- Storing my keys. Most of my running shorts have a little inner key pocket, but it’s not always comfortable to have all four (yes, four) apartment keys in there digging into my skin. This time I decided to try looping the key ring through my shoelaces, which worked surprisingly well. I didn’t notice them at all! (Except, you know, every couple of miles when I’d look down to make sure they were still there.)
- Fuel and fuel storage. I’ve been running with Honey Stinger Chews lately because Gu is gross, Gu Chomps are weird, and while Clif Shot Blocks taste great, they’re a bit too hard to chew on the run. I’m loving the pink lemonade and limeade Honey Stinger flavors (not surprising, since I’m always craving lemonade at the end of a run). For my first few long runs, I stored a pack in a fuel belt, but I hated the bouncing and when it came time to eat them I would be too sweaty to get the packet open, so I’d be forced to rip it apart with my teeth. (I never said running was glamorous.) On this run, I combined two packages in a ziplock baggie, rolled it up, and tucked it into my sports bra. Like the keys, I didn’t notice them at all. Success!
- Trusting my sense of direction. I hate running with my iPhone. If I cram it into a fuel belt, it contributes to the aforementioned bouncing, but I’m paranoid about accidentally chucking it into the East River from one of the bridges if I’m clutching it in my hand during a run. I really didn’t want to bring it on this 18-miler, but I was admittedly nervous about getting lost between Williamsburg and the Queensboro. To be on the safe side, I listed all the turns on a Post-It and put it in my pocket, but I didn’t have to look at it once!
This run went by so fast. Playing tour guide made the first 10 miles fly by, and then it was easy to pick it up to marathon goal pace when I was on my own for the last 8. I also loved how much of the city I covered along this route. I plan to extend it in a few weeks by continuing from Tribeca to the Brooklyn Bridge and running all the way back home. You know you want to join me.
What’s next? 20 miles of mixing the old with the new: I’ll be repeating my 10-mile route from my apartment up to Riverside Park to meet Abby at 72nd for the second half. Neither one of us has ever run up to the George Washington Bridge before, so we plan to keep going uptown until we reach it. If we still have a few miles to cover, we might run over it as well. I’m not-so-secretly hoping I won’t have hit 20 miles yet when we get to the bridge—I’d love to say I crossed state lines during this round of marathon training!