How annoying is it for someone who didn’t even run the marathon to break up their recap of marathon weekend into two posts? SUPER ANNOYING. But I’m doing it anyway, suckers. There was just too much awesome to try and consolidate.
Laura and I piled into my car armed with pretzels, chocolate chip cookies, water, and Diet Coke. All the road trip essentials. I don’t remember much about the drive down because we were chatting up a storm the whole time. Excitement was running high, and I couldn’t wait to actually get to our hotel and do this thing. Whatever ‘this thing’ was.
We finally got to our room around 8 or so, and after laying our things down and surveilling the small tiny space, decided to go out and hit the town. A quick look at the MTA website got us a transit plan and soon we found ourselves in the heart of midtown Manhattan.
Unsurprisingly, Times Square at 9pm-ish on a Friday night is a total zoo. It was kind of cool for a few blocks and then we both kind of looked at each other with the “omg get me out of here eyes.” We turned up a random street to get out of the crowds, and just like that, accidentally found our mecca.
A couple beers and a delicious appetizer and sandwich later, we started to turn into the old ladies that we are. It was time to call it quits and rest up for our long run adventures the next morning.
Our loose plan was to start running around 9, head over the Queensboro Bridge and to the park, and then just circle the park for awhile until it was time to head back. I don’t think either of us really understood how sneaky the bridge/hills in Central Park are, however. I remember gloating at the beginning of our run, during the portion where it felt like we were stopping ever 30 seconds at a cross-walk, that this would be “the easiest 18 miles ever!”
We had agreed that we were going to be huge tourists and just take pictures the whole time, and that pace/distance wasn’t really a concern as long as it was a reasonably long run. I started to struggle somewhere around mile 7, which is like … really mentally defeating when you’re staring down 10+ more miles of relentless hills.
I will admit I was glad to hear that Laura was struggling too. It’s not that I wanted her to be having a crappy time – just that I already felt so bad that not only do I run a lot slower than she typically would be under the best of circumstances, but it was going to start getting even slower. The fact that she wasn’t feeling it at least gave me some mental relief and by mile 11 or so, I started to just look forward to the post-run party.
At a certain point, we just got excited about stopping to take pictures. Rocks are cool! Let’s stop and take some rock pictures.
We both agreed that A) we were going to be satisfied with 16 miles on the day and B) we were going to crack a Guinness the second we were back in the hotel room. It was truly the thought of Guinness and my cold scrambled eggs that powered me through the last few miles. That and putting some ice on my angry knee.
After lounging for a decent amount of time, Laura and I got ready and took the train back into Manhattan; this time, Battery Park was our destination. The Statue of Liberty, a street vendor lunch, and Starbucks were high on our to-do list.
Sadly, neither of us realized that you needed to buy advance sale tickets to get on the boat to Liberty Island. Boo hoo.
We mulled over what to do from there; we were too far away to meet Hollie and her fam for dinner on time and didn’t want to mess with her schedule, so we decided to head uptown instead and meet up with some friends for drinks.
(Strangely enough, my best friend also happened to be in NYC for the weekend, entirely unrelated to the marathon. My other good friend from college lives in NYC, so it was pretty great to have a mini-reunion – it had been probably 6-7 years since the three of us have all hung out together.)
Laura and I were both a little lame since all the street vendor food had done a number on our stomachs. We sat out the booze on this go-round, and just spent a half an hour or so catching up. I was really grateful Laura was game for this – it was great to see my friends, but I know it wasn’t much fun for her to sit there with people she didn’t know who were all essentially reminiscing.
After we said our goodbyes, we headed back to our hotel to sit down with some takeout and start planning our day of spectating the marathon. And that’s where the fun really starts …