Tulsa was finally having some beautiful weather – sun and seventies! Flowers were blooming and the trees are showing spots of green. I thought it’d be the perfect time to head to the Northeast for my 14th state.
I didn’t know what to expect from this race. I chose to run in the Michelob Ultra Queens 13.1. I would have loved to do the NYRR half the weekend before but it was almost double the price and flights were a little more expensive. Queens it was.
Each of my races have had their own unique things about them and New York was no different. I was unsure of two things – 1. How my knee would hold up to 13.1 miles and 2. How I would get to the race. I decided, like I do with most things I’ve committed to, to just wing it.
I arrived in the big city on Thursday night and had accommodations at Audrey’s, my college roommate’s, place. She gave me very detailed instructions for getting to her Washington Heights apartment and I followed them exactly. Get the unlimited weekly pass. Take the M60 bus. Get on the Subway, line 3 uptown. Take it to 161. Everything went fine until the 3 line stopped running at 145th street. No problem, I just called Audrey on a phone that had 2% left (later learned that the subway is a battery sucker) and decided to cab it to her place.
We had a perfectly chill night catching up on our lives, laying in bed together like we did throughout all four years of college. The first two, sharing rooms and having beds that touched at the headboards. So many nights we fell asleep talking to each other and quickly that habit was picked back up.
Friday we set out to find Rockefeller Plaza which is where my packet pickup was. I let her set the pace and the route for the day. She informed me of a cookie place we needed to try LeVain’s Bakery and that it was National Macaron Day (i.e. free macaron samples all over the city). Perfect pre-race fuel.
First stop – the bakery. We shared an incredible chocolate chip and walnut cookie as we hoofed it through Central Park in the chilly 30 degrees. Best cookie I’ve ever had (so good I waited in line for more later in the weekend – maybe more than once, and maybe once for more time than I’d like to admit). We spent the rest of the morning using one of her apps to find all the free Macaron places on the way to packet pickup.
A lot of things about Audrey have rubbed off on me over the years – a big one is the love for the Louisville Cardinals. I knew if they were playing we’d be watching. So after a brief respite at her place (we’ve always been great at naps), we headed back out into the city for some basketball and were greeted with some big snow!
The Cards pulled it off and I continued the carb loading with some incredible Buffalo Chicken Mac n Cheese and a really disappointing bloody mary at Heights Tavern.
Pre-race evening included reviewing the route to the race – a few subway stops, a bus transfer and a tiny foot commute would do it. I planned to leave in plenty of time to make it to the race, but didn’t want to be too early standing in the cold. I ended up too early, but oh well.
I was so glad the race had a later start – 9am because it meant warmer temps despite the snow underfoot, and a reasonable wake up hour for the 40+ minute commute.
The race was ok, not much to say about it. We ran through the park close to the Mets stadium but it wasn’t very eventful or filled with great scenery. We even ran a 5ish mile loop twice. Never a fan of those in big races. BUT I was so excited that I made it to 7 miles with no pain and no stopping (after only hitting 5 miles post-knee-injury training) and that I managed to finish the race at a run/walk and still have no pain the rest of the trip!
Not my favorite race but a big mental obstacle overcoming the weather and the injury. Plus I got to catch up with several friends from lots of circles of life: Rhodes College, Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland and University of Texas. I do love New York!
That’s it for State 14 (I’ll spare you my nightmare getting back to Tulsa!) Can’t wait to reveal 15 to you soon! 2 days into training for it!