Like the title of this blog post implies, I’ve now officially followed my advice for exactly 1 day. If you recall, yesterday, I vowed to stick to a brand new running mantra: I won’t take today’s run for granted. It’s a simple adage that doesn’t require speed or drive; all it really takes is the will to enjoy the moment. As I learned during the More/Fitness Half Marathon, happiness can sometimes be a difficult emotion to will (at least when all you really want to do is dump a bucket of ice cold water over your head and level all the hills).
In fact, that’s what this face says. It says I hate you, hill. What are you looking at, swan.
Anywho, this simple shift in mindset actually made Thursday’s run especially pleasant. I went into it with a no-fear attitude; all I really wanted was to be grateful for each step I took. Usually, I’d say this is easier said than done. On Thursday, I said, Stacy, I’m not giving you a choice.
My initial goal was to run 4 easy miles—to keep it short and light and sweet. When I left my apartment, I immediately veered over an avenue to the East Side in order to prevent any temptation to enter the park and add distance, but as I passed the 57th Street intersection, I found myself feeling better than ever, so I decided to keep going. By the time I hit 72nd Street, my stride was still light and airy. Why not, I thought to myself. Central Park it is.
Rather than making a beeline for the Inventor’s Gate (who knew it had a name?), I instead wandered the streets based on the lights, heading north a few blocks before coming back down to the 72nd Street entrance. And while I wasn’t wearing a watch—if you’re new to my blog, I never wear a running watch—I was definitely hitting faster speeds. My stride was strong and steady; my movement was generally springy. If I could bottle that feeling up and unleash it every morning, I absolutely would.
Central Park wasn’t all that spectacular since the morning was somewhat muggy and gray. One thing I did notice, though, was how incredibly green and lush it looked. It’s hard to believe sometimes that you’re running smack in the middle of a concrete jungle; yet without this central oasis, I’d be pretty hard-pressed to stay. I’m a nature kind of girl.
I finished Thursday morning’s run without too much difficulty, and for the first time since the More/Fitness Half Marathon—and, come to think of it, even in the 5 days before the last-minute race—I felt really at peace with my performance. As I walked back into my apartment, elbow sweat and all, I was finally appreciative for what I was able to accomplish before heading off to work. It’s a small achievement, I know. I also don’t know how long this newfound sense of appreciation will last. But for Thursday, it was certainly a welcome feeling of satisfaction. And these days, I’ll take what I can get.