This evening, I found myself walking home across Central Park, around the Reservoir, a path I rarely walk. I hit that loop on repeat most mornings, but slowing down afforded an entirely different point of view. As I was overtaken by runner after runner, two thoughts occurred to me. (1) Central Park belongs to runners. (2) I feel so much gratitude to be one of them.
The park belongs to runners because we’re the ones who know it, not by the well-loved landmarks but by the distinct feeling of a foot striking the gravelly sand around the Reservoir.
We know every winding path, feel them in our knees. We know just where to step to miss every rocky trap along the Bridle Path. We know the rhythmic surge of the crowd in the morning and again when work is done.
We know the perfect combination of large and small loops to fashion 5 miles, 9 miles, 17. We know which hills to tackle when we’re up for a challenge–and which to avoid when we’re not.
We’re there for the sunrise (and often after it sets).
Since moving from Brooklyn to Manhattan earlier this year, I’ve come to know and love this park and its (sometimes brutal) hills.
To Central Park: I won’t always live in Manhattan, but when I leave I’ll miss you most.
This week’s running class was my first week at the basic competitive level. The workout was the same ladder that I first ran during my third week of class. 1/4 mile, 1/2 mile, mile, 1/2 mile, 1/4 mile.
My times on the 1/4: 1:44 and 1:46.
On the 1/2: 3:42 and 3:44.
On the mile: 7:50. That’s 40 seconds faster than 14 weeks ago. And 14 weeks ago, I felt like I was going die. This time, I felt amazing.