A Two Bridge Wednesday (15 miles)

It seems Wednesday is becoming “unplanned long-run Wednesday,” though sadly that will have to end when I head back to work next week.  The plan was to do an 8 mile run with Nat in the morning, to give M a chance to tidy up the apartment and cuddle with Angelica.  Nat, however, had different plans.  First, he threw a temper tantrum and refused to go on a run with me; then he relented, but wanted to run to Gym Park.  I figured he could use the exercise, and M wouldn’t mind a few extra hours, so we headed North to Green Point.

I finally remembered my camera, and got some shots of the industrial waterfront that runs from downtown Brooklyn to Green Point.  I realized that if we ran straight there, we’d get there before the gym opened, so instead of the regular 3.5 mile route, I took a round-about, 5 mile route along Kent, then did a loop up past some of the warehouses in Green Point.  When we got to the gym (right at 10:30, when they open), the guy who runs it hadn’t showed up yet, so we went and got our weekly cookie (adorable pictures of Nat and cookie are included!).  By the time Nat had devoured/spread his cookie all over the bakery, Peter had opened up the gym, so 2 hours of insane, toddler chaos ensued.

When we left, I had the same conundrum as last week: Nat was going to nap, and I wanted him to stay asleep for at least an hour.  Also, the day was absolutely gorgeous, so I spontaneously decided that instead of heading straight home, we would take a very circuitous path: over the Williamsburg Bridge, down through China Town, back to Brooklyn over the Manhattan Bridge, then home.  I wasn’t quite sure how long it would take, but it sounded like fun.  I realized I hadn’t had anything to eat since my morning smoothie other than a cup of coffee at Cookie Road, so I grabbed a Muscle Milk from a CVS, downed it while I ran, and hoped it and the flask of Hammer Gel would get me through however many miles were ahead of us.  Then we were off!

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The Williamsburg Bridge is a fantastic edifice of industrial steel and graffiti; it also is one of the bridges I had never run over, so I could cross it off my list as well.  Once in Manhattan, I followed the bike path along Allen Street through China Town, and from there made my way to the pedestrian onramp to the Manhattan Bridge.  Navigating the stroller along Canal Street and the various alleys surrounding it was quite an adventure (my pace dipped to a 10 minute mile while dodging pedestrians and cars), but then we were on our second bridge for the day.  The Manhattan Bridge is even more impressive than the Williamsburg Bridge, and it spans well over a mile by the time it climbs from Canal Street over the river and into Downtown Brooklyn.

Since I was already running an unplanned route, I decided not to follow my regular path home from the Manhattan Bridge, cutting instead up through Vinegar Hill towards the Navy Yards before turning back towards Ft. Green and Clinton Hill.  At this point I’d done a little over 10 miles; I’d be home at about 13.  I actually hit 13.1 miles exactly at the intersection of Bedford and Fulton, where I originally had planned to stop, at 2:01:10 but decided I wanted to stretch the run to 15.  I figured I run until I hit 14, then circle back — after running for 2 hours, that was a complex of a route as I could plan out in my head.  You know how I’ve written about that point I reach in a long run, when it just feels like I could run forever?  I’d been in that zone for miles, but it ended right about when I decided to do 15 miles — everything after 13.5 was an effort, and I kept looking down at the GPS, willing it to say 14 so I could head back, but the decimals just seemed to drag.

By the time we turned back on to Fulton for the final stretch, I was exhausted, if extremely happy.  Nat woke up right as the stroller was coming to a halt, and we swung into a pizza place to grab some lunch.  Nat, as usual, ate all the cheese off the top before eating the crust in pieces; I scarfed mine in about 30 seconds, than considered chasing it with another Muscle Milk, but resisted the impulse.

Distance: 15 miles          Time: 2:14:26

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About Chris Van Dyke

I am a 33 year-old high school English teacher and long-distance runner. I live in Brooklyn with my partner, our 3 year-old son and 1 year-old daughter and a growing collection of muppets and trains. Besides running and teaching I like to draw, read, write, cook, and play the harmonica. While I didn't get to run my first ultra-marathon on my birthday, I've got a few more I've set my sights on. You can follow my (seldom updated) twitter feed @aboutrunning. I also blog as part of the Run Smiley Collective.
This entry was posted in Bridges of NYC, Goals, Long Runs, Running with Nat, Runs and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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