Last weekend I headed to the big city for the the NYC Road Runners Half Marathon.
The reason I signed up for this race was first and foremost to run with Emily…who, incidentally, did not get a spot in the lottery. Crap. Secondary reason for running it: to stay on a training schedule through the sad, cold, depressing months of late winter (which, up until about 3 weeks ago, I did). And because it’s freaking in New York City. And when you live in Kentucky, you grab onto any chance you get to go see your friends in NY.
Margaret! One of my New York friends, who was there for my last half in New York 2 years ago (when I wasn’t 5+ months pregnant).
This year was extra awesome because people who do not live in NY, including my sister and Joe, came out to play. It was a mini reunion. Which made the weekend so, so great.
An NYC weekend visitor all the way from LA, dealing with the cold and wearing one glove
But aside from me, most people probably don’t want to hear any more about how great my friends are.
The night before the race we went to Buttermilk Channel in Brooklyn (fun fact: Buttermilk Channel is an actual place in NY Bay, sounds delicious), and my god it was good. And we may or may not have sat at a table next to Seth Green, results were inconclusive.
That night I stayed with Emily, who lives on the upper west side, about 3 blocks from the starting line. Clutch.
The race info said that the starting corrals would be closing at 7, with a start time of 7:30. That is a long time to be standing around in the corral in your running gear. Plus we didn’t get to bed that night till 11:30ish. So I decided I was going to chance it, sleep a little longer, and get to the starting line a few minutes late. 20 minutes of standing around in the cold sounded like enough for me.
St. Paddy’s Day!! Alarm went of at 6, got up, drank a little coffee, ate some oatmeal, took care of business, and was out the door by 7. I was at the start by 7:05.
…and cold it was. 23 degrees. When I arrived the sun was just starting to come up and the corrals were totally packed with people wearing green (I wore black and pink, oops). And everyone was absolutely. freezing.
They let me into the corral, even though I was a little late. Plenty of people were still showing up.
Race went off at 7:30. I crossed the starting line at 7:40 (and I was in the front half of the crowd.) The course was one lap around the park, spitting us out around 64th Street and into downtown, through Times Square, all the way down to the tip of the island, cutting east, and finishing on Wall Street (I can’t find the map online, too lazy to keep looking).
The first 6 miles through the park was mostly spent defrosting. Cups of water at the aid stations were frozen over with a layer of ice, and spilled water and gatorade on the ground around the aid stations was also turning to ice. Cuidado.
My toes were numb the first four miles, and my fingers didn’t fully get feeling back until mile 8. Fortunately, Superman was there to save the day.
As we left the park I came across the best gift I’ve ever received mid-race (even better than the DJ blasting Pitbull at mile 8 of the run in Hawaii): Emily and Vanessa waiting to join me for a few miles.
I was so, so happy (if you can’t tell from the above picture). Needed the moral support. We ran out of the park and straight into what was probably my favorite part of the run: Times Square.
Very Vanilla Sky. And yes, 29 degrees over an hour into the race.
Once we got out of the park, the course flattened out which, for someone who hasn’t been training in over a week (me), was awweeeesome. Emily and Vanessa stuck it out along the south part of Manhattan, then hopped out as we approached the Financial District.
And then it was over. The finish line was a madhouse.
Those are just runners. It was also windy and really, really freaking cold.
I’ve never been so happy to be hit in the face with the hot, piss-flavored subway air than I was when we entered the Wall Street station. The rest of the afternoon was spent in sweats and compression socks, in the heat of Emily’s apartment, eating baked goods from Levain Bakery and watching Bravo.
I flew out that evening. Sad.
Thank you to everyone who housed me and/or came and supported me on the run. It was such a wonderful trip, these runs are always such a good time. Can’t wait for the next one.