Posts Tagged ‘59th street bridge’

Day 4 of 7 in the Blogging My Birthday Week Series

I have mentioned before, but not very often, that I am one of the semi-regular personalities on a local running podcast called the NY Running Show. Each week a bunch of opinionated runners of all ages and speeds get together to discuss what’s gone on in pro and amateur racing in our preferred city. Last Sunday, we discussed the New York City Half-Marathon, and I gave the verbal report of what you’ve already read here. I hope you subscribe to our long-winded but charming podcast!…. Chris McDougall commented on my blog when his book Born to Run first came out, and now he’s responded to a comment JG of Run Westchester posted in response to McDougall’s NYTimes.com online feature about how trail runners who don’t have a training schedule are more virtuous than road runners who like to log their miles. Or something like that…. If you are in NYC on Sunday May 1, please support my efforts along with the other members of the Team Fox Young Professionals to help fund the research for a cure to Parkinson’s Disease. We are holding a Sunday Funday brunch at Aspen in Midtown. Tickets for open bar & brunch buffet are only $42 if you order now, and we’ll have fun raffles & live music, too…. On March 31, I’ll be going to see this documentary about some crazy person’s quest to run 75 marathons in 75 days. It’s called My Run, and I’ll be at the AMC 25 theater in Times Square, 7 PM showing. Who’s in?… My next race is April 17 in Boston. No, not the marathon (not yet, anyway). This is the 5k, the day before…. Two pieces of bad news about my beloved Queens. 1) the libraries have stopped buying new books due to budget cuts, and 2) the vote went through today to name my bridge after Ed Koch. Oh, the indignity…. On the up side, it still is a delight to run down off the 59th Street Bridge into Queens through this clean and pretty plaza. They just finished the construction on the Manhattan pedestrian approach, too… By now you must be dying to know, Why oh why are these ellipses for my glutes? because last night’s Pilates class literally kicked my butt, and my posterior has been pained all day long. I’m hoping that if I dedicate this blog post to them, my glutes will stop their whining… And lastly, I tried this eating plan for a month–basically cut out all sugar from my diet–and I didn’t lose a single pound. This means I am still too plump to fit into the dress I wanted to wear for my party tonight. Here’s a picture of me in the dress back in July, when I was about 10 pounds lighter, but also still married.

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Although my running of the NYC Marathon in 2008 is  my best marathon experience to date, I still would choose spectating the race over running it. I staked out my cheering corner years ago, at 45th Road and Vernon Blvd, right before the 14-mile mark, and right after the water station and port-a-potties. (Of course this is in Queens.) I now recognize the other folks who cheer there year after year, including the couple with the golden retrievers who bring cartons of tissues to offer to snotty runners (once the fast people come through, they hardly ever get a rejection). This year I was joined by my dear friend and running buddy EN and my TeamFox teammate @nyrunningmom.

I got there at 10 AM, and EN and I passed the time before the female elites arrived cheering on the wheelchair athletes.  When we shout “Go athlete!” the wheeled competitors usually give us back a composed wave, as if they were visiting dignitaries. I always get choked up when the first few racers come by, overcome with the scope of the event and also with all the effort, planning and dreaming that most of these runners put in to prepare. These folks train for 4 months or longer–heck, I know people who don’t even date the same person for that long.

Before we knew it, the street-clearing police were whoop-whoop-ing their way past.  Mary Wittenberg followed, in the lead vehicle (she waved when I shouted “Hi Mary!”), with the motorcycle cops and the press truck in tow. Here they were, the female elites! I will never get over how quickly they pass, as if they were an apparition. Sometimes I even wonder if they hear us when we cheer for them as there is absolutely no acknowledgment. I was shouting my lungs out for Shalane, I was still yelling “Go Shalane!” when they were four blocks away. She looked relaxed and strong, and I was excited that she didn’t really have to share the spotlight with any other top-notch American marathoners. Even though it was the USA Marathon Championships, there wasn’t much noise made about Katie McGregor (who came in second among all Americans), etc. But I can tell you this: no one was looking for Edna Kiplagat– we were cheering for Christelle, Mara, Shalane, Kim and Derartu. This is what I love about the marathon–there’s no calling the winners at this distance. Who predicted Edna for the win? No one! No one was even talking about her until Mile 22!

It was so much fun to root on the American women running in the championship race, since they all had their names on their fancy bibs. This is when I realized that EN is as much of a cheer junkie as I am–to conclude an exciting round of shouting and clapping he would give his goofy laugh of enjoyment, a staccato Huh-huh, huh-huh that after an hour started to bring a smile to my face knowing my friend was getting as much out of this as I was. It felt right, cheering with the guy who had run stride for stride with me through 23 miles of this same marathon.

Soon enough then elite men were approaching. I was jittery with the excitement of seeing Haile run by me live and in person. I was also cheering for Meb, Dathan and Jorge. And I am always pleased to see Goumri on the course; he is one of my favorite underdogs along with Merga. I wish I could write you a few flowery sentences describing what it was like to watch Haile in action (when I ran the NYC Half-Marathon this spring, I followed far behind him on the course, and never clapped eyes on him), but it was all over in the blink of an eye (#twss). Little did I know that the big pack of runners would break up nearly the second they began the ascent up my bridge. My bridge, which will forever will be known as the Bridge that Broke Haile. (At least, that is how I will now refer to her.)

For the first time ever, I’d made a sign for the runners. I wanted to be as inclusive as possible, but I also wanted all my running buddies from Twitter to spot me easily. After the elites, the first runner I saw come by was my GMR teammate AN, who spotted me before I recognized him. Then @Lord_Baker sped by with a smile, then Coach Ramon, and then the river of runners started to flow. I saw dozens of familiar runners, including TNT friends, GMR teammates, and Twitter buddies both local and from out-of-town. An excellent moment was when Matt @luau stopped to give me a big sweaty hug and take an actual picture!  I was so excited when I saw my girl @MauraDeedy trot past–she looked strong and happy her first time through the distance. And another marathon debutante, @SharonPaige, ran by me in a bright green shirt, big white headphones, and a look of calm intent upon her face. I thought for sure I’d missed JG of RunWestchester.com fame, but after a while I saw him walking towards me with a half-smile on his face and his hair pleasantly disheveled. His quads had laid down the law a few miles earlier so he was run-walking until he got over my bridge into Manhattan, at which point he would DNF and head home. His plan had always been to stop running around Mile 16, but since he was run-walking it meant that I got to actually converse with him instead of clap and cheer as he ran by. An odd sort of treat–I’d have rather seen JG run by in a blaze of glory, but I was also happy to chat with him.

And so it went, EN and I clapping, cheering and clanging for nearly four hours, until we were dizzy with the ceaseless undulation of runners approaching and departing. The only thing that would snap us out of our zone was when the wind would pick up cold and strong, whipping my sign and numbing my hands. I felt for the runners, who were headed straight into it. Even though the sun was rising, it felt like the temperature was dropping. I had planned to stick it out until 2PM, but at 1:30 most of the racers coming through were walking, with only a few determined souls running. While rationally I understand that every person is on the course with their own set of goals and expectations for the race, it is difficult for me to cheer for folks walking when they are only just halfway through. My heart breaks to see them, because all I can think of is the difficulty that awaits them at Mile 22, Mile 24, or 26 if they are already walking at 14. I know this is simplistic, and I knew that several of my friends were in that walking horde. I hoped they were dressed warmly. I hoped they had brough their cameras and were treating the race as a pleasure cruise to pass the time. I would never want to be out on the course for 7 hours, which is precisely why I admire those who stick it out for that long. I admit it: my thoughts turned towards my warm apartment, and towards the four hours of TV watching I had in front of me (I had DVRed the broadcast of the pro race on NBC). And so, with a final cheer and wave, EN and I hunched into the wind and trudged down 45th Road to the 7 train to find out who had won the professional part of the race, since clearly all the folks we had cheered on this morning were their own kind of winner.

My spectating didn’t end, though, since I spent my hours watching the taped race catching up with all my friends’ race results on Twitter, and tweeting them congratulations. There were more PRs and successful debuts than their were disheartening finishes. By the end of the day, I was amazed at some of the times my friends had thrown down; I was thrilled by the racer’s ebullience and pride; I was affirmed by the achievements and effort. But most of all, I was proud to be counted among them. We were all marathoners, whether it takes us 3  hours or 7 to complete the race. We are all marathoners, whether we run the distance once, or dozens of times.

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Some days, commonalities seem like special connections and I can nearly convince myself that my ordinary problems and ordinary joys are actually quite extraordinary. Earlier this week I confessed to one of my oldest friends that, even though we had fallen out of touch for 15 years, we had led lives that were oddly parallel in many ways; she agrees. The similarities comfort me; I feel less alone, and less strange.

But today, the creature (if you will) with which I connected was my bridge! We’ll get back to that.

I spent a good several hours at the office today trying to catch up on all the work that had poured in while I was on vacation (yeah, good luck with that. My emails went down from 161 to 147. Everything is so time-intensive), but by 6 PM I couldn’t do it anymore and knew it was time to run home. I had  kept the promise of that run right at the edges of my mind all day long.  It winked at me like a gilded Godiva chocolate perched at the top of a dessert tray. Oh, it would be mine, that run. I knew I would have it, and didn’t mind delaying the pleasure.

I turned off the lights in my office and pressed my forehead to the window, trying to gauge just how hard it was raining. I couldn’t see drops on the glass nor on the rooftop of the Le Pain Quotidien across 53rd Street, so I figured I would head out. Out on the curb, the heavy mist cleared my email-numbed brain right away, and I took off at a steady pace. As I run these days, I can feel the weight I gained the past few weeks. It’s awkward to lug around but I know it will leave me after a month of consistent training. During this run home from work–on a rainy Sunday evening–both pedestrian and auto traffic was light, so I felt like I owned the roads. I did have to wait for a bit at a light right before I hopped onto the 59th Street Bridge, and I realized I was breathing hard. It felt right, to push.

The bridge’s pedestrian entrance at 59th Street and First Avenue is under serious renovation, leaving just a narrow lane for us to pass. Rather than being dismayed or aggravated at the construction, I was excited: What would it look like when this improvement project was complete? I thought about this as I ran over the bridge, and felt connected with her because I too am going through a bit of an improvement project. It’s a little unsightly right now, but just wait until it’s done! Both my bridge and I will be better than ever, able to offer our best to everyone who needs us. 3.5 miles run in 31:12. Average pace 8:55

Songs I ran to: “Hot Stuff” by Donna Summer, “De Perros Amores” by Control Machete, “Diamonds on the Inside” by Ben Harper, “Hotel Yorba” by the White Stripes, “I Touch Myself” by the Divinyls, “”(The Angels Wanna Wear My) Red Shoes” by Elvis Costello, “Mucky Fingers” by Oasis, “Vacation” by Chris Denny, “Free Fallin'” by Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers

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Last weekend I was at the Pennsylvania house, where it was 10 to 15 degrees cooler than what my running friends in the city had to suffer through. Consequently, I wasn’t as oppressed by the heat during my two 10.3-mile runs, even though the humidity still left me wondering if I hadn’t spontaneously contracted a chest cold. I was still unprepared for the deleterious effect the heat would have on my 4-mile pace run on Tuesday morning. I should have known it was going to be bad when the second I stepped out of the air-conditioned bedroom I broke out in a sweat, the rest of the apartment was stuffy and hot from the heat that had clamped down on New York since the previous week. My splits were horrifying, no where near my goal pace of 8:05’s. After a 3/4 mile warm up, I bullied my way through the humidity up 37th Street in Astoria to Ditmars and back and all I had to show for it were 4 mediocre miles at 8:40-8:35-8:32-8:22. Not only that, I was so wrung out from the outsized effort I had to put in for such crappy splits that I walked the last half a mile home rather than jogging it as a cool down. Fuck that.

Later that night, as I walked east to the subway home after drinks at Trestle on Tenth, the city had cooled noticeably. There was a slight breeze, and the hospitable temperature created one of those quintessential New York evenings when I could walk forever and never overheat. I reluctantly headed down into the closed, fetid air of the subway.

Wednesday morning I awoke refreshed and excited–it was Run to Work Day! These mid-week long runs are something I’ve come to look forward to even though it requires a little bit of pre-planning (bringing my work clothes and toiletries to work on Tuesday). Typically I head into the city over my bridge, up First Avenue to 72nd Street, and across to Central Park. Once it the park, I adapt my route based on how many miles remain to be completed for the run at hand. I love the gradual transition from Queensboro Plaza, noisy and gritty with the busses, trains and autos that all cross and converge at the base of the 59th Street Bridge, to Central Park, active with runners and cyclists yet mostly quiet and peaceful with its acres of landscaped nature. And I love feeling accomplished, healthy and when I walk into my office building thinking, That’s right, I ran to work. Beat that, suckers!

Even anticipating all this goodness, I was not prepared for the lift I would get when I walked out my front door. The air was cool and crisp, it felt clean and light as a feather, as if a crew of purifiers had rolled through in the night and sucked all the humidity and weighty heat right out of the neighborhood. I lifted my knee and pulled my fists in and exclaimed, Yeah! Then I looked around to see if anyone had caught me in my display of exuberance but at 5:30 AM the coast was mostly clear (except for the itinerant can lady, collecting redeemables and piling them high in her grocery cart like some sort of urban bedouin merchant, and really who gives a shit what she thinks). So anyway I was off, so excited to be running through the cool weather, I felt as light and sprightly as the air. A grin had taken hostage of my lips and I spread my arms wide to airplane my way onto the pedestrian lane of the Queensboro Bridge. I was gonna fly over that bridge, I could see the river sparkling at me and the sky spread clear and shiny above Manhattan. Energy infused the morning.

I’d originally planned to run 7 miles but by the time I’d completed one lower loop of Central Park, I still wanted more so I circled again for a second go-around.  I felt strong, sure I was breathing hard but it wasn’t that wheezy labored panting from my pace run. These breaths were deep and even and I recognized my body performing as it was designed to do. Two times around the lower loop of the park is exactly the course of the Media Challenge races, and I wondered if I’d be able to PR again in the two races that remain for me, as I weighed my performance at the Wall Street Run with the workout I was in the middle of. The last three miles of my run (I love when my long runs naturally become progression workouts) were the splits I should have run yesterday — 8:15, 7:49, and 8:06. Fuck yeah.

I stopped running about 10 blocks north of my office at exactly 8 miles, and enjoyed the walk down Fifth Avenue. I took the time to fantasize about the frocks and footwear displayed in the Fendi and Ferragamo shops, and took note of the cool breeze drying the sweat off my body. My spirits were lifted by the reminder that it’s not always me, sometimes it’s just the weather bringing my speed down. 8 miles ran in 1:09:57. Average pace 8:44; Fastest Mile 7:49; Slowest Mile 9:29.

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This morning’s 10-miler would be my first run of the week without company, and I was ready for some alone time. Reassuringly, I wasn’t feeling nervous about the extra mile–usually my long runs intimidate me a little, in that good way that helps to train the brain along with the body.

The weather report was for crappy weather–cold, confused precipitation, neither snow nor rain–that would get worse as the day went on, which meant only one thing: up and at ’em. Once out there, I was in no hurry, however, to rush through the miles.

I took a familiar route–through Long Island City, up over the 59th Street Bridge, up the East River Rec Path, then turn around after 5 miles and come back. I was concerned I’d get bored with the route, so I brought along my Blackberry to stop and take photos. I thought this would make me pay attention for little visual treats, and change the tenor of the workout for me.

At both the Manhattan and Queens termini of the Queensboro Bridge, there are strip clubs. In Queens, we have Scandals. In Manhattan, Sapphire awaits (Howard Stern’s favorite Scores used to be here).

When I say I know every inch of my bridge’s pedestrian path–every incline, every nook where litter collects, every divot where ice will form first, every bit of graffiti–I do not exaggerate.  I could talk you through it with my eyes closed, visualizing the route from either shore. I have always wanted to capture this bit of graffiti. “Big Kid —>” lives on the western slope, and I’m more apt to notice it when I’m running into the city rather than home from work. Who is Kid? Is there also a Little Kid? Is the arrow meant to indicate where Big Kid is located, or the direction in which s/he should proceed?

I kept the pace easy, or “highly breathable,” as I like to think of it. No need to pant on the long run. My slowest splits were Miles 2 and 8, when I was ascending the bridge. It was a breezy along the East River, but nothing like AG and I had battled on Thursday morning. There’s nothing like standing just below the 59th Street Bridge and looking up at her lattices and scalloped edges; it always lifts my spirits.

At the turn around point at East 100th Street, there’s a terrific view of the Hellgate and Triboro Bridges. They are a little distant–the river gets very wide here–but still graceful the way they insist against the sky.

Adding a mile always plants a little seed of concern for my hamstrings, and in fact my right one was still slightly achy when I set out. But by the time I was back in quiet Queens, away from the whoosh and rumble of the traffic along the FDR and the bridge, I was no longer achy. I knew I’d have to stretch, but I was relaxed. My shoulders were low, my back straight. I was grateful to my body for being strong and instinctual; indeed, I loved my legs and my heart and my stomach for carrying me through.

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Before I could leave for Pennsylvania with Matilda, I had a few things to take care of including picking up a package from the post office, getting a pedicure, and moving the car (Friday is an alternate side of the street day in our neighborhood). And, since I had taken the day as a vacation day, I also wanted to get my run in during business hours, just as a nice way to underscore the fact that while the rest of the world was busy getting things done for The Man, I was out running like a newly-released prisioner though the streets of New York City.

I was being practical–I’d run to the post office, finishing my run about 20 minutes before the end of alternate side parking, so that I could complete my workout, retrieve my parcel, and then move the car all in one fell swoop.Rarely am I ever this efficient; I am a little bit proud. Of course, the post office is just three blocks from my apartment, and I wanted to get in a solid 5-miler yesterday. So, of course I took the long way to the post office, running away from it, crossing my bridge, and then heading back into Queens. Instead of cutting left once I an through Queens Plaza, I kept ever to the right, which put me on Queens Boulevard rather than Skillman to 43rd Avenue.

This workout was a bit of a stunner. I was fighting a south-blowing wind as I crossed the bridge both ways (the pedestrian path is on the north side of the brdge). Then as I came up Queens Boulevard the headwind was so strong at one point that even though my feet were running forward I was not moving. It reminded me of the Bronx Half from the beginning of this year. I was vaguely aware I was working hard, but some stretches of the course felt effortless. It’s always a relief to come down off the 59th Street Bridge after two serious uphills, dumping down into Queens Plaza. The music was really popping on my iPod this day, and I had to bust out with some air drums for White Rabbit. Heading through the Plaza, I couldn’t resist the speed so I spread my arms and airplaned it around the curve. Voosh!

Little G was doing his reliable thing on my wrist, ticking off the miles as I let my mind wander. So much to look forward to, so much to do, so much to remember, and so, so incredibly much to just push out of my mind. Ever spend a run tossing aside unwanted thoughts like used Kleenex? Ever spend a run retreading the same happy thought over and over, afraid to leave it and move on, lest it never enter your mind again?

I arrived at the post office, breathing hard and with a stitch in my side from a final mile of pushing uphill and against a headwind (unwilling to slow down, of course). Once inside, I pulled up the workout summary on Little G and audibly exclaimed, Holy crap! The entire ragtag line of USPS customers looked up at me in unison.  Um, hi!

5.17 miles in 44:50. Average pace? 8:40 minutes per mile. Fastest split? 7:55.  Voosh!

Songs I ran to:  “Pale Blue Eyes” by R.E.M., “Palm of Your Hand” by Cake, “Passive Manipulation” by The White Stripes, “Passtime Paradise” by Stevie Wonder, “The Patient Ferris Wheel” by The Gaslight Anthem, “Pay It Back” by Elvis Costello, “Pay Me My Money Down” by Bruce Springsteen, “Peaches” by The PResidents of the United States, “Peg” by Steely Dan, “Penso Positivo” by Jovanotti, “Per Fortuna Purtroppo” by Irene Grandi, “Percussion Gun” by White Rabbits, “Perro Amor Explota” by Bersuit Vergarabat, “Pesada (Com Maigaz) by Control Machete and “Peter Gunn (Max Sedgley Remix)” by Sarah Vaughan

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At the Pennsylvania house this weekend with Husband, Matilda, and a cold which just won’t quit. I hope I have similar endurance at the Baltimore Half-Marathon next weekend… Drinking coffee and browsing through my friends’ blogs reminds me I wanted to share this Maryland runner’s hilarious attempt to get onto the 59th Street Bridge during a recent visit to the city. (Mind you, I had emailed him instructions days earlier but unfortunately he just “skimmed” that email.)… Tomorrow my best friend is going to be on TV! Carlene Bauer will be interviewed as an expert on the CBS Sunday Morning Show for a segment on what Americans believe. This is because her memoir, Not That Kind of Girl, is in part a spiritual quest… My work friend LC and I frequently find ourselves around the water cooler amusing each other with stories over our husband’s annoying habits and freakish quirks. Then she sent me this blog. I laughed so hard at my desk people came by to ask what was happening… I always thought that if I were European, I’d be an Italian, and una buona Marchegianna at that (yes, I had it dialed down to the region). But, this list makes me think that perhaps I could be French…

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Who’s ever seen that movie by Truffaut? 

Ask anyone and they’ll tell you romance (not to be confused with sweetness) makes me nervous; it’s too contrived. But I am also a woman who loves the cathartic melodrama, the vision-blurring, sob-inducing sweep and emotional hurl of operas like La Traviata or Madama Butterfly. So, in other words, sometimes even I am open to a romantic gesture. When I was studying abroad, my Italian boyfriend came to the train station in Rome and surprised me on the platform, just moments before my train was leaving for Paris, to accompany me so we could have a few final, intense days together before I returned to the States. What woman could resist? We fell into each other’s arms with kisses and tears, and the other italiani on the platform nearly applauded from the spectacle of it all. Bravi! I heard one nonna say softly to herself. 

Wednesday evening I returned to Sunnyside after a week of living with and taking care of my Nana. I descended from the Q32 bus to see Husband, holding a dozen roses in one arm and the dog on her leash in the other. He smiled shyly at me, his body relaxing the moment he clapped eyes on me. I felt so appreciated, and missed; I was glad to be home and glad for a this bit of sidewalk romance. Nevertheless, as soon as we finished dinner just an hour later I had to head out the door again, this time for a 5-miler. Husband protested, “You are always running away from me!” No, I replied, I run in a circle which brings me back to you.  It was evening when I went out–just a few minutes after 7, but already dark. Wasn’t it just last week when running at 7 would have meant full daylight? I headed over the Queensboro Bridge—touching down in Manhattan for but a moment before heading back towards home for the second time that day. Those 5 miles took me 47:29, and all my splits cooperated, falling nicely within a 29-second range. 

The sun was just beginning to exert its influence over the night on Friday morning when I wrapped up my second run of the week over the 59th Street Bridge. I was sleepy, still not back in my routine. My legs felt heavy, the right one especially. Thursday’s PT exercises had left me achy and my time reflected it (4.95 miles in 49:43 minutes). As I moved across my bridge, the traffic grumbling and streetlights glaring south of me, I recalled the predawn run which started my week. During those 3.11 miles, the only sound I heard for 29 minutes was the chk-chk-chk and spsssh-spsssh of lawn sprinklers as I moved through the flat, cloaked streets of Hicksville. I wished I was back there, insinuating my heartbeat and breath between dormant houses and extinguished cars.

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I caught this bead on Twitter (thanks @slilley  @FloTrack  @runblogrun @universalsports) a couple of days ago, that Kara Goucher is putting her baby-making plans on hold to run the IAAF World Championships Marathon in Berlin this August, but I’ve been too busy working, socializing and sleeping to really say anything about it. Then, leftcoaster put up a “whoo-hoo KG’s back!’ comment on my last Kara post, and I knew what I wanted to say. Any runner who races, no matter their level of talent, can understand KG’s need for a “Boston do-over.” Hindsight is 20/20, but it can also be a bugaboo until we’ve had the chance to correct. In this interview with Universal Sports, she presents her plans for the rest of the year. A few notable things: Kara’s coming to New York to compete in the Reebok Grand Prix on May 30th (I already have my tickets; JPM and I are going together, for a reprise of our peanut gallery act from the Garden); and once again Kara reveals what an amazing husband she’s got. I’m not opposed to a little love story in the middle of my sports page.

Bridge runners take note: Supermarket billionaire John Catsimatidis has agreed to pony up whatever funds are necessary to give my Queensboro Bridge a proper fireworks display for  its 100th Anniversary later this month. Festivities kick off the week of May 31st. Thank you JC! (And thanks Husband for clipping the article from the New York Daily News for me.)

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Happy Centennial to the Queensboro Bridge, my fantastic beautiful bridge!

(My grandfather used to call me his “fantastic beautiful,” isn’t that the sweetest thing ever? He also called me faccia bella and his “Number One.” Oh yeah, I was loved.)

Today is the 100th Anniversary of the first-ever automobile crossing of the Queensboro Bridge. I’d every intention of jogging across it to mark the occassion*–what better way to celebrate a bridge than to use it for that which it was designed? In addition to elegantly serving a very practical purpose, bridges are perfect, three-dimensional metaphors. I say, amen to all of the over-water crossings of the five boroughs, but I say thank you especially for my favorite metaphor. No one will ever be able to persuade me the 59th Street Bridge doesn’t exist just to make me smile, to help me train harder, and to give me a private space for thought.

(I’m sentimental, but I’m no fool. The hamstring feels no better than yesterday; in fact it could possibly hurt more. I struggled opening heavy doors today as I had no leg leverage, and I do believe I limped up a flight of stairs at lunch. Running, especially up hills or at speed, is simply not an option until the doctor tells me it’s alright.)

In lieu of a new bridge run here on PF, I give you a look back at some of my favorite moments running over the Queensboro Bridge. I’ve run over several New York City bridges, including the world-famous Brooklyn Bridge, but I don’t care what anyone says: none of them hold a candle to my bridge. The 59th Street Bridge brings me home; everything else pales in comparison.

*According to the Daily News, official celebrations will occur the week of May 31st, if enough funds can be raised. If I weren’t already running a marathon for Dan and Team Fox…! I did just give my bridge a birthday present, though.

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