|Many riders out for a good cause|
Today’s run (Bethpage State Park): 8.2 miles
Yesterday morning’s run was surprisingly difficult. I knew from the start that I was off my game and I hoped that I’d get back in the groove by today’s run. Happily, I did. I headed to Bethpage this morning to run the bike trail, with a plan to cover about eight miles.
The weather was fantastic at 8:00 AM, with sunny skies, low humidity and a temperature of 52 degrees. The lot was filled with cars when I arrived at the park, and I saw that an MS charity bike ride was being staged at the trail head. I remembered this event from last year. It’s a non-competitive ride that includes cyclists of all ages.
The bike path begins with a short, but pronounced, hill and I could tell right away that I’d have little trouble taking on Bethpage’s challenges. I’d run this path numerous times during my half marathon training and could always gauge whether I was in for a good or bad experience within the first half mile. I decided to pick up the pace and see what I could handle.
I’d brought along my gel flask that I’d filled with a GU gel and water. I decided to hold off using that until I’d reached the halfway point, when I would encounter a series of steep rises. My energy was good, but the temperature, with the direct sun, was rising.The first hill was tough and the second two were tougher, but I made it over and back the Southern State in decent shape.
Throughout the run I encountered numerous cyclists, most of whom gave me a wide berth and warned me of their approach. There were a couple of jerks, as usual, who sped closely by, but the majority of riders shared the road respectfully.
I passed a number of other runners along the way, and that told me I was pacing well. I didn’t look at my Garmin through most of my run, because I didn’t want to be distracted by metrics. I parceled out my gel solution and wished near the end that I had mixed in two GU’s rather than just one. But I never reached a point where I was close to bonking. I took on little K2 and Everest (my nickname for the last two hills) feeling quite confident.
I wore my test shoes and they performed really well. By mile seven, the bottoms of my feet were getting sore. I’ve experienced that with every pair I own of late. It may have something to do with running exclusively in shoes that lack stability control. Too bad, but I’m not switching back.
After I crested the final hill, I enjoyed the last downhill section that leads to the head of the path. The bike event volunteers were standing at the end waving pom poms and cheering the cyclists as they finished. They all gave me a big cheer as I crossed and I yelled, “Did I win?!” That was fun.
I did well today, 8 miles at a mid-9:00 pace. I was pleased, especially compared with yesterday’s performance. My friend TC, who ran the LI Half with me, ran a 10K this morning in 49 minutes. Congrats to him. Also impressive was my friend KWL, who rode the 103 mile Grand Fondo from the GW Bridge to Bear Mountain (and back) today.
Quite the weekend for activity. Another colleague ran the Brooklyn Half yesterday. It’s the season for racing. NHP 8K is happening in two weekends. Hope I feel as strong on that day as I did today.