Saturday, December 10, 2016

Better Than Expected Nor-Bath

I haven't run since the end of October.  Motivation is gone.  I'm not sure I'll ever be a runner again.  Runs have been very few at all since summer.  At least my weather is here now, so maybe I'll run a little more.

I knew it would be a bit chilly.  I went with shorts, a long sleeve shirt and vest.  I was thinking early on that a lack of headband and gloves might hurt me.  However, by the end, with the wind at my back, I was actually quite hot.

I decided to just run a few easy miles on the Nor-Bath Trail.  With such little running and freezing cold air, I thought I'd struggle greatly.  I started at Bicentennial Park and ran toward Northampton.  Some runners started ahead of me.

I felt nice and fresh early.  I wasn't too cold.  I got to the road crossing quickly.  I ran easy and breathing wasn't bad, even though I'm overweight.  My GPS watch doesn't work any more, so I had no idea how far I had run.

I could see the runners far up ahead.  As I got closer, I saw they were walking and another runner was running.  I realized I was gaining on that one.  It probably pulled me along faster than I wanted.

I blew past the bundled up runner and it was a huge confidence booster.  I was going to run to a paved path.  However, I felt so good, so I kept going.  I decided I'd run to the parking lot, right before the road crossing.

I did that and then turned to head back.  It seemed slightly uphill coming back.  I definitely slipped off a bit now, but overall it still wasn't too bad.  I passed the bundled guy coming back.  I had to laugh, as I was in shorts and he was freezing.

I was getting hot now that the wind wasn't at my back.  In open field sections, it had been a little cold earlier.  I unzipped the fleece too.

It seemed to take forever to get to the road crossing.  I could see it for a long time.  I was thinking a little, but getting bored.  Finally, I was to the road and over it.

I was happy to see the park.  Before I knew it, I was done.  It was nice not having my watch work.  I had no idea of the time.  I think that helped me enjoy the run more.  Maybe if I do that some, I'll run more often.

I mapped things at home and it was just under 4 miles.  I was shocked I ran so well for that long.  It was easy rail trail, but still.  I bet my pace wasn't terrible either.  I doubt I'll ever be a runner again, but I should run more frequently.

3.7 miles

Monday, October 31, 2016

Running Again

I knew some personal issues affected my running.  I thought the weather was the biggest factor in my lack of desire to run.  However, the weather turned favorable some time ago, including the recent awesome fall colors.  Still, I had not run since the end of July.

Work is partially getting in the way.  I certainly have time to run if I really wanted to, but I have nowhere near as much as I used to.  Today, I don't work until 4 PM, so I dragged myself out for my first run in a long time.  Even getting out there today took some effort.

Part of that was knowing how out of shape I am and will be.  I knew it would be a struggle.  Still, I headed to Jacobsburg before lunch.  I needed somewhere easy.  I decided to park in the main lot, run to Sober's Run and complete that loop clockwise this time.

It was a nice and comfortable day.  I brought a sweat by the end, but I did enjoy the weather.  I headed out and was winded pretty early.  The air was just slightly cold and I'm not used to it.

I chose this route because it was kind of short and has a lot of singletrack.  I suspected some of the leaves would still be popping as well.  I was a bit happy to get on the singletrack, but was kind of bored before that.  I certainly wasn't enjoying running.  I was still struggling to breathe.

Some of the parts along the creek were pretty, but it was kind of hard to enjoy.  I came out on the main path after a bit.  I was right in front of two horses.  I was glad they went the other way.  I would've pushed way too hard if they followed me up the hill.

I decided to run in the reverse direction from usual.  This was because I knew I couldn't make it up the steeper hill.  I also knew this long gradual hill would be a struggle.  I battled up it.  The scenery was pretty, but my running was not.  I just continued to move forward though.

One problem is I don't go this direction much, so I wasn't quite sure how much farther I had to go.  At one point, my burning lungs had just had too much.  I walked uphill for a minute or so.  I recovered quickly though and then ran again.

I actually wasn't far from the top and kind of kicked myself for not pushing through earlier.  I was thrilled to be at the top and running down the powerline.  There was a nice blend of orange, yellow and red on the trees here.  It was pretty sweet.  I wasn't anticipating so much color.

Heading toward the small lot was a tunnel of yellow.  It was even more beautiful on the singletrack across the creek.  My watch had froze and I wanted to fix it, but I was worried I'd encounter the horses again.  My shoelace had been untied since the hill too.

My breathing had been good though ever since coming downhill.  I cruised along on the beautifully colored singletrack.  Eventually, I came to the horses and stopped to let them pass.  It was a good spot.

Running over rocks covered with leaves was tricky.  I managed to do it though.  I was back to the road crossing in no time.  An 18 wheeler came by.  That was bad timing.  I was relieved to get back on the trail and be heading home.

I passed a dog walker after alerting him of my presence.  The dog barked like crazy.  I then had fixed my watch and saw I was over 4 miles.  I came on in and finished up right back at my car.

It was good to sweat and see some scenery.  However, it wasn't much fun actually running.  I just have lost so much interest in running.  Other than running with people, I don't see how I'd get out there much any more.  I do need to try at least a 2 or 3 times a week though.

I'm backpacking on my day off later in the week.  That, I'm enjoying much more.  It is probably the route I'll be going down the road.  I don't see how I could ever do an ultra again.  It is just too much training.

I would like to run again on Friday and maybe travel somewhere knew.  Different trails are about the only running thing that interests me at the moment.  Maybe living in a new location would help with that, but I'd probably just backpack more.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Super Muggy Repeats

I haven't run in some time.  The weather has been crazy stupid.  I asked Angie about running at Katellen last night.  She said tonight might work.  She told me last minute and I rushed out there.  She started a loop before I got there.

It was crazy hot and muggy.  The only thing that made it bearable was that it looked like storms were coming through.  Luckily, they never did.  I went with a sleeveless shirt and was soaked.

Angie ran ahead to start and I followed behind.  I was breathing heavy early on.  The hill wasn't steep, but it was uphill and the humidity bothered me.  We ended up hiking a lot of the way.  I ran when she did and hiked when she did.  She blasted through the first loop, but took it easy now.  That was good for me.

There was one tent in the camping area at the top.  I didn't notice if there were any people at the shelter or not.  We rested a bit and headed down.

Angie was ahead, but I felt good and she seemed to be going a little slow.  I ran hard for a bit, but that was enough.  I decided to slow after that.  She went by.  I caught back up when her pants began to slide down and she had to tie them.  I finished a little ahead of her, but not by much.

We rested a bit and it was on to the second loop together.  Again, I mostly followed her up.  My breathing was labored for sure, but a little better this time.  Near the top is a steep part.  I told her I could run it and I took off.  This did burn my lungs, but I made it.

We headed back down again.  I passed her again with some fast running.  I stayed steady and ended up ahead of her this time.  The downhills wore out my quads a bit.

It was now on to the last loop.  We were talking about running up it, so I was determined to run as much as I could.  I guess I have the uphill course record here.  I don't know, as I don't recall trying to run it fast.

I pushed hard this time though.  I noticed some people camping in a tent just off the trail.  I never saw anyone there before.  I went hard running when I could.  I was trying to take big breathes so I could go longer.

I ran a lot, but had to walk once it became like steps.  I thought Angie was on my heels, but I actually couldn't see her at all.  I was hurting back.  I pushed too much.

My breathing wouldn't recover and my entire stomach hurt.  I hiked most of the steps.  I then ran a few other parts.  Every time I ran, my breathing got worse.  I sure can't run too much of this trail during the summer.  I battled through it though and was eventually at the top (not even close to the CR).

I waited for Angie at the top, thinking we'd run down together.  I let her lead and she was completely gone.  It was getting very dark in the trees.  I was cautious and still tripping over stuff.  She was cruising.  I saw her around the bottom of the steps, but never again.  Even on the flatter part, I was careful.

This was a short run, but tough with the weather.  I need to force myself out there a little more.  I know I won't be running like I would if it was cool out though.

I'm not sure when I'll run again.  I'm working all weekend.  I may camp and backpack during the week.  Maybe I can run while camping.

5.72 miles - 1:37:02 (16:59 pace) 1660 feet of elevation gain

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Frustrating Hickory Run Run

I haven't run since my trip to Ithaca.  It has been unbearably hot and humid.  It did cool down over the last few days.  My dad and I were camping at Hickory Run State Park, so I opted for a run there.

It was nice and I had shorts and a sleeveless shirt on.  That said, I was still sweating a bit in the afternoon.  I'd take this weather all summer for sure though.

I've run a lot of this park and haven't been too crazy about it.  There wasn't much cool singletrack.  That seems to be an issue for a lot of Pocono State Parks.  I decided I would try the northern end of the park.

Since my dad was there, I had him drop me off at the boulder field.  I'd then run about 10 miles back to the trailhead he was going to hike from.  That would give me something new.

Earlier in the day, I took my hammock and relaxed out on the Boulder Field.  It is quite long and very rocky obviously.  I couldn't run on it, but I moved very fast.  It took me like 8 minutes and 40 seconds to complete.

I followed what looked like a trail from it.  However, it lead to a fire ring.  I didn't quite go out far enough.  Luckily, this was an evergreen forest with no understory.  Therefore, I bushwhack my way through to the trail.  For a short bit, I was thinking I may have to backtrack.

I did come to the trail though and then started going left.  After a bit, I realized I was just looping back to the parking area of the boulder field, not going the way I wanted.  I turned back around.

This park of the Stone Trail had been boring.  It was a wide doubletrack, mostly used by snowmobiles in the winter I guess.  I got to a turn and things got much worse.  It became singletrack, but was crazy overgrown.

Some of the bushes were waist high.  I could hardly find the trail.  I mostly hiked through this part.  I became so frustrating and was yelling frequently.  This might've been a nice trail if maintained or used, but it was overgrown now.

It seemed like forever, but eventually I came to the the end of the Stone Trail.  I came out to what looked like another snowmobile trail.  This was the Fourth Run Trail.  It is almost 5 miles long.

I had a decision to make.  I could take the dirt and paved roads back to the car or try to go through this trail.  Since most trails here have disappointed me, I figured this one likely would too.  It did cross a stream several times, but who knows if anyone uses it.  I didn't want to find out they don't have to turn around after several miles.

I opted for the road, even though I didn't like that idea.  At least I knew where I was going.  It was now a dirt road.  Cars were on this though.  Most were careful, but the first one came flying by.  I crossed under the Northeast Extension of the Turnpike.  That was cool.

Around 3 miles, I got back to pavement.  I was about 7 miles into the run or so.  I followed the pavement out to the Daddy Allen group camp and another camp.  No one was there and I had this paved road to myself.  I kept checking the map.

Although this was road, it actually turned out to be the coolest part of the run.  The road went along Hickory Run, which was a beautiful waterway.  It was surrounded by blooming Mountain Laurel.  There were some cool rocks too.  It has some hills, but mostly was downhill.

After a slow start, hiking a lot, I was now running a lot.  I was making up time at least.  The first 4 miles had taken me over an hour.  Now, I was coming closer to being on pace to actually finish the run in 2 hours.

There were a bunch of cool rock waterfalls.  Then, there was an old chapel right by the main road through the park.  I headed north on that.  I figured it was uphill and it was.

I thought about taking one of the trails across the road.  I was unsure their condition though.  I played it safe and went with the road.  This was only 2 miles or so, but it seemed to take forever.  I ran some and hiked some.

I used the contours on the map to figure out where I was.  I was happy when I saw I was going uphill near the highest point.  Then, it was mostly downhill to the trailhead.

My dad was on a chair reading.  He was surprised that I was running on the road.  The trail across the street looked overgrown too.  It was probably good choice to stay off the trails.  Road running was very frustrating, but at least I got some miles in.

I'm not sure when I'll run again.  I'm working all of the next three days.  I'm off much more next week.  If it isn't too hot, I'll try to get out.  I'd love a 15-20 miler somewhere.  I need some climbing too.

10.03 miles - 2:04:00 (12:22 pace) 472 feet of elevation gain

Friday, July 8, 2016

Robert H. Treman State Park Run

Yesterday's run at Buttermilk State Park was awesome, but I knew today would be even better.  I had already hiked the gorge through Robert H. Treman State Park and it was stunning.  It is so steep and the walls, steps and waterfalls are unbelievable.

I took awhile to get out of bed.  I had to pack all my camping gear up and get out to run.  I started around 9:30 in the morning and it was already crazy humid.  I had on a tank top this time.  Everything was soaked as usually though.  I thought summer was nice until the humidity of the last few days.  It has just been stupid.

I took the loop in the opposite direction today.  I went up the rim trail first.  It begins by the cabins.  Then, there is some tough climbing.  The first person I saw was the guy hiking at Buttermilk Falls State Park yesterday.  That was quite funny.

This trail was rather quiet.  I guess I didn't even realize that until later.  I did enjoy it though.  The lower gorge area here isn't as amazing as the upper gorge.  Where the two sections met, I had to do this crazy stair climb.  It was brutal.  It was exposed to the sun and so hot.

I was able to run quite a bit after that.  I would've run even more of the trails if they were so humid.  They had few rocks and the elevation wasn't killed.  The humidity surely killed me though.

It seemed quick that I was off the Rim Trail and on to the Old Mill.  I followed this trail out a bit more.  This was some nice singletrack.  I think it was the old CCC Trail.  If not, then it was the Finger Lakes Trail again.

It said a bridge was out, but I didn't get there.  I decided that there was more high grass than I liked.  I forgot to put on bugspray.  I turned around before mile 3.

I was thrilled to get on the Gorge Trail again.  The beginning of it is just crazy.  The stone path goes right along the water and there are huge rock walls.  Then, it dips down the waterfall.  It is truly unbelievable.

A bunch of people were in this area.  The Gorge Trail was definitely more packed, as it was later in the morning too.  I had been moving well, but the scenery slowed me.  I stopped for a lot of photos.

This was simply amazing and the pictures don't do it justice.  However, I did expect these gorge sections to be longer.  It was less than a mile each at both parks.  Even that short of a distance is worth the price of admission though.

When I got to the bottom of the steps, I saw a mother and daughter looking at a map.  I told them the cool stuff was straight ahead.  Now, I was mostly on singletrack.  There were some cool gorge segments here and there.

It was still super humidity.  I ran a good amount, but not as much as I would've in normal conditions.  I took many pretty photos too.  I said "good morning" to many of the people.  I loved that there were plenty of people on the trails, but it wasn't overcrowded.

I ran along and before I knew it, I was done with the loop.  I had nearly 6 miles and a ton of fun.  It was another great short run this summer.  I'm so grateful as I've seen so much stunning stuff.

I will definitely be back here.  I might come in the fall, when the colors change.  If not, I'll likely signup for the Cayuga Trails 50.

I'm taking tomorrow off.  On Sunday, I'll run again.  A group is going up to Mt. Tammany and I hope to join them.

5.7 miles - 1:29:38 (15:44 pace) 968 feet of elevation gain

Buttermilk Falls State Park Run (Thursday)

I start work next week.  I decided that I want to take another camping trip before that happens.  I've been wanting to go to Ithaca for awhile, so I did just that.  I camped and hiked last night, but today was my first run.

I'm staying at Robert H. Treman State Park.  I hiked there last night and it was amazing.  Buttermilk Falls State Park is only a few miles down the road.  Both have terrific gorges and waterfalls.  Added on to that is that beautiful stone walls were built around the trails.  They are simply stunning.

I waited for a thunderstorm to pass.  The morning had seemed a little cool, but after the storm, it was just brutal.  It was crazy humid.  I wore shorts and short sleeves.  I was drenched by the end.

Right near the parking lot is the swimming area.  It is currently closed though.  They haven't had much rain in weeks and the lower falls are barely a trickle.  I ran a little in the beginning, up some steps.  The stone stairs around are amazing.

The whole beginning in stunning.  I stopped for photo after photo.  I even spotted some fish.  I was running along the Gorge Trail first.  This trail was beautiful, but over shortly, in less than a mile.

Then, it was on the Bear Trail.  This is more of a normal woods singletrack.  It is very pretty and the trail is smooth.  If it wasn't located next to the trails of the gorge, it would be a great trail.  I did enjoy running it.

This was a little more runnable.  However, the humidity was slowing me down.  My photo and GoPro were getting wet when I kept picking them up.  This trail didn't last long either.

There was a short road run, then it was on the Lake Lehman Trail.  It looks around a lake.  The lake was mostly dry.  Some of the trail was woods, other parts were stone.  It wasn't as cool as the lower gorge, but it was still pretty.

Partway around the loop, I saw the Finger Lakes Trail.  This is a fairly long distance trail.  I once tried to find it near Watkins Glen, but had no luck.  This section of singletrack was pretty.

I was surprised to see a couple walking their dog.  I figured there was a road nearby and I soon got to it.  I didn't want to run on the road, so I headed back.

I finished up the loop around the lake.  I saw a few people.  One time, I tripped near some people and nearly hurt myself.  It wasn't long and I was through the lake trail.

I headed back.  Now, I'd have a lot more downhill than uphill.  I had to take the Bear Trail back.  I saw a woman running on it.  For the most part, the trails were quiet throughout the week.  There are a lot of people missing out.

Instead of taking the Gorge Trail back, I went across the way to the Rim Trail.  This trail was pretty, but there weren't really any views.  It was a nice run though.  It did have some uphill that I had to hike.  I sure was tired and soaked by this time.

On a descent, I saw this guy with his phone.  I saw him earlier and I would see him again in the future too.  I lost the trail a little, but got back in no time.  I finished up back at my car.

This was a terrific run and I enjoyed it as much as I thought I would.  The humidity couldn't even dampen the amazing scenery.  It was all I could've asked for and definitely worth the trip.  I want to run the 50 miler at these two parks next year.

Tomorrow, I'm going to run at Robert H. Treman State Park.  I'm going to loop in the opposite direction of my hike last night.  I'll take the Rim Trail first, then the Gorge Trail back.

5.51 miles - 1:28:57 (16:04 pace) 837 feet of elevation gain

Sunday, July 3, 2016

J-burg Night Run

Sue set up a night run at Jacobsburg to prepare for the Ragnar Relay they are doing.  I'm not a huge fan of running there, but I love the idea of night runs.  There were 6 of us there.

Christina wanted to start early.  We rode over, since they only allowed us to park a limited number of cars in the lot.  It was cool that they gave us permission.  I wasn't going to run until the main group showed, but I changed my mind and decided to run with Christina.

We started off doing the main loop.  She's starting to get to know it, so I kind of let her lead.  It was fun to drop back a little.  My watch didn't get a signal right away and it became quite frustrating throughout the first loop.

I haven't run with Christina, so it was good to chat and catch up.  It made things easier, but still Jacobsburg always seems mentally long for me.  At least the singletrack was fun.

The real challenge for me is that I don't run for miles and miles any more.  I basically hike a lot in between running.  We ran the entire loop and 6 straight miles of running was a challenge.

The powerline was slow and tough for both of us.  It reminded me of how out of shape I am now.  It was good to get up it though.

Then of course there was nice descent.  We heard a bunch of loud music.  I guess from a nearby house.  That was interesting.

I didn't realize that she usually goes along the creek, so we did that.  I love that section anyway.  There was a lot of horse crap throughout the run.

She wasn't quite sure on some of the turns, but we made it back okay.  It was a solid time, as it took an hour.  I was amazed at how labored my breathing was early, but then good later on.

We had to wait half an hour for everyone else to show up.  It was nice out, but humid, so my shirt was soaked.  I decided to change, but only had a light weight long sleeve.  I rolled the sleeves up and it wasn't too bad.

I also dropped my vest.  It was making me hot and I was drinking any water any way.  It was getting dark now, so it was a good thing I had my headlamp, like everyone else.

Ryan led the way at the start.  I chilled in the back, talking with Sue.  I was in no rush.  She feel back a little on the first gradual hill, but that was fine with us and we hiked some.

The singletrack was a little interesting in the dark.  Of course the headlamps helped some.  I talked with Ryan a bit about racing.  We haven't run in awhile.

We stopped for a beautiful pink sky.  It was still light out, but dark back in the woods.  Back into the woods we went.  There was a lot more singletrack.  Christina was now leading us.

I was starting feel quite crappy.  It was just too much running for me at the moment.  Plus, I ran yesterday.  I'm in terrible shape now.  I don't care much, but I was paying for it.

We were even at the powerline and I wanted to walk.  The heel that I injured in Moab started bothering me.  I was glad we hiked up the powerline.  However, I was slow as I had no energy.  I was hurting too.

Then, we got to the top and I got my second wind.  I felt cool and didn't want to coast around.  I wanted to be done with the run, so I passed Ryan and Christina and starting flying downhill.

It was kind of fun and kind of creepy.  I was well ahead of everyone and running through the dark woods.  My headlamp kept sliding down my head, so I just carried it.

The fireflies were neat.  They brightened up the darkness.  I didn't want to do the singletrack, so I just turned before it.  Nice and smooth running.

I couldn't want to get over the bridge and near the road.  That didn't take too long.  I was starting to tire, but almost done.  When I did get to the road, I didn't want to deal with cars.  I blasted through that and back on the trail.

It wasn't long and I was back the parking lot.  I was beat, tired and sore.  It has been awhile since I did 12 miles.  I also can never handle the Jacobsburg stone.  It sure beat up my feet and calves.  I waited a few minutes and everyone came back.

I am sore, but was happy with the run.  It was good to run with others.  I need some longer runs every now and then too.

Tomorrow is definitely off.  I'd like to do hills on Tuesday (maybe at Trexler).  Later in the week, I'm camping in Ithaca.  I can't wait to run along the falls and gorges.  It should be thrilling.

Loop 1 About 6.1 miles and an hour (GPS data was incorrect)
Loop 2 6.15 miles - 1:10:38 (11:29 pace) 370 feet of elevation gain