28 December 2011

Run in the Rockies!

To my East Coast Tri-State Ultrarunning Pals, a run in the Rockies means a run in Rockefeller State Park. I did have days in my life where running in the Rockies meant running in the Rocky Mountains where I, for two years, lived (ahhhh, the Naropa Boulder days...), but this is quite different.

Rockefeller State Park is a nice place to run trails - they're all carriage trails, so nothing too technical, though if you're like me, you'll end up with small stones in your shoes (and a bee, as Tony once witnessed during a flailing, screaming, shoe-kicking incident at the end of a way-too-long run last summer). There's a bunch of hills that I did repeats (7x this one horrible hill today), hills that Tony makes me run hard up, and lots of gentle ups and downs. Great training b/c unlike Bear Mountain where you end up hiking because you are climbing essentially, mountains, most of these hills are runnable unless you choose this time to pull out your phone to look at your Google map to see where the hell an exit to this park may be.

But I digress.

A great thing about this park is you can get here via public transport. You can go via a ride to the Pleasantville train station following these directions; however, it's almost 3 miles and I have never run that way. The plus of going that way is you enter by the main entrance of the park, which is where the bathrooms are (Sometimes, you just don't want to find a tree, and there are some parts in the Rockies were trees are not as common as you'd like!), plus water fountains (that might only be on in the summer) and a soda/other beverage machine (I think they have water and vitamin water too!). I know these trails best and also, you're close to the lake which is a cute 2 or so mile run around.

Today I went via the Tarrytown Train Station, where the trains seem to run more often. And it's less time running on the roads - 1.4 miles! I use these directions, but my play-by-play might help you more. I run up the hill behind the train station, up this street called Franklin. (If you get lost, ask anyone how you can run to Broadway.) When I get to Broadway, I hit a left and run down for a bit, past the cute little town of Tarrytown (good Greek place on your left, should you be hungry on the way back) and past all the official looking buildings and past the high school. You'll make a right just after you pass the Horseman Diner and head up the steep 448 - and then you'll make a left onto the OCA (Old Croton Aqueduct Trail). You run down this for a little while - at one point, the trail disappears but keep going past houses in the general direction and you'll end up back on it - and when you see trails on your right, go that way - those are the Rockies!

Other nice things about this park - you can park for free at the high school across from the OCA entrance (or sometimes!) and if you get to the main lot of the Rockies it's free before 8am, I think. If you come up via train, you can hide a gallon of water and change of clothes/etc in the woods, as I have done before. Mostly, I love it because it's pretty, you can run by Stone Barns and see the super cute pigs and cows and animals (Vegetarian Cherie doesn't think of eating these!), deer!, flowers, the hills are manageable but still push you, you see people but not so many.

I love the Rockies! Training for Santa Barbara 100 Miler in April followed three weeks later by Bear Mountain 50 Miler - I'll be training here for the long faster runs.

Care to join?

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