Running quote of the week

“We run because it makes us feel like winners, no matter how slow or how fast we go.” – Florence Griffith Joyner and John Hanc, Running for Dummies

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Ever higher on the Bethpage trail

Entrance to new bike trail extension
Friday's run (street): 2.5 miles
Yesterday's run (street): 3.9 miles
Today's run (Bethpage State Park): 6.9 miles

My excitement about Bethpage's bike trail extension continued this morning when I headed over to the park for my last long run before Cow Harbor. I wanted to cover at least 6 miles to prepare for next Saturday's 10K distance. Most of the humidity we experienced on Saturday had moved out the time I started my run this morning. With temperatures in the mid 60's, conditions were near perfect.

I brought along the RooSport that worked well during yesterday morning's run. I was able to verify that the pocket's design did a much better job keeping its contents dry than the SPIbelt. I was curious to see how the front fitting pouch would feel through a longer run.

Instead of starting with the new trail extension, I decided to run the first mile on the old bike trail so I could take on the big hill that comes at the end. I'm used to dealing with that challenge after six to twelve miles of running, so it seemed like a snap this morning. While that was true, I knew I had some more hills to deal with throughout the rest of my run.

I haven't felt great this weekend and I was somewhat concerned about my readiness for a long run. I ate an Accel Gel prior to the start to give me a boost and I think it helped. I got to two miles fairly quickly and remembered the rolling course from last weekend. My plan today was to run as far north as I could on the newly paved trail before turning back.

The first paved section ends at Haypath Road and, with no road traffic, I crossed easily to the continuing trail. This was new ground for me and the trail followed along the line of an adjacent neighborhood before wrapping into a wooded section. The route was rolling, but the elevation was biased in the northern direction. That made me happy because it meant I'd have more downhill sections than uphill when I returned.

I crossed Old Bethpage Rd. and continued until I reached Old Country Rd. I was a little confused at that point where the trail picked up again. It looked like I'd need to cross that busy road and I didn't feel like doing that today. I was at 4 miles by then, so I turned around and headed back. I knew I'd cover close to 7 miles by the time I reached my starting point.

The run back went by quickly despite a few challenging hills near the end. The RooSport fell short of expectations over the length of the run. My Brooks shorts don't have the same stiffness at the waist than some of my other running shorts and the phone-laden RooSport pulled down the front enough to be distracting.

I finished much stronger than I'd expected to at the start. My pace wasn't super fast but it was credible. Now it's time to taper, which means I'll rest on Monday, run on Tuesday and Wednesday and rest again on Thursday and Friday. The parts are finally in for the elliptical (after waiting half a year!) so with repairs scheduled for Monday I may get to use it this week. I'm looking forward to an elliptical session, after going so long without that cross-training option..

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