Sunday, January 9, 2011

'Home' for the week

Years ago I had a semantic argument about running with a guy I was dating.

We were planning our day, and I wanted to set aside time to exercise.
"I have to run," I said. His reply: "You don't have to run. You may want to run, but you don't have to."

I was thinking about this yesterday shortly after Katie and I arrived in New York for a week-long stay. We settled into my cousin Jeanne's apartment, and, although I was tired from the trip, I put on my running clothes and my new shoes, eager to try them out.

I haven't attempted to run in weeks, due to the flare-up of plantar fasciitis. But I tried tennis, and it felt OK. Ken Holt the miracle foot doctor had said he didn't like my Brooks motion control running shoes because they were too built up and made my left foot roll out. So I got a new pair of Asics and tried them for the first time yesterday with my new orthotics.

I did a walk-run over several crosstown blocks until I got to Central Park, where the park drive is closed to traffic. I thought I would walk and run, but my feet started running and didn't stop. I'm not sure how far I went; probably not much further than a mile, but I was happily surprised that I didn't need to stop and I didn't feel sick. I kept going, up some small hills and down, soaking up the sights and sounds of my old back yard. The sun dropping behind Cleopatra's Needle. The shrieks of children sledding down the little snow-covered hills. The runners coasting along. The people walking their dogs (or the dogs walking their people.)

And then that tiny switch went off that gives you those great endorphins. Wow. I coasted down a hill. It felt so great. I do need to run, or else why would I be doing it?

Katie and I came down by train yesterday to see one of the final performances of the musical "In the Heights." Its creator and star, Lin-Manuel Miranda, had left the show and was now back for the end of its run. The show was wonderful and was made even better by the audience's adoring reaction to seeing its star. When he came on stage, they clapped for so long that he had to stand frozen for several minutes. The standing ovation at the end was just as intense. Good live theater is so fulfilling when you get to share your appreciation this way.

The trip down was slightly discombobulated. I finally got a new suitcase, an upgrade from my mother's old one with the rickety wheels that kept tipping over last time I was in New York. Kohls had a buy-one-get-one-free offer, so I got the carry-on size plus the little bag to go on top so I wouldn't have to bring the old nylon toy bag that kept falling off last time.

Friday I had all day to pack. Of course I had to play tennis in the morning and I had to go shopping for the suitcase because I had waited until the last minute. Then there was buying something for dinner and making something for dinner and then making brownies, and then watching two episodes of "The Gilmore Girls" with Katie. It was midnight when I got around to packing, and 2 a.m. when I finished.

I loaded up the two new suitcases and then realized when we were at the train station that I couldn't lift them. Katie pointed out that the new little suitcase was heavy just empty, and that I would be better with something like the old toy bag. She was right. So much for trying to look coordinated like a respectable grown-up. I think I'll go back to the mismatched look or even use a shopping bag.

Katie did a lot of the lifting up and down stairs at the train station and onto the train, but I also depended on the kindness of strangers to help me out.

All that schlepping made the run in Central Park even better. I was free and unfettered and flying along.


Anonymous said...

You are an inspiration! Keep running Ronni! I'm glad you enjoyed the show, it must be great to have a whole week in your home town. Keep up the great work, I read your blog every day!

-Your Secret Admirer.

p.s.- That old boyfriend don't know nothin about the need to move! You go!

Elayne said...

Love this!There is nothing like that freedom is there?? Keep on running :)
Glad you had a nice visit! Maybe I will make it back to my "backyard" in Ma.sometime soon.

PJ said...

Shall we meet this week? Call me.

Ann said...

Running is a compulsion and some people will never get it. Sounds like you had a great time.