Saturday, June 20, 2009

6 mile loop has its ups and downs



This was a very long week and Friday was a busy day. I didn't mind the back to back meetings because I knew in the end it would be time for my work-week-ending NYC distance run. I've been working on distance so AG and I decided to run a 6 mile loop in Washington Heights that winds through Ft. Tryon Park, past the Cloisters, along the Hudson and over the GW Bridge and back. The weather was partly sunny and the humidity was high so I knew it would get hot in a hurry. The park was very pretty and the path included lots of switchback paths, some of which passed rock walls that people can climb. The air was damp but without direct sun it was bearable. At one point we were headed in the direction of the GWB that was off in the distance, then the path switched in the opposite direction and I realized how far we would have to run to complete this course.

Once we were headed directly toward the GWB we passed a number of interesting places. AG pointed out where George Washington and his troops crossed the Hudson after trekking all the way from Brooklyn. She also pointed out some architectural elements like stone arches and an old carriage road. We passed a structure that faced our path and the Hudson on the other side. It consisted of columns and a roof that was in tough shape but could be beautiful with some restoration. I joked that it looked like the Parthenon. At one point we passed a spot where we could see the outer wall of a high overhead pass and AG told me that the yoga photos from her Running Gone Wild page were taken there. I couldn't believe that because the the narrow wall looks down to a substantial drop to the West Side highway. I again understood why we nicknamed her Adventure Girl.

We continued along until we reached the bridge but the way it's set up we needed to run up a very steep hill for a few blocks before cutting over to the pedestrian entrance to the bridge. Once on the bridge we went up and down a couple stairwells before we zipped along the length of the GWB and back. The breezes helped combat the heat and the run across to NJ and back seemed to go by quickly. The view off the bridge was much clearer than the previous time we'd run there and I appreciated the perspective. In all we covered 6 miles, much of it including hills more challenging than those on my usual Long Island routes. It felt great, even with the humidity, and I'm happy to know that I can cover 6 miles under those conditions without significant problems or suffering. I'll be on vacation this coming week and I hope to do a few long distance runs, possibly even breaking my current distance record of 6.63 miles. My window for running this morning is closing as the bad weather moves in so I'll go out pretty soon.

Although the past week had lots of stress points I'm pleased that the run took the edge off things so well. Maybe there's something to this running thing after all...

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