10 September 2006

And a Couple of Milestones Along the Way

Sunday 9/10: Dyker Heights & Bensonhurst

12.98 miles
Time: 1:40
Pace: 7:42
Temp: 66
Dewpoint: 58
Weather: sunny

click on image for interactive map

Unique Miles Today: 11.82
Total Unique Miles:
Percent of Brooklyn Run:

Route: The starting point was New Utrecht Avenue and 61st, from which I headed east to 15th Avenue, south to 66th, east to Duryea Court, south to 67th, east to Ovington Court, north to 66th, east to Cameron Court, south back to 67th, east to Wallaston, north back to 66th, and east another block to 17th Avenue. Then it was south to 76th, east to Bay Parkway, south to 80th, east to Stillwell (with a little out-and-back up 23rd Avenue to 78th), south to 81st, then west all the way to the part that's past 7th Avenue then doubling back and heading down 7th Avenue a block to 82nd. Then back east to 17th Avenue, south a block to 83rd, west to Dyker Place (with a little loop around the one block north of there and going down Dyker to 85th but doubling back) to 84th, east back to 17th Avenue, south another block to 85th, west back to Dyker, south to 86th, east to 11th Avenue, north back to 85th, west a block to 10th Avenue, south to 86th then doubling back and north on to 74th, east to 12th Avenue, north to 67th, east to 13th Avenue and then north to 57th (with the half of Tabor Court that was accessible).

Notes: I was going to make my way into Gerritsen Beach today -- it's a neighborhood I need to work on, and has what seems like a thousand narrow little streets all packed into a peninusla that's a few miles from the nearest subway stop (the Nostrand/Flatbush stop on the 2). But planning the route quickly grew too complicated, so I opted for a (relatively) simple back-and-forth fill-in-the-streets approach over in Dyker Heights and Bensonhurst. Straight lines I can do. The route was easy enough (though it was complicated a bit by the fact that the D being rerouted below 36th Street, which necessitated some rearranging of starting and ending points), but it highlights something I'm a little afraid of, namely that the further along I get -- and the more complex each individual run becomes, in my attempts to fill in disconnected little streets here and there -- the more time-consuming (and thus more of a pain) it will become. I'll ponder this stuff more and write about it again next week, during my upcoming week off which should begin after next Sunday.

As for the actual run, it was fine (as usual -- I don't seem to have either really fantastic or really awful runs lately). It was a few degrees warmer than predicted, I think, but nothing too bad, and the breeze from the north and the bright late-summer sun made for mostly pleasant conditions. The streets I covered were almost all residential, with most of the housing looking pretty swank. Many of the homes up on the highest part of Dyker Heights (there were some serious hills leading up to 11th Avenue) are particularly grandiose, with a surfeit of polished granite, gold fixtures, immaculately landscaped lawns, and topiary.

Of some note (at least psychologically on my part) is the fact that I passed two milestones today: the 400 unique mile mark (I'd hit 400 total miles early last week), and today also marked my 50th run since I embarked on this whole thing. The most fundamental application of simple arithmetic reveals that my average run is thus around eight unique miles, which I know is too long. I'll address this matter as well in a week or so, during my break.

And now, as always, a brief photographic survey of today's excursion:

20th Avenue & 74th Street

Temple on 81st Street

Off of 81st Street

One of the luxe homes along 83rd Street up near 11th Avenue

12th Avenue


At 9:56 PM, Anonymous Michael said...

To get to Gerritsen Beach, take the Q to Ave U or Gravesend Neck Road.

not so far

At 5:54 AM, Anonymous humbled said...

Congrats on the milestones - looking forward to reading about the big, 25-percent-of-brooklyn-run one.

A comment - admittedly intrusive! - on the idea that 8 mile (average)daily runs are too long. For what it's worth, I don't think that's too long at all, especially with a coupla days off each week. I *do* think that you're running a bit too fast. I've noticed that your pace is picking up considerably; and sure, with increasing mileage comes increasing fitness, etc. etc., but I'm thinking you'd benefit (and your various aching body parts would thank you) if you slowed at least some of your runs down to >8 minute pace.

And hey, as long as I'm being meddlesome and intrusive, I wonder if you and your readers know about this low-key, community race coming up on Sunday:


(I have no connection to the race, other than that a friend told me about it, it sounds like fun, and seeing as how I'll be in NYC this weekend, I'm planning to run it.)

At 1:19 PM, Blogger Gary said...

Yeah, those are the shortest routes, but I've already run them and since I'm looking to maximize my "unique" miles I'd rather run a longer route to get there as long as I haven't run it before.

And "humbled,"
I think this is sage advice. It's the natural competitor in me, I think, that compels me to run just a little faster each time. If I run at, say, a 7:45 pace one day, I tell myself there's no reason I can't run a 7:40 the next, and so on. (I think a lot of runners can relate to that.) In fact, just since the end of June, when I started this thing, my average pace on these runs has dropped by almost a full minute per mile. Obviously, I can't keep that up!

When I return from my post-25% week off, I was thinking of running four 9-10 milers a week, and trying to keep the pace between 7:45-8:15. This will still give me 35-40 miles/week, but also three off days and plenty of time to rest and do other things. Time will tell, of course, whether I can stick to that plan (and silence that little voice that says "go faster!")...

Regardless, thanks for the advice!

At 3:37 PM, Anonymous jen said...

I can totally relate to concerns about planning out the runs. The western half of Berkeley is easy to map out -- it's all grids -- but the east is mostly winding streets. Every time I map out a run in that area I get a headache. I could be much more efficient, but sometimes I just want to get outside. Also, I don't really have to contend with the issue of getting certain areas done before winter (unless, of course, we get as much or more rain as we did last year -- being far from home and soaking wet is no fun). Congrats on the milestones you've reached!

At 9:53 AM, Blogger Gary said...


planning is definitely the least pleasant aspect of this thing! I love getting my feet on the ground and just heading into the different neighborhoods. But the time spent with the map and the computer and the calculator (when trying to figure all those "unique miles") is a real drag...


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