Saturday, February 1, 2014

Black ice and snowy running at Bethpage

One of the clearer spots on the trail
Today's run (Bethpage State Park): 4.3 miles

Enough was enough after two weeks of nothing but indoor running. I felt the need to get outside and reacquaint myself with the road. My neighborhood streets have pretty much cleared and yesterday's "warmer" temperatures exposed a lot more of the sidewalks. Safer for running, but not ideal. Assuming the Bethpage bike trails would be similarly clear, I figured that would be a better bet. This is why I don't gamble.

I'd traded Facebook notes this morning with The Petite Pacer (TPP) and She Is Out Running (SIOR) and mentioned my plan to run at Bethpage Park. TPP expressed some interest in running there as well. I wasn't sure I would be heading there, but I hoped I'd see her if I did. When I arrived I was disappointed to see that the trails were covered in white. The only views of the pavement came from the narrow tire-tracked sections.

View of the southern trail head
I parked in the lot and was delighted to see TPP's very distinctive car pull in a minute later. I think I surprised her when I walked over while she prepared her gear. We noted the poor condition of the trails and started our run at the northern trail head along the 4" of exposed asphalt. Soon enough, we reached sections consisting only of ice over snow. This forced us to the edges, that were a more stable crusty snow.

Most of our running required side stepping between tire exposed asphalt, packed (but not icy) snow and compressed leaves flattened by vehicle traffic. I followed TPP for the most part, and she did a great job of guiding us through the more treacherous segments. Every once in a while she'd point to black ice. I did have a couple of missteps along the way, but thankfully nothing that caused a fall.

Can you believe we just ran that?
My plan, after seeing the poor trail conditions, was to cover four miles rather than my original target of five. My reasoning was that every step I took was a potential chance for a spill. That, along with the additional work that was required to avoid hazards, made four miles a great workout. We returned to our starting point where I finished my run and TPP headed off to do another couple of miles.

I would have liked to cover a little more distance today, but perhaps I will tomorrow. The temperatures are supposed to remain above freezing through the weekend, so I may try a neighborhood run on Sunday. With most people staying home to watch Superbowl pre-game shows, the roads may be fairly free of traffic. At the very least, I won't be dealing with the hazardous conditions I saw at Bethpage this morning.

4 comments:

  1. I love that picture of the two of you! Despite the terrible conditions, you both look so happy! My neighborhood streets are pretty much cleared. No issues or sidewalk hopping. Wish you guys could accompany me on my 18 miler tomorrow. The miles fly when I'm with the both of you :(

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  2. We feel the same! I'm doing quick 5 tomorrow but maybe we can do a run together next weekend?

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  3. I'm running the first jonas series on Saturday, then there is another GLIRC club run Sunday.

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    Replies
    1. Save some of that energy for the Bethpage Relay!

      How did you find out about the GLIRC club run?

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