Thursday, May 19, 2011

Eight Miles on the RR Tracks

One of my favorite trails is a gravelly dirt road alongside the railroad tracks. It goes for miles, all the way from Bayport to St Paul, and I like to start somewhere near the middle and run out and back in both directions. It’s mostly soft dirt, quite flat, very quiet, and ocasionally brightened by a train. There are two problems, though: (1) In most places, the little road is strewn here and there with stones an inch or two in dimension, the kind that make up the bed that the track and the ties rest upon, so the footing is slightly treacherous; and (2) There are no mile markers of any kind. In fact, I might have run a bit overlong in one direction today - I’ll bring it up on Google Earth again to get a good look at the trail.

I ran two miles one way & back, then dropped a shirt at the car and went two miles the other way & back, total 8 miles. Because I’m trying to get past a “runner’s knee” problem, I mixed walking and running, which seems to help prevent the knee pain. Just a few seconds of walking apparently lets the knee recover after a short run. The first four miles I ran 30 seconds and walked 30, then the next four I ran 45 and walked 30. Looking at the splits, I think that the 30/30 pace came out to perhaps 12 minutes/mile, and the 45/30 pace came closer to 11 minutes/mile.

THE KNEE DIDN’T HURT. At all. I think it would have hurt if I had run all of the time, but this worked today, and I probably could have mixed in even more running. Now, afterward, the knee is a little cranky but not bad. It’s a masterpiece!

Splits: 12:02, 13:23, 12:23, 11:03, 11:05, 11:03, 10:58, 11:10, total 1:33:10, overall pace 11:39.

Breakfast after the run: Trader Joue's gluten-free granola with organic fruits, berries, and yogurt. Just a couple of bites of very dark chocolate.

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