BACK IN THE CAMERA GAME

I finally got around to buying a real camera (Nikon Z30), and I absolutely love it. I haven’t owned a digital camera since my Bike Nerd days back in like 2010 or so, and I’ve never owned a camera this nice, period.

Sure, the camera on the iPhone is nice, but using something that just does one thing is real nice. And when I pull out my iPhone to take a photo I could see a notification about an email, a message, or whatever else.

The camera is just a camera, and I love that.

New Years Day means the streets are empty and I can take this sort of photo. Unseasonably warm, sorta quiet sort of day. The exhale of the holiday.

RACING THE SETTING SUN

I was in search of a new camera today. I’ve been pining for a “new toy” for a bit. Been looking online, tried visiting a small camera shop today (it wasn’t there anymore), and hit two BestBuy stores and their presentation was horrific. If I do end up buying something, I’m ordering from a reputable camera dealer online, thanks.

That said, after all that driving around, I took the woods. It was late afternoon, but I figured I could beat the sunset on my normal route, and I’m glad I gave it a chance.

It was in the 50s today, but as the sun went down, it seemed like a layer of fog or mist rolled in. There was a chill in the air, and it felt like magic.

Almost 1000′ of climbing, some gorgeous views, and made it back to the car just as the sun set. A damn good day.

ROUND AND ROUND

I keep watching as Twitter implodes, and seeing Facebook further incinerate its relationship with legit news, and realizing that I’m not jumping to another social media network. I mean, I’m just tapped out.

It’s wild that the boomers latched onto Facebook as hard as they did, which makes sense since so many of their kids got tired of their racist, xenophobic shit, and got tired of hearing how they paid for college working a 12 hour a week summer job, but still… I just can’t imagine being 60 something and going, “you know what? I want to spend more time on a computer.”

So I keep optimizing (read: spending) for adventure. Bikes, more running gear, gas in the car to head to the hills. Even though I have to drive through some sketchy traffic to get to the park pictured above, it’s very worth it. A paved one mile loop with no cars? Sign me up.

Life is here, in front of me, and that’s just fine.

RIVER RAMBLING

The day started at 5:30am, as I had to get to a friend’s house, then up to the Delaware Water Gap for the 10th running of the River Ramble.

The weather report said there was a 7% chance of rain by 9am, but there was a light rain pretty much the entire time. And it was also like 65F, with 90% humidty.

Like, train all summer with the dreadful humidity then reap the rewards during races in the Fall when the humidity is supposed to be gone, but the air was thick and heavy. I was supposed to run the 10K route, but I knew at mile one I’d only be doing the 5K.

My pace went up at each mile (11:26 > 11:07 > 10:14), and averaged a 140bpm rate, so I was happy with all that.

Finished in 32:13, which is a 10:23/mile pace, which I’ll take since I haven’t ran that pace consistently in any of my running this year! I guess my slow mileage has paid off.

THE FALL IS ALL I NEED

Had a nice chill 15 mile bike ride on Saturday. This trail is a rail to trail, so uphill for the first half, than downhill for the second half, but it’s easy and chill. I wanted something I could ride without much thought, and just enjoy scenery.

Then on Sunday I had my first run in three weeks, probably the longest time I’ve taken off since I started running in 2016. I tweaked my foot a few weeks back when running a little too fast downhill, and paid for it by needed to take some time off.

I ran a full mile, 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off. Felt good, felt like I could have ran more of it, but figured I’d take it easy, and will continue to do so for this week and next, probably.

Thought of how neither of these efforts was hard. Neither worked up much of a sweat, but neither were a waste of time. They probably didn’t help me achieve peak physical prowess, but it’s all foundational, one brick at a time.

LOST MY GLASSES AT A TURNSTILE SHOW

I haven’t been to a show since 2019, but my friend Meem suggested we go see Turnstile in October, so we did just that.

Not even 30 seconds into their first song I was pushed from behind so hard that my glasses flew off my head. I was on the ground (it was pavement), scuffed my knee, looked for my glasses for a quick second, and then got the fuck out of there. My friend was punched in the face. Another woman near us ended up on the ground, too.

I mean, in our combined 50 or so years of show-going experience we thought things would be chill, but that wasn’t the case.

I couldn’t drive us home, as I’m blind as a bat without my glasses. My buddy had to drive me to center city Philadelphia to get me new glasses so I could drive back home that day. It was about $380 and I got my new glasses in a few hours. The photo above is from the nearby mall while waiting for the glasses.

Oh, and my friend got a parking ticket while we my glasses.

When it rains it pours, but at least we have another story to last us another 25 years.

JUST KEPT CLIMBING

I joined the ‘August Run Climbing Challenge‘ on Strava, which set a goal of running up 2000 meters in during the full month. This got me exploring some of the more hilly trails in the past few weeks.

On a Tuesday I set off for The Pinnacle, which starts very matter of factly as this yellow gate. In total it was 898′ of climbing, mostly power hiking because a lot of it is over 10% grade (it even hits 20% at one point). That was a 3.6 mile adventure in under an hour, and it even started raining at the end, which was very nice.

Then on Wedneday night my buddy Mimi hit me up, saying she’d be in town for a bit, so I went to crash with her and her family that night, so we could run up Mount Minsi the next morning. This was 1,171′ of climbing, and again it was steep, upwards of 20 and 30% grade in parts when you just sort of had to crawl up the mountainside. It was amazing. We did that, plus some extra miles to and from the trail head (because of this cool creek crossing) for a total of 6.15 miles, in just under two hours.

Then Friday night, I’m feeling good, an my friend’s still in town and leaving the next morning. She texts me saying we should run up the other side, Mount Tammany in NJ. So I got up at 6am on Saturday, drove up her way, and we set off for the trail (and parked much closer this time).

So we start that at about 7:30am, before it got too warm or crowded. This climbs up to about 1500′ in elevation in 1.5 miles, so pretty steep in places. Lots of rocks to climb over. It’s like going to fucking Mordor. But we made it, and you can see the other peak in the distance, which is what we climbed two days prior (Strava).

Afterwards we get some Dunkin Donuts, we’re hanging out, all is good, and I head back home. Then I get the idea to drive to Palmerton, PA and try running up that peak!

I stop at a grocery store and pick up some yogurt (for protein), some fruit (carbs), some iced oatmeal cookies to use as a spoon for the yogurt, a gallon of water, and a Gatorade. Turns out after eating this, then waiting about 30 minutes, I was able to give the trails in Palmerton a go.

Mercifully the trail to the summit was closed, I think, and I stayed on the Prairie Grass Trail which was grassy (duh), up and down, and led into some pretty neat sections of single track. So I ran that out a bit, then came back, for yet another 3.6 mile run.

In all that was 3,709′ of climbing, and almost 17 miles in five days time. Today is Sunday and I’m feeling pretty good overall, but definitely need a nap later today (and no running).