Sunday, April 10, 2011

Making the runs count

Fort Tryon Park, late April 2010

As I mentioned in my 15K race recap, I have made the transition to running only twice a week and swimming 4x a week in order to train for the Great Bay 4.4mi Swim in June. I needed to find a way to get in a long swim on Sunday which meant my day off would now be Tuesday. I have been doing speedwork with the Inwood Hill Runners on Tuesday nights through the winter, so it's been a hard habit to break. This Tuesday I couldn't quite take a day off because I'd been sick the previous week and missed 3 days of training, so I did some P90X workouts and called it a night. I was sore from those plyometrics until Friday morning.

I did manage to make my two runs this past week really count as good training runs which makes me happy and confident that I can maintain my running while swim training. Thursday night our group run takes us on a hilly loop through Inwood, Washington Heights and Fort Tryon park and this week was no exception. We had a special guest this week though, Steve from NYCRUNS.COM joined us at the top of Manhattan for a run. The group was in good spirits as we caught up with a friend we hadn't seen in weeks and we introduced ourselves to a new member. It turns out the new girl has the exact same name as one of our current members, first and last! Bizarro. We ran a solid 4 mile loop on top of the 1.5 miles it takes for LW and I to get to the meeting spot. In honor of our guest, we had some post run food and drinks at an Inwood favorite cafe. That was a lot of fun.

The other run I'm keeping in my schedule is the Saturday morning long run with the Inwood crew. This Saturday I ran to meet the group (go to to find out where/when we meet!) and we decided on an adventure run to and over the George Washington Bridge.
It was a beautiful day yesterday with very little breeze and nice, warm sunshine. The air felt cool and crisp, but there was a haze around the city so white and thick that we could only make out the outline of the downtown skyline as we ran across the bridge. As we reached the bridge one of our members who also cycles gave everyone a little refresher course on bridge etiquitte because there were many more cyclists out than we anticipated. We lined up single file and started across the bridge, I was somewhere in the middle of the 7 person line until Charlie started moving away at the front. I felt like we were moving a little slowly for how flat the bridge is, so I looked to make sure there were no bikes coming and I charged up to catch Charlie. We kept a solid pace up and chatted briefly between flying bikes as we made our way over to NJ. After touching the rocks on the mainland and gathering all of our troops we ran back to NJ at the same quick pace, Charlie and I laughed at all of the cyclists waving their hands behind them to signal that we were oncoming, it sure looked a lot like they'd farted and were waving the smell away. Haha. I guess you had to be there. As we reached Manhattan again we headed back up towards Inwood via Fort Tryon Park and I turned around at the top of the big hill to head back home. The park is on the verge of lots of spring blossoms and there were bagpipers leading a small procession through the park for the annual Shearing of the Heather. (Fort Tryon park has one of the largest heather gardens on the East Coast.) It is a tradition I always sort of "bump into" every year, but never actually participate in. It's almost become the official start of Spring for me, so I smiled to myself as I ran past the folks with their giant garden shears. Bring on the blossoms!!! I finished up the run just shy of 10 miles and felt a bit tight in my left ITB, but satisfied with another perfect Saturday morning run. I can't believe that everyone doesn't start out their weekends this way.

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