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I ran 16.54 miles on Saturday. This was a long, long time coming. We have to party, though I’d be content to sit on the pier with a cider and plate of nachos so loaded and soggy you have to eat them with a fork. And then papusas with curtido. Food is on the brain during long runs. My honey and I fueled up with a banana and shared a chia bar along the way. Simple, small amounts of food at a time work best for me before and during a run. Afterwards I’m a calorie monster.

I’d heard that there was some race going on in Prospect Park this weekend. Another race. We had a choice for our weekend long run: agitation or a change of scenery.

We woke up early and took the subway up to 125th street then walked over to waterfront path. This put us approximately 15 miles from home. Now all we had to do was run back.

The stretch along Manhattan’s entire west side offers cool breezes off the river and turbo people-watching. It’s a little too narrow in parts, considering the bike and foot traffic. Getting out early helps. At first there’s a lot of noise and fumes from all the vehicles on the West Side Highway, but once it opens up to Riverside Park there’s a pleasant amount of distance between the path and car traffic. Though straight and flat, the path didn’t feel monotonous. Running along moving water never does.

There are also plenty of open bathrooms that don’t have people living in them, which is good to know.The water fountains are still off, also good to know.

We had to break at the USS Intrepid aircraft carrier. This ship survived five kamikaze attacks and a torpedo strike during WWII. It’s one of the many museums I forget about. Then we were running by it and I was like Wow. It looks so real. And it is real. We didn’t bring a phone so no pics, but it’s going on our To-Gos now that we remember it exists.

The southern tip of Manhattan gets crowded first with people going to the Statue of Liberty, then the Staten Island ferry then South Street Seaport then the Brooklyn Bridge. By this time we were pretty tired so rather than huff and puff past, we took a much needed walk break. My stubbed toe is still being a baby. I think my ankle overcompensated because it started wobbling. Running felt better than walking – maybe less foot surface hitting the ground? We slowed our pace and ran most of the way home.

My love for Trader Joe’s grew a bit. We stopped there to get some gf bagels, but we also helped ourselves to free coffee and my honey had a sample of gnocchi, which perked him up for the rest of the run. At this point we were tired and didn’t realize we’d grabbed a bag of bagels with a hole in it. At the checkout, this sweet woman working there pointed it out to us, ran back and got us a different pack. She easily could’ve just dropped it in a bag and not said a word and we wouldn’t have noticed until getting home 2 miles later and hungry.

The only part of this run I didn’t love was crossing over the oily Gowanus Canal, a bubbling muse for toxic monsters. Whatever is down there – probably not water – it got us sprinting.

We didn’t set a time goal and my honey didn’t balk about the walk breaks when my ankle started singing. This was my favorite run of the year so far. Most of it was a physical struggle, but mentally I was determined to finally conquer this 15-mile block. Walk breaks weren’t even a question. My only goal was to get the distance in my legs.

Junk food swam through my head throughout the run, but after all I really wanted was cold , fresh fruits and veggies. Okay, and a milkshake. Then gentle yoga. I get super stiff everywhere after runs- stiff spine, stiff shoulders, stiff hip rotators, stiff hammies. Before daily yoga, I guess I was just stiff all the time and didn’t feel the difference.

Things are good in 15+ mile land. I’m still riding the energy buzz and my whole body feels like it’s breathing more. Any minute now the running faery will give me brand new feet and they shall never touch the ground. Until it’s time to chase 18 miles.