Last week I tagged along with Alex on a trip to New York. I have to admit it wasn’t on the top of my list of travel destinations, but I rarely say no to a trip so off I went across the Atlantic. I was pleasantly surprised and left loving the big apple.
Alex had to work during the week so I spent the first day getting all my shopping done. Target for the essentials you can only buy at Target (aka if you don’t leave with a basket of random stuff you are shopping at Target wrong), Trader Joes for more essentials like turkey jerky, white cheddar popcorn, maple almond butter, and dark chocolate espresso pillows, and some local running stores for only-in-America Margarita cliff chews and Oiselle gear.
Alex and I went out for a massive American-sized-portion meal at Harry’s near Wall St. that night to ensure I was suitably carbed up for my 20 miles the next morning. Armed with a rough plan of where to run thanks to stalking my New York friend’s strava routes, I set off for 20 American miles of exploring. My first 7 or so miles were up down and around Central Park. I was thankful for the clean toilets at the Harlem end of the park and a chance to refill my water bottles. A freakishly nice weekend in the middle of March, temperatures were in the 70s, which is about 21*C. Perfect weather for a slow exploring pace training run.
The best part of Central Park is (not the Harlem Hills) the reservoir track. Great views, soft surface, a bit busy but at least everyone aims in the same direction so you aren’t dodging a lot of people.
After a lap of Central Park my legs were happy to be done with the hills so I cut West towards the Westside Highway. Emily had told me it was nice flat continuous running/bike path all the way down Manhattan. It took a few attempts to find it as there was a lot of construction happening but I eventually met up with the Hudson River Greenway and followed the age old running directions, “keep the river on your right.”
The path was nice and empty mid morning on a Friday and sometimes it was close to the highway which wasn’t especially quiet or nice, but nothing you wouldn’t expect running in one of the busiest cities in the world. Eventually around Chelsea the path veered closer to the water and there were more interesting piers and places to look at. There were a lot of toilets along this route and water fountains (summer only).
Eventually I spotted the Statue of Liberty which was a cool boost. Running towards Lady Liberty she eventually got a bit bigger so I took a few self timer shots where I completely blocked her with my giant legs.
Going forward the bridges looked really far away and I didn’t have much motivation to keep going but then you turn a corner just past Battery Park and *BOOM* there is the Brooklyn Bridge!
I had planned to run over the bridge but there was no way up to the bridge from the path unless I wanted to run in a few blocks and then up. My legs didn’t look forward to the hills and the path over the bridge was pretty busy so I decided to keep going around the bottom of Manhattan and see how far up the East Side I could get.
After a few uninspiring miles running under the highway the East River park was lovely to run along even with the NYPD chasing me.
I finished the 20 miles just near 23rd & 1st avenue and decided to walk the 2ish miles back to our hotel, which, aided by a dunkin donuts stop and a deli sandwich stop, was a great way to cool down and ensure I wasn’t too sore the next day. The hotel gym had a great foam rolling selfie mirror too. Always important.
The next day I ran out to get all the breakfast food and after suitably fed headed out for more sightseeing.
On our last day in the city we did one final run, a 6.2 lap of Central Park bringing my NYC weekend running total to exactly 26.2 miles. It wasn’t the New York City Marathon but pretty close!