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Posts Tagged ‘the running laminator’

I feel badly for that tree.

At the last tweet-up run I attended, I met up with a couple other runners from Queens and we agreed that one of these days we should just have a Queens-exclusive tweet-up to share our respective corners of the borough with each other. When the time came, though, it ended up being just me and LL setting out for my 16-mile long run together through Eastern Queens. I met him at the 7 train’s CitiFeld/Arthur Ashe Stadium subway station. (That brought memories of when I was there for the U.S. Open last year. I had never attended the Open before–I know nothing about tennis–but I loved it.) It was freezing Saturday morning. We didn’t get any of the snow that other parts of the country are contending with, but temperatures were frigid and the wind was a bitch. I couldn’t wait to get moving to defrost.

So LL led us away from CitiField and through Flushing Meadow Corona State Park. Did you know Queens has its own zoo and art museum?! Yes, we do! Also, there are about 6 miles of trails that could be run in that park! Okay I am definitely returning there for a morning run, especially since it only takes 15 minutes to get there on the 7 train that early in the morning. Another thing I could do (okay, stream of consciousness blogging will commence…) is run all the way there up Roosevelt Avenue, that’s just a little over 4 miles. I’d have to do it early in the morning to avoid all the auto traffic since it’s a main road, but it could be done! Wow, I live less than 5 miles from the home of the Mets! I love living in Queens! (Stream of consciousness blogging over.)

LL led us along the Green Trail, which was originally designed for bikers but he shrugged and said that he never sees any bikers on it. (As my friends from my year in Sacramento, CA used to say when they found something marvellous that had been forsaken, “MINE NOW!”) This trail skips from park to park, and took us evermore east. We ran through the Queens Botanical Gardens (I know! Boh-tanical Gahr-denz! So fancy! Who knew?), Kissena Corridor Park, Kissena Golf Course, and Cunningham Park. For the most part, running through park trails meant we were protected from the wind, but there were a few parts where we had to battle it. Not only did it tucker me out, it also froze my hands. (LL wisely wore double gloves.)

I have known about and sporadically read LL’s blog for a couple of years, and I’ve met him twice (at the second blogger meet-up, and at the last tweet-up I could make it to), but never had the opportunity to really talk with him and get his whole story. Born and raised in Flushing, he is a poet and a scientist; he both reflects and analyzes. Additionally, he’s an extrovert, and clearly sets out to do the best he can in everything that interests him. He is a couple years younger than I am (lately it seems like everyone I meet is younger than I am;  when the facialist told me today I didn’t need to start using anti-aging creams I could have kissed her. Hell, maybe I did. I’ll never tell). We both went to college in Baltimore; we shared stories about dealing with ultracompetitive peers in our programs of study; I tried to explain to him what my day as a marketing director comprised of but the best I could come up with was I get dressed up, and wear make-up. I either go to meetings or work at my desk on projects or email. Weak! Maybe I had runner’s brain, and admittedly, it is hard to put my job in a nutshell for someone who has never worked at a corporation, but still–I should be able to describe my job better than that. I’ll try again later.

Apart from the congenial company and surprising scenery, this run was a bit of a challenge. Maybe it was the wind, the cold, my general exhaustion (I overslept and rushed to get out of the house). Or maybe the endurance build is the unexpected challenge of this particular training cycle. I wouldn’t have thought it; I have been so concerned about getting reinjured through my faster running that I haven’t given much thought to the effect the long runs may have on my body. I’d say I felt pretty good through Mile 12 or 13, then I started to tire. The hills all winded me, which I didn’t dwell on at the time but now that concerns me. My next long run on February 13th will be 17 miles; I’ll do that one alone and really have the opportunity to listen closely to my body.

But back to my estimable host. LL is a fast and talented runner, and he has a big, generous heart. If you don’t read his blog and you are a runner or a dreamer, you have to check it out. He is a beautiful, thoughtful writer–it’s clear that he loves words as much as he loves running. And even though he’s hella fast, he had no qualms about making our 17+ miler a LSD run for himself that day, just like Matty did for me the week prior. Love that! If you’re on Twitter, he’s fun to follow as well, since his optimism and positivity rivals that of EG (Bridges Runner).

When all was said and done, we went 17.23 miles, at an average 9:23 pace (fastest mile (the 13th) 8:50; slowest mile (the 1st) 10:09). We ended up at the last stop on the 7 train, in the heart of Flushing. There were dim sum restaurants and pedestrians toting red grocery bags as far as the eye could see. LL suggested that for our next Queens run, we invite the whole crew out and have dim sum afterwards. I’m IN! I can tell my body is adapting to these long runs; I am glad I have a lot of them on the schedule before London; I have five more runs over 16 miles between now and race day.

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