Sunday, June 12, 2011

Good long run on cloudy Sunday morning

Today's run (Bethpage State Park): 6.6 miles

Yesterday's experience landing on a sharp rock made me concerned that I would end up with a real injury. My foot felt tender after that run so I iced it for about an hour before we all headed out. I wore an old pair of Brooks Adrenalins in hopes that the cushioning would protect the bruise as I moved around. I didn't give it much thought after that and I went to bed hoping my foot would be back to normal by morning.

I woke up at 4:00 AM to the sound of driving rain and wondered if my morning run would be a washout. I returned to bed and when I woke up at 5:30 I saw that the rain had moved out. I watched the local weather report to be sure that was the case and headed off to Bethpage State Park for a run. My plan was to go out for about 5K and come back for a total of 6+ miles. My foot felt okay and I hoped that would continue once I hit the bike trail.

It actually felt chilly when I stepped out of the car and I did some dynamic stretches while the Garmin 210 acquired its signal. As soon as the satellites locked in I took off, attacking the first hill that begins right after the start. Soon I was bounding down the long hill, maintaining a mid-8:00 pace. I knew I was running harder than planned because my breathing was labored and I slowed down until I felt more comfortable.

As I've mentioned before, the Bethpage bike path feels like it's a predominantly uphill route no matter which direction you run it. My foot felt fine and the Hattori's were doing their job. I watched my form and felt energized on the hills. With cloudy skies and the early hour there weren't a lot of runners on the trail.  Every few minutes I'd encounter clumps of people either walking or running together and an occasional cyclist.

I concentrated on the way I was running (arm position, posture, strike) and decided to block out the final hill from my thoughts. I'd deal with it when it came along, no sense wasting effort dreading the inevitable. By the time I reached that hilly stretch I was feeling a little tired but I put in some additional effort and did my best to surge on the steepest part of the hill. I'm not sure if it made a difference but I am definitely becoming less intimidated by that final challenge.

It's been a good week of running despite taking two rest days and I credit the Hattori's which have noticeably improved the experience. I'm pleased with my form and I'm hoping that it will translate into better efficiency (and therefore speed). Even if that's not the case, I feel like I'm running better right now than ever before.

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