I ran outside yesterday for the first time in a long time. My iPod died halfway, but surprisingly the view was enough to keep me focused. I ran the entire loop from 59th st. to 110th st and back. I was planning to keep going but I definitely underestimated how it would feel to run on actual terrain for the first time in a while.

A lot of things are changing in the park. Near the 70s, there was a little tunnel made out of tree branches that inertwined, but it was hacked and cut through. Tavern on the Green, although I think I heard about this, was out of business and the lawn and parking lot bare. That was a little depressing. It was always a fixture at Central Park with all of its lights and pruned animals (I especially like the unicorns). I am surprised no one wanted to jump start it. It was always a place that just rested on its previous laurels and location. I had my prom there, which was beautiful, but the food was less than. I don’t remember anything from the food that night.

I used to run regularly when I lived in Manhattan, but now I try to fit a run in in the mornings, so I’m running on a treadmill for less time. It’s completely different and I missing running in Central Park. Especially with the winter, running outside after I get out of work isn’t really an option. The only opportunity I would have is to come into Manhattan early on the weekends.

I am going to have to do that more often, since I applied for the 2011 New York Marathon Lottery and joined Road Runners to qualify for 2012. At one point I could run 12 miles like nothing, but clearly I need some more training now. My aim is to run the 26 miles under 5 hours. My stride for running 5-6 miles is 9 minute miles, around 10 it’s over 10 minutes, around 10:15 miles. If I were to run 26 miles now, I’m pretty sure the time would go over 5 hours.

It’s not that I have any desire to be a marathon runner, but the NYC Marathon is different with an incredible vibe. As a New Yorker that’s lived here her entire life, I just want to run it at least once (and maybe twice – if I get in for 2011).

So… here’s to many other runs in 2011 in Central Park!

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