Hills, distance combine in Assateague run

I got to see this horse during my Assateague run on Thursday. (Vanessa Junkin photo)
I got to see this horse during my Assateague run on Thursday. (Vanessa Junkin photo)

Working a later shift equals extra hours in the morning, which equals time to get a long run in.

Of course, when I had some extra free hours on Thursday morning, I decided to use them for my long run. I already had a busy weekend ahead of me — that’s why I’m writing my blog post now, on Monday — and figured it would be a good time to get 14 miles in at Assateague Island National Seashore.

It was a bit of a tight squeeze for getting home to Salisbury and getting to work, but I’m glad I changed up the scenery for my 14 miles. I also was able to get a two-mile hill workout in as part of that long run. I’ve generally been making myself do a mile or so of hills, but when I get to the actual race — the Big Sur International Marathon on April 26 — it’s going to be more than a mile that’s hilly. (Here’s the elevation map.)

Here's the pedestrian bridge that I used for my hill work. (Vanessa Junkin photo)
Here’s the pedestrian bridge that I used for my hill work. (Vanessa Junkin photo)

So, I ran the pedestrian bridge next to the Verrazano Bridge at Assateague back and forth — I went across it five-and-a-half times in addition to the first time I’d gone across it during my run — which was a good workout. I was also glad I did it in the middle of my long run. I haven’t combined the hill work and long run before, but that will be more like the real-life race.

I didn’t get to see too many horses close up. (And as signs across the area say, you don’t want to get too close, anyway.) I saw some from a far distance, and I saw one that was off the trail, pictured above. On my drive out, I did see one that was either on the trail or very close to it. There were a large amount of horse droppings to dodge, so I knew they had to be around somewhere.

Here's what the paved trail looks like, going from inside the Assateague Island National Seashore to the visitor center. (Vanessa Junkin photo)
Here’s what the paved trail looks like, going from inside the Assateague Island National Seashore to the visitor center. (Vanessa Junkin photo)

Assateague has a nice paved trail that runs from the National Seashore area to the visitor center. I parked at the Life of the Forest Trail, which is a boardwalk-type trail, ran that — it was short — and then ran to the visitor center on the paved trail before doing the bridge hill work and making my way back to my car for a drink of water. I then took a couple side roads and ran the Life of the Marsh Trail — also short and mostly boardwalk-like.

It was a lot of out-and-back running, which makes sense, given the shape of Assateague, although sometimes for a long run, it’s nicer to have a long loop or loops. I was still happy to have different scenery, though, particularly since I was by myself.

I liked the look of this side road I took during my run. (Vanessa Junkin photo)
I liked the look of this side road I took during my run. (Vanessa Junkin photo)

I was thankful to have nice weather. Rain was expected, and it did rain on my way home, but I only had a minute or two of rain near the beginning of my run. It was pleasant weather for a shorts-and-a-short-sleeve-shirt run.

Before making my way back to Salisbury, I stopped at On What Grounds?, a new coffee shop in Berlin. I wanted to check it out after reading my Daily Times colleague Hannah Carroll’s article. Anyone who knows me knows that I do enjoy my coffee drinks and/or food after a run, and it was fun to try somewhere new while I was already out.

 

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3 thoughts on “Hills, distance combine in Assateague run

  1. I am running the Island to Island Half and we start by running that bridge. I would like to get over there sometime before the race to give it a try! Looks like you had a nice run!

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