Running. It’s hard, hard, hard and my hats off to those that get up every morning and do it on a regular basis. With regards to Sunday’s half marathon, I think the only other time I physically worked harder, was when I gave birth to my son. The weather Sunday was perfect. I was making a better pace till I came to the last 3 miles. My feet became so hot that the polish on my toe nails actually liquified and rubbed off onto my socks. I’ve never had that happen before in my life. Let’s go back to the beginning though.
Runners Dinner The night before the race, More Magazine hosted a dinner for the runners @ BB King Blues Grill – (food was wonderful) that I and the other 10,000 women attended. It was great! I met some really nice people. I mentioned Anna from New Jersey in my last post. This was her first half marathon…Anna had a great time and beat me by quite a bit. Way to go Anna!
The Race For Me – Mile # 1 went by fast. Mile #2 started getting warm but not sure if wanted to shed one of 2 shirts under jacket. Mile #3 – ate a couple of energy beans and spent 10 minutes unpinning and repinning number, taking Ipod off and on, to get shirt off. So there, I left my shirt on a rock along with my headband that I wore to keep ears warm and hair out of face. I figured when I came back at mile 9 I could pick it back up – maybe. Mile 4 pitched empty water bottle I was carrying and began utilizing water/sport drink stations. Mile 5 and 6 coming up on second lap- ate 2 more energy beans, called Jim to let him know where I was – kept looking ahead – making great time. Mile 9, not enough energy to spare to pick up shirt on rock – left it for a homeless person along with headband. Mile 10 and 11 started to get really hard to run…reached for positive mantras and prayer. Mile 12, really beginning to struggle with legs. Felt like I should stop for bathroom but did not want to lose the time. Called Jim to let him know I was getting close. Mile 13…my legs turned into cement blocks. I was using every ounce of power, energy anything to move them forward. I was really warm too. Should have shed jacket but would have had to unpin and repin race number and not enough energy to do so. At 100 yards out, felt sick to my stomache…called Jim to have him stay on phone till I finished. It was so cool. When I crossed the line, they announced my name. I don’t remember that last year. I came in at 3:05:12 – my goal was to hit it under 3 hours but it’s still 20% better than last years. I feel good about my time but I really would like to run like those that finish in 2 hours or less. Some day I will after checking in with doctor. Pics from race will be posted later (after they arrive).
Post Race After you cross the finish line, they immediately give you an apple, bagel, a blanket and medal. I walked around a bit but my heart was pumping so hard I did sit for just a few minutes. I drank water, ate the bagel and then walked around a little. Talked to some people and then headed to street to catch cab. Back at the hotel, I shed my wet race clothes and put on cotton T and such. Called down for the ice, set up food snacks – opened door to balcony and hit the ice/sandwich bag filling task. I laid there with ice on head, legs, feet the rest of day – dosing off and on. My throat was extremely dry and I was hoarse from breathing. My head/face was very hot and had headache which makes me think I was dehydrated and next time will need to run with Camelback again. My face was still red the next morning.
I ate to my hearts content on Sunday in fact I kept my can of peanuts, cheese-its and fruit, on a tray in the bed with me…even while I slept – I know that’s weird, but too tired to get up to keep getting stuff or put back. Drank a lot of water/sport drink all day and night. Talked on the phone to family, friends and hotel staff to bring more ice – great hotel too.
I didn’t have as much swelling or after-affects of the event. Exhaustion topped the list…the kind of exhaustion that makes it hard to stay awake for more than 10 to 15 minutes at a time for 24 hours after the event. I’m still pretty tired but did go walking yesterday and flew out yesterday and now am home – happy to be home with family but sad it’s over and no more NYC 😦 . It always is sad to leave NYC.
Future Running When you run the course in Central Park, you go 2x around the Park and then another 1.1 miles to get to the finish. As you go into the finish line there’s a Y or V in the road. Those who finish go to the left and those still running for second lap stay to the right. I want to be in that group that goes to the left sooner. To do so, I will have to make a committment to continue running on a regular basis. I’m going to do it. I don’t know if I will do the half marathon next year…I may get the bug again come next fall. So I won’t rule it out. But I’m not sure at this point.
I’ll write more on the race and recovery in my next post.
Back to the Hotel Review of The Benjamin – Runners going to NYC for events – The Benjamin is the place to go. They have in-room ice makers! I still utilized room service to get more, but they brought them quickly and I used a lot too. Wonderful staff, and ask for a room with balcony – I was fortunate to get this because my room wasn’t ready. I left the door open the whole time. In the spring time in NYC the air is not on yet in rooms because it’s still 40 or 50 degrees outside. I’m always warm – I have to have cold air all the time. I spen 56 nights in 2010 in hotels- travel a decent amount – been to many hotels. This was trip #5 to NYC. I’ve stayed at Hilton NY, the Westin, Park Central, Marriott Marquis, but for me and my needs for this trip, the Benjamin was the right choice. I will never stay anywhere else when I go to NYC. It is in Midtown East, but I was everywhere I needed to be within a short walk. I did take cab to and from half marathon but besides the airport, that was the only time I did so. When in NYC…walk. You really see and experience the City more that way too. I love it! They have everything.
1. A “Pillow Menu” like no other hotel in U.S. I had a body pillow and a U shaped pillow along with others – no charge. I had my best nights sleep there – maybe even better than home. I will miss that bed and those pillows.
2. The coffee they offer for in-room coffee maker is wonderful – full bodied coffee – great flavor. Makes two cups at same time – perfect for me. Some hotels I’ve stayed at cut corners here and offer a lower quality coffee and the cream sometimes is terrible. Not here. They have the Carnation Cream cups (liquid not powder). Always had plenty.
3. In-room Frig with Ice Maker. This was the deal breaker for me or I should say deal-maker. It was just like the one we have in our freezer too. I was by myself and not crazy about making a lot of trips out of room for ice. The frig is a larger one than most hotel rooms offer it was about 4 feet tall and 3 feet wide (approx)roughly. I bought 2 bottles of water and continued refilling and placing in frig. In NYC you spend a fortune buying such things. I also found a local grocery store the first afternoon there. Stocked frig with yogurt, cheese, sport drink, water, etc. They also have dishes and utensils in room. Which I utilized alot. Also, purchased crackers, peanuts, cheese-its, fruit, potatoe chips, protein bars, etc. After returning to the room from the race, I didn’t leave it for 26 hours. The only room service I ordered was the extra buckets of ice. To be sure I wasn’t disturbed while sleeping, I hung the “Do Not Disturb” sign out on door. Family continued to call to check on me which was a good idea.
4. Balcony- This was wonderful. Not as much for the view but for the ability to have air into room. I was so hot after race and hotels always seem warm too me. That door remained open almost the whole time. In NYC hotel balcony with a room is a premium. I got it by default. God was looking out for me for sure. I would have been miserable without it as hot as I was after race especially. Most hotels in NYC as well as other places, only allow window to open, if at all…by an inch or two. Thus not conducieve to good air flow. The balcony was a decent size too. Probably 7 feet by 10 feet. It would easily accomodate four people.
5. Larger Desk with Very Comfy Chair – When not in bed, if in room I was at the desk with computer. This was a larger desk which was great.
6. Lit and Well Placed Pull Out Make Up Mirror – This was the best placed make up mirror of any hotel I’ve stayed at before. More than that, it was lit too. Most old hotels show their age in the bathroom. Not this one. All fixtures were updated and entire bathroom – marble. Extremely clean, extra glass and brass shelving and very efficient use of space for all items. I really liked the crystal candy dish with lid that had cotton balls and swabs. There were matching crystal soap dish, toiletries dish (my makeup went there) and water glasses (make up brushes and another for tooth paste and brush). I believe a woman must have designed this bathroom. Even in the shower/tub, a set of shelves for soap, shampoo, razor, etc. and for the men, a mirror – at face level if showering to allow for an in-shower shave.
8. Hotel Staff – Absolutely the best! Not one person in the 6 days there, was nothing less than very friendly and eager to be helpful. If going for a walk, the doorman offers you one of their umbrella’s too. The front desk staff, concierge, bell staff, housekeeping, all were happy to do absolutely anything and I felt like I wasn’t by myself at all – which in a larger hotel like the Hilton, Weston or Marriott, you don’t see same staff as often and in fact there is little contact with such. The Hilton though is nice because of all the restaurant and shops off of their lobby. The Marriott and Weston are in heart of Times Square so you walk out door and are there. The Hilton is closer to Central Park. While I still like those hotels, I really love The Benjamin. Then there’s the Park Central (our biggest mistake in 2008), the staff were actually not only unfriendly, but out-right rude at times. Room was very dated, dirty and warm. Only one elevator was in working order and that was even questionable. That was the only hotel stay in my life, that caused us to switch to another hotel in mid-stay. It was awful and I would not recommend it to anyone.