Gadzooks, that was one long, drawn-out Winter season.
Here in the NYC area it seemed like the Winter that would never end. Like Cousin Eddie in those “Vacation” movies he arrived like a virus, and never received the hint to get his obnoxious ass to go away. It was a strange one, as it really didn’t snow all that much, but the cold, wet, windy, dreary days seemed to drag on forever. When we saw snow here in April that was the last straw. People were flipping their lids. People were actually getting angry. Weather rage?
The local news weather forecasters almost had to go into the “witness protection program”, and don’t even get me started on that damn woodchuck!
I myself was getting really tired of running in the cold frigid air. During some of the 5k’s and Half Marathons I participated in during the first four months of 2018 there were moments where I really questioned my sanity. Why was I doing this to myself? Was it really worth it? Should I sip from a flask full of bourbon during these runs? (that actually sounds like fun) Slowly, but surely, the weather got a bit better. It was a one of those things where we were teased with some better conditions, and then the next few days turned nasty again. Finally, Old Man Winter got the hint and bailed for the last time. These past few weeks have seen the area basked in sunny days. The temps are rising. The air is cool, but the sunlight feels warm and cozy as it hits the face.
Along with the ungodly pollen that has now been unleashed in the area! It’s become a living Hell for those who suffer from allergies. I see people on the streets, in the subways, and in the office with itchy red eyes, sneezing and coughing due to the pollen monsters. Yeah, we all wished for Spring, but as the old saying goes – “Be careful what you wish for”!
Even myself, who doesn’t really have many allergies, has been affected as my nose is going bonkers lately. This is way too much snot!
Still, I’ll take it over the Winter weather anytime. It was such a joy to participate the weekend of May 5/6 in back to back race events with sunny warmer mornings. The first, on Saturday, was Run the Bronx 10K, which was perfect outside. For six miles they had us run the streets of the Bronx, and had it so well-organized with the police in the area orchestrating and monitoring the roadways they had closed off for us. It started at Bronx Community College, and it was such a cool thrill to run along Grand Concourse, to Van Cortland Ave, to 179th and Burnside, and head back. Cool air, a slight breeze, and warm sun on my face made me a happy camper. I hit a PR for this distance!
Plus, some nice swag was handed out – finisher medal, shirt, all kinds of fruits, bagels,drinks, etc. DJ spinning music to get everyone pumped. I think there were close to 1000 entrants, and it was a party atmosphere. Plenty of students and families ran, and the youth who were volunteering were terrific. Plenty of water stations, cheers, and high fives along the way. One of the better races I have run in, and well attended. It was the 40th year for this event, and I look forward to running it again.
The very next day I ran in the Cinco de Mayo 5K. A much smaller event by scale, maybe 150 runners, but a lot of fun nonetheless. Due to the disaster the MTA subway system is on weekends with track work and service changes I found myself running late, and racing to the race registration tent as the start horn blew. I was like a salmon swimming upstream against a sea of runners heading in the opposite direction in Prospect Park. Somehow, the race officials were nice and let me in. I picked up my shirt, racing number bib, and ran back to catch up to the other runners. I must have stabbed myself six times trying to adhere the bib to my shirt with safety pins. Ouch!
Now here I was a bloody mess, already sweating from just trying to get there, I had to pee, and now I was running totally alone and clueless if I was even going the right way. I figured I would wing it and hopefully find the herd somewhere along the way. I eventually caught up to some walking the race and breathed a sigh of relief. After I crossed the finish line and received my medal I could finally relax. A sweet perk was enjoying the freshly made warm Mexican eats post-race, along with fruits, cheese stand ( Oh, Yessssss! Cheeeeese! ), and assorted drinks. Worth the craziness of my morning.
Ahhh, but Spring is in the air. We all know what that means. Summer is just around the corner, and I have already been subject to a few “seasonal breakup arguments” happening on the street corners and subway platforms of NYC.
You know how it goes. Every year. People stay hooked-up during the long and lonely Winter season, and as soon as Mother Sunshine hits their faces, everyone sheds their cold weather gear, the skimpier clothes are busted out, and that feeling to escape the shackles of a relationship they had been enduring just to bide the time comes into play. Relationships are left in the dust and hearts are broken leaving those left in the wake of it’s aftermath wondering what happened. While those who move on look forward to hitting the beach, summer weekend getaways, partying with friends on rooftops, dancing in the clubs, and going through those drunken hookups with random people of whom they don’t even know their names. Those same people we encounter having the breakup arguments can sometimes be found drunk outside a bar, and sucking face with some “rando” on those same streets.
Oh, the memories…..
What was your name?