The Armory…

"The more I train, the more I realize I have more speed in me." LEROY BURRELL

So, on Friday I get this message (on Facebook of course) from one of the former High School track coaches, TF. TF was not the coach at the period of time when I was in school, although we have a former track alumnus who did very well in the long distance events. He was simply in charge of running the web information systems for the track meet that takes place in the Armory on the west side at 186th street.

So, on Friday I was about to go home for the weekend and just lounge around in Westchester for most of the holiday weekend, but since I have an opportunity to work, then I would take that aspect and work to just get a little more cash since these “Friday” off’s are taking quite a toll.

I wake up early on Saturday morning, setting my alarm at 6 but not truly getting up until 7am. I get up thinking about the task at hand. The Armory was at 186th Street and I had packed up my backpack the day before with a change of clothing to change, but was it possible to make it to the Armory in an hour and a half? Starting at 18th street, going up from the east side to the west side and then making it all the way up to the upper Westside in an hour and a half?

I start to freak out a little and every minute is a minute per mile lost. I really don’t think I will be able to make it, so I set out my ways and start to go. My usual run up to Central Park was usually not this stressful as I made it to 23, 34, 42nd…then up 5th Avenue and across 59th street to Columbus Circle. OK, this wasn’t too bad, I made it here in about 15 minutes or was that 30 minutes for 3 miles (but that was on a stop and go basis) So, I figured that since I am at 59th right now, I will be at 118th street for another 3 miles (20 blocks per mile) and then make it up to 168th street in about an hour and a half perfectly… right? I tried to keep my mind off of the time as I was a little freaked. In essence it was good, so the urgency was there and I was speeding up my training pace time. I have been pretty lax about my training pace as it has been at a mere 7:45 pace or even 8 minute pace. (yes, it is fast, although the average that I would like to accomplish this is a slow training pace…I don’t want to discourage anyone and don’t like putting pace times or race numbers in my blogs, because everyone has a different goal, time, place, age group, etc.)

Anyways, it was interesting trying to make the effort to make it up to the meet. I passed Lincoln Center, reassuring myself that the park was at my right and the streets were so much faster than going into the park due to the hills and terrain. Since it was Christmas weekend, the streets were dead and it was a Saturday morning, so not many people were out. In my mind, I wanted to make it up to 110th Street, where Columbia University was, then after that 125th Street, and then after that it was all in the bag.

What I didn’t know was that after you pass 125th street, it jumps from 125th to 129th street, where did the 4 streets go? Also, there are monster hills that are in that area, so inclines galore, where if you wanted to find a good Boston training run, do about 9 miles before and then hit these hills…it would be good for you to do and matches Heart break hills. But got to about 160th street and checked into a grocery store to look for some kind of sports drink, I had seen that they had Powerade, although no Gatorade? Ok…I bought two containers as I chugged one down while looking for the armory.

I finally found it and then went inside, looking around as there were tons of high schoolers around. I made my way up to the track and to the booth to look for TF. I changed out of my clothes and set my ways to start work. He had me imputing data of teams and times and it was good while it lasted…but typing up all these things for hours was brutal. It was harsh and cruel in some ways, but it was a job and it was fun, where you see the other sides of how things went when you were a high schooler at a meet. It was interesting. I got out when the meet ended and we put the final touches to the end points. Very interesting.

Ahh…long day, but we’ll see if I do this again…most likely this will not be the only time I do this…

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