Every night for the last four days I’ve hit the pillow completely exhausted, which is why you haven’t heard from me in a week. I wanted to feel bad about missing my posting schedule but then I remembered I’m only human and life happens and sometimes deadlines pass and that’s okay. I just need to work on getting ahead of my posting schedule so busy weeks like this one don’t get in the way of growing this platform to where I want it to be. But anyway.
Clouds covered New York City today, the sky has been spitting on and off for hours, and I’ve decided to have a relaxing evening in my apartment with some wine and takeout. My aunt Brenda, who was visiting, is on a plane back to Salt Lake City as I write this and I’m ready to get back to my routine. But first I have to come down from the high that was this past weekend.
A lot has happened since the last time we talked. I ran the Brooklyn Half Marathon, saw two shows, had a picnic in Washington Square Park, finally checked a popular rooftop bar off of my NYC to do list, and I watched my Green Bay Packers kick some serious ass from behind the bar at the Waylon. My muscles are sore, my bucket list is empty of a few items, and I feel unstoppable.
So let’s talk about the half marathon. My first half marathon. I’m calling it my first because it won’t be my last. I’ll be honest, in the past I’ve never understood why people put themselves through something as grueling and unnecessary as a fully optional 13.1 mile run (that you actually have to pay for.) But now I get it.
On Saturday, I got myself up at 5 o’clock in the morning to make it to Prospect Park for the marathon’s 7 o’clock start time. As I was leaving the Grand Army Plaza train station, I lost myself in the sea of people: everyone there for a different reason and yet all working towards the same goal. I looked around at my fellow runners and felt nothing but inspiration, support, and the overwhelming sense that we were all in it together.
We were running the same race, nothing else seemed to matter.
I started the run having no idea how long my adrenaline would last or how far my will would take me. My training schedule for the last few months has been erratic and inconsistent, so I was sure I’d struggle through the entire thing. I went through a cycle of emotions during those 13.1 miles, all attacking me in waves that were coming and going as quickly as my heart was beating.
I can vividly remember every mile. Going into mile three I felt unstoppable, like there was no way I couldn’t do it. By mile 7 I felt determined, knowing I was half way there felt like an accomplishment on its own. By mile 10 I was defeated, my back was aching and my knees were barking in defiance. By mile 12, I was ready to give up. I was sure that my body couldn’t go any further. That was until my friend Andy (who convinced me to sign up for the damn thing in the first place) came back for me after he had finished the race. He helped me push through that last mile, even though he’ll never accept the credit for it.
Crossing the finish line brought every single feeling I had felt during each of the 13.1 miles right to the surface. To say it was extremely emotional is an understatement. I was exhausted and exhilarated all at the same time. I felt like I had unlocked a part of myself that I didn’t know was there. I finished the run in 2 hours and 23 minutes, far less than the 3 hours I assumed it would take me. Accomplishing something so challenging before most people had finished their Saturday morning coffee was a feeling I may have accidentally gotten addicted too.
The Brooklyn Half Marathon was just the beginning though, and I have barely stopped moving since I crossed the finish line. Saturday night I went with my aunt and my boyfriend to see The Sound Inside on Broadway which was so spectacular, it didn’t matter that I was exhausted from my early morning wake up call.
I don’t see nearly as many shows as I would like to, mostly because I simply can’t justify the expense on a regular basis. Having visitors in town, though, always makes it easier to force myself. I was lucky enough to have my aunt get us tickets to The Sound Inside and Sleep No More – both of them are must-see’s if you’re looking for a good show in New York.
We also treated ourselves to dinner at Gallow Green before Sleep No More, which has been on my New York bucket list for awhile. It’s an insanely beautiful rooftop bar decorated with seasonal plants and fully decked out in its Autumn best. They had pumpkins, hay stacks, and corn stalks covering the entire place. Oh, and the best Key Lime Pie I’ve ever had.
My absolute favorite thing we did though was a picnic in Washington Square Park on Friday afternoon. I finally got to use my picnic basket and I made my aunt and I some veggie sandwiches and we drank sparkling cider and soaked up some chilly fall weather. The park was booming with people even with a chill in the air, and I had one of those perfect New York City moments that I had always dreamed about having before I lived here.
I want to dive deeper into the weekend and go into so much detail about the delicious food we ate, the amazing talks I had with my aunt and all the wonderful events that unfolded over her visit but sometimes the details don’t matter. We didn’t take many pictures and didn’t share things on social media, but I think that’s what happens when you’re really living life. When you’re too busy laughing to look at your phone. When you’re too busy chatting to take a picture. That’s the stuff that really matters.