Thursday, June 30, 2016

A BARRED OWL & NASTY LOGGING
8.6 Mile Run in the Albany Pine Bush
Thursday, June 30, 3016

A pleasant surprise during today's run in the Pine Bush - I startled a barred owl which flew to a branch where he (or she) was visible and stayed there, occasionally calling, for long enough that I was able to get some photos and a short video. And then a little later I saw a group of deer that included two bucks.

Unfortunately I suspect I also found out why the Albany Running Exchange moved their Brave the Blizzard snowshoe race away from Guilderland Elementary again. The race was originally held on Preserve trails after a short bit on privately-owned land between the school & the preserve. Then it was moved for a couple of years over to the Parker School in Troy, before returning to Guilderland, but this time run entirely on trails on private land adjacent to the Preserve. What I learned today is that may of those trails are gone... a large section of the property has been logged and the trails have been torn up. I spent a while making my way through the mess in hopes of finding some of the trails intact, but no such luck - it almost looks like the work was done in a way that deliberately wiped out the trails (not that I can blame the landowner, since the trails had been made there illegally by the Pine Bush mountain bikers.

I was a bit surprised at how fried my legs were... earlier this week I'd thought to do 10-11 miles either yesterday or today, and I was hard-pressed to do the 8+ that I did.

JMH

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

 23.1 Mile Ride on the Mohawk Hudson Bike Path & Along Route 5S
Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

12.8 Mile Ride Through the Corning Preserve & Schuyler Flatts Park
Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Monday, June 27, 2016

A Brief Visit to Montezuma NWR
Monday, June 27, 2016
1.5 Mile Walk at Tinker Nature Park
Monday, June 27, 2016

Sunday, June 26, 2016

3 Mile Walk at Filmore Glen State Park
Sunday, June 26, 2016
Weekly Activity Summary
6/19/2016 - 6/25/2016

running (4) - 24.0 mi
riding (4) - 46.4 mi
walking/hiking (4) - 5.1 mi

outdoor activity 7/7 days

YRG -

JMH

Saturday, June 25, 2016

5.6 Mile Run at Onondaga Lake Park
Saturday, June 25, 2016
Slow & Steady 2016 - Race #16
Charlie's Old Goat 6.3mi Trail Race
Saturday, June 25, 2016


2016 Event Totals
Run 133.4 mi, 32 hr 45 min
Bike 38.5 mi, 3 hr 0 min

Snowshoe 6.2 mi, 1 hr 39 min
Kayak 0 mi, 0 min

states visited: CT, MA, ME, NH, NY, RI

Friday, June 24, 2016

1.5 Mile Walk at Onondaga Lake Park
Friday, June 24, 2016

Thursday, June 23, 2016

BUNNIES EVERYWHERE
1.6 Mile Walk at Five Rivers
Thursday, June 23, 2016
BUNNIES EVERYWHERE
1.6 Mile Walk at Five Rivers
Thursday, June 23, 2016
6.8 Mile Ride on the Albany County Rail Trail
Thursday, June 23, 2016

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Slow & Steady 2016 - Race #15
Summer Solstice 14k Trail Race
Wednesday, June 22, 2016


2016 Event Totals
Run 127.1 mi, 31 hr 16 min
Bike 38.5 mi, 3 hr 0 min

Snowshoe 6.2 mi, 1 hr 39 min
Kayak 0 mi, 0 min

states visited: CT, MA, ME, NH, NY, RI

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

16.9 Mile Ride on the Erie Canalway Trail (Fort Hunter to Amsterdam)
10.7 Mile Ride on the Mohawk Hudson Bike Path
Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Monday, June 20, 2016

3.4 Mile Run on the Albany County Rail Trail
Monday, June 20, 2016
0.8 Mile Walk at Buckingham Pond
Monday, June 20, 2016

Sunday, June 19, 2016

12 Mile Ride on the Mohawk Hudson Bike Path
Sunday, June 19, 2016
Weekly Activity Summary
6/12/2016 - 6/18/2016

running (3) - 22.6 mi
riding (3) - 50.9 mi
walking/hiking (9) - 11.7 mi

outdoor activity 7/7 days

YRG -

JMH

Saturday, June 18, 2016

SAD TURTLE #2
1.4 Mile Walk at Ann Lee Pond & the Albany Shaker Historic Site
Saturday, June 18, 2016

Ann Lee Pond has been calling to me for a few days now... so this evening I headed over there for a walk. Started out at the Shaker Site - walked over to the barn to check out the chickens and turkeys (who always seem to think I'll have food... I guess the main time they have visitors is when they get fed.) Two oxen in the field, and as I walked over to the pond I saw several rabbits, including one tiny youngster that would have fit in the palm of my hand.

I walked along the shore of the pond, staying clear of the folks fishing, and noticed that the bridge at the back of the pond looked different - as in it seemed the deck and rails had been removed. When I got back there, that indeed proved to be the case - all that remains are the support pilings and the crossbeams.

The optimist in me suggests that perhaps they left the supports in place so that they can be straightened and the bridge rebuilt... but the general degree of neglect to the preserve suggests otherwise. More likely the supports are still there because it was too difficult to remove them.

Only time will tell, but at the moment - I really miss that bridge. It was a great place to go and observe wildlife.

JMH
SAD TURTLE #1
Saturday, June 18, 2016

I was really hoping to finally do the Greylock Half Marathon again this year... but it has become increasingly obvious as the week progressed that Greylock was an unlikely prospect... and this morning's race was the final nail in the coffin.

Could I finish? Yes. But I suspect much of it would be a miserable experience, and I'm not sure how long it would take my legs to recover - and as much as I want to do Greylock, I want to do the Summer Solstice Run at Minnewaska even more on Wednesday evening.

Maybe next year...

JMH
Slow & Steady 2016 - Race #14
Rensselaerville Ramble 8mi Trail Race
Saturday, June 18, 2016


2016 Event Totals
Run 118.4 mi, 29 hr 24 min
Bike 38.5 mi, 3 hr 0 min

Snowshoe 6.2 mi, 1 hr 39 min
Kayak 0 mi, 0 min

states visited: CT, MA, ME, NH, NY, RI

Friday, June 17, 2016

TURTLES
1.1 Mile Walk at Five Rivers
Friday, June 17, 2016
13.7 Mile Ride Through the Corning Riverfront Preserve & Schuyler Flatts Cultural Park
Friday, June 17, 2016
IT'S ALIVE!!!! (Sort of...)
Friday, June 17, 2016

Last summer I picked up an inexpensive (relatively speaking) refurbished laptop in anticipation of new teacher laptops this year at school and the possibility that my Netzero wireless internet gadget would no longer work on whatever Windows 8/10 device I ended up with... only to find out that the software wouldn't load properly in the one I bought. So for the past 9 months or so, I've used it for occasional work around here and contemplated selling it or setting it up as a new laptop for Ann (since hers is well over 10 years old.)

Last week I removed the HDD from it and dropped in the larger one I had originally bought for it, then loaded Windows 7 from scratch. Ran into a few glitches that had me wondering if it was going to work, but finally, yesterday I was able to get everything working properly and, best of all, the Netzero software loaded without a problem! So from here on out I can use it as my traveling computer and leave the school laptop (which fortunately was not replaced this past year) at home.

It's kind of nice to have one of my goals accomplished so early in the summer!

JMH

Thursday, June 16, 2016

KILDEER JUNIOR
16.9 Mile Ride on the Mohawk Hudson Bike Path
Thursday, June 16, 2016

Headed over to the bike path in Niskayuna for today's ride... after running this morning it seemed like a good idea to go somewhere that would be mostly flat. Though I did want to check on the kildeer with her eggs, which meant climbing the path along the old landfill... that bit made it clear that I didn't have much climbing in my legs today, unless I wanted to take tomorrow off from riding or running.

She was still there and seemed to still be on her eggs... until a tiny fuzzball popped out and started staggering around. Eventually the little troublemaker got far enough away that she took off after him, revealing another fuzzball and three unhatched eggs. The squirts were small enough that they may have hatched recently - I don't know if that means the other eggs could still hatch or if they're duds.

Eventually I gave up upsetting the kildeers and headed back down the hill. Made it all the way to the top of the hill just east of the Colonie water treatment plant, and decided that was enough... if I'd gone any further I'd have been doing some climbing, and the legs didn't feel up to that.

One thing I don't get is why some of the riders feel obligated to be a-holes on the bike path. On at least four occasions today I slowed down and moved to the left to pass folks walking or running - and as I moved back to the right one or more jackasses who'd gotten right on my tail buzzed by me, nearly clipping me in the process. Because of course it's more important that they maintain whatever speed their doing than slow down and pass someone safely. Admittedly I will occasionally be an a-hole myself and pass without giving any warning, but typically that's because the pedestrian or rider did something stupid like stepping or pulling out onto the path without looking to see if anyone's coming. (Which doesn't excuse my bad behavior.)

It reminded me a bit of my crash almost 10 years ago... there I was pushing my bike back to the car with some obvious scrapes and dings - and every rider who went by completely ignored me. A couple of the pedestrians asked if I needed help, but no one on a bike could be bothered.

Enough griping. And just for the record, I think there were another 5000 chipmunks running back and forth alongside and across the bike path. If they didn't sleep through the winter and spend so much time chasing each other around, those little buggers could take over the world.

JMH


SLOW GOING...
5.5 Mile Run in the Albany Pine Bush
Thursday, June 16, 2016

My plan today was to do a short run in the morning and a ride in the afternoon. I considered going over to Pittsfield for both, but in the end stayed a lot closer to home and headed over to the Blueberry Hills section of the Pine Bush instead. Just as well I did, because when I got there I discovered that I had idiotically left my knee sleeves sitting in the chair back at home. Rather than spend 45 minutes going back to get them, I decided to try to do the run without, meaning I'd be going very slow and being very careful. The soft surface of the sandy Pine Bush trails was definitely a plus in this case!

It's been quite a while since I visited these trails, partly because there's been a lot of work done here over the last couple of years (what used to be a mostly wooded area with breaks of open meadow is now mostly open meadow with a few wooded bits) and partly because I don't enjoy the new trail system as much as I enjoyed the old one. It's also tough to get more then 4 miles without repeating some sections.

Saw a couple of snakes and saw or heard about 5000 chipmunks (at least it seemed like that.) Knees held up OK. I miss all the woods that have been stripped out, but it is what it is. Legs felt less tired than they did on Monday, which was a real plus... but I still doubt I have what it takes to do Greylock on Sunday.

JMH

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

HARRIED BY A BLACKBIRD...
1 Mile Walk at Buckingham Pond
Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Stopped for a short walk at Buckingham Pond on my way back from running errands, and was greeted by the sight of a group of ducklings, oddly with no mother duck in sight. A walk around the pond brought me to the geese and goslings, all of whom are getting big and have their colors coming in.

Probably the most unusual things about my walk was several encounters with a male red-winged blackbird who had previously attacked my umbrella when I was walking there a week and a half ago. Tonight he went after me - whenever I walked through a particular area he dived past my head, close enough that I could hear the swish of his wings. I have to assume he has a nest right nearby, but I had no luck spotting it - there are a couple of bushes and it's a bit distracting to have a bird diving past your head squawking. I got a couple of pictures of him and then decided it was best to stop upsetting him.

JMH 

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

WINDY...!
20.3 Mile Ride on the Mohawk Hudson Bike Path & Through Collins Park
Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Almost  perfect weather today... sunny and just warm enough. Unfortunately there was a stiff wind blowing from the west, which meant half the ride was wonderful and the other half was a struggle.

Wanted to do something different so I took the bridge over to Scotia and rode down to the far end of Collins Lake, then back to and through Collins Park. Not many geese around... there was a vehicle marked "wild goose control" and a gentleman with two border collies, which may have something to do with that. I know I've read about some of the local towns hiring him and the dogs to harass the geese and make them less likely to hang around in the local parks. And I can't blame them... as much as I like geese, there's too many of them. I'd be a strong supporter of culling the flocks if only someone was interested in using them as a source of food.

I'd been hoping to ride between 25-30 miles today, but the wind killed that plan... as it was, 20 miles seemed just about right.

JMH

Monday, June 13, 2016

9.1 Mile Run in the Albany Pine Bush
Monday, June 13, 2016

Tough going today... despite not having run or ridden since last Wednesday, legs still seemed tired.

I tried something different - parked at DiCaprio Park in Schenectady, and first took the trail over to the Hunger Kill Barrens. In addition to the short loop, I also ran the trail connecting the loop to two of the local neighborhoods. And then headed back to the park, where I ditched my wind vest - when I started out I was worried the wind would be too chilly, but in the woods it was barely noticeable.

After that I headed over to the Madison Avenue "Pinelands" trailhead (they've thinned ie. cut down the majority of the pines there, turning it into more of the pine meadow) and then back. The woods are very green - a real contrast to my runs there earlier this year.

I have to say, given the state of my legs today - Greylock is looking less and less likely for Sunday.

JMH

Sunday, June 12, 2016

0.5 Mile Walk at Seneca Park
Sunday, June 12, 2016
A Visit to the Seneca Park Zoo
Sunday, June 12, 2016
A Brief Visit to Tinker Nature Park
Sunday, June 12, 2016
Weekly Activity Summary
6/5/2016 - 6/11/2016

running (2) - 9.4 mi
riding (2) - 28.0 mi
walking/hiking (9) - 15.2 mi

outdoor activity 7/7 days

YRG -

JMH

Saturday, June 11, 2016

RENOVATION WORK IN PROGRESS...
3.1 Mile Walk at Niagara Falls State Park
Saturday, June 11, 2016
LOTS OF BIRDIES...
0.4 Mile Walk at Oak Orchard WMA
1.3 Mile Walk at Iroquois NWR (Swallow Hollow)
0.6 Mile Walk at Iroquois NWR
Saturday, June 11, 2016

Friday, June 10, 2016

INSTEAD OF A RUN...
3.6 Mile Walk at Hamlin Beach State Park
1.1 Mile Walk at Ontario Beach Park
Friday, June 10, 2016

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

WINDY & CHILLY - WONDERFUL!
6.3 Mile Run at Thacher Park
Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

ALMOST BEAT THE RAIN...
10.2 Mile Ride on the Albany County Rail Trail
Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Didn't want to go too far away due to the threat of a late afternoon thunderstorm, and I figured the Corning Preserve parking is probably a mess due to the construction going on... so despite the fact that the 2nd half of the ride would be mostly uphill, I headed over to the rail trail and rode it with my road bike for the first time.

Since it was the middle of the afternoon on a weekday, there wasn't a ton of traffic on the trail. The weather was great all the way from Slingerlands to S Pearl St, and with pretty much non-stop downhill from Elsmere Ave on, it's fantastically easy riding. The last time I rode all the way to the end of the trail was back in March... it definitely looks different now that everything is green and growing. The leaves do obscure some of the view of the rapids and falls on the Normans Kill, unfortunately.

Of course, what goes down must go back up... and when I turned around I could see dark clouds moving in. So I pushed up the hill (pretty much the first 2 1/2 miles on the way back, though even after that a lot of the trail is a gentle upward slope) and made it to Adams St before the first spatters of rain hit. From there I did a mile and a half sprint back to the car, and lucked out - it never really rained all that hard, so I only got a bit damp.

JMH

Monday, June 06, 2016

DRAGONFLIES & A NESTING KILDEER
17.8 Mile Ride on the Mohawk Hudson Bike Path
Monday, June 6, 2016

Before heading out for my ride today I completely dismantled the bottom bracket, greased the heck out of all the threads, tightened the cartridge as much as I could, and put a different pair of pedals on the cranks. The result of all of this - no more annoying squeal when I put heavy pressure on the pedals. It's nice to have a quieter bike again.

I was pleased to see a number of dragonflies along the path... not only are they incredibly cool to watch, but they also eat mosquitos.

I found the kildeer in the midst of the rocky drainage area next to the dog park parking lot up in Blatnick Park... and after a bit managed to get a few glimpses of the eggs she was hovering over, which look amazingly like stones. With luck we'll have some fuzzball mini-kildeers up there before too much longer.

Legs were definitely feeling the effects of the last week (I've either run or ridden every day of the last seven, with three races this past weekend) but they were definitely usable... I wouldn't bet on my doing anything too strenuous though. I suspect tomorrow's longish run is going to be a challenge...

JMH

Sunday, June 05, 2016

JUST ME & THE CRITTERS IN THE RAIN...
1.6 Mile Walk at Buckingham Pond
Sunday, June 5, 2016
  
I did see two other people out walking, but other than that I was the only one out in the rain... well, me and the ducks, geese and goslings, blue heron, green heron, female snapping turtle on a mission to lay her eggs, and various birds, including a red-winged blackbird that attacked my umbrella three times. It was a good evening to walk around the pond...

JMH
Slow & Steady 2016 - Race #13
SRTC SkillsUSA 5k Road/Trail Race
Sunday, June 5, 2016

I've said it before - I hate 5k's. But even with that, this was a good race. Nice course - mostly on dirt and paved trails, with a bit along Sanford's main street. The dirt wasn't as easy as I'd hoped - if I ever do this one again I'll wear my Vasques like I did yesterday for the du. Well-marked, and some really nice scenery - I actually considered walking part of the course to get pictures afterwards, and might have if it hadn't started raining (or I might have run it a 2nd time if this hadn't been my 3rd race in 38 hours.) Great weather - after yesterday's sun and humidity, today was overcast and slightly chilly. Lots of volunteers, and raising money to help fund a trip to the national SkillsUSA competition for the regional winners. And most amazing of all - I was the only guy 50-59, so I had an extremely rare age-group win. Got a nice certificate and a bag of homemade cookies baked by the RD's wife (who also ran the race and won some of her own cookies by being 2nd woman across the finish line.)

I wouldn't make a special trip to Maine just to run this one again - but I'd do it again if I was going to be in the area for something else.

JMH

2016 Event Totals
Run 110.4 mi, 27 hr 18 min
Bike 38.5 mi, 3 hr 0 min

Snowshoe 6.2 mi, 1 hr 39 min
Kayak 0 mi, 0 min

states visited: CT, MA, ME, NH, NY, RI
Weekly Activity Summary
5/29/2016 - 6/4/2016

running (3) - 20.6 mi
riding (2) - 53.5 mi
walking/hiking (5) - 7.4 mi

outdoor activity 7/7 days

YRG -

JMH

Saturday, June 04, 2016

AND THE FOG CAME ROLLING IN...
1.7 Mile Walk at Odiorne Point State Park
1.0 Mile Walk at the Rachel Carson NWR
Saturday, June 4, 2016
Slow & Steady 2016 - Race #12
Rye-by-the-Sea Duathlon
Saturday, June 4, 2016

OK, this morning came way too early, and I proved without a doubt that I'm not in shape for running a 7.4 mile race on Friday night and then a 5k/27k/5k duathlon Saturday morning. The first run was a struggle and had me considering stopping... but I came to du, so that's what I did. The ride felt decent at first, but turned into a major torture test as the miles rolled on. The only thing the 2nd run had going for it was the fact that once it was over I was finished. And it only took me 10 minutes longer for the whole shebang than the last two times...

At the same time... the ride along the seacoast is gorgeous (when I actually picked my head up to look) and I love the mile or so of the run that winds through what the locals refer to as the conservation area... gorgeous, shaded dirt trails through the woods.

One more race to go, because there is no way I'm doing the evening race in Portland... not only is it supposed to rain for much of the day (bleah) but I doubt my legs will have any running left in them by then... the 5k in Sanford tomorrow morning is going to be struggle enough, and after I finish crawling around the course I think I will be ready to head for home.

JMH

2016 Event Totals
Run 107.3 mi, 26 hr 39 min
Bike 38.5 mi, 3 hr 0 min

Snowshoe 6.2 mi, 1 hr 39 min
Kayak 0 mi, 0 min

states visited: CT, MA, NH, NY, RI

Friday, June 03, 2016

Slow & Steady 2016 - Race #11
Twilight 7.4mi Trail Run
Friday, June 3, 2016

Spent a good chunk of the week thinking I'd skip tonight's race and just head straight to NH for tomorrow's du... but in the end I decided I wanted to go for it, so I spent much of the afternoon on the road to Groton and arrived at Bluff Point a little over an hour before race time... plenty of time to get a decent parking spot and get set up to run.

Some runs you're a gazelle practically floating over the ground... doesn't happen often for me, but a lot of the time I don't feel like I'm pounding the ground. Tonight I was not only a rhinocerous hammering along, but someone had filled my legs with concrete. It was a struggle from start to finish, and once again I spent the last two miles being tailed by the bicycle sweep. And I definitely ran harder than I'd planned on... not a good idea, with a du coming up in a little over 12 hours...

And yet, despite all of that, I'm glad I did it... there's just something I really enjoy about this run.

Of course, jumping in the car immediately afterwards and driving non-stop for a little over 2 hours to my hotel was probably not the best way to recover afterwards.

Interestingly enough, when I checked the results later I discovered that Amby Burfoot, running great, running journalist, and author of one of my favorite running books, also ran the race tonight. Of course it only took him 2/3 the time it took me... but regardless, I ran a race with Amby Burfoot, how cool is that?

JMH

2016 Event Totals
Run 101.1 mi, 25 hr 24 min
Bike 21.5 mi, 1 hr 40 min

Snowshoe 6.2 mi, 1 hr 39 min
Kayak 0 mi, 0 min

states visited: CT, MA, NY, RI

Thursday, June 02, 2016

16 Mile Ride on the Mohawk Hudson Bike Path
Thursday, June 2, 2016

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

20.5 Mile Ride on the Zim Smith Trail
Wednesday, June 1, 2016