First: A view into the inner workings of my brain at 7:00:01, right when my alarm goes off.
It’s dark out. It’s really, really dark out. Do I have to get up? Ugh, I really don’t wanna run, maybe I can just skip today. Or maybe I can just get 10 more minutes of sleep in – no big, I’ll just run a mile less or something. That’s right. I’ll just press snooze.
Approximately 11 seconds go by.
I gotta run.
This silent conversation happens pretty much every Friday. Because while most mornings I’m up and raring to go, it’s more than likely that I’m at least a little hungover on any given Friday morning. I may try to run every day, but I’m certainly no superwoman; even I don’t particularly enjoy jumping up and down with a gurgling stomach, a sloshing brain and an overall sense of exhaustion.
But sometimes, a runners gotta do what a runners gotta do, and that’s suck it up and push on through the pain of a few too many Pinot Grigios.
Friday morning was cool, misty and gray. Not freezing like it otherwise might be in March, but far colder than Wednesday, when I ran in a short sleeve shirt. No, today I’d needed some serious inspiration to get out there, and so I took to the oldest trick in the book: adding a little glitter to my morning.
43 degrees meant that my bedazzled 180s were coming back out of the winter running gear basket along with my fingerless gloves. Dressed in leggings and a requisite Michigan long sleeve shirt (go blue!)…
…and without much of a plan or intention, I set out onto the foggy streets of Lexington Avenue.
Once my legs started moving, I figured I should hash out a plan – at least decide how far to go or how long to run for. My initial idea was to simply bang out 2 miles and call it a day. It was wet and gross out, after all, and a couple of miles combined with 30 minutes of plyometrics and crunches, performed in a dry, warm apartment, wasn’t sounding so bad.
As I got moving though, my legs started to feel uncharacteristically strong despite a lingering tightness in my calf that I’ve been foam rolling the heck out of all week long. Rather than tight and cramped, my legs felt light and springy. My every move felt effortless. No, I didn’t have a choice on Friday morning. I had to take advantage of this rare burst of energy and complete my favorite course in all of Manhattan.
The bottom loop of Central Park can actually be really pleasant in the rain since fewer runners tend to make it out of bed under such gloomy conditions. It’s funny though, because I recently watched Midnight In Paris, the Woody Allen flick in which the main character, played by Owen Wilson, keeps returning to this idea that there’s nothing like Paris in the rain. Well, I tend to agree, though my penchants reside across the pond here in New York City. I love Manhattan in the rain, and if you can bear it, I highly suggest taking a run in it too.
4 miles went by all too quickly, and before I knew it, I was at the bottom of the park with only 1 mile left to my morning run. As I exited at 59th Street and 5th Avenue, I came upon this massive line at the Apple Store. My thought: Whatever, running in the rain is so much cooler than your iPad.
Anyway, as always, I’m so incredibly grateful that I was able to squeeze in this strong, invigorating run today. Like I always say, there is nothing like ending your week, and starting your weekend, with a solid workout and a sound mind. The spring-like views of Central Park didn’t hurt either.
As for this weekend, my only goal is to run 7 miles at some point, whether it’s Saturday morning before my all day St. Paddy’s Day drinking fest or Sunday, when I’ll desperately want to work off the detriments of the previous day’s shenanigans. Today marks my 9th day in a row of doing some sort of workout. (I think 7 or 8 out of those 9 days were runs.) In other words, if I “accidentally” skip a workout one day this weekend, I won’t feel any regret. But then again, if I run both days, I probably won’t regret that too much either.
Have a wonderful weekend, and to all of the New York City Half Marathon runners out there, best of luck! And if you’re as into March Madness as I am, don’t be intimidated by my professional attire, but go blue!