Ambling About Bed-Stuy (3.5 miles)

This week should have been a perfect week for many long runs.  I have the week off for New York City’s appropriately (if obviously) titled “Mid-Winter Recess,” a week-long break that I have never quite understood but nevertheless always appreciated; however, instead of heading off with Nat for two or even three hour excursions, I’m still nursing my achilles heel with three and four mile runs.  I have to keep reminding myself to think long-term, as I am not training for anything now and hope to do a marathon (and an ultra) in the Fall.  I also keep reminding myself that injuries are a perfect opportunity to practice the the Buddhist principals of non-attachment and acceptance, but it’s a constant struggle.  (One of these days I’m going to write about running and Buddhism, as I feel they work together harmoniously).  But when the air is cool and the sky is blue and I feel healthy and full of energy, its hard not to want to just head out the door and really run. That’s the run I wanted: something long and even-paced, or conversely something fast and playful.

Today’s run changed a few times before it was complete.  Initially, I was going to run with Nat to the Gym Park, but right as I was packing up his diaper bag, he fell asleep, and after the last few busy days, he needed that nap much more than he needed to jump on a trampoline.  My next plan was to run four miles and end at the grocery store; after seeing that the wind-chill was supposed to be in the teens, I got on my winter running gear and my backpack and headed out.  Less than half a mile later, I was sweating like crazy — the wind had dropped off and the sun was shinning brightly.  This last weekend, I froze myself half-to-death in skimpy shorts and no gloves, then today I’m over-heating: sometimes you can’t win.  Like with my heel.  Four miles the other day was fine, but today after about a mile it was acting up again, so I decided to truncate my run and end after three.

I had no set course today, just a destination, so I just did a bit of a loop to Howard Ave. and came back along Macon to check and see if the Library was open yet (it wasn’t), then curled around at Nostrand to end by Tony’s, this amazing health-food store hidden amongst the random, trashy-store fronts along Fulton.  I ended up doing close to 3.5 miles, all of which felt slow and sluggish, possibly because all my attention was focused on my heel and trying to read the feed-back it was giving me.

It was a beautiful day, however, and while this was easily my least-enjoyable run in quite a while, getting out and moving on a day like this is always something to be be relished regardless.  In that sense, at least, perhaps my Buddhism won out: it wasn’t the run I wanted, but it was the run I had, and it was enough.

Distance: 3.48 miles Time: 32 minutes

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About Chris Van Dyke

I am a 33 year-old high school English teacher and long-distance runner. I live in Brooklyn with my partner, our 3 year-old son and 1 year-old daughter and a growing collection of muppets and trains. Besides running and teaching I like to draw, read, write, cook, and play the harmonica. While I didn't get to run my first ultra-marathon on my birthday, I've got a few more I've set my sights on. You can follow my (seldom updated) twitter feed @aboutrunning. I also blog as part of the Run Smiley Collective.
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