Sunday, August 31, 2008

One Year Ago Today

Well, I am home and will post a full report soon.  Suffice to say I had a grand 'ole fun time and couldn't have asked for a better race experience.

Today is the one year anniversary of the day Boyfriend, Mario, and I pushed off from Manhattan and set sails for San Francisco.  It's amazing how time flies.  The following is something I wrote regarding this change in terms of running that I previously posted elsewhere.  I can't believe I haven't run one mile in Central Park for 365 days.

On August 31st I ran a lesiurely 10.2 miles in Central Park. 

The run was part of my current marathon training but I had designed it as a farewell to a place I have spent so much time in the last few years.  A full 6 mile loop, 2.5 miles on the Bridle Path, and my "Old Faithful" 1.7 mile lower loop.  With every step familiar sites became a fading memory of my mind.  The park disappeared behind me and I fought the urge to turn around for one more look.

I have every curve, ascent, and descent etched into my mind.  I have seen the seasons change while I was on the run and experienced the changing weather that comes with them.  Though I have been a pretty ancillary member the last two years, I met a group of wonderful people in this park and spent many hours chatting away while on the run.  With my running club I was able to participate in 200 mile relay races on both coasts of the country in addition to partaking in brunch on both sides of Manhattan.  I completed my first 5K and half marathon within Central Park.  The soul-revealing last miles and finish of my second marathon were located in Central Park as well.

What will I miss most about Central Park?  I will miss the way every hill is rewarded with a smooth sailing descent.  I will miss hearing Christmas music at the skating rink as I coast down the hill at the northern edge of the park.  I will miss the way running on the Bridle Path makes you forget you are in the middle of a city.  I will miss the fire-orange colored trees during Fall.  I will miss the icicles by Harlem Hill in the Winter.  I will miss the cherry blossoms of Spring.  I will miss the fireflies during Summer.  I will miss how the ala carte options of loops could be combined to yield any distance I desired.  I will miss the glimpses, sounds, and smells of horses that the park afforded me.  I will miss hearing the saxophone player under the bridge by Cleopatra's Needle.  I will miss the solitude and camaraderie of the early morning and foul-weather runs.  I will miss the views of the city above the treeline.  I will miss even the bumbling tourists who reminded me that I should treasure the moments I had running circles in the City.

I've calculated that I ran roughly 2,007 miles in Central Park over the last few years.

I will miss my park dearly.


bunnygirl said...

I know what that means to lose one's favorite running spots, although unlike yours, mine are just a short drive away. Still, our routes become our familiar friends in many ways, both ally and nemesis as we strive toward our personal goals.

We find new routes and new adventures, like we do new friends, but we don't forget.

FrecklesandDeb said...

How great that you've seen Central Park in a unique way and can carry those memories with you as you discover new routes.