Saturday, December 12, 2009

Today's tale of the trail

Today will be a busy day, we're hosting our annual family holiday party and before long the house will be filled. Knowing that my window of opportunity for running would close by mid-morning I headed to Stillwell Woods around 8:00 AM to get in a trail run. I'll admit that my definition of trail running is fairly broad. Recently my trail runs have consisted of running the hard-packed dirt track that circles the open field that sits to the west of the woods. Technically it is a trail but it's not very challenging. Still, I love the experience because I do run by the tree line on all sides and I appreciate the more forgiving surface of dirt versus the usual pavement that I run on most days.

Today was cold - 23 degrees without wind - and there was wind. I decided to run the field course four times and then head into the woods for a change of scenery. Half of the field trail was pleasant and the sun exposure made my first four minutes very comfortable. Once I headed north the wind hit me head-on and the sun was blocked by the taller trees. I wore three layers of long-sleeved tech shirts, a pair of compression shorts and my Champion tight running pants over that. I also wore my heavier running hat that covers my ears and my ASICS glove-mittens that came in handy when I needed access to my watch. I wished I had worn my balaclava when the wind was hitting with force but by the second time around my body had regulated enough to almost appreciate the cold.

After four loops around (about 3.4 miles) I peeled off onto a wooded trail that I had never followed before. Soon I came to a split with marker that said "more difficult" to the left. I took that route, not for the challenge but to hopefully connect with another trail that would put me back on the field trail so I could finish. I came upon some very technical terrain, loose rocks and dirt and straight-up hills. I managed to make it through that but I wished I had my Helly Hansen's at that point. I finally reached the connecting trail and I followed that back to the trail head. In total I covered about 4.4 miles in a little over 40 minutes. It was a great run and I again appreciated that one of the great trail preserves on Long Island sits less than five minutes from my home.


  1. Wow, I gotta get out and explore some trail by where I live. I think there are some decent ones. Just gotta look and explore. Glad you had a pretty good run. Take care.

  2. Trail running is the best. Less impact on the knees and more interesting scenery. I hope you find a great place nearby.


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