What a difference 1 week makes.
It’s a day off here, and I’ve just returned from a light trail run with Will. This exact time last week, I was lying on an airport floor, with swollen legs and and tired eyes.
I think my legs felt better on that airport floor than they do today. That’s normal, right?
I’m not much for race reports these days, but I figure 1 marathon every 9 year gets itself a nod.
Highlights (in no particular order…)
- It’s New York City! Duh.
- Surprising my brother with the arrival of his best friend – see, we *can* keep secrets!
- The food. Oh, the food. All of it.
- Cheering Nick + Steph in their 20,000+ runners 5k!
- Citibikes. These things made getting around easy and oh, so fun. Dangerously fun.
- Spending good times with my brother and sister-in-law, who ran the marathon in her imagination and crushed it.
- On that note, Stephanie wearing my medal and reaping the rewards that came with it (champagne, anyone?) made those 42.4kms completely worth it.
- The noise. The endless, ceaseless noise that I both loved and made me appreciate my quiet country home all the more.
- Sitting around on Staten Island, 3 hours before my start or so, watching the German runners enjoy a lung-expanding cigarette, pre-race.
- Despite the aforementioned 3 hours, almost missing my start. I blame Janet.
- All of those completely random moments and encounters that happen when you take a trip and make zero plans (with the exception, in this case, of running a marathon).
- Seeing my crew out on the race course – being able to pick them out of a crowd of literally 1 million people for a high five? Amazing. Bobby, you’re an amazing guide.
- Getting stuck on the other side of Central Park post-race turned out to be a highlight, too. 1 friendly cop + 1 citybike + 1 foil blanket made for a highly entertaining bike ride on tired legs.
- Parking that same bike and walking into the restaurant to cheers from my friends, which led to cheers from everyone. It was both embarrassing and awesome. Because, come on.
- The feeling that everyone in this enormous city is behind this event.
- I’ve probably left out 47 highlights that I’ll remember at 3am.
The race itself, the raison d’être for this whirlwind trip, was unexpectedly, well… amazing. I came into it with low expectations, that’s for sure. I wanted to beat my pregnant time of ’09 (4:14 or so?), and have fun.
Before we even started, I think I had the fun portion pretty dialled. My training had been minimalist (that’s a nice term for short AF), but I got to the start line with no aches and pains, and a plan to eat a lot. That was it.
My train of thought for the entire duration of the race was summed up as: “Hmm. This feels too easy. Should I be worried? This pace seems fast. But it doesn’t hurt. So, now what? Ok. Eat. I’ll eat. High fives to that guy, that kid, that granny. I still feel good. WTF is going on? Am I going to hit the wall? If I hit a wall, Liz is going to roll her eyes so hard. Shiiit.”
And on and on these thoughts swirled. Yet, I never hit that infamous marathon wall. I ran under a banner at mile 22 that literally said “THIS IS THE WALL”… and, nothing. In fact, I kind of sped up. I guess I just wanted to be done and savour that beer.
I crossed the line with a big smile, a time of 3:35 and a feeling of ‘mission accomplished’.
- Getting sick when we got to NYC sucked. But I think it sucked more for my friends because I guess I could sleep through all my own snoring and also, Sudafed got me to that start line.
- That’s literally the only lowlight.
I won’t run another (road) marathon for a long while, I don’t think. This one has my heart, for sure.
So, on that note. Boston 2020, what’s your city bike situation like?