One year ago I had just completed the 13.1 with Donna, a half-marathon to raise money for breast cancer, and was training for the Twin Cities full-marathon. Fast forward a year and I’m living in New York convincing myself not to run with every excuse in the book. Somewhere during my move from Minnesota to New York, I had decided that running in NYC was near impossible and hung up the running shoes. My reasoning? It wasn’t that I was being lazy, but the constant reminders from my Dad and Grandpa to only run in well-lit areas filled with people were enough to make me a little hesitant about hitting the streets alone. Coupled with a slight fear, my other reasoning consisted of my thoughts that there were too many stop lights, not enough room on the streets and I was too tired after work. I’m not sure what sparked the decision, but I got home today and decided it was time to unpack the running gear and conquer to streets of NYC.
Dressed in my full running gear and equiped with my GPS watch and Ipod, I started my journey up 2nd Ave. My findings? Yes, the streets are crowded, but it’s not unbearable and definitely makes time go faster. For someone like me who enjoys people watching, I couldn’t be running in a better city. I also found that the stop lights on every corner served as a much-appreciated resting spot for my legs that hadn’t been worked this hard in months. But the best part was the scenery, culture and new sights that I came across. I found out that I live just blocks from the United Nations, down the street from a cute little Italian restaurant and within walking distance of a great shopping area. Looks like all I needed was one good run under my belt because I’m already looking forward to tomorrow’s run.
Of course, no good journey would be complete without a speed bump or two. First of all, my GPS watch took 20 streets and several avenues to figure out it was in New York and not Minnesota. Also, it wouldn’t be a day in New York if I didn’t come within inches of going one-on-one with a crazy driver going too fast around a corner. But perhaps the thing I will have to adjust to the most is figuring out how to navigate my turns around the corner. More than once I turned a corner and had to dodge to the left or right to avoid smacking right into a pedestrian. The corners reminded me of 9th grade U.S. Government class when I was running late and sprinted at full-speed through the classroom door and right into Ms. K, the teacher. Let’s just say Ms. K ended up on the ground and as discipline made me call my parents to tell them I had “bulldozed” the teacher over. I still cant’ live that day down.
Anyways, I’m happy to report that running in NYC was a much better experience than I ever anticipated and I’m excited to start running some New York Road Runner races. I’m also looking forward to getting more involved with the amazing NYC running community I have met via Twitter.
Side note to runners: If you don’t own a Garmin GPS watch, I highly recommend getting one. Once they figure out what city you are in, they are truly amazing!