Wednesday, July 27, 2011

In a Runner's Head

A three-way conversation in my head during a run early this week:

walking through the lobby of the gym...

Me: This should be fun. It's not as hot as last week.

through the revolving door and down the steps in lower Manhattan...

Me: Ugh, its still humid.
Smiley Angel: Oh come on, this'll be fun anyway. Just take it easy. Enjoy the morning! You're bound to see something interesting or beautiful.
Me: You're right. I'll make this a SSS. Short, Slow, Sweet.
The "Other Angel": Yeah right. Every time you say that you end up turning it into negative splits at tempo speeds. But nothing wrong with that. Who cares?
Me: No, I have a big meeting later today so I really should take it easy and slow.

reaching to push start on my Garmin...

The "Other Angel": Good job, let's get to it!
Smiley Angel: Now what would your friends in the Collective think? You should have left that thing home today.
Me: I'm not going to look at it during the run. I just want to log the miles. You know, the 10% rule and all.
Smiley Angel: Uh huh.... Well, why don't you make an effort to really sense your surroundings. Try to notice things you've never seen here before. Maybe strike up a conversation with someone.
The "Other Angel": Yeah, I'm sure there are plenty of friendly people out here this morning.... NOT

past the Staten Island Ferry Terminal, entering Battery Park. Around the corner and then headed North along the path. Passing some older men with about a dozen fishing poles in the Hudson River...

Me: I wonder if they know that there was a fire at the sewage treatment plant a couple miles upriver and the water is off limits.
Smiley Angel: Smile and say hi!
Me: "Good morning guys"
Fishermen: (something about no zapatos, not directed at me)
The "Other Angel": I bet they catch a lot of fish today. The fish probably want to get OUT of the water.

settling into an easy pace...

Me: OK, check out the form. Light steps. Midfoot. Think Groucho. Is the cadence fast enough? Probably not. OK, shorter strides. Don't lean forward you dope.
The "Other Angel": Yeah, you dope. You're not breathing correctly either. Where's the 3-2 pattern? No, that's 2-2. Slow it down. Concentrate.
Smiley Angel: Look at all the runners out this morning. Probably because of the cooler weather and it's Monday. The Monday guilt after the weekend festivities. Make sure you say hi. Smile. Be friendly.
The "Other Angel": Friendly? Ha! These are New Yorkers!

a 20-something guy in $250 shoes glides by at about 5:50 pace...

Me: He's flying. Half my age and probably half my pace.
Smiley Angel: Yeah, so? You should have said hello.
The "Other Angel": LOL. By the time he heard you he would have been too far ahead for you to hear a response!

across the plaza next to the World Financial Center... passing a group of middle-aged women runners...

Me: "good morning ladies"
Smiley Angel: Good job!
One lady: "morning"
Other ladies, quietly to each other: "no shoes... crazy... I could never.... in NYC?"

2 mile mark, approaching a decision point.....

Me: Should I keep going up the West side? Or run out onto the new recreation pier and then turn back? 5-6 miles or just a little over 4?
Smiley Angel: The pier. You could stop there for a minute or two and check out the view of the river and NJ. It's a great day for it.
The "Other Angel": yeah, and drop your heart rate and end up with fewer miles than you had planned for the week. Really?

turning out onto the pier....

Me: Someday I need to come over here and spend my lunch just lounging.
Smiley Angel: That's the spirit!

reaching the end of the pier where a few people are doing Tai Chi. Standing at the railing...

Me: Blue skies. Great skyline. I'm loving life.
The "Other Angel": yeah, and sewage in the river, and a crappy economy. Come on, get your butt in gear.
Smiley Angel: Remember to bring your camera next time.

headed back at a medium pace... I notice a runner with Vibram Five Fingers running the other way

Me: "Hey, love the Vibrams!"
Other runner:
Me: Guess he had his MP3 up too loud.
The "Other Angel": Or he's just a New Yorker

past the little area where the million dollar yachts are parked, then further South, through the plaza, and then shaded "boardwalk", as a senior lady runner approaches going the other way...

Me: smiling, "good morning"
Lady Runner: "morning, hey that's really cool! keep it up!"
Me: I guess she was talking about my bare feet.
Smiley Angel: or your smile
The "Other Angel": or your pace or your Garmin

past Fort Clinton and the launching point for the Statue of Liberty tour boats.... then past the war memorial...

Me: there is so much history here...
Smiley Angel: so much to be thankful for and be proud of
The "Other Angel": Really?

rounding the final corner..... waving to the (former marine) guard at the gate to the Coast Guard station...

Me: "Semper Fi"
Guard: "How far today?"
Me: "only about 4"
Guard: "In this heat? Good job!"
Me: "Have a good day"
Smiley Angel: "That a boy!"
Me: Don't forget the Garmin. (Reaching to hit the stop button)
Smiley Angel: "You didn't even look at it once. Maybe you don't need it."
The "Other Angel": "Oh come on. He'll upload the data as soon as he gets to the office."
Smiley Angel: "At least he ditched the tunes"

walking past the Ferry Terminal, dozens of people looking at my feet as I cross the street and reach the entrance to the gym.

Me: (smiling at the clerk at the desk) good morning!
Clerk: "barefoot again?"
Me: yep

through the doorway into the locker room....

Me: I'm so glad I run
Smiley Angel: me too
The "Other Angel": me too


  1. *Laugh* great post. Really made me smile. Love the fact that Smiley Angel got more of a look in on your run than the "Other Angel".. let's just call him Grumpy NYC Angel shall we? :) Sounds like a fantastic run, can't wait to run with you in NYC in September. I think Smiley Angel and me will get on great!

  2. Loved it! Totally relate to the inability to ever loose the Garmin -- my one anal-retentive running trait is to obsessively log every mile I've ever run, smiley or not. Like I'll accidentally fun 157 miles next week and blow out my ACL if I don't record a 3 mile run . . .

  3. I love how all your voices come to the same conclusion:

    Me: I'm so glad I run
    Smiley Angel: me too
    The "Other Angel": me too

    Running: something we can all agree on...eventually!

  4. Very very awesome:)) and very very Smiley I might add! It is SO funny how ever since I have followed this website,I do the EXACT same thing as...""Now what would your friends in the Collective think? ""!!
    It actually does help me run smiley to think that!!Such fun to read!!! Made me want to go on this run with you!