Due to my relentless right shin, I hadn’t run back-to-back 5 milers in months now, let alone 3 days in a row. But from Thursday through Saturday, that’s exactly what I did — following through with my “will run for” declaration of the week to soak up as much sunshine as I possibly could.
It started on Thursday, the first non-rainy morning of the week (besides Monday, but after getting back from a weekend in Chicago at midnight, there was no way I was getting out of bed early to start the week).
Sunshine greeted me as I opened my eyes, and from the moment I placed my feet on the hardwood floor beneath me, I was excited to slip into my sneakers and head out the door. The positivity didn’t end there. Thursday’s one of the best runs I’ve had in weeks, perhaps even since first recognizing those shin-related woes.
I spent that crisp, fall excursion lapping around the lower loop of Central Park as I have on so many other mornings. Enveloped in a thick purple hoodie for the first time this fall, I felt not only cozy in my sportswear but comfortable in my every step — each one lighter than the next.
Drawing on the previous weekend spent watching some of the strongest people around run 26.2 miles along the streets of The Windy City, I tried to channel the ease with which the frontrunners’ feet hit the ground. The power of the mind can be amazing like that; within no time, I felt as though I were floating out of my body and hovering over Fifth Avenue too.
The post-run euphoria stayed with me the rest of that day, carrying over into Friday. I woke up on Friday morning equally excited to run as I had been on Thursday, and while my legs were undoubtedly tired and heavy, I was nevertheless content being out there just after sunrise and enjoying the cool, fresh air.
I was supposed to run 3 short miles with Ashley on Friday, but a slight SNAFU left me alone with my thoughts (no, Ashley, snooze will not get you out of bed). Ultimately, however, I was glad that I spent that morning contemplating a few pressing matters and was able to find clarity in the issues that had been weighing me down lately — that, and, I was able to take my sweet old time stretching my shins once I got to the Bethesda Fountain.
I absolutely love starting my Friday mornings, and therefore my weekend, with a 5-mile run around Central Park’s lower loop. And although, to most, being out there a mere 30 minutes before my schedule normally calls for wouldn’t sound like a big deal, that half-hour actually made an incredible difference in the way the light filtered down through the trees, resulting in an even stronger feeling of calm when it was all said and done.
After Friday’s morning run, I topped off my healthy efforts by perusing the farmers’ market on my way to work. The catch of the day: a mini dollar pumpkin and a bag of homemade apple chips.
I seriously heart fall.
Friday’s sunset was absolutely breathtaking, sending me into the weekend with a smile on my face — one that I haven’t been able to find in months.
October is shaping up to be totally inoffensive.
By Saturday morning — another sunny, delicious morning — I wanted to run and run and run. Given the fact that it would be the third day out there during a time in which I’ve attempted to avoid consecutive runs, I figured I’d stick to between 5 and 6 to be on the safe side.
Noah decided to be a supportive and non-lazy boyfriend on Saturday morning and accompany me along the East River.
It was simple, slow and wonderful; I’m pretty sure I couldn’t stop smiling the entire way.
When we got to the Manhattan Bridge, we took a moment to stretch…
…and take photo evidence that I was in the best mood ever…
…before turning around and heading north once again with a cloudless view of Midtown. In a lot of ways, it characterized exactly how I was feeling after the last few days of solid, nearly (yet not totally) pain-free running: clear, bright, positive and hopeful.
If I can carry these sentiments with me this week, I certainly wouldn’t complain.
- How was your weekend? Strong race? Pumpkin pie? Amazing leisurely run?
- When coming back from injury, do you jump right into back-to-back runs?
- What’s your favorite part of fall?