Running at Bristol

Happy birthday to my older brother Colt, who turns 28 today!

I love the Rochester trail running community.

They are the most kind and generous people and I am so thankful to finally be a part of their crowd. This weekend I did not race, I spent it at the Finger Lakes 50s race in the Finger Lakes National Forest cheering for a few friends, then headed up to Rochester for a workout Sunday morning.

The FL50s was a mess. It poured sheets of rain on and off all morning, making the trails ankle deep mud in the better spots, and almost thigh high in some areas. It runs along a few farms, so guess what else was in that slop…yup, glad I didn’t enter the race this year.

After the race I showed my friend (who also got second in the 50K say whaaaat?!) around Ithaca. He was pretty whipped, but humored me and let me show him my favorite places. Of course I took him to CTB, how could I not?

I guess I should mention sooner or later that I am moving back to Ithaca at the end of the month. I do enjoy Syracuse and Strong Hearts, but ultimately, my heart resides in Ithaca. It is my people, my community and my running. I will be working at CTB again (thank God because I miss that place so much) and a few side jobs to fill in the gaps.

I just finished my year long program at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition by taking the last test on Thursday. I am a certified Holistic Health Coach. How fancy! I do not have plans to start a health coaching business. I want to get settled in Ithaca and resume training more formally before I start to work with my cert. I think it might be cool to write some programs for the gym I will be working for and maybe hold a few seminars on running, nutrition or the importance of whole bodily health. Who knows?

Anyway, after my friend went back to the race and eventually drive home, I drove up to Rochester for dinner with the Eagans, Valones, and Welden (all TrailsRoc people). Lisa Valone made a delcious spread of burritos and chips which I happily downed. We then spent the evening talking, watching Eric, Michael and Welden shoot hoops (runners have no upper arm strength I guess…) and sitting around a fire.

These people never fail to have a good time. I think what draws me to them is that they have so many stories and experience, but also want to hear mine. So often in the running community people only talk about themselves. However, Eric talked about politics in race directing and also in the trail circuit which I was really interested in. Michael just loves everyone (“he’s a nice guy!”) and never has a mean thing to say despite how terrible some businesses (cough cough Fleet Feet) can be to runners. Welden is just Welden and has been everywhere and raced everything (and won a bunch of them) so his knowledge is something I have and will continue to learn from. Sheila, Lisa and I all throw in our tidbits of knowledge, but mostly watch the ridiculousness that are these men.

After the fire I crashed on Welden’s couch pretty hard for a few hours before getting up for a killer workout at Bristol Ski Mountain.

This hill was daunting on the first go, painful on the second and amazing on the third. The climb up and down is just over three miles, but very steep. If it was later in an ultra, I would have hiked it without a second thought. My instructions were to run the first one easy, the second one at a tempo effort, see how it went and then gauge the third one accordingly.

I had never warmed up by immediately going up a hill, but when with Trails Roc…oh I forgot to mention, it wasn’t just Welden and I but a bunch of other Rochester natives came out to run as well. It was an actual group workout! My first since track in high school where I would just go to the cemetery and hang out until I figured we should go back.

Anyway, the first rep was pretty hard even though it was just the warm up. After getting up the climb, I bombed down to practice running fast downhill. I felt like I was flying!

The second climb I pushed the effort (I am not sure how to gauge pace at this moment) and it was pretty miserable. I was breathing hard, not going fast at all and the hill just kept going. After about 10 minutes though, I couldn’t stop smiling. I LOVE this stuff. This is why I get out of bed in the morning. This makes me feel alive.

I took the downhill easier and then the third rep I focused on keeping my breathing more even and using my arms. The third one felt the best. Just like any ultrarunner, we get better as the distances get longer.

I finished with a two mile cool down and called it a day.

Afterwards Welden, Chris O’Brian and I got lunch at Basalm bagels. I didn’t have a bagel, so I cannot judge them against CTB…next time I guess. We then went back to Welden’s house because Chris asked if I would be a guest on his podcast. I was honored as I listen in to his show and his guests have been people I actually know! They also provide great insight to the races on the east coast.

Stay tuned and I’ll let you know when it comes out.

That afternoon I went to a friend’s calling hours and finally feel some closure on that part of my life. I had so many feelings during Genny about this, but I think the worst is over. I remember him for the amazing guy he was.

Quite a full, and fulfilling weekend 🙂