Saturday, July 22, 2006


6-4-6 and I'm not talking about an area code or Smufette's measurements - after all she's only three apples tall (how I know that is a mystery even to me but it's true - Google it for yourself).

6-4-6 is my run for today.

I set out this morning at 7:30am wearing dirty running clothes because the power is still out in much of Queens and my clean clothes are locked inside of a closed and powerless Laundromat... How annoying is that?!?!? And I am "powerless" to do anything about it! (sorry I couldn't resist!)

When I hit the road this morning it was already 80 degrees and the humidity was at about 81%. Fortunately there was a bit of a breeze to help keep me cool but the weather made sure that my stinky and dirty running clothes were freshened with all new stinky sweat. Sorry ladies, I'm taken.

As the miles ticked on, I found my pace to be a touch sluggish particularly going over the 59th Street Bridge (~8:40/mile). The dragging feeling is in large part due to the heat and humidity to be certain, but also due to the schedule I put in this week. Methinks think I need an easy day:
  • Saturday - 14 miler
  • Sunday - 6 mile wooded trail run (thanks for the *easy* run Matthew W.)
  • Monday - Off
  • Tuesday - 6 x 800 meter intervals + 2 miles easy
  • Wednesday - 5 mile Tempo run
  • Thursday - 7 miler
  • Friday - Off
Once into Manhattan I made my way to Central Park where the New York Road Runners were hosting the "Run for Central Park" 4 mile race to benefit the Central Park Conservancy. I had signed up for this race a while back and rather than skip it, I figured I'd just work it into my long run.

My timing was pretty good. I ran into the park and to the start of the race. Knowing that I wasn't really going to "race" this, I lined up toward the back of the queue - somewhere around the 9 minute pace group. NYRR's president and CEO Mary Wittenberg did her thing and the race was under way. For me, the starting gun marked the middle 4 miles of a 16 mile day.

The chute was really very crowed but I was able to settle into a comfortable pace of about 8:30/mile without too much difficulty.

Coming up Cat Hill I heard some people applauding ahead and wondered what it could be. My first thought was that it was the pom-pom squad. As it turns out, it was something even more inspiring. As I climbed Cat Hill I approached a young runner who couldn't have been more than 12 or 13 years old. This particular young runner was also an amputee and was absolutely powering up the hill with his right leg, his crutches and more determination than most of us could ever hope to muster. Well done!

After that experience the race was pretty unremarkable for the next few miles. Unfortunately there was an accident around mile 3. A bicycle rider had crashed into a runner behind me. I couldn't see it well but what I did see didn't look good.

Then, not more then a half mile down the road, it happened again! A women on a road bike crashed right into a female runner. The two women went down right in front of me and slid across the asphalt. Just thinking of it makes me cringe! Both the rider and the runner appeared to be ok... At least the fallen runner got up immediately and walked off to the side of the road.

Plenty of people stopped to help and since this is New York I am sure that there was at least one Physician and one Lawyer among the good Samaritans. I however am but a lowly marketing guy and sans mobile phone at that (read: absolutely useless in this situation). So on I went to finish phase II of this running triad. For those that are interested my official time was 33:52 (8:28/mile pace).

I dumped some water on my head and dove right into phase III. Somewhere along the way the battery to my fancy Triax V10 pooped out. My batteries, though fading, kept me moving in slow but steady homeward bound direction... Across the Eastside and back over the 59th Street Bridge where I bumped into a fellow Hellgate Road Runner in mid workout. (How was the rest of your run Alan?)

As an aside, the bridge seems to be a much more difficult an ascent running from Manhattan into Queens than it does from Queens into Manhattan... Perhaps it just feels that way 11+ miles into a run.

I did a little zig and a little zag as I made my way through the streets of Queens. At this point I was pretty fizzled - Fo shizzle! Finally I made it to Astoria track and bumped into another Hellgater and after a brief chat finished the last half mile or so home. (How was the rest of your run Andrew? Hot?)

I've finally cooled off, stretched out, showered and even hand washed my running clothes with industrial strength detergent - Man alive they needed it!

I can feel that my fitness level is improving as a result of my marathon training. I can tell simply by the fact that I've been rather productive post-run today rather than passed out napping on the couch with the Tour de France on mute. (Way to go Floyd!)

And there you have it. My 3 part 16 miler. Tomorrow... EASY! Easy. easy.


angie's pink fuzzy said...

wow, what an adventurous run!

Uptown Girl said...

I've always found it best to make long runs exciting...but I think you put a whole new spin on that. I can't believe the power is STILL out!

Morrissey said...

LOL!!!!!! I am willing to bet that every 7 year old kid had a crush on either Smurfette or......alyssa milano!!

With regards to the power, that totally bites!

Sempre Libera said...

What a day! Props to you for sticking it out. I barely slugged through a five-miler yesterday and put my 10-miler in this morning.

As for the stinky running clothes -- we've all been there. At least you had a good excuse!

Deene said...

i can't believe you said "unremarkable" somewhere in your post. this long run was anything but. sometimes i dig out my favorite running clothes out of the hamper even if i have other clean ones. :P

JustRun said...

Wow, great run. I think I would love running in New York. We all have to wear stinky running clothes sometimes.

nyflygirl said...

i still can't believe the whole power thing...when, oh when, will ConEd get with the program and realize that july and august are scorchers and, i don't know, be prepared? :)

anyway, nice job with the long run-always helps to use one of the races as part of it.

Yvonne said...

way to go Josh. If there's one thing i can't stand it's when runners do nothing to change up their long (or short for that matter) runs especially when they live in a great place like NYC.

and I assume you have your power/clothes back now, do you? I'm not sure if Kate does yet...