Wednesday, 27 July 2011

from Ewen in the states

Posted by speedygeoff on Wednesday, July 27, 2011 with 4 comments
Saturday 23 July 2011. 11.30 A.M. From Ewen

We're sitting on the train at New Haven station in Connecticut. Managed to fluke a cab this morning just as we walked down the stairs of our guest house on Lexington. Bit of a chaotic queue at Penn Station (cab ride was $6 each including the tip). The train arrives at Boston in an hour and a half. Predicted maximum temp there today is 99 degrees, 1 degree cooler than in New York.

Had a great time in New York. Loved the city and only being two blocks from Central Park (what a blessing this park is for New Yorkers). I set the alarm for 6.15am most mornings (ugh!), left Mal and Joy to sleep in and walked over to the park for my daily run. Managed to get totally lost on the second day (exploring the bridle trail and Jackie Kennedy reservoir), ending up with a long walk home.

The weather has been a constant talking point - most of the eastern seaboard of the States is experiencing a heat wave. Yesterday was the hottest July 22 on record in Central Park with the temperature reaching 104 degrees F. The main problem for running is that the overnight temps don't drop much (a low yesterday of 29 C at 2am). The humidity is also a killer (especially for a big sweater like myself) - after 3k of running I'm drenched. Blew up big time on my run yesterday, only making 7k to the bottom of the notorious 'Cat Hill' before being forced to walk the last 2.7 k of the main road loop.

The park is only open to cars between 8am and 10am, and is a haven for runners, walkers and cyclists. Cyclists have about a 3/4 width of the road and ride anti-clockwise. Runners are on the inner two 'bike path' lanes and most seemed to run anti-clockwise as well. There's a constant stream of runners using the park and I guess I fall in the 'front half' of the pack speed-wise. I saw a handful of very quick (3 to 4 minute k pace) runners. One day I was passed running up one of the hills by a lady pushing a baby in a stroller. I was doing 5:30/k pace at the time (my pace most days).

Did all the tourist things in New York: Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center, Statue of Liberty Crown Walk (fantastic - book months early!), Tom's Diner (the Seinfeld Restarant), the biggest cathederal in the world (St John the Devine), 9/11 Memorial & Museum, Macys, a Broadway Show (Catch Me If You Can - brilliant!), Times Square, The Guggenheim Museum, The Boathouse Restarant in Central Park, the 59th St Bridge (local runner TK gave me a personal running tour of her bridge and Roosevelt Island), baseball at Citifield (The Mets won 4-2 - WooHoo!), and much subway riding with the locals.

Only caught the wrong subway train twice. The subways are the best way to get around NYC, although we took a couple of air-conditioned cab rides the last two days. The subway trains are air conditioned, but if you have to wait at a station for more than a couple of minutes (there are usually trains every 2-5 minutes), you start cooking. The temperature in the stations feels about 30 degrees higher than above ground, so on a 100 degree day you don't want to be hanging too long on a subway station. The weather this past week has been unusually hot, but perhaps consider visiting New York in Spring or Fall.

Our accommodation at the Margot Guest House has been perfect: only a block from the subway, three blocks (10 minute walk) from Central Park, and close to excellent local restraunts and a great coffee shop (tea for us) - the East Harlem Cafe. The district used to be called Spanish Harlem (white locals are a minority). We felt perfectly safe and most people we met were friendly and helpful. If we pulled out our map a local would strike up a conversation and head us in the right direction. On our visits downtown we usually had morning or afternoon tea at Starbucks (great for tea!).

Computer time has been limited. I'm way behind on reading running blogs (sorry about that) - usually just have time for reading emails, a quick check of the Aussie News (I'm still leading the work footy tipping comp - go the Blues!), and a quick look at Twitter & Facebook.

Hope everyone is running well (especially the Speedygeese in Canberra). I'll post a couple of Youtuebe videos of my runs in New York when I get a chance. Keep enjoying the cool weather down there - I hear it's great for running.


Meebo. New. Installed in the side bar. I don't know how it works yet, try it if you like, stay tuned.

Yesterday's Ginninderra Handicap. Miranda & I ran the 7k together, we managed about 36:50. It was Miranda's first run there. Not my first run there though; I helped establish the course back in the 1970's. I seem to recall an official pb of 22:19, with a vague recollection of breaking 22:00 once when I was marathon fit.


  1. Don't tell me you missed a ferry ride out to Ellis Island while in NTC!!!!! That's a must if you want to see how America, especially Manhattan, came to be what it is today. An incredible experience and one that touches the heart of all who visit there.

  2. For Ewen, I meant NYC, not NTC...sorry!

  3. Thanks Geoff for the comment. I think I'll make it my goal to get back to Speedy Geese in the summer. A lofty goal, but a goal nonetheless :). Hope you're well!

  4. I am well now thank you! But July, generally, has been a shocker, I was not well a week ago. I hate being sick.