Here are some random thoughts and goings-on:
* Why are we always complaining about the weather? I can understand that while running in 90 degree temperatures and 80% humidity, the weather might occupy the senses a bit more than usual, but when the skies are pouring down bountiful rain after 2 weeks of scorching heat, I would expect people to be grateful. But all I hear is how everyone misses the sun! Oh, come on!
* I am contemplating moving my long run day again, from Thursday to Sunday. I used to do my long runs on Saturdays. But I now run with the club on Saturdays, and Sundays have become my "explore trails/new running routes/hill running" day. Long runs got moved to Thursday. But that was before I acquired a 1 1/2 hour commute one way (in traffic). After a fitful, 4-hour sleep, waking up at 4 AM for a 16-mile run (painful, by the way - cramping, tightness and muscle pulls dominating most of it), rushing through breakfast and a shower, then sitting in traffic for an hour, rubbing my sore achilles, it finally dawned on me that the easier option would be to switch my long run days back to the weekend.
* Your helpful suggestions on speedwork are greatly appreciated. I tried a pyramid interval and a Yasso 800 workout. My view on speedwork? Disgusting, nauseating...and enormously gratifying! If only the muscles, tendons and knees would co-operate, I would like to squeeze in 1 day of speedwork every week.
* Saturday run at the towpath: The towpath runs are always fun and a great way to begin a Saturday. Yesterday's run was one of the best. DH & I were joining friends on a hike later, so I started the run a little earlier than usual, broke it down into sections, running the first 1 1/2 miles with an eager-beaver newcomer (who had begun his running journey to lose weight, lost 50 pounds in a few months and gained an addiction to running), the next 3 miles with the speedy girls, the next 2 miles chatting with Wenchi/Oleg, then wrapping up the last 1 1/2 miles on my own. Very balanced run. And more miles than I had planned for the day.
* Hacklebarney State Park in NJ's NorthWest Skylands: I can't get over the fact that a charming place like this exists just 20 minutes from home. We hiked an easy 2.8 miles surrounded by stunning scenery, followed by a lovely packed lunch.
I am already planning a trail run there, with a post-run dip in the trout-filled Black River. Ahhh!
* I have been able to get a few friends interested in group trail runs, so we ran the trails at Cheesequake State Park a couple of weeks ago and Sourland Mountain Preserve today.
We had a couple of drop-outs unfortunately, but 4 of us showed up at the trail head at Sourland Mountain Preserve in Hillsborough this morning, bright and chirpy, ready to tackle the hilly, rocky trail. These pics (stolen from the web) are deceptive.The trail...
...looks more like THIS!
After manuevring hilly sections with boulders for a couple of miles, we came upon wide open space with a view...that looks a lot more beautiful in the pic than it did at the time, because the last thing we were focusing on was the scenery! The sun beat down furiously; we were sweating buckets and beyond exhausted. And we were making our way down a steep downhill portion with sharp rocks and gravel. One wrong step and we would be sprawled on the ground, face-down, with a mouth full of gravel and almost certainly, broken bones.
After a mile in open space,we had a choice to enter the woods again or stay in open space all the way. We decided that the forest with shady tree cover was preferrable.
But we separated as we made our way through the forest to the parking lot, and Glenn got out first, covering the trail once. The rest of us got lost in the woods, in a maze of white-blazed trails. It was hard to tell if we were heading toward or away from the parking lot! Prem and Sandy were able to make their way back through the woods with the help of another runner, while I ended up at the clearing again, doing the 1 mile steep downhill run again.
After what seemed like ages, I got to the parking lot and as I was guzzling water, saw Sandy and Prem make their way out of the forest. I was a little relieved I was not the only one who got a little disoriented! I have been running trails for a little while now, but my sense of direction has not improved. I covered 5.75 miles in total (walking and running). This was definitely one of the toughest trails I have done so far, but also a lot of fun.
So much for a bulleted post, eh? Hope you had a wonderful and eventful weekend!