Sunday 7/2: Flatlands, Marine Park, East Flatbush, Crown Heights
Distance: 11.15 miles
Weather: mostly sunny and breezy
Click on image for interactive Google Map
Route: I started at the intersection of Flatbush and Nostrand Avenues, then east on Avenue H to Ralph Ave, south to Avenue T, down to Marine Park, right on 33rd, up to Avenue R, then north on Schenectady to Avenue I and west on Avenue I to Nostrand. Then north on Nostrand up to Lincoln Place, then west on Lincoln to Underhill, up to Sterling, then back across Flatbush to 7th Ave and down to Union.
Notes: Things started this morning with one of the more frightening sounds a runner can hear -- a loud "pop" from my left leg as I was stretching my hamstring on the platform of the Grand Army Plaza station while waiting for the 2 train. I felt it, too, a sharp, painful snap at the back of my leg up near the hip socket. The noise was loud enough that the sleepy-looking guy sitting on the bench nearby looked over and grimaced, but I just kind of walked around for a while, thinking the pain might subside. And it did -- a little, at least -- and so, being (choose some combination of the following: a runner, male, stubborn, in complete denial that my 40 year-old body is indeed aging, just plain stupid) I decided to go ahead with my normal Sunday long run.
So I took the 2 to the end of the line (next to the Brooklyn College campus), and started running. And after a few blocks, it didn't seem so bad, so I kept going. Fortunately, the route was great, with lots of tree-lined residential streets and handsome brick houses sitting behind compact front yards and flower gardens in Flatlands and Marine Park. Heading back north, Nostrand Avenue in East Flatbush was bustling despite the early hour, with many small businesses and places to eat already open for the day. There was plenty to see (and a lot less traffic than on weekdays), and I probably could've gone a little longer if... my leg didn't begin feeling like it was going to fall off after about an hour and a half. By the time I'd hit the intersection of 7th Ave and Union I was clearly limping, so I just headed back to the apartment.
And now, a few hours later, my leg is killing me (which, of course, shouldn't come as a surprise at all). What is it with runners? Why do we (OK, admittedly it's not all of us, but I know I'm not alone) do things like run eleven miles when we know we're hurt? Is it our competitive spirit? Our work ethic? Are we just overly optimistic? Or are we suffering from some psychological disorder which compels us to punish ourselves? Being neither psychologist nor physiologist, I have no idea. But I'll probably stay off the leg for the rest of the day, and put off my camera shopping until tomorrow.
Oh, and the worst part is that I hurt myself while stretching. It's one thing to pull a muscle or strain something while competing in a race or something, but while stretching? I thought stretching was supposed to prevent injury!
Whatever. I'll take tomorrow off, but I know already that I'll probably be back on the road Tuesday, regardless of what happens.