My last two days in Brooklyn (this visit) were quite as perfect as Brooklyn days go. I got up early on Saturday and prepared for my long run. Since I am coming off the Brooklyn Half and have not yet officially started marathon training, I decided to do about 6 miles and also decided to run down to and along the waterfront.
While I was getting dressed, my mother called to say that she was on her way to the Dr because her blood pressure what high. I asked her “why didn’t you call me to let me know you were going?” She responded, “I didn’t want to bother you.” My mother. She will bother me with trivial stuff like writing checks and IMing her sister on FB but will not call me when it is something that is more important.
Lucky for me the Dr. on the running path I chose so I ran to the office to meet her there. Dripping in sweat, I entered the office and swabbed with some rough bathroom paper towels. Thankfully my 85 year old mother is in brilliant health (she ran/walked a 6k race last year and placed in her age group, in a NYRR race!!!) so the Drs visit only resulted in a change of medication. I left my mother to continue my run, but not without a warning from her, “Mind your blood pressure, it runs in the family and I know you love salt!” Ok mom! I love you too.
So I continued on my downhill run towards the seafront. It was mostly on the sidewalk so it entailed dodging pedestrians and dog poo. I passed over the Gowanus Canal, a superfund site that has been both cleaning up and gentrifying–a harbor seal was spotted swimming there not too long ago.
I made it to the waterfront, saw and odd statue, and continued towards the Brooklyn Bridge park.
When I made it to the park I was at about 5 miles. There was a nice breeze coming of the bay and I enjoyed seeing the city skyline from the water, that includes the orange Staten Island ferry leaving its Manhattan berth. This view never gets old and the ferry gives me all kinds of good feels from my childhood.
While I was taking in this experience, I noticed yellow kayaks on the water.
I happened upon the early season of the Brooklyn Bridge Park free kayaking, a part of increasing efforts to get New Yorkers to access our iconic and increasingly cleaner waterfront. In my lifetime I have seen the Hudson River go from inky black with ample dead fish floats to a more appropriate murky brown, representing the estuary it really is. I have also had the pleasurable experience of swimming in this estuary and very happy that it is cleaner, so much so that seals, dolphins and even whales have been recently spotted enjoying the waters.
I took advantage of having no wait time and took a kayak out on the water. As it is meant to be just public experience teaser, you could only kayak in between the two piers. I am not a professional, but quite experienced as I volunteer for local swim races as a kayak support and have circumnavigated Manhattan while doing so. I just wanted to be on the water. I sat on the kayak and felt the sea rise and fall under my watercraft with each passing boat (wake). I also lounged back in my life jacket which afforded a nice cushiony lounge chair feeling. I drifted off into a little nap, only to be awaken but the hot sun beaming on my face. I spend the next half hour or so gently turing the kayak away from the sun and then allowing it to slowly drift back. My feet were in the water, life is good.
Not wanting to end my time on the water but knowing that I needed to finish my run and head home, I reluctantly returned the kayak and hit the pavement for my remaining mile.
Race Recap: Dolan 5k
Pascale Muro trying out the age-group trophy hardware
A good friend of mine, Tamara, texted me on Sunday morning that her daughter (Alyssia Brown, an upcoming road racing dynamo and member of the Prospect Park Youth Running Club–watch out for her) was running the Dolan race at 10am. I remembered the Dolan race, it is an annual 5K in memory of Kenny Dolan who tragically died in an automobile accident at 23 years old. The race, organized by the Dolan family as scholarship fund, started in the early 90s. It quickly became a popular local race with a fun after party with music, beer, bbq, dancing and the award ceremony. The race starts on the downhill–the easiest part of Prospect Park loop and ends with a challenge, the infamous Battle Pass hill and grindy west side. Again, I went out too fast and lost energy on the more challenging part of the park, but I still managed to place in my age group and contribute to the PPTC women’s Masters win (Alyssia won third place OVERALL, she is just entering her teens!). However, the prize of the race was the post race party. It brought back memories of my fitter and faster years where I also placed either overall or age-group along with all-you-can-eat hamburgers and hot dogs. And there was the dancing. Nobody does post race party like old school Brooklyn runners and more importantly, the Dolan family.
Local running legend. He is probably closer to 70 and probably more fit than someone half his age. I was once telling a friend about him on Utica Ave., quite far from this location and lo and behold, dude dance-runs by with his headphones, backpack and signature deep squats and splits.
Mad strength and flexibility skillz, yo!
Even Dance-runner aka Flex can’t get jiggy with these moves!
The weekend rounded off with a couple of stops on the Prospect Lefferts Garden house tour with one good friend, here are views from roof of a new building:
And a visit with another dear friend Joy to my favorite spot, Coney Island! It was quite a windy day, lots of white caps on the water, so we did not walk the boardwalk too much but enjoyed a drink at a relatively new bar/restaurant in a vintage Coney Island building.
Coney Island Art
All is good!