For the holidays I spent some time upstate and got some good running in as well as some time with the family.
When I arrived, Seth picked me up from the station and bought me lunch. We then headed from Syracuse to Auburn and I got to run at CCC. I first learned and fell in love with running on this one mile loop behind the community college and I still love the trail so much. I try to run it every time I am in the area. it was my first time running in a week or so due to catching Lauren's cold but it felt fine and somewhat uneventful. My head was elsewhere, as I had signed up for a Turkey Trot 5k in Baldswinville for the next day and had high hopes of a PR despite the illness and lack of real running. Any time running is a good time running though, and I just tried to focus on the clean air and familiar trails.
Afterward I got to meet and play with my Mother's new kitten which was not a bad way to end a pretty good and refreshing day.
On Thanksgiving I woke early and drove the back roads to Baldswinville. While the race has a fun and not so serious energy to it, I had a PR on my mind and took it as serious as any other. I arrived early, was one of the first to pick up my packet and went back to the truck to warm up, eat something and prepare to warm up. After a mile or so of running Sam texted saying that he, Melissa, and Joel were there. I met up with Sam and we ran another mile or so. I bumped into my buddy Tom from Boy Scouts which was wonderful too. We lined up in the corral near the front but leaving ample room for the college runners home for break.
As we waited, Johnny, Aaron, and Candice appeared and we all quietly awaited the gun. Once the gun went off I bolted which probably wasn't the smartest move, but I feared being trapped in the corral which was very possible considering the distance and lackadaisical approach to the event for many runner overall. The first mile ended up being 6ish and I sorely regretted bolting. There were more hills than any of us anticipated especially one that was right around the corner from the start which set the tone for the distance. The beauty of a 5k though was even though I ran the first mile pretty stupidly, I was already a third into the race. The second mile I tried to tone it down and leave gas for the last third by running a 6:30. Once my watch let me know there was only. smile to go I pressed on and flirted with the red line. The last mile felt like it took forever and the finish line felt farther and farther away but I managed to get the last mile down to 6:14 or so.
Overall I am pretty happy with the results as it was a PR and then some. However, I couldn't help but feel like I could do better. I am trying to appreciate the effort and celebrate the small victory regardless but I will always be looking ahead knowing that my potential hasn't been tapped in the slightest. As it was the holiday, we met at the finish line, took a photo and all went our separate ways.
On Black Friday I did what every REI employee should and spent the day opting outside. I decided to explore the trials of Filmore Glen as it is a mere 25 minute drive away from my Mom's and I hadn't run trails in some time being in the city. I realized that my Altra Impulse's wouldn't really cut the true east coast terrain so I put on some old cross country spikes that I got at Marshalls some time back that were a half size too small. They were surprisingly comfortable, nimble and fun and they handled the trails just fine. I didn't have any goals for the day so my route was a bit sloppy with a bunch of out-and-backs and small loops. The NYS Park system waived all admission fees for every park honoring the #optoutside campaign urging folks to go outside and not shop. There was surprisingly a lot of people around, all were friendly with the exception of one person who felt the need to heckle me for my vegan shirt. Many were in awe of me lapping them or running fast down the hills. I try to be as positive and friendly as possible and show them how much fun it is while also respecting their time on the trails.
Overall I managed 5 slowish miles, but then again its trail after all and it was the morning after my 5k PR. Being back in a natural setting was wonderful. The light was amazing and the trails were as technicals as I could hope for in the East Coast. Afterward, I hopped back in the truck and headed back to Mom's.
Once I was home I cleaned up, ate, and then helped Seth with some work. We concluded the evening by walking a couple laps at CCC as he hardly spends time there and I wanted him to see how beautiful it was. Also, I woke up to Hammy sleeping with me and he sleeps like a human which was probably the best part of the entire trip.
Hopefully I can get out on some more trails in the near future.