On Thursday morning, I made a big sacrifice for you. Huge. As you know, I’m a total germophobe, and because of my irrational fear, I rarely take public transportation – as long as I can walk to my destination. Well, knowing that I wouldn’t have enough time to enjoy 5 full miles of you, running, unless I took the subway to work, I conceded. That is how much I love you and need you in my life. I have a 10-mile race this weekend. Please don’t fail me.
I know. I wasn’t really planning on running this frequently or far in the week before the Cherry Blossom 10-miler. I had wanted to rest my body in order to prevent any sort of pre-race burn out, especially after logging 12 miles last Saturday. But how could I not run on a day like this? To quote A Night At The Roxbury, “Sir from where I’m standing, it’s a physical impossibility.”
And so, much like any other Thursday morning, I ran. In fact, I ran in shorts and an oversize men’s long sleeve shirt with the hope that the extra fabric would keep me warm. Instead, it just soaked up my elbow sweat and got heavy. Major wardrobe malfunction.
But that was about the only negative commentary I have on Thursday morning’s run. I knew it was coming. On Wednesday night, I declared, after a delicious glass of Pinot Grigio, that I was craving a 5-mile excursion through Central Park. After a tough week on several levels (and Wednesday’s wonderful run with company), I felt the overwhelming urge to go solo, if only to escape responsibilities and reality for an hour of my day.
I set out on my own around 7:45 and ended up on 5th Avenue earlier than I had planned due to the timing of the lights. Rather than jog up Madison Avenue to stare at unaffordable couture (my original plan was somewhat financially and emotionally masochistic, I know), I essentially made a beeline for the park. Once I stepped foot inside, I knew that spending extra time in nature was the right move.
One of the hardest parts about my Central Park runs is that, between the time I enter and exit the park, I’ve really only spent about 10 or 15 minutes inside. Whereas on the weekends, I have the freedom to roam, I’m typically restricted by my tight schedule on any given day of the week. One lap around the bottom loop of Central Park was all I was able to squeeze in on Thursday, and before I could really stop and take it all in…
…I was back among yellow taxis and running south toward my apartment.
That’s when I made the rookie mistake of, again, running with the lights and trading my usual 5th Avenue pathway for the claustrophobia that is Madison Avenue below 59th Street. Because the sidewalks are so incredibly narrow there, it’s also incredibly difficult to move. Rather than running with ease, the last mile or so turned into a real-life game of Frogger, and I spent about 10 minutes dodging men in suits, women in heals, and caterers rolling carts of bagels, fruit and coffee to some important business meeting. As my frustration mounted, I became tempted to knock them all over. Fortunately, my sanity kicked back in, and I didn’t.
While I’ve become really fond of running with friends and family lately, it’s also just as important to go solo every now and then. Overall, I’m really glad that I decided to run 5 miles by my lonesome this morning despite the fact that I was pressed for time. I’ll just have to see whether it was really worth it in a few days, when I determine if I’ve managed to avoid catching the plague or not.
Have you ever sacrificed something for running, like your personal vow to avoid subways and public transportation at all costs? What’d you give up (me: my immunity), and was it worth it?