Sunday, July 31, 2016

2 Mile Run at Thacher Park
Sunday, July 31, 2016

Since I was totally soaked already I decided to put in a little extra distance before getting back to the car. Went back up the hill toward the old sewage plant and ran along one of the new mountain biking trails, then along the Long Path behind the picnic area and over to and along the escarpment down to the under-construction visitors' center. And there was no question my legs had had enough by then.

Of course, it was mighty pleasant to finally get into dry clothes after about three hours of being soaked.

The original plan was that Ann would be here today, like she was at a couple of previous runnings over a decade ago, and I have to admit that I was just a little bit sad that she wasn't when I finished. But that was by far outweighed by how glad I was she wasn't stuck waiting for over 2 hours for me in the rain. And it was really good to just drive home after the race, instead of needing to head out to Rochester so she could be back to work tomorrow. I think changing our travel plans really worked out for the best.

JMH
WET, WETTER, WETTEST
Slow & Steady 2016 - Race #25
Indian Ladder 15k Trail Race
Sunday, July 31, 2016

Thirteenth time I've run Indian Ladder since first doing it in 1998. Minor changes in the course that's been used since 2000 (I think... I know the race was run out of the Hailes Cave picnic area in 2001) mostly due to trail re-routes, though the RD did add a new bit toward the end this year that took us out of the field (now home to Thacher Park's mountain bike skills course) and onto some Long Path single track before the last half a km dash to the finish.

It was raining steadily when I left the house and never really let up until after I'd finished. I'd like to think that's why I ran my slowest time yet, though even if it hadn't been the Year of the Flood I probably would have been slower than in the past. Lots and lots of water on the trail. It was interesting to watch people trying to avoid the puddles for the first mile or so (after that there were no other runners in sight.) I mean, come on - it's pouring rain, you've set out to run either 3.5 or 9.3 miles on trails in that pouring rain, and you're worried about walking/running through puddles?

The folks I felt a little bad for were the volunteers, standing around in the rain for as long as it took me to get past their positions - when I could run that course totally unmarked. But then I did find out there were four newbies (who I'd assumed, based on the comments and the previously mentioned attempts to avoid puddles, were doing the short race) a couple of minutes behind me, so just as well those good folks were out there.

I do wish I'd thought to bring along my waterproof camera to get some pictures of the trails... it was definitely a different experience than the usual Indian Ladder trail races.

JMH



2016 Event Totals
Run 187.8 mi, 45 hr 55 min
Bike 67.3 mi, 5 hr 3 min

Snowshoe 6.2 mi, 1 hr 39 min
Kayak 1.5 mi, 20 min

states visited: CT, MA, ME, NH, NY, RI
Weekly Activity Summary
7/24/2016 - 7/30/2016

running (1) - 4.7 mi
riding (2) - 30.0 mi
walking/hiking (13) - 20.7 mi
paddling - 0 mi

outdoor activity 7/7 days

YRG -

JMH

Saturday, July 30, 2016

14.9 Mile Ride on the Erie Canalway Trail (Utica to Oriskany)
Saturday, July 30, 2016
2 Mile Walk at Tinker Nature Park
Saturday, July 30, 2016

Friday, July 29, 2016

Screech Owl Callin'...
Friday, July 29, 2016

Got the car unloaded and found Ann wondering about a strange trilling noise from the woods out back. Fortunately I'd heard (and researched) it once before, during an evening ride along the bike path... the descending trill of an eastern screech owl. Very cool.

JMH
1.2 Mile Walk on the Erie Canalway Trail (Port Byron)
A Brief Visit to Montezuma NWR
Friday, July 29, 2016

Thursday, July 28, 2016

BUNNIES & BEAVERS
1.7 Mile Walk at Five Rivers
Thursday, July 28, 2016
NINE EGRETS... & THOSE NISKAYUNA HILLS...
15.1 Mile Ride on the Mohawk Hudson Bike Path
Thursday, July 28, 2016

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

1.6 Mile Walk at Buckingham Pond
2.0 Mile Walk at the Crossings of Colonie
0.6 Mile Walk at Blatnick Park
Wednesday, Jul 27, 2016

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

1.9 Mile Walk at Olana State Historic Site
Tuesday, July 26, 2016
2.3 Mile Walk at the Walkway Over the Hudson & Upper Landing Park
Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Monday, July 25, 2016

Slow & Steady 2016 - Race #24
New Paltz Summer XC Series #3 -
Undercliff/Overcliff 4.7mi Trail Race
Monday, July 25, 2016


2016 Event Totals
Run 178.5 mi, 43 hr 34 min
Bike 67.3 mi, 5 hr 3 min

Snowshoe 6.2 mi, 1 hr 39 min
Kayak 1.5 mi, 20 min

states visited: CT, MA, ME, NH, NY, RI
1 Mile Walk at Five Rivers
Monday, July 25, 2016

Sunday, July 24, 2016

2.4 Mile Walk on the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail
1.3 Mile Walk at Collis Huntington State Park
Sunday, July 24, 2016
OODLES OF OSPREY
1.2 Mile Walk on the Branford Trolley Trail
Sunday, July 24, 2016
Weekly Activity Summary
7/17/2016 - 7/23/2016

running (4) - 21.2 mi
riding (3) - 44.2 mi
walking/hiking (9) - 9.2 mi
paddling - 0 mi

outdoor activity 7/7 days

YRG -

JMH

Saturday, July 23, 2016

0.3 Mile Walk at Brenton Point State Park
1.6 Mile Walk at Sachuest Point NWR
1.5 Mile Walk at Trustom Pond NR
Saturday, July 23, 2016
Slow & Steady 2016 - Race #23
Run With The Beavers 5mi Trail Race
Saturday, July 23, 2016


2016 Event Totals
Run 173.8 mi, 42 hr 35 min
Bike 67.3 mi, 5 hr 3 min

Snowshoe 6.2 mi, 1 hr 39 min
Kayak 1.5 mi, 20 min

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

Friday, July 22, 2016

A LITTLE COOLER...
0.7 Mile Walk at Ooms PCA
0.7 Mile Walk on the Norwottuck Rail Trail
Friday, July 22, 2016
MUCH TOO HOT...
4.1 Mile Ride on the Albany County Rail Trail
Friday, July 22, 2016

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Slow & Steady 2016 - Race #22
Twilight 10k Road/Trail Race
Thursday, July 21, 2016


2016 Event Totals
Run 168.8 mi, 41 hr 15 min
Bike 67.3 mi, 5 hr 3 min

Snowshoe 6.2 mi, 1 hr 39 min
Kayak 1.5 mi, 20 min

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

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

24.3 Mile Ride on the Mohawk Hudson Bike Path, Along Schenectady Streets, & Through Riverside Park
Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

1.7 Mile Walk at Five Rivers
Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Monday, July 18, 2016

Slow & Steady 2016 - Race #21
New Paltz Summer XC Series #2 -
Blueberry Run 4mi Trail Race
Monday, July 18, 2016


2016 Event Totals
Run 162.6 mi, 39 hr 56 min
Bike 67.3 mi, 5 hr 3 min

Snowshoe 6.2 mi, 1 hr 39 min
Kayak 1.5 mi, 20 min

states visited: CT, MA, ME, NH, NY, RI
1.2 Mile Walk at Minnewaska State Park Preserve
Monday, July 18, 2016

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Slow & Steady 2016 - Race #20
Shoreline Duathlon
Sunday, July 17, 2016


2016 Event Totals
Run 158.6 mi, 39 hr 3 min
Bike 67.3 mi, 5 hr 3 min

Snowshoe 6.2 mi, 1 hr 39 min
Kayak 1.5 mi, 20 min

states visited: CT, MA, ME, NH, NY, RI
Weekly Activity Summary
7/10/2016 - 7/16/2016

running (3) - 9.0 mi
riding (3) - 69.8 mi
walking/hiking (5) - 9.3 mi
paddling (1) - 1.5 mi

outdoor activity 7/7 days

YRG - WU (1)

JMH

Saturday, July 16, 2016

TURTLES, TURTLES, & MORE TURTLES...
2.3 Mile Walk on the Genesee Riverway Trail
Saturday, July 16, 2016
Slow & Steady 2016 - Race #19
Tri the Oatka Paddle Triathlon
Saturday, July 16, 2016


2016 Event Totals
Run 152.6 mi, 37 hr 53 min
Bike 51.5 mi, 3 hr 53 min

Snowshoe 6.2 mi, 1 hr 39 min
Kayak 1.5 mi, 20 min

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

Friday, July 15, 2016

2 Mile Walk on the Erie Canalway Trail
Friday, July 15, 2016

Thursday, July 14, 2016

FIREFLIES
1.8 Mile Walk Around the Pine Hills Neighborhoods
Thursday, July 14, 2016

Thought I was seeing things at first, but there was a bunch of fireflies blinking on and off in a particularly thick section of bushes along edge of Ridgefield Park. At various points there has been concern about the decline in firefly populations - it certainly seems like there are fewer now than when I was much younger, but that could be purely an effect of memory - so I'm always pleased to see them and especially so here in the city.

A quick bit of research reveals that fireflies are actually a kind of beetle, and there are thousands of species around the world. In the US only the species in the east glow; the ones to the west use pheromones instead of light signals to attract mates. Larvae live for up to a year but the adults only last long enough to mate; apparently they are so short-lived that it's not clear what many species eat or if the adults even eat at all. For tons interesting firefly info check out www.firefly.org.

-JMH

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

RIDING A HALL OF FAME TRAIL NETWORK
36.7 Mile Ride on the Dutchess Rail Trail, Walkway Over The Hudson, and Hudson Valley Rail Trail
Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Since 2007 the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy has developed a rail trail Hall of Fame, choosing exemplary trails based on a variety of criteria. This year they called for voting to choose the 30th trail to be brought into the Hall of Fame - and the Hudson Valley Trail Network, consisting of three connected trails (the Dutchess Rail Trail, the Walkway Over the Hudson, and the Hudson Valley Rail Trail) won, earning almost 54% of the votes.

I've visited the Walkway Over The Hudson half a dozen times since it opened and always enjoy it. I've only ridden the adjoining trails twice - the Hudson Valley on the west side way back in 2010, and the Dutchess on the east side in late 2014. I've wanted to ride the entire system from end-to-end (and back) since that ride in 2014, and made the opportunity to do so today, by spending the night in New Paltz after running the Patterson's Pellet trail race at last night at Minnewaska.

I started out on the western end of the Walkway, taking advantage of my Empire Passport to snare a paid parking spot (there's actually enough free parking that most people don't bother with the few paid spots, so I'm usually all but assured a spot right near the western entrance... love my Empire Passport!) The Walkway was impressively busy for a summer Tuesday morning, but not so much to make riding difficult.

The first part of the Dutchess Rail Trail goes gently uphill - so I ended up going pretty slowly, given that my legs were more than a bit tired from last night's running (and Sunday's ride and Saturday's race...) Much of the trail is wooded, which was really nice - when I was there in December 2014, it was hard to tell how shaded it would be in the summer. There are some impressive bridges and a few ponds, and there were people walking or riding pretty much the whole way - clearly the trail gets a lot of use. After about 90 minutes I reached the end of the line in Hopewell Junction, where the old train station has been restored as a museum. Stopped there briefly and then headed back. The ride back was definitely easier than the ride out, despite the accumulating miles - apparently I did more uphill than I realized on the ride out.

The Walkway was even more crowded when I went back through, including a large tour group that came off the elevator just before I got there and made riding a bit hairy for a couple of moments. When I got back to the car I refilled the water bottles and grabbed an apple and a 2nd power bar for the short ride on the Hudson Valley trail (only about an 8 mile rough trip, compared to the 29+ miles I'd already done.)

The initial bit of the HV goes uphill, then seems to level off (actually, it continues to go uphill at a much gentler grade.) The trail passes through some impressive rock cuts and goes past two caboose cars on display. It's an older trail than the Dutchess, so the pavement is a bit rougher, and it was definitely work to reach to turn around at Tony Williams Park. But I got a pleasant surprise when the trip back was much easier, showing that I'd actually been going uphill most of the the way out.

And then - I was back at the car again, my longest ride of 2016 (so far) was over, and it was time to grab a late lunch and hit the road back to Albany.

JMH

Monday, July 11, 2016

Slow & Steady 2016 - Race #18
New Paltz Summer XC Series #1 -
Patterson's Pellet 3mi Trail Race
Monday, July 11, 2016


2016 Event Totals
Run 149.5 mi, 37 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
3.9 Mile Run at Minnewaska State Park Preserve
Monday, July 11, 2016

Sunday, July 10, 2016

20.1 Mile Ride on the Mohawk Hudson Bike Path
Sunday, July 10, 2016

I had originally planned to run the Race Against Cancer 10k down at the Corning Preserve this morning, but the state of my legs when I got up early in the AM suggested this was not the best plan... and the way they felt during my ride today backed that up. Of course, it didn't help that for the initial 6-7 miles heading west I was riding into a stiff headwind. Felt a lot better once I turned around and headed back... having that wind pushing me along was a definite plus. So much so that I decided to keep going when I got back to Lock 8 and rode all the way to SCCC. Of course, that meant 2.5 miles of pushing against the wind to get back to the car... sigh.

Other than the wind it was a gorgeous day... sunny and not too warm. A storm swept through but thankfully moved north of the river - it didn't actually start raining where I was until long after I'd finished riding and some shopping over in Bethlehem - and even then I only got hit with some rain just as I was getting home. I might have missed it entirely, except that I ran into a former student who I haven't seen in something like six years and we stood and talked for a while in the aisle at the store.

It's a little unnerving how much yesterday's race took out of me... especially given the amount of walking I did, and the number of 8-9 mile runs I've been doing lately. Hopefully I will see evidence of my legs getting stronger as the summer progresses...
 
JMH
Weekly Activity Summary
7/3/2016 - 7/9/2016

running (2) - 22.0 mi
riding (3) - 57.3 mi
walking/hiking (4) - 5.1 mi
paddling (1) - 4.0 mi

outdoor activity 7/7 days

YRG -

JMH

Saturday, July 09, 2016

OW. OW. OW.
1.4 Mile Walk at Buckingham Pond
Saturday, July 9, 2016
Slow & Steady 2016 - Race #17
Bear Brook Half Marathon Trail Race
Saturday, July 9, 2016


2016 Event Totals
Run 146.5 mi, 36 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, ME, NH, NY, RI

Friday, July 08, 2016

2 Mile Walk at Mine Falls Park
Friday, July 8, 2016

My original plan was to ride the Nashua River Rail Trail between Nashua NH and Ayers MA before heading to my hotel... I've wanted to ride the trail for a couple of years now and opportunities to do so have always fallen through. Listening to my legs during the morning convinced me this was a poor idea - I've either ridden or run for the past 4 days, and tomorrow's race is going to be a struggle regardless. So I left the bike at home and decided to do a bit of walking instead, at Mine Falls Park in Nashua. I ran a race there back in 2012 and quite enjoyed the park, so I looked forward to a chance to walk through a bit of it at a more relaxed pace.

I walked the easy main path out along the ponds and then the canal, took the footbridge over the canal, and then took the slightly more rugged path along the opposite shore. Only 2 miles of the 5 that I ran 4 years ago, but still a nice time in a really sweet park. Don't know that I'll get up here for one of the Monday night races - I'm committed to 4 Mondays down in the 'Gunks until early August, and then there are two local races on Monday nights I'd like to get to as well - but who knows, maybe I can swing it and get finally get in a ride on the rail trail too.

JMH

Thursday, July 07, 2016

SUMMER SHOWERS, BITTY BUNNIES, & EARLY EGRETS
12.3 Mile Ride on the Mohawk Hudson Bike Path
Thursday, July 7, 2016

I really don't like riding in the rain, but this week has been so hot and humid that I didn't mind the shower that hit just as I was leaving the parking lot. Of course it helped that I could see breaks of sun off in the distance and that the rain never really got all that heavy... as it happened, it was just enough to cool me down for the duration of today's short, easy ride but not enough to leave me wet and unhappy when I was done.

Lots of rabbit youngsters put in an appearance along the path this afternoon, as well as a few older ones. But the big surprise was seeing two egrets out along the river... they don't usually show up around here until early August.

JMH 

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Thanks for the "Updated" Software, Garmin
Wednesday, July 6, 2016

I've been using a variety of Garmin Forerunners for around a decade now, with my current top choice being a 610 which can actually pass as a decent watch (unlike the older, blocky monsters... though if I ever get back to doing events that I expect to last longer than 7 hours, I will definitely break out the clunky 310XT.) At times I've been tempted by other brands, but I've always resisted because my Garmins work for me and  had something others didn't - the no-longer-supported Garmin Training Center, which allows me to store and refer to my data on my PC rather than on a web-site (though my data has also been getting uploaded to what is currently the Garmin Connect site.)

Last week I was informed that I needed to update to Garmin Express to enable my various GPS devices to communicate with Garmin Connect - and along the way I lost the ability to automatically load my data into Training Center. No surprise - Garmin has made it fairly clear that they consider Training Center to be defunct.

A bit of searching online suggested re-installing Ant Agent (the previous communication software) which I tried - but ANT Agent and Garmin Express really don't play nicely with each other, and even with ANT Agent reinstalled my data doesn't seem to be making it to Training Center - and it also didn't seem to be making it to Garmin Connect either. I thought about ditching Garmin Express but I suspect it's only a matter of time until they update things in such a way that ANT Agent won't work.

So thanks Garmin for making my life more difficult. Now whenever I want to store my data on my own computer I have to first upload it to your site and then download it back to my own PC. Not a huge problem, but one less reason to remain loyal to Garmin if the opportunity to try a different company's products pops up...

JMH
8.9 Mile Run at the Greenport PCA, Greenport-Stockport Trail, & Harrier Hill Park
Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Tough "run" today (there was a lot of walking involved). I took two water bottles with me - wish I'd had three, the heat and humidity were vicious. Started at at the Greenport Conservation Area, then took the Greenport-Stockport Trail over to Harrier Hill. Much of that was wooded and not too bad - until the last 3/4 of a mile, which was out in brutally sunny fields and featured a gravel trail surface, neither of which was conducive for good running. By the time I left Harrier Hill I'd used up one bottle and was definitely feeling the effects of the heat. Anything resembling an uphill meant walking.

Once I got back to the main trail at the Greenport PCA I hit the 2nd challenge - swarms of deerflies. I would blame my forgetting to use bug spray, but realistically - that doesn't do much to drive them off, and by that time I might have sweated much of it off anyway, because I was well and truly drenched.

Hardly anyone else around, so maybe everybody else is smarter than I am... in any case I was awfully pleased to finally get back to the car, change into some drier clothes, and head off to find some cold drinks. I've enjoyed all my previous visits to these trails, and today definitely had some nice moments (like the old trees along the trail between Greenport and Harrier Hills, including a wonderful massive old oak.) But overall it was definitely a slog, and I'm really hoping for better conditions Saturday morning in New Hampshire... hopefully starting at 6:30 AM (!) will help.

JMH 

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

17.8 Mile Ride on the Old Erie Canal State Park Trail (Chittenango to Lenox Basin)
Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Picking up where I left off riding on Friday night, I was hoping to do 23-25 miles today - but between the heat and dust, and my legs feeling the effects of yesterday's 27+ miles, I decided to turn around at the Lenox Basin parking lot. Just as well, too - for much of the ride back I was just looking forward to being done.

At this point I have about 20 miles left to ride in the Old Erie Canal State Park (or 40 miles, since they'll be out-and-back rides.) Probably two more rides, though it might end up being three.

Spotted some big fish in the old canal, a trio of kingfishers, and a gaggle of Canada geese... in other words, nothing unusual for riding along the old canal in July.

I do like the wider tires on the stone-dust path... I won't set any speed records, but it definitely feels more stable than my narrower road tires. Too bad both sets of wheels are bolt-ons and not quick release, but then it really isn't that much of a hassle to swap them.

JMH

Monday, July 04, 2016

27.2 Mile Ride on the Auburn Trail & the Lehigh Valley Trail
Monday, July 4, 2016

Sunday, July 03, 2016

4 Mile Paddle on Black Creek (Churchville)
Sunday, July 3, 2016
Weekly Activity Summary
6/26/2016 - 7/2/2016

running (2) - 17.0 mi
riding (3) - 59.2 mi
walking/hiking (4) - 6.5 mi

outdoor activity 7/7 days

YRG -

JMH

Saturday, July 02, 2016

2.8 Mile Walk at Mendon Ponds Park
Saturday, July 2, 2016
8.4 Mile Run on the Genesee Riverway Trail & Through Genesee Valley Park
Saturday, July 2, 2016

Friday, July 01, 2016

23.3 Mile Ride on the Old Erie Canal State Park Trail (Dewitt to Chittenango) & the Limestone Creek Trail
Friday, July 1, 2016

It's been about three years since I last rode the path through Old Erie Canal State Park east of Syracuse, and apparently some changes have taken place. When Ann and I were in the area in mid-March, we saw that a connector trail had been built along Limestone Creek, a bridge had been put in at the old aqueduct near the Dewitt parking area, and it looked like a new parking area was being built at the Burdick St crossing. Tonight I was surprised to find out that the path has been paved all the way from Manlius Center Rd to the parking area in Dewitt. While I miss the slightly softer stone dust, it's definitely easier to ride on the paved path.

After riding to the Dewitt trailhead and back (with a side trip along the Limestone Creek trail) I headed east to Chittenango Landing before heading back to the car. Overall it was  pleasant evening and it was good to ride there again after a few years. I may try to get out on the rest of that trail before the end of the summer.

JMH