Saturday, March 17, 2007

Running Where Einstein Sailed

Last week I was supposed to do a 25 mile run as part of my marathon preparation program. The only day I had free to run it the temperature was under 20 degrees Fahrenheit with a wind chill in the single digits. I opted to skip the run and hoped to make it up one day this week.

Wednesday seemed like a perfect day. Definitely a hint of spring in the air. Warm and sunny. So I headed down to one of my favorite places for a long run, the towpath of the Delaware and Raritan Canal. This 70 mile linear park stretches right across the much-maligned state of New Jersey from the Pennsylvania border to the ocean. The towpath is perfect for running and there's something especially restful about running alongside water.

My route took me past Carnegie Lake, now mainly used by Princeton University for rowing. But I do believe that there used to be an active fleet of Lasers on this lake at one time. And when Einstein was at Princeton this was one of the places he sailed. Not in a Laser though.

No sailboats or rowers out on Wednesday morning. Just a couple of guys fishing and two women in a canoe. Definitely starting to feel like spring.

Things were going well with the run until about the 13 mile mark. The day was getting hotter and hotter, there was little breeze, and no shade from the leafless trees. My legs were getting heavier, I was sweating profusely and I was starting to feel decidedly woozy. I arrived back at the car at the 16 mile point and the temperature gauge said it was 82 degrees. No wonder I was feeling bad. I'm not sure I'd ever try and run 25 miles in that temperature. Certainly not after training for months in temps in the 20s and 30s. So I decided to call it a day. 16 miles in 80+ degrees is a decent run. No point in making myself ill. I still have the opportunity to do at least one run of 25-26 miles or more before the marathon.

Friday we had the biggest snowstorm of the winter. 8 inches of frozen boilerplate. I spent most of today shoveling snow.

Weird week. Weird weather. What would Einstein make of it?


PeconicPuffin said...

If you'd like another location where Einstein sailed, come up to Nassau Point on the Little Peconic Bay. According to local newspapers he called the bay "the most beautiful sailing ground I ever experienced ... ''. There are races from the North Fork of Long Island, and I'm pretty sure there is a Laser fleet.

If you're particularly curious, the map here:
includes listings for Nassau Point in general, and the beach by Einstein's summer house at the time. (It's a map by me of windsurfing will probably find it a little cluttered and awkward...still a work in progress.)

The Little Peconic does make for beautiful sailing!

Mallard said...

Wow! can I ask a dumb question...? How did you get home? [blushes].

Looking forward to meeting you at the Laser World Masters in Terrigal, Australia in 2008!

On a sadder note, it looks as tho I'm going to close my blog. I'll try to let you know if I open up another one somewhere else.


Tillerman said...

Mallard - I drove my car down to the canal and planned to do three runs away from and back to the car adding up to 25 miles in total. I was completing the second of these loops when I arrrived back at the car after doing 16 miles, so it was an easy decision to abandon the run and drive home.

I guess that's why I didn't just run 12 or 13 miles in one direction and then back again. 12 miles is a long way to cover on foot if you get injured or exhausted.

Sorry to hear you're giving up the blog. I only just discovered it.

Ralph Stocek said...

Tillerman, take it from someone who learned the hard way, your mileage is very important. When I did my marathon, I skimped somewhat on the long runs, never getting in the total. I did two 20 milers which helped, but just as speed work helps with pace there is nothing like LSD (long slow distance) for increasing your endurance. If you fit it in to your schedule, you will be thankful post-marathon. - Montreal Sailor

Tillerman said...

Totally agree ralph. Didn't want to miss a long workout but that's the way it happened.

The first marathon I ran, my longest training run was a single 20-miler. And I had a tough time in the last 6 miles in the race.

The second marathon I used a different training program which included 20, 23, 26 and 28 mile runs, all of which I completed. I had a much better experience on the big day.

So I've done the 20 and 23 mile workouts this year. Failed to complete the 25-26 mile one. So I will aim to do either 26 miles or a couple of miles more if I feel OK, in the week scheduled for the final long run - 3 weeks before marathon. Time will tell if that is enough.

bonnie said...

when is your marathon? Good luck!

I did a kayak race on the D&R canal once. Terrible race, I have bad race luck - for this one I was on a surfski, with a rudder, and it was fall, and my rudder kept getting loaded up with dead leaves & branches & crap. I'd pull over to see what was fouled on, and of course when I stopped, all the leaves would go fluttering off & by the time I'd flip the ski to look at the rudder, there would be maybe a piece of eelgrass.

Fortunately some of my friends were waiting on the finish line bridge, and they all started laughing, and my coach yelled "YOU'RE DRAGGING A TREE!".

Everybody had had the same experience, as it turned out. There was only one of the skis that had a little slanted skeggy thing (that's technical term, ya sure you betcha!) that didn't fall afoul of the boat draggin' leaf monsters. Particularly embarrassing since we'd all swaggered up looking extremely fit & wearing Manhattan Kayak Company Racing Team t-shirts.

I came in DFL. All the races I've gone in have featured some such weirdness. Bad race karma.

But what a beautiful place to run! That's where I was going with that whole story.

BTW I'm dying of curiousity - did the Lasers actually race near Cockenoe on Sunday? I don't know how it was up there but I decided that I had some stuff I needed to finish before I ran out of town for another day, plus looking at the forecast, I decided it was a better day for "schooning" than kayaking. Very gusty, very shifty - I was thinking that even if some of the real diehards got out, that was likely to be one of those mayhem days.

Tillerman said...

The Cedar Point Laser fleet raced on their "inside" course on Sunday - on the river rather than out by Cockenoe. But by all acounts it was totally insane. I didn't go - too busy packing up getting ready to move house this week.

bonnie said...

oh, no fun. Moving I mean. The race sounds like great fun for those with the skills to handle it!

Hope the move is going, or went, as smoothly as possible.

Mal Kiely [Lancelots Pram] said...

Hope your house-move went as well as could have been expected. Now the joy of rediscovering things in boxes begins! heh heh
Mallard has a new blog now at
Hope all is well.
Mal :)

Fred said...

Good luck, moving house. I still have boxes standing around from the December move, and oh.... have to move again... into the new one in October. (hopefully ready by than) If we "collectors" would not only have so much stuff in the garage/workshop... Did you do a garage sale? Cheers, Fred.
PS: Couldn´t comment on the new GoogleBlog. Still following most blogs here.

Pat said...

Gee, that T-man must have had many deadweight tons of stuff to move. Either that, or he's celebrating by sailing, or running himself ragged training for a marathon.

No other excuses would quite do.

Moore #114 said...

Tillerman, FYI NW 505 Blog is being replaced with Moore 24 Sailing. NW 505 blog will be removed shortly. Thanks for all the visitors

PeconicPuffin said...

I'm looking forward to your return.

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