Fall Running Favorites in the Big Apple πŸŽβ˜€οΈπŸ“ΈπŸ‚πŸπŸ¦‹πŸΏοΈπŸ¦†πŸ•ŠοΈπŸ¦’πŸ¦πŸƒπŸ½β€β™€οΈπŸ—½

Bow Bridge
@ Engineer’s Gate

It is a New York truism that Central Park is at its most gorgeous in Autumn. While Spring definitely has it’s charm, Summer is all get out beautiful, and winter can be a postcard perfect wonderland, Fall is by far my favorite in the park. I can’t put my finger on a singular thing but maybe it’s a combination: the riot of colors, the abundant foliage, the breathtaking views, the almost-there foot traffic, the near-perfect running temps, and the musical cacophony of the park’s residents. Autumn is everywhere in Central Park and for the above reasons, so am I.

Jackie Onassis Reservoir
Jackie Onassis Reservoir Running Path

Last week I took off on an impromptu run – the best kind – and can I just say.. wow. Mind you, I’ve made this park my running home, and I’ve been living in NYC for about 10 years now, so I’m not some starry eyed newbie. Still, it never gets old and gets me every time. Self confessed New Yorker that I am with a penchant for running all over this charming and gritty city, I am biased to Central Park. It is the epitome of an oasis in the desert and have served myself, thousands of New Yorkers, and millions of visitors over the years bringing respite, sanctuary, seclusion, nature, adventure, beauty, art, culture, and a host of other things that are quintessential New York to the world. I am just so stoked to have this as part of my New York life experience but more importantly as the catalyst for my running in this city. The park is where I started my 19-marathon running streak, that seems like ages ago now, and God’s willing there are a few more runs yet to explore here.

Running along the east side heading to 72nd Street
Along Cat Hill & heading to 72 St Transverse

Reminiscing aside, I must have been buoyed by that particular gorgeous Autumn day with its sights and sounds because I gleefully flew aka ran the 6-mile outer loop of the park, flitting in and out at various picturesque points to snap a quick shot or two of every which thing. It was a photo run, if there is such a thing, totally unorthodox in nature – pun intended – encompassing random yet popular, trivial yet wowing, basic yet catchy views. If Central Park was a person, it’s stealing shots of a person unbeknownst but really with that person knowing full well that people do it all the time. My run was littered with sudden stops, quickened pace, selfie poses, backtracking, off path jaunts, all the while happening in the early afternoon. I never run around midday unless it’s late Fall or winter as it’s the sunniest and least cold then and so it was the perfect running day. I wasn’t alone in this thinking as there were people everywhere. Seems there are many others that share my love for the park. It’s also the year of Covid-19, though you would never know it from inside this slice of heaven. In fact, you would be forgiven for forgetting, the only thing contagious there being the jovial and benevolent spirit of park goers. So for just about 2 hours, I ditched the mask, though I maintained social distance, and turned off the panic, noise, grit, and confusion of the outside world to just bask in the explosion of nature in the best place in my world right there and then.

Just about TCS Nyc Marathon Finish Line
Unnamed Rustic Bridge @ Southwest Reservoir

Pictures sometimes can’t really do justice to the reality but oftentimes it’s the best reminder we have and captures a moment in time that we’ll never get back. No matter how many times I’ve seen these, I never get tired of the views. Central Park is really my favorite place to be.

The Mall, William Shakespeare, & a Horse drawn Carriage

Fall Favorites for Running

Autumn in all its gorgeousness and “otherness” is here! It came self- announced with a sudden coolness despite the sunshine and on the heels of two major hurricanes, which made landfall here in the US in the past two weeks leaving behind scenes of havoc and carnage in a merciless path of destruction. While we can’t forget those who lost their lives, livelyhoods and homes, the country remains resilient in these adverse times with people coming together in solidarity and support for those affected here and in the Caribbean. It’s not so easy to move on though, as in addition to rebuilding efforts the weather remains uncertain at best with the threat of still more storms looming out there in the Caribbean sea.

Yet, just a bit beneath all this lies the dawn of Fall: its colorful trees and dropping leaves, and cool sunshine and quieting breeze, a brisk smell that invites a deep breath, a spring in one’s step, a quick adjustment to goals and maybe even a search of the soul. Surely somewhere in there is a desire for more, for different, or better, or new. Such is the challenge that the change in season brings and what better way to respond than to gear up and head out on some running adventures with 7 seasonal favorites to inspire even the most timid of us.

Fall Favorites

New running shoes – nothing says I’m ready to run like a new pair of running shoes, if nothing else it will entice you to try ’em on and break ’em in. That’s a major first step.

Running gear – it’s time to bring out all the really gorgeous autumnal tones in fancy tights and tanks and best yet you can still try ’em in shorts too! Who knew that running could be just as sexy as it is healthy. So a bonus!

Marathons – some of us have done some mean training for the last 16-18 weeks and d-day is fast approaching. We have major marathons like New York, Chicago, and the Marine Corps among others headlining this Fall.

Fun races – Unlike its more serious counterpart, the marathon, there are many shorter and more fun runs this Fall for those of us chasing a PR, an experience, any other goal, or just for the heck of it. Popular ones include Grete’s Great Gallop – Central Park, NYC; Harpoon Octoberfest Road Race -Windsor, Vermont; Napa Wine Country Half Marathon and 10K; The Color Run – Hudson Valley, NY or at various other locations throughout the Fall.

Cooler scenic running – welcome to the season of anytime running. No longer relegated to early morning or late evenings, lace up just about anytime you’re able and head out for a gorgeous fall run in near always perfect temps. Add to that the profuse display of color and the earthy scents and sounds and you’re excused for thinking running heaven.

Outdoor variety – much like Spring but better, Fall is the perfect opportunity to add some hiking, camping and/or biking to the mix to complement and challenge your running.

Volunteer – not running? Choose to volunteer at a race instead and experience the power and satisfaction of giving back. Many of Fall’s major races have amazing opportunities to serve.

Fall is a beautiful season that holds all sorts of tasty and colourful promises for the holidays. For those of us who dread the cold months ahead, it is especially dear, as we endeavor to get as much running and outdoors in as we can, while we can. I’d even venture to say its gorgeous days makes for all-round easier running.

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