Sunday, January 3, 2010

About Those Resolutions...

Good morning, and Happy New Year, folks!

As you read on my previous post, I'm raring to go with my New Year's resolutions...after the weekend (too much steno to crank out, and it's 20 degrees out there.)

However, I did ring in the New Year in a way that I think is unique to NYC, the Emerald Nuts Midnight Run. There's dancing and a costume contest beforehand, then at the stroke of midnight, a huge fireworks display and we're off for a four-miler, from 72nd to the 103rd St. transverse, around and back. There's champagne -- excuse me, "champagne" at Mile 2. We run as a team, and even if we get split up, no one runs alone. As someone who's spent more New Years in cabs going from one party where she didn't know anyone, to another party where she also didn't know anyone (ah, those friends of friends!) it's a great, low-stress way to ring in the New Year.

Our team has a new tradition of starting the evening at Rich and Lynn's apartment, which is close to 72nd, enjoy some sangria and goodies, then at 11:00, all the ladies crams into the bedroom to change. We run, and then return to the apartment for further merriment.

Last year, it was zero degrees out. Not with the wind chill -- that's before the wind chill. We bundled up like walruses and headed over. Of course, as soon as we started to run, we all started sweating, and that made the walk back to the apartment from the finish line a treat. This year, it was raining all evening, but warmer, in the low 30s. It was still raining when we left the apartment, but by the time we got to the Park, it had changed to snow. It was gorgeous. There were only about ten of us running -- there were a lot of folks still recovering from marathon-related injuries, and a few with other parties to attend afterwards. I was going to run with David and his girlfriend. Meg. Meg's got no cartilage in her ankle, and other ankle-related issues, and she hasn't run since July. But David cajoled her into doing the run, and she relented. As they were going to be more my speed, I stuck with them. Hooray, fifth wheel!!

We got there about ten minutes to 12, and the transverse was packed. We were so far back, we were practically on the west side. Either this run's gotten a lot more crowded, or we were super-late. Either way, we didn't move for the first fifteen minutes after midnight. However, that meant we got to watch most of the fireworks display, which was FANTASTIC. I don't know if the fireworks are a Road Runners thing or a NYC thing, but either way, they are among the best displays I've ever seen, almost twenty minutes long, and with finale after finale. The year I had my bunionectomy, I volunteered at this run, and I got to watch the whole thing. I know I've said it before, but the only real problem with this run is that you're running away from the fireworks, so you don't get to see it unless you run backwards -- which is not easy, given the hills in the Park. Take it from me.

Meg, as someone's who's both injured and hasn't run in months, was at a perfect speed for me, so while we quickly lost the rest of our speedier crew (making promises to meet at the champagne) I stuck behind with her and David. Though in pain, she was determined to run the whole thing, because if you sign up to run a race, you run it. My kind of gal! I did this race with Laura, my best friend and non-running ex-roomie. I knew we'd be walking as much as we ran, and that was fine -- until we neared the end. Remember, there's a costume component to this event, and as we hit mile 3, we came across people dressed as a McDonalds Happy Meal. Fun run be damned -- I was not going to be beat by french fries! I dragged Laura that last mile, to her chagrin and my relief.

This year, our speed kept us in pace with a group dressed as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, complete with Shredder and April. I know that now, along with the TMNT song, since I must have heard it over a dozen times.

It took us about an hour to complete the run, which is (thankfully) slow for me, but amazing for Meg, who really toughed it out. Pretty amazing that her first run since July, with no cartilage in her ankle, is a four-miler. Not so amazing that my legs were sore after that. I really AM out of practice. But that's not the point of this run. The point is to have fun and celebrate a new year by doing something that makes you happy and feels good. And that's what I did.

There's a New Year's saying that whatever you do on New Years is what you'll be doing all year round. That means I'll be spending 2010 with friends and family, working a lot, running, and eating lots of fried food. All good things, no?