This week I had the pleasure of taking a quick trip to New York. I went on one of the wildest runs I have ever experienced. I did about 20 miles around the west side greenway and parks of Manhattan. In rural New Hampshire it is customary to wave, smile or give a thumbs up when you pass another runner or cyclist. After about 5 minutes on the NY pedestrian path I started getting an overuse injury in my thumb and gave up the practice. I saw more runners than I do when I am running in a registered race at home. There were sprinters, trotters, men running in corduroys, nuns riding bicycles in full habits. The grassy parks were strewn with sunbathers revealing more than I was ready to see. I kept my eyes on the Hudson River and watched the trash barge almost take out a small sailboat with the massive ripple of waves that it left in its wake. The same sailboat was soon after sprayed with water and jerked about by the blast of a helicopter taking off from the pier. I tried to maintain my pace as I ran the wacky obstacle course of runners, scooters, skaters, cyclists and whizzing motorized carts from the sanitation department that were spearing garbage and squirting pesticides as they passed by. The sport of running is very olfactory in nature. At home I can tell the season by inhaling bursts of sweet fern, grapes, lilac and primrose. But Manhattan was a dizzying combination of hotdogs, exhaust, cologne, urine, freshly fried falafel and the shampoo of millions of heads of hair. Somewhere in West Harlem I tried to buy some juice and got lost in the fairway grocery. It has outdoor fruit stands with little hallways leading in and out of the main store like a maze. I felt like I had a tattoo on my forehead “Hello, I am from NH”. At the end of my run I went into a public restroom. The first stall didn’t have a door latch. I tried the second stall and it didn’t have a door. Stall number 3? No toilet paper. I was mumbling out loud and caught the attention of the other person in the bathroom. A man in a miniskirt putting on makeup and singing along with a small hand held radio. I suddenly felt underdressed in my tech shirt and visor.
So now I know part of my route when I finish my cross country run and need to get to NY City hall. It was a wonderful sneak peak. I also got to rub elbows with successful film producers and directors. I went to the Blue Note jazz club and Gary Burton recalibrated my heart rate with his fourmallet rhythms. Good times and great memories! And now….Back in NH and I am moving today! (Again)
The weather is cooling off quickly here and I ran 19 miles at an 8:15 pace yesterday. I foolishly registered for the Fly like an Eagle 5K race on Sunday. Running a 5k before an ultra is not the best idea. Will I fly like an eagle? Or will I fly like an albatross? Stay tuned in for next week’s post to hear the results!