Saturday, April 11, 2009

There'll be (rainy) days like this

April hasn't provided me with the best weather on weekends for me to get my "walk on". I know the earth needs rain, though, so I'm not begrudging all the rain showers. Yet. This is a three-day weekend, but I knew that Saturday offered me the best chance time-wise to take a practice walk, so I steeled myself to doing just that - rain or shine.

Mother Nature dealt the rain card and I didn't fold. Instead, I got up and out of the apartment by 9 o'clock sharp and made a beeline over to 1st Avenue, which I proceeded to stay all the way down to Chinatown when I had to maneuver around to find the entrance to the pedestrian lane going across the Brooklyn Bridge.

I know there will be plenty of (rainy) days like this this Fall and Winter when I am trudging across America. What today taught me is that there is no reason to fear a little blowing rain. With my trusty umbrella and a rain resistant jacket I was pretty much safe from the storm surrounding me. Oh, who am I kidding. The bottom of my pants got soaked and the sleeves of my jacket looked like a slip 'n slide most of the day. But it didn't damper my spirits. On the "glass half full" side of things, it probably made the walk a bit easier, given that it thinned the crowd of pedestrians on otherwise very busy Manhattan streets and across the Brooklyn Bridge.
Speaking of the Brooklyn Bridge, walking across its wood-lined pedestrian span was probably the highlight of my trip. The views from the bridge are gorgeous - or at least would have been gorgeous - if the sky wasn't a cement gray and the wind doing its best job to push each of us walkers over the cement beams into the traffic below. Yet there was a freedom and expense to being on top of that bridge and looking over to Brooklyn and back to Manhattan that I really enjoyed.

Terri Gross' interview of John Mellancamp was the soundtrack to my descent into Brooklyn. They were talking a lot about mortality, which is a central theme in his new album and he told her that his father - who has been retired for 30 years - always asks him "John, have you done something for yourself today?" Life is short, another of his songs, go, "even on the longest days". It felt good knowing that this walk was me doing something for myself. I ENJOY this, and I look forward to each of these sojourns.

I wrapped up my walk at the corner of Flatbush and Atlantic Aves. in Brooklyn, just about 11 miles from where I started at my apartment. I'm creeping closer to my goal of 15 miles, which will be my average daily walk. I left my place at 9am and finished the walk at 1:40pm, with a substantial breakfast break in between. I was wet and happy to get out of the weather, but my mood was light. There will be rainy days like this, but they won't stop me from enjoying the road ahead of me.

Total Distance: 10.92 miles

Food Eaten: 1 banana; 1 organic Horizon low-fat chocolate milk; egg, cheese & bacon breakfast pannini; one small McDonalds coffee; small McDonald's fries.

Oddest Sight: A runner on 1st Ave. on the Upper East Side running barefoot on a Manhattan sidewalk. And I thought I was crazy.

Most annoying trend: The single walker using the huge golf umbrella while walking on already crowded NYC sidewalks.

Here's the link to my route. It is also copied below.