Tri, Tri Again

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

I'm training for a sprint triathlon in June.

I want you to imagine what you think "training for a triathlon" looks like and divide that by 100. That's what I'm doing.

It involves a lot of HGTV. And gelato.

My favorite thing to make for dinner is reservations, but my favorite thing to bring to dinner parties is gelato. When the planning begins for any potluck style event, I instantly call dibs on wine and dessert. And 90% of the time my dessert is of the store bought variety. Talenti sea salt gelato has been a crowd-pleaser even for the most epicurean attendees:

*this post is unfortunately not sponsored by talenti. Though at this rate, they should sponsor my life.

Oh, you grew basil in your herb garden and then used it to make a homemade pesto that we're eating over made-from-scratch linguini? Pass the wine, please. Also, when's dessert!?

Where was I before I began discussing my passion for store bought frozen delicacies? Oh, right. Exercise.

Last week I was in New York staying in a well-placed hotel near Times Square. I decided that I'd wake up early in the city that never sleeps to run through Central Park. You see, the triathalon involves running a 5k as the last event. I'm pretty sure I'll drown before I get to that part, but on the off-chance I survive swimming, and don't wreck my bike, I'd prefer not to pass out half way through a 3.1 mile run.

Our hotel was on 38th & the Avenue of Americas - so it was a straight shot up to Central Park (which starts at 59th) and then back. I tried this on Wednesday morning - and it was awesome! Even early, the city was so alive. I found myself running faster than usual, which I attributed to the fact that I had so many spectators.**

On Thursday, I ventured out for another morning run.  I didn't let the fog hinder me, and as I entered Central Park, a light rain began to fall. Undeterred, I picked up my pace and held my own with probably hundreds of other runners in the park. The energy in the city is palpable.

When it was time to turn around, I exited the park the same way I entered, and began the mile run back to the hotel down on 38th...or so I thought.

It was only when I looked up through the rain drops and saw a sign for 78th street that I began to panic. Apparently my overconfidence from my successful prior run had resulted in my not paying close any attention to where I was. One super disappointing fun fact about me is I have no sense of direction.  If I were born before the invention of the GPS, I'd probably still be aimlessly wandering Manhattan with nothing but over-priced lululemon workout gear and a surely expired hotel room key.

Fortunately, I had my iPhone in hand which was able to confirm just how far away I was from my destination:

**I'm pretty sure the actual reason I felt like I was running faster in New York is my new running app is totally inaccurate. It always says I'm faster than I actually am. I don't hate it.
I was done working out, it was time to get ready for work, and I was 40 blocks away from my hotel.

At that point, I decided to turn off my app. Running was no longer simply a means of exercise, a mere way to burn calories to justify future dessert consumption. It was a necessary means of physicial transportation.

With no other vehicle but my own two tired feet, I felt a newfound connection with the caveman who lived before the advent of cars, with Arya Stark who walked for days across Westeros, with the fleet-footed ancient Greecian war messenger who ran the first-ever marathon just to say "Nike!"

And, you know, like all other people who ever walked/ran to get around. In the grand scheme of things, there are lots of them.

Still, it felt primitive. Not running for exercise, but running because my body needed to be in my hotel room 20 minutes ago. I finally made it back, and thanked my athlete roots that I can physically prepare for any event in less than 15 minutes. (business traveler friends: the first step is giving up on ironing.)

Needless to say, I obviously ran way farther than originally planned. But don't worry, I've been making up for my unintentionally long run with intentional extra gelato.

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