3 Bridges, 3 Boroughs, No Shirts

With t-minus 5 weeks until the NYC half-marathon, this weekend was a key date for fitting in an “over-distance” long run. I recently had a conversation with a teammate about long run mileage and half-marathon training and while I’m not an expert, I do have some thoughts on the subject. Β If you’re a higher mileage runner (more than 40 miles per week) and have a time goal in mind, then I think running more than 13 miles before race day is key. Completing an over-distance long run always boosts my confidence and makes the race day mileage seem more manageable. If, however, you’re prone to injury or just training to finish the race – maxing out at 10 or 11 miles should be sufficient. I really think it depends on your personal goals and running history – one size does not fit all when it comes to long runs!

This weekend’s long run was quite the adventure! I met up with four of my running club buddies for 15+ miles that took us through 3 boroughs and over 3 bridges. When we were originally planning our mileage, the weather forecast was predicted to beΒ practically tropical (45 degrees!), so I promised to run in only a sports bra for at least a bit. Sunday morning proved to be quite windy, but a promise is a promise, so miles 11-15 were run sans shirt. As expected, the hipsters in Williamsburg were unfazed by our sports bra clad selves. Ah well. Running with my lady friends certainly made the miles fly by – which was a good thing considering this was my longest post-marathon run to date!

What are your thoughts on “over distance” long runs?

The route:

The stats: (Garmin signals were a little weird for miles 7-8, possiblly due to interference from the tall midtown buildings…)

The ladies:

The rest of the day was spent hot showering, stretching, cooking, and baking. I couldn’t let the opportunity to use my heart-shaped cookie cutter pass me by! This sugar cookie recipe is basic, but infinitely adaptable. Next time I may try dipping the cookies in melted chocolate!

Simple Sugar Cookies (makes about 3 dozen)


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • dash of salt
  • 2 sticks of butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • sprinkles or colored sugar for decorating


  • Mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Using a pastry blender or stand mixer, mix in butter until pea-size crumbs form. Set aside.
  • Whisk eggs in a medium size bowl, slowly add the sugar and whisk until light and frothy. Add vanilla extract.
  • Add liquid ingredients to flour mixture. Use your hands to knead everything together. Dough might seem dry at first, but keep at it!
  • Roll dough into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least one hour. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375 F.
  • Lightly flour a flat surface and roll out the dough (just roll out 1/3 at a time – keep the rest in the fridge!) to about 1/4″ thickness. Use a cookie cutter to create shapes and place on an un-greased baking sheet. Decorate with sprinkles!
  • Bake for 6-8 minutes, until golden brown on the edges. Remove from baking sheet, cool on a wire rack, and then EAT.

Are you a Valentine’s day lover or hater?

As my running buddy Megan M. wisely said “I’m not anti-Valentine’s Day, I’m just anti-forced romance.” Wiser words have never been said. And with that, I leave you a link to where I’ll be tonight with my not one, but TWO Valentines. <3 <3 Leslie and Danielle!

  • Megan

    1) I want that sports bra
    2) I am devastated I missed the run.

  • Not a hater since it’s my birthday. πŸ™‚ But I’m ready for the stores to bring on the EASTER candy– I have a severe addiction to the mini Cadbury eggs. πŸ™‚

    I should attempt a Queens to Brooklyn run one of these weekends…I’m always afraid I’ll get lost haha.

  • I hope Megan M. can join us next time! There were also 3 of us in sports bras, 3 lights at which cars stopped for us even though they had the right of way, and you had 3 beverages-gatorade, hot chocolate, coffee!!

  • you guys are awesome. sixteen miles through three boroughs without shirts? please tell me you ran through hasidim-land in the ‘burg?? that would’ve been sweet, just to scare the shit out of everyone. hah.

    HAVE FUN TONIGHT. make mama proud, okay? πŸ˜›

  • Haha, that run looks awesome! Both because of the sports bras, and the route allllll over NYC. When I lived down near South Street Seaport I loved running over the bridges (Manhattan, Brooklyn, Williamsburg) and I definitely miss it, but being close to Central Park is a definite tradeoff.

    I’m indifferent towards Valentine’s Day, it’s fun and cutesey but pretty much only if you have a ‘Valentine’ to share it with. Have fun with friends tonight!

  • what a great route! so fun

  • Nice long run! Can’t go wrong with V-day sugar cookies. I’m definitely not a Valentines Day hater – I actually love the excuse to bake and send people sappy cards πŸ™‚ But I don’t care for all of the expectations that people have for it. By boyfriend and I don’t make a big deal of it – we do little things every Vday to show each other we care, but we don’t feel the need to go out to dinner and get big gifts. It’s the little things every day, not the big things one day a year, that count πŸ™‚

  • Ada

    I love runs that take you over the various NYC bridges, it makes the miles so much more fun!

    I’m running the NYC Half as well, so let me know if you ever need a running buddy:)

    Have a great V-day with the ladies!

  • I’ve never run over distance before, although I’m thinking it probably would have helped me in my first marathon as I had no idea what to expect from miles 20 to 26 and oh man were they ever hard!

  • Your thoughts on over-distance sure seem sound to me – I would feel undertrained for a half if I DIDN’t do an overdistance run. Can’t believe you guys with the sports bras — hard cooore! I’d say I’m pro-Valentine’s Day… it doesn’t offend me. Best of all, it enables my sweet tooth.

  • It’s funny. I can go either way about overdistance training. It depends how solid my training is before the race.

    Now, bridges runs! You’ve got my attention. Those are the best routes. Of course, I’m partial living near the BK and Manhattan bridges.

    Have fun tonight!

  • i’m jealous of that run! i’m in DIRE need of a good adventurous (aka seeing many different things) run. and i’m always for overdistance. for real. i don’t think i ever hit my target for the day/run. it’s a mental boost for me

  • Kristan

    That run looks like it was so much fun. Very brave of you ladies to venture into Queens without shirts on. I’m very jealous because it was not sports bra weather in Northern NJ.

    I’m pro overdistance and con for forced romance. Not a fan of Valentine’s Day at all!

  • I’m SO jealous of your run!! It looks epically awesome. I will be with you, Leslie and Danielle in spirit as I sit in class, learning about carbohydrate metabolism. Have fun and have some wine for me! Let’s have another wine data soon, yeah?

    Oh and to answer your Q – I’m neutral on the whole v-day thing.

  • I celebrated Valentine’s Day by giving a powerpoint presentation and going to class. GOOD GOD, I hope yours is better!! Love the multi-shirt-tied waist look you guys had going on. That’s what they’re sporting in Paris, you know.

  • <3 <3

    You girlies are gorgeous!

  • Dani

    Sounds like a fun run. I’m sad I missed it. Next time please πŸ™‚ Happy V day. See you tomorrow night? πŸ™‚

  • You girls are hilarious, and my heroes — I kid you not, 45 degrees is run-canceling weather for me. This morning in Oakland it was 50ish, so I canceled my running plans and ran on a treadmill for a bit. I WISH I WASN’T SUCH A WIMP and could wear a sports bra!

    p.s. my garmin always acts Janky around the tall buildings of SF

  • I love you, valentine.

    Also, to respond to Sofia’s comment: I love you too. You would be oh so proud πŸ™‚ a proper Valentine’s Day celebration was most certainly had.

  • I give you mad props for running sans shirts in 45 degrees! And don’t worry about those hipsters…there actions can never be explained other than they’re hipsters πŸ˜‰

    For a half marathon, I agree that an over-mileage run in a good training method.

    Good luck!

  • I agree with your comments about over distance. Your cookies are so cute πŸ™‚

  • wait. so you didn’t want to run across the manhattan bridge that shakes like a mofo?! damn those cantilevered sidewalks! #engineerspeaksorry

    crazy mile times. i’ve gotta get myself running more often.

  • AR

    You look really, really excited here.

  • @AR – excited or delusional. take your pick.

  • Even when I’ve had a gentleman caller on Valentine’s Day, ALL of my best dates have been with my girls!