This was a so-so week and, more importantly, I had some injury/twinge issues. Hence a stop at 4 on Wednesday when I felt a pain in the right knee, the type of pain that usually, disappears, and in this case disappeared, and doesn’t bother me again. But then a pain in the bottom of my right foot, and so I skipped Thursday.

On Friday I met up with someone nearby with whom I’d not run before, and I had a pain-free eight even as my foot hurt when I wasn’t running. Yesterday the right foot was sore and the left Achilles tendon (plus we were doing a yard sale) so no run.

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Folks awaiting the start of the Preview Run

The no-run was in part because today was the annual Paine-to-Pain preview run, in which people run the course. I did not know whether the foot would hold. If it went out at, say, five miles, I’d have a long walk back. I figured, though, that if it went it would happen early.

The weather was not cooperative. Suddenly we were heading back into the 90s. But the trails are mostly in the shade and, well, there was nothing I could do about it. Eric Turkewitz, the RD, asked me whether I wanted to be the leader for the “fast” group, but I declined because I do not know how the course goes through Saxon Woods Park, which has a myriad of trails and numerous trails, and then someone who knew the course appeared, and he was the group leader.

So we started. Not where the race starts but about 3/4 miles later, where the race hits its first trail. (The race covers a number of independent trails. Hence there is a stretch at the very start and one at the finish that is on a road (plus a brief period to connect the Leatherstocking and Saxon Woods Trails).) I had forgotten just how rocky the Leatherstocking. I got to the back of the six-person group and navigated through, at times having to walk over rocks. The pace, accordingly, was not fast. Then the leader did something to his ankle and we slowed more.

After it became clear that he would not last much longer, I somehow found myself at the point and the pace picked up. I did not want to be there when we hit Saxon Woods. I figured I could get us through it, but I doubted whether it be on the actual course. In fact, I ended up navigating for the group, telling them “I don’t know whether we’re on the course” but assuring them that on raceday it would be well marked. (In fact, only one of group is doing the race this year.)

We did pretty well in Saxon Woods until the very end when I had us go right at a T when we could see the golf course then turn-around to go left only to turn-around to go right and then to turn-around yet again to go left and finally find the trail that got us to the course, where we stopped for much-needed water.

From there, the course has only a few turns and they are at Twin Lakes and Nature Study so I know them very well. I was getting tired but was able to control the pace from the front. With me were three guys from Google and a woman from the Upper West Side — on the street where I lived but at its other end — who’s from the area and was staying with her folks and who — and this is just crazy — is running the race and it’s her first race. Rachel, good luck on that.

I suddenly realized that by starting at the trail head it meant that there would be a mile of running, much of it uphill, when we exited the trails. This was with about three miles of trails ahead of us. I was hurting and decided that it was good enough for me to get out of the trails. That would be about 12. I hadn’t run that far since I ran (and walked) P2P in 2012. I had planned on 12 last week-end, after 11 two weeks before (with Tuckahoe in the middle), but died.

So after falling back a tiny bit at about 11, content the just finish, I somehow ended up in the front on the final stretch of Nature Study, and at the end of Nature Study I did stop and we waiting briefly for a couple who had fallen slightly behind. I was hot and humid and very tired. The other four then started up again, and after they were gone I started as well, but then my left Achilles Tendon got angry so I stopped, and walked (with an occasional jog) the remaining 3/4, hoping without success that someone on Broadview had her sprinkler on. So I drank a ton of water when I got to my car.

Right now, at about 3:30, I’m a bit tired. I had 1 1/2 Nuuns since getting home. But my foot does not hurt and I’m a little stiff. So it was a good run. Indeed, while I only ran 12.1, a last 8-minute mile would have me several minutes ahead of where I finished P2P. 12.15 in 1:42:45. Splits: 10:16, 9:22, 9:16, 8:53, 7:29, 8:35, 8:11, 8:10, 8:17, 7:48, 7:36, 7:44.

I don’t know whether I’ll try the Westchester HM next Sunday. It may depend on the weather. I was disappointed that I did not see many New Ro Runners. I was hoping to have further interaction with them to see whether I wanted to join that Club. Perhaps I’ll try to join it for another week-end run.

 

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