28 December 2008

The Last of The Firsts of 2008

I am warning you now... this post is going to be long.

I have had a lot of firsts during 2008, and I will talk about them in a later post. Today was my last day of running for 2008 (more on that in the next post), and I find it fitting that it was full of firsts.

The first time that I drove somewhere in order to run.
I wanted a little bit of fresh scenery, and I have been tossing around the idea of finding more places to run and writing about them, so I decided to go to Copper River Park in Collingswood, NJ. I used to think it strange to drive more than you are actually running, and I still do a little, but it is nice to get out of your neighborhood and find new places to run.

The first time I carried a camera and snapped photos while running.
It seems that I see something amazing on every run that I do, yet I never have anything to record it with. I decided to carry my camera with me this morning since it was my first time running Cooper River Park. I snapped some pretty nice pictures. Check them out at my Flickr page. I will not carry my camera with me every time, but one thing it did for me today is help me keep my pace slow during my LSD and also helped me to enjoy my surroundings and have a relaxing run.

The first time I ran 5 miles.
Today was my LSD run, and 5 miles is my new record for long run. I did it at a very slow and relaxing pace, and did not take any walk breaks. I only stopped for about ten seconds at a time to snap a photo.. This run was a very good quality and it also boosted my confidence that my endurance is improving.

The first time I ran over 1 hour.
Again, proof that my endurance is improving. I had no walk breaks at all and I felt incredible after the run. My pace was very slow and 5 miles is not very far to go in an hour, but I will be working on speed next year.

So here is my run. The distance around the river is about 3.75 miles, but I wanted to do 5. So when I finished my lap around the river I did the last mile and quarter on the track that they have there.

The track is nothing fancy, just dirt, but it felt great running on it. I had to make a conscience effort to keep my pace slow, and the pace of the track part of my run was almost a minute faster than the rest of my run. This is another confidence builder, knowing that I will be able to go fast on the track when I start my speed workouts.

Speaking of tracks, I am glad I found this one because all the local schools keep theirs locked up tighter than Fort Knox. I have two high school tracks within running distance of my house and can not use them. In fact if you look closely at this satellite photo you will see a much nicer track above and slightly to the right of this one. That belongs to a Catholic high school and, of course, is all locked up.


Pat said...

I use my camera/phone and love to take pictures, as you know.

great job on the 5 miles and the time. I hate to drive to runs too. But, that being said I love to run in new places. I ran down historic Williamsburg, VA and it was one of my favorite runs.

Sonia said...

Lot of great things to be proud of in 2008 =)

I'm sure 2009 will be even better. As a new runner 5 miles in 1h is very respectable! Don't dimish your accomplishment, there will always be faster runners but getting PBs and being proud of yourself no matter what is a race against yourself not others!

(I'm slow too! LOL)

SuperDave said...

I often drive to other places to run, especially on LSD.
I love taking a camera w/ me during runs. You always find beautiful things while on foot. That's another great reason to run. Right?
Great job on the 5 miler and hour long run!