Saturday, January 3, 2009

Whole-Wheat Everything Bagel

Even when I'm not training for an upcoming race, I always try to squeeze in a long run on the weekends - although the length of this "long" run may vary widely. It gives me a chance to run outside, a luxury I no longer have during the week thanks to the winter.

Doing a long run today was especially important, since my first race of 2009 - a five-miler in honor of the great Fred Lebow - is only seven days away. I'm not running this race looking for a great finishing time or split times; I registered to keep me motivated to keep running during the holidays. I knew I would take advantage of any excuse possible - too cold in NY, too hilly in VA, too many delicious baked goods to devour - unless I knew I had to cross a finish line in a few weeks.

Oh, but my bed was so warm (especially with the heated blanket I received as a Christmas gift). I did not want to move. I had been exhaused the last few days and, even though I had slept for almost eleven hours, I wanted to go back to sleep. I knew myself - if I didn't run this morning, it wasn't going to happen. But my legs refused to move; I needed some sort of motivation. Maybe I could pick-up bagels from my favorite bagel shop on 88th on my way home...done!

The morning was chilly and windy and the sun was making it difficult to decide if I wanted to keep my gloves on or not. I ran up to Central Park, which was not quite as magical as I remembered from my run on Wednesday. All of the snow had melted away and the silence I had relished was replaced by the familar sounds of bleary-eyed walkers, cyclists and runners. I started my loop around the Resevoir (1.58 miles) with the rest of the Saturday morning traffic.

When it's not too congested, I enjoy running this loop because of the beautiful views of the Midtown skyline. I also enjoy passing most of the people also walking/running this loop. No matter how I'm feeling, it gives me a target in the distance to think, "Okay legs, pick-it need to pass this guy"; it makes me feel fast. I do not enjoy being passed by other runners.

On my second loop, I only thought about that perfect whole-wheat everything bagel with peanut butter awaiting me at the end of my run. After I left the park, I made a pit-stop to pick up the bagels for breakfast. I finished my five-mile run sprinting back to the apartment with a little brown paper bag.

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