Thursday, March 27, 2014
Thursday 13: Still can't believe it's really REAL...I'll be running the NYC Marathon
13. Remember that Seinfeld episode on the NYC marathon? When Kramer’s huge hot tub shorted out the circuits in the apartment building, the power went out and the elite runner Jerry was hosting didn’t wake up on time? HAHAHA That’s one of my favorite episodes. 12. The start line worries me…the hassle in getting there and stuff. I’ve been to Staten Island like 2 or 3 times, tops. Shuttle buses (at least ones I’ve noted in the past) leave at 4 and 5am, but yet your wave might not start until 9-something. 11. I know the course is hillier than Chicago. Probably every race in every city is hillier than any race in Chicago. 10. OMG! I can’t believe I got into the NYC MARATHON!!!! I tried quite a few times: I was trying to recall last night and these are the race years I’m pretty sure I entered the lottery: 2007; 2008; 2011; 2012; 2014. 9. My intention was to apply for 2013, because this was the last year to be considered for the “if you don’t get in after 3 times in a row, you automatically get in on the 4th” thing. (2011-2012-2013, meaning in for 2014.) But when 2012’s race was cancelled due to Hurricane Sandy, I thought this whole thing would be up in the air. So my guaranteed entry would have been for 2014. Looks like that worked out anyway! 8. A press release on the NYRR website (New York Road Runners) says “"9,170 runners were added to the race field through today’s non-guaranteed entry drawing, selected from 77,087 applications. The selected runners represent approximately 12% of non-guaranteed applicants." I feel that much more lucky to have gotten in. 7. I’m already imagining the race. Being nervous at the start, BB texting me “you got this.” Getting into a groove in Brooklyn. Spotting a few friends. Dealing with the dead zones (of crowds) over the Queensboro Bridge. Heading into the Bronx. Leaving the Bronx. Coming back down those last miles down 5th Avenue. Spotting my friends along the way—aren’t they awesome?!. Cutting into the park. OMG I can’t believe I’m about to do this!! FINISH LINE!!!! See a sight for sore eyes and legs. Eat. Relax. Rub Legs. Eat. Rub Legs. Eat. Answer texts. Bed. Happy. 6. BB asked “won’t it be cold?” Maybe, but probably not. But then it hit me, oh geez, hopefully no silly hurricanes or anything. Back in 2011 with Hurricane Irene, I happened to be visiting then with the girls. The entire city shut down, but it ended up hitting north of the city worst. Still, it was a bit scary and it was definitely raining and windy for hours and hours and hours. So yeah. I’ve been in a hurricane before! (Of course, you know how we get down in the Midwest: Tornadoes. The only thing I haven’t really experienced—as far as US weather/climate/earth phenomenons—I think would be an earthquake. And while I don’t necessarily WANT to be in one, I’m sure I’d boast my having experienced it. AND REALLY, I should take that back. There have been two earthquakes in my vicinity and while people near me felt it, I was completely oblivious. There was one in the Chicago area a few years back, and when I was in Detroit, there was another small one in Toledo, about 40 miles south of Motown. My co-workers and friends ALL felt it. I did not.) 5. I love running in fall weather. 4. When I was in grad school (in NYC), a fellow student ran the marathon in 1996. (Daaaaaaaaaaang, how could that BE---1996?!?!?!?!?!) Anyway, I remember her training for it and getting all hyped up. But the thing I remember the most was her saying that afterwards she was so hungry that she went to the closest place to her apartment. McDonald’s. She ate an entire Big Mac Meal and was so hungry that she sent her boyfriend back for another entire meal. I never fully understood that until I ran my first full marathon and got down with some Arby’s in the same manner. And holy crap it was the best Arby’s roast beef I’d ever had. It kinda kicked off a trend for me and Arby’s after longer races and runs. (Dang. Now I want an Arby’s roast beef sandwich.) 3. I’ve run two races in NYC. My first 5K ever was in Central Park. It was a Race for the Cure (one of the breast cancer charity runs) in 1997, and it was fall, shortly before I left NYC for Detroit. I don’t recall what my time was, but I stayed overnight with the person I was running with. Afterwards, I couldn’t find her so I took the train home, showered, ate, watched tv…and she finally came strolling in the door. And she said she hadn’t lingered after she finished, just that it took her a long time to walk the full course. Weird how much the cell phone has since changed post-race stuff. Now, as long as your phone has stayed charged up, meet-ups are simply a non-issue. (and even if your phone is dead, some other kind runner is sure to let you use their phone for a second.) The second race was in/around the former Shea Stadium for the Mets. This was in July 2000, and I’d come to NYC to visit for about a week prior. I spent the entire time running along Riverside Drive in upper Manhattan, breathing in the exhaust fumes floating up from the Westside Highway. Upon my return home, I came down with a nasty respiratory infection (asthma has always made me very susceptible to environmental things, etc). The infection got worse and worse. Antibiotics would work, and then suddenly stop and it’d be worse than ever. It got to the point where I could no longer talk on the phone for more than a few minutes, laughing would bring on coughing fits. I would wake up in the middle of the night unable to breathe. Finally 3 or 4 months in, a heavy dose of steroids did the trick. Anyway, that 5K ended in Shea Stadium. Looking back, security was so lax. Pre-race, we just threw our bags down anywhere we wanted to in the stands. My, how times have changed. 2. Today I found it very hard to concentrate at work. I’m still so excited and shocked that I got in. Though I generally know the course, I scoured it for details today. It’s pretty cool that in Brooklyn I’ll run near the site of my very first urban planning studio project. And of course the majority of my friends live in Brooklyn, so hopefully some will come out. Heading into Queens, the only thing nice is LEAVING Queens (ha! I feel the same about Staten Island, too.) But once I hit First Ave in Manhattan, I head straight north and go right past my friend Roz’s building, so that’s pretty cool! It hits the eastern edge of Harlem and into the Bronx where I will be just a few blocks from my final planning studio project, and then we’re back in Manhattan on Fifth Ave for the last part of the race. This will be some nice scenery as I know we’ll pass by the Museum of the City of New York (MCNY) a small place but my absolute favorite museum in the city…I recommend it highly, as well as The Studio Museum of Harlem. Just before The Met (Metropolitan Museum of Art) on Fifth Ave, we duck into the park and go all the way to Central Park South, which is also 59th Street. This is two blocks from the main office I interned at. (And also the very first Hooters in NYC for which I gladly introduced to several co-workers, much to the chagrin of some more feminist co-workers. Whatever, maybe they’ve never had their awesome wings or cheese fries.) And then just as we reach Columbus Circle (a major transit hub that I frequented back in the day) we dodge back into the park for the final stretch. It will be fun! And I’m already scouting spots where my loved ones can see me and get around easily, should I be so blessed that they accompany me on race day. 1. Regardless of all this excitement, I will always maintain my opinion that Chicago is the best marathon around. Nothing beats the wall-to-wall spectators nearly every step of the way. As far as marathons go, it was the one that I watched from the sidelines and “caught the fever” from, the one whose course I know like the back of my hand, the one that’s brought me so many memories and led me to new friendships.