despite rumors of snow storms, saturday morning was actually quite warm. as i left the house, ny1 kindly informed me it was 40 degrees and it seemed any chance of rain had passed and that it would be a nice day for a run.
lisa told us we would be leaving the park but we didn't know what was in store for us. we waited a few minutes for people to make there way to the park because the f train construction plan for the weekend was pretty much dreadful. then it was time to get our assignment - depending on what our miles were we had a choice of a *two-bridge run* or a *three-bridge run*. there was a slight grumble from the crowd.
i was aiming for 18ish, so the best option was to run a loop of the park (3.4 miles) then add the three-bridge run (14ish) miles for a total of 17.4 miles. i was happy to see libby there - we run at about the same pace and i had left my ipod at work - the thought of running those miles solo would have stressed me out.
our three bridge route (you can see the map at the end of the post) would take us:
-out the park down ninth street, n/e on third avenue to downtown brooklyn
-over the manhattan bridge into chinatown
-up through chinatown, to delancey street on the lower east side, and over the williamsburg bridge
-back across the williamsburg bridge, back through chinatown, to downtown manhattan
-over the brooklyn bridge, back through downtown, back towards park slope on 3rd avenue
-up 9th street, 6 long blocks to the park
it was not going to be an easy run, with all the uphills on the bridges, but i have to say - i was glad to be getting out of the park. had i been practicing in manhattan, likely our assignment would be "3 loops", which has in the path felt like death by boredom.
we took our loop of the park nice and easy - stopping to stretch down on the flat part. libby is having some plantar fasciitis issues. plantar fasciitius is "painful inflammatory condition caused by excessive wear to the plantar fascia of the foot" - basically the tissue on the underside of the foot starts pulling away from it. a lot of runners get it, and it seems to be, frankly, quite the pain in the ass. between her injury and my quad, we decided we weren't going to break any records and would stop for some good stretches a long the way.
it really was lovely out - and the first part of a run that early is always nice in the city because there's not as many people out. we gabbed our way along and before long we were at the manhattan bridge (mile 6) - we took the south side, which i had never been on. i've biked that bridge a bunch, but always on the other side, and i must say, the view from the south of the brooklyn bridge is amazing. we had a few moments of runners high - the view was great, the sun was shining, we were feeling good.
we got off the bridge into the hustle and bustle that is chinatown. running through there is like playing a video game - the neighborhood is always a mass of people going about their business, running errands, selling wares on the sidewalks. we laughed as we darted around children and shopping carts and the slow walkers, agreeing that chinatown is indeed one of the best neighborhoods in the city.
i was less than excited about the williamsburg bridge. while short, it is a killer on your calves, especially when headed from manhattan to the 'burg side. about 1/2 way up the first side of the bridge, (mile 10) i saw two women walking towards us strolling along holding, sipping coffee and chatting. i sighed heavily to myself wishing i was one of them, and then laughed as one jumped in our path - it was my friend elin who promptly started chanting "go roxie, go roxie!". that got me up the rest of the hill and then we settled in for a nice downhill.
on the other side we stretched out, had water and our 2nd goo-snack. mmm. you know you are running long when you get ravenously hungry in the middle of your runs. the run back over the bridge was tame compared to on the way over, and we headed back across delancy, stopping at starbucks for a pee-break.
then we wound our way back through chinatown, this time a little trickier than the first with all the people, down the the brooklyn bridge. at the bridge there was a cart that i was very happy to find was stocked with gatorade. i chugged some and refilled the bottles on my ever-so-sexy fuel belt, and then we had to tackle our last bridge (mile 13).
this leg was, by far the most annoying. from the foot of the bridge, the right side - the pedestrian's side - was simply packed with people strolling over the bridge. ~grumble~ we headed out, thinking that at least it would keep us from running too fast up the bridge, which would leave us dead for our last few miles. once we made our way through tourist-hell, we knew we had only a few miles left, but that is when tired set in.
as we turned back onto 3rd avenue (mile 15), the wind turned against us. i growled at the sky "are you kidding!" and lamented at the wind resistance. we also knew that the last 6 long blocks were going to be rough since it was all uphill, but there was also that sense of we-are-so-damn-close-we-just-have-to-get-up-this-damn-hill-and-then-we-get-to-eat-brunch!
we caught most of the lights on the way up, which was good because the stopping and starting towards the end of the long run always makes me sad - kind of like starting a motor that simply does not want to be started. as i passed the y, i saw another friend, iling, either coming or going from yoga. i called out and waved, only a little surprised that i had the energy to do so. as we climbed the last block, arriving to the park, there was lisa cheering for us at the top of the hill (mile 17.5)and we were done. yessssssssss.
we stretched out and then libby and i had an well-deserved brunch. banana-strawberry buttermilk flapjacks and bacon. i feel like i haven't been having great "recovery meals" - what you eat right after you run so long really affects your recovery so i think i need to be having more than a bowl of cereal and a cup of coffee. the rest of my day consisted of a shower, a nap, a long chat on the phone and then i went to meet charlotte (you know, from season 1 ;) for dinner. i got a crazy craving for *meat* and so we dined on filet mignon, mashed, and red wine, then i went home for snuggle with my man.
and you know what? i am feeling quite great this morning, barely sore at all! i guess brunch it is, from now on :).
only two more runs left to go before taper, people. the marathon is fast approaching.
season mileage to date:185.5
ps - sorry for bad layout on map - i'm editing with "paint" - remember that program?