Tuesday, November 24, 2015

No Leaves Tammany

I haven't been getting on trails much lately and I think I've only been to Tammany once this fall.  Since I'm not sure how busy I'll be at work this week, I decided to head there today.  The plan was for two loops.

It was a chilly afternoon.  I wore a light weight long sleeve shirt and my shell.  I had on shorts too.  I was sweating a lot early, but even a little chilly later.  I was happy with my clothing choice.  This time of year, a jacket rarely hurts.

Now that it is late fall, the trails are much more vacant.  This is especially true on a chilly Tuesday afternoon.  I probably did see 10 hikers or so throughout the 2+ hours out there.

I struggled with my breathing a little bit early.  I ended up hiking most of the beginning anyway.  It was clear early on that I lost a little bit of fitness or strength.  I'm not too bad, but not where I was in the summer.  My lower back hurt a bit during the first climb.  It's been a little bit sore after meditating lately too.

Going up was slow.  That was due to my fitness, but also the frequent stops.  I took a new camera and wanted to take a lot of photos.  All the leaves are basically down now.  The trail isn't at its best, but it is always pretty.

Toward the top, my back became more sore.  I was disappointed when I arrived at the overlook.  With fewer hikers out, I thought I'd have it to myself.  Instead, there were two young ladies there.  I went farther down than usual and took some photos.  I was in no hurry.  It was a slower day.

The Blue Trail was a mix of running and hiking.  I ate a sandwich before the run and I guess that doesn't have much nutritional value.  I didn't feel great and struggled to run consistently.

Because I didn't feel great, I descended the Blue Trail kind of slow.  I was also cautious because on the steep parts, it was the only place with leaves still on the trail.  My shoes are getting older too and don't have much grip.

On the most technical section, I came across another group of women hiking up.  They had 3 or 4 dogs with them.  The first one was well ahead and turned back down the trail when I was coming.  They were all friendly and caused no issues.

I continued to run on down.  The trail was wet in spots.  The waterfall was beautiful at the bottom.  It was good to get on the Appalachian Trail and arrive back at my car.

I stopped for some water.  I also needed a GU or this second loop would get very ugly.  After that, I started hiking back up.  Near the bottom, I cam across the two women from up top.

I took less photos, so I might have gone uphill faster this time.  However, I wasn't flying.  I did try to run a little more.  Since I'm not strong, that was tough.

The climb was pretty uneventful.  I know this loop by heart now.  I even know the best way to go to get up each part the easiest.  I saw the women with the dogs again.  They were near the top.  I petted the one, as it was friendly.

This time, I had the top all to myself.  I didn't stay long.  It was cloudy by now and getting chilly.  I looked forward to the Blue Trail and the descent.

The descent was pretty uneventful.  The GU steadied me a little, but it wasn't a big boost.  Those have often made me better.  My weak legs were a bit of a problem too.  I had switched my water to the other side of my vest and that might've helped my lower back a little.

I went into autopilot as I descended.  Usually, I'm focused on the rocks.  This time, I was thinking of other random things.  I didn't run fast, but got to the bottom in what seemed like no time.  I ran back on the AT and to my car to finish the second loop.

This run was slow, but it was good to get some climbing done.  It was nice to be back here.  I want to finish 50 loops by the end of the year, so I'll have to get here a few more times within the next month.  One weekend run of 4 or 5 loops would sure be nice.

Tomorrow, I'll try to run.  That is if I have the time and the desire.  I have a late night order and then a busy Thanksgiving Day.  Any running I can manage will be a plus, since I won't be running at all on Thursday.

7.32 miles - 2:06:54 (17:21 pace) 2416 feet of elevation gain
The 39th and 40th loops of Mt. Tammany in 2015

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Exploring Pennel Run

I only ran once last week.  I was slacking and also busy.  I went back and forth with whether or not to run today.  I had skipped the Eagles game, so I had plenty of time.  I finally talked myself into traveling a little and running somewhere new.

I headed into the Poconos, about an hour north of here.  I wanted to run Pennel Run, which is a short loop in the Delaware State Forest.  I drove up there and the trailhead was easy to find.

It was chilly, more of late November weather (compared to what we've seen lately).  It was cloudy and windy at times.  I wore shorts, but also a long sleeve shirt and my shell over it.  That ended up being a good combination.  I was sweating a little by the end, but it was typical.

I started off by following the Thunder Swamp Trail, which was blazed orange.  This is a big loop around the State Forest.  Some time, I might run the whole thing.  It is supposed to be wet and a bit overgrown too.  Maybe I'll try it with some light snow on the ground.

Early on, I had to stop.  There was one car in the lot and I guess I ran into this group of hikers.  They had a dog with them that was bothered by me.  It was off the leash and barking like crazy.  I walked on by and began running again when everything was good.

Running was still tough.  There isn't much elevation here, but it is typical rocky Pennsylvania trails.  It was difficult because the footing was so uneven.  It wasn't as bad as the AT, but it sure wasn't smooth running.  Throw in the fallen leaves and things were that much more challenging.

The trail is so lightly traveled that it is hard to follow the actual path.  There are plenty of blazes on the trees thankfully.  After being kind of crappy early on, it went along some water.  I think that was Spruce Run.  It was still hard to run on, but at least the water and evergreen trees were pretty.

The trail then crossed the water over a footbridge.  I got my feet slightly wet earlier.  It wasn't bad though, only slightly muddy in spots.  At one point, I lost the blazes due to a large blow down.  I did find my way again though.

I got to the turn with Pennel Run and followed that.  It is yellow on the map, but the blazes were actually red.  At least they had signs, so it wasn't confusing.  I was running and hiking through this slow part.  There was some uphill.  I hit a few small branches and could see how overgrown this trail likely is during the summer.

Around 2 miles, I got to the loop portion of the Pennel Run Trail.  I was excited for this, as I was on a part called "Hay Road."  As I anticipated, it was a runnable woods road.  I didn't run the whole time, but I did run often.

I headed north on the loop.  This was runnable, but quite boring.  I hiked some times too.  There were no views and it was just a standard woods road.  After a mile, I lost the blazes and the road seemed like it was different too.  I decided that I wasn't sure how far I'd have to go for the loop, so I just turned around and headed back.

I was disappointed, because I figured the cool part was the other half of the loop, along Pennel Run.  As I headed back, I never did find the turn I missed.  It was apparently quite close to the Connector Trail. 

I got to the intersection from earlier, but decided to stay on Hay Road.  At least I knew that was runnable.  Going back on the rocky trail would've been slow.  Of course, I was only hoping I could stay on Hay Road.  It looked like this came out to Snow Hill Road (where I started), but I wasn't 100%.

I had to navigated over some big blow downs.  Clearly, this trail isn't used too frequently.  There were plenty of briars too, which scratched up my legs.  I was glad that none of them drew blood.

I saw the blazed turn toward Pennel Run, but due to a blow down, I didn't see the trail.  I just ran along Hay Road anyway.  I was over 5.5 miles now.  I figured I had less than a mile to get to Snow Hill Road.  Eventually, I came out to some "No Tresspassing" signs.  I took my chance, as it was too far to turn around.

Things looked promising when the road became more roadlike.  There were tire tracks in the mud.  I continued to run along.  All throughout the run, I heard a shotgun in the distance.  I assume they were practicing, since there is no hunting on Sundays in this state.

This road eventually came out to Snow Hill Road.  I saw a car up ahead, but luckily it drove away before I got to the gate.  I wasn't sure if I should be there.  I ran along Snow Hill Road for a bit.  I knew I was heading the right way when I got to the bridge over the water that I had crossed earlier.

I knew I still had some distance to go though.  I had a tough uphill finish awaiting.  It seemed to go on and on and I was breathing heavy.  I saw a sign up ahead, but was frustrating to find that it wasn't for the Thunder Swamp Trail.  Finally, at a little over 7 miles, I saw my car and ran to it to finish up.

I love exploring.  From that aspect, this was a disappointing run.  I didn't see much.  However, I did get myself out there running.  I got some exercise and still enjoyed myself.  Not every run is going to be an A+.  I'm happy with a solid run.

I have no idea when I'll run.  Part of it is motivation, but I also may be busy at work.  Hopefully, I'll have the time and desire to run tomorrow.  I must at least get out there once before Thanksgiving.

7.06 miles - 1:28:47 (12:34 pace) 549 feet of elevation gain

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Standard Night Loop

As usual, I was slacking over the last few days.  I had three straight days of no running.  I got out there tonight after dark.  While I'm not enjoying running right now, I do kind of like night running.  The pavement I could do without.

The plan tonight was just to run the basic long loop around the neighborhoods.  I figured it would be about 5 miles.  My Garmin showed me way over that, but it probably wasn't correct.  The first mile was definitely off.

Thankfully, it was much more chilly tonight than lately.  I wore the usual attire, a lightweight jacket and shorts.  I hate wearing my visor, but my headlamp doesn't stay up well otherwise.  I was chilly at first, but then a little hot later.  My visor definitely made me hotter.  I might have to work on adjusting the headlamp and not wearing the visor.

I started out at my house and headed across the highway to the other neighborhood.  I went nice and slow, almost ultra pace.  I ate less than an hour before the 6 PM run, so I had to take it easy.

I just ran along.  Since I knew exactly the route I wanted to take, I didn't even bother to look at my watch.  I thought about some things related to my run and some things related to life.

It wasn't long before I was going up the first big gradual hill.  I cruised up that.  There were quite a few cars out, since it was still early in the evening.  Some walkers and dog walkers were out too.

I went over to do the small neighborhood loop too.  This was pretty easy because I took it easy.  With the air a little cold, breathing wasn't the easiest thing.  It was very manageable though.  I passed some walkers at the top.

Then, I was back to the other loop.  I figured I was probably around 3 miles now, but I didn't want to look at my watch.  I thought about not looking at all.  My pace and distance really didn't matter.

One nice thing is that with no running in the last three days, I felt fresh.  I still can't totally shake my sore foot from the spring.  I'd think with less miles now, I wouldn't feel it at all.  It doesn't bother me, but I can still slightly feel the tenderness in that area.  Maybe I'll need full rest for it to go away.

In no time, I was to the 2 mile point of the old Blue Eagle 5K course.  The marker is still there.  I didn't want to look at my watch, but I couldn't help it.  I was surprised to see that it said 4.4 miles.  I figured there was no way I went that far or was running a sub 8 minute pace.  I was barely moving.  Looking at the data now, I think the first mile was messed up.

Really, it didn't matter.  I just continued to run along.  I got back to the school and finished up like I was running the Blue Eagle 5K.  I kept going and got to my house.  I could've run to mile 6, but there wasn't much point.  I just finished at the driveway.

I definitely should get back on some trails sometimes soon, even if it is just Jacobsburg.  These short, night runs are about all I can muster though.  I wanted to hit some D&L Trail today, but couldn't get myself to do so.  Some running is better than no running I guess.  It would be nice if my hunger would come back.

5.73 miles - 45:19 (7:54 pace) 99 feet of elevation gain  NOT ACCURATE DATA

Friday, November 13, 2015

Daylight Neighborhoods Run

Last night, I went out for a darkness run.  It was a raining a bit when I stepped outside, so I went back in.  Today was super windy.  It looked like another excuse.  However, around 4 PM, I realized that the winds had died down.  I made myself get outside.

The plan was for 5 miles around the neighborhoods.  I can usually bargain myself into that short of a run.  I hate being on pavement so much, but at least that makes the run go by quickly.  I need to get on more trails though.

I wore shorts and a long sleeve shirt.  Although the wind died down, it definitely wasn't gone.  It was windy and causing my nose to run.  I'd take these conditions though.

I started off at my house and headed to the neighborhood on the other side of the school.  I don't think any of my recent runs have gone over there.  I was there in no time and comfortably climbing up the slight hill.

The plan was to run to the end of the small industrial park over there and back.  I knew I'd need to add some to get to 5 miles.  There was a vehicle parked in a weird spot along the road into the industrial park.  After that, it was a nice downhill.

There was no wind on the descent, so I knew it would be tough on the way back.  I was surprised when I started looking at my pace.  I was running easy and barely over an 8 minute pace.  I figured that I'd be closer to a 9 minute pace.

When I got to the industrial park turnaround, I was only near 2 miles.  I went around a building at the end, to add more distance.  I headed back and after turning, it was into the wind.

Still, this wasn't too bad and I headed to do a short add on around some fairly new houses.  This is also slightly uphill.  Then, it was back to the main road.  The short climb was windy and tough.  The sky was a pretty pink, as the sun was setting.

At the top, a guy with a baby was talking selfies or something.  I have no idea.  I turned to head back home and was able to enjoy a windless stretch.  This was a descent too.  Earlier, I twisted my ankle a few times, but now it felt good.

Before the circle in this neighborhood, I hit mile 4.  It was getting close to dark, but I had timed the run perfectly.  I ran around the back of the school.  Then, I added distance around the front of it too.

When I got back to my neighborhood, it was around 4.75 miles.  I figured I'd do the medium loop.  I didn't quite finish this loop when I hit 5 miles.  I stopped my watch right then.

Again, it wasn't a great run, but I got the job done.  One thing I keep forgetting to do is run strides.  I want to work on my speed a little, without actually running hard.  I was happy just to get out the door today.

Tomorrow's weather is supposed to be windy again.  I'd love to get to the DWG.  I haven't been there in some time.  Three loops of Tammany would be awesome and doable for sure.  I'm going to watch some friends, Kristin and Angie run a 5K in the morning.  That should be fun too.

5 miles - 40:01 (8:00 pace) 40 feet of elevation gain

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Changing the Route

I struggled to get out there again yesterday.  I used the rain as an excuse.  I raked leaves this afternoon, so I ran in the dark today.  I am able to at least push myself out the door for less than an hour of road running.  Even if I don't enjoy it, it is over quick.

It's still warmer than it should be this time of year.  Again, I wore my light jacket and visor.  I was soaked by the end of the run.  Cooler weather will be nice.

At times, I've run with a decent effort on roads, since coming back to them.  Today, I ran more of a very comfortable and slow ultra pace.  It was nice and easy.  I was just looking to get a run in.  I figured I would go 5 miles around the neighborhoods.

I changed the route up tonight.  I ran through my neighborhood too.  That was pretty uneventful.  It's over a mile long, so I was 1/5 of the way done after that.

I ended up figuring out percentage done throughout the run.  I went over to the other neighborhood next.  Instead of the usual parts, I ran past an old friend's house.  I rarely go over there.  Even after that loop, I was less than 2.5 miles into the run.

I went back to the normal route.  I wasn't going to go very far though.  I got to a part where I normally extend the run, but instead, I made it a loop.  This was part of the Blue Eagle 5K course.  I realized that I'd be over 4 miles when I got back to the school.

I continued on.  There were a few cars and leaf piles to avoid.  Mostly, I was just alone and it was peacefully.  A few times dogs were barking, but I didn't encounter them.

I got back to the road and crossed the street to the school.  I had a little over 3/4 of a mile to go when I got to the Blue Eagle 5K finish line.  I went back to my neighborhood.  I did the regular loop there.  That wasn't quite enough to get me to 5 miles, so I needed the shortest loop there too. 

It was slow, although I went under 9 minute pace, but I got the run done.  Any running is better than no running.  I want to love running again.  I hope that will come back, but I'll try not to force it.

I hope I can run again tomorrow, but who knows.  It is supposed to rain again I believe.  I'd love to get to Tammany, as I haven't been there in awhile.  It is quite a trek for someone who isn't motivated though.

5 miles - 44:16 (8:51 pace) 26 feet of elevation gain

Monday, November 9, 2015

Leaf Covered Gorge Run

Today was a nice fall day.  I wanted to run some trails.  I decided to head to the Gorge over in New Jersey.  It's not too far and the scenery is great.

I wore shorts and short sleeve shirt.  That attire was good.  It was slightly chilly, but overall not bad.  I'd take this weather all the time.

Last time here, it was pouring rain.  Today was much nicer.  I went on the "up" trail first this time.  Last time, I came back that way after starting "down."  I was thinking that this first part would be near the top, but actually I was quite wrong.  I had to climb pretty early.

This early part was characteristic of what the run would be.  All the leaves are down now.  It made running up the steep parts almost pointless.  Instead, I hiked.  That was frustratingly slow.

Once up a lot of the way, I ran a little.  The trail was tricky, as there were some rocks.  Not being able to quite see them, caused me to run less or at least slower.  I kept moving forward though.

I got to the actual gorge itself.  Last time, I ran on the trails at both the top and the bottom.  This time, I ran down the blue blazed trail to the bottom.  This was a pipeline.  It was smooth and easy to run down, although leaf covered.  I was hoping the trail would go along the flowing water.  Instead, it was above it a bit.

Apparently, there is a trail on the other side that goes at least partway up.  I'll look for it more next time.  At the bottom, I went out more.  This was mostly runnable, to the white blazed trail.

I do like the white trail, as it is a switchback up the mountain.  Still, it is quite steep.  In good conditions, it is probably a runnable ascent.  With all the leaves today, I didn't even try.  I just hiked and hiked.  At spots, I ran briefly.

At the top, I started to go out the other way.  However, I realized that this would be a waste.  It was too leaf covered along the narrow ridge and hard to run.  I turned and headed back.

I was just over 2 miles now and realized this would be a short run.  There was no point in trying to run too much of this somewhat dangerous ridge.  Instead, I ended up hiking a lot of the way back.  I stopped briefly at the gorge.

There are some cool rocks along the trail.  Some of the downhills were steep.  With the leaves, I elected to carefully hike down those.  It wasn't long until I was at my car.

It was less mileage than I wanted.  At least I got out there and ran some.  I could've done more today, but what I did is better than nothing.  If only I could be motivated to run every day.

Tomorrow, maybe I'll run again.  Who really knows.  I'm just taking this day by day now.  I should run some with people in the near future.

3.57 miles - 57:41 (16:10 pace) 710 feet of elevation gain 

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Back on the Delaware

As is the current pattern, I slacked off for a few days.  The motivation is just so low.  Even today, I had time for several hours of running, instead I made it a short one.  It was still better than nothing.

I headed south of Easton to run the canal towpath along the Delaware River.  This is absolutely one of my favorite places to run.  I figured there would still be some colors on the trees too.  The plan was for just a solid 8 miles.

It was a bit chilly, but still not cold.  The shady parts and some of the slight wind were interesting.  Still, I was okay in shorts and short sleeves.  I brought a handheld too.

The plan was to run 2 or 3 miles south on the trail.  I thought this would take me by a really cool section and indeed it did.  I've never run here on the weekend and there were quite a few people out.  Early on, I was running directly into the sun.

The legs and body didn't feel too bad, but probably not great either.  I was grateful to be on this flat path.  There's some stone and other parts are completely unimproved.  It was a nice day along the river.  The first mile zipped my quickly.  This was an 8:15 opening mile.  I really had no goals, other than to try to run pretty consistent.  The effort throughout wasn't super easy, but probably on the higher end of the easy category.

Around 1.5 miles was my favorite part of the run.  The canal towpath is directly between the river and the canal.  There's a road and steep cliffs on both sides of the river.  The views are clear and it is just stunning.  I even found some rocks in New Jersey that look like they would be an awesome place to sit.  I took it all in.

I continued on, not feeling great or terrible.  I was hoping my legs would last.  I simply focused on making it to mile 3.  That wasn't easy though.  I ran through Riegelsville, including by a cool little cafe next to the canal.

Shortly after that, I did hit mile 3 and turned around.  I kind of couldn't believe I had 3 miles back to the start and 5 miles total.  While wasn't in awful conditions, I thought I should feel better.

After the first two miles were over 8 minutes each, the pace began to pick up.  The 4th mile was a speedy 7:38.  I wasn't going any harder, so I guess it was downhill.

I focused on each upcoming mile.  In the cool area, a guy moved over with his dog that he was walking.  I was happy to make it to mile 5.  I didn't feel any worse than a mile earlier.

I continued to cruise along.  While I had no goal time, once I saw my time I was shooting for a sub 8 minute pace.  That became easier and easier as I clicked off each mile.  I kept watching my time.

I made it back to the park and mile 6.  The plan was to go out another mile and come back.  Then, I'd be finished up.  This part going north runs past some houses.  Before 6.5 miles, I came to some people walking and an unleashed dog following them.  I realized later as I was driving home that the dog was not actually with them.  Because of the dog, I had just decided to play it safe and head back.

At about 6.75 miles, I arrived back at the start.  I headed back in the original direction and into the setting sun.  I figured I'd turn around at 7.4 miles.  I was coming up to a dog when I hit that point, so it was perfect timing.

Also, a couple on bikes had just gone by.  They were now ahead of me, as I went back.  They were riding slightly faster than my running pace, and thus pulling me along.  I picked it up and little and they slowed down in the final quarter mile.  I ended up flying by them.  I finished up with a nice 7:20 mile.

Although it wasn't trail and this run wasn't as long as I would've liked, it was a run.  I just need to get back out there.  I wish I could enjoy running again.  I'll just do what I can get myself to and not worry about it.

Tomorrow, I'm hoping I can run again.  Who knows though.  Going to Tammany would be nice.  I have not been there in some time.  I do hope the cool weather like today remains.

8.01 miles - 1:02:38 (7:49 pace) 64 feet of elevation gain

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Eales Preserve Run/Hike

Much like earlier in the week, I didn't get a call in the morning.  However, today, I didn't have to work at all.  That meant I had to trail run.  I thought about Maryland, but it was just too far.  I wanted something new, so I went to Eales Preserve near Scranton.  I've been wanting to go there for some time, but haven't made it.

Dressing was a huge mess.  I wore my lightweight orange long sleeve shirt.  That was way too much, as it was in the 70s.  This trail system is almost completely exposed to the sun.  I needed the orange, because this is a hunting area.  I saw no hunters though.

I saw a hiker early on.  He had left his vehicle just before me and was heading back and guess hiking elsewhere.  I went out on the Blueberry Trail.  That had a nice sign on it, but that was about it for trail markings.

This trail is small blueberry bushes.  Everything was brownish now, but I guess it was a beautiful red a few weeks ago.  I should've been there then.  The beginning was quite rocky and interesting.

I found this trail to be a little annoying.  It had a lot of quick turns.  That's how you can tell it was built by mountain bikers.  I also kept going up and up.  It was a very slight incline, but annoying nonetheless.  I felt like crap today, so that didn't help.  The sun beating down was killing me too.

At least this was relatively easy running.  Even so, I got frustrated and hiked for a bit.  Then, I came out to a powerline.  I didn't have a map with me, but thought I'd be able to figure out where to go.  I headed one way on the powerline, hoping to find the Waterfall Trail.  Luckily, I turned around when it started to descend.  Looking at the map now, I was going the wrong way. 

I hiked some of the powerline uphill.  I was hot and frustrated.  I ate pizza and hour before the run and started to feel like shit.  I even felt like I might need to shit.

I badly wanted to get into some woods and have actual cover.  Not sure if there would've been any with all the leaves down now.  I found a trail into the woods, but it was heading toward a private lake.  I turned back around, to the powerline.

I frustratingly walked up a lot of the powerline, still hoping to find the Waterfall Trail.  I followed a singletrack section then.  I came to this fork in the trail and remember it from another blog I was reading.  I went right and it turns out that that was the correct way.

However, not knowing for sure, I ended up turning around.  I didn't want to get stuck too far out.  I had to go to the bathroom.  I was around mile 4 and hiking out.

I followed the powerline again for a bit and then got back on to a main dirt road.  This preserve has old roads, as it was supposed to be a business park.  Rather than stay on the road, I decided to run more singletrack.

This section was awesome, as it had great views of the valley below and the mountains across the way.  The low brush provided some great views.  I bet they were outstanding a few weeks ago.  It is probably cool up here in the snow too.  Maybe I'll snowshoe around there this winter.

Someone had made a neat rock circle along the trail.  After a bit, I decided to get back on the main dirt road.  I thought this was the road right back to my car.  However, I wasn't over far enough.

I ended up back on some singletrack.  I didn't quite know how to get back to my car, but I knew the direction to it.  I just had to find the correct trail.  By dumb luck really, I came on to the trail that I originally took.  I thought I recognized a few parts of it.  Still, I wasn't 100% sure.

I had been hiking for awhile, but was back to running now.  I got over 5 miles and hoped I could get to 6 miles.  I kept seeing more and more things that looked familiar, but wasn't completely sure I was on the right trail.  I was glad to be going downhill.

Finally, I came out to the part near my car.  I hiked some, as bathroom issues were reoccurring.  I finished up near where I started, at over 6 miles.

This was an okay day.  The trails were hard to follow.  I should've carried a map and things would've made more sense.  Now, I know them a little better.  This is only an hour away and mostly highways, so I might go again.  Maybe in a better season.  I didn't even run on that much of the preserve.

Tomorrow, I'm hoping for another day of running.  I might try the gorge trail section near Phillipsburg.  There might still be outstanding colors there.  It's a cool section of trail that I need to hit up more.

6.25 miles - 1:18:51 (12:37 pace) 413 feet of elevation gain 

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Forced Run

Well today was another tough one, but I did make myself run.  I would've liked hill repeats, but it was simply too warm.  That would not have been a quality session.  Therefore, I waited it out until dark again.  I knew I couldn't do as much as last night.  I aimed for 3.5 miles around the neighborhoods.  It wouldn't be much, but I figured it is still better than sitting in.

I headed out after dinner.  I just wore a bright yellow shirt, as it was still warm.  I don't like wearing my visor, as I sweat a lot, but it is needed to hold up the headlamp.

I started from my house.  The plan was to just do the short loop across the street and see where I'm at.  Then, I'd wander around to get the needed miles.

I got startled by a dog after crossing the road.  My legs were so sore in the first mile.  They don't like pavement and felt awful.  Thankfully, they came around.

It was a nice night for sure.  Again, I had to avoid a few cars.  I decided to add a hill and a part that I don't normally run.  This was a nice and easy climb.  My pace was slow again. 

This is a new section of the neighborhood.  I thought I knew this area, but I guess I got confused in the dark.  I missed a turn and wound up in the old section.  I just headed back toward my house.

I got to the road and crossed again.  Since I was around 2.75 miles, I decided to loop around the parking lot.  Then, it was back up to my neighborhood.  I did the short loop to finish up at 3.5 miles.

It wasn't a productive run.  However, I got out there and got the job done.  A night of running is better than no running.

Tomorrow, I'm hoping to run again.  Maybe it will be cooler.  I'll have to see.  I'd love to try the repeats.  I need to get back on to trails and save my knees.  That's for sure.

3.5 miles - 31:41 (9:03 pace) 73 feet of elevation gain

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Neighborhoods Run (Been A Long Time)

I've been slacking a lot lately.  It's been nearly a week since the last run.  I was about to head down to MD, because it didn't look like I'd have work today.  Instead, I was called to work late.  I could've run in the afternoon, but didn't feel like it.  Instead, I got out there after supper.  Now, it is dark at that point.  The plan was simply to run the neighborhoods around here.

Weather and darkness made things a little tough.  I had to wear a yellow shell jacket, but that was more than I needed.  It was a mix of warm and chilly, since it was dark.  During the day, it was around 70 degrees.

I didn't have a true plan for this road run.  I figured I'd loop around most of the main stuff.  I estimated that that would get me around 9 miles and be a solid run.  This would be my first pavement run in over a year.  Last week, I was on rail trail.  This run I took off much more relaxed than that one.

I'm definitely not used to road running.  In the first mile, I had a bunch of small aches.  They went away, although I never felt great and have some minor soreness at the moment.  I definitely will have to get used to this.  The good thing is I still don't plan to road run much.

I do enjoy running in the cover of darkness.  However, there were a lot of cars out.  They all saw me, but it was still annoying.  A few people were out walking dogs too.  Some of the dogs barked at me.

I did a short loop and didn't look at my watch until after 2.5 miles.  Still, I was disappointed, as I thought I was farther along.  I simply don't enjoy road running, even on a decent night like tonight.

I just kept plugging away, nice and easy.  Before I knew it, I was on to the other small loop.  I figured this was around 1.5 miles long.  This has a gradual hill, but it wasn't bad.  I thought about looking at my watch, but there was no point.  I knew where I had to run.  The distance didn't matter much.

One nice thing about night is you have to hold your watch up to your headlamp.  Therefore, I look at it less.  I didn't care about mileage or time/pace anyway.

I got to running along a gradual hill.  Then, it was the far loop across the road.  This has the steepest climb.  I ran easy and wasn't breathing heavy there either.  I barely noticed it.  I was definitely running this ultra style.

I crossed back over the road and headed back.  This had another small hill.  I finally looked at my watch around here.  It was over 7 miles.  Last time I had looked, it was around 3.5 miles.  I looked a little more after this.

I continued to simply cruise along.  I was getting a little more sore and tired.  I'm not used to continuously running for this long.  I usually break up my runs with hiking.

I got back to the school and headed to my house.  I could've run some loops to get to 9 miles, but there was no point.  I got over 8.5 miles and was quite happy with that.  I was happy to be out there running.

It wasn't the best run, but not the worst either.  I need to start running more.  I definitely can't run on roads more than once or twice a week.  I need some new road shoes at some point too.

I'm hoping to get back on trails tomorrow.  I'd like some Katellen Trail repeats.  That would be fun.  It might still be warm, so that part might suck.  I need to run hill repeats more often.  I need to incorporate a lot of different things into my training.  I have to improve in several areas.

8.64 miles - 1:15:47 (8:46 pace) 185 feet of elevation gain