Monday, September 12, 2011

Long Run - Part 2 - Also, New Poll -->

Where did we leave off? Oh, yes. I had set out on an ambitious long run with the Running Company crew and we were just about to conquer the Brooklyn Bridge. For anyone who hasn't been, the Brooklyn Bridge is amazingly scenic and really not a bad run. The bad part is that it's often overrun with tourists. I hate saying it like that, but it can be very frustrating trying to run around a family or other group of four or five tourists who decide to occupy the entire lane, especially since bikers often use the other side of the lane. I'm sure most runners would agree with me when I express my preference not to be hit by a bike. Anyway, tourists and bikers aside, it wasn't too bad. Halfway across, we ran into the two girls we'd lost earlier, coming in the opposite direction. One of them rejoined us while the other headed back to Manhattan. Once in Brooklyn, we made a relatively sharp turn to head right back toward the Manhattan Bridge. They're very close together. The Manhattan Bridge was a little more pleasant to run because it was much more protected from the sun and there was a nice breeze blowing.

The Williamsburg Bridge, though, was the toughest of those three. The pedestrian section of it is elevated off of the vehicle lanes, so that ascent requires a steeper hill climb than is initially apparent. And the hill seems ENDLESS. Maybe it's because the bridge was the last one in a pretty close series of three long bridges, but it really seemed interminable. And by the time we were on it, the sun was out in full force and there was no escape. Despite all this, though, the company and camaraderie remained reliable and steady. I was surprised at how well I was able to handle those hills. Normally I start huffing and puffing close to the beginning. For further evidence of this, read about my Riverside Park 5k exploits. This day was different. I found myself powering up all three hills with surprising stamina. I was in or close to the lead in all three (this would change in the last two bridges, but was definitely the case in the first three). I've started noticing that when I tackle hills, I get tunnel vision and all I can see is the top, the point beyond which I can see no further, presumably (and ever so hopefully) because the rest of it is a big, welcome stretch of downhill. Looking at hills this way has a funny way of propelling me forward. All I can see is that point and I want nothing more than to reach it as soon as possible.

Finally, the first group of bridges was done. And where did this leave us? About 14 miles in. We began running north, from Williamsburg into Queens along Berry Road. I had to scout for a water fountain because it was a hot morning and I don't carry hydration with me (something I'll need to remedy at some point). I found one and we all made a pit stop (we actually made a number of them throughout the run, for the very reason that water fountains along this route are few and far between).

We continued north to the Pulaski Bridge, which is much shorter and tamer than the the other four bridges. But by this point, I was getting tired. I started to lag toward the back on this hill and felt myself less able to keep the pace. It's not something I like to admit, but it was definitely true. Fortunately for me, we began to approach the Queensborough Bridge. The bad news about this, though, is that I began to psyche myself out. I know very well what the Queensborough Bridge is all about and I knew (or at least convinced myself) that it was the worst bridge of all. This may or may not be the case, but my attitude wasn't helping the overall effort. By the time we started on the bridge, I was full-on behind everyone else. The leader, Mat, was very nice and stuck with me for part of it, but continued on to check on the rest of the group. As I probably should have expected, it wasn't as bad as I imagined it would be. I reached my beloved hill apex sooner than I expected. Granted, I finished a couple of minutes behind the rest of the group, but they were nice enough to wait for me at the end of the bridge. Running 19 miles with someone (or a group of someones) fosters a sense of team, expected or not. From there, we only had to run across Manhattan along 59th street. Two members of our group headed home from there, but Mat and another girl planned to return to the store and I figured that I'd come that far, so I might as well do the same.

I ended up turning off to my apartment rather than running to the store, but I think it was about the same distance (1 crosstown block versus 5 downtown). All in all, it was very close to 20 miles. From there, I had to make a mad dash to quidditch tryouts and had no time to get any food. I got a little snappy with Jared out of extreme grumpiness, but once tryouts were over and I ate a turkey burger, I was in better spirits.

I noticed that I was barely sore the next day, which is interesting, because I definitely felt that my energy had begun to lag toward the end of the run. This makes me think that I may not have hydrated or fueled properly in preparation, as my muscles seemed to be just fine. I did drink a reGen as well, so perhaps that's just a miracle product.

Alright, well that run is all out there. Onto the rest of the week and into this coming one. Happy Monday to all!

No comments:

Post a Comment