Tuesday, November 29, 2016

A WARM FOGGY NOVEMBER EVENING
7.1 Mile Run Through the Pine Hills Neighborhood & Around Buckingham Pond
Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Monday, November 28, 2016

18 Mile Ride on the Albany County Rail Trail
Monday, November 28, 2016

Sunday, November 27, 2016

1.2 Mile Walk at Tinker Nature Park
Sunday, November 27, 2016
Weekly Activity Summary
11/20/2016 - 11/26/2016

running (2) - 11.1 mi
riding (1) - 10.6 mi
walking/hiking (8) - 9.1 mi

outdoor activity 7/7 days

DDPY - 

JMH

Saturday, November 26, 2016

COLD & RAINY... BLEAH!
Mendon Ponds Park - Visiting Wild Wings, Spotting Deer, Feeding Hungry Birds, and Watching the Geese & A Woodpecker
Saturday, November 26, 2016

Friday, November 25, 2016

A BETTER BLACK FRIDAY...
0.7 Mile Walk at Hamlin Beach State Park
1.2 Mile Walk on the Genesee Riverway Trail
0.6 Mile Walk at Seneca Park
Friday, November 25, 2016

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

3.1 Mile Run in the Vischer Ferry Nature Preserve
Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Well, it's just as well I didn't get here earlier today... the crew that's "rebuilding" the towpath was hard at work along one of the trails I'd planned to run. While I like the idea of resurfacing the towpath in theory, it seems like what they're actually doing is building a crushed stone road that you could drive a car down, with the removal of lots of the vegetation alongside the towpath as part of the process. In the end I think there will be a better surface for riding  a bike... but when it comes to walking and running, the path will have definitely lost something.

JMH
COLD WIND...
10.6 Mile Ride on the Mohawk Hudson Bike Path
Wednesday, November 23, 2016

A sunny day with temperatures in the low 30's isn't so bad for riding, if you're dressed right... unfortunately today there was also a 10-15 mph wind blowing, which not only made half the ride that much more difficult (riding into the wind) but also introduced a rather unpleasant wind chill. After half a dozen miles I had warmed up fairly well but my motivation to ride more than 10 miles or so basically gone. A shame really, since opportunities to ride during the day will be few and far between for the next few months.

JMH

Sunday, November 20, 2016

A POND OVERFLOWING WITH BOTH WATER & DUCKS
0.9 Mile Walk at Buckingham Pond
Sunday, November 20, 2016
SNOW IN THE MOUNTAINS...
Sunday, November 20, 2016

Ordinarily I'd visit Trustom Pond NWR after running the Lil Rhody, but today I decided to get on the road back to Albany immediately, because the weather forecast called for snow at higher elevations and I didn't want to be driving over the Berkshires and Taconics in a snowstorm in the dark. Turned out to be a good decision... there was almost no precipitation all the way to the MA Turnpike, and then as soon as I started the climb out of West Springfield - the snow kicked in, making for a mildly nerve-wracking 40 miles or so. The precipitation let up not long after I crossed the border into NY, but clearly snow had fallen there too - just not as much as in the mountains. I briefly wondered if I should unpack my snowshoes from storage... but once I crossed the Hudson into Albany, all traces of snow vanished. So my guess is I won't be getting any pre-season snowshoe practice in this week...

JMH
Slow & Steady 2016 - Race #50
Lil Rhody Runaround 8mi Race
Sunday, November 20, 2016


2016 Event Totals
Run 354.6 mi, 85 hr 52 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
11/13/2016 - 11/19/2016

running (5) - 24.1 mi
riding (3) - 33.7 mi
walking/hiking (2) - 4.2 mi


outdoor activity 7/7 days

DDPY - 

JMH

Saturday, November 19, 2016

11.1 Mile Ride Through the Corning Preserve
Saturday, November 19, 2016

Apparently all roads lead to the Corning Preserve today. I had originally planned to leave Albany between 12:30 and 1 PM and stop at the Northampton trailhead for the Norrowottuck rail trail to ride for a while... but then I ran harder than I had planned this morning, which meant I was unlikely to ride more than half the length of the trail - and it just didn't seem worth lugging my bike all over the place this weekend just to ride 10 miles.

The Corning Preserve, on the other hand, has the advantages of being close by and relatively easy riding (though all of the root-and-frost-heaves are annoying.) It was a bit crowded today because of the unseasonably warm weather (I was riding in shorts and shirt sleeves rather than tights and a jacket.) I had a slight tailwind on the way out, which was very nice... but even riding into the breeze on the way back wasn't too bad.

It remains to be seen what kind of shape my legs will be in for tomorrow's 8 miler at Burlingame... but then the Lil Rhody is a fun trail race even if I end up plodding along like the turtle I am.

JMH

A SEA OF GIRLS IN GOLD...
Slow & Steady 2016 - Race #49
Girls on the Run 5k Road Race
Saturday, November 19, 2016

This fall a couple of the staff at the girls' school set up a lower school chapter of Girls on the Run, an international program which seeks to " inspire girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running. " I considered volunteering to be a running buddy but decided not to for several reasons - my lack of leg speed, the time commitment, and in particular the commitment to run a 5k race with one of the girls on mid-November. Then a few weeks back the school community at large was invited to come to the 5k to cheer on the girls who'd be running or run the race in support of them - and since I didn't have anything on the calendar, this would be literally minutes from home (the Corning Riverfront Preserve), and it would be an opportunity to help with a school program, I signed up for the run and did my best to encourage other faculty to sign up to either run or walk the 5k.

The pre-race ritual was an interesting one... after a bunch of talking (which I couldn't really hear) they led the crowd through a "warm up" which looked to me like a toned down Zumba routine. (I think I'll stick with my standard warmup of either going for a short walk, going for a short run (very rarely, and really only for very short races), or just waiting for the race to start.) And then finally the crowd mobbed the starting line and counted down to the start.

It took a few minutes for the crowd to spread out enough for me to run at a comfortable pace... which, surprisingly, was faster than a lot of the crowd (I finished 85th out of about 300 timed runners and walkers.) Then again, a lot of the "running buddies" might have been going significantly faster if they hadn't been running with a 3rd-5th grader who was running her first 5k, so I won't let it go to my head. In the end, I had a good day and ran faster than I'd intended (just under 11 minute miles... easily the fastest 5k I've done in quite some time.) All of our girls completed their first 5k and seemed pretty happy and excited at the end. And I was happy because (1) I ran sub-11 minute miles and my knees didn't explode - perhaps the warmup run I did before the race helped - and (2) this would seem to be evidence that I have gotten stronger through the longer distances I've been doing... while my times for those longer runs aren't necessarily dropping very much, I had energy to burn during today's much shorter race - and that's after the past three nights of running and riding after work.

And based on what I saw today, maybe I'll sign up to help out as a running buddy next time around, since it seems like there are girls in the program I'd be able to keep up with.

JMH

2016 Event Totals
Run 346.6 mi, 84 hr 7 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
SHOULD'VE BROUGHT THE CAMERA...
2.2 Mile Run Through the Corning Preserve
Saturday, November 19, 2016

... because the river was shrouded in fog when I got to the boat launch and I could have taken some cool pictures. Oh, well.

Easy two miles and a bit to wake my legs up for the 5k to follow shortly...

JMH

Friday, November 18, 2016

ON THE WAY TO A NEW RECORD...
14.5 Mile Ride on the Mohawk Hudson Bike Path
Friday, November 18, 2016

Managed to get to the trailhead early enough that I was able to do much of my ride without lights... a rare opportunity over the next few months. I'd been hoping for warmer conditions - it was up in the high 50's today - but there was a damp chill in the air, and because the sky was clear it cooled down very rapidly as the sun set. Still, my legs were much more cooperative than last night, and overall it was a fairly pleasant ride for a November evening.

Tonight I also surpassed my previous record (at least since I've been keeping track, which is about 9 years now) for miles ridden during the year... for a long time I'd end the year with around 1000-1100 miles, but I really ramped that up when I tore my knee up in 2013... couldn't run much, so I did a lot of walking and riding that year. My biggest year previously was 2014, when I trained for and rode the Maine Lighthouse Century ride... I barely managed to squeak past 2000 miles that year with a late December ride in a sleet storm. This year I've topped that with six weeks to go... that might be partly due to the warm winter we had last season (I'd ridden 100 miles by the beginning of March, usually my slowest months of the year to accumulate mileage) and partly because I did a lot of short and medium length rides, which are easier on the legs and the psyche than long hauls. In any case, barring a sudden outbreak of awful weather, I shouldn't have much trouble racking up at least another 1oo miles over the next six weeks.

Of course, in 2014 I didn't think I'd have any trouble hitting 2000 miles after I'd done the century ride... and I ended up only just barely making it by going for a late December ride in a sleet storm. So what do I know?

JMH
 

Thursday, November 17, 2016

SHOULD'VE GONE FOR A WALK INSTEAD...
8.1 Mile Ride on the Mohawk Hudson Bike Path
Thursday, November 17, 2016

... but I haven't been on the bike since last Saturday. I knew I was in for a tough night when I found myself almost dozing off at stop lights on my way over to the trailhead.

I quickly downgraded my plans to around 10 miles, and then downgraded them further to "whatever mileage I have when I get back to the car." Hopefully I can get a decent night's sleep tonight and maybe be in better shape for a ride tomorrow, since the weather's supposed to be unseasonably warm.

I did catch a glimpse of a buck deer when I turned onto the spur path back to the parking lot... I don't think he knew what to make of me, but he finally took off into the field near the water treatment plant. I was worried he'd head into the road and risk getting hit but it looked like he stopped about halfway up the hill.
 
JMH

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

6 Mile Run on the Albany County Rail Trail
Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

A MISERABLE AFTERNOON TURNS INTO A PLEASANT EVENING
1.9 Mile Walk Around the Pine Hills Neighborhood
Tuesday, November 15, 2016
OK, I Wasn't Expecting THAT...
Tuesday, November 15, 2016

The Sunday before Halloween I picked up a pair of discounted pumpkins (75% off) to turn into critter feeders in the backyard. Chopped an opening in the side, and for the first one I scooped out all the pumpkin guts and dried the seeds. Dumped in a bunch of squirrel food (corn, sunflower seeds, peanuts) as well as the dried pumpkin seeds, and overall the squirrels seemed pretty happy... they even chowed down on some of the pumpkin itself (which is part of what I was hoping would happen.)




Last week I put out the second one... I was lazier this time and only stirred up the pumpkin guts, but left most of it inside the pumpkin. The squirrels seem to have taken care of removing the innards... I watched one go back and forth pulling out seeds and burying them all over the backyard. Maybe I won't need to buy pumpkins next year...

This morning I took a look out the window (I'd filled the feeders last night) and saw one of the neighborhood cats sitting on the squirrel feeding platform attached to the fence. No big surprise, I've seen cats there before - apparently it's a comfortable place to watch the birds at the feeders. The surprise came a moment later - when one of the squirrels came charging down the fence line and chased the cat off (he jumped down to the ground and sat under the platform) so that the squirrel could get food from the pumpkin.

I guess the cats won't be reducing the local squirrel population anytime soon... though it's quite possible the hawks that I occasionally see around here in the winter may have that action all buttoned up.

JMH

Monday, November 14, 2016

A VERY HAZY "SUPERMOON"
2.3 Mile Walk at Buckingham Pond
Monday, November 14, 2016

Sunday, November 13, 2016

NOT QUITE THE LEATHERMAN'S LOOP...
6.3 Mile Run at Ward Pound Ridge Reservation
Sunday, November 13, 2016
MORE RAVENS, FEWER ROCKS PLEASE...
Slow & Steady 2016 - Race #48
Raven Rocks 6.5mi Trail Race
Sunday, November 13, 2016


2016 Event Totals
Run 343.5 mi, 83 hr 33 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
11/6/2016 - 11/12/2016

running (1) - 15.9 mi
riding (3) - 40.6 mi
walking/hiking (4) - 6.2 mi


outdoor activity7/7 days

DDPY - 

JMH

Saturday, November 12, 2016

12.2 Mile Ride on the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail
Saturday, November 12, 2016
Slow & Steady 2016 - Race #47
Black Rock White Oak 7.8mi Trail Race
Saturday, November 12, 2016


2016 Event Totals
Run 337.0 mi, 81 hr 51 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, November 11, 2016

18.3 Mile Ride on the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail
Friday, November 11, 2016

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

COYOTES CALLING IN THE DARK
8.1 Mile Run on the Albany County Rail Trail
Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Sunday, November 06, 2016

10.1 Mile Ride on the Erie Canalway Trail (Camillus to Warners)
Sunday, November 6, 2016
1.4 Mile Walk at Tinker Nature Park
Sunday, November 6, 2016
Weekly Activity Summary
10/30/2016 - 11/5/2016

running (3) - 31.1 mi
riding (2) - 27.8 mi
walking/hiking (4) - 4.9 mi


outdoor activity 7/7 days

DDPY - 

JMH

Saturday, November 05, 2016

0.8 Mile Walk at Ontario Beach Park
Saturday, November 5, 2016
Slow & Steady 2016 - Race #46
Mendon Trail Runs 20k Trail Race
Saturday, November 5, 2016


2016 Event Totals
Run 329.2 mi, 79 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

Friday, November 04, 2016

1.4 Mile Walk at Buckingham Pond
Friday, November 4, 2016

Thursday, November 03, 2016

HEY THERE, MR. BEAVER
5.6 Mile Run on the Mohawk Hudson Bike Path
Thursday, November 3, 2016

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

12.1 Mile Ride on the Mohawk Hudson Bike Path
Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

15.7 Mile Ride on the Zim Smith Trail
Tuesday, November 1, 2016