Week catchup: NYC, Admission, & crazy runner thoughts…

It’s been over a week since I wrote my half marathon recap, and with good reason! Lots of time to spend living life, not so much time to write about it. After the race I was understandably tired, but nothing was overly sore and I didn’t have pain anywhere. I took a day off and a day of swimming, and was already itching to run again come Wednesday! Our rep from The North Face, Helen, visited on Tuesday night to tell us all about Flashdry technology – really cool stuff, you should try Better Than Naked if you haven’t yet! Helen mentioned that she was heading up to our two New York stores the next morning, and I casually asked, “Can I come?” I was only half serious, but this query somehow landed me on the 9:04 train to NY Penn Station. Works for me.

NYC for the day

So, we went Running Company hopping. It is significantly less fun than bar hopping, but still mildly entertaining. It is always fun (for me…) to visit other stores and see what they are doing differently, or similarly, to us. Also, the New York stores always have wider clothing selections than us, so I tried on some apparel pieces we don’t carry just for fun…like the Oiselle Diamond Roga Short and The North Face Better Than Naked Jacket (love this). I also helped merchandise, because why not. One of our stores is in the Time Warner Center, the other on the Upper East Side, so we cut through Central Park on our walk over there. Note: this was not very efficient, but it was pretty. Especially if you pretend it was twenty degrees warmer than it actually was.

Central Park on the first day of spring! 48 degrees, nice and balmy....

Central Park on the first day of spring! 48 degrees, nice and balmy….

We ran into a strange sight on the way into the park, though…not totally unusual for NYC, but this was probably the creepiest thing I have witnessed. At first it was cute and confusing…and then it was creepy and confusing….

SO MANY BUNNIES! I think one of them is doing Gangnam Style?

One of them walked right up to me; his name tag said Uncle Bob. I was eating a banana and he seemed to want to make a comment about it. Helen almost gave him my other banana, but I’m glad she didn’t because it was quite literally all the food I had for the day.

IMG-20130320-01820One final shot before we ran away from the bunnies:

I fear for the life of that girl trying to weave through them.

I fear for the life of that girl trying to weave through them.

So, what was all this madness? I looked it up on the train ride home, and apparently it;s the Easter Bunny saying “sorry” for giving kids junky candy for all these years. When you don’t know about this campaign ahead of time…well, this bunny congregation is mad creepy.

The trip to NYC was very short, but before I left I got a chance to run for about an hour through Central Park from the Eastside store. I was hoping to run with my former coworker Matt, but they couldn’t spare a person to runch with me. 😦  I will spare the details of what happens when you run in shorts three days after major chafing from a race. It’s a messy subject, a lot of bandages were involved, and that’s all I’ll say about that (I am now fine, fortunately).

Admission

The movie Admission premiered on Friday, March 22. I had no idea this was the case, since I just consider going to see any movie in the theater out of my budget priorities right now. But on Thursday night, I happened to be on the street with two friends, ready to head home around 11:30pm, when I noticed a huge crowd outside the theater. We soon realized it was for Admission, the Tina Fey and Paul Rudd movie about Princeton. Students were offered free tickets to the premiere, but the one grad student who was with us at the time said he wasn’t there to pick one up, and they had “sold” out. We decided to go see what the deal was regardless. And…got on a waiting list! I was exhausted and would have never ordinarily opted to see a midnight showing of anything, but…we were here, so why not?

The line outside the theater.

The line outside the theater.

Princeton City-20130321-01830We ended up in the front row…there were freezing cold vents in front of us, and I had popcorn for dinner. I don’t even like popcorn. Other than all that, the movie was good! And free. Watching it among undergrads was an experience in itself – listening to the hoots and hollers when certain buildings were shown for the first time, or when statements were made about Princeton. I am definitely glad I did this, despite the sleep I lost! I’m not sure when I’ll see a midnight showing again, but probably not for awhile….

Crazy thoughts

So, I titled the last part of this post “crazy runner thoughts.” Let me elaborate. Have you ever accomplished something a step ahead of what you thought you might be capable of? Or even just raced a new distance and felt great? Every runner experiences a certain level of satisfaction, but it wears off, and it comes and goes in waves. Runners are ambitious people who enjoy a challenge like <insert clever pop culture analogy, I’m getting tired here>. My point is, we crave more. We also set goals, and not just write them on paper or tell a friend, but consciously or subconsciously live that wonderful future moment in our minds as we do so, and in our legs as we finish up any ordinary run. I’ve felt it before, dozens of times. Most recently: when I did the PI mile in 5:53 in December and it felt great, I immediately thought, how fast could I have ran a 3200 in if I had kept going? After a 5×1200 workout, would I be able to reach the 6k goal time I had set for myself in college right now if I ran a little slower and strung all those together? After the 30-minute tempo: How fast could I run a 5k right now if I just ran a 5k at the pace I actually raced in November? Things like that.  After the half marathon, it was only natural for me to think similar crazy thoughts. Like:

(Note the hill…now you understand.)

– What if I kept going and ran the whole thing over again for 26.2?

– How much longer could I have kept up an average pace of 7:08/09?

– What if I just doubled that whole race exactly and ran a 3:07 marathon? WHOAAAA that’s crazy to even think about (but I did).

– If I could have ran 4 more miles at that pace with some water in me (this is how I answered the second question), how much faster could I have ran the actual half marathon itself?

– Someday, could I run 1:30 on a flatter course? On this one?

– Someone (an experienced-marathoner someone, I mean) told me a good marathon prediction time is HM x 2 + 10…3:17? What if I actually could do that?

Just a snapshot of what popped into my head the few days after the race. One thing is certain: training doesn’t lie. If your training is going really well, like mine was and is, and there are no signs of nagging pain or impending injury, it is highly unlikely that you will suffer from horrible ailments during the race. The race is more likely than not going to go very similar to how your training went. This is a new concept to me, and I’m not sure why since when I think back, it was always true.

CR1So now that the race is over and I survived the week after just fine (though that NYC run was a killer – I was still so tired and had no idea until I started running), it’s time to take “what’s next” seriously. I have had a “secret plan” for a couple months now, and it is sneaking up on me really quickly. So quickly, in fact, that I’ll need to make a major decision about it within four days. I am currently 95% in favor of choosing yay over nay. An extra 5% may have come today from my friends Brennan and Selena, who registered for their first marathons today and GOT IN to the 2013 Marine Corps Marathon (despite horrible server issues, phew)!!!

My own announcement to come soon! As well as a post about my long run, which should go hand-in hand nicely…. 🙂

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