10 Miles on the D&L Trail

Been telling my pal to document more of her journey, and never really taking my own advice. This is from today’s 10 mile journey on the D&L Trail near Palmerton, PA. Sort of uneventful, it’s rails-to-trails after all, but it was a joyous run. Running next to the big hills and the river make running a bit easier.

Meant for this to be an eight mile run, four out, four back, but I looked at my watch and it said 4.25, so I figured what the hell? Let’s go for five out, five back.

I think what made this easier was fueling the night before with three tacos – eggs, fake meat, beans, cheese, lettuce, salsa, corn tortillas. Maybe a few Doritos, too, for good measure. Then a full English-muffin to get the guts rolling in the early morning.

Also about 40 minutes into the run I started eating a KOFFEE – Energy Gel with Coffee Kick from Spring Energy. It’s 210 calories, and COFFEE, so not only does it provide the kick of calories and caffeine, but it tastes so fucking good, which is important in the middle of a longer run.

I’ve been doing eight mile runs lately, as my long runs, and this is the first ten I’ve done in a while. The combination of those tacos, the cooler weather and shade, and these energy gels really worked in my favor.

Video-wise, yeah, need some more b-roll footage. There were some little water falls on the side of the trail that I could have captured, and maybe I could have captured some shots of me running (I guess), but this was still fun to make.

P.S. Thanks Dino for the awesome Nike Trail Running top!

Learning to Laugh

Running in the heat is tough. So is biking. The sun just saps my power. Throw in some humidity, and them my heart rate is through the roof.

I used to get mad at this. I’d stop running, reluctantly, and utter some stupid boyish “dammit” or “fuck” which never helped.

Now I just laugh. I’m a privileged white male who can run anywhere, even here in farm country, and I never have to worry about being shot or threatened.

It’s a fucking joke that the worst part of my day is being unable to maintain a faster pace running, or a more powerful ascent up a hill on my bike. I’m covered in sweat, my eyes are stinging, and my chest is heaving… so?

I laugh at this shit now.

It used to be “why aren’t I more fit?” Or wondering if I really “have it,” like I’m some 20 something semi-pro runner. But I’m a dude who works on a computer all day and tries to run 25 miles a week, and spend two hours on the bike.

This is something I stress to my friends that are in their late 30s and 40s who are just starting to run – it’s gonna be years until you’re finishing in the top 50 at your local 5K, or whatever. Just enjoy running with people who are 20 years older than you. Have a laugh, make jokes, encourage others around you. It’s a lot of fun, I promise.

Just enjoy it.

Early Morning Adventure

Above photo by Jesse Keenan

On the day we set the clocks ahead and lose an hour of sleep, I met my friend Jesse at around 6am and hiked to The Pinnacle. We hiked in the dark, but once we made it to the top we were rewarded with such an amazing view.

From there, we ran back to our vehicles. Running the Appalcian Trail is always rough, and it was my first “real” run since tweaking my hip-flexor a week or so ago.

It was cold, and yeah, it’s always nice sleeping in on a Sunday morning. But when adventure calls, you have to answer.

Team then Family

The distance, the scenery, the speed, the desert, racing in the streets… yeah, I love all that. But the people, right? All those people. A team, a family of people from literally all around the globe coming together to work on this one goal, one mission, one project.

To be beat down, exhausted, tired, sore, in pain, along with your teammates, and to get out there and keep moving. That’s what makes a video like this so inspiring to me. Running is such a solo activity, run your own race, sort of deal. But this sort of event, this format, it really gets me going.

Snack Time for the Soul

Between working at my local Starbucks and picking up groceries for dinner (and snacks), I stopped by this little park to spend some quality time with the Schuylkill River. A short walk, catching up with an old friend, the smell of spring in the air.

My day is not spent next to rivers, on the trails, or climbing big hills. I don’t run trails from sun-rise until noon. This photo was just a small portion of my day, a little snack time for the soul, if you will.

Fast and Loose

One thing about using a “for-real” camera, is that it’s a little easier to be daring with some shots. As you can see below, I dangled some digital point-and-shoot cameras over the years when I was biking all over the US.

I was using a Canon PowerShot SD940IS when I snapped this photo in New Orleans (same bike, above).
Loved my Canon PowerShot S95, this one in Miami, FL when I had my Brompton folding bike. This was me cruising with kids I met off the internet after I rode an Amtrak Train from NYC all the way down to Miami.
Night time cruising in Tampa, FL.
Happy biking way outside Savannah, GA.
Biking with a Tumblr friend in Charleston, SC.
Somewhere near Selma, NC.
Riding up through Williamsburg into Greenpoint, in Brooklyn.
Riding over the George Washington Bridge, from New Jersey into Manhattan.
My last crack at the NYC Century, in 2011 (below). Made it “just” 70 miles, and was pretty much my last, “on the bike, moving, and taking a photo” sort of shot.

I don’t really ride much anymore, so I’m a little slower, but pulling out my iPhone Xr – the indispensable tool that I need to perform my job and make a living – just feels too risky.

It’s cold, or I’m covered in sweat, and the smart phone is the device I rely on for GPS directions to get back home from a race (one time my phone locked me out for 40 minutes because the “raise to wake” setting wasn’t turned off). Trying to handle my iPhone like I did for any of these photos above would have gave me a heart attack, even with some heavy duty phone case.

I think I want a real camera again, for the very purpose of documenting more of my running adventures.

Time with Creeks

A walk along the creek always does me good, getting close to water. I’m not much of a swimmer, not really a beach person. Just get me next to the water, though, and I’m content.

It reminds me of 2010, when I was getting ready to leave New York City. I had time to bike around to various parks on the water front, up and down Brooklyn. I remember my heart was troubled around that time, but the rivers helped me navigate. The East River heard a bunch of drama and never judged me for it.

Today, a small creek was enough. Just a casual stroll before lunch, in the cold, but it worked. Time in nature isn’t just there for the troubling times, but for the upswings, too.