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!!



irabellachIra 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. M: 516-633-3329