I bagged today’s run in the first mile because of an ache in my left quad. But I had a couple of good runs before that.

Friday, Oct. 23

I recently noted elsewhere that when I lived in the City I relished Friday night runs around the Reservoir, when it was cold and there were few people about. Four laps usually, from the southwest corner, maybe 100 yards from home. Flick-flick as my feet lightly brushed the cinder, noting each 20 yard mark, one diamond, two, etc. and then a 100-yard mark.

I’ve taken to doing much the same on Friday nights at the local track, which has the further advantage of allowing me to run outside although dusk is upon us. The footing is sure, the course lightly used. This past Friday saw me stopping on the way from work but, alas, a soccer game was afoot and because it was still light enough I simply headed to the BRP for a bit and when I returned the game was over and the teams had left, so I had the track virtually to myself. Flick-flick as I circled.

Saturday, Oct. 24

Yesterday’s 12-miler, I said, was my first that far in quite some time. But it was decidedly not an easy run. I mean, it was supposed to be. If I got 12, I’d have, barely, 50 for the week, another thing I haven’t done in a while. Bit of a confidence booster for next week.

Running Scarsdale Station 10-24-2009Temp in the mid-60s, with potential for rain, and I headed back to change from my gray Manhattanville shirt to a hot-weather, sleeveless white one. Starting out and thoughts of the arbitrariness of running, how one day you can feel great and smooth, as I did last night, and the next you can feel like almost-expired milk. Wearing my headphones, playlist of a mix of stuff, including some James Bond cuts that always get me going.

By two-and-a-half I knew it would be a struggle. Sweating pretty heavily, and thankful for the shirt change, I wondered how I could keep it up as I headed past the lake by the BRP. You know, thinking of Micawber and the thin-line between success and failure, slowing down might be an idea, and so I tried to. Through 4 and Crestwood Station, and just keep heading north. One segment at a time. Cross the parkway — I try never to stop on a run and making it across is a good sign — for the final mile to Scarsdale and the turn-around. Under the Groucho Marx bridge where one must stoop a bit to make it through and one final stretch. If I can just get there I’ll have a chance.

Turn-around at about 45 minutes, bit over six. Then there are three segments until I get back to Crestwood, and from Crestwood I have a chance; home from there is a basic, bread-and-butter run of four. Back stoopingly under the bridge, make it across the parkway without stopping (albeit with almost a fall). Segment one. See Jonathan and wave. (As an aside, I always wave to runners I pass on these runs, yet few wave back. What’s with that?)

Next segment to Leewood tunnel, a one-lane tunnel to enter the parkway. Tunnel/path/parkway. When I was a kid, you’d honk to get through; now there’s a traffic light. Make it across (the run is past, not through, the tunnel) with no problem. Now some very slight hills to Crestwood. See Julie, one of my favorite runners. She waves. At Crestwood, check watch.

Now I have eight miles in, four to go, but I’m beginning to tire. Not out-of-breath tired. Legs beginning to express their reluctance about going farther. Next mile to Scarsdale Road. Check. It starts to rain, which is cooling, but I’ve had to be careful about the leaves frequently on this trek.

Now I’m confident about making it. Nice flat stretch for final mile in the park (where I was seen by NY Wolve) and then through Bronxville and home. I had told myself earlier that if I got to the Library, which is one-mile to go, I’d be fine, but when I get to the Library I still have that final mile, the first part of which is slightly uphill. But I just plug away, make it, and trying to hold my legs together get home.

Even splits, though I tried to keep things under control; 11-second range excluding mile 1 or five (7:01 to 7:06) if you also exclude the two miles with the slowing waddling under that bridge.

Good stuff.