Oh what a beautiful, rewarding day to be a runner in NYC. All around the neighborhood you can feel the buzz of people getting out and about with smiles on their sun-warmed faces. Its been a hard, cold winter for all of us, but especially for us runners. Everyone has been struggling with windburn on their cheeks (both sets) and frozen hair and just general "brrr" that comes with winter training. But today... today was a different feeling altogether. From the moment I stepped out the door into the blinding sun in my shorts I felt a change in the air. I think we MADE IT THROUGH!! The winter is a trying time for many people around here, bad weather sucks when you live in the city. As NM and I made our way up to Isham St to meet the group we pranced through Fort Tryon park which was closed to pedestrians last Saturday because of the heavy snow covered tree limbs, but this week it was full of chirping birds and sunshine.
It was another big day for the Inwood Hill Runners - two new members today! Wahoo. We had 10 people this morning and decided it was a good day for the "East-West" run that we did a few weeks ago in the bitter, bitter wind. In reality we did a "West-East" run though. We looped through Inwood Hill park and made our way to the Greenway at Dyckman St and followed it down to 155th St. The sun was out, the view was clear and beautiful and I was feelin good! We saw some tankers and cruise ships in the distance which is always kind of fun, those cruise ships are so enormous that they dwarf the buildings along the river. When we turned onto 155th coming off of the greenway, I felt like a million bucks! Last time we did that hill (its a good one!) it was about 25 degrees with 25mph winds coming at us and there were snow flurries pelting us in the face. It was craptastic. Not today though, the sun was in my face and I bounded to the top of the hill thinking about tomorrow's Coogans 5K.
I continued to play the contrast game in my head for another few miles, "last time there were near 40mph icy gusts as we headed up the Harlem River drive", "last time I wanted to die here" before I finally let it go and enjoyed the sun on my face and the breeze in my hair. I enjoyed watching the Columbia men's crew team out on the water, it brought back memories from my rowing days in college in icy NH. I don't miss rowing, it was a brutal sport on my body, but I miss being on the water sometimes. Knowing that they were rowing into a headwind made me happy to be on dry land running alongside. We took a little pride in ourselves for beating them up the river, since there were 8 of them and we were in a little cluster of 4 at the time.
As we finished back at Isham St, the farmers market underway we all stood and chatted in the warm sun and for the first time in months- no one was in a rush to get home or to keep moving because WE WEREN'T COLD! I browsed the Farmers Market, picking the best whole wheat sourdough I could find and leisurely strolled toward the subway.
With my runner's high in full effect and toasted sourdough in my belly, I am content, refreshed and all of the stress and grumpiness of the week is a distant memory. I really love my running group. Rock on Inwood Hill Runners and thanks for another great start to the weekend.
Avg pace 8:51
Elevation gained: 1,135 ft
Elevation lost: 1,512 ft
Endorphins: Off the charts
:) Have a great weekend fellow runners. Its a perfect weekend to be a runner- live it up.