My run yesterday morning was amazing.

I know, you hear runners say this all the time. The case of the exceptional run, the momentous morning adventure, the wondrous mind body connection. The sun shines just right. The body moves seamlessly and the breathing comes easy. They tell you about the birds chirping, of becoming hyper aware of nature, of seeing the world with fresh and wonder-filled eyes.

And yes, I experienced these things. But, my run this morning only happened to me. And no one else. So that is why it was special. And that is why I need to write about it.

That’s one of the big reasons why we want to share experiences with others, isn’t it? We make our acquaintance with our once-confusing mind, we make a better sense of ourselves for a brief moment. We accomplish a goal that had been looming over our heads before we headed out the door in the first place. Or, honestly, we just felt god damn invincible.

I set out in the morning for my long run for the week, a basic 9 miler. My pace was scripted as low and light, avoiding exertion. From the get go, my run was set up to be easy. That nugget of a word, clipping into my skull and dropping down to the cadence of my legs, setting the tone for the day.

It was mid-morning when I started. I had woken up slow, sipping a hot mug of coffee and nibbling on fruit-filled oatmeal. Rosie O’Donnell filled my TV screen as I laced up my shoes, wiggled my headphones in, and stretched out my morning aches. With Rosie’s optimism, a belly of warm coffee, a few nibbles of energy gummies and an affectionate moment with my cat, Benson, I strapped on my watch and knocked open the front door. I was OUT.

I ran north to Central Park, zig zagging through the trickling of people out on the sidewalks. City running in New York’s metropolis is a lot of fun. As a runner in the city, you know when you can beat the light, which avenue will have more shade during a certain time of the day, how to run hugging up against the parked cars with or against traffic. You are constantly aware, looking in six different directions, with an eye on the lights, another on the cars and taxis, and your feet somehow guiding you through the millions of other bodies walking alongside the steaming streets and avenues. You know when a taxi is pulled over to drop off a rider and the door is about to swing open, staying alert.

As I got the park, the energy was exceptional. Runners were everywhere, in singles, two-by-two, and packs of five or more. NYRR (New York Road Runner, the main running and racing organization in NYC) had water stations, water sprinklers, and volunteer cheerers set up all around the park, which is a 10k loop. I joined in, getting cheers and running buddies along each mile.

As I left the Park, I made my way down 6th Avenue toward my apartment, which is snuggled up on 28th and Lexington. All of 6th Ave was a party. Vendors in their tents selling goods: meat sizzling on grills with the smoky aftermath curling it’s way to noses; fabrics hanging high, softly rippling with the morning breeze, every imaginable color cloth catching eyes; jewelry glinting and shining in its adoration to the sun; sunglasses, flasks, scarves, notebooks, fruits and veggies, cell phone cases and I Love NY T-shirts. I ran directly through, watching the people slowly make their way from tent to tent, hand in hand.

As 28th street approached, I slowed to jog and stopped my watch, exhaling happily as the world around me buzzed with taxis, honking, shouting, and scurrying. My run was done, my heart was full and my day was ready to begin.

Thanks for the love. Run with your heart, xo Babs


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