Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
I saw the inside of 8 different airports last week. Some more than once. Remind me not to become a traveling salesperson.
Things I learned in my travels:
1. I know way more Stevie Wonder songs than I thought.
2. Waterloo is a significant technology hub (give me a break, I haven't lived there for over 10 years).
3. The martinis at Pantages Martini Bar & Lounge in Toronto are small and overpriced (and damn that strong Canadian dollar!).
4. The martinis at Vault Martini in Portland are generous and cheap.
5. Portland has the largest number of strip clubs per capita in any American city. It also has a naughty and delicious doughnut shop whose slogan is, "The magic is in the hole."
6. The weirdos on the West coast are way weirder than the weirdos on the East cost. Seriously. West Coast Weirdos (WCW) want to be weird WITH you, or to you. East Coast Weirdos (ECW) are just off being weird to themselves. I much prefer the latter.
Now, onto the holiday season - which, for my Canadian readers, begins here in the US of A this weekend with
I've decided that this will be the Winter of Dance! On Saturday night I went with some friends to a Salsa lesson/dance evening in Seattle, and it was super fun. Tonight I attended my first belly dancing lesson, where I learned that I have mad pelvic skills (a fact that will go on my dating resume) and how to make figure-eights with my breasts (a fact that will NOT go on my dating resume). I'm going to try to find a super, ultra beginner hip hop class, too, and maybe when I go to Argentina next month (oh, did I mention I'm going to Argentina next month, and you're not? SUCKA!) I'll try some Tango.
I've also acquired a set of Pimsleur Spanish CDs - who knows, perhaps UFF will become multilingual.
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
UFF is taking it on the road - today I'm in Toronto, aka T-Dot (if you live here) and T-Not (if you don't and think it's ridiculously expensive). Yesterday was spent in the booming metropolis of Waterloo, and tonight I head to Portland, Oregon for my first visit to that fine city. It's all worky, unfortunately - even my parental visits were limited to brief hugs, but I'll be back just in time for the X.
I'm off to ride the TTC. Later skaters.
Friday, November 09, 2007
The morning started out with subway, ferry and bus rides to get me from Brooklyn to the race staging area at Fort Wadsworth, Staten Island. I didn't really know what to expect except a lot of waiting. Over my race clothes I wore sweat pants and 3 long-sleeved shirts, one of which I planned to start running in and dispose of on the course (all the clothing discarded by runners at the race start is donated to various charities). I couldn't get in touch with my fellow TNTers (um, guys?) and so I mostly killed time by observing my fellow runners in various states of race preparation (for example, applying band-aids to their nipples). I was in the Green start (I guess the race organizers didn't hear about my special relationship with orange) and lined up according to my race number - 33488, and right near the back of the pack. After the gun went off at 10:10, it took me approx. 45 minutes to even cross the start line! The first 2 miles were over the Verrazzano Bridge and the views were amazing - many people stopped to take pictures. I was mostly trying not to go out too fast, which is something I often do and knew would be a big challenge with the energy of the crowds in Brooklyn.
A friend who's run NYC twice had told me that for the first 8 miles you don't even notice you're running, and he was totally right. By the time I got to Park Slope (my old 'hood), I just felt like I was at some awesome party that had been thrown in my honour and was attended by 40,000 of my closest friends. I barely glanced at my watch for the first 10 miles.
As I'd practiced in training, I kept scanning my body to see how I was feeling. And to my great surprise, I kept feeling good! I passed my head cheerleaders just before Mile 14 (and about a mile before the Queensborough Bridge, which is also the biggest hill on the course), and while I'd planned to stop and chat with them for a few minutes, I felt so good that I smiled and waved, grabbed my Gu, and kept right on running. (Insert Forrest Gump jokes here.)
The biggest surprise on the course came in crossing the dreaded bridge at Mile 16. I'd run it twice in practice and both times had felt completely whiny about it. On Sunday when I started that climb, I honest-to-god did NOT know that I was even on THE bridge. I even heard other people saying, "Oh, we're on THE bridge" and I remember thinking, "Suckas, this isn't THE bridge - save it." Then - I was in Manhattan! And I was like, hey! That was THE bridge! Good times.
First Avenue was indescribable - imagine 4 usually-busy lanes of a NYC street, closed to only runners, and cheering crowds at least 4 people deep on either side. It was incredible. I kept realizing that I was smiling and happy, and in the few moments I felt bad I remember thinking, "Holy crap! I'm running the NYC Marathon!" and when I was tempted to walk I'd add, "There's no walking in marathons!"
I'm SO grateful to everyone who came out to cheer, especially Bob, Joel, Andrea, Justin, Leslie (& Kerner), Dog, Sparkly D (who extra-rocks for flying from Toronto for the occasion), Bri, and the extra-special straight-from-Waterloo AS A SURPRISE Sweet Sirrah! herself, of whom I am entirely proud not only for an uncharacteristic show of spontaneity but for buying a ticket ON THE INTERNET. Thanks also to everyone who was hitting their browsers' refresh buttons to find out where I was on the course. (Technology rules.)
A few months ago I talked to another runner who'd run a few marathons, and she claimed there's nothing like the feeling you get when you cross your first marathon finish line. I think I'd add to that, there's nothing like the feeling you get when you cross your first NYC Marathon finish line.
More photos to come... I'm sure I've missed stuff that's interesting so post questions in the comments and I'll do my best to answer them (come on, someone ask me about the nipple band-aids!).
Thursday, November 08, 2007
Just how many blog entries can I milk from running a marathon?
I promise a recap, then onto other fun things, including but not limited to belly-dancing classes and making my own sourdough starter.
Today, though, the photos are up, and they are so great that I'm entirely tempted to spend $95 for the CD of all of them!
A few faves:
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
A full recap of my experience running the NYC Marathon is in the works - for now you'll have to settle for this small victory (image compliments of LaFarlow):
(As I crossed the finish line I heard someone say, "Hey, Tom Cruise is over there!" and I literally thought, "F*ck Tom Cruise.")