Continuing the parkway theme from last week, my original plan for this weekend’s long run was to run down Ocean Parkway to Coney Island, but then Hurricane Irene came along, they turned Coney Island into an evacuation zone, and E all but forbid me running down there. So loops in ProspectParkit was.
Trucks lined up for Irene
Intermittent storms, a worried wife, and unbearably humid conditions meant I only did ten miles. They were fun, if sweaty, miles. A lot of people were out in the park, considering the weather was pretty nasty. I guess everyone wanted to get some outdoor time in before being cooped up for the storm. Last night when we were watching the coverage of the hurricane, twice I saw runners behind the reporter. Once it was during a report from the Central Park, at twelve thirty at night. Twelve thirty, on a Saturday, during the hurricane. I love New York runners.
Here Comes the Rain
Today after the storm I did another loop in the park. The damage is pretty minimal. A couple of trees down, some flooding in the areas that always flood, and again a lot of runners out. Gotta get the miles in, I guess, no matter what the weather.
Last night, sometime right around the top of the hill, near the great lawn, I ran my 1,000th mile in Prospect Park. Ok, I have probably run more, in the early days of my running I didn’t keep very good track. When I started running in 2006, I put in my first miles in the park, entering from the Parkside entrance and heading up the hill. I couldn’t make it all the way around the park without stopping. I went to law school in D.C. and only visited the park on the rare occasions when I was back in Brooklyn.
Since returning to New York this past fall, I’ve put in a lot of time in the park. Doing the 3.3 loop, I enter at Grand Army plaza and take a right. Some small rollers as I pass the playground and the band shell, then the ball fields and the down hill to the lake, around the lake past the drum circle, past the zoo and the botanical gardens, and then up the hill by the great lawn. It is the perfect loop. Some flat, some up, some down, always plenty to see.
I know many of the regulars now. The bearded guy* who, no matter when I get there on the weekend, is run-walking his way around the loop. The small pack of older fast dudes who I always see around seven on week nights; the group of Latino guys who meet by the lake and clock off their miles around a 6:30 pace. We nod to each other acknowledging that we are the ones out here, no matter the weather, getting in our miles, in the greatest urban park in the United States.
Tonight, I think I’ll make it 1008 miles in the park.
* I am dying to know the bearded guys story. I have seen him pictured in some articles about the NYC ultra community. I would approach him, but when I say hello he isn’t particularly friendly.
The three mile loop is a nice run. I turn left out of my apartment building and then left again onto 16th St and head up 16th street towards the Maryland border. The first half mile of so is flat or downhill, then it is up hill for the next mile. About a half mile from the top of the hill, I turn around and head back down until I get to the point at which I cross over Piney Branch Rd where I start heading uphill again. The loop finishes off with about four blocks of flat.
I love this run. I love how it starts off easy, gets hard, eases up, gets hard again, and finally finishes on a nice straight away. It takes me down the “avenue of the churches” as some people call that section of 16th st. and along a portion of Rock Creek Park. It gets my heart rate up, levels it off, and then gets it up again. Its only three miles right now, but they’re enjoyable miles.