OK, so I realize that I made a stink about running in my last post, but here’s the thing: I don’t hold grudges. Perhaps more importantly, my husband is training for the Brooklyn Half and because this past Sunday was one of the most beautiful days we’ve had in a while, I suggested that we make the trek out to Prospect Park.
(Can you believe this exists in the center of Brooklyn? Often, I myself forget.)
His training schedule required him to run 8 miles that day, and I thought it would be nice to spend some time outside, considering how many hours I pass here in the semi-darkness of my first floor apartment, hunched in front of my laptop. I’m working on the hunch, but it’s harder to work on going outside when all of my endeavors are more comfortably pursued at home (when I write, I constantly reference dozens of books… it’s just easier to be near them all). So trust me—it was a big deal for me to initiate this.
When we got there, he took off on his route (2 and 1/2 times around the park) and I said to myself, you know what? I’m going to try running. I’m in a beautiful environment, I’ve got some sweet jams on my iPod, and it’s only three and a half miles once around the park. Why not?
It started out well, actually. All those aerobics videos were paying off as I made my way around the first quarter of the park. I stopped a few times to take photos (yes, I have an instagram problem), and slowed my pace occasionally to check the quality of the Prospect Park porta potties (disgusting is a generous understatement) before finally veering off the path to chat with the old guy in the tennis center, posing as a prospective client before asking if I could use their restroom. Side note: I have the world’s tiniest bladder. It’s kind of ridiculous, but alas, something that I cannot change. Most of the time it requires me to be sneaky and on the constant alert for potential possibilities (see above), but on the positive side, I know where all the best public restrooms are from Midtown to Chinatown. So there’s that.
After that small reprieve, I got back to it.
I was rounding out the third quarter (which, incidentally, was also a hill), and felt pretty good about myself, considering that I had run the whole way so far (yes, I periodically stopped, but I did not walk any of the actual distance around the park… so). I was running, had been running for some time, and I wasn’t going to stop just because a measly little hill made me feel really dang tired.
But around every curve was more hill. Yup, more on that side too.
As the hill pretended to continue on indefinitely, my determination waned. And then I was passed by a new mom with a stroller and a dog, one of those big, bulky things (the stroller, not the dog), baby cooing happily from the inside (or so I imagined). Shortly after that, I was passed by a guy running barefoot—seriously, a guy running barefoot (only in Brooklyn, right?). It was rather disheartening to think about, but the confusion about why anyone would think running barefoot was a good idea (you don’t really think of NYC as having the cleanest, safest sidewalks), and my dismay about how easy he made it look, led me all the way to finish line. And when I saw it, I sprinted. I swear. I ran three and a half miles—me, someone who very much dislikes running. I didn’t do it very fast, but I did it. And you know what? If it wasn’t for them, I might have stopped. But hell, if someone can run through Brooklyn barefoot, or pushing a clunky stroller, then I can run through Brooklyn in general. Just don’t ask me to look at the bottom of his feet (gross).
For my cool down, I took pictures (obviously). There is truly some lovely foliage lining the streets of Brooklyn. Of course, not all streets are this all colorful, but when you see it, you really appreciate it:
It only took a few days for the sun to retreat once again behind cloudy skies; we went from a 70 degree day right back down into the 50s, which is actually a comfortable temperature, but the wind and erratic, all-angles rain makes it unpleasant.
So, I’m thinking of bluer skies.
For good measure, here’s me pre-run:
In case you were wondering: yes, that’s a fanny pack, and it was truthfully one of my smarter purchases. Also, those are my mom’s pants from like 10 years ago. Thanks, Mom!
As far as running goes… would I do it again? Sure. But my legs were pretty sore the next day, I am still haunted by images of barefoot guy’s dirty feet, and the aerobics videos continue to be more fun than running. Maybe I’ll make it a once a month type of thing.