Saturday, February 28, 2009

There Might Be ... Hills

One of the problems of training in Brooklyn and lower Manhattan is that there aren't that many places that you can do a good long run that's got a bunch of hills. That's not to say there aren't hills - the bridges, Park *Slope*, the parks, and anything up from the river in Brooklyn generally has a fair amount of elevation gain.

For people like myself who are running either the New Jersey or Long Island marathons in May, hills don't need to be our friends. But for Boston? Oh yeah, you need hills.

So, how do you go about getting at them in a long run, without the potentially boring, repetitive loops in Prospect Park (I was talking to one colleague who was planning to do five loops!) More power to you, the folk who can handle that.

Today's run, which I'm not going to map, since it's pretty familiar territory, consisted of three segments:

* From Grand Army Plaza, over the Brooklyn Bridge, back over the Manhattan Bridge and back thru Dumbo and Brooklyn Heights (about 10.5 miles)

Hill1: Brooklyn Bridge

Hill2: Manhattan Bridge (up and down ... all the way into Dumbo)

Hill3: Columbia Heights by the Watchtower (my favorite short, steep hill)

Hill4: The long slog up Union Street back to the park.

* From Grand Army Plaza, out Prospect Park West, around the Greenwood Cemetery (counterclockwise) and back. (6 miles)

Hill 5: One off of, I think, 4th Avenue

Hill 6: The run back to Bishop Ford and PPWest

I should note the conversation we had with one of my colleagues, who actually went running in the cemetery the other day and got bagged for it. Apparently in other places, cemetery running is actually considered OK. Not here though. (With due respect, I will say, it'd be an awesome place to run).

* One loop in Prospect Park from Grand Army (3.5 miles)

Hill 7: Starting by the lake, longer and less steep than Zoo Hill.

Plenty of downhills in this three-loop run as well. My legs are definitely feeling it this afternoon as I write this. My colleague at Hills Are My Friends seems a lot happier about the route though.

One random thought: There were *a ton* of people in Prospect Park this morning - running, walking, biking, etc. That's simply awesome. Hope the snow in the next couple of days doesn't scare anyone away.


Janet said...

It's only in the last couple of decades that the non-bereaved were even permitted in the cemetary. A friend tells of having entered, being stopped and asked who he was visiting. He answered, "Tweed! Boss Tweed!"
The concern about running is that we'll disturb actual mourners. Green-Wood has of course started promoting itself as a tourist destination in the last few years, even distributing maps at the Brooklyn Tourist Office and elsewhere. Running is still deemed too disrespectful, or perhaps we'd appear to be taunting the dead for their poor health habits.

jdrunner1 said...

"bagged," as in by colleagues? or as in by the authorities? didn't know it was illegal to be running in cemeteries. my hs track team used to cut a route through one back in michigan. disrespectful, perhaps, but, you have to admit, that's an awful lot of real estate going to waste ... distasteful comment there, sorry, but i think we have other things to fret over than if somebody wants to take a trip down a cemetery drive.

that said, good stuff on the route. i don't get out and vary my route nearly enough. a 20-miler this past summer included four figure-8s of prospect park.