Running Views: NYC Skyline Edition

I’m pretty fortunate to live where I do right outside of Washington, D.C., and have so many amazing views to take in while I’m out on my everyday runs. Few things can beat the sun setting or rising over the monuments, memorials, museums and other great sights this city has to offer.

It’s always fun to run while I’m traveling and check out some new sights as well though and one of my favorites is the New York City skyline. Whenever I visit my brother and his fiancée in Hoboken I make sure to fit in a couple runs along the Hudson River so I can take in the skyline for a few miles.

What’s the best view you’ve ever had on a run? Tell me your favorite city to run in too!

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Should the NYC Marathon Have Been Cancelled?

There has already been a boatload of coverage and debate about whether or not the New York Road Runners (NYRR) and the City made the right call canceling the New York City Marathon. I think they made the right decision, but they made it too late. Regardless, I would not have wanted to be in charge of making that decision. It was a very tough call.

There were plenty of reasons holding the marathon made sense. The marathon brings $340 million dollars to the city, which could go a long way in helping residents and small businesses trying to recover from the devastation caused by Super-Storm Sandy. According to NYRR, no resources would have to be diverted from relief efforts to hold the race, which was one of the same reasons given for still holding the Giants game. This post on FloTrack.org does a good job of summing up how important this marathon is for a lot of professional runners, especially those who aren’t at the top of the pack. MarathonGuide.com posted a message on their homepage saying the event was cancelled only because of the media turning public perception against it.

Former Mayor Rudi Giuliani even came out and supported Mayor Bloomberg’s initial decision to hold the race, saying how important big events like this race are to NYC. He said making sure that race still happened after 9/11 was a top priority for him. After hearing this I started to think it made sense to still hold the race. After all, nothing quite symbolizes community and resilience like 47,000 runners taking on a marathon. So, the show must go on.

Then more stories started to roll out, many that were not even showing up in the news. This was no ordinary storm and it caused an unbelievable amount of destruction. How can you justify handing out huge amounts of water when the spectators might need it more? How can you justify filling hotels with tourists when they could be used to house people who had just lost their homes and all of their belongings? Too many people were hurting too badly to let the race go on – not to mention the logistical nightmare it was going to be to transport all the runners to the start on Staten Island, which was hit very hard by the storm.

Many people criticized runners for being selfish about getting upset over wasting months of training when others had just lost everything. I don’t think this is fair though, and I think many runners probably handled it better than onlookers expected. They came for the race because they’d been told it was still on. The decision really should have been made earlier instead of waiting till the last minute, but even this turned into a positive as thousands of runners ended up pitching in for the relief efforts.

There will be other marathons and most runners get that. My friend Lindsay and I ran the Country Music Marathon in Nashville in 2010. Well, at least we started it. Forecasts for race day were a bit foreboding, predicting severe thunderstorms and a possible tornado, but the race went on. The day actually started off beautifully with no sign of a storm coming, but it turns out there’s something to that saying, the calm before the storm.

Around the halfway mark, the sun disappeared behind the clouds, the sky turned very gray and eventually it opened up. Thunder and lightning rocked the course as the rain got harder and some hail even started to fall. As I approached mile 20, a cop with a bullhorn was yelling at me that the course was being shut down. I didn’t want to hear it though, so needless to say I may have used some unkind words and ran around the officer. I was on pace for a more than 30-minute PR and wasn’t going to let a little storm get in my way. The volunteers forming a human wall at mile 21 forcing people toward the finish line did however get in my way.

I angrily ran the last mile to the finish and took a medal in disgust after “only” running 22 miles. After meeting up with Lindsay and making our way back to our hotel though, we were able to gain some perspective and even laugh about what had just happened. We were able to enjoy a great night out in Nashville, while joking about our really expensive training run. The storm let up the following day and we were lucky to fit in a trip to the historic Grand Ole Opry before leaving town.

We got out just before more major storms hit, leaving most of Nashville under water including the Opry. Many people lost their homes. We just couldn’t run a race. You can’t compare the two, and we – like many of the runners unable to compete in the NYC marathon – had the perspective to understand that. It made for quite and experience and quite a story.

While it’s a bummer for the runners who put in so much work to train for the marathon, it’s absolutely tragic what many of the residents of NYC and New Jersey are going through. In my opinion, NYRR and the City made a very tough call, but they made the right call.

What do you all think about the decision to cancel the marathon? Was it the right call? If you were planning on running the marathon, did you pick a back-up race? Let me know in the comments – I’d love to hear from you!

Check out pics below taken by my brother in Hoboken a week after the storm and pics from my 2010 trip to Nashville.

Traveling

I’ve been neglecting my blog while I put to the test just how much I like to travel. I went on five trips in November, three by plane, one by bus and one by car, so it was a busy month to say the least.

Twins Game - September 2010

I took advantage of some rewards flights to book a pair of long weekends to Minneapolis where my boyfriend lives. Minneapolis isn’t anything like I’d imagined. My vision came mostly from Marshall’s descriptions of Minnesota on How I Met Your Mother. It’s a very cool, fun city, however I enjoy it a lot more when it’s not cold there! On my trips there, we’ve caught a couple Twins games; toured the Mall of America, including the aquarium inside of the mall; and checked out restaurants in different parts of town. Some of my favorites are The NookPsycho Suzi’s and Stella’s.

 

In between Minneapolis trips, I made it up to Hoboken for the first time to see my brother’s and his girlfriend’s new

NYC Skyline

place, and of course we made it into NYC also. Hoboken is small, but packed with people, restaurants/bars, shops and energy. There is nothing like New York pizza and bagels and we definitely ate well that weekend. My favorite pizza stops were Lombardi’s Pizzeria in NYC and Johnny Pepperoni in Hoboken.

For Thanksgiving I made the drive up to Syracuse. It’s always nice to go back home for a visit, but was especially nice given that the usual winter temps hadn’t set in yet, and we enjoyed 50s and even 60s with no snow the entire time I was home! My ride home was pretty tough, taking 2 and a half hours longer than usual while it rained the entire time, but my parents were waiting at one of our usual restaurant spots and had food and drink ready and waiting for me when I finally arrived. Thanksgiving was filled with some great food. My cousin cooked our turkey this year and did an amazing job, and my Mom made one of my favorites, a peanut butter pie!

Finally, I ended the month with a trip to Tampa for both work and fun. I got the chance to speak on a panel about mobile health at the National Conference of State Legislatures Fall Forum. I shared findings from a recent study on health technology that my company did. It was a really interesting experience, and I’m definitely intrigued by how this topic will affect our lives in the coming years. After the conference I headed over to nearby St. Pete to visit my grandparents. They spend the winters there and I head down every year to visit. It’s always a treat to be taken out to eat, go to the movies and lend my tech expertise. This year was pretty easy – I helped with a Netlix issue and added a bunch of pictures to their digital photo frame.

It was a fun month, and I do still love to travel and see new places, but I have to say I’m happy to be back home and staying put…well, at least for a few weeks.