Thursday, September 18, 2008
So, I don't know how i got so lucky, but in the last year or less, I have had the honor of running with an amazing runner several times a week. Why she slows her pace to run with a Plebe like me, I will never know. Ani is part of the elite and very fast Central Park Track Club, but sometimes runs with Team Joe.
We are both training for the NYC Marathon that's coming up a little too quickly for my taste, and somehow we have become unlikely training partners. We have even started doing long runs together. In the past I have been "The Lone Runner" for such long and grueling times. One must really pick carefully who she will spend 2-3 1/2 hours with while achy, sweaty, smelly and downright grouchy. You may bond or bust over a 20-miler.
One of these times of testing came last Friday evening. Ani had had a great idea on Thursday, which was to get our 18 mile long run out of the way so that we could enjoy the rest of our weekend and sleep in. Sounded good to me.
Until...the rains started. Hurricane so-and-s0 made it's way up the Gotham. Ani and I texted each other throughout the day, "...Oh my G-d, we are gonna get drenched!"..."...you sure you want to go through with this?"... But in the end, we went bravely into the fray (notice the text gets more dramatic as we approach the crux of the story?).
So, off we went at 5pm, the hour when sane people start drinking, armed with only our shoes, our goos, and our song (more about that later).
First, we started with a warmup of 2 lower loops (1.7x2), then a full 6 mile loop, up "The Hill", all the while singing any and every song we could remember at the top of our lungs. We were almost entirely alone in the park, the other people seemingly fellow long-runners, probably insane thrill-seekers. Battling rain and shadows lurking behind trees(yes, I've been reading too much gothic English stuff), we made our way back down to 59th street to pick up another mentally-ill person, Mayumi, who ran one of the next 2 four-mile loops with us.
I would say the music died around Mile 14. Then there was just "silencio" and inner prayer.
Somehow we made it all the way to mile 18, when I realized I had run an extra 1/2 mile froom my house! Yes, the 1/2 matters, just like the 1/4 inch that matters when asked how tall I am (5' 1& 3/4'').
Ani and I are still friends, tested but intact! Stay tuned to hear about our next long run "The 20 Mile Monster" coming up this coming Sunday.
And that, my friends in where the story ends...
Until I went out an hour later and ate Paella for 2 and a plate of Chorizo and Manchego and beer. Somehow, that made it all worthwhile! See link above!