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"

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Tuesday evening while running, I saw the freaking coolest thing I've ever, ever seen while running. It was so cool. Unbelievable, if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes.

Are you ready for this?

I was in Central Park, running the lower loop, and I'd just come around to the east side. All of a sudden, a squirrel darted across the path and right into a woman riding her bike. It was obvious that the squirrel stupidly wanted to run right through her bike wheel; naturally it got caught in the spokes. The squirrel was picked up by her bike spokes, did a full revolution of the wheel, flipped out of the bike, turned itself over, and ran back into the park.

For serious!

Unfortunately I couldn't stop and take any photos, because I was running my poor little heart out at the time.

For my birthday, my mother signed me up for a Jack Rabbit training program that meets every Tuesday night for the next 10 weeks. I wanted some sort of quick work that wasn't as blatant as speed work, but mostly I wanted the coached workouts and the general accountability. It's too soon for me to have an opinion on the program, but I can tell you what we did last week.

The goal: two laps of the park's 1.75m lower loop, with the first at a pace slightly faster than comfortable and the second at a pace slightly faster than that. Ideally we'd negative split by about 30 seconds. I had great faith I would fail miserably at this. I have no concept of pacing and always crash at the end of any fast running exercise.

First lap: 17:05. Okay, not bad. It felt slightly faster than comfortable, but I thought maybe, maybe I'd have something left for the second lap.

Second lap: 16:14. I know, right? Faster than I needed it to be! Despite rolling hills, it was only marginally slower than my (flat) 5k pace and significantly faster than my Central Park 4m race pace. Huh. I really didn't expect that. (Yes. I expected I would fail.)

Other observations:
-there are a lot of bald, male runners (it worked for most of them)
-there are a lot of tourists in the park
-there is good fashion... and then there are hot pants. lots of hot pants seem to end up in Central Park

But seriously, the highlight was totally the squirrel.


  1. true story: when I was running in Napa the other day a squirrel ran right into my leg! Freaked me the eff out.


  2. A squirrel hit you? It touched you? Ahhhhh! I would have freaked out, too. For sure!

  3. That is craziness!!!! And way to go on the neg splits, speed demon!

  4. Coolest running story ever!!!!!!!!

  5. The picture I've formed in my head of the squirrel is cracking me up.