Running quote of the week

“I finished Boston last year with my hands over my eyes wiping away the tears. The people lift you up the entire race.”– Sam Ryan

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The Emerging Runner: A look back at 2015 - Part 1

Today's run (street): 3.25 miles
Yesterday's workout (elliptical): 30 minutes
Monday's run (street): 3.4 miles

As the year comes to a close, I thought I would take a look back at my 2015 running year. Okay, it was really SIOR's suggestion. She's doing one as well. For the record, when we are both writing about the same thing, my version is the correct one.

2015 - A look back from January to June

Hangover course
The year begins with the 2015 LIRRC Hangover Run, a timed "fun run" with a suggested length of five miles.  Me, TPP, SIOR and her daughter, SIOR Jr met up in Eisenhower Park before the run and shivered until the 9:30 start. We circled the one-mile course five times and then regrouped at the start/finish line. I was dealing with a herniated disc which slowed me down a bit. That problem got worse before it got better, leading to a week of non-running in the middle of January and a few other non-running periods in the months to come.

Sole F63, kicked to the curb
It snowed a lot in January, leaving me no choice but to use the treadmill. That was until the treadmill finally stopped working in early February. I recorded its final moments for posterity but the Sole F63 wasn't finished torturing us, gouging holes in the wall as it was carried away by the installers of our new machine.

This was not real fun
I loved our new treadmill so much I managed to aggravate my then-undiagnosed injury to the point that I needed to switch to elliptical workouts for the next 23 days. I saw an orthopedist who put me through x-rays and an MRI and determined that my problem was, in fact, a herniated disc. I ellipticaled a lot over the next few weeks.

Reunited with the 'sketeers
After some bad winter weather and abstaining from running most of February, the Runsketeers got together for a Bethpage run in April. It was a tough run for me due to the disc related pain, but hanging with my buddies more than made up for it. SIOR gave me a SPIbelt as a birthday present. That was very sweet of her. I use it on every run.

We did most of the testing in space
While I continued to recover, I shifted from running to running-like workouts and was part of a panel at Consumer Reports that tested and evaluated "Alternative Cardio Running Machines." These units seemed like weirdly mutated, expensive (one unit was priced more than $10K) elliptical machines. The timing of this testing was perfect. I got to do all my workouts during office hours and benefited from the no-impact "running" motion. I also got a stand-up desk for my office that I like so much I haven't used my chair in months.

Love this thing
Me, TPP & SIOR after all the unpleasantness
Mid-May was the time for our next Runsketeer outing, again at Bethpage. I ran far better than when we got together in April, but I was still hurting from my disc problem. SIOR may have been off her meds during the May run, because she was hallucinating friends on the Bethpage trail and later started a fight at Starbucks. That may be a slight exaggeration of what actually happened.

Dogsled route
June was a hot and humid month and I mostly kept to local roads. In order to fight the tedium of neighborhood running, I switched up my routes and discovered that some of the GPS maps looked like pictures. Around the same time, TPP was starting to run some routes in her neighborhood that resembled bunny rabbits. I wanted to do a run that spelled out a word but I never got around to it.

That's it for the first half of 2015. I'll post second half highlights soon!

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Running and workout at Hotel d'Emerging

"Feels like" 52° only in one direction
Today's workout (elliptical): 30 minutes
Yesterday's run (street): 3.3 miles

This weekend I bookended a couple of workouts around a family visit. Yesterday morning I got out before our guests arrived and covered 3.3 miles in the time I had to run. It actually worked out to 3.333 miles according to Gmaps. So basically I ran 1/3 of ten miles. It sounds better when I say it that way. In that spirit, I paced 1.333% more than an 8 minute mile. That sounds much better.

My Boxing Day run was even quieter than my Christmas run. I'd expected the neighborhood to be overrun by people heading out to the stores to return gifts and shop for bargains, but I guess they all decided to sleep in on Saturday. No complaints here. I assumed the 52° temperature meant mild conditions and I wore short sleeves and shorts. That worked great when I was heading south and west, but running in any other direction was darn chilly.

We took our guests to the Orient, a local place that the New York Times calls the best Chinese restaurant on Long Island. If you live on Long Island you should go there. When you do, say hello because I'll probably be there. Holiday visits are usually about food and there was plenty to be had, along with some great conversation.

Once we bid our visitors adieu, I considered a run. The weather couldn't decide if it was going to rain, so I elected to stay inside. Since I've done some form of workout every day since last Tuesday, I thought I'd take it down a notch and do an elliptical session.

I know people who think that the elliptical is harder and/or more boring than the treadmill. Not me. Even when I set the resistance to high, I actually find the workout relaxing. That's probably because (unlike the treadmill) the elliptical is quiet and it's not likely to act like a giant body sander if I slip.

I've really enjoyed being out of the office this past week and I'm looking forward to another week of vacation. I'm hoping to maintain my workout streak all next week, into the new year. I'm going to try to get to Bethpage one morning and perhaps run Stillwell another day. The more I run, the more I want to run.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Non-traditional Christmas day run

Wacky weather: roses on Christmas day
Today's run (street): 3.75 miles

Nothing says Christmas like 94% humidity on top of 57° weather. That's okay, at least it was dry and clear for my morning run. As expected, there were few cars on the road when I went out. I only saw one other runner and a few people out walking.

As I made my way around, I saw people packing cars with gifts or arriving at houses to drop them off. I could hear people's voices and Christmas music coming from homes as I passed them by. The warm weather didn't match the holiday, but everything else felt like Christmas. I pretty much floated through my run and was disappointed with my overall pace. This run was really more about the experience than performance, so I didn't let it bother me too much.

Before the stir
Since we don't follow Christmas traditions, like having a big family meal with turkey, ham or fish, we went a different way. My daughter and I made tofu stir-fry which is more modern vegetarian than old testament traditional. It was a big hit and we finished with homemade frozen banana sorbet with chocolate truffle sauce. Time to start watching calories again.

I'm not exactly streaking, but I have strung four nice workouts in a row and I plan to continue that through New Year's, if possible. We have guests coming to stay this weekend and I'm hoping I can get in my runs without disrupting our plans. I just need to get out and back before everyone wakes up because I'm the only one who knows how to use the coffee machine.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

A little tradition and a lot of food

All I want for Christmas is a towel
Today's run (street): 3.5 miles

'Tis the day before Christmas, one of my favorite days of the year. Office worries are set aside as people look forward to a few days of fun and family. Although the holiday falls on Friday, we celebrated today, with a special lunch and our annual viewing of the movie Elf. Christmas isn't a religious holiday for us, but we love it all the same. There's still more to come with dinner, however, I'm not sure I'll be ready for another meal until tomorrow's breakfast.

I'm not due to return to the office until January 4th. That seems like a long time from now, but I know it will go by quickly. It's only Thursday, but I've managed to get in three workouts already this week. I was on the fence about my run this morning, thinking I'd keep it to just a couple of miles. I know I'll have plenty of opportunities to run during my break. I ended up covering more distance than I planned because it felt easy. The weather (61° and cloudy) would have been perfect for running but the humidity bordered on oppressive. That's something I've rarely experienced on December 24th.

I'll get out for an early run tomorrow morning. It's a tradition I started in 2008 and I always look forward to it. My neighborhood is usually so quiet that I cover my entire route without seeing a car. My other Christmas day tradition is to remind people I encounter on my run to be careful if I see them walking with their back to traffic. That didn't turn out so well last year so I may give into the scrooges this year. In the meantime, I wish my friends, family and awesome Runsketeer buddies SIOR, TPP and KWL a wonderful holiday tomorrow. I hope Santa brings you great running in 2016.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

A run in the brume

Can you see the oncoming bus?
Today's run (street): 3.2 miles

As the song goes, it's the most wonderful time of the year. In terms of working, it really is. I worked from home both yesterday and today and my office will be shut down on Thursday and Friday, I'm also taking next week off. All that time translates into more time for running. This week got off to a good start with an elliptical session yesterday and a nice run this morning.

I knew we'd get rain today and it looked pretty gloomy at "sunrise." I planned to do something but I figured I'd be doing it inside. At around 7:00 AM, I verified no rain was coming down. I dressed for the 49° temperature and headed outside. As the garage door rose, I saw that my neighborhood was enveloped in thick fog. Fortunately I'd worn high visibility gear.

Running in the fog was an ethereal experience. Like freshly fallen snow, it made everything look a greeting card photo. I appreciated the visual effect, but I needed to be careful because visibility was measured in feet today. If I couldn't see school buses, they couldn't see me. The roads were reasonably clear, but I did need to detour over to the sidewalk a couple of times.

A year ago, I was doing my Christmas week run in much colder weather. It's supposed to hit 71° on Friday. Me and the Runsketeers will be carrying on our New Year's day Hangover Run tradition on January 1st. It's really fun to hang with my buddies before the start, but we're usually shivering up until the horn goes off. I won't complain if this weather hangs around until then.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Making strides on the track

Part one of today's workout
Today's run (track): 4 miles plus 4 x 200s

My legs exploded off the line, firing my fast twitch muscles and propelling me 200 meters at breakneck speed. That was the experience I was hoping for, but not quite my reality. My plan this morning was to do some speed work so I headed over to the high school to run measured intervals. I did get in some repeats, but most of my workout was track mileage.

When I arrived at the school I was excited to see that I had the place to myself. I decided to take advantage of the clear lanes and do a two mile warm-up before switching to strides. The flat track helped my performance and provided me a half minute per mile improvement over yesterday's pace. I wore my new buff around my neck and pulled it over my head when I encountered strong winds.

The track doesn't provide a lot of visual stimulation, but I liked watching the bright sun coming up over the horizon while I made my way around. I decided to keep running after I'd covered my first two miles and ended up doing a full four before moving over to speed work.

I only ended up doing 4 x 200s with 30 second recoveries, averaging 59 seconds per repeat. Not exactly explosive speed, but I haven't done anaerobic training in a long time. Still, it worked out to 8:00 per mile, a pace I haven't seen for months. If I could sustain that speed for more than 200 meters, I'd be pretty happy. The answer is clearly more intervals, more often,

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Running hot and cold

Wool I buy more?
Today's run (street): 4.5 miles

Yesterday's pleasant weather gave way to freezing cold today. I happen to like cold weather running so I didn't mind facing the chill. The 13 MPH winds weren't inviting, but I dressed appropriately with windproof track pants and two layers on top. Plus gloves and an over the ears running hat. That outfit kept me toasty at the start and during periods when I was running directly into the wind. When the wind stopped, it was more like a sweat-suit in a sauna. You can't have it both ways.

How dare we have December weather in December? 
I was planning to run intervals, but I thought the wind might make that difficult. There's something about the location of our local track that seems to amplify wind. I've had situations where the wind was so bad in the winter that I had to remove my glasses to avoid total face freeze. I elected to run locally, a loop around my neighborhood and a loop around the business park. I followed that with another loop around an adjacent neighborhood. My pace was disappointingly slow, but I'll blame that on the wind.

This morning's running ensemble also included some great Ballston wool socks that my wife picked up for me last night at Marshall's. Great socks make a huge difference and nothing beats wool in the winter. They were a great bargain and I want to go back and buy five more pair on top of the two she bought. In the meantime, I'll be wearing the other pair tomorrow. If it's not too windy, I'll be heading to the track.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Perfectly pleasant, yet forgettable run

 
Today's run (street): 3.2 miles

I usually stall before I run on Friday mornings, but I got out early this morning, The rhythm of my neighborhood shifts from minute to minute. Leave too soon and you risk running into a caravan of middle school buses. Leave too late and you're dealing with the maniacs driving sanitation and recycling trucks. I managed to time it just right today.

Someone described perfect racing weather as 50° and overcast. Those were the conditions this morning. I felt strong from the start, and enjoyed the peaceful experience running along quiet roads. Without the distraction of traffic, I was able to mentally prepare for my first video call of the day. It was just me, the sound of my footsteps and the bare December trees to keep me company.

I made my way around my route and felt as good at the end as I did at the start. It was a completely pleasant run, but so indistinct that, hours later, I'd forgotten whether I'd done my workout. I'm not sure where or when I'll run this weekend, but I'm glad I got a few miles in today. It may be time to get to the track for some intervals. If I want to break out of my "easy does it" running habit, I need to work a lot more on anaerobic conditioning.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Warmer and slower one year later


Today's run (street): 3.8 miles

I'm not sure what it was, but I wasn't feeling too great this morning. I had a brief moment when I considered a lesser workout or even skipping it altogether. Then I remembered that I felt a little off before my run with KWL yesterday, yet I still ran okay. Encouraged by that, I dressed for my run (short sleeves and running shorts today) and headed out with no route in mind.

I took it very easy and thought about the fact that the last race I ran was exactly a year ago: the 2014 Jingle All the Way 5K. I had recently developed a disc injury, although I didn't know it at the time, and ran a decent race. As I recall, SIOR and TPP both won their respective age divisions. They tend to do that. In fact, SIOR just became a certified trainer. Contact her through her site if you want to learn how to dominate your age group.

I also thought about the early fall-like weather today and compared that to a year ago when we had 9 MPH winds making it feel like 31°. We'd spent most of our pre-race time huddling near the large fire pits that were placed around the registration area. My objective was to cover a little more distance today than yesterday, but not at the cost of making myself feel worse than when I started.

I did not come close to the pace I ran a year ago this morning, but I wasn't going for performance. I'm hoping that I can fit in a couple of extra runs this week. It's almost Christmas week and, if things start winding down at work, I may be able to get them done.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Head tubes, trail running and pigs feet

Post-run at Stillwell
Today's run (Stillwell Woods): 3 miles
Thursday's workout (elliptical): 30 minutes

Another busy work week is over. I needed to go into the office for some important meetings on Friday and didn't get my usual run in that morning. I did fit in an elliptical session on Thursday. This morning our friend KWL came by to run and have lunch with us at Beijing House, a new and very authentic Chinese restaurant in our town. By authentic, I mean that many dishes featured tongue, tripe, intestines and pigs feet. We stuck mostly to vegetarian options.

In the buff
KWL generously brought gifts for us and the kids, including "head tubes" made by his sister Hetty. These cylinder-shaped items are similar to buffs that I've seen sold on running sites. You can use it as a hat or a thin balaclava, something I plan to do when I run in 20 degree temperatures. The material is soft and stretchy and I can tell it won't obstruct my breathing when I wear it across my face.

When KWL arrived, he was wearing running tights and a half zip, That prompted me to change out of my running shorts in favor of my Opedix. I later regretted that, because it got pretty hot by the time we were done. We ended up going over to Stillwell Woods to run among the throngs of mountain bikers who were there when we pulled in.

I had my Cascadias but KWL had his Hokas, so we kept to the hard packed single track. I led the way, pointing out roots along the path. Fortunately, many of these hazards were painted red from the recent Rob's Run 5K. I was running well -- KWL actually suggested that I slow down a little -- and I realized that I'm doing better on trails than roads these days.

We followed my usual loop that has a couple of modest climbs, and took a different path back to the trail head. We encountered some bikers, including one that almost ran us down when our paths crossed. The temperature seemed to rise by the minute and we kept it relatively short. It still felt like a good workout.

It was great seeing KWL today and the ER family appreciated having him with us to identify western-friendly choices at lunch. Although it's mid-December, it felt like early fall today. I'm going for more than three tomorrow. I don't know where but I do plan to wear shorts.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Feeling low and staying low

Declined to incline
Today's run (street): 4.2 miles

There are days when I know when I'm in for a good run and other days when I strongly consider other workouts. I wasn't feeling it this morning and my instinct was to explore options such as strength training, elliptical or core. Rather than decide, I took the easier path and ran. Not that the running was easy. It was not.

Yesterday's difficult run could be blamed on overdressing or overeating (or both). I had a decent night's sleep and chilly weather in the morning. Both are positive conditions for a good run. However, I lacked my usual energy and that accounted for a change in plans from my original route.

I was going to run to the top of the Bethpage bike trail at Woodbury Road and follow the path to the LIE overpass and back (red highlight on map). By the time I reached that road, I decided that I wasn't up for that long incline and elected to follow Woodbury Road to Meyers Farm and back. My run along Woodbury Road turned out to be harder than expected as the path was covered in a thick layer of leaves.

Despite lacking energy, I was able to hang in for a couple more miles. Like yesterday, I was pretty worn out by the end. Not a great week for mileage, but I did manage to get in four workouts. I'm hoping I'll rebound by next weekend.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Runs interrupted, for different reasons

Today's run (street): 3.5 miles
Yesterday's workout (run): 1.6 miles, (elliptical): 30 minutes

Yesterday's run did not go according to plan and I ended up cutting it short. I like to work from home on Fridays because -- after four days of commuting to my office north of NYC -- I need a break from the road. Every Friday I naively go out for a run before the start of my work day. And almost every time I'm out, I get work call on my cell. Yesterday was no exception.

After spending an hour catching up on email, I geared up and headed outside to do my usual loop. I struggled initially, but started gaining strength near the end of my first mile. I thought I was in for a decent run but, like clockwork, my phone began to ring. I fished  it out of my SPIbelt and saw it was a call I needed to take.

I work for a media organization and the caller was the Editor and Chief. She loves to call me while she's driving into the office because she knows I'm at home on Fridays. I always tease her about sabotaging my running routine. She offered to wait for me to call her back, but we usually cover things quickly and I figured I'd be done and running again in few minutes. Yesterday the conversation went longer. Much longer. I stood on the corner of a random road in my high visibility running clothes, talking on my phone and nodding to my neighbors as they walked by.

Once that was done, I saw that my window of opportunity had slammed shut. I made my way back home as fast as possible to ensure that I'd be showered and ready for my first meeting. I ended up 50% short of my targeted distance and felt so guilty that I did an elliptical session after I'd finished my work day.

This morning I had an early dental checkup and didn't feel like going for a run at the crack of dawn. I made the poor decision to have lunch rather than do a late morning run. I finally got out around 2:00 PM. It had been chilly in the morning and I neglected to check the weather before I dressed for my run. I wore track pants and a long sleeve shirt, too much clothing for the 52° conditions that I encountered.

Worse than the heat was running so soon after lunch. I quickly realized that I hadn't given myself enough rest time. I developed a cramp after about 15 minutes and tried to remember what I'd read in Runners World about dealing with them. Nothing came to mind, but I wasn't going to cut another run short. I took down the pace and pressed on. Eventually the cramping went away.

Things didn't get much better after that, but I finally got through it. I felt ready to hit the sack when I got home but recovered well after a quick shower. I hope today's experience was due only to bad timing and bad decisions. I plan to go out for more distance tomorrow and I will do my best to keep cramping off the menu.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

The Runsketeers induct a new member

The Run Crew: ER, KWL, TPP, NIMC, SIOR
Today's run (track): 3.25 miles

Today was a Runsketeer reunion run that coincided with TPP and her sister NIMC racing Rob's Run, a 5K trail race that takes place at Stillwell Woods. SIOR was considering racing, but she was dealing with a head and chest cold. She decided instead to run with me and KWL across the street at the high school track.

KWL, SIOR and I met up at the tennis courts on Southwoods Road and did a warm-up jog to the track. Warm-up was the operative phrase because, according to Garmin Connect, the "feels-like" temperature was a chilly 34°. I'd brought a fleece vest to stay warm before my run and ended up wearing it the whole time. We reached the track and ran a few laps together before spotting TPP and her sister heading our way. It was the first time we'd met NIMC who was instantly inducted into the mighty Runsketeers.

NIMC lives in Minnesota and came to LI to spend Thanksgiving with family. She's a very active person, an accomplished runner and frequent racer. It's clear that speed runs in the TPP family. The two racers made their way back to Stillwell and the non-racers continued to circle the track. I decided to run clockwise after a while, because I do so much of my running on the left side of the street and I thought that might counterbalance it. I also did it because it gave me an opportunity to communicate with KWL and SIOR at least once a lap.

I ended up covering 12 laps, plus an additional .25 miles at the beginning. We then headed over to Stillwell to meet up with TPP and NIMC and watch them start the race. It was freezing and I could tell that TPP was anxious to get moving. I tried to manage her expectations that the huge crowd of runners (600 estimated), combined with narrow single track, would produce a slower time than a typical 5K run on pavement. Turns out I was wrong. NIMC PR'd and TPP ran sub-9:00 pace.

Rob's Run start
SIOR, KWL and I headed to Starbucks after the racers took off. We managed to find a place to sit despite it being somewhat crowded. Soon after, TPP and NIMC joined us, looking like they'd barely broken a sweat. We had lots of discussions about running form, destination marathons and running at high elevations. SIOR wants to do the Maine Coast Marathon in Kennebunkport, KWL and his wife are going to run London and Berlin, and NIMC wants to run Athens. TPP and I are not hopping on the marathon train.

Selfie courtesy of  magnetic theory (and TPP)
Perhaps the funniest moment of the morning was at the end, when we were getting ready to go our separate ways. TPP was leaning her iPhone on the ridge of a column outside Starbucks to do a timed group shot. The column turned out to be metal and TPP has a magnetic gadget on the back of her phone for a car mount. That made it possible to stick the iPhone right on the column at the perfect height for a perfect selfie. That's our TPP!

It was great seeing my buddies and meeting TPP's sister today. Thanks to working at home on Wednesday, I was able to string together an elliptical session and four runs. SIOR has organized her army of friends to do a running streak (at least one mile a day) from Thanksgiving to New Year. So far, I'm on track, but unfortunately my streak will end tomorrow. I do hope to do at least four workouts per week whenever possible. That should count for something.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Pre-run generator attack

Now I have two reasons to hate this thing
Today's run (street): 3.5 miles

It's never a good sign when you get injured before you even run. That was the case this morning when I was preparing to go out for a few miles. I stepped outside and turned on my Garmin to get a GPS signal before walking to the end of my driveway to get the empty recycling bin. As I put the bin back in the garage, I caught the edge of my reviled generator, opening up a 1" gash on my knee.

The wound looked serious and I ran inside to dress it. After dousing it with rubbing alcohol and Calahist lotion, I put on a large bandage and secured it with surgical tape. My wife had just finished her treadmill run when I came upstairs to get the tape. She saw my bandaged knee and said, "Did you trip again?" I explained that it wasn't running related and headed out the door.

The temperature was mild and the sky was overcast, nice conditions for this time of year. I wasn't motivated to do a long run today, so I did a variation of my regular route. I had initially thought about heading to the high school to run the track, but I didn't want to deal with people clogging up the lanes. Happily, my neighborhood streets were quiet and I only saw a couple of walkers and one cyclist.

My knee held up fine and I ended up with my third run this week, along with Wednesday's elliptical session. While they were all under four miles, there's something to be said for frequency. Later in the afternoon, my son and I did a long walk around the neighborhood. By then the weather had turned rainy, but we wore our hooded running raincoats and stayed dry and comfortable.

We wrapped up our walk by cutting through the middle school and came upon the scene of an accident. A minivan must have hopped the curb and taken out a street light. I don't think anyone got hurt (just a bored looking cop, tow truck and no ambulance) but it was a weird thing to encounter. Tomorrow is the last day of Thanksgiving break. If I feel up to it, I'll put in some longer distance.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Stillwell Woods: good running and bad parking

Standing in the Field of Dreams
Today's run (Stillwell Woods): 3.3 miles

I had a tight morning schedule but I really wanted to run the trails this morning. As soon as I was able to break free, I headed over to Stillwell Woods hoping that everyone was out Black Friday shopping and I'd have the place all to myself. When I arrived I saw that some cars were parked near the trail head. It wasn't crowded, but there were two SUVs whose owners had randomly parked sideways, taking up seven spaces between them. Obnoxious.

Nice parking buddy
 I'd dressed for cool weather and wore my Zensah calf sleeves although it turned out to be mild. Still, I appreciated the compression on some of the steeper sections. I said hello to a few mountain bikers who were getting their bikes ready for their rides and then slipped into the woods.

The temperature was in the low 50's but the single track was relatively firm except for a few places that had direct sunlight. In those places, the dirt was rutted with tire tracks and I carefully ran along the edges to prevent a slip in the mud. I followed the path along my regular loop and crossed paths a few times with groups of runners from the local high school.

I kept it relatively short and enjoyed the change of pace from running on hard pavement. I finished with a loop around the "Field of Dreams", a large open area that sits west of the woods. Although I didn't cover much distance, I still felt pounded by the terrain. Stillwell's trails can be tough on the legs.

Shortly after I returned to my car, the owner of one of the carelessly parked SUVs rode up after finishing his ride. I stared at him, watching him struggle to get out of his now-tight spot between me and another car that was parked closely on the other side of him. I'm sure he wished I'd back out to make it easier for him, but I wanted to teach him a lesson.

Once I got ready to leave, I noticed this sign was posted in front of me. SIOR and TPP will be at Stillwell on Sunday for Rob's Run, a 5K cross country race that is staged there every year. 700 participants battling along the same narrow path is a bit too tight for me. I raced the Xterra Run at Stillwell about five years ago. With only about 90 runners, that seemed like Stillwell Woodstock.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Turkey day run before the turkey

Time to ring the dinner bell
Today's run (street): 3.5 miles
Yesterday's workout (elliptical): 30 minutes

My Thanksgiving day run is done, but there's no turkey trotting for me this year. Hooray for Runsketeer buddy TPP who had a 5K PR this morning in Oyster Bay. Had she finished ten seconds earlier, she would have averaged sub-8:00. TPP just keeps getting faster and I'm at the point where I'm happy that I'm not getting any slower.

I have day confusion due to the mid-week holiday and keep thinking it's Saturday. I worked from home yesterday and kept confusing it with Friday. But it isn't and it wasn't and I'm happy to have a nice string of days off where I'll get some workouts done. Yesterday was a busy morning at the office and that required me to participate in a few Google Hangout meetings. I sneaked in an early elliptical session to kick off my week's activity.

Despite the fact that today will be a major meal, we went out for a get-together dinner last night. It was really great, but social rules forced us to all order dessert. I felt like a stuffed turkey by the end and decided that I'd skip dessert today. Ya, right. There's homemade bread pudding, pecan pie and turkey cupcakes (happily not made out of turkey) in the refrigerator. Those are just the treats I know about.

In the spirit of burning calories, I went out this morning in fairly chilly (39°) weather. I'm not the biggest fan of running in my neighborhood, but it's a very civilized experience on holidays. No aggressive drivers dropping off their kids, road-hogging school buses, landscaper rigs or sanitation trucks forcing me onto the sidewalk. Just the quiet of a late fall day.

According to my Garmin data, my first mile and last half mile were my fastest this morning, even though I'm still plodding along for the most part. Despite that, my run seemed shorter than the distance I'd covered and I was thankful for the hot shower that followed.

Dinner will be served soon and I was excited to see what my wife and daughter cooked up for today's feast. I would have helped them, but there's a perception that I tend to get in the way. Besides that, I have to entertain. A lot of people are out of town this year, so our guest list is fairly moderate and I'm glad for that. You could even say thankful.

Tomorrow is Black Friday but I will avoid the stores and take advantage of another (hopefully) quiet morning. I keep thinking about the trails and may go out early to Stillwell or Bethpage. Happy Thanksgiving to all and good luck to all you turkey trotters and streakers (I mean you SIOR). I'd write more, but dinner awaits.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

A run through the park and a stop at the Depot

Getting around
Today's run (street): 4.6 miles

I was feeling a lot better today and went out early to cover a little more distance than yesterday. I wasn't ready to take on seven miles, like I did last week, but I planned to break out of the confines of my neighborhood. After a loop around the local streets, I crossed through the middle school and made my way toward the adjacent business park.

I did my usual clockwise loop around the park and double-backed at the end to gain an extra half mile. I added more distance along a stretch that runs west of neighborhood #3 and finished up with a dash down the middle school parking lot. I haven't looked at the Garmin data to see how I paced, but I did throw in some fartleks throughout the run.

Later in the day I went out to take care of some errands and stopped into the Home Depot to buy a couple of small items. While I was there I became mesmerized by rack after rack of tools and I remembered that I needed a large pair of tongue and groove pliers. I felt extremely macho evaluating the selection and decided on a rugged Crescent 12" unit that I took home and fixed something on my to-do list.

I'll take the one in the middle
So, despite a bad start to the weekend, I managed a decent run today. And I got to play with a big wrench.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Pumpkin bread day run

Aromatherapy
Today's run (street): 3.5 miles
Yesterday's run (street): 2.25 miles

Once again the Emerging Runner household is enveloped with the aroma of baking pumpkin bread. Every year, since our kids were in kindergarten, my wife has set up a bakery to produce dozens of her (now) famous breads that she gives to family, teachers and friends. It's a sure sign that Thanksgiving is near when I see her and my daughter in the kitchen organizing the mixing bowls and ingredients.

I'm looking forward to having some later, even though I've felt ill since yesterday morning, I had a tough work week that continued through Friday. I worked from home yesterday and had an early meeting via Google Hangout. I was feeling pretty low and considered skipping my workout. My wife said the weather was perfect and that I should go out for a short run. So that's what I did.

It was warm enough to run in short sleeves and shorts and I did a couple of loops that totaled 2 1/4 miles. My minimum run distance is three miles, but I made an exception yesterday to accommodate my schedule and condition. Even though I only covered 70% of my typical Friday distance, it felt like a full workout.

This morning I still felt sick, but ignored that and prepared to run. It was more than a head cold and I considered the "neck up run, neck down rest" rule, This was not going to be a long run either, so I figured I was safe. A quick check of the weather prompted me to go with long sleeves and shorts. That was a good idea, as the 9 MPH winds made the temperature feel like high 30's.

I felt good throughout most of my run, but near the end I felt tired. I took a recovery nap after showering and that helped me rebound well enough to socialize with some visitors in the afternoon. I'm still feeling fatigued and wondering whether I'll be up for my Sunday long run. I'll play it by ear and see how I feel in the morning. I'm sure a little pumpkin bread will help.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Personal distance best at Bethpage

Hardly sweating after seven
Today's run (Bethpage bike trail): 7.1 miles

I was determined to make progress against my distance goals this morning and set my sights on the Bethpage trail. I targeted seven miles to make this my longest run this year. The chilly, high 30's temperature compelled me to pull my Opedix Knee-Tecs out of storage as well as a mid-weight quarter zip. All geared up, I headed out early because I knew it would take a while to get through this run.

I didn't bother to drive to the park because last week they were still charging to use the lot. I went to our regular rendezvous spot and immediately took off south. I do most of my Bethpage runs north of Haypath Road, but lately I've been missing the old trail. I took off south and quickly got past the short, steep hill that greets runners about a third of a mile into that route.

This morning I read an article in Runners World that encouraged hill-haters to embrace them for their conditioning benefits. I tried to keep an open mind as I encountered one hill after another. The Bethpage bikeway is rolling, with a few challenging hills and a lot of elevation changes. Sometimes these lesser hills seem like bumps and other times they seem mountainous. It may have been the mindset I got from the article, but none seemed that bad today.

Record breaker
My longest run in 2015 had been about 6.4 miles, so my plan was to turn around after 3.5 to guarantee my seven. Since I went out early, I had the path pretty much to myself. I appreciated the sights, sounds and maple-y smells of the late fall morning. The few who were out on their runs were friendly, although there were two teams of three cyclists who didn't quite get the concept of sharing the path. One of them passed me pretty closely and almost got the concept of my sharp elbow.

Despite my layers, I remained fairly comfortable as the temperature rose to low 40's. It struck me that today's run felt no more taxing than yesterday's, even though that was less than half the distance. With four workouts this week and my personal best for distance, I'll consider this a good week of running.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

A good way to use a run

Je suis pissed
Today's run (street): 3.3 miles
Yesterday's workout (elliptical): 30 minutes

Were this was a political blog, I would be writing a few hundred words about how disgusted I am that a group of cowards killed a bunch of people in Paris last night. But this is a running blog, so I'll keep it related to that.

I worked from home on Friday and had an early call, so I opted for an elliptical session to save time. I set the resistance higher than usual and really felt the effect of the workout by the time I finished. Another reason I'd stayed inside on Friday was the very high winds that made outdoor running unappealing. I was glad to see that conditions were milder when I got up this morning and looked forward to getting out.

After a couple of cups of coffee and and an hour watching the news, I felt deflated and unmotivated to run. It's been almost 15 years since 9/11, but I felt the same way I did after all that happened. I got my act in gear just before noon and went outside. The winds had picked up, so I dressed as if it was 10 degrees colder. That turned out to be a good choice because I remained comfortable through the entire run.

Running is therapeutic and I appreciated how it distracted me from the news. I followed my usual Friday route (although it's Saturday) and, despite dealing with some wind resistance, I got through my miles fairly quickly. The post-run lift put me back on track, and that has carried me through the day. I really hope to get out early tomorrow so I have time to cover a lot more miles, although the today's three were really appreciated.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Be the first on your block to have a running Interocitor

L to R: Alien, Tom Servo, Mike, Crow, Interocitor
Today's run (street): 3.2 miles

Black Friday will soon be here, and it's time for the barrage of holiday catalogs to land in our mailbox. I ignore most of them because I don't really care about kitchen tools, home furnishings or women's sportswear. However, I came upon something called Hammacher Schlemmer, America's longest running catalog. This is not a running catalog, but rather a social experiment to see if people will pay $129 for a cotton bathrobe just because it's described as "Turkish."

As I read through the pages, I became increasingly appalled by these products that looked like Dollar Store rejects marked up 5,000 percent. That is, until I reached page 41 that featured the "Exotic Virtual Adventure Run." This item looks like the Interocitor from "This Island Earth" (a film famously mocked by Mystery Science Theater 3000) attached to a treadmill. The description states that the system will provide a "virtual adventure in some of the world's most exotic locales."

Operators are standing by
The treadmill in the picture was a Matrix, so I wasn't shocked to see the $8,000 price. I was surprised to see that this silly looking product does not even include the treadmill. Assuming you have an iPad, that money would buy 2,000 different runs (assuming that many are available) for the Outside Active Virtual Runner app. This catalog also offers a $25 cheap looking plastic tire gauge with "digital readout" and an incredibly spindly looking Elipti-Go knockoff for $999.95.

I had no special gadgets on this morning's run, unless you count my Garmin. I went with short sleeve shirt under long sleeves along with running shorts, because the local news station was showing 50° in the lower right corner. I was afraid I'd overdressed, but once I stepped outside and felt the 14 MPH wind, I was grateful for the extra layer. It wasn't raining, but there was a lot of mist in the air, making for a cold and gloomy experience.

Today's run was a bonus for me, made possible by the Veteran's Day holiday. Due to the miserable conditions, I decided to cap my run at around 3 miles. I was glad to get in the workout and happy when I finished. I suppose I could have accomplished the same thing in the comfort of my own home, had I purchased the Exotic Virtual Adventure Run.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Rolling along at Bethpage on a perfect fall day

Pretty, hilly 
Today's run (Bethpage bike trail): 6.1 miles

I've been thinking about my running this year. Even though I haven't competed in a race since last December. I'm not missing racing. However, I do miss the discipline that comes with race training. As a result, my longest run this year has measured only 6.5 miles. When I was training for 10Ks and half marathons, my typical Sunday run would extend seven or more miles and go as long as 12. I'm not ready to commit to a half, but if I train like I'm going to run one, I may feel differently.

SIOR suggested a program called "Run Less, Run Faster" that is geared to people like me who have limited time to train during the week. I'm going to look into that plan, but I suspect it will expect me to run lots of intervals and hills. I did run some hills today and did fine with them. Intervals are okay, but I only enjoy them once I've finished.

My goal is to exceed my personal distance best (13.1 miles) that I've done on my half marathons. Technically, I would beat my personal best by running 13.11 miles, but my target is 14. People who run marathons may look at 14 miles merely as a stop along the way to 26.2. But every time I've finished a Half, I know I wouldn't have been able to run that additional tenth of a mile.

I kicked off my long distance training this morning at Bethpage with a 6 mile run along the bike trail. I naively drove to the park thinking that they were no longer charging admission to the lot. I don't begrudge the fee, but I didn't have any cash so I turned around. My friend who mans the booth would probably have let me in, especially since I wasn't with his sworn enemy SIOR.

I ended up parking on Runsketeer Road and ran south on the trail. I turned around at the point where the bike trail intersects with the main driveway into the park. I had already taken on the short but steep hill south of Haypath and was soon running up the big hill in the park. The crisp fall air, bright foliage and crunchy leaves on the trail made the climb tolerable. The bike trail is rolling, but that hill was the biggest challenge of the run.

I'd targeted 6 miles today, but I could have gone on a lot longer. I decided to stick with the plan and noted my distance as I passed my starting point. I did the math to determine how much farther I'd need to run before turning back. I ended up covering a little more than six miles.

If my schedule cooperates, I'll go for seven miles next weekend. Perhaps the Runsketeers will join me and show me how it's done.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Why we spend $100 for running shoes

Run away!
Today's run (street): 4.4 miles

My new reality is long busy work days. I'm not complaining (well maybe a little) but my work schedule did take a bite out of my running this week. I made it into the city on Thursday for an industry meeting and saw my buddy and fellow Runsketeer, KWL, who ran the NYC marathon last weekend. I probably covered 20K steps that day, so at least I burned some calories.

We had to go out east this morning, which required me to get out early for my first run of the week. Even though it's early November, the temperature felt more like late September and the cloudy skies helped keep things cool. I had no particular route in mind when I took off and ended up circumnavigating the middle school before heading to the north end of my neighborhood. There was a little humidity, but otherwise conditions were fall-perfect.

We spent much of the day in eastern Long Island and we stopped at Target before we headed home. While my wife and kids looked for stuff on their lists, I ambled over to the men's section that has the Champion C9 line of athletic clothes. They had some nice, lightweight vests that would be perfect with a long sleeve running shirt on a 30° morning, but the price was higher than I was prepared to pay.

Out of curiosity, I looked in the shoe section, where they sell C9 running shoes for $29.99. Most of the big running shoe brands have entry level models that Dick's and Sports Authority sell for $50-$60. These shoes may not have the advanced technologies and features of their flagship models, but they generally provide a decent fit and feel. I decided to try on a pair of the C9 Drives to experience the difference between them and the ASICS Kayano 20s I was wearing.

Drive this off a cliff
The C9 shoes did not seem junky and I wondered what they'd feel like on my foot. After realizing they ran a half size bigger than most of the shoes in my collection, I found a smaller pair and tried them on. My first impression of the Drives was that they had almost no cushioning. That isn't a show stopper for me, because I like a minimal shoe. But when I stood up and took a few steps, I realized why I typically spend $100 or more for Sauconys, ASICS or Brooks.

The lack of cushioning and a poorly constructed mid-sole resulted in a lumpy, uncomfortable foot bed. I suddenly understood the difference between quality brands and cheap $29.99 knockoffs. I've been fortunate to either receive shoes for testing from the manufacturers, or find great discounted running shoes at places like SA Elite or Famous Footwear. Believe me, paying $60 for a pair of $100 running shoes is a much better deal than paying $30 for "bargain" trainers.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Marathon day but not a marathon run

I ran 1/6th of this distance today 
Today's run (street): 4.25 miles

After yesterday's horrible run I was a little gun shy about going out again this morning. Daylight Savings Time allowed me to sleep until 6:30 AM and still get up at 5:30 and I was hoping the extra rest would help. I think it did. I told my wife that I was worried about having another bad running experience but she dismissed the thought, saying every run is different. I managed to get out of the house early and my Garmin quickly acquired its signal. I wasted no more time thinking about how I'd feel once I got going.

I usually think out my route and distance before I run. Today I took off in a random direction thinking I'd figure it out as I went. I soon determined that yesterday's struggles wouldn't carry over to today and I focused on getting through the run as quickly as possible. I was anxious to get home so I could watch the NYC marathon coverage on TV and track a number of friends who were running.

I felt much better today and it was enough to improve my overall pace by 42 seconds per mile. There was a pronounced wind that both helped and hurt depending on which direction I was going. The temperature was 59° but I began to feel the heat due to the 72% humidity. I'd paid no attention to my time or distance and thought I'd only gone about 3.5 miles when I got back to my house. I was surprised to see that I'd run more than 4 miles.

It was fun to watch the the coverage of the elite runners when I got back. I had a half dozen people that I wanted to track and I was excited to find that FS was also running when I looked her up. I enjoyed being able to follow people's progress by laptop and wished that the network spent more time covering non-elite participants.

Watching the marathon was fun and I keep waiting for the racing bug to return for me. For now I'm happy to run on my own terms. I'm more interested in training to beat my PB for distance in a single run (13.1 miles) and I plan to start on that next weekend. Once I get my base up, I might be looking at 10Ks a little differently.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

One run interrupted, one run horrible

Today's run (street): 3.3 miles
Yesterday's run (street): 3.2 miles

Happy Halloween. It's hard top be spooky when you go out trick or treating at noon, but I saw a lot of little witches and goblins during today's mid-day run. We have weekend visitors and I delayed my workout so I could spend time with our guests this morning. It may have been the late start, but this was possibly my worst run of the year. More on that in a bit.

I had hopes of covering close to 20 miles this week like I typically did a couple of years ago. My vacation day on Wednesday got me off to a good start and I added to that on Friday morning. Since I work from home most Fridays, I use the time I normally commute to get in my miles.

That system had been working well until one of my work colleagues decided that early Friday morning was the perfect time to reach me. In those cases, I've either let the call go to voice mail or kept it very short. I was about a mile into my run yesterday when I heard the phone ring. I almost ignored it, but once I saw who it was, I knew I needed to answer. Ten minutes later was on my way, although my momentum was lost and a new work issue was on my mind.

Today was a different story. I wasn't feeling my best throughout the morning and hoped my energy would return by the time I was ready to hit the road. I got off to a slow start as I left my house, so I figured I'd keep it easy. I could tell right away that I wouldn't be up for my targeted five miles but hoped I'd gain strength throughout the run. Instead, I felt increasingly fatigued and even reached a point where I wanted to stop. Although I only covered a little more than three miles, the run felt endless.

I was thrilled when I finally reached my driveway. The run was a disaster, but at least I got it done. I looked forward to a relaxing afternoon that eventually gave way to a house full of Halloween-partying teenagers. It's been a noisy evening.

Tomorrow is a big day for two of my friends, but for different reasons. KWL and his wife will be running the NYC marathon and I'm wishing them perfect race conditions. Runsketeer SIOR will be celebrating yet another birthday (she's quite elderly) and plans to watch the marathon from her favorite spot in Queens. I'm hoping that tomorrow's run goes better than today's. It could hardly go worse.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

20th anniversary run and fun

Getting the scoop (or the schmear) at Bagel Boss
Today's run (street): 3.5 miles

I took the day off from work today because it was my 20th anniversary. Besides enjoying the luxury of sleeping until 5:30 AM and not driving 35 miles and back today, I got in a nice morning run. The weather is currently monsoon-like, but just before 8:00 AM it was cool and overcast with nary a drop of humidity. I like to start my weekday runs at 8:00 because that gives me about 40 minutes between the caravan of high school and middle school buses and the secondary wave of elementary school buses and kid drop-offs.

The buses don't bother me that much because I can hear or see them coming at a safe distance. I always hop onto the sidewalk in those cases. Parents dropping off their kids are a different story. They're typically aggressive speeders who don't even pretend to slow down for stop signs. I stay hyper aware at all times.

This morning I saw a car that was going at least 10 MPH faster than the speed limit almost collide with a car coming around a blind corner from the opposite direction. Besides that, I ran past a house as a car started backing out of the driveway without looking. I anticipated that and she heard my yell loudly and clearly.

The rest of the day was spent doing various anniversary-like things, including having lunch at our favorite Thai restaurant and going to Home Dept twice. We also walked into a location shoot that the local news station was broadcasting from a neighborhood shopping center. I have no idea what they were talking about, but it appeared to be bagel-related.

Tomorrow it's back to work, which doesn't seem fair as today felt so much like a Friday. Still, I did get in my run and I'm looking to do the same on Friday morning. We have family staying part of the weekend so I have to remember to grab my Saturday running gear out of the guest room before they arrive.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Eco challenged and rainy run

Imagine this car much dirtier
Today's run (street): 3.5 miles
Yesterday's run (street): 5.3 miles

Yesterday was extremely busy and I didn't get a chance to post anything about my run. Although I'd made a goal of breaking out of the confines of my neighborhood at least once every weekend, I didn't have time to do that on Saturday. I decided to cover some less familiar ground on local roads to make the route more interesting. And it was a little interesting.

After running a mile or so around my own neighborhood, I headed over to the adjacent business park to run the main loop. On my way out of the park, I noticed a rough looking Delorean making its way slowly up the road belching thick black smoke. Obviously a problem with the flux capacitor. With all the gleaming Deloreans shown in the news this past week because of Back to the Future time travel date, this seemed ironic, not to mention environmentally unfriendly. I thought those things ran on garbage.

Soon after that, I began to notice that many people's homes still had their sprinkler systems going despite the pact that we're in late October and the temperature was in the mid 40's. It seemed to be the day for eco-criminals, but the beautiful fall weather helped offset my annoyance. I covered more than 5 miles, which was my plan, and got home in time to stay on schedule. Our evening plans kept us out late, so the blog had to wait.

This morning I was hoping to run at Stillwell Woods or at the wooded trails at Bethpage, but the possibility of rain discouraged that. When I stepped out around 8:00 AM for a run in my neighborhood, the light rain was beginning to increase in intensity. I considered getting my waterproof running jacket or even taking my workout indoors. I decided to stay out despite the wet conditions. The rain was steady, but it wasn't a downpour. I did regret that I had my Kinvaras on instead of a more water friendly shoe.

Rainy run
I ended up fairly soaked, but it was more rain than sweat. I had one experience with a driver who was frantically trying to get his car into the drop off circle of the middle school so he didn't have to park in a lot that was 50 feet further away. As I ran through, I could tell he was focused solely on getting past the other cars. I yelled "Hey!" so loud that he practically slammed on his brakes. These people drive like animals and that's an insult to animals.

The Emerging Runner family caught up with Adventure Girl via Hangout  a little later and it was great to see her. She recently ran a 54 mile unsupported Ultra! That's 40.9 miles farther than I've ever run at one time. I think I'll make a goal of running longer than I ever have in a single run. That would be 13.2 miles. Hey, I may even go for 14!

Friday, October 23, 2015

After the treadmill, any outside run is good

Short and sweet
Today's run (street): 3.2 miles
Yesterday's run (treadmill): 30 minutes

I took a vacation day on Wednesday to take care of some stuff. I had a 7:30 AM appointment so I didn't get a chance to do a workout in the morning. I did get on the treadmill in the late afternoon and had a very rough 30 minute run. I'm not an afternoon runner and the treadmill didn't make the situation any better. Although the minutes felt maddeningly slow, somehow I managed through it.

It was great to break up the work week with a day off but Thursday was tough and I was thrilled to work from home today. After that difficult workout on Wednesday, I was concerned that today's neighborhood run wouldn't go very well. It was a chilly 43° outside and I wore shorts and a long sleeve running shirt. It took almost five minutes to acquire a GPS signal. I began to rethink my gear as I stood and waited.

As soon the Garmin showed ready, I took off. I didn't notice a woman who was running by my house and I almost ran into her. Had she been running on the left (correct) side of the road, that would not have happened. I could tell I was in for a good run and pushed harder than usual as I ran up the first long road. I ended up crossing paths with that same woman about a mile later and this time I saw her coming.

I had a tight morning schedule and capped my run at a little more than three miles. That was enough. I ended up doing slightly better than average, probably due more to the cool weather than anything else. The Emerging Runner family will be doing a video call with Adventure Girl on Sunday and I may hit the trails tomorrow in honor of that. While she's tagging peaks in Montana this weekend, I'll settle for some of Stillwell's much smaller hills.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Recovering on the Bethpage trail

Today's gear. Black is the new black.
Today's run (Bethpage Bike Trail): 5.6 miles

As the song goes, what a difference a day makes. The work week was exhausting and I counted on Saturday for recovery. Unfortunately, I felt ill all day with a pounding sinus headache that persisted throughout the evening. This morning I woke up feeling one hundred percent better and looked forward to getting outside. While Saturday's perfect weather gave way to much colder temperatures today, conditions were still great for a run.

According to the local station, it was 33°, so I pulled out my Opedix running tights, Alpine Design quarter-zip top and ASICS lightweight running beanie. Not my warmest collection of gear, but good for today's weather. I also wore my Saucony Triumph ISOs thinking they would be warmer than the Kinvaras. It turned out they aren't and next time I'll remember to wear wool socks.

I wanted to cover 5+ miles so I went to the Runsketeer staging area off Haypath. I ran south to Bethpage Stage Park and turned around at the start of the north trail. The Bethpage bikeway is a rolling path with a couple of steep but short sections between the park and Haypath Rd. I know the constant elevation change is great for conditioning, but I always dread those hills.

I ran north all the way to Old Country Road, passing many walkers along the way. Most were bundled up against the cold. There were surprisingly few runners and cyclists so the path was relatively clear. My gear kept me perfectly comfortable with the exception of my feet that felt the chill when the wind was blowing.

Today's route
I would have liked to cover another .4 miles to make it an even six, but I ended up back where I started and felt good about how I'd run. Yesterday's workout contributed to my fatigue that lasted throughout the day, while today's run is still producing energy. One day made a huge difference, and I'm happy to be ending the weekend feeling this great.
 

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