Monday, October 31, 2016

SHORT WALKS AT TWO OF MY FAVORITE PLACES
1.4 Mile Walk at Thacher Park
1.3 Mile Walk at Five Rivers
Monday, October 31, 2016

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Slow & Steady 2016 - Race #45
Hairy Gorilla Half Marathon Trail Race
Sunday, October 30, 2016

I checked and apparently I've run this race 7 times in the 12 years it's been happening. One year it was cancelled because we got something like a foot of snow the day before, a couple of times I bailed at the last minute because they'd changed something that aggravated me (bringing in a time cutoff at the 5.8 mile point, changing the course to it's current version) and most recently (two years ago) I dropped down to the six mile race because the weather was awful (freezing rain) and the thought of spending another 90+ minutes out there was very unappealing.

This year the big question was whether or not I'd beat that time cutoff. I've been using a strategy of start slow and gradually increase pace, especially for longer events. It's worked very well for me... I tend to run negative splits and find myself passing other runners as the end draws closer. Unfortunately, that slow starting pace is somewhere in the mid-14's or low 15's, and making the time cutoff meant I'd need to average at least 13:30 per mile for pretty much the 1st six miles. I'd find that challenging on paved roads, much less on Thacher's trails.

It wasn't fun or pretty, but I did manage it, squeaked through with about a minute to spare. (Next time I'm going to petition for an early start option.) Unfortunately, that left my legs in the same shape they'd be in after I ran all out for a 10k or so... except I had 7+ miles still to go. Needless to say, my pace dropped substantially for the 2nd half, and overall - this race hurt.

I liked the course about as much as I expected to... in other words, I didn't particularly like it. Don't get me wrong, running at Thacher is a wonderful thing to do, especially in the fall when the weather is cool and the leaves are changing. But when the HGH course was changed to match the August Trail Running Festival course, it lost one of the features I enjoyed the most about it, namely the fact that much of the course was different from the Indian Ladder 15k route, and even the trails that the two shared tended to be run in the opposite direction. Now there's substantial overlap, and of course the current course is virtually identical to the Trail Running Festival. I'm sure there are all sorts of good reasons for doing it this way... but I really liked the old courses, and I don't know that I'll ever feel all that fond of the new one.

On the plus side - that gives me more options for the last weekend in October, since I won't mind missing the Gorilla to run a race somewhere else. And if I'm going to be in Albany that weekend, I can probably count on getting in a nice run at the Gorilla... especially if I can get that early start option so I don't have to darn near kill myself to beat a time cutoff.

One other plus to today's race - I guess the running I've been doing has done some good. All of my other half marathons this fall were quite a bit easier than this in terms of terrain and running surface, and they all took me right around three hours. So running this tougher race in 3:07 is a welcome indication that I've made some progress... even if I'm still slow as a turtle racing in a vat of molasses.

JMH

2016 Event Totals
Run 316.8 mi, 76 hr 55 min
Bike 119.2 mi, 9 hr 1 min

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

states visited: CT, MA, ME, NH, NY, PA, RI, VT
Weekly Activity Summary
10/23/2016 - 10/29/2016

running (1) - 12.5 mi
riding (3) - 52.4 mi
walking/hiking (6) - 12.0 mi


outdoor activity 7/7 days

DDPY - 

JMH

Saturday, October 29, 2016

18.8 Mile Ride on the Mohawk Hudson Bike Path
Saturday, October 29, 2016

Friday, October 28, 2016

SUCCESS!
Friday, October 28, 2016

Four or five months ago I had some trouble with the aging battery in my Honda Civic, and in addition to replacing the battery I picked up an Everstart Portable Jump Starter - just in case. Problem was, with the battery replaced I had no chance to test it... until a couple of weeks ago, when someone asked me to give them a jump-start after the Mohawk Towpath Byway Duathlon - and then I couldn't get it to work. Not reassuring!

Tonight when I got home one of my neighbors asked for help with a dead battery, so I grabbed it and tried again (this time I had actually read the directions first...) Hooked it up, she tried the key - and her car started right up. It works!

JMH
END-TO-END! TWICE!
18 Mile Ride on the Albany County Rail Trail
Friday, October 28, 2016

Still pretty cold today, and this afternoon the wind really picked up... which meant riding my bike had the potential to be fairly unpleasant. But then it occurred to me that the rail trail might be a better option, since the trees would help shield the path from the wind. I originally planned to take my mountain bike, but decided instead to put the wider tires on my road bike - they worked just fine on some fairly gnarly sections of the canalway trail this summer, and they'd be a better option than the mountain bike knobbies if I decided to keep going on the paved portion of the path.

The ride out to Voorheesville was windy but fairly pleasant... and the trip back even more so, with the wind more at my back and the path predominantly downhill. The wider tires worked just as well as the ones on my mountain bike, and the lighter weight of my road bike was a definite plus.

When I got back to the parking lot in Slingerlands I decided to keep going, at least to Delaware Ave... except when I got there, I was feeling good enough that I decided to go all the way to South Pearl Street. One plus to the cold weather - there was a lot less traffic on the path than when I'd ridden it in warmer weather.

Unfortunately, what goes down must go back up... and today I was riding uphill into the wind. Slow going, but nothing I haven't done before. Still, I was glad to get past the worst of the hill and enjoyed the relatively level stretch between Delaware and Slingerlands.

I wasn't expecting the ride the rail trail end-to-end until the rest is paved... it was a nice treat today to do it much sooner than that.

JMH
RAKE, BAG, REPEAT...
A Morning Working at Buckingham Pond
Friday, October 28, 2016

Today was our annual fall community service day at school... over the years my advisees and I have worked at the Pine Bush, Five Rivers, several different Little League fields, the Bethlehem YMCA, the Albany Shaker Site, and probably several other places that I can no longer remember. For the last three years we've gone to Buckingham Pond, where we mostly rake and bag leaves - actually, today that was all we did, for three hours. We managed to fill between 60 and 70 bags of leaves and left the park with fewer fallen leaves piled up in the bushes and wooded areas along the edge of the pond (which is where the city tells its workers to blow the leaves... so that we can pull them back out and bag them up for hauling away.)


 

It's interesting how many ducks are hanging around, after so few being around during the summer. Monday night there was a female wood duck warbling away among the many mallards, and this morning there was a male there as well. A kingfisher even put in a brief appearance right after we arrived.
 



I suspect by tonight or tomorrow I'm going to wish I'd done more paddling this past summer  - my arms, chest, and shoulders are definitely going to be feeling the effects of 3+ hours of raking and hauling bags full of wet leaves.

- JMH

Thursday, October 27, 2016

First Snow
Thursday, October 27, 2016

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

DANG IT GOT COLD FAST!
15.6 Mile Ride on the Mohawk Hudson Bike Path
Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Monday, October 24, 2016

THE DUCKS ARE GATHERING...
1.4 Mile Walk at Buckingham Pond
Monday, October 24, 2016

Sunday, October 23, 2016

2.6 Mile Walk on the Congers Lake Trailway
0.6 Mile Walk at Rockland Lake State Park
Sunday, October 23, 2016
Slow & Steady 2016 - Race #44
Oktoberfest Half Marathon 12.5 Mile Road Race
Sunday, October 23, 2016


2016 Event Totals
Run 303.7 mi, 73 hr 48 min
Bike 119.2 mi, 9 hr 1 min

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

states visited: CT, MA, ME, NH, NY, PA, RI, VT
Weekly Activity Summary
10/16/2016 - 10/22/2016

running (3) - 16.0 mi
riding (3) - 50.6 mi
walking/hiking (3) - 6.1 mi


outdoor activity 7/7 days

DDPY - 

JMH

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Slow & Steady 2016 - Race #43
Ghouls & Fools Night 10k Trail Race
Saturday, October 22, 2016


2016 Event Totals
Run 291.2 mi, 70 hr 58 min
Bike 119.2 mi, 9 hr 1 min

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

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

Friday, October 21, 2016

5.8 Mile Run Around Albany
Friday, October 21, 2016

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

13 Mile Ride on the Mohawk Hudson Bike Path
Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

85 DEGREES IN MID-OCTOBER?!!!
20.6 Mile Ride on the Mohawk Hudson Bike Path
Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Crazy weather for mid-October, but it did make for a pleasant ride this evening. The turtle's in the old canal seemed to like it - including a large snapping turtle that crossed the path in front of me, presumably heading for winter accommodations. 

The water levels in the old canal are the lowest I've ever seen, especially west of Rotterdam Junction. The section between Leggiero Lane and the end of the path was pretty much dry except for a few puddles... I wonder what's happened to all the turtles I saw in there this summer. We'd better get decent snowfall this winter or we're going to be in trouble water-wise.

Lots of work along the path, replacing railings and bollards. Nice to see some money being spent on the path.

JMH

Monday, October 17, 2016

2.7 Mile Walk To & Through Washington Park
Monday, October 17, 2016

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Slow & Steady 2016 - Race #42
Mohawk Towpath Byway Duathlon
Sunday, October 16, 2016


2016 Event Totals
Run 285.0 mi, 69 hr 17 min
Bike 119.2 mi, 9 hr 1 min

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

states visited: CT, MA, ME, NH, NY, RI, VT
Weekly Activity Summary
10/9/2016 - 10/15/2016

running (4) - 21.5 mi
riding (3) - 46.5 mi
walking/hiking (4) - 6.9 mi


outdoor activity 7/7 days

DDPY - 

JMH

Saturday, October 15, 2016

12.5 Mile Ride on the D&H Rail Trail (Southern Section)
Saturday, October 15, 2016
Slow & Steady 2016 - Race #41
Leaf Chase 10k Trail Race
Saturday, October 15, 2016


2016 Event Totals
Run 281.0 mi, 68 hr 27 min
Bike 102.2 mi, 7 hr 42 min

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

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

Friday, October 14, 2016

A PEACEFUL EVENING IN THE PARK
6 Mile Run at Saratoga Spa State Park
Friday, October 14, 2016

There are some places that, when I go there to run, it just plain makes me happy... often I can't even explain exactly why. Saratoga Spa State Park is one of those places. I pulled into the parking lot tonight after a slow trip up the Northway (Friday rush hour traffic... bleah) and was just glad to be there.

I mostly followed the 5 mile trail, with a few deviations either to take it easier on my knees or to have a slightly more interesting route. I had enough light that I didn't need my headlamp until I got into the woods near the Columbia Pavilion, and I was able to shut it off again once I got back to the quad. I was a little disappointed that the owls weren't calling this time, but it was still pretty interesting to be there after dark, especially in the quad - I don't know that I've ever been there at night before.

Probably the coolest point of the whole run was coming out of the woods near the Peerless Pool parking lot and seeing a big, bright, almost-full moon over the trees. Apparently if the weather is clear it should be even more spectacular when it is completely full in the wee hours of Sunday morning. I'll hopefully be asleep, since I need to be up early to head to the Mohawk Towpath Duathlon that morning.

Yesterday I was feeling tired enough that I considered cancelling my hotel and making the full drive to Rutland tomorrow morning. I'm glad I didn't - tonight's trek around the park was definitely a good way to start off the weekend.

JMH

Thursday, October 13, 2016

2.2 Mile Walk at Buckingham Pond
Thursday, October 13, 2016

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

ERIE CANALWAY TRAIL END-TO-END:
Progress So Far...
Wednesday, October 12, 2016

A couple of years ago I started thinking that I wanted to mark turning 50 by riding the Erie Canalway Trail from end to end. The obvious way to do this would be to sign up for the Cycling the Erie Canal tour that Parks & Trails NY organizes every July... except the price for that is more than I would want to pay, and I can best be described as a not terribly social animal... so spending an entire week with other riders doesn't appeal. Instead, I figured I'd take a week and do it on my own, probably with some support from Ann.

Problem was, that would mean spending a week doing very little other than riding my bike, and as my experience with the Maine Lighthouse Century showed, while I enjoy riding my bike, I don't love riding my bike, especially not enough to give up running and so on for the better part of a week. So I abandoned that plan.

Except this summer I found myself riding more of the Canalway Trail again, and got me thinking - instead of doing it all at once, why not break it up into a bunch of shorter trips? Thus was born my two year plan - ride the Trail in segments over the next two years. And I think I made pretty good progress, considering that the idea only became official in my head sometime in July.

To date I've ridden a little over 215 miles of what PTNY says is the 360 mile trail (the summer tour is closer to 400 miles, and that's most likely the guidelines I'll follow.) My two longest segments are from Hulberton (west of Brockport) to Newark (62+ miles) and from Minden (west of Canajoharie) to the Albany waterfront (82+ miles) but I've also ridden the entire Old Erie Canal State Historic Park plus the section through Rome (43+ miles), Oriskany to Utica (15 miles), and Weedsport to Warners (12+ miles.)

It's hard to say if I'll get much more done this year... it all depends on the weather. I've also got some of the toughest stretches still to do - on-road treks from Newark to Port Byron, Camillus to DeWitt, and Utica to Little Falls. But it's definitely do-able by the end of 2017.

JMH

19.9 Mile Ride on the Mohawk Hudson Bike Path, Through Cohoes to Van Schaick Island & Waterford, & Through the Colonie Mohawk River Park
Wednesday, October 12, 2016

My original plan was to use part of my day off to head somewhere a bit further away (Pittsfield, Kingston, Rosendale, or Millerton) for a ride, and maybe get in a short run on the way there. Except in the end I didn't feel like traveling that far... so instead I settled for closing the only local gap in my attempt to ride the entire Erie Canalway Trail - the stretch east of Colonie Mohawk River Park down into Cohoes, and then through Cohoes to Van Schaick Pond.

I guess plenty of other folks had the day off too, because there was plenty of traffic and lots of people in the parks. Can't blame them - we had a gorgeous afternoon, warm and sunny.

The ride to the end of the trail at Alexander St was uneventful, and the part I was a bit concerned about - following local streets across 787 to Van Schaick Pond - turned out to be very straightforward, without much traffic. Even my biggest concern - crossing 787 - turned out to be pretty easy thanks to the crosswalks there.

The construction between the pond and the river is proceeding rapidly - the area is cleared and apparently there's going to be another complex of "luxury apartments" there - bleah. 

Since it was such a nice afternoon I didn't want to just turn around and head back, so I headed down toward the river and followed the paved path - first south, to the redecked railroad bridge, and then north to Peebles Island State Park and Waterford Harbor. From there I retraced my route through Cohoes back to the bike path and made the climb back up to Colonie Mohawk River Park. Even then I wasn't quite ready to stop, so I first rode down into the park, and then followed the local roads under the Northway to the point where the bike path heads up the steep hill. After that it was just a matter of following the path (both on-road and off) back to where my car was parked opposite the entrance to the park.

A fun ride... I got to ride some places I've rarely ridden before, and I completed the local stretch of the Erie Canalway Trail in the process.

JMH 

Monday, October 10, 2016

14.1 Mile Ride Through the Corning Riverfront Preserve & Schuyler Flatts Cultural Park
Monday, October 10, 2016

Sunday, October 09, 2016

ONE HECK OF A RAINBOW
1.5 Mile Walk at Tinker Nature Park
Sunday, October 9, 2016
CRAZY RUNNING TURTLE - DONE!
Sunday, October 9, 2016

4 races in two days. 20.5 miles total. 4 hrs and 50 minutes.

I've got to be some kind of idiot (not news to anyone reading this, I realize.)

I survived and even ran halfway decently. Knees held up overall, though they were definitely unhappy at times during Saturday night's (where I ran harder than I should have) and Sunday afternoon's runs. My legs are definitely pretty well thrashed and I'm pretty darn tired. And I'm looking forward to not running tomorrow.

But I did make it. So I guess my so-called training has done something for me.

Still... I don't know that I want to do four races in two days again. Actually, I'm pretty sure I don't want to do it again. At least not without a really good reason...

JMH
CRAZY RUNNING TURTLE, Part 4
Slow & Steady 2016 - Race #40
Running with the Angels 10k Trail/Road Race
Sunday, October 9, 2016


2016 Event Totals
Run 274.8 mi, 66 hr 46 min
Bike 102.2 mi, 7 hr 42 min

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

states visited: CT, MA, ME, NH, NY, RI
CRAZY RUNNING TURTLE, Part 3
Slow & Steady 2016 - Race #39
Go Pink Breast Cancer 5k Trail Race
Sunday, October 9, 2016


2016 Event Totals
Run 268.6 mi, 65 hr 24 min
Bike 102.2 mi, 7 hr 42 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
10/2/2016 - 10/8/2016

running (5) - 24.5 mi
riding (3) - 49.4 mi
walking/hiking (4) - 7.1 mi


outdoor activity 7/7 days

DDPY - 

JMH

Saturday, October 08, 2016

CRAZY RUNNING TURTLE, Part 2
Slow & Steady 2016 - Race #38
Ready Set Glow 5mi Night Trail Race
Saturday, October 8, 2016


2016 Event Totals
Run 265.5 mi, 64 hr 40 min
Bike 102.2 mi, 7 hr 42 min

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

states visited: CT, MA, ME, NH, NY, RI
CRAZY RUNNING TURTLE, Part 1
Slow & Steady 2016 - Race #37
Chobani Chamber Challenge 10k Trail Race
Saturday, October 8, 2016


2016 Event Totals
Run 260.5 mi, 63 hr 20 min
Bike 102.2 mi, 7 hr 42 min

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

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

Friday, October 07, 2016

1.5 Mile Walk at Buckingham Pond
Friday, October 7, 2016

Thursday, October 06, 2016

SCREECH OWLS CALLING
14.5 Mile Ride on the Mohawk Hudson Bike Path
Thursday, October 6, 2016

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

14.9 Mile Ride on the Mohawk Hudson Bike Path
Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Monday, October 03, 2016

3.3 Mile Run at Montezuma Aqueduct Park
Monday, October 3, 2016
OODLES OF COOTS
A Short Drive Through Montezuma NWR
Monday, October 3, 2016
4 Mile Run at Seneca Meadows Wetland Preserve
Monday, October 3, 2016

Sunday, October 02, 2016

DUCKS, HERONS & RAIN...
2.7 Mile Walk on the Erie Canalway Trail
Sunday, October 2, 2016
Slow & Steady 2016 - Race #36
Rochester Autumn Classic F1 Duathlon
Sunday, October 2, 2016


2016 Event Totals
Run 254.3 mi, 61 hr 56 min
Bike 102.2 mi, 7 hr 42 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
9/25/2016 - 10/1/2016

running (1) - 6.0 mi
riding (2) - 19.4 mi
walking/hiking (5) - 6.6 mi
paddling - 0 mi

outdoor activity 7/7 days

DDPY - 

JMH

Saturday, October 01, 2016

1.6 Mile Walk at Tinker Nature Park
Saturday, October 1, 2016
9.1 Mile Ride on the Erie Canalway Trail (Utica to Lock 20)
Saturday, October 1, 2016