Sunday, May 10, 2009

Bang. Bang. Tack on another 15.

With the beautiful weather we are having today in New York, I decided to do 2 runs today. A short, 3-mile run through beautiful Eisenhower State Park, and a new run I've never tried before utilizing the Ellen Farrant Memorial Bikeway. A path for which I would never had known without having received a promotional copy, "Fun on Foot in New York". The review for that book is coming shortly.
I parked my car in field 2, and made my way to the start of the red line course just behind the southwest corner of the tennis courts. It was very windy outside, and I already realized that I was going to be burned because I failed to bring my SPF. The visor would hopefully help however on my run to Jones.

As you can see there was a lot of twists and turns on this route. I had taken an photo of the course from the "Fun on Foot" book using my iPhone, but as I would see later on, the path was well marked with red arrows, and my iPhonitis dependancy during my run subsided. What a great day it was outside. The coffee at Dunkin was finally kicking in, and my "small" 3-mile run in and around the park, went really well. My body felt nothing at all.
After I finished up, I headed out of the park, by car, and drove to the northern tip of Cedar Creek Park. I had never been there before, and was going strictly by the book's directions.

Hot Damn! This run looks somewhat intimidating via satellite. GOTTA LOVE IT!!!!!It was a little after midday, so the sun was beating down strong. Since this was going to be my long run, I took my Camelbak in tow with me, a pair of sunglasses, and some money just in case.One of the first things I noticed was a carnival that was being set up at the park. Looks nice, and perhaps this could be a place where I could take my kids if this is still around on Memorial Day weekend. One of the "side" benefits of running, is that you come encounter with a lot of potential future events to consider.

Not long after passing the carnival, I noticed a couple of rollerbladers and cyclists entering a wooded path along side a brown sign (above). Alas, the Ellen Farrant Bikepath was in view.

The southwardly path is a trail that goes from Seaford to Jones Beach State Park. In the beginning it was fairly windy, and covered in shade by the trees overhead. That would be shortlived. Within about 1/4 mile, I was still on the trail, but essentially running south alongside the Wantagh State Parkway.

There were markers on this trail too, denoting the distance covered thus far. I was pretty amazed by the lack of cyclists on this beautiful day, and never it gave it much thought until I came up to this sign below: WTF???? Leave it to our wonderful state to have things like this on a weekend.

There had been some cyclists ahead of me, that saw the sign and turned around. I thought I would still be able to go to the right side of it, but then noticed it was also fenced in as well.

Did I come all the way here just to do 2 miles and back another 2?

The one thing I can say about myself, is that I have a wanderlust for adventure. I am definitely a thrill-seeker, and I am pretty insatiable when it comes to "going where no man has gone before". I am definitely not the fastest runner, for sure, but I rarely like to say "QUIT" either and I find these signs offensive. Perchance that there is a gaping hole in the bridge, or something that is dangerous enough that my life wont possibly but definitely be harmed, and then yeah, I guess I will use common logic.

I noticed a cut in the chain link. It wasn't very big, but it was just large enough to pull it up and slide my body through it. I broked through! Free again!!!!

As I ran over the bridge the excitement of knowing that I probably should have no business being on the bridge was taking over me. Scoffingly, I even yelled out "FORBIDDEN!!!!" a few times. I was waiting for that huge piece of missing cement for me to fall through 50 feet down and into Goose Creek. But it never materialized. And my efforts for not "QUITTING" paid off handsomely.

I ran past some kind of construction barge that had a large crane. No doubt the reason why the bridge was closed. It was unmanned however. One weird thing about my iPhone. I think it takes drugs. For if I take a picture whilst running, the distortion on the photo is downright scary. Imaging if the bridge or the tollplaza (both above) was this lopsided!

Realizing that I was potentially going to get into trouble, I ran fast through Green Island and made my way over the second bridge and Sloop Channel.

Of course, with a path that was supposed to have been closed, I was bound on seeing weird things along the way....

Meant for motorists, I took this sign as another way of saying "Go Back! Don't Pass Go! Do Not Collect $200 Dollars!!!"

"Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooohhhhhh!!!!!!" LOL. Yes I kept running.

Well ain't that a stinker! I finally get to the end of the trail, and I could lock up my bike and go check out the concert. Except I used my legs to get here....and Jones Beach Theatre was a barren wasteland!

So now what? Go this far, just to turn around ?


After getting a clearing, I ran across Ocean Parkway (again the thrill meter was getting me juiced), and I entered the massive parking lot of Field 4. The parking lot was completely barren. It looked like an endless ocean of concrete, and as I ran towards the needle, I kept thinking to myself, "Am I The Only Nut That Would Do This Sort Of Thing????"

The Jones Beach needle. Home to many "phallic symbol" jokes, and currently under repair.
I arrive at the boardwalk. More signs. "Do Not Dress On The Beach"..... Does this mean I can undress on the beach instead?
As you can see the place was still fairly empty. Understandable, since it is Mother's Day and since the water temp is still pretty cold. Hmmmm.....I wonder how cold?
Challenge #2 - Do part of my 12 mile run, barefooted.

Again, with this iPhone camera. I pray to the Apple gods that they fix this in their next release of software/hardware. I am actually running on the sand now. Holding the iPhone in one hand and my sneaks in the other.

LOL. As if I wanted to swim in 50 degree waters....

I finally "reached the beach", and allowed my doggies to get wet. Ouch! Damn Effin Cold! B-R-R-R-R-RRR!!!!!!!

The waves were really crashing violently onshore. Oh well, it was time to get back.
I actually stopped at the concession stand on the way back. And no, haha, it was not at the shack pictured below.

I got a hot dog and a diet coke. Great runners food. Got my protein from the dog, and my carbs from the bread. And since the water supply from the Camelbak was getting slightly warm, the diet coke was oh so refreshing to the palette......Ahhhhhh!!!!!!

On the way back, I noticed that there was an undepass. In other words... I never had to play chicken across Ocean Parkway in the first place *DOH!!!!!*

Yeah....Sure....We've been through this before.....LITERALLY.

"The reeds of the run, outweigh the reeds of the many".

"Su-u-u-u-r-e. Su-u-u-u-r-e. Keep 'em coming...."
More danger. Ahhh....Love it!!!

After passing over both bridges again, I started seeing signs of life on the trails, and began thinking to myself that I was about to complete another 15 mile run day in one week. Not bad.

I finished up, did my stretches, and drove back home. What a great experience today was.
Tomorrow will be a lite run for me, probably at the gym.

Overall, I feel really good. Nothing is broken, nothing sore. I've been careful with my training, and getting more rest recently, and it has helped. It's still a long way away, but my key goal is to keep layering one 15+ mile run over another and doing it as often as possible, but without getting hurt ,until the BIG ONE in November. Biomechanically, I feel like am in the zooooooooone right now, so I gotta keep those good vibrations a happening with me. Sorry, with all the beach shit above, I just couldn't help but to quote Brian Wilson. LOL.


Alex Gonzalez said...

Next is my book review, that sent me on this glorious expedition!

Anonymous said...

I've biked and run in Eisenhower park before. I love that park. It's best in the mornings, when there aren't so many people around.

That second path...I am gonna have to try that this weekend maybe. Sounds great!!!