This last weekend, I headed out to the East Coast for a slew of reasons- to run The ING New York City Marathon, to attend The SF Marathon and Crowdrise Partnership Launch Party, to spend some time with friends and family, and to run with NYC Ambassador Sean Flynn!  Let me rewind to July when a friend in the running world  sent me an email asking if I was still interested in running the NYC Marathon.  I’d told her at lunch a few weeks back that I hadn’t made it in on the lottery system, and with some stroke of fate, she was able to help!  I signed up immediately, and invited my sister along to cheer and sight-see for the weekend.

Nellie and I have both been to New York but only to visit friends, so we were excited to be obnoxious tourists and really tour the “Big Apple”.  Pam had also decided to run, so we spent weeks talking pre-race restaurants, strategies for catching a glimpse of Meb, and planning for the arctic weather.  Simultaneously, our team here at The SF Marathon had partnered up with Crowdrise (the coolest online fundraising platform around) for our 2011 event, so they’d decided to throw a little party.  NOW, anyone who knows our staff knows we don’t do anything “little”, we’re more the go-big-or-go-home type.  So 2 weeks ago, our entire team began booking their trips to join Pam and I in NYC for an Epic weekend.

Most of the ladies landed on Thursday night, so we decided to meet up for dinner at Momofuku after settling into the hotel.  It took us a little while to get in- but the reviews of this place do not lie- it really is amazing food.  We shared pork buns, char, cauliflower, wine and noodles.  Afterward, we grabbed a few drinks at a little place down the street where Pam’s Giant’s hat seemed to be a big topic of conversation.

Pam

Pam in her Giant's hat in Times Square!

Early the next morning, Nellie arrived!  We decided to do some shopping- not because we’re really the shopping type but because my typical wardrobe of running crops and tech tees probably wouldn’t be well-received at the Launch Party that night… Does anyone else have that problem?

After our shopping trip we quickly got ready and headed out for a quick dinner and to Radio City Music Hall to see the Rockette’s Christmas Spectacular! It was a little early for “Christmas Cheer” for my taste, BUT when in NYC… The show was unbelievable- how they were able and allowed to bring 3 camels, donkeys, sheep, and fireworks onstage is beyond wildest imagination, but it was an awesome show.  Afterward we were off to the Launch Party!  At the bash, I had a chance to meet Ambassadors Sean Flynn (NYC) and Joe Whelan (Philly), and caught up with 2010 Female Winner Emily Hardin, the amazing Bart Yasso, Robin Quivers, Ed Norton, and many many more fun people!

Photo Booth

Nellie and I got a little crazy in the Photo Booth at the Launch Party!

Early the next morning, we were up for the Shake-Out run lead by Sean in Central Park.  Although I’ve been to NYC before, this was my first run in Central Park- and it reminded me a LOT of Golden Gate Park; the huge oasis in the middle of a compact city.   The quick run loosened up our legs and we were off to run errands.

Central Park

Pam and I on the Shake-Out run!

After Expo-ing, napping, and hydrating, my sister and I met Pam for a pre-race dinner at Pala.  Nellie has gluten and dairy allergies (and I tend to avoid them too), so we chose this place for it’s allergen-friendly options.  It did NOT let us down, the pastas and pizzas were both amazing- even Pam loved Nellie’s gluten free, dairy free fennel sausage leek pizza. :)  We decided to make one last stop at Babycakes, an allergen-friendly bakery.  We shared a Spelt Red Velvet Cupcake and a Gluten Free Lemon Cupcake, all made with agave nectar for sweetener.  Both were delicious and healthy.

We were having such a fun trip we ALMOST forgot about the major reason for the trip.  So, this big cliff-hanger… how did the race go? Check back to read my race report tomorrow!

jojo