Tag Archives: central park

More crying in public & the Central Park Conservatory Garden (where there were no tears)

I’ve lived in NY my entire life (save for 4 years in college), had family and friends who worked in the Twin Towers, and as of a few weeks ago, have been working in one of the brand new buildings at the World Trade Center myself.

I walk by the 9/11 pools every single day. The entrance to my building is a handful of feet from them so every day in order to get into my building I walk through tourists, police officers, construction workers, and, on some wonderful occasions, FDNY cadets. In all these years and with all my opportunity, I have never once walked up to the pools. Until yesterday.

views from 4 wtc

Now, it’s a very strange thing to be down here. Working in this building is incredible (seriously, look at those views) but it’s a very strange feeling to walk through the memorial multiple times a day as if it were normal business. I listen to music or podcasts every morning on my way down to work but the second I get out of the train station and up to the FDNY memorial, I take off my headphones. It feels disrespectful to zone out here.

For whatever reason yesterday afternoon, I didn’t want to just walk past the pools as I made my way to the Hudson River for a lunchtime walk.  I walked out of my building and instead of walking straight ahead, I veered slightly right. With just a step or two, I heard the water falling. That alone was enough to get my heart racing, but I continued until I was directly in front of one of the pools.

12 seconds. I probably lasted 12 seconds of staring into the pool, which seemed significantly larger than any photo I have seen or the view from my floor of the WTC. I struggled to catch my breath and my eyes teared. I couldn’t stand there a second longer.

The pools are beautiful. They really are. I guess I’m just not ready. It became one of those moments where everything seemed like it was moving in slow motion and I found myself looking at the people around me… how are they here and taking photos? Am I the only one who needs to sit down?

As it became such an emotional afternoon for me, I was really glad that I had already made plans to visit the Central Park Conservatory Garden after work.

central park conservatory garden

If you live in NYC or are planning a trip to NYC in the near future, the gardens are amazing right now. There are no words for what this garden did for me as I meandered in and out of its paths. It was so quiet (the kind of quiet one rarely experiences in NYC) and I almost felt transported out of reality.

central park conservatory garden 2

All the noise from the day and all the mental chaos in my head seemed to just fade away. I felt like I was walking through my own little fairytale… minus Prince Charming and woodland creatures to clean my apartment. Maybe I’ll pick them up next time I’m there.


Thoughts on the 9/11 Memorial? I’m almost surprised I had such an intense reaction since I was physically underneath the pools and walked around the museum before it was a museum a few years back.

Any other peaceful places in NYC I should check out?


Filed under new york city

Scotland 10k: the “let’s see how out of shape I am after the winter from hell” race.

First up, workouts from week 4 of Brooklyn Half training:

www brooklyn half week 4

Scotland 10k:

I registered for the Scotland 10k since it fit perfectly into my training for the Brooklyn Half and also gave me an opportunity to assess my fitness level after this awfully long and never-ending OMG IT WILL NEVER END winter.

I’m not one to race (or really, sign up for) a 10k since I mostly register for the 15k distance and up.  As I’m racing what will most likely be around a 10k at a marathon relay in 2 weeks, it made even more sense to test what kind of shape I’m in at the moment.

Anywho, I picked up my race stuff Friday afternoon after work and because it was FINALLY WARM, I walked home through Central Park where I got pizza and emptied my DVR from the week. FRIDAY NIGHT WIN.

Saturday morning, I ate the delicious free cookie from packet pickup before heading out the door for an 8am start time because when in running Rome Scotland…

(these are delicious, btw)

Since I wasn’t planning to race this 10k but rather use it as an assessment of my fitness level, I figured I’d follow the below plan:

  • Miles 1-2: Comfortable pace around a 9:30
  • Miles 3-4: Comfortably hard pace between 9:00 and 9:15
  • Mile 5: Comfortably harder at a sub 9
  • Mile 6: As much as I’ve got left

Here’s how the race actually went down:

scotland 10k

I felt really good throughout the entire race. The first mile was extremely crowded and while I felt myself feeling frustrated at the slower pace, I think it really helped to be forced to keep it slower. I generally struggle with pacing shorter distance races so I think the crowds worked in my favor.

There was a pretty big spectator presence in the park and it definitely pumped me up toward the end, specifically right after Mile 4 when an older gentleman screamed, “You’ve got it Angela! Make it happen!” Seriously, NYC has the best running community.

scotland 10k

Am I as fast as I was back in the fall? Nope – but that’s how it should be. I’m happy with the outcome of this race and think I’m in a really good place to start some real training again this summer.   Plus, a PR is a PR 🙂

Also, I don’t think it’s possible for me to finish any race that ends at the NYC Marathon finish line and not cry. #ImTooEmotionalForThisSport


How are you feeling fitness-wise after this winter? I’m feeling pretty good after this race. All has not been lost! I’m excited to start working with my coach again and really get my speed back!

Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday weekend celebrating Easter and/or Passover!


Filed under 10k, new york city, weekly workout wrap-up

The REAL long run: the distance that changes everything…

First up, workouts from last week:


The REAL long run: the distance that changes everything…

This past weekend, I pinned on a racing bib for the 14th time in 2014, hitting my 2014 goal of running 14 races this year!  As I’m “training” for the Dopey Challenge coming up in just a few weeks, the Ted Corbitt 15k was the perfect opportunity to both hit my 14th race of the year and break up my long run for the week. (Remember last years’ Ted Corbitt where it was snowing and freezing the whole time? Fun.)

I needed to get in a long run of about 16 miles so I decided to run some miles before and after the race:

  • 3.7 miles pre-race
  • 9.3M race (Ted Corbitt 15k) – With a few miles with Jess and Jess, two of my favorite running ladies!
  • 3.5 miles post-race

My intention was to only run 3 miles after the race but because of the route I took through Central Park, I ended up landing on my doorstep at exactly the 16.5M mark.

ted corbitt 15k

So here’s the thing about a 16 mile run… it is the distance where long distance running completely slaps you in the face. If you look up any marathon training articles, it’s pretty much agreed upon that the 16 mile mark is considered the smallest “long run.” And while I sometimes don’t agree because isn’t your longest run of the week considered your  long run? Who came up with 16 miles and said that this is where we can start considering this long distance? WHO?!?!

But then I make the leap to the 16 mile distance… and I get it.

Mentally, the leap from 12 to 14 miles is easier to grasp than the leap from a 14 mile run to a 16 mile run. 16 just feels so much longer. And really, it is. In more ways than just the 2 extra miles.

In my 5 marathon training seasons, the 16 mile run is always my hurdle. Anything less feels “short” and anything more feels exactly the same. 18 miles? 20 miles? 22 miles? Mentally (and for the most part, physically) – they all feel the same.

So what is it really? I don’t know… it’s probably a bunch of things. It’s the first distance where I truly concern myself with making sure that I have fuel with me. It’s the first distance where I may actually experience glycogen loss. It’s the first distance that may have me walking down steps funny, have me doing yoga in my friend’s living room (Hey Nicole!), and have me reaching for the Aleve just to get to sleep. The DOMS is real, my friends.

But there it is. I ran 16.5 miles on Saturday. I’ll run 18 next weekend and then enter the ever so lovely Taper Town before Dopeying it up in the happiest place on earth.  Let’s do it.


What distance is your long run “hurdle?”


Filed under 15k, marathon, marathon tips, new york city, walt disney world marathon, weekly workout wrap-up