America, Binghamton, Corning, Elmira, Family, Finger Lakes, Food, Friends, Ithaca, Linen, Mark Twain, Motel, Museum, New York, Postcard, Seneca Lake, Syracuse, Travel, USA, Vintage, Watkins Glen, Wine
10K, 15K, 5K, America, Binghamton, Brooks Running, Confluence Running, Fall, Family, Friends, Half Marathon, Ice, Long Run, Marathon, New York, Nike, Pants, Race, Racing, Running, Shoes, Shorts, Ski, Snow, Spring, Summer, Travel, Ultra, Under Armour, USA, Winter
Here we are the last day in January with no significant snowfall so far this winter and none in sight for the coming week. I’ve enjoyed this weather so much and as a matter of fact I’ve even run several days this month in shorts and a long sleeve shirt. I can proudly say I’ve only used the treadmill a handful of times due to my schedule and the wind. I hate the wind!
It has been a good month for me running and with no real races planned for the next 90 days I’m enjoying it even more. I call it stress free running. One thing I have noticed over the past two months is a tiny bit of speed improvement but by far I’ve seen my aerobic fitness increase. Last year my mileage was reduced quite drastically and I saw my fitness drop. However I have a long way to go in that department but the progress is promising.
This month the boys brought home the plague from school and kindly distributed it throughout the house. Ok not the plague but a cold to us guys is like the plague. I managed to get through it and have one of my biggest running mileage months. With a scheduled long run this morning I thought it would be best to get started early. Waking at 0545 in order to get myself together and get out there I hit the pavement by 0645. With winter still on the fence today was one of those shorts and long sleeve shirt days. I finished a strong month today with a total of 209.57 miles.
I’m hoping this weather pattern continues for February.
10K, 15K, 5K, America, Beer, Binghamton, Candy, Cane, Cheer, Claus, Coffee, Community, Cookies, Family, Fire, Fireplace, Food, Friends, Gifts, Half Marathon, Holidays, Log, Marathon, New York, Presents, Pudding, Running, Santa, Sleigh, Spirits, Stocking, Tradition, Tree, USA, Wine, Yoga, Yuletide
With visions of a 5K PR dancing in my head I would find myself falling several seconds short of my goal. However I would walk away from today’s race with much more.
Lets step back in time for a brief moment to the 2013 Binghamton Santa Run where I ran my best 5K time of 20:38 taking 36th place out of 760 finishers with a mean temperature of 20 degrees. I was elated and looking forward to the following weeks “It’s a Wonderful Run” 5K in Seneca Falls, NY. I was knocking on the door of a possible sub 20 minute 5K. During that week spanning both races I was out training and tore up my right calf ending any hopes of another PR or running the race at all.
This would begin my downward spiral of injuries over the next 18 months. I’ll be honest here my injuries and issues were of plain stupidity. I won’t go into detail but lets just say my lack of listening skills and my pride got in the way.
December 13th 2015:
Over the past several months I have finally been seeing results in my health and in the last two weeks since I have been working with a coach I’ve seen even more results. Today was near 60 degrees at race time. I came away from today’s race with a 20:43 5K, 31st place out of 600 finishers and a 2nd place age group winner in the 40-49 bracket. More importantly I came away with confidence, some speed and no pain what so ever.
I’m excited for what 2016 has in store for me and I cannot wait. Back to my training and hopefully I will continue to run smarter.
Did you race this weekend?
Awakened by the aroma of freshly brewing coffee, its 4AM and I stumble my way downstairs. I reach for the coffee pot and pour myself a cup, taking a few sips, ahhhhh! I fill my waiting thermos like the belly of a dragon, slinging my camera bag over my shoulder, reaching for my car keys and out the door I go.
Shrouded in heavy fog I arrive forty five minutes later at Long Pond. Its quiet today compared to Friday morning. A few bullfrogs murmur and in the distance I can hear a Pileated Woodpecker attempting his breakfast. The water is smooth as glass, the silence becomes deafening only to be disturbed by what sounds like the pitter patter of little feet across a hard wood floor. Dew dripping from the many low hanging trees ripple the pond’s placid water. I paddle my way along the shoreline littered with lily pads.
Slowly I enter a few bogs looking for signs of life. All is quiet on the western front. I meander for a bit only to be startled by a beaver who has surfaced next to my kayak. He retreats and I’m in pursuit. Cautiously I paddle finding his lodge which he is now proudly protecting. We court one another and I give him some distance. He again retreats and I stand my ground, floating patiently waiting for his return. I pour a cup of coffee for the long haul, shortly after he reappears, THWACK! He then disappears into the fog only to repeat his actions again and again. I begin to wonder, is he angry or is he playing? This display would continue over the next forty five minutes. My camera’s motor drive echoing the haunted sound of a gatling gun at war.
Continuing my journey back up the pond and still covered in a heavy fog I notice a lone fisherman in a canoe. As I get closer a friendly voice greets me “Good Morning” I reply in kind. We paddle towards one another and strike up a friendly conversation. Don is from Ithaca and he enjoys the fishing on Long Pond. He has also paddled the Boundary Waters in Minnesota, the entire length of the Susquehanna, amongst other places. Don casts his line. Almost immediately he gets a hit. I back my boat away to give him room to reel in this catch, camera at the ready. Don had caught a Chain Pickerel. This was his third of the morning and he had only been on the water twenty minutes. I ask Don for his email address so I can send him a photo, he agrees. After a few more minutes we part ways and I shortly after am loading my kayak back onto my car, thus far ending another episode at Long Pond.
10K, 15K, 5K, Binghamton, Boilermaker, Cycling, Food, Friends, Half, Half Ironman, Ironman, Marathon, Men, Muscleman, New York, Pancakes, Running, Snow, Swimming, Syracuse, Weather, Winter, Woman, Women
Wondering the streets of London in a fog as thick as pea soup, in the distance I can hear the tolling of Big Ben echoing throughout, I’m groggy and appear to be lost. I pull myself together only to realize that it’s not Big Ben I hear but my iPhone telling me its 4:00AM and time to get up and get dressed I have the Syracuse half marathon to run. The weather report for Sunday March 22nd in Syracuse, New York is bleak. Cold, Wind and snow. Nonetheless I’m excited and make my way to pick up a few friends. Once on Interstate 81 headed north is where the fun begins. Wind is whipping, snow is blowing and yes race fans we have whiteout conditions. Seventy five miles later we arrive in Syracuse under what appears to be brightening skies and no snow. It’s cold, very cold and I question myself only briefly. The race begins and ends at Syracuse’s Oncenter right in downtown. A very large conference center with plenty of room for the 2,773 runners, of which women outnumber the men two to one. Here is where we met up with about forty other runners from the Binghamton area “Triple Cities Runners Club” and “Broome County Triathlon Club” creating the party like atmosphere. In a nutshell it felt rather like a large social event rather than a race making you forget about the cold for a while. The race start was delayed from 0800 to 0815 due to weather conditions, as volunteers had been out salting the course to make sure there wasn’t any ice. 0815 the race begins and runners move through the start like a herd of cattle. Once across the starting line we were able to break out a bit. The sun begins warming our faces but the wind is still reminding us that winter is making its final grasp. This is my first race in 2015 and my first race since New York City marathon in November 2014. I’ve also been plagued with some lower body issues for quite sometime now. My goal today was to run this race, not get hurt and just have fun. Around mile one is where the largest hill on the course is gaining gaining 120 feet of elevation in about a mile. The rest of the course through the city is rolling with lots of turns to keep it interesting. In all honesty I have to say “I Love This Course!”. I’m on the backside of the course or about mile 6, my calf is feeling good so I decide to pick up my pace quite a bit for several miles. Feeling no pain in the calf, approaching mile 10 I back off the pace and feel my calf start to complain. I’m worried a bit, my mind races and I’m thinking to myself I only have 3 miles left. I can do this I tell myself and 3.1 miles later I crossed the finish line at 1:52:20, far from my best half marathon time but I was excited and proud. Hey its all about the shorts! The post race pancake breakfast back at the Oncenter was awesome. They had pancakes, bacon and sausage which was absolutely delicious. Byrne Dairy chocolate milk, coffee, water, fruit, bagels and so forth. Definitely a nice spread. After breakfast and some stretching I changed clothes and ten of us made our way over to Alto Cinco, a Mexican resteraunt in downtown for more food and a few adult beverages. This adventure was a riot to say the least. The food was great, the beer amazing but the laughs were out of control. Finally around 3:30PM we are on our way home, tired but proud. Today wasn’t about racing, today was about running, camaraderie and friendship. I’m very fortunate to be surrounded by an amazing group of people and I will cherish that. Cheers! http://broomecountytriathlonclub.com http://triplecitiesrunnersclub.org
10K, 15K, 5K, Adirondacks, Adventure, America, Aspen, Binghamton, Canoeing, Colorado, Dogs, Food, Friends, Half Marathon, High Peaks, Hiking, Kayaking, Maine, Manhattan, Marathon, New England, New Hampshire, New York, Outdoors, Running, Skiing, Snow, Snowshoeing, Tahoe, Travel, United States, Vermont, Winter
All my fusing, swearing and continued threats of moving to a warmer climate have done little to persuade Mother Nature to cease and desist her continued rampage of cold temperatures and snow. As a matter of fact its snowing right now. Going back to the old adage “If you can’t beat them, join them” I decided to embrace the beauty of winter in New York.
About 5 years ago I tried snowshoeing. I bought a pair of traditional wooden snow shoes from LL Bean. I didn’t do my homework and the experience was miserable. The pair of snow shoes I bought were 30″ and rated at 160 lbs. I did not know that because I failed to read the description. Well, stick a 300+ lb guy at the time on a pair of snow shoes rated for 160 lbs and the experience gets ugly. I was pissed to say the least and threw the shoes into my garage and swore they would become decorations in a future remodel of our basement.
Recently on social media outlets I’ve been seeing all these wonderful images of my friends cross country skiing, snowshoeing, skiing and just enjoying the outdoors. The images that really set off my desire to make a second attempt at snowshoeing was that of some friends who recently hiked the high peaks in the Adirondack’s. In late January they hiked 5 peaks with the tallest one being Algonquin at 5,115 feet. This is the second tallest peak in the park next to Mount Marcy which towers at 5, 344 feet. I myself love to hike and have done some really awesome hikes in the past. Two of my favorites so far are 2,864 foot Mount Willard in New Hampshire’s White Mountains and the 1,260 foot Breakneck Mountain in New York’s Hudson Valley. Don’t be fooled by Breakneck’s elevation this is a category 1 hike. In the back of my mind I thought I want to do this!
This past weekend I made another attempt and went snowshoeing locally here logging 5 miles at the “IBM Glen” http://www.watermancenter.org/the_glen.htm trying out a pair of MSR “Lightning Ascent” snowshoes http://www.cascadedesigns.com/msr/snowshoes/ascent-snowshoes/lightning-ascent-snowshoes/product. This time these were the proper shoes for me and the task of hiking. I had a wonderful experience this time around, that I bought the pair. These bad boys will take me anywhere I want to go. From the hills and fields of the Southern Tier to the high peaks of the Adirondack’s these babies are awesome.
Early this morning the snow and ice had been falling as myself and a few friends made our way over to Wolfe Park in Binghamton to snowshoe, snowboard and run. The hardest part today was trying to get my car up some of the roads to the park. I think I might need a snowcat! Again these snowshoes did not disappoint at all as I logged 2.40 miles today. I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s adventure out in Oakely Corners in the town of Owego and I will experiment a little and bring the dog. Wish me luck! http://www.dec.ny.gov/lands/8144.html
Growing up in suburban Long Island as a child I was drawn to the sport of soccer. Rightfully so as I was pretty good at it. I was especially drawn to the keeper or goalie position at which I excelled at and soccer in general for years. Once in Jr. High as there were no “Middle Schools” back then I continued to play on a travel team and not for my school team. Honestly I cannot remember if we even had a JV soccer team?
Over the course of the next several years and as I entered high school I was fascinated with the more higher profile sports such as football and lacrosse. Only briefly did I give a thought of running cross country. My thought process was this ‘Cross Country is for Wimps” and I never looked back until October 12th 2014 when I competed in my first ever cross country meet 24 years after graduating high school. Was I ever wrong about my assumption of cross country.
I’d always assumed cross country was for the nerds, geeks or the weak. How dare you call cross country a sport especially that there is no contact involved. Cross country is for wimps!
Our first ever meet was through the newly formed Southern Tier Cross Country or “STXC” in partnership with Confluence Running of Binghamton, NY. The days meet was held in conjunction with the Binghamton University Runners Club or “BURC Open” on University campus in Vestal.
Our competition this day would be the 5K open with about 150 runners total. The weather was spectacular, the canopy of fall color radiated throughout the course. With gun going off at 11:00AM runners ascended a one mile hill called the “Pipeline” before cresting in the the Universities nature preserve.
Making our way through the preserve and back out onto campus you could hear the thunderous heartbeat of the other runners. Lastly descending the “Pipeline” back towards the finish this new thrill in my running adventure would soon be coming to a close and a new passion for sport nurtured.
Today I am eating my words. Cross country is definitely not for wimps as it takes quite the stamina to run competitively at a sustained distance. I think what really opened my eyes was my oldest son Michael who ran modified cross country for two years. The sport itself took on a different meaning for me and I saw the effort these kids put into it. Me as a runner, one who loves distance running now knows better.
10K, 15K, 5K, Adirondacks, Airplane, America, Amtrak, Baseball, BBQ, Beach, Beer, Bicycle, Binghamton, Boat, Boilermaker, Boston, Boston Marathon, Breakfast, California, Camera, Camping, Canoe, Canoeing, Chicago, Coffee, Cross Country, Cycling, Facebook, Fall, Family, Film, Finger Lakes, Football, Grand Central Terminal, Half Marathon, Manhattan, Marathon, New York City, New York City Marathon
It’s Sunday November 2nd 2014 as you wake I am standing on Staten Island freezing to death waiting for the start of the New York City Marathon. It will be my first marathon and I am both excited and nervous. So here we go!