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.