Sunday, January 10, 2010

Riverdale Run

Charming Castle-like houses in Spuyten Duyvil, Bronx

Every couple of weeks my neighborhood running group treks up to Riverdale on our weekly Saturday long run. I remember a few years ago when I made my first journey through the hills of
Spuyten Duyvil and Riverdale and I didn't think I was going to make it. The rolling hills of S.D. were followed by a whopper of a hill at 254th St that felt like going up a ski slope and I couldn't believe I was still moving forward. Now, years and many hills later I can bound up most of those hills without missing a beat. The killer hill on 254th still gives me a run for my money though, but I know I can make it so I just keep pushing. Yesterday was the first time in at least a month or two since I've done this run and it felt like I was doing it for the first time- not the pain and gasping of the hills, but in the way I was seeing things. I brought along a good friend, NM for the run who has run with the group just a few times and it was her first time doing this particular run, so I felt like a tour guide. She's really into beautiful real estate so I spent more time looking at all of the gorgeous, old houses than usual, pointing out fun details that I hadn't noticed before. Since it was a bit iffy on the trails we usually run, we had to take our winter detour which takes us up "Wave Hill" which is a doozy. Wave Hill is actually a Cultural Center and Garden perched atop a hefty hill with gorgeous views of the Hudson and Palisades. Along Independence Ave around Wave Hill are houses that look like they were transplanted from Tuscany with their archways and intricate details. It was such a sunny and crisp morning, I hardly felt the hills. We always finish our run by passing near the Riverdale Country School and then cruising around the lower parts of Van Cortlandt Park. We all commented on how good it felt to hit that dirt path after pounding the pavement for the last 7 miles or so. I needed to get in about 11 miles yesterday so my NM and I continued on after leaving the group at the 242nd 1 train station. We followed Broadway back down to the 225th St bridge which links The Bronx to Inwood, Manhattan and weaved our way through Inwood back towards home. I convinced NM that we didn't need to take the 187th St CRAZY STAIRS again (we did them Thurs) so we took the 181st St subway elevator :)
It was an easy pace run, with a total elevation gain of 3,260 ft!
Heres the breakdown:
8:36 pace, elev+ 431ft
9:59 pace, elev+ 375ft
9:45 pace, elev+237ft
10:08 pace, elev+ 224ft
10:24 pace, elev+ 181 (so slow?)
9:59 pace, elev+ 49ft
10:01 pace, elev+158ft
9:03 pace, elev+21 (Broadway is flat!)
8:54 pace, elev+ 219
9:14 pace, elev+ 181ft
9:34pace, elev+ 1,058 (WOAH)
last .32 mi 9:30 pace, elev+126ft

We were a bit all over the place, but thats the reality of running with a group of people with similar but not exact abilities. I love my running group! I never would have found this route without them and I never would have pushed myself to get better on those hills without them either. <3

Photo courtesy of

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