I look forward to Summer Streets ALL YEAR LONG.
For 3 Saturdays in August NYC shuts down Park Avenue and extending streets from 72nd and Central Park to the Brooklyn Bridge. It's open to bikes, blades, walkers and runners with activities and rest stations along the way.
First of all it's super fun to be able to run where you normally can't, like a city street. It's really great to cut the car pollution for a few hours and replace it with people coming out to be active and social and healthy. It's a relatively flat route, with plenty of distractions. But the best part for me is simply that you can start running and just knock out block after block for a straight shot of around 5 miles (not including the bridge). 67th Street...55th St...32nd...17th...it goes so quickly.
Which means Summer Streets is literally the one time of the year I am great at my long run. It is so much easier for my head and my legs to get through than loops of that damn park.
I started at 96th St. in the park and ran down to 72nd to begin on the street running all the way down to Chambers Street. At first I felt crappy because I used my inhaler (which I probably didn't need) and it made me kind of jittery/queasy. But I ran it off in the first few miles and felt great the rest of the time. Then I turned around at Chambers and ran back up to 72nd, back into the park across the transverse and down to Columbus Circle. 12.02 miles in all with hardly any shin trouble. Too bad it's not every Saturday-- I'm enjoying it now though because I'll probably never see an LSD pace like this one again :)
I timed the run so that I'd end in Columbus Circle at the same time as my running group (they did Summer Streets last week when I was away). Joined them for some stretching and went to brunch with a couple of girls afterward. Fat and Fluffy French Toast-- right up my alley. It was here that we decided that some people run for fitness, some run for charity, but we run for brunch.