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Fall in Central Park: Race to the Finish Line

Posted Oct 26 2012 7:10am

Yes, it’s official. After far too many mysteriously mild mornings, the air has finally developed an unwavering chill during the earliest hours of the day, and, although long overdue, the leaves are definitely changing.

Fall has arrived in Central Park.

Thursday’s run was challenging. It was early; It was dim; I was tired; I wanted to be in bed; and I accidentally wiped my sweat off my forehead with the front of my clean white zip-up, leaving a streak of bronzer that, despite washing my face the night before, clearly never came off.

Fall can make you forget all this. (So can Scott Jurek’s Eat & Run .) The beauty of Central Park can give you a sense of fall-nesia, or autumnesia — whichever you think works best. And just like that, it all of a sudden seems worth it.

The hard work (i.e., pumping rigorously up the hill at Park and 65th)…

…and the personal determination (I will not slow down just because I’ve made it out of the park; 5th Avenue pedestrians, move the hell over), was unquestionably worth it. By the end, I felt strong, I felt confident, I felt energized, and I felt unquestionably sweaty.

I also crossed the would-be finish line of the New York City Marathon, sandwiched by aluminum stairs that will soon be filled with spectators and fans screaming for their loved ones below.

I, on the other hand, will be out east at a vineyard. We all have our priorities.

By the time I got home, 5 painless miles seemed far too few; I wanted more.

Baby steps.

Still, Thursday morning’s was the perfect segue into Friday’s run, during which you can bet I’ll be back at it on the lower loop of Central Park — the happiest place on earth — again.

If you happen to be in New York City, be sure to lap around Central Park’s paths just as soon as you can. I can only imagine it’ll woo you just as strongly as it has me.

  • Where is your “happiest place on earth?”

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