Wednesday, March 30, 2016

AT - Stairway to Heaven/Pinwheel Vista and Pochuck Boardwalk

My leg really started to bother me a lot after last Monday's run.  I ended up not running for over a week, as I tried to recover.  I probably would've run earlier in the week, but it was hard to get out there in crappy weather.  Today, it was beautiful.

I didn't work, so I had to take advantage.  I wanted something new and needed to travel.  I decided to head to the AT near Vernon, New Jersey.  This is a very popular section, but I figured it wouldn't be bad on a Wednesday afternoon in March.  I was sure wrong!  It took forever to drive the 70 miles (without any highway) and I arrived to maybe 15-20 cars in the lot.  I found a spot though.

Although the temperatures were nice, it was a little breezy.  All I had were short sleeves and shorts.  I got out of the car and worried I didn't have enough on.  When running though, it worked out fine and I was sweating a lot actually.

I parked at Route 94 because I wanted to make sure to climb the Stairway to Heaven to Pinwheel Vista.  I wasn't sure how far that would be from the other parking area.  There were plenty of people out hiking, even early on.

The climb is a little intimidating because you can see the mountain in front of you at the start.  It is a pretty open area where you begin.  It's a beautiful, easy and smooth singletrack.  That doesn't last though.

About a half mile in or so, the rocks begin.  They are boulders in a lot of parts.  I ran over some, but ended up doing a lot of hiking up.  I'm rusty and my breathing was labored.  The climb itself actually wasn't too bad.  The trail has switchbacks that are fairly long.  Without the rocks, it might be runnable, but it would be a challenge still for sure.  At least it isn't straight up.

I passed plenty of people hiking down the trail.  Sometimes, it was a little tricky finding the blazes.  They are on trees.  The trail is well worn, but that doesn't matter on super rocky stretches.  I was able to run a lot of the flat parts in between switchbacks. 

It was a slow climb anyway.  I took some photos too.  Most of it wasn't steep, but there was a quite steep section near the top.  This seemed like the Stairway to Heaven part.  There are rocks laid out like stairs through this part and some earlier ones too.  Then, near the top, there is a fun ridge with a rock wall on the top side.  I ran there.

I was happy to get to the top.  It was less than 1.5 miles in.  I had ascended about 900 feet.  There is a blue blazed side trail and sign to the view.  I got to the view and it was CROWDED.  There was almost no room for me.  A lot of young people were there, specifically girls.  I'm guessing maybe the local schools had an extended spring break.

Since I didn't have this area to myself, I didn't stay long.  A boy's dog barked at me too.  I took a couple photos and videos and was on my way.  Since I wasn't quite to the top yet, I continued on the AT.  I figured I'd at least stay on it until it descended to the other side of the mountain.

At the top, I found an old mailbox and a side trail to an old view.  I decided to take it.  It was some fun ridge running.  I came across a dad hiking with his son and dog.  They were the only people on the ridge.  I went out near mile 2.

I never did find the view.  I didn't want to continue too far though.  I found a cool stone wall and a murky pond.  I turned around and headed back.  I was a little hot and tired now.  The trees have no shade yet this time of year.

I didn't stop at the view this time.  I now had the rocky descent.  Some young girls were impressed to see me running down it.  I did have to hike some of the iffy parts.  The steepest part was a little hairy, even hiking down.  I managed though.

Tons of people were coming up as I headed down.  I passed a family going down too.  The one young girl actually tripped.  I ran on by them.  I passed a few others too.

I caught up to the kid with the barking dog on the flat part.  They eventually let me pass.  I got back to the parking area at mile 4.  I wanted to go out the other way.

This are has a little bit of everything.  Directly across the road was a cow pasture.  The trail goes right through it.  There are these steps to walk over the fence.  I saw these in West Virginia, but there were no cows there at the time.

The cows were out in full force.  Going through their territory was a new experience.  There are boards to walk over.  One of them walked in front of me.  A bunch of people were in this area too.  I didn't think they would chase me, but I didn't want to run.

About halfway through the pasture, two women had stopped.  There was an adult on one side of the boards and a calf on the other side and they wouldn't move.  I didn't feel like going between them either.  I also didn't want to wait for them to move.  I walked through the muddy water (probably poop filled too).  I had my new trail shoes on and this was their first mess.

I got through the field.  The trail then goes over some railroad tracks.  After that is more cool sections.  There are more boards over some swampy stuff.  A group of teens were hiking here.

After a bit, it was into the woods for a little.  This had some beautiful singletrack.  I had to get to 5.5 miles before turning around.  I wanted to run 7 miles total.

As I got near 5.5 miles though, I came to the next cool section, the Pochuck Boardwalk.  It is a raised and curved boardwalk over the swamp.  Most of it was dry today.  It was cool to run on this.  After that was a raised bridge over a creek.  This is a unique feature too.

There was one more bridge to cross.  I stopped to look at that right before mile 6.  There were a bunch of turtles in the water.  Someone said these kids had counted 38 of them.  I took a couple photos and was on my way.

Near mile 6, I turned and headed back.  I ran along.  There were a couple short hills, but most of this stretch was flat.  I was happy to get to mile 7.

At one point, I saw this family hiking.  The little girl's mom saw me and encouraged her to run so I wouldn't catch her.  It was funny and cute.  Eventually, I passed them all.  I got back to the cow pasture and took some video.  Most of the cows were away from the boards now. 

I finished up just past my car.  I was over 8 miles.  It was a fun and productive run.  If I had new trails to run, I'd never be bored.  My leg felt fairly good too.  I think I'll still limit myself to 3 days of running for the next week or two.  I'll build back up.

I definitely won't run tomorrow.  I hope on Friday to get on more trails.  I might run Saturday too.  I'll see how my leg responds to things.  The weather is supposed to get colder again, I think over the weekend.

8.02 miles - 2:09:36 (16:09 pace) 1290 feet of elevation gain

Monday, March 21, 2016

New Route at South Mountain

Yesterday had crappy weather.  I used it as my off day.  Today wasn't much of an improvement, but I needed to get out there.  I thought about trying a new AT section, but couldn't find anything without a billion rocks.  I wanted to get on trails, so I headed over to South Mountain (Lehigh) in the late afternoon.  I haven't run over there in some time.  The plan was for 10 miles.

As I said, the weather was a mess.  It was a mix of sun and clouds.  The temperatures were in the upper 40s.  However, the wind was just brutal.  It made it feel below freezing at times.  I went with shorts and that was okay.  I had my shell on top.  That helped battle the wind.  Some times, I was hot, others I was comfortable.  My headband and gloves came off very early.

I figured I'd probably do two loops, although I wasn't excited about that.  I cruised on down the early hills and over the rocks.  At one turn, 6 deer ran away.  I don't think I've ever seen that many at once.  One of them looked kind of sickly. 

I ran along and crossed the road.  I wouldn't say I felt great or terrible at this point.  Then, the first hill came.  I used to be able to run up this, but I didn't want to risk it today.  I haven't been doing much elevation.  Short climbs even get my breathing labored now.  That's the case with the cold air like today as well.

At the top, I headed into the woods.  Again, there was another uphill.  I hiked most of the way up this.  It would be a slow pace and a long day for sure.  I was kind of enjoying myself.  Slightly better weather would've been nice.  I also can't wait for the trees to bloom.  That will be pretty.

After the hill, I saw a turn off to the left.  I think we ran this part in the Runner's World Trail race.  I don't normally take it, but I thought I'd give it a try.  It could at mileage hopefully and give me some new adventure.  It would also eliminate the need for a second loop, if I did enough distance.

It came out at the disc golf course.  I saw two guys playing.  This was the only time I saw any people, other than in cars.  There was another option to turn left.  I took it.

I wanted to wrap around the mountain.  I was successful doing that.  However, I didn't really want to go downhill.  There was quite a bit of downhill.  I knew I'd have to come back up.  At least my pace was getting faster.

Some parts here were a little tricky to follow.  There were a lot of leaves.  I guess I wasn't on the main trail.  Then, I came to a clearer path.  Eventually, I started to see some houses.  I knew the end of the mountain was near.

That meant climbing up and up.  I was already exhausted, so I didn't even try to run.  This was a smooth switchback and likely a lot of fun on a mountain bike.  One thing I don't like with mountain bike trails is they curve all ways and go up and down (for fun I guess).  Hiking trails typically take a more direct path.

There were some tree stands in this area.  I don't know if they were for hunting or what.  It was weird.  I came to the end of the trail and to some houses.  Before them, I turned to the disc golf area and the pavilion.  I think I was around 3 to 3.5 miles now.

I followed the pavement out to the road and then turned on the old pavement.  I connected back up with my normal route shortly after that.  I then crossed the road and headed to the technical part.

This was kind of a fun downhill.  However, I sure was beat.  I cruised through it and then out over the old bridge.  I decided to turn and go through the art garden.  This has some weird art pieces in the woods.

When I did a group run years ago, we went through this part.  However, I wandered around a bit and found no way out.  That was too bad, as I was hoping for a loop.  Instead, I turned back around.  At least I had some extra distance.

I decided to run the other part of what would've been a loop.  This has some climbing and goes in and out.  It is kind of fun and kind of annoying.  After snaking everywhere, I came out behind the old TV building.  One day, I'm going to run to the star.  I don't know if you can do that directly.  I must've been very close to it when the trail ended.

I headed back.  At least I could run downhill now.  I came out the road and headed to the overlook.  I crossed the road and was back on my normal route.

I cruised along the runnable stuff.  However, as I was well over mile 6, I was quite beat.  I hiked some of the uphill and ran other parts.  I'd have a decision to make at the fork at the top of the hill.

Finally, I got there around 7.5 miles.  I took a right and the short way back.  This run was going slower than I anticipated and I felt like crap.  Sure, I could've pushed through two more miles, but that was kind of pointless.

I got to the pavement.  I ran very slowly on up the hill.  I got back to my car almost right at 8 miles.  I may have got to 10 miles if I went the other way, but this was good enough for now.

It sure was a chilly day and my body felt like real crap.  I don't know if it was the elevation, the windy weather, the cough medicine I took last night or something else.  Whatever the case, I was very off today.  At least I put in some mileage.

Tomorrow, I need to run again.  Going 12 miles would sure be nice.  I'm not sure where at though.  Hopefully more trails, as my legs are still a problem.  I really, really need to work on their recovery.

8 miles - 1:45:42 (13:13 pace) 1,076 feet of elevation gain

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Weak Week

I knew it would be a struggle to find time to run this week.  I didn't think it would be as bad as it was though.  I didn't run yesterday and only had 25 miles coming into today.  Almost was going to watch basketball instead of running, but the only game on was terrible.  I didn't have a lot of time, so I headed to Jacobsburg for 5 miles.

It was fairly chilly out today.  Still, I wore shorts.  On the top, I wore my shell.  I was sweating a bit by the end, but overall somewhat comfortable.

I wanted to park in the far lot and run around Sober's Run.  That lot was full though.  Instead, I went to the main lot.  Since I was there, I'd run Henry's Woods and then up to the open field section.

I cruised along, feeling decent early.  It was nice along the creek.  I passed a family of walkers early on.  There were a lot of walkers and dog walkers today.

I didn't look at my watch until .98 miles into it.  I ran up the hill.  My breathing was labored, even though I was going easy.  I battled on up the climb.  There were a couple dogs near the top.

It was kind of a slow go though.  My shin was bothering me a bit.  The softer trail surface did help, but I'm still sore.  The next time I looked at my watch, it was only 1.8 miles.

At least most of the way back toward the lot was downhill.  I moved along.  I didn't care much for the open field, other than when I could see the AT's mountain.  I got back near the main lot after 3.5 miles.

I needed more miles, so I climbed up behind the new building.  That uphill was tough.  I kept running though.  I couldn't wait until the ridge.  Things got much better on that part.

I had fun running over all the roots and on the soft trail.  My legs felt good again.  I wish this section was longer.  I got to mile 4 and headed to the other side of the creek.

I took my watch off and ran on back.  There were some more dogs along the path.  They always seemed to want to either run with me or attack me.  Before I knew it, I was back to the end of the Henry's Woods path.  I was a bit over 5 miles when finished.

I was glad to get out there and get something done.  I wish my shin would get better.  I guess rest could help, but I don't want to rest.  I'll have to see about getting on more trails.  If I could run softer surfaces, that could be a big plus.

Tomorrow, I'd like to run somewhere.  I'm going to watch at 5K in the afternoon, so I have to run before or after that.  I'd like to go to Trexler.  A solid 11 miles there would be nice.  It should be chilly again too.

5.1 miles - 47:41 (9:21 pace) 345 feet of elevation gain

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Calorie Burner

I went back and forth on whether or not to run today.  It was chilly and cloudy at times.  It switched between that and sunny.  Combined with NCAA basketball on TV, it was tough to get outside.  Since the sun was shining after supper, I quickly headed out the door.

It was still a little chilly.  However, shorts and short sleeves were good enough.  I had a visor on too and that was soaked by the end.

I had to leave right after eating, so I knew it wouldn't be a fast run.  Basically, I just wanted to get out there and burn calories.  I only had about an hour and a half of daylight left.  I planned to run the main loop around Jacobsburg.

I didn't start at the main lot.  Instead, I began at the far away lot.  That would mean I'd hit the powerline very early.  I went up that nice and slow.  Even with that, my breathing was still labored.  It was nice to be done with the toughest climb early.

I cruised on the downhill.  I was still moving slow though.  The pad in my shoe bothered me, so I stopped briefly to take it out.  This section of trail is still washed out from the storm a few weeks ago.

My legs weren't as bad as yesterday, but not great either.  The left shin was bothering me throughout.  The terrain of the trail was helping with it some though.  It was good to hit mile 2.

I headed toward the road on the flat part.  I saw a family walking the other way.  The older kid had on a Blair Wrestling shirt.  I made it out to the road and headed toward the main lot.

I just kept taking it easy and cruised along.  I didn't look at my watch too much.  It was good to get to the main lot and then on the Henrys Woods path.  A few walkers were out.  The trails weren't too crowded this evening though.

I ran along still not feeling great or terrible.  The uphills were a little bit of a battle.  I had one after leaving the main path.  I kept going.  After the road crossing, I hit the halfway point at mile 3.

I ran some more slight uphill.  I don't know how, but I couldn't remember the order of the different parts of these sections.  It was weird because I've run here so much.

It was nice to cruise downhill.  I then hit mile 4.  These last 2 miles would have a lot more singletrack.  That was great because the dirt was softer.  It did help my shins.

I had some fun going over the rocks and the three road crossings.  I was confused at their order too.  I didn't care much for the small hills, but I got over them.  I had to stop earlier at a road crossing, but I didn't have to stop at either of these. 

It was good to be over all the roads and good to be in the final mile.  I cruised along.  Most of the rest of the route was easy.  I wasn't running hard at all, but was fairly happy with the pace I was laying down.  I just wanted to be done with the run in under an hour.

I came to the finish a little quicker than I thought I would.  I crossed the bridge and finished up.  The loop was just over 6 miles.

It wasn't a fast or long run.  It was good to get myself out there to run.  It was also good to burn some calories.  I probably burned off my dinner.

This week will probably continue to be light.  I hope to run again tomorrow.  There is more basketball to watch.  I also need to have my legs recover some more.  Maybe I can hit more trails to do that.

6.08 miles - 59:13 (9:45 pace) 378 feet of elevation gain

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Beat Up Body Run

I thought I'd be fresh for today's run.  After all, I have only put up 7 miles in the three days to start the week.  Today, the plan was for 12 miles.  I went to the Ironton Rail Trail around dinner time.  It turns out I was anything but fresh.

It was cloudy most of the run.  Apparently a big system came through the area, but somehow missed us.  I only saw a few drops on the way to the start.  I wore shorts and short sleeves.  I could've actually had on even less.

I parked in the main lot off of Chestnut Street.  The plan was to do two loops and add the extra mileage to get to mile 12.  The trail was busy with activity.  I could never even begin to count the number of runners, dog walkers and bikers.  When I started, a safety patrol guy on a bike road by.

I thought I'd feel okay today.  However, the start made it clear that today would be rough.  I started having some early soreness around my kneecap.  I have not felt that recently.  At least it went away.  It was also helpful that I started off downhill.

It wasn't long and I was to the flat part along the river.  A dirtbike was nearby at one point.  That part was an early struggle.  The calf area was sore.  I think I have shin splints there.  I forgot to stretch beforehand.  It might be time for some new shoes too.

I tried to enjoy the run.  I think the nearby rain made it a bit humid.  I was sweating a lot and struggling to breathe.  My pace was easy too.  I didn't bother looking at my watch much.  I knew how long the loop was.  The first time I saw it was 2.88 miles.

I ran on.  When I got to mile 4, it was a real struggle.  I was hurting and could not believe I still had 8 miles to do.  I wasn't sure how I'd do it, but I'd just keep moving.  The legs were awful though.

After crossing the roads, I finally got to the spur trail at mile 5.  I decided I'd run to the end of the Whitehall Parkway before going back.  There is some cool history stuff that I should stop and check out sometime.  Today, I ran along and through it.  I ended up needing to get about .7 miles out.  When I got to the road crossing, it was .68 miles out.  That's basically perfect.

I turned and headed back.  It was great to finally get past the halfway point.  Still, I was ONLY at the halfway point.  I trudged up the hill slowly and got back to my car to complete the first loop.  I was around 6.7 miles now.  I didn't stop at the car.

I'm not sure how long I could've kept going on sore legs.  Luckily, they actually started to feel better around this time.  I ran the second loop clockwise too.  That started me off with a nice downhill.  I think that that direction is harder though.

I tried not to look at my watch too much.  It was nice to get to mile 8, but I had a long way to go.  The part along the river was a real struggle.  It just felt like I was grinding slowly uphill.  My legs were a mess.  I pushed on.  I got to mile 9 and then mile 10.

I knew I'd get some boost as I left the isolated section and headed toward the houses.  I just focused on the next mile.  I felt better for a little, then started to slip again.  I was definitely slowing.  Prior to that, I was happy with the pace.  Eventually, I made it to mile 11.

The last mile was a real battle.  I crossed the roads, but very slowly.  Seeing all the people around didn't help much.  I was exhausted and sore and needed to be done.  I think the socks I had on were too thin as well, since my feet got quite sore.

The last hill to the parking lot was almost laughable.  It was like I wasn't even moving.  Finally, I made it to the top and stopped right at mile 12.  I was relieved to be done.  The final two miles were the only two that took over 9 minutes to finish.

I was very sore afterward.  I had to stretch while driving.  I still don't know why 12 miles beat me up so badly.  It sure did though, as I had muscle soreness throughout the run.  The humid and warm weather had me soaked too.  I battled through and completed it though.

I'm not sure when or where I'll run tomorrow.  I may need some trails to recover, after today.  It was rough and my body needs a kinder surface.  The NCAA basketball tournament is tomorrow too, so I'll have to fit the run in.  This certainly won't be a high mileage week.

12 miles - 1:45:12 (8:46 pace) 221 feet of elevation gain

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Crappy Schuylkill River Trail

I ended up needing Sunday to recover.  I took off.  I planned to run yesterday, but the cold and rainy weather had me unmotivated.  Today, was more frustration.  I was headed to Royersford and wanted to do a trail run.  However, I worked too late.  I had to stick to the Schuylkill River Trail.

I wanted to wear a short sleeve shirt, but I didn't have one packed apparently.  Instead, I put on a light weight long sleeve shirt.  That worked okay on this gloomy day, along with my shorts.  It was raining a bit on the way down, but luckily, not really during the run.  If anything, it was a slight drizzle.

I found a trailhead on the other side of Spring City.  I guess this is the end of that section.  A few cars were parked there.  I headed on out.  It was stone, so I wasn't crazy about that.  It went through a couple field type areas and a road crossing.  My legs felt okay, but definitely not great.

I wasn't too up for the run, so I just planned 3.5 miles out and then back.  Doing 7 miles would be enough for today, especially considering my time constraints.  I needed to eat before the game too. 

It didn't take long until I was grateful I made that choice.  This trail should've been called the Schuylkill Powerline Trail.  There was no river to be seen in the beginning.  I was just running along an ugly powerline. 

The first awful, boring mile took forever.  I could not believe I had 2.5 more before turning around.  This trail made me really appreciate my rail trails back home. 

I finally did see the Schuylkill River through the trees.  It was far down though.  On the other side of the trail was a wall with a fence on top.  That was so the rock behind it didn't fall on to the trail.  This part was pretty terrible too.

Things didn't get any better as I left there.  I was running through a tunnel of nothingness.  There were earthen banks on both sides and the giant powerline too.  Eventually, I went by an old power plant.  There was a field on the other side that was almost cool.

A group of high school kids were walking the other way.  This was a nice distraction from the terrible scenery.  That was somewhere around 2.5 miles.  I was thrilled to get to Spring City itself not long after that.  At least I knew where I was.

I decided to go over the river and in to Royersford.  That would be slightly better.  The trail kind of ends there.  I passed a few walkers.  At least there were some apartment buildings.  There was traffic too, so I could watch cars.

I ran by the apartments.  Then, it was up the hill and over some train tracks.  I hit 3.5 miles at an intersection.  I turned and headed back, watching the traffic.

I continued to run along by the apartments.  Two semi cute women ran by the other way.  I could've used some eye candy on the boring stretch coming up.  I crossed the river again and headed over to Spring City.

I ran on to the terrible section.  At least this time, I was heading back.  I couldn't wait to get to mile 5.  I tried looking in the woods as a distraction.  Everything is dead and the sky was gloomy too.  I checked my watch over and over and over again.

Around the powerplant, I saw the high school kids again.  After this point, I started to push slightly.  I wanted to be done.  I checked the watch and saw the pace drop.  I actually took my watch off with 2 miles to go.

I thought there was more uphill coming back, but there was some down.  I cruised along.  I really picked it up more and more, along the river part.  I saw a guy in a trucker hat.  I tried to read it, as I figured he was a trail runner.

I began to calculate the pace in my head.  It was well under 8:30, as I headed into the final mile.  I pushed and pushed.  I wanted to get done under 58 minutes now.

The last road crossing threw me off.  A couple cars forced me to stop there.  That killed the momentum and slowed that final mile down.  It was still a speedy 7:16.  It would've been very close to 7 minutes without the stoppage.

I ran to the end of the path.  As I finished a woman was coming.  Two more were at the parking lot, about to start.  I could've used them as a distraction for sure.  One car in the lot had trail running stickers.  I'm guessing it belonged to the guy with the trucker hat on.

I didn't go far and I hated the run.  That was due to the trail though.  I did run fairly well and faster than I have lately.  At some point, I'll need to start running fast again.  It was good to hit the gas pedal a little today.

Tomorrow, I'll run again.  I'm not sure where or how far.  A trail run would be nice.  It does look like this will be a lighter week than recent weeks.  My body could probably use that though.

7.04 miles - 57:48 (8:13 pace) 134 feet of elevation gain

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Battle to End the Week

I was determined to get to 60 miles for the week.  That meant a tough 13 miles today.  I love the mental games I play.  I didn't feel that up for running, so I was trying to find the best place to run.  I thought about loops and even multiple out and backs.  Pavement vs. stone was another issue.  In the end, I decided on the D&L from Cove Road.  I love that section.

It was kind of perfect running weather.  It was a little under 60 degrees and a little cloudy.  I went with shorts and a short sleeve shirt.  I didn't like my shorts much and ended up chafing.

I started off heading north.  I thought I was in big trouble.  My right quad was sore and I began by limp running.  I clearly had not recovered from last night's run.  I decided to just go at it though.

The trail was busy today.  Mostly, it was people on bikes.  There were a few dog walkers though.  The start is tough because it goes uphill slightly. 

Normally, I like this route, but it was tough today.  The scenery is great, but it was hard to focus on that.  My soreness was so uncomfortable.  Getting to mile 2 even seemed like forever.  I did look at some of the rocky cliffs. 

I ran past where the horses go.  That was around mile 3.  I thought about turning there.  I figured with my soreness, I might need to break the run into shorter segments.  I talked myself into at least another half mile.

I continued on.  It was sure a battle.  I continued to force myself to keep running each upcoming half mile.  I really wanted to get to mile 4.  That would get me back at mile 8.  I might've done a 5 mile run later in the day if needed.

I got to mile 4 and I don't know if the terrain changed or not.  However, I suddenly felt pretty good.  I wasn't as sore, I was only chafing.  I stopped fixing my pants and that helped me to not have as much rubbing.

Finally, I turned around not far from Slatington.  I was at 4.75 miles then.  I'd get back at 9.5 miles.  Turning around was great, but it was a slow go.

I just had to keep moving.  Even getting to mile 6 seemed to take forever.  I saw a lot of people from earlier, as we were each heading the other way.

I was happy to get past the horse section.  This part seems to be rough on my legs sometimes.  Today, it actually wasn't bad.  I felt kind of okay now.  Getting to mile 8 was important.

I continued to move forward.  I was feeling it a bit now though.  I started to think I'd only be going 10 miles.  This section often beats me up at 10 miles.  Sure enough, I felt like I was falling off at mile 9.

I ran back to the car and went on the road a bit.  I thought maybe that would help my legs.  It wasn't much better.  I simply headed out the other way to complete my last half mile.

Then, I got to mile 10.  I said to myself just keep going.  I didn't want to run later.  I ran past the barking dog house.  It barked, but wasn't nearby.  I was really moving slowly now and struggling.

I continued on.  If I could get out 1.75 miles, I'd arrive back at 13 miles.  I eventually got to the next trailhead and ran down the road a bit.  I turned to head back.

It was very slow coming back.  Mile 12 did come though.  I looked at the watch over and over and over again.  I was hurting and slow for sure.  I had to move forward.  Finally, I finished up just before the car. 

It was a real battle to get through this run.  That was especially the case in the last 3 miles.  It was good mental training.  I was glad to get it done and get to 60 miles for the week.

Although I'm coming off a tough week, I want to keep it going.  I might have to work tomorrow, so that could be tricky.  I hope I can run 12-16 miles somewhere.  It might have to be at night.  I also hope I'm recovered by then.

12.99 miles - 1:56:25 (8:58 pace) 270 feet of elevation gain

Friday, March 11, 2016

Friday Night on the SRT

I wanted to run after wrestling.  However, I didn't go in.  It had a crazy long line outside.  Instead, I ran after dark when I got home.  I was struggling to even get moving.  I needed something different.  I decided on the Saucon Rail Trail.  I had not been there in a long, long time.  The plan was for 10 miles.

I thought it would be warm, as it was all day and all week.  There was a slight chill.  It was actually perfect running weather.  I had on shorts and a short sleeve shirt.  The problem was that my short shorts are terrible.  They got soaked easily and my thighs were chafing too.  It wasn't fun.

I parked in Hellertown, near Water Street.  I headed along the trail.  The beginning is nice and well lit, with all the Hellertown businesses.  I didn't feel bad as I cruised along.

I couldn't even see the creek water farther down, but I could hear it.  I had to be careful crossing roads.  I had on a yellow shirt, but I forgot my vest.  It wasn't really needed on a rail trail anyway.

As I got a few miles out, things were darker for a bit.  A few times, I saw a sign or bench and at first thought it was a person.  Without a headlamp, it was tough.  The stone trail is light colored and that is a huge plus at night.  I couldn't actually see where I was running, but I didn't need to.  I did twist my ankle once.

I ran past the golf course.  Then, I got to a cool section.  There are a bunch of multi million dollar homes.  They are fantastic.  They have so much landscaping that everything is typically lit up out back too.  That helped me see.  I could also see into a lot of the houses, but didn't want to peek too much.

In this area, I looked at my watch for the first time.  I thought I'd be around mile 4.  It was only 3.4 miles.  I had to keep plugging away.  I figured that even if I got to 4.5 miles before turning around, that would be good.  I couldn't remember the distances on this trail.

The one road crossing usually lights up when I cross.  It didn't this time, but did on the way back.  I was cruising along in the dark.  I remembered the areas, but never knew quite how far I had to go.  Finally, I was kind of out in the middle of nowhere.  I crossed the last road before the Upper Saucon Community Park.

I ran through the park.  I checked my watch with the bathroom light.  I also had to go around a gate that I was glad I knew was there.  It was hard to see.

I know cops patrol that park and I was worried that I might come across one.  I ran through the park and under the road on the tunnel.  I heard a woman above.  I thought maybe it was a college girl from nearby running or something.

Since I needed a little more distance, I opted to go into the woods part of the trail.  That was a short climb.  When I was near the woods, I saw a vehicle pull in the lot.  I didn't want to run by it, thinking it might be a cop.

I realized I had no choice and headed back.  It was a car with a bike rack on it.  Then, a young woman and a guy came through the tunnel with bikes.  I guess maybe I heard them earlier and maybe they were going to the vehicle waiting for them.

It was good to be headed back and I felt pretty good.  Chafing was my only issue.  At least I was in the back half of the run.  I just needed to run what I had already run.

I looked at my watch whenever I could get some light.  That was rare though.  It seemed to take forever to get to mile 7. 

I noticed a big change when the trail changed townships.  The stone seemed better now, as I headed toward the golf course.  At one point, I saw the Lehigh Mountaintop Campus above.  That was cool.

As I was nearing a house, I heard voices.  I then noticed it was two people in black.  They were on the trail and walking their dogs.  The dogs barked as I passed.  Other than them, I had the trail to myself.

I felt alright earlier, but now I felt awesome.  It was cool and the legs weren't bothered by the trail.  I felt like I was flying.  I haven't felt this fast in a long time.  Turns out my pace was nothing special, but at least I felt great.

I crossed a couple more roads.  I was happy to see the lights of downtown Hellertown.  I heard something in front of me and almost ran into a deer.  There are usually a ton of them on the trail, so I wasn't surprised.

I came to Water Street about half a mile short of 10 miles.  A cop was on the street.  He sat and watched me for a bit, as I ran and headed up Main Street.  I went a little past Dunkin' and then turned around to finish up with over 10 miles.

I do love night running.  I really like the SRT too.  Both of them make for a great combo.  It is something I should do more often.  It was definitely better than running at home.  I'm glad I got double digit miles too.

I'm not going to Hershey tomorrow.  I'm hoping to run 13 miles.  That would put me at 60 for the week.  I may run at Ironton.  I'm not sure yet what I'll decide.

10.04 miles - 1:28:19 (8:48 pace) 160 feet of elevation gain

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Warm Day on the D&L (Raubsville)

It's been unseasonably warm the last few days.  I dealt with it on Tuesday, but couldn't get myself to do so yesterday.  I decided to take the day off.  Even though nothing changed and it was still in the 70s, I had to get out there today.  The plan was for 12 miles.

Of course I had shorts on.  I went with a sleeveless top.  It was definitely hot, but not as bad as I expected, as I started after 3 PM.  I guess as long as it isn't humid, 70s this time of year aren't too bad.  I was sweating by the end, but I dealt with it.  I didn't even have any water either.

I thought about going to Trexler.  I decided on some easier terrain though.  I wasn't sure what hills and heat would've done.  I decided to head to the D&L near Raubsville.  This is about 5 miles south of Easton and my favorite section.  I started at the canal lock and headed south.  It was definitely warm at the start.

I felt great and didn't even look at my watch.  The canal is on one side.  The other side has the river and there are great views early on.  It was such a picture perfect day to be out there.  I cruised along.

About 1.5 miles into the run is probably my favorite part.  The one side has the canal and road.  Above that is cliffs and the wall next to the road has old stones.  The trail goes right next to the river and there are almost no trees blocking the view.  It is spectacular, to say the least.

The legs felt good and I sensed the pace was pretty good.  I had not looked at my watch once yet though.  I was merely enjoying the day.  I did wish I put on trail shoes.  Some parts had had heavy equipment on them and the surface was uneven.  I could really feel that with my road shoes.

A bit after the cliffs is another cool section.  The trail and canal run right through some buildings and the small town of Riegelsville.  There is a neat cafe next to the trail.  A car bridge and pedestrian bridge go overhead.  I continued to trot along.

Things kind of reverted back to normal after that part.  A little bit later, I looked at my watch.  It was around 3.67 miles.  That was the first time I looked at my watch the entire run.  That is amazing for me.  However, I thought I was over 4 miles at that point, so I was a little disappointed.

I didn't feel too bad, but I was a little warm now.  Since I had no water, I was slightly concerned.  If it did get too hot, I would've turned around.  I wanted to really try to get to mile 6 though.

Somewhere around mile 5 is another neat part.  It is a farm with a fruit stand and stuff like that.  It is really outstanding in the summer.  Around here, I came to two geese.  These were the only ones I saw all day.  I approached cautiously and basically walked around them.  I didn't have much choice, with a canal on one side and a small garden on the other side.

I made it through.  I was tiring a bit, but I focused on mile 6.  I had looked at my watch more frequently now.  I ending up turning around at just the right point.  I ran right in front of this cool house.  It is old and right on the trail.  They have a footbridge over the canal, but no car access to the actual house.  Their garage is on the other side of the canal.  I could definitely live there.  I wish I didn't have to turn around, as I was approaching more cliffs.

It was good to be heading back though.  I tried to just focus on the next mile.  I wasn't hurting, but I also certainly wasn't as strong as before.  It was great to get back to the farm.  I then went around the geese with no problems again.  That was a huge relief.

I tried to focus on getting back to Riegelsville.  That would be about halfway back, near mile 9.  At times, I ran on the grass, as my legs were getting sore.  I wasn't about to quit.  I would've needed to walk anyway.  One good thing with ultra running is that it has taught me how to push through.

I did get to mile 9.  There were a few people out in this area.  I saw some dog walkers all throughout the run.  I didn't see any bikers until nearly the end.  A couple runners were out as well.  Still, for all the time I spent out there, there weren't that many people.  It was quite pleasant.

Sometime after Riegelsville, I came through a stretch with more houses along the canal (but on the other side).  Two dogs barked at me.  I wasn't worried as I was confident they wouldn't swim through the canal to chase me.  That would've been funny.

It was great to get to mile 10.  I just kept pushing.  I felt pretty consistent and the data shows I was.  Most of my miles were between 8 minutes and 8:30.  I really wanted to get back to the cliffs.  Just before that, some young girls were biking and turned in front of me.

I sort of got pulled along by the them.  I went over the cliffs and one walked her bike there.  I ran over the bumps.  I was happy to know that I had about 1.5 miles to go.  Earlier, I thought my watch added a bunch of distance, but it actually looked quite correct.

As I neared the last mile, I saw a dog that wanted to play.  Its owner was very cute.  I wish I could've stopped.  I wanted to be done though.  The sun was starting to set and it was cooling off just a little.

I enjoyed the river views as much as I could.  The last mile was slightly tough though.  I kept at it.  Before long, I rounded the final curve and saw the end.  I decided to run to exactly where I had started.  That was a little over mile 12.

I just love, love, love running this stretch.  It is so beautiful.  There aren't many flat places that I could run for this long and enjoy it, but this section is definitely a place like that.  It does beat up the legs a little, but overall it isn't too bad.

I was happy to get 12 miles in and move to 37 miles for the week.  I should have no problem hitting 50 miles again.  Maybe I'll even push 60 by the end.  I don't know.  I'll be quite busy with wrestling over the next two days.  I'm going out to Hershey tomorrow and hopefully Saturday for it.  I'd love to at least get 10 miles in tomorrow.  I might have more time on Saturday. 

12.05 miles - 1:41:56 (8:28 pace) 119 feet of elevation gain

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Warm Loop Around Green Lane

I felt good after a lot of my miles were on trails yesterday.  Today, was another super warm day.  I had to get out and run.  Since I was going to a basketball game in the evening, I went to nearby Green Lane to run the loop around it.

It was super warm.  I wore shorts and a singlet.  The singlet was soaked early.  I did get used to the heat.  It also helped to have a breeze off the water.

I took the loop in the clockwise direction again, like I did last year.  This starts off with open fields.  It is a lot like Blue Marsh.  There are some small hills.  They had me breathing hard, especially with the heat so early on.  The beginning of the trail was sloppy, but not bad after a bit.

I ran by a ranger that for some reason was parked on the trail.  I cruised along.  It is pretty running around the water.  Most of the time, I wasn't too close to it, but I could usually see it. 

I was happy to get to mile 3 fairly quickly.  I wasn't looking at my watch too much.  The trail crossed the road for a bit.  There are some horse jumps.  It it wide and covered in stone.  It was kind of boring and my legs were a little sore.

I was glad to get back across the road to continue the loop.  I passed two horses coming the other way.  I was very happy to get on some singletrack.  I forgot about that fun section of it on the Red Trail.

I then came out to more stone and the Connector Trail.  There was some gradual uphill.  Since it was early, I hiked it.  I had been running a sub 10 minute pace, but this slowed me a bit.  Still, I was moving fairly well.

I then ran by a school.  Next, it was on the paved Perkiomen Trail.  This hurt the legs a little, but at least it was downhill.  That trail then turned to stone.  I continued to follow it.  It was easy running, other than being in the sun.

I came out to Green Lane Park.  I lost the trail last time I was there, but now I knew where to go.  A woman was running the other way.  The trail is on the shoulder of the road for a bit. 

Then, I connected to the Blue Trail.  There was another woman with a dog there.  I hiked up this hill because it was pretty steep.  I was getting a little tired with all the sun, no water or food.  I was in no rush anyway.

At the top, there's a camping area.  Then, the trail crosses the road and becomes cool singletrack.  It is fun running down to the water, except that means you have to go back up too.  I just hiked some of the tougher uphills.

I was happy to get to the one entrance to the day use area.  I knew where I was because I went there to park during my first trip there.  The trail went back down along the lake.

This section was fun, but exhausting too.  It was great and easy running when it went near the water.  However, there were all these small creeks and mini hollows.  The trail would cut around those.  Some of the climbs were a bit exhausting.

I kept looking for the bridge over the water and back to my car.  I knew when I could see it, I'd be close to getting done.  I hit mile 10 and it still wasn't visible.  Then, it seemed to pop up out of nowhere.  I saw a guy running the other way around this part.

After one really tough hollow section, I was finally back to some easy trail.  With all the singletrack and soft trail, the legs had recovered.  They now felt great. 

I got to the bridge at mile 10.9.  I figured I'd now get back to the car around 11.5.  The bridge sucks because it is paved, but otherwise it is cool.  There is a separate lane for pedestrians and bikes.  There are these fishing cutouts too.  Quite a few people were using them.

Since I was on pavement, I dropped my pace under 11 minute miles.  I cruised on back to my car.  I arrived there at 11.45 miles.  Since the start of the trail was slop, I turned back around.  I did a short out and back on the pavement to finish up.

It was a good run.  I wasn't too sore.  I got some solid miles in.  I was a bit tired from all the heat though.  My legs will definitely feel better if I keep mixing trail and road.

Tomorrow, I'm not sure what I'll be doing.  Maybe I'll get on roads again.  I wouldn't mind trails either though.  I'd love to get 12-15 miles.  That would be a very productive day.

11.99 miles - 2:10:51 (10:55 pace) 656 feet of elevation gain

Monday, March 7, 2016

One Trail, One Road

I decided to skip running yesterday.  It was a little chilly and the rest of this week is supposed to be amazingly warm.  I wanted to get out on the trails today, rather than run long.  I asked Angie to join me.  We were going to go to the AT at Route 191, but we would've been cutting it too close time wise.  We met at Jacobsburg instead for an 8 mile run.

It was warm of course.  I ran with shorts and a short sleeve shirt.  Even with my Buff on, I was sweating a lot.  Angie even noticed that.  It's why I hate summer running.  She had on a long sleeve shirt, which I thought was kind of crazy.

We started out on the main loop.  There were lots of dog walkers today, especially young women.  As I was changing I saw two cute ones going out.  They were coming back when we started.  We cruised along nice and easy.  It was her easy day and I always run easy, so it was great.

The easy pace made this much more relaxing for me than the run with Kristin the other day.  I wasn't huffing and puffing, as much.  The warmer air did hurt my breathing a little early on.  The legs were quite fresh.  The conversation made things fly by.

I suggested some trail shoes for Angie.  This was her first time testing them out and she seemed to like them.  I hope they work out for her.  Before I knew it, we were on the 3 road crossings and heading to the Sober's Run loop.

I didn't want to go up the powerline, so we decided to run on the Bushkill Trail for a bit.  That was boring though, so we turned around at mile 4.  I saw my dad's vehicle in the small lot, but we never did see him.

We ran on back.  First, I wanted to take her on the fun ridge section.  She's run all over Jacobsburg quite a few times, but never knows where she's actually going.  Maybe next time I'll just let her lead.

After the ridge, we came out near the creek.  Since we still needed mileage, I decided to take us to the fun singletrack along the creek.  My watch had somehow lost signal twice today.  I've never lost signal there, only in remote places.

We turned and headed back before going too far.  I wanted to get her on the high ridge.  I wasn't sure if she'd been there.  We headed back toward the parking lot.  There were some school buses on the road. 

We came back near the lot and went up the hill behind the new building.  She didn't want to do any more hills, after a big weekend of hills.  I tried to convince her to run this only one, but she wouldn't.  I ran ahead and did a short up and down. 

When I came back, she was there.  We ran out and along the ridge.  It was super muddy again.  She didn't want to run in the mud.  Since it would be muddy for some time, I told her let's just turn around.  She was on this section last week anyway.

We went back down to the main loop.  We went out about a quarter of a mile.  We then finished with 8 miles and walked back.  I told her about an old car in the woods, but we couldn't find it.

This run was great.  The conversation made it fly by.  I wasn't sore or tired at all.  It was almost like I didn't even run.  Because of that, I decided on a shorter night time run too.

A bit after 7 at night, I headed out.  The plan was 5 easy miles.  That would give me a solid 13 miles for the day.  I started with a partial loop around my neighborhood.  My pace was slow, but I wasn't too sore.

The temperature was really perfect at night.  It was still warm, but slightly cooler than during the day.  I enjoyed that part.  I had on my shorts and short sleeve shirt.

I went over to the other neighborhood.  The problem was I had some chafing going on.  I eventually adjusted things and felt a little better.  However, it bothered me all throughout the run.

I decided to do the regular loop.  This time, I switched it up though.  I ran it the opposite way of normal.  With the chafing issues, my pace was slower and it sure felt slower too.

I was happy to get to 2.5 miles.  Still, it seemed like a long time.  When I got to the typical 2 miles to go point, I was happy.  I knew I'd get back to the school a little under 5 miles.

I cruised along.  There were a few cars out there.  Eventually, I got to mile 4.  I sputtered on in to the school.  I ran the first loop around my neighborhood.  That got me a bit over 5 miles when I finished.

I was happy to put in a nice double session day.  I don't feel too bad either.  The company sure helped with the first run.  I really wish I had a regular running partner.

Tomorrow, I'm heading down to a basketball game.  It is near Green Lane.  I'm hoping to run the loop around there.  That could be fun.  It is about 12 miles.  The temperatures will be warm again too.

Trail Run 8 miles - 1:24:20 (10:32 pace) 486 feet of elevation gain
Road Run 5.11 miles - 51:56 (10:10 pace) 113 feet of elevation gain

Saturday, March 5, 2016

D&L Farmersville w/ Kristin

I needed to run early.  I headed to the D&L at Farmersville to run with Kristin at 7:30 in the morning.  The plan was an easy 5 miles.  My easy right now is much slower than Kristin's easy.

I didn't have tights, so I wore sweatpants.  It was in the 20s, but got warmer.  I was a little hot by the end.  I had my shell on over a long sleeve shirt.  I had my headband and gloves on and off.

We started off heading west.  That would be with the sun at our backs.  This stretch is very pretty and kind of isolated.  If my legs weren't often weak here, I might run here more frequently.

Kristin was great company.  She pulled me along faster than I'm used to.  My breathing was labored.  Some of that was probably the faster pace and some just morning running.  That is something else I'm not used to.

We talked about plenty of running.  Normally, I don't look at my watch much when in conversation during running.  However, today I was huffing and puffing and ended up looking a lot more.  It was hard to breath and talk.

As we got to Freemansburg, we came to two geese.  They hissed, but moved out of the way.  We continued along.  We passed another young lady running the other way.  Then, shortly after that, we turned to head back.  It was now 2.5 miles.

This did go by fairly fast.  It was certainly quicker than 2.5 miles would be on my own.  We ended up passing the young lady a short time later.  Then, we came to the geese.  This time, they blocked the trail and were making noise.  I just went around them.  Kristin slowed and stayed behind me and ran briefly with the other girl.

We continued on.  I felt more and more like death.  I was thrilled to get to 3.5 miles.  Then, finally mile 4.  I told Kristin how I was struggling.  She was a good cheerleader.  She gave me a pep talk.  That helped.  She circled back to me once too.

I was happy to nearly be done.  The last mile I had to slow a bit.  I couldn't keep up with Kristin.  I ran on the road briefly to get to mile 5.

This was a solid 5 miles.  It allowed me some recovery too.  Hopefully my legs can feel good tomorrow.  The plan is to run long again tomorrow.  Maybe I'll be able to get 15 miles in.  I have no idea where I'll go.

5 miles - 41:42 (8:21 pace) 55 feet of elevation gain

Friday, March 4, 2016

Dixon R. Miller Recreation Area

Some time ago, I wondered if there were any trails near Pocono Raceway, since there are a lot of woods.  While sitting in traffic before or after a race, I saw a sign for the Dixon R. Miller Recreation Area.  Since I wasn't too far away, I decided to head up there for the run.  It is mainly ATV trails, with some hiking trails too.

The weather wasn't great here and was even worse up there.  It was in the 20s, cloudy and a biting wind.  I went with tights, my shell and a long sleeve shirt.  I had the gloves and headband.  The headband went off and on.

I was hoping that I wouldn't see any ATVs.  I didn't want to be in their way or have them flying everywhere really fast.  At least I was wearing yellow.  I was disappointed to see 3 vehicles in the lot.  A short time later, 4 ATVs came out.  Two left and two went back out.  I was trying to change into running clothes while they were around.  That was kind of annoying.

I had planned on going through the hiking trails the other direction from them.  This just confirmed that.  I followed what I thought was the trail.  I came out to a house.  I turned and headed back.  I realized that I missed a turn.  This was mostly grassy with some branches.  It wasn't fun.

I went uphill through a section that must've seen a lot of rain.  Then, I came to the ATV trail.  A short time later, I found the hiking trail.  I followed it.  It wasn't bad, except for low branches.  After some time I came to a few signs.  I went to these boulders.  That trail was a little overgrown.  So was the trail to the view.  Clearly these trails aren't hiked much.

I wasted a lot of time in this area and wasn't even at mile 2 yet.  I decided to go on the ATV trails and be careful.  There was some interesting dirt and rocky downhill.  I was thinking ATVs could not go very fast in this part.  It was a little muddy, but not too bad.

I wanted to follow the creek hiking trail, but like all the other hiking trails, it was a little overgrown.  I stuck to the ATV trails.  There were so many intersections.  It was very confusing.  I had a map and spent a lot of time figuring out where I was.  Finally, I did get my bearings.

I saw the Old Farm Road Trail cut through a lot of the property.  I decided to follow that.  After having come out of some cool green sections, I was back to everything being dead.  This trail was like a wide woods road.  Stone was put down everywhere.  While that wasn't fun, it was runnable.  I ran along.  I was happy to finally make it to mile 3 and then 3.5.

I knew I needed to add some distance yet.  I saw the trail above me had some views.  I ran to that trail.  It turns out it either had no views or weak views.  It was kind of a cool rolling section though.  I didn't go out too far.

I turned and headed back.  I was mostly going downhill now.  I passed mile 5.  I kept checking my map at intersections.  I finally found the Slutter Trail.  This was the one the ATVs were on at the start.

This trail was much better than I expected.  It had a few curved hills.  It was really pretty.  Most importantly, I didn't see any ATVs.

There was a nearby firetower that I had to check out.  That meant a short hiking trail.  It was near where I was, so I followed it up.  I was running most of the time today, but I hiked a little here.

I got to the firetower and there was a cool view from there.  I could see mountains off in the distance.  I couldn't see the racetrack though.  It was off to the side.

I decided to run down the firetower road.  I was over 6 miles now, as I cruised down it.  That was kind of fun, although it was stone.  I was back to my car with about half a mile to go.  I ran a bunch near my car and the parking area to finish up.

This was a much better run than I expected.  I thought it would be flat and boring.  For ATV trails, it was pretty cool.  I stayed away from the riders, so I was happy about that too.  I wouldn't go here specifically to run, but I would come back if I was at the track or in the area.

Kristin and I are planning to run on the D&L tomorrow.  We'll go to the Farmersville Trailhead early in the morning.  I need 5 miles and I have to get it done before wrestling starts.  It will be tough getting up early, but nice to have company for once.  I hope it isn't too cold, as I only have clean shorts right now.

7.17 miles - 1:40:02 (13:58 pace) 504 feet of elevation gain

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Exploring Jacosburg

My legs were sore yesterday.  I needed to get on trails today.  I didn't want anything too challenging, so I decided on Jacobsburg.  I parked at the small lot at the north end of the park.  I wanted to run a little differently than normal.  The plan was for 10 miles.

The weather was kind of frustrating again.  It was in the mid 30s, with no wind.  Too warm for tights and too cold for shorts.  I went with the tights and that did work well when it turned cloudy.  I had on a long sleeve shirt and my shell.

I thought about several different loops.  I opted to begin going out the Bushkill Trail.  Although this is flat, stone rail trail, I haven't been on it much.  I figured I'd probably go out a mile or so.  This is a pretty area, as it goes through the woods.  There are plenty of small streams.  Some areas were really washed out by the recent storm.

I saw a couple walking.  I ran along, feeling fairly decent early on.  The first mile went by quick and the pace was solid.  I decided to keep going.  There is a lot of potential areas for trails.  There is also quite a bit of "posted" signs too.

There is a small road crossing near the end of the trail.  Next to the trail is a pond and a house.  At the road crossing, I had to wait for some weird birds to cross the trail.  I guess maybe they were geese from the farm.  The trail was was very washed out around here.

A little after mile 2, I hit the end of the trail.  This would get me over 4 miles before getting back to the car.  I look forward to when this trail crosses the road and goes up to the AT.  That would be very cool

I cruised along, heading back.  It seemed a bit chillier this way.  I had seen a blue marker and some blazes at one point.  I passed the couple again.  After a bit, I decided to turn back and see if that was a trail.  The couple had disappeared.  They were actually up the powerline cut from where I went.  I saw the trail was actually a pipeline sign.  I headed back.  They looked down at me.  I'm not sure if I was on their property.

At least this exploring added a little distance.  Near the end of the Bushkill Trail, there was a sign for "Bushkill Public Open Space."  I had to follow this trail.  It wasn't really a trail, more like a path around fields.  Oddly, there were a couple benches around a fire pit in the middle of it.  I followed the path a little, but it went up.  I think I was allowed here, but not sure.  After some uphill, I headed back.  This area seems like a big hunting area.

I got back to my car at well over 5 miles.  I didn't feel great, but not terrible either.  I still didn't know where to go, but decided to stay on the rail trail like portion through Jacobsburg.  This was rough from the rains.  When I could, I turned down and ran along the creek.

This was much nicer.  There were a few hikers out.  After the creek, I took the other singletrack when the creek turned.  This was fun and my legs felt much better.  I went out there and then on some wide trail to the road.  I was nearly at mile 7 now.  It was good when I finally got to that mile.

Heading back along the singletrack was great.  I got to the main path eventually.  I followed that out to the road.  Then, I took my favorite section, the ridge singletrack.  I was tired and slowing down, but this made my legs feel great.

I continued on and got to the parking lot around 8.8 miles.  I went out and back on the main trail.  This was an awful way to finish.  The stone washed out and was so uneven.  I got it done though and was glad to put in my 10 miles.

I bounced back well from yesterday.  It was good to get back to double digits and on some trail.  Now, I just need 12 miles in the next two days to hit 50 miles for the week.

I'm not quite sure about tomorrow.  I'm heading up to Pleasant Valley for some basketball in the evening.  Perhaps in the day, I'll try to run across from Pocono Raceway.  That isn't too far away.  I don't think it is great, but it is something new.

10 miles - 1:37:28 (9:45 pace) 293 feet of elevation gain

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Cutting It Short

It was so tough to get out the door this morning.  While the temperatures were around 40, the wind was fierce.  The plan was 10 miles at Riverview.  I figured that I might as well run on my favorite paved path.

Dressing was very frustrated.  With the wind, I wore tights on the bottom.  I had on a long sleeve shirt under my shell.  I wasn't actually as overdressed as I expected to be, but it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.  My gloves and headband went on and off.

I started off heading toward the Boat Launch.  Since it was chilly out, there weren't many people.  Only a few walkers and one guy on a bike.  I felt pretty crappy early on.  I sure wasn't recovered from yesterday.  I merely sputtered along.

I was happy to make it to mile 1 and 1.5.  At that point, I knew I'd at least be going to the Boat Launch.  Then, I'd be able to go out the other way to Easton, to get 10 miles in.  I was running into a headwind, but it wasn't as bad as I expected.

I was a little warm and chafing some.  I decided to head uphill away from the Boat Launch.  That was short though, as it was only .2 miles up.  I was at mile 2 when I turned to head back.

I changed my mind and decided to go out half a mile through the Boat Launch parking lot.  There were no cars there at all.  I ran on the pavement.  After half a mile, I decided to keep going.  The more I could do now, the better.

I finally turned around a little past the Route 33 Bridge.  I had gone out a mile in this direction.  Now, I'd be at mile 6 when I arrived back.  I changed my mind again.  I went back up the hill again.  I was forcing myself to go out another half mile.

These short out and backs were adding miles.  They were also wearing me down.  When I got back to the split, I was now over 5 miles.  I couldn't believe I was only halfway done.

Going back was very slow.  My pace felt like it dropped like crazy.  My stride was short to keep from chafing.  The lower legs were getting very sore.  I knew I could go beyond, but I decided I would be cutting the run short.

I was going so slow that I felt I wasn't accomplishing anything.  I'd just finish up where I started.  It was a little more crowded as I got back to Riverview.  I was a bit frustrated, but I finished up there at mile 7.  No need to force more.

This weather made it a tough run to start.  My sore legs make it even worse throughout.  Some days, you just have to listen to your body and do less than was planned.

Tomorrow, I'd love to get back to 10 miles.  Maybe I can get on some trail.  That could help my lower legs.  I think I'll shoot for 50 miles this week.  I currently have 28 miles in the books.

7 miles - 1:05:32 (9:22 pace) 113 feet of elevation gain

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Wind Battle in the Neighborhoods

It was a warm day yesterday.  However, my body really needed an off day.  Since the temperatures were supposed to remain high today, I took yesterday off.  I got up from a nap this afternoon and then was too tired to run.  I went at night again.  To punish myself for that, I added a mile to the plan.  I'd now do 14 miles, instead of 13.

The temperature was kind of nice, considering it was after dark and early March.  It was in the mid 40s.  However, there was a pretty good wind that made it a little chilly.  I found it quite comfortable.  I wore a shell over shorts sleeves and had on shorts on the bottom.  The real issue with the wind was how hard I had to work.

The off day made a massive different.  I felt so fresh at the start.  It was like I was a new person.  I suddenly had pep in my step.  It was amazing how much more enjoyable I found the run, once I realized I felt great.  I looped around my neighborhood for the first mile.

Since I had a fairly long run planned, I needed to get into the neighborhood on the other side of the school.  I figured if I could get half of my miles done here, that would be good.  I headed on over there.  I went up the slight hill. 

I decided to take the dead end roads to add distance.  Taking each one would get me close to 7 miles when I arrived back at the school.  Coming back up the hills was actually a challenge, as I had to face the wind too.  I saw a UPS truck on both roads.  I was thrilled to look at my watch while going up the second hill and seeing it just over 3 miles.  I didn't think I was that far out.

Going downhill toward the industrial park was nice.  I normally go straight there.  Today, I decided to head around the small neighborhood first.  I went out to the farthest road.  This got me more distance.

As usual, I had to be careful near the industrial park.  That road is busy.  Dance class must have been close to getting out.  I did an out and back before going into the industrial park.  Any little bit I could add was great.

As I went around the last building, I saw I was at 5.5 miles.  Although I had run well, I had a long way to go.  Soreness was creeping in a little too.  I realized that if I repeated the route on the way back, I'd get to the school at mile 10.  That would be awesome.

I did just that.  I even added a little in the small neighborhood.  I went down some road with new houses.  It connected to the other road, but I turned around and took the long way there.  I headed uphill and back to the other neighborhood.

To get to mile 10, I had to go out and back on both the dead end roads again.  I was around 8 miles when I started those.  I did that, but coming uphill against the wind was a chore.  It started to really wear me down.  Most of the way back to the school was windy.

I headed back to the school and then over to the other neighborhood.  I was at mile 10 now.  I thought of two shorter out and backs.  I headed toward the first one.  Going out with the wind at my back was great and allowed some recovery.  As I went out farther, I thought I might as well just loop back to the newer part.

I was going up a hill and about to turn left.  Then, I realized if I went right and did a short loop on parallel streets, I could add another half mile or so.  I did just that.

I was over mile 12 when I got to the newer part.  That had a nice downhill, but the headwind was destroying me.  I felt like I had run many more miles.  Almost all the way back would be into the wind too.  I just had to battle.

I was thrilled to get into the last mile.  I was going to do a short loop in the older section.  I went out a couple more streets to Gable Drive though.  I then had some downhill.  I figured I'd be almost at mile 14 back at the school.

I sputtered slowly back to the school.  The wind kicking my butt the whole way.  I got there and finished up the loop and ran up the black path.  I stopped there to end the run.

It was quite challenge today.  I enjoyed the 14 miles more than I thought I would.  It wasn't as mentally challenging as usual.  Still, the wind made quite the physical challenge.  It felt like I had run 20 miles.  I could've done several more miles with the wind at my back, but almost no more with a headwind.

This is a cut back slightly week.  I'll still run a lot though.  Tomorrow, I'm not sure.  Maybe 10 miles on pavement.  Maybe I'll bust out some shorter, but harder efforts for once.  At some point, I have to mix in some fast runs.  I would like my body to be a little better conditioned first though.

14.07 miles - 2:11:05 (9:19 pace) 91 feet of elevation gain