I did not want to run this morning. After a few cocktails with girlfriends and a later than usual bedtime, I was so very tempted to hit snooze and roll back over. I actually laid in bed a few minutes debating whether or not I should run. Thinking about my goals for the NYC Half and how much better I would feel after running got me up, and after a cup of coffee, I was ready to go.
My legs were not. And neither was my Garmin. The first mile and a half up to Central Park was not a fun time- my Garmin refused to pick up a signal for the first 18 or so minutes, which may have turned out to be a blessing in disguise since I was too busy dodging pedestrians to focus on actual running. I'll liken the experience to playing a game of Frogger- weaving in and out but not really making any forward progress.
Running has made me so more aware of my surroundings, and today was a shining example of how distracted people generally are walking down the street. I'm guilty of it myself sometimes- texting and walking, stopping to check directions in the middle of an intersection, not looking both ways when crossing the street... you name it. It's so easy not to pay attention that sometimes when you actually do look up, it's shocking to realize how big of an impact these things have on traffic flow.
When I'm running, this makes me especially frustrated. Since I have to run up and back to the park, I generally start and end a run feeling frustrated. (I'm thinking, I'm being considerate, why aren't you?!? I'm turning my shoulders in, making myself narrow as possible, look up from your bleeping phone!) But today I tried something that left me feeling daring and exhilarated: I ran in the middle of the road.
Ok, so middle is an exaggeration. But I did run on the road. Upon exiting the park, I noticed another runner just gliding along with traffic- with no pedestrians in the way, he was arguably going faster than the moving cars. So I followed his lead and ended my run with a HUGE smile on my face.
I was running down Park Ave, which doesn't have a bus lane, so I felt safe. But how great would it be to have a designated dual purpose running/biking lane on every street? (I say dual purpose because I've gotten yelled at by bikers who think I'm infiltrating their space. Deal with it, it's a lane for healthy people.)
Thanks to crazy Kelly from RHONY for first introducing me to this concept, and a random runner showing me it was actually possible and not just filmed for reality TV.
*Also, I will never be a great blogger. I seldom remember to take pictures.