There were stretches of the 4-mile loop in Central Park where I ran without the disruption of a stranger, where no runners could be perceived coming from ahead or behind. This is the gift of winter training: the virtuous solitude that surrounds us when the fair-weather runners head to the gym, and fall marathoners are taking it easy. Even though it means training through snow, ice, stiff breezes and frigid temperatures, it also means the priviledge of an intimate moment with Central Park, with the Queensboro Bridge, with my Sunnyside Loop.
I most definitely run faster in the cold, there’s no question. And here I’ve stumbled upon another benefit of winter training–the encouragement of quick paces, even during Week 1. I am stronger than I think, and I’ll only get stronger. Believe me: I do not take that lightly.
Even at 6 PM the park was dark, the streets now completely clear of Saturday’s snowfall. The fields and gardens alongside the road were still covered in snow, though it was no longer fluffy, and the trees had already shook off their layer of white. At night, the snow takes on shades of gray and blue, it loses its flirty sparkle and lays there, hushed and subdued as we run past.
4.49 miles takes 39:57 minutes, my body perfectly heated from the exertion. More, please.