Snowy Hike at Moreau Lake State Park

So I did not fall off the face of the Earth! Truth be told, I haven’t done anything too exciting lately in the world of running or hiking, so I didn’t feel the need to post. School started up this past week again and I’ve been busy getting ready for that! Thankfully today I had to the chance to get out and enjoy the fresh winter air. I went up to Moreau Lake State Park today with a couple of girls from my Ragnar team, Emily and Jenna. I had never been to Moreau and was very interested in checking out the trails.

IMG_7039

We walked in through the main road, didn’t have a map or have much of a clue where we were headed, we just knew we wanted to wander around the woods. There wasn’t enough snow for snowshoes, but we each did wear microspikes or crampons because the trails were icy!

IMG_7049

IMG_7042

Eventually we found a map and decided on a few trails, one called the Overlook Trail, which sounded good to us.

IMG_7051

IMG_7054

IMG_7043

IMG_7045

Emily’s puppy leading the way

IMG_7057

IMG_7058

After a pretty steep climb, we eventually found the Overlook. A pretty sweet view of the lake. We could see people ice fishing down there.

IMG_7059

10945098_10100440476184209_4566554757427665457_o

We headed back down to the lake and decided to take a shortcut across.

IMG_7063

IMG_7064

IMG_7065

We hiked for about three hours and what we thought was 5-6 miles. We finished by noon on the dot, just in time for lunch! We stopped at Druthers for some beer and their famous mac and cheese. What a fantastic day!

Find it:

A Marathon in 2015

Today I made the jump and registered for my fourth marathon!

Memorial day weekend 2015 I’ll be in Buffalo to run 26.2! It will be my first time in Buffalo and my first marathon in my home state, The Great State of New York. It will also be my first marathon in my new age category of 30-34. Eeek!

Anyone else running a marathon this spring? I start training in February!

Happy New Year!

Checking out the Holt Preserve and Thacher Park North

Friday afternoon the weather was nice, so I decided to bring my mom on a short hike at the Holt Preserve. It’s not too far from where I live and I’m am always wanting to find new trails to explore.

IMG_6915.PNG

Located on top of a hill in southern Albany County, the trailhead is located down a dirt road, complete with old barn and a former farm house.

IMG_6917.JPG

IMG_6916.JPG

 

IMG_6918.JPG

I parked my car across from the barn and walked down the dirt road to find another parking area and trail register.

IMG_6920.JPG

We decided to walk the green trail (the boundary trail) and then the blue trail (the helderberg overlook trail).

IMG_6922.JPG

IMG_6923.JPG

IMG_6932.JPG

IMG_6933.JPG

IMG_6929.JPG

The trails were well maintained but sometimes the trail makers were hard to see.

IMG_6938.JPG

My favorite part was walking along the overlook trail–I can see Thacher from here!

IMG_6935.JPG

This area used to be an old sheep farm, so there were many old stone walls all throughout the woods.

IMG_6936.JPG

Overall it was a very enjoyable hike! My mom was glad I dragged her out of the house to go with me.

Speaking of Thacher, Saturday morning I met one of my co-workers for a hike in the North area of Thacher Park. We parked at the Carrick Road lot and walked part of the Long Path and the Hang Glider Loop.

IMG_6949.JPG

IMG_6952.JPG

The trail was muddy and covered in snow in some spots, and dry in some others. We joked that we were hiking through all the seasons.

We stopped for lunch at the Hang Glider lookout. I’ve been here before, while running with the Summer Trail Running Series, during the Hairy Gorilla Half Marathon and the Thacher Park Centennial 10K, but never hiking on my own!

IMG_6958.JPG

IMG_6948.JPG

After our snack, some other hikers stopped at the Lookout and mentioned that there was a cave nearby. So, of course we were curious and decided to follow them and bushwhack along the escarpment to see this elusive cave. Found!

IMG_6959.JPG

This must be one of the many caves at Thacher. We hiked the rest of the loop and then eventually back to the car–a nice three hour jaunt of about five miles!

IMG_6960.JPG

 

Winter Solstice: Hiking Nippletop and Dial Mountains

Sunday marked the very first day of Winter. I celebrated by hiking with my winter hiking buddy Jona. (Last season we hiked two Winter peaks together, Sawteeth and Phelps!)–this time we were tackling two High Peaks in one day, Nippletop and Dial.

After an early wake up (3:15am!), I met Jona and her friend Paula at Exit 9 Park and Ride to get to the trailhead by 6:15AM. We wanted an early start because we had a long hike ahead of us and the daylight hours were limited! The parking lot for these peaks is in St. Huberts near the Ausable Club. We parked the car and signed in to the register at 6:30AM. It was still dark, so we used our headlamps for the first few miles we needed to walk down Lake Road to get to the start of the trail to Nippletop. We started with the steeper of the two trails, the Gill Brook Trail. I was really glad for that. After discussing it, I realized I like hiking shorter, steep trails rather than long, gradual ones. The same goes when running!

IMG_6851.JPG

We put on our snowshoes and started up. Thankfully by the time we hit the trail it was light out! It was my first time hiking in snowshoes since about March, so they took some getting used to. Thankfully, the trail already packed down and the conditions for snowshoeing were great.

IMG_6853-0.JPG

IMG_6854-0.JPG

IMG_6855.JPG

A few miles of hiking later, we hit the clearing, which I assume is some kind of pond, covered with ice and snow! It was pretty to see everything covered in white, a winter wonderland.

IMG_6857.JPG

After an extremely steep climb of about 1.5 miles, we finally got to the sign for Nippletop indicating.2 miles to the summit. There was at least two feet of snow up here, above 4,000 feet!

IMG_6865.JPG

Sadly, the summit was in a cloud. But, still we felt very accomplished after that. We hit the summit at 11:00AM–4.5 hours after we signed in.

IMG_6864.JPG

Lucky #13!

Then we went down, down, down to Dial Mountain, which was a nice walk in the woods after climbing to Nippletop.

IMG_6866.JPG

Winter wonderland!

IMG_6867.JPG

At 12:45PM we found Dial, still in the clouds. Supposedly these peaks have some of the best views in the Adirondacks…

There’s something peaking through…

IMG_6871.JPG

IMG_6870.JPG

IMG_6868.JPG

IMG_6872.JPG

My 14th High Peak, Dial Mountain.

We didn’t stay on top for long. It was chilly. My water turned to slush, but I was still able to drink from it. I need to get some insulators!

IMG_6873.JPG

After leaving Dial, we went down the other side, to make a big loop. We had a long way to go to get back to the car, including going over another little mountain called Bear Den.

IMG_6876.JPG

IMG_6878.JPG

IMG_6881.JPG

My feet were starting to ache after being in stiff boots and in snowshoes for so long. I wanted to sit down and not get back up–but, we had to keep going! We made it back to the road around 3:30, and back to the car at 3:45ish. A long and strenuous –but rewarding day.

IMG_6892

Nippletop Mountain
4,620 ft elevation
High Peak Rank: 17
Dial Mountain
4,020 ft elevation
High Peak Rank: 41
Total miles: ~13
Time including stops: ~9 hours

What I Wore
Ice breaker merino wool baselayers (top and bottom), socks
EMS zip off hiking pants
Long sleeve tech top
Columbia Snow-pocalypse Omni-heat jacket
Vasque Snowblime boots
Tubbs Mountaineer snowshoes
Columbia fleece-lined hat
Recycled wool sweater-fleece-lined mittens (hand-made by a friend!)
EMS pack

HMRRC Winter Series # 1- 15K and The End of 2014

It’s that time of year again, time for the Winter Series races! These are some of my favorite local races because they are 1) free for members, 2) have varying distances to run during the winter, complete with water stops and refreshments, and 3) a majority of my favorite runners do them with me.

IMG_6831.JPG

Christine and I got to SUNY early to do a warm up campus loop of three miles. We averaged around 10:30 pace for the three miles while we chatted away. After warming up, we went into register and hung out inside for a bit before the race began at 10AM.

IMG_6832.JPG

Thankfully it was warmer out than it has been lately, although it was cloudy and then started to mist during the last few miles of the race. I had zero plans for this race other than just to get the miles in for the day. I started out running with Meredith, and eventually she took off while I ran with some other running friends who I met at Trail Running Camp over the summer. We kept a steady pace around a 10 minute mile for the whole 15K, and I was very happy with that. I felt great during the race and our conversations over the 9.3 miles made the time go by fast!

IMG_6837.PNG

I’ve been aiming for 20 mile weeks lately, just to get myself a strong base for some upcoming marathon training. I’m about 90% sure I’m signing up for a Spring marathon–stay tuned for more details. :-D

I did a lot of races in 2014, including seven half marathons (I think that’s the most I’ve ran in one year), and one full marathon. There have been a lot of significant changes in my life this past year, but the one thing that remained consistent is my running. Running makes me feel so fulfilled and happy with life, especially because I’ve made some really great friends through the sport and I’m glad I have them.

So let’s recap this past year shall we?

Favorite Race of 2014After the Leaves Have Fallen Half Marathon, Lake Minnewaska State Park (Also my slowest half marathon of the year, but who cares? – the views were amazing)

IMG_6600.JPG

Hardest race of the 2014 – the Marine Corps Marathon, also wins for the largest race I’ve ever run

IMG_6515.JPG

The race with the most swag – The Runner’s World Heartbreak Hill Half Marathon, 10K and 5K (Hat Trick)

IMG_0040

The fastest and most flat half marathon of 2014Asbury Park Half Marathon

IMG_4690

The hottest race of 2014 - Saratoga Springs Half Marathon – humid, humid, humid!

20140714-105539-39339607.jpg

Race with the most frogs on the courseDippikill Froggy Five, a 5 mile trail race around Dippikill in the Adirondacks, with frogs around every corner.

IMG_5604

Race with the most team spirit - Ragnar Relay ADK

167

Here’s to an even more exciting 2015!