Monday, November 07, 2005

Recap - Before the Race

The Night Before:

I had had several meals over the course of the day, concentrating on carbs. But just to stick with tradition, I had a last meal of spaghetti at about 9:00.

I knew I was going to have to get up really early so I showered and shaved the night before. My race clothes had been laid out since Friday but I now tried on various pairs of running socks before choosing the first one I had put on. I also put aside everything I was going to run with: my Garmin, my iPod Shuffle, and 5 packs of Sports Beans.

I then packed two separate bags. One was the clear plastic bag I was going to check at the race, and the second was a bag of clothes for me to change into after showering. (I had big plans at this point to go out after the marathon and show off my medal!)

I listened to the end of the Leafs game online, and was in bed around 10:30 or so.

The Morning Of:

I got up at 4:45. Got cleaned up and then made myself a coffee (50 cals) and some oatmeal (160 cals). This was my usually pre-training run meal. Since this run was longer than usual, and it was starting later, I took along a breakfast square (220 cals) to have later on. In retrospect maybe I could have had more to eat, but I was worried about having too much in my stomach, and I certainly didn’t want any “major” bathroom breaks, if you know what I mean.

I then got dressed in my race clothes, over which I put on a pair of sweatpants and a sweater. I also wore my jacket as it was still pretty chilly that early in the morning.

My roommate was kind enough to wake up early and drive me to the bus pickup point in midtown Manhattan. We left the apartment at about 5:45, getting to the buses at about 6:15. There was already quite a long line and I finally got on a bus at around 7:15. (One port-a-potty break during the wait.)

The bus ride took forever. There were police escorts with us, but they were just making things worse. (I think our particular bus driver could have been there in 20 minutes if there were no cops around!) There was tons of traffic, and the police were just holding everything up without letting the buses through. Even when we turned onto the ramp for the Verazzano – which was closed to other traffic – we were still not moving. In fact, we were held up there for almost an hour.

This is where things got a little ridiculous. Everyone had been hydrating themselves all morning, and supposedly there were no bathrooms on the buses. Well for a half hour ride, that’s bearable, but not for a two hour ride! Fortunately, our bus had a bathroom, and even though there was a sign on it that said it didn’t work, our bus driver let us use it. When people in the neighboring bus saw us lining up at the bathroom (through their windows) they started getting off their bus, and coming onto our bus to use the bathroom!

Eventually, the system was overloaded, and people were running off to the side of the street to pee. Here’s where my dislike of cops was strengthened. There was the one policeman, who was being a total jerk the entire time. Well he starts yelling at these people to get back on the bus, and threatening them. These people were hobbling around in pain from their full bladders. It was really quite amazing what lack of understanding this guy had. Just another jerk in a position of authority - and abusing it. I was really mad at this guy. (Good thing I wasn’t driving – I probably would have just run him over.)

Anyway, they finally let us go through, but they tell the driver, “follow us and only go at 5 miles an hour”. So we’re driving on the Verazzano, with not one other car on the entire bridge, at 5mph. It was so ridiculous. They obviously had no idea what they were doing and were just trying to make up some sort of rules for us to follow. Finally about halfway over the bridge I think they realized how stupid this was, and they waved us by. It was about 9:15 when we got to Staten Island.

I know this is probably getting boring, so I’ll speed it up. At the “athletes village” there were separate areas depending on your bib color and your number. Fortunately I was near the “longest urinal in the world”. Really, it’s just a long trough, with a constant yellow stream running through it. It’s kind of gross, but it’s better than the girls who had to wait in line for the port-a-potties. There were definitely not enough of those.

I changed out of my sweats and checked my bag in. I had these paper pants and jacket with me, but it was pretty warm already so I didn’t need them. (I knew this was a bad sign.) I found my corral, which was the absolute last corral in the green section. I kind of sat around waiting for the time to pass. I had brought a newspaper, but forgot in the bag I had checked, so I really had nothing to do. Fortunately, there wasn’t much time before the race. About 9:55 I stretched and peed one last time. At this point everybody started getting together for the 10:10 start.

Next: The Race


Blogger E-Speed said...

I heard a similar bus story from my girlfriends about one year at Boston (their bus driver passed up the exit to Hopkinton 3 times!) They all eventually made her stop and all the guys lined up alongside the road to relieve themselves!

All those hydrating runners on a bus with no bathroom equals trouble!

That cop deserved a smack down. I would have been ticked too!

Monday, November 07, 2005  
Blogger Rae said...

I can't believe there's actually a longest urinal in the world website! How completely hilarious (and gross!) I bet that cop has never run a day in his life!! You guys should have just mowed him down!

Monday, November 07, 2005  
Blogger Dawn - Pink Chick said...

Hi Danny,
First off a big CONGRATS. You did it, not that we ever doubted you. I've been reading through all your posts about the race. After reading your writeups so far and those of others were there, plus watching some of it on TV, I soooooooo want to be there someday.

Congrats again. Enjoy the high, it will last longer than any drug ever could!

Monday, November 07, 2005  
Blogger Dawn - Pink Chick said...

Oh one more thing - about the bus pit stop. It wasn't runners but after a party with lots of drinking. The bus driver pulled over on a snowy road, women on one side and guys on the other side of the bus and we all took care of business. It was pretty funny.

Monday, November 07, 2005  
Blogger D said...

Wow - crazy. Can't wait for your race report!

Monday, November 07, 2005  
Blogger Brooklyn said...

I've noticed the police tend to f up the traffic worse than if they'd let things go - more often than not. I've also written more than one letter to the mayor's office about it.

Anyway, I'm actively looking for a way to avoid the buses next year. Probably crash with a friend out on Staten Island the night before. Or...if they'll let me cross the Verazzano on foot after they close it to traffic, just park my bike at Fort Hamilton and walk to the across the bridge.

Looking forward to the rest of your story.

Monday, November 07, 2005  
Blogger Kiran said...

Congrats! I'm anxiously awaiting the rest of the recap :)

Monday, November 07, 2005  
Blogger Ali said...

congratulations! hope the recovery is going well ... looking forward to the next installement

Tuesday, November 08, 2005  
Blogger Flatman said...

Well...? You can't just keep us waiting like this!!!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005  
Blogger Cassie (TIGGS) said...

wow- it just sounds so BIG! Just reading this makes me really want to run NY!!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005  
Blogger Remco said...

Hilarious story...if you were not on the bus..

Thursday, February 09, 2006  

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