Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Run 87

With out getting too dark or morbid, I had an interesting realization on my run today.  I ran past a funeral home and wondered where do people get buried if they live and die in Manhattan.  Space and land is not one of the commodities of NYC.  I've seen and run past cemeteries in Manhattan, but don't ever recall seeing headstone from this decade?!?  Trying to research and come up with an answer was not very easy.  All my internet searches lead to cemetery tours and record/location searches.  I called a few funeral homes and got a small brief understanding of what happens.  I did find out that in 1851, all cemeteries on Manhattan, south of 86th street, were closed to new internments.  At that time large cemeteries were build and opened in all the other boroughs.  So if you live and die in Manhattan, your final resting place ends up being in Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens, or even New Jersey.  

Time: 6 pm
Distance: 6 miles
Time: 49:01 minutes
Music: The Wild Party

Monday, August 27, 2012


It's hard to run the streets of NYC when you are out of town.  I went on an incredible trip to Maine.  It was filled with white water rafting and hiking.  We were up early and stayed up late.  The days were busy and packed full of activities, but since the marathon is just around the corner I tried my hardest to stick to my training schedule.  In between bobbing down the Penobscot river and hanging for my life from Mt Katahdin. I was able to get in 2 good workouts.  Running through Baxter State Park was a treat.  Instead of looking out for taxis and busses, I was on the look out for moose.  I was pretty tired from the day's activities, so my pace was nothing to brag about, but I at least I got some miles logged. 
Rafting was a rush.  We were going down class 5 rapids.  My raft completely flipped over on our first rapid.  After that we were pros and nothing phased us.  We were the rowdy daredevil raft and the other rafts just glared at us with a mixture of annoyance and jealousy on their faces.   The hike was no walk in the park either.  It was 10 strenuous miles, including a section called the knife's edge, which was a narrow ridge straight down on both sides.  It was breathtakingly beautiful.  Over all a fantastic trip full of great memories.


Time: 7:30 pm
Distance: 8.1 Miles
Time: 1:04:05
Music: Sunday in the Park

Time: 5pm
Distance: 11 miles
Time: 1:34:53
Music: Natasha Bedingfield, Kimberly Caldwell

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Run 86

I wasn't paying very close attention as I was waiting for the subway and ended up getting on the wrong train.  Instead of ended up in Inwood like I planned.  I ended up in the Bronx.  I was a tad annoyed when I realized it, but after looking at my map and realizing I could just run over the nearest bridge, I felt a little better.  Then, as I took off, and saw the sky was turning colors for another sunset run, all feelings of annoyance were gone.  I saw a lot of fun things today.  First of all I saw a group of young men playing a game a neighborhood basketball, that fun thing about it was that for their hoop they were using the bottom rung of a fire escape ladder, hanging off their building. Talk about using your resources.  I also found a mountain bike course in Ft George Park.  I also ran 6 dead end streets, each ending in a riverside park.  Lastly, to top it off, I found a barn in NYC.  We really do have it all here.  

Time: 7 pm
Distance: 6.8 miles
Time: 59:35 minutes
Music: Anna Nalick

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Long Training Run #2

Today was not only my birthday, but the second time I've done a 20 mile run.  Last time it went well and I was surprised at how well I was able to keep the 8 min/mile pace, so this time I wanted to try and push myself and took off with the 7:30 min/mile pace group.  It was definitely harder than last time, but I was able to keep up.  I was in the back half of the pack, each lap we regrouped and started over.  I started to fall behind durning the 3rd lap and I lost sight of the group on the 4th lap.  I ended the day with a 7:35 min/mile pace.  The best part was that my body wasn't as taxed as the time before.  I felt pretty good the next day.  Bring it on, marathon! 

Time: 7am
Distance: 20 miles
Time: 2:27:11
Music: Shuffle

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Run 85 Affirmation

I've always avoided discussing things like religion and politics, not just here, but in real life too.  Mainly because I think everyone has the right to their own opinions and those personal beliefs should not be judged or infringed upon by others.  When your beliefs start taking away my rights and effecting me, that's when it becomes unfair and gone to far.  With Facebook on fire with chikn and boys scouts, I had a pretty emotional charged run, there was a lot on my mind.  I planned to share my opinions in this blog today.  I was forming a fairly aggressive post, but as I ran I listen to the band Savage Garden.  I have always been drawn to their lyrics and highly agreed/connected with them.  I know this following song well and it has alway been one of my personal anthems.  It came on and I started to cry.  So instead of ranting, I will just share a song.      

I believe you can't control or choose your sexuality 
I believe that trust is more important than monogamy 
I believe that your most attractive features are your heart and soul 
I believe that family is worth more than money or gold 
I believe the struggle for financial freedom is unfair 
I believe the only ones who disagree are millionaires 

I believe in Karma what you give is what you get returned 
I believe you can't appreciate real love until you've been burned 
I believe the grass is no more greener on the other side 
I believe you don't know what you've got until you say goodbye 

I believe forgiveness is the key to your unhappiness 
I believe that wedded bliss negates the need to be undressed 
I believe that God does not endorse TV evangelists 
I believe in love surviving death into eternity 

I believe the sun should never set upon an argument 
I believe we place our happiness in other people's hands 
I believe that junk food tastes so good because it's bad for you 
I believe your parents did the best job they knew how to do 
I believe that beauty magazines promote low self esteem 
I believe I'm loved when I'm completely by myself alone 

Time: 4 pm
Distance: 10.4 miles
Time: 1:19:13
Music: Savage Garden

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Run 84 The elusive Cloisters

I moved to NYC 3 years ago.  Shortly after I moved here I read or heard about The Cloisters Museum and Garden.  I put it on my to-do list.  I thought about going every now and then, but it was far away, way up town, hard to get too, and a whole slew of other excuses. So here I am 3 years later and I still have never been, with an unchecked off item on my to-do list for 3 years, pretty embarrassing.  Today I finally made it happen.  I ran through the Cloister gardens and they were just as beautiful as expected.  I will now have to say that it might be my favorite park in NYC.  I initially planned to just run the loop road through the park, but it was gorgeous that I did a second loop on some of the pathways through the garden.  There was an overwhelming scent of blooming flowers, people walking their dogs, picnicking, tanning, napping, reading books, biking, jogging and taking in the panoramic views.  If you live in NYC and have NOT been here yet (like me), do what ever you can to visit soon. 

Time: 3 pm
Distance: 7.06 miles
Time: 1:01:24
Music: Miranda Lambert

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Run 83

If you ever look at my map, (which seems to be having issues lately, too many routes??) you would notice that this route is extremely similar to a route I did recently.  Well, Riverside Drive keep splitting, so I felt it was necessary to run the same route but take the other fork each time, instead.  It was a really nice run along side Riverside Park again.  You didn't have to twist my arm to go.   I also was able to hit a few side streets that were missing in my quest.  I tried to squeeze this run in before meeting a friend.  My friend ended up calling before I was done.  I ended up way uptown, 155th Street, just as she was ready to meet in Midtown.  I hurried home and was easily forgiven when I explained what I was doing.  

Time: 8:30 pm
Distance: 6.62 miles
Time: 59:36
Music: Sugarland

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Run 82

Another long run today.  This one was rough.  16 miles.  I was running with a group, but the group was not sticking together well and everyone was taking different routes.  It felt like I was running alone.   I run alone most of the time, so it should not have effected me as much as it did.  I guess I just got beat mentally today.  Running is very mental, it is very easy to talk your self out of having a good run.  Some times there are no real reasons to stop or slow down, but mentally you make things up.  That's where having a running buddy can come in handy.  When you want to stop or slow down they can keep you moving and vice versa.  I had a horrible time.  Didn't enjoy the run. Didn't feel good about it. But at least I finished it.  I did the milage, that part felt good. Oh, I was happy to cross both the Williamsburg and Manhattan bridges, which I had never done before.   

Time: 9 am
Distance: 16 miles
Time: 2:17:10
Music: Shuffle

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Run 81

I grew up in a small town, in middle of no where.  This isn't that much of an exaggeration.  The town population was 7,500 at the time and the nearest mall was in the next biggest town, a 2 hour drive away.  In high school the local kids would just "hang out".  We blamed this on the fact that it was a small town and there was nothing to do.  Some of the "hot spots" were the high school parking lot, the Safeway parking lot, or just out in the desert.  So here I am over a decade later and in NYC.  No one could ever try to use the argument that there is just "nothing to do here".  
I've mentioned recently, more than once, about seeing so many people hanging out on the streets.  I went on another prime time run.  It was 10 pm on a friday night.  Since it's NYC and there's an endless amount of activities to do here, you'd think that every one would be out doing those activities.  Wrong.  They are sitting in the Safeway parking lot, well in this case on their stoop, on a NYC street.  Street after street there would be huge groups of friends and families, with lawn chairs, just sitting and chatting.  There were people in parked cars, with all the doors and windows open playing music from their car stereos.  There were groups of guys playing cards or dominos.  
It just amazes me how similar life can be, whether you are in small town, USA or NYC on Friday night, the majority of people don't want to spend their hard earned money.  They just want to be in the company of the friends and family they enjoy.  
One of the many reasons I do this blog is to try and show what it's like to live in NYC.  Many times life is different than elsewhere, but more often than I originally expected it's also very similar.  

Time: 10 pm
Distance: 4.06 miles
Time: 35:30 minutes
Music: John Borrowman

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Run 80 injuries

A very important piece of advice for running a marathon or any long distance is to never try anything new the day of the race.  Don't wear any new articles of clothing that you haven't run in before.  Don't eat an unusual meal right before your race.  Don't use goo (race energy supplement) that you haven't tried before, etc, etc, etc.  It all comes down to not knowing how your body will react to these new items.  Last you heard from me I had the "great" idea to wear an ankle brace.  The next morning I woke up bright and early to go on my weekly long run and my ankle was in bad shape.  Not the top of my foot, which was the purpose of the brace, but my ankle, in a new injury that I hadn't had before.  I stretched and was getting ready to go on the long run.  I even headed to the meeting location, I wasn't going to miss this run, I was going to push through it.  But some thing in my gut told me it wasn't a good idea.  
For the next few days my "lateral malleolus" (the ball on the outside of your ankle) hurt.  I had to miss not only my long run, but the next 2 as well.  Finally 4 days later I felt like I could give it another shot. So I started to put on my ankle brace and gear up to go on a run.  Just then a light bulb went off.  The seam of the ankle brace ran right across my lateral malleolus, with my shoe on, every step my shoe would push the seam of the brace into the back side of my lateral malleolus.  So I left the brace off and went for a good run.  
This is why training, experimenting and being prepared long before the actual race are a good idea.  Hopefully I can work out all the kinks before the marathon.  

Time: 1 am
Distance: 9.01 miles
Time: 1:09:02
Music: Sugarland

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Run 79

Today's run had some minor struggles or disruptions.  First of all I was running out of time.  I needed to get a 7 mile run in today and the day was almost over, it was already 11 pm.  I had a long run scheduled in the morning, but didn't want to skip another run.  Second, my foot was slightly hurting me.  Luckily, I had recently bought an ankle brace that covered the top of my foot, the section that was hurting.  Third, once I got started my gps was acting up.  I had a "weak" signal and it wasn't tracking my route or time properly.  It was Saturday night again, while everyone else was headed out, I was hitting the street.  Once again I received funny stares and a few funny comments as well.  At one point I was racing a couple in a pedi-cab.  (a cart hooked to a bicycle).  It wasn't the easiest run, but I got it done.  

Time: 11 pm
Distance: 6.72 miles
Time: 50:49 minutes
Music: Avril Lavigne 

Friday, August 3, 2012

Run 78

It's TGIF, I should be out on the town, instead I'm running and blogging.  I get some really weird looks from people who are dressed to the 9's heading to or from the latest hot spot.  Don't get me wrong I love to go out and have a good time, just my idea of going out and having a good time, doesn't usually involve a bar.  I'd much rather go to the theatre, or a movie, concert, or stay home with family/friends. 
Just needed to get a quick run in today.  Covered a little area of the map that was left out.  

Time: 1 am
Distance: 3 miles
Time: 23:17 minutes
Music: The Wild Party

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Run 77 NYC Subway

A big part of NYC is taking the subway.  Most people here do NOT own a car and rely on public transportation.  Every now and then I miss the convince of my own car, like when I'm grocery shopping or need to move large objects, but most of the time I'm extremely happy not to pay insurance, car maintenance or buy gas.  The subway has many perks.  Getting to and from places can be quicker than dealing with traffic on the streets.  Parking in NYC is a fortune.  Not driving, gives you time to read, or play games, think, listen to music, write, etc.  One of my favorite things about the subway is the entertainment.  There are musicians, singers, and dancers both in the stations and the subway cars as well.  Not to mention the people watching.  You can see a lot of interesting things on the subway. It's rarely a boring ride.
There are a few down sides to the subway as well.  Rodents, lots of rats live in the subway.  Flooding, litter, crowds, homeless graffiti, etc.  Travel north and south is easy, but traveling cross town (east/west) is not as convenient.  The subway runs 24 hrs a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year, BUT late at night the frequency of trains dropped dramatically.   There are some lines that only come once an hour, if you just miss a train that is a long time to wait for the next one.  
After going out one night, I found myself way up town, late at night.  I knew that I might have to wait a long time for the next train, luckily I was in shorts and running shoes.  Instead of waiting, I ran home.    
45 minutes later I was home.  Not sure if I beat the next train or not, but I'm sure it would have been a close call.      

Time: 3am
Distance: 5.81 miles
Time: 43:06 minutes
Music: Carrie Underwood

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Run 76 NYC Parks

NYC has many nicknames, one of them is "The Concrete Jungle".  Although, that is an accurate name.  It is amazing how many parks and green spaces there are.  
"Parks & Recreation is the steward of approximately 29,000 acres of land (14% of NYC) including more than 5,000 individual properties ranging from Coney Island Beach and Central Park to community gardens and Greenstreets. We operate more than 800 athletic fields and nearly 1,000 playgrounds, 550 tennis courts, 66 public pools.  We care for 1,200 Monuments.  We look after 650,000 street trees and two million more in parks." -NYC Parks & Recreation (click for info video)
Nature has always been a huge part of my life and very important too me.  So many people find an oasis away from the concrete jungle right near their home.  Everyone is familiar with Central Park and most know Bryant and Battery Park, etc.  But everywhere you turn there are hidden pockets of nature.  It maybe a garden on your building's roof top, or a planter box in your window sill.  It could be a few small plants on the stoop of your building, a community garden, a tree line street, a river view from a pier, the possibilities are endless and "concrete jungle" is become less accurate the more I write.  
This blog was conceived in Riverside park.  I have my own rooftop garden.  One of my favorite parks is the Highline, which is an abandoned elevated railway turned into a park. I have volunteered a few times for a new park in the planning stages called, the Lowline, which hopes to build the world's first underground park in an unused trolley station. 
Tonight I ran Riverside Drive.  The entire 6 miles was in a park.  It was hard to believe I was running in NYC.  I leave you with a slide show of photos I have taken in NYC parks.  I will continue to add photos to the album (and the others) as time goes by.  

Time: 1 am
Distance: 6.13 miles
Time: 50:02 minutes
Music: Chely Wright