I was excited to wake up this morning. Like, really excited.
I knew it was going to be sunny out — even if it was really, really cold — and my plan was to head for Central Park instead of running along the East River.
I love my proximity to the park, but I try not to run there too often because I don’t want to get bored. I almost always do my weekend runs in the park, so during the week I mix it up as best I can, opting for flat, short runs much of the time.
But today, I wanted to go to the park. Really badly. I’m not sure why.
Nothing beats the energy in Central Park on any given morning. Whether there’s one other runner out (which is rare) or dozens (more likely), everyone is always working up a sweat and starting their day in a similar way. It’s inspiring and it makes for great people watching.
The main running loop in the park is incredibly hilly. I tend to not focus on or overthink the hills anymore because I know the route so well. I know when to hold back, when to push and when to brace myself for the challenges that come with Harlem Hill. Training in the park over the past few months definitely paid off this weekend, though. The hills during the National Half were tough, but they were nothing I couldn’t handle.
Without further ado, my running tour of a chilly morning in Central Park…
After entering the park at 79th Street and running south, I ran one lower loop in a clockwise direction, then switched it up and ran a second loop going counterclockwise.
And you have to love the motivation running up Cat Hill…
I felt great squeezing in 6.4 miles this morning. Doing a longer run than normal meant I had to rush a bit to get out the door on time, but there’s an easy, time-saving solution for that: a ponytail.
I’m not really appropriately dressed considering it’s 30 degrees outside, but whatever. It’s not winter inside my office, so I’ll dress however I want!
Lastly, thank you for all of your tips and advice about incorporating speed work into my training. I’m excited to try it out!
SOMETHING TO TALK ABOUT TODAY: What are your favorite websites? Not necessarily just blogs, but all websites in general. I have a few that I catch up on every morning before I start my workday, including The Frisky and New York Magazine‘s Daily Intel. I’m always looking for good new ones to add to my rotation though, so please share your must-reads!