Warmer and slower one year later

Today’s run (street): 3.8 miles

I’m not sure what it was, but I wasn’t feeling too great this morning. I had a brief moment when I considered a lesser workout or even skipping it altogether. Then I remembered that I felt a little off before my run with KWL yesterday, yet I still ran okay. Encouraged by that, I dressed for my run (short sleeves and running shorts today) and headed out with no route in mind.

I took it very easy and thought about the fact that the last race I ran was exactly a year ago: the 2014 Jingle All the Way 5K. I had recently developed a disc injury, although I didn’t know it at the time, and ran a decent race. As I recall, SIOR and TPP both won their respective age divisions. They tend to do that. In fact, SIOR just became a certified trainer. Contact her through her site if you want to learn how to dominate your age group.

I also thought about the early fall-like weather today and compared that to a year ago when we had 9 MPH winds making it feel like 31°. We’d spent most of our pre-race time huddling near the large fire pits that were placed around the registration area. My objective was to cover a little more distance today than yesterday, but not at the cost of making myself feel worse than when I started.

I did not come close to the pace I ran a year ago this morning, but I wasn’t going for performance. I’m hoping that I can fit in a couple of extra runs this week. It’s almost Christmas week and, if things start winding down at work, I may be able to get them done.

Foggy morning run at Bethpage

Beware the moors and stick to the bike path

Today’s run (Bethpage State Park): 5.1 miles

If there’s a downside to having 40° weather in January (besides the fact that it may be caused by global climate change) is that things can get foggy. There’s nothing specifically wrong with fog, but I wasn’t thrilled to drive through the cloudy Seaford-Oyster Bay Expressway this morning. Most people were smart enough to keep their car lights on, so the trip wasn’t as scary as I’d feared. When I got to my destination, Bethpage State Park, I was happy to see that the gates were open.

It’s been a long time since I’ve run at Bethpage. They had closed access to the park after Hurricane Sandy and I had not made it back until today. It was great to be back for a run. As I drove toward the lot, a dark mist over the golf course made it look a little like the Scottish moors.

My plan was to run five miles, starting first by going south on the old trail and turning back at the one mile point. I appreciated the first, mostly downhill, half mile but I knew it wouldn’t be fun coming back up that tough hill. Once past my nemesis, I was two miles in and I crossed over to the newer section of the bike path. I had to complete a three mile out-and-back to get my total to five.

Bethpage’s bike trails are rolling and, while I don’t always notice the falling sections, I never miss a hill. The new, northern path has plenty of hills. Just like the southern part, it’s tougher coming back than going out. I reached Haypath about a quarter mile short of my turnaround point so I crossed over and ran until my Garmin showed 3.5 miles.

I knew I’d soon encounter the three noticeable hills and I took them on. The hills are a bit steep, but the incline is fairly short and there’s a enough separation between them for recovery. Once past those challenges I settled in for the remainder of the run. Before long I was back at the trail head having covered my planned distance.

Even though it was unseasonably warm, there weren’t too many other runners out today. I worked hard and felt good throughout the run, but I was glad when I finished. I was also happy that I made it out of the neighborhood for a run this weekend. That was one of my stated goals for 2013. Having come into the weekend with less than ten miles logged, I’m pleased to have finished close to my weekly target of 20.