I Run Brooklyn.
No, this is not turning into a running blog, but I had to write about my best run ever!
I just bought a new pair of running shoes yesterday and though I could attribute it to that, I think it’s really all about the scenery. For a while now I’ve been looking forward to doing some long runs in NYC, not just to change up the scenery of my usual runs in Beirut, but to explore NYC on foot. When I left NYC for Beirut last summer I was still running short distances of 3.5 miles or less so I mainly stuck to the park near my house.
Last night I mapped out my eight mile run from my apartment to the Brooklyn Bridge and back. I studied it so that when I went for the run I’d know exactly where to go to get in my eight miles.
I ran along Prospect Park, past the farmers’ market, along Flatbush Avenue through various neighborhoods, around Brooklyn Bridge Park, through the quaint neighborood streets of Carrol Gardens, through the more industrial areas of the Gowanus Canal, and then back through my old stomping grounds in Park Slope. A true tour of Brooklyn! I enjoyed seeing Brooklyn wake up on a Saturday morning. People getting coffee, walking their dogs, reading the paper. For the entire eight miles I was never bored. This change of scenery thing is very good. I can’t wait to map out my next long run and see where it takes me.
Another thing I loved about the run was seeing all of the other runners! There wasn’t a single neighborhood I passed through where I didn’t cross paths with another runner. AND, there were even girls running in sports bras! Imagine! AND, I didn’t get harassed at all! Truly not like running in Beirut.
Later today I stopped and picked up a copy of Runners’ World Magazine and read something that made me almost want to take back everything I previously said about running in Beirut. There was an article titled “Stop Bugging Me: How to deal with hecklers, crowded paths, foul smells, and other runner irritants.” On the subject of hecklers, it had this to say:
Runners encounter taunts of “Run, Forrest! Run!” (yes, even 17 years after young Forrest Gump ran across theater screens) or angry gesticulations from drivers who refuse to budge an inch. Sometimes women runners are downright harassed. [. . .] “I definitely notice a relationship between the length of my running shorts and the chance of getting heckled,” says Raymond, who also recalls being squirted with a water gun by someone in a passing SUV. Not fun, but it’s much better to be squirted with water than to have ketchup packets thrown at you, which happened to another member of his running group.
OK, so maybe Beirut isn’t the ONLY place where runners get harassed.