If I'm gong to keep doing this, I've got to get out there earlier, lest I face the probability of having to share the path with my fellow runner: inevitably a dewy, young Amazonian with perfectly toned, rippling musculature, loping with the grace of a thoroughbred as I trot breathlessly behind like a mule with leprosy.
Today was my third morning of running and hoo boy am I feeling it. That said, in the next two days, my family has a memorial service and a burial to get through, so this morning was my final opportunity to get in a early slog around the park. As such, I fought through the ache in my thighs and gave it another go.
My thighs are killing me, most evidently when I walk down a flight of stairs. I want to think, however, that it's a "good pain," i.e. the pain of muscles that haven't felt any meaningful exertion in a while. I'm starting to take the notion of stretching a bit more seriously, but still don't really know if I'm stretching for long-enough increments or even doing the right stretches, ... but I think I am.
I'm still not bringing the iPod. I'm sure music would help me zone out and not think as much about the impact of each step on my jostled, angry entrails, but it's just one more thing to carry. I kinda like the freedom of just wearing sneaks, jogging shorts and a t-shirt . Once you introduce gadgets into the mix, it gets more complicated. I also kinda like experiencing the sounds of the morning.... that is until I hear what my comrade Jeremiah Moss tellingly refers to as the "world of vocal-frying dumb talk" that downtown has become.
I still associate Washington Square Park with my downtown, however. As I start my lap on Washington Square North, I think of all the old record shops that used to be one block over on West 8th Street, like the original Venus Records and It's Only Rock'n'Roll. When I'm trotting down Washington Square West, I think of Bleecker Bob's, 99 Records and Route 66. When I'm trudging to the east on Washington Square South, I think of Second Coming Records on Sullivan Street and Tower Records on 4th and Broadway. All those places are gone now, of course, replaced by frozen yogurt joints, pharmacy chains and banks.
By the time I'm approaching the end of my lap on Washington Square East -- when I pass by those huge photographs of Cheetah Chrome and Stiv Bator, leftover from a gallery exhibit back in May about antiquated NYC nightlife -- I'm snapping back into the present. I downshift into what I've started calling "the wobble," a second lap around the park in a brisk walk. I'm looking to turn that into a second full lap of running, but ..... one step at a time (literally).