Running New York City streets for dummies

OK that was a little harsh, you’re not a dummy.

I’ve always wondered what the hell is wrong with people who run the streets here. There’s a ridiculous amount of people that can get in your way, and with the traffic lights — there’s no telling which way you’re going to go.

I don’t know what got into me last night, but I went for it. As tempting as it was for me to go plop down somewhere in the 75 degree temps post-work and grab a beer, I slipped into my running shoes — bought myself a new Nike+ running chip (damn moving and disorganization) and was on my merry way.

Nike+ Running chip

I was shocked. You know what? I really freakin’ loved it. An hour literally FLEW by. It was fun to scout around the city without one set path, and I know have a mental list of 10 new restaurants on my “must-try” list.  However, if you’re going on a city run yourself, you’re going to have to keep some things in mind. Like …

1. You’re going to need some sort of pedometer/ GPS watch: Since you can’t just run straight in the city without stopping a bazillion times, you’re going to need a sports watch to track your distance. I use a simple Nike+ Sportband, which is a step down from something like a Garmin Forerunner, but it does the job, is small, and call me lame but I like the fun colors.

Nike+ Sportband

2. Know how far you want to go: Initially, I set out to run four miles. I learned very quickly that time FLIES when you’re running throughout the city, just because there’s so much to look at — so I ended up doing six. Knowing how far you want to go will help you gauge when to turn around to get back to your starting point. OR — you could always hop on the subway to get back home instead.

New York City streets

3. Be open. For the upteenth time, YOU are not going to have control of where this run takes you. But that’s the fun part! You’re going to see and find all sorts of new stuff along your route, make most of it, and enjoy. Who cares if you’re running crosstown instead of downtown? Just make sure not to run INTO any pedestrians, and you’re all set.

New York City crosswalk

4. Be alert. I love running with music. However, when you’re city running — you’re running around a whole lot of people and even MORE cars. That means you need to have one ear on the road and your surroundings. Just turn town the tunes a notch, an you’ll be fine.

Time to head to work. The anticipation of not wearing a coat AGAIN today is almost too much for me to handle.