never thought I’d see the day

Monday evening I departed for my second business trip in as many weeks. NYC was my destination, and I was pumped, as evidenced by my status update on Facebook.


I love New York.

And my employers couldn’t have been more gracious, situating the office right in the heart of Times Square, clearly as a favour to me.

As locations go, it just doesn’t get any better than this.

My hotel is also conveniently located, just a few short blocks away from the office. It recently underwent an ownership change /rebranding and facelift. Entering the lobby late Monday night was reminiscent of walking into an upscale nightclub. Very swanky.

When I made it up to my room the welcoming committee was standing by to greet me.


No plain boring walls and doors here.

Once I got settled in my room I ventured down to the 3rd floor to check out the hotel gym. Not bad; lots of cardio equipment plus a universal weight machine. That would have been the safe option; the easy way out.

But I wondered what it would be like to run outside. In New York City.

I don’t want to get all cheesy and call it a bucket list item, but, on some level, it kind of was.

A year ago February, when I was in San Francisco, I looked on enviously as joggers ran alongside the beautiful bay. Sure, I got some decent mileage in that day myself, but I walked, I didn’t run. I didn’t feel confident enough to even try. I worried that I’d look awkward. I thought people would make fun of me.

I set my alarm for 6:15 Tuesday morning, with a plan to run outside. In New York City.

As I drifted off to sleep my mind reassured my insecure self that the hotel gym was always an available option.

Guess what I did Tuesday morning.

I ran outside. In New York City.


If you click to enlarge the map you’ll see some odd little loops and switchbacks. That was me trying to avoid stopping at red lights. 🙂

So let’s recap here:

  • I ran outside. In New York City!
  • I didn’t get hit by a car!
  • I didn’t run into any pedestrians (there were many)!

And I actually performed pretty well!


splits4.4 kms in 33:18, for an average pace of 7:33 per km (Or a speed of about 5 mph). This includes a 4 minute warm up walk at the beginning. Dude, that’s pretty darned good, for me. 🙂 Especially given all my runs in the past 3 months have been indoor/treadmill. And there weren’t that many of those.

During my run, I felt really, really good.

I felt capable.

I didn’t worry that people were judging me.


And even if I really looked like the lower half of this picture, I am still very proud of myself.

For years I told myself I couldn’t run.

Evidently I can.


Keep moving,

xoxo nancy

56 thoughts on “never thought I’d see the day

  1. 😀 😀
    Awesome running, and awesome running outside in New York!
    I am envious…I would like to see New York! I might only like if for a short time mind you…I only think I like cities until I am in them and then I remember I don’t…
    apart from San Francisco…I like San Francisco and funnility enough I had exactly the same thoughts about the runners when I was there!

  2. nice job! I would be nervous to run in NYC…never been but have always wanted to go. I bet the high energy got you pumped up, sounds much more fun than a treadmill. i love how you DO your ideas, you don’t just think them. 🙂

    • Way more fun than a treadmill Kerry! I love this city so much – but the idea of running in it, during the morning traffic of cars and pedestrians was so intimidating. I’m so glad I faced my fears and did it anyway! Best experience I’ve had in a long time!

  3. Yahoo! I’m used to running wherever I happen to be as we’ve travelled to training camps, races or just for fun but had a race coming up. I love running in different locations. It is such a wonderful way to experience a city – even if I do feel like a Tele-Tubby. The worst was running in Kona the week leading up to the World Championship Ironman (husband was racing) … let’s talk feeling inadequate!!!!

  4. Great stuff Nancy. I honestly thought all the switchbacks would be you trying to avoid running into people!

    Other than Delhi, which is too crazy to even be compared to anywhere else, New York is the only city I’ve come across to give London a run for its money in terms of the people / how congested it is. Well done you.

    • Some of the bobbing and weaving was definitely due to human traffic versus car traffic/lights Sean!

      Funny you should compare NYC to London — I often cite those as two of my favourite cities in the world. Nowhere else compares from a vibrancy perspective. Both cities are just so…alive!

      I’m so pleased to have been part of that scene in a way that’s some meaningful to me (running). Very symbolic of how far I’ve come.

  5. Ya lucky bum. Sounds like a great time. I once ran across the Pickett’s Charge field in Gettysburg and wound up ankle deep in mud. Kind of compromised the moment! Safe travels. John

    • Ha! I ended up ankle deep in mud running around my place in Toronto Monday. 🙂

      John, it was such an impactful experience for me. It meant so much more than just 4.4 kms in 33 mins. It was proof that I’ve come a long way in reprogramming those tapes that played in my head for too many years.

  6. Yay! Good for you Nancy. I can totally see you running through the streets of NYC. But no Central Park? I would think that would be an awesome place to run (and you wouldn’t have to deal with those pesky lights!) Anyway, enjoy your time there! ~Kathy

    • Kathy, the funniest thing about your comment is that I didn’t realize until I had arrived back at the hotel and looked at my running app how close I had gotten to the edge of Central Park. 🙂 DOH!

  7. Good for you!
    So you know, we New Yorkers are as accepting of runners as we are of any other body moving down our sidewalks at an abnormal pace.

    (That is to say, we curse at everyone equally.) 😉

    Glad my city is treating you well!
    (Have a real bagel while you’re here.)
    (With a shmear.)

    • Best experience ever, Guap! So happy I worked through my ridiculous insecurities!

      And now I’m headed to 1/2 price tix (for real) to see if I can score a deal! Fingers crossed the rain keeps the other theater goers at bay. More for me. And yes on the bagel. Right after my Crumbs cupcake. 🙂

  8. You are so inspiring! I would’ve been too chicken to run outside. What if I get lost? What if I get mugged? What if I fall in an uncovered manhole? These and so many other fears would’ve landed me in the gym. I love that you told yourself you were going to do it, and you did!

    • I shocked myself Carrie. Right up until I went thru the circular door to the sidewalk I was sure I would wind up in the gym. I’m so, so glad I fought through that fear and those stupid insecurities and did it. Best feeling ever!

    • I didn’t think it was possible to love it more, but I did after my run!

      Cherry on top was the play I just finished watching. No Mans Land, starring Ian McKellan, Patrick Stewart and Billy Crudup. Wow!

  9. Absolutely wonderful! Good for you, Nancy, and now that you’ve experienced the exhilaration of running in NYC you can run anywhere! You should be very proud of yourself, and I think you are. 🙂

  10. Awesome. Awesome. AWESOME!! I am so proud of you!

    If you get another chance to run, try to dip into Central Park for a bit — the trails are a nice break on your feet and its packed full of other runners (I used to live on Broadway & 66th and was out there all the time).

    Running a city is really the best way to see it!

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  12. How did I miss this one?? I thought I’d gotten them all.

    I have to second Pinot Ninja’s comment. You could run forever in Central Park without stopping. I love to wander in there and get lost (and that’s even after I starred in Neil LaBute’s BASH, where something really bad happens in Central Park.)

    Congratulations on making such a major milestone. xo

    • I literally cursed myself when I saw that I made a left at the very corner where I could have run straight into the park. 🙂

      That said, our HR Director told me later that she wouldn’t advise me to jog alone in the park. (Maybe she saw your play…)

      It was the most invigorating and energizing start to a day, ever, for me.

      So glad I got to share it with you through this post!

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