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A Bridge to Cross

Posted Sep 05 2013 8:29am

Noah recently signed up for a 10-mile run in the Bronx. And I’d be lying if I said that, like I mentioned in my previous post, I wasn’t just slightly tempted to sign up too.

This past weekend was filled with a ton of fun runs that continued to remind me of the fun that is race training. It started on Friday, when Noah and I logged 7 miles around the Central Park Reservoir — one of my favorite morning routes while training for halves last year.

I spent Saturday up in Connecticut at my family’s summer home, and after Friday’s relatively long run, I didn’t so much feel like pushing it — mainly because I know my body’s tendency to break down just when I expect it least. So, sticking to my guns, I conceded and went for a 1-mile shake-out run instead. And fished.

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I know, I know. What’s the point of a mile? But it was the best I could do, and sometimes you’ve just got to take what you can get. There’s nothing worse than an uncalled for injury.

The rest of the day was filled with BBQ’s and beer.

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Specifically, balsamic roasted portobello burgers topped with avocado, tomato and mustard on a lightly toasted potato bun. Man, I’m so incredibly upset that summer is over.

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On Sunday, we woke up to the delicious smell of country air, the fire from the night before lingering all around. Besides more BBQ and beer, the only item on our agenda was to run; the only question was, in the middle of nowhere Connecticut, where?

In the past, the only route I’d run was the short 1-mile path into town. Noah proposed trying something different though. Instead, he found a reservoir 1.2 miles away. The road we took to get there was incredibly hilly — steep hills, at that. Harlem Hill? Nothing compared to that.

We found the reservoir right where it was supposed to be, but when we got there, a big NO TRESPASSING sign stopped us in our tracks. We thought about it for a minute. I considered Googling the consequences of trespassing. But then I decided to say, screw it. There was no one ahead of us and no one behind. So we forged ahead, running through the woods and stumbling upon this lovely open lily pond. It was at that moment when I realized I could breathe again. All I needed was a moment to start over.

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Of course, we were reminded on the road back to my family’s home of the best part about uphill runs. For a second there, it felt as though we were running so quickly down the hills that we were flying.

While Sunday’s run was just 3 miles, I definitely felt it afterward — particularly in my achilles. So, I allowed myself a lazy Monday out of the office to ironically celebrate Labor Day. Following a train-ride back from Connecticut, Noah and I enjoyed a slow brunch at Bluebell Cafe (lemonade champagne included), a few episodes of Breaking Bad, a 90-minute mid-day nap, and a veggie-filled dinner out at Crispo with my good friend E.

I went to sleep at 9:45 on Monday night in an attempt to get back into my routine, so by the time I woke up on Tuesday at the crack of dawn, I was incredibly eager to run. Immediately, I knew I had to quench my thirst for the path that runs along the Queensboro Bridge. And so off I went, with more enthusiasm than my body would allow.

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What ensued was a 6 mile struggle. The entire time, I was so proud of pushing myself — especially up and down the hills of 1st Avenue, and especially up and down the path of the Queeensboro Bridge. But, for the most part, my muscles felt sluggish and my achilles felt incredibly strained. I wanted nothing more than to feel stronger than ever, and instead, I couldn’t help but feel helpless and lame.

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Yet, I did it. And that’s the ultimate goal when you sign up for a race, whether a 10k or a 10 miler, isn’t it? The finish line is it.


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