Bright Lights, Bigger City

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Here is my super embarrassing blog confession.  I could go to Soul Cycle's killer spin sessions every single day.  I could walk 15 miles around the city on a beautiful Saturday.  I am (a little bit lazy), but pretty tough.  But I absolutely am not a runner.  I really like the idea of running.  All these people just seem so happy lacing up their shoes and hitting the parks for peaceful, easy-looking runs.  I (sort of) want to be one of them.  I have no desire to run a marathon...those people are crazy.  I just feel like I should at least be able to run a mile without looking like Phoebe from friends and passing out halfway through.  My boss is a runner.  My BFF coworker became a runner.  They are very good at putting on the pressure/encouragement (or challenge and support, for all my higher ed friends).  

So I bought fancy new running shoes at Christmas, and then it proceeded to snow every single day in February.  I'm dedicated, but not that much.  Plus, I cannot run laps around a track or on a treadmill.  If I don't feel like I'm going somewhere, I get bored and stop.  I've been doing the first two weeks of the Couch to 5K app for the last four years...run a minute, walk two, repeat.  The longest I have ever run without stopping is half a mile, which occurred three weeks ago when it started raining in Riverside Park and I didn't want my iPhone to be ruined.  True story.

So then I signed up for a 5K, which I planned to run a very little bit and walk the rest.  Sunday morning, post two middle-of-the-night fire alarms, I found myself at Chelsea Piers very sleepy and very chilly.  It was six days after Boston, and I've never seen so many NYPD officers in one place at one time.  Every imaginable cop and counterterrorism officer was swarming the start line at 15th street and West Side Drive.  But if you know anything about New Yorkers, you know there's no stopping them, especially for something like the 9/11 Memorial 5K.

So I ran the first mile along the Hudson River and was really tired, but then I saw the one mile sign and was surprised I'd made it that far.  Wanting to see how far I could make it, I kept going toward the second mile sign.  That second mile that circled Battery Park City was a really stinking long mile.  Beautiful, but definitely longer than just the one mile.  I have yet to experience the so-called runners high, but there's nothing like running alongside the Manhattan skyline and turning the corner to see the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.  Then I hit the three mile sign and knew there was no stopping.  That last 0.1 miles?  Awful.  Definitely longer than they advertised.  But when hundreds of NYPD officers are lining the route, not just protecting you but cheering you on, it's sort of like turning the corner and seeing the Statue of Liberty.  Impossible to stop.

And after a week of terrible, horrible, no good very bad days, there's just something about crossing the finish line at the World Trade Center Memorial to put it all in perspective.  Obviously, I celebrated my accomplishment with Doughnut Plant and a brunch that lasted seven hours with my Okie-turned-West Village BFFs.  Brunching is absolutely what we New Yorkers do best.

Other than the adrenaline and the view, my perfect NYC run playlist pushed me through.  Here you go, for your running pleasure...

The actual 38.45 minutes of running...
She's Got Something (Greg Holden)
Bella's Finals: Price Tag/Don't You Forget About Me (Pitch Perfect Soundtrack)
We Found Love (Boyce Avenue)
On Broadway  (SMASH Cast)
Only in America (Brooks and Dunn)
Empire State of Mind (JAY Z)
Girl on Fire (Alicia Keys)
King of New York (Newsies Soundtrack)
American Girl (Tom Petty)
Trebles Finals: Bright Lights Bigger City/Magic (Pitch Perfect Soundtrack)
Home (Phillip Phillips) (which was playing as I crossed the finish line)

And the lazy walk home after wandering around the 9/11 Memorial songs...
Seasons of Love (Rent Original Broadway Cast)
New York State of Mind (Glee Version)
Human (The Killers)
Caught In The Storm (SMASH Cast)
Don't Stop The Music (Pitch Perfect Soundtrack)
Flyover States (Jason Aldean)
Since U Been Gone (Pitch Perfect Soundtrack)
Just The Way You Are/Just A Dream (Pitch Perfect Soundtrack)
Southern Comfort Zone (Brad Paisley)
We Are Young (Fun)
Breakfast At Tiffany's (Deep Blue Something)
Pictures of You (The Cure)

And if you happen to know how to make my legs stop hurting, please call me ASAP.

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