Note: At times this sounds like a race report. It’s not. It’s just me working through some stuff.

The past few weeks have been less than enjoyable running-wise. As noted in my last post, virtually all of my recent runs were struggles, with a series of DNFs thrown in, which results in increased pressure and, as was the case with Saturday, a “big-deal run,” i.e., one on which a season was in the balance.

I survived Saturday, but rued going out on Sunday. I did, though, and then out of nowhere my stride returned. I hadn’t noticed she had gone. I knew something was off. I hadn’t fingered her absence as the reason. There I was, mile 4 of a 7 miler, on the Bronx River Pathway in Yonkers when I suddenly felt like a runner again. A sudden ease of motion. A natural loping.

On reflection I don’t know how I lost her. I’ve not done repeats, which I think are super important for running mechanics, because of sciatica concerns. So I’ve not been forced to concentrate on form. I’ll try not to let it slip so much.

I also figured I was tired. So Monday was an off-day. Today broke not-too-warm but humid. I feared that she’d have left me. As a check, I dusted off my Garmin — unused for over 5 weeks — and headed out, slowly at first. I felt OK though. As OK as I feel in that first quarter mile. I relaxed, feeling things were moving along as they should. Mile 1, fine. Mile 2, when I turn onto the path, is where I recently have begun to drag. Not a problem. Mile 3 would be the test. Warming up (heat-wise) but fine to Scarsdale Road after 2 7-flats.

Do I turn or push to Crestwood at 4? It can be a long walk home if I blow up. But there’s only one way to find out if I blow up so northward I continue. I’m nice and light as I turn and then I’m nearly laughing (inside) about how easy this feels. And how different it is from my recent runs. A jog. But still fast.

And so it goes as I pass 5 and 6. A little tired and I know the last 2 won’t be a catwalk. Quads a little achy, but the stride, she’s still with me. And she’s with me as I finish, drenched in sweat in my Manhattanville Track shirt. It’s gray and a bit heavier than I should have worn, but wet it’s a token of a run well done.

So major confidence boost here. It wasn’t blindingly fast. It wasn’t meant to be. Indeed, it was still too fast. It was good, though, to feel relaxed again, to know that even if I’m fading I’m going to make it home and that the last couple of miles will be the fastest.

In the overall picture, I am looking at what I am now doing as building for the Fall. I figure I’ll get speedwork in via upcoming races, which will not include the Fairfield Half since I can’t get my head around racing that far. I have a 2.5 miler on Saturday then it’ll chiefly be Club races through (and after) Labor Day, so 4s and 5s. Plus I hope to make it to Van Cortlandt for a couple of the VCTC’s Thursday night 5Ks.

Landis

One thing about the Floyd Landis emails is that they need to be considered in context. It is not as though everything as to Armstrong rises or falls on the word of Landis. Along those lines, here are a couple of recent links:

57th Street

I just mentioned this to a friend, and reminded myself how much I like it. this is from the Capitol Theatre in Passaic. I remember it being broadcast live over WNEW:

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