Now that I'm back to daily commuting, weekends have become more essential. My consulting schedule provided a lot of time flexibility during the week, but I now need to use Saturday and Sunday for most personal tasks. Included in this is running. At this point, I'm cramming in all my week's running between Friday and Sunday so I have to make every run count.
I debated this morning whether to run the trails at Stillwell, or return to Bethpage (for the first time since Brooklyn) to run the bike path. I'm anxious to try out my new Cascadias, but I was was concerned that Stillwell's parking lot would be overrun with cars because of all the Saturday soccer games. So Bethpage was the better choice.
I parked along Colonial Road and got onto the path just north of Haypath. It was 63° and sunny with low humidity. I headed north and immediately encountered a number of cyclists coming from the other direction. There was a pronounced wind coming from the north that made progress difficult on hills. I reminded myself that the wind would work to my advantage after I reached my turn around point.
Although the bike trail goes all the way to Woodbury Road, I usually turn back at the LIE underpass. This gets me to 4.5 miles before I pass by the spot where I usually park. That was the case today and I continued south until I'd covered most of the northern trail. The run itself was very pleasant and I moved along well through it all. Unlike most times, cyclists far outnumbered runners. In fact there were so many bikers, I though there might be a cycling event happening.
I ran by feel today and was once again puzzled by my pace. I'm confident that I could have matched last year's pace for a 6 mile training run had I'd pushed harder. However, what seemed like something I once could do with a normal effort now requires a race day mentality. Still, I was happy with today's performance and I really enjoyed being outside on such a beautiful spring morning. I'm still thinking Stillwell for tomorrow. I hope this great weather continues.