Saturday, July 21, 2007

Training Week 1: Long Run - Port Washington, NY


The first long run in a training program usually turns out to be the shortest long run.
Not only because of the mileage, but also because I've been mentally gearing up for it.
Even though, I've done many, many runs longer than 8.5 miles, I was still excited
and nervous. Excited because I love Port Washington, but nervous because I had been
hurt. After all, I was nursing a bad left leg most of June.

Course for Week 1's long run:

Flower Hill-Port Washington-Bar Beach Water Loop

I arrived by car at about 8 AM and parked in the lot where Whole Foods and Benihana is, first spot by the exit on Port Washington boulevard. I got out and went right to business.

The first mile starts off on Port Washington Boulevard going northbound on what is a
somewhat boring downhill. As I pass St. Francis Hospital, I cross the boulevard to enter
Farmview Road into the beautiful homes of Flower Hill. Farmview appears deceptively flat. Fact is that by the time I get to the corner of Hewlett Lane, I've gone up about 30 feet
in elevation. Hewlett Lane is the home of many wealthy homes, like the ones pictured
above. Continuing on to Country Club Lane, I head on a steep downhill
and back onto P-Wash Boulevard, still heading north. I pass the private North Hempstead Country Club, with it's $15k per year dues, and keep going uphill until I pass the Police Department. It's a bit of a downhill from there, until I get passed the intersection of Main
Street. Now the fun begins...

Port Washington, like most northern necks of Long Island is loaded with many challenging hills.
Loaded with more houses that I've always wanted, but could never afford, I made my ascent.
Over 200 feet higher and about a mile later, I am at the apex of my hill, which is about 300
feet high. The temperature has got to be about 70 now (was 65 when I first started)
but because of all of the trees, I had plenty of shade to protect me.

Now came the downhill, which is quick and furious (pics above dont do justice). While it is nothing like the hill I experienced in Vancouver, I had to consciously slow down to prevent
from over striding and landing too hard. As I reach close to sea level, I pass the mini community of Beacon Hill Colony.

Hempstead Harbor Beach Park is on my left, and I head inside, as I break my 5 mile mark. The sun can be brutal here, as there is never any shade. It was pretty strong today too.

I ran down the cement walkway, and took a quick stop in the Men's Room, and had a few swigs from the water fountain before continuing. I reached Bar Beach, and saw a bunch of people
putting up white canopies, probably for a wedding. I was going to do the non-sand route
but as I ran back towards W. Shore Rd, the gates were all locked! So now, I had to run all the way back to the beach, to take on the sand, to be able to get out. It added another half a mile
to my trek. (Note the photo I took with my Blackberry as I was running-nice shot, huh?)
I finally exited onto W. Shore, and was well underway to the last 3 miles, of which....they
are all up hill! As I past the "You Are Leaving Port Washington", I saw a small garden snake
on the road, I nearly froze, then jumped out of the way......It turned out that it was just
a branch. Could the weather have been that hot to make me hallucinate?
I finally turned right, onto Mott Street for the brutal climax. A 120 foot climb in a quarter-mile winding path, which finally, and graciously dumps off into Old Northern Boulevard. From there, it's still uphill, but it levels off quite a bit, finally leading into Northern Boulevard, where my #2
favorite pizza place is, Joanne's Gourmet Pizza (second only to the one also called "Gourmet Pizza" but that one's differently owned and located in Mamaroneck, NY - plugs, plugs plugs!)

Perhaps the nicest thing about this run is the fact that I was in pretty decent condition after I completed it. My new motto is not to go for speed on long runs, just go for consistency, and to listen to my body the whole time. And I did.

Another nice thing about today's run, is that with those 9 miles in my log, I am now in FIRST
PLACE, in my 1000KM Running Group!!! See below!!!!

The quality is kinda hard to see, so here's the link to it:
Actually, I just tested it.....and "Caracol" is back in front, after
adding in two runs from back on July 16 & 17th. Welcome
Anyway, 1st place was nice. Even if it was for only a 1/2 day....


DGA said...

I have a feeling that "Caracol" is no snail. Is cheating allowed in the logging of mileage? I would investigate. Anyway, nice running, nice pictures, nice plugs. Got any pizza for free lately?

DGA said...

Is that a beetle on top of your sneaker?

Anonymous said...

I live on your route, and as a veteran of many marathons have run it often. You should try to expand the route through old roslyn, manhassett, and sands point