Where I was at the end of the previous month, July 2019

Target to run in 2019: 1092 kilometres

Total distance ran so far in 2019: 942 kilometres

Recorded in my little tracking spreadsheet.

Goal(s) for July 2019

Run 100 kilometres. (I ran 70.6 kilometres, which was less than the desired 100 kilometres, but more on that in the words.)

Enjoy it still. (I am, possibly the most in July than I did any time before.)

The words

I knew coming into this month it’d be a bit different. Last month’s 200 kilometres left me feeling a bit wiped out at the start. And a holiday was around the corner. So I had a few days off from running. See out a couple of days of work, spend a couple of days travelling, and…

Land in New York and have a good pound in Manhattan up and back the East River, with the dog.

The next day, onto the Williamsburg Bridge for a solid 5km there and back. That was warm.

Runs I discovered and will add to a bucket list:

  • After the Williamsburg Bridge run I did some looking into possible circuits involving a couple of the bridges over the East River. I found [this one].
  • Visited Roosevelt Island: Looks like there’s a good circuit of the island, of about 5km, maybe? Also, the tube station on the island would be a good start/stop point.
  • There’s a few in Central Park. Brant suggested a couple. I just didn’t have time to fit anything in.

A couple of days in Manhattan and then it was upstate. Looking for trails and routes was harder than it was in the UK, or at least seemed so. I was finding segments on Strava but they seemed to be in the middle of nowhere, no marked paths or trails on the digital maps. I was having to do some digging where the paths ands trails where.

But the first day upstate I just went out and saw where I’d go. Working through the trails in Russel Wright’s estate Manitoga, I eventually found myself on some trails in the woods to the east of the estate. And from there it was fun running along, a couple of checks that I was heading north and not heading east, and must have run through at least eight spider webs across their track.

Having avoided hill running I found a neat 3km there-and-back on a nearby road, which wasn’t fun on the way up but more fun on the way down. Five days later I had another go.

After coming back down the 9D on my first upstate run, I chanced running along the 9D some more, to get a look at the Hudson River from the shore. I had my first experience of Not All Roads On Google Maps Are Public Roads, as someone came out of their house to tell me “I don’t want to interrupt your run but… this a private road.” I didn’t see any signs, on the way back up I didn’t see any signs. I’d seen the shore by that point so huh. I got back to the 9D and headed down to the nature preserve. What felt like a worry about running the 9D was unfounded: A lot of drivers went past giving me and them a little more room, which I have rarely seen in the UK. One dude even said “keep going!” as they went past. (Said not shouted.)

After the first trek into the nearby woods I had ordered some “proper” trail running shoes – my first – grabbing some New Balance Gobi v3, and went out into the woods again, this time heading south once I’d got out of the Wright estate (which was much easier having done it before) and touching on some of the Appalachian Trail, before getting onto a road that eased down the mountain to the 9D.

The time upstate was closed off with another 9D adventure up towards Garrison train station and round the woods there.

But all really good fun runs out upstate, and that probably wouldn’t have been the case if I’d not done all the sorting my legs out stuff the last 12 months. There was a point on the first run through the woods upstate (and it didn’t last long because I hit loads of grass that made me slow down but…) I felt like I was close to hurtling along as I’d ever be.

Socks: I’ve been using some alright Nike running socks. Can’t complain. A couple of months ago I invested in some compression socks, some Nike ones and some 1000 Miles. While I was in America I branched out a bit more into the world of socks getting some Balega (US Yarn, made in South Africa), Rockhttps://rockay.com/product-category/ay, Drymax, and Le Bent.

Back home and back to work and back on the road. A stopover in Newcastle one day I drove out to Whitley Bay for a run along the coast. It wasn’t as long as I hoped. Days on the road I feel more tired at the end of the day, probably because I am up at about 5am and running at 7pm isn’t quite what my mind or body wants. But it was a sunny enough, I went past St Mary’s Lighthouse, and on the return leg I dipped down to running along the beach. You know when the tide is going out and there’s the sea on your left, there’s all their dry sand on your right, and you’re running along the moist sand that is just firm enough to run along? That’s good stuff, that.

Generally finding routes to try is a bit of a trawl. Sometimes I spy routes when I nosey in on other local runners’ efforts stored on Strava. Google searches usually bring up Map My Run stuff, whose interface is a little bit of a faff, but it’s a resource to dig into.

The effort does pay off though. On bank holiday Monday I was looking to do 10 kilometres but a) pretty much from the doorstep, but b) with some difference. I found something on Map My Run that seemed to go along the canal and then ping off and then back on. The start/finish points weren’t near our house, but it’s a loop so start/finish points can just move around the loop. The route seemed to come off the canal at Rodley near the Railway Pub and then hop over the River Aire – which sounded fun. We used to live in Rodley, but never went as far up the hill as this route suggested, and haven’t been in the fields and woods up there either.

I transposed the route to a Strava one, which gave me a chance to check out where I might be turning.

I didn’t quite take the route I found, but I did have fun. The trot along the road through the woods reminded me of being in the woods in upstate New York a few weeks before. Christ, there’s some massive houses up there. And oh that’s where that road off Harrogate Road leads to.

I am going to try and convert any decent runs into routes on Strava. Here’s the route for the run. Be good if Strava routes allowed you to note tips, like “a bit of this is along a track with brambles at this time of year”. Not sure Strava is the best place to store these routes though. What is the “Wikipedia for running routes”? Any suggestions?

Yesterday to close the month I went for a small steady run (3km-ish), a short break (a couple of minutes walking) and then a much faster chunk. No nowt massive, about a minute, about 300 metres, but a small stretch to see how my legs would take an open-up. I finished, was fine, was ambling along the 100 metres to the road, and a runner coming towards me asked me “Need a gel?”, one in his hand. “Thank but I am done.” Evermore though I find the spirit around running so helpful and generous, which I never expected.

That was a good running month. Quality over quantity.

Next month’s goals

Go for a run five days every week. (Basically: Clock 20 runs in September.)

I’ve been reading a bit the last few months about quality of runs not quantity, thinking about time over distance, and speed in shorter bursts. I am going to try some fartlek amongst the longer runs, hopefully once a week, but at least twice in September.

If I can do 100 kilometres in September, I’d be happy.

Keep enjoying it!


Original source – Simon Wilson

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