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

Saturday, January 9, 2016

The dirt trails at Bethpage

The path is clear
Today's run (Bethpage dirt trails): 4.1 miles
Yesterday's run (street): 3.2 miles

Back to work this week. I'd hoped to get a workout in on Wednesday or Thursday, but my @#$%& schedule got me home too late both nights. I know I used to rise and run almost every day in my previous job, but I can't seem to get back in that mode. The best excuse I can think of is that my old commute allowed me to rest and recover on the train ride in. My current commute involves driving, and I try not to sleep during that time.

I worked from home yesterday and, although I had early meetings, I was able to get in a few miles before I started my work day. I didn't go out in the dark, but it was before the school bus parade had begun. After last week's springtime weather, the cold and windy conditions reminded me that it is January. I've been wearing fewer layers lately and using my lightweight ASICS running jacket to help cut the wind chill.

This morning the temperature was 10° higher and I decided to break out of my neighborhood and head over to Bethpage to run the dirt trails. I get to Stillwell frequently, but it's been a while since I've done anything at Bethpage besides running the bike trail. With no once collecting admission, I breezed in, parked in the lot, and started my run on the paved path.

I wore my Brooks Cascadias because I knew I'd encounter dirt, mud, sand, leaves and rocks. I also figured I'd use the bike trail to get me to different cut-ins to the woods and the Cascadias are very runnable on pavement. I reached the trail at the half mile point and followed the marked trail north and then east, using the color codes to choose a direction when the path split. That worked well until I found myself near the intersection of the northern bike trail and took a hard right to stay in the woods.

Bethpage runaround
The trails were in great shape despite some muddy sections and there was a lot of elevation to test my hamstrings. Bethpage's trails are rolling like the bike path, but they're not as technically challenging as certain parts of Stillwell. The main trails are wide enough to accommodate a dump truck and are as pristine as any I've seen on Long Island.

I saw a lot of other trail runners today and it was nice to run without fear of being mowed down by a mountain bike. Bikes are not allowed, although I did see a few tire tracks in the mud. I ended up covering four miles, but with tired legs and all the ups and downs, it felt a lot farther.

Tomorrow we are supposed to see torrential rain in the morning and I suspect I'll be doing my run on the treadmill. I'm glad I got out for a stimulating and surprisingly taxing workout today. Winter trail running is always a pleasure, especially this season, when the trails are free of snow.

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