Posts tagged ‘Riverside Park’

July 12, 2012

Biking in New York City

signage in a bike shop window in Portland

I love riding my bike in New York City. I love when I forget my helmet and I feel the wind in my hair. I used to not wear a helmet at all but then I had kids and I valued my life (and my brains) more.  I always make the kids wear a helmet now too.

I think I started riding a bike in the city when I was about 30 and had just broken up with my ex. At that time, if a girlfriend and I were going out for a drink, my friend’d take a cab and I’d ride my Schwinn. We’d set off at the same moment. And I’d always get there first.

Mostly now, I just ride my bike to work. The bus or subway takes about 30 minutes. I’ve pedaled the 45 blocks in less than 15 minutes.

my morning commute

Besides, staying healthy, saving money, I sail past trees and grass and flowers and happy people in the park. I have a lovely commute through Riverside Park.

Pulling in to my work garage, I used to think people were kind of laughing at me and my bike. Now? Am I imaging it? — coworkers seem slightly jealous. I have a sweet ride.

Ten thousand new bikes are about to be launched on New York City streets through a bike-sharing program. Cool. Every day, my fellow New Yorkers will discover my secret pleasure — commuting to work by bike.

I’m not worried about my route getting clogged with bikers, because most of the bike stations will be in midtown and downtown.

This blog post could easily have been written for another one of my blogs, My Beautiful New York blog. I love New York City.

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January 16, 2011

Sunlight Releases Serotonin

I ran today for the first time in a couple of weeks. I felt horrible. I felt overweight and stupid. I couldn’t find my nylon running shirt so I threw a torn   jean jacket over my baggy velour sweatsuit.

I might run better if I felt more stylish. I know that’s ridiculous but there you have it.

I felt out of shape because I only worked out once this week — one lunchtime Pilates class. I skipped my other class, opting to attend the new book club started by my friend Tracy the librarian at the Interchurch Center.

We discussed The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox by Maggie O’Farrell — really good! And I always love sharing my opinions on a book. My other book club just finished reading Zeitoun by Dave Eggers. Also brilliant.

Any way, when I started in Riverside Park, the sidewalk was hardly cleared. I had to jump over patches of ice and move out of the way of dogs. It was like 30 degrees and windy. I thought, “This is dangerous. I should’ve stayed home with the Times.” (See again, here’s my dilemma — fitness or literature? If only I could read while running.)

But then the sunlight hit me. It’s hard to be grumpy with a face full of sunshine. I felt good. Okay, not stylish, but not pathetic either. I had nobility and purpose in my slow run. I felt proud because I wasn’t totally pathetic. I ran to the end of the 70th Street Pier http://www.riversideparkfund.org/ I remembered running out here in the summer and running on top of this sidewalk art. 

According to my Cardio Trainer app, I ran 1.6 miles in 22 minutes — I know that’s not great, but it’s not nothing.

I think when the sunlight hit, the endorphins kicked in. Or maybe the serotonin — the brain’s natural mood enhancer.

I stopped at a deli on the way home and picked up bagels and blueberries for the family.

April 23, 2010

Interval Training

Wow! I think I know everything. I don’t. I.e., interval training.

Today at lunch time, I met up with a friend. She introduced me to running in intervals. We ran for 5 minutes and walked for 1 minute. Then we ran for 5 minutes and walked for one. And so on. We did about 7 of these bursts of running for 5 and walking for 1. You get the idea.

It was way fun. It was way better than just trying to push myself to cross my 13-minute barrier of running. That’s my usual routine — run for 13 minutes, then walk home, dejected that I couldn’t run longer or farther.

This interval training extends the work out. My friend figured I ran about three and a half miles for 45 minutes. We ran from 120th to Riverbank State Park at 144th Street. This park is genius — an awesome track and other facilities over a sewage treatment facility. It is, actually, lovely. Lilacs blooming around the track’s perimeter. (Flowering trees make me weak in the knees.)

Only problem with interval training is that after 1 minute of walking, it would just feel so good to keep walking. I think this kind of running for me will work best when running with a friend.

You totally get the endorphin rush of running. And that, of course, is why I run.

March 7, 2010

so psyched

I ran 16 minutes without stopping this morning.

I saw a Red-Tailed hawk near the playground at 83rd in Riverside Park — the River Run Park. I had to stop running to take a picture of him (why is it a him? Why not a her?)

The day was so warm and I had been trailing this father and teenage daughter. He was sort of racewalking. Yes, that’s how slow I am — I run as fast as an old man racewalking.

I don’t care. At least I got out there.

I have to admit I was inspired last night to run today. I read the girls “The Berenstain Bears and Too Much Junk Food.” Sometimes I think the Berenstain Bears are so sexist. Why is Dad always the buffoon and mother so wise, as she darns his socks or whatever? But then again, there is a lot you can learn from children’s literature. If you’re open to the message and you can overlook the household gender stereotypes.

February 21, 2010

Sun, Snow and Ice

I ran 13 minutes without stopping. I ran from the apartment to the pier to the boat basin. I kept checking my watch to see if I’d broke my 13-minute barrier. It was a little cold and very sunny.

At one point an older woman was running slowly towards me. She looked like I might hope to look in 25 years – fit, a little wrinkled, game. She told me, “Be careful. It’s icy ahead.”

Yes, it was icy ahead. So I took small steps on the patches of glassy ice. I felt like a prize fighter warming up. I did not stop.

I felt good. I felt proud. I am like that older woman along the path by the Hudson River. I might run slowly, but at least I run. And I watch for those icy patches. 

January 26, 2010

Riverside Park Walk

I walked from 75th and Riverside to 116th and Riverside to pick up one of my daughters from a sleepover.

As I walked, listening to Britney Spears, there was an aroma. An amazing scent that filled the air and practically made me cry. Pine trees. Christmas. Little woodchips made from yours and my Christmas trees in New York City.

To smell this mulch on the side of the hills along Riverside Park. It made the walk so worth it. It began to rain. I didn’t care. The smell grew stronger. I love the way New York City recycles Christmas trees and helps other trees.

Also, at the end of the walk, I saw this guy (I’m trying to post the video to show you but I just practically crashed the computer. I’m not a techie!). It was of a guy rollerblading down a metal railing. People are risky and talented and amazing. A walk in New York always leads to some kind of crazy serendipity.

December 24, 2009

Ran This Morning

Hopped over snow and ice in Riverside Park. Sun’s so bright when it’s cold.

Very little wildlife to remark on. Canadian geese, all hunched into themselves.

The cold air burns your lungs after 10 minutes.

But I listened to Pandora with Britney Spears – that keeps you running. She’s good music to run to. “You wanna piece o’ me?”

December 8, 2009

Where Is that Harbor Seal?

On Saturday, I ran to the end of the 70th Street pier in Riverside Park. As I passed the kayak launch site, empty now, I wished that I could see that harbor seal again. The one with the one droopy whisker and the big black eyes.

About a year ago, Max, the doorman, told me a seal was hanging out at the boat basin. At dusk, I took the kids to see it. Our photo didn’t turn out, but there it was at the boat basin. The next week it was at the kayak launch site. It was yawning and stretching. Just lookin’ around.

We dialed 3-1-1. The animal rescue or marine biology people (or whomever 3-1-1 connected us to) said they would not come rescue it, because – from what we described, it was healthy.

After all, it was a harbor seal in a harbor. No matter that the harbor was the Hudson River.

On my weekend run this time, the only wildlife I saw were squirrels, ducks, and, I’m not sure they count – dogs. I didn’t even see one of the red-tailed hawks near the 80th street playground. They’re so vast you’d think they could swoop down and, with their talons, grab a toddler.

The best part of running in New York City is the wildlife. And when you run again, you remember.

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October 6, 2009

The 13-minute barrier

Yesterday, I tried to run for longer than 13 minutes.

They (http://www.fromcouchto5k.com) say you should have a goal. That is my pathetic goal.

Yesterday I made it running from my house to the georgeousness of the Riverside garden near the Hippo Park. (All of New York is measured for me in playgrounds.) I think that’s almost 20 blocks (from about 76th to about 95th).

I was so tired after 11 minutes, I had to walk around the garden. There are still bees and blooms. The beauty inspired me. I started running again. And I ran for oh, about 10 minutes.

So, I ran for 11 minutes, walked for 1 minute, ran again for 10 minutes. I’ve gotta run for longer than 13 minutes.

Here’s another goal – to run a 5K before New Year’s Day. 2010.

September 29, 2009

My Running Update

A week ago I ran to the end of the pier — the one around 70th in Riverside Park. I started at  75th on Riverside Drive.  

I was breathing very hard. Hayden, who ran lightly beside me, told me not to breathe so heavily. He said that, “It just makes you more tired.”

“It’s all in your mind.” That’s what people tell you about running. They say, “Trick yourself when you run. Say ‘I’ll just run to the lamp post’ and then you find you’ve run to the FAR  lamp post, not the NEAR lamp post.” 

So a day later, I ran again. This time by myself. And I ran to the end of the pier and back. I was trying not to breathe hard. I was trying not to let the exhaustion get to me. I felt I’d doubled my distance.

This last weekend, on Saturday, I ran to the end of the pier and then back. And then to my surprise, I kept running.

I followed a guy a dozen paces ahead of me. He was at least 10 years older than me and at least 50 pounds heavier. He was sweating. I let him set the slow pace. I felt good.

I made it all the way to the women’s restroom near the boat basin. I looked at my phone. I had run for 13 minutes without stopping. I felt proud. I felt maybe I could’ve kept going.

The only problem with this new pursuit of running is that the endorphins have not kicked in yet.

I think they did kick in when running in the Adirodacks. But then the air is fresher there. The view of the mountains beautiful.

I started this blog when I started running with Deirdre and the girls. We ran upthe private road and all the way on Camp Dudley Road to the school house.

I really just took up running in search of endorphins. I’m still searching.