Sunday, January 31, 2016

Almost Springlike

I started off last week good, but I slacked off after that.  I haven't run in a few days.  I had to get out there today.  Originally, I thought of going to Jim Thorpe, but figured it would be too crowded on a weekend.  Instead, I went for the pavement at Riverview Park.

The temperature was unseasonably warm.  It was near 50 degrees.  I wore shorts and a short sleeve shirt for the mid afternoon run.  It was pretty good, although I could feel some coolness from either the snow around the trail or the river.

I thought about going out and back each way.  I originally thought that 7 miles would be good.  I extended that to possibly 8 miles, as I went along.  I headed out toward the Boat Launch.

Earlier in the week, I was here and it was snow covered.  Now, things had been cleared.  There was a bunch of wet snowmelt running along the pavement.  I got slightly wet feet at times, but it wasn't too bad.  The sun was in my eyes and that was kind of annoying.

The first mile was tough.  My legs weren't hurting, but they had a mild soreness.  I guess it was from riding the exercise bike last night for an hour.  For some reason, I struggled breathing in the air too, even though I was going easy.  I think it was that coolness in the air that was giving me problems.

I didn't worry about pace.  I just cruised along easy.  There were a few people out walking and some folks on bikes.  Still, it is winter, so the path wasn't busy.

The first 1.5 miles seemed slow.  I wanted to get to the Boat Launch and see if it was plowed.  I did and it had been cleared.  I thought I'd go up the hill next though.

This section is a long and gradual hill, following an old railroad bed.  It was challenging to keep running the slight incline with sore legs.  I knew it would be sweet on the way back and that was my motivation to keep on going.

I really wanted to make it to 2.5 miles before heading back.  As I got higher, the scenery was beautiful.  It was snow covered woods below.  There is a road to the Boat Launch, but it is narrow and really it is an old hollow.  That looks neat with all the leaves down and the snow covering everything.  I don't know if I've run this section in the fall, but I bet it is cool when the leaves peak too.

I kept going and going.  I got to 2.5 miles and then 3 miles.  I knew I could handle coming back.  I just had to deal with the constant incline.  I passed a man and later a woman walking. 

Once I got to 3.5 miles, I figured I might as well just head to mile 4.  I crossed the old train bridge over the road and that was basically the turnaround point.  I headed back after 4 miles.

It is somewhat flat and even sloped up a little in the beginning.  I cruised along, checking my pace a little, but not worrying about it.  I finally started going gradually downhill.  That was a huge break for my legs.

I enjoyed the scenery some more.  I passed the woman and the man again.  I was flowing now.  It was good to get to mile 5.  I really focused on mile 6 though, because that would be the Boat Launch.

After cruising downhill, I was finally near the Boat Launch.  The upper path that I had been on was clear, without any water going across the trail.  Now, I had puddles again.

It didn't feel as good to be back on to the flat, but I kept going.  It was only 2 more remaining miles.  I saw a skateboarder and more people walking.  I watched the distance click away.  Eventually, I made it to mile 7.

I thought my watch was clicking off distance too fast.  However, it seems like it was pretty accurate in the end.  I guess I sped up a bit.  I'm sure the downhill helped.  Before I knew it, I was back to Riverview and had completed the 8 mile run.

I was happy to get out there.  The warmth of the day was nice.  It was a productive run.  I need to get myself out there more often.  I want to lose more weight.  That will take some hard work.

Tomorrow, I'm hopeful I'll get to Jim Thorpe.  The plan would be to hike/run Glen Onoko Falls.  That is probably spectacular in the winter time.  I'm sure the path has been well used by now.

8 miles - 1:07:42 (828 pace) 290 feet of elevation gain

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Back in Philly

I went to a concert in Philly this evening.  I added in a running trip too.  I thought about snowshoeing at Wissahickon.  However, running along the Schuylkill on the cleared pavement seemed like an easier option. 

I planned on 5 miles.  I decided to park behind the Art Museum and head south.  I haven't run there in years and there's a cool boardwalk section where the trail goes over the water now.  I wasn't sure if it would be cleared after snow, but figured it would be worth a try.

I wore shorts since it was over 40.  That was great with my shell.  I didn't wear my headband or gloves for long.  It was windy though.  I almost forgot how windy it is along the water.

I ran south.  The plan was to go easy, but the excitement of the big city and running people must've done me in.  I found myself cruising along at a quick clip.  Even with fewer people out than in the summer, I was still feeling like I was being pulled along.

I was surprised when I saw a 7:35 on the first mile.  I didn't think I was moving that fast.  My legs felt good and I continued on.

I was disappointed to find not only was the path to the boardwalk closed, but there was a cop car there with a construction sign.  I was a little over a mile out now.  I had hoped to be farther.  Instead of turning around, I started up a ramp to the street above.  That gave me some elevation.

I headed back down the other side of the ramp and back down to the path.  I'd have to head back to the Art Museum and go out the other way.  It was a little breezy this way.  I was still clicking off a decent pace.  I knew I could sustain this, but it certainly wasn't comfortable.  Then again, it wasn't hard either.

I tried to tell myself to back off a little.  That rarely works to slow me down though, other than maybe slightly slower.  Mile 2 was faster at 7:28.  I got to Boat House row around 2.5 miles.  Only halfway done.

I headed out past those.  Then, I was really exposed to the wind.  I had forgotten just how back this section was.  I ran so many winter loops there over the years and it brought back many memories.

I knew I had to push out.  The plan was to turn around at 3.75.  I passed a couple young women.  There weren't as many attractive ones out as I'm used to.  It seemed like a struggle and I did slow down, but it was great to get to the turnaround point.

I was heading back and tiring a bit.  However, I was glad the wind was now at my back.  I thought I'd be faster, but I wasn't.  A 7:49 mile, with most of it against the wind crushed my chance for a sub 7:30.

Because of that, I slowed down and cruised on in to the finish.  I stopped right after the last boathouse.  It was perfect timing.  It was a pretty good short workout.  It was a little tiring and quicker than I've been doing.

Inspired by that pace, I might do something even quicker tomorrow.  It won't be hard, but maybe I'll go faster for short segment.  It might be more like a fartlek.

5 miles - 38:14 (7:39 pace) 79 feet of elevation gain

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Riverview Snowshoe Run/Hike

I had to get something done today.  My dad wanted XC ski.  We decided to go to Riverview Park and see if they plowed there.  If they did, it would be a regular run.  If not, it would be a snowshoe run.  Nothing was touched.

I headed out ahead of him.  It was almost 40 degrees.  Since I would be kicking up snow though, I couldn't wear shorts.  That was kind of frustrating.

A bunch of people had walked through the trail.  That seemed promising, but I figured it wouldn't last long.  It only lasted to the building next the softball fields.  It was probably just dog walkers.

I ran easy, but it wasn't easy once the tracks were gone.  Suddenly, there were no tracks at all and I was blazing trails.  It was fascinating to see all the animal tracks.  At one point, I did follow deer tracks.

I'd run until I was tired, then I'd hike.  I would tire quite quickly.  At half a mile out, I was determined to make it 1.5 miles out.  It didn't matter how long it took.

It indeed was long.  I saw this brown thing in the distance.  I thought it was an animal.  It took me forever to get there.  Eventually I realized it was a log.  There was a fence there too.

Getting over a mile was great, when it finally happened.  The trail was pretty, with the snow cover and the frozen river too.  If only I wasn't working so hard and could actually enjoy it.

Right near the turn around was the best part of the run.  Two deer ran right across the trail.  I didn't have my camera out and couldn't get it out in time.  There was smoke coming out of a house up above.

I turned around at 1.5 miles.  I stopped because I could see the deer up above.  I watched them for awhile and they watched me.  I got a few photos, but they weren't very good as the deer were hidden in among the trees.

I ran on back.  The first half mile wasn't too bad, but it was still pretty deep out this far.  It was a little easier with my other tracks there now.  There was also one set of footprints.

It was nice to get to mile 2.  However, I now encountered a problem.  My snowshoes don't close properly over my foot.  The front of my foot slid out of the binding.  I couldn't run and even walking was a pain.  There was a giant clump of ice building up in it, below my foot.

I tried to go on.  Then, I found a stick, but the ice wouldn't budge.  I had to keep walking along.  Finally, I was able to break the ice and get the strap back on. 

I was back in business and back to running again.  It was nice to get near the last half mile and stuff that I know.  I still wasn't running much.  It seems like I'd start at a low spot and then run a short distance and the snow would be too high.  I definitely needed more packed down trail.

I mostly just hiked on in.  My right binding then had the same problem and the right foot slipped out of it.  That was so frustrating.  I need to get some velcro straps I think.  I noticed that my dad didn't have any XC ski tracks, as I got close to the path.

I finally saw him and his tracks.  I guess he just went out and back a short distance, over and over again.  I didn't want to ruin his tracks, but I didn't want to make a new path either.  I went over them. 

I tried to take my loose shoe off, but I couldn't.  Instead, I stumbled on in.  I took them off at the end of the trail.  I was soaked and this was an exhausting 3 miles.  It was slow, but I made a path.

Tomorrow, I'm going down to Philly for a concert.  I'll probably run down there.  I might snowshoe run, but more likely, I'll go around the river.  I have not done that loop in some time.  I don't know that I'd be up for all 8 miles of pavement, but maybe.

3 miles - 1:05:55 (21:58 pace) 33 feet of elevation gain

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Neighborhoods With Angie

Of course no surprise, I haven't run in a week.  Yesterday was a blizzard.  It was probably the worst snow we've seen in my lifetime.  Luckily, it ended early on Sunday and the roads were plowed and the driveway cleaned.

I asked Angie where she was running.  I was about to head out, as she still didn't contact me by 3 PM.  However, she said she'd run if she had somewhere to go.  I told her my neighborhoods were fairly clear, lots of black pavement, and we could run there.  She needed 10 miles, so she hustled over.

It was in the 20s when we started, but it seemed warm with the sun out.  I guess I should've worn shorts over my tights, as my legs were red after the run.  I didn't feel that cold.  I had on gloves most of the time and just my shell over a short sleeve shirt.  That was enough.

Since the black path wasn't plowed, she parked at the school and we ran across the road to start.  We drove the first short loop beforehand, so we confirmed the roads were in as good shape as my roads.  The pace was a little slower than my typical runs, so that was a little nice.

We did the short loop and were done with that in no time.  I did look at the watch and realized we still had quite some distance to go though.  I have only run 10 miles once in the last two months.  I'm not used to that much.

We then headed to the main loop.  There weren't too many cars out or many people either.  We were chatting away, so distance was clicking off pretty fast.  That is one thing I love about running with people and especially her.  We talked about running, friends and so many other things.

We went across the road to the hill climb.  That wasn't bad.  Before that, we ran past some kids playing around in the snow.  They looked like they were having fun.  I was enjoying the run and it seemed fairly quick, but it was still only 4.5 miles when I looked down at one point.

At least we were now heading back.  We had a smaller loop to do yet though.  We were cruising along.  Heading into the loop, the conversation really picked up and my mind really wandered.  This loop went by quickly and I really enjoyed Angie listening.  I was probably annoying at some points.

We headed back.  Two women were walking and one of them said their dog wanted to run with us.  I knew we'd be a couple miles short, if we didn't cross the highway and go to the other neighborhood.

We went over there and were chatting even more.  We had a gradual uphill.  I turned us around at the end of the street.  My legs had been starting to hurt around 6.5 miles.  Luckily, I was so in conversation that I kind of blocked it out.  I was starting to chafe a bit though.

The setting sun was a bright red and it was beautiful.  Angie pointed it out and I noticed it too.  We had figured that it would still be somewhat light out when we finished.

We crossed back over the road and headed for home.  I asked her what distance her watch was at and it was 9 miles.  I was a little ahead of that.  We had another small uphill and then went around the block.

I was kind of just making up the route as we went.  It worked out pretty well though, as we were basically at 10 miles at the school.  We stopped and crossed into the parking lot.

It was a great run.  I'll be a little sore now.  Running 10 miles with someone always goes by quickly.  That is especially true with Angie.

Tomorrow, another friend, Melissa and I might go to do some snowshoe running.  High Point State Park in New Jersey grooms their trails.  Neither of us have run much on snowshoes, so that should be fun.  I look forward to more snow covered trail runs too.

10.06 miles - 1:32:50 (9:14 pace) 244 feet of elevation gain

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Hawk Mountain AT Run

Yesterday, I wanted to get to Hawk Mountain to run the AT.  It didn't happen, but I went there and Cabela's this afternoon.  It was the third straight day of running.  The plan was to do an out and back to Dan's Pulpit.  It looked to be over 3.5 miles out.  I tried to find a parking lot near the Eckville Shelter, but I had no luck.  I joined about 5-7 other cars along the side of the road, near the shelter.

It was a cold day, just above freezing.  It was cloudy and snow flurries came down during the run.  I had on winter gear, including a ColdGear on top and a jacket over it.  That was good for hiking portions of the run, but it was too hot while running.

I was heading toward Dan's Pulpit because the other direction is toward The Pinnacle.  I've already been there a couple times.  I didn't see anyone else on the trail early on and realized that most people were heading the other way.

There were a few rocks early on, but the trail was very runnable.  It was slightly uphill, but also rolling.  I ran most of the first mile to mile and a half.  There were a few wet spots and streams on the trail.  I had my new lightweight trekking poles with me, ready for the climb. 

Around 1.5 miles, the trail got slightly steeper.  However, it was kind of frustrating.  It was probably runnable, but just steep enough that it wasn't worth the effort to do so.  I ended up hiking a lot.  I knew there would be a lot of elevation here, but I thought it would be shorter and steeper, not so gradual.  It's kind of like going out to Pulpit Rock from the Hamburg Reservoir.

Somewhere near mile 2, the trail got more rocky.  Then, the trail turned to the left and really began climbing the mountain.  My watch was having issues and switching displays constantly.  I didn't see any white blazes for some time and I was wondering if I was even going the right way.  Then, I found a couple of them.

This climb was steep.  Then, it was on to the ridge and still at least a mile of ridge running to Dan's Pulpit.  There was some slight uphill that I ended up hiking.  There were a few snow flurries and some ice, but it wasn't too bad this high up.

Around mile 3, things got very rocky.  It was the type of huge boulders that you couldn't even run on.  I had to hike and nearly slipped once or twice.  Even my poles didn't help much.

I got to Dan's Pulpit in the rocky section.  It was much closer than I expected, probably because I started closer to it.  There's a nice view there and also a mailbox that was put up there.  The view would be much better on a clear day.

I hiked over the rocky stuff a little farther out.  I was hoping to find the "Welcome to Rocksylvania" sign.  I had no luck.  I'm not exactly sure where it is supposed to be.

I thought I heard some people and even a dog.  I assumed they were coming from the other direction.  However, the group came from behind me when I got back to Dan's Pulpit.  These were the first people of the day.  I didn't stay long at the overlook.

I was at 3.55 miles now and heading back toward my car.  I knew it would be a lot more fun heading back.  It was pretty runnable and mostly downhill.  I ran along, but bashed my toe pretty bad on one rock.  I was just glad that the rock plate saved me from more damage.

I cruised around the ridge.  I then got to the split with the trail to the Hawk Mountain Sanctuary.  Right around there, I came behind some hikers also heading down.  I yelled to them, so that I could pass.  Then, there were a couple more.  They were all Asian, so I figured it was a big group.  I must've passed about 15 of them.  This part was steep, but fun.  One guy was waiting near the turn, so I was glad I didn't miss it.

Next, it was a couple miles of mostly downhill running.  I made it to mile 5 and eventually mile 6.  Right around that point, I came to a couple that were building a fire in a fire pit next to the trail.  They had an unleashed dog and he barked and growled at me.  I walked past, but he wouldn't leave me alone.  I went from running to walking and they finally got him on a leash when I stopped moving.

I crossed a couple footbridges and ran again.  This part had evergreens and was pretty.  Some of the end was slightly uphill and I simply decided to hike a lot of it.  I got back to my car to finish up over 6.5 miles.

As I was at my car, a charter bus drove up to the side of the road.  I assume it was picking up all of the Asians behind me.  I hope the growling dog liked them more than me.

It was a fun day.  It was good to explore something new.  If I could do that every day, I'd enjoy running much more.  I need to try to get to different places I guess.  I need to lose weight too, so this was a good workout.  It was great to run for the third straight day.

I don't know if I'll make it 4 in a row or not.  I might doing nothing tomorrow or maybe I'll hike.  It will be a matter of what I feel like.  Really, I just take it day by day now.

6.55 miles - 1:41:01 (15:25 pace) 1,183 feet of elevation gain    

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Chillier Than Anticipated

I actually decided to run for a second straight day.  It was only a short 5 miler around the neighborhood, but even that is rare.  I wanted to go Hawk Mountain, but it was too far away and we were going to dinner.  I couldn't take a chance.

The weather forecast showed mid 40s.  Rather than a jacket, I just went with a long sleeve shirt and shorts.  It was worse than I expected.  It didn't appear to be windy, but one direction was super breezy.  It was also cloudy, so that didn't help.  I didn't need more clothes, but it did make my eyes water.

I started off at the elementary school.  Some kids were playing hoops behind it.  That is a rarity these days.  I was in the other neighborhood in no time.  I wasn't hurting at all, but I sure felt fat and slow today.  I plodded along.

Even small hills make me work quite a bit these days.  The one in the other neighborhood did today.  I was going into the chilly headwind then too.  That was tough, but I battled on.

It was good to finish a mile, but a long way to go.  I sputtered along.  Getting to the downhill and having the wind at my back was excellent.  Now, I was almost too hot, as I headed to the industrial park.

I ran there and to the end of it.  I looped around the building, as I often do.  I was around 2.1 miles now.  I'd definitely need to add on a bit to get to mile 5.

I knew coming back would be the worst part and it was.  I went in the neighborhood for a short bit.  That seemed to block a little of the wind and some of the hill climb.  However, I was still going up the hill into the wind in no time.

Once I got past that, it was a cruise downhill with wind at my back.  I was around 3.5 miles.  I figured I'd probably have to add about half a mile at the end.

I got back to the school and the kids were still out there.  I then ran the loop around the parking lot.  The lot was busy.  I guess they had some basketball games going on.  That's where I used to play and I miss those days.

As I reached my neighborhood, I had 3/10 of a mile to go.  I finished the shortest loop.  I was calculating my pace and figured that I was now under an 8:15.  It didn't feel that fast, that is for sure.

I had to go a little past my house.  I finished up a block away, at mile 5.  I walked back to finish off the run.  It wasn't the best run.  Most of my runs suck now.  However, I got out there for a second straight day.  That is rare.

Even more rare would be if I run again tomorrow, as I plan.  I hope I can make it up to Hawk Mountain.  I'll also go to Cabela's to shop, if I do that.  I need some camping gear.  That run would be about 8 miles on the AT, if I take the route I want.  I'm hoping to see a cool sign and also a mailbox on the trail.

5 miles - 41:01 (8:13 pace) 53 feet of elevation gain

Friday, January 15, 2016

First Leaser Lake Run

I always like going to new places.  I wanted to that today, but the trick was that I didn't want to travel.  I opted for the trail around Leaser Lake, in northwest Lehigh County.  I had been in the area, but never actually there.

There is a loop around the lake.  It was supposed to be 4 miles, so I figured that would be perfect for my current pathetic running state.  I had not run since Monday.  My dad went with me to hike and hangout.

It was pretty warm, in the 40s.  I went with shorts, short sleeves with a shell over top.  I was sweating quite a bit at the end.  At times, it was sunny and other times cloudy.  I decided to run in a counterclockwise direction from the north end parking area.

The trail had blue markings and a lot of them early, as I started from the shore.  The trail quickly went back into the woods.  This section was fun and pretty, even with all the leaves gone.  It had some rocks, a little mud and a couple streams crossings.  My feet got a little wet.  This was one of the best sections, but it didn't last too long.

After a bridge over a stream, it was a short climb to an open field part.  Most of the run was around open fields, along the lake.  These were a little tricky, because there was a slope and it was a little muddy.  I'd slip at times and the angle made it hard to run on.  I saw my dad on a bench across the lake and I waved to him.

I realized that the mountain was behind me and the view would be awesome if I was running the other direction.  Maybe I'll try that next time.  I really did like this trail, despite it being a lot of open fields and pretty flat.  I knew coming in that it should be very runnable, so I was happy about that.

The lake has almost fingerlike coves to it.  I went around one of those.  I had been wondering about it before, because it seemed like I was close to the dam.  I had to loop around one of the fingers.  After that, was the worst muddy, banked section.

Eventually, I got to the dam.  I know they want to build a bridge over the spillway.  When looking at a map earlier, it looked like you could run over the water if you went down farther.  There was a guy walking his dog and I passed him.  I guess I should've asked him where to go.

I ran down, but eventually came to a house, with a bunch of cars.  I couldn't tell if this was an actual house or a park office.  I didn't want to chance it, even though I could've run over the roads without touching water.

Instead, I tried to figure out how to get over the spillway.  It was wide but got narrower.  The problem was that I had to go through some woods.  I found a small path.  The water was still wider and deeper than I wanted.  There was ice on the edges.  I didn't want to turn around or go through the yard, so this was my only option.

I ran through the cold, thigh deep water.  It wasn't too bad actually.  I'm used to creek crossings and it was only in the 40s today.  I've been through worse, even if I did have wet feet.  After that, I had to climb up the dam.  That was a hike and one of the only times I wasn't running.

After that, it was back to more field like running.  I cruised along, although I was getting kind of tired.  It definitely wasn't hilly, but a little more challenging than I expected.  I saw a couple cool deer.  One guy was fishing on the shore and a couple was walking their dogs.  It was mostly quiet though.

There was more running along fields and rolling hills.  It was good to finally get to mile 3 and at 3.1, I took my watch off and carried it.  I was getting a little bored of the fields, so I was kind of glad that I was nearly done.

Eventually, I came to a road.  The trail went on it briefly, but then back into the woods.  This was near where we came in, so I knew where I was.  I ran along this second wooded part.  This was quite fun and super rocky.  it was wet too, with a bunch of small streams.  I hopped over them.

When I came out of the woods, I saw my dad walking along the lake.  I ran back to my car.  I was over 4.25 miles and under a 10 minute pace.  It was a fun little run.

This is too far to come regularly, but it is a charming little place to run.  It would be an awesome place for a loopy run or timed event.  Maybe I'll put one together in the future.  It sure could be hot in the summer.  I wouldn't mind doing a picnic.

I hope to run tomorrow.  If I can get up, I'll go to the BCR group run.  It has been awhile.  I could run with Angie and Nicole there.  They are going to run along the D&L in Easton.  I do like that part.  I'm thinking 6 miles would be good.

4.3 miles - 42:32 (9:54 pace) 121 feet of elevation gain

Monday, January 11, 2016

Windy Lehigh Gap with Angie

Last week, I drove through Lehigh Gap several times.  I haven't been on trails in weeks, but this gave me the itch to run there.  I love the trails there and wanted to share them with someone.  I asked Angie (since she's never been there) and we planned to run there today.

The weather has been great temperature wise lately, but today that wasn't the case.  It was cold (near freezing) and windy.  I was thrilled that the sun was out.  I really wanted to wear shorts, but knowing we'd be hiking some, I couldn't get myself to do it.  Looking back, I probably could have.  My gloves and headband went on and off.

We started off right by the parking lot.  I wanted to run my usual route, but we didn't have time.  I needed to show her the open ridge though, so we headed toward the Appalachian Trail and then straight up.  It is quite rocky early on.  Since Angie is marathon training, she hung back a little and took it easy.

Almost right at the AT junction, I began hiking and so did she.  It is kind of runnable, but takes too much effort.  Then, it gets very rocky.  We got to the AT shelter and she didn't know what it was, because she didn't even realize we were on the AT.

We had passed a hiker earlier and he warned me about running back down.  I knew it would be no problem though.  We saw another hiker coming down near the shelter.  Other than that, we saw no other people.  We had the trails to ourselves.

After the AT, we turned and climbed on the blue blazed North Trail to the top.  I haven't done elevation in some time, so this climb hurt.  My legs were fine, but my lower back is often an issue on the first steep climb.  I was past the point where this place wasn't an issue with it, but that is apparently no longer the case with all the time off lately.  The soreness even caused me to stop briefly.

I decided to lead us on a short detour to the Devil's Pulpit.  It is a rock outcrop with a view.  When I got there, I realized that I lost Angie.  I knew she was tying her shoe, but I thought she caught up.  Instead, she lost me a bit.  I found her and we went down.  My camera and her phone were dead, so we didn't take a photo.

We climbed back up over the rocks.  This was hiking.  Soon, we'd be ridge running.  We went back on the blue blazed trail.  There is some early moderate uphill and Angie fell back.

It was nice back in the woods, but it became miserable when we hit the open ridgeline.  It was super windy and cold.  I felt kind of bad.  Angie was back a little, as I went at my own pace.  Every now and then, I let her catch back up.

The view from the exposed ridgeline never disappoints.  It is much more amazing though, when the plants are alive.  It is stunning in the fall.  I'll have to set up a run back there.

A few times, we stopped for the view.  There were a couple short hiking climbs too.  I pointed out the Lehigh Tunnel and the turnpike.  I think Angie enjoyed the run, but better weather would've definitely helped.

We went past the bones of a fairly large animal along the trail.  That is interesting.  I saw it last time.  Finally, we made it to the communication towers.  We were also now back into the woods and much less wind.

We were still on the blue blazed trail, but not for long.  At the intersection of the AT, I told Angie to lead.  I wanted to go slower.  It was also great, because we talked much more.  At least I liked that.  I don't know about her, maybe for a bit.  Good thing it was only about 2 miles.  She was looking for 6 miles and I realized we'd be close to that.

The AT is a gradual descent for awhile.  There are some early rocks, but it is pretty runnable.  Angie had trouble twisting her ankle.  This would plague me later on.  She signed up for the Worlds End 50K, so she will have to get a little used to the terrain.

Eventually, we got near the shelter again.  This part is fun, because it is steep and technical.  Angie let me go by, as she could sense I wanted to fly down it.

I did cruise on down.  I commented later how I move pretty fast on technical stuff now and yet I'd still get passed at that speed during a race.  I don't understand how some folks can do it.

Angie hiked down a lot more of this than me.  I ran for awhile, but then twisted the ankle.  I had to hike.  It kept bothering me on some of the rocks.

Angie caught up and we headed back.  We were off the AT and somehow I took a wrong turn again.  I've done that a few times.  We ended up back on the AT and had to climb down along the bridge.  Then, it was stone running back in to the Lehigh Gap Nature Center.  Angie ran a little more to get the distance to 6 miles.

It was great to run at Lehigh Gap again.  It was awesome to share the experience with a friend.  I love taking people to new trails.  I think she enjoyed it, but hopefully next time we'll have better weather.

6.13 miles - 1:35:58 (15:40 pace) 1267 feet of elevation

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Short Mill Race Park Run

After not running for over 10 days, I made it back to back runs.  With 6 miles yesterday, I wanted even less today.  I decided to make it a late afternoon run at Mill Race Park.

It rained earlier in the day.  It was another miserable, 40 degree or so day.  That said, it was still warm enough for the same attire as yesterday.  I had on shorts, a short sleeve shirt and shell. 

I started off heading toward Tatamy.  The legs had an immediate "ouch" factor.  The upper quads were very sore.  I hoped it would get better, but it didn't.

I passed another runner heading the other way.  I just cruised along.  The pace was slow, but I was moving.  It might've been nice along the creek, if it wasn't so dreary out.

I figured the best way to do the planned 4 miles was one mile out and back in each direction.  I went past the end of the path and to the park.  I headed along the road just briefly and turned around.  It was now back toward Mill Race Park.

This mile back was uneventful.  It was still slow and the soreness didn't end.  I just moved along.  It was good to get back to the park, but really I needed the run to end.

I headed the other direction, toward Penn Pump Park.  There were more people on this part of the trail.  I saw a guy walking a cute, little dog.  I said "hi" to it.  I later passed some people looking over a foot bridge. 

I was really struggling with the soreness.  I knew I had to get a mile out though.  Finally, I did.  Still, I was slogging along.

Heading back was tough too.  I just looked at my watch over and over.  I saw two women running.  One had shorts on.  I was glad to see that someone else actually running in shorts.  She was the only other one all day. 

I passed the dog again right before the park.  I ran on the trail along the park.  I then finished up at mile 4 and walked back to the car.

It was good to be done with the run.  It wasn't a great run, but I finished it.  With the soreness, I guess I have to be careful how much I run.

I won't run tomorrow.  However, I'm hoping to run with Angie on Monday.  It would be great to get back on the trail.

4 miles - 34:57 (8:44 pace) 56 feet of elevation gain

Friday, January 8, 2016

First Run of 2016

I finally had the desire to run for the first time in 2016.  I didn't realize that I had not run since December 27th.  I would've run earlier in the week, but I developed a cold.  I didn't want to make that worse.

The plan was to run 6 miles.  It was around 3:30 PM, so I didn't have time for or the desire for more.  I wanted something easy, but also something that is sort of trail.  I opted for the D&L starting at the Route 33 Boat Launch.  I would head toward Freemansburg.

It was cloudy and finally a winter like day.  I've been used to running in super warm.  That said, it was still probably above average, as it was about 40 degrees.  I was able to continue running in shorts.  I wore a short sleeve shirt with a shell over it.  I had on a headband, but that was short lived.

I headed out feeling okay.  It was weird running for the first time in so long.  It would've been nice along the river, if only the sun was out.  I do like the scenery in this section, but there is a lot of sameness to it, so it can get old quickly.

I noticed some prints in the soft ground.  They went for a bit.  I could not tell if it was a dog or an animal.  It seemed to take awhile just to get to mile 1.  I was hoping for 3 miles out and 3 more back, but clicking off distance was a real struggle today.  It was a slow go.

I saw a woman with a couple dogs.  I passed a guy walking too.  There were a few people out, but not many.  I looked at the river some.  There wasn't much activity though.  I later did see some pretty white girls on it.  Some noisy ones were overhead as well.  I'm glad I wasn't pooped on.

Farmersville Road seemed to take forever to get to.  It was around mile 2, so that was good.  I continued to cruise along.  The air was slightly cold, at least compared to my latest runs.  I had some difficulty breathing.  It would've been a real issue if I was running hard.

I couldn't remember the distances on this path, since it has been so long.  I figured it to be about 4 miles to Freemansburg.  I was probably correct, as I turned around well short of there, at mile 3.  I noticed a lot of roots on the trail were painted (probably from the VIA Marathon).

It was good to be heading back.  I didn't feel strong, but I was okay.  I was just moving forward was about all I could say.  I started thinking of some things and ended up getting depressed.  Some people get better mentally from a run.  For me, it doesn't do much.

I was startled by a biker who called out to me.  I let him pass.  I passed the walker again later on.  Most of the time, I had the trail to myself.  It was good to get to mile 4.

Two more miles wasn't much, but at my slow pace, it seemed long.  I thought I was running a quicker pace than I actually was.  I calculated wrong in my head.  That was no big deal though, as I was in no hurry.

It was great when I could see the Route 33 Bridge in sight.  I was startled by what I guess was a bird feeder in a tree next to the trail.  It was a turkey one.  At first, I thought perhaps it was a real turkey.  I did think that that would be odd to see in a tree though.

It's funny because I now often look for cool places off trail and high up.  Some time, I want to meditate in places like this.  Maybe I will do so in the summer.  I did find a cool rock up high today.

I got to the bridge overhead around 5.5 miles.  I figured I'd get back to my car very close to mile 6.  It turns out that I couldn't be closer.  I had one last uphill at the boat launch.  I got to the car then at mile 5.99.

This wasn't a great run or a terrible run.  It was just a run.  It was kind of good to get out there for the first time in awhile.  I'm sure not energized by it though.

Maybe I need to get back on some trails.  It has been some time since I've done a trail run.  I'm hoping for one with Angie on Monday.  I'm considering traveling to a new trail somewhere tomorrow.  We'll see where the energy level is.

6 miles - 50:11 (8:22 pace) 108 feet of elevation gain