Thursday, November 5, 2009


Perhaps inspired by the New York City Marathon, I have started to do some running again for the first time in probably 20 years. I'm still not doing it as regularly as I would like, but I am surprised by how much I enjoy it when I do. My plan is to run softly, calmly, and pretty slowly. I want to save my knees for one thing, but I also want to retain the pleasure and the simplicity of this most elemental of physical activities. We really were meant to run, but not necessarily to compete with others or to see how quickly we can lower our times or even to lose weight. It is rather a natural way for human beings to get around that shouldn't necessitate special gear or other equipment. I mean part of the satisfaction of running is that it can literally be done anywhere at any time.

In my case, at least at this point, I am trying to run in bike pants and walking shoes just after dawn. What I think might help me to sustain this is my route - two blocks East and then a nice trot along the cindery bridle path in Central Park. The delight of being in Central Park three or four mornings a week is a big part of the appeal right now. I enter at 69th and Central Park West, take only a few steps on a paved path and then turn left on to the cinders. The path curves enticingly toward a tunnel where it is hard to see your footing in the dusky light of the new day, then continues on more or less straight before coming to another charming little tunnel and then up toward the main road before reversing direction to return the way I came.

After leaving the Park and heading home via 69th Street itself, I am often struck by what a neighborly place this street is. It is filled with brownstones and old three and four story walk-ups with steep stoops of stairs. During Halloween, virtually everyone had elaborate decorations. On other days, you can't help noticing how carefully everyone maintains their frontage with flowers or other colorful decorations or just by keeping everything very neat and tidy. One day as I ran home, I was surprised to see preparations for a street fair, which the residents organize themselves, both to celebrate their neighborhood and to welcome others in.

So I guess you could say my run is full of little enticements. The run itself, the promise of Central Park, the charm of a New York City neighborhood, and the pleasure of returning once again to our own humble home that looks out so longingly on this great and diverse city.

Oh, and one other thing, I had no post for today, so I wrote this little piece at 6:00 in the morning...instead of takng my little early morning jog. Sometimes just writing about running is as good, if not better, than the run itself.

1 comment:

  1. Exercise of blog? Let your fingers do the walking! Even though it's been 27 yrs since my one and only marathon and over 25 since my back opted out of running all together, I still dream of it and the feeling of moving over the gound in the zone as the sun rises. Be careful and enjoy.