Monday, January 14, 2008

Bad Things About Running in NYC

At the request of TunaTacoGrande, I'm giving equal time to the annoying parts of running in New York. I should say that the good outweighs the bad, although sometimes it doesn't seem that way. In no particular order, the stuff that makes it hard to be a runner here: icy sidewalks, sudden-turning cars, horse shit in Central Park because tourists think it's cool to torture a beast into hauling them a half mile, homeless people who shave in water fountains, the rats that take over Riverside Park in the 70s after dark, petulant cyclists in their Euro garb, people that walk three and four abreast, charity runners, weaving runners, joggers with iPods who don't pay attention, dog owners, unleashed dogs, NY Road Runners Club group runs that hog the travel lanes, bus exhaust, waste treatment plants along the river, raccoons, marauding youths who chase after me, the Parks Dept not plowing all of Riverside Park, people who line up at 7-minute-per-mile pace but really run 9, Team In Training, trying to maneuver by trash-bag mountains on the sidewalk, smokers, vending machines that only take perfect bills, all taxis, vendors who charge $3 for Gatorade, the marathon lottery, the guy with the bullhorn who screams at runners during NYRR races, sucking in helicopter exhaust along the Hudson so a rich person can escape Manhattan traffic, cars that try to intimidate me by acting like they'll really run me over at intersections, the super-long dog leashes that have the effect of creating a six-foot long barricade, cops who speed in Central Park, the bodega owners who don't like sweaty bills, the summer heat and humidity, the East Side Promenade, the dearth of trails, unpredictable small humans wandering into the running path in Riverside, and rollerbladers who think their Anton Apollo Ohno with the swinging-arm style.

6.2 miles, 42:47


Jim said...

Dog owners? You hurt me.

Anonymous said...

This made me smile!

I moved from NYC to California last year because I couldn't take it anymore, but guess I miss all of this; even the garbage and that terrifying helicopter sound...all just like music in my ears!

Anonymous said...

been meaning to respond this one for a while. I agree with all that you said, but having moved from NYC to DC, I now realize how good i had it. My list of things I love about running in NYC (mostly central park, where I ran most days).

5 degrees cooler in the summer. Hills, whether you want them or not. 5 or 6 mile loop can be made turn into a great, no-repeat hill workout; running track for speedwork (twice for accurate 5K test); water, water, everywhere (at least in the summer); More than a half-dozen half marathons!; a couple of races a month; cool long run options like "bridges" or "GWB to Wall St."; you can train on the courses you race; permanent NYRR number and chip ownership means you can show up minutes before race time; long run/race combos are easy; a post-race diner is never far away; Train on USATF measured courses!! no guess work, no GPS; Grete's Gallop; dash & splash; loop systems means no cheating once you commit. Meeting my wife for a civilized drink at the boathouse bar after a workout; running with P. Diddy and Howard Stern. All races reachable by public transportation;

Things I hate: Hippies at Strawberry fields, walkers on running track; bike clubs; harlem hills at night is scary; bike clubs; no water in winter; getting boxed in on a narrow course by racers with headphones; the fact that nyrr does nothing to stop racing with headphones; seeing clueless women running with headphones alone, at night, on the 102nd st. transverse; roller bladers; bike clubs

Laura said...

one thing to add: tourist who don't know how to share a sidewalk.