Sunday, August 9, 2009

Watchung Reservation Trail Run

When you run trails, you should be able to read a map. Or know someone who does. Without Glenn, there is no question I would have been hopelessly lost on yesterday's trail run at Watchung Reservation. He claims it is the additional iron in his nose that gives him the advantage. I am going to agree with that. Anything that makes me look less stupid is A-OK by me!

Let me also add that a search on Google revealed that Watchung Reservation is "one of the worst marked parks in New Jersey"...so that's my defense for staring stupidly at the trail map and the trail markers, unable to coax any sense out of them.
Glenn was brilliant. He not only read the map with ease, he was able to decifer the various multi-colored trail markings and turn us back when we meandered off onto an unused trail and got scratched by the briar. All I had to do was run alongside him and make conversation.

We parked by the Nature and Science Center and started our run here...it was a little chilly, but thankfully not too humid.

Our goal was 6 miles; we planned to combine different trails to make up the distance.

Hiking Trail Hieroglyphics:
A single blaze on a trail this indicates that the trail generally goes straight ahead.

For trail novices like me, when two blazes are painted together, one above the other, a turn or bend in the trail is indicated. The upper blaze will be offset to (not directly above) the lower blaze. Here, the yellow trail heads right.

Decision-time! Glenn did all the trail-marker decifering. We stopped quite a bit to read the map (each of us carried a map, and mine only came in handy when Glenn lost his toward the end of the run).

Along the trail...


A little after 2 miles, we found ourselves back at the parking lot and started on a new trail.
3 blazes indicate the beginning of a trail.

Animal-tracks (a dog's paw-prints?), where we crossed to the other side of Blue BrookLake Surprise (not tempted to jump in for a swim!). We ran sections of the Bridle trail, alongside the lake.

We had to watch our step. Most of the trail was rocky. We walked at the most rocky and steep portions.

We encountered a few small hills. Glenn, an advocate of "goal-running" (I'll let him explain) pushed me up one hill, by sprinting me to the next trail marker. Whew! Glenn, you know I mean this in the nicest possible way...you are a slave-driver. We finished by racing each other to our cars, gasping and out of breath. We completed 6.8 miles in total.

We then sat on the grass by the parking lot, munching on post-run fruit and granola bars, chatting about...what else...running...and planning the next trail run.

Next Sunday is the NYC Half Marathon, so this week's been a sort of semi-taper.

Monday: core work

Tuesday: 8 miles + spinning + BodyWorks

Wednesday: 6 miles

Thursday: rest

Friday: 10 miles

Saturday: 6.8 mile trail run

Sunday: core work

Total: 30.8 miles

22 comments:

Mica said...

That looks like a great hike and an awesome workout!

Marlene said...

I would be so lost out there! Sounds like it was fun, though.

Roisin said...

I would have been lost, and dead, by now on that trail. Better you than me, trail Lady!!! Good work with the miles!!!

X-Country2 said...

Oh, that made me Hansel and Gredle nervous just looking at it! Do cell phones even work out there?!

Clynton said...

Looks and sounds like a great time. thanks for sharing.

D10 said...

Great week. I have to be with someone too otherwise I would get myself lost!

Scheri said...

Gorgeous pictures! I always say it, but you have the best weekend getaways :-)

Erica said...

Getting lost in the woods would wayyyy freak me out- glad you had a good tour guide ;) Looks very very pretty. Nice job on the mileage this week!

Irene said...

In addition, you need to see the map to read it... I'm always provided with a really good map, but I don't bring readers with me to run. LOL

Again, beautiful pictures!

lauren said...

wow - that looks like a great trail!

The Happy Runner said...

Looks fun! I never knew that the two blazes mean a bend. Thanks!

Cindy said...

nice week! and the trail run looks like it was fun. i love trails; i feel like the time goes by quickly because there are so many things to concentrate on. good luck at the hm! maybe you'll spot deena kastor...

cami said...

Absolutely gorgeous trails, but I would get sooo lost!

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