9 Miles, Central Park and Chocolate Souffles

How is it that on Saturday morning, after a night that involved staying out until 1:30 a.m. when I’m usually asleep by 9:30, I woke up raring to go? I actually had to force myself to stay in bed and enjoy the fact that I didn’t have to rush outside – even though the sunshine and city streets were very much calling my name.

I was predicting clouds, wind and grayness for Saturday and had already decided that I wouldn’t force myself to run in less than perfect conditions. Clearly, I don’t have a future as a weatherman. It looked absolutely amazing outside, and by 10:30, after getting a little work done and being sucked onto the couch by Slumdog Millionaire, I was out the door and running up to the reservoir to meet my cousin, dressed like 12 year old as usual.

Wow has it been a long time since I’ve ran more than the bottom loop of Central Park – and I’ve missed it!

I promised myself to get at least one long run in this weekend, and when I set out on Saturday morning without much of a plan, I figured I’d go for about an hour, running between 5 and 6 miles. In reality, this happened.

The route may actually be one of my favorites, because it had the distance I wanted without the grueling Harlem Hill. Before even mapping it (nope, still no watch for this wandering runner), I had guestimated that the run went about 8 miles – no more. I actually ended up logging nearly 9 miles, made possible by multiple partners who made me never want to stop moving my legs.

I started the run with Noah at the bottom of the park, taking my normal traffic light-based route from my apartment to the 59th Street and 5th Avenue entrance. I ran for about a mile in Central Park by myself before meeting up with my cousin by the Guggenheim. Totally engrossed in conversation, we got to about 102nd Street before cutting across the park and running back down the west side, leaving me to run the bottom loop of the park and back home to the 30’s alone.

Although a little windy (at one point it felt like I was wearing a resistance band, the gusts were so strong), Saturday was nevertheless unbelievable. It was sunny. It was warm. Central Park was packed with runners. Yes, this was the day I had been needing for so, so long now. Just under 9 miles took me about an hour and a half, but it felt more like 20 minutes. And it made me feel really, really good about eating this (if you’ve never been to Heidi’s House by the Side Of The Road, I suggest you do so now.)

My only complaint about the day is that my toe, which had actually started to feel better throughout the week, hurt more than ever by the end. I’m afraid I may have screwed it up again with the impact, and I’m not sure what else to do besides tape it up and go on my merry way. That, and to drink mimosas to dull the pain, which I did on Saturday afternoon before passing out for 2 glorious hours.

Today, Sunday, would have been the perfect day to rest my toe had it not been for the insane amounts of sunshine pouring through my windows. With nothing else on my plate besides a little work to do, I have to get out there. There’s really no other choice.

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2 thoughts on “9 Miles, Central Park and Chocolate Souffles

  1. When I first started reading your blog, I didn’t get nor understand this need you had to run. :-p But since I’ve been running regularly (albeit a lot slower and much less distance) for a few weeks now I totally get it. Saturday morning I felt bad that I didn’t get up and run, I felt like I was missing something. Sunday, while everyone slept in, I was out the door and boy did it feel great. Sunday in Maryland was just a beautiful day to run. I try to run every other day and if I miss it, it really brings me down. I ran this morning and felt great and I’m already looking forward to my Thursday run!

    • This makes me so happy. I’m not one to preach the benefits of running, but for me, it really is a personal thing, and it’s always amazing to find other people who feel this connection (or who start to feel this connection) to the sport. Trust me: speed isn’t everything, and distance just comes with time. One day you’re running 1 to 3 miles, and then thing you know it you’re up to 5 on a regular basis. What’s important is just having fun, and it sounds like that’s something you really “get” about it.

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