Monday, August 23, 2010

Rain, Rain, Go Away

The forecast for the week calls for rain through Wednesday. My training schedule calls for runs everyday except Friday. Adding all of this together, equals running in the rain.

I don't have to do my runs in the rain. There is a gym next door with a dry treadmill waiting for me. But they (they? all the marathon training advise out there) say it's good to run through any type of weather because you never know how race day will turn out.

I will though, change my planned route, which was originally going to be around the reservoir. That path is dirt and during rain, it's one continuous puddle.

The nice thing about running in Central Park is that it's still in the city, so a route change is really easy to pull off at the last minute. All I need to know is that twenty city blocks are approximately one mile and that running across the park is about half a mile. Then I can run plan accordingly.

Some other tips that make running in Central Park E-A-S-Y:

1. All lamposts in the park are labeled with 4 digit number and letter. You can use these posts to tell where you are in the city/park. First two (or three if you are above 100th street) indicate the cross street, and a W or E indicate if you are on the west or east side of the park.

2. There are multiple bathrooms in the park. On the south-west corner of the Great Lawn lies the bathrooms for the Delacorte Theater. There is one by Columbus Circle, off the Bridle Path (dirt path), and another at the playground located in the middle of the park around 61st-63rd Streets. Here's a link to all the bathroooms, but the bottom line is this: most playgrounds and buildings in the park have bathrooms which everyone can use for free. (Except the ice rinks and the zoo.)

3. There is an exit/entrance to the park at every major cross-street. What, you might wonder, is a major cross-street? Any street that a subway would stop at. So on the west side the 1/9 stop at 80th Street, and you will find an entrance there. On the east side, the 4/5/6 stop at 86th and there is an entrance at 85th Street.

4. There are water fountains all over the park. A few of the ones I use frequently include: Engineers Gate at 90th St. & 5th Avenue, 108th St. & West Drive in the middle of the west side Harlem Hill, 94th St. & West Drive at the Entrance to the Reservoir, 72nd St. right inside the park entrance near 5th Ave., and 65th and West Drive at the Southwest corner of Sheep's Meadow across from Tavern on the Green. Again, you will always find water fountains in playgrounds, and of course, you can just bring money and buy water ($2-3 a bottle) from the hot-dog vendors as well.

5. If you don't live by the Park, you can stash your stuff at NYRR's by becoming a member for $40. They are located at 89th St. between 5th and Madison. If you belong to a gym, chances are your club has a location right next to the park, for example: NYSC - 59th & Park and 62nd & Broadway, Equinox - Columbus Circle and 63rd & Lex, and NY Health & Racquet - 57th & Park.

So now that you know some of the "secrets" of the park, do you think you'll make it out there before winter settles into the City? I hope so.

Map courtesy of New York Journey,

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