Tuesday, May 1, 2018

And This Old World Is a New World and a Bold World

Mike Stewart and I jog up and around the Cornell Vet School to stretch out a bit and get away from the throngs congregating in and around Barton Hall. I'm feeling pretty anxious and ready to get this party started. Recent tempo run training has me thinking a 1-hour 27-minute half marathon is doable, even with the expected cold and wind. The warm-up run feels a lot smoother than last year's, when I could tell right away I'd be having an awful morning.

NY23 congressional candidate Ian Golden is emceeing the starting line, and a handful of cries of "Golden for Congress!" arise from the pack. I decide then and there that a double long-sleeve shirt is overkill, so I remove the base-layer and tie it around my waist since I can't spot anyone to toss it to. Then we start running the slight incline up Tower Road and everyone's all like "It's a new dawn, it's a new day, and I'm feeling good."

Four miles in and I'm not feeling too good going up Dodge Road. Things don't improve over the next few miles and the

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Introducing The The MK Ultra

Sure, we know you can run 100 miles. You've run ultramarathons over the highest mountains, through white-out conditions, and across the most remote deserts in the world. But do you have the mental tenacity required to complete the distance while out of your head on mind altering substances? Ever wish you could push your body to the brink while living that acid trip scene from Easy Riders, all in the name of national security? Then the MK Ultra might just be for you!

Introducing the MK Ultra 100-Mile Trail Run, where LSD is more than just "Long Slow Distance." 

Friday, March 16, 2018

Slaying the Winter Beast

After sticking mostly to singletrack and mountain ultras in 2017, I decided it was time to change things up and train for an ultra that's flat and a hundred percent runnable. The Beast of Burden is just that. It follows the old Erie Canal towpath from Lockport, NY, eastward to the town of Middleport and back. 25-, 50- and 100-mile runners all start together and run the same 25-mile out-and-back to Middleport once, twice, or four times. I had a rough day at this race back in 2016, and knew I could return and improve by a huge margin.

As I've mentioned in a previous race report, I created my own training plan based on guidelines from the book Training Essentials for Ultrarunning by accomplished ultramarathon coach Jason Koop. In years past, I always spent the winter months dabbling in other activities like snowshowing, hiking, and yoga, and running sporadically on roads and treadmills or fumbling around on snowy trails. This winter was different. By running almost exclusively on roads and rail trails, I'd improve my endurance enough that it would carry over to trail running come springtime. The goal of the 16-week plan was

Monday, February 12, 2018

0 Degree Winter Trail Festival

At the end of 2017 I was able to squeeze in one last trail race to close out the year. #TrailRoc's 0 Degree WTF is a low-cost, low-key, no frills trail race, with a similar vibe to most of the FLRC trail races around Ithaca. The course snakes its way around Powder Mills County Park on a 5-ish mile loop, with options to hoof it for 5, 10, or 15 miles. #TrailsRoc holds the race annually to raise money for trail maintenance projects in the Rochester, NY, area, with all proceeds going back to the trails and landowners.

After plans to head up to Maine for the Millinocket Marathon fell through, I signed up for the WTF 15-Miler to run it as a workout. I figured I'd get some quality mileage in amidst a six-week training phase that involved a ton of uphill intervals at maximum effort. Halfway through the six-week phase, 15 miles on dry trails would be a welcome reprieve from shredding my calves on 12 percent road inclines.

December 9 came around—the same day I'd planned to run Millinocket—and thankfully the park was snow-free. It was quite a bit warmer than the advertised 0° Fahrenheit. In fact, it was pretty

Friday, February 9, 2018

A Brief Look Back at 2017

I realized it's been awhile since I've posted anything the on the ol' weblog. Here's a brief summary of the races and places I visited throughout 2017.

Winter Chill 5k. PC: Ian Golden.
It was a year of ups and downs and highs and lows in terms of running. I started off the year getting over a bout of Achilles tendinosis that I'd acquired after trying to return too quickly from the Oil Creek 100 in October 2016. I mostly took it easy throughout January, running lower mileage and dabbling in snowshoe running. The Finger Lakes Runners Club Winter Chill Series, comprised of a low-key 5k every Sunday in January, served as a way to get some speed back after losing fitness due to the injury.

The quality mileage and gradual ramp-up paid off. I signed up for the Cast-a-Shadow 6-Hour Snowshoe Race in early February, but it became a regular trail run when the park didn't get enough snow for snowshoes. I managed 37.5 miles
on the 2.5-mile loop course—more than I'd hoped for, and good enough for my first ever top-three finish. I followed that up three weeks later with a marathon PR, by over four minutes, at the HMRRC Winter Marathon in Albany. This really got my confidence up, as I hadn't trained specifically a road marathon in over two years. I ran the first 20 miles at a comfortably-hard pace, then upped thee ante over the last 10k to secure the PR.

Fast forward a couple of months to April, where things really started to get busy. Adam and I returned to the Springletrack Fat-Ass. The course was shortened to 20 miles after a wildfire forced some major trail closures. Just as well, since most of the course was covered in snow and the scrambles were too icy to negotiate without a legit risk of death. The following weekend I ran Ithaca's skunk Cabbage Half Marathon for