Sunday, November 30, 2008

Runners are the Friendliest People

Today I finally decided to explore Saddler River Park. I left the house a little later than usual, around 6:30 and noticed some white stuff falling from the sky. "Is that snow I asked myself?" I knew it was supposed to rain later in the day but I didn't hear anything about snow. I'm OK with running in the snow so I continued on. I arrived at the park around 6:45 and was happy to see other runners getting out of their cars and stretching. One guy asked me how long I was going. I told him between 8-10 miles around an 8:30 - 8:45 pace. He saw I was alone and not familiar with the park so he offered his and another buddy's company.

We started out and I got to know my 2 new friends and take in my surroundings. It was as if I was the only runner in Bergen County that didn't know about this park. There were runners of all paces running through the snow saying good morning and offering other words of encouragement. Even though it was an out and back, I did not feel like I was running in circles. That's what was driving me crazy about running in Votee or Overpeck. There were only so many times you can run in circles. The entire park trail is 15 miles, has year-round bathrooms, free of cars, and plowed when it snows. What more can you ask for? If I decide to train for a spring marathon, I have a feeling that most of winter long runs will be in this park.

Oh yeah, there's a run to talk about....most of the run was in the snow. Around mile 5 it began to change over to sleet and footing became a little slippery. We ran 8.08 in 1:08.17 for a 8:27 pace. You can find all the run details here: Snowy 8 miles in Saddle River Park.

At the end of run, I gave my e-mail and cell phone number to my new friends. They asked me if I wanted to join them for breakfast. Unfortunately, I had to decline due to family obligations. They told me they are usually there every Sunday at 7. I asked that they keep me posted and mentioned that I look forward to seeing them next week.

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