Saturday, July 28, 2012

Trail running at Hook Mountain State Park

Hook Mt. trail head. Humidity fogged the lens!

Today's run (Hook Mountain State Park trail): 6.1 miles

The weather report called for thunderstorms today, but we kept our plans to meet friends for activities around Hook Mountain State Park. Happily, the storms didn't materialize, but the humidity certainly did.

We arrived at our friends home in Nyack around 9:00 AM and then headed over to the park. My wife and kids charted a hike on the blue-green trail while me and my friend Chris drove over to the trail at Nyack Beach. This trail runs along the Hudson River and provides a rolling route. According to my Garmin, we experienced 509 feet of elevation gain (and the equivalent loss since we ran it out and back).

The highs and lows of the Hook Mountain trail

We started our run at a brisk pace. The breezes off the water prevented us from feeling the humidity and it wasn't until the path moved inland that I noticed how muggy it was. We moved well considering the heat and moisture, but the constantly changing elevation sapped some of my energy. After a couple of  hills that rivaled James Street in Northport, my sweat level moved to "extreme."

Despite all that, I didn't want the run to end. The scenery was beautiful and the conversation was great. I didn't dread the frequent hills as much as I do at Bethpage. In fact, I had more problem on the steep downhills than on all but the toughest climbs. We made the turnaround after reaching the three mile point, despite Chris's suggestion that we go another half mile.

The second half of the run went by quickly. Before long, we were back to where we'd started. I had the same light-headed reaction to the heat and dehydration that I usually have after the Dirty Sock 10K. That meant I needed lots of hydration and electrolytes and Chris gave me a banana and a water bottle. That helped, as did the cooling breezes coming off the river.

After a quick shower, back at the house, we went into town to meet our wives and the kids for lunch. Pizza, followed by home made ice cream, was the perfect restorative. After 6 tough miles on the trail, I had no guilt whatsoever!

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