I can’t even tell you how many times I had to yell that today while running in Central Park. “Pay attention!” “Eyes up!” “LOOK OUT!” Yes, I was a bit of an angry runner today, I admit it. And I’m ashamed. I totally lost my cool.
It’s probably my own fault. First, I got a late start. I didn’t get up to the park and start running until after 10. Not ideal, as the park gets so crowded as the day gets later.
Second, I discovered right around my first mile that today was the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk.
Now don’t get me wrong—I’m a huge fan of this cause. I used to do the walk in New Hampshire every year with my dance studio. When I caught my first glimpse of the walkers, all decked out in baby pink, hot pink and neon pink, I got super emotional. It’s an amazing charity and it warms my heart that so many people were out supporting it.
But then those lovely walkers started getting in my way. I had my eyes set on 11 miles today (one big loop in the park for six miles, then the five-mile loop to finish it up). Although they had half the runner’s road roped off for the walkers, they weren’t obeying the rules, and it was driving me nuts.
People were ripping down the ropes that were supposed to hold them back. They were texting while walking. They were not paying attention at all. I was running in the opposite direction they were walking. Despite all my weaving to avoid people, there were more than a few collisions. Yikes.
So, with the walkers dominating the road, that left us regular runners and bikers out enjoying the park shoved into a tiny space on the far side of the path. I got elbowed at least five times, got hit in the rib by bike handlebars speeding by once and got hit so hard by a rather large woman that I lost my balance and had to use my hand to catch me from completely falling on my butt. Not fun. Also, ouch.
At one point, I got so frustrated that I had to step off the running path and take a few deep breaths. I reminded myself that these people were out having raised a ton of money for a brilliant cause. They don’t know the unspoken rules of weekend mornings in Central Park. And that’s not their fault. They are good people. And I was probably annoying them as much as they were annoying me.
Anyway. I ended up running 12.5 miles! A 6-mile loop, a 5-mile loop then 1.5 miles back to my apartment. Yay! Feeling good. So good that I’m even willing to share this icky photo with you:
To anyone I may have bumped/smacked into today: I’m sorry! Let’s all share the road next time, shall we?
Also, park-goers rejoice! The former Tavern on the Green has re-opened as a Visitor Center—with public bathrooms! No more sprinting to the east side to use the bathrooms at the Boathouse. Very exciting news.
Now I’m showered and back in my PJs for some major resting and stretching before heading up to see ABS (and bring more stuff up to the apartment—we’re getting there!) and watch “30 Rock” for the rest of the night.
DISCUSS: As a runner, what are your biggest frustrations? Mine, obviously, are people getting in my way! (I’m working on being a more laid-back person, I promise.) What drives you nuts when you just want to get some mileage in?