I will bypass the details of the evening arriving into New York City. Suffice it to say, that I will get a cab next time flying into Newark with more than one carry-on. Arriving in a crowded Penn Station and waiting for a cab may have been fun and exhilarating ten years ago, but I was over all that. For the first time in a long time, I preferred L.A. to New York.
That evening, I had dinner with my godfather and his wife. It took about five stops before we found a restaurant that had room for us and which measured high on their foodie palate (I just wanted to eat and go to sleep!). We ended up dining at a very nice Italian restaurant. The ambiance was complete with a bunch of loud New Yorkers next to our booth. Of course, I walked everywhere with my running shoes since I didn't want to exacerbate my calf pain in the name of social acceptance.
The next day, I took a cab to the site of the New York City Expo. I had big expectations but the expo did not deliver. Booth rentals must have been really expensive, since the diversity of running organizations, events, and stores, was severely lacking. On a positive note, I was very happy to see that Running Skirts was in attendance. I would plan on running in my black skirt on marathon day. "Gone for a Run" also had a booth, and I purchased a 26.2 decal for my car. The Asics area was huge, and I bought a lovely turquoise long sleeve shirt to wear under my Leggers singlet, as well as a license plate holder, and a signature Asics/ING New York City Marathon duffel bag.
Miraculously, I ran into a Legger friend, who then joined me for lunch at my very favorite Amish Market in Chelsea with my friend Daniel. I bought an extra sandwich since I was worried that I would get hungry marathon day. After lunch, I headed back to the hotel, and then took a cab to meet up with Heather at her hotel around Park Avenue and 71st. I was put in touch with Heather through L.A. Sports Massage since were both flying to New York from L.A. for the event. She raised $3500 for UNICEF! I was very happy to meet her, and we had spaghetti at a very old-school Italian place near her hotel. Her injury problems sounded worse than mine, so it was comforting to know that we injured runners were out there and ready to make it to the finish together.
Grabbing a cab back to the hotel was craazzzy, so I took a short walk. Looking back at it now, I can't completely recall all my pre-race rituals, but I was very thankful to get that extra hour of sleep due to daylight savings. I went over the location of the shuttle pick up on the map. I set three alarms for 3:00 A.M. and went to sleep.