Monday, August 27, 2012

Three Billy Goats Gruff

This past Saturday, our marathon training team (Team in Training Brooklyn) was slated to meet in Prospect Park at 7:30 am for a 12-mile loop over the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges. Fun!

Rayne and I were pumped. We got up in time completely oversleptreadied the Baby Henry mobile and ran out the door. It was a beautiful morning -- sunny and relatively cool for August. Since we were running to the bridge from our apartment instead of the park with the rest of the team, we ran through Brownstone Brooklyn's tree-lined streets the projects. Henry was babbling happily to himself. So far, so good.

The path over the Brooklyn Bridge was picturesque covered over with construction, making it impossible to take in the views and relatively empty already packed with clueless tourists walking three abreast along the narrow path. I sailed labored to push the jogging stroller up over the span and down the other side to City Hall.

It didn't look like this.
Once there, I decided to try Nuun, a sugar-free energy drink I had substituted for Gatorade in the hope it was less revolting. I flipped open the top of my water bottle and quenched my thirst with the cool, refreshing liquid it exploded all over me and the jogging stroller. Apparently, it's effervescent, so I shouldn't have put the tablet in water and shut the bottle. Right.

There was still a little left in the bottle after the explosion. It tasted great like salty Crystal Light. A film of fake sugar coated my tongue. Blech. I tried to make Rayne trade with me for his water, but he took one sip and refused. [Anyone want the other 23 Nuun tablets I have at home?]

We turned right on Worth Street as planned accidentally went straight and ended up in the heart of Chinatown. We snaked along Bayard Street, which smelled like fresh flowers dead fish, dodging old Chinese women out to get their Saturday morning groceries.

At the entrance to the Manhattan Bridge (when we finally got there) Rayne graciously took over jogging stroller duty. Baby Henry was falling asleep for his morning nap. YES. We were back on track.

On the Manhattan Bridge, pedestrians run along the outside of the bridge, next to the Q train tracks. I guess the one good thing about subways being so patchy to outer boroughs on weekends is that we didn't have to worry about running next to trains were passed by the deafening roar of no less than four Q trains. Henry slept right through it went nuts. The poor thing screamed the entire way over the bridge.

By the time we got over, Henry was d-d-done. I carried him sobbing and whimpering around the underbelly of the bridge. We were pretty much back to where we had started out, since the bridges are so close on the Brooklyn side. We were parched and feeling, quite frankly, a bit deflated.

World's. Worst. Mom.
We put Henry back in the stroller and walked towards home until he fell asleep. Rayne stopped at a bodega local gangster hangout in our neighborhood for a water and a Gatorade.

Now that Henry was asleep, we had two choices: 1) call it a day and go back to our apartment, a mere three or four blocks away, or 2) turn south and head to the park to try to complete our 12-mile run. We opted to go home and try again another day head to the park in a last-ditch effort to salvage our workout. In retrospect, this was not the best plan.

The stroller glided over the smooth sidewalk pavement jostled angrily over our neighborhood's what-the-eff-is-this-post-earthquake-San-Francisco sidewalks. Henry screamed. After a mile or so, we gave up and went home.

Earth to NYC: These need to be fixed.

We had moved our bodies a grand total of nine miles over two-and-a-quarter hours. For the math-challenged among you us, that's a 15-minute-mile. (Rayne calculated that for me.) To put it in perspective, if we did the marathon at that pace, it would take us six-and-half hours. (I was able to figure that one out on my own. S-m-r-t.)

Not exactly PR* material. I think we might try another strategy for Saturday morning long runs....

You made it, Baby Henry!

*PR = Personal  Record, not Public Relations, although the latter could also fit the story.