Suddenly it is spring in Central Park and on the reservoir loop. Yes, there is daylight and cherry blossoms and mild breezes, but there are also people– a lot of people. It is hard not to feel a sense of ownership over a place that I ran, when almost deserted, during the dark, cold winter. On those nights the cold wind would chill me, even slowing me down as I turned into it along the loop, and treacherous frozen puddles waited around each bend. Those nights there was the few of us from the team, the occasional lone runner, and the Central Park track club doing speed-work. One night, as I turned along the northern side of the loop, I realized that the lights were out. I, and another runner alongside, fell into pace, an unspoken agreement that we would ride out the dark together.
Today, this sense of darkness was gone, as were the runners doing speed work. The reservoir is no longer a track, but a sidewalk. Beautiful, and scenic, and perfect for a leisurely walk or jog. I was still able to run at pace, and several people ran faster still, but it no longer felt like the land of runners.
And now, the knee. I don’t want to celebrate too early, but at four miles in I suddenly broke into a grin when I realized that I’d made it that far without it buckling (this was not the case two weeks ago when I began the rehab). I ran five miles in total, and felt some light aching in the knee (especially after stopping), but no sharp pain. Too early to celebrate perhaps, but certainly not the death knell I was fearing. Now, to just get my cardio back into shape– as I had feared, elliptical and dance classes had not cut it.
Picture is of the reservoir, taken with my iPhone.