Running along the Shining Sea Trail

Watch out for turtles!

Yesterday’s run (Shining Sea trail): 4.2 miles

We’ve just returned from a mini vacation to Falmouth MA. This is a favorite spot for the Emerging Runner family and we’ve been going there for years. The last two times we’ve visited the Cape, I’ve taken advantage of Falmouth’s Shining Sea Bikeway that goes 10.7 miles from North Falmouth to Woods Hole. Yesterday I covered 4.2 miles of the path and saw some beautiful sights.

The trail was created along the former Plymouth and Vineyard Sound Railroad line that was built in 1861 to run trains from Sandwich to the southern tip of Falmouth. Train tracks are usually constructed on level terrain so the converted bike trail is fairly flat. While the trail did gradually slope up and down at various points, the grade was small. This made the shifts in elevation barely noticeable.

Park and run

Getting to the trail is easy with numerous access points along the way. Last year I entered at the northern trail head and ran a five mile out and back route that brought me through a few cranberry bogs. Yesterday I entered the trail farther to the south where I could park my car and jump right on the path. It was similar to how I access the Bethpage trail after parking on Colonial Road. The Bethpage trail is scenic, but the Shining Sea Bikeway provided some truly stunning views.

I want that shirt

Soon after I started, I saw what appeared to be a dog sitting on the side of the trail wearing a yellow jersey. When I got closer I realized it wasn’t a real dog. I was amused to see that jersey was an event tee from the famous Falmouth 7 Mile road race. Not long after that, I saw the first of many ponds and marshes that appeared along the trail. The areas that didn’t face water were densely lined with trees on both sides, making the experience more intimate than Bethpages’s more open space.

Swans and ducks on Oyster Pond

I imagined that this all looks pretty much the same as it did 100 years ago to people riding the train to Woods Hole. There were a lot of people on the trail yesterday morning walking, riding and running. My route took me to the mid-point of the trail, where I turned around and headed back. If I’d had more time, I would have added a couple more miles. The straight flat trail made me feel like I could run all day.

The only downside of this workout was that it amplified the soreness I’ve had over the past few weeks. We did a lot of walking yesterday and I was concerned that I had re-aggravated my injury. Instead of running when I got home this afternoon, I went for a 3 mile walk around the neighborhood. So far so good.

If it’s better tomorrow morning, I’ll try to go out for a few miles in the morning. I have an early obligation so I’ll need to get out before sunrise to fit it in. I wish I could run on the Shining Sea Bikeway again, but that will have to wait until our next Cape Cod visit.

Late start, stiff winds and some different roads to run

Today’s run (street): 5.25

It took a while, but I finally got myself out the door for a run this morning. All week long I’d looked forward to getting a couple of extra hours sleep. I slept well last night and still got up up relatively early. Somehow the time slipped by and I found myself standing outside at 9:30 AM, waiting for my Garmin to acquire its signal.

I wasn’t thrilled to do another weekend run in the neighborhood, but my procrastination had limited my options. My plan was to run a nearby loop and then head over to neighborhood #2. I set off running north and quickly encountered stiff winds coming from that direction. The weather report said that these winds would make it feel like 27 degrees and they were right. A slight change in direction made a huge difference. Without the wind, the warming sun made it quite pleasant.

Before long, I was running through the southern neighborhood, battling headwinds in one direction and appreciating the tailwinds when going the other way. Halfway through, I checked my distance and saw that I hadn’t made as much progress as I’d liked for the time I’d been running. I picked up my speed from there and finished within acceptable range for my overall pace.

It’s supposed to be even colder tomorrow so I’ll need to give some thought as to where I might run. It was nice to get out of the neighborhood today for a slight change of scenery. Perhaps I’ll find a more interesting route tomorrow.