Goal for 2018: SRT Run/Hike 50K

As many of you know, I am a very goal-oriented person. I like having bucket life list and checking items off as I accomplish them. I can say I’ve completed five marathons, hiked all 46 high peaks, and even accomplished the professional goal of becoming an RD. But what’s next? I’ve been struggling with what my next goal should be. I’ve always wanted to run a 50K, but do I really want to run for that long when I’m just not into running that much anymore? How about hiking? Enter the Shawangunk Ridge Trail Run/Hike 50K.

Jona and I have been talking about doing this event for the past few years. Finally, we both decided to commit to it! In Sept. 2018 we will be hiking (and running) our way through 30 miles of the Shawangunks in the Catskills. The best thing about this race is that there is a generous cutoff time for the racers, which means we’ll have all day and until midnight to hike/run the 30 miles. Bring it on!

Back in November, we both decided to attend the STR training hike to see what we’d be in for if we do in fact sign up for this race. On a beautiful November day, we drove down to Ellenville to meet up with the Race Director and a few other people interested in running the race. We hiked a five-mile portion of the course as an out and back and it was gorgeous! We hiked to the Roosa Gap Fire Tower, which offered a great view of the Shawankgunks and Catskills.

There were great views from the top of the tower! How come this one isn’t part of the Fire Tower Challenge?

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Roosa Gap Fire Tower via the Shawangunk Ridge Trail
Distance: 10 mi RT
Time: ~5 hrs, 30 min

It was a great hike and it had Jona and I looking forward to the 50K in September!

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Mountain Biking at the Mohonk Preserve

Last week Jordan and I had a rare day off–so we decided to go down to New Paltz to mountain bike at the Mohonk Preserve. The park borders Minnewaksa, where I ran the half marathon last weekend.

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Mountain biking is only permitted on the carriage trails, and paying the $17 biking fee for a day pass gets you access to the trails at Mohonk as well as Minnewaska! We got there too late in the day to check out all the trails, but we did ride on the main carriage trail along the ledge. It was gorgeous!

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Also, we saw many people rock climbing ! Pretty cool, but not something I would ever try. I like to stay on the ground..

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The sun started going down as we were finishing our ride. It was so pretty.

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We also rode a trail that lead to Minnewaska, which had a pretty stream alongside it.

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Since it had just rained, the trails were wet, so we got a bit muddy. Still fun, though! The preserve is only 1.5 hours south of Albany right outside of New Paltz. We got dinner afterward at Bacchus in the village.

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Definitely well-deserved after mountain biking.

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2015 After the Leaves Have Fallen Half Marathon

Sunday I ran the After the Leaves Have Fallen Half Marathon for the second time! I raved about this race last year due to the gorgeous scenery and this year it did not disappoint! We had chilly weather because it was a little breezy but once I started running, I was fine.

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This race is held at Lake Minnewaska State Park Preserve and runs through the Shawangunk Ridgeline. Beautiful!

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The course also loops around Lake Awosting and Lake Minnewaska.

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Screen Shot 2015-11-10 at 8.17.47 AMI think the race ran in the opposite direction this time. The first half went up the mountain. Yikes. There was a total elevation gain of 1,012′ — and after a few months off from serious hiking I could tell because it was a struggle.

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Last year my time was 2:43:15–this year I finished in 2:34:12–still one of my slowest races, but my goal was to just have fun and enjoy the views.

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{A view from the beginning of the race–one of the many!}

I love this park, I’m planning on coming back here to mountain bike and snowshoe!

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After the Leaves Have Fallen Half Marathon

Yesterday I ran the most scenic race I’ve ever run! The After the Leaves Have Fallen Half Marathon is held in Minnewaska State Park Preserve, just outside of New Paltz!

It started at 11:00am, which allowed ample time for me to drive down from Albany. The only downside is that it’s usually held on the same day as the Stockade-athon 15K, but this year I knew I would run this trail race instead. It boasted gorgeous views and carriage trails which, even thought I like the Stockade-athon, I’ll take over Schenectady any day. It was also only $15, which is a steal for a half marathon.

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Lake Minnewaska, right near where the starting line was.

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The view of the Catskills from the parking lot.

I got to the park earlier (around 9:30) even though it didn’t start until 11am. I just wanted to make sure I got a good parking spot and I thought I might get lost in the park. Thankfully I didn’t! After getting my bib and chatting with some blogger friends, Jessie, Kristin and Frank, the race started promptly at 11:00. Off we went to run 13.1 miles through the park!

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Kristin and I decided to run together. She had just run the NYC marathon last weekend and wanted to take it easy. I had no issues with that. Our goal was to have fun and enjoy the scenery. When the race started we were the last two runners. This was the first time we were both last in a race! We didn’t care, but eventually we passed a few other people. It went back and forth the whole race.

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I didn’t pay much attention to the elevation before the race, but I knew it was a trail run, so I expected some hills.

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I wasn’t really expecting such glorious views, though!! I knew it was scenic, but I didn’t think it would be this good.

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The lap around Lake Awosting was one of my favorite parts of the race.

I was also really glad that the trails were wide and not too technical.

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Kristin and I made sure to stop and take lots of photos.

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Am I really running a half marathon up here?

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The answer is yes. There is a water stop literally on top of a cliff! There were only three during the race, so I made sure to bring my own water.

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Gorgeous sun rays.

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Around every corner there was a view!

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I’m not sure what mile this is, but I was glad they got this photo. There were a few photographers out there, which was kind of awesome! There was also a guy on a bike with a GoPro recording some of the race. I can’t wait to see the footage!

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If these pictures don’t convince you to sign up for this race, then I don’t know what will!

Kristin and I passed about three people during the last few miles of the race. We didn’t come in last, but we were close! Neither one of us was concerned about it though–but it was nice to not be last. 😉

We crossed the finish line in 2:42. It was my slowest half, but definitely one of my favorites. We just made sure to enjoy the scenery and the day outside in the park.

At the finish line, everyone got a pint glass. I’m cool with that!

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It was my 17th half marathon and my 3rd trail half marathon. Thanks to the Shawangunk Runners for putting on such an awesome race! And thank you to Kristin for being my running buddy for 13.1 miles–having her there to talk to made the race so much more fun!

Gear used: Lululemon running tights, Brooks MCM long sleeve tech shirt, New Balance 1260 Sneakers (road), Smartwool socks, Camelbak Mini Mule Hydration Pack, Salted Caramel Gu and Mixed Berry Clif Shot Bloks.

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