Showing posts with label muttontown preserve. Show all posts
Showing posts with label muttontown preserve. Show all posts

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Speed in the morning, lost in the afternoon

Quiet at the track this morning
Today's run (track workout): 3.3 miles - 1 mile warm-up, 8 x 200m repeats, 1.3 mile cool down 

With its forgiving and flat surface, I should love the track. But, believe me, I don't. Running around a big oval is boring. It's not as tedious as the treadmill, but the repetitive scenery undercuts a sense progress in a similar way. My difficulty with the track also relates to the type of workouts I do there. If I'm at the track, I know I'll be feeling some pain.

If I do have to run at the track, I prefer to do it with as few other people around as possible. I try to get there early, before the crowds, but it's rare that I get the place to myself. This morning was very quiet, with a lone woman walking around the outside lane and a couple walking together. A little while later another man joined us, walking at an impressively fast pace. Even with that, it seemed peaceful, with the low sun illuminating the track and field like a scene from Field of Dreams.

I started with a mile warm-up at an easy, mid-9:00 pace before shifting to my speed workout of 8 x 200m intervals. I usually go for 10-12 repeats at 100m, but I thought it would be useful to stretch out the distance this time. I averaged 54 seconds for each repeat and covered that mile in 7:18. Not exactly burning up the track, but good performance for me over a series of 200m segments. The two workouts this weekend represent the last real race training I'll do prior to the 5K.

One of Muttontown Preserve's descending trails
Later in the afternoon my son and I paid a visit to the Muttontown Preserve to see if we could find the ruins of the old mansions from the 1930's. We didn't locate them, but we managed to get very lost, something I do every time I go there. It took us about 20 minutes longer to get through our hike than planned, because we got turned around a few times. No matter, hiking places like the MP are fun, even when you're not exactly sure where you are.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

A sweet run with a sweeter ending

Today's run (mixed surfaces): 8.2 miles

Although trails are my favorite venue for running I didn't love yesterday's experience at Muttontown Preserve. I understand that trails provide freedom and adventure but Muttontown's trails seemed to have more than its share of obstructions. This undercuts my ability to cut loose and just run while still feeling confident that I'll eventually end up at the same place where I began. A more adventurous runner (and one with a better sense of direction) may look at the challenge as part of the fun. Perhaps if I ran those trails more often I would feel better about it. I still get lost in Stillwell but at least I have a general sense of where I am most of the time.

I took no chances today and mapped out a route around my neighborhood. I followed this course for the most part but made some spontaneous changes to keep it interesting. My first destination was the business park that is located about a mile east of my neighborhood. A loop around the main drive has a modest but steady incline when run counter-clockwise. That loosened me up for the miles that would follow.

By the second mile I felt like I was growing stronger, evidence that my base training was yielding some benefit. I crossed into neighborhood #3 from the business park and ran until I reached  a main road that took me into the next town. All along that main road the sidewalks were covered thickly by decomposing leaves and there were numerous fallen branches that required some careful stepping. I returned to my own neighborhood and covered about three more miles before returning home.

Demonstration of tapping a walnut tree
This was probably the best long run I've done this year. Not the longest or the fastest, but this was definitely the most satisfying. If I feel this way on May 1st I'll have no problems doing the  LI half marathon. We spent this afternoon at Hoyt Farm in Smithtown where they held an event showing the origins and the process of making maple (and walnut tree) syrup. We all had fun, especially at the end when we got to sample it! I suspect freshly made maple syrup can be an effective recovery food.

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