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20180708_100728[1]My plan had been to post my workouts here, but that plan collapsed when I had a long little-or-no run stretch.

Slowly I’ve managed to get back up to 3 laps of Twin Lakes, which I managed this morning. The temperature was much cooler than it has been over the past few days, but it was still toasty. I got in 4 yesterday on the Eastway course, so 3 laps was the goal. It was touch and go, especially in mile 3, but I managed to hold on.

I got in 6 runs this week, and over 20 miles. So it was a good week.

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My hope was to post each running-day. Alas, that plan came apart last Thursday when I felt pain behind my left knee about 2.25 into a run. It’s been sore ever since until today. So I went out aiming to do 2 miles, and I ended up doing that. Right now, in the afternoon, my right knee itself is a bit sore. We’ll see what happens.

In any case, I’m not doing the Bronxville 2.5 miler this week-end, which was, in 2017, the first race I had done in quite a while.

I took yesterday off simply because I didn’t want to push things.

Today’s plan was a nice-and-easy 4 on the Eastway loop. Turned out not to be so easy. Pace wasn’t hard and breathing wasn’t labored for the most part, but still a struggle. Cut out one stretch to get back and struggled home in 29:53 for 4.

This was the first day in which it felt like Summer was coming. Not too warm and not too humid, but I could feel the heat.

20180513_100546[1]Objective today was to go nice and easy and get 5 miles in at Twin Lakes. Focused on the easy part, and did not have any struggling stretches. But couldn’t have gone much farther.

Today’s Run

(Photo: Twin Lakes, looking south, on the western trail.)

I did not realize how long it has been since I posted here. And I’ve nothing interesting to post now, but while doing my morning run I figured I’d try to post regularly about my daily runs. We’ll see how long that lasts.

In recent weeks, I’ve had issues with breathing, as in, I found myself taking breathes every two steps (right-left) and couldn’t get comfortable. Struggle, struggle, toil, and trouble. Slow it down. So I tried 5 short repeats on the street on Wednesday, about 200 meters each. I was able to get to 4 on Thursday morning and took yesterday off.

Today I wanted to get¬† to 5. So I concentrated on keeping it slow. So Mile 1 was as slow as I’ve ever done, 8:09, and that left me in a position to keep relaxed and not be breathing heavily. And so it went.

Until it didn’t. Just past Mile 4, and perhaps because of a quick turn to get across Route 22, things fell completely apart within a matter of a few strides. Suddenly I was in distress. But I was determined to keep going, no matter what the pace. I decided to cut the course and just get to 5. Fortunately, after a quarter mile, I started to feel not-so-horrible again and was able to finish strongly. So that was today’s run.

Well, on running, good progress to report. A 7-miler, non-stop, at Twin Lakes yesterday. I was able to keep things under control throughout and never felt under strain. 57:08 for an 8:09 pace. The splits were quite even: 8:32, 8:12, 8:14 (with a turn-around), 8:07, 7:50, 8:04, 8:03.

On Music: My nephew Patrick is a rapper, going by the name Wiki. I sometimes don’t understand what he says, but he’s known for his lyrics, and when I went to one of his shows the youngsters in the crowd seemed to know them all.

I did a stream-of-consciousness thing, some of which bears no relation to him.

Things have been up and down for a while, but since January 1 they’ve been looking up as I’ve started to work from home. I can do virtually everything I need to do from my desk, including filing papers in various courts. The modern age. And soon, I’ll be able to do them from my porch.

Since I no longer have to schlep to work, I have more flexibility running-wise, and am taking advantage. So far, not with anything dramatic. I’m slowly, very slowly, building up. I did 3 miles this morning.

I’ve taken a liking to a 2.5 mile lollipop loop; at its northern end there’s a 1/2 mile circle so it’s easy to add. (Hence today’s 3.0.) It has some very slight hills, bumps really, but I had gotten the first of them into my head and developed a phobia for the run. But I realize that that little up in the beginning is a down at the end. Very little traffic. People often walking dogs. It’s a nice little loop.

I haven’t posted in a bit. I drafted something about a series of back-and-forths with cg9m in some comments, chiefly on She’s Gone, but I decided it wasn’t worth posting. I’ll just note that I found her accusations misplaced (I think she was in a post-election spiral) and troubling and the whole thing sad, as it came from someone who I had coached and of whom I thought highly.

But what of running? Today I did two laps of Twin Lakes. 3.2 miles in 26:06. I got to 3 yesterday and in both cases the final stretch was painful. I’d gained weight and have tried to cut down on some of my eating and get more walking in. I then threw in some running, at first walking hard for 20 minutes, running a mile or so, walking hard for 20 minutes. Then just running. So far no injuries to report.

In any case, here’s a short post-run video from this morning:

Thirty-three years ago was wet and a bit chilly in New York. Ed Koch was the Mayor and his was not among the several names for the 59th, or TK’s, Bridge. I took the subway from my apartment on West 85th Street — just off the Park — and headed to a Warren Street mate’s apartment in the teens or twenties. After some mingling, we boarded a small bus/large van and drove across the Verrazano Bridge and were discharged near the start.

Things were different in those days. We used the “world’s longest urinal” and jogged in a parking lot south of the start. And we were told the race was to begin shortly and headed to the start. I had a very-high number, this being my first marathon, but I had convinced NYRRC that I indeed meritted starting near the front, and so had a blue dot on it. (This is why Geoff Smith had a very high number with an initial letter; it was his first marathon too.)

I had joined Warren Street the year before, and at my first race Tracy Sundlun had unceremoniously pulled a red singlet from a bag in New Rochelle for that city’s half-marathon and handed it to me. It said “Manufacturers Hanover” on the front — a bank that would ultimately be part of Chase — and “Warren Street” on the back. Tracy had now gotten us proper singlets, and shorts and other paraphenaila. In Raider black-and-gray, “Warren Street” dominated the singlet’s front.

I stepped in to perhaps the eighth or ninth row, and the cannon erupted. We were off. I had just gotten my first digital watch. When we hit the mile mark mid-span I checked it and to my shock read “00:00:00”. Oh well. Tracy’s instructions were clear: go out easily. And I did. I have no idea what my splits were, but from when we hit Brooklyn until the Bronx, no one passed me. I felt great.

I remember climbing the afrementioned TK Bridge and how quiet and spooky it was and then the hairpin turn onto 59th and lefthander onto First and going beneath the bridge to the sudden cacaphony of noise upon hitting 60th. I saw family members cheering at mile 17. It was wet and rainy, but not too much.

I felt good. I passed Grete at 19. She had a group of men with her, as was the tradition when the lead women started with the men, and I just cruised past. And then the Bronx.

Heading on that stretch that goes beneath Metro North’s tracks and to the Madison Avenue Bridge, I caught a group of guys and thought, maybe I’ll run with them for a bit. I was getting a wee bit tired. This was just past 20 so I was thinking to ratchet things down a tad. And down they went. As I got out of my rhythm, I started to fall to pieces.

I don’t recall much from then. In those days, we entered the Park at 103rd Street. While this cut the long hill to 90th, it added a steeper hill at the entrance. I remember cheering picking up as I reached the southern end of the straight stretch along the Resevoir, just before Mile 24 and the Met. It was not for me. Grete went storming past, having rid herself of her escort. My wife was there — we were newly-weds at the time — and has a photo.

Things became a bit surreal. With the first woman having passed, there was a let-down among the spectators, which would disappear when they started cheering for everyone. But for a brief interlude, they quieted.

It didn’t matter of course. I didn’t care who passed me at this pont. I hadn’t blown-up. I was just really tired and wet. And I felt betrayed. Running on the part of the course on which I ran nearly every day and expecting that this would be my strong stretch, I felt that it had betrayed me because I felt horrible.

I soldiered on, passing the one-mile-to-go sign. Turning onto Central Park South and looking west to Columbus Circle, it dawned on me that this was a long, slight uphill. This was depressing news to me. I saw someone stop, and I thought this was a good idea. I stopped. I had been keeping track of my time and realized that I had a shot at sub-2:30.

So with encouragement from the crowd, I started up again. Not a shuffle, but a run. Not that fast, but a run.

And so I ran the less-than-a-mile to the finish. And I did get there in under 2:30. For perspective, though, Grete covered the last 2+ 2:13 faster than I did.

And I was tired. Looking at the ABC tape later, it cut to the end of the chutes between interviewing Grete and Smith (who was passed by Rod Dixon at the 26-mile mark). There I was, fifteen sseconds of me being escorted by two EMTs trained to look for the struggling. They asked me some basic information and let me continue to get my bag. And there I was on national TV, with CPTC’s Fritz Mueller right behind, very tired and very happy.

On Thursday I did what was perhaps my slowest run ever. 4 miles in 32:28, for an 8:05 pace. I ran around the neighborhood, and felt great. It’s the type of run that boosts enthusiasm.

I ran into Yonkers yesterday and made it back, for a tad over 5 and this one hurt a bit, but I was determined to make it and did. I needed to add a bit of distance (to get to 5), and the most-convenient way is to run to the end of Stuyvesant Plaza and back, which is just south of my street. The problem is that there is a slight but formidable hill coming back. I decided that I wouldn’t wuzz out on it, and it was done.

The “45” is a reference to today’s run at Twin Lakes/ Nature Study. 45:04 for 5.6, and what was noteworthy is that I was hurting through 36. There is a long slight uphill to the end of a lap of Twin Lakes (heading clockwise), and I hoped that I would feel better when I had crested it and would do 40. But with each stride I felt better and decided, what-the-hell, go for 45. ¬†Rejuvenation indeed.

So runs on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

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