Monday, July 7, 2008

Inaugural Long Run: The Super Boomer Run

Course: The Super Boomer Date: July 7, 2008 Time: 10:30am Temp: 81F Hum: 72%
Distance: 15.45 miles Time: 2:25:50 Pace: 9:27 min/mile
Neighborhoods: Roslyn, Munsey Park, Flower Hill, Port Washington, Baxter Estates, Manorhaven, Sands Point, Port Washington North

It's incredible how much time I would devote to running if I didn't have to worry about working for my means of survival. Two years ago, I had the Mega Ball number and three other numbers. 4 out of 6. The jackpot was $268 million dollars. There are only a few people on this Earth that would know what I would have done, had I won this money. One of those things, would've been to spend my life running and travelling (just to run in races). A bit obsessed, are we?

Initially, I had set out to do my "Port Washington-Flower Hill-Hempstead Harbor" run, which is an 8 and 1/2 mile run. But there are days when I feel like pushing myself further, and today was the day. Instead of 8.5, I did 15.5, nearly double of my original intent. I hadn't done a long run in a while, but isn't that the excuse we all give to ourselves when justifying insanity? To me, painful suffering is good when it comes to running. No, I'm not a masochist (another likely tale), but when things are difficult, then they are usually worthwhile. Great challenges yields great returns. I feel alive when I challenge myself to the extreme and pull through. To keep moving my legs, when all my environmentals tell me otherwise. My mind says "Jackass!", but my legs say "Jack Rabbitt".

It's all part of becoming a tougher person. It make me tougher. If I could run to within an inch of my death, and survive to run again, then I did a great job. Because I lived to tell; improving the process along the way. I can go to a race with a hill, and say to myself, "Big Whoop. My training runs are tougher than this!"

I plan on doing whatever it takes to be stronger, faster, and tougher. So, while the journey of running is sometimes that of pain, it's also a voyage of self-discovery. One that gives me wisdom and makes me feel alive.

In the end, everyone dies, but not everyone lives.

Today was indeed an assault on all my senses. All the "H"s were there to combat my arsenal of mental toughness. Heat, Haze, Humidity, Hills, Hazmats and Heartbreak. It was about 84 during the peak of my run with a 70 percent humidity. The hills, and there were plenty of them, were all laughing at me, daring me to quit.

"Fuck that", I thought out loud, "I don't quit!"

True, I walked a little at the end, but that was by choice to make sure that I didn't overrun myself into injury. In short, I never gave in mentally.

I started my "epic" by parking my car at the Whole Foods Parking Lot near the corner of Northern Blvd. and Port Washington Blvd. I threw my fuel belt on, got satellite confirmation, had my iPod locked and loaded, and threw my car key in my foot pouch.

Blogrunner was ready to roll!

The first mile was boring. I ran along Port Washington Boulevard amidst the confluence of vehicles spewing their stinkyness all around me. However, on long runs, "boring" in the beginning is normal for me. I usually don't wake up until around mile 5.

My first real neighborhood was the splendor of Flower Hill. This is where the affluent live. Well, some of them. In Port Washington, there are a lot of money pockets.

Main Street, as you can imagine is the main drag for Port Washington. Lots of little quaint shops in this village area. Reminds me of Mamaroneck, Larchmont, and other nice little villages that I used to frequent in my former life in Westchester County. Passing through Main Street takes you fast Baxter Estates, another little niche community in dollar sign, USA. I finally broke off my dependency from Main Street, and found myself looking at the seagulls, as I ran in the opposite direction through Sunset Park. This place has held a tremendous heartbreak for me. Good. HTFU (Harden The Fuck Up). De-sensitize and Energize!

From there I headed up on Shore Road. Passing the Shore Road Shopping Center on the right, I got a Gatorade at a local shop. Boy, did that really hit the spot. The sun rarely showed up during my run, thankfully, but it was hot and steamy out there. Sultry like N'awlings, I felt.

I kept running north on Shore, but could not find Sandy Hollow Road. I passed the mini-towns of Port Washington North and then Manorhaven. When I saw the "Welcome to Sands Point" sign, I said, "Uh oh". I definitely went too far. Instead of running along Port Washington neck, I think I was more at the chin level by now. Shore road had become Sands Point Road. It was narrow, and everything was becoming very upscale and residential. Big time affluence. I might have even ran past Carlos Beltran's home, who knows. Although, I was clearly lost, I really liked running through here though. And that's even with my first big and unexpected hill. It was quiet, serene, and the trees were taller and fuller, providing me with some much appreciated coolness in this stank of a day.

I made a right on Barkers Point Rd, and another one on Cow's Neck Road. Eventually, that brought me back to Shore Road. I guess it was time to head back south to see where I fouled up. As it turned out the reason why I couldn't find Sandy Hollow Road, was because I had needed to make a right (now left) onto Harbor Road. And that was all the way back by Mill Pond. And that was right outside Sunset Park! Stupid! Stupid! Stupid! Meh. What's an extra 3 miles on this cruddy day though, right?

I finally found my way to Sandy Hollow, and I was back in business. Followed it up by jogging nicely down to Port Boulevard. After that it was a couple hundred yards more, and then a jacknife onto the monster. Beacon Hill Road.

Beacon Hill held the maximum elevation for my run today. It is the highest point in the neck of Port Washington. The summit of this winding hill was right after Crescent Place and it was close to 300 feet. It had been all uphill since mile 7, and now it was mile 9, and I was just about to put the biggest hill behind me.

As I started running downhill, a tan Mazda drove by, and some dude from within yelled at me, "Way to go man, you made it over. Woo Hoo!" That was a great moment during my run. Encouragement works very well for me. I eat encouragement. It's like pizza for me.

I held back my natural tendencies from wanting to overstride on the way downhill. Shore Road was dead (as expected). And hot (also as expected). And I was thirsty. Very thirsty. My Fuel Belt has (4) 8-ounce water bottles. Each one was half-empty, as I have been drinking a little from each to make sure my weight remains evenly balanced. I know, I know. I am a freak.

Unexpectedly somewhere before the entrance to Hemstead Harbor Beach there was a Hot Dog truck. I stopped and saw they served Gatorade. An ELECTROLYTE OASIS!!!! The sweaty money was graciously handed over to the man with the goods. I always love people's facial reaction as I hand over sweaty bills. I swear, one day, someone's going to say, "Eh, bud, that's okay. Just take the Gatorade and LEAVE." without accepting any sweaty greenback from me at all. I gulped down my nourishment, and let out a vociferous growl. "What an animal." I thought to myself. The unexpected replenishment helped me through the beach and back onto West Shore Drive.

As I progressed down the long and lonely road, I saw a dead racoon lying on the side of the road. It had been awhile since I saw roadkill, and quite frankly, I was overdue. Last year, I had written several blogs stating how the frequency of seeing dead things was becoming something of a joke. Anyway, Rocky looked disgusting. The sucker was 3 feet long, laying on his back, with mouth full open. From its tongue, plenty of movement. A nest of insects and other unimaginable undesirables, all landing and taking off from its mouth. Sort of like Kennedy Airport, but with a much better on-time record. I wont even comment about the smell either.

Speaking of smell however, I will comment about the smell that my senses were blasted with as I got close to the end of West Shore. Here was a factory (could not ascertain name) to my left, spewing out all kinds of hazmats into the air. I could only wonder as to how many minutes these moments permanently took off of my life. I tried to breathe economically, but I was also completing 12 miles, and economy isn't so easy to follow at this point.

Finally, I came upon Old Northern Boulevard. It's called that because by the time you go up this bitch of a hill, you are old. Remember when I told you that Beacon Hill was the biggest hill? Well it is. But Old North is the steepest. Take a look at the elevation chart above, specifically just after mile 12. I was freaking dying on this hill! The Mayan culture professes life through death. Yes, I was alive all right. Except, all I kept imagining was what would have happened if I would have passed out and taken to a hospital, because I was feeling a bit woozy. My sister who had seen me nearly pass out a couple of years back at her house, would have been like "Oh My God. What is wrong with my brother? Everytime I come to see him, he's passing out!"

Vanessa was coming back from Troy today, and eventually we went to dinner locally at Cabanas in Forest Hills. Great food, great price. I would not let them pay a cent afterwards. I guess I am my father's son after all. After dinny they took off to see Kerry's brother, Denny. He had just gotten a new house out near Huntington Bay. Dinny then Denny.. Ha Ha. I crack myself up.

But I digress. After I got back to Northern Boulevard (the new one), Joanne's Gourmet Pizza & Dunkin Donuts Coffee iwas in my viewfinder. "This is great!", I thought, but I still had at least another 2 miles left before I could call it a day. I made a right on Middle Neck Road, and proceeded along until I saw CherryWood, and made another right. Flower Hill, I beg of you to take me in as one of your own. I got 4 out of 6 numbers, for Pete's sake!!!

I made my way over to Birchdale, and then made it all the way to Hewlett Lane. More houses, more humility, more "H's". The one, most beautiful house there, is this all light brown brick house, I would give anything to live in. Picture below.

The end was near. It was back out to Port Washington Boulevard (or Port as the locals call it here) and back to the parking lot.

I did stop at Whole Foods and got a POM Cherry Pomegranate drink and 3 red plums. The POM was $4.79 for a 16 ounce bottle. YIKES!!!!! Just once, I'd like to see the things that are good for you, and the organic stuff, be cheaper than the stuff that's bad for ya. Just once! Hey wait! Is this supposed to be a blog about running, or am I Ralph Nader all of a sudden? Bah!

When I got back home, I took another ice bath (took one yesterday, it was spectacular!).

And that completes my mission for today. I have done 1125.9 miles in 189 days this year for an average of almost 6 miles per day (5.9571428 if you're mathematically neurotic like me).

At this pace I am headed for close to 2,200 miles this year. That's more miles than Ileana had put on her Cadillac. All of last year.

I am Blogrunner. (lol)

Sunset Park................................................................. Gorgeous Homes on Barker's Point.

Beacon Hill is a BITCH! ..............................Almost at the "summit" of Beacon. How appropo!

Coming down Beacon.............................................The Hot Dog truck that quenched my thirst!

Hemstead Harbor Beach.

Old Northern Blvd.- The sign should read "One Bad Ass Hill" instead.
Flower Hill, my retirement....Someday?

Lastly, I called this run the "Super Boomer Run" because I had heard that Boomer Esiason lives in the neighborhood. Boom, if yo can read this, and want to stay in great health, then you ought to give this run a try!

More pictures of the areas that I ran through. These were taken courtesy of Google Maps Street View (as you will notice it was in the winter-no leaves on the trees)

Revelation! I was going the wrong way. Here's where I turned onto Barkers Point Road.

The little, quaint Port village of Port Washington. Main Street, U.S.A.

I love this restaurant. Toscanini's. They have GREAT food. And no, they didn't pay me to say this. I've been there several times, and their service and taste is unmatched anywhere here.

1 comment:

Laura said...

I do the same thing with worrying when I have to give someone my sweaty money. I always feel really guilty! I should get some kind of waterproof pouch for it.