I don’t think I’ve trained for a single half marathon without having to travel at some point during the training cycle. I’m just lucky, I guess. This time around, with a half marathon staring me in the face for November 22, I found myself in one of my favorite cities – for the longest run of my half marathon training cycle.
That’s right, I was doing my 12-miler in Manhattan. And, of course, I might have ended up doing an extra mile inadvertently.
I had planned to run down Third Avenue to the Whitehall Ferry Terminal, then journey up the Hudson River Parkway to somewhere just below Central Park, then run back to Third and down to my starting point. Somewhere along the way, I ended up doing an extra mile because I didn’t plan for some funky gated thing in Lower Manhattan. But it felt good.
My splits and charts are crazy. Running in Manhattan means that you’re going to have a lot of stops and starts, at least until you get somewhere without crosswalks. That’s the Hudson River Parkway, which runs up the west side of the island and gives you a pretty view of the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and even New Jersey, which even at the beginning of November has pretty color-changing leaves.
For the most part, it’s nice and flat and uninterrupted, although you will also be passed by bikes. No biggie. I felt really strong and fast as I ran up the straight part, checking my Garmin and thinking that I was definitely not going that fast, but I was. It made up for the end of my run, stopping at red lights and growling at slow pedestrians. I had started my run around 7 am, but by 9, as I finished, the tourists were starting to leave their hotel rooms.
There were also plenty of other runners. If you’re hesitant about leaving the road, know that you’ll have other fitness-minded company.