This post is overdue and apologies to anyone who may have wondered about my whereabouts. (Thanks to those who sent a note! Very kind of you.)
No, I haven’t given up on the run, and no one is more surprised than I. In fact, I found myself more than on track as I hit the six-month mark. We’ll see what the next six months bring in terms of time, health and stamina.
I’m somewhere near Dansville, NY, which as far as I can tell from Google, is the nation’s number one spot near something else. And if I were more of an “outdoor” girl, I’d be delighted to find myself living there on a year round basis. From the town’s Chamber of Commerce, I learned the following (bold my own):
Just five minutes south of the Village is Stony Brook State Park with 130 trailer and tent sites. Letchworth State Park—the “Grand Canyon of the East”—with its breathtaking waterfalls, can be found 15 minutes to the west. Dansville also has three other major campgrounds in the immediate area.
Fishing, boating and hunting, and snowmobiling are in ample supply in the surrounding hillsides and nearby lakes and streams. Swain and Bristol ski & snowboard centers are both within 30 minutes of Dansville offering ample winter recreational activities.
Dansville is surrounded by fertile farmland, rolling wooded hillsides, lakes, streams and is adjacent to the southern part of Livingston County. With a population of around 6,000 Dansville offers small town charm, yet is near some of New York State's largest cities. [Rochester - 45 miles north; Buffalo - 65 miles to the northwest, Corning - 60 miles to the south. Let’s face it, when you’re in upstate NY, an hour plus drive to somewhere else is around the corner.]
Located near the scenic Finger Lakes, Dansville offers numerous attractions year round. Nearby are Letchworth (The Grand Canyon of the East) and Stony Brook State Parks, SUNY-Geneseo, SUNY Alfred, Alfred University, Wineries and Ski resorts.
Brief aside: Just as when I "ran" near Clark's Summit, PA, my past beckons. I had clients near Alfred, NY about twenty three years ago and drove here to see them and spent time in the area. I remember stopping into a drugstore / coffee shop at the time. [In the dark ages, there were no Starbucks in every hamlet in America and almost every store or restaurant was by default, "local."] There were coffee cups of all kinds hanging on hooks behind the counter and I asked about them. The woman there told me her customers - the people in the town - just leave their own mugs in the restaurant so when they come in, they each use their own over and over again. Makes everything easier on everyone. The staff knows everyone by name and by coffee mug. I kind of love that. [If anyone knows if this place is still around, in or near Alfred, NY, I'd love to hear about it.]
So here it is by the numbers as of July 1:
239+ miles complete
210+ to go to reach
Goal: 450(ish) from Allentown to Toronto(ish).
I’m ahead of my pace by about 14 miles, which I still can’t quite explain. And July has started out strong. If my back, knees and hips hold out, I’ll be in good shape to finish on time and reach my numbers.
And what have I learned? That I’m not a “natural” runner. Every mile, while not torturous, isn’t entirely enjoyable. Shouldn't it get easier? Or more fun? (I'm really asking. If anyone has any wisdom here, I'd appreciate hearing it.) My timing has picked up and I’m mostly back to my regular pace – running 3.25 miles in about 34 minutes. At my age, and given my lifelong history of non-athletic pursuits, I think that's respectable. Reminded myself this month a few times that running with music results in a longer and faster run. Added The Princess Bride and Toy Story 3 to my TV running playlist. Acknowledged once again the relentlessly sentimental Irish genes in me (thank you, Dad) when I teared up at the end of The Natural and Everybody’s Fine, after catching only the last fifteen or twenty minutes of each.
And on that note, I think I’m being too hard on Dansville. The town hosts the New York State Festival of Balloons every fall, which sounds lovely. It may even have a coffee shop with mugs for everyone in town.
I should have run slower.