Thursday, May 21, 2009

Visiting Brooklyn the hard way


Yesterday provided another new city running experience for me as AG and I again held our weekly update meeting outdoors. We spent the first 15 minutes discussing some key business items in my office before heading out. AG brought in some Clif Shot Bloks that were left over from her relay. She wanted to try them to see if they provided some benefit since she's facing 12 miles of dirt, brush, rocks and hills (mountains actually) at this weekend's Patch Sprint. I tried a couple out of curiosity and I'm glad I did since what lay ahead was no picnic.

We headed downtown by subway and staged at the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge. Our plan was to run over the bridge to Brooklyn, make our way to the Promenade in Brooklyn Heights, run that length, and then return. The temperature sign from my office said 78 degrees and I was wearing a black Dri-Fit jersey. It wasn't too bad in the shade but in the sun it was hot. The Brooklyn Bridge is sizable but not scary at all. The cars are a level below and the most concerning thing is that you're sharing a relatively narrow path crowded with walkers and cyclists. The first half of the bridge is an incline but I had no trouble with that, possibly due to the pre-run carb load. Once we headed down and off the bridge I was feeling pretty good. AG warned me that we'd encounter a big hill soon and that had me a little worried. I should have been much more worried.

Once we were in Brooklyn we ran through DUMBO and then took a left where we hit the mini mountain and charged our way up. When I say charged up I mean I ran about as fast as a slow walker. I'm sure AG could have zipped up the hill at twice the speed but we did it together. I was very happy to see it start to level and although the street continued at a slight incline it was tolerable. We swung down to the Promenade and ran that to the end. At the turnaround the Garmin showed exactly 2 miles. We continued back and encountered the hill again but it was much easier going in that direction. There were two guys charging up as we made it down and I felt for them.

After we reached DUMBO I requested that we walk for a few blocks as I was pretty spent and we still had the bridge to cross. That helped and we resumed our run as we made our way up the steps to the bridge. It was hot, crowded and we ran on an incline until we made it to the middle. The rest of the way was downhill and we finished where we started, exactly 4 miles later. We bought some bottled water and headed back to work, hot and sweating but feeling energized.

Taking into account the walking, we ran at least 3.75 miles in conditions that were tougher than any I've seen in weeks. I had been feeling weak and tired most of the day on Wednesday and the run knocked that out completely. Today I still feel strong and energized. At the rate I'm going I should make 20 miles this week and if I get to the trails I'll be able to push myself again. Three bridges in three days has been lots of fun.

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