The Long Run – The City Slicker In Nature

I have spent my entire adult life living in urban environments.  In those years, I’ve spent very little time in nature.  I spend most of my time pounding the pavement of the streets of New York.

New York City is my home, and the urban landscape is where I am most comfortable.  I love the feel of the city – the crowded streets, the bustling parks, the sky scrapers, and the street art.  I love dodging cars on my bike, and running the crowded loop in Prospect Park.  But recently, I’ve felt myself pulled more towards the natural environment.  I can’t really explain why.  Perhaps its because in the last couple of years I’ve been lucky enough to spend a couple of weekends a year here in Vermont, running, hiking and cross country skiing in Stowe.  Perhaps it’s because of the pull of outdoor rock climbing, or perhaps it’s got something to do with getting old.  I don’t know.

Whatever the reason, yesterday’s thirteen miler through Stowe wet my appetite for more miles in nature.  I started off the run with Bernie G, who knows the roads of Stowe much better than I.  He guided me through four miles of rolling hills, corn fields, and a golf course at a respectable 8:30 pace.  We split up at the Stowe Farmer’s market, where I saw E and eyed the delicious strawberry rhubarb pie she was buying.  Then I headed off on to finish the run solo on the Stowe Recreational path.

8:30 had been a little ambitious for the first four, so I took it down a notch for the rest of the run, dodging kids on bikes and following the West Branch Little River to the rec path terminus.  Along the way, I gazed up at mount Mansfield, watched the river roll by, and checked out the local hippie art.  All while listening to the Hood Internet.

I am even starting to appreciate hippie art.

I am even starting to appreciate hippie art.

From the rec path terminus, I circled back past the farmer’s market, through town and up to the house finishing 13.1 miles in 2:04:30 for an average pace of 9:31.  Not bad.  Not great, but not bad.  All in all, a wonderful way to spend a gorgeous Sunday afternoon.

For a true trail runner, my run on a rec path today would be a joke.  But for a city slicker like me, it felt like the fucking Appalachian trail.  I loved it.  I want more.  The legs are a little sore, and it’s raining, but I’d still like to get out there, get in some miles, and spend more time in the woods before I return to the asphalt and concrete of my usual daily run.

 

Friday Inspiration – In the Mountains

Tomorrow E and I head up to Stowe, Vermont for some much needed R&R.  I’m looking forward to running the trails there and hopefully finally making the time to summit Mount Mansfield.

One of the largest ultra race in the world, the Ultra Trail Mont Blanc, is also this weekend.  At around a hundred miles with about 9km in elevation gain, its a little bit more ambitious than what I have planned.

See what I mean?

Where ever you are, I hope you’re getting out there this weekend and enjoying the last days of summer.  I know I will be.

 

Heading North

Traveling today for Rosh Hashanah, but I got out and got in a silly one mile run early this morning before work. As I push my way back to being in shape over the next couple of months, keeping up the running streak and writing here regularly are going to be important. As I said yesterday, consistency is the key and I have found I am the most consistent in my running when I am running every day and blogging about it frequently.

 

This weekend I’ll be in Vermont for the Holiday. As long as there is no pain in my groin, I’m going to hit the hills hard. I’m hoping hit the Toll Road at the top of Mt. Mansfield and do some serious running on the trails. If I don’t come back sore on Monday, I’ll be disappointed.

 

Shana Tova everyone!