Sunday, August 30, 2015

Running in Ithaca, NY

Ithaca is gorges.

There, I got that out of my system.  Now let's get on with things, shall we?

Stevie and I went up to New York for a friend's wedding this weekend and decided to spend a few extra days in Ithaca.  It was a lovely trip filled with hiking the many gorges in the area, beer and wine tasting, the wedding, and relaxing in our bed and breakfast, an old farmhouse on the outskirts of town.

And running.  With a runstreak that won't die and a marathon coming up in November,  I take my running clothes with me anytime I pack a bag these days.

I love to run while traveling.  It can be a hassle, especially the worry of getting lost (I never run with a cellphone), but I love the feeling of exploring new territory on foot.

Our bed and breakfast sat at the top of an enormous hill that was only the start of miles and miles of undulating roads, and I wasn't exactly looking forward to four days of mandatory hill training.  I set out on Wednesday to explore some of the side roads around our B&B and quickly found a road that ended by a forest.  I found a well-marked and well-maintained trail leading into the woods, so I decided to follow it despite having no idea how long it was or where it would lead me.

I love running in the woods and I was in heaven.  The trail was almost completely flat but had plenty of twists and turns to keep me alert.  I eventually connected with what was labeled the blue trail, which after a few miles delivered me to a YMCA wilderness day camp.  Children were spread out learning how to build fires and shelters and other outdoor skills, and I charged back into the woods for a total of 8 miles that day.  I did 6 the next day, then begrudgingly tackled 10 miles of roads and hills on Saturday, and this morning I returned to the woods for 4 miles of speedwork.

I'm happy everything worked out and my training didn't suffer during this trip, but at least during marathon training, it'll be nice to get back to a predictable routine in South Jersey.

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