Dodging People, Puddles, Poops, Cracks, Curbs, and Cars I Get My Bib

November 14, 2010 at 5:12 pm | Posted in New York Marathon 2010 | 2 Comments
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(OK I have finally gotten my NY marathon story written. It’s a four part series. I’m interested in your feed back and comments, as I will be using this in a book I am writing. SOOO I am regifting a prize worth $25 I won from Greg S to be raffled off to everyone who comments on the blog. You can get more raffle chances by commenting on each of the four parts- to be posted over the next few days. Happy reading and commenting)

So the training is over.  It’s time to actually do the race.  Well sort of.  But before the race I have to get from NH to CT to NYC.  Nothing major, but it takes careful planning and execution.

Thursday before the race my three daughters and I started off.  It was rainy and windy.  We stopped on the way to drop off my ten year old.  She had ice hockey over the weekend and quite frankly, I thought the marathon would be boring for her to watch and frustrating for the others dragging her from place to place to support me.  I’m adding this in because it’s not as easy to find someone to watch your child when theirs head off to school and yours is home schooled.  Just one more complication that had to be ironed out before being free to race.

The ride to CT was horrible driving. But the energy and excitement in the car kept me alert.  My two teenage daughters gave me a rap lesson.  I learned the names of six rappers, how to tell them apart, and why each was famous, important, or if dead or still alive.  This was actually important while I was running- but that comes later of course.

When we arrived in CT we stopped for one minute at my mother’s so she could drive us to the train and take my little dog.  We went to the train, climbed to the platform, bought our tickets, and the train was there!  We literally did not have even one minute to spare.

Arriving in the hustle and bustle of evening rush hour in NY is as much of a contrast to NH as is possible, except when you add rain into the mix.  The contrast was beyond comparison.  We were met by Jeff at the info booth at Grand Central Station and quickly went out to get a cab to the Javits Center for registration to pick up my bib and other pre-race paraphernalia.

I was excited and Jeff was nervous.  Registration closed at seven.  It was about six now. Rain in NY means no taxis.  Ten minutes later we found a gypsy taxi.  We got in.  Gave our destination.  Drove a half block, when the cabby said he’d take us there for sixty dollars!  (Spelled out because of the extraordinary exaggerated price.)  I said,

“Get out girls. No way are we paying $60.”

The girls looked at me in confusion.  While Jeff said,

“I know where we’re going.  I work uptown. I’ll pay you 15.”

“Get out girls.”

“No way, I’ll do it for $30, see I’m taking an illegal left turn to get you there.”

Click went the door locks.

“I will pay $15 and no more.  That is double a normal fare.”

The doors were locked, the traffic stopped. We were stuck.  Now it was 6:30.  I really wanted to spend Friday relaxing in CT with my mother.  Not coming back into the city.

The doors unlocked, the girls immediately opened the door.  We tumbled out.  For a couple of minutes I kept asking Jeff how to get to the Javits Center.  He was nervous.  Now I was anxious to get going.  I told him I was going to run there.  He said I couldn’t run there.  I replied, “I’m going to run 26.2 miles in three days.  I think I can run this now.”  He told me, ten blocks straight. Turn left and three blocks on your right.

I took off.  Not a sprint, but a good clip.  This was truly my last training, to see if I could run in NYC.  It was psychologically necessary.  My training of rocks and roots had paid off.  Dodging people, puddles, poops, cracks, curbs, and cars was exactly the same as when I ran trails only on rocks and roots.  I was smiling from ear to ear.  I had passed my own fear once again.  NYC was easy to run.

When I made my left turn I saw runners.  I could tell by the walk, the stance, and they all had the same bag.  It was like coming to my Mecca.  I could tell I was where I was supposed to be, not just for registration, but for being and breathing.  It happens to me a lot.  And each time I take a moment to really feel the energy.

The registration was a piece of cake; with each stop a little more excitement and satisfaction of being there.  I was meant to run, and run for girls and women.  I was extremely proud!

When I got my bib I almost cried.  But who ever heard of a grown woman crying because of getting her bib.  I walked across the lobby to the T-shirt stop.  Now guess what- I saw others crying- men and women. We were all there with this huge emotional experience and we couldn’t hold it back.  I don’t know their stories, but they were significant for sure.

Last stop- pictures by the map.  We were all taking each other’s pictures.  We were a happy excited family at a picnic.

And that’s when my family arrived.  We wondered around, talked with sponsors around the booths, exchanged emails and headed back to CT, eating Indian on the train.

Friday was a perfect day of hanging around.  I went to the beach with my mother and dog. Had a gentle 3 mile run, and really didn’t do much else.

Saturday was a full day.  In the morning I packed for the race itself.  I know when I ran all the time packing was simply no different than brushing my teeth.  But not this packing.  I met the drink sponsor, Cell-Nique, and then we headed off to the train, of course just getting there in time to make the train.

The girls and I went to meet my great friend, Annie Kirvan.  We had sushi and talk.  Then off to the Trump International Hotel on Central Park West.  As we got to the park we saw the barricades being set up.  We saw the finish line.  We saw the crowds.  Yes I was really going to run the very next day and come through that finish line with my own personal best running.  There was nothing in my way now.  And most importantly I was not in my way.  I was my own energy and force.

Pictures with the Women’s Sports Foundation team.  Kathrine Switzer, our team leader, talked to us as if we were all the best of friends.  The girls loved the event and were invited into a few of the pictures.   We got one of Kathrine and the girls.  The one who made it all happen for girls to be true athletes and the girls who live their lives as true athletes.

Off to Amy’s, my stepdaughter’s, apartment in the Manhattan.  Dinner was vegan and lasagna.  The perfect combination for me.  But we had an emergency.  Amy’s dog had gotten in to my suitcase and chewed a hole in the plastic bag given to each racer to hold their belongings from the start to bring to the finish.  Luckily duct tape holds everything together!

I pinned my bib on my shirt.  I laid my clothes out in firefighter style. Brushed my teeth and went to bed.  I slept soundly.  Only waking a few times.  And at 4:45 the alarm got me up.  I dressed. Remembered everything and left the apartment.



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  1. Another great post! I love following your journey to the NYMC!

    • Alicyn- Thanks for reading- part three coming up later today 🙂

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