Sunday, December 28, 2008

An Afternoon Run on Tipp Hill

This afternoon's run was terrific. Eight of us ran today and all returned to the Irish Grounds coffee shop for a drink, a muffin, and good well wishes for the new year.

Eileen and Mary Ellen mapped out a longer run reaching 6.7 to 7.0 miles. I ran w/Jen and Mary Ellen and eventually caught up to Eileen. I was separated after a bathroom stop at the Western Lights Price Chopper and caught the crew on Myrtle St. running in the opposite direction due to an over confident wrong turn. I should have went straight, but I turned left. Oh well.

After we regrouped at the Irish Grounds Coffee Shop, we discussed meeting up for a Saturday morning run next weekend, of Mary Ellen's choosing in DeWitt and who was going to run the 10:07 New Year's Day Resolution Run. Ray, Mark, Pat and I are all in. Registration is at the Spaghetti Warehouse and the fee goes to the race and the Syracuse Track Club membership. The run and after run festivities sound like a blast. Visit for more information.

See you on the road.

Friday, December 26, 2008

This Mornings Fine 9.75 Mile Run

Another fine morning to run before the snow or rain hit the B'ville area. I took off as I usually do for my Baker HS 5 Mile run, but this time I added a few extra miles, attempting for 10, but I would have to settle for 9.75.

I commenced the run up the Baker Drive passed Elden to Durgee and took that long dive out to the village. When I finally reached the legion Post on 370, I had to go. I safely reached the Dunkin Donuts on 31 in a nick of time. Ran out to find the cinder path closed due to too much snow and too high snow banks. Headed out to 31 again and ran down Syracuse St (48) to Mildred to Downer to 690 and up Crego St. A tough hill to climb. Continued to Tappan running aside the cemetery; I said a prayer to our Lady and reached Syracuse St (48) again and hit the bridges.

Once over the bridges, I ran along the river/canal to North St.; another tough hill to climb until reaching the light at Oneida and Syracuse St. Continued, finally, down hill passed the high school to Mechanic St, to Burger King and turned onto Palmer St up the long drive to Durgee and back around to Baker HS and the STOP sign in front of the admin building.

Great run. Love the route. I "ran" into two other runners and a few walkers. All were smiling and glad to have a nice morning to run and walk, respectively. Baldwinsville needs to take advantage of its village for good runs. The motto of the village is "Lock into an Experience". But they have yet to "lock" anybody into any experience.

The village offers several fine cafes and restaurants that only need to be discovered. The Paper Mill Island is awesome; too bad is closed in the winter. I run with the Lake Effect Run Club, and we need to do a run that ends for a beer at the Lake Effect Grill. I can't wait to go out and run and see the Village of Baldwinsville again. This week I will stop in at the Canal Walk Cafe. I'll let you know how it goes.

See you on the road.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Tipperary Hill Run

Good run this afternoon. The hills of Tip Hill were alive with the sound of splashing slush and an occasional shout out from the locals who thought us 7 runners crazy for being out today after a snow storm. They may be right, but the temp was good, and the streets not too bad.

It was nice meeting a few new folks, Liz, Bob, and Chris. The Irish Grounds Coffee Shop is a nice place to congregate, and the coffee and bagels hit the spot following the run.
Burnet Park and the Burnet Park Zoo were two sites to run passed while Coleman's and Nibsy's Irish Pubs and St. Patrick's Church are landmarks that brought back many memories for Mary Ellen who grew up on Tip Hill. She shared stories about walking to school and meeting friends on her way. She even pointed out a home of her second grade teacher, Mrs. Kennedy. Awesome run. Now with some personal meaning that makes it better and ever memorable.

Eileen and Mary Ellen are going to fine tune the run for a few more miles next weekend, weather permitting. I can’t wait to do it again. The track we took was the actual Shamrock Run, a 4 mile hill run which supports the Tipperary Hill Neighborhood Association. A great cause for the many young people families moving to this well established community.
If anyone is sitting on the fence on whether to run with us or not, just come out. No one is left behind. Its about running, not racing. The exercise is good, the conversation better, and the people are the best.
See you on the road.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Running Baldwinsville

This morning was a great run. I took my usual loop around Baker HS and added the bridges, Tappan and Downer Sts.

I truly love running in the village. The only places i contend with some traffic is on Oneida St running towards 31 and 31 running to Curtis St. Otherwise it not bad.

The highlight of running in the village is the cinder trail behind the dance center and Dunkin Donuts which ends at the parking lot adjacent Sammy Malone's Pub. Another trail along the river is picked up on the west side of Syracuse St at River St. A nice incline follows up North St, crossing 31 and returning to Oneida St. to complete the last 2 miles of the 5 mile loop.

Yet, today, I came off the cider trail and headed over the 2 bridges in front of the Red Mill Inn and passed by the Lake Effect and the Canal Cafe to turn down Tappan St. Very quiet on this road breezing by the cemetery and eventually winding around to Downer St near the retro Mc Donald's.

It would be great to add paper Mill Island to this run. Maybe, if the B'ville 5 Mile Fly Run can become a reality I could finagle something there for a pleasant turnaround locale. Until then, "see you on the road."

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Boot Camp at OLP

Hey gang, Great times were had while participating at Patty Hendry’s Boot Camp. At least 10 or so folks showed up to “get in shape”. Patty beats you real well, but makes you feel good doing so. And let me tell you, she has the ears for the CIA and the eyes of an eagle. She caught me cheating on squats!

The Boot camp lasted about an hour and a half. We started from the main visitor center near the Wegman’s Playground and did jumping jacks, push ups, squat thrusts (I haven’t done those since HS football), and a few more warm up exercises; all of us were warm and ready within a few minutes.

After stopping to do bench squats, bench push ups, push ups, grape vines, side shuffles, Indian runs, hill sprints… I looked forward to getting home to complete stacking wood for the winter; yet, while driving home, I thought I could have done more. I was ready to return for another session; I enjoyed it so much. Just like a good run, once its ends you want to do it again.

I met many new people, Mike, Lisa, Lucy (who runs w/us in B’ville), Melanie, Kelly, Kim, Casey, and Antionette to name several. All of them were good. All of them said it was also worth attending Patty’s spin class, too. I may take them up on it, but I really love running.

I could not go for some eats with the campers, but after the new year, count me in. I highly recommend participating in Patty Hendry’s Boot Camp, its well worth the energy and effort to make ourseves better while being with fantastic people. Maybe we can skip and hop a few more times at the next boot camp. I’ll also work on my balance and flexibility some.

Remember to check out Patty’s web page at

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Running the Back End of The Mountain Goat

This morning 8 brave souls (Ray, Bob, Mary Ellen, Eileen, Colleen, Angie, Mark, and I)ventured out to downtown Syracuse, meeting at the Clinton Square Ice Rink to run the back end of the Mountain Goat Race.
I'll tell you this, every time I run a half of the Mtn. Goat I am amazed by the views this race offers. On the front half you can see the SU Hill looking eastward and from the back half you can see Syracuse and Onondaga Lake looking westward. I encourage everybody who runs to make this race or run a practice half with friends. You will not be disappointed. But I digress from telling of our quest.

All 8 runners were good people. All with the same goal in mind– to run, to chat, and to conquer hills. The 8 ran up to Thorndon Park and circled “the tower” to take in the spectacular view of the city and Onondaga Lake (it was awesome). They pressed onward and outward up Comstock to Colvin, running down rather than up. Harrison offered a nice incline leading us to the water tower, so a slow descent on Colvin was much appreciated.

At this point many ran S. Salina and returned to Clinton Square while others, the bravest of souls, ran passed Kirk Park to South Ave. Many say that a Kevlar vest may be necessary for this portion of the trip, however runners prefer light weight fabrics which breathe; Kevlar is definitely out of the question.
At this point I was told how this section of the Mountain Goat race, although not the best section of town, is one of the most fun because many of the residents are cheering and encouraging the runners on. The Kirk Park Pop Warner boys sponsor a water stop and give the runners the a shot of kindness before ascending Colvin St.
Soon enough the 8 all safely returned to Clinton Square. High fives went all around. Hopes of returning next week to run again, either the entire Mtn. Goat or the back side going the opposite direction was discussed. My hopes are for both. Maybe the 8, plus some, can meet at Clinton Square; everyone can do their run at their preferred pace and rendezvous for a quick cup of joe and a pastry.

Who is in? I am.
See you on the road.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Turkey Trot, Prospect Park Brooklyn, NY

Hey guys, just finished my Turkey Trot at Prospect Park. It was awesome to run in NYC. I even ran my fastest per mile race yet: 8:02 per mile.
This Thanksgiving started at 5am, rolling out of bed and commenced my drive to Brooklyn. I travelled the LIE west to the BQE west to Tillary Dr to Flatbush Ave, passed Grand Army Plaza and turned into Prospect Park. I was the first one there, even before the PPTC staff. I didn't want to get lost or be late do to traffic.
Before the race, I signed in and received my sports bag (no t-shirt), bib, and timer chip. I ran up and down the road behind the starting line to keep warm (39 degrees). The race started at exactly 9am and was very crowded.
As the race started I was running slower, walking pace, until the .5 mark and things opened up quite a bit after the 1 mile mark which posted a 9:36 mile. That pissed me off. So once the crowd loosened up I took off.
The majority of the race was a gradual incline after looping the Prospect Lake. The inclines stuck as we ran the perimeter of the park until the 3.5 mile mark when speed could be gained on a slight down grade which leveled off at the 4 mile mark, which was not accurate. I took off with no end and started to die until the finish came into view. I sprinted the last 20 yards to pass a runner just before crossing the finish line. I stole 296 place.
Once the race ended, I strolled over to the Oriental Pavilion, received my medal and had a warm cup of hot chocolate and a bagel. Very delicious, by the way. I caught my breathe and returned to the finish line watching the runners come in until the end. I met a woman from Jamaica, an older lady named Jean. She ran NYC Marathon and came in just above 4 hours. She runs triathlons, too. Funny thing is, she grew up on an island and didn't learn how to swim until she was over 40, living in Brooklyn and needed a break from running. Now she is my parents age and still runs and competes in triathlons. Amazing. We walked toward the race results being posted back near the Oriental Pavilion and noticed that I finished 296 and she 297. She was the woman I aggressively passed just before crossing the finish line. Funny. I spent myself that last 20 yards to be 296 and to pass an older woman who said, "This was just a fun run." She could have kicked my butt at any time.
This is what makes these races so much fun. You compete against yourself. You compete against others only for an ego boost. And all the time while running, or watching others finish, you meet people, share experiences, and make friends. She let me know about the Brooklyn Half Marathon in the spring and I told her to try the Mountain Goat or the Boilermaker in June. I guess we can look for each others' results after those races are run and smile.
See you on the road.

Friday, November 21, 2008

An Early Morning Run

It is TOTALLY awesome to the MAX, as the valley girl would say, to run in the park in the wee hours of morning. Today was cold, around 22 degrees, and snowing. No wind to speak of. So, once you warmed up over the first mile, warmth and comfort set in and the next 5 miles just breezed by.

Again, as Tuesdays run, there were a few runners, walkers, and dog walkers. Still very quiet. A nice pace, a little quicker than Tuesday, 8:40/mile or so was attained. The running path was snow covered; no ice, no slipping, no Lights on the Lake (yet); just pure running.

Casual conversation and contemplation ruled the morning. I will say this, I really like running in the darkness of morning. By the time the run ends the sun is beginning to rise and by the time I return home, the day has sprung. I know once I start my work day that I can eat lunch without regret, and I can run the kids around and complete homework w/out rushing to get to the gym or run around town at a late hour.
I look forward to running again tomorrow morning just a little later to see how different it may be. Different walkers, the workers putting the finishing touches on The Lights on the Lake display. Maybe even a few more runners to talk with or to see for the first time. Everyday is an adventure. If you have the desire to run, invite a friend. Enjoy the road to health, fitness, and conversation.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

My First 5am Winter Run

Hey gang. I just wanted to let the crew know that I accepted Jennifer's invitation and ran at 5am this Tuesday morning. The snow and some ice were on the ground, but we did complete the 6 mile run. Our conversation was nice and the silence, contemplative. It truly was a good run, easy infact. I can't wait to run again on Friday morning.

The cold is something many of us who are new to running are concerned about because we may not feel as though we have the correct gear to weather the elements, but do not fret. Again, like our Sunday afternoon Mtn Goat run, I over layered. By the end of the run I was sweating big time The temperature according to Dave Eichorn was 28 w/a chill factor of 18. It really wasn't bad.

I wore a tight long sleeve Under Armor, a tec material half zipper, and a full zipper jacket I stole from my son's closet. I wore lose running pants w/a whicking tights beneath and cap and gloves. I unzipped the jacket half way and lost the gloves at the half way point. I probably didn't need to wear the whicking tights beneath the loose running pants. I guess I don't need much more than what a may already possess. However, while at Fleet Feet over the weekend my running shoe are available in gortex, which Jennifer said do i fine job keeping your feet warm and dry. Stop in at TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Fleet Feet (on Erie Blvd.) or any sports store to find the items you may require.

So, the moral of the story is "come on out into the cold; its much nicer than you think." See you on the road.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sunday 11-16 The 1st Half of the Mtn. Goat Run

Great run this afternoon. Seven of us met at Clinton Square and ran the first half of the Mountain Goat. The group consisted of Ray, Jen, Jennifer, Jaimie, Ken, Ben, and myself. It was a pleasure meeting Jennifer and Jaimie for the first time, and I hope to run with them again.

Although the weather was chilly, I over layered and was sweating quickly after we started down Clinton St. So, being a relatively new runner, I now know how to dress for 35 degree temp and wind. Jaimie, Jennifer, and Ken ran a quicker pace while Ray, Jen, and I ran more leisurely. Thank goodness we did run slower because Ben came late and sprinted to catch up as we approached the circle over looking the Dome at Onondaga Park/Hiawatha Lake. We couldn't believe he made it that far that quick. ben is definetly a strong runner.

We finished the course heading down South Ave back to Onondaga St to Clinton St and back to the skating rink, exchanged some parting words, made some plans to run again during the week and departed for home.

Once the skating rink opens, we should run 6 miles, skate 2 miles and close with a cold 10 mile bike ride... Anybody with me?

Enjoy the remainder of the weekend. Hopefully we'll meet more runners next weekend.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Grunt Run, Lakeland, NY

This was a fabulous experience. I chose to run this short 5K while 5 of my friends and members of the Lake Effect Run Club ran in the 10K.

I just wasn't ready to go six miles following the Leaf Peeper 1/2 Marathon in Cortland 2 weeks prior. However, running the 5K enabled me to let loose and go for a fast time. I went out quick not realizing the steady, gradual incline the race maintained for at least the first 1.5-2miles. I made the commitment and stuck to my guns. I finished the race with a personal best, 24:08:10.

After completeing the race, I waited for my friends to start the 10K. Once they were off and running, I discovered the best part, a homey set up of drinks and food. The Town of Geddes set up a cafeteria with homemade sandwiches, I preferred the PBJ. Soda, coffee, chocolate and white milk flowed a plenty. It was a great time listening to the times of the 5K finishers.

229 runners ran in the 5K and the competition was fast. Awards were divided among many age groups and the times of the top three winners for each group made me look slow. I learned a lot and gained a strong appreciation for the variety of runners, especially those who were victorious posting times as low as 16 minutes and change. Wow, I can't wait to run it next year.