Will Run For Wednesday: Variety, Sanity, and OK, a Beach Body

It’s only been 1 week since I first complained of my recurring piriformis pain, and I’m happy to report that, after being very prudent and taking a break on Monday, I completed a delicious (almost) 6-miler along the East River on Tuesday morning. To celebrate my return, I wore entirely too much pink.

This week, I will run for variety.

I have to admit, I’ve been getting a little bored of my Central Park runs. It’s not that I don’t love it; and it’s not that I’m not endlessly happy once there. It’s that, after so many months of exploring the various pathways of my favorite place in Manhattan, this simple route I’ve done more times than I can count just isn’t getting me out the door lately. At least not like it used to.

On Tuesday, I changed up my typical morning run, trading in the lower loop for a 2.75-mile straight shot along the East River.

Although I usually avoid the East River since out-and-backs can bore me to tears, I’ll confess that I was a little excited about only having to jog 4 avenues to my “pretty” destination, as opposed to my 20-block and 3 avenue trek to the bottom of Central Park.

As has been the story lately, Tuesday’s run was absolutely delightful in the admittedly lamest of terms. The air was incredibly crisp, unlike the recently humid and muggy days we’ve been dealing with here in Manhattan. The sun was shining. My body felt great. Piriformis pain was nowhere to be found, and the sudden freedom from the condition left me walking, rather, running on air.

It’s not often that my stride feels light and airy, like the way the late Micah True told Christopher McDougall to envision it in Born to Run. Maybe it was the relatively flat surface in contrast to Central Park’s hills, or maybe it was the hiatus I took the day before. I don’t know. But whatever it was, it worked.

Helpful hint: If you’re running along the East River and have time to spare, I recommend taking a lap or two around the track just north of the Williamsburg Bridge. It’s a great way to tack on a little distance while giving your knees a break from the pavement!

This week, I will run for my sanity.

This one’s kind of a no-brainer (pun intended). On Monday, I felt as though I had so much work that I needed to simply get to it. No run, no fun. What that also resulted in was no sanity. Bad idea? Probably.

After a day of biting my lip (I do that when I’m anxious, in addition to chewing my cuticles and the inside of my cheek; yum) I couldn’t wait to run on Tuesday morning. While out there, running all gazelle like with the wind in my hair and the sun on my skin, I made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t skip out on my runs for the sake of another e-mail, profile or the chance to do my hair. (Kidding, I never do my hair anyway.)

Running outdoors, with surroundings like these…

…is one of the only parts of my day that keeps me somewhat sane, and so sacrificing this for all the other, insanity-causing elements is just plain stupid. Lesson learned.

This week, I will run for a beach body.

There really isn’t much of an explanation to this one. In general, I don’t work out for physical gains; I can thank my parents and a pretty solid gene pool for that. But let’s be honest. Even the slimmest and buffest of ladies and gents look to tone a little here and there come beach season and, well, beach season is among us friends.

Ultimately, not skipping out on a workout or tacking an extra half-mile on to your route will only benefit you as a runner anyway. If it takes a little visualization of yourself prancing near a pool, lake or ocean in an itsy bitsy teeny — you get the point — then so be it.

  • What will you dedicate your runs to this week? Vanity? (Kidding. Kinda.)
  • Anyone heading to the beach, pool or lake house this weekend? Want to take me with you?

26 thoughts on “Will Run For Wednesday: Variety, Sanity, and OK, a Beach Body

  1. I will run this week for ‘me time’. Nothing like going for a run ans enjoying the surroundings, listening to music and thinking things through. It is a time for me to reflect and appreciate my life and my surroundings. Great post πŸ™‚

    • Absolutely! If I didn’t have running, I’d have absolutely NO me time. How scary is that?! Thank goodness for running.

  2. Jeepers, I thought I was the only one who did the bitey cheek and cuticle thing! I’d love to run by the East River but the jet lag and the airfare are a deal breaker! Good on ya for not using injury as an excuse, you go girl!

    • I’d trade you any day! The cheek thing sucks…oral fixation or something. I try to chew gum to keep from doing it. Boo!

      • I only abstain if I know in advance I have a dental appt because I’m so ashamed! … I have another tic as well, when I’m sat with my legs crossed one heel is either tapping the floor or the other is foot/leg is swinging…a lot…drives people crazy but I once read that fidgety people burn more calories than people who can sit still so…kerching! makes up for all the gum/candy eating πŸ™‚

  3. I’m not gonna lie, the first thing that came into my mind today was “alcohol.” I have had a lot to celebrate lately, so I have done more drinking than usual. And I feel more justified in my drinking if I’m running. So this week I will run for alcohol (or for the fact that I already drank a few skinny margaritas the past couple of days, and it’s only Wednesday). Like you, I usually don’t run for calorie/body related reasons (although I don’t have the fantabulous gene pool that you have – but I have accepted what I’ve been given) but as “skinny” as those margaritas are, it’s undeniable that they’re empty calories and running can counteract that πŸ™‚

    • You had me at alcohol. Wine is like, 40% of the reason why I run. Even the naturally thin can’t ward off the bulge of a bottle of vino or ten. (Flashback study abroad…)

      Somehow alcohol miraculously makes me run better anyway, so with that logic, you should be breaking world records. Hope the celebrations continue!

  4. I am running to train for a 10k at the end of the month. And for a beach body too! Plus it helps me relax and makes my puppy so happy when he comes with me πŸ™‚
    Lovely pics by the way

    • I always see people running with dogs and get slightly (very) jealous! Apparently I’m not “responsible” enough for one yet though. Ugh.

  5. What did you do to get rid of the piriformis pain? I have had it for about a month and it won’t go away. I haven’t tried a foam roller yet, so that is my next strategy along with ice. Any other suggestions?

      • This was so helpful! I bought a foam roller last night and rolled away. I also did some strength training and stretching this am, so my fingers are crossed that continuing this routine in combination with a couple of rest days will cure all of my symptoms. I am also scheduled to have a sports massage with someone specializing in runners tomorrow. Really hoping I am able to run Saturday, as I am training for a marathon in October!

      • Good luck! I really hope it helps. The foam roller can kind of hurt at the time, but you really feel the difference in the following days. Just remember that, if you do run Saturday, to take it easy and listen to your body. You’re MUCH better off skipping Saturday if it means being able to train properly for October! (Not that I’ve run a marathon before…which I haven’t. Just halves so far!)

  6. Hmm…I hadn’t thought about it until now but I am dedicating all my runs for June to Independence Day! July 4th is the Peachtree Road Race in Atlanta so all my runs will be dedicated to getting ready for it! Plus, it will make my runs feel patriotic!

    Congrats on your return to pain free running!

  7. Went for my first outdoors run in ages and am surprised at how sore I am! My legs, calves, hips, are all achy today. Worth it, though. Next run dedicated to not being sore, and getting used to it again!

    • My favorite is, even on sore days, watching my muscles as they loosen up. Good luck with that! Way to get out there.

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