Close Your Eyes and Run: 5 Awesome Monday Miles

It’s a physical impossibility not to run on a 40-degree day in February when you can actually hear birds chirping over the sounds of trucks and cabs. It’s not like I promised to stay off my feet; I just said I’d try.

Which brings me to Monday morning, when I managed to remove myself from a mound of comfy down blankets to gear up for a run. The getup: completely unoriginal, as proven by the fact that Noah commented he’d “never seen those running clothes before” as I passed him on his way to work. (Sarcasm is a pillar of our relationship.)

Wearing the same white Gap Body long-sleeve shirt, thermal army printed Juicy hoodie (left over from my high school years; hey, it’s warm and un-bulky!) and pink bedazzled 180s, I set off heading north on Lexington Ave. The path: also unoriginal, yet oh-so welcomed on a Monday morning. I really wasn’t in the mood to think this one out.

I hadn’t necessarily planned on running the entire bottom loop of Central Park on Monday for two reasons: my toe and my lack of time. But every time I hit another marker (“Ok, I’ll just run to the bottom of Central Park; Ok, I’ll just run up to the 72nd Street entrance; etc”), I decided to keep going, and before I knew it I found myself at the half-way mark of my normal weekday path – the Bethesda Fountain.

Monday’s wasn’t the best run of my life, especially after that phenomenal 9ish-miler on Saturday. It wasn’t the worst either though. I still felt a little residual tightness from the weekend, and I couldn’t seem to shake it off until I stopped to stretch about 3 miles in. I was actually a little upset with myself afterward for having waited so long, once I realized what a difference a mere 1 minute of calf, hamstring and glute stretching made for the final 2 miles of my run.

Still, any minor aches I felt were overwhelmed by how beautiful it was outside. I even closed my eyes for a few seconds at a time (when it wasn’t hazardous to other runners, of course), soaking in the warmth of the sun and allowing myself to drift off into the quiet of my mind. It’s amazing how even in the heat of the moment, your heart racing and your legs working really hard, how meditative running can really be.

My run, from the bottom of the park home, was a bit unusual; I decided to take 6th Avenue downtown rather than 5th. There were times I regretted it, since the foot traffic was far heavier, but at the same time it was nice to stare into different store windows, to see different faces, and to end my run in Bryant Park. As quickly as it started, the 5 mile run was over, and I was off to work to start what’s already turned into a really hectic week.

I could really use a day off from running on Tuesday to let my toe finally heal, but with one more day of sunshine before two potential days of rain, I’m thinking I should stick it out and rest mid-week instead. I’d rather not hold myself to any decisions though. Plus, I’ve discovered this sick Skrillex song, which is going to make the perfect backdrop for Central Park.

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