This week has been full of all sorts of pleasant things. Some revolved around marathon training, others revolved around wonderful people, and all of them are worth writing about. In running news, I completed the longest run of my life on Sunday morning. I’m doing my best to stick to Hal Higdon’s advice to make long, slow runs just that, so Saturday morning I got in a good 7-miler to make sure I wasn’t too rested for my 14-mile adventure the next morning.
I don’t quite have the words to describe what it was to run through downtown Manhattan the morning before the 10th anniversary of September 11th. While passing by the Battery Park memorial, the white ribbons tied around the fence of St. Paul’s, and the One World Trade Center construction site, I was simultaneously listening to WNYC’s 9/11 anniversary coverage. Hearing the stories of New Yorkers who lived through that day while at the same time being immersed in visual representations of 9/11 was one of the most moving experiences I’d ever had.
All in all, the run was physically a breeze, but emotionally heavy. The mood lightened up for the last two and a half miles, since by that point NPR’s “Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me” was on. (This show is one of my favorite things, ever. Seeing it live last year at Carnegie Hall was a life highlight. Nerd alert? You betcha.) Henry Winkler was the celebrity guest for the not-my-job segment; this part of the show had me laughing so hard that I definitely got more than a few strange looks while running around Washington Square. Go listen to it now and thank me later.
The change in mood was definitely a plus, since later in the afternoon I was heading to an engagement party at Der Schwarze Kölner my friends Anna and Karen. The party was a smashing success – wonderful company, delicious food and drinks, and a great spot. I was quite happy to be a part of a lovely celebration for a lovely couple. The fact that a) I could carb up with beer and pretzels and b) Karen makes the best Canadian dessert on the face of the planet were two very happy bonuses.
(I’m pretty awful at remembering to bring my camera just about anywhere so I
stole borrowed the above shots from my friends Brian and Kelly.) I think the dozen pieces of chocolatey dessert goodness I scarfed down had a magical effect on my 14-mile run the next day, because it actually felt pretty good. The good vibes may also be attributed to hanging out with Anna on Saturday, as she happens to be a marathon goddess and my running inspiration. She’s run the NYC marathon several times, not to mention Berlin, Boston, and Chicago. There were moments on my run when my legs felt a bit heavy, and I was definitely slower in the last few miles, but overall it was a good, long run. Plus, setting a new distance record is always something to be proud of. This will be a pretty regular occurrence between now and November 6th, so I’ll likely sound like a broken record with the whole “longest run of my life” bit every other weekend. Consider yourself warned.
The only downside of Sunday’s long run was that I didn’t get out the door until a little before 10am, so I got home with just enough time to cool off, change, and head out to Brooklyn for our work team’s kickball season opener. We lost (valiantly) but our team was pretty solid considering most of us haven’t played since grade school. And, perhaps just as important, it’s a great group of people for post-game beers and Sunday afternoon football watching. Later in the evening, I headed back to Brooklyn for a dinner date with my good friend Lucy and her man, Kendall. Lucy is one of those friends whom I never get to see as often as I’d like, but every time I do I have a warm, fuzzy afterglow for a least a couple of weeks. Kendall happens to be just as fantastic (which makes sense). Lucy also has a very cool cat and recently upgraded neighborhoods from Bushwick to Clinton Hill, so she’s pretty much winning at life.
There was one other highlight of the past week – a colleague of mine mentioned in passing that he enjoyed reading this here blog. Compliments like that are always nice to hear, but I think I was mostly just happy to learn that someone out there besides my mom (who reads because, you know, she’s my mom) and my sister (who reads in case I mention her) is perusing these pages. Any other readers out there? Feel free to leave a comment and say hi. =)
There were some stressful moments this week – lots of busy days at the office, and an unexpected trip to the NYU Pediatric Intensive Care Unit to visit my goddaughter, Greta. On Sunday, Greta’s moms noticed some abnormalities, including blood, in her tracheotomy. Fortunately, the cause (an internal abrasion below her trach) turned out to be relatively minor, and after a two-night stay, Greta was discharged on Tuesday afternoon, and was back at school today. The silver lining in all of this was the fact that I got to cuddle up with her for an hour or two on Monday night in the PICU watching the Wizard of Oz. We also gave High School Musical a shot, but neither of us were really feeling that.
This weekend should be another jam-packed whirlwind of outside activities: a 4-mile race in Central Park on Saturday, followed by 2 ultimate frisbee games for the start of the fall MUD season. Sunday is a 16-miler, more kickball, more beer, and more football.
What are you up to this weekend? Any big plans? Drop a comment and let me know. =)