Thursday, February 11, 2016

Looking back at the end of 2015 and ahead to 2016

Well the Uptown Vegan is at it again.

I don't know how it happened, but I haven't written anything here since finishing my first 100 miler, the Vermont 100 in July of 2015.

So what have I been up to since then, I took a month off to rest and recover after Vermont, a whole month of no running of any kind!  It was actually tough because I love running, but I think it was just what my body needed.  I also used that time and energy to get a bunch of artwork done and reconnect with my family, two things that had suffered a little neglect as my training miles went higher and higher into the stratosphere training for my first hundred miler.

So after resting for a month I took the fall easy, only training for the NYC marathon, no more ultras for 2015 just to be safe and also as mentioned before to reinvest my energy in my family and my art practice.

Trail Whippass, Paine to Pain, trail half marathon, half marathon, trail running, running

It was fun actually and I ended up running a trail half marathon with my wife in October, her first race at that distance, and a fun local race I've always wanted to check out.  I knew a bunch of people there and it was really fun to reconnect with other trail lovers after a two hour run instead of being in a near crisis state after a ultra.

Shout out to the Brooklyn Trail Runners who were there en masse holding it down for the 5 boroughs.

All smiles coming across the line

Trail Whippass, Paine to Pain, trail half marathon, half marathon, trail running, running

I also wanted to mention the backpacking trip I took in October with my son to celebrate his 13th birthday.  We are not religious people and so don't have any traditions around turning 13, like his friends who are all having bar mitzvah's this year, so I thought it would be cool to celebrate him becoming a man in a way that made sense to who we are.  My son and I both love being out in the woods, camping and exploring, so a father/son weekend in the woods just made perfect sense.  It was his first time officially backpacking trip (hiking into the woods with all your gear and camping in the back country) so he was a little nervous, but he ended up having a great time.  

Harriman State Park, backpacking, hiking
Me and Rhys at Harriman State Park
So 2015 is the year I finally got to run the New York City marathon, the race that inspired me to start running long distances.  I gotta say, it did not disappoint.  We had beautiful weather, there were tons of people out to cheer us on and it was just a beautiful fun experience.  And somehow even with 50,000 runners and twice that many spectators I ran into a bunch of people I knew, both running the race and friends out cheering on the crowd. 

ny marathon, marathon, run, race, running, road running
Waiting to board the Staten Island Ferry
At some point early on I decided that instead of putting my head down and trying  to crush a PR, I would instead run hard but also try to enjoy the day, giving high fives, waving to kids, hugging friends and just soaking the whole thing in.  After all, it is a tough race to get into and that may be the only time I will ever get to do it. 

The result was something short of a PR, but a ton of fun.

marathon, ny marathon, race, run, running

So, it's 2016 now and my dance card is filling up fast.  So far I have registered for the North Face Endurance Challenge Bear Mountain on April 30, the Brooklyn Half, May 21st and the main event of my year the Vermont 100 on July 16-17.  I am also considering the Cayuga Trail 50 miler in Ithaca, NY.  It looks like a beautiful/tough race and fits well into the run up for Vermont.   I am sure I will run something like a 50K or 40 miler in March or early April and either Cayuga or something else in June.

In the meantime I am running trails and doing strength training in the gym, slowing building up my mileage and core strength so I can be ready for my races and stay injury free in 2016.

Trail Whippass, trail running, the Long Path, palisades, training, running, run, ultramarathon
Look who I ran into on the Long Path

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