For the four months that I trained for my first marathon, every single run I did was either in Central Park or along the waterfront in Manhattan. If I was feeling a little reckless one day, for instance, I’d run north along the Hudson instead of south. There were several advantages for me to this strategy including my proximity to both the park and the river, as well as the length… and uniform flatness of the waterfront route. Not surprisingly, by the time my marathon rolled around, I never wanted to see either route again. But now that I’ve graduated from religious training to recreational running, I can take advantage of a world of adventures at my doorstep… starting with the bridge run organized by a member of my running team this weekend! Sunday morning, we met up at the UN Plaza and followed a route that led us over five bridges and through three boroughs over 16 miles. Needless to say, the possibilities are endless in this town. Why suffer the hour-long subway ride to Brighton Beach for some pirozhki and a Baltika on the boardwalk when you can run there, take a dip in the ocean, and then carb-load instead? Granted, the run back may be a little dicey unless you lay out on the beach for a bit and give the buzz a chance to burn off… or just take the subway back. Other food destinations on my list are Di Fara pizza in Brooklyn and some of the very best South Indian food you’ll find in NYC at the Ganesh Temple canteen in Flushing… or I can simply enjoy the tranquility of The Cloisters (but I’ll have to run the roundtrip for a real workout since it’s only about 8.5 miles in one direction). I may have to alternate between social and solo run, though, if only so I don’t feel as bad stopping to take pictures of every cool graffiti mural I see. Because come on, in the outer boroughs, cool graffiti murals aren’t exactly an endangered species.
If you guys have any fun running routes to suggest, by all means, don’t be shy!