Monday, October 19, 2009

Chasing guys in Central Park

Runners in Central Park
For weeks (and by weeks, I mean almost 30 years), I’ve been trying to get my sweet tooth under control and my training on track. I’ve thought about using my twitter feed (above) as a wall of shame, posting all the unnecessary sweets I eat and workouts I blow, to remind myself how bad I’ve been.

Then I spent a few days in New York.

The wall of shame would have taken twitter down, down, down…

As usual: totally worth it.

It was rainy and cold most of our days in Jersey City and NYC, but no weather holds us down! We visited Betsy and Dan, who were kind enough to give up much of their busy days and nights to eat Cuban food and seek out terrific cupcakes and cookie-dough lumps with their out-of-towner friends. (Jersey City, if you haven’t been, is really quite pleasant.)

One of my favorite things to do in New York, though, is running in Central Park. Last time we were in the city, I took the fastest fly-by 10-miler through the streets and park that I couldn’t wait to run it again.

Two years later, Neil suited up for Central Park jaunt too.

In fact, Neil and Dan both suited up! They ran Neil’s workout while I took off for 4+ miles that hopscotched between 6-8:00/mile. Despite all the recent loafing and all the walking, I felt like I was flying right away. How could I not? I was in one of my favorite places; NYC Marathon banners fluttered in the wet air; and… well, there was a dude who just couldn’t be outrun by a girl.

Funny thing you notice in Central Park: New Yorkers (N+D saw Anderson Cooper), it seems, run equipped to trek the Andes—gallons of water strapped to their waists, rain gear to the max, enough tech to guide a jumbo jet—and don’t move very fast.

Then a sleekly dressed dude whipped past me a few minutes into the run. Big deal, right? I didn’t think much of it until he flew by and slowed when he was 10 feet in front. Maintaining my pace, I would nip his heels, and he’d speed up. Other dudes would run past: nothing. I’d catch him again, and he’d take off.

Why not have some fun?

Nice part about the CP route was the general unflatness—it wasn’t hilly, by any means, but kept things interesting. On the uphills, I’d take off and make Runner Dude push the tempo to keep up, before I cruised the downhills, where he’d waste energy passing. That was a good 2-3 miles.

Then on one last hill, he just couldn’t keep up. He fell back, and I ran into the sunset of beating-the-runner-dude-in-Central-Park glory. I realize my sad entertainments are lame. But I no longer swim with Flipper Dude at Kent State, and I have to get my kicks somewhere.

Levain Bakery cookiesI ran my cooldown back through the path to find Neil and Dan, and then we found our way to a great café whose harvest porridge and nutty breads made for perfect recovery food after a energetic jaunt.

And while I’m trying to cut back, I felt wholly deserving, not long after breakfast, of the biggest warm cookie [made outside of my kitchen] from Levain Bakery. Not so much because I had run hard or because we had walked there or because I had demonstrated any kind of restraint on this trip.

I was on vacation, and this girl can make a wall of shame look pretty dee-licious.


The Salty One said...

The one thing, maybe the only thing I miss about NYC is running in Central Park. I used to do figure 8's and loop-d-loops of the bridle path almost every day. Heaven! Especially this time of year! I also raced many an a=hole there, myself. It's hard not too. The only thing better is racing stupid dudes with the baby jogger :)

PS I love your new blog!

DaisyDuc said...

Wow, I haven't checked out your blog in ages and I love it....I need to get mine up to speed like you! Feel better by Saturday!