*Bethpage State Park
Today’s run (Bethpage State Park): 6.25 miles
Daylight Savings Time (DST) starts today and (for this one) we “Spring” forward. I wasn’t thinking about that yesterday when I committed to a 7:00 AM run with a friend. In DST world, 7:00 AM is really 6:00 AM. By the time I got to bed, it was almost DST midnight. I somehow miscalculated all that and got up at 4:50 DST. So I ended up getting less than five hours of sleep.
My friend KWL arrived a little before 7:00. It was still dark when we headed over to Bethpage but it had lightened up in the ten minutes it took to get there. As I feared, the gates were up at the park so we quickly headed to Haypath Road. We were able to park the car in a spot that was adjacent to the Greenbelt trail head. This southern entrance put us on the newly paved section of the Bethpage bike path.
KWL and I started our run in 30° temperatures. We’d both dressed for the cold so we were comfortable as we made our way through the first mile. Our plan was to cover 10K easy, but easy is a relative term. KWL is a triathlete, accomplished cyclist and 1:40 half marathoner, so his “easy” pace is somewhat challenging to me. We happily compromised and settled into pace that worked for both of us.
The new section has some hills which I tackled easily, using my early run freshness to power through. KWL loves inclines and I don’t. On the other hand, he dislikes running downhill and I can do that all day. So in the rare times when I held the forward position, it was usually on a downward slope.
Along way we encountered a group running in brightly colored outfits. Both times we saw them they were about to run up a hill as we were running down. They were a cheerful, talkative bunch, undaunted by the challenge. KWL and I reached the 3.1 mile mark and immediately turned around to complete the out and back route. I was feeling a little tired at that point and wasn’t looking forward to scaling the upcoming hills.
A few minutes after we’d met that challenge, I began to feel stronger. We picked up the pace with about 2K left to go. I’d thought that the trail extension would be easy, since (this time) we’d be on the better side of the hills. I’d forgotten that there were still some inclines going north. Before long, my Garmin chirped for 6 miles and we picked up the pace as we completed final quarter mile.
KWL and I both found the run exhilarating. Despite the DST change, we still had plenty of morning left. Today’s experience reminded me how enjoyable it can be to run with company. I really should do that more often. Perhaps it’s time to do something about joining a running club.