19 X 3 (Or Whatever It Takes)

We ran nineteen miles this morning. By accident.

We were planning on running Greta’s Great Gallop, a New York Road Runner’s sponsored half marathon. But given that the marathon is just five weeks away, we decided to do eighteen. So we Googled some distances, and decided to run from East 71st Street to 111th, west to Fifth Avenue, then south to the start of the race on 72 Street in Central Park — six miles. When we got to Central Park and picked up our race packets, I turned to Abbi and said, “Oh my gosh, six plus thirteen in nineteen!”

Now, that extra mile probably doesn’t sound like much to you, but things start turning strange after about fifteen. It’s not really about muscles aching, it’s about 1200 pounds of impact with every footfall. It’s about nausia and dizziness. It’s about throbbing and burning and shooting pains in your hips, ankles, knees, and arches.

Oh, and it was pouring rain.

Still, we did nineteen miles in 3:01:13.

Afterwards, we cleaned up and headed over to my mom’s to have brunch with Chris, Jen, Ethan and Edward. When I first spotted E, I knelt down and opened my arms wide. He ran into them, I hugged him close, then fell over backwards — on purpose. “Do it again!” he said. After four more of these collisions, though, I didn’t have any energy left. (I found some later to toss him into the air, that us, until Abbi and Jen shot me dirty looks for getting him riled up just before nap time.)

By four o’clock, the sun was out and the sky was blue. We elevated our feet, stretched even more still, popped some Advil, then set out for a three mile walk through the park. Once on the East Side, we stopped into an Irish pub, and knocked back a few Harp.

It’s late now. My hips still hurt. But I’m happy. I feel kinda strong, actually. I know I can tack on another 10k ont to what I did and finish off the marathon in pretty good time. Even if I don’t, I feel pretty bad ass for running nineteen miles — the distance from here to Alpine, NJ — before most people even hit Starbucks or cracked the Times.

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