Saturday, June 16, 2012

Central Park, eight months later

Friday's run (Central Park): 3.3 miles
Today's run (Stillwell Woods): 3.3 miles

I thought it had been a while since I'd run in Central Park, but I was shocked to see on Garmin Connect that the last time I'd run there was last October! I had assumed I'd been there more recently but after checking the blog history I confirmed that was accurate. Knowing that, I am especially happy to have returned to Central Park.

The weather was almost perfect when I got to the park. The sun was shining and the temperature was in the 60's. It took a surprisingly long time to acquire a signal on my Garmin. As soon as it locked in, I was on my way.

I began my run by going counter-clockwise along the Center Drive loop. I was surprised to see lots of runners coming from the other direction because that's opposite of the direction arrows on the bike path. I was running strongly and staying just below a nine minute pace through the first mile. By the time I reached the top of Cat Hill I had slowed a bit, but I still felt strong.

The humidity was higher than I'd first thought and I decided to limit my run to the loop below the reservoir. I gritted my teeth through the hilly sections just below the Great Lawn and Terrace Drive and enjoyed the downhill sections that followed. I continued on some the paths off Center Drive and finished on Central Park South at 7th Ave. It was a great run and my overall pace was actually faster than what I achieved on the NHP 8K.

This morning I headed to Stillwell to run the trails. I downloaded the latest 3 Non-Joggers podcast to listen to while I ran. That helped me get through some very technical and steep terrain. I ended up covering almost exactly the same mileage as I ran on Friday, but the required effort was much greater.

On my way off the trail I encountered three women who were asking people to sign a petition that would limit mowing the big field. This would help protect the wildlife and aid conservation efforts to eliminate invasive species. I was happy to sign.

I've been on vacation since yesterday afternoon. Since then, I've had two really interesting runs. I'm hoping to do a distance run in the next few days. Tomorrow is Father's Day so maybe I'll give myself the gift of running the hills on the Bethpage bike trail.

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