Friends + Food + Warm Weather + Running + Wine = Perfect Weekend!
I need another cup of coffee.
For this race weekend, I stayed with my BFF's Jennifer and Nicole. Their apartment was my home base NYC Marathon weekend, it's a perfect location in Hell's Kitchen, only six blocks from Central Park. Jeannine, Norine and our other friend Patty stayed at a nearby hotel. As usual, it was great to be back in my old stomping grounds, and I was a happy girl.
We headed to the Race Expo Saturday afternoon, which was probably the best Expo I've been to. They were throwing the freebies at us.
I'm a bit superstitious, if I can, I like to have penne a la vodka for my pre-race meal, along with bread and salad. Luckily my friend Jenni was also running with us (it was her first half!), and she brought her famous Vodka sauce. YUM.
We were ready for bed by 10:45, Jenni and I shared a room, we were both pretty tired, and she was chatting away about a Chicken Nugget Truck that comes to her nephew's elementary school, when she fell asleep, and I stared at the ceiling for about an hour before I finally dropped off.
Race morning came quickly.
Jennifer was raring to go at 6:15, so we did all our pre-race rituals and hit the street. We met up with the rest of the girls, and just as we entered the park, I realized I forgot G-Unit! I had put it on the kitchen windowsill to find a satellite, and COMPLETELY forgot it. I ran the six blocks back to the apartment, the doorman wasn't on duty, so I was on the phone with Nicole, she was rushing around checking every windowsill until she found it. I strapped G-Unit on, and raced back to the start, where I high-fived Jennifer and Jenni, checked my bag, then met up with Jeannine, Norine and Patty at the porta-potties.
It was overcast and cool, so I didn't wear my sunglasses, and then it started drizzling for a few minutes. We got to our corral, and very quickly, we were off!
My plan was to finish between 2:05 - 2:10, but after looking at the course map and listening to Jennifer's thoughts on the hills, I gave myself some leeway, and aimed for a 2:10 - 2:15. The course is two HILLY loops of Central Park, the two hardest ones are Cat Hill, and Harlem Hill.
Jeannine and I ran together, my running skirt kept falling down and I had to hold it up for about a half mile until I started to sweat and it stuck in place. That was right when the clouds cleared and the sun came out, and it got HOT. We both felt good, the hills didn't seem too bad (we're used to the hilly course we run in downtown Syracuse), Harlem Hill didn't even faze us. We saw Nicole on the side cheering us on, so I gave her a high five. We watched Alemtsehay Misganaw pass us by, she went on to win with a time of 1:13:25!!!
But then we had to do a second lap.
And yeah, Harlem Hill was a bitch the second time around.
I switched on my ipod at Mile 9, it was pretty quiet along the course, but there were a lot of people out walking their dogs, and we shared the road with bikers and other runners. It really was a beautiful spring morning, My cold is lingering, and with all the blooming trees and pollen in the air, I was blowing my nose and coughing up all sorts of good stuff. I had a pile of tissues that I turned into nothing, but hey, blowing my nose on my shirt sleeves doesn't bother me one bit.
By mile 11 the hills were getting to me, and the sun was hot overhead, but I knew we were almost done, so I hung on. The last mile was the worst, I honestly couldn't believe the hills weren't ending. I was very happy to see that finish line. My time was 2:12:55.
I'll take it.
We headed back for showers and food, three of my other friends, Adele, Corrie and Gonca joined us. We call ourselves the Fab Six, we've been friends for over 26 years, and it was the first time in a long time that the six of us were all together.
We then headed out for post-race beverages. Nicole had indulged her inner child with a Katniss doll, she kind of became our mascot for the weekend.
It made her thirsty.
My sister Ali joined us, and we headed to Eataly for dinner, which was pizza, and tagliatelle with a short rib ragu. Yeah, no photos of that since I scarfed it down, but here are the cookies I bought for Mike.
I couldn't choose just one.
All in all it was a fabulous weekend, and of course I cried like a baby when we said goodbye. As soon as I got home it was business as usual, I took Eliza to dance, got started on the laundry, and now my Tuesday morning is my Monday morning.
But the week is off to a great start.