|Care to donate?|
Although I had both a primary and backup plan for today's run, I ended up choosing another option entirely. My wife and kids had volunteered for an event that benefits the Long Island Cares food pantry that was taking place at a local shopping center. I decided to run there and back from my house for a change of pace workout.
I often think about ways to break away from the constraints of my local neighborhoods but I've been reluctant to cross major roads during my runs. I simply don't trust drivers to do the right thing. I've stopped counting the number of cars that I see blowing through stop signs on my local streets. My default expectation is that people will ignore the rules and I react accordingly.
The route I planned to get to the Plainview Shopping Center had a no major roads to cross, but it did require me to cross the entrance and exits to the Northern Parkway off South Oyster Bay Road. The sparse Sunday morning traffic resulted in a clear path both coming and going back. I was prepared to wait but I was able to cross both times without stopping.
My route took a side path through a neighborhood that's situated directly north of the shopping center. I planned that part to ensure that I'd cover more than three miles in each direction. Once I came back to South Oyster Bay Road I was just west of my destination and I ran along the brick walkway until I reached my family on the other side, near Woodbury Road.
It was fun to hang out for a few minutes with my wife and kids. My wife had some water for me that I really appreciated. My kids were busy collecting donations and selling tee shirts in support of the event. I was proud of them all for donating their time for a good cause.
I started feeling chilled because it was surprisingly cold outside and I was sweating from the first half of my run. Once I got going on my run, the cold worked to my benefit (for a while) but I had worn long pants and a long sleeved jersey and the heat soon returned. My progress back went remarkably fast and, before I knew it, I was back on the streets of my own neighborhood.
I ended up covering 6.5 miles at a low 9:00 pace and there were enough hills to make me feel like I'd done a decent workout. I would still like to do some hill repeats before the race so next weekend I'll make my way to Bethpage. I was happy to cover 11 miles this weekend and was glad to cover some new territory along the way.