I won't go into detail about scenery and route, because it's more or less the same, except I ran all the way through and didn't take the bus. I meant to run 13 miles, but because it felt so great, it ended up being 16 miles. You just don't fight it when you're on a groove! (Although, many running articles state the contrary, and warn about over-training... Whatevs.)
I'm completely a creature of habit in all sorts ways. I eat the same thing over and over. I do the same thing every night. I run the same route week after week after week. I run on the streets, and there are sections where I'm usually the only person running. After 4 months of running in the same area, I definitely notice familiar faces, and they recognize me as well. In fact, there's a homeless man with missing front teeth who stands right next to the Dunkin Donuts every morning, that does a little Running Man routine each time I pass by. I can't do a whole lot except smile and run past, since I don't carry change when I run, but it's a city experience in itself.
Once I start crossing the Queensborough Bridge, I notice familiar running faces too. It makes my day when strangers wave, or give a quick nod. There are a lot of bikers on the bridge, as well, and the nice ones also acknowledge my presence. (The mean ones yell at me to get out of they way.)
In Central Park, it's rarer that I see someone I recognize, but I see types of people that make it all the more interesting. It made me smile today to see an older man carry an F. A. O. Shwartz bag, which I completely assumed that it was for a grand child. I'm always impressed with the hardcore moms and dads that run with those fancy-wheeled baby strollers. There are tons of dog walkers. Today, there was a skateboarder who had a Rottweiler by the leash, and they were both mad-dashing parallel to each other down some steep hills. The skater knew what he was doing, though, and steered clear of other people, so it was highly entertaining to watch.
Running outside allows me to be part of other people's daily lives too, and it's especially true in a place like New York where there are constantly tons of people outside. Back in the suburbs of LA, there were only about 5 people outside walking/running when I would run. That has it's charm too, because we got to the point of stopping and chatting at traffic lights, and get friendly.
Anyhoo, today was great, and I'm glad to have gotten the mileage in. Must have been the stuffing+pumpkin pie carbo power that really fueled me for those 16 miles. My ass is sore, and I haven't moved much since 3 hours ago, but it's the type of exhaustion that makes me feel accomplished.
Hasta la next week!