I’m going to warn you. This post is going to be long. There’s a lot of content that I don’t to forget, so I will have to break this into three parts. (yeah, I’m gonna be that blogger) I hope you enjoy my tale. I’ve got lots of pictures, so that should at least keep your interest.
What an epic weekend I just had!
I don’t use that word very often, especially since it’s so over-used with the younger generation, but that’s exactly how I feel about my weekend and the New York City Marathon.
Friday morning, my hubby and I woke up at 3am for our Southwest Airlines early bird special. I think we were the first plane of the morning, because the terminal was empty.
Thankfully, so was our flight. After grabbing a cup of tea, we boarded our predawn flight and somehow managed to score exit row seats. (this would be the first of THREE sets of exit row seats for this trip)
We had one layover in ATL before making our final stop at LaGuardia airport around 11am.
We snagged our first cab of the trip and took a mandatory #cabselfie as we left the airport.
The cab drove us to Times Square where we checked our bags into our hotel, then set off to walk the 12 blocks over to the Javits center.
The expo was all a buzz with enthusiastic runners and spectators. There was a contagious vibe going around and I was thrilled to catch it.
We made our way through bib and packet retrieval without a hitch, then browsed through all the amazing vendors and photo ops.
There were so many different vendors and booths to visit, but there just wasn’t enough time. Aside from the amount of people, there was so much merchandise. We were just a little overwhelmed.
Even though we decided to scale down our expectations, I had one purchase to make before we could leave for the day.
The Brooks Bright Lights, Big City Adrenalines had been on my radar since they came out, and I was determined not to miss out on these awesome shoes.
I picked up a shirt along with the shoes and then we made our way out of the expo hall and back towards our hotel. On the way back, we decided to roll the dice with some street meat.
We were both starving and hadn’t planned to wait this long to grab food. It was waaaay past lunchtime, but we were scheduled to meet up with our friends at 6:30 for drinks and dinner, so we grabbed the first thing we saw. It wasn’t the worst decision I’ve ever made, but it had potential to backfire. Thankfully, it didn’t upset my stomach.
We walked back to our hotel and through Times Square before deciding to rest and freshen up before heading back out for dinner.
Around 5:30 we took the subway over to the Capital Grille on 42nd Street to meet up with Marci and Suzan. Dinner was everything it always is with the great company and cuisine.
Marci flew in from California specifically to visit and support me at the marathon and Suzan lives in NYC. Capital Grille is our regular reunion spot and it did not disappoint us on this particular evening. We shared a bottle of wine and a selection of appetizers and steaks between the group. Johnny and Dan behind the bar are top notch bar keeps and I thank them for keeping me hydrated throughout the evening. Thankfully, we did not carry the festivities late into the evening. I was tired from a long day of travel and walking, so I wanted to get back to the hotel. We hopped into a cab and within 5 minutes were pulling in to our front drive and then off to bed.
My hubby and I both woke up around 5:30 (on our own). I downed a glass of water and brushed my teeth before suggesting that my hubby accompany me to Central Park to visit the finisher village. I wanted to sneak in a quick run to get the blood pumping and I thought it was a perfect excuse to visit central park before the tourist. Much to my surprise, there were already plenty of visitors to the park by the time we arrived. The course was already setup and marked for the marathon, and many racers and spectators were walking and running through taking pictures and checking out the area.
I think this was the moment I realized just how special it was to be running this race. Just hearing the voices of the many many international runners around me, snapping pictures and preparing themselves for the grandiose event less than 24 hours away from commencement, made me understand what it was all about. In that moment, I didn’t fear the marathon. I couldn’t wait for it to begin.
We walked throughout most of the finisher’s village and around Central Park South and I finished up my training with an easy two miles.
Central Park is one of the most gorgeous locations I’ve ever been, especially this time of year with the leaves changing. We already agreed to buy a condo there when we make our first million.
Just as I was getting ready to call my hubs to meet back up, I noticed the Dash to the Finish 5k runners making their way into Central Park. We had to wait a few extra minutes while they passed our point of entry to exit the park. Then we walked back to our hotel and got ready to head out to Long Island for the day.
I’d never been to Penn Station to catch a train before, but I always have the image from movies of running on the platform to catch a leaving train. Ironically, that’s just what ending up happening in our case. By sheer seconds, we missed our departing train. The conductor actually waved and mouthed “I’m sorry” as the train pulled away from the platform. So we waited 25 minutes for the next one before departing towards Amityville on the Babylon train.
The ride out to Long Island took about an hour. We had 11 stops along our peaceful ride out to the suburbs. It was a welcomed break to sit down and relax for a spell. When we arrived, we were greeted with smiles as our hosts were prepared for a leisurely afternoon too. We toured the town briefly on our way to lunch at Zinburger where we chowed on burgers and sweet potato fries at the bar and chatted about plans for the evening. It was halloween after all.
The Blanco Burger was fantastic. It had pepper Jack cheese, pico, guacamole, & chipotle mayo. I highly recommend. It had been a while since I’d enjoyed an entire burger, bun and all, so I didn’t hold back. It was absolutely fantastic.
We spent time chatting, shopping and brainstorming last minute halloween costume ideas before making the call to head back into the city around 6pm. The ride back into Manhattan was the complete opposite of the ride out. Let’s just say the freaks definitely come out on halloween night. It was pure entertainment to see all the young folks dressed in their costumes. And I didn’t know this, but you can drink on the train. (not that I did). I just imagine that is very convenient for the folks that do so.
We commuted back to the hotel again for a quick freshen up then we hit dinner two blocks away at a little Italian Trattoria. (I feel like this post is all about food) I ordered the pasta primavera and my hubby ordered something I cannot recall.. I didn’t look up from my plate long enough to observe what he was eating. I was famished and my dinner was everything I needed to fuel up for the next day’s events. I even polished off an entire bottle of pellegrino.
After dinner we promptly returned to our hotel room and I began to get my race gear together. I was pretty distracted by the World Series on tv, but I forced myself to get my act together. It was getting late and I needed my shut eye. I laid out my gear, took a flat runner picture, posted it to IG, and then I was out.
And I’m going to leave you there for now. Stay tuned for part 2 coming soon.
How much walking do you typically do the days before a marathon?
Do you think it really matters on race day if you’ve played tourist too much?