Sunday, March 8, 2015

Pre-Spring Ramblings

So I'm still tired of winter, although I am coping with it a little better now.  Now that March is here I can really feel that there is an end in sight.  Since I haven't had any races to report on and my "training" has been sketchy at best, I really don't have much to actually "report" on.  My training has mostly just been a series of a flight of ideas ...

Joe and I had a wonderful day of XC skiing at Allegany State Park in Salamanca.  If you XC ski, I highly recommend checking this out.  It is a good 2.5 hour drive from here but well worth the trip.  And if you don't XC ski, come spring when the snow melts there will be really excellent trails to run on.  The Allegany Adventure Run on May 2 is always a good time.  Bonus points:  the Ellicottville Brewing Company is just a short 15 minute drive from the park ... excellent food and even better beers!

Normally in the winter I switch from drinking beer to wine.  A good dark semi-dry wine relaxes me through winter.  However, this year the local craft brewers have really come through for me with some amazing stouts.  My top picks ...

Rooster Fish Oatmeal Stout.  I love this beer.  I walk into The Crooked Rooster and I don't have to say a word ... they just bring me one.  And then a second one.  And then there is their Cocoa Porter.

Ithaca Beer Company Milkstache.  Oh. My. God.  Smooth and filling.  It leaves an excellent beer moustache on your face and a film inside the glass as you empty it.  Good stuff.  IBC recently had an Oatmeal Stout and Super Stout (made with Gimme Coffee) on tap that were also pretty excellent.

Two Goats Brewing Dirty Butt.  Their brown ale mixed with their cream ale.  Smooth.  Just plain good beer.

I can't wait to get back to running on trails.  I am trying hard to stay positive with running on the roads but I just enjoy the solitude of the trails.

I think a lot about food and beer when I run.  I just do.  A hunk of cheddar rolled up in a piece of bacon is amazing after a hard run.  And probably not bad during a run.

The best part about March ... Shamrock Shakes are back.

Why did I bother to buy a pair of road shoes?  Most days I haven't been able to see pavement and my road shoes have zero traction on the snow and ice.  Two weeks from yesterday is the Wurtsboro Mountain 30K (roads) and I certainly hope I will be able to wear my Altra Intuitions for the race!

So I think my mind has just started wandering when I am out running ... sort of a survival mechanism.

And that brings me to this weekend.  The weather forecast called for some sun and warmer temps.  I wanted to get some miles in.  Well, Saturday didn't work out as expected on that front.  I did get a short 4.4 mile run in before heading over to the Finger Lakes National Forest for a hike with Joe and my sister and her husband.  We had a really excellent 5.5 mile hike.  In the years that I have been over to the forest in the winter I haven't seen such excellent snow conditions on those trails in probably forever.  It was amazing and the temp was just right at around 24 degrees.  After we headed over to Two Goats Brewing for some recovery time.  So my mileage for the day was not a total loss.  And although not running, snowshoeing at any speed is a great workout.

I had planned to go to Rochester today for the #TrailsROC birthday run.  A run and a party ... sounded good to me.  And then a couple of days ago it dawned on me.  The run was scheduled for 8am ... and we were losing an hour of sleep.  Well, that didn't work out.  So I thought I would get up a bit early (remember, I work at night so my idea of early is probably still late for anyone else!) and get a longer-ish run in.  Well, it was still freaking dark out!  And yes, I own a headlamp but the idea of trying to dodge the ice and navigate in the dark really didn't appeal to me.  When it finally got light out I headed out.  Within a half mile I had to shed one shirt.  The wind was blowing like mad.  I had a route idea in mind when I left the house but within the first mile decided to just wing it.

So I'm still running the roads in my trail shoes.  Our roads are still snow covered and the tricky footing more closely resembles running on the trails with the added benefit of still having to dodge the cars.  I headed for some of the lesser used roads and had a pretty fun run.  The wind was blowing pretty good but it was just right to keep me cool in the high-20s heat wave.

The official start of race season is next week with the St. Patrick's 4-Miler in Binghamton.  Best race ever.  And I had better be able to wear my road shoes.  And there will be beer and Shamrock Shakes involved.

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