There’s nothing like a run on the Brooklyn Bridge. It doesn’t even have to be on a gorgeous day like you always see pictured with the bright blue sky. I’ve run it in the snow, ice, rain, sun, and every single time is awesome in it’s own way.
Have you trained for a race before? If you have, especially for a long one, and you use generally the same route for your long training runs, you know what kind of relationship you form with that route. And I use relationship in the full sense of the word - once those runs get up over 6 miles you’re looking at an hour plus out on the road.
Hopefully most of those runs are great. You’re light on your feet, the weather is beautiful, and you feel like you could go forever. But inevitably the bad run happens: you ate/drank too much the night before; your new shirt starts chaffing you; it rains/sleets/snows while you’re 10 miles from home; you have to use the bathroom RIGHT NOW; or you just plain feel like crap and never hit your stride. Even those runs, maybe especially those runs, tie you to your route even more so than the good days, because you’ve survived something.
All your friends are in bed sleeping late on a Saturday morning, but you got up, got dressed, and hit the streets. It may not have been pretty, but you ran 20 miles around Manhattan before they even open their eyes. Maybe it’s a little elitist, but that fact alone gives me a smug satisfaction as I limp throughout the rest of my day.
Obviously there are other benefits too. I mean, I haven’t done a training run over the Brooklyn Bridge in 13 months, but seeing this picture today brought a smile to my face and a flood of warm feelings. To give just one example, one particular snowy memory came back that I hadn’t thought of in a long time. There had been a massive snow storm the night before, so I put on my best bank robbing outfit, which also doubled as my warmest cold weather gear, and when I made it to the riverfront, only one narrow path had been shoveled. It was still thick with ice under a slick layer of snow and I had to train my pace to land firm enough to be stable and not land me on my ass…although it took a few spills to learn that. It. Was. Gorgeous. I was completely alone, which is crazy in NYC, you’re NEVER alone in that city, even the homeless people had found shelter for that day. The snow was fresh enough it was still white and hadn’t been muddied up yet, the river was a steel gray, and the sky was this deep winter blue. Sure, eventually the cold broke through my Under Armour and I started to freeze from the toes up and a biting sleet started to fall and sting my eyes. But despite all that and the slow going I felt strong and had one of those runs where you can tell your training is paying off. And yeah, I’ll admit it, I had the smugness too. Later, when everyone recounted what they’d done while snowed in that day - movie marathons, drinking marathons, sleeping marathons - it felt pretty good to say, “oh, I just ran 18 miles into Brooklyn and back.”