Sunday, December 27, 2009

7 Miles

Brooklyn. Bluejay skies. A day of rain has washed the air and the sidewalks. The temperature is in the 40s and pleasant. The snow has melted. Majo steps outside her apartment building and starts running along 6th Avenue.
ICMajo– Do we really have to do this?
MuyMajo – Let’s just try and see how it goes.
LeftKnee – Guys, I’m not sure this is a great idea.
MuscleChorus – One, Two, Three, Four, One, Two, Three…
MuyMajo – Don’t worry, knee, we’ll take it easy. Let’s see how you’re doing after a mile or two once you’re warmed up.

Mile 1: 4th Street

MuyMajo – Wow. 2nd Street. Didn’t even notice that first one.
ICMajo – Are we there yet?
MuyMajo – One down, six more to go!

6th Ave ends at Flatbush Ave. Taking a left, Majo hops on the sidewalk and exchanges nods and smiles with two separate women running in the opposite direction.

Mile 2: Atlantic Avenue Center

MuyMajo – Great job everyone! Only five more!
ICMajo – Can we go shopping? I bet Target is deserted right now.
MuscleChorus – One, Two, Three, Four, One, Two, Three…
MuyMajo – Don’t need anything right now, but thanks. How’re you doing knee?
LeftKnee – Ok, I guess. A little achy but no worse.
MuyMajo – We’ll just keep up this pace then. Let me know if you need me to stop.
LeftKnee – Nah. I’m all right.

As it moves away from Atlantic Center, Flatbush Avenue stretches in a landscape of shuttered storefronts. A few are starting to open but the sidewalk is mostly empty. Closer to Fulton Mall things start to get more gray and commercial.
Stomach – I’m not doing great here. Shouldn’t have had cereal for breakfast.
MuyMajo – Just relax. You’ll be fine.
ICMajo – This is ugly.
MuyMajo – It’ll be over soon. Look! A marathon poster!
ICMajo – Did you just high-five a poster? Dork.
MuyMajo – Look! The bridge!
ICMajo – You think I’m going to be excited about that? We’re supposed to be going up that thing.
MuyMajo – What do you think about running karaoke?
ICMajo – Would you please stop singing along? You’re making me run out of breath.

Mile 3:Tillary Street

The street has been rising in a gentle slope. The incline gets sharper with the proximity to the bridge. The pedestrian path is open.
MuyMajo – It’s so different on this side!
ICMajo – It’s the same thing. Same river, same city view. Seen it a thousand times.
MuyMajo - It’s so bright today. And from here you get a better view of lower Manhattan and the Brooklyn Bridge. And look at that sky! And the water!
MuscleChorus – Move as one everyone! Focus. One, Two, Three, Four. One, Two…
Heart – Thu-thump. Thu-thump. Thu-Thump.
Side-stitch – Hi, everyone!
ICMajo – Ugh! Who invited her? I told you it was a bad idea to sing.
MuyMajo - Don’t panic. Just keep breathing. Stay relaxed. We’re almost at the top of the bridge. We can stop for a moment there.

At the blue canopy that marks the high point of the bridge, Majo nods at other runners coming from Manhattan. A red barge drifts along the river.

ICMajo – Hey! You forgot to stop.
MuyMajo – There was no need. We’re going downhill now!
LeftKnee – Oh, no! We’re going downhill!

Mile 4: Manhattan side of the Manhattan Bridge
ICMajo – Why is it windier in Chinatown than it was on the bridge?
MuyMajo – I don’t know.
ICMajo – Let’s call it a day and go for dim-sum!
MuyMajo – And skip the Brooklyn Bridge? Are you crazy?

Mile 5: Manhattan side of the Brooklyn Bridge

ICMajo – The Brooklyn Bridge? You’ve got to be kidding.
MuyMajo – But it’s so pretty.
ICMajo – It’s full of tourists. How can you run in this mob?
MuyMajo – It’s like a race. Fun!
Heart – Thu-thump. Thu-thump. Thu-Thump.
MuscleChorus – One, Two, Three, Four …
ICMajo – Why are they taking pictures? They need to keep moving. And they should stay off the bike path!
MuyMajo – There's no need to police them. Just keep running.

Two guys on road bikes and full racing regalia slow down and duck to avoid being on a tourist’s picture frame.

LeftKnee – Oh, no! We’re going downhill!
ICMajo – Yes! Last hill!
MuyMajo – Bye, bye Brooklyn Bridge!

Mile 6: Bottom of the Brooklyn Bridge, Brooklyn Side
MuyMajo – Cadman Plaza! Let’s take the runner’s path.
LeftKnee – Yes! Rubbery and chushy!
ICMajo – We should walk to the subway from here.
MuyMajo – Why?
ICMajo – Just a suggestion.

Mile 7: Corner of Montague & Clinton Street.
MuyMajo – That’s it, guys! We’re here!
ICMajo – Huh.
MuyMajo – That was fun!
ICMajo – Can I have some coconut water now?

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