I was indeed out on the porch earlier, reading a chapter from Christopher’s Hitchens’s Arguably but it gets dark early and it’s dark now so I’m in the living room.

I haven’t posted in a bit. I don’t know how Flo does it, but I’d never commit to frequent postings. Let’s see. This will be rambling even by my standards.

My running has been going quite well with my most recent runs very relaxed and quite quick. Today’s run was a bit different from the norm. Instead of just doing stuff at Twin Lakes and Nature Study, I headed north along the Hutch to Saxon Woods. Literally reaching a dead-end at 34 minutes — I planned to turn at 35 — I headed back and threw in a lap (actually a bit less than) of Twin Lakes to finish in 1:12 or so. I realized how spoiled I am by Twin Lakes/Nature Study. The Hutch trail is a bit more “technical” than the pretty smooth surface I’m used to. I had to walk on several hills. Going down. Running in my New Balance trail Minimi I was fine over the more-rocky-than-I’m-used-to terrain but the front of the soles of my feet, both feet, hurt about 30 minutes after I finished. Nothing big. But interesting. The Twin Lakes loop is so much smoother (albeit not as smooth and even as are the Rockies).

It is sad, perhaps, that one of the highlights of the week is the Sunday run with the Bronxville Running Company. I can’t do the Wednesday run anymore because it is in the dark. The Sunday run has always been the more intense. Last week I led the group (there were four of us, five if you count Sophia the dog) in the New Rochelle loop. It’s a nice 10+ mile loop that includes one big hill — Paine Avenue — and is a nice change of pace from the standard Bronx River Parkway path. My mantra is to avoid busy roads, and although we ran briefly on a couple for the most part this route qualifies.

I hope to have Bobby P, the manager of the store, on the New York Running Show. I drop by there often, and am told that lots of other runners do too. Bobby says he’s never been at a store like that. While a city-store would not have that type of community, it’s great that a small, runner-intensive area on both the high-school and Masters levels (if we got local 50+ guys together (including one part of Yonkers), we’d easily have one of the top clubs in the area with a fair amount of depth) can have a spot where everyone knows your name. There’s even a library. (I borrowed “Running With The Buffaloes” today because someone has my copy.) A B’ville HS coached commented, “No Daniels?”, and Bobby said “No Daniels”. First, I wasn’t donating my copy (although I donated other books). Second, Bobby hates Daniels on the ground that he was pounded into him as a youngster.

On a regular basis, a store-run is a solid way to get people together for a run. I realize the youngsters, many of whom are recent Division 1 vets, are slumming it to some extent when they do the group runs. But much as I enjoy the solitude of a lone run, it’s great to regularly BS with other runners for an hour, hour-and-a-half. Runners are good people.

When we were last up at the Rockies I met a number of people from the Bronxville area who do not have the benefit of my familiarity with the area. I hate posts on various mapping sites in which people throw up seemingly random routes which are too often simply a series of busy roads. Here, and I assume elsewhere, there are plenty of lightly-traveled streets. They are ideal for night-time running; not a lot of traffic but quality roads. We’re hoping to “educate” folks on some of these in our weekly runs.

Along those lines, I am gratified by the number of people I meet and run with who tell me that they learned about the trails in Westchester at WestchesterTrails.com. It’s not that I am one who runs trails above all else. I view trails as a great change from running on the roads, and I don’t qualify as an expert on technical trails, which I define as trails that require stride adjustments and a bit of rock climbing. Today’s run was more technical than I’m used to because there were a number of narrow stretches with lots of rocks and stuff. Indeed, a true trail-runner would scoff at the Rockies (“you call that a trail?”).

The whole point of the site was to let people know about our great trails.

Since the IAAF changed its rule on women world records — they can only be set in an all-women race — I’ve been hoping to discuss it on the New York Running Show because I expect some of the ladies on the panel will have strong opinions on the topic. Alas, we’ve been unable to get them on board. But Julie expressed her view. And I commented. One of these days it’ll be on the show.

I skipped Grete. It was a combination of things. Chiefly my wife’s tag sale. It had been put off from the prior Saturday (the day of the Fifth Avenue Mile) so I scored points by choosing not to run. The other component was doubt about whether I could run that far. Alas, on Sunday I ran that New Rochelle loop of 10.75 very easily at a solid pace so I know I could have done Grete. Not quickly, though, so I don’t regret my passing on it. I hoped to do the Sleepy Hollow 10K but we’re away that week-end in Great Barrington so it looks like the next race will be the Rockies 5K on October 29. A tricky course, although the easy way on 13-Bridges, that should be fun. It’s a fund-raiser for the Rockies.

It’s funny. We’re a month from New York and I’ve not had a moment in which I’ve regretted my decision to skip it. I’ve been enjoying this stretch of runs that are just enjoyable. I’ve been hampered with speedwork from my recent leg aches, but am back to doing a solid tempo and a nice interval workout, the latter on the treadmill for the first time. With the darkness I figure I’m going to have to learn how to do speedwork on the treadmill. With the experience I got on the track, though, and the realization that speedwork should be hard but not too hard I think I can adapt to the fast/slow world of a treadmill. For example I did a 5 X 4 minutes at a quick pace (my confidence in the precision of the treadmill’s read-out isn’t too high) with a two minute jog, which I then dropped to 1.5 minutes and felt fine. Part of a learning process.

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