A taste of spring

For the first time in four months mother nature cooperated and produced a perfect set of running conditions. I had 17 miles on the plans and a new route to try out: I took my standard home-to-city hall route, streamlined the turns, and then turned it backwards (i.e., I ended running from city hall back to home).

The Brooklyn Bridge was a great starting point. I like starting runs on the massive east side bridges because it keeps me from starting out too hard. Then I crisscrossed across Park Slope--and for the first time found a way around the nasty warehouse district that broke down many a midsummer's run. At Prospect Park I made a loop around the park and honestly did not want to leave. I really like Prospect Park--it's like Central Park lite--but alas, I had 10 more miles to go and there was no way I was doing them on Prospect Park's hills.

Then I got to the iffy section of the run. I took a new route from Prospect Park to Williamsburg and ran through some sketchy parts of town. I would definitely not run through these streets at night. But I did get to McCarren Park pretty easily, with only one major turn. At McCarren Park I was feeling good but started to get waves of "I need to find a bathroom." The funny thing about those waves is that they never occur when you're near a bathroom. McCarren Park has a decent bathroom, but did I "have to go" when I passed by it? Nope.

Onward to Queens, essentially tracing the NYCM for a couple of miles. Right before crossing the Pulaski Bridge I couldn't hold it anymore and wound up making a pit stop at KFC to take care of some bio business.

I thought I was fine after that pit stop, but once I started going through the warehouses in Long Island City and the sun reached its full height and I was getting every red light imaginable I just had to stop and start walking. Only three miles to go and Wifey's made from scratch blueberry-white chocolate pancakes waiting for me at the finish line and I was fizzling out every quarter mile.

The final nail in the coffin was that somewhere right after 16.5 miles Fenny ran out of charge and died. That's it, I was done.

Turned out Fenny died at 16.79 miles. I'll call that 17 miles, especially because there where some walking sections where I back tracked to make sure I'd get enough mileage before home. I learned from this run that running back home might not be the best tactic for a long run: there are no major streets (i.e., no synced up traffic lights) meaning that the last stretch of the run will be in one- or two-block bursts, and great way to kill your momentum. However, I also saw myself get really excited about running for the first time in a long while. The weather definitely helped turn around my spirits once I got out there.

As fantasized about during the run, Wifey made a small mountain of blueberry-white chocolate pancakes for breakfast. (I know it's wrong to reward your workouts with food, but when I've burned through over 2200 calories it's hard for me to think otherwise.) After breakfast we stopped by the eye doctor to pick up my new glasses and a trial set of contact lenses.

Yes sir, I'm finally giving contacts another chance. I tried using contacts when I was 10, than again throughout my teen years, but failed every time. It has actually been running that has prompted me to try yet again because it is impossible for me to find running friendly sunglasses that can have prescription lenses put in them and still look good.

The biggest hurdle, when I was a teen, was that I couldn't get the damn things in my eyes. Yesterday, by the end of the tutorial, I was getting them in on the first or second try. However, I now have a new problem: the astigmatism in my left eye that has worsened over the years means that I'm at the ceiling of what's available to the mass market, any higher and you start talking about custom made lenses (which are much more expensive). So while I see perfectly out of my right eye with the lenses, my left eye is the slightest bit blurry and hard to focus. And if my astigmatism gets worse then I might have to drop contacts altogether. Boo on my bad eyes.

But in the meanwhile, I'm going to give these lenses a chance. And hopefully in the following weeks you'll see around town sporting these flashy bad boys (they're so bad ass that they float!):


Amanda - RunToTheFinish said...

i wish there was a wifey making me pancakes while I was out! Sounds a little rough today, but you did it!

Steve Stenzel said...

Nice work on the run!! (And on the KFC potty stop - ha!)

Keep it up!

And I wore contacts all through high-school so ladies would find me at least somewhat attractive. Now I only wear them for races. Good luck with yours!

Adam said...

nice work! I'm glad to see that you are out and about again. and that the weather is cooperating.

Contacts are interesting... I've wore them for the last 15 years or so and am slowly starting to wear my glasses more. Unfortunately, my eye goo (or whatever) is too thin for lasik.

Gosh, those sun glasses ARE high tech. they'll almost certainly make you LOOK faster, right?