Saturday, May 25, 2013

Cayuga Trails 50---2 weeks away!

The Cayuga Trail 50 miler is almost here and training has been solid. I have run up and down hills, had many 2 + hour efforts, and lots of trail running. I should be ready to run well.  With helping to open a new running store in Binghamton, I look to now take the time to review some of my products my generous sponsors have been letting me test out.

And I had my first real run in Binghamton yesterday for a solid hour and 10 miles but the cool thing was that I was able to discover the vast network of trails that meander through the woods behind the Binghamton zoo.  Pretty cool being out on such nice winding double-track trails that it would seem that most people would never know these trails ever existed!

Saturday May 25-----

 I went on a nice run to hopefully have the chance to run the Binghamton U nature preserve. Well, I missed the initial turn into the preserve but I did run a little off- trail near Stair Park and then ran on Fuller Hollow Road. Being up on the hill tops in Binghamton is a really cool experience.  In Cortland, the vistas are wide and expansive, in Binghamton you have nice open views and high hills that tower over you. It is just incredible to see such large hills that are so lush and green this time of year. I thought Cortland had steep hills but Binghamton can rival those inclines.  The main difference between the two is that Cortland is not as developed so as you head out of town, you are up on the small one-lane roads up in the hills with homes well spread out and most are farms. So far, with my Binghamton runs, I have been running in small neighborhoods up in the hills.  With my run I wanted to head back so I looked for my first right-turn back into town.  Bunn Hill road was that first right. I took Bunn Hill straight into the Binghamton University campus and ran around the campus and then got onto Vestal Ave and headed back to the shop.  It was a great hill run and I felt like after a wonderful day at work, the run was the perfect cherry on top. I totaled about a 13 mile run and it was a great time. I did not have time for the nature preserve, but it will just have to be saved for another run.

Sunday May 26----Nice cool day with the wind. I headed out along Kellogg Road in Cortland up into Tuller Hill State Forest in Virgil. I was wearing my Hokas for some recovery the other day and they gave me that extra pop to put in a nice 14.7 miles today. I wanted a slightly longer run than yesterday but at a slightly slower pace.  The only thing that happens with me is that once I get the blood pumping, I am always bound to pick up the pace for a few solid mid-run miles.  This happened right in Virgil as I made my first initial strong climb. The road flattens out a little and I got the legs rolling. The down hill led into the uphill and then the rest was history. Before I know it,  I am running in Tuller Hill State Forest with the lovely tree coverage providing nice shade and wind blockage.  This run made me feel like I was back in Oklahoma with the 30 mph gusts which was often a common day out in the windy state.  For the Cayuga Trails 50, I just have to keep on the path with my current training and then rest-up for race day.  I will start to need to eat healthier more often, sleep more often, and just enjoy the long process as it is almost time to test my fitness.

Monday and Tuesday---First run was a quick 45 minute run in Binghamton then Tuesday I ran about 12 up the hills in Homer.  I am excited to race after a month or so of quality training. Here is a cool article about the record I set at the White Rock 50k which was a hard 6,000 ft elevation gain and loss race where I ran 3:53 in Inov8s  that had my calves ready to explode with 8 miles to go!

Wednesday---May 29----Starting an easy morning run after the intense rain and storms here in NY. I headed out along the SUNY Cortland campus. It was a lovely humid day. I sloshed in all of the puddles and then as usual went off the road onto some trails over by the Cortland watershed.  With running a double,  I am trying to get in a longer more quality session in the morning followed by the uptempo evening effort to provide both levels of stress on my body.  There has been so much going on lately that it has been so hard to adapt and adjust. The heat is coming I can feel it and  I will have to be careful leading into next week.

Thursday--Hot morning run around Cortland. Kinda uneventful just focused on getting a solid 10.5 miles in.
Friday May 31----Worked in Ithaca then headed out to the Rec Way trails and worked on my uphill and downhill running for CT50.  It was a super hot day and I had tons of people out there taking a dip in the streams and waterfalls.  I ran really solid and passed even some kids fishing out on the trail.  I felt strong out there even with the heat and finished well. I envisioned myself at the CT50 mile race next weekend just flowing on the ups and flying on the downs.

Monday, May 20, 2013

NEW Sponsor: Fits Socks!!!!!!!!!

I have just been offered a Sock Sponsorship which is a dream come true! If there is one thing anyone would learn about me and clothing it would be socks. I have a whole laundry basket full of all of my socks. I love them, I use them, socks are awesome.  I have just accepted being an athlete with Fits Socks which make the best fitting socks out there for running and outdoor activities.  Made in Niota, Tennessee, Fits provides the best in wool blended athletic socks that are soft, wick and breath well and just fit so darn good!  Fits are known for their Full Contact Fit System which has three key elements the Dynamic Toe Cup, the Heel Lock and the Full Contact Cuff.  All three elements allow for a seam-free natural fit that eliminates the chance of rubbing that could cause blisters and allow for the socks to almost conform to the natural contours of your foot which makes these socks the best fitting socks out there.  Thank you Fits!!!!!!  Cannot wait to race and train in them!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Confluence Running Company--Binghamton, NY

I have been hard at work with many others to design and build Binghamton's first specialty running store.  It has been a lot of hard work, but we are almost finished.  It has been a month of commuting, boxing up the items, really the whole design and implementation of the store.  We hope to open this weekend and I will update this once the date is official.  We will have our Grand Opening on June 15th during the Vestal XX road race.  Come out and support us! I hope you enjoy the store and I will now have the chance to write about my running in Binghamton, NY out of all places.  I will post some photos of the whole journey to show what has gone into the making of a specialty running store.

If you are in the Binghamton area, check out us.  And you never know where we might pop up at.  Maybe your next race expo or registration.

Wednesday May 15----Worked a long day at both Binghamton and at Ithaca.  I went for a nice evening run in the heat and headed for the trails of the Ithaca Rec Way.  I went the furthest  I have ever gone on the trail system and went across many waterfalls and gorges and narrow passes. At times it was easy running, at other times, it was difficult navigating. It was truly amazing to run free through the woods and to be on such narrow trail passes it  was truly incredible.  My Hokas made me fly through the terrain and I cannot wait to get a pair of Bondis which are much lighter and fit a little better than my Stinson Tarmacs. In terms of fitness, I grow stronger each and every day and I know that deep in my heart of hearts that I can run with the best the sport has to offer. I have always been doubted by people for reasons I cannot explain. But trust me in that hard work DOES pay off. And if you truly have the drive to GO for something, eventually you are going to get it right.  I feel that I have done the essentials for a high-level performance.  My biggest issue the last two years was not racing in enough high-profile races.  This is all about to change!  I ran for an whopping 70 minutes as I was having some stomach issues and needed a solid bathroom break. All in all, a long but successful day.

My training for the rest of the week has been tough but I haves managed to get in some quality efforts. I have run the black diamond trail to the Cayuga medical center and back, the full nature preserve trail near the Rec way , and today a long 1 hour and 50 minute run through Treman.

First off, my run the other day through Treman State Park was amazing. This is such an incredible park and the trails have me very excited. It was incredible winding up and down through such a dense tree canopy that I felt like I was submerged deep in the Amazon jungle. I had a horrible head ache to start the run but once I had sweated out the stress of a long week, I was flying free. I ran the Gorge Trail in Treman up the staircases and down. I played the race out in my head as I am running as hard as  I can picking off some great competitors.  It was about to rain and the humidity was unbearable. The shade from the trees were so nice.  I bathed in the moment. Rushing up and down the many hills with the waterfalls in the foreground below me is something all people should experience. I felt great!  I made a turn up along the Red Pine trail, ran on some goat paths and then turned back onto the Rim trail and headed home. It was such a solid 17 mile effort.

Tuesday May 21----The Swamp Run.  I call it the swamp run because we have a little bit of warmth here in Upstate New York that has coupled itself with intense humidity. I ran this morning around 9am and already I was saturated in a pool of sweat.  I ran out along on East River Road up along he hills of Parks Road and up along Nichols Road back through Ames Road to home. I suffered on the hills today. I had my 22 ounce hydration handheld bottle but man it was still so hot!  The humidity was really bad and I bet the dew point is pretty high. I had a Hammer Nutrition fizz cap and I was drinking down the fluids. By the time I finished my first climb, my sleeveless shirt was totally saturated!  Lately, I have been training solid efforts stacked on preceding days to help teach my system how to run with residual fatigue.  Today, I just managed to make each tough uphill without slowing too terribly in my stride. I still have a long way to go.  Cayuga trails is coming and I have to make sure that I have the ability to efficiently process lactic acid and general fatigue properly so that I can finish at the top ranks--I am hoping for a top 5 finish though top 3 would be AMAZING! 
With myself working at the Binghamton store more often, I hope to run some trails around the Binghamton area which should be fun. Just today, the owner of Chenango Cycles (a bike shop) came in and told me that a mile or so from the store, there are miles and miles of trails that travel all the way to the Pennsylvania border which is so exciting. A personal goal of mine at this store will be to help grow the trail running community in Binghamton and push to get more people here outside in nature.  To put it simply for you, being a part of the natural world of nature is why I love trail running so much. It gives me that chance to be fit and to enjoy my moments out in the natural world which many people these days never get the chance to.  Stay cool out there and why not do so while out on some trails near you.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Training Leading up to Cayuga Trails 50

Running. I have been doing a good amount of it lately.

With work, I have been able to schedule really nice training efforts, some in the 2-hour range allowing to get in some quality time out there.

I have incorporated my standard hill training both the ups and downs to prepare for the Cayuga Trails 50 and hard pace increases mid-run to allow for my body to learn how to respond to moves and for myself to be able to make them as well.

The rain has added another dimension to the training and I feel that I am truly ready for a peak race. I have worked hard for my current level of fitness and I am excited about finally being able to showcase my strengths.

Some key runs this week have been my 2 hour long run up off near Hoxie Gorge and South Hill Road, The Black Diamond Trail run in Ithaca, and the 33:57 FKT run to Tower Road---(2,320 feet of constant ascent) from my house.

This Sunday on Mother's day, a cold front has moved in a little bit and has cooled off the 70 degree weather we have had of late to more cold Fall weather with 40's and 30's today and tomorrow which is quite cool in relation to the constant level of nice mild weather.

The key I have learned with training is that you must take it a day at a time and the cumulative effects of hard efforts and recovery efforts will lead to sound performances come race day.  It is that level of consistency and enjoyment out of the running that will ultimately lead to great results. And of course variety in training helps prepare you for any type of condition or obstacle that can occur during a race.

For Sunday May 12 th after a nice day of work I headed out along Buttermilk falls state park and ran the bear trail. It was a cool day but I was able to get rolling pretty quick. It was fun to be immersed in the woods with the wind whipping through the trees. I ended up taking the orange blazes into a deep field then Bushwacked for a good mile before turning back.

Monday---65 minute shake-out run into Homer.  Ran in the Hokas, nice and easy.  Ran the Albany street back-way which has a solid climb. Great run.

Tuesday---May 14th---Woke up and went for a solid hill run up along Ames Road and hit the hills out near Mcgraw.  The weather was perfect with it in the 40's and 50's and sunshine.  Had some strong climbs that I worked on my uphill speed.  Got in about 78 minutes and around 11-12 miles.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Tom B Trail Run Race Review--Cinco De Mayo

This morning, I headed out to Hammond Hill State Forest for the Tom B trail run in honor of Tom Bugolosi, a great local trail runner who had sadly passed at the age of 32.  Riding out to the race, I had those nerves I feel when I line-up for a big race.  I was just so excited to race again after taking all of April off from any racing.  I made it to the parking lot and had about 35-45 minutes to settle the nerves and to get out there and have a great time.  I did a little warm-up and then just was hanging around getting ready to race. I hoped I would not get lost and that was of course my number one goal. I have a tendency to follow the natural trail and to make judgements to what  I believe to be the most suitable trail while not glancing at markers which gets me lost.   The weather felt nice but I knew it was going to be a little warm.  I had all of my Mammut gear ready to go.  I had my new Ultraspire Isomeric Pocket Handheld which felt so good and two Cliff shots.


We lined up, heard the Race Director gives us some tips on how not to get lost and then off we went.  The course began with a nice 800m climb to the trail sections on what seemed to be a nice seasonal access road.  I went out with the group up the first climb and naturally I noticed everyone kind of letting myself go.  I thought, well I guess I am on my own, so I surged at the top of the hill and then looked for the sharp turn into the trail sections.  I had found that the course was marked a lot better than what I was used to.  There was chalk with two arrows in key turns and ribbons that really helped in terms of which path to take.  If I followed the right directions I would be home free.  As I entered the trail section, the sun was blazing through the trees. It was going to get warm.  I slowly drank my NUUN to conserve a little and then ran pretty fast through the trail sections.  It was nice to be able to actually run. Most trails I train on are very technical and force me to adjust my pace accordingly. I was probably running too fast the first 4-6 miles. I was probably running low 6 maybe 5:40s at some points. I was very anxious.  From miles 6-8, I had slowed and adjusted my pace.  I flowed through the lovely Upstate New York trails with leaves littering the trail and surprisingly enough, dry and hard-packed trails.  I flew up the series of uphills and downhills biding my time and went through the various checkpoints with people hanging out on lawn-chairs and felt great. So far, I am on course I told myself, I can do this.  My Mammut MTR 201's performed like true champs. I rolled over rocks, roots, gave me my great toe flex that the shoes by Mammut can do, and my MTR 71 shirt, MTR 71 shorts and my awesome Active visor really performed for me.  It was a little warm on the trails and I could not get over the fact that my visor, shorts, or shirt ever had the sweat sitting on the fabric. For 16 miles, I was completely dry!

Miles 4-turn around (7.7 miles)-----I just kept moving through the nice trails which were wider than what I am used to more similar to an Oklahoma trail in that sense which allowed for me to RUN.  I felt pretty good through the first half even with my frantic pace.  It was only at the Finger Lakes Trail section where I started to lose a little in my energy reserves.  I had hit a low point slightly and had to concentrate on the trail becoming only a small deer path winding through the woods. I slowed to probably 9 minute mile pace for this 1.5 mile section to make sure I would not make a wrong turn.  I followed the blazes the best  I could and for the most part, they were marked pretty well. Then the trail widened again and I flew on the downhills to the check-point turn-around 13k point. I was doing well with hydration maybe drank about 10 ounces but was getting tired. I came to the turn-around and felt that I should go for the 26k. I held the 2 fingers and off I went for round two.

ROUND 2--Second Loop---I wanted to walk that second uphill. My sugar levels were a little low and was tired from my early pace. I managed a steady pace up the climb then actually missed the turn into the trail sections. I saw big puddles on the road and realized that I had gone the wrong way. How much time did I miss with this little mistake?   Probably not too much but maybe it could have made a difference in terms of a course record.  The second loop passed on by a lot quicker than the first. I had seen the loop and knew what to expect. I went with a gel as soon as I hit the trail section and spent time ripping it with my teeth and then sucking down the goo.  It would not click in until the final 2-3 miles.

I was feeling hot from the sun though I was extremely dry.  Every aid station, I took some time pouring water on myself to cool myself off.  Not totally being used to such warmth as it has been pretty mild here in New York until just recently. I felt like I was back in Oklahoma running on the trails on a hot spring day at Lake Thunderbird. Every creek that I saw I wanted to jump into but refrained.  Was I still on pace for the course record?  I knew I slowed down and just wanted to finish really.  I probably was running a minute to 30 seconds a mile slower.  I ran tough and come through the Finger Lakes section knowing I was home free. No one was going to catch me at this point which was a thought in the back of my mind and I knew I was almost done. The gel kicked in and I was flying up and down the hills once again. I passed a few people on the trail and then shot into the finish. I came out of the woods and used my momentum to sling-shot myself into a dead sprint.  I crossed the line in 1 hour and 47 minutes which is best for 2nd or 3rd all-time for the Tom B course. It the weather was 10 degrees cooler, I think I would have been able to run a little quicker.

OVERALL RACE: It was a great day. I met some great people and had a blast running in all of my gear. I am so thankful to have such a wonderful job, family, and amazing sponsors who help motivate me and provide me all the support anyone could ever ask for.  Mammut, Acidotic Racing, Karhu/Craft, Sierra Designs, Dion Snowshoes, and FLRTC and OK Runner have been more like a family rather than a sponsor. Thank you for all your help and support.

I missed the course record which is a bummer but that was never my intention for this race. I was just hopeful to run and to give myself a chance to race and test all of my Mammut gear.  The result was sheer perfection.  Mammut hands down makes some of the best shoes and gear around. Please check them out, they kick some major butt and I know everyone will know their name soon enough.  Thank you Chris Dunn of Acidotic Racing for helping me get out there with my running and I already feel like I am family.  It was a little hot for the buff but I did wear my gear for the post-race festivities!  This race shows me that I am in great shape and that Cayuga Trails is going to be a blast. Bring on 50 miles!  50 miles is really a battle of 2 marathons, one more relaxed and the second ready to race.  I hope I can run my best June 8th.

Hanging out at the Finish with the Mammut Gear and the Acidotic "School of Hard Rocks" shirt

Gear used for the race:
*Ultraspire 20z Isomeric Pocket
*2 Cliff Gels

*Acidotic School of Hard Rocks Shirt
*Mammut MTR 141 Air Jacket
*Mammut MTR 71 Shorts
*Mammut Active Visor
*Acidotic Racing Head Buff
*Kahtoola Beanie
*Dynafit Gloves
*Merino Wool Socks
*Mammut MTR 201 Trail Shoe (Red)

Here are the official race results:

Saturday, May 4, 2013

First Trail Race of the Season--Tom B Trail Run at Hammond Hill State Forest

Tomorrow, I race the Tom B trail run which is a 26k located at Hammond Hill State Forest near Dryden, NY.  I have my new hydration bottle from Ultraspire that I will test out as well as all of my Mammut MTR gear.

Looking back on all of the running I have done, here are some videos of myself from highschool running track:

Our school is South Brunswick and we are in the black and gold Adidas jerseys

I am the second leg in this one where I split about 2:01-2:02 with even splits. A little better than the year before:

Cross country conferences:

A fun invitational meet:

It is always fun to look back at my journey with where I started and where I am today. I first started as a kid that loved to run, had some talent but had no idea my true potential.  Today, I am still learning but my passion for running has grown as well as my fitness, my performances, and goals. I am lucky enough to have some amazing sponsors and will surely gain some more.  Tomorrow is a step in the right direction.  Tom B here I come!