Running in NYC

Aaron and I are back from our five-day eating tour of NYC! 

People were confused when I told them we went to visit friends and eat, not sight-see, but it turns out this is a real thing: culinary tourism. Doesn’t that sound much fancier?

Erin is the girlfriend of Aaron’s good friend (and groomsman) Chet, and she’s doing her dental residency in Manhattan. She’s been there nearly a year, and will soon be moving back to Seattle (yayyyy!). We stayed at her apartment on the Upper East Side since her roommate was out of town, and Erin did an amazing job showing us around the city and directing us to the yummiest restaurants and bakeries.

My next post will be about what we ate, but first I want to tell you about the running I did on our trip. 

Aaron and I took a red-eye to NYC on Tuesday night, leaving around 9:30 p.m. Pacific and arriving around 5:30 a.m. Eastern. We were armed with everyone’s favorite non-habit-forming sleep aid, ZzzQuil, thinking we could knock ourselves out on the plane and be relatively rested upon arrival. It almost worked. 

But for some reason, the air conditioning on the plane didn’t quite work, and it was unbearably hot and stuffy for the entire flight. It felt like I woke up every five minutes to toss and turn and curse the useless A/C on this swamp plane. (But we arrived safely, which is all one can really ask for in light of recent events). 

So Wednesday turned out to be more of a recovery day than we’d hoped. I took a solid three-hour nap in the afternoon, and it was glorious. 

On Thursday, I somehow managed a five-mile run between breakfast (pancakes!) and lunch (pork buns and ramen!). I was VERY tempted to skip it, since it was 30 degrees outside and wicked blasts of wind made it feel even colder, but Aaron convinced me I’d be able to fit even more food in my stomach later if I exercised. Well played, sir. 

Erin’s apartment is less than a half-mile from Central Park. I simply ran to the park and hopped on the main running path so I could do a 2.5-mile out-and-back and not get lost. It was a beautiful day, once I got warmed up, and a nice little run in one of the most famous places to run, period.

On Friday, we did a lot of walking, which turned into trudging once snow started falling in the early afternoon. Aaron’s face says it all. 

I figured the snow wouldn’t stick, this being the big city and all, but it stuck around long enough to create a winter wonderland for my 19-mile run on Saturday! Luckily I had a running buddy to help me get through it. 

I’ve read Ali’s blog for a few years, and it was so fun to finally meet her in person! She met me outside Erin’s apartment promptly at 7 a.m. to get started. 

First, we ran to Central Park and did a loop of the reservoir path, which was covered in snow and therefore like running in sand. We continued on to the main running path, which was mercifully clear and salted, and then over to the West Side Highway, which was straight-up icy! So back to Central Park we went, where Ali dropped me off after about 13 miles together so she could go to yoga (she’s doing a hardcore 40-day program). 

It was so fun getting to know Ali in “real life,” chatting all about her upcoming wedding, and about how her fiancé and Aaron are basically the same people (super-competitive cyclists with all-or-nothing personalities and a shared love of black and red). Parting was such sweet sorrow! 

It was harder to finish the last 6 miles on my own when the first 13 had flown by so quickly, but I was surprised by how good my legs felt! Probably because our route was pretty flat compared to my usual long-run route. Sure, my body was tired by the end, but it was nothing compared to how beat-up my legs usually feel. It was pretty encouraging, since the Big Sur Marathon is now less than a month away!

When I got back to Erin’s apartment, Aaron had a bagel with cream cheese and lox waiting for me. IT WAS THE GREATEST!!! I ate it while I stretched, showered, and got ready… to go eat more food.

To be continued!

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