Sunday, May 1, 2005

The last couple of days have been pretty wet, but the rain cleared through just after 9 this morning. I was in a quandry as to where to go. Twin Lakes would almost certainly be too wet, as would Leatherstocking, which I ran for the first time solo yesterday. So I headed to the OCA in Hastings and went south.

This trail was the reason I did the WestchesterTrails site in the first place. On Thanksgiving, I decided to venture south instead of north from Hastings, and I realized how wonderful the trail is. But I didn’t know it existed. So I thought it would be of use to have a site that told about and described trails in lower Westchester.

The trail was in very good shape, with only a few wet areas and none that required a detour. I hadn’t realized that even when the foliage fills in, as it has begun to now, there are a number of clear views across the Hudson to the Palisades. I tend not to spend a lot of time during a run looking at the views, but these were tough to resist. There was a particularly spectacular one heading north that looked right up the River towards the Tappan Zee and farther north.

I’m in week 4 of my rehab after 3 months off for a sciatic issue. That 3 months off was the longest of my career (such as it is). I had shouulder surgery last year and was only out for 2 weeks. The sciatica re-emerged a bit during last Tuesday’s track workout, so I’ve been taking it easy since. I ran about 40 minutes yesterday and did about the same today. The sciatica was felt, but nothing great. Nor was there a great problem with my right knee, although it ached off and on.

This was a very nice, quiet run. There were a number of people walking their dogs and a number of strollers, plus 2 other runners. Just over 20 minutes down, and about the same coming back. Things are beginning to get green, so I need to get some updated photos for the site.

Monday, May 2, 2005

No run today. Attended a discussion at the City Bar on P2P technology. I think the industry has the better of the argument.

Tuesday, May 3, 2005

Tuesday is track-workout day. CPTC’s track unit practices at Baker Field, under the tutelage of Devon Martin. Because of difficulties that I had last week with both getting very tired and feeling a sciatic strain, I was told to go relatively easy. After warm-ups, it was 4 X 800 @ 3K pace. (Others did more, but I was spent after the fourth.) The splits were pretty even, and the times were 2:40, 2:36, 2:38, and 2:29. I did a final 400 at a slow 85. No real problems. After the first, however, felt the strain of not having any speed in the legs, so the others were all a struggle. It’ll just take some time to get the speed back into the legs.

Wednesday, May 4, 2005

Off-day. The right knee is still a bit tender, although it doesn’t seem to much of a bother once I get going. But decided not to push it on what is an easy day anyway.

Thursday, May 5, 2005

Grand-jury duty, and got home early. Ran the Leatherstocking, with the Larchmont Reservoir loop (for the first time). Trail again in good shape, with only that one bad stretch, through which ran. Pretty tired towards the end, but some well-placed, if slight, down-hills helped and finished it just under 42 minutes.

Friday, May 6, 2005

Nice and easy down to the Bronxville Track (through the first mark at 6:18). Timed one lap, which was about 6:40 pace. Tired early, but more relaxed later.

Saturday, May 7, 2005

No run today. Went to Graham Hills with Steve Spungen to do the mountain bike thing, which I write about a bit at WT. That was an adventure.

Sunday, May 8, 2005

To Rockefeller. Supposed to meet some teammates, but they never showed. Park in a new spot, at the western end of Route 117. This meant that the run started by the promenade overlooking the river. Took some photos (now at OCA Northern) before the run. Very windy from the north, and as ran along the Hudson was reminded of running along the Med. in Barcelona on a rainy Sunday 18 months back. Tired early, especially up the switchback to the OCA itself. Ran into the Rockefeller and up Peggy’s Way. Turned at 25 minutes, but coming back the same way meant two decent climbs in the Rockefeller. Made it up the first, but had to stop at about 29 minutes then again a couple of minutes later. Still ran up the hills, and felt more comfortable the rest of the way. Knee didn’t hurt particularly, although felt the sciatica. Saw only a few other runners. It was overcast and a little chilly; started with gloves on (and shorts and T-shirt). Other than the stops, a very nice run.

Friday, May 13, 2005

I haven’t posted for a few days because I haven’t been doing much running. My sciatica reared its ugly head after about a mile on roads on Monday, so I came home. Tuesday was strange. I was in the City late for the birthday of one of my nephews, so I dropped my stuff at my sister’s apartment so I jogged over to Central Park, to start a lap at my old starting point, West 85th Street. Headed clockwise, and was going at a pretty decent pace of around 6:15. Faster than I should have, but I get very excited running there since it was my home course for so long and had not run there for a while. Also, haven’t run on a hilly course that much, so it was a bit of a strain, and had to stop at 16:30. Minute or so. Started again, but hurting and stopped at about 24, right near Wollman. Then started up again, but sciatica started bothering me at about 74th Street, so stopped, and walked to my sister’s. But had a conference on Wednesday night and then lower back bothered me on Thursday morning, probably stress related, and so took Thursday and Friday off. Hope to get out tomorrow.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Twin Lakes/Nature Study. Ran from stables’ parking lot. The trails are in the best shape that I’ve seen them. Spots that always are muddy are clear. Indeed, we could use a little rain to dampen certain spots. Ran from the parking lot to Webster Avenue and back, completing the circle around Twin Lakes. Was very tired, and just managed to finish, in 28:59. Thought of extending the run by doing another lap or something else, but was just too spent. Trail running tends to be, for me at least, fairly intense, so I find myself struggling. The presence of short downhills helps to break the run up and allow for recovery. But after the last week of lousy (or non-existent) runs, I am pleased.

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Sunday, May 15, 2005

Soundshore had a group run on Leatherstocking, and I went with them. The pace was fairly relaxed and we waited periodically for stragglers. The tricky part is when you cross Old White Plains Road and must address the gap in the trail down a couple of driveways. After getting through and into Saxon Woods, I decided to turn back. Others were going to take a short-cut, but that meant running all the way down Pinebrook. It’s hard to be social on this path, because it is so narrow and requires a fair chunk of concentration.

I came back pretty hard, and blew-up with a bit over a mile to go. But I willed myself to finish — I’ve had enough stoppages recently — and after maybe 100 yards I felt much better and finished well, albeit tired. Total time: 57:58, with under 20 minutes for the Old White Plains Road back stretch. The weather: we were supposed to have thunderstorms, but it was actually sunny. But it was also humid.

Took some pictures of Nature Study Woods on the way back, which I have put up.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

To Leatherstocking. Felt easy up to Old White Plains Road, but started to fade. As with Sunday, really faded after Weaver Street, but this time couldn’t keep it up. Then sciatica was hurting so had to walk out.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Needed to finish a run so took it easy to Scarsdale Road at a relaxed pace, without a watch. A bit of sciatic pain near end, but it went away.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

To OCA South in Yonkers. Trail in good condition, except for a downed tree in VCP. Got to the bottom and then did the loop there. As usual, a bit of strain for the final stretch and going at a good pace but held it together until the end.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Track workout at Columbia. This went pretty well. Finally felt that there is some speed in my legs. 1200: 4:09 (82, 85, 82); 1000: 3:17 (78, 81, 38); 800: 2:33 (75, 78); 600: 1:52 (74, 38); 400: 70; 200: 31. No major aches or pains. Very happy.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Well, the sciatica reared its ugly head this morning, so stopped after a few steps. Painful for much of the day, but then it disappeared.

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Sunday, May 22, 2005

To OCA South, did loop at bottom. Fairly easy and relaxed, and exactly 2 minutes slower than the other day. Happy.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Conference at Columbia and then ABCNY. No run.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Track. Very light rain. And chilly. 2 X 400 w/2 minutes then 2 X 700 then 2 X 400. All at mile pace. Devon noted that the key were the 700s, designed to duplicate the break point of a 1600, i.e., from the 800 mark when you must concentrate and hold together. The 700s went very well, with some slight speed changes on the back-straight. Able to pick it up and finish stongly. Each 400 was in the 71 range, and no pain. Stride was smooth, towards the forefoot. Maybe I can run a decent 1500 next Tuesday.

  • 400: 73 (35 200)
  • 400: 72 (35)
  • 700: 2:05 (71 400)
  • 700: 2:05 (71)
  • 400: 71
  • 400: 72

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Drove to B’ville Track. Sciatica hurt all day. 20 laps in lane 3 (except last one) w/o watch. But they were relatively quick and smooth. 4th mile a bit of a strain, but it passed.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Track work-out at Eastchester. 6 X 300 @ 800 pace w/ 2 min. interval. Not as quick as hoped but no problems:

  • 51.11
  • 51.00
  • 51.47
  • 51.37
  • 50.03
  • 49.91

Friday, May 27, 2005

Day off from work, so an afternoon run at Twin Lakes/Nature Study. Much warmer today than the past few days’ cool weather. A little muddy here and there, but no big deal. More important, no problem with sciatica during the day notwithstanding track workout last night. Tried to take it easy, but still tired. Ran from stables parking lot to Webster Avenue and back to complete the lake loop. 30:35.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

8:00am run on Leatherstocking with Eric and Guillermo from SSRMC. Easy up to just past Old White Plains Road, and solo back to start. A little tired at points, but fairly relaxed. Beautiful morning.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

No run today, per Devon’s schedule. Riding instead. Took out my road bike, and headed towards White Plains, mostly on lightly-traveled roads. But hadn’t ridden in a while and it felt like it. A little sciatica pain early, but it went away. All in all a nice ride.

Monday, May 30, 2005

Rest day for tomorrow’s race.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

What can I say? A disaster. 1500 at Icahn Stadium. It was warm. Because of the results of the first meet, I wanted to be in the first heat. But tonight it was very quick. I was hoping for low-4:30s. Last at 100 and 2 seconds back at 400, at a split that I wanted, 70. From that point on, on my own. Had no speed and struggled home. dead last (by 10 secs.) 4:45.7 effort. This was first track race (with one exception, a 10K) in 30 years. Devon says, “it can only get better.” That’s true, the bright-side.

The issue is just how fast I’m capable of running. Stepping back, I realize that I just have no base. There were 2 good track work-outs (the down-ladder on Friday, May 20, and the 4s and 7s last Tuesday) in which I finally felt some speed in the legs and that I had some track form after a lot of struggling runs. But last Thursday’s 300s, in which I had to strain to get under 50, tells me that I need speed in the legs. We’ll see what happens. I’m disappointed. But this running thing is a process.

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