Running. I’m doing a lot of it these days as training ramps up for the Lake Placid Half-Marathon in June. This past Sunday we (that is, Team in Training Brooklyn) ran the Roosevelt Island 10K — that’s 2 loops of a silly sliver of land between Manhattan and Queens. It had all the things that go with racing: bib numbers and water station and chip timing and getting up at 6 on a weekend to ride the subway for an hour in order to run for an hour. Or an hour and one second as my official chip time recorded. And then the tram and the subway home.
(Here I am, running that race).
The thing about this race is that I ran fast. Faster that I’ve recorded before (and I keep pretty good, anal records about distance and time, in the same spreadsheet that I record the money I spend and coop shifts worked and for a time, metrocard swipes). Faster that I would have guessed I could have run for 6 consecutive miles. I think it’s half the race environment and the little bit of competitiveness I have in me (get past the woman in pink! she’s the worst!), and half that I probably spend more time standing and waiting for cars to pass that I can account for when I run in the neighbourhood.
But here I am now, excited about running fast. About clocking a time that I’m a little floored by. This doesn’t completely fit with my image of myself…but I’m getting there. After the first (and only other race) that I ran, in Philadelphia with Goliath, I was grumbly. It seemed ridiculous to get up early and drive to a place and then stand around and then run five and then drive home–I can leave the front door and run 5 miles and be home in less than an hour. But this Roosevelt Island race didn’t feel that silly; I don’t know what clicked. Maybe it’s having the team (see below)?
One other thing is that it was wonderful to go to a part of the city that I had never been to. And to have Eleanor Friedberger in my head all day:
I felt that way too, about the Saturday morning run in Bay Ridge the other week. There’s this great waterfront path, that goes under the Verrazano Bridge that I didn’t know about.
(Here’s my butt, headed under the bridge)
I certainly haven’t spent much time in Bay Ridge, and it was great to take more ownership of my adopted town by running on a new part of it. The start of the run was by the Owls Head water treatment facility, and so I had different Eleanor Friedberger stuck in my head that day.
I think that part is the most exciting to me: I know this place. I ran it. I used my own power to move my body through this place in the world. When Naomi and I were in the cab back from the airport after our trip to Puerto Rico, we were driving along Eastern Parkway towards my house, and as we passed Buffalo ave she asked where we were and I was like “This is my running route. I know where we are.”]]>
(this was taken at Rhinebeck back in October…I was feeling grumpy and then this happened! It was awesome).]]>
There’s a great mosaic tile floor map in the main hall, which also serves at the meeting point for tours of the grounds or of FDR’s house — which is really Sara Roosevelt’s house, but Franklin lived there, and Eleanor too. The tour was led by Shannon, a park ranger and delightful history nerd who answered our questions as fast as we could think of them. She had worked at a different historic site/national park before she came to Hyde Park, and we asked if she had been deployed here. She looked at us like we were crazy and said “I applied for this job. The national parks are not the military.” She then confessed to us that her dream job would be to work at Gettysburg, but whenever a job opens up there, 500 people apply, so it’s best not to get one’s hopes up.
In addition to the house, we saw the library, which is FDR’s former study, and broadcast location of at least two fireside chats. It’s the only presidential library that was actually used by the president in question, and the study is preserved with FDR’s things — including his special made wheelchair with “swivel mounted” ashtray.
We learned a lot of things about America’s longest-serving president. Like he was a cheerleader. And had a lifetime membership to the Natural History Museum. And that Eleanor knit during meetings!
We also got to pose for some photos with Eleanor and FDR:
And then we hit the gift shop. All in all, a successful and educational adventure. We’ve pledged to return in the summer, when the rose garden is in bloom and walks in the woods can be taken.
This is my fundraising page, where you can donate. There’s also a widget on the sidebar there, if you’re reading this not through google reader or whatever.
I’m excited! I’m also super nervous. That’s a lot of running. First practice was last night, and it was snowing, so we ran in the snow — this is already making me feel pretty hardcore, but it’s just the start.
I know I’ve put this photo up before, but I love it. From the 2011 NYC Marathon:
The only thing I like about the superbowl is the dips!]]>
I didn’t take very many photos on the trip to Puerto Rico. I didn’t want my camera to get wet and sandy, and most of our fun was had at the beach. I’m not sad, but I felt silly that I think about taking “vacation photos” but rarely keep the camera with me on regular days. Monday was sunny and gorgeous and so I walked the few miles to the Hoyt subway stop on my way up to Columbia (first I thought, I’ll walk to Atlantic, then Nevins, but I didn’t get on a train until Hoyt).
The Hoyt stop is right up against the downton Brooklyn Macy’s — where ESPO has painted this gorgeous “Love Letter To Brooklyn” mural on the parking garage. I had seen it quickly, on bike, and of course on the internet, but it was great to discover it all over again, especially on a day that I set out to pay attention to the place I live the way that I had to each new thing when in Puerto Rico.
A few more:
I also noticed this excellent address ironwork:
And realized that we really are getting a stadium:
(Naomi and Naomi, walking in Vieques)
The thing about vacation — at least for me — is that time spent not doing certain things reminds me that I love them. And vacation is not really a time for making. I knit a little bit of sock when we were hanging out in our little traveller’s apartment one night, and I made us a salad when we realized that beer wasn’t really dinner, but vacation is not time for cooking or crafting. So it was nice to come home and trudge through the snow to the coop to buy oranges and meyer lemons and grapefruit for Three Citrus Marmalade . I zested, cut away the pith, supreme the segments, and boiled it all up with sugar. It took longer than I expected for the pot to hit 220 degrees, and even so I’m not sure that it really set, but I have 6 beautiful translucent jars of sweet and tart citrus deliciousness.]]>
I made a dress! I had been working on it in bits and pieces, but took New Years Day off of schoolwork to finish it up. It’s Macaron from Colette Patterns, and the main fabric is stuff I bought at the Workroom back when I still lived in Toronto. I bought both blue and orange fabric to use as the contrast, but ultimately decided that the orange was better and that I could certainly use the blue for other project.
I made a size 8, and the only thing I modified was the length of the pleat stitches–it was tight around my butt so I picked them out and re-sewed so that they stopped above my butt. The whole thing is only okay–I know that I’m not a very careful sewer, so things don’t line up quite right everywhere. I’m much better with quilts because they work great even if they’re not totally square. It’s good to do some clothes-sewing once in a while to remember that it’s hard and time consuming and not the thing I’m best at. It’s easy to lust after dresses and pledge to make them, so I’m happy to remind myself that it’s not as easy as that.
The other day I took two of my wintercoats to get fixed. There’s a guy on Washington that did a great job taking in a Lily Pulitzer dress I bought secondhand for $30 even though it was a size too large, and so when I decided that two vintage coats that were my mom’s were worth saving despite missing toggles and a destroyed lining, I brought them over. The coat that needed a new lining is actually too big, and because he was going to reline it we/I decided that it should get taken in as well. It’s so impressive to watch someone who _is_ careful pay pin up a coat so that it fits properly. I also got an excellent earful about the economics of New York’s garment district! I already knew a bit about it because of the Design Trust’s Made in Midtown project, and it was great to hear my Crown Heights tailor talk about engaging with the district as part of his work.]]>