never going to leave but I do enjoy winter as it is my favorite season.  I headed out to 281 which is a fairly busy road into Cortland then hit the cross street of Blue Creek and then up to Cosmos Hill Road. Cosmos Hill has many fancy homes and the views of the hills are immaculate.  I ran up another hill...Cosmos up to the crest and then ran around.  I had about 70 minutes of running just enough.

Tuesday--Feb 26--I headed out for my morning run out along the Cortland High school.  I needed to pick up a scholarship check at the University, so I decided to run the trails at the local high school.  I had my Nathan Hydration belt that I won at the Highland Forest 10k snowshoe race and I must say that the belt felt really nice to run in.  I believe it is called the Frost or Ice and it is a great snowshoe pack since the bottle keeps fluids from freezing.  The run was fun through the school trails. I felt like I could snowshoe on them as the snow was nice and crunchy and packed with a fine glaze of ice over them.  I ran that series until 8am then headed to the school since the office would open at that time.  I made it to the office, already an hour on my legs, picked up the checked then headed the last 2.5 miles home.  The sun had just started lighting up the day as I cruised to my front step. All in all, I feel like I have recovered some from all of my up-hill running of late and will be ready to put in a nice training effort tomorrow and for the rest of the week.

Wednesday--Feb 27---Limehollow Snowshoe (Slush) Run.  I headed out the door for a nice 70 minute slush run in snowshoes before the snow was going to totally melt.  I ran the Lehigh's path then picked up Wilderness Way which is marked as a red trail and loved it. It was about 2 miles long or so and I ran a total of 2 loops out and back running the full 5k around 21 minutes which is a solid pace considering the slop.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Gearing Up For Snowshoe Nationals

Wednesday Feb 20 as I have found out as the Hump day or day that is the mid-way part of the week. I went out along East River Road and was hammered with a blizzard. It was cold but I managed to throw in some sweet surges in ZERO visibility. The snow hitting my face would melt on my eyelashes then re-freeze making myself feel more like Jack Frost then Cole Crosby.  My Karhu shoes have been hurting my foot and I have found that a mesh synthetic piece has lot some of its stitching so my foot has been under siege by the overlays of the outer shell of the shoe.  I know it is not from the design of the shoe so I plan on using a shoe foam overlay piece that will help save my little toe.

I ran a total of 78 minutes and about 11-12 for the day.

Tomorrow, I am running a snowshoe time trial up at Hoxie Gorge State Forest. I hope to split a fast 10k course that I have measured with a rolling tape measurement piece.

Well, the snowshoe time trial turned out to be a snow slugfest.  There was so much fresh powder at Hoxie Gorge State Forest that even the wooded trail sections were very very deep maybe 1-2 feet at least.  Some sections I could open my stride out, others, I was trudging through knee-deep snow.  I must say, Hoxie Gorge holds its snow so well.  The run was cold but I had my Mammut Hoody which is super warm.  I used the hood which helped block the wind and the snow drifts that  I faced as soon as I hit the snowmobile section where you end up on a high ridge and are totally exposed to the wind.  I  ran well but more importantly, enjoyed being outdoors.  I was bundled up perfectly which made for a smooth trip to Hoxie Gorge. All in all, a successful day! I love these type of runs that pit you against mother nature full tilt and it was gorgeous running out in my favorite little running spot.

Tomorrow, I get the chance to run with the Famous Jordan Kinley, who is not only one fast dude but also a guy I met in Oklahoma who helped add fuel to the fire in terms of being a better runner and person.  Going to be fun!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

The Road to Snowshoe Nationals 2013 In Bend

So far, I have been super busy with school, work, running, and I have been doing the best I can to spend as much time as I can with my amazing girlfriend, Ashlee.

Last night I ended up running late like around 10pm.  I took my flashlight and set out of the door with the crisp chill in the air. I ran out along the mainstreet of Homer and out to the bridge leading out of town.  It was such a peaceful run and throughout it, I envisioned myself winning the Cayuga Trails 50 miler.  I picked up my pace drastically the last 5 miles feeling the strength in my legs take me the ultimate distance.  I pictured myself coming up the last final hill, passing all of the top competition such as Sage C.  I felt strong and finished the run well.  Night running is something that feels almost out of a dream. You go through the motions and almost feel like the world is asleep while you are out there trekking in the outdoors.  I finished my nice 11 mile run and got ready for bed.

Today, Saturday Feb 16, I woke up at 7:30am, and was out the door with my Karhu Strong's which I have only run in for about the second week of training so far.  I also had the chance to try out my Mammut Hoody. It is amazing.  The warmth of the polar tech fleece is unbeatable. The fit is slim and athletic which I like, and the fabric stretches well and is a great trail running or just standard winter-running piece.    I decided to run up along Highway 11 out towards Mcgraw. I ran my usual uphill section that takes you along a nice ridgeline.  Some of the wind just penetrates this high-hill setting which was perfect as I utilized my hood to help keep the warmth in and it went without a hitch.  I ran a solid 42 minutes out and then headed back. It felt nice to get a solid run in.  After the run it was off to Ithaca to work at the Finger Lakes Running Store.

Sunday Feb 17---Freezing cold morning run up the steep hills of Blodgett Mills up to Greek Peak. I ran the right slope section which is a quad-buster. I ran pretty controlled and was able to almost fly up every section until the last steep up.  I remember Jim Johnson talking about side-stepping up a slope at Loon Mountain last summer and I tried that philosophy and to my amazement, it works really well.  It was funny, I was laughing as I side-stepped up the hill running a solid pace.  I then came back and refueled.  THe wind on the way out was nonexistent but on the way back it was a brisk -4 degrees which I had my Inov 8 face wrag that helped keep the wind at bay.

Feb 18----1 hour and 25 minute run out along 222 and out through the winding hills of Groton. It was a nice relaxing run though my Karhu's have a slight irritation point on them. Got in a solid 15.

Feb 19--Morning run out along to Blue Creek Road and the loop up to Wolf Road through Homer back home. Got in a nice 11 or so in 72 minutes. It is warming up out there. My Karhu strongs also have a nasty irritation point on the outer overlay of the shoe and it has been killing my pinkie toe.  I am thinking I could use a foam cushion to help the toe out.

Feb 20----Morning run in the snow--Out along East River Road.  The visibility got really bad by half way and I managed to slug through the rest of the run in my La Sportiva Vertical K's because my Karhu shoes have a internal frayed seam that allows for the overlays of the right shoe to cut my pinkie toe into oblivion.  I ended up with 78 minutes and about 11-12 miles I would approximate.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Snowshoe Nationals--Here I Come!

So I am all qualified and ready to rock for Nationals in Bend, Oregon on March 15-17 with the race on the 16th.  I am very excited about the event and I am even more excited to be representing new sponsors that will be helping me out with gear, apparel, and funding to get out to Oregon. Of course, all of my other sponsors are generous enough to help with the trip and I thank you for always being there for me.

This will be my first official National championship and I am very excited about the opportunity at truly making a big impact on the popular culture of USA snowshoe running and hopefully BE one of those great athletes in the sport.  I have been told that I show great promise in the sport and with only two official snowshoe races under my belt and two over one minute victory margins, I have been mentioned by many that  I could very well contend not only for a spot on the US National Team (Top 6) but also for the gold.

If you would like to contribute to the GET COLE TO BEND FUND, any form of donation will be much appreciated.  With Nationals next year in New York state, this is the time now for myself to solidify my career as an endurance athlete and as a semi-professional runner.  With your help, not only do I hope to perform well in Bend, but I hope to motivate others to follow in my footsteps and to be a level of inspiration for all.

Thank you!

Picture of myself finishing the 10k!

Sprinting to the finish! 1st place at Highland Forest 50:34

Coming through the trail!!! An incredible course and a wonderful race.  I cannot wait to be back in 2014 for Nationals on this course! It is going to be a real tough one!

Going out for my second 5k loop.  Mile 3-4 was the hardest mental challenge in the race!

Thursday Feb 14---I decided that by having an extremely busy day, that I would run to work. I have a great Lowe Alpine Fast Pack that has a 25L capacity and is as light-weight as they come!  I loaded my bag up and off I went. Running with a pack makes you feel a little like you are in the army but I still averaged a fast pace sure enough to make it to work in around 26-30 minutes.  Then once I had finished work, well I ran back home to get ready for a long night of class.  Class went well and Ashlee and myself had a nice relaxing Valentine's day together.  Bend, Oregon is right around the corner and I cannot wait to compete with the best in the country!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Highland Forest 10k SNowshoe NY Unofficial Championship

This race was a very memorable moment for me.  Not only does this facility have the potential to be the site of the 2014 Snowshoe Nationals, but it also served as a qualifier for this years nationals in Bend, Oregon.  Since I just have been accepted as a member of the USA Snowshoe Association, which entitles me running in Oregon!

Driving up the the lodge this morning on 81, the snow was glistening and the sun was out.  Truly a picture-perfect winter day for outdoor snow activities as low 20's greeted us.  We hit the lodge road by Tully in 30 minutes and up to the sky we went. the Skyline Lodge at Highland Forest, sits on top a nice big hill overlooking the farmland below. It was a wonderful site and even greater to have Ashlee and my father there.  I was so enamored with the lodge that I almost forgot to warm-up. The race was to begin at 10am and it was already 9:40.  I went for my warm-up of a quick 10 minutes just taking in the sights.  It was still a crisp day though you just knew the weather was going to be perfect.  The big snow storm a few days earlier would make for a nice trail. Little did I know, that some sections of the trail especially in the single-track were not trampled down the way anyone was hoping. That is why the times were slower.  So far, I have learned that New York State snowshoe running is slower because of the courses that involve tough single-track and a few double-track slightly groomed sections.  But the majority of any course is located in the woods winding around at 8 minute pace.  I went out from the gun and just ran in a rhythm.  I was just running through the snow. I was not running crazy just the best I could.  After one of the downhill sections, the course conditions improved and then I was able to go from a 8 minute mile to  a 5:50.  I was flying which I think helped to increase my lead.  I flew through the course going up and down.  It was at this point that I came across a snow bridge and a man was screaming that I was crushing the course and he could not see anyone back behind me.  I knew I had a chance for the win.  I just had to relax and run my own race.  My legs were on fire as the last few climbs out of the woods made me feel it.  I crested out of the woods coming around high 24 minutes which was not horrible but not flying in terms of what I thought.  I began the second loop through the bad footing and that next mile was snail pace. I almost wanted to drop out or walk as my legs were seizing up on me.  My lungs burned and I felt like I was done.  I just then sucked it up and ran the best  I could. It was only after that probably 9:30 minute mile that I caught a second wind and then regained my traction and was bombing down and up the hills.  I probably averaged 7 minute mile pace the rest of the way.  The second half went by fast and then the two bridges came up on me and I knew the race was over.  I ran to the line feeling rejuvenated and finishing in 50:34 which was a great time for the course on that day.  People said I was flying so I guess I was running really well out there.

Snowshoe running is so different in terms of pace for me that no matter what I do, I feel slow.  So for those of you out there, 50:34 on that particular Highland Forest course would probably equate to a 42-44 minute 10k on a standard course.  On a flat course, forget about it, I bet I could average somewhere in the 6 minute a mile range as I have in practice runs.

And so my ticket is punched for Nationals.  I have to raise some money for the airfare and trip but once that occurs, I should be good to go.  If you know of anyone that would like to contribute, please let me know.  I am always open for advice and help.

Here is a link to the report done on the race!  It was a blast!

Highland Forest 5 & 10k Snowshoe Race & Walk
Fabius, NY  

Last NameFirst Name5K/10KGenderFinsih TimePlacement
Westerlund Matt10KM56:05:004th
Cutting Shannon 10KF1:06:298th

Results taken from USA

Here is me kicking up snow heading into the finish! I am going right...away from the arrows that indicate another lap!

Here is me running uphill through the woods coming out of the long series of tough single-track trail!

The back of my head at the start!!!!! only 6 more miles to go!

The Dramatic start of snowshoe racing. The snow flies in the air and everyone is off to run as fast as they can!

The Finish!!!!!

I had my acidotic shirt underneath my Scott Half Zip because I just felt too cold and for some reason snow kept sneaking under my shirt into my back section which as many snowshoers know is quite unpleasant.  I won all kinds of great gifts as well as two hand-crafted medals and a gift certificate and an amazing Nathan Labs Flurry hydration set which is designed for long-term snowshoe runs and other cold-weather outdoor pursuits!  

Thank you to my father, Chuck, My sponsors, Acidotic Racing, Ok Runner, The Finger Lakes Running Company, Karhu, Craft Sports, and Sierra Designs for all the great product, support, and leadership that helps to make days like these for me, worthwhile!    Thank you!

Monday Feb 11---Well, I have made my bid for nationals though I am still trying to figure out whether that went through ok so I do not have to drive out to Pennsylvania to run one more race just to qualify but if for some reason I have to, I will.  I ran a nice hill run out to Mcgraw up the hill right by the turn-off that is by all the gas stations near the interstate.  I was sore from a tough race and took the morning to just relax and run easy.  Of course, I have to run fast enough to ensure that I can make it back home to get ready for work.  So, I did just that. I ran easy and then pushed up the hills and the freezing rain made things difficult so  I took it easy on any portion of the road that felt slick.  I ran about 11 miles and 74 minutes not bad for a morning then got ready for another day of work.

Tuesday-- Feb 12---82 minute run out from work past Limehollow and the town of Mcclean out into the barren farm country of Groton.  It was a nice peaceful run. I ran well and got in a nice endurance workout.  It was cold at times but I had the layers on so I was doing just fine.  I am so excited about snowshoe running right now I cannot wait to do some more!

Wednesday Feb 13----Run in the morning out along Albany street up some hills. I ran very easy for a nice 71 minute run, stopped for a bathroom break and used the hills as a nice hard stimulus.  Other than that, I am just trying to let my body rest up and get ready for race time in Oregon!  This weekend, I plan on getting in a nice snowshoe effort to tax the body and see how I am doing in preparation for nationals.
For Penn State Snowshoe Champs form if I need it!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Getting Back To Focus

This week after Wednesday has been full of busy school and work days and my running has been a mix of shorter faster night sprints followed by decent long hill runs up in the mountains. With the snowshoe race in Baldwinsville, NY cancelled due to lack of snow, I have this Superbowl Sunday to work on homework and to prepare for a busy week.  Had an amazing hilly run out to Lash Road over by Greek Peak and had a nice challenge getting back to running up tough climbs.

Monday Feb 4---13 mile run out along Kinney Gulf Road. I ran with Chris W and we went out nice and relaxed.  I even took us off of the road up onto a snowmobile trail.  It was a nice detour. The snow was flying and the traction was alright but not perfect. We ran up one last hill then turned back.  A pretty chill run and just as I write this the weather was getting COLD!  Now time to work on homework!

Tuesday Feb 5---Nice snowshoe run on the Cortland Country Club golf course.  The snow was a little weak in many spots so the running was fast and firm.  I did a couple of loops around the course then headed uphill along Da Vinci Road then back home.  I ran about 6-7 miles with snowshoes in my hands and about 4.5 with snowshoes on my feet.  The chill of winter was here, but I managed to run well and warm-up quite considerably.  I am trying to get some snowshoe time on my feet leading up to Sunday's big race at Highland Forest where a great field should be assembled for the 10k and my chances at stamping my name in for nationals is on the line!

Wednesday Feb 6-----Night Run out along 215 up the hills on a cold night. I ran out along Willowbrook golf course and had an amazing view of the Big Dipper and the stars in the night sky. It was so surreal to be outside freezing my bum bum off feeling like I was one with the universe.  It was amazing to be out there when everyone else was watching the Cortland episode of Ghost Hunters.  I blazed down the road by Walmart and then headed back on 13 towards down-town and back home. Once I hit Suny Cortland, I picked up my cadence and was flying.  I felt sad this run knowing I have no idea where my headlamp is. Luckily, I had my trusty flashlight to guide the way and as a solid athlete, I have some pretty sweet hook-ups on outdoor products such as those from Petzl, La sportiva and Mountain Hardwear.  I got in about 72 minutes and 11 miles. It was a nice end to a long day working.

Thursday Feb 7----Tired morning run out along East River Road. I headed up the first right hand turn past Ames Road uphill.  Then turned onto a more or less private road that has an nasty uphill section of a mile and a half.  Being so fatigued from this week I slugged up the snowy pass losing my footing. I hit the upper crest of the hill and took a breather. THen I descended back home. A nice 72 minute run for 11 miles again.  I am a little behind with my usual mileage but this week has been a tough week balancing everything but I will soon learn to adapt to my new schedule.