What was your race experience like?
South Brooklyn, sunshine, adventure. Making a Great British Bake-off joke to some British lady with “Mel” on the back of her shirt. The guy with the shirt saying if he finished the race he’d propose to his girlfriend! (DID HE?!) Tripping hard while high-fiving a kid! Losing Brooke. Finding Brooke. Tearing up at all the familiar songs. Looking for friends & family in the crowds but mostly missing each other — but then, unexpected friends in the crowd! Big silly grin the whole time.
Miles 8-12, uh-oh, this is getting kind of hard. But this is my home territory. That’s where I cheered last year! Now I’m near my school, do I see any kids? (Nope, although some saw me.) The CHRC cheering station, thank you so much. Slowing down a lot. Scarfing down gummies. These gummies are revolting. What made me think I actually liked them?! Eat more. Drink more.
Miles 13-15, holy heck, who knew the front of the ankle could cramp like this? There are even muscles there?! Biology. Goddamn. This is all because of my school’s freakin’ 10:40 am lunchtime!!! Also, I appreciate that you Greenpointers came out but make a little noise, people! I have a friend who will be near the Pulaski Bridge. Maybe I will see her and she will save me. Keep running. I lost Brooke!? I’m all alone? What do I do? Keep running. These gummies are revolting. Eat more. Drink more.
Queens. I only remember about 30 seconds of Queens but they aren’t bad memories. Just get to the bridge. The bridge is all right. I practiced this. It’s not the thing that will take me down. It’s quiet. Take a moment to look out at the river. This hill will be rewarded. The bridge is all right.
1st Ave. Wow, you really can see that long straight river of runners stretched out for blocks that you will also have to run…. Inspiring. Horrifying.
Bathroom stop. Yes! Got out ahead of some digestion issues, took a tiny break, feeling better. I know all the steps I have to take to get to the end. I’m. going. to. fucking. take. them. all. There’s my friends’ chorus that’s going to sing when I pass. Yay! Wait, why aren’t they singing?!! (The tracker app was about 2 min. wrong is why.) But they’re here for me! Be grateful!
The Bronx. All the leg cramps are back — and brought friends! BUT. I have a little love for this neglected borough because I started my career teaching here, and people are out playing music, and it’s not true that no one cheers here. Oh crap! I didn’t practice the course right, I went straight but they’re making us go around this block before the bridge, that’s soooo annoying! Maybe I should try some of this BioFreeze stuff. Doesn’t work through socks. Oh well. I’m going to walk for a minute and try to loosen up some of these aching muscles. Is that a race photographer? Really?!? I walk for 1 minute of this whole race and that’s when you take my picture?! Keep running.
This is Harlem but I am in my head. I hear some music. That little park zig-zag. Maybe I’ll walk again. People around me are struggling, too, it’s okay for this to be hard. Go deeper into yourself. Around the corner onto 5th again, a familiar voice, it’s my friend Jay! No way I’m going to walk now! I owe him so much.
The stupidly long uphill along the park but the end is coming, I can taste it, I only have to run for, like, 45 more minutes… sigh. More friends, a whole cheering section that I didn’t know would be there! Everyone shouts my name. Just let each cheer carry you. You’re almost there. Oh fuuuuuck, that’s the MET?! I thought we were almost to 59th Street! Keep running.
Central Park South! Keep running! Back into the park! Keep running! Don’t use up that last strength yet, they always hide the finish a little farther away than it seems. Push push push. 200 m. Just keep running. That’s the finish. That’s the finish. Raise your arms up! That’s the finish.