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Hiking Jockey Hollow National Historic Park (Morristown)

Hiking Jockey Hollow National Historic Park (Morristown)

Jockey Hollow National Historic Park (Morristown, NJ)

It’s been a few months since my last hike.   With my husband deployed, and a busy schedule, I didn’t make it hiking.  Plus, I’m not hiking in zero degrees.  Anyway, as many readers and people know, I enjoy hiking as much as running.

Jockey Hollow National Historic Park is a large park located near Morristown.  Morristown, NJ has a sizeable military presence. Situated in Jockey Hollow National Historic Park itself, the Wick House is named after Henry Wick.  It’s a 1,400-acre farm covered by forest.  A large number of trees attracted Washington’s army to the area as a winter encampment site because they needed logs to build cabins for shelter and wood to burn for heating and cooking.

The location is now open to the public and is furnished to portray its use as a general’s headquarters which is what brought us there. My husband enjoys seeing all of the different sites in Jockey Hollow National Historic Park spots that NJ has to offer.

Even with about a foot of snow on the ground, the Jockey Hollow National Historic Park trail is relatively easy to follow.  It was about 6.5 miles, and with stops and taking our time, it took about 3 hours.  It felt more of an easy stroll versus a rigorous hike up a side of a mountain.  At the Jockey Hollow National Historic Park, there were a few people with children as well as dogs, but the trail itself is quiet.  I could see myself running there if we lived locally.

When we arrived at Jockey Hollow National Historical Park, the cloud and tree cover made it much chillier than anticipated.  We started hiking on the road, and when we met the trail, it was time to hike through the snow.

hiking jockey hollow morristown

The trail went around a small frozen lake.  hiking jockey hollow morristown

Then we crossed another main road through Jockey Hollow National Historical Park, and had a few small climbs as well.

hiking jockey hollow morristown

hiking jockey hollow morristown

As we were hiking Jockey Hollow National Historical Par,k got warmer (around 35) some of the snow began melting, and it got swampy.  In case you wondered, I do all of my hiking in the Brooks Cascadia, a trail running shoe.  So far, it’s worked well. At the end the Jockey Hollow National Historical Park, we stopped and paused for some good snow yoga…or snowga as it is also called.

hiking jockey hollow morristown

(Just kidding, of course, I’m not a yoga person, and I am as flexible as the tinman.

hiking jockey hollow morristown

The Jockey Hollow National Historical Park hike took us about 3 hours for 6.5 miles.  We stopped, and enjoyed the sights of Jockey Hollow National Historical Park and didn’t rush through.  Jockey Hollow National Historical Park is reasonably comfortable, scenic hike, and even in the snow, we saw several pets and families.

Questions for you:

Do you like hiking?

Are there any historical spots in your area?

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How to Run through the Winter

The way to run through winter is…

The Treadmill…

Most people know, but I actually don’t hate the treadmillAll joking aside, there are other ways to get through the winter if you’re keen on running outdoors.  Last week was cold.  It was between 10-20 almost all week.  This last time last week, half of the east coast was canceled due to a snowstorm.  Thankfully, this week is better (for running).

As someone who went to college and worked in Upstate NY where there is often 2 feet of snow, I also understand everything is relative.  What is cold to someone living in Manitoba is different than Key West and there is no time for judgment.  If someone feels cold, they are and if you argue with them…it does nothing for anyone.

Personally, I’ve lived in several states that handle winter differently!  Both Virginia and New Jersey everything generally shuts down with any snow. (like last week)!  It never snowed while I lived in Texas but I do know several years ago, there was a huge ice storm.

In Upstate NY, it didn’t matter the conditions.  Heck, even a whiteout or blizzard isn’t enough to close down school, classes, or work.  Each area of the world is equipped to handle different situations.  Wherever you live, you are generally most assimilated to that weather and life.

hiking home from swim practice after this happened…during practice

With anything, it’s important to run and train smartly.

If you ever feel unsafe, run inside or rest.  There is never shame in that.

(In college, I slipped and fell on ice.  It resulted in a fractured humorous, and I wasn’t even running outside…I was just walking!)

Last week, I did my workouts on the treadmill because I was just happier inside.  Not happy or overjoyed but happier to run inside.

Another fun fact about winter training is that all of my PRs now are currently from winter races.

February 2015 Phoenix Marathon: 3:14.59

January 2016: Carlsbad Half Marathon 1:22.57

February 2016: Flower Show 5k (18:13) 

So thinking out loud, I’ve created a few tips for running through the winter.   

First and most importantly: Don’t be afraid to adjust your workout:

A few years ago, I was visiting friends in Rochester the weekend of my last long run. Rochester ended up getting a massive blizzard and running outside was unimaginable.  (You know it’s a problem when things in Rochester close!).

I ran my last 20 mile run on the treadmill (see why I don’t hate the treadmill).  It wasn’t awful, but it wasn’t desirable either.  Running outside would have been unsafe and hazardous.  If I hadn’t felt good on the treadmill, I probably would have skipped the run altogether.  Luckily, I felt fine.

Prevent Sliding with Yak Trax:

You will be amazed at what a difference Yak Trax make while running outdoors.  You’ll be able to grip the ground and ice much easier and stay safe.  I cannot stress how awesome they are (no they aren’t paying me to tell you).

Don’t Forget: Main Roads are Plowed First: 

The main roads are going to be plowed before local roads and sidewalks.  Who knows, your sidewalk may never be plowed and may clear up when the snow melts.  Being smart with how and where you run is important.  Always run on the opposite side of traffic and don’t run down the middle of the road.

But Certain local roads are cleared Quickly Too:

My high school was located in a neighborhood, and the roads to and from the school were cleared quickly.  During winter storms I could often run a 1-2 mile loop around my high school.  Boring?  Yes, but if you like outdoors then that was your best bet.

Wind Protection:

Even when the temperatures are brutal outside, the wind factor can play a bigger role. Layering appropriately is important.  It’s not just about “wearing as many layers as possible”. 

Recently, I learned that Vaseline can be an excellent protection against the cold and wind. It’s waterproof and helps block the wind too.  I don’t know how I didn’t know that!

Rain and Wintery Mix Protection:

You can prepare for the snow but don’t forget about the rain. In my opinion, winter rain is one of the toughest elements to run through.  It’s important to appropriately layer.  My personal favorite jacket is from Gore-Tex.  I’ve run through 30-degree torrential downpours, and my long sleeve underneath has stayed completely dry.  While it is pricey, it’s worth the cost if you are running outdoors in the winter.

shamrock half marathon me running 2017

With that, winter running can be an enjoyable experience.  Training through the winter can set you up for Spring PRs.  At this particular point all of my PRs are in the winter, however, I have PRed in the spring too ha!

RelatedPosts: 

How to Race in Inclement Weather 

Why I don’t hate the Treadmill

Tips for Morning Workouts

Questions for you:

What are some tips you have to train through the winter?

Did you get snow last week?  How much?

Hiking Ramapo State Forest

Ramapo State Forest (Bergen and Passaic County)

Right before my husband left, we went on a trip to Ramapo State Forest.  It just so happened that we got snow the day before.  Luckily I had my Gortex Brooks Cascadia trail shoes which kept my feet warm and dry.  If I didn’t have them, I probably would have been miserable.  Since the trails at Ramapo State Forest was covered with snow, we got a little bit lost but still had a good time.

We were out for a long time (from 11:30-4:30), so when we got back to the car, I was exhausted. If you don’t want to hike Ramapo State Forst, there is also a parking area and Skyline Drive. Since the Ramapo Mountain State Forest is a sanctuary for wildlife and many animals are attracted to the forest for its ponds, I recommend hiking.

Ramapo State Forest is located in part of the Bergen and Passaic Counties. (I think Ramapo State Forest is technically part of the Bergen County Park System).

In Ramapo State Forest, it is possible to see NYC. However, it was just a little too cloudy at Ramapo State Forest when we went.  We plan to go back in the Spring when it’s warmer (and hopefully not frozen). Ramapo State Forest has plenty to do, including hiking, mountain biking, and a beautiful view of the New York City Skyline. Hikers and mountain bikers enjoy miles of challenging trails which is what attracted us to Ramapo Mountain Reservation. Birdwatchers are attracted to Ramapo Mountain Reservation marshes that provide the perfect habitat for bird and other wildlife species.

When we got to Ramapo State Forest, it was fairly empty.  I imagine in the spring and summer, the small parking lot is full.  The parking lot is at the base of the Ramapo State Forest trailhead, so it is easy to get too. It started with a few small but slippery climbs. The reservation forest borders the Ramapo Mountain.

Ramapo State Forest hike

As I mentioned, I was happy to have my Brooks Cascadia Trail shoes because with the ice and snow, my feet stayed completely dry and I didn’t fall, which seems to be the theme here. I would have been miserable hiking Ramapo State Forest without them.

Ramapo State Forest hikeMore steps to climb at Ramapo State Forest

Ramapo State Forest hike

Because the trails were covered at Ramapo State Forest, we got lost a couple of times.  You are never too far from main roads so for the most part; you can hear traffic off in the distance.  Which is good, because if we got too lost it would have been dark.   Guess who didn’t want to hike Ramapo State Forest in the ice and the dark while lost?  During our hike at Ramapo State Forest, we also crossed between Bergen and Passaic Counties, which was cool enough to merit a photo.

Ramapo State Forest hike

Finally, we made it to the Lookout Point at Ramapo State Forest.  Since it was so cloudy, we just took a selfie and turned out.  I was disappointed we couldn’t see the New York City skyline, but after viewing it from private flying, not a lot will compare.  We decided to take photos in our ugly sweaters.  We wore them all along, but as you can tell it was too cold to just hike Ramapo State forest in them.  In fact, I was freezing taking that photo alone.  The things you do for the internet…hiking Ramapo State Forest and taking photos while freezing.

Ramapo State Forest hike

As it got later and later on our hike at Ramapo State Forest, we realized how close it would be to dark when we got back.  We started hiking at Ramapo State Forest at 11:30 but hadn’t planned to be out until around 4:30.  Getting lost and being slower in the snow, caught up to us.  The moment I saw the car with five minutes of daylight to spare was one of the best moments of the trip to Ramapo State Forest. HA!

Ramapo State Forest hike

I liked Ramapo State Forest, and I would go back in the Spring or Summer when the trails were more clear.  It was an adventure when we went.  Ramapo State Forest reminded me of backpacking in Upstate NY when we went to college there.

You can see more hikes we’ve done here.

Questions for you:

Have you ever hiked through the snow? Have you been to Ramapo State Forest? 

Do you have an ugly sweater you love?

Training: Ice and Workouts

Training: Ice and Workouts

Last week I planned to do a 5k, but with another week of icy conditions, I opted to DNS.  In college, I slipped and fell on ice (not running).  Ultimately, I broke my arm. To me, not worrying about falling and having a productive run on the treadmill is more than worth it.

Monday: Easy 60 minutes
Tuesday: Easy 75 minutes
Wednesday: 12X400s
Thursday: Rest
Friday: Easy 60 minutes
Saturday: 3X2 mile repeats 800 recovery
Sunday: 10 mile Run with Amelia and Danielle

12x400s with 400 recovery (average 5:58 pace)

This workout went well.  It was extremely windy on Wednesday.  I felt like a loose noodle the entire time and but 400s are starting to finally feel easier. The first time I ran, I average 6 min pace (or an 18:35 5k) in ideal conditions.  These averaged 5:58 in headwind so there is an improvement.

Saturday: 3×2 mile repeats (6:27, 6:27, 6:23)

I had wanted to race, but knew running on ice would not end well for me.  As I’ve mentioned, I slipped and fell on ice in college.  I broke my arm.  Now, I’ll occasionally run in snow, but I prefer to run inside. The race went on, but I didn’t show up.

The workout itself felt like a struggle to get through.  I counted down the minutes and didn’t feel good.  I felt better by the fact I accomplished the workout, but besides that, I can’t say it was the most enjoyable workout I’ve done.

Thoughts:

I probably won’t race for the rest of the month.  I would have liked to race more than I did, but you can’t control the weather and if I hurt myself I would have been more upset than a “meh workout”.   It was a boring but successful week.

Posts from the week:

Brooks Cascadia 12 Shoe Review
Four State Vacation

Questions for you:
Do you ever run on the ice?
What was your best workout last week?

Blizzard Thoughts

As most people know, the North East got a blizzard this week.

In South Jersey, It cancelled everything.

It closed schools!  It closed businesses (like gyms!)!

It gave me plenty of time to relax and clean my house while I’m “snowed” in.  At least that was my excuse.   While it was a serious storm for many people, we didn’t receive much snow down in South Jersey.

The winter storm, Juno hit the east coast earlier in the week. I honestly didn’t realize there was a big storm coming until Sunday night. Then we got multiple news alerts, media updates and text messages to stay safe.

Due to the mass amount of media updates, many people panicked and bought out super markets from their produce, milk and eggs.

I had the fortunate event of working on Monday before Juno “hit”. I knew the storm was a big deal when it took me 8 minutes (due to lack of traffic) versus 15 to get work. It snowed off and on but nothing stuck. In fact it was safe enough I went for a 90 minute run before work with no issues.

After work I got home and went to bed. I snapped this photo for good measure.

The evening before the storm

The evening before the storm

No snow stuck.

I went to bed and woke up with about 2-3 inches of snow. It led to so much thinking.

The morning after with about 3 inches of snow (already plowed)

The morning after with about 3 inches of snow (already plowed)

How did the media create this to be a super storm?
I do realize areas such as the shore and Long Island received a lot of snow.  The Southern Jersey and the Philadelphia region did not. I was thankful for less snow because last week’s snow brought quite a few car pile ups and deaths.

Thought: People are complaining about the “lack of snow”.  While it stinks to not get as much snow, think about the lives that are saved because we didn’t.  Inevitably there would have been more car pile ups because people weren’t safe. 

What should I do on my snow day?

I cleaned my house.

Thought: My house was in desperate need of cleaning. It was nice to actually do that. 

While this snow day didn’t live up to the media’s expectation, it was nice to relax.

Questions for you:

Did you get a lot of snow?

What do you do during snow days? 

 

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