Lonely Loopster at the Manhattan Half

Awesome loopmeets leave holes in my heart. A few days after Nashville, LoopPhest started to form. After Loophest, I needed a rebound…BAD. So when the Manhattan Half registration opened, I was tempted. It was espcially tempting because a little injured bird was recruiting every East Coast loopette to come too. 
It was only $40 and I have a ton of friends in NYC that I dont see often enough. Race and party? That’s what I do.
 
My roommate/houseguest (remember that friend who came to spend the night in mid-novemeber? She’s still in my guest bedroom) said she wanted to come and do her first half marathon and hang out. Another friend said she wanted to come and just hang out. Three chicks makes for a good road trip. 
 
Things started to fall apart the week of the race. 
 
Tuesday: Non-running friend backed out
Wednesday: Greg tells me his bad news
Thursday: Ugh. We were supposed to leave Thursday afternoon but there was a chain of events that lead to us deciding to leave Friday morning and staying in Raleigh for a Thirsty Thursday drink. 
Friday morning we were on Honduran Time, which meant leaving WAY later than planned. Luckily Greg was nice enough to pick up our packets. Between our late arrival and phone malfunctions, I missed seeing Greg and Kettia that night 😦
Saturday: Winter decided to hit NYC.
 
Race was downgraded to a fun run. As a Non-NYRR…I had no idea what that meant. I thought that still meant timed. 
 
Then the Loopster Roll Call was obsolete (pics are gray to express my sadness they were missing):
 
Greg’s back dumped him 
 
Kettia said “No” to snow. 
 
Steph was super sick, but probably still smiling. 
 
Ms Ritz crossed one of the 80 things off her to do list that day and slept
 
 So I was a pretty lonely Loopster doing my first real run in the snow 😦 Big ups to Greg who came all the way uptown early that morning to bring my girl and me our bibs and, uncessary, chips. He made sure we got to the start, but was in no shape to cheer. It mad me sad he couldn’t participate, but it made me want to focus on the positives – or just search for some.
 
Pretty good turn out for a fun run
 
My first run in NYC, my first run in the snow, and my friend’s first half…but it wasnt going to be timed so there’d be no record we were ever there. I admit I was, and still am, a bit bummed…but it was hard to feel too down after seeing an awesome runner have pain while walking.
 
 
I’m the one who looks like the Eskimo boy. 
 
The first lap was surreal. It was hard to remember I was in NYC. The snow on the ground muted the sound of feet hitting the pavement. You dont realize how loud the start of a race is until the sound of hundreds of footsteps go missing. The weather blocked the skyline so it looked like a normal run through the woods of NC, except NC was in the 60s that weekend. Dogs and children played all around us and you didn’t hear the normal city noises. I half expected Buddy The Elf to jump out of the winter wonderland and throw a snowball at me. 
 
Non-Competitive Run = Competitve Ugly Face Contest. Who won?
 
After the first lap I heard mutiple announcements. One man said we were supposed to exit the park, that the race was shutting down. Another said we had the option to finish 7 miles and call it a day or we could keep going. Everyone around me said “Never!”, “I’m just not getting warm”, etc, etc. Not that I was even tempted to cut the run short, but it inspried my friend to want to keep going. In fact, she said she was cold and wanted to move faster to warm up. I let her go. I didn’t want to push my pace…I just wanted to have fun. 
 
It was miserable.
 
You know know I have a random internet photo to describe what I see in this pic.
 
Original was NSFW so I edited. Please fill in the blank. 
 
The snowfall during the race made the 2nd lap way harder. It has hard to find traction. It was like running in sand. Slipery sand. Hitting Harlem, the hill I didnt notice on the first lap felt like I was sliding back every time I tried to move forward. Luckily there was a guy in a Philly shirt…so we chatted for about a mile. I never got his name, but it def helped me regain my happy place, thinking of my good times in Philly. I thought about my lovely friend, MK, and how she would probably consider it warm. I was frozen, but I was doing a fun run in NYC!
 
 
By mile 11 we were in single tracks, following the best route to get through the tundra. It was about as hard as a trail race to pass people and I wished I had brough trail shoes (I was stoopidly in Kinvaras). Around mile 12 a man on a megaphone announced that we needed to turn off, it was too slippery to continue. Poor guy – I dont think one person listened to him. He was right though. The last mile was a death trap. It took all the stability muscles in my body to keep myself from falling. But I didn’t fall. 
 
Garmin has me doing my slowest road half since my first My friend finished almost 2 minutes a head of me. I’m so proud of her. We would have taken pics but we were frozen and had to find our way back to our friend’s apt. 
 
The next few days were pretty cool. Greg and I made a mandatory LBC diner visit. And since some loopsters insist on meeting and not taking pics (Dan and Shaun!!), here is the evidence – 
 
 That’s Liquid Gold in my hand. Literally. And it’s delicious. 
 
In hindsight it was all fun. It’s funny how the mind plays tricks on you like that. I tend to remember the people in races more than anything…and there’s something about running in bad weather that makes runners, volunteers, cheerleaders more awesome. Everyone makes more of an effort to cheer for you. It brought back memories of CMM 2010 just before they shut the race down – the more miserable the conditions, the nicer people became. People seem to be more selfish in fair weather.
 
That being said, Northern Lass and I have a 50k on Saturday and we’re hoping for mean, selfish people at our race….because right now it’s gonna be 40s/50s with rain. Booo!! 
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