I did not bring my GPS watch so I would not fall into any traps at all of analyzing my pace on my first run back. I wanted to focus on form and go as slow as needed t maintain it. I have been feeling more purpose in my muscles as I walk and aqua-jog so I was hopeful I would be able to feel my pace. I did feel it and that was good.
Here is trail-map to make up for no GPS: http://www.stonewallresort.com/i/downloads/Trail_M...
I started at the lodge and ran to the northern trailhead of the Hevener's Orchard trail and ran around to the south terminus and in to the lodge through the marina and pedestrian bridge across the water. The trail description said it was 3.5 miles of trail and approximately 5 mile loop. The 3.5 might be right, the 5 is way log for the road connections. I went with 4.6.
The trail was actually not to bad. A mix of woods and a few open grassy hillside areas. Nothing special, as this park could be described, but nice on a mist-over-the-lake dew-soaked morning. The 'attraction' of the trails are the stone 'Cairns' that are distributed throughout the hillsides. The origins or purpose of them is unknown. In researching the park ahead of time I saw a picture of them that appeared no different then the old stone walls that separated farmland years before the Ramapos were reforested back in NY. Not very mysterious for us hiking through the area growing up unless you count the mystery of whether or not a rattler of copperhead was hiding under the loose rock...
The best display of the Cairns was on this trail today and I was pleasantly surprised in that the position and continuity of the Cairns was more interesting then just property markings. the placement was along cliffs in a manor of alost fortifications.
I felt pretty good at the start on the roads and probably went a little to aggressively, but not to badly. I eased off on the trail as I climbed. I encountered a problem on the first bench the trail followed. I was feeling a pretty aggressive irritation behind my right knee. Was this my tight calf playing a tug war with my hamstring? later on in the day, my hamstring was very tight. Anyway, it did loosen up after a bit but it was bad enough that I thought I might have to stop and did for a minute or two to get a handle on it.
My quads felt pretty good up unti the last little bit near the pedestrian bridge and I just stopped and walked it in from there. The best thing about the run was that from about 1/2 way through I had several stretches where I felt my core get 'on top' of my hips and my legs ran free (I could 'spin' them and drive with them independent of 'forcing' with my hips). The downside was that I felt no power in that stride- which I am sure had a lot to do with my calf/ hamstring.
Later on put Claire in the "baby backpack" for the first time and took an hour hike on the Autumn Laurel Brooke Trail and the Chipmunk Point trail.