So glad to see Andy. Even gladder this race is almost over. (Photo credit: Andy Wong)
The NYC Half is a race I swore I’d never run: too big, too expensive, too early in the year, too much of a pain in the ass. Then, late last year, I logged on to my New York Road Runners account and saw an utterly unexpected message congratulating me for having earned guaranteed entry to the 2016 NYC Half.
I caved immediately. Continue reading
High-visibility race shirts
Is this a trend? The t-shirts from my last two New York Road Runners races are crossing-guard green and highway-worker orange. This has caused some grumbling among certain runners of my acquaintance, who – being New Yorkers and all – prefer black, or at least gray. But Eric heartily approves. He is, after all, the man who showed his love for me by festooning my bike with day-glo yellow tape one day as a surprise. Continue reading
Early Sunday morning on the D train
My excuses were lined up even before I stumbled onto the R train that would take me to the D that would take me to the Bronx.
- This is not a goal race.
- I have a cold.
- Eric also has a cold, and his symptoms include violent, sleep-disrupting sneezes. All. Night. Long.
- My right Achilles continues to piss and moan – and, on occasion, shriek like an angry banshee – when I run fast or far.
- I’m at the end of a 65-mile week, I have 70 miles ahead of me next week, and I’m tired, dammit.
- I drank, if not excessively, then certainly more-than-optimally the previous night. (Too tired and cold-addled to cook, Eric and I went to the Peruvian place across the street in search of restorative seafood soup. I ordered a pisco sour, because why not? We waited. I finished my drink. We waited some more. Thirty minutes passed without a single plate emerging from the kitchen. But the manager was on the case, appeasing the packed room of fidgeting customers with mini pisco sours, on the house. Yes, I know I didn’t have to take one – much less a second one – but they went down so easy, and they were free . . . )
All through this last hard winter, and the one before that as well, I envied other New York City runners their royal blue and white “Scotland Run” hats. They were bright, they looked warm, and they generated friendly nods and waves from other runners rocking the same hat.
So I could claim that I signed up for the Scotland Run as my first race of 2015 because I wanted to honor my Scottish ancestors. Or because I needed to overcome my fear of 10Ks (more on that in a bit). Or because it fit my schedule.
All these things are true. But the main reason I signed up for the race was because I wanted one of those hats.
Imagine my consternation last week when I picked up my race number at New York Road Runners in their spiffy Upper East Side digs and received along with it a wee packet of Walker’s shortbread, a bottle of water from the Scottish Highlands, and a cotton T-shirt of truly spectacular ugliness.
Where was the hat?
A dismayed post to my running club’s Facebook page brought words of reassurance. “They give the hats out at the end,” I was told. Words of advice, too: “you may need to stand in line, and sometimes they run out, so you need to run fast.”
Fair enough. Hats that cool should be earned. Continue reading