Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Hudson River Rail Trail

A Rail Trail Marker at one of the many bathrooms along the way

 The walkway was breathtaking as the sun rose and lit up the trees. 

 Mid-Hudson Bridge from the Poughkeepsie side

This past weekend was a mix of fortunate and unfortunate events. Starting on Thursday night, I raced down to Lincoln Center to see War Horse with Dave, my anniversary gift to him. Unfortunately when I arrived I got a text saying he couldn't make it, work was too busy. I was bummed about missing the show, but we can use the tickets another day, I was more upset about missing my group run for nothing. Oh well, a rest day isn't a bad thing.
Friday brought the usual routine of yoga class, swimming a couple thousand yards, typically around 2,500 yds or so. I was beat up from yoga, but we snuck in 2,200 before I had to leave for an early PT session. Friday evening I left the city and headed north towards New Paltz and a small neighboring village called Highland. Unfortunately I wasn't accompanied by my hubby on this postponed anniversary weekend because work got in the way again. I invited a couple of different friends and my Mom, but it was such short notice and they were all busy, so I took off on my own. While I'd have preferred the company over being solo, I'm pretty used to being on my own. I packed lots of running clothes and a few snacks and planned on having a little running vacation.
In a rather fortunate turn of events, I noticed a sign with a picture of people hiking as I turned onto the road that led to my Bed& Breakfast. The owner of the place informed me that The Hudson River Rail Trail was practically a stone's throw away and it led directly to the Walkway over the Hudson! The walkway was one of the main reasons I chose that B&B, but I didn't realize just how perfect the location was. I went to sleep that night giddy with anticipation of running OVER the Hudson.
The sun was shining and the air was crisp on Saturday morning, the temps dipping down in the low 30's. I'd packed tights and various light layers and I found this myself perfectly dressed for the weather. CWX tights, smartwool socks, a longsleeve tech shirt, vest and gloves were the right combo. I threw a headband into my pocket and was glad I did because the wind was chilly on my ears.
I headed out for a planned 8 miles or so and wasn't prepared for just how good that run was going to be. Like I mentioned last week, I have been happy with my splits no matter what, but I actually thought something was wrong with my Garmin for most of this run. I was running 8:00's and under and feeling like I was just trotting along. It was fantastic, I felt so good and the foliage and views of the Hudson river were so gorgeous. The fall colors were so vibrant, those late fall goldens, reds and browns, the world looked so alive and I was happy to be there.
I stopped a handful of times to snap a picture and once to use theg cleanest port-o-potty I've ever seen, but each time I slipped right back into a quick rhythm that felt really natural. When I finally crossed the span of the 1.28mi bridge, I turned around into the wind and thought "ohh, that's why I was running so fast, my second half is going to suffer", but once I got back on the trail there was no wind. My second half was just as strong as the first and I only struggled for a few minutes to regain my stride. I cruised back to the B&B where I sat by the fireplace and stretched and showered before devouring some delicious french toast. Yum.
The rest of Saturday was spent exploring the Vanderbilt Mansion in Hyde Park and exploring the surrounding area, by the end of the day my feet and legs were aching. I slept well that night!
I haven't been in the habit of running two days in a row since my injury, but I couldn't pass up another perfect morning on Sunday, so I headed out in the other direction on the Rail Trail for 2 miles before turning back. I didn't have to force myself to slow down on Sunday like I had on Saturday because my hips and knees were creaky and my calves and hamstrings weren't speaking to me. Ouch. I felt great by the end of the run, but it took until now, Monday, to feel really better. I took in the colors and smells of fall before heading in for breakfast, a pumpkin hotcake, and hitting the road for the gorgeous ride home. It was a gorgeous weekend to be outside enjoying the weather and fresh air before winter comes knocking. I had a nice time, but I'd have enjoyed myself even more with Dave by my side.

Beautiful golden foliage
Sunday breakfast- Pumpkin Hotcakes! YUM!!! 

Cool, I ran OVER the Hudson River! 


  1. Do you know, when I saw that you were going away for the weekend by yourself I was almost so presumptuous as to invite myself along! You should have invited me!

  2. It is an amazing bicycle's sculpture. I think that it is great that there are something like this out there. It is the first time to see something related.