A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Central Park Run


One thing I love about going on vacation or visiting another city is the chance to run someplace new. Whenever I go to NYC, I make it a point to get up early and run in Central Park. That's exactly what I did on Thursday morning!

It seems like every time I run in Central Park it is dark out. That's because I can usually squeeze my runs in during the 6 o'clock hour! Don't worry, it's actually very safe. I stay on the main loop around the park and there are always other runners nearby (sometimes it's actually crowded!) and of course packs of cyclists whizzing by.

This run almost didn't happen. The real feel for 6am was supposed to be 1 degee! ONE DEGREE!!!??? I am hardcore but I don't think I'm THAT hardcore!

Still, I laid out my running clothes the night before....


But then I realized running in 1 degrees on 2 hours of sleep was probably not a good idea. So I changed my alarm and told Paul I was sleeping in!

I woke up at 5:40am WIDE AWAKE! I checked the weather and the real feel said 18. 18? I can do 18. Off I went!

I headed out at 5:50am. Our hotel on West 87th street was four blocks from the park. It's sort of a ritzy neighborhood so I felt safe. But I made sure to be very aware of my surroundings and I didn't let my guard down or turn on my headphones until I got to Central Park West and there were more cars and people around. Oh, and I had my phone right in my hand!

Unfortunately, my normal path into the park was blocked by construction, so I ran up a block and got on the 85th Street Traverse, which is a road that cuts through Central Park. There was a sidewalk to run on but there weren't any runners. My hope was to find a way to get on West Drive but there was no way to get off the Traverse. It was dark and once in awhile a car would drive by. I was freaked out until I passed a building that said "New York City Police Department". Bwahaha! I guess I was safe.

I ended up having to run to the other side of the park and got on East Drive, which is part of my normal run. I did something different and ran counter clockwise. This is going to sound weird, but when I don't get a lot of sleep, I tend to run faster. My first couple miles were sub 8s! That's a lot faster than I have been running lately. After a couple miles it started to hit me and a slowed down. But for awhile, it felt good to cruise!

The northern part of the park was dark and there weren't too many people around. I still felt safe because even though there were times I couldn't see anyone, it wouldn't be long before another runner came around the bend or I'd hear the whooshing sound of a pack of cyclists approaching.

Once I was on the West Side heading south, there were people everywhere. Maybe this is a busier section of the park or maybe there were more people because it was a little later in the morning.

As I run through the park, I always enjoy looking up through the trees at the skyscrapers and the city lights. I imagined that if I lived in the city, I'd be running here every morning. Where else is there to run?

One thing I'm always nervous about in Central Park is what if I have to go to the bathroom? I don't know where the bathrooms are and I wouldn't feel comfortable going into the woods/trees. I don't want to get murdered or arrested.

I ended up stopping after 7.5 miles (about an hour of running). With just 2 hours of sleep, I had enough!

When I got back to the hotel room, I was able to shower and get dressed before Paul's alarm went off. Once he was awake I told him I had a good run and it wasn't even cold. In fact, there were people in shorts.

"I didn't know you went for a run, I thought you weren't running this morning," he said.

"I know, but I woke up right at 5:40 and I was wide awake. I checked the weather and it said the real feel was 18 degrees so I went out. I woke you up and told you I was leaving and that I had my phone with me!"

Dang, it's a good thing no one murdered me or I would have been laying in the park and Paul wouldn't know where I was and we would end up missing our train!


Questions for NYC runners:
Am I right to feel safe running in Central Park?
Is there anywhere else runners can go in NYC?
Give me some running tips for my next visit!

20 comments:

  1. That's so funny that you think 18 degrees is doable. I honestly would have wondered if I was at risk for frost bite/death if it was 18 degrees out. I think my limit is 50 degrees. Anything below that and I just can't enjoy myself!

    During Christmas time I thought running up fifth ave was really fun. All of the stores had big, elaborate Christmas displays!

    I wonder if I will have a good run tonight. I think I slept for about 2 hours collectively. Adam's allergies have been through the roof and he was snoring super loudly so I went down to sleep on the couch. However, Cecil got very excited that something unusual was happening and climbed all over me ALL NIGHT LONG like I was a jungle gym. And now I have woken up with either really bad allergies or my cold came back. And I added coffee to the coffee pot last night but forgot to set it so there was no coffee to drink when I first work up. I guess it can only get better from here!!!

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    1. But consider this: You would have the right clothes. I was HOT at 18 degrees and I wasn't even wearing my warmest stuff! This morning it was 50 and I was in shorts!

      I really hope you feel better Kristina. :(

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  2. I've never run in Central Park--my one regret in life. Well, I have others, but that's my one running regret! My sister lived practically across the street from it.

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    1. Surely you will be back to NYC someday?

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  3. I've walked through central park before but never ran there until the race last Sunday. There are indeed bathrooms in the park. They are in "buildings" such as the visitors center and what not so I'm not sure if they would be locked at certain times or not. You would think they would be open early for the runners but then again, I guess they wouldn't be open all night long to prevent the homeless from hanging out in there.
    When you said you enjoyed looking through the trees to see the buildings, I was actually thinking that same exact thing when I was there. It looks so beautiful as the sun is beginning to rise. It's a shame that people would use this space to commit such horrid acts (which I hope they do not do anymore, but ya know).

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    1. I figured there must be bathrooms and I am sure there are a couple open early, I just wasn't hip to where they were at. That is interesting we both liked seeing the buildings through the trees!

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  4. It looks like you had a great run! I'd love to run in Central Park if I ever visit NYC :).

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  5. That's funny about Paul's comment. Every morning Alan reaches out and taps me with his foot to check if I'm in bed, or out running! That's cool that you got to run in Central Park! I'm already planning to run around Boston very soon, and hopefully will get to see some "famous" people going for a shakeout run. Maybe I should just run with my iPhone in hand for quick photo shots!!

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    1. You totally should! I hope you see some running celebs!

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  6. If you only had 10 minutes between when you woke up and when you left for your run, did you poo within that short time span? Or did you run without going poo first? I can't even imagine.

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    1. NEVER FEAR. I did poop. But normally I like to go about 3 times before I run, hence being worried about the bathroom situation.

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  7. Running in Central Park would be amazing! I like your story of Paul "not knowing" that you went out running, even though he sleepily confirmed he understood. While I love that Rick is a very deep sleeper because I can do ALL kinds of things around the house in the wee hours of the morning and he doesn't wake up, it also makes me nervous because most days I leave for a workout and he has no idea where I am! I have had to call him, though, when I get flats on my bike and luckily he wakes up and answers the call :) and comes and gets me (yes, I know...I am spoiled)

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    1. I think it is perfect for you and Rick that he is a deep sleeper! Do you not tell him where you are going the night before? Paul knows that if I'm gone, I'm in our hood. But... I don't have a set route. I have set little routes that I run in all kinds of different combinations!

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    2. I don't decide what I am going to do until the morning (see what my body feels like doing). And I never decide my route until I have started my run or bike ride!

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  8. If I go to bed late, not only do I not sleep in, I wake up earlier than usual and I am wired. WTH? At least you got a pretty good run in with that. I may have to just get up and not try to go back to sleep.

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    1. That's so strange! Do you crash later?

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    2. Oh yes. if it's the weekend, I can nap, if not, it's a long day

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  9. I love the logic, if you were dead somewhere in Central Park, would Paul have to miss his train?

    Did you nap on your way back? I think going to NYC requires little to no sleep! Anytime I go there for shows, we always return with 3 hours of sleep.

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    1. I did NOT nap. I had to work the next day so I was worried that if I napped I wouldn't be able to fall asleep the next night!

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