Sunday, June 28, 2009

Burning River night run

Last night, JP and I started at 6:15pm from Happy Days to run to the finish line of the Burning River 100 course. My co-worker, Marty, started with us and was going to turn back "whenever he felt like it".

It was a great evening, the heat of the day had started to drop off and we were moving well. I had not been able to run with JP for a while and it was good to catch up. We made it to the turn off of the Salt Run trail at the entrance to the Wetmore trail and Marty started back towards Happy Days. JP and I continued, not sure of how muddy the Wetmore Trail would be. It actually was not too bad since we were able the follow the packed trail of the two groups that ran the course earlier.

We stopped to take pictures of the goats and to eat some early black raspberries. Before we knew it, we were at the Covered bridge and still had some daylight. Once we entered the Perkins trail, the headlamps were turned on and we proceeded up the hill. Once again, the mud was not too bad and we were able to reminisce about last year's race through this section.

The run along Ira Road towards Hale Farm was fun since there were lots of deer in the woods with their eyes glowing with the reflection of our headlamps. There was a party going on at Hale Farm with the music echoing through the valley. The stars were out but not as bright as they were in the Adirondacks!

The climb up into ONeil woods seemed bigger this time and my lack of long run training was starting to rear its head. I was looking forward to a small can of Mountain Dew that I had stashed at Bath Road and we pushed on toward the tow path.

We refilled bottles and I drank my Dew. Shortly after, my stomach turned south. I fought this feeling for the next hour or so and think that it was a combination of having my waist pack belt too tight and the acidic soda in my stomach. I did not have the best nutrition before the run and was feeling the effects. Fortunately, JP had almost 100 miles for the week already and did not mind my slower pace. We continued walking/running south on the towpath.

Finally at the Memorial park aid station I started to feel much better. We entered Cascade Metro park and started looking carefully for the trail. Neither of us felt real sure of the route through here but we manage to find our way with only one minor detour.

The final run through the Gorge was beautful as always and we finished our 31 mile run after 8 hours on our feet. It was a great night-time training run!

JP was running strong and is so ready for August! I will have some more long runs under my belt by then and will not start pacing sleep deprived and hungry like I did last night!

Abby and I ran 25 minutes this morning in the rain which was a lot of fun and helped to loosen the legs a bit. Rest day tomorrow and back at it tuesday!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Lake Placid Marathon (Short story)

Awesome day in the ADK! The rain stopped and the sun was shining on us today as we ran in our favorite place in America. We completed the Marathon Relay in 3:46:11 which was a PR for all of us!

Detailed race report with photos coming soon...

After the race we decided to go kayaking on the Ausable River. We were treated to a personal tour of the local wildlife rehab facility before retrieving our kayaks. Here is one of the Great Horned Owls. Pretty cool raptors!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Ho Ho Ho

Day 1 in the Adirondacks found us driving by "Santa's Workshop" in Wilmington, NY on our way to Catamount Mountain (photo above) for a hike. This hike has been on our list of "to do's" for a year or two and its 3.6 mile round trip distance seemed like a good warmup for the week. The ADK Trail Guide book said there would be some rock scrambling, a chimney, but the views of Whiteface mountain and the high peaks were stunning from the rocky summit. Sounded great!

We registered at the trail head and started our way into the woods. Nice level trail through the trees and then we started to climb. We crossed a small brook that was flowing briskly from last night's rainfall.

The trail continued to climb and become more and more rocky. During a break, Abby noticed a "lady slipper" on the side of the trail. We looked closer and there were several of them. These wildflowers are a cousin of the orchid and are very beautiful and delicate.

The trail kept climbing and the views from the various outcrops of rocks were indeed spectacular.

Remember the bit about the Chimney? Well, we managed to get there after several scrambles and managed to coax Denise up the gap. Once though, we still were faced with a significant rock face to climb before we reached the summit. We decided that enough was enough. Denise is not real keen on open rock climbs and I was thinking that the views from here were great already and the climb down would be challenging enough. Besides, we have a race to run sunday!

Denise said they they would wait if I wanted to go on to the summit. I left my pack with the girls, took the camera, and proceeded to the summit. After some very challenging scrambles, I managed to reach the summit, the south summit that is. There was still .3 miles left to go to the actual summit with more open rocks and climbs ahead. Good choice to stop where we did because I don't think that Abby's arms/legs were long enought to climb up one face. I had to be creative myself to get this far...

I snapped a picture and started back down.

The photo is of Gina and I climbing down the Chimney. Oh yeah, Santa would not have made it through the top part! We had to remove our packs to squeeze through the narrow gap!

We made it back down the mountain and to the car, all in one piece. The girls would butt-slide down the rock faces, make the return trip much faster! We stopped at the A&W in Wilmington for ice cream and spotted this snapping turtle along-side the road on our way back to the cabin!

Below is a picture of our home for the next week!

We will hate to leave...

Saturday, June 6, 2009


I took Gina and Abby over to Liberty park this afternoon for a run. We wanted to get 30 minutes in and decided to do a simple out and back. Shortly after we started, we decided to go into the woods for some shade instead of baking in the meadow sunshine. As we prepared to exit the woods, I noticed a trail that veered south and looked like the deer trail I followed last winter. We started down it and it indeed connected with the ledges area and came out back near the gas wells making for a nice loop.

The girls liked the area and we had a good run through the woods. We had to traverse the meadow again to get back to the car and as we passed by a ball field, the batter hit a foul ball and everyone shouted "heads up!" I looked up to see the ball coming down near us as Gina and Abby did the "duck and cover" routine! The ball dropped harmlessly 4 feet away but it was close enough.. That would have made a good story: "Tell me again how you got that lump on your head?" "I went running with Dad..."

Friday, June 5, 2009

Just get out the door! (again)

I am still having a motivation problem with my training. I guess I really do need an event to train for or to scare me into training. The 'plan' for the Running with Scissors race starts in two weeks so that will be good.

I managed to get out this morning before work for 4.5 miles of the local trails. It was very quiet and very enjoyable. It started the day off well and as usual, once I was out the door, it was great!

Just get out the door...

Our Lake Placid trip is very near and we cannot wait! The weather looks to be near perfect for race day with clear skies and high of 70 degrees. We will probably have to build a fire in the cabin with the lows in the high 40s... However for the mountains, this is as good as it gets!

Adirondacks, here we come!