I loved New York City. But the masses of people moving together as amorphous blobs overwhelmed me. And the subways in New York are just unnatural. I am a big supporter of underground mass transit, as long as I am not part of the mass.
Times Square, I did not love. It was dirty, crowded and I didn’t get to see any celebrities. Our hotel was in Times Square and our room was on the 35th floor. There were also 35 floors above us. I was sandwiched between elevator rides from hell and the possibility the hotel might crumble. You don’t survive crumble from the 35th floor. And you don’t sleep when you spend all night long thinking about it. Also, it might have been my imagination, but I swear I could feel the building sway while I was in the shower. Six is my rule. I can go up six stories before panic sets in.
I had other apprehensive and claustrophobic moments during my trip – in the taxi, at the expo, in the elevator, on the street, everywhere. I couldn’t escape the crowds. The worst was waiting for the subway after the marathon – it was panic, vomit or cry. I think I cried. New York was trying to eat me. I was sure of it.
But you know what else was overwhelming, the nice people. Every time we clueless tourists needed directions, or a picture taken, someone helped us. New Yorkers, for the most part, were kind and that was surprising to me.
I survived the New York Marathon, and now I’m ready for the next one: Austin on February 17th. I’ve run Austin, I like Austin, but I don’t like running for 5 hours. Running for 5 hours is pretty much the opposite of fun. I haven’t quite figured out why I repeatedly keep putting myself through this. But if you know, please clue me in.