Sunday, October 9, 2011

Ups and downs at Bethpage State Park

Dear Garmin: I can't recall that 90 foot spike at 1.4 miles
Today's run (Bethpage State Park): 4.2 miles -- 4 x 800m downhill, 4 x 800m uphill

Yesterday's training run at the business park provided some hilly terrain but the net gain was less than what I'll face next Saturday. I decided to head to Bethpage and do some hill repeats. My plan was to run up and down the big hill that comes at the beginning of the bike path. This hill comes at the end of my out-and-back long runs and I always dread it. I wondered how I'd feel running it four times today.

Since what goes up must also come down, I started my session going downhill after an initial climb up a steep but short section off the trail head. I ran this hill to the half mile point, turned around and came back up until my Garmin showed that I'd gone a half a mile in both directions. I repeated this exercise four times with no stopping between intervals.

The first two miles were easy. While I'm usually encountering this big hill after an hour's worth of running, today I was still relatively fresh. The downhill segments served as a nice recovery from the harder work of coming back up.  I saw a lot of other runners today and wondered if they were also training for next week's race, since Bethpage's path has many hills along its route.

It was a good workout but not as hard as I feared. The second two miles were a little tougher, but I never felt over-taxed. That may be a sign that my conditioning is in line for next Saturday's course that is half uphill and half down. I didn't push hard on the downhill sections but I didn't hold back either. I figure that after I crest the highest point on the Oyster Bay 5K, I can let loose on the decline knowing that the hardest part of the race has already been run.

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