Sunday, March 7, 2010

It's 5:00 somewhere.

Like Kuala Lumpur, maybe.

Because where I was? It was 10:30. As in A.M.

So we ran the Coogan's 5k on Sunday and although it ended up being more of a 3 mile saunter, it still counts as a race. Which is my justification for being fairly drunk by 2 in the afternoon.

From the beginning: Babs and Javi and I started out Sunday morning in an MTA tangle. Where we were headed is quite far for all of us. For me? I get a nosebleed above 96th Street, so headed to a street with a 1 in front of it coupled with being on the WEST side (ugh! as if!) was like traveling to another continent. But being a good trouper, I packed my passport and we dutifully boarded the 1 train. Which turned into the 2 train. Which suddenly took us to the Bronx. Which, for all of you non-NYers, is not the borough we wanted to be in.

We had about 15 minutes to regroup and haul north 70 blocks. Which would have been fine had I not been the party responsible for picking up everyone's race bibs two days prior. I had Babs and Javi with me (this is Javi trying to pin his bib on a moving subway while nursing a bad hangover, shakes and all. It's the weekend before St. Patrick's Day and he's 24. You do the math):

... but we were meeting Elkin at the start. Bad idea. By the time we got to bag drop and I connected with Elkin to give him his bib, the race had started and Javi and Babs had already taken off to get to their corrals on time. So Elk and I literally brought up the rear of the race, not crossing the start until 10 minutes after the gun.

I'll spare all the catty comments here (for what reason, I'm not sure since it is my blog). Let's just say we ended up with a certain running population that is not conducive to a PR. I spent so much energy dodging walkers and kids that when we got to mile 2 and started sprinting, I thought I might die. At mile 2.

Elk and I dashed for the finish, crossing over at about 27:00. Not my proudest 5k, but it ended up being a blast of a course. Music all over the place, tons of spectators, nothing but hills ... and at the end ...

... hey, look! It's the embattled former chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee! Yikes, how the mighty have fallen. One day he's got the gavel of one of the most powerful committees in Congress, the next he's glad handing sweaty runners in Harlem. (For the record, I politely shook his hand and thanked him for his service. I was sweaty and most likely smelly. Anything less cordial would have added insult to injury.) Btw, I think it was sorta symbolic that we snapped this pic under the sign for the crapper.

But this was the most awesome part of Coogan's. From here, everyone lined up at ... well, Coogan's. Great Irish pub near Columbia whose claim to fame is ... well, this race.

Like dutiful city dwellers, we saw a line and got into it like blindly, not sure what we were really in line for. There was a line, so it must be good, right? Moooooo. (I'm one of those annoying people who, upon getting in the line and shuffling slowly, must make that sound at least once. )

This was the scene inside. I'm not sure the pictures even do the chaos justice:

It only got better. Yes, that's breakfast, complete with eggs and corned beef sandwiches and shepherd's pie.

And who needs OJ when you have the breakfast juice of running champions:

As in an endless supply of Guiness that kept coming by the trayloads to our table. All free of charge. Let me restate that. All. Free. Of. Charge. So we played it cool and were fairly conservative in our intake.

No WONDER this race is so popular. Here we were, all racing the damned thing like fiends, making sure we keep up our race stats. All the while, 90 percent of the crowd was freaking walking it, knowing they were doing the minimum to a) get one of their 9 race credits and b) get to the end so they could get their free drink on.

The euphoria of finishing a great run was replaced by inebriation and, frankly, total confusion by being pretty lit by noon. We met tables of fellow runner-drinkers, including this guy, who took "free food" to the next level. He literally filled his backpack with plastic containers of corned beef sandwiches and shepherd's pie.

Note to drunk dude for next Irish food giveaway: while corned beef sandys are good to go in plastic, shepherd's pie is a bit fussier. (When he toddled off hours later, his backpack sported a huge grease stain and I swear he was leaking gravy).

We also met Raquel and Mike - who, as it turns out, is from Livermore - just one town over from my hometown. Another reason why the mind boggles in New York. I mean, really, what a small freaking world. Anyhoo, Raquel and Mike got a dose of Free Food Guy as well.

When we finally emerged into daylight to make our way home, Javi and Babs and I reminisced about our training days last summer when we were really becoming serious athletes. So serious that I doubt we would have had a drunk morning like this one.

Yeah, we adapted fine to the levity of the day.

And just in case you were worried - on the way home, we got on the right train.

(Although I may or may not have passed out and missed a stop.)

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like an awesome race! Although any even that ends with mass amounts of FREE guinness and shepherd's pie. Sounds pretty good to me. I have a six pack of guinness sitting in my fridge. Guess I'm gonna have to drink one and reread this while living vicariously through you :P