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, July 28, 2013

Two part post on this Stillwell Sunday

No actual pandas sighted today 
Today's run (street): 3.8 miles
Today's hike (Stillwell Woods): 3.7 miles

Part I - Running
Yesterday's run at Stillwell Woods was a nice change from the road and it presented a nice level of challenge. Although I started out feeling strong and energized, after 20 minutes I reached a point where I needed to take a short break. It wasn't the first time I had to take a minute to reset myself while running at Stillwell. What surprised me was how quickly I went from feeling fit to feeling fatigued.

I recovered quickly and had no issues for the rest of the run, but I was frustrated that I needed to take a break. I take it as a point of pride that I never stop during road or bike trail runs. While the shaded woods helped keep me cool, the inclines and careful footing on more technical trail sections took a toll. I've had weekends where I ran with difficulty on Saturday, only to rebound with a great run on Sunday. I was curious if that would be the case today.

I got out early this morning, before the sun became a factor. We had hosted friends yesterday afternoon and evening and I'd done a lot of unintentional glycogen loading. I figured the upside was the possibility of having more energy for the run today, but I was a little tired at the start. I tried to get my speed up during the first mile but my legs weren't cooperating. I eventually loosened up and, by the last mile, I was running at a decent pace.

I would have liked to perform better overall, but achieving negative splits was good consolation. More importantly, I experienced no fatigue during the run. This confirmed my theory that yesterday's tough times had mostly to do with the challenging terrain. While that's good, it also confirms the fact that my conditioning isn't where it needs to be.

Part II - Hiking
I downloaded my Garmin after today's run and looked at Saturday's Stillwell route map. I saw that Trailview intersected with my standard loop and decided I'd follow it south the next time I ran there. My son has been asking me to go on a hike so, I figured this was good opportunity. After preparing for the bugs with an application of OFF, we headed over to Stillwell. A light rain that had started to fall, but we figured that once we had tree cover, we'd be fine.

Once we cleared the big field, we moved south and then east, until we reached the Trailview path. At that point, the trail is rugged, with lots of steep rises, drops and gnarly roots that could easily trip someone up. We made our way carefully down the path until we reached the point where the trail paralleled the LIRR tracks. I knew that there was a trestle located east of our position and we navigated to it. We ended up in a mini bamboo forest that felt like an enclosure. My son asked, "Where are all the pandas?"

Adjacent to this section was a small road leading to a private neighborhood on the left and the trestle on the right. We passed underneath the tracks and into the northern part of Trailview Park. The sign said "Trail Closed" but we concluded that was just for one path. The trail rose from there and made our way up without much trouble. We decided to turn back after exploring Trailview for about ten minutes.

Our hike back went by quickly and we soon encountered a group of mountain bikers looking to take on the difficult terrain of that area. None were wearing helmets, a bad move generally and an especially bad idea on these treacherous sections. They didn't appear to be experienced riders either. I hope no one got hurt.

Next time we may start at Stillwell and follow the trail all the way to the trail head on Jericho Turnpike. Eventually, I'd like to hike it north all the way to Cold Spring Harbor. Today's hike was just the right distance and a nice adventure for me and my son. I was thinking recently that I haven't spent enough time at Stillwell. I certainly don't feel that way after this weekend.

2 comments:

  1. How do you not go in circles or find your way to a specific place you want to go without directions on the paths?

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  2. I've been running at Stillwell long enough that I know many of the trails by sight. When I download the data on my Garmin and view it as a route map in Connect, I am able to see exactly where I ran. This provides context for me to learn other paths by seeing their adjacency (on the map) to the trails I know.

    For example, after seeing how the Trailview path connects to a trail on my usual loop, we went directly to that known point and got onto Trailview from there.

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