Sunday, February 8, 2009

Spring Fever

I have been looking forward to Sunday for the past week, in anticipation of the warm weather promised in the midst of a cold winter. I had purposely saved my long run for Sunday and my patience was rewarded - I awoke at 8:30 this morning to a gorgeous 54 degree, sunny morning. After spending a few minutes trying to remember what was actually appropriate running gear for such warm temperatures, I settled on a pair of running shorts (!) and a long sleeved t-shirt.

The warm, breezy air greeted me as I stepped-out onto 79th Street. My legs rejoiced as the sun ray's beamed down on them, reflecting their winter whiteness, "Freedom!" they seemed to cry. My plan was to run the full Central Park loop (6.03 miles), combined with a mile each way from my apartment to the Park, I would complete a long run just over 8 miles. I made my way towards Central Park, each step taking me closer to completing my longest run to date.

The runner's loop was absolutely packed when I entered at 90th Street! I had grown somewhat accustom to the solitude that usually greets me on weekend runs in the park. Usually when the loop is crowded, every one's face and attitude reflects that of any other New Yorker - surly and annoyed. But not this morning. Today, people were genuinely happy to be outdoors, soaking up a part of the morning to call their own.

In order to complete the full loop, I passed my usual left turn onto the 102nd transverse. This part of the loop was noticeably less crowded and I began observing my surroundings, as I had never explored this one mile stretch of the loop. I was surprised to discover a stretch of this road resembling my favorite trail run in Williamsburg - I was surrounded by trees and boulders, barley able to make out the buildings beyond the tops of the trees. It was peaceful.

And then I realized why most runners chose to skip this part of the loop - the half-mile uphill climb. It wasn't a steady, sloping climb; it was a steep climb with no relief. At the end of it, my quads throbbed with disgust. I silently apologized to them as I continued along. The hilly West Side part of the loop awaited.

The hills were tough, but my legs and breathing were stronger. I began thinking of the upcoming week; I had some things which I had been avoiding thinking about. Valentine's Day was coming up and all of my ideas, to this point, had fallen flat. I was frustrated, but reminded myself it would work out. I was annoyed the start date of the pastry program had been pushed back until April, as the current program had to be extended due to inclement weather closings.

I allowed myself to admit I was worried about my seeing the doctor on Monday about my shoulder and scared about losing my job in the rumored upcoming layoffs. By mile six, all of my emotions had been examined and acknowledged. I was ready to face the week; just as soon as I finished these last two miles.

My body began to make it well known that it was ready to call it quits. My shoulder was screaming in pain, my left knee and lower back were sore from the impact of the pavement and the bottoms of both feet were beyond blistered. Ouch. I began to seriously doubt all the reports I had read about your body only being able to recognize one pain at a time. But I finished all eight miles in 1 hour 8 minutes and 33 seconds (average split of 8 minutes 34 seconds).

After stretching, showering and eating breakfast, I opened all the windows in the apartment to let in the fresh air and sunshine. After a successful run, I spent the rest of the afternoon baking and decorating cookies in anticipation of Valentine's Day. I adored the color palette - raspberry red, baby pink and white - and thought Elle Woods would be very happy with my choices. Mike walked in and carefully examined each cookie. After calculating the average amount of time spent decorating each cookie (10 minutes) and deciding which was the best decorated, he announced the colors reminded him of Candy Land. Either way, the finished cookies were quite cute and the colors made me smile. I will share photos a bit later in the week.

Around eight o'clock this evening, it was time to shut the windows, as the warm air had turned chilly. It was a treat to be able to enjoy a spring day in the middle of winter. How I am dreading having to wear my winter coat again tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. Yummm Wished I had been there to share the treats. Godd luck with your shoulder Love Grammie


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