2.15.2013

An everyday adventure… Pennsylvania to New Jersey

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Ben Franklin Bridge Pennsylvania to New Jersey via iandarrenkamp 

Philadelphia Weather

5:30 am  34°  Partly Cloudy FEELS LIKE: 30° WIND:SSW at 6 mph

I have never considered myself a morning person. If I could have things my way it would be normal to stay up until 2:30am and get up at 10:00am.  It’s much easier for me to wake up early in the spring and summertime. I like to keep myself hidden under the covers and enjoy the warmth of my bed before getting up and heading outside on cold winter mornings. This morning I was ready to start the day earlier than usual, far too early for being out late last night. I woke up at 5:30am today which was earlier than my plan. My new Asics GEL-Scram running shoes were the motivation and excitement to get me on my feet this morning. I was eager to see if yesterday’s purchase would make running more enjoyable.

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5:45am.  Music: very loud.  Songs:  Shake it Off, Little Bit, Girl on Fire, and Stereo Heart. Coffee: nope, it’s so early coffee doesn’t even sound good yet. I drink a little water with a spoonful of Spark and eat an apple. Clothing: yoga pants (of course), workout top layered with a long sleeve yoga peach shirt and my third layer is my Vikings Football sweatshirt.  Thin mittens and Vikings earmuff hiding underneath my sweatshirt hood. All bundled up, so attractive.

6:10am.  It’s totally dark outside, what time does the sun rise here anyhow?  I inhale cold air and as I exhale I see my breath. I wonder how people do it.  I enjoy working out in the heat and building up a great sweat.  35 degrees is a big change.  I hate running and running in the cold presents a whole new level of obstacles. Time for a mindset shift. I walk and stretch the first block. It occurs to me how long I’ve been putting off the running part of triathlon training. It’s been much longer than I’m wanting to admit. Today was my first outdoor run of 2013 and just my third run of the year. There’s no excuse so I pick up my feet and just gooooooo!  I am slow and I look behind me wondering if walkers could possibly pass me. Ridiculous thoughts. I head through Old City, a very pretty and historic area of Philadelphia. I run down Chestnut and 5th and find myself in front of Independence Hall at sunrise, where the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution were signed.  I pass the Liberty Bell, Ben Franklin’s Grave, The United States Mint, and feel slightly like a tourist just miles from where I live. I look up and see the Ben Franklin Bridge. Memories of doing yoga on that bridge come to mind. I feel inspired to step foot on that bridge again, it’s beautiful.  It sounds strange to call a bridge beautiful, but really is it. Driving across that bridge excites me so I’m anxious to run across it for the first time. Did I think that it may just be a little crazy to push myself across the entire bridge all the way to New Jersey?  Nope, I sure didn’t. In fact, at this point in my morning I saw it as an adventure. I’m actually warm now that I’ve surprisingly ran the entire distance to the bridge. It begins uphill and I wonder if I can do it. I notice as I’m about a quarter of the way to New Jersey that the neon orange sun is straight ahead and below me as I’m running high over the river.  Rutgers soccer field is below me after I cross the river and I feel inspired.  I’ve almost made it. I can do this. It’s not easy at all, but it’s also not as hard as I expected it to be. I’ve made progress.  My feet touch down in New Jersey and I stop, turn around, and look behind me across the river back at Philadelphia. I have a Forest Gump moment which is totally nerdy, but I really do.  I turn around, run the bridge back to Pennsylvania and take a slightly different route heading through the Italian Market.  I reached home so happy I made it and got through a 10K run with less struggle than expected.  And maybe…just maybe…I’ve encouraged myself to stick with a consistent training plan, or even do what seems unthinkable right now…. perhaps in a month I’ll be brave enough to share what the “unthinkable” is for me.  Right now I’ll do my best to stick to tri-training and keep consistent with my runs.

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I’m directing some attention to different areas with regards to my fitness goals, although overall the goals are the same: Make myself better. Make things better for those around me.  Put forth my best efforts and intentions. Set new goals. Envision what I want to achieve.  Be  stronger.  Achieve things I never thought were possible.  Live life.

I have been filled with a little sense of my adventurous spirit this morning. Adventure does not have to be about traveling, hiking a steep mountain, sky diving (I’ve never actually done that), or something of that nature. Adventure is also about stepping a little bit outside of your comfort zone and doing something new. Pushing through something you once thought you couldn’t. Stepping outside your routine and doing something a little different. Running to Nueva Jersey was an awesome Friday morning adventure!  Now time to make Coconut-banana quinoa porridge for breakfast and perhaps later I’ll collapse. Better yet, I’d really like to make it to my favorite cycling class this evening for a 24 kilometer ride.

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