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 degrees 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