|Group shot just before the start|
Today’s run (GLIRC Clubhouse run): 7.4 miles
Well the snow came a little earlier than expected, but it didn’t interfere with today’s club run in the least. I arrived at the Greater Long Island Running Club (GLIRC) office just before 8:00 AM this morning and saw that I was almost late to the party. My friends TPP and SIOR were there among the assemblage of colorfully dressed participants. After some quick hellos and a group picture, we were all off and running.
The three of us followed the group and headed out of the business park onto the bike trail. It’s a hilly section from that point to the turn onto Washington Ave. Although I had good energy at the start, I worried about how I’d be feeling after many more miles. SIOR and TPP are both speedy runners, but they maintained a pace that I could sustain with some effort.
We chatted with other runners as we made our way south and came under the LIE overpass at Washington Ave. We crossed the road and found ourselves on a wooded trail that roughly parallels the bike trail. The snow had covered the sidewalk that led to the paved path, so it was confusing where to go. A little diversion into the woods was unexpected and appreciated at different levels by the three of us. The ice and roots on the path made the going treacherous.
We came out at Old Country Rd and continued on the paved path that rose for a while and proved a little challenging for me. Unlike the last time we ran together, today was more of a workout (though not much of a challenge to my friends). I found it hard to maintain a conversation at times, but we did have our moments. We took the run past Old Bethpage Rd and as far south as Haypath. As we drew close, many of the returning runners warned us of black ice further down.
I struggled to keep up with my friends who were gracious about waiting for me to catch up from time to time. They were probably running one or two minutes slower than their normal training pace, except for periods where they opened the throttle for a few minutes. I was challenged but I didn’t reach the point where I felt I was over matched or wished the run was done.
When we turned north from Washington Ave I knew we were close, but I also knew the toughest hills were coming. I took on the first hill with a pace slightly better than a fast walk. SIOR had no trouble burning up that hill as well as the ones that followed. TPP stopped to walk and I stopped with her. She will occasionally do that for 30 second periods and it’s a good strategy. I probably delayed her a little, but once we saw SIOR at the top of a hill we returned to running form.
TPP and SIOR took on the remainder of the hills at a brisk pace and I followed. We reached Sunnyside Boulevard and made our way back to GLIRC HQ where they hosted an amazing spread of post race goodies. After indulging in some high carb treats, TPP, SIOR and I headed over to Starbucks for coffee and conversation. Given the greater effort on today’s run that made it less conversation-friendly, we still had a lot to catch up on.
|Post run – (from left), SIOR, ER, TPP
Photo courtesy of SIOR
It was a really fun time and it’s the perfect way for me to do group running. The next adventure for “The Three Musketeers” will be the LIRRC Hangover Run at Eisenhower Park at 9:30 AM. It’s a timed five mile run that goes around a one mile route. No bibs, tracking chips, or winners. In this event, everyone’s a winner. I’m looking forward to this event as I do every year and it will be more special because my friends will be joining me.