Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Boardwalk run at Sunken Meadow

An unexpected boardwalk run
Yesterday's run (Sunken Meadow State Park boardwalk): 1.5 miles Today's run (treadmill): 25 minutes

I was recently on Google maps looking at a few of the parks on Long Island that have trails that I want to run. Over the past few years I've made many trips to Stillwell Woods, Trailview and Bethpage State Parks and to the Muttontown Mystery Trail. I've run and raced a number of times at Eisenhower Park and hiked in places like Caumsett and Caleb Smith. An interesting park that I hadn't yet visited is Sunken Meadow State Park, located in King's Park, on Long Island Sound.

Our plan on Monday was to hike Caleb Smith in the morning, before the weather got too hot, We headed over early but when we arrived, we saw that the gates were closed. We then decided to get back on the Sunken Meadow Parkway and go north to Sunken Meadow State Park. It took us less than ten minutes to get there and we headed immediately to the boardwalk that runs 3/4 of a mile along the beach.

This park is large and impressive and we only scratched the surface in our exploration. The boardwalk looked inviting so while my wife and kids made their way down to the water, I did a very easy run along the walkway. I was wearing my Helly Hansen trail shoes because I'd expected to be hiking, but the forgiving wooden surface felt fine. The picture above was taken by my wife, who was sitting on a jetty with the kids, as I ran by.

We're looking forward to a return trip to Sunken Meadow and I'm especially interested to try the trails with their famously difficult hills. This morning I opted for an indoor run out of concern for rainy weather. I used my HRM to guide my pace and did half the run in zone 3 before bumping up the speed in increments to get  me to zone 4. I found it much easier to push my pace when I saw that my HR was still fairly low.

If the rainy weather continues I'll probably find myself on the treadmill again tomorrow. Now that I know how fast I need to run to get into zone 4 (about an 8:50 pace), I may get up to speed a little quicker.

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