Running in New York

I went for a decent outdoor run this week for the first time since December, running from Hell’s Kitchen past the Battery and back. For an evening in March, it was perfect. Low 50s and light to steady rain on an uninterrupted path along the Hudson River Park waterfront.

It’s a beautiful part of the city along the waterfront, especially when you’re down near the World Trade Center where even the fringes of the city start to feel like the edges of a canyon. Along the Battery where you’re closest to the new shoreline you can lean over and see the water lap the rocks, and in the rain the sand envelopes section of the boardwalk and pavement. The wet that hangs in the air combines with the sand sticking to your feet, moving you mentally far from the scene.

When it comes to routines, I’m highly impacted by environment. In 2013, I lived in Ave Maria, FL for a few months. That January, I ran 111 miles—more than I had ever run in month. It was consistently beautiful, with temperatures in the 70s, 80s, or 90s. The hotter the better. Starting or ending the day with a run through the swamps of Southern Florida was novel, but it was also an easy routine to slip into. Comparing that experience to the Northeastern winter, the triggers for that habit disappear.

So I’m looking forward to the warmer weather in New York, but I’m also starting to think seriously about whether I want to make a life in the Northeast knowing that so much of the year requires a sort of social and environmental hibernation.