Yesterday I ran the northern-most section of the Bronx River Trailway. This is a trail that runs essentially from Bronxville/Yonkers to the Kensico Dam along the Bronx River and roughly parallel to Metro North’s Harlem Line. (Not to be confused as some apparently have recently with the Hudson Line which goes along the Hudson, although they both go through Harlem.)

My office is now in White Plains, the County seat, where I was born, where I met my wife, and site of the, yes, Battle of White Plains on October 28, 1776 (we lost). I had run from the south to White Plains but never to the north and so yesterday I did.

Here’s the thing. I have a habit when I run on a new course of running really fast (a relative term, I know). It happens when I arrive in a new place for a visit — it did on my last trips to London and Paris — as well as when I take a run after several days off. Out fast and just pick up the pace.

Running WP to Kensico Dam 10-7-2009So after a warm-up mile at 7:11 — the course is pancake flat with a couple of slight inclines — then 6:47, 6:41, 6:26, 6:27, 6:21, 6:00 pace through 6.90 (by my Garmin). To the plaza below the dam (it looks much as it did in 1923) and back. It was a lunch run, and a windy one at that.

These runs are invigorating and encouraging since they remind me that I still can run smoothly and quickly. Things were hard towards the end there and I struggled to just keep it going, get to one landmark, then another, then the finish. Kind of like being a passenger.

I know this stretch will never be “new” again. I won’t run it as quickly again. And that’ll be fine. Because I know that if I really wanted to, I could.

The water behind the dam is New York City’s. You used to be able to drive across the top, but in the wake of September 11 that is no longer permitted.