I woke up stressing – not a good way to start a Sunday. On Friday, I got the lease renewal from my building management. Usually, our rent goes up by less than $50/month each year, but this time they want another $200/month! Yikes. I love my apartment – I’ve lived here four years now – and the neighborhood, and I could afford to stay if I really wanted to, but that kind of jump in rent is enough for me to start looking around to see what else is out there. Maybe the whole NYC housing market is doing so well that I’m not going to do any better (in which case I’ll happily stay put), but since I travel so much and am home so infrequently, I have a feeling there’s a better living situation for me out there – now I just have to deal with the stress of finding it.
I used to wake up on a weekend morning and immediately throw my running clothes on and head out the door. No breakfast; I’d just eat when I got back. But I’ve definitely gotten older! Now when I wake up after a night out, I tend to think “there is no way I am working out today. I mope around the apartment, bummed that I’m a mess, but after a half hour of being awake (and after having some breakfast), I feel like my usual bouncy self. Today was one of those days, and I decided to take advantage of it and just go for a run. No Bodyglide, no fuel belt, no Garmin – just me and some music on my phone, old school-style.
I headed out toward Riverside Park, deciding to head north and just enjoy the beautiful scenery along the river. It was a sunny, perfect day – warm enough to feel like summer, but not too hot. As I jogged along at an easy pace, I was reminded of how much has changed in the last few years. Three years earlier, I was toeing the line for my second 5K, trying to break 30 minutes. Today, I went for what felt like a really easy, light run – but I easily covered 5K in less than 30 minutes. I’ve come a long way! When I look a little closer into my running history, I realized that exactly one year ago today, I was in Minneapolis running my final state marathon and breaking the world record. What an accomplishment!
I arrived home feeling refreshed and not tired in the slightest – I’m still going to do my Insanity workout later, and also have a hankering for some yoga – maybe on the riverbank or on a pier. But that three mile run was just what I needed to clear my head. I miss when I used to just run for the sake of running, instead of running only with an end goal or a finish line in mind. Maybe it’s time to go back to basics and forget the long distance marathons. Yes, there is nothing like the joy of crossing a marathon finish line and knowing that you pushed yourself and tested your limits… but there is also nothing like the simple pleasure of running aimlessly along the river on a gorgeous weekend morning, with no time or distance goal in mind. That’s how it all began; today, running, I come back to you.