I cannot believe that tens of thousands of people ran the NYC marathon this morning. It's not just that the marathon distance (26.2 miles) does not compute to me (it doesn't, but that's for a future post). I'm more amazed that people spent so many hours running the course while facing 20-40 MPH winds. I will admit that those conditions were too much for me to deal with this morning. Feeling like I was running into an invisible wall wore me out and I ended up cutting my run short.
The unrelenting sound of wind whipping through the trees prompted me to dress warmer than I normally would for 46°. Things started out well and I had high hopes for getting in my planned distance. I decided to first run the perimeter of my neighborhood that includes Jericho Turnpike and South Oyster Bay Road. I briefly considered crossing one of those main streets to open up my route to different options.
I ended up staying on South Oyster Bay Road and enduring the cracked and buckled sidewalk that was especially scary because it had a layer of leaves that hid potential tripping points. I made sure I kept my step high to avoid any mishaps. By the time I re-entered the neighborhood from the south, I started to get frustrated with the wind that reminded me of the miserable experience I had at last year's Long Beach Turkey Trot.
I struggled to make it to the mid point of my neighborhood and planned to make a beeline home. Along the way I saw a yellow recycling bin being blown across multiple yards, trash cascading from containers and leaves flying in every direction. Despite that, I decided to take a detour that added another half mile to my distance. I was disappointed to fall far short of today's goal, but I didn't see the sense in battling the wind monster any further.
As I ran, I thought about friends who were waiting on Staten Island for their wave to be called. The news showed thousands of people patiently huddling under makeshift blankets trying to remain warm. Once they were able to go, they faced the same conditions that I did, but would need to run over seven times the distance that I covered today.
Congratulations to my friends who braved the weather and the marathon course. You are probably very tired, but you did an amazing thing. Even under perfect conditions, this would be a tough race. I hope the celebrations will far exceed the pain.