Mushing down the west side.

It is just warm enough now that the snow is going slushy. Really slushy. The streets and sidewalks are still a mess, so I knew I'd never make it down the path along the Hudson. I took a pretty basic route: Broadway to Bennett to Fort Washington to Riverside (Riverside is generally quiet and convenient; definitely the right choice if I'm running on city streets). The sidewalks were mostly clear along the route, but the intersections were in disarray: big piles of yellowing snow and deep slushy puddles. I avoided most of the mess and jumped the puddles. I somehow arrived at Trader Joe's without injury and with dry feet.

I used my new Garmin GPS watch yesterday. I'm generally useless at figuring out complex watch software, but I found training mode, captured my route and heart rate, and managed to upload it to the computer when I returned home. I appreciated being able simply to look at my wrist for current pace and heart rate information. Garmin Connect, the Web based tool they offer to track and share training information, relies on Bing/Microsoft mapping. It's pretty inelegant compared to Google's service. I think I can export the data to other training sites like MapMyRun, so perhaps I'll find a better mapping tool elsewhere.

I finally joined New York Road Runners and entered my name for the NYC Marathon lottery. Pretty slim chance of getting picked for the marathon through the lottery process. If nothing else, I should be able to earn a guaranteed entry in 2012. Planning for an event that's 23 months away seems nutty, but it'll keep me active. I signed up for a handful of shorter races, including the Manhattan Half Marathon on January 24. I won't be setting any records, but I now have a firm schedule of activities to get me through the winter. The daffodils should be breaking through by the time I run the Coogan's 5k on March 6.