I could write on and on about how much I love running in NYC…the views everywhere to distract you, people to distract you, running buddies to distract you, traffic to watch for so it doesn’t run you over…I think you get the point. While the hustle and bustle of the city is exciting and can make for fun Christmas-themed runs, I always love going back to the suburbs of Chicago to run. Well, mainly to visit family and friends, but of course I run while I’m there
There’s an article somewhere (I’ll find it sometime…) about how when it comes to running in the city versus running in the country, running in the city is worse for you. They quote things like how the worries of possibly being hit by a car causes anxiety and therefore make the health benefits of exercise not as effective. Compared to a carefree run in the country (maybe you’ll get stopped by a herd of cows? Run over by a tractor?), I suppose city running would make your blood pressure rise…but that doesn’t mean I’m going to stop. But I do easily see how much calmer a run in the suburbs is when compared to Manhattan.
I ran all four days that I was home over Christmas, and it was glorious. In a fit of packing on Sunday night, I couldn’t dig my tights out of my running drawer, so I ended up just taking capris home…RUNNER FAIL. It was cold. Chicago is cold. I know these things. I figured it wouldn’t be that bad. It was to be in the 30’s. I was running in shorts while the temperatures were in the 30’s in NYC last week. Well, there’s a big difference between high 30’s in NYC and low 30’s in Chicago…I think Chicago is just naturally colder. Oops?
I bundled up with some longer socks and a hat that my dad found in the closet…as a seasoned runner, you would think I would know better, but the optimist in me hoped for the best. Luckily, the hat worked out quite well.
My first run was on Christmas Eve, and I did one of my favorite runs…it can be changed to be anywhere from about four to ten miles, mainly because it’s an out and back. The eight mile version is my favorite, so that’s what I did. It’s mainly flat with some "rolling" (for Chicago…) hills and a fairly big downhill in the seventh mile that I love to fly down. I know the mile markers without even looking at my watch, and I could probably do this run blindfolded. The highlight was passing a few other runners who were out that afternoon, and we all waved at each other or wished each other Merry Christmas…these things don’t happen in New York, and I kind of like it. For some reason my legs take off when I run at home, and I held a 7:30 pace with ease. Maybe the cool temperatures helped…
Monday, December 24
8.14 miles in 59:29, avg pace of 7:18
THE CHRISTMAS RUN.
I like running on Christmas. It’s nice. I mainly run through neighborhoods at home, and many houses have tons of cars parked out front…a sign that there’s a gathering inside, which I like. Plus, the run helps offset the eight million Christmas cookies I ate (although I refused to feel bad about it, see Cotter’s post on enjoying vs indulging. I enjoyed every last bite). Anyway, a short five mile run so I could get back to the Christmas fun…and more cookies.
Tuesday, December 25
5.07 miles in 38:11, avg pace of 7;32
"easy" five. oops.
i have a stomach of steel
Wednesday morning brought family pictures, and I didn’t feel like waking up and squeezing in a run beforehand…and then after family pictures I headed to Buffalo Wild Wing for lunch with the Katies and Bill. It was delicious and I ate my entire chicken wrap. However…when I got home it was nearly 2:30 and since it gets dark around 4:30, I needed to get my run in sooner rather than later. So at 3:30, I headed out for a ten mile run. With a stomach full of a chicken wrap. Ten miles later and no stomach issues, I’m fairly certain I can eat almost anything before running and be just fine…although in the future I should probably stick to the customary bananas and peanut butter.
But the ten miles went quite well, despite the wind. THE WIND. I turned a corner and was smacked in the face with a huge gust. Thank you, Chicago, it’s nice to be home.
Wednesday, December 26
10.25 miles in 1;18:00, avg pace of 7:37
okay, i guess i’ll take it easy now
Thursday was my last day at home, and I got in my run in the late morning. It was definitely warmer than the day before, and I took the same route as my Christmas run but told myself to scale back the pace a bit. This is another run I could probably do with my eyes closed, as I know every little turn and hill on that route. I like the fact that some things never change when I go back to Chicago. On the other hand, luckily my pace slowed a bit to recover from the faster ten miles the day before…marathon training is about to start (more on that later…), so I need to pay closer attention to what I’m doing…although I won’t argue with these faster paces, that’s for sure.
Thursday, December 27
5.04 miles in 39:51, avg pace of 7:54
annnnnnd back in NYC
It’s now back to running in NYC, and I don’t think I’ll be running after my shifts tonight and tomorrow, meaning that the 8:30pm post-day shift runs are over as I go back to night shift on Sunday. I know you’re excited for NIGHT SHIFT (just tell me you are, as I certainly am not…), and anyone who wants to run at 8am should become my new best friend. Jocelyn, I’m looking at you.
Favorite part about running at home? Any runs you could do with your eyes closed?