No Inbetweens

I wonder if I’m approaching the seven year itch with my days in New York.  I don’t swoon when I land at JFK after time away; I am not breathtaken on crisp city mornings.  Something changed in me, in the spring-into-summer, and maybe it was that whole Frederic-Bill-Car Accident-Relapse clusterf*ck.  Maybe that chipped the glossy exterior right off this city that I love(d).

Or maybe, as in any relationship, it’s merely…time.

I’m left with a bag of questions squirming like goldfish.  And I find that…annoying…in the lead-up to the NYC Marathon, which is the New Yorkiest event of the year; the thing that makes me feel so connected to the City that I’ve always loved.

With all of this in mind, and back in Manhattan, I set out for 35 miles+ on foot through 3 boroughs over the course of 24 hours.  It wasn’t intentional.  It was…me going to extremes, again.

But I was trying to get the feeling back.

Saturday 15 October 2011: Roosevelt Island Run:

Down First Avenue; over the 59th Street Bridge (does anyone call it the Ed Koch Bridge?).  The 59th Street Bridge is my nemesis; where I inevitably hit the Marathon Wall.  I hate it.  I hate running it; I detest the rattle and the clank.

So like I do: I face that sucker head on.  Because I am the woman who does the things she doesn’t like — eats carrots; practices forgiveness; walks the dog while nursing a killer hangover from whisky or air travel.

(Lighthouse at the tip of Roosevelt Island)

(Goose and gander? They mate for life, I think.)

(Backward look at the Queensboro Bridge; knowing I’ll have to do the hard run back over that)

(Haunted Mansion.  Which is apparently becoming an FDR Memorial)

(How do these scenes, these moments, appear in this City — as if out of nowhere?)

(Facing my fate — feeling anything but groov(e)y)

(Back in Manhattan; QBB Run conquered.)

Sunday 16 October 2011: Three Bridges Run

Last long run of the year before the New York City Marathon.  Please, God, rekindle my romance with this City before the big day.  I feel like a bride ambivalent about her impending nuptials (ohshitiknowthisfeeling).

(I do. I do want to do this. I do want to get up at 4:45am and walk the dog and go running with my Team. But I do want to hit snooze and make that 5:15…5:20…5:25.  I do, for some reason think it’s a good idea to walk across Central Park to Tavern on the Green to the start.  You know, because it’s morning.)

(I’m running where?)

(Up the Westside Highway; around Riverside Park; down the West Side; across City Hall Park — all my old haunts…then across Bridge #1, The Brooklyn Bridge — Lady Liberty out in New York Harbor in the distance)

(Finishing the Bridge)

(Oh, hello Lower Manhattan)

(So many scary houses)

(Bridge #2, The Pulaski Bridge, into Queens…mind the gap!)

(View from the top)

(There was another 59th Street Bridge crossing here — but I had run a terrible 15 miles to this point, so there are no photos)

(Mercifully, almost done — back in Central Park)

(Crossing to the West Side)

(Back on the UES…)

But I didn’t feel any different after all that mileage.  I felt like a runner, sure.  But the streets hadn’t made me feel like a brand New Yorker.  I used to long for New York when I went away; now I’m homesick for places I’ve never lived.

So come on, you silly fool; you City that never sleeps.  Keep me up all night.  Drive me crazy.  Make me fall in love all over again.  Because I’m tired; I’m shot.  I don’t know how much more I’ve got.

Darling, remind me why I go to extremes.

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