After the show Friday night, we went out for drinks with a friend and that turned into a long evening that included drag queens and show tunes. It also meant that we did not get back to our hotel until 2:30am! I had wanted to get an earlier start, but when I finally got moving at 8:30 the next morning, I knew it was going to be a tough run. My sister opted out of the run in favor of some much needed rest, but Katie soldiered on and came on the run with me.
It was an truly incredible experience. Central Park is such a blessing to the concrete jungle of NYC. There are so many trees, rock formations and grassy areas. There are also a ton of trails and roads for running and biking.
The weather had failed to cooperate and it was cold and drizzling when we started our run. I had a vague idea of the route that I wanted to take, but when you are actually in the labyrinth of trails it is difficult to recollect which path you are supposed to be on. So we tended to follow everyone else.
There were many runners in the Park, and I have to figure that is a regular occurrence. While we were running I did make note of an interesting notion. On an island of more than 10 million people, and literally hundreds of runners in the Park. Most people still choose to run alone. I know running can be a solitary hobby, and I frequently run solo, but with so many people out at one time I was amazed at how many were doing it on their own. There were certainly groups of runners as well, and they all seemed to be a part of an organization or team, but they were far outnumbered by soloists.
Another thing that occurred to me was that for being located on a relatively flat coastal island, Central park is freaking hilly! All told we ran about 5 miles or so, but with all of the up and down, it was way more difficult than my normal 5 mile jaunt.
Eventually, we came upon the Jackie Onassis Reservoir. A pretty big lake in the middle of the Park.
Katie and I decided to run around the lake. Katie was a little apprehensive at first, but I assured her it was not nearly as far as it appeared. The trail up next to the reservoir was water-logged so we opted for one of the other three trails that circumnavigates the water.
Shortly though, some of my poor decisions from the night before began to make their presence known. I had to take a crap something fierce! I have commented on my need to poop on the run before, but this time I was about a thousand miles from home and there was no Hardee's to be seen. We continued to slowly run but never came upon a public restroom. So I decided that we had to get out of the Park and find a restaurant or something.
Funny thing though, there is not a restaurant or any commercial businesses on Central Park West Drive. I assume it is because the real estate is just too valuable and rent would be astronomical. We finally saw a subway stop and we went underground. I asked the attendant, "Where are the bathrooms?" There are none! I thought about asking where he takes a dump, but I did not have time to argue. I finally came to the conclusion that there had to be a restroom in the public park, somewhere.
We went back in the Park and finally found a map and there was a bathroom about 200 yards away. It was the longest 200 yards of my life! My sister had awoke and was calling to find out where we were. Tthe sweat was running down my forehead as I clinched my butt cheeks for those last few desperate steps to the bathroom. When I got in there a homeless man was trying to dry his clothes at the hand dryer and I was actually thankful for the background noise as my bowels finally unleashed there tormentor.
A couple minutes later I was all better. Katie and I jogged maybe another mile, caught up with my sister, and went out for brunch. I was very thankful to have narrowly avoided a very embarrassing situation, but I think I am coming a bit of an expert as I so frequently am faced with these emergency situations.
The rest of the weekend was without incident, and as I said before we had a wonderful time. I was glad I got the opportunity to scratch a Central Park run off my bucket list. Up next on the list, running the Great Wall of China! Do you think they have porta-pottys?