Road ID Coupon!

17 Mar

After year of procrastinating on getting something, I finally realized that running without any ID or medical information (though I’m lucky that the extent of my medical issues is that I have a rarer blood type) was dumb, especially with a baby on the way in the next few weeks. That said, I had, in years past, run with those laminated tags that snap to your shoelaces, but I inevitably lost them on the trail.

At the recent urgings of my wife, I started running with my cell phone in an Amphipod, mainly for notification that she went into labor. (I’m pretty sure that phone call would have seen me set a new PR for the run home, but, as of yet, no call!) Carrying a phone was a big switch for me, since I generally head out of the house with with shorts, shoes, T-shirt, and, at most, a house or car key in the mini pocket of my shorts. But, the more I thought about it, the more I realized she had a good point. If anything were to happen to me, from getting hit by a car to passing out from heat exhaustion in the summer, there was nothing on me to tell anyone who I was or where I lived. The best I could hope for would to be near my house where a neighbor might know who I am. Given that my long days take me over five to six miles from my house, that wasn’t likely. It was time to spend the $20 for a Road ID.

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The Runner in Winter: A Short Film

4 Mar

Seeing as how the colder temperatures are still holding on here, I don’t feel so bad posting this short film by Joel Wolpert in March. I will pretty much watch any video or read any interview with Anton Krupicka, as he seems like the nicest, most mellow guy (and also had a major role in creating my two favorite pairs of shoes ever, reviews of which are coming next week). I’d also kill to be able to put the milage in that he does in the places he does it. Guess it’s time to start working on convincing my wife to move out west!

As the last of the snow and ice melts on our trails, let’s all enjoy the switch to the sunny, muddy spring. The snowy miles I logged this year and last were some of my best. Happy trails.

Five Miles in the Windy Wissahickon

23 Feb

The Wissahickon Valley, as evidenced by the trail marker graffiti, definitely has an urban feel to it. You'd be hard pressed to find a better wooded oasis in any city, though.

 

As a native Philadelphian, I am loathe to admit that I have not spent nearly enough time in the Wissahickon Valley as I should have at this point in my life.

When I first got serious about running in 2003, I spent quite a few days logging miles on Forbidden Drive, the cinder “road” that runs from Chestnut Hill to Kelly Drive, but I had rarely ventured off the drive to explore the network of trails that ring the area. The most embarrassing part? For about three years, I lived a whopping two miles from any number of trail heads. If I could go back and smack 24-year-old me, I would.

On Sunday, my wife had a planned brunch with a handful of her college friends, and, seeing as how she is eight-months-pregnant, was a little nervous about driving solo on Lincoln Drive (aptly nicknamed the Wissahickon Speedway by a good friend). I offered to tag along with the goal of putting in a few miles in the park while she claimed the ultimate prize: bacon.

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Recommended Run: Acadia National Park

22 Feb

Living in Pennsylvania and determining directions to Maine’s Acadia National Park can be a daunting task. Paper maps, Google Maps, MapQuest, your own calculations … they all tell you the same thing: from the Philadelphia area, you’re looking at 12 hours of straight driving.

The trip also comes with its own unique feeling of defeat when you hit the Maine state line. Nothing can really describe the pit in your stomach when you realize there’s still a good four to five hours of driving ahead of you, despite standing in the middle of Maine’s welcome center. As a runner and general outdoors enthusiast, I will tell you this: it’s all worth it.

Two years ago, my wife and I booked a week at Acadia’s Blackwood’s campground for her first extended stay in a tent. Our trip happened to coincide with a contest I was having with a good friend, the goal of which was to see who could log the most miles in a single month. The winner was promised a shiny new carabiner, and the loser would be forced to be photographed holding said biner at the top of a climb in the Shawangunks. Scheduling the contest smack in the middle of my vacation seemed a bit unfair, but, regardless, I was more than happy to bring my shorts and shoes along for the ride.

Between hiking the Beehive, taking a star gazing class at Sand Beach, and stuffing our faces with lobster, I was only able to log about 15 miles over two runs that week, but my run around picturesque Jordan Pond and the carriage roads around it is still one of the best runs I’ve ever had.

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