Friday, January 16, 2009


Mmmmm, I just had one of the best runs ever...

Triathlete L. came over and we took the subway up to Van Cortlandt Park and had a most gloriously strenuous and snowy and cold run (it is 15F, and there is still quite a bit of snow on the ground - I did not want to miss the Antarctic moment!).

It was short, we only did four miles in about fifty minutes - but it's real steep snowy trails, good practice on the downhills as well as the ups, certainly my best local approximation of Antarctic conditions - next time we will perhaps add in a second loop of the infamous 'back hills' stretch!

(An expert's description of the back hills on this well-known cross-country course: "Once over the bridge it is approximately 1200m of constant short steep ups, with a few fast sharp downs thrown in. There is no name signature hill in this back section, just a series of hills that are like body punches to a boxer. No one will knock you out, but the series of them will do damage. At about 1-1/2 miles the runners cross a small road and start the 800m series of drops back down to the bridge. These downs are steep which does not help much with recovery. Many are followed by a sharp turn, but all are very runnable and need to be attacked and run down if you are to get that best time.")

Utter bliss! And we will go up there and do it again next Friday afternoon....

Afterwards we got cake!

(L. had classic carrot, I had red velvet. We ate it with plastic forks on the subway home, it was the height of decadence...)

Gear test: gaiters seem excellent but are not required for conditions I am likely to encounter locally, will put 'em away now I've tested 'em and just make sure they get packed for the trip; YakTrax super-excellent, definitely can imagine using them fairly regularly in the winter, with the proviso that they feel a bit weird when you're running on clear sidewalk and they're slightly skittery on, say, subway stairs (I took 'em off before getting back on the train, and I think they should probably be used fairly selectively, but they were absolutely great on the packed snow/real trail sections of the run, and gave me a great deal of confidence on the downhills); the SealSkinz socks did not get a real test, as temperatures were well below freezing, but I dunked a foot under the bath tap before showering and was pretty impressed with the results, they are definitely better than water-resistant, I am ordering a second pair (this time, the fleece-lined ones!)...

4 miles (but with extra snow/trail points!)

1 comment:

Wendy said...

Cake!! (Again, I hit the salient details off the bat.) Fleece!

Seriously, I'm glad you had a good run and the gear held up well.