Two runs and a Trailview hike

The view from Mt. Olympus

Yesterdays run (street): 3.25 miles
Today’s run (street): 3.4 miles

The first story I saw on the local news this morning was a feature on the LI Marathon/Half Marathon. The race happened today and if it weren’t for my current injury, I’d probably be participating in one of the races. One year ago, I was in my last two weeks of training for the Brooklyn Half Marathon. That turned out to be a disappointing performance, but it was a really fun experience. These days I feel like I’m a million miles from doing that. 13.1 anyway.

I’m trying to maintain some perspective in terms of my current running expectations. Three weeks ago I would have been thrilled to run a mile without experiencing acute and constant pain in my hamstring. Last weekend I made great progress with my recovery with a couple of slow but mostly pain-free workouts. I’ve made further gains this weekend, although they weren’t as dramatic as last week’s.

I also hoped to improve my speed over Saturday’s and got off to a good start. There was residual discomfort and tightness in my leg but no real pain. I moved along well and tried to focus on opening up my stride and getting more power off my back leg. Like yesterday, it felt like a tough workout. After mapping today’s run, I calculated my pace. My improvement over yesterday: one second per mile!

Another carved tree in Trailview

The weekend weather has been superb so my son and I decided to visit Trailview park for an early afternoon hike. We like Trailview for its simplicity and the fact that it has a few technical sections. A couple of minutes into the hike, we saw a large oak tree with the word PROM carved into it in six inch high letters. We were flabbergasted, disgusted and saddened to see that someone had carved a swastika inside the letter O. There was more vandalism in other trees. My son said we shouldn’t let someone’s hate and ignorance ruin our experience.

We continued our hike until we reached “Mount Olympus” and watched from that overlook before turning back. I did pretty well on the steep sections and I think the uneven terrain gave my quads and hamstrings some sorely needed work.

I may not be ready for a Half Marathon or even a 10K right now, but I am glad to be running outdoors again. Three more workouts on the test machines next week will further help my fitness without providing any aggravating impact. My motto these days is, “No pain, my gain.”

A rare Friday double

View from the high ground

Today’s run (street): 3.75

I can’t believe it’s already Friday. Yesterday was taken up by business tasks and the only workout I got was a short, easy elliptical session. That was actually fine, because I’d covered over 11 miles on Wednesday and I needed to give my legs some rest time. I wanted to get back on track today, so I went out fairly early for a neighborhood run. It was cool and sunny at 7:30 AM, with a breeze that made it feel colder at times. I felt great from the start, and adopted a pace that was neither slow nor aggressive.

Hurricane Sandy did a lot of damage to my neighborhood and uprooted many trees that stood for decades in front of homes. Over the last few weeks, the town has rebuilt a number of sidewalks that were torn up by these falling trees. The sidewalks in my neighborhood were already in rough shape due to years of wear. I’ve always avoided running on the sidewalk because I feared I’d trip on one of the many uneven surfaces. Now that the sidewalks have been repaired, I’m using them more often. I feel much safer when I’m out running, especially during the time when the school buses are on the road.

Do the  twist

My son did not have classes today, so he, my wife, and I went over to TrailView State Park for a hike. My wife had heard all about our previous adventures and my son was happy to play guide. We took the hiking path north and came back on the longer bike trail. The weather and tree cover kept us cool and comfortable and we covered a couple of miles. There’s always something new to see in the woods, like a tree whose branches wrapped it like a rope (left).

 It was great to, once again, get two workouts in on the same day. I highly recommend a mid-afternoon hike to break up the work day.

Trailview fun along the "Danger Zone"

Greetings from Trailview

Today’s run (treadmill): 3.25 miles

Yesterday morning I went out for a 4.8 mile run that took a lot more out of me than I’d expected. I recovered quickly from that, and a few hours later, my son and I headed to Trailview State Park for a hike. The weather was chilly and we did our best to dress for the cold while planning for the heat we’d generate during the hike.

We chose the path on the left and followed the winding trail up a few steep rises. The maintenance that was done after hurricane Sandy left many sections of cut-up tree trunks along the way. My son stopped to count the rings from one tree and determined that it had stood about 35 years before it was knocked down by the storm.

Sandy’s impact was everywhere

My son and I continued north until we reached the point where the trail overlooks the road separating Trailview from the southern end of Stillwell Woods. We followed the trail down to where Woodbury Road and Syosset-Woodbury Road intersect. We then crossed the street and entered Stillwell where we negotiated some difficult hills covered by gnarly roots and sharp rocks. We reached a point on the trail that had a substantial drop and decided to double back towards Trailview.

We crossed Syosset-Woodbury Road and re-entered Trailview through the western trail head. We followed a different path for a while, stopping a few times to explore interesting rocks and large branches. We found ourselves at a place marked “Danger Zone” and I asked my son if we should continue. He’s a 13 year old boy. Of course he said yes.

Double diamonds mean danger

The danger zone required some deft footwork but we made our way through it without incident and eventually picked up our original trail. It was there that we found a flat square rock that my son decided to keep as a souvenir of our hike. We finished our walk and went over to the Stop & Shop that’s located adjacent to Trailview’s parking lot. We bought some goodies in the bakery section to surprise my wife and daughter who were waiting for us back home.

Souvenir rock on the trail head sign

Between my morning run and the hike I covered close to ten miles outside yesterday, exceeding 17K steps. The best part, for me, was spending time with my son. We had great conversations and took on some tough hills. I slept eight hours last night with 97% sleep efficiency. Gee, I wonder why.

The day after the day after

The second day is always more painful

With my first steps out of bed this morning, I remembered my post-Cow Harbor experiences over the last two years. The day after the race is not a true barometer of the impact of the effort. It’s the second morning, when the effects of the James Street hill manifest painfully in my quads, hamstrings, glutes and calves.

As noted in yesterday’s post, I did not have a good run on Sunday. I’m choosing to believe that was due to going out on the road again too soon after that race. I’ll try to remember that next year. Even though I usually skip my rest day and run when I’m home on a Monday, I’m not going to do that today. Instead, we are heading to one of our favorite parks to hike the trails. That seems like the perfect activity to help recover from post race soreness.