On I went, out of the wood, passing the man leading without knowing I was going to do so. Flip-flap, flip-flap, jog-trot, jog-trot, curnchslap-crunchslap, across the middle of a broad field again, rhythmically running in my greyhound effortless fashion, knowing I had won the race though it wasn't half over, won it if I wanted it, could go on for ten or fifteen or twenty miles if I had to and drop dead at the finish of it, which would be the same, in the end, as living an honest life like the governor wanted me to. -Alan Sillitoe, "Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner"

Monday, April 4, 2011


Saturday morning I woke up, groggy. I had slept on the couch. In my clothes. I had no memory of falling asleep on the couch. I didn't turn the lights out, I didn't turn the tv off, I didn't brush my teeth. Gross, right?

Me, moments after waking up on that very couch. My hair
is doing some sort of weird Helena Bonham Carter thing.
Then again, I don't own a hairbrush. Go figure.
But that's not what I wanted to tell you.

Instead, this is what I wanted to share: Saturday was the first day in months that I woke up, looked out the window, and wanted to go running.

I suspect it's the weather. No matter how rewarding a cold weather run is, no matter how much I need a run or how good I feel when I get back, putting on tights and a jacket and ear warmers is OVER for me. This winter has gone on way too long.

But I don't control the weather, duh. So what to do? Sadly, I don't have any secrets to share with you.

Running is math. You go out, you do it = you get better at it. You sleep in, you make excuses, you don't get your miles in = you don't get better at it.

You can't cheat it. Maybe you can have a fluke good race on little preparation every now and then, but that's a fluke. As a rule, there is one way to improve: training.

This winter has been miserable for me, personally. Terrible soul-killing weather, terrible time-killing Egyptian revolution, terrible morale-killing running. I'm ready for spring, and I'm ready to be excited about running again.

Lucky for me, Saturday was an okay run with pleasant consequences. Just think, if I hadn't gone running, I wouldn't have ever seen this crazy boat under the George Washington Bridge:

Better yet, if I hadn't gone running, I never would have gotten the mail and found the double whammy happy surprise of TWO unexpected presents: a cd sent to me by a friend, and the NEW ISSUE OF RUNNING TIMES!!!:

So lucky for me, my running got a boost when I could almost, sort of, maybe feel spring in the air on Saturday. And on top of that, almost-spring means that the running-related opportunities abound!

  • Tonight, I'm hitting up the SUPER SOLD OUT NYRR/Team for Kids Stretching 101 group run/learning session. (Are you going? Let me know! Otherwise, get on the wait list. I intend to go to all four events. You should, too.) 
  • On Wednesday, the Lincoln Square lululemon is starting up their Wednesday evening run club - it's free and they're encouraging of all levels of runner. Meet at the store and be ready to run by 6:45 (you can use their changing rooms to change into your running clothes and they have bag storage). I ran with them for a while last year and had a good experience.
  • Then, next week, the NYRR has another event ("ladies" only) on nutrition.
And of course, soon enough it will be time to train in earnest for the Brooklyn Half. I ran a good race there last year. I'd like to do the same this year.


  1. I wish I could say I'm done with tights and ear warmers too. It's good to hear that spring is actually happening in some parts of the country. Enjoy!

  2. Well, it was spring, briefly... and then we got the cold rain back. I think I'll just pretend that it's spring, blindly!

  3. It's SO TOTALLY GOING TO STAY SPRING NOW. I refuse to listen to reason on this point.