Running in Central Park (well, almost!)

I flew to New York over a 4-days weekend (yeah, I know, insane considering that each way is 6 hours!) for a good friend’s wedding. She’s one of my oldest (scratch that, longest) friend from high school. I was so thrilled to see her marrying the love of her life!

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The funniest part, while packing, was that I packed my running shoes and gear first, even before picking out the wedding outfit. My husband gave me the look “really, you plan to run?” I told him “you never know. It’s better to be prepared”

Honestly, I knew the probability of running was like not drinking at the wedding. Slim to none. Thus, I actually started with an easy 2-mile run before getting on the plane on Thursday morning. (Again, husband gave me that look “really, you went out running before a cross-country flight? Might be too much?) I felt awesome with that morning run!

Because my friend and I had not seen each other for 5+ years, the “logical” thing to do was staying up all night Thursday into the wee hours on Friday and catching up on wedding, the soon-to-be husband, and everything else in between! I had not planned on this but it was worth it. Next day, as I accompanied her and her bridesmaid for nails and facials, I struggled to stay awake.

The following day, with my friend being preoccupied with wedding activities, I was on my own. Take the day easy would have been a good choice, but of course, I decided to venture into Manhattan to revisit some of the places. I actually dressed in my running gear thinking “MAYBE, I would run at the Central Park” That would be a nice “cross-off” thing for a runner, right?

My friend’s wedding was in Flusing, Queens, and it took me almost 90 minutes getting into Time Square, my first “tourist” stop. The Seven Train had some kind of construction that I had to learn different ways to get into the city. I literally stood in front of the subway map for a good five minutes. How I did not miss the subway system of the East Coast! (Yes, I, the Californian who drive 1 mile to the post office!)

Time Square looked the same but felt different. There were tons of tourists, swarming left and right to me. There were dozens of billboards flashing up and down around me. Finally, there was a strong police presence, one that was not there when I visited there almost a decade ago. IMG_5193

After Time Square, I decided to head to Central Park to see if a run was possible. I took the subway uptown and took a detour to a local Greek restaurant (thanks to Yelp). I ordered some take out food to eat by the Jackie O Reservoir inside the Central Park. By the time I got uptown, took the food, I knew a run wasn’t the smartest thing to do. The weather that day was sunny, slight humid, close to 85F, which could be fun to experience. However, I still had a 90-minutes subway ride back to Queens with blasting AC. The last thing I wanted was getting sick. So, I enjoyed my lunch, walked around the reservoir, admired the New York runners, and enjoyed strolling on the Upper East Side.
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All in all, my New York trip was very compact and in some ways very intense. On the wedding night, it was a beautiful union and celebration. It was so much celebration that we had an after party. The party continued into the wee hours, but I left around 2:30am since I had to pack and catch a ride at 5am for my 7:30am departing flight. Seriously, it felt like college where sleep was for the weak. Weak, I felt, as I stumbled into my flight and promptly passed out for a good portion of the flight home!

Let’s call this a “almost-central-park-run” trip. I’m sure there will be other times when I will come back to New York and actually run. Maybe the New York Marathon?



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