Running quote of the week

“I love track running. There’s something about that red 400-meter circle that lets my brain switch off—no roads to cross, no bikes to watch out for.” – Kate Carter

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Happy on the Bethpage trail

Trail appreciation day
Today's run (Bethpage trail): 5.4 miles

The best part of today's run came during the last half mile. I'd spent the previous five moving at my usual pace (slow) but opened up the throttle on the last stretch of the path. I ended up with a final split in the range of my old normal pace. That contrasted with the rest of my data and really highlighted how much my performance has dropped off over the past few years.

I wanted to break out of my typical 3 to 4 mile rut and I knew the best way to do that was to run the Bethpage bike trail. There was partial sun breaking through the clouds and the humidity didn't seem too bad. But humidity can be deceiving and, a few miles in, I began to regret leaving my water bottle in my car. Garmin data says humidity was 83%. On the other hand, there was a steady breeze coming from the west that acted like a cooling fan, especially when I was heading south.

Rather than go north as usual, I decided to run south to Bethpage State Park, turn around there and head north to Old Country Road. I figured that would get me my targeted five and then some. Soon after I'd started, I saw a couple of people running ahead of me at about the same pace that I was running. Well the guy was running my pace and the woman was running faster and looping back periodically to run with him. It reminded me of running with TPP and SIOR!

I eventually caught up to them, but they kept going south while I turned around. I was feeling good and took the time to look around and appreciate how fortunate I am to have this beautiful trail ten minutes from my home. The abundant trees and well maintained paths make it a happy place. I noticed that they've put in water coolers near the end of the first section of the northern path. Very civilized. I wish I'd drank from it when I had the chance.

For some reason, I expected that my run north would feel short because I'd covered 2.75 miles by the time I'd looped back to where I'd started. It wasn't a slog covering the remaining distance, but it seemed to take longer to cover slightly less distance. As it turned out, I went much faster during the second half. That was probably due to my more urgent pace towards the end.

The fact that I could hold a much faster pace for a fairly long stretch reinforced that my speed issue isn't physical. I've definitely fallen into the habit of running comfortably rather than with a performance goal. My absence from racing explains that to some degree. I'm not sure that I want to start folding in faster paces in all my runs, but with cooler weather coming, it might be a nice thing to try.

Finally, I want to give a shout out to SIOR who finished in the top 8% of the Suffolk County Half Marathon this morning. It makes me proud to be a Runsketeer. Even if I'm the slowest one.


  1. congrats to our SIOR.. and to you, ER.. for exceeding your normal distance! When is the Supervisor's run? Would you consider that?

    1. Thanks TPP. The Supervisor's run is Oct 17 so maybe. I need to get serious about speed if I'm going to do that. Cow Harbor is next weekend. Are you ready???

  2. Good job! Nothing like a nice negative split! Civilized water coolers?? Wha?! I need details.

    What supervisor's run?

    1. I think you both should run the flat, fast RVC 10 or 5k this year.....

    2. Water cooler is located where they did that new construction on the trail just south of Haypath. It's just cropped out of the right of the above picture. Supervisor's run is the TOB 5K that's half uphill and half down.

      The RVC might be nice. It's a turkey trot, right?

    3. No, it's always the weekend after NYC

    4. I think it conflicts with another race I used to do - the Run for the Warriors.

    5. It does, but since you "used to do" it, it should be a non-issue 😏

    6. I'm giving it very strong consideration.


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