This past Sunday (Well, actually, June 29, 2014) I had an early morning errand to take care of in NYC. In order to get my run for the day in, my plan is to visit Central Park – I head out of the house, dressed to run, and into my car. Close to 8:00 a.m. having hit no traffic, I find the perfect parking space on Madison Avenue and 90th, a one block walk from the park.
I have many fond running memories, from the days when I lived on the upper Eastside of Manhattan, and regularly doing laps around the Central Park Reservoir is probably of the top of the list. I had not been back here in more than 25 years! Circling the reservoir is a packed cinder running path with a distance of about 1.6 miles.
Some of my best runs occurred here, where the running bug really bit me! I remember having runs where it felt like I was flying, effortlessly gliding around the still water in the reservoir. Today’s run was as wonderful, with all the other runners cruising along the path, albeit I was a tad slower than in my memories. It was almost as if I had never been away.
All over Central Park on a Sunday morning are walkers, runners, bikers, skaters, all moving about harmoniously – it is such a sight and on a beautiful day like today, it’s breathtaking! All the different colors of attire adorning infinite body shapes and sizes – it’s a total fitness menagerie.
As I return from reverie to running, it dawns on me that I am about one half done – where did the time go? I continue along, seeking out shade wherever I can – though it is still early, it is heating up quickly. I divert off the inner path to the outer “horse path” in hopes of not melting in the direct sun. As I round the last turn, I come back onto the inner path and push to the “finish.” Three and half miles in the books!
After some sips of water from a nearby fountain, I go through my usual post run stretching routine and then head back to my car and home. It’s only a little after 9:00 a.m. now and the LIE is relatively empty, so I breeze home in no time. A few hours later, after a swim and lunch, I wonder: “Did this morning (the run in Central Park) really happen or was it a dream?”
I smile and sigh. It did happen and it was a dream!!
Ira Bellach is an avid recreational runner, living on Long Island for the past 25 years. He is a member of the Greater Long Island Runners Club, where he is an active volunteer to support local running events. Ira.firstname.lastname@example.org M: 516-633-3329