Life Update, Home, Mountains, Racing…

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Its going on two months since I moved home to Troy, NY from Vail, CO. Most people will say, Why? Why would you ever move back to New York from Colorado? Well, Colorado will always be there and nothing is for good, my nephew will only be 2 years old for, well, a year! Whenever, someone says, “for good?” I say, “for now.” You never know where you will be a year from now, I never thought I would run like this and for 6 years of living in Colorado I never thought I would move home, but things change, and sometimes you need to take a break, or a step back to take a step forward. I do miss my girlfriend and brother who still live in Denver but, thats just a reason to work hard and plan a Colorado visit. I made it home just in time to see my baby sister graduate from Nursing school and couldn’t have been more proud and happy to see that. It has been nice for my dog Rooster, who has a yard and a friend to play with constantly. I have been eating well and doing things like going to the Movies with my mom and helping watch my nephew for my sister. I am really enjoying being home with Family and friends.

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I also have this awesome new Job I am stoked about! I just started as the Altra Running New England Tech Rep. It has been a dream so far, working for my favorite running company talking about doing things things I am already very passionate about. I have been wearing Altra for over two years now and it has really helped with my running. I wore the Lone Peak 1.5 in the Vail Winter Uphill race then the Olympus in my first 50 Miler at Run Rabbit Run. It has been an amazing experience so far and I know the experience I am going to gain will be invaluable in my career. So far, I had the chance to spend a week in Utah, learning about shoes, fly fishing, and running around mountains with the founders and some other amazing like minded people. I will be traveling the Northeast educating retail shops and customers on the benefits of Altra along with hosting group demo runs and working races and events. 

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I have run in three races and spent a few weekends and days running around the Adirondacks and Berkshires. My Dad and I ran an awesome 15 mile ‘lollypop’ loop around Mt. Greylock, Williams, Fitch, and Prospect with some cool sections of the AT trail the first weekend I was home. While living in Colorado and hiking 14ers I always said how different the landscapes were and how in some ways the Adirondacks were nicer because your actually hiking through forest with trees and water rather then being on a big pile of rocks above tree line sucking wind the whole time. I love the Adirondacks, i grew up hiking there and have a special connection with them. My grandparents had a house in North Creek and we spent a lot of time there with family, skiing in the winter and hanging out at the beach in summer. In the past few weeks I have hiked/run Whiteface with my friend from high school Vince and ran Marcy with my dad. I had such a great time on both. The ‘Dacks’ are a special place and its nice getting some quality time with my dad up there. Rooster my furry running buddy has been with me as usual. Its funny the looks and reactions you get from people while running in the high peaks. People worry about my dog but don’t realize he’s a mountain running beast coming from Colorado.

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Racing wise, when i first got home my dad and I did a Memorial day 15k in Lenox, MA which was a lot of fun. Lenox is a cool New England town, the trail scene was a little different at first but, I enjoyed a good lobster roll after the race.  My dad and I did the Great Adirondack Trail Run in Keene which sells out in 30 minutes. It was an incredible experience, running through muddy bogs up and over a mountain. Then this past weekend I ran in the Whiteface Sky Marathon which was indescribable. It was a true ‘Euro Style’ Mountain race. Tons of Vert and racing in the clouds. It was the type of race where after 5 miles in, you tell yourself “ok just finish this race and you will be able to look back and laugh at how crazy this was.” I thought about all the things I usually thing about when the going gets rough, people that have it way harder than me, and just putting one foot in front of the other.  I am having fun and doing pretty well with racing coming from living at Altitude for 6 years. At Whiteface i came in 29th overall in a competitive field. It took me 5:15 and was the most challenging race of my life, with 9,000ft+ of climbing in 20 miles with pouring rain and wind. It was the first race my Mom, sister, and nephew came to cheer me on and there was no way I was letting them down. I felt strong and inspired the entire race.

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In October I will be running my first road Marathon at the Mohawk Hudson River Marathon, with my dad. I look forward to the challenge of running fast on a flat course. I am starting a  training plan tomorrow which is always fun for me. I have been working in some track workouts for the first time ever past few weeks. I see road racing as a way to get faster in Ultras and mountain races. It feels good to push myself on the roads at sea level too. I have a make shift cross-fit gym going in my garage but, don’t tell anyone.

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So, its great to be home, for now. I am excited to hit the road for this new job with Altra! Keep running in the mountains, training hard and see where life takes me!

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Reflecting on Running-5/27/2014-6/1/2014

5/27-5mi Buck Creek Trail with my buddy Luke and dog Rooster. Wore my Altra’s and felt really strong. Fun having a friend to run with. Buck Creek trail is in Avon with great views of the Beav, lots of Aspen Meadows and a nice creek with a pretty decent water fall.

5/28-Travel back to NY

5/29-AM 10mi in 2 hours on Mt. Greylock with my Dad. Tallest Mountain in Mass with great views and nice trails like Bellow’s Pipe and the thunderbolt ski trail, even some sections of the Appalachian Trail. Very busy at the top with backpacking groups, hang gliders, and tourist groups. You can drive right to the top to it sees a lot of traffic. We found a nice outlook on Robinson Point that was nice and quiet. Great being out there with my Dad, felt bad for him as he was having some trouble with his hamstring.  I have been having some issues balancing running and life so it was great to spend some time out there figuring things out.

PM 7mi on country roads around Wynantskill, NY in some Hokas my Dad let me have. Felt great flying on the roads at sea level.

5/30-Rest

5/31-19mile Road Run in 3 hours around the country roads of Postenskill, Brunswick, and Troy, NY. Felt pretty awesome crushing roads in the heat. A lot of time to think more about running and what’s important, being around home and where I started running is very nostalgic. I saw lots of Farms and cows on the rolling country roads. It was a nice big loop and I felt pretty solid throughout the 3 hours. Wearing my Salomon XR missions and Nathan Vest, I had an organic sweet potato and apricot baby food and some tums with lots of water.

6/1- 7miles in 59 mins on more country roads around my childhood home. I wore the Hokas again and they felt really nice and floaty. I tried out a new waist belt to carry my cell phone my dad gave me and really liked it along with my Nathan handheld. I saw some huge wild turkeys in a field then stopped to see my Uncle Dan who is always a pleasure to chat with, true badass biker dude. I had some great music to add to the nostalgia and almost lost it to some Gregory Allen Isakov-Stable Song.

 

I think the overall theme of this week was that I had a big wakeup call and just see running and how it should fit into my life very differently. My girlfriend is not a runner but, she is someone I care about very much and want to spend time with and would love to do things like hiking, disc golfing, yoga, and seeing live music. It is also important for me to focus on other aspects of life like being social and having friends, improving my career, and taking care of my dog. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE running but there is a difference between enjoying something and being obsessed with it.  I have always had an addictive personality and even though running is a good thing, too much of anything can be bad. There is a problem when you become so focused on yourself and making yourself better that you forget about those around you. I think a lot of it comes from social media and comparing myself to actual pros. In the past I have felt like running was the only thing making me happy or my only way to feel better about myself and that should not be the case. So I will continue to run and look forward to training for Run Rabbit Run 50 Miler but will be cutting back my training plan to max out at 50miles/week instead of 70 and decided to hold off on a 54 mile “fun run” in a few weeks. I would love to do more cross training and get back in the gym to get back some of the muscle I have run off myself.

 

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