I get a lot of junk emails (don't we all?) that I usually ignore or delete. If you ever sign up for something online and don't forget to opt out of marketing, you're going to see some unwelcome emails. Worse, those companies sell your address to other companies, forcing you to unsubscribe to mail lists you never joined in the first place.
I don't know what I did to get on the railstotrails.org list, but they sure send a lot of emails. And guess what, it worked. I am now a member of the Rails to Trails Conservancy. The reason I took the bait was a series of emails that had subject lines like, "Your trails at risk...like Bethpage Bikeway" and contained dire warnings like, "Next year, our elected officials could slash funding for great walking and biking trails!" Those awful, irresponsible elected officials! How could I stand by and watch them do this to my beloved path!? So I made a donation.
As a result, I am now the proud owner of a Rails to Trails membership card that, as far as I can tell, allows me to make more donations to the Rails to Trails Conservancy and buy Rails to Trails Conservancy merchandise. Along with this card, I received an electric blue winter cap and my first copy of rails to trails magazine that seems to suggest that these paths are only for cyclists. Seriously, every story is about biking.
My wife looked at the hat and said two things. 1. "Bad color." 2. "Are you really going to wear that?" Of course I am! The cap may be vividly ugly, but it's also visible. If I ever get to run outside the house again before spring, I plan to wear it.
This morning I'd hoped to do a neighborhood run but the streets had too much ice. I made a query on the GLIRC Facebook page to see if anyone knew the condition of the Bethpage trail. Perhaps I should have emailed Rails to Trails since they seem to know so much about about the Bethpage path. I probably would have received a response like, "Dear Mr. ER, please let us know what type of bike you ride and we'll let you know if trail conditions support it..."
I received some helpful responses from GLIRC members that I don't know personally and some unhelpful responses from GLIRC members I do know. Those members, SIOR and TPP, were going to SUNY Old Westbury at noon. My schedule didn't allow me to join them. I hope they had fun running that freezing, hilly course.
I kept inside for my workout today, running about 45 minutes on the treadmill. The machine is ridiculously loud, but it seems to have moved past its tortured screeching metal phase. It sounds more like a wooden roller coaster now. You can think of it as the least fun ride at Adventureland.
My run was fine and, although I had some sciatic pain over the first half, things eventually settled down. Happily, the soreness did not return after my run. In keeping with my one fitness resolution for 2015 (that I'd stop completely ignoring my upper body) I did ten push ups when I got off the treadmill.
One of the GLIRC posters said that the wooded trails at Bethpage are in good shape so I may head there tomorrow and do a trail run. The mountain bikers should be able to spot me before they run me over because I'll be wearing my new hat.