NYC, redux

NYC, redux

When I last posted, I simply copied and pasted my response to my training buddies in Chicago about NYC getting cancelled last minute; in fact, as I was standing in the Javits Convention Center, along with a handful of other runners trying to figure out if the race had, in fact, been called off, my buddies back home were lighting up my phone with emails, texts, and links to stories about the race.  What I sent to them on Friday night was pretty raw, so I thought it might be worth doing a “race recap” of the weekend that I would have otherwise been going after a 3:35-3:40 in NYC.

There are several really easy ways to criticize Mayor Bloomberg, or Mary Wittenberg/NYRR, about how they should have decided *earlier*, without wavering, to cancel the marathon, and I get that, and hello?  I agree with it.  Like I wrote earlier, I was uber-conflicted about this race.

I think it’s safe to say that I’m now past the point of placing blame and venting frustration; it’s a new day, and there are now new races and new workouts to run.

(For posterity, though, here’s the one and only picture I have that’s minutely race-related.  We all found out about 10 minutes later that the race was off).

Chicago contingent at the expo

And in case you’re curious, here are the goods:

Nice shirt. My bibs, on the other hand, never look this good after a marathon 🙂

So in the absence of the race on my birthday, and all of the pre-marathon jitters that inevitably still come with running a marathon (even after you’ve done it 17 times), and in the absence of NYC’s public transit system fully functioning, I decided to make the most of my first time ever in the city.  After a nice sleep-in Saturday morning, I met my friend who was hosting me to volunteer in Red Hook, Brooklyn, right on the water, where a lot of storage units/industrial-type areas were flooded.  Several organizations, as well as some artists, kept their wares in these facilities, so suffice it so say that a lot of the contents were completely trashed by the flooding.  Many of the volunteers were even ripping out drywall and insulation from the walls to prepare the facilities to be eventually reconstructed.

By the time I got to Red Hook, the volunteers were calling it quits, so I didn’t have the opportunity to actually partake in any of the aforementioned services.  However, I did bring all the winter clothes that I was originally going to wear at Staten Island– long-sleeve shirts, thermals, fleece pullovers, and the like, stuff that I would have just chucked on the Island before I began my marathon– so the Red Hook social services took everything and distributed it to the neighborhood’s residents who were in need.

In addition to the typical untidiness that most major cities have, even if only a little, NYC essentially had no place to put their trash that had piled up because of Sandy — trash that, unfortunately, was just a week earlier people’s homes and personal effects.  Apparently the city didn’t have any available dumpsters to accommodate all the trash, so throughout Brooklyn (and Manhattan), I noticed big piles of garbage, almost lines of it, collecting on the sidewalk in anticipation of the city’s streets and sanitation department coming to fetch it later in the week.  The pic below, from Red Hook, was definitely one of the most disheartening I saw.  The angle of the picture doesn’t do it justice, but trust me, that was a big pile.

Sandy aftermath, waiting to be picked-up

Following my attempts to volunteer on Saturday morning, I ended up spending some time with friends of a friend and looked at real estate in Williamsburg (which puts Chicago to shame, good god) and went to Smorgasburg, which was pretty cool.   Think outdoor/farmer’s market meets waterfront meets lots of sweet-lookin’ vegetarian and vegan fare.  Too bad I had just come from a late lunch.  Damn!

Pretty sweet view. Super crisp winds along the water… felt like I was at home on LSD!

Afterwards, I ventured into Manhattan to meet another friend, Austin, from RYBQ.  While I didn’t get my running fix in over the weekend, my time with Austin compensated, since we talked running… a lot 🙂

And really, that was it.

On race-day/birthday morning, I departed from LaGuardia to get to a friend’s wedding in Milwaukee, which, happily, I was able to make now that the race was off.  I spent the rest of Sunday in Milwaukee and had a blast with my friends.

DePaul pyramid at Kel’s wedding. The magical bachelorette party crowns from Vegas reappeared in Milwaukee.
Teri, me, and Julie, members of Kel’s court.
I wear my sunglasses at night…
Piling all the Vegas women into the photo booth; like my hand in the background? ha
The mustache makes me look like a walrus

I love this video from my YouTube channel; I’m dancing with the bride.  We’re havin a blast, and anytime I watch it, by the end of my 30-second video, my face hurts because I’m smiling so much 🙂 Check it out here.

Suffice it to say that it was probably a lot easier to dance last night, all night, than it would have been if I had run 26.2 just hours earlier 🙂 … *probably* being the operative word here.

So what’s next?  Well, apparently even with hours of dancing under my belt from last night, and relatively little sleep, I still awoke a good 90 minutes before my alarm this morning with an unbelievable amount of energy.  While I was sitting in LaGuardia, awaiting my delayed flight’s departure, I composed a training plan for Houston, so I figured this morning was as good as any to get started.

Hell, you don’t need to recover from a marathon that never happened, yes?

My pent-up energy this morning translated from what was originally going to be a 6 mile easy run to a 10.10 mile run, faster than marathon pace, with a huge negative split.  It was like I decided part-way through my run this morning that today was a good day for a tempo run.  I usually don’t begin my Mondays like this, but hey, why not.  🙂

My NYC training began with me racing a half-marathon wherein I got the big D three miles in and ultimately, that “race” became a relaxed training run.

My Houston training began today, on the other hand, with me going uncharacteristically balls-out on what should have really only been (read: really only NEEDED to be) a 5 or 6-miler, tops.

I wonder if this is foretelling of my 2013 sub-3:30 quest; at any rate, it’s irrelevant.

Sub 3:30 begins now, with or without NYC.

What'cha thinkin?