Showing posts with label Eisenhower Park. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Eisenhower Park. Show all posts

Sunday, October 23, 2016

The Runsketeers take on Eisenhower Park

The homeless guy offered to take this picture but I wanted to keep my phone
Today's run (Eisenhower Park): 6.4 miles

As I selected my gear this morning for today's run with my Runskebuds, I was a little concerned about the howling winds outside. I wondered if the story of the day would be about our group being blown all around Eisenhower Park. The wind didn't turn out to be much of a factor after all, but we did literally run all around the park.

I met the usual suspects in the Bear Park lot (#2). I don't know why it's called that. In fact, there isn't one sign calling it that, but SIOR told us to go there. It was pretty damn chilly and most of us dressed for the weather. One of us wore shorts. Guess who that was. We debated whether to run through the park, over to Hofstra University or along the perimeter of Eisenhower. We decided on the latter and off we went.

We stayed together for about a half mile, long enough for me to think I might be able to keep up my fleeter friends. KWL stayed with me and videoed our progress while TPP and SIOR burned up the bike trail. I did run close to my current pace which is much better than the last time I ran with this bunch. We regrouped around the two mile mark and made our plan to continue circling the park. I naively assumed that would total about four or five miles, but it turned out to be over six.

My splits were fairly even as I made my way around. My slowest mile was my 4th because I elected to run on the grass strip along Salisbury Park Drive because I didn't want to run on that road due to cars. The surface was pretty runnable but the uneven surface slowed me down. The slope at times was a foot higher on my right leg compared with my left.

We regrouped again when we reached Carmen Ave, just short of five miles. My friends fed me a line that we were "very close" to our endpoint. I appreciated that because running Salisbury seemed endless. As it turned out, running Carmen was more of the same. When it spilled out to Hempstead Turnpike, I realized I'd been duped. I had no choice but to keep running and I eventually made it back to reunite with my friends at the Bear lot.

It seems smaller when you're driving around it
We headed to Starbucks, as is our wont, and the place was crawling with Alpha Epsilon Phi sisters who were getting their mid-morning caffeine rush. By the time we got our coffee, the big table was free, so we swooped in. Well the table was mostly free. There was one guy sitting there who may or may not have been a homeless person. He was kind of creepy but we were nice to him.

SIOR sent a group picture via Instagram and Facebook and hash tagged some of our conversational highlights: Garmin, Shoekicker, Sketchers, Underarmor, ASICS, Brooks, Apple, Time Warner, Jeep Wrangler, politics, flashers, clowns, Berlin Marathon 2016. There was certainly more than that, but I thought that was a great summary.

The time went by unbelievably fast, but then again it always does. We agreed to meet again in November and the plan right now is to run a 5K in early December. It will be my first race in two years. I'm not quite where I want to be for a race right now, but I'm getting there.

I love the Runsketeers and today was great as always. They made me run over six miles, something I probably wouldn't have done without their company. Despite feeling like parts of the run would never end, I really liked today's workout. I feel like I'm holding my gains and I know I will soon be a little faster. KWL, SIOR and TPP inspire and motivate me to push harder than I have in a long time. Our Starbucks conversations go everywhere and are always entertaining. I look forward to the day when I can join the conversation while we're still on the road.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Runsketeer run in Eisenhower Park

Well at least I can drink coffee as fast as them
Today's run (Eisenhower Park): 6.7 miles

It took a lot of late night planning to choose today's running venue, but it paid off for the Runsketeers this morning. With Bethpage's trails still "out of operation" and the Runner's Edge Fun Run taking place on public roads, we decided to meet at Eisenhower Park. SIOR qualified for Boston and has been following a training program that required her to cover 14 miles today. She ran 7 miles around her local roads and then met me and TPP at the park to run seven more.

I've been dealing with the beginnings of a cold that has sapped a lot of my energy. Yesterday's run on the treadmill was very difficult and I wasn't confident that I could run the miles that my Runska-buddies were planning. I was also concerned about maintaining a pace that wouldn't bore them silly. Their support got me through the distance (I hadn't run more than five miles on pavement this year). As usual, they were extremely gracious about accommodating my pace.

I don't know why my stamina and performance have been so poor the last couple of months. I suspect it's due to my lack of focus and boredom from running on the treadmill. SIOR runs faster on the treadmill to get through her workout faster. I run slower so I can be more easily distracted by the TV. In less snowy times, when I'd run outside every day, it was easier for me to add speed into a run. I would also add chunks of distance by spontaneously choosing different roads to follow. I know I can easily add speed and distance when on the treadmill, but I don't.

All around the park today
Graphic courtesy of The Petite Pacer
Our route today went all around, due to construction being done to build ice rinks in the park. I lagged behind my buddies by a few feet much of the time, but they worked to adjust their speed to keep me within talking distance. There was one point when we followed the same route that we ran on the New Year's Hangover Run. This allowed me to rest a minute while my friends followed the end of the loop and met me on the other side. So in terms of total distance, I probably ended up covering fifth of a mile less than my running partners.

With the exception of a few parts on the path that required careful stepping (and a short walk) over icy snow, Eisenhower's trails were fairly clear. I didn't think I would be able to go more than four miles early on the run, but the fun of being with my little group made the distance fully manageable.

Despite another snowstorm predicted early tomorrow morning and the return to Polar Vortex temperatures, I am hopeful that this snow will soon be gone and I can get outside and resume performance-focused training. I'd like to be able to keep up better with the Runsketeers so I participate more in the conversations during the run.

The good news is that it takes no effort to sit in Starbucks and recount the experience after the run. We were all time constrained today, but we made the best of it. It was so great to see my friends and spend time doing something we all love to do. I almost ran seven miles today after weeks of treadmill 5K's. I couldn't have done that without the Runsketeers.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

My favorite running club

From left: ER, SIOR, TPP
photo courtesy of the Petite Pacer
Today's run (Eisenhower Park): 6.1 miles

This morning I had the pleasure of running six miles with two great people who I've gotten to know through the running blog community. I joined the authors of She is Out Running (SIOR) and The Petite Pacer (TPP) at Eisenhower Park, under cloudy skies and light rain. I'm no fan of running in the rain, but I wasn't going to pass up an opportunity to spend time with these two fun people.

I'd met TPP in October at the Oyster Bay 5K and saw her again last Sunday at the Hope for Warriors 10K. Neither of us had met SIOR in person before today, so it was exciting to finally get together. You can tell a lot about a person by their blog, so I was not surprised to find them both to be fun, smart, thoughtful, interesting and kind.

The rain had slowed to a drizzle by the time we set off on our run. TPP had suggested that we start at my pace and then switch it up to hers followed by SIOR's. Since the idea was to run together (I would have had trouble keeping up with them), we agreed that it was better to follow the most common denominator (me). We ended up running an overall pace that even I'd consider slow. But taking it easy helped us freely converse. And converse we did.

Eisenhower Park is under construction, so we needed to reverse direction once we reached a fenced off area. We ran the planned route backward and turned around at the southern side of the construction zone. Usually when I run six miles on my own, the tedium  starts early. I was genuinely shocked when I looked at my Garmin and saw that we'd covered 1.68 miles. At that point I was checking to see if we'd completed the first mile! Time (and distance) flies when you're having fun.

Today's route
We'd passed five miles as we grew close to the parking lot, but we wanted to keep going. We decided to take our second loop around the pond and then finished after either 6.12 or 6.19 miles, depending on if you believe my or TPP's GPS. My Garmin usually under counts by 2.5-3.5% so I'm guessing the actual distance was closer to 6.3 miles. Whatever it was, it seemed to go by faster than any six miles in recent history. That includes last week's 10K.

The icing on the cake was our post-run coffee at a nearby Starbucks, where we continued the conversation for another hour. I don't think any of us wanted to end our morning experience but the day's obligations required it. We agreed to try to do this again, perhaps on a regular schedule. That would be really great because this would be the first running club I'd actually want to join.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Wet, windy, cold and clowny at Eisenhower Park

Scenes from a wet and chilly morning
Today's activities: 20 minute treadmill + 2 mile charity walk

I always look forward my weekend runs because I'm free to detach from business (for the most part) and run longer distances. With more discretionary time, I'm more apt to break away from my local roads and run at more interesting places. In fact, I do almost all my trail running on weekends.

Today was different. My wife had signed us up to walk for the Ronald McDonald House of Long Island, a charity that we strongly support. The walk took place at Eisenhower Park and we headed over early. The organizers were expecting over a thousand participants and, even with the nasty weather, they had an impressive turnout.

Since our morning schedule was tight, and the weather was windy and rainy, I opted to do an unusually short workout on the treadmill. I figured that we'd be covering a lot of ground on foot, but I wanted to make sure I got in some "cardio" as well. My plan was to do another 20 minutes on the treadmill or elliptical later in the day, but so far that hasn't happened.

The Ronald McDonald House event was well planned and a surprising number of people had already arrived when we got there.We'd dressed for light rain, but the weather turned worse as we made our way around the grounds. There were lots of snacks and drinks for the taking, much like what you would see after a race. My wife won Ducks tickets at the KJOY booth (a local radio station), so we'll going to a game next week.

I wore my ASICS running windbreaker with a zipper that no longer works. It was windy and I was getting colder by the minute. Fortunately, as Walk participants, we all got an event tee shirt. That extra layer really made a difference.

The walk itself started at 10:00 AM and, almost immediately, the rain and wind began to intensify. We joked about heading straight back to the car, but the kids were into it, so we continued. The route was only a couple of miles. However, with the cold, wind and rain (and the crowds that slowed our progress) it seemed far longer. By the time we finished, we were soaked from head to toe. But we still had fun and were glad to support such a great cause.

Through all the activity, I've exceeded my daily goals on the Fitbit, so I'm not sure whether I'll do another workout today. Right now there are booming thunderstorms, so whatever I'd do, it would be indoors. I may be better off waiting until tomorrow morning anyway, when they are predicting far better weather conditions.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Running and sailing redux

The Emerging Runner runs along the pond at Eisenhower Park

Today's run (Eisenhower Park): 3.75 miles at 9:10

After putting in twelve miles of running between Friday noon and Saturday morning I went for the weekend trifecta with another run with my friend KWL. It's been an active couple of days. Besides my running, we spent a good part of yesterday at a waterfront festival in Sayville (where we met senator Chuck Schumer!) and the kids got another chance to sail KWL's RC boats this morning.

KWL and I got started early, first with a side trip so I could show him the trail head to Stillwell Woods, and then over to Eisenhower Park for our run. We'd both done a lot of running over the past two weeks and looked at today as a recovery run that we planned to do at an easy pace. We started off slowly but very soon defaulted to a faster pace. Our circuit included a few loops around the fields and finished with a couple of loops around the pond. On the last loop KWL picked up the pace and put some distance between us before he circled back and we finished our 34 minute run at the same time. The difference between us in the last lap was echoed in our overall pace: his, 8:50 and mine, 9:10. I was very pleased with today's run because it showed I could string together three runs at some length without any aches, pains or noticeable fatigue. Dave's advice about doing more distance runs is my strategy for now.

We finished the morning with more remote control sailing on the pond. My kids have become more adept on the controls which helped because there were a lot of other boats in close proximity on the water today. I know that I'll need to return my focus on speed at some point but for now I'm enjoying my training for the Great Cow Harbor 10K.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Running and sailing -- how's that for a duathlon?

Setting sail on the Eisenhower Park pond
Today's run (Eisenhower Park): 4 miles at 8:32

This morning me and my friend KWL headed early to Eisenhower Park for a training run. We're both competing next weekend -- me in the Dirty Sock 10K and he will be running a 10K on Saturday and participating in a 100 mile cycling event on Sunday. Our plan for today was to cover about four miles around the park and then meet up with my wife and kids for a little remote control sailing. More on that below.

KWL has only been running for about a year. In fact it was just a year ago that he participated in a Fun Run that I'd organized in Central Park and, without any prior training, he beat a handful of experienced runners. He's an avid cyclist and that athleticism carries over to other activities. Our run together was well timed (for me) because KWL set a quick pace and we ran the 4 miles with split times of 8:28, 8:18, 8:31 and 8:48. We started with a couple of laps around the southern paved trails and finished with a lap and a half around the big pond. At least that was my 4 miles. KWL continued to run another mile while I waited for my family to arrive. I was very happy with my pace but less happy with my stamina. I could have run another mile when I stopped because I began to tire. I didn't want to overdo things since I'd run hard the preceding week and I'm planning to keep up the pace in my final runs prior to race day.

Tall Ships ready to set sail
After the running was completed we met up with my family. KWL opened the back of his car and showed the kids the two remote control sailboats that he and a friend had made. The kids were surprised to see that the boats stood higher than their own height. These sailboats were impressive and as I watched them glide over the water I was amazed by their speed and maneuverability. The fact that the boats had no motor for propulsion (only a small servo for turning the sails and the rudder) made it both a serene and exciting activity. Near the end my son handed over the controls of his boat and I got to do a little sailing myself. We ended our Eisenhower Park activities by 10:00 AM and still had plenty of day left. It was a great way to spend our Sunday morning with a good friend and I had yet another great training run.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Gear matters

5.1 miles at Eisenhower Park

Today's run (Eisenhower Park): 5.1 miles @ 9:23 per mile

I've said it before but I'll say it again: gear matters. I'm beginning to understand that a person's running pace is related to both their physical abilities as well as the unique conditions and variables that make up a run. Hills and heat can slow down a runner while the right weather can make a run feel effortless. A shirt that fails to wick moisture can contribute to overheating and ill fitting socks or uncomfortable running shorts can distract from a runner's focus. Every variable can yield a positive or negative influence on performance. What is a quick drying shirt worth to you on a hot, humid day? I'd say plenty. What about running shoes?

If you asked me a month ago what I averaged for pace I would have said that I run between 9:05-9:25 per mile. In a race I'd usually beat the low end of that by 20-30 seconds. Again, it's the conditions that make the difference with all those other runners helping to sweep you along. Recently I've been alternating between my mainstay Brooks Adrenalin GTS 10's and two pairs of lightweight Saucony running shoes. When I run in the Brooks I'm a solid low-9:00 miler. If I'd needed heavy motion control shoes I might be working hard to regularly break 10 minute miles. When I run in the Saucony Kinvaras I often attain paces below 9:00 per mile. If I'd always run in the Kinvaras I'd have considered myself a sub-9 minute mile runner all along.

The Saucony Grid Tangent 4's provide an even greater boost. I regularly run 8:40 minute miles with the Tangents which I consider to be a decent 5K race pace. I haven't yet raced in these shoes but I'm hoping the combination of speed boost from the shoes plus a faster pace through competition will help me beat my racing PR of 8:19 per mile. My next race is an 8K that pushed my limits last year so it will be interesting to see how the variables work on that day.

This morning I returned to Eisenhower Park to run the paths, some of which I'd traveled on a Red Cross walkathon with my family earlier in the month. I locked onto a course defined by arrows painted on the ground and followed that all around until I found myself back near where I'd started. I took a more free range route from there, circumnavigating the big pond where people sail three foot remote controlled sailboats and then passed through the Veteran's Memorial gardens. At that point I began to hear the sound of a marching band blasting out patriotic music as was fitting on this Memorial Day weekend. I finished after completing five miles and while my speed wasn't impressive it was definitely a good workout. So perhaps I may have covered more distance at a faster speed were I wearing my Sauconys. Gear definitely matters but between the GTS 10's and the Tangent 4's, it's all good.

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