Sunday, December 27, 2015

Back to Riverview

I've been wanting to get Tammany for some time now.  Even though it is warm, it has been gloomy.  This morning, it was super foggy, so I passed on that run again.

Back when I used to run pavement regularly, Riverview Park was the one place I didn't get sick of.  I'm not even sure why that is.  I haven't run there in well over a year.  I decided to head there on this miserable afternoon.

It was cloudy and there was a slight chill in the air.  However, it was still too warm for a jacket.  With no breeze, I opted for shorts and a short sleeve shirt.  That was perfect. 

At first, I considered heading to the Boat Launch.  Then, I opted to go the other way, toward Easton.  It has been so long, that I was unsure of the mileage in this direction.  The plan was for a 7 mile day.  I'd run out until I felt like it and then turn around.  If needed, I'd go the other way.

I saw a few walkers and bikers early on.  There weren't many people out though.  I ran over the bridge over the Lehigh River.  I was on the canal path now.  There were some shady looking guys, but they did nothing.

The first mile felt a bit crappy, but it got better as I ran along.  Still, I continue to feel sluggish and heavy now.  I guess that is because I am.  My fitness is quite low.  

The river was rushing pretty good.  I stared at it and some of the old structures that are all along the canal towpath.  Most of the run was uneventful though.  As I approached Easton, I was nearing three miles.

I thought about turning around at the Forks of the Delaware, but decided to continue on the path along the Delaware River.  This would be another .5 miles out and back.  This section is stone, but it wasn't too bad, even with all the recent rain. 

I did enjoy this part, but couldn't wait to get back.  I turned around at 3.5 miles.  It was nice to click off every half mile after.

I guess maybe why I like running here is that the back part doesn't seem so bad.  Usually, going out is fine, but coming back sucks.  That isn't the case on this route.  Still, I wasn't in great spirits with the terrible weather.  It has put a damper on my energy all around right now.

Before I knew it, I was back near Hugh Moore Park and then running over the Lehigh River again.  I ran back to Riverview Park and finished up right where I started.  The pace was under 8:30, so I was happy with that.

It was good to get something done.  It wasn't a terrible run or a great run.  Any run I can do these days, I'll take.  Running is still such a struggle right now.

Tomorrow, I'd like to try Tammany.  However, it appears to be another crappy day in store for us.  I'll play it by ear.  Maybe I can at least run somewhere.

7 miles - 58:34 (8:22 pace) 108 feet of elevation gain

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Super Warm 5 Miles

The last few days have been yuck rain.  I didn't run.  Today, was supposed to crush all kinds of records for warmest temperature.  Christmas Eve and it is supposed to be around 70 degrees.  Still, I wanted to run.

I had a morning order and an evening order at work.  I opted to run around my neighborhood right after the first order.  It was cloudy and didn't seem too warm.  Boy, was I wrong.  I wore shorts and a short sleeve shirt and wished that I had even less on.

The plan was the standard 5 mile loop.  It encompasses the other neighborhood, plus a small neighborhood across another road.  I headed out from my house, feeling pretty crappy.  I thought it would subside.

It never did though.  I felt like death throughout the run, even going easy.  Breathing was a struggle.  It was just too muggy for this time of year.  It felt like the miles you run after crashing bad in a marathon.

A bunch of people were out running.  Luckily, all of them seemed to be going different ways, with all the neighborhood options.  With my suffering, I could envision a 9 year old girl blowing by me.

I struggled up every hill.  It seemed forever to get to mile 2.  I eventually made it to the other little neighborhood.  This is the steepest hill and it was torture.  A guy was walking his dog up it.  He was probably laughing at me.

After the top, another guy was going to his car.  He started signing, "It's beginning to look a lot like Easter" (instead of Christmas).  I got a chuckle out of that.  As much as I could anyway with my suffering.  I didn't even have the energy to say anything witty back.

I was so glad to get to mile 3.  I was suffering so much that I even contemplated stopping there and walking back.  If I was planning anything more than 5 miles, I probably would've cut the run short.  It just wasn't very productive.

At least I was running a sub 8:30 pace.  What a struggle though.  I could barely make it up hills.  With all the trail running I do, road hills don't bother me much any more.  However, today they were a beast.

I actually didn't even care about miles from this point.  I just thought about the hills left, as it was that bad.  I got to the next one, which would be the 2nd to last one, around mile 4.  I struggled up that.

I must've looked at my watch about a million times.  When I was at 3.1 miles, I thought that being at 4.1 miles would be awesome.  Getting to 4.1 miles was a milestone.  I took my watch off then, for the rest of the run.

I usually like to do that as a symbol that I'm almost done.  I still had one more hill though.  Normally, I go even farther here and slightly uphill.  However, today I cut straight across at the top.  I ran back to the highway and across the street to the school.

I finished up before the black path.  There was no way I'd be running up that anyway.  I had 5 miles in the books and was thrilled to be done.  It was so bad that I even got dizzy when I walked in the house later.

I could do without this weather.  I don't know when winter will arrive.  I don't need a lot of cold, but I could use some.  I could also use some snow.

Tomorrow, I'm hoping to make it to Mt. Tammany.  I'd love to get in 2 loops.  I have Christmas lunch first though.  I may not make it up there in time.  I'll play it by ear.

5 miles - 41:30 (8:18 pace) 109 feet of elevation gain

Monday, December 21, 2015

Night Nazareth 3 Miler

I actually ran two days in a row.  What a rarity.  I didn't have the energy to run during the day.  I had to let my heavy dinner settle in my stomach, but decided to head out after dark.

It was around 8 PM when I got started.  I didn't want a headlamp, so I opted to run on the sidewalks in town.  The plan was for just three easy miles.  That was all I could muster.

I wore a jacket to be visible.  It was quite warm, even that late at night.  The jacket probably wasn't needed.  I was sweating by the end.  Wearing shorts was great.

I parked in the circle and headed out to the high school.  I didn't feel great, but took it nice and easy.  I even was able to hold back, even though it was downhill to the school.  When I got to the school, it was buzzing with activity.

I was at about 1 mile at this point.  I decided to run down to the middle school and loop around it.  I ran a loop around the old parking lot that I used in high school.  Then, I ran around the middle school.  Since the school wasn't there when I was in school, I peered inside when I could.  There wasn't much to see.

I was over 1.5 miles as I looped around the school.  I had to be careful with all the cars that were picking kids up from some activity.  I ran on to the sidewalks where I could.

As I headed back, I took the road next to the elementary school into town.  This had some tough uphill.  I passed a woman and her daughter walking.  Most people were inside by now.  I hit mile 2 at the school and was now in the last mile.  As I looked at the watch, I knew I'd finish very close to where I had started.

I crossed over Broad Street and then turned on Main Street.  I headed to the YMCA, as I finished up.  I hit mile 3 right by the start of the circle.

It wasn't much of a run, but it was a run.  Any running I can get myself to do these days is a good run.  Running on back to back days is great.

Tomorrow, I'd really like to go to Mt. Tammany.  Who knows though, as it is quite the task for me to drag myself up there.  Two loops there would be great.

3 miles - 25:49 (8:36 pace) 132 feet of elevation gain

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Light to Dark Run

I haven't run in over a week.  It was a combination of being lazy and also busy at work.  I almost didn't get out there today.  However, after some TV, I went around the neighborhoods.  It was nearly dark by then.

The plan was another short and easy 5 miler.  I wore a yellow jacket, gloves and a headband.  I had on shorts, even though it was about 40 degrees.  I was comfortable and took off the headband later.  I could've probably even taken off the gloves, but I didn't.

I ran across the road at the school.  A car actually stopped to let me cross, but there were cars coming the other direction.  I decided to run the shorter loop.  This was nice and easy.  It was still light out.  I figured that I had until about mile 3 before it would be dark.

This loop was done quickly.  I added on a short part.  However, I cut over a road before I wanted to.  I was around mile 2 now, as I headed back to the school.

I was nearing mile 3 when back at the school.  I felt kind of crappy and almost called it a day at 3 miles.  However, I pressed on.  I figured I could managed 2 more miles.

I decided to head to the neighborhood on the other side of the school.  I went out up a hill.  By now, it was getting dark and I had to be careful with cars around. 

I came back downhill.  I headed to the school.  I was approaching 4 miles now.  I then went over that and headed to the school.

I got back to the school in the darkness.  I had about 2/3 of a mile to go.  I looped around the school, using the lights of the parking lot to see my watch.  I finished up just after a loop.  I had 5 miles in the books.

This was a pretty bland run.  However, I'm happy any time I can get myself out for a run.  It is rare these days.

Tomorrow, I'd love to run again.  I really need to get to Mt. Tammany again a bunch of times before the end of the year.  Maybe I could do 2 or 3 loops there.

5 miles - 44:59 (9:00 pace) 36 feet of elevation gain

Friday, December 11, 2015

Nor-Bath Afternoon Run

After a day off, I wanted a Friday run.  I have a busy weekend ahead and I'm not sure if I'll run at all.  I wanted to run at Tammany, but decided against it, since it is bear season.  Instead, I headed to the Nor-Bath Trail.

It was already late afternoon, so I figured on just a 5 miler.  This weekend is supposed to be record warmth and I thought today was too.  However, the sun wasn't out, so it was a bit chilly.  Still, I wore shorts and a short sleeve shirt.  I can't complain about that and I was sweating by the end.

I started off at Bicentennial Park.  I didn't want to cross Airport Road.  I thought about heading each way, but opted to just go toward Northampton for as far as I could tolerate.

I started off nice and easy.  Pace didn't matter at all.  I was breathing a little heavy, but not too bad.  I was chewing gum.  I passed a walker early on.

I was happy to get over the road with no issues.  I cruised along.  I was enjoying myself so much that I even noticed a building past one of the bridges.  I had never seen that before when I was running hard.  The trail was a little muddy, but overall it was great.

I nearly caught a slow runner, but he turned around.  I crossed the next road.  After that, I came to some youngsters messing around.  They were climbing and playing with some branches.  I ran through the neighborhood.

I ran to 2.5 miles and turned around.  I was getting to a crappy section anyway.  I felt slow as I went up the hill.  The kids were gone when I got back there.  There is a dog park by the road crossing.  It was packed.

I headed back cruising along.  I crossed both roads again with no issues.  I was surprised by the pace.  I also passed a lady running the other way.  She said hello in an overly friendly way.  I acknowledged her, but continued on. 

I noticed my watch seemed like it might be off slightly.  I approached the park and got to the starting point around 4.85 miles.  I ran to mile 5 to finish up.  It was at least close.

This wasn't a great run, but at least it was a run.  It was good to get out there and get it done.  I'm over 20 miles for the week, which has been rare lately.  I'd like to run tomorrow, but I'll be pretty busy with work and watching football.  Maybe I can run right near here.

5 miles - 39:49 (7:58 pace) 140 feet of elevation gain

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

No Plan Run

I had a bad headache one of the last two days and just slacked the other day.  I almost didn't make it out until darkness, but did head out late this afternoon for this run.  I didn't have much daylight left, so I ran from home.  I had no plan of where to go.  I was just hoping for 7 miles.

It is still unseasonably cool.  It's more like early October weather than early December.  That made for perfect running conditions.  I went with a light long sleeve shirt and shorts.  That was a great choice.  It was orange, in case I was out a little after dark.  I had started at 4 PM.

I went down to the school.  I ran a loop around it.  I thought about doing loops until 7 miles, but I knew that would be boring.  Instead, I headed over to the neighborhood next to the school.  Even then, I really had no idea where I was going.  I was making it up on the fly.

I decided on an out and back on a dead end street.  That was good and it came back going uphill.  I was happy to be running a sub 9 minute pace, but really pace didn't matter.  I just cruised along.  I can't say I felt great or bad.

I decided to go out some more then.  There is this other small neighborhood that I sometimes go to.  This time, I ran it clockwise instead of counterclockwise.  I saw a dog walker and a woman walking.  It was cloudy out now. 

Heading back, I had to go uphill.  I was around 3.5 miles now and pretty happy.  I headed back toward the school.  I saw an Indian couple walking.  I've seen them a few times while out running or riding in this area.

I arrived back at the school after mile 4.  I decided on a couple loops around the school.  Darkness was creeping in.  I got bored after only about 2 loops.

I headed back to the other neighborhood and just ran around the circle.  I only did that once.  I think I was probably around 5.5 miles at that point.  I don't quite recall.

I figured I'd do some more running around the school.  Some times, I'd go in the back of the school.  Other times, I merely looped around the front.  After mile 5, I had to just keep moving.  My body wasn't hurting, but I was feeling weakened.  I just focused on mile 6.

It was good to get past that and continue looping around.  I had to avoid some cars picking up their kids at the school.  There was a dog walker in the grass.  I finished up at mile 7, as I went up the black path.

There was noting special about this run.  It was easy and 7 miles long.  It was pretty boring.  However, I got out there and got it done and got some exercise.

Tomorrow, I'd love to get to Tammany.  I need to put in 10 loops there before the year is over.  We'll see what I can do.  One loop doesn't sound bad, but two or three loops at a time doesn't interest me at the moment.  I do love running there, but it is quite the challenge.  There's no such thing as an easy day there and I need easy days now.  That's about all I can muster.

7 miles - 58:58 (8:26 pace) 44 feet of elevation gain

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Unseasonable D&L Run

As usual, I slacked off and only ran once last week.  Yesterday, I used lack of time as an excuse, but really that wasn't a good one.  This Sunday, I had no excuses left, so I headed to the D&L.

I love the section between Cove Road and Slatington.  The scenery there is great, so I headed out there.  I was hoping for a 10 miler, but any running at all would be better than what I've been doing.  I haven't run 10 straight miles without some hiking in some time.

The weather was unseasonably warm.  It was nearly 50 degrees as a high.  That is crazy for December.  I went with shorts and a short sleeve shirt.  My legs were a little chilly early, but it was perfect.  I'd take this weather all year long.

I felt awesome at the start.  I was nice and fresh as I began past the bridge.  It starts with some uphill, but I didn't even notice it much.  The beginning of this run was awesome.  I didn't even look at my watch until .87 miles into the run. 

The scenery is great and exactly what I needed.  You are above the Lehigh River on one side.  The other side has these cool rock cliffs.  It is stone rail trail, but it is about as close to nature trail as you can get.  My mind was in a great place and I was enjoying myself.

There were a lot of people out.  Mostly it was people on bikes.  I only saw one runner and a handful of walkers and dog walkers.  One woman on a bike asked if I was cold.  I told her how perfect the conditions were for me.  Bikers were definitely bundled up more.

I continued checking out the scenery.  I was looking around to see if there would be any cool places there to meditate.  I might have to try that in the future.  I'm not sure how I'd get up the cliffs.  I could also probably sit down by the river.  There is a spot where there was an old bridge.  I didn't look at my watch for a 2nd time until 2.4 miles.

I was going nice and easy.  My breathing wasn't smooth, because the air was a little cold.  I focused now on getting to mile 3 and then mile 4.  I wasn't quite enjoying the scenery as much.  I was happy to get to mile 4.  I figured mile 5 would be near Slatington. 

There is an old signal near there.  That is neat.  I kept on moving along.  I was happy when I finally got to mile 5.  I turned around and headed back.

I had recently started looking at my time.  I was over 8 minute pace, but it was dropping.  I figured that maybe I could get below that by the end of the run.  The focus from then on was getting to the next mile. 

I really had been focusing on mile 7 as a bigger milestone though.  Then, I'd be inside of 3 miles to go.  Whereas I enjoyed the scenery going out, I didn't going back.  I couldn't wait to finish and watched my watch way too much.  I was figuring out the pace too.

Getting to mile 7 was great.  I ran past where there are often horses out.  They weren't there today though.  I continued to focus on the next mile.  My pace was a little quicker now.  I figured I was probably running well under 8 minute miles and indeed the data shows that I was.

Around 7.5 miles, my hip started to bother me.  I've always had issues on these stone trails after a long time.  That was the case now and it was no surprise, since I haven't run far on any trails lately.  I pushed on though.  I figured I could handle 2.5 miles.

The nice thing heading back is it is a lot of downhill.  I tried to look at the cliffs again, but it was hard to relax now.  I wasn't running hard, but I was running comfortable either.  I was happy to get to mile 8 and then mile 9.

In the final half mile, my watch lost its signal.  It got messed up and thinks I ran across the river.  The distance was going up very fast.  I hit mile 10 about 2/10ths of a mile from the bridge.  I stopped my watch, but ran on to the bridge. 

It was a nice run.  I wish I could've enjoyed the second half as much as the first half.  I'm thrilled to get into double digit miles.  It was a good Sunday and a beautiful day too.  I'd prefer some colder weather, but if it stays warm, I guess I'll take advantage.

10 miles - 1:16:18 (7:38 pace) 84 feet of elevation gain  NOT ACCURATE DATA

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Drizzle Dark Palmer Trail Run

I was busy working and then followed that up by slacking.  I had not run since last week.  This was the second straight day of rain, so I almost didn't run again.  Finally, I got out there a little after 5 PM.

It was still drizzling during the run and pretty warm as well.  I had on my shell and was hot as the run went on.  I was definitely glad I had on shorts.

Since I didn't want to run much, I opted to just do 4 miles.  I parked off of 25th Street at a shopping center.  The plan was just two miles out and two more back on the Palmer Trail.  This starts off industrial and goes behind some prefab plant.  They had pieces labeled "Morris Street" on them.  I have no idea where that is.

I first looked at my watch after half a mile.  I was running nice and easy.  Even so, I was getting bored already.  I had to wait at the road crossing by the post office.  I didn't really have to stop at any other intersections.

When I got to the park along the trail, I came across a woman with two dogs.  I actually had not even noticed them until I was right there.  She was off to the side.  A short time later, I saw two lights on the trail.  I came up to them and it was another woman and her dog.  The dog had a light on too and I told the woman that that was neat.

I was approaching mile 2 at that point.  I couldn't wait to turn around, as I was so bored.  It seemed a lot more misty now.  I found that annoying.  Wearing my visor was making me hot too.  I was very happy to get to mile 2.

I continued to go nice and slow, as I turned and headed back.  I just focused on getting to mile 3.  Then, the last mile wouldn't be too bad.  Since the mist was annoying in my light, I took the light off my head and carried it.

I saw the woman and the dog with lights again.  The rest of the run was pretty uneventful.  I was happy to get back to the industrial area.  I finished up behind the shopping center at 4 miles.

It wasn't a great run or a fast one.  However, I did get out there and the conditions kind of sucked too.  At least I finally got some miles in.

Hopefully I'll run again tomorrow, but who knows.  Getting on the trails would be nice.  It is hunting season though, so I'd have to be careful.  I need some more runs at Tammany before the month is over.

 4 miles - 35:31 (8:53 pace) 90 feet of elevation gain