At first I alternated walking and jogging in the streets of my neighborhood. However, I quickly realized that hoping for a green light every time I came to the end of the block was not realistic; after scouting several schools in Forest Hills, I discovered the running track of P.S.144, where conveniently the terrain is marked: “1 mile = 5, 280 feet = 11 laps.”
Next, the European in me needed to convert that into kilometers and soon I was working that track for 33 laps, settling for the simplified conversion that 3 miles equals 5K. In reality, 5K is 3.10686 miles, but considering that I have to get to the school and back, which in itself is over a mile, I knew I had found my training nirvana.
Rain or shine, I showed up at the track at 6.30 every morning; in the evening I concentrated on creating the Merida costume. I love shopping in the fashion district and had a ball picking out the trimmings that would turn the simple forest green ballet outfit into a dress fit for a princess. A wig was found in far away China, and running with the wig will be the endeavor for the coming week. Thankfully it is still dark at 6.30 a.m., and I am considering doing that trial run at 6 a.m. so that I’ll be back before sunrise.
On the weekend, I allow myself a later start, and I was looking forward to daylight and warmer jogging conditions. I was not a happy camper when the snow started falling last night and the temperature at the gas station display displayed a meager 4 degrees F, but nothing could have prepared me for the obvious.
When I reached the school I found myself locked out and, of course, the track was nowhere to be seen, as it was covered in an immaculate layer of snow. What had I been thinking? The custodian was cleaning the sidewalk but was not dreaming of clearing the track.
Unwilling to give up, I thought of a place that might be cleared of the snow: The walkways winding through Woodhaven Cemetery were cleared of the white stuff, and it was a beautiful, peaceful 3-mile speed walk.
Tomorrow I will give the Flushing Meadow Park a try, as the former site of the World’s Fair should have plenty of cleared walkways. The weatherman promised higher temperatures, and the cold spell seems to be coming to an end. Looking at current temperatures in Orlando, I am wondering how I could possibly be prepared for doing all this in 80 degrees F.