Manhattan can be an absolutely beautiful, awe-aspiring place — one that I am proud to call my home.
…to the quiet pathways of Central Park…
…there is something for everyone, whether avid runner, over-enthused sight-seer, or just your average professional walking up and down 5th Avenue in a suit.
On Friday morning, I took advantage of New York’s splendor with a 5-mile run around the lower loop of Central Park — my favorite place, my favorite distance, my favorite time of day. Life was good. Life is good.
After a relatively sleep-ridden winter of whiny workouts and lazy mornings in bed, I finally feel as though I’m getting back into a good routine. (By the way, can you believe that day light savings is next week already?)
For one, I’ve been running consistently, merely capping off my excursions at 5 miles to avoid re-injuring my shin. I’ve also been mixing it up a ton. Just a few weeks ago, I checked out Refine Method on the Upper West Side. At home, I’ve been amping up my strength training routine by inviting Jillian Michaels into my living room.
Overall, my body — and perhaps more importantly, my brain — have been enjoying the variety. That is, until Friday.
Like I said, Manhattan can be an amazing place to live — especially in your mid-twenties. There is always something to do; there are always people around.
On Friday though, as I contemplated my weekend plans between meetings, I began to feel that familiar sense of claustrophobia that I’ve experienced too many times before.
One big glass of red wine later, and Noah and I found ourselves booking a night out of The Big Apple at a small hotel in Saugerties with a wonderful, much-needed view.
On Saturday morning, rather than rolling out of bed and into my running tights, I packed an overnight bag and began the short journey upstate New York.
Our destination: Overlook Mountain in Woodstock, New York.
The challenge: a vertical trail, 5 miles long, up a seriously snowy mountain.
The trophy: a picture in front of the fire tower at the summit, and a flight of beers at the nearby Keegan Ales Brewery in Kingston — one town over — to thaw my frozen fingers.
Overlook trail was nothing short of arduous. What would be tough during the summer months gave us a real run for our money when blanketed in 5 inches of crunchy, icy snow.
Within minutes, I began to sweat and pant more than had I been running a race. We made it up the mountain in about 45 minutes to an hour, my glutes, calves and ankles burning like holy hell the entire way. There was no question in my mind: Saturday’s hike would make Sunday a sore one. Fortunately, the hotel we stayed in had all the right amenities: a warm shower, heated floors, a big, white, fluffy bed, and — of course — a wine store down the block. Yes, that’d numb the pain.
Sick of the city? Trust me, I get it. As much as we love certain pathways and routes, and certain beloved morning runs, at the end of the day, it all gets a little old. Humans need change. Something about the law of diminishing returns, I think; but I was never too good at economics.
If you find yourself getting a little bored of the same old song and dance, then I highly recommend booking a last-minute getaway. And if you happen to be in the New York City area, then be sure to ping me — I’m totally happy to shoot over Noah’s and my impromptu itinerary to Woodstock, Kingston and Saugerties — awesome beer and delicious food (too much of it, perhaps) included. For a 24-hour trip, we had a freaking great time.
- Have you ever taken a winter and/or snowy hike before? Did you find it more challenging or less?
- When’s the last time you booked a last-minute escape, and what did you do?