Sunday, February 16, 2014

Ironman Training - Selden Hills - February 16, 2014

The image to the left is a cut out from the exact words from my Training Peaks Workout of the Day provided by Coach Danielle Sullivan.  While I am usually the kind of guy who laces up and walks out the front door to get his run in, I decided to drive about 20 minutes to taking on the Official Selden Hills Training Route for first time. 

Several years back I did a race called Conquer the Hills 5K where you tackle only the biggest hills on Long
Island on Adirondack Dr and Berkshire Dr.   The Selden Hills Warrior Training Route starts on Middle Country Road in a shopping center that has a large retail section that has been empty for some time.  The run begins in the parking lot then turns south on Adirondack to warm you up for the bigger hills and eventually back north on Berkshire and Blue Point Road, for a great 10K run.

I drove up to the parking lot that had about 4 cars parked in the middle.  I noticed a couple take off and two guys twisting and warming up.  They were waiting around for someone, but I guess he eventually did not show up.  Another person drove up and parked next to me.   That prompted me to hop out as well.  I shook the their hands and introduced ourselves.  Seemed like they have done it many times and I must have looked like a "deer in headlights" rookie ready to do something that might be the coolest and stupidest thing to do on a wintery Sunday morning.  We eventually squeezed ourselves into a selfie on to Rich's Phone before taking off.    

We lined up on an imaginary start line in the ice patch and all of us raised our wrists to start our GPS watches.  For some reason, I thought it was funny.  We headed out of the parking lot and the other 3 people in the group started to create more and more distance between us.  They kept on stretching their lead.  I would crest over one hill and think that was it, and then I still see them climbing the next.  Then on the next hill, I could barely see them two hills away and I could see the peaks of a few more hills.  Eventually they were out of site.  So I was alone, which I am perfectly fine with. 

I prefer to focus on my Zen like moments not worrying about being too fast or too slow.  Actually I am a horrible running partner as my wife can tell you.  I usually zone out whenever I run with her, then she gets upset when I forget to turn around.  I will save that for another blog, but I probably have wrote about it in the past anyway. 

It took me about an hour and fifteen, which I was okay with.  A typical 10K for me is under an hour.  The conditions dictated otherwise and the extra 2 to 3 minutes per mile was fine with me.  It helped me stay light on my feet and it was an easy pace as per my Coach who wanted me to focus on time rather than go all out to prepare for an upcoming 50K.  In fact, if I ran faster, I would have been walking back to my truck limping and pissed off.

I passed many homeowners clearing their driveways with the sound of a single-stroke small engines purring in the background.  The smell of exhaust filled different pockets of air as I ran by a few homes.   As I headed up and down the hills I look for some crusty snow on the pavement to give me more traction, but I was still not sure if there was ice underneath to slip way.    Eventually, I reached the top of Adirondack where you find a giant radio tower located there.  My guess is that Marconi realized that was the best spot to place an antenna.

As I think about it, the flat parts of the course were the worse.  It seemed like the ice was solid and I slide a few times.  Rosemont was the worst of all the streets that resembled a giant ice skating rink!  In fact, that is where I caught up to the group, and they slipped and slided right past me. 

Berkshire was less dramatic but proved to be just as tough of a climb.  During one of the climbs, I noticed a yellow sign with the word HILL, and thinking that was funny to place that sign there, when there are at least 2 dozen hills in this neighborhood.

Eventually, I saw Middle Country Rd and the parking lot entrance on the right.  I crossed the street and dashed towards where I started.  The group that I started with was chatting away as I approached.  I paused for a moment to let them know that I still had to run for another half an hour.  And thanked each one for sticking around. 

As I headed out for another thirty minutes, I was really appreciative to Rich S. and Brian M. who never leave any Warriors behind.  It felt like an official stamp that I am now a Selden Hills Warrior.  It felt nice to know that others were worried about me as I posted that I was taking on the hills (Christina T and Kim D)

I figured 10 minutes out on to Adirondack, cut across one of the streets back to Blue Point Rd and back home.  As it turns out all the right turns on Adirondack ended up as dead ends, so I backtracked on and made a left on to Mooney Pond Rd then on to Blue Point Rd.

I found myself touching the light pole where I started for no particular reason, which was interesting because I found out that your run is not complete unless you touch the light pole as per a Facebook post exchange with Kim D.

What a great group to be part of and landscape to run on!



  1. Sounds like you did have a real Zen experience. Nicely put.

    1. Steve, I really zone out during long runs :)

  2. Awesome.....did you get your sticker?