Sand vs. Snow

A little more than a month ago I was lounging on the beautiful beaches of Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic and getting my daily sweat on via short, barefoot runs in the sweltering hot sand. It was heaven. It may also have been somewhat of a contributing factor to the horrible on-and-off foot pains I started experiencing for four weeks after…but thats neither here nor there.

After an awesome spin class on Friday night–well, it was awesome that I was able to get back in the saddle, but the actual instructor never showed up. A fellow NYSC employee manned up to serve as a sub, and he did a great job considering I’m pretty sure he’d never officially taught a cycle class in his life, but it wasn’t quite what I was expecting. After the 45 minutes of spinning, sweating and wrapping things up with some stretching I headed over to the elliptical for a cool-down. I had forgotten the headphones that I’ve come to love for this activity, so wasn’t really feeling it and didn’t plan to stick around too long.

For those of you who have ever run with me (and maybe I’ve even mentioned it here on the blog), I have what a doctor has told me is exercise-induced asthma. For who-knows-what sciencey reason behind it, every time I workout, I suddenly have little hacking coughs interspersed in my cardio activity–usually just very quick, little hiccups of a cough that people often (I don’t know how) mistake for a sneeze. I can’t even begin to tell you how many people have blessed me while on the ellip or even running around Central Park.

Well on Friday night, about 15 minutes into my little leg on the ellip, one of these noises escaped me. And rather than give me the usual “gesundheit” and get on with his own workout, my neighbor turned to me and said “If you’re sick you’re really not doing any of us any favors.”

Oh, really, buddy? I thought if I was ill the best way to spend my time was wiping my germs all over cardio machines and breathing as heavily as possible on all of the handlebars and buttons they have to offer. Only I didn’t say that to him. Instead I said, “Actually. I have asthma. But thanks for the tip.”

Please note: I’ve never used an inhaler of any kind of said “asthma”, because it really only is an issue when I’m working out, and even then, it’s more just annoying/embarrassing to have to say thanks to the 845320 people who bless me for my fake sneezing than being an actual problem for me. But neighborman immediately flushed and tried to make small talk about how damp this particular club is due to the pool. Nice try, buddy. Nice try. Point of this little rant? Just that the audacity of some people can really blow my mind sometimes. If I was sidled up next to someone exercising who I thought had the flu, I still wouldn’t jump to any conclusions…I’d just move to a different machine and/or use LOTS of extra sanitizer and soap after the workout.

Okay. Rant over.

Any who, back to my original point. The cycle sesh on Friday was SO good, that I was easily able to forget about my mini altercation, went home on an endorphin high and immediately started mapping out a route for a long run on Saturday morning.

When the alarm went off early Saturday a.m. I looked out the window, saw the gusts of flurries and pushed snooze.

Only I didn’t snooze for too long. And when I finally got up, the Twitter world was abuzz with people announcing the postponement of their long runs until Sunday morning. I knew I couldn’t run Sunday, with a day full of family-time, so I made the decision to pony up and run. I told the JD, my twitter friends and anyone else who would listen that I’d just go out, see how I felt in the snow, and run whatever was comfortable.

In my head though, I knew I was doing at least 10. I wouldn’t allow for a mile less, because I’ve been in severe need of the encouragement of a good long run.

The JD joined me for the first mile or so, and I was going SLOW. I was scared of Foot having a hissy fit of some sort, and terrified of falling and injuring some other body part heavily depended upon by runners.

Once the JD turned around towards home and I made it into Central Park though, I’d found my stride. And I told myself that running on the snow really wasn’t TOO different from running on sand–both require a little shift in how the body is carried and some extra attention paid to where the foot falls, but overall, it wasn’t terribly hard to do. And even though there were tons of NYers out with their sleds and toboggans, there was an eerie/inviting silence.

bethesda fountain in the wonderful white world of winter

My plan was to do two of the relatively easier 4-mile loops in the middle of the park. I entered at 96th street and made my way south, where I crossed over at the 72nd street transverse and got a lovely glimpse of Bethesda fountain. From there, I headed north up the east side. This part of the run became significantly more difficult as those serene flurries had turned into pellets of not-nice ice. Running up Cat Hill, facing the wind with the sting of those bullets was not the most fun I’ve ever had, but they subsided once I reached the reservoir. Feeling empowered by that more difficult part of the journey, I decided to bypass the 102nd street driveway and climb some hills in Harlem. And that’s exactly what I did. 🙂

oh central park. you are so pretty when blanketed in white.

By the time I came out of those monstrous hills and made my way back down to the west side for loop #2, those amazing NYC workers had already come through with the plows and cleared most of the roads in the park. I did the original 4-mile loop I had planned and then jogged the mile home, ending at a little more than 11 miles. The best part of it all? Foot was 100% pain-free (and still is today–though I’m knocking on wood even as I type this)!

Saturday night the JD’s sister came into town and we cooked up a delicious dinner, then headed down to the W. 80s for some bar fun 🙂

When we woke up Sunday morning we got ready for the rest of the JD’s family to arrive for brunch. After a delicious meal at Le Monde, we went back for some football action [note: I am NOT a football fan. Or at least wasn’t, until PavementRunner and NYCRunningMama made it interesting last night]  at the apartment, and packed up a few non-essentials for his parents to store in their basement until after a move. Mission clear some space in the living room for this weekends bachelorette party: complete. Yay.

As it turns out, Sunday turned out to be a day dedicated to eating, because shortly after the JD’s family headed out, we headed south to meet my family (aunt, uncle and cousin from Queens) at Gabriela’s for din. SO glad we did, because it turns out, Gabriela’s is the BEST Mexican I’ve found in my year in New York. Impressive, no?

And shock of all shocks, the weekend/evening ended with watching more football [read: I paid attention to the score of the Giants/49ers game solely to see if I’d have a required number of miles on the queue this morning thanks to the  NFC Championship Challenge. The Gmen won, but only by 3 points–aka, 3 miles for those who bet on the 49ers taking the game. Hopefully, they win by much more come Feb. 5th to make things that much more exciting in the running community 🙂

Today is a crazy first day in the new office, followed by a trip to a new NYSC location. Fingers crossed that there’s not too heavy of an after-work crowd!

Have a veryyyy Happy Monday, kids!

– What audacious acts frustrate you?

– What wintry fun did you have this weekend?

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4 Responses to “Sand vs. Snow”


  1. 1 sweatpassionandtears January 23, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    Congrads on the long run pain free!!!! That’s awesome!!! And way to get out there in the snow, i was scared :-/

  2. 2 Laura January 23, 2012 at 9:28 pm

    Only defense I can think of for the rude guy at the gym is, since it’s January, maybe he thought you were a resolutioner who was brand new to the gym and didn’t know that working out when you’re sick is bad?

    Keeping my fingers crossed that Foot stays happy till the weekend!


  1. 1 Rolling in the Deep « Marathon Winer Trackback on January 24, 2012 at 5:23 pm
  2. 2 Fitting it all In « Marathon Winer Trackback on January 31, 2012 at 2:52 pm

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