Monday, November 2, 2009

The Hours Leading Up To The NY Marathon...

I'm still collecting my thoughts from the marathon, so I'm not going to post my race report yet. However, since I did not have a computer with me in New York, I never got a chance to post about what happened leading up to the marathon.

The Cranky Knee

The main event in the 36 hours leading up to the big race was....a cranky knee.

Yes - a few hours after my last run on Friday afternoon, my left knee started to hurt. UGH! The more I walked, the worse it felt. Unfortunately, I wasn't getting much rest since I was going up and down stairs trying to pack and get ready to go up to New York. I iced my knee for a bit on Friday night before going to bed, but it was still cranky on Saturday.

Saturday started out with not too much moving around - I was driving up to Wayne, NJ for four hours, and then taking the bus in from Wayne to NYC. However, after that there was lots of walking - from the bus to the subway, from the subway to my friend's apartment, then back to the subway and to the expo, to and from the pre-race feast at Carmines, etc. All through the walking around the city on Saturday afternoon, my knee had this cranky pain. I iced it again on Saturday evening, hoping that it would feel better by Sunday morning. I knew that I would just have to run through it on Sunday if it was still there - but I didn't know how long it would be before the pain would get really bad.

When I woke up on Sunday morning, the first thing I checked when getting out of bed was my left knee. It felt fine. The ice had done its job. Thank goodness!

Expo Anxiety

Every email that I had received in the past week mentioned that we needed to have a printed copy of our Runner's Registration Form to get into the expo. I printed mine immediately and ensured it was in my duffel when I packed for New York. I decided to take the subway from my friend's apartment to the Javits Center - which meant walking about 4 blocks over and 3 blocks up (with that cranky knee...). As I stood directly across the street from the Javits Center, it hit me...I had left the darn Registration Form in my duffel bag at my friend's apartment. Oh NO!!!! I called up my friend to see if he could find an internet cafe or Kinko's near the Javits Center so I could go in, pull up the email and print it out. All the Kinko's in the area were closed on Saturdays and no luck on Internet Cafes. He suggested some of the hotels near Penn Station, so off I went, walking back towards 34th Street and 7th Ave. After a block of walking, I decided to call Coach Brian - did I really need the Registration Form? He informed me that there was a special services desk at the expo that would look up my information and print the form for me. No need to go back and get the form. Saved! Thanks Coach Brian!!!

The expo was definitely a lot more impressive than the expo at the Frederick Marathon :-) However, I didn't get all jazzed up about it. Perhaps it was because I was there so late in the game (I arrived about 3:30pm on Saturday - it has already been open on Thursday and Friday and was closing in less than 2 more hours) so there were no speakers or "events" happening at the time I was there. I was interested in purchasing a Mizuno Breath Thermo top, but by that time there were no more in my size (I'll have to pay full price at Fleet Feet sometime soon...). I did purchase a hat for Sherry and a pair of running gloves that had the names of all five boroughs on each of the five fingers - I know I'm going to love running in those this winter!

Pre-Race Dinner

Team Run To Remember held their pre-race dinner at Carmine's. It was a great chance for the team to celebrate our accomplishments - over $325K raised and 75% of the team running their first marathon - and to give our appreciation to our wonderful coaches. There were some speeches at the beginning from board members of the NY City Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association and also a special appearance from David Hyde Pierce who is a big supporter of the Alzheimer's Association. David Hyde Pierce started off his speech with a comment like, "you all are the only skinny people at Carmine's..."

I soon would understand what he meant. There was a three-course meal - first course was garlic bread and three types of salads, second course was four types of pasta dishes and the last course was dessert. All of the family-style portions were ENORMOUS! At a normal dinner I likely could have stopped after the salads. But of course I loaded up on pasta too. And had a little bit of the desserts. I was stuffed.

Since I was so uncomfortably full, I wanted to walk a bit to help digest. I started walking with teammate LG and a few of her running friends who were all going to the Upper West Side. We were going to walk to the subway station on 50th and then all go uptown. However, when we got to the station, we found out it was closed. Back to the 42nd Street station we went (and yes, my knee was still cranky at the time). Except at that point it started to rain.

Party Pooper

I finally got back to my friend's apartment and was quite wet from the rain outside. They were having a little Halloween party with friends that night - their apartment is a few blocks from Central Park and you can see the pre-Marathon fireworks from their window, so they invited some friends over to celebrate. It was nice to meet their friends and schmooze. I would have loved to join them in their wine, beer and other drinks, but I stuck to water. At around 10:15pm I reminded my friend that I needed to get some sleep and would appreciate if they would continue the party elsewhere around 11pm. It wasn't a problem with him - or with the guests - but it just felt odd to be kicking my friend out of his own place so I could get some sleep.

I was really tired by then and crashed pretty quickly. I had set my watch to go off at 4:35am so I could get to the subway by 5:15am. The team bus was meeting at Union Square at 6am. As usual with my anxious anticipation, I woke up before my alarm went off.

To be continued soon with the marathon day experience....

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