Sunday, January 20, 2019

Finally, some snow

Today I ventured out as the snowstorm continued on. Canton received mostly snow by 5:00AM with some icing. Much less severe than predicted. The roads were plowed but still covered with a layer of slushy snow. I decided to us my Yaktrax because I was running the neighborhood hills.
Because of the Winter Warrior Challenge I'm in I needed a minimum of 5 miles but wanted more to hold on to 9th place. I figured I would definitely get the 5 done and see how I felt. Due to the presence of snow plows my route was focused on side roads so I headed up the hills into Avon. Running in the early morning in a snowstorm is the best! It's quiet, no traffic, and a great time to think. The recent job switch still hasn't fully sunk in but it will be better next week.

I felt good and could see 10 miles and maybe even 11. That would bring my total to 230 miles in 20 days. Way ahead of last year. So I went done Huckleberry and then School streets in Avon. As I crossed into Collinsville the river and bridge was in view. Had to take a photo(below).

Overall a good run and was able to complete the full 11 miles. Legs were getting tired but I got it done. Tomorrow will be a different challenge with below zero wind chills.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Weather Forecasting? More Like Weather Guessing

Here in Connecticut we have been warned for days of a major snow and ice storm As recent as yesterday extreme warnings were being given so that the public could prepare. One would hear about "2 feet of snow" or "1/4 inch of ice". Warnings of power outages, etc. Here is one headline from a news website:
"Weekend storm expected to slam Connecticut. Here’s what you can expect and when."

TV shows were being interrupted with annoying updates.  This is not new and it seems to be getting worse as time goes on. I believe they over hype such storms to ensure viewers will return and therefore get higher ratings. There is no other explanation.

Minutes ago the forecasting started to be toned down and the severity reduced. Here is the most recent headline:

NWS snowfall predictions decrease for Conn.

I understand that changing air masses, fronts, etc are tough to predict but these storms are way off lately. Peoples lives are affected. Plans need to be changed, functions and activities are cancelled or postponed, the elderly become frightened. Not good. I was planning a safe and local run tomorrow but know it appears I can seek longer and interesting routes.

Not sure what can be done about it but I hope people become more savvy with the internet and multiple sources. I check multiple weather websites for info, watch live radar, and come to a conclusion about the local weather. I am by no means knowledgeable about weather but can get a good idea about what might be coming.

The funny joke we have always heard but has some credibility is the following:
If our weather forecasters can't get the next weeks' weather correct how can the Climate Change theories be believed?

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Stratton Brook State Park Long Run

It's January 12th and the Winter Warrior Challenge continues. My daily mileage totals are OK with my average at 10 miles per day. With the elite field of runners I don't stand a chance of being the top runner so my focus is a personal goal which is 300 miles by months end.  I've done it before, that is before I was 65 years old. Occasionally on a run thoughts about age come into my head. I don't feel any particular age especially while running but once in a while it hits me...."I'm 65 years old and running long distances". People my age can't comprehend why I do it. Runners my age can though. I tell people all the time, its my escape. After a mile the mind drifts off and puts all the daily stress and worries into a safe storage area of my brain until after I'm done. If on trails its even more therapeutic.  Shinrin-Yoku
Today I decided a long run was needed to maintain decent mileage totals as we approach the halfway point in the challenge. Stratton Brook State Park was nearby so I headed north. From my house there is three miles of road running until I encounter the trail head. This trail is relatively flat and a mix or crushed gravel or dirt. Easy stuff. In my previous runs I only ran the first half. Today I was going all the way through. The 2nd half was very nice traversing the park past the parking lots and several ponds. Very nice.
It was straight as an arrow eventually passing by some condos and then ending at Simsbury High School. A great trail for running, walking, or biking. I will be back to explore more.

After the trek through the park I headed back towards home. The route back included a visit to some woodland trails at The Powder Forest Park. It includes several miles of dirt trails located within a thick forest area. Some hills but easy to run. It's a good place if looking for easier, less technical, trails. After enjoying them, I headed back onto the roads and up into Canton. This excursion put an additional 17 miles to bring my 12 day total to 138. Not bad and well on my way to reaching 300 by months end. Being 65 does not limit ones ability to enjoy nature and health.

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