I am nearly as excited about this 55-mile week as I am for the London Marathon. 55 miles, people! That’s big mileage for me, and take note: my body feels fine (not a single ache) AND I have had more energy this week than nearly any other week during this training cycle. Even though I was a bit sleepless on Thursday morning–I woke up at 4:30 AM unable to go back to bed–I had a very springy run that morning. And by springy I mean, my legs felt kicky, loose, full of potential energy. But perhaps the Spring weather had something to do with that, too. Oh the joy of running in shorts and a tee shirt! I didn’t care that it was dark. I felt fast, and free, and sassy. I felt so confident and plain old READY. Bring it, London!
My neighborhood isn’t anything terribly special, even though I tend to romantically wax on about Sunnyside. I realize that I love it because it has allowed me to run upon its cracked sidewalks and hilly avenues, it has caught me when I’ve tumbled drunk from the 7 train at 2 AM, it has sheltered me through heartache, blossoming love, and professional highs and lows. But honestly, this Sunnyside Loop is the best kind of familiar. Sometimes, familiar is a turn off. Sometimes, familiar is the worst kind of insult, especially coming from me. But this loop, it always challenges me. It’s steadfast in its avenues but malleable with its streets; it goes both ways (clockwise AND counterclockwise). As in any long-term relationship, life with the loop has its ups and downs; there’s the push-and-pull of headwinds and tailwinds. The loop is no fool, either: it coyly changes its outfit and hair color every three months or so to turn my head and make me pay attention again to spot the diamond glitter of snow, or the soft green haze of budding trees. But this loop, it’s always there waiting when I need it. 43rd Avenue and Skillman Avenue run parallel in their mission to keep me running, to keep me fit, to keep me near. 5 miles ran in 46:04. Average pace 9:12; fastest mile 8:42; slowest mile 9:23.
Tomorrow is my last long run, and at 22 miles it will be the furthest I’ve ever run in a training run. I’m not intimidated, not even nervous. I’m just placidly contemplating where in this city I can run to avoid tourists and auto traffic. I’ve always been curious to run on Roosevelt Island–after all, I habitually wave to the folks who ride the tram over while I’m trotting across the Queensboro Bridge. I did a bit of quick research and realized it is superduper easy for me to get there on foot from my apartment in Queens. The bonus: I get to run over a new bridge, the Roosevelt Island Bridge. Run Your City had a great primer on where to run on Roosevelt Island, and then I found this blog post, written by a girl after my own heart (her name is Sunny, for starters). Plus, she took a whole slew of gorgeous pictures of my bridge without even realizing it! I did the rough mileage, and it will be about 8 miles for me to run there, do a loop, head back into Queens away from the projects, and then over the 59th Street Bridge into Manhattan for the rest of my 22 miles.
Good luck to everyone running the 13.1 Marathon in Flushing, Queens tomorrow! Maybe next year the timing will work out so I’ll be able to race in my borough, too.