Posts Tagged ‘manhattan half-marathon’

Quite as scheduled, but not at all as planned, I ran the first of the five half-marathons in the New York Road Runner’s Grand Prix series, the Manhattan Half-Marathon.  I’ve wanted to run the circuit of half-marathons for two years now, but only this year, 2008, have I set it as one of my running goals for the year.

So, despite having just run the Diseny World Marathon two weeks ago, last night I arranged with EN to meet at 7:45 am at 5th Avenue and East 84th Street.  I laid out my clothes and packed a change of dry clothes to change into before going to brunch.   I drank glasses of water.  I ate a bag of microwave popcorn.  And, I set my alarm for 6 a.m.  I swear.

Well, at 7:51 am I woke up feeling great, until it hit me that I was supposed to be outside Central Park six minutes ago.  One minute later, my Blackberry rings, it’s EN. I promise him I’ll be there before the race starts at 8:30.

I dress in a hurry, grab a Gu, a Diet Pepsi and enough cash to pay a cab to Bangladesha nd back, and dash out the door.  I meet EN at 8:30 on the dot, caffeinated and not at all anxious about the 13.1 miles stretching out ahead of me (no time for anxiety, apparently).  As I’m pinning my number on, we hear the starting gun.  We scooted into the line of runners at the flag for the six-minute milers, laughing that this is the only way we’d ever get to start this close to the starting line.

Two familiar loops of Central Park and 2 hours and 40 minutes later, we crossed the finish line.  During the race, we’d talked about running, TNT, work, dating, marriage &(um) running.  We’d also walked at least two miles throughout the course, usually up the hills, putting our cares about finishing times aside in light of our incomplete marathon recovery, just wanting to get a chip time and avoid injury.

I did something I’d never done before but have always wanted to do: I danced across the finish line, doing some sort of wavy, wacky boogie-woogie as I trotted along the 102nd Street transverse. It felt good, and earned me a few hoots from the sparse crowd.

 This was a different kind of race for me.  While EN and I made a sincere effort to launch into a (relative) finishing kick, passing 30 runners in the last three-quarters of a mile, it was more about enjoying the company, spotting as many TNT teammates as possible, and feeling good.  Truly, the conversation was some of the best I’ve ever had while running, companionable and even.  While I didn’t cross the finish line feeling like I usually do (that is, with nothing left in the tank, completely panting, and victorious), I was happy, smiling with the knowlegde I’d just done something purely fun.  And, of course: one down, four to go!

Post-race: brunch (onion & lox omelette with half a bagel & cream cheese.  Hot chocolate), then home for a snoozy woozy warm nap. And, oh yeah, I launched this blog.

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