I surprised Mrs. Nitmos with a birthday trip. It’s a special birthday for her so I wanted to do something, er, special. Considering the temperature is once again regularly dipping into the 30’s around here, did I take her somewhere warm with sun-bleached canopies, margaritas, and thong bikinis (and mankinis)? Cancun? Jamaica?
Nah, I took her to a city. A cold and windy city. A city on the same basic geographic parallel as our home. And just to up the ante, we flew in moments after a second bomb scare closed down the streets near our destination hotel. That’s right, New York City! Happy birthday! (Try not to get exploded.)
We stood in Detroit Metro airport watching the coverage of the mysterious ownerless cooler in Times Square hoping to catch sight of our hotel somewhere in the background. And hoping they wouldn’t honor our ‘front of the house’ view request. Somewhere towards the back would be okay after all. Somewhere faaaar away from exploding SUVs.
Having never been to NY before, we did the whole tourist thing. We’re talking Times Square (multiple times – Mom didn’t raise many smart ones), Statue of Liberty, Empire State building, WTC site, subway rides, and a minor communicable eye infection.
Scouting the NYC Marathon course
As a runner, I find that every vacation turns into an advanced scouting expedition for a future race. We were standing atop the Empire State Building and I found myself taking note of the Verrazano-Narrows and Queensboro bridges as well as the location of the 5 boroughs and what I remembered of the NYC Marathon course map. You know what? When looking at the course from 86 stories up, a marathon is a long freakin’ way.
The highlight for Mrs. Nitmos was the Wicked show at the Gershwin. I was able to get tickets close enough where the actors spit wasn’t landing on our heads but yet we could still smell what they had for lunch. The next night we rocked out to Green Day’s new American Idiot show. Loud. Flashing lights. And I was flipped off at least 15 times. Yes, awesome! Green Day’s drummer snuck in just before curtain and sat a row behind us…then disappeared again just before the end.
We paid entirely too much for dinner at various NY hot spots. The delicious taste of ocean trout and lamb chops slide down my gullet with only a tinge of regret for the college my kids won’t now experience. But, not to worry, the key lime pie dessert made me forget completely about it/them. The image of their sad little uneducated faces obliterated by a bulging belly and a gaseous burp.
We were at Monday’s Letterman show. Unfortunately, some American Karaoke reject was signing. He was also close enough to smell his lunch. It smelled like nervousness.
I was most happy to see that there is still someplace in this world that you can buy 5 t-shirts for $10.99. Of course, all of the shirts say I (heart) NY. We didn’t buy any because we didn’t want to commit to that level of relationship with New York. If New York’s best friend passed me a note asking me to check a box if I Liked NY or Like Liked NY, I’d probably check the Like NY box then giggle, try to contain my excitement and slide it back.
Imagine...not standing on the memorial.
We walked pretty much everywhere except for a couple subway rides to the far flung lower Manhattan sites. By the last day, Mrs. Nitmos and I were thinking about running a few miles in Central Park. For us Midwesterners, how often do you get to do this? Well, for these Midwesterners, it will have to wait awhile. It was cold and windy and, frankly, our legs were tired and bodies weary. We walked around Central Park for a couple of hours on sore and dead legs but no running.
I can run for hours but walking can be a real chore sometimes.
All in all, it was a good trip. We didn’t explode. We also came home with red, wind-burned faces which, if viewed with squinty eyes in a bathroom mirror, look quite a bit like a Caribbean sunburn.
After 6 days of hardcore taper (i.e. no running), it was back to business yesterday. 6 miles with a 3x800 mixed in (2:47, 2:48, 2:48) and a finishing 400m kick @ 1:16. Taper on!