Tuesday, December 16, was my first try at “trail running.” The quotes are for how I would describe this run before going – because I live in NYC, more specifically Manhattan, and where are there trails around here? The Bridle Path?! I have no idea. But when I met Will, a New York Running Company person, at the Grant Park Turkey Trot in Chicago, he told me about his trail runs he leads on Tuesday mornings at 7 am. I brushed him off a bit, explaining how a 7 am run doesn’t give me enough time to get to work.
Fast forward two weeks, and a Facebook event invite shows up in my feed for the Blockhouse Trail Run, starting at 7 am on Tuesday, hosted by Will. I clicked YES, although it was unclear of the distance or the pace or the path we’d actually be on.
I revisited the event listing a few times to try to figure out more information. I also considered not going, but being of high moral standards, I thought it rude to RSVP yes and then not show up (because six other people said they were going, and surely he’d see I wasn’t there). So I basically guilted myself into going to this group run.
I’m happy I did! This was THE. MOST. FUN. I’ve have on a run in a long time.
I left my place at 6:40 am and ran the 1.5 miles to the Time Warner Center, where we met in front of the NY Running Co. It was myself and employees of the shop to begin with – I had seen all of them before, as our Empire Tri Club runs meet there on Tuesday and Thursday nights. Ten of us left the shop to start the run, heading up through the holiday market to the south drive inside the park, and then to the east. Will’s only rule: “anywhere you see pavement? Don’t run on it.” So we didn’t. We ran in the grass, and over rocks, freely through the lawn where there were no paths or trails.
We made our way through parts of the park I had never seen, up to the Great Lawn and onto the Reservoir path. We crossed to the westside, bounced back to the east side, and then ran up above the 102nd Street cut off to the Blockhouse, where Mary (one of my FAVORITE run buds!) took off. After running up and down the rocks around that area, we cut through small trails between trees and zig zagged our way back down the Westside, through trees and brush, up/down/around rocks and stairs, and back toward the Running Co.
I cut out at 72nd Street to get to the Eastside and my place at 8:25. I jumped in the shower still sweating, ended my shower still sweating, and was out the door by 8:40 am to attempt to make it to work on time. It was tight – I loved the run so I’d like to try to find a way to do it and still make it to work. I may need to set out my bike before, and iron the night before.
The run was 8.8 miles in total for me (with my commute there and back), reasonably paced (although the group did split), and a ton of fun. I always enjoy the NY Running Co people, and it was a nice way to explore parts of Central Park I had only wondered about (which was one of my goals for the coming year – see ALL of the park).
Thanks to Will and NY Running Co for putting this on!