The half-marathon is six days away. I'm excited, and nervous, and ready. It starts at 7am, but it's suggested that runners arrive by 6am in order to negotiate the other 15,000 person sea of chaos that will be the start of the race. That sounds early, even to me. I don't anticipate sleeping soundly the night before. I'm guessing it will be more like the night before catching a 4am flight or the first day of a new school year. But, the nerves and adrenaline are all part of the experience, not to be disparaged, since they help propel you to the finish line.
Yesterday marked the last long run of my training. Greg and I ran 10 miles together from our apartment in Brooklyn all the way to where he works on West 57th Street in Manhattan. He ran this same route as a portion of a longer run last weekend, and later quipped that it would be considerably faster for him to run to work than to take the train. Not really a thing either of us would want to do every day before work, though.
As always, I enjoyed the tourist-as-runner experience of the new route. It's so pleasant to pass from one neighborhood to the next, encountering significant landmarks on the way, seeing a city I've lived in for seven years from an entirely new perspective. We passed over the Gowanus Canal into Redhook, then headed north through Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, and Brooklyn Heights. From there we crossed over the Brooklyn Bridge--magnificent as always. I've only slowly ambled across before, never run. The sky and water were both shockingly blue and I kept turning my head right and left to take in the view on either side: of boats and buildings. Problem being that it's difficult to run forward and not crash into bikers or other runners while doing this. Definitely worth the risk, though. Once on the other side, we crossed lower Manhattan via City Hall and then headed north for another few miles on the West Side Highway running path. The path parallels a park that runs along the Hudson River, so the route is populated with docks, gardens, artistic places to sit while you take in the view, and a billion other runners. That's something I really enjoy about running: even though it's solitary in so many ways, encountering other runners reminds you that you're part of a larger community.
Last weekend I ran my longest distance ever: 11 miles. In the past four weeks I've run 90 miles. I can pull off 13.1 on Saturday, right? Eep...
In school we've been studying comedy, satire specifically. Last week the kids completed a new and experimental project in my class. Each 9th grade class section had to create an Onion-like satirical newspaper from scratch, without any guidance from me. After introducing the challenge to them, I put on a sticker that read "I am invisible," at which point they could not talk to me, nor I to them. It all went astoundingly well; my biggest complaint is that I was bored out of my mind. But the kids, they were amazing. At the start of class Friday, each section handed me a beautiful satirical paper, written collectively by their section. The 10th graders have agreed to judge the papers this week--I'm curious to see their assessment. This whole experiment was merely a trial run for the project the kids will begin this week: producing and pitching a new comedy show. Oh my. I'll keep you updated.
P.S.--These are my running shoes, which I love and adore.
Harissa Chicken with Leeks and Potato
4 days ago