Tag Archives: NYC Marathon

Opinions and…

2 Nov

I believe it was Shakespeare who quoth “opinions are like a**holes– everyone’s got one!”
Well, anyway, it seems everyone has got an opinion about the NYC marathon this year.
As you may or not have heard, we in the NYC metro area were hit by a little storm early this week. It’s caused terrible devastation to much of the area– one of the worst hit areas being Staten Island.
… which is where, every year, the NYC marathon’s 40,000ish participants camp out for several hours in the early morning while waiting to run over the Verrazano Bridge and continue running for a grand total of 26.2 miles.
…every year, including this year, according to Bloomberg’s announcement yesterday.
I will be one of those 40,000ish people, and for the past 24 hours, I have felt conflicted, to say the very least, over this.
It feels more than a little tacky, tasteless, and just plain wrong to be commencing a big-ass party where so many people are suffering and where people have DIED. It actually me sick to my stomach.
For me, and me personally, I would have been more than OK with them canceling or at least postponing the marathon, especially if it were in order for the supplies and person-power to go toward Hurricane Sandy relief. This will be my 4th NYC marathon, my 13th marathon altogether, and my 2nd marathon of the fall of 2012. I’m good.
But I can’t speak for the numerous people whose first marathon will be NYC 2012. People who have been training for months for this day. I can’t speak for the people who flew in from places literally all over the world, to run this. I can’t speak for people who have raised tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars for charity for this race.
I wish, oh how I wish, it were as simple as diverting the efforts and funds for the marathon to hurricane relief, but I know it’s just not that simple.
I have to ask if the people who are complaining about the marathon still happening have put their money where their mouth is, so to speak. It’s one thing to sit in your apartment and grouse on a Facebook page. And that’s fine. Everyone is absolutely entitled their opinion, of course and I definitely understand the outrage. I just hope they’re doing something other than simply voicing it. I am by no means a saint. Quite the opposite. But I did donate a hefty sum here.
I promise I am not saying this to toot my own horn, but rather to share the little I did in order to attempt to alleviate my guilt over this whole thing and feel like I was helping in some small way. By the way, the NYRR donated $1 million to hurricane relief.
On a very shallow note, it breaks my heart that the NYC marathon now has this mar on it. I’ve said before and I’m saying again that for me, the NYC marathon is better than Christmas Day.
But on a much larger note, I just… I don’t know how to feel.  Yes, I’m running the race because I don’t see what good boycotting it will do. And I’m not sure I’m completely against Bloomberg’s decision. It brings money and hope into the city, blah blah blah. Again, I’m conflicted.
What I am NOT conflicted on is my belief that anyone who takes issue with the marathon happening should do their part in some sort of way to help out.
Good luck to everyone who is running on Sunday and my most fervent prayers and well wishes go out to those who are suffering from the results of this horrific storm.

17 Days ’til the Next One…

18 Oct

Oh, hey!

Hard to believe I’m going to be running another marathon in less than 3 weeks, but the number of runners I have seen in the park lately and the statuses in my Facebook and Twitter feeds tell me that it’s that time again.

A few things to say….

1)   Follow-up to last week’s post:

I was incorrect when I said in my last post that I run on the upper level of the Queensborough Bridge.  I’m dumb.  I don’t think you can do that, unless you want to be dodging traffic and taking your life in your hands.  It just feels different from the marathon because in the marathon, you’re actually running on the road.  Not the pedestrian path.  Duhr.  Also, I still find the runners and cyclists not using the correct lanes to be annoying as hell, but I will concede that there are some portions of the path that are not well-marked at all and I admit that it does not feel natural to be traveling on the left side of any two-lane route.

This is what appears quite a few times on the side closer to Queens

Yes, I took this picture while running and yes, I am slightly obsessed.

I wish it did more as you get closer to Manhattan.  It is really seriously dangerous.  Just this morning, I had some speedy cyclists coming at me in my lane, and I was scared.

2)  Traveling:

I went to Chicago this past weekend to visit my dear friend Jennifer.  We’ve been friends since we were 9 and have run 3 marathons together– the Flying Pig twice and NYC once.  Now, that is friendship!

NYC 2010

Jennifer just had adorable Baby Mason in March and is already back to being svelte.  AND she was game to come to Flywheel with me, which was a lot of fun!  Flywheel Chicago is… pretty much the same as Flywheel NYC, but it was fun going to a different studio.  And Jennifer loved it!  (Hi Flywheel, I have taken no less than 5 friends with me to your classes, several of whom have become devoted regulars, and I think you should hire me as an instructor, or at least give me some sort of benefit for being an ambassador, thaaaaanks. ;))

Anyway, I went for a little run along the path on the lake on Sunday and it was pleasant, considering about 3 miles in, it started pouring and I finished out the run drenched.

3)  Beer

Is awesome.  Recently, I’ve been indulging in some nice pumpkin beers, in honor of my favorite season.  T snagged this one for me, which was exciting because I’d never seen it before.  I really love Ithaca Brewing Company’s Flower Power and it turns out they make a solid pumpkin ale as well.

Other recent indulgences have been Captain Lawrence’s Pumpkin Ale and Bell’s Oktoberfest.  I LOVE Bell’s Two-Hearted, but don’t generally care for Oktoberfests, so I was pleasantly surprised with how delicious this was!  I currently have a 6-pack of Abita Pecan Harvest ale chilling in my fridge and I’m super excited to give it a taste.

3)  Fitness

So… 2 weeks ago, my mileage was a grand total of, uh, 15.5 miles + one 45-minute Flywheel class.  Oops?  Well, in my defense, my mom was in town for a week and I much preferred to hang out with her and see the NYC Ballet, Philadanco, and Bring it On on Broadway.  We also ate at 16 Handles no less than 3 times.

I intended to do a long run on that Thursday morning and even had a date with Ali in which I was to escort her over the Queensborough Bridge.  But upon waking up at my mom’s place on the UES and getting ready, I discovered that I had forgotten to bring the oh-so-crucial sports bra.  BLARGH.  So I did what any good friend would do and ran to our pre-arranged CP meeting spot whilst clutching my bosom with one arm, and told Ali that I would be unable to join her.  I then took the train home to Queens where I gathered up my sports bra, put it on… and ran a grand total of 4.5 miles before calling it quits in order to hang out with Mom.

The following week, (last week) I stepped it up a bit for a grand total of 41.5 miles and two 45-minute Flywheel classes.  That’s more like it!  I even got up at the crack of dawn on Thursday and ran 15.5 miles before work.

This week I’ve run 25 miles thus far (including 12 this morning before work) and done one 45-minute Flywheel class…

4)  Fatness

I ate this today and it changed my life.  For real.

Also, did you know that McDonald’s has a pumpkin shake?  I discovered this while at O’Hare on Sunday.  Since it has a grand total of 670 calories, I went with the healthy choice and got an Oreo McFlurry instead.

5)  Politics

Blah.  I will be so glad when election day is over and the man is still in office.  (Please.  PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE.)  In general, I am so very loath to get political  in real life or on the Internets, so I’m just gonna say that this girl does not want to live in a county where our president doesn’t think gay people should be able to get married, wants to overturn Roe v. Wade, and, to grossly over-simplify, has a general attitude of “If you’re rich, rawk on!  If you’re not, tough titties!”

LOL… but not really….

Plus, more germane to the topic of this blog, Paul Ryan lied about his marathon time.  I mean, IS NOTHING SACRED???

Anyway… I’m off to Flywheel.  Peace!


26 Sep

So, last week, I relished sleeping in in the mornings and taking it easy in the evenings.  However, by the end of the week, I was itching to go for a run.  Fall is my absolute FAVORITE time of year to run and there’s also another 26.2 I have coming up in the not so distant future…!

So, Friday morning I went for an easy 5 miles– just from my apartment, partway over the Q’boro Bridge, and back.  It felt glorious.  Friday night, I went to Flywheel for a nice 45 minute session.

Saturday morning I ran over the bridge and to my old ‘hood, the UES, (about 4.5 miles) where I picked up my bib and tee-shirt and then hurtled myself down Fifth Ave for a mile.  Then I watched some other runners dominate the other heats, which was a lot of fun!

Ah yes. Gorgeous, as always.

My time was 6:34 and I guess that is cool, considering I didn’t feel like barfing at the end and really did it for the easy 9+1 point?

Saturday early evening, T and I went out with my good friend and her fiancee in the East Village, where I downed some delicious Lagunitas IPAs.  Then we called it an early night, since I had a race the next morning.  However, on our way to grab a cab, we passed Lunasa, the site of our joint birthday party 2 years ago, so we had to stop in for a beer.  As a waitress walked by with a tray of shots, T told her to bring us a round.  Um, what?  In other words, I am a really responsible runner.  (Of course I did the shot.)

The next morning, I got up at 5:30 and just missed the 6 AM N/Q train at Broadway, so I had to cab it to 102nd Street and the park, where I met up with Lori, got my bib, and took off for the NYRR 18 mile tune-up.

And this is where I learned a valuable lesson.  Running 18 miles just 8 days post-marathon and preceded by a run + spin day and another run day is… not fun or easy.

I considered throwing in the towel every mile, post about mile 13, but I stuck it out like a stubborn little b*tch.  Was it pretty?  No.  Was it fun?  Nah.  Did I take 2 walk breaks?  You bet your a$$ I did!

I kept reminding myself that I would have punched my mother in the face (love you, mom!) for the opportunity to run a mere 3 months ago when I was dealing with the dreaded PF.  I kept telling myself that the weather could not have been more perfect for a run (true).  But, the bottom line is that it was hard as hell.  Everything hurt.

But I finished it —  in just under 2:49 (a 9:23 pace.)  Fine.


It’s a little over 5 weeks until NYCM and I have to admit that Sunday’s brutal run kinda freaked me out, but then again, I will actually TAPER for NYCM… so that should help.

In other news, I currently have my nails painted in Essie’s new “Marathin” shade and it’s purty.

I’m not sure why it’s called “marathin” and not “marathon,” but I like it anyway.

I hope your days are filled with running, pumpkin beers, and other delicious fall goodies!

Farewell, 2011! Bring it, 2012!

30 Dec

Oh, hi.  It’s New Years Eve-Eve, and all I can think about is my not-even-half-packed-up studio on the Upper East Side and the fact that my movers are coming at 9 AM sharp tomorrow to cart ALL MY SH*T to Astoria.

I’m stressed.

And while I am stoked to be living in sin with T, I would be lying if I said I was stoked to leave the UES, which is where I have lived for the past 7.5 years.  (Good Lord, I am old.)

Honestly, my anxiety about leaving the UES has very little/zero to do with outer borough snobbery.  I LOVE Astoria.  There are awesome restaurants and bars there, it’s basically a hop-skip-and-jump from Manhattan, (really!  it is!  come VISITTTTT!) and several of my NYC besties live there already.  Plus there’s the whole palatial-apartment-for-a-fraction-of-Manhattan-rent thing.

But I am going to miss the accessibility to the park.  It’s now going to be a real effort to get there.  Iwill say I have run over the Q’boro Bridge from Queens to Manhattan countless times in the past year and a half.  And it’s a nice run.

Fantastic view from Qboro bridge one morning before work

But from T’s place (now my place!) just to the base of the park, it’s already close to 4 miles.   I am going to have to get used to running with a backpack and showering and getting ready at the office, a notion that I do not relish.  But I can and will make it work.  I’m also going to allow myself cabs to the park from time to time, seeing as how I’ll be saving a bundle on rent.

Oh, dear reservoir, I will so miss your proximity...

At least the move stuff is keeping me distracted from my true current angst, which is:

Yeah.  It’s still there.  It still hurts.

I went to a spinning class on Wednesday morning before work, after a week of sloth and cookie-inhalation .  Ho hum.  Yesterday, I just couldn’t bear the thought of going to the gym again.  And while it was cold out, I actually love running in cold (I prefer to think of it as brisk!) weather.  So I suited up and went for a little run.

I'm obviously really good at self-portraits. Also, my apartment is a mess. I'm moving! Give me a break!

Anyhow, I know I’m not supposed to run, but I put my inserts in my running shoes and I spent a good amount of time rolling out the arch of my foot with a frozen water bottle before AND after the run.  And– dare I say it?– the pain wasn’t quite as bad as it has been!  This could quite possibly be wishful thinking…

Anyhow, thus far the grand total mileage for my week is a little over 4 miles.  Wow.

But let’s talk about pleasant things, shall we?  Like my year in running!  This year marked my 10th (and 11th) marathons and my two fastest times, including one BQ.  I prefer not to split hairs on this topic, so yes I do consider my 3:38:52 in Columbus a BQ.  It’s not my fault that Boston was already filled for 2012 by the time I qualified.  Also not my fault that they made the qualifying times tighter for 2013 and now I have to get a 3:35 (or more like a 3:30 to ensure entry– the field is getting tougher and tougher!) in order to qualify!  Yay, fast women!

So yeah.  One of the highest points of my life was on October 16, 2011

And though it was a pretty f**king tough fight, I am proud of how I fared in the NYC marathon, a mere 3 weeks later.  3:45:35, and while I know that’s not impressive for a lot of folks, it was better than I expected.

I was pretty miserable at keeping good track of my mileage, but from what I do have, my mileage for the year was 1406.  I definitely didn’t record everything, but that number averages out to 27 miles a week, which isn’t horrible!  I don’t really make New Years resolutions (why set myself up for failure?) but I really DO want to do better at recording mileage this year.  I signed up for Daily Mile yesterday and thus far have a whopping 4 miles recorded in there.  But I’m hoping that will help me keep better track of my miles in 2012!  And I’m hoping those miles are many! 🙂

As for races in 2011, here’s my New York Road Runners summary and proof that I qualified for NYCM 2012!  Holla!

Yeah, my paces are all over the damn place.

I ran a few additional races, including the Boilermaker in Utica, which I definitely want to do again this summer.  That race is a hilly little b*tch, but in general any event that combines my two favorite things– beer and running?  Sign me up indefinitely!

Saranac Brewery, thank you for kindly (further de)hydrating me post-race. You make a delicious beverage.

What other races will I do in 2012?  Well, I hope to run at least one other marathon because I would really like to run a 3:30 and I do not want to have a time goal for NYCM.  That race is just too damn stressful withOUT having a goal; I can’t fathom running it WITH one.

So yes, I would love to run a 3:30 in 2012 and thus, qualify for Boston in 2013.  I am wary of saying this publicly, though, because 3:30 is a lofty goal for me.  It involves shaving nearly 9 minutes off of my PR.  Some days I think this is  definitely a possibility; others I think definitely not.

Oh yeah, and there’s that whole PF thing that I think I’ve mentioned a few times before… kind of a factor…

I am NOT running Surf City.  I need to be nice to my foot so I can run many, many more miles in the future.  That race is cursed for me anyway.  Second damn year in a row I signed up for it and am not able to run it.  Harumpf.

I AM running the Cherry Blossom 10-miler!  I’m excited for this.  I love DC and I’ve never been at cherry blossom time.

I AM signed up for the Manhattan Half, which is scarily soon.  Not sure if my li’l foot will be up to snuff by then…

If and when my foot gets better, I will run many, many more races, ’cause I love races and stuff.

I’m really losing focus here…

Anyhow, one final good thing that happened this year was that I discovered running blogs and started reading them obsessively.  Then I started this li’l blog.  And while most times I feel it is boring as hell, I have had fun with it!

So, thanks for being, all-in-all, a pretty sweet year, 2011!  Happy New Year, everyone!  Bring it on, 2012! 🙂

This thing is gonna get decorated to the MAX in 2012!

All I Want For Christmas Is My 2 Front… Feet?

15 Dec

So, I’m going a little cuckoo not running, hence the idiotic title of this post.

I feel bad for T.  Real bad.

You should feel bad for him, too.  I am not great company these days.

And you should be ashamed of me, because I simply canNOT get motivated to do anything but run.  Quite a few of the running bloggers I keep up with seem to be injured these days, and yet manage to keep active.  Meggie and Kelly, for instance, are doing aqua jogging (which completely confounds me) yoga, and spinning.

My “workout regime” has been a bit less, uh, ambitious.

After my 7 mile run last Wednesday morning, I told myself to get a grip and promised myself I would stop running altogether for at LEAST 2 weeks (with a few pre-approved deviations I will detail momentarily.)  Though I knew it would be hard, I REALLY do not want to make this problem worse.  I REALLY want to run for years and years and years to come.  So I need to take injuries seriously.

I was pouty about it Thursday morning and ignored my early morning “get up and go to the gym!” alarm.  Same with Friday morning.  After work on Friday, I suffered through 50 seemingly eternal minutes on the elliptical machine at my office’s gym (yes, I know I am lucky to have that option!)  Saturday morning was one of the 2 “pre-approved” runs in the 2 week span.  My friend Danielle and I signed up to do a run with Girls on the Run quite a while ago.  Girls on the Run’s mission (according to its website) is to “inspire girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running.”  I thought it was a pretty cool organization and was happy to take part in it.

Danielle and I signed up to be “running buddies” to girls who were running a 5K race.  We both envisioned running alongside a girl and encouraging her and having a nice chat– lots of mushy feel-good stuff.  However, the race had fewer girls than it did volunteers, and we both wound up sadly sans buddy.  I think this is an awesome organization and will definitely do something with them in the future.  And I also think there are worse problems than having too many people volunteering!  But we did feel a bit silly crossing the finish line together, looking as though we had ditched our “girls.”  (When, in fact, we were never assigned to any!)  Oh well.  Next time!

Since we did the run pretty slowly, it didn’t feel like much of a workout.  I dragged myself to the gym and settled in on this guy…. for about 20 minutes.

Though it was a good workout, it still is not running (DUH, KATIE!) and I am extremely clumsy and tripped on maybe every 3rd step, thus rendering me fairly paranoid the entire time that I was going to tumble down the stairs and wind up in a viral YouTube video.

Friday night was fun.  T and I met up with our friends Tim and Kim downtown at an adorable and delicious restaurant called Tremont.  Tremont is actually a community in Cleveland and the restaurant is named after that community, since the owners spent a lot of time there together.  So T got wind of it that way, Cleveland native that he is, and we were all glad that he did!  We’ll definitely be back.  Great food, great company, beautiful space!

delicious clam appetizer

Chicken entree, stuffed with mushroom bread pudding. YUM.

Then, we stopped by a friend’s birthday party before calling it a night.

Sunday, T had to work, and I spent 45 minutes on the Stairmaster before meeting up with my friends Eric, Todd, and Diane for some food.  Then we went to Central Park’s Wollman Rink for some ice skating!

I hadn’t ice skated in, oh, ten years, so I felt a bit of trepidation as we approached.  But in no time, I was gliding along on the ice with complete confidence.  OK, so the skates had literally zero arch support inside of them (shocker!) so my foot did hurt a bit after I took them off.  But other than that, it was totally an awesome time!  (Albeit, a bit pricey with skate and locker rental + admission.)  But worth it!  I want to go back!

Rink cleared for Zamboni time! Look at that view!

the gang, apres-skate

look at that view!

Then, we went and got some beers at The House of Brews, as we are wont to do. This is a tradition since our days of working in the theatre district!  So, despite T having to work, I managed to have a fun Sunday!

Monday morning, I went to a spin class at the gym, annnnnd… that was the last exercise I did this week.  Although I have intended to go to the gym every morning since then, it’s been so difficult to get out of bed.  Of course,  I have absolutely no problem getting out of bed at any hour for a run, but I can’t seem to motivate to do anything else.  I suck.  But I HAVE been bootin’ it up most nights for bed, and working the arch-supporting shoes like no other.

I absolutely LOATHE the sneakers-for-the-commute look, so please applaud me for listening to the doc and doing it.

My second pre-approved running venture is on Saturday morning and, oh, it should be interesting.  I should explain that I really don’t have the option not to do it, because it is my 9th race in the 9+1 program for guaranteed entry to the 2012 NYC marathon.  And I would cry actual tears if I ran 8 races and volunteered all for naught.  Anyhow, tomorrow night, T and I are going to see The Book of Mormon on Broadway with our friends Steve and Danielle.  We bought these tickets in AUGUST and are soooo excited to finally see it!  Afterwards, we are going out to dinner and — let’s be honest– will probably have many drinks, as well.  The Ted Corbitt 15K starts bright and early at 8 AM on Saturday morning. I’m thinking that a bum foot, coupled with very little  speedwork in the past month, and essentially no running in the past week, and likely a hangover will produce less than noteworthy results.  I just really hope my foot doesn’t hurt.  It would be a CHRISTMAS MIRACLE if my PF was cured and I felt no pain!  You hear that, Santa?

So yes, I’ve been doing some fun stuff and life is  merry and lovely.  But to be honest, I’ve been seriously blue about not running, which makes me ashamed!  Because in the grand scheme of things, this is not a huge deal.  I really wish I could be one of those people that is totally chill about taking a (needed!) respite from running.  But T’s roommate intimated on Tuesday night that my running days may quite possibly be over, and this threw me into a dark tailspin.  So, I am accepting any and all reminders and encouragement that I will be up and running (pun intended) before too, too long.  (I know I am pathetic!)  Mmmkay, thanks. 🙂

A 48 Mile Week, But More Importantly, AN AWESOME BURGER

5 Dec

So my blog post titles are not all that creative, but at least they are to the point!

I am fairly pleased with myself for having run 48 miles last week, after not running very much at all since NYCM.  My paces were not fast, but I got the miles done.  However, I feel kind of “meh” about running these days.  Yesterday was a day when I was running just because it’s what I do

I’ve always thought it’s very easy to get caught up in the running madness in the summer and fall when everyone is training for a fall marathon.  The blogs are a-buzz with pre-marathon excitement and training details.  The park is crawling with individual runners and different running groups at all hours of the day and night.  You can’t escape the excitement and the energy.

But post NYCM… it slows down a LOT.  So not only am I worn out from having run those 2 marathons, but it’s tough to get motivated when the buzz just isn’t buzzing like it was. (Very poetic.)

So, although I have this sunny li’l race to look forward to, I’ve been dealing with some serious motivation issues.  And other than enlisting some buddies to join me (Thank you, Erica!  Thank you, Jane!) I just tell myself, “You’re going to do this, ’cause running is what you do.  You’re a runner.”

It usually works.  As I’ve stated previously, I like my job and am lucky to have it, but in no way do I identify myself by it. I tend to identify myself first and foremost as A Runner.  So if I don’t do that, (run) then who/what am I?

OK, I really don’t intend to get too philosophical here, so here’s the breakdown from last week:

Mon:  nada

Tues: skipped running class; nada

Weds:  6 miles, including Q’boro Bridge @ 8:30ish pace

Thurs: 13.5 miles w/ Erica @ 9:00ish pace

Fri:  6.5 miles w/ Jane @ 9:30ish pace (stomach ache slowed me up)

Sat: 6 miles in park (w/ some pathetic strides) @ 8:40ish pace

Sun:  16 miles partially w/ Jane @ 8:55ish pace

Total: 48 miles

This week Pfitzinger calls for 43 miles, which seems do-able.  I should probably start doing some speedwork again. (Blah.)  I should also probably attend class for the first time in 3 weeks tomorrow.

As for the weekend, I had some delicious food with some nice friends.  Fri. night, T and I went to Edo Sushi with Ben (my best guy friend from HS.)  It was really delicious!  Not to mention beautiful!

this is just *some* of the sushi we ate

Then, we went out for a few brews and called it an early-ish night.  Saturday, we basically slept all day, which was shameful, ’cause it was a beautiful day.  I think my body was still pissed at me from the 4:30 AM wakeup call on Thurs.  I did manage to squeeze in 6 miles in the park.  But more importantly, we caught this on television.  I think it’s safe to say we resembled this by the time the program was over:

So I looked at him and said what we were both thinking:  “We are totally going there tonight.”

Which is exactly what we did.

I have to say that I freaking LOVE the fact that I live in a city where I can see a restaurant on TV and then I can go to said restaurant.  And let it be said here and now that the burger at the Brindle Room is just magical.  Though I should also say that I don’t believe it is on the regular menu; only the brunch menu.  But since we asked nicely, (and our waitress was super sweet and awesome) they made us the burger anyway.  IT IS GOOD AND YOU SHOULD GO THERE NOW.

And finally, I just put my name in for the NYC Half.  I’ve never run this race before, or even applied.  But I figured why not!?

A Hard Fought 26.2

8 Nov

Sooo… I ran NYC on Sunday, as everyone knows.  I don’t know where to start.  I guess at the beginning…

My mom got in town on Friday, and she showered me with belated birthday gifts — home made pumpkin cookies, (my mom is SUCH a good baker and they were AMAZING) my favorite coffee from my favorite hometown coffee shop (why can’t NYC have a Boston Stoker, or at least something that tastes similar?) and a beautiful new red coat that I LOVE.

These are not the cookies my mom made, but they look like them... I may or may not have eaten all the cookies already...

We went to Jackson Hole for dinner, where I got a delicious turkey burger (I am obsessed) and sweet potato fries… then we went to bed.  Saturday morning, I slept in, which was GLORIOUS, and went for a quick Pfitzinger-prescribed 4-miler in the park– 2 reservoir loops.  It was, oh, sort of a nice day.

THIS is what fall is about. Eff that bday snow storm!!

Reservoir lookin' marvelous!

There were SO MANY people in the park, and the excitement was palpable.  I had to really work to reign in the energy I was feeling and keep it at a slow-ish pace.  I told myself, “Bank this for tomorrow!”

Then, mom and I went to the expo where I saw Deena Kastor and gazed at her creepily admiringly from afar for quite some time.  I felt extra jealous of the girls who actually got to hang with her on Friday (including Meggie and Kelly.)  I also bought some yurbuds, because they PROMISED me they would stay in my ears and when I tried them on and jumped around a bit… I believed them.  However, I haven’t actually run with them yet, so the jury is out.  (Decided to run the marathon music-free.)  But I will report back once I do!

Mom and I returned to the UES , did a little shopping, and grabbed some bites of delicious pizza from Farinella.  YUM.  After a little more shopping and hanging out, T met up with us and we got some dinner at my neighborhood go-to, Wicker Park.  Take a wild guess what I got to eat.  (Hint– it rhymes with Berkie slurger.)

I went home and prepped my marathon attire and waiting-on-Staten-Island attire.

Trying everything on-- that is about 4 long sleeved shirts over my running tank, an old scarf, a "blanket" from the Columbus marathon, my running shorts under paper pants purchased at the expo under $7 jammie pants purchased at CVS (love them; kinda wish I hadn't tossed them) and two pairs of gloves

Here is everything described above, plus some old sheets and an old bathrobe that I used to cover up with

stuff to sustain me on Staten and during the race, including handwarmers, lip balm, water, my trusty Starbucks Doubshot (aka jet fuel) PowerBar, Honey Stinger, Garmin, NY mag, and Vanity Fair.

I wrote out very explicit directions for my mom on how to get to where she wanted to catch me first, at the Atlantic Center in BK (around mile 8.)  I didn’t think it would be too bad– just take the 4/5 at 86th Street to Atlantic Avenue…

I slept (not well), got up, got ready, and grabbed a cab to the NY Public Library, where I boarded a bus to SI.  Once on SI, I settled onto my sheets and took everything in.  I was glad it wasn’t NEARLY as cold as it had been last year.

I wish I'd gotten a better shot of this dude (standing against the truck.) He was wearing a ratty old suit and holding a tray with a champagne bottle duct taped to it. What makes people do this? It's hilarious, but seems kinda pointless and like it would get really old a few miles in!

You can't really see it, but a woman was wearing a dress, an apron, and a bonnet. She looked cute, but again-- seems uncomfortable!

I drank my jet fuel, ate my Powerbar, read some of my NY mag, gave my Vanity Fair to a woman from the Netherlands (who apparently had been led to believe there would be “more to do” on Staten Island)… and then I got a call from my buddy Emily and was thrilled when she joined me!

Looking pretty at 7:30 AM. Kudos.

We chatted a bit about her upcoming nuptials, I used the port-a-potty about 3 times, and then they announced that my corral was closing in 10 minutes… so I kind of panicked, stripped off all my layers but the crucial ones, (tank and shorts) dropped my layers in the donation bin, and entered my corral.

herded like cows into the corral

Then I realized that I still had, like, an hour to wait and stripping off all my layers may have been a BIT rash.  I was cold!  (But in the end, I’m glad, ’cause they don’t donate anything left in corrals or on the bridge if I’m not mistaken.)  I went pee one more time and we slowly began to make our way on the bridge.  I soon had to pee AGAIN and was feeling jealous and straight up angry at all the dudes who were taking care of that with reckless abandon

The dude in blue in the back is just one example of the MANY who were using the great outdoors as their own personal potty. This is literally the ONLY time in life that I envy dudes.

I was REALLY wishing I had saved at least my bathrobe so that I could easily pop a squat with the bathrobe covering everything up, but that was not the case.  I knew I was going to have to make a stop somewhere along the course.  GRRR.  Anyhow, some guy saw me shivering and gave me his jacket, which he was intending to ditch.  I considered using THAT to cover my lady bits while peeing, but didn’t want this guy to be disgusted… so instead I just put it on and it did keep me warm, so thank you, kind stranger!

An NYC firefighter sang a beautiful rendition of The Star Spangled Banner, and I got a little emotional and patriotic.  THEN the gun went off, everyone cheered, and they started playing the perfect song, Sinatra’s “New York, New York.”  I sang along and felt a swell of great love for this city that has broken and won over my heart time and again.  (Cheesy, I know.  But true.)

We crossed the start, and I texted my mom, my bro, T, and my buddy Fatima (who was waiting just over the bridge in Bay Ridge with her husband) that I was on my way.  I still had absolutely no game plan, and just kind of ran without thinking much about my goals.  I did, however, see a bunch of grapes running ahead and had fantasies of running the whole way with him.  I figured it would be easy for my friends and fam to spot me if I just said, “Look for the grapes!”  But alas, grape man was too speedy.

there he goes!

I was delighted when I saw Ken and Fatima right where they said they would be– in front of their building.  I may or may not have thrown myself at Fatima with great vigor.  Ken was snapping pics, so I can’t wait to see those. 🙂  I briefly felt bummed that they don’t live on the ground floor, because it would have been amazing to dash in there and take the pee I so desperately wanted to take… but having been over for dinner before, I recalled that their charming apartment was at least 4 flights up.

After seeing them, I focused on my next spectators, my wonderful friend Alli and her boyfriend, JC.  But I spotted a line of port-a-potties that looked sparse, so I dashed in (no wait!) peed, and dashed out, feeling very pleased with myself for having taken care of that.  Then, I caught sight of some green balloons up ahead and knew it was some pacer.  I decided to catch whatever pacer it was and try and stick it out (if it was reasonable) because then THEY would serve the purpose I wanted grapes to serve early in the game.  (“I’m near the x:xx pacer with green balloons!”)  I caught him, saw that he was the 3:40 pacer, and thought, “I may as well give it a try for as long as possible.”

And it worked like a charm.  After thinking we had missed one another, Alli and JC spotted me, thanks to green balloons.  They took some sweet pics, too!


That's some excitement right there...

Dang. SPOILER-- I looked NOTHING like this at the bitter end of this race...

After I saw them, I realized I was pretty darn close to the Atlantic Center/mile 8 where I was supposed to see my mom and T… and hadn’t heard a thing from either of them.  I gave my mom a call and got no answer.  I got a text from her a bit later saying the trains had been screwy and they missed me.  I’d like to take this opportunity to say F*CK YOU, MTA!!!!!!  Seriously.  I felt HORRIBLE that my mom had to deal with that.  She is obviously not a native New Yorker, and the subways are definitely not very intuitive here.  I was proud of her for figuring out to take the R train when she was unceremoniously dumped off at 42nd Street, due to a “customer issue” or some bullsh*t, because you KNOW that the conductor didn’t give any helpful announcements and that there was no guidance whatsoever.  Can you tell I’m a bit peeved about this?  Anyhow, back to the race…

I felt awful that they’d had to deal with that, but forged ahead, sticking with 3:40 dude.  I started feeling pretty tired around mile 10 and wondered if it was a bad sign, seeing as how I was not even halfway there yet.  Every time I stopped for water or Gatorade, I lost 3:40 dude (Is he superhuman?  I NEVER saw him stop!) and then had to speed up to catch him again.  But I was with him as we passed out of BK into QNS, past the halfway mark (my watch told me around 1:50) over the Pulaski Bridge, all through QNS, and as we entered the Queensboro Bridge.  I was ready to make the Q’boro Bridge my b*tch, since it is MY bridge.  (Um, obviously not really, but I was telling myself it was, because I do run it a great deal– one of the perks of having a bf who lives in an outer borough!)  I pulled AHEAD of 3:40 man and kept at it.  I saw a girl wearing a veil and a tee-shirt that said something like “6 more days!” and congratulated her as I passed her.  She and I had a quick exchange (“Thanks!  Have a great race!”  “You too!”) and then I heard a voice behind me say, “Is that Katie?”  It was my buddy David!  I love how there were something like 47,000 people running, but I managed to see a buddy mid-race!

The Q'boro Bridge-- connecting me to my beloved since May 2010, causing pain for NYC marathoners since 1976 (before this, the entire marathon was run in Central park... which sounds freaking brutal.)

We chatted for a bit as we sailed over the bridge and down into the wall of sound at First Avenue.  I lost David, since he was looking for his family, and I became a bit distracted because by then I had about 7 unread texts and was kind of starting to regret for the very first time the fact that I welcome texts during a race.  I LOVE getting the support and it also helps a great deal in finding spectators, but I couldn’t keep up!  I knew there were a bunch of people I really wanted to see along First Avenue, but I couldn’t remember where each person had said they were.  I was frantically reading texts, fully aware that I wasn’t taking in the First Avenue crowd the way I wanted to.

T texted at some point saying he and my mom were near my apartment and I realized they were going to miss me AGAIN.  My mom called me as I passed 83rd Street, frantically saying they were at 82nd and 2nd.  I sadly said I was passing by 83rd and First and they had missed me.  I was bummed, and I realized I was slipping further and further behind the 3:40 pacer.  I got a bit of a lift when I saw Ali around 88th Street and my friends Danielle and Steve around 90th… but then the crowds thinned out as I ran further and further up First Avenue and into the Bronx via the Willis Ave Bridge.  I could see the 3:40 pacer, but I knew I wasn’t going to catch him, and I looked at my watch trying to gauge my finish time.  It looked as though it would be under 3:50, which made me very happy, but I was tired and hurting and wanted to be finished! My brother sent me a text asking me how I was doing and I responded, “Dying.”  Obviously an exaggeration, but I was feeling pretty low by then.

The Bronx was pretty painful for me, but I made an effort to smile and acknowledge everyone who cheered for me.  There is something so heart warming about marathon spectators to me.  As I left the Bronx and re-entered Manhattan, my brother texted asking where I was.  I responded, “Just entering harlen (sic) passed 21.  Had to slow way down so tired”  I remember feeling like I was crawling and watching the 3:40 pacer disappear into the distance.  (In looking at my splits post race, I actually hadn’t really slowed down too much, which surprises me.)  I got water at the 22 mile stop and walked while I drank it.  Walking felt AWESOME and I briefly considered walking the last 4 miles.  Then I called myself something that starts with a “P” and is a synonym for a cat… and started running again, certain I had lost a ton of time (again, looking at my splits, miraculously, this was not so!)

As I approached 5th Avenue, I got a bit of a boost.  The crowds were thick and the enthusiasm was crazy.  Lots of people cheered for me by name, and I felt myself picking up a bit.  However, that dreaded Fifth Avenue incline was pissing me off.  It was about at this point when I thought, “This is my last marathon.  I am NEVER DOING ONE AGAIN.”  But I was still excited to finally see my mom and T and I DID see them just after I entered the park.  The excitement from seeing them took me past the Museum (mile 24) and down Cat Hill.  But although I knew I was super close, I also felt as though I was still so far.  I was dreading getting to Central Park South, ’cause I knew the crowds were going to be thick and I was going to look at as crappy as I felt.  But I saw my friend Molly as I entered CPS and waved vigorously at her (and crashed into the dude in front of me while doing so, oops, sorry, dude!)  I passed the “half mile to go” sign and thought not, “almost there,” but rather, “how am I STILL not done?”  But then I saw the finish.  The sweet, sweet finish.  I noticed there were about 3 dudes in front of me and decided I had to “chick” them all… which I did…  and then I was done.  3:45:35.  My second best marathon time, only 3 weeks after my PR!

But the agony was not quite over.  I was feeling pretty beat up.  Destroyed, in fact.  My calves were screaming at me.  I tried to sit down on the pavement (off to the side) but a medic quickly grabbed me and forbade me from doing so, saying my muscles were not going to respond well to that (she was probably right, but at the time I wanted to punch her.)  She kindly let me lean on her and helped me walk while we looked for a better place to sit.  A LOTTA walking, man.  People in the past have always complained about the end of the NYC marathon and all the walking it entails and I’ve never understood how that irks people… ’til now.  T called and I was tearing up as I told him I was in a lot of pain and would call him once I got it together and left the park.  I felt bad for being so terse, but I was hurting.  The volunteer made small talk with me (probably hoping to take my mind off the pain) and I asked her if she was a runner.  She said no and that she just volunteers for fun, which warmed my heart.   I bade her goodbye with many thanks as she left me sitting on a bench, feeling much, MUCH better.  I gulped down my Gatorade, ate pretzels, chatted with 2 other runners who had also taken refuge on the bench, and finally got it together to walk again.  My dear friend Molly B met me outside of the park and I was so happy to see her face.  She also gave me a hug and her fleece, which was a lifesaver, since I was shivering uncontrollably.  (Two post-marathon space blankets were not quite keeping me warm.)  We grabbed a cab and took it downtown to where my mom and T were anxiously awaiting.

Since this is epic, I’m ending it, but long story short– I felt pretty much fine shortly after exiting the park, had a delicious meal with my mom and T, and am signed up for another marathon at the beginning of February.  Yeah.  That whole “never running a marathon again” is a distant memory. 🙂

my splits

Congrats to all who read this entire post, because you put in about as much as effort as I did running the damn thing. 🙂

All finished, on the bus home with T 🙂

With mom, after a celebratory dinner a 5-year old would enjoy (a hot dog and mac and cheese!)... and a beer.