On I went, out of the wood, passing the man leading without knowing I was going to do so. Flip-flap, flip-flap, jog-trot, jog-trot, curnchslap-crunchslap, across the middle of a broad field again, rhythmically running in my greyhound effortless fashion, knowing I had won the race though it wasn't half over, won it if I wanted it, could go on for ten or fifteen or twenty miles if I had to and drop dead at the finish of it, which would be the same, in the end, as living an honest life like the governor wanted me to. -Alan Sillitoe, "Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner"

Monday, September 19, 2011

Run Like Hell

I didn't run Yonkers. You all gave me great advice (most of which was "run it"), and I wanted to. I really wanted to. But then, I wanted to sleep in Sunday more, and it was glorious. What a perfect, wonderful day after an awesome night of sleep. Yonkers would have meant waking up around 5 to get the train; instead, I woke up hours later and ran 11.5m with Tara. We ran into Ali, and you should totally buy one of her I (heart) Sweat shirts if you haven't already. True: I wore mine today and got three compliments on it. Also true: one of those three was Ali, and only one of those three was potentially creepy (that one was not Ali).

Then, Sunday evening, I ran with Lance Armstrong. Well, sort of. I mean, I was there, Lance was there, and after an amazing and astounding 90 minute wait, we ran.

Is that Lance?
Or maybe that's Lance?
The organizers of the event had some problems, namely that Lance was flying into NYC and his plane was late (or so they told us, but only after the run started). In the meantime, we all just stood around, cold, acting like Lance Armstrong was worth waiting for.

Once Lance arrived with an entourage and loads of fanfare, we had a police escort to the West Side Highway. Sort of. They had told us to expect pace groups from 7 to 12 minute miles. I finished the 3.7m run with solid 10 minute miles and there were only two or three people behind me - and certainly no pacers. I saw the police escort for but a brief few seconds before I was on my own. (Not actually on my own: I had some lovely company in two new friends, Ellen and Juliana.)

These banners lined the course.

I'll admit; I was irritated that Lance made me wait 90 minutes. I haven't waited that long for a brief celebrity sighting since the Spice Girls were in Chicago in 1998 and I stood outside to see them ride past in their bus (do the math and you'll discover that I was much too old to be chasing the Spice Girls in 1998). The organizers probably could have kept us better informed about the situation, but hey: free is free, and you get what you pay for.

Or more than what you pay for, as the case may be. The run ended at a club where we drank fancypants juice drinks while consuming tasty appetizers. They even gave us a shirt - and it was nice! Dri-fit with a cute logo of a running Empire State Building.
Oh, the irony. Listening to Lance Armstrong talk about diabetes prevention while I reach for my third coconut milk drink to wash down a slider, chicken fingers, and fried wontons. Happy birthday, Lance, and thanks for the party!


  1. You waited 89 minutes longer than I would have. My logical brain recognizes that Lance does good things for good causes but my emotional one thinks he's a self-serving egotistical dickhead who left his wife and children for a rockstar and probably cheated his way through life. Not that he didn't have to put in massive work to get to be good enough to bother cheating.

  2. Honestly, I'm not entirely sure why I waited. At first I was just having fun, talking to the women I was with. Then when it had been half an hour, then 45 minutes... you get to a point where you've waited so long, you may as well keep waiting. Everything I've heard about him suggests that he's a total ass, I agree.

  3. I, too, would have been peeved about a 90-minute wait. At least you got a t-shirt and some food out of it!

  4. I think at some point we were just too stubborn to STOP waiting -- sort of a "Well, we can't say we put in all this time to NOT see him."

    Tracy, you forgot to mention the part where they made us stand aside so Sir Lance and his lackeys could cut through us into the club! We got him back with the desserts though. It was a fun night, overall.

  5. Not to mention that you ladies are a good influence on me time-wise! Lots of fun even with all of the time standing around Columbus Circle.

  6. I hate Lance Armstrong. I would have been super pissed about a 90 minute wait. And i would have been the bitch that brought up the fact they were serving me fried food post run when he was talking about diabetes.

    Is it obvious why I didn't go? :p