Sunday Funday: Short Runs, Dumplings and Donuts

After a 9 mile run on Saturday, I was really looking forward to making Sunday’s run a really fun one. And what’s more fun (and incompatible, now that I think of it) than dumplings and donuts?

After a lazy morning of watching SVU and contemplating folding the laundry (but never actually doing it), Noah scarfed down a piece of toast, I ate a couple of mini bananas and an orange, and then, we were off along the East River for a total of roughly 3.71 miles and 4 billion calories.

Though it was a little chilly out, it couldn’t have been more beautiful on Sunday afternoon. I felt the usual girlfriend gilt, forcing Noah to run at a slower pace than he otherwise would, but I was quickly able to forget about my sloth-like gait and concentrate instead on the clear, sunny blue sky around me. I could practically smell spring around the corner.

As always, the promenade along the East River was breathtaking, offering a much-needed break from the same ol’ Central Park paths. And because Mother Nature knew I was stopping by, she decided to make her water glitter for me. I was grateful.

We ran south toward the Williamsburg Bridge, which is about as far as our legs would be carrying us.

I stopped for a moment to stare, feel the warmth on my face, and gather my thoughts.

And then I realized there were dumplings and donuts to be eaten, and picked up the pace again.

We exited the East River path around the bridge and ran through the Lower East Side until we arrived at our destination: Prosperity Dumpling, the first stop on our Sunday run-day food tour. Noah had gotten wind about this place from a co-worker, and now that I’ve officially been, I can sing its praises too. Being in Chinatown, the first plus was obviously the prices.

Get this: 1 order of pork and chive fried dumplings for $1…

…1 order of boiled veggie dumplings for $2.50…

…1 order of dumpling noodle soup for $3.50, and 1 vegetable sesame pancake for $1. This was enough food for about 4 people, all for a total of $8. Cash only. We devoured the dumplings and tasted the rest, packing up the sesame pancake and soup to bring home for dinner. That brings us to a grand total of $8 for two people, lunch and dinner. Only in Chinatown.

After the dumpling fest, we contemplated whether it was really necessary to stop by the Doughnut Plant, about 10 blocks away. After all, we were pretty stuffed and my post-run appetite isn’t all that ravenous.

The answer was obvious yes, but we’d be a bit less gluttonous at our second stop, sharing one blackberry jelly filled yeast-derived donut. (If I’m going to have a cake donut, it’s going to be Entenmann’s. I’m loyal to my childhood like that.)

All in all, it was a really fun and delicious run – and one that I don’t get to do that often at that. There are so few occasions when it’s completely appropriate or a smart use of my time to go galavanting around the city in search of dumplings and donuts. Fortunately, Sunday was one of those days.

Whereas some weekends, it’s nice to rest, I was definitely glad to move my body both on Saturday and Sunday. With my toe still out of whack (could it be tendinitis in one toe? Is that possible?), my next question is whether or not to push myself on the running front this week or to take it easy and find other ways to break a sweat. My gut feeling is that, because pushing myself is what lead to this recurring incident, I should probably stay off my feet. But I also know myself, and a good sunrise will pretty much make the decision for me.

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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.