Running in Central Park


Am so excited to run in Central Park.  Can hardly stand it.

Out the door of the Hilton, to the left and according to the concierge, will run straight into the park.   It is gorgeous, barely muggy out and very sunny.  Weave in and out of the people strolling down the street.  Give in to peer pressure and jaywalk/jog terribly until arrive at the massive green belt.   Need to get inside.  Way is blocked by busload of Japanese tourists.  And a lineup of horse drawn carriages.  Make it inside.

But wait what is this.  New York must be the fittest place ever in the entire world.  There are hundreds – probably thousands of people running.  Am swept up with them.  How extraordinary.  How marvelous.  How…

Realize they are wearing numbers.  Have stumbled into the middle of a race.  Okay, the end of the race as am with the stragglers.  They aren’t moving much faster than I.  Still, how cool is this.

We run together but in our own little Ipod separated worlds.  Sure is hot out.  Occasionally, check watch which is four hours and five minutes off.  One hour off because daylight savings time kicked in (several times).  Three more off because of the time difference.  Five minutes because do not know how to operate the watch.   Have given up trying.  Figure this is a good way to exercise math avoidant brain.

Run at a fairly steady pace thanks to many years of treadmill activity.  We are on the big perimeter road which should be a loop of around six miles.  Pass a pool, a baseball diamond, tennis courts, a little lake, various swing sets.  When realize.  Um.  Have seen this structure before.  Maybe.

Look at watch.  Minus four hours five.  Debate in mind whether to keep going or pull over and figure out where I’m at.  Keep up the debate for a while.  Nothing looks familiar.  There are no signs that help.  No mile markers.  No nothing.  Apparently should have paid more attention to landmarks before went into the park.  Debate ends.  Definitely did something wrong.  Run out of the park at the next exit.  Turn to the right and run back which may be right.  Then again, may not be.  After about ten minutes  give up pretense of being cool hip New York jogger.  Have to ask someone.   Determined not to ask the hot dog guy.  Decide to tag the runner coming towards me.   Where the heck is 6th.  Oh.  The other end of the park.  Turn back around.  Run back (the other way).  Too many people are out now on the sidewalks.  Go back into the park.  Wonder.  Which way is really the right way.  Put thought out of mind.

Become enveloped within the Zen of the moment.  Try not to go down the path of anxious predictions of doom.  Finally reach point where have been told to exit.  Catch self debating whether this is the right decision or not.  Exit anyway.  And voila!  Have escaped  Central Park.  Now, back to hang with all the AAJ lawyers.