Posts Tagged ‘sunnyside queens’


August has been shaded with ambivalence about this blog. Part of me misses posting regularly, but another part of me cannot muster the energy to sit down to compose anything decent. This Ellipses post is my lazy way of putting my toe in the water, while watching the men’s World Championship marathon on UniversalSports.com. Yes, I paid $3.99 for the privilege, and as it turns out it’s 8:12 and they are having technical difficulties and the video stream hasn’t started yet!…The Irish-American Athletic Club is an organization and structure once located in Sunnyside, south of Queens Boulevard. This club produced scores of athletic champions, men who set world records and competed in the Olympics. Recently, our city councilman agreed to rename 43rd Street in my neighborhood “Winged Fist Way” in recognition of this history. I have a little dream of starting an annual 5k race in Sunnyside that would coincide with the St. Patrick’s Day for All Parade… The Underwear Run was staged as usual this year before the New York City Triathlon. Mark my words: One day I WILL be skinny enough to participate without scaring the tourists…. While I haven’t started dating, I am definitely hanging onto this link for when the fun begins. Also: it’s official, Vibram Five Fingers are now mainstream… Maintaining the trend in my life of men being free of me and then going on to accomplish great things, my ex finally succeeded in getting the community board and parks department to approve and fund plans for a dog run in our local park… While I’ve given up any hope of PRing at my half-marathon this September, I am still looking forward to the flat, seaside course of the Gulf Beach Half-Marathon… on Tuesday I start the Game On! Diet, adopting a healthier lifestyle with friends  for four weeks and competing against another team. Hopefully this will be a way for me to lose my divorce weight, hydrate more effectively, and get proper amounts of sleep… at 8:48 and the video stream is still down at UniversalSports.com…

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I love running my city so much that most times I don’t mind navigating pedestrians on the sidewalks, autos on the roads, and traffic lights at the intersections. But other times I just want a little peace and quiet, to run without having to dodge an obstacle, switch up my pace for safety, or even have to listen to the background hum and honk of New York City. Those are the times I go where I know I won’t be bothered by a single living soul: the cemetery.

Such was the case Saturday morning. My mind was tumbling in anticipation of my packed weekend itinerary, and in reaction of the workweek I’d just survived. I needed pastoral beauty and innocuous sedation. Of course, the danger of running in a setting that doesn’t demand my attention is that my thoughts will take over; these days, I’m not so eager to be left alone with my thoughts. But I was desperate to be by myself, and not just unaccompanied–I wanted to be outside in the sunshine somewhere no one would see me. What better place than the cemetery, where, if there is another living person, she wants to be alone with her grief just as much as I want to be alone with mine.

The only creature with whom I crossed paths was a skinny, suspicious squirrel. My thoughts stilled themselves and I was left with the purity of exertion: breathing, beating, stepping. I let the sun warm my skin, and the breeze cool it. I cared not that my miles were tipping the scales with plump 10+ minutes. Sunnyside is a blended community: gentrified and newly immigrated, singles and families, and living and dead. I was happy to be living, but happier that I didn’t have to think about it. 4.67 miles run in 48:48. Average pace 10:27; fastest mile 10:12; slowest mile 10:29.

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23 Down, 32 to Go

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.

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{A post hung on the tweets I sent  regarding and during the workout.}

Cold-weather training tip #65: put your gels in a pocket against your body otherwise they will solidify & become v difficult to squeeze out. (10:30 AM) This happened to me last week on my long run with LL. Ironically, this week I had no gels to run with as I’d run out and my shipment from Hammer had not yet arrived, so I was running with a Hammer nutrition bar instead. I really need to sort out the hydration situation as well. I have been carrying disposable water bottles full of half water, half Gatorade but it is really annoying to carry in my hand. I am so over the fuel belt, I hate the way they twist around and bounce. What are my other options for carrying fluids?

Turnsheet for today’s long run. Heading out soon for 17 miles. Slept about 11 hours, yeah! (9:45 AM)

So, today’s schedule called for 17 miles. I got up and plotted an all-Queens course on Gmap-pedometer. I also procrastinated for about an hour, which meant I didn’t begin running until 10:20. I kicked the run off by running over the Queensboro Bridge and back. I enjoyed that except it was pretty windy and I hadn’t entirely warmed up yet so I suffered from the cold a little.  The worst though was that I stopped my watch at the corner of 29th Street and Queens Blvd but forgot to turn it back on–so I lost nearly a mile’s worth of hard Garmin data before I realized to start it again (by then I was halfway up the Queensboro Bridge). So, thanks to that hiccup the first two miles’ stats are all wonky, as is my cum data for the run. Boo TK. Those 4 miles were me just trying to warm up and get a rhythm. It was made more difficult by the water bottle I was carrying, which caused me to alter my arm swing so my form never felt natural.

Once I came off the bridge, I cut north and east along Northern Blvd through Long Island City to get to Vernon Blvd. This is where I started to feel a little emotionally raw.  Clearly I shouldn’t write out turnsheets if I haven’t yet had coffee, because on a couple of the turns I wrote “right” instead of “left” and “street” instead of “ave.”  Getting lost always unsettles me, so I was a bit agitated until I got back on track. Once I was on Vernon Boulevard, though, all the stress and pressure from a long week of work in a politically charged office bubbled over and I had a good ten-minute cry as I pushed my way along the windy street. Is this a girl thing? Or is it just a TK thing? Because I’ve done this before, let the tears fall during a workout. It’s quite a different thing from the tears that come on race day, as those are tied completely to the race, the effort, the training. Am I the only one who gets these outbursts of emotion in the middle of a training run?

Manhattan from Vernon Blvd + 31st st, Queens approx mile 6 of 17. (11:30 AM)

Three weeks ago I was so bored by my route, it was the same old, same old. I am so glad I took the time to plot a course through some new streets this morning. I love Queens, I love its working-class, immigrant roots. I love the dowdy little row houses with their postage stamp yards and wrought iron gates, I love the dangerous thoroughfares, the lack of parking, the microneighborhoods flavored Greek, Romanian, Korean, Latino.  I love its befuddling grid of streets and avenues, randomly interlaced with places and roads — we’ve got 48th Avenue, 48th Street, 48th Place and 48th Road and they cross at diagonals, stop and then mysteriously pick up again three blocks over. I love the purely residential areas pushed to the far north-east and west of Ditmars Blvd. Queens has zero pretension, and when people try and put it on, the rest of us just roll our eyes.

Mile 9. Rikers Island. Queens, nyc. 8 miles left. (12:10 PM)

The sidewalks and roads were mostly clear, though I had to tread gingerly across unshoveled patches of sidewalk at least once nearly every mile. When I safely could, I ran in the bike lane rather than contend with the sidewalks. One thing I don’t love about Queens is how people will park their cars half in the driveway, half over the sidewalk, thus forcing pedestrians and runners to go around. This isn’t such a problem during the first half of the run, but by Mile 10 I was starting to tire and swerving or turning of any sort seemed unduly difficult. It is at this point in the run I began using the term “jackass” for just about every driver on the road.

Astoria Track, mile 12. Unless there’s a big thaw, I’m not doing speedwork here Tues AM. (12:45 PM)

Whenever I run around Astoria Park, I like to pull in and add a loop around the track. That wasn’t going to happen today. There were a couple of guys throwing a football around in the snow; I could see how that would be fun. It’s a gorgeous spot for it, what with the Triboro Bridge stretching overhead. Later, once Husband and I were in the car driving to Pennsylvania, I said to him as we were going across the Triboro, I ran under here twice today. Under the Triboro and the Hell Gate.  That was a cool moment of symmetry. First I was under; now I’m over.

The rest of the run was just the regular home from Astoria Park route, plus a little extra up Skillman Avenue to be sure I hit 17. That was actually a good thing, because by this point I was quite cold, had dumped the water bottle half-full, and just wanted to jet home as quickly as I could. Autopilot! I reflected back on the miles. I really enjoyed the trek up from Northern Blvd to Vernon Blvd, the neighborhood was a great example of that quintessential post-war design of which Queens is chock-full.  Long Island City has a little bit of hipness to it, but really it’s just the ugly stepchild to Williamsburg (which would make it the perfect neighborhood for me). I love every inch of Ditmars Blvd, and I can say that without hesitancy since I ran its entire length today. Running through different neighborhoods always makes me imagine what it would be like to live there, or there, or there. Today my imagination was most captured by the Shore Towers Condominiums. I could totally live here.

Annoyance: energy gels arrive in mail WHILE I am out on my long run, w/no gel. Alas. (3:30 PM)

Finally, after 2 hours and 47 minutes of running I was done. I jogged the final yards up to my apartment building, my legs heavy and tired, panting, sweating yet cold (how does that work??). I ate the remnants of the nutrition bar I’d tucked into my back pocket, and pondered retrieving my keys to get into the building. It seemed a monumental effort. Luckily someone exited at that monent, and I plodded up the stairs to my 2nd floor apartment. Matilda was so happy I was home so she jumped all over me. I pushed her off, I was so tuckered. I went straight to the library and laid on the carpet, panting and stretching my glutes. Matilda is always concerned when we sit on the floor, as in her mind that means we aren’t well. (Humans sit on the furniture, dogs on the floor.) So she came over to me while I was stretching and licked my entire face, giving sweet little whines of worry. She bathed my entire face with her tongue–my eyes, my nose, my ears, my cheeks, even my neck. Eventually I couldn’t stop laughing at her insistence and ticklish tongue. At that point she walked away, surely thinking, “My job here is done.” Ah, doggies! This is why we love them, yes?

17.25 miles in 2:47. Average pace 9:40; fastest mile 9:13; slowest mile 10:37. (This is all approximate because Little G was incompetently handled by yours truly.)

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Snowy Commute 2-10

The view out my front door.

Looking south down 41st Street towards Queens Blvd.

Snow-covered trees on 41st Street.

Warm on the Q32 bus, headed into work.

Thru the bus window, a diner near my apartment.

Central Park South, near the Plaza Hotel.

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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 harbor such fondness for my runs home from work that I’m practically nostalgic–and they aren’t yet a thing of the past! It’s strange, this sentimentality. It’s as if each homeward bound workout is a reincarnation. By that I mean, it is at once newborn, its own fresh and unique experience, and also the wizened community storyteller, rich with memories of prior passings which are recalled even as a new memory is being created.

Hai visto che piove? Senti come vieni giù
tu che dicevi che non pioveva più
che ormai non ti saresti mai più innamorata
e adesso guardati sei tutta bagnata

All day today I looked forward to my solitary run home. It teased me from the 6-7 PM slot in my Outlook calendar: RUN HOME 5. My future was clear. I would depart from the corner of Madison Avenue and East 53rd Street, in my black running tights, my new green Brooks windbreaker, Little G on my wrist and my tan canvas ballcap on my head to keep the rain out of my eyes.  There would be the impression of daylight through the overcast sky and indecisive raindrops. I would run east, and north, as the streetlights dictated, wending my way through the path of least resistance to First Avenue and East 60th Street. I would ease my way up the 59th Street Bridge, making the steep ascent slowly. (This would be, after all, a recovery run.)

Rinascerà sta già nascendo ora
senti che piove e il grano si migliora
e tu diventi grande e ti fai forte
e quelle foglie che ti sembravan morte
ripopolano i rami un’altra volta
questa é la primavera sulla porta

Slowly, slowly up and across the bridge. There’s no rush; Husband’s making dinner, Matilda’s dozing on the couch. For now, the only place I need to be is here, on my bridge, peering over the left side into the Queensbridge Projects. Wondering once again how such a notorious neighborhood could look so pleasant from up here. Along its southern edge there is a broad path symmetrically hemmed with elm trees. In the winter those trees sparkle with ice and snow and in the summer they stand lushly green; is it possible drug dealers and other dangerous types could be soothed into good behavior by this artful landscaping? Today the trees are just bundles of brown branches, patiently waiting to be re-leafed. Finally, the long descent begins, and I fleetingly recall, like I do every time I enjoy this downhill, about my triumphant ascent of the same hill on November 2nd, as one of 40,000 stampeding marathoners.

Tu che credevi che ormai le tue piantine
si eran seccate e non sarebbero cresiute più

Dodging puddles through Queens Plaza, the N and 7 trains rumbling overhead, the rain has claimed me yet I don’t feel wet. It runs off the bill of my cap in rivulets if I turn my head, yet I persist in believing that I am drier running than standing still. My left hamstring hurts a lot, as if I’ve been punched where my thigh meets my ass cheek. I console myself: Tomorrow is a rest day. Straight home is not the required 5 miles, it is just 3.5. So I run past the turn that would take me to Husband, warm penne all’arrabiata, and a hot shower. I keep trotting up Skillman Avenue in the bike lane, all the way to 58th Street. Skirting the Sunnyside/Woodside border (I must hum “Keep on the sunny side, always on the sunny side”–Poi Dog Pondering), I make a U-turn onto Roosevelt Avenue, once again running beneath the 7 elevated line towards home. Quick! bear left onto 43rd Avenue and it’s all downhill from here, past the martial arts storefront, past a hair salon, a manicure parlor, a bodega, Rite-Aid, a real estate office with glowing windows,  a few laundromats, the worst Chinese restaurant ever, my pizza parlor, my bodega, my dry cleaners, my old apartment building until finally here I am, at 41st Street—home. Five comfortable miles in 51:02.

Lyrics are excerpted from the song “Piove” (1994) by Jovanotti, an Italian pop star. Piove means rain. Here is the translation of the above, with less poetics than in the original Italian (sorry).

Did you see it’s raining? Hear the way it comes down
You said it wouldn’t rain anymore
That by now you wouldn’t fall in love ever again
And now look at you, you’re all wet….
It will be reborn, it’s already being born
Feel how it rains and the seedling improves
You become big and you get strong
And the leaves that seemed dead to you
Cover the branches once again
This is Spring at your door….
You who believed that by now your plants
had dried up and wouldn’t grow anymore…

Songs I ran to (actually): “La Femme d’Argent” by AIR, “Let’s Stay Together” by Al Green, “Baby, Now That I’ve Found You” by Allison Krauss, “Melissa” by The Allman Brothers, “Nighttime” by Ben Lee, “Plumb” by Brokedown Palace, “The Sad Cafe” by The Eagles, “Next Year” by Foo Fighters, “Don’t Wait Too Long” by Madeleine Peyroux, “The Good Soldier” by Nine Inch Nails, “One Flight Down” by Norah Jones, “In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning” by Frank Sinatra, “Cadillac” by The Push Stars

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As a rule, I am not a jealous person, although I’m prone to bouts of envy. But most definitely, I do not like to share–especially dessert, attention, and my favorite running routes. 

Yesterday morning’s plans called for a run over my bridge and back, but once again found myself suffering from the blues and stubbornly refused to get out of bed. It’s possible (though I’d never admit it) I may have even crossed my arms, stuck out my bottom lip and said, “I don’t wanna.” (This pout normally includes a foot stamp as well except I was lying in bed. Kicking the covers doesn’t make quite the same statement.) 

So instead I had a diet coke during after-work networking drinks and headed home early to run my Sunnyside Loop. I was home and on the road by 7 PM. Holy guacamole, I can’t remember the last time I was home that early. I ran in just a long-sleeved tech tee and tights–and I totally could have worn shorts, it was that warm.  I was relaxed, on my familiar loop of the neighborhood, and my legs moved like a metronome. Little G was back on my arm where he belongs–he’d frozen up on me last weekend, and this weekend he just inexplicably pooped out in the middle of a Pocono Loop, so I’d been worried. 

The Sunnyside Loop takes me past a dozen bodegas, a handful of dry cleaners, a couple bakeries and nail salons. When I pass the cozy restaurants that are stacked up on the eastern end of Skillman Avenue, I always think, I should go there. Then it’s on past the skuzzy grocery store, and the Hungarian restaurant, where all the men sit out on their bench, smoking and leering. There’s a park, and a gas station, the eastern turnaround point nips past a few small factories and warehouses, and then I’m deposited back in front of my apartment building.

Last night, before I arrived at the restaurants, but after the bakeries, I saw a petite Asian woman run towards me from Roosevelt Avenue, notable because I’ve never seen another runner emerge from that intersection. Then, between the restaurants and the gas station at 39th Street,  two separate men ran towards me from the opposite side of the avenue and I thought, wow, people must run mainly after work along here since I very rarely notice anyone there when I run this loop in the morning. As I put the gas station behind me, there she was again, the Asian woman, headed towards me on the opposite corner of the loop where we’d first crossed paths!! Was she running MY loop?? 

As I started my second lap around, I wondered where all these runners had come from. I’ve been jogging in Sunnyside for nearly a decade and have never seen the sidewalks so active. I’m more likely to overhear an argument in Korean or Polish than encounter a runner on any given day. When I first started plucking out routes through my neighborhood, I was an oddity. People would stop to stare, Latino day workers waiting for a pickup would bunch together to whistle and crow, and shop keepers would laugh and wave through their windows. 

But now, now I have to move aside for these other runners who are using my loop, hogging my sidewalk–and not only that, they’re all running in the opposing direction, so I never get the satisfaction of passing even one of these nouveaux coureurs. The final blow came when two women, head-to-toe in fahncy blahck Nike outfits, with hats (real runners know it was too warm for hats!!), ran towards me, shoulder to shoulder, CHATTING. 

Central Park, I get it.  The East and West Side Rec Paths, I get it. Those are appropriate places for a social run. But my Sunnyside Loop, with the uneven sidewalks, street construction, and dog doodie?? 

They passed me (I was forced onto the grass), oblivious to my indignant glare, aggressive elbows, and the possessive tilt of my chin. It’s not like I own the loop, intellectually I know this. But don’t the hundreds of times I’ve tread that loop count for something?  What does a girl have to do to keep a stretch of road to herself for some good contemplative running? (It may be time to cross my arms and stamp my feet again.) 

It made no sense for me to say, This is my route! but that’s exactly what I was thinking. I wanted to pull the other joggers aside and say, So, how did you find this place to run? as if 43rd and Skillman Avenues were somehow off-the-beaten track, the backroads of some forgotten part of Queens (like Maspeth).  I realize how this all sounds (like madness), but dear readers, you must keep in mind that while I’ve made claims to my bridge, and my loop, I’ve never made claims to be completely rational about it.

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Perhaps the contrast between yesterday’s run and today’s run would have been greater if I’d ran on Mars and not through Sunnyside this morning, but it would have been negligible. I was cracking up at the differences the entire five miles. Let’s see… rural/urban. Piles of leaves/piles of garbage. Neighbors out of a Land’s End catalog/neighbors out of an episode of “The Wire.”  Stone walls/concrete street dividers.  I could go on, but I love Sunnyside too much to sell her out like that.

First, today I felt great, with not a shred of sullen in sight. Happy, relaxed, one might say even perky.  If I’d been running with a friend, I’d have babbled away the entire time. As it was, I burst out into song (see below) along with my iPod, on the deserted stretches through Long Island City. I felt like Paula Radcliffe as I trotted up 43rd Street, elbows pumping and knees high (you can laugh at me; I did).

Second, it was noisy. There were trucks unloading at bodegas, buses groaning to a stop, subway trains rattling overhead, cars honking, cyclists giving a clap or a shout to let me know they were coming up from behind.

Third, no one said hello. Well, one lascivious town car driver tooted his horn and wagged his tongue at me, but I’m not sure that qualifies as “Hello.” When I was in Connecticut, everyone we passed had a low-key, friendly, “Good morning,” or “How are you?” for us.

Fourth, traffic maneuvered around me but certainly didn’t slow down. In fact, one car almost turned into me when clearly I had the little white walking guy light. If it weren’t for my quick reflexes (I slammed my gloved palm down on the car’s hood) and quick wits (I shouted “What the fuck?!”) I’d have been dead!! Or worse!! The funny thing was, this whole exchange felt completely normal to me. I kind of liked it.

Fifth, it wasn’t as hilly. I totally admit it. My time (43:21) felt like a vindication, but in fact, the hills aren’t nearly as steep on this Over-Bridge-and-Back route. Just Mile 2 could qualify as a serious uphill, as it’s the  city approach of the Queensborough Bridge. And that was my slowest mile by almost a minute, a 9:39–kind of like yesterday’s pace.  (Today’s splits–8:37; 9:39; 8:48; 8:08; 8:07.)

Songs I ran to:“Ba Ba Ba” by Ivy, “Baby Love” by Joan Osborne, “Baby Baby Baby” by Joss Stone, “Back to Black” by Amy Winehouse, “Bad Little Doggie” by Gov’t Mule, “Badlands” by Bruce Springsteen, “Blanca Pema” by Marisa Monte, “Ball and Biscuit” by The White Stripes, “Bomboleo” by The Gipsy Kings, “Bananeira” by Bebel Gilberto, “Banditos” by The Refreshments (the world IS full of stupid people–just consider that dumbass who almost ran me over today!!), “Barely Legal” by The Strokes, “Be My Yoko Ono” by Barenaked Ladies (this song has one of the best first lines ever)

(Did I mention I’m on vacation? All week, baby! Please be jealous.)

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I am definitely a girl who needs her daily dose of sun; I think it’s just one of the bunches of reasons why road running is such a good fit for me.  My Type-A personality is usually strong enough to get me to work on time even on rainy, overcast mornings.  Not today, though.  Today tested all my resolves (Yes, resolves with an S: I had to tap into my plural reserves to pull myself through this day).

Normally, running home in the rain is a test of my toughness.  I have the bridge to myself, the rumble and screech of traffic is muffled by the soft swish and patter of precipitation.  This afternoon, though I just wanted to wrap a big blanket around me and take car service home, rocked into a 5 PM nap by a Lincoln Town Car.  No time, though, for the comfy way out: at 5:15 I still hadn’t left, and I had to make it home for my 6 PM FreshDirect delivery.  Quickest way home: 32:24 minutes on foot, but those same 3.5 miles would have taken an hour in a car, and 45 minutes on the subway.

Of course, it ended up not being nearly as chilly and wet as I’d anticipated, and I do believe the cooler temps even helped me pick up the pace.  I’m hoping to get in a Wednesday and Thursday run, since Saturday is the Brooklyn Half-Marathon.  How is everyone getting there, by the way?  The whole thing gives me agita. There’s no easy way from Sunnyside, Queens.  Would love to catch a ride or share cab fare with anyone who’s heading there from LIC, Sunnyside, or Woodside…

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