Showing posts with label Persaid meteor shower. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Persaid meteor shower. Show all posts

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Persaid at Stillwell and six miles on the road

Today's run (street): 6.1 miles

Last night we went out late to Stillwell Woods to watch the Persaid meteor shower. Unlike last year, when it was too cloudy to see much of anything at Sunken Meadow, the skies were clear on Saturday. Stillwell is a lot closer to our house, and its relatively light-free location would normally provide an optimal viewing experience. As luck would have it, the "super moon" lit up the southern sky last night, making it difficult to see any stars. However, facing north, we were able to view some exciting celestial fireworks.

My wife and son saw one that looked like this
Staying up late to watch shooting stars is fun, but getting up early the next morning to run is far less enjoyable. I downed my coffee, ingested a small amount of carbs, and took off before I could fully realize what I was doing. I didn't suffer from heavy legs or feel particularly tired as I ran, but a short night's sleep undercut my interest in pushing my pace.

Along the way, I thought about next weekend's Dirty Sock run and my decision not to participate this year. My interest in competing is still low and I was glad not to be preparing for that race. I know I could run it for fun and not worry about my time, but that doesn't work for me. If I'm going to take it easy, I'll do an easy run on my own. Besides that, my narcissistic side doesn't want a slow time added to my Athlinks racing stats.

I'd considered driving over to Bethpage this morning, but instead chose to stay local. My route wound all around the neighborhood and I kept my speed moderate. About four miles in, the run began to feel easier and I stepped it up to take advantage of my increased energy. The last two miles were easier than the prior miles and I was happy to get through my sixth feeling energized.

It's not the first time that I've ended up having a good run (or a good race) after less than a full night's sleep. I read recently that you don't really pay for sleep debt the next day, it's more often the day after. That's good because I'm resting tomorrow. If I can get a good night's sleep tonight, I should rebound well. There's supposed to be more of the Persaid shower this evening, but I don't think I'll be staying up for it. If you are able to do it, I recommend the experience.

Monday, August 12, 2013

The night of shooting stars (so I'm told)

My rendition of last night's sky
In terms of hours, yesterday was the longest day I've had this year. I was up at 5:30 AM on Sunday and I didn't get to bed until 1:30 AM this morning. I did get 6 1/2 hours sleep last night, so my internal clock is now reset.

Our late night was due to the Perseid meteor shower that peaks between Saturday and 1:00 AM tomorrow. We headed out to Sunken Meadow State Park last night, so we could watch this celestial display play out adjacent to the Long Island Sound - ostensibly without the distractions of civilization.

We arrived at Sunken Meadow around 11:00 PM and parked among groups of people who'd set up stadium chairs in the lot. There was no public lighting and as we looked for a spot, our headlights would suddenly reflect on people sitting in the pathway of our car. Just like the geniuses who put themselves in harm's way when they walk or run in the street, these people were oblivious to the danger.

We found a spot on the grass and set up a tarp with a couple of smaller camp mats. Unfortunately, by this time, the sky was almost completely covered by clouds. We all thought we saw flashes of shooting stars in the small openings of sky, but it was hard to be certain. After about an hour, it became clear that things were not going to clear up. By then I'd become fed up with deep bass rumblings emanating from a nearby car, on top of the smell of cigarettes and the constant beams coming from car headlights moving around the lot. We decided to take our leave and see if there were less clouds near where we live.

So much for escaping from civilization. Although I described the experience critically, we actually had a lot of fun. We may go out again tonight, but only as far as the local middle school. That is, if the current low ceiling gives way to clearer skies. I'm hoping the weather cooperates tomorrow morning as I go out for a short taper run. Whether we get some meteor viewing isn't known at this point. What I do know is that I won't be staying up past 1:00 AM again.

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