A Simple Running Log

January 8, 2013

Training for 1/8/13

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 8:37 pm

Last night, we had a few people over to watch the Notre Dame-Alabama game. I didn’t get to bed until almost 2 a.m. I had to be at a meeting first thing this morning, so I did not feel like getting up early enough to run today’s scheduled speed workout first.

I took a change of running clothes and my trail shoes with me to work, and as soon as the meeting was over, I went to Tuckahoe State Park.

I’ve been to Tuckahoe a couple of times, to cover things for the paper. I knew there were supposedly trails there, but I’d never seen them. The online maps were just approximate sketches, so I felt like I still didn’t have much of an idea of where to find a trail head and where to go once I was on a trail.

There were only a couple of other cars in the parking lot near the lake when I got there. I climbed in my back seat and changed clothes. Since it was noon, it had warmed up enough to wear capri tights, and I didn’t need gloves or a hat.

The plan called for six 800-meter repeats with 400 meters of recovery between each, plus a warm-up and cool down.

I took my work iPhone with me, intending to track the distance for my record keeping, since it’s impossible to retrace trails on the online route-mapping site I use for my road runs. I quickly found a trail head with a sign with a better map, that promised the Tuckahoe Valley trail was 5.2 miles long, one way. I didn’t have time for a 10.4-mile round trip on that trail, but I figured I’d run a few miles out and then come back the same way.

I started the RunKeeper app to track my distance, and started running. Two minutes later, the phone started buzzing. It was a call transferring from our main office in Easton. Against my better judgement, I stopped and answered. It was our state senator, wanting to talk about a dispute over a new hospital that’s supposed to be built. He said he only had a few minutes to talk before he had to be in a meeting, but that didn’t stop him from rambling on and on, even after I told him I wasn’t in my office at the moment and it would be better if he just called me back later this afternoon. In the middle of this call, the RunKeeper app announced I’d been “running” five minutes, and covered 0.42 kilometers, haha. I don’t think he could hear it on his end, because he never missed a beat.

Finally, one of our phones dropped the call and got me out of that. Before taking off again, I tried to change the setting on the app to track my distance in miles, and managed to freeze the app.

This was not starting out well.

I decided to just go by time and not worry about the actual distance, so I started the timer on my watch, intending to run easy for 8:30, probably about a mile, for a warm up.

The trail was well-marked and easy to follow. There were some slight uphills and downhills, quite a few roots to watch out for and a thick carpet of fallen leaves on the ground.

I followed the trail about a mile, but when I got to Adkins Arboretum’s trail system, which the Tuckahoe Valley trail was supposed to briefly connect to before going on its way, I made a wrong turn somewhere and ended up on the arboretum’s trail system.

I ran around there for a while, doing timed intervals of 3:30 of hard running with 2:30 of easy running between each. I was looking for the other side of the Tuckahoe Valley trail, but I never found it. I did find some goats though:

tuckahoe goat

I gave up on finding the other side of the trail and just headed back the way I’d came, which included a crossing over this very springy bridge:

tuckahoe springy bridge

When I got back to the lake at the state park, I still had a couple of miles to do. I found a connector trail that headed the other way, toward the camping grounds north of the park.

That trail ran along the edge of the lake, and was a bit more technical. I took a little spill at one point, where the drop was too steep for my shoes to get any traction in all the dry leaves, but it was a fun trail.

When I got to the other end of the trail, I came upon a playground, where, among all the squatty, plastic equipment, I immediately spotted this beauty:

tuckahoe old slide

How old is this thing? Those super-steep staircases go so high! It’s all metal, the kind that causes frostbite in the winter and second-degree burns on contact in the summer. And check out that paint job! Hell yeah, America!

I knew what I had to do:

tuckahoe old slide going down

Why isn’t this right outside the back door of my office?

I was done with all my hard running intervals at that point, so I ran the same connector trail back to the parking lot. Along the way, I spotted this right off the trail:

tuckahoe old car

No explanation of how it got there, just a bunch of names and initials scratched into the paint.

When I got back to the parking lot, I saw a fitness trail to the right. I had to make another detour of course.

It was one of those trails with some questionable-looking “fitness equipment” at stations along the way. I ran enough of it to hit four of them, including this one:

tuckahoe fitness course

The original circuit training.

I’d been running about an hour at that point, so when the fitness trail came back out to the parking lot, I got in my car, changed back into my work clothes and drove back to the office. I figure I covered about 6.5 miles today.

Maybe it wasn’t the most effective speed workout, but it sure was fun! I want to go back when I have more time to find and run the whole Tuckahoe Valley trail. And then cap it off with another trip down the slide, of course.

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