What’s Up? Niawanda Park, Easy Running, Intervals

Hey, it’s Thursday! When did that happen? I’m still a little behind from my short trip, I guess.

Let’s talk about running!

Last Thursday Jeff and I hopped in our car and shuffled off to Buffalo. I made sure to get as many of my planned weekly runs in before we left so that Thursday could be a rest day and we could spend several hours visiting Baby C (our new niece!) immediately upon our arrival.  It’s a nice thing about my training plan that it doesn’t matter which days of the week I do which runs, so I can mix it around and then spend 8 hours in a car followed by 6 hours on a couch holding a tiny two and half week old baby.

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I hate to say it, but: more fun than running!

Because I front loaded my week with running, I only had one run to complete while visiting the City of Good Neighbors. My schedule called for a 45 min run at a medium pace/effort. It was technically my long run for the week, but my long runs aren’t currently very long (I ran longer in my speed work on Wednesday), so I’m not really sure what to call it.

Normally when I run from Mom’s house I just run around the neighborhood, but this time I wanted to get a little more scenic. So, Jeff and I made the short trip over to Niawanda Park to run along the Niagara River. And, scenic is just what we got. It really is beautiful over there.

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That water’s heading to the falls, folks!

We started out running towards the Grand Island bridge, I thought this direction was more scenic than running towards the Canal, but it resulted in us running into a pretty decent head wind.  Along with the dead legs feeling I have at the beginning of most runs, this had me feeling like I was running in molasses. We ran along the path for 25 minutes and then turned around, I think we also took a walk break sometime in the first half and/or around the turnaround point. The sun was feeling hot, and neither of us were feeling very fast.

After turning around, I slowed us way down for about a half mile. My super easy pace is uncomfortably slow for Jeff to run, so normally when we run together I try to limit the amount of time spent at that speed, but I just knew that if I could only slow down for a bit things would turn around. And it worked, when we picked up speed again, I finally started to enjoy the run.

I even felt up to snapping a picture!

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Look at this cute little bridge Jeff is running over!

The second half of our run felt like it went by much quicker, and we had picked up our pace for a decently quick last mile and a half. I’m glad the good half of the run was the second half. I wouldn’t have been in a bad mood if the whole run had felt hard, but it’s nice to finish on a high note.

Overall, I had a pretty good time running along the river. The view was nice, and of course I was reminded of all the times I had walked down/around there as a kid with family and summer camp. There weren’t too many other people out because it was Friday, but I imagine it might get busier on the weekends. The path is pretty much dead flat (as is most of the area), so there were no uphills to whine about or downhills to give me a little oomph!

I would definitely run here again when I’m in the area, especially if I have a longer run on the schedule. The one complaint I had was that there weren’t enough trees. I suppose they might block the view a bit or get in the way of some of the open spaces, but I know we both would have appreciated some more shade on the path.

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After running last Friday, I didn’t run again until Tuesday. We got back home late Sunday night, and I was too busy missing my little BFF (baby C) to get a run in on Monday. Tuesday’s run was an “easy” 25 minutes. Easy is in quotes because I didn’t really take it easy – effort wise at least. I think I need to do a better job of warming up and starting slowly, so my legs don’t feel like concrete blocks so often.

Then, yesterday, I ran intervals. It wasn’t the first time I’ve run intervals, but it was a first in a few different ways:

1. It was the first time I had run 800m intervals. In the past, I’ve done 400s on a regular basis, and last week I did 8 minute intervals, but this was my first time with 800s. It was tough!

2. It was the first time I ran measured intervals on the road rather than a track or treadmill. Our local track was redone a year or so ago, and now there are ALWAYS people using it in such a way that I cannot. Harumph! I mean people playing sports on the field in the middle and watching from the bleachers outside the track and/or standing on the track, or people from the high school track team using it for practice. So it’s not as available as it used to be. I didn’t even bother checking it out yesterday, I just decided to run my intervals on the road.

I picked a long straight stretch of road that’s about a mile long and ran back and forth until I was done (4 intervals). I wasn’t really sure what pace to run the intervals at because the road is not flat. I tried to stay in the 8’s and I think that worked for the most part, although it’s hard to tell if I stayed consistent over all 4 intervals because my speed was impacted by the inclines and declines. My overall pace, including warm-up and 3 minute recovery, came out to 9:45/mile. This is a bit slower than I’d like, but hopefully I’ll improve.

And, that brings us up to date on my running adventures. Next week we should be back to our regularly scheduled programming.*

*In case you noticed that this is not a Throwback Thursday post and you are concerned (not sure why you would be, but just in case), let me explain. I love and am excited about writing the Throwback Thursday posts, and they will continue, just not today. I had some more recent runs to recap.

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Okay, one last picture with Baby C because it’s my blog and I said so! You can’t tell but her onesie says “Auntie is the Best” (that’s me – auntie…bet you can’t guess who got her that!)



4 thoughts on “What’s Up? Niawanda Park, Easy Running, Intervals

  1. That looks like a wonderful place to run – well worth the trip. It’s funny, I literally live on the coastal path up here, but I still often find it’s worth a little drive to head to a really special place to run! 😀 Your nice is mega cute, and 800m intervals all but kill me. (Now these are two statements I never thought I’d write in the same sentence!)

    • Haha! Those are two things you wouldn’t think would go in the same sentence, but it’s definitely a true statement! Immediately after the 800s I thought “I guess that wasn’t SO bad”, but the next day my legs had other opinions.

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