21 October 2012


With two weeks to go until the New York City Marathon, everywhere I read the message is "taper off".  No more long-distance runs, just maintenance workouts to keep thing moving.  Don't race, don't risk getting yourself hurt.  But I haven't done my 20-mile run recently!  I am not really following any training plan anyway, so my plan, if it can be called as such, is to do a 20-mile run THEN taper off.  I really admire people who follow the various plans out there exactly.

My plan for today was to run 20 miles then join a Charity Miles group walk departing from Times Square.  In the past, my 20-mile run consisted of running from Brooklyn, in the Coney Island area, toward or into Manhattan.  The first time I carried out a 20-mile run, I didn't have a GPS watch and prepared for it by using the measuring tool on DailyMile.com.  I ran mostly along the D train's elevated tracks then along Fifth Avenue toward Manhattan Bridge.  I entered Manhattan via the Manhattan Bridge, before the sun came up, and returned to Brooklyn over the Brooklyn Bridge, then traced my way back to Bath Beach.  More recently, in preparation for the Yonkers Marathon, I ran with a Garmin and went along the Belt Parkway waterfront then Second Avenue, followed by Third Avenue then along the BQE but on the waterfront, with Brooklyn Bridge Park being the turning-back point.  The duration for both occasions were a little over four hours.  I am a slow runner.

For today's run, by the time I got into Manhattan, I already covered more than ten miles and realized I was far less than ten miles from Times Square.  I was in Chinatown and planned to get to the West Side Highway to go uptown along the waterfront.  There are twenty Manhattan blocks to a mile, so Times Square, being around 42nd Street is at least two miles away.  Tack on the non-number streets from the Village to Chinatown, at most it would be another two miles.  Since I had to get from the Manhattan Bridge to the West Side Highway then cut cross-town to get to Times Square, surely there would be a few more miles?  Once I got to the West Side Highway, I didn't worry about the mileage.  The sun was out, the weather was beautiful, I shed the top outer layer and ran in shirt and shorts only.  At Chelsea Pier, I followed a runner and made a big loop around the golf driving range.  I don't get to run on the west side of Manhattan much.  The last time I did I ran south from 72nd Street and supposedly had to share the road with cyclists.  Today I followed other runners and was able to run mostly along the waterfront, where most cyclists did not venture to.  One of these days I must run all the way up past the George Washington Bridge and loop over to the east side.  For today, I ran cross-town at 45th Street, not 42nd Street, because I wanted to avoid all the tourists.  By the time I got to the Tasti D-Lite in Times Square to meet other Charity Miles participants, I got 25 km, or about 17 miles, covered.  If I had more time or were able to run faster, I probably could have included all the finger piers, i.e. those long piers that jutted out in the Hudson River, along the way to get to 20 miles, or more.

In today's social networks, most of the time we "meet" people online (in cyberspace) and not in real life, aka meatspace.  I got to know the Facebook friend M., denoted below as a caricature I drew last night, through a word game.  She got me into using Charity Miles to raise money for charities while out running/walking/cycling.  The app Charity Miles is available for iOS and Android.  I still haven't met M. but today I got to meet the founder of Charity Miles, Gene Gurkoff, and as a bonus, his mother Stevi.  Besides having a face to go with the names, we got to talk about a few topics to find out more about each other.  In the group of twenty or so walkers, there were visitors as well as NYC residents.  Among the visitors were AKStout and Deb Evans of the online radio show, Social Geek Radio.  Both AK and Deb love the apps and got Gene onto the show a few times and today they flew in from Texas and Baltimore to do walk.  They sure talk the talk and walk the walk, no?  The group went to Central Park and made stops at Rockefeller Center, St. Patrick Cathedral (which was covered by scaffolds), and the Plaza Hotel.  I had other matters to attend to and couldn't stay for the entire 6.5-mile walk and took off shortly after we entered the park.

By the time we got to Central Park, I got about 2 miles on my Android phone and decided to play safe and finished the workout.  Maybe it's just my FroYo Android phone, I always have troubles accepting sponsorship for the miles.  During the Staten Island Half-Marathon two weeks ago, I got about 6 miles recorded but then somehow the app died and I had to restart all over.  I only got a few Charity miles out of the 13.1-mile race. When it successfully records the workout, it rarely ever uploads the data without requiring me to power off the phone and turn it back on, sometimes with having WiFi enabled and then disabled.  The error message is that there was no Internet connection, although other 'Net-centric apps like Facebook and Mail would work just fine.  Gene told me that a new update is coming soon, so perhaps the issue will go away.

M recently got into running and dieting, which resulted in lots of weight loss.
Moi, Stevi, and Gene.  Colorful shirts we got, I must say!


  1. Good looking group of happy and healthy runners :)
    I hope one day to be one of your "like-minded people" aka "good looking runners" - haa haa
    Have a good week,

  2. Although no doubt some of the participants are runners, TOTA, the event was for walking. You can start with that! I saw a report recently that 10 minutes a day can make a difference.