Here’s a fun fact: There’s still a lot of snow on the ground on any non-essential roadway or path in NYC, and it’s also covered with a layer of ice! Another fun fact: Ice hurts.
I learned this today, because it was time for a 3 mile run, according to my 10 training schedule, and it was just sunny enough that I thought a run down by the river would be a nice change of pace from the treadmill.
So, I trucked down to 181st on the A train, and followed Google Maps’ instructions for how to get to the Hudson River Greenway, in the shadow of the majestic George Washington Bridge.
It’s cold out, but I’m feeling good, feeling limber. Feeling like this was a great idea. UNTIL I realized…
…I gotta cross the Henry Hudson Parkway to GET to the Greenway. Which would normally not be a problem, except the bridge, stairs, and sloping path down to the trail have not been cleared or even salted at. all. AT ALL.
Being me, I think, “HOW BAD COULD IT BE???”
I get across the footbridge over the parkway, and this, OK, I can do this. I make it down the next set of stairs, and think, I can see the bottom of the bridge! I can’t be that far. Let’s do this.
I take TWO STEPS down the sloping path and WHOSH/SPLAT. I am now on my ass, sliding down an impromtu luge track.
Thankfully, I have plenty of cushioning. I soldier on.
Treading lightly now, I gingerly proceed (as, clearly, at this point, I’m not climbing BACK UP the Luge of Doom). I get to the bottom of the GW, and the path clears. Cool. It looks like I might be able to get my 3 miles in. I hit “Begin Run” on my Nike+ app, cue up the rad Chubby Jones indie-running-music podcast, and get moving.
For about 20 metres. And then my ankle rolls like a CHUMP, and down I go again.
So, now I have a choice: If my ankle’s really busted, I should find a way back up. But, I came all this way!
If my ankle’s not really busted, I’ll feel like even more of a chump if I chicken out now. I take a second, test out my weight on it, and it feels fine. A little stiff, but no pain. I’m feeling lucky. I sack up and get running again.
And it’s great. Only a few fellow runners are even out in this nonsense, so it’s quiet. The river looks spectacular. My pace is intentionally slow but I’m not stopping to walk; and it’s really quite lovely. I finish up my time, and take a couple parting snapshots:
Overall, I’m feeling great. But I know I’m not gonna go back the direction whence I came. I decide to follow another couple who seem to know where they are going, out the path that says “To 165th Street.” Long story short: They didn’t know any better than I did. And an icy stairway at 165th is just as treacherous as one at 181st. WHO KNEW???
No matter. No further tumbles; just an extra mile+ snow hike tacked to the end of my run. And more reason for me to ice up my ankle juuuuuust in case. But, despite my, erm, “miscalculations”: I still got my run in, and I’m still on track with training.
New York, you make EVERYTHING more difficult, but this time you did not beat me!