by Benita Zahn
This is the final push for road races before the snow falls. In the #518 we’ve got the Stockade-athon. This year marks the 49th running of this race, which is in the top 10 of the oldest 15 k races in the US. Sure, there will also be a flurry of 5k and 10K races on Thanksgiving. But I’m just not feeling the need for speed right now. I enjoyed a host of 5k races in early autumn, including the recent Teal Ribbon Run raising awareness and funds for the fight against ovarian cancer. It’s a sweet run through Albany’s Washington Park. It’s 2 loops, so you get to challenge yourself on the hills a few times. I’ve already written about the 5k in Glens Falls, Get Your Rear in Gear for the Colon Cancer Coalition and the inaugural 5k at Pitney Meadows Community Farm for Building on Love. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not hanging up my Asics nor am I snuggling into a comfy chair. I’m already planning to sign up for the NYRR Brooklyn Half Marathon on May 18. It’s probably my favorite half marathon. The course takes you through Prospect Park, where you’ll encounter some hills, but after that it’s fast and flat and you finish at Coney Island. What could be bad about dipping your toes in the ocean: followed by a beer and a dog, if you’re so inclined, at Nathan’s Famous.
But until then I’ve got my power walk on. Okay, I do some intervals along the way. Perhaps I just like telling people I went out and did a few fartleks. That always gets a quizzical look from the uninitiated! There are some lovely spots to pick up the pace without a race that provide an opportunity to stretch your legs, get your heart rate up and enjoy the scenery.
Great Places for Power Walking
In Clifton Park you’ve got to check out the Town Center Park just across from Druthers. It’s only a mile loop, but you can add a short walk through the woods, the trail is marked. You can also add more distance once you get to Moe Road. Turn left and walk to the library. Behind the building is a path that winds through a wooded stretch and ends at Arongen Elementary School. Follow that around and keep bearing left. You’ll get back to the park. You can also skip the library loop and keep going to the traffic light. Turn left and that brings you to the YMCA so you can loop your way back to your car. The other great thing about this is within the park there are garbage pails for us responsible dog owners and also a porta potty for anyone.
Another favorite spot to walk, fartlek or run is along the Mohawk River. Depending on the direction you’re traveling from you either cross the Crescent bridge or stop just before getting there. There’s a Stewart’s shop. Across from that, abutting the Mohawk, is a parking lot. Head out from there. The path goes about 1.5 miles and don’t miss the little jug handle at the 1.2 mile spot. You can keep going and get to the Vischer Ferry Preserve. It’s a gorgeous place to put foot to ground .
In Albany, Menands technically or maybe Watervliet, there’s a sweet little .6 mile loop in the Schuyler Flatts Cultural Park. Need more ground to cover? Dip out of the park and tour the streets of Watervliet. The park also connects with the Albany Bike Path.
Another spot starts in Waterford. You’ll find that at 1 Delaware Ave, Waterford, NY 12188. You can get to it through Peebles Island, just follow the road out of the park and you’ll have a host of roads to traverse.
Bottom line, if you’re not in the mood to race or simply not race ready, there’s no reason to sit at home. This area boasts dozens of places to hit the road, whether for a leisurely walk, a power walk or sometime place new to train.
About Dr. Benita Zahn
Benita is a certified Health and Wellness Coach working with clients at Capital Cardiology Associates.
Benita spent more than 40 years as a health reporter and news anchor at WNYT in Albany, NY. She covered issues such as wellness, treatment breakthroughs, aging, nutrition, and the latest health care trends. Benita’s work has taken her around the world and across the USA. Benita is a contributor to the weekly “Live Smart” page in the Times Union, the HMRRC Pacesetter and the new magazine 55+LIVING. Benita also created and co-hosts the podcast EVERYTHING THEATER.