Sunday, April 4, 2010

$2.22 per mile and worth every penny

Today's run (Bethpage trails): 3.65 miles 

I was hoping that there would be no parking fee to Bethpage State park this morning because of the holiday but the guard was there to collect my $8. In truth, I'm happy to pay for access to this park, especially with all the talk about cutting back on funding to Long Island's State Parks because they don't make enough money. I can't believe the hypocrisy in that. Parks aren't supposed to make money, they are there to provide people with a higher quality of life. Using the same logic perhaps we should close the schools because they are really unprofitable.

I paid my fee and parked in the nearly empty lot. There were a few people out running on the bike paths but I headed straight for the trails. What I remembered about Bethpage was how well they kept the trails and as I entered the main trail head I appreciated the expansive, flat and groomed path in front of me. I initially followed a marked trail that took me in a circle back to the start. I knew that would likely happen but I held hope that this trail would bring me east and north but instead it did the opposite. After entering the woods for a second time I locked onto a trail with blue markings that I followed for close to a mile. This trail was narrow but flat and it twisted and turned a number of times. Along the way the arm band that I've used to carry my iPhone finally gave way and I needed to stop for a moment and fish the device out of clump or sprouting plants. The only other interruption was when a mountain biker came up from behind and I paused to let him by. He was polite and apologetic about it and he should have been since bikes are not allowed on those trails.

I eventually locked onto a trail that I followed along the western perimeter all the way south to the bike path. AG and I had followed part of this trail last summer and exited at the same point, right before a steep hill that goes on for about a quarter mile. I was both annoyed and happy about this. Annoyed because I wasn't pleased to do the work but happy because the rest of my run had taken place on flat terrain and this gave me another chance to practice hill running for next Sunday's race. Once I'd crested the hill I jumped back on the dirt trail and finished my run through the woods. It was a great experience, perfect weather over really fun trails. It's back to business tomorrow but it's been a great week for running. Our treadmill is scheduled to be repaired on the 8th and I'm expecting a new running toy as early as tomorrow. Can you guess what it is?

2 comments:

  1. I have to say, as a former NPS employee and current and forever fan of same (and other parks), I couldn't agree more. Love your logic. Absolutely right. Not profit machines. A source of escape, solace, adventure, exploration, inspiration and renewal? Yes. Vending-machine profitable? No.

    Thanks for the great post! Feeling inspired to hit a trail...

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks, I can't wait to hit the trails again now that spring has sprung!

    ReplyDelete

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