Sunday, May 5, 2013

Running Hills X 2; A Day Trip from NYC

This weekend was pretty fantastic. I did a good bit of running, got out of the city for a day trip with Woody and the weather was absolutely amazing!

We don’t have a car so we rarely leave the city unless we’re leaving the state, but Woody was invited to go golfing in Connecticut with a colleague on Saturday morning, so he rented a car and ended up getting a great deal that allowed him to have it the whole weekend. What that meant was 1) we drove to Trader Joe’s rather than having to lug our groceries for the week home on the subway (which was running local) and 2) DAY TRIP!!!

As soon as Woody mentioned we’d have the car till Sunday evening and suggested we use it to do something interesting we don’t usually get to do, I knew exactly what that was. The day after our rowing experience, April, her husband and a few others went up to Rockefeller State Park Preserve in Sleepy Hollow, NY to go running. I’ve been hearing about this place for years as it’s apparently a great place to run, but it’s really only accessible via car. Metro North goes to Sleepy Hollow but then a cab ride would be necessary, so it’s not too convenient for those without cars. Woody was game as soon as I suggested it.

But first, on Saturday when Woody was off golfing, I headed up to Central Park for a run. I have a race next Sunday and needed some practice on the hills. I’ve not been running up there like I should be. It was an absolutely beautiful morning and I’m beyond happy that I got myself uptown to run.

Running in Central Park NYC

Bethesda Fountain, Central Park, NYC

With guidance from April, we headed out around 7:30am and arrived at Rockefeller State Park Preserve within an hour. Surrounded by trees, it felt like we were thousands of miles from New York City. I tucked my phone in my jacket pocket – it was chilly and April advised that GPS might come in handy – grabbed my handheld and we were off.

The sun was out and so were a number of other people. The park wasn’t super crowded as there are a lot of trails to explore, but there were a lot of people walking and running. Dogs and horses are allowed on the trails, but bikes aren’t. I swear this is true when I say it: 98% of the people we passed along the way either said “good morning” or “hi” or waved as we went by. When I used to run in Central Park in the morning, often there would be an acknowledgement between runners but it pretty much never happens elsewhere or at other times in this city. Please tell me if your experience is different, I hope it is! It was really nice to see so many people – of all ages – out enjoying the trails on a Sunday morning.

We wound up doing 6.65 miles according to my Garmin, but didn’t even touch half the park. This is not a flat park; these are hilly trails with slight variations in the surfaces and beautiful scenery. At times, we kept going up and up and I didn’t think there was any further up to go, but it kept going! I admit, I did slow to a walk a few times, but I’m pretty proud of myself considering I haven’t run that many miles for a long time, I don’t run hills often and I never run on trails. This run definitely boosted my confidence going into next Sunday’s race! We had a great time exploring the park and enjoying a beautiful spring morning!

Running in Rockefeller State Park

Running through Rockefeller State Park

Swan Lake Rockefeller State Park

Trail Running in Hudson River Valley

After we finished our run, we found a diner in Tarrytown for breakfast then walked around the quaint little town a bit. It was really cute with a very busy coffee shop, a juice/smoothie bar and a bunch of other little shops and restaurants. Rather than taking the highway back to the city, we chose the scenic route and stopped in a few other little towns along the Hudson River. We stumbled upon the Red Barn Bakery, which is down the street from a riverside park with views of NYC and right by the Metro North station in Irvington. While everything looked amazing, we chose a peach muffin to split later.

Tarrytown New York

Red Barn Bakery Irvington New York

It was a great day trip and a fantastic weekend. With so much running, blue sky and fresh air, I am ready for the week ahead!

What were the highlights of your weekend? Do you run on trails or stick to the road? What is your ideal day trip?


Lisa said...

Good to hear from you on my blog;-) and for weekend was m.e.l.l.o.w! no trail running for me...yet. not for another ~4 weeks- all good though- learning super mindfulness from my lil' guru himself;-)

Lisa said...

i usually stick with roads so I don't trip on anything on trails :) Mike and I have been taking day trips lately as well and it's been lovely to have a car and get out of the city, even for a little bit. My ideal day trip involves a sunny day, a car, wind, music, and my boo :) Driving up along the Hudson is peaceful and relaxing. Glad you guys were able to get away!