Showing posts with label volunteer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label volunteer. Show all posts

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Running off a pressure headache

Last November's food panty effort
Today's run (treadmill): 3.1 miles

I had another tough night due to the onset of a pressure headache. I woke up at 4 AM and treated it with the usual combination of pseudoephedrine and aspirin. That combination helps, but it doesn't quite eliminate the problem. It also makes me groggy and I spent a few hours trying to sleep with little success.

About midway through the morning, I needed to decided whether I'd do a run or skip it for the sake of recovery. I usually reserve the weekends to do my long runs, with Sunday typically being the longer of the two. I listened to my body very carefully and decided on a treadmill workout. I thought that made sense because I could dial in a comfortable speed and use the big floor fan to stay cool.

I covered my "distance" slower than I would have outdoors, but that was fine because I was more interested in the overall time I put into the workout. The act of running seemed to help my sinus pressure and, though I felt tired at the end, I also felt a little better. Later today, we're heading to East Northport to volunteer at a food pantry. We did this last November and felt great about the experience. I'm glad to have done my run today, I think it will keep me energized for the work ahead.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

I Love My Park Days at Caleb Smith

A beautiful day to volunteer
Today's run (street): 4.2 miles

We had a busy morning planned, so I got out on the road early, for a run around the neighborhood. It was another beautiful spring morning, sunny and cool enough to wear long sleeves. Just for a change, I took a route that goes by the middle school. It's always nice to see some different roads.

While approaching the school, I noticed a woman running about 100 feet ahead of me on the right side of the road. She was running slower than me, so I eventually caught up with her. As I was passing her, I said hello, and suggested that she run on the left side for safety. She said that she'd been running for 25 years and wasn't worried because there's hardly any traffic. I said that things are different now, with people talking on the phone and texting. She acknowledged that, but I didn't see her moving over. I can only do so much.

I completed my run and, soon after that, we all headed to Caleb Smith State Park to participate in "I Love My Park Days." This is a program where volunteers perform numerous tasks to help NY parks that were damaged by Hurricane Sandy. Caleb Smith lost 300 trees in the storm and the goal was to replace them all. Our task today was to plant a tree at a designated spot. Did you know that the New York State tree is the Acer saccharum, better known as the sugar maple? We didn't!

One down, 299 to go...
We were given a map and told to locate a yellow marker with the number "4" written on it. The park gave us a bucket of loam, a gardening spade and a sugar maple sapling to plant. We trekked along the yellow path until we found our marker. The kids did most of the work by digging a hole in the root-covered ground, planting and positioning the tree, and adding supporting loam. We remembered where we planted it, so we can visit it and watch its progress as it grows. 

We do love our parks!
After we turned in our bucket and shovel, the park people offered us the chance to fill a small cup with sunflower seeds embedded in dirt. My daughter took one cup to replant in the back yard, once the seeds germinate inside. We did a short hike in the park and were then rewarded with "I Love My Park Days" tee shirts. It was perfect weather for visiting the park and it was nice to be able to help out today. I look forward to watching our tree's progress every time I run or hike at Caleb Smith.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Destination run to see my family

Care to donate?

Today's run (street): 6.5 miles

Although I had both a primary and backup plan for today's run, I ended up choosing another option entirely. My wife and kids had volunteered for an event that benefits the Long Island Cares food pantry that was taking place at a local shopping center. I decided to run there and back from my house for a change of pace workout.

I often think about ways to break away from the constraints of my local neighborhoods but I've been reluctant to cross major roads during my runs. I simply don't trust drivers to do the right thing. I've stopped counting the number of cars that I see blowing through stop signs on my local streets. My default expectation is that people will ignore the rules and I react accordingly.

The route I planned to get to the Plainview Shopping Center had a no major roads to cross, but it did require me to cross the entrance and exits to the Northern Parkway off South Oyster Bay Road. The sparse Sunday morning traffic resulted in a clear path both coming and going back. I was prepared to wait but I was able to cross both times without stopping.

My route took a side path through a neighborhood that's situated directly north of the shopping center. I planned that part to ensure that I'd cover more than three miles in each direction. Once I came back to South Oyster Bay Road I was just west of my destination and I ran along the brick walkway until I reached my family on the other side, near Woodbury Road.

It was fun to hang out for a few minutes with my wife and kids. My wife had some water for me that I really appreciated. My kids were busy collecting donations and selling tee shirts in support of the event. I was proud of them all for donating their time for a good cause.

I started feeling chilled because it was surprisingly cold outside and I was sweating from the first half of my run. Once I got going on my run, the cold worked to my benefit (for a while) but I had worn long pants and a long sleeved jersey and the heat soon returned. My progress back went remarkably fast and, before I knew it, I was back on the streets of my own neighborhood.

I ended up covering 6.5 miles at a low 9:00 pace and there were enough hills to make me feel like I'd done a decent workout. I would still like to do some hill repeats before the race so next weekend I'll make my way to Bethpage. I was happy to cover 11 miles this weekend and was glad to cover some new territory along the way.

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