25 September 2006

Another Elephant!

Monday 9/25: Bay Ridge

10.65 miles
Time: 1:25
Pace: 7:59
Temp: 64
Dewpoint: 51
Weather: sunny & breezy

click on image for interactive map

Unique Miles Today: 8.01
Total Unique Miles:
Percent of Brooklyn Run:

Route: This one's awfully complicated, but here goes. I started at 5th Avenue and 95th Street, went north to 93rd, doubled back to 94th, headed west to 3rd Avenue (including the short dead-end alleys Hamilton Walk and Lafayette Walk) then north to 93rd, east to 4th Avenue, north to 91st, west to Colonial, south to 92nd, back east to 4th Avenue, south to 93rd again, west to Marine Avenue, north to 92nd, west to Shore Road, down to Oliver, then back and forth between Shore and Marine on Oliver, 93rd, 94th, Ridge, 95th, 96th, and 97th, then east on Marine back to 4th Avenue, south to 100th, east to Fort Hamilton Parkway, north to 99th, west to 4th Avenue, north to Marine, east back to FHP, north to 97th, west to 4th Avenue, north to 95th, east again to FHP, nort to 94th, west back to 4th Avenue again (with the dead-end Wogan Terrace along the way), north to 91st, east to 5th Avenue, north to 90th, then back and forth between 4th and 5th Avenues on 90th, 89th, 88th, 87th, 86th, and 85th. But wait, there's more. Then it was south on 5th Avenue to 86th, east to Gelston, south to 88th, east to FHP, south to 90th, west back to Gelston, north back to 88th, west to 5th Avenue, south to 90th, east again to Gelston, south to 94th, east to FHP, north to 90th, east to Gatling, north to 88th, west to FHP once again, north to 85th, west to 5th Avenue, north to 84th, west to 4th Avenue, south to 85th, west to Narrows then doubling back to Colonial, north to 84th, east to 4th Avenue, north to 83rd, west to Shore Road, south to Shore Road Lane (which I'd somehow missed earlier), out and back on Shore Road Lane, north on Shore Road up to 82nd, then east to 3rd Avenue.

Notes: This was certainly one of the more complicated routes I've attempted, but the rationale behind it was filling in some of the mess I'd left in the southern reaches of Bay Ridge. Poor planning (well, not so much poor planning as not really planning at all) on previous runs down there had left a number of short streets and blocks unrun yet surrounded by places I had already covered, so I figured today was as good a day as any to head down there and clean up the map a bit. And, I think, I fixed things pretty well -- if my extensive geographic calculations and orange-highlighter cartographic record-keeping are indeed correct, I've now run all of Bay Ridge south of 86th Street. Not a huge slab of the borough (or even the neighborhood, for that matter), but it's done.

Mentally, it felt great to be back on the road -- I was getting a little stir crazy hanging out at the apartment and writing pretty much for the last week (except for the open house at the Met Opera house on Friday, which was both a terrific experience and completely free, a not insignificant consideration). It was also a very pleasant morning, especially after the mugginess over the weekend. Now that it's officially fall, I really am ready for some autumnal weather. Back in Iowa City, the best running weather of the year (for me, at least) usually occurred between the middle of October and the end of November, and I'm imagining things won't be too different here in Brooklyn.

Physically, I felt... well, not horrible. The seven days away from running had left me pretty rested, and if I'd gained any weight or lost any aerobic fitness along the way I didn't feel it. The heels, though (especially the right one) were still giving me some trouble, which worries me a bit, since if they're still hurting after a week off I might have incurred an actual physical injury (as opposed to the run-of-the-mill aches and pains that come and go with . As always, time will tell. Furthermore, even though I deliberately kept to a slower pace today, I felt kind of sluggish and my legs hurt a bit. Maybe I overdid it today with the 10+ miles, and should've eased back into things. Oh well. I'll tomorrow off, and probably Wednesday too, and try again on Thursday.

Lastly, I've written in this space before how much I enjoy running in Bay Ridge, and today was no different. The residential streets are tidy and well-kept, some of the old apartment buildings are beautiful, and the sometimes hilly terrain is a welcome change of pace from the essential flatness of some of the other neighborhoods I've been spending time in lately. One other aspect of Bay Ridge I really like is the number of small walks, pedestrian alleys, and staircases I've come across -- those kinds of things are a pleasant respite from the noise and traffic on the busier streets.

Today's three photos, including one of the titular pachyderm (to see the other one I've spotted, which resides in Sheepshead Bay, click here and scroll down):

The end of the pedestrian alley Hamilton Walk

This one's on Gelston Avenue

Window off of Marine Avenue


At 7:13 PM, Anonymous jen said...

Bay Ridge just looks great. Next time I visit Brooklyn I really want to go to that neighborhood. Of course the alleys and stairways sound especially appealing. Also, love the elephant photo! So funny -- I just took a photo of an elephant in a front yard this weekend. The one I saw was made from old car tires.

At 11:13 AM, Blogger Feminist Runner said...

I am looking for that elephant on my next run.
I seriously thought I couldn't love Bay Ridge anymore than I already do (what sort of freak have I become saying these words?) but running makes it so much more appealing. Before I was a runner it was an all right place to be, but now it's like heaven.
I digress, as usual, but thanks for the elephant!

At 11:20 PM, Blogger Gary said...

Yeah, it's a great place to run. It also is one of the handful of neighborhoods where I've actually seen a good number of fellow runners.

And FR, the elephant on Gerston is in a yard, on the west side of the street. I don't remember the specific block, but I'm pretty sure it's between 88th and 92nd. Make sure you mention it when you see it!


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