Tuesday, July 12, 2011

NYC: the City that never sleeps

I went to New York City last weekend. The USATF Club Nationals for outdoor track was there, and I wanted to go break 18 minutes in the 5k. It had a lot of fast women in it, and I figured I could shadow their pace. There were some logistical complications to the weekend though.

Scott had his 8-hour-long Step II board exam on Saturday (which he aced, by the way), leaving me on kid duty. I decided to make a trip out of it and I booked bus tickets, contacted a friend to babysit while I ran, another friend to stay with, and made a short list of things we wanted to do in NYC.

We left on Friday night after Baby J went home. The bus was sold out, packed with college kids heading to NYC to party for the weekend. We sat in the back next to a group of students who were pretty nice; one switched seats so Bruce and I could sit next to each other, and another let Bruce play Angry Birds on her cell phone until the battery died. The trip was supposed to take 4 hours, but because of some nasty traffic near the city it took almost 6. Phoebe fell asleep for 2 hours on the bus and Bruce fell asleep just a few minutes before we arrived. I woke Bruce up because I couldn't carry him (I had a 40-pound backpack on me already and was pushing Phoebe in a stroller), and led him on a zombie march to the train and to my friend's house. Bruce crashed on the couch and Phoebe and I flopped onto an air mattress.

Phoebe woke up when we'd exited the bus. She perked up even more when she saw baby toys at Breanne's. It was a challenge to get her to sleep on an air mattress next to toys. She finally fell asleep around 2:30, and I got some sporadic sleep between her flopping around and eventually settling between my legs for the night. As always, Bruce and Phoebe woke up at 6 a.m. Ugh.

We took two buses to get to the stadium and then collapsed in the bleachers with sidewalk chalk, balls, and other items to keep the kiddos busy. Elisabeth came at 9:15 to watch the kids, so I dragged myself out for a warmup. I was absolutely exhausted anyway, but then I got a stomach cramp and stopped about every quarter mile to stretch and knead the knot out of my tummy. The heat and humidity didn't help. Oh no, I thought. I've never had to quit in a race before. But this could be the one.

I toed the starting line next to a bunch of fast ladies and the gun went off. I avoided looking at my watch, fearing what my lap splits would be. The first mile went by in 5:55 and my stomach cramp subsided. I still felt exhausted, but at this point I wanted to finish and I thought it'd be a bonus if I wasn't last. The second mile felt harder, but was slower in 6:04. I managed to pass a few people in the last mile and ran about 6:00. I ended up running 18:42 for 12th place, waaay off my goal pace.

I finished. I wasn't last.

But dragging the kids to NYC for an 18:42 wasn't exactly satisfying, so we had to have a lot of fun afterwards to make up for it.

We wandered through Central Park and played at a splash park and playground. Bruce picked a place for lunch - the Rancho Cafe. New York is not known for its excellent Mexican cuisine, but maybe it should be. Despite the sketchy name, our food was really yummy. Bruce got a scrambled egg/bacon/cheese burrito, Phoebe got rice and beans, and I'm not exactly sure what I ate but it involved a lot of tortillas and perhaps even more lime juice. Awesome.

After lunch, we went swimming with our hosts, Breanne and Jeremiah. The pool was just the right depth for Bruce and he enjoyed playing tag with Breanne. We picked up Thai food on the way home and ate it on their rooftop, which has a great view and was the highlight of the trip for Bruce. He loved the rooftop water towers because they reminded him of this book.

Phoebe put up a fight Saturday night. Bruce fell right asleep, but Phoebe rebelled. It took 2 hours, but 3 bites and a few scratches later she was asleep. Ahhhh. Breanne and I headed to the rooftop for some much-needed relaxation. We chatted until much too late, then headed to bed for a few hours.

We went to church on Sunday morning. Bruce was worried he wouldn't have any friends there, but I walked him to his class and asked the boy sitting next to him if he liked Star Wars and Legos. The kid's eyes lit up. He and Bruce got along just fine. I dropped Phoebe off at the church's nursery and gave some lady who I thought was the leader the rundown - Phoebe's name, where I would be in the building, no allergies, etc. When I picked up Phoebe at the end of church, the lady I'd talked to wasn't there and another leader said they didn't know her name but she was very pleasant the whole time. Poor nameless Phoebe. I'm glad she was good.

After lunch and goodbyes, we headed back to Boston on the bus. The bus ride was longer than expected (only a half-hour late this time), but not as terrible as the ride down. Scott picked us up from the bus station and after listening to our horror stories, had this to say: "I told you so."

I won't be hauling two kids on a bus trip ever again. Perhaps next time they can go help Scott on his test.

p.s. I took a bunch of photos on this trip and accidentally deleted all of them on the bus-ride home. I definitely needed more sleep!

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Blogger ellen said...

Now that was a "trip"!

11:05 PM  
Blogger Frozen Cacti said...

I'm grinning...for lots of reasons.

Sorry you didn't make the time you'd hoped for. At least you had yummy tortillas and lime juice.

5:09 PM  
Blogger a.k.a. Olivia said...

It was good to see you & fun to hang out with the kids--sorry it wasn't such a great trip overall!

9:50 PM  
Blogger mithu said...

I smiled knowingly at Scott's "I told you so." Loved ones are always "telling you so" but the they make the same error themselves and then I really cracked up at the idea of the kids helping Scott on his test next time!!

3:24 PM  

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