I always find summer in the city to be an interesting phenomenon. We spend all winter waiting for the day when we don’t have to bundle up in seventeen layers to go to the grocery store three blocks away, and then when that moment comes, everyone leaves the city for the weekend. I suppose there are plenty of fun things to do that are not in the city, but the city is also such a fun place in the summer that I often wonder why so many people leave. (Of course, I’m glad people leave because then it’s less crowded for me! Off to the Hamptons, everyone!)
Side note: I don’t really know many people who go to the Hamptons every weekend. I was there once, and I actually think it seemed kind of overrated. Moving on.
I like summers in the city, especially when I manage to have a weekend off and not be one of those people I just talked about who leave the city. (But to be fair, I leave the city a lot year round, sooooooo there’s that.) But rarely do I get a weekend where I’m in town and not working any of the weekend days, so when that happens, it is MAGICAL. Magical, I tell you. I often wonder, “Is this how the rest of the world lives??” then I remind myself that I spent Tuesday, Thursday, AND Friday hanging out at the pool or in the park in the sun, so it’s not all bad.
Another side note: I’m actually on vacation from work, so that’s how I scored the weekend off. Otherwise, I somehow manage having to work at least Saturday or Sunday most weekends. (Life is hard.) (At least sunny Tuesdays make up for it, kind of. I feel a post about this coming on…)
Anyway, when I realized that I had the weekend off, I got really excited about the fact that it was a Summer Streets Saturday. The Saturday prior, I was a little sad on my walk to work because I saw big groups of runners meeting to run Summer Streets together and other runners heading for the Team Champs race. Coffee in hand, I had to stop myself from turning south on Park Ave and not going to work. I texted Jocelyn to see if she would like to run with me, as I haven’t run with her in ages! I had about nine miles on the docket for my cut back week long run, so we planned to meet in Central Park and run down Summer Streets.
For those of you not from NYC (or maybe some of you from the city!), Summer Streets is three Saturdays in August when the city shuts down about seven miles of a road from Central Park down through the Brooklyn Bridge, so you can walk/run/bike/etc on the open streets! It’s pretty cool for a break from the usual running routes, plus they set up water fountains, bike rentals, and a bunch of other free activities along the route. Tons of people always come out for it, and I usually spot at least one other person I know along the way! (Ali was the runner of the day! She found us at the end of our run and we proceeded to chat for awhile.)
The route was quite easy – just run straight until we hit the Brooklyn Bridge, then turn around! Not having to think is pretty nice. They do allow traffic to cross at certain streets, so it is a bit more stop-and-go than you might think, but I can’t complain. We ran along and chatted the entire time – about running, our lives, jobs, catching up about people we know, etc etc etc. The miles flew by! I didn’t pay attention to pace other than when Jocelyn said, “Okay, let’s slow this down” because I tend to get excited and then my legs just MOVE. It’s fine. The best parts about not really knowing the route and running while talking is that you’re just kind of RUNNING and not thinking, “Okay, four miles down, five more to go, FIVE MORE, forty minutes, where’s the water fountain?, can I stop now?, halfway, halfway…” Instead, you just GO and every now and then your watch beeps to tell you another mile is done. HOORAY. Also, a great way to catch up with a friend!
Jocelyn is the resident on-the-run photographer, so I would like to thank her for these shots:
Hooray! Running is fun.
I need to work on my “on the run” face…
Coming out of Grand Central! The glory of Summer Streets.
The run ended up being a little over nine miles…okay, a little over ten miles. I’m trying hard not to overdo it with training and to really pay attention to my hip/groin, and I felt okay. Ending on 50th St seemed a little unnecessary (and kind of annoying to get home…), but I did walk home after we stopped and talked to Ali for a bit. Overall, a solid run – feeling better about adding distance next week and hoping to do more running with friends!
Saturday, August 8th – 10.31 miles in 1:25:08, avg pace of 8:16
Pretty sure that 7:25 mile is off, but maybe we were really excited about finding a water fountain…
On my way home, I stopped at Juice Press for a free juice (part of their Saturday morning Instagram #willrunforjuice), and I’m not going to lie – I still don’t get the whole juice thing. It would have cost me $9 to buy the juice, and while I’ve had a little bit every day since, I still haven’t finished the bottle. I mainly craved water after the long run on Saturday! Am I missing something?
Who else ran Summer Streets this weekend? Does your city do something similar?