Marathon weekend. I’ve grown to see it as my favorite weekend in New York City of the year. This year was extra special with the Men’s US Olympic Trials for the marathon the day before in Central Park. However, since I’m just getting back into the fun of running, I opted out of NYC Saturday morning for an XC race in New Jersey. I had no intentions other than to have a good time and scramble up some hills. And holy cow, these were hills that made Central Park look flat. The course was two loops with both hills (one by the name b*stard) within the last ¾ mile of the course! Holy crow, this was one of the hardest races I’ve EVER done. The first lap I ran the flat portion hard which probably was not a good idea but then I went all out on the hills the first time too. Not good. If I had a heart rate monitor, I bet it would have been screaming “what the &*(& your heart rate can’t go that high!”. LOL. The second lap killed me as I felt like huge pieces of concrete were on my legs instead of running shoes. I did pass one girl on the last hill but I’ve never been so happy to cross a finish line! My lungs were burning like after doing the 5th Avenue mile, only it was a 5k! The rest of the day I spent coughing if I started to laugh:-p Seriously though, an absolute blast and I’d do it again in a heartbeat! You can’t beat the rush of adrenaline you get trying to get up hills that. I’ve heard they have this race in the spring and I am definitely going back to tackle these bad boys again!
On the way back to the city I found out Ryan Hall had won the Olympic trials marathon (btw, I think he has a real shot at making some serious noise in Beijing). Anyway, we stopped at Dunkin’ Donuts and someone mentioned something about a competitor collapsing and dying. Natural reaction, what? No way, no how. These guys are machines. Unfortunately, it was true as we all know and it was Ryan Shay. So sad. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.
Happier thoughts. Sunday was the big party day: The New York City Marathon! I ran this marathon back in 2004 but have been roaming the sidelines ever since. I love being the spectator. It’s the one day a year I go baking crazy. I made 48 cupcakes and a batch of race cookies! We set up post up in Harlem as usual and the excitement was plenty! One member had a TV so we could see the exciting finish of the women’s race as Paula finally out kicked her rival since her teenage years to win her first marathon back post-pregnancy (damn, can you imagine being able to look like that 9 months after a baby? Correction – ever! LOL). I forgot to change my camera battery so I had to rely on the pom poms to bring support to the runners. Along the way, I saw Crazy Bandana and Moz (aww yeah he stopped for a cookie!). While I was getting ready to get more cookies, all of a sudden I heard someone say there’s Pink Monkey and Liz. Apparently my response was “Oh my G**!” I think out of instinct I immediately placed the cookies down and started chasing after them with all clothing on (jacket, long sleeves, shorts, pants on top of the shorts). I had intended to just say hello but they just said “come with us, we need you.” So off I went in more clothes than I’d wear in 40 degree weather let alone 60+. It also should be mentioned all I had was my phone and house keys – no wallet or any of the other items I had brought with me to the stand. The plan originally was for me to be on hand at the TRD booth to run with someone should I be needed. I had run 4.5 miles in the morning thinking I may not run at all! LOL! Pink Monkey and Liz were super strong and it showed in their time: 3:50! Awesome, simply awesome! Sempre Libera joined us on the Fifth Avenue side as I had called her while literally on the run;-) I also took some photos via camera phone which is a lot tougher than one may think. Both Liz and Monkey were completely alert the entire time and as we got to Columbus Circle SL and I bid them farewell and headed off the course. We saw JK, LD, and KR finish before heading to the meeting spot on t he west side. The smiles coming from Liz were so big that words can’t do it justice. She kept wanting to thank me but for what? She ran the race and I’ve always said you can tell someone how to do something but they need to execute the plan. Execution? Oh yeah, they definitely did that. Congrats, girls as you have earned the right to get some serious R&R.
So congrats to all those that raced and enjoyed the wonders of New York City. I got so pumped up about running again yesterday that it almost felt like I was being rejuvenated once again. I ended up getting up Monday morning for my spin class and it felt great to get that in before work.