Why I Love Summer Running in NYC

Mich and Jamie smiling big after a refreshing run in Central Park. Sidenote: This is not a flattering picture. But in the effort to convey emotions through pictures, I put it up anyway. Anything for my blog!

Goooood Afternoon and Happy Tuesday! Reason to turn that Monday Frown Upside Down? It’s already Tuesday! Hooray for Holidays! Did you know that tomorrow is National Running Day? Even though my foot has been hurting me, as I mentioned in my “Fallin’ Off the Horse” post last week, I’ve decided to keep up with the running until a doctor tells me otherwise (I promise I’m going to the doctor next week!). Because, honestly, nothing screams summer in the city to me like a hot, sweaty run in Central Park

Breaking the Pre-Run Procrastination Record

These days, I’ve been seeing a lot of posts in the blogosphere about procrastinating before runs and motivating one’s self to go running. What is it about the summer days that make us all a little slower moving when it comes to putting on those running shoes and hitting the pavement?

Perhaps we’re more likely to enjoy too many of these the night before?

Or maybe the idea of battling the hot, heavy air and mosquitos makes us a bit sluggish?

Maybe we just want to curl up in a little ball and take a load off like this guy (my former dog Ripper)

For whatever reason, many of us suffer from a “disease” I like to call “pre-run procrastination” during the summer. From what I can see, no one is immune. Now, for those who need a little extra motivation, here are some posts that have helped me to get going after one of my procrastination spells:

  • Ali’s post about finally “feeling like a runner.” – Ali’s positive attitude about running and life always helps get me one step closer to lacing up those running shoes, but I thought this post, in particular was very motivating.
  • Tina’s post about how preparation creates motivation – Tina has a wealth of great posts about running and fighting through injuries. This post shows that with a bit of simple prep and encouraging mantras, a difficult run becomes just a bit more manageable.
  • Cely’s Running off the Recess blog – Sometimes I think we “runners” take ourselves too seriously. Running is supposed to be fun so perhaps there’s no need to always get so “introspective” about each and every run. When I start to overanalyze why I DON’T want to run, I enjoy a good laugh at Running off the Recess, lace up the shoes and tell myself to just “shut up and run.”
  • Hungry Runner Girl’s Running Top 10 – I don’t think it’s possible to talk about running motivation with out mentioning Janae, because I’m not sure anyone loves running more than this girl. Even through injuries, she tries to look on the bright side, and I really enjoyed her post about what she misses about running. Reminds me how lucky I am to even be able to run at all. As I always tell myself, “You don’t have to run – you GET to run.”

Alas, with all of this great motivation out there, I still succumb to pre-run motivation quite often. Such was the case yesterday, Memorial Day. Courtney at Sweet Tooth, Sweet Life recently wrote about “breaking the record” for longest procrastination of a run. Welllll, sadly, I think I’ve beat ya, Courtney.

I woke up yesterday at 8 AM planning to go on a little morning jog in Central Park to beat the heat. But then all that fun weekday television got in my way…It’s not often I get to take in a good episode of Good Morning America, Regis and Kelly AND Rachael Ray. 11 o clock rolled around and it looked like it might rain…I decided not to chance it. Better to wait it out, rigggght? 2 hours later, the sky was completely clear, so weather was no longer an excuse.  However, I decided this was the perfect weather instead for reading a book and laying out on my beautiful rooftop – check out that view. Totally worth it right?

Lucky me! Who wouldn't skip a run in favor of staring at this all day?!

All that laying out made me hungry, so I decided it was smoothie time.

Recycled smoothie pic...

And then, what do ya know, it was 4:00! I couldn’t pass up the chance to watch T. Swift perform on my favorite talk show, Ellen. Somehow, I looked at the clock again after an enchanting performance by Ms. Swift and a couple of 90210 re-runs and BOOM, it was 6:30. Doing the calculations in my head, I realized almost 11 hours had passed since I first planned to run.

To my credit, though, instead of throwing in the towel and using the ol’ holiday excuse, I put on some Rascal Flatts Pandora, grudgingly laced up my sneakers took in a few of the blogs I referenced, and forced myself out the door for an evening run through Central Park.

Oh…This is Why I Love Summer Running in NYC

And what do ya know? I had an incredible run complete with killer country music, a sunset over the breathtaking NYC skyline and lots of good sweat.

“Why oh why did I wait so long to do this?” I kept asking myself. So during my run, I started to remind myself of all of the reasons I love running during the summer, especially in NYC. Here they are:

I Love Summer Running in NYC Because: The window of opportunity for a safe long run greatly increases as the days become wayyyy longer.

Still safe to run outside!

Call me old fashioned but I don’t run by myself in the dark. It’s just not a smart thing to do, even in a city overflowing with people. But in the summer, whether I get home at 7 or wake up at 5 AM, I’m ensured a safe, fully lit run the whole way through. Last night, I packed in 12 miles from 7-9 with darkness only setting in right before I finished.

I Love Summer Running in NYC Because:  Sometimes it’s the most efficient form of travel on a crowded day.

Running to (and missing) the Today Show - Al Roker won't mind that I'm sweaty!

NYC is just plain hot during the summer. This is why the cool kids go to the Hamptons, Jersey Shore, etc. I’m not that cool so I stick out these hot summer days and suffer in silence. I’m sure many New Yorkers can commiserate with being stuck in traffic in a hot n’ sticky cab or sweating through clothing while waiting for the delayed subway. So, to avoid this problem, sometimes I just throw on my running shoes and head out to my destination. I’ve run to Brooklyn, the Today Show, friends apartments across town and even beer gardens – I just place anything I need (debit card, license, camera, lip gloss) in a plastic bag in my sports bra…I knew being NOT “well-endowed” on top would come in handy at some point! Sure, I usually arrive at my destination drenched in sweat and probably smelling like a field of grass, but at least I get some exercise and am able to get where I need to be without any delay. Win, win people.

I Love Summer Running in NYC Because: Sunrises seem just a little sweeter.

A sunrise a day makes the blues go away!

This morning’s sunrise was a beauty in juxtaposition over the bridge (I have no idea the name of said bridge). I had to pinch myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. Whether I’m watching the sun rise over the entire city in Central Park, over some random bridge on the East River (there are so many!) or just over some buildings in the concrete jungle, it feels just a bit more special in the warmth of the summer.

I Love Summer Running in NYC Because: I never know what’s around the corner.

Excitement around every corner

There are so many festivals, concerts and markets in this city during the summer, so during a run of longer than 5 miles, I’m almost guaranteed to see one of them. You definitely can’t experience that “never know what you’re going to get next” feeling on  your average neighborhood run.

I Love Summer Running in NYC Because: I can get a tan and exercise at the same time.

A tan Jamie is a happy Jamie

Sometimes I take my time getting out the door before my Saturday runs so I can get my run in during prime sun hours (with sunscreen of course!). Even though it’s a more challenging time to run and my tan lines are whack, I’m all about killing two birds with one stone.

I Love Summer Running in NYC Because: There are ample opportunities to dog watch.

I'll take all of these, please!

Some people enjoy people watching, but I like nothing more than a good dog watch. And during the summer, the dogs come out to play! On an average Saturday run in Central Park, I’m guaranteed hundreds of opportunities to fawn over adorable little puppies and playful dogs.

I Love Summer Running in NYC Because: I can strategically map my runs to end at 16 Handles, where I’ll inevitably feel like I must have a cup in order to re-hydrate and cool off my body 

Always an exuse for this guy after a summer run

Something about the hot weather makes me feel like frozen yogurt becomes another food group…add to that a 6 mile run in blistering temperatures and chocolate pudding fro yo topped with Fruity Pebbles (carbs) is a must-have.

I Love Summer Running in NYC Because: Every run reminds me how lucky I am to live in the greatest city in the world.

I never take views like this for granted

As I mentioned in my New York-a-versary post, running really helped me to appreciate this crazy city again after I considered moving back to my hometown. No matter how many people shove me as I get off the subway, how many extra hours I put in at the office or how many cabs almost run me over, all it takes is one good run to remind me that I’m right where I belong. When I’m running in the sweltering heat, listening to “Empire State of Mind” (cheesy, but true) and taking in all of the beautiful sights, I allow myself to dream big and believe that anything is possible.

So next time I feel the urge to wait 11 hours to go on a run, I’m going to remember all of the things I listed above. This should get me out the door a little quicker, don’t ya think?

Question:

What’s your favorite thing about running in your city/town?

What are you going to do to “celebrate” National Running Day?

If my foot lets me, I’m going to shoot for a 6 mile loop in Central Park…otherwise, I’ll celebrate on the elliptical, while reminding myself how much I love to run ;-)

21 Thoughts on “Why I Love Summer Running in NYC

  1. Hahaha…heyyyyy, at least you did it! Great job girl! Love the fro yo at the end, too. ;)

  2. You can add your own post to the blog motivation list you made! I love this and I bet I’ll refer to it again when I’m procrastinating in the future (today? ha!).

  3. This is beautiful! Running in WI is not quite as eventful, but it is stilll beautiful!

  4. What a fun post! What I love about running in my town is running past the baseball and soccer fields watching the kiddies! Thanks for the motivation posts too, those are great.

  5. What a great post to get you motivated! Just look back on this whenever you need a kick in the butt to get out the door :)

  6. I’m inspired you still got to it. I know I would have just said “ah, another day”. And how awesome to end a long run at a fro yo joint. Genius!

  7. I love summer running in NYC so much! The daylight, sunrises, and the ability to buy a popsicle, froyo, etc. right after an amazing, sweaty run. There are so many runners out and about, and you can almost feel the camaraderie and running love. Ahh, I am corny.

  8. I always LOVE your posts Jamie! They always make me smile because it’s so clear how much energy you put into truly enjoying your time in the big city!

    I love summer running, it really never gets too hot for me. Probably because I can’t stand the cold during the winter!

    Thanks so much for sharing as always! :)

  9. You have almost motivated me to go for a run but not quite. However, I promise to spend some time on the treadmill tonight. A terrific post and very well written. Of course that is my totally unbiased opinion.

    Love,

    Dad

    • Dad- thank you very much for reading my blog and even commenting. I am truly touched that you take the time in your busy day to read it! However, I must call your bluff – did you ACTUALLY make it to the treadmill like you said you would?? I’ll be monitoring this when I come home for a visit in July.

  10. Just found your blog (the title is great, BTW). Love it!

    I live in Jackson Hole, WY and what I love about running here is the view of the Teton Mountain Range, the fact that you run by moose, deer, elk and bison and the terrain.
    What I don’t love? The thin air (we’re at 6,500 feet) and the possibility of running into a bear – SCARY!

    PS – Love that you put fruity pebbles on your fro-yo. I do too!

    • Thanks for reading! Wow, I’ll bet your view is absolutely amazing! Um, I don’t know if I’d have the courage to run outside if I knew there was even a small possibility I might run into a bear. You are one brave little lady.

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