Running quote of the week

"People ask why I run. I say, "If you have to ask, you will never understand." It is something only those select few know. Those who put themselves through pain, but know, deep down, how good it really feels." - Erin Leonard

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Bethpage run: Making friends along the trail

I really want that chocolate bunny
Today's run (Bethpage trail): 9.5 miles

Today is Easter and I hope it's a good one for those of you who celebrate this holiday. I don't, but I'm certainly celebrating the great weather we're having this weekend. Sunday is when I do my longest run and the distance gets extended each week as I build up to half marathon distance. Last Sunday I ran eight miles and today's plan was for 9. Depending on the training schedule, today could have been a ten miler, but I was reluctant to jump 20% from week to week. Though it was an accident, I ended up with a good compromise distance.

My Runsketeer friends are both in Boston for the marathon that's being held tomorrow. SIOR will be running it and we are really excited for her. She trains really hard while taking great care of her family (4 kids!) and she has the athleticism to make it a memorable performance on Monday. No pressure, just qualifying for Boston is a victory. TPP is there to support her sister T, who is also running tomorrow. T is another high performer. That, of course, is a prerequisite for getting entry into Boston.

As a native Bostonian, I would have loved to be there to watch them run through my old home town of Natick, but I'll be here on Long Island tracking their progress through the baa.org site. In the meantime, I have my own race training to do with the Brooklyn Half coming up mid-May and the Marcie Mazzola 5K next weekend. I'm very curious to see how I do in terms of speed in the 5K and whether all these hills I've been running will provide a performance payoff.

Today's run was split into two experiences, one being a pleasant but uneventful solo effort for about five miles and the other a highly enjoyable almost-five with an other runner on the path. I parked near Haypath Rd. again and got right on the bike trail going north. I followed the trail up to Washington Ave and turned around once I reached the underpass of the LIE.

I maintained the easy pace that I need to cover long mileage while I rebuild my endurance. I got to the five mile point and had stopped at Haypath to watch for cars when I saw another runner to my left. We exchanged hellos and crossed the road. I suspected that he was faster than me and was surprised that he hadn't taken off and passed me at that point. Instead, he (I'll call him J) pulled alongside me and asked how many miles I was doing. He was planning to do about the same, we're both training for different long races and his will be in Vermont.

Today's elevation profile
J turned out to be a very good and interesting guy who also works in the media technology space, but not in publishing like me. He set a slightly faster pace than I was running and I was very surprised that I was able to hold up my end of the conversation. J is a tall athletic guy and I'm somewhat older than him. He could have easily run two or three minutes a mile faster than the pace we held and I was grateful that he didn't. He really pulled me along, especially on the hills.

The time spent with J went by much faster than the previous five miles. Just like when I have group runs with SIOR and TPP. Good company is a runner's gift. I left J to finish on his own once we returned to Haypath and I felt remarkably good after covering almost ten miles today. All this focused training is making a difference and it demonstrates that there is no substitute for putting in the work. When the work is made easier with friends, it's simple to understand why we do this.

2 comments:

  1. Don't judge a post by its cover. I thought this was going to be about meeting cotton tails while hopping on your bunny trail.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No bunnies on the path on Sunday but the trails were hopping. My son and I did see a big rabbit at Syosset-Woodbury park on Saturday!

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