Sunday night was miserable.
Picture it. I just returned home from a 7-hour day of traveling, on my journey back from rural Pennsylvania to New York City (a car to a train to another train to a cab — good times!) and was sniffling more than ever.
Need to get over a wicked bad cold? A word of advice: Do not spend two days on a dusty farm drinking cider and whiskey. Just a thought.
Anyway, I expected Monday to be as miserable as the days before. But to my pleasant surprise, I woke up feeling so much better than I had all week. The antidote? Must have been a good night of sleep (like, 9 hours, I think?) coupled with clean sheets, lentil soup, and a couple squirts of good old Afrin. Does a body good.
Part of me had already accepted that I’d likely be unable to run — let alone work out at all — on Monday morning. When I opened my eyes and assessed the situation, however, I was immediately stoked to recognize a healthy (well, almost), happy me.
With more excitement than I’ve had in weeks, I threw back the blanket, leaving Noah behind.
The temperature was colder than I’d have preferred, and so it quickly turned into a purple fleece legging type of morning (even if I thought I had put those bad boys away at the bottom of my drawer for good).
Yes, it was definitely chilly on Monday, and even though I was up and energized, my sinuses — still improving after a week of hell — began burning in the brisk morning air. The sub-zero temperatures were certainly not ideal for my state of health, but with the unwavering need to put something solid in the books, I shot for the stars and attempted to finish 5.
My pace was slow and steady from the moment I left the gates, and I was forced to be mindful that, even if my body felt fine, I was nevertheless coming off of 7 days of blah. As I have on so many mornings before, I made my way up north toward Central Park, taking the Madison Avenue route and checking out all the posh spring styles…
…that I’ll likely never afford.
As usual, I entered my home sweet almost-green home at 72nd Street.
Central Park welcomed me with open arms, and I couldn’t help but picture all the thousands upon thousands of riled up runners just 24 hours before finishing miles 1 through 6 of the famed New York City Half Marathon. This race is one that has always intrigued me, encompassing both the lush park and the urban landscape that surrounds. Last year, Noah and I woke up early to watch from the streets (and stopped for some Momofuko cookies to munch on from the sidelines; go big or go home, right?).
This year, we were far from the festivities, but I was thinking about the event nonetheless. While part of me was sad, the other part — the part that knows that my body has been physically healthier since giving up the half marathon distance — was glad to be so far from the world I fell so hard for last year. After all, temptation can be a real bitch.
Anyway, Monday’s run was as good as any morning run can get, and by the time I pulled up to my apartment, I realized something profound: my shin didn’t hurt. Like, not one tiny bit.
It’s been a while since I’ve been able to say that — and mean it. Actually, I don’t quite remember when I was able to say that last.
At the end of the day, it’s these little victories that make my mental shift in running — from training for distance to savoring short routes — worth it. I loved last year’s foray into the world of half marathons. In fact, last year at this time, I had just finished the Manhattan Half and was gearing up for the Cherry Blossom 10-Miler (which would be followed by the More/Fitness Half Marathon — since, a 10-miler is a good appetizer to a half marathon, obviously).
This year, well, I’m not. But that doesn’t mean I’m not having a great time doing whatever it is I’m doing.
- Do you often have runs where you’re pleasantly surprised with the outcome?
- Have you ever felt that slight pang of “what if” when not racing an event you participated in the year before?