Monday, July 22, 2013

Limping Around Central Park

Today: 4
Present: 347
Count: 49

Maura left two days before I did, and I had the city to myself. My Achilles was feeling moderately better, and after four days of binging on booze, food and cross-city travel, I needed a run.

It’s been amazing these past couple weeks, where my runs have been few and far between, how agitated I can become. It’s the move, I know, and work, but normally the stress is counteracted by hours on my feet, drifting in and out of my head. It’s my therapy. And without it, I can start to come unraveled. Addicted is a strong word, but when you get used to something that feels that good, it's easy for want to turn into need.

For the first mile or so, my leg felt good. I bit tight, but good. I took it easy, wanting to make the six-mile loop in time to shower and get across town to meet my old boss for drinks on the east side. I settled in to a comfortable pace and began passing people – especially on Central Park’s gentle up hills. My ego inflated a bit, I picked up the pace. But as I rose towards the reservoir, that familiar twinge came back.

Crap. I hobbled around the water and decided to cut the run short, looping back to Columbus Circle rather than extending all the way to Harlem. I fell in behind a couple strong women runners, both gliding well.

Going at roughly the same pace, I examined their form. On the downs, I watched one loosen up and ease down, while the other kept tight and didn’t look like she was expending any less energy going down than flat or going up. I was reminded to almost flop going down, allowing the shoulders to rotate easily from side to side. Let gravity do its job.

I finished the run earlier than expected, not wanting to push the pain. Annoyed, I hobbled back to the hotel. Fortunately, a couple G&Ts then some ice later in the evening eased the swelling and set me up for what would end up being a truly epic urban hike the following day.

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