Sunday, May 26, 2013

Bethpage running with a clear head

Bi-directional out-n-back
Today's run (Bethpage State Park): 5.5 miles

The downside to taking headache remedies is when those medicines affect the quality of my sleep. Although Excedrin is merely a combination of aspirin, acetaminophen and caffeine, it is amazingly effective in treating my migraine-like headaches. Unfortunately, caffeine taken late in the day, plus pseudoephedrine, makes it hard for me to get to sleep that night.

That was the case last night, but somehow I managed to wake up feeling rested and refreshed. Perhaps it was the absence of a pounding headache that made the difference. The weather outside was sunny and bright, although it felt unseasonably cold. I put on a long sleeved 1/4 zip shirt and a pair of lightweight running pants and headed to Bethpage for a run.

When I arrived at the park, there was a line of cars waiting to get through the entry tollbooth. That was very unusual for an early Sunday morning. As I moved closer I noticed kids being dropped off and when it was my turn to go through, my park friend told me that a big soccer tournament was being held today. I proceeded to the lot where I usually have my choice of spots and saw that the lot was as full as a Long Island train station at 9 AM. I finally found a place and quickly made my way to the trail head.

My route today went west on the old bike path for half a mile before I reversed direction to take on the big hill. My plan was to start the northern trail extension at the one mile mark and then do a four mile out and back. I felt good on the run, the high forties temperature and steady breeze counteracted the heat from the sun. The only negative was something in the air (pollen?) that aggravated my throat a little.

There were lots of cyclists out and a handful of runners. At one point I was running up a steep hill when a young woman came up on my left, said good morning and was gone from sight in less than a minute. She was probably running in the six minute mile range. I often wish I could run at that speed, but I know it requires a much different approach to training than I'm willing to follow. It also helps to be younger.

After the turnaround, I prepared for the predominantly uphill section that I'd face for the next half mile. That went by surprisingly smoothly and I finished my run feeling strong. When I got to my car, I noticed there were still cars swarming around, looking for spots. I guess the tournament must be an all day thing.  But I was done, ready to start my non-running day. It was great to run outside after yesterday's gloomy weather. Best of all, no more pounding headache.

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