Monday, November 07, 2005

26.2 Miles of Food

I made it!! Yesterday I finished my first marathon. I’m not one to rush things, and the marathon is no exception, so my time did not exactly put me in prize-money contention. But it was an amazing experience, much more so because it took place throughout the five boroughs of New York. My marathon breakfast consisted of leftover pasta with Dad’s Marinara Sauce and Sicilian Meatballs. It served me well; I felt full but not sick, and it was the perfect combo of carbs and protein. Sort of like an energy bar but actually tasty and made of real food! I ate breakfast at 6:45 am, so by the time the race started I was hungry again. As I mentioned on Saturday, my during-the-run food consists of nasty powergel packets, preferably chocolate flavored. Although they sustained me physically, mentally I was starved for a proper brunch.

The NYC marathon goes through all five boroughs, passing through extremely diverse neighborhoods, both ethnically and culinarily. It’s a buffet of temptation and as my legs ran on and on, my mind wandered. Here’s where it went…

Miles 1 through 5 – TACOS - Once we crossed the bridge, I could see the word “taco” on every awning and all I could think of was spicy shredded pork in a soft warm totilla.

Miles 6 through 10
– SAUSAGE SANDWICHES – Somebody was having a marathon cookout and it smelled just like the sausage sandwiches with peppers and onions that we used to eat at Aunt Alyce’s Fourth of July party, with Aunt Mary making fun of the fat neighbors in caftans, the uncles smoking pipes under the carport, and my cousin Marlo, who used to wear root beer flavored chapstick.

Miles 11 through 15 – COORS LIGHT – This part of the marathon goes through some pretty industrial areas of Long Island City, and then over the 59th Street Bridge, so there isn’t much food around. Combine that with my family, at mile 12, cheering “14 miles ‘till beer time” and you get me, fantasizing about the ideal post-race beverage, for five whole miles.

Miles 16 through 20 – CHEESEBURGERS – Although this part of the marathon course goes through sections of East Harlem known for fabulous Mexican, Dominican, and Puerto Rican food, I smelled cheeseburgers on 85th street and that’s all I could think about. Cheddar cheeseburgers, specifically. With onions. And steak fries.

Miles 20 through 24 – FRIED WHATEVER – Dear Restauranteur, Please do not cook your delicious fried foods on marathon day in such a way that the marathoners can smell their wafting aromas. I did not know what you were frying, but I knew I wanted to eat it RIGHT AWAY. I would have eaten fried raisins at this point.

Miles 25 through 26.2 – ICE WATER – I was pathetic. I was running through central park dreaming of ice water. I think this is an appropriate sign of how traumatizing a marathon can be. Shaved ice, cubed ice, ice in starfish shapes. All I wanted was ice water.

And so my marathon journey came to an end, and after an obligatory apple and some Gatorade (blech), I realized I could have any of those tasty treats that I was craving on my run. The only problem – I couldn’t walk! My family eased me to a cozy bar and filled me with delicious beers and tater tots, which soothed me for the night. Today, I was unable to leave the house other than a brief jaunt to the wine store. It took me fifteen minutes to walk one (short) block. Tomorrow, I expect to be sufficiently recovered such that I can seek out those treats that tantalized me for so long. If you see a stuffed looking girl wearing a silver marathon cape and waddling around outside the Pearl Oyster Bar around lunchtime tomorrow, please say hi.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! Congratulations - what a fantastic accomplishment - yay!! :)

9:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just stumbled on your blog from who knows where. If I had run a marathon, I would have expected steak Diane, a chocolate cream pie, and a gallon of champagne waiting for me.

Of course, that's why I'd never be able to run a marathon.

Congratulations! Hope you got some oysters.

7:19 AM  
Blogger s'kat said...

As someone who hits 'the wall' at three miles, I have enormous respect for anyone who can succesfully complete a marathon, so congratulations!

Love the 'foodie view' of the race!

7:37 AM  

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