Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Central Park -- Lap 6

Crazy thing happened on Sunday. I woke up and was able to walk. In fact, I was able to go up and down stairs with ease. "Wait," I thought. I just ran the hardest marathon I've ever run, where I absolutely blew up in the final five miles and here I was ready to run the New York City marathon the next day. Normally, it's at least four days before I'm able to run again and that is very gingerly at something like an 8:30 pace. I resisted the urge to run Sunday and spent the day with the family.

But yesterday there was no holding me back. It was still dark when I woke up so I ran on the really nice, but still really lame treadmill in the hotel. I hate treadmills...even ones with 13-inch TV screens that have Sportscenter showing on them. I started slow but within the first half mile was running at 7:00 pace and by mile one, I was running in the 6:30s. What? Are you kidding me? What gives? What I would have given to have four or five 6:30s in the final lap on Saturday. I even threw in a few quarters and a half mile at marathon pace with ease. Slight soreness in my left hamstring, but other than that I felt really good. Makes no sense to me.

So today I woke up early again and repeated the same run. Another 8 miles with a few quarters thrown in at marathon pace. But the treadmill is just awful. I have no idea how people run consistently on those things.

This afternoon, I said goodbye to my family as they headed back to Seattle leaving me in NYC to finish up my week-long business trip. I miss them. After about 30 seconds of being alone in the hotel room, I laced up the shoes and ran toward Central Park. I now know how these young, unmarried/childless runners have the time to run 120-140 miles per week. If I came home to nothing every week I'd run morning and night.

So I headed toward Central Park from my hotel on 42nd and Madison. The only bad part was running in rush hour traffic. I actually found that dodging people was way harder than dodging cars. I also found the bus lanes to be express lanes for runners.

Once I got to the park, I ran the Trials 5-mile loop backwards (counterclockwise). I seriously don't remember any of the landmarks from the run on Saturday except the Museum of Art. During the race on Saturday I never saw the ballfields or reservoir. Not sure how I missed the two biggest landmarks in the race. Oh well. I guess I'm supposed to be concentrating on the race.

The run tonight did have a somber moment. I passed the boathouse where Ryan Shay collapsed and died. My heart skipped a beat. I am happy for him because he left this life doing what he loved most. But my heart continues to ache for his new bride and his parents and seven siblings. The boathouse was another landmark I never saw during the race and it was sad to pass by it once again.

It was nice to run around the course again. I guess five laps on Saturday weren't enough. Central Park will always have a special place in my heart.

I did the loop in 6:30s with little effort. It was weird passing through the finishing area with no one there. Eerie silence.


marasun said...

I'm proud of you. And please don't get hit by a car (or a bus, since you're now exploiting the sacred bus lanes). See you Friday. Love, Wife

prague said...

We ditto that!