Keep Fit in the Hamptons: Springing into Action

On Monday, I ran from my house to Coopers Beach along Gin Lane/Meadow Lane. Unless I’m planning on ending my run in the ocean, which is the best way to recover after logging some miles, I typically avoid running by the beach. In the winter, it’s far too windy. And in the summer, there are few trees to provide relief from the beating sun.

But post–6 p.m. Monday brought perfect beach run conditions. It was about 50 degrees, sunny and with little wind. I wore black half-spandex, and a bright, lightweight spring jacket I just bought from Lululemon—my latest fashion addiction. (Spring styles have arrived at the Main Street East Hampton store!)

As I really dislike running with headphones, this is my ideal running outfit. I put my iPod volume on high, stored the device in my pocket, powered up my RunKeeper app to keep track of distance, and set off.

Aside from a few winter runs with my former cross-country teammates scattered around the East Coast, this was the best run I’ve had since last summer. Nothing beats running with friends. Except for maybe running along the beach in not-too-hot, not-too-cold sunshine with just you, your thoughts and soft country music. I decided to go a little past Coopers and logged nine miles for the day.

I love summer. But my perfect spring run couldn’t happen in the height of the season. So, as I was happily enjoying the sunshine, I started to think of spring bucket list items. Things to do before the craziness arrives:

Run on the roads. When summer hits, many will be too crowded to safely enjoy, so runners will be relegated to sidewalks. Both studies and conventional runners’ wisdom show that concrete is one of the most unforgiving surfaces, and too much sidewalk running can hurt your joints. Even asphalt is believed to be
better.

Drive out to Montauk. It’s one of the most beautiful drives, and in the spring it takes infinitely less time than on a summer weekend. I hiked the Camp Hero trails a few weeks ago and can’t wait to go back. Hiking isn’t necessarily something I’d prefer to do in the cold than in the heat, but having the entire park to yourself is both beautiful and
brain-cleansing.

Bike to Montauk. I’ve biked from Southampton to Montauk a few times over the past years, taking the LIRR home. In the summer, I typically take all back roads. But in the spring, it’s possible to take Montauk Highway the entire way, making for a quicker trip. And you get to pass by some great coffee shops for a
little break.

Go to your favorite restaurant. My bet’s on the Topping Rose House for being the most difficult place to secure a reservation in the coming months. Now’s the time to head to Bridgehampton! There’s also a small window of time between when iconic summer establishments open and when the Memorial Day crowds hit. You’ll find me at Zum Schnieder beginning April 25; Lobster Roll from May 3 on; the Vines and Branches new Southampton location in “April 2013;” and all the farmers markets the second some produce comes into season.

Enjoy the Wölffer Candelight Fridays. They last until May 17. But if you miss it: The following week brings live music on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.

Go to a Mets game. This has nothing to do with summer crowds and everything to do with the fact that once summer hits, there’s no way I want to leave. Because let’s be honest, the above list is just a way to pass the time before the fabulous craziness of the season
comes along.

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