Saturday, March 5, 2011

LSD at Bethpage, the legal kind

Today's run (Bethpage State Park): 8.25 miles

I wanted to go for an LSD run this morning so I headed over to Bethpage State Park. I'd assumed with the warmer temperatures that the park had finally opened its bike trail. As soon as I reached the golf course saw a runner on the path beyond the (formally) gated entrance. I knew then that I'd be able to get in and run. No one was manning the toll house when I drove up, usually a good thing because it means no park fee, but I'd planned to buy an Empire Passport today. Oh well, free admission at least.

I'd worn shorts for the first time since October, along with a half zip and my lightweight running rain jacket as a top layer. It was 47 degrees with threatening skies so I decided to wear the jacket even though it can get hot. I figured that my plan to run long, but slowly, would prevent me from becoming overheated. I started up the steep hill where the bike trail begins and looked at the Garmin to make sure that I was running no faster than my planned pace. I've only averaged 3.75 miles per run since December, primarily due to all the snow we've had. I need to build back my base in preparation for my half marathon in May.

Runners outnumbered cyclists on the path although I saw plenty of both as I made my way along the trail. Running slowly was a treat, the hills didn't matter much and I was able to think about many things instead of focusing on my turnover and speed. I was passed by a few runners and I wanted to shout to them "I'm not really this slow, I'm doing LSD!" Actually that would not be a good thing to yell. Still, I began to feel the workout at around mile 5 of my planned eight.

I gave in to my natural pace and ran the last two miles under 10:00 per mile and completed 8.3 miles averaging 10:10. It was great to run a longer distance after being constrained to the streets of my neighborhood for months. I'm not sure if I'll do a run of 13 or more miles before the RXR Half Marathon but today's 8 was a good start.

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