Sunday, August 26, 2007

Central Park

Hey everyone! I'm feeling a little behind on the blogging and I'm going to try to catch up in the next couple of days because I definitely have been up to some fun stuff (or at least I think I have:)

I've accomplished part of goal # 4 on my New York List - to explore Central Park (CP), more specifically to run in Central Park. Last Sunday (the 19th of August) after returning from Cape Cod my DH and I decided to go for a 5 mile run. We really wanted to make sure we ran 5 miles (as we're trying to up our mileage for the Reach the Beach Relay in a couple of weeks) and since we weren't familiar with Central Park we ran around it. We started on the East Side of Central Park at 60th Street and ran all the way up to 110th and then over to the West Side and down to 72nd Street. It was a great run - some uphill, more downhill, and it was great to get glimpses of the park and not have to stop at lights.

Mid-week we decided it was time to bite the bullet and run in the park and if we got lost, we got lost! We went online read up on all the different routes and mapped out a 3.5 mile route using gmaps (the greatest online tool invented for runners - and I'm sure a ton of other people!) Again we started on the East Side on the corner at 60th and 5th and ran down 60th or maybe it was 59th to the enterance into the park that brings you to the main road. We ran up the West Side of the park to 86th and then took a trail road across and hopped back on the main road back down to the entrance (well, that's what we were supposed to do, but my sense of direction got all messed up and I didn't understand where I was and instead of trusting that my DH new where he was I said I thought we should turn down one road and that led us out to 5th Ave and once again we were running outside the big walls of the park - oops!)

Entering CP was like entering a secret world enclosed behind it's walls - a secret work out world that is! When you're walking on all the paths you don't notice it as much as when you enter as a runner and run on the main road that circles throughout the park. My immediate thought was "So this is where all the NYC runners are!" My second thought was, "OMG these runners are serious - people are running so fast!" We were running agains the crowd, which of course made me think we must have been running towards something difficult - the West Side is pretty uphill as I learned that day but I think regardless of which way you run you're bound to hit some uphills and downhills). It feels as if you're running on a track almost, except there are also cyclists and cross country roller bladers (poles and all!) While there are a ton of experienced runners there are also beginner and intermediate levels runners so once we got further into our run I started to feel more comfortable with the experience. There are a ton of running clubs as well and at more than one time we were passed by packs of 10-30 people running in one direction as part of a pack, which was pretty interesting. Overall the experience was pretty cool if not somewhat overwhelming - there are just so many paths.

On Saturday we decided to adventure out to CP again! I know we're getting crazy:) It's just nice not having to stop every 2 blocks and wait at a light and of course as any other runners can atest to, it's a lot more fun running when everyone around you is running as well! We wanted to run 6 miles, so we ran from our apartment up to the park, did the same 3.5 mile loop from Wednesday night and then ran most of the way home. I felt more comfortable my second time in the park - and I'm excited to get back and explore all the different paths and areas within the park. It's a great place for runners (and so many other active people - walking, rock climbing, football, baseball, frisbee, cross country rollerblading, cycling, you can find almost anything going on in the park!)

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